A Rooftop Dinner in Mexico

This enchanting rooftop dinner was put together by two talented & creative friends while on vacation in Mexico... Lillian of Unstitched and Danni of Oh, Hello Friend.  They were so dedicated to bringing this scene to life that they brought their beloved found objects across the border with them and collected the rest on site.  Coupled with the beautiful ocean view from the roof, they truly captured the perfect setting for a sunset dinner.  Read on below for more from Lillian...


photos © unstitched

From Lillian: When we were in Mexico, Danni and I set up a rooftop dinner on top of our house for us and our boys. The view was gorgeous – it overlooked the ocean and the rooftops of all the other houses in the community. I brought my dining table set, Danni brought her bubble machine, and we both brought little things we’ve found at flea markets and thrift shops to decorate the tablescape. Danni and I walked around the community with scissors and collected flowers to put in ball jars (the boys were a little embarrassed about that.  And I was so excited to try the mini bundt cakes that Danni and Nick brought – these were the ones they handed out at their wedding! The objects on our table, as you can see (all vintage!) – ball jars, Baby Ben clock, old candles, a milk jar, mini cake stand, a gold rock, a small wooden box, a thatched silverware holder, a lace table cloth, mismatched flower plates and teacups from thrift shops, an owl figurine, a bronze bell, those flower spikes for place card holders, and a perpetual calendar (which Danni collects!). Most of those were from Danni…she has such beautiful things! We set up around sunset, so it was perfect lighting and perfect weather.

Salted Caramel Cupcakes + Free Printables

Hi, Paiges of Style here!  If you're like me and love to bake, you're probably on the hunt for good dessert recipes all the time. Look no further, I have discovered the best.cupcake.ever.  Thanks goes to Heather of Sprinkle Bakes for her Triple Salted Caramel Cupcakes. These things are divine and so worth the effort. You'll wonder where they disappeared to so quickly, so I would suggest doubling the recipe...

 photos + design © paiges of style

... I seriously couldn't stop myself!  And since you're all so lovely, I decided to share the darling labels with you HERE and the party circles HERE.


Salted Caramel Cupcakes
Makes 15 Cupcakes

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
1 stick of unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons packed light brown sugar
2 large eggs, at room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons buttermilk

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Line muffin tins with papers. Combine flour, baking powder and salt; set aside.

Cream butter and brown sugar on medium-high speed until pale fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating until each is incorporated. Add vanilla. Mix and scrape down sides of bowl as needed. Add flour mixture in three batches, alternating with two additions of buttermilk, and beating until combined after each.

Divide batter evenly among lined cups, filling each about halfway full. Bake for about 25 minutes. When done, transfer tins to wire racks to cool 10 minutes; turn out cupcakes onto racks and let cool completely.

Salted Caramel Filling:
1/2 cup sugar
3 tablespoons salted butter cubed
1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoons heavy cream, at room temperature

Melt the sugar over medium high heat in a large pot. Whisk the sugar as it melts and cook until it becomes a deep amber color. Add the butter and stir it in until melted. Pour in the heavy cream (mixture will foam) and whisk until you get a smooth sauce. You may have some lumps but keep stirring until they have melted. Remove from heat and let cool slightly.

Cut a small round piece out of the tops of each cooled cupcake and pour in 1 teaspoon of caramel. Replace the cake piece and set cupcakes aside.

Salted Caramel Buttercream Frosting:
1/4 cup granulated sugar
2 tablespoons water
1/4 cup heavy cream
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 stick salted butter
1 stick unsalted butter
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar

In a saucepan, stir together granulated sugar and water. Bring to a boil over medium high heat. Cook without stirring until mixture turns a deep amber color. Remove from heat and slowly add in cream and vanilla, stirring until very smooth. Let caramel cool for about 20 minutes, until it is just barely warm and still pourable.

In a mixer fitted with paddle attachment, beat butter and salt together until lightened and fluffy. Reduce speed to low and add powdered sugar. Mix until thoroughly combined.

Scrape down the side of the bowl and add the caramel. Beat on medium high speed until light and airy, and completely mixed (about 2 minutes). Mixture should be ready to use without refrigeration. If your caramel was too hot when added, it will cause your icing to be runny. If this happens refrigerate for 15-20 minutes.

Top caramel-filled cupcakes with frosting.

Cupcake tags available for download HERE and HERE.

Postcards from Sonoma: Cornerstone Gardens

The second half of our Sonoma trip finds us at Cornerstone Gardens.  Though the gardens are mere steps from the site where we were married three years ago, somehow we never made our way over to explore during our planning process. Cornerstone is known for it's modern art installations embedded among natural landscape settings. While it feels a bit surreal at first, once the mind adjusts there is beauty to be discovered around every turn...

One of the most interesting pieces was a wishing garden.  Guests were invited to write a wish on shimmering ribbon and tie it to a length of metal chain in the garden.  Hundreds if not thousands of wishers had already paid a visit, and the ribbons made a gorgeous spectacle dancing in the breeze.  This idea may even be something to think about for your next party.  It's essentially a larger more modern version of the wish tree I created for my daughter's birthday...

Cornerstone also serves as a wedding venue... offering a spacious lawn, open air tent and modern barn as options for their events (click here for pics). After our romantic afternoon stroll, we concluded that had we bothered to check it out before our own wedding we would definitely have considered getting married there ourselves.  I don't know anything about their level of service in order to recommend it as a venue, but you simply can't ask for more from their grounds. 

photos © cake. 2011

Postcards from Sonoma: The Fremont Diner

Since I left everyone hanging for a few days last week, I figured the least I could do was to share a few adventures from our anniversary in Sonoma.  This is the first of two installments... scenes from our perfectly over-indulgent lunch at the Fremont Diner.  I'll let the pictures be your guide, but let me say this... if you happen to be in the area, skip your fancy plans and go here.  Go here and don't look back. It's rustic charm personified, and the southern style comfort food will knock your socks clean off.

photos © cake. 2011

A French Toast Birthday Brunch

Carrie Rowe sent us this charming French Toast birthday brunch with so many mouthwatering details... can anyone say chocolate covered bacon?  Love all the options for french toast toppings and sauce, not to mention the oranges as place cards.  See below for more details...

photos © kelli trontel

From Carrie:  Since the whole party was based off of the birthday girl's love for French toast we obviously had that, BUT we didn't make traditional French toast. Sara made French toast dippers and homemade syrup! We also provided a toppings bar, bacon, mini doughnuts and chocolate covered bacon (don't knock it till you try). For beverages we offered coffee, water and orange juice.  The decor was very simple. We styled a beautiful table with light fabrics, individual place settings, cake stands, hand painted mustache cups and coffee pots with daffodils. Oranges were placed at each setting doubling as a place card and then used to make fresh squeeze OJ. We strung doilies from the ceiling and had a vintage window hanging on the wall.  Party Favors- I made French Toast Cupcakes and placed "bacon and eggs" on top. The "bacon and eggs" was made from two pretzel sticks, white chocolate and a yellow M&M. We made cupcake boxes from craft paper and wrapped them in twine.

Event Styling: Carrie Rowe & Sara Trammel
Photographs: Kelli Trontel
Bacon and Eggs idea: Cakie
Fabrics: Joann Fabrics