Sunday, May 24, 2009

GorJess Cakes

I've had a very busy weekend, and only now am I getting around to post last Monday's cake pictures after a bout of insomnia. I was up until 5:30am last night and only got roughly 5 hours of sleep, yet now cannot sleep even though I was beyond exhaustion all day. I didn't think I'd have the energy to get my cake done and my flowers made for class on Tuesday. Luckily, my mom was sweet enough to bake the cake for me ahead of time and whip up the icing, which made things go by much more smoothly. Still, it wasn't until 5 hours later when I was finally done.

In course two, we have learned seven different kinds of flowers and let me tell you, they are no cake walk in the park (pun intended)! I don't think people realize the time & energy that go into regular cakes, which makes me think you've got to be crazy to do wedding cakes! The whole process actually frustrates me to the core, which is why I don't think this would ever be a career move for me. I literally am cursing the entire time I'm making flowers and icing my cake.

I think my mom was right today when she said that I take after her perfectionist attitude, but even she is quick to point out I am an even worse perfectionist than she is! The funny thing is, once it is said and done, all the hard work, sweat, tears, and cursing is worth it because you've got a GorJess cake at the end. But don't take it from me, I'll let the pictures speak for themselves.

I made this cake for my friend Megan's going away party and from the looks of it I'd say she really liked it! I used a stencil for the writing since I haven't mastered writing freehand on cakes yet. It looks much nicer than my graduation cake where I wrote best wishes freehand. I also chose to do yellow roses this time around. I cheated and used my mom's violets that she made for class because they looked much nicer than the drop flowers we had leftover from our Mother's Day Cake. I also used a new border technique around the bottom that we learned in Course 2 called rosettes. It's quickly become a new favorite!

Well, I hope everyone is having a relaxing Memorial Day weekend! Tuesday's class will bring the finale of Course 2. I'm inviting my friends over Wednesday to share my Course 2 "graduation cake" with, so pictures of that are soon to come!

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Give Up, Give In?

The hardest part of trying to get healthy is not the exercise, but the food. I am powerless to sweets, an admitted Chocoholic, a beater and spatula licker, and an emotional eater.

Most recently, I have had several episodes where I get this ache that starts out as hunger, but turns into something that I cannot seem to satisfy. When that happens, I feel completely out of control, which makes my eating out of control. Sitting with the "empty" feeling is also difficult for me, so instead I mostly just try to get rid of it by eating--however only massive amounts of food tends to work, if you can call that "working". It's really not working for me, but I'm not sure what to do.

The worst thing about it is that it makes you feel very alone. Like, what's wrong w/ me? Why can't I just eat normal like everyone else? But truthfully I know I'm not alone and a lot of people have trouble w/ emotional eating. I haven't been able to figure out where this insatiable appetite comes from, or what to do about it. I think the key is distraction or finding out what it is that's actually bothering me. I think there will be lots of trial and error involved!

My biggest concern is I don't want my negative feelings about how I've been eating lately to effect my motivation to work out. Many times it feels pointless, but I guess I have to remember that this is a process, and I'm going to continue to fail until I figure out what works for me.

“Like success, failure is many things to many people. With Positive Mental Attitude, failure is a learning experience, a rung on the ladder, a plateau at which to get your thoughts in order and prepare to try again.” -W. Clement Stone

So, on that note I am sticking w/ my planned workout tonight at the gym even though I feel like complete crap about myself. I'm going to try to work on turning those negative thoughts around because I have a great weekend ahead of me! I'm working a wedding this Saturday and then heading with the girls to Indy for a night out on the town!

Last night I did Workout 2 of the 30 Day Shred. It started out fine, but towards the end it got much harder! I do have to say, what I like about Jillian's workouts are that they incorporate everything from cardio to strength to abs. It's an all around workout that targets every zone. Also, to her critics, I find her tough love attitude refreshing. I don't need a cheerleader, I need someone to kick my ass in the gym! Sure, at the time I might hate you for it, but I am more likely to want to punch the bubbly cheerleader in the face rather than the Army Sergent. But that's just part of what works for me.

This weekend will be busy, so everyone take care and have an awesome three day weekend! I'll have some more pictures of cakes to post soon!

Friday, May 15, 2009

Mind Over Matter

"You have powers you never dreamed of. You can do things you never thought you could do. There are no limitations in what you can do except the limitations of your own mind." - Darwin P. Kingsley

This is so true. When I read this quote, I immediately thought about a friend and how her thoughts limit her. When she applied to a nursing program and the school counselor told her it was a competitive program and that she would have to take an entrance exam, she began to rethink her decision because she felt that she wasn't smart enough for the program. When she discovered that her boyfriend lied to her repeatedly and she wanted to end things, she questioned whether or not she should because she thought she could not support herself and their child on her own. She cannot and will not ever move forward if her thoughts continue to act as a handicap to her true wants and desires. If only she believed that she was smart enough to make her career goals happen, or resourceful enough to make ends meet on her own, or that she was even worth the extra effort to make her happiness her #1 priority, then surely she could achieve all that she wants to achieve.

But hey, we are all guilty of this behavior. Only a couple years ago, I was in an unhealthy relationship that I was too afraid to get out of. Fear blinds us to the realities of what we're truly capable of. While I believed that I deserved better and that ultimately this person was not at all what I was looking for in terms of a partner, my fear held me back. When I finally got out of the relationship, I finally realized I could be on my own and I didn't need someone else, but I never would have believed that until it actually happened.

I guess my point is that sometimes we have to have faith that things will work out. Sometimes bad things in life happen in order to teach us a lesson, but we have to brush ourselves off and try again until we find something that works. Enjoy this life--it's the only one you have. Don't have any regrets. Follow your dreams and take chances. Believe in yourself and realize that you are the creator of your destiny. Thoughts manifest into actions and actions produce results! Don't wait for an opportunity to come along, create your own opportunities and ACT today! Life is too short to wait for tomorrow...

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Mother's Day Cake

I just successfully uploaded my first cell phone picture via text message! How cool is that? Now if my Blackberry only took better photos. BTW, this is a picture of the Mother's Day cake my mom baked and I helped decorate. She placed all the drop flowers onto the cake, but I helped by making the leaves on the flowers and the border around the top and bottom of the cake. It was delicious!

Anyway, I hope you all are having a fantastic Mother's Day! Did I mention, my mom is the bestest?

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Cakes 'n Things

The thought of a mozzarella cheese stick as a snack doesn't sound appetizing to me at all. But heat that same cheese stick in the microwave at 50% power for 30 seconds (just enough to get it gooey but not melted into a pile of goop)--heaven. I realize I need to cut back on--not eliminate--carbs if I want to see some results. I don't want to overthink things but just take a more balanced approach to how I eat.

On the completely different (and somewhat hypocritical) note, here's some pictures of sinfully delicious cakes I decorated from my cake decorating class! I know, my weight loss goals don't exactly go hand-in-hand with my hobby for cake decorating. I don't want to feel like even though I am trying to lose weight that I'll have to give up cake decorating all together. Right now, I'm just seeing how things go. If I concentrate on the decorating part and how much I enjoy making cakes for friends and family, then hopefully I will be able to keep the part of me that invariably wants to self-sabotage under control.

So without further adieu, here are my cakes from Course 1.

Lesson 2: Cake using "star" tip

Lesson 3: Clown Cake

Lesson 4: Rose Cake

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Weekend Update

I finally updated my book and music info. I try to keep things up to date, but I find that I have less and less time to dedicate to a blog. I would love to write a real blog that people would actually come to read, but I'm not sure I have any wisdom of interest to impart onto the world. Really I am just someone who is living life day to day, trying to figure herself out and find the key to true happiness.

Unfortunately my negativity really holds me back. I don't know what it is about this week, but I've felt completely off kilter both mentally and physically. Last week I did so well with my eating and working out. This week I ended up binging on icing leftover from my cake decorating class. I HIGHLY do not recommend this! I never knew what a sugar crash felt like until this week. It's like the worst hangover (x) a million! The funny thing is, it wasn't even one of those pre-meditated binges. It was like, "Hey-o I've got some icing leftover. I could put a little on this animal cracker and it wouldn't kill me..." Then, complete loss of control. It wasn't even a guilt-induced binge. Literally it sprang out of no where.

Fortunately I kept up on my workouts. It's just really discouraging because I feel like no matter how much I work out, as long as I'm struggling w/ my food issues, working out is not going to make any difference. I cannot stress enough how much I just want to drop 10 lbs, especially before I move to San Diego. It would help my self-confidence so much. I want to start dating and be in the same "playing field" as the caliber of men I find attractive. You'd be surprised how many guys on want to find a girl that is "active". That is code for: fatties need not apply. So if anyone has any ideas on how to get there, please enlighten me!

Also, if you want to critique my workout routine that'd be great!

Monday: 30 mins cardio, 30 mins strength training (upper body)
Thursday: 55 mins cardio (15 walking on incline, 20 elliptical, 20 stair climber)
Friday: 30 mins Shred video
Sat: 15 mins intense cardio (ellptical), 25 mins strength training (lower body)

I have a huge gap on Tues and Weds because I've got my cake decorating class on Tues nights, and therapy on Weds nights.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

San Diego Here I Come!

I just registered for my Summer Intensive classes at the University of San Diego! Last night I booked my plane tix. Also, I told my boss yesterday that I would be leaving the company at the end of July to go back to school. All of this goes to prove that this is really becoming REAL. It's official, I am actually going to do this.

On a side note, this morning I was reading Become Your Own Matchmaker by Patti Stanger, the star of the hit reality show The Millionaire Matchmaker. In the chapter titled, "First Days of Infatuation" she discusses the danger signs to look out for during the first 90 days of dating. One in particular really hit home for me because it perfectly describes the last guy I was seeing.

"If your main form of communication when you're not together is texting, it's a sign of immaturity, and he might not be ready for an adult relationship. Real men use the phone. You may think texting is a quicker, more efficient way to communicate, but in reality, it takes less time to dial and number and say a few words than it does to type a message, no matter how good you are with your thumbs. The man who texts doesn't want to actually speak to you--he's like the kid who just wants to poke you to let you know he's there."

When I would complain to my therapist about this guy, he said the same thing--that he was immature. He couldn't be any more right! I'm just glad I've cut off communication. I feel more sane and able to concentrait on what really matters--investing in myself and my future. That's all!

Monday, May 4, 2009

Ultra Low-Fat Gourmet Donuts

One of my favorite blogger's, PriorFatGirl, is hosting a contest to win a sample of the Holey Donuts! special arrangement. These donuts are not fried and only contain as little as 3-4 grams of fat compared to the 15-20 grams of fat in a regular donut. Also they are only 150-250 calories! I am DYING to try some!

Click here to visit PriorFatGirl's blog and enter to win!

Friday, May 1, 2009

Difficult Decisions

"In hindsight, what I needed to do was forgive myself for disappointing my parents, and let go of the guilt. I needed to just accept that they would be unhappy for awhile, and that once I did well in my career, they would come around. I just needed to trust that I made the right decision for myself, and that all would be good. Years later, I finally learned that lesson." --Stephanie Qualio, Back In Skinny Jeans

I love reading Stephanie's blog because it always manages to touch on a subject that I can relate back to my life. In ways, it is strange how this person and myself are so similar but perhaps we are all more similar than we realize. Maybe it is when we take a chance to open ourselves up to the world and admit to our vulnerabilities, that we realize we all are more similar than we are different. We all have one thing in common, and that is life. We're not sure why we're here, or what happens after life, but we try out best to live our lives well and learn from our mistakes along the way. We are all here to help each other along the way and ultimately our survival depends on one another.

So, when I read stuff like this, I don't take it with a grain of salt. I am a constant learner. While I tend to focus on my problems a lot (and I do), it's not actually about focusing on the negative for me. It's really just more of a curiosity. I am always trying to understand things and why things are the way they are. Sometimes I find an answer, and sometimes there is not a definite answer or the one I was hoping to find. Either way, I constantly am seeking enlightenment as a person. I am always trying to grow, learn, evolve. I think for me that will always be a theme in my life.

This quote is nice at a time like now. I've got the decision to make about moving to San Diego to pursue my continuing education without a lot of support from my parents. I know my mom doesn't want me to go, but she says she can't stop me (after all, her parents let her go to Mexico and Peru). My dad on the other hand is less passive. He's trying to convince me to go to Chicago where I'll be closer to home and is attempting to bribe me by offering to pay for my housing and school. He's also got my aunt trying to convince me to go to school in Florida where the other half of my family lives because at least that's closer than Cali.

My therapist assures me this is just their way of showing that they really love and care about me. I know this is true, but it's still a little frustrating. I don't like that my dad can't trust me to make the best decision for myself. Also, he undermines my ability to chose a good program and acts like he knows more about it than me when I am the one who's spoken to professionals in the field. I don't think he'll ever take me seriously as an adult unless I just do what I need to do and prove to him that I don't need his help financially. He tells me straight out that I will fail. The only way to prove him wrong is just that, PROVE him wrong.

Why Cali? I'm not really sure. I was having second thoughts about Chicago because it's too cold there. Also, I didn't feel like the program was that great. Plus, the idea of investing 40K and going into debt just did not settle well w/ me. Then while in San Francisco, I was doing some research and stumbled upon the USD program. I wasn't looking for schools in Cali, it just sort of happened. I was looking up an industry professional and discovered she did a certificate program before her Masters. I emailed her and a few weeks later we spoke over the phone. She assured me that a certificate program was the way to go.

So, again: why Cali? Well, for starters, nice weather, I always wanted to live in Cali, I've got a couple of friends in SD (and more throughout the state), and now I have a mentor there. But overall, it's just a gut feeling. I have no idea what the future will hold, but like Steph says I just need to trust that I am making the right decision for myself. After that, everything else will just have to fall into place...