Confessions of a Crazy Cake Mom (and some other news)

One of the many things that makes my “crazy” show is a birthday. I love planning birthday parties and especially cakes. The fact that my two oldest sons are having birthdays within the next two weeks made me decide to write a quick bit about my sickness surrounding birthday cakes.

My birthday cake made by Leslie's Cakes for my...uhh *cough* 29th birthday. Yeah, 29th. That's the ticket.

My birthday cake made by Leslie’s Cakes for my…uhh *cough* 29th birthday. Yeah, 29th. That’s the ticket.

My mom was great about either making me special cakes or ordering exactly what I wanted. I carried that tradition on with my own kids but am far less likely to hire a professional because, well, because I’m crazy. Now I’m not saying I’m über talented and should open my own little cake business (that would be a nightmare waiting to happen). I just like doing it for my kids.  But I thought I would share with you some of my attempts at birthday cakes and cupcakes over the last few years. You can certainly tell which ones I started on the night before the party and which ones I was icing as the party guests were walking through the door and I was still in a bathrobe. (Now, if you want a great looking/tasting cake by a true pro and live in the North Texas area, you should totally check out Leslie’s Cakes. They are amazing!)

Let’s start with some simple cupcakes I made for my two oldest when they decided to have a beach themed waterpark party (one of the few perks of having summer birthdays).

Beachy fun!

Beachy keen!

The decorations were simple: canned icing with blue coloring topped with little fondant shark fins and starfish. The hardest part of these cupcakes are hidden under the icing. They’re rainbow cakes which meant splitting the batter into several containers, dying them different colors, and spooning them into the cups in layers. It was a little time-consuming but had a nice little “wow” factor when the kids bit into them. (Note: we usually try to avoid dyes because of our ADHD/Autism diet but I throw all that out the window for birthdays. You have to just let kids be kids sometimes.)

Simple decorations on a complicated icing recipe (but so worth the effort).

Simple decorations on a complicated icing recipe (but so worth the effort).

Now these are also very simple cupcakes I made for my youngest son’s first birthday. His nursery was an owl theme and of course that was a year before everyone went owl crazy and you could buy it everywhere. I stuck with the theme for his birthday, using the colors in his room and simple fondant owls I cut out with an x-acto (is that right?) knife. The star of this was the icing. It’s a homemade batch of browned butter frosting that’s recipe I got from Martha Stewart. It is freakin’ awesome!! First birthdays are more about the adults anyway so I used this icing recipe knowing it wouldn’t be a favorite with the little one. He did his obligatory duty as a one-year-old and smeared it in his hair and everywhere else before crying over our singing.

Now, here are some cakes I did that are certainly half-ass. I call them “cheat sheets” because I go buy a plain sheet cake from our local Market Street and then decorate them myself. This method insures that I have a nice smooth surface for the base, allows me to spend my time doing the fun part, and keeps me from shanking folks.

Fondant Angry Birds I made myself ont top of a bought sheet cake.

Fondant Angry Birds I made myself ont top of a bought sheet cake.

A last minute monster cake built on top of a bought sheet cake.

A last minute monster cake built on top of a bought sheet cake.

I made smaller cakes at home using what I call a "boob pan" and just iced the crud out of them.

I made smaller cakes at home using what I call a “boob pan” and just iced the crud out of them.

I made candy clay with Candy Melts and corn syrup (so much easier than fondant) for the belt to celebrate my son's first rank up in karate.

I made candy clay with Candy Melts and corn syrup (so much easier than fondant) for the belt to celebrate my son’s first rank up in karate.

And now for my masterpiece. This is hands-down the best looking cake I’ve ever made and I imagine it has something to do with the fact that I actually made it the night before the party. We hired a local wildlife educator name Critterman to come to our home with lots of creepy crawlies. It was a fantastic party. The kids got to learn about a lot of animals and even touch them. My oldest son LOVED chameleons so I went with it and this is what he got…

Chameleon and spider cake complete with a Zinger branch.

Chameleon and spider cake complete with a Zinger branch.

I’m darn proud of the cake even if it’s technically a “cheat sheet.” I baked a round cake that I cut up to make the body of the chameleon and some more of the “boob” cakes to make the spider and leaves. Zingers made the perfect branch and I had to cheat and use pipe cleaners for the spider legs. Obviously it was mixing all of the different colors and doing thousands of little stars that took up the most time, but it paid off.

Isn't he pretty?!?

Isn’t he pretty?!?

And that was a peek into my craziness when it comes to birthday cakes. I’ve had requests for Minecraft, Legos and Adventure Time for these upcoming parties. I’ll past what I end up doing. Now…ON WITH AN IMPORTANT NEWS BULLETIN!!!!

First, I’ve already bragged and gloated on my primary blog that my parody, Fifty Shades of Puddin’

received an unexpected but amazing review on Villara Noir. It got me pumped, so I posted two excerpts from the prequel The Hunger Camp. Go check them out of you want a laugh. Amazon (Kindle) has decided to mark my book down to a buck for some reason (they reserve the right to change your price at their discretion), so go buy a copy and I’ll take that $0.35 royalty and go on a crazy spending spree!! Anyway, my loss but your gain, right?

Second, I’m taking a break from blogging for about 2 weeks. With two birthdays, travel, the end of school, and looming deadlines on real writing projects, I have to take a step back. I’ll be back the first of June with lots of summer-saving tips drink recipes.


Mommy’s Little Helper Monday: Mother’s Day Edition

Me and my third little boy. I'm smiling so the drugs were still working.

Me and my third little boy. I’m smiling so the drugs were still working.

Did all of you survive Mother’s Day? Was it filled with grocery store flowers and handprint art thrown in your lap as payment for wiping countless asses and noses? My holiday was actually fantastic. Why? Because I spent 75% of it pretending I didn’t have children. Does this make me sound like a horrible mommy? I really don’t give a flying crap if it does or not. I needed it SOOOOO bad, and I think other moms do, too. After eating a breakfast (I never eat breakfast) that my sweet hubby made, I took a shower (I rarely get to do that either), put on makeup and a low-cut dress, and took off for a day of pretending.

The boys all meeting for the first time. The drugs are still working.

The boys all meeting for the first time. The drugs are still working.

I had the top down (the vehicle’s– not mine), the sun on my face, the wind in my hair, and every uncensored Prince, Eminem, Beastie Boys, JayZ, etc… song I have on my phone blaring through the speakers. I set off to use a gift certificate for a pedicure my sweet neighbor had given me for my birthday. I read the address in my usual half-ass/ADD manner and took off to the Shops at Legacy to get my gimpy toe and its equally ugly brothers polished into submission. The Shops of Legacy is a hoity-toity outdoor shopping center in north Plano. The sidewalks were packed with people all waiting for a spot in one of the restaurants, and they all got to hear “99 Problems” in all of its glory as I slowly drove back and forth looking for the nail place. I just smiled and let them all stare with envy at the girl who obviously didn’t have children.

The drugs have obviously stopped working and I've realized that I have 3 freakin' kids!

The drugs have obviously stopped working and I’ve realized that I have 3 freakin’ kids!

And it was all good until I got the bright idea to pull over and read the nail salon address again. It was then that I realized that the shop was on Legacy alright, but it was miles away– much closer to my house. Stupid! So I decided to play it off and went to the mall. I shopped! I shopped for sassy dresses. I’ve gained weight recently so I took dresses a size bigger than what I usually wear into the dressing room with me. They were too big! It was a magical miracle! I’m usually left crying in a fetal position while the flourescent lights highlight every single bump of cellulite I have. I usually run from the dressing room like I’m being attacked by velociraptors. And I keep running all the way to the food court where I stuff a cookie and a Diet Coke down my throat because I’ve decided that’s the way to make me feel less fat. But not this day. This day I actually bought a dress–with gift certificates I found in my wallet. More magic!!!

I then got 2 free pairs of panties at Victoria Secrets. Magical magicness!! Then I found the nail place and had my toes painted Cajun Shrimp while I drank wine. Wine!!! With no kids!!! There was so much magic it was like the entire senior class at Hogwarts had thrown up on me. I felt so good that I decided to go cruise through Target. I got there and discovered Starbucks had their frappacinos half off for Mother’s Day!! Holy coffee beans!! I got a caramel ribbon something–venti!! I sucked that 1000 calories down while I browsed through crap I didn’t need and talked to the BFF on the phone. It was then that I realized I was starting to shake. It was then that I started feeling a little queasy. It was then that I realized wine + massive amounts of sugar and caffeine – food + hypoglycemia = NOT SMART. Not magic.

Screw my blood sugar!! Make it a venti, bitch!

Screw my blood sugar!! Make it a venti, bitch!

I went and sat in my car shivering like a chihuahua. It was ugly there for a bit, but I muscled through. My day of pretending that I didn’t have children couldn’t be over! I drove my ass to the tanning place that I haven’t been to in months. I marched in and used my free Mother’s Day upgrade offer and climbed into this space ship looking bed NAKED! Yep. I decided to tan away those stretch marks so I could really pretend that I didn’t have kids. I was committed to my role. I finished roasting myself with one of those stupid little heart stickers (hey, better than a Playboy bunny) on my hip and drove home. I arrived to a lovingly prepared meal of surf and turf cooked by my sweet, ex-chef hubby, and three little boys lounging in front of the TV in their underwear. I tried to pretend they were just hired help but the undies made that thought a little creepy.

After dinner I lounged in bed, drinking wine and watching Game of Thrones. It was then that I began to slip into a state of deep relaxation…and itch. What the hell? Why am I itching in places that I shouldn’t? I go to the bathroom, drop my jammie bottoms and lift my top…OH, my god!!! I’m sunburned. I’m sunburned in places you NEVER want to be sunburned! And I want to pretend that me having a buzz and being sunburned is just like in my twenties when I’d drink on a boat all day and end up looking like a lobster, but I can’t. I was drunk most of the time in my twenties but I was never stupid enough to tan naked…Wait a minute…STUPID! That’s it! I really did live my day just like before I had kids. I did stupid things. I taunted my hypoglycemia and I burned my crotch. I was in a fairly constant state of stupid before I had kids, so I did it! I did stupid!

The Libation:

I know that you were fearful that after that long-winded story you were going to get duped on the drink, and you are!! Well, sorta. I tried to come up with a Mother’s Day themed drink, but in my opinion anything with a proof label was created for mothers. So, I had to dig deep to come up with something and then it popped in my head. My BFF and I created a drink when we were teenagers and my parents had gone on a vacation. We had to use what we could find and that came down to a packet of Purplesaurus Rex Kool-Aid and vodka. We called them Purple Mother F*ckers! (Do I really have to add some little symbol to these naughty words? It’s not like you don’t say it in your head when you read it. I think that’s the last half-ass attempt at censorship you’ll see from me.) And they weren’t bad. The Kool-aid is a mix of lemonade and grape, and to teenagers it tasted pretty damn good. The sad part is that you can’t buy Purplesaurus Rex anymore. If one of you do find some, let me know.


The Duh–I Already-Knew-That-Helpful-Tip:

Take a Thelma and Louise day for yourself...

Take a Thelma and Louise day for yourself…

If you are a mom pick a day to pretend you’re not. After you make sure your kids are safe with a spouse, sitter, relative, or firestation, take a day to just pretend you’re a person without all of the responsibilities you deal with every day. Go be with yourself. If you’re an introvert like me, go by yourself. If you’re an extrovert, gather some friends. Go do stupid shit that won’t land you in jail or maim you (wear bottoms in the tanning bed), and just have fun. Enjoy a taste of freedom. Turn off your cell phone for heaven’s sake. Don’t schedule anything! Make every decision on the fly. We forget what that’s like sometimes when we’re buried under schedules. Hell, we almost have to pencil in our potty breaks. Just go live without worrying about fixing meals or taking kids to violin lessons. Drive down a street you’ve never taken before. Just go! Trust me, you’ll feel so much better when you come home.

...but watch out for canyons.

…but watch out for canyons.

The Funny:

If the thought of me walking around with a burnt crotch doesn’t make you laugh, I don’t know what will. But, if you’re expecting more, go to my other blog Wckedwords. For those of you who don’t know, I wrote a redneck parody of Fifty Shades of Grey called Fifty Shades of Puddin’. It developed quite a little following so I decided to play around with a prequel. Go check out The Hunger Camp for a post Mommy Day laugh.

Mommy’s Little Helper Monday

It’s a beautiful Monday (repeat this 100 times until you believe it or somebody calls the authorities because they think you’re a danger to yourself and others). How was your weekend? Saturday started off well with my middle son scoring a goal from midfield during his soccer game and then enjoying a pizza party with his friends. It went downhill from there. That same wonderful boy managed to flood my bathroom. Have I mentioned that we’ve had two small floods in our home within the last month? The first one took out our two other bathrooms that are still under construction. This minor flood didn’t do enough damage to require walls and floors being torn out, but it was enough to make me clean up toilet water and piss me off.

One of my many hooker heels that willbe very lonely for a couple of months.

One of my many hooker heels that will be very lonely for a couple of months.

Then the dog escaped. The boys didn’t listen and chased her so she decided it was a game. I got the bright idea to use my mad ninja skills and hide around the corner of our fence and snag her when she ran past. It worked but it freaked her out so bad that she started flipping around and managed to step on and twist my little toe…and broke it. So now I have a fat, little blue sausage for a toe, which really isn’t much different from how it usually looks aside from the color.

What really pisses me off is that I won’t be able to get a pedicure or wear any of my hooker heels for weeks!!! Grrr….

Ok. I’ve bitched and moaned about my stupid little problems and am going back to keeping it all in perspective. Maybe we should just get on with some drinks and funny.

Keep reading. You'll understand.

Keep reading. You’ll understand.

The Libation:

I’m on a diet. I want to bitch about this, too, but it’s my own damn fault for gaining the 12 pounds that are keeping me from wearing my normal clothes. I’m one of those people who won’t allow themselves to go buy new clothes that fit because then I might get comfortable. So, I’m wearing my stretch pants, t-shirts, and tennis shoes everyday. Thin lycra/cotton stretched that tight is frightening to look at and probably offensive to those who must be around me, but too bad. I’m going to at least look like I’m working out even if I’m not. Anyway, because I’m trying not to eat pure sugar for every meal, I decided to look up some low-calorie libations.

During a trip to visit the BFF, we discovered this skinny bitch wine (not the real name but you can figure it out pretty quick), and we grabbed a bottle. Not a good idea. You could make this yourself. Just take a real bottle of wine, pour half a glass, and fill it the rest of the way with water. Seriously. Not good. We also tried skinny margaritas. Not good. This left me with rolling up my sleeves and diving in for some Magnum P.I. style investigation (if you have to investigate shit you might as well do it in a Ferrari and a Hawaiian shirt). Here’s what I came up with as the best alternatives when you’re watching your thighs.

Miss Goody-Two-Shoes My-Thighs-Will-Never-Touch-Because-I-Stick-To-My-Diet Options (under 150 calories):

• Skinnygirl margarita (4 oz): 100 (Bleck…insert sounds of gagging)
• Green apple martini (1 oz each vodka, sour apple, apple juice): 148
• Port wine (3 oz):128 (Does anyone really drink this?)
• Bloody Mary (5 oz): 118
• Red wine (5 oz):120
• White wine (5 oz): 120
• Alcohol-free wine (5 oz): 20-30 (Are you serious? Who thought this stupid shit up? Go buy some diabetic grape juice if you want this.)
• Light beer (12 oz): 95-136
• Ultra-light beer (12 oz): 64-95
• Champagne (5oz): 106-120
• Wine spritzer (5 oz): 100
• Mimosa (4 oz): 75
• Rum and Diet Coke (8 oz): 100
• Mike’s Hard Lemonade (11 oz): 98

My personal picks on this list are mimosas (the breakfast of champions), champagne (every girl feels prettier sipping those magic bubbles), Mike’s Hard Lemonade (we like anything with the word hard in it), and my all-time favorite– rum and Diet Coke.

Miss Nobody’s-Looking-And-I-Had-A-Pretty-Shitty-Day Options (150-200 calories):

• Martini (2.5 oz): 160
• Beer (12 oz): 150-198
• Spiced cider with rum ( 8 oz):150
• Mulled wine (5 oz): 200 (Uh…Do you also knit your own underwear while sipping this and watching Martha Stewart reruns?)
• Vodka and tonic (8 oz): 200
• Screwdriver (8 oz): 190 (They said screw…huh..huh…)
• Gin and tonic (7 oz): 200
• Rum and Coke (8 oz): 185

Some good choices here, but for one of these you could have 2 to 3 of the ones on the first list. That’s some important math, people. Think about it.

Miss My-Kids-Suck-My-Life-Sucks-And-You-Can-Kiss-My-Fat-Jiggly-Thighs-You-Skinny-F#ckin’-Bitches options (between 200 and you don’t give a shit calories):

• Long Island iced tea (8 oz): 780 (Holy shit! At least they make that one drink count considering it’s ALL liquor–no mixers.)
• White Russian (2 oz vodka, 1.5 oz coffee liqueur, 1.5 oz cream): 425
• Mai Tai (6 oz) (1.5 oz rum, 1/2 oz cream de along, 1/2 oz triple sec, sour mix, pineapple juice): 350
• Eggnog with rum (8 ounces): 370
• Hot chocolate with peppermint schnapps (8 oz): 380
• Hot buttered rum (8 oz): 292
• Coffee liqueur (3 ounces): 348
• Godiva chocolate liqueur (3 oz): 310
• Pina Colada (6 oz): 378 calories (These calories are automatically voided if you’re lucky enough to be swimming to a bar to order it.)
• Mojito (8 oz): 214 calories
• Chocolate martini: (2 oz each vodka, chocolate liqueur, cream, 1/2 oz creme de cacao, chocolate syrup): 438
• Margarita (8 oz): 280

So there you have it. No matter where you fall in the categories that day, you have options!! You can thank me later.

Magnum kept finding fruity drinks at Rick's bar. Not much help but I let him stick around.

Magnum kept finding fruity drinks at Rick’s bar. Not much help but I let him stick around.

The Duh-I-Already-Knew-That Helpful Tip:

Ok, I just dug up all that info on the internet (thanks, WebMD) without the help of T.C. and his helicopter and you still expect a tip? Geez. Ok. Here it is– chasing a crazed husky down an alley is a bad idea. Don’t do it! You will break your toe. Also, wear your most fierce hooker shoes every chance you get because you never know when you might decide to chase a husky down an alley and break your stupid toe.

The Funny:

I thought you might get a kick out of this snapshot that was taken of me during my day as Magnum. That lazy T.C. was too good to let me use his helicopter but certainly didn’t mind weaseling his way into a picture. That’s ok. I told him that Long Island Ice Teas are great for your waistline. He had two and took off in his chopper. I’m not sure what all that smoke is out there behind those palm trees. Oh, well…here it is.

Wow! I didn't realize how good I looked in a mustache...and look at that package. Why did those short shorts ever go out?

Wow! I didn’t realize how good I looked in a mustache…and look at that package. Why did those short shorts ever go out?