I had a few friends who were clearly worried about me... going out of their way to call - to make sure I knew I was loved today.... At first I thought people were being nice, then I realized that people were worried that I would be crying in my cheerios over El Capitan and how this is my first 'divorced' Valentine's Day....
Umm..... I wasn't. lol
Remember that thing where I said I moved on.....? I meant it. :)
So last night I thought about what I wanted to do today and I thought that what I really wanted to do was start a new tradition for me and the kids on Valentine's Day.... something that was just ours, something that is special and makes that day different from any other day.....
My love of donuts has been life long - and when I was a girl my Mom would always have a donut for me to breakfast on my birthday. Donuts were a special treat and we didn't really live close to a shop or bakery or grocery store - so I would always wonder *how* she had gotten the donut when I never saw her buy one at the store the night before.... kind of like the mystery of Santa: where did my yummy donut come from?
It didn't really matter how the donut got to my plate - it's purpose was to make me feel special on my important day... and needless to say: mission accomplished.
So thinking about creating my own Valentine's Day tradition with the kids, I thought about my donuts... and then I realized that a donut was too easy - I would have to take it to the next level and go Cupcake Jones.
Cupcake Jones is a *fantastic* cupcake shop located in downtown Portland. Born and thriving *before* the TV trend of cupcake shops..... Cupcake Jones is the well-loved child of Lisa & Peter. I first met them at a bridal show in 2007 - just after they had opened their shop. They were nervous and Lisa was a bit timid and shy - so of course I bounded over to introduce myself.....
I remember thinking.... "A cupcake store? like.... ONLY cupcakes? I doubt people will buy enough cupcakes to *just* have a store that only sells that.... right?" (how wrong I was ... lololol).
I quickly unwrapped one of the mini red velvet cupcakes and popped it in my mouth. I wasn't expecting much... it's just a cupcake - right?
It was like a million tiny fireworks of joy and happiness exploded in my mouth.... no. REALLY. It's like baked crack...... they were *sooooo* good I spent the rest of the time trying to find subtle ways to walk past their booth to snag another one... and another one... and another one.... my own potential clients be dammed: I just wanted more Cupcake Jones.
And so began my love-affair with Cupcake Jones.
Over the years I have watched them grow and *thrive*.... but it's not *just* the Cupcakes that makes them so great.... it's WHO. THEY. ARE. as a business.
Portland is a great town.... when the sign first happened *we* all really were a little surprised at the attention. Portland is the home of bacon donuts and naked bike rides and it *really* is a town where people believe in equality and organic and locally grown and - for the most part - people don't really judge other people..... well, ok - except for the fact that if *you* don't separate your garbage and recycling - I actually have friends who go around their neighborhood the night before the garbage gets picked up and they sort through the cans of the people who don't recycle properly to make sure that things that *can* be recycled don't go in a landfill.
Yeah... I could put their names right here..... T....... but I won't. lolol (You know who you are though).
This is a place where people say yes to love, yes to nature, yes to the environment and yes to doing (for the most part) the right thing..... Cupcake Jones is the epitome of those ideals that make us: Portland.
Even as a small (very small) business in their infancy, Cupcake Jones provided benefits and healthcare for their employee's. They didn't *have* to - they had few enough employee's to avoid the state/federal requirements.... but they did it anyway: because it's the right thing to do.
Cupcake Jones painstakingly recycles - EVERY.THING - from packaging parts to the daily use of paper towels ... because again: it's the responsible thing to do.
Cupcake Jones buys and supports as many local farms and vendors as they can: because it's the right thing to do.
Cupcake Jones CONSTANTLY donates their time or their product to charities and charitable events ALL around the city and state... NOT to have their sign up, NOT for any kind of free advertising .. but because they stand - not only behind their *AMAZING* product - but also behind their community, which is more than the right thing to do... it's an amazing thing to do.
I could have saved myself the time and the gas and the expense of Cupcake Jones cupcakes - and just picked up a pack of 6 rather bland, though still ok, cupcakes at the grocery store.... but that's not good enough on many levels.
When we choose - with our money - to support a business that does so many things that are *right* - we get to be apart of that. We get to be apart of a company that *values* not only its customer with top grade products, but it's employee's and it's entire community .... and all I had to do was spend $16.95.
When was the last time that $16.95 bought *you* health insurance, responsible recycling, a smaller carbon footprint, investment in a local farmer and a donation to a local charity..... oh - and don't forget 12 perfect, handmade, hand decorated mini-cupcakes that will feel like a food orgasm in your mouth.......?
I'm going to go with: never.
That is *seriously* money well spent.
This morning the children woke up and I ran out to assemble their Cupcake Jones Breakfast of Love, and when they came racing out of our room they were.... shrieking ... The Boy knew right away what was on the counter and he screamed, "[The Girl] - look! It's a Cupcake Jones Cupcake!!!!!"
The Boy has been taught well.
They tore into their cupcakes and their cards - and we had the most prefect start to a wonderful day. Not only because I wanted to rip of all my clothes and roll around - neigh - SWIM - in the delicious yumminess of my own red velvet Cupcake Jones cupcake..... but because I had successfully started a new tradition for us. Yeah me! :)
Cupcake Jones will always be a special place for the three of us - and as they get older and concepts about recycling and charity and community become things we talk about - they will be raised to value a company like Cupcake Jones who conducts their business how I want my children to live their lives: by choosing to do the right thing even when it might sometimes be the hard thing.
See.... Cupcake Jones is one small reason why living in Portland freakin' rocks. :)
The rest of the day was homeschooling and doing some design work - and then... drum roll please.... I heard from High School Edward!!!!!! I hadn't talked to him since 1993.... so it was CRAZY when he started iming me on facebook today.
I had seen Jasper and Emmett in 2000, just after I moved home. High School Edward had moved way and there was a bit of a rift that had formed and the three boys didn't talk any more. Off and on, I kept in touch with Jasper and then found him two months ago on facebook. (He works in Hollywood now... so he's a private guy and hard to find online. lololol)
High School Edward talked about how great it was to read what I wrote... and how bittersweet it was for him because he deeply regretted losing touch with Jasper and Emmett. He talked about how he remembers that first date as being "dreamy" even though on the way to my house he got his first parking ticket.....
I had forgotten that part - the ticket... not the dreamy.
Certainly not the dreamy.
He said how insanely attracted to me he was - and how i was electric and intense.