Monday, April 30, 2012

Getting in Character

There is no doubt that this blog has served as a creative outlet for me. You can constantly find me in the middle of a project and it has been really nice to have people to share those things with. The extra "projects" have certainly been limited lately by the amount of cookies I have been making. That's okay though because they have forced me to work on my drawing skills, particularly with all of the character cookies I have created. These cookies are by FAR the most challenging and time consuming and I will admit that whenever people ask me for these I get nervous. However I think I have done a pretty good job replicating thus far. Of course there are requests for the classics, but some of these I had to do a little research on and get with the times!

So I thought this morning I would share my current collection of character should be interesting to see what this will look like a year from now!

Have a great week everyone!

Friday, April 27, 2012

Running with the Sharks

Remember the story of our amazing friends and their miracle baby? How could you forget? Everything is still going great for them and little C continues to thrive and steal our hearts. They are participating in the Mar h of Dimes March for Babies this weekend in honor of their girls. And since I cannot be there to support them, the least I could do was agree to send their team some cookies to enjoy at the finish line! In honor of team "Running with the Sharks" and the March of Dimes organization itself, here is what I came up with:
You can read more about their journey and also offer your support if you'd like here. Good luck this weekend Sharks - we will be thinking of you!

Friday, April 20, 2012

This & That

Happy Friday! As you can see from my lack of blogging, this has been yet another busy week. There were a LOT of cookies happening over here...and also some fun things to share.

Last weekend I was able to have a rare reunion with some of my college girlfriends and their husbands. I keep up with several different groups within our sorority and always enjoy spending time with each one. Nothing beats a reunion at the beach, especially when there is a beautiful wedding involved!

I made plenty of wedding cake cookies for the big event but of course failed to take a photo. Instead I will leave you with a photo of the most delicious wedding cake I have ever eaten - eclair cake. There is no doubt that I will be testing recipes to replicate this very soon.

Another highlight of this hectic week? The Discovery's final mission passing right over my office. It was not me who took the best cell phone photo of this exciting flight, but my husband who captured this beauty from his office window of the shuttle flying over Georgetown University.

Next week I will be back to sharing new cookies. In the meantime I hope you all have a wonderful weekend!

Monday, April 16, 2012

neVer forgeT - 4.16.07

We are Virginia Tech.

We are sad today, and we will be sad for quite a while. We are not moving on, we are embracing our mourning.

We are Virginia Tech.

We are strong enough to stand tall tearlessly, we are brave enough to bend to cry, and we are sad enough to know that we must laugh again.

We are Virginia Tech.

We do not understand this tragedy. We know we did nothing to deserve it, but neither does a child in Africa dying of AIDS, neither do the invisible children walking the night away to avoid being captured by the rogue army, neither does the baby elephant watching his community being devastated for ivory, neither does the Mexican child looking for fresh water, neither does the Appalachian infant killed in the middle of the night in his crib in the home his father built with his own hands being run over by a boulder because the land was destabilized. No one deserves a tragedy.

We are Virginia Tech.

The Hokie Nation embraces our own and reaches out with open heart and hands to those who offer their hearts and minds. We are strong, and brave, and innocent, and unafraid. We are better than we think and not quite what we want to be. We are alive to the imaginations and the possibilities. We will continue to invent the future through our blood and tears and through all our sadness.

We are the Hokies.

We will prevail.

We will prevail.

We will prevail.

We are Virginia Tech.

Thank you Dr. Giovanni, distinguished VT English professor, for your words that still resonate today. These words were spoken the day after a horrific event at a school that I love.

And while I cannot find the source of this quote, I just saw it on a friend's Facebook status. It is exactly what I needed to read after the troubling thought of this anniversary was the first thing that crossed my mind this morning.

"I ask each of you to take the time to be a Hokie this week. Appreciate life a little more, take in every moment around you, count your blessings, tell the people around you that you love them, slow down, remember what's truly important in life. And live for those 32 that do not have that chance."

I am proud to be a Hokie today and EVERY day. 4.16.07

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Birthday Girls

I have had the opportunity to make some adorable cookies for a few birthday girls lately. A girly birthday party is right up my alley so I always love doing these. Birthday parties were always a big thing for me growing up. The day after Christmas I would get out a notebook and start drafting a list for my February birthday (I'm sure my parents loved that!) We mainly had at-home birthday parties, something I really appreciate looking back. It's nice to have those memories at home. Thanks in part to a lack of Pinterest and Martha Stewart Magazine, the biggest fuss that went into our party planning was a trip to the party store to pick our paper goods and goodie bags, along with a choice in our cake theme. These days I find myself "pinning" party theme after party theme...I hope I can keep my head about me someday when I am planning children's birthday parties!

Anyway, back to these cute cookies. First we had Anna, an 8 year old who loves dance, bright colors and "anything cool." Her mom let me go from there and here is what I came up with:

Next we had cookies for a friend's precious 3 year old daughter. I was told she loves PINK and girly kind of gal!

And finally cupcake cookies for the joint birthday party of three one year olds. The cupcake cookie happens to be a favorite of mine.

So happy birthday to these lovely ladies and thank you to their moms - Deanna, Merritt & Marta.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

45 Hours in Nashville

Just about three weeks ago I set off for a girls' weekend in Nashville celebrating a very special bride-to-be. Kara is a sorority sister and good friend of mine who deserved to be treated to a fun celebration in her honor. It was many of our first time in Nashville and we did the best that we could to see it all in a short amount of time. The co-maid-of-honor did a fabulous job of planning our weekend so I thought I would replicate our agenda in case you ever find yourself with 45 hours in Nashville.

We stayed at the Hutton Hotel, enjoyed Friday night happy hour on the rooftop of Sambucca followed by a sushi dinner at Virago. The evening ended with a couple stops on Broadway checking out the touristy fun. (There was a Tim Gunn sighting at our hotel Friday afternoon - of course I missed it by thirty minutes.)

Saturday morning started out with a weekend highlight - the Nashville Pedal Tavern. We pedaled through the Broadway District for three hours, stopping along the way to hear live music at several suggested bars.

Later that afternoon a few of us decided to take a cab ride out to check out the Grand Ole Opry. I just didn't think I could go to Nashville and not see it. Bonus part of that excursion included a trek through the massive Gaylord resort as we searched for a cab back downtown.

Saturday night we decided to scrap our initial plans in favor of staying in the midtown area, dining at Chuy's and checking out two low-key bars close by - Winner's and Loser's.

(Click image to make larger)

And of course there were cookies...cowboy boot cookies in honor of our bride. Hint: I just might be posting a photo of the bride in her wedding gown donning some similar boots in just a couple of weeks.

So that was our journey and a fun one it was. There is really nothing like a good girls' weekend. My mom has always emphasized the importance of maintinaning friendships with girlfriends and I couldn't agree more.

Friday, April 6, 2012

Happy Easter!

I can't think of Easter without thinking of the year the Easter Bunny brought my brother and I a REAL bunny. We named him Fuzzy and loved him very much. My grandfather built Fuzzy an impressive home and he lived a very good life with us. Looking back I cannot believe my parents did that as we were strictly a dog family - I'm so glad they did though as it still is a magical event in my mind.

Wishing you all a very happy Easter weekend! As always I appreciate you following along. Enjoy!

And thank you Erin & Mary!

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

TUTORIAL: How to Make Easy Easter Placecards

I have mentioned this before but when I was a little girl I would spend Easter with my family at my great aunt and uncle's home. My cousin Jess was always the "waitress" making sure everyone had their drink orders while I would take charge of the placecards annually. Most of the time I would just remake the Easter Bunny placecards that my great aunt Josie originated. They are cute, simple and contain a treat that no one can really pass up after Easter dinner.

I thought I would share our little tradition in case anyone is looking for a quick Easter craft to do with their children...or maybe you're like me and just want a little something extra on your table that doesn't require much more than what you probably already have on hand.

To make Easter Bunny placecards you will need:
-Construction Paper
-Dental Floss
-Cotton Ball
-Pen or pencil
-Reese's Egg (Coconut is my favorite which is why I strategically used PB here!)

First, fold the paper in half and trace a simple bunny shape. (I wish I was fancy enough to make you a template but we are not going for perfection here anyway.)

Turn the paper inside out to hide your outline and cut out the shape. You can use the first one as your template to make more.

Take your pen and poke a small hole in the "nose" of your bunny. Thread two small pieces of dental floss through the hole and tie in a knot for the "whiskers."

Fluff out your cotton ball a bit and glue it to the bottom back of your bunny for the "tail."

Draw any details you would like to add and/or personalize for your placecard.

Finally, add a small amount of glue to the inside bottom of your template and attach your chocolate treat.

That's it!

HAPPY Easter!

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Say Yes to the Dress!

It's nearing wedding season! While the majority of wedding celebrations in my circle of friends have passed, I am thankful to have a few very special ceremonies to come this year. (Random fact: I believe from 2007-2009 my husband and I attended over 30 weddings!) I love a wedding and also enjoy the events leading up to them.

Recently a friend co-hosted a "Say Yes to the Dress" bridal shower. I took that theme and ran with it, "designing" several different wedding gowns along with a replica cookie of the bridesmaid dress. We decided to add a few purple touches as an ode to the wedding decor and wrapped up the set with wedding cakes as well as a few engagement rings.

Thank you Jackie!