Hip Hip Hooray! I’m celebrating ten years of tiny treats today. That’s right TEN YEARS of baking and blogging and Bakerella. I can hardly believe it. I mean when I started this blog a decade ago, I had no real intentions of doing anything other than keeping track of some baking attempts. The excitement I felt for decorating desserts kind of took over my entire being though. It was all I could think about and all I spent my spare time doing. I say spare time, because I’ve been doing everything over the past ten years while also working a full-time job. My excitement for creating and desire to make others smile has kept me inspired and ultimately led to some pretty unexpected adventures and experiences along the way that I will cherish forever. Want to take a stroll down memory lane with me? Okay, let’s go!
My first baking project
Just to give you an idea where things started, on the left are the first cupcakes I posted from Halloween back in 2007. Black cats – and beside them are some I posted just last week. Things have definitely come a long way since then.
The First Cake and Cupcake Pops
That following January, I posted my cake pops for the first time. And then my cupcake pops. I didn’t know it then, but these two posts would completely change the course of my life in ways I could never imagine.
Baking with Martha
… Like appearing on the Martha Stewart Show less than six months after my first blog post. This was completely crazy! Oh my gosh I have never been more nervous about anything in my life. The funny part back then was that at the time I had not told anyone I had started a blog or was even baking treats. So for friends and family it came as quite a surprise when I told them that I was going to go to New York to be on the show.
Visiting the Pioneer Woman
In 2009, the Pioneer Woman invited me to her ranch for a few days to bake and have a cake pop party. It still feels like yesterday and remains one of my favorite experiences. I can remember people who weren’t familiar with Ree or blogging that much at the time being confused that I was going to go to Oklahoma to stay with a woman from the internet that I had never met – in some house on her land. But it’s the Pioneer Woman I would tell them. You need to go read her blog! Here’s all the fun we had.
A Surprise Wedding Proposal
Say hi to Melissa and Rich. Okay, this just makes me all happy inside. Years ago, Rich, someone I had never met, emailed me and asked me to help him propose to his girlfriend. We planned and plotted and popped the question through one of my blog posts. Being a part of someone’s biggest moments in life is incredibly humbling. Here’s the proposal, her answer and a year after. Hugging you guys!
Friends, food and fun
Over the years, blogging has given me more than a bunch of baked goods. It’s given me the opportunity to travel, meet talented people and make some of the sweetest friends.
One of the trips I went on was this Emmy’s Red Carpet experience. OMG, this was soooo fun. The night before the red carpet was a party with some of that year’s nominees. Watching the red carpet festivities the following day with all the celebrities as they walked by was pretty exciting, too. This was so not my average day. (Neither was this trip to Betty Crocker Headquarters to be featured on one of their magazine covers.)
Cake Pops by Bakerella – The book!
In September of 2010, Cake Pops by Bakerella was published by Chronicle Books. It’s funny now, because before blogging, I had never, ever thought about writing any kind of book, being an author, or anything like that. But, as I kept posting my cake pop creations on the site, I had tons and TONS of questions, inquiries and interest from all over the world. It was overwhelming. My nights were spent answering emails and trying to help people make their own pops, too. It was a natural progression to put a book together. A ton of work, but so worth it. The book even made the New York Times Bestsellers list. Again, not real life.
Book Signings – THE BEST!!!!!!!!
When the book launched, I started out on a book tour at Williams-Sonoma stores. The book signings are by far some of my absolute favorite memories. I laughed and cried, hugged and spent time with so many sweet and happy people. I wish I could bottle up the feelings and happiness I felt during those weeks and share it with each of you. Euphoric. During the signings, I tried to take pics with everyone that attended because I wanted to remember every bit of it. Here’s a link to all the signings if you attended one and want to check out your photo.
Baking with the VERY sweet Blake Lively
In the middle of my book signings, I had an unexpected adventure pop up. Blake Lively invited me to spend time with her in NYC while I was there on my book tour. We had dinner one evening and the next, my mom and I went over to her place and we spent the evening making cake pops. So surreal! Blake is completely charming and makes you feel like the most important person in the room. Whenever I’m around my mom and she happens to come on the TV, we just look at each other, smile and shake our head – like did that really happen.
Okay, this is a big one. I would have to say that 2011 was my most important year. You see, I had started to get sick. Again. I have kidney disease and received a transplant in 1992. During 2010, my kidney functioning had started to deteriorate again and it was looking like I would need a new kidney. In March of 2011, I got really sick and went into the hospital. I came out eighteen days later on dialysis and hoping that my mom would be a donor match. Thank God she was and in June we both underwent successful surgeries. (I love you Mom!) 2011 was a really hard year, but I’m so grateful for my mom and thankful for all of you guys, too. I still think about all of your wonderful comments on this post. Your thoughts, prayers and concern made me feel so much better. Below is a recap of that time.
Cake Pops Holidays
The next year I worked on my second book, Cake Pops Holidays. This one was so fun to do. I instantly fell in love. But probably because I had gotten a lot better at making cake pops over the years. Here’s a cute video promo for the book, too. I filmed it in San Francisco at my publisher’s offices and we all had a blast.
Cake Pops – The Toy!
Did you guys know I once had a Cake Pops toy… I know, I wouldn’t believe it either if I didn’t see it at Toys R Us. This project was a huge learning experience and so different from anything I had ever worked on before. The set included lollipop sticks, a cake crumbler, dipping bowl, mixing bowl, cake pop stand, cake pop tray and presses to make four different cake pop shapes.
Cake Pops Halloween
The last cake pops book I wrote was for Halloween in 2014. The pops in this book are spooky cute and some of my faves. It’s funny, I look back at my first book now and there are so many I wish I could redo because I know I could do them better. My first book will always have my heart though, even if the ones in Holidays and Halloween are cuter.
Cake Pop Con
In November of 2014, I spoke at the very first Cake Pop Conference in Philadelphia. (Here’s an instagram slideshow from the event.) This was such an amazing event devoted to these tiny treats. Being around so many people with the same love for creating, learning and and making others happy is an incredible experience. A big shout out to KC Bakes for putting it all together.
Bakerella for Make’n Mold
This is cool. I worked with a brand called Make’n Mold to develop a Bakerella product line. Make’n Mold is the candy wafer company that I used when I first started making cake pops. We had colorful candy wafers, cute molds, decorates, candy eyes, cute lollipop sticks and more. You can still find some items on their website here.
Being on Jeopardy! Sorta. What?!?!
Oh yeah… this little nugget is pretty fun. Did you know I was an answer on Jeopardy!?!?!? Crazy town!
Those are just some of the highlights that stick out in my mind over the years – outside of all the cute baked goods on the blog. If you’re a new reader or long-time follower, thank you so much for being a part of the fun with me. I wouldn’t have been able to keep things going over the years without you guys and your same love for little treats. Big. Giant. Hugs!!!