Posts categorized "cupcakes"

birthday wishes

Yesterday was the big day....


Paul, my DH, turned 50. It's a big number, but he coped very well :-))


We had a busy day, lots of running around, but we managed to celebrate in between the busy parts. The girls cooked bacon and egg rolls for breaky. The carrot cupcakes were iced with a cream cheese and ricotta icing, and were really, really yummy. We fitted in a netball game and a basketball game, and a few other committments. We had drinks at friends and then we went to dinner at China Doll on Woolloomooloo Wharf.

It was a good day.

And today was Mothers' Day. A lovely day was had here with my gorgeous girls. Breakfast in bed. Watching Phoebe's fabo soccer game. Phoebe made Chocolate Kisses for afternoon tea (recipe from Better Homes and Gardens). Visiting my mum and dad. And dinner cooked by the girls Paul.

Bring on Monday so we can all have a rest!!!

Happy Mother's Day to all the mums out there.

Fiona x

Carrot Cupcakes

We have a very important birthday in our family this weekend. After subtle (and not so subtle) questions from the girls as to the type of cake that would be enjoyed by this birthday person, it was decided that carrot cake would be well received.

So here I am cooking today. We are running out of time to prepare the cakes, and tomorrow (THE birthday) is already full with sporting matches and plays, so I thought I'd make the cakes today, so the girls can decorate in the morning.

Something occurred to me this morning as I was enjoying my cooking - BY MYSELF. One of the very few negatives of having children (apart from the cost of running them) is that you create cake spoon and bowl licking competitors. I love licking the spoon, the bowl and anything else that has a dollop of uncooked cake mixture. But these days I rarely get to indulge in this pleasure. I have little people who, as soon as they hear the cake tin going into the oven, suddenly appear in the kitchen. And that's if they weren't already there, "helping" with the actual cooking.

Today I was able to enjoy a little bit of cake mixture, uncooked, by myself. And this mixture in particular was delicious and rich uncooked.


Here's the first batch out of the oven. The mixture was huge. I've made 28 muffin sized carrot cupcakes from this recipe. Looks like there'll be some left over for Mother's Day on Sunday :-))


The recipe I used is the Church Picnic Carrot Cupcakes (page 49) from the Crabapple Bakery Cupcake Cookbook. Great book, full of beautiful ideas for cupcakes.


OK, I've finished my cup of tea, better keep going, I've got a mini book to work on and some ribbon orders to pack. I'll share some photos of the finished cakes when the girls have worked their magic on them tomorrow.

Have a great weekend everyone.


Fiona x

a pink post

I haven't shared the new love in my life. I never thought I'd be so smitten with a kitchen appliance, but I am. I love this machine. My gorgeous family bought me a KitchenAid for Christmas. The hard thing was choosing a colour. If you know about KitchenAids, you'll know their appliances are available in a fantastic range of colours.

When I went to the store to order my machine, I still hadn't decided on a colour. I had narrowed it down to either white or pink. The Gemini twins in me were having a huge tug of war in my head. The practical twin was saying get the WHITE, it'll go with everything. The other completely non-practical twin was whispering get the PINK, you really want the pink, who cares if it doesn't go with the blue kitchen! The shop assistant was on the phone ready to order the machine, asking me which colour. PINK came out of my mouth in reply, and so a pink KitchenAid was ordered.


It certainly looks best with pink icing...


Phoebe's basketball team is called the Hotcakes. We had the team BBQ a couple of weeks ago and Phoebe and I made pink Hotcakes cupcakes to take. I iced the cakes this time with a piping bag and really loved the effect.


We added a little pink surprise in the cakes before cooking them. With the cake mixture in the patty pans (with pink cupcake papers), a small amount of pink food colouring was swirled through each cake. We did this with a tooth pick dipped in the food colouring.



Make sure you swirl the tooth pick deep into the cake, and not just on the surface.


Here are the cakes cooked with their pretty pink swirls.


Once cooked, cooled and the cakes are iced, the pink swirl will only be revealed once you bite into the cake. This is a bit of a cheats way of making marble cupcakes.

Last week, the Hotcakes won their basketball gala day. Another trophy for the trophy cabinet! Another pink moment...


Hope you're all having a great week. Thanks for visiting.



catching up

Hope you had a happy, relaxing Easter.

I finally have the RAK winners (from a couple of posts ago). I've made up 10 little bags of ribbon with an Easter ribbon and three co-ordinating ribbons.


The winners are:

Email me your postal addresses ladies (please don't leave your addresses here in a comment). If you have a preference of colour, let me know, I'll try to accommodate.

Now, I did have a question about my cupcake bead from Lovelinks (again mentioned a few posts ago). I can't seem to find it on their website, so I've scanned the page from their print catalogue. The cupcake bead code is TT183. I'm not sure how recent this catalogue is, but my friend who sells these beads at Castlecrag was able to order this one in for me. If you want any beads from Lovelinks or Bacio, my friend (who happens to be another Fiona Carter) owns It Started with a Kiss. She operates out of Sally's Bookshop in Castlecrag. If you live on the lower north shore and you'd like her details/opening hours, let me know and I'll email them to you.


I've been busy adding some new ribbons to Ribbons Galore recently.

Little Red Riding Hood, Snow White & the 7 Dwarfs and Elephants:

Little_red Snow_white Rpelephants


Cakeslfnt47_2 Cakeslfnt52 Cakeslfnt48


Cir23r02 Cir23r03 Cir23r04


Butterfly001 Butterfly002 Butterfly003

That's about all for now.

Have a good Sunday.

Fiona x

Easter {cooking} project #4

I'm moving away from Easter craft projects for one post. This is an Easter cooking project.

Easter Egg {surprise} Cupcakes


Make your cupcake mixture. Place mixture into cupcake tins.


Place a small solid chocolate Easter egg in the middle. You do not have to cover the egg with mixture.


Bake. As the cupcakes rise in the cooking process, they cover the chocolate egg. Here is a photo taken from oven cam about half way through the cooking time.


Now while I was waiting for the cupcakes to cook I thought I'd take some photos of my other cupcakes baked by Bacio Beads, Lovelinks and Bijoux.

Cupcakebead2 Cupcakebead3 Cupcakebead1

Here's the baked cupcakes, and the chocolate eggs are now safely hidden inside the cupcakes.



Decorate the cupcakes with icing and eggs or little fluffy chicks (just make sure you remove the fluffy chick from the cake before taking a bite.) And when the cupcakes are being eaten a nice chocolate eggy surprise will be discovered inside each one.

Eastercupcakes6_2  Eastercupcakes7

Emily had some friends from her new high school over on the weekend, and they decorated cupcakes for afternoon tea.




I must thank Mel, who sent me the gorgeous Easter egg patty papers which you can probably just see in the photos. They were so gorgeous and made our cupcakes very special!

And make sure you visit Mel's blog, she has some more Easter crafting ideas over there. I love the Easter bunting she's made, very clever.

And lastly for this post, thank you to everyone who has been visiting during the last few weeks, and for all the links back to my Easter crafting posts. I really do appreciate the fact that people are reading.

I was asked by Georgie in a comment if my Easter ribbon is for sale over at Ribbons Galore. Yes, it is over in the Easter ribbon collection. (the carrots and the eggs which Mel used in the bunting). If you'd like to win some, leave me a comment and I'll choose a few winners.

Till next time.



graduation and other things, including a RAK

Emily's year 6 graduation dinner was held the other night. A lot of work went into the coordination of this night. There was a decorating committee, a food committee, a 'security' committee and even a cupcake committee. The school hall was transformed into a fabulous venue for the kids. The theme of the evening was 'Reach for the Stars', so we did out best to make it as starry as possible. Here's the hall when we'd finished decorating...


I made the centre pieces for the tables. They were terracotta pots painted black with silver glitter on them. The pots were filled with sand to hold the mini balloons, then black crepe paper was crumpled on the top to hide the sand.



The cupcakes looked fantastic. Fondant starry shapes were placed on top of the iced cakes.


Hall5 Hall6

Emily looked beautiful. She was soooo excited about the evening.




All the kids had a fantastic night. Their only complaint... their evening was too short. I think they could have kept dancing for another couple of hours!

With the graduation dinner behind us now, it's time to relax... not. Christmas shopping was officially started on Tuesday, still quite a bit to do there. And we still have to make our gingerbread houses, which I'll be starting very soon.

I made these ribbon baubles yesterday for a few friends. They are clear plastic baubles which I found in my local art store (and have also seen them at Spotlight). I've bought them in past years and filled them with lollies for kids Christmas gifts, but this year I thought they'd look pretty with ribbon in them. There's also a sneak of some new ribbons coming the Ribbons Galore very soon.


Baubles2 Baubles3 

And lastly, I think we have enough time for a very quick RAK before Christmas. I have some of these little sets from Maya Road which I'd like to send you.


Leave a comment before Sunday telling me your favourite holiday tradition (or just leave your name in a comment), and I'll put the names in a hat and pick a few out.

That's about all for this week. Hope you're all having a great week.

Bye for now.



Answering some questions with links

I've had a some questions lately about a few things, so thought as well as answering these emails, I'd share some links here.

In Tarisota Talk recently I shared some of my scrapping equipment.

One piece which a few of you have asked about was the caddy holding my pens.

Fionacarter3  Fionacarter4

This is my new pride and joy! I bought this from Pottery Barn when I was in Chicago in July. It spins around and is perfect for all my pens. You can see it HERE shown in black towards the back of the photo. I do have to thank my shopping partner in crime, Karen, for assisting me in its safe return to Australia. Karen and I spend one very fun day sightseeing, shopping and eating up and down Michigan Avenue, Chicago.

These are some of my new pens which I also purchased in the US:

Fionacarter7  Fionacarter5

On the left is a set of fine tip Sharpies I found in Target (24 pens in a pack for about US$12.00, thanks to the Back to School specials). I also found a pack of Souffle pens which I had read a lot about and bought these during a visit to Windy City Scrapbooking in Chicago. I also bought a Gelly Roll Stardust pen and a couple of Gelly Roll clear gloss Glaze pens. These are great for adding color and a little dimension to journaling and stamping projects.

Now, going back to Sydney Craft Fair in June, I purchased a couple of these 12"x12" paper holders from the Craftainers stand.


In her last newsletter, Nicole has given details of the Craftainers opening hours. So if you're in Sydney you can now visit their warehouse. I'm going back for some more of these holders, I've found them very helpful in keeping my DT papers in order.

Something else which prompted a few emails were the sugar flowers I used on our cupcakes recently. These can be bought from Alfresco Emporium, and can be viewed HERE.


I'm sure I'm leaving something out, if I remember it I'll just add it in another post.

Hope you're all having a great day.


Fiona x

weekly catchup...

Weeks come... and weeks go.... we've had another busy week here in the Carter family.

I've had a few scrapbooking projects which I've been working on. A few have now been posted and on their way to the US to be displayed at Memory Trends. I'll share these when I've been given the all clear!

Emily had her 12th birthday party last weekend, which was a challenge to the ears with twelve 12 year olds (and a couple of little sisters) squealing with delight on a jumping castle. Yes, you read right.... Emily decided she'd like a jumping castle for her party. And I have to say, the girls had a ball. Inside it had a "mouth" that opened and closed, taking the girls to the top of the slide (which you can see on the left).


The girls also decorated cupcakes. I made a huge batch of cakes, provided icing, decorations and 100's & 1000's and let the girls ice their own cakes before eating them. Here's the before and after shots:

Ebday2  Ebday3

Ebday4  Ebday5

All the girls had a fun time. It was nice to have them all together as this is their last year at school together before moving onto high school next year. The party girl was VERY happy too. The party finished with an ice cream cake which we made with layers of chocolate ice cream with meringue and vanilla ice cream with mini marshmallows.


The registration for my latest online class closes this Sunday. The class will be open to students for another month after that, giving unlimited access to the online instructions. Thank you to the ladies who have already signed up for the class.


And finally one of my super favourite stores has opened in our local shopping centre. I found myself in a SMIGGLE store a few years back in Melbourne. I fell in love with the funky designs and colours of their products (mainly stationery). Well, it seems SMIGGLE has crossed the border and headed into NSW, and found their way into Chatswood Westfield. The stationery lovers of this family are very happy indeed! I just couldn't resist a little purchase when we visited the store.


That's about all. We are heading into a long weekend here in Sydney, thanks to APEC. So looking forward to some relaxing and family time!

Thanks for visiting.


Fiona x

it's cupcake time again

There's another birthday in our house today. My beautiful Emily is 12 years old.

Happy Birthday gorgeous girl.

We've had the present opening frenzy this morning. Phone calls from Nana and friends. Pancakes with maple syrup for breakfast (Emily's specialty). All very exciting stuff!

And the cupcakes have gone to school... all 36 of them. Apparently, not only do we supply cupcakes for the whole class, but all Emily's friends not in her class must have a cupcake too. It's a good thing we like making cupcakes in this house.


So last night was the cupcake making and decorating marathon. I have a new favourite cupcake recipe. After years of using the same recipe (and being very happy with it), I tried a new recipe a few weeks back. And it is delicious. It's a Donna Hay recipe. If you have the Donna Hay Modern Classics Book 2, the recipe is on page 54 (cupcakes with crushed raspberry cream, except I don't use the raspberry cream, just the cupcake part of the recipe). Delicious!

Have a great day! Thanks for visiting.