Make It: Red Velvet Skull Cakes

Every year, I find myself browsing the Williams-Sonoma fall catalog and lusting after their awesome seasonal products. I couldn't pass on this super cool mini skull cake pan this time around — they're the perfect serving size for a party, and can be decorated differently or made with a variety of mixes to create a range of effects!

I used a boxed red velvet mix for the cake, and whipped up a batch of buttercream for piping the details on – this is the recipe I follow. I would also love to try filling the cakes next time – maybe from the bottom – to add a bit to the frosting/cake ratio (in my opinion you can never have too much frosting)! These would also be great as a molten cake with a ganache filling, as seen here. It's like chocolate cool for Halloween.

I was going for a linework/doodle look, so I used a #3 round piping tip to create fine lines—you could also use a rose tip to create flowers or roses as accents, or tint your frosting with food coloring. Their website also suggests doing a light glaze or just dusting them with confectioner's sugar. Lots of possibilities! I'm definitely going to have a lot of fun with these, beyond Halloween—skulls are always a good idea ;)

Free Printable Valentines

Happy Monday – and February, everyone!

Hope you've all recovered from your Super Bowl comas, and are ready for dessert! Valentine dessert, that is. The season of love is the season of sweets – so, it's kind of my favorite. To spread the love, I have some free printable Valentines for you. So save your money for candy – all you have to do is hit print and cut them out! 

These are perfect for friends or family, and can nicely accompany whatever treats you're giving out at work or school. The printable file is letter sized, and each Valentine is single-sided and fits an A2 envelope (about 3.75x5"). I recommend printing on a white or cream cardstock for best results. Click the link below to download the file, and be sure to let me know if you run into download or print issues. ENJOY, feel free to share, and have a lovely Monday!
Click here to download the printable file.

Happy 2014!

Happy New Year, everyone! Who's excited for a fresh start? Even though 2013 was a great year, I'm still relishing in the excitement of a clean slate. I think many great things are to come.

I don't make resolutions for the year, per se, but I do take time to set some goals that are achievable on a daily or weekly basis. I've found that those small promises are easier to keep and lead to more long-term lifestyle changes, which are really more effective in the long run. For example, I had a vague goal last year to get in shape (who doesn't) and I promised myself I would hit up a class once a week. When I started, I ended up loving my new routine so much that I couldn't live without several yoga or barre classes per week. It just became a part of me and I didn't feel healthy and "me" without it. That's when I knew this change was for good. I'm proud of how my lifestyle has improved and am excited to keep it up, and reach even higher, this upcoming year.

I would love to know if you have your own secrets about fulfilling resolutions. Did you make some this year, and how do you plan on tackling them?

Christmas Card Outtakes

Hello again, Monday. You are usually not my friend, but since we're in holiday-countdown mode, I'll be nice.

Our Christmas cards were made and sent last week, and picking just one photo was pretty impossible. I guess we could have sent out a couple designs, but I'm an uncomplicated girl and that just seemed unnecessary. So here are some of our favorites and a few outtake shots from our little shoot with my talented pal Jenna Hunger. I'm still totally obsessed with Jim's red + navy plaid — a little more unexpected but still so perfectly Christmasy. 

Getting a dog to smile and say cheese requires a three-ring circus of treats and squeaky toys, but we finally got the right shot of the three of us.

So this was the winner. Thank you, Cooper, for finally understanding what I mean when I say "vogue!" (just kidding).

Hope you guys have a short week ahead, full of gift wrapping and cookie baking! I'll be back on Wednesday with my go-to Christmas cookie recipes. You won't want to miss every delicious bite!

Holiday Ornaments

Happy {Cyber} Monday everyone!

I am trying not to get overwhelmed by holiday deals, but can I help myself when a 50% off sale is happening? But I digress...

Now that the turkey and stuffing has settled, it's totally time for Christmas mode. We put our tree up on Friday and didn't waste any time decorating—I've never decorated so early, but I think having Thanksgiving so late made me ready to move on to the holiday season.

I'm happy to have a collection of hand-painted ornaments up in the shop, as well as on display in Made in the 216. They're all delightfully simple and have gold metallic details—and the monograms especially make for a great gift topper. I plan on using them to personalize gifts for friends.

 Have you started shopping and decorating yet? Are you totally feeling the holiday love this year?

Made in the 216 Holiday Shoppe

It's that time of year again!

The ever-fabulous Made in the 216 Holiday Shoppe launches with a bang this Friday, the 29th and runs until Christmas Eve. If you're interested in more local-focused Black Friday shopping, then head to Room Service for some handmade goods, a hot toddy, and some sweets!

I'm thrilled to have some prints and handmade ornaments in this year's shoppe. This event is not to be missed!

More details below - hope to see you all there!

Target Holiday: Cozy Luxe

Our pumpkins were practically still lit when Target came out with their holiday decor collections, which always seems too abrupt, but their decor for holiday is absolutely killing it (per usual) so I don't even mind. I'm so on board.

 I love decorating for the holidays but I like to keep it subtle. Anything I buy has to be flexible enough that it could pass as everyday decor (besides our Christmas tree, of course). Typically I keep things neutral and just add a lot of sparkle and metallics, which is why these Target finds are getting me right into the holiday spirit. Affordable and chic—there's really nothing better.

Have you started to decorate yet? I wanted to keep my pumpkins and wheat up until Thanksgiving, but I'm not sure I can wait much longer for Christmas to move in!

Happy Halloween

Happy Halloween everyone! I'm looking forward to a night of hard cider and Trick-or-Treating at the house. All of our neighbors come out and I love seeing all of the kids' cute costumes. I seriously look forward to Halloween all year! I'm a dork.

Hope you all have something fun planned, or at least have some treats to enjoy tonight. I've been eating so much candy corn lately that it's showing up in my doodles—so I went ahead and channeled my craving into this pattern.

Happy haunting!