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!


Sweet Escape: Fathers & Backyard Barbecues June 13, 2008

Filed under: Holidays & Entertaining,Sweet Escape,Traditions & Memory Making — Melissa @ The Inspired Room @ 8:59 am

Happy Father’s Day to those special Dads in your life!!

I’m going to be spending a delightful day with my two favorite fathers,
my own dad and the dad of my three babies.

Enjoy the weekend, everyone!

From Sunset’s Ideas for Building Barbecues, 1961


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.


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!


Easter: Inspiration March 9, 2008

Filed under: Holidays & Entertaining,Traditions & Memory Making — Melissa @ The Inspired Room @ 10:30 pm
Williams-Sonoma never fails to inspire me around the holidays.
These adorable papier-mache eggs would be a beautiful addition to the Easter basket. Most of our eggs are plastic, I’ll be honest, but sometimes I stick something special in our kids’ baskets to be a keepsake. I was more into special little things like this with our girls, however. Unless these eggs had spideman printed on them, our son wouldn’t even care.
What a cute bunny pan! If I was into baking I’d make bunny cakes for sure.
You could make this yourself. A nest wreath with candies in the middle — easy centerpiece.
Ok, now, I adore those straw bunnies, birds and chicks. I must have them! They are so life-like. They’d be adorable perched on the table or basically anywhere. I love them.
The Easter Egg tree is a seasonal tradition in many European countries. You could make this with branches from outside.
These little chicks are just the fluffiest cutest little sweetie chicks ever. These are another good example of the kinds of little surprises I always loved sticking in plastic eggs to surprise my girls when they were little.
Super easy decor. Love the eggs around a pillar candle.
Of course, baking sugar cookies in fun Easter shapes would make the holiday special.

Easter: Centerpieces & Placecards

Filed under: Holidays & Entertaining,Traditions & Memory Making — Melissa @ The Inspired Room @ 9:55 pm

At our house, Easter is favorite opportunity to create a festive and memorable table. While we celebrate the true meaning of Easter and that is what is most significant to us about the holiday, we also enjoy the traditional Easter decorations such as painted eggs and cute little bunnies. It feels great to put away the more wintry decor and set up vignettes in spring colors. The Easter table is one of our most memorable of the year.

Easter Sunday our family expects the Easter bunny to stop by and hide candy while we are at the morning service at church. Once we return home, just before brunch, the kids run around the house with their Easter baskets gathering up the eggs and candies hidden throughout the main rooms of the house. Our Easter bunny is pretty sneaky about hiding the candy and we usually find some of it the following winter. Nothing like a petrified jelly bean stuck to the back of a drawer in mid-November.

Here are a few ideas I pulled from Better Homes & Gardens that might get our wheels turning for some creative table decorations!

You could use just about any candle holder to showcase eggs!

The tulips and white eggs look so pretty in a clear glass bowl.

I love this fresh and natural looking centerpiece.

These little baskets look adorable tied to the back of a chair!

Of course, a nest always looks like spring! Fill it with some candy eggs!

Using wheatgrass from a pet store makes the perfect soft bed for an egg placecard.

You can’t go wrong with a chocolate bunny. Being able to eat your decorations is always a bonus in my world.

Creating a sweet “egg” tag to tie on a napkin is something even I could do.

For these ideas and lots more, visit Better Homes & Gardens online!