I was introduced to the beautiful world of babywearing in my breastfeeding support group and I am so happy that I happened to be there that day! My baby girl is not a fan of being too close to other's faces and she also happens to have a pretty strong case of mamitis making babywearing indispensable in large group settings. The only thing is that buying woven wraps and ring slings can be pretty costly to someone on a budget. So when little Ms. C's baptism was nearing I knew I had to get my hands on a wrap of some sort that didn't break the bank.
C'est Fini! Here's the final product. Nadia & Alex's white on white large sugar rose wedding cake! I'm so glad to report that it was a hit!
Having a plan of attack and a schedule is crucial when you're about to make a wedding cake. Here are some of the items on my plan:
Things to ask the bride 1 week before:
As I've said too many times by now, I have to make my life easier in this cake making business right now because of the little one. That means that we're going to do something a bit unconventional that is becoming more and more popular these days (especially amongst brides and grooms looking to save some money)... we'll be making a dummy cake made of styrofoam and covered with fondant and sugar paste decorations with a real cake on top that is made specially for the bride and groom to cut into. This faux cake with a real one on top allows the bride and groom all the fanfare of a beautifully decorated cake for their nuptial "cutting of the cake" pictures.
But where's the cake for the guests?! It's in the back with the catering staff in beautiful rectangular sheet cakes. I have realized that I LOVE baking & decorating small cakes for events now and doing sheet cakes and keeping them hidden in the back. Why? Well there are several reasons.
With Instagram, Pinterest and other media outlets out there "on the line" there are so many ways for brides to not only find inspiration but to find exactly the style of wedding cake they'd like for their wedding. This large cascading rose cake illustrated below is the design of choice my lovely bride and groom chose.
I always flip through photos of real flowers I'm about to sculpt in sugar before I actually begin to play with sugar paste. Something that always gives me great comfort and gets my creative juices flowing is just how perfectly imperfect nature can be.
Sculpting a rose from sugar for this 4 tier cake means this rose needs to be larger than life. In order for this cake to be lifelike and span the height of the 4 tiers... well you can only imagine how many sugar petals that's going to take! Oh man... before my fingers start cramping up just thinking of that let's think about the layers of the rose petals.
From a seemingly perfect spiral center, rose petals branch off into an array of undulations, curves, knicks and cuts. Some of these imperfections come from being weather beaten or simply out of a sudden growth spurt. How delightful to note that an artist can interpret each individual petal's journey and not feel confined to molding each and every petal with a clone-like exactness.
I also like to look through the work of sugar and cake artist's work that I admire. Finding the artistry in others work fills me with a desire to try it myself and it pushes me to try and achieve their level of craftsmanship in detail. One of my default artists of choice is Ron Ben Israel. Even though I was fortunate to have worked with him and his staff and see firsthand how his cakes come to life, I find I'm still in awe of his ever growing portfolio of cakes decorated with absolutely breathtaking sugar flowers. There's nothing like viewing a bad-ass master's work to really punch you into high gear to step up your own work.
Here are just a few cakes that have an air of what I'd like to emulate in the wedding cake I'll be making in the next 2 weeks.
I'm so excited to get started on this large sugar rose. I'll have to let you all know how many petals it takes do it. How many do you think it'll take? I'm gonna guess something like 120 petals.... we shall soon find out!
By: Cristina Suarez Gonzalez
In 2012, I made my own wedding cake. Everyone thought I was crazy because who has ever heard of a bride doing her own wedding cake?! I mean doesn't a bride have enough on her mind and on her to-do list?
Turns out that with good time management, a flexible schedule and determination it was possible. I was able to make the wedding cake of my dreams with over 100 sugar flowers and 5 different layers of deliciousness for my guests to enjoy.
Fast forward to today and I am less than a month away from making my sweet niece's and her awesome fiancee's wedding cake. Funny because I was not nearly as apprehensive about making my own as I am about this one. That apprehension stems from the fact that I'm exclusively breastfeeding my baby girl who's on me every hour and a half to two hours and the pressure knowing it's not MY wedding cake (in other words, I REALLY can't mess this up!).
Remember way back when when we discussed baby registry tips? After having a baby and bringing her home you realize just what really is essential in that first month of life. Here's my First Month Love List for a baby:
I finally got a chance to bake something! Albeit in between nursing sessions and with the baby starting to complain at the tail end of getting this small cake together, I did it! And it was oooooohhh so yummy.
This chocolate espresso bundt cake was a birthday cake for my brother, Angel D. (there are a lot of Angel's in my family so they all go by their middle initial). His girls helped me with the finishing touches.
Wow, I can't believe it's nearly been a month since my last post. Sorry for that! This new gig of being a mommy is exhilarating, exhausting and definitely all encompassing which leaves me little room to blog and finish lots of things I start (i.e. a super cute baby quilt I've been dieing to finish and put a tutorial about up on the blog; I'll get to it, it's just going to take some time.)
Our latest adventure is in introducing the bottle to this exclusively breastfed little girl. Man oh man, bottle training is a bit daunting. I didn't start this whole fiasco at the "right" time which apparently is at 6 weeks. I don't know if that's why my baby girl is having issues accepting milk from the bottle or not, but I do know she looks at that bottle like it is highly suspect. Knowing that milk is supposed to come from mommy and not some hard plastic wannabe nipple, she just won't have it.
I really ought to take a moment and be thankful of the immense compliment there. I mean, after all, my little girl is pretty much saying she prefers me and won't take food from a stranger, ahem, bottle. Yep, on one side that's a pretty nice fuzzy-making feeling that is.
I had no idea that having an oversupply of breast milk leads to a higher propensity for plugged ducts or worse, Mastitis. I also didn't think to link feeling feverish with hot & cold chills was linked to that as well. Oh do I know better now!
It wasn't until after the haze of migraines were gone and the chills were quelled by about 5 layers of warm clothing that I realized there was a rock hard crescent shaped lump in my right breast. I resumed my block feeding schedule to try and empty that side. Although my baby girl was able to empty it from flowing milk, that lump just did NOT go down.
Enter slight panic and a heaviness on that side that resembled the cartoon above.
I started massaging it but that thing felt like a painful implant gone wrong. I turned to the sage advice of the breastfeeding mothers of my family and my midwife and here's what I came up with:
I am writing this in haste while the baby catches a few more zzzz's. It seems everything I do that isn't baby centric these days is done in haste or eventually gets done as one long day project done in short spurts of time. That's why when I read about this recipe, originally from Elana's Pantry, I was so excited. Stick everything in one vessel, blend and bake. Sign me up! It fulfills my desire to feel like I've contributed to the household's stash of good food and my desire to get back into the kitchen baking.