Well, after almost two months of planning, obsessing, crafting and creating….oh and a whirlwind 48 hours of baking and treat making….our Merry NOT Scary Costume Party went off with only a few minor hitches last weekend!
We had 27 Little Monsters in attendance!!! It was so much fun to see them all running, walking and crawling around in their costumes!
So first, the FOOD! I have been in Halloween treat-making mode for awhile now and last week all of my creativity exploded for a fun, festive display the grown-ups and kids could appreciate!
I made some Ogre Toes, lots of Cake Pops, Popcorn Balls...and had tons of yummy candy and treats!
My friend Kara of KV Photography, accompanied by her lovely assistant Amanda, came to the party to take pictures of the festivities and to get fun photos of all the kiddos in their costumes. They did such an amazing job wrangling all of our little goblins and getting smiles out of them….can you even imagine!??!
Kara also took the amazing images of the goodies and party set-up featured in this post....I normally use my own pictures for my blog posts, but Kara took these pictures for me so I could enjoy the party and not have to run around with a camera attached all afternoon! It was awesome and I love seeing my party through the eyes of a true artist!
Here are a few of my personal faves:
Next, the FUN! For most of the party the kids were busy running around in their costumes and working off their sugar highs....but we did have a few activities lined up for them.
Pumpkin Patch Hunt!
Each little boy and ghoul was given a festive bucket and they were all sent off tromping through a field full of small Jack-O-Lantern containers filled with goodies and toys. At the end of the hunt they each cashed in all of their emptied containers in exchange for a grand prize and some more toys (this was what I came up with to get the containers back so we can use them at next year’s party…tricky-tricky….I know!) I made sure to h!ave some extra treats on hand in case anyone didn’t find any pumpkins in the patch.
This was the one planned activity that was a casualty of the weather....I can't complain too much though, the rain held off for so long....we were incredibly lucky! My Grandpa Mickey was all set to give the kiddos rides through the neighborhood, but halfway through the first ride it started sprinkling and the party had to move indoors! There's always next year (did I just say that!?!?! Yes...I'm already thinking about next year's party, shameful I know!)
I have looked forward to hosting a children’s costume party since before I even had kids of my own….so this was kind of a big deal for me! I think we created some memories all of our little guests will look back on for a long time....that was my hope anyways!
This was a big week for me...in more ways than one! In the kitchen I kept myself busy with my Cupcake of the Month Club Baking. I went into cupcake overdrive every night when I got home from work so I could get these cranked out before the end of the week because I had something big planned.
Something huge (H-U-G-E)!
I was going to meet the person that without even knowing it (or knowing me for that matter) gave me the final kick-in-the-pants motivation I needed to start my own baking venture and create this blog....BAKERELLA!
I happened upon Bakerella's baking blog earlier this summer and was instantly smitten. I was in awe with the creativity this one person possessed in the kitchen....but the most surprising thing reading her posts did for me was leave me thinking, "I could do that!" So I started out by trying my hand at a batch of Cake Pops...and, well....things just started snowballing from there.
I've always loved to make fun treats in the kitchen and especially anything baking related....or anything that contains chocolate as a main ingredient. But with two small children to tend to, and with working a full-time job, I hadn't been making time for myself to play in the kitchen in a long, long time.
So when I discovered that Chicago was a scheduled stop on Bakerella's Cake Pops book tour I instantly started making plans to visit! My friend Laura and I decided to make an overnight trip of it and my sister Kristi wanted to join in the fun too, so the three of us set out from Iowa on Thursday night.
I've never been to Chicago before (shocking I know)...I didn't really have anything on my agenda besides A)Meeting Bakerella and conveying my complete and total adoration (you know...without scaring her or anything) and B) Going to Sprinkles Cupcakes and stuffing my face.
So MISSION ACCOMPLISHED!
Bakerella was amazingly sweet, just like you would expect her to be if you've followed her blog. She took time to answer every question asked of her and to sign books and take pictures with the crowd.
Of course when I met her I had treats...just a little token of my appreciation for her inspiration....and I mentioned how I was also the winner of the Cupcake Skewer Contest hosted by Pizzazzerie last month...and since she was the guest judge of that contest it connected a few dots ;)
If I look like I'm about to cry/pee my pants it's because I almost did (on both counts). I was beyond excited...like BEYOND.
Now as for Sprinkles. I'll be as brief as possible, really I don't need to say much to get my point across here: Chocolate Marshmallow and Caramel Apple Cupcakes. Amazing.
Gone in about 4 bites (since I shared with my sister she let me get in on her Lemon Coconut Cupcake...again Amazing...that's with a capital "A"). I mean, what else did you expect!?!?
Poor little guy, he didn't stand a chance.
We weren't even in town for 24 hours and were already heading back home, not enough time to check out the city....but it's on my list for the next time I'm in town.
I haven't had nearly as much time as I'd like to experiment with new Halloween treat ideas. I have been trying to fit in some "just-for-the-fun-of-it" treat making when I can.
I've been on a bit of a green-monster/ogre kick lately. If you haven't seen my post on how to make super fun & freaky Ogre Toes out of Circus Peanuts be sure to check it out! I've also made a couple different Frankenstein inspired treats....check out my Frankenmallow Pops and my Frankenface Grahams!
Okay, so enough with the older stuff and here's what's new: Ogre Eyes!
These are standard cake balls decorated to look like "Ogre" Eyes!
The other project keeping me busy in the kitchen this weekend was baking for the Cupcake of the Month Club. This month's cupcake flavor is Black Magic Cupcakes! This is the flavor of the cupcakes I made for the Pizzazzerie Cupcake Skewer Contest and I'm so excited to share it with my CCMC members!
So I guess that's about it for now! Oh and...if you haven't visited my new shop on Etsy please do...http://www.sweetcheeksaudrey.etsy.com/! I need more people to "heart" me and add me to their favorites so I feel more legit! Now that I've figured out how to post an item for sale I just need someone to make a purchase!
So it's been a busy (BUSY!) week...lots of orders and lots of work behind the scenes to get my Etsy shop up and running.
What does this mean for you? Well my local customers can continue to contact me via email or phone to place orders...but those of you far and wide who have been inquiring about purchasing...now you can order Sweet Cheeks Tasty Treats items to be shipped via my new shop!
Right now I only have one item listed, but it's a big first step and more will follow! I decided for my first official Etsy listing I would offer one of my seasonal favorites....my Witchy-Grinchy Fingers!