Aug 26, 2007

Vacation - Day 1 (Saturday)

Today was the first day of vacation. We flew into Charlotte via AA with a pilot who not only made up for the delay we'd experienced at the airport at DFW but also made one of the smoothest landings I've ever experienced! We picked up our luggage, our car and made our way to Saluda (just outside of Asheville). We're staying at Saluda Mountain Lake Retreat ( in a cabin called the Bear Chalet - a very rustic cabin w/a terrific view, plenty of room and a hot tub. We spent our first day relaxing and finding a grocery store and have already taken lots of pictures.

Aug 23, 2007

V-Day is Near

It's nearly time for Russell and I to leave for our annual fall vacation. This year we're going to North Carolina. We'll be staying near Asheville so that we can visit the Biltmore Estates. While there, we'll also visit Grandfather Mountain, the BlueRidge Parkway, the Smokey Mountains and more. I'll update you on all the places we plan to visit and/or visited later.

Still in the 'packing' mode and trying to get some B&L work done as well between working the full-time job at Coleman, although I'm getting so excited about leaving and getting some much needed rest that I'm finding it harder and harder to concentrate on anything.

Aug 20, 2007

Cake Decorating Lesson #3

Tonite was Lesson #3! I started my 'homework' yesterday and had my cake iced and ready to go by bedtime last nite.
We had a blast in class and learned a lot (all of these pics prove it). We practiced several different tip applications - a big star, a swirled flower and shells, worked on another step to making roses and then moved on to completing our cake. Ashley, Beth and I all made Funfetti (flavored) cakes - Pillsbury of course. Beth & Abbi chose to make cupcakes rather than the 8" cake and their finished product was terrific.
What do you think about our finished 'homework assignments' (Ashley's 'homework' can be found by clicking on her blog to the right)?
Next week is the last class of Course #1 (Lesson #4) and it's all about roses which means we get to actually complete a rose and then learn how to get them from the 'flower nail' to the cake.
I'll miss this class but will make it up in September. Ashley will be in attendance though and will display her finished cake on her blog. I'm looking forward to seeing it and taking the last class the last week of September.
Course #2 begins on Labor Day and OF COURSE, Ashley and I will be back to do that one....and guess what? You all will get to see the results of those classes/lessons as well! WooHoo!

Aug 18, 2007

Performed a 'Traditional' Activity

Spent last nite and today taking care of something that has become somewhat of a tradition between me and the grandchildren - buying and taking them their school supplies. Ashley and I went last nite to Staples, Target & Wal-Mart before we found everything on all 4 of their lists (and next year there will be 5!). Got one now in 10th, 7th, 3rd grades and Kindergarten. Was costly but fun and very rewarding when we took all the supplies to them today. Each child now has everything they need, in their own separate packages, to start school on the 27th.

Aug 13, 2007

Homework Accomplished

I finished baking and got my cake (homework) iced yesterday - YEEHAA! It's pepto-bismol pink on the outside and strawberry cake w/strawberry glaze as the filling on the inside. I used the baking strips to make sure it'd cook evenly and be level on top, the cake leveler to cut it perfectly in half (2 layers) and then the groovy icing tip #789 (the best thing for icing cakes since sliced bread!) to put that lovely pink icing on. All these items are part of the 100+ pc decorating tool kit that we purchased.

In addition, we had to prepare 8 different batches of icing of varying colors and consistencies (some to decorate with and some to practice with), bring 1 1/2" squares of wax paper (for practicing roses), damp clothes for clean-up, toothpicks, etc. Lots of stuff considering I thought this was pretty much a 'no-brain' class.

This adventure started out as a $25 class w/a $20 'materials' kit and has turned into a much larger 'investment', but a fun one nevertheless.
Our instructor is Belinda and we're taking the class with friends, Beth and her daughter, Abbi, and having a great time! My finished cake is going to be taken to work tomorrow (thus the CMP on the top) for consumption since we surely don't want to be leaving anything as yummy as a strawberry cake within reach of the likes of me! That small glitch on the right side comes from a 'blow out' in my decorating bag when I was putting the CMP on it after finishing up the class and returning home.

Aug 11, 2007

A first for me.... a lot of ways. And I'll start my list of 'firsts' with why I've decided to create this blog.

Having become more and more the computer geek, I've decided that blogs are a good thing - thanks to a daughter's (Ashley's Treats) and a niece's (Blakery) blogs that I've gotten involved in reading on a relatively regular basis. It's a fun and interesting way to share the events in one's life - good and/or bad - with friends and family. However, it does open one up to scrutiny so I must be careful about what I share. My dad thinks we're silly but secretly I think he's pleased that we've grown up to be relatively decent and interesting human beings.

Another first, and the initial reason for beginning this blog, is I'm taking cake decorating classes (w/Ashley of course). She's not only my daughter, but my best friend and most always my partner in crime ;-)

We started 'Course 1' last Monday and it was mostly instructive. We learned how to make icing and how to properly ice a cake. Today I make my first cake. I don't know what I was thinking when I said, "Sure I'd love to take cake decorating classes with you!" With an already busy schedule (2 jobs, a dog and a boyfriend), I wasn't even thinking about 'homework'!!!

Well....homework is to make a 2 layer 8-in. cake, ice it w/buttercream icing so that it is ready to decorate for this coming up Monday's class (Lesson #2). Additionally, we have to bring containers of thin, medium and thick consistency icing to practice with and 1/2 cup each of 5 different color frostings to decorate our cake with. Guess I'd better get started. Pictures to follow.