September 30, 2010

Deliciously unhealthy

After all the talk the other day debating whether a "healthy" cupcake was either a muffin in disguise or a complete waste of time, I got on a cupcake kick and wanted very much to make my own chocolate dipped cupcakes as this cute little shop in the United Kingdom creates:

It didn't work out so well for me, but it still wasn't a complete fail.  I melted a combo of milk chocolate and peanut butter chips, but didn't temper the chocolate correctly so it would be runny.  In the end, the result was ganache-ish yet decent all the same, kind of like a hard frosting:


September 29, 2010

The new rule for beach weddings

I'm considering a new rule at Good Gravy!:  If I'm designing your wedding invitation and your destination involves a beach in Mexico, I will require an initial deposit and a plane ticket.

Read the fine print.  It's in the contract.


September 28, 2010

Are my pupils dialated?

You may already know of my anxiety with dolls and their eyes. 

But this really, really took the cake as I was just minding my own business in Target when this so-called "princess" nearly attacked me:

No, Princess Presto.  Despite your plea containing an exclamation point, I will not brush your hair.


September 27, 2010

My little jack-o-lanterns

We went pumpkin picking this weekend even though it was nearly 85 degrees!  So much for fall.  "Toasty" hardly describes how it felt.

It was fun to see the difference in the kids one full year later:

To round out our harvest day, we stopped by a local apple orchard.  This photo cracks me right up!


September 24, 2010

Free printable: DIY Halloween Gift Tags

I admire those who have seriously geared up for Halloween already (you know who you are).  Do I consider myself one of those people?  Not so much. 

But here's my contribution to the holiday that kicks off autumn in my book: Free DIY printable halloween gift tags for your spookiest of treats.  Click here to download your very own.

I'll fill you in on my true love of the Halloween season: candy corn.  This photo shoot almost didn't happen because I was eating all the props.


September 23, 2010

Surprise at 40 knots: Nautical sailing birthday invitation

Thought I'd share this cute surprise party invitation for a client's husband who's about to turn 40.

Designed with colbalt blue, cottage red and slate gray inks, this nautical sailing invitation is matted to a sparkling sea cardstock.  This makes me want to be back at the beach, despite today being the first official day of autumn.

And how cute is the gift idea?!

Personal information has been modified for privacy.


September 22, 2010

Pop goes the poundcake

I needed a quick dessert for a gathering and after seeing the trend of little cake bites floating around other websites, I thought I'd do a little cheater's version of my own: Poundcake pops dipped in chocolate and sprinkles. 

It's pretty simple: cut a store-bought poundcake into squares, dip into melted chocolate, cover with sprinkles and stick a stick in 'em.  Easy! 

Why a cheater's version?  Because let's be honest, it was an act in and of itself for me to find the double boiler just to melt the chocolate. 


September 21, 2010

Too much of a good thing

I love bacon, but even I have to draw the line at gross.


September 20, 2010

Crib notes

Griffin has been long out the crib for some time now, but it still sat in the corner of the room until I was able to:
A) part with it without emotion, and
B) get both kids in it to take one last photo. 

Another big driver to disassemble it was realizing that Griffin could - with sheer upper body strength - scramble up the side and then literally throw himself into the crib:

I marveled at his monkey-like qualities, but it was practically an emergency room visit just waiting to happen.


September 17, 2010

Ladybug birthday party: Molly Jean

I recently created ladybug birthday party invitations (similar to this suite) for a little miss Molly Jean, and her family was so nice to share with me the photos from her party carrying the theme through.

I mean, seriously how cute is this cake?

Ladybug theme cupcake toppers:

And the adorable ladybug cupcakes to match (super clever with the M&Ms!):

Happy birthday, Molly!


September 16, 2010

We're like ketchup and mustard

I mentioned on Monday that I had been in Minneapolis to meet up with Melissa from Two Little Tots and, over the course of the past year, we've gone from mutual clients to great friends.  It was such a fun visit.

Traveling back, I had a massive layover in Detroit, but its a pretty decent airport to be stuck in for hours because it's like a mall with lots of shops and restaurants.

While I was eating in one of the restaurants, two women dressed up as ketchup and mustard (normal, right?) popped in, said something in Japanese to the hostess, and proceeded to yell back outside the doors, "FREE HOTDOGS!" in their heavy Japanese accents.

Weird and amusing all at the same time, capping off the best visit ever.


September 15, 2010

The Great Cupcake Debate

There are a lot of hot political issues in the mainstream right now, but none can hold a candle to what I'm calling The Great Cupcake Debate.

My "opponent" and friend Sara (who is a cupcake baker/decorator extraordinaire) believes she should offer her clients a healthy cupcake option for children's parties.  They would be lower in calorie than traditional cupcakes and probably use some form of alternative frosting, or none at all. 

A healthy AND delicious cupcake ranks right up there in exisitence with the Easter Bunny and Santa Claus.  Nice in theory, but no actual substance.

Oh sure, you can use applesauce instead of oil and play the alternative ingredients game, but really? A healthy cupcake?  I see it as either a complete oxymoron or call it what it really is: a breakfast muffin...that no one wants to eat. 

I get the need to perhaps offer an allergen-free cupcake option, but a designated healthy cupcake for a kid's birthday should be reserved ONLY for children specifically allergic to delicious fun.

My people: your opinion?


September 13, 2010

A typical day in Minneapolis

Me + 6'10" Minneapolis police officer = what the heck is going on here?

Okay, I'm still a law-abiding citizen, but while I was visiting my super-bloggy friend Melissa from Two Little Tots yesterday and a police officer pulled up to enjoy her neighborhood block party, I figured, "Oh, I have a take a photo here." 

Because nothing says My-First-Midwest-Visit like having your photo taken next to the cruiser of a a nearly 7-foot tall police officer from the Twin Cities.


September 10, 2010

Looks like my basement

I ran across an article discussing the consumption of children.  No, not the act of eating children (though those kid faces can be tasty little morsels), but rather their consumerism and the volume of things they own these days. 

Check out the work of photographer JeongMee Yoon who alarmingly captured this theme in her project:

I am guilty as charged in being my kids' #1 enabler of acquiring stuff they probably don't need.  I wonder what kind of wake-up call I'd have if I attempted a similar photo of my kids' playroom?  {{SHUDDER!}}


September 9, 2010

First *real* days of school

Kindergarten officially kicked off this week (last week was a "transition/getting to know you" week). 

Griffin was pretty ripped he wasn't going with his sissy (but can we talk about how he's wearing my favorite shirt of all time?!)

As she is each time she visits, my sister was a personal hero to Wavey by offering to flat-iron her curls out:

And finally, in the classroom:

She was a good sport about my rampant picture-taking even though I'm certain she was secretly dying on the inside of embarrassment.  But, being just that is my job.  :)