Since returning to New York in slightly better spirits, I’ve been keeping busy with various, ahem, domestic arts. Good weather makes me want to flee to beach destinations, pull a Holly Golightly, and plan elaborate bike trips with stops at cupcake shops, bbq joints, nature walks and any curious New York site, but it also makes me want to camp out in my kitchen and crafting nook. Here’s what I’ve been up to:

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-I highly recommend baking the above, a honey almond cake with lemon zest, a recipe I found in Vegetarian Times. Can you tell I’m still going through a beekeeping-honey-obsessed phase since writing this Brooklyn Based? Well, I am! After a 24-hour headache, this was my way of self-medicating: “My head is KILLING me–I shall bake a cake!” Perhaps I’ll make this for the Big Bee Bash BBQ coming up…

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-making my own Fire Escape of Dreams next door to the Ghostbusters firehouse (I hope I don’t get in trouble). Planting this garden also achieved what I consider very important for feeling a sense of belonging to a neighborhood: befriending the people at the hardware store. The smell of hardware stores alone gives me a sense of comfort, so much so that I’m always looking for excuses to buy eye screws and such. And one of the employees recognized me on the street the other day! Mission accomplished.

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-sewing capes for Only Make Believe, a non-profit that puts on interactive theatre performances and shows at hospitals for kids. My logic went something like this: Sometimes I’m jaded with internet jobs and their disjointed-from-reality nature–I should volunteer as a Cape Crusader at Only Make Believe, i.e. sew capes. đŸ™‚ I even made a cape for Safety Cone, lest he feel left out of the fabric fun. I’ve been sewing so many capes that I actually wake up sore from foot-pedal-cramp. Haha.

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-I participated in Tofu Takedown, did not win, but experienced my first food competition–I like it! I considered doing Cupcake Cookoff the following day, even making these Burnt-Butter Brown-Sugar Cupcakes for it, but decided to eat ’em instead…and bring some to “the office,” where my motivation for going there is heavily influenced by a desire to be Mother Hen. It’s a win-win for them, when you think about it. “I like going to the office because I get to bring you all cupcakes.” Hmm.