Thursday, April 9, 2015

My Cake Journey

The last 6 months have been very challenging for me as a mother, a wife, and a woman. When I had Scarlett, my feelings weren't normal. They were scary honestly. I didn't feel that instant love that I felt when I had Lydia. It made me feel alone, afraid of myself, it made me depressed, and I didn't trust myself alone with her. In order to take my mind off these thoughts, I kept busy around the house. I cleaned, scrubbed, and organized to my heart's content. I tackled projects that I had put off for years. 
Then it hit me, I'm gonna bake.

I went out and bought a couple of boxes of cake mix and piping tips. 

Yes, this is the cake that started it all. I got so much feedback on Facebook about it. People were raving about how pretty it was. I started to do another, and another, eventually I found a homemade cake recipe and perfected it to my liking. 

Then I got asked how much I'd charge to do a cake like that. I. Had. No. Idea. What. I. Was. Doing. 

But I did it. 

Here it is, the first cake I ever sold! 

As time went on, I started selling all KINDS of cakes. 

You get the point, right? 

This is where things got really serious.

 Yep! Those are indeed Starbucks Frappachino flavored cupcakes with homemade caramel drizzle on top. 

My niece's cake. 

First sculpted cake. NIGHTMARE, I made this cake twice because the first one MELTED in my car. 

This past weekend was by far my most successful weekend. 

I am so proud of myself. 

My very first wedding cake.

Ahhh! So pretty, right??

I also did multiple different cakes including Easter cupcakes, carrot cake, cherry cheese pie, 2 mini cakes, AND remade that anchor cake on top of having Easter with my kids. Super Mom? I think yes. 

I am so proud of my nonstop progress. I am still not where I want to be emotionally, but my postpartum depression HAS subsided. I don't know where I would be right now if it weren't for cake. I know I'm not the greatest, but it's a real personal achievement to see my progression. I love cake, I love making people happy. I love Cake Me With You. 

I don't know what the future holds, but I'm so glad I took this plunge. 

Until next time,


Monday, February 23, 2015

New Beginnings

<center>I know this is an odd transition.
I don't know if we're truly ready for this.
It has been a while since we talked, and I'm sorry about that.
I hope you've all had a wonderful year. 
I have great news for my readers.

Not only is this going to be a blog, this is also going to be a business website! 
Yes, you heard right.
I have started making cakes, and selling them.
I find that I truly enjoy it. 
It's been such a blessing to have so much local support. 
If you are one of those people, thank you so much for being so kind to me.
Over the next couple of days, you will see little posts about cakes I'm doing. Then eventually, I will separate my "portfolio" from my blog. Please excuse the mess. At least you'll get to look at pretty pictures!

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Nothing Pretty

I remember it all so well. I remember standing in my living room fussing over how tall and wide our couch was, with a broom in my hand. 
Mom told Tyler, my husband, that she was coming over. I didn't know what for, the kids weren't there and let's face it! They only come over to see my kids. I was so awkward, leaning against the couch, dad moved some folded up laundry over and sat down. Mom remained standing in front of me. "The doctor said it's cancer." Tears filled her tired eyes. I could tell she was worried, but I tried to remain calm. I just stood there. I didn't know what to ask, I didn't know what to say, think or feel. Dad kept saying, "It's go'n be alright." 

Unfortunately, there is no written manual on "how to deal with your mom having cancer". I was sitting in the car with one of my dear friends and I said, "Nobody knows what cancer is until it happens to them." 
How I envy that ignorance. I wish I could be one of those people.
Unfortunately, my family knows it all too well. In fact, it's been five years since my sister Tabitha left this world because of cancer. 
Chemotherapy failed. Doctors failed. Medicine failed...I failed. 
The only one who didn't fail, was my mom. Who held herself together through to the very end. Who didn't have to be there, but did it anyway. When everyone else fell short, mom made up for it. 
The one woman on the planet who could handle Tabitha, now has been weakened by the very same disease that she watched take over and deteriorate her own daughter's life and body.
Meanwhile I get on Facebook and people complain about their lackluster lunches, their overflowing bathtubs, their baby throwing a temper tantrum in a restaurant. Do these things really matter to these people? Did they used to matter to me?  They just don't anymore.
If you're looking for a point made during this post, you won't find one. Except that life sucks sometimes. That's about it. 
I don't have any pretty lyrics or a happy ending.

Monday, July 14, 2014

Buttercream Frosting Recipe

Wow, you don't know what I did to post this recipe today!
I made this cake three whole times, before I decided that my frosting was finally perfect.
That's right, PERFECT! I had two taste testers to prove it.
You'll find this recipe pretty much, all over the internet. 
However, I figured I couldn't have a recipe blog without an official buttercream frosting recipe available to my readers.

Anyway! On to the ingredients...

You need:

The paddle attachment for your KitchenAid, a ton of powdered sugar, butter, heavy whipping cream, REAL vanilla extract, and a dash of salt.

Vanilla Buttercream Frosting

4 1/2 cups of Confectioners Sugar
2 sticks Room Temperature Unsalted Butter
1 stick Room Temperature Salted Butter
3 tbs Cold Heavy Whipping Cream
2 tsp Real Vanilla Extract
Dash of Table Salt

Start out by putting ROOM TEMPERATURE butter into your mixing bowl. If your butter is say, the microwave...or right out of the fridge...or pretty much ANY way besides room temp, this frosting is not going to turn out the correct way. 

Sit it out on the counter, and wait.

Then whip it on medium speed (like, 5 or 6) for 2-3 minutes, until it looks like this!

Now some people like to get fancy, and add things partially, or while the paddle is turning. 

I say, just turn the mixer off...then dump all your ingredients in.

For me, it's all in the vanilla extract! Buttercream has no flavor without the vanilla. Get yourself a good quality vanilla, and I promise you will not regret it!

The one thing I do wait to add, is the color. I like to get all the ingredients nice and mixed. Then, I add the coloring. I want to get the color JUUUUST right, and I think that's the best way to do it. 

Anyway, mix that baby for 5 minutes. Girl, set a timer...don't over mix it. If you're like me, it's easy to gallivant off into another room, and forget the mixer is on. (Hah!) 

Once 5 minutes is up, you'll lift the paddle and it should be covered in frosting...the frosting shouldn't immediately drop, or be runny at all. If it is, add more confectioners sugar. 

This one's for free...take your extra large tervis cup, stick your bag into it, and fold it over the cup. Add frosting. Voila! Mess avoided.

I piped my cake with a Wilton 1M. 

And there she is! My final product...time to cut a slice, like right now.

Let me know if you use this recipe, or if you want more stuff like this!


Monday, June 30, 2014

Scarlett's Nursery Progress...(Cute Baby Inside!)

As if I had to even say it...

I've been gone for about a month or two now. You can only imagine why!
My little bean finally arrived...well, little-ish.
Don't get me started on how awful the last month of my pregnancy was.
I'm pretty sure they had my due date wrong.
You read right. That says 10 lb. 7 oz. I delivered naturally, no c-section.
They anticipated a larger baby, but no one was prepared for Scarlett to be this big!

Anyway, all is well. I consider myself a macho momma, and Scarlett is healthy and beautiful.
Prettier than I ever imagined her. My own personal little slice of red velvet cake.

I have been debating on whether to wait until her nursery is completely done to post, or just post now and ask my reader's for their opinion. Clearly, I am in need of some help.

I guess we'll start here. Adorable gold polka dot walls (Click here to buy them for your own home!), with a beautiful Annie Sloan Chalk Painted crib. The color is Emperor's Silk, I believe. Scarlett's Great Grandma Sue painted it especially for her.

The white rug on the floor, feels like walking on clouds. I'm in love. Thanks, Martha Stewart!

Okay, I'm obsessed with the changing pad cover. This is also the exact print we have on her crib sheet. Little gold polka dots...ahhh! So simple, and cute. (Click here to support this Etsy seller.)

Again...seriously, that rug. It's just a cloud on the floor. Those slippers are from Target. I'm just showing off!

Here is my dilemma. I feel like this room needs aqua. It's a little much with the boldness...but I want to incorporate it soooo badly! When I say aqua, I mean the lightest shade you can find, aqua. Does anyone remember the closet?

See that wall color on the right? That's the color of the closet. I thought this photo provided us with a feel for the aqua. Let's analyze the colors here. We have the red in the crib, the aqua on the living room wall, and the gold and white on the nursery walls. Does it take away from the red? I don't think it does mainly because it is ridiculously bold...but what is your opinion?

Leave a comment below and tell me what you think!

Also, one more photo to make your toes curl...


Sending you baby fever and icing,


Monday, May 12, 2014

White and Gold Unicorn Baby Shower

White and Gold Unicorn Baby Shower

Holy unicorn poop, is my pregnancy really almost over? 

Yes. Yes, indeed it is. Believe me, it has been a LONG nine months. Ever notice how the last month of pregnancy seems like it lasts at least 3 years? That’s where we are right now. I’m about 20 minutes from water breaking…at least I hope. HAH!

I know I haven’t been too personal on my little spot on the internet, so I figured I would let you in on a few things you should know about Leanna Brown.
I will go ahead and let you know that I am extremely sarcastic, but not NEAR as much as I used to be. I find that some people don’t pick up on it as easily as I do, and I kind of like having friends. :)

I am an 8-5 working mother, though I long to have an event design business one day when my babies are older. I work for the State of Florida as an Accountant. I’m extremely proud of how far I’ve come working with the state. Last year, I was promoted THREE times!

I have been married SIX months (As of May 23rd!) to the sweetest man on earth. His name is Tyler. He’s a total bonehead, lover of World of Warcraft, Apple products, and is cheesier than any guy I’ve ever met. We laugh too much.

I have one daughter, soon to be two years old on June 22ndCommence extremely unattractive sobs and double chin face now. Her name is Lydia. She loves rock candy, green beans, Frozen, jewelry, and yelling at mommy.

Now, let’s talk about the newest member of my little family. I will admit, we prayed for a boy. However, I am so extremely excited to be having another baby I don’t even care that it’s another girl! There is something so exciting about seeing the man I love, and myself merged into one little human being. We celebrated with a small gathering of women, at the last minute of course because I didn’t exactly send out invitations. (I’m notorious for doing this, PLEASE don’t judge me too harshly!) I did not want anything big, stressful, over-the-top, or cheesy. I got exactly what I wanted…just a group of women eating cake and talking about babies. 
It was glorious. 

I did not reveal the name until the cake was served. Do you know how ridiculously annoying it was to not tell people? All our family members were so happy to finally know! 
Here's the story:

While looking relentlessly on the internet for the perfect red velvet cake recipe, I stumbled upon the sweetest cake display. Underneath this beautiful photo was the name, “Scarlett”. I whispered it to myself, and an immediate sense of warmth and love flooded my heart. (There might have been a tear or two.) That’s when I knew I had found the perfect name! Her middle name, Lillian, is a tribute to my mother and father in law who always wanted a baby girl named Lilly, but did not have any more children.

The cake was made by my sister, Jasmine. We call her Aunt J for the kids, and she loves to bake. (You MAY see her on here at some point.) She made a red velvet cake with a recipe that has been in the family for years, but I put my own little twist on it. I asked her to put cheese cake in between the layers, and cream cheese icing on the outside. I wanted it tall, and well…that’s what I got. It’s the cutest little slumpy marshmallow cake I ever did see! 
It’s perfectly imperfect in every way…and oh my goodness it was SO DELICIOUS.

The unicorn figurines came from my mother’s collection she started when she was a little girl. I have had them for quite a few years, and am so excited to finally pass them down to Scarlett. We will put these little cuties on floating shelves in her nursery.

EEEEEEK! So cute. 

I think it's time for appreciation and recognition! Kori (My right hand man, my Maid of Honor, my BFF since the 6th grade, and the godmother of my children.) made the CUTEST little white clouds that hung over the cake table. Maybe she'll stop by and do a DIY tutorial on how she made them if we're lucky! 

The table runners came from Mrs. Freund on Etsy! I’m absolutely obsessed with how beautiful these look in photographs, but honestly they are even MORE gorgeous in person. She was a joy to work with, and I hope her business thrives!

I made these little crowns the day before the shower as party favors. They were so simple, and easy to make. Not to mention, everyone loved them and used them in the photo booth!

Yes, that is exactly what you think it is.

We had custom unicorn confetti made for our little princesses celebration. It's not a party without confetti. Please, do yourself a favor and stop by this REMARKABLE little online shop, The Confetti Bar Also, catch her on Instagram for sprinkles of happy on your newsfeed! @theconfettibar

Might I also mention that I had the baby shower at my house! I can’t express to you how much I loved it. Everyone got to see my new home (purchased in September of last year!), it was free, we had as much time as we wanted to put up, and tear down, and most convenient was having a Lydia-friendly environment. She could play in her room, dance around, scream, cry, sing, and do whatever she wanted and I didn’t have to worry about anybody saying anything or repeating the word, “Sorry” a million times. 
Just wonderful. :)

I have to thank Kori for always being there for me to throw my stress on. She has been such a wonderful friend through these years and I know it keeps getting weirder because I'm like married and having children but she doesn't seem to mind. She helped plan this shower for me, and I don't think it could have been more perfect. 

What do you think of my little casual baby shower? I just love how deep rooted every detail was!

I can't wait to meet my little Scarlett Lillian and I hope she will be as bright, beautiful, and unique as this baby shower was.

Love and Icing,