Friday, August 17, 2012

Reptiles and More

What do all 7 year old boys love? Dirt, snakes and reptiles of course! We went all out to incorporate as many scales and 'slither's as possible. We even hired E&M Reptile Family to come over and bring some of their reptile friends. It was an amazing show that was a big hit.

My husband always asks me to keep the kid's parties simple. And I try, really I do. But I just cannot have a party anymore without a dessert table. Just a cake isn't enough. My version of scaling back this year was that I didn't do sugar cookies, and that was really hard to let go of...but moving on...

I of course wanted to do a great snake cake. I looked on Pinterest for ideas (the go to spot) and found several great ideas but liked this one best. I love how the snake is slithering up the cake. I even got candy rocks to make it look more like a snakes natural habitat.

I like our guests to have options so I also made bug cupcakes. I know, still cake but kids seem to gravitate towards cupcakes so I like to have them on hand. These were pretty easy, just found gummy bugs to put on top of the vanilla and chocolate cupcakes. They worked right into the table!

My son loves Jones Soda so I had to incorporate those into his dessert table. I used some labels I had custom made and glued them right onto the green & blue bottles.

For the goody bags I found some bug kits and filled them with gummy snakes and gummy bugs. The kids were able to take them home and catch some new friends of their own.

I wanted to have each guest take a picture in a photo area to include in their thank you card (a great idea of our photographer's)! We created a little area with some greenery and a banner that worked great for photos.

The party really got going once Eric, the reptile guy, showed up. He brought all sorts of fun friends along with him like lizards and snakes. He was so funny and the kids all learned a lot too. Most of the kids were pretty fearless when it came to handling the animals (they were braver than most of the adults)!

Overall it was a great party. And most importantly, the birthday boy had a blast. We love you so much Alex!

A BIG thank you to everyone who helped make this party possible!

Photography was done by Cristina DaSilva

The beautiful white cake stand used can be found at 44 Brookhill

The darling snake shirt my son is wearing is from OneRepublicApparel

All labels were done by Shutterbug Sentiments

The fabulous reptile show was done by E&M Reptile family (highly recommend if you live in Central CA!!!)

Monday, June 25, 2012

Red, White and Blue

With the 4th of July around the corner I'm gathering ideas for fun red, white and blue treats.  Of course Pinterest is my go to, and as usual, it hasn't disappointed.  I have found some really great treat ideas that range from easy to a little more difficult.

TomKat Studio's is always a great place to start for ideas and today she pinned these darling pinwheel cupcakes!  I just love them.  These have fondant pinwheels but you could also do paper ones if you don't want to do fondant.

Following the cupcake theme, I found this pin from Real Mom Kitchen.  I really like that these have fresh fruit on the top, with all this great summer fruit out there why not incorporate it into our desserts?

Bird on A Cake had this cute idea for mini star cakes for a patriotic treat.  This would be another fresh and light treat.  You could even do angel food cake to make it low fat, if you are into that kind of thing.

For my daughter's birthday this April I made chocolate covered popcorn for the first time.  It's an inexpensive way to fill up containers (which was the main reason I had made it) but I hadn't expected it to be so good!  It is the perfect combination of salty/sweet.  Bloom Designs posted this patriot popcorn bucket which would be perfect for the kids to munch on during fireworks! 

Hope these give you some good ideas for the 4th of July!  I'm going to start trying out some fun ideas so stay tuned for some of my creations!


Monday, June 18, 2012

Father's Day love

This Father's Day I took a 'sporty theme' towards the day and created some fun cakes just for those special men in our life. 

My friend Vanessa had approached me about making a Miami Dolphin's cake for her husband.  He's a huge fan so she she wanted to celebrate his special day with a cake that would be extra special to him.  It was a big hit I'm happy to report!

After we had designed her cake, I decided to make my husband one, but with a Fresno State (our alumni) theme.  He loved it as did several of our other friends who are Fresno State alumni!  I think this cake may be very popular come football season! 

A few people have asked me about the logo's - they are printed with non-toxic ink onto sugar paper and then I transferred them onto white fondant, cute them out and glued them on!  A local cake store in town prints them out.  It's a fun thing to have, the possibilities are endless!

Hope you all are baking up a storm out there - despite the heat!


Monday, June 11, 2012

Pink leopard print cuties

I thought these fun leopard print cookies would be a good follow up to yesterday's fun cake with zebra stripes.  Animal prints on desserts are very popular right now!  These cookies were for a baby shower and they fit in perfectly with the pink theme. 

This was the first time I had tried leopard print but it went pretty well!  The good thing about animal print is you don't have to stress about it being perfect.  Just like real animal print - all spots or stripes vary so each cookie can look different. 

Happy baking!


Sunday, June 10, 2012

Summer fun

School is out and the season of summer fun is here! I have been getting a steady stream of orders for all those summer parties and events. This cake was for a 4 year old's birthday party that was taking place poolside.

Of course with the heat rising I have to adjust my baking schedule - meaning it must take place early morning for best results. Last weekend I had frosting that was melting as I tried to frost cupcakes in a warm house. Since I live in the Central Valley, I anticipate a long summer full of early mornings. Hope you all are enjoying something fun this summer! :)


Monday, June 4, 2012

Tory Burch

Designer cake are all the rage right now!  Although I can't quite afford this designer label...I can appreciate and enjoy Ms. Burch's well known emblem on a bright pink cake. 

Funny story, I'm so unfamiliar with the Tory Burch brand (always admiring from afar) that I actually put the emblem on upside down at first.  I was rushing a bit to finish the cake so I could make it to my son's school award assembly and I didn't even realize I had messed up until I texted a picture of the cake to my friend ordering it and she pointed out it was upside down.  What a 'blond' moment on my part!  Reminder me to slow down a bit and double check my work....but as my friend pointed out - maybe upside down logo's can be my thing?  Hmmmm, something to think about but for now I'll stick to the original. 

Monday, May 28, 2012

Elmo loves to celebrate!

Elmo loves a good party! These cakes were made for a sweet girl who loves the furry red creature. A big cake for her guests and a smaller smash cake for the birthday girl. I like to think of them as Elmo and Baby Elmo cakes!

Friday, May 18, 2012

A Bee-tiful 1st Birthday!

I was thrilled to be asked to do the smash cake and cupcakes for the first birthday of a sweet little girl turning one. Her mom had a great yellow and black bee themed bash for her. I love those colors and what a sweet idea for a 1st birthday party in the spring!

Monday, May 7, 2012

Who says cookies have to be boring?

When I was a kid I always went for the chocolate chip or peanut butter cookies, the sugar cookies were always the ones that seemed to be left over.  They were never anything exciting so it was always easy to pass them right on by. 

When I was asked by a local photographer to make cookies for her grand opening I wanted to do something fun that would catch people's attention. Memories By Jenny does lots of photography, but has also found a nitch in doing boudoir photos so I thought these corset cookies would be perfect.

I found an amazing sugar cookie recipe for the sugar cookies on Annie's Eats that you can find here. It uses fresh lemon zest and vanilla bean in it, they are so yummy and moist!  Annie's Eats also has a great tutorial on piping royal icing onto the cookies and then flooding the cookies with the rest, you can find these tips here. It was like decorating 75 mini cakes for me....quite time consuming but the final product was awesome so it was all worth it.

As if 75 of these cookies weren't enough...I also did 25 fish cookies for a friend who was throwing a baby shower.  The baby shower had a fishing theme for the soon to arrive baby boy.  The cookie cut outs I used were actually suppose to be whale cookies but I made them work as fish.  Even though the shower is for a boy, I wanted to add in some girly touches since the party was also honoring mom.  The cookies were then packaged up with a cute little fishing bobber and handed out as favors.  Too cute!

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Mirror Mirror on the Wall...who had the greatest 4th birthday of them all...

My beautiful 4 year old had a fun filled Snow White Party. She is a pretty typical 4 year old girl in that she is obssessed with the Disney princesses. After going through several possible princess party themes she settled on Snow White, of course insisting that Snow White actually make an appearance. I love the colors of Snow White, the red/blue/yellow combination is such a vibrant color collection so I tried to incorporate that as much as possible and not be too 'commercial' with the party. Of course Pinterest is another great source for ideas! That where I got some of the cutest ideas, like the apple cupcakes.

For the cake I wanted to do something different than a traditional Snow White cake. Last year I did the doll cake for her Tinkerbell birthday so I didn't want to do that again. When I saw this idea on Pinterest I knew it would be perfect, especially with the trademark red bow on top that makes everyone think of Snow White. The cake was a triple layer chocolate cake but only six inches so it still was petite enough to fit into the tea party theme.

Dessert tables are always my favorite party when planning any party event. I'm always looking for new ideas and creative twists on traditional treats. On The Sugar Diva's website I found cute stripped and polka dotted straws that were fun for the drinks and also for the marshmallow pops. They have a ton of colors but I of course stuck with red, blue and yellow.

Since a big part of Snow White takes place in the woods I purchased some moss mats and log stumps. I wanted some apple trees as well but since I was making apple cupcakes I made my own apple trees. I found The Pastry Pedestal on Pinterest and thought it would be a perfect way to display the cupcakes amongst some branches.

I kept the food very simple. Tea sandwiches with fruit and chips. I served the fruit and chips in small blue and yellow cups so each girl could take what they wanted.

For the actual tea party table I rented a small, child size banquet table with twelve little chairs. Perfect for the 4 year old guests, but also would have been perfect if any of the 7 dwarf's stopped by. I am really into chevron stripes right now so I got a great chevron striped runner and then chevron napkins that were folded with a flower. An eclectic collection of tea cups and some party favors finished off this amazing table.

A real Snow White was the topper for this party. My daughter and her friends were so excited when she arrived. Snow White read stories to the girls, painted faces and taught them proper tea party etiquette. She also crowned the birthday girl "Princess for a Day."

I used some amazing vendors for this party! Here is list of the vendors and the products I used:

Oriental Trading Company - lanterns above the dessert table, goody boxes and apple lables.
C & C's linen company - Chevron napkins
The TomKat Studio - fruit cups and small white boxes (on the tea party table)
The Sugar Diva - striped and polka dot straws
Speciality Bottle - lemonade bottes
Save on Crafts - tree stumps and moss mat
Ashley's Party Inspirations - invitations, goody bag labels and favor tags
Fairy Dream Wear - the birthday girl's outfit (she does lots of designs and themes)

Thank you to everyone who made this party possible!