Never ending to-do list of an Entrepreneur!

Last night, before going to bed, I made my to-do list for today with every intention of jumping up and starting my day with enthusiasm!  It is now 9:15am, I have been up since 5 and I have not checked a single thing off of my list. All of you A-type personalities know how unnerving this is for me. Instead, I find myself sitting here writing this post in my pajamas and comfy socks.

Sometimes my head is filled with so many things that need to be done, I just get stuck and don’t know where to begin. It’s like writer’s block…but with everything. The difference is that I am not stuck on what to do, but making myself do it. I love what I do, I get to be home for the kids, make my own hours, and create art OUT OF CAKE for a living, but being an entrepreneur is hard. It’s really hard, and the dream of having your own business doesn’t prepare you for the reality of what it actually takes to accomplish it.  It is so rewarding, yet can be very lonely too. While you guys see my posts of cake pics and fun videos, there is truth to the blood, sweat, and many tears that people don’t always see. I am not complaining, I am just being real, and sometimes real is sitting in my pj’s being exhausted before even starting my to-do list.

I know that once my coffee kicks in, I’ll pop some cakes in the oven, force myself on the treadmill and be checking the boxes like crazy…or maybe after my second cup of coffee kicks in. lol.

For all of you brave souls that stepped out in faith creating a business out of nothing, being not only the owner, but the artist, accountant, business manager, dish washer, schedule maker, e-mail writer, advertising agent, marketer, customer service rep, errand runner, and (I’m sure I’m forgetting something), a huge shout out to you! I feel your joy and your stress, and am sending a big hug your way today.

To my family and friends who have to put up with me after a stressful day, and to my clients who trust me with your special occasions, THANK YOU!! Your mentions, comments, likes and shares are what make my dream job a reality and mean so much more than you know!

~Bethany

 

Dear Santa

Well here we are again, in the midst of the hustle and bustle, the sales and shopping craziness. Christmas is all around! I love everything about this time of year, the smells that trigger so many memories, the glow of the lights, but I especially love the nonstop Hallmark Christmas movies!! Although I do think the amount of emotions that I have while watching them might be the sign of a serious problem, I am choosing to ignore that! 😊

As I asked my kids to start making their wish lists, I started thinking that after the year we have had, I had a wish list of my own that has nothing to do with what is wrapped under the tree. So here it is…

Dear Santa,

It’s been a while, quite a while…

I have a Christmas list that is so much harder than the the ones I used to write. I wish I could ask for something simple like a Barbie or a beeper(yes I am that old), but my request is not so simple this year. As you know, five years ago when I remarried, I gained a husband and a daughter to add to my two kids. We are now a blended family of five. So many complications came with this that were unexpected to say the least, and it hasn’t been easy on any of us. So this year my Christmas wish is this… well behaved kids filled with kindness and love toward each other, calm Godly spirit for my husband, and gentle patience for me. Even the most perfect gift beautifully wrapped under the tree could not compare to the joy this would bring.

I still believe,

~Bethany

To Birthday or Not to Birthday…

Okay, I realize the title makes me sound like a total nerd… If you know me, then you are used to it…if not, it only gets worse. 🙂

Oh birthdays. Isn’t it funny how when we are young we count down the days with excitement waiting for them to arrive, but as the years add up we begin to ignore them as best we can in order of avoid the inevitable fact that we are dun dun dun…AGING. My birthday is soon, really soon, and I have been pretty negative about it. In fact I have been for quite a few years now. I don’t know if its the fact that I thought I would have it all together in my thirties and I’m not even close to having it all together, or the fact that I am terrified at the thought of looking old. Whatever the reason is, it is like a dark cloud that hovers over November 26th and for years now on that day I have sat in it’s shadow and let it steal my joy. So this year, I am trying something new! When I opened up my Bible app this morning the daily verse struck a C chord with me…you know the key of C when after a melody has come to it’s end and the last chord is back home where it should be and all makes sense?(I literally just coined that!) 🙂  That is what this verse did for me…

Now, our God, we give you thanks, and praise your glorious name. (1 Chronicles 29:13)

Giving thanks, what a concept. Being thankful is easy to say that we do, especially around Thanksgiving, but are we really thankful? It’s funny how many times I catch myself praying for this and that and forgetting to thank God for all he has given me. I don’t think it is a coincidence that my birthday falls this time of year, I know being thankful is something I have to work on. It is so easy to get caught up in the things I wish were different or better instead of being grateful for the things that I have. When I get down over my birthday, what am I saying to God? I would be so hurt if someone didn’t like a gift I had given them. I can’t imagine how God feels when I reject his gifts.  I should be thankful that I have been given another year on this earth to be with my loved ones, instead of worrying about the time that has passed. I am definitely thankful that I get a whole other year to be in my thirties! Someone might need to remind me of this post next year! 🙂 As for this year I will Birthday, and I will do it with Thanksgiving. (Pun intended) I challenge all of you to think about what you are thankful for! Leave me a comment and let me know! Let’s all start treating everyday like Thanksgiving, well maybe not the eating part…that could be a problem! 🙂

~BethanyIMG_2923

 

 

In The Storm

Sometimes life is hard, really hard. I know you all know this and we all go through hard times in our lives, but a simple storm made me realize something and I thought I’d share.

I was on the way to teach a cake class in Sugarland a few weeks ago and as I pulled onto the Grand Parkway, I noticed this dark, angry sky ahead of me.  At that moment there was a beautiful sunny sky above me, but all I could see in front of me was darkness. darkness

I wanted to turn around and go back home, but there were kids that were expecting me and in order to make it, I knew that I would have to drive straight into this nightmare of a sky.  Fast forward about 5 minutes and into the heart of the storm… I was going 10 mph in a 75 mph zone with NO idea where the road was.  The rain was coming down so hard that I couldn’t see anything except the water smacking my windshield. My anxiety kicked into full gear…I didn’t know when I was on an overpass,  or if I was even in a lane, and I couldn’t see any other cars until they were too close for comfort.  I just wanted to stop and hide in the backseat until it was over, but I kept going…not by choice….I literally couldn’t see where to pull over so I stayed right where I was hoping I was in a lane. It felt like an eternity before I even saw a sliver of light, but then the rain turned into a drizzle and the clouds began to part. WHEW, the light was peeking through. Finally! My breathing began to normalize and I began to relax the death grip that I had on the steering wheel.

As I drove back into the sunlight, I began to realize that this storm was placed in front of me that day for a reason.  I had a rough few weeks and I was in need of a reminder that I needed to let go and let God.

God has a plan for our life. He never promises that we won’t go through storms, in fact he says that we will, but he does promise that he will be there with us.  The hardest days that I face are not a punishment, but my training, and as hard as it might be to keep going through the storms in life, God’s purpose for me is waiting on the other side. Each storm that I come out of makes me stronger, and equipped with more tools to help withstand the next one, so bring it on! Well…maybe not while I’m driving. 😉

~Bethany

IMG_1899

Sometimes you just have to start over

Bad days! We all have them, and they always strike at the worst time. As a caker, I try to avoid this as much as possible, but like a bad hair day sometimes you can’t cover it up, you just have to start completely over. This is what was running through my mind as I tore the fondant off my cake piece by piece with tears welling up in my eyes. I had placed the fondant eyes and glasses with careful precision, and the detailed crimson and gold scarf wrapped around the cake was perfection. There was just one problem….AIR BUBBLES…these obnoxious little flaws RIGHT IN FRONT that ruined this unicorns complexion. If I haven’t mentioned it before, Texas humidity is my other nemesis. Usually in the cake world, if we have a flaw, we cover it up with a decoration…however this cake had already been covered with decorations, and the fondant warts (which after popping them looked more like wrinkly dimples) were right in the front and there was no hiding them. I was already going on two days without sleep and was on a time crunch to get this cake delivered. I tried to convince myself that it wasn’t THAT bad and maybe they would be distracted with how great the rest of the cake looked and not even notice. If any of you know me at all, you know that I am my biggest critic and that anything less than my best would keep me up at night. (Besides, it really was that bad) I can’t prove it with a picture, unless you want one of my fondant filled trash can.

How did this happen?! This wasn’t even a complicated order. I have made stadiums, bicycles, and wine barrels THAT SERVE WINE…and this little one tier Harry Potter Unicorn cake was killing me! I had two choices, sit on the floor and cry like a baby, or just suck it up and fix it. Sooo I did both, I cried while I fixed it. LOL. Yes, I was exhausted and yes, I wanted to give up, but the look on that sweet little ones face when I delivered her cake made it all worth it. When she looked at her cake, she didn’t see the drama from the night before, she saw a work of art made just for her. This is why I do what I do you guys, It’s not about the cakes, it’s about the Joy that I deliver with them! 

IMG_2041

 

This wasn’t my first cake attack and I’m sure it won’t be the last, but I will CAKE ON because the smiles are worth the meltdowns! I realize I went a little cake nerd on you just then…OH WELL, I am who I am!🍰🤓  Until next time…

~Bethany

My Nemesis…

Mornings!!!!

Especially now that I have a, wait for it….HIGHSCHOOLER!! (insert creepy music)

I have never really been a fan of mornings, but as a cake decorator, they are literally my nemesis. I, as many creative types, do my best thinking/ creating at night preferably with a glass of wine and The Office playing in the background. It was bad enough being the Mom in the carpool line who had only gone to bed a few hours before and was covered in cornstarch and food coloring, but now I drive up to my daughter’s school looking like I walked off the set of The Walking Dead. The only positive is that it is so early, it is still dark, so there is a slim chance of being seen. 

 I wipe my sleepy eyes as I pull into the driveway with just enough time to wake up my son and get him ready and out the door. You would think at this point I could crawl back into bed for just a bit, but nope! Time to get up my Junior High daughter and carefully not step on any mines as I get her out the door…(hormone city)! By this time is it 8:45 and if I even think about slipping under the covers I will inevitably fall into a deep sleep without waking until after lunch….when my oldest arrives back home. This is my new life. I used to cake all night and it was all rainbows and unicorns…literally…I make A LOT of unicorn cakes.😆  I’d like to say I can tough it out for a few years, but 1,2,3(I’m trying to do the math)…there is eight, EIGHT more years of this. 😩 Oh well, for now I must press on, there are many, many cakes that aren’t going to bake themselves. I will embrace the new me, (OK, not so new) with my comfy socks and pajama pants! Until tomorrow friends, and I mean EARLY tomorrow!  

~ Bethany

IMG_1218

                                                                                      

Bark! Bark! BABY!!

It’s hard to express what it feels like when NO one believes in you or your ability and then you turn around and prove them all wrong!

Last week, we came into the competition the “underdogs” or so they say. We are the only home bakers left and we have been successfully flying under the radar, until…we walk in and find the ticket to Cabo. This ticket however, comes with a catch…in order to receive the all-expense paid trip that is dangling in front of us, we must be the only two person team, competing against trained professionals. The decision is not an easy one, but it’s time to show everyone what I can do. 

I went into this challenge extremely nervous, but confident. This is a huge opportunity to show our skills….what I was NOT expecting was to turn the competition completely upside down. NO ONE saw us coming, but they ALL watched us walk away with not only the trip to Cabo, but $7000 in cookware! In the words of Jose, “I don’t think these girls are just here to bake cupcakes…” 🙂

I took my trip to Cabo in June and not only was it BEAUTIFUL, but I got to stand on this amazing beach and marry the man of my dreams!!!

FER_0678DSC_3890

This trip was not only unforgettable, but I won it in the most unforgettable way!!

Tune in tonight at 8pm for TWO new episodes to see if these underdogs have what it takes to be the Next Great Bakers! 🙂

~Bethany 🙂

They cut out my buns!!

You know, it’s funny….I am the girl who always has something to say. I do tell it like it is and always give my honest opinion. I have been known to put my foot in my mouth on more than one occasion, but people that actually know me, know that my intentions are good. The airing of the show has been a blast and I must say it has also has been quite revealing.

First of all, after watching last weeks episode I finally know where my daughter gets her sassy mouth. All the little negative comments I hear my kids mumbling under their breath after I have told them to clean their room or eat their dinner…TOTALLY learned it from me! Talk about an AH HA moment!! If any of you would like to know why your kids act like they do, GET ON A TV SHOW!!! 🙂 In all seriousness though, this has taught me that while I want my kids to be confident, I also want to teach them to respect others.

I was taught that if you have nothing nice to say, say nothing at all. BUT, if you must say something negative, always deliver it in a crap sandwich. Say something positive(bottom bun), then the negative(the meat), and then finish it off with another positive(top bun). I usually do this very well, however in this case, they edited out my buns!!

With that being said, I want to say that although team pink and teal heard the negatives, I would like for them to hear the positives now. Julie and Danielle #pinkngb, are so genuine and just down right good people. Julie has shown to have one of the biggest hearts out there and I am so grateful for her kind words even after the show, and her baking is phenomenal!!  🙂 Fred and Barry #tealngb, are AMAZING cake and sugar artists and I would be lucky to learn all the tricks that they have up their sleeves when it comes to cakes!! Things are not always what they seem, especially on T.V. and although every week someone will have drama, the real reality behind this reality show is that even after lollipops are ripped off cakes, we are all able to sit and laugh in the lobby of our hotel about the crazy day that we just had.

Thank you for watching and be sure to tune in tomorrow night at 8pm central for another drama filled episode! 🙂

~Bethany

Betnie Bakes, who knew… cuz I didn’t!

In July 2011, my son Keaton looked at me with his big blue eyes and asked me to make him a Lightening McQueen cake for his birthday. (Gulp) Up until then, I had only baked out of a box, I had never heard of fondant, and I had to ask someone what confectioners sugar was!! So what did I do? I googled, and googled, AND googled! I found some great tutorials and I was off! After 21 hours of baking, coloring fondant, and decorating, I finally finished my first cake! I couldn’t wait to see Keaton’s reaction, it alone made every minute worth it! I posted the cake on Facebook and the next thing you know, I had orders.

My FIRST cake…

ImageImage

 

Three years later, I’m doing the job of my dreams, learning one cake at a time and loving it! Don’t get me wrong, running an in-home bakery with no training and two kids to keep up with involves a lot of hard work, stress and sometimes tears. There have been days where I found myself sitting in a pile of cake flour on the floor having a meltdown because I took more orders than I could handle and hadn’t slept in three days!

Life has definitely thrown some curve balls my way, a very high risk pregnancy, divorce, having to move back in with my family…. but every bump along the way has made me stronger than I ever thought possible. A few years ago I would have NEVER thought that a self-taught baker such as myself, could stand a chance competing against baking professionals with culinary degrees! Yet here I am on season four of TLC’s Next Great Baker, sometimes I still can’t believe it!

Image

I have learned so much from this experience and have realized that it doesn’t matter if people try to keep me down or don’t believe in my dreams, as long as I believe in myself I can do anything I put my mind to.

This season is full of amazing cakes and SO much drama…I will be posting about every episode as it airs and giving some behind the scenes dirt. 🙂 Don’t forget to tune in for the premiere Tuesday, June 24, 9/8 central on TLC…yes that is in ONE WEEK!! Eeeeek!!

   ~Bethany