Sunday, January 27, 2008

Happy Birthday Eddie Van Halen !!

OK - first off - the VH concert was awesome!!! Now granted, I've been waiting over 20 years, for these guys to get back together - despite their "issues" - but last night, they completely pulled it off! David Lee Roth's vocals (after the about the second / third song) were amazing - as well (and even more so) Eddie's guitar riffs... the guy is legend... Not only did they sound great - but they looked great (these guys are in their 50s!) - someone's been doing their stomach crunches!!

But get this... I was joking w/ Mark earlier in the week, that I should make a really COOL Van Halen themed cake. I could show up with it, and it might get me back to meet the band or get close to meeting the band! Pushing 43, my days of hanging out "after the gig" hoping to catch a glimpse, are long gone!! We laughed, and thought it would be fun... but in reality, it was Thursday, I had 6 cakes, and a wedding to finish for Sunday. So back to last night... they're into their second or third song, and David Lee Roth starts on about, how it's great to be back in Dallas, etc., etc., but that tonight was "extra-special" because today is Eddie's BIRTHDAY!! I looked at Mark, and he looked at me, and I felt like I wanted to cry!! The entire sold out arena proceeded in singing "Happy Birthday"... and NO CAKE! It could have been MY cake!! I could have presented the totally cool, Van Halen birthday cake to Eddie!! Why didn't I know this ?! I can see it now... bottom tier decorated w/ Eddie's striped "Frankenstein" guitar design, VH logo on top, M&M (no browns!), guitar picks, Sunset Blvd theme! I love it! The more I think about it, I may just have to do one for the heck of it! My tribute to my favorite band... Eddie - I know you would have loved it!
Well, I thank them for a terrific and memorable evening - it was definately worth it! Rock on Van Halen brothers!

Saturday, January 26, 2008

It's "Personal"!

Being that I am head baker, artistic director, owner, bookkeeper, dishwasher and delivery driver - I can only do so much! ...but that's how I like it! That's what makes my business - my cakes -stand apart from the rest. I offer a personal, hands on, approach to my cake decorating which is what I can offer to my clients. I feel very fortunately that I can do that! I only accept a small number of orders each week, and I book up early! Every cake is custom made - I don't keep cakes on hand, or stored in the deep freeze. So unfortunately, short notice isn't usually an option. I'd rather focus on a smaller number of cakes, and do them really well, rather than crank out a bunch of cakes and comprimise integrity. Weddings take presidence - without a doubt. I will not take any "occassion" cake orders, when I have a wedding. There's so much detail and work that goes into a wedding cake, to veer off course even for the smallest cake, can create quite a distraction. So for all you last minute planners, and procrastinators (I should know, becuase I am one!) keep this in mind, when you call me on a Friday, for a cake for Saturday! It just can't be done! There are however bakeries that can - I'm just not one of them!!
Did I mention the VH concert is tonight.... yeah, I did!! 6 hours and counting!!

Thursday, January 24, 2008

48 hours... and counting!

Saturday night is the VAN HALEN concert!!!! ...I can't hardly wait!!! For those who know me, know I am a huge VH fan! The first time was 1979 at the Los Angeles Forum; I've seen them perform many times since then, with both Sammy and DLR - don't ask me which I prefer (cause I love me some Sammy!!). But I'm sure this will be the last tour they do together as the original band. I've been waiting ever so patiently for them to schedule a Dallas date! Well, I got my tickets and my VH t-shirt (thanks Matt!) and I'm ready to ROCK!! I know Mark thinks I'm crazy, but I don't care! There are just some bands, and certainly songs you hear, that immediate "take you back"... You remember where you were, who you were with, what you were doing - that's what's so great about music. I was in high school, living in southern California back in the late 70s and 80s... Van Halen of course was huge, Journey, Def Leppard, Foreigner, Guns & Roses... What is now considered "classic rock"! Well, call it what you like, as long as they keep touring - I'll keep rockin' !!
Ooh! I wonder if the band likes cake?!!

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Happy Birthday Jake!

My "baby" is 10 years old today! I can't believe how time flies... I remember we moved to McKinney, just two weeks after Jake was delivered (in Austin)... On a very cold and rainy day, just like it is today. I remember me and the baby and my son Matt, wrapped up huddled in front of the fireplace, as the movers were moving in all the furniture (with their wet and dirty boots!) - waiting for the heat to be turned on! Well he's a "big boy" now - double digits! He's such a great kid - we couldn't be prouder!

It's probably going on 8 years now that I started doing cakes... I remember this, because, when Jake was just about 2 years old, my mom offered to watch him, so I could get out of the house and do something creative! I decided to take a cake decorating class. Something I had often thought about doing, and hey, if mom offered to babysit, sounds good to me! We learned the "basics" - torting a cake, icing a cake, basic shell borders and buttercream roses! I was hooked! After completing the basic class, I immediately enrolled in the intermediate and the advanced classes! During that time, I started doing cakes for family and friends, and friends of friends! I'm in business! (or as my husband says - a glorified hobby!) Well over the past 8 years my little business has evolved considerably! Last year I moved into a commercial kitchen, continue to practice new skills and love to take specialty classes from visiting cake artists. I've even had my work published! I love what I do! Designing and decorating cakes is my creative outlet - it's my art! I thought I would be a graphic designer when I "grew up"... this isn't it... but as far as I'm concerned, "sugar" is just another medium! (Thanks mom!)

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Camera Challenged!

I bake the cakes, ice and decorate the cakes, pack up the cakes ever so carefully in the SUV, drive with caution and precision (precious cargo on board!) deliver the cakes, up stairs - up elevators(several trips!) set up the cake, pipe the final borders, place the cake topper on the top of the cake. Perfect! A beautiful centerpiece! Grab my camera for a shot... and my battery is dead!! It's just my luck!
The wedding cakes for Rebecca and Callie were beautiful - really! (Girls, if you get a nice picture, I'd love a copy!)

Monday, January 14, 2008

I have to brag...

My friend Treva just sent me some pictures last night of the "Senior" session she took with my 17 year old, Matt... and I just have to share them - they're absolutely beautiful! (I cried when I saw them!) Yes, I'm a very proud "mommy" - he's not only a handsome young man, but he's a talented artist, a rockin' guitar player and a top student in his senior class! - wouldn't trade him for the world!!
Check out Treva's site at !! I have to tell you a funny story - I had my parents go to her site, to check 'em out, and when I talked to them this morning... they said, "Alli, we didn't see any of Matt's pictures on the website"... I said, "They’re under the gallery, marked Seniors"... dad says... "OH! I thought that meant Senior Citizens"! Times... they are a changin' ! Thanks Treva - you did a terrific job!

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Martha on the Today Show

Did y'all see Martha Stewart today on the "Today Show" segment about wedding cakes?! She and cake designer extraordinaire, Wendy Kromer, have just come out with a new wedding cake book called (what else) "Martha Stewart's Wedding Cakes". I'm a huge fan of Wendy's work, and can't wait to get my copy! It's not only full of beautiful cakes, but also filled with information to guide you through everything you need to know about, selecting and shopping for your wedding cake.

Speaking of wedding cakes... I only have a few weekends left in May/June/July. If you've been considering coming in for a consultation - or securing your cake order - now is the time! Don't wait to get on the calendar! Even if you haven't decided on your cake, or the final guest count, you can still get a deposit in, to secure your date. We'll have plenty of time to work out the details!

Friday, January 4, 2008

Happy 2008 !!

Happy 2008! Another year has flown by! Why is it, when you were young… a year till your next birthday seemed endless! Not anymore! …can’t seem to find the time anymore or hang onto it long enough! I’m not big on New Years resolutions, but this year I am going to try and slow things down a little bit... take time to enjoy and appreciate my family and friends, and take some time for myself (if even for a moment a day)! An unfortunate death of a good friend of ours, brother, was killed in a car accident, a day before New Years. How sad and tragic, life can change in an instant. It makes you think... Make each day count; no regrets.
Business was great last year - thank you to all my wonderful clients, brides, grooms, and wedding professionals!! I am looking forward to working with you all in 2008! ...lots of cake orders already for the summer months – don’t wait to get on the books!
Time to clean up the aftermath of "Christmas", take down the tree and put all this @$% back up in the attic, clean the carpets, and get the house back to "normal"! Today, the family's headin' out for an afternoon of bowling, movies and grab some dinner... the Griswold’s got nothin' on us!