Friday, August 20, 2010

San Diego Here I Come!

The rumor is San Diego has a LOT of cupcake bakeries.  It sounds like the perfect place to do a cupcake tour.  What is a cupcake tour you ask?  Well it is when you go and visit several cupcake bakeries in the same general area and review and rate them.  That is my version of a cupcake tour.  My best friend, her daughter and the daughters friend and I went on a cupcake tour in Austin, TX back in May.  It was a blast!  Don't be fooled, not all cupcake bakeries are good, believe me.  We found out the hard way.  One of the places left me with a bad taste in my mouth, literally.  I could not get that greasy weird taste out of my mouth even after rinsing it out with water and chewing gum.  Some cupcakes are dry.  I am not a fan of dry.  I just won't eat a dry cupcake.  So I am headed out to San Diego and I have picked several cupcake bakeries to review.  I will be posting my results when I get home.  It is a hard job but someone has to do it. 

Oh and if you find yourself in Austin the two cupcake places I can highly recommend are Polkadots Cupcake Factory and Sugar Mama's Bakeshop.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Birthday Party Dessert Table

My best friend's daughter turned 17 in June.  We were going to do just a small dessert table for her.  I think we got carried away.  We just kept adding stuff.  It was pretty cute though.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Candy / Dessert Table

In May of this year my best friend and I did a candy table for a Couples Wedding Shower.  The couples last names were Redden & Green.  Naturally we wanted to do a Red & Green theme.  The trick was we didn't want it to look like a Christmas party.  We went with lighter shades of green and darker shades of red. 

Friday, August 13, 2010

Good Bloggers Must Blog

I think I tried to get too many things started all at one time.  I want to have a blog but here it is August 13th and this is my first post in August.  That is pretty sad.  I spend so much of my time following other blogs that I don't do anything with mine.  I am intimidated.  Most of the blogs I read are well established and have great things going on.  I know they didn't start that way.  I know if I am dedicated, and stick to my plan, my blog can be just as successful. Today I was looking at a blog that just posted a really cute party.  As I was looking at it I thought, oh I have that.  Oh she got those at Target, I have those too.  The truth is sometimes the simplest things make the biggest impact.  I never have been one to want fancy things.  I don't need crystal goblets and sterling silver candlesticks.  That isn't me.  I am more of a "wildflowers in a mason jar" type girl.  What is more beautiful than the simple things?  I have had some really cute parties.  My parties have always been on a budget and have turned out wonderful.  Why am I trying to compare myself to others?  I don't want to be anybody else.  I want to be me.  I noticed another thing about the bloggers I follow.  Most of them are pretty crafty ladies that make beautiful things out of simple inexpensive items.  They give you tips on how to make it yourself and how to save money.  Some of these blogs sell party items but they still give you advice on how to make the same items yourself.  They offer "freebies" on their sites.  These are my kind of ladies.  Good moms that have good ideas and want to share their good ideas with others.  Another thing I noticed,  a lot of these ladies say how they really love Martha Stewart.  She is their inspiration.  Well I don't have anything against Martha.  I love looking at her stuff.  I just don't have any desire to be like Martha or make most of her things.  Sure her things are beautiful and in many cases magical.  I just can't be like Martha because I don't have the time and patience to make most of her crafts or recipes.  It is all too perfect.  I am not perfect and I am not a big fan of perfect.  I am just too happy with the things I can make with a tin can and twine.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Hip Hip Hooray!

I have a follower!  One I got on my very own.  Ok, I am sure saying this doesn't make me cool in the blogging world but I don't care.  I didn't want my family and friends to follow me until I got a follower on my own.  It took awhile but it was worth the wait.  So to my follower I say this.... Thank you for making my day!!  You will always be my first - and I don't mean that in a creepy way, I promise.  Things are looking up for me this week.  I finally opened my Etsy store, although I still have a lot more to do there.  I am not rushing things because I am learning as I go.  I can walk without crutches, my boot or any of the other thousands of aides I have around here and I am driving.  It has been so long since I could just get in my car and take off.  I am one happy girl right now.  I think I deserve it.  Life has been pretty crappy since that stupid wreck and I so want to get past all of that and move on.  Now I just have to get brave enough to take my transfer bench out of my shower.  I know I  can now.  I just have to get over my fear of slipping.  Lord knows I don't want to do anything to hurt my foot again.  That will be my goal for next week.  Goodbye to the shower bench.  I can do this.  It feels so good to have hope again.  I thought I had lost it forever. 

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Open for business!

I finally got a few of my items on Etsy.  I still have several more things to post.  I was just determined to have my first official day of business to be July 27th.  I picked that day because it was my dad's birthday and I wanted to do it in memory of him.  Now I will never forget the day I opened my little Etsy shop.  If you are looking for cupcake toppers or party ideas let me know.  I would love to help you out.  If you have party pictures you would like to share with me I would love to see them.  My etsy shop is called Little Green Umbrella if you would like to take a look of what I have for sale so far.  Hopefully by this weekend I will have all my merchandise posted. 

Friday, July 23, 2010

Chocolate Peanut Butter Pretzel Snaps

These little treats are great and super easy to make.  You only need three ingredients.
Pretzels - I used Snyder's Pretzel Snaps
Peanut Butter M&M's
Chocolate Hershey Kisses.

Preheat your oven to 170 degrees.

Unwrap the Hershey Kisses - this is the hardest part of the recipe.  So many little Kisses to unwrap.

Place the pretzels, single layer, on a cookie sheet.  Make as many or as few as you want.

Place a Hershey Kiss in the middle of  each pretzel.

Put the pretzel and Kisses in the oven and let them heat for about 6 minutes.

Take the pan out of the oven and place an M&M on top of each Kiss and gently push down until the M&M  sinks to the center of the Kiss.

Let them sit on the counter for about 30 minutes to cool then place them on a plate and put them in the refrigerator for about 10 minutes or until the Kisses firm up.  You don't want to leave them in too long because the M&M's may become discolored.

The end product.  Ready to eat.  Store in an airtight container.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Loving my new cake stand!

I am so excited!  I found a new cake stand and I love it.  I like things that are unique and I think this cake stand is unique.  It is made of wire.  You don't see very many cake stands made of wire.   I got it at Crate and Barrel and it was on sale.  What could be better?  The best thing about my cake stand is it matches the Wilton Cupcake Holder perfectly.  I put the Wilton Cupcake Holder on top of my cake plate and secured it with a couple of twist ties.  I just threaded the ties over the bottom of the cupcake holder, through the wires on top of the cake stand, then twisted it tight..  Now I have a tall cupcake holder and I am able to add cupcakes around the edge of the cake stand.  It doesn't take much to make me happy.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Learning as I go

Well I got my blog book for idiots and now I am looking for a book to help me understand my blog book for idiots.  Do they have those?  I clearly need one.  Maybe I am making this harder than it really is.  I am sure I will figure it out here and there as I go along.  I follow so many wonderful blogs with beautiful layouts and they have a lot of fun stuff and I hope that one day my little blog will have a little bit of that bling.  I think it will come to me with time.  I am keeping the faith.  In the mean time I have decided I will concentrate more on the topics and less on the layouts.  I am sure it will all work out sooner or later. 

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Blogging Awards, Heartache and Forever Remembered

My how my views have changed since I decided to "try" to blog. I am still waiting on my blog book for idiots so I can learn exactly how this business works. In the meantime I have been checking out other blogs. I mainly follow party and entertaining type blogs. Oh yeah, and cupcake blogs too of course. How great is life when there is such a thing as a cupcake blog. Even better than cupcake blogs, cupcake bakeries. I love that. A whole shop devoted only to cupcakes. Greatness! Back to the subject. I was reading one of the blogs I follow and they posted that they were nominated for a blog award. Blog awards? Who knew? Anyway, back to the point. They asked that their followers go to this particular website to vote for their blog. In the process of doing that, I ran across a list of the previous years winners. I was just reading them over and noticed one called The Spohrs Are Multiplying. I am not sure why that one stood out. I clicked on it and read a couple of things on the site. I then discovered that this family had a baby girl that was born prematurely. Her name was Maddie and she ended up passing away a little before she was 18 months old. Her lungs were not fully developed when she was born. Maddie over came a lot of things but in the end her little lungs just gave out. Maddie's mom, Heather, was put on bed rest when she was pregnant with Maddie so she started a blog to keep her family and friends updated on what was going on. After Maddie was born she kept the blog going to keep them updated on her progress. Heather is a great writer. I love her humor. She has gone through some pretty tough times but she always manages to make me smile. She is very witty. After reading a couple of her posts I decided that I would start at the beginning of her blog and read every word of it. It may take me a while but I have decided to do it as a tribute to Maddie. What a little angel she was. I really enjoy reading about Maddie. It just breaks my heart knowing that soon I will get to the part where Maddie passes away. I am not ready for that. It is like when you are watching a movie and you know the hero dies in the end but you still watch and hope that something will change this time and the hero will live. Unfortunately that is not the case. Maddie is no longer here but her memory will live on forever. Heather has shared so many stories, pictures and videos of Maddie on her blog. She shared Maddie's struggle to survive, her triumphs, her smiles, giggles, first tooth, first words, crawling, etc... I know Heather will never forget Maddie and all the joy Maddie brought her but now she also has a record of Maddie's life. Years from now she can go back and see all the little and big things Maddie did, day to day, in her short life. Things she might not have remembered after a few years. Now she will always have these memories. I know Heather would much rather have Maddie and I wished she did too. I just hope one day her blog can bring her some joy when she looks back on Maddie's life. She was a glorious bright eyed little girl. She was loved. She will always be remembered.  I have always been "suspicious" of blogs and why people want to put all their business "out there".  Well, I think I was came across Heather's blog for a reason.  I learned that sometimes blogs can turn into something important.  I think it is wonderful that so many people got to learn about Maddie through Heather's blog.  Heather has been able to raise a lot of money for March of Dimes.  I am glad I have seen the positive side of blogging.  I am not from the computer generation.  It is going to take me a while to figure this business out but I feel better about it now.  Thank you Heather.

Monday, June 28, 2010

I have a 25 year old?

Today is my oldest son's 25th birthday. Wow 25! It seems unreal to me. The truth is a lot of things are hard to believe. He was married on June 12. Just a couple of weeks ago. That still hasn't sunk in yet. It all happened so fast. He was born, he smiled, he giggled, he rolled over, sat up, crawled, talked, walked, started school, graduated from high school, graduated from college, graduated from grad school & got married. There are thousands of other wonderful things he did in between all of that. He has brought me so much joy and very little trouble. He was a happy baby. He was an easy child to raise. He is so smart. He has a good heart. He has achieved so much in his 25 years. He is just getting started. I know he has so many more amazing things to do. I am a proud mom. I am so lucky and I know it. I appreciate all I have. Happy Birthday Chris! You will always be my baby.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

I am sure it takes awhile to get followers. It is funny sitting here typing to.... nobody! I feel like this is more like a diary. Private. I don't even have to lock this one. I don't have any followers anyway. I could do the obvious and have my husband, mom, friends and family sign up to follow me. I will do that eventually but I just want to wait and get that first person who just happens upon my little blog and wants to follow it. After that, family and friends beware, I will be begging them all to be followers. If, the blog book for idiots, tells me it is okay to beg for followers. I have to do the right thing after all. I don't want to make any "blogger trouble" or anything. I kind of like having my own little private place right now. It gives me time to figure out how this works. I have decided I will try to post at least one helpful hint each week. That way, if I do get a follower or many, (but I would settle for one just for now) I would at least have something they may be interested in reading, learning, etc... Until next time......

Thursday, June 24, 2010

I have made a lot of cupcakes lately. I thought I would post some of my favorites. I made these when my son graduated from the fire academy.
Wow, I am really having a hard time figuring out this blog business. It seems easy enough until you actually start doing it. I just need to know more about computers, internet, etc... I have only had a facebook for about a month if that tells you anything. I am ordering a book to help me. You know what I am talking about. A blog book for idiots. That would be me. I am determined to do this and I am not ready to give up. I get frustrated to quick but I am going to work through it and do whatever I need to do to succeed. I follow several blogs and they have beautiful and creative backgrounds and layouts. Mine is green and I am lucky I could figure out how to do that. I want mine to be beautiful too. I am guessing the others didn't start out that way. I am sure they had to work at it too. For now, I am going to be happy with green.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Here is a great giveaway from Michelle Philippi. If you haven't tried Bake It Pretty yet, you should. They have the greatest products.

Michelle Philippi is giving away a $15 e-gift card to the Bake It Pretty shop! Also included in the giveaway is a really great set of Calphalon utensils! Hurry over and enter by tomorrow, and good luck!

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Learning to blog.

Well I finally have time to devote to learning everything about blogging. If you happen to read this blog and you say "she doesn't know what she is doing", well you are right. I don't. With that said I do believe I can learn and as they say (whoever "they" are) you have to start somewhere. I am starting here. I do my best learning by just jumping in and figuring it out. I do know what I want to blog about. Parties! I love parties and seeing what others have done for their parties. My belief is that you can have a great party without breaking the bank. You can have an inexpensive party but still make it special. Believe me, I don't have a lot of money but I find ways to make my parties special in a way I can afford. You would be so surprised by the things you can make with tulle and tissue paper. You can even find branches in your yard and make something special out of it. You just have to use your imagination. I have found so many good ideas on the internet. Just take some time and do a little research and before you know it you will be able to add some special touches to your parties too.

Friday, June 4, 2010

Welcome to my blog. This is all new to me but I am ready to be a blogger. I guess that is what I am now...right??