Welcome back to our focus on throwing a surprise party! Today is all about the cake. This was extra difficult to plan when I was going to make this seeing as I lived with the guest of honor, but also helpful since I know her schedule pretty well. I knew I had a 3 hour block of time to bake the cakes, so I bought all my supplies, borrowed some extra pans (that I hid in my room), and waited. As soon as she was gone I got straight to work.


First tip: Cut a paper towel to fit in the bottom of the pan. After you oil the pan, put the paper towel in and this will make the cake come out easier, cool faster, AND when you peel the paper towel off you don’t loose chunks of cake!


So funny story. This was supposed to be a three layer cake, not six…but I had two links open on my laptop. One was for inspiration for design, the other was for the actual recipe. Well guess what, I followed the wrong recipe, and before I knew it I was elbow deep in flower and batter that I hadn’t prepared for so the following picture will remind you:

  • It’s never too safe to have an extra big bowl


  • Read the recipe…


That batter was good enough to eat by itself, and since there were not eggs added yet I went ahead and indulged myself in some post mixing licking of beaters. Who can blame a girl when it looks so good?


Look at those colors! And below so cleanly came off the paper towel. Now we were at an hour until Mal came home, so once each layer was cool enough I wrapped them in saran wrap & then in aluminum foil, and into the freezer they all went!  JUST IN TIME!


Then a week later I had prepped the icing while she working and let the layers warm up to almost room temp. With this buttercream and a mug of warm water I used the edge of a knife to slowly layer on the icing.

Voila! Rainbow cake! Now I used a natural pigment for coloring and I could have toned down the orange and green layer, but it tasted freaking incredible!

Next time I will try a different icing recipe and maybe less layers, but when you are constricted to time and secrecy I think it turned out pretty dang well!


Come back again later for the surprise itself!


oh what a surprise!

I have a love hate relationship with surprise parties. I think they are so fun to plan, but they are also such a PAIN to plan – especially when you live with the guest of honor. So to kick things off on this how to guide to surprise parties we are starting with the invitation. I sent this out about three and a half weeks out to give people enough time to plan, but not too far out to get forgotten.

Paperless Post is my go to for invitations. The invitation is all online and way more sophisticated than just a facebook event – which are easily looked over because someone doesn’t get on facebook (ha I am the worst at doing that). There are a lot of free designs and you can even upload your own designs if you don’t see anything you want to use.



Besides being easy to design and send, as a recipient it is easy to respond. You get the invite sent directly to your email and just click will or will not attend, and you can still send messages to the sender if need be. Even imputing all the emails is easy if you connect it to your email account or if you have a spreadsheet of all the emails, those can be imported.

For me it was great tracking device, because I could do a quick tally of how many people responded as well as send a mass message to those who have not replied asking for their RSVP. The interface is just so clean, beautiful, and easy to use.


*P.S. Name and Email will show up, just had to blur out my friends info, because I am sure they would like to keep their privacy*

If you want to you can add notes, have a comment wall for guests, and give invites with the option to bring +1 or others. This flexible platform makes it easy to customize for your party needs. We added a note to park around the corner and timing details so we could coordinate for the surprise.


What’s awesome is that if details change you can go in and change it after, and send a message out that there is an update to info – you can’t do that with a paper invite!

Next time you need to send out invites for an event or even just schedule a girls night out, this is classy, cute, and a great way to communicate!

Tomorrow we will talk cake – my favorite food group.


Channelling Jackie O

Today I decided to channel my inner Jackie O, and who can ever go wrong when they do that? So I pulled out my mock turtleneck, fabulous flats, & my oversized sunglasses.


These t-straps are super comfortable and have a great bottom to grip the ground. Not like other flats where you have to rough up the bottoms so you don’t eat it when you walk.


The half tucked look makes this simple top have some more depth and life to it.


I just love the way this mock turtleneck hits, not too high not to tight. Don’t forget the pearls. Keeping it classy and clean.


birthdays & brunching

My favorite six letter word: BRUNCH. Add in that it is both in honor of Galentine’s day & Ashlyn’s Birthday it makes this Saturday brunch even better. With an assortment of breakfast foods–including some incredible almond with raspberry filling muffins–the spread was so satisfying.


Madeline’s crafting with poms and balloons had me obsessed. There will definitely a blog post where we walk through making these ASAP.


Of course what is brunch without mimosas, long stem strawberries (I did not even know that was a thing), and french press coffee!





I told you all, I am absolutely obsessed with these balloons!


Here was my spread for my first plate. I mean I could not say no to seconds when the food is this good.


If there is a brick wall we are there, with these balloons again 😉


Happy Birthday Ash, thanks for making yummy food and a morning full of laughter!


valentine’s day fix

We are 4 days out from Valentine’s day and I am here to tell you there is NO fear for you if you have not done anything yet. It takes minimal effort to make some fabulous, intentional, and cute cards without being too casual. By the end it will look like you spent forever making these cards, or spent a fortune.

I went to Target and grabbed these cute brown & glitter cards and envelopes from the dollar section (SCORE!) and pulled out my sharpies, washi tape, string and my art box.


My box of crafty goodness full of watercolors, acrylics, paint pens, and stamps!


Pull out a brush, pink, red, gold, and any other paints you want and go forth and create!


I used a combination of paint pens, paint, and sharpies to create an assortment of designs. XOXO’s, hearts, and of course lots of abstract lines.


Happy crafting and all the love!

#ads pt 2

Rounding of my #1 and #2 spots are 84 Lumber & Airbnb. Relevant messages and just beautiful. They truly stand out amongst the other product pusher commercials.

#3 is Genius. Utilizing Lady Gaga half-time show was perfect and the build gets you intrigued. It had me going to look up what this show was!

#4 is this third installment of Squarespace’s John Malkovich commercials. Great references to Being John Malkovich lost on some audience members, but still story is prime.

#5 Turkish Airline. Because Morgan Freeman, need I say more?

#6 What what?! Stranger Things season 2 commercial was an unexpected surprise and that throwback Eggo commercial was smart.

#7 Bai. Killed it with the millennials having JT and using some old NSYNC. Christopher Walken strange, especially when I wish JT would have at least said something?

#8 TurboTax mainly because it actually made me laugh out loud. Situation humor of it all was what made this.


As for bad commercials there were many of them present on Sunday. Another Pirates of the Caribbean? Seriously? Justin Bieber with T-Mobile was playing off of the success of Drake commercials and failed. Ugh and Snickers, just sad. If they wanted to play up the “Live” it could have been a little less over produced.

Until next year. Now it’s time for baseball season!


To celebrate Super Bowl 51 I have pulled together a list of my favorite from ads last year, because let’s be real, that is the reason I watch!

This Colgate ad gets me every time. So unassumingly you think it will be another cleaning/toothpaste/bathroom commercial until all of the sudden your heart strings are being tugged.

Kevin Hart is funny and the music choice is spot on.

T-Mobile was smart using Drake and attaching themselves to an already popular song. Also super relatable – we all just want to be in a music video don’t we.

Helen Mirren. Need I say more?

The creative and intriguing aspect of this Hyundai commercial makes this a great commercial. It draws you in like a mystery trying to figure out why this person has a shiny blue engine in their chest. Is it Iron Man?

Then of course finish of with this small business. It may not be the best ad out there, but when you realize this is not an ad for a videogame or movie it makes you go “huh, that was clever”(and also I just love coffee).

Have fun at your super bowl watching parties, gatherings, fiestas, buffets, etc. Tomorrow I will give you a rundown of my top ads and half-time review!