Sunday, November 1, 2015

The Walking Dead

Hey all!
  This Halloween I got to make a Walking Dead cake!  It was so much fun.  The cake itself is my favorite Vanilla cake with vanilla buttercream filling and painted vanilla fondant on the outside.

I love the zombies behind the fence.  I wanted to take a picture while I was doing it and kept thinking about it but I was in the zone and couldn't stop.

And of course there's Rick Grimes.

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Icing Smiles - Jazmyn

I have been working at the deli in the grocery store by my house for about 5 months now.  I really enjoy it, but there is not much scope for the imagination, as I have to stick to certain designs and colors, and everything is either a 9" round or a sheet cake.  Bright side is I've gotten incredibly fast (60 cakes in 8 hours anyone?) and I've reached the expert level on piping buttercream borders.
There's just a few things I've done since the last post.  The one I want to talk about in this post is the last cake I did for Icing Smiles.
When I was contacted for this cake, Jazmyn wanted an Elsa/Frozen cake.  I was so excited and I started making her this bust for the top.  I had it all worked out and I made up many different types of snowflakes, bought some mystical snow sparkle dust, you name it, I got it.  I haven't made a Frozen cake before (other than at the bakery where I was working off someone else's vision) so I was super excited.
The party was postponed because Jazmyn needed to travel to another state to get medical care.  Poor baby.  When they returned, she had decided that Monster High was much more her speed, so I ditched Elsa (alright, she sat in my closet for about a month afterward, waiting for some little kid to want her, THEN I threw her out).
I got started on Jazmyn's cake with four days to go.  It was a three tier cake, Almond, Mocha Chocolate, and Strawberry flavors.
I was so humbled delivering this cake the day before the party.  Let me tell you folks - I have a kid, and he's rough and tumble, he's hale and healthy.  Nothing makes you hold your baby tighter than coming face to face with another parent's worst nightmare.
Jazmyn loved her cake.
I emailed my contact for the family about a week later for more pictures and was informed that she had passed during her party.  She didn't get to taste the cake, but I was told she was so excited and happy, taking all her guests directly to her cake and proudly showing it off.
Her funeral was packed with people mourning and the family requested that everyone wear something hot pink in her honor.
Fly high, Jazmyn.

Saturday, March 21, 2015

Another Hiatus!

And I'm back!

It's been quite a while yet again but here I am, writing another saga of the cake journey that is my life!

Here's a brief sampling from 2014.  I was working at a bakery during this time.

2015 started off like any other year, with more cakes!  I did many more than these but these are a few of my favorites!

Happy Caking!

Thursday, August 1, 2013

So I Bought A New House!

I've been consumed with being a first time homeowner.  I have four colors of paint in various places on my body and my fingers are still sticky from epoxy from my nightly task - one hour gluing pennies to the floor in our Jack and Jill bathroom.  I'm maybe 1/20th of the way there and it's been well over a week.
Here are the few cakes I've done since we last met:
Karate cake for 8th birthday!
Toy Story cake, fondant with plastic figures on top.

Ombre petals cake with gumpaste medallion.  I really need to use a better camera than the one on my iPod, which used to seem so awesome but now it just seems to be lacking in the resolution department.
I feel like I should be posting pictures of my amazing home makeover, but perhaps waiting for more to be accomplished first is better.  Brief summary for those who care:
New pot rack is up on the vaulted ceiling!
Dearest hubby installed the best ceiling fan evar in the kitchen!
The bearded dragon has a new 75 gallon terrarium!
The walls in the den are Intense Teal, the kitchen is called Tango, but it's really a bright warm orange, the living room is a light sage green, and our bedroom is on its way to having dark gray walls!
I decided on a steampunk bathroom, hence the penny floor you've probably seen on Pinterest.  I still need ideas on this!
Front porch got stained to match the shutters before it started raining again!
There's a hammock in the back!
I bought a new throw pillow.  It really ties the room together, as the den has a few Moroccan accents.
Stinkie's little room off the den (little means LITTLE, it was a storage space) is becoming more of a fort with a few installations.
Hubby mounted the flat screen to the wall with a full motion mount and ran the wires through the wall so there's no unsightly mess!

We have plans on so much more as time and finances allow.  This is really the coolest thing I've ever done.
Stinkie is going to be starting school this September.  I'm excited and scared and nervous and proud all at once.  We did school shopping at Target and it was the most interesting experience, participating in the rush instead of just grinning at it.  I ordered a (hopefully) really cool backpack off Amazon for him with spikes all over it.  Oh and I made his little clipboard awesome with some scrapbook paper and DIY modpodge-ing Calvin and Hobbes.
I suppose that's it for now!  Till next time!

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Hey Richmond Parents! Summer's Here!

  Just a quick note to spread the word about a great little program I found out about on Richmond Moms this week.  It's  and it's a wonderful way to get informed about all the great options out there for Summer camps in the Richmond area.  It was started by Richmond mom Jennifer Ertl and her husband.
  Clicking the link will take you directly to a page full of information in an easy format to read, complete with links to all the information you need to keep your little one(s) busy this Summer.
  Thanks Jennifer for the great site!

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Butterflies and Pills

I made up another batch of the Key Lime Cupcakes for a small celebration with the neighbor girl, who is always helping me with things like what Disney Princess is worth creating on a cupcake or just generally stroking my cake ego with oohs and aahs.  Such a sweetie!
I had bought some of these tiny butterfly cutters and I am really enjoying them!  These ones are white gumpaste that I let dry then airbrushed a few different colors.

I made the letters using Tappits Funky Letters lowercase set.  I found the best way to get the letters out was to use some marshmallow fondant with Gum-Tex, then roll it into a very thin sausage shape.  I'm talking thin enough to read a newspaper through!  Let it sit for a minute like that, then cut the letter you need with a very well sugar dusted cutter, then smack the cutter on the counter edge very hard.  The letters should pop out.
Anyway, I attached the letters to toothpicks with royal icing and stuck them in.  And found out I'm in love with Tappits and butterfly cutters.  Ah the joys of new cake toys!

I was given the opportunity to recreate a wedding cake in a cupcake for a ten year wedding anniversary.  This is what I came up with:

Basketweave buttercream with fondant rosettes and little pearls.  It's not the greatest photo, but you can see the custom cupcake box I make for my cupcakes a bit.  Guarantees they don't slide around and mess up the design!

This cake is for a graduating pharmeceutical rep.  It's what's known on the street as a "Perc 30" but is actually a 30mg Oxycodone and a yellow Paxil bar.  Strawberry cake with marshmallow fondant, and the Paxil bar is Rice Krispie Treats with fondant.  The prescription slip is just painted fondant.

I found a very cute picture of Dora online and made her out of fondant for the top of this tiny 6" round cake.  I got to use the butterfly cutters again!  This time I wanted a more simple look so I just used colored fondant, but I did airbrush the base cake to give the illusion of sky and grass.

I really love this little figure's cute little face!  At first, I didn't have Backpack and Map on Dora's back, but my kid came downstairs, saw the cake, and insisted that Dora ALWAYS has Backpack and Map and I had to include them.

This cake is a Baby Minnie Castle cake for a sweet little girl turning 1!  The mama gave me the candle topper and I worked around that for the colors and design.  I used the Wilton castle set for the towers and covered the spires with fondant and little vines and flowers.
And I got to use the Tappits again!  Yay!

Sunday, April 21, 2013

And Now, For Something Completely Different

Buying a house.
For the first time.
I'm completely terrified and completely thrilled.
  This journey started and stopped abruptly a year ago, when we had a junky agent who refused to show us short sales or anything she didn't "like".  We gave up a couple months into the process and figured we'd wait to move across the country and buy a home there.
  Then our apartment complex took a weird turn for the worse and we looked at our lives and realized that we needed someplace to call our own, someplace quiet, someplace where there weren't gunshots and loud car stereos.
  Commence finding a home.  We knew nothing at all about the process, even though we had looked just a year before, nothing had looked good enough to consider buying.
  We have pretty much no money down, so our lender said the FHA (specifically VHDA) loan would be the best option.  What's the difference between an FHA and a Conventional loan?  Put shortly as I understand it, FHA won't let you buy a home that needs repairs.  Our agent said "it can be God-Awful ugly but can't have wood rot on the windows or damaged siding."  The idea is that the bank has to know you won't have to come in and spend money right away.  This includes TINY things that, if necessary, you come in the middle of the night to fix before the FHA inspection.
  Now for something called the GFE (Good Faith Estimate).  When you go to a lender to get pre-approved, you can ask for or they will give you a GFE.  This lists ALL fees associated with them lending you money.  There's something called Junk Fees  (that's the clickable link to Investopedia, where there's a lot of good information) which is fluff matter that they don't really have to charge but they will because you don't know what the hell it means.  What the junk fees mean is they just get a little more money out of you in a contract form.  You NEED to read about the mortgage contract!  Learn what the terms all mean.  Ask the lender guy (or gal) to explain things to you AFTER you've spent a few hours learning about them so you can ask knowledgeable questions.  Click around at the Investopedia website I linked above for a couple hours and you will learn a ton.
  One very important thing I learned about is Private Mortgage Insurance.  This is $141 a month that you pay because you don't have 20% down.  It's a VERY BIG DEAL.  You pay this insurance until you owe less than 78% LTV (Loan to (assessment) Value), then you have to pay for an assessment to get it taken off.  Our broker said that after June, PMI will be PERMANENT for the life of an FHA loan (but I'm not certain on a conventional loan).
  So we are currently at the point where we have put a bid on a house and the other agent asked for $1000 more and we agreed, so we have a verbal agreement.  We will find out today if they signed the contract or not, and we go into a whirlpool of getting to closing in 34 days.

 Here's the house we picked.  There is no picture of the large back yard for some reason.  I don't know if the listing will stay up at that link after closing though.  If this is meant to be, it will be.  Keep us in your thoughts!

Thursday, March 28, 2013


This is my 100th blog post.  It seems like such a large number and I am coming to grips with how many stinkin' cakes I've made!
This week's cupcakes were pulled from Southern Living's Big Book of Cupcakes (same place I got the recipes last week for the Key Lime Pie cupcakes).  That book is amazing.  Say what you will about the internet being a great resource for recipes, I've never had a recipe from a published book go awry.
These cupcakes are a Scattered Lavender cake (fancy way of saying there's lavender flowers in there) with a Honeyed Mascarpone frosting, topped with lavender brittle (SO fun to make!) and a few lavender flowers.

So happy with this recipe!  Instead of using the regular butter cake recipe as the book suggests, I added about 2t crushed lavender to the mix during creaming.  It really added something.  The brittle looks awesome in the pictures and is fun and delicious to eat by itself, but as part of a cupcake, for me, it was a bit annoying to have basically a piece of sugar glass messing up my creamy frosting!
Happy caking, happy eating, happy Spring!

Friday, March 22, 2013

Key Lime Cupcakes

I decided to try out a new recipe, and thus I present to you Key Lime Cupcakes!

SOOO yummy!  White Citrus cake with Key Lime filling and whipped cream frosting, dusted with graham cracker crumbs and a few strips of lime zest!
This was so good.

Saturday, March 16, 2013

More Princess Dresses!

So you remember a few posts back when I made some Disney Princess Dress cupcakes and fell in love with them?  I had another chance to make some so I did that with a few changes.  I didn't manage to take any pictures of the finished cupcakes myself but the client was kind enough to take these for me!
Snow White and her apple.  I think this one is my favorite.  You can see Rapunzel peeking out from behind her a little bit.  I didn't get a picture of Rapunzel by herself.  I like the little ruffled lace at the top of her corset and the painted scrollwork on the skirt.
Belle, a close second.  I love the draping.
Cinderella, a classic princess!
Aurora from Sleeping Beauty.
Tiana from Princess and the Frog, with her cute little leaves and vines!

My original thought was to make little items to go with each cupcake, like the apple on Snow White's dress.  However, I did the apple, then spent 20 minutes trying to make a tiny high heel out of fondant and just gave up.  I would put the slipper with Cinderella, a rose with Aurora, a book for Belle, a frog for Tiana, and a frying pan for Rapunzel.  Wouldn't that have been cute?  Yeah.  I think so too.  However, the client didn't ask for it and I just lost the inspiration trying to make that stinking little shoe :)
This is a great picture of the top view that I love!

Monday, March 11, 2013

Pastels and SpiderMan Cupcakes!

I think I'm really getting into doing cupcakes recently, which is something I always thought took more time than they were worth.

This first cake was...difficult.  I know it doesn't look like it, but for some reason everything went wrong!  I ended up finishing the cake at midnight and when I woke up in the morning at 5am, I hated everything about how it looked so I tore off all the frosting and made it all again!  Both the cakes and cupcakes were airbrushed to be pearly.

The Spiderman Cupcakes were a surprise.  We went to visit relatives down in Virginia Beach and through a series of miscommunications, I didn't make cupcakes to bring.  Then commenced a fun filled rush to the store with a packed car of family, including two teenage girls and two five year old boys :)  It really was fun!  The girls (who are my nieces) helped me pick out the design for these cupcakes and helped to decorate them.  I had more fun with these little cupcakes than I thought possible.  The picture was taken by my Niece's Instagram and I think there's some kind of filter on it but you get the general picture.

I heart my nieces!