Thursday, May 26, 2011

Ashley's Shower: Part II

Here are more details from the baby shower this past weekend. In the previous post I put all the food. Here in this post, is the decor, activities and games that we did for the shower.

Banner created by Erika. She hung it on twine to give it a rustic, natural feel.

Plain wooden frames I painted for decor. I did a bird ABC theme. You know it's hard to find birds that start with A! Albatross was the only decent bird I could find lol. These can be incorporated into the baby's room if they want :)

Bird house I painted. The tree was another theme of the shower inspired by the invitation.

Center pieces created by Heather using mason jars, rocks, moss, manazita branches, nests and eggs.

Bird themed library using books from the actual library and left over branches.

On of the activities was for each guest to leave a finger print on a tree of life canvas so the baby will know what great friends and family he will be supported by. The canvas was designed and painted by Erika.

View of the canvas which will be hung up in the baby's nursery.

Baby shower games. A shower isn't complete without cheesey games. We did the "mystery baby food tasting" and of course the candy bar diaper game.

And for our last activity we had guest decorate all different sized onesies for the baby to grow into.

Here is my onesie I created... of course!

It was such a great shower. The first one that I've actually helped to plan. We got such nice compliments from the guests and of course the mommy to be LOVED it too :) Congrats to Ashley, the momma to be! And thanks to Erika and Heather, we made a great team and it was a success ;-)

Now, as Jay-Z says.... on to the next one! June is booked for a friends wedding and a friend's bridal shower.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Ashley's Baby Shower: Part I

This weekend I helped host my friend Ashley's baby shower! The two other girls (Erika and Heather) who helped put the shower together, have design experience and I love putting together these kind of events, so we made a great team :) We have been planning for the past few months now and it all came together this past Sunday. The inspiration was drawn from the beautiful invitation our friend Erika designed:I love it! How cute is the bird family?! The theme for the shower was birds with the color palate of green, blue and orange with hints of brown and yellow here and there. Our friend Ashley does eco-friendly fashion so we wanted it to be very natural and "naturey" as well. In this first post, I will post all the food from the shower.

Our menu and the frame I painted to match the shower theme.

Close up of the menu. We had sweet and savory items.

Cucumber and radish open faced sandwiches made by Erika. I also made the plate stand. I will post how I did that later :)

Desserts included: lemon blueberry cupcakes, chocolate orange cupcakes, a small lemon blue berry cake, bird's nest treats, coconut macaroons and fruit salad served in sugar cones.

So many pics, so little space... click to see these larger :)

6 inch mini lemon blueberry cake with vanilla swiss meringue buttercream for the mommy to be. Notice the birds match the birds on the invite :)

Everyone loves these homemade coconut macaroons! They have become a staple any time I do an event for my friends lately. They're so easy to make too!

For favors we ordered swirl lollipops and personalized them with our own sticker to match the shower as well a simple bow.

So you can't eat it, but a shower is not complete these days without a diaper cake! I like to keep mine simple, so I made a basket to hold a majority of the contents. Products included all natural baby products from my friend's website Mom To Mom Health!

Gotta wash it all down with personalized water bottles! Label designed by our friend Heather.

Stay tuned for the next post for part II.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

strawberry shortcake

Whipped up some easy strawberry shortcakes the other day for dessert. Still waiting for the strawberries to come in to season (definitely had to sugar them up a bit), but the cake part was super easy and tasted so good! Especially when served right out of the oven ;-) I added a touch of lemon zest to the biscuits and vanilla bean to the homemade whipped cream. The following recipe that I used is from Baking Bites. I cut it in half so I'd have just enough and not many leftovers.

Strawberry Buttermilk Shortcakes
Recipe adapted from Baking Bites
Makes just about 5 servings (depending on how big or small you prepare the biscuits)

1 cups all purpose flour

1/4 cup sugar

1/2 tbsp baking powder

1/8 tsp salt

3 1/2 tbls butter, chilled and cut into pieces

3/8 cup buttermilk (that's half of 3/4 cup ;-)

1/2 tsp vanilla extract
Fresh lemon zest (about a half lemon)
Fresh, ripe strawberries

Homemade whipped cream

1. Preheat oven to 400F.

2. In a large bowl, combine flour, sugar, baking powder and salt.

3. Rub in butter with your finger tips until mixture resembles coarse crumbs (or pulse a few times in a food processor).

4. Stir in buttermilk, vanilla extract and lemon zest until the dough comes together. Add an additional tablespoon of buttermilk if the dough is slightly dry.

5. Drop by 1/4 cups (use a measuring cup) onto a parchment-lined baking sheet. Or, I gently spread out the dough to around a 1/2 inch thickness and cut out the short cakes with a heart shaped cookie cutter (or use a small biscuit cutter). I got about 10 heart shaped biscuits with the size cutter I used.

6. Bake for 15 minutes, or until golden.

I like to serve them immediately out of the oven. Slice in half, put in fresh strawberries, homemade whipped cream, and enjoy ;-) I'm definitely ready for summer and strawberry season! ~Cara Lee

Monday, May 16, 2011

may = baby showers

I'm just about finished my spring semester and looking forward to blogging once again this summer! I've been able to bake a bit more, a few cupcakes here and there for friends, but I'm itching to make a cake. It's been awhile since I've done one!

In the mean time I have 3 baby showers this month! One was this weekend that I had to miss :( But I sent over some cupcakes of course ;-)

Red velvet with vanilla bean cream cheese frosting
and homemade cupcake toppers

Next weekend I'm helping host my girlfriend Ashley's baby shower. I'm sooo excited! Here's a little sneak peek at the invitation our friend designed. The theme of the whole shower is inspired by her wonderful art work!

Beautiful invite designed by our friend Erika

We have been preparing for Ashley's baby shower for a few months now. I can't wait to unveil all our hard work next weekend! Until then...