22 November 2011

I Don't Want to Close My Eyes...I Don't Want to Miss a Thing

Life has taken on a surreal quality lately. I've finally found the courage to advance on a long-time dream, and the next thing I know, all these amazing opportunities have opened up for me. I had a meeting last week to discuss a book about cupcakes with a publisher that just contacted me out of the blue. Today, I met with two lovely young women who are pitching a TV series about life in Paris and they actually wanted to meet me and hear my story to see if I might be a good fit for their cast. Crazy, no? I am just waiting for someone to pinch me and find that this is all a dream. Regardless of the outcome of these projects, I am grateful for the experiences and to everyone I have met who has shown an interest in what I do and encouraged me along my path.

Thanksgiving is coming up this week and so I would also like to say a word of thanks to all of you who check in here to see what I am doing -- to all my friends, my customers, the cupcakers out there, and my family for their support, love and kindness over this past year. How will you be celebrating and what are you thankful for?

In case you're still scrambling for a last minute dessert, here's a link to my family favorite, never-fail pecan pie recipe that comes courtesy of Nick Malgieri. It's what I'll be making for my friends and family this Thanksgiving and trust me, it is delicious! Happy Thanksgiving everybody!

16 November 2011

Red Light Yellow Light Green-a-Light, GO!

Wishy-washy, a fence-sitter, indecisive, non-committal...I've been called them all. I am a creature of habit and when it comes time to make a decision about something that will shake up my little life -- committing to a decision, right or wrong, is a source of major angst and stress for me. I weigh the options carefully, I speak to anyone I think may be able to help make me a decision, I'll make lists of pros and cons and then when I finally make up my mind, the doubts and the uncertainty will creep in and I backtrack and start all over. Pathetic, I know. I guess I am just one of those types of people who doesn't like to rock the boat. You know that expression -- If it ain't broke, don't fix it? Story of my life! :)

As many of you know, I saw a commercial space a few months back that I was considering for my business. I have always dreamed of having my own space -- a permanent set-up where I can bake and run classes and just have fun. I've reached a point in my business where this makes sense - turning down orders has unfortunately become too common of an occurrence due to my space and manpower limitations. But I also have my family to think about -- my kids are still on the young side and it's always been a priority for me to be there for them. For the past several years, I've been able to juggle everything as Sugar Daze has been kind of a part-time gig. Running a shop is a whole other ballgame and while I may be mentally ready, I have struggled over how to make this all work without sacrificing my family and personal life.

I've spent months now going over the numbers, trying to figure out how to organize my schedule, talking to other business women who have families and are entrepreneurial. I know it's going to be a very tough road ahead and it'll certainly take some time to settle into a routine but I have finally made up my mind! I'm formalizing my offer on the space tomorrow. It's a huge step for me, and I won't lie, I still have my doubts. But I also know that if I don't do this, I will always wonder "what if?" So, there you have it. Hope you all are ready for the Sugar Daze shop....coming to a Parisian neighborhood near you soon! Fingers crossed and away we go!!!!!!!

02 November 2011

Disarm You With a Smile

Back when me and all my friends were into Madonna and Duran Duran and Berlin (Oh god, Terri Nunn was so cool and she always had the most awesome hued hair), we used all kinds of crazy stuff to add color to our hair, just like our favorite celebrities. My preferred product? My mom's Jolene (wow, did that stuff smell bad) which stripped the pigment from my hair wherever it was applied (and also left my hair dry and damaged beyond belief!)...and then in later years, Sun In. You all remember this stuff? I had a good friend with naturally blonde hair and Sun In gave her these really cool white-blonde highlights. On my chestnut hair, I ended up with these really brassy, orange streaks. I spent an entire summer being taunted by friends who nicknamed me "Pumpkinhead." To this day, I still can't even think of pumpkins without this moniker being dredged up in my memories!

Today I made a cake for a girl who is getting married who goes by the name "Pumpkin." I tried to find out from her friends why they call her this but they just started cracking up so I didn't push it. They wanted a really nice, girly cake on the outside for her bachelorette's party and something a little more colorful and loud on the inside. This was a small 10-person cake with one layer of pumpkin cake and one layer of chocolate cake covered in salted caramel buttercream and fondant. Note, I don't typically do fondant-covered cakes but apparently Pumpkin wanted it and who was I to deny my fellow pumpkin-y friend? Enjoy girls!