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Monthly Archives: February 2012

They Say 35 is the New 21… Really?!

Ok. I’m totally fine accepting my fate as a soon to be as of tomorrow a 35 year old. It’s crazy. I can’t believe that on most surveys and forms I’ll be moving to the next increment of age to categorize me into whatever demographic related to the entire form I fill out after tomorrow.

It’s been a crazy week/weekend leading up to my birthday. Not so crazy that anyone outside of this house would scratch their head at, but for me… a bit more unusual. Being a parent by itself is a bit of an adventure. Last week found us helping our little one fight his double ear infection and pink eye in both eyes. We figured the fever he had had the week before was just a fluke or we could write it off as teething, but no. This wave of torture for him hit hard. He doesn’t like to play illnesses low key, he likes to get things all at once. Poor little guy. Most of last week we were first trying to figure out what was causing his sporadic fevers, to finding out he’d be taking antibiotics for a week or so, plus eye drops (not fun). Towards the end of the week, I found myself getting hit hard with back aches and congestion… yep… the little man shared some germs. Next time I’ll try to be more specific in what I want the kids to share… toys and crayons… yes… illnesses, boogers and general gross stuff… no. Now he’s just about back to his usual self again, except now he lets me know when he’s got a special “gift” for me to open.

Saturday night, really really late I happened upon an e-mail from Cake Central saying that one of my cakes was being featured with other Star Wars related cakes. Find it here. Mine happens to be the Han Solo in Carbonite cake (see below).

I made this cake for my husband 3 years ago for his birthday. This cake was two years in the making. Here’s my description from the gallery listing: Chocolate cake with caramel buttercream. Covered in chocolate fondant. Han is made using modeling chocolate. Dusted with Moonstone Luster Dust. Also, it lights up! A year later I made him a Max Rebo cake: Chocolate cake infused with “duchess first love tea” from tay tea, chocolate bavarian creme filling, vanilla buttercream covered with chocolate fondant. Max Rebo is rice crispy treats covered in colored modeling chocolate.

This weekend I also happened to be working on a small cupcake request. My husband wanted me to make Minion Cupcakes for his boss for her birthday. They were fun and super easy to do. I love how cute they came out and am proud of the great responses on not only my post of them on Facebook, but on her picture she posted of them. It makes me feel good.

Cakes should automatically put a smile on the recipient’s face. That is the BEST payment (money is definitely good too) I can get. The reaction I get from anyone who’s ever asked me to make a cake for them is why I do what I do. That is my passion. Baking, decorating and making people smile with their treats I make for them. I don’t know them, but I put heart into all that I bake. Sure, in the beginning it was dodgy at best. Anyone starting out in cake decorating has hit bumps (literally) in the road. Now it’s a craft of love and patience. The latter… well… let’s just say I have good days and bad days, mostly good.

 

So, I’m imagining, while you’re all reading this… you’re wondering where my birthday fits into all this. Well, tomorrow’s the day, as mentioned before. It’s bittersweet, and not in a chocolate kinda way either. There are a lot of things I’m so incredibly thankful for. Just about 35 years ago, I happened to come into the world of all the days on my grandfather’s birthday. He and I were like two peas in a pod. Here we are (below) at his surprise 80th birthday (my 21st). We had drinks, cake and family that day. I’ll never forget it. Do I feel like I did at 21 now? Well… maybe a little… plus a husband, more responsibility, regular job… oh and kids… they’ll make my day the way it should be… or at least wake me up for the good parts.

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A Few of My Favorite Things…

Happy Almost Valentine’s Day Everyone!!! I hope everyone is having a great year so far since last I wrote. We’ve gotten lucky so far with the weather, but tonight into tomorrow we’re in for a bit of a doozy. I’m hoping that, should we need to do regular grocery shopping tomorrow, we won’t be surrounded by those folks who think the world will be ending with a little bit of snow and picking up their “French Toast Emergency Kit” (Eggs, Milk, Bread).

So here we are… mid February. It’s a good month. Lots of things happening this month. Waiting for the arrival of a new cousin. Can’t wait to meet him or her. Lily came with me to the proud mamma’s baby shower and was surprised it wasn’t raining actual babies. The way she thinks, it makes me smile. Imagination this kid has is amazing! Which brings me to my first favorite thing of the year. They’re not in any particular order by any means.

Lily’s art… She’s a great artist even if she’s only 4 (going on 5 this year!!!)

Susan Strong and Peppermint Butler

Jake the Dog and Finn the Human

The Ice King and Princess Bubblegum

She LOVES watching Adventure Time. She’s been drawing the characters from the show a lot. Not too shabby if you ask me. It’s a great show, although I’m thinking it might be a tad old for her to really comprehend, but it’s all good.

Next, might as well get the naughty favorite out of the way. And yes this is still a safe for work, if anyone reads this at work, blog. I really like Speculoos! A lot… probably more than anyone should really like such an evil and delicious treat. Think a bunch of cookies mashed up in your mouth like gingerbread, gingersnaps, butter and sugar cookies to make a consistency not unlike peanut butter. That’s what it is. A cookie party in your mouth. No need to make a sandwich with this stuff, you can just take it by a spoonful and enjoy. Trust me… if you like cookies, you will LOVE this stuff. We have not a speck of speculoos in the house so I’m really craving it’s deliciousness right about now.

And to counteract the naughty goodness that is speculoos, we move on to my next favorite thing of 2012 so far… that is… drumroll please… weightloss. Yes. So far so good. My husband and I are doing pretty well on WeightWatchers right now. I’m hoping with weigh in tomorrow morning I will have lost a full 10 pounds since starting this in the beginning of the year. Slow and steady is my preferrable method. The weight didn’t get here in one night, so I definitely don’t expect it to leave in one night either, but it would be nice… Hey… a gal can dream can’t she?

I’m really liking making crocheted items. I recently made a cute little octopus toy for my hubby (Steve). The little guy came out really cute. I shall call him Grape-topus due to his really nice purple color. Steve requested button eyes. I complied mostly because I hadn’t had the opportunity to obtain a bag of safety eyes I had been searching for. Thanks to a podcast I listen to (which is yet another favorite thing to be discussed shortly) I now have a new place to order them instead of a store.

So, podcasts. They’re fantastic! I admit, I listen to them at work just about every day, all day long sometimes. It helps me focus better. You might think they’d do the opposite, but really, it helps move the day along and provides entertainment.

My podcast listening consists of a wide array of topics. I’m geeky, nerdy, crafty you name it, I might fall into the category, even with just one pinky toe. SassypantsKnitter is currently a video podcast by a lovely woman who’s as crafty as she is sassy. I watch her podcast during my lunch break if I happen to be working on a crochet project. She shares her life and projects and makes me really really really want to give socks a chance. Socks make me nervous. I tried to crochet some, it didn’t work out. The circle got twisted and I ended up with an infinity loop. That is a “to hold for later” project.

I also listen to a vegetable gardening podcast from a guy in New Jersey. Every week I get so buzzed about starting my seeds and plantings. I’m very anxious for gardening this year. Can’t wait to put up my new greenhouse and get started (Spring, please hurry!!!). Mike gives lots of really good tips and also has a seeds of the month club. I can’t decide what to pick up personally. I have a stash of seeds from last year that need to be used. Need to test and see if they’re still good and all that jazz. Looking forward to dirt under my fingernails and the smell of fresh soil and veggies!

Lastly, not the last podcast, but definitely worth mentioning. Nobody’s Listening… one word: FUNNY! James and John, plus hopefully the regularly occuring Ethan are hysterical. It’s almost dangerous for me to listen to this at work. Let’s just say, have tissues at the ready. This is a clean podcast, language-wise anyways. The humor and stories… they can get a bit disgusting, gross, crude, but honestly, so hilarious, this chick was nearly hyperventilating during the podcast about “Fresh Hot Pizza”. I had tears streaming down my face listening to this one. Had to break it up between two days as I was trying to fight uncontrollable laughter in my cubicle. Thankfully, no one came by my little corner of the office or I’d have had to explain myself.

So there you have it folks. My small list of things which are my favorites for the beginning of 2012. This year, I think, is a year of change and productivity. Looking forward to a lot of things. My cousin’s baby should be arriving any day now, I’m turning 35 (OMG!), my son turns 2 next month, my brother gets married in April, daughter turns 5 in June, it’s going to be a good year… or else!

Side side note: I’ve got a goal for myself that needs to be at least close to accomplishment by my birthday this year. I’ve got a couple weeks to make it happen. Wish me luck. You don’t need to know exactly what it is right now. If I told you there’d be trouble with a capital T.

I leave you with this. Eat crispy kale folks. You won’t regret it. Instead of popping a bag of potato chips, grab a bag of kale, rinse, toss with olive oil, garlic powder, dash of salt, ground pepper, chili powder and bake at 350° until crispy… it’s flipping delicious!