Tuesday, May 31, 2011

A progression of art.

Weddings are always on the brain at the Bee house (I seriously just spelled "house" as "howse."  Give me a break; it is 4:30 AM).  We have decided to make weddings our "business," so we are in a constant state of research and preparation in order to make weddings more remarkable.  Photos taken should evoke a gush of warmth and tender memory.  Photos taken should make a girl feel something like this:

Although recently I have received inquires about wedding cakes, I have quite a bit more experience in the hair/makeup department.  This area of my industry is despised by most, but the entry is a beacon of light and relief when I see formal hair or makeup on my book.

Saturday I had a trial run with a bride whose wedding I am particularly looking forward to.  This sweet girl has two sisters and a mother whose hair I also do, and their family couldn't be more precious to me.  The girls are like Disney princesses- with long, lustrous locks flowing down the middle of their backs- but smarter, less apt to showing their mid-drifts, and not likely to talk to vermin.  They are polite, well-spoken, determined, kind, and geez- downright intimidating at times!  The woman responsible for this trio is no different- but add consistent joy and encouragement (always, always a smile).  Rarely do a group of such women fall into your chair, and I am grateful for them.

I thought originally that the whole gang was going to come Saturday, and that is why I brought my trusty camera man along.  Although I am sure the bride is not used to having the constant strobe of flashbulbs in her eyes, she (of course) performed beautifully.  What is notable (and typical) is the consistent hilarity of my face in this progression of photos.  I can pose and model all I want, but stick a teasing comb and a few bobby pins in my hands, and I become a goof.


Is there anything more beautiful than a table full of MAC??

 OK.  Perhaps the shiniest most gorgeous natural hair ever?

"Yes, sir.  I cannot abide the awesomeness of your tattoos."

Thinking, hard. 

"Man, this is looking good.  She is going to love this!"

The part when she gently tells me she doesn't love this.

Yanking bobby pins out, putting them back in (HAVE to appreciate honesty:)

There will be a second pin, and a bit more over to the side.  And less fuzzy.  No spray used in this "do."

Love this one.  What a strong and yet lovely woman.
I could have put hot pokers to her eyes and she wouldn't have flinched. 
Makeup artists: ever want to look at someone and say, "Uh- mascara and blush ought to do it?"  Her skin was nearly flawless.

Despite the silliness of my face in this picture, I love it.  
I got into doing hair as I looked up at 25 and thought, "I am not a 'famous' singer.  Ouch."  I went to get my hair done by my regular stylist after having one of the worst days of my life, and she suggested cosmetology school.  In the past I had dabbled in nearly every art-form, and I had always been interested in hair; but I never thought I would ever need to get a "real job."  I took her advice, and 6 years later I really don't have a single regret.  Although most of us have it, hair isn't something that everyone can do, and I appreciate the special skill.  I do get frustrated with the "salon world" as I don't care for the way the industry is headed (more on that later), but moments like the one above- the look in the bride's eyes- make all the difference to me.  I am probably saying something unintelligent, but her eyes speak trust, girlish-anticipation, and a general "Rachel, you're alright."

And I like that.

And I like my job.

And I like you.

Rachel Bee

Monday, May 30, 2011

The treasure inside...

I was afraid to even pull up my blog today, as yet another full-week hiatus cannot be good for my following or readers in general.  Last week was a blur- not really busy with anything- but somehow completely packed all at the same time.  I bake all throughout the week, but sometimes my husband's (aka photographer's) schedule falls in a way that makes photographing beautiful food nearly impossible.  I thought about writing another photo-less diatribe on my life, but I was not in the mood for thinking last week, or causing anyone else to do the same.  AND-

If you can't say anything nice... you get it.

Which doesn't always apply, I have found.  I have developed quite a taste for cyber foot-in-mouth.


A few days ago, I made a cake per a friend's request, and it looked something like this...

I say "something like" as this is not the same cake.  I made another that looked, well- something like it.

I was pretty pleased with the overall look of this cake.  I was lurking around on tastespotting.com, and I saw a similar version of this cake here.

And here.

AND here.  And, well... here, even.

In other words, as much as I would like to lay claim to such beautiful design, it is not my own.

Although it is pretty, and I plan to make many more.

As gorgeous as the cake is; as much as I love swirls of lavender-grey Swiss Meringue Buttercream- as close as Vanilla Butter Cake is to my heart and thighs- the real treasure of this cake is in the filling.

It is no secret how much I love citrus curd, but this creamy custard gets an upgrade in the form of mango puree.

If you have never made citrus curd, it is an absurdly easy task- and one that will demolish (obliterate, even) any sort of diet you might be on.

Citrus curd and blueberry pancakes: delicious.
Citrus curd and coconut cream cheese frosting: obscene.
Citrus curd and finger: you bet.
Citrus curd and palm of hand (spoon, ladle): why, of course!

You get it.

Mango Curd (only ever so slightly adapted from Smitten Kitchen)

2 very ripe large mangoes (flesh removed as best you can and pureed)
1/3 cup sugar
1/4 c lemon or lime juice (I had lemon on hand)
4 large egg yolks
pinch of salt
1/2 stick of butter

Toss the puree (I used my blender for this), sugar, lemon juice, egg yolks, and salt into a heat-proof bowl.  Stir everything together, attach a candy thermometer, and place it over a pot of simmering water.  Stirring constantly (and being certain that the bottom of the bowl doesn't make contact with the simmering water), bring the mixture to 165-170 degrees.  This will take a bit.

Add the butter, one piece at a time, and set aside to cool for 20 minutes (or so).  Place in the refrigerator overnight, or until completely cool and thick.


Note: When filling a cake with curd, pipe a dam of frosting around the edges of the cake layers before filling the center with curd.  You will have a time trying to frost the cake afterward if you skip this step!

I hope all of you have a wonderful Memorial Day, and take a moment to cry like a baby over our freedom (listen to Tom Wait's "Day After Tomorrow").  Hug a soldier, and bring him a cake filled with mango curd.

Have a great one,

Rachel Bee

Monday, May 23, 2011


Today, I am being spontaneous, which is completely unlike me.

As I look at my profile- a sum of all of my likes, interests, beliefs, and morals- I am sure that "spontaneity" should just fit in there- right in like a lint-covered, trampled-over little puzzle piece.  I currently have a lot of excuses for not being spontaneous- motherhood, wife-y-hood, home-owner-y-hood; but I say "lint-covered" and "trampled-over" as I would like to add "spontaneity" to that list of qualities I wish I own but never really have.  On the contrary, I can't say that I have a routine, as I don't have a set time when I really do anything- but I will call that a "lack of self-discipline" and not quite "spontaneity."

Wait- wait one minute.  Let's call it "spontaneity!"

Today, I will take my shower at... 6:45 AM.  Tomorrow, 8:00, and Wednesday- I won't even take one at all.  I am so spontaneous!  I am one fly-by-the-seat-of-my-pants kind of girl.  You never know what's going to happen when you are around me.  Crazy life- this- the one I lead.



But really- last night I thought while looking at a very empty day-planner for Monday, "What if I took the kid to Charleston for a day?  Wouldn't that be fun?"  I called my father (or texted him on his new Ipad- my dad is so cool) to see if he would like to go, and he is!  Charleston for a day- what a dream!  I am currently trying to get over the fact that I still am wearing my winter body, and if I just had a month to prepare- only one month- I would feel much better about going.  As I stare at my bathing suits in their dank little bottom-drawer home, I am thinking that "spontaneity" is perhaps better-suited for another day.  Am I really that vain, that I would spoil everyone else's fun only to give myself time to prepare for a bathing suit?  Or even worse, will I be that "mom" in a hat and cover-up, lounging in a chair with a Bud light?  Every time I get up, pulling the wedge from my dimply behind, tugging the cover-up over my bulging alabaster thighs- only ever to go grab something else from the cooler?  The words, "I have given up completely" scrawled on my forehead?

Neither, I am sure.  I am going regardless, as I am spontaneous- at least for today.

But not before I share these with you...

These are Cream Cheese-Filled Carrot Muffins, and they are delicious.

And they will do nothing for your bathing suit body, despite the healthful name.

You may or may not have the ingredients in your pantry to make these, but carrot muffins are sort of "dump" muffins.  Just throw a bunch of stuff together, fill it with cream cheese, and I am sure it will taste delicious.

Don't trust yourself on that?  Where is your spontaneous spirit this Monday morning?

Fine then.  A recipe.

Cream Cheese-Filled Carrot Muffins (adapted from The Delicious Life)

1.5 cups all-purpose flour
1.5 t baking soda
1 t baking powder
1/2 t kosher salt
1 t cinnamon
8 swipes of whole nutmeg on a microplane
1 cup + 2 T sugar
1/2 cup toasted and chopped nuts of choice
3 eggs, room temperature
2/3 cup vegetable oil
1.5 cups carrots shredded on a microplane (trust me)
.5 cup raisins, soaked in warm rum, I mean water
1 t vanilla extract
4 oz. softened cream cheese
1 egg yolk
.25 cup + 1 T sugar
1/2 t vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350

Whisk together all of your dry ingredients, including the nuts.
Stir together all of the wet ingredients, including the carrots and raisins, in a separate bowl.
In yet another bowl, mix together the remaining 4 ingredients (this will be your filling).

Make a well in your dry ingredients, and pour the wet ones in.  Very gently stir with a wooden spoon or spatula, as you really, really want to avoid over-mixing.  When the ingredients are incorporated, fill 12 muffin cups until 3/4 full.  Plop a teaspoon of the filling right in the center of each muffin.  Pop in the oven for about 20 minutes, and voila, absolute carrot muffin deliciousness.

Or put the cream cheese mixture in just about any muffin, as I mentioned before.  Grating carrots is a pain in the behind-

-the big, white, dimply, wedge-prone behind.

Have a great day!

Rachel Bee

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Maybe, just maybe...

I just returned from vacation, and I wish I could say I am "leaner, meaner, stronger, and ready to take on the world."  Instead it is more like, "round, tired, broke, and if I must, I must."

My mother lives just outside of Cincinatti, which I am sure is a very nice place to live.  Unfortunately, while we were there we saw nothing but rain on our windshield, and frostbite on our flip-flop-clad toes.  Among my methods of combating the frigid temperatures were 1) Eat everything in sight, and 2) Walk around with a blanket around my (swelling) waist.  The latter of the two didn't get me into as much trouble, but I wonder how a girl can gain 5 pounds in as many days.  What is it, 3500 calories to gain a pound of fat?  Times five?  Surely not.  Surely it was the sodium content of the pizza, Chinese food, and basket of onion strings.


Whatever it is or isn't, and as crappy as I feel right now, I do enjoy seeing my mother.  We have never been those girls who go into the fitting room together, and we do have our... issues, but I enjoy her company- her loudness- her acts of love toward my little family.  I like how she sounds like my grandmother more and more every time I see her, and on the way home I teased my husband by doing my best version of her voice (shockingly well).

"Patrick, do you think you got some good pictures?"
"Hmm?  Patrick?  Patrick?"

Miss her already.

While I was there, I decided to make an Oreo cake, and in true "Rachel Style," I completely ruined the first one.  I tell you, hand mixers are hard to use!  And so is counting to four, apparently, as I believe I added too much sugar the first time, leading to a spongy, gooey, sunken mess.  The second time I made it, I decided to hand-mix it, and it turned out much better.

Here it is before I put the frosting on the top.  If you check out my recipe here, you will see that I usually make an Oreo cookie crust for the bottom of this cake.  This time, I actually pulled apart the Oreos, and on top of the parchment, before I poured the batter in, I covered the bottom of the pan with cookie halves (cream-side up).  My mother's oven really caused this cake to dome, so I flipped the top cake over to get a nice, flat surface for frosting.

How cool does this look?  I would love to show you a picture of the finished product, but we ate it before we could set it up for a shoot.  We did put Oreos all around the bottom of the pan, so regarding the negative space in the cake above- I suppose there were a few cookies floating around somewhere in the cake.  Feel free to make the cake either way, but I don't need to tell you which way is easier.

As much as I love to travel, I love being home even more.  I love our old house, our puppies, my kitchen, my grocery store- all of the little things that make "home," "home."  I miss my friends, my church, my salon, and the warmth of my Southern city (both literally and figuratively).

24-hour bakeries, specialty shops, and Anthropologies have their appeal, and maybe little old Augusta will grow to accommodate more of my interests- but so much of that is selfishness.  As a girl who has lived under 23 different roofs since high school graduation, I can say with certainty that I have very, very  little desire to ever move again.  Maybe it is age, maybe it is motherhood, or perhaps a mortgage that we will never, ever get out of- but picking up and meeting a new group of people- establishing my personality and morals- or even choosing where to put my silver in a new house is increasingly less appealing to me.

Or maybe, just maybe... I like Augusta.

Missed you all.

Rachel Bee

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Jesus and the outward hoochie.

This post has been brewing since Saturday night.  We had a Mother's Day Brunch at my church on Saturday, and when the mayhem was over, I had a thought:

"What was I thinking?"

Every time I walked by a mirror, again... "WHAT was I thinking?"

When my husband saw me and said, well- thing that husbands say to... uh... encourage your self-esteem... in the way that only husbands should...

"What in the heck was I thinking?"

The following is something I really don't care to talk about, as there have been a lot of tender moments in my life regarding clothes.  When it comes to apparel, I DO NOT like to admit fault.  I love to pull out scriptures like, "... man looks on the outward appearance, God looks at the heart" (1 Sam 16:7); or "... God does not judge on external appearance... " (Galatians 2:6).  I use these as most of my criticism has come from inside the church and home.

Now, before anyone gets her knickers in a twist- let me say that I do not know what I would have done if I was in my parents' position.  There I was, a normal-looking child, and then one day- all of the sudden- holy cow!  I was a woman.  In fact, I was one of those unfortunate souls who was more of a woman than the next girl.  And I was only 13.  I went to school one day, wearing a white turtleneck and forest green jeans.  When I got into my carpool at the end of the day, the two kids I rode with giggled and giggled.

"You ask her!"

"No, you ask her!"

"Ask me what?" I inquired.

"Rachel, do you stuff?"

"Stuff what?" I replied.  The following was a 5-minute, absolutely horrifying conversation about how my recently-increased bust-size was on everyone's lips that school day.  As soon as I got home, I raced up the stairs, only to discover that they were right: I had (oh, I'll just say it!) boobs.

I hate that word.  It is a vile word.  In my opinion, "boobs" is an onomatopoeia.  That word thunders when I hear it, just like my own set thundered when I walked, (oh God) ran, tried to button a shirt up over them, etc.  Every time I heard that word as a young girl, I heard a "DUHN DUHN DUHN" attached to the "s," like it was a movie super-villain, here to spoil all my fun.  My poor parents, in an effort to perhaps wrap their minds around my recent development, had the most difficult time trying to wrap a shirt around them.  Everything began as a large or extra-large on my small frame.  When only a few months earlier, my body was never a topic of conversation, now, my 13 year-old brain considered it to be the only conversation.

Concerning the church, it was during the time when people still wore their "Sunday best," which involved a lot of dress-finding.  Thank goodness for the baby doll dresses of the early '90's, but my figure was not an uncommon discussion amongst the leadership of the church, either.  At one point, I even got an, "It's not the length of the dress, or the tightness.  It is the fabric we don't like."

Needless to say that I was very bitter toward my chest.  I hated it.  I hated the attention it brought from just about everyone.  It was never positive, in my young opinion.

As time went on, I discovered what clothing flattered my body, and I somewhat accepted my chest as a viable part of it.  I protected it from looks and wagging tongues.  "I was made like this," or "I can't help the way I was made," were common responses to questions regarding my dress.  I had a "get over it" mentality toward people and leadership, and became almost defiant regarding it.  In Bible college, this mentality worsened when in class one day, the boys were separated from the girls, and we were told to "be nice to the men," and dress "appropriately;" as men are "turned on" through their eyes.

"What?  Be kind to them by dressing appropriately?  Why can't they learn to control themselves?  Why must the compliance always be on MY side?"

Nearly 5 years later, I walked into the doors of a recommended plastic surgeon.  In my appointment, I lifted up my shirt, and he poked and prodded my chest.  "Oh, yes.  They are...  hmm... oh, and you are very asymmetrical.  Yes."  Then he took a picture, before which he said, "Make sure you hunch your shoulders over.  You want them to look as long and ugly as possible."

Oh.  Dear.  If I wasn't insecure before.  As we finished our appointment, he recommended that I try to lose 20 pounds before I considered the surgery.  So I did.  And then I lost 20 more.

Lo and behold... they were all but gone.  At this point, I was completely out of relationship with God.  I wore whatever I wanted- and looked "cute" in just about everything.  There was no church, no parents, no covering- only a credit card and my own conscience.  And my conscience was calloused and seared.

Lets fast-forward 5 years.  I am married, 31, mother of a toddler, and completely in fellowship with God.  After my child, my chest sort of- well, some of it returned, although the scale reads the same.  My friend and we'll say "higher-up" in my church is in my chair, and I say, " Just to let you know, I am showing some cleavage during the mothers and others brunch."  I really didn't think anything of it- I have a cute dress, I want to wear it, and there won't be any boys around anywhere. Yes, it shows an exorbitant amount of bust-age, but we are all girls.  It's OK, right?

I assembled 140 cupcakes the morning of the brunch, and had all of (literally) 3 minutes to get ready.  I tossed on my dress and shoes, and ran out of the door.  The first time I walked by a mirror at the brunch, I was horrified.

Boobies everywhere.  Jiggling for Jesus.  Completely inappropriate.

What if there is a girl who (God help her) sees me as a role model.  "Miss Rachel wears stuff like this, Mom!"  I can hear it now.  She might not be mature enough to realize that there were no boys at the event.  I am... embarrassed.

20 years after the development of my first bit of breast tissue, do I finally get it?  Is my mother folding her arms in delight, a billboard of "I was right" flashing from her forehead (the disdain of every teenage girl)?  I don't know, and really- I don't care.  All I do know is that I felt something different than I have ever felt.  I felt my desire for cuteness nullify my desire for holiness- and I didn't like it.

So, what does a Christian woman look like?  I suppose there is a line for every girl- even for the "free" ones, like me.  I am free from the opinions of others.  I am free because I know Whose opinion matters.  He knows my heart.  But He also knows my heart is for people, and encouraging others in their path toward holiness.  He knows that my heart is for early-developing girls who are struggling with new body parts.  We all want to be cute, but there is a balance- as much as I have hated to admit it.

So, have a wonderful Thursday.  Sorry for the very long picture-less post.  Love, and thanks to you who have looked at my blog now, over 8,000 times.

This morning's breakfast is tomorrow's post!  Yum!

Rachel Bee

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Like 1992 wafting from my oven

Oops.  "Sorry," I guess.

My apologies to my butt; to my skinny jeans- which must remain in the closet at least one day longer.

I really only meant to grab an almond from the top.  Really, I did.  It's just- it's just that... I couldn't help myself.

I thought Langston might want a bite, but he didn't.  What was I supposed to do?  Scrape the bite back into the container?  Was I?

Look, I am well aware of what eating processed (and seriously, nothing but processed) sugar does to a girl when eaten after 10:00 PM.  White flour, processed sugar, high fructose corn syrup... both hydrogenated fat and butter- oh my goodness.  I couldn't have picked a worse bedtime snack.

But it is my favorite, and it is in the house- where it hasn't EVER been before.  It will (probably) never be here again.  I mustn't feel too bad.  Really.

Before I go into what I am so terribly regretting at the moment, let us talk about my childhood.

I know what you're thinking.  I'll be nice.

My mother's cooking- I imagine my mom is like any mom.  She had a few beautiful knock-your-socks-off meals, and the rest were... like manna to the Israelites (I am sure my husband feels the same way every time he hears the lid pop on a jar of Prego).  Most of the time she got it right, sometimes not so much- but in general, I like my mother's cooking.  I would even say she is a good cook.  During pot-luck dinners, we always passed over the Jello molds and casseroles to find whatever my mother cooked for the event.  To me, other people's food just smelled funny.  Other people put Spam and beans where they weren't supposed to be.  Other people ate squash, spinach, and mushrooms.  Other food didn't come from our oven, which bothered me.

My mother chose very simple ingredients to complete her meals, and even her desserts.  She was a 5-ingredient kind of girl, and and this recipe (in all of its deliciousness) is no exception.  I am sure my mother would rather cook something more impressive for Christmas these days, now that she doesn't have the responsibilities attached to 3 children (and us attached to her legs).  But when I think of my mother, and pleasure coming from her kitchen, this dish undoubtedly comes to mind.

This is called "Cherry Crisp," and it is my favorite.  Now, don't be deceived- the ramekins and toasted almonds are my attempt at getting Cinderella dressed for the ball.  Cherry Crisp is sloppy soul food.  You should make it in a casserole dish and eat it straight out with a spoon.  You should wake up extra early the morning after it's made, and steal all the rest of the crunchy and yet gooey topping before your little brothers do.

You don't even put ice cream on top.

Mom, why didn't we ever put ice cream on top?  Because I did this time, and it was delicious.  We need to talk about this.

When I opened the door to the oven yesterday, the aromas of 1992 wafted into my kitchen.

And a tear or two came to my eyes.  And my stomach began to growl.

This week, make this, or make that thing that your mama made.  Share it with a friend, or eat it all yourself.

Cherry Crisp

1 stick butter, melted
1 box white cake mix
1 cup chopped pecans, or anything else you have on hand
2 cans cherry pie filling

Preheat your oven to 350.

Butter a 9x13 pan.

Pour in the two cans of cherry pie filling.  Sprinkle about 2/3 of the cake mix on top.  Sprinkle on the pecans.  Drizzle the butter on top, all over the concoction.  Bake for 45 min. to an hour.


Honestly, I had no idea it took that long to bake.  I would have called my mother, but I don't think my mother is the up-at-5:30 type.  I really thought I had messed something up, until right at the 40-minute mark, I finally saw some browning.

Enjoy your mama.  I get to see mine this weekend, and even do her hair for a wedding she is in.  Yeah!

Rachel Bee

Thursday, May 5, 2011


I have friends.  Real ones.

Three, at the very least.

The kind who love me at my core.

As a young girl, I almost happily retired to my room.  I filled my days with art and music, Jesus and Barbies- but friends?  Well, sort of.  I had church friends- ones who would come home with me between Sunday services.  Some of them were great people, but others- well, not that they were complete crap- but perhaps hadn't reached maturity enough for proper relationship development.

We were selfish.  Notice I put a "we" in there.

I had some school friends, who were friends Monday-Friday, 8:15-3:30.  We never called each other or did anything, really.  Most of them didn't understand my home life- or maybe I was embarrassed as my high school life didn't exactly line up with my home life.

Throughout the years, genuine friendships have mostly eluded me.  When I would get my grasp on one, I would hold it so tightly that jealousy and co-dependence usually choked it out.  I felt very alone, very weird and unworthy- if someone showed any interest in me, I became fearful that I would scare her away.  This usually meant a metamorphosis of sorts on my part- until we broke up, and I left myself with an identity crisis.

*Note, if you are someone who considers yourself a childhood friend of mine- there were a few, and you know who you are.  I am not intending to discount our relationships*

Yesterday I spent most of my day with people I really love.  People whom I might even call "friends."  Some of them are co-workers, some of them church people- my husband- but all of them people who are on my team.

I have determined that much has changed since my childhood.  Here, with 31 years under my belt- a husband, child, and a few triumphs and tragedies later- I am secure enough to nurture a few relationships.  Selfishness and jealousy are never far off, but I am better.  In our age, I think we all are better.

So, now I lift my morning coffee cup in a toast: "Here's to hours of mindful and mindless chatter; here's to laughing at the silliest of things; here's to thoughtful cards and gifts- to butter, sugar and flour- to encouragement and praise, admonishment and correction.  Here's to "two" being better than "one."  My friends- to many, many more years- I say, Cheers!"

May beauty and life envelop your day!

Rachel Bee

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Hair Mishaps...

Today I am spending in the salon, where my passion still remains.

I know that my food posts greatly exceed my hair posts, but that is simply because I have a camera in my kitchen.

Or perhaps I don't care to give away too many trade secrets, as we stylists (well, some of us) have paid a lot in time, money, and energy to achieve our status in the industry.  I can share simple styling techniques, and all the makeup you care to learn- but color, cutting- sorry, my friends, it's mine.

OR perhaps I am much more critical when it comes to hair photos.  I analyze every flyaway, every visable bobby pin- it is not going up unless I really, REALLY like it.  Sorry, and in the following examples- I am not critiquing these beautiful girls' faces, my hub's photography- simply my own, very irritating mishaps.

This girl was gorgeous and super sweet.  Could I take a moment and smooth out her curls?

Oh dear.  I was experimenting. Poor "S."  Poor, poor "S."
Stunning picture, right?  It was so misty that day- no chance for natural wave to stay hidden.  Useful photo, just not for displaying a haircut.

Stunning hair, great perspective... way too many conspicuous bobby pins.

Yes, I think the black pins look great there.  Don't you?  Ughh...

Exceptional, massive amounts of gorgeous hair.  Rogue curls- I cannot abide.
"Oh no!  That frosting is crooked!  What are we gonna do?"  It's frosting, we eat it.  Hair- I can spend an hour on an updo, but if I have manipulated the curls too much and the whole thing goes frizzy, what can you do?  "Uh, I am not liking this right now.  You do have all day, don't you?"

It can be very frustrating.  However, the reality is that most days are not like the above.  Most people love what I do, and they keep coming back, checks in hand, for me to do it again.  We talk and talk, sometimes about silliness, but mostly about things that are not so silly.  I work with my hands, taking what once was dull and lifeless, and give it new brightness and movement.  It enhances feelings of self-worth and dignity, and I think it is an alright way to make a living.

Extra alright.  Better go take a few moments for my own hair before the day begins...

Rachel Bee

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Sorry I am not sorry...

I am kind of over the whole moustache thing.


No really, I am.  I am over seeing moustaches in wedding pictures, I am over them on men's faces- I am over it.  What started as a cute notion has sparked a full-on trend, and one that people are going (I believe) to regret in their wedding pictures.  It is all regrettable silliness.

"Geez, Rachel- you are such a buzz-kill.  I love moustaches."

Well, when you throw your Stache Bash, I will not participate.  Or perhaps, in true hipster stride, I will bring an entirely different prop, and crash your party with my coolness.

Which will start a trend.

Which I will blog about in 6 months.

"I am kind of over the whole _____ thing."

I can't tell you what my ground-breaking trend will be, for obvious reasons.


Soooooo, a friend of mine had a baby shower, and the sweet lady throwing the shower asked me to make the cupcakes.  The theme was shabby chic, which is easy for a girl who is a little pink-obsessed.

Here is what I came up with...

I would have taken the time to pull one out and set up a fancy photo shoot with it, but I finished these at 2:00 AM, and they were out the door at 7:45.  As I yanked my unwilling toddler out the door, I asked my hubs to open the box and take a quick shot.  Jeepers, they are cute!

Hmm, babies.  I would usually say that I want another, but after the week we have had, I am not sure we need anymore.  All of this baking keeps my attention away from my attention-craving child, and he has been acting out.

Yikes.  Selah.

I hope everyone has a great Tuesday, and sorry if you had moustaches at your wedding.  Sorry if you are currently sporting one.  Actually, I am not sorry.  Sorry for not being sorry.

They are ridiculous.

Rachel Bee

Monday, May 2, 2011

My weekend was...

Exhausting.  I am exhausted.

I baked 170 cupcakes over the weekend, for three separate events.  That's a lot of baking for a girl, and only 30 of those went into the garbage!  I think that's a pretty good track record.

Did I re-bake the 30 that went in the trash?  I am considering it.

If you check out the previous post, you will see my first 48.  They were a "big hit," and I am so relieved.

Saturday night, I made 30 pale pink cakes, topped with pretty pink and lilac sparkly fondant flowers.  I will share them tomorrow.

Saturday morning, I made these:

A co-worker of mine threw a joint bridal shower for friends, soon to be called the "Pippens."  It was a golf-theme shower, and she asked for cupcakes to match.

Yes, those flags are made out of fondant.  Those teeny "P's" are made out of fondant.  The golf balls are made (you guessed it) out of fondant.  God help anyone who was around me Saturday morning, but those dimples in the golf balls- I made them with a (sanitized) bobby pin.

Yes, they look great- and I know that everyone enjoyed them- but stripped down, they are no more than vanilla cupcakes with (not a lot of) Swiss Meringue Buttercream.  Did they taste good?  I am sure they were fine, but wouldn't they be better stuffed with strawberries, cream cheese and graham cracker crumbs?  I think so.  Once I finished these, I wished I had piped on a swirl of buttercream, flattened it out, and then piped the grass on top.  It would have been much more spectacular.

This was my first time using a grass tip, and I thought it was going to be much more difficult than it was. The entirely frustrating part of this endeavor (to my surprise) was the "P's."  If I could personify the "P's," I would punch him in the throat.

What?  I would.  I don't care.  I hate them.  Mark my words: I will never make another "P" freehand with fondant ever again.

Never.  30 "P's," 1.5 hours.  That is just ridiculous.  Look at them, sitting there- mocking me.

Rage burns within me when I think of making 30 fondant noodles, and then in the hunched-over position, I tried to make a loop with them (as they were drying out). Transporting them onto the flag, as they lose their shape- working with two toothpicks to squeeze them together- ooh, the thought makes my blood boil.  And as I worked on them, of course I tried to convince myself that their name didn't start with a "P" at all.  I pictured getting there, and my sweet co-worker with her confused face would say, "Rachel, their last name is Bigboppalooba.  Why did you make them "P's"?  I saw myself throwing the cupcakes on the floor, and stomping on their shattered remains like a toddler.

Boy, that would feel so good.

Eventually, I did finish them.  Their last name turned out to be "Pippen," and all was well- all but the death and destruction in my kitchen, which my hubs cleaned the following morning.


I have an insanely busy week.  Lots and lots of hair, and another 125 cupcakes to make for a very special event.  Bless my family.  Bless my heart.

Oh, and while we're at it, bless your hearts.

Really, have a wonderful week.

Rachel Bee