Monthly Archives: February 2012

Happy Birthday, Jillian! The mall threw an expo just for you!

Jillian is 20 today! To celebrate, we got up early, headed over to the kitchen to prep the BBQ Meatballs and load the van. After a car wash to make our van presentable, we headed over to the mall to set up for the KICKS 96/ 101.7/Hoppe Jewelers Bridal Extravaganza.

We work well as a team and it doesn’t take us long to set up. We had to be set up by 11:30 and didn’t get there until 10:30. Most everyone was already there and setting up. Of course, we prefer to keep it simple and we don’t have an elaborate display. There was an award for best decorated booth but we decided at the last expo to just go with a color them (chocolate, teal & gold) and napkins, food display pieces, a simple bouquet, our attire and even cake pops decorated in our theme colors pulled the whole booth together, I think.

Cake pop flavors: Lemon, White, Caramel Cappuccino & Chocolate

Cupcakes: Lemon Dream, Sour Cream White, Chocolatetown Special, Sour Cream Yellow, Red Velvet and Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Icing.

Craig brought Autumn to hang out with us. She wants to be a part of what we’re doing no matter what it is and that’s precious to me. She’s already part of the “Rockness Monster,” as we humbly refer to ourselves,  as she is fantastic at cake pop making and already pretty good at cake decorating at the tender age of 8.

We met a lot of friendly folks and always get a kick out of brides-to-be planning their weddings. I get excited with them as they excitedly plan for the big day and try to remember to say a quick prayer over them praying they’ll have a marriage that lasts.

After packing up, we headed straight home so I could crash and Jillian could hang out with the gang before going out with Natalie & friends for her birthday.

There’s more to our birthday girl’s day but I must needs crash n burn.

What’s not shared is lost,

Michelle

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Hoping for a growth spurt

SO….for the first time in about a decade, I went to a ladies Bible study Friday. The subject matter, of all things, is contentment and peace. The book we’re studying is Calm My Anxious Heart by Linda Dillow and I’m sure it’s just a coincidence the ladies started a study on a subject I happen to be struggling with at the moment.  Actually, I felt compelled to join because of the subject matter AND because of the lovely ladies participating. I confess I have not been in the Word nor have I been praying through my struggles. I’ve been “avoiding.”

I was given a book A LONG time ago called Always Daddy’s Girl by a counselor who observed habits I had developed during my upbringing in relation to my father. The book addresses how a girl’s relationship with her earthly father has a profound effect on her relationship with pretty much everybody but especially her heavenly Father. SO,  I have this flaky thing I do – when I know I’m not “living up” to my Father’s expectations, I “avoid” Him.  Yea, I know, AS IF one could really avoid God.  And, yes, we are to put childish ways behind is but it’s always beneficial to realize the weird things we do and why we do them.  When I was growing up, if I knew I was doing something that would earn my father’s displeasure, I would, of course avoid him. Because my father was volatile and unpredictably angered, I avoided him a lot. So, the more I’m afraid of displeasing God, the more I avoid Him, the further away from I pull and “hide” (laughable), the more I struggle with my bents toward sin, the more displeasing I am, the more I avoid…you get the idea.

Something else I’ve observed in myself and others, the more disappointed  I am with myself, the more discontent I become with my circumstances and those around me. Dang! Will I ever learn?

So I opened up this book and on the first page I read, “What we are on the inside, what we continually think about, eventually shows in our words, actions, and even on our countenances.” O-U-C-H.  Yea, we all know this but sometimes we need smacked in the face with the reminder. We all try to do this wife & mom thing in our own strength but our families see right through it.  Their reactions to our behavior speak volumes.  We tell ourselves, “but I’m trying so hard.” Oh, pooh, who are we kidding? I CANNOT be who God wants me to be in my own strength. Duh. So why do I try?  I’ve spent A LOT of energy of worrying about our business, money, struggles, you name it. That draws me closer to God how? Losing sleep just makes me…tired.  SO, I’m praying that I wise up and learn from these sisters in Christ and learn from the book that which will draw me closer to God, to my family and friends, to contentment and closer to His likeness.

What’s not shared is lost,

Michelle

My Thursday

We had a wedding cake consultation this evening so today was making cupcakes: Chocolatetown Special with Chocolate Buttercream, Sour Cream White with Buttercream and Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Icing. Noah was my assistant the first part of the day and after making the cream cheese icing, worked on his school. After closing, we went home, I took a power nap, then swapped Noah for Ben and went back to the kitchen to prep for the consultation. I printed out a consultation form, piped icing on the cupcakes, and worked on Cake Terms & Conditions. We’ve had Terms & Conditions for catering since the start but I haven’t had anything in print for cakes and it’s been long overdue so I’ve been researching that.

Consultations are one of the funnest parts of my job. Especially weddings. When a bride-to-be starts sharing her vision for her wedding, you get to know her very quickly in a very unique way. A wedding brings out so much of a person’s personality! I love it! Sometimes you meet a mom or future mother-in-law that’s a stick-in-the mud or a bridezilla. That wasn’t the case today.  I think it’s sweet when the mom is alongside and helping her daughter enjoy the process of planning for the big day. And this gal today is! She had a 3″ binder with divider tabs just for planning her wedding complete with pic of her and fiancée on front. She should be a bridal coordinator. Very organized.

I’m looking forward to designing this particular cake. First of all, we’re tickled that these folks chose us from the last bridal expo we participated in because they decided that our cake tasted  the best. Yay us! They were humming over their samples today, as well. This gal wants an “old,” simple reception and cake. Colors we are working with are gray, eggplant and silver. The cake itself is to be gray with eggplant ribbon around the bottom and a brooch on it. The plan is to make one with edible diamonds. The cake topper is to be a simple, silver “S.” There’s a definite Victorian flair with old-fashioned simplicity threading through her style. I don’t know if she realizes it, but this wedding could very easily go steampunk but I don’t think that’s what she wants. Ah, well, one can dream….

After the consultation, we packed up and headed home where I was greeted by meatloaf, scalloped potatoes & vegetable medley. My kids rock! (When proof-reading this I realized it almost sounded like I was greeted by the rockstar meatloaf – good thing I added the sides or I’m sure that’s what you would have thought). Right after dinner, Isaiah asked if I would give him his reading lesson. Night school? Bring it. So I reclined on the couch and he buzzed through his lesson. How many preschool teachers get to recline when giving their lessons? Ha! This evening also included my A.D.D kicking in and I shared my distraction with Lenae and Natalie as we perused websites with photos of steampunk houses, clothes and weddings.  Very cool stuff.

That’s February 16, 2012 for me.

What’s not shared is lost,

Michelle

I was on very important business…..

So we had to close our kitchen today.  When you own your own little business, you do watcha gotta do. I had to drive 3 hours north to get Jillian who had been staying with sister, Corinne, so she could babysit for Valentine’s. And do Corinne’s nails. And do Corinne’s hair. You get the idea. Corinne & SIL needed a date so we parted with Jillian for a few days. Ben & Judah went with me on our little adventure. It was a short visit but delightful, just the same.

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On the way home we stopped at The Apple Dumplin’ Inn (do visit – gift shop is amazing – take money) and treated them to ….well, Apple Dumplings. The best…ever. Take money.

On the way home, somehow I let the GPS with the Australian accent take me away from my intended “path home” and take me toward the “back way.” “Drive 2.5 miles and turn on County Road 1200.” Whatever!  I was so mad at that Aussie dude. I knew how to get home! Why did I have that on anyway? Stupid GPS. I turned it off and, using my amazing sense of direction, got us back on track, no thanks to Crocodile Dundee.

Yep, I was gone on very important business….

What’s not shared is lost,

Michelle

Love Potion

I thought I better get this out before it’s too late in the day for you to go get supplies. A family Valentine tradition our family enjoys (and for which I have been in trouble for when forgetting previous years) is Love Potion. It’s easy, it’s tasty and it’s pink.

What you need:

  • Raspberry Sherbet
  • Pink Lemonade
  • Sprite or 7-Up
  • Pretty glasses
  • Crazy straws

This is very complicated so pay attention: Place a scoop or two of sherbet in the pretty glass. Fill 1/2-full with pink lemonade. Fill the rest of the way with your sody pop. There you have it. The straw makes it more fun. Kids love this, it’s yummy and just one little thing we can do to make the day more special. We also make pink, heart-shaped pancakes. What Valentine traditions do you have? Please share!

What’s not shared is lost,

Michelle

Photo & Video Scrapbooking

I feel so geeky. I came up with this here idea and if it’s already been done, don’t tell me because I’m feeling all smart and stuff. If it hasn’t been suggested before, you’re welcome.

I love digital scrapbooking. It’s fast. It’s easy. It’s fun.  The thought occurred to me that it would be way-cool to have a smart phone, which I don’t, and, while looking through a digital album, be able to watch the videos that go with the story in the album by scanning QR codes on the album pages with that phone I don’t have.

BUT, if you have a smart phone and digital scrapbook, you can enjoy this lovely memory-keeping luxury.

QR stands for Quick Response and I know you’ve seen QR Codes on bill boards, in magazines, on business cards, etc. and they look like this:

This particular QR Code takes you to the YouTube video, “Is Anybody Cuter Than Seth?”

I found a couple of QR Code Generators you can use so you, too, can place a link to your YouTube videos in your scrapbooks. The first one is Smarty Tags and is what I used to generate the above QR Code. It was SO simple. Again, you’re welcome. The other one is Kaywa and is just as simple. Copy and paste the link, click, voila – you have your code. Download your code then you’re ready to add it to your scrapbook page.

FYI, I use Storybook Creator 4.0 for my album-making. I made the following page on Storybook Creator and I just grabbed the first page I came to so the video link is a little misplaced as it’s from January 2010 and Seth wasn’t born until the next month but I just wanted to give you an idea of how you could use this.

You could label the Code, if desired. You could have a page set up comic book style that’s one QR Code after another. There are so many possibilities! You could make a digital cookbook and add how-to videos. Gift albums for grandparents would, of course, include videos from the grandkids. I’m hoping that I will be starting an album for a special group of people with thank you messages from folks from all over the country (and from a few other places) scattered throughout the album. A wedding album would have all those well wishes included throughout the candid pages. Or a simple miss you message at the end of an album sent to a loved one serving in the military abroad. You just got choked up at the thought, didn’t you?

I hope you’re inspired. Like I said, I was feeling all clever and stuff and thought you might enjoy playing with this little idea. Enjoy!

What’s not shared is lost,

Michelle

Super Bowl Ads Analysis

Tim Seidell was asked by the Washington Post to analyze some of the Super Bowl commercials. One of my favorite comments was about the Matthew Broderick commercial – “Although I really wish Charlie Sheen could have reprised his role from the movie, as well. Imagine Matthew ending up on a park bench next to Charlie, who turns to him and says: “Why are you not working? Drugs?” He cracks me up. Enjoy…

Super Bowl ads 2012: The experts weigh in

For daily therapeutic chuckles, you can follow Mr. Seidell on Twitter here: https://twitter.com/#!/badbanana

Super Duper!

Why is it so much fun to root for a team and go crazy when they win and go crazy when they lose? Why do some of us enjoy the Twitter and/or Facebook banter while watching the game?  Why have people traveled from around the country to converge on Indianapolis? Why did we make a gazillion Football Cake Pops this week?

I enjoyed this Super Bowl. It was a nail-biter! I got a kick out of going to Indy to take in the “once-in-a-lifetime” chance to see a city completely converted into Super Bowl City. And it was cool, I might add. I know that the camaraderie that fans share is a part of the energy. I know anticipation is half the fun of any special event and getting ready for The Big Game whether it’s hosting a gathering or just going to a friend’s to hang out and watch is something to look forward to.  But why is so much stinkin’ money sunk into a sport? I read this article on how this “game” adds up and about choked! The bottom line is “$11 billion: Amount consumers are expected to spend on the Super Bowl (hey, those chicken wings aren’t free, people) each year.” This article doesn’t even touch on how much these athletes make each year.  It wouldn’t seem so unreasonable if there were balance i.e. if firefighters, police officers, teachers, our military, etc. made as much or more. I’m not saying these players don’t have skill and they certainly brought it to the Super Bowl and gave us a game to remember! (I was on the edge of my seat!) But, I confess, I feel sad that this game  has become bigger that our holidays and it’s players put on such high pedestals! I love football but it’s FOOTBALL! I’m pretty sure we could have purchased world peace, Madonna, with the amount you were paid to perform tonight. Just sayin’.

I guess I’m done venting.  For now.  Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy a good football game, am a Colts fan (rooted for the Giants this game), and get a jolt from all the Super Bowl hype. This year’s game was worth watching, that’s for sure! And there were some pretty good commercials (writing in Clint Eastwood as President. I’d write in Matthew Broderick as V.P. but I’m not sure that he wouldn’t call in sick). I. Hate. The. Go-Daddy Commercials. Just wanted to put that out there.

All that being said, we gathered at my Father-In-Law’s to watch the game on his big screen, a few of the kids’ friends came over, and we had nachos, chili, pizza and, of course, cake pops.

The kids spent most of their time in the basement playing play station. Losers. Go over to watch the game and…oh well, at least my young men were spared some of those risqué commercials.  The small fries kept themselves busy with the fun stuff stashed in Grandpa’s hutch like the ever popular Playdough and wipe-off board. We had fun. Football with family & friends. How could we not?

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Status updates from the day:

  • ‎6 y.o. Just now-“Since today is #SuperBowl , can I wear something pretty?” LOL!
  • Some of these commercials make me glad my teenage sons have decided to play PlayStation instead of watching the game.
  • Funniest thing tweeted tonight: “If Madonna tebows at the end of this, the world might explode.” -Mo Thieman
  • I was kinda hoping Madonna would do Express Yourself just to remind Ms. Gaga & everyone else where the song originated. #bornthisway
  • Visualize Whirled Peas! Stop the Violins!
  • Just asked, “Whose voice is that?” for the Ford commercial. The 6 y.o. chimed in with “Diego’s!” #IceAge
  • GIANTS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! GAaaaaahhhhh!!! I’m so stressed out!! I need chocolate!!
  • “Great Giant win. First Tush Down I’ve ever seen.” Billy Crystal

What’s not shared is lost,

Michelle