Wednesday, December 21, 2011


Saturday night, Dec. 17th.
Prince concert.
2 1/2 hours solid stellar funk awesomeness.
Nuff said!

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Cake Pops!

The kids and I had a great fun baking party last night together.  Both of them had Classroom Christmas parties today and needed to take something in to share.  Zachary decided he wanted to make a chocolate cake - completely from scratch he made the cake, made the icing and decorated the whole thing.  Then Brooklyn and I were wanting for a while to try some Cake Pops from the Bakerella Cake Pops book.  They were Santa hats and although not as smooth and perfect as the originals, we thought they turned out pretty good!

Monday, November 28, 2011

Hospitals - Done!

I am done with hospitals.  For the year.  Seriously.

In fact, I don't think I have ever before been so looking forward to a New Year's Eve, simply because it will signal the start of a new year in which I hope to never see the inside of a hospital.  In May I was back and forth to the hospital in Saanichton to visit my sick Grandad who passed away that month.  At the beginning of the Fall I was in and out visiting my Grandma with her broken hip.  We have now charted 4 ER visits with Zachary still without complete diagnosis.  They think arthritis but we're praying against that.  And then at 1:15pm this morning the ambulance arrived to take my husband to the hospital for back pain so intense he could not get up off of the floor.

So, I think I've filled my quota.  Really.  And if anyone argues with me about this I think I will refer you to the ER admission clerk or the lady at Tim Horton's who just yell out "Hi Rachel!" now when I walk through the front door.

Still, there is always a positive side to my life and in mine it's the fact that the Christmas season is here!  For all who know me they know that I l-o-o-o-o-v-e Christmas!  All of our decorations are up minus the tree because we always get a real one.  I've got a cookie exchange next Monday and the school Christmas concert later that week.  AND for the first time in ages I am well on my way through the Christmas shopping!  9 presents done as well as some stocking stuffers.  aaaaghhhhh..... big sigh of relief........

AND TO BOOT - I got the best smoking deal of the Black Friday weekend; a Cake Cricut machine on sale from $450 for FIFTY BUCKS !!!!!!!  That's right you heard me ..... $50 !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Prepare for some sweet cake experimentation to come........

Monday, November 21, 2011

Life thus far.......

So it seems that blog posts have been few and far between lately.  That's for a couple of reasons really.  Time has not been my friend the last few months..... My Grandma broke her left hip and as I'm the only family member on the island there have been lots of days spent in the hospital or driving Grandma from here to there, talking with her nurses etc.  Coupled with this, Zachary has had a few stints in the ER with weird inflammation. The bottom line right now is we have an appointment with the Rheumatoid Specialist to see if he has arthritis.  Hard to believe about a 12 year old, but we'll see how it goes.  Prayers are valued and not refused!

Other than that I've spent a bit of time ramping up the cake business.  I decided it was time to invest a bit more time into it; not the kind of time that involves opening a bakery but definitely being more proactive with advertising, marketing etc.  I've done a couple of trade shows and bridal fairs and the feedback has been great!  (Click "Like" on the Rachel~Cakes facebook page and be entered to win a dozen cupcakes!)

And as for Christmas prep, the decorations are already a-plenty.  I've been decorating a bit here and there for the last week and a half, and it should all be wrapped up by next week.  Doing it all at once is just too exhausting!

Saturday, October 22, 2011

My 4 Year Old Nephew has rhythm!

Check out my nephew Jack!

This guy has serious rhythm !!!

Monday, October 03, 2011

Gene Simmons - a lesson in history

I never would have thought that an episode of Gene Simmons - Family Jewels would have brought me to tears.  But I have to say, if you have never seen the episode where he and Shannon Tweed visit Amsterdam, I would highly recommend that you watch it.

In it you learn that Gene was born in Israel, to Jewish parents.  I don't want to spoil it if you get the chance to see this episode, but I WILL tell you that his visit to the Anne Frank house was so emotional that it made me cry.

It's true.  Some of our parents and grandparents represent history that should not be forgotten.  Watch it if you can.

Saturday, October 01, 2011


I am finally getting around to watching Julie and Julia (Meryl Streep as Julia Childs - amazing!), and all I can say is, I'm suddenly hungry and I MISS French cooking.  And I don't mean French Fries, or the odd French item you may have had in a restaurant.  I mean the down-to-earth, eating at a French person's kitchen French cooking.  I miss the meals that took 3 hours to eat, with their courses separated by fresh sorbets and complimented by fine wines.  And as I can't afford to fly back there anytime soon, perhaps I'll just have to settle for cooking up a Beef Bourginoine and cracking open a nice Merlot..........

Monday, September 26, 2011

Rachel is back on Facebook! well.... kinda.....

I should say, Rachel~Cakes is on facebook!  I am still not planning on re-entering the world of 'friends' and 'messages' BUT my business is !  So feel free to 'like' my page!  You know.... if you actually like my page .... It seems I had to create a profile (which I was trying to avoid) in order to create a page.  But I plan to really only work off of the page and keep it strictly business.

In other news - Brooklyn tried a chocolate brownie recipe we have never tried before and I'm not lying when I say this.  BEST BROWNIE TO COME OUT OF MY KITCHEN.  EVERRRRR  !!!  It densified (is that a word?) once it cooled and was like a bite of fudge-ie heaven.  Delish.

Other than that the only news here is the horribly windy, rainy day we see before us here in Victoria.  Summer was definitely not long enough.  Oh well.  Alive, happy and healthy so really have nothing to complain about.  Happy Fall Y'all :)

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Full Circle

In addition to marking the last day of this year's Nanoose Bay Teen Camp, Saturday July 23rd marked an even more momentous day here in Victoria. It was the day my flower girl, Rebecca Woods, got married! And I had the privilege of making her wedding cake (see cakes blog to the right...)

What a full-circle moment this was. Very beautiful the wedding was held at Hatley Castle and the reception at the Naval Base Wardroom. Delicious food, beautiful surroundings and beautiful bride. Congratulations Rebecca & John!!!

September 18th, 1993 and July 23rd, 2011

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

New Music!

Adele's Album - 21

I can't get enough of this album. No SERIOUSLY can't get enough. It's on my computer at work, in my car, on my stereo at home, on our Mac at home, and now on my daughter's ITouch. I'm surprised that in the short month I've had it that I haven't killed the original CD. If someone ever told me I could sing that well I would consider my life completed.

check it out if you haven't already

Tuesday, May 03, 2011

Their Royal Highnesses!

Yes - I do love the Royal Family.
No - not everyone from England agrees with me.
Yes - I do realize that their meaning in modern-day culture has greatly dwindled.
But No - I don't think that means we should get rid of them.!
Here is the thing - whether you are a monarchist or not, if you are English the Royal Family has been part of your life and lives of your ancestors for as long as you have been alive. This means that they have been mentioned in media, sited at the Village Green and discussed at the Local Pub since you were born and long before.
So for me, if there is a Royal Wedding to watch, I shall be watching.
Which brings me to the most FABULOUS breakfast I attended this past Friday morning with my sweet friend Jill. She could be considered more of a Royalist than myself as she has actually met Prince Charles and Camilla in person. And in fact it was she that told me of this glorious event which we decided we just must attend.

The Empress Hotel was hosting a Rise 'n Shine British Breakfast Buffet with the Royals and we were not going to be left out on the streets hungry! This is why we joined 400 other crazy people to be at the Empress Hotel in the tearoom and enjoy a buffet breakfast while watching the wedding unfold on various big screen TV's.

The breakfast included every british fave menu item - baked beans, mushrooms, eggs made to order, bangers and bacon and .... a fave of mine.... kippers! It was amazing and of course the teapot just kept-a-flowing. Add to that the excitement of being interviewed by Global TV and you have a morning to remember. We ate from 2:30am until 5:30am (as one does....) and I even made it home in time to take the kids to school. It was a sweet wedding, watched with a sweet friend, and a delicious breakfast.
So I say raise your glass to the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, Prince William and Princess Catherine. In this day and age when gloomy news abounds, it is nice to have something positive to look upon. Even if it is across the ocean. Long Live the Queen !!
Recognize anyone in the video below?

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

The REAL reason the Canucks had to beat the Blackhawks!

Back when it was a no-brainer that the Canucks would make it through the first round (!!!) Zachary had a birthday. April 14th. And because it was a WHEN kind of question, and not an IF question, his birthday card contained this special 'ticket':
Well, after they lost 3 straight games to Chicago, Zachary's face fell and he suddenly looked at me in a panic as he said "What were you going to give me if they DON'T make it through?" HAHA!
Poor guy - we had NO BACKUP PLAN! Because we didn't think we'd need it.... fortunately thanks to Mr. Burrows I believe we are back on track.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Happy Birthday Son !

Today is my baby boy's 12th Birthday ! Happy Birthday Zachary !

Twelve years has flown by in the space of a nano-second. I know that every parent says that and I know that it drives every non-parent crazy. But it seriously is the truth. They grow up and you just can't believe where the time has gone (like the fact that as I'm writing this particular paragraph it is now 4 days AFTER his birthday a
nd I still haven't finished this post!)
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So I wanted to just have a little display of pictures dedicated to the boy with the sweetest disposition I know. Yes he can play cops and robbers with the best of them, but on a day-to-day basis I am simply left marveling at his precious little personality. How his dimple can make me smile and wish he was a baby all over again so I could hold him so close that he could never let go. How he makes everyone in our family laugh their heads off at his funny anecdotes quick wit. And how whenever he sees the frustration on my face as a result of something he has done, he instantly hangs his head and says "I'm sorry Mummy" in a way that just melts my heart.

I love you little man.
Happy Birthday!

Friday, April 01, 2011

Spring Break...... neglectful parenting ?

So our kids always get 2 weeks Spring Break and frankly, it's a bit of a nuisance. While other parents (from what they've told us) have taken their kids to Hawaii, Mexico and down-south, we took our kids to Thrifty's for groceries, and the bank to withdraw their allowance. And that was AFTER we were done working. So yes, there were a couple of days they were left to their own devices to keep themselves busy for the day.

Both Darrell & I had to work the entire first week and a half as it is the busiest season in both jobs in March so holiday was out. But after the guilt had set in as we let other families take our kids to the movies, swimming and over for playdates, we did manage to take 2 days off this week and get them to Vancouver for a night. We stayed at the River Rock Casino and Resort which is a beautiful hotel with a great swimming pool and waterslide. I hit up Forever 21 yesterday with Brooklyn then we all hit up IKEA for a quick 45 minute visit. Thank you oh Sweden for free kids meals during Spring Break week !!

Some may say 24 hours is not enough to treat your kids to a getaway but as we laughed while watching Zachary canonball into the pool, and Brooklyn wondering what BEST SALAD tasted like at the Dinner Buffet (it was BEET!) I would beg to differ.

Family Moments. Sometimes they are long, sometimes they are short. But they're always worth catching whenever possible.

Tuesday, March 01, 2011


Ever noticed how sometimes you have the best hair days 2 days before you're scheduled to get a haircut ??? huh.....

Monday, February 28, 2011

Great Deal!

You want to know what really makes me smile?

Seeing boots in the Boxing week for $60 and thinking that was too much.
Finding out this week they were on sale for $50.
Then going to the store and seeing a pricetag of $45.
THEN seeing the big yellow sticker saying final 50% of lowest price.

Yes. Easily pleased.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Valentine's Weekend and someone's birthday.....

I'm combining a few things together in one post because I don't want to assume for even a moment that you hang on everything we do over here in Richmond-land. So this will save the pain and condense it for you ;)

First of all - last weekend - LOTS OF FREE FUN! And I mean free. Darrell's work had a conference he had to attend for one of his suppliers. It was a big all-expense paid for shindig so I decided to tag along and benefit from a free hotel in Vancouver. The kids went to the in-laws and we hit the ferry. Ferry and breakfast - paid for by the company. Upon arrival Darrell went straight to the convention at the River Rock Casino Resort (beautiful room; a suite) and I met up with a friend and caught the Skytrain to downtown. Rewind to last year's Olympics; us being skytrain rookies bought our first ever tickets from the guy on the ferry for BC transit for a day. We did not realize, however, that you have to validate your tickets and instead rode the skytrain all day long for free. Upon realizing we were illegal riders, I decided to keep those tickets for a rainy day so last week had a free skytrain ticket!

Fastforward to the Pacific Centre - somehow in 3 hours I saw nothing I wanted to buy so instead decided to treat my friend to Starbucks and call it day. This was paid for by a gift card leftover from Christmas. When I got back to the hotel the cocktail hour started, followed by a gourmet 3 course gala dinner. By the time we went to bed that night we had spent a whole day in Vancouver with shopping and beautiful food and not spent a penny! (We did, however, make up for it at the Vancouver boat show and IKEA the following day....)

Then Monday night - ELTON JOHN! Darrell and I had dinner with our friend Jeni at a Japanese restaurant before meeting Jeni's husband Aaron at the concert. AWESOME! He played for 3 hours solid, never left the stage and sung and played wicked piano for the entire time. Incredible. If you ever get a chance to see him I would highly recommend it.

Lastly, Zachary's teacher had a birthday the previous Friday so he volunteered me to make the birthday cake (surprise....). ALL he could tell me about his teacher was that he was in charge of tech at the school, he once played basketball and he owned a dog. Ok. It's not much to go on and I don't have much time to bang this out but here ya go Zachary.....

Sunday, February 06, 2011

A Cake for Every Occasion

Most of my cake updates are blogged on my Cake website, but this one deserved some special attention so I'm also writing about it here. Not special because the cake was of Duff or Buddy-calibre particularly, but because of the history behind the person the cake was for.

This client ordered a wedding cake from me a couple of years ago for a wedding at the Fireside Grill. The bride on that day, due to the busyness that is common at a wedding, didn't actually get a taste of her own wedding cake.
As a result her husband gave the most romantic gesture when a year later he commissioned me to recreate the top layer of his wife's wedding cake to present her as a surprise on their first wedding anniversary weekend away.

Well this week the bride's Mum ordered a baby shower cake as the happy couple are expecting a little bundle in the very near future. The inspiration for the cake was a Sims-like owl, and the browns, greens and blues you see on the owl are a reflection of the baby's nursery colours and the quilt the Mum made for her grandchild.

The owl itself was made out of chocolate.
Congrats you guys on the nearly-here new arrival. It's been a privilege to have been a part of so many milestone moments in your lives together.