Tuesday, March 5, 2019

Tanks(?!), Crafts, Cake, & Epcot

It's been a busy week here at the Yates house, mostly in good ways.

I discovered I want to melt crayons on ALL THE THINGS, so we invited our friends Dennis & Bonnie over to make some crafty messes.

 Just playing around; we're still experimenting! That's Dennis' badger silhouette on the right.

I've mentioned this before, but Craft Nights with friends are pretty much the best things ever. I've spent my whole life being jealous of folks with lots of local friends who have regular craft or game nights, somehow never realizing I could just ask my friends to come over to craft or play games. Whaaaaat. MADNESS!

So yeah, I'm working on breaking out of the "dinner date" bubble, and open to group craft suggestions if you have any.

Stay tuned, because I have a super pretty crayon craft coming up - and unlike the heart necklaces, this one's easy and a guaranteed success. If you haven't already, subscribe to our Youtube channel to see it as soon as it's live!

When John first set up all the lights and film rig for the video I was in the worst mood, but somehow as soon as he hit Record I felt better. Talking to you guys always cheers me up.


Brace yourself, because I found the most perfect Before and After picture in my iPhoto this week:

::melts:: Howwww was Suki ever that small?!

I think the "After" was taken a few months ago, so Suki's even BIGGER now. She's mostly stopped trying to fit under the monitor and just lays where my keyboard goes, kicking it out of the way. (Grr.)


If you read Cake Wrecks last Monday then you got a hilarious update on my insomnia troubles. I don't want to spoil it for you; just go read that first part, which will explain this:

I wish blogger made it easier to include videos; I posted some great ones on IG of the barrage of machine gun and tank fire. Ahhh, Saturdays in Florida.

And thank you for all the insomnia suggestions! I'm still working through the list, there were so many. I've started using an app one of you suggested, which I think is helping me get to sleep... but then I keep waking up every few hours with bad nightmares, so now I'm wondering if the app is secretly brain-washing me into becoming a mafia hitman... WHO NEVER SLEEPS.

I'll, uh, keep you updated. Or you'll read about it in the news?


A friend gave us some Disney day passes because she's AWESOME (love you, Christie!), so John and I were able to visit Epcot's Art Festival on its very last day. That meant, OH YES:


This is the stuff I raved about in my Goodbye Illuminations post: dense almond frangipane cake with raspberry filling and ganache icing. Nomz.

After I ate that piece, we went back at the end of the night and wrapped up two more slices to bring home. That's right, John sandwiched them between two paper plates, a cast member helped him tape them up, and we hand-carried two slices of cake about 2 miles back to the car.

 Life is all about getting your priorities straight, you know?

Here's my favorite sidewalk art of the Festival:


Oh, and we ran into Serena of LivingByDisney!

Serena runs my favorite Disney account; she's one of us and super approachable, so be sure to say hi if you ever get the chance. (She practically lives at the parks, so odds are you'll spot her, ha.)

Speaking of Epcot, look at these vintage gems that came in the Epbot PO Box this week:

That Figment cup is from 1982, and I think the striped one is from the same time. Lynn? YOU ROCK.

Also in the box, Eva and Suki's very first fan letter:

I don't want to say it went to their heads, Andrea, but both girls immediately knocked all the mail off the table and yelled for more food. You've created two monsters.


In less-fun-busy news, John's been handling some big behind-the-scenes maintenance for the blogs:

They did try again later, and as of today I *think* all of Cake Wrecks is SSL certified and secure. WOOT! That means you'll stop getting those scary pop-ups warning that our site is trying to eat your brains and steal your wallet. We're law-abiding members of internet society again! Tell your friends! 

 (No, really, please tell your friends. This security thing chased away half our readership! Ack!)


My most popular post on IG this week:

 The consensus is NO, because you can still see a little crust. Ha!

 I didn't dress up at all this week, but at least I rep'd my favorite colors:

I promise I'm not rubbing it in, Northerners; I'd gladly trade my shorts for warm layers again! It's too dang hot down here!


And finally, an extra treat for you Eva & Suki fans out there. Turn on the sound, and enjoy:

Not sure what I'd do without my miracle star Evangeline - even when she IS chewing on Kermit.


I know I say this a lot, but listen, in this world of algorithms and click bait and shouting-just-to-be-heard, it's pretty incredible that we have this little bubble of community here. Heck, it's amazing a blog is still going in 2019! So thanks for being here, for being your fabulous geeky selves, for being my tribe.

Love you guys.



  1. OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG! Have you seen the Kickstarter for Critical Role?! Get on it Critters!


    This is what happens when you unite the collective geekdoms/nerddoms/D&Dfandoms!

    1. I saw it late last night, then I woke up today thinking I'd dreamed it, lol. SO COOL, and I am SO PROUD of those awesome nerds. Critical Role animated series, here weeee cooooome!!

  2. Moooooom, she's touching me! She'stouchingmeshe'stouchingneshe'stouchingme!
    And lemme just tell you that I wear shorts year-round! It's rare that I wear pants, even on the "coldest" days. If anything, it will be capris!
    If we lived closer, we could totally get together and make cards! I also do a lot of altered art. It's how I (mostly) keep my sanity!

  3. Sweetie, you're still here and so are we because you write good things! You write positivity, you write support and you write love.

    Also, you're a Jen, which I have to love.


  4. I've never commented before but I'm a longtime reader and I appreciate you and adore your blogs, and I feel morally obligated to tell you that that cake seems like a riff on Italian rainbow cookies. They are a triple-layer dense almond cake (typically green, yellow, and pink) with raspberry (or apricot) jam in between and chocolate on the outside. If you have an Italian bakery near you (or even a Whole Foods) check 'em out, because I think they may satisfy your craving for this cake.

    1. Whaaaaaat that sounds heavenly. I'll be on the look out, thank you for de-lurking to tell me! :D

    2. Yup, there's a recipe for an identical-sounding cake in smitten kitchen every day (the newer smitten kitchen cookbook). I thought it was pretty easy, but I bake a lot so I might not be a good judge for all skill sets. If you do want to make it Target sometimes has the almond paste for cheaper than the grocery store ($8!).

      And even if it looks terrible it tastes amazing.

  5. The crayon badger outline!!! OMG! I want one!!

  6. I don’t know what I would do without your blog. It makes me feel so much less alone. And I feel like we’re friends because of how open you are with us. Thank you for starting this blog all those years ago!

  7. I'm (usually) so much happier and less stressed after reading this blog. Just big warm love hug right to my brain. Thanks for being awesome & sharing your adventures with us. <3

  8. Came to go through to Amazon, got roped in to reading your post!

  9. Mmm...cake...

    Ugh, that whole SSL thing was a pain in the you know what for me, too. Our site at work also uses Squarespace 5 and I basically was unable to log in for a few days until it got fixed.

    1. Yeah, so many smaller sites still haven't updated - like bakeries I credit for Sweets - and it pains me to see all the scary pop-ups ruining their business. The only danger is if you're inputting credit cards or personal info - something you'd never do on a personal blog anyway - but Google treats it like the site is full of viruses, and tells any potential visitors their whole computer is at risk!

      Anyway, it's a shame, and just another nail in the coffin for blogs and small business pages. I don't think we'll ever recover all the readers we lost on CW - and that was all out of our hands, since our host had to secure the site, not us. :/

  10. Did you try a weighted blanket? For me (and a not insignificant percentage of the population) there is a direct correlation between the weight of the blanket and the depth of the sleep. If I sleep with a regular blanket I wake up at least every two hours, but with my weighted blanket (6kg) I get a full night of uninterrupted sleep.

  11. I second the weighted blanket! I have a problem nowadays where I wake up after only a few hours and can't go back to sleep. When that happens, I pull out "the big guns" (my weighted blanket, 19lbs) and 95% of the time that does the trick and I can fall back asleep. It wasn't cheap, but I'm glad I bought it!

  12. Evangaline would go for the firelies! (She's looking for her Ray!)

  13. Love it all! I'm headed to Orlando in 10 days! I will be on the look out for anyone I know while at the parks! (Especially you & John if you are out & about)...

  14. Omg those chirps! That is the sweetest, most adorable thing I've watched in a long time. My one ragdoll/maine coon cross likes to do that sometimes when she sits and watches birds.

    I also don't know what I'd do without your blog. In an odd way it feels like home; I've found a place where my odd self actually fits in. If you guys ever come to Canada I'll have to invite you to our crafting/cosplay days. A bunch of us get together and just sew and craft and whatever (there's usually eventually cooking and board games involved too) - so much fun ^.^

  15. Eva's chirp is IDENTICAL to our Midnight's! Which makes sense, since they look exactly the same. Midnight is a Bombay, so maybe Eva is too.

  16. Nuh-uh, thanks you guys for being here, for being your fabulous geeky selves! Huzzah for tribe-iness! You guys brighten my day :)

  17. I love the idea of a group craft project for craft nights! My friends and I have monthly crafting gatherings (we call them Stitch N Bitch) but everyone brings their own craft to work on. So I might be making monster teeth for my cosplay, one friend is working on her calligraphy, another is scrapbooking, and everyone else is either knitting/crocheting/cross stitching. But it never occurred to me to make a crafting evening with a project planned for everyone. That's a great idea, I'll have to give that a shot. Thanks!

  18. Ahh, Maine Coon chirps and trills...sounds my 2 make daily. Usually at 5am before the sun is up in a vain effort to get me to feed them. Craft Night - sounds like a blast. Do it monthly but ask 1 person to teach the others a new craft skill. As for Eva's growth - Maine Coons and Norwegians can take up to THREE years to attain full height, weight and coat. Just saying...and wear the shorts since it is 7 with the wind chill in Connecticut today.

  19. So I just finished listening to a podcast last night about sleep. Interesting and informative (it's a two parter), something I really think you ought to give a listen to (it actually quieted SOME of my insomnia fears!). It's the Ologies podcast on... Somnology! XD Truly worth a listen - I promise!https://www.alieward.com/ologies/2018/10/15/somnology-sleep-with-dr-w-chris-winter

  20. Ohhh that Cake!!!
    I miss living in Down state NY specifically because you can find that (though typically in red, pink and white colors) literally anywhere, even at the food store.

  21. Hey y'all. Glad to know your blogs have survived the vortex of death. Long as you keep writing, I'm sure readers will return. The positivity and creativity y'all inspire here is its own reward. Thank you for all you do, go through, and put up with for our sakes. Cheers!

    P.S. Suggest you play with (ie tucker out) Eva before allowing her in the Kermit room...

  22. I ran into you two at Epcot on that last day of the Festival of the Arts! It was such a thrill for me and you and John could not have been kinder to this gushing fangirl! You're both completely adorable and it was a major highlight of my trip!

    As far as craft night crafts go, I've had an absolute blast lately working with polymer clay, and I think it would lend itself easily to friends sitting around a table making fun things. My friends and I had been at Disney for the races of the Princess Half Marathon weekend; I made each of them a figure of the princess they dressed as for one of the races and a poison apple pendant for my own Snow White costume.

    Sorry this comment comes so late! I had tried without success to post a comment over the past few weeks until I Googled around for a solution and realized I needed to clear my cache/cookies. I feel so technically proficient, if only for a brief, shining moment!


Please be respectful when commenting; dissenting opinions are great, but personal attacks or hateful remarks will be removed. Also, including a link? Then here's your html cheat sheet: <a href="LINK ADDRESS">YOUR TEXT</a>