Monday, October 29, 2012

Home-rowed by Life

Hi all!

I meant to add a post some time ago, but never got around to doing has a funny way of interrupting the best laid plans!  At this time, Billa Cakes is on a very long hiatus as I attend to some things in my life. A friend of mine once told me that when something became a chore rather than a welcome escape, it was time to take a step back.  Being a baker, mom, and working a full time job all at once became a lot to handle and I made the decision to shutter Billa Cakes for the time being.    I may or may not reopen Billa Cakes in the future, so I'm leaving everything as is.  If you find information or inspiration here that is useful, then I've done my job.  If you have questions, don't hesitate to email me! 

Until then, bake with joy!

PS If you're unfamiliar with the joke in the post title, you'll understand after you watch this video.  That's essentially what life did to me.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Portfolio: Yellow Baby Shower Cake and Carriage Cookies

Another weekend, another baby shower!

Babies are so exciting...and even more so when you don't know what you're having!  My friend Kristen is throwing a shower for her little sister who is having a baby soon.  Megan has opted to leave it a surprise, and to celebrate, her friends were throwing her a delightfully elegant and girly shower.   Kristen asked me to make carriage cookies again, but this time, we chose yellow since it's ambiguous.  I also did a cake for the shower, vanilla with strawberry filling, and I got a little adventurous with it this time.


Kristen wanted to know if I could try and match the shower invite, which was a really cute sort of henna/mendhi/floral design in pink, yellow, and gray.  Since baby's gender is a question mark, I chose yellow as the overall theme and accented with gray and pink icing.  Does anyone else her that scene from Steel Magnolias play in their head when they hear the words "gray icing"?  No?  Ah, well, I digress.


The cake gave me lots of trouble (probably because I didn't sleep well and the house was hot, etc), but I think it came out beautifully.  It totally made my day when my husband and my daughter walked in and both of them immediately said, almost in stereo, how much they liked the design I'd chosen.  Kristen loved it too, and I think it was fancy enough without being over the top and not too overtly pink...just in case Megan ends up with a boy!

I love the technique I used on the side and plan on doing it some more.  I have to admit, I didn't ever think I would love using buttercream so much, but it really is so much easier to work with, even if it does create lots of dishes!

Happy baking,

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Portfolio: Carriage and Onesie Cookies

Everywhere I go, I hear of yet another mama that's expecting or just delivered.  It's that time of year!

My buddy Kristen asked me to whip up some cookies for a baby shower and specifically requested baby carriages and onesies.  The mama to be is having a little man, so we did everything up in a blue and white and brown theme.  They came out so cute that I'm doing carriages again soon!


Congrats Mama to be...may you have an easy labor and a healthy baby boy!

Happy baking,

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Portfolio: Theatre Sweet Sixteen Cake

In one of my previous lives I was an actress.  I still do some acting now and again, but for the most part, my BA in Theatre Arts hangs on my wall gathering dust.  I occasionally dream of being an Oscar winner someday, but honestly, there's too much else I'd rather be doing.  Still, it was really fun this weekend to pull out all the stops for this sweet Sweet Sixteen birthday cake for my friend's stepdaughter.  Emma's very active in her school drama club and loves theatre and her stepmom asked me to make a cake that would reflect Emma's love and interests.  It was even more fun because Courtney told me to just run with it.  You got it mama!

I racked my brains and the interwebs for some inspiration before coming up with this idea of a two tier affair.  At sixteen, you think the world is your oyster and in Emma's case, it's her stage to quote an expert in the field.  The top tier was designed to look like a stage ready to be performed on and I decorated the side of the bottom tier with all sorts of theatre references.

I have to say, this is my best buttercream work so far!  And I really liked the kinda reminded me of the circus, which I think is perfect for a theatre theme.  Sometimes performing can be a circus!

The front view

A side view

The can kinda see the outlines of the "boards" I drew on the bottom of the cardboard round.  Every stage has to have boards upon which to tread!

Another side view...the playbill was my favorite fondant piece!

The inside of the cake was simple vanilla and because Court and her family aren't huge fondant fans, I tried to keep the entire thing in buttercream.  I was really torn though, because this was served over Memorial Day weekend and when we do hot holiday opening summer weekends, we go big or go home with heatstroke around here!  I kept that cake as cold as could be before it was picked up to make sure it didn't melt before the birthday girl could get a glimpse of it.

Happy birthday, Emma!  May the world truly be a stage for you to dance upon!

Happy caking,

Tuesday, May 24, 2011


I am soooo addicted to Pinterest!  I’d heard of it before, but I never really looked into it until the other day when I had a little bit of free time during Billa’s nap to catch up on my blogs.  A blogger mentioned an item from it and when I clicked through, my world was rocked forever.

If you’re like me, you’re always collecting little tidbits and snippets of things that catch your eye: a crafty idea, a pretty picture, an awesome quote.  Michael and I are notorious Googlers; we’ll Google some of the most random things and could spend hours researching and reading about them.  Oftentimes we bookmark it so we don’t forget and can come back to it.  Don’t ask to look at our Bookmarks folder,  because it is SCARY.  Pinterest to the rescue!

 The Pinterest homepage

With Pinterest, you basically download this tool into your browser toolbar at the top.  As you scour the interwebs, when you see something you like, you “pin” it to your board, which compiles a catalog of all those pins and tracks back to where you found them.  And the cool thing is it has a Facebook-like air to it; you can follow other people’s boards and repin things that you like from theirs.  You can also comment, like something, etc.  I could spend HOURS on Pinterest.  I admit that I already have.

As it is, I have several boards already.  Interior design, crafty ideas, cakes and cookies, etc.  I make a board for anything and everything that gives me inspiration.  So if I’m feeling a little parched in the creativity department, I need only pop into Pinterest and get those creative juices revved and flowing.  The fastest way to join is to receive an invite from someone who is already on Pinterest.  Otherwise, you submit your email address and name and wait for them to send you an invite to join, which can take a couple of weeks.  I’m not really sure why they do that, but whatever.  I got a quicker invite by liking them on Facebook and posting a request for someone to invite me.  

The site is freaking amazing and if you’re the smallest bit creative, you're going to love it!  Not to mention, it’s really nice to clear out that bookmark folder finally. 

Pinningly yours, 
Blog Widget by LinkWithin