Paris Cake Topper and Confetti

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Paris Cake Topper and Confetti

Paris is without a doubt one of my favorite cities to visit. Paul and I traveled to Paris last October for a wedding and it was honestly one of the most magical trips I’ve been on. However, had I had this illustrated travel guide, “Paris in Stride: An Insider’s Walking Guide”, I’m positive my trip would have been even more wonderful! Written by Jessie Kanelos Weiner and Sarah Moroz, two passionate ex-pats who give you an insider’s scoop on the best things to see, eat, do, and experience in their adopted city! The best part about this book is the dreamy watercolor illustrations. It’s full of detailed walking maps, sites, restaurants and so much more by Jessie Kanelos Weiner! We wanted to give you a taste of her beautiful artwork so we’re offering the most charming Paris Cake Topper and Confetti, illustrated by Jessie herself, for your next soiree!

Download the free templates today!

Pineapple pink lemonade popsicle

Pineapple pink lemonade popsicles

You might remember Trisha Zemp from the stellar photos she’s been taking for me for the past year and a half. Well, Trisha recently bought 1,000 popsicle sticks (1,000 was cheaper than 100!) and she’s proclaimed this summer the #Summerof1000Popsicles. This is something I can get behind, folks. Clearly. She’s kicked if off with a few recipes on her Instagram a few weeks ago but now is going gung ho and popsicling until they run out! For this first set of 8 popsicles, we’ve collaborated to create something you will not be surprised about, #PopsicleTheRainbow. Based on #CraftTheRainbow and #LetterTheRainbow, #PopsicleTheRainbow is all about creating a rainbow of tried and true popsicle flavors.

We’ll be posting the recipes here on the blog, but join us on Instagram (and Trisha’s here) for some beautiful rainbow popsicles as well! And if you make some, be sure to tag them with #Summerof1000Popsicles or #PopsicleTheRainbow.

See you there and see below for the full recipe!

Photography by Trisha Zemp  |  Styling by Brittany Jepsen

“The Birds” Cake Topper

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"The Birds" Cake TopperIt’s mid-September already which means we’re knee-deep in Halloween crafts and costumes! Halloween is one of my favorite holidays because it’s a chance to embrace all things spooky and moody and even a little bit creepy, which I love. This may be a bit surprising to many of you, but it’s not always rainbows and flowers over here! So to kick off our Halloween posts this year we have “The Birds” cake topper, inspired, of course, by Alfred Hitchcock’s famous thriller. If you haven’t seen it, it’s a great “scary movie.” It is more suspenseful than anything and appropriate for all tolerance levels (I’m a bit of a wimp). Fun Fact: It was selected for preservation in the National Film Registry of the United States Library of Congress in 2016. So yes, it’s worth a watch!

"The Birds" Cake Topper with svg files for cricut

Lucky for you, these birds won’t attack you when you go in to slice the cake. However, they do make a stunning centerpiece for a Halloween party! A really simple DIY, made even easier if you have a die-cut machine. We chose to pair our birds with a red velvet cake frosted with black icing to up the creepy factor a bit. They’d also make great cupcake toppers for a party if you nestled two or three birds on top. So bookmark this for your next spooky soiree and let “The Birds” cake topper take flight!

Download “The Birds” templates and get baking!

Heart, hands, eyes, lips Galentine’s Day party

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Galentine's Day brunch with Joss and Main

And…it’s finally here! After over a month of sneak peeks and project reveals, our Heart, Hands, Eyes, Lips party in collaboration with Joss and Main is up to celebrate our 7 day sale. Take a lookie to see the products we used to create this Galentine’s Day brunch.

Coming up with a party idea for Valentine’s Day based on their products was easy squeezy especially when I saw…
Flower tea pot

…this puppy:

A red lips sofa.Galentine's Day party

It reminded me of when we visited the Salvador Dali museum in Spain on our honeymoon. One of my favorite rooms in the museum is the Mae West room which features a 3D living room with furniture aligned to form the shape of the famed actress’s face including a wood and satin sofa in the shape of lips. When you stand at the right spot in the room the eyes, lips, mouth, and nose all line up. The man was a kook.

BUT! It provides great inspiration for a surrealist-inspired Galentine’s Day party. Especially one that focuses on all the ways we show our love: through our heart, hands eyes, and lips, of course! Each part of the party reflects it from the eyeball drink stirrers to the shaped cookies.  Galentine's Day party

Check out all the fun details below with links to the tutorials! 

Birthday pancake cake

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A pancake cake. I know, I know “but the calories, the sugar…”, SNOOZE FEST! It’s a PAN and it’s a CAKE! A pancake cake! And it’s delicious, which these days is my hashtag 1 requirement. Can you imagine anything more scrumptious to arrive to than a pancake cake surprise awaiting the birthday boy/girl?

Photography by Laura Sumrak
baking by ME Hammond

Check out more birthday projects here
And more delicious recipes here

See the full recipe below

Birthday Cake Pancake Batter:

1 1/2 c. flour
3/4 c. funfetti cake mix (yellow cake mix also works great)
1 t. baking powder
1 T. sugar
2 eggs
2 t. vanilla extract
3/4 c. milk
pinch of salt
Sprinkles

1. Mix together dry ingredients
2. Add eggs, vanilla, and milk to dry ingredients (whisk well, try to avoid clumps)
3. Fry pancakes in a medium high griddle
4. Top with syrup and sprinkles
5. Eat up!

Donut Flower Bouquet

Donut Flower Bouquet
Did you know that National Donut Day is June 2nd? There is absolutely no other way to celebrate Donut Day than by eating donuts. Let’s hold each other accountable, shall we? Not that we really need an excuse to eat donuts, but it does ease my conscience a bit I get to blame a national holiday for the calories.

To celebrate Donut Day properly, you need something special. These are not just your typical trendy bakery donuts. I’m looking at you maple bacon donut. No, Sir, not for National Donut Day. This is a Donut Flower Bouquet!

Donut Flower Bouquet

Move over cake pops, we’ve transformed donuts into a bouquet that will give fresh flowers a fun for their money—two of our favorite things combined into one. Take store-bought mini donuts, slide on our paper flower template, stick on a skewer and you’re set. We’re confident semi-homemade queen, Sandra Lee, would be proud. These make great party favors, handouts, or a sweet gift. Gift them individually or fill a bakery box with an entire bouquet. Happy National Donut Day!

Continue to download the petal and leaf templates

Pineapple boat with sorbet

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And to close off the season of sorbet, I present to you a pineapple boat. Kandyce came up with this fun idea. When she was little she would spend vacations in Palm Springs. At their favorite Japanese restaurant they were given a pineapple boat for their birthday chock full of ice cream and topped with loads of sugared accessories. She decided to make one for you in a slightly more healthy version. Just carve out the pineapple and add in the scoops and top it off with some of your favorite goodies.
And to recap, here are the sorbet flavors we shared from July’s National Ice Cream Month.

 Pineapple sorbet with chamomile and lemon

 Kiwi Mint lime sorbet

all photography by Laura Sumrak
recipes by Kandyce Carroll of Ramblin Rose Cafe 
styling by Brittany Jepsen

Lingering summer feast

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This post is sponsored by Crate and Barrel. All content and opinions expressed here are my own.

lingering summer feast with Crate and Barrel and The House That Lars Built

The sun has come to mean much more to me after living in Scandinavia where the winters last for so long. I find myself soaking it the last rays of summer for as long as I can before it goes into it’s annual hibernation. You just don’t know when it will resurface again and every year I’m certain it just won’t return. Three years of living in near permanent cold will do that to you.open faced sandwiches on Crate and Barrel copper tray

This year we’re throwing an Lingering Summer feast to celebrate the lingering summer with some gorgeous new copper pieces from Crate and Barrel, one of my go-to places for beautiful home decor and entertaining pieces.

Cantaloupe hibiscus sorbet

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In honor of National Ice Cream Month here in the states, I’m doing a series of delicious, healthy sorbets with Kandyce Caroll of Ramblin Rose Cafe. So far we’ve covered a strawberry rose sorbet, kiwi mint lime sorbet and now up cantaloupe hibiscus sorbet. It’s so easy and perfect for snacking.
Click below for full recipe!

Green apple popsicles

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Green apple popsicle

And we’re back with more popsicles from my collaboration with popsicle master, Trisha Zemp, and her quest to make 1000 popsicles this summer. Today, it’s green apple and I dare say it might be my favorite. See the full recipe below!

Paper Quilled Flower Cake

Paper Quilled Flower

I have been absolutely enthralled with Anthropologie’s recent window displays for spring. Do you know that each Anthropologie has its own store artist and display coordinator? For each new window display, the stores are all given a common theme which they can then interpret in a unique way. For this season it was paper quilled flowers, and the results are breathtaking! If you haven’t been to your local Anthropologie, run, don’t walk! You can also look up #anthrowindows on Instagram to see the variety. One of my personal favorites is this pink and orange beauty at the Greensboro, North Carolina Anthropologie. The colors are pure magic and I love the combination of quilling with more traditional paper flower techniques. I don’t know about you, but paper quilling hasn’t really been my cup of tea. Yet, in small doses, it can be lovely!

We used their gorgeous window display as inspiration for this cake topper. We made small paper quilled orange blooms and paired them with some paper kumquat branches. *We’ll be posting a tutorial for the paper kumquat branches soon, but in the meantime, we would suggest using real kumquats! Quilling can be very intricate and complicated but we made simple, delicate flowers to adorn our cake. This cake would be perfect for upcoming spring bridal or baby showers and birthdays!

How-to after the jump!

Becoming: Luna Ellis of Arlos Cookies

Have you ever seen edible artwork? That’s exactly what Luna of Arlo’s Cookies creates. Delectable, bite sized pieces of art, in cookie form! Growing up on a little island off the coast of Belize, Luna uses her love of color from her homeland and her current love of design, textiles and plants as her daily cookie inspiration. You can find her spending time with her family, enjoying the great outdoors, and dreaming up her next cookie design at her home in Utah.

Becoming Luna Ellis

What do you consider yourself? Example: Artist, designer, illustrator, maker, business person, educator, etc.?

Oh man, I feel like a hybrid of all of these! I grew up as an artist, had a career in design, I’m also a current business owner and educator! What I love most about what I do is that I get to be all of these things!

Bohemian-style cookies decorated as hearts, stars, moons, cactuses, macrame hangings, and pendant with names.

What did you dream of becoming when you were younger?

I really wanted to become a doctor, then when I realized how much school that was I designed to go the design route. 😉

Where did you grow up? Are there aspects of your childhood that have influenced what you do now?

I grew up on a teeny tiny (like realllly small) island off the coast of Belize called Caye Caulker. I had an amazing, free living childhood. Actually the bright Caribbean colors are what made me first fall in love with design and influenced a lot of my work when I was in design school.

Decorated pink parrot cookie surrounded by green leaf cookies.

What is one skill you wished you learned when you were younger?

How to be more out-going. Can that be taught?! Or public speaking.

What is a piece of advice that you have carried with you and who is it from?

Go with the flow. Don’t stress over the small stuff and always remember what is really important to you in life, whatever that may be. I have so many influential women in my life and pieces of this advice are from all of them in one way or another. 

What is your educational background and how has it shaped or changed your current career?

I went to school for visual communications with an emphasis on design. So I always knew that one way or another I want and need to be doing something creative. 

What sparked your interest in baking? What attracted you to this field?

I made a super hard decision to leave my career behind and stay home with my son, Arlo. Once day I was browsing Pinterest for 1st birthday ideas and came across decorated cookies! I looked at them and thought “I can do that” and I did! I became instantly hooked. 

Decorated cookies in the shapes of dinosaurs, party hats, and pendants with the name "Arlo" arranged in a flat lay.

What are three words to describe your style?

Calm, Modern, Feminine.

What inspired you to take your baking and designs to the next level?

Shortly after started I quickly realized that decorating cookies was filling a void in me. I always had some part of design in my life from my line of work in digital marketing to my hobby of hyper realism portrait drawing. For a whole year I was doing nothing, and then I just clicked with this (as weird as it sounds). It’s like I still have the digital design that I love (when planning out sets) and the hands on creative work in the decorating that I loved about drawing. 

Christmas-themed decorated cookies. They're shaped like houses, presents, a wreath, a stocking, Santa Claus, and ornaments.

Is there a person who has been influential in your chosen career path? 

This is a hard question, because I feel so lucky and blessed to have so many encouraging people in my life and have made so many “cookier” friends over the past two years. But if I had to just choose one person I would choose the owner of Brighton Cutters, Amanda. I connected with her early on in my cookie journey and from day 1 she has always been so encouraging and supportive. 

What is one piece of work that you are especially proud of and why?

I honestly love ALL of my cookies and each set because my new favorite. There are a few pieces that I’m really proud of though! One is a cookie based off of Gia Graham’s work. She’s an illustrator/letterer/designer and the piece says “There’s room for all of us.” I just love the meaning behind it so much. 

A square cookie decorated with pink and green flowers and decorative text reading "there's room for all of us"

Where do you find inspiration for new creations? 

Everyday life! I’m constantly taking photos for inspiration of things I see. Textiles, wildflower fields,  home decor, the list goes on! Sometimes if I’m having a hard time planning something out, I’ll just bake my cookies, mix up the icing & colors and start decorating with no plan and let my creative mind take over. 

What artists and creatives do you look up to, both historical and present?

Oh man.. where do I even start? I love Amber Davenport, her use of bright colors gives me all the tropical feels which just brings back so many great childhood memories. I love Megan Warne from Downtown Dough T.O. She’s an amazing, supportive, kind human and a fellow cookie decorator & designer who lives in Canada! Also my mom, Cindy Novelo, who is a musician, yogi, and life coach. I could literally go on all day!

Hyperrealistically painted cookies featuring a dog.

What books, movies, shows, or music are making you excited these days?

I don’t even know if my music is in these days, but depending on my mood you can find me listening to bluegrass, folk/indie or reggae 😀 

What is the most challenging part of your work? How have you, or how do you, overcome those challenges?

Honestly, working too much. I love what I do so much that I’ve found myself just ignoring all other parts of my life and only focusing on Arlos Cookies. Being a business owner and a mama is hard! When this starts to happen I literally just will sit by myself and talk—yup, talk! I’ll remind myself what’s most important to me right now, which #1 always is Arlo and spending time with him because these years go way too fast! Then I’ll set goals for myself, like stop working by 4 pm. If I am working and Arlo asks to play, it helps to take a break and play! When my work life and real life are balanced, I find that my anxiety and stress go way down. So if I ever find myself super overwhelmed I’ll reevaluate my schedule and goals!

A little boy blows out three candles on a birthday cake. There are cookies decorated with dinosaurs on a plate next to him.

What are some stereotypes of your job that you wish to break?

“Cookies should be cheap.” Cookie artists are making edible art, not large batch chocolate chip cookies! They take hours and hours and lots of planning!

Nobody likes to talk about it, but can you share any advice regarding financing your business?

I feel like I’m still learning every day! As far as selling cookies go – charge your worth! A rule I live by is once I’m turning away too many orders because my schedule is full, that means it’s time for me to up my prices! I started at $4/cookie two years ago and now charge $18-22/cookie. Again, it’s not just any cookie, it’s literally edible art!

A collaboration between Arlos and Lars! Colorful geometric and floral patterns on ornament-shaped cookies.

How do you deal with negativity, stress, and/or anxiety?

Disengage from social media, go on a hike, or hug Arlo!

What is your workspace like? Has it changed at all since the beginning of the pandemic last year? 

I started out working at home. I took over our kitchen table and our house and life started getting over-crowded with all things cookie making. Now I have my own little cookie space near downtown SLC where I can escape to, clear my mind and be creative! 

How do your surroundings influence your work?

I need somewhere calm, quiet, and clutter free or my creative mind just shuts down!

A bohemian-themed room where Luna makes many of her creations.

Describe some habits that keep you motivated and productive.

Lists! Also important to me are going for a walk and realizing when I need to take a break! 

What is a typical day like for you? 

Lately, I’ve been waking up and getting in a walk or workout. Then I sit and enjoy some coffee—hopefully all before Arlo wakes up! Then we’ll have a little play time before heading to the kitchen to bake, make icing etc. 

Then we play some more, go on a bike ride, and have lunch! Arlo gets to pack a bag and he knows he can fill it with toys. Whatever fits he gets to bring to my studio. He’s the sweetest and will sit and play while I get some decorating work in!

Some days I have all to myself and these are usually my busy decorating days where I’m sitting at my desk decorating cookies from what feels like sun up to sun down. 

Five cactus-shaped cookies in various shades of green.

How has social media influenced your work?

Without social media there would be no Arlos Cookies! Arlos Cookies first started out as an Instagram page that I created to share my cookie work so that I didn’t annoy friends/family with the constant cookie pictures. And now, thanks to Arlos Cookies’ growth on social media, I was able to turn this from hobby to business!   

How do you make social connections in the creative realm?

I have to go back to Instagram again and thank this platform for all of my social connections I currently have. I’ve met so many creatives on social media that I would not have been able to connect with without Instagram!

Do you have a secret talent? What is one skill that you are working on?

Hmm, I like to knit! But I haven’t knitted since I took up cookie making. I was by no means great at it, but I loved doing it! And also drawing! A few years back I had the opportunity to take an intensive, week-long workshop with German artist Dirk Dzimirsky. If you don’t know who he is you have to check out his work!

Cookies decorated with floral line drawings and the King St. Vodka logo

What advice would you give to someone who wants to self-teach a new hobby or skill?

Just go for it! If you love what you’re doing, passionate and true to yourself success will come!

What do you hope to accomplish within the next 10 years?

Educate more! I have lots of dreams as far as educating and teaching others and I hope to one day make them all a reality!

Is there anything more you would like to “become?” 

I think about this a lot actually. Maybe one day I’ll go back to school, learn more. Maybe become a nurse?!

Decorated cookies on a glass coffee table.

More inspiration!

Can’t get enough of Luna and Arlos Cookies? Neither can we! Check out Luna’s instagram @arloscookies and her website here.

If you love these Becoming interviews as much as we do, you can find more here! We’ve interviewed so many amazing women, and every time we feel so inspired and wowed by their lives and trajectories. If you have someone in mind that you’d love for us to interview, let us know in the comments!