Wednesday, January 23, 2013

The Corn Snake Cake

For my Sons 9th Birthday, he begged, and pleaded for a corn snake.
When I said NO, he wanted a turtle, or a baby lobster, etc... Telling everyone that asked what he wanted that he just needed a PetCo gift card with enough money to buy a corn snake.

After having a baby gecko die the past fall, I said NO to all of the above.
In fact, I even made the request for ANYTHING from PetCo, OFF LIMITS.

But, the one thing I do each year, as time allows, is make my kids a one of a kind birthday cake. Since, I won't let him have a corn snake for real, I decided it would be a great idea for the cake.

So, I browsed youtube for instructional videos, and snake cake pictures. I browsed Pinterest for corn snake images. I watched a video for a Cake Boss audition showing how to make a rattlesnake cake, 4 times to glean some firm, and feasible ideas.

Then, I estimated what I did not have, that I may need, went to Micheal's, bought Duff white buttercream fondant, and Duff orange cake graffiti, and wilton black edible perls. At the checkout I asked for a coupon, and they had an extra, taking $8 off the $20 tub of fondant.

I went to WinCo, and purchased bulk chocolate rocks, and pound cake mix, also butter, powdered sugar, and heavy whipping cream for the buttercream icing. I knew I already had a number of things at home, like crisco, vanilla, and milk, as well as cake shimmer, and eggs.

Then, the night before my Sons party, I made the cakes. I used 2 boxes of pound cake mix, making a 6" cake, and 2- 9" cakes. I left them to cool overnight, open to air with a towel to cover them after taking them out of the pans. I did go ahead and use some fondant I already had in green to cut out a message.

 It was too late to create.

The next morning by 9 a.m. I began to cut the 9" cakes to make rings for the snakes coiled body. The pound cake held up very well, it did not fall apart at all. I carefully carved the center out, then rounded the edges.
The 6" I used to make the 3rd coil, the tail and head were made from the scraps.

Just eyeball it.

I dirty-iced every piece seperately, then placed the coils offset on top of eachother, the tail was then placed beside the topmost coil, and this main part of the cake was then covered in a thin layer of the white fondant, gently, careful not to tear the fondant, and smoothed into the creases,  over the "coils", tucking it in at the bottom as best I could.

(*My Favorite Buttercream Recipe is "Buttercream Dream"...just google the recipe, it's enough for 2 cakes, or 4 dozen cupcakes)

I coated the head seperately in fondant, then used a paring knife to gently poke holes to place the eyes, which were black pearls. (You could use red hots instead.) I also used a small paring knife to create the mouth and nose holes. Then, the head was placed on top of the cake, with the neck just slightly beneath the top coil to hold it in place.

I took the orange mesh net that comes with clementine oranges, held it over the cake, and sprayed it with the orange cake graffiti spray. It created a scale-like, diamond shape pattern.
An albino corn snake still has a white belly, so I left some of the white visible. 

I tucked the bottom edges in neatly, and spread buttercream on the cake board, then added crushed graham crackers for sand, candy rocks for decoration, and floral grass tucked in random areas for decoration.
I filled in some white areas of the snake with yellow cake shimmer, and covered the whole cake in pearl cake shimmer for shine.
I then made a very small amount of pink fondant by adding red wilton icing color and kneading it in a sealed plastic bag to prevent my fingers turning red too. This is what I used to make the tongue.
My son wanted some design on the head, so I looked at a few more images, and found a simple head design, then used a food writer in orange to make the design on the head.

Then, the cake was finished! ( It was done by noon or 1230, and my Son's party was at 230 so, it only took bake time, and a few more hours.)

He was so happy, and surprised, as he had no idea before I made it, that he was getting a corn snake cake!

I hope this is helpful to anyone out there that has a Boy that likes snakes,
 and is NOT a professional cake maker!
I am NOT a professional. I do this for fun, for my children, and sometimes for friends.
I want to prove to YOU, that no matter your confidence or skill, YOU CAN DO IT TOO!

Monday, December 26, 2011

A Reflection

This year has been a roller coaster for me. No matter how sure you are of people or things, nothing is ever exactly what you think it is.
Marriage is a struggle. A battle of wills. A holy commitment. A security blanket at times. Other times, seemingly a nightmare.
One thing I've found with any relationship we have with anyone in
our lives, is that they change, mature, fall behind, renew, revert, die, etc...
...It's important to figure out which ones are most important, and which ones help you to grow as a person.
I may not have gotten the job I wanted in April, but I was offered the one I really needed in August.
I'm learning to be more patient. I'm learning to be more receiving. More forgiving. More tolerant.
I'm learning from others. Teaching others. Helping others. Loving others. Praising others.
But, I'm also realizing that sometimes the people I put so much trust in & and place high expectations on aren't necessarily deserving of it.
Part of being a Mother, is screening, and being cautious to preserve the safety & innocence of your children. I will never accept that I am wrong in that. I do the best I know is right.
At this point my marriage is exciting again, my children are excelling, my career as a geriatric nurse is fulfilling, my family is loving, I am growing as a person. As a wife, mother, daughter, sister, nurse, friend.
Nothing is ever perfect. But we have to make do with what we have, create what we need from it. Make a decision not to let our lives defeat us. Make the changes necessary to be what we really want to BE.

Monday, November 07, 2011

I am...

Struggling with the convenience of marriage vs. the need for romance.
The feeling of new love.
The feeling of sincere adoration.
The mysteries of the unknown.
The high.
The newness.
The rush.
The crush.
The secrets.
The laughter.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Black Hole

What a crazy past 12 days I have had.
Erratic shifts at work.
I suggested a seperation of My husband & I for 2 weeks...which was resolved with a very deep, emotional conversation.
Yardwork. email that slightly shattered my little world.
The job I have been waiting to get an interview for, has ceased the application process at this time. "It in no way signifies a lack of qualification on your part..." 

I am not going to lie.
I have been struggling in my mind, and soul about how I could feel right leaving the current job that I have, which is primarily elderly care, geriatric, some skilled/post surgical, would care, etc.  But, mostly, the elderly population. 
I love what I do. I feel like I am making a difference every time I go to work, showing them my love, kindness, and compassion. Treating them with respect.
Going from this type of work to a job promoting the health of felons, was a mind struggle.
It was, however, a job change I was willing to make to be more financially stable, provide better health insurance for my large family, and re-enter the work force full time after the past 6 years of being on-call to raise my babies.
It was the lst bit of hope I had left for a 'change'.
I was holding on to it very tightly, and had convinced myself, I was worthy, and that I would make it to the end, and secure this job.

So, Here I am.
In a nasty slump of self pity.
Hoping for a spark.
This just puts me back down into the hole that I thought I was slowly crawling out of.
I hate feeling 'stuck'.
Realizing that, I'm not going ANYWHERE.
There is nowhere to go.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Tantrum in a Tiara

Sweet Leah Dee wore her crown this eve as we playfully spoke in a very poor british accent ( i will admit), handed around miniature red velvet cupcakes, and discussed the Royal Wedding.

She seemed to be rather intrigued by the idea of a real life wedding of a prince & princess.  But, as she ate her mini cupcake, which I kept calling 'tea cakes', she began to frown, and then as she slowly placed the entire cupcake in her mouth, it became a full on tantrum of sorts. She was balling, and the cupcake was barely being held in her teeth.

All I can attribute her behaviour to is lack of sleep, she was probably over tired. 
 In any case, I am going to DVR as much as I can of the wedding, the good stuff, for her to see tomorrow afternoon.
One thing I have always loved is a wedding, and a Royal Wedding is sure to thrill my own little Princess.

You Get What You Get

Fortitude   –noun
mental and emotional strength in facing difficulty, adversity, danger, or temptation courageously.

I read a blog yesterday that really clicked for me. It was over at Clover Lane, one of my favorite blogs. Her post was about how a Mother should always possess fortitude.

As well, this repetitive statement my children keep saying to eachother, which the 2 small ones learned from school:

It all got me thinking about how even though there are things I want for Me, that I still need to remember what is most obviously right in front Me & needing Me.  I was so much more content with the idea of not working, as long as I knew my children were cared for, had some semblance of a routine, were where they needed to be, and able to rely on Me to be there. Not some stranger that I was paying to care for them.
The problem is that as they have grown, and are all in school now, it is leaving me with large blocks of free time that make it really hard to justify my not working full time, or even part time regularly.
I have become restless.
But, I do realize I need to take a step back, stop sulking, feeling sorry for myself, and find joy in the current situation that I am in.  I may feel like a taxi driver, and maid.  But, at the end of the day when Lulu wants nothing more than a kiss, hug, and tuck into bed with a story from ME, I want to be there.  I DESIRE TO BE THERE.
They do still need Me, regardless of my need, and desires to begin working outside of the home more.
It's such a hard balance.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011


This waiting, waiting, waiting is making me CRAZY!

I am not one that likes to wait, I like things to move quickly, very rapid in succession. I like to be done with what I am doing, working on, waiting for promptly.

I just can't take it much longer!

The fact that I have not worked since last friday is also making things worse. I am home, running kids around, late start, early release, soccer practice, girl's on the run, dance team meetings...doing laundry, cleaning the house over & over, perseverating over the application I turned in Monday...

I need some more effective distraction!

Every other job I applied for hired me on the spot, as I turned in the application, or the next day during an very short interview. I am not used to waiting, worrying, hoping vs. just knowing I will get the job.

Why did I do this to myself?

Monday, April 25, 2011

Ready for Battle

I turned in my application today. Shaking as I walked to the window.
As I was getting ready this morning, I was thinking it over, and over. Analyzing the whole process in my mind. Thinking of all the reasons why I should stand out over others, and why I deserve to be chosen.
Although, I know, regardless of how I feel, I still have to wade through the application process just like anyone else.
However, I passed the test to allow for the application to be filled out, and that makes me feel slightly superior. I mean, not only am I applying for a nursing job. But, a nursing job working with law enforcement. It somehow makes me feel a little bit more special. Especially since the selection process is obviously so much more thorough, and precise.

We shall see what transpires.

No matter what, I know I am worthy of everything I desire.