Sunday, September 25, 2011

And I'm back....

If you remember my last post, I was kinda worn thin on cake decorating. Honestly I think it was more of being worn out in general. I had lots of cakes, which was fantastic, but I also had lots of other things going on. I've got my day job... then I might have also gotten a night job baking... and we might have started a little home renovation in the midst of everything else... After saying that, I'm sure you have no pity for me whatsoever. Because I'm the one who chose to work another job and I'm the one who came up with the idea to renovate our pantry. And I kinda feel like a pitiful person saying all of this because I know there are moms out there doing it all. Working, taking care of one or more children, managing their home, doing their dream job on the side etc etc. So I don't quite know what to say. I'm not hear to whine, but explain what happened and admit I can't do it all. (Hopefully you magically obtain those superhero powers when you give birth. I have a feeling I'll need them later in life.)

Pretty much what was going on was that I was working all of the time; whether at my "real" job or my baking job or my "cake job." With working at night, my schedule was completely turned upside down. I had been going to bed at 9 pm (no, I'm not ashamed :) and getting up at 4:30am (ok, not everyday, but 3 out of 7, but the point is early). All of the sudden, I'm staying up till midnight or later. My body was confused. For at least a month I was exhausted every morning. Even when I had had plenty of rest.

On top of that, I had cakes. So if I got home from work at 11 pm... there was still more to be done. Over the past two months I have stayed up somewhere between 2-6am. The night/morning I stayed up till 6am, I ended up getting to see my hubby off for work (one perk). I slept 2 and a half hours then was up to finish the cake. I understand that happens sometimes, but the fact that I wasn't getting started on things till midnight is not really what I prefer. I don't want to come off sounding that I'm not willing to put in the time to do this because I still do love cake decorating, but I don't think this is the best way to go about it.

The worst part of all: I didn't get to spend my evenings with my husband. We were long distance for 3 and a half years. I only got to see him, maybe, once a month. We've been married almost 3 years now and I still cherish the time we get to spend together. Sometimes you have to make sacrifices, but this situation is completely under my control and I can change it. I love baking and decorating cakes, but my husband definitely ranks higher.

Anyway, blah blah blah... we finished our pantry!


I love it so much. It is amazing! The pictures might not help much, but in the room that you see in the after picture there was this tiny pantry (in the before pic). That was the storage. So we knocked it out and made the whole room storage!! I'm not going to lie, it was a lot more involved than I thought it would be. We ended up redoing sheetrock, painting, ceiling, tile... whew! And my husband did most of the work, seeing as how I was usually otherwise occupied. I helped as much as I could though. I painted! And I did some caulk work (ironically since it was a lot like icing a cake. It's got to be smooth). This weekend I was able to rearrange a lot and I think most of everything has found a home. There will always be readjusting, but I think we're settled for now. 

I finally got a break. We hit the beach last weekend for 3 marvelous days. I hope to move closer to my family one day, but the greatest thing about where we are now: close to the beach :)

Of course, there are always cakes to do also...

Hopefully you can't tell the ones that I was rushed with or that I am not that happy with. Is it bad to admit that I'm not happy with my cake? I just feel I could've done better on some. Sometimes you encounter annoying issues such as lumps of powdered sugar in your buttercream! (I started using Domino's p.s. because it's 10x powdered; therefore no sifting. No problems until recently. No clue what the problem is. I sifted yesterday just to be safe. Annoying but the result is worth it). Or like really sticky fondant... turns out fondant can expire. Who knew? haha... I will say I'm happy with that last cake there. Simple but just how I wanted it. I think I was able to get the icing pretty smooth and a good shape for a square cake :) It's amazing what a difference it makes working without stress. 

I can get discouraged easily. I get really jealous at looking at other's cakes and their just amazing (example: shebakescakes. On her fb she said she started two years ago. She is amazing! I love looking at her cakes - when I don't hate her for how good she is :) But it's important not to compare. What good will it do? I printed out a bunch of pictures (I hadn't printed any cake pictures in over a year).  Looking at them, I can tell I have improved. Maybe not as quickly as others, but oh well. I have work I am proud of and I plan to just get better! So my inspiration is back! Would it be ok to quit my jobs and just decorate cakes at home?? Hmm... maybe one day...

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Wedding Cake No. 3

Another wedding cake done. Whew. I've hit a wall... I cannot believe I'm about to say this... I don't want to think about cakes. I don't want to make one. I don't really want to see one either. I want a clean kitchen and I want a free night. A night to relax with my husband. Scratch that: several nights to relax with my husband. I want to go to bed at a decent hour. I want to be free of the incredible amount of stress I have felt lately.

Do not misunderstand me. I am pretty sure I won't be giving up my hobby. But I need a break. I think I've taken on a little too much recently. I hate to admit that too. Since April 30th, I have done at least one cake (or cookies or cake pops) a week. That might not sound like much and it wasn't for a couple of months. It's just all piled up. In roughly a month I have done 3 wedding cakes/groom's cakes. That's a really big deal to me. I'm very glad I had the opportunities and do not regret accepting them. But I don't remember the last time I've felt that much stress.

I just need to clean up the kitchen and finish this pantry construction. Did I mention we are redoing our pantry? It'll be very helpful when done, but it's just more going on in our house. But my hubby has done an amazing job!

I just have to hang in there for 2 more weeks and I get to escape for a weekend! Yay!

Anyway, on to these cakes... I've got a few random pictures.
Here's the enormous 14". Notice how I've worked it out so the cake is cooling on all 3 cooling racks. I probably need some larger ones. Also note the time. 2:40. That's a.m.
This is "orange" velvet cake! The groom's cake was an Auburn theme and red velvet has a close resemblance to Alabama. So why not make it orange? I'm not sure how much I really liked that color, but it was done and it had a purpose so hopefully it went over well.

The bride never decided on a design so I got to choose. We had planned to do a 4 tier round cake. I was excited about this because the last two wedding cakes I did were alternating shaped tiers. That's fine, but I was looking forward to doing an all round cake. I saw the bride on Monday and she asked if I could do the alternating shapes. Whatever the bride wants! Fortunately it was supposed to feed the same amount of guests as the July wedding cake I did. So I already knew the sizes to do and I happened to have a 8" square cake dummy. Perfect! I tested out my design on the cake dummy a couple days before.
I really liked it. Of course, I didn't think about the 14" square would (hypothetically) be the same height so I couldn't make the decoration any bigger because that would make it taller. Fortunately, I think it turned out alright.
Here's the fun with Cricut Cake.
But I was able to figure out how to get it to cut nicely. Isn't it wonderful?! :)

Wondering about that groom's cake? Here you are...
That's cream cheese icing. Have I said I hate c.c. icing? One day we'll become friends. Hopefully. I have to give it some credit though. It didn't fall off the cake. Yay!
Tiger Stripes
The making of the stripes

If you've paid attention to the weather (which I normally don't, ha) there's something going on in the gulf. Results: constant rain.

Here are the cakes, ready to go!
(The big one had a garbage bag ready to go)
Thank goodness the rain cooled down the temps.
And my sweet hubs pulled my car as close to our front door as possible. Soon after I finished everything, the rain let up and we were off! And we were ahead of schedule. That's the way to do it!
The rain didn't let up when we got there though. The trash bag cover up worked well though. All turned out fine.
I really like the mirrored table.
All done and ready to relax!!
13 days till the beach :)
I hope it's not raining then!