Tag Archive | cakes

The Days that Time Worked in my Favor

At the beginning of any extended vacation time  from work, there is a spring in my step, an unrealistic to-do list of Pinterest projects to try, and a feeling that the world is at my feet because time is on my side. I can easily organize the responsibilities of laundry, cooking, and cleaning with a lighthearted attitude.  I am so sorry  for those that  have not been able to feel that luxury of ‘time’ every once in a while because the opportunity to refresh is so important for one’s health.FullSizeRender (3)

This weekend, my husband surprised me with a road-trip for my birthday and our anniversary. Our definition of road-trip is: get in the car and drive to some undetermined destination.

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We spent two days driving to small towns, roaming around, talking, and laughing. Letting go is good and we both know that we have got to take these mini-vacations more often. We have decided however, that Siri will always travel with us in case we need assistance with gas station locations, hotel choices, and restaurant recommendations (that is a whole other story and one that we will laugh about together for years to come).

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With Love,

Penny

 

 

On the First Day of Vacation, My True Love Said to Me….

“I really need you to come down and help me with a food drive that we are having at work from 10:00-2:00” Grrr! Those were the words that  my husband said to me on the morning of my first official vacation day. He is such a romantic….literally, my heart just fluttered at his request. So…. in 97 degree heat, we trudged downtown, bagged canned goods, loaded them into vehicles, and delivered them to the local food pantry.

Honestly, it was a great experience, and I enjoyed working alongside with the people that he works with day in and day out. They all gave up their Saturday to participate in this gift of service, which says a lot about their sense of community and loyalty to their employer. I was especially impressed by two high school students that were working at the food pantry . They brought shopping carts out to us and helped us load and unload all of our bagged items. Both of them were so willing to help and truly shared their sense of service with us. In a world where the media portrays the negatives of our society as ‘the norm’, it was so refreshing to see ‘norm’al teenagers working for a cause.

With Love,

sunflower

 

 

Cropping…The Greatest Invention Since Sliced Bread

Seriously, whenever I take a picture, I look at it afterwards and wonder how I could even hit ‘click’ (or push that little circular doodaddy when I am using my phone because I don’t even own a real camera anymore) without seeing all of the distractor factors that take away from the image that I want people to really focus on. I get so frustrated with myself for not being more observant beforehand. For example, yesterday I stepped outside to take a picture of our American flag hanging alongside my father-in-law’s  flag (as he was a Vietnam Vet). Even though I see  the front of my house at least four times a day, I  guess that I have been oblivious to the few remaining Christmas light hooks on the gutters or the poison ivy vines struggling to stretch across to a high traffic area where they can wreak havoc on  ‘people with sensitive skin’until I witnessed it through the eye of the camera lens.So, of course, I have to take my frustrations to a whole other level because I just can’t let sleeping dogs lie (or is it lay?).

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My dog, Reeses enjoying a nap on my Bandana Wreath Project

Wouldn’t it be awesome if we could ‘crop’ out the the parts of our lives that have been awkward or embarrassing to us? We could just go home each day and view all of the events, then tweak them by cropping the visuals or clicking on delete for spoken words that spill out without careful thought! That’s right, just crop out those distractor factors or daily regrets. I know that I would certainly feel better if I didn’t have to spend time at the end of each day reflecting about its events.

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2016 High School Graduation Cake – Sweet Girl is Baylor Bound in the fall 

This morning, I delivered my final graduation cake for the spring of 2016. I can’t lie, it felt wonderful to wash the icing residue out of my hair and off my face before I drove off to deliver it. #2jobsrenoughjobs!

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Graduation Celebration following Church Services

Now it is time to wrap up my last week at school for the summer. Phew! I have so many unfinished projects around the house that I know my next couple of weeks off will fly.

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Cupcakes for a Cutie! Senior 2016

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This responsible young lady ordered her own cake and was so appreciative when I delivered it to her. I love working with such gracious, thoughtful young adults.

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Fortunately, I didn’t have to make any of my deliveries by boat this year. 2016 will go down in the books as the year of Flash Floods in Texas!

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 Whoo – hoo! It’s time to put my handy-dandy mixer away for a week, and celebrate a clean kitchen.

For the remainder of the afternoon, I will be kicking my feet up, relaxing with my slippers on (even in Texas during the month of June, my feet get cold), and watching the Hallmark Movie Channel!

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With Love,

sunflower

It’s Measurement and Celebration Time

Ahhh, Fractional Parts and Conversions- a couple of important skills you really need  to have a true understanding of when baking. I can’t say that math has always been a strength of mine – I can remember my dad working with me on my math homework in junior high and high school. I still struggle with really grasping the concept of when the denominator gets bigger, the amount is actually less. It just goes against all common sense for me. After all, when the number on my scale gets bigger, I am not getting skinnier!  Aren’t the words ‘bigger’ and ‘larger’ synonyms? Okay…..back to why I am talking about this and my baking.

At the end of the school year, I am always extremely busy wrapping up things at work and I tend to get bombarded with cake orders for special events: graduations, bridal showers, baby showers, and retirement parties.  For the sake of time, it is really important in May and June for me to stay organized. It is a bother to look up conversions when I am baking  because I have reached the age where I can no longer store all of that information in my memory (Actually, I can’t even remember what day of the week it is anymore).IMG_0206

When I was painting my kitchen cabinets, I decided to make myself a cheat board on the inside of my spice and seasonings’ cabinet. It has really come in handy and it was extremely easy to do. A little chalkboard paint, a paint pen, and painter’s tape were all I needed for this DIY project!                                                                                                                                           011ec957fb293f80f436d459392e6c3bd8b3bb0a45_00001

These cupcakes were for a very special retirement celebration. It was a picnic theme and the hostesses did a beautiful job with the decorations! It was a special treat for me to make this soon-to-be-retired-lady’s cupcakes because she just happened to have both of my sons in kindergarten a few year back – they are now 23 and 25 years old!

This shower was for a teacher who is a bride-to-be. Unfortunately, she won’t be teaching next year. I don’t know why when people get married they have to go off and live with their spouses. But, I guess these two were ‘Mint To Be Together’.

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Okay, this is not a cake – but another one of my dear friends had a retirement celebration this week after working for 31 years in education. Amazingly enough, I had to use a bit of math on this project too!

Happy Celebrations!

With Love,

sunflower

 

 

It’s All About That Cake (’bout that cake)

If you were to look up the definition of  ‘Nervous Wreck’ in the dictionary, I am quite certain that you would see my picture as a visual representation and it would probably even have an unflattering caption underneath about my physical responses to stress. I  really can’t explain why – I grew up surrounded by a loving and supportive family. I did well in school and got along fine with my peers. But, in spite of it all, I can remember as far back as third grade and attempting to hide my anxiousness that was so extreme, it made me sick to my stomach. I have tried every remedy known to man to relieve my stress to no avail; so for me, it continues to be a daily struggle.

 

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Go figure – instead of avoiding situations that cause anxiety, I seem to select hobbies that have the word ‘stressful’ written all over them; for example, cake decorating. The challenge of taking on new cake designs is like an obsession for me. This past weekend, I had multiple cake orders  and each one had a special meaning to me!

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I  managed to survive and get all of the cakes completed and delivered to their correct locations with time to spare, but going back to ‘work’ on Monday was a killer.

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I really did feel like I had just played in a ballgame that had gone into extra innings! Then Tuesday rolled around, my kitchen was clean, and I had already started thinking about the orders that I have for the upcoming weekend.

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 Welcome back, stress! Good-bye clean kitchen!

With Love,

sunflower

Storms and Showers

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Creatively Blue

‘Tis the season for showers – showers other than rain showers. I am talking about baby and bridal showers. If you happen to decorate cakes as another source of income like me, shower season is a busy, busy time.

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When there is busyness, no time can be wasted on the inconveniences of Mother Nature. So, what’s a gal living in central Texas to do when there are cakes in the oven baking and it is storming outside, but she desperately wants to  re-paint some much neglected wooden frames? Just sitting around waiting for the oven timer to go off is not an efficient use of time; therefore, it makes perfect sense to set up a painting station right on the living room floor. It would be ridiculous to do it at the kitchen table because of all of the cake items in the way. Besides, it is easier to watch episodes of Fixer Upper in the living room.

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Life is about seizing the moments, not waiting for storms to subside and oven timers to ding!

sunflower

Let’s Talk Weddings

 

Hmmmm….what is the definition of micromanaging? I have come to the conclusion that I must have a micromanagement disorder (otherwise known as M.D.). Actually, I am thinking that I might have the disorder with additional issues – the one that is labeled M.D.H.D (Micromanagement Disorder with Household Duties).The definition of M.D.H.D is as follows: an obsession with spending an overabundance of time cleaning and staging a small section of one’s home while purposely remaining oblivious to the rest of the household which looks like tornado alley.

I have seriously thought about medication for this but when I have seen the commercials on television for the prescription, the actual side effects sound a whole lot scarier than the disorder. After all, watching an hour long television show without an advertisement for some sort of medication with serious side effects is impossible these days. Disclaimer – I don’t think that M.D.H.D. is an actual medical diagnosis yet, but I am living proof that it could be one! 

It is a beautiful Saturday here in central Texas, so let’s look at the advantages of having Micromanagement Disorder instead of the side effects shall we?

One of the advantages to being a micro-manager of a wedding reception is the feeling of control you have, even if it is just a false sense of security. When we celebrated at the reception in March, we had been planning it for almost a year and we were in charge of the decorations, the food, the cakes, and the order of events.

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I am pretty sure that the wrinkles were out of the tablecloth before the reception began. Yikes!

Don’t get me wrong, when it is down to the wire on wedding day and we are trying to manage the timing of everything, the idea of having someone else bring in the food or the cakes, or even just to have a separate clean-up crew is tempting.Not to mention that prior to the event, anticipation often invades my sleep for several nights  as I continue to go over and over checklists of every little detail in my mind. IMG_1582

But, eventually the moment arrives at the end of the evening when everything is packed up and we are feeling achy- muscle fatigue achy- as we wearily head home. It is then, that reflecting on the events of the day makes everything worth the work/the planning/the anticipation/the sleepless nights/ the aches and pains.

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Sweetheart Table

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Photo Booth Scrapbook Table

Reflection does seem to dull one’s memory (for example – the experience of giving birth doesn’t seem that bad following the fact). Reflecting on the expression of the bride and groom’s faces throughout the evening, witnessing the re-connections between family and friends in a time of celebration dulls the memory of all of the hard work leading up the event. Even reflecting on the memories of the stress points is a joy. Spending time in a panicked state with special friends who enjoy this work as much as I do is priceless.IMG_1591

And then, just like childbirth, I can’t help but smile to myself as I relive the memories and I am ready to take on another big challenge all over again…….A wedding, not childbirth!

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Happy, Happy Mother’s Day!

With Love,

sunflower