Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Stuff Chicks Like: Diaper Cake

Alright, so the voting is done and I’ve completed task number one. I went shopping for the ingredients and built a diaper cake. I was also able to mix in a lot of the other suggestions. I hope you find this entertaining.

Build a Diaper Cake. Hmmm. Why a cake? Why not a diaper box or diaper meatloaf? Those would be really easy. Frankly, it doesn’t make any sense to me. I realize that it’s festive and all that, but who in the world invented the Diaper Cake? I suppose that’s irrelevant. When a girl reaches puberty do you build a tampon tower? Questions aside, I had to go and get my ingredients and get this thing done. I allotted an hour and a half for the entire process. Lesson number one: when dealing with Stuff Chicks Like, never set time limits.

In the spirit of getting into character, I decided to go to Target in search of my diapers and to Bed, Bath, & Beyond for my other ingredients. After confirming the location of the nearest Bed, Bath, & Beyond, putting on some comfortable shopping clothes (no, it wasn’t a matching velour Juicy warm up suit), and donning my favorite pair of flip flops, I jumped in the car with my list of ingredients determined to build the best damned diaper cake Austin, Texas has ever seen.

I will confess that I do, on occasion, go to Target. However, pretty much anything I need to survive can be found at a Shell station: Beer, condoms, toilet paper, wine, beef jerky, and gum. In fact, my grocery list is laminated. I arrived at Target and immediately parked in the Stork Parking space. Yes, I know that’s for pregnant women, but I’m bound to make this as authentic an experience as I can. Plus, it was a good space. I entered Target and immediately headed for the baby section, picked out my diapers, and went to find the section where they keep all of the baby gifts. I told myself that because I was there buying baby gifts the Stork Parking was justified. It’s important to maintain a clear conscience. I wandered past the food section and selected a fruity, robust, yet elegant and refreshing chardonnay. I loved the idea of sipping on a cold glass of wine while building my diaper cake. It then occurred to me that I don’t own any wine glasses. Well, if you consider a plastic take out cup from Rudy’s BBQ a wine glass then I suppose I have a set.

I found a set of 4 generic wine glasses and while perusing the aisle I noticed some adorable wine glass markers. You know, the ones that look like an earring that you put on the bottom of the stem of a wine glass during a party so you don’t lose your wine glass? So cute yet so practical. I had to have them. Since I’m from Texas I bought the one with the cowboy hat, horseshoe, spur, cow, boot, and longhorn. It’s too bad they don’t make them for beer bottles. I would have bought some of those too. After wandering around for a bit, I found the baby section. Frankly, I was unimpressed. Their whatnots were just notwhat I needed. Rattles, sippy cups, and teething rings seemed so generic. My diaper cake needed some whimsy, damnit. I decided to see what they had at Bed, Bath, and Beyond. When I checked out, “Sharonda” looked at me as if I was either gay or in really big trouble with a significant other. “You see, I’m writing this blog about. . .” . Oh, nevermind. I let Sharonda judge me.

Here’s where it gets weird…

After my relatively innocuous visit to Target, I entered the world of Bed, Bath, & Beyond. The extent of my prior experience with this store consists walking in and buying towels off the clearance rack about 2 years ago when I moved into a new place. I received that giant 30% off coupon that they harangue me with via the United States Postal Service once a week and figured I’d give it a try. This visit was nothing like that. At this point, I was getting concerned because I needed blog material. I needed to take the blog to a higher plateau. I decided to engage one of the employees and see if she could help me. Incidentally, having the salesperson assist me is a common occurrence in various men’s and outdoors stores that I frequent. They realize that men don’t like to meander around the store like urine in an alley way. We want in and we want out. Little did I know that the purpose of female store employees is quite the opposite. They are apparently commissioned on how much time they can make a person spend in their “area.”

I arrived at BB&B and made my way to the baby section. I was greeted by “Helen,” who happened to be restocking or inventorying or whatever she does. “Hi, Helen,” I said with a smile on my face. “Let me be honest. I’ve never shopped before and I need some help with baby gifts. I’m building a diaper cake for a baby shower and I need all the help I can get.” Then, I held my breath. I had visions of Helen pushing the secret panic button in her mom jeans right before I was hit by a tranquilizer dart and light quickly fades to black. I’d wake up in the secret female lair beneath BB&B strapped to a gurney like Hannibal Lector where I’d be questioned by aggressive, mysterious women in black pant suits and sunglasses demanding to know who I work for and why I was sent there. Luckily, Helen smiled and said she’d be happy to assist. In your fat face, Sharonda.

Instead of the diaper cake, Helen suggested a pre-made baby basket. I’m certain all of you know what this is, but it was news to me. Maybe I should have just stuck with that f*cking rattle.

BEHOLD! The Moses Basket. The Moses basket? Huh? I half expected Yul Brenner to jump out after a gong went off in the background. The Moses Basket. Hmm. Look, I know Helen was trying to be helpful but I’m not counting the imaginary beneficiary of my diaper cake being abandoned by his mother in the Nile. I don’t believe the Pharoh cares anymore. I’m pretty sure the actual Moses’ basket was neither pink terry waffle nor sweet safari, although I’m sure his mother went with the a cable knit over the eyelet style to ensure that baby Moses would stay dry. I politely renewed my commitment to the diaper cake and Helen patiently moved past the baskets and on to diaper bags.

I thought the diaper bag could be a good idea considering the fact that the diaper cake would be dismantled and mom would need something to carry all of the diapers. I have to admit, the Dwell Studio Hudson Diaper Tote looked lovely but on the other hand, the Bugaboo Red White Leather Diaper Bag looked stylish and practical. Then there was the Groovy Diaper Bag by Scooch. It was so darn whimsical I seriously considered buying it for myself—you know, for the office. In the end, I settled for a few crib toys and a book about petting things. I began to wish they sold whiskey at BB&B.

Now that I had what I needed for baby, Helen suggested that I include something for mom. After all, she’s got to endure a healthy 20-30 pound weight gain, odd cravings, cankles, and the agony of childbirth. The least I could do was include something for her. Helen suggested an aromatherapy candle. “Fine. Whatever,” I thought.

Here’s what I learned about candles:

Candles are available in various colors, shapes, sizes, and scents to transform any room. First, I needed to decide if I was going to display them singly or in groupings—Helen said that was important. Was I looking to add a soft, warm, romantic ambiance, create a magnificent scent experience, or simply discover aromatherapy? “What happened to lighting up a dark place?” I pondered. I’m certain Paul Revere wasn’t asked any of these questions when he purchased his lanterns. There was even a candle you just put into a metal champagne glass and stick on the counter. I found that odd. BB&B, I was assured, had a candle to suit my needs. I had to choose from popular highly fragranced jar candles, pillars, votives, tea lights, or floating candles. The Meltables line of creatively scented candles was supposed to “infuse my atmosphere with fragrance.” In other words, it stinks. Meltables? Don’t all candles melt?

For some reason, we lost sight of mom and began to concentrate on MY candle needs. I played along. Helen actually had the nerve to ask me how I planned to “display my candles.” What? At this point, I seriously think Helen was just f*cking with me. Wall sconces, plain and decorative glass votive holders, and tiered candle holders were all fantastic options. Glass jars and bowls are perfect for creating a floating candle display. Floating candles? I settled for a polished metal thing that the candle would sit on in order to avoid getting wax on my table.

I jokingly let Helen know that if I purchased all of these candles I was likely to burn down everything I owned. Not surprisingly, Helen had an answer for that too. Apparently, for areas where a flame isn’t permitted (yes, she used the word “permitted”), LED votives look like real candles without the fire. Thank God. Also, reed diffusers and potpourri are wonderful alternative ways to introduce scent without flames. Candle Warmers are an electric alternative to lighting my jar candles, as well. “How in the hell does that work?” I asked. The warmer gently warms jar candles, releasing their aroma. Ohhhhh, I see. Of course. And I’d be remiss if I forgot the other candle necessities such as snuffers, candle rings, insta-match lights, and wax lifter. Frankly, everything in that last sentence sounded like something I would get at one of those XXX novelty stores on the side of the freeway. I won’t even go into the visions of Helen that ran through my mind while she was explaining them.

Wait a second, wasn’t I here for a diaper cake?

Sensing I was candled out, Helen walked me over to the ribbon section in order to pick out the accent ribbons for the now infamous diaper cake.

I honestly (and naively) expected to pick up a spool of colored ribbon and be on my way. I could not have imagined what was lurking around the corner.

“Ribbons” one of the displays told me. “We wear them in our hair and tie them on presents, but update an entire room with them? Oh, yes! Ribbons aren’t just for making bows. Those slender strips of fabric have a world of decorative uses and can transform a room from so-so to sensational. Ribbon can add vibrant touches of color, pattern and texture to household furnishings at minimal cost.” Holy cow.

At this point, Helen dropped the ruse of asking me questions. She could clearly tell I knew nothing about what she was about to tell me. I must have looked like Forrest Gump in a math test or Paris Hilton in church. Clearly, I was lost. I’d gone from sensational to so-so.

Apparently, ribbon comes in a broad variety of styles, as well as widths and patterns, to suit individual needs. There’s grosgrain, jacquard, satin, and velvet. “What’s the difference?” you ask.

Well, allow me to explain. You see, the fluidity of satin ribbon makes it particularly wonderful for trimming fabric items, such as bed linens and curtains. Helen pointed out that sturdy grosgrain works well on things that are handled often “Like my junk?” I thought. Velvet adds a luxurious texture for those who enjoy rich tactile sensations “Like my junk?” I thought. Rickrack and Swiss dot evoke old-fashioned charm while the intricate designs of jacquard ribbon are perfect for adding an imperial accent. “To my junk?” I thought.

At this point, I decided I’d had enough. After assuring Helen that I wouldn’t “be afraid to experiment” with my ribbons, I picked out the first two spools she showed me and headed for the mercy of the check out line. This stuff was expensive. I wish I’d kept that billboard of a coupon they sent me last week.

Armed with my chardonnay, candles, wine glasses, and wine glass markers, I trudged home with my diaper cake ingredients hopeful and ready to begin. I needed a nap.

Just as I pulled into my driveway, I realized that I forgot the rubber bands. I quickly ran inside to put my chardonnay in the fridge and my candles on the counter. I didn’t want to take a chance of my bamboo rain scented aromatherapy candle melting in my car. Sure, the woody teak aroma was enchanting, but the mess would be awful. I eventually made it to Walgreens (finally, a store I know), got some rubber bands, and actually picked up a half dozen roses for myself. We all know that the only thing better than roses on your piano is tulips on your organ. Alright, that’s a little blue-even for me-but I love that joke. Between the roses and the bamboo rain, I was certain the ambiance would be perfect for building a diaper cake.

I kicked off my shoes, poured a glass of chardonnay I marked with the boot thingy, moved my coffee table aside, and put all of my “ingredients” on the floor. I lit my bamboo rain candle after it was placed on that metal thing, of course, and to complete the mood I put on Sarah McLachlan’s Surfacing album--recently downloaded for the ensuing diaper cake construction--and sat Indian style on my living room floor. I was going to go with Tori Amos or Dido, but I opted for Sarah because she’s the hottest of the three. Incidentally, I wonder if any 38 year old Indians actually make it a practice to sit this way. Based on the fact that my hips are numb and my knees are getting ready to snap, I seriously doubt it.

I began the diaper cake as Sarah McLachlan’s “Building a Mystery” began to play in the background. Oddly enough, after a few sips of chardonnay—which was frankly disgusting, I began to substitute the words “diaper cake” for the word “mystery” and the word “your” with “I’m” in the song.

'cause I’m working
building a diaper cake
holding on and holding it in
yeah I’m working
building a diaper cake
and choosing so carefully

I was actually enjoying myself. I quickly rolled the 48 diapers and secured them with rubber bands. This process was annoying, but easy. I assembled them into three circles, each smaller than the first and used my ribbon to secure each of them. This took a little practice, but again, was easier than I thought. I stacked them, added accent ribbons (Helen’s idea), and topped it off with the aroma candle I’d selected for mom. My crib toys and petting book adorned the first and second layers of the cake. I even tied them together with some ribbon—that was whimsy at its best. Voila! Behold, the diaper cake. I was pretty proud of myself, actually and I stood there, wine in hand, admiring my work for some time. I polished off the bottle of wine in the midst of the teaky robustness of my aromatherapy candle while being serenaded by Sarah McLachlan. All in all, the entire process took me 3 hours and 20 minutes from start to finish. In guy time, that’s a football game.

In case you’re wondering, I took all of the ingredients to the local Goodwill by my house and donated it and it felt good. Stay tuned for next week.


  1. Did you take a picture of the cake at least?

  2. seriously! I was so expecting the picture of the cake. Nice job though. I think I would have rather watched a football game then waste my time on a diaper cake, but I know that this is an experiment and it is fun to read about your thoughts.

  3. I didn't take pictures of the process. I suppose that would have been appropriate. For pictures of diaper cakes visit


    Mary, one of my readers was the one who suggested a diaper cake and was the one kind enough to send me the "recipe". You might enjoy the rest of the content on her blog. Thanks for reading! DP

  4. I'm one of Lincee's Green Beaners... and you have a new follower! That was hilarious. I'm going to pass along your blog to my friends!

  5. Another Green Beaner here - Love your blog. HIGH-larious.

  6. OMG!!! I had to staop reading it last night and finish today, I was laughing so damn hard...I truley love the way you mind thinks. .."like my junk"...LOVE IT!

  7. Haven't heard the tulips joke, that was hilarious. Looking forward to your next adventure!

  8. I find it hysterically funny that the emails and comments I've been getting seem to love the Tulips on the Organ and the Like My Junk comments the most. I'm not sure what that says about the audience, but I'm glad to know that anatomy jokes still go a long way. DP

  9. Ok why is there no picture?? Girls would most certainly take pictures of their craft projects!

  10. How could you NOT take a picture of your diaper cake? You missed the whole "chick" part of the experiment. A girl would have tweeted/facebooked/blogged the hell out of a good diaper cake.