Pumpkin Spice Latte Layer Cake

That cake up there is a Pumpkin Spice Latte Layer Cake with a Mascarpone Whipped Cream icing, cinnamon caramel glaze, and homemade chocolate truffles. Wow, that’s a mouth full!

One of my mom’s co-workers turned 30 this year. Ah, to turn 30 again. ha! A lot has happened since I turned 30… A LOT! I sold a house, had a snake in my car, had a kid, graduated from grad school, 2 trips to Cozumel Mexico, and soooo much more that might not always be sooooooo good. Oy! Ah, to be 30 again. Truthfully, I’m not sure I’d be willing to do it again. A lot of good happened but a lot of not so good happened. I think I’ll just keep plugging away and see what is just around the corner.

But this isn’t about me, this is about a cake. So… Johanna turned 30 this year. Mom hit me up and asked if I’d be willing to do a birthday cake for her. I guess that Johanna likes people to make a fuss about her birthday and being as though this was a big one, she wanted a big hoopla. haha. I don’t know, I don’t know her :). But mom wanted a big, fancy cake. Mom asked in September. That meant that I had plenty of time to start thinking about what I wanted to do exactly.

So many choices, so many options, all I knew was that she liked Pumpkin. Okay, that was at least a start.

The Pumpkin Spice Latte Layer Cake with Mascarpone Whipped Cream Icing, Cinnamon Caramel Glaze, and Homemade Chocolate Truffles

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Wonder Woman Sugar Cookies

Seems like here lately all I’ve been doing is cakes… and I won’t lie… I kind of like doing those these days. There was a while that I hated decorating cakes but sometime last year I found that love and this year I’ve honed in on that love. In fact, right now as I type this I have cakes in the oven baking. Ooooo are you excited to find out what is in the oven? Don’t worry, I’ll share… eventually.

Heck, these cookies are from a couple weekends ago. LIfe has been crazy lately. A lot of ups and downs and more downs but there are ups too. It’s that roller coaster ride thing. It would be easy some days to throw your hands up in the air and say, I’m done… But… I’m not done. Not yet. I’m just holding on and screaming my head off. Think roller coaster rides of course. I always compare life to a roller coaster ride. I love roller coasters but the older I get the more they scare the crap out of me for some reason.

More on that thought real quick… I guess when I was just barely tall enough to ride the roller coasters at Worlds of Fun in Kansas City, I used to cry because they wouldn’t let me ride while other people used to cry that they didn’t want to ride them. Now I get to call this thing called the roller coaster of life. haha.

Okay, back to the cookies… (more…)

Sesame Street Sugar Cookies

One day last month I got a PM from a friend asking if I could do Sesame Street Sugar Cookies for her friend’s little girl’s birthday. Can I? That’s a good question… but I believe the answer is, YES, Yes I can. That is after she said they could be any of the characters. Also… I went to my friend Google. Google gave me some confidence.

I decided I needed a frog cookie cutter. Frog head for clarification. (more…)

Pumpkin Spice Sugar Cookies

Let’s dust off the cobwebs around here with a nice little fall/pumpkiny/Halloweenie type post. haha. Like that do ya? Have you noticed that this time of year you can walk outside and there are spider webs it seems like everywhere? It’s like doing kungfu ninja type stuff. I’m not afraid of spiders. I can’t just say I like them, but I’m not afraid of them. Now, we all know that is a different story with snakes. I saw a couple of those here lately too. It’s getting too cold. Go into the hibernation. Ugh!

By the way, I got a new laptop and we’re arguing. I say one thing and then it does something completely opposite. Ugh! I might be able to type better if I’d cut my pesky nails. That’s how I always know my nails are getting too long… it interferes with my typing. But I guess that’s another story for another day. Just know, it types differently. It smells different (haha!). And well… it is different. Even Photoshop and I are arguing because I have a different version. sigh!

But let’s not focus on all of that. Instead… look at these gorgeous cookies!!!

Pumpkin Spice Sugar Cookies

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Post Halloween Party

I’m a member of a women’s club and we were supposed to have a “Halloween” party and camp fire cookout the Thursday night before Halloween. Well circumstances came up and we were unable to have it then, so it got postponed to last night. We met at Mary’s house and were supposed to come in costume. After the Month of October we were all afraid that it would be frighteningly cold but last night was awesome weather. Although we were supposed to dress up, not everyone did 🙁 but we had some great costumes from those who did!!!

Project – Halloween

It’s that time; you guessed it, our first dual post. Prince Charming and I gave a word and then came up with a photo that would describe that word. We are still working out all of the details, but so far our first word was Halloween. We had 1 week to come up with a photo that described that word and then we were going to post to see what the other came up with. This is exciting… we are ready to unveil our findings………

Nicole:

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Timing is Everything

Isn’t it strange how life works? Going along in your own little world and everything just gets turned upside down in a very fast whirl wind. Sometimes you don’t even have time to stop and say huh??? Well that has happened to me this year, but I’m going to tell you… sometimes just hang along for the ride because it is well worth the end result! I was going along dating the same guy for over 5 years. People would ask so what’s the deal with that. I was like well I don’t know but I know eventually something will happen. Boy who knew when I made that comment my life would break loose and something would actually happen! Long story short, people who gossip can actually change a person’s life. At the time I thought it was a bad change but I finally was able to step back and take a closer look at the way things had unfolded and saw that something better was just around the corner. Breaking up with someone after 5 1/2 years is a Shocker to your system. I didn’t sleep very much for an entire month and I LOVE to sleep. What little sleep I actually did get was because I would pass out from exhaustion. This all started right around Father’s Day.

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Dinner Club

Once a month a group of friends get together and we go try new places for dinner. Saturday’s dinner happened to be at a place in Joplin called Mytho’s Euro Greek Cuisine. It was very good. Some of the specifications used when the restaurant is chosen is they aren’t chain restaurants and for the most part we pick restaurants where we can dress up (business casual or higher depending on the restaurant.) Not always do we dress up, we’ve been 3 places so far that has been jeans attire but still… we like to dress up (or at least the girls, the guys do it to humor us… LOL). This particular restaurant had cheese that they lit on fire at the table and you yelled “Opa”. Jason looked it up and it said it translated to “Your cheese is on fire.” This has been a tradition now for 10 months. Our first dinner out (January) was in Springfield at a place called Bijans. February was at Downstream Casino at Red Oak Steakhouse. March was in Joplin at Kinnaree. April was in Springfield at Avanzare. May was in Monett at Bayou. June was in Joplin at Wilder’s Steakhouse. July was in Springfield at Touch. August was in Webb City at Roswitha’s. September was in Springfield at Haruno’s and of course this month went back to Joplin to Mytho’s. We have tried many fabulous cuisines… we’ve had Italian, American, Japanese, Euro-Greek, Cajun, Thai, and German. Luckily it has all been places (except for Kinnaree) that I’ve never been to.

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First Job

So my grandma had her 60th class reunion. Could you imagine, 60 years!! Well they needed a photographer and she asked me if I’d be willing to come in, take a class shot and snap a few candid shots. No problem I thought. Boy did I come to a realization real fast… ASK what she wants before hand. I called her 2 days before to double check the time and place and she was like, “Now make sure you have packages for them to buy from.” What? YIKES… ok so my mom and I spent 2 lunch hours at work finalizing packages, options, etc. So I knew I was ready to go. I walked into the Church where this was held shaking. My nerves took over. But I kept my cool the best I could and started walking around taking photos. Those seniors were awesome. Some avoided me, some smiled, some posed and some never knew I was there. I loved it because they couldn’t hear my camera take. They are a little hard of hearing and my camera is very quiet. Without a flash they never saw me coming. My mom went with me to the job. She was the money taker and she also helped round them up when it came time to take the photos. After that came time to come home and edit. The fabulous boyfriend stepped up to the challenge. We used photoshop to touch up the photos and add writing. This was so far the best first shoot I could have asked for.

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Learning to take better Photos

Everyone always chooses different things to focus spare time on. Well besides showing horses last year I took on Cake Decorating. It was cool but extremely stressful so I thought, hmmm what else could I try. I came up with photos. I love taking pictures… So I took a class on Photography with 2 of my friends. It was called Taking Better Pictures. It was interesting! I learned some techniques I might not have tried before and I got an awesome new camera… I am glad I took the class. The teacher would recommend different reading material for us and I signed up for one set of newsletters she recommended. In my quest to learn more, one of the topics that I read about was learning to teach others to pose. It said to teach others to pose, you first should learn to teach yourself. Then you know what works best with the camera, what looks horrible and how to pose to get the “right” shot. So I have the most amazing boyfriend and he and I have been on this quest. Learning to teach ourselves and the other how to pose in front of the camera. We’ve also included his daughter. We’ve gotten some good shots, we’ve gotten some bad shots, and we’ve gotten some hilarious shots. Part of our quest is also to learn to enhance and edit them. He knows more than I do, but I really haven’t sat down yet to take the time and learn. I figure this winter when it is snowy and cold out, that will be how I spend my time. I have no idea where this will take me, but in the end, I will have better photos!!!