Tuesday, November 10, 2009

sales tip

Dear Bath & Body Works rep,

In the future when you walk around the store and see a pair of customers considering a purchase, please take a moment to make sure the product we are holding in our hands and discussing is being considered in a negative light before jumping in helpfully with, "oh I know -- that one always smells so masculine to me!"

I'm sure your sales will improve for it.



P.S. It does not.

Tuesday, November 03, 2009

new "ugliest cake ever" champion

After I wrote the last post, I began searching our photo archives for examples of my fine cake craftsmanship. Unfortunately, I didn't take a photo of Aidan's 2nd birthday cake, which featured a pastel pink car (this was before I knew that for vibrant colors you should use the powdered dye. Do not use 147 drops of the liquid stuff, because you'll end up with watery pink goo.)

On the bright side, I did find a lovely picture of my first cake attempt, the cake that still haunts me at night. Even as I type this, I can't believe I'm actually sharing this with you. Looking at this photo makes me want to cry:

Yep, that's an ocean scene for Aidan's ocean-themed first birthday party! I think this was the day my husband first realized the kind of woman he had married... shortly thereafter, I had a microchip implanted in case he ever decides to bolt. (I'm like a crabby, poorly decorated roach motel... check out time? never! mwahahaha)

You think I'm kidding? I'm watching you, Mike!

i probably shouldn't open a bakery

We had a busy weekend. Friday was Wesley's second birthday & the dreaded Halloween carnival where Aidan won that worst-prize-of-all, a fish (which, by the way, is now officially called Nemo). Saturday was Halloween which was spent putting together lame last-minute costumes (I was a dorky tourist, don't be jealous!), carving pumpkins, drinking hot cider with whiskey, burning cranberry upside-down cakes (totally not my fault that time) and passing out candy. All in all, a first rate holiday experience. Except for the burnt cake.

On Sunday, we were finally able to celebrate Wesley's birthday with a cake, which ended up being the ugliest cake in the world. Behold:

Allow me to defend myself. I am no cake decorator -- the idea of decorating cakes makes me want to either fall asleep or hit something. I don't even like to eat cake! However, each time a birthday rolls around I give it the old college-try for my kiddos (which really should be my first clue that it won't go well, seeing as I didn't even finish college).

This cake disaster wasn't entirely my fault -- the universe was out to get me. First off, I couldn't find my 9x13 cake pan, and I own only one muffin pan, so I had to use 9-inch round baking pans. Problem was, one of those round pans was still at my sister's house from the unfortunate cranberry upside-down cake incident of Hallowen '09. So I whipped out 8-inch and 10-inch springform pans, and decided to make the best of it. I even had visions of a silly tiered birthday cake.

Unfortunately, the difference between those two sizes of cakes isn't large enough to make a tiered cake work (just in case you ever wanted to try it). I ended up cutting the big cake to match the small cake, and started to frost them both. And when the whole tub of frosting was empty, I was left with that monstrosity of a half-completed cake. Is it just me or did a tub of frosting used to cover an ENTIRE cake?? I was embarrassed -- but not embarrassed enough to go buy another tub of frosting. I tried to cover it up with sprinkles, but to no avail. Crap.

That evening the boys' cousins came over for the cake celebration, and the universe was still working to convince me that birthday cakes were not my specialty. It turned out that we were completely out of matches and all our lighters were empty (of course, right?). We tried to light a rolled up napkin on the stovetop.... and the toaster... (seriously kids, don't try this at home. I was the only girl in the entire house since my sister Johannah didn't feel well, and I was overruled.)

Note: Please ignore the fingerprints all over my toaster. And my ugly countertops with the built-in cutting board (ew? Definitely not my doing, will be a distant "before" memory one day).

Maybe we were doing it wrong, maybe I accidentally bought flame-resistant paper napkins... either way, my sister's boyfriend Joe had to run home and get a box of matches so we could light the candle and sing to make Wesley cry so Mike would have to blow the candle out for him, so we could finally eat the ugliest cake in the world.

At least Wesley didn't seem to mind the cake wreck... so happy birthday my sweet boy! And, um... sorry about your cake.