The Inspired Room

Refining Your Home for Authentic Living™

Sweet Escape: Wedding Cupcakes Behind the Scenes August 22, 2008

Filed under: Domesticity,Holidays & Entertaining,Sweet Escape,Traditions & Memory Making — Melissa @ The Inspired Room @ 1:00 am

So, you want to see some behind the scenes from the wedding?

Of course you do. Alrighty then. {Hey, I see 1,000 of you slinking quietly out the back door, that is OK. You can come back when this is over. I don’t blame you}. I was so overwhelmed by how to show you all the happenings and photos that I was almost paralyzed. What to show? Where and how to show it? Will you all be bored out of your minds? Will there be people un-subscribing right and left? Should I start a wedding blog (nah, I’m not worthy)?

But then I just decided to stop worrying and BREAK IT DOWN. And really, what better SWEET ESCAPE than to show you the CUPCAKES? And because we had a couple of sweet things about this wedding, how about two sweet escape posts in one weekend? Sure. Part Two will be Sweet Escape: The Candy Bar. Stay tuned.

When my daughter and I started wedding planning, we thought cupcakes would be the appropriate dessert choice for a youthful, fun beach town wedding. We weren’t super original with that idea, or the “candy bar” idea, but I can say they were both BIG HITS nonetheless. Thank you to all the wedding bloggers who shared ideas, we stole tons of them. Here are a few I enjoy, not only for wedding planning but for inspiration in other areas as well: Southern Weddings Magazine, A Classic Bride, Style Me Pretty.

So, in our quest for the cupcakes, we visited the local cupcake bakeries and sampled all the options. {Shut up, I know I gained a few pounds in sampling}.

But at over $3.00 a piece for the standard cupcakes, we started to wonder “how much trouble could it possibly be to make our own cupcakes?” (note: only in my family would we contemplate such things).

Yeah. No trouble at all. Maybe no trouble for an ordinary day at home. But on an over 100 degree day, baking 200 cupcakes was a bit hot. But even more than the baking, the transporting of the cupcakes was the biggest issue. We had to bake most of them at home in Portland, drive them to Gearhart to frost them and then transport them a little further down the coast to our beach house where the reception would be held. The logistics of a “destination wedding” made things interesting. Not to mention we had never used a pastry tool before.

The upside of baking our own was 1) the reasonable cost and 2) we could personalize them to the wedding colors and 3) my daughters & I now have great memories of frosting in our hair and flour on our faces. And honestly, our cupcakes were tastier than any we had sampled. We ended up with three varieties.

The chocolate brownie cupcakes, topped with chocolate curls and mint green bark were SO TASTY. THE CHOCOLATE MINTY GOODNESS was to die for. We decided to make things easier and use a Ghiradelli brownie mix. Yeah, we used a brownie mix. Shoot me. Have I disgraced the meaning of all things sacred & acceptable for weddings by not having a fancy schmancy bakery make these from scratch? Sigh. Probably. But I’m a Blissfully Domestic Diva and that means I can do whatever I want, including using boxed mixes even for a wedding. So there. I don’t get all bent out of shape over those sorts of things. Am I crazy?

In addition to the brownie ones, there were white ones with the pink frosting and white pearl candy top, as well as the white ones with the white frosting and the pink pearl candy top. My daughter had to learn how to use the frosting tube in order to make them. They may not have been perfect, but they sure turned out cute enough all together on trays at the wedding.

We made batches of the brownie cupcakes and frosted the white cupcakes at our friends’ beach house in Gearhart. She was generous to allow us use of her home for some of the wedding party’s accommodations. And we took full advantage of the kitchen the day before the wedding. Just in case you are wondering, here is what this house looks like from the outside.

While us girls were in the middle of making frosting and baking at the house, we heard a knock on the door. Hello, it was a real estate appraiser. Fancy that! He wanted to take PICTURES OF THE KITCHEN. It was so embarrassing, we really had a big mess, flour and junk everywhere — I am sure my friend is going to shoot me when she sees the appraiser’s pictures. Oops! Sorry. Probably cost her a few thousands dollars off the appraisal.

Not only were we working on wedding cupcakes, but we were assembling breakfast for the next morning, and lunch for right before the wedding. Good thing there was a great big farm table for all of the food and care packages. I forgot to take a photo of the girls’ care packages. Super cute spring green Chinese take out boxes.

Once we got those pupcakes (as my niece called them) all pretty and frosted we suddenly realized we had to transport 200 of them perfectly INTACT (i.e. not STACKED) for another 1/2 hour ride to our beach house. Along with my girls’ 300 suitcases, a wedding dress, a karaoke machine and various other miscellaneous necessities crammed in my mini-van. It was a crazy day, but we managed to pull it off. Was it worth it? I will have those memories forever. Yeah, it was worth it.

Stay tuned for Sweet Escape part two, THE CANDY! The candy display was one of my favorite things we did to decorate! But will you get to see the wedding, the flowers, the dress and the red shoes? Oh yeah. All in good time. All in good time, my pretties.

Are you new here and want to read who this wedding was for? Welcome! Click here!
Want to see what our beach house (which we used for the reception) looked like just weeks before the wedding? Click here!


A Little Chit Chat in the Kitchen August 6, 2008

Filed under: Decorating Inspiration,Domesticity — Melissa @ The Inspired Room @ 1:00 am

Welcome to my kitchen!

Ok, well it isn’t my kitchen but sit down anyways. Since I am in over my head with wedding plans, I’m not getting to visit with you as much as I’d like. So today I’d give you all a break from analyzing our observation photos (unless you are behind, then go ahead and catch up with us) and we’d just sit down at the kitchen table for a little chat. I have a whole new batch of observation photos for us to check out next week while I am running around like a wedding planner.

Speaking of the big week coming up, do you all know you can visit me over on Twitter? Yeah, 42 of you know that, but the rest of you don’t all rush over in a stampede to follow me at once. I know it is tempting, with all our spare time and all. I’ve actually tried to keep it on the down low (I’m getting so hip I can barely stand it), but if you get tired of all this style talk and want to hear me ramble about day to day stuff, like when I need coffee or fall off the moving truck ramp and bruise my leg, come on over. It gets a little crazy over there, but it is kind of fun. I’d like to know if you are on Twitter too!

DISCLAIMER: Don’t get scared when you see my photo on Twitter. It really is me. I was experimenting with my camera on my laptop and captured a look you probably haven’t seen yet. Fussypants (of the Blissfully Domestic Soon-to-be-Empire) wants me to keep it, you know, to mix things up a bit, being that I am a Domestic Diva and all. Everyone can’t be all sweet looking with aprons. My new photo shows my darker, more Matrix-ey side. Kind of like Trinity. It’s a little dangerous to look that cool, but I’m OK with it.

Ok, it was lovely just chatting with you today. Hey, if you want to discuss that kitchen, feel free! Or if you want to talk about Twitter or whatever, I’m all ears!

Happy day to you all!

Photo: Southern Accents, designer Mary Evelyn McKee


Blissfully {un} Domestic June 12, 2008

Filed under: Authentic Living,Domesticity — Melissa @ The Inspired Room @ 1:00 am


Dirty sock on floor, dust filled registers, broken doorstop, yucky ripped wallpaper = Blissfully Domestic Diva

“Just call me a Blissfully Domestic Diva!”

Uproarious laughter went up in my house when I announced this to my family, and I fully expect that you are stifling your giggles if not actually falling on the floor in hysteria with this announcement. Or perhaps rolling your eyes. You know me and have seen it all. You know my kids wear undies on their heads.

You all know I don’t like to cook, I don’t sew, I throw Costco dinner parties, I’m not that crafty (remember, I think throwing vegetables in a wreath on a table constitutes a craft), and my house looked like this the day before Thanksgiving. And you know I had a dead rat in the basement.

And, I’ll admit I cheated by using ready made sugar cookies at Christmas time.

You know about the horrific Unfortunate Party Incident in my home involving this sweet innocent looking pup.

You remember the day there was a little domestic faux pas involving hand dishwashing soap. Oops!

And, you know the slate is coming off of my patio and I won’t be fixing it any time soon.

But, in spite of (because of?) my obvious domestic foibles and limitations, I’m honored to announce that I will be writing for the awesome online magazine Blissfully Domestic. Blissfully Domestic will be going through some changes at the end of this month so stay tuned for the new format, it all sounds very exciting!

I am not sure exactly when my first article will be up, but I’ll let you know so you can all RUSH OVER (just kidding).

I hope that you will pop on over to Blissfully Domestic and see all the informative and helpful articles that are posted each day by other authors! And, do me a favor? Comment on my posts if you see them when you are over there, even if you yawn because my post looks so familiar? I will do new ones and change them up, but just pretend you love every word and idea I share so I don’t look like a total dork? Thanks for boosting my self-esteem, you are always the best friends ever

Now, in honor of our blissful domesticity and your kindness to me, I offer you this magazine cover.

My little gift to you.

The editor of Christian Women Online made this for the debut of my column there last year and it still suits me today. It is my life in a magazine cover. You may have this little button because I know you are a kindred spirit, you too try to live authentically and are not afraid to admit your life isn’t always magazine cover ready either (even though we try — you can’t blame us for trying to make things pretty).

I think if you paste this code on your blog,

it will allow you to put a little button in your sidebar:

<a href="" target="_blank"><img src="" alt="" width="175" height="230" /></a>

Thanks for letting me be me. I love beautiful things and beautiful homes but the real beauty comes from just living. You all GET THAT! And that is what this blog and my writing is all about. Thanks for letting me ramble on day in and day out!

Last, but not least, here are the most fabulous folks
who have passed an award (or a tag!) on to me recently
…thank you each and every one! It means a lot to me.
I hope I haven’t missed someone…

Gracious Southern Living

The House That A-M Built

Forever and Ever House

Just a girl

La Vie Est Belle

A Haven for Vee

Nesting Intincts

Love Conquers All

Dandelions and Daydreams

Neutral Dwelling

Candy Hearts and Paper Flowers

Don’t forget to pick up your button as my award to everyone reading today.


Window Shopping for Summery Goodness June 5, 2008

Hey girls! Wow, I cannot believe it was Easter the last time I did a little window shopping with you all! My how time flies! I love checking out what is available at Sur la Table each season. I was not disappointed at all the summery goodness to be found! I would love to get a cute ice cream maker like this red one. Oh, nothing better than homemade ice cream on a hot summer day!

Or, if you must resort to a pint of Ben & Jerry’s (painful as that would be), why not eat it in style from your very own little ice cream cooler?

A very fun way to serve hot fudge and ice cream toppings! Remember, it is all about making memories with the kids. And having that cute little server would definitely make a memory. Use it for family night, or a kids birthday party! Oh, or you could have it on “SUNDAE”. A new tradition: Sunday Sundae’s.

Wait! Don’t sit on these candle holders! You’ll burn your bum.

Bzzz…. candle bees! Don’t sit on this candle either. Ouchy.

Refreshing lemonade served from a fancy schmancy server! Perfect for having your girlfriends over. Come on girls, let’s have a little lemonade party! Fresh squeezed lemonade. Yummy!

Love these pale pink French Bee bistro glasses, perfect for lemonade!

Ooooo, look at these little flip flops are coasters! Not exactly sure how you get your drink to fit around the straps, but they are cute anyways! My son would certainly be trying to get these on Winston’s feet.

These little ice cream cone cupcake pans are the cutest! Are they cake, or ice cream? So much fun. Why make ordinary cupcakes when you could make ice cream shaped ones?

You could put your cupcake right on a cupcake plate! Can’t get much sweeter than that!

I would love one of these little market baskets to carry all my goodies home!

All of this summery goodness can be found at Sur la Table.


Outdoor Rooms: Kitchen Gardens May 19, 2008

Filed under: Domesticity,Gardens & Outdoor Rooms — Melissa @ The Inspired Room @ 1:00 am
Tags: ,

A wonderful idea for an outdoor room is what is known as a “kitchen garden.” Filled with yummy herbs and vegetables for cooking, this outdoor room is typically located outside of a kitchen for easy access. I myself only have a very TINY courtyard outside of our kitchen, barely big enough for our barbeque. But, I could probably manage a small tomato plant or some basil. The rest would have to go in the backyard.

I love the idea of a large kitchen garden filled to the brim with great stuff for cooking. I’m not even much of a chef, but having access to all of that organic and healthy fixings just outside more door sounds just delightful. Because I don’t love to cook and I have never had a real vegetable garden (yes, it is true), I’m going to turn the discussion over to YOU dear readers.

Do you have a vegetable or herb garden? What do you grow? What is EASY to grow in most climates? What would be the best things to grow yourself in a vegetable or herb kitchen garden? What would be a good way to start a small kitchen garden? Pots, in the ground, special planters? Any special tips for growing or maintaining your own kitchen garden?

My biggest objection to a kitchen garden right now is that we have raccoons that sometimes wander through our yard. How can you keep critters like that from munching on your lettuce?

If you have any kitchen garden tips, feel free to share! I’m completely a novice yet am always fascinated to hear from those who grow their own vegetables! Especially these days when so many are suffering financially and every dollar counts, it seems to make sense to grow your own herbs and vegetables if you can! Not to mention the nutritional value of eating healthy organic foods straight from our own garden. Eating healthy foods is so important to our well being! I’d love to grow some lettuce for salad, and top it with tomatoes and veggies I grew myself.

Speaking of eating healthy foods, you’ll think this is funny, but my 16 year old daughter asked for a juicer for Christmas. I kid you not. She is the same kid who was happy to receive a new toilet seat for her birthday. I love that girl! And now that she has a juicer, I need to start getting serious about using it. Two of my BBFF (best blogging friends forever), Shelbi and Julia, have been a great inspiration to me to get going with the juicer.

Ok, so on the topic of kitchen gardens and growing healthy foods, bestow on me your knowledge, dear readers! I’m all ears (oops, I made a corn pun, LOL!).

Happy Monday everyone! I’m working on lots of posts for you, including another DRIVE BY: THE OUTDOOR ROOM EDITION! Actually, it might turn into several drive bys so I can show you cool gates, entries, hedges and other wonders of outdoor rooms.Yep, how much fun will that be? I can’t wait! Plus, I will be offering you a special sale later this week on some outdoor room products so stay tuned to find out about that!

Southern Accents, photo Roger Foley, designer Donna Hackman


Fun Idea: Chalkboard Cloths & Placemats May 14, 2008

I saw this very cute product and idea from Dianne of Desperate Diva and I loved it! I love easy ideas like this that are not only unique but are also a conversation starter or memory maker. They serve a purpose beyond CUTE. Love that.

This would be such a nifty idea to celebrate someone’s birthday (have it on the table with birthday messages) or to honor any special person or day. Leave a love note for your sweetie. You could use it to share family activities or plans at the breakfast table, a memory verse for the week, an inspirational quote, a menu, or keep kids busy when they say they are bored (as my son says at least five times a day). Or, use them as a fun party activity! It would definitely create memories!

You could also do similar things with regular sheets and fabric pens, or even rolls of paper spread out on tables. Or, get out your chalkboard paint and use it directly on a table.

For the chalkboard cloth or placements, I believe Desperate Diva also has clear protectors you can put over the cloth in order to preserve what you wrote while you use the table.

Thanks for the great product and idea, Dianne! Everyone, pay Dianne a visit! She has a great blog and is a neat person, too!

Happy Creativity!