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    Inspiring Pretty is a home for all the things in which women find beauty. From raising a family to planning a wedding to finding creative crafts and recipes and everything in between, we are here to share the things we love the most while beautifying your life as well. Read our site biography and our writer biographies in order to find out more about who we are!

Check out Asa’s Mine Craft Birthday Cake!

mine craft cake

You may have seen a few weeks ago that we celebrated Avery’s birthday. It was Asa’s turn this week and he was fortunate enough to the first grandchild to ever get to spend this birthday with his grandparents. As you can imagine, the extra steps to make his feel special (aka spoil him) were taken. He asked certain gifts, he got them. He asked for crab legs, he got his own personal plate…..to eat in front of his brothers, he asked for a mine craft birthday cake, and he got it. The poor kid was running a temperature on birthday, though. He still loved having all the stops pulled out for him, especially with his mine craft birthday cake. Bonnie and our mother made it using jello, rice crispy treats and dark chocolate cake {our favorite chocolate cake recipe is from Smitten Kitchen. You’ll thanks us for it}. She then printed out and folded the Mine Craft characters, because buying plastic cake toppers was ridiculously expensive. Printed though, they look pixelated, which is how they are meant to appear, so it was actually probably the best idea.

Overall, it was a good birthday for the little kid as he turned seven, and now all of the kids have Halloween to look forward to in a few days. It will be their first time trick-or-treating in Colorado. They will be following the same route I have since I was eight years old. I have to admit that I am a little sad that I won’t be there, and a little jealous that they get to go trick-or-treating in my neighborhood while I am stuck in Los Angeles with a midterm on Halloween.


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Awesomely Bad Halloween Photos

There is something about the holidays that makes me think of bad photos. I think it is due to the fact that holidays entail tradition, and tradition means signifies something that has been done for years……and hopefully been captured on film during that time. Sadly, my family does not really have any Halloween photos of us dressed up as kids on Halloween. I don’t know why my parents did not think that would be worth capturing, although I might owe them a thank you for that after perusing some of these photos on Awkward Family Photos. Nonetheless, these photos are nothing short of gems. The awkward memories that you look back on and just say, “oh my gosh…WHYYY?” are the best ones for the whole family {and internet} to enjoy. If you have any bad Halloween photos {or should I say good Halloween photos?} like these, be sure to submit them to Awkward Family Photos! Happy Halloween, everyone!


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The Cocktail Lady - October 25, 2013 - 11:00 pm

These are great! Gave me a good laugh! Have a wonderful weekend!! Cheers =)
The Cocktail Lady recently posted..Whiskey by John LamondMy Profile

Autumn Wedding Cake Inspiration

Autumn makes a lovely setting for weddings, as you have well seen before here and here. It is a challenge though, to create an original cake design that screams fall, but in a stylish way. Fear not, there are many ways to design the perfect autumn wedding cake by simply using the inherent characteristics of the season. After all, the bride and groom chose the season for its traits, no? So, drink in the dark hues and fallen leaves and don’t shy away from the rusticity that is inherent to autumn. To help you do just that, here are a few ways to incorporate the best of the autumn season into your fall wedding cake in stylish ways.

First and foremost, fall is about the change of colors. Hues of red, yellow, orange and brown coalesce to make a beautiful color spectrum from which you can choose your colors.

Flowers are the most traditional cake decoration. To add fall flair, choose fall hues for your flowers. Dark hues are most prevalent and when contrasted with a white wedding cake, they look lovelier than the flowers of any other season.

Autumn is also most known for its connections with leaves. There are many ways to incorporate foliage into your wedding cake, so it can fit many different wedding themes. If you want realistic leaves on your wedding cake, you should also do some research to find your favorite deciduous leaves. To truly get the effect of fall, incorporate leaves that are found around the area of your wedding location. That shows the careful consideration your put into choosing your wedding location and the decor involved in your wedding motif.

There are many other natural elements that fall under the purview of autumn. Pumpkins are the prime plant of autumn and it never gets old. Pumpkins are not just for Halloween. They are timeless and will always stand for the rusticity that is fall, so do not shy away from using them in your wedding design.

If you want a more original wedding cake design, try using lesser common natural features of fall. Chestnuts, acorns, bare twigs, apples and other things along this line are all characteristic of autumn. Birds are another great element as fall marks their departure south. With these elements, you make a very realistic life-like cake or make surrealistic art – which ever fits your wedding theme. These elements can just help guide you in the design.

If you would like to use the colorful features of fall but do not want to add much detail to your cake, just work the colors into the cake layers themselves. Autumn does not have dull colors, so the colorful layers themselves are enough to create a gorgeous wedding cake.

Autumn is also an especially great time for chocolate frosting, fondant and cake. Matching the bare tree branches, the barren dirt and the fallen leaves, brown is a perfect base color for an autumn wedding cake.

Autumn also has an innate homey feeling to it that no other season has. Its charm is full of the simplicity of nature and the country life. For that reason, basic is endearing. Unfrosted cakes fit perfectly into the fall season. The unfussiness is down to earth and homey. Simple decorations such burlap and fruit are perfect cake toppers to complete the rustic feel of an autumn wedding cake.

You can also go for a very cozy atmosphere by using pies instead of a wedding cake. Pumpkin pie and pecan never go out of style.

And above all, incorporate autumn into the wedding cake flavor. Fall has some of the best desserts of the year. Caramel popcorn, caramel apple, apple cider, pumpkin, zucchini, cranberry are just a few of the delicious sweets that are associated with autumn. Just be creative and choose your favorites. It is difficult to go wrong with such delicious options.

Have fun choosing your wedding cake and planning the rest of your wedding!

 

photos @ Style Me Pretty ~ Green Wedding Shoes ~ Pinterest


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Denise - October 27, 2013 - 8:36 am

I’m elementary school teacher and someone just told me about your blog and also “Cooking With Mr. C.” on Facebook, also a blog. He’s an elementary school teacher and chef/actor. I just “Liked” his Facebook page and came to your blog. Very nice !! I love when people share blogs with each other. Denise

Happy Birthday, Avery!

Last night we celebrated Avery’s (Bonnie’s youngest son) fourth birthday! It is mind-blowing to see how so much time has passed so quickly. He had a wonderful birthday full of gifts, family and cake. He received plenty of great gifts – all of which he loved and went ecstatic over.

As the ultimate Donkey Kong fan, Bonnie had to make him a special cake.

And he absolutely loved it.

It is hard to believe that it has been four years since we were last in the hospital waiting with the two older sons (Aiden and Asa) as Bonnie was in the delivery room.

It was four years ago that I received a late night phone call and I rushed to the hospital to sit in that room watching those two boys at 4 AM as they bounced off the walls refusing to sleep as they waited for their brother.

{seriously, bouncing off the walls at 4 AM)

And, it wasn’t until about ten hours later that Avery was born and the entire family got to see him.

And now he has gone from this:

To this:

I feel so old saying this, but how quickly time has flown by! I cannot believe this little guy is now four years old. Happy birthday to Avery! Next up is Asa’s birthday in a few short weeks where he will be seven years old :)


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Stuffed Chocolate Chip Cookies {with Cocoa Almond Spread}

Chocolate Chip Cookies are one of those things that almost everyone loves and they are either awesome or okay. I don’t think its really possible to screw them up completely {unless you burn them to dust I guess} but it is entirely possible to make the most amazing chocolate chip cookies ever. Though I have yet to find the perfect chocolate chip cookie recipe, I did find a great addition to your favorite recipe which begins to get them closer to perfect. What is that addition? Well if you read my title, it’s that little Cocoa Almond part. Yeah the stuffing. Mmmm… stuffed chocolate chip cookies….

When I first saw Nutella stuffed chocolate chip cookies a few months ago I knew I just had to try them. But I’m not a fan of how expensive Nutella usually is.  So, when I was at Trader Joe’s {a primarily Californian market that if you’ve been to it, you’ll never not go there again}I found this:

What I kind of dig is that it’s an almond spread as opposed to hazelnut {which is what Nutella is made with}. This does taste different and I like the almond a lot better. So once I picked it up I thought what the heck, let’s stuff some cookies. Moviestar loves chocolate chip cookies {well really he just loves chocolate… like a lot.} so I figured stuffing those yummy boys with more chocolate couldn’t hurt. Here’s my recipe and few little hints ;)

Cocoa Almond Stuffed Chocolate Chip Cookies

Ingredients

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon of salt
  • 1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter
  • 1 cup packed dark brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla pudding powder
  • 1 tablespoon milk
  • 1 bag of semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 1 jar of Cocoa Almond Spread {or Nutella, if you must…}

First, put your Cocoa Spread in the fridge. It needs to be hard in order to work with it. Then do what you normally do when making cookies and cakes: whisk all the dry ingredients together {flour, baking soda, salt} in a medium bowl and then in a large bowl beat the butter, sugars, eggs and vanilla together. Be careful not to over mix these wet ingredients, just beat them until mixed. Then stir in the vanilla powder and milk until mixed.

Now here’s where you get to use your best judgement {cause baking can be finicky}. If you feel your dough is hard enough to shape, pull out your Cocoa spread and move on. But if you feel it needs some chill time, then cover the dough with plastic wrap and pop it in the fridge for 2 hours or so. When the dough is firm enough, pull it out of fridge and preheat oven to 350.

Now, there are two ways you can stuff the cookies. The first way is how I did it. The second way is how I’ve read overs have done it.

1. Hand roll about 1 1/2 tablespoons of dough into balls, placing on a plate to wait for stuffing. When you have a good amount rolled into balls, use the blunt part of a utensil to pierce a hole in each dough ball, large enough to place your cocoa spread.  Spoon out a small amount of cocoa almond spread and place it inside the hole. Roll dough over the top of the hole to cover it.

2. Hand roll about 1 1/2 tablespoons of dough into balls. Flatten each dough ball into the palm of your hand. Place a small amount of the cocoa almond spread into the center and fold the dough over and around it. Then roll back into a ball.

{*I would try both ways and see which is easiest for you. I know mine sounds complicated but I found the cocoa spread stayed inside easier.}

Then place each cookie on a greased or parchment paper lined baking sheet. Bake for 9-11 minutes or until the edges are browned slightly.

 

 


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Carla - September 25, 2013 - 8:44 pm

Cocoa almond spread sounds so delish! I could imagine doing this now and getting all messy, but that’s what I love about baking! I think I would put the spread in an icing bag and stuff them that way.

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