planet cake toppers and a milky way cake

Planet Cake Toppers

A couple weeks ago we received a fun package of books in the mail. The new Ricky Ricotta series by Dav Pilkey & illustrated by Dan Santat. The books were immediately whisked away and it was literally a full hour before I heard another request from the twins. As new readers, my kids love books almost as much as they love chocolate cake:) These half reader/half comic books (with an included flip section) couldn’t have been more of a win for my dinner making sanity.

To showcase how much we loved the series, I took inspiration from Ricky Ricotta’s Mighty Robot solar system adventures to make a set of planet cake toppers. The cake toppers are a fun project to incorporate a new school year’s learning about the solar system into a tangible and festive afternoon. Making a milky way chocolate cake takes the concept into complete party mode. It’s a fun combination for a birthday party, school bake-sale, or star themed playdate.

Planet Cake Toppers

DIY Planet Cake Toppers

DIY planets

To make the planet cake toppers we used a package of ping-pong balls (mom tip: Target has them on clearance in the sports end cap this week). We also used a couple white foam balls for added texture.

I looked up a list of each planet’s coloring and grabbed my selection of paints that matched pretty close. To be fair, this project is more artistic than scientific, but the kids and the cake sure didn’t seem to mind! Begin painting each ball for a different planet and allow to fully dry, about 4 hours. The kids got in on the painting fun and we learned together in the process. Earth was definitly our favorite to create.

Turn the planets into cake toppers by using the pointy end of a kitchen skewer. Hold the painted ball in one hand and carefully poke the skewer directly through the other side. Cut down the skewers if needed for sizing.

Planet Cake Toppers

Planet cake toppers

Planet Cake Toppers

After the planets are completed, make a Milky Way cake to go along with the theme. Find the nearest frosted chocolate cake and sprinkle coconut flakes to form a solar star display.  

Posted September 15, 2014 3 Comments
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why don’t we – brighten up with candles

Happy Birthday Candles

Happy Friday! I am normally a huge fan of party candles, and after a week of evenings getting noticeably darker – I’ve found myself especially drawn to lighting them. I may have had 15 different candles lit throughout the house one night this week! Pretty sure I almost set the fire alarm off;)

Candles are the perfect way to brighten up anything from a cupcake to an entire room. So why don’t we brighten up the longer nights by building a collection of noteworthy candles?

Here are some of my favorite candles to buy and DIY:

Candles in pretty cups make a gorgeous statement for fall

Harvest rugby striped candlesor make them yourself, we did!

I love this Be Dazzling candle by Kate Spade

Glitter candles for a cake

Tapers in sand never get oldtry our festive version right here

Wishasaurus

Pretty party candles by the dozen

Painted concrete holders

Tea lights in wisks - very fun

PS. Short on time? You can turn almost anything into a candle – it is one of my favorite things to do. Try it yourself with nuts, fruit, colored pencils, wine corks and matches. Just please always be careful when wielding fire filled cakes. Happy lighting!

(Photo by Ina Peters for A Subtle Revelry)

Posted September 12, 2014 1 Comment
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spice up your tailgating this fall

Make team spirit tailgate napkins by adding adhesive stickers to store bought paper napkins.

It’s officially tailgate season. We love to spice our tailgates up – from our table decor, to the condiments, to the Hebrew National hot dogs we serve, tailgating is a hosting challenge I am always happy to accept.

This year, I turned a set of everyday party napkins into a fun team spirit tailgate supply by adding small (2 inch) vinyl adhesive letters to them. Offer up cheers of team support, or spell out the Alma Mater for an easy way to spice up a tailgate table.  

Posted September 11, 2014 0 Comments
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tassel garland invitations

Tassel Garland Invitations

Inviting friends to a party this fall? Forgo the normal note on a paper and send a length of tassel strewn garland instead! The garland adds a dose of spunk to your party offer and will certainly be an invitation that does not get ignored.

I’ve always loved the idea of inviting guests with something special – it really sets the stage for a great party. These festive invites are simple to put together and a nice surprise for dinner, drinks or treats this fall.

Tassel Garland Invites

Tassel Garland Invitations

Tassel Garland Invitations

To make the tassel garland invitations you will need to first make your tassels, we used colorful tissue paper and followed these easy tassel making instructions from our archives.

Next pick a length of ribbon or string to hang the garland on. The easiest way to make the garland (especially if your making them in mass quantities) is to print out the garland text, leaving about an inch between the letters. You can print as many copies as needed. Then cut the letters out in a flag shape to form the garland banner. Alternatively, you could simply cut the paper and hand print your letters on, or use stickers to form the garland.

Tassel garland invitations

When putting the garland together, lay out the text printed letters and tassels and begin combining them. Tying the tassels on and folding the letters over to secure with glue is a simple way to bring these garland details to life.

Tassel Garland Invitations

So that your guests know what party you are asking them to attend – attach a tag, or longer paper to the end of the garland with the party information printed on one or both sides. The invites should fold up to fit nicely in a 5×7 kraft envelope.

The tassel garland is a fun surprise to open and with this type of presentation, how could they not say, “yes”!

(Photography by Erin Holland for A Subtle Revelry)

Posted September 10, 2014 1 Comment
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go-to girlfriend gifts to always keep on hand

The best go-to gifts for your girlfriends

Whether it’s baby showers, bachelorette parties, birthdays, or teacher appreciation days – I am often looking to grab gifts for the grown-up women in my life. My requirements for girlfriend gifts are affordability (I’m often in the $20 and under range) and that they’d be loved and used.

In honor of a week around here filled with gift giving, I thought it would be fun to share my favorite go-to girlfriend gifts.

Pretty wrapped gifts

6 go-to gifts for grown up girls

These are gifts I often keep on hand to bless my favorite girlfriends. They’re gifts I run to purchase time and time again.

1) Pre-paid sitter. This is a favorite gift to give for baby showers, birthdays and Christmas. The trick is to know a sitter that your friend trusts and pay her for as much sitting time as you can afford. Hand the present off with a gift card to her favorite coffee shop, or favorite shoe store and she will love you forever!

2) Trendy and pretty nail polish is always a favorite gift to give for bachelorette parties, and birthdays. It’s a smaller gift but can leave a big impact for weeks to come. I love gifting it along with a nice bottle of wine and Amazon gift card for a “me time” movie night in.

3) Pretty gloves are a luxury all my friends love, but never seem to buy for themselves. They don’t have to be expensive to take the cake, Target and other stores have a great selection this time of year. You can always bring this gift up a notch and treat mom to a delicate pair of leather gloves she will love to use every fall… Forever.

4) Expensive cheeses are perfect gifts for friends who love to host (and to bring along as hostess gifts). Check out your neighborhood farmers market or local cheese shop for a selection of fun cheeses, then stop by a thrift store for a great selection of awesome cheese knives. Gift the cheeses with a knife and help your friends be ready for hosting all season long.

5) Bangles – you can never go wrong with bangles! Every gal I know loves a bright bangle, and I have found them easy to stock up on at trendy stores like Forever 21 or J.Crew. Fill a box with a colorful selection to brighten up a friend’s special day. These also work great for cozying up to that teacher you really want to bless.

6) A wallet is one of my favorite birthday gifts to give. Much like the gloves, a wallet doesn’t need to be expensive – just pretty and fun. I love filling them with a couple gift cards for a dear friend’s birthday. A clutch or coin purse works just as well, and creates a thoughtful gift that will be used time and time again.

Wrapping gifts for the girls

Anyway you gift them, these simple presents will take you through all of fall’s festivities and can be snatched up ahead of time to get you prepared for the holidays – which are coming so quick! Head out this week and stock up on your favorites, then enjoy earning the reputation of that friend that always gives the best presents. Happy gifting!

PS. A gallery of my favorite gift ideas.

Posted September 09, 2014 1 Comment
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why don’t we – bake triple berry swirl bread

Triple Berry Swirl Bread

Something about the morning’s recent chill is beckoning me towards baking. The garden berries are ripe and we have family coming in town this weekend – it’s the perfect chance to bake this gorgeous triple berry swirl bread.

The bread looks like one of those breakfasts you’d have to get up at 4am to start, but the recipe is actually super simple - see it right here. Doesn’t the idea of a comfy sweater, lingering breakfast, and sweet bread just sound perfect for this weekend?

While I gather the berries, here are a couple other baking recipes I want to try out soon:

Blueberry waffle cookies

Salted chocolate tart with kettle chip crust

5 bread recipes for fall

Red velvet beet cake

Creme brulee is my favorite – this version with lavender sounds amazing

Almond joy granola

Raisin whiskey buns

Red velvet funnel cakes

Still hungry? Try a treat from our recipe gallery, and hundreds more on the Sweets & Treats, or Food for Feasts Pinterest boards.

Have a cozy weekend.

(Photography by Athena Plichta)

Posted September 05, 2014 2 Comments
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