Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Rainbow Cupcakes

Like everyone else who's seen this Rainbow Cake, I've wanted to try to make one. Christopher's Birthday cupcakes seemed like the perfect opportunity so I did all of the Sesame Street cupcakes rainbow on the inside. I didn't want them to be a perfect upside-down rainbow inside, so I tried to spread around the blogs of color in each cupcake. I thought it'd be a nice little surprise for the kids when they ate them but they didn't seem to think it was as cool as the adults did. I thought they looked neat and the inside of the cupcake wrappers looked pretty too!

Sesame Street Cupcakes

For Elmo I used a red cupcake wrapper and did his fur with red frosting using the Wilton decorating tip #22 (from what I remember, but it may have been a little smaller of the same shape). I started on the outside of the cupcake and worked my way in, kind of in circles, pulling the frosting up as I went. I used a dab of black frosting and 1/2 marshmallows for his eyes and stuck a little frosting as well as cutting a little bit of the marshmallow off each side in the middle where they touched each other to keep them together. His mouth was 1/2 of the chocolate part of an Oreo cookie (cut in half carefully with a serrated bread knife) and his nose is an orange peanut butter m&m.

Cookie monster had a blue cupcake wrapper and blue frosting and I used Wilton decorating tip #134 to make his fur. I started on the outside with his fur and worked in, adding a little more after I stuck the Oreo on to cover it at the top. His eyes & mouth were done the same way as Elmo but I offset his eyes to make him look kooky :)

Oscar's fur was done the same way as Cookie Monster's but with green frosting. I was originally going to use a green cupcake wrapper for him but came up with the idea to use silver, so it would look like his trash can! His eyes are white m&m's with black frosting dots and a black frosting squiggle for his eyebrow (Wilton tip #1 for both). His mouth is the same Oreo cookie as Elmo & Cookie Monster.

Grover also got a blue cupcake wrapper and his fur was done the same way as Elmo's. His eyes are white m&m's with a dot of black frosting using Wilton decorating tip #1. His nose is a pink gobstopper, his mouth is 1/2 a chocolate Oreo cookie with some red frosting to accent it with Wilton decorating tip #1. If I'd had time I think I would have tried to look for some other candy to use for Grover's eyes, since they're not perfectly round but slightly oval.

For Ernie I used a red cupcake wrapper because he has red stripes on his shirt. I frosted his face smooth with orange icing. He's got the Oreo cookie mouth, white m&m's with a dot of black icing for his eyes, orange m&m's for his ears, a red peanut butter m&m for his nose and some squiggly black frosting for his hair (Wilton tip #2).

Here is Bert pre-mouth & nose. For him I kept the tops of the cupcakes mostly yellow and I used a green cupcake wrapper because he wears green pants. I frosted an oval for his face in yellow frosting and used white m&m's with black frosting dots for his eyes, yellow m&m's for his ears, an orange peanut m&m for his nose and the smile, hair and unibrow were done with black frosting (Wilton tip #2).

The Count got a green cupcake wrapper because his clothes are green. I frosted the whole top of the cupcake smooth with purple/dark lavender frosting. I used little pieces of marshmallows for his eyes, and Oreo cookie for his mouth, more purple frosting for his ears, nose and around his eyes (Wilton tip #3), white frosting for his fangs (I just frosted those by hand, but they would have looked better if I used tip #1), and black frosting for his hair, eyes, and goatee (Wilton tip #1). The Count took the most time to decorate because of all his small details.

I saved him for last because I thought Big Bird was going to be really really hard since I had never done frosting like his feathers but these actually weren't too bad. I used a pink wrapper because of the pink stripes Big Bird has on his legs and yellow frosting for his feathers. I used Wilton decorating tip #102, fanning each feather out from left to right as I worked around the whole cupcake. I started from the outside with circles of feathers and worked my way in. I made the feathers pretty big, so it only took about 4 rows all together. His eyes are white m&m's with a black frosting dot and a bright blue strip for his eyelids (I used Wilton tip #1 for those).

I made the top feathers and his beak out of candy melts tinted yellow. Because I didn't need much of the candy melts for this, I found it was easiest to use a zip lock bag with a (small!) hole cut in the corner for the melted candy melts instead of a decorating tip with a coupler. I used two pieces for his beak, with the top one being bigger than the bottom party. His tongue is red frosting.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Kid's Bathroom

My cousin has got the cutest bathroom for her kids. Bright yellow walls with sea creatures all over it just makes you happy being in there! I especially love the sea horse toothbrush holder. And she decorated the whole room with accessories from Target and Ikea- what a steal!

Friday, April 24, 2009

Fancy Muffin Liners

I recently bought these beautiful cupcake liners from Bake It Pretty. Hmmm... what should I bake in them? I'm leaning towards some fancy muffins with a huge dollop of cream cheese frosting up on top. What do you think?

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Wish Lists

I'm constantly taking pictures of thing I would like to buy but aren't necessarily going to buy right then or even at all. Just pictures for future reference or ideas as to what I'd like to have. Here are some of the most recent pictures I pulled off my phone.

Starting at the top left (1) square plate from Crate & Barrel (2) pretty duvet cover & bed from Crate & Barrel, (3) adorable star bowl things again from Crate & Barrel (4) SO cute Belle Ballerina costume dress from the Disney Store- I'm in love with that little dress! (5) bright & fun patterned fabric fro IKEA (6) Beautiful Chloe Chandelier from Pottery Barn Kids (7)Thomas book for Christopher from Borders because he has one Thomas book now but it's really long, especially for bedtime (8) Pumpkin Patch girls top for (way) future daughter, I love that little street lamp (9) cute farm plates and bowls from Joann's Fabrics, who knew they'd have such cute plates? Christopher ended up getting a tractor bowl (10) Nice Mirror display at Crate & Barrel (11) brown & blue fabric at Joann's Fabrics to use to cover my photo storage boxes since I can't sew.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Tinted Windows

I totally forgot this cd was coming out today but here it is and I'm excited. Check out the debut album of Tinted Windows, the new "super group" comprised of James Iha (of Smashing Pumpkins), Adam Schlesinger (from Fountains of Wayne), Taylor Hanson (from Hanson), and Bun E. Carlos (of Cheap Trick). From the reviews I've read it sounds like pretty good quality music!

Monday, April 20, 2009

Christopher's 3rd Birthday Party

most photos courtesy o f Rudy Calpo Photography.

Well, now that all the crazyness that has been my life for the past 12 days has died down, I can (hopefully) get back to posting on a regular basis. I hope everyone had a great weekend! I know we did.

Christopher had his first real birthday party and luckily both his Gregory & I survived- yay! I know I should have just relaxed and not made everything so complicated, but I get these visions in my head as to how things should look and be and all and then I have to carry them out perfectly. I had this very detailed picture of what one of the tables at Christopher's party would look like, so I had to be the one there to set it up to make sure it looked exactly like it did in my head (it did, thanks much in part to Gregory's patience with me). I'm not usually one to go for a character-themed party, but Elaine, Gregory's sister, sent me a picture of some cute Sesame Street cupcakes and said that Christopher had to have Sesame Street birthday party. Luckily everything turned out perfectly, the weather was great at the park and Christopher as well as his friends and their parents all had a great time.

We did bright colored invites with removable Sesame Street stickers. I made the Sesame Street character cupcakes and we ordered Christopher's birthday cake with a Sesame Street theme. We decorated the tables with red, yellow & blue table cloths, balloons, Sesame Street confetti and random Sesame Street toys that Christopher had including an Elmo Live. The favors were mini sand buckets decorated with Sesame Street stickers and filled with bubbles, Elmo lollypops, C and 3 cookies, crazy straws, and a couple of other Sesame Street-themed things.

Luckily the cupcakes I did turned out way better than I was expecting and were a great WOW factor! And despite only wanting to play in the sandbox, Christopher had a great time which was the most important thing.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Happy Easter!

I hope everyone had a good Easter. Gregory & I were super tired after having been traveling for almost the past 24 straight. It was nice to see family though, especially since Christopher and all his little second cousins are growing up so fast! C & Austin (yellow shirt) had both just turned 3 a few days before Easter and they really enjoyed the egg hunt, looking at worms, and just running around together. C also enjoyed ALL the candy he got and his still working through it!

Thursday, April 9, 2009

lots to do

Ok, since I am a firm believer of list making and right now seems to be a particularly hectic next few days, I can't promise any new posts. But here is my current to do list/notes on life to do
today and tomorrow:

Need to Do:
-today is Christopher's 3rd birthday (!).
-I need to make out treasure hunt cards for his birthday gift hunt
-put together his cake (already baked- whew!)
-go to the grocery store to get cherries to put in the middle of his cake (his request)
-make sure we have strawberries for the top of his cake (also his request), if not- buy strawberries.
-hide his birthday gifts for his birthday present hunt.
-Church at 7 pm tonight because it's Holy Thursday
-book plane tickets for a flight to Las Vegas, to and back on Saturday for a family emergency- :(
-look into renting a car in Las Vegas. Gregory wants to spring and get a luxury car.
-look into parking fees for San Francisco Airport
-look into fees for renting a car in San Francisco and dropping it off in Sacramento.
-bake cookies for Easter
-eat lunch today?
-finish painting my toes
-call for waxing appt. for tomorrow
-pack for Las Vegas
-call my cousin about plans for Easter
-clean my & C's room
-stop by Best Buy & Toys R Us
-drop off invitations to 2 people for Christopher's birthday party next week

Things I probably won't get done:
-get over the fact that we have to leave C for the very first time overnight (*sob*)
-get over the fact that I won't be here to decorate Easter Eggs with C this year
-decorate cookies for Easter (might have to ask my decorating assistant, Elaine, to do that, haha jk, she's my future sister in law, not assistant, but she's great with the decorating!)
-make cupcakes for Easter using pretty new cupcake wrappers
-cleaning my & C's room
-cleaning the bathroom
-cleaning out my car
-finding time to breathe
-blog (It'll be a miracle if I even get this up!)

.... ok I'm sure there's more to add, but I've got to get off this computer and grab some cookies out of the oven. Wish me luck!

I hope everyone has a nice Easter!

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

One for One

If you don't already know about this company, please please check them out. Toms Shoes has a simple premise: for every pair of shoes sold, they will give away a pair of shoes to a needy child. One for one. So simple, but so powerful and wonderful for those children receiving shoes.

The company was started by Blake Mycoskie in 2006 when he was on a trip to Argentina and took notice of many young children without shoes. He took the simple design of some traditional Argentinean shoes and redesigned it to work for American consumers (Christopher's got the green camo ones!). So far they've given away over 130,000 pairs of shoes in Argentina, Africa and more recently the United States.

Images via, &

I recently saw an episode of "The Entreprenuers" on CNBC that featured Blake Mycoskie and Toms Shoes. You can catch a rerun of the episode on Friday, April 10th at 1 pm. Also be sure to check out or Blake Mycoskie's blog.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

High Expectations

Sometimes (ok, a lot of the time) the ideas I come up with in my head don't always match up with the abilities or resources I have. And when I come up with an idea, I usually know exactly what I want it to look like, down to the very last detail. And I'm hard to convince to take any exceptions- usually. I think that's why it takes me forever to finish something. It's not necessarily putting it together, it's deciding on what I want and trying to get it to look prefect.

For example, take the bridesmaids dress I've picked out for my & Gregroy's wedding (date tba). That (above) is the picture of the Ann Taylor dresses that have already been bought (on sale!). Our colors are going to be dark brown and light pink (not too light, but just not like, BRIGHT pink). So the dresses are espresso. Fine. But my idea is inspired by this picture below (courtsey of the Knot):

So I want the brown dresses, with a cream/ivory top over them (for our church wedding) with a pink sash. So the dresses and the sash aren't a problem, it's the ivory top. Those ones in the pictures were from Banana Republic, but of course they don't make anything close them anymore. But I love those tops! Anyone got any ideas as to where to look for cream/ivory tops to go over the brown dresses?

I've also got the flower girl dress picked out and already purchased. I knew that I wanted this exact satin Us Angels dress in ivory (not white) with a dark brown sash. Well I found one that is the exact right size (I hope) of the ivory satin dress at Nordstrom last year. And guess what the best part was? It was on sale! Plus I didn't have to pay for shipping, which is one thing that irks me to have to pay for. The only thing is that the sash is purple instead of brown, but a brown sash won't be hard to find. I just hope if fits her by the time we come up with a date!

Monday, April 6, 2009

California Academy of Science

On Saturday we took a little trip to San Francisco to take Christopher to the California Academy of Science. Gregory and I had been there once before, so we'd seen most everything but Christopher had a wonderful time. He especially liked the fish down in the aquarium. He saw some long ones and asked if they were "limousine fish" and then there was another fish that looked like it was frowning and he asked if the fish was sad. So cute! He liked seeing the animals in the African exhibit, but was disappointed that they weren't alive.

They have a little petting pool downstairs in the aquarium and I was surprised that Christopher wanted to touch things. We took him to the Monterey Bay Aquarium last year and he refused to touch anything in the touch pond, but this time that was his favorite exhibit.

Oddly enough, of all the things in the museum what Christopher really wanted to see was people playing music outside in front of the museum. We could hear the music while we ate lunch on the patio and the whole time he wanted to go out and find who was playing the music we could hear. Unfortunately it was only a sound system :(

I really wanted to see the Planetarium show, but all the tickets had already been given out by the time we got there.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Elephant Escapade

I love the picture of my son baking in the kitchen. Flour streaked across his hair and nose, his little chubby hands squishing around some cookie dough in a big blue bowl, and an apron that's so big on him it has to be tied twice around his waist and goes all the way down to his feet.

Not only is the thought of him in a little apron so adorable to me but I've learned that the apron is a necessity in the kitchen! Since Christopher's got so many cute clothes I don't always mind changing them, but it's the stains I'm trying to avoid here. Plus you never know what you're going to find in that little front pocket! I've found chocolate chips and goldfish crackers in C's (at the same time). If you've got kids who love to help out in the kitchen an apron is pretty indispensable.

One apron I like is at Now Designs where they offer different pattern sets for children's kitchen accessories. I like the colorful Elephant Escapade line- anything that brings bright colors into the kitchen is fine with me! Plus the aprons are vinyl which makes them super easy to clean. The little elephants just look like they're ready to party in your kitchen!

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Easter Eggs

William's Sonoma has these gorgeously bright Italian Alabaster Eggs. I especially like the smooth marbled surface and the deep hues. Plus they were made in Italy- always a plus! Is alabaster heavy?

I like the blue colors and tiny details of these Lace Eggs from Martha Stewart, but some of the flowers look kind of like snowflakes to me. Beautiful though! Hmmm, Christmas eggs anyone? I'd love to try these, but I wonder how she keeps the dye from getting under the lace when dyeing.

Anything with glitter instantly calls my name and I've especially wanted to work with those clear double-sided stickers that you can add your own glitter to. I'm constantly drooling over all the beautiful glitter colors Martha Stewart has to offer at Michael's. These Glittered Sticker Eggs are also by Martha Stewart - they look so perfect! I also like these fully Glittered Eggs.

Ok, again with Martha Stewart, but this time they're Decoupaged Eggs made with paper napkins! How clever! I've never actually decoupaged anything, but I think these might be the ones to do for our anual blown-out Easter Egg.

Has anyone out there come across some pretty egg ideas?