Haven't been posting (sorry)...bad personal summer stuff which I can finally share: hubby is terminal, getting set-up for hospice at home. His melanoma from 2003 has returned with a vengeance and metastasized in his lungs and bones (and there are spots on his liver, but there will be no biopsy there.) I must apologize for ignoring some emails and taking care of some business, but it has been a difficult period. Kaiser is zapping his spine with radiation to alleviate some of the pain, but there will be no other course of treatment. Yes, he is getting strong doses of morphine and is as comfortable as possible under the circumstances. As soon as the pain is stabilized to the hospital's criteria, they will send him home. The bed is already there and the kids are dealing as well as can be expected.
We know all the options out there, and are respecting his wishes to not seek out any of them.
I appreciate the emails and calls which have begun, but please understand if I don't get back to you...I tend to be an inappropriate communicator with this kind of stuff. Love to you all.... Suzi
No, we didn't have a Bar Mitzvah this week....I made these two designs for the Bar/Bat Mitzvah event at Universal Studios last Sunday. Yes, that is my nephew Elliot below (pictures on that cake were all snapped by excellent photog Brian Kramer!)
I got to design and make this damask open box cake for Jennifer Garner's birthday surprise today. There is not a bit of fondant anywhere on this (all butter creme!) She and the rest of the stars from the new "Ghost of Girlfrieds Past" are in town for a press junket. I don't know it it'll be showing up in any public arenas, but it was sure fun to create! The inside is Hansen's fabulous white cake with fresh strawberries and whipped creme filling. Ummmm!
So I got up at my usual crack-of-dawn, and went straight to the bakery to create this jewel for the Beverly Hills Hotel staff (yes, those are authentic Swarovski crystals.) Inspired by the cake I made for them last December, I changed up the design a bit to raise that bar (and as usual, there is no fondant here.)
My kids and I enjoy that Drive-In/Diners/Dives show on the Food Network, so when we had a free morning this week (Spring break...) they wanted to try out one of the places featured on that program.
Patrick's Roadhouse it was. Yum! I'd call it one of the dives, but that never bothers me (I pay no heed to those silly letter grades, etc...) The waitiress couldn't figure out the new 9.25% tax rate (she was somehow charging everyone 12.25% tax!) so I showed her the calculator formula (hopefully it stuck.)
Ben proclaimed his hotcakes "perfect"...a rare exclaimation from him, and Allie loved her English Breakfast Tea with milk. So sophisticated!
LOS ANGELES — Cake decorator Suzi Finer fills in spare time during the workday updating her "status" on Facebook, telling about 2,000 customers about what she's working on.
It's no frivolous exercise: Finer is looking to boost business for her employer, Hansen's Cakes of Beverly Hills, and says that sales are up 15% to 20% since she embraced Facebook as a sales tool in September. "That's even in a recession," she says. "People are still having birthday parties and weddings, and seeing these little bits about cakes on updates get them excited about the possibilities."
Welcome to the social world of Facebook and Twitter, where you are encouraged to tell your online "friends" and "followers" about every little thing you're doing Most teens and young adults use the short space to discuss the latest movie, CD or TV show.
Business people — including folks like Finer — find that the updates also work as a valuable sales tool. "It's become even more important than blogging," says Chris Winfield, who runs New York-based 10e20, which helps businesses with their online marketing campaigns. "It's more immediate than a blog post, and if you're trying to get out a message to thousands of people in a flash, status updates are the way to do it."
Just ask Aaron Chronister, who saw his status update on Twitter grab media attention from CNN and The New York Times, and even a book deal with Simon & Schuster. Chronister of Kansas City, Mo., wanted to get attention for his local barbecue club and a unique bacon recipe.
His status post in December got "re-tweeted" by someone else (the Twitter equivalent of forwarding), the media found it, and now he has a thriving ad-supported BBQ blog in addition to a forthcoming book.
It all started with a status update, which he renews about four times daily to his 1,500 followers. "It's an easier way for people to see what's up with you," he says. "They don't have to read an e-mail, or go through all this stuff to filter through. Just a short little 140-character message."
According to measurement firm Quantcast, Facebook averages 78 million visitors monthly, compared with Twitter's 6 million. However, traffic numbers on Twitter are hard to come by, as much of its traffic is on mobile phones.
From his office in Rochester, N.Y., Jeffrey Hayzlett, Kodak's chief marketing officer, updates his status on both Facebook and Twitter as many times as possible during a busy day. He's become the face of Kodak for many Twitterers and Facebookers, as he attempts to give them "a glimpse into my life, which puts a face to the Kodak brand."
Like Hayzlett, Finer is the face of Hansen's. She offers free cake samples to anyone on Facebook, posts celebrity-sighting snapshots and talks about the latest cake she's working on, or just the scent of butter cream.
"I spend about an hour daily on this, in between cakes," Finer says.
Her advice for entrepreneurs looking to boost business: "Don't bother people with sales (pitches) — like 'Come in and see what we have today.' That is so annoying. I don't want a commercial. I'm here to spread the cake love. Write about what makes you happy."
Winfield's business used to consist of helping businesses get better placement on search engines, primarily by working on their blogs and improving their websites.
Now, his staff spends a good deal of their time helping businesses update their statuses.
"It's all about Internet marketing," he says. "If you can catch someone's attention on Twitter, and they go write a blog post about you, someone else might link to it, and that will help your Google rankings."
Matt Rutledge, CEO of Dallas-based website Woot, sends out only one Twitter tweet a day — and it's the only marketing he does.
Woot sells just one item a day and announces what it is nightly via a Tweet and an RSS feed to his website. Rutledge now has 270,000 Twitter followers — No. 18 overall on Twitterholic's rankings, and No. 1 business. Whole Foods Market and Zappos.com are close behind with 263,000 and 262,000, respectively.
He can't point to any measurable sales gains from his Twitter love but says, "It's been enjoyable to watch Twitter grow. For us, with just one product per day, it's really well aligned with a short, micro-summary."
Jason Hirschhorn, who recently resigned his post as president of Sling Media, the online programming arm for Sling, is happily unemployed but eager to broadcast his latest missives on both Facebook and Twitter from two to 10 times daily.
"It's whatever's on my mind," he says. "I love the idea of telling people what I'm thinking about without having to talk to them," he says.
On the plus side, he says he reads their posts as well. "I'm able to ingest a lot more than if I was having conversations with them," he says. "I wonder less about what to read or watch, because they post it, and I value their opinions."
TELL US: How often do you post updates to Twitter, Facebook, or other social networking sites?
After weeks of my children's hard work rehearsing the staging, dancing, singing and more, it's hard for me to imagine that tomorrow night will be the final performance of Ragtime at Beverly Hills High School. Wow.
Director Herb Hall, Choreographer Janet Rosten, and Music Director Joel Pressman did such a fabulous job of pulling it all together for our enjoyment....I hope they'll be offering up a dvd for us moms to keep forever!
There are still seats available for tonight and tomorrow night...just call 310-229-3685 for more information!
(I made a cake for tomorrow night's cast party...see above)
This is a stupendous production that is worthwhile to see!
Come support the Beverly Hills High School Performing Arts Department, and everyone who has put hours and hours of hard work into this great production!
"Ragtime" is based on the E.L. Doctorow novel of the same name, and explores the ethnic, political, economic and social struggles of the early 20th century. The show follows the bubbling melting pot that was created when the influx of immigrants into America, the newly enfranchised African Americans, and the established upper-class white society collided. Based around real American headlines, personalities and events of the turn of the century, “Ragtime” weaves a complicated set of storylines into a complex American quilt, highlighting the struggles, fears, biases and passions of the young country. The cast is comprised of students of the Performing Arts Department, and is highlighted by several seniors' final BHHS production.
Where? The K.L. Peters Auditorium, 241 Moreno Drive BH CA 90212
WHEN? March 25th @ 2pm March 26th @7:30pm March 27th @7:30pm March 28th @7:30pm
-Tickets are sold at lunch at the box office in front of the the theater! -Before the show (if its not sold out! which it probably will be, so buy your tickets early!) -You may call the number bellow for will call information and more!
Originally posted Monday March 23, 2009 08:00 AM EDT After missing his birthday party the previous weekend due to a high fever, Tori Spelling and Dean McDermott's son Liam was treated to a car-themed encore on Sunday.
Together with his mom, dad, 9-month-old sister Stella and 16 party guests, Liam celebrated his second birthday at his new home outside Los Angeles with the help of toys from the movie Cars, a car-shaped cake (from Beverly Hills bakery Hansen's Cakes) and a performance by his favorite music group, The Jumpitz.
"Liam is obsessed with the animated movie Cars," says his mom, "and I made him a little red car racing jumpsuit with a Liam name patch on it."
Liam and his friends also enjoyed a blow-up ball pit in his living room and a small petting zoo in the backyard.
The Jumpitz, a five-member children's performance group, helped the intimate group sing "Happy Birthday" to Liam before the cake cutting.
Says Spelling: "The cutest was when he got to dig his hands into the giant red car cake and Stella was right into it as well!"
At the end of the two-hour shindig, guests left with gift bags by Silver Spoons! – each with personalized bag tags by Mabel's Labels.
Gift tags from Mabel's Labels for Liam McDermott's party
Ben's Kool Aid shoes finally wore out (we got them last May!) so it was time to pop over to Sportie L.A. again to see what cool shoes they had for him this time around. After dropping off little Miss at schoolmate Montana's slumber party, Ben & I sped across town in order to get to the trendy shop before they closed. Ben went directly into the back room where all the interesting shoes are displayed, and immediately found what he wanted. Fortunately they had his size in stock (he seems to have excellent shoe karma in that area. Can I say, "Best Shoes Ever"? I believe that to be so!