Patriotic Cupcakes

Patriotic Cupcakes - swirl together red, white, and blue for these stand-out cupcakes!I started using a cool new tool from Wilton that combines three frosting colors into one spectacular swirl!  Surely, you could achieve the same effect by piping three colors through one tip at the same time, but this little gadget snaps together to make it super easy.  Patriotic cupcakes are in order this time of year and look how fun they turned out!

Patriotic Cupcakes - swirl together red, white, and blue for these stand-out cupcakes!

Patriotic Cupcakes - swirl together red, white, and blue for these stand-out cupcakes!

Ready to celebrate?

Supplies:

cupcakes
white frosting
icing colors in red and blue
Wilton Tri-Color Coupler Decorating Set
Patriotic Foil Fun Pix (optional)

Patriotic Cupcakes - swirl together red, white, and blue for these stand-out cupcakes!

Begin by coloring your frosting.  Remember that your colors will deepen a bit as they sit.  A big batch of red frosting can take a lot of dye, so work with smaller amounts and add just enough to get a bright, red color.  Be careful that you don’t add to much dye or your frosting will start to taste gross! I like to use Americolor Super Red gel coloring.  Scoop some frosting into a cup, add the dye with a toothpick, and then mix it well with a spoon or small spatula.

Patriotic Cupcakes - swirl together red, white, and blue for these stand-out cupcakes!

Patriotic Cupcakes - swirl together red, white, and blue for these stand-out cupcakes!

Patriotic Cupcakes - swirl together red, white, and blue for these stand-out cupcakes!The trick for easy color swirling is this cool kit made by Wilton.  It comes with differently shaped couplers so that you can fit the three bags of color together with one piping tip.  Fill each disposable bag with a coupler and red, white, or blue icing.  Then cut the tip off the the bag so that the top of the coupler is exposed.  There are little notches for the couplers to snap together, which is easier if there isn’t any plastic in the way.

Patriotic Cupcakes - swirl together red, white, and blue for these stand-out cupcakes!

Add your piping tip – the kit comes with my favorite Tip 1M and also the round, open Tip 1A.  Now, gently twist the ends of the three piping bags together and you’re ready to pipe!

Patriotic Cupcakes - swirl together red, white, and blue for these stand-out cupcakes!

Patriotic Cupcakes - swirl together red, white, and blue for these stand-out cupcakes!

Start on the outer edge of the cupcake top and squeeze the three piping bags together.  Swirl in a counter-clockwise direction, gradually swirling up and in a smaller circle until you come to the center.  Stop squeezing and lift the piping tip straight up to create a point.  That’s it!

Patriotic Cupcakes - swirl together red, white, and blue for these stand-out cupcakes!

Add some “Fun Pix” for an extra burst of color and celebration!

Patriotic Cupcakes - swirl together red, white, and blue for these stand-out cupcakes!

If you like less frosting on top of your cupcakes or if you want to decorate a sheet cake, you can also use the same tools to make a flat “rosette” in red, white, and blue.  Simply start your swirl in the center of the cupcake and create a flat swirl out to the edge!  Pretty, right?  You can read some of my tips for covering a cake with these swirled rosettes by clicking here.

Patriotic Cupcakes - swirl together red, white, and blue for these stand-out cupcakes!

Patriotic Cupcakes - swirl together red, white, and blue for these stand-out cupcakes!

Patriotic Cupcakes - swirl together red, white, and blue for these stand-out cupcakes!

What kind of fun plans do you have for Fourth of July?  It will be our last holiday in this house and we are having some company over to watch the fireworks shows across the whole Sacramento valley from our deck.  So bittersweet (sniff)!

S’mores Party with Chinet® Cut Crystal®, Printables and Cash Giveaway


S'Mores Party - free printables and recipes! It’s time to start thinking about summer and the outdoor festivities that come with my favorite time of year!  One thing that our family enjoys, and I’m sure you’d agree, is the thrill of roasting marshmallows on a warm summer evening or making s’mores around the campfire.  I have been wanting to organize a S’Mores Party for a long time, and with the help of Chinet®, I was finally able to do so!  You may remember the Garden and Seed Exchange party and the Bunny Breakfast that we did last year.  I continue to have a strong appreciation for Chinet® Cut Crystal® disposable tableware – it looks clean and classy, while also offering flexibility and reassurance, particularly when it comes to outdoor events! I like to supplement the disposable tableware with a few glass display pieces and some decorative accents for a cohesive and elegant overall look. Today, I’m sharing all the details of our S’mores Party, along with links to recipes and free printables. Plus, at the end of the post, you’ll have an opportunity to win a great gift pack along with a gift card to throw your own summer event! S'Mores Party - cute ideas, free printables, and recipes! S'Mores Party - cute ideas, free printables, and recipes! S'Mores Party - cute printable hot cup sleeves! My jumping off point for this party came from the new-to-me Comfort Cup® by Chinet® Insulated Hot Cups – I created printable sleeves to fit a s’mores and campfire theme and the party developed from there!  Love me a hot cup and they’re disposable too for easy cleanup!!  You’ll be able to download and print the sleeves at the bottom of the post. S'Mores Party - cute ideas, free printables, and recipes! S'Mores Party - "s'mores" cupcakes and printable cupcake toppers These jumbo S’mores Cupcakes make a great impact on the dessert table.  With brown paper liners, toasted meringue frosting, graham cracker crumbs, and themed toppers, they are a total standout! S'Mores Party - cute ideas, free printables, and recipes! I dressed up the drinks by wrapping a ribbon sash around a glass bottle of milk and adding a chalkboard sticker label to the front.  Stripey straws and clear, swirled glasses absolutely complete the look!  I will say again how much I appreciate that Chinet® Cut Crystal® tableware is all coordinated and the clear “glassware” matches any theme – I really like every last thing to blend cohesively! S'Mores Party - cute ideas, free printables, and recipes! Nuts and popcorn in sweet little cupcake liners I snagged in Paris.  So cute! S'Mores Bark - SO easy to make!! S’mores bark keeps people happy.  It adds dimension to the table and makes snacking easy for those less inclined to roast up their marshmallows and bite into sticky s’mores! S'Mores Party - cute ideas, free printables, and recipes! S'Mores Cheesecake Parfaits In addition to my excitement over the hot cups, I was also pleasantly surprised that the Chinet® Cut Crystal® line now includes stemless wine glasses!  Having a good appreciation for drinking a nice glass of wine from a wine glass, I’m glad I no longer have to choose between a plastic cup and breakable wine glass.  And what’s more – these glasses make excellent parfait cups!!  I used them for some easy S’mores Cheesecake Parfaits and they turned out just right! S'Mores Party - cute printable hot cup sleeves! S'Mores Party S'Mores Party - "s'mores" cupcakes and printable cupcake toppers S'Mores Party - cute ideas, free printables, and recipes! S'Mores Party - load all the s'mores fixin's into a chip and dip tray! Now, let’s talk about the s’mores station!!  I am totally crushing on the new Chinet® Classic White® Chip & Dip party tray because it’s also perfect for all your s’mores fixins!!!  We have peanut butter cups, chocolate bars, marshmallows, heath bars, and white chocolate chips. Stuff the candy into the middle of your marshmallow before roasting or simply pop it between your graham crackers when you’re smooshing your toasty sandwich together!  This plastic tray is nice and sturdy and classic white – I hot glued on a little black pom pom trim to fancy it up.  Frankly, I’d like to keep this on my table year round! S'Mores Party All the kinds of graham crackers in nifty little boxes were set out, too.  I can’t emphasize enough how much kiddos like choices! S'mores Party - cute printable hot cup sleeves! If you would like to throw a S’mores Party of your own, I have included links to the recipes and free printables below:

S'Mores Party - cute ideas, free printables, and recipes! Putting this party together was such a thrill!  It’s fun to create a celebration just for the sake of getting together with family and friends!  I love combining a few specialty items with stylish, convenient disposable tableware to make party planning easier and outdoor entertaining more feasible.  You can find tons of additional inspiration at My Chinet and NOW, one of you is also going to win a huge Chinet® gift pack (approximate retail value $50) PLUS a $100 Visa gift card.  To be entered for a chance to win, leave a comment below sharing how Chinet® Cut Crystal® would elevate your next get-together!

 

Entry Instructions:

No duplicate comments.

You may receive (2) total entries by selecting from the following entry methods:

  1. Leave a comment in response to the sweepstakes prompt on this post
  2. Tweet (public message) about this promotion; including exactly the following unique term in your tweet message: “#SweepstakesEntry”; and leave the URL to that tweet in a comment on this post
  3. Blog about this promotion, including a disclosure that you are receiving a sweepstakes entry in exchange for writing the blog post, and leave the URL to that post in a comment on this post
  4. For those with no Twitter or blog, read the official rules to learn about an alternate form of entry.

This giveaway is open to US Residents age 18 or older (or nineteen (19) years of age or older in Alabama and Nebraska). Winners will be selected via random draw, and will be notified by e-mail. The notification email will come directly from BlogHer via the sweeps@blogher email address. You will have 2 business days to respond; otherwise a new winner will be selected.

The Official Rules are available here.

This sweepstakes runs from 5/4/15 – 6/14/15.

Be sure to visit the Chinet brand page on BlogHer.com where you can read other bloggers’ posts!

Gone Camping Printable Cupcake Toppers

Gone Camping Printable Cupcake Toppers

Tomorrow I finally get to share what all the S’MORES fuss is about – you don’t want to miss it!  There has been quite the preparation and one thing I recently shared was a super non-dairy frosting that’ll hold up in warmer weather and it also doubles as a great stand-in for “marshmallow” cupcake frosting!

Gone Camping Printable Cupcake ToppersYou can find the details for White Mountain Frosting by clicking over to this post.  Today’s post is going to be short and sweet!  Cupcakes love toppers and I think that festive toppers can really take your party table up a notch – my kids always oooh and ahhhh over them!  I created some chalkboard-ish “Gone Camping” printable cupcake toppers and would love to share them for your own personal use!  These cupcake toppers print out onto a sheet of Avery round 2″ labels.  This makes it easy to peel off the sticker label and pop them onto some card stock rounds.  You could certainly just print them onto card stock instead and cut them out yourself.  I then cut scalloped circles using my Cricut to back the labels.  Once I stuck the labels onto the rounds, I just hot glued them onto lollipop sticks and they’re ready to be put into the cupcakes.  Super simple!

Gone Camping Printable Cupcake Toppers

Click here to download the free printable “GONE CAMPING” Cupcake Topper labels!Free Printable Cupcake Toppers from www.thegirlinspired.com

S'Mores Party - cute ideas, free printables, and recipes!

S'Mores Party - "s'mores" cupcakes and printable cupcake toppers

 

Confetti Cake

Confetti Cake - make your own edible confetti to decorate home-made or store-bought cakes!  Simple and so pretty!

You guys know how much I love to practice my cake decorating skills – sometimes that can involve the most difficult, intricate details, but I always find myself much more satisfied with cake decorating as simple as tossing edible confetti on to a cake.  For this pretty pastel inspired cake, I used fondant to make my own sprinkles in various shades of pink.  Looking at some of my recent projects, I’m seeing a theme with monochromatic colors – ha!  I think I’ve been doing my creative soul nurturing through easy color!  Not too much brainwork and the colors always look beautiful together!  Anyhow – this Confetti Cake is so simple to make – you can make the confetti in advance (weeks in advance, even) and then you just toss it over the top of a simple, frosted cake.  No time for baking?  Throw the confetti over a plain, store-bought cake.  So easy! Confetti Cake - make your own edible confetti to decorate home-made or store-bought cakes!  Simple and so pretty!

Ready to make your own?  You will need:

  • Wilton Decorator Preferred Fondant
  • Fondant Mini Cutouts (circle or desired shape) or icing tip #2A
  • gel food coloring in desired shade
  • parchment paper
  • fondant roller or rolling pin
  • cornstarch for dusting
  • Wilton Metallic Color Mist Spray in gold (optional)

Confetti Cake - make your own edible confetti to decorate home-made or store-bought cakes!  Simple and so pretty!

Step 1:  Begin by tearing off a small piece of the fondant and kneading it between your fingers to get it soft and pliable.  Add a very small dot of gel paste food coloring to the fondant and continue working it between your fingers until the color is evenly distributed throughout the fondant.  You can use latex gloves if you want to keep your fingers clean of food coloring!  You will want this first piece of fondant to be the lightest shade desired.

Confetti Cake - make your own edible confetti to decorate home-made or store-bought cakes!  Simple and so pretty!

Step 2:  Sprinkle some cornstarch over your work surface and roll the fondant into a very thin, even layer.  Use Tip 2A or the Mini Cutout tool to “punch” as many dots as you can in the fondant.  Peel away the excess fondant and set aside.  Move the “sprinkles” over to a piece of parchment paper to dry.  Using your leftover fondant (and adding more as needed), add additional food coloring to create a slightly darker shade of pink and repeat the above steps to make the next set of sprinkles.  Continue until you have at least three shades of sprinkles and enough to cover your intended cake or cupcakes.

Confetti Cake - make your own edible confetti to decorate home-made or store-bought cakes!  Simple and so pretty!

Here is a closer look at the “Fondant Mini Cutout” tool.  It has a little spring in it so that you can eject the punchout if it gets stuck inside – pretty nifty!

Confetti Cake - make your own edible confetti to decorate home-made or store-bought cakes!  Simple and so pretty!

Here’s a look at the pile of fondant sprinkles when they were all tossed together.  I love the mixture of shades, but I wanted a little contrast color, so….

Confetti Cake - make your own edible confetti to decorate home-made or store-bought cakes!  Simple and so pretty!

I used this gold metallic Color Mist food spray to make a few gold sprinkles to add to the bunch!

Confetti Cake - make your own edible confetti to decorate home-made or store-bought cakes!  Simple and so pretty!

Confetti Cake - make your own edible confetti to decorate home-made or store-bought cakes!  Simple and so pretty!

Confetti Cake - make your own edible confetti to decorate home-made or store-bought cakes!  Simple and so pretty!

When you’re ready to decorate your cake, just frost a smooth layer of icing over the entire thing.  Grab your sprinkles and toss them on!  Be sure that you add the sprinkles right away so that the icing is sticky enough to catch them.  You can toss a few at the sides, too, or place them strategically how you wish.  These would be so darling sprinkled on cupcakes, too – instant confetti!

Confetti Cake - make your own edible confetti to decorate home-made or store-bought cakes!  Simple and so pretty!
This post was previously shared at The Creative Spark.

Halloween Chalkboard Sign and Cricut Explore Giveaway!!

Halloween Chalkboard Sign + free image/printable

With only two weeks to go, I’ve opened up the Halloween bins and put up some decorations.  The girls get super silly and scatter skeleton bones around the house and drape snakes around their necks.  I debate between trying to keep the mess contained and letting them have their holiday fun.  I was brainstorming ideas for this month’s Cricut Design Space™ Star Challenge and found myself really wanting to make a big chalkboard sign to bring something new and fun to our Halloween decor.
**This post contains affiliate links.**
Halloween Chalkboard Sign + free image/printableOnce I put together the image file in Photoshop, I was able to create the project with my Cricut, vinyl, and a large canvas.  I’ll share the file if you’d like to make one, too.  Don’t have a Cricut Explore?  Well, BIG NEWS!!  My team is giving one away to one of you!  There’s a Rafflecopter at the bottom of this post where you can get all your entries in!  I’m excited for ya because this machine is so much fun to use!  Let’s get to the project:

Halloween Chalkboard Sign + free image/printable

You will need:

Cricut Explore or cutting machine with 12″x 24″ cutting capability
12″ x 24″ cutting mat
vinyl (12″ x 24″)
vinyl transfer sheet (12″ x 24″)
Halloween Chalkboard Sign file – click here to download
15″ x 30″ stretched canvas
chalkboard paint
liquid chalk pens or white paint

Begin by coating your canvas in chalkboard paint. I used a canvas that already had a coat of pink latex paint on it and my chalkboard spray paint completely covered it in just one coat. If you don’t have paint to prime the canvas with first, it may take more than one coat. Allow the canvas to dry completely. If you want to use a different size canvas, you should be able to easily use anything smaller with just a little adjustment of the image.

Halloween Chalkboard Sign + free image/printable

Upload the Halloween Chalkboard Sign .png file to your Cricut Design Space software.  Adjust the image to fit a 12″ x 24″ cutting space.  Lay your sheet of vinyl with backing attached onto the cutting mat and cut out the image.  This will take a while, but hang in there – the Cricut Explore doesn’t need babysitting and I haven’t had it mess up in the middle of cutting yet.  Grab a fresh cup of coffee and check up on your drying canvas.  Once the design is cut from the vinyl, you will need to remove all of the words and images so that only the negative space remains.

Halloween Chalkboard Sign + free image/printableUse a pick tool to get the tiny little letters out cleanly.  “How I Met Your Mother” reruns come in handy while you’re doing this – or perhaps a nightime viewing of The Shining??

Halloween Chalkboard Sign + free image/printable

You will need to use a vinyl transfer sheet to move the design outline from its backing onto the chalkboard canvas.  This is painless as long as you use the transfer sheets!

Halloween Chalkboard Sign + free image/printable Once you’ve placed the design onto the canvas (centered please!), peel off the transfer sheet and you’re ready to paint in the design.  I used a liquid chalk pen because I thought it would give the canvas a more authentic chalkboard feel.  The chalk pen bled a bit under the vinyl, which hasn’t happened with regular paint when I’ve done something similar in the past.  Use whichever painting medium you prefer.  Peel off the vinyl, using the pick tool to remove the small pieces, such as the centers of a’s and o’s and your canvas is just about done!  You can gently spray it with a couple coats of clear paint to set the chalk or just leave it as is.  Hang or prop it up on the wall and admire its festive beauty!

Halloween Chalkboard Sign + free image/printable

Now, it’s time to enter the giveaway for a Cricut Explore – SO EXCITED TO GIVE THIS AWAY!

cricut giveaway image
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Win Cricut Explore

 

Flower Burst Mini Cakes

Flower Burst Mini Cakes - tiny flowers made from cardstock bring your party table to life! *This post contains affiliate links*

It’s time for another Cricut Design Space™ Star Challenge.  This month, the general theme was Weddings and Celebrations and you know how much I love crafting for parties!  With a team theme of “On the Tabletop,” I put together an autumn table that is both seasonal and festive.  You could use these ideas for a dinner party, a bridal or baby shower, even a wedding.  Today, I’m going to share these gorgeous little flower burst mini cakes, but check back in throughout the week because I have several more Cricut projects to share!

Flower Burst Mini Cakes - tiny flowers made from cardstock bring your party table to life!

Flower Burst Mini Cakes - tiny flowers made from cardstock bring your party table to life!

Flower Burst Mini Cakes - tiny flowers made from cardstock bring your party table to life!

To make the flower burst mini cakes, I started by making the cakes using my favorite Glazed Pecan Rum Cake recipe, baked in mini bundt pans.  These little cakes are pretty by themselves, but I wanted each cake to really stand out and become part of the table decor.

Flower Burst Mini Cakes - tiny flowers made from cardstock bring your party table to life!  I used my Cricut Explore and a few of the spiral flower templates from the Entitled cartridge.  I love these spiral flowers because they are SO easy to assemble and they cut really easily from cardstock!  Begin by cutting out the spiral flowers on your machine.  (Another thing to love about Cricut Design Space™ – you don’t need the whole cartridge for your designs; you can simply purchase the individual designs you want for usually $.99 each within the design program.)  Pinch the outside bottom end of the spiral with your tweezers and roll in toward you until the whole spiral is rolled up into a cone.  Fold the circle tab at the end under the base of the roll.  Allow the roll to loosen a bit until the base of the flower is the same size as the circle tab.  Hot glue in place.  Gently fold out the petals to shape the flower as desired!  I made a variety of tiny and medium sized flowers and then grouped together the smaller ones for a cluster or placed just one medium-size flower in the center of each mini cake.

Flower Burst Mini Cakes - tiny flowers made from cardstock bring your party table to life!

Flower Burst Mini Cakes - tiny flowers made from cardstock bring your party table to life!

I was concerned that the grease from the cake might seep into the cardstock and ruin the flowers after setting for some time (this actually didn’t seem to happen), so I cut small rounds of parchment paper to place under each flower cluster.  I hot glued the flower clusters to the parchment paper, but they will easily pull off so be really careful.

Flower Burst Mini Cakes - tiny flowers made from cardstock bring your party table to life!

Flower Burst Mini Cakes - tiny flowers made from cardstock bring your party table to life!

Flower Burst Mini Cakes - tiny flowers made from cardstock bring your party table to life!

I think these little cakes are just beautiful – too pretty to eat?  Only until you taste them!!

Alrighty, friends!  Be sure to check out some of the other “On the Tabletop” projects from my other team members!

ON THE TABLE

To see these amazing projects, click on the links below:
1-Kiki and Company
2-Stay and Co.
3-Kristi Murphy
4- Beauty Babbler
5- Two Thirty Five Designs
6- A Ruffled Life
7- Frenchie Wraps
8-Girl Inspired
9- Sweet C’s Designs
10-The Life of the Wife