Monday, October 1, 2012

Houston, TX Cupcakes & Reviews

Nevermind the fact that my blog needs an overhaul...I feel like writing about cupcakes today. Maybe it's because I've been on vacation since last Wednesday and between then and now, I've visited three cupcake boutiques, the cheesecake factory, and a candy store. And maybe I just devoured the most scrumptious red velvet cupcake ever. So here's a quick run down!

Sprinkles Cupcakes - this would be where I got that red velvet cupcake this morning. I'd been once or twice before. It's SO good. Easily the best red velvet cupcake in town. The reason I don't go more often is the location. It's SO friggin tiny. And in one of the busiest locations around. It's a total pain in the butt to get to and park. I really wish they'd open another one somewhere else. I need to go on a Friday and get a chai latte cupcake cause my gosh that sounds amazing. My favorites there include chocolate marshmallow, lemon or ginger lemon, strawberry, red velvet, and pumpkin. I mean, it's all really really delicious, but I dont really go to cupcake boutiques for plain vanilla ;) $3.50/cupcake, $39/dozen

Crave Cupcakes - Easily comparable to Sprinkles. Same price for singles & dozens. Same icing technique. But bonus that they have two locations. I went to the uptown park one way back when to see what the hype was all about, and swore I'd never go again due to the crowds in the area. Then they opened the location on Kirby and well, it's love. A lot easier to get in & out of, with the same great sweet, and it's next door to a Chipotle? Score. I kinda feel like they have more regular menu selections than Sprinkles tho. And the nutella cupcake is pretty tasty. and the pumpkin? yummo. Something about Sprinkles' red velvet tho still wins in the flavor department between the two tho. But Crave opens at 8 instead of 9 and even has breakfast cupcakes. It's an all around win really! $3.50/cupcake, $39/dozen

The Sweet Boutique - Ok so this is actually in Sugarland. Who cares? Go there. The staff is always really friendly, and while they dont carry as many daily flavors as the two places above, they carry extras that those dont. Like cake pops. And macarons. and cake pops. and macarons. haha! Oh and they kind of carry the salted caramel cupcake daily. yesssssss! I haven't even tried everything there that I want to. Mondays bringe a Strawberry Cheesecake cupcake and Apple Spice & Lemon make an appearance on Tuesday. I need to go then!! I usually got on Fri/Sat/Sun and end up with Chocolate Chip, Pink Champagne, or Tiramusu on top of the daily Red Velvet & Salted Caramel flavors. I havent had a single macaron there I didnt like (Chai Tea on sundays? yes please! Rose? Strangely delicious. Caramel? Always tasty!). And the cake pops? The seasonal ones are even better than the daily flavors. Had a pumpkin spice a couple days ago and it. was. ah-mazing. They also have a rewards program. Does it get any better?! $3/cupcake, $33 dozen

What's Up Cupcake - Reason #1 to try these? They have a freaking cupcake trailer. How fun is that? Follow them on facebook and they'll tell you when/where it's at. I'm not horribly familiar with the Heights area or the location of this place, so I wasn't sure what to expect when I was heading that way. But it's a little green house. Parking in back. Could probably use more signs regarding parking 'cause I was *this* close to parking on the street. Which may or may not have been ok. But anyway - it's unlike any other cupcake boutique location I've previously mentioned. Yes, it's covered in ridiculously cute cupcake knick knacks and signs, but there's no cupcake counter & display to let the cupcakes look into your eyes. LOL. And the what looked like a little meeting area was a bit messy. That said, I wasn't expecting too much really. But I took one bite of the Nutella cupcake and was really pleasantly surprised. I don't much remember what the other flavors were that I got because I'm nice and bring some to work sometimes and give them to folks. Wait, staring at the menu makes me remember that the strawberry one was good too. I split one with somebody. $2 specials on the trailer sometimes. Worth checking out.

Sugarbaby's Cupcake Boutique - The cutest cupcake place in town! I even had a photo session there! Mostly your basic flavored cupcakes, with a couple of fun twists. The Dippity Doo-Dah sounds amazing, but I haven't tried it yet. But the strawberry and red velvet are just what you'd expect them to be. I do get a wee bit frustated as I've shown up before closing time and they're closed due to being sold out. I had even checked facebook before hand to see if they'd posted they'd closed early, which they hadn't. So I'd driven all the way there for nothing. Luckily, Crave was just one exit down! Parking is around the back of the building, and a small lot at that. But it's a fun place with more than just cupcakes, that I do suggest trying out for yourself!

Rise Cupcakes - another cute place, with some vintage flavor. Clean and bright. Located in Friendswood but very easy to get too from 45 South. My one major downfall with this place? They don't use cream cheese icing on their red velvet cupcakes. Boooo. The whole menu is also a little bit too froo froo for my liking. I get it, they're gourmet cupcakes. But I don't want to look at a sign that says this cupcake is called "Put a Ring on It" and have to wait and ask them, what's in it? Just call it freaking carrot cake or have something readily available that I can read the flavors on. I appreciate the change in cupcake flavors/ingredient combos they have tho. Makes for a nice change of pace from the norm. Had a "hound dog" (peanut butter/banana) for breakfast this morning and it was very light and tasty. I was expecting a heavier peanut butter taste, but it was perfect.

Celebrity Cupcakes - another one with a ridiculously busy parking lot. But they do use local & organic (when possible) ingredients. Cream cheese on the lemon? yummy. Pumpkin daily right now? Oh yeah. Tasty classics? Definitely. They've got minis more readily available than other places too. Will I go back? Maybe when Brandy comes to down and it becomes our mission for me to take her to every place in town. I'll go back for that. What's keeping me from going back more frequently? Well. Crave & The Sweet Boutique are easier for me to get to and I like them better. There. I said it. I had a mini fleur de sel there and I'm just glad it wasnt a big one. The chocolate ganache was thick and rich and too much for me. But like everywhere else, worth checking out if you have the time & patience ;)

Gigi's Cupcakes - Gigi's is pretty rad. The icing is sky high. And the cupcakes are tasty. They have some Gigi's all over the place. And I've never actually been to one around here (tho there's a few), but went to one in Dallas. The red velvet cupcake however was disappointing. They say it's cream cheese icing, but it doesnt taste like it much. Maybe it was the vanilla filling? I dont know. It's not a classic red velvet like I wanted it to be. I had a couple other flavors and they were good tho. They even had some samples to try the flavors. Can't wait to go try the one in Sugarland and see if I can find any new favorite flavors!

Kup N Kakes - ok the only reason I'm even mentioning this place in Pearland is because it's so uncomparable to the other places listed. I had read the reviews on yelp and went anyway to form my own opinion. It was awful. Not very moist. Not very flavorful. and rather boring overall. I wanted so bad to give them the benefit of the doubt with the previous reviews, but it was a total let down :-/

There are a couple I haven't been to yet, like Frost Bake Shoppe & Treat!. And if you know of more - let me know, cause I want to go. bwahaha. When I do, I'll update this post ;)

I think I'll go have my Smore cupcake from Sprinkles now... tehe!

Monday, March 12, 2012

Glitter Pumps!

Would you believe me if I said I didn't own a pair of glittery heels prior to yesterday?? It's not that I didn't want a pair...I just kind of found them impractical? All the glitter ones I usually found were silver. or gold. or hot pink....I don't go... "out" ... so I didn't neeeed them. And I don't get to wear dresses/skirts to work...  so I stopped buying those years ago. But...I also haven't jumped on the heavy accessories fashion bandwagon either... I don't wear bangle bracelets, or chunky or long necklaces, and I very rarely wear a belt anywhere other than in my pants with belt loops. LOL So I gotta keep my shoes fun! I ran into JCPenney yesterday because Justin usually has good luck with shirts & jeans there and I needed to pick him up a few after a day of shopping for myself. haha! I was actually kind of looking for a heel I could wear with navy or brown slacks tho as opposed to black... But I saw these on the rack for 15 bucks and could. not. help myself. They've got a hidden platform and are ridiculously easy to walk in for the height... I don't own anything like them....and they glitter in them is like... chromatic...it changes all sorts of colors depending on the angle of the light hitting them. The overall look is black with black glitter...but the specks of colored glitter are spectacular! I can totally wear these with my navy slacks too! (wearing them with gray slacks today...with this top from express in nautical blue!...you know, just like the picture, but in like 3 sizes bigger haha) Weee! I'd take a picture, but I'm far from a fashionista... You can find much better bloggers for that. But for $15? These can't help but brighten your day!

Texas World Speedway / College Station, TX

Eeeek! Almost a year since my last post. My bad...  I should probably update this thing considering we don't have any of the three cars above anymore, OR the mini cooper. LOL (dont worry...still have awesome mustangs :-p )But anywho...

If you follow our photo biz on facebook, you know we were out of town for a few days last weekend! What were we doing? Well Justin was racing our '08 Shelby GT500 around Texas World Speedway! Last fall, Justin participated in his first road course driving event through The Driver's Edge at MSR Houston. He'd wanted to do this for awhile and for years he had claimed just how great of a driver he was. He was hooked within the first lap! We finished that weekend, and once the 2012 schedule came out, we decided to figure out what else he could attend. Our first event of 2012 was last weekend at TWS. What a fun track!!! The history behind it is fun enough to just be there... but to get to drive on the same course...the same bank... as A.J Foyt, Darrell Waltrip, Richard Petty, Mario Andretti, and other household NASCAR names...... gah, way cool! It was sad to see the stands falling down tho...you can't go up there anymore. :(

So how does The Driver's Edge work? Check out the website if you want to read in depth...But it's a 2 day learning event. There's basically 4 run groups: green, blue, yellow, & red. Green & Blue groups have instructors riding along with you. Beginners start in green and you may or may not spend more than one weekend there. Justin was promoted to blue during his first weekend out at MSR, and got to run in blue group during the afternoon of day 2. I think there's also a "blue solo" group, and that he was just promoted to that! Getting to yellow will be a little more difficult tho. Green, Blue, and Yellow groups cannot take any passengers other than the instructors. Red can tho! And at any of the driver's edge events...it's free to spectate. And for a $25 charity donation, anyone can ride along in a run session with a red group driver or an instructor. Each group gets four 20 minute run sessions per day, and you also get classroom instruction in between. The Driver's Edge has mottos like "Your Performance Car Needs a Performance Driver" and "We Don't Care What You Drive; We Care How Well You Drive It." Everything you learn on the track, you can apply to your day to day driving. You'll see alllllll sorts of cars out there too - trailered Ferraris, BMW's with paper plates, full out race cars with roll cages and entirely gutted interiors, miata's of all different year models... It's like a car show really, but everyone just happens to be driving 'round and 'round really fast instead of worrying about how clean their car is ;)

As soon as we got home from Texas World Speedway, Justin signed up for the next event there in June! Buuuut, our next event is actually in April at MSR Houston. But guess who's driving? ME! I'm kind of skeered... I'm a drag racer. I don't do too well with turns. Hehe!

I didn't get to take very many photos this go 'round, because I headed back to Houston early Saturday morning to shoot a wedding. But I made it back to college station late Saturday night and captured what I could on Sunday. Here's a few!

Wish me luck in April!!! And if you ever get a chance to do a ride-a-long...do eeeeet! :)

Thursday, April 14, 2011

The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly of Car Shopping

Our new (to us) car shopping adventure started 6 days ago. Justin finally convinced me that getting rid of my black 2000 Mustang GT and getting a newer much nicer stock 03-09 Mustang GT would be a smart decision. Why? Well a couple of reasons... my car runs fantastic tho! 174k miles and it still runs like the day she was made. Nevermind the motor blew up at 63k and was rebuilt. haha. Anyway. I used to race that thing EVERY weekend at the 1/4mile dragstrip in Baytown, now known as Royal Purple Raceway. And I went all out. Slicks on the back, sometimes skinnies up front, seats out for weight reduction. The backseats are currently just not in the car and getting them back in isn't exactly an easy task. There's also holes in my carpet from driving in heels. My bad. As good as the motor runs, mods & all, the transmission is starting to get cranky! And she's leaking oil from somewhere. So, we decided we wanted to start from scratch again.

So 6 days ago, Justin starts looking & test driving cars while I'm at work. We found a 2007 Shelby GT in black that was gonna be perfect. If they'd come down $2000. Trying to find something to match MY price requirements and Justin's mileage requirements was looking damn near impossible come Saturday. We drove 10 hours around Houston, using a full tank of gas, going to every dealership we could think of. We didn't find much. Prior to driving around we had searched auto trader across the US and back looking for options, and most of our local favorites had been sold already. Like the black Mach 1 we wanted at Lone Star Ford. That one was really crazy. We saw it online. Called. It had been sold. Tried to find it online again. It wasn't there. Headed over there anyway to see what else they had. Checked online. Saw the black mach again. Get there. It's definitely sold. I'm like, well stop making it pop back up online! lol We weren't mad, the lady there tried to help us out and find something at other dealerships. She found us a black 07 GT but the price was like 4k higher than another 07 we found in town with 30K less miles! I was like uh....no.  So we left empty handed to explore other options.

Long story short, Saturday was a waste of time. No one was open Sunday (not even in Dallas, we were gonna road trip!) Monday was spent looking online some more and calling places to see if they still had the cars we wanted. They didn't. Tuesday rolled around and after some more discussion, we decided to take a chance and not look at mustangs anymore (gasp!). We decided it might be better to just get me a new daily driver that was good on gas and just give me something to drive while we just plain fix my black mustang. It took awhile and lots of effort, but we narrowed it down to a few cars that I was ok with driving. Miata, RX8, 350Z, WRX, Lancer, Jetta, things like that. And out of nowhere a mini cooper got thrown in the mix (fully expecting it to be sold, and us finding something much cheaper). Again, nothing I found in my price range would satisfy Justin's mileage requirements. I said well, one or both of us are gonna have to budge just a little bit for this to work. In the mean time, Justin was still looking at some mustangs. Here's where the ugly part comes in.

Rewind back to Saturday. We had gone to Planet Ford on 45 thinking they'd have the largest selection for us (boy were we wrong). We told our salesman what we were looking for EXACTLY. Mustang GT/V8, Manual transmission, any color but red, silver, or yellow.    What does he point out and show me first? A silver automatic V6. *facepalm* So we knew this was a disaster. We let him show us a couple things "in the back" ...that had some wreck damage and lots of modifications. No thanks. Well Justin took a gamble on them again on Tuesday (our current place in the whole story!), and called them up because he saw a newer black GT online. I think it was like, an 07, with fairly low mileage (maybe 30k?) and it may not have had a picture online. He calls one salesman, tells him what he wanted to know, salesman says he will go hunt it down and take pictures, send them to us, and confirm the transmission type. Cool. This was first thing when the dealer opened. By lunch time, we had no answer, and Justin called again and go another salesman. told him the situation, the guy took our number and said he'd call us back. Well he called us back later that afternoon alright. He said yes, it was a manual transmission. He forgot to take pictures. and then we asked him the price. He said twelve nine. As in 12 thousand, 9 hundred dollars. We were stunned. We asked him, uh...are you sure?? He kinda stuttered and said yes, and we asked him to doublecheck. Because that car should've been at the lowest, what we wanted to pay 19,000 up to where some dealers had it at 24,000.  12,900 would've been impossible. Even at 100k miles, it'd be going for $15k at least. So we hang up. We dont hear from him again. We tried to call the first salesman back....voicemail. So we called the operator and THATS when we found out the car had been sold. like 2 days ago. The operator had to tell us that. Ridiculous!

So here we are after getting off the phone with the operator at Planet Ford on 45, and we set off to take a look at what seems like the best deal. A blue jetta at Westside Chevrolet. It was an older one (cause i dont like the new ones) with higher mileage than Justin wanted (I think it had like 72K) but a cheaper price than I was looking for (like $7800!), and if in good shape, was going to be worth it. What a joke! The front bumper was falling off. There were wires coming out of the incomplete dash. And it was filthy. They hadn't even switched out license plates yet. We left immediately.

I made Justin call Gillman Subaru north to make sure they still had the 2 other cars I was interested in. A mini cooper & a nissan sentra SE-R. We had a very pleasant experience there! Justin couldnt believe I was even looking at the mini. But guess what we took home!!!

My new daily driver is a 2006 Mini Cooper S w/ 6speed manual transmission! It's so much freaking fun! Every day I'm going to picture myself inside The Italian Job.

I know Gillman Subaru North lost money selling this to us, but the General Manager there was SO so so great. If the time comes to buy another car, we'll be heading there first, that's for sure.

I need a bigger garage.

Friday, April 1, 2011

Ship To A Soldier

I realize it's been awhile since I posted on this blog. My studio blog is hoppin' tho! (And I'm gonna post this there too! haha - I'm gonna post this everywhere!!!)

But the last post I made here, was about I Race In Heels, and I recently have been getting active on twitter for it also. I'm posting now, because another female pro drag racer I follow (Tina Stull) is very supportive of our military. She asked us to follow a beef jerky company (Jerky Johns) who was new to twitter, and the 100th follower would win a free pound of jerky! Then we found at that that jerky could be sent to a soldier, and off I was to click the follow button! Turns out... I was lucky number 100! Now, I don't quite know how to read the military addresses exactly (someone tell me!!!), but I googled enough to find out that my jerky went to a gentleman stationed in Afghanistan, 101st Airborne Infantry division I think, and then I don't know if the name after FOB or Attn has to do with his base in Afghanistan, but I hope he enjoys his jerky. He got a letter with the jerky with my name on it (Rebecca Davis) and explaining the twitter contest. Thinking about sending him a card with my I Race In Heels logo on just to wish him well.

Just wanted to share in case you were thinking about a way to send something from home overseas to a soldier!

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