beautydetermined

a creative and sarcastic approach to discovering me... a 31 year old married artist with a long list of projects to do!
Getting excited folks… We have a bathroom!

Well, at least a vanity and quartz countertop!  I can finally see the light at the end of the tunnel…

Remember this mess?  http://beautydetermined.tumblr.com/post/69075305288/my-happy-place

The rest of the tile goes in next week as well as the top vanity cabinet and plumbing. 

Yay!  My house will be back to normal soon!
XOXO

Getting excited folks… We have a bathroom!

Well, at least a vanity and quartz countertop! I can finally see the light at the end of the tunnel…

Remember this mess? http://beautydetermined.tumblr.com/post/69075305288/my-happy-place

The rest of the tile goes in next week as well as the top vanity cabinet and plumbing.

Yay! My house will be back to normal soon!
XOXO

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Mom! I’m afraid of the snow! Don’t send me back out there!

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Yum! Yum! Cupcakes I made the other weekend for Superbowl Sunday. Gooo Russell Wilson!

I didn’t have time for fun toppers, but I definitely enjoyed my leftover icing :)… And was sure to share plenty with friends and family at the two parties we attended.

I received the sweetest messages afterwards…

"Your Super Bowl cupcakes are banging!" - Jessie

"I ate the cupcakes for breakfast as they were delicious! The oreo one is my favorite! Thank you for making these for us!" - Susan

"The cupcakes were fantastic and a huge hit at the superbowl party!
The host of the party said they were better than the cupcakes at Daisy Cakes and Lulu in Durham! You’re so talented!” - Clem

Gahhh, I love baking for family and friends… Especially when you need a self-esteem boost! :)

Thanks Clem for ordering! I love newbies! Hope everyone enjoyed that Seahawk beating.

Go Pack! xoxo

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Bridal Shower Cupcakes - Tiffany and Co. Style!

So, everyday Tiffany and Co. has sent a holiday gift idea via email. Every time, I drool over their suggestion. Sparkly and uniquely designed… the email has caught my attention every time this holiday season. Some, reasonably affordable, others are absolutely ridiculous. Very beautiful, gorgeous pieces either way.

I have always had a love for Tiffany and Co. I mean, what girl doesn’t? I remember as a little girl visiting the 5th Avenue store in NYC before Christmas with my family when we lived in Northern New Jersey. I still remember the sales associates talking to me as if I was a potential buyer… at the age of 12 or 13 keep in mind.

I look forward to my next return to NYC. Tiffany and Co., you’re mine.

I know that there are several other national locations and I actually had a terrible customer service shopping experience in the Charlotte store when I was 24 and to this day, I won’t step back in their establishment. I’d rather order online or purchase from another location. Their snobby attitude thankfully didn’t change my passion for that classic little light blue box.

I’m telling you.

Like a raccoon, ladies. Like a raccoon. 

Sparkly things get me every time.

So, last September when Melissa (Alexis’ and Joe’s cousin) asked me to make Tiffany and Co. themed cupcakes for her friend’s bridal shower… I was super excited!

Danielle and Co. was the plan! Pink boxes with bowes instead of the classic light blue… 

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So cute!

One of my very favorite designs. Wouldn’t these be cute for Christmas cupcakes? Red and Green with white bowes!

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Melissa asked for red velvet cupcakes with cream cheese frosting and strawberry cupcakes with a fresh strawberry frosting, which were perfect girly flavor combinations to go with the classic toppers.

And, we can’t forget the traditional Tiffany and Co. hearts with Danielle’s name instead. Check out the silver hearts! Sparkly as can be!

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Precious! Thank you Melissa for inviting me to be a part of your special occasion. Many happily marriage thoughts to your friend Danielle. Hopefully, she is celebrating a wonderful holiday season with her love this Christmas.

And please, keep this in mind the next few weeks, as I will never forget my first trip with my family to Tiffany and Co. on 5th Avenue when I was a child… as T&Co.’s Holiday Tip 2 says:

"Rediscover your
HOLIDAY CHILDHOOD, 
together.
Cocoa in the park.
Ice skating.
Tree lighting.
Cookie baking.”

TOGETHER. Reach out to forever family and friends… even if you haven’t talked with them in years. Everyone could use a little extra love this holiday season.

XOXO

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This Family's Viral Christmas Card Makes Your Family Look Lame (Video) | Elite Daily

Hilarious! Be sure to watch this local Raleigh family’s viral christmas card on video. Penn Holderness is… or actually WAS one of our local news anchors.

Too funny!

I’m just upset that I didn’t think of this first… or even have children to star in a video like this lol… In the future for sure!  

XOXO

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Bridal Shower Cupcakes

Last summer, Kathleen needed some fun, girly cupcakes for her friend’s bridal shower!  

You may remember one of my earlier blog posts that had a patriotic theme? Click here!

That’s Kathleen! She found me through Ashley Teeter Bitting (friend from high school, college, and Wisdom Beverage) and wanted to order again. 

Kathleen needed teal, coral, and red toppers…. chocolate cupcakes with a dark chocolate frosting… basic vanilla cupcakes and my apple pie cupcakes! An apple cider spice cupcake filled with a homemade sweet apple filling topped with an apple cider spice buttercream… perfect combinations!

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Personally, I love a teal and coral color combination. I love how the little red flowers made the colors pop.

The scalloped edges also made these toppers perfectly girly.

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The double monogramed Rs looked so delicate and frilly! I loved how the flowers turned out on these. So simple, but elegant. Perfect for a bridal shower.

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All together now!

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And, you may have noticed a few cupcakes without frosting. The bride prefers non-frosting cupcakes! 

Did your heart stop beating too?

Surely, mine has a stitch in it.

YOU KNOW I really like a little cake with my frosting.  ;)

Everyone has different taste profiles! I love that I’m able to turn down the “sweetness” if needed too. Less frosting, more frosting. Less powdered sugar, lots of that powdery goodness. Less vanilla, lots of sugary alcohol! That way, everyone can get hooked on my cupcakes!  

;) Love to you all. Kathleen, I hope your friend is happily wed and dreaming about cupcakes this holiday season.

XOXO

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Fireplace Makeover || Before & After Reveal

Love the tile on this fireplace! Next project in the house for sure!

xoxo

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Edible Shoe Cake Topper!

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Ekk!  So I can’t believe I never actually blogged about this SHOE.  One of my proudest moments last year.  

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You can tell from my sleepy face that it was late at night after work.  My back and body ached after working on this baby.  I think it took me 3 hours to complete!  

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I used a mixture of gum paste and fondant.  Edible, but NOT REALLY.  Mainly, this fabulous shoe would be a great topper for a cake.  Maybe someone’s bridal shower cake?  

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Something new for me!  And, for all you adventurous pastry artists and bakers, I bought a Shoe Kit from Swank Cake Designs, which helped make this process easier. Honestly, I’m not even sure that I could complete it again, but surely, I gave myself an A++ that day.  

I don’t know how professional pastry artists create something like this on a regular basis?!  Their craft definitely amazes me.

XOXO

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My Happy Place

My blog posts yesterday gave me such a huge rush.  Like when you get a big sale?  Or, get an A in a class?  Run up a steep hill?  Drive into home and score?  Or, maybe share a selfless act?  

Listen… Sales professionals and athletes, I know YOU know what I mean.  That rush of energy and positive feelings!  You’ve accomplished something big!  I’ve really really really missed blogging.  I’m an organized person, but when it comes to my personal projects and art work… I’m completely scattered.  I want to do everything all at one time.  

I think they call it multi-tasking.  

Why can’t I prioritize my personal life like I do at work?  Well folks, here it is… I need you to hold me accountable and motivate me to finish them!  

Tyler and I have so much going on in the house.  We started the summer off by renovating our kitchen.  Poor thing needed lots of love.  Almost 7 years of neglect.  Countertops, backsplash, sink, faucet, oven hood, and dishwasher.  We really need to still replace our fridge and oven, but I had to stop somewhere.  

Unfortunately, we really haven’t had a chance to enjoy it.  I have actually had the remaining kitchen projects pending mainly because the week that our backsplash was being grouted… a pipe to our water heater burst and flooded several rooms and a downstairs bathroom.  

When it rains, it pours, right?  No pun intended.

I’ll post on the kitchen sometime later this week, but here’s our current house nightmare, finally in the hands of Kitchen & Bath Galleries in Cary… soon to be renovated in the next few weeks…

Flooding affected our downstairs full bathroom:

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Ceiling and drywall had to come down to prevent mildew or mold growth.

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Tyler’s clothing closet was next door to the flooded bathroom.  Luckily enough, we only had to get his clothing dry-cleaned and his shoe rack was OUTSIDE of the closet.

Conversation the week before the water heater pipe break…

"Tyler, put your shoes BACK in the closet.  I bought a new shoe rack so you could organize them, not to leave them in the guest room."

"NO, I need more space and I like to be able to SEE my shoes."

A week later…

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Good thing Tyler doesn’t listen to me.  Funny how things work out sometimes.  His shoes would have been ruined.

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Guest bedroom leading into the bathroom needs a new coat of paint, baseboards, and carpeting.

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Closet in another guest bedroom.  Thankfully this closet was extremely organized as well, everything was in tall filing cabinets and stacked on shelves.  We only have to replace the carpet in here!

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Yikes.  This picture brings back nightmares.  Two guest bedrooms, a bathroom, and 2 closets in one room.  

Holy goodness.

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What a mess.  Our summer and early Fall were extremely stressful due to this damage.  We had industrial fans and de-humidifiers in the house for almost 4 weeks with cords hanging out of every window.  Circuit breakers would blow throughout the day and praise the good hair dryer gods if I actually felt like straightening my hair.  

Here, we are in December… so far, we are super happy with our TANKLESS water heater.  T and I just wish that we had made the decision to replace the 2nd story water heater sooner.  You live and you learn.

And, with the help of Tyler’s Dad, we have completed most of the demo and will be picking out bathroom finishes tomorrow!  Renovation through Kitchen and Bath Galleries and Freys Remodeling starts as soon as our bathroom cabinets comes in.  

We’re so excited and will be sure to post updates along the way.

XOXO

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Christmas Cookies

My favorite time of the year.  All the Christmas Cookie Cheer!  

As the cold nights came upon us here in beautiful North Carolina, I needed to figure out what to do with our garden herbs.  We planted them in huge pots this spring that were too large to bring into the kitchen for the winter, but I really didn’t want them to go to waste.

What to do?

Well, first… of course, make cookies!  Lemon Sugar Cookies with Basil.  YUM!

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Take your favorite sugar cookie dough recipe and add a TBSP of lemon juice with the wet ingredients.  Fresh!  Don’t you dare use one of those plastic yellow lemons with fake lemon juice.  Add the zest of one organic lemon and a TBSP of basil at the end for your final stir.  Depending on your recipe, you may need more!  My recipe yields 18 - 20 small cookies if that helps.

Use parchment paper and a Pampered Chef Baking stone.  You won’t go wrong!  Order here from my friend Amy: Pampered Chef Party Orders if interested.  Pampered Chef stones make an awesome Christmas gift!

Make sure your dough is super chilled before baking.  Your cookies won’t spread out as much either this way.  Hurry and try this recipe out!  Don’t be afraid of the basil.  The fresh herbs really highlight the lemon.  Super refreshing and yummy!

What did I do with the rest of my herbs?

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Well… I found these ice cube trays and froze them!

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I chopped the basil and put a TSP in each ice cube spot.  Covered half of them with olive oil and the rest with low-sodium chicken broth.  I put the mint in water for mojitos or anything!  All we have to do is throw the basil cubes in whatever dish we’re making and thaw the mint.

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And look at my new friend, Mister Inch Worm!  Tyler and I won’t use pesticides on our garden herbs and vegetables, so sometimes you meet little creatures hidden under leaves OR they eat all your tomatoes. :(

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The rosemary was super easy!  I clipped a few branches and put them in a ziplock baggie for the freezer, then decided to go ahead and put the huge pot in the kitchen.  We use SO much rosemary during the holidays that I couldn’t bring myself to letting it die in our first frost.

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Did you know that rosemary was associated with weddings in the Middle Ages?  Brides would wear headpieces and the groom and guests would wear twigs on their clothing.  Somehow it grew into a love charm and became a good omen if a newly wed couple could get their branch to actually grow.  I learned this in a college class discussing art in the Middle Ages.  Herbs are pretty amazing!  

So, since I now have a ton of rosemary, I even used it in tonight’s dinner!  Roasted rosemary carrots and chicken baked with a rosemary dressing.  Amazing, light, and oh so flavorful.

What’s your favorite herb?

XOXO

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Anonymous asked: Hello there! I love your monkey cupcakes!! Can you send me your contact information. I would love to order these for an upcoming baby shower.

Hi There!  Sorry I haven’t responded to your message.  I haven’t blogged in a long time.  I’m sure the baby shower was a while ago, but feel free to email me at emjesserer@yahoo.com.  Thanks!

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So, we have a 12 year old cat named Chupacabra, I mean Luna. My sister, Lea nicknamed her Chupacabra when I first brought her home in college. Even if she is purring and happy, Luna looks pissed. I like to call her my little Gargoyle.

She is the most snuggly cat you’ll ever find BUT only with Tyler and I. No one believes that she is the nicest, cutest cat ever. She probably gives other cats a bad rap, but who cares. She’s my snuggly buddy.

Luna talks back, brings us home dinner, and keeps the lizards off our front porch. She sleeps on our backs at night and kneads like a professional baker. She has several different cat calls, so we always know if she needs water, food, love, or wants to go outside. She even stomps all 8lbs. of her around the house, when she wants us to know she’s there.

Our neighbors have nicknamed her “stumpy” and “white socks”… and she keeps the moles, mice, and rabbits out of their gardens. Proud mama cat here.  

I thought I’d dedicate my first post in almost a year to my little furry buddy, Luna. She’s been our sidekick for a long time and I can’t imagine life without her.  

I’m back friends! It’s been a while.

XOXO

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Happy Bridal Shower Cupcakes!

So, I’M ALIVE!  Back from the no-cupcake land.  Well, not really… I’ve actually been baking on and off the past few months… just not like crazy.town.cupcake.style.

Wowzers, time flies when you life completely turns around. The past 4 months have been a whirlwind. I sadly had to decline or cancel almost 3 dozen orders between August and this week. Why, you ask?  Mainly, my new job and newbie training period, and my life adjusting in general with a new schedule… my 30th! week-long birthday shenanigans, new AMAZING busy job, Rochester New York, beach trip, ups and downs of a learning a new industry, co-ed softball team, training and running my 2nd half marathon, and Thanksgiving.

That pretty much catches me up to our life!  I made the cupcakes below so long ago that it almost took me a second to remember who I actually baked and decorated these beauties for… Miss Gorgeous Kasey in August!

We decided on chocolate and vanilla cupcakes with a mix of vanilla, strawberry, and chocolate frostings topped with little frilly pink bows and flowers. I wanted the chrystanthemums to look alive… some fully opened, others awakening, some closed… pink as can be!

I really loved making these toppers even though they took almost a week to complete. The bows are ridiculously cute and the flowers added a special girly touch. Thank you Kasey for inviting me to be a part of your friend’s Baby Shower! Congratulations to her on the amazing path to motherhood.

Cheers to me blogging again! More to come… it’s the holidays of course! You know I have some projects up my sleeve.

XOXO

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Anonymous asked: Hi Emily! I came across your wolfpack cupcakes on Pinterest and then saw all your great creations on your blog. If you are local to the Raleigh area, do you take speical orders? Thanks! Elizabeth 919-601-1911

Hi Elizabeth! Thanks again for messaging me… it was great to “meet” you on Friday. I’m sorry, but I think I wrote down your email address wrong, because the email keeps coming back to me. I apologize for the inconvenience… do you mind sending me a quick message with it? Thanks so much!

Emily Jesserer

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Bridal Luncheon Cupcakes!

How precious! I love the strawberry swirled frosting with little pink pearls. Perfect for any occasion!

This is definitely going to be one of my favorite posts this year. Elizabeth was my realization that I was on PINTEREST! She found me on PINTEREST! I was shocked… flattered… excited… HOW COOL!

Social media is key future entreprenauers… Embrace it now!

Elizabeth lives in Raleigh and stumbled upon my blog through a PIN of my Wolfpack Gender Reveal cupcakes. She contacted me through my blog and ordered cupcakes for a friend’s bridal luncheon a couple of weekends ago. Her request was very simple… strawberry cupcakes with toppers that matched their flowery invites.

Light pink… dark purple… royal blue… flowers…

I wanted the flowers to be soft even though they had such a bold pop of color. I love the purple roses!

So sweet! Thank you Elizabeth for thinking about me for your friend’s special celebration. Best wishes to her!

Cheers to Pinterest and happy PINNING!

XOXO

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