oak park


When my son was 6 months old I had to drop him at a near-stranger’s house to watch him while my husband and I went to work.  His little man-faced self was already pushing to stretch is circle of influence.  The daycare provider we chose was recommended to us by some of our closest friends.  These many years later, our families have surpassed a professional relationship and developed a friendship. Her son and mine are soul swore cousins who can’t wait to be in Jr. High together next year.  We revisited that professional relationship for a second last week when I took my nephew to her house,  I handed him over to Christy, much like I had mine.   His little 3 month old self was beginning a journey that my children laid the groundwork for over 10 years ago.  My ever expanding community is amazing.  My sister lives a short walk from me.  There are days I believe my life is exactly how I hoped it would be.

The boys, best friends, or cousins as they tried to convince me when they were younger.

Here they are a little older than before. I believe a 3rd birthday party…

Here they are at 10 and 11. Silly little men.

Huskey Cake is coming

I have now three cakes in the making.  I can’t believe it!!  This is going to merit finally generating a price structure.  So, here are the cakes:

  1. Confirmation cake for a teenager who just got onto the varsity soccer team at our local high school
  2. Webkinz cake for my daughter turning seven
  3. A baby shower cake for a couple who just adopted a little boy

Here is the plan.  Next weekend is the soccer/high school cake.  Our local High School’s mascot is the Huskey, the colors are burnt orange and navy blue.  My plan is to make an 8 inch, two layer yellow cake filled with chocolate ganache.  The frosting will be a buttercream merangue in navy blue.  I had to figure out how to make the paw print of the huskey on top of the cake.  So here’s what I did:

Drew the outline of a paw print on a piece of heavy posterboard.  I thought about purchasing stencil sheets, but they were very expensive and would have really jacked up the price of the cake.  I used and exacto knife from home to make a stencil.

Paw Print Stencil

Then I melted orange and red white chocolate together and spread it over the stencil to make the basic outline.  What I ended up with looked like this:


I do like the way the paw print turned out. The side that is on the bottom and smooth will become the top. But, I decided to take it a step further. Since he is such a soccer buff, I thought some soccer balls on the cake would be great. So, I made these soccer ball pops that I will stick into the edge of the cake. The cake is due next weekend, I am excited to see how it turns out.

soccer ball white chocolate lollypops


A colleague and long term friend of mine is retireing next week.  I have partaken in just a few drinks over the course of the last couple of weeks in her honor.  She made the well planned decision a few years back to buy a place on Amelia Island in Florida to move to upon retirement–never a fan of Chicago winters.  I’ll be headed out to another celebration this evening for her.  Last week,  post-Blue Moon I agreed to bake a cake this week for her.  This time it is for a girlfriends’ retirement.  Headed out to Micheal’s today to get some ideas.  I am excited to bring out the pans, boards and bowls.  I am considering an island theme….