Archives for January 2012

Tuesday Trend – Vintage Glam for weddings and parties

“Vintage Glam” might not be for everyone, but you have to admit there is a plenty of room for glam in the vintage category!  The “vintage party” concept is a fun trend, and I’ve got some great finds for you, if this is YOUR type of glam.

From The Sweetest Occasion, check out this tutorial on making Vintage Contact Paper banners – perfect for decorating for a vintage wedding theme or birthday party!


Need style ideas for your table and place settings?  Click on over to the Gallery at Style Me Pretty.


From the At RuffledBlog learn out how to create a fabulous Vintage Wallpaper Photo Booth for your wedding reception!

A tutorial so easy, it’s mostly just photo inspiration!  Look at these wonderful vintage votives trimmed with lace, from Annaboo’s House:

There are lots and lots of fabulous cake and cupcake designers out there, but I found one from the UK who really seems to GET the vintage glam idea.  Check out the Cotton and Crumb cupcake gallery HERE. (And be sure to click around the site to see a lot of other amazing dessert and cake designs too!) When you see something (or two or three) that you like – print out the photo and take it to your bakery to replicate!  For a fun and delightful twist – serve your vintage cupcakes in teacups – no crumbs!




Homemade Dark Chocolate Pudding – Another Version!

Homemade Chocolate Pudding Recipe

Early in my marriage I discovered that my husband loves dark chocolate.  And dark chocolate pudding goes straight to the top of the list!  In an earlier post I shared this Homemade Chocolate Pudding Recipe.  It was my favorite version before I found the one featured today.  I really can’t say one is better than the other – just different because of the ingredients.  My original does not include eggs while today’s does.  That makes the texture a bit creamier.

Today’s pudding recipe comes from Cook’s Illustrated magazine although I’ve modified it a bit.  Also – I used Hershey’s Dark Chocolate Cocoa but it certainly isn’t necessary.



Turn to Diva Entertains for fun and fabulous party favors!



New Free Printable Valentine’s Day cards

This week, we added two DIY Valentine printable sets to the DIY DIVA shop.

AND…we’re also giving away our SECOND set of free Valentine printables.  Today’s sets are for the boys, since last week’s Valentine card designs were definitely “girly”.

Aren’t these cute?  Robots and outer space!  The colorful borders make them easy to cut, and the cards come eight to a sheet.  Simply download the PDFs, print them on your printer, cut and use!

You can CLICK HERE to download the Robot cards.

And CLICK HERE to download the Outer Space cards.



Peacock Wedding Theme

One of the hottest trends in wedding themes right now is the Peacock theme…from garters to bouquets… from place settings to wedding gowns… all with rich blues, purples, greens.  If you are looking to add a dazzling display of color to your wedding…consider the peacock!  And you know I have inspiration for you!

From, a gorgeous purples and pink peacock bridal bouquet.

Adorning the back of each chair at your reception with flowers, peacock feathers, and greenery – FAB!

For your peacock wedding cake, there are a LOT of variations to choose from.  As we’ve mentioned in previous posts, if you just love a design, you can print the photo and take it to your bakery to recreate!  From Project Wedding, an incredible peacock cake:

From, another version, with fondant feathers and a rice crispy peacock (rice crispy treats are very easy to shape into forms:):

From Decorate the Cake, a full-blown tutorial in making this WHITE peacock cake.  Isn’t it fabulous?:

What about accessories? Click on over to The Garter Girl to see several lovely peacock garter designs:

From CyberOptix, an array of colorful peacock tie options for the groom and his groomsmen (I’m thinking rehearsal dinner!):

And finally, from our own shop, we have a category devoted to exceptional Peacock Wedding Favors and even “Save the Date” peacock magnets:

Wednesday WOW – Gold Glamorous Wedding Cakes

Nothing says “glam” more than GOLD… and today I have some fabulous Gold Glam wedding cake inspiration for you!  If you find one you love, print it out and take it to your baker to recreate!

From, a layered white and gold wedding cake… gold fondant cake “scales”, glitter dusting, stencils… they are all used on this gilded wedding dessert:

From Martha Stewart weddings, a gorgeous stenciled PINK and gold cake masterpiece.

From Erin Ever After, a fabulous post about Succulents and Gold inspirations for weddings… including one INCREDIBLE golden wedding cake:

And one more from, a gold fondant cake, with lovely matching peony.  Definitely click through on this one because they also showcase 24 other cakes perfect for a glam wedding:

Now, just in case you would like to make your OWN golden cake masterpiece, I found a recipe and tutorial.  From Bake Decorate Celebrate, the Glimmer of Gold cake.  And if cake decorating isn’t your thing, a supermarket bakery should easily, and inexpensively, be able to recreate this cake because the roses and other details are second nature to cake decorators.  Take this picture to the store and ask them to recreate a 6″ inch cake for you so that you can sample before you commit.


Cupcakes for Kids!

It’s time for more cupcakes, and wow, do we have some FUN cupcake designs and recipes for you today!

Perfect for the soccer team, or a soccer-theme birthday, check out these easy-to-make Soccer Cupcakes, from Wilton.  Everything you need to recreate these can be found in the baking aisle of a craft store – don’t forget your coupons.  If the frosting ‘grass’ seems to intimidating, just frost as usual with green tinted frosting – it will still look great!:

Having a Disney-themed party, or celebrating with a Mickey Mouse fan?  You’ll definitely need to try these adorable Mickey Cupcakes from Sweet Tooth.  Made with Oreos, they couldn’t be any cuter… or easier!

A perfect compliment to a Garden party or Tea party, would be these Flower Cupcakes, found!  I would have NEVER thought of using sprinkles and m&m’s to make flowers, but these are SO, SO cute!

Another winner in the Flower/Garden party category are these Mum cupcakes.  Decorating with marshmallows never looked so good (and so easy)!

For the SUPER-STAR, you simply MUST check out these Karaoke Microphone Birthday cupcakes.  They are fab, fab, fab!!  Made with mini ice-cream cones and donut holes… the perfect cupcake choice for your singing or rockin’ kiddo!

Mini donuts, tootsie rolls, and airheads… what a combination!  And they all add up to make these super cute Apple Shaped Cupcakes.  All that’s missing is the WORM!  Of course, those would be easily added… just grab a bag of gummy worms too!

Fresh Orange Dessert – Orange Segmets in Cardamom Syrup with Honey Whipped Cream

Fresh Fruit Desserts

I’m always on the lookout for fresh fruit desserts – especially in the colder months!  This very easy winter dessert recipe showcases oranges when they are in season.  Although the honey whipped cream is a terrific topper for the dish; if you are watching your calories or just don’t want to go through the hassle of making it – the segments alone in the syrup are absolutely delicious and will satisfy your sweet tooth.

If you are new to cooking with cardamom it is sweet, very aromatic, complex and spicy all at once.  It’s one of my favorite spices to bake with;  it’s delicious in all baked apple dishes (pie, turnovers, crumbles, etc.).

This recipe is from the December 2011/Jan 2012 issue of Fine Cooking; their picture below does the dish better justice than mine:)

winter dessert recipes

Orange Segmets in Cardamom Syrup with Honey Whipped Cream  (Serves 4 to 6)

  • 4 large navel oranges, cut into segments
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 tsp. ground cardamom
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 2 tsp. honey

Drain the orange segments in a strainer set over a medium bowl. Set the segments and juice aside.

Put the sugar in a small heavy-duty saucepan over medium heat and cook, stirring often, until melted and light amber in color, 3 to 5 minutes. Take the pan off the heat and whisk in the orange juice. The mixture will bubble and clump; whisk until smooth again. Stir in the cardamom.

Put the orange segments in the juice bowl and add the syrup. Toss well.

In a large bowl, whisk 1 Tbs. of the cream with the honey until smooth. Add the remaining cream and beat with an electric hand mixer on high speed until soft peaks form, 2 to 3 minutes.

Divide the oranges and syrup among serving bowls. Top with the whipped cream.

Mini Cherry-Heart Tarts…and More Valentine Party Bites!

As promised last week…even MORE Valentine Snacks and Valentines Party Food Bites…

Check out these adorable heart Valentine cake pops, and the easy-to-follow recipe from Mel’s Sweet Treats:

While the name isn’t very appealing, but I think the “Valentine’s Day Trash”, from Cooking with K would be a perfect addition to a kid’s Valentine’s Day party (adults too!:

From My Kitchen Addiction, a quick post with EASY instructions for making fab chocolate covered pretzels AND drizzled strawberries.  She explains how to inexpensively and easily recreate the drizzled look that professionals achieve.

AND, one more… a step-by-step tutorial from Big Red Kitchen, with instructions on how to make Chocolate Covered Strawberry Mallow Candies.  Did you get that?  Chocolate Covered Marshallow Candy with pink mallows!. Mmmhmm…yep!  And aren’t they pretty?


And now… a GUEST POST by Ashley, of Kitchen Meets Girl.

Cherry Tarts

Do you feel like you just got all of your Christmas decorations put away, and now the stores are bombarding you with Valentine’s stuff?

Yeah, me too.

In fact, I went into my local craft store last week and they already had out St. Patrick’s Day and Easter decór. Seriously, can’t we just slow down long enough and actually enjoy the season?

And by season, I mean the time of the year you’re encouraged to indulge in copious amounts of chocolate and other candies and treats. Umm, wait a minute, maybe that was the Christmas season? Or maybe it is Easter?  Never-mind, I’ll just keep eating to be on the safe side.

But if you’re feeling a bit overloaded on rich chocolate desserts, or just want something simple and small (read: guilt-free), try these mini cherry-heart tarts. These are perfect for kiddos and adults alike, and are so simple to make. You can certainly make your own filling, but I personally would rather spend the extra time doing a Zumba routine * eating these.

Cherry Tarts 2

Cherry-Heart Tarts


  • 1 can cherry pie filling
  • 1 package refrigerated pie crust (2 crusts)
  • 1 tablespoon milk
  • 1 tablespoon sugar


  1. Preheat oven to 400. Unfold your pie crusts onto a floured work surface. Using a 3″ round cookie cutter (or a small drinking glass), cut out 20 circles. With your remaining dough, use a small heart cutter to cut out 20 hearts. If you don’t have a heart cutter, just use scissors.
  2. Place heart cutouts on a parchment lined baking sheet. Brush dough with milk and lightly sprinkle with sugar. Bake for 7 minutes, or until lightly golden. Cool on wire rack.
  3. Meanwhile, press your dough circles into a mini-muffin tin, fluting the edges. Spoon approximately 1 tablespoon pie filling into each cup.
  4. Bake for 15 minutes or until crust is golden and filling is bubbling. Cool tarts in pans for 5 minutes; then remove to wire rack to cool completely. Place a small heart cutout in the center of each tart.


* “Doing” a Zumba routine = shaking the Wii remote frantically in a desperate attempt to finish the song before collapsing face-first.


Ashley is a full-time working outside the home mama to a busy 4-year old boy, and writes about her kitchen successes–and messes–on her blog Kitchen Meets Girl.  She enjoys spending her free time watching football with her husband and making more baked goodies than is good for her waist-line. She daydreams about coming home to a spotless house cleaned by a professional cleaning service, with steaming hot meals prepared by her own personal chef.  But because she wants her son to grow up healthy and nourished by good, wholesome food, she learned to cook.  And discovered she is living proof that anyone–absolutely anyone–can be successful in the kitchen. 



New in the DIY Diva Shop – Mini Valentines! AND FREE Valentines Day Printables!

Brand new to the DIY Diva shop are Valentine’s Day mini cards!

These are wallet-size photo cards WITH envelopes – perfect for parties, friends and family!

Click HERE to see all of our samples… and if you don’t see a sample that works for you, don’t worry….we offer CUSTOM design, to match your photos!

And, first in a series of Valentine’s Day freebies we’ll be bringing over the next couple of weeks… we have FREE printable Valentine’s Day Cards!

Simply download the PDF, print on your printer, cut and use!


You can CLICK HERE to download the Snowgirl Valentine.

Click HERE to download the “Tweet-heart” Valentine.


Special thanks to for the graphics used in the free cards!

Princess Parties…with a twist!

Yes, I’m still planning a Princess Birthday Party (Fairy Ballerina Princess, to be exact)… and yes, I’m still on the lookout for fabulous Princess party ideas.  A couple of weeks ago, I found a really fun “Princess and the Pea” party, and that started me off on a path of “quirky” Princess parties… or Princess Parties with a twist!

Click HERE to check out the super fab Princess and the Pea party, found the Hostessblog.  Make sure you scroll down to read all of the party details so that you can recreate it!

One of the newer Disney Princesses is Tiana… from the Princess and the Frog.  Now, I know she is a DISNEY princess, after all… but I think the movie was unique and the concept of a Tiana Princess and the Frog party is unique too!  Check out the wonderful write-up about a baking party with this Princess/Frog theme, from Kara’s Party Ideas.  She even includes tutorials on how to make the fabulous flower poms and cupcake liner poms she features.  Easy, inexpensive and fabulous!

Obviously, this is a really good idea… I found another absolutely GORGEOUS party write-up about another Princess and the Frog party.  This one has a “bayou-esque” feel to it (according to the party hostess), and I am just in love with the decorations, the cake… well, all of it… from Kiki’s List:

And.. one more party with a twist… a LEOPARD Princess Party.  From A to Zebra Celebrations, a party with leopard and princess combined!  This party had it all – cookies, cupcakes, dipped strawberries, embellished favors (to take home), spa favors… and so much more!  Once again – scroll down to the end of the page to see how it is done!

Our Leopard Print Favor Boxes would have gone perfectly with the Leopard Princess party!

So totally Princess… (and Diva!)… with a twist!