Friday, April 15, 2011

Cake Decorating Gerbera Daisy

The last two cakes I've made I have been working on my Gerbera Daisies and I think that I finally figured it out. The next time I make them it will be perfect!!
This is the first attempt, I was going for Gerbera's and also Zinnia's. I think it was passable but there were a few things I wasn't thrilled about. The dusting powder I put on was too thick and took away from the flower, also the icing wasn't as smooth as it needed to be.

This is the second. I used a #104 tip.
To start I took a drinking glass and lightly used it to make perfect circle indentations on the cake. Then I took the #104 tip and started from the outside and placing the icing bag at a 45 degree angle and brought it into the center. The first cake I started from the center and was frustrated with how the outside edges turned out. After I finished the petal color I just filled in the center with a contrasting color. Next time I would use a small star tip and use it multiple times to fill in the center. I still love the effect that it had and thought it was beautiful!

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Diaper Cake Centerpieces

We had my sister in laws shower the other week and one of the decorations was diaper cake centerpieces. These weren't the huge type they were the size of a normal 9" layer cake.
To make three of these I used:
3 receiving blankets
a package of 44 diapers
15 big silk flowers
contrasting ribbon
1 rubber band

Here is the breakdown of how I did it, the pictures above show chronologically how to do these types of cakes.
1. Lay the blanket down on a smooth surface
2. Place a glass in the middle and bring the blanket up and into the cup
3. Roll a diaper up and put a rubber band around it
4. Continue rolling diapers up and place inside the same rubber band
5. Place the glass inside the circle of diapers
6. Take blanket out of glass and smooth around the diapers
7. Take the glass out and fill the hole with wrapped up diapers
8. Flip cake over and tuck in the excess blanket
9. Flip back over and tie ribbons around the diaper cake
10. Tuck in silk flowers and arrange so that the dipaers on top are hidden.
11. Place on an elevated cake plate as a centerpiece.

We used these and accessorized with fresh flowers that were also prizes.

Wednesday, April 06, 2011

6 Month Newsletter

My Buggle Boy,
There is a part in "The Grinch Who Stole Christmas" that says that "That the Grinch's small heart Grew three sizes that day!". That is the best way I know to describe being a mother to you. Every day I feel like my ability to love grows. This month was a month of changes, as every month seems to be since we've met! There are so many things that I thought I knew about being a parent, or ideas I held about how things were going to be; I learn every day that I was wrong. Its a good kind of humbling though and I'm happy to learn from you.
I had it set in my head that we were going to exclusively breastfeed till 6 months and I was holding strong to that. You had other things in mind as you lunged for my food and drinks day after day. Finally we relented about a week before 6 months and gave you your first official meal, banana and water. This was after your first unofficial meal which was sharing my apple the day before. I was a little surprised because you were very underwhelmed by the banana but LOVED your water. Since then you've had banana, avocado, blueberry and apple. Your favorite is apples, and you don't want me to cut it up really tiny or puree it; you like to use your teeth and shave yours right off of the apple.

This month we also had your dedication, it was a beautiful day filled with family and friends. I was so excited to have you dedicated, before you were born I felt very much like Hannah in the Bible. I wanted a little boy so much, I prayed and prayed. I can't even describe the desire I had for a son and after 16 months of trying and one miscarriage we were blessed with you. After Hannah had Samuel she said:
" I prayed for this child, and the LORD has granted me what I asked of him.
So now I give him to the LORD. For his whole life he will be given over to the LORD.”
1 Samuel 1:27-28
This is how your Dad and I felt; we were blessed by God with you and we dedicate you to Him. We promise to raise you to know the love of God and teach you all about our faith. We pray that when you are old enough to make the decision that you will share our faith. We also picked your Godparents, Uncle Walter and Aunt Pam. It was a very difficult decision to pick them as you are surrounded by many Aunts and Uncles, Relatives and Friends who love you dearly.
You also had your first St. Patrick's Day! I don't know if you picked up on it, but St. Patty's Day is kind of a big thing in our house. Your daddy and I got married on St. Patty's Day! Daddy took a long weekend and we had so much fun together! You always seem most happy when the three of us are together. We had sushi and went to an indoor water park (your first time in a pool!). You weren't digging the water too much but we took you right during nap time which is just silly. Eventually you fell asleep in the wading river, proving once again if tired enough you will sleep anywhere. We also visited a couple of parks nearby one for a walk and one for a picnic. We put you on the swing and you loved it. Granny was impressed with how well you held on in the picture we sent her.

This month you also had your first tantrum. It was pretty funny, you are generally a pretty happy fellow and usually when you cry it is for a reason; so when you completely lost it in the bathtub we were stumped. Your dad had just used the blue plastic octopus cup to rinse your hair and then you lost it. Finally we realized that you WANTED THAT CUP!! While I wouldn't have guessed it, I kind of like these tantrums. Its just another way that we can communicate, I like that you know what you want and tell us! Eventually I hope you learn the tools to tell us in other ways but I do hope you always feel welcome to tell us your thoughts and desires.You also have gotten shy this month. You are still quick to give smiles but will hide your head on my shoulder or in my chest when people come talk to you. It is pretty adorable I must say! You also started splashing in the tub with your hands, you have always loved soaking anyone near you with your feet but the hands is a new one for this month.
he kind of reminds me of a marionette here
You have started reaching for people this month. The first time was to nurse at night then the first person besides Mommy and Daddy that you reached for was Aunt Pam. You are getting really good at sitting up on your own as well. You do fall over but you can stay up for awhile before you do. You haven't quite got the transition from sitting to hands and knees intentionally but I know its coming. You are really getting close to the crawling too, you generally will get where you want to go but it doesn't look like crawling yet. The other day you just scooted yourself across our bed on your back and pushing with your knees. More often than not you do this thing where you push with your feet and kind of jam your face into whatever surface you are on to get where you want to go. I am going to be so happy when you learn not to do this!!
You really enjoy a good book, I can usually get in 3-4 in a sitting without you losing interest. We read all the time and you love to listen to music too. I have caught you keeping time with the music which is already better than me!!
You are really enjoying the change in the weather which has led to more walks outside. We try to go every day and you love being in the BECO and walking! We go for at least 40 minutes at a time and you have never fussed while on a walk.

You are so much fun my boy. I am having a blast being your Mommy. You make me laugh, teach me and humble all at the same time. This Mommy gig can grow you like nothing I've known before.
Love Always,

Monday, April 04, 2011

Monthly Update-Month 1 on WW

So I started Weight Watchers last month and I'm debating on how I want to document that here. I don't think I want this to be my accountability but it is something big in my life now so I do want to mention it here; so I think it will be a monthly update.

Since Bug has been born I have been trying to be conscious about my food choices and try to make better choices and be more active. On a total from the date he was born I have lost at least 39 lbs. Holla! Based on my pre-pregnancy weight I have lost 25lbs. I am so happy about this! Weight Watchers has really helped give me a jumpstart because I was stuck on the same 5 lbs for a month jumping up and down then once I started it has just started coming off.

This month I have lost 11 lbs. I am ecstatic about losing weight but even more so about being a role model to Bug in this. If I keep at it, he might not even remember me being overweight. I want to be a mom that can chase him around, run and play with him. I want to be a mom that can model good food choices and not pass on bad habits to him. Mostly I want to be a mom that is around for awhile. Now I realize that this isn't completely in my control that God is sovereign but I can help it by keeping in shape and decreasing my chances of Diabetes, heart disease and heart attack.

The biggest help to me has been having a food tracker right on my phone. I can look up all my food and keep track of is so easily this way; no juggling books and keeping paper and pen on me or relying on my memory. Also I have been using my kitchen scale like a fiend. The thing I feel most accomplished with is activity, Bug and I have been walking and I can tell that my energy and endurance is already up. I wear him in my Beco and just walk and walk; generally he gets tired and takes a nap but sometimes he just looks around on our whole walk. I love that I am teaching him to get out and get active!! We have also had a few parties to attend, that has always been a stumbling block to me in the past. This month I feel like I have really gone into them with a healthy attitude of not worrying too much but trying to make healthy choices. One "bad" day won't derail weeks of healthy choices if I don't let it.

As far as clothes I am already down 2 sizes and I am on the cusp of the next clothing size. Its a big one for me because once I get there I can start shopping in one of my favorite "regular" stores that don't cater to the big girls. I am still in plus sizes but just being able to shop in certain stores is a win for me and shows me that sometime soon I won't have to be in plus sizes anymore. So yes, things are going well. I keep praying for the strength to take this day by day and make good healthy choices.

****I am not being compensated for this post. This is just my unbiased opinions of these companies/products.