Valentine’s Day Fail

Yes, I had the ultimate Valentine’s Day fail this year. This would definitely fall in the “oh my gosh” category of this blog. I tend to be someone who over celebrates everything (shocking, right?). I wanted to do something sweet for my co-workers, but I didn’t have elaborate plans for a homemade gift or sweet. So while I was at the grocery store, I picked up a tray of cupcakes. Hyvee makes great cakes, so I knew they would be delicious, and they were beautifully decorated in reds, whites and pinks.

I was on a roll for the day enjoying my day off and checking things off my list when all of a sudden, the car in front of me slammed on its breaks, and everything went flying. Yes, including the adorable cupcakes I had JUST purchased.

Originally I contemplated just writing a cute poem to explain the situation and bringing them to work as is. But then they kept staring at me, and I couldn’t do it. So, here is how I made lemonade with the lemons that life threw at me!

First, I unwrapped each cupcake and cut the top off. Then, I pulled apart each individual cake and added a dollop of frosting in the middle. I rolled them into balls to start my cake ball conversion.

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I am also posting my work space as I was creating the balls because I feel like every food blog I see, each step is so properly styled, and the cooking surface is spotless. Well, this my friends, is reality. This is what my work space looked like:

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Next, I tossed the cake balls onto a flexible cutting board and cookie sheet and stuck them in the freezer for 30 minutes. I tidied up my space and worked on some other Valentine’s treats in the meantime.

Once I pulled out the cake balls from the freezer, I melted vanilla almond bark and gave each of the cake balls….a bath in chocolate….for lack of a better phrase. Since some of the crumbs from the cake ended up in the chocolate, I also melted a small portion of milk chocolate and drizzled it on top since the cake balls weren’t stark white.

image4¬†And yes, I also rinsed off each “Happy Valentine’s Day” pick and used them to decorate the cake balls. Note to anyone who tries this: if you are mixing in hot pink and red frosting, you might end up with pink tinted hands.

Happy Valentine’s Day, everyone!

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Fabricated Florals

Florals. They make such a statement, but some events just don’t have the budget to accommodate fresh flowers as bold centerpieces. Have no fear; you can still get the look of fresh flowers. All it takes is a little craftiness and a whole lot of patience.

paper flowersAt first glance, you probably had no idea these flowers were not only fake but made out of paper. Yes, those are paper flowers! Heather, a bride I worked with in January, understood that a lot of flowers on her wish list were not in season in the month of January and her at-home creations were much more cost effective. To complete her creations, Heather did partner with Alan Anderson’s Just Fabulous Flowers to arrange her individual, handmade creations and add in some fresh greenery. The end result was nothing short of breathtaking. I can only imagine the hours spent on these!

paper flowers 2At a more recent event, my Partner in Crime at work, Brenda, handcrafted Valentine’s Day centerpieces. Not only is Brenda crazy talented, but between her and I, we can also create some pretty decor on a very small budget (if we do say so ourselves).

Throw in some custom linens, gold chargers and pearls that were re-purposed from a previous event, and we put together elegant tablescapes that were romantic enough for the occasion while still being bold and festive.

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