She said “Yes!”

Bridal Shower, Girl, Love Birds, Misc, Sweet 16, Wedding

Love is in the air – well it has been during the four weeks of planning this special event…

My dear friend, Karen, shared the news that her daughter, Rachael, said “yes” to the marriage proposal from long time love, Gregg.  Naturally, Valentine’s Day was the perfect “love” weekend to throw an Engagement Party to congratulate and celebrate the soon to be Mr. & Mrs.

Even though it was Valentine’s Eve, the traditional Valentine theme just wouldn’t do. We kept it to white with a touch of red – no pink here. Sophisticated, delicate, and lovely. We were inspired from a dessert table found online (see link below) and the simple elements that were used. The paper products featured on that site are no longer available so I did my best to replicate them. The garland was our base and we built from there. The venue for the party was a multi-level club-house and the stair railings were the perfect place to dress up with yards and yards of custom cut hearts sewn together into an elegant and delicate garland. Please note the “hap-hazard” way it was hung was done on purpose… elegant yet whimsical – fancy but not stuffy.

Karen had the brilliant idea of a kissing booth but to be used more like a photo booth so that guests could have photo memories and fun with their Valentine. Her giving heart wanted to be sure guests were still able to enjoy their Valentine being that the event took time from their weekend. The crape paper backdrop was created to cover an 8′ door wall. The event was at night and the wall of glass behind the booth turns into reflective mirror and wouldn’t make for good photography. The booth was a big hit!

The backdrop for the dessert table was needed to cover an interior window. The venue was full of window and mirrors so creative and inexpensive backdrops were needed. The envelope wall was the perfect fit. “Sweet Hearts” was our tag line and we felt fit the envelopes well.

Karen made all of the cookies – working for hours to get them just right. The edible stamps on the love letter cookies were so cute and each cookie carefully tied with twine. Karen’s brother made the amazing cupcakes and cake and I did the chocolate covered strawberries. Licorice was tied in knots, Oreo’s covered in white chocolate, and red velvet cheesecake brownie “love bites” finished the table. (Karen did the Oreos and brownies too – she hasn’t slept for weeks!)

Thank you to everyone who helped with the set-up, food, desserts, and clean-up. So many helped to make this event a huge success.

I hope LOVE has found you this February and will continue to do so all year through.


One fish, two fish, red fish, NEW FISH!

Baby, Baby Shower, Birthday, Boy, Misc

We’re expecting!  Well, not exactly “We”, but my niece is and I am so excited! A little baby boy will be arriving soon! Naturally when I heard the news, the shower planning began. I asked what I could do to help and my niece requested that I make the cake. “Yes! Of course! And how about cupcakes for favors?” I responded. And away I went.

I spent the better part of a month researching recipes, fondant, chocolate techniques, icing, buttercream, fillings, etc. so that I could create an extra special Dr. Seuss themed cake for Ashley’s special day. We decided on pumpkin with cream cheese filling for one layer (I’ve made that one a few times in the past and was always a hit) and red velvet with cheesecake for the other. I had never done red velvet before and did a trial run a few weeks before the shower and made a mini cake for us all to sample. It was yummy and I got the green light to add it to my recipe collection.

Now, please remember as you view these images. I AM NOT A TRAINED CAKE DECORATOR. I have never taken any classes or had any instruction. I am self taught and love to watch cake and cupcake shows on tv. I say this so you know that this cake is far from perfect and to please excuse the flaws. I share the pics here because I am happy with the attempt I made and because I worked over 80 hours on this. And so you can see how happy and sweet my niece is 🙂

I did learn a lot in doing this cake – like cheesecake filling does not work for stacking layered cakes – a lesson learned a little late hense the right lean. We almost lost it just as the guests were arriving but a handful of toothpicks in the back of The Cat In The Hat’s head and we were able to save it from falling over. YIKES!

Lesson two: Take more time carving the cereal treat head so that The Cat In the Hat doesn’t end up looking like a bear. I apologize and know that he doesn’t look very much like the cat but I didn’t allow for enough time to get it right.

Finally, even though I thought I was thoroughly prepared, everything takes practice and mistakes will happen. It’s ok and I did what I could do with the knowledge I had. Let it go and know that you did your best.

So here is the practice I did with paper…

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And here is the actual cake…

The fish on top is modeling chocolate. He sits inside a plastic bowl (was a Christmas ornament that I cut to make look like a fish bowl) that is filled with blue Jell-o.

The figures were made with royal icing that I made and mounted to fondant. All of the fondant is home-made from marshmallow and was actually quite good.

The Cat head and hat were made from cereal treats.

The entire cake stood about three feet tall. I didn’t get the best pictures after being so flustered from the lean and almost falling over.

And here are the boxes I made for the cupcake favor, signs, and the Mommy and Daddy to be.

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Congratulations Matt and Ashley! We can’t wait to meet Baby Jaxson!

16 is Sweet!

Birthday, Boy, Misc

March is a busy month in our house; two birthdays and an anniversary. This year in particular is a year of milestones; our oldest turns Sixteen!, my hubby turns 50!, and we celebrate our 20th wedding anniversary. To tell you we planned it that way, well, that would be a lie. I guess it’s good to do it all at once and get it over with, right?

So, what do you get a sixteen year old boy (besides a car)? A snow day! Yup, I woke him at 5:00 am to tell him he could spend the day sleeping since we got nailed with over 6″ of snow during the night. To say he was thrilled is an understatement. Praise God! He pulled that one off for me! Now on to the party planning. All the family was coming over to celebrate these special men. So I did what I know how to do – craft! I wanted to make the normal family party extra special with decorations and LOVE the hanging garland I recently did for a client. I also love the look of a pennant banner too. Here’s my take on the two:

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utensils inside with custom license plate

utensils inside with custom license plate


So my plan was to make my son a car cake – since he wasn’t going to be getting a car for a present, and I asked him what kind of car he’d like to have – real car if he could have any. He didn’t know I was going to make it into a cake. He found this one:


It’s an Audi TT. Let the learning begin… Nightly Pinterest visits and video watching and I educated myself on how to build a car cake. Now to execute. Hmm… could I pull this off? For my first car cake, I think it turned out pretty good and best of all, he LOVE IT! That’s all that matters (and it was yummy)! Oh, did I tell you I was also making a golf themed cake for my hubby? I don’t know where I come up with these things. I could have just went to Costco and ordered a cake for their party, but what fun is that? My hubby liked his cake present too! Please excuse the imperfections, dings in the paint job, and jabs in the homemade marshmallow fondant. I don’t have all the fancy tools of a professional baker and I made due.

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Be MineCraft


Update… The Minecraft house won first place – Most Creative- in her classroom’ s Valentine Mailbox contest!

Happy Valentine’s Day!

The “go-to” game around our house is Minecraft, and my daughter loves to build and play! So we figured it only appropriate that this year’s Valentine Mailbox and treat theme should match what she loves to do.

This paper house is built with over 100 paper blocks that I found the pattern for on I was able to download the images and use my electronic cutter to cut the images out after they were printed. (I use a Silhouette Cameo in case you wondered.) We spent hours cutting and glueing all the boxes together. The house is an (almost) exact replica of a house she built in her Minecraft world. We assembled the house on a cardboard base covered with a printed grass and wood graphic from PixelPaperCraft. Lots of hot glue, burnt fingers, and hours or labor and her house was complete.  The roof lifts…

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Be MineCraft


Happy Valentine’s Day!

The “go-to” game around our house is Minecraft, and my daughter loves to build and play! So we figured it only appropriate that this year’s Valentine Mailbox and treat theme should match what she loves to do.

This paper house is built with over 100 paper blocks that I found the pattern for on I was able to download the images and use my electronic cutter to cut the images out after they were printed. (I use a Silhouette Cameo in case you wondered.) We spent hours cutting and glueing all the boxes together. The house is an (almost) exact replica of a house she built in her Minecraft world. We assembled the house on a cardboard base covered with a printed grass and wood graphic from PixelPaperCraft. Lots of hot glue, burnt fingers, and hours or labor and her house was complete.  The roof lifts off so the kids in her class can put the treats they have for her, inside.

She also wanted her giveaway treat to match the Minecraft theme, so with a trip to Pinterest, we found this box idea. The lid lifts to reveal Starburst candies inside. So fun!

Her class holds a contest for the kids to be creative, inventive, and original in building their Valentine Mailboxes. The students vote and declare winners in different categories. I’ll let you know how it goes…


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She’s a Perfect 10!

Birthday, Girl, Gumball, Gymnastics, Invitations, Misc

Ten years ago, my sweet Dani came into this world… a decade of joy is what she has brought to my life. I believe God sent me an angel in the form of a beautiful little girl. Her easy-going personality helps me remember that everything doesn’t have to be planned and the best adventures sometimes aren’t, she teaches me patience with her mild temperament and calmness, she inspires me to dance as she twirls through our home, daily, and she fills my heart with more love than I thought it possible to hold. I look back over these past ten years and am reminded of the milestones; first smile, first laugh, first tooth, first birthday, first steps and the joy all that brought. These next ten years will be filled with many such milestones; first car, first job, and first love. My wish for Danielle is that each of these “firsts” bring her joy and I will be here for her every step of the way!

Happy Birthday, Danielle! I love you more than words, Mom

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Table for 10


July, 2012 I helped Erin Borges create elements for a table sponsored by her husband for the Monterey Peninsula Chamber of Commerce 2012 Business Excellence Awards.  Local businesses are selected to participate in the event.

Here were the rules:

  • Decorate one table for 10 guests to promote your business or organization. Be creative to leave a lasting impression for those who will be seated at your table as well as all attendees as they review the room.
  • Dinnerware, silverware, glassware, and white table linens will be provided (but you may provide your own if you would prefer a different color). You will be responsible for folding the white napkins.
  • Two awards will be given for the best Design-a-Tables: The Monterey Peninsula Chamber of Commerce Chair Award and the Business Excellence Committee Award.
  • Provide 10 individual “gifts” for your table. This is important as this will be how each guest will remember your business representation. Based on past “Design-a-Table” reviews, the gifts were one of the most highly anticipated features.
  • No open alcoholic beverages or balloons may be used as favors or decorations.
  • Table decorations must be no higher than 12”.

Erin created the “spine” theme and without looking like it was Halloween or “cartoonish”, an elegant color scheme and materials were used.  I designed a spine pattern for the table cloth, uploaded it to Spoonflower and had the custom fabric printed.  Erin found the clear acrylic box to hold the gifts for the attendees.  Tea light holders were stacked inside and looked like a spine!  So cool!  The recipient also received a gift card for chiropractic services from Dr. Borges.  But we couldn’t just use a standard gift card, oh no, too blah!  I cut acrylic and sandwiched the gift certificate in-between the layers to coordinate with the clear & silver used throughout the table.

Erin did such an amazing job designing the table and it was so different from all the others.  We were fighting for the win but sadly, no such luck.  We were defeated and didn’t take home either award 😦

Venue:  Monterey Conference Center

Table Sponsor:  Dr. Shawn C. Borges

Floral, tablescape and concept:  Erin Borges Event Design

Rental:  Hartmann Studios

Pebble Beach – OMG!


I can hardly contain myself as I think back…

Erin Borges calls me one evening in June of last year and tells me that Pebble Beach is in need of her (our) services.  Wait, breath.  Do I scream?  No, stay professional.  “Of course, sounds great” as I’m about to pee my pants.  Why so excited you ask?  Well, anyone who knows me, knows that I come from a golfing family and LOVE the sport.  I grew up dreaming of one day visiting Pebble Beach, smelling the salt air, and being amidst the greats who graced the greens.  (Not to mention my crush on Phil Mickelson and the thought that he may be there; GULP!)  And now I have an opportunity to BE a part of an event there.  Holy Cow!  To say I was coming unglued as Erin shared the details of the event is an understatement.

The event, Nature Valley’s First Tee Open, was held the week of July 4th, 2012.  Erin and I were responsible for designing and creating elements for the women’s event held the day prior to the tournament.  Corporate and player’s wives were pampered and spent the day learning tips and tricks for party hosting, etc.  I created itineraries for each guest.  The personalized card was made to look like a girl at the spa with cucumbers over her eyes and a mirror paper on the back.  (My image here doesn’t show the mirror paper.)  They turned out really nice and worked well for the event.


I also created paper flowers for napkin rings and place card holders to coordinate with the floral table theme Erin created.  She also did a coral themed table.

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Each guest also received a ready-to-bake S’more dessert inside this custom designed gable box.  (My coffee cup was used for demonstration purposes here.)

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The ladies were also given a tutorial on how to create ribbon roses.  The instructions and materials were included in this adorable tote made from paper.


Here is a link to the professional photos taken at the event.  Yes, that’s Arnold Palmer, Hale Irwin, and Carson Daly in some of the photos.  Yup, it’s like I was there hanging out for the weekend 🙂

I still get butterflies in my stomach when I think back to this event.  I look forward to being able to visit the Monterey Peninsula and breath in its beauty.  Thank You Erin for bringing me one step closer.


Erin Borges


So here I am, a few orders into my new business and I am found by an event designer in California.  Erin Borges of Erin Borges Event Design saw my invites and asked if I’d work with her on her daughter’s first birthday.  Of course I said “YES” and we became fast friends.  Erin and I worked for months and created an invite like no other –  a pop-up doll house!  The theme of the event was based on a play on her daughters’ name,  the “DahlHouse”.  The invitations started a relationship with Erin and I and over a year later, we’re still going strong!  Visit my “DahlHouse” page to see images of the invitations.  Also, there is a link to photos of the entire event that were published on the Hostess with The Mostess blog.

I’ll be posting images later of different events we’ve collaborated on.  So many fun and exciting days I’ve had over the past year!  Thanks Erin!