cupcakes & wishes. my two favorite things.


I’m a crafty girl, not a practical girl.  So I’m not sure why in my mind, decorating (ie: paint and glitter) pumpkins would be less messy than carving them.  Wrong-o.


Looks like the tooth fairy sneezed on my pumpkin.

Cortney, Julianne and I decided to have an impromptu craft day because we were feeling festive and wanted to decorate some pumpkins.

IMG_7779     IMG_7781

Cortney tried to paint her pumpkin neon pink which turned out just looking like a bright (normal) pumpkin.  So she decided to bling it up with some old jewels we had leftover from her Bachelorette Party.

IMG_7775Julianne pained a cool design on hers and realized after she was done that maybe she should have painted top green.  I think it was pretty cool with the colors she used.

IMG_7791    IMG_7794

I love me some glitter.  So its no surprise I glitter-ed my pumpkins.


This was my Pringles guy pumpkin and his faceless wife.

In honor of our punkin day, I also made Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Bread.  I needed to test the recipe before a Halloween party but I don’t like pumpkin, so I made it in hopes that Cortney and Julianne would be my taste testers.


Ignore the baking powder and use baking soda as the recipe calls for.

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Bread
3 C white sugar
1 (15 ounce) can pumpkin puree
1 C vegetable oil
2/3 C water
4 eggs
3 1/2 C all-purpose flour
1 T ground cinnamon
1 T ground nutmeg
2 t baking soda
1 1/2 t salt
1 C miniature semisweet chocolate chips
1/2 cup chopped walnuts (optional)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease and flour three 1 pound  three 9×5 inch loaf pans.  I only had 2 big loaf pans, so I also used 3 small loaf pans to replace one big one.


In a large bowl, combine sugar, pumpkin, oil, water, and eggs. Beat until smooth. Blend in flour, cinnamon, nutmeg, baking soda, and salt. Fold in chocolate chips and nuts. Fill loaf pans 1/2 to 3/4 full.

Bake for 1 hour, or until an inserted knife comes out clean. Cool on wire racks before removing from cans or pans.






I don’t like pumpkin.  Actually I figured out, I think I don’t like nutmeg.  It was pretty though and Cortney said it was a good recipe, so I’ll take her word for it. 🙂


Happy Halloween!

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“Just Like You”

Even though this has nothing to do with wishes or cupcakes, I promised Yvette that I would blog about a movie I made exactly 3 years ago (wow…  has it REALLY been that long?!).  I have always been interested in video production and ever since Tadd made his first film, I had been itching to make my own.  I had had an idea for a movie in my head for awhile, so in the summer of 2011, I finally wrote the script.  It was basically about a nerd who likes a girl who is attracted to jocks so he learns to play a sport the only way he knows how – with video games.  Of course it didn’t go as planned for him.  After I wrote the script, I realized I needed someone to “nerdify” it for me.  There was an entire section that needed video game jargon.  Fortunately, Tadd told me I knew of a hard core video gamer…Arthur.  I had no idea.  I gave him the script and he nerdified it better than I could have ever imagined.

Here’s Just Like You, back on YouTube.  Bloopers are YouTube too.  I have the greatest friends.  The only payment they received for their participation was food.  Thank you Arthur for helping me write the script.  Thank you Raeya and Yvette for the costumes and for being excited about this project with me.  Thank you Yaochiem for your impeccable acting skills (we better hang out soon before I ask you to be in another movie).  Thank you Marissa, Roy, David, Lexter, Carly, and Brent for being the most talented extras ever.  And last but certainty not least, thank you Tadd.  Had it not been for your encouragement and perseverance, I probably would have given up before filming even began.  You kept your cool when I couldn’t and you have an unbelievably amazing eye for cinematography.

Here are some random facts about Just Like You:

  • All of the characters were named for a reason or were named after people: Harold To (because his nickname would be “Harry To”), Hannah Kuso (because “hanakuso” means booger in Japanese), Tristian (he was my “little boy” and favorite customer from Sushi Land), Justin (I knew he was going to be sorta a jerk, so I named him after Justin Timberlake.  Not sure why, but in my head, JT has always been a jerk even though I’m sure he’s a perfectly nice guy).

nerdy yao & missy

  • Because Hannah smells like “the perfect concoction of sunshine and summer picnics,” she is wearing yellow in EVERY scene.

raeya costume check2    raeya's sunshine back

  • I had 9 pages of storyboards drawn, which, if you know me says a lot since I LOATHE drawing.  I attempted to film the first few shots I drew from my storyboard and then got overwhelmed.  Tadd swooped in and took over just about all of the filming for me.  If he was in the scene, he would explain the shot to me before we recorded his scene.

raeya & yao ugly

  • The fantasy scene wasn’t supposed to be filmed in the rain, but it was the last day before Raeya had to go back to school and it poured.  I was really disappointed with the weather, but thanks to Tadd’s amazing cinematography skills, it ended up working out better than if it was sunny!

yao & raeya wet

  • The props on Harold’s desk that weren’t really Yaochiem’s, they were Arthur’s, including the World of Warcraft boxes, multiple calculators, and the box of Benadryl.  Yup.  Arthur said “don’t nerds have allergies?”  I don’t know so I just took his word for it.

harold's math shirt

  • I bought Harold’s glasses from Ebay.  I didn’t realize they were being shipped from China so it took a little longer than I expected to get them.  But they ended up being the best $3 I ever spent.nerd glasses
  • Tadd improvised the scene of them dressing Yaochiem in the fantasy.  Totally unscripted, but by far one of the funniest scenes of the entire movie.

tadd, yao, raeya, yvette WET!

  • Yaochiem was always my first choice to play Harold, but I hadn’t talked to him in about 5 years before I asked him to be in the movie.  I miss you, Yaochiem!

yao as nerd               yao makeup

  • The scenes on the field when it was sunny took about 8 hours straight to film.

arthur & tadd sleeping

  • Raeya had to change at the field on the rainy day.  Instead of providing a luxury trailer for her to change in, I provided her with the backseat of my car.  Luckily my windows are tinted.

raeya, yvette, ja9 get ready

  • Bubble blowers are very hard to find in September because the summer stuff is mostly gone.  I ended up finding 2 of them at Rite Aid in Burien on clearance.  Carly and Brent didn’t know when we were hanging out that day that I’d be putting them to work.brent & carly bubbles

Hope you enjoy Just Like You!

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I realized I’m due for a vacay to Hawaii this year.  I went for the first time in 2009 and then again in 2011.  I just sorta got used to going every two years and I’m sad this year I won’t be there.IMG_0959

Hawaii is the one place where its HOT and I don’t complain.  Well, don’t complain much.  And I get to hang out with Tiff.  Hee-san, we need to see each other more than just every couple of years.  🙂

ja9 & tiff up close

Miss you, Hee-san.

I also miss the food of Hawaii and well, the other people of Hawaii. 😉

Hawaiian McDonalds 20111021142417


Because of my recent Hawaii withdrawals, I decided to make guava cupcakes for Raeya’s non-Blue Angels party.  I tried many different recipes but they never turned out quite right.  Until Raeya sent me a recipe from her friend.  It was PERFECT.  The trick is to use concentrated guava juice.  As in leave a tube of Hawaii’s Own juice on the counter.  Genius!  There will be a little bit of concentrated juice left over in the tube, so just mix it with a little water to make unconcentrated juice for the gel.  I was so into it, I even listened to my Hawaiian playlist while I baked.  But its slim pickin’s.

Don't judge me.  This is a cute soundtrack.

Don’t judge me. This is a cute soundtrack.

Guava Cupcakes

1 (18 oz.) package Duncan Hines yellow cake mix
1 1/3 C thawed concentrated guava juice (Hawaii’s Own)
3 eggs
1/3 C vegetable oil
red food coloring
*doesn’t have to be Duncan Hines.  Use amount of oil and eggs listed on the box.  Replace the water with the concentrated guava juice.

1 ½ (8 oz.) package cream cheese, softened
½ C sugar
1 ½ t vanilla
1 ½ (8 oz.) container Cool Whip, thawed

Guava Topping:
1 C prepared (unconcentrated) guava juice
¼ C sugar
1/8 C cornstarch

Make the cake according to cake mix directions, replacing the water with thawed concentrated guava juice. Add red food dye until the batter is a pink color.


I think this was after about 6 drops of red food coloring.

Line a muffin tin with liners and bake according to box. It may take a few minutes longer to bake because of the guava juice in the cake.

For the frosting, beat cream cheese with hand mixer until fluffy. Beat in sugar and vanilla. Slowly fold in the Cool Whip and let it sit in the refrigerator for 30 minutes to become more stiff.

For the guava topping, make a paste out of the cornstarch and a small amount of water. It should be more of a liquid than a paste.IMG_7606

Add guava juice and sugar to a sauce pan, heat until it boils.

Remove guava juice from heat and stir in the cornstarch mixture. Return to heat and bring back to a boil. Pour into a separate bowl and let it cool in refrigerator. If your cornstarch mixture made clumps in the topping then just separate it with a strainer.

Add a thin layer of frosting on top of the cupcakes and pipe a swirl border around the top to hold the guava topping in place.    Spoon the guava topping onto the cake and spread it around the top.

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I think its safe to say the guava cupcakes were a hit.  Raeya and Yvette seemed to enjoy them. 🙂

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You actually made it through this entire blog post?!  Mahalo!

You actually made it through this entire blog post?! Mahalo!

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Countdown Calendar!

I made this countdown calendar a year ago for a wish kiddo who went on Disney Cruise.  It was a bit expensive, but cut me some slack, this was my first one. 🙂


I bought clear little boxes from Packaging Specialties.  I think they were about $1 each.  He LOOOOOOOOVED Pokemon Black and White so I bought little Pokemon figurines from Ebay for about $30.  They looked something like this:

vikram pokemon

Then I bought Mickey Mouse scrapbook paper and cut them so they would fit the front of the clear boxes and stamped and embossed numbers on each one.


I filled each box with what we called “sizzle” or spring fill so he couldn’t peek in the boxes.  I got this from Packaging Specialties too, and it was only about $5 for a bag at the store.  I stuck a Pokemon figurine in each box and hot glued the boxes to a piece of foam core.  Then I sent it to my wish kiddo with the instructions to open one box each day before his trip, counting down from number 28.

At his wish presentation a week before he left for his trip, he told me how excited he was everyday to see which Pokemon character he would uncover.  He and his friends would try to peak in the boxes to see if they could tell which Pokemon it was.

It was a great way to help him count down the last few days before his trip and he was even able to save the board to use it to display all of his new Pokemon figurines.

It was totally worth all the time and money because he had AN amazing trip.   He even gave me and my co-volunteer beautiful flowers. 🙂


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