Thursday, July 31, 2008

The Bella


So, here it is, the third and final installment in my dessert trilogy. I have to say this one gave me the biggest trouble. I agonized over it and tried out a few combinations in my head, but in the end, this one seemed to fit. Can I just tell you this is one of the most delicious cupcakes ever?!! --And that's coming from me! I had originally planned to make it in a mini cupcake size (seeing as how everyone always refers to Bella as being so small) but I ran out of mini cupcake liners and baked regular sized ones. On a sheer greedy piggy level, I'm totally glad they are!

I was joking around saying that for the Bella all I was going to do was cut an Edward cupcake and a Jacob cupcake in half and smush them together, and I played on that idea here a little bit. There is a little bit of the Jacob, a little bit of the Edward, but a lot of something that could only be just Bella. It also had to be topped with a bit of neutrality (she is Switzerland, you know.)

I wanted it to be a combination of the two forces plus something extra that made them meet on on even territory. (I also wanted the cake to be white because I think the white queen on the book cover probably represents Bella.) They also have a white chocolate center, since I think Bella is good right to the core and a bit more nuts on top, because just like Jacob, Bella is a little nutty (come on, admit it!)

So here it is....


White Chocolate Cupcake with Chocolate Cinnamon Buttercream garnished with chopped pistachios and a Swiss Chocolate Truffle



Cake

2 cups flour
1 cup sugar
3 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
1/2 butter or shortening
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup sour cream
1 tsp vanilla
3 eggs
3 oz melted white chocolate

Frosting

1/2 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup shortening
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/3 cup cocoa (or about 5 ounces of melted baking chocolate)
4 teaspoons cinnamon
2-3 cup powdered sugar
4 tablespoons sour cream

Lindt Swiss Dark Chocolate Truffle Bar (comes with 18 squares)
finely chopped pistachios
White chocolate appeals

Preheat oven to 350. In a large bowl, combine dry ingredients for cake and mix together. Add remaining wet ingredients and beat at medium speed for 2-3 minutes. Spoon into cupcake liners until about half full. Bake for 12 minutes. Open oven and drop one appeal into each cupcake. Bake for another 12 minutes or until tops spring back. COOL COMPLETELY

In another bowl, whip together shortening and butter. Add cocoa, cinnamon and vanilla, whip. Add powdered sugar and sour cream alternating until the right consistency. Whip for about 5 minutes. Pipe onto cupcakes and garnish with chopped pistachios and a Swiss Truffle. YUM!!


Oh yeah P.S. I'm totally going to a midnight release party tomorrow and I'm totally geekin' out about it!!

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Links

I don't know what's going on. I'm having blog issues the last two days and nothing was showing up (hence no post yesterday-sorry.) I took out my background from cutestblogontheblock until I can figure it out.

Anyway, today all I really wanted to do was to link you to all my favorite Twilight sight on the web right now (in case you are crazy and can sleep like me and need to surf.) Most of the fan sites and forum are down since they don't want spoilers posted, but I stumbled across this one the other day. It is beyond entertaining.

Twilight Guy -- It's basically an online blog of a guy (and aspiring author) who is reading the series and gives his take chapter by chapter. He's currently in New Moon right now, but I finally went back to the very beginning and starting reading his entries. Twilight and the male mind together--my head wants to explode.

Also, check out www.etsy.com and just search Twilight. (particularly in the jewelry) So funny to see what everyone else is making too.

So, sorry, short post, but still good stuff. I'm pretty much geeking out about Friday and am also a little swamped and preoccupied with some other unexpected stuff. HOWEVER-- "The Bella" should be making it's debut (hopefully) tomorrow evening.


2 more days!!

Monday, July 28, 2008

Shirts and Spoilers

I'm pretty sure I shared all of them I made mock ups for except for this one. It's a two sided shirt. On the front it says...


And on the back...



I don't really have too much today. You MIGHT want to check out EW.com for the big spoiler Stephenie Meyer released today (but then again, you might not.) It's actually not too bad, something I had already assumed, but if you don't want to know ANYTHING, then steer clear.

Here are the top 5 things I'm itching to know from Breaking Dawn...

5. Will Bella get changed?
4. Will Jacob imprint?
3. What in the heck is Alec's power?
2. Will Charlie (or anyone else) find out about the Cullens?
and the number one thing I want to know is...

1. Is anyone going to die? (In particular, is a certain werewolf who I totally love and who's name rhymes with Wacob Rack going to die?) I'm warning you all now, I will seriously burn my books in protest and wear black for a year if he does! (FYI--that last part's not really a sacrifice considering I pretty much wear black about 6 days a week.)

Also, for your bossy-bessy pleasure... I can't pick a shirt to make, so I've put it to a vote. Make sure to cast it by Friday so I can make whatever you say!

Sunday, July 27, 2008

The JACOB Cupcake


Here it is...

This cupcake is dedicated to our favorite sweet, dense, and selfless werewolf. You all know how much I love Jacob. I just think he's greatly misunderstood in this whole thing! So here is my culinary ode to him.

I wanted to make a cupcake that was warm an earthy and a total comfort food. The kind of thing that would smell like Grandma baked it and you make you want to snuggle up and take a bite. I wanted to have distinct earthy and spicy flavors, but still be very sweet overall. It needed to remind me of the woods in a way, and also needed a little element of nutty and fun.
It doesn't disappoint. This cupcake is delicious.

Cinnamon Spice Cupcake with Maple Cream Cheese Frosting
and a Pistachio Burnt Sugar Garnish (or THE JACOB)

Cake
1 box spice cake mix
1/2 cup melted butter
3 eggs
1 1/2 cup milk
1 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp ground cloves
1 TBS cinnamon


Frosting
8 oz cream cheese
4 TBS maple syrup
2 TBS brown sugar
2 cups powdered sugar

Finely chopped pistachios and white sugar

Preheat oven to 350. Mix all cake ingredients together and beat on medium for two minutes. Bake in cupcake liners for about 22 minutes. COOL COMPLETELY

In a small saucepan combine maple syrup and brown sugar, on LOW heat, allow sugar to dissolve and then cool syrup down. In a large bowl whip cream cheese until softened. Add powdered sugar and and syrup mixture a little at a time alternating between them until right consistency is reached. If too thick, add a bit of milk, if too thin, add some more powdered sugar. Pipe onto cool cupcakes and top with chopped pistachios. On a silicone baking mat, spoon small amounts of sugar into little circles. With a kitchen blowtorch, heat sugar until it bubbles and carmelizes into solid shapes. Let cool and garnish top of cupcake. ENJOY!

Are you sick of me, yet? We have one more character to go in our cupcake trilogy. She'll make her debut sometime next week. I have to say--Bella's has been the most challenging and I'm not sure I've really got it right, so we'll have to see...

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Werewolf Weekend


In honor of the wolves, I'm dubbing this Werewolf weekend.

I know not everyone likes the werewolves in this series, and I'm just going to lay it out there right now, I think you're completely insane not to. I am NOT saying that you have to love the wolves over the Cullens. I am also NOT saying you have to love Jacob over Edward and I am IN NO WAY saying you have to want Jacob to be with Bella more than with Edward. I am just stating that if you do not realize the awesomeness of the werewolves, you are not actually reading the books. I like them more and more every time I pick this series up. I just want you to realize that the Cullens and The Quileutes are not mutually exclusive in coolness. O.K. fine, maybe I'll never convince you, but I'll leave you with this. Not all vampires are vegetarians, and I'm pretty sure that after Edward and Bella ride off into the sunset, I'd sure like to know those La Push boys are watching out for us anyway (something, I'm sorry to say, I don't really think the Cullens would ever do.)


I don't really know how else to put it. In honor of my affinity for the La Push Boys, here's my latest logos...







Seriously, how can you not love them? I don't get it. Tune in tomorrow for my (quite literal) sweet homage to my favorite wolf, Jacob.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Twili-con

Sorry, this is a day late, there was just SO MUCH to write, I couldn't get it all done yesterday.

First off, let me just say that nothing prepared me for yesterday. Nothing. Comic-con alone is one of the craziest things I have ever been to, adding the Twilight pandemonium on top of it only pushed the experience into slightly surreal territory.
We got down to the convention center at about 8:30 am and (thanks to Michael) didn't have to stand in line for our passes since they had been picked up the night before. With passes in hand we went directly to the line for the large panel hall for the day. Keep in mind our panel wasn't even going to start until 1:30 and we already had a sneaking suspicion it was going to be hard to get into. We were right. The line for hall H was WRAPPED around the convention center. I am not even joking. If you have ever been to the convention center, you know how huge this building really is- I tried to take a picture of the line, but it really does not do it justice.

Here's where we were standing on the complete back side of the convention center. No joke. We were a bit worried we wouldn't get in. Devyn at one point was about to go towards the front of the line and offer to buy someone's place. We came to find out later that the front of the line had been there since about 8:30 the night before and there were several Twilight fans who had simply spent the night in front of the hall. The line began to finally move at about 9:30 and we slowly crept toward the front of the building. We did make it through and thanks to Devyn and my mom--who was there for a different panel-NOT the Twilight panel (I"m pretty sure she'd want me to clarify that)-- we scored some really great seats.

That's when the waiting began. We were in the hall by 10:00 and the Twilight panel did not begin until 1:15. However, there was another panel before ours that we were able to see. The first panel was FOX entertainment studios discussing their upcoming movies "The Day the Earth Stood Still" starring Keanu Reeves ( a remake of the original 1951 classic) and "Max Payne" starring Mark Wahlberg. Both looked pretty interesting and both stars were there to promote the movies. (Yes, Mark Wahlberg really is that cute even in person.) The big shocker of the day, however, was right after the "Max Payne " discussion the Fox Entertainment host announce he had a surprise guest backstage HE didn't even know about and would be please welcome, all the way from Australia, Hugh Jackman. At this point, the ENTIRE 6500 person hall EXPLODES-- seriously, explodes isn't even a strong enough word.

Now, for those of you completely confused by why this would garner such a reaction, let me try to explain. (Keep in mind, I am NOT a die hard comic geek-but I fancy myself an enthusiast for the characters.) Hmmmm... what character does Hugh Jackman play in, oh, 3 movies so far, that would create such a frenzy amongst the comicbrained masses? Oh, I don't know, I little tiny part called Wolverine? From what I am beginning to understand, Wolverine is like the MVP of Comic characters. So here comes Hugh Jackman (a.k.a Wolverine) out on stage and everyone is freaking out because they know he is there to talk about the new movie "Wolverine." The fans were not dissappointed. After being completely adorable and gracious and profusely thanking the legions of fans who have made his career he JUMPS off the stage into the press/vip area just so he can shake the hand of the man who created the Wolverine character and thanks him for everything and for helping make his career as well. It was pretty awesome, and the energy in the room was crazy. He then asked the audience if they would like to see clips from the new Wolverine movie and the place explodes once more. The clips were fantastic. This movie is going to be insane. New mutants (in particular two very loved characters by the fans SabreTooth and Gambit.) I'm not even joking when I say that one of my comic-con companions actually got a bit choked up at the scenes--you know who you are.

The fox panel ended on this high note, but the energy in the room never seemed to calm down. There was about a 20-30 minute break so people could enter and exit the hall for the next panel. Not too many exiting people, though. Everyone knew what was coming next; the Summit panel featuring three movies titled "Push," "Knowing," and a little sleeper called "Twilight." They saved "Twilight" panel for last (they would have been stupid not to considering they pretty much knew the place was packed with fans.) I will say the "Push" panel was interesting and the movie looks rather fascinating, but it's super complicated, so I don't want to go into it right now.

So, I can't even begin to describe the Twilight panel, I'm just going to show you what happend BEFORE the panel even started when all they did was put the Twilight logo up on to the screens.

video
Insanity. If for some reason you CAN'T hear the video, that's the sound of 6500 SCREAMING Twilight fans (notice the incredibly high pitch indicating the massive amounts of young teens in the audience.) The best part is when they all start chanting "Twilght! Twilight!" over and over.
They introduce the cast next, and I can't help but put this on the blog... it was crazy.

video

Apparently the guy who plays James has some serious fans. However, nothing prepared me for the onslaught of teenage ear piercing shrieks as when Robert Pattinson came out on stage. Holy Banana! I have never seen anything like that before in my life.

They began the panel with a bit of Q&A from the the Summit Studio representative. It was pretty obvious right off the bat that both Kristen Stewart (Bella) and Rob Pattinson (Edward) were either completely overwhelmed or completely unprepared for the panel. It was a little awkard. It was also obvious at one point in the interview that Cam (the actor who plays James) has never read the book. Which, of course, as I'm sure you all know, irked me to no end. The three actors that I was the most impressed with were Rachell LaFevre (Victoria), Edi Gathegi (Laurent), and Taylor Lautner (Jacob). They seemed relaxed and knew the story pretty well (which I think made them relaxed.) I do have to say the boy who will be playing Jacob I think has some great potential. He's a cutie pie and seems to have already captured the hearts of all the fan girls. Here's a clip of him describing his character.

video


Stephenie didn't talk too much, and you could tell they seemed to really be steering the panel AWAY from the series (Breaking Dawn in particular) and more on the movie. She did, however, give her stamp of approval on the movie.. here's the clip.

video

Apart from the absolutely unexpected madness of it all, it was pretty cool. That is, up until they took questions from the audience. Honestly, I have to admit, I was a little embarrassed to be a Twilight Fan. They said they would be screening all questions before hand to weed out everything inappropriate and redundant, and either the Comic-con staff dropped the ball or my definitions of inappropriate and redundant are very different from theirs. I'm not sure what was worse, the seven 13 year old girls who all asked Rob Pattinson if he knew how hot he was or the 40 something "Twilight Mom" who felt the need to ask Rob Pattinson and Taylor Lautner (but specifically addressed them as Edward the Jacob) if they wore boxers or briefs and WOULD NOT LET IT GO (like I mean asked three times shouting it into the microphone and then saying something HUGELY inappropriate to Kristen Stewart like "maybe YOU KNOW, Bella!) It was ridiculous and embarrassing for everyone in the audience. I actually felt uncomfortable.

Still, there were a couple good questions, one was someone asked the actors what made them decide to take the roles in the movie and the Edi Gathegi full on said it was because of Stephenie and her writing and that he loves all the books and has read them all--he also said he would without a doubt LOVE to play Laurant again if they make "New Moon" into a film. Which is good, because I love him and I think he is going to be a fantastic Laurent.

They did play a clip for us, it was pretty much the entire ballet room scene and it was pretty awesome. I'm still not completely sold on Edward (or even Bella for that matter) but I am totally sold on the director for these films. I think Catherine Hardwicke is making a fantastic film. One thing I loved it they talked about how they are doing almost all stunts and effects in camera--not a lot of CGI-- I always love when films do this because it gives them a realness you can't get any other way. I think that will be really nice on screen to help ground this story in some little piece of reality.

After the panel, we went down to the exhibit hall to check out all the other stuff, specifically the Summit Booth to see if they had any Twilight related swag. Needless to say, with over 6000 very rabid Twilight fans in the center, the Summit booth was completely overrun. We did manage to work our way over eventually and spin the wheel for some Twilight prizes. Thanks to all the other people we went with (husbands, brother in laws, children) we several spins on the wheel throughout the day and we each came away with a HUGE Twilight movie poster. We were really hoping for shirts, but no such luck. Here's a quick shot of the wheel I snapped while we were walking by.

Believe it or not, we were a bit Twilighted out a bit after that and needed a break. We went out to grab a bite to eat and made our way through the rest of the hall browsing and stopping at whatever looked interesting. DeEtte needed to look at all things Watchmen or Iron Man related and I was thrilled to find a giant Yoda.


Here's all my favorite things I found...

Biggest Wonder Woman EVER!



All metal my little Pony--awesome AND shiny!



Giant Yoda


Castle GreySkull from He-Man


All in all it was really one of the craziest things I have been to in a long time. I definitely think I'm ready to go again next year! We had a lot of fun and I was exhausted by the time I came home from sensory overload alone.
Stephenie Meyer gave interviews to Entertainment Weekly Online while at Comic-con and here are the links..

Stephenie's Interview

Enjoy!!

ps-- 7 more days!!

Sides

We all have our favorites, and if you're pickin' sides, here you go... No long post today, I'm off to this little known convention about comic books and weird stuff--you probably haven't heard me talking about it at all 'cuz I'm not even excited. I might write about it tomorrow, I might not. JOKING! Check tomorrow for all the festivities!




The favorite:





The Long Shot:



And, if you're like Bella and don't want to choose:



Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Twilight Bling



Okay, so this is only half Twilight related. I figured I needed something extra fancy to wear to Comic-con tomorrow. There are going to be A LOT of Twilighters there and I just thought I should represent (in fact, people are starting to refer to tomorrow's events at Twili-con 2008.)

I thought this sounded like the perfect excuse to finally make one of these glass pendants my mom (the jewelry maker extraordinaire) showed me. The are basically they are an image inside two pieces of glass that have been soldered together and a ring attached. I find them fascinating! It has limitless possibilites and you can really personalize them in any way you want. Of course, mine is Twilight, but I"m in the process of making one with a camera in it and another with a picture of the girls.

The pendant is the Twilight book cover on the front (tweaked a bit of course because I can't leave ANYTHING alone) and the phrase "Real Vampires Sparkle" on the back.

For more info on how to make them, check out this link here
and for some more awesome examples, check these out.


I have to admit, I totally cheated and had Jon the super-husband work his awesome soldering skills and do that part for me (we all know if I had tried, there would have been a trip to the burn unit.) Still, I claim the pendant truly as my own and can't wait to show it off tomorrow.
Comic-con here I come! (I'll post all about in on Friday.)

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

More shirt ideas....

I still haven't made my shirt for Comic-con and it's in two days. I need to work on it today or tomorrow, but I just can't decide what to make. If I can't get it done, I'll still need something for the book release outing, so regardless I'm going to have to pick sometime, here's a few more ideas. I'm leaning towards the first, it's simple I figure everyone gets it:






Super simple, once again, these could be on either black or white I guess:








I watched Romeo and Juliet the other night (the one with Claire Daines and Mr. Titanic), so I couldn't help myself with this one....




I figure all you Austen die hards need a literary shout out, too--so here you go (not for everyone, I know, but you Pride and Prejudice fans will get it.)





So, any suggestions? I need to pick probably by tonight.

Monday, July 21, 2008

The EDWARD cupcake


You knew it was bound to happen. I mean, come on--how could I NOT make a Twilight cupcake? Actually, to be precise, I've made an Edward cupcake. It started out as just a Twilight cupcake, but after I bounced the idea off Jon (and AFTER he laughed himself into ACTUAL tears for 5 minutes) he jokingly said it sounded like I wasn't giving "that Jacob boy" very fair representation (see, proof he does kinda listen.) Then the epiphany...

So, now The Edward, The Jacob, and The Bella cupcakes have all begun to come to fruition. Hey, why not? Some of my favorite deli's have sandwiches named after famous people, it's practically the same thing (except sweeter and a little less in touch with reality.)


Today I present to you THE EDWARD:


I figured this cupcake had to be dark, sweet, rich, dense, a bit unexpected, and a little overwhelming on your palate, but still leave you wanting another bite. I also wanted the frosting to be snow white and sparkley and of course, I figure, for representation purposes, it should be served cold...
(The sparkles didn't really show up in the photo, but I have crystal clear sparkles all over the frosting so it quite literally sparkles in the sun.)


The best part; check out the inside. Here's the little unexpected. You know the inside couldn't match the outside... just like our protagonist, he's not what you'd think.


The recipe is below:













EXTRA DARK CHOCOLATE CUPCAKE WITH SOUR CHERRY CENTER AND WHITE CHOCOLATE BUTTERCREAM WITH A SOUR CHERRY DRIZZLE (OR--THE EDWARD)



Batter

1 box dark chocolate cake mix
3 eggs
1/2 cup melted butter
1 cup milk
1/4 cup sour cream
1/4 cup cocoa
1 tsp vanilla


Filling

8 oz package cream cheese
1/3 cup sugar
1 egg
dash salt
1/4 cup sour cherry sauce
red food coloring (optional)

Frosting

4 oz. white chocolate
1 c. confectioners' sugar
4 tbsp. butter
1 tsp. vanilla
dash of salt (or used salted butter)
milk

Preheat oven to 350. In a small bowl, mix all of the filling ingredients together until smooth and place in freezer to chill. In a separate bow, combine all elements of batter and beat for 2 minutes at medium speed. Fill cupcake liners 1/2 full of cake batter. Remove filling from fridge and spoon into a piping bag. Pipe about a teaspoon of the filling INTO the cupcakes (not on top, put the piping tip actually in the batter and then pipe, the cupcake will swell.) Top the batter off a bit with a spoonful more of chocolate batter to cover over an center you can see. Bake for 22-24 minutes. COOL COMPLETELY!!

Frosting

Melt chocolate; blend in confectioners' sugar, salt and butter, 1 tablespoon at a time, beating thoroughly after each. Use milk to thin to proper consistency (only if really needed) Stir in vanilla. Whip for about 5 minutes. (This will frost about 12 cupcakes--double for whole batch)

Frost cupcakes generously and drizzle with sour cherry sauce and sprinkle with clear sparkles.

Enjoy!!

Stay tuned later in the week as that other boy in the story gets his chance to wow your palate.

(all comments on how out of control I am will be summarily deleted...)


Current funniest Twilight Tease...


It's no secret my husband teases me MERCILESSLY for loving these books. It still doesn't stop me from blabbering on and on about them. The last few days I've been explaining the Edward and Bella relationship more and more (even though for some reason he keeps walking away from me...) This morning he stopped me mid-sentence and exclaimed "Maybe its just me, but it sounds like there's an awful lot of spooning in a place that supposed to be called Forks."

Ahhhh, Jon.

This is not the only Twilight post today, check back this evening for the fruits of my afternoon's labors.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

More Twilght...

Jon always like to make fun of me in his own teasing way by creating symbols for me and out of recognizable icons and then tweaking them a bit. For Harry Potter, the made me a potter logo out of the Harley Davidson logo. This time, I got a Cullen logo out of Coca-Cola....
He says I'm a dork, but I think he's jealous.





Here's two other possible shirts/stickers I created...










So, here's my question of the day:

What on earth is Alec's power? Jane is one bad little monster and Alec is supposed to be just as powerful--what on earth could he possibly do?



Saturday, July 19, 2008

Vampire Girl...



I can't help it. I'm addicted. I'm a total and complete Twilight junkie and I don't even care. For any of you who have just recently came out from under that rock of yours, I'm talking about the Twilight Book series by Stephenie Meyer.

On my facebook page, I have a little piece of flair that says "Twilight fills my Harry Potter void." This could not be more true. I discovered these books exactly one week after finishing the final installment of Harry Potter. (A week, I might add, spent entirely in my pajamas with the blinds drawn wandering around the house mumbling "just what am I supposed to do NOW" more times than my husband cares to remember.) I was a Potter-head. I still am, but now, I will forever be in debt to my dear friend Michele and her cryptic email about a new series she stumbled upon.

Well, that just got me curious. I called her a few days later to ask about it. I remember being a little unsure about the whole teen vampire romance, but since she was offering me her copy on loan (and the fact that I pretty much consider her opinion final on good reading choices) I took the bait.

Now look at me, I"m completely ridiculous. I read Twilight and New Moon in a matter of days and orchestrated a very large gathering of my friends for the Eclipse release just a month later. With Breaking Dawn's debut just days away, I've begun again. Making t-shirts and stickers, committing to midnight release parties and 7 am lineups for wristbands, checking Meyer's website for the quote of the day before I've even brushed my teeth, I've even secured myself a ticket to Comic-con this year just because there is a panel discussion on the Twilight movie (and I don't even READ comics!) My husband has once again begun to mope around the house, reluctantly joining the leagues of male Twilight widows all across the nation.
I've read each book in the series AT LEAST 4 times, and that doesn't include me picking it up every so often to just peruse over my favorite parts. I think it's time for me to finally figure out just what it is about them I (and the rest of the female reading population) can't get enough of.

Why do we love these books? Or, more personally, why do I? I think I first have to examine the writing. I can't help but love the way Meyer moves a story. I find myself reading them very fast an unable to not turn the page or eek in one more chapter in the wee hours of the night. Secondly, like Meyer herself, am a huge sucker for impossible love stories. I like angst--what can I say. Third, I'm a fan of any book that rejects current reality and offers another; particularly when it's merely an addition to our reality and not a whole new one. That's what drew me to the Harry Potter series so much, it didn't introduce us to a completely parallel universe where wizards and magic existed, instead it opened the door to the possibility that it already did here and we just didn't know about it. It's like reading a good story and finding out a big secret all at the same time. Twilight does the same thing, but with a feeling of it being on an even more intimate level.

Now, don't start throwing tomatoes, but I sometimes feel like the only female in love with these books and NOT in love with Edward Cullen. Don't get me wrong--there's something irresistibly delicious about an abnormally beautiful creature in love with a girl so much that it physically hurts him to be so. I know it's my own "bad boy complex" issues, but I find myself liking him the MOST in the first installment when there was still the possibility of him munching her up. What I am in love with, however, is the relationship BETWEEN Edward and Bella. The impossibility of it all makes me wish for more and the strain that comes from being human and vampire is electric. I also love the underlying currents of good vs. evil, the definition of a soul, and the power of choice; except in this particular story of magic and the undead, there are lots of gray areas in which to explore and they all seem to weave themselves tighter in and around Edward and Bella's connection for each other.

Lastly, I think one of the major reasons I love these books is because they are something to love. I've pretty much realized that I'm finally both old enough and secure enough now to admit that sometimes being a superdork fangirl is just plain fun. I get to read great books and let my imagination go wild. I get to think of silly creative things in the middle of the night when I can't sleep and my ADD is totally out of control. Most dearly to me, I get to have fun with my friends who (by definition of friend) have to love me despite my superdorkness and in turn embrace the dorkness with me and be by my side at the bookstore when the clock strikes 12:01 on August 2nd.

I have to say, I finished my last and final reading of the series this morning and now I am waiting with baited breath for Breaking Dawn. I have lots of theories, and I may be way off, but I'll share them with you, along with lots of other Twilight creative goodness I've made these last few days and can't seem to control.

For the next two weeks, I'll be posting something Twilight related everyday in honor of the upcoming fourth and final installment. Today (along with the above Twilight manifesto) I'll show you the first designs I made for possible t-shirts/buttons for all my friends to wear to the release party, here's just a few:





Friday, July 18, 2008

Virtue thy name is Patience...

First let me say to my legion of fans (yes, all 10 of you) who have waited for the next blog post, thanks for being patient. It has been an eventful few weeks and quite frankly I didn't know where to start... but I promise with all my heart there will be a new post tomorrow, and if any of you are as excited as me about a certain book coming out in--oh-- say 2 weeks-- you won't want to miss it.

Love to all, I'd be nothing without you! (well nothing without the first 8 of you anyway.)

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Scots Rock!/The Awesomest Toy Award


This past weekend we went to the San Diego Highland Games and Scottish Festival held in Vista CA. I, of course had great plans to shoots lots and lots of great photos of kilts and drummers and all things highland. Unfortunately my kids had different ideas--so instead of fighting them, I just put the camera away for the day and enjoyed our time (not before I snapped a quick shot of this awesome shirt.) I don't know, it must be all my celtic blood, but guys in kilts are always so handsome..

The games had it all. We made it to the dancing competition, sheepdog trials, and the gathering of the clans/parade. We also caught a bit of the games themselves. For those of you not familiar with the Highland games, think of the strongman competitions you see on ESPN only crazier. They consist of events like the Hammer Throw, Caber Toss, Sheaf Toss... you get the picture. Very big muscular guys (all in kilts) throwing and tossing really heavy stuff really far. It's pretty entertaining! They even had a 'mini' kids games. Syd participated and got herself a blue ribbon! Okay okay, every kid got a blue ribbon, but she doesn't know that...

We were also able to catch the tail end of the Wicked Tinkers concert. These guys are crazy. It's like what punk rockers in Scotland would have listened to 300 years ago. It's pretty awesome and very entertaining. They play the coolest intruments I have ever seen and the energy these guys have on stage is ridiculous, they are like the Rolling Stones of the Highland Festivals. They tour and tour the whole country and I have NEVER been to one of their shows where there wasn't a bunch of Tinker Groupies dancing it up on the side. Check out there website or even check this link for a snippet of a concert on YouTube. What can I say, we like our music loud.

I must say that the find of the day was not the games, but what we found in the kids section...

Awesomest Toy EVER Award

Did you ever play with blocks as a kid? Well, these are the mother of all blocks. These are fantastic. The toymaker carves each one by hand and creates turrets and peaks and windows and ledges--all for you to create your own castle and kingdom.

At the festival, the toymaker (whose name is Peter Dziulak) had set up little individual tables under a large shady tree with sets of these blocks. Sydney and Vivie played for almost an hour building and rebuilding to their hearts content. I watched boys and girls and whole families (and even some teenagers) come over and build with these.


I have to say I think these are one of the most creative toys I have ever seen. Such a simple idea, but so fascinating! I'm sure your thinking, "they're just fancy blocks" but they're not. Think of what you would build as a child with your blocks. I know I always built castles and forts and kingdoms. With these, you have endless variations of that theme. These are like the blocks you always wished and imagined your blocks would have been.


Plus, for all you moms of little girls--these are terrific. I know my husband is always looking for ways to play with Sydney. She's a girlie girl and she only ever wants to play princess-- an activity he get's (shall we say) a little weary of. With these blocks, they can build together and create Cinderella's castle or Rapunzel's Tower or whatever strikes her fancy. They bridge that gap between "boy" toys and "girl" toys. Since they've made their debut at our house, we haven't stopped playing with them.





I seriously think these are one of the coolest things I have seen in a long time for kids. No, I'm not selling them and I'm in no way affliliated with the toymaker. I just think when you come across something that's unique and innovative and particularly done with love and care, you should celebrate it.




Congratulations Mr. Village Blocksmith, you are currently the reigning king of toys!!

For any of you interested in them, you can find them on the web at www.villageblocksmith.com