Thank goodness it’s the weekend. It’s been a bit of a hectic and stressful week for me and I’m certainly glad to be away from the buzz of regular working life and take a break – with what seems like a gorgeously long weekend. Hopefully this will be a pretty relaxing one. I was really grateful for my Friday half days that I get every week – they really are a Godsend. Public holidays never seemed like a big deal to me when I was a uni student but now I can really appreciate them while working full time!

The weather has been so unpredictable lately. Going from very warm to freezing cold in the space of about two days – I never know what to wear to work anymore, but thankfully the temperature in the office is pretty much the same every day – quite cool from the air conditioner – which as a result, even though its a warm day outside will result in me using me using my heater anyway, funnily enough.

I finally caved in and bought a proper Loyal icing bag with tips from Chalet from Burwood Westfield finally. Altogether (with tips, etc) it was about $38, which isn’t that cheap but I even managed to get a rose nail. Looking forward to be able to practice making roses from icing although watching the tricks and tips on how to do it on youtube still flip me out – they make it look so easy but I still reckon it will be really hard… I had a couple of fairly feeble attempts with it last week and it did not go down so well. Ah well, they say that practice makes perfect 🙂 I have to say that this icing gear is definitely better than all the other stuff I’ve had before, and I’m able to make (somewhat.. i’m still a beginner!) pretty designs which are fairly easy with a simple star tip. Love it!

The first cake I made with my new icing gear was for my friend, Sarah’s 24th birthday. It was my first proper ‘fancy’ iced cake, first attempt at drop strings and also my first attempt at a layer cake. It was also a recipe I had not tried out before. My goodness gracious, so many firsts. Obviously it did not turn out perfect and I have to say that it was the cause of a good deal of stress, but I think it turned out fairly okay. I used smitten kitchen’s recipe for banana cake and everyone commented that it was quite delicious. To be honest I can’t remember exactly how it tasted because I was still stressing on the appearance of it,

My gosh, this cake was a nightmare. The cake layers did not fit each other properly, I did not bake it in layers separately (instead I cut the cake in half, which previously I thought was okay – but the icing between the layers ended up soaking into the cake, causing me to overhear people saying “Wow, the cake is marbled!” – No, it ain’t marbled. I screwed up.) The cake also became massively crumbly and threatened to fall apart several times and in the refrigerator, got icing on the side of the fridge door as well as developed massive cracks in the centre and parts of the cake fell off the side. I overdecorated the top and was convinced that it was ugly (hey, I still think that it did.. but hey, I blame it on first try) Massive nightmare. I was dealing with a severe dose of PMS hormones at the time and the possibility of continuing seemed, well, just WRONG. But I pushed on. I persevered. I thought to myself, dammit, if I’ve bought all these freaking ingredients for this cake, I am damned well going to finish it. And finish it, I did. How did I fix all those mistakes? Mostly with an insane amount of icing (ah, icing, the glue of cake-dom), cooled it in the fridge and hoped for the best.  And hey, it didn’t turn out so bad.

I kinda regret putting the extra cake on top and do not like the icing around it – but hey, it was my first iced cake, so i’m going to give myself a break.. lol.

So far I’ve made another cake and chocolate cupcakes (posts up and comin!)

For dinner tonight, I made Pioneer Woman’s ginger steak salad which was pretty darn delicious and incredibly easy. Am making it again this weekend so hopefully will get pix this time.. tonight we gobbled it all up before any could be taken 🙂

I’ve been reading more books lately. I’ve just finished the latest Artemis Fowl (The Atlantic Code) – sorry, terrible – ; as well as the first two Vampire Diaries novel (they were on sale at Coles – couldn’t resist) – also, terrible. Really terrible. Possibly even worse than Twilight (-gasp-); if such a thing is possible (sorry, Twihards.)

I also read The Notebook, finally (thank goodness for cheap books and free worldwide shipping from http://www.bookdepository.co.uk/) – btw, if you haven’t been on that site, I highly recommend it. Free shipping worldwide as well as very decently priced books – finally! I’m so sick of paying thirty books for a paperback at Dymocks or Angus&Robertson with no other choice. Even Borders ain’t that cheap. Where else is a girl supposed to get her reading fix?

Anyway, sorry – back to The Notebook. If you’ve seen the movie, I’d say that the book was very well adapted and not a bad read, but I definitely prefer the movie. I’m currently reading The Wedding (also by Nicholas Sparks, a semi-sequel to the Notebook). What are you guys reading nowadays? I find it difficult to find a decent read – its such an awesome feeling when you find that wonderful book. Since I’m sick of all my music, I find myself reading on public transport instead of listening to music and would love a great new book!

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