April 10, 2014

Simple Owls



I use to think I needed to buy every cookie cutter I stumbled upon... now I know better (Thanks Sugarbelle).   Can you figure out what cutter I used to make the owls above?     

If you guessed an EGG, you are right.  

You can also use a tulip cutter like my friend @Sugarnosh Treats did for her owls...aren't they cute?



Share a link to your favorite modified cookie cutter in comments below


April 8, 2014

#Wearenotinchinanomore



In the last 12 months, I've been to China twice. Both times I had the pleasure of meeting many of my sister's expat friends.  They all made me feel so welcome and this last trip included me & Sal (my nephew) on play dates while my sister was in the hospital having her baby girl.   Heather went above and beyond to help me in any way she could...including coming up 25 floors to help me get Sal, the car seat & diaper bag downstairs to her driver's car since I am not use to doing such a thing.  She was a lifesaver. I enjoyed playgroup with her & Mimi.

Heather and I also have something in common.... Our love for Starbucks.  She made sure I had my latte every time we got together.   A few weeks after my last visit her husband's contract was up so they moved back to the US, Georgia to be specific. I talked to my sister about sending cookies as a "Welcome back to the US" package and planned a very fun set... complete with Georgia peaches, Starbucks cups and a few hashtags. I picked up  #wearentinchinanomore on her Instagram & made up a few others.  


Wishing their family the best of luck in their new home
back in the US!

Georgia peaches 
made with an apple cutter

January 21, 2014

Happy 2nd Birthday

I just returned to the states after spending two weeks at my sisters in China.  During that time we celebrated her husband's birthday, her son's birthday & the birth of their daughter (on her son's 2nd birthday, no less).  

I took lots of cookies with me to celebrate the above occasions... and a few days after I arrived my nephew, Sal, and I baked a cake for his dad's birthday & his birthday.   I was impressed that he knew what vanilla extract was and got it from the pantry & he knew how the mixer worked, although I helped him use it.  I took a funfetti cake mix with me because I wasn't sure what would be available to me over there. He did a really good job for being a few days shy of 2 years old.

All the ingredients are out..we're ready to start

Putting eggs in the mix



Blowing the candles out..he said "all done" and clapped when he blew out the candle..
So cute! 

Happy 2nd Birthday!


One of his favorite books is "The Little Blue Truck"
so I made some using the bus cutter that Sugarbelle designed for Karenscookies.net
and the pick up truck below with his dog "Tess" in the back.  
He has a stuffed dog and her name is "Tess". 


We also celebrated the birth of their daughter, Carla Denise.
She was born on Sal's 2nd Birthday...
I see many dual birthday parties in the future & 
can't wait to design special treats for both of them. 


On the 9th of January, we celebrated my brother in law's birthday...
If you can't tell, he's a big Steeler's Fan 



What a fun filled two weeks it was with so many things to 
celebrate! 




January 1, 2014

Sweets of 2013

Did you have a Happy New Year? 2013 flew by & I am so behind in blogging!    I figured a quick recap of my favorites might be fun, some of which you may have seen & some may be new...so here it goes:

January
My nephew, Sal, celebrated his 1st Birthday. I sent cookies to China where they are currently 
living


February
We celebrated Juls (aka Mr. Sweet Creations) 50th Birthday.  He was so surprised when he found out his family flew out from New York to celebrate with us.   We had a nice party with friends & family complete with Sabrett's Hot Dogs (his favorite from back home)


March
I finally got enough nerve to try my airbrush out with some lace
and came up with this set for my mother in law's birthday

April
Was a quiet "sweets" month because I flew to Shanghai, China to visit my sister, brother in law & nephew for a few weeks... but I did arrive with about 3 different sets of cookies!
For 5k Mondays at Starbucks
Nautical because we're California beach girls
Chinese Girls & Lanterns because it is China afterall

May
My sister and nephew ended up flying back to the states with me
so we surpirsed our mama for Mother's Day & her Birthday
Jet lag = simple cupcakes 

Grandma Sandy & Sal

June 
Father's Day cookies for my dad


July

One of my favorite sets of the year I made for Mary, my dad's other half
I dabbled in a little bit of hand painting for this set (the paisley) and fell absolutely in love with them

August
Our friends, Justina & Ben celebrated their 1st anniversary


September
Nephew, Sal, came to the states for another visit. 
I made color book cookies and let him try his hand at 
coloring with food markers.   Note to self: 3 years old is probably the magical age 
for this project although he did love taste testing every cookie



October

Fifty & Nifty.... I was recruited to help a very nice husband throw a party for my friend, Marti.
Fun colors..purple, turquoise and grey


November

Pair of Turkey's for a Thanksgiving wedding


December

Cookies for my sister's baby shower

followed by Christmas cookies of all kinds! 



Wishing you all a very Happy 2014! 




December 10, 2013

Couples & Cocktails


If a holiday party surrounded by littles and a visit from Santa isn't your cup of tea, maybe a cocktail party is up your alley. Wouldn't it be fun to host a Mad Men-esque themed guys & gals holiday cocktail party? 

This invitation, Couples & Cocktails, from Tinyprints got me inspired.

Guys could wear tacky plaid sport coats over turtleneck sweaters, and Gals could wear those fabulous dresses from the early 60's paired with their favorite red lipstick and perfectly coiffed up-do's. I envision a few signature cocktails, a cigar bar and hors d'voures to keep my guests happy. 

These cookies, based off the invitation, would be bagged up and tied with festive ribbon to be sent home as parting gifts for our guests.



December 7, 2013

Celebrating my soon to be NIECE!

If you've been following me for awhile you know my sister is living in China for a few years and I made my 1st visit 8 months ago.  Well, I will be returning 4 weeks from today because my sister is due to deliver my niece shortly after I arrive.  I get to play with my nephew, Sal, while she is in the hospital & then help her adjust to having 2 kids before returning to the states.  I feel very fortunate to be able to make this trip to spend time with them and help however I can.    While I am there we will not only celebrate the birth of baby girl, Sal will turn 2 years old.  I'll be taking cookies & a few fondant pieces with me for his birthday. 

Almost 2 years ago to the day Charlee (my sister's SIL), my mom & I threw a shower for Brie & Sal.    My sister told me that her friends, Heather & Mimi, were going to have a shower for her so I contacted Heather and asked her if I could send cookies as a surprise.  Heather said "Of course!"   I didn't have much time to get them in the mail since most packages take about 21 days to make the trek.  I did very simple cookies for Sal's shower so did the same thing for this one.   The difference.... an airbrush & stencils!  Wow, talk about making cookie decorating easy.  I did 3 dozen cookies and iced them in one color, then airbrushed a base color, then the same color again with a stencil.   I got them in the mail with 3 weeks to go.  I couldn't believe it when Heather messaged me and told me they arrived... 11 days! Thank you China Post.

My favorite stencil suppliers are:


Sal loves eating auntie's cookies.  At the baby shower my sister said his face was as pink as "Pink Panther" and all the ladies were laughing at him so he cried.  It's okay to laugh with him but not okay to laugh at him :( She took some cookies home and he enjoyed one without anyone laughing at him.

Sal with PINK lips






November 30, 2013

Happy 50th Marti

When someone is throwing a party & needs help, I jump on board as quick as I can.  I love everything about party planning, decorating, etc...as long as it's not for ME.    JW sent me a text a few weeks before Marti's (his wife) birthday asking if I could help send out an Evite.   My reply was, "Sure, and why don't you let me handle decorating and sweets."   You know his answer, right?    I went right to work with planning.  Decorating was easy pairing her favorite color, purple, with magenta, turquoise & grey.  The party was a success and everyone had a great time!


Happy 50th Marti! 




Stand available @ Pottery Barn




November 29, 2013

Very Merry Visit

Wow. It's almost December! This means a busy month of baking, holiday parties and time spent with our loved ones. I am trying to get my holiday shopping done, cards in the mail, and cookies baked so that I may actually enjoy All the festivities that December has to offer. 
Invitation by TinyPrints

My mind is on overload with all of the cute Christmas decor out there, and while looking for the perfect holiday card layout on Tinyprints a couple of weeks ago, I ran across the cutest holiday invitations and cards that inspired me to make a few sets of cookies. 

One of the things that I am most excited to do when my nephew (and soon to be niece) return to the states, is to take in the Holidays with them. I think that a "visit from Santa" cookie exchange would be so much fun to do when they return.

I'd send out an invitation like this Tinyprints one, "Very Merry Visit".

We would have a hot cocoa bar stocked with rich hot chocolate, peppermint stirring sticks & homemade marshmallows. I'd ask each guest to bring a tray of cookies, and have a station set up with take-away containers for guests to bag up cookies and take them home. 

Of course, I would have to coordinate my cookies with my invitation, so they'd look like these. The mustache theme is so popular these days--these cookies are great because even Santa Claus gets in on it. The snowflakes were cut out using two snowflake cutters, and I sprinkled on edible glitter to make them sparkle. One of my favorite cookie cutters to use (and most versatile) is my plaque cutter, so I decided to make a sign that says "Santa Is Here" to celebrate a surprise visit from Santa to our cookie party.

Everyone wins. Time spent with friends and family, a smorgasbord of cookies, and a Santa visit for the littles.

November 26, 2013

Happy Birthday Poppy


Today is my dad's birthday... 
65th to be exact! 
Just about time to retire so you can fish and play all you want


Clearlake, CA  August 2006

I'm a bad daughter... his birthday package didn't include any sweet treats this year because the cutter I ordered didn't arrive in time so I will have to make it up to him at Christmas.

Happy Birthday Poppy!
Wishing you many many more!

xoxo




November 25, 2013

Happy Thanksgiving

Happy Thanksgiving! 

design by Sugarbelle


This year was a busy one and I have a feeling the next 5 weeks will fly by just as fast if not faster. 

It seems as though every time I sit down to write a blog post, I get interrupted or just don't have the time to sit & write.   I hope that in 2014 I can go back to my weekly blogging and share a few tutorials with you, some new recipes & pretty pictures :)  

I hope you have a very Happy Thanksgiving! 



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