Hi guys – Sorry for the lack of updates lately. I’ve spent the past two weeks sorting through the massive amount of stuff I’ve acquired during my 10 years in New York, as well as packing up everything we’re keeping, and returning our apartment back to it’s original state (painting it all back to white, patching the holes, removing wallpaper, and much more super fun laborious stuff). On top of that we had been trying to remotely find a place in LA, and after additional unneeded stress we decided that we will just do that once we are actually in LA. I’m hoping to have everything packed, all the walls painted/patched, and everything ready to go by next week so we can have one week to just really enjoy New York and not have to worry about any more moving details. Because for me, it’s been a job that never ends and I’ve found it impossible to focus on anything else since I work from home and am surrounded by the moving mess 24/7. Anywho, enough about that!

I wanted to let you know that we’ll be having a MOVING SALE this SATURDAY from 12 to 4 pm because there is A LOT of stuff we won’t be taking with us.  If you’re in Brooklyn / NYC, stop on by our stoop! Flyer with the address is below. Sale FlyerAnd PS – hang in there, I will be back to posting in a couple weeks!

Snow Globe Cake

I made this cake for my friend Kelly of StudioDIY earlier this week. It was a last minute decision on my part, so it wasn’t totally perfect. I would’ve liked the cake to be a bit smaller or the gelatin ball to be a bit larger so that there wasn’t that gap between the globe and the cake’s edge, but oh well! I was still pleased with it though – especially with the flamingo (balancing a little modeling chocolate flamingo body on skinny little legs is not easy!).  I was also very happy to hear the survived the trip back to New Jersey with Kelly – I didn’t know she had a full day planned in the city after our date…and that she had taken the bus. In hindsight, a buttercream cake is the worst gift to give someone who has that type of day planned! ha

To make the globe and toppers, just follow along with my Retro Snow Globe Cupcake tutorial. Just remember, to make a larger gelatin snow globe like this one, you will need to add a bit more air to your balloons!

Speaking of flamingos and the holidays, I’m off to Florida in a couple of hours and cannot wait! I hope you have a very merry Christmas! Sending you all so much love!

It’s that time of year again, when I start to get a bit nostalgic as I look back on all that was designed, baked, and made over here. There were so many great projects, I found it difficult to pick my favorites. So instead of calling these my favorites, I’m just going to call them the highlights.

Home DIY Projects: There were some really fun DIY project posts for the home. Once we move to California early next year, I plan on posting a lot more home projects…especially as we decorate and furnish our new place!

2015 Home DIY Projects

1. DIY Upcycled Paper Planter // 2. DIY Faux Stained Glass // 3. DIY Wall Shelf // 4. Drying Citrus // 5. DIY Peg Board // 6. DIY Marbled Pots

Summer + Southern: I wasn’t too sure what to call this selection of highlights, but they do all fit in the summer or southern-influenced category, so I’m just gonna go with that!

2015 best posts

1. DIY Rice Krispie Popsicles // 2. DIY Waterproof Beach Blanket // 3. DIY BBQ Macarons // 4. Otomi Cake // 5. DIY Cacti Chocolates // 6. DIY Cookie Tacos

Stone Sweets: I can’t believe those Gemstone Cupcakes were made in 2015, it feels like it’s been years since I made them! As I’ve mentioned before, the cupcakes were the initial project that inspired the agate slice cookies and cheesecake posts.

2015 Agate Crystal Posts

1. DIY Agate Cheesecake // 2. DIY Gemstone Cupcakes // 3. DIY Agate Slice Cookies

Retro Influenced: I’ve always been inspired by retro and vintage influences. These posts take obvious inspiration from my love of the past.

2015 Retro Posts

1. Retro Snowglobe Cupcakes // 2. Palm Springs Wedding Job – 1, 2 // 3. DIY Wallpaper Cakes

Pretty and Pop-Art: Another category I couldn’t think of a name for (ha!). But, I am certain that these are definitely some of my prettiest posts from the year.

2015 Posts

1. Fruit + Yogurt Popsicle Recipe // 2. DIY Balloon Cake Topper // 3. Flower Girl Los Angeles Collab // 4. DIY Embroidery Cakes // 5. DIY Vase Cake // 6. DIY Cake Painting

Wedding Cakes: And then there were a lot of naked/semi-naked wedding cake orders (this wasn’t even half of them!).

2015 CAKES

1. Semi-Naked Fall Cakes // 2. Spring Naked Cake // 3. Minimal Summer Cake // 4. Ranunculus and Strawberry Naked Cake // 5. Not Just Another Naked Cake // 6. Strawberries + Salted Caramel Cake // 7. Goldenrod Semi-Naked Cake // 8. Brooklyn Garden Wedding Cake // 9. Naked Cake with Currants

 

See my 2014 Highlights HERE

Holiday CakesI put together some quick and easy DIY ideas for those of you looking to add a festive holiday touch to your desserts this Christmas. The majority of these ideas can even be added to store-bought cakes, which is nice for those of you who don’t have a lot of extra time to spare. Wait, that’s all of us right now, yes??

HolidayCake2

Chic Cranberry Topped Cake: How elegant is this cake?! Black buttercream frosting, some spare greenery (I cut those sprigs from our tree!), and a handful of cranberries rolled in sugar is all you need for this one! Lightly mist the cranberries with water before rolling them in sugar. Once your cake is frosted, just top with the sugar-covered cranberries and add some greenery to your cake plate. Holiday Cake 4

Holiday Arch Cake: Use floral wire to make an arch, fit to the best size for your cake. Double or triple the wire (depending on the gauge), so that the arch is sturdy. Use separate strands of floral wire to wrap greenery around the wire, working your way from one end to the other. Added touches like mini pine cones or cranberries can be added with hot glue, just make sure not to add too much weight so that your arch can stand upright. Side note – frosting the sides of your cake using an upward motion with your spatula can slightly resemble the lines of a log, which adds an extra winter-y touch.

Holiday Greenery CakesGreenery Arch DIY

Bottlebrush Topped Cake: This is a very easy one. Mini bottlebrush trees (which you can get from any craft store) make for some lovely little cake toppers. Rumor has it, Joanne’s even has them in cute retro colors right now!

Holiday Cakes 5

Popcorn + Cranberry Garland Cake: Another easy one! Use a needle and thread to string a 10-12″ version of the classic popcorn and cranberry garland. Tie the ends to the top of skewers, add a dab of hot glue to keep them in place, and stick the skewers into your cake!

Holiday Garland Cake

Pretty Piped Cake: Pipe the side of the cake using a buttercream petal technique (follow along with THIS YouTube tutorial to learn how) and add large dollops of cone-shaped piped buttercream to the top. The top was my very subtle take on snow-covered trees. You could also use green buttercream for the dollops, and then dust with confectioner’s sugar to be a bit more literal.

Holiday Buttercream Cake

Hope you were able to get an idea or two from this post. Happy holidays everyone!!

Thread Honey Embroidery

I’ve been a fan of Jenn Riggs of Thread Honey and her amazing embroidery designs for a while now, so I decided to reach out to her last month to see if she’d be interested in collaborating on a little project I had in mind. After making my Otomi Cake I wanted to show you all a less intimidating way to bring in the look of embroidery to cakes, because I know how overwhelming that cake may look. So, that’s why I reached out to Jenn, and she was all for it! Jenn’s style is just so awesome – I’m sure you’ll all agree after you take a look at the incredible custom hand-embroidery designs in her shop. She sent me her Keep It Real hoop, because my initial intention was to just recreate that design in cake form, and share the process with you. But, that process seemed a bit too easy, so I decided to also recreate her I Got My Eyes On You hoop (pictured above). What’s extra awesome about this Thread Honey hoop is that it incorporates embroidery piping techniques AND painting on cake, which makes for a much more exciting tutorial. Plus, how incredible is the 60’s comic pop-art inspired design?! Continue on below for the DIY, as well as many more pictures of both Thread Honey-inspired cakes I whipped up.

Embroidered CakesEmbroidered CakeSunglass Cake  READ MORE (more…)

Let me tell you about my friend Deenie real quick. Deenie is an amazing author – she writes essays in her spare time and has even had work published in The New York friggin’ Times.  She works as a copy director at Vogue, so needless to say the girl has got great style too. Brains AND beauty, people! Deenie runs the blog Bourbon & Gloss, and just relaunched her site. For the new Bourbon & Gloss she wanted to put an emphasis on people and be able to do what she does best through her words: tell stories. The newly redesigned B&G has a section dedicated solely to interviews, and for some reason, Deenie asked me to be her first interviewee. Of course I said yes, and just a few days later Deenie came over to my apartment and I talked her ear off. She interviewed me about baking, blogging, creativity, inspiration, recipe secrets, my favorite American Girl Doll, and so much more. She’s a close friend, so there was no holding back whatsoever. You can read the interview HERE and make sure to bookmark the new Bourbon + Gloss for much more amazingness to come!

BourbonandGloss

Putz House Cake DIY

Putz Houses (those miniature Christmas village homes made of cardboard they sell just about everywhere during this time of year!) have always been one of my favorite things. My family’s holiday decor never included a Christmas village, which is probably why I’ve become so fascinated with them over the years. They’ve certainly become more popular (and less craft mom-y) in recent years. Martha Stewart had this incredible wreath made with putz houses on her cover last holiday season and DIY templates for the cardboard homes have popped up all over the internet.

PutzHouseCake

Still, when most think of a DIY holiday house, they probably think of a Gingerbread House, but I’m hoping that changes. Now, I love a chewy gingerbread cookie but hard gingerbread just doesn’t do it for me. And to be fair, I should probably disclose my recently established disdain for gingerbread with you. It all started last year when I I decided I was going to really go for it and make a spectacular gingerbread house. I spent a couple of days detailing the sides and roof of the home before assembling it and had meticulously planned out (and purchased) all of the candy decor I was going to use. Once my sides were dry, I assembled the home and added some additional details to the roof, before I decided it would be best to give the house a night to set (along with canned soup supports) before adding the final touches of candy. The next morning I awoke to my boyfriend leaning down over me with a very nervous look on his face. He softly said “babe, something happened to the gingerbread house last night…” By something, he meant that it had fallen in on itself and the icing had cracked, making it completely un-salvageable. Days and days of work for nothing. I was so bummed, but most of all, I had wished I would’ve made a cake instead because…well, cakes don’t collapse on you AND you can actually eat them. Plus, they give you a sturdy base so you can add way more decor than you typically would. So, with all that said, a holiday putz house cake is what I made this year. In hindsight, I can now think of a hundred reasons to make a cake house instead of a gingerbread house, but instead I’ll just show you how making a Putz House cake for the holidays is easier, cuter, and best of all, deliciously EDIBLE. Continue on below.

Putz House Cake-wide

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Hi all – Happy Friday! I just wanted to let you know I’ll be taking over the A Practical Wedding IG account this weekend. So for some extra desserts and DIYs in your feed, follow along with @apracticalwedding on Instagram! It’s gonna be fun!!

Christmas Tree

On top of all that internet biznass this weekend, I’m currently finishing up a couple cakes for tomorrow night, as we’re having a little get together with some friends. We’ve turned it into a tradition and our friends always come over with high expectations. Problem is I’ve had little to no time to prepare for this one, so it won’t be anything crazy. Sorry, friends! But all that matters is celebrating and being cheerful with the ones you love, right?! Even if you can’t have 6 cakes and some crazy over-the-top decor to entertain them with. This will be the 7th annual holiday get together my boyfriend and I have hosted, which is so crazy to think about! And speaking of the holidays, here’s a little linkage for you to peruse this holiday-filled weekend!

Loving:

DIY Wink Eye Cupcake

I loved the DIY Eye Ornaments that A Beautiful Mess posted so much that I decided to make some cupcakes with similar eye and winking pieces that the awesome ABM ladies had painted onto their ornaments. These guys kind of remind me of monsters but still look cool, especially when topped on some brightly colored cupcakes…at least eye think so! (oh my gosh, get it?!) Get the directions with step-by-step photos after the jump!Wink Eye CupcakesREAD MORE

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I wanted to put together a list of some great Brooklyn-based gifts. The following are gift ideas that I FULLY stand behind – they include a couple ideas for activities to do in Brooklyn, as well as my top recommendations for where to shop. Many of these places also have online stores, so if you aren’t in Brooklyn / shopping for someone in Brooklyn, don’t let that stop you. I am a huge fan of all of these and truly think they’re the best of the best in this borough. So, whether you are looking for a gift in Brooklyn, are looking to gift someone that lives in Brooklyn, or just want to give a Brooklyn-made gift, these are for you!

Brooklyn Gift Guide

1. Beginners Letterpress Workshop at The Arm: A super informative one-day workshop class that covers the beginning basics of letterpress and prepares you for printing on the presses at The Arm. Once you complete the class, you receive access to use the studio and rent out the presses whenever you desire. I love this place and although I haven’t had the time to print anything recently, The Arm is where I first learned letterpress and I even printed THIS wedding invite suite there! To give this class as a gift, head on over HERE.

2. Helen Dealtry Classes & Shop: As you may remember, I had the chance to take one of Helen’s watercolor classes a couple of months ago (see that recap HERE). This is another great Brooklyn workshop. And while Helen hasn’t announced her 2016 classes yet, head on over HERE to shop her insanely gorgeous textiles and art in the meantime.

3. Campbell Cheese & Grocery: Campbell’s is my favorite little shop in all of Brooklyn. Ever since they opened last year down the street, my neighborhood has been a much better place. Every SINGLE thing on their food menu is delicious (they’re also on Seamless btw). My boyfriend and I have started a weekend tradition of getting their egg + cheese biscuit with fig jam on Sunday mornings – it is to die for, a definite highlight for us each weekend. There’s also so many great locally made gifts inside from cheeses, charcuterie, cutting boards, aprons, books, and so much more. If you live in NYC and haven’t yet been, I strongly suggest you stop on by! I believe they also offer gift cards to give as gifts, you’d just have to call to check!

4. Whisk NYC: Whisk is a dream shop for everything in the kitchen. I often stop in to shop their cake decorating supplies in the back. Bakeware, cooking utensils, seasonings, and so much more – this place has got all the goodies! If you can’t decide what to gift, Whisk also offers gift certificates which you can purchase HERE.

5. In God We Trust NYC: With stores in Greenpoint and Williamsburg, In God We Trust is one of my favorite BK shops for clothing, jewelry, and accessories.  I love how well their stores are curated, it’s always a perfect mix of unique items and locally-made basics. They have the best selection of jewelry and accessories and best of all, the people that work in the store are kind, friendly, and conversational. A very nice change of pace from those other too cool Bedford gift shops (like that one that rhymes with FatFird). You’re sure to find something great at IGWT (shop online too) and if you find yourself overwhelmed with all the awesome, just grab a gift card!

6. Bethany Robertson (aka @loveless_designs) is a local illustrator whom I just adore. Bethany recently released two books for sale. Buy her “Botanical Hand-Lettering Workbook” for just $13 on Amazon HERE.

7. Demetria “Deme” Chapppo (aka @ demedemedeme) is a super talented ceramicist out of Brooklyn. Her work is incredible. I bought a beautiful incense burning dish from her last year and use it daily. The quality is just one of a kind. I’ve accidentally dropped it a few times and it has never cracked or chipped…and by a few, I mean many times. To me, it’s been a shining example of how the quality of handmade is so superior. I love all of her work, and you can shop it HERE.