eighteen

'think simple' - this has always been a mantra of mine and when it comes to events and styling it sums up my taste perfectly. don't get me wrong, over-the-top styled events can be absolutely breathtaking but if you're anything like me then 1 - you know that they're not realistic for the everyday joe and 2 -you're always having to think twice about every movement you make because you just might break everything and that is just unnecessary stress. so let's save the over-the-top style for weddings and let's talk sweet and simple styling and i'll share some inspiration for your next event or celebration. 

the beginning of this month just happened to be my baby sister's birthday, and so it was the perfect excuse for me to put together a little celebration and enlist the help of my favourite creatives to make it amazing. I don't know about you, but whenever i scroll through my insta i often see perfectly styled events from super talented folks down south and so i find myself thinking that it isn't achievable in rockhampton. but that couldn't be further from the truth, rocky is full of talented and creative folks who are just as dedicated to simple and beautiful style as i am. so i set out to prove that just because i live in a smaller city than some, beautifully styled celebrations are just as attainable and easy to put together.

the long and the short of the story is, that with some simple ideas, the help of some amazing creative humans and a bit of scheming i was able to pull together this little event and surprise my sister for her birthday. in the afternoon my parents whisked away my little sister on the pretense that they just had to "go for a drive" before dinner. a car ride of questions later, hannah found herself in an underground car park where i met her with a smirk and the word surprise! a quick elevator trip up to the penthouse of the empire hotel and she walked in to be met with a drink and the surprise that our family were having a little intimate dinner and spending the night together. she was in shock at my scheming skills and blown away with the surprise. the night was spent eating delicious food, sharing laughs, facetiming extended family, getting high from all the sugar and creating amazing memories that won't be forgotten. it just goes to show that a little planning and effort goes a long way.

styling tips.jpg

keep the colour scheme to no more than 3 colours, if you find yourself wanting more colour use varying shades of one of the colours.

you can always make the cake yourself, i don't care if you use packet mix or even buy the sponge from woolies, having the creative control to match the colour and style to your event is going to make the cake shine rather than stick out like a sore thumb. you don't have to go overboard with the decoration, remember simple is beautiful.

when it comes to baking the desserts, create a time plan - make sure you start as far in advance as you can, and remember that when you have one dessert in the oven you can prepare the next one so that it's ready to simply swap out.

use fresh flowers or foliage if possible, it will add life to your styling and help break up any inanimate props.

balloons are always appropriate, no matter the age of the guest of honour or style of event.

while i'm usually an advocate for symmetry on dessert tables, try mixed serving ware to create a relaxed feel and make things even more visually interesting - just keep things within your chosen colour scheme or use neutral colours like black white and grey.

think outside the box - desserts can be arranged on many different items to create interest. don't limit yourself to cake stands, think of acrylic laptop risers, trinket trays, chopping boards, boxes or other styling objects which can be used to add varying heights.

to create an elegant feel try to avoid disposable plates and cups, instead try simple glassware and white dinnerware - you can find very stylish and affordable options from the likes of kmart.

cloth napkins are an easy way to elevate your table style and make things appear more fancy than they may be.

try to not to use too many plates, dishes, serving plates on your table - the last thing you want to have to do is spend the rest of your night washing up.

have a plan for how your event will run - eg. drinks on arrival, followed by a sit down dinner, the cutting of the cake and dessert table grazing. 

there are so many things you can diy - from invitations to gift bags and everything in between, don't be afraid to give things a go and get creative, you'll surprise yourself just how crafty you really are.

enlist help - you don't have to do everything yourself, don't be afraid to ask a friend to help out even with menial tasks remember that a job shared is a job halved and as long as you have company you might even enjoy it.

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if you have an event in mind, but don't know where to start, i'd be more than happy to point you in the right direction and offer any helpful suggestions i can. if you're in the rockhampton area, i'm more than happy to have a chat with you regarding your event, share my local contacts or even my recipes. 


photos - DMK photographics | florals - Jess Mauger Floral Design | cake topper - glistening occasions | balloons - curly lou's twisted balloons | chairs and plinth - stylish events & hire | location - empire rockhampton

thanks to the many talented humans who helped me surprise my baby sister with this special event.

free printable: bunny cake topper

so if you've scrolled through instagram recently, you'll have noticed that the unicorn cake trend has been given the easter makeover - cue the bunny cake which is totally a thing now. now don't get me wrong i'm living for it, seriously they're way too cute to handle but if you're not a regular cake decorator you probably won't have the patience to pre make a bunch of fondant decorations and seven shades of frosting to swirl on top. or maybe you do, in which case you go girl! but maybe, just maybe you're more like me - loving the trend but trying to find an easier way to make an easter cake that's still equally as cute.

if that's you, then i got you! now before it gets out that we just can't be bothered going to all the effort, the official story that we're running with is that we're aiming for a more minimalist look. 😜 I know right, insta is totally going to buy it! so now that there's no excuses, it's time to sprinkle a little cute on your easter cake - hop to it! (pun intended. yep, i'm really that lame! haha)


bunny ears easter cake

so it's simple really...

you will need | 6inch round cake, printable bunny cake topper, light cardstock, scissors, toothpicks, hot melt glue + gun, pink gumball

step one | grab the cake topper template above and print that guy out on some light cardstock

step two | whizz around the edges with some scissors.

step three | next you'll want to stick some toothpicks on those perky little ears and the easiest way is a little dab of hot glue.

step four | then all you've got to do is whack them in the top of your cake and press on your gumboil nose.

optional | you can press shredded coconut (dyed the same colour as your cake) into the buttercream to add extra dimension and make the bunny appear β€˜fluffier’.

note | if the bunny ears come in direct contact with the cake the cardstock will be affected by the buttercream.


if you use these little ears on your easter cake i'd love to see it, share it with me on social media by using the hashtag #mrtimothyjames

do you ever find yourself trying to cut the corners? also why does chocolate always taste better at easter? tell me all of the things in the comments below!

hoppy easter, love timothy x

malt-easter cupcakes

malteaser cupcakes. i don't think i really need to explain why i thought that this would be a good idea, so i'll let the recipe speak for itself. deliciously moist vanilla malt cupcake base contrasted with fluffy buttercream loaded with malteasers and topped with even more chocolate - it's just a winner. I've been making malteaser cupcakes at easter time for the past few years because like a normal human being i'm obsessed with the malt-easster bunnies. but each time i've made them, while they look like a milllion bucks, i've never quite been able to nail the cupcake base. It's always been, too chocolatey or too subtle in flavour or too dry, so when i finally nailed the recipe I just knew that i had to share it with you. 

I wish i could bake each and every one of you a malteaster cupcake but i don't think they'd make it out the front door - they're seriously too good to share. so you're going to have to make them for yourself, i promise you won't be disappointed.

the recipe

recipe makes 12 cupcakes

cupcakes

preheat the oven to 180oC / 160oC fan-forced. in the bowl of an electric mixer, add the flour, sugar, horlicks, bi-carb and butter – mix on low to combine. in a separate bowl or measuring jug, combine the milk, eggs and vanilla extract. add the wet ingredients to the bowl slowly, while incorporating on a low speed. once the batter is just combined, scrape down the bowl and beat on high for 20 seconds. use an icecream scoop to divide the batter between 12 cupcake cups or liners filling each one two-thirds full. bake the cupcakes for 20-25 minutes. cool completely before frosting.

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frosting

in the bowl of an electric mixer, beat the butter until light and fluffy. add the icing sugar gradually, mixing on a low speed until all combined. at this stage the frosting should be quite thick, add 3-4 tablespoons of milk to achieve a pipeable consistency. if using, add the food colouring and then fold through the crushed malteasers. pipe or spread the frosting onto the cupcakes and serve. if desired, top the cupcakes with malteaser malt-easter bunnies and mini eggs.

i'd love to see your creations, if you make these delicious cupcakes share them with me by using  the hashtag #mrtimothyjames on social media.

what's your fav easter choccy? ever made a batch of cupcakes and eaten them all yourself?(no, me either 😜) tell me all of the things in the comments below!

love and cupcakes timothy xx