Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Turkey Day!

I am back from my Thanksgiving holiday. I took a few days off from work so I could relax and unwind. I treated myself to a spa day at the Aveda Institute, and headed to Wisconsin to visit family and friends. I thought I would share some of the more creative and fun stuff from my family's Thanksgiving dinner.
My sister hosted her first dinner this year. We cooked the meal together. Here is our table setting!
We chose metallic accents and a modern printed fabric for the table runner.

I used scraps from the fabric to create a bunting centerpiece. It says Give Thanks on both sides of the pennants.
We also created mini bunting for the names at each place setting.

This was my favorite project though. I went to the Dollar Store and bought 3 silver trays. I spray painted them copper, and then used chalkboard paint in the center. I actually intend to put these on the wall in my dining room.
In addition to great food, family and friends, I decided to make a drastic change for myself. I've been thinking about donating my hair to Locks of Love. I don't really like having short hair, but I had enough length that its not too short.
Here is my new do! You need to donate a minimum of 10 inches, tied in a pony tail. I sent it in this week. My hair, I'm still getting used to it. But mine will grow back. I feel good knowing that my hair will help a child with cancer look and feel better about themselves. Me waiting for my hair to grow back is a small price to pay.
I hope everyone had a great holiday!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Swanky Parisian Soiree

I am busting at the seams to show you this party! For my November Party Challenge event I hosted a Parisian Inspired Wine Tasting. A few girlfriends came over for a wine and cheese pairing, complete with dessert buffet. Behold the amazingness!
Fortunately, I already have a Paris theme in my living room. I strategically moved furniture around to have my buffet table set up just under my enormous Paris picture. Want to know a great secret? Almost everything on this table was under $1!! But before I get to that, lets marvel at the gingerbread Eiffel Tower!

This is my absolute favorite piece of this event. I spent days baking gingerbread, covering with fondant, and accenting with royal icing. I am quite proud of this baby!

I did two small cakes for this table. However, boring cake stands just did not seem the way to go. So I picked up goblets at the Dollar Store. Spray painted them black, along with a serving tray. Add some gorilla glue and now I have a cake stand ready for this table!

I made shortbread cookies decorated with the theme colors and a few French words (the ones I know of course!)

Brown Sugar and Spice Eiffel Tower cookies were also on the table. Not pictured is French chocolate macaroons, chocolate mousse cups and red wine truffles, all made by yours truly. I know, I'm a busy lady.

Here is the "tasting table" where we samples wines, cheeses, and of course took tasting notes on our favorite pairings.
I made the centerpiece from Dollar Store taper candles, and spray painting wine bottles and beer bottles.
Lets take another look at the table! You can see in this photo the glittery candelabras and in a previous photo, glittered chandeliers, all bought in the "Dollar Spot" at Target.
To run down the cost of decorating this table....
2 Glitter Chandeliers: $2
2 Glitter Candelabras: $2
4 Wine Goblets: $4
2 Serving Trays: $2
2 Taper Candles: $1 (50 cents each at the Dollar Store)
2 Wine Bottles: $0 (already had them, just needed spray paint---which I also already had)
Tablecloths: $0, they are my bedroom curtains
Paris Backdrop: $0, already hanging in my living room.
Paris Title Sign: $0, again, already owned
Total cost to decorate this table: $11, yep you read that right. $11.

This has been my favorite party yet! It was so fun to do! I'm also sharing with you my favorite photo of the night...My two pups, Caesar and Sookie got dressed up for the occasion. We tried to get a good photo together, but they were more interested in giving me kisses.
I hope you enjoyed this party, I think I'm proudest of the party so far!

Monday, November 22, 2010

Princess Parties Aren't Just For Girls!

Recently I was asked to do a cake and cupcakes for a little girl's princess themed birthday. However, the client also wanted cupcakes specifically made for the boys attending so they could feel special too. Sounded like tons of fun, until he gave me the list of allergies. There were three children with allergies. Each one, different of course. I haven't had much exposure to allergies, so I was quite nervous. I scoured blogs and websites dedicated to these subjects. I read everything I could. Then I put together an ingredient list for the parents, just in case. I did a dessert buffet awhile back and this little boy comes up to the table, and asks his mother "Mom, is there any treats up here for me?" And she sighed and said no. He had severe allergies, which I didn't know in advance. I will never forget this poor child standing there, in front of a dessert buffet, which is basically a children's wonderland, and he couldn't touch any of it. It absolutely broke my heart.
When I got this order, I was determined to make sure every child was able to eat something. I have to say, it was a lot of research and me being nervous, but in the end, the children loved the cake and cupcakes and everyone got to enjoy a treat!
This is the princess cake and cupcakes.

I love the stars bursting out of the cake.

These were the cupcakes just for the boys. There were three boys attending, each had a different interest. Batman, Sonic the Hedgehog and Dora the Explorer.
Everyone got to enjoy their treats. That's how a birthday party should be, everyone having their cake and eating it too!

Friday, November 19, 2010

Holiday Cupcake Toppers Part II

I have a few more Holiday Cupcake Toppers to share with you.
Holiday Wreaths

Christmas Trees


Holly Berry
Thanks for checking them out!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Holiday Cupcake Toppers

I know, Thanksgiving technically isn't here yet, so its almost wrong for me to be giddy about Christmas. I did say almost wrong!
Check out my latest collections of Holiday Cupcake toppers! All of these are available for purchase in my Etsy shop.
Peppermint Swirl

Penguin Pals
Melted Frosty

Santa and his merry Elf!


Mini Frosty

Santa, Elf and White Reindeer
These toppers will be a hit at your holiday parties! Make sure to get your orders in quick, Christmas will be here in no time!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Cupcake Bunting!

Unless you have been living under a rock, you have seen that these simple triangles (or squares, or half circles, etc) have taken the world by storm. Bunting is everywhere! These banners have even started to make appearances on top of birthday and wedding cakes. But what about cupcakes?!
That's right.....Cupcake Bunting!!! Here is a collection I did just in time for the holidays!
Cupcake Bunting is easy to do.....but why waste your time when someone could do it for you?

Stay tuned, Holiday Cupcake Bunting will be available in my Etsy shop by the end of this week. But thats not all....I also did a new twist, specifically for the winter season....SNOWFLAKES!! Tiny banners of snowflakes can adorn your holiday goodies! How cute would these be floating over cupcakes on a winter sweets table? These will also be available in my Etsy shop later this week!

Monday, November 15, 2010

CSN Giveaway Winner!

I am so excited!! My very first giveaway has ended and I'm giddy! The winner of a $35 gift certificate to CSN Stores is.....


"quitecontrary1977 said... I follow, and I love this question! I have vacation on the brain right now. Miami! I have been watching alot of Golden Girls, and it makes me want to visit the grand city!"

Mary, since you were so kind to include your email, I'll be sending you instructions on how to redeem your prize! Congrats!!

THANK YOU to everyone who entered, and THANK YOU to all of my loyal readers! I heart you guys!!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Pastel Jungle Baby Shower Cupcakes

Recently I did cupcakes for a jungle theme baby shower. The client sent me a photo of the plates she was using, so I modeled the toppers after those. It was fun to make jungle animals out of pastel colors!

We decided to do a mix of animal faces and 3D animals. I love how both sets turned out!

I think the blue giraffe is my favorite one....but the pink elephant is a close second!
Thanks for letting me make these fun little guys Ashley!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Kallie's Birthday Cookies

Recently I did a cookie order for the cutest little girl, Kallie!
Don't you want to pinch her cheeks?!
Her Aunt Kristin is a college friend of mine, and ordered cookies for her birthday. She described Kallie as girlie, loves sparkly things, makeup, Disney, Taylor Swift, and of course, Justin Bieber.
This is Kallie's Cookie Collection!
Check out the details....Like how I got my personal friend Taylor Swift to sign her cookie! What? You don't believe me? OK. So Taylor didn't really sign it, but it sure looks that way!
Here Kallie is with my attempt at a Justin Bieber cookie. I've never been good at drawing faces, so I laughed at this one. But Kallie loved it, and that's what counts!
Thanks Kristin and Kallie!!

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Cream Cheese Pumpkin Roll

What can I say, its that time of year and I love pumpkin! I also love cream cheese. Pumpkin and cream cheese together = heaven! Here is a recipe that is easy to do that will allow you to also enjoy such bliss.
Cream Cheese Pumpkin Roll
3 large eggs
1 cup sugar
2/3 cup canned pumpkin
3/4 cup biscuit mix (Bisquick or whatever kind you like)
2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp pumpkin pie spice
1 cup chopped pecans
2-3 tbsp powdered sugar
1-8oz package cream cheese, softened
1 cup powdered sugar, sifted
1 tsp vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 375
Grease the bottom and sides of a 15x10x1 inch jellyroll pan. Line the pan with wax paper and grease the wax paper. As you can see, I didn't have that size jelly roll pan, so I used my 11x17x2 inch pan...worked just fine!
Beat the eggs on high until they become thick and pale. Gradually add 1 cup sugar and beat until soft peaks form. Fold in pumpkin.
In a separate bowl, combine biscuit mix and spices.
Fold the dry ingredients into the pumpkin mixture. Incorporate well.
Spread evenly into prepared pan and sprinkle with pecans. Bake 13 to 15 minutes.
Just before removing cake from the oven, sift 2-3 tablespoons powdered sugar onto a rectangle cloth. DO NOT use a terry cloth! Remove cake from oven, and immediately turn over onto sugared towel. Carefully peel off wax paper.
Starting at the narrow end, roll up cake and towel together. Place rolled cake and towel, on a wire rack, seam side down.
Once cake is cooled, beat cream cheese and butter until creamy. Add 1 cup powdered sugar and vanilla, beating until combined. Carefully unroll your cake. Seriously, do not stress out about cracks. There will be cracks. No one will care. Trust me.
Spread on the cream cheese mixture. Re-roll without the towel (obviously!).
Place on a serving plate, seam side down. Chill for at least 2 hours. Sprinkle with powdered sugar just before serving. Try not to fall off your chair while eating this deliciousness!

Cream Cheese Pumpkin Roll (Southern Living via Lanas Cooking)
3 Large Eggs
1 cup sugar
2/3 cup canned pumpkin
3/4 cup Bisquick (or other biscuit mix)
2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp pumpkin pie spice
1 cup chopped pecans
2-3 tbsp powdered sugar
1-8oz package cream cheese, softened
1 cup powdered sugar, sifted
1 tsp vanilla extract

1. Preheat oven to 375
2. Grease the bottom and sides of a 15x10x1 jellyroll pan. Line with wax paper and grease the wax paper, set aside.
3. Beat eggs on high until they become thick and pale. Gradually add 1 cup sugar and beat until soft peaks form and sugar dissolves. Fold the pumpkin into egg and sugar mixture.
4. In a separate bowl combine biscuit mix and spices. Fold dry ingredients to pumpkin mixture.
5. Spread evenly into prepared pan, sprinkle with pecans.
6. Bake 13 to 15 minutes.
7. Just before removing cake from oven, sift 2-3 tablespoons of powdered sugar on a rectangle towel (not terry cloth!). Remove cake, and immediately turn over onto sugared towel. Carefully peel off wax paper.
8. Starting at narrow end, roll up cake and towel together. Place rolled cake/towel onto a wire rack, seam side down to cool.
9. When cake is cool, beat cream cheese and butter until creamy. Add 1 cup powdered sugar and vanilla, beating until combined.
10. Carefully unroll cake. Spread with cream cheese mixture. Re-roll without the towel.
11. Place on serving plate, seam side down. Chill for at least 2 hours. Dust with powdered sugar before serving.

PS: Don't forget to enter to win a $35 gift certificate to CSN Stores! Click here for details!

Monday, November 8, 2010

$35 Giveaway!!!

Today is a very exciting day! One of you lucky readers will win a $35 gift certificate from CSN Stores! How you ask?
I came across CSN Stores and loved everything about it! There is something for everyone on this site! We all know I love to bake, but did you also know I love to travel? You can grab yourself a suitcase (which I am always in need of), handbags (yep, always in need of those), home decor (really who couldn't use more beautiful items in your home!), and of course all kinds of bakeware!
So in appreciation to you AWESOME readers who have stuck by me and kept on reading, you can treat yourself with a gift certificate!
Here is the details....

GIVEAWAY ENTRY: There are two easy peasy steps! First, become a follower on this blog. Once you are, post a comment telling me where you would go on vacation right now if you could go. Click Submit, and you are entered!!

Contest ends on Sunday November 14, 2010 at 8:00pm (CST) and is open to US entrants only. All entries must be received by then, and the winner will be announced on Monday November 15, 2010!

Good luck!


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