Monthly Archives: May 2012

The Evolution of a Dream


As far back as I can remember, there have been two foods I absolutely love, ICE-CREAM and CAKE.  I think it’s no mistake that the two go so well together (but not in the same bowl, I don’t like the ice-cream making my cake soggy, or my cake making my ice-cream gritty).  I can eat good cake and good ice-cream until I’m sick!  Given my love for both, it was no surprise to myself when I first realized I would love to have a bakery and decorate cakes and bake all day.

It started about 11 years ago when my college roommate and I started baking cookies (LOADS OF COOKIES) and putting them in decorated bags for our friends at the UC (secretly of course).  This spread to more baked goods and dinner parties.  I started baking and “decorating” cakes for the birthdays of some of my close friends.  I knew at that moment I wanted to keep doing this and learn more so my creations would look (and taste) better.  When I was planning my wedding, I even thought about making my own wedding cake.  Thankfully my mom talked me out of that one.  After all, I was already arranging all my flowers and making my really long veil during a very busy semester my last year of college.  I’m sure it had nothing to do with the fact all of my baked goods up to that point tasted great, but lacked a little in the looks department.  I wish I had some pictures to show you of some of my first stacked cakes, but if you were one of the “lucky” ones, you probably remember all too well and were just nice enough to not let me know it wasn’t exactly pretty.

After I was married and finished with college, I realized the dream I had of taking some decorating classes wasn’t really going to fit with my budget, schedule, and location.  I put this hobby aside and went on making an occasional cake or something for church and work pot-lucks.  Then we moved to La Grange, TX.  I stayed home with our 1 year old and decided I would like to start baking again and since I wasn’t going to be able to take some decorating classes, I decided to get the materials and teach myself with the aid of the internet.  Some of my cakes did not work as planned, but I still learned, and had a blast.  With every cake I have baked and decorated I’ve improved and learned something important about the art.

This is one of the first cakes I decorated when I was still dabbling.  I had not decided to really learn how to do things the right way. I still had the idea stuck in my head that I had to take a class in a classroom to teach me how to decorate a cake.  I didn’t realize I could learn, on my own, with some great resources.

These are some cupcakes I decorated about the same time I made the butterfly cake.  I still thought it was possible to use canned frosting (yuck!) to decorate.  It really does not taste that great, and it doesn’t have the right consistency or body needed to decorate a cake, or cupcake with!  It does take color fairly nice, but that’s about it!  If you need to use a canned frosting, make sure it is a decorators frosting like Wilton or a brand like that.  I recommend making your own.  It tastes better, and you can make it the consistency you need for your project.

For a little while, I made a bunch of cupcakes.  These are my favorite ones.  They are strawberry with a 2-toned buttercream.  I think they are some of the prettiest, and tastiest cupcakes I make!  These would also be wonderful with a cream-cheese frosting.

Naturally, the more cakes I made, the more I improved.  I started bringing a cake each month to our church potluck so I could get the practice.  Originally, these were to celebrate the birthdays in the month, but I just decided to start bringing cakes.  Here are some of my favorites.

This cake was the first time I started using scrollwork and I realized how much I like to pipe.  I think it’s pretty fun.  This is one of my favorite cakes because of its simplicity.

Who doesn’t like cheesecake right?  This is my favorite cheesecake to make.  It is called Cinnabon Cheesecake.   

The rose cake was inspired by the hymn “Where the Roses Never Fade.” This was the first time for me to make buttercream roses.

 The first “big cake” I made was for my sons 2nd birthday.  It was the first time I had ever worked with fondant.  I had several ideas for his “Toy Story” party and went for it.  It was definitely a learning experience, but I am still proud of this cake!  I learned a lot about working with fondant and gum paste, and I learned a lot about stacking cakes!  

I made everything on this cake except for the Buzz and Woody figures.  I thought they would be a little too ambitious for my first attempt with fondant.  Plus, we already had those figures.  I just washed them and added them to the cake with all of the other pieces.  My favorite figure was Slinky Dog.  He even “slinked.”  I was also very proud of my “Barrel of Monkey’s” monkey.

As I made more cakes for different occasions, friends started asking me to bake cakes for them!  In one month, I made several graduation and birthday cakes.  I finally began to feel like I was realizing my dream!


This going away cake is one of my favorites.  It was my first attempt at sugar flowers.  I didn’t have any cutters at the time so I hand cut all of them.  I like the way they turned out. The colors and scrolling also turned out nice.

I made this daisy cake for a wedding shower.  I used daisy cutters for it.  I purchased them after I made the going away cake.  Cutters make it a LOT easier to get nicer flowers with uniform petals. 

This graduation cake was fun!  I used a paper template to cut the silhouettes. I did a lot of grey and black because the two graduates this cake was for are both boys and their school colors clashed.  They both liked the cake, so I was pleased with it!  

In the year and a half since I have been baking and decorating cakes “seriously,” I have always came back to my dream of having my own bakery.  In the fall of 2011, Texas passed a cottage food law enabling me, and other home bakers, to have our own home bakeries, LEGALLY!  That means I can bake and sell my goods from my home as long as I follow the specifications listed in the law!  This wedding cake is very special to me.  Not only is it my first wedding cake, it was also the first cake I made from someone I never knew before, and it was my first official cake to make from my at home bakery!  
While I still have a part-time job, I am realizing my dream.  I may not have a store-front bakery, and I may never have one, but I finally feel like I am living my dream. My dream has finally evolved into a reality. And perhaps, one day, my dream will evolve a little more. If you have a dream or goal, and something is holding you back, don’t let it!  Go for it!  It may take awhile, but you will never achieve it if you don’t try.  I’m not sure who originally said this because it has been attributed to so many different people, but I love this quote! 

“Shoot for the moon.  Even if you miss you will land among the stars.”

If you are in the La Grange, TX area, and would like to talk to me about cake, feel free to leave me a comment or shoot me an email. 


Technology Dilemma?


This morning, as I woke up and went through my morning ritual of checking facebook and twitter from bed, on my phone, I ran across this blog post that was tweeted by a friend.  It immediately caught my attention because I was doing exactly what the blogger was talking about!  Last night, in my post, I mentioned how I gave up my phone time in the evenings while my son is awake.  When I read this, I realized it wasn’t just about giving it up for a couple of hours a day, I need to give it up a lot more.  For the same reasons I mentioned last night, I realized I need to axe the phone time when I’m with other people.  It used to annoy me so much when my husband would be on his iPhone at a restaurant, now it is common for us both to be at the same table, on our phones at the same time.  What is this doing to our relationship with each other and our son? It makes me wonder.  I’m sure I’m not the only person with this problem because I see it everyday at restaurants and other places.  I really recommend you read this article by Rachel Mary Stafford.  Then, put it into action.  Don’t miss out on your relationships!

How To Miss A Childhood

After all, who would want to miss a moment like this?

New Beginnings


There is something about spring that just screams New Beginnings!  It seems, as our beautiful planet wakes up, we do too!  The flowers, warm temperatures, and especially after last year, the much welcomed rain seem to all work together to give me extra energy and a renewed sense of well being.  I feel extra motivated to get things accomplished.  I want to eat healthier, and do healthier activities.  Every spring simply seems like a new start.

Amongst all of the springtime awakenings outside, I also feel a spiritual awakening.  It may have something to do with my physical disposition, but I think it’s mostly because of the extra time spent in the Word.  Every year, I try to set a goal for myself to read my Bible more than I did the previous year.  By the time spring arrives, I’ve spent a lot more time reading and meditating on the Scripture than I had before.  It’s had time to soak in and permeate my being.  It’s had time to transform my life just as the warm temperatures and gentle rain transform the earth.  It makes me think:

If I would continue to spend as much time in prayer and in the Word as I do leading up to spring, how much more would I be changed?

I always think of Romans 12:1-2 as a “springtime” passage because the transformation Paul is talking about is the same type of transformation butterflies go through.  I guess I think of the “end result” when it comes to metamorphosis and not the lifetime of change it takes to become that beautiful creature.  The more and more I reflect on that passage and what it means to go through a spiritual metamorphosis, the more I realize how the christian life truly is a lifetime of change and spiritual renewal.

That being said, I’ve compiled a short, nowhere near exhaustive list of some things to help me keep this “spiritual renewal” going on.  Feel free to share your ideas as well!

  1. Spend time daily in the Word.  God’s Word has the power to change us.  If we want change and renewal, we must spend time reading and meditating on it.  
  2. Find 1 or 2 short scriptures (or more) that lift your spirits and put a smile on your face.  Memorize them, and when you get frustrated, upset, or sad calm your mind and recite one.  Hopefully this will help put your mind at ease and in a better place. 
  3. Spend some quiet time with your BFF! 1 Thes. 5:17 “pray without ceasing…”  Throughout the day, I try to find ways to talk to God like I would a friend.  I like to think of this as my running conversation with God.  I like to have little conversations and tell God about the funny thing that just happened.  I imagine Him laughing and smiling about it too.  I like to tell Him my innermost thoughts that I dare not share with anyone.  I simply try to tell God everything through the day, just like I would if a close friend was with me.  The more I do this, the easier it becomes and the more I catch myself in these little “conversations” without even thinking about it. For me, this is how I pray without ceasing.
  4. Give something up and replace it with something better.  Recently, I decided to give up phone time in the evenings while Jackson is awake.  Instead of being on my phone facebooking and tweeting, I save it until after he’s in bed.  I realized I was wasting a bunch of time doing nothing.  I could be doing something fun and productive with him.  If I don’t want my son to be lazy and self absorbed, why would I model that behavior? We can do these types of things spiritually as well!  Find something consuming your time and replace it with something that will help you grow closer to God.
  5. Pray, pray, and pray some more!  Find a time to pray.  Since I try to have a conversation with God throughout the day, I try to cap it all off in the evening before I sleep.  Maybe praying in the morning is how you like to start your day.  It doesn’t matter when, just do it!  Find a group of friends and pray with them.  Sometimes the best remedy for anxiety is to tell your friends and let them pray for and with you.  It’s hard to put a value on how important prayer is in our lives.  It puts our mind on God, gives us comfort and peace, lifts our spirits, and brings us closer together.  Don’t neglect it!
  6. Meditate.  Meditate on the Word, meditate on God, meditate on the beauty of His creation.  It doesn’t have to be daily, but find some quiet time, however frequently you want, and meditate.  One of my favorite relaxing things to do is to find a quiet place in nature, sit and empty my mind, and try to listen and see God.

Is Anyone Out There?


I know it has been almost 2 years since I have posted ANYTHING on here, but I’m working on getting some more stuff going.  In addition to some of my random thoughts, I plan on posting about my new hobbies, like my cake decorating.  Since I last posted, I have taught myself how to decorate cakes.  I would like to share a few of them with you.  Anyway, if you’re still out there, I hope you enjoy looking at my updated blog!