Friday, June 28, 2013

Fly butterfly, fly!

The calendar says June, but Friday was "Halloween" at YMCA Summer Camp. The kids got to wear costumes. (Which sounds incredibly hot to me, but whatever....)

Bea chose to be a rainbow fairy butterfly. 

Jumping off the deck, she even looked like she was flying.

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Ain't Nobody Got Time for That!

I stumbled upon a funny story on last night: 17 Cooking Projects Ain't Nobody Got Time For. And was I surprised to see my little pinata cookies were #17 on the list. 

Ha. So true. I couldn't agree more. Ain't nobody got time to make those damn cookies. Unless you enjoy seeing the world smile. And then you MAKE time. Because that's the whole reason I bake or make anything. Just to see the smiles. 

My whole blog should be called "Ain't Nobody Got Time for That." Or "The Angry Baker." But unfortunately, those are both taken. 

Keep bakin'. Keep smilin'. Thanks for the "love" BuzzFeed!

I was most pleased to see the other bakers on the same list - Martha Stewart, Bakerella, The Decorated Cookie. I'm in with some pretty damn good company.

Monday, June 24, 2013

Summer Forever

Gus got this new t-shirt and wore it to daycamp at Camp Hyde today. I guarantee it will not be this white when he comes home tonight. If the amount of dirt on clothes equals the amount of fun had at daycamp, then my kids are having the time of their lives this summer. Everyday, they come home dirty and tan and happy from another funny, sunny day.

A few weeks ago, Bea said "Mom, summer camp is just like having recess ALL DAY LONG!"

Yep. Enjoy it kiddo. I wish it could be summer forever too.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Taste the Explosion!

How about a 4th of July treat that's fun and sweet to eat? 

Last year, I made some KABOOM Cakelettes with Pop Rocks inside. So this year, I adapted the idea into candy bottle rockets. Just fill some straws with Pop Rocks, stack some patriotic-colored Life Savers (hard & gummy), and top them off with cone-shaped Airhead candies. You'll have an interactive & edible centerpiece with plenty of TNT for your tastebuds.

The easy how-to is available at SheKnows.

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Laser Cut Love

Recently, I had the pleasure of designing these fun wedding invites. I am officially in love with laser cutting. I can't quit marveling at the intricate detail you can achieve. They look so delicate, but they're quite strong and remarkably stiff when you hold them in your hands.

The dreamy quote comes from Dr. Seuss, and is a personal favorite of the bride and groom. I purposely designed it as a separate piece from the actual invitation, because I thought it would be fun for people to keep as a memento, maybe put it on display or frame it. The bride also had a few extras made, and plans to use them for decorations at the wedding reception.

The long, skinny photo-mailing labels are attached to royal blue cardstock and open to reveal all of the invitation information - a destination wedding in Playa del Carmen, Mexico.

They were were assembled and mailed in clear, plastic envelopes. My favorite part of creating invitations, is to design something that begs to be opened the minute someone pulls it out of the mailbox. These definitely do that.

A simple, sophisticated, and fun invite for a lovely couple. 

I highly recommend  They were awesome!

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Happy Day, Kay!

I baked a cake. 
I baked a KAY cake. 
I baked a kayke.

My sister, Kay, turns 50 this week and her sweet little family threw a surprise birthday party for her on Saturday. I wanted to doubly-surprise her with a fun cake, so I experimented with a text version of my peekaboo pumpkin pound cake

I was semi-successful in my experiment. Everything worked perfectly until I put the cake in my car and drove 80 miles north to Salina. When I opened the trunk to get it out of the box, the cake had split into four pieces. Boo. (It was like one of those tragic episodes of Cake Boss or Ace of Cakes, where they deliver a cake and it falls apart during transport. I feel their pain. It sucks.)

I attempted to do some repair, but when you try to re-frost a previously frosted cake, it ends up looking like, well... wall spackle. Ugh. Needless to say, it wasn't my prettiest work.

The surprise element was still there though. We sliced it open to reveal the "KAY" inside and party guests were delighted. (Or at least they were kind enough to tell me they liked it.)

Here's a little step-by-step of how I baked and built it. In hindsight, I should have frosted between the stacks or used wooden skewers to keep them together. 

Start by baking pound cakes. (I added color to mine.) After baking, freeze
the cakes (Freezing keeps them from over-baking the 2nd time they go in the oven.)
 Trim off the tops and cut into even slices. Cut letters with cookie cutters.
Stack letters flat, inside loaf pans. Laying them flat, instead of upright
helps the letters keep their shape better during baking.

Pour regular cake batter around the cut out cake letters.

Here are my baked bakes before assembly. Trim off sides and tops to make them even.

Stack the trimmed cakes upright. This is where I should have frosted between
the stacks to keep them from falling. (Or inserted some wooden skewers.)
Gravity and I never get along when it comes to desserts. Damn gravity.

Frost and decorate. (But not like my wall-spackle, fixer-upper. Do something pretty.)

Cut and surprise someone with your message inside!

Friday, June 7, 2013

Bird Rockers

WARNING: More whimsical woodworking from Eric Denneler's workshop.

It's a bird rocker. 
Flip it over, and it's a climbing toy/slipper slide.
Put it on it's side, and it's a pint-sized table for tea parties.
Not to mention, it's a great place to store toys, blankets and books.

Bea was more than happy to model the many ways to play with the bird.

A six-year-old may be a little big to slide down.

Or, maybe not.

Tea party anyone? Almost looks like she's a bartender. Watch out!

Inspired by this rainbow rocker I saw a few weeks ago on Handmade Charlotte, I commissioned/begged/cojoled Eric to build something similar, but with our Denneler touch. And a birdy rocker was born. 

He made the pink one for my hairdresser (of 18 years!) who's having a baby girl at the end of June. And the orangish one is for my fellow-WSU-designer-pal at work, who's having a girl any day now.

WHEW. Babies, babies everywhere! I feel like Oprah... "And YOU get a birdy rocker. And YOU get a birdy rocker! And YOU...

I hope these whimsical woodcrafts bring many years of joy to the nests of my dear friends and their new little ones.

Monday, June 3, 2013

Fun Father's Day Food

Not many dads really want a shirt and tie for Father's Day. But they might, if they can eat it!

I created these four tasty quesadillas you can make in the shape of a shirt and tie - cheese, spinach & feta, cheese & chicken, and even a dessert option with apples & caramel. The simple step-by-step is available at SheKnows.

Just cut, fill, fold, heat, accessorize and eat.

I like to call it edible origami.

Dad will call it fun.
Cheese Quesadilla

Spinach & Feta Quesadilla
Cheese & Chicken Quesadilla

Apples & Caramel Dessert Quesadilla


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