Sunday, October 18, 2009

It's Breast Cancer Awareness month, think pink!

Aren't they cute?! I made these for a breast cancer event. Pink, white and dark chocolate cupcake pops were everywhere!
Turns out one of my high school classmates and I reconnected on facebook. No big story there, right? Well, I had just posted some of my sweets pictures and this friend told me his twin sister lived in my area and she would love to reconnect. So, within a day, I had reconnected with two friends, realized one lived by me, found out that she had an event coming up and wanted me to do something sweet for her. She was having it at a restaurant and they did not allow you to bring in dessert. I decided it would be clever to make centerpieces that were edible and looked good. Then her guests could take them home as well if they didn't gobble them up at their tables and the restaurant wouldn't be offended.
I made a variety of red velvet, white and pink cupcake pops covered in colored white chocolate or dark chocolate. Then I added some details, including some BC symbols I made out of some of the melted pink chocolate. I found some vases at Joann's and I cut out a styrofoam cube and placed it in the vase. I filled a couple with white and pink sugar. For the others I scrunched up hot pink tulle and wrapped bows around each one. Then it was just a matter of putting the pops in and there you have it- centerpieces ;)
I also donated pink ribbon (touch o'lemon) sugar cookies. They gave each guest a bag filled with information on their charity and these went right in there. I was very happy to help out with something so special and yet saddened that another friend had been affected by breast cancer.

Three very special women in my life have had breast cancer and I am so happy that each of them had the courage and strength to fight it. My beloved Auntie Kris, my husband's second mom, Tante (Aunt Pat) and my dear mother, Gerry.

My mom is a director for the Wisconsin Breast Cancer Coalition and has lobbied in Washington D.C. for the cause. Check out their site Last weekend, she helped to organize the WBCC's annual charity event. It is called the Rare Chair Affair. They have people going through treatment or survivors work with artist to create unique, wonderful chairs and then they are auctioned off , along with a host of many other wonderful things, at the event. I was lucky enough to be there and help out along with my three sisters and my mom and dad. It is tough to hear some of the stories, but mostly inspirational. I couldn't help but think that maybe someday, the efforts of some of those wonderful people could help save me, one of my sisters or one of my daughters.
My mom is going on 10 years of survival. It has made her a better, stronger woman. I am very proud of how she handled her battle and continues to support the cause every chance she gets.
Here she is with my middle one who was just a baby when she was diagnosed.
Cupcake pops and sugar cookies are the least I can do for some of the sweet things in my life. What else can we all do?

Saturday, October 3, 2009

From first birthdays to graduation, cakes always enhance the celebration!

I really can't think of an event (or day if the week for that matter!) where a cake or sweet treat doesn't make it that much more special. These cupcakes were for little Lucy's first birthday. The fondant touches made them seem that much more petite and special for the birthday girl.
I think cupcakes are so perfect for a first birthday. That way the birthday baby can dig into their own little cake and the adults can chow down on the rest, without worrying about drool and goober in their dessert! Priorities, right?
Next up is a cake I made for a bowling party to celebrate another little cutie. Madison is a fun girl who I had the pleasure of watching perform a musical number in the kids school talent show. Let me just say that everyone should go to watch a first grade talent show tryout. It was 2 hours of sheer bliss. I laughed and smiled so much it hurt! Anyway, it was time for her birthday and her mom mentioned that they were having a bowling party and she liked pink. The pins and bowling ball were made out of rice krispie treats that I molded and covered with frosting, then fondant. I have watched my share of cake challenges and they always use rice krispie treats for parts of their structures, so I thought I'd give it a whirl. Turned out great because then the decorations weren't too heavy for the cake and they just sat right on top. It was also an added treat for the party goers! (That's a word, right?)
This one was for a graduation party. The mother contacted me and said that she thought a sheet cake with some flowers would do fine. Hmm, fine? That didn't sound like a cake I would love to make. So, I emailed back and forth with her about what her child was like, interest, colors or anything to help make it better than , fine. I first found out it was a male, okay no flowers. Next she mentioned that he had a passion for cars, especially his black mustang. Once again, the ding ding went off in my head. I encouraged her to let me put in some elements of a car into the cake. Well, I think I got her to put her thinking cap on too. She came back asking if we could really do it up and maybe make the car on top of the cake, and then she forwarded me pictures of his car. Now we had something! I chose to make it look like the car was coming out of the cake. Thank goodness my husband was around to point out the specific details of the car and remind me to add the exhaust system to the bottom of the car (seriously!). Okay, so this one took some extra work and patience. One final touch, the license plate.
Crusin' through life with cakes around every corner...
Now, that is fine!