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Next Stop...Project Runway!

posted Monday Feb 15, 2010 at 12:56 PM by Anne Yorks — 4 comments

I am so happy to report that I survived Valentine’s Day! I baked and decorated more cookies than I had ever before and it was a learning experience. Thankfully Topher stayed by my side to help along the way. He is in charge of bag and box making. The packaging is very important to me. I want my gifts to look like a gift. Thankfully Topher takes the time to build, cut, and stick exactly how I want things to be!

With all that work behind us, we had a day off and enjoyed a very wonderful Valentine’s Day. We had church in the morning (and my daughter was quiet for the entire 1.5 hour service – a true gift) and then lunch at Barnes & Noble and playtime with the trains. We did take some time to cuddle under our new blankies from Nana. She hired a family friend to make matching blankets. A big one for me and a little one for my little girl!

Can you see the detail on the blankets? It’s a heart pattern with rainbow hearts. Couldn’t be more perfect. Plus, the blanket is a double layer of fleece…keeping us super warm since Pennsylvania keeps getting a boatload of snow!

Now onto some cookie business…

In addition to my Valentine’s Day orders, I also had a couple custom orders. I’ll post pics throughout this week, but the following cookies were definitely my favorite.

These cookies were designed for a 6-year-old birthday party with a fashion design theme. These cookies made their first stop at the party and their next stop is to see Heidi Klum on Project Runway.

I made these for the girls, a party dress with matching shoes.

You really can’t have too many of these.

And, I made these for the boys. I couldn’t find the right ‘high-top’ sneaker. I ended up buying an ice skate cookie cutter and trimming off the blade before baking. It worked out just perfectly.

Here is the sneaker with the matching t-shirt. Each child got a sneaker and a shirt.

and a close up of the laces. I added the grommet on the sneaker for a little added detail. Don’t know if the 6-year-olds noticed, but my husband did!

The party sounded pretty cool. Not only did they get some amazing cookies as the party favor, but they also designed their own t-shirt that they got to take home. Plus, they played a slew of games, including pin the sword on the (Barbie) musketeer. Sounds like a blast. Six-year-olds really know how to tear it up, right?

That’s all for now. I have another cool collection that I will be posting soon. Plus, I’m working on three different custom orders this week. Can’t wait to see how they turn out!

Have a sweet day,
Anne

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Flour Box is Famous!

posted Wednesday Feb 10, 2010 at 01:44 PM by Anne Yorks — 3 comments

This is so cool! Flour Box Bakery is featured on www.homegrownhappyvalley.org! Back in December I made tiara cookies for one of the organizer’s daughters. As soon as I launched my site she told me that she wanted to put FBB on her site. What an honor! This is their adorable logo…

According to their website…
“The mission of Homegrown Happy Valley is to link consumers to local businesses, artisans, entrepreneurs, service providers, and farms. We want people to share their own favorite places. To spread the word about new businesses and cool events. To enrich each other.”

I’m so happy to be associated with this group. Especially since Topher and I also like to shop and eat local. For any locals out there…these are our favorite hangouts. I might have to do several follow up posts on this topic, because we have way too many favorites to list at once. Will we be bumping into you anytime soon? I hope so! We enjoy both Bellefonte and State College locations.

For Coffee:
We have two favorite locations. We love Cool Beans in Bellefonte and Saints Cafe in State College. I love the medium roast at cool beans. My daughter is in a 2-year-old art class that meets there every Wednesday morning. Art for the kids and bean juice for the mommies. What a great concept! Saints Cafe has great everything, including friendly staff. We once stopped in after they had just closed (and cleaned up) and they insisted on getting us a cup of Joe. Don’t think that would happen at some of those chain coffee shops. Here is Team Yorks on a family outing last April. We were so excited for a warm 50ish day that we decided to enjoy our coffees and snacks at their little outdoor table.

For Gifts:
We love Inspired Dreams! This shop is heaven for anyone that shops for babies and little girls. It makes me so happy that we have a daughter and three nieces to shop for. This year for Christmas we found an awesome pink/brown duffel bag with a matching toiletries bag for our oldest niece (age 9). She is a swimmer and needed a cool bag to carry her suit and towel and stuff. For only a few extra dollars they embroidered her name on the bag. It only took a day or so and they matched the pink in the bag. Needless to say, the gift was a major hit! We also like the new Co2 Boutique in Bellefonte (great Vera Bradley selection), Home Reflections on Calder Way in State College (there we found a super cool tea cup for my mom for Christmas), and Tait Farm outside of State College near Potters Mills. They have a great food selection. I put together an amazing gift for a food swap using items exclusively from Tait.

Favorite Restaurants:
It’s impossible for me to narrow my selection of local restaurants. We are fortunate enough to have several great locations. For dinner, we love the Gamble Mill Tavern — bar side. The food does not disappoint. We recently went there to celebrate a huge event and the evening was perfect. Ribs, Fillet Mignon, Butternut Squash Ravioli with Hazelnuts, and a cheeseburger (for my daughter). We all shared bites with each other and it was heaven! We like the bar side because of the cozy atmosphere. The dining room is cool too, but just not as cozy for us.

We also LOVE, LOVE, LOVE Cafe on the Park. This place is just so darn cute. We take our daughter every year on her birthday. We love to sit outside because it offers a view of Talleyrand Park and Spring Creek. We like the food too. It’s a simple menu, but it’s consistently good. Plus, they know our daughter’s name. Every time we’re in, they make a big fuss about her and then they let her eat her lunch on a monkey plate. I know I look a little sketchy in this pic, but I had given birth just a few days prior. This picture shows the creek-side view. The other direction is Talleyrand Park. My little girl looks so tiny. At 2 1/2 years she is now practically driving!

That’s all for now. I’ll post again about our favorite local places! Back to baking. I’m working on a couple cool custom orders and I can’t wait to share the pictures!

Have a sweet day,
Anne

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And the winner is...

posted Tuesday Feb 09, 2010 at 03:04 PM by Anne Yorks — 4 comments

Congratulations to Jen! She is the winner of my very first cookie give-a-way!

I loved her conversation heart suggestion of ’Cat’s Pajamas’! So cute!

Thanks to everyone that participated! I will be hosting another give-a-way in the near future and will update friends through my email newsletter, twitter, and facebook!

Have a sweet day,
Anne

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Hunt for the Perfect Cookie Cutter (and a cookie give-a-way)

posted Friday Feb 05, 2010 at 08:46 AM by Anne Yorks — 19 comments

You may not realize it, but a lot of thought and effort goes into each and every cookie before it ever gets to the website as a product. Here’s a little behind-the-scenes look at how a cookie is designed and created at Flour Box Bakery.

First, I brainstorm a big list of cookie design ideas. This Valentine’s Day I came up with 18 different collection themes and selected 5 of them to offer. One of the ideas on my must-do list was a lovebird theme. I started looking at birds and bird cookie cutters online. And then it hit me…I really wanted to do an Owl cookie. I had a mental image of a chunky, happy, lovey owl. Since I don’t make my own cutters (some people do), I began to search all of my favorite cookie cutter websites for the perfect owl. I like to shop on www.coppergifts.com, www.foosecookiecutters.com, www.karenscookies.net, and www.annclark.com. They each had an owl to offer, but it wasn’t chubby enough for me.

After hours of searching, I finally found this cookie cutter ‘The Funky Owl’ at The Squires Shop at www.squires-shop.com. They are located in England. It was perfect. Thankfully they ship to the US (It took about a week or so for the cutter to arrive).

Once the cutter arrived, I got out my favorite colored pencils, a gift from Topher two Christmas’ ago. I love these pencils because they have erasers.

I looked at a million pictures of owls and then I got to work. I wanted to sketch a Valentine owl and a baby shower owl. Here is my Valentine owl sketch…I definitely ice cookies better than I can draw them. Weird.

Then I put my ideas into action…here is the final product of the cookie. The feet are my favorite part of the cookie design. I don’t know why…they just make me smile!

So that’s it…that’s how a cookie is designed!

Now onto more important business…a cookie give-a-way! One lucky person will win a box of ‘Message Heart’ cookies. No purchase necessary…this is just for fun. Anyone can enter and here is how:

1. Post a comment (by clicking on the link just below the blog title) on what statement you would put on a candy ‘conversation heart’. Deadline to enter is MONDAY, FEBRUARY 8th. 2. One winner will be randomly chosen (through a hat drawing). 3. Check back on Tuesday, February 9th for the winner.

Good Luck!

Have a sweet day,

Anne

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Cat Got Your Tongue?

posted Wednesday Feb 03, 2010 at 10:34 AM by Anne Yorks — 6 comments

I get this all this all the time: “I want to order cookies for a friend/spouse/co-worker. Can you write something nice on the gift note?”

So, in case you’re planning to order for Valentine’s Day and need a little inspiration for the gift note, here you go…

If you’re sending the Lovebug Collection…

… your note might say:

“I want to be as snug as a bug in a rug with you on this Valentine’s Day. Love, Me!”

OR

“Hey Valentine, These cookies aren’t nearly as sweet or cute as you…but they sure do taste good! Happy Valentine’s Day!”

OR

“I’m going buggy for you! Be Mine!”

Maybe you’re sending the Frog Prince or Pig Princess Collection…

… Your note might say:

“Pucker up Valenine, I want you to be my prince/princess!

OR

“You make life like a fairy tale! Thanks for being my prince/princess!”

And maybe you want to send the Message Hearts…

…your note could say:

“You speak to my heart, Valentine!”

OR

“Sweet talk for a sweet Valentine! Have a great day!”

Or maybe you’re planning to send the popular Owl Collection…

Your note might say…

“Owl always love you! Be my Valentine!”

OR

“Hoo do I love? You! That’s Hoo! Happy Valentine’s Day”

OR

“Hey Lovebird, you make my wings flutter! XOXO!”

There really are a million ways to say you care! Do you have a suggestion? Post a comment and let me know! I’ll add it to the list for next time!

Also, I’m planning a COOKIE GIVE-A-WAY! Stay tuned…I’ll be posting the details later this week!

Have a sweet day,

Anne

PS Since the site is so new, I wanted to point out that gift notes are added during checkout in your shopping cart! If you have any questions about how to insert your note, please let me know!

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