Monday, June 28, 2010

Wedding Cake: Final product

After a nightmarish baking day on saturday which lasted from 9:30 a.m. until 7 p.m. at my house and continued on well until midnight at my sister's house to complete the 12 inch layer.
We did it, we actually pulled it off with time to spare. Sunday was a complete 180 from our experience on Saturday...Thank goodness!
Set up was a breeze, the wedding was gorgeous, and I am thrilled that my sister and I kept our cool when the kitchen got hot and walked away from this experience happy and still loving each other.
More pics later, but this girl is T-i-r-e-d!

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Wedding Cake: Day 1

My sister came over at 9:30 a.m. to get started baking a red velvet and cream cheese 3 tier wedding cake with me this morning. We have been anticipating this challenge for months, and today was THE day to get it done. We started off laughing, joking, picture taking...and then...It was one disaster after another. After spending 4 hours on the 12 inch round, we trashed it..There was no saving it, as the cream cheese in the frosting caused the cake layers to slide apart which would have caused each tier to lean like the tower of Pisa.

We ended up trashing 2 cakes today..and throwing the cream cheese frosting idea out the window once my sister realized that the heat and cream cheese do not mix. So, unfortunately, to save the cake and make one that will look and taste nice tomorrow, we made buttercream frosting to frost the remaining cakes.

Today was the worst day of baking, ever.

Stay tuned for round TWO tomorrow..Everything will come together and it's going to be gorgeous!

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Curtain Call

Not sure if my sunshine will ever forgive me for making vintage floral cafe curtains for our kitchen windows. He isn't really a curtain guy, but I'm not really a "hey everyone come look inside my house" kinda girl, so, needing a project to occupy my time, I took 3 1/2 yd of vintage floral fabric, and made cafe curtains.
I was going to make a valance for them, but when I told my ol man about them today (after I bought the supplies), he informed me that he was just about to outfit our entire house with new blinds. The nice ones..Ah well, until then, I like the Anthropologie-esque-ness of my new kitchen curtains.

You know, my sunshine should be counting his lucky least this time, my project didn't involve a gallon of paint and our bedroom wall.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Lem'me see your Tootsie roll

These were/have been one of my all-time favorite candies, ever. Neccos trumped them for a long while, but ever since New England Candy Co. changed their Necco recipe, I'm giving tootsie rolls a major lead in the "best candy ever" category.
One of my BFF's, Sara aka. "Ma'am", sent me this recipe a long long time ago, and I used to make these and homemade Cadbury Eggs ( only my Cadbury eggs did not turn out so egg-like, but they tasted good!..that's a whole nother post.) all the time...until I got onto a health kick, and my sunshine and I pretty much banned anything but veggies, rice, potatoes, meat and egg whites from our shopping list.
Now that we're back to living life as normal people who eat just about anything, including sugar ( sugar makes everything does ranch..but don't get me started), I wanted to make something fun..and so I pulled out my trusty ol Tootsie Roll recipe and got to work tonight.
For those adventurous enough to make their own, the recipe can be found here...(courtesy of I tried something new tonight, and it worked like a charm..wanna know what I did?
Sure you do.
I poured all of the ingredients into a Sturdy Gallon Size Ziploc, and kneaded the "dough" together through the bag, until it was mostly combined. Once it was like "clay", I dumped it out onto my silicone baking mat which was covered in powdered sugar, and kneaded it a bit more..Then I divided it into 4 sections, and rolled each into a rope, then cut pieces off and wrapped them in wax paper squares.
And voila, There you have your tootsie roll!

My inner Eeyore

As an earlier post of mine mentioned, I have been blog-stalking NieNies dialogue's for the past few nights, and am almost caught up to the present...and the discovery of this blog could not have been timed any better.

This week, simply put, has been a woe-is-me week.

Woe-is-me that I'm not a teacher with a summer vacation to spend chasing my kids around..God I long for those days...and it was my plan, long become a teacher and a mom, but a turn of events in my early twenties put a hold pattern on my plans to become an elementary school teacher. I did teach pre-k for 3 years, nannied for 2, and abso-freaking-lutely adored those years. I got to be creative, have some fun, and laugh A-lot...Someday, I will be able to enjoy summers again, with my own children (there's some positve thinking), and maybe even meet up with their dad for lunch at the park..But for now, hubby and I slave away at the office, hoping that those days we look forward to become a reality.

Woe-is-me that I'm STILL not pregnant.

Woe-is-me that I have a wedding to attend this Sunday, and no one willing to do hair and make-up, so therefore, I will attempt to do my own while watching a youtube tutorial on "smokey-eyes" through my computer screen..pretty sure I am going to look my my nemesis, the raccoon..but, I have to try..because hell, no one else is going to do it for me.

My hair, well, let's just hope for a good hair day, and patience in myself for doing a complete I usually get lazy half way through and end up with the front looking like a party, and the back looking like I touched a light socket. But hey, I love the new that's a plus.

I have a few other woe-is-me's, which include not having my sunshine to kiss me goodnight ( I really love his kisses), or to talk-his ear off during supper, or to debate whether or not we feel like going to the gym for a workout vs. grabbing some Taco Bell and watching 30Rock ( gasp! Yes we eat T-Bell). He was in Spain this week. He was home last week. He was in France the week before..and the week before that, he was throwing a bachelor party for his little brother, and the week before that, I was gone at the coordinating bachelorette party..So uhm, yeah, I sorta miss his face. Like , A lot.

Snivel, Snivel, Snivel.

And then...I read NieNie's Dialogues.

And I watched a clip of her appearance on Oprah, and an interview she has done with a lady who joined her for a tour of her home and daily life/struggles. And in the interview, the lady comes across a photograph of the Nielson family..A photo of the family BC ( before the crash), and OMG! they were the posterchild for Anthropologie ads..BEAUTIFUL. The lady starts to get teary eyed as she tells Stephanie ( NieNie) how beautiful she used to be..and asks if Nie Nie feels like that is a different person than who she is now..and Nie Nie takes a minute and points to her husband and her children in the photo, and tells the lady that she has everything she needs right there in that photo. The crash took away her looks, but it did not take away her family.. and hearing her say that puts it all in perspective.

And all at once, I felt bad about my woe-is-me week. The Nielson family has it all right and I am thankful for their blog for pointing it out to me..I need not reach any further than my own family and close friends, and I have everything a girl could need.

The reason why I'm tired...

Is because I have been up late the past 2 nights in a row, reading through the archives of this fantastically written blog by Stephanie and Christian Nielsen, an American couple with 4 children who survived a near fatal airplane accident. This blog, "NieNie's dialogues" , chronicles life before the accident ( Stephanie has immpecable design taste..just take a look at her house!), and a glimpse of what their life is like now, and the long journey of recovering from massive burns that each must undergo. The love this couple has for one another will bring tears to your eyes at times, but there are just as many laughs to go along.
Check it out, and I can almost guarantee, you'll spend an hour or two reading about this family and the amazing recovery that NieNie is making.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Seeing red

My newest Ruby Red slippers...Or rather, 5 inch heels...I'm in LOVE.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

For the love of PB&J

Here's a snipet of the guest blog I did for my sister @ her blog out for the recipe to these delicious summertime cookies.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

GB: A sister's perspective

A while back, my sister, Stephanie, at asked me if I would like to guest blog about some of my sweet treats. I've entertained the idea for a few weeks, and have finally decided what I want to guest blog (GB) about...In exchange, I asked her to share an aunt's perspective on the loss of her niece, and her relationship with me over the past year. I thought this might help out the family members of other BL parents, since there doesn't seem to be a whole lot out there directed at family members who certainly feel the loss as well.
From Stephanie...
As an aunt, a sister, a sister in law .. this has been one of the most challenging years I've ever experienced in my 38 years. Thinking back to the beginning of 2009, there was so much happiness in our family. We were all so excited for Nick & Brie. After a loss in 2008, we felt 2009 was going to be the year that they would finally have their baby. Taking myself back to late April when we found out Baby Z was a healthy baby girl..I remember pure excitement & relief to hear she was healthy. I don't think I put the phone down before I was already ordering a custom onesie that said "My Auntie Steph thinks I'm the cutest baby ever". It was true, without even seeing her, I knew she would hold my heart forever. What I didn't know was she would keep a part of it...and make part of it lost forever. One year from her birth, I still wonder what could have been...5 years from now, I will still wonder... it's a piece of me...of our family that will always be a unknown.

Being an immediate family member has proven to be tough at times... I became a major part of my sister's support system. At first you don't have time to think about how you's all about them. At some point you stop, you realize what YOU have lost..a niece, a nephew.. a part of your family and you grieve. My sister and I are very close. She knows I never judge her, she knows I will always support her, we've been though a lot, especially over the last 15 years.. through it all, we will always be there for one another in good times & bad. I tend to be the mediator of the family, I want everyone to be happy and content. I had to realize that I could not fix this for anyone... all I could do was listen and all I could say is "I'm sorry".
Unless you've lost a child you can not say "I know what you are going through" or "You're young, you still have plenty of time"... it doesn't make the parent feel any better about their loss. The best thing to do is be there, don't be afraid to talk about the baby, listen to them and give them the support they need. Supporting the parents is the best thing you can do.

I have become very sensitive to how children are treated by their parents. I hear a mother yell, "Stop that, you are such a brat." I cringe & think to myself, "She really doesn't know how lucky she is to have that child." Never take for granted what you have, it can be lost in a heartbeat.
I hope that someday soon, my sister and brother in law will have a happy healthy lil' one in their arms ... a lil' one that an auntie can spoil with lots of love. I'm so very proud of the two of them... they've made it through something that many couples are not strong enough to get through.


Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Packaging Cake Pops

Thanks to Bakerella, I love making cake balls and cake pops. I discovered their greatness last year when my college girlfriends were in town, and one of them was talking about yummy cakeballs. I googled "cake ball" and that's how I found Bakerella's website, and it was choc full of those sugar bullets.

Fast forward a year...and I still like making them, but usually opt for cakeballs due to the ease of transporting them vs. the pops.
I recently saw a cute gift giving idea using what I suspect to be floral block (or styrofoam) in a cute basket, which acted as a base for keeping the cake pops steady and upright.

After a quick trip to the Dollar Tree, I found a basket, a piece of floral block, and a cellophane basket wrapper for a grand total of $3. I decided I was going to make a cake pop stand myself. if it flopped, at least I only spent $3, right?

Step 1: evenly space and mark floral block 1" from edge. I made room for 8 pops.
Step two: trace and cut out the same size circle out of scrapbook paper. Place on top of the floral block, mark where the holes are, and use a hole punch to punch out holes to match with the holes in the floral block. ( As you can see, I used a ballpoint pen to push through a hole..lesson learned, ballpoint pens don't make clean punches)Step 3: Put the foam block covered in scrapbook paper into the basket. I used a round floral block and round basket which measured just a 1/2 inch larger around. (No, your eyes aren't playing tricks on you, I switched the girly floral paper for manly navy blue to go with the basket). Add cake pops to the basket. Step 4: Wrap with cellophane and tie a bow. Voila! A smile in a basket that can be delivered with ease. This one's headed to a High School Grad tomorrow night.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Moustached Paisanos

I couldn't NOT post this photo my sister just sent my way.

Jimmie Vendrame (Brie's grandpa) sometime in the 80's....
There's about a 30 year chunk of time between the photograph of my grandpa sportin the handlebars, and this one of my sunshine..but they both rocked them equally well. Think the the trend might catch on?