Saturday, May 30, 2009

Custom Baked

After dabbling in learning different frosting techniques from some books and supplies I received for Christmas, I've recently had my first two official cake customers! I am far from being a pro at this, but have enjoyed trying new things. I'm definitely not ready to invest in this as a major income source, but am open to taking orders as my schedule allows.

The first cake was for a co-worker of my mother-in-law's birthday, to share with their classroom at school. It is White Chocolate Cake with White Chocolate Cream Cheese Frosting and Buttercream/Royal Icing decorations.

The second cake was a 40th Anniversary Cake for a friend's parents. The flavor is "Perfect Chocolate Cake" with "Fluffy Chocolate Frosting" and Buttercream decorations. It was my first attempt at rosebuds and I think the frosting was too thin/warm. Sometime I'll have to try my hand at full-blown roses on a nail!

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

19 weeks

I'm almost halfway there at over 19 weeks! I thought the morning sickness was gone in the past 2 weeks, but Sunday morning begged to differ. It's getting better, though. Still tired with a few killer headaches, but everything is looking healthy and that's all I care about! Heart rate was 147 on Monday and all my tests have come pack great. I had to buy some new pants (a size up) and am dipping into the maternity shirts occasionally, but I was happy to get my company shirts for our tradeshow next week and relieved beyond belief that they fit! I can't wait for next week--big candy show in Chicago all week, plus my sister is due the 18th and I can't wait to see pics of my nephew! Sadly, it'll probably be a few weeks before I can meet him in person.

The weather has been so nice lately that DH and I took the beagle to some local fishing spots--Ocheyedan Pit and Willow Creek. He fished while I hiked with Nika. She loved it, but still won't go in the lake, so we don't know if she can swim. Some of the hills killed me and I had to pick off a few ticks, but it was nice to get some fresh air and DH liked having some company while he fished. I'm thinking about getting my fishing license after all. I can handle some dock fishing for panfish if it gets me outdoors. Just not going to get into the wading for walleye...yet.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

O Travel Toothpaste, Where Art Thou?

Sometimes the inspiration to organize hits me and I just have to stop what I'm doing and go with the feeling, because it might not come back again...ever. I'm fairly confident in saying that at least one of you out there has a medicine cabinet in their bathroom that looks a little like this:

I had plenty of tubs and baskets in there, but we seem to leave everything in a jumble and just stuff empty pharmacy bags and medicine boxes into the back. I took everything out, filled a garbage bag with empty boxes and outdated medicine, and then used paint pens to label the tubs. Here's how I divided it up:

  • First Aid (bandages, sunscreen, bug spray)
  • Shoe Polish/Travel (all those small shampoo bottles and no less than 5 travel toothpaste tubes)
  • Nail Polish
  • Lotion/Powder
  • Medicine
  • Soap (in a bread pan I got from my grandpa b/c I'm pretty sure I'll never be baking 8 loaves of bread at once and that's how many pans I have)
  • Extra (spare toothpaste tube, spare Plug-in refill, etc)
I love putting things in tubs that can be pulled out like a drawer. It makes it much easier to see what is on the top shelf because I can pull it down to my level. It also helps use the full depth of the cupboard because you can get to everything in the back by just pulling out one tub. So, maybe I've finally posted something not totally useless!?! May need to rename my blog.

Saturday, May 9, 2009

More Garage Sale Deals

A few weeks ago I made a quick trip to Sioux Falls with my mom for the opening day of the Kingswood Rummage Sales in Sioux Falls. Some of it was chaos, but overall it was worth the trip.  I found a tall bookshelf with adjustable shelves for $10 and an Aquarium bouncy seat for $25.  I think I'll be painting the bookshelf, but have to find a way to anchor it so it doesn't tip over on the Little One!

Last week I did a quick run through Boyden, but there weren't as many sales. I did pick up a Graco Pack 'N Play in navy blue/red that is in great condition (just doesn't have all the new fancy bells and whistles), but for $15, it's hard to go wrong. Here's a picture that I put up in the living room so you can see how my black iron garage sale decor works on the wall!

I also ventured into "Once Upon a Child" in Sioux Falls, a consignment baby palace! Not super-exciting, but I did get a $10 Diaper Genie and an Infant Carrier (the ones you strap around yourself so they can ride on your chest) for only $15-they were going for $45 on garage sales! There were tons of toys there, but I'm resisting the urge to stock up on that stuff just yet.

My sister provided me with a very helpful spreadsheet of all the start-up baby expenses. Comparing what I have bought vs. what she bought new (or the value of what she received as a gift), I have already saved over $500 by buying used--and she is a very thrifty spender! I have literally not bought one new thing from a store yet, but know there is plenty more "gear" to get before the Fall.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009


Inspired by one of my favorite Weekend Updates (see video below--gotta fast forward to about 2 minutes left), I present to you my current version of...Really?!?

Really, American Idol!?! You thought it was a good idea to put a 47-year-old Paula Abdul on stage to lip-synch her way through a song that is really just a good ol' days version of Lady Gaga's Just Dance? Really!?!
I almost laughed out loud when she threw in a few old Laker girl cheerleading moves and some I totally recognize from the 1995 VHS workout tape "Get Up and Dance" led by Ms. Abdul herself. Not that I still do the entire 48 minute tape in a pathetic attempt to attain the body of a woman who is sadly 20 years my senior. I just wish I could rock her leg warmers.
I'm also pretty sure I saw Benji Schwimmer in the backup dancers. I can totally see him as a huge Abdul fan! What do you think? I say Prez of the fan club.
Continuing with American Idol...really!?! you thought we hadn't heard "I'm Just a Girl" from No Doubt enough times in the 90's. Really!?! It was released when I was 13 years old and I didn't think the bright bra under the white tank was cool then (I was too busy thinking that grunge flannel was cool). I mean, the song was good as an opening theme to Romy & Michelle's High School Reunion, but it's 2009. Even Romy is over it.

Next topic. Best Buy. 
Really!?! Really, Best Buy!?! You have between 8 and 3 guys working the digital cameras/ camcorders counter (depending how many are on break eating their tetris-shaped fruit snacks or scamming on girls in the ipod section)  and not one of them can tell us which camera will work with iMovie? Really!?! It's not like this is some obscure video editing software unknown to the greater geek world. It starts with an i, you work at Best Buy, you should probably be familiar with it. You SELL Macs, for Pete's sake (or more accurately, for Steve Wozniak's sake. He needs some credibility after that Dancing with the Stars sweat-fest).  
Really!?! You can't help us? Put in a call (on the bluetooth you should be wearing in your ear) to your homeboy on the geek squad and get somebody to help us out here. We are here to BUY... a camera... that costs a lot of money...and we want it to work with imovie. Earn your keep. Really!?! BTW, we ended up bringing a camera home to see if it worked and after 2 days, several calls to Mac, and an mpg2 converter purchased online, we now can easily edit the exactly none movies we have recorded so far. I'm thinking the baby will provide a much-needed subject for future movies because our beagle doesn't do much more than sleep and stretch unless prompted with her half-a-rubber-shoe that we have hidden and refuse to touch.

Moving on. Iowa Legislature.
Really!?!  Really, state of Iowa majority party? You thought it was a good idea to bond $870 million dollars to be paid over the next 26 years AFTER appropriating $650 in stimulus money?  My unborn child will be 4 years into the working world before they pay this bad boy off (plus the $774 million in interest). You're welcome, future generation. Hope you like the roads that we're going to build now so that by the time they are paid for, they'll need to be redone.  Don't worry, I'm sure it's what the majority of Iowans wanted. Wait, what's that?  The Des Moines Register poll found that 71% of Iowans disapprove of this spending spree? Really!?! Maybe they've heard of the revolutionary concept "pay as you go". Better known as "Don't buy stuff you don't have the money for." 
I think the entire legislature should reconvene for a special session led by Dave Ramsey. Might learn a thing or two and realize that the Republicans trying to stand up for the taxpayers aren't being partisan, they're being practical. Just a side note, but maybe the negotiations would have ended up with a more coherent result if one of the chief negotiators attempting to iron out the differences between House and Senate Democrats,  Sen. Bill Dotzler (D), hadn't had 8 Red Bulls and 2 cups of coffee. It's hard to imagine that these guys don't bat an eye over spending such a ridiculous amount of money until you find out that Democratic Sen. Tom Courtney admits to spending $200 a year on Peanut M&Ms. Really.