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Soiree Ideas & Inspiration

Volume One Issue Two

Letter from


Letter from Courtney

Just thinking about our second issue of SOIREE makes me drool. I’m a bit of a cupcake fanatic, and the rise of the cupcake in the past few years has been a treat for me. Speaking of treats, our second issue is loaded with ‘em. From our interview with one of the sweetest gals around, Angie Dudley, aka Bakerella, and her infamous cake pops to local favs., Jennifer of Trophy Cupcakes and Rosanna of Rosanna Inc., I’m all but ready to throw a party. Then we get down to “serious business” as we taste test local cupcakes for the NYC vs. Seattle cupcake taste-off! If you are in the mood for more cupcake fun, pick up your favorite cupcake and stop by the public viewing of our “Cupcakes Galore” Christmas tree at the annual Providence O Christmas Tree Family Affair Treeview on November 29, 2010 from12pm – 8pm at the Westin Hotel Grand Ballroom, Seattle, WA. We are honored to design for this yearly fundraiser, and have so much fun along the way (check out our sneak peek in this issue). Even though it feels like I have “cupcakes on the brain,” I’m really focused on planning the final details of the 3rd Annual EcoLavish Fashion Show. EcoLavish is Seattle’s only annual eco-conscious fashion show featuring local fashion, jewelry, and accessory designers in a totally eco-friendly atmosphere (from the DJ to the venue to the EcoSwag). This year’s show is the last big fashion event in Seattle until 2011. If you are in town, don’t miss out! Tickets and details can be found at Don’t forget SOIREE readers get a discount on tickets – just enter the discount code: SOIREE10 when purchasing ticketsonline. As we head into the holiday season I know our calendars fill up before we know it. All of the new recipes we are planning to try and the lavish tabletop settings we have our hearts set on don’t always end up happening, but I encourage you to not get discouraged. I set mini-goals (that actually feel like monumental feats) around this time of year – try 1 new recipe, make 1 new crafty project, and don’t settle for the year round dishes, but pull out the holiday dishes and create a table top design with whatever I have on hand. At the end of the season I know I accomplished something new and still had a chance to put my feet up! We’ll keep you posted on our holiday fun over on our Facebook fan page (“like us” on Facebook!) and the SOIREE mag. Blog. I hope to hear from you too. Please share with us your time-saving tips, fun ideas and traditions, and new entertaining and décor ideas. Who knows, they just might make it in an upcoming edition of SOIREE. Until next time,




Not enough time to do it all this holiday season? Don’t forget the Half Past Lavish Team is here to help! From behind-the-scenes party planning & coordination to event consulting, and everything in between, we’re your go-to-gals for your holiday party needs. Mention SOIREE when booking event services with us and we’ll take 25% off your party package, just for the holiday season. Cheers! (expires 1.31.11)

{Soiree Team{ Janaea Riddle’s favorite cupcake is chocolate from Trophy cupcakes. She loves all seasons, but fall is one of her favorites because of the vibrant leaves. Her favorite craft project is tying quilts, whether big ones to cuddle on the couch with or baby blankets!

Crystal German enjoys homemade cupcakes she makes with her son, Halloween & making cards & jewelry. Rebekah Kraft thinks the vegan chocolate with mocha frosting cupcakes from PCC are to die for & loves the start of the holidays: Halloween, Thanksgiving, her birthday & Christmas!

We asked our team about their favorite cupcake flavors, fall events & craft projects Rizzo Johnson enjoys the chocolate at Trophy Cupcake, Halloween & knitting.

Danielle Bortone-Holt likes any cupcake that is lemon flavored, Halloween {of course!} & reconstructing t-shirts.

Jennifer Doty’s favorite cupcake is cookies and cream from New York cupcake. She loves visiting haunted corn mazes or haunted houses & craft projects to decorate the house.

Darien Lighthart Courtney Russell’s enjoys the Hummingbird at favorite cupcake is the Trophy and loves Thanksgiving! Hummingbird from Trophy in She says “We always have lefse Seattle, and her favorite at the table, a traditional cupcake shop is sugar Sweet Norweigan food. Definitely one of the best parts, sunshine in NYC. She enjoys decorating the house along with being able to see everyone after a long with pumpkins picked in the field. time away from home.”


Ideas & Inspiration

{Founder & Publisher}

Courtney Russell

{Advertising Director}

Janaea Riddle


Danielle Bortone-Holt

{Design Director}

Crystal D. German {HPL Interns}

Jennifer Doty Rizzo Johnson Rebekah Kraft Darien Lighthart {Contact}

A publication of

The Providence O’Christmas Tree Family Affair TreeView November 29, 2010 12pm - 8pm The Westin Grand Ballroom Downtown Seattle

Only 10 days away!



November 11, 2010

Seattle's only eco-conscious fashion show

Herban Feast Sodo Park

presented by

3200 1st Ave South Seattle, WA 98134 Tickets at or at door. 21 & over

Doors open at 7pm Show starts at 8pm

The Great Cupcake Taste-off They said their time was up. First, it was the mini doughnut that would usurp them. The macaroon has given them a run for their money, but try as they all might, nothing has yet been able to replace the undeniable love for the cupcake. Like “The Little Engine That Could�, cupcakes keep on winning over the hearts (and stomachs) of dessert connoisseurs.

Produced by Jen Doty. Concept and Written by Courtney Russell, Assistant: Rebekah Kraft, Photography: Seattle , Danielle Bortone-Holt, New York , Courtney Russell, Venue: Twist Lounge


hile New York City may be known for officially kicking off this never-ending cupcake craze, Seattleites aren’t ones to take this treat lightly. The mention of cupcakes in Seattle can set off a debate that, if not careful, may ruin friendships. With cupcake shops vying for the coveted “Best of Cupcakes” award from local media, the lines are drawn and everyone seems to have a favorite.

look/design, and overall taste. Cupcakes were judged, first between local shops, and then paired up with their counterpart over on the East Coast.

We taste tested 5 local cupcake shops product in 4 categories: chocolate frosting on a white cupcake, vanilla frosting on a chocolate cupcake, most unique, and bestseller. Judging was based on quality of cake, frosting, the

"Hands down, destroyed the others!" shared Sophie, one of the staff at Twist that helped with the judging, in reference to the Pinkabella chocolate cake with vanilla frosting.

Seattle Shops that participated include: If we haven’t got you Trophy Cupcakes, Cupcake Royale, drooling yet, the winners are: Pinkabella Cupcakes, The Yellow Leaf Cupcake Company and Sugar Rush Baking Company. In addition to cupcakes in the 4 Best Chocolate frosting/white: categories, some of the bakeries sent over The Yellow Leaf additional cupcakes too yummy to pass up Cupcake Company With a penchant for the little cake, the and too interesting to not show-off. Sugar SOIREE staff decided to put the local Rush showcased a beautiful display of their cakes to a taste test vast range of Best Vanilla frosting/chocolate: up against other mini cupcakes Pinkabella Cupcakes “It’s amazing how it all shook out. local shops and 5 of daintily Each shop truly happened to win in each packaged in a the top shops in Best “Most Unique”: NYC. We put out a category. It was so nice to see how every repurposed egg call to all of the cupcake bakery excels in their own way.” crate; so sweet, Trophy Cupcakes local cupcake and so Seattle. -Courtney & Party bakeries and 5 were We were Stroop Waffle willing to go amazed at the head-to-head with their creativity of some of the “most unique” competition. And while the thought of entrants, including The Yellow Leaf Best “Bestseller”: trying so many cupcakes made us Cupcake Company’s “pancake and bacon” Cupcake Royale giddy, it was a much tougher cupcake. It received kudos for not just the Seasonal, Pumpkin Maple challenge than we ever expected. unique flavor, but also the beautiful presentation (who knew bacon could look “It was fun judging at Twist. Sitting so good crumbled atop a mountain of Best Dressed”: under the iconic “Disco Pig” with the maple frosting?) Sugar Rush Seattle waterfront in the background it Baking Company was the perfect atmosphere for the “It was amazing to see how different the Seattle Cupcake Taste-off,” shares cupcakes are between the shops and even Courtney. within the shops,” mused Jen. Most Moist Cake: Pinkabella Cupcakes

The Emerald City vs. The Big Apple “It surprised me that I really could see such strong similarities between the various shops in Seattle and in New York,” shares Courtney, a native New Yorker. “When the cupcake craze began, I thought I would be missing out on the ‘best cupcakes in the world’ over in New York, but honestly, I think the variety, quality, and style of Seattle cupcakes reigns supreme.” Hands down, our favorite cupcake in NYC was from sugar Sweet Sunshine. It was exactly what we dream of when we dream about cupcakes, (which is actually more often than you might think). Its okay they are in New York though, because we get just as excited when we visit Sugar Rush Baking Company in West Seattle. The Queen Bee of NYC cupcake shops has to be Magnolia Bakery, credited with kicking off this craze, and we’d have to give the same props to Trophy Cupcakes here in SeaTown. “Jennifer Shea, Trophy’s proprietor, has turned the cupcake industry upside down (like her delicious pineapple upside down cupcakes!), and I love supporting Trophy every time I have a dessert bar to set up or need to order cupcakes,” shares Courtney. The Yellow Leaf Cupcake Company and Crumbs go toe-to-toe for most variety and inventive flavors. These two could be deemed, “The Baskin-Robins of Cupcake shops.” Cupcake Royale and Buttercup Bakeshop were both on the dry side, but pretty. A notable difference is the staff. The Cupcake Royale folks are always pleasant and “Very Seattle”, touting their motto, “legalize frostitution.” The staff at Buttercup were so rude, that upon sharing with my friends the sad fact that the counter staff purposely squished my cupcake one friend asked, “Were they rude, or were they NY rude?” ‘Nuff said. And then there were two…Pinkabella is one of the newest cupcake shops on the town in the greater Seattle area. Their moist cake, creative flavors, and pretty swirls of frosting (that remind me of the signature look of a Dairy Queen ice cream cone) make them a worthy contender. These cupcakes reminded us of our visit to Babycakes NYC. Babycakes also serves up a moist, attractive cupcake. We were waited on by the owner of Babycakes when we stopped by, and had to partake in the “frosting shots.” At the end of the day, we learned a few things: a cupcake is not just a cupcake, but a mini-culinary masterpiece, no two cupcakes are alike, and it truly is the reigning sweet treat.

Eco-friendly Arm Candy

by: Sydney Mintle

With a mission to be stylish, sophisticated and socially-conscious, a fresh crop of eco-friendly handbag lines have recently bloomed in Seattle - proving that going green doesn’t have to mean sacrificing your personal style. Muratori Designs, REVEAL Handbags and Plaid Doctrine are all setting the pace when it comes to environmentally friendly, high quality, designer handbags. REVEAL handbags merge classic designs with sustainable and recycled materials including microsuede, satin, vegan leather and re-purposed zippers. REVEAL even helps restore the planet by planting a tree for every handbag purchased. REVEAL handbags can be found locally at the University Village Fireworks store.

Another line dedicated to producing high quality designer handbags that are beautiful and environmentally conscious is Muratori. The collection is made in Italy using chrome-free leathers, custom-made hardware and strong Italian craftsmanship. The line made its debut in January of 2010 and can be found at David Lawrence in The Bravern. Beautifully fusing style and sustainability, Plaid Doctrine proves that work bags can be environmentally friendly and stand up to extensive global travel. Founder Suzanne Park logged 300,000+ miles traveling for work before launching Plaid Doctrine after feeling frustrated with the bags available on the market at the time. Her line of vintage-inspired bags are built for modern times and made from high performance recycled fabrics and vegetable-tanned leather. Plus, in an effort to minimize their carbon footprint, Plaid Doctrine sources all

materials domestically and manufactures 100% of their goods right here in the USA . Drive your friends green with envy and indulge in a stylish eco-friendly bag for fall. Sydney is a Seattle fashion insider who has over 10 years of experience in the fashion industry. She has worked in virtually every aspect of the industry from producing runway fashion shows to managing sourcing and global production of the menswear private label lines at Zumiez Inc. In her free time Sydney also blogs about the local style scene at


Look for Reveal Handbags on the runway at EcoLavish! November 11, 2010 at Herban Feast

Stalk Market Distinctive plantscaping Natural and Silk accents for your home or office

300 S. Michigan Street Seattle, WA 98108 Phone: (206) 762-6162

An Interview with

Bowles Q: How did you begin on your path of designing homeware/ tabletop décor? I’ve loved dishes for as long as I can remember. When I was a little girl, I even collected miniature Limoges tea sets. Many years later, I earned a Master’s Degree in Italian Language and Literature, and wanted to create a career for myself in which I could use my language and pursue my passion for Italian culture. That’s how Rosanna Imports started. Originally, I imported all my ceramics from Italy and designed them right there in the factories, side by side with the artisans. Since then, the scope of my work as a tableware designer has grown tremendously, far beyond Italy and far beyond my expectations. It has taken me to places I never dreamed I’d travel, and provided opportunities and experiences I’ll never forget. Q. What have some of your favorite designs been and why? All my designs are my favorites because they help people connect. I particularly love the holiday

collections because those designs create the memories and traditions passed down from generation to generation. Q: What inspires you? My most important source of inspiration is my family. I try as often as possible to incorporate the values I want to teach my children and the legacy my mother left into my designs. My goal is to live well, live mindfully, and create a foundation of love, tradition and respect as I live each day. These are the fundamental values that influence my designs. Q: What is your favorite dessert? I love Floating Islands. It’s a French dessert with dollops of meringue floating in a bath of warm cream, drizzled with spun sugar. They are light, ethereal, and heavenly. They’re also very difficult to make. So finding them on a menu is a real treat!

ways to live a more mindful, connected life. I include treasured family recipes, stories from my family’s experiences in the Pacific Northwest and Italy, and tips and ideas that apply to seasonal living. The book is filled with gorgeous photography and makes a beautiful coffee table book, but from the stay, I always intended it to be read. Q: What is a question you wish someone would ask you about Rosanna Inc., but never does? And the answer? Is it difficult being a mom and having your own company? The answer is "Yes!" Yet, I feel that I’m setting a good example for my daughters. By watching me, I think they’ve learned to never give up and work hard to pursue and accomplish their own dreams.

Q: Tell us more about your new book? Where did you get the idea for the book? Growing up in the Northwest during the 50’s and 60’s gave me a wonderful foundation I used to raise my children and create my own traditions. I wanted to share these experiences with my readers, and so the book was born. Coming Home: A Seasonal Guide to Creating Family Traditions is a guide. Season by season, I discuss

{Want to win a signed copy of Coming Home: A Seasonal Guide to Creating Family Traditions? Check the Facebook page over the next couple of weeks for details

An Interview with Jennifer Shea from Trophy Cupcakes! What inspires you? I am inspired by artists, crafters, bakers, chefs and anyone who is passionate about their art… especially those who take the leap and start their own business. What is your favorite cupcake flavor? My all time favorite…if I were stranded on a deserted island flavor is Chocolate Vanilla. I love our Valrhona Chocolate Cake with our Madagascar Bourbon Vanilla Buttercream, I never get sick of it! But, since I eat cupcakes every day I do have to admit that my “favorite changes from week to week”…like today my favorite it Chocolate Hazelnut with Nutella Buttercream! Where do you envision Trophy in the next 3 years? Hmmmm, that is a tough one. We are really happy with the size of the company right now and we would only consider expanding if we knew that we could keep our quality standards spot on. Why do you think people are so fond of cupcakes? Oh, so many reasons, they are little cakes after all and who doesn’t love cake? I think the individual size and the cuteness are also main factors that people are so crazy about cupcakes What's an interesting fact about Trophy that people don't know? We are opening a party room in 2011 across the hall from our Wallingford shop! We are super excited to finally have the space to host birthday parties, showers, book clubs, business meetings, artist receptions…I am obsessed with parties and our party room is going to be the ultimate space for me, and our event coordinators, to realize all of our ultimate party dreams. Anything else readers should know about Trophy Cupcakes? We are having Eastside Fan Appreciation Day on Saturday, November 6th from 11-3pm…which really means “Free Cupcake Day”.  Fans who come between 11-3 receive a free full size cupcake and a chance to win Trophy prizes! We will also have balloons, Nate Jester (magician extraordinaire) and I will also be there meeting our fans and doing demos of how we frost our cupcakes. Hope to see you there!

An interview with


An Interview with

Angie Dudley of Bakerella Angie Dudley, the creative brains behind and the newly published, Cake Pops, recently visited the Emerald City for a book signing. We were delighted when Angie sweetly agreed to meet up for cupcakes before her book signing at the Williams-Sonoma in Bellevue Square. How did Bakerella and Cake Pops originate?

They are two separate things really. The site came first. I wanted to get something I baked on “Cupcakes Take The Cake”, so I tried coming up with something different. I turned my cake balls into cupcake pops and it went crazy from there. 6 months later I was invited on the Martha Stewart Show. At this point I was still anonymous and had not told friends or family about the blog. 2 weeks before I appeared on the show I began sharing the news. Which cake pop designs are your favorites?

I’m partial to the cupcake cake pops because that’s what started everything. I also like the owls, robots, and the ice cream cones. Those are some of our Favorites too! How do you find the time for all of the baking and designing?

I bake on the weekends. I still work at my full-time job in addition to my work with Bakerella and the Cake Pops book.

than kids. Or, at least, they appreciate them more because they know how much hard work goes in to making them.

Wow! You are so busy! What is your favorite dessert?

So, we know you’ve only been in Seattle for a couple of hours, but if you were to make a “Seattle-inspired” cake pop what would it be?

Really, I just like brownies and cookies. Easy, simple, and sweet! I like my desserts sweet. I’m open to trying new things too. Who or what inspires you?

A lot of bloggers inspire me. Tartlette, Pioneer Woman, Amy Atlas, and Hostess with the Mostess are a few blogs that inspire me. It seems like social media has played a big factor in your recent success. Do you agree?

Definitely. If it weren’t for the readers and all of the social media elements I wouldn’t have had all of these opportunities. What advice do you have for others interested in starting a blog? Be

consistent, post regularly, share good photos, be nice, interact with the blog community, and use Flickr in addition to posting photos on your site.

Why do you think people are so drawn to the cake pops?

They make people smile. They definitely have a “cute factor.” I think grown-ups like them more

Credits: Interview Courtney Russell / Photographer Danielle Bortone Holt

Gosh, that’s hard. Maybe a bicycle? I’ve never seen so many bicycles on the road! So what’s next for Bakerella? I have no set plan.

I’m open to new opportunities. Whatever comes my way!

Thanks so much for meeting with us. We look forward to seeing what’s next at

Seasonal Delights: Hi Cupcake! Tags

 Carolyn's Kitchen: Cupcake Apron

Bella Cupcake Couture: Cupcake Wrappers Feeling Smitten: Cupcake Bath Bombs

Rosanna Inc.: Cupcake Dessert Plates

Rosanna Inc.: Cupcake Pedestals

Produced by Jen Doty Assistant Producers: Rebekah Kraft, Courtney Russell, Photography: Danielle Bortone-Holt, Venue: Twist Lounge

Smitten with these Cupcake accessories


with this EcoFriendly Jewelry Produced by Courtney Russell

La Vie Photography

did an amazing job on our wedding cake. It was just like we had imagined.”

Jean-Marcus Strole Photography

11200 Kirkland Way #220 Kirkland, WA 98033

Catering & Gourmet Desserts

Welcome to the home of Fabulous Food and Impressive Events... the place to make an impression.

Fabulous food & gourmet cakes made from scratch, personalized to your tastes

bite that Starry Nights was the one.”

All consultations are private just you and our chefs, who know and love great food

“My guests were so impressed with the food and service!”

Our decadent cakes, made with whole fruits and imported chocolate,

“In the future if I need any sort of catering done for anything, I will be calling 425.284.2479

{Last Word{

Thank you for a wonderful 2010. See you in the New Year! Designed by: Courtney Russell, Assistant Designers: Jen Doty, Rebekah Kraft, Darien Lighthart, Photography: Danielle Bortone-Holt, Floral Design: Fena Flowers, Catering & Venue: Starry Nights Catering & Events

Soiree November 2010  

Soiree Magazine

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