3 Cheers for the Red, White & Blue!!

Those who won our independence believed liberty to be the secret of happiness and courage to be the secret of liberty.

~Louis D. Brandeis

Independence-Day-Cake | Oh-Fiddle-Dee-Dee

With patriotic colors adorning our table, from our home to yours, we wish you a very safe and happy Independence Day!


Wedding Cakes & Wedding Bells

Sometimes things just don’t go as planned.

Looks can be deceiving....

Looks can be deceiving….

Over the weekend my daughter and I travelled to Montgomery, Alabama where MacKenzie was to be the maid-of-honor in the wedding of one other closest friends & I was to do the wedding cake.  With my four tiers of wedding cake baked and prepped for travel Mackenzie and I set off for a five-hour trip that took nearly ten hours to make due to a serious traffic accident!

Loaded and ready for travel.  Yes, this is going to be a wedding cake!

Loaded and ready for travel. Yes, this is going to be a wedding cake!

Ever made buttercream icing in a hotel room?  Me either, but I love the kitchen at Montgomery's Homewood Suites as it made a great place to do last minute prep!

Ever made buttercream icing in a hotel room? Me neither, but I love the kitchen at Montgomery’s Homewood Suites as it made a great place to do last-minute prep!

The bride had a great vision for her cake, but since she couldn’t arrange everything she wanted on her end, I altered the original vision and gave her a wedding cake that seemed to make her quite happy on her special day.

Iced coffee to fight the heat and I'm ready to work!

Iced coffee to fight the heat and I’m ready to work!

This cake was a little different for me to decorate (not in a bad way) as it was a combination of elements; fondant, buttercream and fresh flowers and greenery.  It made quite a lovely combination without a doubt.


When it came time to assemble it all, is when it became a real challenge as the wedding was held in an old cotton warehouse (The Eclectic Warehouse in Eclectic, Alabama).

via Eclectic Warehouse facebook page

via Eclectic Warehouse Facebook page

The temperature inside was 91 degrees which did not work well for buttercream icing and the table was a wee bit bowed in the center which made my precisely leveled cake look a little off!



But finally with a little help from trays of ice and a large fan, I was able to finish the cake.


At last ready for viewing….


The icing was still a little droopy, but there is only so much you can do when it is over 90 degrees… and my cake isn’t leaning, the table was bowed!

I thought the combination of elements was really pretty.

I thought the combination of elements was really pretty.


The bride seemed genuinely happy which was of course my only goal.

The wedding was sweet.


The bride and groom enjoyed their day.


MacKenzie enjoyed standing by her best friend.


She looked stunning while doing so.


And it’ll be a long, long, long time before I use buttercream icing for an outdoor wedding when it is over 90 degrees!



Pizza, Bowling & Cake!

I think one of the hardest things a mom has to do is watch her babies grow up!  When they are small you can still snuggle and cuddle with them as they tell you they love you forever, dress them up, play tea party, and hold their little hands when you go out with them
Then they turn into teenagers.  
Tea parties became make-up parties, they don’t want your opinion in dressing up, and the only hand they want to hold is the boy in school who seems to have her heart as well.
So when one of those babies asks for us to celebrate her 14th birthday at Chuck E Cheese pizzeria, I’m going to do it no matter how much I despise that place!

And, of course we had a wonderful time!It was capped off by my parents who drove five hours (one way) just for this little party, knowing that they had to return home the same day so my daddy could preach on Sunday morning!


Not only did we play at Chuck E. Cheese for two hours we also went bowling, making this birthday celebration an all day affair!
The girls brought the boyfriends….. thankfully my son isn’t into girls yet; at least the ones his age (college girls on the beach are an entirely different story!) !
With six strikes I had a great night bowling!!
But in the midst of all the birthday fun and laughs was was a cake.
Madeline asked for a green cake.
Only my child.
We looked at several pictures on Pinterest for inspiration before she decided on one that combined two decorating elements:  rosette swirls and ruffles.
via Pinterest
via Pinterest
Now I had done swirls before, but ruffles was a whole new game for me.
I have a long way to go.
But I tried to give her what she wanted.
First I baked the cake using my favorite white velvet cake recipe.
Each of the four layers was a different shade of green; the popular ombre style.
I only used two recipes of the white velvet cake …. each 8-in cake pan held 2 cups of cake batter that I had tinted green in separated bowls.
I used Wilton paste in Leaf Green for the color, adjusting the amount and even adding a bit of white to achieve the colors I wanted.
After baking the layers and letting them cool, I leveled, stacked with basic buttercream icing between each layer, and then lightly (or dirty) iced the cake to keep my crumbs contained and give myself a base to work with.
And then I started playing with the icing.  I used the same Wilton Leaf Green paste for tinting my buttercream.  I made three recipes of the icing to make sure that I had enough.
I did the ruffles first and discovered that my icing was not stiff enough to stand, so they don’t look very good.
That means practice because I am a perfectionist and won’t be happy until I can do this technique correctly.
The rosette swirls made the top of the cake.
The main thing was that Madeline loved her cake and it was green!
I used taller candles to add a little elegance to the cake.
I forgot a decent knife to cut the cake with, so we had to settle for a plastic one at Chuck E. Cheese.
Madeline’s birthday was a truly special day …..
It was a day for counting our blessings for sure:  you just can’t be anymore blessed than having a happy, heathy family who truly enjoys being together and grandparents who go out of their way to make sure they are a part of it all.
God has been so good to us!
It’s birthday season for our family, so now to plan Bradley’s 13th celebration for March!
Lot’s of fun!

The Wedding

Our daughter is now a wife.
It seems so surreal.  It seems just like yesterday that I fell in love with this adorable little girl at church and soon thereafter met her father, fell head over heels in love and married him!
Audley & Samantha
Seventeen and half years after Audley and I walked down the aisle, he walked his daughter down the exact same aisle where she and the love of her life were married by the same man who married Audley & I …. my father.
I cried.
So did Audley.
Samantha was beautiful.  There is no denying it.
Of course as her mom I have the right to say this.
It was a sentimental day.
Samantha wore my pearl earrings, a gift from Audley to me on our wedding day.
Her ring bearer’s pillow was made by my mother using fabric from two shirts, one belonging to her great-grandfather and the other to her great-grandmother, both who passed in the last year.
And I made her cake.
And the peppermint bark.
And the cheese wafers, chicken salad, peanut butter cups, cheese platter, pimento cheese, and the champagne punch.
(Samantha picked her menu…. she likes cheese)
The ceremony was beautiful.
It was really sweet.
But the most precious part of my day was adding another son to our family.
I couldn’t be a more proud, happy and very tired mother.
Happy Monday Y’all!