Monday, September 27, 2010

Choo Choo, James & Patrick turned TWO!!!

Disclaimer: this is more of a whole party post, rather than just a cake post, so it's rather long...hope you enjoy! :)

My sweet baby boys (who are no longer babies!) turned TWO this past weekend! I cannot believe 2 years has past since they were born - time flies too quickly.  Here is a picture of our little munchkins on a Costco trip, taken by dad, shopping for birthday party beverages last Friday:

Patrick on the left, James on the right.
You guys make us proud with every new word you say and everything you do...we love you!

Their birthday party this year was a Thomas the Train theme. A little background on why...a few months ago, my Aunt Maureen and sweet cousins Jay and Caroline delivered a car-load of Thomas toys, including a handmade train table by Uncle Greg, while the boys were napping one day. When they woke up from their nap and came downstairs to the train table and all the trains, that was it - they fell in love with Thomas and Friends!

They've somehow managed to learn all of the trains names (meanwhile, a lot of them look alike, so my husband and I are still confused with some of them!), they sleep with the trains at night and take them to the doctors office and to daycare...they LOVE these guys! Hence, the birthday theme!

The Invitation

Invitation by my sister Kate at Pretty It Up
Originally, the party was to take place at a nearby farm, but had to be changed at the last minute, so it was relocated to Grandma Susan (of the Daily Suse) and Grandpa Patrick's house only a few minutes away. We were going to do hayrides and pumpkin picking at the farm, so as not to disappoint our littlest guests who may have been looking forward to those activities, we made a little pumpkin patch in the yard and a section for hayrides in a little red wagon on the driveway.

Decorations and Party Activities

Welcome sign on front walkway by Kate at Pretty it Up

Front Door fall decor by Susan of The Daily Suse, Balloons from Party City, Thomas "Choo choo, we're TWO!" sign made by me :)
The back deck, all ready for the party! Scarecrows from Home Depot!
Our hayride! Bales of hay from Michaels and the twins own Radio Flyer Wagon.
Gorgeously orange little pumpkins waiting for little guests to take them home!
Patrick pointing to the "punkin's" on the Pumpkin Patch sign by Kate at Pretty it Up!
Party Fun!
The party kicked off with snacks & juice boxes for the kiddos and some grown-up appetizers as well - then came the hayrides, pumpkin picking, playing house, drawing on the driveway in chalk...and a visit from Thomas the Train himself!
Snacks, Hayrides, Fun!
Thomas the Train comes for a visit - tent madness ensues!
The Cakes!
You know I had to make 2 cakes! When we brought the boys home from the hospital after they were born, we named a color for each of the boys so that everyone would have an easier time telling them apart until we were sure we could do without confusing them. Now we can definitely tell them apart, but the colors have stuck with them - from their clothes, down to their pacifiers (uh-oh have to get rid of those soon), their drinks cups, their backpacks! Patrick is green (for St. Patrick) and James is blue.  So I made a Percy train cake because he's green and of course a Thomas train cake for the blue!

Percy Train

Thomas Train
One of my favorite pics...James reaching out to touch his train cake to see if it was real! He and Patrick both kept trying to pick up the trains to play with them!!

James touching Thomas's nose!

We sang a LOUD chorus of Happy Birthday to the boys after which they clapped and cheered like crazy! Their cousins helped blow out their candles and then everyone chowed down on cake! Thomas was vanilla cake with chocolate frosting/filling and Percy was chocolate cake with vanilla frosting/filling. 

After cake, we handed out goodie bags filled with train related treats - each little guest got a conductor hat, a train whistle, a Thomas sticker, Thomas bubbles and a rice krispy treat shaped like a train! We also gave out Oreo cookie pops drizzled with green & blue chocolate.

It was such a fun party - Patrick and James had such a great time! We're so lucky to have such wonderful family and friends to celebrate with! Can't wait till next year!

Here are my two favorite pictures of the boys from the party.
Pure joy and pure sweetness...

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Sweet Shades of Purple

My sister-in-law Karen's (mom to Jake, who turned 1 this past weekend!) birthday was last week and I wanted to make her a cake too to celebrate! Karen has been ULTRA-supportive of my cake decorating venture, referring me to tons of her friends and local moms in Hoboken, NJ and I couldn't be more grateful for her support! THANK YOU SIL!! :)

I decided to make her a fun cake in different shades of purple...why purple? I remembered her telling me a story about a purple dress she had purchased to wear to my boys christening and how excited she was about the for some reason that stuck with me and I decided purple would be the colors of her cake!

The cake was devils food with vanilla buttercream and filling and covered in fondant. The circles around the base, on top of the cake and the large flower were all fondant as well! I was super excited about how the circles looked around the base and was pleased with the flower (even though there were some cracks in it!)

Happy Birthday you!

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

One is so FUN!

My sweet little nephew Jake turned one this past weekend and I was so excited to make his smash cake and cupcakes!! He's such a little cutiepie and I cannot believe how fast he went from toddling around and falling down last month to literally running across the room, keeping up with his 2 older brothers and his cousins (my twin boys) at his party - it was amazing to see!

His party was all about the #1, so I made a little smash cake with a fondant 1 on top and made colorful circle cutouts with the letters of his name imprinted on them to go around the cake. The cake itself was yellow cake with chocolate buttercream.

We've never done a smash cake at our own family parties, so everyone was a little apprehensive about putting an entire cake in front of Jake...but he LOVED it! He dug right in and spent the next 1/2 hour picking off pieces of cake and licking them off his fingers - it was awesome!!

Unbelieveably, I forgot to take pictures of the cupcakes! I didn't like how they looked in the box when I was taking pics at home, so I thought, "no worries, I'll take pics at the party!" Ummm, yeah that never happened - oh well! If my sister-in-law has any pics of them, I will post them in an update! :)  They were a mix of chocolate and vanilla and had fondant toppers similar to the circle ones on the cake - the only difference was that they all had a "1" on them!

Happy Birthday Jake - you're the CUTEST!!!!!!! Love you!!

Monday, September 20, 2010

Who doesn't love Nutella?!?!

For her husband Catalin's *0th birthday (not stating the number here because he doesn't like to see it!), his sweet wife (and mom-to-be!) Anna planned an awesome "I Don't Wanna Grow Up" party and ordered a Nutella Jar cake from Heavenly Bites Cakes! This was such a fun cake to work on!

The birthday boy has recently fallen in love with Nutella and has been putting it on everything, so she thought it would be awesome to have a Nutella jar shaped cake that also incorporated the flavor into the cake itself!

The cake itself was vanilla with nutella swirls. There were alternating layers of filling - nutella & banana custard...YUM. The frosting with chocolate buttercream.

The jar top was made of rice krispy treat (which I got to see a picture of the birthday boy eating it on Facebook!) I love it when nothing on a cake goes to waste! :)

The cake was covered and decorated in fondant and the banana was also made of fondant.  The Nutella label picture was handpainted in edible food color.

And what a party this was! The "I don't wanna grow up theme" was seen in everything from the food, dessert bar, to the entertainment (i.e. water guns, video games set up on the lawn outside and a character visit from one of Catalin's favorite video games, Halo.)  Happy Birthday Catalin!!

ps - Catalin and Anna are the geniuses behind the lens at Ipoze Photography. Check out their website if you're looking for a photographer!

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Yankee Hat Grooms Cake

A sweet bride, Kati, ordered this Yankee themed grooms cake for her now-husband Tom to be served at their wedding reception as a surprise! So sweet! The hat and bat were both red velvet cake with vanilla frosting, sculpted and covered with fondant. The bat was hand-painted to get the wood-grain effect...such a fun cake to work on!

I was so excited with this cake, as it was my first attempt at a baseball hat cake. My husband gave me the best complement when he told me that when he opened the fridge that morning, for a few seconds he wondered why his Yankee hat was in there! YES!! Thanks dawl! ;) 

The cake was delivered to David's Country Inn in Hackettstown, NJ.  All the best to you Tom & Kati - so excited for you guys!

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Ralph Lauren Polo Baby Shower

This past weekend, I had the honor of making a really cool baby shower cake & cupcakes designed by a soon-to-be dad and artist, James Williams for his wife Kelly who are expecting a son soon!  Working with James leading up to the day of the shower, it was so amazing to see how much thought he had put into his design and how he really wanted the cake to be special for Kelly.  SO SWEET!!

The cake was 3 stacked Ralph Lauren Polo shirts (in teal, green and brown), with the Polo logo on each shirt. Accompanying the shirts were fondant decorations of a toy car and a pacifier - adorable touches! Here are some pictures of the cake:

A close-up of the toy car (design inspired by a tutorial by Cake Journal):

A close-up of the pacifier, top of cake, and hand-painted RL Polo logo!

Also accompanying the cake were red velvet cupcakes with fondant toppers that were onesie's made in the same colors of each tier of cake.  Each topper had the RL Polo logo hand painted onto it as well!

Wishing Kelly & James all the best as they wait for their little man to arrive!

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

A New Adventure Begins...

When a bride and groom ask you to be a part of their wedding day, it is truly an honor. I was so thrilled when Ryan and Amy asked me to make their wedding cake and was even more excited when they told me what they were looking for. They decided to make their wedding cake a fun extension of themselves, highlighting their adventurous lifestyle together...traveling all over the world, sky diving, a honeymoon to Antarctica...this couple will literally go to the ends of the earth with each other!!

For their wedding cake, they decided they'd like an all white cake that looked like a mountain, with fondant figures of themselves in wedding gear mountain climbing up the side of the cake, where their adorable dog Casey was sitting, eating a bit of cake he had dug up from the top tier! AWESOME! I couldn't wait to get started...

The wedding, this past Saturday at the Prospect Park Boathouse in Brooklyn, turned out to be one of the most beautiful days NYC had this summer - the ceremony took place out on the deck overlooking a beautiful pond, and the reception took place in the long room inside - there was one long table to seat all the guests together, which was adorned with candles, beautiful china and gorgeous decorations made by the bride herself. Even Casey, their sweet little dog, was in attendance!

I had taken pictures of the cake myself, but was then contacted by the wedding photographer, Erica Lyn who mentioned she had some pictures of the cake and cake cutting on her site. She's given me permission to use her pictures here, and thank goodness, because her fantastic photography skills captured exactly how the cake looked in the beautiful room as well as the essence of the fun couple Ryan and Amy are - she's amazingly talented and I will be featuring her as a highly recommended photographer on my website!! Here are her pictures:
Courtesy of Erica Lyn Photography
Courtesy of Erica Lyn Photography

Courtesy of Erica Lyn Photography
A huge thank you to Ryan and Amy for asking me to make their wedding cake - it was so much fun to work with them on the tasting (the cake was an amazingly delicious coconut cake with coconut frosting and nutella filling...mmmmmmm!!!) and the design. To have played a small part in their special day was truly an honor.

A huge thank you to Erica for allowing me to feature her beautiful shots here - be sure to check out her work on her website, blog and facebook!

Here are close up pictures of the fondant figures, taken by me (obviously!) They pale in comparison to Erica's gorgeous photographs! :)


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