daily dessert + an overdue update

This melty mess of a cupcake was, without question, the best thing I’ve eaten in the last week. It’s a chocolate peanut butter omg you would die cupcake. My best friend, Daniel, who is also my former roommate from before I moved in with Kevin, went home to Tampa last week to see his family. And he brought back with him what he knows perfectly well is one of my greatest weaknesses, a dessert item from Wright’s in Tampa.

Wright’s is the best sandwich shop ever. Period. And they also make the most amazing cake I’ve ever had in my life. Ever. Period. They just recently started making cupcakes. HOLY COW. This was incredible. And I am forever indebted to Daniel for carrying it all the way back to NYC with him on the plane. He got one for me, one for himself, and one for his current roommate, who didn’t happen to be home when we broke them out to eat them. So Daniel ate his, I ate mine. And then. Like two fat kids hiding in the basement eating twinkies WE ATE THE OTHER ONE. Awful. Awful, awful. I said, “What are you going to tell your roommate?” He said, “I’ll just go get him something from the store.” Ugh. It was worth it, though. Also, we didn’t have a choice. The cupcakes were stronger than we were.

Speaking of cupcakes…

You all remember my dear friend, Elizabeth Blue, don’t you? Well, the above photo was taken by Blue herself. But more importantly, the above cupcakes were MADE by Blue herself. Aren’t they awesome?

Blue is a very captivating young woman with dozens of interests and strengths, including enviable cupcake-making skills. I’m excited to see what she has up her sleeve for this year of her life. She quit her waiting tables job last year, just a couple months before I quit my job. Her gut-decision actually inspired me to get the heck on with my own quit-my-job plan instead of just talking about it. She’s been through a lot of transition in the last few months, but transition is always exciting because out of transition grows your next chapter!

All cupcakes aside, it’s been a busy few days around here. We had a hectic weekend, complete with a friend’s (lovely) wedding and several meetings, a fundraiser show, and lots of odds and ends.

And last week was no different. Here’s one unbelievable thing that happened. My good friend Billy called me up and asked me if I wanted to go with him the very next morning to one of the leading advertising agencies in the country, and – more or less – help them brainstorm for a few hours for one of their current projects. What?! And! They were going to be paying us a significant sum of money for the short time we were asked to lend our brainstorming services. WHAT?!

Of course, so grateful to Billy, I jumped at the opportunity. I’ve been collecting any and all odd ways to make money lately – from babysitting, to a couple new writing gigs I’ve got (more on that in a moment), to coaching improv teams – anything that can help make ends meet. So I would have been foolish to have turned this down. Not only because of the money, but also because of the fascinating experience it promised to be. I’ve never been part of a real-life advertising brainstorm session before. It’s a subculture of the world I was very intrigued to learn more about.

So why did they want three comedians, Billy, me, and another comedian friend of ours, to come help them with their campaign? Good question. I asked myself the same question a dozen times that morning. Ultimately, it turns out that the guy who was sort of running the session was a very open-minded person. He clearly spent his time thinking mostly outside the box, and evidently it works for him, because he’s got a big, important job, doing big, important things, making big, important money. And he was wearing a t-shirt. So he probably gets to do what he pleases. Not bad.

Once we arrived, we learned that the gentleman in charge had also asked musicians, graphic designers, sound people, even a famous anthropologist (!) – professionals from all aspects of creating an advertisement, to be part of the brainstorming process. Traditionally, it doesn’t work that way. Traditionally, the actors, musicians, etc. show up after the fact and simply implement the plan that the ad agency has come up with. But this guy wanted everyone to be part of the process from the beginning. Pretty smart, I think. Seems like a solid way to figure out the best possible ad campaign.

It was a fun, weird, wacky morning of my life, but one I will never forget. And my bank account is also eternally grateful.

The only other thing I’m excited to share with you is that I’ve been writing over at Gather.com. Here is my profile. Basically, I’ve been hired as one of their “socialwriters,” which are people who write short articles on the hot topics of the day. I can actually write about anything that interests me, but because we get paid based on how many people view a certain article, so far I’ve only stuck to the stuff that’s popular right now. I definitely plan to branch out and write about more of my personal interests and less about what’s in the news right now, but since I only started writing for them this past Friday, I’m still getting my feet wet. I’ve written articles on everything from Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution, to Passover Recipes, to the story of Palm Sunday – I’ve even covered some celebrity news stories like Bethenny Frankel’s wedding. So far, I’m having a blast. I’m perfecting my quick writing and editing skills with every article. And I’m making some spending money!

Besides Gather, I was also asked last week to be a writer for a website called the Examiner.com. They’ve asked me to become their “Brooklyn Bakery Examiner,” which is obviously perfect and obviously right up my alley. I haven’t written anything for them yet, but I’ll let you know as soon as my first Brooklyn Bakery article comes out. So exciting!

Perfect timing for both of these gigs, for sure. I am absolutely adoring that I can write and earn money. That’s always been a dream.

Fanny & Jane is chugging along too. We had a fantastic meeting over the weekend with some very trusted friends and advisers and we devised a plan for the next few months of the business. I’m so excited about what’s possible with this little bakery, and I’m so happy with how far we’ve come. It’s a labor of love, for sure, but I wouldn’t change it.

So, that’s the update! Thanks for bearing with me while I try to carve out time in each day to write for Gather and the Examiner, and also to write the stuff I love writing the most which is for y’all on this blog, and also while I still (still) try to balance growing and expanding the bakery with all the rest of it. I hope my posts here won’t be too intermittent, but if they become so for a few days, you’ll know why!

Oh yes, and one more thing. The magnolia tree next door to our house has started to blossom.

Progress! Hope! Spring!

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