Monday, October 29, 2012

Cake finale....part 1

This is a pic of the final cake I made for my cake decorating class.  I actually took this pic at my class before I left......just in case it were to slip & slide & get messed up in the car on the way home LOL.  Thankfully it made it home in perfect condition though.  My preparations were a bit rushed & I didn't have a clear vision of how I wanted my cake to look as I prepared my homework to take to class.  So I'm a little disappointed in the cake for that reason.

I wanted to do a color I hadn't yet done for the roses.  So I chose purple.  For the text I needed to add "piping gel" to the icing & I only had it in blue.  So I had to do my text in blue.  I had thought about doing my roses in blue, BUT I thought to myself that there are no blue roses in real life, so I scrapped that idea & stuck with the purple roses.  And then because I didn't have a clear vision the extra decorating frosting I didn't even color.  I really didn't know if I was going to need it or want.  I had no idea how to do the rest of it prior to going to class.  That's all the beading you see as the bottom border & side of the cake.  I still think it looks nice in white, but would've looked even nicer I think if the color of the roses, text, & beading had all tied in together.

I now went ahead & got piping gel in more colors, so I shouldn't have that issue again. 

For my birthday last month I got money from my hubby, mother, & mother in law.  I did buy something for my son & something for both me & my son & a CD I have been wanting for a very long time.  But the rest of the money was all spent on cake stuff.  I was able to buy a caddy to store all my tools, which is VERY nice.  And then I bought an assortment of small things that will make cake making & decorating easier.  My goal is always to work with the least amount of tools as possible.  I don't like having lots of stuff for anything in life, really, not just the cake hobby.  But all of what I got is very useful & small enough to store away easily. 

I cannot wait to make my next cake.  I already know how I want to decorate it--well, most of it, still not sure on the borders, etc.  I am hopeful it's going to turn out great.  :)  And I think Lil J will love it too.

I can't wait to take the 2nd class.  I asked the teacher when she would be teaching it on a Saturday so I can take it.  She said she thinks she will be in January or February, so I guess I have to wait until then.  She is doing the 3rd class on a Saturday in November, but I still don't think I want to do that class.  It's about fondant & gum paste.  And while I like the look of that, I don't really enjoy eating it.  And an even bigger reason is all the gadgets that are needed to work with fondant.  I dread the cost of all that & having to find room to store it all.  I would really prefer to just limit myself to buttercream & royal icing decorating I think.  Now I never say never in life so I'm willing to say that I might change my mind.  And I know that the 2nd class does teach ONE fondant (or maybe gum paste? I'm not even clear on what the difference is between the two) flower in the class.  So I know there's a possibility that in that class I will absolutely love doing that & want to learn more about fondant & gum paste.  But I'm really hoping I don't. 

I guess that's all for now.......until the next cake then.............

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Simple Woman's Daybook

FOR TODAY:  Thursday, October 25, 2012

Outside my window...  It's been beautiful lately, today is currently in the low 60s but we are supposed to have a high of low 80s.  But overall it's been very tolerable & very beautiful & very "fall-ish"

I am thinking...  about the upcoming election & how & why so many people don't think for themselves & see how deceptive the world & govt, etc are these days......WAKE UP AMERICA!!!!!

I am thankful...  for the discernment & wisdom that the Lord does allow me

In the kitchen...  made my homework cake for my class this Saturday, still need to frost it

I am wearing...  jeans that I LOVE & a grey v-neck top with a pale pink cami underneath

I am working on...  backing up & printing out photos......such a tremendous job, I've gotten sooooo behind on it all; also trying to get all saved emails out of my old account so I can delete that account once & for all

I am going...  to do my final cake decorating class this Saturday--I'm both excited  nervous

From the learning rooms.....  still doing daily Bible study & reading lessons with Lil J; I need to pull out that preschool book once again & see if he's interested now

I am reading...  Farmer Boy from the Little House on The Prairie series & my Bible

I am hoping... to be able to take the next cake decorating class soon

I am looking forward to...  Weddings & Birthdays & Thanksgiving in the month of's a busy busy month for us this year

I am learning.........  to be a better wife--focusing even more lately on intentionally blessing my husband in new ways

Around the house...  last week I was suffering horribly from an IC flare so only got the bare minimum cleaning done....this week I got the bare minimum done (laundry, sweep, vaccum, dust, bathrooms, kitchen) plus I mopped the tiles & cleaned the wood floors & cleaned all the windows (it's a lot of windows in my house!!) inside & out.  I'm hoping to shampoo the carpets next week.

I am pondering...  why some people have to be so intentionally hurtful everytime I let my guard down & why I can't just remember to keep my guard up in the first place

A favorite quote for today...  "true nobility isn't about being better than anyone else; it's about being better than you used to be"

One of my favorite things...  decorating cakes!  and I already know (& am sooo excited) about how I'm going to decorate the next one (after the one I'm doing in class)

A few plans for the rest of the week:  my park days today was cancelled, not much else this week, Lil J goes swimming on Saturday morning, there's a car show on Saturday too, & I have my cake class on Saturday as well.  Church on Sunday & I'm hoping to be able to go buy a couple more pairs of jeans this weekend too.  I was already super short on jeans, & then one of them wore out completely so now I'm trying to get enough to survive for a few more years. 

I am praying for: my stepkids, my mom, for restored relationships, for salvation for many &good health as well.  for healing from IC. for healing for my hubby's throat.

Saturday, October 20, 2012

3 1/2 year update on Lil J

Looking back it appears that my last update was at 37 months.  He's now 42 months.  His weight is still 34 lbs.  His height is still around the same also, around 38" tall.  I recall that at his 3 year well check the doctor said that this is totally normal.  The physical growth sort of stalls out & the mental growth really takes off at this time.

I decided to skip size 4T pants.  He is currently still in the 3T pants that I purchased last fall & this year I bought 5T pants.  I'm hoping it works out.  When these pants get too short I will move him over & I do expect that the 5T will be a tad too long at that time, but I can roll them up for a little while & I do think it will save us money.  Hopefully it works out.

I decided to go ahead & do a blog update because I see him advancing so much mentally these days.  He is able to really think things through & make guesses if he isn't sure of the answer.  He communicates himself really well.  He is able to explain what he wants/needs very well these days.

Beginning in September we started attending church on Wednesday nights as well as Sunday mornings.  He's doing really well with this change.  He used to only go happily when he knew whoever was teaching his class.  But now he doesn't even care who is or isn't there.  He's very happy to be there.  The 3 year olds are split into 3 classrooms on Sundays & two of those classrooms are combined on Wednesdays.  Add to that the fact that there are 3 Sunday services & I am quite sure he must be with kids he doesn't know from Sundays on Wednesdays, but so far he doesn't seem to care.  I do hope that there are at least some kids that he knows, for his sake.  He is still doing really well with his memory verses at church.  He is always a little resistant when it's time for a new one, but each time I seem to find a way to make memorizing it fun.  So far I haven't yet repeated a method for doing this.  It's been a different approach each time & each time it has worked well.

At the beginning of September I also started working on a preschool workbook with Lil J but he wasn't ready yet.  This particular book required a lot of writing on the student's part & he really wasn't ready for that nor was he interested in it.  So far I cannot tell if he is left or right handed.  I am a lefty & hubby is a righty, so it really could go either way.  There are clearly periods of time where he favors his left hand for a while when eating & playing, etc.  But there are also times where he uses his right hand a lot.  I really don't want to persuade him either way.  And Lil J really hasn't shown much interest in writing in general, up until VERY recently.  He is now writing with his finger on the throw rug in the bathroom when he's sitting on the potty.  And he tries to write in the dirt when he's playing outside, usually with a stick.  So I think pretty soon I'll pull that book out again & give it another shot.  I don't want to push him, but if he WANTS to do it then I want to encourage that. 

We are still doing reading lessons & daily Bible study.  He really enjoys those, especially the reading lessons.  Whenever he sees a word that he doesn't know his answer is "pownten" (rhyming with fountain).  I have no idea where this comes from.  He is now really thinking hard on words he doesn't know & he often makes an attempt now, even if it's not quite right.  But still occasionally I get the "pownten" answer, especially with a word he has never seen before. 

I also have the letter sounds & words that he has learned written out & posted on the refrigerator.  That way he can look at them & practice them anytime he wants.  I had originally been also putting the sentences he learns on this paper, but it quickly became too long.  So for now I'm just going to put letters & words.

He is definitely showing more interest in books, which I am very happy about.  He likes to sit & look at them.  He spends a lot of time looking at the pictures.  And he often tries to imitate faces or body positions that he sees in the pictures.  He often makes up his own story based on the pictures & he tells it to me.  I really enjoy when he does this & of course that seems to make him want to do it all the more.  He REALLY loves being able to make people laugh.  Everytime we go to Costco he asks to look at the books.  They usually have something he is interested in & they are usually less than $10, so I usually buy him one.  We go every two weeks usually, so I guess that's about 2 new books per month.  When it comes to educational things, like books, I don't mind spending the money & less than $20 per month really isn't so bad.

He also still really loves his cars & trucks.  He has a lot of hot wheels & some bigger vehicles as well.  It seems that each time I have to go to the doctor & I need medicine I end up buying him a new car of some sort at the pharmacy while we're waiting for the prescription.  Of course I'm still praying for the day that I can find a way to heal my IC & no longer need medicine so frequently.  I guess we all have thorns in our life & this surely seems to be mine.  The antibiotics are causing lots of other health issues for me as the end result.  It's a horrible domino effect it seems.  And I know that antibiotics can cause cancer.  That is ultimately my biggest fear.  But I try to remind myself that no matter what, even if I get cancer, & even if I die from cancer, God is still with me.  The glory is still God's.

Ok, I've wandered off topic.........Lil J also enjoys playing outside & going for walks.  Thankfully the weather is starting to cool down to where we can go for walks once again.  And he is still doing weekly swimming lessons.  His instructor that he's used to has either changed his schedule or is no longer there.  He cried about having a woman he doesn't know teaching him for a couple of minutes but then he calmed down & was fine.  And this woman was doing things slightly different, most of it being for the better I think.  So I am pleased that he will be able to have a different instructor & experience a slightly different approach to learning things. 

I think that's about all the updates I have for now............until next time.

Monday, October 15, 2012

Simple Woman's Daybook


FOR TODAY: Monday, October 15, 2012

Outside my window...  For the past couple of weeks it has been GLORIOUS, 70s-low 80s.....and now it's back up in the 90s & supposed to stay here all week  :(   I can't wait for the heat wave to officially be over & done with.

I am thinking... about life, how things you weren't paying attention to as a child shaping who you are today & what you expect from others.  I think about what a good example my mother demonstrated to me on how to be a wife: to take care of the home & children.  And how that's what I automatically think a mother/wife should be.  Fortunately my mother in law seems to have been the same way as my mother, so my hubby is pleased.  Because just as my view of mother/wife was being shaped by my mother, so was his by his own mother.  I have always been extremely fascinated with what shapes people & makes them who they are.

I am thankful... I am thankful I was able to see the doctor today.  Another IC flare with a UTI to boot!  And my doc said that was the absolute worst urine dip she's seen in her entire career.  :(   I'm not happy to hear that, but at least it justifies how much pain I was in all weekend. 

In the kitchen...  Haven't made anything today, my busy Monday of laundry & house cleaning & I'm not feeling well......but I'm getting hungry, so I gotta go make myself something soon

I am wearing... denim shorts & a blue tank top

I am working on... trying to find some borax (they don't sell it at rite aid) so I can make home made slime for my Lil J to play with.

I am going... grocery shopping tomorrow, although I did my ralph's trip today because there was no more milk for my stepson.  tomorrow I will go to whole foods, costco, & trader joes.  And maybe target to look for borax..........

From the learning rooms.....  Still daily Bible study & reading lessons for Lil J.  He is starting to show an interest in writing, so I think pretty soon I'm gonna pull out that pre-school workbook once again & see if he's interested or not.  Lil J is still doing weekly swimming lessons as well.

I am reading...  daily Bible reading & am now on the first book in the Little House book collection (Little House in the Big Woods I think it's called).....I got them for myself for my birthday.  I read them once as a kid & LOVED them.  Oh how I dream of being able to live in those days.  I am thrilled to be able to read them again.  And I can read them again out loud when Lil J is a few years older & he can read them for himself a few years after that. 

I am hoping...  this heat wave ends......for good

I am looking forward to... making a new cake, soon I hope

I am learning......... how to work with royal icing, making cake decorations out of it

Around the house...  lots of cleaning today, still gotta do some outdoor cleaning & a thorough kitchen cleaning later on this week

I am pondering...  on how to decorate my next cake......or whether or not I even have time this week to make a cake........I do have to make cup cakes for my stepdaughter's birthday for sure, so I don't know if I'll have time to do a cake also

A favorite quote for today... "a mother's work is never done" so very true..........

One of my favorite things...  chocolate, I wish it wasn't so, but it is......maybe I should make a CHOCOLATE cake, that's a rarity in my home because my hubby doesn't like chocolate, but since I'm making SO MANY cakes these days making ONE that he can't eat can't be all that bad.......right??

A few plans for the rest of the week: grocery shopping on Tuesday, church on Wednesday, park day with friends on Thursday & making cupcakes on Friday

I am praying for: hubby's throat, my bladder, lots of family & friends

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Latest cake

Today I made a simple yellow cake from scratch & topped it with buttercream icing. Just some simple drop flowers on this one.

Royal icing

I haven't yet signed up for the royal icing class. But I wanted to play around with it a little bit ahead of time. I can only do better in my class if I already have some experience I figure. I only made a half batch of the recipe, because it doesn't keep. You have to work quickly & use it up before it dries on you. I still plan to do more experimenting with it, but today I tried making some carrots (to top carrot cake cupcakes with) & some leaves.

Once completely dry, these can be stored for months. So I can use them on future projects when the need arises.

For my first attempt I think I did pretty well, especially considering I just made these up, wasn't following any instructions on how to do these.

Saturday, October 6, 2012


I suppose our current system of clothing sizing was intended to simplify the system/situation. But personally I find it confusing. And although I often joke that I'm the "world's worst googler" & that I'm "google challenged", I cannot seem to find info that explains sizing & departments adequately.

For myself, I know that I am a size 8. However, due to vanity sizing, I am never able to walk into a store & grab a size 8 & be done with it. I am usually a 4, although sometimes I'm a 6. I dream of vanity sizing being banished & life being made simpler. That would be bliss.

However, the cause of this blog is not myself actually. Today we bought Lil J's fall/winter shirts. I bought his pants back in August, because they usually sell out fast. But we didn't get the shirts & sweatshirt until today because I've never had an issue with them selling out.

Back in August I bought size 5T pants for Lil J. They're big for now, but he'll be in them before long.

I remember when Lil J was a baby & wearing baby clothes. I kept wondering at what point the baby sizes end? And then what would come next?? At some point I realized that 24 months is typically the last of the baby sizing (although I do remember seeing some 36 month clothing once) & what comes next is toddler sizes, which go from 2T-5T. I still wonder if 24 month & 2T are actually the same size or not?? I suppose I'll probably never really know....

So now that Lil J is at the end of toddler sizing I'm trying to figure out what's next. Today we went to a new department & bought XS shirts. I would assume that this is the "boys" department but I can see that he'll outgrow these sizes in the next couple of years & he certainly won't be in "men's" yet at that time. My guess would be that there is a "little boy" department & a "big boy" department, but that's just a guess. I really have no clue & I can't find any information or explanations online. I know in girls sizing during the teen years you shop in the "juniors" boys have a junior department as well?? I'm guessing its infant to toddler to little boys to big boys to juniors to men's but that's truly just a guess, I honestly don't know. And if there are actually TWO separate boy departments, then what on earth are the proper names for said departments??? It's a big mystery to me.

And don't get me started on shoe sizing!! Lil J has 2 size 11 shoes & a 12/13 size shoe. Based on adult sizes I know he's gonna max out these numbers & start over again at least once. But I have no clue where kids shoe sizes end & adults begin.....


I recently had the opportunity to make cupcakes for hubby to take to a ministry he has been a part of recently. He had bought these guys dinner two weeks in a row so this next week we surprised them with cupcakes. To me cupcakes are easy, it's the challenge of a big cake that I love. But these were still fun. I especially love the color of the icing. These were just yellow cake from scratch with a buttercream icing.

Friday, October 5, 2012

My latest cake!

My hubby loves a good spice cake. I've never made one before, but gave it a try today. This is a made from scratch spice cake with a non-dairy cream cheese filling, buttercream icing, & buttercream roses.

2 members of my family have dairy allergies so I specialize in non-dairy creations.

I need to still work on smoothing out my icing more. I was a bit too tired to spend enough time on it today, as Lil J is under the weather (first time in about a year).

But overall I thought this turned out ok. I really can't wait to take the next class. I'm hoping they'll have it on Saturdays in November or December so I can take it before the year ends.