Saturday, February 25, 2012

Cupcakes Take The Cake 7th Anniversary

Founding Editors Nichelle Stephens (L) and
Rachel Kramer Bussel (R)
Attention all cupcake lovers! There is a new cupcake bakery in town. Georgetown Cupcake from Washington DC has moved into Soho. I'm happy to hear that another cupcakery has moved in. As overexposed or boring they may seem, there's nothing like a cupcake to quench your sweet cravings. I could go for one right about now. Being that it is 9:00 PM and I am stuck in Queens, I'll just visit one of my favorite baked goods blog Cupcakes Take The Cake. Heard of it? They're quite popular, if you didn't know.

The number one cupcake blog Cupcakes Take The Cake celebrated their 7th anniversary last December at the Soho Gallery For Digital Arts. It was an extremely tight space with all the cupcake fans in attendance but everyone was sweet and the event was pretty orderly. Tickets were sold for $10 and granted drinks, Driscoll's berries, and unlimited cupcake tastings.

The event was busy and packed with over a hundred people confined in a tiny space. Cupcakes lined the perimeter of the room as well as a main table in the middle. The big name cupcakes were present such as Buttercup, Magnolia, and Sweet Revenge as well as a slew of independents such as Robicelli's, Suzie Cakes, and Lux Sugar Bakery. There were two gluten-free cupcakes by Tu-Lu's Gluten-Free Bakery and Polka Dot Cupcake Shop.

If all that sweetness sounds like it was too much, bowls of mixed nuts were available to balance out all the sugar with a little salt.
Happy Birthday Ms. Cupcake!
There was one cupcake by Nibbles by Nora that was neglected. It was a very artistic cupcake as well. Nibbles by Nora's "7 Year Itch" cupcake was a cherry 7-Up cupcake covered in a lemon honey buttercream disguised as Marilyn Monroe. It even came with a white chocolate cake cup "skirt". I tried it and found it pretty tasty. Perhaps it was the real estate as some of the cupcakes that were placed in the corners went unnoticed.
Cupcakes galore tasting table
Those who ventured to all areas of the room were rewarded as there was really no shortage of cupcakes at this event.
Miniature vanilla cupcake
Congratulations Cupcake Takes The Cake! Can't wait to celebrate with you again this year!

Cupcakes Take The Cake

Soho Gallery For Digital Arts
138 Sullivan Street
New York, NY 10014

Friday, February 17, 2012

Writing Workshop- Version 1.0

Me and Restaurant Baby at our very first Writing Workshop session.
One of my goals in 2011 was to become a writer professionally. Writing has always been my passion and I had come to a point where I was willing to give up my day job for one that incorporated more of a writer's role whether it be in corporate communications, journalism, public relations, or freelance. This was an industry switch for me and I was encountering the same problem over and over again with every job I was applying to. I had no applicable writing samples to share.

Over a year ago, I was talking with my friend Madeline, who writes the blog Restaurant Baby. She proposed for us to start and commit to a writing session every month. This session would entail one hour of writing with half an hour of feedback. The common goal was to take time out of our busy lives and commit to writing. These sessions, dubbed Writing Workshop, would give us time to work on blog content, writing portfolios, and overall improve our writing skills.

We structured our sessions in this manner:

  • 5-10 minute introductions of what we were writing about and any concerns we had regarding our writing topics
  • 1 hour of solid writing
  • 15 minutes of critique

The formula worked well and Writing Workshop was serious. Towards the end of the year we decided to try a new method and adopted the Southeastern Louisiana University writing program writing marathon method.

The approach was similar to ours. Write for an hour uninterrupted. The difference at the end was that we did not critique each other. Each participant was to read out loud their writing sample. The point was to hear your own voice. Reading what we wrote out loud gave our words a new dimension. It is a challenge to feel comfortable with one's own voice.

After one year of Writing Workshop, we evaluated our method again. It is working well. Future changes may include adding in short 10 minute writing exercises whether it be to focus on descriptions, answering questions, or something like a writing rant.

Are you a part of a writing group? Do you use writing exercises to polish your craft? What has worked for you? Please post your comments or advice here. We'd love to hear about your experiences.

Restaurant Baby

Southeastern Louisiana University Writing Marathons