Celebrations, Parties, Uncategorized

Let Them Have Cake! A Wedding Cake Surprise for my Brother

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Back in June my little brother tied the knot. He is the last of all our siblings to make the step, but has managed to beat us all to the alter in terms of age. I was a little surprised when I first found out his plans to get married so quickly, but he couldn’t have picked a lovelier wife and just seeing the two of them together I know they are the perfect match.

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When I first found out he was engaged, my brother had mentioned maybe having me help with doing some cupcakes for the dessert. Since I had done a massive cake for my older sister’s wedding, it seemed fitting that he would ask and was something I was more then willing to tackle. Then he spent some time in the daily chaos that is my life and I think he got scared of burdening me with one more task.  He and his wife looked at buying a cake from a local bakery but I think it ended up being one of those additional wedding details that they just didn’t feel was worth the cost when they already were paying for other desserts with their catered meal.

Whatever the reasons, I decided that I still wanted him to have a cake. I have enjoyed gifting my time and talents making cakes and creating candy buffets for our other siblings wedding’s, so it just felt wrong not to do something equally special for him.  I know that he enjoys my baking and was confident enough in my baking skills that I could surprise him with something he and his guests could both enjoy.

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The planning process for the cake ended up being a lot more challenging then I would have expected.  The bride had a pinterest board of cake ideas, but browsing through the many different cakes just confused me more.  I know the couple themselves struggled when they were still planning a cake and looking for the perfect cake topper so I was stressed to find something they would really like.  I also was up against the clock a little because up until a few weeks before the wedding I thought they were still ordering themselves a small cutting cake.

One thing I did know is that I wanted to incorporate my dad’s favorite cake. Our dad passed during my second year of university and sadly has not been there to see any of his four children get married. For my older sisters S’mores themed wedding cake, I incorporated the cake base of my dad’s favorite chocolate cake. One cake just didn’t seem impressive enough so, for my brother, I decided to make two cakes – one being Dad’s Chocolate Cake and the second a Wildberry and Almond swirl to match the purple in the wedding colors.

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For the toppers, I ended up cutting out the wedding graphic from the invitation and attached it to skewers to stick into the cake.  The bride had designed it herself so I knew it was an image she liked and decided it would look cute atop the cake.  To compliment the owl image, I recreated the flower graphics also used on the invite and printed off several of them to glue to toothpicks and stick throughout the two cakes.  On the second cake, I saw a cute banner as one of the ideas on her pinterest board, so I decided to go with that and use the phrase “Better Together”.   I knew they didn’t like lovey-dovey sayings, so this seemed perfect.  I think paper cut-outs looked cute on the cakes and it was a very inexpensive option for the toppers.

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I kept the icing finishes simple, with a more rustic buttercream technique on the wildberry cake and a simple swirl pattern on the chocolate cake.

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To go with my gift of cake, I came across Green Apple Danglers on Etsy that makes these adorable personalized forks. I had a pair done with “Mr” and “Mrs” and added their wedding date at the end of each fork.

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To cut the cakes, I knew the wedding couple didn’t really want the traditional “pretty” wedding knife and server set that they would not know what to do with after the wedding.  My older sister was struggling to come up with a good gift idea and I know my brother has always wanted a really good kitchen knife, so I made the suggestion and that became the cake cutting knife.  I think that knife it has to be one of the sharpest knives ever used to cut a wedding cake!

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Both cakes turned out delicious and I was glad I was able to pull it off as a surprise for the happy couple. The bride happened to tag along to Costco on the day I went to buy the supplies and I was so happy she didn’t question my need for 4 pounds of butter and 4 bags of icing sugar!

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One other great detail on their wedding day was these adorable candy packet’s my mom made for the favors.  She used her Cricut to cut each of the pieces and then stamped and assembled each by hand.  Tucked inside the final sleeves were a couple York Peppermint Patties (yum!).  I think this clearly shows where I get my craftiness from and I look forward to sharing more of her card creations in future blog posts.

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Congratulations again Dylan and Jodi! Wishing you a lifetime of love, happiness and all things sweet.

And, if you want to learn more about my lovely new sister-in-law Jodi, hop on over to her beauty and lifestyle blog Up the Rollercoaster.

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Celebrations, Parties, Throwback Thursday

Throwback Thursday – Jones Soda Baby Shower Favors

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My old coworker and friend is expecting a baby any day now and recently posted facebook pictures of the adorable Jones Soda bottle favors her sister made for her baby shower.  It reminded me of the Jones Soda favors I had created for my own shower and prompted me to have my own Throwback Thursdays on Dolled Up Design to feature some of my older projects.

My baby shower was less of a shower and more of a meet-and-greet, taking place a month or so after Camden was born. My sister was kind enough to come up to my house to host it, but I wanted to be involved so I ended up making the cupcakes, cookies and favors for it. I think this was the first glimpse into my insane party planning that was to come!

The theme was a Boy Shower, playing off the classic poem “What are little boys made of? Snips, and Snails and Puppy Dog Tails”. It was co-ed and my sister served up boy-friendly foods such as chicken wings and sliders.  There was also plenty of beer for the male (and female) guests!
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For the favor bottles, I incorporated the rhyme as the ingredients portion of the Soda bottle labels and used the nutritional information section to include my little guys birth stats. Once the template was done, it was pretty quick to edit so I ended up doing 3 versions for the 3 different flavors of Soda I had.

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To create the labels I simply printed them onto photo paper using my home printer, and then attached them to the bottles with strong double sided tape.

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This is such a fun and versatile idea! I have seen it used for everything from weddings to first birthday parties.  Since her baby isn’t here yet, my co-worker’s featured pictures of her husband and herself as babies.  Really, the sky is the limit when it comes to picking images and changing label information and even choosing a soda type that color coordinates with your event!