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The ultimate Yo Gabba Gabba party….

June 27th, 2010  12 Comments

You may all think I am obsessed, and I guess I kind of am. My girls both absolutely adore Yo Gabba Gabba, so you can’t really blame a mom for LOVING something that brings her girls so much joy…right? So, back in January I threw together a YGG party in about a week for my Ani who was turning 2. After having SO much fun putting everything together, I was thrilled when my soon to be 4 year old announced she too wanted a YGG party. This time I had a bit  more time to prepare (about a month). So, in between being a mom, and baking my tush off, I found myself up late every night getting as much done as I possibly could to make this the best party yet. Of course there was still way more I would have like to have done, but time ran out. So, here it is, the ultimate Yo Gabba Gabba party for my Ricky who turned four. Oh, and did I mention I made the most awesome cake ever for her (I only say that cause my daughter loved it so much…I’d make changes if I did it again). 

SO many pics….where to start? The invite: I obviously wanted to incorporate the theme, but wanted to keep it modern and clean…went with the circle Gabba faces for most of the decor.

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I guess we can go on to the goody bags….I chose colored buckets and made the faces of each character on the appropriate colored bucket. I then filled the bucket with some goodies: an apron they would be painting later, a windmill, a 5 page coloring book (one page of each character), a squirt gun (we had an inflatable water slide), a baggy of water balloons, and a bag of crayons and YGG stickers…each tied up with a black ribbon. They were finished off with name tags that read “My name is —– I like to dance!” The buckets also doubled as candy storage when it came time for the pinata!

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So, next we had some decorations…You can never go wrong with coordinating streamers hanging from above, but I wanted to Gabbafy it. So,I made double sided faces of each character that matched the invites and strung them from some black ribbon.

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On to entertainment….Along with a giant water slide we rented (and ended up purchasing…Yipee!), we had giant water blasters, big bouncy balls, a kiddie pool, and a plex sprinkler (we never used cause it needed a hose and that was already being run to the slide). Oh, and did I mention the games? I made a pin the eyeball on Muno (pretty self explanatory right?), as well as a “Party in my tummy” Brobee bean bag toss (bean bag food and all). One of the awesome moms also volunteered to paint faces, you’d never guess what the request of the day was….THE CAKE!

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Ok, next hmmmmm…the centerpieces! These were my favorite! Originally I was going to paint the Gabba Lands and characters on containers but, I have 3 kids and a limited amount of time. So I picked up some clear plastic painters buckets and some paper, went to my computer and hit print. I then stuffed the buckets with tissue paper and popped in some rice krispie treats decorated to look like the characters faces….TOO CUTE!

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Next, the pinata! My daughter’s favorite character is Foofa (the pink one) so I mad her a Foofa pinata. I found a Bratz pinata at party city on clearance for $5.00 (yes $5.00!) and grabbed a bag of pink tissue paper and went to town. I glued on the new tissue paper and cut out a face and eyes and viola…Foofa, fa Foofa, fa fa fa fa fa fa fa fa fa Foofa! And yes…all my girls had on very colorful swimsuits to go with our theme! 

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Now on to the yummy stuff…..Dazzle berry lomonade anyone? In one of the episodes of YGG Muno’s mom makes “dazzle berry lemonade”, so we served some up. Of course we had to include polka dot cups and colorful squiggly straws to go with!

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I tried to adapt each character into a goody…all thought up literally the day before and made with whatever I had lying around the house!

Foofa oreos, complete with her signature flower.

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Muno chocolate covered pretzels (and yes, I know I spelled it wrong on the label, I didn’t even realize until I was writing this blog)!

 

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Plex….well, I had some left over rice krispie treats so I threw together some smores krispies and stuck them on a yellow stand (close enough).
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Toodee got marshmallows. Nothing crazy, just some marshmallows dipped in chocolate and sprinkled with a little glitter.
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Here’s my favorite! Brobee popcorn! I decorated the box (which already had holes in the top) to resemble Brobees recognizable green stripes and to play off his signature red horns, turned them into popcorn cones! I then labeled each cone with his well know phrase “so yummy, so yummy”.
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What is a party without  CAKE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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You can’t have cake without untencils and ours were wrapped up in polka dots and YGG stickers!
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Here’s what it all looked like when it came together!
IMG_7714To top it off, here are a few more pics (as if there weren’t enough already) that I loved to pieces…ENJOY!
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Oh, and YES…I made them all shout Yooooo Gabba Gabbaaaaaaa while taking this one!
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A big thank you to everyone who came. You all helped make this day so special and memorable for our entire family. We love you all! 
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What’s up…

April 29th, 2010  No Comments

We have been soooo busy! Here’s a few thing we have coming up, and all I can say is INSANITY! 

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First, if you haven’t seen yet, we’ve got a newline of goodies…GLAM BITES! These are our gourmet treats all glammed up ready to hit the town! They are available in all colors and all treats! (The pictures don’t do them justice!)

 

 

 

 

 

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Also, be on the look out for these cool cakes: Lacrosse cakes, Teddy bear minis, Money bags cupcakes, Damask cake, Turntables cake, pink/black vintage cake, Angels baseball cake x 2, Plumeria wedding cake, Sesame Street cake/cupcake combo…just to name a FEW! 

AND….

We’ll be taking our treats to the VIP BOOTH at TASTE OF LADERA….THE MTV MOVIE AWARDS gifting suite at the SLS Hotel…..the AMERICAN IDOL FINALE…and more soon to be announced!

I still can’t believe all the opportunities presenting themselves and am so thankful to all of our customers and supporters.

Snoopy cupcake tower

April 19th, 2010  1 Comment

What a fun theme! I absolutely LOVE doing new cakes/cupcakes…keeps things interesting. This one was for Ellie who was turning 1. The theme…Snoopy! Fun right? So I began to search for cakes to get ideas and sent over some images to Ellie’s mom. She immediately fell in love with Julie’s (Blue cupcake) cake. Side note: I have admired Julie’s work since I first started doing this. Her work is AMAZING and she is such a sweet gal! OK, so it was a simple cake…not to much could be changed, but we did our best to tweak it just a tad. We also made coordinating cupcakes with Snoopy, Woodstock, Snoopy’s dog house, and some #1s. Once assembled on the stand, it all came together and looked fantastic. 

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“The cake and cupcakes were a hit! Everyone, myself included, just loved the Snoopy decorations you created.  So cute! Not only that but they tasted delicious, especially the raspberry red velvet. Those were gone so fast that my husband didn’t even get to try them, haha!”  

-Ellie’s Mom

Sex and the City 2

April 18th, 2010  1 Comment

How appropriate I get a request for my second set of Sex and the City (which I thought was Sex in the City….I don’t watch much TV!) with the Sex and the City sequel coming out! I was contacted by a repeat customer and she told me she wanted to order the Sex and the City cupcakes for her mom’s birthday. It was a last minute order, but we try and take care of our repeats. So, I told her I could squeeze her in. I was SO excited to do these cupcakes again. I was determined to put a twist on them this time. Instead of the red and gold I thought pink, pink, pink….what could be more appropriate right? So, I got to work brainstorming and made some changes. We did a silhouette of a heel vs. a 3D shoe, changed up the purses and added  a sugar rim to our martinis…cute right! I deliver the cupcakes and start talking to the customer about how excited I was to be able to do these again and how I LOVED how the pink looked….apparently the dinner was decorated in the red and gold!!!!! Yikes! She said they were “still cute”. Every day is a learning experience for me in this business. I am still just getting my feet wet and will never again overlook confirming the color scheme! (Sorry Thi!) So, here’s a look at the first and second set of Sex and the City cupcakes!

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Let’s do the Mario all together!

April 17th, 2010  No Comments

Since our recent article in the OC Register, business has been booming. I am trying to squeeze in every possible order, but it’s just insane (and I do need SOME sleep). So, one of our more recent orders was for 6 year old Julian. His mom contacted us and was so excited about doing something extra special this year for his birthday…. a cake/cupcake combo! Her theme was Mario Bros. and we had so much fun creating these goodies especially for Julian! 

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“EVERYONE loved the cake and nobody even wanted to touch the cupcakes they thought they were decoration! 
I couldn’t BELIEVE how everyone reacted to the cake, when they bit into it, myself included people were like, omg…. it was sooo good!” 

-Julian’s mom

My story

April 6th, 2010  2 Comments

This past Sunday a huge article ran in the O.C. Register about my business, my family, my life. It gives you an insight of what I’ve gone through to get Two Parts Sugar up and running. I am truly blessed to have such a supportive family, friends and following. I truly love you all. A special thank you to Teryl Zarnow for writing such an amazing article and really capturing the heart of Two Parts Sugar.

From Sweat to sweet

Only a certain kind of woman is willing to mix it up and go head to head against guys in a wrestling match. You might not expect it to be the same woman who now bakes cupcakes for a living – but it turns out they require the same ingredients.

The tenacity to score on the mat is not all that different from the tenacity you need to make a business into a winner.

So call this a story about what happens when sweat meets sweet. To me, though, it’s that familiar tale of a young mother juggling family and work. Mothers who learn how to fit their dreams around their children know how to grapple with life.

Monica Serratos, 28, wrestled at Estancia High School in Costa Mesa. As one of two women on the team, she wrestled mostly guys in the 103 or 112 -pound weight class.

She didn’t win a single match in her first year, but that only made her work harder. By senior year she was team captain.

Monica met her future husband, Fernando, on the wrestling team at Golden West College — and that’s where three babies come in.

Monica is primed to tell me about all this, plus cupcakes and the Academy Awards, but 3-month-old Angelica announces – loudly — she’s ready to eat. There’s no arguing with that.serratos-ceremony-academy

Monica fell into baking the way women fall in love: opportunity and attraction to something sweet. She was working weekends and nights at Macy’s, and wanted to start her own business. Then her sister took a culinary class and Monica sampled some recipes.

“I liked the cake on one and the icing on the other,” Monica recalls. “When we put them together, it was gold.”

First, she experimented with recipes – a little more egg here, a bit less oil there. A good cake is moist, not over-baked, with icing that isn’t overly sweet. One result is her signature raspberry red velvet cake.

“This is my passion … when people pop a bite into their mouth and their reaction is ‘Wow!’ you’ve created this little bit of dessert heaven.”

For a year she explored the idea of a baking business. She took some classes in cake decorating and discovered she was good at it – very good.

Monica began selling her creations to friends and their friends and suddenly realized: “I guess I’m in business.”

Two Parts Sugar (www.twopartssugar.com) launched in December of 2008. Listening to Monica explain how she hustles to build her business is exhausting.

Less than a year after launching, a very pregnant Monica was competing (and losing) in the first episode of the Food Network reality show, “Cupcake Wars.” Yes, she admits, she spent one crazy evening with power tools building a display stand for her cupcakes.

Twice she’s accepted the annual LA Cupcake Challenge, passing out thousands of samples so the public can eat and vote. The first year Two Parts Sugar won a second place and bragging rights for its (suddenly) “award-winning” cupcakes. In February, she won a third place for her chocolate covered strawberry cupcakes.

She’s already diversified from cupcakes into other sweets and aprons. With marketing help from her brother, Monica tweets and blogs and looks for every advantage.

When the Academy Awards came calling, Monica didn’t hesitate. She pulled several all-nighters to bake mini-cupcakes for tasting and “swag” bags for stars visiting the gifting suite.

She’s tasted other cupcakes. With no modesty she says:

“Some of the cupcakes out there made me realize that what I have here is fantastic.”

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An entrepreneur and mother, Monica knows all about juggling her time. Most mothers mentally barter with our kids, trading more favors than a backroom politico: If we accomplish one chore for me, later we will do one fun thing for you.

Monica trades a morning at the park for a run to buy ingredients or make a delivery. She packs Alicia, 3, Anabelle, 2, and the baby into the car and tells them it’s time to make a trip. She bakes; they bake with an Easy Bake Oven.

After the girls’ 8 p.m. bedtime, she heads to her Irvine-based kitchen to work. Her time is her own until 6 a.m. when the kids wake up.

“I tuck them into bed. They know Daddy is here and Mommy has to go to work.”

No problem – if you don’t require sleep.

And here’s where wrestling comes in. This is a grueling schedule. To meet it, Monica calls upon the same focus and drive she needed just to finish a practice.

“Some nights I’m baking and I’m dead tired and I tell myself: All right, it’s overtime. I need that extra bit you have to give.”

Endurance counts. She’s taken a self-taught, crash course in business: setting prices (too low), buying supplies (no longer at the grocery store), packaging and marketing.

So far, Two Parts Sugar is barely profitable. The deal with Fernando is that she needs to at least cover expenses and pay the family’s bill for health insurance.

Monica is selling cupcakes, but she’s buying herself time.

Right now, her business is the freedom to stay home days and weekends with her girls. But she has ambitions: maybe her own storefront bakery one day, maybe a little saved for the girls’ education. She would like them to finish college.

“I am setting an example. My girls can see it’s important to be independent and be able to support themselves and not have to rely on anybody else.”

She wants to build a successful business. She wants to be a successful mother. She wants more hours in the day.

All mothers wrestle with that.

And the Oscar goes to….

March 15th, 2010  1 Comment

Wow, THE Academy Awards! Last weekend we attended 2 different gifting suites at The Academy Awards. It was a whole lot of plotting, marketing, last minute details and oh, LOTS of baking. Here’s what we took with us….

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IMG_6088Another all-nighter produced lots of mini cupcakes for guest to indulge in. We took our vanilla throwback, chocolate covered strawberry, haute hostess and raspberry red velvets. They were a hit! They were so well received, for a minute we actually considered renaming our raspberry red velvet cupcake the “oh wow”. It seems everyone that popped one in their mouth responded with a joyful “Oh WOW”. We took boxes of 4 cupcakes, one of each flavor for guests to take home. We had contributions from a few people who really helped pull our “swag bags” together. Chico bag was amazing in contributing 100 eco-friendly bags screened with the Two Parts Sugar’s logo! These bags are awesome. They are made of 99% recycled material and are super roomy. We also had contributions from Sugar Cat Studio providing 100 sets of cupcake wrappers to be included in our “swag bags”. Lastly, Dazzle & Chunk provided the cutest cupcake necklaces.

I was able to take my big brother Juan who has contributed so much to the business with his technological smarts and creative ideas. Also, my sister Maria who contributes occassionally with baking and recipe ideas and sister Alicia who helps with all the extras. How fun to be able to share this experience with them.

I’ve been getting some questions about the people we were photographed with…No, I didn’t get shots of Brad Pitt, or Hale Berry with our cupcakes… Was I disappointed about that…NO. What I did get out of this experience was more than I could ask for. I met some really grounded and amazing people. People who loved our cupcakes and who were really interested in the story behind Two Parts Sugar and what we stand for. I have to mention a few people who really stood out to us: Jackie Tohn, American Idol finalist and recording artist and actress…she has a great sense of humor and is awesome. Another favorite is Ben Decker, actor, fashion model, song writer and super fun guy. Lastly, Jordan Johnson, singer, songwriter producer, also a sweetheart. We have generated some business from this event, including requests for samples from other gifting suite organizers and magazines, and requests for our cupcakes at other awards shows! It was a lot of work, but well worth it. It really was an exciting experience and just so fulfilling to have everyone really enjoy what we brought to the table.

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               Ben Decker                      Jordan Johnson

If you are interested in placing an order, you can contact us here. If you are interested in more information about our business or would like to have us at an event you can view our media kit here.

LA Cupcake Challenge results

February 24th, 2010  3 Comments

Here are the results…needless to say we are thrilled with the outcome!

Best Traditional
1st Place:  Big Man Bakes “Red Velvet”
2nd Place:  Blue Cupcake “Sweet and Salty Vanilla”
3rd Place:  Southern Girl Desserts “Red Velvet”

Best Original
1st Place:  My Delight Cupcaker “Breakfast Cake”
2nd Place:  Jus Minis “Caramel Banana”
3rd Place:  Two Parts Sugar “Chocolate Covered Strawberry”

Best Overall
1st Place:  Jus Minis “Caramel Banana”
2nd Place:  My Delight Cupcaker “Breakfast Cake”
3rd Place:  Two Parts Sugar “Chocolate Covered Strawberry”

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So there you have it…we took 3rd place in the Best Original category and what we were most excited about was taking 3rd  (out of 54 cupcakes) in the Best Overall category. Congratulations to all the bakeries who attended…it was an accomplishment just baking all those yummy cupcakes and presenting them along side all of your beautiful displays. To all the other bakeries who placed…awesome job! Again a super-duper big giant thank you to everyone who helped….you all played a huge role in our success.

Cupcakes for Haiti

February 23rd, 2010  No Comments

A little while back we were contacted by a woman who requested some cupcakes for a company fundraiser. Everyone was contributing something to raffle to help raise money for The Haiti Earthquake Relief. She thought our cupcakes would be a perfect fit. We love to participate in things like this and immediately jumped on the opportunity. We donated 3 dz cupcakes in an effort to help raise some money for this organization. I later heard back from her and she said they were a hit. They were able to raise $1,200.00!

Vision Solutions charity cupcakes

We are thrilled to have been a part of this fundraiser…it’s kinda why we do what we do, after all they are just cupcakes. Don’t get me wrong, they are definitely not JUST cupcakes….I mean they are my passion, my livelihood, my life. But when you look at the big picture, there are so many other things that are more important. We can’t wait until we are able to help in bigger and better ways. Until then, we will continue to help out the community and other non-profit organizations as much as we can. Who knows, maybe one day we will be able to start our own charitable non-profit organization!

Academy Awards

February 22nd, 2010  8 Comments

I can’t believe I’m saying this, but Two Parts Sugar is headed to the Academy Awards. Okay, Monica, breathe. It’s still amazing to me how this even happened.

So, back in November I received a call from a man that literally changed my outlook on life. My family and I were dealing with some personal issues that made me feel like my world was falling apart. I don’t think I can even begin to tell you about the intensity of running a start-up business, not to mention balancing it with a husband, a household, and three children. Needless to say it can be overwhelming. This particular day (keep in mind I had a 4 day old baby at the time…so emotions/hormones were all over the place) I had a breakdown. I didn’t know if this business was what was right for me or our family…I was having second thoughts.  I gotta tell you, I think that way a lot…no, really, A LOT. But, at the end of the day, I think about the smiles our creations bring to peoples faces, the opportunity to give back, and really, I just LOVE doing what I do. Also, it seams as though when ever I am super swamped with work, or having a “moment” of doubt, something fantastic happens. Well this time, it was a phone call.

A few hours after my “meltdown” I get a phone call. I answer the phone…the man on the other end asks for me. I say hi and he starts in with a proposal for a booth at the Academy Awards. I just kinda brush it off and explain we are still somewhat of a start up business and do not generate the capital to fund an event like  this. He then puts me on hold to speak with his business partner. He gets back on the phone and says he may be able to “work” something out. Long story short…WE ARE GOING TO THE ACADEMY AWARDS!

We will be participating in the Academy Awards Gifting Suite and supplying our yummy goodies to the “stars”. We will also be putting together some “sweet” swag bags which will include some goodies from Kitchen Couture, Sugar Cat Studio, and Dazzle and Chunk…we will share with you soon! We are so grateful for this opportunity and cannot wait for the event!

For all of you out there…bakers or not, please realize the lesson here. When you feel like your world is falling apart, realize good things can still happen. If you are doing something you absolutely love, don’t give up on your dreams. My dad always said “if it were easy, everybody would be doing it.”