One Goal Down, Eleven to Go

If you're a regular reader, then you know that I'm on a quest to complete a whole lotta stuff during this last year of my 20s. (Click for the full list.) Finally, just a few days shy of the end of Month Two, I completed something: I learned to decorate a cake nicely!

Over the past couple of weeks, I've been taking the Wilton Method Decorating Basics course at my local Michaels. It was supposed to be a four-week course, but due to travel plans, etc., I had to compress the course into two weeks.

Thankfully, my instructor signed off on that.

Anyway, blah blah blah about the class (which was awesome), wanna see my cake?

{Forgive the quality. It was nighttime and I used my smudged-lens cell phone.}
{Also, forgive the holes. They were for toothpicks to keep the saran wrap from clinging to the cake.}
Over the course of the, um, course, we learned 20 or so different techniques: making icing, coloring icing, icing a cake, filling a cake, shell/shell border, stars, dots, curvy lines, zigzags, drop flowers, swirl flowers, rosettes/rosette borders, leaves, filling a cupcake, icing a cupcake, ribbon roses, dimensional icing, and pompom flowers. For this cake, I used ten of those techniques: making icing, coloring icing, icing a cake, filling a cake, swirl flowers, curvy lines, leaves, shell borders, dots (not pictured), and drop flowers (not pictured).

Without going into the gory details (like how I COULD NOT get the DAMN icing to STAY SMOOTH), I'll tell you that this is a butter yellow cake with mango-pineapple filling and is iced with buttercream icing. It is fabulous. (Yes, I took a tiny bite, thus ruining my diet. And it was worth it.)

I have decided that I absolutely adore cake decorating. Even if I don't complete a SINGLE other thing on this list, I'll be happy that I did this one. This is going to save us SHEDLOADS of money in the long run (by NOT having to shell out on birthday cakes for three daughters!), is a great outlet for creativity, and is just plain fun.

And actually, here's the other part with that: I want to keep decorating cakes. Every day, I look at my supplies and think, Hmm, what can I bake/decorate today? But I can't do that, because then we'll have a house full of cookies and cupcakes.


If you need a cake, cookies, or batch of cupcakes (and live relatively locally to me ... I don't think I can manage to ship these suckers yet), please, please, pretty please let me do it! All you have to do is let me post pictures on my blog or keep them in a portfolio (if you're opposed to having something online). I just need and want some practice.

So, what do you think? Can I cross "decorate a cake nicely" off my list, or do I need to try, try again?


The End is in Sight!

{Image source: Walter-Wilhelm}
I did it.


I'm within 10 pounds of my goal weight.

I know!

My goal weight, by the way, is what I weighed when I got married. Not what I was in high school, not what I was in college, not what I was on active duty, not even what I was before I had kids. My wedding day, slimmed-down-because-these-pictures-will-last-forever weight.

I'm not going to lie, I'm proud of myself. This has been nearly two solid months of a restricted diet and daily cardio. And I know, there are plenty of people who do this every day and have for years. But it was a BIG change for me, and doing it around the lives of my children has been a challenge.

I'm not done; I won't be for at least another 3 weeks. But if I stopped now, I could rest easy in knowing that I can fit back into my favorite pair of jeans and that I won't be judged for getting porky when I run into friends from high school.
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