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Friday, April 29, 2011

Half-and-Half Dozen

This is a Mixed Dozen that has half Strawberry Shortcake Overload and half Chocolate Peanut Butter Brownie Blast pops.  It was for a client who wanted to bring the cake pops to the office to share with coworkers.  I labeled each pop with the flavor name so he could feel free to simply leave the pops on a table or something without having to stand there to tell each person what kind they were.

Here's more of a bird's eye view to show off the stand.  I wanted it to match the pops and fit in the gift bag that I had selected as the packaging.  I found a styrofoam block that was just a little too long, so I trimmed it and wrapped it in this lovely wrapping paper.  Et voila!  A lovely pop stand to match our pops!  Handy and portable, too!

I am pleased to report that our client and his coworkers loved the pops and he will definitely be ordering from us again in the future.  There's something very wonderful about knowing that we've made someone happy with our cake pops.  :)

~ Pia

Deb's Dip N Decorate Night!

Deb and her friend got together a few days ago to make some pops for Deb's daughter who's away at college.  Deb's friend had never made cake pops before.  They had a great time making these for Deb's daughter!  It was so much fun that even Deb's husband got in on it toward the end -- he just couldn't stay away!  And isn't that the way it is with cake pops?  :)


These are a few of their finished cake pops.  Yummy!

~ Pia

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Working Out a Logo

I used Paint for the very first time yesterday!  Above is my grand creation.  What a learning curve, I tell ya!

It's only a sketch, of course.  And a very skeletal one at that.  But the idea is there.  I chose 3 pops because there are three of us in this business venture:  Kat, Deb, and me.  So I want each of us represented.  I'll let you know what our final logo looks like as soon as it's done.  Maybe it'll look like this.  Maybe not.  Ha ha, I'm in such a state of flux!

~ Pia

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Smoothest Coating in the West!

Okay, that white chocolate almond bark didn't like me very much it's true.  But its milk chocolate cousin LOVES me!!!  These cake pops are two different flavors -- as differentiated by the swirl/stripe pattern on each pop -- both coated in lovely almond bark.  I love this coating!  This is my new go-to coating whenever I need milk chocolate!  

I will be headed to the store to stock up on this wonderful confection.  So if you need me, come look for me in the baking aisle!  :)

~ Pia

Monday, April 25, 2011

When the Day Gives You Lemons, You Make Lemonade..... or Something Like That!

For some reason, I was having serious issues with my white chocolate almond bark when I was trying to finish up some Pineapple Orange Coconut Easter pops.  They were out of white Candy Melts at the store, so I picked up the almond bark that everyone else has been raving about.  Hmmmmm.......  I must've been doing something wrong, because it kept clumping!  No matter what I tried, it just wouldn't dry smooth and nice on the pop.  Ugh.  So I did what I had to..... I frosted each of the pops instead of dipping.  Of course, they looked like they were frosted rather than dipped.  Duh, Pia!  What to do, what to do?  Bingo!  I tinted some of the chocolate blue and some of it green, frosted just the tops of the already-white-frosted pops, nudged the new icing down the sides a bit, added sprinkles and a Red Hot, et voila!  Those wonderful Sundae pops that I've seen around!  Yay!!

I also put some chocolate into a piping bag, piped swirls on some of the pops, and added sprinkles.  Woohoo!! Saved!  And they didn't turn out half bad, if I do say so myself.

Where there's a will, there's a way!

And of course, I stocked up on white candy melts next time I went to the store.  You won't catch me in the same bind twice!  I hope....!

~ Pia

What a Whirlwind Weekend!!!

So Friday was my birthday.  I turned a young and spritely 45!  Yay me, ha ha!  I spent the day with my two youngest children (okay, they're both adults now but they're still my babies!).  We did regular "life" stuff -- my daughter had a dental appointment and both kids went to the gym while I shopped at Michaels with a 50% off coupon -- and then we went to a movie!  And I didn't have to pay, either!  NICE!  After the movie, Kat had class so Ricky and I hung out online 'til she was done.  All in all, it was a very good day!

Deliciousness from Vanilla Bake Shop in Santa Monica

On Saturday, we went up to Santa Monica to visit my brother -- we celebrated both my birthday and Easter, and we just all enjoyed being together for the day.  He totally spoiled us, all day long!  First, he presented me with a whole dozen Baby Bites cupcakes that he had bought for me from Vanilla Bake Shop in Santa Monica.  Then we had lunch at the Cheesecake Factory at the Grove, but only after grabbing a canoli pastry at the Farmer's Market.

Yep, one million dollar car -- both kids want it!

Then we went to the Petersen Auto Museum (lots of way cool vehicles there, and even a chance to try your reflexes in a drag racing simulator!), the La Brea Tar Pits (where Ricky discovered a whole new little tar pit in the grass, but we left it for someone else to discover later), and a movie on the Santa Monica Promenade.  While we were walking at the Tar Pits, my eldest daughter Selina called to sing me part of a song that she's writing for me!  What???  Oh yes!  So awesome!!  We ended the night with a late (like 10pm) supper at a little restaurant in Santa Monica.

Cool lamp post sanctuary

"I will dance with it"

Rob takes a pic of Kat while talking to Selina on the phone

Ricky discovers the new tar pit

Kat drove up to Santa Monica, Rob (my bro) drove around town while we were there, and Ricky drove home.  Now that was a special treat, too -- I didn't have to drive anywhere!  Just icing on the cake of a beautiful birthday weekend!

Sunday was Easter Sunday.  ALLELUIA!!  HE IS RISEN!!  We went to church and met the new baby of a couple of friends, then hung out at home, then ran to the pub for supper to see a couple of other good friends perform.

And today, I'm OFF!  So I get to relax a little, catch up on housecleaning, and get some sleeeeeeeep!  Thank God for such an amazing 3-day weekend with some of the most amazing people.  I am blessed indeed.

~ Pia

We Have a Winner!!!

CONGRATULATIONS to our "100 Like" giveaway winner, Paula L!  Paula gets one dozen Round Pops of her choice (up to two flavors) FREE!!  Yep, she can choose from either the Classic or the Specialty menu!  Big thanks to everyone for participating and for sharing your awesome memories with us.  We'll have another giveaway when we reach 500 "likes" -- and that's only 161 "likes" away -- so stay tuned!

~ Pia

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

"100 Like" Giveaway

As promised, here's the 100 Like Giveaway!  Sorry I couldn't post here last night -- Kat needed the computer so I had to wait my turn 'til today, ha ha.

Want to participate?  All you have to do is go to our Facebook page (see the link to the left) and find the status that describes the contest.  Then post a comment on that status, answering the contest question.  That's all!  A winner will be randomly selected from those commenters on Friday morning, so you've only got 'til 11:59pm tomorrow night to enter.

The winner will receive ONE DOZEN Round Cake Pops in your choice of flavor (choose up to two flavors)!

Thanks again for all your Facebook love!  See you on the page.  :)

~ Pia

Girls in the Kitchen

After church this past Sunday, Kat and her friends hung out to dip and decorate some cake pops.  They had a great time, and their creativity was great! Such cute pops they made!  We only had red melts, sprinkles and pearls but they did a wonderful job making their creations unique and fanciful!

Finished pops!

What a fun cake popping session!

~ Pia

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Busy Weekend

Our cake pop baskets sold very well at the bake sale!  We were pleased to be able to help the church raise some much-needed funds.  We actually sold out and had to make a few extra today to complete an order for one parishioner, who will pick them up tomorrow morning.  Kat and I got some help from two teens, and everyone had a fun time dipping & decorating!

Next up, our Mother's Day Cake Pop Roses!  Single roses are available in Classic flavors for only $2.50 each.  Or buy a dozen for $28 and we'll package them up like real roses.  Choose your color(s):  red, yellow, pink, or white.  Get a dozen for every mom in your life!  Delivery is available.  Just let us know.  We'll even include a greeting for you.  Last day to place your order and still get a Mother's Day delivery is May 1st, so hurry!

The girls and I got to break in the new Wilton chocolate melting pot as we worked.  Let me tell you, this little item is fantabulous!  No more having to run back to the microwave to reheat the candy, no more worrying about whether or not the candy will overcook if I overheat it -- just nonstop dipping and decorating.  So awesome!

I'll post photos tomorrow so you can see the results of our afternoon adventure.  Stay tuned for the "100 Likes" giveaway, too!  We are now at 132 "Likes" and rising.  Let's give something away already!

~ Pia

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Candy Clay

Made up a batch of candy clay the other night, bright red for our roses!  Today, we get to play with it.  Woohoo!!

We also get to finish packaging up all of our yummy cake pops for this weekend's bake sale.  I see lots of ribbon and cellophane in our very near future, ha ha!

Lastly, we're putting together the flier/poster for the Mother's Day Cake Pop Roses sale that starts this week.

Wow, that's a lot to do!  Better get on it, eh?

Oh, AND as of this morning, we have reached 100 "likes" on our Facebook page!  Sooooooo awesome!  Watch for a little celebratory post coming up!

Happy Saturday!  Enjoy the sunshine!

~ Pia

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Pops for a Dear Friend

My friend, Maureen is celebrating her birthday on Saturday. She is also saying a final good-bye to her father tonight.  It's a bittersweet time for her.   Please keep Maureen, her dad, and their whole family in your prayers.

Maureen is Irish.  Very Irish.  Very, very Irish.  And that's a good thing -- one of her charms.  And she is a fan of Guinness beer.  So what to give her for her birthday?  How about some Guinness cake pops?  Yes!  perfect!

I hope Maureen likes her birthday gift.  I hope her Guinness pops will cheer her up a bit during this sad time.  Mostly, I pray her dad is welcomed into Heaven by Our Lord Himself with arms outstretched in greeting.  :)

~ Pia

Shaped Pops

I dipped and decorated these Pops last night while Kat did her homework.  They're Strawberry Shortcake Overload dipped in Vanilla candy coating and then piped & sprinkled.  There will be more of these lovelies at the Bake Sale this weekend.  Probably more tulips than the "other" flower....  I think I like the tulips best 'cause I can actually tell what they are, ha ha!

We plan to make little open-top boxes and fill them with paper grass, add two Pops, and wrap them up for sale.  Photos to come once they're done!  Off to get crafting, now.  Only three days left, and I'll be busy ALL day and night tomorrow with my other job.  Let's get going!

~ Pia

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Fruits of Our Morning Dipping Session

Here are a couple of the pops Deb and I dipped and decorated yesterday morning.  Don't they look yummy?  We're getting together tomorrow morning to do some more.  Can't wait!

Lemon cake -- with sprinkles on top  :)
Yellow cake & chocolate frosting -- with chocolate swirls.  :)

~ Pia

A Veritable Decorating Bonanza

I ran to Jo-Ann's today (yes, LOVE that shop!) to see if they had any short lollipop sticks and maybe grab another bag or two of candy melts (since they're on sale through Friday).  While there, Kat and I saw the Chocolate Pro Electric Chocolate Melter by Wilton.  At $29.99, it was out of our budget range and so just something over which to drool a little and then add to our Wish List.  When we got to the checkout, I asked the saleslady -- just on a whim -- if the melter might be on sale by any chance.  She said it might be and why don't we check.  So Kat ran back to get one and guess what....... it was on sale at 40% off........  40% OFF, I tell you!  So of course, we grabbed it.  It was all I could do to stop myself from getting TWO and then trying to figure out a way to maneuver the budget around so we could afford such a fanciful purchase.  Kat was my voice of reason (and sanity) like she is so many times, and looked at me like there was no way we were gonna indulge in two of something that was already a luxury buy.  So I contented myself with a single Wilton Chocolate Pro Electric Chocolate Melter (at 40% off!) and we went on our merry way.  And I texted our find to Deb in case she wants to get one, too.  'Cause I can't resist sharing such a great bargain!

Thank you, Jo-Ann's fabric and craft shop, for being so amazingly awesome and having a super sale on exactly the thing that we didn't think we could possibly afford to get.  You have made our cake pop dipping lives a hundred times easier.  :)

~ Pia

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Busy Bees

Deb and I got together this morning to dip some Pops for this weekend's bake sale.  She made lemon cake balls and chocolate cake balls a couple of days ago and kept them in her fridge, so they were all set for today.  What a fun morning!  We dipped them all in yellow and then added sprinkles and swirls to different ones.  They came out so cute!  Photos tomorrow, once we get them loaded.

For now, here are some photos of Pops that Kat and I made the other night and decorated last night.  They're German Chocolate with a chocolate coating.  Delicious!  We had a lot of fun with the icing pens -- this is kind of addicting!  I think they'll be a hit at the fundraiser this weekend.  :)

Have you visited our Facebook page yet?  Stop by and check it out!  If you like what you see, "Like" the page.  That way, you'll get updates and info on the latest and greatest news as it happens!

~ Pia

Monday, April 11, 2011

We Get By with a Little Help from Our Friends

Well, actually, make that……. we succeed with a lot of help from our friends! 

Deb’s niece is a graphic artist.  Deb has been emailing her over the past few days about our Cake Pops and our name, and giving her details about our little company; and Ashley has come up with a few different logos for us – three logos, to be precise!  Ashley has offered to take some professional photos of our Pops so she can design fliers & business cards for us as well. 

Kat’s and my friend Sandie (of Knitzy Blonde fame) has been a wellspring of advice and encouragement, helping us to get our Etsy shop started and giving us all kinds of tips on running a solid business.  When I posted a status on my personal Facebook profile saying that our new Cake Pop Fusion fan page needed only 4 more “Likes” to reach 25 and qualify for our own Facebook url, Sandie totally posted a status on her own Facebook profile inviting her friends to stop by & “Like” it – and they did!  My own friends also saw my status and hopped over to “Like” our page, so now we have our official Cake Pop Fusion Facebook Fan Page web address.  Yay!

Another friend, Dona, used to work in marketing so she is helping us with all kinds of marketing suggestions and feedback as well as coaching us in how to provide the very best in personal customer service – a high priority for us!

Deb's husband is building us a few Pop stands in different sizes to hold different numbers of Pops.

We are so blessed by all the support that we’re receiving from our families and friends.  Deb, Kat, and I are so grateful to every one of you!  All this excitement over our adventure in cake popping gives us even more encouragement to dive in and create, create, create!  This is too much fun!  THANK YOU to all of you!

~ Pia

Sunday, April 10, 2011

The Internet Makes the World So Much Smaller.... in a GOOD Way!

As I was bopping around Facebook last night, exploring all the wonderful pages of my fellow Poppers and drooling over their wonderful creations, our Facebook page got a "Like" and a comment from a very nice lady.  Turns out, she is the lady who invented the Cake Ball Roller -- check this out:
Oh my goodness, how awesome and GENIUS is that idea???  We chatted a while via FB and email, and the more I talked with her the more I liked this lady!  I am so blessed to have made her acquaintance, and I hope that we become friends as time goes on.

If you make cake balls for any reason.... to make pops, to make truffles, whatever..... look into ordering one of these handy dandy tools.  It will be well worth your investment!  And it sure looks like FUN to use, and that is very important in my book!  :D

~ Pia

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Candy Melts on SALE! Woohoo!!

So I swung by JoAnn's Fabrics and Crafts in town yesterday while running errands before work.  Ha ha, I can't resist a stop at JoAnn's!  I grabbed up a few bags of Wilton's candy melts while I was there, got to the checkout stand, and -- lo and behold -- they were ringing up at almost half price!  I was like, "Are the candy melts on sale??"  The saleslady said indeed they were, so I excitedly snatched up three more bags.  OH, YES!!  I love me a good sale!

~ Pia

Friday, April 8, 2011

We're selling Cake Pop Roses for Mother's Day!

Buy a rose for every mom in your life!  Your mom, grandma, stepmom..... all the moms in your family will love these delicious treats!  And how about your sisters who are moms, and your friends who are new moms?

Single Cake Pop Roses are available in her favorite Classic cake flavors for only $2.50 each.  Or buy a dozen Cake Pop Roses for $28 and we'll package them up like real roses.

It's a fundraiser for two groups at our (Pia and Kat's) church; each group will get a percentage of every sale.  Funds raised will go toward World Youth Day costs for our young adult pilgrims as well as the purchase of a much-needed replacement fridge & freezer at the church.

We'll start taking orders next week.  Check back for photos and more info!

~ Pia

Tools of the Trade

This is my Oneida cookie scoop.  I love my cookie scoop.  It helps me make uniformly-sized cake pop balls, and rather quickly at that.  It fits perfectly in my hand and is dishwasher-safe.  I have tried other cookie scoops, but none have matched my Oneida.  I think I need to get a couple more of these to have on hand!

~ Pia

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Fundraisers and More Fundraisers

We've been making dozens of fun, candy-and-cookie-sprinkled cake pops for an ongoing fundraiser.  Very yummy, and they're a big hit!  We're making more elegant pops for an Easter fundraiser that's a week and a half away at church.  The next project after that will be a Mother's Day fundraiser.

That's a whole lotta fundraisers in just a few weeks, but it's all for a good cause!

In the spirit of all this fundraising, we have been inspired to add a selection of cake pops that will be used as a fundraiser for Intracranial Hypertension research.  For more info on IH, check out the IHRF website.  More info as that fundraiser comes together.

~ Pia