Saturday, February 27, 2010

My new hobby!

I know, I know! Like I really need ANOTHER hobby! Just add it to the list...Photography, Beading, Sewing and now Baking/Decorating. I'm blaming this one on my friend Amber! My interest all started when I saw the beautiful cakes that she had made. After talking with her about them it made me wonder if I too could make some fun creations. As much as I wanted to try my hand at it tho I put it off...there was just too much going on at the time and I was still working. Then the time came for Luke's 2nd birthday and of course they don't offer store made cakes featuring his favorite thing in the world at the moment...Yo Gabba Gabba! So, my options were to either choose a different cake or try to make one myself and know that he would be beside himself thrilled.

The first thing I needed to do was find the figures...for without the figures the cake would just look like some crazy rainbow exploded! I searched two Targets and failed both times. Finally we hit up the local Toys R Us. As we walked down the aisle a light shown down from heaven and the angels sang as we spotted them....okay, it wasn't quite that dramatic but we were all pretty happy to finally find them! I wish you could have seen the look on Luke's face...that boy was SOOOO happy to have his Gabba friends! Unfortunately now we were faced with another problem....the boy had a death grip on those toys! He wouldn't even let them out of his little fingers long enough for the cashier to ring them up! All the way home he tried his best to open that box too...if it took him all day he was going to get that thing open! I decided it was best to let him have some play time with his new toys and just pray that one or more wouldn't get lost so when the time came to decorate the cake they would all be ready to take their places as part of the decorations.

Due to the snow storms we had to postpone Luke's little family party a week. On Saturday (2/13) I baked the cakes and made the icing. It was fun (and quite the workout) making the icing...well, the workout was more in coloring the icing! Being a little bit of a perfectionist it took me a while before I was happy with the colors. I was able to get the cakes base iced and stacked that night and into the fridge. The next day I made a smaller batch of icing so I'd have a couple more colors for accents and then got to work. It was SO much fun to decorate this cake. My only problem was that I didn't have all the right tools so my icing wasn't quite as smooth as I wanted but from a distance it wasn't really noticeable. When it was completely finished we realized that one of the Gabba friends were missing...Brobee was nowhere to be found! OH NO!!! So the search was on...thankfully Ed was able to find him and he took his designated spot on the very tip top of the cake. DONE! Luke was loving it! It made me so happy to see the smile on his face and know that he was more than pleased! I've attached some photos below of the cake and the happy birthday boy. :)

Now I'm hooked...well, more than hooked...I think I'm addicted. I want to make more cakes but yet it's probably not wise to eat so much cake so here I am waiting for more opportunities to make them....or at least opportunities to take them somewhere for other people to eat them! Who really needs a reason for a cake?! My next experiment is going to be marshmallow fondant. I actually made a batch this morning and can't wait to give it a try! I'll be sure to post pictures!!

Monday, February 8, 2010

Adventures in Winterland!

It all began on a cold, dreary Friday...sounds like the beginning of an adventure doesn't...well, it was...the beginning of our adventure in winterland! Friday afternoon, February 5 it started to rain...around 4 the rain began to turn to fine snow and soon that snow turned to big, wet flakes. At 4:30 Aaron was at work and Ed called to say he was on his way home and the roads were already covered with about an inch. When Ed got home the snow was really coming down and we could see that what the news was predicting was actually happening. (I know, not too often that it happens but I guess even they are right sometimes!) We got the boys snug in bed and were watching the word outside transform into a beautiful white winterland. As we were looking out the back we noticed some branches had fallen from one of our trees and that's when the lights flickered. Great. The power quickly came back and we began to gather flashlights and all the candles. We waited a few more minutes and everything seemed to be fine. We sat down to play a game to pass the time until Aaron was supposed to get home from work when everything went dark....and this time the lights didn't come back on. We lit some candles and watched the snow pile up...looked like there was at least 4 or more inches out now...we were starting to worry about Aaron getting home. Thankfully Aaron called before he left and he took the 'easy' way home and didn't have any issues until he went to pull up in front of the house. At this point it was about 11:30 and we were still with out power. Ed went out to help Aaron clear a spot for his car and that's when we saw how deep the snow was...there was at least 12 inches already and the snow was still coming down in big, wet flakes. I'm not one who normally likes snow...to me it just complicates things...but this snow, as inconvenient as it was...was beautiful. It was amazing because even tho there was no power and the sky was covered with snow clouds there was this glow outside. It was so bright you could easily read a book with out any lights out there! Since we still did not have power we gathered up all our blankets and made sure the boys were well covered. We went to bed hoping that we'd wake up with the power restored. Unfortunately we woke up to more snow and a cold house.


We bundled the boys up in layers, hats and coats. Even Sean was in two blanket sleepers and his hat! We boiled some water (thank goodness for our gas stove!) and made some hot cream of wheat and coffee (thank you french press!). We called Ed's parents as well to see how they were doing...thankfully they still had power. By 9 our power was still out and that's when I started seeing Luke's breath. We couldn't stay here any longer...it was getting too cold. Ed and Aaron bundled up and headed out to dig out the car so they could see if we'd be able to get over to Ed's parents. We also started gathering up clothes and such in case we had to stay the night. Ed called to tell me that the roads were bad but that we should be able to make it over to his parents. When they got back we loaded up the car and packed all six of us into the little red civic since it was the best car in the snow.


Now normally it takes us about 7 min to get to Pat and Ed's house...not so much today. We drove along 906 which runs right along side the river....it had been plowed but you could not see the pavement. Rather than 18+ inches of fluff it was compacted into probably 4 inches of packed snow...not fun for driving on. An added danger were the trees...there were so many branches and even entire trees on the road. It was like driving thru an icy obstacle course. Thankfully Ed is a wonderful driver in the snow. Me, I sat in the back praying the whole way. The original way Ed wanted to go ended up not working...we got about 1/3 of the way down the road to find out that it was closed due to fallen trees. I was a little worried at this point...were we going to have to turn around and go back home? Ed drove in reverse (very skillfully I might add!) back down to the main road where we tried a different route. Thankfully this way was wider and we were able to get around the branches and such on the road. We were almost to my inlaw's street when we noticed that it had not been touched at all. We decided that we were close enough to walk the rest of the way. Ed dropped me off with all the boys. Aaron carried Sean in his carrier, I carried Luke and Will walked. Well, that didn't last long. Walking thru what was now about 20" of snow is not easy....especially when you're only about 4' yourself. Poor Will kept falling. Thankfully there were some men outside who I asked for help. The one put Will right up on his shoulders and walked the rest of the way with us. I think the total walk was probably about 3 blocks. Once we were in the house (Yay warmth!!!) I called Ed....he couldn't find a place to park the car. Aaron went back out to meet him at the end of the street and they drove around a bit till they found a safe place to dig out a parking spot. Finally around 12:30 or 1 we were all safe and warm! Whew! What a day!! I'm so thankful that Ed's parents were there to give us a warm place to stay and company to keep our spirits up.


Sunday morning came....it was Luke's 2nd birthday!! What a birthday for the little man! We hung out a while...made some breakfast and tried to keep the boys busy. Ed and Aaron dug out Pat and Ed's car and then hiked back to our Civic to head home to check on things. While they were gone Pat pulled out some cake mix so Will and I could make Luke a cake. If we couldn't have our little party that we originally had planned then we were at least gonna give the little guy cake! While the cake was in the oven my phone rang...I held my breath....Ed said "Do you hear that?"...I listened...it was the sound of our TV....we had power!!!!


When we finally got home I think we all breathed a BIG sigh of relief! Whew! After cooking up some late lunch we got Luke's cake out and sang to him. At first he didn't know what to do and actually hid from his cake! Finally he realized it was a good thing and let Will help him blow out his candles. Will pulled out the gifts and Luke was happy as can be with his new things! He will never remember but it was quite a crazy birthday for my little man!


This is the view out our back window. The poor tree was so heavy from the snow!


Branches that were falling from the bigger tree. You can also see the boys out back with the neighbor digging out the car.


Birthday boy Luke hiding from his cake!


Now there's a happy birthday boy!