Work hard, play harder

It took a month longer than I anticipated but I finally finished up my redesign for iCupcake. For the past few months I’ve been a little more obsessed with baking & cupcakes than I usually am. So much so that majority of the blogs I had been reading were baking/cupcake centralized, which of course would lead to bakery websites and cupcakery. It only seemed fitting to bring that atmosphere to my blog–to make it not only something that fits the domain name but also what I enjoy.

Since this is my first post for the New Year, I decided that maybe I would make some goals for myself versus worrying about New Year’s Resolutions. I’ve never really made resolutions in the past and I surely never stuck with any. Goals seem more realistic and achievable so figured I’d stick with that.

  • Increase my Xbox gamerscore. I’m sitting at 8405 right now and want to hit 10,000 before February starts. I frequently stick to specific games solely for multiplayer so this will be a nice challenge for me. I’ve got a few games to play right now that I took from Steve’s which include Battlefield: Bad Company, Operation Flashpoint: Dragon Rising and a few other games that I just need to get 100% completion for achievements (Modern Warfare 2, COD4, COD:WaW to name a few.) Once I hit 10,000 then I’ll just keep increasing. I’ve got awhile before I can catch up to Steve and his massive 104,000+ gamerscore.
  • Bake more & photograph it. I’ve been stockpiling up numerous recipes for different sweets and treats but have yet to really go through any of them yet. A few weeks ago I purchased a good amount of material for making some cakepops as well as cupcake bites. I have only gotten around to making the cupcake bites so far. So I don’t gain weight or make my little sister fall into a food coma, I also bought supplies to package these up. I plan on letting my mom bring some to work to offer up and hopefully, strike up some business through this. It’s something new and enjoying, so I’m taking advantage of it.
  • Taking longer breaks from the computer & gaming to catch up on all of the books sitting on my shelf. I have about 10+ Dean Koontz books that have not yet been read along with a few other authors. I just haven’t been reading much at all the last year and really do miss laying around with a good book. So I want to read on book a week. This is a very feasible goal because I’m a fast reader. I read through the last Harry Potter book in ~6 hours so books that are 1/3 the size should be no problem.
  • Relaunch an old project of mine so I can add extra monthly income. I started it back in 2007 and made a good amount of money for the three months I had been active with it. Since then I just let it die off. In the year and a half since then, I have definitely lost out on a lot of potential clients and money by abandoning it. Hopefully by mid-February I can have it relaunched to start selling on it again.

So rather then set goals for the entire year I figured I would just do something that would be completed within the next couple of months. Once those goals are done I can either mark them off as “finished” or “upgrade” them to make them more challenging for myself. Nothing is better then earning money, playing videogames and enjoying yourself rather than stressing out.

On a last note, if you spot any 404s, spelling mistakes, or other coding issues definitely let me know. I’ve been staring at this for quite some time so I may have overlooked something very minute. 🙂 Also for those of you using >IE7, I haven’t yet made it “backwards-compatible,” so while it will work fine for you.. I haven’t gotten around to adjusting the rgba to rgb so that it will render the colors for you. I’ll get to it soon.


  1. Awwwwwww… I <3 this design! Great job! ^_^

    Are you using CSS for your cursive fonts/ampersands? I need to read up on all the new techniques 🙂

  2. I love the new layout! It's so cute and tasty looking 🙂 I've been wanting to bake some cupcakes recently (I love the mini ones you did, so cute) and if I do I just plan on bringing them into work so myself or the friend I live with don't eat them all 😛 One of my goals is to get my xbox gamer score up as well, I just got mine back in November but I'm only sitting at about 300+ … I'd be happy with 1,000 but hitting 10k would be amazing.

    Again lovely job on the new layout, looks great 🙂

  3. JORDAN! This design is amazing, I think it's your best one yet, awww and look at the little baking utensils down there… so cute!

    OK, so back to your post… I think those are realistic goals that could be achieved in the span of 2010. Personally, I didn't set any resolutions this year because I know between, school, work, the gym, and hanging with friends sporadically, I don't have anything else I could work in…

  4. @Bubs – I was originally going to try out font-face but decided against it. I'm using Cufon for the ampersands and headings. font-face just did not render pretty enough to warrant any interest in it fro me.

    @Pam – Thank you, glad you like it! I'm not sure if I like having an open schedule or if I miss having a really busy life. So I half envy you but am also kinda glad I'm not that busy. I miss school though, oddly..

  5. This looks so amazing. There are some designs that I just stare at while I kind of drool, and this is one of them.

  6. This design is very, very cute! The whisk, spatula, and spoon are a nice touch.

    Good luck with your goals; more computer breaks and more reading is something I need to aim for, too.

  7. I adore this layout. Everything about it. Nothing that I can find that I don't love. 🙂

    I can't wait to see more of your baked goods in your flickr stream. 😀

    P.S. Baskerville is so pretty.

  8. I absolutely love EVERYTHING about this layout. It's very simple and neat, but still really elegant. The colors could not be any more perfect. I've been in the middle of a re-haul on my own site, but seeing this makes me want to scrap it and start over. I always aim for a look similar to this and I never end up with anything this nice. Did you come up with this color palette on your own or were you inspired by anything in particular.

  9. Wow, I kinda love everything about this layout! The colours, the background texture, the fonts, the footer… like I said, everything 😀

    I agree with Clem; this is one of those drool-worthy designs!

  10. @Christina – I'm positive you can come up with something nice. I went through a bunch of different variations until I decided one one I liked the most. The first revision actually had a smaller content section and the sidebar had two columns.. But looking over it I kept feeling like it was too cluttered so I nixed it and went back to just one column.

    The color scheme was really random. Initially all I had was the pale tan and pink used in the navigation. I just couldn't really figure out how to play just those two colors and then tried out aqua but with a low, low opacity. Eventually just playing with color positions came to this.

    Before I was originally using the tan as the body bg with the aquish texture background as the content's BG.. but then flipped it to see how that'd be and voila!

  11. There is something about this design that mesmerizes me. I absolutely love the colors, the header font and the little vectors.

    Just like Melissa's new design, this is one of those designs you can just stare at. Great job!

  12. Hey! Thanks for your comment! Your site is absolutely adorable! I especially like the little baking utensils in the footer! 🙂

  13. Jordan! This looks awesome! 😀 I love the pastel-y colour sceme.

    Though every time I visit your site… I'ma gonna want cupcakes. 🙁

  14. Such an amazing site design! I'm completely in love with it. I'm loving the Cufon work you used. I haven't tried Cufon yet, scared of some of the results but I may actually use it. Great job!

    I do hope you complete all of your goals. I definitely want to do more reading this year. I did a lot of reading last fall and I want to continue keeping the habit. I just can't get over how lovely this design in. The letterpress effect is PERFECT.

  15. I love your layout. I'm such a cupcake freak.

    I try to bake stuff sometimes in hopes of decorating it to be all pretty. Then it turns out hideous. haha I look forward to seeing your creations though. 🙂

  16. OMG!

    This design is amazingly lovely. I want to smooch it. The pretty fonts! The subtle textures! The stripes and text-shadow! THE AMPERSANDS.

    Also, you would die if you looked at my Xbox gamer score – it is so crap. It's like, 20. I'm not joking. I think it's twenty. 😛

    I'm excited to see your baking efforts! I always like checking out what works for people and what doesn't when it comes to baking, since I can bake a lot better than I can cook and I like finding delicious new recipes. Good luck!

  17. I LOVE the redesign; it somehow makes me crave cupcakes right now. I absolutely adore the utensils in the footer. 😛 I can't wait to see the photographic evidence of your baking progress!

  18. I LOVE this layout–wonderful use of colors and patterns! My only issue is that the text-shadow in comments and the content area makes it a bit hard to read. And maybe the cupcake in the header could link to the homepage? But it's awesome. (And photos of the baking would be lovely!)

  19. My goodness, this layout is adorable! I simply love the colors and textures you've used!

    Ah yeah I should be reading more books than gaming as well (although my Xbox gamer score is only in the 400s), I have been spending too much time attaining achievements and such on my PS3 these days… /cough. 😛

    P.S. Love to exchange links!

  20. I just wanted to say thank you to everyone's comments so far! Sorry I haven't had a chance to reply to everyone yet (should have done threaded comments, would have been much easier!)

  21. Everything looks great! I didn't notice the footer until someone mentioned it in a comment — lol, cute! I love the little baking tools. I, too, am a big fan of baking. Maybe one day we could swap recipes! I also have a huge stock pile of recipes (both food & baked goodies) and I have been meaning to write them all down but I haven't gotten around to it. I really want to get a cute cookbook to keep all my recipes. 🙂

    I saw your little cupcake bites, they're adorable! And they look absolutely delicious. 🙂 I love the idea of having your mom take them to work to share with her co-workers. Satisfy sweet cravings & increase business all in one! Good luck with that & also your project you want to revive. I'm eager to see what it is.

    Oh, and I must applaud you. I'm a gamer myself and I love coming across other girls who are hardcore gamers as well. I grew up playing video games: Old school Mario & Duck Hunt totally sparked my interest in games. And then I met my husband and then I got into all those fun online games. 🙂 Good times!

    Here's to a great 2010 for the both of us!

  22. I want to increase my gamerscore too, but for MW2 I have no interest in the campaign, just the multiplayer and most of the Achievements are in the campaign. I wish it was more like the L4D series where the multiplayer is tied to the campaign.

  23. This design is FANTASTIC. WOW.

    I hope you do bake and post pictures more! I love looking at peoples' food photos, especially when they involve baked goods.

  24. I'm really sorry for getting back to you so late! I'm usually very quick about this.

    I LOVE your current design. Absolutely love it. It's simple but not boring or plain, and love the pastels.

    How did you get the dynamic cursive fonts for your headings and commenter names?

    I haven't set any New Year resolutions. But I've set small / semi-big goals to do this year, instead. Things I know I can do. And aren't ridiculous.

    Goodluck with your new goals! I know it's hard to pull away from the computer. :/ And games…

  25. Wow nice site, really.

    Also, I ONLY play multiplayer games (MW2/Halo3 for now) so much my gamerscore is only at 250 :/

    Since you play MW2, add my gamertag <strong>G00NPATR0L</strong>, I'm always looking for people to own with.

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