Thursday, March 28, 2013

When things go horribly wrong

One of my cakes from 2008
Husband's birthday was last week, and like a good wifey I decided I'd make him a cake! When I was in high school and college, I made cakes all the time and they were always pretty tasty and beautiful.

Unfortunately, I didn't have a lot of time to put the cake together for his Saturday evening birthday party, so I decided to stick with boxed mix and canned icing - not that that's a bad thing. I got white cake mix and added some almond extract (1 tsp per box), and got strawberry preserves to mix with the icing. It was fool-proof.

I even went out and got a brand new square cake pan. Everything was set. Saturday afternoon comes around, I mix up my cake mix and pour it in the greased pan. Little while later, cake was done. Let it cool for a few minutes, then came issue number one...

Cake was stuck.I finally got it out of the pan, but it was pretty damaged. Well, shit. That's okay. It's salvageable. No problem. I went ahead and cut the cake down the middle so I could put a nice thick layer of delicious strawberry icing in between the two pieces. No big problems yet. Iced the bottom half. No issues. Went to put the top half back on...

And it fell apart. It just crumbled.

That's okay. That's okay! I can just use icing to even it out...

Nope. Didn't work. It was awful. The icing was just making it crumble more and I had a major cakedown. I started crying, asked Husband what I could possibly do about it because it was so ugly and awful and I had already spent the money on the cake trying to make it. He tried his best to soothe me, but sometimes there's just nothing you can say.

And then I went crazy.

Just kidding. Sort of. I did go crazy, but I also had an epiphany. I could smash up this ugly horrible cake and make cake balls! I had never done it before, but I watched a friend make them once and it seemed pretty easy... I wasn't sure if my ratios were right at all (turns out the balls were a little moister than usually prepared due to too much icing).

Turns out it was fine. Rolled up the cake and icing into little balls, covered it with blue and green candy melts - which, by the way, I couldn't find a good way to do to get a smooth surface... Everyone loved them. I was surprised! But also happy my disaster didn't ruin the night.
My cake balls and some other snacks for the evening.

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Weekend Challenge: Sunroom

Our sunroom has always been one of our most used, and yet most neglected, rooms in the home. Every party we host, the sunroom becomes the music and dancing center, and so it was important to us to keep the room open. On a daily basis, the sunroom has always been our cats' favorite place to lounge, and I have slowly been moving my crafting supplies into the room...

Step 1? Clear out everything.

Unfortunately, this room evolved into a space to store all of our wedding goodies until we found real homes for them. Cutting boards, picture frames, a deep fryer, glasses, car repair kits... A little bit of this, and a little bit of that.

Step 2 - deep cleaning. Something I learned - vinegar is a seriously badass cleaner. I have a spray bottle of 2 parts water, 1 part vinegar that I use as a general cleaner. The old owners of our home were smokers, and vinegar has done wonders.

Step 3 - My first rule when redoing a space is to only bring things back in that you want to live in that room. I know it sounds like common sense, but this is something that most people forget. And once you end up with a pile of stuff that doesn't fit in the space anymore, it becomes a lot easier to purge the items you don't need.

I'm really happy wit how the space turned out, even though a lot of the changes are temporary. We're going to need to drag everything out again to repair the walls and paint, but damn. Already a big difference.

And you see that horrible ugly light fixture? I'm so blessed to have an electrician for a husband... He put in a beautiful new light on a dimmer switch, which is going to be awesome for entertaining!

I found these pillows at Home Depot in the garden center, but they really helped me figure out my vision for this room. Once I do a little more and get the paint on the walls, I'll post another update!

Happy St. Patrick's Day!