Monday, October 31, 2011

Did you say Cake?

I told you guys that I would be posting a little more and little wider than just wedding planning. So I just wanted to share with you one of my new hobbies.
I discovered that I was getting increasingly interested in cake decorating, mainly watching these amazing bakers on "Ace of Cakes" and similar shows on TLC. Not sure how I started googling cake decorating, and there I was watching youtube instructional videos, and reading all sorts of material cake related.

I then started longing for the perfect opportunity to give it a try. After a few weeks of reading and learning, mainly practicing in my mind, I decided to challenged myself and make an engagement party cake. Thing is, I didn't say a word to anyone until the day before the actual party, when I was one step away from being done with the cake.

I decided to make a 3-tier pink and purple cake, with the top tier shaped as a heart. I made the fondant 2 days before, baked the cake the evening before, and assembled and decorated it the day of. I woke up that morning very excited, not knowing whether I would need to throw the whole thing away or if it would look like something that was worth being displayed and eaten at such an important party. Then I just thought to myself I was crazy to even attempt such a thing. Why did I not start by making a smaller cake and tried my hand at decorating in a simple and easy way?

When I had shared my idea with my husband, he himself did not believe I would be able to make it and he lovingly said "I have to see it to believe it". He thought I would chicken out. And my sisters and aunties just laughed at me... that is until they saw this:

Yup!!! I did it!!! It really was a working progress as in, a mess the whole time, especially in my head, as my ideas and my inspiration were constantly changing. I wasn't sure what the end result would be and really, the colors and the shape of the cake as well as the details of the decoration took their final shape when I was done with it!! It was a huge success especially because it was a surprise gift. 
I have now decided to let friends and family now that this is what I do and I am willing to make free cakes (as long they pay for the price of the ingredients) so that I get a real opportunity to practice the skills I am slowly learning, until I get confident enough to maybe... sell? Who knows...

For details, it was a red velvet, yellow and chocolate fondant cake with vanilla buttercream icing. It was surprisingly and absolutely delicious. 
The cake is far from perfect but me thinks it looks pretty good for a first time. Don't you think??

This was made about a month ago, since then I have made another cake, this past weekend for my auntie's birthday, I'll share pictures with you in another post! Before that, here are a few more pics of my baby cake.

the cake (viewed from the back) chilling in the fridge, waiting to get picked up!

The front part of the cake

the heart-shaped top tier with a beautiful purple bow

the back of the cake (a friend said the top looked like boobs 0 _ o  )

Adding finishing touches after transferring it from the turntable.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

My Bridal Outfit

 Hello guys!!!

 Here is the post I promised on my wedding outfits. But before I get started with that, I thought I would share with you guys that I decided to blog on more than just wedding planning.

Initially when I started this blog, it was mainly for me to be able to document my progress and share tips and money saving tricks on planning a simple African wedding on a budget. I thought it could be useful for somebody out there and that maybe it could serve as a platform to communicate with other women who have been through or are preparing to go through that.

With time I'm realizing that I would not know what other purpose my blog would serve once I'm done covering the wedding planning. The other thing is that I loooove writing, and although my husband had been suggesting for quite a while that I start blogging, I just did not know how to start writing to an unsoliciting and invisible audience.
Having spent a couple months on Blogsville and following many blogs has allowed me to enter a world where people are sooo the image of one another, funny, caring, passionate, generous, talented, and soooo different yet very similar to me They sound sooo much like people around me in real life!! They follow each other, encourage one another, visit each other's blogs and comment on them, they suggest, they cheer up; Blogsville seems like an interesting place to be especially when like me, you like to keep to yourself, and you don't have a long list of close friends.

Anyways, I'm quite happy to be making this little change. I feel like I will have tons of things to say about any and everything and that might make me come back and post more often.

Alright so now back to my wedding outfits. As you may know from my wedding inspiration post, my main outfit was going to be royal blue and gold.
Here is a better picture of the fabric.

I ended up opting for a long mermaid style skirt that was designed and sewn by my amazing tailor. She's a very nice and caring lady from Ivory Coast (where I grew up). Her rates are very very affordable, and if you live in the Washington DC area and would like to have her info, I'll be more than happy to share it with you. She made all of our outfits, my husband's and mine, as well as some of my in-law's and the uniformed outfits for the women of my family.

Here is the skirt.

This is the fabric that I found for what would the top. It's light goldish with some shade of silver. I love that it is not too "bling bling" yet it's very "royal". Because of the shiny and glittery texture of my materials I opted for a very simple design for the top.

Here is the top.

And this is what it looks altogether!

I received a lot of compliments, and I still do up until now. I love the fact that nobody has the same outfit as me. It's original yet very traditional.
And I managed to keep it top secret!!
Friends and acquaintances kept asking me what I would wear and I kept responding very vaguely  "Something simple oo, you know me nah, I'm not complicated. My aunt is taking care of it" giving them a feeling that I did not really care to look good. So I know for sure that most people (except my sisters) who had spoken to me thought my look would be a disaster, especially with the fact that I made a point to neglect my appearance a little bit the last couple of months before the wedding. And to be honest, this blog was the only place I could let me excitement show.

Upcoming, I'll post about the accessories that helped to complete my look with that outfit, as well as a close up of my makeup.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

The venue on the "D" day!

Hey all!!!

So this is when everything comes together and either it works or it doesn't! For some reason I was quiet and confident, silently praying that everything goes well. For one I was still busy cooking (I cooked for 2 days straight with 1h30 sleep), and people have commented that it's rather sad that a bride has to cook on her day. For me it was a joy and a pleasure to make sure that everything would exactly like I wanted tastewise.
Anyways, my sisters, cousins, big sisters and aunties went to the venue early in the morning with pictures of what the decoration was supposed to look like - our home decoration trial - (the pictures in the previous post), and armed with the decoration materials all boxed and organized and... they did a fabulous job!!!

See my ideas coming together through the hands of the people I love the most!!!

PS: Upcoming next is an update on my wedding outfits. Stay tuned!!!

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Decorated table (Pics) - Glasses, Napkins and Final Look

Hey all!!!

I have not posted in nearly 3 months despite the fact that this blog is really my baby lol. There are a few reasons for that.

For one, I am a little superstitious and although I love sharing gists and knowledge, for some reason, in this case, I felt like sharing too much might affect the outcome of it all.
You might think it's silly and thinking about it, it is lol. But I felt the need to conceal a little bit of the preparations until a little while after the wedding.
The superstitious side of me was running paranoiac and was whispering with a naughty voice and a little sarcastic grin that someone out there with bad intentions might see all that's getting planned and turn it into a disaster... Any of you brides (past or soon-to-be) feel/felt like that with all or part of the wedding planning?

Anyhow, today let me share with you my vision of the way I wanted the setting at each table to be:

  • Silverware: You already know how the royal blue and gold wrapped silverware would presented. (See the silverware post)
  • I purchased royal blue and gold napkins that I wanted to used for serving food and beverages but it turned out that although they were relatively cheap (50 for about a couple dollars, 3 dollar something), going to Costco (or any wholesale member club grocery store) I realized that was NOT a bargain when you find 2000 napkins for under $6. Plus I thought people won't care that I am on budget, they will use the napkins anyhow they will, wiping their nose, their makeup, spitting bones in it etc. lol. So I decided to buy just enough blue and gold napkins for the glasses.
  • The glasses: I believe I mentioned that I was going single use all the way??? I'm not here to wow anybody ooo. People would only be wowed by how happy I, my husband and our family will be, the warmth, the joy and the atmosphere, not the expensive fancy glasses ooo. Economic recession LOL. Anyways, the glasses are single use 6oz plastic wine glasses in which I folded 1 blue and 1 gold napkins. Correction: I didn't fold the napkins lol. I watched videos of different folding styles and I just couldn't get the hang of it, plus it just was not cutting it with paper napkins. So I just decided to try something. I layered a blue napkin on top of a gold napkin with alternating angles and stuffed them in a glass by the center and I loooooved it!!! It took 30 seconds per glass!!! My sisters, let me tell you something: less is often more!
  • Finally, I ordered royal blue napkins with our names and wedding date engraved in gold. It sounds a lot fancier than it actually looks lol!

Here is the final result!! I loved it. Simple, easy to do, cheap and still classy, me thinks? Do you agree?

What I did is that I set it up on the dining room table just the way I wanted it to be and I took pictures for my sisters and friends to replicate exactly the day of the wedding.

Do-It-Yourself rocks, girls!!! I cannot tell you how it feels when you enter that venue and everything looks exactly like you wanted, and knowing that you did almost all the work yourself!!!