Category Archives: Holiday

The Chic Tween {Holiday Wish List 2012}

nikkiikkin chic tween holiday 2012

My daughter Macy is 10 years old, she straddles the age between child and teen that we call tween.  Fortunately she is not the type of tween that is into annoying mainstream fads.  She’s classic and on trend, she has style and I call her my Chic Tween.  This Christmas my husband and I started shopping early for her, we wanted to have plenty of time to pick just the right gifts. I secretly got my husband a set of wooden watches, I know he will be so happy, now I can focus on the others. I have put together a fabulous board of gifts that speak to me of Macy’s style.  She’s getting about half of what is on the board, thats why its a wish list, I wish we could give her all of it!   Luckily she doesnt look at my blog unless I share it with her so, SHHHHH! don’t tell her what Santa might be bringing her :)

Harajuku Mini  velvet dress -Target

1/2 pound gummy bear – giantgummybears.com

Star headband – Giantdwarf on Etsy

Military Jacket – Johnie B 

Initial bracelet – C Wonder 

Glitter Tote – Crewcuts 

Gold ballet flat – Gap

Resin rings with gold flakes – Daimblond on Etsy

Hersey Barbie – Barbie collector 

– Shirt Dress – Zara 

– Daisy Chain necklace – Anthropologie 

Mini Edie glitter bag – Crewcuts 

– Sequin sweater – Target 

– iPad Mini – Apple

– Clog Boots – Gap

Toothpick Cords – Crewcuts

Peter Pan collar necklace – LittleBunga on etsy

Viscid Watch – Anthropologie

– Lomography Camera – Urban Outfitters

Singer sewing machine – Target

– “Be What You Want To Be” print – by Neryl Walker via LLK-C

I hope you see something that might make your Tween’s eyes sparkle!

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Nutcracker Cookies

nikkiikkin nutcracker cookies 6

What happened to November!  Where have I been?  I can not believe that I haven’t made a post in a month, I was getting so good at being regular with my post too.  Well, the good news is I have a ton of material to write about because while my blog was static I was busy.  Mostly, what has been keeping me busy is cookies.  I  have made more cookies in the past 4 weeks than I have made in my whole life!

nikkiikkin nutcracker cookies 1

Im going to start my cookie presentations off with my most accomplished cookie design and order to date.  200 Nutcracker cookies for Joffrey School of Ballet in NYC!

nikkiikkin nutcracker cookies 5

Joffrey School of Ballet graciously contacted me for a second time to do cookies for their recital gifts, this time the order doubled and the complexity of the cookie quadrupled!  While there are many characters and designs that can represent ballet and the Nutcracker suite, the Nutcracker himself is the most beloved.  Even thought Joffrey asked for design examples, I knew that they would pick the Nutcracker and I knew that I could not scale back in his detail, every part of him is so important.

nikkiikkin nutcracker cookies 9

I ordered my cookie cutter from Coppergifts.com, my first order from them and it wont be the last.  Their cutters are top of the line, thick copper hand formed with beautiful craftsmanship on the seam.  As soon as my soldier arrived I put him to work!

nikkiikkin nutcracker cookies 2

I  broke the tasks up by days in order to cut down on the feeling of being overwhelmed my the large order.  Day one I mixed all the dough and set to chill, day two I baked and day 3, 4, 5 & 6 I decorated in batches of 50.  I guess that seems like a lot of days to work on an order but I can’t work 9-5 like a job, I usually work during nap time and at night so I can concentrate.  I put my husband and daughter (and MIL who was visiting during the tail end of my order) to work tagging and bagging the cookies.  So a big thank you! to them for pitching in.

nikkiikkin nutcracker cookies 3

While each Nutcracker was the same design they all turned out with faces that my husband and I thought had different personalities and we had a good laugh many times about what type of “person” some of the cookies were.  My favorite was when the eyebrows turned out a bit furrowed and he looked menacing.

nikkiikkin nutcracker cookies 10

Of course, in my eyes, each cookie had slight flaws.  It would be impossible to make 200 perfect cookies, but overall I was very pleased at my craftsmanship and really proud to have pushed myself and taken on such a detailed design.

nikkiikkin nutcracker cookies 7

I love to photograph my work, this time I even got an over the phone crash course in how to use manual mode on my camera from my sister Jes at Captured By Jes.  I got some really great shots and didn’t have to take a million pics to end up with one non-blurry picture to post, Thanks Jes!

nikkiikkin nutcracker cookies 4

Just after finishing my order we attended the Nutcracker at Lincoln center, while I have always liked the nostalgic Nutcracker story, this beloved character now has a special place in my heart.

So what else did I do in November?  Well, I am super excited to share the cookies I donated to a bake sale at Dwell Studio, which the founder Christiane Lemieux personally thanked me and showed them off on their blog.  I also did some cute ballet cookies for my niece’s birthday party.  I still have to show off my daughters Halloween costume, I know its Christmas season but its really good I don’t want to wait a whole year to share!  And I also have the full set of photos from my Halloween dinner party table that was featured on Amy Atlas.  Wow!  So stay tuned, I’ll try really hard to get those posts up soon :)

If you are interested in ordering these Nutcracker cookies, I have a listing up on my etsy shop HERE.  Until December 19th I am available to make and ship out each made to order batch within 3 days of placing your order.  There is still time to gift this wonderful cookie for a party or stocking!

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Dancing Witches Halloween Cake

Happy Halloween!  My favorite holiday is here, although it feels strange to be celebrating in New York just 2 days after Hurricane Sandy barreled through.  My family is safe and sound, we never lost power or had flooding on our street and we are now on day 3 of a mini vacation from school, ballet and work.  The weather looks good for Trick or Treating tonight in our neighborhood, but if it wasn’t we would still have fun in our building full of young kids.

On the day that Sandy hit I had my second feature on Amy Atlas, a Halloween Dinner Party that was inspired by Dennison Bogie books.  I crafted for the first time with real crepe paper and fell in love with a medium that I can use to create dramatic backdrops and limitless crafts for just a few dollars.  For my Spooky Supper  I made a gigantic cake that would have served 100, except 2 of the cake layers were fake.  Here is a great shot of the prop cake portion of the cake, complete by itself as my Dancing Witches Halloween Cake.  I will be following up soon with the rest of my Halloween Dinner Party post, until then check out my Amy Atlas feature HERE and the rest of my Halloween posts:

Black Magic Candy Apples

Easy Halloween Invitation

Halloween Crow Curiosity

Wonderland Family- Halloween Costumes

Halloween Madhatter Cake

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Easy Halloween Invitation

It may seem like there isn’t much going on at Nikkiikkin but I have a lot in the works that I’m excited to share very soon!  Right now Im going to squeeze in a few last minute Quick and Easy Halloween Party Idea posts with a decoration or treat that anyone can do!

I have been hand making most of my party invites for more than 10 years, even before I had kidos, we had BIG Halloween and Valentine’s Day parties every year.  While I was digging through our Halloween decorations I came across something that I should have thrown away, but glad I didn’t.  I found the printing process that I created to make one of my favorite Halloween invitations from 2005.  This is pre-photoshop ability for me and it wanted to share it to show that you can make creative invitations for any event without needing knowledge of photoshop or purchasing printables.  You just need a marker, Word and a copy machine!

Here you can see that I literally cut and pasted in my text that I printed from Word.  I drew a simple Halloween silhouette scene (pretty sure I drew this by looking at some other Halloween illustration) and I copied the page onto orange card stock at a kinkos.

What we loved about this invitation it’s that we personalized it to each guest by adding a color photo copy on the back (because my pictures were real pictures from film, not digital) of the guest at a previous party or of our decorated home if we didn’t have a picture of them!

While it might be too late for sending out Halloween invites, there is still time for you to use this same method for tent cards, favor tags and toppers!

Next up in Halloween Party ideas:

Black Magic Candy Apples

Halloween Crow Curiosity

 

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A Bright and Beautiful Easter

Macy & Hudson Easter 2012

Today was a lovely Easter Day.  Beautiful NYC weather and time with my children. My son is 26 months and I am amazed to watch his wonderment with each new event we share.   Although we didn’t take him to see a costume easter bunny, he was excited and curious about the introduction of this “new” holiday.   Basically he likes candy and happy anytime he can get his sticky fingers on some.  I think most of all, I’m proud to witness my 9 year old daughter finding enjoyment in watching and showing him how we celebrate holiday traditions as a family.

Park Ave Tulips on Easter Day

Where ever we are, whomever we are with, on Easter we celebrate with finding eggs and baskets hidden by the Easter Bunny.  We put on our finest (color coordinated and stylishly chosen) clothes and go to church and we spent the rest of the day with family.  This year the weather was too beautiful to spend the day inside and I found myself heading toward Central Park as we left our church on Park Ave & 59th St.  Being New York  Zoo Members we often pop in the Central Park zoo just to see the polar bear and thats just what we did today!

Easter at Central Park Zoo

I can’t lie, I think I had the best looking kids in Central Park today! ( I looked pretty good too in my new green dress,  but nobody ever takes mommy’s picture)

After the afternoon in the park, I made the classic Betty Crocker Easter Bunny Cake, I think everyone has seen or made this cake.  My mother made it in the 80’s and its at least been around since the 60’s according to this blogger who found a 1966 copy of Betty Crocker’s Cake and Frosting Mix Cookbook.  I made my bunny’s ears out of rice crispies covered in icing and coconut instead of paper and added uncooked spaghetti noddles as whiskers, but there really isn’t much reason to change anything else.  Its a classic just the way Betty designed it, way back when!

I hope you enjoyed your holiday and spent it making memories with the ones you love!

Love,

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Filed under City Mouse + Country Mouse, Holiday

Happy Valentine’s Day!

Just a short post to say Happy Valentine’s Day to everyone.  I hope you have special plans with you family and friends.  Macy, Jacob and I made cookies for Macy’s class last night.  I’ve made a lot of cookies this past month, its been alot of fun and as always each project is a learning experinece for me.  Here are some of our favorite of the 30+ cookies we made last night.

And here are the treats Macy is passing out today in class:

Yes I copied this idea straight from this month’s Better Homes and Gardens. See it HERE  I tweaked the idea a little with a printed topper (it has a fill in “To:” & “From:” on the back) and royal icing decorations.  What I really loved about this treat is the style of a packaged cookie.

A  4″ x5″ slip of scrapbook paper is inserted inside the bag and the cookie rests on it.  The topper is  4″x4″, folded in half and you have to cut the cellophane standard treat bag down a bit for to get this size. Yes a ribbon tied on the top would have been cute but a staple works GREAT!  and is a lot quicker ;)  My only tip so far in making these treat bags: don’t package these too early, day of party is best.  I found that the butter in the cookie created a slight oil stain through the paper when I made these for Hudson’s birthday party last week.  P.S. can’t wait to share that party soon!

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Macy’s New Years Tea and Cookie Party

A couple of years ago Macy hosted a New Years Tea Party to celebrate with and get to know her new friends from school and girl scouts.  Besides having treats and tea, the girls decorated cookies and played games.
 
 
 
 
 
 
The invitation for the party was a sparkly paper cookie in a treat bag with metallic lined envelopes, super easy to make on thick watercolor paper and so fun for the girls to receive in the mail! 
 
 
 
 
 
 
We choose traditional and chic New Years colors silver and gold and picked up just a few decorations at a Party City to decorate the table.  Metallic paper plates, doilies, stars, large sequins, party hats and confetti bursts.  I rolled metallic paper into cone shapes & decorated with glitter for the girls to use as mock megaphones.  Each girl had a glittered place card that we later used as tags for their cookie bags.  And since this was a tea party, Macy and I searched at a  few thrift shops for traditional tea cups for everyone.  For the rest of the table I used my real serving pieces for finger sandwiches and other mini snacks.  
 
 
After tea was served I demonstrated how to use royal icing in a piping bag for cookie decorating and we had several waxpaper bags filled for the girls to use.  Each girl got a circle, butterfly & a crown sugar cookie that Macyand I made the night before to decorate. 
 
 
As parents came for pick up we served coffee and my famous red velvet snowflake cake, it’s always nice to invite the parents to come back early at pick up to socialize and have a treat too.  I hate when pick up is rushed and hectic, I like to spend some time chatting with the other parents.
 
 
 
 
 
 
Macy was the Hostest with Mostest at her tea party, she made time to play with everyone and entertained from the head of the table.
 
I wish there was one more picture to share….I was just weeks away from having Hudson at this party!  At 35 weeks pregnant, I was running around in my party dress, apron and no shoes (I was afraid I’d trip over the constantly moving 7 year olds in my heels) serving tea and teaching the girls decorating tricks.  I’m sure I was a sight to see and sorry I dont have a good picture from it!
 
Wishing you a wonderful New Year!  Cheers!

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Have a Berry Merry Christmas!

The Berry Family Christmas Card 2011

 
 
From our family to yours, we wish you a very Merry Christmas!
 
Love, Nikki, Jacob, Macy and Hudson

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Merry Christmas and a happy New York!

Merry Christmas and a happy New York card

This has been our Christmas slogan since we found these Christmas cards a few years ago at a Barnes and Noble.  I’ve never sent out this card but I use its wording almost every year and by now I’m sure our friends and family know that I didn’t misuse “York” instead of “Year”.  I don’t quite think that any other state could be inserted – “happy New Jersey” um no, “happy New Mexico” no way!  Theres just something magical and memorable about New York at Christmas time, whether you have visited for the tree lighting, ball dropping, ice skating or just like to watch your favorite Christmas movie every year (Home Alone 2, Serendipity, Miracle on 34th St – pick one!), you know what I mean when I say “Merry Christmas and a happy New York”!

Macy seeing the Rockettes at Radio City Music Hall 2006

 
 

Rockefeller Center Tree 2006

 
 

Zuccotti Park 2007 (isnt it pretty with out the protesters?)

 

Nutcracker Ballet at Lincoln Center 2007

 
 
 

Wall Street Stock Exchange 2008

 
 
 

Macy's Toyland 2008

 
 

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Easy Christmas Candy Houses

Easy Candy Houses

 
 

Making Candy Houses. Macy age 6

 

Candy House Scene

 
 
 

For years we have made candy houses for a christmas craft and decoration.  Just like traditional gingerbread houses ours are decorated with candy, cookies and royal icing but I dont have to sweat building the structure.  Our candy houses are built with a sturdy cardboard box base. Juice boxes, milk cartons, cake boxes and other small boxes are perfect to use as long as the cardboard is not too thin because it has to hold alot of weight from the icing and candy.  Its a super easy craft that lets kids jump right in and build their Sugarplum Dream House without fear of the house breaking.  And most importantly the sky is the limit when you are using cardboard….every year we do a skyscraper! 

 
 

Candy house villages

 

Candy houses arranged on a cakeplate

Pepermint cottages

 

The only tricky part of this craft is the getting the correct consistently with the royal icing.  You need it to be thick and full of meringue powder to dry quickly holding the candy pieces in place.  I work the boxes on their side, one side at a time, so there is some drying time involved before you can complete one house.  This craft will take a few hours.  We usually build entire villages and display them as sets on separate cake boards or I arrange them on cake plates. 

 
 

Brooklyn Candy Houses

 

Candy House Party

 
 

We have hosted Candy House Parties and asked that everyone bring 2 bags of candy and a few boxes.  The more variety the more creative you can be, but some candys are a must.  Definately pick up M&M’s, pepermints, gumdrops, Neco waffers and graham crackers.  Creating additional trees from gumdrop covered styrofoam cones or paper can turn a few houses into a village scene.  Dont forget the paths, mailboxes, lamp posts and ponds and add Schleich animals or Lego men to inhabit the village.  My favorite part of this craft is it is one that I let go of my perfectionist tendency and just let the kids create, our houses never look like a storybook gingerbread house and I dont mind a bit because its candy and no matter how they turn out they always look colorful and fun.

Dont miss my favorite Winter Candy Craft, Sugar Cube Igloos here.

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Sugar Cube Igloo

Sugar cube igloo

We have a few holiday craft traditions and this spectacular sugar cube igloo is one of them.  Its so easy to make and will last for years if you take care of it.  I first saw this igloo in an Anthropologie store, they have the most creative displays of course but this one was practical enough to copy at home.  Instead of trying to stack up and create an igloo form like a real Eskimo, use half of styrofoam ball as the base.  Then its simple to glue on the sugar cubes with Elmers craft glue.  We styled our igloo display with Schleich animals dressed for the holidays with red string bows and a red liquorice tree that I made in using a styrofoam cone as well.

Sugar cube igloo, liquorice tree and Schleich animals Christmas decoration

Dont miss my next craft and christmas decoration post: Easy Candy Houses

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Happy Birthday Dear Sister

Baby Jessica Summer 1987

On December 7th 1986 my dad took me and my younger brother to see the movie “An American Tail”,  later that night our little sister was born. Today she celebrates her 25th birthday.  Now that we are both adults our 6 1/2 year difference doesnt seem like much, I forget sometimes that she doesnt have the same early childhood memories as me, I feel like she should also remember how I used to sit in the kitchen floor and feed her a bottle while our mom cooked dinner or that I taught her how to climb out of her crib when she was 2.

Nikki and Jessica Spring 1997

But loving memories like those didnt start for her until later on.  We didnt play well together growing up, in fact we didnt get along much at all, she was (and still is in some ways) what all “last babies” are…a brat!  Oh! the the knock down, drag out fights we would have!  When she was 12 I left for college never to return to the home or state I grew up in.

Jesscia Senior 2005

It was during her high school years that we grew to be friends as she looked up to me for advice and support.  I have always been a cheerleader for her accomplishments and she has always been the little sister determind on making her own way.  For years my home, no matter what state it was in, has been her second home. She stayed school breaks and summers with me and my husband and we took her on vacation with us too.

Jessica and Baby Emma Spring 2008

When she became a mother, my circle of love instantly grew.  I know that even though I see my niece only a few times a year the love my sister and I have for each other makes it easy for my niece to learn to adore me as if I was there with her everyday.

Nikki and Jes Thanksgiving 2011

Today we are best friends, we talk or text at least 10 times a day.  We have no secrets and we always have time to listen to each others rambling, no matter how mundane.  We dont agree on everything, we are definately as different as our hair color.  We dont judge or compete and we arent afraid to critique with honesty because we know that we will support each other no matter what. I’m proud of the life she has made and the love she as found with her new husband and I wish her many more years of Happy Birthdays.  I love you Jes.
You can follow my amazingly talented and creative sister here   capturedbyjes.blogspot.com
UPDATE*** I get a ton search terms for “baby Jessica”  If you are looking for the little baby that fell down the well in 1987, it wasn’t my sister.  Although they were born the same year, I vividly  remember following the story on the news for days (she was trapped for 58 hours) and how glad we all were that our baby Jessica was safe next to us.

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Snowflake Cake

One Christmas years ago, my husbands grandmother asked me if I would like to make the holiday cake for their family’s christmas dinner.  For as long as GranNana has had her own family she has made them a special coconut cake for christmas dinner.  So, YES I was very honored and nervous she was passing the torch on to me.  This was very early in my cake making life but my red velvet Snowflake cake knocked the socks off everyone!

Snowflake Cake by Nikki Berry

 
 I didnt want to try to recreate the coconut cake that my husband’s GranNana had made for over 50 years.  I needed to make something new and different and spectacular.  I knew that it would be white and red velvet, but it was a wedding cake covered in glistening snowflakes that inspired me to attempt a new decorating medium.   All of my cakes are a learning experience, I am self-taught in each technique I pick up.  This was my frist time using royal icing and although Im still nowhere near a pastry artist is piping skills, these simple snowflakes turned out just right.   The cake sat so proudly in my husband’s aunt’s antebellum formal dinning room and most of the 50 family member thought that years cake was ordered from a bakery.
 

Red Velvet Snowflake Christmas Cake

 
To make the royal icing snowflakes I traced images of illustrated snowflakes under wax paper.  I chose the best looking and unbroken snowflakes for the sides and piled full and partial snowflakes on the top.  It was a happy accident that it turned into a  lovely topper.
 
 

Royal Icing Snowflakes

This has always been one of my favorite cakes, I repeated it ( I dont usually repeat cakes) for Macy’s NewYears  Tea Party and plan to make it anytime I get the chance to show it off again. 

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December 1, 2011 · 10:59 pm

Dwell Studio Modern Thanksgiving Contest

I’ve had such a fun weekend!  I have shopped for my dream Thanksgiving table as part of a contest for Dwell Studio.  By using Pinterest, My Modern Thanksgiving board was easy to pull together through my favorite online retailers.  But I couldn’t just stop at the tabletop….I designed the entire dining room!  My design started with two favorite pieces from my personal collection: Orange Air Chairs from Jasper Morrison & Marimekko Unikko print fabric. From there my inspiration was vintage Scandinavian design and gold tones. Add it all together and it equals a beautiful dining room that is Modern yet speaks of vintage uniqueness. Each piece is carefully selected to balanced in the room based on its shape, color and style significance.   My choices are a mixture of highs and lows and I tried to stay off the beaten path of mainstream resources, maybe you’ll see a store that you didn’t know about or havent thought about shopping from before.  Some of the items I own, some are on my wish list and some are on my “in my dreams” list.  There are more than 35 items and I invite you to view my Pinterest board here for product resources.  If you aren’t on Pinterest, you are missing out on the latest design tool and social obsession, give it a try!

Dwell Studio Modern Thanksgiving by Nikki Berry

If you have a closer look at my selections I’ll walk you through why it all works nicely together.  While it looks like a room that took years for someone to collect items they love individually (& I do love each item!) there are a few common elements that pull it together.  First of all the colors orange and gold compliment each other in many tones and ranges from bright orange & rust to shiny brass & antiqued gold.  Since I gave the core of the room a grounded warm gray, those colors have a nice canvas to stand out on.  Then there are the repetitive shapes: the linear chandelier and centerpiece, the starburst mirror and tubular objects and the triangular facets in the mirror, short glasses, candlesticks & silverware.  Relating elements in a room gives your eye a reason to search out and find details.  It’s a pleasing feeling to find that each piece is there for a reason, its how an “undecorated” room has purpose yet the style is still personal.

Enjoy my design and check in at the Dwell Studio Blog to see who inspires me and how the contest turns out. A big thank you to Dwell Studio for hosting this contest, it was a fun & easy challenge to take part in and the prize offerings are very generous!

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The Wonderland Family – Halloween Costumes

Wonderland Family Costumes - Alice, White Rabbit, Red Queen & Mad Hatter

Halloween is our favorite holiday.  Before we had children we had an annual Halloween Costume Party that our friends looked forward to all year.  Our couples costumes were always a big hit.  Some of the costumes we dressed as were: Adam & Eve, Aphrodite & Cupid, Devil & Angel and Cheerleaders from Saturday Night Live.  The year we were the SNL Cheerleaders we did a skit and it is still talked about to this day when we get together with friends.  Macy’s first Halloween we dressed up with her.  I made Tinker Bell costumes for her and myself and Jake was Captain Hook.  Last year when Hudson was born we felt we now had the opportunity to dress as a whole group.  Jacob had been dying to be the Mad Hatter from Alice and Wonderland for years before the new Johnny Depp version. Tim Burton’s creepy take on the Wonderland characters made them even more inspiring as Halloween costumes.  And so our Wonderland Family was created!

Red Queen and White Rabbit Costumes

I choose to be the Red Queen from the new movie but Hudson looked cuter as the White Rabbit from the original Disney cartoon version.  Did it matter that we mixed the two together?  Of course not, we looked awesome together!  My bulbous head was the official wig from the new movie but my red dress was just a costume dress.  Hudson’s White Rabbit costume was made from white french terry pajamas, a red t-shirt, bunny headband & tail set and I made his collared felt heart….I dont know what that piece is called, a vest?

Alice in Wonderland, White Rabbit and the Mad Hatter

Macy insisted on being Alice (even though I have the blonde hair for it). Grabbing a pre-made costume was the easiest since I had a lot of work to do to pull 4 costumes together and there were very cute ones in the costume stores.  She had the idea to add a key on a ribbon for a necklace.  Jacob would not do this group dress up unless his costume looked liked he stepped out of the movie.  By combining the costume store hat and hair with thrift store clothing finds and a couple of home made items we were able to make his custom so authentic looking people went crazy for him when we went trick or treating!

Mad Hatter and Red Queen Halloween Costumes

Jake and I both hate to wear face make up for Halloween, its just so uncomfortable but being these characters would not be possible if we didnt.  I watched YouTube toutorials to learn how to apply the make up like a professional.

This is the link for the Mad Hatter make up:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fGCqIx1DcaU

This is the link for Red Queen make up:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nTl3ePEmhi4&feature=relmfu

Alice and Wonderland Family

We had so much fun gathering our costumes and going out trick or treating as the Alice and Wonderland family that we all decided that we wanted to dress the same this year.  This is a first, we never repeat costumes, but they were too good.   We have few changes, Hudson is going to be the Door Mouse and we are adding the White Queen to the group because my MIL is visiting.  So look for us in Brooklyn on Halloween and say Hi!  And check back after Halloween for an update from this years costumes.

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Halloween Madhatter Cake

Halloween Madhatter Birthday Cake

It’s offically Halloween season!   We are currently soaking up the rays in Seaside Florida but our thoughts are all about our decorations, costumes and treats.  Here I am sharing a Halloween Madhatter birthday cake I made a few years ago.  Madhatters or Topsy Turvy cakes are tough.  There are a few different techniques to make them.  Well, I’ve done them all and cant suggest one over the other.  All I’m going to say is this: google some cakes tutorials, try a practice cake first and just know that cakes are evil, gravity is against you and it might be a short-lived glory…..do the assembly just before the party!    I’ve also included the sketch I made to design the cake.  I usually do a sketch for client approval, nothing fancy but just like any other design I have to work it out on paper. 

Halloween Madhatter Cake Sketch

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In Remembrance: September 11, 2001

9/11 Memorial Lights

Although we are blessed to have no particular person to morn on this day we are touched by the memorial that happens every year.  Our 1st NYC apartment at 71 Broadway had a living room view into Ground Zero.  For 3 years we listened to the bells, saw the lights and took in the somber feelings that are all around Lower Manhattan on this day. Im proud that 10 years later Americans still show so much respect for 9/11.  Its not a “holiday” with BBQs and fireworks, its a memorial day of a different type that our country should never change.  A day of remembrance and reflection of what America lost.  In 10 more years there will be children that are adults that were not around when those planes changed our lives.  How will the next generation learn to respect this day?  We have to teach our children, we have to go to these memorials each year to see our service men in uniform, hear their stories and see the pictures of the people who perished.  Every year I see new pictures of 9/11 published and it is what reminds me of how horrible it was, like a yearbook or family photo album, I am taken back, I remember.   We went to Lower Manhattan for a few hours yesterday evening, the memorial lights are especially nostalgic to us as they are situated behind our old building and every year made our apt glow from the close proximity. All of BPC and FiDi was filled with people, but like the weather the mood was somber and unnaturally quiet. The actual memorial was only open to families but we plan to attend the next chance we get.  I am sharing some of lasts nights pictures and a few that we took while living in 71 Broadway with the memorial lights shining just behind our building on top of the Battery Tunnel parking garage.  I was very pleased that my new camera picked up the lights and glows that are so beautiful in NYC.

Macy in front on One World Trade Center - Freedom Tower 9/11/2011

One Life - One Flag, nearly 3,000 flags in Battery Park

Flag of Honor, each listing the names of those who perished on 9/11

Flags of Honor - Battery Park 2011

Statue from WTC that was not crushed in the fall. Now lives in Battery Park. 9/11 Memorial lights & Flags of Honor

9/11 Memorial lights and the Freedom Tower 2011

Trinity Church, 71 Broadway & 9/11 Memorial Lights 2011

9/11 Memorial lights from roof top of 71 Broadway 2008

9/11 Memorial Lights 2008

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