Monday, December 29, 2008

Wonderful Way to Begin 2009!

Whatever your holiday celebration, you may want to consider attending a performance of the Boar's Head and Yule Log Festival. It's rich in color, sound and spirit and can be enjoyed by all! I recommend getting there early for a free seat. Below you'll find details as posted on the UCC website:

"Seasonal treats at UCC don’t end when the New Year begins!
Saturday, January 3, and Sunday, January 4, the well-loved Epiphany delight, the Boar’s Head and Yule Log Festival will be re-enacted in our Sanctuary. Performances will be held at 3 and 5 p.m. each day.

This will be the 33rd year for the pageant to be presented by UCC as a gift to the community. Be sure to invite family and friends to this celebrated festival – it lasts only one hour and appeals to all ages since music and movements constantly occur!

Already old in tradition when presented at Queens College, Oxford, in 1340, The Boar’s Head and Yule Log Festival is perhaps the oldest continuing festival of the Christmas season. It was a holiday tradition in many manor houses in England and it came to this country in Colonial days.
All performances of the BHYL Festival are open to the public, most seats are free of charge. Those holding seats for family and friends, must release them 30 minutes prior to the start of a performance. Because of this, persons are urged to come early to get seats. Limited reserved seating is available for $12 per seat by calling the church at 817.926.6631, ext. 157"

Sunday, December 14, 2008

December Cupcakes

December always seems to be the perfect month to reflect, prepare and consider. I won't go into detail about what all that means to me. Let's just say I have philosophical tendencies and this month always stirs 'em a little more than any other time of the year.

No matter your circumstance this December, we wish you Hope in all you do! Our constant hugging to Hope is the very thing that keeps us moving along with our little shop of cupcakes. We are deeply grateful for each and everyone of you that have been supportive and have found a cake stand, or covered container in your home for our tiny cakes.
We were pleasantly surprised to learn of our mention as "Best Cupcakes" (along with 2 other places) in this months Fort Worth, Texas Magazine. Thanks to each of you that voted for us! Such mentions keep us motivated and encouraged. We will be baking right up through December 24th!

Merry Christmas & Make it a wonderful December!

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Space Shuttle Stops By

This morning, while baking, I kept hearing all about the space shuttle and how it was settled in for a pit stop here in Fort Worth last night. Most folks from Fort Worth, that are over the age of 40, most likely still refer to the Naval Air Station Joint Reserves as Carswell. I guess I've crossed over to that 'I'm getting old' side of life because of my increasing practice of starting my sentence with "remember when"?

Well: Remember when you would be outside playing or swimming and a giant shadow came creeping all around you and you look up to see a ginormous B-52 dragging it's heaviness gracefully across the sky? Or, remember when the windows would shake on your house as F-16s whizzed past in the western sky of Cowtown? Carswell, and (what once was) General Dynamics brought those experiences to North Texas, and I for one loved it!

As I continued to listen to the details about the Space Shuttle Endeavours stop here, I had quickly remembered another Space Shuttle pit stop story. Back in the early 90's we were stationed at Dyess Air Force Base in Abilene where my sidekick, Juaquin, was a navigator on C-130s. This assignment took dad/hubby away from us for weeks at a time.
Many of us wives-of-flyers were often single-moms during that assignment. While our airmen were away, we often gathered at the squadron for a little fellowship.

Well, one particular afternoon while driving past hanger after hanger (those are those big-giant buildings that serve as garages for aircrafts, for those that may be getting an image of a closet accessory =), our oldest son, Josh, pipes-up and says "Mom, it's the space shuttle"! Now Josh was about 5 at the time, and he was well aware of what the space shuttle would look like, but knowing we were in the middle of nowhere I immediately concluded that there was no way the Space Shuttle would be in Abilene. I did what all good moms instinctively do and reassured my dear 1st-born that he was just imaging things. I replied with, "It was probably a B-1, or a KC-135" (hey, toss a few numbers behind a letter or two and you might just get something right).
There was just one thing wrong with my response. Josh was an incredibly patient and bright boy and I could see in my rear view mirror that he was not happy with my lack of trust. So, I did what I didn't want to do...I stopped the van and turned it around so he could have a second look (and so I could prove that there was no Space Shuttle on the runway just hundreds of feet from us). "Okay....start looking,'s getting dark, so look really hard", I reluctantly stated. As we past our third or fourth hanger, I'll be darn...there, sitting just to the right of me, was this monster of an aircraft. It was, indeed the Space Shuttle, piggybacking on what looked like a dwarfed aircraft. I looked at Josh and began to apologize from the bottom-of-my-heart. I vowed to Josh, right then and there "I will always believe whatever you tell me!" Of course, that was before those High School years!

The Shuttle is suppose to take off from NAS, Fort Worth this morning around 11:00a.m. If time allows, take a peek to the western skies of our wonderful city to see for yourself!

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Sweet Gifts

I'm guessing that many of you reading this little blog are keen for cupcakes! We love all our customers, but we are tickled-pink when a particular customer walks in our door. We can spot true cupcake lovers immediately by the twinkle in their eye as a smile slowly appears on their face. Of course, this effect happens to most when they enter our door shortly after we've opened since that's when the case is full of cupcakes!

If you are looking for a 'non-consumable' cupcake gift, you should check out our cupcake ornaments & 6' garlands, cupcake stands and adorable cupcake themed charms!

The cupcake in your life may enjoy a calorie-free treat!

Feel free to call or email us for prices and details:

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

I ♥ Abilene

Growing up in Fort Worth meant traveling to places that, as a kid, I thought were SO far away. One of those places was Abilene, Texas. I don't know why, but I was always taken back at how there were no street gutters in that town. I guess that's what they're called. Those drain openings where water dives into when we have downpours, or where I see raccoons, cat and opossum dart in when coming to work while most of y'all are still sleeping. Why that's a memory of mine is beyond me, but I digress.

I also use to think "wow, how can anyone survive in such a tiny town"? That is until we lived there from 1991-1995. As a young family stationed at Dyess AFB with 3 children under the age of 5 I quickly discovered what a fabulous place Abilene, Texas could be!

A large town (or is it a small city) exactly 2.5 hours west of Fort Worth, Abilene is home to approximately 100,000. The humidity is low, and you are almost always on 'skirt alert' from ever present breezes. Yes, there's shopping, movie theatres, BBQ spots, ballet studios, museums, a zoo and Big Country Soccer.
If you are single in need of a serious night-life, then this may not be the place for you. For young families looking for a slower pace, this is a community worth considering. Regardless, there's always a great view of the stars on a clear night and amazing Texas sunsets.

I would recommend a day trip to Abilene to check out a few favorite spots:

The National Center for Children's Illustrated Literature (often referred to as The 'nickel'):
this lovely spot houses some amazing works of art by beloved children's illustrators
Harlow's Smokehouse at 2002 N Clack: one of many Yummy Abilene BBQ spots, but you visit this one for the dirt floors and the Chuck Yeagar room

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

The Taste is in the Cake

It's not unusual for customers to come back to our shop and tell us that they loved our flavored frosting. Actually, we do not flavor our buttercream with any additional extracts other than the vanilla that is a must with tradtional buttercream. When you bite into one of our cupcakes the flavor you taste is in the cake!

A good example of this is with our strawberry cupcake (as seen above). When we mix our strawberry cake we take fresh strawberries (never,ever-EVER frozen), and puree them before they go into the batter. Lemon is another great example of this process. The lemon you taste is from freshly zested lemons, freshly squeezed juice from the same, slightly naked-from-zesting, lemons and a hint of pure lemon oil.
The time, energy and focus that goes into this slow bake process is what sets a 'baked from scratch' product apart from a more common mass produced good.

We simply refuse to cut corners when it comes to taste!

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

The Wedding

Brandy, of BellaPop is so good about getting photos from those special events posted promptly!
Here are some of Courtney's wedding.

We agree with Brandy and Courtney regarding Wedding Cakes: Creme de la Creme should definitely be a consideration when looking for a traditional cake for any event!

Friday, October 31, 2008

Courtney & Brandon

Juaquin and I are excited to wish one of our amazing assistants, Courtney, the very best on her wedding day tomorrow! =)

Checkout a few of Courtney and Brandon's engagement pics by Bella Pop!

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

The Wonderful World of William Joyce

The weather is actually looking and feeling like October, hurray! I love this time of year and always think of some great Halloweens we experienced when our kiddos were ages “trick or treat”.

As we approach the 31st another favorite comes to mind. His name is William Joyce and he is my all time favorite author / illustrator of children’s books. I’m guessing this incredibly talented man and his family are busy getting ready for Halloween as he does every year at his home in Shreveport, Louisiana. The measures Joyce goes to in decorating each year are amazing. Lucky guests!

Back in ’97, while we were stationed at Kadena Air Force Base on Okinawa, Japan, I was introduced to the Internet for the first time ever by a fellow first-grade-mom, Marilyn, who showed me how the whole thing worked. Do you remember that discovery?

Well, when you are on an island that is less than 70 miles long and no greater than 20 miles wide, you learn all you can to keep yourself from going island mad!
As I ventured into emailing and surfing the web, Marilyn and I decided to create a website. She created one about her family and I decided to create one about William Joyce. Since there was absolutely nothing on the web about him, I figured this would be a good subject. We worked day and night to complete our sites as if we had some urgent deadline to meet.
Everything I created on The Wonderful World of William Joyce was done from scans. All the images on my site were from me scanning and resizing pages from my own books or articles I may have collected over the years. It was a true labor of love and a simple attempt to stay sane while living so far from home! I completed my site, Marilyn completed hers, and we were on to snorkeling, tide-pooling with the kids, coaching soccer, learning how to roll sushi, etc…

I would peek in on my site now and again just to see if anyone had visited it. After a few years I was surprised to start getting emails from William Joyce fans that found the site thru a search engine. At first, I was able to keep up and reply to posts from all over the country, but after a few years, I simply got busy with other things, and LOST my login details. I eventually emailed someone about eight years ago and requested my password. I was able to catch up on the many guestbook posts, and update my age to 38.
Now, at 46, at least 2 PCs later and elbow deep into running our shop, I have not had luck getting my login information, again. Too many mergers of Yahoo, geocities and such will, most likely, keep me forever 38 years old on my site! If you come across any ‘dead-links’ you’ll know why.

I hope you will take time to, not only read about William Joyce, but also venture into a bookstore or library and enjoy his titles and creative spirit!

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Cupcake Toppers

There are two things that have stayed with me regarding cooking dos and donts that I learned in a gourmet cooking class in college.
They are:
~ Always tear (never cut) lettuce into bite size pieces so guest can eat their salad with ease.
~ Anything that is offered on a plate should be edible. (this could explain the excessive use of parsley sprigs in the 80s :)

I still consider and stick with these two rules, but there is one exception I make when it comes to cupcakes. I think it is perfectly acceptable to dress a cupcake up with a pick or topper! I know they're not edible, but since they are a fun and inexpensive way to dress up a party, I say 'go for it'!

As a kid, I clearly remember collecting those funky chenille and plastic toppers when they showed up on cupcakes in the bakery during the holidays. They were simple and the whole miniature aspect of them makes them an immediate hit.

Today there are many toppers to choose from at party supply stores and online shops. You can even create your own! We have had many customers show us some very festive toppers that will go on the cupcakes they are picking up from our shop. While we do the baking, customers are all too happy to focus on that perfect table display. Here are a few places to look for toppers: Party Warehouse, Party City, or make your own with Martha Stewart instructions!

Toppers are certainly worth considering!

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Historic Handley

If you are from Fort Worth, or visit often, chances are you have a few favorite spots that you frequent. For me one of those areas is Historic Handley! I discovered some wonderful shops in this little community just off East Lancaster about six years ago while driving around Fort Worth.

There’s a tiny antique shop called Eastside Antiques, located in the old Handley Post Office. I have found some great plate stands, old photos and glass pieces in this little nook. If you’re lucky enough to sneak a peak, you’ll be impressed by the shop cat, Baby. This wee kitty tip-toes among the many breakable treasures on the lookout for the next best napping spot. I am extremely allergic to some cats, but have never so much as sneezed while watching as Baby leaves everything undisturbed.

A few other favorite spots are Paper Planet, Crème de la Crème, and Sunny’s which is located in the gorgeous old Weller House. I’m guessing a story goes with the Weller name, but I always forget to ask. If anyone out there knows, please share! For those that love gift shops, Sunny’s is well worth visiting.

Crème de la Crème is owned by Jamie Holder who has been turning out wedding cakes for over a dozen years here in the DFW area. She opened this sweet spot a few years ago, and shares a ‘walk-thru’ wall with Paper Planet, an adorable paper/stationary shop!

Handley will be hosting their 10th Historic Handley Street Fest & Car Show this Saturday, 11 October. If time allows, this would be a great time to check it out!

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Cupcakes Take the Cake

When this little venture into baking cupcakes for a living came to mind almost four years ago, the first thing I wanted to know was: did a bakery even exist that baked just cupcakes? Since my search-engine of choice is Google, I went straight there and typed in ‘cupcake shops’ to see what, if anything, would pop up.

The first result to appear was a site called All Cupcakes All the Time. I clicked it and found myself at a blog titled Cupcakes Take The Cake, and I was immediately hooked!
This blog was created by three gals in New York City and is dedicated to any and all cupcake topics.

Now remember, I was in search of anyone that sold just cupcakes, and when I stumbled upon Cupcakes Take The Cake there were a mere handful of cupcake shops listed. I was actually happy to discover that the idea of a cupcakery wasn't completely crazy.
Most of the shops listed were in NYC, like: Magnolia Bakery, Buttercup Bake Shop, Sugar Sweet Sunshine, there was one in Toronto, and Sibby’s in the Bay area. There may have been others, but those are the ones that I remember. I became a frequent visitor to this festive site!

Rachel, Nichelle and Allison have nurtured Cupcakes Take The Cake and turned it into an amazingly fun experience. They were even featured on Martha Stewart’s Cupcake Week in recent months. The list of cupcake shops on their site has boomed to some 200 plus locations worldwide! You can read our interview from January 2007.

It’s been great fun watching Cupcakes Take The Cake grow into quite the busy-blog! Thanks to three energetic and creative young ladies the rest of us get to experience the growing community of cupcakes with just a click!

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Decorating Our Cupcakes

If your schedule allows you to be at our shop when we open at 10:00 a.m. then you will most likely experience our case full of cupcakes. This early in the day we often hear customers say, "ohhh, they're so pretty" or "awwww, look how cute"! I've baked tens of thousands of these little guys in the two years we've been open and I still have that same reaction! =)

When it comes to decorating our cupcakes we keep it pretty and simple by piping our feshly mixed buttercream icing on each cuppie. Once you master this frosting technique, you can pipe quite a few cupcakes pretty quickly using a variety of frosting tips. The result is instant lovliness!

Though we are not a cake decorating company, we are certainly happy to consider ideas that customers may have for decorating their cupcakes. If we can achieve that idea then we will let the customer know what the additional cost will be for the special decoration. Pricing for custom design begins at $5.00 per standard size cupcake and $1.50 per babycake.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Bella Pop

One of the greatest blessings that has come from having this little cupcake shop is the privilege of meeting some really fun, sweet, and fascinating people. So many of you stumbled into our little bungalow to check out the cupcakes, and with each return visit you have become an 'over-the-counter-friend'.

One such friend is a bubbly soul named Brandy Frank. Brandy is one of many Parker County visitors that, if our sweet treat is on her gotta-get list, will make a point to call ahead to have us hold cupcakes for her. Though Brandy is one of many of our familiar customers, she has kindly trusted us with her little dream of becoming a professional photographer.

It’s apparent that many of Brandy’s friends and loved ones have supported and nurtured her toward this gorgeous venture. Such paths are impressive and encouraging to fellow entrepreneurs.
I encourage you to check out her website Bella Pop and learn a little more about her business. Also, I strongly recommend that you read past posts from her blog, Daily Pop, to learn more about her photography, family, special photo shoots, and even an upcoming Halloween gathering called Boo Bash! Most likely, you too will find something you love about Brandy and her Bella ways!

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Charming Charms!

Here's a sweet little something for all you cupcake fans!

A couple of years ago while visiting C.C.'s Touch of Nature on West Vickery, I noticed a little shop across the street called Chiffoniers. If you haven't been to either of these wonderful shops, I would highly recommend that you visit both. It was at Chiffoniers that I discovered tiny works of art cleverly created into charms by a local artist.

As we began to get our shop up and running, I found myself thinking how fun it would be to have cupcake themed charms in our bakery as a gift item. Thousands of cupcakes and about 18 months later, I decided to track down and get in touch with Shawnell Williams, the maker of these wee treasures, to see what she thought about the idea.

I quickly learned that this jewelry maker was as sweet and cheerful as her charms! We discussed some ideas, and emailed back and forth as we tweaked it all. The cupcake charms were an instant hit! They're worn as necklaces, put on key chains and even attached to purses and totes. They are the perfect 'no calorie' gift for someone keen on cupcakes!

To see more of Shawnell's gorgeous creations visit:

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Get Behind Your Ballet

I must admit that my ballet experience is pretty limited. Our daughter was in ballet in Abilene from age 2 to 6, and danced one more year while we lived in Okinawa. We developed a holiday tradition of going to see the Nutcracker beginning in Sacramento, CA in 1990 and ending in 2001 with the English National Ballet in London. Our sons had no interest in dance, but always supported their sister's performances and especially looked forward to the King Mouse vs. Nutcracker battle! As our children entered their teen years, we found ourselves spending a lot more time at the soccer fields and the world of ballet simply went unnoticed.

By now, most folks in Fort Worth would have heard or read about the financial 'hiccup' that the Texas Ballet Theater is experiencing. Some of these lovely dancers discovered our cupcakery some time ago, and I can usually tell when a dancer enters our shop. With a wonderfully straight back, and a chin that lifts up ever so slightly, they carry themselves with instinctive grace.

When a a few such dancers visited recently, we began talking about the slight crisis facing the company. They explained that the dancers had created a "Get Behind Your Ballet" campaign and asked if we would allow a collection box to sit in our shop. Juaquin and I agreed to this simple request, knowing that some of our customers might be willing to contribute. I also decided that it was time to revisit the Nutcracker, and plan to attend this holiday season! Maybe I'll see some of you there.

Thanks, in advance, to each of you that drop that loose change, or a bill into the GBYB box!


Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Favorite Flavor

I am never quite sure what to say when asked “so what’s your best selling flavor”, or “which is the most popular flavor”? For every flavor cupcake we bake, there is at least one person that would declare that is their favorite flavor.

Some people are strictly white cake fans, while others, such as myself, will always gravitate to any and all chocolate.

I put this box of 12 babycake orange chocolate chip together this morning for a customer that called in asking us to hold them. She, like our daughter Jana, is clearly a fan of this yummy flavor!

Some of the most requested flavors are: Red Velvet, Favorite Chocolate, Pink Lemonade, Lemon, Peanut Butter Cup, Fiori di Sicilia, Pumpkin, Cookies and Cream, Strawberry…wait…see?!? I can’t possibly narrow down our top sellers!

Friday, August 22, 2008

Babycake Palooza

Just in case you have not experienced our cupcakes you should know that we bake in two sizes only. Our 'standard' size cupcake is just that, the size of a standard size cupcake baking pan, and our 'babycakes' are simply a mini-version of our standard size cuppie (think mini-muffin pan)!

Both sizes are yummy and very popular, but I must say that our sweet babycakes are most requested for some of the following events:
baby showers, confirmations, baht-mitzvahs, wedding receptions, rehearsal dinners, bachelorette parties, luncheons and high-tea, sip 'n sees, christenings, open houses, birthday gatherings, baptisms, and anniversaries!

When gatherings include a fair amount of grown boys (aka: men), we tend to have greater requests for the standard size cupcake. Regardless of the cupcake size, both cakes are made from the same 'baked from scratch that day' batter. mmmm.... =)

For details about our cupcakes visit:

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Freckled Pink - fabricards

Last year, when we celebrated our first year of being open, I received a wonderful congratulation card from my brother, Joe, and his wife, Linda. The card had a sweet cupcake with a single candle on it, and 'congratulations!' written below it. It was perfectly sweet!
As I held the card and looked a little closer, I quickly realized that this card was a true labor of love. Not only had the pretty argyle-patterned paper been sewn onto this blank card and envelope, but the cupcake and congratulations had been carefully stitched on as well! What a gorgeous, tiny treasure!

This would be my introduction to the creator of this, and so many wonderful, works of art. I got in touch with Tori, of Freckled Pink, as soon as time allowed. She and I met and discussed the possibility of having cupcake cards available for our customers. Our 'Hey Cupcake' fabricards have been well received!

For those of you looking for more fabulous custom-monogramming gifts from Freckled Pink visit:

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Johnny Cupcakes

If you like reading about people that have made their way in this world through a lot of hard work and a little creativity, then you might enjoy reading about Johnny Cupcakes.

I discovered Johnny Cupcakes back in '06 and just loved his story! I won't even try to describe what he does here, but I encourage you take a moment to read his story for yourself:

Johnny continues to take his 'bakery' to new levels and has recently opened a shop in LA. I only peek in on his site every few months, so when I saw webisodes on his blog explaining what he had planned for the new LA shop, I was very impressed!
You can view his final webisode #3 on his blog: (scroll to entry date July 25, 2008)

Hope you enjoy his story as much as I do! =)

Friday, August 8, 2008

Cuppy Cake Song

I was not familiar with this sweet song until a customer told me to look for it on YouTube. I fell it love with it immediately! It's the perfect song for those moments when a tired, crying or extra busy toddler needs 'redirecting'. Here are the lyrics in case you want to give it a go:

You're my Honeybunch, Sugarplum
Pumpy-umpy-umpkin, You're my Sweetie Pie
You're my Cuppycake, Gumdrop
Snoogums-Boogums, You're the Apple of my Eye
And I love you so and I want you to know
That I'll always be right here
And I love to sing sweet songs to you
Because you are so dear

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Hey Cupcake!

Welcome to a simple blog that’s been spinning in my head for the past year. Just when I manage to gather a moment of time to get these entries going, I find myself diverted and on to one thing or another, forcing me to push thoughts aside. It is time to declutter and get these thoughts posted!

After being open for nearly two years we have enjoyed meeting some wonderful people here in our shop. I’m guessing that you may just be one of them! So many of you have entered our little venture wondering what, exactly, were we all about. Once you discovered and embraced our cupcakes you made your way back, and we've been thrilled to see you again…and again! Others have found themselves in cupcake ‘quest-mode’ with hopes of finding us open after discovering us sold-out or closed on previous visits. The perseverance of each of you is deeply appreciated, and incredibly impressive!

For each of you, I simply want to offer snippets of people, places and things that may interest you. These Sweet Mentions are simply that…mentions!

Happy Reading! =)