I want to introduce you to a Lansing blogger, but this introduction comes with a warning; her blog will make you spend a lot more time in the kitchen and even more time salivating over her blog posts. Meet Kaitlin Flannery, she is a writer, a most amazing baker and a really really good food photographer at Whisk Kid.
She has been blogging since 2009 and has devoted fans following each post. One of her cakes was even picked up by Martha Stewart and she got to cook alongside the craftiest lady in the land. She has joined the ranks of Snoop D O double G.
I follow a bunch of food blogs but Whisk Kid is unlike any of them. Kaitlin is passionate about what she does and this passion comes through in her writing. Just scroll through her blog and you will find everything from the Lemon Meringue Pie to a rant by Kaitlin that comes with a Funfetti Cake recipe.
Whisk Kid is just as much a food blog as it is Kaitlin’s diary:
“It’s a collection of the thoughts I have while I’m baking, which is what I do to relax, and it’s where I try to find meaning in breakups, reason behind monotony, good in my faults and cracks in my shell. It’s a therapeutic outlet that helps me decompress and figure out what’s really going on and where I stand in this world.”
She is constantly looking for the underlying emotions and connections in all aspects of her life and her blog brings all these ideas together: “I have no idea what’s coming next, but the blog has helped me really realize that we’re all kinda lost – and it’s totally ok. Sharing my experiences and being shared with in return has been more rewarding than I ever imagined it would be.” The scientist in me wants to do an analysis of the kind of cake/pastry/cookie Kaitlin makes and other life events. Kaitlin’s readers have sent her emails that have brought her to tears and they are proof that she has this bond with her readers. Whisk Kid is more like having a friend who cooks with you, than it is a food blog.
“I feel that, even though we don’t know each other, my readers and I have a very supportive relationship”.
Lastly, Kaitlin agreed to give us a Lansing Collective exclusive recipe of the cake she made for our shoot. enjoy!
by Eat Pomegranate Photography
A few years ago we faced store closing signs in the windows of many of our favorite book stores. I was really sad to see the East Lansing Barnes and Noble close it’s doors. As a student I used to spend a lot of time there. Walking down those aisles was one of my favorite ways of discovering new books.
I had given up on those book discovery experiences until last week; me and two of my closest friends went thrift shopping at World Mission on South Cedar. We were perusing antique furniture as I wandered into the store’s book section. It was hard to believe I was in a Lansing thrift store; nearly 25% of the building was dedicated to perfectly organizes shelves of books. These weren’t all tween fiction or romance novels either. There were incredibly diverse sections ranging from WWII history to architecture and photography books. There was a big children’s book section and great harder to find fiction books. I was impressed at the quality of these books and it was hard to believe these were all donations.
Cynthia, the manager at World Mission was hired in two years ago and her dedication to the book section is obvious. As we start to loose out on the book-store experience in Lansing, and as many of us declare our love for e-readers, I am humbled to see that Cynthia has kept this book section alive. When Cynthia was hired in, she inherited 20 gaylord boxes (yes, a new word for me too) of donated books. Most of the shelving units where already there but the books were in total disarray. With the help of a dedicated staff (Joe, Rick, and Anna) and hundreds of hours of work, she has created this mini book haven right here in Lansing. Cynthia points out that Joe, Rick, and Anna “have been the backbone of our bookstore” and without their dedication the store wouldn’t be where it is.
It is obvious how much heart has been put into organizing these books. If you have kids (or if you are a kid at heart), I urge you to check out the children’s section. If you are a history buff, I guarantee, you will spend several hours in the history section. If you like fiction, it is very likely that your fill find your favorite titles for a fraction of the cost. Cynthia and her team have also set up really cool end of isle book displays with interesting books they find. I urge you to get lost in these isles. I am probably starting to sound like a late night infomercial, but I can’t express in words how nice this mini book store is. Check it out.
by Eat Pomegranate Photography
Cynthia wanted me to add that the World Mission always welcomes book donations and they always need new shelves in their book department. They also have a truck and are able to pick up books. Additionally, there are donation bins around the community for clothing and books.
I asked “What’s your favorite community-engaged business?” and Angela Brown of @coolcitydogs answered. The ensuing conversation made me laugh and, more importantly, educated me about Annabelle’s Pet Station, a Lansing gem I knew little about.
My dogs show more love every day than most people muster in a lifetime. I was moved by the passion exhibited by these pet lovers, who make their mission to create a better life in Lansing for pets and owners alike. Don’t have a pet? Get one. Then read this.
1. Who are you? No, really who are you? Business-wise, personally… how do you see yourself in relation to the #lovelansing movement?
Business-wise and personally, we are, at our core, dog-lovers. Ann Andrews and I are both lawyers, with full time jobs outside of AnnaBelle’s, who started this business three years ago because we saw something missing in Downtown Lansing – dogs.
As busy lawyers who worked in downtown Lansing, we both wanted a place downtown to take our own dogs and, at the same time, we just wanted to see more people with dogs in the Downtown area. To us, that is a sign of vibrancy and life that every city needs. And, that is how the plan for AnnaBelle’s began to take shape in early 2007.
Knocking on doors and canvassing all four wards in Lansing on top of a full-time job isn’t easy. It requires a lot of mental and physical toughness, and a hell of a lot of energy. But if there are any adjectives that best describe Rory Neuner, those three might just be the ones that do. How else would you describe a woman who grew up playing hockey in boys’ leagues and played on the college varsity squad all four years?
Not to mention someone who enjoys four-hour bike rides.
Born and raised in Haslett, Rory loves the state and region she is from. However, it didn’t quite have everything she needed to stick around for college, i.e., a school with a women’s hockey team. So she packed her bags and headed for Connecticut, where she played hockey for Yale University and discovered her love for community development.
It is refreshing to see that Americans are becoming much more environmentally conscious. Our policies and lifestyle choices are starting to show much needed concern for our environmental future. For example, the 2011 North American Auto Show is showcasing a 40+mpg car by almost every car manufacturing company. More people are walking and riding bikes in the United States and in the last decade alone we have seen a 25 percent increase in bike trips (MLive, 2010). Here in the Greater Lansing area we have a growing number of LEED certified buildings like the MSUFCU headquarters, the Granger Construction Company and The Christman Company. Furthermore initiatives like the Clean Commute and Zip Cars at Michigan State University are yet another step in the right direction.
It is our responsibility to make dedicated efforts to ensure that the next generations continue our ventures and maintain our concern for the environment. Experts studying early childhood development state that
“The quality of environmental education for young children determines how young children see themselves in relation to the natural world. This knowledge is the key both to their understanding of self and to a foundational orientation towards respecting and caring for the environment. (Phenice, 2003)”