Monday, January 13, 2014

Zelda Cake & Cupcakes

The Legend of Zelda cake and cupcakes.  Chocolate Cake with Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Filling and Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Buttercream.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

1st Birthday Monkey Cake with Personal Smash Cake

Jake And The Neverland Pirates Cake

Gender Reveal Baby Cake

Twinkle Twinkle Little Star!  How We Wonder What You Are!
This was a gender reveal cake.  The ultrasound tech provided me with the gender in a sealed envelope.  The expecting couple got to find out the gender of their baby while cutting into the cake at a party in front of all their family and friends.  They cut into it revealing Blue Velvet!  It's a boy!

Little Train Cake


Spiderman Cake

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Monday, December 31, 2012

Sometimes A Girl Just Needs... Some Cupcakes!

Cupcakes for a friend's daughter's 6th Birthday!  Pink and Zebra, Peace Signs and Flowers, a splash of sparkly stars... Oh my!

Saturday, November 17, 2012

A "Despicable" First Birthday Minion!

Yay for Despicable Me!
Who doesn't absolutely love this movie and those darn Minions!  I haven't been taking cakes lately, but I couldn't say no to this one!  I love Minions!  Bonus (buttercream) smash cake for the first birthday boy.  This was a fun cake to do. 

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Cupcake, Anyone?

Cupcake, Anyone?
Lately, I had been taking a hiatus from cakes in order to free up my evenings and weekends to spend that with my family.  (You cake peeps know how much of your precious time custom cakes really eat up.  You have to sleep, eat and breath cake.  Especially, if you're in the Wedding Cake arena, too.)   
My whole beliefs in the importance and my reasoning for the decision to be a SAHM and being there for my family in the first place seemed to be flying right out the window when the cakes started taking over our home and our lives.  So, I re-evaluated, reset and went back to a place of calm before the cake storm.  It's been a happy and wonderful place to be and I couldn't have enjoyed it more.  However, I did kinda miss cakes from time to time and it was hard turning cool ones down.  So, I found myself a happy medium.   Cupcakes! 
I still do the occasional cake for a family member, but that's about it.  And, since most of my previous cake clients know this, they'll sometimes ask for cupcakes instead.  I will almost always say yes to cupcakes!  Cupcakes are fun and easy and don't require all the steps and time and long drawn out processes that cakes do.  So, if I am available, I am always happy to do some cupcakes!  (Plus, Goo loves them and always has a blast helping Mommy where she can and playing alongside with fondant and making her own "cupcakes".   So, I don't have to feel like I'm stealing any of her time away from her as I do with cakes.  It's actually a fun activity and bonding time we can enjoy together.)
Here are a few laid back, casual, kiddie ones done for some friends over the summer:
Swim Party Cupcakes!  Little snorkels, beach balls, and life preservers!  Heeee!
 Some Angry Birds Space!
 Angry Birds Space Continued...
 Super Mario Party!
 Another Swim Party!  This time, sunglasses, fishies and flipflops...

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Little Pirate Cake!

Little 4th Birthday Pirate Cake!

Cake by Sarah Jane Bowman

This turned out to be one of my faves!  It just kept getting more and more fun as I was making all the little things.  When I first got the order and the client sent me a couple of example pics of what she was looking for, it was like, "ho hum, yeah yeah, pirate cake, that's what you want?  Okay.  Easy Peasy.  Nothing crazy.  No moving parts or anything.  Not quite EXACTLY sure what I'm gonna do about that chain, but I'm sure I'll figure it problem...I'll get you an awesome little pirate cake"

  Then, as I was in the midst of execution, it just got more and more exciting!  The chain was only a small bit of a nightmare.  You cake peeps know what I mean.  Fondant chain, draping on a cake, plus gravity equals a little bit of finesse and magic, but I finally got it going my way. 

One of best parts of this assignment, was the fact that I did this cake for a professional photographer and ended up getting a real professional pic of one of my cakes!  Instead of the usual point and shoot crappy pics I always take of them on my kitchen counter.  We both got to combine our artist's talents to produce this happy little masterpiece.  I thought we made a great little team!  Thank you Kristi Hollowell Photography!  Love you!  Kristi is an amazing children and family portrait photographer.  Go visit her site here! 

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Another Little Owl Cake

Another Little Owl Cake...
I've done this cake before.  A couple years back.  It was a replica of a certain Owl birthday party theme.  Since then, I can't believe how many requests and questions I get about this cake!  I get more emails and comments about this cake than any other cake, ever.  Also, I just figured out the other day that you can see how much of your own stuff gets pinned on Pinterest and I couldn't believe how many times the first Owl cake I did was pinned (or really any of my stuff for that matter)!  Pinned more than any other cake on my blog.  It's kinda weird to see people pinning your stuff.  I guess owls are a pretty popular party theme these days.  Anyway, it was a fun and cute cake to do the first time and that's why I had absolutely no problem agreeing to do it again.  I admit, I have a little thing for owls, too.  So, I couldn't resist.

Little Minnie Mouse Princess Cake

Cute Little Minnie Mouse theme cake for a cute little 3 year old!  Awwww, how fun it is to get to make a little tiara!

Okay, so...
I know I'm supposed to be on a break, or cake retirement, or whatever.  And, I was!  And, it was nice!  I only did a couple of cakes over the past year for family, and it was really nice to have the rest of that time to enjoy spending it with my Goo and Husby and not so busy with cakes every weekend.  But, you know how it goes...  someone asks you for one, and for some reason you can't really say no, and it's been a while and I kinda missed it a little, so I took a little break from my break to do this cute little one for a friend. 

The only thing I wished I would have done different.... GREEN!  Her birthday is ON St. Patricks Day. Everyone at the party was dressed in green! Even thought I knew this, I never really thought about it beforehand and put the two together until the party.  Then, I realized how cute it would have been had we changed the pink to green!  The green, black, white and silver would have been cute!  A little St. Patrick's Day version!  I hate when I miss a fun, different, and creative opportunity like that!  Dangit!

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

5th Birthday Superhero Cake!

Batman, Spiderman, Superman, Hulk...  Oh My! 
This cake was for my nephew's 5th birthday.  I hadn't done one in a while since my break (though, my break doesn't include family)  and so it was a real treat to get to do this one.  I realized I hadn't gotten a chance to do a superhero themed one yet and was totally stoked for this one.  I really had a lot of fun with it and was pretty happy with the turnout.  I'd say the only change I would have made in hindsight would have been the Batman Tier.  Like, why didn't I totally make that an OVAL!  (The batsymbol is an oval...)  I was a little dissapointed in myself for not realizing sooner.  ;)  Darnit!  It would have been even cooler as an oval!

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Okay, So... Sorry, But I Just Couldn't Say No To This One! WARNING! DON'T LOOK!

Warning!  Don't Look!  Warning!  Don't Look!  Warning!  Don't Look!

A "Dirty Thirty" Naughty Birthday Cake:

Okay, so I know I was technically supposed to be on a cake hiatus and all....  But, I just couldn't resist.  A friend asked me for a "naughty cake" and I had to take it.  I always wanted to do a cute little cheeky naughty cake, but the opportunity had never presented itself before.  So, when she asked, I immediately agreed to do it and took a break from my cake break to do this one. 

To be quite honest, this wasn't immediately what popped into my head when I first thought of what kind of naughty cakes we could do.  I had something a little different in mind when she first asked me, but this is what she had picked out and asked for.  I was actually a little bummed at first. I was kinda looking forward to doing just a cute "pair of boobs cake" or maybe a even a "butt cake", but after it was all done I was so glad this was what I got to do.  It was way more fun!  It's a bummer that I'm not a photographer or don't even own a nice camera.  The little details on this cake are what really made it so cute to me.  Her little toes and fingers on her little hands and feet.  Many people who sculpt figures out of fondant or gumpaste always get the porportions of the limbs and digits and neck and stuff so totally off.  It really kind of drives me crazy. So, I make sure to get them all so cute and perfect.  Even her little nails were painted.  It was just too bad they were all kind of hidden by all the bubbles.  You really had to get down and look at the cake and check out everything to get to see all these little details.  Her little figure was quite cute.  I almost wish she wasn't in the bathtub!  Plus, you can't tell by the pics, but the bubbles were shimmery.  They were all painted with shimmer dust and it just gave them that added special-ness that I couldn't convey with my poopy photog skills.  The client had requested the color scheme to accomodate the cake recipient and I love how well her being a red-head complimented the Mexico flag style colors she had asked for.  It all tied in perfect.  Such a fun little cake to do.  I was glad that I agreed to do it.  (Oh, and don't forget you can click on the pics to zoom in and make them bigger)

Now, back to my cake break!  Maybe I could use this time to improve on my photography skills!  ;)

Some Thank You Cupcakes

Mmmmmm....These were just a simple box of yummy Thank You cupcakes I was asked to whip up this last October for some school teachers.  Vanilla with Vanilla Buttercream, Chocolate with Cream Cheese Buttercream and Pumpkin Spice with Cream Cheese Buttercream.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Some Fun Little Carnival Themed Cupcakes

I had fun doing these cute little carnival themed cupcakes for a friend having a little carnival themed birthday party for her 4 year old.  Cute little popcorns, cotton candy, and ice cream sundaes!  I had so much fun whipping these up,  that I just had to post a cute banana split cake I found on another blog I follow after seeing it.  How cute is this! 

It's so fun making food out of other food!

Thursday, August 25, 2011

There Seems To Be Some Confusion....

For those of you who are fluent in the custom cake world and also those who may just be hobby probably understand how much time, effort, hours and resources actually go into each custom cake.  Even the small ones! 

So, imagine multiplying it, every weekend, all by yourself, and all in your own home.  As much as I love creating cakes and especially making people excited to receive them....the work was slowly becoming NOT worth the reward. 

Cakes, cake supplies, dates and deliveries started taking over my life and my home!  It started out gradual at first....Okay, so I was just a little busy, that's all.....I love being busy.  I've always thrived on the pressure of an upcoming deadline, that's when my best work usually comes out......but then as referrals progressed and inquiries started pouring in, it snowballed into a full-blown take-over. 

Having even only 2 cakes on a weekend, though doesn't sound like a whole lot, is actually almost total chaos.  Work has to start on a Tuesday or Wednesday.  All the layers have to first be prepared and baked.  All the fillings have to be made.  Most cakes consisted of more than one flavor and filling, especially tiered there was always a lot of different batters, fillings, and frostings and all their ingredients going on at the same time.  It turns your kitchen looking like a pastry science lab.  After everything is baked and all the fillings prepared and set and ready....All the cakes have to cool and then be leveled and carved and then chilled over night.  The next day usually consists of stacking and filling and then crumb-coating everything.  (Crumb-coating is the process of covering all the cakes and cake tiers in a thin layer of frosting to hold them together, retain the moisture, seal in the filling and flavors, and provide a smooth surface for decorating.)  After crumb-coating, all the crumb-coated cakes must be returned to the fridge to chill for atleast a few hours, but preferably overnight.  (This is where more of the take-over starts coming into play...depending on how many layers and cakes and stages in the process you have going on at a time....there's always chilling and setting needed to be done.  So, this requires fridge space.  I had 3 different refrigerators and 1 freezer going on all at the same time in my home and on different levels.  I had to stuff cakes where I could, running up and down steps, back and forth, all the time between all these fridges!) 

Once everything is nice and chilled and can finally begin the first steps of decorating.  Any fondant being used has to be prepared, measured out, and then colored.  Some cakes have so much fine details and so many's not uncommon to have more than 20 different colors going on at once for just one cake.  Especially, for character cakes....all the different colors needed for their hair, eyes, skin, mouths, teeth, highlights, shadows, clothing, get the idea.  Not to mention all the different decorating supplies and tools!  It gets crazy.  They not only take over your kitchen storage space, but then  you have to find more room elsewhere.  I had cake supplies in my laundry room, my basement, and our rec room.  Some decorations require being made days in advance so that they have time to dry and harden properly. 

It can be very detailed, time consuming and monotonous work that takes hours and patience.  Harder to accomplish with a toddler.  Especially, when your toddler is your full-time job.  Some other mothers get the luxury of  getting to drop their kids off at the baby-sitter's or daycare and then they get to go to work and do just that---WORK---while someone else is doing all work of taking care of their child-- all the feeding, and diaper changing, and dressing, and teaching, and playing and cleaning up.  But, that's not the case for me.  I am my own child's daycare.  (That's why most of my work was done overnight.  I could do my normal day and then put my daughter and husband to bed and then have the whole quiet night to concentrate and get work done.  It just made for a harder sleep-deprived next day.) 

I didn't get that bonus of leaving my home to go to work either.  Everything was done in right in the middle of everything!  It was really starting to stress out my poor husby.  He already works hard.  He's actually the most-dedicated and hardest working  and unselfish man I have ever met in my life.  He works hard, so that he can feel comfortable that one of us doesn't have to work outside the home and can concentrate on raising our daughter and in the most preferable way.  (He may even be more opinionated about it at this point, than I am.  Our daughter is now 4.  He couldn't have imagined now, her being with a sitter or a daycare this whole time.  I have always highly valued being a stay-at-home mom.  I wouldn't have it any other way and anyone who knows me, knows I have always held a strong opinion about it.  I would have sacrificed anything I needed to (and have) to be able to do it.  If our household income was lower, it wouldn't have mattered.  I would have lived as cheap as I needed to, to be able to raise my own daughter.  If it meant living in a apartment or sharing a car or living with family or anything drastic like that----I would have done it in a heartbeat.  No career, or financial advantage or amount of money would have ever made a difference.  There was no job on this planet worth more than the job of taking care of my own baby and I had no problem putting my career on hold to concentrate on my family. There's no way I would have ever been able to pay someone else to do it while I went off to "work" every day.  Not in a million years.  Thankfully, our situation made it comfortable to be able to do that.  I feel like 2 incomes can be very deceiving, too.  If you do some research, you'll find that most double income families actually spend way more and ultimately wouldn't necessarily even need both incomes.  (And please note...this is only my own opinion and what I feel works best for my own family and my own situation.  Not to demean anyone who may make a different choice.  People have different situtations and ways of doing things that work the best for them.  I only would wish them the best and hope their choices make them the happiest they can be.)

I never take it for granted either.  I am very lucky we have such a strong marriage and team and family dynamic to make it work and work very well.  We have such a fun time and happy little family!  I've really been able to enjoy the last 4 years and they have been the best in my entire life.  I think I may also be the only mom on the planet that doesn't say "it goes by so fast", because I actually honestly don't feel that way at all.  I feel like I was able to soak up each day and have always looked forward to the next milestone.  Actually, sometimes it felt exactly the opposite.  When she was 2, it felt like she was 2 forever!  

And, in all this...I can't help not crediting my husband and how awesome he really is.  Love you, Babe! 

Cakes had always just been a fun hobby for me.  I had loved to bake since I was a little kid.  I had no idea I would get so popular as I got older, and so fast.  I always said I would stop as soon as it wasn't fun anymore.  If it's taking over my home and my time with my family, then it's not fun anymore.

It was getting very hard. But, I have always been a hard worker and enjoyed being given the challenge--especially to get a crack at being a superwoman!  I first felt giving it up would be like giving in.  Like, I wasn't strong enough or I was just a quitter, so it wasn't an option.  I thought I would just cut back a little. 

Working just overnight wasn't enough to keep up with the demand anymore.  It was creeping into my days.  I was having to do work during my precious day time too.  Thankfully, my daughter was reaching preshcool age at this point and would sit with me at the counter and "make cakes".  Fondant is just like play-dough (acutally, only better!) and I would give her scraps of fondant and she had her own little rolling pins and cookie cutters and would sit for hours working on cakes with me.  Through, all this though, I still felt a little guilty.  Especially, if it was a nice day outside and we were wasting it away working on cakes when we should have been playing outside or at the park.  We were starting to get too cooped up and it wasn't healthy for her.

To top it off.  I had totally lost my weekends.  Cakes are due on weekends.  That's the way it is.  Who has a party in the middle of the week?  So, after working hard during the week ON the cake, then I had to spend our weekends driving and delivering them and setting them up at their venues.  If you're a cake person, you know that the most stressfull part of the whole cake process is the delivery.  Nothing is worse.  The cake can look perfect on your kitchen counter.  But, it's not for  you---it has to look good for the client.  Now, you had to get it to it's destination looking the same way with absolutely everything against you.  Cake is the worst traveler in the world. 

It wasn't fair to my husband either.  He worked hard enough for the both of us.  I didn't "work".  Cake was always just a hobby.  It really wasn't supposed to be an huge business venture and we weren't relying on any type of real income from it.  So, poor husby had to work all day, supposing to come home in the evenings to spend time with his family, only to have to be greeted by a cake bomb instead!  (Cake decorating is SUPER MESSY!)  This is no fun for him.  But, he's so unselfish and lets me do just about anything that makes me happy and would just put up with all the cake.  Then, he had to sacrifice his weekends---his only free time----to go on these cake deliveries with me.  Cakes can be super heavy.  Not only did I need him to help with some deliveries for the muscle advantage, but even with the smaller cakes, I needed help with either setting up or taking care of our daughter while I set up.  So, his weekends ended up being sacrificed to cake too.  When all he would have wanted was to spend time with us.  This also meant no trips or vacations or anything like that, either.  We couldn't make any plans if I always had cakes due.  And, we absolutely love weekend trips and plans.  Especially, since our daughter was at such a fun age to do all this fun stuff.

So, I finally had to make the hard wasn't fun anymore.....the time with my husband and daughter is way more important than my hobby.  I prefer to spend my time with them and therefore it was a no-brainer.  It was time to take a cake-hiatus.

Therefore, I am not currently taking any cake orders.  I'm not sure how this will all end up or what my cake future may be, so that's why I decided just to call it a hiatus at this point and then see where it goes from there.  I really miss it sometimes, but I still get to do one every once in a while for the family or a really close friend, so it's just the perfect amount right now and after being cake-free for a few months now, I'm really happy with my decision. 

I think it's good for anyone to be able to take a step back and examine their lives and see what is most important and where some improvements can be made.  It's nice to be able to stop and look at everything and trim the fat where necessary.  People tend to get so caught up sometimes in their routines and forget whats important.  They get wrapped up in status, or perception or even their designer handbags, luxury cars or job title and end up losing out on what really can make you happy.  I know, because I used to be more like that.  My life now has shown me that I'm the happiest now spending the least amount of money.  You don't realize how much you actually could care less about all that stuff until you start to let it all go.

Now, time for me to get off the dang computer so that I can be the awesome mom and wife I'm so good at being!

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Puppy Dog PAW-ty! Doggie Cupcakes!

Doggie Party!  Complete with Doggie Cupcakes and a Doggie Bowl Personal Cake on top!  (I just had to throw in a pic of the cute Doggie Bag party favors I made too!)  I apologize for the cell phone pics.  :(

This was for my 4 year old's 4th birthday party.  She wanted a Doggie Party with cupcakes instead of a big cake this year.  The cupcakes were Chocolate with Peanut Butter Buttercream and a Chocolate Fudge middle and decorated with a free-hand piped Dark Chocolate paw print.   The other flavor was Vanilla White Cake with Vanilla Buttercream (tinted violet) and decorated with a free-hand piped White Chocolate Doggie Bone.  Then, to top it off....a small 6 inch round Chocolate Cake carved to shape and covered in Vanilla Fondant and decorated with Chocolate Pieces to represent dog food and finished with a Vanilla Fondant doggie bone to make the cute little personalized Doggie Bowl----the perfect topper to blow out her candles in!  Super fun!

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Thought I Was Done With Cakes?

Okay, so......

I thought you were retired from cakes, you  may be wondering.....well, I thought I was too!  Just so happens that I had agreed on a cake request back in January that by my error, never really got finalized or on my cake calendar.  After receiving an update email from the client, I quickly rushed to order some supplies I needed.  (Since deciding to quit, I had made sure not to replenish any of my stock and try to use up as much of everything that I had.  So, I had to order a couple things.)  I was so glad they emailed me in plenty of time to allow for shipping, as the items I needed aren't available for purchase near me. 

So, this is officially the last one!  I was so glad this one got to be it.  It was a fun cake to do and I was so glad to finally get to do a Dr. Seuss cake!

Dr. Seuss Baby Shower Cake!

This was a White Vanilla Cake with Vanilla Buttercream and Strawberry Cake with Cream Cheese Buttercream. 

Monday, May 16, 2011

Last Week's Cakes! (....and the last of my client cakes and start of my "cake retirement")

Yep! That's right! I've officially started my "cake retirement". It's family cakes only from now on. No more client orders. I will only consider cupcake orders from here on out. Here are some pics of the last 2! They both ended up being small figure-character based cakes for little girls' birthdays!

Tangled Cake

This was Alternating Chocolate and Vanilla Cake with Cookies and Cream Buttercream.

Dora Cake

This was Chocolate Cake with Cookies and Cream Buttercream. (I know. Cookies and Cream Buttercream has been a popular flavor! It really helps when you're working on two cakes at the same time and they have the same flavors!)

Happy Cake Retirement to me!

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

60th Birthday Cake

This was Butter Yellow Cake with Vanilla Buttercream and alternating Chocolate and Vanilla Cake with Oreo Cookies and Cream Buttercream.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

It's Inspiration Sunday!

It's Inspiration Sunday, again! Meaning, I like to try to take some time out and find and share cakes that I think are awesome.

Here are 2 really good ones!

Okay, first....although I am absolutely not a fan of McDonalds and think their food is really super gross, and I don't eat there, and I don't think anyone else should eat there either, EVER.....I still appreciate this Big Mac (Debbie Goard, debbiedoescakes)!

I bet it tastes much better than a real Big Mac!

I came across this awesome Wall-E Cake made by Don Buciak and just HAD to share! What I love about this cake is the buttercream! Everything is freehandly piped with buttercream icing!

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Luggage Travel 60th Birthday Cake!

This was a 60th Birthday Cake made for someone who loved to travel and had been to tons of places. This was a representation of her actual personal luggage set and included were little trinkets representing some of her most favorite places she's been....Paris, Australia, Egypt, and Vegas.