I thought a cake related post would be fitting today since it’s my birthday! To…celebrate (?), I’m taking a 14 hour train ride from Rishikesh to Varanasi. I’ll be in Varanasi tonight and because it’s a holy city, there will be no alcohol to be found anywhere. Needless to say, there won’t be much partying. Let’s be serious though, I tend to be kind of lame-o when it comes to partying anyway. I’d much rather have a bunch of friends over for dinner than go out and get cray cray (is that what the kids are saying these days?).
I’m Couchsurfing in Varanasi so hopefully we’ll find a fun alternative to make the day special. Who am I to complain anyway? I’m in India!
To decorate Pat’s rustic birthday cake, I made this fun and easy gold heart cake topper. It was so easy I almost don’t need to include directions, but here goes:
Gold Heart Cake Topper DIY
1. Punch out 8 to 10 hearts from your gold foil.
2. Cut out about 10 inches of twine. Fold twine in half and make a mark to signify where the middle is. Place a drop of glue on the back of one heart, place that mark on the twine on that spot and cover with another gold heart.
3. Glue the remaining hearts on your twine. Because the glue doesn’t dry very quickly, you will have plenty of time to slide the hearts to make them spaced equally.
4. Tie the twine onto your wooden skewers. I chose to leave a little extra twine hanging off the side.
5. Pop the skewers into your cake and voila! That’s it!
Don’t forget that I’m donating all advertising revenue this month to Delek Hospital for the care of Tibetan refugees! Just click on the ads on both sides and bottom of the blog!
As a part of my practice for the perfect dessert table (see here and here), I attempted my first rustic wedding cake frosting technique. Luckily, it was Pat’s birthday – what better excuse to have a bunch of friends over to eat another demo cake! I let Pat choose the inside of the cake and he picked my carrot cake recipe without hesitating. That left the design of the cake up to me. I really love the slightly haphazard look of this technique and think it fits well with the rest of our wedding theme, which is woodsy and rustic.
To create the rustic cake frosting technique you see in the photos, it’s actually quite simple! Even as a relative cake decorating beginner, I was able to accomplish this technique without too much time or effort!
Frosting a Rustic Wedding Cake
- Assembled layer cake – Mine was three 9-inch layer cakes with a cream cheese filling
- Buttercream frosting – I used this recipe
- Small offset palette knife
- Large offset palette knife
- Piping bags
- Piping tip – I used the Wilton 1M large open star tip
1. Crumb coat your cake and place it in the fridge for at least an hour or freezer for at least 30 minutes.
2. Use the large offset palette knife to slather your cake with a thick layer of buttercream. Mine was about 1/2 inch thick.
3. Starting at the base of the cake and moving upwards, use the small offset palette knife to draw vertical lines in the cake without scraping off enough frosting that the cake shows.
4. Place the Wilton 1M piping tip into your pastry bag and fill with buttercream. To get the design I used, I used quite a bit of continuous pressure on the bag and held it at a 45 degree angle, gently lifting and lowering the tip to get the “canned whipped cream” appearance.
5. Top with your favorite cake topper, sprinkles, candles, or anything you can think of!
I can’t believe the wedding is only six weeks away!
Here is the second day of shooting for our engagement photos from Kinsey Mhire Photography. Pat really wanted to capture our coffee by the lake ritual that we do many weekend mornings in the summer. It’s so nice to start the day without technology and just focus on being together without distractions. I’m definitely guilty of starting the day at full speed, so taking the time to wake up slowly with a cup of coffee is a luxury.
We live by the lake and have a canoe, so we also did a morning paddle. The light was so beautiful. I thought it would be fun to be “overdressed” for such an outdoorsy activity. I actually made the pouffy pink skirt that I’m wearing and I was so happy to have the occasion to wear it! Given how beautiful our engagement photos were, I am so excited for our wedding photos! Kinsey’s husband, Josh, will be joining her and doing some video as well. It’s all only five months away!
I first encountered musician Anna Vogelzang through the wonders of the blogosphere. Her wedding was featured on Green Wedding Shoes, one of my favorite wedding blogs. In addition to being beautiful and colorful, it caught my eye because she got married in my future venu, the Olin Park Pavilion.
As I read the story of her wedding, I noticed that Anna is a musician in Madison. Intrigued, I found her website and listened to her music. I was absolutely blown away! My favorite song is actually about getting married:
I contacted Anna about performing at our wedding. The conversation that ensued answered a lot of my questions about choosing wedding music and even brought up a lot of things that I had never considered. I am so happy that she is letting me share her advice with you!
Q: What do you think about having musicians perform during the dinner portion of the wedding?
Anna: Dinner music for original musicians is tough, because most folks aren’t listening (but eating!) and you’re trying to fill a lot of time. there are some people who do it professionally and so for them it’s not a big deal, but i tend to play listening rooms, so it’s harder for me to get excited for a show where everyone’s chatting with each other — unless it is a big payoff, which weddings usually are. it’s also usually so far in advance that i need the budget to trump any other gigs that might come up in the mean time.
Q: Do you have any recommendations for incorporating live music into the dinner portion of the ceremony?
Anna: Instrumental groups are usually way better suited to the background music thing. For our wedding, we also had a playlist for the DJ to play during dinner thatwas separate from our dancing playlist, so that the jazz boys could break & eat but there was still music playing.
Q: Live music is definitely (and understandably!) more expensive than doing a playlist. Can you explain all of the work that goes into performing at a wedding?
Anna: My fee includes learning & arranging the songs, sending demos of arrangements to give you options & make sure you’re happy with them, attending the rehearsal, providing my own sound, and (the biggest thing), my time, since i’m never sure if i’m going to be in town or not — I need to commit to staying in Madison during that time.
Thanks again for all of your advice Anna!
For those of you in Madison, Anna is playing a show at the Frequency this Saturday, January 19th.
Click here for more details!
With the wedding only five months away, I’ve been doing a lot of DIY-ing and planning over my holiday break. This is includes one of my most daunting tasks – creating the wedding invitations. I’m not sure what it is about the invites that gives me pause. I really want to do them by hand, but the strategies I’ve tried so far, including this awesome Fiskars Stamp Press, didn’t work. Although it was awesome for arranging its clingy rubber stamps for repeated stamping, I just couldn’t get enough info on the page and have it still look nice. At this point, I’m thinking about getting a custom rubber stamp made on Etsy and then embossing the invites by hand.
We worked with Kinsey of Kinsey Mhire Photography and the blog Sincerely Kinsey. I cannot say enough how awesome she is! She was friendly and supportive – and patient! We ended up doing several hours of shooting in multiple locations. The day started with us on a tandem – representing our love of cycling and the fact that we met on a UW Cycling trip.
Thanks to the holidays, I’m on currently halfway through a two week vacation from medical school. With the wedding only five months away, I’ve taken this opportunity to do as many wedding projects as I can manage. This basically means I have been glittering everything in sight! Despite my best efforts to lay down newspaper, there was a thick layer of glitter on our living room floor this morning and this afternoon I noticed an impressive layer of gold glitter in Pat’s beard! Needless to say, he was not thrilled.
One of my projects was these easy glitter drink swizzle sticks. This cute and easy DIY is a perfect thing to have on hand for your upcoming party or wedding! You can make them in any color or shape.
DIY Glitter Drink Swizzle Sticks
You will need:
- Paper punch in the size and shape or your choice – I used this 1.25 inch scallop circle punch from EK
- Bamboo Skewers
- Wire Cutters (Optional)
- Cardstock (I used white resume paper)
1. Punch out your shape of choice, two per skewer
2. If your skewers are longer than your drink glasses, use the wire cutters to snip them to your desired height.
3. Open your newspaper and lightly spray a coat of adhesive on it.
4. Line up your punched shapes onto the newspaper.
5. Spray the shapes with adhesive.
6. Coat with glitter and let dry.
7. Hot glue two cutouts around one skewer
You’re all done! Pour yourself a cocktail and enjoy your drink swizzle stick!