Life: A Hello Kitty Baby Shower (dessert table)

A few months ago my half-sister approached me and asked me to help her with her son and daughter-in-law’s baby shower. If you have been following my blog you know that she had me by the time she announced that it would be a pink Hello Kitty baby shower. I helped her out by doing the dessert table for her.

Sweets and LIfe: Hello Kitty Baby Shower (dessert table)

I began a baking a week before the baby shower because I’ve learned from previous parties that sugar cookies work better with royal icing when they are completely dry.  I used Sugarbelle’s recipe for sugar cookies because I’ve always had good results with it.

Sweets and Life: Hello Kitty Baby Shower (dessert table)

Once completely dried I placed the cookies in cellophane bags and I added pink ribbon that I already had.

Sweets and Life: Hello Kitty Baby Shower (dessert table)

I worked on the Hello Kitty cake the day of the baby shower. I baked a Hershey’s chocolate cake and frosted it with a buttercream frosting.  I use the Hello Kitty cake pan mold and I loved how the cake turned out.

Sweets and Life: Hello Kitty Baby Shower (dessert table)

My mom loves chocolate covered pretzels so I had to include those in the dessert table.  I purchased the pink baskets at the Dollar Tree and the Hello Kitty in front of the baskets are actually stickers placed over cardstock.

Sweets and Life: Hello Kitty Baby Shower (dessert table)

Another must have item in any dessert table are chocolate covered Oreos which I love.

Sweets and Life: Hello Kitty Baby Shower (dessert table)

I made the same type of sign I did for my daughter’s 1st birthday dessert table.

The sign says:

The dessert table will be open after Dinner!

Please use the tongs, chose what you like!

Leave some for others, Please be polite!

Sweets and Life: Hello Kitty Baby Shower (dessert table)

Here’s the final dessert table.  I baked brownies, cake pops, cake balls, brownie bites, and cupcakes. I used Billy Vanilla, Vanilla recipe for half of the cupcakes.  My niece and sister decorated the background.

Sweets and Life: Hello Kitty Baby Shower (dessert table)

Sweets and Life: Hello Kitty Baby Shower (dessert table)

Sweets and Life: Hello Kitty Baby Shower (dessert table)I hope you guys enjoyed the dessert table I created for baby Natalie.  I’m glad to say that last week my nephew and his wife had a healthy little girl.

 

Sweets: Easy Peasy Banana Chocolate Chip Bread (Pinterest Inspiration)

Like most of you guys out there I'm a tad obsessed with Pinterest. This week I've decided that it was time to stop pinning and start doing.  For my first project I choose this pin from Artsy Fartsy Mama since it seemed easy enough to do especially since I had overripe banana's on the counter.  The hubby is used to my from scratch banana nut bread so I wasn't sure how he was going to react to this bread.

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Sweets: Tiramisu

A few years ago while on a date with the hubby (back then boyfriend) we decided to order some tiramisu and with the first bite we were hooked.  Since then we have tried tiramisu at different restaurants we find ourselves at.  Saying that we LOVE tiramisu is an understatement but I have always been intimidated in making it myself.  Last year I decided that it was time to give it a try.  My first attempt didn't turn out as I had planned but we still managed to eat it. (Sorry, I didn't take any pictures of that disaster.)  The mixture never set and it was more like a tiramisu drink than anything else.  Fast forward to this year when I decided to make it once again.  As it turns out practice makes perfect or at least better, way better. 

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Sweets: The Pioneer Woman’s Amazing Cinnamon Rolls

I can't believe the obsession I've developed with Pinterest and one night as I was looking through the countless pins I saw this and this.  These pins reminded me of my cousin's love for cinnamon rolls.  When I lived at my aunts house every so often I would surprise my cousin's with cinnamon rolls for breakfast.  I've been wanting to make cinnamon rolls for a few months now and after seeing the pins all around Pinterest I decided that it was time. The problem was that there is countless of recipes out there and I wasn't sure which one to pick.  After a couple of hours I decided on the Pioneer Woman's cinnamon rolls.  All I have to say is yikes! These may not be like the ones I used to bring home to my cousin's (no pixie dust on them) but they were so yummy.

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Life: Honeymoon Day 8

Our last day in Paris we decided to visit the top of the Eiffel Tower but in order to accomplish that we needed to wake up bright and early.  Please note that you can schedule a reservation to go to the top but we decided not to since our hotel was about 10 minutes away from it.

We got to the Eiffel Tower about half an hour before it opened and waited in a line along with other’s that were there before us.

We purchased tickets to go to the very top since it was our first time there.  Oh, by the way have I ever told you guys that I’m afraid of heights?  When we got to the very top my knees began to shake uncontrollably.  I was so afraid to go to the ledge and see the stunning views but I did it anyway.  Since my knees were shaking I couldn’t hold my camera still so I had the hubby take a few shots for me.  All the cars underneath looked like micro machines and the people like little ants. 
The views at the top are pretty cool but I think that the ones on the second floor are more impressive.  I believe that everyone should go to the very top at least ones in their lifetime but if you only have time or money to do one you should at least go to the second floor.  Can you tell how much happier I am on the second floor?
Once we were finished seeing the incredible views we walked around looking for souvenirs at the shops they have up there.  I had a yummy muffin on top of the Eiffel Tower.
Take a look at the line below that can be avoided by either getting their early or by having an reservation.
From this point the hubby decided to walk down the stairs and I took the lift since my knees were still shaking from being so high up.  We headed back to the hotel for a bit before heading back out to do some last minute sightseeing.  
Have I told you guys how much I loved the hotel we stayed at?  
We headed out to see Notre Dame de Paris and other things we hadn’t yet seen. 
With our museum pass we were able to go up to the roof of the Cathedral. 
From there we went right next door to the Crypte Archeologique where we used our museum pass to get in. 
Since we were close by we decided to walk a tad further to see Sainte Chapelle at the Courtyard of the Royal Palace.  We were able to use our museum pass once more.  
I went to the restroom in the Royal Palace and somehow I ended up getting lost for an hour.  The hubby was really worried about me and for the first time during our trip we both were home sick.  My french isn’t really good and trying to communicate with people became very frustrating.  When I finally found my way back to Sainte Chapelle we decided to head towards the Latin Quarter to get something to eat.  
By this point we became home sick and when we saw a classic 50’s dinner we went right in and had ourselves a burger.
For dessert we had this amazing gelato. I still have dreams about this deliciousness! The best part about it was that the cashier was extremely nice and sweet and it was the perfect way of ending our lovely night in Paris.
…To be continued…

Life: Honeymoon Day 6

After the fantastic day we had in Versailles I ended up waking up with a cold on our sixth day in Paris.  If I was at home I probably would have stayed in bed and rested but since we were in Paris I decided to have a fun filled day.  We first headed out to les Invalides to see Napoleon’s tomb before going to Disneyland Paris.  Our hotel was about a fifteen minutes walk away from les Invalides.

I can’t say I really enjoyed being here since the cold medicine I had purchased hadn’t kick in yet. The tomb was unbelievable and it fits what is said about Napoleon perfectly.  We used our Paris Museum Pass to get in.

The hubby is a huge history buff and since we finished looking at the tomb early on we decided to use our museum pass once more and went into the Musée de l’Armée.  We saw several war propaganda, weapons, uniforms, videos, and other articles from several wars.  I have a lot of photos so let me know if you guys are interested in some.

Once we were done at the museums we took the RER from Paris to Disneyland.  Please keep in mind that it costs a tad more than the regular train ticket to get to Disneyland and its about 45 minutes away.  The coolest thing that happened on the train was when a gentleman got on with an accordion and began playing traditional French songs.  It was simply amazing!

We were not sure if we wanted to visit Disneyland but we figured since we were already there we should check it out.  Who am I kidding? You know I love Disney so you bet I was going to go check out Disneyland while I was there.  A couple of my friends had visited Disneyland a week before us and they loved it.

I love the Disneyland Hotel in Paris. Doesn’t it look incredible? I wish the one we have here in California would look like the one over there.

Being the Disney geek that I am I couldn’t wait to go inside and see the castle.
I was so happy to see the castle but I was still sick with a cold so I made a stop at first aid to get some much needed medicine.  I don’t know what the lovely nurses gave me but I felt great and I was able to enjoy the rest of my visit in the park.  Can you tell I’m sick?
The best attraction by far was Space Mountain: Mission 2.  I can’t even begin to tell you how good that attraction is.
The park was so busy that we decided not to go into all the attractions. We chose specific ones that we love and focused on those.  We went on Pirates of the Caribbean and we thought the one at Disneyland is actually better. One of the attractions that surprised us on how much fun it was Big Thunder Mountain Railroad. Before we did Pirates we got a fast pass for Thunder Mountain.  It seemed like Thunder Mountain was much longer in Paris which turns out to be true but only by 30 seconds not the extra minutes we thought it was.  We LOVED the Paris version of this classic attraction.
After we finished with Thunder we headed to another one of our favorite Disneyland attractions, Indiana Jones et le Temple du Péril.  This is by far the only attraction that we thought was not worth the 90 minutes wait time. The attraction is a little over a minute long and is really cool but not worth the wait.  I guess we’re just used to the Disneyland version of it.
We went on our honeymoon in late September and although we were too early for Haunted Mansion to be dressed up for Halloween some of the decorations surrounding the castle were delightful.
Once we were finished going on some attractions we went to Gibson Girl Ice Cream Parlor and got ourselves some yummy treats.  I ordered a waffle with ice cream and the hubby once more decided to get a crepe.  By the time I took this photo he had already finished his crepe. 
I am glad we went because now we can cross another Disney park off our list.  Afterwards we decided that not to go into the Walt Disney Studio Park since I was still sick.  We ended our day with a little shopping at the Disney Village. 
…To be continued…

Life: Honeymoon Day 5

With the holidays finally over I’ve decided that its time to finish wrapping up our honeymoon re-caps.  This is where we last left off and now without further ado here goes the rest.

On our fifth day we got up bright and early and headed out to the château de Versailles.  Since I had done all the planning for our trip the hubby had no idea what to expect.  Every time we did something it  was very exciting to see his reaction. This is the entrance to Versailles and as you can see there are a lot of tourist making their way there.  We took a train from Paris to Versailles and if you ever do the same just keep in mind that it cost more than your regular metro ticket.

At the St. Pancras International Station we purchased a 5 day Paris Museum Pass and we first decided to use it at Versailles.  We had to purchase a separate ticket to access the beautiful gardens but it was well worth it.  The museum pass is pricey but if you’re anything like us then you’ll use it to its full potential.  There are two lines when you get there one is for people who have museum passes and the other one is for everyone else.  Once you get into the main area be careful not to be whisked away by all the tourist around you and don’t forget to be vigilant since there are pickpockets everywhere.  When you get inside you are able to get an audio tour device in whatever language you speak.  Everything works like clockwork and the stream of tourist are encouraged to go through the château first and the gardens last.  Since I tend to do things my own way I asked the hubby if he would join me in the gardens first.  As we were heading back outside all the employees we encountered kept telling us to go back into the château because they said it would get packed later on during the day.  We somehow made our way outside and as we did I just have to say the ambiance became more relaxing.

Nothing else compares to Versailles! We were amazed with all the beauty around us.  I loved seeing the gardens first since it felt like we had them all to ourselves.

We seriously couldn’t believe how amazing the gardens where. Isn’t the Bassin d’Apollon phenomenal? During certain days in the summer the fountains are turned on with music.
One of the coolest thing we did while in Versailles was renting bicycles.  We decided that it would be best to do it for half the day or 4 hours since the grounds are so big.  You can purchase a separate ticket if you want to use a tram instead of renting bicycles.  I really wished we would have had a picnic there like a lot of the locals did.  Please note locals are able to access part of Versailles but not all of it.  There are some places where you’re not able to take the bicycles into but they give you a lock so you can lock them up.
Once we did a quick ride around the grounds we returned to see the fountains turned on.  I felt like I was whiskey away into another time when things were so majestic. 
If you know me by now then you realize that we can’t go anywhere without trying something yummy.  By the way this was one of the best strawberry soft serve yogurt I’ve ever had.  The hubby opted out for some crepes instead but I was too busy eating my dessert that I didn’t take a picture of his.  
The grounds are so big that you need to take a couple of breaks in between to take everything in.
Versailles was simply magical and its where a little girls fairytale’s comes true.  I saw a lovely swan, beautiful flowers, little cottages, and I felt love in the air.
One of my favorite little cottage in the Hameau de la reine was this one. 
The inside of the château was just as lovely as the outside.  The paintings were amazing but my favorite part was the Hall of Mirrors.  If you’ve see this commercial you can get an idea of how beautiful that room is.  



Once we were done at Versailles and our eyes became tired by seeing all the beauty that magical place had to offer we headed out to eat before taking another train back into Paris.  Please don’t think any less of me but we decided to eat at McDonald’s.  We kept seeing an ad for le Big Chili avec une sauce Tabasco and the hubby wanted to try it and I just wanted to try the macarons.  I thought that the restrooms were so cool but it was odd to have the same entrance for both men and women. Can you tell that the hubby loved his Rick Steve’s book? The book actually came in handy when we wanted to learn about the history around the different aspects of Versailles. 
When we got to Paris we decided to have a real dinner and we headed out to a local joint.  This is what I had for dinner.  The crème brûlée was amazing just like all the food we had while in Paris.  

…To be continued…

Baking Inspiration: Unicorns and such

Last week my hubby asked our goddaughter what kind of cake she wanted for her birthday and she replied, "I want a chocolate cake with white on top and a pony, horsey, unicorn, and a castle on it."  Yikes, I have my work cut out for me this week.  I'm on a search for some serious cake inspiration.

Here's what I got so far:

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Sweets: Red Velvet Gooey Butter Cookies

About a month ago I had a red velvet cake box sitting in the pantry but I wasn't really craving cake or cupcakes.  After doing a quick google search I found this recipe from the lovely Paula Deen and since I had everything on hand away I went.

Instead of using chocolate cake mix like Paula did I used the red velvet cake mix I had at hand.   Let me just tell you that my co-workers and neighbors loved them and keep requesting them.

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Baking Inspiration: Disney/Pixar Toy Story Cakes

The hubby and I were watching The Pixar Story on Netflix the other night and I began to thinker with the idea of making another Pixar inspired cake like the one I did here.  One of my favorite movies from the Disney/Pixar collaboration is Toy Story. Just in case you were wondering I love all of three movies equally.  I don't have plans on making a cake any time soon since its so hot right now but how cool would it be to make one for a little boy or girl.

Here's the list I came up with so far…

Please click {Source} to see where they originally came from!

                                                                                                         …Jessie…

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