Here’s a better look at two just-for-fun spring cakes I made the other week.  All buttercream everything (as cakes should be).

Spring Flower Cake Watercolor CakeSpring Buttercream Cake

Crystal Soaps

Stone Soaps in Light

Soaps and Labels

Crystal Gem Soaps

With Mother’s Day approaching in a few short weeks (May 8th), I’ve put together a fun DIY gift idea for the awesome mommas out there. I had seen some very cool soap rocks at Anthro and a few other stores and fell in love with everything about them…except the cost. I wanted to see if I could make some myself for less, so that is what I did! I partnered with Avery to provide you with free downloadable and customizable tags for the soap so that you can wrap and label these precious gems perfectly for your momma! Follow along below for the tutorial and printable.

Crystal Gem Soaps-zoomAvery Labels on Soap 1Gem SoapsSoap Stones

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I know things have been a bit quiet on here as of late, I’ll have an update on that later this week. But for now, I just wanted to share a quick visual update from my cake-focused work recently.

Feather Cake

I made this whimsical feather cake for the adorable 2-year-old daughter of the owner / designer behind the insanely beautiful Odylyne the Ceremony. I was pretty pleased with how the modeling chocolate feathers turned out – and surprisingly found that part of the cake making process very therapeutic.

Feathers

Getting mail in a new home is very exciting, especially when it’s chocolate directly from Belgium. I enjoyed this gift a little too much and will need to hit the gym extra hard this week but man, these chocolates from Planète Chocolat were good. I would highly recommend them if you’re looking for some fine chocolate gifts!PlaneteChocolat

Here’s a look at some cupcakes that went over to Angeleno Magazine as a little thank you for a super sweet feature they wrote on me in their March issue. I went with a Neapolitan buttercream palette, which just so happened to match that issue’s cover with Allison Williams. Neopolitan Cupcakes

Here’s a tiny preview of a little something-something I worked on last week. More on this guy (and one other that accompanied him…or her [?!]) later!Watercolor Cake

anicajonpaul-wedding-19

Remember when I posted a little peek at THIS amazing Palm Springs wedding I was lucky enough to be a part of?! Well, you can see ALL of the amazingness that I was talking about from that very special wedding today on Green Wedding Shoes. Huge thank you to the cool couple Anica + Jonpaul for asking me to make their desserts, and to the amazing design / event planning babes at Hello Gem Events! Head on over to the GWS blog to take a look at all of the incredible photos HERE.

anicajonpaul-wedding-26anicajonpaul-wedding-27

Photos: Wes Sumner

I was so honored when Food Network asked if I’d make a lamb cake for Easter! To see my little (albeit long) name on THE go-to site for recipes, truly gives me the warm and fuzzies inside. This one is very special to me! For the cake, I wanted to do something that looked nothing like the superfluous (and kind of creepy looking) lamb mold cakes you see around this time of year. Believe it or not, this guy was made from just 6-inch round cake pans! The recipe is homemade, wholesome, and delicious – no fondant or other artificial junk. Plus, it’s a lot of fun to make…you can take my word on that, as I made three of them to ensure that I was providing the simplest process before sending it off. Head on over to FoodNetwork.com HERE to get the recipe and tutorial! And thank you so much to Lindsay, Sara, Michelle, and the rest of the Food Network team for supporting small, independent bakers like me…what an incredible thing!

AlanaJonesMann Lamb Cake

AlanaJonesMann Cake Boxes

I had the idea to make some retro-inspired cake gift boxes a while back and finally decided to give the idea a go earlier this week. Yes, you heard that right…cake gift boxes, you guys! So if you were looking for the most festive way to wrap the present you plan on taking to your friend’s upcoming birthday party, here it is! Or if you just want to make some rad cakes that won’t ever go bad…or are looking for some cute kitchen storage options. I could go on and on – but seriously, endless possibilities with these guys here! The project turned out to be more time consuming than I had planned because I could NOT STOP making them. I busted out six boxes over the past few days, which is a bit more than the one or two I had initially planned to make…but now there’s more of these amazing cake boxes to gift presents in, so no harm done here! And showing up to a birthday party with a CAKE gift box is pretty much the coolest way to show up, in my (very biased) opinion.

Plus, if the tutorial for these cake gift boxes wasn’t awesome enough, I’ve also partnered with Avery to bring you a free downloadable AND customizable printable for some fun gift tags that go great with these cake boxes. Enjoy!

Birthday BoxesCandle Topped Cake Gift BoxAvery Gift TagsSweet Gift Box DIY READ MORE (more…)

Here’s a cake to just make things OFFICIAL! Los Angeles, I’m yours!

LA Cake

I wanted the first cake I baked in LA to be something special and the rad LA patch designed by the very talented illustrator Tuesday Bassen seemed like the perfect design to replicate in cake form for the occasion. I’ve been a fan of Tuesday’s illustrations for a while and love following her on the ‘gram (you should follow her too —> @TuesdayBassen). The girl’s got some serious skills! You can check out all of her incredible work HERE and shop her very cool illustrated goods HERE. A big thank you to Tuesday for allowing me to use her design!

As I mentioned the other week, earlier this month we moved to LA without having a place to live arranged prior to our arrival. Luckily my hometown of San Diego is just a 2 hour drive away, and we had plenty of sweet friends who offered to let us crash with them in LA while we were searching. After a few exhausting days, we were starting to think what we wanted for our dream place might have to be reevaluated. Our list included a nice space (preferably a house) that was pet-friendly with great natural light, a good kitchen, and a yard. We were covering a lot of ground and exploring a bunch of different areas, but weren’t finding what we needed in our budget. Then on the third day (which felt like the third week), we found it! Best of all, it was in Echo Park, one of our favorite neighborhoods.

We really lucked out. It truly is everything we wanted and more….just look at these big windows and that white floor in the living room! It gets so much light that you practically need to wear sunglasses inside during the day. This level of brightness is huge for me since I plan on shooting a lot of photos in here!

Dreamy White FloorsWhite Floors

Since our moving van was more than a week behind us, we were able to enjoy the space as a blank canvas which was helpful as we started to dream up what would go where in our new home. The view out that living room window at sunset is pretty magical too!

Downtown ViewsThe decorating and fully getting settled will take some time, but this place sure is starting to feel like home. Since we have a lot of decorating to do, I’ll be sharing that process on here every once in a while. We are also planning on building and making quite a few unique pieces of furniture and decor for the space, so you can expect more home decor DIY projects on here from now on. I used to do a lot of them on here (proof HERE), but since the space in our BK apartment was so limited, they were always a bit of a challenge. However, now that there’s plenty of well-lit space, yards to landscape/decorate, and a full to-do list of  projects to make, I can’t wait to get started and start sharing the process with you!

Here’s a little clear blue sky inspiration to help you wind down on this Monday afternoon. These photos were taken on our road trip while we were at White Sands, which you can read more about HERE (see Day #6).

White Sands 6Blue Wig in White SandsWhite Sands 5White Sands Run White on White

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Here is the story and photos from our road trip. If you’re wondering what road trip I’m talking about, you can read all about that in yesterday’s post HERE.

Road Trip Day 1: Brooklyn —> Virginia

PinkCadillac

Once the car was packed and our suitcases (and vacuum!) were tied to the roof, we took a few minutes and just stood in our empty apartment. I felt sad, and perhaps a bit scared, leaving the apartment we had called home for the previous six years. We had loved that apartment so much, it truly was a special place to us – filled with so many great memories we had made together. We both were obviously having similar feelings, and simultaneously went to hug each other after looking around and catching each others gaze. We froze in that hug for a while, then looked at each other once more, nodded, and headed down to the car. By the time we got to New Jersey the pets all seemed settled and calm in the car which was a huge relief. We pulled over for gas, and as we were leaving the station the battery gauge dropped down low. It was strange because Chad had gotten the car checked out and had done some work on it himself to prep it for the drive – everything had been fine the week prior. So, we just ignored it because the car wasn’t driving any differently and continued on our way. We drove straight through Jersey, passed through Pennsylvania, then Maryland, and had arrived to Virginia by the afternoon.

As we were driving past Harrisonburg our car started acting strange and sure enough, 20 or so miles later it broke down. We actually weren’t mad or frustrated though, we just kept on laughing…of course we break down on day 1! Ha! While many would just quickly become frustrated, we kind of embraced the situation. We had pulled off the freeway onto a small road and not even five minutes had passed when a nice man named John pulled over to help us. He guided us to an Advance Auto Parts down the road, and helped Chad test the battery and alternator once we were there. Sure enough, the alternator had broken but John (who happened to work for another Advance Auto Parts) got us a discount on a new one, which was way less than what we would have paid for one in Brooklyn. Also, not too get too into this automotive breakdown story on my DIY dessert and design blog here, but you know how rare it is for a small auto parts store in the middle of rural Virginia to have one alternator in stock…which happens to be for a 2000 Jeep Cherokee?! Luck truly was on our side. Chad fixes cars and was going to have to spend the next morning fixing the alternator because the sun was setting (the sunset was incredible btw!), and it would be too dark for him to fix it at that point. But, luck just happened to strike us again when another kind man at Advance said he had a mechanic friend named “Giggles” who lived down the road who just happened to own his own garage and would be able to fix the alternator for us that night. What are the chances!?! We pulled up to Giggles’ house and sure enough he fixed it for us right there. While Chad and Giggles fixed the car, I sat in the back with the dogs – we got to ride up in the car while it went on the lift, which I was way too excited about. Once the car was fixed, we waved bye to Giggles and headed back on the road. It really was the best breakdown ever, filled with the kindest, most helpful people. After that experience we drove for another hour or so, then pulled off near Lexington for the night.

BreakdownVirginia Sunset

Road Trip Day 2: Virginia —> Nashville

That next morning we drove around Lexington, found a fun pink Cadillac, and hit up a local diner for breakfast. The diner was one of those place where you feel like the record stops when you walk in. Clearly, we weren’t locals – but again, we were treated with such kindness and enjoyed a delicious (and very unhealthy) breakfast before we hit the road.

Pink Cadillac 2Rural Diner 1Rural Diner 2 Pink Cadillac

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