Bridal Inspiration: Do It Yourself Favors

Hello-hello…it’s Wedding Wednesday and I’ve been in a DIY kind of mood.  Rather than posting a bridal inspiration board that revolves around a color combination, this week I will share with you some of the bits that I’ve found around the web for favors that you can either completely or partially do yourself.

Personally, when it’s my turn to walk down the aisle…I will skip the standard favors of frames and salt-and-pepper shakers.  I would rather give something people can enjoy…gastronomically speaking…than something that will most likely gather dust in some tucked away place.  If you haven’t noticed with some of my posts…I love and adore food, especially sweet bits.  So it won’t come as a surprise that a majority of the items are desserts.

Credits:  1) Sweet Treat Favor Tin – The Inspired Bride (tip: you can find all sorts of tins and packaging at Papermart.com); 2) Coffee Bag Favors – Ruffled Blog; 3) Jam Favors – Elizabeth Anne Designs (tip: grab some pretty fabric, jute, mini mason jars and take some time to make your own homemade preserves; the Pioneer Woman has a great strawberry jam recipe!); 4) Berry Basket Favors – Martha Stewart Weddings (tip: wrap a cupcake, scone or 6 oz mini pound cake to package with fresh berries OR jam!); 5) S’mores Kits – Oh Happy Day; 6) Macarons by Bouchon Bakery with Personalized Tags by Wanwisa Posner – Bliss Event Group (tip: if you really want to DIY this favor, here is a Parisian Macaron recipe from Martha Stewart Weddings; or in place of macarons, bake cookies!  I personally love the cookie recipes from William Sonoma, Martha Stewart and Dorie Greenspan.)

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Who’s Who: Lynlee’s Petite Cakes

Hello and Happy Who’s Who Tuesday!  Up this week…Lynlee Beckett of Lynlee’s Petite Cakes!

Lynlee Beckett of Lynlee's Petite Cakes

Sometime in mid-March, I actually featured Lynlee’s Bunny Hole Push-Up Pops in my post “Picks for a Bunny-tastic Holiday“.  I try to keep up with the party scene and really enjoy all the work that the event stylists put into their tables and parties, and when I saw that Easter Egg Hunt styled by Lynlee in the Spring Issue of The Party Dress Magazine…well I had to include it in that bunny board!

Easter Egg Hunt

Anyway, let’s back track a bit….  Remember that Dreamers into Doers event I blogged about when I first started Daily Bits?  I’ve referred back to it quite a few times because so many of the fabulous women I have spotlighted (and will be introducing in the weeks to come) are part of Martha’s Dreamers.

Well, up until that event in March, I had only really kept up with Lynlee’s work through Facebook; I know there are the other social media outlets like Twitter but I have only been able to really keep up with things through the one and typically go cross-eyed with the other (lol).  Luckily, I had the opportunity to meet Lynlee in person at the event, where we shared some giggles and photos and whatnot…and I’ve asked her to take part in Daily Bits so that you, too, can get to know this sweet lady 🙂

When you were a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?

When I was a child, I wanted to be a singer/rockstar when I grew up!  I’ve always loved to sing and annoyed my little brother all the time…whether it was in my room, the car or all throughout the house!  Though I am not pursuing this career as an adult, I have to admit…I’m sure my current neighbors might have their own complaints! 😉

Silly Old Bear - Winnie the Pooh

When did you start your business and what inspired you to do it?

I started my business back in 2010 shortly after I threw my daughter’s third birthday.  I had always loved planning parties and decorating cakes/cupcakes with frosting, but I had not tried my hand at fondant.  When we had decided on a cowgirl theme, I wanted to do something a little different for her cupcakes and started searching the internet for some ideas.  I came upon a tutorial to make three-dimensional fondant horses and decided to tackle my fear of fondant and give it a try.  I left my career as a retail buyer and ever since, I have been enthralled in this love affair with both fondant and parties and have been so fortunate to have been able to turn it into my new career!

Come Fly Away - Pan Am

What are the most important business lessons you have learned so far?

I would say the most important lesson I have learned thus far has been to be able to adapt and change my plans and goals as necessary.  Having a business plan to lay out the road map for where you want to go is indispensable…but when business and demands change, it is vital to be able to re-route and change directions to stay on track for the bigger picture. Constantly re-prioritizing is also key for not only a business, but to attempt to achieve balance with your home life as well! I also feel that social media is an invaluable tool for the modern business…be it small companies or large corporations, especially when it comes to advertising and promoting your brand, as well as networking and developing relationships with members of any industry.

Pirate Fondant Toppers

 What has been your favorite project so far and why?

Such a difficult question, as the list of favorites in terms of both fondant work and parties is long…but I would say that to date, my absolute favorite project was my daughter’s Finding Neverland party to celebrate her fourth birthday party.  I loved incorporating the decor and beauty of the Victorian era with the imaginative play of the classic Peter Pan story to allow the kids imagine and believe!!!  I have a special place in my heart for children’s themes and parties because of this notion of “believing” and the sheer happiness that comes from it.

Finding Neverland - Peter Pan

Random quirky question here….  If you were an animal, what would it be and why?

If I were an animal, I’d have to say I’d like to be a French poodle. I have an affinity for anything French and this iconic animal epitomizes elegance and intelligence and the overall “ooh la la” city girl way of life! ♥

Find out more about Lynlee’s Petite Cakes by visiting:

Party Picks: Tangerine

Good morning and Happy Monday!

Last week, I was unexpectedly quiet on the blog…work projects and regular ol’ life stuff filled up the time.  But, that’s all squared away – for now – and I’m back with a new party picks board for all of you who are tossing around ideas for little shindigs here and there.

It’s been seriously warm lately and the weather has me in a citrus-y frame of mind.  Pair that with this year’s Pantone color of the year and I’m all for some tangerine tango love!  So here’s a rather large board of pickin’s…from do it yourself fun times to bits that you can pick up on the net.

Credits:  1) Orange Balloon Children’s Birthday Party Invitation – Minted; 2) DIY Vases with Masking Tape – How About Orange (tip: you can find a lot of washi tape options at Cute Tape!); 3) DIY Paper Lanterns – Lushlee; 4) Flower Arrangements by Twigs Botanical with Orange Accents – One Charming Party; 5) DIY Favor Bags from Envelopes with Masking Tape – How About Orange (tip: use the same masking tape from pick #2!); 6) Sparkling Clementine Juice – Izzy; 7) Striped Paper Straws in Juicy Orange – Shop Sweet Lulu; 8) Orange Chevron Napkin – Tracy Sachs; 9) Orange Dreamsicle Cupcakes in a Jar – Glorious Treats; 10) Ceramic Letter Dish – Ivy Lane Designs via Amazon (tip: spell out the name of the guest of honor and fill the dishes with color coordinated candies!); 11) Candy Treats for the Dishes (tip: use extra candies to fill the favor bags from pick #5!) – Candy Warehouse (shown here: Jelly Belly Orange Jelly Beans, Orange Gummy Bears, and Brachs Mandarin Orange Slices)

Friday Randoms and a Hippity-Hop-Hop…HOP

Just a quick litty bitty…to wish you and yours…a very Happy Bunny Day!

Celebrate the weekend…the holiday…

and…the oh-so-adorable bunnies that hatch from eggs only to lay more and more eggs a la Cadbury (psst…they have mini ones so you can make something so edibly cute like this!)…

unless – of course – they’re the other kind of bunnies that fall in love with peanut butter cups.  I’m a little torn on these options…I mean…one is classic, right?  The other…well…peanut butter and chocolate…’nuff said.

or…you can play along with Fred Astaire and Judy Garland a la Irving Berlin…stroll along Fifth Avenue…in your easter bonnet, with all the frills upon it…You’ll be the grandest lady in the easter parade… 

if…the kids need something livelier than the musical?  Pop a little E.B. on the tube to distract them so that you can go on and set up the easter egg hunt!

now…if you’re like me…and going to have a pretty laid-back weekend (lunch with the fam is about all I have on my schedule!)  Don’t forget to make a little basket for that special little man (or lady)…in my case – it’s my nephew whom I adore!  My boyfriend and I stopped by Michaels, grabbed all the little bits and ta-da…basket for the Little Man 🙂

Anyway…I hope that all of you…bunny or not…have a fabulous weekend…

and here’s a little hip-hip-hop to get the ball rolling!

Who’s Who: The Hudson Cakery

Good morning!  Good morning!  This week’s spotlight for Who’s Who is none other than Jennifer Bunce of The Hudson Cakery, an upscale custom cake boutique in Hudson County.

Established in 2009, Jennifer’s passion for baking is reflected in cakes that are infused with flavor, using only the freshest ingredients.  Each cake is tailored to the needs of her clientele and taste as good as they look!  Her hard work has not gone un-noticed; she and her cakes have been featured in the New York Times, Style Me Pretty and 201 Bride Magazine…to name a few.

On a personal level, I met Jennifer at the NYC Dreamers into Doers dinner that was hosted by Dawn of Bee*s Knees Parties and Khaliah of The Party Muse.  At the time, I had plunked down on the seat beside Jennifer, exchanged our howdy-do’s, and found out that she was practically a neighbor (we both live in Jersey City).  Since then, I have enjoyed spending time with her at random girl’s breakfasts, and worked on a set of printables for a wedding she was involved in, as well as a print that adorns one of the walls in her new shop in Weehawken (I hope; I haven’t had the opportunity to pop into the new location!).

Anyway, without further ado, here’s Jennifer…a totally awesome, fun, and talented…sweets artist and friend!

Tell me about the last project that you walked away thinking, “Man, I’m good!”

I had a sports celebrity client who needed something unique and detailed in under 72 hours.  Normally, this would have taken 5 days, but because I wanted to work with this client again in the future, I was really motivated to do this project. It had to be perfect!  So, after 72 hours of baking from scratch, stacking, constructing, piping, decorating and not sleeping, I was happy with the results.  More importantly, my client was happy!

When are you completely satisfied with your work?

When a bride calls me first thing after the honeymoon to tell me that she was in love with her cake.  I seriously get teary-eyed!  That’s happened twice now in 3 years and I still cannot believe I got those phone calls….

What is your favorite flavor combination for cakes?

Definitely, my Chocolate Fudge Cake with Peanut Butter Buttercream.  Ah. Maze. Ing.

If you were a rock star, who would it be?

I’ve always loved Gwen Stefani – ever since high school.  She seems like she has it together – her music, her family, her ABS!

What do you fill your time with when you’re not working?

That one day a week where I’m not working (but still checking e-mail…*sigh*)…I love to go for a run and clear my head.  And, go to yummy restaurants with my fiance – we are complete foodies!

Keep up with Jennifer and the Hudson Cakery by visiting:

Party Picks: A Plum Setting

Good morning and Happy Monday!

A couple of weeks ago, I was contacted by my friend, Sarah of Dreamers Joy Events and Design, to design an invitation and coordinating place card for a welcoming dinner being hosted by one of her clients.  The concept – modern/fancy…the color palette – plum, gold, black and white.  By the feed from her business page on Facebook, the event went off this past Saturday night as a rousing success and I am looking forward to seeing the photo coverage!

Inspired by the color palette, I decided to explore the interwebs and find pieces that I recommend for a plum-my dinner.  What do you think?  Do you have a favorite piece from the place setting?

Credits: 1) Custom Dinner Invitation – BrainFry Concepts; 2) Purple and White Calla Lily Bouquet – Photo Credit: JHigginsPhotography.com; 3) Fluted Gold Charger – World Market; 4) Vera Wang Gilded Weave Place Setting – Char Chews, Inc.; 5) Mystic Plum Buffet Napkin – World Market; 6) DII Hammered Gold Napkin Ring – Amazon.com; 7) Aldrich Champagne Flute in Purple – Amazon.com

Now…what would a dinner party be without some vittles!?  So, here is a menu I put together…some I’ve actually served during intimate family dinners (the salmon fillet is a-maz-ing!)…others I’m just dying to try.  Anyway, which one looks to be the most appetizing to you?!

Credits:  1) Roasted Carrots – Ruth Cousineau via Epicurious.com; 2) Risotto of Spring Vegetables – Gordon Ramsey via BBC GoodFood; 3) Roast Chicken with Herb-and-Garlic Pan Drippings – Ashley Christensen via Epicurious.com; 4) Slow-Roasted Red-Wine-Lacquered Salmon Fillet – Gourmet via Epicurious.com; 5) Bramble Jelly Shots – Toby Cecchini via The Jellyshot Kitchen; 6) Macadamia Milk Jam & Chocolate Ganache Tarts – Tartelette

And, here we are again: Friday and the Randoms.

Image Source: The Pioneer Woman, Ree Drummond

The image above is a startling reflection of how I feel today.  It’s been a crazy week…I’m exhausted…and I wish I was still able to enjoy Spring Break.  But – alas! – it’s been a long…long…long time since I’ve had a Spring Break to enjoy.  I am no spring chicken (ha).

Anyway…it’s Friday.  For most of you, you’re welcoming a nice break with the weekend.  Since my business primarily revolves around wedding invitations, I will not be on break.  With BrainFry, my weekends are dedicated to meeting with potential and existing clients.  This weekend is no different (thankfully).  A quiet weekend isn’t welcome in my house, though I am hoping that there will be a few hours down time somewhere between now and Monday (lol).

As usual, I digress…sometimes I think I have absolutely nothing to say, but then the fingers start moving and the brain starts squawking.  *sigh*  And…there it goes again…but here they are…some Friday randoms…

If I weren’t on the Insanity diet, I would totally dive into some monkey bread a la the Pioneer Woman.  I’ve made it a few times before and Oh-My-God…it’s A-MA-ZING!  Must be all that butter, sugar and cinnamon.  YUM!

I have never had a macaron though I hear that the ones from Laduree are truly delectable.

The Parasol Protectorate series by Gail Carriger is completely amusing – I giggle whenever I read any of the novels from the series.  Quite. A. Bit.  I highly recommend the books to everyone, especially those who enjoy period literature with a bit of supernatural, a splash of steampunk, and a lot of humor.

I love all the pretty details in this Mt. Pleasant Wedding from StyleMePretty!  (esp. the curtain of origami cranes!)

Earlier this morning…between sleep and wakefulness…I found this and had a laugh.  In my free time, I’m a gamer and so is my boyfriend…and not so long ago…we used to play together (though now our schedules don’t permit it).

Here is another giggle!  I really do love to laugh…and often.  It’s a good and healthy thing!  So, tip of the day…don’t forget to laugh!

And…last but not least…a song to start your weekend with!

Happy Friday, friends!  Have a wonderful weekend!  And…remember…don’t forget to laugh!

Happy Friday! Go Out and Seize the Day!

Paramus Ridgewood Duck Pond, New Jersey - I took this photograph while enjoying the park with my family.

Yes, that’s a nod at Newsies, which I saw way back when…when Christian Bale starred as Jack Kelly in Disney’s musical covering the newsboys strike at the turn of the century. Currently, the musical has been revived for the stage and is playing at the Nederland Theatre on Broadway.

Anyway, enough of that…I chose that particular call to action specifically because personally it has been somewhat of a tough week to go through. No, nothing bad or untoward has occurred. Just some weeks or days are difficult – sometimes there’s a reason, sometimes there isn’t. And, while it’s ok to give into mulishness from time to time, there are better things to do and you just have to give yourself a shake and plow on! Easier said than done, I know…so here are some suggestions on how to deal with those “Jonah Days” (Yes, that’s a reference to Anne of Green Gables!)…

Take a walk. The weather has been so fine and the sun wonderfully invigorating!

Hit the park! Bring a picnic and lounge about under a lazy tree.

Grab a cup of coffee (or – if you’re in the Park Slope neighborhood – some fresh yogurt a la Culture…I hear their Key Lime Pie is a treat!)

Hop in the car and go see a movie! Hunger Games just hit the theaters!

Basically. Enjoy. Life.

Now…have a great rest of your day and an excellent weekend, folks! I’ll be back on Monday with a veritable smorgasbord of goodies!

Thursday Cravings: A Picnic in the Park

I don’t know how it has been in the rest of the world, but I can tell you that the NY/NJ area has – for the most part – been enjoying gorgeous, sunshiny days over the last week or so…unusual weather for this time of year, but you won’t hear me complaining!  Just the opposite actually….

Weather like this is perfect for the outdoors…not too hot and not too cold…sun blazing warmth and all the world’s a-chirping.  And, I don’t have a doubt that there are just a few of you out there who would enjoy…a day in the sun under the rustling leaves of a big ol’ tree…with a blanket beneath you…a basket of tasty vittles…and a friend or two for company.  So…here it is…my Thursday craving…

Credits:  1) Oslo Skylar Convertible Tote; 2) Purple Ikat Henley; 3) Purple Bead Bracelet – JustineJustine; 4) Rocket Dog Women’s Memories Ballet Flat; 5) True Religion Becky Bootcut Mid-Wash Whisker Jeans; 6) Highlander Bamboo and Rattan Basket

While I’m at it…here’s a picnic menu that’s light and tasty!  If any of you actually go on to make any of these dishes, please let me know 🙂

Credits:  1) White Bean Dip and Parmesan Pita Crisps (photo credit James Baigrie); 2) Mixed Greens with Apricots and Champagne Vinaigrette (photo credit James Baigrie); 3) Russian Potato Salad (photo credit Nami-Nami); 4) Turkey Caprese Sandwich (photo credit Everyday Food, Martha Stewart); 5) Blueberry Hand Pies (photo credit The Pastry Affair); 6) Red Velvet Cake in  a Jar (photo credit RubyEllen)