Sunday, May 31, 2009

Taking a break

I think I am going to take a break from blogging for a bit. I know as soon as I publish this post I will probably want to blog again...
It's not that nothing exciting has happened, A has been smoke free for 6 months and Sis had her 30th birthday, but I am still missing my sweet kitty and I am putting in OT at work (which is mentally exhausting). I just don't feel like coming home to blog.

We are all doing well here so don't worry about us.

Much love,
Layne

Friday, May 22, 2009

My heart is broken

Rest in peace my Princess. My Besst. My sweet Bess-a-bun. You gave me thirteen wonderful years. Thank you for being my constant. My furry little rock during the darkest times. Thank you for continually amazing me and making me smile. I hope you know how much I love you. I will miss you forever but know you are in my heart always.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

I'm Back!

Sooner than I expected thanks to Dan Fischbach! I have never met him or even emailed him (yet) but his tutorial on how to "Fix Windows XP Log ON/Log Off Loop" saved my computer and my sanity. It took forever and took a few tries but it seems to have worked. I had a ton of Trojans and a few other bad guys lurking on my computer.

It looks like Dan isn't blogging any more but I am going to try to contact him to tell him "Thank you!" I'd also like to donate some $$ since he saved me from having to call the professionals. I just need to decide on what I can afford to send... Hmm...

Monday, May 18, 2009

Not happy

My nice new computer died this evening. Not sure what happened so I guess I will be taking it to a computer doctor after all. I am super unhappy about it... I am on A's laptop right now. I will probably be MIA for a bit until I can get things resolved or until I can get my wireless working on my dinosaur of a laptop.

I am sorry for the super grumpy post.

Let sleeping dogs lie

Ever since Bess decided she wants to hang out in the living room 24/7, Piper has been able to hang out in the bedroom during the evenings. She wants to be near us so badly that she sleeps on the cold hardwood floor. This makes me sad so I decided to make her a little dog bed.

I bought some Gray fleece (to match the bedroom colors) and 6 bags of stuffing. I took some white felt and drew a dog bone. Then I used the left over iron-on letters from D's tooth fairy pillow to spell "PIPER" and stitched the bone on with pink thread.

It looks like a giant pillow but I think it turned out well. I am still learning how to sew a straight line but practice makes perfect.



Saturday, May 16, 2009

Fun with Fondant

My computer seems to have come down with a virus. I am doing all I can to keep me from having to lug this monster to the computer repair gal (Which happens to be A's cousin).

Enough whining and onto my excitement of Saturday. I have been watching Ace of Cakes lately and I got it in my head that I can make cool cakes too! Sure I can! All I needed was a recipe for fondant. I went on a Google search and decided on this one. it had a short ingredients list and it seemed fairly easy. I headed out to Wal-Mart to get some supplies...



The instructions say to use mini marshmallows but we had regular ones left over from the BBQ and they worked just fine. The fondant spreader and cake leveler shown in the photo turned out to be a waste of money. Neither of them worked but it could have been user error.

I used a Betty Crocker white cake mix and prepared it to the instructions on the box. While it was cooling I started the fondant.

I heated the (nearly, since a few were eaten with S'mores) 16oz of marshmallows and added the powdered sugar. Like the instructions say, I didn't need all 2lbs of the sugar. There was about a cup left over.

Since this was my first time, and we don't have a "heavy duty stand mixer with a dough hook" (hint-wedding gift-hint), I had to kneed the marshmallows and sugar by hand. I made a HUGE, sticky, powdery mess over the entire counter. I also got a great upper body workout.




I added a little gel food coloring to a part of the fondant so I could make a design later. I was originally going to make a flower but I dropped the yellow fondant on the floor. I couldn't, in good conscience, just use it anyway. In the trash it went.

The fondant had to chill in the fridge for a bit so I went to shower the sticky white mess out of my hair... (no comments from the peanut gallery)



I rolled out the fondant to fit my cake. Next time will use the dining room table because the counter just isn't big enough.

I added a thin layer of frosting to keep the fondant in place. I started cutting out polka-dots with a cookie cutter. I wanted a simple look for my first cake...


And there you have it! My first cake with homemade fondant. I didn't have a proper knife to cut the fondant with so it is choppy around the bottom. I was going to make pink icing to cover the edges but I didn't have any plastic baggies to put the icing in.

A and I both had a piece and I couldn't really taste the fondant but A (who isn't a fan of any sort of frosting/sauce/topping) pulled his off.
I definitely want to try this again with a more elaborate design. I know what I have to do differently and maybe by next year, I will be so good I can make my own wedding cake :)

If you don't like clicking links, here are the instructions:

You can make a simple, inexpensive fondant at home using only three ingredients:

16 oz. mini marshmallows
2 TBSP water
2 lbs powdered sugar

First, sprinkle the water over the marshmallows and microwave them to melt, as if you were making crispy cereal bars. Now you must knead the sugar into the melted marshmallows. Its easiest if you have a heavy duty stand mixer with a dough hook, but it can be done by hand as well. Do not use all the sugar unless you have to. The proper consistency will be about like PlayDoh. If you want to color the entire batch with one color, you can add some paste/gel food color in as you knead. You can also add vanilla or almond extracts or any other flavor you choose during the kneading process. After you have it well kneaded, you will want to wrap it tightly and let it rest for 15-30 minutes.

While working with the marshmallow fondant, have a bit of Crisco or some spray oil handy to keep the work surface, rolling pin, and your hands lightly greased. This will help keep the fondant from sticking and also helps the surface of the fondant maintain a glossy shine. If you find your fondant is still too sticky, knead in a bit more sugar.

To cover a cake, simply roll out a circle of fondant about ¼” thick and wide enough to cover the top and sides of your cake. Make sure the cake itself has a thin, smooth layer of glaze or icing, and then gently lay the fondant over the cake. Carefully smooth the fondant down the sides, pulling the bottom edge out as you go to avoid wrinkles in the fondant. Then, simply trim away the bottom with a knife.


Add decorations.

Monday, May 11, 2009

So much has gone on

And I have nothing to show for it!

I was going to do a post about how A surprised me by mowing both yards but I accidentally deleted the photos... The yard needs to me mowed again already!

I knocked two things off my list of 101 things but I forgot to take photos...

My mom and I did the Relay for Life walk and A and I had a BBQ at the house. I am hoping to have more BBQs this summer so I won't check this one off yet. As far as the Relay for Life walk goes, we took a group photo and once I get a copy I will blog about the experience.

What else...

Mother's day was very nice. A bought me a Beanie Bear and we both teared up when he told me how much he loves me. I really and truly have an amazing fiancé. I love him more every day.
My Sis came down to surprise Mom. Sis, A, D, My Mom, A's Mom and I all had a nice dinner at our new Chinese restaurant. it was very yummy.

Other than that, I have been doing some over time at work. It sucks to be at work for suck long hours but the pay check sure is nice.

Now I am very tired and I think I will go to bed...

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Still here

It's been an exhausting few days. I will update soon. Don't give up on me :)

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Welcome to the jungle

It's been raining a lot here so we haven't been able to mow the yard. It's gotten out of hand and Piper is too afraid to go out there and pee! It looks like a mini jungle and I am sure it won't be any kind of fun to get it back to normal...


At least we cleaned up the big branches from the ice storm and you can't see all the tittle ones :)

 
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