Sunday, May 19, 2013

Mother's Day Cupcakes

I've been out of my baking element for a while. Call it life, call it just plain lazy, but I've had no desire nor time to be in the kitchen working on new cupcakes. Hopefully that's all changing. I've been in a bit of a rough patch lately, with a demanding work schedule leaving little time for personal pursuits, It's really led me to start questioning what I'm doing with my life and decisions I need to start making. It seems as though the job of my dreams and the life I thought I always wanted, is not much the fantasy that I imagined it to be. With the hours I put in and the pay I receive, I might as well move to China and work in sweat shop. Funny thing is, my efforts are still not enough in the eyes of my superiors.

It's let me to question my priorities at the moment, and throughout the process I've been slowly finding my way back to me. Back to the things that bring me joy and make me who I am. And that means cupcakes!

I was offered the chance to bake for a birthday/Mother's Day celebration so it was the perfect time to test the status of my baking skills. Since I was taking these to a party, I knew I needed to go with a fail safe recipe that always brings me rave reviews. Simple, semi-homemade cake recipes with pretty sugar flower decorations make these the perfect sweet treat.

For the Tropical Luau cupcakes:

2 cans (8oz) crushed pineapple in juice

1 package yellow cake mix without pudding in the mix

1 package banana instant cream pudding mix

4 eggs

1/4 tsp ground nutmeg

1/3 up vegetable oil

-Preheat oven to 350*
-Drain pineapple, reserving juice, set aside
-Beat cake mix, pudding mix, reserved pineapple juice, eggs, oil, and nutmeg in the bowl of an electric mixer for 1 minute    on low speed
-Beat 1 to 2 minutes on medium speed until smooth. Fold in pineapple chunks
-Fill paper liners 2/3 full and bake for 20 minutes or until golden brown
-Pipe yellow buttercream frosting onto cooled cupcakes and adorn with toasted coconut and decor

For the French Roast Chocolate cupcakes:

1 package dark chocolate cake mix 

1 cup coffee (I used 2 k-kups of French Roast)

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Never Giving Up

Sometimes I draw inspiring words of wisdom from the most unlikely places. Like for tonight example, my 13 hour long work day has come to a close and I have finally have a few minutes to wind down and purge my mind of the days' events and drama. As I lay in my bed, laptop open, the pup snuggled up at my feet, I can hear MTV blaring in the background with Ke$ha's new realty show, My Crazy Beautiful Life in full swing. It was one of her opening monologues that caught my attention and sucked me in like those cheesy MTV shows often do. In her dialogue, Ke$ha was talking about how no matter what you do in life, some people are always going to try their hardest to destroy you. The only solution... stay focused on your dreams and make yourself the only one responsible for making sure they never end.

Work has been a constant battle for me lately. In the thick of summer concert season, pressure is on to push ticket sales and of course, that means marketing efforts are being scrutinized under a high powered  microscope. Working feverishly through lunches, firing off emails until ten o' clock at night and pounding the pavement to spread the word on the street is just a tiny glimpse into the life I've found myself living these past few weeks. Now a days, a 12 hour work day is welcomed compared to the usual 16 hours I've been pulling to make sure our shows are as highly visible as possible. As crazy as the hustle and bustle has become, I'm proud of myself for all I've managed to accomplished at the drop of a hat.

But lately, it's felt like the world is against me, pointing out all my flaws and errors, forgetting about all the progress I have managed to accomplish. Although I know I do have some allies, it seems like a certain group of people have been treating me like I'm a nut, or like I don't know what I'm doing. No recognition for the positives or how much I've been busting my ass, only criticism and comments about what I'm not doing well enough.

In my opinion, criticism is always welcomed in the work place. It helps you build a better you. But there is a way to say it so that it's helpful instead of hurtful. The truth is, I know what I'm doing and I'm doing it well. I have faith in myself and know others are just looking for a place to push blame so it doesn't reflect negatively on themselves. On my weakest days, I try to remember to be careful of the weary souls that are going to doubt me along the way. Because no matter what I do in my life, whether I'm doing well or struggling, there will always be someone out there trying to take it all away.

"...I won't run when bullets chase me, I will love when people hate me, I won't hush, no you can't make me. Send the dark but it won't break me, You can try but you can't change me..." - The Band Perry

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