Tuesday, August 9, 2011

A Visit to a Famous Landmark

As many of you know, I live in the DC metropolitan area.

Recently, my mom, Lulu, and I took advantage of some down time to visit a famous DC landmark.

We didn't visit the type of famous DC landmark national monument that you might be envisioning.

We went to Georgetown Cupcake of TLC's DC Cupcake fame! 

You know???  The cupcake show from the tv station TLC. {{Work with me here folks!}}

We had such a great time!

Here is my list of what you should know before you visit Georgetown Cupcake:

1. Know where you are going. Navigating in and out of DC can be tricky. Luckily, my mom went with me and she knows her way around DC. You can also visit their Bethesda, MD location, however, I really wanted to go to the site that is actually on TV... just this once.

2. Dress for the weather and be prepared to wait in line outside of the bakery. This is not a bad thing. Everyone in line is super fun and super excited to be at Georgetown Cupcakes. For me, waiting with all of the fans and locals was part of the experience. Nonetheless, bring an umbrella or bring your coat if you need to because you will be waiting outside.

3. Check out their website and be aware of which cupcake flavors will be available during your visit. Seriously, this line moves fast. If you happen to arrive at a time that there is a short line, you need to know what you want.

Also, some cupcake flavors are available every day, but only by special order. You need to check the flavors menu, available online, to see which flavors need to be preordered.

You can find a complete list of Georgetown Cupcake flavors as well as their flavor schedule on their online menu.

4. Know the "secret flavor of the day." The "secret flavor of the day" is announced daily on Georgetown Cupcake's facebook page. It is a FREE (ahem... FREE) cupcake, one per customer, for the first 100 customers who ask for it by name. It is not a flavor that will be on the menu for the day. If you do not have access to facebook while you are standing in line, then ask an employee about it and they will probably tell you what the day's "secret flavor of the day" is.

5.  You can preorder your cupcakes and skip the line if you are in a hurry.  Check their website for details.

OK... and now for the highlights of the bakery.

After entering the bakery, we waited in line next to all of this yummy goodness.

Someone took our order. {{Yes, I did just take that picture right in front of her. Obvious???}}

And these guys filled our cupcake boxes.

We totally acted like tourists...

... as we checked out the proper way to ice a cupcake.

Best of all, we walked away with one dozen delicious cupcakes.


Item # 28 on my bucket list reads:

28.  Taste the food of a television food celebrity (either visit a restaurant or go to a show taping). 

I'm crossing off my bucket list items. 
How about you?

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

Growing Mammoth Sunflowers reminds me of the phrase, the Good, the Bad, and the Ugly.

Allow me to introduce the good.  Look up to the top of the picture... waaaaaaay up there... do you see it?  Yep, that is a mammoth sunflower standing majestically tall!  Nice!  Right???

Allow me to introduce the bad and the ugly (apologies for the cell phone pic).

Do you see the brown heads drooping in the middle of the mammoth sunflowers and all along the dwarf sunflowers at the bottom?

After three months of coddling my sunflower babies, I went out of town for a week (while Dear Husband was at home) and I then arrived home to large, brown, droopy sunflower heads.

I was furious.  Deflated.  Frustrated.

I was sure that the droopy heads were due to lack of water... because maybe someone (my husband) didn't water them while I was away.  Perhaps!  Maybe???

However, I found this little tid bit about droopy sunflowers and it made me feel better (and got my husband out of trouble).

From a forum:
"If you are referring to the head drooping, that is normal, they are starting to make seed, you will see the inside of the head, sort of shedding small petals the head droops, the coating in the the inside fall off and the seed start to form. You need to feed it through out its life, until you harvest the heads. Simple blossom booster will work well. Miracle grow makes this but there are many brands. Once all the petals fall off and the lower leaves start to brown it is time to harvest your heads. Cut them off with enough stalk to be able to hang them to dry. Once dry the will easily fall from the blossom, and you can soak in salt and bake or harvest for your birds.
If you leave them on the stalk to dry with out cutting, you may loose your seeds to the wildlife.

If your leafs are what is drooping, this is caused by too much water, towards the end of the season the plant requires less water, the roots are actually slowing down. Pull back on the water and allow it to dry well in between.

I have these beautiful flowers all through out my garden. I am growing some to eat but most for the birds. Mine also have reached 12 feet and plus! are they just too awesome!"
The moral of the story is: when you see the heads turn brown and start drooping, do not put your husband in the dog house. This is not his fault.  This is nature's way of providing home grown sunflower seeds for the birds to feast on this winter.  mkay???

So, what was once lost is now found again... and I am now thrilled (proud actually) with my bold and brown drooping sunflower heads.  Aren't you?

Did you know that the sunflower heads would turn brown and sag?
Why didn't anyone tell me this?