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26 August 2013

Caden's Dessert Table

With every event, dessert table, and small project that I've worked on, I always end up being pleasantly surprised at how well they turn out. I'm not bragging, no. Far from it, in fact. I'm often in disbelief when I'm able to come up with good work, because when I really think about it, I could never comprehend how something that I could be proud of actually came from me.

And then it always hits me -- that's just it! None of it comes from me; it all comes from God! I won't lie, I do forget this fact sometimes. But the important thing is that I'm reminded of it at once every single time that I'm left dumbfounded by the completed work in front of me. And then I marvel at the wonder of it all -- it is such an incredible, amazing, and humbling feeling to realize that I'm able to do what I do by God's grace.

And this dessert table was a true testament to the fact that none of it comes from me.

You see, a couple of months ago, I was diagnosed with a medical condition that has affected not only my physical being. Every part of me seemed to shut down, and the recovery has been slow. I couldn't work. I didn't want to work. But I had to do this dessert table.

So a couple of days before the event, I set to work and was surprised by the ease with which I was able to come up with ideas. It just sort of happened. I did have to work hard and tediously on the execution, but that I even had the energy and motivation to do so was nothing short of a miracle.

This dessert table, which was for a baptism celebration, and another collaboration with Naci Comfort Food, will always be dear to my heart.

Caden's Dessert Table

Caden's Dessert Table

Caden's Dessert Table

Caden's Dessert Table

Caden's Dessert Table

Caden's Dessert Table

Caden's Dessert Table

Caden's Dessert Table

Caden's Dessert Table

Caden's Dessert Table

Caden's Dessert Table

Caden's Dessert Table

Caden's Dessert Table

20 May 2013

Love & Lavender for Naci Comfort Food

For this year’s Mother’s Day weekend, Naci Comfort Food treated moms to an all-you-can-eat dessert buffet featuring an array of scrumptious desserts.

I was thrilled that they opted to veer away from the mundane dessert table set-ups that we normally see in hotel restaurants or catered events, but I was even more thrilled that I was asked to do the set-up!

As thrilled as I was, I was also a little bit nervous because I had no hand in deciding what desserts would go on the table. I’m used to completely conceptualizing my dessert tables, knowing almost exactly how my desserts are going to look like, and working closely with my friends at The Cake Shack to make sure that everything turns out just as planned.

So this set-up posed a different kind of challenge, as I was going to have to basically wing it! I normally have at least 80% of a dessert table planned and laid out in my head before the day of the event, but for this one, my plans were... close to none.

But I was really happy (and relieved!) with how everything turned out. Phew!

Naci wanted to go with a French theme similar to what I did for Yani’s first birthday, so my windowpanes and beloved Eiffel Tower made a reappearance. I was just a little (okay, a lot) disappointed that I didn’t get to see any cupcakes on my Ferris wheel. But it’s okay! I don’t think it looked naked at all, although I think it would have looked even better with cupcakes on it. Next time. :) 

Mother's Day Dessert TableMother's Day Dessert Table
I clearly have no idea how to take photos against the light.

Mini CheesecakeMini Cheesecake
Mini Mango Cheesecakes and Mini Blueberry Cheesecakes on a beautiful mirrored tray.

Chocolate Chip Fudge Brownies
A tower of Chocolate Chip Fudge Brownies.

Pistachio Sans Rival
Love their Pistachio Sans Rival!

Assorted Mini Cupcakes
Assorted Mini Cupcakes.

Bread Pudding Flan
Bread Pudding Flan

Chocolate Mousse and Mango Panna CottaChocolate MousseChocolate MousseMango Panna CottaMini Chocolate Chip Cookies and Mango Panna Cotta
Chocolate Mousse and Mango Panna Cotta in shot glasses.

Mini Chocolate Chip Cookies
Mini Chocolate Chip Cookies.

Mini PavlovaMini Pavlova
Mini Pavlovas.

Love You Forever
Taking inspiration from the children’s book, Love You Forever, I asked Guillain (Boogie) Garcia to create a framed poem saying:

”I’ll love you forever
I’ll love you for always
As long as I’m living
My Mommy you’ll be.”
She also did the adorable hand-calligraphed dessert labels.

04 May 2013

French Chic Dessert Table - Yani's 1st Birthday

French Chic Dessert Table

Since Relish boasts of dainty Parisian decor, it was decided that the dessert table should follow this theme. I couldn't have been more thrilled! I love all things French! I would live in France if I could. Sigh.

Anyway! I was really happy with how the dessert table turned out. It blended well with its surroundings, and I love that it's not something that you would normally see in a first birthday party. 

Instead of having just one big cake, I decided to have three smaller ones.

French Chic Dessert Table

French Chic Dessert Table

The first is a gorgeous hand-painted chocolate truffle cake with yema filling. It was difficult to slice into something this pretty, but cake is cake! It's meant to be enjoyed by craving tastebuds. :) 

Handpainted Cake

Handpainted Cake

This is the prettiest, most artsy slice of cake I've ever seen!

Handpainted Cake

Next is this dainty butter vanilla cake with cream cheese buttercream filing in pastel pink ombre layers, topped with three pink fondant peonies. I unfortunately don't have a decent shot of the beautiful ombre layers inside. :(

Peony Cake

Last but most certainly not the least is the classic crowd-pleaser, red velvet cake with cream cheese filling, covered in ruffled whipped cream.

Floral Ruffle Cake

A dessert table wouldn't be complete without some cupcakes, would it?

These pretties are apple walnut cupcakes topped with a big fondant open peony.

Apple Walnut Peony Cupcakes

Apple Walnut Peony Cupcakes

 And these are peanut butter and bacon cupcakes topped with a white chocolate mini macaron. Que c'est beau!

Peanut Butter and Bacon Cupcakes

There were chocolate-covered rice krispie pops, candies, marshmallows, and milk chocolate balls, too!

Chocolate Covered Rice Krispie Pops

Chocolate Covered Rice Krispie Pops

Candy Buffet

Wooden Block Letters

And what French-themed dessert table will be complete without some macarons?



As an added accent (and keepsake!), I had the menu hand calligraphed by Guillain (Boogie) Garcia. Charmant, don't you think?

Calligraphed Menu


Cakes and Cupcakes by The Cake Shack
Macarons by Empire Macaron
Rice Krispie Pops by The Purple Pantry 

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22 April 2013

Handmade Crepe Paper Rose Pull Piñata

Handmade Crepe Paper Rose Pull Piñata

When I took on this project for the first time in October of last year, I didn’t know what I was in for. I didn’t even know if it was going to work! Plus, I had never made a single crepe paper rose before attempting this project. And! I only had a week to complete it, along with finalizing several other things for my friend’s daughter’s birthday, which was what this piñata was for. In short, it was a bit of a challenging undertaking. 

But I really, really wanted to be able to make this piñata, so accepted the challenge, I did! 

After buying several packs of yellow crepe paper, I got to work. I searched online for tutorials on how to make crepe paper roses. My first rose did not look like a rose at all, so I got nervous. What if I can’t do this?? But luckily, I got it on my second try. They’re pretty easy and quick to make, but it becomes tedious when you have to make so many!

I thought that I was only going to need about 300 roses to cover my 18-inch Japanese lantern, which I used as my base, but I ended up needing over three times more than that! I had to make nearly a thousand roses for this piñata! Obviously, I have poor estimating skills.

Gluing the roses onto the lantern was probably my least favorite step, only because I hot glued my fingers so many times during the process! Ouch!! I had painful blisters on my fingers for a few days.

But! Once the piñata was finished (now almost two feet in diameter because of the addition of the roses), I couldn’t be happier!! It turned out way better than I expected, and I was so proud of the result! My Crafts Manager (a.k.a. my mom) was in charge of making the “trap door” underneath the lantern, which worked quite well, too!

We made another one for another kiddie party last month, this time in white. Sadly, this is the only picture I have, which I took with my phone. Hopefully, the official photographer got some good shots. The videographers, Zoombox Productions, captured it perfectly, though!! Watch the video below to see my lovingly made piñata in action. :)

Handmade Crepe Paper Rose Pull Piñata

Janessa Turns 7 from Zoombox Wedding Videos on Vimeo.

Oh, oh! I also used the paper roses to prettify the loot boxes for the party last October. Ain’t it preeetty? I just think that the possibilities are endless with these paper roses! I have so many ideas on how to use them, and can’t wait to actually execute them!

Handmade Crepe Paper Rose Pull Piñata

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Love & Lavender is a small wedding planning and design company established in 2011. It is owned by Bea, an Entrepreneurship graduate whose passion lies in the creative and love-filled world of weddings.


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