Aug 1, 2018

Elmo Birthday Cake

My cousin wanted a cake for her little boy's 1st birthday, and she called me & Mom to make one for him. We did an Elmo theme, cause what little guy doesn't like Elmo.

We baked up the cakes, vanilla, which people seem to just love.

And Mom started making some of the fondant decorations too.

A Sesame Street street sign with the name and a number 1 on the side.

And then an Elmo on the top! We used fondant, sugar sheets, and edible markers to make Elmo come to life.

This was such a great colorful cake to celebrate a little man's 1st birthday!

Jul 9, 2018

Tropical Stitch Cake

After seeing my cakes online, one of my friends contacted me to make a birthday cake for her niece. She loves Stitch, and she wanted to incorporate that with a tropical theme.

My friend gave me the idea for some hibiscus flowers on the cake. Mom, my flower expert, had never made these before. But with some practice and some tutorials, she made some pretty cute flowers.

Mom also made some daisies as accent pieces.

And we even added the name on the cake board with a little fondant.

Now you can't tell from outside, but this is a red velvet cake with cream cheese frosting. Amazing how a little food color can fool you. We added the Stitch toy to the top of the cake along with the flowers, and it looked pretty good.

Another cake making challenge was presented to us. And I'd consider this one another cake success!

Jul 5, 2018

4th of July 5k 2018

Another year, another 4th of July 5k. It's always a hot race, but it's good to be forced to get in a run on a holiday. And let's be serious, I had to show off my A. Ham shirt.

 It was cooler than I expected actually, but the humidity was at 87%, which made it gross and sticky. The first mile was in the park, which was mostly shaded, until the last 1/4 mile. I started with my 5 minute walking warmup, which meant tons of people passed me. But I felt strong and was trying to keep a good pace with my :45/:30 intervals. The second mile was mostly in the sun, on the road circling the park, but it wasn't too bad.

There were water stops about every mile, but I only took from the 3rd one to throw water on my head. I had my own water bottle and was drinking from that. After mile 3 started we were back in the park. I felt a little tired, but kept up my pace. I started passing some of the people that passed me at the start.

Once I turned the corner to the finish line, I pretty much ran the last .1 mile. I really tried to run fast at that point and finish strong. I thought I would be a little faster than I ended up being, but it has been faster than any of my other runs lately. The crazy humidity definitely slowed me down, and sweat was dripping everywhere.

But I grabbed a cup of water (a bottle would have been much appreciated at this point), and got in the beer line. It was great that the beer was from a local brewery. Went to grab some fruit, but it was just bananas and oranges. I was looking forward to a piece of watermelon, like they had last year.

Glad I got out there and got in my run. I even saw some friends out there running too. Next race is the Labor Day 5k. Fingers crossed it's overcast.

Jul 2, 2018

Ruffle cake

Gotta catch you up on all of the things I've been doing lately, and I haven't stopped baking!

I love making cakes for my friend's little girl, she scours everywhere for ideas, and then with Mom's help I make them happen. For her daughter's baptism, she wanted a 2 tiered cake with ruffles and roses!

I've decided that when it comes to Sweet Angels Cupcakes (mom & my baking name), Mom is the fondant/flower expert, and I'm all about the piping and buttercream. So mom created a bunch of pink roses from fondant for the top of the cake.

This was a vanilla cake with vanilla butter cream. I piped all of the ruffles on the lower tier. And we added a ribbon to bring the 2 tiers together.

The biggest part of these 2 tier cakes is the assembly, bur we put it together at the restaurant and it looked (and tasted, from what they told me) amazing!

Just love how this cake came out. Even better than I thought it would.

Jun 27, 2018

Running Costumes: Rides of the Magic Kingdom

I wanted to do something a little different for our costumes for the WDW Marathon. It was gonna be the first marathon for Kris and me, but I didn't want to do anything like the basic Disney characters. I'm in a few Facebook running costume groups, and was getting all sorts of inspired. Now, as always, I wanted to keep these costumes extremely run-able. so I was gonna build off of some basic running tops.
*post contains affilate links

But then what to do... I got inspired as this was the 25th anniversary of the Walt Disney World marathon, and started to think about my Disney World memories. Now this isn't so much a memory, as an family story turned urban legend, but word has it my favorite thing on my first trip to Disney World was "It's a Small World." I loved it so much, that my 2 year old self was singing the song on repeat and we rode the ferry back to the Ticket & Transportation Center. The other people on the ferry were going nuts listening to my little voice singing the ear worm over and over. With that, it was too easy to decide to make a Small World costume.

I told Kris my idea about ride costumes, and she decided on the Haunted Mansion. She decided on the Haunted Mansion cast member costume. Pretty easy, or so I thought.

Since it would be January when we ran, and there was no telling if it would be cold or hot, we decided on short-sleeve workout shirts. Cause there is no way in hell I was gonna run 26.2 miles in something that wasn't sweat wicking. I looked all over for a striped shirt for Kris, but to no avail. I ordered plain shirts on Amazon in the colors we needed (dark green for Kris, light blue for me).

Then I started on Kris's costume. I got a dark green shirt, and then was gonna paint on the stripes. I found Tulip spray fabric paint, which I figured would be easy to do, and not too stiff. I used masking tape to tape off the stripes, and used freezer paper inside the shirt to prevent bleed through. Then I sprayed, and waited forever for it to dry.

As I was painting, I wasn't sure the color was dark enough. So I was mentally preparing to start over. Once I took off the tape after it was really dry, it did look black, thank God! Then, I taped and painted the back and the fabric for the apron. In total this took one small and 1 large can of the fabric spray paint.

After waiting til the back was dry, I made the lace collar. I didn't make the collar go all the way around, since I still wanted the neck to be able to stretch for her to be able to put the shirt on.

With a scrap of white fabric and some lace I made the headpiece. I also added the bat bow with black felt. I attached this to Kris's visor with some safety pins, and it was good to go.

Now my shirt, initially I wanted to paint the big clock onto my shirt. but that is insane and crazy and I wouldn't have time, so iron-on it was. But I wanted this to be BIG, like covering my whole shirt big. I sized this all out on the computer, and then went to print. Not the easiest to print an image on 6 sheets of paper. I used the poster printing to get this all done.

I first tried on normal paper before attempting the iron-on sheets. A few trials and errors, and it was finally all lined up and ready to print.

First I cut around the design on the sheets closely, so I wouldn't have too much extra iron-on material left on the shirt. Then, I lined up all of the iron-on sheets, and started ironing.

Some pieces required a little more heat. I was also afraid of melting the dry wicking shirt. But thankfully, it all worked out. As I slowly started peeling off the backing, I saw my creation..

I had grand ideas of having the kids from the ride holding hands around the bottom of my skirt, and having all of the goodbyes on the back of my shirt. But between running, the holidays, and life, I just didn't have enough time. I loved the bright colors on the shirt, and figured this got the point across just fine.

The best part of all was that the costumes both made it 26.2 miles! They looked good after the race too. My shirt had some of the iron-on lifting after I got home, so it doesn't seem like it'll make it through another run. But it did the job. And really, as long as I looked cute, that's all that matters.

Jun 20, 2018

Walt Disney World FULL Marathon Recap

This post is ridiculously long overdue, but here it is. I am a marathoner.

I left for Orlando on January 5th. I got up there and met Kris at the expo. She had already been, since her Dad was running the 5k on Thursday, but we met up and walked around. The nerves were a bit higher than usual, it felt like that first half marathon.

Most of the vendors were the usuals, so just a stroll around after I got my bib and my shirt, and then I went to the official merch. My amazing bestie had already snagged what I wanted, the "I Did It!"shirt, and a 26.2 magnet. Now I just had to earn them.

I was staying at Pop Century, and was in one of the newly renovated rooms, which was nice. I had company on the trip, since Andy came with me, which was totally a great distraction from only thinking about the race. After the expo Andy and I went to Downtown Disney and has some dinner at Homecoming. OMG that was good.

Also, this was a cold weekend. I had been hoping for a cool race weekend, and looks like the gods listened to me. Friday for the 10k was the coldest morning, and looked like Sunday's marathon would be the warmest, at about 44ish. Not ideal, but I know it would warm up as the day went on.

On Saturday, Andy, Kris, and I we went to the Animal Kingdom to shake out the nerves and ride Pandora, cause we had fast passes. It was so fun. Then a stop at Hollywood Studios for boozy hot chocolate, and meeting Kylo Ren. We met up with Kris's family and our good friend Allyson for some Mexican food for dinner. Cause nothing is better than tacos. Then it was back to the hotel for flat pics and sleep before a ridiculously early wakeup call.

3am came entirely too quickly, but we got dressed and bundled up and got on the bus. As usual, I made our costumes, but made them super running friendly. I decided to go with "It's a Small World," since this was my first favorite Disney ride. Kris picked the Haunted Mansion. I'm always totally more impressed with her costumes than with mine. I think we fully captured the Mansion's cast member costumes. I'll have a separate costume post coming up soon.

Smartly, Kris picked up $2 blankets at Walmart as our throwaway stuff. These became capes around us, and really kept us warm at 3am with the windchill making it 38!

We went to our corrals (corral E) and they started going off soon enough. With the mini-waves it went off pretty fast. The nerves were in full force, and truth be told, I barely remember starting the race. But we were off.

The first few miles were just highway, as we got closer to the Magic Kingdom. At about mile 5, we were about to turn in the front gates. We decided since cameras would surely be in the park, it was time to ditch our lovely blanket capes. Brrr.

And then, boom, we were on Main Street, U.S.A. This is where it hit me. I'm running the marathon. I'm running through the Magic Kingdom (which isn't something you do often at a WDW runDisney race), "A Whole New World" is playing and I legit started tearing up. So glad Photopadd got pics of me running down Main Street.

We ran through Tomorrowland, and then around Fantasyland to run through the castle. And this time we actually rant through it. Also got a pic in front of the castle!

After we ran through Frontierland, we hit the road again and had 7 miles of characters and headed towards the Animal Kingdom. We didn't stop for any characters, since we were concerned for time. But there were plenty around and DJs for entertainment too. I felt good for these miles, since it was still well within normal half marathon range. I guess it was better to get the boring nothing happening miles done with before the second half.

And of course, since it was cold and we hadn't gone before I needed to go. So, we waited in port-a-potty lines and finally went. It was about 25ish minutes taken up on that adventure, but I was good to go after that.

At about the halfway point, we hit Animal Kingdom. Unfortunately, we didn't go through Pandora,  but got some pics by the Tree of Life.

We passed through Dinoland too and then it was out of the park. the park was just opening up, so there were people walking in as we were running out. Through the parking lot, we grabbed candy from strangers and then started 5 very long highway miles. At about mile 16.5 is when my IT band decided to start hurting. Pissed me off cause it was fine for longer than this on my longer training runs, but it was too late to stop now. I took it a little easier trying to see if running or walking felt better. It was a toss up.

Thankfully, there was tons of course support. Candy from strangers, pretzels, cheering and some great signs. Plus runDisney had some entertainment out here too.

At mile 18, we got into the Wide World of Sports. this was an almost 3 mile trek through the Wide World. We ended on the baseball field, which was pretty cool, but the rest was pretty meh. In the parking lot on the way out, there were tons of people set up cheering, giving out pretzels and candy, and even shots of booze. Gotta love the running community! It was really great to see all of those people there, I didn't know any of them, but by mile 20, yup you needed that extra boost of energy from anyone.

A few more miles, next to a lot of construction going on, and we basically went in and out of Hollywood Studios. Don't blame them since the park is under major construction. The park was fully open, so they had us in a big area, and the park goers roped off in a smaller lane. And seriously, the best part of the race, the cast members had boxes of tissues on the main street as we left the park. With it being so cold, being able to blow my nose was awesome.

Then the long and narrow trek around the Boardwalk to Epcot. We entered the Epcot at the International Gateway. And saw the best sign ever, a Hamil-sign! This totally gave me a boost and I had to text Jenn to show her. At this point, I knew my battery was gonna make it and started getting messages from Jenn and Andy. It was great to get these to keep going and knowing my cheer squad was keeping up with me.

Then we turned to the steep hill towards France. This was the longest distance I've ever run in a race through Epcot. We ran all of the World Showcase except England and Canada. The park was open, but the park people, were roped off to a narrow area. This meant we had plenty of room to run.

The 25th mile marker was the special 25th anniversary photo op. Line was too long, so I just took a pic as I ran by.

We ran through all the countries, and at Germany was Snow White, no line, so Kris stopped and got a pic with her.

Then we ran through Mexico, and I saw a few people holding margaritas for people. But I couldn't stop now. We ran up the main strip of Epcot and down towards Spaceship Earth.


And boom, the 26th mile marker. It was Incredible (see what I did there?). That finish was so close.

Then we were out in the parking lot. The parking lot to finish line was a little longer than usual, seemed like it took so long.

But I crossed that finish line, hands in the air, my bestie next to me, and looked up to see Andy waiting in the stands for me. It was the best finish.

I couldn't believe I had done it. It was all over, I was a MARATHONER!!

I went and got some ice on my knee at medical, and went to the family reunion area to get hugs, congrats and even some champagne, courtesy of Kris's dad.

After we got cleaned up and got back to the hotel, we ended up canceling our lunch reservations. There would just be no time. So I ice bathed, and then Andy and I headed back to Epcot. We walked around, and miraculously, I felt pretty good.

We got some pics. And I forgot to mention, since it was the 25th anniversary of the full marathon, we all got 25th anniversary Mickey ears!

 And as we were walking to the World Showcase to find food, found that the 25th Anniversary mile marker was still up. Then it was off to get some food at spice road table and walk around the rest of Epcot. I was shocked at how good I felt. I blame it on my ice bath and the walking around.

I ended the night with a margarita, cause when you just ran 26.2 miles, you can do whatever the hell you want.

The next day, I headed to the parks to get a pic with Mickey and the castle too.

It was such an insane weeekend, but I did it. Some days I still can't believe I did all of that training and then made it 26.2 miles. But I did!