Monday, November 15, 2010

Christmas Card Brainstorm

If all goes as planned, think mustaches on sticks and a DIY photo booth. Throw in a Walmart dress, black-sequined beret, a necktie and sneakers. Random ideas have been running through my head. Time is nigh to zero in and edit my vision.
Inspiration is coming from everywhere. A blog post here, a craft (mustaches on sticks) at the recent Villain Cotillion, a Crew Cuts catalog there. Lots of things must happen for this to work ... like the stars are gonna have to align for this one.

P.S. The Fair! A missed opportunity for a family photo shoot. For some time now, I have been thinking of incorporating some Polaroid-type carnival shots in the kids' room with plenty of aquas and yellows. Didn't think about a photo shoot there until the last day of the state fair here. DARN! One of my favorite personal photographers, Britney Smith, certainly did an editorial shoot there, and the pics looked amazing. So next year, yes, a state fair shoot is a must!

Cause for Hyperventilation

No. 1: About a week ago (that would be Nov. 8ish) I saw a house completely decorated for Christmas.
No. 2: I was behind a lady in line at Walmart with a TYPED grocery list.
And all of a sudden I can't breathe.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Bake Sale Update

An hour into the Santa's Workshop Sweet Shoppe sale and my cake was nowhere to be found! I hope whoever bought it is enjoying it with a tall glass of milk! It looked like the cakes were going for $18 and up, $20-25 for cakes of comparable size. The thought of my cake going for anything makes me happy. So glad I was able to help my baby girl's preschool make money to benefit her and her friends!
The workshop was so much fun! I even had a blast helping take out the trash!

Friday, November 12, 2010

Bake Sale

My first bake sale. Call me crazy, but I'm excited. I signed up the first day of school at Millie's preschool to bring a "homemade" goodie for the sale. I pretty much had in mind from the get-go what I would bring. But as the deadline approached and they sent home a recipe card for tagging, it all of a sudden became real. I HAD to deliver! So the recipe: New Orleans Double Chocolate Praline Fudge Cake. I think I've posted about it before. A daily serving of calories in one slice. Does that ring a bell? The baking went extremely well. I premeasured and mapped out a strategy based on what has worked/not worked in the past. Perfectly toasted pecans. Check. Even cake layers. Check. A smooth ganache. Check. Now, the pralines didn't run off the sides of the cake like I had hoped.

I waited a tad too long before pouring, so it's a tad clumpy. But pralines are pralines. So hopefully what they lack in looks they'll make up in taste.
I think the most challenging part of this whole project was the packaging. I definitely wanted to take freshness and presentation into account. I thought about a domed cake plate with a cute liner and ribbon around the base, but budget became an issue. So I decided on a box. With a window! Who knew? Now, potential buyers could take a peek inside! Now I needed to jazz it up. Decisions, decisions. Plates , cute plates, that fit the box were hard to find. But I finally found one at Hobby Lobby. I definitely wanted to throw some grosgrain ... stitched red ... into the mix, and I found some cute felt gingerbread kid stickers and Christmas labels for embellishments. So on top of striving for an awesome cake, I hoped something would come together for an enticing package. So about five hours after start time, here's my entry for the bake sale. At the finish, the cake looked pretty plain all alone in the box. Luckily, I had a green sheet of scrapbook paper in my scrap box that made a perfect Christmas backdrop for my cake. So it's done!
(Please ignore that the cake itself is not centered on the plate. That bugs me.)
The entry was safely delivered to school this morning, but not without some adjustments in the car and not without a psych out by my husband, who returned home with a tale that it had been dropped by the sweet lady in carpool. Urgh! Of course, I'm thinking about my little cake, my labor of love, hoping it makes it through tomorrow in one piece. Praline has a tendency to crack, ganache to melt. Hopefully, I won't show up tomorrow to a puddle of chocolate. Hopefully, above all else, my cake won't be there at all. If I get there, and it's all alone in the corner with no owner, I might just melt myself. Or have to secretly con a friend to bid. Too bad my mom won't be able to make it!

Commander in Chic

Found a hot new nail color. Now, don't get me wrong -- I'm not really a nail person. Unless you count biting, and actually I gave up that habit years ago. Gross. Thank goodness. But I do enjoy an occasional manicure. And by occasional I mean like Mother's Day every other year and my wedding day. Ha. No, maybe not that bad. But anyway, it takes a lot to make me WANT to pursue a polish to own. Kind of like getting me to a movie at the theater. It's gotta look good ... really good. Anyway, I wanted a taupe and looked for a Sonia Koshak and Essie but came across a Sally Hansen of all things: Commander in Chic. It had a little more purple in it than I had hoped, but it turns out, I love it! And so I'm recommending it! Commander in Chic. Get it!

Back-Blogging ... Again ... But Not Quite Yet

Ha! Yes, I should be at it again soon, all two of my readers. I finally have a digital cam up and running, so pics and copy should ensue ... slowly but surely. I have a bag full of disposable cameras to develop, so it may take a while, but our summer and early fall were too fabulous not to document. Several biggies: Our Walk! Our friends and family are amazing! Preschool for both kiddos, birthdays for both, Halloween ... the list goes on. So stay tuned for bits and pieces of back-blogging (Is that a word?). Maybe it will be a special feature each week or something. Lord knows, it won't be the last time I have to back track.
Anyway, just a note to say we are alive and kickin' and are blessed beyond measure!