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Healthy Eater’s Perspective

Healthy Eater's perspective: ThanksgivingFor many years I have attempted to stop eating foods that contain health risks, such as any processed and canned foods. It’s so hard to know where all your food comes from without doing research. This definitely includes fast food, so now I just avoid and try my very best to stay clear from places who buy cheap food and poorly sourced products.

image-from-rawpixel-id-435669-jpegNow I know that not all people feel the same way I do. For example; my mother in law buys canned food and uses it for dishes served during family functions and in everyday meals. To be polite, I don’t say anything but I also don’t eat those types of foods, so I try my best to make my plate look full without touching the processed food. Last Thanksgiving I made a green bean casserole (I absolutely love GBC!) and I made it from scratch with fresh organic ingredients. My mother in law rudely told me it wouldn’t taste the same. Boy was she wrong! It was a huge hit! Everyone loved it and kept asking who made it.

So, my point is, if you eat healthy don’t sacrifice your beliefs or your dignity… instead, just make it yourself or offer to be the one who does the grocery shopping.

 

Step-by-step cake topper: Stranger Things

Custom cake toppers are one of the most ordered items from Hustle Darling, and are so much fun to do. My most recent client requested a birthday topper for a Stranger Things party. Her only request was that the topper include the birthday girl’s name and new age ( Avery/ 13) My boyfriend and I immediately re-watched season one and started season two for inspiration. This show is awesome! No wonder Avery wanted it as her birthday theme.  After some marathon watching I came up with the design below.

Stranger Things topper

In order to turn this computer version into reality you will need the following:

SUPPLY LIST:

Feel free to use similar items, supplies do not need to be exact.

First thing I like to do before cutting anything out is to double check my Design Space image and make sure it is welded. This welds all the pieces of our topper into one large image and will ensure that it is cut out in one piece, instead of several little ones that will need to be glue together later.

Second step: Duplicate the image four times. The first three duplicates will become the center of your topper. You may want to add or remove a layer or two depending on the desired thickness. I like three layers because it ensures the topper will stand firm without being too heavy. The last duplicate will need to be flipped (this is a design space feature) horizontally so it is a mirror of the main image. This mirrored cut will be the back of our topper.  I like to keep the center cuts a different color than the front and back, so there is no confusion when assembling. Once duplicates are created, flipped, and color coded you may begin cutting with your machine.  You can see my results in the in the photos below.

Final step: Assemble your topper! I have two beautiful babies at home who love to get into stuff so anything having to do with spray adhesive (or paint, epoxy, ect…) gets done outside. Even if you don’t have babies or pets in the house you should probably do this outside because FUMES and spray adhesive could get all over your space and that could get real gross real quick. Grab a glove, the center cut outs (the white ones shown above) an empty diaper box, and head outside. My favorite spray adhesive is Easy-Tack, IMG_0238I prefer it to regular glue purely out of convenience. I do not want to brush on glue and wait for it to dry in between each layer. That’s just a personal preference, at times I’m inpatient. The glove goes on my left hand, this way I can sit the cut outs on the glove and spray with my right hand. If you are left handed I recommend wearing the glove on your right hand. Doing this inside the empty box helps keep spray adhesive off of my patio rug and plants. Once all of the core pieces have been attached to each other remove the glove and use both hands to ensure the pieces line up correctly. The Easy-Tack takes a few seconds to sit before it becomes too sticky to move, so if you’re quick you can slide the pieces a bit until everything is lined up accurately at the edges.

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I like to wait about 10 min before attaching the front and back pieces. This ten minuets should give you enough time to grab the remaining cut outs and let the center section dry enough to support the front and back pieces. When adding the last two sections back piece should go on first, the mirrored/ flipped image. I choose to do the back side first because the glove is usually sticky from previous spraying and if we start with the front there is a risk of getting sticky-ish smears, when holding it against the glove to add the back. No one wants glue on their topper near the food, so be delicate with the last two pieces.  Hold the center section in the gloved hand, spray the back side with adhesive, and add the flipped cut out. Then slide it to line up the edges, letters, and images. Let it sit for a min or two before doing the same to the front side. When finished, I like to sit the topper under a heavy object like a thick book for an hour or two so that it dries flat. The pressure from the weight of your object will help smooth out any awkward sections of the topper. Be sure the edges of your topper are free of glue or it could get stuck to your object. My results are below.

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I made sure a little of the center section showed through on this one to cause a shadow. Stranger Things is a little spooky, so I thought this would be a cool touch.

What you maybe asking yourself is where is the stick? I recently switched from wooden skewer sticks to clear card forks. This choice came after a client mentioned preferring a clear option for ascetic reasons, and another said the skewer wasn’t long enough for her cake. Which led me to the card forks, they allow the cake topper to slide into the fork and be removed easily.  Prior to switching I was hot gluing the skewer stick to the middle of the center cut outs then  assembling the rest as described above. The new clear forks offer my clients the option of cutting it to fit their cake size. They also create an option to easily reuse the topper in the future.

Cake toppers are a Hustle Darling favorite. Really fun to make, and even more fun to customize for our clients. Have a party coming up? Feel free to reach out to us for custom cake toppers and party decor.

…It’s a Boy

It's a boyWhen I found out I was going to be blessed with a little boy, I was ecstatic! As a little girl, I always imagined how I wanted to have a boy first and then a girl. You know, so the older brother could look out for the little sister- movie stuff. I also had two sisters with no brothers growing up, and I always had wished I did have an older brother. Not younger- I loved being the youngest! Well, when I found out about my second pregnancy, I just knew I would be blessed with a sweet daughter- The daughter that would look like me, take to cheerleading, ballet, be my best friend! On gender reveal night, all those hopes and dreams were shattered. The balloons were blue. I tried to hold back tears as the thoughts of no prom dress shopping, no wedding dress shopping, no daughter that would have my curly hair, and be my best friend were confirmed. I would never have what my mother and I have.  My husband and I had already agreed that two was the limit. What a heartbreaking feeling. I had just found out that I was being blessed with another son, but that reality was so hard to fathom. 

Being a boy mom, a true boy mom, has been one of the most rewarding journeys, but when reality sets in with those lingering memories of the life I had planned out since I was a girl come back- or I see mothers with their daughters- it’s a feeling of explainable wonder accompanied by those one or two tears. I often think I have the curse of the what if’s. What if I had just one more? What if it was a girl? What if it was another boy? What if people always ask me ‘Are you going to try for a girl?’ Am I always going to have the gut wrenching feeling knowing the answer is no, but wondering what if? It truly is a struggle that only boy moms can relate too. And like- don’t do that. Don’t ask a boy mom if she is going to try for a girl. It’s a dick move that will bring up explainable emotions and reignite a fire that they have worked hard to put out. I’m not sure if my dad experienced the same emotional rollercoaster when I came out another girl, but I can only imagine the emotions of a man not having his son would be a similar experience. 

My life is wonderful- I am blessed beyond measure but that reality was like the betrayal of the universe. Little did I understand just how strong a mother and son bond is, and how beautiful a brother bond, and father son bond is. God absolutely knew what he was doing in my life, and knew exactly what I needed, not wanted. 

 

Being Brave

So this is my first post ever! Just to be upfront, I have no idea what I am doing.

I am currently a stay-at-home Mom, to a two year old daughter and nine month old son. I have the pleasure of also watching my one year old niece most weekdays. In my down time I  recently started a craft business and am taking accounting classes. So why not throw in a Blog?!

All aspects of my life right now require me to be brave! Although each of those things do not seem frightening on their own (well maybe three littles is scary) when all the aspects of  life team up on me or are all written down on my to-do list, I feel afraid. Afraid that I can’t, that there isn’t enough time, something will suffer, people won’t get it or even care. But then I remember I’m a Boss! I can,  I will make the time, these things are important to me and my future! The universe has drawn me to this exact moment in time to start my business, Hustle Darling, add on the book club and collaborative Blog, face three tiny bosses each day, and get my accounting Degree. I figured today was a good enough day to take a step toward my goal. This page isn’t perfect, but it is up and marked off my list. I have created a fun safe place to share with the world, not just for myself but also for the other bloggers in my tribe.

I did a brave thing today and will do a new brave thing tomorrow.

Be brave too!