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!

pj party invitations

I was asked recently to design/make invitations for a little girl's birthday pajama party. I decided to do little "beds" that opened up to reveal the party details. I found a little paper doll print out online that looked exactly like the birthday girl - I just love when those happy accidents happen! So, I printed those out, made her some pj's and created a bed around her using the birthday girl's favorite color (purple) papers and ribbon.

Check back tomorrow - I'll show you the cake I made for the party. And I'll show you what her mom did to decorate the table - ADORABLE!

giveaway :: winner

The winner of the Egg2Cake Momglish basket is....

Comment #6 - mikemy
hmm...I LOVE the notebook. mommy likes her notebooks!

Congratulations! Please email me at to claim your fabulous prize. And a special thanks to the ladies of Egg2Cake - what a great giveaway!

happy thanksgiving

Wishing you all a wonderful holiday! 
Happy Thanksgiving!!!
I am so thankful for so many things this day - too many to count really.  
And, I do want to give thanks to all you wonderful readers.  I really appreciate your readership!  


giveaway :: egg2cake

Back in May, I had the pleasure of meeting an exciting new correspondence company at the National Stationery Show.  Egg2Cake is a fun and innovative company with practical, yet hilarious, correspondence for all types of occasions.  I loved seeing their new and fresh products and it gives me great pleasure to introduce you to them.
The creative name Egg2Cake has many meanings - embryo to first birthday, ingredient to dish, idea to execution - but the company's mission remains singular:  To help people make wonderful memories filled with humor and meaning and to help people put down roots.

They have three distinct areas of focus to their products...
Parenting (Momglish)
Celebrating (Egg2Cake cards)
Entertaining (Toast) - coming soon: spring 2011 (I, personally, can't wait for this launch! - you know, entertaining and all)
With this wide base of categories, you're sure to find what you need.

You have to check out their products - I get a good chuckle every time I do!

Okay, now for the good stuff - a giveaway!!!  The lovely ladies of Egg2Cake want to give you an awesome package of products from their Momglish line.  Get ready to laugh!  Heading to a baby shower soon?  Know someone who is expecting?  This giveaway package would be a PERFECT gift for expectant and new mom's alike.  Check out their giveaway package below... be sure and click on the images so you can read the content - funny, funny!

Do you speak Momglish?
Products in the Momglish Basket Giveaway
(retail value: $70.70)

Momglish: New Life, New Language

A dictionary-inspired lexicon that captures the real deal of modern motherhood, one twisted definition at a time. Smart and irreverent, yet down-to-earth, the concept recognizes and celebrates what having a child does for the mind, body and soul. There’s no shortage of baby gifts in the marketplace but no line that focuses on the mother with such a distinctive point of view and branded look and feel. A great find for someone looking for a unique alternative to the traditional shower gifts and who is wanting to celebrate a mom-to-be in a fresh, new way. 

1. Pocket Dictionary
The “mother” of the line contains over 80 definitions about pregnancy and motherhood, all based on wordplay and divided into two sections: B.C.: before child and A.D.: after delivery. There are also some fun illustrations sprinkled throughout which uniquely tie in to the definitions. Many of the definitions are then played out on other product.

2. Parenting Wheel of Misfortune
Put a new spin on who does what! A spinner wheel that offers a humorous way to divide up the not-so-fun or more mundane tasks of new parenting between the mother and father, or any caregiver, for that matter. It utilizes many definitions from the dictionary and is great for passing around at a shower and getting everyone laughing and talking about their parenting “war stories”.

3. Pregnancy & Parenting Postcards
Handy for sending out quick announcements and updates to family and friends. 4 each of 4 versions, total 16. Includes now showing, save the date, wish you were here and we're moving.

4. Door Hangers
2 sets (“Boobtopia” for breastfeeding mamas and “Do not perturb” for new mama and baby), 4 in each set: establish privacy and boundaries with a wink and a smile from the front door to bedroom and nursery.
5. Pregnancy Belly Growth Chart
There are no shortage of growth charts for children these days, but we hadn’t seen any for a mom-to-be’s growing belly. Can be taped on a wall as a backdrop for photographing the belly in all its glory or marking the curves and dates directly on the chart. Use the back to mark the newborn’s length at birth... everyone sends announcements about the weight and height which all sounds a bit abstract but this chart goes a step further in creating a visual keepsake. Copy on the front speaks to the humorous developments that occur throughout pregnancy and includes definitions from the pocket dictionary.

6. Newborn Diaper and Feeding Log: Because what goes in must come out!
If you’ve had a child, you know the photocopied worksheet the hospital gives you after birth on which you record baby’s feedings and diaper changes. This cute little log replaces that and has space for tracking baby’s first month. Also includes a little humor and makes a great keepsake that should be presented to one’s child at the prom (preferably in front of their date!), graduation or wedding. Look how far they’ve come!

7. Greeting cards
Includes the humorous and heartfelt in sentiment and checklist format, 20 cards currently. Included: You are an eggceptional human being. Congratulations on your pregnancy!

Other available Momglish products (not included):
- mamentos journals: memory keeping for mama (2 versions: pregnancy and mama's first year)
- notepads (10 versions)
- pregnancy and breastfeeding coasters (great for showers)
- pregnancy and parenting bookmarks
- sticky notes and page markers

This giveaway is now closed.
Here's how to enter:

Go visit Egg2Cake's "2shop" page, then come back and comment here telling me what you like the best!

Winner will be chosen on Friday, November 26, 2010 at 11:00pm (EST).  Any entries received after this time will not be considered. Open to US residents only. Winner will be chosen using

Good Luck!

cricut cake machine

I just scored a deal and wanted to pass along the news in case anyone else is interested. I headed out to my local Michael's this morning to pick up some new cookie cutters and stumbled upon this....

The Provo Craft Cricut Cake machine is on sale for $49.99!!!!!!
Regularly $399.99. Yeap, I'm pretty excited!

The sign did say "while supplies last" and "only at select stores". So it might not be available everywhere. When I was at Michael's last week it was on sale for $99.99. So glad I didn't "bite" on that offer.

From my understanding, Cricut Cake has released a new Martha Stewart edition and they are wanting to get rid of the "old" ones. From what I have read though, there aren't any differences in the machines other than the color - the new Martha version is white instead of red. (I can deal with red for a savings of $350.00!!!) There are different cartridges (Martha designs) in the new one, but I just figured I'll buy those by themselves if I really want them. I'll just start with the cartridge that was included in the box and also with the cartridges I have from my Cricut Expression. Yes, you can use any Cricut cartridge in the cake machine - how cool is that right!?

They also have all the Cricut Cake accessories 80% off. Extra cutting boards, replacement blades, fondant papers, etc. I bought one of everything just so I have it. Like the cutting boards (you can never have too many of those) for $2.60 - regularly $12.99! And if all this good news wasn't enough, they also had all the cake cartridges on sale for $9.99 - regularly $89.99. Yeap, I bought one of each of those too.

Anyone already have the Cricut Cake? Do you like it? Want to share any tips with a new user?

For those interested and in response to the questioning comment below, I dug up my receipt and have included a scan of it. As you can see from the highlighted scan, $49.99 was indeed the price I paid.

fudge covered ritz crackers

They're back!!!  Last year, toward the end of the holiday season, I stumbled upon these Fudge Covered Ritz Crackers.  I fell in love.  Pure bliss!  They are so good!  Shortly after discovering them, my love affair ended though, since they are limited edition crackers.  But, oh-happy-day when I recently saw them back at the market for this year's holiday season!!!  I haven't bought any yet.  And I'm pretty proud of that by the way - my hips will thank me later.

You could put out a little tray of these at your holiday party and I guarantee they're won't be any left!  If you haven't tried these delicious treats, go, run to your local market and pick up a box.  You won't regret it!  
[Disclosure:  This is just my tummy's little humble opinion.  No one at Nabisco knows me, contacted me or even knows I wrote this.  I received no payment for my post - Mr. Nabisco, if you ever do see this little blog of mine though, feel free to send a box! :) ]

foliage place mats

(image via Martha Stewart)

I have an ever-growing "idea folder".  Like many of you, when I see something I like in a magazine, book, website, etc. I document it and store it for later.  Then, before each holiday, I peek at the ideas to see if there is anything I want to use that year.  This morning, I pulled out my Thanksgiving folder to find something to share with you guys.  I just love this Martha idea - it's simple, super easy and anyone can do it.  All you need is a pair of scissors and fall-colored fabric.  See here for the templates and how-to.  You could also make these out of bright fall-colored paper.  Furthermore, what about laying them atop a rustic burlap tablecloth?  Lovely, right!?  So simple, clean and modern, but still very festive.  

Better yet, since I'm sure we are all starting to already feel stress from the holiday to-do's, why not have the kids do this chore.  They would love doing this too!  As an activity, have the children make their own place mats for their children's Thanksgiving table.  Can I sit at the children's table!?!?

pretty in pink

Here is a simple little cake I did for a 90th birthday.  90 - WOW!!!!  The birthday girl really likes pink, so that's what we did.  

coupon code :: brookstone

Now that Halloween is over, the holiday season gears up and the gift shopping begins.  And boy do I have a deal for you guys!

Brookstone, you know the awesome store with great gifts, recently contacted me wanting to give my readers a deal.  I just love Brookstone - they are one of my go-to places to find great gifts. Especially those hard to find gifts for the men in my life - husband, dad, brother, etc.  Like last year, I bought my husband this fun remote control helicopter. Not only did he enjoy it, but it was also a gift that he enjoyed sharing with the kids. Some other examples of great gift ideas - gifts for him and gifts for dad. So hit the ground running and get a hop on your holiday shopping list.

Enter this code: 22SAVE for $10 off any online purchase of $70 or more.   Hello money in your pocket!!

Happy shopping! Hope this helps you save some money and tackle your shopping list. Thanks Brookstone!

[Disclosure:  I did not receive any financial or product payment for this post.  I was just kindly offered the same discount as my readers.]

halloween costume series :: bee and the beekeeper

Happy Halloween!!!  Hope you all got lots of candy!

To finish out the costume series I started earlier this month, here is a picture of my kids' Halloween costumes this year.  Buzz, buzz!   

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