May Wedding Series – Thinking Outside the {Cake} Box

As we kick-off the May Wedding Series, I thought I’d get right to the good stuff and talk about DESSERT first!  It goes without question that the wedding cake is one of the focal points of the wedding reception.

The creative options for flavors and design are near endless and the next cake is always looking to wow the crowd!

But perhaps you’d like to wow in a different way?  Make the sweet treat for your guests a truly unique surprise by forgoing the fondant altogether and consider some wedding cake alternatives that everyone will surely enjoy!

1. Serve YOUR favorite desserts

Perhaps you and your love met over coffee and scones, or he proposed over tiramisu in Italy.  Incorporate that special meaning within a dessert bar, or individual dessert favors as a place setting.

I promise, if you deck out a churro bar, milk and cookies or build your own sundae bar, no one will even notice the cake is missing!

Some other fun ideas:

- Donut bar

- Mini cheesecakes in jars

- Popcorn flavoring station

- Mini assorted pies

2. Truck it in!

Having a food truck show up just for your guests on your special day is all the current rage!  I mean, what could be better for a dance break than having your very own ice cream truck?

And those food on wheel options are growing, so there is sure to be one you’ll love!

Northern California folks be sure to check out Cupkate’s BakeryKona Ice Shaved Ice, Twirl and Dip Organic Soft Serve, and Johnny’s Doughnuts.

Do you have any other great ideas for wedding cake alternatives to share?  Did you have a fun idea at your wedding?





My Birthday Week – Pay It Forward Day

I think it’s pretty spectacular and full of personal meaning that my birthday falls smack dab in the middle of Earth Day and Pay It Forward Day.

Yesterday we whisked the family off for a carefree day in San Francisco – the weather, it couldn’t have been more perfect.  We hit up the Sightseeing Tour Bus, bought souvenirs and ate greasy pizza for lunch, found the Full House house and relaxed at the Presidio.  You know, all the kooky touristy stuff you do when you live less than an hour away:)

some iPhone shares of us crazy tourists

At the end of the day I checked in on Facebook and was completely overwhelmed with lots of love from my friends!  It’s funny how I thought I could keep up and respond by saying thank you to everyone.  If I somehow missed you on there, please know I truly appreciated the wishes.

In fact, this morning I woke up and decided that on behalf of you all – all 120+ at last count – I would donate a dollar for every birthday wish to a local charity.  So thank YOU for making my day and for a making a difference in someone else’s life!

If you would like to participate in Pay It Forward Day 2014, you can check out the Pay It Forward website for ideas, or more ideas on Spread

If you feel so inclined to monetary donations, the local homeless shelter I donated to is called the Opportunity House and you can find their donation page here.  It’s an absolutely wonderful organization and I know the leaders personally, great people with great hearts.

If you have a heart for helping moms have healthy babies, my dear friend is SO CLOSE to her team’s goal on their March of Dimes Team Page.

Friend and Founder and Editor of The Perfect Palette is uniting for her dear uncle is in Stage 4 cancer.  If you or someone you love dear has experienced the trauma of cancer related expenses, please consider donating at his personal Pay It Forward Dollars For Darrell Page.

If you find a great way to Pay It Forward or if you have a heartwarming story on how someone paid it forward for you, please share with me!  I love positive and encouraging stories!



Happy Easter – Egg Decorating Fun

The kids eggs look almost too good to eat this year!

I love that as the kids get older, the experimenting with the egg decorating can reach new heights!  This year we traded in the dye cups and wax crayons for whipped cream and an embossing gun – OOooOOOOh!

Does your family have a golden egg that is worth a special treat?  Somehow along the years this went from a small treat to being worth money – I don’t know how that happened, those kids are pretty sneaky.

For this golden egg I embossed nearly the entire egg, leaving small patches showing through.  I like the randomness of the gold and the embossing gives it some extra strength.  I did this by rolling the egg all over the embossing ink pad, rolling the egg again in the embossing powder and then using the gun on one ‘side’ of the egg at a time.  Caution: the eggs do get hot from the gun!  This Easter Egg Embossing technique uses stamps for adorable patterns.

And the kids have found their new favorite way of decorating!  I had found a few tutorials on Shaving Cream Easter Egg Decorating and after skimming Pinterest I saw that it could be done with whipped cream as well.  I don’t know, something about the shaving cream on a potential food product grossed me out.  So we took tips from this option of  Whipped Cream Easter Egg Decorating by whipping up some heavy cream and tossing in some dye.  Simple as that really!

Some tips from the kids:

-Wear gloves.  Or be prepared when the daughter freaks out that its ruined her manicure.

-Don’t mix too many colors.  Or as the boy said, you’ll get poo colored eggs.

-It can get messy so be near a sink to wash hands and face.  This tip is from the Mom of kids who just wanted to eat the whipped cream.

What do you think?  Do you like the outcome?

We really had a fun time experimenting and are already looking forward to next year. We found a great tutorial on using oil to make Marbleized Easter Eggs and our own Natural Easter Egg Dye.

I hope your family has a blessed day together and I would love to see some of your fun egg-ventures!