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Thursday, July 15, 2010

Cupcakes and Diamonds

I've been finding myself craving cupcakes lately. Not just any cupcakes mind you, Vanilla cupcakes. Any icing would suffice, just it has to be Vanilla cupcakes, and preferably yellow. Maybe it's because I'm eager to redeem myself after the Fourth-of-July red dye disaster*, maybe it's because my body requires certain levels of butter cream consumption... maybe it's because I'm pregnant with the second Christ-child (Ha!) -- but whatever the reason, I'm craving these little babies and it's inspiring me in all the right ways!

**(These cupcakes were created using food dye to color the white cake mix Red and Blue to make some patriotic desserts for the annual family picnic. They were based after the rainbow cupcakes i had executed about a month prior without a hitch. However... the cupcakes for this particular holiday, lacked enough Red food coloring to actually make them Red... So instead of using my standby of liquid food dye, i added a half a teaspoon of GEL dye (Wilson's Christmas Red to be exact). It had completely slipped my mind that red food coloring leaves an icky disgusting taste if used innacurately... GEL dye was like concentrated Red flavor! (Which i found out is caused by iodine used in the dye... lovely huh?) Thus resulting in pretty -- but practically inedible -- cupcakes. Good note? I got to use my awesome new piping bag and tip! They turned out to be gorgeous little heartburn-infested morsels of iodine-y goodness.)

I've come to the conclusion, that -- after my camera is repaired -- I'm going to start a second blog. (Titled: Cupcake for two) This second blog will be not only a Julie & Julia style setup where i cook my way through a set amount of recipes... but will also be a way Jim and I are going to narrow down the flavors of cake for the wedding. (Two years and 3 months should suffice i think?) However, not only cupcakes are going to be baked at the blog. Casseroles, Doughnuts, Pasta, Frozen treats, Soups, and other miscellaneous sweets are also sure to grab the spotlight here and there because, Hey... I love to cook. So while Cake for Two is aimed at all things wedding, Cupcake for Two shall not. (I might also sneak some crafts in there to help promote the Etsy shop i'm going to start! Whoopee!)

Jim and I have also discussed the possibility of beginning our own bakery. (Though not quite like the lucky and extremely talented lady at How to eat a cupcake) Perhaps starting off -- much like most bakeries had -- as a home-based business. Begin with catering cupcakes and celebration cakes (mostly gourmet, not those fancy carved cakes like Food Network boasts) and possibly rake in some extra cash for that dream house! However owning our own building and hiring staff is probably somewhere in the extremely distant future, it's still something i'd love to do after our future children are grown a little and things aren't so tight.

Well, getting back to what this particular blog is about, i happened to catch up on my overflowing DVR list of bridal shows. (I.e: My Fair wedding, Say Yes to the Dress, Girl Meets Gown, and of course -- Don't Tell the Bride). The last of which i began to ponder something...

In one of the episodes of "Don't Tell the Bride" (A witty little show on the BBC where a couple is given 12,000 pounds to finance their wedding. The catch? The groom has to do all the planning, while the bride can't know a single detail until the day of the wedding!) the groom had completely forgotten to get the wedding bands until the very last minute!! He ended up getting them in the end, but it got my wheels turning...

I have yet to find a suitable wedding ring...

Actually to be honest, i don't even have an engagement ring! (No, i'm not one of those "he hasn't proposed yet i just feel like planning the wedding anyway" brides... >.>) We've been dating for 5 years now. Five freaking wonderful, amazing, astounding years. (That i wouldn't trade for anything else in the world!) but around our 3rd or 4th year together, we had come to the same conclusion, that we both wanted to get married someday...

One creepy Jamaican guy at a convention and 20 bucks later, i ended up with a super-simple braided silver band with no diamonds or stones, or anything on it. Just a simple. silver. band. Practically a wedding band! But Jimmy had never truly proposed. He's never gotten down on one knee and asked me to be his wife, nor has he gone out and purchased a ring all by himself for me (or at least to my knowledge he hasn't!). We've both been planning this wedding though in full expectations of going through with it... However it feels just a little strange without a "true" engagement ring...

Part of me feels like i don't need one. I'm happy with the "promise" ring i have (that i bartered for and ended up buying...) and i honestly go ballistic when i lose it (read: left on the edge of the sink during a shower) -- but it doesn't feel like an engagement ring to be. But -- and this is the big part -- my other half is saying i don't need a ring, and that even if i did, we can't even afford one right now! I would truthfully be thrilled to get a ring from the pawn shop for all i care... but that's not the point. We're trying so hard right now to move out and start our lives, that it's impossible for us to afford a flashy piece of jewelry just to tell people i belong to someone.

Lets say just for a moment, that we had the money... there lies another problem waiting to strike.

I'm picky as hell.

I absolutely abhor certain pieces of jewelry. Yellow gold, Diamonds, "Swarovski crystals", Cubic Zirconium, all that super flashy "bling" that every girl dreams of... and of course the "Bigger is better" rule, that can honestly go throw itself out the window...

I have a horrible horrible habit of playing with my rings... especially if they have jewels on the top like a normal Diamond engagement ring. I twirl it around and around my finger until my digits are sore and raw. OCD? probably. So when it comes to rings i can actually wear i tend to buy simple bands... (I.e: the "promise" ring i'm currently wearing)

Oh, one last thing -- I'm horribly allergic to numerous metals. Copper? Yep. Pewter? You Betcha. Any kind of steel (besides surgical)? Mmm hmm! Lovely huh? So unless my jewelry (Piercings especially!) are pure silver, gold, or platinum, I'm pretty much destined to break into nasty rashes and sores.

"Mindy, will you marry me?"
"Of course! Oh it's gorgeous!"
"You like it?"
"Yes! It's so -- .... itchy! Get-it-off! Get-it-off!"
frantic screams ensue*

okay so the rashes don't exactly happen that quick... but you get my point! For a ring that's supposed to stay on your finger for an eternity, you don't exactly want to be allergic to it! So even if Jim really did want to buy an engagement ring for me, he's stuck with spending a buttload of cash on a real metal ring -- limited to nothing but bands, very few diamonds, and silver colors.

Have fun!

I figured in the spirit of the blog (and my love for all things shiny...) i'd spend a little while browsing the interwebz and maybe make his imaginary trek for the "perfect ring" a little easier. (Ha!)

Tiara Diamond and Sapphire ring in 18k White Gold
Firstly (because that's totally a word, so says i) I stumbled across this lovely band from Brilliant Earth. (B.E offers diamonds and gems that are cruelty free, meaning they don't obtain their diamonds from the slave mines in Africa)

What i love about it: Semi-Precious stones are -- to me -- more precious than diamonds. Each one is made of gorgeous deep colors and anymore, are more rare than diamonds themselves. Sapphires however are just the perfect blue to me, and i don't mind the diamonds in this one, because they only enhance the sapphires. Being a band is a huge plus also, considering i hate playing with giant jewels hanging off my ring, and since the pattern isn't completely around the ring, it saves your palm from random bejeweled massacres when you least expect it!

Cost: $800.00
Link: Here

Esther's Garden and Blue Zircon and Diamond Ring

This ring was googled up from, and has completely taken my breath away! The teeny tiny diamonds on this ring are just miniscule enough for me to tolerate, while the Blue Zircon seems to glimmer right off the page! I can almost see the green and blue light dancing inside of it. Too pretty!

Whate i like about it: Coming from Etsy means a lot to me. I enjoy seeing people getting paid for their hard work, rather than seeing it go to giant companies who mass produce mediocre crap, or for those "haute couture" people who spend thousands on something rediculous. (Like 40,000 on a dress you'll only wear once!?). The Blue in that Zircon makes me drool... way too gorgeous! The silver band it's all daintily placed on is also intricate enough for my tastes, without being gaudy costume jewelry. I adore this ring!

Price: $1,120.00
Link: Here

Celtic Garden 14k Yellow Gold and Emerald Ring

Yes, yes i know... i said i hated yellow gold. and it's true, i think this ring would be much better in silver, but if i were given this ring today i would wear it without complaint. The gold itself actually makes the emerald look absolutely stunning, and although i could live without the diamonds, at least they're small enough to be tolerable, and not the main feature of the ring.

What i like about it: I love love LOVE celtic knots, and the one on this band is done perfectly! Not too overstated to the point where it looks like an Irish tombstone, but still delicate enough to fit into a ring without being gaudy and be recognized as a celtic knot. The Emerald is my mother's birthstone and is actually the first jeweled ring i ever owned. (it's my grandmothers, but it's way too small to wear anymore and the diamonds are missing, leaving huge face-ripping craters on either side of the gem now.) Also? it's by the same shop as the last ring! (Kudos!)

Price: $1,650
Link: Here

Sapphire Set Elegantly in 14k White Gold

Oh sweet sapphire... thou art truly magnificent! Framed in twisty turvy ivy with teeny tiny diamonds dotting each leaf.

What i like about it: The deep dark blue of this Sapphire reminds me of that necklace from Titanic -- Oceanic almost! The white gold is just stunning, giving it that silver shine.

Price: $2,200
Link: Here

Bespoke Ceylon Sapphire Celtic Engagement Ring in Yellow Gold

I have to admit with this one... i hate the gold on it. I would definately have to get this one in silver or white gold!

What i like about it: The pointed shape to the ring is totally unique and very elven (to me at least...) while that tiny little sapphire dots the tip with understated elegance. The twisted pattern on the band itself could be more intricate, but on the whole it's a gorgeous ring. except for that damn gold!

Price: £341.00
Link: Here

Next are a few wedding bands themselves... because hey, i need to find those too!

Remember how i mentioned that i'm allergic to all different kinds of metal? well... a similar problem appeared with Jimmy. See, he's also allergic to most metals (except pure metals and surgical steel, etc.) with the exception of Silver... go figure. My favorite metal and he has to be allergic to it! Well, with my hatred of yellow gold, his allergy to silver, our combined allergies to most metals and my general distaste of platinum, it leaves us with really only one of two choices: Separate rings, or white gold.

18k White Gold Leaves and Buds Diamond Ring

Now, wedding bands -- in my opinion -- should be simple. No super fancy jewels everywhere, no "bling" so to speak... just a simple decorated band. But the band doesn't have to be a boring tube of metal, it can be a band and still be enchanting!

What i like about it: First off, white gold! yay! Second? Though i generally dislike jewels in my bands, i like these teeny diamonds. (I'm finding them rather hard to escape though which is starting to tick me off!) And the leaves pattern is just fab, very reminiscent of celtic knots!

Price: $900.00
Link: Here

Men's Celtic Eternity Knot Ring in 18K White Gold

The first Men's ring on the entire post! Woot! (Also, is it just me, or does the little stamp on the inside look like an alien's head with japanese writing?)

What i like about it: Another white gold ring -- Brilliant Earth really knows how to make me squeal with glee! -- and this time with celtic knots on it. Jim's not much on wearing jewelry in the first place... but when he does wear it, i know he wants it to be something worth wearing. Whether that applies to his philosophy on wedding rings is yet to be seen... but if I were the one to pick them out, he'd be getting this one for sure!

Price: $1,150.00
Link: Here

Burnished Platinum Emerald Eternity Ring

I'm finding it rather hard to find a wedding band that doesn't involve creepy disembodied hands holding hearts with crowns on them, or diamonds...

What i like about it: Even though the gems on this ring go all the way around they're inset so that you can't dislocate your finger if you smack it on something by accident. The Emeralds are brilliant, and the Platinum doesn't look too bad. not my ideal white gold, but still pretty. The only thing i don't like, is that it's the same for the male as it is the female, and to me, these are too girly for a guy to wear on a daily basis!

Price: $1375.00 -- $2475.00 (depends on size, thickness, and metal finish)
Link: Here

Well, that's it for now on rings... There are literally thousands out there to choose from, but i guess i'm just too picky for my own good!

Will i ever get a proper proposal with ring? Beats me. If i do, i'll be thrilled for sure. If i don't? I still get to spend the rest of my life with the most amazing guy in the world. So what if i don't get proposed to like a normal girl? I didn't go to Prom either! (I know, Blaspehmy!)

Enjoy your sparklies my lovelies,


How To Eat A Cupcake said...

A lot of the pictures didn't show up on my screen, but that first blue ring is gorgeous!

Cakefortwo said...

it figures o.O not sure why though? hrmm... i'll have to mess around with them XD thanks for letting me know! <3

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