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5 Cupcake Do’s And Don’ts For Amateur Bakers

Associate Editor Candice showing off our hard work. The only thing left to do was eat!

I’ve always been a bit of a spaz in the kitchen but I really love baked goods—a true conundrum. When the opportunity to sign up for a cupcake class through Classtivity popped up a few weeks ago, I jumped at the chance to improve my skills. The course, Cupcakes Unlimited, was taught at The Institute of Culinary Education by a veteran pastry chef; and lucky for me, associate editor Candice came along to help! 

As baking newbies, we were a little out of our element amongst the professional-grade kitchen equipment, and I can’t deny there were some cupcake casualties. That’s why next time I tackle the mixer, I’ll be keeping these tips in mind:

1. Do Read the Entire Recipe Before Starting: It seems obvious, but if you’re in a hurry to get baking like we were, you may overlook important details like the order you should be mixing your ingredients. It’s best to gather all your measured ingredients ahead of time and then assess each step before you jump in.

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5 Questions For…Classtivity’s Payal Kadakia

The best thing about being a part of the New York tech scene is that you often find out about the cool startups before they launch. Earlier this spring, we got a sneak peek at Classtivity, a site that makes it easy to find and book classes (think everything from flower arranging to rock climbing).

Co-founder and CEO Payal Kadakia says Classtivity was born out of her own ‘aha’ moment. A lifelong dancer, she was searching for a ballet class to take after work one day. “An hour later, I was so tired of searching, checking schedules, mapping, scrolling, and clicking to find the right class, I didn’t even end up going to a class—simply out of frustration,” she says. “I realized the problem: Why isn’t finding a class as easy as booking a reservation on OpenTable, or finding shoes on Zappos?” As Classtivity gets ready to launch in beta, we asked Kadakia for her must-try activities, plus one class she wishes existed.

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3 Tips For Creating Your Own Flower Arrangement

I adore fresh flowers. (Who doesn’t?) There is something so wonderful about having blooms on display in your home. But buying cut flowers has always been a bit intimidating. I can never arrange them in a vase in a way that looks quite right and does the stems justice. That was, until I made a small advancement in my bouquet abilities by using Classtivity to book a class at the Flower School New York 

The two-hour session was taught by Meredith Waga-Perez, the founder of Manhattan’s Belle Fleur. The entrepreneur’s success story was just as impressive as the perfect peonies she dolled out to students. While I learned a ton over the course of the three-hour flower bootcamp, these are my three biggest takeaways:

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