Saturday, July 30, 2011

Circus Cake

Children's cakes are hands-down my favorite cakes to make! I love how excited kids get when they see the fun cake made especially for their special day. I love and cherish being a small part of that celebration.

First birthdays are especially precious. Even though the birthday child is really too young to probably care much about the cake decoration, I know that mom and dad want everything to be perfect for that first celebration. It's really an honor to be asked to be a part of that special day.

I recently had the pleasure of making a cute circus themed cake for a special baby girl on her first birthday.

The cake was a vanilla cake with strawberry cream cheese filling. All the decorations are hand-made from marshmallow fondant. The animals were especially fun to make.

The birthday girl had her own special smash cake, which was dairy-free per Mom's request. It was my first time working with soy substitutes and I was very happy with the results. While this butter-loving girl will never give up her butter personally, it's nice to have options for those who don't want or can't have it.

I can't resist a sweet ruffle for a sweet girl.

Happy Birthday little princess!

Friday, July 29, 2011

Friday's Fabulous Five {Cupcakes}

Is it Friday already??? My how this week has flown! Time for another installment of Friday's Fabulous Five!!

It's no secret that I love to bake and while I love to make & decorate cakes, for some reason I don't often make cupcakes. I plan on trying to squeeze in more "just for fun" baking in the coming months (before the holiday frenzy begins).

Here are five fabulous cupcakes that I really want to try!

My absolute favorite candy bar is Snickers and any recipe that includes caramel is a winner. So for me, this Snickers Cupcake via My Baking Addiction is pretty much perfection!

And while we are taking innocent cakes and stuffing them full of about a little cookie dough in there? I can't wait to try this yummy Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Cupcake courtesy of Kevin {&} Amanda.

What do you get when you combine bananas, custard cream filling, vanilla buttercream, chocolate sauce and fun sprinkles? A gorgeous Banana Split Cupcake that's what! This fun creation is courtesy of Bakers Royale.

I happen to love chocolate malt (Whoppers are another candy favorite of mine) so these Chocolate Malt Cupcakes are definitely on my "to try" list. And I love the adorable straw...such a fun presentation! This treat is courtesy of The Winsome Girl.

I've had my eye on this next unbelievable cupcake since I first saw it on Martha Stewart's site. But when Bakerella broke it down for us...I just knew I had to attempt it. These Hi Hat Cupcakes are stunning, gravity defying, YUM! 

There you have it, five fabulous cupcake ideas to get your weekend started! I hope you have a great weekend full of love & plenty of sugar :)

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Puppy Party

My sweet girl turned 5 years old this past week! I had so much fun planning her birthday party with her and making the decorations and food. She chose puppies as her party theme because she loves everything & anything having to do with puppies! For the colors she asked for blue & pink and I added the polka dot pattern because I think they are just FUN!

I'm so excited to be able to share the party details with you! And I realized after the fact how long this post ended up being, so please bear with me as I couldn't help myself ;)

I purchased this cute printable invitation and attached it to scrapbook paper for some extra pizzazz.

I made a party wreath to greet our guests at the door. You can find my tutorial for this fun project on my Birthday Wreath post. 

The drink station...which included water, flavored water & pink lemonade.

The sweets & snacks table...

The circle banner on both tables were made by cutting out circles from cardstock, punching a hole in each end and stringing them together.

I used a purchased printable for the Happy Birthday Banner...

I made a photo collage which has a picture for each year of my daughter's life from birth to age five! You find my tutorial HERE.

Of course for me, the photo collage was my favorite part of the decoration. Can't believe how much my baby has grown!

The food & drinks close up...

It was an afternoon party so I kept the food to simple snacks. I made everything myself including the cake. You can see more photos of it on my cake post.

I used small gift bags for the popcorn bags and just lined with wax paper. And of course I renamed it "pup-corn" ;)

The puppy faces were sugar cookies with puppy fondant toppers that I made (tutorial coming soon). 

I had to include some "puppy chow" with a dog food scoop (a clean new one!!!). This stuff is super sweet & super addictive!

When I saw this recipe for Birthday Bark, I knew it had to make an appearance at our party. Another super easy recipe!

I dipped the "sticks" (aka pretzel rods) into white candy melts and sprinkled pink sugar on them!

The party activities...

The guests ranged in ages from 2 to 5 so I chose activities they would all enjoy. When they first arrived, they were directed to the kids table where they decorated a puppy.

I made a sample puppy to give them a guideline and then put out all the supplies in dog bowls. The sign was made from scrap pieces of foam board and scrapbook paper.

Even the littlest ones enjoyed coloring and pasting their puppy creation.

After they finished their craft, I painted their faces (some of the younger ones said "no way" LOL), gave them a pair of puppy ears (tutorial on my puppy ear post), and then snapped a picture of each child in the dog house. I made the dog house from a large box and wrapping paper (and a LOT of packing tape)!

Holly of Preppy Lane Boutique created this photo booth printable especially for my party (and she created all the puppy printables as well). I attached it some scrapbook paper, mounted it onto foam board and glued on a coordinating ribbon. So cute!

Here's the birthday girl striking a puppy pose!

We printed out the photos and attached them to frames I created out of cardstock and scrapbook paper. I placed each guest's photo into their goody bags.

After everyone's photo was taken, it was time to let the puppies DANCE. The music selection? "Who Let the Dogs Out" and Farmer Jason's "Puppy Dance". The kids really got into it!

We also played a game of "Pin the Paw on the Puppy", but I somehow managed to not get a single picture of that activity! But you can picture it...10 little girls, some spinning, some funny misplaced paws on a giant picture of a puppy ;)

Next up was the puppy adoption. 

I love these adorable puppies that I picked up from Dollar Tree.

Each puppy received a bag of doggy treats (which were Scooby Doo Graham Crackers) and given an adoption certificate to record their puppies name. The treat tags & certificates were a free download from Chickabug!

It was a great party that my daughter and her friends really seemed to enjoy. I loved seeing my little girl's face light up as she saw our plans come to life!

Of course as my littlest one watched all of the party excitement, she kept asking "When is MY birthday party Mommy?" Time to get to work!!!

The vendors/stores used:
Preppy Lane Boutique: puppy printables (drink circles, food tents, birthday banner, photo booth sign)
Sugar Diva: Polka dot balloons & straws
Dollar Tree: paper plates, napkins, serving trays, stuffed puppies, misc supplies
Target: dog bowls, drink buckets
Chickabug: Adoption certificates & party circles for goody bags & photo frames
Mimi Marie Design: Invitation
Cake, sweets & decorations: Love & Sugar Kisses (aka Mommy)

I'm sharing this party...

Monday, July 25, 2011

Puppy Party Cake

After all the planning, prep, and excitement, my daughter's 5th birthday party was a great success. She had a BLAST and was so thrilled...which is what it's all about! The party design began with the cake and she was very specific about what she wanted it to look, blue & puppies.

I'm happy to say that she absolutely loved her cake!

The top tier was a vanilla cake with chocolate chip filling. The bottom tier was chocolate cake with peanut butter filling. All the decorations are hand-made from marshmallow fondant.
I loved making the puppies...they were so fun & so cute! I made them following a tutorial from Extra Icing, which is a fabulous site for figure making tutorials!

The birthday girl had actually asked that the puppies be wearing bows, but I got the idea of putting little party hats on them instead. She didn't seem to mind the change ;)

I explained to her that the puppies on the cake were having a party. But one puppy couldn't wait to for everyone else to eat cake. So he had to dig in!

My favorite puppy was the topper. Wearing the birthday girl's initial on her party hat, with her own little cake adorned with a tiny fondant bone.

This was definitely my favorite cake I've made my daughter to date and I so loved how much she loved it! Happy 5th birthday to my beautiful baby!

You can check out all the rest of the party details on my "Puppy Party" Post.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Friday's Fabulous Five {Popsicles}

Today's post is the first in what I hope to be a regular series around here. Every Friday I plan to feature five great ideas from other inspiring blogs out there. Crafts, recipes, party ideas...really anything that I find  to be just F-A-B-U-L-O-U-S!

Right now the heat index is registering over a million degrees where I live and chances are probably where you live too! I might be exaggerating a teeny bit, but I've reached the point of summer where I begin to fantasize about fall daily (which is really my favorite season anyway). So my mind is often consumed with thoughts of how to stay cool.

To kick off my first Friday's Fabulous Five, I am sharing some fun & FABULOUS popsicle ideas with you! Cold, refreshing, cold, delicious popsicles....did I mention they are COLD??

First up...a Coconut Watermelon Popsicle! Two flavors that just scream SUMMER to me...and there's only three ingredients total. Easy and cool...from Homespun With Love.

Or how about these Rootbeer Float Popsicles? One of my favorite ice cream concoctions in frozen form. This yumminess is courtesy of Smile Monsters (I love that blog name)!

There might be a few more steps involved in making this Rainbow Popsicle, but I think the FUN would be totally worth it. I could see my girls having a blast making (& eating) these. Found via Babble.

But who says the kids get to have all the fun????

How about a Watermelon Mojito Popsicle? Found on Pizzazzerie, this baby has the makings of one tasty grown up treat!

And because it's's one more for the grown ups...a Strawberry Peach Sangria Popsicle! Yeah...that one definitely has my name on it. Courtesy of Yum Sugar.

Five Fabulous ideas to help cool you off this hot hot summer!

See you back here next week for another round of Friday's Fabulous Five. Stay cool and have a great weekend!