Tory Burch Handbag Cake

I’ve never been much of a fashionista.  Heck, any spare change I have, I’d quickly spend on a new cake decorating toy or at Joann’s Fabrics so I can make something for my daughter.  So when Kim asked me to make a Tory Burch handbag cake for her niece, Amanda, my first response was, “Who’s Tory Burch?”

Luckily there’s this great thing called a Google Image Search so I was no longer in the dark about what she was talking about.  Together, Kim & I picked out this one to make a replica of:

Tory Burch purse we modeled the cake after.

But no purse is complete without all the crucial accessories!

Tory Burch Handbag = cake! Plus edible accessories! Continue reading

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Taste of New Tampa – Best of Taste Winners!

Taste of New Tampa 2012

As you already know, we participated in the Taste of New Tampa last weekend.   We had a great time and met so many friendly & interesting people!  And right in the middle of the event, we were approached by one of the event coordinators who told us that there was going to be a Taste competition.  Surprise!!!

We were asked to provide a sample of our choice to the 2 judges.  Since we figure you can best judge a cake vendor based on their basic flavors – chocolate and vanilla – that’s all we had with us.  So we gave the judges a slice of our vanilla cake.

And the results were just announced.  We came in 2nd place for the desserts category!  Heck, for a surprise competition and only having basic cake flavors at the ready, we’re thrilled!

See the full post and other Taste competition results here:

Were you there on Sunday?  What did YOU think?

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Affiliated Engineers, Inc. Cake for Office Party

Last Thursday, we had our office party debut!  Affiliated Engineers, Inc. has recently moved their office from North Tampa to Harbor Island and wanted to celebrate with an open house party.  And no party is complete without a cake so they called us!

I won’t lie.  It was hard to come up with a creative and fun cake design for an engineering firm.  Engineering is full of straight lines, calculations, and precision.  And, in the past, our cakes tend to be a little whimsical, fun, and colorful.

But, after a full day of brainstorming, here’s what we came up with:

A cake created for an engineering firm's office party.

Continue reading

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Monthly Newsletter Debut!

That’s right!  We are going to start sending out a monthly newsletter!  The newsletter will arrive in your inbox at the end of each month and will include the following:

  • A wrap-up of the cakes we completed during the month
  • Announcements of upcoming events & classes
  • Alerts to contests we’re running
  • Announcements of the next month’s specials/discounts
  • Etc, etc, etc!

Don’t miss our first issue, scheduled for next Monday, January 30, 2012!

Sign up for our newsletter.

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Blue M&M Cake

If you know me, you know I am a HUGE M&M fan!   Love the candy.  Love the characters.  Love the commercials.  Love the magazine ads.  Love, love, love.
So I was thrilled when a new client called to order an M&M cake.  She gave me full artistic freedom on the cake but just requested that it be blue and somehow involve M&Ms.
So I baked an 8-inch round cake and carved the edges to make them smooth like an M&M.  Then, I carved the Blue M&M’s face into it.
 blue m&m cake fondant
So fun!  And best of all, it was a chococlate cake with bavarian cream filling.   Yum!
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Sand Castle Cake and Newborn Photography

I know I said I’d try to keep my family off this blog since it’s a CAKE blog…but I can’t resist this post.  One week after Mikaela was born, my friend Elise Kersey of Elise Kersey Photography took some newborn photos at a local beach.

We got there EARLY so we could catch the sunrise.
Little Mikaela loved the warm weather – and it made her so sleepy!
But wait!  This blog post does relate to cakes!  I made a sand castle cake for the photo shoot.
 The whole cake was covered with light brown sugar, and I decorated it with hand-made gum paste shells and a piece of fondant driftwood into which Mikaela’s name was carved.

Our sweet baby girl is now 7 weeks old.  She’s chubbier and she now smiles at us, but she’s still a beach bum at heart.  We have a picture of a beach hanging above her changing table and she loves to lay there smiling and coo-ing at it.  We’re excited to take her to the beach for her first ocean swim one day!

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2011Tampa Susan G. Komen 3-Day for the Cure

Ok, folks…over a year ago I announced that I was going to walk in the 2011 Tampa Susan G. Komen 3-Day for the Cure and it’s now over! It was such an amazing experience in so many ways, and here’s my brief (brief as possible, at least) recap:

3 weeks before the event, I was welcomed to join a local team – Team Hope. Here are the ladies of the team shortly after beginning the walk in Clearwater Beach. Looking so fresh and chipper! 20 miles to go til dinner!

If you follow this blog or know me personally, you already know that I have a 7-week old baby. So, being pregnant until September 16th really hindered my ability to complete long-distance training walks. Of course, you’re silly to try to walk 60 miles in 3 days without training…but what choice did I have? I trained hard for the 3 weeks prior to the walk, but I still felt like I was going “0 to 60 in 3 Days.” Here goes nothing!

Since I’m not very outgoing, I baked almost 300 pink ribbon cookies to give out to walkers along the route. I figured, if I give them a free cookie, that will force them to talk to me, and I’ll meet 100 people each day!

What I neglected to consider was that 100 cookies is heavy. After carrying them 3 miles on the first day, I started just handing them out in handfuls to whomever would take them. So much for meeting 100 people! But I enjoy baking (obviously) and I was thrilled to offer something sweet to the walkers who’d already worked so hard to fund raise and were now committed to walking so many miles over the weekend. What’s weird is that by the 3rd day, people had heard of me! When I was handing out cookies, people would say “You’re the cookie girl! I heard about you!” Makes it all feel worthwhile.

But back to the walk…Each day’s route is divided into little walking segments. About every 3 miles, you get a Pit Stop (with food, drinks, potty, and medical help), a Grab & Go (with food, drinks, and potty), or lunch. Breaking up the miles REALLY makes it easier to finish each day. Mentally, you tell yourself you can make it to the next pit stop. Then, you stop and rest and feel like you can make it to the next pit stop 3 miles ahead! And before you know it, you’re at lunch! After a nice rest at lunch, you do it all over again until you arrive at camp for the night.

Here is a shot of a bunch of walkers at the very first Pit Stop on Day 1:

On the first day of the walk, the walkers were very bunched up. We had plenty of room to walk, but what I mean is that it was cool to see the river of pink flow up and down bridges all over town. You could see pink WAY ahead and behind you!

And sprinkled in among the route stops were Cheering Stations. These are designated, published spots where spectators are encouraged to gather and cheer on the walkers. This is the first Cheering Station on the route:

And I’d like to point out the age of the walker out in front. Hello! If she can walk 60 miles, you can too!

And here I am walking through a Cheering Station on Day 3:

The 3-Day is an amazing event. Not only do you have approximately 1500 people walking (think 1500 times the $2300 fundraising minimum = at least $3.45 million raised!) plus the 3-Day staff and the volunteer crew keeping us safe, fed, and on-route…but you’ve also got the spectators cheering the walkers on! And, as we walked through neighborhoods and communities, people came out of their homes to cheer us on. There were people outside their homes in the cold on Sunday morning at 8am cheering for us. Seriously? They could have been snuggled into their beds still! It really creates a sense of community as we stand up TOGETHER to fight breast cancer. Gives me goosebumps.

At night, all the walkers and crew gather at “Camp.” Camp is where you eat dinner, check for mail, rest for the next day, do some 3-Day shopping, and SLEEP! Camp is another community experience – one I didn’t get to participate in this year, but I’ll get to that later.

Each night, as the last walker approaches camp, they make an announcement. Immediately, everyone drops what they’re doing to walk outside and cheer on the walker! It’s very emotional. The walker is usually crying and the entire camp is cheering them on. They carry a flag into camp and proudly raise it up a flagpole to signify that everyone is safely at home and camp is in session!

At the end of the 3rd day’s route, all the walkers gather in a “holding area.” Then, the 1500 walkers walk together to the Closing Ceremony where they’re cheered on by spectators and their loved ones. Here is my team walking to the Closing Ceremony:

And out pops my hubby, Adam, with a huge bouquet of flowers! He’s awesome. :) And I love Kristy’s face in this photo (she’s on the far left):

After the walkers march into Closing Ceremony, the crew and survivors follow. The walkers then salute the survivors by raising our shoes in their honor. After all, we’re walking for them, aren’t we?

Then, a select few survivors raise the 3-Day flag one last time. The Closing Ceremonies are very emotional for everyone. I think you’d be hard-pressed to find someone whose life has not been touched by breast cancer in some way so while the Closing Ceremonies are celebrating the funds raised and the progress that has been made in finding a cure, you can’t help but think about those who are fighting or have fought their own battle with breast cancer.

But that whole recap was just a recap…Here are my personal experiences:

Like I mentioned above, I have a 7-week old baby. She’s had some digestive issues and cannot take formula so I am breastfeeding her. Now, let’s think about this for a minute…walking 20 miles a day for 3 days is VERY time consuming so how am I supposed to breastfeed her at the same time?!

Adam & I decided that we’d supplement with soy formula during the walk. Well, apparently the soy didn’t agree with her stomach so the first day of the walk was difficult for Adam and our baby Mikaela. Poor thing! So we decided that we would try to coordinate our schedules enough that Adam & Mikaela would meet me along the route every 2 hours so I could feed her and keep walking. That is no small task since they do not publish the route!

I figured this would be too difficult and we’d never be able to pull this off so I was prepared to either quit the walk or have to take the Sweep Vans to lunch and camp in order to meet them. But, Adam’s amazing! With help from his parents (who are also amazing), they were able to meet me every 2 hours. Mikaela was soon feeling much better and I was able to continue to participate in the walk. Yay!

On Day 1, I walked all but about 4 miles of the route. I wasn’t prepared to be walking so many miles alone so I was emotionally beaten. When you walk alone, you have time to think about all your aches and pains – not good! I took a Sweep Van and skipped the last 4 miles before lunch. I felt somewhat rejuvenated after lunch and continued walking. Adam met me 1 mile before the end, and I told him, “I can’t make it. I’m going to have to take a van for the last mile.” It’s only a mile though! I rested while I fed Mikaela and decided to head back on the route. Well, I did it! I finished that mile and walked a total of about 16 miles that day!

On Day 2, I felt amazing! I was ready to walk alone and was in much better spirits! Mikaela was feeling better so I wasn’t stressed about that either. I met up with Adam, his parents, and Mikaela every 2 hours to feed her (and get emotionally psyched again). I was able to walk all 20 miles! In the last 2 miles, though, I started feeling a lot of pain in my left foot. I met a new friend and she is the ONLY reason I didn’t Sweep to camp that night. She kept me walking, and I’m so glad I did.

On Day 3, I started out with the same pain in my foot. I wasn’t able to get it taped up until lunch so I took one Sweep Van to skip 3 miles in the morning. At lunch, I got taped up and hit the road again. I was still meeting up with Mikaela every 2 hours and I was emotionally energized to finish this thing! By the end of Day 3, the pain in my foot had returned and I was walking at a snail’s pace. But I was determined to WALK across the finish line, not roll across it in a Sweep Van. I did it, and – miraculously – I wasn’t the last walker to finish!

But what got me through the 60 miles that weekend was…

1. My daughter. Meeting up with her every 2 hours really revved me up. This was the first time I was really separated from her since her birth so it was emotional to leave her for the entire day. Seeing her every 2 hours allowed me to love on her a little, touch her, kiss her, and smell her (you know you love that new baby smell). Knowing she was waiting for me just a few miles ahead is what kept me walking…just one foot in front of the other…

2. My personal cheering squad. My family sacrificed so much that weekend so that I could complete the 3-Day. When I signed up to do this, I never thought it would take an entire team to support one walker! Adam and his parents were such troopers running all over town to reunite Mikaela and I throughout the day. Taylor joined them on the last day and she had to be the best cheer leader on the route! And Mom was cheering me on from home while she took care of our puppy Nani. And did I mention that Mom cleaned our whole house by herself? It felt awesome to return to a CLEAN home!

3. Graham Snackers and G2. Seriously! These Graham Snackers were a favorite among the walkers at the Pit Stops! SOOOOO yummy! And G2 kept me hydrated enough to continue walking.

So why do I walk?
I walk because I can.
I walk for those who can’t.
And I walk for my daughter.
As I saw on a T-shirt during the walk…let’s find a cure for breast cancer before she has boobs.

So I started this post saying that I’m hooked on the 3-Day. Yup, hooked! Next year, I’m forming my own team. We’ll walk TOGETHER and have so much fun…like a mobile party! Woot woot! Will you join us? I’ll update this post as soon as we have a team fundraising page. In the meantime, email me if you’re interested!

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Getting Back in the Saddle

I’m baaaaack!!! You did notice I was gone, right??? Ok, let’s just pretend you missed me. *wink*

My last post was on Wednesday, September 14th. Some of you may already know this, but I actually went into labor late Thursday night and had my baby at 5:19am on Friday, September 16th! So, it has taken me a little over a month to get used to our new schedule & lifestyle. But I’m back and ready to start blogging and caking again!!

First, I’ve got a few things to follow up on:

I recently had the pleasure of virtually (we’ve only talked through email) meeting a diaper cake designer. A diaper cake is something that looks like a 2-3 tiered cake, but is actually made of rolled up diapers! It’s so cute and makes really amazing party decorations and centerpieces (next to the real cake, of course). Anyway, Holli at Shower Cakez & Glitz made a Minnie Mouse diaper cake that would go perfectly with the Minnie Mouse cake I last posted.

So cute, right?! So if you’re throwing a party (baby shower, bridal shower, birthday party, graduation party, etc), consider ordering something like this – and it doesn’t have to be made of diapers! Check out Holli’s website for more info but these things make GREAT gifts!

Going back a few more days, I posted another Sneak Peek on our Facebook Fan Page! Did you see it?! Are you a fan? I only post these Sneak Peeks to the Fan Page so you must be a fan to see them and have a chance to win the prizes.

This Sneak Peek really threw people for a loop. I got guesses like a Mighty Mouse, Stitch, a Pokemon character, Lemmings, Winnie the Pooh, etc. For this contest, I allowed entrants to guess as many times as they wanted. Each correct guess would count as an “entry” into a drawing for something sweet and hand made from me! But after 6 hours of guessing, I finally had to give a hint and I still only got TWO correct guesses!

The cookies are puppies! French Bulldogs, to be specific. Kate ordered these cookies to send to her brand new hubby overseas! She wanted the cookies to be something to remind him of home and something that made him really happy – their French Bulldog Munster! Here is the picture she sent me to base the cookies on:

So who won the goodies from me? I put Kristin’s and Jane’s names in a hat and the winner is….Jane! I will contact you through Facebook to get your mailing address. Congrats and thanks to everyone who guessed. That was the most fun Sneak Peek yet!

Ok, and the last thing I have to update you on is…my baby! One week after she was born, we had a newborn photography shoot at the beach with my good friend Elise Kersey of Elise Kersey Photography. Here’s a sneak peek that she gave us from the shoot:

I am in LOVE with that photo, and of course our little girl too! Now, since this is a cake bog, I’ll try to resist posting picture after picture of our baby…but forgive me if one slips through every now and then. *wink*

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Masquerade 50th Birthday Cake!

You may remember in March 2011, I helped plan the 2011 Florida ICED Cake Competition with my friend Lisa. Well, Lisa turned 50 in April and her hubby (and some amazing friends) planned a surprise party for her! When they asked me to make her birthday cake, I was thrilled! …and then very nervous… How do you make a birthday cake for someone who makes cakes for a living?! It’s only natural for her to notice all the flaws…The pressure was on!

Lisa loves all things masquerade so that was the theme of the party.

50th masquerade birthday cake mardis gras green purple white black gold

I carved each of the 3 cake tiers so they had a bit more of a whimsical, playful feel than simple straight edges. The whole cake was covered in white fondant, and I used Mardis Gras colors (green, purple, black, and gold) to decorate it.

50th masquerade birthday cake mardis gras green purple white black gold

The mask on top was created out of gum paste, and the feathers (sorry, not edible) were purchased at craft & party stores around town. A word of warning: If you’re creating a cake that needs feathers after Mardis Gras, start your search early! It took forever for me to find enough feathers for this cake!

50th masquerade birthday cake mardis gras green purple white black gold

And Lisa’s name and the “50” at the bottom of the cake were also created out of gum paste and glued in place with royal icing.

50th masquerade birthday cake mardis gras green purple white black gold

Coincidentally, Masquerade is also the theme of the 2012 Florida ICED Cake Competition on March 31 and April 1, 2012! I will be there as one of the judges and will be doing two demos, one on Saturday and one on Sunday (topics TBD). Check out the photos from this year’s competition and start making your plans to be there next year! Want to enter? Be sure to read the rules carefully and consider my tips for successfully entering and WINNING cake decorating competitions!

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Diaper Bag Baby Shower Cake

Last weekend, Adam’s mom threw us another baby shower! There were so many people there to talk to and so much good food to eat that I didn’t take a single photo at the shower. Whoops! I can’t believe it! So I have no new baby bump photos to share with you, but I do have a gazillion photos of the cake!

It’s the first official cake for Mikaela from Mommy! In other words, I made it. I spent almost all day Friday working on it because I wanted it to be just perfect for her.

The cake itself was shaped like a giant diaper bag and had a layer of chocolate cake, a layer of vanilla cake, and guava filling. The baby shower was held at Cafe Nuevo in Tampa (yum!) so I thought it was appropriate to have guava filling.

diaper bag baby shower cake edible baby shoes teether rattle
diaper bag baby shower cake edible baby shoes teether rattle
diaper bag baby shower cake edible baby shoes teether rattle
I made a tag for the bag and wrote “Mikaela” on it so it looked like we were ready to drop her off at day care. Although, I don’t know if she’ll ever go to day care with 2 sets of grandparents dying to babysit. *wink*

diaper bag baby shower cake edible baby shoes teether rattle
And I made a couple of pairs of shoes using cutters from Cakes N’Supplies by Ximena. Love them! I made these late at night on Thursday so they came out a little sloppier than I’d hoped…I think my eyes had started going cross-eyed…but the cake wouldn’t have been complete without them! In fact, Taylor, who came over to help me deliver the garbage truck cake & cookies, helped me by making the buttons and cutting out the Converse logos. Perfectly done!

diaper bag baby shower cake edible baby shoes teether rattle
Then I made a key teether set using another cutter from Cakes N’Supplies by Ximena. So cute! And I had to make some safety pins to represent the fact that we’re going to use cloth diapers for Mikaela.

diaper bag baby shower cake edible baby shoes teether rattle
And after we finished putting all the accessories on the board, Taylor and I noticed a blank spot towards the back. Oh no! That will not do! But Taylor came to the rescue and made this adorable baby rattle to fill the spot!

diaper bag baby shower cake edible baby shoes teether rattle
My due date is only 7 weeks away now and we can’t wait to meet Mikaela!

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