Tuesday, December 27, 2011

My Year in Cake {my favorites of 2011}

As 2011 is winding down, it's time to reflect back...2011 was the year that I made the official leap from cake hobbyist to legitimate cake business! Like all new life ventures, it was at time terrifying, but always exhilarating! 

I'm so thankful to all the friends, family and customers who allowed me to be a part of their special celebrations!! While I honestly love all the cakes I make, there are a few that stand out as my favorites from this year. 

My daughter's Puppy Cake...
when I fell in love with making fondant figures!

My pirate cake...
my first cake for Icing Smiles, a non-profit organization that provides custom cakes for critically ill children.

My Wonder Woman cake...
I loved her as a child and I love her still!

2011 was definitely a year of the Rainbow...
and I was happy to get in on the fun!

2011 was also the year of Ruffles...
this cake is one of my all time favorites!

The Rock Star cake...
girly & cool...and I loved making that tutu skirt!

My final cake of 2011...
my first 3 tier cake and I just loved the fun modern design!

It's been a wonderful year and I look forward to all the fun & beautiful cakes I will get to make next year!

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Snowman Playdate

I had one of those last minute whims to host a Christmas playdate for my girls! I wasn't sure I could put anything cute together in a day's time, but I was inspired by Piggy Bank Parties! Do of Piggy Bank Parties recently put together a super cute Mrs Claus Cookie Party in 24 hours and shared lots of great tips on how to do it (be sure to check it out). So I decided to GO FOR IT!

I made ONE shopping trip to Walmart and then used items from around the house for everything else. I had recently won a wonderful gift certificate to Shindig Parties to Go, so I ordered Amanda's super fun Snowman printable set! The colors are one of my favorite combos...pink, blue & green! 

I was fortunate that I had many things left over from my daughter's birthday party this summer, which featured pink & blue polka dots. Everything matched the printables perfectly! The snowflakes and bells were left over from other projects.

I printed out one of the larger signs & framed it!

The table was set using more items left over from my daughter's birthday party. I threw some fake snow on the table, a few snowman printables, some more snowflakes and put all our craft supplies in the center of the table. And yeah...that's the same burlap runner I used at Thanksgiving!

I bought all pre-made snacks for the party since I knew I would have no time to bake! 

The girls loved their hot cocoa with festive marshmallows! They come in so many fun flavors...peppermint, chocolate & gingerbread!

I love cake pops, but there was definitely no time for that! Amanda of Shindig shared this AWESOME idea of using Lindt Truffles to make the pops! I added some fondant scarves to mine! 

I completely forgot to take pictures of lunch, but I promise I fed the kids actual food! I made cream cheese & jelly sandwiches cut out with a snowman cookie cutter...snowman noses (baby carrots)...crackers & juice!

For a fun activity, we created Snow Sock Dudes...a super cute project from The Purple Pug. The only supplies I had to buy were the socks...I had everything else at home already!

We all just LOVED our adorable snow dudes. Although my sister-in-law dubbed them "snow dudettes" ;)

For a party favor, I made little packets of Snowman Soup! This cute idea was pinned about a million times on Pinterest. I used one of my snowman printables and then typed up the cute little saying. 

So I threw this fun little get together in less than 24 hours...and the cost?? Well I'm going to break it down for you

Food & drink: $23.60
Decorations: $0 (if you were to purchase the printable set it would be $9.00)
Paper cups: $1.00
Craft supplies & goody bags $9.47

I used sooooo many things I already had on hand which kept the cost way down! Although it was just my daughters and Goddaughter, there was enough supplies and food for 7 children. I could have saved a few more dollars and bought less treats, but there would have been no leftovers and well...where's the fun in that?

Speaking of leftover treats...they are calling my name so I'm outta here ;) Wishing you a beautiful holiday!

Sunday, December 11, 2011

1st Birthday Cake {Butterflies, Chevron & Flowers}

I recently made a cake for a sweet baby girl's 1st birthday! The  design was inspired by the beautiful invitation and fabrics used for the party tables. 
I really loved making this cake!

The cakes are frosted in buttercream and decorated with fondant pieces. The tiers are vanilla, strawberry & chocolate chip...something to please almost every taste!

I also made a smash cake for the little miss!

The mom did a fantastic job putting together this party and it featured so many beautiful details.! You will see lots more of this fabulous party in the future. 
But I'll leave you with this shot of the dessert table...gorgeous!

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

My Christmas Village

I've always loved looking at Christmas villages. Those cute little houses just seemed so adorable! Despite how pretty I think they are, I never got into collecting them. But this year I was inspired by something in the craft store and I knew I was going to make a winter village!

The houses are little birdhouses that I discovered in the $1.00 bins at Michaels. I bought them during the after Thanksgiving sale and ended up paying 50 cents for each of them!

The birdhouses and the snowflakes were the only items I purchased for this project. Everything else was made from materials I already owned, making for one budget friendly little village!

I covered a box in wrapping paper and draped a piece of snow blanket over it. This is actually a twice-recycled box as it's the same one I used to hold our turkey pops on Thanksgiving.

I removed the rope from the top, painted each little house and added a pretty bow.

I was originally going to make a mini banner to string across the top, but I found these adorable tiny snowflakes at the craft store and had to use them. How cute are they?
To create the space to hang the snowflakes, I wrapped 2 wooden dowels in yarn. I love how fun this rainbow yarn looks! I hot glued each dowel onto the sides of the box and ran another string of yarn between them.

I loved how bright & cheery my little village looked, but I couldn't help but feel that it seemed empty. A few winter residents were needed.

I made these cute little birdies from scrapbook paper and added a ribbon for a scarf!

Now my holiday winter village is complete!

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

{DIY} Mini Present Christmas Countdown

I love making Christmas decorations and am excited to share my first one of the season with you...a Christmas countdown! I have two little ones (5 & almost 3) so the question "how many more days?" gets asked alot! I love to have a countdown on hand to help them keep track and build that Christmas excitement!

I'm going to show you how to create this cute & inexpensive mini-present countdown. And it all starts with these...

I love these little boxes and have been itching
 to create something fun with them! 

Here's a complete list of the supplies you will need:
-25 little boxes (I used the raisin ones but any little box will do)
-wrapping paper
-yarn (baker's twine or thin ribbon would work as well)
-wide ribbon (to hang them on)
-wooden clothes pins
-decorative ribbon (for the bows)
-scrapbook paper (I used 2 different sheets)
-printable numbers (provided below) 
-hot glue
- 1 1/2" circle punch (optional)

First step is to remove the lids from the raisin boxes. Then wrap each one in wrapping paper. I used two different patterns of paper. Tie each little package with yarn to form a cute present.

Next, print the numbers provided below onto your scrapbook paper and cut out with a 1 1/2" circle punch. You could also use stickers for the numbers. Hot glue each number onto the clothespin.

Cut your ribbon to the desired length. I laid out my boxes on the floor and put them into a pattern that looked like a Christmas tree. I was then able to cut the ribbon pieces to the right length. I attached them to the wall with clear pushpins. I also made little bows with the additional ribbon and hot glued them on to the pushpins.

Hang all your boxes on your ribbon with the clothespins!

I plan on filling our boxes with slips of paper with different Christmas related activities....like reading stories, looking at Christmas lights, baking cookies, etc. But they are the perfect size for a little treat as well!

Here is the set of printable numbers I created. I wanted my numbers to alternate paper patterns, so I put the odds on one page and the evens on the other. Now, I'm not a printable wizard at all. This is a just a very simple Word document so feel free to use someone else's printable numbers or some cute stickers. Go ahead...you won't hurt my feelings ;)

I hope you enjoy this little Christmas countdown! Go on and get Christmas crafty!!

Advent Numbers

I'm linking this up to these great parties...

Nothing But Country

Tip Junkie handmade projects

Confessions of a Stay At Home Mommy


Friday, November 25, 2011

Giving Thanks

Happy Friday! I hope you all enjoyed a wonderful Thanksgiving yesterday full of family, friends & lots of yummy food! I certainly did and am sharing a few pictures from our day...

I used turquoise, gold, cream & some burlap for my colors. I spray painted two deeply discounted pumpkins for my table.

My little pilgrims from Publix (a grocery store) will always be on my Thanksgiving table!

I made simple place cards from leaves we collected and burlap, tied with a ribbon.

Some Dollar Tree vases filled with inexpensive carnations and decorated with burlap and ribbon were part of the centerpieces. I used extra leaves to fill in the table as well.

The kids had their own table. I covered in with brown kraft paper, paper plates & cups and used free printables from Shindig Parties to Go to decorate them. 

I made each of the girls' a feather headband.

I realize I took NO pictures of all the food we made (and there were LOTS), but I remembered to take picture of (most) of the desserts ;)

Like these DELICIOUS Bailey's Trifles...

Turkey cookie pops for the kiddies...

The birthday cake for Grandma, which was a pumpkin cake with Brown Sugar Swiss Meringue & candied pecans...

Mini pumpkin pies were a big hit!

But of course, though I loved the decorations, the food & the sweets...the best part of the day was spending time with my family!

My beautiful girls...my oldest daughter (left) and my Goddaughter...my youngest refused to both wear her headband and be in the picture!

But none of it would be possible without the loving help of my best friend...my incredibly wonderful husband!

And now that Thanksgiving is over...
time to get my Christmas on!
Wishing you all a FABULOUS WEEKEND!