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Pink Champagne Cake For Valentine’s Day

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I love to bake, especially during the holidays.  I started making Pink Champagne Cake about ten years ago when one of my dear friends gave me the Booze Cakes cook book as a birthday gift.  When I saw this recipe in the book I knew I had to try it out – it is made with Champagne, it is pink, and it is beautiful – pretty much perfection on a plate!  I have made this cake over the years for many different celebrations including milestone birthdays, New Years Eve, and of course, Valentine’s Day!

My hubby is traveling for work this Valentine’s Day but I’d been craving this cake and decided to make it for a gal pal and I to enjoy.  It is quite convenient when your “Galentine” is the talented photographer Katrina Jayne of Katrina Jayne Photography and she offers to shoot you baking and decorating the cake.  Thanks Katrina, I am able to share the step-by-step process with all of you!  I am no professional when it comes to baking but I do enjoy it, as well as the end result no matter how perfectly imperfect it can sometimes be!  While I baked, Katrina and I had so much fun sipping Champagne and chatting about weddings, blogging, and Kitchen Aid mixers!

Using the recipe below I was able to bake up a small three tiered cake as well a a dozen cupcakes.  Katrina and I noshed on the boozy cake and I whipped up a batch of pink tinted frosting (sans Champagne) for the cupcakes so I could share them with my kiddos.  Daxton and Heidi enjoyed them and Dax pointed out that since Daddy isn’t home, he is my Valentine! I think he is  the perfect stand in while my husband is away.  I’m so grateful for my little loves, my husband, and for all of the sweet “Galentines” in my life.  Happy Valentine’s Day all!

There is quite a bit of Champagne in this cake (almost a whole bottle) but thankfully there is enough for a couple glasses of Champagne to enjoy with the cake… or while you are baking it!  Cheers to that!

Sip some Champagne while your cakes are in the oven – then make the frosting!

I topped my cake and cupcakes with my absolute favorite brand of sprinkles – Sweetapolita!

Photos Courtesy of Katrina Jayne Photography

Pink Champagne Cake Recipe

From Booze Cakes by Krystina Castella and Terry Lee Stone



  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 6 egg whites
  • red food coloring
  • 2 cups Champagne


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Grease and flour two 9-inch round cake pans.  Alternative use three 6-inch round cake pans and a dozen cup cake liners.  In a bowl, combine flour, baking powder, and salt; set aside.  In a mixing bowl, beat butter and sugar 3 to 5 minutes, or until light and fluffy.  Add vanilla and beat in egg whites one at a time. Mix in food  coloring (until it is your desired shade of pink).  Beat in flour mixture and Champagne in three alternating additions, starting and ending with flour to prevent curdling.  Pour batter into pans and bake appx. 35 minutes (rotating pans half way through cooking time), until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.



  • 3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter
  • 4 cups confectioners’ sugar
  • 1/2 cup Champagne
  • 1/4 cup whole milk
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • red food coloring


In a mixing bowl, beat butter 1 minute.  Gradually add the confectioners’ sugar, Champagne, milk, vanilla, and food coloring (until it is your desired pinkness); beat until smooth and creamy.


Seasonal Mood Board | Winter 2018

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Calligraphy by Kelly Patrice Calligraphy

Last year we did a blog series called Monthly Mood Boards.  At the start of every month we shared a mood board with images and colors we were crushing on for that month.  We had so much fun with this series and we hope that you found inspiration in them.  We loved this series so much that we have decided to carry it over to this year; however, for 2018, we will be sharing the boards seasonally rather of monthly!  We are smack dab in the middle of winter so it is the perfect time to share our Winter Mood Board.

Despite that fact that it doesn’t really feel like winter here in So Cal, I’m still enjoying all of the lovely things that come with winter – warm drinks, wearing boots, and cozy nights in with my family.  From a design perspective, when I think of winter I think of warm welcoming colors and lots of texture.  We incorporated both of these things into this season’s mood board.  I’m obsessed with all things velvet and though velvet can be used all year long, I think winter is the season when it really shines!  I love combining rich velvet with more flowy fabrics like silk and chiffon for a unexpected contrast.  As you may know, I always like to include a metallic (or mixed metallics) in my designs.  Gold has been the go to metallic for quite a while and it feels refreshing and fitting to include silver as the metallic in this board.  The dark blue reminds us that we are still in the depths of winter (in some places at least 🙂 but we also incorporated some beautiful peaches and dusty blues to remind us that spring is right around the corner.

Credits: Cozy Blanket via Marja Photography |Ring box/suite via Mrs Box |Peach dress via Claire La Faye | Starry Moon via Pinterest | Boutonnieres and Velvet via Vervain Flowers | Champagne via Style Me Pretty | Cake via Cake Ink | Forks and Velvet via Style Me Pretty

Star Hansen Events Team Holiday Celebration

By | Inspiration, Photo Shoots, Social Events | No Comments

2017 was an incredible year!  We planned and executed the most beautiful events and were lucky enough to watch fourteen couples tie the knot this year.  My Star Hansen Events team has stood by me at each and every event and I couldn’t do what I do without them by my side.  Although fun and exciting, our work can sometimes be stressful, exhausting, and far from glamorous.  My girls have cleaned up spills, moved furniture, picked up rose petals one by one post ceremony, called cabs for guests, mopped dance floors, carried bridesmaid’s phones, run out for pre-ceremony snacks when the Champagne hit a little too hard a little too early, and fixed linens in windy weather over and over again; however, they work their tushies off on event days with enthusiasm and smiles on their beautiful faces.  This work is so worth it though – we all love it and agree that it is incredibly rewarding.  I am grateful to have found such an amazing team of women to work alongside me!

From left to right: Candace, Laurie, Star, Kelly, Elaine, and Zoie

To thank my team of “SHE (Star Hansen Events) Babes” for all of their hard work in 2017, I treated them to a little holiday celebration earlier this month.  I had lots of fun designing this event for these gals who appreciate all that goes into designing and planning a Star Hansen Event (of any size).  I went with a moody wintery color palette of black, cream, blush and mixed metallics.  I shared the mood board for this party earlier this month as part of my Monthly Mood Board series.  Click here to view it.  I paired luxurious velvet with edgy leather and feminine florals for an unexpected and interesting combination.  The gold rimmed plates and lacy chargers added a bit of glam and elegnce to the table and the floral napkins were perfection.  The dinner took place at one of our team member’s (Laurie) home.  She has the most beautiful home in Malibou Lake that served as the perfect backdrop for our party.  She is an incredible cook and spoiled us with delicious appetizers and dinner that we paired with Cielo wine.  The table top pieces were provided by Premiere Party Rents and we were excited to debut some of their newest pieces.  Maximum Bloomage adorned our table with the most beautiful blooms and Cecile’s Paper Co. created coolest leather name tags that we used as place cards.  Brandon Aquino captured the entire night so beautifully for us – below are a few of my favorite pics!

We started the party out at Dry Bar – because every special night should begin with a blow out – where we got gussied up and then headed to Laurie’s for diner.  We reminisced about what fun we’ve had this year and chatted about what is ahead in the coming year.  We made many toasts and “cheers-ed” all night long.  We told stories, danced, made sparkly star crowns, and at the end of the night I surprised them all with a few little gifts including jean jackets with their names painted on them (a la Kelly Patrice) and one of my favorite books (Big Magic)!  Below are some more of the sillier photos from our night including shots from Dry Bar.  It was certainly a night to remember!

Cheers to 2018!

Vendor Credits

Design and Planning – Star Hansen Events

Florals – Maximum Bloomage

Invitations and Name Tags – Cecile’s Paper Co.

Napkins – CB2

New Years Tags and Jacket Customization – Kelly Patrice

Photography – Brandon Aquino

Rentals – Premiere Party Rents

December Monthly Mood Board | Glitz and Glam!

By | Inspiration, Mood Boards, Trends & Great Finds | No Comments

Credits: Black flowers via Wackychic Archives | Dark table setup via June Bug Weddings | Metallic stars via Free People | Floral envelope liner via Cecil’s Paper Co. | Dresses via Dress for the Wedding | Champagne with blackberries via Style Me Pretty | Florals and candlesticks via Green Wedding Shoes | Floating metallic instillation via DARC Magazine

It is crazy to think it is already December and the year is coming to an end!  Today I’m excited to share my final Monthly Mood Board of the year with you!  There is so much to celebrate in the month of December so instead of focusing on a specific holiday, I’ve created a board that is full of glitz and glam and I hope it provides you with inspiration for pretty much any December soirée!  The color palette of black, creams, metallics, and a hint of blush is moody, glamorous, and the perfect way to welcome winter.  Sequins are everywhere this time of the year, from clothing to table linens – December is definitely the month sequins shine most!  In addition to sequins, I’ve incorporated luxurious velvet and sassy leather to add depth and texture.  As you can imagine, I am a big fan of stars and think they are the perfect addition to holiday events.  Although this mood board lends itself to pretty much any winter celebration, I think it is particularly perfect for a New Years Eve party!

I used this mood board as inspiration for the holiday party I threw for my Star Hansen Events team this past weekend.  My team of administrative and event assistants is so incredible and I wanted to treat them to a really special evening in celebration of them and their dedication to our events!  They know better than anyone how much work goes into designing and planning a special event and I spared no detail when planning their holiday party.  I used the color palette and many of the design elements shown in this mood board.  It turned out beautiful and we all had an amazing time.  I can’t wait to share photos from this super special event.  Stay tuned!

Alisa and Josh’s Malibu Vineyard Wedding | Cielo Farms

By | Inspiration, Weddings | No Comments

Alisa and Josh’s tied the knot on Labor Day weekend at the beautiful Cielo Farms in Malibu, CA. The weather was unseasonably warm but as the sun began to set, the clouds rolled in giving us the most gorgeous sunset and even a bit of summer rain! The parasols that guests used to shield the sun with during the ceremony were brought back out and used to keep the rain away! Thankfully the rain only lasted a couple of minutes and it made for quite a bit of excitement making the Alisa and Josh’s wedding day even more memorable!

Josh was a sweet and supportive groom throughout the planning process leaving the big design decisions to Alisa. At the beginning of the planning process, Alisa had so many different ideas and I worked with her to hone her wedding day vision. She ultimately decided on a gorgeous creamy neutral color palette and chose décor pieces that complemented the stunning natural setting. The views at Cielo Farms are breathtaking and the beauty and lightness was captured so perfectly in the photos! Not only was the wedding classically beautiful, it was also super fun and representative of the happy couple! From their welcome table display of lovely parasols and trendy sunglasses, to a custom-made signature cocktail list that included a special drink for every member of the wedding party, it was clear that both Alisa and Josh planned a night that their guests would never forget!

During our planning meetings, Alisa and Josh often talked about the dance lessons they were taking. Their First Dance ended up being one of my favorite moments of the night! Their super cute choreographed first dance was so fun and quirky and executed perfectly. Seeing not only the bride and groom having the times of their lives, but also their family and friends that surrounded them, truly made for a definite picture-perfect moment! Alisa and Josh were grinning from ear to ear all day long, from pre-ceremony, to the exquisite moment of “I do”, and into the reception as they danced the night away! At the end of the wedding, as Alisa and Josh said their goodbyes to me, Alisa said “I’m tired – I danced A LOT”. I concurred – she did not leave the dance floor, not even for a piece of wedding cake! This wedding was unquestionably another one for the books!

Vendor Credits

BeautyCheek to Cheek Artistry

Cake and SweetsDelicious Artistry

Catering/Bar/DessertsContemporary Catering

Ceremony and Cocktail Hour MusiciansAaron Medina/Black Diamon Duo

DJDJ Krieger

Event PlannerStar Hansen Events

Floral DesignThe Little Branch

PhotographyChristine Skari Photography

RentalsPremiere Party Rents

Stationary and Signage – Kelly Patrice Calligraphy

VenueCielo Farms

VideographyTheater 10

November Monthly Mood Board | Copper and Cozy!

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Credits: Floral wreath via Siberiack Blog | Single floral arrangement on stool via Amber Glanville’s Instagram | Gold adorned place cards via Wildfield Paper Co’s Instagram | Menu via Fortu Designs | Cakes via Junebug Weddings | Charcuterie board via Wilkie Blog’s Instagram | Place setting via Brit + Co | Coffee via West Elm

It has finally cooled down here in So Cal and after the crazy heatwaves we had in October, the cooler weather is very welcome!  As we begin to spend more time indoors in our cozy home, my family and I start using the word “hygge” a lot!  Hygge (pronounced hoo-ga) is a Danish word that can mean many things but loosely translates to “cozy togetherness” or “the art of creating intimacy”.  It can be used as both a verb and an adjective – “What a hyggeig living room!” or “It was so hyggeligt to see you!”, but to me, Hygge is a feeling.  Growing up in a Danish home, hygge was a word we used often.  This time of year I like to bring it out in my home and for my family by lighting candles, baking sweet treats, and cozying up by the fire.

The feeling of hygge was my inspiration for this months mood board.  Hot drinks, sweet treats and warm color tones are all things that make me feel hygge.  I incorporated traditional fall colors and elements, allowing the copper tones to really pop!  It is amazing how the addition of a metallic can really glam things up!  I love the warm richness this season brings and wanted it to shine through on this board while still keeping the overall ascetic very fresh and clean – just the way I like it!

Jessica and David | Enchanted Summer Garden Wedding

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I had the honor of assisting Jessica and David in designing and planning their wedding which took place at Hartley Botanica in Southern California in early July 2017. From the moment I met them, it was clear that they were madly in love. The held hands across the table during our first meeting and they giggled and lit up as they talked about their wedding day. I worked alongside Jessica throughout the entire planning process and was so excited to see it all come together on their wedding day. When I work closely with my clients for so many months, I get to know them and their relationship and we often become friends. Because of this, their wedding days are particularly special and even emotional at times.

Walking into Jessica and David’s wedding was equivalent to crossing over into an enchanted garden. This ethereal experience was enhanced by twinkly lights, crystal chandeliers, silk draping and an exquisite color palette of shades of pink and gorgeous mixed metallics. As Jessica walked down this dazzling aisle, she instantly lit up when she saw the grinning face of her handsome husband to be – a perfect moment that foreshadowed an amazing night ahead. Not only was the setting to-die-for, but the vendors that created this masterpiece unquestionably brought the venue to life. From the remarkable floral arrangements to the elegant table drapes, to the gorgeous table top pieces and lounge furniture – it was all quite stunning! Not only was the wedding beautiful, it was also super fun! The dance floor was packed all night long and guests cooled of with fun signature cocktails and custom ice cream sandwiches from the McConnell’s ice cream bar! To top off this fairy-tale night, the couple was escorted out with a sparkler exit and drove blissfully away in a vintage fire-truck (only fitting for the groom who is a fireman!).

This summer garden wedding was simply magical and was recently featured on Style Me Pretty. Please take a look at the original feature and enjoy the below collection of a handful of my favorite photos from Jessica and David’s wedding. We are so proud of this wedding and so excited to share it all with you. Surely, Jessica and David will never forget this night – but neither will any of us!

For a super cute clip of Jessica and David’s sparkler sendoff – click below!

Vendor Credits

*Featured On – Style Me Pretty

Beauty – Cheek to Cheek Artistry

Cake – Catherine’s Cakes

Calligraphy – Kelly Patrice Calligraphy

Catering/Bartending – Command Performance Catering

DJ – DJ Krieger

Event Design and Planning – Star Hansen Events

Florals and Rentals – Bell of the Ball

Ice Cream Bar – McConnell’s Ice Cream

Invitations – Julie Song Ink

Linens – Luxe Linen

Musicians – Aaron Medina/Black Diamond Duo

Officiant – Reverend Jerry Bellamy

Photo Booth – Red Carpet Photo Shoot

Photography – Jenny Quicksall Photography

Rentals – A Rental Connection

Rentals – Pretty Vintage Rentals

Transportation – Pacific Platinum

Venue – Hartley Botanica

Videographer – Press Films & Media

October Monthly Mood Board | Hello Fall!

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Credits: Black Floral Moon via Merry Thought | Boots and Pumpkins via Craft Berry Bush | Floral Bouquet via  Deer Pearl Flowers | Florals with Black Ribbon via Sarah Carpenter Photography  | Sprinkles via Sweetapolita   |   Cocktails via  Rebecca Hansen Weddings  | TableScape via Ruffled | Flatware via Camille Styles

If you know me, you know that summer is my favorite season but since fall is here I must embrace the change right? Though it is sad to say goodbye to the long days and warm nights of summer, I always get a little bit excited when October comes around.  In my eyes, it is the unofficial start of the holiday season.  I love festive decor and traditions and this is the time of year when all of that fun begins!  I’ve always enjoyed Halloween – I remember begging my mom to pull out the Halloween decorations so I could decorate our front porch for the three or four trick-or-treaters that we got every year.  I have fond memories of trick-or-treating in pretty costumes, ending the night with a bag full of candy (my favorites were always Sour Patch Kids and good old fashioned candy corn!). Halloween is even more fun now that I’m a mother.  I’ve so enjoyed the early years of my kid’s lives when I could choose cute coordinating costumes but we are now at the point where they want to choose their own.  This year my son has decided to be a king (complete with a scepter) and my daughter wants to be little orphan Annie.  I can’t wait to take them trick-or-treating!

As much as I love coming up with unexpected color palettes for my Monthly Mood Boards, I felt like keeping things a bit more traditional and aligned with the season this month.  When I think of October, I think of Halloween which makes me picture black, white and orange.  So, this month’s mood board is inspired by Halloween and those typical colors that come with it.  With black and orange being at the forefront, I thought it would be nice to bring in shades of white and gray to offset the predictable and sometimes cheesy vibe that orange and black can give.  These neutrals make the overall look a bit more grown up and the gold adds a bit of glam!

The Apple of Our Eye Turns Two!

By | DIY, Inspiration, Planning & Advice, Social Events | No Comments

Our Heidi is turning three next week and I am busily planning her little birthday party.  I feel like I’m so behind this year but it is tough to plan a party in the middle of wedding season!  Thankfully she is forgiving and will be happy with just about anything as long as she has a pink cake!  This year she has decided on a unicorn theme which works out nicely for me since I designed and planned a unicorn themed birthday party for a client earlier this year so it is fresh on my mind.  Although unicorns are anything but unique nowadays, I think they are popular for very good reason.  Who can resist pastel rainbow colors, sparkles, and magical mythical creatures?!  I’m having so much fun with this theme and am excited to share details and photos with you all!

As I’m in the middle of planning this year’s party, I am realizing that I never shared photos from her party last year.  Since September is in full swing and the kiddos have all just started to school, it is the perfect time to share her apple themed 2nd birthday party.  As you probably can imagine, when I plan a party for a family member or friend, it is always quite different than when I plan an event for a client.  I have to work with a smaller budget so I end up DIYing most of the decor and even baking most of the desserts myself (which I love doing).  For Heidi’s apple party we kept things pretty simple but it was still super cute and she had a blast!

Heidi’s invitations read “Sweet as Pie, the Apple of Our Eye” and set the tone for the party.  The color palette included various shades of greens and reds with a bit of pink mixed in and there was apple decor everywhere!  We scheduled the party for late morning and served brunch style food – yogurt parfaits, doughnut holes, pumpkin bread, fruit, and breakfast burritos as well as juices and coffee.  We had apples of all colors and varieties all over the place and the kids noshed on them throughout the party.  We even set up an apple peeling station where kids could use a really cool contraption to peel and spiralize their apples.  I made cinnamon play dough and put little pie pans and cinnamon sticks out for the kids to “bake” apple pies.  I also had a build your own candy necklace station where the kids could string their own necklaces of rainbow cereal, yogurt covered pretzels, and gummy apple Os.  For dessert I made caramel dipped apples and cinnamon vanilla cupcakes topped with super cute fondant apples.  We also served a selection of pies and sugar cookies decorated like apples.  Our little guests received apple shaped apple cinnamon play dough as a favor when they left.  All in all it was a really fun day and our little Heidi definitely enjoyed being guest of honor (and having free reign of the dessert and juice bars ;).

I SO enjoy planning parties for my littles!  Can’t wait for the next one in a couple of weeks!

Vendor Credits

Cookies and Cupcake Toppers – Kirsten’s Danish Bakery

Design and Planning – Star Hansen Events

Invitations – Pristine Print Co.

Photography – A Pocket of Time

September Monthly Mood Board | Going Bold With Teal and Mustard Yellow

By | Featured, Inspiration, Mood Boards | No Comments

Credits: Cake via Wedluxe | Stationery via  Owl Post Calligraphy | Programs with Yellow Bow  via Kitty Meow Boutique and Star Hansen Events  | Florals via Cat Hepple |  Cocktails via  Tending the Table | Fabric via a Pinterest Unknown Source | Reception space via Kate Holstein Photographs| Chair with bouquet via Lauren Balingit

Over the past couple of years I’ve had a love affair with teal and while blush pink (or ballet slipper pink as I used to call it) has been my favorite color since I was a little girl, teal is now definitely up there!  I find myself drawn to it for home decor, apparel, heck – even when choosing a crayon to color with my kiddos!  Teal feels elegant and chic (a grown up version of turquoise in my opinion) yet is still super bold and playful.  I incorporated teal into a styled shoot I designed at Vibiana last year and loved how the color popped against all of Vibiana’s white marble.  This shoot was featured on Green Wedding Shoes – you can check it out on my blog here.

I’m a big fan of unexpected color combinations and September’s Monthly Mood Board fits the bill.  The three feminine neutrals complement the bold and moody mustard yellow and teal so beautifully!  I don’t recommend overdoing it with teal or mustard yellow at an event, but a few pops here and there would be gorgeous and unexpected! Some of my favorite ways to incorporate these colors is through cocktails, cakes, ribbon details and lounge furniture. It doesn’t need to be in every detail, but a couple of hints can really bring a reception to life!

Fall officially starts later this month and I think the colors and design elements in this board are a really great way to transition into the new season.  Although today we are expected to hit a high of 98 degrees where I am (no joke!!!), we all know fall is upon us.  I’m seeing pumpkin spice everything at coffee shops (which is not my thing but I know some people looooove it) which means fall is right around the corner.  I’m a summer girl through and through so it does make me a little sad but with the weather being so hot, I know we still have a few more weeks of summer left!  I’m going to soak it up!