rosette cake

rosette cake header

After lusting over some pretty gorgeous cakes on all the blogs we follow we figured it was time to brush up on our decorating skills and try to master some of our fave cake designs. And if we can do it, you definitely can, so we figured it was only fair to share what we learn (although in a lot less time, and the pictures probably don’t accurately describe the mess we make of the kitchen. Literally every single time. So you’re welcome for the Cliff Notes version of cake decorating 101. Learn from our mistakes).

For today’s intro to cake design, we’re bringing back our favourite dessert trick: the rosette. You may remember seeing this baby here with the sweet pink rose cupcakes we made. This is like the intermediate version (okay, that is a loose term) of that post, because my darlings it’s the exact same technique, but on a larger canvas. And maybe with some gravity-defying luck and toothpicks. We’ll get to that.

rosette cake step 1

First step, make a cake. We recently invested in a mini cake pan because our designs need some height, and we can’t continue to eat full cakes on our own because we have party dresses to fit into/diabetes to avoid (I ate two dozen sugar cookies in like three days. TWO DOZEN. Yes.) so the mini pan was a good way to get height without having to make enough to feed ten people. Generous portions. If you’re feeding like 5-8 (that’s an arbitrary number, but you get the point. Sidebar: I need to stop using parenthesis) a mini pan is your best friend and I suggest you go by one immediately.

So yeah. Make a cake.

rosette cake step 2

After you make that cake, crumb coat it. People who are more talented [patient] than me will tell you crumb coating is easy and necessary. I agree with one of those things. Basically you want to take your icing and glob it all on and spread it around (these are clearly scientific terms) covering your whole cake. It’s going to be messy. It won’t look pretty. Chunks will break off and you’ll sob hysterically questioning every decision you’ve ever made about cakes. It’s okay. This is normal. Persevere. If chunks come off, use icing to “glue” it all back together. And be gentle. I’m going to go ahead and say that once your cake is 100% cool from the oven, put it in the fridge for like 10 minutes. It will firm stuff up. Really, the fridge is your ally in this whole ordeal. Once you finish the crumb coat, pop it back in the fridge for another 10-15 minutes. Take a break. Have a drink.

rosette cake step 3

When you’re ready to face the cake again it’s been about ten/fifteen minutes, take the cake out. Attach a Wilton 2D tip to your piping bag/icing gun and load it up. If you want a slightly more graphic demonstration of the rosette technique, head to the link above. But basically, pump a small amount of icing in the “centre” of what will be your rosette. Slowly pump a steady stream of icing as you move your icing in a circular motion around the centre “bud”. When it’s the size you want, twist your icing stream so it falls in the right pattern on your cake. If this sounds confusing don’t stress, it makes sense immediately once you see the rosette shape working out.

rosette cake step 4

Keep making rosettes, moving counter-clockwise around your cake. When you finish one layer, pop it in the fridge for a couple minutes to firm up. If you’re using buttercream this will obviously work the best. If your icing is firm, there’s a better chance it will support the layer above. That’s like gravity 101.

rosette cake step 5

When you get to the top of the cake, continue your rosettes along the rim. If you have any issues with gravity/rosettes not sticking to your cake along the way, use toothpicks to gently prop everything back in place. You’re going to end up with the rosettes gradually getting fewer as you get to the centre. Think of it as one rosette in the middle of the cake, and then three, and then five, etc. Of course you can do whatever feels right, but this worked the best for us.

And that’s that! It looks so sweet when it’s finished, and it actually isn’t that hard – at all! It’s the perfect trick when you want to save some money AND impress all your friends, and it looks adorable for a girls night or bridal shower!

rosette cake final

If you try this out, we want to hear about it! Instagram a shot of your cake and tag us so we can see how it went.

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hooked catering launch party

HEADER HOOKED

I’m so excited to be back online! We’re still getting used to our new design, and how CRAZY IN LOVE we are with it. It’s super cute, and all the new changes have us so excited about the future of The Party Girl! We are so grateful for the overwhelming support we got on our old site, and we hope many of you made the move with us to thepartygirl.ca!

In case you didn’t notice (or see Ashley obsessing over it last week) we have some brand new tabs up there that mean big things for us – and hopefully you guys! Check out the Party Box tab to learn more about the project coming your way, and soon the Shop tab will be full of parties to make your life a little bit easier!

Now for the fun stuff. We were so excited to be invited to the launch party/pop up for Hooked Catering on July 19 at artisan coffee roastery Propeller Coffee Co. in Toronto. Hooked is the product of Toronto based George Brown College student Jessica Lagman. While Jessica’s passion for food led her to found the catering company, her love of storytelling is the true vision behind Hooked‘s sure to be successful rise in the Toronto food industry.

hooked

The Party Girl team rolled up Saturday night excited for a night of creative storytelling through interactive stations and delicious food and cocktails. And we weren’t disappointed! We were immediately charmed by the venue, nestled in artsy warehouse and factory-rich Bloordale Village. Pretty loft lighting and gorgeous wide open spaces set the perfect scene for the pop up party, which not only launched Hooked‘s brand new menu, but also featured booths from artists, photographers, event industry professionals, and some guest djs! I loved the handmade jewellery by Hypatia and Dissian. Their creations were so stunning and unique, I was tempted to buy some for myself! 

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vendor artist

Jessica did an amazing job of creating a fun and interactive experience! We loved browsing the different booths, but the best part was the incredible food Hooked provided. Pulling from Japanese, Korean, Filipino, Polynesian, and modern comfort food for influence, the menu featured mouth watering dishes like lobster rolls, salmon tataki, mushroom pate, and coconut crab cakes (hungry yet?).

food 2

hooked food

As you know we’re huge supporters of food stations, so we were obsessed with delicious options at the rice bowl bar (I couldn’t get over the Kimchi Musubi, I’m still thinking about it), anguished over decisions at the waffle station (caramelized banana or nutella, HOW CAN WE POSSIBLY CHOOSE?!) and argued about the appropriate way to make shaved ice (with tapioca obviously, or shredded coconut, or ube, oh god…).

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We were so impressed by the beer bottles, donated by Collective Arts Brewery.They’re dedicated to bringing together the cultural influences of music, film and the arts with the talents of craft brewmasters. Each bottle features limited edition works of art while the inside is full of well crafted beers. Super cool, and really refreshing idea!

cookies

Overall the event was fabulous! I went home completely full and so excited to write this post! I absolutely recommend trying Hooked Catering next time you are thinking of running an event. Just ask for Jessica and let her handle the rest, you won’t be disappointed!

 

feather mani

feather mani

Good morning!

It’s a new day, a new week and a new beginning for us here at party girl. As you may have noticed our website has had a bit of a face-lift!  What do you guys think?
We are on the second week of the new look and we are absolutely ecstatic about it. 

To celebrate the new website I have decided to do one of my favourite nail designs, a feather mani!! I absolutely love this look, and it’s so simple to do. For this post I bought some special tools to make things easier, the Kiss Nail Artist : Paint & Stencil Kit. It comes with three colours, black, white and silver. The great thing about this kit is the thin brushes, which are perfect for creating that flawless feather design.

First I started with the base coat, followed by the colour. I’m usually not one to buy expensive nail colours since I normally only used them a handful of times and end up wasting them. But when I went in to the store and saw the mint Sally Hansen colour I decided to splurge! 

Feather mani step1

Then I started adding the design. I began at the corner of the nail with the stripes facing out.

feather mani step 2

Then I added two more stripes. I continued the stripes, always starting from the center and brushing out.

feather mani step 4

Once you have filled in your feather you can add some sparkle to it. I love sparkle! I added some stripes here and there. Not too much, just to add some dimension.

feather mani step 5

And that’s it, repeat on all of the nails and you’re done. A feathered nail for your Monday morning! Let us know what you think of the design and the new look on the website!

edible initial cupcake toppers

cookie topper headerGood morning Party Girls! It feels so good to be back and sharing all the fun projects we’ve been up to! I’m the worst at keeping secrets so with all our big changes and announcements it was almost impossible to hold on to this adorable cupcake topper we dreamed up. I love the way cupcakes look dressed up in fancy little toppers, but you know whats way more fun than looking at a topper? Eating it! Hence the creation edible cupcake toppers, customizable any way you want. We picked our initials because we’re sentimental slobs, and then spelled out “love” because we’re so cliche 😉

Regardless of our completely unoriginal subject choices, these little guys looked super cute when they were done, and they’d make a great little treat in lieu of place cards at a dinner party. Isn’t the best part about being an adult dessert first? (Answer = yes. Always.)

And they’re so easy to make!

sprinkle cookies step1Using your favourite sugar cookie recipe (you can find ours here) use alphabet cookie cutters (or a knife if you’re crazy talented) to make your cookie shapes. I got these in a box of 100 (yup) at Home Outfitters, but you can find letters just like this pretty much anywhere, and the alphabet generally always comes together 🙂 We found this size was pretty much perfect because it was small enough not to fall over on the cupcake but big enough to stick to a candy pop stick, which is important.

sprinkle cookies step 2While your cookies are baking, lay out your bowl of icing and a bowl of sprinkles. Make sure the sprinkles are relatively deep (you should be able to stick your finger in the bowl and have the sprinkles cover your nail at least). After baking your cookies, dip them in royal icing. Full disclosure: we’ve used this icing dipping technique before and while Fernanda is crazy pro at it, I am not. I don’t have the patience for it, and since Victoria and I had to go these ones alone, we both got pretty irritated with the fact we couldn’t duplicate Fernanda’s crazy precise dipping techniques. So we used knives. Don’t tell her.

Regardless of how you do it, you want a thin layer of icing on your cookie.

sprinkle cookies step 3Immediately after you get the cookie covered the way you want, slowly lay it down on the sprinkles and gently tap the back. Don’t push too hard or wiggle because we tried that (again, impatient) and we had to use a toothpick to clean up the sides. Note: you CAN use a toothpick to clean up the sides if you screw up, so don’t stress about it!

sprinkle cookies step 4Let your cookies sit for a bit so the royal icing firms up. At this point the sprinkles are pretty much going to stick forever (to a point) so it’s less horrifying when you have to flip the cookie over to use candy melts (or melted chocolate) to adhere a cake pop stick to the back of your cookie. If you’ve never done this before, just think of your melted candy as glue. It’s really that simple. If you’re really dedicated (Victoria) you can hold the stick for a minute or two while the candy melts harden again. If you aren’t (me) it’s not THAT big a risk to just trust gravity not to ruin your stick/melted candy glue.

sprinkle cookies step 5And that’s it! Place one in the centre of your guests dessert plates (if you can wait until dessert!) and serve for the ultimate in person (and delicious!) party touches!

Let us know what you think, and have a great day!

 

we’re back!

WE'RE BACK

We’ve been away, and it’s been so lonely without you! We’ve hinted at some major changes, and a new website was the first step.

That means that our blog is OFFICIALLY over at www.thepartygirl.ca! In the meantime we may maintain this one, but in case we forget (and we’re awfully busy with our big announcement, so that’s possible!) we want you to be able to find us!

Meanwhile, we’ve been working on some seriously amazing projects just for you! Subscribe to the brand new Party Girl (and like us on social media!) to stay up to date with all the great new crafts, projects, parties, and manis we’ve got coming your way.

Oh, and P.S. – You’ll notice there’s a brand new tab on the navigation bar – did you see it? We’re so excited to finally leak some more details about this extra special project, but if you missed it, catch it over at the Party Box page!

weekender- july 11-13

 

the weekender header july 11-13

Friday is here!! I don’t think I have ever been more excited for a weekend to come. I don’t know why but this week has felt endless. I can’r wait to relax by the pool and do absolutely nothing!

And this is not just any regular weekend either, it is the final of the World Cup! Normally this is something that doesn’t really catch my attention, but this year my team, Argentina, is in the finals, something that has not happened in 24 years!!! So you now where I’ll be this Sunday. And for those of you that want to get in on the excitement, I’ll be recommending some bars where you can watch the game with die hard fans. Cause there’s nothing better than cheering and drinking and watching a game with people who really know what’s happening 🙂

Here are this weekend’s things to do in Toronto:

 

Bastille Day in Toronto

bastille day

Celebrate Bastille Day, France’s national holiday, at Wychwood Barns with a traditional picnic and French market during the day and a dance with chances to win awesome prizes in the evening.

Sun, July 13: 6 – 10pm
$10 per ticket (free from 12 – 6pm)

 

Toronto Fringe Festival

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The Toronto Fringe Festival is well underway! This festival  is a chance for all artists both emerging and established to present their work to audiences. Productions range from dramas and musicals to improv and dance shows, and take place in local venues, playgrounds, parking lots and more. Check out this year’s productions here.

July 02, 2014 – July 13, 2014

Prices vary per play

 

One Year To Go

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In just 365 days, Toronto and 15 other municipalities across southern Ontario will welcome athletes, artists, visitors and dignitaries from 41 countries and territories as they come here to compete in the TORONTO 2015 Pan Am Games. To help every one count down the remaining year to the Games, a free celebration is taking place in Nathan Phillips Square. Click here for the full schedule of activities!

Fri, July 11 – Sat, July 12

FREE

 

World Cup Finals

fifa world cup 2014

 

Will you be watching the soccer game this Sunday? Well why not check out the Top 10 Places to watch the World Cup Final in Toronto from blogTO. I know I’ll probably be heading to one of these spots to cheer on with my fellow Argentines.

 

Enjoy the weekend!

 

diy painted footed glass vase

painted vase header

One of my favourite parts about summer is bringing in some of the sunshine to my apartment. So of course when I saw these sunflowers on sale I bought three bunches, and then immediately realized they deserved a bit more fun than a boring old glass vase I had. And after I finished this super easy project, I was struck by how cheap and simple it was – perfect for tossing some last minute party decor together! If you need a centrepiece for your next party and a regular vase needs some diy magic, this is the trick for you!

materials vase

You can find most of these materials at the dollar store. I bought the little vase there. I found the footings at Michaels a little while ago when I first thought about doing this, and they have flat sides on them perfect for gluing to the bottom of your vase. We bought glass paint but honestly I wasn’t a huge fan of it. I think depending on how often you think you’ll be washing it/how carefully you’ll be while washing it, regular craft paint will work just as well. I also had white craft paint, tape, transfer paper, a printed design, and a glue gun.

I would say you could do the same project with about half the stuff, but I’ll show you how I did it anyways.

footings vase

First, paint your footings. I decided to paint them white because I liked the contrast, but you can do whatever you prefer. I used craft paint and it dried almost instantly.

warp vase

This is a step you could probably skip. I decided I couldn’t hand draw a perfect chevron, so I used some transfer paper I had left over from another project and a chevron pattern I printed off the Internet.

I wrapped the etching paper around the vase, securing it with tape. I repeated that with the design on top.

sketch etchings

Use a dowel or pencil eraser or something to trace your design. It will leave behind a mark on your etching paper.

etching marks

You can see the etching marks a bit here (I made extra to show you). I would suggest getting some painters tape, but I didn’t have any so I used washi tape. I think it was fine, but it was so pretty I hated to waste it on this. Still, I taped along my graphite lines just to be extra straight.

vase painted

My complaint about the paint was that when I peeled off the tape, even going super slow and giving it like two days to dry out, the paint seemed to stick to the tape, and stretched when I peeled off the tape. It was very elastic like paint, which was frustrating because it ruined a lot of my lines. I ended up free handing it and sort of casually drawing lines so it looked a little deliberately crooked.

I think if you give it a try, either free hand it and save yourself the trouble, or try craft paint and see if that’s better.

vase with footings

Once your paint is dry, flip over your vase and use a hot glue gun to stick your footings on.

vase final

And that’s that! It added such a cheerful vibe to the apartment, especially with those gorgeous flowers (locally grown in Ontario too, pretty cool!) to liven it up. With all the rain we’ve had this week it was nice to have a spot of sunshine inside.

Let us know what you think, and definitely give this project a try! It would make a great hostess gift with some blooms tucked inside already, or amend the idea and make some pretty coasters or candle holders.

Happy Thursday!