What Will Baby "Bee" Gender Reveal Party

My blog has been quiet for quite a while! I've missed working on the posts, but life has been busy and I haven't had as much time to experiment in the kitchen or make many cakes. Part of the reason for the sudden busy schedule is...

I'm pregnant!! My husband and I are anxiously anticipating our first baby around Thanksgiving this year. We are so excited and can't wait to be parents.

We recently had our 20 week anatomy ultrasound and found out the exciting news regarding the gender of our baby! Ever since finding out we were pregnant, I knew I wanted to do a gender reveal party to share the exciting news with our friends and family. My husband and I wanted to find out the news together, but then we wanted to surprise everyone with a big reveal.

After looking around Pinterest, I decided to plan a bee theme for the party - What Will Baby "Bee"? I thought it was perfect for a laid back summer barbecue. It was a twist on the traditional pink and blue decor, but seemed like a fun idea.

Simple Cinnamon Roll French Toast

Today I have a recipe I'm sharing that is perfect for feeding a crowd for breakfast. I've been looking for volunteer opportunities lately and have begun helping at church by providing breakfast once a month for the volunteers in the children department. We started the first week by just providing fruit, bagels, and other store bought breakfast staples. Since then, though, we've started bringing some baked treats and dishes that we created.

One week I brought sausage balls, another week we made a egg and sausage casserole. This past week, though, we tried a new recipe that was a hit - Cinnamon Roll French Toast Bake! As soon as I saw the recipe on Pinterest, I knew I had to try it. As a trial run, I first experimented with the recipe and shared with friends. It was a hit, so I decided to share with the group. The recipe is definitely one that is best to share with others, I would be tempted to eat too much if it stayed around the house!

We really enjoy sharing the food and hopefully provide the volunteers with some refreshment!

Ballerina Tutu Cupcakes

My niece turned 8 recently and I wanted to bake special cupcakes for her birthday dinner. We were not able to come home for her party last year, but I had previously created birthday cakes for her. First there was her 5th birthday party cake when she was into all things pink and zebra print!

Alexis cake for her pink and zebra print party

The next year I created a cake that was one of my favorite cakes I've worked on. She's quite the artist, and had an art party at a local studio where all the girls got to paint and make some projects. I loved making the fondant pieces and designing the look of this cake. I also made some crayon sugar cookies

Alexis' art themed party cake and sugar cookies

My First Pinterest Party

This past weekend I hosted my first Pinterest Party - it was a blast! The party gave me an opportunity to test out a few craft projects and even a new dessert recipe. The get together was also an excuse to break out new dishes I got for Christmas.

My friends and I completed three projects and enjoyed just spending time together! I tried to pick projects that would be creative, but not too difficult. Life has been busy for everyone lately, so I wanted it to be a time to relax and have a little fun.

Of course no party is complete without tasty food! For this party, my goal was to have a lunch that was simple, but still special. I did not want to be stuck in the kitchen cooking during the festivities, so I decided not to cook a lot. I went with chicken salad croissants and ham/cheese croissants. I've made homemade chicken salad before, but I decided to pick some up from the deli. I paired the sandwiches with a veggie tray, chips, and individual macaroni and cheese servings in my new Pioneer Woman ramekins. I thought this gave it a festive and fancy twist, rather than dishing it out of a larger dish. For dessert, I made some mint Oreo truffles, they were simple to make but tasty and something a bit different.

Lemon Cupcakes with Lemon Coconut Buttercream

I've been a bit inactive on my blog lately, but it just occurred to me that last Saturday was my blog's 4th "birthday"! I can't believe that it has been four years since I've started this site. I've gone through periods of not writing much, but I've at least posted every few months, often much more frequently, since Feb 27, 2012.

I had few expectations when starting the blog, I wasn't sure if anyone other than my mother would ever read it! I would not say it has a lot of traffic, but I do see occasionally people pin a cake idea or a recipe. It's still worth it to me, though, to keep the site active. I enjoy that I can go back and revisit some special moments from my life, and have a one stop shop for all the cakes and recipes I've tried!

One thing I definitely didn't expect, though, was how much the blog could change me. Over the past few years, wanting to post new and exciting recipes and cake designs has caused me to experiment a lot more in the kitchen! I've grown as a decorator, baker, and even cook! When work has been stressful, it has been nice to have the weekend to look forward and a special dinner for my husband and I to cook, or a creative cake design for an upcoming celebration.