Friday, February 25, 2011

Guest blog! YAY!

My tutorial for a braided flower headband appeared on Abbey Hepner Photography's blog today! Hip hip hooray!

Check it out here!

Thursday, February 24, 2011

I heart rainbows

I've always liked rainbows. Just look back at any drawing I did as a child. There was one on the fridge for years and years where I filled an entire (small-ish) page with hearts and rainbows. I don't know if I was just trying to prove that I was, indeed, a stereotypical girl. Regardless, I still heart a good rainbow. So, when I was asked to make a rainbow cake, I was pretty excited. (Especially since it started out as Dora and I wasn't terribly confident in my ability to make a cake actually resemble Dora. Phew.)

So, it started with the sketches from this earlier post. Then, I moved on to making the cake batter. Then, I cooked it. Then I ran it by my official tester. She approved.

There were some scraps.

My uncle ate those while fixing everything under the sun in my house. I love people who work for cake - especially scraps! (I'm very lucky.)

Then, there was frosting to be made. The mixer got a workout by batch 3 or 4.

Ah...frosted cake. Yes, it's ugly - that's really just a crumb coat so that I could rainbow-ify it without getting crumbs in the stripes of the rainbow. Plus, I used a pretty sweet buttercream, so less is more - that was my theory anyway.

Then, I used a toothpick to draw the rainbow from my template. I love it when I can see everything coming together.

I piped some thick frosting around the clouds, thinned a little frosting with more milk and corn syrup (more sugar!) and filled in the clouds. Then I did the same for the red and orange...

...the yellow and green...

...and finally the blue and purple. Try as I might, I could not get a photograph showing the true purple-y-ness of the purple, but it was *purple* I tell you, not bluey-purple. (Note to self: maybe you really should read that camera manual...)


I won't lie - those stripes are deceptive. It probably took me 2-3 hours to do the clouds and the stripes. Then again, it involved 14 different frostings in the end. Each color had two different consistencies. And there were pastry bags to be washed over and over. And quite an array of colorful dishes and waters.

The cake itself was fairly big - 12 inches by 18 inches and at least 2 inches tall.

The cake then found its way into a large cake box.

I was so grateful when, at the last minute, I was able to buy a cake box from Coffee to a Tea. I added a cupcake sticker because it's cuteness.

And that's how I made a rainbow cake instead of sleeping.

(PS - I have a cold. Wonder why.) :)

Thursday, February 17, 2011


So, yesterday I mentioned this rainbow cake I'm baking. It's for one of the little girls at D&G Dance Company. I *really* extra super hope it turns out so, so pretty. However, I still haven't decided on which buttercream frosting recipe I'm going to use. This could be a problem as it has to be frosted tonight. Meh - what's one more late night?! I'll be on vacation on Saturday! (Oh wait. Vacation with a 7 year old. Dear sleep: I miss you.)

Although I haven't decided on the frosting, I have started sketching the cake. Yes, I sketched a rainbow. There were rulers involved. And three sketches gone awry.

This is serious math.

How come it seems that I used to be able to do this free hand as a child no problem, and now I need rulers?

Tuesday, February 15, 2011


Ok, so this week is busy. Really busy. There's a rainbow cake to be made and delivered, and packing to be done for our trip to San Diego with Chris' daughter. (Which will be fun, once I get over the 'getting up at 4am on Saturday' part. Mornings and I are not good friends.)

I know I'm behind, because the shop came online on Monday, but, I have to talk about Anthropologie's wedding line BHLDN (pronounced Beholden)! So vintage chic!

Clutch, anyone?

From here and here.

And guess what! There are dresses, too! (Obviously.) For the girl who wants to go vintage all the way, the details on this dress are stunning:

I also love the taupe-y color of this dress. Perfect for those lighter skin tones!

This next dress would be an absolutely perfect bridal shower or rehearsal dinner dress. Or perhaps an "I'm eloping but I still want to look completely lovely" dress. Or, an 'I want to look stunning without looking like I'm trying to hard at my casual wedding' dress. Oh, the possibilities.

I could see myself wearing that if I were having a different kind of wedding. It's so preeetty.

The dresses are gorgeous and whimsical, but what I'm really mad over are the accessories in the BHLDN line. This feather hairpiece looks a insanely similar the one I won from my photographer, Abbey Hepner. So, of course, I likes.

This one is just the perfect amount of bling for one's hair. I could also see it being turned into a gorgeous belt. Mmmm.

I also love these hair sparklies. Yes, I think that's the technical term.

This necklace could be completely stunning. It's way out of my budget, and I feel like I'd have to see it on to be sure, but it's simple and delicate, yet intricate at the same time. And so unique.

But the thing I covet the most is this brooch:

I have such a thing for anemones. I know it's a broach, but how gorgeous would that be in someone's hair!? Yep. Love.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Who knew!?

Registering is suuuuper fun! I was sort of dreading it - I mean shopping for pillowcases with the husband to be...that could get frustrating quickly. Don't get me wrong, he likes to shop, but more for shoes for me than covers for pillows. However, I promised him a burrito, and off we went. (No, I'm not above bribing grown men. What!?) It didn't hurt that he found a Packer fan (from Mexico - who watched the game during his wedding reception...) and me and my registration gun found the Martha Stewart cake plate collection. Who doesn't want one of these in every size!?

Or perhaps square!?

I'm not going to lie, I love both. They had mini ones in cupcake size as well. Cuteness, shrunken! (I can't find a photo, however. Boo.) And this MS compote/bowl/dealie. Love.

Then, I started in at Sur La Table. Macy's is great because of their national presence, but I need really specific cooking things that aren't available at Macy's. I compared the pricing between Williams Sonoma and Sur La Table, and found Sur La Table to have the more reasonable prices. Plus, it's a local Seattle company that has stores all over, and online shopping. Done!

I so rarely let myself go crazy in stores because, well, I have loans to pay off. But this!? This is fun, fun, fun. And if we get only some of the things, or none at all, that's fine. I'm just enjoying creating my wish list! (Er, wait. *Our* wish list...uhhh, yeah.)

I've managed to register for an extraordinary number of things, but most things are under $50. Some are only $0.95 (strawberry huller, anyone!?) and I included fun things like vanilla and sprinkles and melon ballers.

But, my greatest wish? Can you keep a secret? It's this:

Ok, so maybe it isn't a secret that I love this. It's completely drool worthy, though! Am I right? It's a 6 quart Kitchenaid. That's a full 2 quarts larger than the one I have now. Yes, of course, I do have a Kitchenaid already...however, it's very loved and is starting to slow and make strange noises. I would absolutely love to have a bridal shower where everyone donates whatever they can to my "Kitchenaid" fund instead of people buying me a bunch of little things. It'll be a "mixer" shower. Yes. Yes, it's a fabulous idea. But, we'll see.

Chris has also offered to buy it for me as my wedding gift. Isn't that so sweet!? But, I feel like it's so expensive! And I'm not sure I'm so into that whole "wedding gift for your soon-to-be-spouse" thing. Thoughts? Comments?

Monday, February 7, 2011

Super Bowl Sunday Deliciousness!

Wow. I actually enjoyed the Super Bowl. That's a first. But, mostly, I enjoyed the attention my cupcakes garnered. It also helped that my friend Roque invited all of my favorite people to his Superbowl/Birthday party bash, so us girls could catch up with each other in the kitchen as the boys yelled/swore/jumpedupanddown in the living room. It was quite a lovely, albeit loud (until we disconnected that pesky speaker - shhh), evening.

Ok, back to the cupcakes. As mentioned in this post, my friend wanted hostess-style cupcakes for his birthday. So, I made chocolate cupcakes filled with a marshmallow cream filling and topped with a thickened chocolate glaze (so the footballs would stick). I wish I had a photo of the center...sigh.

Per the fiance's request, I outfitted 10 chocolate footballs with fondant G's. Chris even helped by massaging the proper mix of yellow and orange food coloring into the fondant.

Hmm...the close-ups aren't great. I wish I had more knowledge of how to work with fondant and make it look more professional. I also wish I had a *lot* more time so I could have made cookie cutters instead of freehanding all of these with nothing but a knife and a paper outline to follow. Despite their imperfections, I think they looked quite fantastic all grouped together.

Here are some more shots of the cupcakes all assembled:

All of the cupcakes:

There was quite literally sea of football cupcakes! (In my defense, 53 people RSVPd to this event.)

I don't think I've ever had so many people compliment me on my cupcakes and tell me that they were amazing. More than one person told me they thought they were purchased from, and I quote: "one of those fancy cupcake places." I was asked if I was a professional baker. A lot.

Oh, and as for the Super Bowl, Chris' team won. "Go pack, go." (Wait. I don't think they use punctuation in there. Anyways...something like that.) Oddly, more people asked me if I was from Wisconsin (probably because of the packer t-shirt I was wearing) than Chris. I'm guessing this is because he was the only one glued to the tv. No one really knew he was there.

Chris did look over at me when I threw my arms up into goal posts and yelled "Gooooooooal!" I thought it was hilarious. I think he just rolled his eyes. Rightfully so, really.

Friday, February 4, 2011

See!? The Superbowl can be fun!

Look what I made!

I get so excited every time a friend oohs and ahs over my goodies. Someone even called me "beyond ridiculous." I'm not going to lie, I love it. I love when I see an idea come to fruition in a way that makes me proud. So, hooray for Superbowl Cupcake Toppers! They make me happy!

Chris, after complimenting me on how nice they looked, also informed me that these aren't true to reality because NFL footballs don't have stripes (or maybe Superbowl footballs don't have stripes - apparently, I wasn't listening all that well). To that, I say pththththt. In my research, I had discovered that some footballs had stripes while others did not, but I decided on stripes - I think it makes them look more like footballs and less like ovals with shark teeth on top. Don't you agree?

Stay tuned for more photos of the finished product. A good friend of mine is having a joint Birthday/Superbowl party on Sunday, and he requested hostess cupcakes. I was, of course, completely appalled, so I made homemade hostess cupcakes...thus the couple of toppers that look like hostess cupcakes - just so people know what I was going for.

Per Chris' request, I will also make Green Bay Packers toppers for a few of the cupcakes. He's from Wisconsin, so he is of course a Packer fan. It's bred into those Wisconsinites. He's very excited for the Superbowl. I'm really just looking forward to hanging out with the girls. :) Shhh...don't tell!

Raya can't wait.

I'll post the finished project next week!