Entertaining

Eat

The Spooky Black Geode Cake

This cake was, shall we say, a freewheeling design. I had a vague idea of what I wanted to do for my son's annual Halloween-themed birthday party - an all-black cake (inside and out) with bugs somehow involved (because eight-year-old boys, et cetera), and I thought maybe it'd be cool to have the bugs sort of coming out of the cake as if they'd been inside, but when I got to the part where I'd actually do that, I was stumped.

I wanted a crack in the cake of some sort, but didn't want it to look like, you know...a mistake.

And then I remembered the geode cake. It's all over Pinterest these days, and I've been dying to try one, and you know what geodes have?! CRACKS. (Sort of; you know what I mean.)

Decor

A ‘Fall Florals’ Tablescape…For People Who Aren’t Into Fall Florals

I am not a "fall colors" person - orange is not my jam. But the fall tablescape I put together to shoot Noritake's new Charlotta Gold dinnerware collection (featuring gold edges that are microwave! safe! YES) turned out to be one of my all-time favorites.

I started with my go-to palette (gold and white, pale pinks, texture and texture and texture), then added in autumnal elements with the eucalyptus, tall grasses, wintry berries, and wheat. One styling trick I've returned to again and again over the years (dating wayyyyy back to the flowers-in-a-teacup years, #memories): I love placing florals in unexpected containers, like the vintage tea light holders you see up there, and even laying them directly on the table (as I did with the wheat). It just feels so casual and light and easy.

Related: How To Make Candles In Your Mismatched Teacups

Crafts for the Uncrafty

“Cave Of Wonders” Birthday Cake (With Rainbow Interior)

I want to be humble about this one, but it took me five hours, so I'm not going to be. (Granted, the creation process might have been slowed down ever-so-slightly by the fact that I was catching up on the 2-part season finale of The Bachelorette while fondant-ing, but STILL.)

So. To recap, the make-an-impossibly-fancy-birthday-cake-for-my-child tradition started with the Mermaid Cake (a process that began with my friend Alisa taking pity on me and teaching me how to make a cake that did not turn out like this).

Then came the Spooky Ghost Cake, the Moana Cake, the Bloodshot Eyeball Cake, and the Tie-Dye Rainbow Cake. This year my daughter suggested a "Moana Rainbow Unicorn Mermaid Cake," but I gently steered her in the direction of something a) new, and b) not that, because the chances of me executing that extremely specific vision were zero, and?

Entertaining

Let’s Do This: Cave Of Wonders Fifth Birthday Party

OK, so I know I literally just - like, just - wrote about how I'm *over* entertaining. But one of the great joys in my life these past few years has been going all-in with the kids' birthday parties. Last year we moved to LA only a couple of weeks before my son's birthday, so I gave myself a pass with that one...but my daughter is about to turn five and all the girl wants in life is a ridiculously cool birthday cake.

And so a ridiculously cool birthday cake is what she's (hopefully) going to get.

A ridiculously cool birthday cake, however, requires a theme. So far we've done mermaids, Moana, and rainbows, all of which my daughter suggested doing again...but come on. This is an OPPORTUNITY.


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