Thursday, January 2, 2014

2013 Year in Review...

I've never done a year in review before so bear with me.  At first I didn't think I had much to review but then after I thought about it I realized quite a bit had happened this year.  
I honestly didn't expect much from this year because we moved in January from Germany to Maryland.  That doesn't sound like a huge event but after living in Germany for 8 years living in the United States was kind of a culture shock for us.  I loved being back but it felt like I was in a foreign country.  It didn't take us long to get settled, buy a house and find all our favorite stores and restaurants. I was particularly happy to be back in the land of Target, Starbucks and Hobby Lobby.  Ah, there's no place like home. 

After we were settled I got to do something I've been wanting to do for years.  I volunteered at an Operation Shower event "Showered With Love".  For those that don't know Operation Shower is a wonderful non profit organization that throws baby showers for families of deployed military members.  Both my husband and I are veterans and we have lived and worked with the military for 18 years.  Which is why I love what Operation Shower does. They provide such a wonderful service for military families.  

The event was a wonderful experience and I was exhausted but happy after the whirlwind two days. 

Very soon after that I had the pleasure of helping with my friends Gender Reveal partyThe mother and father both flew in from Germany to visit family in the DC area so it was like a mini reunion for us.  I love gender reveals and I love surprise inside cakes.  So for this one we had a nerdy baby animal theme with bow ties and hearts.  The gender was revealed with a sweet blue bow inside the cake.

One of my favorite parties this year was a Prince and Princess twins first birthday party.  These sweet twins are special to me because I styled their Thing 1 and Thing 2 baby shower the year before. I love it when things come full circle.  They had a prince and princess theme with dragons and unicorns and matching smash cakes.  It was also my first successful attempt at making macarons, and given the number of times I've tried and failed I was almost more excited about the macarons than the party.  

This year has brought me new opportunities to work with other people in the party planning industry.  I was very happy to be able to work with the talented Shauna from Cupcake With Character  and many other talented vendors on several of her styled shoots.  I designed the printable invitation, gift tags and food labels for this beautiful Lace and Pearls table. Oh what a difference a professional photographer makes, so beautiful. 

This year I attended my first book signing.  The super sweet and super talented Mindy Cohen of Creative Juice, just happened to be in my area for one of her book signings. My friend Keisha from Cupcake Wishes and Birthday Dreams met up with me at the signing.  I love meeting fellow bloggers in person.  It's kind of like meeting a pen pal and it's so cool to be able to put a face to a name. 

I was also a contributor on Cupcake Wishes and Birthday Dreams 13 Days of Handmade Halloween, with a paper flower wreath tutorial.  The wreath was from Oriental trading company and I designed an "All Hallow's Eve" banner to go along with it. Love you to bits Keisha xoxo.

This year was my first feature on Hostess with the Mostess.  This was huge.  I love their website and use it all the time for party inspiration.  To have one of my parties on their pages made my heart happy.  

The party that made the cut was Myles Zombie Apocalypse party. Myles obsession with Zombies started with the game Minecraft which was his party theme last year.  Now he loves to hunt zombies on the computer, in our house and in the neighborhood, which was pretty much all they did at his party.  I baked tons of zombie infested treats for his dessert table and we sipped on zombie juice with frozen eyeballs.  Fun times. 

I also appeared in a magazine for the first time as a contributor for my friend Autumn from Autumn Lynn's Chocolate Sins.  I designed the printables for this glitzy glam Gender reveal table that appeared in Polka Dot Balloon magazine.  It was a fun twist on Gender reveal and all of Autumn's sweets were beautiful as always.  Love you to bits too Autumn xoxo. 

Then last but certainly not least we had my sweet Marina's Panda Tea party.  She turned 10 this year and boy how the time flies.  She loves pandas so there were pandas everywhere from the desserts to the bento boxes to the panda ears I sewed for the girls. This was also my first time not baking all the sweets for the part.  I had a lot of help from many talented sweets ladies to make all our Panda dreams come true. 

Well that just about sums it up.  It was a pretty wonderful year.  I can't wait to see what 2014 has in store.  I hope 2014 finds you happy, healthy and inspired.

Happy New Year!!!


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