I'm a "joy of cooking" kind of girl. I can pretty much whip up a killer quiche, make a mean meatloaf, or serve up a soup to feed the soul. But I can't bake. I don't bake. Don't ask me to bake. Not unless it comes out of a box. So when I was invited by Staci Edwards of Staci Edwards Design to join her Blog-n-Bake challenge, my first reaction was: Bake cupcakes from scratch? Not in this lifetime. The Challenge: pick a cupcake to make from a list of heavenly treats from Ming Makes Cupcakes.Now Ming obviously knows her thing and her thing is amazing mouth watering confections that delight the senses. How could I dare even dream of doing this. But I did. OK Staci, you're on!
Picking from Ming's list of eye candy I went with Cupcake #6
Rounded up my Michigan maple syrup & found these eco-friendly baking cups.
Since I've heard baking is a science I measured out everything precisely.
Was happy to discover a little cooking was involved.
Put the little lovelies in their place.
Behold...we have Cupcakes! Now time to pretty them up.
Isn't it pretty? I'm so proud I may just have it bronzed!
I was pleasantly suprised to find baking from scratch is an absolutely joy! Now I get it and I'm a believer. There may be no stopping me now! The best part: they were luscious. A big bouquet of thanks to Staci and Ming for bringing out the baker in me!
Stunning tablescapes, beautiful buffets, dazzling desserts and to die for florals, are all come to mind when we hear the word: entertaining or party or hostess. We've all seen the pictures, in magazines, on TV and blogs. It's all so lovely, so elegant and so impressive. But unless you're Martha or an event planner, it's also probably perfectly unattainable.
We drive ourselves crazy aspiring to perfection, and in the process decide it's just not worth it.We all have our list of excuses... I don't have nice dishes, the carpet is dirty, I'm not a good cook, I'm just too busy. It's all just too intimidating right? But what being a Hip Hostess really means is opening our hearts and our homes and making a connection with all the family and friends we cherish.
Enter my dear friend, and real life Hip Hostess,
I first met Sandy a few years ago when I came across her blog Reluctant Entertainer. I was immediately drawn to her! Her casual and heartwarming approach to entertaining really hit home with me. Now she has opened the door to real entertaining for real women with her new book.
"The Reluctant Entertainer"
Don't you just adore the cover? It's a perfect reflection of Sandy's understated elegance!
Taking "complicated and stressful" out of entertaining, her book guides us through all the elements of hostessing with inviting photos and recipes for serving up simple dishes, tips on easy meal planning, fun ways to engage your guests, even how to stock your pantry! All the while keeping it gracious and simple. Like I said...real life at home entertaining for real women.
Now for The Giveaway:
One of our lucky readers will be receiving a copy of "The Reluctant Entertainer" along with the pretty pink apron Sandy is wearing above. Our Pink Sorbet Aprons have been discontinued but we've saved the very last one just for this perfect hostess giveaway!
Here's how to enter:
Leave a comment telling us why you would like to win. Are you a Reluctant Entertainer or do you know someone who is?
For extra entries: Tweet this Giveaway on Twitter including @TheHipHostess and/or post on your blog and please leave a separate comment telling us you did.
Giveaway ends Friday August 20th
Be sure to include an email address if it's not on your profile.
Now if you just can't wait to get your hands on this Sandy's book no worries, you can buy it and even get a signed copy HERE.