Thursday, December 29, 2011

Pink Champagne Cupcakes

Today's Post features a FABULOUS recipe from Betty Crocker. 

It is perfect for a New Year's Eve celebration because not only is it cake, but it has a taste of Champagne (a NYE staple.)  I made this recipe last year after I saw it featured on Betty Crocker's 2011 calendar and it is VERY delicious!  

Thank You Notes

Ever since I was old enough to hold a crayon in my hand I have been writing thank you notes to people who have given me gifts.  As I grew up I started to realize that fewer and fewer people write thank you notes.  Now, my Mr "Fix-It" Fiance (yes, we're engaged now!)  and I disagree on this issue every birthday, Christmas, or event that includes receiving a "gift." 

He thinks that a heartfelt "Thank You" is good enough and a written letter is not necessary.  I think that thank you notes are necessary for not only birthday or Christmas gifts, but also when someone goes out of their way for you (such as helps plan a party with you!)  Perhaps I go a little "over the top" with the thank you notes, but that's just me.

I'm not going to pressure you into writing thank you notes, there are obviously many schools of thought on the topic, but I do want to help you write one if you so choose!  (Try it out, it might be fun!)

Why Write a Thank You Note:

Writing a thank you note, is a formal way to thank someone for their gift, time, money, help, attendance, etc.  I would compare it much like a greeting card, it could possibly go in the trash after someone reads it, but for that moment while they are reading your heartfelt words, they appreciate it. 

Where to Wite a Thank You Note:

If you take the time to write a thank you note, then take the time to create a clean surface, find a nice pen, and even a decent chair to sit in.  You don't have to dress up in a prom dress just to write a formal thank you, but you don't want to make the note look like you were writing the note while trying to drive your car and drink your Starbucks. 

When to Write a Thank You Note:

There is no "expiration" on a thank you, however it would be rather weird to get a thank you note for attending a co-workers' daughters party 5 years ago, today.  Most books and references say about a month tops on thank you notes.  I like to get them out in a week or two, that way the reason or gift I want to thank them for is still fresh in my mind. 

What to Write in a Thank You Note:

Obviously in a thank you note you want to THANK the person for the gift they gave you.  However a letter that looks like

Dear Joe Doe,

Thanks for the cookie cutters.


looks rather foolish if you ask me.  A few things you can add to a thank you are:

For a Gift:
- What you are going to do with the gift
- When you will use it.
- How you felt when you received it.

For Time, Help, or Attendance to a function:
- Why you were so happy they attended.
- Thank them for a specific action.
- The way you felt to see them at the function.

A thank you note might look something like this:

Dear John Doe,

Thank you so much for the cookie cutters. 
They were excatly what I needed to
add to my collection.  I am so excited to
use them the next time I bake my famous
sugar cookies. 

Thank you,

Or this:

Dear John Doe,

Thank you for attending my birthday party. 
Your ability to make everyone
laugh is always appreciated
It really means a lot to me for you to be
a part of my special day.

Thank you,

Now, is it really that hard?  
Go on, have fun with it!!

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Ten Last Minute (Easy) Dessert Ideas

Especially around the Holidays, we all get busy with the hustle and bustle of buying gifts, decorating the house, visiting with family and friends, and sometimes there just isn't enough time to bake dozens upon dozens of cookies.  There are a few options to help cutting down on the work of baking your own Christmas desserts.  One is a cookie exchange with a few of your friends, or you could make some easy no-bake, but very classy dessert options.  I have gathered a list of easy to make dessert ideas on Pinterest (from fellow bloggers!) and want to share their links with you.  

Here are Ten Last Minute (and EASY) DIY Desserts: 

Chocolate Filled Raspberries  --  Little Cakes

Pretzel Bites**  --  House on Hilltop

Mint Chocolate Bark  --  C.R.A.F.T.

Graham Cracker S.mores Candy  --  Baker Girl

Cake Pops**  --  Classy Event Organizer (Me!)

Cake Batter Chocolate Bark**  --  How Sweet It Is

Chocolate Dipped Pretzels  --  Free Spirit Food

Reindeer Feed  --  Utah Deal Diva

Oreo Truffles  --  Bakerella

** I made these and they are DELICIOUS!!  {nom nom nom}

Monday, December 19, 2011

....annnnnnd We're Back and Better Than Ever!

Hello Classy Event Organizers! 

I've been busy over here trying to organize the site to best suit YOU!  (Not to mention eating a TON of Christmas cookies!)

Here are a few updates:

Freebies now have their own page!  No more going to facebook and saving a picture, you can print or download straight from Google Docs (no need to have a google account either)!

- I have *tweeked* the service request forms a bit, so be sure to check those out!  (As a reminder, these are FREE Services)   I'd love to help you plan your next party!!  

- Opening of Classy Event Organizer's Etsy Card Store will be VERY, VERY soon!  (More details to come!)

As always, to get updates join the Classy Event Organizer Facebook group or subscribe to Classy Event Organizer, or read my every thought by following @ClassyEventO on Twitter.  

Thank you so much for your support and participation!

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Fabulous Friday Featurette: Christmas Fonts

I love searching and finding fun and *free* downloadable fonts.  They are a really neat way to make DIY invitations, cards, or any type of document more personal (rather than using the average Times New Roman.)

Here are a few fonts that I found that would be great addition to Christmas party invites, decorations, or greeting cards.  (Due to Copyright I did not copy any pictures of the fonts.  Please click on the link to look at the fonts on the original website!)

I hope you have a Fabulous Friday!

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

DIY Cake Pops (What to do with Left Over Cake)

There is RARELY left over cake in my house.  After a birthday party, I usually substitute most meals (meaning ALL meals) with any "left over" cake.  However,  I decided to use some left over cupcakes from my Classy Kitty "Breakfast at Tiffany's" Party to make a Classy Thanksgiving treat:  Cake Pops!  

I LOVE cake pops because they allow guests to enjoy a small treat without the hazards of cake crumbles from a piece of cake or wrapper from a cup cake.  Also, I knew that being Thanksgiving most of my family members would be too full of turkey and pie for a whole piece of cake, a little pop of cake is the perfect solution!  

How To:  Cake Pops

Bill of Materials:
Left Over Cake (or make a cake if you wish!)
Lollipop Sticks
Chocolate and/or White Chocolate
Plastic Wrap
Tooth Picks
Sprinkles (optional)
Decorative Flags (optional)

Step One:  Put your already iced cake into a bowl.

Step Two:  Use a mixer (hand held or counter-top) to mix up the contents in the bowl until it is completely unrecognizable   Make sure there are no cake chunks.  You want the consistency to be sticky enough to create balls, but not so sticky that they are mushy.

Tip:  Start with more cake and less icing.  It is easy to add icing, but not take it away.

Step Three:  Use mixture to create truffle size balls.  I would have used a "ice cream scoop" (which most people use for cookie dough) unfortunately mine broke and I was forced to use the ol' two spoons trick.

Step Four:  Put cake balls into the freezer for about twenty minutes to firm up.

Step Five:  Use tooth picks to dip cake balls into chocolate and place on to plates covered with plastic wrap.  Put these in the freezer so they harden faster.

Tip:  The plastic wrap helps to release the hardened chocolate from the plate after it is frozen.  Otherwise it might break when you try to lift it from the plate.

Step Six:  Dip the  top of the already chocolate dipped cake balls into white chocolate, stick a lollipop stick into the top, and cover with sprinkles.  It is important to do all of these steps at the same time for each cake ball because other wise the white chocolate will harden and it will be near impossible to stick the lollipop into it.

Step Seven:  Add flags as a decoration to the cake pops!

Ta-Da!  All Done!

I realize that some people make their cake pops as actual 'lollipops" however I have found that if you put the cake pop at the top of the stick, it will fall down the stick after a few hours unless the perfect consistency of cake and icing was made in step two.  That's why I like the cake pops on the bottom of the stick!

Also, be creative when using different kinds of chocolate.  I used two colors with sprinkles as decoration, but you could use one color as a base and another as a drizzle over the tops!  Get creative!

Happy Cake Popping!

Friday, December 2, 2011

Cookie Exchanges

This Friday starts something new here at Classy Event Organizer:  Fabulous Friday Featurette! What is this you may ask? Each Friday I will "feature" a blogger, website, product, or just awesome stuff that I think my readers could benefit from. (There are so many good ideas out there, I want to share some that I found!!)  

This week for the First Fabulous Friday Featurette is from Ellinée Design House.

Ellinée is a design studio based out of Portland, Oregon that specialized in wedding, baby, and (my favorite) holiday stationary.   

Not only do I just adore their website (so many great ideas and printables), but I Love, Love, LOVE their blog post on Cookie Exchanges

They offer a DIY party kit as well as party times and planning guide.   

So take a minute (or ten) and hop on over to Ellinée's blog and check out their post on Cookie Exchanges.

Thank you to Ellinée for allowing me to feature their fabulous blog post and website this Friday.

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