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Happy 2nd bee-day party!

10 Oct

Oh, this is a good one. Full of sunshiney goodness, it will brighten even the gloomiest day.

Check out Liliana’s 2nd bee-day.

The fantastic Sassy Rae Expressions created the invitations (gorgeous, no?).

They match perfectly with these lovely milk bottle labels (can also be used on juice boxes, water bottles, Izzy soda, etc).

milk bottle labels

And the food labels.

Sassy Rae Expressions food labels

Don’t forget the favor tags.

Favor Tags

Did we mention that all 4 of these items can be downloaded for free?! Come back tomorrow for the links, and more 2nd bee-day goodness!

all photos by Katie Ann photography, all paper goods by Sassy Rae Expressions

Pretty pink princess capes! Part 1

16 Mar

With a fabulous princess party just around the corner, we needed something special to help our guests feel extra princessy. The solution? Princess capes.

Items needed:
3 yards 54″ wide tulle
9 yards ribbon
sewing machine or needle and thread
scissor (to cut tulle)

Stay tuned for photos and directions!

xoxo McKenzie

A basic sweets table on a tight budget

23 Feb

The challenge: create a sweets table to serve 50 for under $80. Eek! Yes, it was going to take time, some baking prowess and careful planning.

My partner in crime @graciep and I tackled the pre-valentine’s treats day with gusto. Special thanks to our fab coworker who was kind enough to shoot the sweets before they were gratefully devoured by our coworkers.

Strawberry cupcakes with cream cheese frosting
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Red velvet whoopie pies
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Candies, Rice Crispy hearts on a stick
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Teeny weenie mini cherry cheesecakes
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Don’t worry, we brought a few pounds of strawberries for those who don’t dig sugar
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Aside from these treats, we had cocoa crispy xs and os, loads of candies, lollypops and more.

Lessons learned:
1. make sure the tables/settings you want are available. We ended up with 2 tables that were NOT the 6 foot banquet table we banked on. Thus, woodgrain showing on the sides.
2. if the background isn’t great, bring a backdrop!
3. you can serve 50 folks breakfast for under $100 with some creative baking.
4. is it ON for Easter!

xoxo McKenzie

edited first graf to better explain the situation

Do It Yourself: White Chocolate Cupcake Picks

22 Feb

I made these super-easy white chocolate cupcake picks before Valentine’s day – here’s how.

I used Baker’s brand white chocolate, starting with 6 pieces.

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Melt the squares in the microwave, stirring every 30 seconds. Once the chocolate is melted, let it set for 60 seconds so it’s not TOO runny.

Spoon chocolate into plastic bag, with bag angled so chocolate all collects in once corner. Seal bag. Using a scissors, snip end off bag (make the opening small, you can always make it larger.

Use chocolate to “draw” outline of chocolate pick on wax paper. Make sure to “draw” the pick at the bottom of the area you want to display.

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Once outline is done, fill in with chocolate.

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Sprinkle any decorator sprinkles or colored sugars you desire. Allow to set at least 15 minutes. Place in refrigerator to speed up hardening of chocolate.

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Once ready to display (I recommend making these 48 hours or less from the time they’re needed), remove from wax paper, stick into cupcake and share!

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I placed these cupcakes in my semi-homemade chocolate cupcakes with raspberry filling and chocolate ganache. They’re super easy! Want the recipe? Check out my guest-post on Eat Drink Pretty.

Update: Amanda at i.am.baker pointed out to me that she has also done white chocolate pick and ring topper tutorials! If you’d like to see them (they have easier instructions and pretty photos), click here and here. Thanks for sharing, Amanda!

xoxo McKenzie

Skip the flowers – great Valentines treasures

7 Feb

I secretly love Valentine’s day. I know that it’s a Hallmark holiday, but I love the thought of people taking the time to be sweet and affectionate, even if they’re told to do so.

In lieu of roses, my husband tends to get me something quirky that I like. Here are a few of my current favorites.

Happy groceries print
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Cabbage bouquet (nothin’ says lovin’ like a thoughtful bouquet – double points for looking edible)
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No Shy Violets chemise (according to Anthropologie, this is loungewear, but I sure wouldn’t mind being seen in it in public!)
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A manicure and pedicure. Sure, massages are great, but I love that added confidence boost you get from having a fresh, professionally done coat of polish on your tootsies, even if they’re still hidden in your flats or boots.

xoxo McKenzie

All images property of the sites referenced.

Hungry for sweet Parisian treats?

3 Feb

Are you hungry? Even if you just ate, this video will make your tastebuds cry out for something delicious.

It’s a wee advertisement for Louis Vuitton City Guides – and I absolutely love that the focus in really on the desserts (the research) – not on promoting the fact that LV created the guide. It’s brilliant. And so tasty.

Le Saint Honore (the dessert of honor) could hold its own on a bare, undecorated table. It’s that gorgeous.

xoxo McKenzie

Via pigeon.toed

Giveaway: Bridal shower cupcake kit

13 Jan

I love cupcakes. I will take pretty much any opportunity to order them, make them, or eat them.

Are you the same way?

Anyway, I’ve got a sweet little giveaway from Bake It Pretty – a beautiful and sweet bridal shower cupcake kit!

Our winner was selected by Random.org: Congrats to anash! I’ve sent an email!

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Pretty little brides and grooms go perfectly with the sweet, beautiful cupcake liners in this kit.

Want to win? Just check out Bake it Pretty and comment below on which item you love most on the site!

Want another shot? Like (Facebook) or Follow (Twitter) La La Soiree and mention that you do so in another comment. That give you 3 chances to win!

Contest begins January 13th and ends on February 23rd at 11:59 CST. Contest is limited to the U.S. (sorry to non-U.S. fans).

I’ll select a winner via random.org and announce the winner on February 24, 2011.

xoxo McKenzie

*** I updated the giveaway terms with a NEW end date and time! Looking forward to announcing a winner!

Macaroons versus macarons

10 Oct

I’m a bit of a wordsmith, so excuse me for this tangent.

Who doesn’t love a macaroon – that sweet filling sandwiched between two light, slightly crispy cookies.

(cue record scratch) – actually, loves, those are macarons.

Macaroons are coconut cookies. Macarons are french sandwich cookies made with almond flour. They’re both delicious (in my opinion).

The confusion has been perpetuated by well known sources calling them by the wrong name. Take this Martha Stewart recipe. Or the fabulous Adour at the St. Regis in Washington D.C.

The benchmark of macarons is the incredible, worth-the-trip, Laduree in France.

These places got it right!

Paulette Macarons

Sweets Bakeshop
Macaron Chicago
Macaron Cafe

Here’s a visual (image 1 = macaron, image 2 = macaroon):

Macaron - image by reducewaste.blogspot.comMacaroon image by pinkofperfection.com

So have macarons at your soiree, or maybe macaroons, or heck, have both!

xoxo McKenzie

Macaron image from reducewaste.blogspot.com, Macaroon image from pinkofperfection.com

DIY party treat: marshmallow ribbon candy

5 Oct

Ribbon candy is to a party what a volume dial is to a stereo – it kicks it up a notch!

I adore ribbon candy, but don’t love the mess that hand-held hard candy can bring.

But this gorgeous stuff is made of marshmallow fondant – so its not only beautiful, but a bit less messy.

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Check out this fab tutorial on Bubble and Sweet – then try it out yourself!

Photo from Bubble and Sweet website.

xoxo McKenzie