Birthday Aftermath: Goofs and Spoofs

  • [Beauty Ad] Interesting ad from Dove Real Beauty showing what models go through from morning-face start to Photoshop finish. The photoshop editing at the end is the scariest part.
  • [Make a sign] Thanks to Beth from Shenanigans, I was able to torture Sante by making him a McDonald’s sign proclaiming him to be employee of the month. Let the hilarity ensue.
  • [Make a cassette] I used this one on my manager: make your own cassette
  • [Health] Next time you dress up, it might be because you’re ovulating

Big lesson learned, now that I’m 29 (ACK!!)…..When cooking something to take to work the morning of, factor in extra time for the cool-down so that you can actually bring it to work without melting your hands. I guess I was still thinking with my “throw it in the trunk” mentality instead of “garner 3rd degree burns on your hands while holding it on the bus” mentality, which is my true reality. Luckily, 30 minutes later and with the help of a thick towel in the bag, I was on my way.

I really don’t feel 29. I feel about 25/26….the same age right when I left the U.S. Perhaps time did stop for me a bit.

Ready to scald hands

Here’s a pic of the coffee cake cooling down a bit. I think it was a big hit! Slightly pockmarked from the frozen berries I used, but still very, very good. It looks really liquidy here but it’s actually quite firm and carmelized and shiny on top. The topping gets them every time. My mother always uses fresh blueberries and I think that’s why they don’t sink. But you use the tools you have available!


This is the email I sent out to my department once I arrived.

E’ il mio quarto….
…..compleanno che passo qua in Italia……
Se volete un pezzo di “coffee cake” ancora calda dal forno…venite adesso alla mia scrivania….

“It’s my fourth…..birthday I have spent here in Italy….If you want a piece of “coffee cake” still warm from the oven, come now to my desk”

I should have included the Wikipedia explanation of coffee cake because it apparently caused a lot of confusion, though everyone liked the cake. Yet, only one of my colleagues asked me why it didn’t taste like coffee. Another colleague told me that several were discussing it in the break room. “I didn’t want to say anything, but I didn’t taste any coffee in that cake!”

Ah, well. Next time.

Around noon, a call went around that a big client of ours wanted a picture of the team, so they herded about 20 of us into the conference room. I was the last one to arrive because I was in the middle of something urgent (for said client) when the call arrived. After taking a few pictures, the Account manager for this client insisted that _I_ should lay across the table (in a miniskirt) in front of everyone.

Normally I wouldn’t care, and people that know me well know that I usually don’t refuse a dare, but I kept thinking….CLIENT will get this picture, perhaps attach it to bulletin board somewhere (I would) and it doesn’t look very professional. And I’m in a miniskirt climbing on top of a table. Maybe for once it would be better not to make a spectacle out of myself.

I figured it would be best to tuck that away for some other time….like the company holiday party in December.

One of our creatives is notorious for playing jokes on birthdays, usually in an email, but I didn’t see anything coming. Little did I know that my creative colleague was looking for a picture for my birthday email, and the laying across the table would have been great!

Here’s the email she sent out…..

Sara che, fino a qualche anno fa, era ‘perduta’ nella sua serie televisiva preferita ….
(Sara, until a few years ago, was “lost” in her favorite television show)

… eccola oggi invece, a festeggiare il suo compleanno su una nuova isola, assieme a nuovi compagni di (dis) avventura….
(Here she is today, to celebrate her birthday on a new island, together with her new companions of (mis)adventure)

Here she attached the photo we had taken in the conference room, in a similar style to the LOST one. :) which I’ll have to leave off since it’s all my colleagues. This made me laugh out loud. I liked her choice of words and she didn’t even know the name of my blog!

Just in case you want to try a new recipe, here’s the coffee cake one.

Keep ’em Coming Coffee Cake

Important note: My mom usually doubles it, and the one I made was a double recipe as well. Therefore, double all the ingredients below and use a 9×13 pan if you want to do the same.

3/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup oil
1 large egg
1/2 cup milk
1 1/2 cup flour
2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 to 1 cup blueberries (optional)

1/2 cup packed brown sugar
2 Tbsp. butter
1 Tbsp. flour
2 tsp. cinnamon

Preheat oven to 325F (160C). Beat sugar, oil, egg and milk in large bowl. Mix flour, baking powder and salt. Add dry to wet ingredients, stirring to combine well. Pour into greased and floured 9x9x2 baking pan. Scatter blueberries, then topping. Bake 30 minutes. (If you double it, start checking for doneness at 45-50 minutes).

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  1. says

    but hey, there’s no coffee in that recipe! ;) Chocolate cake includes chocolate, so why wouldn’t a coffee cake include coffee?
    It sounds delicious. I’ll have to try it some time!

  2. Laurie says

    HAPPY BIRTHDAY SARA!!! I’m sorry I missed it…you look beautifulissima!!!

    I once had an amazing recipe for a sour dough coffee cake with a live starter that grew like a monster in your fridge. We called it Herman. You had to bake a cake about once a week, or else Herman overtook the entire refrigerator. Your coffee cake story took me back….

  3. Jennifer says

    Hi Sara
    Happy Birthday!!!

    I made a coffee cake once too and received the same comment…”its good – but it doesnt taste like coffee” – i feel you pain :)


  4. says

    Does Baked Alaska have Alaska in it?? LOL… I just wanted to say that you look like you are barely 20! Happy Birthday! What’s your secret??

  5. Ms. Adventures in Italy says

    Annika…did you read that link? haha. Laurie…I like your new word! :) Jen, you’re back! where have you been? Liz, flattery will get you everywhere…at least on my blog. Beth, I seriously doubt they could handle both of us in the same office. :)

  6. says

    It would never occur to me to explain the ingredients in coffee cake – that is too funny. I guessthe thought of drinking coffee WITH the cake is too much of a leap to make. Regardless, the Lost poster is kick ass and look how fancy you are that you get your head on Kate’s bod. I’d take that as a birthday present in a second. Auguri!

  7. Ms. Adventures in Italy says

    You guys are making me blush. FinnyKnits, although her body is great…I have to admit I’d keep mine if I could have the love triangle instead. YUM! :)

  8. Kiyon says

    Happy Belated Birthday!!! I just turned 29 in May 06 and I am with you on feeling like I am in my early 20’s. I hope this feeling lasts for us when we are 39.

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