Nov 30, 2008

Santa Baby..

My little brother Andy and my best friend Chris both happen to be Santa babies and by that I mean they were both born in the month of December. A month consumed with Holiday parties, shopping and all things Merry. I don't doubt that they might at one point rather have there birthday parties in the middle of July! So in honor of my kid brother and BFF I have compiled a short list of Birthday themes that I believe would do well in the big month of December.

  1. Train Engines (Holiday Express)
  2. Toy Soldiers (the red, black and white ones with pink cheeks...not so much the little green ones)
  3. A Penguin Party ( a la Happy Feet?)
  4. A Winter wonderland
  5. Snow Fairy
  6. Snow Princess
  7. A Who's B-Day and yes you should invite the Grinch!
  8. Gingerbread Decorating Party ( a la Hansel and Gretal)
  9. Willi Wonka
  10. and my all time favorite ....A Candyland Adventure

Now these ideas can simply be inspiration for decor or can be full blown theme birthday parties. It is just a short list to get the wheels turning. If you have a suggestion for the list, I do hope you will share.

As for the Santa babies in my life...Happy Birthday Guys, I love you! You know me, I will always be up for a birthday party no matter what time of the year. Hey I just had a thought...if you prefer a birthday party in July we can make it a "Christmas in July" party....or not.

Nov 23, 2008

Real Life Confections- Case 1123

Meet Abigail Barnes. She is a wife, a mom and from my last count she has 3 Blogs {Piece of Cake Parties, Paper and Cake and See Jack Draw}. Where does she find the time?Who knows, but if that wasn't enough, well she also happens to bake. These are her confections...

A little self into from Abby herself..
My two sisters make fun of me. My own mother thinks I'm nuts. My husband rolls his eyes. I can't help it but to plan the party and figure out every detail, with relish! I always start with the most important element, the cake, and from there everything always falls right into place.
and what do you do when you are not baking?
When I'm not baking, I'm either cleaning the kitchen to make room for baking, or on my computer trying to discover what I would like to make. Aside from that, I have two crazy kids – my 6 year old daughter and 3 year old son – who love to "help". I also have a graphic design business that takes up a good chunk of time.
When did you first become interested in baking?
My mother made the BEST banana cream pies. The best. She would make them on a regular basis, for no reason other than it was everyone's favorite. My mother would also get together with my two aunts just before Christmas, and make hundreds of dozens of Christmas cookies to give out as gifts. My cousins and I would be locked out of the kitchen, only able to peer through the kitchen glass door, smell the wonderful scent of cookies, and hear, every few minutes, the "cookie ding" letting us all know that yet another batch was ready.
So what do you enjoy most about baking?
I love baking because there is no daily expectation. Baked goods do not need to be on the table every single night at 6pm. Baking is not cooking… I don't cook. I love baking because it is for me, when I want to do it, what I choose to make, and I get to sit back and watch the enjoyment.
Have you ever taken a class?
Yes, just recently, I took a cake decorating basics class with Melody Brandon (of at PREP Kitchen Essentials in Seal Beach. I couldn't stop talking about it for weeks. What is the first thing you ever baked?My mother is sitting here next to me as I answer these questions… I can't remember the first thing specifically, but she tells me my first project was probably cookies, and was probably a "group" project with my two older sisters.
My first "signature" baked good was (and still is) the cream puff. I made it the first time in celebration of my Grandmother's birthday almost 15 years ago. I still make it, and it still has that WOW factor.
What has been your biggest masterpiece?
My biggest (most painful) masterpiece has got to be the teapot cake I did for my daughters 5th birthday party. I found examples of it and tips on making it online on several different websites. The directions called for angel food cake baked in a round Pyrex glass mixing bowl. After the angel food blew up, I switched to regular cake (box of cake mix) and baked cake in the mixing bowl 3 times. What a mess! I just wasn't grasping the idea that the regular cake was to heavy to hold itself up. At about 11 o'clock the night before, I gave up, and told myself I would order a cake the next morning at 10am. At about 7am, I gave myself one last chance to put it together. I slowly assembled the bottom and top halves with a sliver of the third round in between. About a ton of buttercream later, I had done it! I will never do this cake again. Phew!
Do you have any other creative interests/hobbies?
You name it. Design, typography, fine art, photography, coffee, quilting, fund raising, scrapbooking, reading, interior decorating and any craft project of any kind.
Any words of wisdom for anyone wanting to get into baking?
Wisdom… I am a big time amateur, so there really isn't any wisdom to bestow. If you don't love it you won't do it, so why not hit the bakery instead?
Thanks Abby!
Images: Abby Barnes

Nov 17, 2008

Real Life Confections- Case 1122

Louise Dueholm is from Denmark and also happens to be the creator of the Cake Journal. She is a wife, a mother and oh yeah she is an AMAZING baker (self taught).
These are her confections:

more on this brilliant baker:
What do you do when you are not baking Louise? If I am not baking I am spending time answering emails and checking out other cake blogs. I do a lot of online research to see if there are any new cool cake pans, cupcake cases etc. I also love to read cake books. But because I am a stay at home mom I'm in charge of the daily household and with two kids it can sometime be hard to have time for everything at one go.
When did you first become interested in baking? I have always found baking interesting. But it started for real when I decided to make a cake for our wedding back in 2002.
What do you enjoy most about baking? Decoration!! I find it rather peaceful to sit and make sugar roses, flowers and figurines.
Have you ever taken a class? Yes and I can highly recommend it. You learn so much from it. What is the first think you ever baked? Hmm I think it was a chocolate chip cake...?
What has been your biggest masterpiece? My biggest masterpiece has to be a large wedding cake with fresh strawberries for some of our best friends wedding. The only bad thing was that I was extremely tired at the wedding reception because I hardly slept all night.
Do you have any other creative interests/hobbies? I like to paint, draw, and make fun creative activities with my kids.
Any words of wisdom for anyone wanting to get into baking? Just jump into it and keep practice and most of all have fun.
Thank you so much for participating Louise!
You can find Louise and her amazing work at Cake Journal. It is a great place to talk cake or find inspiration for your next shindig. Make sure you visit!

images: cake journal

Nov 4, 2008

Sorry for the silence

Sorry for the silence...we are in the midst of moving into a new and bigger (woohoo) place. I meant to put this little message out over a week ago but we started packing and moving and more packing and oh yeah then there was Halloween. Anyways we should be back to our norm soon enough.

The Challenge is on

The Challenge is on
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