Thursday, April 17, 2014

Cornelli Lace Cake

Guess what!?  This is my 1st cake order that will cross state lines!  I was asked by my sister to make a small wedding cake for a long time friend of hers, and was happy to help of course.  She told me the colors for the wedding, and I racked my brain trying to come up with an idea-- the order is only for a 10 inch round cake due to travel and it being a small wedding, but I wanted to make sure that the cake still looks like it's for a wedding and not for a birthday.

I have had a long time love for Cornelli Lace piping on cakes, in fact, our wedding cake had a layer of cornelli lace on it, but even though I've loved it for so long, I've always been scared to try it or scared to mess up and I haven't really had an opportunity, so I took this as my chance to try and I'm really really happy with it!  I hope there will be many more cornelli lace cakes in my future.

"JMS" is the monogram for the bride and groom, and as a surprise for the bride, I used the little bit of extra batter that I had to make a matching small 6 inch round cake to freeze for their 1 year anniversary.  What do you guys think?  Do you love cornelli lace as much as I do?  

Police Wives Swat Box Swap

Since becoming a police wife, I was referred to some police wife groups online and via Facebook.  I think for most women in my place, they are an outlet to vent and have people understand, and we can bounce ideas off of each other, and share our worries and fears.  We are all over the US, in different walks/stages of life, but what we still share a unique bond.  Being a police wife is very rewarding, and I couldn't be more proud of Daniel, but it isn't easy.  

So one of the groups began doing a police wives swat box swap--  basically, if you were interested, you sent in an email with your name and location and then you were paired up with another police wife.  Both of you fill out a questionnaire about yourselves and you each send each other a box of goodies valued at $20.  I was paired up with a sweet gal in Wisconsin!  How cool is that!?  

Here's what I sent:

My goal was to send her a little taste of North Carolina.  I had to go on a post card hunt to buy these.  I guess people don't really send post cards anymore?  I ended up getting them from a local hotel gift shop.  And I learned something new, I've never heard of "Tar Heel pie", but it sounds amazing.  It sounds like a chocolate chess pie with pecans, and I LOVE me some chocolate chess pie.  

So, as far as flavors of North Carolina--  I couldn't send the box without some Cheerwine because I love it, and it is a NC thing.  I pray the cans didn't get too shaken up on the road to WI.  (I honestly wanted to send them so local beer, but in my search online about mailing beer, I found very different opinions and could never figure out if it is actually illegal to send beer via the mail.)  I also included some NC BBQ sauce, because though I haven't been out of the state too much, I have heard that NC BBQ sauce is quite unique with it's vinegar flavor.  I also discovered along the way that Burt's Bees is made in NC!  Did you know that already?  I sure didn't!  And what better way to pamper a fellow LEO wife (and Mom) than with a "hand repair kit" that has hand creme and cuticle cream, and some tinted lip balm.  Also, in the questionnaire my new pal sent back, she told me that she is a coffee addict, specifically starbucks, so I included a $5 gift card in that starbucks cup.  The thin blue line coffee cozy is one that I made, and the thin blue line hair bow I threw in for her 15 month old daughter.

I also learned that it's customary for fellow LEO's and wives to exchange patches.  Apparently there are even some families out there who are avid collectors of police patches.  So Daniel had an old shirt that was stained and unwearable, and I made use of the extra patch to include in the box as well to send.  

Here's what I received:

....Well, I started this post on March 20th, the day that I sent my box to my partner and the deadline day to get it in the mail.  She emailed me on the 22nd to let me know that she loved the box and had received it and that due to being out of town that week she was running behind on sending hers... specifically said "I've got two items to grab and it will be sent."  

I'm sad to say that today is April 17th, and I have still yet to receive a box..... I have followed up with 2 emails to her, one to ask if it had tracking or was lost, and one out of concern to make sure that she and her husband are ok because you just never know with this profession.  It was always more about the gifting for me than the receiving, but I'd be lying if I said I wasn't just a little bit bummed.  I haven't yet reported her to the group-- if she gets reported for not sending, she won't be able to participate in future swaps.  I don't know what I'm going to do yet, I definitely don't want her to short anyone else if she signs up again, but I also am trying to be understanding that something could've come up/or something serious could have happened and I don't want her to be banned permanently from a simple mistake.  I just wish she would communicate back and know that I'm a very understanding person.  

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Half Training Week 7

As I spent the last couple days thinking and prepping what I would say for this post, I found myself chanting, "Lifestyle change.  Lifestyle change.... Lifestyle change."  SO yea, this week's post is incredibly bare, and only includes one work out, but this week was absolutely nuts!  With work (for both Daniel and I), cake orders, party prep for Leeland's birthday, soccer, a wedding that Daniel was in, sick kids, Easter egg hunts.... my life this last week was lived out on my feet and moving from the moment my feet hit the ground, until the moment I went to bed, which was late most nights.  I don't think we've had this chaotic of a schedule since Christmas.......

This week was also a nice learning experience on being prepared, at least when it comes to the food end of things.  Since we started to live healthier last year, (not that our eating was ever really that bad) we started doing probably 90% of our cooking from scratch, and when you have a very full calendar, it's really hard to stop and cook things... so this past week I totally failed myself on my eating habits.  Many of the days, not being prepared led me to not eating at all or skipping meals, which led to low blood sugar and exhaustion, and low metabolism..... just being a hot mess!  Lesson learned-- I will prep in advance the next time our life gets hectic.

So back to my chant--- "lifestyle change.... lifestyle change...."  When you look at exercise as a lifestyle change, you have to know that life gets busy and that sometimes stuff happens and work outs get missed.  At the end of the day, one work out, or even one week of work outs is not that big of a deal as long as you get back on the horse and crank back up again.  It has taken a year for me to finally understand this, and finally give myself that grace, and pick back up. (And if you're curious, I ran 5.2 miles yesterday, so yes I'm back in the saddle.)

So consider this bare schedule to be a reflection of grace and lessons learned....  I've come a long way in a year!  (Who knew that exercise could teach you so much about your inner self?)

Monday April 7th: Turbo Fire, Fire 30 class
Tuesday April 8th:
Wednesday April 9th:
Thursday April 10th:
Friday April 11th:
Saturday April 12th:
Sunday April 13th: 

Monday, April 14, 2014

Leeland's 4th Birthday

Another successful birthday party under our belts!  Hard to believe that 4 years ago today we became parents for the very 1st time.  Leeland has taught us so much through these short years about love, about parenting, and even about each other.  This year's party was extra exciting too because Leeland really got into the planning of everything and was very opinionated about theme, food, decorations etc.  After much debate, it was finally decided that we would have a soccer theme birthday party.

The Invite:
I was so incredibly excited to find this invitation here on Etsy.  I've purchased lots of birthday invites from Etsy throughout the years, but I have to say this one might be one of my favorites-- it looks like a ticket to a game!  Just so neat if you ask me.  (And our address covered for privacy reasons of course.)

The shirt:
If you've stuck around and read through previous birthday posts, then you know the birthday shirt tradition.  Leeland picked out the fabric and colors for his soccer themed birthday shirt this year.  We typically order from our favorite shop Ooe & Auti but she was on maternity leave and not taking orders when I needed to order, so this soccer shirt came from here on Etsy.

The menu:
I guess this is one area where Leeland didn't have a whole lot of choice-- I decided what I was going to cook and I went with it.  Everything made from scratch, because that's how I roll.  I love to cook for others.... I spent all day in the kitchen and I loved every minute of it.
Spicy Dr. Pepper Pulled Pork by The Pioneer Woman

 Green beans and bacon by The Neely's

 Slow cooker Mac and Cheese by Trisha Yearwood

Yummo!!  Now that's my kind of birthday grub right there, hence the reason that I picked it.  And judging by the very very small serving of leftovers left after everyone went back for seconds and thirds, I take it everyone else enjoyed the food too. 

The "Cake":
I'm not entirely sure when it came up in conversation or where he saw it, but when Leeland discovered there was such a thing as a "cookie cake" he decided that is what he wanted for his birthday and could not be talked out of it.  (He also said that he needed to have ice cream and ice cream cones at his party.)

This was my very 1st cookie cake, and I followed this recipe from Brown Eyed Baker.  I doubled the recipe and made the cookie in a 14 inch round pan, and decorated it using the Wilton buttercream recipe. 

The Favors:
In Kroh family fashion, we had to send our friends and family home with sweet treats as favors.  I've always made themed chocolates for everyone, but this time I decided to try my hand at decorated sugar cookies. 

From the mouth of Leeland, "it was the best birthday party ever!"  The kid is beyond spoiled, and we are laying our heads down tonight feeling incredibly loved by our friends and family.  

Friday, April 11, 2014

Donut Cake

Some friends of ours are getting married this weekend!  Very exciting times-- it's funny, last Summer I mentioned to Daniel that we hadn't been invited to a wedding in a very long time.  Different stage of  life I guess, I had attended dozens of baby showers over the last year and zero wedding showers. No lie, within a month after I made that statement, Daniel was asked to be IN THREE weddings!  I love weddings though, they are such a sweet time to reminisce on our wedding day, and such a joyous occasion to see friends in love make that commitment for life, and it will be even sweeter when we get invited to even more baby showers out of it. (Ha!)

I was asked by the bride to make a cake for the rehearsal dinner, the groom is a a fellow law enforcement officer and it seemed only fitting to make a giant donut cake.  With sprinkles of course, because the best kind of donuts always have sprinkles.  The cake is a vanilla pound cake with buttercream frosting and the donut "glaze" is pink by her request.

How'd I do?  It definitely looks like the kind of donut I'd want to take a big bite of!  Congratulations Kyle and Courtney!! We couldn't be happier for you guys!