Not a fan!

There are certain things that the masses adore but I just don’t.

  • Pumpkin Spice Lattes from Starbucks (or anywhere)  I’ll probably be labeled a communist for saying this but it’s true.starbucks-pumpkin-spice-latte Meh.  They just don’t do it for me.  And I’ve had one recently so I can say this.  It’s just like pumpkin scented coffee for me.  Now, whip me up a Peppermint White Mocha and we’ll talk!
  • Jennifer Aniston.  I know she’s like America’s sweetheart or something.  And she’s super cute, I’ll give her that.  But to me she just plays the same character over and over in her movies.  And she never seems happy or especially smiley.  OMG if I were her (mega rich, beautiful, engaged, employed in a fun job like acting) I’d be grinning from ear to ear all the time.
  • Birthday Cake.  I like angel food cake and pound cake but birthday cake’s texture I just don’t like.  Especially those from the grocery store or a mix.  For my 40th birthday I had a giant fruit pizza instead of a cake and I was thrilled!  I love to look at gorgeous cakes but I don’t want to eat them.
  • Milk chocolate.  I love dark chocolate and even white chocolate.  But milk chocolate just isn’t my thing.
  • Shopping.  I would MUCH prefer to shop online than just mill about in a mall or a string of stores.  If I have to go to Target or another store I’m in and out with a list.  I hate waiting in line and I really hate being on one side of the store and realizing what I need is on the other side.   If I HAVE to shop brick and mortar then please take me to Target or IKEA.  Otherwise I’m online!

What popular thing just doesn’t do it for you???

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CSP turns 40! Third & final day of birthday bonanza!

Monday CSP & I met up with his parents at The Liberty Gastropub in SouthEnd for birthday lunch.  After lunch CSP & I went home to get Zoe then we headed out to his parents’ house for dinner, cake, and presents.  They had their tree all decorated.   Zoe LOVES going with us to her granparents’ house.  Usually it means lots of treats and a present or two, even though it’s her daddy’s birthday.  We had a lovely dinner then it was time for cake and presents.   Notice a theme?  Purple & yellow for the Minnesota Vikings, CSP’s favorite team.  Zoe helped open presents  then got tired and just wanted cake.   The big present of the night was a custom jersey with CSP’s name on it!  He was thrilled!    He had a wonderful 40th birthday.  People kept telling him he doesn’t look 40.  The waiter at Growler’s said the same thing.  He said “You don’t look 40.  And I normally save that for the ladies.” ha!  It was a fun 3 days.  Next up on the list of 40th birthday celebrations- our cruise in January!!!

Things I am truly BAD at

There are some things I just can not do.  Or, at least can not do well.

  • Sing.  Sure, I can physically sing a song, but it won’t be in any key you’ve ever heard, although your dog might join in.
  • Dance.  I have no rhythm.  None.  Even when I’ve had a couple grown up drinks and think I do?  I do not.
  • Back up in a car.  Just ask my recycle bins, shrubbery, and neighborhood children.
  • Cut things.  I can not chop, slice, dice, or Julienne.  I mean I can do it, but my knife skills rival that of a blind 2 year old.  Once at my birthday dinner my MIL wanted me to cut the cake, which was a beautiful cheesecake she made from scratch.  I made one erratic, sloppy slice that took considerable effort on my part (and I thought looked pretty good for me) and my MIL quickly gathered everything up and ran back to the kitchen to cut the cake herself.
  • Stay still.  I’m a fidgeter.  I have tons of nervous energy.  I just can’t be still.  Waiting in a line quietly is full on TORTURE.
  • Watch a movie without saying a word, laughing out loud, crying out loud, or screaming.   I can’t help myself, I get into movies.  Don’t believe me?  Ask my sisters why they fight about who HAS to sit next to me, not who GETS to.

Fore my Papa

For Papa for Father’s Day this year I decided to make him a golf ball cake since he’s a huge golfer.  I’ve never made a golf ball cake before so I was a little nervous.  I baked a cake Saturday night in my Pampered Chef Batter Bowl.   I sprayed flour/baking spray into the bowl first and the cake popped right out when it was done.  Perfect!  Then Sunday morning I  carved the top of it (or I guess technically it was the bottom of the batter bowl) and made it more round.   I made cream cheese icing then colored some of it blue and some green and left the rest white.  I made a little flag out of a toothpick and a piece of paper.  Then I iced it.  For the dimples I used the end of a spoon dipped in hot water (so it wouldn’t pull any icing away).  He loved it!

Wanted: Mustache on a Stick

While planning Shannon G’s mustache themed baby shower I had to decide on a traditional cake or go with cupcakes.  Her favorite flavor of cake is almond (like me), so I knew I could pull that off.  But making a cake that would reflect both the mustache and baby girl theme was proving daunting.  Plus, I have this fabulous 3 tiered hot pink server that I’ve been dying to use.  So cupcakes it is!  I knew I wanted the icing to be pink but I needed a mustache in there…enter mustache on a stick!  I Googled mustache on a stick and found a ton of them at Etsy. LOVE Etsy.  I found quite a few sellers with mustaches on sticks but the quality just wasn’t all that great.  I was thinking maybe I could make them myself but then I saw MaroDesigns and everything changed.  Their attention to detail is incredible and more importantly they are affordable.  I knew I wouldn’t be able to buy all the supplies and make my own mustaches on sticks for near the same price or quality.  I messaged them and told them I needed 20 mustaches on sticks for cupcakes and would that be possible?  Sure enough they were able to create adorable little staches that were perfect for my cupcakes!  The tiny mustaches were delicate and fragile but they were packed with such care that they arrived in perfect condition.  I could not wait to use them!  They were the perfect size for cupcake picks AND for holding up to your face to be your mustache for photo ops!  Be sure to go check out MaroDesigns for all your things on a stick needs!

I made almond flavored cupcakes and homemade almond buttercream icing.  I couldn’t find hot pink cupcake liners that I liked so I used silver foil.  They reflected the hot pink of the server so they appeared pink until you took them off.  Genius! I added tiny little white sugar pearls to girl them up a bit.  I was very pleased with how they turned out! 

Lemon Sunflower Cake

My Mom’s favorite color is yellow so I wanted to make her a yellow themed cake for Mother’s Day.  But not actual no flavor yellow cake.  So I used a white box cake mix (I’ve heard pros say that cake mix is just as good as homemade and I believe them- except pound cake but that’s another story).  I added lemon extract to get a hint of lemon flavor.  I didn’t want it to be overwhelming. I separated the batter and colored part of it yellow using my Wilton icing color gel in Lemon Yellow. I separated the batter then colored half of it yellow Then I scooped the batter into the cake pans. I made a different pattern this time. I scooped the batter into the cake pans I made a huge batch of buttercream icing then separated it out and colored the batches. I made a big batch of lemon flavored buttercream icing then made all my colors I’m not as pleased with the finished product as I’d like. The flower petals drooped. Darn heat & humidity! Final product.  My sunflower petals drooped cause of the heat & humidity.  Dang Summer! Final product.  My sunflower petals drooped cause of the heat & humidity.  Dang Summer! The inside came out all swirly yellow & white. The inside. All white & yellow swirly. Gigi LOVED the cake. Papa did too. Yay! It was really tasty, if I say so myself!

Carolina Blue Birthday

Friday was Papa’s birthday.  Saturday we gathered together over at Papa & Gigi’s house to celebrate.  I baked Papa a Carolina Blue cake to celebrate the occasion. I used this cake as inspiration.
First I mixed up white cake mix then separated it out into two bowls. Then I colored one with Wilton icing color Sky Blue to make Carolina blue. First I mixed up white cake mix then separated it out into two bowls.  Then I colored one with Wilton icing color Sky Blue to make Carolina blue. I added white batter then blue. It settles into concentric circles. I added white batter then blue.  It settles into concentric circles. It looked so cool when they came out of the oven! This is how they looked when they came out of the oven.I looked up UNC’s logo online and drew it onto the cake. Then I filled in the lines with blue butter cream (all icing made from scratch thank you very much) and outlined it with white. Finished product. Then I painted blue glitter gel onto the blue icing to give it sparkle. Papa LOVED his cake! Papa loved his cake! He even went and put on his Carolina Blue shirt. Papa was really surprised when he cut into the cake. He was really surprised when he cut into it. The inside was all fun & stripy! The inside.  All fun & stripy! Click on all pics to enlarge.