Monday, January 31, 2011

Yo Ho Ho and a Cupcake of Rum

The city of Tampa celebrated one of its biggest traditions over the weekend - Gasparilla. It is a celebration of Jose Gaspar, a pirate who terrorized the waters of West Florida in the 18th and 19th centuries. The annual celebration begins with the Ye Mystic Krewe of Gasparilla pirates invading Tampa Bay. Yep, a ship full of pirates come and take over the city.

Once the pirates take over the city, they celebrate with a parade down picturesque Bayshore Boulevard.

I didn't bother with the parade this year. I didn't feel like fighting the crowds or dealing with the drunken chaos and shenanigans to catch beads. I did, however, make it out to the invasion. It started with a breakfast gathering at a friend's house, complete with chocolate chip pancakes and mimosas (yum). And of course, I brought along some cupcakes to commemorate the occasion. 

Beware mateys, these rum cake cupcakes with buttered rum glaze and rum buttercream were strong. Everyone seemed to like them, but I am not a big rum fan so I could smell and taste the rum immediately.

I have to say, for someone who said they were avoiding Gasparilla all together this year. I am glad I made it out to the invasion with my friends. It had a good time and still managed to get out of South Tampa easily before the parade began.

And for those of you already counting down to next year, the Gasparilla Pirate Fest will be held on January 28, 2010.

Friday, January 28, 2011

Another Sugar Shout Out!

Wow, for the second day in a row, I came across "me" on a blog I follow. FitSugar, the same blog that I won the Nintendo Wii and EA Sports game from, is having a contest asking people to share their fitness stories about how they are getting in shape in the new year. It is called the Get Fit For 2011 Each week, they pick a winner and that person receives a $100 Nike gift card.

This week, they were asking for pictures to show your fitness routine. Most people posted photos of their gym bags, shoes, gym equipment, but I had a better idea. I was going to post a photo of me crossing the finish line at the marathon. It is definitely visual and my fitness routine is running. Well, it got their attention and once again something I posted on their message board got a "Sugar Shout Out" on the main page. You can read the post here.

Speaking of running, it looks like training for the Gasparilla Distance Classic is in full swing. I was finally able to run 6 miles without feeling uncomfortable or awkward. I guess my body just needed to rest for a couple weeks before getting started again. 

Thursday, January 27, 2011

My Pineapple Flowers Are Famous

Every morning when I log onto my computer I have a routine. First, I scan my favorite food blogs. Then, technology blogs. Next, I scope out celebrity news and gossip. And finally, I search local and national news and sports.

This morning, I was surprised and honored to see one of my cupcake creations on one of my favorite food blogs - YumSugar. It was featured as a "Savory Sight." 

How awesome is that? I'm sure people are wondering how they stumbled upon the pineapple flowers. The answer is me. They have a message board section where people share recipes, cooking ideas, etc. I had mentioned these, but I had no idea it would end up on the main blog. 

Today's post is really sparking the initiative to develop that cupcake business my friends have been telling me to start. I have a name for the business and put together a menu earlier this week. I am also brainstorming ideas for a logo. So maybe this actually will become a reality. Talk about a sweet dream! :)

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Wii, Workouts and Winning

Many of my close friends have heard me refer to 2011 as 20II. Yes, those are I's for ME. I made a promise to myself to live life to the fullest this year and do it for me and no one else. I am spending more time with my friends, trying new things and, more importantly, not letting anyone else get me down. So how is this plan working out? One word - GREAT!

First, I completed a marathon. Yes, a marathon - 26.2 miles. It was an amazing feeling to cross the finish line. And I did it with my best friend, which was even better.

I created a blog, 26.2 Miles of Magic, to document my marathon journey, which then lead me to create this blog to continue logging my adventures. Blogging has been a great experience for me. I can vent and share my experiences, but it has also led me to discover some other great blogs. This brings me to my next little "triumph" of 20II - winning.

Following blogs has gotten me some pretty cool stuff this year. I won a cool docking station and case for my phone on Good and Evo

And just last night, an amazingly awesome prize arrived from FitSugar - a Wii gaming console and the new EA Sports Active 2 fitness/workout game. I can't wait to get some friends together for Wii bowling or maybe Wii Minute To Win It or Wii Glee Karaoke. It will be so much fun!

I can't thank Good and Evo and Fit Sugar enough for my fabulous gifts. It has made the start to this year pretty spectacular. I am so happy and blessed. And it makes me look forward to all the other great opportunities life and 20II has to offer. Hopefully, the more I get into this blogging thing, the more I will be able to offer my readers, like a giveaway or two.

Oh, so how did I celebrate the Wii arrival? With a cake, of course. Coconut cake, vanilla buttercream and toasted coconut = a winning combination. YUM!

Thanks for reading everyone! More to come soon... including some yummy Gasparilla inspired cupcakes.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Let the Wedding Season Begin

I think 2011 is going to be the year of the wedding. I have four weddings between now and July. Thankfully, the brides are some of my dearest friends and I love how much they have allowed me to be a part of the planning, bridal showers and bachelorette parties.

I am learning so much about weddings. I had no idea what went into planning and organizing the nuptials, reception, etc. It is kind of baffling to me. Plus, I feel like vendors try to overcharge and ripoff couples at every turn. It is just wrong.

But anyway, moving on. The first wedding was this past weekend. Ryan and Vermille surprised us all with their summer travel extravaganza and surprise Vegas wedding last year. But it all culminated with one huge reception Saturday at the Tampa Museum of Art. Everything was beautifully decked out in pink, black and white.

There was also a fabulous treats table, filled with candy, popcorn and three cakes. Yum!

But of course, the highlight of the evening was Ryan and Vermille, or Rymille as they are affectionately called.. They made a star studded entrance down the main staircase and immediately went into their first dance; an awesome choreographed number to "Lucky" by Jason Mraz and Colbie Caillat. They danced the entire room and finished with a nice dip right by my table.

There was also tons of dancing, drinks and a few Alcoballics kickball cheers. What can I say? We are a spirited bunch.

Overall, the entire night was very Rymille. Fun, adventurous, high energy and so many other adjectives. There was a bagpiper, a group of flamenco dancers, glow bracelets and wands. It was a great celebration of their life and love for one another.

I wish Ryan and Vermille all the love and happiness in the world. I am so lucky to call both of them my friends. I look forward to hearing about the wonderful adventures they have in their life, including their Safari honeymoon.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

April's Bridal Shower Cupcakes

My friend April is getting married next month and I got the honor of making some cupcakes for her bridal shower. Like me, she is a lover of pineapple and coconut. So I went with a delicious hummingbird cake. It is like banana nut bread with pineapple and coconut thrown in. It was topped with cream cheese frosting.

Yes, I also made the wrappers. I used a tropical flowers background and added some of Geoff and April's engagement photos. Oh, and some of the cupcakes were topped with pineapple flowers. 

These were interesting to make. You basically cut thin slices of pineapple and dehydrate them in the oven, which is difficult to do living in the humidity of Florida. It took a couple of hours to dry the pineapple slices out. Then when they come out of the oven, you pinch the center and it shapes itself into a flower. I was worried they looked a bit ghetto, but they seemed to be a big hit and tasty too.

I have to say it is nice being back in the baking game. I took some time off from my cupcake creations while training for the marathon. Now, I can say I am back and ready to serve up some tasty treats for me and my friends.

New Blog

I had such a great time writing 26.2 Miles of Magic, a blog about my Disney marathon experience, that I figured I would start another one. Treats, Treks and Triumph will be more generic. It will feature posts about my cupcake creations, running events and the fun I have with my friends along the way.

I hope you enjoy this blog as much as you did my last.

Thanks for following me on this adventure.

Hello Kimmy