Category: Lifestyle

First Birthday Party Fun!

first birthday party inspiration boy

First birthday parties have always been my favorite. I just love getting to see a baby eat cake for the very first time and celebrate what a huge milestone a year is, so when it came time to start planning my little guy’s first trip around the sun I went into full on mom party planning mode. Turns out it’s my favorite kind of mode to be in, and I made about a hundred to-do lists to get everything perfect. I’m so happy to say that although party planning can be stressful, I had so much fun with all of it! I kindof want to be in mom party planning mode all the time.

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Sugar & Sparrow is 3!

pink watercolor cake by sugar and sparrow

My blog baby is three! In some ways it seems like only yesterday that I got up the nerve to launch Sugar & Sparrow. I was so anxious to do it – what if no one read my posts? What if my recipes didn’t work for other people? What if it’s just an epic failure? Somehow I pushed through my anxiety and hit the publish button, and here we are three years later. I have learned so much and this past year wasn’t exactly the easiest (for anybody), but I’m still here thinking of cake ideas and playing with buttercream. 

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Sugar & Sparrow’s Best of 2020

best cake recipes 2020

My, what a year it’s been! 2020 was hard, weird, tragic, wonderful, and just all the things at once. It’s the year I became a mom to the sweetest baby boy and the year I launched Cake Basics after dreaming about launching a series like that for so long. I’m thankful to be welcoming a brand new year and starting on some fresh goals, but first, I want to share this year’s greatest hits from my Instagram! These are the recipes, tutorials, and cake designs that you all loved the most: 

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Our Sweet Baby Boy is Here!

Sugar and Sparrow baby

In case you didn’t see my Instagram announcement, our sweet baby boy is here and he’s totally stolen our hearts! I’m so thrilled to be a mama and just consumed with learning the ropes of caring for a newborn these days. Just wanted to post a quick message to let you know I will be on a little maternity leave, and while I am I won’t be checking the blog comments quite as often. That said, if you do have questions about my recipes or tutorials feel free to sift through previous comments, use Google, or check out my YouTube channel – between those three resources you should have the answer you’re looking for. If you find a new solution or tip, feel free to return and leave a comment for others to see! 

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A Magical Maternity Photoshoot in the Rose Gardens

international rose test garden portland maternity photoshoot

There’s this magical place in Portland called the International Rose Test Garden, where there are over ten thousand roses in bloom all at once. It’s apparently the longest running rose test garden in the country, and maybe even why Portland is nicknamed the “City of Roses.” So when it came time to start thinking about places to capture some maternity photos, this place seemed like the most beautiful backdrop ever. Turns out it is the dreamiest setting, and as a bonus, all of the roses fill the air with the most amazing fragrance. Whether for photos or not, if you’re ever in Portland, you must go!

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Coming Soon: Cake Basics

birthday cake with sprinkles by sugar and sparrow

One of the biggest reasons why I started blogging about cake is because I fell in love with helping people. It totally makes my day when I read messages from you guys talking about how one of my recipes has become your go-to or how a tutorial helped you make the perfect cake to celebrate your loved one. Cake is one of my favorite ways to spread joy, and I feel like teaching you how to make pretty cakes spreads that joy even further – from my kitchen to yours and beyond. I consider it an honor! And while I love sharing cake decorating tutorials and recipes, there’s one thing I’ve been dreaming about teaching for a long time, what I like to call Cake Basics

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Sugar & Sparrow is TWO!

rainbow cake with buttercream by sugar and sparrow

And just like that, Sugar & Sparrow is TWO years old! It feels so young and so old at the same time. This past year was all about growing in my recipe writing, getting better at food photography, and creating a steady stream of fun cake tutorials and videos. I learned a whole lot, but there’s so much more room to grow for year three and I’ve got some big ideas. Thanks for sticking with me and following along every step of the way! 

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Pip’s “Heart of Gold” Coconut Chai Cake Recipe

Coconut Chai Cake recipe by Sugar and Sparrow

One of my favorite things to do in Portland is go meet a friend for Pip’s Doughnuts and Chai. Their tasty mini doughnuts are hands down my favorite in the city and I’ve even topped some birthday cakes with them over the years. When the pandemic forced so many local businesses I love to close up shop, Pip’s did something extraordinary: they adapted by launching a new way to do business, all while keeping the community at the heart of what they do. Instead of serving up doughnuts these days, they’re hard at work bottling their chai concentrate and giving 10% of the profits back to other service businesses in Portland. Not only is their ability to launch Community Chai during these wild times inspiring, but their chai concentrate is incredible.

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Baby on the Way + Gender Reveal Cake

gender reveal cake by sugar and sparrow

Some great news in the midst of this global pandemic: I’m pregnant! We’re expecting a sweet baby this August and our hearts could not be more full. I think mine might actually explode when I get to hold this kid for the first time! 

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Helping Small Businesses During the Coronavirus Pandemic

#cakesforsmallbiz Rainbow Cake by Sugar and Sparrow

These are wild times, my friends. How are you all holding up in the midst of this Coronavirus pandemic? For me, I’ve been sheltering in with my husband, working my day job from my home office, talking to all my friends through Zoom/FaceTime, and baking to calm my anxiety about how long this is all going to be a reality. Life has changed so much in such a short amount of time, and while I’ve found myself overwhelmed with gratitude for my own health and wellbeing, it’s so hard to watch the suffering around me without an end in sight. 

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