July 13, 2011

"Everybody Have Fun Tonight" - An 80's Skate Party - Dallas, TX

Last weekend, I had the ABSOLUTE PLEASURE of flying to Dallas to do an 80's Inspired 30th Birthday Party! I know... Don't be jealous! Leg warmers, spandex, rolled jeans, big bracelets and earrings, headbands, denim jackets and skirts, BRIGHT COLORS... It was LIKE TOTALLY AWESOME!!! We rented out an old retro skating rink outside of Dallas called Dad's Broadway Skateland. It was PERFECT! Let me tell you... It was totally your typical 80's skating rink - an arcade, a snack bar, brown skates with orange stoppers, numerous disco balls, laser lights and lockers... It was GREAT!!! 

The party started at 8 PM so we had the snack bar area stock piled with all the great 80's snacks. Jolly Ranchers, Fruit Roll-Ups, Rice Crispy Treats, Fun Dip, Charms Blow Pops, Dubble Bubble, Now and Laters, Starburst, Gummy Bears, Red Vines, Ring Pops, Pop Rocks, Pixie Sticks, Doritos, Fritos, etc. And, of course we had neon rubber bracelets and slap bracelets just in case people didn't come in full 80's gear! I will tell you that these guests DID NOT disappoint! They worked HARD on their costumes! They were INCREDIBLE!!! EVERYONE had great outfits... That really doesn't happen that often! 

But, who doesn't LOVE the 80's!!! 

We also had Good Afternoon Photography come to capture the evening. They really knocked this one out of the park! The pictures are FABULOUS! There was an area near the restrooms at Skateland that was a wall of Lockers... Remember lockers! Well, we decided this would be the PERFECT spot for the photo station. And, it DEFINITELY was!!! The pics were PRICELESS!!! They also got great candids... So, I took the pictures they sent us and set them to a video featuring some great 80's hits! The pictures were just too fun not to share... So, turn up your sound and enjoy! It's soooo much fun!

So... If you are planning an 80's Themed Party, you've gotta have an AWESOME invitation. For those of you who know me, I am ALWAYS up for the challenge to come up with a great rhyme for an invitation. I really do love it! I think it just adds that little extra touch to an invitation and it makes people remember it. I struggled with this one as I wanted to tie in 80's music to get the mood set. We were on a bit of a time crunch with this party so we used Cocodot! For those of you not familiar with Cocodot, I DEFINITELY recommend checking it out! It's an online invitation site very similar to Evite but SUPER COOL! The invitations are beautiful and are so much fun! So, I found this new design and added my fun 80's rhyme! When the guests got their online invitation and opened it, it blasted, "Girls Just Wanna Have Fun!" Everyone loved it... And... everyone LOVED the little rhyme I came up with to get them excited! What do you think...

It really was a TOTALLY AWESOME party! The birthday girl had SUCH a great time! Everyone just kept saying what a great idea it was and how it really made them feel like they were back in their "glory days" again... See! You really do have to think outside the box to come up with something fun for everyone. Why not reach back into your past and think about those activities that you always had such a great time participating in... It is SURE to pay off! And... chances are you are not the only one who enjoyed it! 

I am already on a mission to find the PERFECT SPOT to open a RETRO 80's Inspired Skating Rink here in Phoenix. I am thinking a great bar, great food, totally retro interiors, an arcade area of course and GREAT MUSIC!!! What do you think??? Wouldn't it be so much fun??? It would be the PERFECT location for all sorts of parties... Adult theme parties, kids parties, bar/bat mitzvahs, bachelorette parties... It could be SOOOO MUCH FUN!!!

Until next time...

Blogger Widgets

June 30, 2011

{ SHARING THE SUGAR } Featuring: Sweet-Stops Divine Desserts!!!

Last week, I had the opportunity to meet two truly inspiring and talented women. In February, Lin Sue Cooney and Cindy Leech of Phoenix decided to come together and marry their passion for baking and their cherished friendship into a business. The result was pure perfection! And, just a few short months ago, Sweet-Stops Divine Desserts was born! 

Together, they have really created something special... It is a business that not only consistently turns out the most delectable desserts but their dynamic personalities and spirits are just LOVELY to be around. In this extremely competitive industry, it is just so refreshing to meet such down to earth people who just really LOVE what they do. Outside of their Bake Shop, they both have full time jobs and are quite good at what they do. But they have found that this passion for baking can produce a thriving business...

Our meeting was just so much fun! We talked about trends in the industry, events we have worked on and what is on the horizon for Sweet-Stops... And, I have to say, it's really EXCITING!!! These are two women you definitely want to know... So, today we are {Sharing the Sugar} and giving you the opportunity to get to know them. Something tells me you are going to see A LOT of them! They are simply FABULOUS in so many ways...

They offer a great variety of items and are flexible and willing to take special requests. They have darling packaging too but are always willing to do something special if a client wants something different. So, if you are hosting a wedding or an event and want a takeaway gift or favor and would like it to match the color scheme of your event, Sweet-Stops is ready to help! 

So... without further adieu... Let me introduce you to Lin Sue Cooney and Cindy Leech and their dream come to life: Sweet-Stops Divine Desserts!

Tell us a little about yourselves...  
We are two dear friends who both LOVE to eat… and we also share a passion for cooking, baking and entertaining. I’m (Lin Sue) type A, she’s (Cindy) definitely B.  I’m (Lin Sue) dashing here and there, she’s (Cindy) serenely content. I’m (Lin Sue) a perfectionist, she’s (Cindy) soothingly practical … it’s the perfect combination!  

We made a pact when we opened our company on February 1st that if we ever felt like the business was compromising our friendship we would dissolve it.  We are that important to each other. And so far, it’s been a dream working together… We get along famously; each one trying to make sure she’s pulling her weight.  So, the end result is… we’re both working our tails off… But it’s so much fun!

How did the two of you meet and decide to start Sweet-Stops? 
We met 5 or so years ago at Bible study and gradually became friends… only to discover we have tons in common… from our love of God, family and home… to our fascination with any kind of food… to our passion for decorating, crafting and creating beautiful things (okay, so most of them are edible!) Once we discovered we live 3 minutes from each other…. We were each other’s houses constantly.  My husband doesn’t even blink when he wakes up and Cindy’s letting herself in the house with her own key!

{ Famous Dark Chocolate Pecan Toffee }

Have you both always had a passion for baking? 
Yes! Probably since we were in utero...

{ Assortment Tray featuring Brownie Bites, Truffles and Toffee and Chewy Gooey Oatmeal Toffee Cookies }

What inspires you two? 
Flavor, beauty, creativity, the sparkle in someone’s eyes when they taste that first bite of something heavenly. Oh, and the smell of chocolate baking!!!

{ Almond Shortbread Bunny Cookies }

Tell us about a typical day in the life of the Sweet-Stops Girls... 
We are up early baking cookies, cupcakes or brownies… making truffles or toffee.  
Packaging orders for pick up, delivering to stores… then running home, jumping in the shower and getting ready for a 9-hour day at our other jobs! But because we LOVE our company so much… it’s invigorating and energizing.. not work!  We love our commercial kitchen… the owners are a dream and the facility is huge!

{ Butterfly Cupcakes }
Tell us about some of your FAVORITE Sweet-Stops creations...  
Our ganache-filled fudge cupcakes with swiss meringue icing, berry-infused truffles, soft chewy oatmeal toffee cookies, or our delicately crisp sugar toffee cookies… and of course… our famous signature dark chocolate pecan toffee.  But we can make anything. Recently we made lemon curd honey cakes with berries, fondant monkey cupcakes, surfboard cupcakes and craisin pecan candy bars. They were precious!

{ Truffles and Chocolate Pecan Berry Truffles }

Are you pretty flexible and willing to do custom creations for special events and weddings?  
We LOVE to create something custom for our customers… That’s the beauty of being a made fresh to order business.  We don’t have a store-front that has to have bakery cases full of pastries that don’t sell and get stale.  We make what our customers are craving and they pick it up baked fresh!

{ Surfboard Cupcakes }
If you could have ANY celebrity call the bake shop to place an order, who would it be?  
Lin Sue: DUH… Martha Stewart.  What a rush it would be to have her flip over something we made!  
Cindy: Oprah (only because our sales would increase and 1,000,000 more people would be enjoying our desserts)

Their second set of answers to this question were...
George Clooney might look pretty good eating a cupcake too! Or Brad Pitt... because they'd like to see how yummy he looks with chocolate all over his face! LOL (Too funny ladies... But, I think we'd ALL agree!!!)

{ Baseball Cupcakes and Sweet Heart Cupcakes }

What sets Sweet-Stops apart? What makes you FABULOUS?  
Well, we have to admit, we think our black and white boxes with red ribbon are FABULOUS! Our recipes are fabulous because we celebrate rich decadent desserts.  We are firm believers in indulging in the best.  No need to overdo it… but why eat a lot of something that doesn’t satisfy… it’s much better to treat yourself to something really really special and love it.  Take the time to just relax with a cup of coffee and a FABULOUS cupcake and revel in the moment. 

Our motto is…
Life’s a whirlwind… savor Sweet-Stops along the way!

{ Pumpkin Cupcakes and Spider Web Cupcakes }

Outside of baking, what do you two enjoy to do in your spare time? 
What spare time?  Actually, we both love spending time with our husbands and children… but we make time to enjoy our girlfriends too.  We have a pretty close knit group of girls from our bible study… and we drop anything to be there for each other.

{ Peach Pie and Chocolate Pumpkin Patch Cupcakes }

What are some of your favorite Valley Hot Spots? 
Yasu Sushi Bistro, Rokerji, Corbins, Los Dos Molinos, Trader Vics, Sierra Bonita, Hana Sushi, Cherry Blossom Café, Wild Thaiger

{ Christmas Ornament Cookies and Butterfly Cupcakes }

What is on the horizon for Sweet-Stops? What are some predictions of some exciting things to come for Sweet Stops...
   We are eagerly anticipating the opening of the beautiful new FRENCH BEE store at Scottsdale fashion square because owner Michael Hansen is going to sell our lovely toffee gift boxes there! We are constantly developing fun new recipes to share with our clients… who’s hungry for toffee whoopee pies? And while we LOVE our corporate clients… we’d love to do more wedding favors (hint hint OH, SUGAR!)

{ Chocolate Ganache Cupcakes and Monkey Girl Cupcakes }

{ Lemon Curd Honey Cakes }

Well... as you can see, these ladies are INCREDIBLY talented. And not only are they talented, they are passionate about their creations and it really shows. I know they are going to be a huge success and I just cannot wait to watch it all unfold! 

For more information about Sweet-Stops or to place your order, please visit their website:

Follow them on facebook at:

You can also reach them via email at: sweet-stops@cox.net
Or, give them a call at: (602) 692-4176

Go check them out... You will not only love who they are but you'll love their Divine Desserts!

Until next time... Because life REALLY is better with a little SUGAR!!!

June 27, 2011

Creating an EXPERIENCE!!! ...even if it's just a delivery!

So... earlier this month, I attended a Wedding Summit called Engage 2011! It was honestly one of the most inspiring conferences I have ever attended. There is much more to come on my experience at Engage 2011 but while I was there, I made a commitment to myself and to my business. I set goals for my business and for myself personally and will definitely share those with you but one of the biggest promises I made to myself was that I was going to take Oh, Sugar! Event Design + Paperie to the next level in EVERY WAY POSSIBLE...

Since I got back, sooooooo many great things have happened! More to come on this too... I PROMISE! I made a commitment that whenever something was being delivered to a client, whether it was a contract, an invoice, a custom paper order etc, it would be delivered in a way that was truly special! 

Today, I had to deliver several projects to one of my MOST SPECIAL clients. It was lots of little things and one item that was really important to her! I didn't want to just put it in an envelope. And, I definitely didn't want to just put it in a box... So, I utilized one of my "signature" items... The Brown Paper Shopping Bag! Might sound like a silly thing to you but I use them all the time for events! TRUST ME! They are extremely cost effective and recyclable! It doesn't get any better than that. Now, don't worry! I ALWAYS dress them up!!! I will order custom stamps for events to make them personal and for a delivery, I always print a "Special Delivery" tag for them! The signature part is that I fold over the top and put a big bow through the bag! My clients seem to love it... They always say that it was so unexpected but soooooo cute and SUCH A GREAT IDEA!!! Also, the items inside the bag are wrapped up with ribbon and the invoice is ALWAYS tied with a BIG PINK BOW!!!

Here is a photo of all the contents included in today's "Special Delivery!"

This is her Custom Designed Wedding Album, her scanned, edited and retouched photos on a CD, 10 copies of her custom DVD montage I designed for her of her wedding photos set to music and, of course, her invoice tied with a big pink bow... 

And... This is what it looked like sitting on her front porch step when she got home! She LOVED IT! I mean, wouldn't you be surprised??? It's all about the EXPERIENCE! It's all about the presentation... It's all about the FEELING!!! Going out of your way to make your clients feel special!!! Because, in the end, isn't that why we do this? Isn't this why we love our jobs? Isn't this what makes it all worth while... Well... I can ASSURE you... It's COMPLETELY what DRIVES ME! It's what I LIVE FOR!!! Until next time...

... Because everything REALLY is better with a little SUGAR!!!

June 24, 2011

{ Ruffled } Cakes of Splendor!!!

There is something about a wedding that is truly is describable with just one word - {BEAUTIFUL}!!! Weddings are just beautiful aren't they... I mean, the love, the romance, the magic, the splendor... It's just captivating! And the wedding cake... It's one of the first things wedding guests look for when they enter the reception. "Where is the wedding cake? What does it look like? How does it taste?"

More often than not, Brides are reaching to stars to make their cakes mirror either their wedding gowns or their wedding theme. It's sooooooo cool! I absolutely LOVE IT! And, I am seeing a huge trend in fashion trends making their mark on wedding cakes... We are seeing cakes with jewels, cakes with patterns, cakes with lots of color, obscure shaped wedding cakes and MOST IMPORTANTLY... {Ruffles}

I, of course, LOVE THIS because I am OBSESSED with Ruffles... I just think there is something about Ruffles.... They are just so magical and romantic and soft and warm... My wedding dress had ruffles! Ok, before you go imagining me in some 80's NIGHTMARE... It was absolutely beautiful. It wasn't overstated or big... It was just romantic and beautiful... I loved it! So, when I started seeing numerous pictures of wedding cakes with Ruffles, I just had to share them because they are simply too pretty not to! So, enjoy this one... These cakes are SIMPLY STUNNING!!!

I mean, seriously... Look at these Ruffles... The one on the left looks like it is adorned with a great little mini-skirt and the top tier is draped with a gorgeous tone on tone necklace... And the one on the right looks like a wedding dress gathered up with a beautiful brooch to showcase a beautiful bounty of RUFFLES!!!


These ruffles almost look like Peony petals... And we all know how BEAUTIFUL Peony petals are!

And these little ruffles are almost like a Petticoat! UGH!!! I just LOVE IT!!!

Ok... This is AMAZING!!! These both make me almost a little teary! Congratulations to the cake baker that created these works of art! This is why I love what I do... Who wouldn't love looking at things like this all day!

So... today, I urge you to consider the possibilities when choosing your wedding cake! Try to branch out of the traditional smooth finish with flowers on top and create your own little masterpiece. Find something that is reflective of your personal style and JUST GO WITH IT! People will love it... After all, it's YOUR DAY! And you can do WHATEVER your little heart desires!!!

...Because everything REALLY is better with a little SUGAR!!!

{ Heart Shaped } Cupcakes

Happy Happy Friday!!! Well... It's June 24th and here in Phoenix, it feels like we have already jumped straight into the heat of summer! For the last two days, it has been 113 degrees! YUCK YUCK YUCK!!! So, with the BUMMER of SUMMER, let's do something fun! And really, what is better than HEART SHAPED CUPCAKES!!!

In my weekly blog reading, I came across this great idea and just thought I would share it. Of course, much to my husband's dismay, I do love a great "shaped" cupcake pan but I just LOVE LOVE LOVE that you can create heart-shaped cupcakes in a traditional pan with simply a MARBLE!!!

These are just TOOOOOO CUTE!!!! I love them! I am thinking I might make some this weekend with hopes that they will cheer up our SUMMER BLUES! 

Or... I'll hold onto this recipe for Valentine's Day!!! 

Anyways, it's a silly thing but it makes me smile... So, I had to share it with y'all! Have a FABULOUS FRIDAY and a FANTASTIC weekend!!! 

Because everything REALLY is better with a little SUGAR...

June 6, 2011

{ Ruffles } - SOOOO MUCH FUN!!!

Today, Southern Weddings featured the GREATEST cake table skirt and I just had to share it with you!!! It is sooooo precious! With all the craze for Ruffles, I am dedicating this week to ROMANTIC RUFFLES!!! Tomorrow, I will be sharing some great cakes that feature {Ruffles}... So, get excited!!!

.... Because life REALLY is better with a little Sugar!!!

May 24, 2011

Finding Musical Inspiration - EVEN on American Idol!!!

Ok... So, I just finished watching the finale of American Idol! Yes... It's true! I have to say that it still is one of my most favorite shows. Maybe it's the absolute passion and obsession for music that I have always had and that secret dream that somehow I could become a singing star... But, every year, I look forward to the moment that American Idol starts... This year has been a show unlike any other! The contestants have been ABSOLUTELY AMAZING!!! They all were so incredibly talented but I have to say that from the moment she auditioned, I said that I was CONFIDENT that Lauren Alaina would win! Tonight, she stood there just as gorgeous, classy and confident as ever and sang probably one of the most BEAUTIFUL songs I have heard in a LONG TIME!!!

THANK YOU LAUREN ALAINA! Thank you for the PERFECT, MOST BEAUTIFUL tribute to Mother's... That song is AMAZING! I see a BRAND NEW HIT for upcoming weddings... Mother / Son Dances, video montages and tributes to mothers... YAY!!! I LOVE IT!!! Check it out... I have attached a link to the video of her performing it. The words are PERFECTION!!!