tunes and tarts

Adventures in baking and music and everything in between

Merry Christmas, Charlie Brown! December 22, 2010

Hi everyone! Sorry it’s been a while…I guess at some point I’ll quit apologizing and just realize that you guys know it takes me some time to get time to write a new post! (As I told my mother, I have to have a life to be able to write about my life!)
JJ Grey and Mofro came to George’s a few weeks ago.  As always, he delivered an amazing show.  They played several Mofro classics (A Woman, Lochloosa), as well as plenty of new tunes from their latest album, Georgia Warhorse. Unfortunately, with a venue as small as George’s, the place was packed to capacity and it was hard to manuever the crowd, much less dance. Seriously, I’ve seen that place full, but it was over flowing on this night. People were standing, sitting, crouching, jumping onto and into every space possible. It was fun to see, but not fun to be in. We were near the front row for the first half, but the speakers were starting to rattle my insides, so we finally made it to the back where we could dance around somewhat comfortably.

JJ Grey...a.k.a. my fiance!

 After Mofro finished, The Dead Kenny G’s played up front in the lounge. The Dead Kenny G’s consists of Mike Dillon (of Mike Dillon and the Go Go Jungle and Hairy Apes BMX), Skerik Skerik and Brad Houser. Dillon is a fast and furious percussionist, while Skerik is a loud and frenzied saxophonist. As thier band name implies, they don’t exactly fancy smooth Kenny G-type jazz music. Instead, they are rough, frenetic and busy. They are fun to watch and even more fun to dance to. Not to mention, both are regular Jam Cruise artists, so this show definitely got me pumped for January 4th!

Mike Dillon

Skerik Skerik

Again, I’ll apologize for the picture quality. This time, I doubly apologize because the pictures are from an ancient blackberry. But fear no more, Santa (mom) came a little early for me and I got a new iphone!! Thank goodness! And this new iphone has so many updated features compared to my old, stolen iphone. So take that, iphone thief!

Speaking of Jam Cruise, have I mentioned that I’m excited?? Hopefully I can scramble together some costumes (Touch of Class Zombie Prom, Zebra Night, Jungle Boogie Night, Future Night) in the two weeks we have til we set sail!! Let’s be honest, I probably won’t, but I’ll definitely consider it. I’m just ready to get on the boat!

I was hoping to have some exciting work related news to share with everyone, but unfortunately, it fell through. Turns out the owner of the cupcake shop had not been very honest with some of us. I’ll try not to get into too much detail, but the end result is that we have a new owner. I don’t know what this means for me or my baking career. But let’s just say, I’m keeping my eye open for other opportunities. On a related note, I finished my finals for this semester of pastry school, with all A’s! I have one more class to take next semester and then I’ll be finished! I am excited and nervous all at the same time. But it will feel good to finally be done with school!

Now it’s NOT time for the Creeper Story of the Day! I am so happy to say that the relationship with the boy who came to the cupcake shop looking for me has blossomed quite nicely. After seeing or speaking to each other on a nearly daily basis for two or so weeks, he asked me to be his girlfriend, and I said yes! It is scary and exciting and wonderful. It’s been a long…let me reiterate…looooong time since I have felt this comfortable and sure about allowing a boy into my life. My theory has been that I pretty much love my life. Why let some stoopid boy (because most of them are) come in and have the opportunity to make me not love my life? But he makes me laugh and smile all the time and he’s honest and trustworthy, so I’m giving it a shot. He’s moving permanently to Fayetteville in a few weeks, so we are both looking forward to that and getting to know each other even better. (I should mention that a huge perk of this relationship is that he is several inches taller than me, so I think it’s time to break out the heels!!!)

To replace the C.O.T.D. (Creeper of the Day…duh) story, I’ll share an interesting/funny/random story. Some friends and I went to Mickey Finn’s Sunday night. I spent all day finishing up my Christmas shopping so I decided to reward myself with half-price night at Finn’s. Amazing. As we’re sitting there, I saw my upstairs neighbor walk in. I had heard that he was somewhat of a drinker and it was apparent that he had had a few drinks that night. This guy is home at such random hours of the day but when he is home his music is blaring and it sounds like he hosts aerobics classes. It has often kept me up at night or woken me up in the middle of the night. Since I had a little liquid courage of my own, I decided to approach him. Besides him kissing my hands multiple times and being generally wasted face, he apologized profusely for the loud music. He admitted he has “a really amazing sound system”.  Amazing wasn’t exactly the word I had in mind, but yeah. He said that he gets home really late from work at one of the local restaurants and when he gets home sometimes he just needs to dance! Haha. I knew it! Close enough to aerobics classes. I told him that I was pretty sure his sound system was placed directly over my bed and as I’m sitting here finishing up my post, I can hear his music but it’s not near as loud and it’s not thumping down into my bedroom. So..mission accomplished! (Finally…after two years of me being too chicken to approach the guy. See mom…drinking does have it’s good qualities!)

My friends and I had a little holiday get together party that I did some baking for.  We played dirty santa (where you steal each other’s gifts, not X rated Santa..although that could be fun, too) and a few card games. It was fun to get the “core group” together before everyone parted ways for the holidays. All day my sister ZZ had been telling me she was on her way to our dad’s house in Illinois (sending me texts like she wishes she were on the Hogwarts train or something?? Sounds like a problem the doctor needs to take care of …but anyway). When I walked in to our friend Sarah’s house, she was standing in the kitchen waiting to surprise me! I should have known. She is totally our father’s daughter…loves to pull pranks and crap (not to mention that nose!). 

Zeezers and Lo

Moving on, I made a Santa Bread…if you’re interested in making it, it’s really easy.  Just find a basic bread recipe, let it proof, shape it into the Santa face, let it proof again for 30 or so minutes, brush with egg yolk and red tinted egg yolk for hat, cheeks, nose, etc, and bake! (Ours ended up mangled and disfigured and covered in cheese dip by the end of the night, but it was delish!)
Santa bread, Xmas wreaths, sugar cookies, walnut fudge, no bake cookies and chocolate covered pretzels

 Well, I hope everyone has a magical and miraculous Christmas and all that stuff. I’m a little Scroogey right now seeing as it’s been relatively warm here the past couple of days. We don’t have even a chance of snow on Christmas day or anywhere near it, but it does look like it will be getting a lot colder, so that’s something, I guess. I am looking forward to some people opening up the gifts I got them. And I have to admit, I’m pretty excited about the ice cream maker that I’m 95% positive I’m getting (Right, Santa??? I even told you about the Williams and Sonoma sale!!) Seriously, I hope everyone has a great holiday and gets to spend it with whomever they want to spend it with.

Hopefully I’ll have a chance to write again before New Year’s/Jam Cruise! Merry Christmas everyone. Love you all!




Warning: It’s a long one (twss)! December 3, 2010

Whew! Sorry it’s been so long my beloved readers! I have been unbelievably busy..but don’t worry..I’ve been thinking of you, a lot! And if you know me at all, you’ll know what my parenthesised phrase means.

I don’t even know where to start. So…I’ll start here. I saw the amazing, beautiful Punch Brothers at George’s the weekend before Thanksgiving. It was freaking awesome. I have never seen a crowd at George’s be so still and quiet for so long. And I mean that in the best way possible. Everyone just stared in awe. And if you turned around to take a look at the crowd (which I did) everyone was pure smiles. Plus, shortest line ever at the bar. Its as if people were actually there to see/listen to the music!! Imagine that! If you’ve never listened to the Punch Brothers…do it. They were on David Letterman a few weeks ago and played with Steve Martin and just yesterday were nominated for two Grammys. Not to mention their band name is a reference to a Mark Twain story, which makes them that much awesome-er. (that’s right…I hyphenated and -er’d it).

Normally, I’d insert a little pic right here of the band. Granted, a blurry, poorly shot photo, but a picture, nonetheless. Unfortunately, I have to say that this night is marred by an ugly little incident. My phone was stolen. Which means all of my photos were stolen. And my contacts. I thought I knew who did it, but he denied it (I mean…that’s what liars do, right?). I filed a police report, which I know was futile. It made me really sad for a day or two that people like that are still lurking around. Seriously…it was an “old” 3g iphone. In the iphone world, that’s like a rotary dial phone! I do not understand. The best part is that the boy who I accused of stealing my phone has since contacted me to try to “hangout”. I just accused him of being a liar and a thief and he thinks I’d possibly want to go on a date?? Boys are dumb. End of story.

Next, I went to Atlanta with my mother to visit my sister Caylee. It was quite the trip! We flew out of the Branson airport, which is about the size of my apartment (and I’m only slightly under-estimating). Mom was convinced that if I wore an underwire bra we would be delayed two hours. I refused to go without my underwire and we were not delayed, not because of my brassiere, anyway. Security was pretty effortless. The only tip I can give is to make sure to wear socks. They make you take your shoes off and walk through the metal detectors barefoot. I find it utterly disgusting that people walk through there with no socks. We made it to the terminal with no complications and eventually found out our plane supposedly hit a bird on the way in, which delayed us an hour. Which just seemed very silly to me. We finally made it on the plane and in the air. And then the woman across the aisle from mom and me had a seizure. It was scary. I had never seen anyone seize up before (aside from my friend Keith’s dog, Toby….). Hearing her husband yell for help was probably the scariest part. And of course, there was a doctor on the plane (just like every good dramatic sitcom that ends up ok in the end). So he asked her some questions and she seemed ok after a little juice. Some nice fella gave up his “business” class seat for her and came and sat with us lowly back-of-the-plane occupants. We had to wait a little while once we landed so EMS could get her off the plane and make sure she was ok. 

In-flight entertainment

 Atlanta airport was nuts. According to my mother and my sister, it is either the busiest or the biggest. They couldn’t decide which one it is. Either way…nutso. On Thanksgiving morning we woke up early and went to the Annual Atlanta Thanksgiving Day Half-Marathon and 5K. It was a lot of fun (except for having to be there at some ungodly early hour like 7 or whatever it was). Mom and I ran the 5K and Caylee ran the half. We all finished and did really well. Hopefully I can keep it up and will be running the half marathon next year!

I did it!

Waiting for Caylee at the finish line!

The rest of the trip was spent basically shopping. It was chaotic. I was definitely glad to be getting home on Sunday! I asked my sister, ZZ, to watch my pup Lola Belle for the week I was gone. And I was missin me some Lola bad!! Mom and I had a nice flight home and made it back to Fayetteville. Then I had to drive to Tulsa to get my poo poo (I generally refer to Lola as Poo Poo..probably because all I do is pick up her poo poo). I met up with ZZ and we had a good chat. It’s still so weird that she lives in another city. Anyway, good to see her…but SOOOO awesome to see poo poo head (sorry Zeezers). I love that little 4 lb. pooch more than anything else!

Poo Poo on the car ride home!

Creeper (but I really hope this one isn’t) Story of the Day: On the way home from Oklahoma I received a phone call from a different (but Arkansas) area code. Since that jerkface stole my phone, I lost all my numbers. I had told one of my friends with this same area code to call me, so I just figured it was her. Thank goodness I didn’t answer the phone inappropriately, because it definitely wasn’t her. I answered and there was a boy on the other end! Guess who it’ll never guess. Think about it…I’ll give you a second. It was the boy that hunted me down at work!! I had been wondering what happened to him. He goes to all that trouble to find me at work, gets my number and then never calls! Typical. He said he was in the deer woods for a week. And also that he lives in Dallas. Yowza! He apologized for not calling me, which I appreciated. He seemed to genuinely feel bad about it…so that made me feel good (wait, is that wrong?). He said he was in town for a few days and that he was coming back in a week for a job interview. He kind of put me on the spot and asked if he could see me this week. To be honest, had I known it was him calling I probably wouldn’t have even answered. But since I did answer, and he did call and all that…I said yes. And I’m glad I did, for now anyway. We went to Common Grounds and talked for a few hours. It was really nice. He makes me laugh a lot, which is pretty important for me. He also compliments me alot…which is soooo shallow but really nice. Ha! We spoke on the phone the day after the date and it was a really nice chat. For those of you who ever attempt to call me, know that I rarely talk on the phone and we ended up talking for nearly 45 minutes! He was driving back to Dallas, but said he wanted to come back up next week to see me. So for now, I am excited about him. If he wants to come back up here to take me out, hell…come on up buddy! (I will say that I only have two slight reservations as of yet, and they are kind of non-reservations..he doesn’t drink or barely drinks and he’s religious. These surely aren’t bad qualities but just kind of opposite from me. I’m not opposed to having a good/positive/different influence in my life…I just don’t want it to become an issue later…you when I want to go to a Punch Brothers concert and get wasted face and have a DB steal my phone… I’m kind of only half-serious about this. Hopefully we can both just be who we are and not feel the need to try to change each other.)

I can’t believe it, but school is almost over with. I swear it seems like it JUST started! It’s always a good reminder that I love what I’m doing and pursuing my passion whenever I start to feel sad because a semester is coming to an end. School has never really felt like “school” to me. It’s always been fun (for the most part). I did just spend all day today writing a 15 page faux marketing plan for “Lo’s Bakery Bar” (I am a master procrastinator). It has me all kinds of excited because I think it is a pretty decent idea. Booze and baked goods…it doesn’t get any better than that, right?! The week before Thanksgiving we presented ideas for an Asian themed dinner we’re having next week. Both of my ideas were selected. First, I made a sesame roll with caramelized sweet potato filling. It is scrumptious! Stay with me here…it tastes kind of like a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. The nuttiness of the sesame roll paired with the sweetness of the sweet potatoes…it just plain works.


Next, I made Banana Fritters. Mainly because I couldn’t think of any other “Asian” deserts. I’m not a fan of bananas..but everyone in class, including and especially Chef, died over these fried dumplings. They are so simple to make its genius. Mash up some ‘naners with a little flour, egg and milk and fry those babies.

Banana Fritters with powdered sugar and caramel sauce

For the past couple of weeks I kept wanting to write down little notes to remind myself of something I wanted to put in the blog…but I just couldn’t succumb to being that big of a dork (I get it…just me having a blog makes me a dork..but I just couldn’t go that far), but now I kind of wish I had because I know there was more to tell! I’ll add more later if I can think of anything. I promise next time I won’t wait as long to write!

HOLY CRAP ARKANSAS BEAT LSU!!!!!!!! WPS! That was freaking awesome. If Auburn wins this Saturday, which they should, we will be playing in the Sugar Bowl against Ohio St. in New Orleans. Unfortunately, I’ll be on the Jam Cruise boat. This is such a gold-plated problem and I know I sound like the biggest brat in the world by even mentioning it. But it does make me sad that I won’t get to watch it. I’m hoping I’ll at least be able to get updates via phone (via an iphone 4 that Santa hopefully brings me..please santa?!?!?!?!).

Happy 2nd night of Hanukkah to all my Jewish readers!! (maybe one day I’ll have a Jewish reader….I thought about converting when I was younger, does that count??) Also, I’m sorry that you (you being my hypothetical Jewish reader) don’t get off for this holiday. Everyone gets off for Christmas…if we’re gonna play like that then everyone should get off for Hanukkah, as well. That’s my 2 cents, at least.

Well, it’s officially Friday, now. So I hope everyone has a freakin’ fantastic weekend! Hopefully, I’ll get a run in, hang up my new hangy things I got at Ikea (I’ll post a pic if I ever get it done), do some laundry, and help mom make a cheesecake! What are you guys planning on doing this weekend??

Smooches. Lo.


Farrell’s and Fatty November 8, 2010

Filed under: Music, Baking — tunesandtarts @ 9:48 pm
Tags: , , ,

Happy Monday everyone! As ALO says “Monday Monday Monday, see what’s become of my someday…”.

Saturday was a great end to a busy and fantastic week! I met up with some friends at Farrell’s on Dickson St. to watch the Hogs game. It was my first time there. I don’t think I can accurately describe the service because, after all, it was game day, and they were SLAMMED! Our waitress seemed pretty exasperated and even had a little attitude at times. But the menu looked great (if not somewhat limited, especially for my vegetarian friend who’s ONLY option was fries). I decided to forego the Muenster cheese fries for a salad wedge with bleu cheese and apple-smoked bacon with house-made ranch dressing (gotta be in a swimsuit soon, ya know?!). It was yummy! And seeing as this was my “last meal” before getting serious about saving money for Jam Cruise, I ordered the steak! Unfortunately, it was not as good as I had anticipated. It had a good amount of fat that I had to cut off. Even worse, as I was eating a perfectly chosen piece, I bit down expecting juicy meaty goodness, but instead………it was a tendon. Or something of the sort. Whatever it was, it was terrible and hurt my jaw for the good part of the evening. By the end of the night (and several cocktails) my friends and I started referring to it as “cow knee”. Yuck!! So, all in all, I think Farrell’s has lots of potential and I’ll probably give it another shot at some point. But not on game day. (Hogs whooped up on the Gamecocks like nobody’s business, btw!)

After dinner and the game, we all headed to Rogue to watch Groovement and Fatty Lumpkin play. I have quite the history with Groovement, and I won’t get into it, but given what it was, it was a good show. It was great to see those guys and to hear some of my favorite songs of theirs. Adam Becker is one of the best keyboardists in Fayetteville, in my humble opinion. I also think he makes those Groovement shows half of what they are! It’s so fun to see someone having such a great time on stage.

Adam Becker doin' what he does best

Fatty Lumpkin was up next. These guys (guys being Kelyn Crapp, Seth Myers and Matthew Dixon) hail from Denton, TX and are on the verge of making it “big time” (whatever that means), I’m sure. If you made it to the Outpost Tent at Wakarusa on Thursday..say around know what I’m talking about. Out of all the shows I saw at Waka, their show definitely ranks in the top 5. They have such a heavy, funky, groove, it’s hard to tell that there are only three guys on stage. They all have their own sound but work perfectly off of each other. It’s refreshing to see the three work together on stage, instead of being so rehearsed that there is no room to play around. The guitarist, Kelyn Crapp, is unbelievably talented and so fun to watch. Kind of like watching (I imagine) Leonardo da Vinci paint the Mona Lisa. The way he moves, interacts with the audience (sometimes its as if he gets lost in his own music, looks up, realizes everyone else is mesmerized too and smiles) and his facial expressions are a show in itself. Seth Myers is a force to be reckoned with, on his own, and is afterall, the lead singer of Fatty. His heavy bass lines take control every once in a while, and when they do, you can’t help but get up and dance. Fatty Lumpkin is a testament that you don’t have to be loud, boisterous and noisy (a.k.a. obnoxious) to get an audience’s attention. Just get a beat going that the audience can’t help but move to, and you’ve got it! Not to mention, they’re all really nice, down to earth guys (example: they had to hit the road back to TX that night because Kelyn sings in his church choir every Sunday. Isn’t that just precious?).

Kelyn Crapp, Seth Myers and Matthew Dixon of Fatty Lumpkin

Kelyn Crapp, Seth Myers and Matthew Dixon of Fatty Lumpkin

So I’ll take this moment to apologize for my crappy pictures. I’m currently using my phone but hopefully I’ll get a decent camera soon. Just lettin’ ya’ll know, I know they suck. Workin’ on it.

I suppose this is the “Random Story of the Day” part of the blog. Once again, today’s random story has to do with a random, VERY creepy person who for some reason is drawn to me (I say for “some reason”, but the truth is it’s because I’m a human magnet for creepers. End of story). Anyway, when I first walked into Rogue I was giving hugs to all of the Fatty guys whom I hadn’t seen in a while. Immediately a man walks up and acts like he is about to say something. I assumed he knew the Fatty guys. Instead, he looks at me and holds his hand out to shake mine. I look at him perplexed because I have never seen this guy before. He says “Oh, sorry, thought I knew you from somewhere.” I tell my friend Sarah about the weird encounter as we sit down, mainly because the guy was sitting one table over. Well, long story short, he approaches me approximately five different times. Every time he holds his hand out to shake mine and pitifully tries to start small talk with me. I tell him several times I’m not interested and that I just wanted to be with my friends (I was trying really hard to be polite!). He then goes to my friend’s husband, Joe, and tries to talk to him about the situation. Joe does a pretty good job of diffusing the situation and lets him know that he’s not getting anywhere with me. I figure, ok..another dude just told him to go away. Surely that’ll do the trick, right? Of course not. Shortly after, I was standing at the bar and I see him out of the corner of my eye approaching quickly. I was contemplating telling the bartender to kindly show the creeper out, but instead I just hastened to my table. Sarah sees the situation and, as she is apt to do, takes care of the situation like the pro (and awesome teacher) that she is. I’m not exactly sure what she said to him, but it was kinda loud and from what I could tell it was something along the lines of  “Leave her the f*** alone!” He left shortly after. Thank god for awesome friends!!!

I have a crazy busy week ahead of me. Besides classes, registering for class and regular work schedule at the cupcake shop, I’m helping serve soup for my school at the Empty Bowls benefit tomorrow night (which I also made 200 rolls and naan for tonight). On Thursday, I’m manning the cupcake shop’s booth at Top Chef and Rock Stars. I’m hoping that will be a fun night and not just all business! And somewhere in there I’ve got to train for the Atlanta Thanksgiving 5K and get my application in for my passport (woooo hoooo!!!). In a related note, if anyone would like to come do some dishes or clean my house in general or hell, even take Lola on a walk, feel free!!

I almost forgot, tonight is the much anticipated return of CONAN!!! I remember when he went off the air, besides being deeply depressed, that it seemed like November was sooo far away. I can’t believe it’s finally here. I am ecstatic that he is back on TV, even if it is on TBS. Although the lack of Conan has introduced me to the hilarity and (usually) awesome musical acts of Jimmy Kimmel, I’m ready for my ginger to be back. Hope you all watch!

That’s all for now! Hope everyone has a great week. Remember, EVERY day is a special occasion!

Smooches. Lo.


Hello there world! November 5, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — tunesandtarts @ 10:27 pm

This is my first post, obviously, so forgive me if it’s rambling, unorganized or boring (gimme some time, will ya??).

First of all, let me introduce myself! I am Lauren. A 25 year old aspiring pastry chef and avid live music lover living in Fayetteville, Arkansas.  I have been thinking about starting a blog for a while now. My sister constantly bugs me about writing in a journal (usually after I tell her some crazy random story) but I just can never seem to find the motivation to write in a journal that no one else will see. I usually post my pictures on Facebook, but I think it will be nice having a place to write a little more about my experiences. And I think knowing other people are reading (hopefully!) will motivate me enough to keep writing regularly. I’m sure it will take me some time to get familiarized with this whole blogging thing, so have patience, please!

Basically, I just want to share my experiences in baking and music. Mixed in with some random (hopefully funny) stories.

I have exciting news for today…I am going to Jam Cruise!! If you don’t know what Jam Cruise is…check it out. I am absolutely the luckiest girl in the world with amazing family (especially one really super nice sister, zz!). I have always had a deep embedded fear that I would never need a passport, but that fear has officially vanished. Can’t wait to see Roatan, Honduras and Costa Maya, Mexico! I already feel so fortunate to be doing exactly what I want to be doing with my life, pursuing my passion and being able to see live music pretty much all the time. I can only imagine that my heart will explode with gratefulness after spending nearly a week on a ship filled with amazing musicians and other like-minded music lovers! I found this blog post tonight to give me an idea of what to expect. As I figured, it is too difficult to put into words. But still a very good read for first time Jam Cruisers (ahem!). 

Ok, thats all for now. My first post is complete! 🙂

Smooches. Lo.


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