I’m into cake. Like…digging into it with a fork, whenever possible. I used to be a professional cake decorator. Now I’m here to help you! I hope this blog will give all of you aspiring/expert cake decorators and business owners a renewed sense of purpose and some ideas to help you on your own cake journey. If I can help even just one person avoid the pain of the learning curve, my job here is done!
I’ve been baking ever since I can remember. There are pictures of me in the kitchen busily making sugar-filled treats around the age of 4 or 5. I remember baking most with my mom and my grandma, and they taught me right…bake from scratch and always use good ingredients.
I am completely self-taught in the art of baking. Luckily enough, I got to learn from those amazing women. I also read cookbooks, scrutinized and tweaked plenty of recipes, experimented a lot, and am just perfectionist enough to (usually) measure things correctly.
I was born and raised in Iowa, and spent most of my formative years in Ames, where Iowa State University is (go Cyclones!). I like to tell people it’s between the O and the W on the IOWA map since it’s right in the middle of the state. (Insert giggle here.) It was a great place to live full of kind people, wonderful teachers, beautiful parks, great coaches, and plenty of fun things to do.
My career has been a little wild and I wouldn’t have it any other way. While in college in Minnesota, I studied plant biology and studio art before heading down to the University of Georgia to earn my degree in Landscape Architecture.
Between studio sessions, I decided to get my head out of the books and took some Wilton cake decorating classes at the local craft store. That’s when I fell (and fell hard!) in love with cake. One day, a classmate of mine said that I should open my own business since I so clearly enjoyed it. I laughed it off. Then thought about it. And thought about it some more. Until it finally became my dream.
Before that dream became a reality though, I was in for some seriously hard work. First I was a landscape designer in Atlanta, then moved to Sydney, Australia. One day while walking around the suburb of Balmain, I saw an amazing cake shop:
Without even thinking I marched right in and asked to work there. They took one look at the little cakes from my Wilton class (probably laughed behind my back) and said I could start as an intern. I was thrilled.
Eventually I worked my way up to becoming a full-time cake artist, and cannot even begin to tell you how much I loved going to work every day! It finally felt like I was home. While there, I learned so much from some truly amazing people. Anna-Maria, Handi, Jonny, Antony, Ritzy, and Paris – how I miss you all!
After moving back to the U.S., I settled in Kansas City. Best city on the planet, in my humble opinion. Working again as a landscape designer, I started my cake business on the side before it became obvious that I needed to devote full-time hours (and then some!) to it. The business thrived and I loved baking cakes for special occasions as well as selling cake drops at exclusive retail locations.
Several years later, I am now using my degree in landscape architecture as a park project planner, designing places for families to play and for people to be active. I totally love my job!
Still though, I miss cake sometimes. That is why I’ve started Talk Sweet To Me. So I can share ideas and inspiration with you. So we can talk together about cake. So I can write without being edited (by anyone but myself). And so I have a creative outlet for all the cake-related ideas I still have bouncing around in my head…and hopefully they will help another cake decorator out there!
I am lucky to be married to my best friend, Anthony. Our wedding was in the fall of 2011 and was such a fun day! Many people ask me if I baked my own wedding cake. The answer: heck no! Do I look stupid?! (Wait, don’t answer that.) Both Anthony’s family and mine are full of wonderful bakers. His mom and aunts came to town a few days early, and my mom and sister both contributed their favorites to create a cake buffet for us. We had some amazing flavors – think Italian Cream, White Chocolate Raspberry, Mocha Fudge, Butter Rum, Coconut, Margarita, Amaretto Butter, Lemon, etc. – all set out on antique cake stands. It was one of my favorite parts of the wedding…and guests are still talking about how good the cakes were!
When I’m not at work or writing here, I am usually spending time with my husband and kids, laughing with friends, reading a good book, creating the latest project from my Pinterest boards, painting something on a canvas, running/walking/biking/hiking/yogaing, baking or cooking, sewing a quilt, dancing and singing to good music, traveling somewhere fun, watching a movie with a happily-ever-after type ending, planning our upcoming landscape overhaul, and thinking about cake, dreaming about cake, baking cake, or eating cake.
I’m so glad you’re here! Click around and be sure to say hello sometime!