sunflower cake pops

Busy, busy... tomorrow night I have a dessert table for a gala fundraiser at the ACES Educational Center for the Arts in New Haven, Connecticut.  At this year's event, the school is honoring a lovely client of mine that died suddenly last October.  He was a great asset to the city and will be sorely missed.  From what I've heard, the ticket sales for the event are the highest they've ever been - that just shows you what an amazing man he was.

So as I'm busy finalizing details, I thought I'd show you a quick sneak peek of one of the desserts - sunflower cake pops.  As I put them in their carrier for transport, my little one just couldn't take her eyes off of them.  I think someone wants one!  

flower placemats

A simple, yet sweet little craft I did this weekend in preparation for my daughter's birthday party - flower placemats.  It's not hard at all - just time consuming.  I'm sure it's been done a hundred times before (probably not even worth a tutorial!), but just in case someone wants to know how I made them...

You will need:
1.  10" cake rounds (available at any cake supply store)
2.  Fake flower petals (I bought them cheaply through Oriental Trading Company here - other colors available too)
3.  Hot glue gun and lots of glue sticks
4.  Patience - unfortunately I ran out of this!  After 19 boards and 900+ petals, I was ready for a new craft!

Glue petals overlapping around and around until you get to the center.  Yeap, I told you it was hard! :)

Viola!  A pretty placemat.  I think the hot pink cake plates I bought will look great atop these beauties!

These are for my daughter's April showers party, but how about these for your spring table!? Easter brunch!?  So cheap and easy.

april showers bring ella flowers :: part one

It's that time of year again... my oldest is celebrating her 6th birthday in a couple weeks. Since she has an April birthday, the theme for this year's bash is "april showers bring ELLA flowers". Now that I'm sure all the guests have received their invites, I'll share.  (It is so rare to get actual mail anymore that I didn't want to spoil the surprise for those invited.  Well, their mom's anyway; I doubt there are too many 5-6 years old checking out my blog!)

So, lots of raindrop, umbrella and flower photos coming your way soon!

q & u wedding cupcakes

I am really swamped right now (I'm sure you've picked up on this with my infrequency of late). Some upcoming events, my daughter's birthday party, teaching cake decorating classes, amongst other things... One of those "other things" was a quick little task for my daughter's kindergarten class. I think this idea is so original, and I just had to share. I had never heard of it anyway.

As with all kindergarten curriculum, my daughter's class has been learning the letters and their sounds for fundamental reading skills all year. But this past week was a very special week... they did two letters - Q & U. And they got married!!!!!! Isn't that adorable!? (Give me a tissue!) Since almost all words beginning with Q are followed by a U, the "wedding" is a great learning tool for the children. Q & U - together forever. I bet the kids don't forget it! So, of course with a wedding comes a reception, right!? I made the wedding cupcakes. Mr. Q sporting his bow tie and Mrs. U all white and sparkly - both atop fondant hearts and paired together in rows as they walk down the aisle. :)

Anyone else have any Q & U wedding stories? Wish my kindergarten teacher had been this creative.

for japan

Tomorrow I will be participating, with hundreds of other blogs, in a bloggers day of silence. Hopefully this awareness will make a big impact and in turn provide some relief to those suffering in Japan.  Our help is needed.  Desperately.  No matter how small, collectively we can make a difference.

green me :: pot of gold

A St. Patrick's Day series wouldn't be complete without a pot of gold!!!

(image via eighteen 25)
I love this "pot of gold" so much I'm copying it for one of my Irish friends/neighbors!  Check it out here.  (Besides, this will be a great way to give her back her jar.  She gave me a very thoughtful treat via this jar and now I'm returning the fun.  Maybe we can start a little game - The gesture jar!)  

Look, Look!!  That's a donut hole for the "pot"... fantastic huh!?  I thought it was sculpted fondant or something.  Nope, even easier.  Read all about them here.  (Oh, and get ready to giggle - Kristan's a funny lady!)  

And my personal favorite!  How can someone be this creative!?  Those are painted Gladware!!!!!  (Silly me, I just thought they were for storing leftovers.  I'm such an underachiever!)  Full tutorial here

green me :: rainbows

Like shamrocks, rainbows are also synonymous with St. Patrick's Day.  So for today's "green me", look at these rainbow treats.  
(image via Family Fun)
Cupcakes - so easy to make and kids will love them!  Find the recipe and how-to here.

(image via it is what it is)
Treat bags - no cooking required!  Easy how-to here and free printable here.

(image via makes and takes)
Pudding cups - Love this!  Sophisticated whimsy, right?.  Check it out here.  

Tomorrow's "green me"... what's always at the end of a rainbow?!?  Pot of Gold treasures, of course!


I am so concerned and heartbroken for all those affected by the devastation in Japan. Talking parties or more St. Patrick's Day (which is what was scheduled for today) just seems trivial. I will, of course, return to usual posts, but for today I want to stop and send my heartfelt condolences and prayers to our brothers and sisters across the Pacific. If you can, please donate. There are obviously tons of places to contribute, but the Redcross makes it very easy. Just text REDCROSS to 90999 for a $10 donation charged to your phone bill.  No matter how small, together we can make a difference.

green me :: sweet "potatoes"

I wanted to share a few great St. Patty's Day ideas that I've seen recently so I put together a little "green me" series.  "Lucky" you!  (I just love when a holiday to conducive to cheesy puns.  I'm such a dork - I know!)  So let the shamrocks fly....

(image via Martha Stewart)

Look at these faux sweet "potoatoes" from the always amazing Martha Stewart team.  Find the recipe here.  Children will love to help make these and give them to their friends.  Notice the stamped shamrock detail on the bag - it's just a heart-shaped stamp using green ink.  Love the resourcefulness of that little trick!

my latest obsession :: pinterest

Do you "pin"?  If not, you should!  I can't pull myself away from the computer. (It's getting ridiculous actually - like I'm afraid I might even forget to feed the kids!  Not to mention, the actual work I need to be doing.)  Pinterest is yet another platform (but the best in my little humble opinion) showing just how much "cool" is out there.  I love finding new and stylish ideas and this site is the mother load.  I'm completely gotten.  I'm completely in love.  I'm completely obsessed.  Wanna come share my new obsession with me?  Let me know in the comments section and I'll send you an invite - make sure and leave your email so I can send it to you.  You can check out my boards or follow me here.  Happy Pinning!

polka dot cake

This is just too pretty to eat - it took my breath away!  I love when a design is so universal it could be used for almost any celebration... from baby, birthday party, a wedding.  Gorgeous! 

(artist Damien Hirst, image via pretty little things)

march fourth

Today I march forth with my goals...  March 4th (get it!?) is a perfect day to not only reflect on goals you have accomplished, but also a day to set new goals to fulfill.  Publicly writing them down (both professional and personal) will hopefully keep me on track to making them happen.

March Fourth 2011:
- initiate more relationships with fellow bloggers in my interest areas (and further develop existing relationships)
- switch to my own domain name ( coming soon!)
- finish redesign / better my blog
- complete business organization project
- work on more collaboration projects
- do something nice for someone (stranger or friend) everyday
- turn off "work" and spend more quality time with my family (hard to do when you work from home!)
- finish designing / start family room and master suite renovations
- finish dining room tabletop

Anyone else celebrate "March Fourth"?  What are your "March Fourth" goals?

beach themed desserts

Here are a couple more things I made for the beach themed bridal shower I did last week.
(I had taken pictures of the table, but they were awful!!!  They looked like my lens had been dipped in Crisco!?  You can't see anything!  Thankfully, I had taken a couple quick shots before I headed to the venue.  I was actually just playing around with "rainy day" lighting photos, so these aren't stellar pics either, but I'm lucky I have anything to show!)

Anyway, moving on...  Chocolate covered strawberries with little blue swimsuits piped on. This was so hard by the way!!!  The client had asked for it and I struggled.  Just keepin' it real!  I played around with putting the suit on several ways, but this method was the only one that somewhat looked like an actual swimsuit.  

Cheesecake bars with a candy mold seashell on top.  I airbrushed the shells to give them a little shimmer.  These bars are delish!!  They always get rave reviews.  They are pretty time consuming, but really good.  The original recipe here from Martha Stewart.  It's actually intended to be a "flag" cake with strawberries and blueberries, but I obviously left off all the berries for this theme.  The following photo was the one I made for my daughter's red, white and blue party last year.

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