Wednesday, May 29, 2013

SisterChicks and Best Friends !

Tonight I am feeling nostalgic and homesick for my Best Friend ! 

Bek and I have known each other for 13 years, since a summer trip in September when we went to the Tennessee Aquarium on a homeschooling trip. WE have been together ever since, sometimes mad, sometimes crying and WAY more laughing and singing than Anything else! 

There are way to many adventures and life lessons to put into my blog today. 

This post is just to tell my Bestie, I love you and miss you! Thank you for always being a phone call, voicemail, or text away! 

We also can never seem to remember to take a picture when we are together (since we live 2,000 miles apart). 

StarCraft Zerg Cake!

Here is the start of Nate's cake. I made a spice cake with cream cheese icing between the layers. I used pre-made fondant (because the homemade was too sticky to use this time around) in 2 different colors. I added the gray around the edges. After pre-icing the cake, I added some pieces of cake to the top to add the bumps and hills to the top of the cake. Then I added purple fondant in different layers for make it look like it is falling off the cake. 

Then I added the modeling chocolate pieces to the top of the cake. Next came the pieces of jolly ranchers to be blue crystals.

This is a screen shot of what I had to work with in order to make this cake. StarCraft 2 Zerg cake with hatchery, drones, and vespene geyser made with chocolate and minerals made with blue jolly ranchers. 

Nate's first time seeing the cake

Nate was so happy with his cake he sent pictures to StarCraft fans at work and the Pres of his company, Blizzard Entertainment!

Close up of the cake

Its Been 3 years!!!!!

Here is a snap shot of the last 3 years. It was 3 years ago last weekend when we loaded up the truck and SUV with the kids and 2 dogs to move on out to live at the beach!

Our FAVORITE place to spend a relaxing day away from home ! 

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Modeling Chocolate Part 2

The other day I made my own modeling chocolate. The first batch was white and worked ok but was very hard to color after turning into modeling chocolate. Note for future, color as melting chocolate not as modeling it. The next batch I bought pre-dyed candy melts from Michael's. This is what I used on Nate's cake (sorry picture wont come till after Thursday...its a secret and Nate has not seen it either).

Both batches worked ok, but not like on tv or good enough for me. They got warm really fast then stuck to your hands. I had to constantly wash them to get chocolate off of them. I had to keep freezing parts of the chocolate while I worked on other parts. It took WAY longer than expected.....which is becoming a trend with this new hobby.

Next I am going to test out the gum paste and see if I like working with that medium better.

This is one part of the modeling. The flavor is peanut butter so that tastes good. 

Here is the purple chocolate setting in the freezer, you can see the shinny part, which is the corn syrup. The syrup kept separating which added to the stickiness of the chocolate and thus less modifiable. 

I did complete the pieces for Nate's cake and they are resting safely in the freezer. The rest of his cake is baked and frosted. Tomorrow night is more fondant fun (using already made fondant this time). The cake must be done by then in order to be ready after work on Thursday....his birthday. 

My First Fondant Cake...From scratch.....

For Mother's Day Nate got me some new decorating toys and books....Toys you say, well yes they are my adult toys for my adult play time.

I already had a spice cake made and sitting in the fridge so I decided to make my own marshmallow fondant to decorate it.

The recipe is easy, just a bag of marshmallows and confectioner sugar. Melt the marshmallows in the microwave and then add in a cup of sugar at a time, slowly adding more as you stir and fold together. Sounds easy right?  Easy yes, simple and fast NO! The website I got the recipe from said to be patient it will take a while. I thought I was patient until I had to make the fondant. After 1 hour of folding, pulling, rolling, and adding sugar.....I was not so patient. I did however stick with it and finish the fondant and the cake. I dyed the fondant pink with gel food coloring. I made flowers and leaves too.

The start of melted marshmallows and sugar

My work area

My fondant!!!!

Don't get me wrong this was a lot of fun and a cool learning experience for me. I will make fondant again!!!! By the way, the sugar goes EVERYWHERE!

I thought I took more pictures but I guess with the sugar going everywhere I did not. 

Here is my cake!!!!!

And the critics review was ~ 
Nate ~ loved it, tasted great, needed more icing in between the layers
Joel ~ Loved it and ate two pieces.....but said it all tasted good but the pink stuff
Cori ~ loved it, ate a piece, left the pink stuff and put it in the trash without me seeing (yea right)

So my kids were not a fan of the fondant but the cake was pretty and tasted good ! That is success in my book. Now on to Nate's Birthday cake for Thursday.

Happy Mothers Day to ME!!!!

After a hard working weekend, dealing with all those Other moms who went out to dinner on Friday and Saturday night....I got to spend my Mother's day at home with Nate and the kids....sorta.

As most Mother's Days go with children still living in the house, your mothers day is not totally yours and your kids will still be your kids. Cori bought (with Nate's money) a very nice tulip plant. She then told me I had an awesome daughter who would buy her these nice things. 

On Sunday we skipped church, SHHHHHH don't tell my Daddy, and went to the beach. It was so nice and sunny and 80 degrees at my house, but at the beach 1.5 miles away, the marine layer was thick which makes it look cloudy and foggy. Nate and I brought our books, chairs, sunscreen, snacks and Cokes. We were ready for a few hours of reading and relaxing on the beach. My kids had other plans....After 20 mins of said relaxing which included setting up my chair and towel, getting drinks and snacks for the kids multiple times, and telling Joel to stop throwing the sand.....I heard the dreadful words no mom wants to hear as she is relaxing.....I'M BORED, WHEN ARE WE LEAVING!  

Seriously, you begged to come, we left the dogs behind to have a more relaxing time, I brought you books and toys and food and you are ready to leave after 20 mins!!!!!

Nate and I managed to get a hour out of the trip before deciding to pack it up and go home. Once home we left same kids and Nate and I went to Michael's for some cake decorating supplies. I got a Bunch of cool stuff. I got two new books (very rare I buy actual books but these you don't on your Kindle for the hands on learning and use while decorating), See below. Some fondant cutouts, new icing dyes, cake stand with turn table, and a few other utensils I thought I needed. 

After getting home from our shopping I began to create a lovely only took the rest of the day. Check out my next post for my first time with Fondant and cake decorating....

Later, I watched Lincoln, and as he is my favorite President, enjoyed the movie a great deal. Check it out at Redbox. 

Special Shout Out to My Moms, Sisters, Aunts, Cousins, Friends and more. I hope your Mother's day was as great as mine. 

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Joel's Invention

Joel has a science project due this week. It was creating your own invention. He had to come up with the idea, create the invention, apply for a copyright and trademark...etc. His invention was a one handed bowl with detachable cup, spoon and fork.Knowing how much my son loves to eat, especially cereal this was a perfect invention for him. Here is his invention.

Making Modeling Chocolate

My newest hobby is cake decorating. Why? I have no idea but it sounds fun and everyone loves cake!

As I start this new hobby I have to learn how to make all the different facets of said cakes. Here is my first attempt at making modeling chocolate.

Recipe ~

10 oz chocolate (I used white almond bark)

1/3 cup light corn syrup

Mixing bowl

Gel or powder food coloring if you want to change the color of the chocolate.

Instructions ~

Break up chocolate and place in mixing bowl. I melted the chocolate in the microwave but if you want to melt on the stove use a double broiler. I set the microwave for 2 sets of 30 sec to melt my chocolate.

Broken up pieces of chocolate

Once the chocolate is melted, Stir the chocolate really well and then add the corn syrup. Continue to stir until  it is mixed well. I used almond bark with can separate with the corn syrup but the separation is okay. Just let the mixture set a little while longer.

Once the chocolate and syrup is mixed together spread out on a plastic cookie sheet or on wax paper in a cookie sheet. Let the chocolate sit for 2 hours. I placed mine in the fridge to help it set. If you are wanting your chocolate to be the same color you can also add in the food coloring before the chocolate is set. I want to use different colors in small parts for the chocolate so I am going to dye mine later.

Chocolate rolled out on the wax paper

After the chocolate has set for 2 hrs, pull out and the chocolate is ready for modeling. I rolled mine into smaller balls and placed in an airtight container, in the fridge. Now It is ready to mold when I have the time to work with it. Once you are starting the modeling process, let the chocolate get to room temp for easier use. 
Balls of modeling chocolate

Here are a few other items that I have to help with modeling and decorating.
Baking supplies

Decorating tips

Modeling tools

Once I have actually modeled the chocolate into something creative, I'll show you!

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

More Fish Part 2!

Cori's Tank with FISH!
Nate, Cori and I go to the pet store to pick out a few more attractions and her fish. She had 20 fish picked out. The "cute" (as Cori called him) fish guy was very helpful and friendly. He was also a teenager. Cori was asking him all kinds of questions and hanging on his every word. Anyway on with the fish..... On fish guys recommendation we only got 9 fish and will get more in a week or two. 

White Mollys
To Start we have 3 while Molly's. 1 male and 2 females.
A pregnant Dalmatian Molly
Next we got 3 Dalmatian Molly's. 1 male, 1 female and 1 preggo female. While Cori was picking out fish the guy asked which ones she wanted and if she wanted any that were preggo. She said YES! So in a couple of weeks we will have even more fish. 

PetSmart, where we bought the fish, had told my mother in law that they only sell same sex fish to keep them from reproducing......Clearly that is not the case for this store. The fish guy also said he had never heard of such nonsense. 
We have brought all fish home and are all safely in the tank. They even made it safely thru the night. 
Here are a few more picture from the fish adventures! 

Monday, May 6, 2013

Fish, Fish and more Fish!

Check out Cori's new Fish Tank

Can't find the fish? Because we have to wait 2 days to add the fish after purchasing the tank. 
Check back in a few days when we get back from the fish store. 

Cori has been wanting a fish tank in her bedroom for a while now.
She researched her fish, went shopping with her grandma to learn about what fish to go in what kind of tank, and google'd tons of fish stuff. She is as ready as she can be to add some fish.

She has a 20 gallon tank, lights, heater, blue rocks and tropical (bright) plants. We still have to add the background to the tank (and the fish).