Friday, November 21, 2014

Coming Soon: Cakewalk's very own space!!!

So, we have a pretty huge amazing happy scary wild wonderful announcement: We just signed the lease on our very own space!!! This has been something we have been dreaming of for YEARS. It's something we wanted from the very beginning: a beautiful little spot full of sweet smells and happy music, somewhere to host community events and friendly gatherings, a place to be as creative as we want to separate from our home. These past two years we have grown so much and really learned that we have a passion for what we are doing. We've driven all over the metroplex and gotten pretty amazing at packing our car full of supplies. From working out of our home kitchen to driving across town to our commissary kitchen to driving to Dallas for tastings, shoots, and events, and back...it has been a wild ride and we are finally (mostly) ready to make that big next step! We are still hashing out all the details of what exactly the space will be and what kind of work we will do there. It will obviously involve lots of baking...but that's as much as we want to share as we take time to work out all the details. We will be officially opening our doors in early 2015 in our most lovely community of Fort Worth. We will continue to share details over the coming weeks, but first, we celebrate with champagne and cake!


A Season in Review: Fall 2014


We are finally slowing down a bit to recharge before our December holiday season starts, so I thought I'd take a little time to reflect on this busy fall season. It was a literal whirlwind of flour and sugar: nonstop baking, collaborating, meeting, delivering, brainstorming, tasting since August hit. Sixteen hour days were the norm, six to seven days a week, and we were hustling like we'd never hustled before. There were so many days/nights where I thought, "um, I don't think I can do this anymore." (full disclosure) but we had no choice but to keep on keeping on and now that I have finally reached that Friday before our Week of Rest, I am filled with so much pride and gratitude (and a little bit of shock) at all we have accomplished: from weddings and big events, to baby showers and birthday celebrations, new client meetings, incredible shoots, work trips, and even teaching classes.  We also dived into design work this year and are so excited to have a shoot we designed featured in print in the latest issue of Southern Weddings magazine! Additionally, our home was featured on Design Sponge and the Southern Weddings Southern Newlywed column. It has been pretty amazing, but I have to admit a little awkward sharing so much of our private world with the Internet. Something I need to get over already in this biz!

We've met so many lovely new people and had the amazing opportunity to help so many people celebrate something beautiful. I truly love hearing so many love stories and seeing people grow giddy at the chance to celebrate their deep love for each other. It's such a treat to talk with different people and hear about life outside of the kitchen. Running a small business is incredibly challenging at times - there's this pressure as a business to operate at a level of perfection that sometimes goes beyond human possibility. There are days where you get run down and fall sick, days where no matter how hard you try, you just make some mistakes. We are all human and human imperfection happens whether we intend it to or not. But something that I have been so fortunate to experience as a business owner is human grace and kindness. Some days it just blows my mind how kind people are - how real and appreciative they are. There have been so many times that I've been brought to tears by people being good. So, if you're one of our past clients or collaborators or colleagues or friends please know that we are so thankful for your myriad ways of support, encouragement and kindness. Now, #wipingtearsaway, onto some photos of some of our favorite experiences from the Fall:


Photo by Heather Hawkins

Our Naked Cake DIY Tutorial featured on 100 Layer Cake // Photo by Apryl Ann

For Kelly's wedding in Golden, TX we made a 4 foot long cake and built custom stands for her donuts.

We traveled to Marfa for a creative girls' trip/photo shoot. Here's a work scene of our hand painted marble motif cake.

For Amanda's 25th birthday, she kinda had to have a crazy cute cake to match her own crazy cuteness.


We hosted a cacti-themed shower for our beloved Apryl Ann. This simple ombre cake was made pretty darn adorable with Lauren's crafty cake toppers.

We helped the Nasher Sculpture Center celebrate their annual Garden Party with a collection of naked cakes, pumpkin macarons, mini pies and toasted meringue cakes.

I loved creating this floral "tetris" (as Alicia calls them) with her blooms for Pia's first birthday!

Sometimes the littlest are just the best. Pia's smash cake topped with one of Little Cat Design Co's toppers.

We partnered with our neighborhood ice cream shop Melt for a special macaron ice cream sammy! Mmm-mmm.

We made some custom gift bag goodies for Bows and Arrows Marfa Floral Workshop, inspired by those awesome Marfa sunsets.




For Saylor's birthday, Lottie ordered some colorful mini donuts that were too fun to make!





While naked cakes were definitely our hot item this season (er, year!) we had a lot of fun painting cakes too.

The Dallas Morning News featured our caramel apples in their Style section.

We taught another cake decorating class with Fullosophie and the student work turned out absolutely beautiful!

PBJ Macs seem like the right way to end this post...









Sunday, September 21, 2014

A Green Wedding Shoes Favorite!

So, we are well into 2014 by now, but we just realized one of our cakes made the Green Wedding Shoes 2013 Favorite List! So, we are going to celebrate now, in September of 2014. YEAH!

Photo by Apryl Ann

Monday, June 9, 2014

Crushing on Cake Toppers: Little Cat Design Co.

I've been waiting for somebody to make some adorable and affordable cake toppers just like these for awhile (searching through Etsy calls for certain kind of patience that I left back in 2008 :)  BOOM! This year, cake prayers answered by Little Cat Design Co. for Sweet and Saucy Shop. Yep, they are the things of my dreams, and I am gobbling them up. (pun-ny!) Clean, modern, sweet designs laser cut into a variety of colorful acrylics and woods. I think they are just perfect and love to top my cakes with them!

Kinda obvious...baby shower cake!

These bows are so cute, I want to stick them in everything! My hair! Plants! Mini Cakes! 

HOORAY for everything! This one is perfect for a Monday, a gender reveal cake (like this one), congratulating your friend on that promotion, finding a litter of kittens in your backyard...really, the reasons for HOORAY are plenty and hopefully you have one every day.

Friday, June 6, 2014

Donut Jubilee

It is NATIONAL DONUT DAY, hooray! This is a special day in American history that has been celebrated by generation upon generation. It all started with the famous Liberty Donut that our Founding Fathers each took a bite of upon signing the Declaration. I believe it was Coca-Cola flavored, and covered in red, white and blue sprinkles. But enough history, you are undoubtedly well versed in it from your annual pilgrimage to the Donut Museum on the National Mall. Amiright? Um, anyway, it's a very exciting time of year and the only real way to celebrate is to throw a bunch of unsolicited donut images from the Cakewalk Catalog at you!!!! And hope that you are chomping down on a bright and scrumptious, besprinkled national treasure at this very moment.



Photo by Apryl Ann




Photo by Amanda Marie





Photo by Apryl Ann for 100 Layer Cake - learn how to make these apple cider donuts with our DIY on the 100LC blog here

Photo by Apryl Ann

mixed berry donuts

chocolate with sea salt and pretzel crumb

matcha green tea and pistachio

donut jambalaya!

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

LA LA Land

Warning: This post does not involve baking. At least, not my baking. It's much more personal. About a lovely journey I took with two friends who happen to be incredibly inspiring creative women I have grown to admire, count on for good laughs, and truly love. Lauren, my great buddy and calligrapher extraordinaire was traveling to Los Angeles to teach calligraphy classes in collaboration with DesignLoveFest and asked myself and Amanda (a super talented photographer and fashion stylist) to tag along. I just so happened to not have any weddings or events booked that week, so I said a big fat HELL YEAH. And next to traveling with your buddies to a tropical island where the drinks are served in coconuts with bright twisty straws, I'm pretty sure LA is the perfect place for a lady trip. As much as it is hard for me to ever feel like I leave my business behind even for a day, I have to say I truly felt an escape here but also felt so refreshed and inspired by the gorgeous sun-drenched COLOR that is LA. People are nice here. Really. (And we come from Texas, where the folks talk slow and smile from ear to ear, so that's saying something.) Everywhere we stopped people were warm, welcoming, and ready to mingle. Succulents and cacti crawled out of cracks in the sidewalk as if they were planted that way, on purpose by the dudes pouring concrete. Perhaps what I loved most was just navigating the Echo Park and Silverlake streets with Amanda, sharing all sorts of stories, gushing over wild bungalow yards, and stopping to check out lovely little creative shops.

The following are a collection of photos I took because it was just all so wonderful.

View from the rooftop of our hotel, the Ace. It's so Wes Anderson, right?

These little pencil drawings were all over the walls of the Ace. I'm inspired to take some pencil to my own walls now. I just love them!

I don't know how "LA" the Ace is, but the lobby and cafe sure were dreamy in a time lost sort of way. Also won points for serving one of the most delicious iced coffees ever in a little Stumptown glass jug. 


I feel like I had an instant connection with Lauren. When we met it all seemed so easy and natural and I knew that we would be friends. I don't really remember how our friendship developed after that initial meeting, because it seemed to happen that fast and easily. What I love most about her is that I can speak with her openly and honestly, and know that every other minute we will laugh. She is also a very wise, kind, and respectful business BOSS who I admire greatly and learn so much from. So happy to call her a true blue friend. In LA. (ha!)

Did I mention Lauren is an extremely talented calligrapher and paper designer? Oh yes, I think I did. And here's proof. And the whole reason we went to LA. She is an amazing teacher and if you haven't taken her class, seriously stop reading this and sign up right now because you will have a blast and leave with a pretty cool new skill.

Amanda and I were pretty obsessed with the idea of getting a COOL manicure.  One we sadly can't achieve in Fort Worth. I rarely get the treat of painted nails in the food service industry and always relish the opportunity to indulge my dry and flaky old lady dishwasher hands in this feminine treat. (Truth: we started planning our manicures before we even got off the plane.) Gloss Nail Spa did not disappoint!!! My Sprinkles and Pineapple nails were as crazy as I imagined and I couldn't resist taking tons of photos with them as if they were weirdly beautiful little props. I'm not sure I succeeded but I had fun and that's all that matters, right? 


The plants in LA. They are a perfect sub-species that should have whole books and sonnets written about them. If there were an address for such love letters, I would definitely write a few. Oh wait. 90210!

Someone told us to check out this shop, called Cook Book. Major kudos on the name alone - so good. It was a gorgeous little locavore haven. Lots of beautiful veggies etc heaping around waiting for you to buy them and cook up a delicious dinner. We ordered room service from the hotel and so I don't feel qualified to even post a secret photo I took of the place, but still, it's beautiful and if I wanted to get all romantic on my life and stroll down from my mushroom cacti echo park bungalow to cook a meal for my beautiful actor man, I totally would stop here. 

I loved driving through the hills of Echo Park and dreaming about which gorgeous little bungalow I would most like to inhabit. This one was definitely not the most lovely, but I fell hard for it. The landscaping, the color, the weird little mushroom men. 

Amanda and I drove out to Venice one day and had such a lovely lunch with wine and grilled cheeses at a place called Salt. 

Surf Timez will never be My Timez but I enjoy the way they paint their garages.

Everything grows everywhere here. If you live anywhere else and like to grow things it will make you feel incompetent and exhilarated all at once.

I'm pretty much obsessed with Will Bryant's work. Take one look and if you don't love it and get the most happy vibes ever then well oops sorry for wasting your time and I think you should probably give it another look anyway because it is in my mind just Perfect. So I was so very happy to get to see his show at Poketo, and to see Poketo in its own right which is an amazing little shop full of happy things. Thank you, WB and P and LA.

 
Brunch at Bottega Louie deserves an entire subchapter. If you like to look at beautiful desserts and eat extraordinarily yummy things, then this place is like the Heaven Mecca you never thought quite possible. Which explains the crazy amount of photos I indulged in taking through glass display windows as a million people in white uniforms buzzed all around me filling orders. I want to see behind these scenes. Who do they have back there making all these beautiful things? What is the story? I want to make them all. And package them all as beautifully as BL did. And have a fleet of men in white gloves and paper hats buzzing around my clients. 

Eclairs!

Big Daddy Macaron Princess Cakes!

The beginnings of our brunch with PERFECT beignets!

Do they get any more lovely? Take THAT every other random ass cupcake shop in America. It doesn't get better than this.





We thought it would be a really beautiful moment to order something decadent, haul ass back to the Ace, march up to the rooftop and devour the dessert. It was!

This thing was awesome.


My real life is nothing like this. This kind of giddy decadence happens once, maybe a twice a year. Which is why I have no shame in sharing it now. It's important to indulge every once and awhile and to do it with beautiful souls and to share gorgeous meals and to soak it all in.

Here's a video the lovely Amanda Marie Lackey made of our trip. She is one of the most energetic, entertaining and just lovely humans I have met. You will want to pinch her cheeks and tell her your darkest secrets and sing songs at the top of your lungs with her all in the same day. Or maybe you just want to hire her for styling and photography because she's incredibly talented at those things too? Ok.