Delicious Reads

Romantic Vow Renewals

Your wedding anniversary is a time to reflect on the love you share and the journey you’re taking together.  Sometimes gifts fall short when you’re expressing your love for your spouse. This year, a romantic way to honor your marriage and love might be to renew your promise to love and cherish each other.

Vows are an important part of every wedding ceremony. You can recite the same vows you originally made at your wedding, or choose to make it even more personal by writing your own updated vows together.  Some couples mix a little of the traditional vows in with some of their own. It’s about the two of you, so make it your own.

Not sure where to start with renewing your vows? Here are a few hints to you get started:

  • It’s important to understand that there is no “right” or “wrong” way to do a vow renewal or reaffirmation. It is completely up to you and your spouse.
  • There is never a wrong reason to have a renewal ceremony. Some couples renew to reaffirm their love to each other as often as every year – others may have a renewal ceremony after a rough patch in their marriage – while many renew their vows after a substantial amount of time has passed such as the 20th or 50th-year milestone.
  • To invite guests….or Not? This is a personal decision and can be romantic either way. A renewal ceremony with guests can be great. This gives you the opportunity to profess your love to on another in front of those you love and then celebrate afterwards. At the same time, intimate can be very romantic.

Picture just the two of you, the minister, and a breath-taking view. This intimate option allows a memorable, romantic experience.  With no guests, there’s no one to make happy but the two of you.  After the ceremony is complete, you and your spouse can enjoy entertaining no one but each other.

  • What should I wear? Today, what the bride and groom “should” wear during a ceremony is very personal, so don’t stress over tradition during your renewal. The bride doesn’t have to wear white. The groom doesn’t have to wear a Tux. What you wear may be influenced by the type of ceremony you plan to have. If it’s a family affair with wedding parties, you may want to wear formal attire. If it’s just the two of you, you may wish to wear more casual dress – especially if you’re on the beaches of an all-inclusive Jamaican getaway. In either case, the bride may consider wearing her wedding gown again. In addition to the sentimental value it holds – it’s always good to get a second use out of that expensive dress!
  • To Write my Vows or Not? Having a vow renewing ceremony doesn’t necessarily mean you must write them yourself. You can recite traditional vows after a priest or minister.

Should you decide to write your own, you have the opportunity to express your love directly from your heart. Not sure what to say or feel you are not the best with words? There’s help for that! You can research wedding vows online and customize them as you see fit.  It’s easier to start with something than nothing. Here are a couple vows to get you started:

  • I see these vows not as promises but as privileges: I get to laugh with you and cry with you; care for you and share with you. And most importantly, love you every single day.
  • You make my joys greater, my sorrows more bearable, and my spirit known. I promise you nothing less than the rest of my life. This is what I mean when I tell you I love you every day.
  • Because of you, I laugh, I smile, I dare to dream. Each day, I look forward to sharing my life with you, caring for you, nurturing you, being there for you. I promise today, as I did on our wedding day, to love and cherish you through whatever life brings.

More vow suggestions.

If you have a photo of your wedding cake, the cake designers at American Dream Cakes can make a small replica of the cake or cake top for your vow renewal ceremony.

Taking the time to renew your promise to love and cherish your spouse demonstrates commitment.  There’s nothing more romantic than a time-tested commitment to love, honor and cherish each other.

 

Romantic Evenings for Dummies

Sometimes finding Valentine’s Day inspiration can be difficult, and for the Valentine Vets, the same glass of wine with dinner and a rose can seem played-out.  We want to help.  Here are a few inspired alternatives to the average box of chocolates for Valentine’s Day.

  1. Get Personal on a Blackboard– Store bought items with cheesy sayings can get old.  Custom is best and that’s where blackboard comes in handy. Pick up a mug or other blackboard product at a local crafting store and write something lovely and specific for your valentine.  Want bonus points?  Have it ready when they wake up!   Serve fresh coffee, a favorite breakfast food and your message of love.  It’s a great way to spend the morning.

           

  1. Think Outside the Roses- While flowers are lovely, they are often expected and can fade fast.  Instead, tickle the senses of your sweetheart with gourmet sweets. Chocolate covered strawberries are a universal treat, and they still have the beauty factor! Need help?  We’ve got a variety of Valentine’s Day sweets for your sweetheart:
  • Half dozen large chocolate covered strawberries
  • One dozen large chocolate covered strawberries
  • 4-pack of gourmet cupcakes

Image AmericanDreamCakes

  1. Video Top Ten- Almost everyone has a smart-phone with mobile video capability, so why not use this to surprise your valentine with a Video top ten of everything you love about them. Make the list before hand, and throughout the day, record a short video of yourself saying the items on that list. This shows your valentine that you think of them throughout your day.  It’s creative, personal and shows forethought.  A+

 

  1. Visit a Wildlife Rescue- This one is unconventional, but for animal lovers this date idea is unique and memorable! What pulls on the heart strings more than those cute little animals? Be sure to plan ahead and bring a small gift for your valentine that says “I love spending time with you.” Perhaps, written on a blackboard.  (hint, wink)


  1. A Beach Picnic- Sometimes the over crowded restaurants are daunting, but since it is mid February, the beach is empty. Obviously, wind chill and weather conditions are factors, but setting up a nice blanket and eating with your valentine will be special especially if it is just you two, the sound of waves, and the sun setting. A fire is a nice touch and will keep you warm. Just check local beach regulations first.

Image Daria Shevtsova

  1. Staycation- This one is great for couples who are parents! There’s no need to go far, far away. Book a king suite at the best hotel in your town.  Enjoy the heated pool, jacuzzi, room service, and don’t forget to bring your chocolate covered strawberries from American Dream Cakes.  This idea is great to just get away without going away.  Turn off the phones, turn down the lights and enjoy romantic time with your valentine.

A New Year, A New Look

At American Dream Cakes, we strive for something greater every day.  We aim for excellence – from our fresh ingredients, original cake designs, and personal service to our commitment to make a difference in our community.  It’s not just a cake… it’s a dream cake.   It’s not just a business, it’s an American Dream.

We’ve recently been working on upgrades to our bakery.  If you haven’t stopped by in a while, come see what’s new!  A new stone wall has been installed (seen in photo above) to add warmth and texture to the front area of the bakery.  It creates an earth toned backdrop for our beautifully designed cakes and other baked items that are displayed in brand new European-style bakery cases.

We’ve added a fresh coat of paint, new decorating tables to create your dream cakes on and a few other little touches to make your experience in our bakery even more delicious for the senses.  In March 2018, American Dream Cakes will reach its 17th anniversary.  That is 17 years of flour, sugar, eggs… and love.  We love making life delicious.  In this new year, we appreciate you – our customers –  and we’re stepping up our game to enhance your experience in the bakery! Thank you to everyone who has chosen American Dream Cakes over the years.  We can’t wait to see you again.  Stop on by and see our updated look.

I Do 2: Planning Your Second Wedding

Getting married for a second time is a beautiful thing.  No one is too old, or too late to find their happily ever after.  We all love second chances, and in romance… sometimes that’s just what the doctor ordered.  Planning a second wedding can be as simple or extravagant as your tastes desire, but you’ve done this once before.  Here are a few tips and tricks to help you say “I do” this time.

Wear White
Today is not the olden days.  If your heart so desires, wear a white dress.  White is symbolic of purity for many, but it’s also synonymous with weddings and the commitment you’re making today.  So, feel free to look like a snow princess.

Or Don’t Wear White
Who cares if it’s a white dress!?  This is your [second] wedding, do what you want.  Wear off white, hot pink or neon green.  Show up in a denim dress…well maybe not that one, but, this time, make it more about you and less about tradition alone.

Creative Registry
At this point in your life, you probably have enough dinner ware to last forever, but your guest will probably still want to get you something.  Keep your registry creative and maybe add all the things you’ve wanted.  A luggage set, an espresso machine, tube amp turntable, or skiing equipment.  Be creative.  Use your imagination.

Don’t Count on Mom and Dad

We’re not saying your parents don’t love you, but if they footed the bill for the first wedding, they might not chip in this time.  You’re older, wiser and more independent.  That applies to financing the wedding, too.

Do Get a Cake
This is one tradition it’s hard to skip.  People want cake.  Guests want to admire it.  They want to see you cut it.  Cake is expected.  There are new trends in wedding cakes, though. Mini-cakes, cupcakes, naked cakes, and even tarts and pies.  Explore styles in our gallery and online to see what works for you and your groom.

Don’t Invite the Ex
Enough said.

Blend the Family In

This is important and fun.  Often in second weddings, families are blending.  Each family has its own set of traditions, expectations, and experiences.  Have fun involving family members in little ways, but don’t lose sight of the fact that this is your wedding.

If minor children are involved in the blending of two households, involving them can create a memory for the rest of their lives.  Give each child a small role they are capable of playing successfully.  Don’t stress them out on the big day, but include them in a sincere way.  They may be a flower girl, ring bearer, read a scripture or a poem at the reception, or even a member of the wedding party.  Help them be part of establishing a new home together.

Reception

Throw a party!  Your reception can be formal, casual, intimate or a little on the wild side. This is a renewal, a second chance, a fresh start, — so celebrate it!  Get a band or a DJ to help you celebrate this new chapter of your life with your new family and new spouse.

Bridal Show Kickoff!

Tis the season to plan a wedding!  It’s a new year, proposals have been happening from Christmas through New Years Eve.  Valentine’s Day will be here soon and wedding planning season is in full swing.  Late winter and early spring are characterized by “Bridal Show Season.”

Local bridal shows and expos are coming up, and American Dream Cakes will be participating in several.  These events can make life easier for a bride, providing a one-stop-shop experience for venues, limos, caterers and yes… Cakes!

Here are a few we will be attending in this upcoming season:

  1. Crystal Coast Bridal Fair – Each and every bride is invited to the gorgeous Crystal Coast Civic Center that over looks Bogue Sound and converse with over 50 wedding professionals to help you plan your wedding.

Fashion Shows can peak your interest for future bridal and bridesmaid gowns.  They will be happening intermittently during the fair and they make a great chance to take a break from all the wedding hustle.

Bridal Contests have made a full comeback this year. The bridal bouquet bucket toss is going to test your skills.  The Wedding Cake Treasure hunt will be a delicious treat for all those who participate.  Of course, the grand prize giveaway of a $250 dollar credit to one lucky bride will happen at 2:30.  Each contestant must register online!

Cake Sampling is arguably the best part of the day! Local bakers will be there to feature their most delicious cakes for sampling.  Come on, it doesn’t get much better.

Come find us at the Crystal Coast Bridal Fair!

January 13th, 10:00 a.m.-3:00 p.m.

Crystal Coast Civic Center

3505 Arendell St., Morehead City NC

http://www.crystalcoastbridalfair.com/

  1. New Bern Bridal Expo – Here is another chance for all brides to be to get planning early in the game. We will join 70 other vendors and wedding experts to help anyone navigate their way to the big day. New Bern is home to beautiful venues that have rich historic character, and places like this will sure inspire you and your wedding party. This expo is located at the heart of New Bern at the New Bern Riverfront Convention Center.  Highlights of the convention are Caterers, Photographers, Venues, Event Planners, DJs, Entertainment, Travel, Florists, Health and Beauty, Event Attire,  Party Rentals, Fashion Shows, Entertainment, plus thousands of dollars in prizes and giveaways!

New Bern Bridal Expo

21 Jan. 2017, 12pm – 4pm

New Bern Riverfront Convention Center;

203 South Front Street, New Bern NC

Event Website

  1. Engaged Onslow Bridal Expo – We are proud to be a vendor in our own hometown hosted expo! Engaged onslow strives to provide a magnificent experience for each of its attendees.

Taste Test Rehearsals Tour-  A limousine will pick you up and escort you to local venues to enjoy a 5 course meal, and each course being featured at that location.  This gives you a great experience not only tasting potential caterers, but also seeing the venues themselves!  You have to reserve your tickets soon!

Venue Tour on February 2017- This is a free tour to all who want to participate!  A chance to have a one on one tour from each venue coordinator and talk about your wants and need from a wedding venue, you cannot give this opportunity.

Ultimate Giveaway- Engaged Onslow is giving away a grand prize of $2500 for a very lucky bride to goes towards their wedding and to be used amongst the vendors present.  That is a big chunk-o-change that could benefit any bride for their planning.  You must register before the event though!  P.S. they are giving away other great prizes as well, so don’t be discouraged!

Engaged Onslow Bridal Show

FEb. 16-17

Jacksonville Commons Rec Center

100 Recreation Lane, Jacksonville, NC

http://www.engagedonslow.com/

Stop by and tell us about your Dream Day!  We’ll help you plan a Dream Cake to go with it!

 

 

Season of Giving….All year for this small business

Santa Claus isn’t the only jolly one this time of year. ‘Tis the season when most folks find ways to open their home, donate to causes, or help others in less fortunate situations. As people get ready to bid another year goodbye, they often do an inventory of their own life and want to pay good fortune forward.

Gunilla Kroshus is no exception. The owner of American Dream Cakes says it is hard to narrow down where to contribute because, so many things are dear to her heart. But, she feels it’s important to do her part.

“God has blessed me in so many ways, so I feel it’s important to pass some of those blessings forward to the community,” she explained.

Her business receives so many requests for assistance each year that she tries to focus on a few key areas: military-related causes, cancer research and fundraising, community outreach, and school events, like mentoring high school students as part of their senior project for the fall and spring semesters.

In fact, American Dream Cakes supported area organizations close to two dozen times in 2017. In many cases, Gunilla was able to use her confectionary skills to add a touch of sweetness to local venues. Her team made cakes and desserts to help celebrate the birthdays of children at the Onslow Women’s Center, volunteers at the annual Red Cross appreciation event, and brighten up the menu at the Onslow Soup Kitchen. Other times, the business donated gift certificates – in lieu of treats – to the Jacksonville-Onslow Chamber of Commerce, Piney Green Fire Department, and Down Syndrome Network Buddy Walk.

But, Gunilla has also found a way to dedicate her time in a uniquely valuable way. She often works hand-in-hand with students sharing her craft and entrepreneur-sense – including mentoring students from culinary programs of Coastal Carolina Community College and Oregon Coast Culinary Institute. She sees many teachable moments in working with youth, and says there are options for getting them started in their own philanthropic activities.

“A good start for students is to talk to family and friends about the causes that are important to them. Chances are someone in their inner circle has the same interests and may already be part of an organization or have information on how to get more information and ideas about how to help the cause,” Gunilla said.  “With the guidance of a teacher or an adult, they can do an online search for organizations that interests them. Just make sure it’s a safe, legitimate site and cause.”

When you support American Dream Cakes, you support our community, too.  Gunilla and the entire team at American Dream Cakes wishes you and yours a joyous season of giving and Merry Christmas.

American Dream Cakes has a special gift to give you this holiday season. Here is an opportunity to bake your very own Schackrutor cookies.

Trending Wedding Cake Styles for 2018

If you’re like Meghan Markle, you’re already in full planning mode for 2018 nuptials – minus that royal family budget. Wedding planners are already sharing the go-to trends for next year’s events, leaving plenty of options for traditional or modern tastes, or a mixture of both. Let your personal style shine through with a confectionary message that captures your unique love story.

Something old.

Destination weddings are a timeless option when choosing a venue, making beach-themed cakes a sweet pairing for 2018. From broad interpretations with colors like deep ocean blues and sandy nudes, to adding textures like sugar sand and fondant seashells, couples are choosing cakes that are an extension of the event’s location.  Whether your proposal was sea-side or you are saying your ‘I do’s’ in the summer months, you can incorporate timeless elements that are personal to your own romance through colors, shape, or flavor profiles.

Something new.

Metallic is all the rage as couples from the digital era are adding luster and shine to every detail from invitations to decor to the dessert table. The Knot’s Lauren Kay says this trend is adaptable to almost any style, allowing for different interpretations.  You’l be seeing metallic making appearances in formal, bohemian, and many other wedding styles.  Metallic touches are easily combined with lace, tone-on-tone and other trending style elements.  This 2018 style trend allows creativity in areas from graphic design to modern décor touches to details with a glittery twist.

 Something borrowed.

Nothing says I love you like sweet treats. The wedding cake still reigns supreme, but couples are showing off their creativity with different types of desserts that are an extension of that sugary centerpiece. Our Sweet Treats Trailer lets you personalize your menu with everything from cupcakes to a variety of bite-sized desserts. Did you propose to her with an Italian piazza? Cue cannoli.  Did you meet your groom in the cool fall months? Enter pumpkin spiced-cupcakes. This trend of borrowing a personal note from your own relationship milestones is perfect for brides and grooms that have a special story to tell in a unique, but oh-so-delicious way.

Something blue.

Color is back in 2018 – and in more than just flowers or dresses. The Wedding Wire states navy is the new black for formal affairs. Couples are forgoing strict blacks and whites in elegant venues, and instead are opting for deep blue hues. This fashionable trend can help connect the dots for your wedding day vision by dropping hints of color across the cake design, stationery, and accessories for the wedding party. Even better, it knocks one of the famous four wedding traditions off your to-do list. Something blue: check.

The wedding cake has a longstanding history of being the focal point of the most important day of your life. The moment of that traditional cutting ceremony will grace your wedding album for decades to come. A cake artist can help you navigate details that matter to you to make your vision a sweet reality.  And, in the middle of all that 2018 wedding planning, who doesn’t want a break to journey through a sampling of different flavors and options? (For research purposes, of course!Contact us to schedule a stress-free flavor sampling.

Making History with Gingerbread Houses

Gingerbread Houses Making History

Although decorated gingerbread treats had been created for years, the first gingerbread houses were made in Germany during the 16th century.  Many experts believe it was the result of the children’s fairy tale, Hansel & Gretel by the Brothers Grimm.  Other food experts believe they simply wrote about something that already existed.  Whatever inspired the first gingerbread house, creating an edible house, beautifully decorated with sweet ingredients, has been popular ever since.   It even has its own day.  December 12 is observed annually as National Gingerbread House Day.

 

World Record Gets Bigger in Texas

In 2013, The Traditions Club and St Joseph Health System in Bryan, TX broke the Guinness World Record for the largest gingerbread house.  Their house measured 60 feet long by 42 feet deep and was up to 20 feet high.  Although it started with a wood base, it took 1800 pounds of butter, 7200 eggs, 3000 pounds of sugar, 7200 pounds of flour, 22,000 pieces of candy, and a ton of volunteers. The giant effort was put to good use.  The house was a holiday tourist attraction and the proceeds went toward a new trauma facility.

Your gingerbread house won’t be as big and certainly won’t be more than 35 million calories, but take the time to gather your family and make some history together.  The value can be immeasurable.

Enjoy Swedish Gingerbread This Year

American Dream Cakes will have their traditional Swedish gingerbread, called pepparkakor, again this year.  Learn more about it and make sure you place your order for Sara’s Pepparkakor treats today.

Gingerbread Facts:

  • It’s believed gingerbread making was introduced in Europe by the crusaders returning from Eastern Mediterranean.
  • It’s recorded that an Armenian Monk, Gregory of Nicopolis, introduced gingerbread baking to Christians in France in 992 AD. They were shaped, decorated, and often used in religions celebrations.
  • Gingerbread has many names – one for each country where it’s found.
  • Some thought gingerbread had medicinal properties. In 1444, it was recorded Swedish nuns made gingerbread to ease indigestion.
  • Gingerbread arrived in America with the colonists. Even George Washington’s mother had her own recipe and served it to the Marquis de Lafayette when he visited her home in Fredericksburg, Virginia.
  • The Bakers Guild no long controls the making of gingerbread, so have fun designing your own special creation “guild-free.”

Make memories with this delicious recipe and your family!

 

Creative Ways to Use Pumpkins

Think outside the Pie Shell

Pumpkins are all the rage during the fall season.  Starting in late September through the end of November, they’re heralding the arrival of Fall from grocery stores, farmers markets, table tops and front porches.   They’re not just for pumpkin pie anymore! Read more

Which Cookie Will Santa Like Best?

Santa’s Coming SOON!

Santa’s going to be coming down chimneys and looking for those cookies and milk soon!  We have it on good elf-authority that he’s going to be munching cookies all night long, but he’s having trouble picking a flavor he likes BEST this year.  Read more