Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Baby Shower Cake

I went to a baby shower last weekend, and I made a cake for the shower as well. (I hope my friend doesn't mind me posting her picture on here, but I thought it was such a cute shot!) I'm also intrigued by the fact that the cake is iced with a bright pink frosting and the flowers were sort of purple, but in the pictures they look pink and the cake looks orange. Her baby shower colors were orange and magenta, however, so I guess that works out. Anyhow, I have more pictures that I took at home with natural lighting where the colors may be more accurate, but I have to get those off my camera still. These are actual shots from the baby shower of people eating (and enjoying the cake).

The cake had two layers of red velvet cake, two layers of yellow cake (colored orange), two filling layers of cream cheese frosting, and one filling layer of chocolate butter cream, and then the whole cake was iced in regular butter cream with chocolate fondant decorations. I wasn't sure how all the flavors would work together...but, now I can say Soooo delicious!
And if you had trouble telling...there were flowers, hearts, bows, and little baby carriages around the cake. I'm thinking that in the future I should just buy a baby carriage cookie cutter because free handing them in fondant was not easy at all, and after three I about had it. (And yes, I just stuck a vase in the middle of the cake to hold the flowers. Worked well. And some people didn't realize it was a cake until it was cut. That was sort of fun.)

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Okay, so it's finally here. The long awaited

Wooo! Ahhh! Yea! (The crowd goes wild...)

The website is:

(I will be posting the link on the sidebar as well.) And just so you know, it's still a work in progress. I have some more ideas for it, but I wanted to go ahead and get pictures posted so that I could give out business cards and people could go online to see a portfolio. I plan on adding some more picture pages with drawings/designs of cakes too. But this will give you an idea of what I've been spending my free well time doing. I'm making a cake for a baby shower this weekend that will be sweet! And I just donated a cake to a charity event too. So, look forward to more pictures next week.
Well, enjoy!

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Marriage has taught me that I'm not NORMAL

I always thought I was normal. In the norm. Middle of the row. Anyone not like me is probably the strange one.

Well, marriage is slowing changing that perception.

Maybe it's lingering effects from childhood when we saw ourselves as the center of the universe and things that we did were just what everyone did, what our family did is what all kids' families was hard to comprehend another reality. Everyone is just like us.

Here's an example of a silly but recent realization for me. You know that freezing pain you get in the roof of your mouth or middle of your forehead when you suck on ice cold Slurpee from 7Eleven? That brain freeze that comes on after eating a big bite of ice cream?
... Well, I would have thought that everyone would know what I was talking about. Everyone gets an ice cream headache, right?! Wrong. Monte has never had one in his life! In fact he has a hard time fathoming the idea. Well, that's weird...he's in the minority...he the strange one...cause I'm normal.

Wrong again. I just recently read a study that was done on this very topic and apparently only 1/3 of Americans get brain freeze. WHAT? You mean not everyone experiences this excruciating pain when they eat something cold. I thought I was in the norm, the majority...but I'm not. I'm in the minority. So are you if you've ever experienced and ice cream headache. So think about that. Count yourself lucky...or unlucky, I guess.

Now here's another random bodily function that Monte has pointed out to me. When I yawn, my eyes tear up. At night if I'm laying in bed and start yawning the tears will run down my cheeks, sometimes getting in my ears...drives me crazy! Monte on the other hand does not cry when he yawns. He doesn't tear up when he sneezes. His eyes don't even tear up during a sappy Hallmark commercial. (Okay, so maybe that last one has nothing to do with this.) But really, I thought everyone teared up when they were tired and yawning. But I guess they don't.

We've been married a year and Monte just recently discovered that I tear up when I yawn. Poor guy. He thought I was crying cause I was upset. He thought that when I said "No, I'm not mad...or sad...or whatever"..."I'm just tired." that I was lying. He didn't know why I was so upset all the time.

I really am not sad. I am just tired. Tears really do run down my face when I yawn really hard. This was good for him to figure out finally, but it got me wondering. Is this like the brain freeze thing? Am I the strange one because my tear ducts get all squished when I yawn and leak onto my face? I don't know the answer to this one. No study has been done, as far as I can tell, about what percentage of Americans cry when they yawn. So, I thought I'd take an unofficial pole. Then we will least among my friends if I'm in the minority or majority.
The pole is in the upper right. Please answer for yourself, and if you're up for it, find out if your spouse is a yawn crier or not too. Thanks. :)

Friday, September 18, 2009

A long post about health

Well, it's been ages since I've posted (again). I've been sick (again) and looking at the computer screen made me feel dizzy. But I'm doing better for the moment so I'm here again.

For those interested in medical updates I have a pretty extensive explanation, but the short of it is that I have Fibromyalgia (confirmed by three different doctors) and am currently seeing a Fibromyalgia and Fatigue specialist up in Dallas (3 1/2 hours away from where I live in Austin) once a month. He's treating me for the Fibromyalga while trying to figure out what has caused it.

For a more detailed idea of what's going on in my on:
A month ago they took 32 viles of blood for testing and I got this report on Wednesday:

The test results showed that it appears that my body is fighting some underlying infection. A couple of different blood things appeared low and I have nearly no fighter cells (lymphocytes). So, now the doctor took more blood and is going to check for a bunch of different infectious diseases. (including things like Lyme disease and heavy metals) I have to go back to Dallas in a month for the results.

The doctor also found that my TSH was a little high, my T4's a little low, my T3's okay, and my Reverse T3's extremely high. All that comes down to that they want to start me on a thyroid medicine for Hypothyroidism. So, I'll be starting that soon. The compounding pharmacy called yesterday morning, but I slept through their call.

So, along with the thyroid problem and the possible infectious disease, he told me that my Vitamin D was pathetic (I don't drink milk and I've seen very little sunlight in the past year with my all my sleeping.) so I have to take a supplement for that and also some medicine for some mild adrenal deficiencies. They are: My growth hormone (IGF) is a little low, my cortisol (the body's natural anti-inflammatory and stress reducer) is low, my Pregnenololne (head honcho hormone that all the other hormones connect with) is low, and my aldosterone was less than 1 (and it should be between 10 and 28 or your blood pressure drops upon standing or moving and it causes dizziness) so, I have to take a bunch of supplements and another prescription.

I finally found a doctor that would check all of my hormones and all my thyroid and blood counts. And that just lead to lots and lots of medication. Whoopee! And they haven't even discovered what the main real problem is yet. Though, if we get my hormones back up to speed and my thyroid is shape then he says I will feel immensely better and have more energy, no dizziness, and less pain. So that's all good.

Continued research is as follows:


I looked up what a growth hormone (IGF 1) deficiency would be in an adult and this is what I found:

Deficiency in adults is rare, but may feature diminished lean body mass, poor bone density, and a number of physical and psychological symptoms. Psychological symptoms include poor memory, social withdrawal, and depression, while physical symptoms may include loss of strength, stamina, and musculature.

So, that's somewhat likely I guess. Sounds like a good one to fix.


I looked up Aldosterone too and it looks like the overall effect of aldosterone is to increase reabsorption of ions and water in the kidney (if it's low...then the sodium in my blood is low), but an increase in aldosterone does cause the the blood pressure to rise. So I'd better watch out for that.

Who would have guessed that my body is lacking sodium with the way I LOVE salt. Ha.


Then of course the low cortisol numbers lead to fatigue, sleep problems, weight gain, depression, no energy. ETC so that one is believable.


Also, did you know that Pregnenlone is derived from cholesterol...that could explain why it's low in my body. (Since my cholesterol is so amazingly off the charts low) Haha. Apparently women need cholesterol to make pregnenlone which then makes other hormones that women need. And low pregnenlone can lead to depression also...when more pregnenlone is added to the brain it has a calming effect.

That would be good, right! Calming effect...less panic I think I'll like this one.


And there you have it. A list of what hormones and adrenals are low in my body. A lot of these said that the levels could get low during times of stress and injury or infection. So, it will be nice to get these levels higher but what we really need is to find out what is causing the problem to begin with.

I have started some medicines already but mostly I think I am feeling better because I'm sleeping now. I couldn't sleep before because of the pain. They prescribed a sleep aid and now I'm finally really resting which is wonderful. I still have good days and bad days but I can get up and do more now. I'm less exhausted and I'm finally seeing some of my friends again. I feel like I'm getting my life back. I'm also getting back into baking and decorating cakes. I will post a link to a bunch of cake pictures real soon.

Lastly, I'm on a really weird diet. The doctor thinks that my irritable bowl might actually be a build up yeast from all the years of antibiotic use and all the times the doctors have given me steroids for pain so I have to take a medication to kill the yeast. While taking this medication, however, since yeast feeds on sugar...I can not have any. By that I mean, no concentrated sugar like candy, chocolate, sodas, fruit juice...etc. But also nothing with flour, rice, or potatoes. Limited fruit (no melons or high sugar fruits)...only occasional citric things like oranges. I have to limit my starchy vegetables as well. So that just leaves me with meat and vegetables. Maybe that doesn't sound too hard but try eating just vegetables for breakfast, lunch, and dinner when you're not allowed to add any potatoes, wheat/flour, or rice.

I've been doing it for almost a month now. I eat stir-fry's without the rice. I miss pasta more than anything in the world so I'll have tomato sauce on meatballs and pretend I'm having pasta. I'll eat a hamburger minus the bun. And soups are out of the question cause they all have potato starch to thicken them or noodles or something in them. I'm supposed to limit dairy too but I've been putting cheese on things cause I get so tired of all the vegetables plain.

So, if anyone out there has a recipes that do not involve rice, pasta, flour, wheat, potatoes, fruit, juices, sugar, honey, candy, molasses...etc. and would care to share send me an email or leave it in the comments section. I would greatly appreciate it. I need some new ideas. (What I need is to make friends with a diabetic and see how they eat. I just don't know how they do it.)

Well, that's about it...for me. I could go into a long explanation about Monte's health too. But I'll save that for another post. And do come back and see my cake post too. I promise that it is coming. I've been working on a website to showcase some pictures. It's very exciting. :)