Funny Stories

funny-stories

You might wonder why I’m posting all these pictures of myself, besides the obvious vanity and vexation explanation and there is one! I thought about the olden days when I used to write every day after work. I never really had a plan in mind when I started a post. I just rambled on about whatever, told a few funny stories and that was that. In fact, I remember my sister-in-law commenting that she never knew where I was going to end up from one paragraph to the next and that was actually a compliment! Long live stream-of-consciousness writing! Or drivel, either one.

I do have a funny story though!

I was at Mom 2.0 summit the other day. I didn’t actually go to the convention, I was just there for the Iris awards on Friday night. Alpha mom got nominated. We didn’t win though.  Boo hiss.  I was just there for the getting-dressed-up-and-seeing-friends part. Which was really fun by the way. But that’s not my story.

I got all dressed up in this new red dress that Payam bought me. It’s so pretty, I love it. Trying on twenty dresses under fluorescent light in Nordstrom Rack’s dressing room was an exercise in mental stamina but when I finally did find The Dress, I really really liked it. It’s long enough and form-fitted enough to hide everything I want to hide and show off everything I want to show off. It’s also very bright red and orange. Bug says the pattern is old lady flowers but the style is young lady so I figure that averages out to be just right.

I was running a bit late in leaving so on my way out I grabbed my fancy purse and my regular purse and planned on switching them out when I got there. When I got there however, I found out much to my dismay that they only had valet parking. Arg! I wasn’t ready! I couldn’t drive in my fancy pointy high heels so I was barefoot and scrambling to put on my fancy pointy heels and my purses were all out on display without any switching done. What do I do? What do I do!? Do I stash my big purse under my seat and hope the valet guy won’t steal all my credit cards? Do I take in both purses and pretend it’s a fashion statement? I had to think fast.

I stuffed my fancy purse inside my regular purse (that is actually not that big) and wore it stuffed to maximum capacity and completely non-functional all night long. It was SO not smooth. I was so nervous too which is silly but you know how it is when you’re going to an event that’s fancy and you haven’t seen people in ten years and you’re very nervous about saying the right thing and not looking like you gained the thirty pounds that you actually have gained since the last time you saw them.

Of course nobody noticed my bulging purse that was about to explode and nobody said anything and I pulled it off like I always do but sheesh! Isn’t that how things always go? It’s a good thing my friend Teri had counseled me to get a glass of wine the first thing when I got to the venue. I had called her for coaching because I was nervous about showing up solo. There is nothing worse than going to an event all by yourself with no buddy for back up and meeting people you haven’t seen in a long time. I was so worried that I wouldn’t find anyone and that I’d have to hold up the wall (putting my floral dress to good use I’m sure) all night long.

The funny thing was when I got to the bar and ordered my seventeen dollar drink, the only thing on the menu that I faintly recognized was a French rosé. I’m not usually a rosé drinker. I like malbecs and red blends because they taste nice and they’re not super expensive. They didn’t have anything like that of course.  I see a lot of fancy ladies drinking Rosé on instagram and swooning about it so that’s what I ordered. (It was delicious by the way.) Then when I got into the auditorium where the ceremony was held, a woman in a long flowing maroon dress turned to me and exclaimed, “Is that a French Rosé?!! You are my kind of people! I’m tired of drinking this swill they call champagne!” and then she promptly switched seats and sat next to me. And then over her shoulder I glimpsed that she had about eight thousand followers on Instagram. She was probably a celebrity. Nobody I knew and I didn’t get her name but it was kind of nice that my fumbling bravery and keen sense of survival had brought me classiness by accident.

puppies-posing

In other funny stories: how cute are these puppies learning how to pose? I have lofty ideas that I will train them to sit side by side and face the camera patiently while I photograph them in this exact spot and it will be wonderful to see how they grow and change over the years. What can I say? I like challenges.

The Royal Flop Cake

tiny-pink-cake-inspiration

 

Whenever I am doing a photoshoot, I always start with a vision. I don’t mean to sound like some kind of patronizing artist, dramatically fluttering my eyelashes and looking at the ceiling as if I have some grand idea that no one else does.  No. I just like to daydream. And then I like to make my daydreams happen. I make them happen with the magic of props (usually things found around my house) and my camera. I’m pretty good at this part and I go to great lengths to make my vision happen. Sometimes I go too far and it kicks me in the butt.

Like my latest tea party shoot for Victoria Day for Alphamom. You guys probably think I bang out crafts in an afternoon but the reality is that it takes me several days. One day of planning, one day of shopping/gathering and usually graphic designing and one day of shooting. This is actually an aggressive schedule and I’m always happy when it works out. When it doesn’t work out I lose money. Bad. Like working for less than a dollar an hour bad.

So it’s in my best interest for thing to work out.

This week I had a vision of tiny pink cakes for Queen Victoria’s Royal Birthday Tea Party. I love pink cakes and I love things that are tiny so put them together and I’m squeeing all over the place. I figured I could just make the cakes. I love to decorate cakes and I can throw a mix together usually. I figured I could do it. How hard could it be?

 

royal-flop-cake-1

I bought two vanilla cake mixes from Trader Joe’s and went to town. I figured I’d want the cakes pretty thin so I only filled my cake tins with an inch of batter. Then because I’m smarter than a house cat I baked them for half the time. Half the batter, half the time, right? Hah!  Baking is a science and nothing is easily halved like that. My cakes burned and they were not even. I also have an electric oven that is possessed by poltergeists so things didn’t turn out so well.

Aaaaaand maybe I should mention that I cannot follow directions. I mixed all my ingredients and then wondered why my mix was so mealy. Then I noticed that I had not added the two cups of milk that my recipe required. So I added them in later.

Hmmmm! Yeah.

That meant my batter didn’t mix completely properly. The milk sloshed over the sides of my mixing bowl and the bottom of the mixture was thick glunk. Did I make sure that I mixed it thoroughly? Of course not! I like to wing things and baking is tedious. I don’t have time for such carefulness. I poured my batter in my pans and sort of pushed it around with a spatula.

Let’s take an inventory of problems:

1. uneven cake

2. burned edges

3. cake is very spongey

royal-flop-cake-2

 

But I was not dissuaded. I got my little round cookie cutters that I bought especially for this project and cut my little cakes. I evened them up the best I could with a serrated knife. They sort of looked cute. I thought at this point that icing would cover a multitude of sins. That’s one good thing about photoshoots. It doesn’t have to taste good. I just has to look good.

 

royal-flop-cake-3

Hahahahaha!

Jokes on me.

I wanted the icing to be smooth. Like a glaze or what you would see on cake pops and petit fours. You know: cute little tea things, all smooth and dainty with maybe some iced flowers or some white polka dots. I even bought a new icing bag, new couplers and a new tiny icing tip for the job. I was so excited for the decorating part.

The first go around, I made my glaze too watery. I poured it onto my spongey cake like lemonade, soaking it like a strawberry shortcake in milk. It was very very sad. I thought I took a picture of that mess but I guess that one only made it into my snapchat story. Then I thickened my icing up and stuck my cakes in the freezer for an hour, thinking that harder cake would keep the frosting on the outside and not soaking in so much.

You know what happened? As the cake defrosted my icing kept sliding off of it. It was avalanche city on my cakes. Tiny little skiers were fleeing for their lives. I tried to smooth the icing around with a knife but that turned into a crumbly mess. I know I could do a crumb coat or something. I’ve watched enough cake baking reality shows to know about that but these cakes were so little, it was like trying to ice a mud ball  that was crumbling in my hand. Maybe there’s a reason there are no tiny pink cakes on the internet that perfectly match my vision. Maybe it just cannot be done!

And that is how my tea party came to be catered by the local grocery store! Some visions die hard, in the car with tears and a plastic take-out container from the bakery.

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Here are a few outtakes. My models say it tasted good. So there’s that at least. Too bad I don’t care about that.

Stay tuned for the alphamom post. In spite of my catastrophe in baking, the shoot turned out pretty well! Phew.