Life of Cakes

Thursday, April 5, 2012

For My Daughter

A daughter is the happy memories of the past, the joyful moments of the present, and the hope and promise of the future.  ~Author Unknown
8. Yes, 8. Where has the time gone? I am scrambling to find the answer. It's the same question every year. You try to treasure every moment and find yourself wanting to freeze those moments in time.

Eight years ago tomorrow April 6th, my husband and I were arriving at the hospital at 6:30 in the morning for me to be induced. Hearts racing and palms sweating , we sat and waited patiently for 12 hours and 38 minutes for our daughter to arrive. We had 2 names picked out and we had to see her first to decide what her name should be. Every time the nurse came into to check me, I was hoping it was her time to shine. From 7 am. when the process started to 3pm. there was no change, 4 cm in 8 hours. Good Grief. Thank Goodness for the epidural.  Finally, My doctor came into to do one last check at 10 min. to 7 before her shift was over. Yep. it was time!!! A full 10 cm. Then everything started to move quickly and I started to panic. Wait. What? I am not ready. Make it stop. After 38 min. of pushing, I finally heard the cry of a 7 pound, 15 ounce, 21 inch long little girl  that I had waited  for almost 10 months to hear. It was so strong and so loud. That was a good sign right? She sounded so angry. I guess I would be to after being comfortable in a nice warm space for so long. Laid upon my chest, there we were Mother and Daughter for the first time face to face. I knew at that moment she was an Isabella. The meaning of Isabella is "God's promise; God is my oath. How fitting. How powerful. This definitely  was a perfect name for her.

 Isabella of Castile laid the foundations for the unification of Spain, with her husband Ferdinand of Aragon. They reconquered Granada, and patronised Christopher Columbus on his first voyage to America. She was known as the 'Catholic Queen' due to her strong faith, and expulsion of Jews and Muslims from Spain - this was later known as the Spanish Inquisition.

Isabella of France was the wife of English king Edward II. Due to his ineffective leadership, she helped lead a successful invasion against him to put her son upon the throne.

Princess Isabella of Denmark, who was born in 2007, is the daughter of the Danish Crown Prince Frederik.

There are characters named Isabella in Shakespeare's 'Measure for Measure

Isabella has grown leaps and bounds since that beautiful day 8 years ago. She is an amazing little girl, who has so much to offer this world. She is so smart, beautiful, compassionate, witty, artistic, charismatic, giving, and loving. I could continue on. She is my heart today and everyday as long as I shall live. Isabella has made me a better person, and I thank her for that. Happy Birthday my Beautiful Daughter.

Love Forever and Always,


Monday, January 16, 2012

25 Rules for Moms with Sons

I have not blogged for quite some time. "Time" is not standing still. As most of you know a I am a proud mom of 2 beautiful children. An outgoing, , responsible, charismatic, determined, bossy, smart, beautiful, intelligent, (I could go on and on) 7 year old daughter. Then there is my challenging, smart mouth, loving, smart, happy, determined, athletic, gooey little boy (once agian, I could continue on) who is 4. They are night and day in their personalities, but both parented the same way. All children need love and guidance in their lives and  I know as parents we all have that one child that we know no matter what, they will be okay! Then we have the one that needs a little extra encouragement and push every now and then. Which leads me into "25 Rules for Mothers of Sons". God love my son ...and I pray to God everyday to give me the strength to parent this wonderful creature. I have read "25 Rules for Father's of Daughters" and needed this for my son. Enjoy! 

25 Rules for Mothers of Sons

Inspired by a Pin I've recently seen about "rules for dads with daughters," I went searching for a similar list for moms with sons.  This search was mostly fruitless, so I was inspired to write my own Rules for Moms with Sons.  Granted, my list will not be conclusive and may not be entirely uncontroversial.  So agree, or disagree, or take with a grain of salt - but I hope to inspire other moms who are loving, and struggling, and tired, and proud, and eager to support the boys in their lives.  You are the most important woman in his life, his first teacher, and the one he will look to for permission for the rest of his life.  From "Can I go play with them?" to "Should I ask her to marry me?"  Its a big job, but as the mumma, we're up for it.

25 Rules for Moms with Sons

1. Teach him the words for how he feels.
Your son will scream out of frustration and hide out of embarrassment.  He'll cry from fear and bite out of excitement.  Let his body move by the emotion, but also explain to him what the emotion is and the appropriate response to that emotion for future reference.  Point out other people who are feeling the same thing and compare how they are showing that emotion.  Talk him through your emotions so that someday when he is grown, he will know the difference between angry and embarrassed; between disappointment and grief.

2. Be a cheerleader for his life
There is no doubt that you are the loudest person in the stands at his t-ball games.  There is no doubt that he will tell you to "stop, mom" when you sing along to his garage band's lyrics.  There is no doubt that he will get red-faced when you show his prom date his pictures from boy scouts.  There is no doubt that he is not telling his prom date about your blog where you've been bragging about his life from his first time on the potty to the citizenship award he won in ninth grade.  He will tell you to stop.  He will say he's embarrassed.  But he will know that there is at least one person that is always rooting for him.

3. Teach him how to do laundry
..and load the dishwasher, and iron a shirt.  He may not always choose to do it.  He may not ever have to do it.  But someday his wife will thank you.

4. Read to him and read with him.
Emilie Buchwald said, "Children become readers on the laps of their parents."  Offer your son the opportunity to learn new things, believe in pretend places, and imagine bigger possibilities through books.  Let him see you reading...reading the paper, reading novels, reading magazine articles.  Help him understand that writing words down is a way to be present forever.  Writers are the transcribers of history and memories.  They keep a record of how we lived at that time; what we thought was interesting; how we spoke to each other; what was important.  And Readers help preserve and pass along those memories.

5. Encourage him to dance.
Dance, rhythm, and music are cultural universals.  No matter where you go, no matter who you meet - they have some form of the three.  It doesn't have to be good.  Just encourage your son that when he feels it, it's perfectly fine to go ahead and bust a move.

6. Make sure he has examples of good men who are powerful because of their brains, their determination, and their integrity.
The examples of men with big muscles and a uniform (like Batman and LaMarr Woodley) will surround your son from birth.  But make sure he also knows about men who kick a$s because of their brains (Albert Einstein), and their pen (Mark Twain), and their words (Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.), and their determination (Team Hoyt), and their ideas (The Wright Brothers), and their integrity (Officer Frank Shankwitz), and fearlessness (Neil Armstrong), and their ability to keep their mouths closed when everyone else is screaming (Jackie Robinson).

7. Make sure he has examples of women who are beautiful because of their brains, their determination, and their integrity
The examples of traditionally beautiful women (like Daphne Blake, Princess Jasmine, and Britney Spears) will surround your son from birth.  But make sure he knows about women who are beautiful from the inside out because of their brains (Madame Marie Curie), and their pen (Harper Lee), and their words (Eleanor Roosevelt), and their determination (Anne Sullivan), and their ideas (Oprah Winfrey), and their integrity (Miep Gies), and fearlessness (Ameila Earhart), and their ability to open their mouths and take a stand when everyone else is silent (Aung San Suu Kyi).

8. Be an example of a beautiful woman with brains, determination, and integrity.
You already are all of those things.  If you ever fear that you are somehow incapable of doing anything - remember this:  If you have done any of the following:  a) grew life b) impossibly and inconceivably got it out of your body c) taken care of a newborn d) made a pain go away with a kiss e) taught someone to read f) taught a toddler to eat with a utensil g) cleaned up diarrhea without gagging h) loved a child enough to be willing to give your life for them (regardless if they are your own) or i) found a way to be strong when that child is are a superhero.  do not doubt yourself for one second.  Seriously.

9. Teach him to have manners
because its nice.  and it will make the world a little better of a place.

10. Give him something to believe in
Because someday he will be afraid, or nervous, or heartbroken, or lost, or just need you, and you won't be able to be there.  Give him something to turn to when it feels like he is alone, so that he knows that he will never be alone; never, never, never.

11. Teach him that there are times when you need to be gentle
like with babies, and flowers, and animals, and other people's feelings.

12. Let him ruin his clothes
Resolve to be cool about dirty and ruined clothes.  You'll be fighting a losing battle if you get upset every time he ruins another piece of clothing. Don't waste your energy being angry about something inevitable.  Boys tend to learn by destroying, jumping, spilling, falling, and making impossible messes.  Dirty, ruined clothes are just par for the course.

13. Learn how to throw a football
or how to use a hockey stick, or read music, or draw panda bears (or in my case alpacas), or the names of different train engines, or learn to speak Elvish, or recognize the difference betweeGryffindor and Slytherin, or the lyrics to his favorite song.  Be in his life, not as an observer but as an active participant.

14. Go outside with him
turn off the television, unplug the video games, put your cellphone on the charger, even put your camera away.  Just go outside and follow him around.  Watch his face, explore his world, and let him ask questions.  It's like magic.

15. Let him lose
Losing sucks.  Everybody isn't always a winner.  Even if you want to say, "You're a winner because you tried," don't.  He doesn't feel like a winner, he feels sad and crappy and disappointed.  And that's a good thing, because sometimes life also sucks, no matter how hard (as moms) we try to make it not suck for our kids.  This practice will do him good later when he loses again (and again, and again, and again, and again.....)  Instead make sure he understands that - sometimes you win - sometimes you lose.  But that doesn't mean you ever give up.

Source: None via Emma on Pinterest

16. Give him opportunities to help others
There is a big difference in giving someone the opportunity to help and forcing someone to help.  Giving the opportunity lights a flame in the heart and once the help is done the flame shines brighter and asks for more opportunities.  Be an example of helping others in your own actions and the way your family helps each other and helps others together. 

17. Remind him that practice makes perfect.
This doesn't just apply to performance-based activities (like sports and music) but also applies to everything in life.  You become a better writer by writing.  You become a better listener by listening.  You become better speaker by speaking.  Show your son this when he is just young enough to understand (that means from birth, folks - they are making sense of the world as soon as they arrive), practice trick-or-treating at your own front door before the real thing.  Practice how you will walk through airport security before a trip.  Practice how you order your own food from the fast food cashier.  Practice, practice, practice.

18. Answer him when he asks, "Why?"
Answer him, or search for the answer together.  Show him the places to look for the answers (like his dad, or grandparents, or his aunts/uncles, or his books, or valid internet searches).  Pose the question to him so he can begin thinking about answers himself.  Someday, when he needs to ask questions he's too embarrassed to ask you - he'll know where to go to find the right answers.

19. Always carry band-aids and wipes on you.
especially the wipes.

20. Let his dad teach him how to do things
...without interrupting about how to do it the 'right way.'  If you let his dad show and teach and discover with your son while he is growing up, some day down the road (after a short period of your son believing his dad knows nothing), he will come to the realization that his dad knows everything.  You will always be his mother, but in his grown-up man heart and mind, his dad will know the answers.  And this will be how, when your son is too busy with life to call and chat with his mom,  you will stay connected to what is happening in his life.  Because he will call his dad for answers, and his dad will secretly come and ask you.

21. Give him something to release his energy
drums, a pen, a punching bag, wide open space, water, a dog.  Give him something to go crazy with - or he will use your stuff.  and then you'll be sorry.

22. Build him forts
Forts have the ability to make everyday normal stuff into magic.  Throw the couch cushions, a couple blankets, and some clothespins and you can transform your living room into the cave of wonders.  For the rest of his life, he'll be grateful to know that everyday normal stuff has the potential to be magical.

Source: None via Tabitha on Pinterest

23. Take him to new places
Because it will make his brain and his heart open up wider, and the ideas and questions and memories will rush in.

Source: None via Anne on Pinterest

24. Kiss him
Any mother of sons will tell you that little boys are so loving and sweet.  They can be harsh and wild and destructive during most of the day.  But there are these moments when they are so kind and sensitive and tender.  So much so that it can cause you to look around at the inward, reserved grown men in your life and think, 'what happens in between that made you lose that?'  Let's try to stop the cycle by kissing them when they're loving and kissing them even more when they're wild.  Kissing them when they're 2 months and kissing them when they're 16 years old.  You're the mom - you can go ahead and kiss him no matter how big he gets - and make sure he knows it.   p.s. (this one is just as important for dad's too).

25. Be home base
You are home to him.  When he learns to walk, he will wobble a few feet away from you and then come back, then wobble away a little farther and then come back.  When he tries something new, he will look for your proud smile.  When he learns to read, he will repeat the same book to you twenty times in a row, because you're the only one who will listen that many times.  When he plays his sport, he will search for your face in the stands.  When he is sick, he will call you.  When he really messes up, he will call you.  When he is grown and strong and tough and big and he feels like crying, he will come to you; because a man can cry in front of his mother without feeling self-conscious.  Even when he grows up and has a new woman in his life and gets a new home, you are still his mother; home base, the ever constant, like the sun.  Know that in your heart and everything else will fall into place.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Healthy Treats for my Sweets

I spend a majority of my time in the kitchen baking and my kids spend a majority of their time back and forth watching. Which then leads into ...Mom, can I taste the icing? We like to call it "Quality Control". After all kid's are very honest in their answers, so why not let them taste and tell me if it is good or not.

It's times like these I start to feel a little guilty. Some days when asked.."What did you have for lunch?" the response is "a piece of cake." So ....I have started to incorporate vegetables and fruits into their sweet treats.
Does it make me feel 100% good? No! Just a little less guilty. One recipe that I came across that I would love to share are called "BABY CAKES. My children loved them and have asked for them everyday. They are more like a muffin than a cake. (I have shared this on Facebook so bare with me if you are seeing this AGAIN!!!) Also, making these at home for your kids means you are also getting rid of all of the preservatives and dyes. If you can't pronounce it don't eat it.

2 1/4 cup of all purpose flour                                   
1 1/2 tsps baking powder
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking soda
3 eggs
3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks ) unsalted butter, softened
3/4 cup of granulated sugar
1/2 cup of light brown sugar
1/4 cup of honey
1 jar (4 oz.) pumpkins with pears baby food
2 jars (4 oz.) applesuace and apricots baby food.
2 tsps ground cinnamon
1/4 cup of pecans(optional)

1.) heat oven to 350. Line 2 mini muffin pans with paper liners. ( i spray mine with a non-stick cooking spray)

2.) In a bowl mix together flour, baking powder, salt, and baking soda-set aside
3.) Beat eggs, butter, sugars, and honey in a large bowl on medium speed until well combined
add baby food and cinnamon: beat until smooth. Fold in pecans. Slowly add flour mixture using a sifter mix until well combined.
4.) Fill paper liners 3/4 of way. Bake at 350 for about 12 min(check it might take longer depending upon oven) Take out and cool.

I substituted the baby food flavors with 1-4 oz. jar of mixed vegetable, 1-4oz. jar of sweet potato and pear, and 1-oz. jar of apricot fruit medley.

They are moist and delicious! Enjoy

Friday, August 5, 2011

Making Cakes and Raising Kid's

So much on my mind this morning. As most of you know I am trying to build a cake business. I have been cake decorating for 12 years and in 2007 when I had my 2nd child I had the opportunity to stay home. The 1st year was a year that just about any mom experiences with a baby and a 3 year old "NO SLEEP"!!! Then after I decided to start making cakes out of my home. A cake here and a cake there. I am now overwhelmed!!!!! But, a very greatful overwhelming feeling. My dilema is balancing my 2 children and working out of my home. There is a lot of guilt and many days where the children's video's are my and their best friends. I know many mom's would  not agree with that...but, what do you do???? There are time's when the days are theirs and cake baking comes at 9 pm. after they go to bed .  Or I am up at 6 putting a cake in the oven. I will admit by that time I am exhausted and not a fun person to be around.(ask my husband of 10 years). My 7 year old actually asked me if I ever sleep??? My response was ..."Why do you ask?" (I will call her Bean) Bean responds with.."because when I go to bed you are awake and when I wake up you are already awake."

They get really upset when I am baking and decorating cakes. Little do they understand this is for them. My husband never get's asked the question "Why do  you have to work all of the time?" HMMMM???  Love them both more than anything in this world. Just trying to walk a tight rope  hoping to  maintain balance in this world of parenting! Happy Friday!!

Thursday, August 4, 2011

cakemom: The Beginning

cakemom: The Beginning: "I am very new to this blogging experience. So bare with me and my posts. I am a 34 year old stay at home mom/cake designer. I graduated fro..."

The Beginning

I am very new to this blogging experience. So bare with me and my posts. I am a 34 year old  stay at home mom/cake designer. I graduated from high school over 16 years ago, and didn't have a clue as to what I wanted to do with my life. There are very few of us who know what we want to do right after high school, and are told we are supposed to go to college for at least 4 years, graduate, and have a wonderful salary paying job. Doesn't always work that way and it's okay!!! I thought I wanted to be a nurse, got started and decided it wasn't for me. (Little did I know I would eventually become a nurse, doctor, teacher, chef, counselor, and many  others-not through documented degrees, but life experiences...story for another time).

I decided I wanted to go to Culinary School and become a chef, only to find out my passion was actually the dessert part of the culinary world. While learning everything there is to know about meat, seafood, poultry, soups, stocks , and sauces , I could only daydream about pastries. After graduating in 1999 with my culinary degree I decided to work in a hotel in the Pastry Dept. I learned so much in the time  that I was there and the hours were grueling. Sometimes 16 hour days, nights, weekends, and holidays. After 3 years I was completely exhausteed and needed a change. I then decided to hit the bakery scene. This is where I found my true love...cake decorating. I think I shocked myself with an artistic ability I never knew I had. So, this is where my story begins about a life full of motherly duties and cake decorating/designing.  Until next time.