Explorations in Life

Food, Fun, Fashion from a 20 year old College Student

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03.17.08 (3:18 pm)   [edit]
We have moved to http://emilyrena.wordpress.com Please update all bookmarks.

03.11.08 (8:56 pm)   [edit]

I got home Friday night, after a lovely week. There's not much I can say about my trip, other than go look at the pictures I posted on flickr. I really enjoyed the trip, and now have such an appreciation for my life here in America. Drinkable water, ability to flush toilets, a recycling program, I always took it for granted. This trip definitely affected me. It's one of those things that unless you were there, you wouldn't get it. We have to write a reflection paper, so I`ll post that once I`m finished.

The Cupcake Shoppe Bakery
02.28.08 (11:52 am)   [edit]

I've been to the Cupcake Shoppe Bakery (Raleigh, NC) before, only to be disappointed. It was a Saturday, and after a day of hitting the museums with the boyfriend, I was excited to try my first cupcake shop, and possibly the first one in Raleigh. We shared the "Lemon Zinger" (Lemon cake with Lemon Buttercream) and "You Mocha Me Crazy" (Dark Chocolate Cake with Espresso Buttercream). The cake itself was so dry and tasteless and the icing was piled so high that it was a major let down.

Yesterday, while I ran my errands to prepare for my trip, a cupcake craving hit. So I ventured downtown to try the bakery again, surprised at the amount of parking available during this busy time of day. I got the "Big Red" (Red Velvet with Cream Cheese Icing), and two of the weekly specials, "Chocolate Truffle" and "Strawberry Champagne". The "Chocolate Truffle" I dug into before I could even manage a picture. Like I said, I had a craving. It was delicious. The cake was moist and even though the icing was just gobbed on top, I devoured the cake. The "Big Red" wasn't that good in my opinion, but that may be because I realized that I'm not a red velvet fan. The "Strawberry Champagne" tasted neither like strawberries nor champagne, and while a little dry, was a somewhat good cup.

Final verdict: I was glad I went back and I plan to try the rest of the flavors. Check it out if you have a cupcake craving. Go during the week and pretty early (I went around 10) to get the freshest.

The Cupcake Shoppe Bakery
104 Glenwood Avenue, Raleigh, NC 27603
Tues-Thurs: 10am - 8pm
Fri-Sat: 10am - 11pm

Dominican Republic
02.27.08 (11:18 pm)   [edit]
It doesn't seem real that I am leaving Friday morning (6 am as a matter of fact) for a week long trip to the Dominican Republic. Even as I've packed and repacked, it doesn't seem like it's happening already. I've been preparing for this trip since fall, but that doesn't mean I'm still nervous. I've never flown, so I'm scared that I might forget some essential thing that I need to get on the plane. The flight itself isn't worrying me. It`ll definitely be an experience teaching English at the orphanage. I'm planning on going to church on Sunday, who could turn down an opportunity to experience church services in another country? Even though my beliefs are probably very different from theirs, it will be enjoyable. I've been putting stuff on my IPod all afternoon. Let's just say that I will be entertain by "The Hills" and reading "Cosmo" on the flight! At the moment, I have no idea where my camera cord has disappeared off to, but I can't wait to find it so I can post lots of pictures from my trip (and of the tasty cupcakes I ate today. But that`ll wait until I get back!)

Hello Dell.
02.18.08 (8:17 pm)   [edit]
I feel so smart right now. I fixed my own computer. I was a bit nervous when it program asked, as I dragged some kind of code into it, “Are you sure? 1/100 computers completely die doing this.” Of course, I paraphrased just a bit. But anyway, my computer works again. No more pop-ups, no more freezing, woohoo. I do miss the library slightly. It was beginning to feel like home. Anyway, I had a lovely Valentine’s Day. I made a cake with homemade chocolate ganache icing (with semi-sweet chocolate, next time I will go for the milk chocolate). Jeff made me this adorable book “10 Reasons Why Jeff Loves Emily” and cooked dinner. I`m not at liberty to give out the recipe, it is a Niski Family Recipe, but I do have a copy of it for scrapbooking/future cooking purposes. Let’s just say, it was delicious. Rice, vegetables, and then chicken in a tomatoey sauce. It was supposed to have mushrooms, but Jeff never stuck the shrooms in the fridge, so they molded. Then we watched “How I Met Your Mother,” and that was it.
Mom came over on Saturday. We had so much fun. We went to O’ Charley’s to eat, where the food was so-so. But the company sure made up for it. We went to the Flea Market and I found this gorgeous storage bench for my apartment, when I get one. Mom took it home with her. Then we stopped to the mall where she finally bought me a new pair of Rainbows, after promising them to me 2 years ago. Then food, Harris Teeter (where the Smironoff hailed from) and home.




Dinner at Jeff’s Grandparents Saturday night. I was exhausted, but it was for his birthday (today), so I kept a chipper face. His dad fixed some delicious spaghetti. We have lots of leftovers. Now, I`m taking Typhoid and Malaria medicine at the same time, so let’s see how that goes!

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