new years

I hope everyone had a fantastic holiday! Now it's time to start talking about the next one... New Years! I was doing a little last minute shopping earlier this week and found this beauty at Pottery Barn. They had a whole line of New Years stuff.  Unlike most holiday plates, these can be used any time of the year. Timeless clocks - you can't go wrong!

And actually now that I think more about this set, what about turning it into a great "timely" gift. Yes, pun intended. Say an engagement gift with a card that reads "can't wait for your big day" or a big birthday (40th, 50th, etc.) with "time keeps moving".  You could do a gift for any celebratory event really with "time to celebrate" verbiage. Oh I could go on, but for your sake I'll stop.  Your welcome!


  Merry Christmas everyone!
I hope Santa was good to you!

creative christmas trees

Where did December go?  I just finished up my final jobs and finally feel like I can enjoy the Christmas season.  Good thing, since it's now Christmas Eve!!!  

I just came across this very creative tree and wanted to share.  (It would be perfect in your library, Mom!)

After I saw this tree, I went on the hunt for more unusual, creative tree ideas and look what I found.  So many innovative minds out there!

Source Unknown

I know it's too late to do these now, but there is always next year!

edible garnish

Knowing I had two holiday dessert tables, I bought these edible snowflake details at Michael's awhile back.  At the time I didn't know exactly what I was going to do with them, but I knew I could use them somehow.  I ended up topping my mini cupcakes with them.  The event you saw yesterday was all red and white and the other event was a blue and silver color scheme.  These were perfect!!  I used the white snowflakes on top of red icing and the blue ones on top of white icing.

I can't remember exactly what they cost, but it was only a few bucks I'm sure.  A really cute detail for just a little money.  I love it!  Here is a couple pictures of the bag so you can see what you're looking for.  For the sake of full disclosure, they weren't necessarily all that tasty, but edible none the less.  Most people just took them off.  The bag said they were blueberry and vanilla flavored, but I wouldn't give them that much credit.  They just tasted like nothing to me.


holiday table

Here are a few pictures from one of the events I had this weekend.  A red and white dessert table for a family Christmas party.  The dining room, where I set up, is decorated in all red, white and silver so that is the color scheme I followed.  It was so fun to do!  Enjoy!

All the name tags I made by hand and the stands were made with mini candy canes.  I just turned them upside down and hot glued three together.  Once together, I used the two loops to hold the name tags.  I thought they turned out cute and they were so simple to make.

This poinsettia cake was an idea I saw in the What's New, Cupcake? book.  The petals are made from Big Red gum and the center of the flower is yellow Skittles.  So easy!!

See these little snowflakes!?  I just love how they look.  I'll come back tomorrow and show you where I got them.  Such a cute little detail.

I also made eggnog mousse cups, pecan wedding balls, and chocolate covered strawberries.  I didn't want to bore you with too many close-up pictures.  

this and that

Just a little update on things...

First of all, I'm in the air, on an airplane, posting right now. This is a first for me, my friends. Thanks to Delta's gogoflight wi-fi (available on some flights) I am able to use my time wisely. Pretty cool!

Secondly, I wanted to thank everyone for their sweet words while I was going through this hard time. This was the first family member I have ever had to say goodbye to. And as if that weren't hard enough, I was asked to give the eulogy too. These past few days have been difficult, but I am so thankful I was able to fly back to be with my family. So much healing goes on just by being present. Thanks for understanding my absence.

This short little trip is going to really make this week interesting. Very busy! I have two events this coming weekend. Yikes! I have about 500 desserts to make in the next four days. So, I continue to ask for your patience.

In the meantime, checkout these adorable cupcakes I stumbled upon while figuring out what I'm going to make for my two Christmas tables this weekend. Really cute don't you think!?

grandma riedel

This is my grandmother - Grandma Riedel.  She peacefully passed away in her sleep this past weekend.  I am heading to Kansas to give her eulogy, an honor bestowed upon me by my family.  I only hope I can articulate what a wonderful person she was.

As I reflect, I realize my grandmother was a mentor to me long before I even knew it.  I can remember visiting her during summer vacations and pouring over every cake decorating magazine she owned.  She was also known to throw a party or two in her day - amazing parties! She planted seeds in me that now flourish.

I have been truly blessed.  Up until this weekend, I still had all four of my grandparents living. I grew up with strong, wise elders that loved me and taught me wonderful things about life. They got to meet my children and that makes me so happy.
I love you, Grandma!

kitchen ornaments

I'm a little obsessed with Christmas - admittedly so. I have a tree in almost every room in my house (a couple only little 4' trees). And each has it's own theme. The kitchen tree is decorated with, well, kitchen related ornaments and decorations! My favorite source for kitchen ornaments is Sur la Table. They always have the best to choose from - and this years loot is no exception. I want them all! Since I can't afford to buy them all (ranging in price from $6-20), I just wait until after Christmas and snatch up what's left at a fraction of the cost. Then I'm ready to add them to the tree for the next year. This Christmas season, I'm enjoying my chef's hat, Chianti bottle, pasty chef, and olive oil ornaments from last years series.

I just received the most recent Sur la Table catalog yesterday, and I thought I'd share a few of my favorites. There are several more cute ones, but these are the ones I'm hoping to snatch up for next year's tree. How cute right!? Which one is your favorite?

pipe cleaner christmas tree

We had a fun (impromptu) dinner with friends tonight after attending the annual tree lighting on the New Haven Green.  While walking from the festivities to the restaurant, we stumbled upon this!!!

A beautiful Christmas tree in one of my favorite restaurants (Bentara).  Doesn't it look so cool!?  Not only do they have great food, but now they ace Christmas tree decor too!?  I love how different it is - both in style and in colors.

Okay, now are you ready for this... guess what all the little colorful bursts are made out of?  Wait for it!  Wait for it!  Would you believe PIPE CLEANERS!!!!   What a great idea, huh!?  And so cheap!  Talk about getting major bang for your buck!

They achieved the overall look by making little bundles of about 40 pipe cleaners into bouquet type shapes - using yet another pipe cleaner to hold each bundle together.  Within each bundle, the pipe cleaners were shaped like a "burst".  They made several hundred bundles (a couple hundred for this 7' tree is my guess) and then tucked each bundle into the tree branches.  And viola!  One amazing tree - what a conversation starter!  I just think this is so creative and original!

pj party cake

Yesterday I promised cake pictures - here you go!  This pj party cake was so much fun to do!  For the ruffles, I used a new technique (well, new to me anyway) that I found via the uber-talented Melody from My Sweet and Saucy.  I just wish I had an ounce of her talent!  I thought the ruffles fit with the theme pretty well and I was dying to try it.  It was so easy to do!  Gotta love a new trick that's easy, but still yields a great finished product.  Like the invitations, I tried to make the sleeping girl look like the birthday girl - blonde and curls!!!


Okay, now you have to see what her mom did for decor!  She turned their dining room table into a bed - LOVE it!  The guests got to eat in bed - what kid wouldn't love that!?  Great party, Laura!

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