Our Valentine’s Day

Valentine's Day Cupcakes [ Red velvet cupcakes with cream cheese icing and fondant toppers for the mommy and baby Valentine’s Day party ]

Valentine's Day Flowers [ 200 flowers from my husband, which came with a teddy bear, bath salts/shower gel/bubble bath, and chocolates ]

Cady

[ Cady very excited about a balloon at the Valentine’s Day party ]

Cady was nervous at the party at first. There was a lot going on. We hung out in the kitchen and snacked. She wouldn’t let me put her down. Later when Daddy came to drop off my cell phone, she wanted to leave with him. Every once and a while during the party she would ask where he was thinking that he was still at the house.

After he left, I found a comfy chair in the corner where we could have a little space but still be in the room with everyone else. She quickly forgot about her reservations when I put her down in front of all the toys. I was even able to go to the other room to get my camera or walk to the kitchen to snack. Later she would want me to be close to her again while she played or even ask me to carry her. I think being with a lot of people can be overwhelming when you’re not used to it, especially when most of them are towering over you.

She did enjoy herself. I think it will be good for her to have opportunities to play with other kids. We have some friends coming over tomorrow, and I’m looking forward to that, too.

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Wholesale Wedding Flowers by Mail

We’re planning to purchase our wedding flowers online from a wholesale florist. FiftyFlowers.com was recommended by Bridal Bargains, and I checked them out with the Better Business Bureau where I was able to read their rating, profile, and customer reviews.

We’ll be saving a ridiculous amount of money, which is important to me because I think the wedding industry is all about the huge mark-up. Even if my parents are paying for it, I want a good deal. What can I say? I’m all about the best bang for your buck.

I plan on using the pre-arranged florals to save myself the time and energy because they have what I’m looking for available in that option even though I actually took a floral arranging class from a florist shop two years ago. I liked what I learned, but I don’t need the added worry. I always have enough as it is.

I am however, going to take a quick one hour class from a florist of 20 years later this month about buying flowers in bulk for your wedding. The topics listed in the description include, “when to buy, how to buy and how to process different types of blooms to get the longest life out of your flowers.”

I’m looking forward to it.

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Calla Lilly Cake

I made this calla lilly cake for my Auntie Em’s birthday. It’s chocolate cake with chocolate buttercream icing and covered in marshmallow fondant. The flowers are a 50/50 blend of gumpaste and fondant.

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Cake Club and Fondant Calla Lilies

Cake club was great today. Everything went smoothly and started/ended on time. I really look forward to meeting again next month.

Today we made fondant calla lilies. These would be great for any cake, but especially for weddings and Mother’s Day (which is coming up) because they are so lovely and elegant.

Now that I’m home, I wish I had taken step by step pictures of how I made my calla lilies. I didn’t make them by the book, and I think they look more realistic. Not to mention it’s easier and requires less supplies than doing it their way. The flowers are so easy, and I promise I’ll post a proper tutorial next time I make them. I’ve never had a tutorial post before, but I should start writing them (even though there are probably tutorials out there in the internet world already) in case any of my friends are interested in knowing how to do these things.

I’ll try my best to explain it for now.

Supplies:
~ Clean work surface (having a food safe mat or vinyl/plastic place mat to work on would be great)
~ 1/2 fondant, 1/2 gumpaste blend (you can buy these or make them at home)
~ Cone shaped drinkingcup or snow cone cup (or something similarly shaped)
~ Yellow gel icing color (don’t use the liquid stuff from the grocery store, it’s too watery)
~ small rolling pin
~ heart shaped cookie cutter (I like using a big cutter to make big flowers)
~ plastic sandwich bag or air tight plastic container
~ piping gel or gum glue (recipes can be found online)
~ small food safe paint brush (or brush that you ONLY use for food)
~ toothpicks
~ cornstarch/powdered sugar blend

To prep:
1. Lightly dust your work surface with the 50/50 mix of powedered sugar and cornstarch. You only need a small amount to keep your fondant/gumpaste from sticking.
2. Do the same with the outside of your cups.

For the flower:
1. Roll your fondant gumpaste mix very thin (1/16 in) until you can almost see through it.
2. Cut it with your heart shaped cookie cutter.
3. Put the left overs in your plastic bag or air tight container because it dries/hardens very quickly.
4. Take your heart and wrap it around the tip of your cone with the curves of your heart on top and overlapping each other. “Paint” a little piping gel or gum glue where they will over lap to seal it closed.
5. Use your fingers, the handle of a small paint brush, or toothpicks to roll the edges of the bottom of the flower upward and outward from the cup.
6. Where the point of the heart was, pull it out gently and mold with your fingers to a more defined point.

For the flower center:
1. Use a toothpick to color a small amount of fondant/gumpaste yellow. Once you’ve dipped a toothpick into the fondant, use a new toothpick next time. Do not put a contaminated toothpick back into your icing. No double dipping 🙂
2. Roll out a small amount into a little cylinder with one end pointed (kind of like a carrot).
3. Once your flower has dried and hardened, use gum glue/piping gel and a brush to glue your center inside.

You can also add a calyx and leaves to your flower. You can also use a mixture of vanilla and luster dust to paint your flower center and add a shine to it. You can also use green sugar dust to paint the outside of your flower with a gradual change in color or do the inside of your flower that way with the yellow. I’ll explain more next time.

Make sure to always put the fondant/gumpaste in an airtight container when you’re not working with it to keep it from drying out.

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Wilton Course II Lesson 2: Royal Icing Flowers and Color Flow

I felt today because I was a little unprepared for class. My royal icing wasn’t stiff enough apparently because my first flowers were runny, but I didn’t bring any powdered sugar, meringue powder, or cornstarch to thicken it. Then I didn’t have a cake circle for my color flow work and had to get one from my instructor. I’ll give her one to replace it next week. My instructor said at the end of class that it was ok since I was usually prepared, and it becomes a problem when someone is consistently without the necessary supplies.

We made color flow birds and a birdhouse as well as royal icing violets, violet leaves, and apple blossoms. Even without the yellow centers, I think the flowers turned out well. My dad stopped by to pick something up and seemed impressed because he asked me if I made them or if I bought them when he saw them on the dining table. The color flow turned out well, too, but I don’t think I like the taste of it and will try flooding with royal icing on my own time.

[ Wilton’s version of the apple blossom. ]

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Wilton Course III Lesson 2: First Gift Box Cake

I had a headache and was feeling too tired to go to class tonight, but I did the lesson myself at home. I figured since this was a lesson I thought I could do on my own, I might as well give myself a break. I didn’t want to drive all the way out there (5 miles away, lol), sit in an overcrowded class (storage room), not really get much help (because the class is over crowded), and work in a space where I don’t have room to move (especially since I’d be rolling out fondant with a rolling pin).

I texted my instructor and let her know I wouldn’t make it tonight, but that I’d see her tomorrow for Course II at the other location (where it’s in a nice bright classroom that isn’t overcrowded and has lots of space to spread out and work).

I made a Tiffany box cake. I still need to make the rosebuds that we’ll use in either the next or final class to make roses. I’m sure I’ll have time this weekend.

Here’s my first attempt at a gift box cake. I can already think of things I’ll do differently next time to make it better and easier, but I’m happy with the way it turned out. 

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Wilton Course II Lesson 1

We reviewed the shell (which we also did in the first lesson of Course III, guess it’s pretty important… I know I love it). We learned did the rosette and the reverse shell, which I need to practice more. We also learned the rosebud, which I was horrible at, and the chrysanthemum, which I would really like to get better at and use on my future cakes.

Next week we’ll be working with royal icing and “color flow.”

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One bad cake and one good cake…

I made two cakes this weekend: one for Easter and one for my yaya’s birthday.

The Easter cake was supposed to be a Peeps bunny, but instead it looked like p**p. Literally. The eyes and nose came out looking like dog stuff. Plus the sprinkles wouldn’t stick. I couldn’t stop laughing once I realized it. We had a good time about it at my parents’ house. It’s a white cake with buttercream icing.

The cake for my yaya turned out pretty cute though. It’s a chocolate cake with chocolate buttercream and royal icing roses.

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Daisy Lemon Cake

I was bored and wanted to try out making the daisies we learned how to do in our last class. You can make them different sizes or colors, but I just felt like making little white and yellow ones for a lemon cake. The icing is lemon buttercream, and the daisies are fondant with lemon buttercream centers.

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Wilton Course 1, Lesson 4, Cake 3 (Final)

My last Course 1 cake. Strawberry cake with buttercream icing. I really enjoyed making the leaves. I’d love to do a cake just covered in leaves because they’re so much fun, but I can’t think of an excuse to do so yet.

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