How Do You Guys Do It?????????

Decorating By charlieinMO Updated 25 Apr 2005 , 6:14pm by diane

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charlieinMO Posted 22 Apr 2005 , 5:30pm
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I just wanted to know if any of you have suggestions on how to do this cake/cookie thing and keep your sanity?????? icon_eek.gif I have three kids,
15 DD, 5 DS and 2 DD. Seems like we are always running somewhere! When I start a cake my house just about has to stop. How do you plan things out etc. I usually start the icing a couple of days in advance then the day before I cook the cake. The day of (or usually the day/night before) I start to decorate. I feel like it takes me forever!!!! Things are usually all over the kitchen! When they ask "whats for supper?" I usually say "whatever you can find". icon_biggrin.gif Ok, I'm kinda kidding about that part! I usually have about three or four orders a month and I know that many of you have a lot more!! I just thought I would see if anyone could give me some advice on keeping order, keeping the house clean feeding the family AND getting the cakes done!! icon_biggrin.gif Ok, I'm done whinning now. Thanks for listening!


28 replies
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CIndymm4 Posted 22 Apr 2005 , 5:52pm
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Boy, can I feel your pain!!! It's better now because 3 of my 4 children are out on their own and my last one is 11 so she is capable of doing some things for herself, but when they were younger there were days I thought I'd go crazy. I am a very organized person by nature so I guess that helps....I usually take an hour or so each day, okay, it's actually after everyone has gone to bed and I finally get alone time, and plan out my next day, or week or whatever. I have started a home based baking business in November and I have good weeks and bad weeks, busy weeks and slow weeks.....this week was slow, next week is going to bust my buns.....I'll start prepping Sat, so far I have 90 dozen cookies, 4 pies, 2 cheesecakes and a two tiered cake for next week.....60 dozen of those cookies are needed Tuesday morning at's all about planning, organization and alot of prayers! I know this is what I am suppose to be doing, I love it and so I try to not stress over the small things.....Just remember, it won't alway be so busy for you, before you know it, the kids will be out of the house and you'll be wondering how you ever got anything done.....simplest answer is, you just take one day at a time and enjoy it! This is site is also helpful because we all love the same thing and can relate on so many's good to know there are others out there dealing with the same stuff icon_biggrin.gif

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CakesByEllen Posted 22 Apr 2005 , 6:04pm
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I have a very supportive husband. After the kids go to bed, he straightens up and lets me do whatever I need to do. I also try to work in stages as best as possible. I do BC roses ahead of time and freeze them. I try to use royal flowers since they are done ahead of time too. If I have freezer space, I make the cakes ahead of time and freeze them. Then the night before I am usually up to 12 or 1 am assembling everything.

Of course, I am just starting out and haven't had too many cakes to do. If I get more, we'll see how supportive DH really is. Although I think he is secretly proud of me being able to do this, because he keeps picking harder and harder things for me to do!

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charlieinMO Posted 22 Apr 2005 , 6:22pm
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Thanks guys for letting me know that you are all "out there" with me at 1 and 2 in the morning. I guess that I am going to have to become more of an organized person if I am going to do this and not stress over it. You are right, the reason I am doing this is that I really do feel like I have found something that I enjoy doing. And I know that one day I will be on here saying "my baby has just gone off to college (hopefully icon_lol.gif ) what do I do now???" So, in the meantime I will chill out, and get the husband to help out a little more icon_lol.gif I did go to this website for helping to get organized so maybe that will also help.

Thanks again for listening icon_lol.gif


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flayvurdfun Posted 22 Apr 2005 , 6:28pm
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I have have 3 sons... 14, 7 and 5.... usually they leave me alone and are playing in their rooms...each have tv, vcr, dvd, gameboys, and some kind of game console... my husband usually is on this computer from the time he gets home until the time he goes to bed... I just go in the kitchen and do my thing..... but you can tell things are stressful... because as long as they come in and get their own stuff to eat (snack) or drink I am fine, but as soon as they ask me I freak......

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peacockplace Posted 22 Apr 2005 , 6:41pm
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Wow this totally fits with my day. I was up till 3:30 this morning and had to leave my house @ 8:00 this morning to deliver a cake. I was planning on taking a nap when my 2yr old did, but ended up keeping my friend's kids so she could go to the dentist. So I have my two boys her two kids and no nap!! Oh yea, then there's the dirty kitchen! I really need some stratagies on how to keep the mess to a minimum!

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melodyscakes Posted 22 Apr 2005 , 6:42pm
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i give all the credit for getting things done to "Bob the Builder" and "Dora" haha i have 4 kids, 14, 12, 4, &2 the older ones are in school and basically take care of them selfs, except for the occasional fighting i have to stop, haha the two little ones watch tv or play. our house is open, and i decorate mostly at my dining room table so i see what they are always doing. the hardest thing for me was to train ALL of them to keep their fingers out of the frosting! finally they know they'd better not even touch my frosting or cake with out asking if it is for us or for a customer. at first they were all in my stuff, i couldnt even leave the room or someone would be licking frosting...but now the novelty has worn off and i've screamed at them enough that they leave it alone.
i two get the most done when they are all in bed!!!!!!!!!!!
happy baking!

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tcturtleshell Posted 22 Apr 2005 , 7:03pm
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I'm taking a well needed break from my cake decorating & thought I'd stop in CC & see what's going on... Then I see this post.

Ok.. I'll be the first to admit it....... Getting things together is crazy!! icon_surprised.gif I'm obsessive compulsive, I plan & plan, practice & practice... but let me tell you... it still doesn't help. I've learned today that you have to go with the flow of things. When your icing won't crust.. like mine isn't doing today... I just have to find something else to do while I wait. Ha, ha. I keep looking at the time & want to cry! icon_cry.gificon_cry.gif

I've iced the wedding cake & groom's cake. Waiting for them both the crust... Then I need to do the basket weave.

I've had a few problems with leveling today.. I hate that part the most!! I was ready to throw my cakes out the window! I hope I've fixed it but won't know till I stack the cake. Ahhh!! Ok... I might not be going with the flow right now.... icon_lol.gificon_biggrin.gif

I want to stack the cakes & deliver them stacked but there's no way. I'm traveling 125 miles with them tomorrow morning. I just don't want to have to spend a lot of time getting things together at the church. Any advice... I'm ALL EARS!!

Ok... This might be my 2nd break down today.... icon_cool.gif I'm gonna make it, I'm gonna make it!!!! Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhh!! thumbs_up.gificon_biggrin.gificon_wink.gif

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charlieinMO Posted 22 Apr 2005 , 7:11pm
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Oh, TC !! I hope your day starts getting better very soon!! I feel it changing for you right now!! icon_lol.gif Good luck on your cakes and thoughts and prayers are with you.

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tcrema Posted 22 Apr 2005 , 7:29pm
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I totally feel what you are going through with the kid thing! I have a 5yr old girl and an almost 10 month old boy. My girl is great and no problem but the little hip hugging don't put me down I want to touch the oven and lick the beaters little boy of mine makes decorating quite a pain. I'm doing several cakes in the next few weeks so I know I'll be doing late nighters. It sucks but I have to wait until my kids go to bed to start decorating since my husband is away for the next month or so... Good luck and I feel your pain

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susanmm23 Posted 22 Apr 2005 , 7:33pm
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ok i have 3 boys 8, 6 , and 2 i do most of my baking during the day while my 2 yr old sleeps. or i stay up late and do it while everyone else is asleep. on the rare occasions i have to do it while all of my children are here i have my best friend come over and help me out. i bake and she cleans. when my baby needs a drink she gets it. so my advice to everyone is have you best friend be your helper. when my best friend is over here we have a great system.

TC i know you are stressed but we all know you can do this. if it werent such a long drive and if i wasnt in the middle of baking cakes right now i would drive there to help you out. Just know all of us here support you and know you can do it.

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BJ Posted 22 Apr 2005 , 7:35pm
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Since we're all in the boat - I'll add my story - I have only 1 child. My lovely 5 yr old daughter. I'm making a 14" dummy base for a store that's having a "Wedding Week" sale'a'bration. They want a wedding cake for their display. I'm half way into icing the cake with royal icing and guess what? My little one comes in crying with a bad scrape on her knee. She fell outside on the patio. Big tears, scraped knee, the love of my life, and hubby's not home. My choise - the cake or my daughter. icon_surprised.gif The royal icing will be a rock by the time I kiss the booboo and clean her up or my precious child will stand there crying while mommy ices the cake. Can you feel the love? Well, needless to say - I took care of my baby (my daughter - not the cake) haha. The royal did harden to a concrete finish. Thank goodness it was a styrofoam cake dummy. I chiselled the icing off and started again - after hubby came home and the little one was in bed of course. Won't try that again. We're with ya Charlie. We feel your pain. thumbs_up.gif

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KATE39 Posted 22 Apr 2005 , 7:46pm
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MindiBrad Posted 22 Apr 2005 , 8:25pm
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Believe me....I know how you feel! My sons will be 2 & 4 next month!

Like Melodycakes, I rely on Dora and Blue and the Wiggles to help me get things done. My kitchen looks right in to my faily room, so it is never like I am "leaving them". I have also learned to ALWAYS have cupcakes made...that way you have something to bribe them with to be good <grin>

My almost-4-year-old is out of the house M-Th from 8:00am to 3:30pm (he is autistic and attends full-day preschool at Easter Seals), and my almost-2-year-old still takes a hefty 2-3 hour nap each that frees up quite a bit of time (when I should be cleaning <grin>icon_wink.gif to bake. Decorating is often done after they go to bed, or at least after my husband comes home and can take the boys off my hands for awhile. It also helps that my boys are FINALLY at the age where they can play together.

Don't worry....soon enough we'll be chasing after them for attention and will long for the days of them trying to crawl up our legs as we were trying to make bc roses <grin>

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nashsmom Posted 23 Apr 2005 , 1:01am
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I also have kids, and work full time so I empathize. I bake one evening, level & frost the next (decorate if I can) or decorate on the third and use my crockpot alot. I also learned the hard way that until I get faster at this, I limit the amount of cakes that I will do. But I have a rough week coming up in a few weeks with three big cakes, one due Friday evening, one Saturday afternoon & one Sunday afternoon. I am going to be baking and freezing ahead of time to try to make it easier. It would be easier if I had a maid!

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sweeterbug1977 Posted 23 Apr 2005 , 1:29am
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Okay, I will add my response to the list, even though it looks like there are many of us out there that have the same thing to deal with. I have two kids, ages 8 months and 2 years. The baby has just started crawling really well in the past two weeks, so it has been a little harder than it was when I could just sit her somewhere and know she would be there. Plus, my son is having some sharing issues that I have been having to deal with. There are some of his toys that he doesn't want his sister to play with because "she's gonna break them". So, I have to deal with the screaming and crying a lot. I do not work outside of the home, but I do attend college online. I am working on my bachelors degree in Accounting, which has required me to work on my time management skills. I, like many of you, do most of my work when the kids are taking a nap, or after everyone has gone to bed. I have learned to do everything in steps. I try to bake my cake one day, then frost and decorate the next. I also am trying to train my husband that if he volunteers me to make a cake, he better let me know in advance or he is going to be taking care of the kids and picking up something for dinner. Right now I am not making many cakes, but more and more people are asking me if I can do a cake for them. I have my first wedding cake to do at the end of June, so I am really nervous about that one. It makes me feel much better that there are others out there that are going through the same things that I am.

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charlieinMO Posted 23 Apr 2005 , 2:20am
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I just wanted to thank everyone so much for the responses. I really appreciate you taking the time. I guess I'll just have to get myself more organized, practice more so that I get faster and have the family help more. Oh, and also us the crock pot a lot more!! icon_lol.gif

Thanks again everyone!


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cindycakes2 Posted 23 Apr 2005 , 4:27am
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Wow! I thought I was busy but luckily my three sons are 18, 22, & 25, so they know what happens if they get their hands in my icing! (now, if only I could teach my husband this!!!) Charlie, the crock pot is a great idea, and I also plan out soup and sandwich night when I know I will be busy decorating. I start baking for a wedding cake at 5:00 am on a Thursday, decorate on Friday into the wee hours of Sat. morning in order to deliver and set up a wedding on Saturday. Of Course, in a pinch....Pizza Hut delivers!! YEAH!!!

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cakemommy Posted 23 Apr 2005 , 4:50am
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I'm responding before I read any of the other replies. I am in your exact situation, every word of it. Except that I have a three year old and a four month old. the part I don't care for is the late late nights and the clean up. I have to do my cake in stages as well. Like this week, I'll make my frosting one day, bake the next, decorate the next and then deliver. I have to have some time for when I finish the cake to fix any goofs and take pictures. Now I'll read everyone's replies.


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bigcatz Posted 23 Apr 2005 , 9:51am
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charlieinMO, I know exactly how you feel. I have 4 kids (11, 8, 6, and 3yrs). My boys know not to mess with my cake stuff, especially when I'm decorating. My 3yr old little girl comes in sometimes to watch so she is the only one I have to worry about. It's still frustrating when any of them come into the kitchen though...or when they fight! I lock my kitchen door when I take breaks so that helps me a bunch! My husband is my biggest help! He takes care of the kids and the house when I have cakes to do. When he's not home, I usually wait til they go to bed and then work late...sometimes all night if it's a big cake or a lot of decorations. I plan and plan...but things almost never go according to plan! icon_cry.gif Besides the kitchen, I usually let the rest of the house go on the days I have cakes to do. I worry about that after I finish the cake. Well, that's my story..I say don't let it get to you too much. Things will get done eventually!

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CarolAnn Posted 23 Apr 2005 , 1:39pm
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Hi Everyone,
My story is different from many of yours as my three kids are a son 33 and married, and b/g twins 31. My daughter is married with two girls 3 and 5, and they live just a 1/4 mile down the road, and her brother lives in the city. I didn't do cakes to this extent when they were at home. Just being the dh and I it still gets hectic. Doing cakes in stages is the way I keep the mess to a minimum. I bake and freeze one day, mix and color icings another and then assemble and decorate the day before I deliver. I am almost always finishing up my cakes late at night. The last one I did was boxed up at 2:30 am, and I had to to take it to work with my the next morning at 8:30. It was a gift cake for my bosses daughter.

Some of you might be offended by this question but do young mothers ever use playpens anymore? I had a big square one for my kids and they were wonderful. It was a great way to coral them while I did things without having them under foot. They didn't spend the day there but if I had to run out to the clothesline or was cooking or vacuming etc they played there and had a ball. I took it outside when I did yard work and onto the screened in porch while they napped and I could sit and read on the glider with them right there. I bought one again when my first grandaughter was born. My daughter got one too and she loved the freedom it gave her and provided that safe place for the girls to nap and play when mom was busy. She didn't like the idea at all until I got mine and used it. Then she went back to the store and got her own. Just thought I'd ask.

I have three cakes coming up in the next few weeks. I can't imagine having three or four orders in a week! I work out of my home part time at two jobs and have my woodshop too so I wouldn't even hope to get those kinds of orders. Yikes! Good luck to you all. I'm sure glad we all have this site to come to.

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veejaytx Posted 23 Apr 2005 , 2:19pm
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I know it is difficult when you have little ones, or even young ones at home, I've been there too.
My three are grown adults with families of their own, and I hardly see them, can't even get an email response from one of them...they are just soooo busy! So while you are struggling to get things done, don't forget to store away those precious memories, at some point you will need them!

The voice of experience will now shut up! Janice

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charlieinMO Posted 23 Apr 2005 , 3:00pm
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Hey there CarolAnn, just wanted to let you know that I wasn't in the least offended by your question!! icon_lol.gif The play pen was my friend!!! Loved it. But my kids are too big for it now. My youngest is two but she is very tall for her age and weighs too much for it. Yes it was a said day here when I had to take it down icon_cry.gif Just kidding (kinda). Well, I'm off for now to go make some of those memories icon_wink.gif You all have a great day!!


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elin Posted 23 Apr 2005 , 4:05pm
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My boys are 9 and 11 years now, so they are at a good age for me. And with a great dh whom is letting me do this it will all go around well.
My boys spend a lot of time outside playing, and I have good time to fix things when they are at school. And they come and go to school themselfs.
But the time will sometimes get me on, and I will work untill 1 and 2 at night.
But it is ok, becaurse that is the best time for me to work, when I am all alone and house is sleeping.
In the start I allways set the time wrong and got short of time. Now I have learned.
And thanks for that. It stresses me down to know I have anough time.

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veejaytx Posted 23 Apr 2005 , 4:23pm
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Elin, your avatar is really nice, she is a beautiful little fairy! Janice

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sweeterbug1977 Posted 23 Apr 2005 , 8:17pm
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I definitely did not get offended by the playpen question. I have a playpen that I use for my 8 month old, but my two year old is already over three feet tall and weighs almost 40 pounds, so he is way too big for it. I love the playpen though. I can put my baby in it in whatever room I am in and not have to worry about hooking up a baby monitor...or is the monitor working..all those typical questions us mommies ask ourselves when we have babies.

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crylynn Posted 23 Apr 2005 , 8:52pm
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O.K. I don't feel weird anymore for staying up until one or two in the morning finishing some cakes. icon_smile.gif I am a night owl anyway, I stay up until 3am, but that is usually MY time for meditating, relaxing, etc. without my husband underfoot, so having it taken with decorating sometimes does not make me happy, but I sleep well knowing I did a good job on it. I have learned that it is all give and take, and it all equals out in the end (at least for me). I admit it is easier for me since I do not have children, but my husband acts like he is 13 sometimes, so does he count? icon_biggrin.gif

Anyway, as time passes, and you find a system that works for you, it does all get easier. Making to-do lists should be a priority, as well as making any items you can ahead of time (like batches of icing). One more thing, don't forget to cross things off your to-do list as you finish them. I have also learned that just writing things down is not enough.

Best of luck!

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Jennkrem Posted 25 Apr 2005 , 5:26pm
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Ok, I don't have little ones anymore to get under my feet, However......

I do have parrots that seem to think the mixer is some foriegn alien that was put in my kitchen just to torment them. So, whenever I am mixing ANYTHING, cookies, icing, cakes, you name it, if that mixer is on, my birds are too!! icon_cry.gif

Oh, and I do have the husband scenario that I swear is 5 and of course needs your assistance when you need to be left alone. icon_eek.gif Or wants to know whats for dinner. icon_rolleyes.gif

There is one thing you can learn very easily from hubbies.......selective hearing icon_wink.gif

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diane Posted 25 Apr 2005 , 6:14pm
post #29 of 29

i have found out the secret to keeping a tidy kitchen while you decorate!!!
clean up as you go!!! icon_confused.gificon_eek.gif that's it! i know some of you are saying to yourself, that's the secret! icon_confused.gif well i have three kids and two dogs and my kitchen was always a mess, but not no more...AND...i buy t.v dinners or something you can throw in the oven so you don't have to worry about cooking! TA-DAH!!! there you have it! icon_lol.gificon_lol.gif

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