Monday, March 26, 2012

Review: Divine Hat Designs

With all of the very high-fashion that revolved around the Royal wedding last April, it got me thinking about hats.  How much I love them, but rarely wear anything more than a baseball cap when I'm running out and don't feel like doing my hair.  I had quite often perused Etsy, daydreaming about the fabulous outfits I could wear with a fascinator, the wonderful places I would wear them to, etc.  One evening in October, during one of our infamous "once a month marathon catch up phone calls" my BFF and I were discussing her upcoming nuptials, which I should mention at this time, I'm the Maid of honor in :).  The topic of "dress code" came up, as my husband wanted to know if he had to wear his suit jacket or not.  I laughed and said 'maybe I'll wear a fabulous fascinator and pretend I'm at Will & Kates wedding'.  My BFF gasped and said "you totally should! why wouldn't you!? OMG do it!" I laughed it off, but I admit it got me thinking....

Fast forward to 3 days later and I'm on Etsy again, dreaming, when I come across a little shop that makes these BEAUTIFUL mini top hats.  I was intrigued, so I plunged in a little deeper and found that the seller of these fabulous hats does custom work!  As luck would have it, my dress for the wedding was only available in full length and the dresses needed to be knee length, so I had a bunch of extra fabric.  I quickly typed out a message, asking about pricing, sizes, etc.  Jenn answered my questions about the hat and was very excited to fashion me a hat.  I chose the adult size small.  I'm sure that different hats cost different amounts, as I requested something with not a lot going on (some of her fabulous hats have adorable flowers and big feather details.  This wedding is a small town wedding....a girl wearing a top hat is going to be scandalous enough on its own) so the cost was $38.50.  And let me tell you...worth.every.penny!

I received the hat just the other day (I don't need this hat until august, as my BFF is such a big deal shes having a Part A and Part B to her wedding, so I advised Jenn that there was no rush).  It was simply beautiful.  Exactly what I'd pictured and then some.  My dress is a royal blue, so the hat was done in the royal blue with black trim, a black ribbon around the tall part of the hat, a small sparkly black brooch, and a black feather.  You can tell by looking at it that the craftsmanship that went into this hat was very in depth and that careful attention was paid. I am THRILLED with this hat, I cannot wait until August now.  I highly recommend this etsy shop, she does wonderful work that will add a little pizazz to your next fancy occasion. season is coming! want to be the 2nd best dressed lady there??  Talk to Jenn and you will NOT be disappointed!!

Divine Hat Designs

I will post better pictures this evening as I've had to write this in snippets due to a busy baby :)
View of the back

 View of the front (sorry, its a poor quality picture, I was so darn excited to get this I took it in the parking lot of the mail pick-up place)
Move over, hatter is FAR better than yours!

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Rainbows and Presents and cake...oh my!

Huzzah! Finally! we have internet! and not just crappy dial-up, but really good internet! I can blog again!
(sorry for the exclamation points, but internet is a big deal LOL)

My next blog post is about my girls birthday party/how to make a rainbow cake.

I decided to hold back and not do the all-out, fancy-pants, put-on-your-princess-dress birthday party until my little miss is a little older to fully enjoy it.  That, and both of the other children at her party were boys :)  I choose the theme of rainbows for her party.  She has been such a ray of light into myself and my husbands lives that it seemed only fitting.  Its stressful trying to plan a first birthday! Especially for your first child.  I wanted everything to be perfect for her. 

We start with the cake, which turned out better than I could ever have possibly imagined.
Materials needed:

2 boxes of white cake mix (you could make your own too, but Betty's got it down to a fine art)
Wiltons Gel food coloring in a variety of colors (I purchased a variety package)
several small containers.  I chose to use coffee mugs.  you could use ziploc containers, bowls, whatever.
1 can of vanilla frosting
1pkg marshmallows (mini or large, doesn't matter)
1 bag of icing sugar

1.  I started with 1 cake mix as I was doing an 8" round layer cake with 2 layers.  Prepare the cake batter as directed.  Then I used a small scoop and divided the cake mix into 6 different coffee mugs.  I just eyeballed it as to the quantity.  I suppose if you wanted, you could measure it all out and make it exact.  Then I mixed a different color of food coloring into the cups.  NOTE:  you'll need to use a fair amount of red to get it looking more red than pink.

Cake batter
2.  Grease your cakepan.  I used a silicon pan for this, which didn't require greasing and it worked quite well.  Start with the red cup, using a rubber spatula, pour the batters, one at a time into the cake pan.  Put in oven to bake according to baking instructions.  Remove once a toothpick can be inserted and is clean when removed. 

3.  Remove cake from pan. 

4.  Repeat stemps 1 & 2.  However this time, start with purple and work your way backwards.

Once both cake layers are cooled, I leveled the tops of the cakes with this and filled them with banana cream pie filling.  You could use whatever you want for filling though! be creative!  After you are finished this, I made the fondant, which i will out line right away.  Once you are fnished the fondant and are ready to put it on the cake, you need to put the icing on the cake first.  It doesn't have to be pretty, it just needs to be on the cake before the fondant.  Also, I want to give a shout out to my pal Ashlee LaVallee for giving me the recipe and tolerating more than a few FB messages asking questions :) thanks hun!

This fondant is EXTREMELY forgiving, so don't stress about it.  start with a few handfulls of marshmallows.  Put them in a microwave-safe bowl and toss with about 1 tsp of water, just enough to dampen the marshmallows.  Microwave at 10 second increments until the marshmallows are nice and fluffy.  Then add your desired food coloring color for the base of your cake.  I did light blue for mine.  Add icing sugar and stir until your mixture is the consistancy of play-dough.  You might need to put some icing sugar on your hands and knead the mixture.  Use the same method in smaller quantities to do your decorations.  You can make the fondant ahead of time, but its a rather large pain to knead the colors in AFTER you've got it to the consistancy you want it. 

Roll the fondant out onto a corn starch or flour covered countertop.  I needed my hubbys help to lift the rolled out fondant onto the cake, so you might want to enlist some help too.  And thats about it! 
My finished product:

sorry its sideways!

Not too terrible for my first attempt!!

Anyway, we did more decor for her birthday that included multicolor streamers, multicolored balloons, multicolored food, and multicolored goodie bags!  We had lots of family and friends make the trip out to help us celebrate.  I will post some pictures on my facebook page later today now that I FINALLY have internet (in case you wanted to know...again...)