Thursday, September 25, 2014

The Cake

Here it is! The big CAKE post, as promised!

Last week, as mentioned briefly between work and work and sleep and work and baking, I wrote about the cake baking/display/design contest my company had as part of our 2014 fall charity week. Before I get to the cake: Story time.

Around the beginning of August my friend (G) convinced me to take part by saying, "If you bake the cake, I'll make the display." It seemed simple enough, so she emailed and said we would represent Habitat for Humanity. But, as with 98.3% of things in life, the closer the event got the more complicated the expectations became.

To start, I was going to do a checkerboard cake in the blue, green, and white with a little half-built sugar cookie house on it. I even made a test cake, which turned out very, very well. Then we got an email for a meeting to discuss the rules and expectations for the event, and we had to go straight back to the drawing board. So what news did we get?

The cake had to have 50 servings. They would be selling tastings. There would three prizes - one for display, one fore money raised, and one for cake tastings. At a later meeting, I decided I had to bake a cake with 100 servings when I discovered other people were baking cakes that large. I told the event coordinator, "Game on." And put on my big girl apron.

I have never in my life made a cake this large. I make very, very good cake, but decorating was never the point for me. I just think that if you're going to eat cake (or cupcakes...or any baked good whatsoever) it should be astonishingly delicious. I even vet all the recipes I use before I serve them to people (sans immediate family and very good friends, because who else are you going to test things on?).

This was an undertaking for me, and I am quite proud of the results. In addition - G made an outstanding display. I'm only posting pictures of the whole thing, because without the display the cake isn't anywhere near as impressive. And the best news? We won two of the three awards.

Best Display.

Best Cake.

Job well done, and go team! We were especially happy about the best display award because we had such tough competition from the American Cancer Society team. They made a very pretty cake, but it lacked any adherence to the rules we were given to incorporate our cake into our entire display and to "embrace your charity". G and I spent about an hour overall coming up with a plan for our design, and a collective 30 hours implementing it through baking and paper-crafting. And on top of that, we got super creative during set up the day of.

I should really just stop rambling and let you enjoy the pictures. Here they are:

The full display...cake and roads and awesomeness.

Having that Tonka truck in the display was a mission of mine. It's holding the chocolate covered pretzels!

Little digger, diggin' cake!

This little guy was my mom's favorite.

This was probably the only certainty I held about the cake the entire time. That there would be a little dump truck dumping rocks onto the cake. Nevermind that I didn't actually find the little rocks until just days before the event...I knew this would be a feature of the cake!
Half eaten! The closer half was yellow tie-dye cake (blue, green, and white, Habitat colors) and the far half was devils food. There was a mix of frostings - both vanilla and chocolate buttercream were represented :)

 And that's it for now! Hope you enjoyed it...stay tuned for some yarn themed crafting next time!


Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Ready, Set...

Hi friends!

I have a post all set to go, I just have to add the pictures! I can't do it from work (silly work won't let me get on Google Drive), so I will do my best to upload it tonight.

I'm also going to try for a post on Sunday! We'll see though...depends on how much yarning I can manage before then (the idea is a yarn-specific post ;)). If I don't get a post up Sunday, I'll be going silent until the follow week because...

I'm going to England!

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

I'm about to go to bed but I just wanted to say...


You guys are in for a treat. The cake turned out awesome, I know our display will be amazing, and I'm getting really excited for tomorrow's (today's?!) event. Now here's hoping I can get it done on four hours of sleep!

Pictures of everything forthcoming!

Monday, September 15, 2014

This is just a post to say that I see I've gotten a few hits, and don't worry I'm working on posts! I have a few things lined up...some baking competition stuff, and a few knitting/crocheting posts. If you're lucky and I remember to take enough pictures, there might even be a tutorial on how to knit glittens!

Other than that, I've been super busy the past week and weekend. Today starts a week long charity event sponsored by the company I work for, and I'm involved in so much! The kickoff is today, so I'll be away from my desk for about three hours - and tomorrow there's a bake sale/cake contest that will have me away for another 3 or so hours. So to avoid having a pile up of work and needing to stay late, I spent Thursday and Friday with my nose to the grindstone to get some extra work for today out of the way. Good news is - it worked! I just have to show up for things the next few days.

So for a rundown: Today (Monday) is the kickoff, tomorrow is the bake sale, Wednesday there's an Artisan expo that I've submitted something for (post later) then a 5k (after work). Lastly is the Silent Auction on Thursday, which I have two certificates for commissioned items in (cookies and a knit project). My one hope with this stuff (especially the sales and auction) is that people are generous and that my efforts help raise some money. Part of me is irked and stressed out about the auction and expo, but all of that is out of my hands now, so I'm just going to flow with whatever happens. But I'll feel busy until all of it is done!

Yesterday was almost 10 hours of baking to prepare for the sale and contest tomorrow, today will be 4 or so hours of decorating. Pictures and posts about all of it to come so stay tuned!

Sunday, September 7, 2014

I have been very carefully considering starting up here again. If anyone even follows this anymore...

Let me explain.

I always liked blogging and sharing, but I disliked the enormous commitment of time it always ended up being. I always thought blogging was just typing something out and/or popping in a few photos, and I'm sure there are some people who do it that way and are content. Or just talking about daily ongoings and ranting about things that annoyed a person. I tried those things, and they caused problems for me. It was at a rather boring time in my life. I went to school, I went to work. I wasn't involved in much else. But a lot of things bothered me, and in the end I disliked feeling stalked and "tattled" on by people I thought cared about me.

So if I pick back up here, things will take on a different kind of tone. Turns out, I'm actually involved in some pretty cool stuff now. I have some pretty fun (and productive!) hobbies. With a new job, at a fantastic company that has a growing focus on its community and employee involvement therein, and with a fantastic, supportive boyfriend who likes to do fun and active things, I feel like I finally have things to share!

But there's a catch. I'm busy. Super, super busy. So busy, that learning to say "no" has become a very real, very difficult lesson that I'm trying to teach myself. I hate letting people down. I hate feeling like people are counting on me for something, and then by saying "no" they've lost their faith in my sincerity. But I've had to start picking my priorities, and sometimes I really just need to come home and hold a hamster who hasn't been out of his cage in three days. Sometimes, that has to be the priority.

So what can you expect? Perhaps one post a week. Baked goods, bike rides, and yarn crafts (and pictures thereof). Maybe a picture or two of some super adorable animal doing something even more superbly adorable. With a burgeoning "side business" that involves tons of commissioned baked goods, and certificates for such things, I've realized I need to serious consider investing in a better camera. Until then, with any luck, I'll figure out how to better use my brother's.

But for now, you get this, and knowledge of the thoughtful consideration I'm giving this undertaking.