Latest Obsessions 09.20 – Kelsey Elizabeth Cakes

If you’ve been reading along, you may have seen my mom’s 60th birthday at the cabin in the woods! And one of my favorite parts that I still can’t stop obsessing over are the amazing cakes we ordered from our go-to local bakery; Kelsey Elizabeth Cakes also known as KEC. Kelsey Elizabeth Cakes is quickly becoming a household name in the CLE area, and it’s for a variety of reasons from her celebration of national holidays, like Harry Potter Day to having custom holiday menus and just a variety of delicious every day sweets available, you really can’t go wrong.

Let’s talk about her Party Cake Collection first. With a newly expanded collection of new party cake flavors — these are easy to order and fun to make a statement for any occasion. Whether you’re rocking a pink theme, in need of a smash cake or want something for a milestone birthday – these cakes are gorgeous and also allow you to add personal touches with birthday candles or a cake topper. Our go-to is the Reese party cake, it has layers of peanut butter and chocolate cake and a crispy crunchy peanut butter layer that is just so yummy. For my 30th we were able to get the Macaron Sprinkle (see below) aka a more delicious spin on funfetti cake, plus with KEC’s staple macaron’s on top. The next one we want to order is the Cookie Dough one, um YUM! Rule of thumb for ordering cakes from KEC, always try to plan at least a month out if not more — extra for busy seasons/holidays.

Next up is her Buttercream Cake Collection. This is another variety of cake designs that fit a number of special occasions and themes! We first tried her buttercream cake collection for our wedding — and we ordered a hand painted floral cake as B and I’s cut cake with a chocolate fudge flavor. Honestly it was so easy, because we picked the size, colors and example from one I saw on her instagram and then I got a special cake topper that personalized it more for our special day. The best part? We were able to order a mini recreation of our cake for our 1st anniversary! For my mom’s birthday we got the Retro Dot cake with a Vanilla Blackberry flavor. There are endless possibilities with the buttercream collection from colors to sizes and flavors!

Every other delicious treat. This is a loaded section, loaded of sweet, deliciousness. On top of making incredible cakes — KEC also offers a variety of cupcake and macaron flavors, cookie dough, cakesicles, cookies, and chocolate covered oreos. Getting a sleeve of macarons is always a nice party/hostess gift to bring for sampling with friends – or honestly just a date night at home – as you can get a box of 6 or 12! Another reason I like to go into the store to order my cakes is so I can grab a treat or two like a gigantic salted chocolate chip cookie or pick up the newest macaron flavors!

Holiday Menus. We recently took advantage and jumped on the train of ordering off last year’s Thanksgiving menu, and got an incredible spice cake (pictured below, in the middle) to bring home for the family! It was gorgeous, delicious and a fun piece to bring to our family feast. I unfortunately missed out on ordering off the Christmas menu — because you must order fast, as KEC only offers a limited number of orders for the holiday menus. I’m excited to see what she has to offer this year — one benefit of following her on social is getting the latest updates and info on when the menus are going to drop!

Ever since we got our wedding cake from Kelsey Elizabeth, it’s become a sentimental and go-to spot for special occasions and big birthdays — and also has me wanting and planning for our next cake, or another sweet treat! I mean you don’t always need a reason to order a delicious cake right?!

A 60 & Fabulous Airbnb Birthday Party

Today is my mom’s 60th birthday! We were lucky enough to celebrate it earlier in the month with a long weekend away at an airbnb cabin. It was a backup to a cancelled week long trip that was supposed to be with the bigger extended family aka all my mom’s siblings plus a few cousins. So since it was a make-up to something to be much bigger, I wanted to really make sure my mom had a special weekend – celebrating her!

To make this weekend special for my mom’s big 60th birthday, there were a few things I focused on to help bring the birthday party to the cabin in the woods. One of those things was decorations! Luckily, this is a cabin we’ve stayed at before, so I had a pretty good feel for the space and the decorations I wanted to get to decorate the space. The second thing was bringing the people to the party – virtually of course! And lastly was the sweet treats and having a special cake to help make a statement for 60.

Virtual Birthday Wishes. With the world of COVID, things are definitely different — and since this much larger family trip wasn’t happening, I wanted to surprise my mom and bring her well wishes from her family and friends! DISCLAIMER: If anyone has mastered this craft, please comment below with help — but I’m not sure if there is any easy way to reach out to over 40 people asking for them to share a recorded video wish. For some people I reached out via email, Facebook messenger, text messages and Instagram DMs. I gathered videos, pictures and well wishes and even sourced a variety of pictures and memories of mom’s life and put them into an iMovie — it ended up being about a half hour long and was so fun making and even better surprising and watching my mom watch it.

The Decorations. As I mentioned, I knew the space but I also wanted to rein myself in, because I can easily go overboard with everything. So I think I did a pretty good job at keeping it simple! I picked the little theme of ’60 & Fabulous’ and kept on the color theme of gold and white. My big statement was getting oversized gold 6-0 balloons, a party pack that included a large Happy Birthday banner and other fun pieces that could be used throughout the cabin. In order to blow up the balloons at the cabin, I brought a mini helium tank from Michael’s — it was perfect for filling up the balloons. In addition to the birthday decorations, I also made sure to bring a few pieces from home to give it a homey and polished feel like table runners, candle holders, a cake stand, fresh flowers, matching plates and placemats.

Shop My Party Decor: Gold 60 Balloons | 60 & Fabulous Napkins | Gold & White Decor Party Pack | Cake Topper | Made in 1960 Banner (not pictured)

The Sweets! Another super easy way to help create a statement and make your birthday queen feel special is ordering a fancy cake! Of course, I went with our go-to special occasion local cake place; Kelsey Elizabeth Cakes (KEC) — we had our wedding cake done there and ever since, those cakes have held a special place in our hearts and is our go-to. I went with a 6″ Retro Dot buttercream cake, we got the Vanilla Blackberry flavor, and I was also able to pick out the colors, so I picked mom’s favorites! I also ordered a mini Reese’s party cake, because it’s delicious and my dad’s birthday is also in September so we gave him a little treat too! My dad also coordinated getting chocolate peanut butter cupcakes from a local baker near them, Morgy Cakes — he organized everything from the pick-up, to the flavor, to the design — it was so sweet and they were delicious. We made sure to have fun gold glittery 6-0 candles and tall skinny white and gold candles for mom to make an early birthday wish!

Since we were there for almost three nights, we had coordinated our meals between our two households, and had no shortage of food! We also made sure to plan a special dinner for Mom’s official birthday dinner which included steaks and a delicious sweet potato grilled dish (will share recipe!) — we also made a few epic charcuterie boards that served as our dinner at least one of the nights as we listened to music, chatted, played games and drank the nights away. My brother, SIL and niece also made it in for the trip, which I know was extra special for my mom — especially having all of us under one roof, which hasn’t been like that since Thanksgiving!

It was a super fun and exhausting weekend — and I know my mom loved every moment of it and now she gets to have a nice and relaxing day for her actual birthday. Happy Birthday, Mom!

Easy Birthday Inspired Cocktails

Let the birthday fun continue! Whether you’re having a big birthday bash or keeping it low key with a close group of friends, a fun and festive birthday inspired cocktail can be a delicious addition to the celebration! So I did a little research and had some fun experimenting to bring together a few of my favorite things for a tasty treat for these two easy and super cute cocktails.
BirthdayBeverages(3)Sprinkled Cranberry Rum 
Take your rocks glass and have some frosting in a dish, flip your glass upside down and twist the glass in the frosting so the rim is lined with frosting. Then take your vanilla frosted rim and roll in sprinkles to cover! Once your rocks glass rim is lined, add your ice cube ball and get ready to add your beverages. Add a shot of Bacardi Rum and then top off with your pink lite cranberry.

For both of these drinks I was looking for a cranberry mixer, but a lot of them had high sugars and a lot of carbs. I stumbled upon the Ocean Spray Pink Lite Cranberry cans at Target and read the ingredients and was pleasantly surprised and picked up a 6-pack!

Ingredients:
– Bacardi Rum
Ocean Spray Pink Lite Cranberry
– Ice Cube Ball
– Vanilla Frosting (homemade or store bought)
– Sprinkles
BirthdayBeverages(1)Pink Birthday Bubbles
This one is pretty easy, all you need is some bubbles and again lite pink cranberry and your frosting and sprinkles for your champagne flute rim. With frosting your a dish, flip your champagne flute upside down and twist the glass in the frosting so the rim is lined with frosting. Then take your vanilla frosted rim and roll in sprinkles to cover! Once your sprinkle rim is covered – just liking making a mimosas, fill your glass about 75% with you bubbles and then top off with your cranberry. Cheers!

Ingredients:
– Prosecco of your choice, I used Freixenet
Ocean Spray Pink Lite Cranberry
– Vanilla Frosting
– Sprinkles
BirthdayBeverages(2)
The frosted rim is so tasty and a yummy treat to enjoy as you sip or have once your glass is empty. I bought store made frosting, but would love to make my mom’s frosting recipe for this, especially if you’re already making a cake!  Of course the rim would also taste great with just a glass of plain ol’ delicious bubbles 🍾.

Now that you have a festive and fun birthday drink the birthday celebrating can officially commence — Cheers 🎉!

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3 Outfits for 30!

Just like NYE, a fun sparkly outfit to celebrate your milestone birthday is a necessity! In addition to having some sparkle — having a few tasteful and fun themed t-shirts can help with the whole mood of the day. So after doing some online searching for some fun and subtle tees, I fell in love with two different ones. One that plays a little more on the sweet side and another that is a little more rugged especially if you’re not loving your new speed limit sign as much — which is exactly my two sentiments of this birthday sweet and sassy, and let’s just face it, me in general.
Outfitsfor30
Check out to see the few different ways I styled these simple tees up for a nice dinner date or low-key day on the town — and why I love these pieces so much!

Original 1990 Pink Tee. I found this on Etsy and love that there are a variety of years to choose from, I’ll be snagging this for an upcoming 60th birthday celebration happening this summer for a very special lady. These shirts are SO soft and made of nice quality, have a variety of colors to pick from and also can have it be ‘original’ or ‘vintage’ with the year. I ordered a small and it fits great!

Straight Outta 1990 Tee. This was another shirt that once I saw it, I knew I needed to have. It has just the right amount of attitude and fun with a little edge — especially since I’ve been having a love/hate with this upcoming 30th birthday. Styled with jeans and some leopard flats it has a little rock n’ roll flair that I just love too.

Shop my pieces: Pink Original 1990 Tee | Straight Outta 1990 Tee | Sequin Skirt | Trouser Pants | Old Navy Jeans | Cheetah Flats from Target | Similar Katy Perry Heels | Similar Black Suede Heels from Target

Midi Sequin Skirt from Anthropologie. I snagged this gem during their winter sale (it’s still available and discounted by over 70%! It’s a classic piece to have for a fun occasion like this, to be dressy but still play it casual with either one of these tees I snagged. I also can’t wait to dress it up for some upcoming weddings this year!  I ordered a small (usually wear a size 8/10 jeans) and it fits well since I wear it higher on my waist.

High Waisted Trouser Pants. I first showed these in my Fall Amazon Fashion review and love the idea of these high waisted pants styled with the Original 1990 pink tee! Throw on some heels and blazer and you’ve got a classic, yet styled-up outfit for a birthday dinner out on the town and a bit more understated than the glitter skirt!

I also love both of these tees with my go-to Rockstar jeans from Old Navy especially since they’re high waisted and perfect for a tee tuck and either a fun pair of flats or some heels to dress up the entire look a bit.  Can’t wait to rock a few of these outfits this upcoming weekend celebrating the big 3-0!

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Must-Have Birthday Party Decor

With a few of the stress out of the way with my last post, it’s time for all the fun. It may be no surprise to my bee readers that March for me is all about my birthday and St. Patrick’s Day (only because it’s the day after), so that means eating cake, fun party plans and festive decor!  So, continuing on this birthday party train — here are a few finishing touches that are easy and essential for any party celebration and can really help pull in a thoughtful and personalized flair.
PartyEssentials
Balloons. Ok, helium shortage aside — balloons are super fun and can be made affordable with the personalize helium tanks, and also make transporting and decorating easy and convenient to decorate in the party space! Bare minimum, having big gold numbers for the big milestone birthday is an absolute MUST. Ordering those off Amazon can also help save on cost and have the balloons shipped right to your door. Even adding a little bit of helium into balloons so they cover the ceiling with long pretty strings is also a simple yet bold look!

Polaroid Frame & Polaroids. This is another Dollar Store hack! If you grab their foam board, it’s conveniently the same rectangular size as a polaroid — so tracing and cutting out to make it a hand held photo prop is another fun way to make a memorable mark. You can even include a hashtag, date or event title on the bottom for all the pictures! Not feeling crafty? You can order customized ones from Etsy. If you have a polaroid camera, this is another fun way to capture memories and moments in front of a photo wall or all the faces who are helping celebrate!

Festive Centerpieces. As much as I love fresh flowers for parties and events, there are simple and cost effective ways to add a little party flair to dessert tables, centerpieces and food spreads.  Grabbing a bunch of party blowers from the Dollar Store and throwing them into small glass vases from the Dollar Store, is a fun and party festive way to add a little extra flair — and even more perfect if you’re throwing a surprise party!
PartyEssentials(1)Dessert. Whether it’s a fun party cake that represents the birthday bee’s personality and favorite flavors to a tee or custom sugar cookies with fun designs and year dates, having a variety of desserts, favorite snacks (like frosted animal crackers or chocolate covered pretzels) or just a super fancy cake, is a fun way to add another personalized touch while making the birthday bee extra happy. Don’t forget, left overs for breakfast!

A Signature Cocktail. A festive cocktail and even themed party cups is another easy finishing touch that can serve as a conversation starter and fun party favor! Whether the cocktail is a play on the number, or an ode to the birthday bee’s favorite beverage and mixer with a fun garnish, patterned paper straws or golden party umbrellas for a fun birthday beverage!

Simple Photo Collage. Creating a simple photo wall of the birthday bee can be the perfect way to celebrate the big milestone birthday and looking back at all the years before! Using a string and festive clothes pins can be a cute way to display all the pictures, also clipping onto your blind strings is another alternative that can help fill up a space without making away from streamers and other fun party decor!
PartyEssentials(3)Another easy way to help keep yourself on track and also having a cohesive look for your next birthday bash is picking a theme whether it’s a 90’s throwback theme, a color scheme, or a mood you want to invoke — this can help keep you in line for picking all these finishing touches and really make a statement!

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5 Ways to Celebrate 30!

Secret time! I’m turning 30 in under a month. Second secret time, I’m not looking forward to it, but I’m really trying to embrace it, so excuse me as I put on a fake smile and try to embrace it all — and maybe go a little overboard in doing so. If you’re like me and hitting a big milestone this year, but can’t figure out how to celebrate, I’m here to help, with five fun ideas!
5WaystoCelebrate30_beelifeblogGet out of Town. Whether it’s a week long cruise or a weekend trip to a new city to explore sometimes getting out of town is just what the doctor ordered.  A good way to figure out affordable and easy places to get to for a longer weekend trip is looking at nonstop destinations that your airport flies too, finding a VRBO or bouquet hotel, or finding a spot that is drivable – 6-hours would be the max if you’re going for an extended weekend.

Boozy Brunch. If you’re a bee reader, you know I have a strong love for brunch, from the food to the beverages — you really can’t go wrong in my opinion. So instead of ordering a mimosas, order the mimosa kit and the waffles and enjoy the finer brunch things in life. This can be with family, gal pals or even just your number one.

Plan a Spa Day. Whether it’s solo, for a full day of R&R or an afternoon at the spa with your girlfriends — a spa day is a must to celebrate a big milestone birthday and simply relax! So make sure to plan out a day to get the works, from a facial, massage to your nails, this could even be a good gift hint to family or friends.

Night on the Town. If you’re a little more low key, it’s still important to treat yourself and maybe even splurge a bit! Whether it’s rooftop bar drinks, a high-end speakeasy or a nicer dinner spot, grab your core crew, throw on some sparkles and secure a dinner reservation – the best part is you can still be home by 9pm and jump right into those PJs.

Shopping Spree. Another way to celebrate the big day is going on a little shopping spree! If you’re like me, I don’t do a whole lot of clothing shopping out of guilt and other necessities. So, start saving a few extra pennies so you can really splurge and get a few new pieces to celebrate the new decade.

Last, but not least there is one other VERY important piece of any birthday celebration that should never be forgotten is the cake or two. Please never, ever, ever forget the birthday cake or your version of birthday cake. The best part is that after your birthday, you get to eat cake for breakfast, so you’re winning even after the big day. To try and embrace and overcome my 30 anxiety, I will definitely be celebrating with a few of these over the course of my birthday month!

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My Hubby’s Surprise Party & Tips for Planning One

For the last 6-months or so I’ve been planning a surprise party for my hubby, B — this quickly turned into a bit feat as we got closer to the actual surprise date!  You see, I get really excited about presents I pick out, gifts, or surprises – I like to bait people and often can’t wait, just wanting to spill the beans.  Planning this party was definitely a test of that (that I passed!) but was also a bit stressful, yet very exciting!
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So here are a few tips and areas to focus on when planning a surprise party!

Plan a Date.  Since B’s birthday is a few days after Christmas, it often gets looped in with the holiday and overlooked – so I wanted to make sure we avoided the holiday but also wanted it to be close.  Since December tends to be a busy month for everyone I planned over the summer and sent out my digital Save the Dates.  I also picked a Friday night, thinking it’d be easier for me to sneak away on a work day than a regular Saturday.

Location.  This one can be tricky! I initially had the perfect place picked out with an ideal party room – then they closed over the summer.  The options got smaller and I got picker, so the fall back was our house, that way I could control the food, decorations, alcohol, etc.  I just needed to keep the hubby away long enough to get the house decorated and sneak 30-people inside.

Plan the Diversion.  I wracked my brain on this for months, until I finally reached out to MW to help with the diversion – he was all over it and a HUGE help to this all working out!  This started getting planned just a few weeks before, and then initiated with B the week of the party – drinks after work, and then getting back to the house in time for the surprise!

Pick a Theme & Decorate.  To keep a somewhat complex event, simple – I wanted to stick with a classic color scheme of gold, black and white! I kept decorations easy too,  with lots of balloons, big gold number balloons, fun themed thirty banners, some ‘Vintage 1988’ plastic cups, pictures of the birthday boy and a photo booth with polaroids.  Pro-tip: Buy a mini-helium tank, it’s easier and cheaper! 

Food & Drink Favorites.  Since I was hosting, I could pretty much pick whatever for the food and I wanted to make sure to incorporate some of B’s favorite things. To do this, I ordered chips and salsa from his favorite spot picked up dark chocolate pretzels, another favorite!  From a beverage perspective, I made sure there was plenty of B’s favorite Christmas beer – and our friends/families brought plenty of beer options for him too!
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My goal was to plan a surprise party for B to celebrate his upcoming 30th, while keeping it simple and intimate – which isn’t easy to do with big families and lots of friends, but somehow I think I pulled it off! B was DEFINITELY surprised and had no idea, I kept the charade up all day – even though I took a half day and had planning for months.  Another plus of planning so early is I slowly ordered decorations and party supplies throughout the months so I really only needed to worry about the food the week of!

It was fun, but I don’t think I’ll be planning another surprise party anytime soon!

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Weekend Recap – Farms & Firsts

This past weekend has been a busy one, B and I have been little social bees.  It was fun, yet exhausting especially since I am still fighting my summer cold. But I must admit this past weekend has only gotten me more excited for this upcoming weekend – just you wait! Eeeek!

The weekend was officially kicked off with a baseball game Friday night with most of B’s family to celebrate his cousin’s 18th birthday!  It was a perfect night for a game, not to mention it was dollar dog night and Rat Pack fireworks.  And after the hellish end of my work Friday a few cold Miller Lite’s hit the spot.

Saturday morning started with a Girl’s Brunch at A’s house. It was the perfect morning catching up with the girls from my previous job, the girls that are so near and dear to me. Not to mention we were able to see her beautiful house and beautiful farm.  They have chickens, cows, pigs and sheep! It was fun walking around the farm and actually seeing so much of what A has told us about.  It was also great getting some girl time outside of the normal city-scape and quick lunch meet-ups.

Sunday was all about Miss Avery as we celebrated her FIRST birthday, the first of many!  It was a Minnie Mouse theme, with pink all over and it was adorably perfect.  This being my first, first birthday party in my adult life, I wasn’t sure what to expect – honestly I was hoping for a bounce house. Maybe there will be one at her 2nd birthday *smiles* She definitely pulled a diva moment with her smash cake and wanted nothing to do with it. But quickly shaped up in time to open her presents, that-a-girl. She got ridiculously spoiled with adorable outfits, stuffed animals and toys; which I admit we participated in. The summer has been moving quick, so it was good to see B’s family all under one roof.

IMG_5291It was a fun, busy weekend full of family and friends.  This week might be a bit torturous to get through, only because the excitement for Saturday is going to start increasing daily!  No telling. You’ll have to wait and see but I’ll give ya a hint, wedding.

Have a good week!