I made this Mexican Freak Cake in honor of CraftyChica.com’s 16th birthday! It was May 2001 here in my Phoenix home that I officially launched my site and started sharing crafty ideas. I always had the mindset “I love doing this so much, I’ll keep going until people make me stop!” And here it is 16 years later. Wow – who would have thought it would not only still be going strong, but thriving! I used to work on it late at night after my family went to sleep. Now it’s my full-time gig!
I hadn’t planned to do anything for the date, tradition dictates that we stick with intervals of five. I missed my Crafty Chica quince party, so I assumed I’d wait for the big 2-0. But through a series of emotional events (if you follow my Instagram Stories, you’ll know what I’m talking about!), I hired my first ever virtual assistant – Tennille Martinez, a wonderful woman I met years back at the Chica Lit conference. This is our first week working together and I told her about the anniversary and the possibility of a press release – and she responded with the idea of a Sweet 16 theme!
That’s all I needed to get going! Thank you, Tennille!
While she worked on the press release, I did what I do best – I got crafty! My original idea for this post was to share “16 Things I Learned in 16 Years.” I looked through my online photo service for a stock photo of a birthday cake and then realized I needed to get my butt off the chair and go buy a special cake.
A Mexican birthday cake for my Sweet 16! I went to Ranch Market and after much nail-biting decision making, I selected this Chocolate Tres Leches beauty.
I didn’t stop there. As usual, my mind went into overdrive.
Have you heard of Freak Shakes and Freak Cakes? It’s a trend that started in London, Australia, and then New York City, a local ice cream shop made these crazy over-the-top epic shakes. Then, of course, it spilled over in DIY land. Here is a recent Freak Shake my friend, Jennifer made!
BOOM! Idea! Why not make a Mexican version of a Freak Cake? As far I can see, it hasn’t been done.
You can search online for “freak cake” to see all kinds of crazy ideas. The idea is to take a basic cake and load it up with goodies. Like this Fried Chicken and Waffles Freak Cake. Check out this round up of awesome Freak Cakes!
I can’t think of the last time I got so excited! I bought a variety of Mexican pan dulce and even some Mexican candy.
I also asked the baker for some roses. If your local baker doesn’t have them, you can try a cake decorating store. You can’t have a Mexican Freak Cake without red roses, right?
I started by inserting the bigger pieces into the back of the cake. You can’t place them too close to the edge or it will break the cake. It helped that the cake was very tall and very dense.
I used frosting in the tube – not from a can – as the glue to hold the pieces on the sides.
After all your big pieces are set in place, then fill in with smaller pieces, like the candy, roses and sprinkles.
If I had to do this again, I would FIRST center the letter candles. You can see they are pretty off balance.
Here are my Sweet 16 Tips I learned in 16 Years from working on Crafty Chica:
- If it is truly a passion project, you’ll find the time. Late at night, an hour early each morning, on your lunch breaks at work…AND actions speak louder than words. GET BUSY!
- Input all experiences as a lesson learned. Always process the takeaway of every situation to help you grow and prosper. Expect lots of trial and error. Things won’t always go your way, break it down and find out why. Learn so you can get it right next time.
- Envision the result you want. Try to do this for every situation – traveling, business meetings, even looking for the perfect outfit at the store. In my case, it was at the craft convention when I wanted to have a national product line! Or seeing my novel on the “New in Fiction” section at the bookstore. I never gave up until my vision came true!
- Read/listen good books to help you see the long view. For those days when you feel crusty and unmotivated, listen to these celebrated businesspeople read their books. My three faves are The Success Principles by Jack Canfield; Self Made by Nely Galan; You Are a Bad Ass by Jen Sincero.
- Cry or be mad, then move on after 15-30 minutes. For reals. Cussing and sobbing won’t really help fix the situation, so put on your big girl chonies and move forward. I love that phrase “If this won’t matter in five years, I won’t spend five minutes worrying about it.”
- Know that the more successful you become the more people will pick you apart. Also – most people don’t care. It’s human nature. Pay no mind. See if there is a kernel of truth to learn from, if not, keep doing you, boo boo. Stay focused. Show gratitude to those who have always been there for you!
- Surround yourself with good people who have healthy attitudes. Work together to naturally lift each other up. No strings attached. It doesn’t mean you have to have the same viewpoints, but that you are respectful and willing to listen and see new perspectives. And not just complimenting, but truth talks as needed!
- DIY it until you can afford to hire help. Don’t wait “until this happens” or “as soon as I” or “all I need is…” I’ve found that if I make the effort to learn it myself, the help will come.
- MONETIZE without shame or guilt. It is possible to follow your dreams and prosper with abundance. It does not mean you are greedy. It means you want to have your finances in order to free up the energy to motivate/help others do the same.
- Respect and take care of your money. Get all up in that ish. Create a budget, track every dollar, spend wisely, invest in yourself and your business! It doesn’t mean to skimp on everything and have a cheap mindset. The opposite! It means to know that you have the brains to bring in the income you need for the lifestyle you want. You just have to make a plan and work at it! Stop whining about not having money. Take action on how you can work smarter not harder. And yes, like our nanas told us – keep those bills face up, all in the same direction.
- Strive to develop good habits: Keep your space clean and tidy, eat clean, share positivity, take time for self-care, exercise, travel! Sometimes this can be a daily struggle, but every day is a new chance!
- Prepare for big opportunities. Never think of yourself or your business a “just a little something I do.” OWN IT. EXPECT BIG THINGS. MAKE ROOM IN YOUR PLANNER.
- Embrace your local community. Get involved, form collectives (mine is The Phoenix Fridas) or join them, help grow your neighborhood and other local entrepreneurs!
- Look like the money you want to charge. Invest time into making you and your business look legit!
- The best fix for a crappy day is to do something nice for someone else. It will fix your mood instantly!
- Stop saying “I know” or “I can’t.” Open your mind to take on new skills, meet new people, give yourself a chance to do great things!
After having the Mexican Freak Cake in the fridge all day, we finally cut into it. Granted, this is a slice for two people to share, but wow – so grandiose!
As for Crafty Chica, here is my very first You Tube video, 10 years ago! NOTE: I got the idea for Crafty Chica in 2000 and set up a wonky site, but I officially launched it in May 2001!
Thank you so much for reading through this crazy post, here’s to another 16 years! I hope you have a great day!
GIVEAWAY: Leave a comment below sharing your favorite Crafty Chica project/book, etc and I’ll choose six people next week to receive a free gift that I’ll mail to you!