Seeking Sweetness: Daily Snapshot, Whisk Bike Rack, Saint Cupcake, Portland OR

CakeSpy Note: if you follow me on facebook or Twitter, you probably know I'm partial to observing (and sometimes adding) sweetness in the natural world and urban landscape. Here's where I post a daily feel-good photo or image, for no particular reason other than to showcase these sweet little nothings, in hopes that they'll make you smile.

This bike rack, outside of the new location of Saint Cupcake in Portland, OR (a stop on CakeSpy's Tour De Sweet Book Tour, btw) is pretty much topping the list of things that are Great in my mind right now.

Taking It To the Sweet: All The News That's Fit To Eat and a Sweet Giveaway

Fact 1: CakeSpy Loves to bake. 

Fact 2: CakeSpy is a prolific baker. 

Fact 3: CakeSpy Loves mischief.

It may not be scientific or anything, but what all of these facts add up to is generally lots of fun. Here's how it went down last night.

Now, it is true that I had recently made truffles, gooey butter cake, and millionaire's shortbread for various baking experiments and projects, but when I received a parcel of the new Naturally Nora cookie mixes, I couldn't help but bake up a batch or two.

The chocolate chip cookies were my quarry, and I made two batches: one "plain", and one with two tablespoons of peanut butter added. The cookies came out quite nicely, I think, with a nice, nugget-y look and a soft on the inside, lightly crispy on the outside texture. The peanut butter, while not necessary for deliciousness, sure didn't hurt things (does it ever?).

But now I had a problem: a cookie surplus!

Luckily, this is, as problems go, not such a bad one, so I decided to share my sweet bounty with the world at large. Yup: time to Take it to the Sweet!

and so I put the cookies in sweet twosomes in bags, tied them with ribbon, and wrote sweet little notes to go along with them.

and then I decided on the best place to have a positive and sweet impact: the newsstand! Why? Well, the news can be--how do we say, kind of a downer--so this seemed like a natural and especially good place to brighten someone's day. I think that even if the finder might not be brave enough to eat these mystery cookies, the fact that they found them might just, you know, kind of give them pause in their everyday life, add a sweet aspect to their day, and at least give them a good story.

I chose this lineup on 15th Avenue East because it was under a streetlight and just seemed like a nice little row.

I put some cookies inside of each box, but in the case of USA today, which had not yet been stocked, I put it on the outside, near the payment slot--maybe it would brighten the night of the newspaper delivery-person?

Here's proof that Tom Skerrit loves cookies:

I thought this one, on top of Seattle Weekly, worked especially well.

So there you go--even the news can be made sweeter!

Have a totally sweet day, love CakeSpy.

P.S. Giveaway Alert! Naturally Nora has also kindly offered up a sweet giveaway! Want to win some cookie mix? Sweet! To enter, simply leave a comment below (US only, giveaway closes next friday, May 27 at noon PST) or on the CakeSpy Facebook Page saying how you'd make the world (or maybe just a friend's day) sweeter with these cookies! 

Seeking Sweetness: Daily Snapshot, CakeSpy is a Menace to Banana Republic

CakeSpy Note: if you follow me on facebook or Twitter, you probably know I'm partial to adding bits of sweetness to my daily surroundings, via sidewalk chalk, small cutouts, and the like--I call it "gentle street art". Here's where I post a daily feel-good photo, for no particular reason other than to showcase these sweet little nothings, in hopes that they'll make you smile.

So, you guys, I will have you know that I have revisited the scene of this crime. No, I don't have an unhealthy obsession with Banana Republic--they don't even have much in my size there. But, the name is easy to make sweeter, and I do love the building in which it resides.

Taking it to the Sweet: A Parisian Adventure in Seattle

As it was once said in that classic of American cinema known as Singles, "I like to live my life like a French movie, Steve".

Well, I didn't have a Steve on hand, but I did have a willing buddy (Lisa, who is so fashionable), and recently, inspired by a sense of mischief and a desire to have a moment of escape from the Seattle rain, we decided to go to Paris.

Of course, time and money didn't allow us to actually hop a plane, so instead we decided to channel our inner French girls and see if we could find a piece of Paris in Seattle.

On the appointed day, we both wore black and white striped shirts (Lisa wore a beret, for extra points). Lisa arrived at CakeSpy Shop around closing time, and she had red balloons.

We walked through downtown, past Boulangerie Nantaise to the Space Needle, and pretended it was the Eiffel Tower, tossing out our limited repertoire of French phrases, like "C'est Bon!", "C'est Magnifique!", "Sacre bleu!", and, of course, as a shout-out to that Muzzy commercial, "Je suis la jeune fille!".

Next, inspired by the 80's hit "Riding on the Metro", we decided to take the metro--or, you know, the Monorail.

We arrived to Westlake Center, or Les Halles as we preferred to think of it, and then walked past a grand Marche to get some vin rouge and soupe a l'oignon at Le Pichet. (by the way, the waiter did say, "so what's up with the balloons?" to which I was very happy to say, "We're pretending we're in Paris." He then said something in French to me. It sounded lovely, whatever it was he said).

On our way out of the cafe, one of our balloons spied some American Pie.

We then headed back up the hill, where we poetically and tragically let our balloons go, near a church that we deemed the Notre Dame.

By this point it had started to rain and get windy, to which we commented "It's a good thing we're in Paris because in Seattle, this weather would totally suck."

And so ended an evening that was, if not literally, then very much figuratively, totally sweet.

Just a little reminder to allow yourself some sweetness in everyday life! CakeSpy gives you permission to be delighted.

Taking It To the Sweet: Have A Sunny Side Up Day, Love CakeSpy

A couple of weeks ago, I found myself with several cutouts of breakfast foods, and one of a robot with a stereo ("leftovers" from the photo shoot for my book, coming out this fall from Sasquatch Books). Now, as you know, having a little handful of cute things like this always inspires me to cause some sweet mischief.

And for no particular reason other than I felt like taking a long walk, was procrastinating, and thought it would be a sweet gesture, I decided to leave them around town in hopes that they might give other people's day a sunny-side-up sort of feeling.

Of course, I let them know who was responsible for their nice day.

This little egg was left on the sidewalk;

This little coffee cup (inspired by the classic NY deli design) declared its love for High 5 Pie on this sticker spied by the retail pie shop;

This one hopes all the news is good news;

This piece of bacon was perched on a piece of street art embedded in the sidewalk near the Pike Street Fish Fry;

This little egg made Good Housekeeping slightly more delicious;

...and this little Lloyd Dobler-inspired robot (not breakfast food, but still cute) decided it was Enough.

Here's to hoping you have a sunny-side-up day!

Sweet Kisses: Fun and Puns with Hershey's Kisses

Let's kiss.

Hershey's Kiss, that is. These little morsels are not only sweet, but so much pun--I mean, fun. Want proof? OK. 

Here's a batch of mischief I baked up with this fistful of kisses:

Kiss the Sky

Long Kiss Goodnight

Sitting in a tree, k-i-s-s-i-n-g

Kiss and Tell

Forbidden Kiss

Sealed With a Kiss

Hugs and Kisses

Kiss of Death

Rude Kiss

French Kiss

Henry Kiss-inger


Taking it to the Sweet: Paletas Popsicle Art

As you know, CakeSpy is a big supporter of the idea that sweetness ought to be infused in your life on a daily basis--both literally and figuratively.

And clearly, the couple behind The Paletas (discovered by a sweet spy tip from CS buddy Tom) are my sweet soul-mates: they create popsicle art that they leave around their world, in an effort to give people pause and ideally add a sense of whimsy and joy to their lives (not unlike my fake cupcake project!).

Although they prefer to remain anonymous, one of the creators was kind enough to give me a small mission statement:

We draw and make things all of the time and one day we were at the craft store and saw the little popsicle sticks so we decided to make some small clay pops that we would just glue in random spots. No real reason, just something strange for the passersby. Eventually they evolved into anthropomorphic creatures, I think the one's with faces draw people in a little more, you connect with whatever emotion they have. So now we mostly make plastic pops and stickers. The plastic is so much fun to experiment with, it's kind of expensive but way easier to work with than clay. There is no real reason for doing it other than to make the observer's surroundings a little more interesting and inspire people to wonder. It's something to do, a creative muse to focus our efforts. It's also tons of fun trading art with other artists around the world. 

Why go to all that effort? As one of the Paletas so sweetly put it, "Sometimes a sense of wonder can inspire the imagination of the viewer/finder. "

If that isn't a sweet outlook, I don't know what is, friends.

Check out art that is "cold as ice, twice as nice" on The Paletas tumblr page and on Flickr!

Taking it to the Sweet: Making San Francisco Sweeter with CakeSpy Magnets

So, here's the thing: I kind of like to think of myself as a big sugar cube in the coffee cup that is life. 

And as such, I am constantly doing little things that I hope will make life just a little sweeter for people. I've left fake cupcakes around the city; I give people candy and cookies; I write little love notes. For no reason in particular, other than to bring joy and maybe a little everyday delight to the masses.

And on my recent trip to San Francisco, I employed sweet magnetism: I brought a stockpile of magnetic CakeSpy postcards, and stuck them to unsuspecting surfaces.

Each one had a sweet little note written on the back (I did this while on the plane). Wonder who found my sweet handiwork?

First, a sweet little note left on a post office box, just off guessed it...TREAT STREET!

Then, after some reflection, I decided my art was museum-worthy, and so I stuck one to the sign at the Oakland Museum of California. My first solo exhibit!

Next, a sweet little offering on someone's entryway. What a sweet thing to come home to!

Howsabout finding one of these sweet little things on the side of your Vespa? (Note: there was a scratch on the side, so really, I was also providing a nice patch too).

But for those taking mass transit, I left this one on the Muni.

And then, in Santa Cruz, one was left like a prize on the espresso machine at Cafe Delmarette.

...and I also left one with Carolyn and Lindsey at the Twitter offices to do with as they pleased. 

All said and done? I believe I made San Francisco just a little sweeter with this gentle street art. If you found one, I hope it made your day just a little sweeter--either that, or that the cuteness made you projectile vomit. Either/or.

For past sweet operations, click here and here and here.