Monday, March 19, 2012

Bumble Bee Baby Shower Cake

Do you know what makes me feel old?  Making a baby shower cake for a friend and being able to remember when the mommy-to-be was born and was just a baby herself.  Yikes!  Any way, I was honored to make the baby shower cake for a long-time, family friend. It was a beautiful and lovely event, and Baby Gavin is lucky to be entering the world surrounded by lots of love, family, and friends. 

The shower was  bee themed, and I was provided a picture of a beautiful bumble bee cake created by Marniela on Cake Central to use as inspiration.  I changed/added a couple of very small details, but in general, kept true to her original design. 

The bumble bee on top was made from Styrofoam shapes I picked up at Michaels and covered in fondant.  I used two thin layers eliminate the bumpiness from the foam.  I also used this tutorial from Jessicakes to make the adorable little black bows for the cake borders.

I used an edible ink marker to make the little bee flight trails on the bottom layer.  Unfortunately, my marker was a bit dried out, so I ended up just dipping the tip of the marker straight into a blob of black gel color every few dashes and drawing them on like that.  Sometimes you just got to improvise and make do with what you got. 

I didn't get a good picture of one of my favorite details, which was the cake board.  I covered a 1/2 inch thick cake drum with white fondant and used a flower impression mat to emboss the fondant. I finished it off with a dusting of pearl powder and covered the edges of the cake drum with a black satin ribbon and bow.  Here is picture of the board right after I finished it.

Finishing off the cake board was something I didn't do much of when I first started decorating, but taking the time to decorate your board really adds to the overall theme and look of your cake.  It's just one of those little details that takes your cakes up a notch and looks a 100% more professional.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Marathon Training Update and My Weight Loss Story

It has been many moons since I did any kind of update for the Wisconsin Marathon training and that is because I decided a couple of weeks ago to pull out of the race.  There are a couple of reasons for that. The main one being that I am simply not committing to the mileage needed to have a successful race.  I could probably log enough miles to complete the race if I want to, but it wouldn't be a pretty race nor would I have a decent time.  It just not worth the money (traveling, lodging, boarding the dogs for the weekend) only to go and barely scrape through the marathon.  I was feeling burnt out very early on in the training and with the Chicago Marathon on my schedule for the fall, I would rather save my energy and my body(my right hip/knee problems were already starting to flare-up again) to fully commit to that marathon.

I am disappointed, mostly with myself for not being able to follow through with this goal, but frankly, I think I just needed a break.  I have been running off and on the last couple of weeks, but it is nice to just go out and run when I feel like it and not be constantly worrying about finding the time to get my miles in.

On top of all that, efforts to drop about 10 pounds of newlywed weight, in order to help pick up some speed with my running, seem to be stuck, like in dried cement stuck.  I keep losing and gaining the same couple of pounds. Grrr! Weight loss and I have long, frustrating, but ultimately pretty successful history which I haven't really talked about before on the blog, but it was my reason for getting into running in the first place.  If you are interested in reading more about my weight loss story, my friend Kristen, at the fabulous blog Low Fat Dressing, has just started a series about some of her friends who have lost and maintained a significant amount of weight, and my story is the inaugural post!   Go check it out and pick up some fashion knowledge and tasty recipes too!