Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Bridal Shower, Baby Shower and the Littlest Member of the Lamour Family

So once again I know I haven't blogged in a while but so much is going on that along with Jayden it is hard to have a minute to myself to get my thoughts together to blog. So my little Jayden (my little chicken nugget which is what I have been calling him since he has gained some weight:) is now 5 months! He went to the doctor this week and he is almost 16 pounds (the main reason for the chicken nugget name) and 25 inches long. I can't believe that he is that old already. It still feels like I just had him and now here he is vastly approaching 6 months. He even rolled over on his own yesterday! I tried to get him to do it again, but Jayden is Jayden and refused to do so just looked at me and laughed. He is more active now and is up more hours of the day which has caused me to start rearranging my schedule to get things done. Now I have to get up before him or do things when he sleeps because all he wants to do is play. This had definitely caused some serious lack of sleep some days. But I wouldn't change it for the world, because he is my baby and I love him the way he is. I know I will be looking back on these days when he is in school wondering where the time went.

This past weekend Jayden and I made out first trip to New Jersey with my hubby and it was interesting to say the least. I now realize that Jayden does not do well around large groups of strangers. One of my closest friends had her bridal shower on Saturday and I brought Jayden along since my hubby had to work. He was fine on Friday when I stayed at another close friend's house but when we got the hall, Jayden became very clingy and only wanted Mommy. When the shower started he was even worse. He didn't want to go to sleep which after being up for so long he became overly tired and finally conked out. I felt bad for my little man:( He did a little better at the baby shower for my bother's girlfriend (they are expecting their second child together). He had my two cousins to play with but once again he wanted to stay up to see what was going on and eventually passed out again and slept just about the whole ride home (almost three hours!). Now he is back to his regular self; making noise and laughing at everything.

So back to the bridal shower, which came out great! My friend has a great time and she was truly surprised which made me happy because when you are planning something ( or in my case in on the secret) you get upset when they find out what you are planning. The theme fit her perfectly and it was very girlie. As my contribution to the shower, I did a dessert buffet along with a two tier high heeled shoe themed cake. The cake came out really cute, very simple design but reinforced the theme perfectly. The dessert buffet was styled with pink and black linens, strings of pearls and yummy desserts. Pictures will be in another post since we lost the usb cord for our digital camera and am waiting for another one to be shipped. I got lots of compliments on the desserts which make me happy any time people enjoy my creations. The baby shower was the next day in North Jersey so once again Jayden and I had a road trip (not that long since we were already in New Jersey). The shower was at a family member's house of the girlfriend and we coordinated on the agenda for the shower. I picked out the color scheme (brown and blue) which I absolutely love and is so in right now. I also made vanilla bean cupcakes with personalized cupcake picks with her name and her due date on them. I also made edible favors; chocolate baby carriage lollipops and chocolate covered pretzels which my cousins help me put together since Jayden wouldn't let me put him down. My brother and his girlfriend had good time and thats all that really matters. Now is just a matter of waiting for the baby's arrival!

In business news.... the two cakes (the shamrock 1st birthday cake and the 3 tiered camouflage cake) was very successful. I have no pictures unfortunately because my hubby ( my ad-hoc delivery man lol) forgot to take some thinking that I already took pictures before I left for New Jersey. Both of my customers loved their cakes and said they would recommend me! Orders have been light this week, just one, I delivered 4 dozen cupcakes (red velvet, triple vanilla, chocolate raspberry and america's oreo) to a travel agency. No pictures are available because I will be slowly taking pictures of my cupcakes to post on my website so I will be making samples really soon. I am also madly getting ready for a cake tasting/design consultation this weekend for a big birthday party my client is having in August. I also getting ready for the bridal show I am taking part in next month. I also my sister in law's birthday cake coming up in April as well. So I have a lot of designing to do over the next couple of days. I have to realize that clients know they want a cake or cupcakes and even know the flavor the what and the color, but when it comes to design they are pretty much clueless in most cases. I mean I get to be creative but before getting into this business I though that people went in knowing what they wanted.

I will be posting again soon because I have some great news... my first GIVE AWAY in conjunction with the bridal shower give away I am doing next month. Also I have some great promos coming your way for April and May ( I will give you one clue one of them has to do with candy bars!). God Bless!

Saturday, March 13, 2010

It's the Season!

Wedding season is officially here! As a baker this is the season that I love because not only am I contacted for regular cakes ( like birthday cakes) but wedding cakes as well. Tomorrow I have not one wedding cake tasting but two! So if they both go well.. that makes wedding four and five so far! God is definitely good to me! There is no other way I can explain it but its all God, how else can my business take off so fast after I decide that I really want to do this full time since I am home with Jayden. And speaking of the little man, he is getting so big so fast.I can't believe that is he almost 5 months already. It still feels like yesterday some days that I just had him. He is really starting to show his personality now and moving around more, though he still hasn't mastered to roll over yet. He tries to talk all the time and makes lots of noise which is so different because other than crying for the first almost three months he really didn't try to talk or make noise. Getting him to sleep on his own is still a challenge but we are making strides. He will now sleep by himself during naps, but at night he still wants to snuggle up under mommy. And I am such a sucker for my child that I let him. I know once he hits six months I am really going to have to force the issue with him sleeping by himself and being around other people because the last thing I want is for him to develop separation anxiety. It is already a problem some days now when I leave, my husband tells me that he cries for a little bit and gets upset. So we are going to have to think about putting him in daycare even if its only one day a week so he can be around other babies and people.
I am constantly trying to figure out new ways to market my business to its fullest potential to bring in more customers and now I have posted a discount on Google and will be putting it on Facebook for any couple that books a wedding with me between now and April 20th I will be giving a 10% discount on their wedding order and that includes cupcakes and dessert buffets as well as edible favors. This up coming week is going to be interesting because I have a cake tasting on Monday for a birthday cake to be delivered on Saturday in a camouflage theme. So I have come up with this really cute idea. The cake is going to be 3 tiers covered in camouflage fondant. I also will be making chocolate animal figures to place around the cake. I also purchased a hunter and a miniature tent to go on the cake as well. I think once I get it done it will be so cute. The client ordered it for her husband who is an avid hunter so the theme should be perfect. I also have a 1st birthday cake to do next week as well. This is going to be interesting because I am mixing pink with green due to the customer's request to have shamrocks on the cake for St. Patrick's Day. Both of these cakes are due on the same day which my dedicated hubby will have to deliver for me since I will be in New Jersey for my friend's bridal shower and my brothers' girlfriend's baby shower (which I decided to host not really realizing how busy I was going to be). I am also taking Jayden with me and doing some dessert catering so this going to be a jam packed week and weekend. Then I have to get ready when I come back for another tasting on the 27th for a big order. I will tell you more about that next week but it will be exciting because I will using some of my event planning skills.
On the event planning front, I know I announced some entries back that I have decided to add on event planning to my business which I am still going to do just not as soon as I would like to. I think I want to start with some of the smaller aspects of event planning first to get my feet wet and take the course to become certified in event planning before I start doing it full time along with baking. So I will be offering (which is already up on my site) specific event planning services for now like custom place cards and invitations. Also linen coordination and custom centerpieces, the more creative hands on side of the business. I think I will do those kinds of things for the rest of the year and then next year start with smaller events like bridal showers and baby showers and work my way up from there. Because doing a full scale wedding takes a lot of time and effort to make sure it goes off with out any issues plus Jayden will be older and not as needy as he is right now. I have also added some things to the konfection side of the business which just makes sense to me. I have added edible favors which are very popular right now and why not since I do dessert buffets now. The couple I met with last weekend is interested in cake pops as edible favors. I am going to see if the couple coming in tomorrow are interested to. I also will be offering mini cakes, which are cakes but just smaller (4 inch rounds) which are perfect for someone wanting to order a couple of personalized cakes for someone or for an event and they will go perfectly on the dessert buffet menu. They would also look so cute at a wedding, having a traditional wedding cake and then have some smaller cakes or they could even be used as centerpieces. I think by the end of the year, I will have a better handle on my business as far as what works and what doesn't and then I can move forward to build it up and hopefully God willing that  I will have an actual storefront in a couple of years. That is the ultimate goal for me. To be able to have my own bakery storefront that provides a one stop shop for couple looking to plan their weddings and for other looking to have someone not only dessert cater their event but to plan it as well. I think that is an untapped market waiting for someone to fill it and hopefully I am that person. :) So for now Good Night and God Bless.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Oh How I Love Cake Pops!

Before I talk about my love for cake pops, I made a small personal cake for my husbands' friend's birthday. She likes the color blue so I covered her cake in blue fondant with purple so it looked like a swirl pattern. I also added squares on a diagonal with some yellow accent on top of the cake. I liked the way it came out though I would love for it to have been a two or three tier. I will post the pic in a couple of days after his friend gets her cake. On a side note, I got a phone call from a couple looking for a wedding cake today:) but the thing is that they asked me do I do wedding cakes when there is a section dedicated to wedding cakes on my site. The reason being is that there are no wedding cakes on my site. After he said it, I realized that I might not be getting all the phone calls that I could be getting due to the small amount of pictures on my site and the fact that there are no wedding cake pictures on there. So the cake dummies that I was going to use for the bridal show I will be using next week to take some wedding cake pictures so my web designer can put them on my site. I love doing weddings and I want to get as much business as possible. That phone call was a reminder of how much work that I still need to do to my site and my business.

On to my love of cake pops! I would say cake pops have become very fashionable in the world for the past two years. They are showing up everywhere from the average party to grand weddings. So what is so special about a cake pop? I think its because you can have your cake with out the mess of cutting a cake and using a fork to eat with. Cake pops are on a stick so all you do is just bite and enjoy the yummy goodness :) They can be decorated in a variety of ways and the chocolate coating just adds the special touch to make them irresistible. To make them even fancier, you can take them off the stick and now you have cake balls or cake truffles if you want to get really fancy. And you can make them in many different flavor combinations. So in honor of the cake pop, I will be running a special for the next couple of weeks of cake pops! Flavors coming later on today:)

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Light Week

Well so far this week. I only had one cake to do which is somewhat nice so I can work on the house. Every time I have a lot of cake orders, the things I did to do in the house gets behind. So I am able to check up this week :) The one cake order I had was for a sweet sixteen with a twist. She wasn't girlie at all and the mother said that she liked dark colors which really doesn't work when you are dyeing fondant. I told the mother that black fondant does not taste good when she said her daughter liked black. So we decided on purple and a darker green. The color combination looks a little willy wonka ish, if you ask me but hey I do what the clients want. So jazzed it up some swirls because it looked a little sparse. But you are on your worst critic.When I delivered it the dad was so surprised, he said he liked the way it looked.I did like the way the writing came out. My writer's swing is getting better and better. I also bent the wires this time to do something different, next time I think I will use some curled wire and see what happens. Another successful order completed!

I finished my second decorating class today and it felt great because the cake that I did, came out great! I also learned how to make about 7 different flowers using royal icing. This was something I was definitely lacking so now I am increasing my basic cake decorating knowledge which is definitely valuable especially doing wedding cakes. Below is finally class cake I had to make. It is pound cake with vanilla buttercream. The outside is done in a basket weave pattern with a border top and bottom. All of the flowers I did with royal icing. I signed up for the third class tonight before I came home and can't wait til it starts. I am going to learn more difficult flowers and some more borders. I don't get many orders for buttercream covered cakes, but when I do I want to be able to offer them just as many offers as I have with customers ordering cakes in fondant. I have to do another small cake tomorrow for my husband's friend's birthday. So I will posting those pics tomorrow. I also got my second wedding order for May. I want a small cake and a dessert buffet which is going to be fun for me to do because I get to be creative with the tablescape. I am also doing their centerpieces. Now I know that isn't konfection related but I want to get some aspects of event planning under my belt and I figured starting out small like making centerpieces will give me experience and let me be creative as well. She was telling me her idea for a centerpieces and I came up with a better option which she loved. Part 2 of this post coming tomorrow....