Retail Love Collection is now open-Click to start shopping! (Or Scroll Down for Blog Posts!)

The Sweetest Whimsy Retail Love Collection is now open! Click on any of the 33+ links below to shop for stuff that I personally love! I am excited to offer affiliate links to some very creative companies; some are established names in the business, and others are tiny mom & pop ventures. At ALL of them, you'll find the best quality invitations, gifts, favors, decor and supplies for your upcoming celebration. You'll also love links for online cake and craft classes, digital scrapbooking and creating family websites. You can start shopping right now, or contact me to place an order for anything that catches your fancy. So what's YOUR Whimsy?
Night Owl Paper Goods Handmade in the USA
Night Owl Paper Goods
Gifts With Humanity
Gifts With Humanity
Costumes for the Entire Family at ThePartyWorks.com
The Party Works Costumes
Personalized Photo Cards at Cardstore, Shop Now!
CardStore
For The Gourmet Cheesecake Lollipops by Chef David Burke
For the Gourmet
TSR logo with words
Top Secret Recipes

Cross Country Cafe
Panstoria Artisan digital scrapbooking software
Panstoria Artisan Software

A Gift Personalized

Checks Unlimited
canning labels & tags
My Own Labels
Best way to shop American
Apple Pie
Share Life's Moments in Minutes with Smilebox!
Smilebox

Mixbook
Personalized Photobooth Frames for Wedding and Party Favors
Studio Style
Panstoria Historian
Panstoria Historian Software

Freckle Box

Paper Culture

Petite Lemon

Cafe Press
Unique Wedding Favors from Beau-coup.com
Beau-Coup
Favor Affair
Favor Affair
Fresh Party Invitations from Minted
Minted
Baby Shower Favors
Little Things Favors

Big Dot of Happiness
Baby Shower Diaper Cakes
Baby Shower Stuff

Bags & Bows
Safe as mamas arms
Earth Mama Angel Baby Organics
Home Decor from Luna Bazaar
Luna Bazaar
Cake Decorating Supplies at ThePartyWorks.com
The Party Works

Tiny Prints

Wedding Paper Divas
Greeting Cards by Treat
Treat
Scrapbook Superstore
Scrapbook Superstore
Beyond Graduation
Beyond Graduation
www.FlirtyAprons.com
Flirty Aprons
ACandyStore.com
A Candy Store
Online Cake Decorating Class
Craftsy
Cupcake 120 x 240
Birthday In A Box
Eco Friendly Products
Eco Plum
Everything Princesses Logo
Everything Princess
Wedding Invitations from PurpleTrail.com
Purple Trail Invitations

Monday, January 25, 2010

The Green Seal


One wonders if I will ever stick to my blog schedule idea?! I failed to post a recipe on Let Them Eat Cake Friday . . . again. In my defense, I was flying solo as a parent this past weekend and was utterly devoted to the care and comfort of my children. *grin* Apologies for the lack of cake; I promise more cake this Friday!

Onward to spotlighting some of my products! Have you heard of the Green Seal? Green Seal is an independent, non-profit organization that sets environmental leadership standards covering a range of products and services, including paper. I'm excited that Carlson Craft, one of the main lines that I carry, now offers Green Seal Certified invitations and stationery!


What does this mean? The Green Seal indicates that the invitations are made from post-consumer fibers and created without the use of chlorine compounds. Green Seal invitations and cards are manufactured using a significant amount of renewable energy resources and responsible forest mangagement practices. You may notice slight imperfections in the paper due to the use of recycled materials; this tells the world you're going green! Why not take the planet into consideration when planning your big day? Or the arrival of your bundle of joy? Or for every day?

And did I mention that the Green Seal designs, along with Carlson Craft's other eco-friendly offerings, are awesome?!

'Vintage Perch' invitation and note card by Carlson Craft

Green Seal white note card with choice of motif and ink color

Subtly 'Beautiful Flower' invitation and note card

Sweet 'Green' baby!

Visit Sweetest Whimsy's Carlson Craft website for even more Green Seal and other eco-friendly designs available today. Because right now is the perfect time to Go Green!

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Russian Dolls & A Schedule Tweak (again!)

I keep tweaking my blog schedule to keep up with what I'm actually able to accomplish! I'll be blogging on alternate days, more or less, on Paper Dolls and The Sweet Spot. Fridays will be double dipping for now, with 52 Cakes, until I think of something more interesting to talk about.

Anyway, under the new schedule, today should have been a Day Off, but since I was too lazy to blog yesterday, then I'll throw in a bonus Shopping Talk for those half dozen or so of you who might actually be reading this!

A very long while back, I wrote about some 2009 predicted design trends. One of these was: Russian patterns & folk art--traditional themes and patterns in modern ways. As 2009 unfolded, we did indeed see Russian inspiration at our favorite stores, and for all ages. My favorite Russian theme to appear in 2009 has got to be the Russian Matroyshka Dolls on apparel and accessories. A traditional theme interpreted in modern ways:

Gap's "St. Petersburg" collection featuring the Doll . . .
. . . as well as subtler traditional Russian patterns.

Modern versions of Matroyshkas on handmade buttons, available on Etsy.com.


And even Russian Doll measuring cups in the kitchen!

I even snagged my own Russian Dolls t-shirt during the holiday season at Target, that matched my daughters'. They were a trend that I wouldn't mind seeing again in 2010!

Images from Ebay.com, Etsy.com and Google images.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Shop Talk: Twinkle Cakes

As a cake designer, I'm always delighted and amused when I see cake and cupcake toys "out there" in Retail Land. Sometimes, I'll even invent them in my head. One day while browsing some play food at Pottery Barn Kids, waiting for my girls to finally get tired of playing with their luxurious pretend kitchen and washing machine, I thought of a great idea for a kids' cake toy: a plain felt cake that you could decorate over and over again. Because that is the magic of felt of course--it sticks to other pieces of felt with no adhesive necessary.

Well, great minds think alike. Someone else already invented my awesome cake toy idea:



I swear to you, this is exactly what I was thinking of! Unfortunately, I'm not the greatest of sewers, so this idea would probably have languished in my head for years more, unrealized. I'm so tickled that some Mom jumped on her sewing machine and actually created a felt cake! Twinkle Cakes, to be exact.

And when your budding little baker gets tired of the shape/color/number of cake decorations she has, you can buy more packs of them. Brilliant.

I haven't ordered one yet, but I think they are the cutest creative playthings. And best of all, they're zero calories!

Sunday, January 17, 2010

52 Cakes: Chocolate Mint Cupcakes


also posted on The Sweet Spot blog

Friday was a busy day spent on a special cake order, so I didn't have a chance to blog! Getting caught up today.

I love chocolate mint. Such a wonderful marriage of flavors. Cool mint and chocolatey chocolate. Yum.

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa powder
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 1/2 tsp. baking soda
3/4 tsp. baking powder
3/4 tsp. salt
2 large eggs
3/4 cup buttermilk
3 Tbsp. vegetable oil
1 tsp. pure peppermint extract
3/4 cup warm water.

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line muffin tins w/ paper liners. With electric mixer on medium speed, whisk together flour, cocoa, sugar, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Add eggs, buttermilk, oil, extract and water. Beat on low speed until smooth and combined, scraping down sides of bowl as needed.

2. Divide batter evenly among lined cups, filling each about 2/3 full. Bake about 20 minutes. Transfer tins to wire racks to cool 1o minutes; turn out cupcakes onto racks to cool completely. can be stored overnight at room temperature or frozen up to 2 months.

3. Frost with Martha's Mint Buttercream. My note: Or frost with a Chocolate Mint Buttercream. Frosted cupcakes can be stored up to 1 day at room temperature or 3 days in the refrigerator.

Makes 18.

Recipe from Martha Stewart's Cupcakes, which I just bought over the summer and have enjoyed perusing. Image from www.marthastewart.com.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Here Comes the Budget Bride


If you've been to Sweetest Whimsy's Carlson Craft site recently, you may have noticed a new link to a new line of Wedding products:the Simply Sensible wedding collection.

Simply Sensible is an amazing collection of wedding invitations and accessories packaged together for the "Budget Bride." Who is she? The Budget Bride’s primary focus is on a set dollar budget she will spend on her wedding. How smart is that? In this recession economy, it's brilliant.

She wants to find a great solution to fit her budget and the new Budget Bride packages allow her to find what she wants while sensibly staying within her means. Yes, there will always be that bride who can afford $8 invitations for a 500 guest wedding. But for every one like her, there are many, many more thoughtful brides who want an elegant and professional presentation that isn't going to break her budget.
Wedding package with savings of $266

The We Do invitation: DIY

The coolest thing about Simply Sensible is that the designs are
classic and timeless, and there's definitely a style to suit each bride's taste. And the price! The price of each package is below retail, with savings from about $100 to $400 depending on order size. Packages start at just under $100 for 100 wedding invitations. Move over, Martha. Here comes the bride . . . and she's on a budget!

Click here to see the designs!

Monday, January 11, 2010

Shop Talk: Handbag Cookie Jars

Eeeek! Almost forgot to post here and at The Sweet Spot and it's only the second day! I suck at my own blog schedule!

I'm tweaking the schedule a bit to give myself a fighting chance of sticking to it:

Mondays: Shopping Talk
Tuesdays: Product Reviews
Wednesdays: Blog Day Off
Thursdays: 52 Blessings*
Fridays: Let Them Eat Cake--52 Recipes*

*also posted at The Sweet Spot

Ok, time for my Shop Talk! Or should that be Shopping Talk?! This is where I get to show and tell about the cute stuff that's out there in the retail world, and not necessarily stuff I'm selling, but just anything and everything that I like.


Ta-da! Sweetly fashionable handbag cookie jars from Neiman Marcus! Wouldn't these be perfect to store all those Girl Scout cookies you're going to buy this winter?! I bought the Zebra one as a gift for my Godmother last month, and she loved it. I don't need a cookie jar right now, otherwise I'd have snapped one up for myself. However, I've been looking for an excuse to buy one of these cookie cuties for the past year at least, so I'm happy someone I love has one now.

I love how unique and whimsical they are. And functional too, which is a requirement for any kitchen. The cookie jar was actually bigger than I thought it would be when viewed online. Another good thing about them? They are currently on sale!

Friday, January 8, 2010

52 Cakes: Eggless Chocolate Cupcakes


Also posted on The Sweet Spot blog.

Eggless Chocolate Cupcakes

1 1/2 cups flour
1 cup granulated sugar
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. salt
1/3 cup cocoa powder
1/2 cup oil
1 cup water
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 Tbsp. vinegar

Prepare cupcake tins with liners, or if baking a cake, grease small (6-inch) cake pan.
Mix all ingredients together with an electric mixer on medium speed until moist and well-blended.
Fill each cup 3/4 full. Bake for 20-25 minutes at 350 degrees for cupcakes. Cake pan may need a few extra minutes baking time.

Do you have a friend or relative who can't eat eggs? I have a friend/former neighbor who had an egg allergy, and this cake recipe would have been absolutely perfect for his birthday. Unfortunately, I didn't have this recipe when he lived next door to me, but I am still dedicating this one to him!

Best of all, you don't miss the eggs at all in the taste--it's chocolatey and moist, and even more wonderful when paired with my favorite chocolate frosting recipe.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Say Uncle

Happy 2010! I took November and December "off" from blogging about paper and gifts, but was, interestingly enough, busy with some unique paper orders during that time.

My mother-in-law ordered several sets of personalized stationery from the Carlson Craft line for her elderly relatives, who still write regularly in that quaint, old-fashioned way. But she wanted these note cards to be really special--she ordered them to be personalized with names of course, but not with the recipients' addresses as usually done. Instead, she wanted quotes about aunts and uncles. (Recipients were two aunts and and an uncle.)

Thus began my search for clever and thoughtful quotes about aunts and uncles. Do you know that there really aren't all that many good ones out there? Here is what I came up with after some online research:

Aunt and uncle-- a double blessing. You love like parents and act like friends. ~ Anonymous

Only an aunt can give hugs like a mother, keep secrets like a sister, and share love like a friend. ~ Spanish Proverb

In addition to being solely about aunts and uncles, the quotes had to be short enough to fit on stationery note cards! And although I, in all honesty, thought it was a bit strange to gift someone with "aunt" or "uncle" stationery, it was a sweet idea. Not sure how often they will use it, but they turned out lovely. The Carlson Craft representative who I spoke with when placing the order said she thought it was "really nice." And don't we all have a soft spot for our favorite aunt or uncle?

I haven't posted often enough on this Paper Dolls blog in the past year, but have a plan to change all that! If you've already visited The Sweet Spot, you'll know that I have an ambitious (perhaps too much so) blog schedule I'll be imposing on both Sweetest Whimsy blogs in 2010:

Mondays: Shop Talk ~ a little bit of this and that about retail love
Tuesdays & Wednesdays: Product Spotlight
Thursdays: 52 Blessings
Fridays: Let Them Eat Cake-52 Recipes ~ I know this isn't the cake blog, but I love to collect and share recipes!