Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Bye Bye Boobies

I had the honor of making cupcakes for a woman diagnosed with breast cancer. This woman is scheduled to have a double mastectomy as part of her treatment. Her daughter threw her an incredible party, in which I was lucky enough to make cupcakes for. The party theme was "Bye Bye Boobies".  Yep, that's for real. When I first got the inquiry I laughed out loud at this theme. What an inspiration this woman is! Throwing a party to say goodbye to her breasts?!  Its that kind of positive attitude, that kind of lust for life, and infectious sense of humor that you cannot help but respect and adore. It touched my heart to be able to be a part of this unconventional look at breast cancer survival.

 Thank you Jodi for letting me contribute to this! My thoughts and prayers are with your mother, may her humor and strength carry her through this difficult time.  I hope we will be working together on a cancer free party in the near future!

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Pink and Gold Bridal Shower

I discovered that Pinterest can say a lot about your style and personality. I have a client that I've worked with a few times.  She was emailing me about some bridal shower cupcakes for her friend.  Being the genius that she is, she sent me the link to the bride's Pinterest page and told me that I could draw inspiration from there.  No kidding! Brilliant! I poured over her beautiful pins and then emailed my client back.  I pitched some ideas and she laughed telling me how I basically nailed the vision the bride had for her wedding. Yay, thank you Pinterest!  Here are the cupcakes for this bridal shower....

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Monday, February 27, 2012

Tuxedo Nails

In honor of this week's Academy Awards, and inspired by Zooey Deschanel's Golden Globes manicure I rocked this look....
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All I did was swipe on a coat of white polish. Once dry, I angled my black polish brush in the upper corner of my nail and pulled the brush toward me, repeating on the other side to create the V shape. With a toothpick I added the buttons and bow tie.  Cute hey?

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Thumb-Bunny Loves You

This is the Valentine's Day card I made for David (and actually sent out to a few friends too!). It was inspired by a card I saw, I think it was at Target. Maybe Wal-mart.  I'm not sure, but I recreated the idea with my very own thumb print.  Easy peasy!
Hope you're all having a wonderful Valentine's Day!

Monday, February 13, 2012

Red and Gold Valentine's Day Brunch

Can you tell I'm obsessed with gold? This is my golden year, so, what can I say?!  This weekend my boyfriend and I celebrated Valentine's Day.  We work opposite shifts during the week, so celebrating tomorrow isn't an option. I hope you find some inspiration from my early Valentine's Day Brunch!

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My first inspiration for this table was found on Crossing the Bugger-Dixon Line where Jenny decorated her bedroom with balloons for each year her and her husband were married. I decorated our table with 5 balloons, for the 5 years David and I have been together.

 Look familiar? I was so smitten with my Gold Glitter Champagne Bottle that I decided to create it again but in red!
 Breakfast is David's favorite meal of the day.  I let him sleep in and I made us a heart shaped brunch with some of his favorite foods.
 I was originally inspired by The Paper Mama where Chelsey created these bacon hearts (though hers turned out nicer than mine!)
I also cut sausage into hearts, toast, and an egg bake!
What's a brunch without a selection of beverages right?
I froze passion fruit juice in heart molds to make a frozen mimosa with our strawberry champagne!
I also froze vanilla creamer for our coffee!
For dessert, I made a few things.  First I made heart shaped cinnamon rolls! I was inspired by Poppies at Play who made heart cinnamon rolls from scratch! I, on the other hand, took store bought rolls, unrolled them, and then rerolled them into hearts!
I made Custom Fortune Cookies for us too.  I know, fortune cookies at brunch?! I have no real correlation here other than they were fun! And hey, decorated with red and gold!
What is a special occasion without cupcakes?! I made these red and gold cupcakes to finish off our huge meal! You may also notice that sparkly bonbon....I had a few samples left from Bedazzle My Bonbons and they were a perfect compliment to our sparkly table!

Thanks for stopping by!

Happy Valentine's Day!

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Custom Valentine's Day Fortune Cookies

Yep, a weekend post! I actually got a few Valentine's Day projects done before the holiday, so I'm sharing ahead of time.  A little last minute inspiration for you!

 They are easy to make yourself! All you need are store bought fortune cookies, chocolate and sprinkles of your color choice, and your fortunes printed or written on strips of paper.

Prepare your custom fortunes on strips of paper, and have them close by.  You'll need to work quickly.
Unwrap a fortune cookie.
Dampen a paper towel.  You want it very moist, but not dripping wet.
Wrap your cookie in the paper towel.  
Microwave on high for 20 seconds.
Unwrap from the paper towel, gently peel the cookie open.  Pull out the existing fortune, put in your custom fortune and squeeze the cookie shut again.
You must work quickly, as the cookie cools, it hardens and will break. A word of caution these babies are HOT.  Honestly, I couldn't figure out how to not burn my fingertips.  I worked quickly and dealt with the discomfort.  Ah, the price you pay for crafting!

You can leave the cookies plain, or you can decorate them.  I chose to decorate mine with red Wilton candy melts and heart sprinkles.  
A note about dipping the cookies: Don't actually dip them in the melted chocolate!

If you dip the cookies in the chocolate, the chocolate could flow inside the cookie and ruin your carefully placed fortune.  
I held the cookie over the bowl of melted chocolate and then used a spoon to pour the chocolate on top of the cookie.  Place on wax paper, decorate with sprinkles and allow to harden. Viola! You have a custom, chocolate dipped fortune cookie!

This is a great trick for any occasion! Birthdays, anniversaries, perhaps even a marriage proposal!

Here's wishing you good fortune with or without a cookie!

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Sunshine and Rainbows

This week I shared my birthday celebration Joy Dominoes, aka random acts of kindness. Today I'm sharing another fun idea, a Sunshine and Rainbows box!!  
Earlier this year a dear friend of mine experienced a life altering tragedy and was having a really rough time. Its been my experience that people go through a tragedy and are able to distract themselves with all of the details and the visits from well wishers.  Suddenly time passes and the distractions are no longer as frequent. You're left with your own thoughts and grief.  I thought of my friend "after the dust settled" and thought she might need some cheering up.  We live in different states so a visit wasn't really feasible. I decided what she needed was some sunshine and rainbows!
Here is the collection of random stuff I sent her. Each item had a cute meaning behind it too.
A box of Skittles to represent rainbows and a little ray of sunshine to remind her of her awesomeness.
A garden gnome (well that's kind of an inside joke), a lotus flower which is said to bring peace, and bright yellow nail polish for a much needed sunny pedicure.
A scented candle in a tin decorated just for her.

These are just a few of the items I included. The possibilities are endless! You don't have to wait for a reason to send one either! Everybody needs a little sunshine and rainbows, even when life is going good.

I hope you're inspired to send a loved one some sunshine!

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Love Letter Nails

This week I gave myself a Pinterest inspired manicure! Thanks to this PIN I tried Newspaper Nails!
It was super easy to do too. First, polish your nails with a light base color and let dry. Completely.
Cut up a few squares of newspaper. Dip your nail in rubbing alcohol and then press a newspaper strip to it. Making sure the alcohol soaks through the paper. Hold for 15-20 seconds and then peel the paper off. Make sure to top with a clear coat.

I decided this manicure needed a little Valentine's Day spin though. Staying true to my ring finger only obsession, I added a tiny heart.
Now it looks like a Valentine's Day love letter!

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Random Acts of Kindness

Last week was my golden birthday. I turned 31, on the 31st. Awhile back I stumbled across this idea about doing random acts of kindness (RAKs) to celebrate your birthday. One for each year of your life. I found a few blogs and websites with ideas.  I got more and more excited about this. I've had 31 very blessed years, so giving back in small kind ways was the perfect way to celebrate.  Today I'm sharing my list.  Here were my parameters....first, I didn't want everything to be about money. I am not financially rich, so I had to keep costs within a reasonable budget. Let me tell you, I could have spent a lot more money! Giving was so easy, I just wanted to keep doing it!
Second, the ideas had to be something I felt good and comfortable doing. There were some great ideas out there for families, but not all of them felt like good ideas for a random adult to do alone. And lastly, 31 things didn't have to be different, I did a few things more than once because they were fun!
Here's how I celebrated....
1. I purchased a food donation bag at Cub Foods. These donations support local food banks and shelters.

2. My intention was to pay for the person in line behind me at the drive-thru. Unfortunately while I was paying, no one was in line behind me! I opted to purchase a $5 gift card and asked the cashier to use it on the next person that comes in line. I saw a truck pull up as I was pulling out. I hope they got to take advantage. 
**My boyfriend's response was "Wow, you know that cashier just pocketed that gift card  right?"
   My response to him: "Well, if he needed it, then I'm glad I could help."

3. I donated a few bags of healthy dog treats to the Minneapolis Animal Care and Control. I follow them on Facebook and my heart breaks for the poor dogs there. I cant foster (I've got my hands full already with my 2 dogs) so I donated some things they mentioned they needed.

4. I baked a dozen cookies for some RN's.  My friend Kelly is a nurse, so I sent a box of homemade cookies with her to work and asked her to share with her RN friends.  RN's do so much, hopefully you haven't needed their care, but when you do, you'll be grateful to have them. 

 5. I made a financial donation to Midwest Animal Rescue. My Caesar was rescued by them. Its because of that group's compassion that my boy was taken from the conditions he was in and brought into my life. He's changed me in ways that words could never describe.

6. I sent my sister a gift in the mail. She actually forgot some things at my house on her last visit. We lived 6 hours apart, so the next time I'd see her wouldn't be for quite some time. I chose to mail her the items and included a gift to enhance the feng shui in an area of her home where she needed some assistance. 

7. I sent a dozen home baked cookies to a complete stranger using Gift A Stranger
**Technically this RAK failed. The recipient refused my package and it was returned. But the fact is, I tried to bring some joy and deliciousness into their lives. 

8. I donated toys, treats, and a gentle leader harness to the Animal Humane Society.  Our Sookie was adopted through them. She was our first pup, and stole our hearts! Who knew 5 pounds could change 2 people do much?!

9. I delivered dog theme cupcakes to the wonderful vets and staff at Broadway Robbinsdale Hospital. Caesar has had a lot of health issues in recent months and they have taken fantastic care of him.

10. I put quarters in the candy/toy machines at a local store. Hopefully a curious child will get a fun surprise!

11-12. I put quarters in ziplocks with a "Please Enjoy this Random Act of Kindess" card that I found HERE and taped them to soda and vending machines.

13. I helped an elderly woman with her groceries.
14. I taped coupons onto items around the grocery store. Wow! I just noticed that this item was even on sale! Gosh I hope someone scored a great deal on that!
15. I baked cookies for our mailman. That guy delivers our mail (mostly junk too!) in all kinds of awful Minnesota weather! He deserves a cookie (or 10!)
16, 17, 18. I left scratch off lottery tickets, with a RAK card on random windshields. Hope someone got lucky! 

19. I made a financial donation to Save A Bull Rescue. They are a local pit bull and bully breed rescue group. My Caesar is a Staffordshire Terrier, which is a "bully-breed". I've experienced people reacting negatively to him before, so I wanted to show support for a group that is trying to save other dogs like him. 

20. I made a financial donation to The Pet Project. They are a local group that provides assistance to families who have fallen on hard times and need help keeping their pet in their home. They provide things like good food for pets all while keeping the pet in the home, while the owners get back on their feet.

21, 22, 23. I left happy post-it notes in random places.  Like a public ladies room mirror, and on my friend Snoopy here at the airport.

24. I sent an email to the store manager at Cub Foods about an exceptional employee. An employee named Ryan helped me when I was frantic, in a hurry, and needed to pull off something last minute. He was super nice, even though I was probably a bit of a nut. He helped me solve my problem and gave me a discounted price. 

25. I made a purchase from Bad They are a pit bull rescue group that's mission is to break the stereotypes surrounding pits and bully breeds. Technically this one benefited me too. I ordered some items and the proceeds benefit the group.  However, I also get some cool pit bull awareness stuff!
26, 27, 28, 29. I sent out Hello! postcards to some friends I haven't talked to in awhile. Snail mail is such a delight to receive....but sshhhh, technically the recipients haven't gotten them yet!
30, 31. I made 2 comfort care packs for the homeless. Each pack includes a scarf, thermal socks, gloves, goldfish crackers, shampoo, mouth wash, Vaseline, hand sanitizer and wipes. Technically I haven't handed these out yet. The packs are in my car. I often see homeless folks in this area of town I run errands in.  But I haven't seen anyone in a few days. Hopefully they don't go to waste!

A few other things I tried to do were simple, like smile at people, give out genuine compliments to friends and strangers, and try to be a courteous and patient driver. 

I hope you've enjoyed my list and perhaps felt a little inspired! I'd love to hear if any of you have done something like this before or do so in the future! What kind of things have you done? Did you get good reactions? 
These joy dominoes may become an annual tradition!  "Joy dominoes?" you ask....yep! My hope is that one kind act sets in motion another kind act and the joy dominoes keep on falling!


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