Monday, August 16, 2010

Sarah's Spotlight - SunshineBakes

As this will be my last Spotlight before my wedding, I thought it was appropriate to spotlight another store that has helped me with my wedding plans! I have ordered my favors from SunshineBakes, a great bakery on Etsy. You want it, Beth makes it! As she says in her shop, she has tons of cookie cutters just waiting to be used!

Beth entered the working world after college but then realized her true passion is cooking and baking. So she entered culinary school and worked with a pastry chef to help her perfect her skills. She had worked in the field of catering for quite some time but enjoyed learning the craft behind the food. After becoming a mom, Beth decided to turn this passion into a career in order to spend time with her son while working. If only it could work out that well for everyone!

Beth hand crafts and decorates her cookies. She uses mostly organic ingredients to ensure the highest quality product. What I love most about SunshineBakes is that what Beth likes best is creating custom orders for all events - weddings, birthdays, showers, corporate events, holidays, any special day. She can add photographs and logos to cookies for an extra touch! Or she can match frosting to wedding/party colors. For example, my cookies will only be decorated in white, pink, and dark pink - no red for me! The cookies from SunshineBakes come in four different flavors: vanilla bean, cardamom orange, lemon, and almond. She mixes her frosting to match the cookie flavor for just the perfect treat!

I can tell you from first hand experience that Beth is very easy to work with. She responded to my questions very promptly.Additionally, I found her prices to be excellent in comparison to other bakeries on Etsy. She helped me work out numbers and even sold me cellophane bags to help me package my cookies for the big event!

I can't yet tell you how delicious the cookies taste, but I can say I'm glad my final head count went down so that I have plenty of extra cookies to eat during the honeymoon!

**Please note, there will be no spotlight until I return from vacation. I plan to resume my spotlights on 9/13/10.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Sarah's Spotlight - Secret Cat Lounge

I don't hide my love for my cat (and all others in the feline family). I recently searched for cat toys to find a store to spotlight, but I couldn't find any that focused exclusively on cat toys. This past week, I came across Secret Cat Lounge and immediately fell in love! This shop owner is a woman after my own heart! She currently specializes in kitty collars but does offer a few cat toys as well.

This shop owner fell in love with cats after rescuing her cat, Keena, several years ago. She was inspired to develop her own line of cat collars and toys after being dissatisfied with store purchased products. Keena seemed much happier to wear collars made for him by his mom, so a new line of cat products was born!

Secret Cat Lounge just opened on Etsy this past April. The shop owner wants to make something special for other cats and their owners. I remember shopping recently at a local pet store for collars I could use to model my pet bandanas and collar cozies. I was disappointed by the selection of cat collars. There were many "fashion" collars, but nothing that I could picture my sweet Pheoda wearing. Secret Cat Lounge offers truly fashionable collars that any cat would feel special to wear.

The shop owner uses 100% organic cotton to line the collars. She says that organic cotton is often used in baby clothing which is designed for sensitive skin. Using organic cotton helps the collar to be more comfortable, and less itchy, on the cat's neck. These collars are also specially designed for active cats. Safety buckles are included to prevent choking. And if you have an outdoor kitty, you can purchase a matching bell to warn birds and other backyard critters of your cat's presence.

The toys in Secret Cat Lounge are filled with catnip and wool and covered by felt fabric which is very safe for cats. The owner states that the felt adheres to the following guidelines:

·treatments free of formaldehyde
·no azo dyes which could release the carcinogenic substances
·no heavy metal combinations used in production
·no dying acceleration / carrier

Be sure to show this new store some love! Your cat will thank you!!

Monday, August 2, 2010

Sarah's Spotlight - Dessert!

In addition to knitting and my dear feline friend (whose new home is a pile of towels on the guest bed), one of my other favorite loves is dessert! I have a fairly large sweet tooth and high tolerance for sweets. So, what can be better than a dessert potluck tomorrow during lunch? :) I love to bake desserts but don't have much opportunity with just two of us in the household. After one or two nights of the same dessert, Dan gets bored, and I'm left with a lot of cookies, cake, or pie to finish on my own! Any time we have a potluck at work, I'm happy to satisfy my sweet tooth and bring in the finishing course.

Because of said potluck, I get to start whipping up a Raspberry Lemonade pie in a few minutes. And I'm very excited because I get to use my new KitchenAid mixer for the second time - thanks to my mom for a wonderful bridal shower gift!! My baking extravaganza certainly takes away from my time to write a full spotlight, but I figured I'd write a mini spotlight on this great looking pie! I'm a big fan of Kraft Foods online, where I find the best recipes. I've had a few duds on some chicken recipes, but I've never gone wrong with their desserts. I will admit that I often say, "hmmm... mine doesn't quite look like the picture", but they're still pretty yummy nonetheless!

This particular pie looks pretty easy to make. I don't even need to turn the over on, which is nice in this summer weather. I'm just waiting for my cool whip to thaw and cream cheese to soften before I start putting it all together. The best part is this recipe makes two pies - there's nothing I hate more than going to a potluck and coming home with no leftovers!

Now if only I could figure out a way to have the cat sit on my shoulders, knit with one hand, and bake with the other. That would be pretty impressive.