Thursday, December 6, 2012

Landon's Winter ONEderland

Get ready for a super long blog post...this time I get to post about my baby's party!! I have wanted to plan a first birthday party for such a long time and boy oh boy I sure had fun finally getting to do it! We were blessed with so many special friends, and family, that came to help us celebrate. Dave's parents drove all the way from New York just for the weekend. L is a pretty loved little boy.

Welcome to Landon's Winter ONEderland......

I am NOT a graphic designer by far, but I did design the invitations and other party printables on my laptop. Since I don't have photoshop I was determined to figure out how to use microsoft word and excel using a few tutorials from pinterest and some good ole clip art.

So, I can't take credit for the awesome pinwheels. My friend Emily and her hubby made them for her little boy's first bday this past summer and used the same color scheme. She was so sweet and let me borrow them!
Here's the table. So, I must admit that I get obsessed with all those pretty party tables I see on blogs and I really didn't know how to make mine look like those. I tried putting a couple of different wrapping paper pieces up and it just looked cheapo so I got a big ole piece of beadboard from the garage. We have a bunch left over from Landon's nursery and I love how it turned out! I got the snowflakes from the Dollar Tree and spray painted them red, designed and printed the banner on cardstock at home, made the table runner with some wrapping paper and covered it with transparent contact paper (so the food wouldn't mess it up), and spray painted the cake stands I made for a previous cake customer. As you can see, it was a party on a budget!
Here is the seat for the guest of honor. My friend Raeanne let me borrow her antique it! I don't want to give it back ;) The hat, oh how I love the hat, was made from some fabric scaps and a cereal box. I found the tutorial here but gave it my own spin by doing an appliqued number one on it before putting the hat together. I also made the little pom pom on top.
I designed the little cupcake toppers and made the cupcake sleeves out of scrapbook paper. They were triple chocolate cupcakes...yum yum.
I loved making these little penguin cake pops! I always get aggravated when I make cake pops because I have a difficult time with the chocolate hardening before I have used it.  I found this awesome tip on pinterest that suggested using a mini crock pot (the little one you use to keep dips warm) and it made the process sooo much easier. I used a little ice cream salt to keep the cake pops standing up in my ice cream dishes. I love how it looks like ice (something else I found on pinterest).
AND here is the guest of honor's little smash cake! I made the cake topper out of polymer clay so he will be able to keep it forever. His little face always lights up when I let him play with it. A few years I taught all of my 5th graders how to make little clay penguins and this sure brought back memories.
And here is one of my fave cakes yet! Polar Bears are my favorite animals and I have been wanting to make a bear cake for a long time. My friend Taylor got me this AWESOME Build-A-Bear cake pan a few years ago and I had yet to use it. I was so happy I got to finally put it to use and I hope I'll be able to use it for many more cakes! I'll try to do another blog post where I explain how I put this little guy together.
Haha....I think this pic is so funny. Landon grabbed the cake before we were even able to put a candle in it! Everyone ran over to sing Happy Birthday before he devoured the whole thing.
Don't stick it up your nose silly little guy!!
Here's the hot chocolate bar, but I don't think anyone had any because it was 72 degrees outside! Not the best weather for a Winter ONEderland ;)
A closer look at Landon's Polar Water...
One of my favorite activity at the party was making snow!! We bought some snow from the Teach Me store and it was awesome. The kids loved it and Landon is still playing in it. I found this swimming pool, literally, in the middle of the was a perfect color and size :)
It's a little difficult to see, but the mantle has all of L's weekly pics that we took of him this past year. It was so neat to see them all together and printed out. I used some picture frames that I got for yardsales, spray painted them and attached some jute twine and hung the pics with little mini clothes pins. I LOVED how they turned out and it was sad taking them down.
I made the Igloo out of a big piece of cardbaord we had saved from when we bought our kitchen table. I spray painted it white and drew the ice blocks on with a sharpie. It was supposed to be a picture prop, but I am not sure how many pics got taken in it. We still have it up for a Christmas decoration.
And last, but not least, here is the Penguin Adoption Center! I bought all these little penguin beach balls from Oriental Trading and the kids were able to play with them at the party as well (another pinterest idea :) )
And there it is!! I hope that everyone had fun cause I know we sure did. I know Landon won't remember this day, but I hope we have a lot of good pics for him and maybe one day he'll be able to look back and see how many people love him and came to celebrate! We love you Landon David Eshleman!!

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Dear Landon

Dear Landon,

Happy First Birthday to my precious little gift from God! My heart overflows with love and thankfulness for you. One year ago today, you came into the world and forever changed our lives. Landon, you have been such a blessing to us and everyone you meet. It warms my heart to see how you light up the faces of people around you, including complete strangers. Your name means something cheesy like "landowner", but to God you mean so much more! If I was to give your name a meaning it would be "joyful gift from God". You are truly a gift, a baby we never imagined would be ours. You are kind, funny, adorable, laid back, cuddly, curious, very observant, happy...the list could go on and on.
 I love it when we are out and about and see someone who looks like they are having a bad day and you chatter away and smile at them until they acknowledge you and eventually smile back. God is already using you in this world - through your simple, contagious smiles and sweet chatter. Because of you, He has continued to cultivate patience in me and trust that He has good things in store for my life.
You see, we did not know if we would be able to have a baby. Every child is a miracle and God creates each one in his own special timing. After being sick and having two surgeries within a year, I was so discouraged and wandered why so many other people could easily have a baby. I began to ask God, once again, why life is so hard. God answered that question by giving us you! God hand-picked you to be in our family. He chose us to be your parents and knew EXACTLY when to give you to us. He knew I would find out early in our marriage that I was sick. He knew that not knowing how we would start a family (either through adoption or biologically) would lead me to have a deeper trust in Him. He knew that you were the gift, the miracle, He would give us at just the right time!
Landon, your Dad and I pray for you daily to come to know Jesus. He is the greatest gift to us and has entrusted us with your life. Landon David Eshleman, our hearts overflow with love for you - Happy Birthday!!

Your Mommy

So, I know this isn't a cake post, but today is a special day for my little guy! Here are a few pics from his day so far....

We started the day off by celebrating with a free b-day rooty tooty jr. breakfast at IHOP! It was fun PJ and Pancakes date with jusy mommy and baby :) We have more treats coming later today. Can't wait!

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Giraffe Smash Cake

I made this little giraffe "smash" cake for a little boy two weeks in a row! One for his real birthday and the following week for his party. I always get asked what a smash cake is and it is a miniatute cake that a baby gets to smash into for his or her fist birthday. I can't wait to make Landon's in a few weeks.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Washington Nationals Cake

Challenging but rewarding! This describes this cake that I made for my friend Johanna and her mom. Johanna and I went to Meredith together and her brother got married this past weekend. This was a cake they ordered for the rehearsal dinner. I know absolutely nothing about the Washington Nationals and now feel like I have a wealth of knowledge. They have these presidential races at the games and supposedly Teddy never wins. He did on this cake! I hope he enjoyed his moment of fame. The little figurine was made out of fondant.

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

The Very Hungry Caterpillar

Kid's cakes are my fave to make and this one was a special one! I made it for Truett, Landon's neighborhood friend :) They are almost exactly one month apart. Truett is a sweety and I cannot wait to see him and Landon grow up together! We had so much fun at his party. Here are a few pics of the cakes...

The little caterpillar ate a lot of food!

And here is Truett's lil' smash was funny to watch him get lots of help from his older brother, who ate all the polka dots for him. Happy 1st Birthday Truett!!

Monday, October 29, 2012

Elephant Cupcakes and Monogram Cookies

I love gray and yellow (my new favorite color combo) so I was super excited to make these cupcakes and cookies for a baby shower. The cupcakes were chocolate and I made the little elephants out of fondant and royal icing. The cookies were pumpkin spice cookies and had the baby's monogram on them. Here they are...


Cake Topper

I was so happy to make another cake topper! This was was for someone all the way in Chicago...she found my blog and asked me to make this one for her wedding cake! I was very honored :) Whenever I make these Landon always thinks they are toys and wants to play with them. If only they didn't take so long to make and I would make him some.

Jaye and Tim's Wedding Cake

Well hello there...I am finally getting the chance to blog about my most recent cakes! This is a wedding cake I did for some friends a few weeks ago - Jaye and Tim. They are such a great couple and we had a ton of fun at their wedding. Can't wait to hang out with them now that they are hitched :) Here are a few pics of the cake...

I am so proud of how the buttercream turned out! This was a buttercream covered cake and I was able to get it super smooth!! That is one of my pet peeves about buttercream - I like my cakes to be smooth and I have to realize that buttercream just isn't going to have the perfectly smooth look of fondant. I am proud of this one though!!

Monday, October 1, 2012

Spiderman Birthday Cake

I'm so excited to finally have the time to blog about this cake! I made it last weekend and love how it turned out. The cake was for one of our neighbors and his mom and I have gotten to know each other this past year. They have 3 kiddos and their last is only a month older than Landon so I hope they will become good friends. We had so much fun at the party which took place at the Little Gym. Landon is still not crawling (he is just so content to sit and watch people or play with the toys) but he had a ton of fun rolling the balls and watching all of the other kids play!

Little "Spidey" is peeking over the top of the cake...
Here he is crawling up the sloped top...he was made out of gumpaste and I painted his webs  on with black food coloring mixed with clear vanilla.
The white webs were piped on with royal icing and the entire cake covered with fondant. The inside was chocolate with chocolate buttercream...yummy! Happy Birthday Cooper!
And here is my lil guy havin' a ton of fun!

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Wedding Cake

This past weekend I had quite a few cakes (3) to make, but I was able to organize my week and get them all completed just in time. Here is the wedding cake which turned out beautiful. I was so nervous about it because on the way to deliver, it slipped on the stand and I thought I was doomed (felt like I was on one of the cake shows). Once it was set up and all the flowers were place on it everything was just fine. The location was a beautiful house in downtown Raleigh and I LOVED how the cake setup was under a beautiful gazebo outside. The twinkle lights, even in the daylight, added a nice touch :) The cake was white almond with buttercream icing. I also tried a new technique by adding the lines (with an icing comb) around each tier. I like the texture it provided. I am now getting a little more used to buttercream cakes, although I prefer working with fondant.