You Can Have My Cake

I'm up at four in the morning and got NINE hours of sleep because I went to bed, exhausted, at 7:00pm yesterday. It's been busy at work since Wednesday and then, Friday, I left work a tad bit early to go to a baby shower, which I also had to leave a tad bit early bc I had to bake a cake (two, actually). Did I lose you? I should start with where I buy my mom cake decorating classes from JoAnns (the Wilton Method class) for mother's day. I had no desire to learn how to decorate a cake considering I haven't ever baked a cake... but, I was going along for support.

I spent $27 for each of us for the class. Two- hour classes for four Saturdays... not bad... until I get handed a supply list (after I already paid). At LEAST $200 later (remember, double the fun? for both of us attending) I am presenting my mom with her gift. Although appreciative, she actually didn't want to go. I convinced cajoled her into coming to the first class... because, you'll love it mom. She. Was. Appalled. Yes, they put a cup of shortening and a pound of confectioner's sugar into frosting. We know it's junk food people. She did end up sick (not from the class) and wasn't able to go to the rest of the classes with me. I was not going to "waste" that money, gosh-darn-it, so, I ended up soldiering on and my niece, Abby (12, who's in town from TX) LOVED, LOVED, that she got to come to this class in my mom's stead. I... me, myself and I... ended up having to make double the amount of cake, cupcakes, icing and more icing, and did I mention making icing? for this class!

Let me just tell you, the icing tastes bad. I tried to tweak the icing, but that ruined the "consistency" I needed for the class. But, my last cake (for my last class, yesterday) actually tasted great. It just didn't look great because the icing was too soft :( So, I currently know how to bake, level, layer and ice a cake to perfection. The decorating part definitely needs some work! Part of the reason I just "free- handed" the cake in class is bc I didn't have time to make "drop flowers" and all the pretty stuff I should have been doing the day before. After the baby shower on Friday, I had to run and get the 9-inch cake pans and my mixer from my mom's house and stop at Albertson's for ingredients. (Or as Theresa from Real Housewives of Jersey would say.. In-greed-E-en-ces.) Did I mention I was sooo tired from work that day? I got home at about 10pm and just decided to wake up early to bake those cakes. So, 5-o-clock in the morning, Saturday morning, I'm tearing up the kitchen. For our last class, my cake was a lemon cake with lemon filling. For Abby's cake I made a white cake with one layer of  vanilla custard filling and the other layer I mixed the custard filling with a can of cherry filling, and I must say, it tasted great! I think the slight "tangy" taste of the cherries balanced the sweetness of the icing. Here's some pics. Mine? Pathetic, I know! I loved Abby's! 


MY Black & White Checkered Floor

Sitting in my new (to me) home and actually feel like writing a blog post! I've been busy... yes... that excuse again. However, I did find time, in the past few months, to peruse the HGTV site or just browse through whatever my current obsession is on google images. It's been searches for "black and white checkered floors", "living rooms", "painted cabinets", and even "pink kitchens" :) And finally, after searching (days, at least) for the perfect (i.e. inexpensive) black and white tile.... I now have my dream (literally) at me feet. I'm so glad I didn't cave in to that sage "advice" and go with "something neutral that everyone will like". So, how about some before and afters??? Mmmm.... life is Goood!

It started with ripping up the nasty, dirty carpet. Then came tearing down a pony wall (on the left side) and cutting into that 3/4 wall on the right side to make one, open great room.

This is the hallway on the "other" side that consists of the "den" straight back, the small, laundry room on the right, and a wall that I decided to close up on the left. (There was a small linen closet that became part of the bathroom on the "other" side and a doorway, part of a jack-and-jill bathroom, that is no more.)

Tada. My. Lovely. Floors. This is just the beginning. A good layer! (And the gray on the walls is Martha Stewarts "sharkey gray" which I think was just right... says goldilocks.)

No trim yet... but looking good hallway!

A couple more pics.......... still don't have the curtains, the paintings, the coffe table, the "other stuff"... but that will all come with time. I am right happy with it so far. I just know the "more" is yet to come!