Monday, May 30, 2011


Thank you to all of the servicemen and women who gave all for our freedom.
And thank you for those who stand for us today.

Thank you to my "Grand-dad", whose old war medals I cherish.

Thank you to our family and friends who have fought and served,
Dad, Randy, Joe and B.J.

Thank you to those of you I do not know by name.  

My family and I appreciate you, care about you and pray for you daily.

We are a proud American family!

Saturday, May 28, 2011

It Goes Like This...

"Mama, can we pleeeeaaaase ride our scooters today?"  
I say, "Sure, but you have to promise to actually ride them."
Three sets of eyes staring up at me; "We promise!"
I say, "OK...let's get ready then."

1. Get out gear...

2. Elbow pads on...

3. Knee pads on...

4. Helmets on...

5. Carry 2 scooters, a tricycle, a camera and a 2 year old across a busy street while holding hands with a 4 and 5 year old...

Ride around for ten minutes...

Decide they are hungry and need to  come home for lunch.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

The Last of the Cake Files.

 I'm not a baker; just a mom who likes making special things for the people I love. 15 years ago my mom and I took a cake decorating class at our local Michaels store.  It was a fun experience for us and here I am, years later, still using the basics I learned so long ago.  

When my daughter turned two I began my obsession with themed cakes.  I have my own little process that I use when I make a cake.  I Google search cake images, visit party sites and baking sites, and of course I check out the cakes on Coolest Birthday which displays thousands of homemade cakes made by moms just like you and me.  

The process goes like this...I bookmark several cakes and choose elements I want to incorporate into my own creation.  I never copy a cake exactly, but I borrow ideas and mesh things together to come up with something a little different.  Occasionally I have to come up with an idea on my own but I always find something on the internet that I use as a guide to help me with my creative confection.

Here's a peek at some of the buttercream concoctions I've come up with...

Keely's "Purple & Pink Kitty Party".  This one was tough!  Lots of carving and stacking layers to get the 3D look.  I've learned to stick to more basic shapes.  However, I will say, this cake was a big hit with my birthday girl.

My little one, Gage, had a "block party" for his first birthday.  His name fit perfectly on the sides of the cake.  The inside was 4 layers (yellow, chocolate, yellow, chocolate).

Cash really wanted a bulldozer...a bulldozer!!!  I was lucky enough to find a tutorial on-line.  I used two loaf pans for this. Thank goodness for Google!

The bulldozer cake was too small for the whole family so I used the same idea as the "Cars" cake (see last post) and changed it to look like a construction site.  The kids went nuts for the Oreo road.

Friday, May 20, 2011

The Cake Files...

To piggyback off of my last post, here are some cakes that were made after the original owl cake.

My son Cash's first birthday cake.  Hey...I tried and remember, it was made with love.

My daughter Keely's Pinkalicious cake for her 3rd birthday.

An Expression of My Love....

My daughter Keely was in love, (make that obsessed) with owls from the time she learned to walk.  When thinking of a theme for her second birthday party the only logical decision was to have an owl party.  This was back in 2006 and I had never heard of these over the top, crazy expensive, themed parties that are now being thrown.  But I took the owl idea and ran with it.  We had owl pizzas, owl cookies and of course we had to have an owl cake!  

I had never made any kind of cake except your standard 8 inch round...usually with canned frosting.  This was a challenge for me!  

Here it is.  My first attempt at a themed cake!

Even though this certainly is not the most beautiful cake ever made, it was made lovingly from my heart.  The best part of all is it inspired me to want to make more!  This cake started a tradition!  My kids all know that Mommy will do my best to make them an extra special birthday cake, every year, any theme, any color, any flavor.  Their cakes are unique and special (and not quite perfect)...just like them.  Making a special cake is a huge expression of my love.  If I make a cake for you, it's because you are very important to me!

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Toy Story Mania Cake

It's tradition!  I always make birthday cakes for my children's two best friends' birthday parties.  Each year they "put their order in" and look forward to having a fancy cake to go along with their birthday theme. Apparently they think I'm some kind of professional baker because the requests are getting harder and harder.  I usually panic at first and decide there is no way I can possibly make the cake they requested (this is also true for the cakes my own kids request) but then I quickly realize that the kids don't really care if the cake is perfect which allows me to relax a little and get to work.

For Reese's Toy Story cake I knew I didn't want to attempt making a specific character.  I also work strictly with buttercream so getting that perfectly smooth fondant look is usually out of the question. 

For the bottom layer, I decided to go with a Buzz theme.  I used a butter knife as a straight edge for my lines and a large decorating tip to make circle indentations.  Then I went back and iced over them.

Bottom layer completed!

The second layer was Woody inspired.  I don't usually make layered cakes so luckily I remembered to use dowels in the two bottom layers (something I learned the hard way on a previous cake) and I put a glob of frosting underneath each layer to adhere them together.  

Happy Mother's Day!

When I became a mom...

For the first time...

For the second time...

For the third time...
(in three years)

I have the best example!

Happy Mother's Day to my amazing mom!  
I love being a Mommy!