Posted in Chef Lane

Icing on the Cake


You all know that I adore Julie Anne Rhodes, and give her a lot of the credit for my new kitchen confidence.  You might not know that I write for her blog now and then.

This week, I wrote about the work that went into creating Thor’s 7th birthday cake.  All the practice cakes, the fondant messes, and the little lessons I learned in my quest for something that looked better than the cake I made for his 1st birthday.

The cake Julie Anne made for her daughter’s 4th birthday.

I also made a couple of silly videos to show how to roll fondant icing (because it took me a LOT of trial and error), and cover a cake with fondant icing (see previous parenthetical.)  Those are found here:

and here:

If I can do this, YOU can do this. 

Meanwhile, check out Julie Anne’s website, and seriously consider membership.  I have gotten a lot of miles out of my mine!

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Posted in Uncategorized

Help Fight Hunger + Win Great Prizes = Yeah!!!


The Outside Lane has partnered up with JulieAnneRhodes.com to bring you the Grocery Rescue Recipe Challenge.

Check out Jewels’ latest blog entry to find out how to help fight hunger, and win some great prizes!  Together, we can keep people from going to bed hungry.  Because I firmly believe that the only time a belly should growl is when we’ve put it on a diet.

Posted in Advice, boot camp best, Health, Inside Lane, Philosophy, relationships, Uncategorized

What is Sexy: Part Five and Final


In just a couple of days, on May 22, you’ll see The Outside Lane featured on theNickelodeon Parents Connect Sexy Mama Boot Camp.  Leading up to that, I’d like to introduce you (and any new readers) to some things I think are sexy.

1.  Taking care of yourself is sexy.

The older I get, the more truth I find in the addage, “If mama ain’t happy, ain’t nobody happy.”  And, mama can’t be happy if she is sick, tired, or sad.  I find in my own family that my attitude affects everyone.  Last year, around this time, I felt like I was mired in a mess of myself and tired of making excuses for putting off taking care of Lane.

  • I had not taken time to exercise because I already had working-mother-guilt about leaving Thor in daycare, and I couldn’t stand the thought of him being in someone else’s care for even five minutes more than was absolutely necessary.  This was an excellent excuse to avoid the gym!
  • I had neglected my eating habits because I didn’t have time to shop, prepare, or cook decently.  This was an excellent reason to order pizza!
  • I had completely ignored my emotional self because I was trying to be a soldier.  This was an excellent reason to…uh…blog?

A friend’s divorce (that mirrored my parents’)  pushed me over the edge.  I was reliving the same hurt I had experienced with my parents’ nasty split, and old splinters from that broken heart were working their way into the present.  It jolted me and forced me to really take stock of what I had, and what I needed to have in order to get me through the next fifty years of my life.

Breaking points don’t have to be bad.  You remember Glow Sticks?  The only way to get anything good out of them is to break the capsule inside, release the chemical compound that catalyzes illumination, then shake like crazy.  The potential to glow is in the stick the whole time, but until you crack the hard shell surrounding the hydrogen peroxide and let it out into the phenyl oxalate ester and fluorescent dye (thanks, Bill Nye, Science Guy!), activating the potential, you’ve just got a whole lot of nothing at all.

I think a lot about glow sticks when I’m having a rough patch.  How will I shake up what’s been broken, so that instead of being bitter, I can be brighter?  Sounds corny, doesn’t it?  Rave on!

Last year, I quit making excuses for not taking care of myself. 

I got into therapy, joined Weight Watchers, started working the menus I had through my membership to JulieAnneRhodes.com, and I hit the gym.  I worked on healing my heart, my health, and the circumference of my hips.  I swam laps.  I did yoga.  I substituted apples for Doritos.  I went for long walks with my family.  I changed jobs.  I made changes in relationships.  I learned to say no to other people, and yes to myself without guilt.  And I like to think I am brighter for it.  I know I’m happier.  I know I’m healthier.

Following is a list I can highly recommend for sexy, sexy self-improvement.  Some of it is local to me (in Dallas/Fort Worth), but it’s a starting place of what to look for if you’re outside the area.  Take care of you, Boo.  No one else is going to do it for you, but everyone around you will benefit when you get started.

Posted in boot camp best

What’s Sexy: Part Two


In just a couple of days, on May 22, you’ll see The Outside Lane featured on theNickelodeon Parents Connect Sexy Mama Boot Camp.  Leading up to that, I’d like to introduce you (and any new readers) to some things I think are sexy.

1.  My cousin, LynDee Walker, the award-winning journalist is sexy

LynDee Walker

LynDee is a fantastic writer, who is currently contributing articles on parenting to The Examiner.  You should read her work because she is smart, she is sincere, she is loving, and she is a lovely, lovely human being.  LynDee asked, specifically, that I link to her column about Mike and Laura Canahuati, and their baby Avery, who suffered from Spinal Muscular Atrophy.  Check it out, but grab a tissue first.

2.  Turning your hobby into a booming business is sexy

If you were a baby, you would want to wear fashions from Too Too Fabulous.

My friend, Cameron Stutzman, turned her crafty hobby into the too, too fabulous TOO TOO FABULOUS.  Shop her store for adorable baby and toddler clothes, mega hairbows, and exactly the kinds of shoes you’ll need to train up your favorite little future-shoe-diva.  Custom items at great prices.  You’ll love it!

3.  Sharing your knowledge is sexy

Julie Anne Rhodes is sexy.

I can’t say enough about Julie Anne Rhodes.  She is one of my feminine role models.  She is as comfortable in Versace as she is in her chef’s apron, and as willing to share tips about both.  Julie Anne’s Personal Chef Approach to cooking has made my kitchen life a cinch, and made me feel like a success at the same time.  You will definitely want to check out her site, and definitely want to join as a premium member.

Posted in holiday guest blog

Days of Christmas: Holiday Have to Give–Feed the World with Jewels’ Jewels (and other things)


There's a world outside your window, y'all, and you can help feed it by purchasing one of these pretties.

I am copying and pasting directly from Julie Anne Rhodes’ website here:

ALL PROCEEDS [from the sales of the pendant featured above] BENEFIT SAVE THE CHILDREN’S HUNGER CRISIS FUND Spread the true spirit of the holidays this season by giving in two very meaningful ways with a limited-edition pendant designed by jeweler Jodi Zuletta.

Crafted from hammered Argentinian silver, the pendant features a glittering drop with iridescent crystal and tiny freshwater pearl accents. The fund provides relief to children facing starvation in the drought-ravaged countries of Ethiopia, Kenya, and Somalia.

More than 29,000 children under the age of six have already perished with another quarter million more expected before the drought ends. One-hundred percent of the monies from every sale will be donated directly to the Children’s Hunger Crisis Fund to provide children in need with food, water, and medicine.

Complete your holiday shopping and save children at the same time – one gift will put a smile on two faces!

(click here to purchase)

Julie Anne is a tireless crusader against hunger, and this is one of her ways of giving her audience an opportunity to share what they have with others.

For solutions closer to home, Feeding America is accepting donations to help put food on the tables of hungry Americans.  At their website, you can find and donate to a group in your geographic location.

In Texas, I choose to donate to the North Texas Food Bank, a charity we have supported for six years.

Wherever you are, and whatever you are able to do, I urge you to donate.  If you can spare a single dollar as donation to charity, especially this time of year, please do.  Drop a handful of dimes in the Salvation Army bucket.  Give online to the charity of your choice.  Give directly to people you know who are in need.  Every penny helps.

There are literally thousands of ways to help people, whether you are the 1%, the 53%, or the 99% remember that we are all the 100% and if nothing else, this season has come to mean celebrating the story of a truly wonderful gift.  I’m sure there are babies out there today who could use a little modern myrrh, if you get my meaning.

P.S., I dare you not to sing along!

I also dare you not to look at all that 80s hair without laughing. That Boy George…that man’s voice is amazing.  I’m going to go dig out my Culture Club albums now.