Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Market Mommy.com

As a new mommy entrepreneur and a new blogger, I'm only just beginning to discover all the great resources and blogging communities on the internet. One site that I just discovered is Market Mommy, a wonderful site geared towards helping small and mom-owned businesses market inexpensively. The owner, Dawn, is celebrating one year of Market Mommy and having a Birthday Extravaganza! There's a huge giveaway with prizes valued over $2600 to give away! Check it out! BWS tips button
Sunday, June 27, 2010

Cross Cakes

I found some pictures of cakes tonight that I had stored in my photo albums and on my computer that my cute cupcakes and I made to celebrate the beginning of a couple of school years at Sacred Heart Academy. Starting a new school year off with a cross cake is a fun and meaningful way to get the year started off on the right foot! I hope to continue this blessed tradition for many years to come in our homeschool!

Before decorating
After decorating


Friday, June 25, 2010

Pool Ice Cream Cake and Pool Cupcakes


 Happy 6th Birthday Cupcake #3! June 2010

Cupcake #3 wanted a pool party for her 6th birthday. We just have the inexpensive $19 Wal-Mart backyard pool and a slip-n-slide so we set them up in our backyard and the kids had a blast. It did help that our neighbors brought over another small inflatable pool so the kids could run around among the 3 choices. So I jumped on the Family Fun website once again and found this perfect ice cream cake for our pool party. This was an easy cake to make besides trying to keep the ice cream from melting everytime I pulled it out of the freezer to decorate for each step. Instead of vanilla ice cream like the recipe called for, I found birthday cake ice cream at the store and used this flavor. Instead of jaw breakers I used gumballs and I used life-saver chewy candy. When I was looking in the store to find something to use as rafts, Cupcake #1 suggested Laffy Taffy. Perfect! Cupcake #1 is so much like me in that she is creative also. So the Laffy Taffy was stretched out a little to resemble rafts and the I rolled one end over for the rafts' "pillow". Then I drew lines in the Laffy Taffy to resemble the seams in rafts. The plastic people are from a math manipulative set that I have. This was a quick cake to make and yummy!


Since we had a cake that was just solid ice cream, I made chocolate cupcakes too and decorated them with blue icing and pool decorations (Laffy Taffy rafts, chewy life-saver rafts, and gumball beach balls). Yummy!

Pretty Pink Doll Cake


 

Happy 2nd Birthday Cupcake #4! November 2009

The Pampered Chef glass mixing bowl came in handy once again when I made this doll cake. I bought the doll from our local Dollar Tree store. The doll cake is on top of a 9x13 cake. After I iced the cake with tinted frosting, I decorated the doll's dress with miniature marshmallows. I think Cupcake #4 was wondering why a doll was stuck in a cake!

Pumpkin Cake and Turkey Cupcakes


Happy 1st Birthday Cupcake #4! November 2008

Since Cupcake #4 was born a week before Thanksgiving, I thought a fall themed cake would be great to celebrate her 1st birthday. My famous Hershey cake came through again, but I tinted the icing with green food coloring. Then I drew a pumpkin on top with icing and the cake reads "Happy 1st Birthday Little Pumpkin". The pretzel stick stem on the top of the pumpkin also serves as the one in 1st. Then I made the cute turkey cupcakes that I found here on the Family Fun website. These were cute cupcakes to make and a little time-consuming, but so worth the effort because I think they turned out great!

Elmo Cake


Happy 2nd Birthday Cupcake #3!

This was definitely a quick and easy (but still very cute) cake that I made for Cupcake #3's 2nd birthday. Again, I baked the delicious Hershey cake and then made an Elmo beach scene on the top of the cake. The plastic Elmo doll is sitting in "water" made from blue icing and the "sand" is made with crushed graham crackers. Yummy!

Bathtub Cake


Happy 1st Birthday Cupcake #3! June 2005

Thanks to Family Fun again for the idea to make this rubber ducky in a tub birthday cake! I remember this cake was not very time consuming and I had alot of fun making this adorable cake. The marshmallow Hot/Cold faucets were so cool to make. Again, I made cupcakes and sprinkled blue sugar crystals on them. I then used Clip art again on my computer to print out and cut the ducky pictures taped to toothpicks and I inserted them into each cupcake.

LEGO Cakes


Happy 8th Birthday Cupcake #2! October 2009

Cupcake #2 loves LEGOs so these cakes were perfect for his LEGO themed party. I used 9X13 cake pans and cut marshmallows in half for the circular pieces of the LEGO cake. The green cake in the back left corner has a LEGOs Star-Wars scene on it. I found LEGO candy pieces here to hand out during and after the party. The children loved playing with the LEGO candy as much as they did eating them!

Treasure Chest cake


Happy 7th Birthday Cupcake #2! October 2008

Thanks to Family Fun again for the inspiration for this cake! We were able to celebrate Cupcake #2's Treasure Hunt birthday party with this yummy chest filled with lots of loot. The guests at the party enjoyed finding clues that were hidden in our backyard woods. The clues spelled where to find the treasure. With great excitement and energy, Cupcake #2 and his friends ran to find the treasure and then they feasted on this yummy cake and ice cream!

Bug Cake and Frog Cupcakes


Happy 6th Birthday Cupcake #2! October 2007

Dirt and bug cake with frog cupcakes. What more could a 6 yr. old boy want???? The cake is the Hershey cake recipe that I got from a dear friend. I then crumbled up chocolate cookies to make "dirt". Then stuck a bunch of Luke's plastic critters on the cake. The frog cupcakes were copied from one of the frog cupcake photos here. The eyes are cut marshmallows with green sugar crystals on the top of the eyes and the red tongue is a cut fruit roll-up. These fruit roll-ups even had pictures of bugs on them, but you can't see the bugs from this picture.
During this party, Cupcake #2 and his friends went through an obstacle course through the woods in our backyard which was a perfect activity to go along with our bug birthday theme.

Snake Cake


Happy 5th Birthday Cupcake #2! October 2006

I can't remember how I made this cake exactly. I assume I got my inspiration from Family Fun again, but I don't know if I used a Bundt cake pan as suggested in the Family Fun recipe or something else. I guess this is why I started this blog...so I will remember how I make the cakes when I am trying to remember several years later! Luke's birthday is in the fall, so candy corn was a perfect decoration for our snake complete with candy corn fangs and a fruit roll-up tongue.
I also made the cupcakes and iced them with icing that I dyed green and placed a plastic snake on top of each cupcake. SssssssssssUPER fun and yummy!

Dinosaur/Dragon Cakes


Happy 4th Birthday Cupcake #2! October 2006

This is another cake idea inspired by Family Fun. Cupcake #2 loved dinosaurs so this was a perfect cake for a dino-mite birthday party!


 
Cupcake #2 couldn't decide if he wanted a dinosaur or dragon party so we made both kinds of cake and we called it a dino-dragon party! The dragon's "cave" was baked in the Pampered Chef glass mixing bowl (the same bowl I used for Cupcake #1's Cinderella cake). I turned the bowl cake over, iced it with chocolate frosting and then put crumbled graham crackers on top to make the cave look rocky. I cut a little bit out of the cave and put a plastic dragon figurine in front of the entrance to the cave.


 
What do you do with a little extra round cake that you didn't use for the dinosaur-dragon cakes? Well, turn it into a dinosaur scene, of course. Frost the cake with brown icing for land and blue icing for water. Stick some dinosaur things from your son's play set on top and it becomes an instant Jurassic Park for a dino-dragon birthday party!

Hammerhead Shark Cake


Happy 3rd Birthday Cupcake #2! October 2004

I don't remember exactly how I made this cake. I remember my hubby saved the day by putting the cake pieces together to make it look like a hammerhead shark before I iced it. I had a picture in my head about what I wanted the cake to look like, but I was unable to think about how to make it and my hubby was able to turn the cake into this fierce hammerhead shark. Around the shark I iced the foiled lined cardboard with blue icing to look like water and then I put red and blue gummy sharks and fish in the icing. The "Go Fishing" sign on the left side of the photo was to let guests know that they could pick up a fishing rod (pretzel stick), dip it into peanut butter (bait) and catch a fish (goldfish) at the end of their pretzel stick and eat! In the middle of the table is a fish bowl with the beta fish we had then and I sign sticking out that says "No fishing." Cupcake #2 loved marine life and still does so this hammerhead shark cake was a big hit!
Thursday, June 24, 2010

Elmo and Cookie Monster Cakes


 Happy 2nd Birthday Cupcake #2! October 2003

This cake was made with an Elmo cake pan and I piped the cake with red icing. This was definitely a labor of love since piping this much at one time is a challenge, but it turned out so cute, wouldn't you say? Cupcake #1 and #2 loved watching Sesame Street as toddlers! This birthday party was extra special because we announced the pregnancy of our Cupcake #3 at the party. Cupcake #1 opened a "I'm a big sister" t-shirt, which wasn't new news, but then Cupcake #2 opened a "I'm the big brother" t-shirt and that's how our family found out about our third blessing. This birthday party was a celebration of life in more ways than one!


"Me love cookies!" Yum! Yum! Elmo's friend, Cookie Monster, made an appearance to celebrate Cupcake #2's two years of life! This was the last cake I piped with blue icing!

Guitar Cake


Happy 1st Birthday Cupcake #2! October 2002

I made this guitar cake with a guitar cake pan and piped the brown part of the guitar with chocolate icing. This was a difficult cake to make, I remember and I quickly learned that piping icing is a tedious and time-consuming technique, although the results look nice. I decided on the guitar cake because Cupcake #2 loves dancing and rocking to the beat and rhythm of music The circular frame in the background is filled with month-to-month pictures of Cupcake #2's  growth in his first year of life. I have a frame like this for each of my children and it is a beautiful keepsake to see how much they change and grow in only a year!

Ice Cream Cone Castle Cake


Happy 10th Birthday Cupcake #1! May 2010

Since we had an ice cream theme party for Cupcake #1's 10th birthday, I thought this Family Fun inspired cake was the perfect design for her fun party. I made the white/tan chocolate shells from molds that I bought at a local craft store to decorate the cake. I crumbled up Nilla wafers and sprinkled the crumbs on the cake. Then I broke pieces of cinnamon graham crackers to put around the edges of the cake. The ice cream cones were pushed into the cake after I frosted it. Then I dipped the ends of the sugar cones into chocolate and rolled them in the Nilla wafer crumbs. I then turned the sugar cones upside down and they rested on the top of the other cones. This was a fun cake to make and decorate and it was yummy too! At this party, all the guests played "ice cream" themed games and made homemade ice cream in pint size ziplock bags and then decorated ice cream sundaes. FUN!

Turning Nine with Narnia Cake


Happy 9th Birthday Cupcake #1! May 2009

It's difficult to see with this photo, but this is a "Narnia" cake I created for Cupcake #1 who loves Narnia and her favorite character is Susan with her bow and arrow. This cake is a book opened up with a red bookmark (fruit roll up cut into a thin piece) down the middle. On the left side of the Narnia book is a brown wardrobe (small cereal box that I painted brown) and a Narnia character is peaking in from the back of the wardrobe. Aslan sits at the back corner of the cake. On the right side is another Narnia scene with figurines that Cupcake #1 had. This was a fun cake to create from my imagination! We had this party at the Ice House where family and friends enjoyed the cold "Narnia" air while they ice skated.

Gymnastics Cakes

Happy 8th Birthday Cupcake #1! May 2008


Cupcake #1 took gymnastics for 2 years at a local gymnastics center and she really enjoyed her time there. So for her 8th birthday we had a gymnastics party complete with a 2 gymnastic cakes. The cake above was made with two 9x13 sheet cakes and I stacked the cakes. I then cut a square in the top cake to make the "pit". The pit has big, blue, foam, square pieces that the children jump into after swinging from a rope. So our pit is made with blue dyed miniature marshmallows with pretzel rods attached with chewy orange slice sugar candy and a Twizzler rope. Jumping into the blue foam in the pit is always a favorite at gymnastics!

Gymnastics Unlimited Cake #2
This was a Hershey cake that I have made alot and decorated in so many different ways over the years. The Hershey cake is delicious and very sweet! This cake has the blue floor mat with the white lines drawn. The rings are life saver candies tied with Twizzler rope which is tied to pretzel rods. The parallel bars are "glued" together with peanut butter. The Kit Kat balance beam is resting on 2 miniature marshmallows.

Little Mermaid Cake

Happy 5th Birthday Cupcake #1! May 2005

This was a big cake and the idea came from the Family Fun
website which is the inspiration for several of my cakes! The yellow "hair" is cupcakes. The eyelashes, I think, are Necco sugar wafers pushed down into the cake on their side. This mermaid ended up well endowed because I had some extra cake so I decided to ice her "mermaid shells" green. This just brought up a cute thing Cupcake #1 said to me when she was 5 and so into mermaids. She put on my bra and stated, "Mom, I like your shells!" Ha! Ha! So cute!

The mermaid's tail is iced and decorated with Necco sugar wafers that you can find in just about any candy store. Yes, back when Rachel was five we had "mermaid mania" and she still loves mermaids to this day. She draws them very well and loves to read books with mermaid characters.

Cinderella Princess Cake


Happy 4th Birthday Cupcake #1! May 2004

A Cinderella princess cake fit for a "Rachelella" princess! I made a 9x13 cake at the bottom, then used a Pampered Chef 8 cup glass mixing bowl and baked a cake inside the bowl. Then I took a Barbie doll from my daughter's room and stuck it in the center. I dyed the icing blue and iced Barbie's chest area too. I then decorated her with small marshmallows around her waist and the bottom of her dress. I decorated the cupcakes with Cinderella clipart from my computer. I printed the clipart, cut into small squares, and taped them to a toothpick. Instant (and inexpensive) cupcake topper for any themed party!
Monday, June 21, 2010

Little People Cake



Happy 3rd Birthday Cupcake #1! May 2003

A Fisher Price Little People party for the little person in our life! These cakes were quick and easy to make as I made them with 9X13 cake pans and decorated them with some of the Little People toys that Cupcake #1 had in her collection. The cake on the left has green frosting and a cookie crumb "road". On the right, I color copied, printed, and then laminated the Little People logo and put sprinkles on the cake. I then printed pictures on the computer of the different characters from Little People, cut them out into little squares and taped the squares to toothpicks. I then stuck the toothpick Little People around the edges of the cake. It's a little difficult to see this, but they are there.
Sunday, June 20, 2010

Clifford, the Big Red Dog Cake


Happy 2nd Birthday, Cupcake #1! May 2002

Ah yes, when Cupcake #1 was 2 years old we read many "Clifford the Big Red Dog" books and loved watching cartoons of Emily Elizabeth and her best dog friend, Clifford. So it was only appropriate to have a "Clifford" themed party for friends and family at a local park. A huge dog bone cake with "dog bowls" with each child's name written on them helped make this birthday a big success.

Cute as a Bug Cake


Happy 1st Birthday Cupcake #1! May 2001

These ladybug cakes were the first cakes I attempted to make. I can't take all the credit for these adorable ladybugs that are resting so happily on tissue paper leaves. My dear friends Jennifer and Heather helped me make these yummy and cute cakes.

Why did I start this blog?

I never thought I could start a blog or even have time for it, but I am taking on this challenge after I had a prompting from someone to journal one of my passions...creating and decorating birthday cakes for my 4 children (aka my 4 cupcakes). I have always said that I need to start a blog on how I don't have time to start or keep a blog. Well, here is my attempt to embrace and enjoy the blogging world hoping that it will make a positive impact on myself and on the visitors to "A Slice of Smith Life."

I have visited many blogs in the past and I hope to finally become an official "follower" of some of the blogs that I enjoy reading. I often wonder how bloggers come up with the name of their blog. What is their story of why they chose the name they did?

 Here's how I came up with my title, "A Slice of Smith Life": The title relates to the many decorated cakes I have created and sliced over the past 10 + years and this blog will also give my readers a glimpse into the other passions in my life, including Sacred Heart Academy Homeschooling, Cakes, and Natural Family Planning. I hope that by sharing some areas in my life that are fun and important to me, it will help all those who visit "A Slice of Smith Life" to be inspired and touched by what they read.


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I'm Tracy. I love my faith, family and on most days, homeschooling my 5 blessings. When I'm not busy baking cakes for my family or making memories in real life or dreaming I had a housekeeper or professional chef, I enjoy documenting a slice of Smith life in blog land.

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