Saturday, August 30, 2008


Okay Everyone, just a reminder...

Voting is now open for the Iron Cupcake Competition! Click in the Iron cupcake logo on the right (under my literachick) and cast your vote for the best! Spread the word!!

Friday, August 29, 2008

Iron Cupcake Mania

Well, all the entries are in and there are some FANTASTIC ones. I feel pretty honored to be put into the favorites of fellow cupcake competitor Rachel over at One Pretty Thing. Here blog is amazing, go check it out.

Here are my top 8 favorites:

Left to Right and Top to Bottom:

1. Grilled corn cupcake by xcountry baking
2. "Hot" Chocolate cupcake by I Heart Cuppycakes

3. Chocolate Chipotle del Muertos by Cupcake Atlanta
4. The Twisted Thai Cupcake by My Sweet Cupcakes

5. Peaches and Steam by Lisa Michele
6. Cincinnati Chili Cupcake by Dog Hill Kitchen

7. Lemon Ginger Chili Pepper Cupcakes with Honey Lemon Frosting by Tofu and Cupcakes
8. Black Sesame Chili Cupcake by Delightful Delicacies

Go check them out and don't forget the voting opens on Sunday--so go vote for me--and for Vivie, she REALLY worked hard on these and wants to win (that's right, I'm shamelessly using my utterly adorable kitchen assistant to win your vote!)

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Iron Cupcake: Chili

A few weeks ago, my friend Amy emailed me to let me know about a new cupcake competition she came across in blogland. She figured it was right up my alley and she couldn't have been more right. I entered the group immediately and went to work on the first round. The way the competition works is each month we'll receive a key ingredient and have a month to create a cupcake recipe using it (much like the Iron Chef competition.) So far there are over 100 competitors from all over the world and there are all kinds of great prizes up for grabs including the following:

This absolutely adorable apron from Jessica Steele -- so cute!

The awesome cupcake caddy from the Cupcake Courier (I need one of these really bad)

Jewelry from Cakespy art (check her Etsy Store and her blog -- one of my very favorites out there)

A Taste of Home Books cookbook (who doesn't love their books)

A copy of the bestseller book, Hello Cupcake by Karen Tack and Alan Richardson. This book is great, it has the best ideas for decorating.

Fiesta Products
Head Chefs line of funny silly kitchen utensils. I love these things!

Lastly, I just want to give a shout to the Milwaukee Cupcake Queen who started this all. What a fun idea and a great way to get to know some fellow cupcake lovers! Thanks so much for all your hard work on this, it's going to be great!

Now, the way this works is we will have a deadline for each entry and starting a few days after, the voting will open. YOU get to vote for the winner! I'm hoping, of course, that you'll vote for me (and tell all of your friends and family members to vote for me too.) The voting will begin this round on August 31st at noon (central time) and will be open for 5 days. You can get to the voting by clicking on the iron cupcake badge to the right. I'll post on Sunday to remind you!

I might be completely out of my league here, but I figure it's worth the shot and it'll be fun to get a bit creative with my cupcakes and push the envelope a bit. This first month's ingredient is chili. I started brainstorming several different ways, but in the end finally went with my favorite combination of dark chocolate and spicy chili together. (For a yummy brownie treat inspired by the same flavors check out my Spicy Maya Brownie)

I was pretty bummed earlier in the week when my daughter Vivie broke my camera (don't ask it's too painful to talk about) so please excuse the poor photos. Next month I promise great shots. For this month's consideration I present:
The Triple Chili Chocolate Truffle Cupcake with Cinnamon and Pasilla Chili Buttercream

I'm not even going to lie, this turned out better than I thought. It's a cinnamon and chocolate cupcake with a rich truffle center that's a combination of dark chocolate, thai chilies, pasilla chili, and red chili pepper. It's topped off with a sweet and spicy cinnamon and pasilla chili buttercream and garnished with a thai chili pepper (I don't really recommend eating this one) and a dark chocolate whirlygig thingy (totally eat this one, though.)

Here's how I did it:

I started with a basic devil's food cake recipe. For this one I used the good ol' Betty Crocker
but I made some changes. I omitted the brown sugar and used only regular sugar. Instead of buttermilk and shortening, I used regular milk and butter. I also used 1/2 cup of high quality powdered cocoa instead of melted bakers chocolate. I also made the addition of 1 teaspoon of cinnamon. My recipe turned out as follows:


1 2/3 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
1/2 cup butter
1 1/2 cups milk
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 cup cocoa
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 eggs

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Beat all ingredients together for 2-3 minutes. Fill cupcake liner about 1/2 full and bake for 22-25 minutes. Let cool completely before filling.

Next came the filling. Here's what I did for that, I made a basic truffle filling using the following:

8 oz of semi sweet chocolate
1/3 cup heavy cream
1 TBS pasilla chili powder
1 TBS of ground red pepper (or cayenne)
1 Thai chili--left whole

On the stove top, combine heavy cream and the chili powder, cayenne and thai pepper in small saucepan. Heat until almost boiling. Remove thai pepper and pour heated cream over broken up chocolate in another bowl. Stir until chocolate is melted and all ingredients are completely incorporated. Allow to cool, stirring once in a while, until right consistency is reached. You want it to be pipe-able, but not runny.

Once the cupcakes were cool, I filled each one using a fill tip with a bit of the truffle filling.

Next came the buttercream. For this I used:

1 cup butter, softened
1 tsp vanilla
4 tsp cinnamon
2 tsp pasilla chili powder
2 cups powdered sugar
2 TBS. sour cream

Whip butter. combine powdered sugar, cinnamon, and chili powder and sift. Add to butter, alternating with sour cream until right consistency is reached. Add vanilla and whip for 3-4 minutes.

I frosted the cupcakes generously and then garnished with dark chocolate decoration I made by melting dark chocolate and then spreading it onto my silicone mat with a knife and letting it cool and harden.

The final product turned out GREAT! I loved the taste. Rich and spicy, but not overwhelming. I hope you enjoy it and don't forget to vote!

Even if you don't like my cupcake combo, you can't help but fall in love with my kitchen assistant...she's a VERY big helper, especially in the tasting arena...

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Blue Skirts and White Shirts

Sydney started kindergarten today. I pretty much kept myself together (unless of course you count the blubbering at midnight the night before.) I must say, I was very proud of her. She didn't know a single person in her class, all of her little playmates were in another class and she rose to the occasion! She was on a first name basis with all the little girls by the time I picked her up and over dinner told me everything she could remember about them (which turned out to be a lot!) She's excited to be a big girl and I'm excited for her.
I think I'm like most moms when their first goes to kindergarten. A few days ago I was pretty overwhelmed. I remember last week sometime looking at the neat little rows of crisp white shirts and navy blue skirts for her uniforms hanging up in her closet and having a bit of a panic attack. It's not so much that I didn't want her to grow up or that I didn't think she was ready, it's more like wondering if I have done enough. I wonder if I've taught her enough to keep up or stay ahead of the game. I wonder if I've done enough to make sure she knows how special she is and to not let anyone tell her otherwise. I try to remember if I've taught her enough about being respectful and how to make new friends.
Late last night when I was tossing and turning and trying to shut my brain down from thinking all of these thoughts, it finally occurred to me that I've only hit the tip of the iceberg. Her first day of kindergarten was not an ending to our time, but a new one. A time where I will get to see her grow and learn even more than before and I will have new opportunities to help her realize her amazing potential. Sure, I know it's not going to be all sunshine and roses. I'm sure we'll deal with school yard woes and bullies and bad test grades and hard subjects, but I'm excited for it. Bring it on, Elementary Ed! I (think) I'm ready for ya!!

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

DIY Vanilla

So for my birthday this year my mom surprised me with the most amazing gift basket filled with all sorts of yummy and gourmet kitchen gadgets and delights. Among them were some nice measuring cups and spoons, a few specialty cupcake mixes, a square cupcake pan (LOVE IT), a few sweet treats and hard to find ingredients, and lastly a package of CHOCOLATE pasta and a do-it-yourself Vanilla Extract kit.

I had never seen anything like the last two listed, so for an adventure I thought I'd share what I make of them. I figured I'd tackle the vanilla first and then do something with the pasta next week.

This little bottle threw me for a loop. I don't know why it never occurred to me before to make my own vanilla extract, but it just didn't. I'm a little surprised I was so slow on the uptake on this one because I am a major vanilla snot. It needs to be good and it needs to be pure and it better be fresh and not sitting around in the cupboard since 1980 or just forget it. After I got over being completely ashamed of my own vanilla ignorance I turned to google. There are lots of great instructions on how to make your own homemade vanilla out there, but for now, I'm going to try out this gift.

The instructions on the bottle are as follows: Split beans lengthwise. Fill bottle with premium vodka. Seal tightly and store in a cool, dark place for 4-6 months. Use as you would any premium vanilla extract. Replenish extract with premium vodka as used for up to seven years.

I did do one thing different. I added a 1/2 a teaspoon of corn syrup since it seems online most people have success doing that. Also, most online recipes don't call for such a long "brewing" time. It seems the general consensus is 30 days and make sure to shake it vigorously once a day.

The most exciting part of the process so far was obtaining the vodka. First off, I was terrified to just pop down to my neighborhood grocery store because just my luck the Relief Society President would show up in line behind me as I'm plunking down my giant bottle of Absolut. I was planning many a trip out of the area until I finally just bit the bullet this morning and went into the store at 8:00 a.m. I'm pretty sure the checker thought I was startin' out the day a wee bit early, but I looked past that considering she quelled another one of my small fears-- and that was to NOT be carded for the stuff. (Hey, I may be silly but a girl has to keep some small hope!) I figured at that point I was home free and quite proud of my clandestine errand, but unfortunately when I got home my visiting teachers were at my house--I had completely forgotten they were coming over early. Grrr... I'm sure it's karma. So instead of having to explain the bottle of hooch in my hot little hand, I left it in the car to retrieve after their visit.

Second, do you have any idea how many vodkas there are? I didn't know if I really needed to use premium or not, but I certainly knew I wasn't going to be shelling out 25 bucks for a bottle of Grey Goose when I didn't even know if this was going to work. In the end I called Jon and made him hop online for me to get some suggestions. I left the store with small bottle of Smirnoff-- just the right size to fill up my Vanilla bottle exactly.

After that it was a piece of cake. Now all I have to do is sit around and wait for the final product. I'm already planning my next batch and what I'll do different, but first I'll wait to see if I did at least this one right. If it does turn out, I warn all my friends in the immediate area now, Vanilla bottles are comin' your way for Christmas-- I'm on a personal quest to rid all kitchens in San Diego of chemical knockoff vanilla.

Somebody Likes Me!!

I can't believe it. Apparently people actually read this blog--and enjoy it once in a while! My sweet friend Amy--check out her blog here-- (who, ironically, I have gotten to know better since she move ACROSS the country) has nominated me for a fantabulous award! Here it is!

I have to say, I'm pretty humbled. I checked out all the other blogs that she nominated and I don't even come near them, but it's so nice to think that someone out there can laugh at my life, and that's pretty much why I started the whole thing. So here is my acceptance speech (ahem:)

I'd like to thank the 10 people who actually come here and a regular basis and I'd like to thank all my friends who know I started this to help me control all my randomness and still love me anyway.

Now, onto my nominations:

The Daily Cool -- I've mentioned this one before. My friend from college is one of the hippest people I know and her blog is no exception. There is always something cool there, especially from the Utah Valley area.

-- By far one of the coolest blogs I've seen. It's a online photo/scrapping assignment group that makes you look at the little things in your life you might often miss. Very cool concept. The whole project is on hold right now, but still check it out. I hope she restarts.

JPH3-- This is my brother in law's blog. By far one of the funniest guys I know and his commentary on the things going on are hilarious.

Bakerella -- You might have seen this blog already. It's a pretty famous one out there. I LOVE IT!! Such good ideas and such amazing projects. It makes my mouth water. Awesome!

LDS Blogs -- Okay, so this one might be a bit of a cop out, but its a bloglist of a bunch of LDS women blogs. It's fun to go see what others are doing.

Twilight Guy -- The online blog of a guy reading the Twilight series (come on-- you knew there was going to be a Twilght one in here somewhere!) He comments chapter by chapter and is currently half way through New Moon. It's SO funny and very entertaining.

The Flickr Blog -- Once again, already pretty well known, but I love it. It's an online blog of the flickr website (and online photo sharing community.) Everyday you get a new awesome image or two and a story. Great. I never get tired of looking at photographs and I hope I never do.

Now, I do have to say that I actually feel kinda awkward getting this nod. Go check out Amy's blog and see the people she linked to-- it's making me feel a little inadequate. However, I have decided to rise to challenge and not shrink away! Expect some new fun things here in the next couple months (and I actually might try my hand a a giveaway!)


Monday, August 18, 2008

Evil Genius

I haven't posted in a while. I'd like to say it was because I was waiting for all the Breaking Dawn craze to be over and so I wanted to keep that up for a while longer, but no. The truth is I couldn't because my computer had to take a trip to the Apple store for a week because of the work of an Evil Genius.
Here she is...

Don't let this face fool you, check out the sinister eyes and the You-know-I'm-up-to-no-good grin. This is my evil genius. I have come to realize she is an evil genius because she fills all of the following requirements.

1. She has an evil sinister belly laugh (I will try to record this for you and put it up, but trust me, it strikes fear in the hearts of grown men)

2. She is constantly searching the house for any and all kinds of "secret" lairs. I often find her hidden in the pantry, trying to squeeze under her crib, sitting in a dry tub for no apparent reason. She hides behind doors and jumps out at you squealing and "evil-genius" laughing as she runs away.

3. (and this one tips me off the most) She answers to no man, leaving a wake of catastrophic destruction in her path.

4. She tends to monologue. We have no idea what she's saying, but it's a monologue nonetheless. Trust me, it's scarier to NOT know what she's plotting...

I can already tell you are thinking I'm crazy. I'm not. Beware of the hypnotizing effect of that crooked smile and uneven dimples for those are her greatest weapons!

Two weeks ago Vivie decided to "help" me clean the house. Unfortunately she thought cleaning meant taking a bottle of resolve carpet cleaner and a steel wool sponge to my leather sofa. Not the best of combinations. I'm trying to figure out how to fix it, but I think I might just let her go crazy on the whole thing just to even up the damage.

Now, for all of you who are about to send me and email about the dangers of babies handling chemicals and how I'm the worst mom ever and should be reported to the department of blah-blah-blah, let me explain something. First, she is almost two. I know she doesn't look it, but she is--and she's hitting those terrible two's a bit early. Second, she is the most curious ankle-biter ever born and is very physically advanced in what she can do. Third, she is crazy small, like doesn't even hit the charts small. So, here I have this ridiculously curious almost two year old who has already figured out a way to open all cupboard latches because HER ENTIRE ARM fits into the small space that opens and she also has the dexterity to then use her arm and hand to open them. Child proof locks are useless. Of course I still use them, but in the meantime, we have duct taped the cupboards shut, bungee chorded, you name it--she's figured it out. I did not know she had the resolve spray, I had given her a benign spray bottle filled with water, she decided it wasn't good enough, went back to the cupboard, and exactly five minutes later my leather couch was ruined.

About a week after that, she decided to move onto her next venture, and that was thwarting Mom's computer time. It's no secret her biggest competition for attention in the house (aside from her sister) is this computer. I work here, I play here-- it's a time sucker. Last Saturday, I came downstairs only to find my purse (which had been shut away in a cabinet) completely emptied out and the entire contents of my wallet strewn about. Not surprised, since it's happened numerous times before, I gathered everything up and realized I was missing all my credit cards. I scoured the house for an hour and then finally concluded that they must have been stolen the night before when my purse had been left unattended for a little while. I went to the computer to look up the card numbers to report them lost only to notice something strange sticking out of the DVD drive. A pair of min tweezers helped me remove two bank cards and a grocery member card from the slot, but it was obvious there was some thing still in there.

At this point I had to leave the house in a rage in order just to calm down and I left Jon to the task of trying to retrieve whatever else was stuck. No success. Two days later I took a trip to the Apple store and was told the repair and replacement would be costing me $500. The evil genius strikes again!

Little did I know, she was more genius then evil. The next day I received a call from Apple repair. When they took apart my DVD drive, despite being completely munched up from the cards, they could tell there was a manufacturer's default in it and my repair and replacement was done completely for free. Here's the kicker; in another week the warranty would have been expired and would have never been covered after that. See folks, she was doing me a favor! Maybe an evil genius in the house isn't so bad. Now if she'd only stop drawing her world domination plans all over my walls with a permanent Sharpie...

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Bewildering Dawn...

I finished Breaking Dawn about 14 hours after picking it up at exactly 12:01 am. I have waited this long to post how I feel about it for two reasons... 1. Because I didn't want to ruin anything for anyone (so if you haven't read the book and are planning on it, stop reading this now-- I’m going to spoil) and 2. I really didn't know HOW I felt about it.
To a point I still don't. It's all very confusing...

I really wanted to love this book. Guess what, I didn't. Plain and simple. I didn't HATE it, but I certainly didn't fall in love with it either. I just only (kinda sorta) liked it, and that makes me a little bummed. I figure I can keep trying to talk myself in to loving it, or I can just face the facts. To me, it felt like Meyer was more worried about finishing up and trying to please everyone that it reads like one big cop out. It seemed to be so untrue to the two main characters and felt forced in so many areas but, left us lacking in loads of others. Compared the other three books, this one had a completely different feel (and not just because of the switch in narrators.) I felt like this book took on too much too fast from too far out of left field, then never bothered to explore the characters reactions to what was happening only to try to write a happy ending for EVERYONE involved.

The more I go back and read the more I'm convinced this needed to be two books. Book 4 being the entire first section of the wedding, honeymoon and mutant spawn pregnancy culminating in the cliffhanger of Jacob's new little imprint (I refuse from here on out to call her by that ridiculous atrocity of a name, although I give mad props to the most awesomest nickname that ever was) and Bella's changing heart. That could have been followed by a book 5 of Bella's change, a reaction and exploration of her new role as a mother and then a REAL Volturi showdown.

I think part II (Jacob) was written very well, but there was still so much incomplete in there. We never get to hear the internal struggle of Bella on carrying this child (I don't care how much you love your vampire husband, I'm sorry--if your pregnant with mutant spawn that's causing your ribs to break and making you crave human blood--your going to be freaked out.) We also catch only the smallest of glimpses of how much this is tearing Edward apart. Pre-mutant birth, we only get to see through Jacob's eyes what's going on and post-baby vampire trauma, both Edward and Bella are too wrapped up in her transformation (and newly discovered sexual stamina) to ever once give us a reading on how they both feel about this new family of theirs. I found it SO out of character that Edward was not expressing to Bella his love and wonder and devotion for either her or the baby after all of it went down. He's never had any issue with expressing himself in the past, why so clammed up now? Vice Versa for our dear little Bells, she spent a month dying a slow and awful death just to get the Loch Ness Monster here, yet we get NO internal dialogue expressing her complete joy and wonder, nor any verbal expression of love to Edward about their child. To me, it almost seemed as if the child was an afterthought at all times for both of them.

Apart from our main characters complete lack of paternal love and inability to express themselves on a non-physical level, I had some major issues with the entire Bella section all together. Where were all our beloved vampires? Meyer seemed to sidestep all the Cullens (even Bella herself) to introduce us to all these new vampires. Was she bored with her characters and ready to move on? The third section culmination of the book was like watching the Lego towers my kids build tip over. It kept building higher and higher and higher until all of a sudden, CRASH, no showdown, no fight, no annihilation of Jane or Aro or Demetri,

Here's how I felt it went down:

Volturi: "Oops, your stronger than we thought. Sorry about that, we'll see you next year and the reunion!!"
Team Cullen: "No biggie! We don't care that you came here to destroy us and everything we hold dear--catch ya'll later!"
Team Wolf: "By the way, were not really werewolves, we're shape shifters! Hope that doesn't confuse anyone!"

Unbelievable. To be honest, I felt a little ripped off. Meyer built up this confrontation for what felt like ages only have it ripped out from under us. No great fight scene, no loss of supernatural immortal life, not even some deep wounding (I mean--they can put them selves back together again, couldn't SOMEONE at least lose a limb or two?)

I'm sure at this point you're thinking 'I thought she said she didn't hate it?' It's true, I didn't. I just didn't love it. But there were lots of little things that I loved. I loved Seth. I loved Leah. I loved the fact that, despite the fact that she was acting on complete and totally self-absorbed reasons, Bella found an unlikely ally in Rosalie. As I said before, I (being a die hard Jacob fan) loved every minute of his narration and it felt nice to leave Bella's love struck, overly-Edward-adjectived head for a little while. And, after quite literally crying and throwing things around my kitchen, I even loved the fact that Jacob imprinted with Nessie.

I'm not going to lie, that one through me for a loop. I wasn't prepared for some sort of blood craving, pelvis cracking half-Bella, so I certainly wasn't prepared for my Jacob to imprint on the cast off Bella 2.0. After finishing part II (and before moving on to part III) I was pretty sure that I was going to hate Meyer forever for doing that to my most loved character. But soon, after it began to develop in part III, I wasn't mad anymore. I really believe that Meyer set us up for that for a LONG time. That Jacob's emotions and life NEEDED to be intertwined with Bella's up until that point so he would feel enough for her in order to spare her life (and that life of the baby's) when he made the stand against Sam. Think about it, Jacob has known since New Moon that Bella never felt the same for him, he knew through Eclipse he was fighting a losing battle, but he kept coming back for more. The universe had something else in store for him, and it really had nothing to do with Bella at all, she was just the vessel.

I loved the fact that I totally called Bella not having 'newborn vampire' issues and (although it was horribly explored) I love that her ability to be as strong and powerful as she was stemmed from the fact that she CHOSE to be this- and I love the idea of exploring empowerment through agency and choices. I also love the ultimate message I believe that Meyer was trying to get at; that there is a universal unseen force at work leading you to where you belong. It's the ultimate for any romantic (closet or die-hard.) If you look at all the back stories of each of the couples; Carlisle and Esme, Jasper and Alice, Sam and Emily, even Rosalie and Emmet, the story of Bella finding Edward and Jacob finding Ness are really quite beautiful and lend another level to each other. It seems to me, that despite bizarre cross breeding of species and semi-creepy age differences, Meyer is ultimately sending us the statement that love and fate cross all kinds of lines. It makes me think of other well loved classic romantic stories such as the ones she herself reveres so much. As far as the ending, the girly-girl deep down in me loves the happy ending. Why shouldn't everyone be happy? What's so wrong with a happy ending? The biggest "wrong" I see is that there is no sacrifice. Without that, I don't quite see the reason for all the previously angst-filled installments.

See what I mean, she's just left me confused...

I'm still a big fan of Stephenie Meyer. In no way am I anywhere close to the legions of fans who are either returning or burning their books this week and washing their hands of her and her series forever (and it appears as though there's a lot of them.) I still love the series as a whole and will pick up whatever she writes in the future because I do believe she is a talented writer with an almost genius knack for telling a story. I just think this one didn't quite live up to its potential but, it was never my story to write, so I hope Meyer proves us wrong somehow in the future.

I've decided that, although this book is unfulfilling and confusing as a final installment of the series, it is right on the money for a preview of a continuation. By the end of it, we have no resolution with the Volturi, only a stand off due to the Cullen's new found powers of the Super-Bella, Edward and his vampire bride have become a boring (albeit lusty) married couple and everyone (including Charlie) seems to skip, or at least limp, into the sunset. However, there are enough unanswered questions to make us wonder where it will go next... like, what about Leah? What will happen to Jacob and Ness? Why is it all of a sudden important that the wolves are NOT werewolves but actually shape shifters? If imprinting is for breeding purposes then what in the underworld is going to happen when Jacob and Ness settle down to have some human/vamp pups? And finally, there is still the Volturi--NONE of that was affected. Edward and Bella's story might have been tied with a big blood-red bow, but Jacob and Nessie's futures remain far from over. It just makes me wonder if what we were REALLY reading was part one of series two...

Saturday, August 2, 2008

SSHHHHH.... I'm reading

Seriously, why are you checking my blog?! Go read Breaking Dawn!

Friday, August 1, 2008


I can hardly think straight. I'm totally excited for tonight and I (once again) know I'm completely ridiculous and don't even care.

I love it. I also love the fact that me and 7 other members of my book club are the FIRST people to get our books tonight at 12:01. That is the fact I am choosing to dwell on, not the fact that we are officially the dorkiest people in Oceanside for being camped out in front of the store by 7 am and being the ONLY people camped out until about and hour and a half later. We're nerds, I love it. So, I've pretty much spent all morning taking stock of my current state of mind and have decided to create a list of 10 signs you are completely and totally addicted to Twilight.

10. You stand in line HOURS before anyone else with several of your dear friends to ensure a guaranteed 12:01 purchase of Breaking Dawn.

9. Whenever the names "Edward" or "Jacob" are used in conversations around you, your automatic reaction is to stop and listen to said conversation in order to make sure you are not being left out of a conversation involving your two favorite male characters.

8. You attempted to pre-order Breaking Dawn before the bookstore even had a pre-order list created.

7. Your morning routine includes one or more of the following: reading the quote of the day on Stephenie Meyer's website, googling articles on Twilight and Stephenie Meyer, reading parts one of the first three installments of the series in order to be prepared for Breaking Dawn.

6. You find yourself contemplating Bella's fate and her relationship with Edward in inappropriate places, such as church, in the temple, swim lessons, exercise class, in meetings, and during meal time with your family.

5. You have had to explain to at least one family member that, Yes, you are completely aware that the characters in the book are a.)fictional, b.) will always be fictional c.) completely out of the scope of actual reality.

4. You are right now, or will be within the next 48 hours, wearing and article of clothing and/or accessory that refers to any and all of the following: vampires, werewolves, twilight, moons, eclipses, imprints, cullens, sparkles, forks, and Quileutes.

3. You have informed all business associates, friends, and loved ones that you will be completely and totally unreachable and unavailable on the day of and the night before August 2nd.

2. You have begun to reach out and surround yourself with others who feel your same addiction in order to further your break from reality. These other have been found in various places including (but not limited to) church, your children's school, the library, other distant family members, through friends of friends, and the bookstore.

1. You are still reading this list.

If you have answered yes to 3 or more of these questions, please, do not despair. You are not alone. There are many people who are willing to support you and not judge. Here is a place you can go to be supported as you work through your addiction. Please click here