Sunday Bunday!

Adam and I are babysitting my puppy for the next two weeks!  We flew with her from the suburbs of Florida to the hectic city of Chicago.  We walked with her to Grant Park and Buckingham Fountain last night (both are dog-friendly) where we spotted a bunny!  Unfortunately, about a dozen toddlers also saw the bunny and chased him into a small grassy area.

Because this is true, I said, “Aww, Luxi likes bunnies!”  The tots walked away one by one, since they lost sight of the bun.  Adam waited till all the kids left and beckoned me to come over.  He had found the bunny and wanted Luxi to meet it!  So sweet.

What I should have told him is, “Luxi likes to chase bunnies and scare the poops out of them.”  Equally accurate, but much more specific.

I shall make these cookies in honor of the frightened little bunny.  I kept Luxi away from him, but I’m sure the shrieking toddlers were trauma enough.

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Luxe and I are going to have a busy week!  We’re going to check out all the dog-friendly attractions and parks we can find.  If you have any recommendations, we’d love to hear them!

July 5, 2010. Bunnies, Foodies, Sweets. Leave a comment.

Bachelorette Party, Parfait-Style

For my bachelorette party, I thought we were having a cozy, stay-at-home slumber party.  I was excited but also felt a little guilty that my girls wouldn’t have the typical bachelorette’s night out with me.  You see, I’m more High School Musical than Gossip Girl, so anything having to do with drinking and scandalousness was out.  But my girls, being the creative geniuses they are, planned the perfect surprise for me!

The day started at my BFF’s house.  Ever the thoughtful hostess, she decorated her place in pink and white.

I asked nicely, but my bridesmaids refused to tell me what we were doing that night!  From left to right, there’s me, Mr. Parfait’s sister-in-law, Mr. Parfait’s sister, and my friend-since-forever.  Each girl chose a Parfait nickname so I could blog about them, so I’ll be referring to them as Snickerdoodle Parfait, Strawberry Parfait, and Pumpkin Parfait!

After a flurry of snacking, changing clothes, and opening presents (everyone got a tiara!), we hopped on a train to downtown Chicago.  Here’s our best friend sandwich—that’s Pi Parfait, moi, and Pumpkin Parfait.

When we got to Union Station, a black limo pulled up and the driver opened the door to let us in!  Finally, Pi Parfait revealed the main event: a Cupcake Crawl!!!  AHHHH, amazing!  She whipped out a list of famous cupcake bakeries and directed our chauffeur to the first one!

We hopped out of the limo and into our first cupcake shop.  Pi and I were especially excited, because we always talk about opening a cupcake bakery together!  Seeing all the different styles and flavors was totally inspiring.

There were plenty of sweets behind glass to admire:

And we brought them into the limo to devour:

We studied the ambience of each bakery we invaded.  We gave this place high marks for using swings as bar seats.

There were pink glow sticks involved, thanks to Pumpkin Parfait.  They were hilariously random, and the words on it were the raciest part of the whole night!  We still don’t know why they said, “X-Rated.”  They were just normal glow sticks!

After dinner and an impromptu photoshoot in Millenium Park, we said goodbye to our cushy limo and headed home for the slumber party.  Gigantic thanks to Pi Parfait for hosting us all weekend!  Check out her hostessing skillz below:

We made it to eight cupcake bakeries in one night, and, um, it was amazing.  My tummy is still smiling.  It was fun being “the bride” all night and receiving good wishes and congratulations from complete strangers!  And my favorite part of it all?  I love how the bridal showers and bachelorette party are bringing all of my favorite people together.  Yay. 🙂

Are you hoping for a sweet and girlie bachelorette like mine, or are you hoping for something a little more racy?

April 8, 2010. Bridesmaids, Chicago, Foodies, Sweets. 1 comment.

Laughing in the Shower

Last Saturday, I attended the most beautiful, delectable, joyful shower ever!  It was so much fun, and to my amazement, it was all for me!  My mom’s dear friend (Auntie J) and my bridesmaids planned every perfectly pink detail.

When I walked in, my SIL greeted me with a smile and placed a flower in my hair.  She did this for everyone who entered and collected recipe cards in a box for me to take home.  You can see all the hair flowers below!

The girls ushered me into the kitchen to see the display of mini cheesecakes, cream puffs, cookies, and chocolate-covered strawberries.  Auntie J placed a gorgeous corsage on my wrist.  I loved it!

Each treat had something to do with my life experiences.  I fell in love with black and white cookies when I lived in NYC, so my dear friend made pink and white cookies.  They were amazingly soft and were gone in a flash!  My BFF and I worked at TCBY together for years, so she placed a common froyo topping on the table—M&Ms, all pink and white, of course.

There was a table of sweets, a table of savories, and plenty of tasty drinks to wash them down.  I could eat berries all day, so this punch was straight out of my dreams.  See the pink ribbons on the paper cups?  These girls thought of everything!

We played three games, and all of them had us laughing for hours!  The best was Bridal Bingo.  The rules were simple:

  1. Fill out a blank Bingo card by writing a common shower gift in each box.
  2. If the bride opens a present that you wrote down, mark it on your card.
  3. The first person to mark five in a row (Bingo!) will receive a prize.

I was hanging out by the food while everyone filled out their cards and, apparently, cheated with abandon!  (See photo below for evidence.)  After a few gifts, everyone was laughing hysterically and shouting BINGO at the same time.  I can’t blame them for cheating—check out the adorable prizes!  Cookie mix in flower-topped containers.

I wish we had a photo with everyone who attended.  Here’s a pic with everyone who stuck around to help clean and take the next set of ridiculous pictures.

Soooo, let me explain.  Long before shower planning even started, my BFF and I talked about how much we love Disney movies and how fun a Disney princess-themed event would be.  We’d never subject our mothers and other normal adults to such a kiddie theme, but my BFF convinced the other bridesmaids to dress as Disney princesses for the shower!  It wasn’t the theme of the shower; we just enjoy dressing up. 🙂

We took photos to illustrate each girl’s character.  Can you guess which princesses we were representing?

I’m so touched and humbled by how much thought went into planning the shower.  It was beautiful, and it was a barrel of laughs that I’ll never forget.  Thank you, friends and sisters!  Love!

March 17, 2010. Bridesmaids, Decor, Favors, Flowers, Foodies, Sweets. Leave a comment.

Happy Wedding/Anniversary/Christening/Birthday!

When your wedding date falls on someone else’s birthday or anniversary, there are a few ways you can react:

  1. Pretend like you don’t know.  Feign surprise when people toast to them at your wedding.
  2. Ask them to celebrate it on a different day.  Feign surprise when people don’t toast to them at your wedding.
  3. Plan a sweet and sneaky surprise like this couple:

Source for both photos

We don’t have any special occasions on our exact wedding date, but we do during the week before and after.  We’ve chosen to celebrate them at our wedding, because we stink at feigning surprise.  And because we love these people!

When we first chose our wedding date, I realized how close it was to my brother and sis-in-law’s wedding date!  It will be their third anniversary, and I’ve been planning a little surprise for them since I started planning our wedding.  I’m motivated by love and a little twinge of guilt.  You see, I was born on my brother’s second birthday, which means he never got a birthday to himself.  And now, I’m nearly taking his wedding anniversary!  He just can’t get a special day to himself.  I want to honor their anniversary at our wedding to thank him for sharing all his celebrations with me so graciously.

When we told my mom our wedding date, she suggested we have my nephew and niece’s christening the following day.  Our extended family will be in town, which never happens anymore, and it’ll give people another reason to celebrate!  Adam and I loved the idea.  Unfortunately, the church wasn’t available that day.  It was worth a shot—it would’ve made for an awesome weekend!

When we told Adam’s mom our wedding date, she asked if she could bring a birthday cake for Adam’s little sis, who is turning 21 the week before our wedding.  Of course, we encouraged her to do so!  I’d love to present the cake, like the couple pictured above.

Are you celebrating someone else’s special day during your wedding or wedding weekend?

February 10, 2010. Foodies, Sweets. Leave a comment.

A Different Kind of Dessert Table

I have special plans for our dessert table.  Like most, it will be filled with yummy treats in bright colors and cute, bite-sized morsels.  Unlike most, it will include goodies like this sweet, pillowy, candy-colored delight.  Can you guess what it is?

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Mmmmm, Korean rice cake~  The main event of all my childhood birthdays.  Soft, sweet, and smells like heaven.  Did you guess correctly? 🙂

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These are not your average supermarket rice cakes.  These are steamed rice cakes (or dduk or tteok) that can be flavored, filled, and colored to your heart’s desire.  My family eats a plain, savory kind in our New Years soup, and our church always had a huge spread of sweet dduk for special occasions.  They’re a natural part of our celebrations!  My plan is to have a spread of rice cakes with different fillings, flavors, shapes, and colors.  I’ll show you a few examples.

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Above:  Dduk in individual cups.  Below:  How do people make these shapes?

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These next ones are a family favorite.  These dumpling-like balls are usually filled with mung bean and red bean pastes. My uncle and I love the ones filled with sugar, sesame oil, and sesame seeds.  Sounds weird, but tastes incredible!

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A variety of flavors to pop in your mouth.  (One at a time, people!  Those “How Many Can You Fit in Your Mouth” contests always end in coughing fits.)

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And hopefully when everyone fills their plate, they’ll return to their tables with something as lovely as this:

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Okay, it probably won’t be quite so lovely, but it’ll be hecka yummy!  I’m trying to contain my excitement, since we still need our venue’s approval to bring these in.  If everything works out, this will be a fun surprise for my side of the family and give Adam’s side a taste of our culture.

Are you including any of your favorite foods at your wedding?

February 3, 2010. Foodies, Sweets. Leave a comment.

TCBY on The Office!

OH MY GOSH!  There was a TCBY shout-out on The Office this week!

Michael:  And then, I think I am going to go to the garlic festival.

Jim:  Wow.

Michael:  Sounds like fun. You guys would love it. They have a TCBY booth! Same stuff you get downtown. Do you like TCBY?

Jim:  Who doesn’t?

Michael:  “I can’t believe it’s… I can’t believe it’s yogurt.”

JimSource

Heehee.  My mom had a TCBY when she lived in the area—my first job was making TCBY cakes and pies.  My parents have another one in Florida now!  It’s not as popular as it once was, so I get really excited when I see ads or hear mentions of it.

tcbypinkSource

Growing up, I had straight fro-yo for breakfast, lunch, and after dinner.  I had even more in college, when I discovered I couldn’t drink milk anymore.  It was the perfect replacement and complement to my breakfast cereal every morning. 😉  Nowadays, I get the smoothies.  The only ingredients are yogurt, ice, and tons of fruit!  So delicious:

TCBYSource

Thanks, Michael Scott, for getting the word out. 🙂

October 31, 2009. Foodies, Sweets. Leave a comment.

Sunday Bunday!

I used to think there was nothing sweeter than a bunny-shaped cookie, bunny-topped cupcake, or bunny molded chocolate.  Well, consider me proven wrong!

bunnymarshmallowfavors kimvalleeSource: Twig and Thistle via Kim Vallee

Say hello to the sweet and sugar-sprinkled bunny marshmallows!  Possibly the sweetest bunny item ever.  What’s next—bunny cotton candy?  One can only dream!

October 4, 2009. Bunnies, Foodies, Sweets. Leave a comment.

Sunday Bunday!

Adam and I met with our reception coordinator last night. Over the three hours of chatter and laughter, we managed to pound out the dinner menu…including the cake! As originally planned, we’re going with simple, white buttercream frosting all over. Of course, we can always bring in another cake to add color, offer an alternative flavor, or tie into our bunny theme!

Totally sweet bunnies

A bunny-ful dessert

So sweet! While this cake would do the trick, I’d prefer something more subtle for our fun-yet-fancy celebration. I’m on the lookout for a cake stand with one or two bunnies perched along the edge. I’ve seen something like it with birds, and I’ve been dreaming about a bunny version ever since. We could set a small, sprinkle-covered cake on the bunny stand at the wedding, and then use it at home to display fresh-from-the-oven goodies!

Picture Source: Country Living

September 13, 2009. Bunnies, Foodies, Sweets. Leave a comment.

Sunday Bunday!

When I turned 14, my multi-talented mom taught me how to decorate cakes.  I loved practicing my swirls, borders, and handwriting with every color of “Bettercream” we created.  We made circular Santa cakes, rectangular football field cakes, 3-D cornucopia cakes, and heart cakes laden with chocolate-dipped strawberries.  But of all those cakes, the ones I loved (and love) most were the all-white cakes—pretty, clean, and timeless…although I wouldn’t complain about a layer or two of sprinkles!

For our wedding, I’ll save the sprinkles for the groom’s cake.  He likes them even more than I do. 🙂 We’ll probably go with something simple for the wedding cake: stacked tiers and neat white frosting.  We could add color with a few bright flowers and with a tiny tribute to Adam’s and my future last name.

Perhaps a bunny cake topper would do the trick?  I haven’t found one that I love enough to use, but these come pretty close:

Bunny cake toppers

Bunny wedding cake toppers

Above:  Cheery and cute.  I love the laughing eyes and itty bitty bouquet!  I found it at the Etsy shop of PlanetFur.

Below:   Simple and sweet.  We can even have a little love note written on the bottom of it!  These are from the Etsy shop of Jennifer Murphy.

Love bunnies on a cake

Love bunnies on a cake

How would you customize a simple white cake?

September 6, 2009. Bunnies, Sweets. Leave a comment.

Mmmm, Can-day!

Our venue offers a Signature Gourmet Sweet Buffet.  I’ve never been to a wedding with a dessert or candy buffet, but I think it’s a fabulously fun idea!  If we were to have one, I’d want to design it with Adam and bring in our favorite candies in our favorite colors!  However, if we want to provide our own sweets buffet, our venue charges a fee of $4 per person.  For our guest list, that’s $800-$1000.  A thousand bucks.  To bring in our own candy. 

Which begs the question:  WHAT???

And more seriously, the question:  Is it worth it?

Color-coordinated candy bars

Color-coordinated candy bars

Oh, pink lollipop trees and swirling Pocky sticks!  Even if we made ours look as spectacular as the ones above, the cost couldn’t be justified.  $1000 + cost of treats + cost of plates/bowls = a huge chunk of cash moneyz!  So yes, you are stunning and surely delicious, Wedding Candy Bar.  But the answer is no.  This is probably only one of many times that I’ll have to calm the (way too excitable) brainstormer inside of me.  There are a million ways we can personalize and beautify our wedding.  We’ll just have to figure out what works for us!

Picture Source: Amy Atlas Events

September 2, 2009. Decor, Favors, Foodies, Sweets. Leave a comment.

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