Cupprimo

Cupprimo is another one of those little cupcake shops that have been sprouting like mushrooms in the night lately. It’s over on Spicewood Springs near 183, and I went there with Phuongaholic and Melilalala (who is too lazy to blog, so therefore gets no link).

We went right after eating at this tiny Chinese restaurant that will probably get blogged later. We were getting sleepy from all the dumplings, so coffee and dessert, and more sitting around gabbing sounded like a great idea. The shop is tiny and cute, and smells great. They have tons of different coffee drinks, but we got regular black coffee.

One cool thing is that they have mini cupcakes. It was too hard for us to decide on just one, so a dozen minis split between the three of us was perfect. Pictured below are (from the upper left, clockwise) the chocolate, vanilla, strawberry, and red velvet. They were fine, but nothing to write home about. The strawberry had a piece of real strawberry baked into it which was good, but the red velvet was dry, so it balanced out.

Now I’ve forgotten most of these. Again from upper left, clockwise, there’s Heath Bar, red velvet, chocolate peanut butter, and chocolate. Phuong got some kind of citrus something also, which I tried a bite of. It was good, but I’m not a fan of citrusy things in general. Peanut butter flavored things are like my kryptonite. I would rather live on bell peppers for a week than eat that tiny cupcake pictured below.

On the Clever Chick Scale this gets a “If someone else bought me one of their cupcakes, I’d eat it, but I’m not going to go out of my way to go there”. I prefer Hey Cupcake! or madCakes, but that’s just me. The great cupcake debate rages on.

                                                                – That Clever Chick

 

July 31, 2011. Tags: , , , , . Restaurant Reviews. Leave a comment.

Hubby’s Chili

Rarely, I force my husband into watching Food Network. He hates it because it makes him hungry for all the awesome foods they show, yet we have no way of acquiring. I see his point, but I guess I’m a glutton for punishment. We were watching Good Eats with Alton Brown awhile ago, and AB made chili from scratch. Hubby got a bee in his bonnet to make his own. For those of you who don’t already know, my sweet Hubby is obsessed with spicy food. He was determined to make his own four-alarm, heart-attack-inducing chili.

I was told to stay out of the kitchen, which was probably for the best. With all the jalapenos he was cooking, the air was like pepper spray. I wasn’t even allowed to STIR anything. From what I saw, this is what went into it: a pound of lean ground beef, 1/2 pound of lean ground turkey, 8-10 jalapenos (seeded), 1 either poblano or serrano, 1/2 onion (diced), 1 can Rotel, 2 raw tomatoes (diced), untold amounts of garlic salt, chili powder, and paprika, and a little tomato boullion powder.

I don’t know what happened, but food came out. Amazing, delicious, only a bit too spicy for me food. It was fantastic.

I think I’ll make him cook more often.

July 29, 2011. Tags: , , , , . Cooking. 1 comment.

Spider Earrings

We all know by now that I love skulls. I think I really just love Halloween, and so it has started over-taking my wardrobe. By the time I’m thirty I’ll be like Miss Havisham, but wearing Halloween costumes instead of a wedding dress. Oh, that would be an awesome Halloween costume!!! Anyway, I was at Hobby Lobby this weekend, and a bunch of awesome crap was on clearance. I grabbed these black plastic things, but they were a little too tame for me, so I added a pair of half price spiders. This is what I used for each earring:

First, I pulled open the giant jump ring. I bought a back of these giant jump rings (pictured above in the upper right hand corner), awhile ago, and they are a life-saver. They’re a little thick, but they are so much easier to use than the normal dinky ones. I like to use them on necklace charms to make them easier to hang on my necklace chain, and on the end of necklaces to make it easier to close the clasp.

The large jump rings were just the right size to hang the spiders so that they nestle into the opening of the earrings.

Jump rings are easier to re-close if you twist them open sideways rather then pulling them apart. They also retain their circular shape this way. I used my needle nose pliers to close the jump ring and secure the spider.

I would have just put another large jump ring through the top to hang the earring hook from, but the hole was too small, so I used one of these:

I’m not sure what they’re called, but they’re definitely for making jewelry. I think you’re supposed to put a bunch of beads on them. I inherited a big box of beading stuff from Mi Madre, so I keep finding new and interesting things. I bent the post thing around the top of the earring;

And folded the ends over with the pliers. I used the shape of the pliers to bend the post, basically wrapping the wire around the tip, so that both halves had the same shape bent into them. I cut off the extra wire with my pliers, and then bent the loose ends down.

This shows how I used the tip of the pliers to bend the loop at the top. I squeezed it around in manipulated it until it was smooth and lined up nicely.

Next it was time to add the tiny jump ring and earring clasp. Double and triple check to make sure the earring part is facing the correct way so that the spiders will face forward. The tiny jump ring also assures that the earrings face forward and not sideways while I’m wearing them.

Here are my spectacular new earrings!

I probably spent about $3 total on materials, and it only took me 15 minutes or so to assemble them. And now I can be even more Halloween-y all year long!

                                                          – That Clever Chick

 

July 27, 2011. Tags: , , , , , , , , . Arts and Crafts. 2 comments.

Wedding Garter

It’s wedding season, and one of my dear, dear besties, Phuongaholic, is getting married soon. I actually get to participate in the wedding which is exciting, and when she came into town the other day I wanted to give her a special gift. First step: Hobby Lobby which created a Craftocalypse!!

I already had a plain white garter (that I had purchased for my siter BEANS, who decided to elope instead), so I decided to decorate it for Phuongie. I laid out my beads in advance. I added the blue flowers so it could be her “something blue”.

This was tricky because the whole garter has to stretch, but I didn’t want beads popping off left and right. I sewed each bead on individually and tied them off, then cut the thread and started again. While I was sewing them on, I periodically stretched the whole thing out to make sure they would stay on. I’d rather a bead pop off while I still have it than after I’ve given it to the bride.

I started with the middle bead, the heart, first, and spaced everything else out around it. Then I started on the second row. Once I was done with the letter beads,  I added the flowers at each end.

Here it is stretched out so you can see that the beads actually stayed on.

As soon as Phuongie read it she started laughing and slapping me, which is a good sign. It means she loves it. I will be making her wedding topper as well, and participating in her Vietnamese style wedding, which I’m very excited about, so you will get to follow along on the wedding adventures! Like several of my friends, Phuongie is an excellent blogger, and you can read about her flower design business and her random, hilarious life through the magical internets. And I show up in her blogs periodically, so that should be some incentive for you minions.

                                                   – That Clever Chick

July 25, 2011. Tags: , , , , , , , . Arts and Crafts. Leave a comment.

Spider House Rules

I have mentioned it before for different events, but I thought I’d finally write a post dedicated to the awesomeness that is Spider House. It was originally just a coffee joint, but they now have food and a full bar, and they took over an old Blockbuster Video and turned it into a ballroom. That’s where the Austin Poetry Slam was held, as well as BedPost Confessions, which I attended recently.

This place is just awesome. It’s covered in antiques, art work, and this one hot guy:

This is part of the mural on the back of the ballroom, what used to be Blockbuster. It is made up of all kinds of movie scenes, and I can identify all but one (I think). The Jaws shark is going after a swimmer, right above one of the characters from Labyrinth, and the poster from Evil Dead 2.

Ash from Army of Darkness, with the hill from Nightmare before Christmas in the background. You can tell Bruce Campbell is pretty popular around here.

I just thought this statue was cool. My Gram has an intact version of the little girl in her yard, and has always had it since we were little. I love how rather than trashing two broken statues they attached them to each other to make some kind of awesome chimera.

Spider House has great food, beverages, and prices, and there are always interesting events occurring, often for free. I just noticed that I Luv Video runs CineMondays, free movies every Monday night at 10pm at Spide House. Check out their homepage for a calendar, and maybe we’ll run into each other at some weird Austin event.

                                                           – That Clever Chick

July 23, 2011. Tags: , , , , , . Restaurant Reviews. Leave a comment.

It’s a Zombie Wedding!

A friend of a friend decided she was going to buck convention and have a zombie cake topper for her wedding. She couldn’t find anything she liked online, so our mutual friend, Samantha, recommended me to her. I won’t bor you with the whole process of making it, because I’m posting tons of pictures so you lucky little minions can admire every detail.

Here’s the finished complete topper. You’ll notice that the bride’s bouquet is made of the groom’s intestines. That was Hubby’s idea.

Here you can see the bride’s eye is hanging out, as well as the flowered strap on her gown. I mimicked her actual wedding dress as closely as possible. I just added a little blood.

Here you can see the groom’s open body cavity and the edges of his torn flesh. This was so fun to make! You can also kind of see that the bride’s upper right arm is messed up. It’s actually torn open with bone showing.

This is more detail on the dress and the intestine bouquet.

At some point, the zombie bride obviously got injured, and now one of her leg bones is poking out, and her dress is torn and bloodied.

The groom has lost a big chunk of his right foot, and the bones are hanging out.

This is one of my favorite parts. The bride’s vertebrae are starting to poke through her skin. Her left shoulder blade is also sticking through the skin, and the groom has lost his left hand.

This project was a lot of fun to work on, even though it was a lot of work.

Congratulations to the happy couple, and may you be together long after death.

                                                                    – That Clever Chick

July 21, 2011. Tags: , , , , , , . Arts and Crafts. Leave a comment.

Whip It

I’m aware there has been a big stink up going on regarding Netflix recently announced price increases. I know for a lot of people it will mean a huge (percentage-wise) increase over what they are currently paying (somewhere around an additional $6 per month). I don’t think Netflix is being very bright about this whole thing, but it is still WAY BETTER and cheaper than cable. And it’s the only thing in my mail box other than junk mail, and I get excited when I see one of those little red envelopes. So that’s my take on the whole thing.

The envelope that showed up yesterday contained “Whip It”, a movie that was filmed and set here in Austin. That in and of itself makes me want to watch it. It stars and was directed by Drew Barrymore, and it also stars Ellen Page, Juliette Lewis, and Jimmy Fallon among many others. Ellen Page’s character, Bliss, lives in a small town near Austin, and secretly attends her first Texas Roller Derby match. When it’s over, she is convinced to try out, and of course makes it onto the team, the Hurl Scouts. 

Roller Derby is a big deal here in Austin, and I have been to a few matches myself. I freaking love it, and apparently so does Drew Barrymore, which is another reason I was excited about this movie. Overall, it was a good movie. It had funny parts, although it could have been funnier, and there were a few parts that seemed like “Well, this is how a movie plot should go, right?”

One easy improvement to the whole plot would have been to leave out the Bliss’s boyfriend plot line. It went nowhere, and was generally a distraction from the good parts of the story. All the cheesy, chagrin-inducing moments occurred in that part of the movie. It was a constant montage of “look how cute and goofy we are together! We sit near Austin landmarks!”

Other than that, it was a good movie. On the Clever Chick scale it gets a “I won’t be buying it, but it was worth watching”. Drew Barrymore’s character is hilarious and I wish she’d been in it more. And yes, there are lots of Austin landmarks for you to point out and shriek to your friends and/or spouse about. I totally did that.

                                           – That Clever Chick

July 19, 2011. Tags: , , , , , , , , , . Movie Reviews. Leave a comment.

How to Survive a Car without Air Conditioning

I apologize. I wrote this post yesterday, but apparently hitting “publish” was not enough confirmation for word press that I actually wanted other people to read this. Sorry I’m so behind. Here’s the post:

I will preface this with a reminder: I live in Texas, and we are having an epic drought right now. And the vehicle I drive is black. The AC is out for some unknown reason, and I’m not sure if it’s worth it to fix the thing. The AC is not simply broken; it’s like having 4 hair dryers blowing on you when it’s on, even when it’s supposedly blowing in outside air. I have developed a few strategies to deal with this problem.

1) Park in the shade: especially with the car being black, this is super important. If you prevent the beast from heating up too much at the outset you can survive longer.

2) Block the sun: If shade is not available, one of those windshield blocker things helps, and you can get those in great shape at the thrift store. I’m using a massive piece of cardboard right now, which I refer to as “the theft discourager”. While you’re driving, utilize the sun block flaps (I’m not sure of the proper lingo) to keep the sun off of you as much as possible.

3) Keep yourself cool: Drinking cold beverages will help cool you off internally. Depending how long you’ll be in the hot car, you may want to spritz or flick yourself with water also. The most recent strategy I discovered is putting a really cold drink between your thighs while you drive. It horrible for the first few seconds, but it works, I promise.

4) Crack the windows: While the car is parked, in shade or otherwise, put the windows down a teensy amount, like half an inch, to let hot air out. The theory is that since hot air rises, if you leave the windows cracked at the top a tiny bit, the hottest air can escape, rather than just re-circulating and keeping the car hot.

5) Wear layers: sounds counterintuitive, I know. Usually when I drive the Tank (the Gas Tank, as we like to call it), I’m driving to work. My office is frigid, to the point where I have a space heater under my desk. I try to wear layers to stay warm at the office, that I can remove and stay cooler in the car. I generally try to wear a tank top under all outfits so I can get down to that while driving. I also wear flip flops to and from the office, and I have work shoes in my office I change into like Mr. Rodgers. It helps me adjust to the insane temperature variants I have to deal with every day.

Depending on the situation, driving with the windows down is not always helpful. I can’t stand it when I’m driving on the freeway, and usually the air outside is just as hot, so it does me no good. I generally avoid driving this car as much as possible, and only on short trips. I hopes this helps you all not pass out.

                                                                           – That Clever Chick

July 18, 2011. Tags: , , , . Random typing. 7 comments.

The Epic Fail

Many of you already know this, but my Hubby is artistic out the wazzoo. His cell phone stopped working, so he went and bought a little $10 Go Phone, and just put his sim card in it. It was just a boring phone, so he decided to paint it. This is what happened:

The picture’s a bit blurry because he used the webcam, but amazing, right? Well, my phone is boring, too. It’s lime green, but it could always use more personality, right? I removed the back from the phone, and set to work with masking tape to make my design.

What did I choose? A skull!! Of course! And I think it was looking pretty bad ass, yet adorable at this point. Even after I spray painted the whole thing, it was looking fine.

The tape did not peel off how I envisioned. Big chunks of the bones vanished, and everything else is flakey and horrible.

I probably should have done the design, then sprayed primer on it, then the black spray paint, but I still have no idea if that would have helped. Maybe I should have sanded the whole thing first? Either way, I have a big sad face on, and I’m conscientiously hiding my phone at all times (except from all of you, of course). Learn from my fail.

                                                                             – That Clever Chick

July 15, 2011. Tags: , , , . Arts and Crafts. 8 comments.

Spicy Baked Lentils

You may have noticed that I like to cook a whole bunch of food at once to I don’t have to do it every night. The other day I washed and cut up 2 heads of cauliflower, and threw them in a baking dish with olive oil and garlic salt. Since the oven was already on and the cutting board was already dirty, I decided to bake some lentils, too. They were already cooked (the night before I made pasta, and since the pot was already dirty I threw a whole bag of lentils in to boil while we were eating dinner. Noticing a pattern?).

I chopped up the remains of a white onion, 2 raw jalapenos, and some red onion, for a total of 1/2 cup of large chunks of onion.

The laready cooked, refridgerated lentils, fresh out of their tupperware:

Yes, that’s a Star Wars cup in the background. I mixed the ingredients in the pan to avoid dirtying extra dishes.

I added 3 tablespoons or so of olive oil to moisten it up, 1/4 cup good parmesan cheese, and probably 2 teaspoons or less of garlic salt. You can make it spicier by adding chili powder, or Sriracha. Once it was done cooking, we each added Sriracha to our own portions to control the level of spiciness. Hubby like things way spicier than I do. You can make it vegan by leaving out the cheese or using a vegan cheese substitute. I haven’t tried those, so I’m not sure how it would work. You can also add some cumin for additional flavor.

I baked it at 350 for 30 minutes or so, until it was bubbling and a little crispy around the edges. The veggies had cooked a little bit, but they were still fairly crunchy, which I liked. You could always saute them before mixing them into the lentils if you want them more done, but I liked the variety of textures.

July 13, 2011. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Cooking. 2 comments.

Our Beautiful Bathroom

I have been complaining and alluding to our bathroom woes for months now. It is finally finished, so I thought I’d share the beauty with you all. You’re welcome.

Here’s the before. Boring, but not awful until you spot the masking tape in the lower left corner.

Yes, that is a tile being held in place with maksing tape so we don’t have a gaping hole straight through to the attic. I’m sure the kitties would have had a blast wriggling through and then getting trapped over there. After a few months of ignoring this, and showering downstairs, I decided enough was enough. We ordered a new tub, then all this crap happened

When everything was “resolved” and the tub had arrived, we got Handychicks (love the name!) to rip the house apart, but in a strategic manner.

Stage 1:

Stage 2:

I missed stage 3, but it was the same as stage 2, but the cement board was in place.

Stage 4: almost done! The tiled wall at the bottom was initially going to be a plastic tub wall, but when it didn’t arrive, and we lost all hope, Handychicks came to the rescue and built and tiled the wall for us.

It’s complete! We chose a medium gray grout, so it’s easier to keep clean, and brushed nickel fixtures for the same reason. We’ve already used it, and love it to death.

Handychicks did a great job, and Joanna, our contractor, was great about answering all of our questions and explaining all our options. When we are un-broke, I plan on having her do more things around the house. Anyone want to hand me a bunch of money so I can get that done?

 

July 11, 2011. Tags: , , , , , . House Stuff. 3 comments.

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