Saturday, November 21, 2009

Over the Barrel

Hey all! I have just received my new Crate & Barrel catalog. It's wonderful {contented sigh}. Today as I was flipping through the 'log I really got in the mood for a little holiday cheer. And for me, this means a holiday party. So, in light of that, I've pulled my Top 10 from the issue and arranged them below. I hope this gets you thinking about your own holiday party ideas.

1. Mr. Boston's Holiday Cocktails ($15.95)
2. Beaded Bow Napkin Rings. ($2.95 each or $9.95 for a set of four)
3. Clio Martini Glasses ($9.95 each)
4. Star Cookie Cutters (Set of four, $4.95)
5. Holiday Cardinal (Love this! Check the website for prices of the pieces)
6. Star Tree Topper ($24.95)
7. Ruffle Foil Chargers ($4.95 each or $14.95 for a set of four)
8. Reindeer Wine Gift Tags (set of four, $4.95)
9. Ornament Centerpiece ($34.95)
10. Sugared Fruit Ornaments ($35.70, set of six)

There you have it! I hope you take the time to check out the Crate & Barrel website for more fabulous Christmas decorating ideas!

I know it's sort of late but.....

I finally finished sorting through the piles of pictures I took of the Halloween Party! Despite the less than stellar lighting, I was able to clean a few up and put them together. I hope you enjoy them!

I had a great time planning and executing this little party and all the guests had a lot of fun. My only regret is that I didn't get any pictures of the food station. The food was great, if I do say so myself. I wish you could've seen the cake. It was a delectable double chocolate cinnamon cake with a fresh raspberry buttercream filling. Mmm!

Friday, November 20, 2009

With Thanksgiving right around the corner, I thought I might give up some of my favorite recipes for the Harvest occasion. I'd like to start with a cake so yummy no one will ever guess how easy it is to make. Pumpkin Spice cake with a light Honey/Cream Cheese Frosting.

*Quick Tip: Try to come up with fun, festive names for some of your signature dishes. I think it adds a touch of whimsy to any Holiday tradition.

You'll Need:

For the cake:
1/2 c. (1 stick) unsalted butter or margarine
2 1/2 c. cake flour
2 TBSP baking soda
1/2 Tsp. salt
1 TBSP pumpkin pie spice (I like to make my own with: cloves, allspice, nutmeg, cinnamon, and ginger)
2 large eggs (1/2 c. egg substitute)
1 1/2 c. sugar (or 3/4 c baking sugar substitute)
1 can solid pack pumpkin puree (Martha Stewart and my Mom say to use neither pumpkin pie filling NOR fresh pumpkin puree- I'd listen if I were you.)

For the Frosting:
1/2 c. (1 stick) unsalted butter or margarine, softened
1 bar (8 ounces) cream cheese (I use 1/3 less fat), softened
1/4 c. Honey

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray 9" baking pan with baking spray
  2. In a bowl, mix flour, baking soda, salt, and pumpkin-pie spice. In a secondary bowl whisk eggs, sugar, butter, and pumpkin puree until combined. Gently add in dry ingredients to pumpkin mixture, and mix until smooth.
  3. Turn batter into the 9" pan you've prepared. Bake until the toothpick test comes out clean (a few crumbs will be attached), approx. 45 to 50 minutes. Cool cake on a rack, approx. 30-40 minutes. Level the bottom of the cake with knife or cake leveler. Turn cake upright onto stand or serving platter.
  4. Honey Frosting: whisk butter, cream cheese, and honey until evenly combined and smooth.
  5. Frost that cooled cake and serve!
Enjoy the recipe. I also found a similar recipe here. It's a good one, too. Happy Baking!

Image from Martha Stewart dot com

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Allison's Got a Brand New Blog!

The very talented Milwaukee artist and my good friend, Allison C. Beilke has a new blog. On it, you'll be able to see a cross-section of her work as well as lots of other Allison related news. It's a baby blog, so there will be a lot of updates to come within the next few weeks.

I suggest checkin' it out. It's a good way to contact her for information on commissioned work, including wedding and party invitations. She's brill!

You can find the link here.

The Totally Wonderful, Very Big Surprise!

Paper Source has done it! Finally, get this, a home letterpress machine! Isn't it a honey? It's a table top unit that allows you to craft your own beautiful letterpress creations. A-woo hoo! I have been waiting for something like this for ages and now it's finally here, like my wildest party planning dream come true! *Sigh*

Retailing for $149.99, this little beauty won't break the bank either. Also available for purchase on the Paper Source website, are letterpress inks and plates. Check them out here. Oh, what I could do with this...letterpress place cards at my next soiree, anyone?

Think of it! You could now bring letterpress into the realm of DIY. All that style at my fingertips! I die!

Friday, November 13, 2009

Harvest Inspiration

I am IN LOVE with this harvest tablescape from Martha Stewart. Hats off to you Martha! Click here for her how to.

Don't Forget!

Hey everyone! Don't forget the Holiday Open House at Broadway Paper tomorrow! I'm really excited to attend this event. I plan to get lots of party ideas. Hopefully, I will have a chance to scoop up the best wrapping paper (I'm kind of a wrapping paper fiend). Not to mention my very good friends Kate Funk and ac will be there at 1pm to join in the fun....

Tomorrow is a BIG day and I can't wait! Check out the BWP blog here, here, here and here for {some of} the details (I don't want to give away the farm!)!

Monday, November 9, 2009

Attention Cream City Hostesses!

Hey there everyone! Happy Monday! What a weekend! I have so much to share with many of my posts in the "someday" category are now finished and ready to roll out for you. But first, I think I owe it to you to share some news....

Broadway Paper is having a Holiday Open House! I cannot possibly tell you how excited I am to attend this wonderful event. "The BWP" (as we affectionately call it) is one of my favorite places in Milwaukee. I go there for virtually all of my paper needs. They have it all. My favorite thing? The wonderfully diverse section of gift wrap, for sure. Read the post by the lovely new owner, Miss Kate Strzok for details.

I'll be there! Will you?

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

A Preview

Hello everyone! It's been a whirlwind the last couple weeks. I survived unscathed! I wanted to give you a preview of last Saturday's Halloween party. Everything was a dream. The food was exquisite (yes, I do menu design), the decor to die for, but the company was by far, the best part of the evening.

This is the incredible bouquet that served as the crown jewel of the decor. It's is absolutely incredible! It was designed by my good friends at Urban Sense (the new website will be up and running soon). These are the same guys who did the florals for our wedding! I love them! (I'd give you more on them, but that's for another post!)

Swoon! The picture hardly does it justice. I was able to get it from some other angles and I'll get them up soon, along with the rest of the event!