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!
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.
Those two keystroke combinations have made photographer ever more possessive about how their images are shared online. Plagiarism and theft of intellectual property is not news but this digital realm has made it much more prevalent. This obsession with copyright has created a new culture of gaudy watermarks and has kept photographers from sharing their images online.
In light of the prevalence intelectual property theft, it is rare to you see photographers giving their work away. Then again, we live in Lansing and there is such a great collection of kind hearts in this city. For the third year in a row, Lansing was host to an incredible event. Lansing photographers and numerous hard working volunteers got together once again for Help Portrait. If you didn’t hear about Help Portrait last year, it is a worldwide event where photographers and volunteers get together to take portraits of people, edit those picture, print them, and give them away for free.
Here is a break down of the numbers from this year:
Old Town Sign Post taken from Sharon Drummond's Flickr photostream
My wife and I have a problem whenever we go out to eat, and it is something that I don’t think we will ever be able to rectify. She is someone who, upon the conclusion of her meal, likes to sit there and chat and digest. I, on the other hand, need to immediately move. I despise sitting still in a restaurant after eating. I start readjusting my seat. My leg starts bouncing up and down. I fail to pay attention to the conversation at hand. I just need to move. I need to get out of there. There’s no real reason to it, I just hate staying still right after eating. This is why Golden Harvest is perfectly suited to my dining needs. Once you’re done, they are going to kick you out.
Not all restaurants are like Golden Harvest though. Some places will be content with filling your coffee cup over and over and over again. I hate this. Mostly because my wife will drink her coffee and engage in, what I can only assume is, the most meaningful and wonderful conversation of her life. I don’t know. I stopped paying attention, and I cannot fathom why anyone would want to stay put after eating unless it was so utterly engrossing. This inability to control my ADHD after eating has indirectly led me to discovering the art scene in Old Town though.
Last year a group of Lansing residents, local officials and graffiti artists took a decapitated motel and turned it into one of the coolest attractions in town. Deluxe Inn was a motel in REO Town and was planned for demolition in late summer. Until that fast approaching demolition deadline the motel was an eyesore for hundreds of people who drove by it everyday. Deluxe Inn was located at the gateway from Downtown Lansing into REO Town and was an ill-representation for what REO Town has to offer.
In order to turn this abandoned building around, local organizers invited some of the best graffiti artists from all over the US and a few artists from abroad. With the seemingly omnipresent hissing of spray cans, the motel’s blank walls were converted into a giant piece of art. A once abandoned building became a major attraction. Local residents went there for picnics, photographers took models there to take advantage of the ambiance and others pulled in right from the highway to see all the art.
When the time came to demolish the building, I wasn’t alone in feeling a huge sense of loss. Seemingly overnight we were to lose a beautiful display of art. The demolition was inevitable and eventually the building became a flat piece of land.
In celebration of Hip Hop week and graffiti, the REACH studio art center has organized an event to display the works of Tom Sheerin, a local artist that has created new art on 3D wood and metal sculptures. Pieces from last years graffiti project will be installed on 3D metal sculptures along REO Town’s commercial corridor on Washington Sq. “The materials used go hand in hand with REO Town. It has a rich history in industry and by recycling and reusing materials it is acknowledging that history,” Sheerin said.