Saturday, May 1, 2010

Cake Decorating MNI

I love having friends over especially for crafty endeavors. This past Thursday I hosted a mom's night in for cake decorating. A friend in my mom's group, Kelly, taught Wilton Cake Decorating classes for years and still makes cakes for clients. Kelly made the Mario themed cupcakes pictured for the birthday party of another friend. In addition to the adorable cupcakes, she also made a cake for the adults with Mario. Anyways, back to Thursday. Everyone brought plain cupcakes to decorate. Kelly brought her entire kit and everything needed for icing. We learned about the tools, techniques (tort, level, crumb layer, starts, shells, writing, piping), and some tricks. My favorite tips were: cook the cupcakes a couple days before you need them, you can freeze icing, and parchment/wax paper is your friend. We had a ton of fun. I never understood how someone would willingly cover a cake with little stars. Now I get it. I'll probably stick with cupcakes, but I get it.

I can't wait to try my own recipe for icing using organic shortening. I'm almost out of the Jungle Organic Shortening no longer carried at Whole Foods.  I'm going to try Spectrum Naturals since I've always had great experiences with their other products.
Spectrum Naturals Organic Shortening, All Vegetable, 24-Ounce Containers (Pack of 4)

I also want to try India Tree Natural Decorating Colors Set.  I've been eying them for over a year. The reviews I've read have stated that there are no odd tastes with these colors.  I bought a "red" natural coloring at Whole Foods for my daughters birthday. I was shooting for a pastel pink and it came out a kind of a dirty pink with a tart flavor. It was good, just not fabulous.   

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Major changes

Lots of changes around here in the past almost year. April 1 was my last day in the corporate world. It's been 2 weeks and I couldn't be more excited about my decision to make my 3 wonderful children my #1 focus. My first week was spring break for the kids. We started off with Easter weekend at Nana's and Pop Pop's in NC. When we returned home, we went to the fountains, a farm tour, lunch with the nanny (Bud didn't get to see her the last 2 days), Half Pints at Whole Foods, park play dates, play dates at friends, neighborhood walks, walks to the store, and more. I've done a little nap time crafting, a lot of cooking, a lot of cleaning/organizing, and quite a few orders. We are having so much fun!

With the Bud and Sissy back in school, I'm trying to turn the house around and get more nap time crafting done! I have a few completed projects to share and more projects to come. One of my recent projects was to make some pink chaps for my friend's daughter. I sketched out the design and used a pair of Sissy's outgrown pants to get the right size. They came together pretty easily. They would be fun for dress up for boys or girls.My friend is quite the party planner and always comes up with awesome ideas. She was throwing a Cowgirl party for her daughter's birthday complete with a hayride! How gorgeous is her daughter?! My friend is in the beginning stages of starting her own party planning business. I'll link up when she gets her website/blog up and running.