Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Kitchen Remodel...

Most of you know that I work out of my home, I am considered a cottage foods industry.  Thanks to all of you, I have outgrown my single oven you see over by the number 1.  I can't keep up with the demand, but still want to keep this little bakery running out of my home.  Flexibility and the feeling that I'm doing something meaningful and purposeful are very important to me.  Opening a store-front bakery and making Firecracker much bigger has crossed my mind many times, but it's just not a priority at this time.  My husband and I have decided that making some changes to the kitchen will help with efficiency and allow me to continue doing what I love...inside my home, on my own time.  I feel super lucky to have this opportunity!

I've labeled the kitchen in the order of priority and need.  I'll explain each number below:
1. Oven...I really needed a double oven after the first year in this business, but we believe firmly in taking our time with big decisions and I wanted to make sure this business was something I wasn't going to get tired of.  Going from one oven to two isn't an easy or cheap decision.  It is a snowball effect of a lot of renovation, so it took some time and a lot of thought.

Are you questioning turning a hobby into a money-generating business?  If you aren't sure, just get started, "Clarity comes from engagement, not thought."  Four years ago, that was my business approach.  I couldn't stop thinking about having an in-home bakery.  I had a lot of supplies already, so I just got started.  Starting a blog, finding coffee shops, getting a designer for my logo, building a customer base, setting prices...endless hours of work, consistency and a passionate approach.  If you're willing to work hard and willing to serve a need greater than your own, your business will thrive.    

2. The cabinets...although they don't have all the nice features of the newer cabinets, we didn't feel replacing them was totally necessary. Unfortunately, once we got into all the planning we realized that the cabinets would have to go. We needed to have the oven built in and it just wasn't going to be practical to try to make these work. I got over it pretty quick once I saw all the features new kraftmaid cabinets had!
3. I love my enormous fridge, but since the snowball is roll'in we might as well move the fridge to the corner and get it out of the way.  I seriously almost got stuck in that corner a few times trying to make coffee or use the microwave.  So #3 is moving to #1 spot.

4.  This island *must* love me.  I have a confession to make...I've pretty much done everything wrong to this granite and it refuses to have any imperfections.  It has been my rock (literally!), I'm keeping this baby.  It has been moved to the basement for a platter wrapping station.  The only problem with this island is the size.  My new island will be just a bit longer and will have more functional storage/garbage system in it.

5. The microwave...well, what can I say, I just prefer a microwave OFF the counter.  

6. Deep breath, the lighting situation, it's just not our style.  Once you get into redoing a kitchen, it is definitely a snowball effect.  I would love can lights and pendant lights over my island.

7. The tile back splash...sigh.  It just reminds me of Nascar Racing or a 1950's style kitchen.  I just really don't like it.  It did come in handy for this photo as a backdrop...

8. Floor is gorgeous granite tile, but it needs to go.  If it flowed with the rest of the house we would've kept it, but here's the situation on floors in our house:
When standing on my gorgeous granite tile in my kitchen I was able to see ALL of these wonderful floors.  I do respect the previous owners, and feel everyone is entitled to their own style, BUT I will never figure out why they had so many different floors in one house.

9. Last but not least, new counter tops!!  I can barely sleep at night, I'm so excited!!!

Monday, February 25, 2013

Do you need custom invitations or stationary?

If you're looking for the perfect custom invitation for that party you've been dreaming of, contact 
Erin Loftus with Sweet Viola Designs!  She will exceed your expectations!!

I just loved the invite she made for my daughter Kate's 7th Birthday Party!  She knew exactly what I had in mind!  Give her a call today, 513.314.3072

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Bridal Shower Cake...


Thank you so much Alison for ordering a bridal shower cake with Firecracker!  Alison wanted me to match the cake to her invitation.  This cake is white with strawberry filling and cream cheese frosting.  Great choices Alison, thanks so much for your order, it was a pleasure meeting you.

Pea pod cake for twins...

Tiffany ordered a cake for her friend who is having twins!  After trying to add to their family for years the couple is finally expecting!  They have a 12 year old daughter (represented by the pink pea pod in the middle) who has been waiting a very long time to be a big sister.
The cake topper is a cookie on a stick with fondant half circles and leaves.  The word "welcome" was hand written with an edible marker.  All the dots and pea pods were made out of fondant as well.  The bottom tier was chocolate cake with buttercream and the top was white with strawberry and cream cheese frosting.
The soon-to-be big sister smiling here in the middle with her two great friends!

Thanks so much Tiffany!  Before you know it we'll be back to summer swim team!

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Pendant Flag Cake...

Happy Birthday Nancy!  Nancy is my friend JC's Mom.  Remember her from a couple posts back, she just had a birthday recently and we wore matching colors to her cake.  Well, one of the weirdo things we have in common is both of our mom's names are Nancy.  Funny, huh?  Well, I've gotten to know Nancy and she's super sweet.  Now for the cake...

I adore this cake!!  I love the rosettes mixed with stars and pearls!  I think the adding the pendant flags gave it more of a care-free fun look rather than sophisticated and formal.  I also love the sugar crystals I put on the top, I LOVE sugar crystals!

Friday, February 22, 2013

Love these Boys...


My son's last game of the season was this afternoon.  One of my favorite things to do is watch my kids play sports.  I couldn't be more proud of my husband Marc and Coach Doug for leading this team in such a passionate way.  Every weekend we saw so much energy and excitement, I looked forward to each game.  Watching John grow, learn new plays and gain confidence as a basketball player was awesome.  What a great group of kids!

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Happy 40th JC!!

Everyone keeps asking if we planned the outfits to match the cake...nope!  Obviously I knew the cake was pink, however I didn't pick my sweater based on the cake.  Maybe I had hot pink on the brain, but considering it was a surprise party, JC had no way of knowing what to wear.  I thought it turned out pretty fantastic, heh?

We had a great night, Todd did an amazing job planning the entire evening.  JC is one of my very great friends, we have so much in common, sometimes it scares us both.  HA!  I'm truly lucky to have met her at Fitworks!!  She is now leading me in exercise as a spin instructor...I make the cake, she helps us burn it off.  We're a fabulous team.

The cake was all frosted in cream cheese frosting.  The bottom tier was chocolate cake with fondant zebra stripes.  The middle tier was orange cream with fondant JC letters.  The top tier was chocolate with fondant circles...cut with my burst cookie cutter!

The "40" cake topper were two big cookies!

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Some February Firecracker Goodies...

I've been REALLY busy making goodies and preparing for my NEW KITCHEN.  I'm so excited, but it has been a bit stressful managing this business in a construction zone.  Thank you for all of your patience, I've been doing my best getting back to customers in a timely manner.  Firecracker had to move to Grandma Nancy's house temporarily while my kitchen and family room are being torn up.  My 'system' is a bit off, if you can imagine.  It will be more than worth it in about 6 weeks.  I'm going to post photos as soon as possible, my work crew has been more than awesome.

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Ladybug themed cake and cupcakes!

Valentine Ladybug Cupcakes and Ladybug cake with heart shaped saying,
I hope one of my most awesome brides from 2012 had a wonderful birthday.  I truly enjoyed your family in the planning process and still enjoy them today.  Your mom was super sweet when ordering your surprise cake!  Carrie's cake was red velvet with chocolate ganache filling and cream cheese filling and frosting!  YUM!

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Chocolate Cupcakes...

Ahhhh, these are a Firecracker Favorite!  Moist chocolate cupcakes with big bittersweet chocolate chips, topped with buttercream.  Available at Book Bums later this afternoon while supplies last!

While in Book Bums check out their literacy programs for early childhood!  It's also a great place to hang out, have lunch and enjoy a hot coffee!