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I wanted to share about this birthday cake that Ryan and I made for my sister recently!  My sister loves home cooking and my baked goods, so it was our pleasure baking a cake to help her celebrate!  I love trying out new recipes and I turned to one of my favourite baking sites, Bakerella, to see what cake recipes she had.  When I stumbled upon her “Red Velvet Cake”, I knew I had to give it a try since it seemed quick and easy to make!  Indeed it was, and it turned out really well as it was very moist and delicious combined with the cream cheese frosting.  As a last minute touch, we quickly went out to Michaels and bought some pink sugar pearls and icing flowers to decorate the cake and make it look more elegant!  My sister loved how it turned out :)  You can find Bakerella’s Red Velvet Cake recipe HERE!  Just adding a few decorations can really transform a cake from plain to pretty!

Myla’s “Cute As A Button” 1st Birthday Party

This past weekend our little girl turned one!  It still amazes me how quickly time has passed by.  Those first few weeks were quite rough as I slowly recovered from labour and my body adapted to the sleepless nights.  However, then within a blink of an eye Myla was smiling, rolling over, sitting up, crawling, standing and now on the verge of walking!  It is truly amazing to see her development and what a miracle life is.  It’s hard to imagine our life before Myla now, and she has brightened up each and every day!  

I wanted to share some photos from Myla’s first birthday party that we held earlier when Ryan’s relatives were in town!  We were so excited to celebrate Myla’s very first birthday, and we wanted to make it special.  I searched for 1st birthday party ideas on Pinterest to get some inspiration, and one of the themes that came up was “Cute As A Button”!  It’s always nice having a theme for a party so everything is a bit more cohesive as you can cater the decorations and food around it.  I thought the button theme was adorable, particularly since we love crafts!

Ryan’s sister Sharon is an expert at making cakes and has plenty of experience making amazing cakes for her own children!  We told her our theme and showed her some pictures of cakes we liked, and she spent hours the night before making this beautiful cake!  It was a triple layered chocolate cake with raspberry buttercream, and there was even a surprise pink layer!  It was both beautiful and delicious!

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I helped make some of the fondant buttons!  We were going for kind of an ombre effect with the buttons as there were different shades of pink.  The grey and white buttons matched beautifully as well.  

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It was so special that Myla’s very first birthday cake was baked from scratch with so much love by her dear auntie!

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Sharon also made these adorable button cookies with her children earlier and even hand carried them on the airplane to bring them safely here!  She is an amazing baker!

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We decorated this wall so it could be the backdrop of some of our photos!  We cut out triangles and strung them along hemp to make our own pennant banners, filled balloons with helium and made these pom poms out of tissue paper (following the same instructions we used to make the ones from our baby shower HERE).

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For our party favours, we bought some white chocolate and mint Kit Kat bars and rewrapped them with scrapbook paper.  Then we glued a coral button on each bar to help tie them in with the “Cute As A Button” theme!

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We held them in the small chunky crocheted basket that I made last year (see blog post HERE).  Baskets are so handy to have around the house!

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I had seen chalkboard ideas on Pinterest and I asked Ryan if he could make one for Myla!  We went to several stores to look for a chalkboard, but we soon found out there was something called chalkboard spray that we didn’t even know existed!  And so, we purchased a picture frame that we liked and then simply sprayed the glass with the special chalkboard spray- then voila, we had our own chalkboard!  Ryan spent a lot of time figuring out the layout of the words and writing everything in pencil first.  Then, he used chalk maker to go over the pencil…he didn’t make a single mistake!  He kept it a surprise from me until he was done everything, and I was sooo impressed with how it turned out!  Ryan is VERY artistic and has such nice writing….just look at all the different fonts he wrote!

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Here is Myla standing proudly beside her board as if to say, “These are all the things I can do”!  She is growing so quickly….since we made this board, she actually now has 12 teeth and is 29” tall!  I’m sure she’ll be walking very soon as well!  

I also wanted to extend a HUGE THANK YOU to Kay of Mikaylove for gifting Myla’s beautiful dress to her!  We were actually on the hunt for a dress for Myla to wear at her party when we received a surprise package from Kay.  Along with some beautiful arm candy, we were so touched and delighted to see a birthday card, a little bracelet and this dress for Myla!  Kay started Mikaylove around when Myla was born, so she just celebrated 1 year for her shop too!  Thank you for being so thoughtful, Kay, and as you can see, the dress fit Myla perfectly!  It matched so well with the colours of her party too :)

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We have been taking monthly family photos with Myla, so to show her development, we strung many of the photos along some hemp with clothespins!  We glued a button on each clothespin too :)  She looks sooo different when she was first born!  I of course don’t notice the change since I see her everyday, and it’s not until I look at old photos that I realize how much she has grown.  I am so thankful for photos that help capture these special moments and help us remember!

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Here we are singing happy birthday and about to blow out the candle!

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I got kind of sentimental as we were blowing out her candle as it suddenly hit me that this is the smallest and youngest she’ll ever be….our little girl is growing up right before our eyes!

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Here is a video from my Instagram showing some of the birthday singing :)  I’m glad we can share these special moments with you all!

We are truly blessed to have Myla in our lives and we thank God each and every day for her.  ”Myla Brielle" means "Merciful" and "God is my strength”, and we have been seeking and relying on God’s strength and wisdom in learning how to be parents and how to raise her.  Thank you for supporting and loving our family, and we hope you enjoyed getting a glimpse into her very 1st birthday party and perhaps got some inspiration for your own parties as well!  Stay tuned for some new amigurumi projects that I am currently putting the finishing touches on!  Much love 

                                          1st Wishes

[Note: The people over at “1st Wishes” awarded us this badge since they loved the details of Myla’s birthday party so much!  Thanks for the acknowledgment!]

Chinese New Year Doll Link Spring Bunny Valentine Teddy Coffee Cup Spring Bunny Scarecrow Brown bear with scarf Cotton Candy Keychain Teddy

It’s my 1 Year Blog Anniversary (click on each ami above to see them help me celebrate :D)!!!  Exactly one year ago on this day, I wrote my very first blog post. I still remember how excited I was to start my own blog after rediscovering my love of crochet.  I wanted to share my love of amigurumi with the world!  At times it was discouraging since I knew not many people were checking my blog (it was pretty much Ryan and my brother Corey and sister Ashley, haha) but of course, such is the plight of new blogs.  I continued to blog about all my projects and it was so exciting when we started to make our own patterns and get noticed!  I have met so many wonderful, kind, supportive and encouraging people in the crafting and crochet community.  It is truly amazing how the internet can make the world such a small place!

I want to take this opportunity to thank some people who have been instrumental along the way.  Natalie Zee Drieu, former editor-in-chief of CRAFT magazine provided me so much support when I first began, featuring my projects and even commissioning me to design a Spring project (which became the Spring Bunnies) even though I had been blogging for only two months!  Thank you for putting your trust in me!  Similarly, Elliott Mariess and his team at Designers of Tumblr frequently featured my work and included me in their e-zine less than half a year after I had been blogging.  It was such a big honour, and I am very thankful for opportunities such as these.  All my friends and family have been so excited and supportive of me too!  I never thought that Ryan and I would be making little stuffed animals as a married couple in our spare time, but it’s been such a blast.  Ryan is so encouraging, creative and talented at whatever he does, and I am very thankful to have him as my husband and amigurumi partner :) 

150 posts, 987 facebook fans, 169 twitter followers, and 1688 tumblr followers later, here we are.  I’ve learned so much and improved my craft along the way, from discovering my early amigurumi were all inside-out, to learning about the wonders of the Magic Circle and Invisible DecreaseIt’s been quite the journey, and once in a while I enjoy going through my old posts as this blog is almost like a diary or journal for me.  I believe God has given us the capacity to be creative and has placed certain passions, interests and dreams within us.  It’s been amazing being able to explore these and try to use them to love, help, and connect others. Thank you to each and every one of you who has left a comment, written an encouraging e-mail, or shared your stories with me.  Thank you for being a part of my journey, and I cannot wait to see where it’ll take us next! 

[Note: Will work on a give-away soon!  It’s been very busy since coming back home :)]

Striped birthday card adorned with three dainty crocheted hearts.  Learn how to make them here.

Striped birthday card adorned with three dainty crocheted hearts.  Learn how to make them here.

This is the cake that Ryan surprised me with for my birthday recently!  Doesn’t it look like a giant cupcake from the top?  The red velvet was super delicious and moist.  Mmm…I could definitely go for another piece right about now…

Sweet treat: Tres Leches Cake

It was my sister’s birthday recently, and she requested that I bake her a cake.  I had always wanted to try the “Tres Leches Cake”.  I came across this recipe in a beautiful scrapbook recipe binder that my sister-in-law and mother-in-law made for me as a bridal shower gift. They got this recipe from the Pioneer Woman's blog (found here).   Do check out her recipe and blog as her photos and descriptions are much better than mine!  I had never heard of this Latin American cake before, but basically it’s a light sponge cake soaked with three milks (hence the name): evaporated milk, condensed milk, and whipping (heavy) cream.  I thought this recipe looked really interesting and unlike anything I had ever baked before, so I was dying to try it.  Let me tell you, it was well worth it!

Interestingly, the five egg yolks and egg whites had to be beaten separately.

I’m so glad I had the Kitchen Aid mixer to help me beat the egg whites to form stiff peaks!

After mixing all the ingredients together and baking it in the oven for 45 minutes, this is how the cake turned out (after inverting it in to a dish):

Next came the fun part: I punctured the surface of the cake 40-50 times with a fork!

I loved doing the next part: I poured the mixture of the three milks over the cake.

Here is the cake drenched in the milk mixture (I used the whole thing although the Pioneer Woman did not use the last cup of the liquid- I didn’t want to waste anything!).

Would you believe this is what the cake looks like after only half an hour?  It absorbs the liquid so quickly!  I suppose it is, after all, a sponge cake :)  Mmmm…look how moist it is!

I then whipped some heavy cream.  This was my first time doing it as I would previously buy cool whip or whipped cream in a can!  It was pretty fun.

I then covered the cake with whipped cream.

And then added some chopped-up maraschino cherries ontop!

Here is what a slice of the tres leches cake looked like:

This cake was a hit at my sister’s birthday dinner.  It was incredibly moist, sweet, and delicious: it tasted so heavenly and divine.  I would make it again in a heartbeat.  And the great thing is that this cake does not get soggy!  Give this unique cake a try- you won’t regret it!  Thank you Pioneer Woman for posting such a great recipe!

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