Thursday, March 31, 2011

The best "oops" ever!

Who would have guessed that April Fool's Day was another reason to eat cupcakes?  Easter has chocolate rabbits, Halloween has candy corn, Christmas has candy canes, and April 1st has cupcakes!  The Sweet Tooth got some of their flavor combinations mixed up...."oops"!  Best mistake ever!  Here are their mismatched cake and frosting flavors. 

Lemon cake with cherry cream cheese frosting. My sister loves this frosting so much that she has even had dreams about it.  After picking up these cupcakes the first thing I did was send her a picture of that creamy goodness to give her something to drool over. I thought she was going to have to have a good old fashioned arm wrestling competition with Troy to see who would get the last of these cupcakes.  Yep, they are that good!

Apple Spice Cake with cream cheese frosting.  This cake is so good and doesn't even need frosting.  It can stand on it's own and I ended up finishing it off without the frosting, because I didn't want anything distracting my taste buds from that moist apple cinnamon goodness.  A glass of orange juice and an apple spice cupcake sounds like breakfast food to me. 

Red velvet with chocolate buttercream.  This was the cupcake that stood out to me as a "mistake" because red velvet is typically topped with cream cheese, but after eating this cupcake I would suggest pairing these two flavors more often.  Traditional red velvet / cream cheese cupcakes will never be quite the same again.  I want chocolate!

Strawberry cake with whipped cream frosting.  Whipped Cream!!!!!!!!!!  I know there was cake there somewhere,because I ate it, but there was Whipped Cream!!!  It took all the self control I had to not scoop the whipped cream frosting off of the rest of the cupcakes and eat it with a spoon.  Thank goodness the cupcakes are gone, or else I might be tempted to sneak into the box with my trusty spoon...

My favorite oops was when I "accidentally" mixed the apple spice cupcake with the whipped cream frosting.  Yep, sometimes mistakes are good :)

No matter how good The Sweet Tooth cupcakes are, the best part of each box is the moment I get in the car with them and open up the box releasing all those amazing smells.  I wish they could figure out how to bottle that smell so I could use it as air freshener around my house!

Read more about The Sweet Tooth here and here

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Hurry up April!

Things have been crazy busy at work lately.  We are moving to a new location after 20+ years in the offices we currently occupy.  Anyone that has ever moved to a new home knows that moving is a lot of work and the longer you've been at your current place the longer it takes to move to your new place.  We accumulate things over the years that make us wonder why we ever thought that was important enough to shove into the back of the closet for "safe keeping". 
  • VHS tapes.  Everything has been on DVD for a while now, so it's no surprise the tapes were covered in a very thick layer of dust.
  • Floppy disks.  People have been hoarding unused floppy disks at their desk for a very long time!
  • Brochure stating "Welcome to your new Window's 97".  FYI - it's now 2011. 
  • A crazy amount of dictionaries have been uncovered as people start to dig through things.  Spellcheck and have replaced the need for killing trees to print dictionaries now days.
  • Phone books are also a thing of the past...especially when they were printed 10 years ago.  I'm guessing most of the information in there is no longer valid.
With aprox 250 employees there are a lot of supplies going into the recycle boxes and whoever said that "one man's trash is another man's treasure" was not lying!  It's fun to see people sneak a peek into the recycle box as they casually make their way to the restroom.  File folders - no, half used pencil - no, double sided highlighter - SCORE! 

So this week is the big move and I am working the next 12 days (extended hours) to do my part in making it a successful, and less stressful event for everyone.  Unless I get a crazy amount of inspiration this blog will be put on hold until it's all over.  I do have good news for you though....

I am going to do my best to (successfully) participate in the A-Z Blogging Challenge during the month of April.  This means I will have 26 new blog posts during the month; one for each letter of the alphabet.  I'm excited to get back into a regular rhythm with blogging and I'm hoping this challenge will be just what I need :)

See you in April!

Saturday, March 12, 2011

How we started

Our very first picture together

A friend asked me to write about how Troy and I met.  I've told the story many times, but I don't think I've every actually blogged about it.  I can't tell a short version of the story without doing it justice (at least to me) so get comfortable before you continue reading.

The beginning of our story always reminds me that I am where I am meant to be.  Troy and I constantly talk about how different our lives would be if we had just changed one thing in our past.  I am thankful we have lived our lives the way we have because they have brought us to where we are today, and that is an excellent place to be.   Here is my version of how our story started with 5 things that stand out to me as examples of how things happen for a reason. 

We met through an online dating site (this is where most people gasp and try to hide the shocked look on their face) and I remember that Troy had a top ten list of things that I (or any interested woman) should know about him.  I made the first move and contacted him to let him know that I thought his list was clever, and funny.  We started emailing back and forth and just as he started to turn from some random guy into Troy - the nice, funny guy I was emailing - he disappeared.  He just stopped returning my emails for no apparent reason.  Oh well, time to move on to the next guy.  His loss!

More than a month later he returned one of my emails, as though no time had passed, and for some reason I let him off the hook and we picked up where we had left off.  1. The funny thing is I was going through my email address book that day and was about to delete him when he sent me an email.  We attempted to talk on the phone many times...well I attempted to call him, or sat by my phone when he said he would call, but his phone was always conveniently "unavailable" at the times we had scheduled to talk.  That phone got left at a friends house and at work; it never seemed to be charged; and when all else fails he claimed to be asleep and didn't hear it ring.  He was nervous and that made me like him even more.  Nervous about talking to me?  I was flattered!  Eventually I got him to answer that darn phone and shortly after that we planned to meet up for our first date.

I stood in the restaurant, watching the doors, feeling as though I was about to get stood up.  First dates are always a little nerve wracking and for some reason Troy seemed to have an extra amount of butterflies.  2. Looking back on it all now I  realize that it was important for him to be nervous and for me to be aware of that nervousness.  I went into the situation with more confidence than normal and I knew that I needed to help him feel comfortable.  That is just one of the many things that had to happen for our story to work out the way it did.  If we had both been nervous the date could have gone very differently.  Thank goodness he worked through the butterflies and showed up that night!

For our date Troy had planned dinner followed by a round of mini golf and somewhere between the windmill and the water hole he found his confidence and asked to extend the date, so we ended the night playing a couple games of pool.  This is where I started to realize that we were both rating this date on completely different levels.  I had enjoyed the evening, but not to the extent that he had.  That is a terrible feeling, because good or bad, I wanted us to be on the same level so that no feelings were hurt.

What Troy didn't know is that I was not necessarily looking for anyone special at that time.  I had given it a lot of thought and decided that I needed to just have fun and go out on dates so that I could figure out what I was looking for.  I needed to figure out what it was I did, or did not like so that I could narrow it down in my future searches.  3. Troy was research.  In fact Troy was just research subject number 1 of 3 I had lined up for that weekend.  Thanks for the good time, but I have more research subjects waiting for me! 

I had no interest in going out with him again, but he wasn't willing to take no for an answer.  He had found his confidence and he was going to do whatever it took to keep me around.  I was honest with him and told him that I thought he was nice, funny, and oh so sweet but I just didn't feel any sparks.  He knew there was something there and asked me to give him a second chance.  4. Even though I told him that I didn't feel like there was any hope for us, he still wanted to plan date number two, and so we gave it another chance. 

We had a good time, but nothing spectacular happened.  It did go well enough that I agreed to a third date, although I still wasn't sure this was going anywhere. 

5. I met him at the restaurant for our third date with tears in my eyes.  It should have been clear to me in that moment that he was "the one".  Here I was meeting up with a guy I barely knew and starting the date off with tears.  He didn't get scared, in fact he was amazing and listened to me talk about it through dinner.  How did I not realize he was the one for me right then? 

6. This was the most memorable night of my life.  It was raining and after dinner we ended up seeking shelter inside Barnes and Noble.  We grabbed books full of questions (conversation starters) and pulled two chairs into a quiet corner.  I remember sitting there, watching the rain fall, seeing our reflections in the mirror.  We sat there and talked for hours and that was when I knew he would no longer have to persuade me into another date.  I wanted to keep talking to him for....well, forever. 

Everything happens for a reason.  In the month that Troy took a break from emailing me I talked to several other guys from the internet dating website and gained a little more self confidence.  I would need that boost to my self confidence to push our relationship forward when Troy was nervous. 

Everything happens for a reason.  During the time that we were not communicating I got a promotion at work that put me in a new office an hour away from home.  The new office just happened to be 10 minutes from Troy's home which made it much easier for us to find a time and place to get together.  We had our first date during my very first week at the new office. 

Everything happens for a reason.  I had dates with 3 different guys that weekend and since Troy was the first one I did not feel a lot of pressure to make it work.   Because of this, I was completely able to just be myself, and not worry about impressing him.  I was there to have fun and we did!

Everything happens for a reason. What kind of a crazy man insists on a second date after being shot down?  I told him that I did not want to go out with him again and that I did not have any feelings for him.  He didn't seem to care, or hear, anything I said.  He just kept asking me for a second date until I said yes.  I love him for this!

Everything happens for a reason. I started our third date off crying about a work issue.  I knew this was a stupid thing to do, but I am a crier and could not help it.  There is not a whole lot of room for the date to go any further downhill after that and so once again I felt completely free to be myself because I didn't figure I could screw the date up anymore than I already had.  That was the night I fell in love. 

When someone escapes death people say that there is still something left here on Earth that the person needs to do.  There is a reason they did not die.  We don't always get to find out what our reason is and there are lots of important things we do in life that we are not even aware of.  Every one of us makes a difference and touches the lives of people without knowing it.

Troy and I fit together.  He makes me laugh and he challenges me and I love him for both.  I am happy with him and so crazy in love!  I can not imagine that it would even be possible for there to be a better match for me than him. 

When I think of how our story started I know that there is a reason we were put together.  We make each other happy, but there is more for us to do.  Just like when someone escapes death so that they can finish what they need to do, so they can touch the lives they need to touch - there is a reason we were put together.  I don't expect to ever know what our reason is and I'm not looking for an answer, but deep inside I am confident that we are meant to be for reasons that are bigger than just the two of us.

Everything happens for a reason.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

The power in a name

Incredibly Perfect
photo from here

I recently got to sit on the sidelines and watch someones bad day be turned completely around with one small gesture from a person who had no idea how much of a difference they had made.  This person thanked her and used her name.  It's great to be recognized and to be thanked for things that we do, but for some reason the added touch of including our name in the sentiment makes it mean so much more.  It's no longer just a generic statement thrown out it's personal.

I have been called by my sister's name my whole life.  At work I get called by the wrong name so often that I have given up trying to correct people.  My name is not all that common so it's rare to hear someone say it unexpectedly.  I've never heard someone yell "MISTY" across a crowded room and not be talking to me.  I'm typically the only Misty in the room (although I do know many people with the same name).  Even at home I don't hear my name being said.  Troy calls me "honey" or "sweetie" most of the time and it catches me off guard when I hear him actually say my name. 

Parents spend days weeks months searching for the perfect name for their little bundle of joy.  Our name is one of the very first words we learn to spell and write.  We search for the pencil/mug/keychain with our name on it when we visit the gift shop.  Misty is a very hard name to find and when I was in high school a teacher special ordered several pads of paper with my name printed at the top as a surprise for me.  I still have a pad of that paper hanging up on our refrigerator.  Our names are special to us. 

We love to hear our own names being said by other people.  It gets our attention and makes us feel special.  I saw a woman's attitude do a complete 180 turn around when someone took a generic thank you and made it personal by using her name.  She was glowing for the rest of the day.

You have the power to make people glow!  You can be the person who turns someones bad day into a good day.  Personalize those general statements and use the person's name (just make sure it's the right name!)

Friday, March 4, 2011

Answered Prayers

Mind exploration (inhalingchaos: Meditation A Dance and A Prayer)

Our church sends out prayer lists through email.  I get emails on people needing prayers throughout my day, and since my email goes straight to my phone I get the prayer requests right away and can say a quick prayer the instant it comes across my phone.  This past week Troy and I were both on the prayer list, at separate times, for bad colds we have been battling. 

Last night we were talking about the aches and pains we have each been suffering from and discussing when we started to feel better.  Is it a coincidence that we both took a turn for the better just hours after our names had been sent out through the emailed prayer list?  I don't think so!  Part of me thinks that I convinced myself that I was feeling better because I had faith that the prayers would work, but I didn't even make the connection until a couple days later.  I actually laughed when I saw my own name come across the prayer list, because I didn't think I was sick enough to be bothering people with prayers.  I wanted to tell them to save their prayers for those who really needed them, I would be fine.  I appreciated the sentiment behind it, but didn't feel like it was needed.   I didn't feel like I was even worthy of their prayers.

Looking back on that day I realize that I was sicker than I was admitting to myself, and that I did in fact start to feel significantly better just a few hours after my name was sent out to the members of my congregation asking for prayers.  I did not will myself to health because I had faith the prayers would work.  I was brought health through the power of those prayers. 

This made me remember the big "aha" moment in my life when I realized just how powerful prayer could be.  Anytime I catch myself doubting the power of prayer I think back to this experience and remind myself that I am worthy of prayers, and yes, there is power in prayer. 

I had an open door policy at college.  My room was the very first one as you walked on the hall, and if I was "home" my door was open.  There were even times I would come back from class and find a group of girls hanging out in my room (and I did not have a roommate).  It was a safe place where everyone was welcome and even when the door was shut there would be knocks to see if I might just be hiding inside.  Alone time only came after I went to bed for the night, but I loved it!

There was a point when I stretched myself too thin.  I was stressed out, emotionally drained, and having trouble sleeping at night.  Just going through the motions of life seemed to be difficult, and playing the role of the ever cheerful hostess seemed like too large of a task.  I had hit one of the lowest points in my life and felt like I had no where to turn.  This went on for days before I even thought of praying for myself. 

It was the middle of the day and a time that many of the girls would be walking by my room, but I decided to hope for the best and close my door in hope of being able to fall asleep, if only for a short  nap.  I laid down on the couch and cried.  I cried because I felt like I was alone, even though I was always surrounded by people, people who were good friends.  I had been so focused on making sure everyone else was doing ok that I forgot to take time for myself so that I could recharge.  I cried and I prayed.  I prayed that God would help me find peace in my life and I told him that I just wanted someone to hold me while I slept.  I wanted to know I was not alone. 

I am crying now just thinking about it.  I felt someone pick me up and hold me in their arms, just like you would hold a newborn baby.  I felt my body be lifted from the couch as it was replaced with the arms that made me feel like a small, precious child and I fell asleep.  I had been unable to sleep for days, but in that moment sleep came easy.

I slept for a few hours, straight through, without a single visitor at my door.  When I woke up I felt refreshed and I knew that I would be ok.  I was not alone.

I pray for people all the time, but I rarely ask for prayers for myself, and I do not pray for myself often enough.  I need to remind myself that I deserve and need to have prayers said on my behalf.  It's ok to ask for prayers for myself.  I am not being selfish if I pray for myself to feel better, or to get a few hours of sleep.  It is important to keep my emotional batteries charged and for me, prayer charges those batteries. 

Today I am thankful for everyone that has prayed for me, even when I felt that I was not worthy.

My first blog award

I have received my first blog award!  Thank you to BZ over at English Speaking Zone for passing this award on to me.  She has asked me share 7 things about myself, so here you go!

1. I am obsessed with cupcakes
2. I write for fun.  It is something I enjoy and I do it for myself.  If others enjoy reading it, then that is just like icing on the cake!
3. I keep an online recipe book of foods I've made and don't want to forget.  I keep them all in a blog in case you want to make some of the recipes too.
4. I am a sucker for romantic comedies.
5. I never liked dogs and did not want a dog, but my husband talked me into one anyway, and now I can't imagine how I ever took naps on Saturday afternoon without her cuddling up beside me
6. In first grade we had a reading day where we did nothing but lay around and read all day long.  I try to recreate that day as often as I can.
7. I have the worlds cutest nephews!

Part of my duties as the recipient of this award is to pass it on to 5 new bloggers.  Seems as though all the blogs I follow are well established, so instead I will just tell the ones I check in on every single day.
  • Rachel is a friend from college.  We both grew up in the midwest, but now she is finding her way through New York.  I enjoy living a New York way of life through her blog! 
  •  Young House Love is a couple who moved from an apartment in the city to buy a house and start a family.  They own an older home and turning it into their dream home, one project at a time, and sharing every little detail in their blog. 
  • Smacksy has a new blog post every morning.  Typically about some cute thing her son has done or said.  I start my morning with her every single day! 
  • ljcfyi is a lady who blogs for a living as Kodak's Chief Blogger (jealous!).  This blog is her own personal blog, full of pictures and stories from her every day life.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Spring Cupcakes

Photo from The Sweet Tooth

Today I would like to thank The Sweet Tooth for making me feel like a judge on the hit show Cupcake Wars!  They asked me to sample their new Spring cupcake flavors - LUCKY ME! 

I previously told you about how much I loved their Peanut Butter Dream cupcakes here.  Since then I have also tried their S'mores cupcake (good!), and now the three new spring flavors. 

Jamacian Sensation is bursting with mango flavor!
Jamaican Sensation had me at hello Jamaican.  Troy and I spent our first anniversary in Jamaica and I still smile every time I see or hear about anything Jamaican.  On top of having a cool name, this cupcake is also vegan.  Everywhere you look more and more people are becoming vegans, and vegan options are popping up on menu's everywhere.  There are even cupcakeries that only bake vegan cupcakes, but I had never tried a vegan sweet of any kind.  I was a vegan virgin, and while I was not sure what to expect, I was excited. 

This was my favorite of the three cupcakes!  If this is what vegan taste like then sign me up!  The cake is so moist and has a big punch of flavor.  A mango cupcake topped with pomegranate cream cheese frosting.  Yes, I was slightly scared when I read the description because I usually shy away from fruity desserts in favor of something more along the lines of  The mango really did taste like summer (or spring), and my mind kept wandering off to sunny days on a rooftop terrace sipping sangria.

Raspberry Lemonade made with real raspberries

Raspberry Lemonade is exactly what you would expect.  They added raspberries to their vanilla cupcake base and topped it with lemon cream cheese frosting.  There is no denying that this cupcake was made with real raspberries instead of artificial flavorings and you are reminded of that with raspberries you get in each bite.  I want to wash this one down with a tall glass of lemonade during a back yard bbq!

Chocolate with a cherry on top!

Peanut butter and chocolate are a match made in heaven, but if chocolate was forced to choose a second choice it would have to go with cherry.  The Sweet Tooth will be holding a contest on facebook to name this cupcake, so get your creative thinking hats on and get ready to send them your suggestions!  Wouldn't it be great to know you named a cupcake?  Two cherries and a chocolate chunk are pushed into the center of this chocolate cake before baking so there is a sweet surprise waiting for you to discover as you eat!  My sister said the cherry cream cheese frosting was the "creamiest, best frosting ever"!  I kept wanting to swipe my finger through the frosting, but (mostly) restrained myself.  Sorry, to those of you who got one with a little frosting missing off the side!

I have to mention again how incredibly sweet Trevor and Amy are.  Their mission is to promote happiness and you can't help but be happy when eating their cupcakes.  I love to see good things happen to nice people and these two are on their way to seeing great things happen.  I can not wait for them to open their store later this year.  Weekly grocery shopping trips will become something to look forward to when I will able to stop by their store for a sweet treat! 

By the way, check out the contest they recently won!

One dozen cupcakes gone in less than 24 hours!  A huge thank you to The Sweet Tooth for satisfying the sweet cravings of 9 people today!!