Saturday, August 16, 2008

Tag - 6 Random Things About Me

Hello my dear and loyal readers! I cannot tell you how I have missed baking, reading your comments and sharing new creations with you! I would love to say I am completely moved in to my new house, but that is not yet the case. I guess life happens!

I have, however, cleared enough space to be able to bake and give myself some elbow room so I will share some of my latest yummy creations with you! But first, I am overdue on answering this tag! Mara from Lick the Spatula has "tagged me" to tell you 6 random things about myself. I think this is her ploy to bring me out of hiding! Good job Mara! Peer pressure works like a charm. Haha!
(See what I grew!)

So the tag rules are:
1. Link to the person who tagged you.
2. Post the rules on the blog.
3. Write six random things about yourself.
4. Tag six people at the end of your post.
5. Let each person know they have been tagged by leaving a comment on their blog.
6. Let the tagger know when your entry is up.

1. I love chocolate! I have been known to go to great lengths to seek out great chocolates! When I say seek... I mean going to the Godiva factory in Brussels, the Lindt Factory in Switzerland, Ghirardelli (owned by Lindt) has Soda Fountains and the most wonderful chocolate shops! Now after Cupcake Hero, Askinosie is a new favorite! This Ecuadorian chocolate nibble bar from Askinosie is my latest craving!

2. When I see hand lettered farmers market signs, I have to stop, no matter what. I enjoy the quaintness of small stands to the larger more organized markets, but the best part is all the fresh fruits, vegetables, breads, cheeses, butters and jams! There is just something about hand lettered signs that pulls at my heart strings (the same is true for kids selling lemonade!)

3. There is an apple orchard not too far from where I live. My little guy and I can be found there quite a bit once apple season starts. I have a secret obsession with their apple cider donuts! From the minute I see the racks and racks of fresh donuts, no bigger than the palm of your hand, all warm and slightly crunchy, tangy and spicy at the same time. I could eat 6 and not blink! The orchard also has a winery, with samples! My favorite last season was the Apple Blossom Blush. It tasted like apple juice with a kick!

4. When I was 9 years old, my lemon meringue pie won 22nd place in the county bake-off out of 75 entries. My prize was a wooden spoon with a blue and white checked grosgrain ribbon. I think by that age the baking bug had already bitten me!

5. The only "video game" I can win at is Pac-Man, but I can also play a good game of air hockey!

6. I have entirely too many cookbooks... but every foodie does!

These are a few of my favorite blogs, so "tag" you are it!
Couture Cupcakes
Cupcake Project
My Sweet & Saucy
Sugar Plum
Tempered Woman

Friday, August 15, 2008

On a personal note... Skin Cancer Part I

(This is me, Wendy, and my little guy!)
Hi friends! I wanted to write a quick note and share something personal with you, I ordinarily would keep this to myself. I know this is a cupcake website and you come here to see lovely cupcakes and happy themes; I have so much to catch you up on, but in order for me to do that, I would like you to understand what I have been doing (besides moving) in the past few weeks. Please bear with me; I will try to keep it short and to the point. If this helps one person to not get blistering sunburns, then I did not share my story for naught.

I noticed a mark on my neck about a year ago, but in my haste to get my son to soccer practice, skiing lessons, PTA meetings, working on homework with him, being classroom mom, working 35 hours at my job and being an overall over-achiever, I did not go to the doctor and have the "freckle" checked out. I did "check it out" myself each morning in the mirror and gave it a "Pfft!" I was simply too busy to bother to go in. The mark changed shape and color, it hurt and I stopped wearing necklaces. Justifying to myself, I was over accessorizing with necklaces.

The truth is... freckles do not hurt; my "freckle" was killing me. I finally made an appointment to see the Dermatologist who took one look at me and in the most gentle way, told me he would immediately do a biopsy so we could take care of this growing problem. I am certain he was trying not to alarm me, but I cannot tell you the feeling of my heart sinking in my chest.

I am a Certified Health Education Specialist, but yet I did not take the time to follow through on what I knew I was seeing but was not fully aware of what was happening to me. I am really good about applying sunscreen (SPF 70) before my make-up. I apply it especially on my face, neck and chest and my arms. My make-up has an SPF 30 protection. I do not lie out in the sun. I am a Scottish girl with red hair and green eyes. I put on sunscreen several times a day and am obsessive about sunglasses and covering up. Yet, I have been diagnosed with skin cancer.

In this day when we have any color ribbon or rubber bracelet to wear for a cause, skin cancer is somewhat over looked. In my quest to spread the word about skin cancer prevention; I am listing a few of my favorite items I use and endorse this extremely worthy cause. Please, take care of your skin! Use sunscreen, whatever brand you like, just apply it often and liberally! Go to the doctor about ANY concerns you have! We only get one life. I have learned we only regret the things we didn't do; not the things we do! I will be making cupcakes with this in mind. Anyone who has an idea to share, you can email me at the.cupcakery at yahoo dot com.

The Skin Cancer Foundation has a wonderful website with a traveling road tour! The American Cancer Society list skin cancer facts and what to look for.
The American Cancer Society rule of thumb is the ABCDE Rule:

A for asymmetry: A mole that, when divided in half, doesn't look the same on both sides

B for border: A mole with edges that are blurry or jagged

C for color: Changes in the color of a mole, including darkening, spread of color, loss of color, or the appearance of multiple colors such as blue, red, white, pink, purple or gray

D for diameter: A mole larger than 1/4 inch in diameter

E for elevation: A mole that is raised above the skin and has an uneven surface

Click here to print your Body Mole Map. If you find anything suspicious or of concern you can take it with you to your doctor. I would also encourage you to take a look at the American Cancer Society Facts and Figures for 2008. Remember early detection is the key! Please be well, wear sunscreen and above all else, smile! Thank you for your support. I will keep you posted on my progress and I do promise more cupcakes!


Sephora Brand Sun Safety Kit. It's packed with a travel-size sunscreen and skincare for the face and body. 100 percent of the net profits (that's $21.55 from every kit sold!) will benefit The Skin Cancer Foundation. Sephora will make a total donation of up to $430,000.00 before 12/31/08. Supplies of the kit are limited and will be available while supplies last.

UV Skinz UV Skinz sun protective swimshirts are stylish and carry a UPF rating of 50+, which blocks out over 98% of the sun’s harmful rays, protecting delicate skin from damaging sunburns. Marcia Cross is on the website and endorses this product for her babies. Products range in sizes from children to adults.

Speaking of Marcia, she has the most beautiful creamy, fair skin, which needs serious sunblock! Oil of Olay, the American Society for Dermatologic Surgery (ASDS) and Marcia Cross have joined together to invite you and your girlfriends (or any friend! Skin cancer can strike ANYONE) to get a free skin cancer screening. This particular link touched me very deeply -- click here to see videos which will absolutely motivate you to get a screening. Please, please take this seriously.

What probably has to be my favorite sport, baseball, MLB endorses skin cancer safety! Click here to watch the Play Sun Safe video. What is really great about this organization, Play Sun Smart, and the American Academy of Dermatology is they help you find a free screening location in your area, as well as offering resources and informing you of local events.

Finally, because I believe every penny spent on research will eventually lead to a cure, there is a bracelet for Melanoma Awareness. Join SpaFinder to raise awareness about early melanoma detection & prevention by buying an "I Will Reflect" bracelet. It changes color when exposed to harmful UV rays. SpaFinder is a proud sponsor of the Skin Cancer Foundation. It is available through Spa Finder for $4.94 (does not include shipping).

Monday, August 11, 2008

A Tea Partay!

Hi friends!! I have seriously been working very hard at unpacking so I can post yummy cupcake goodness for all of my dear readers! I needed a break from this move... I saw this Tea Partay a few years ago, but revisited it recently and was so tickled I just had to share! If you have not seen it, I hope you will find the preppy New England spoof as funny as I did. I grew up in New England and I really love this video!! Raw tea and finger sandwiches on the veranda, thank you notes in cursive... love it!