Perfect Spring or Summer Wedding Cake—Chocolate Drips and Berries!

Mother of the Bride, is your daughter looking for a spring or summer wedding cake idea? If she’s a fan of berries and chocolate, the cake idea I’m showing you today might be just strike her chocolate-berry-loving fancy!

Spring or summer is the perfect time to feature a cake garnished with fresh berries and accented with drips of chocolatey goodness. Strawberries, blueberries, and blackberries against a dreamy white-frosting background look so fresh and pretty, so perfectly seasonal. Add the chocolate dripping down each layer of the cake and my, oh my, what could be more perfect? Well, just one thing—add the chocolate-covered berries you see scattered throughout as a yum, yum, yummy finishing touch.

Of course, what’s inside is anybody’s guess, but that will be just one more fun decision for your sweet girl and her guy to make. Their cake-baker will be able to give lots of good ideas about flavors that would pair well with the berries. Ask to go along for the cake-testing, MOB!

Share this idea with your little bride-to-be and her groom, Mother of the Bride, and see if this might be the answer to their cake needs. After all, it’s a healthy choice with all that fruit included, right?!

*You might also like to read Spring Wedding Cake: Cherry Blossoms, Wedding Cake Idea: A Crepe Cake!, and Wedding Cake Roundup.

*For info about my book Mother of the Bride check out my Books/My Work page.

*The next issue of Life Notes, my quarterly inspirational newsletter with a giveaway in every regularly scheduled issue, will come out in early August. Sign-up is FREE and to the right! (If you’re on a mobile device, scroll to the bottom of the screen and click View Full Site to find it.)

*Flickr photo by Sonya Natasha, Creative Commons License

Wedding Cake Idea: A Crepe Cake!

(Photo and idea by Jasmin Fine at 1 Fine Cookie)

Mother of the Bride, is your daughter looking for a unique idea for her wedding cake? If she and her groom aren’t big fans of traditional wedding cake, today’s idea might be just what’s they’re looking for.

How about a three-tiered (or more!) crepe cake? Top it and layer it with fresh strawberries and a pastry cream with whipped cream folded in and you not only have the splash of color it needs but also a sweet and yummy flavor that will tickle your taste buds.

You can find out more about the cake pictured above by visiting Jasmin Fine’s 1 Fine Cookie site. She has even included a link to the recipe for the crepe cake as well as instructions on how to make it. Can’t beat that!

Check with your girl, MOB, and see if a crepe cake might be the cake of her dreams. And if she doesn’t think it’s quite what she has in mind, you might think of doing one for her bridal shower. Bet it would be a hit!

*You might also like to read Wedding Cake Roundup and Unique Wedding Cake Idea: Word Search Cake! 

*For info about my book Mother of the Bride check out my Books/My Work page.

*The next issue of Life Notes, my quarterly inspirational newsletter with a giveaway in every regularly scheduled issue, will come out in early August. Sign-up is FREE and to the right! (If you’re on a mobile device, scroll to the bottom of the screen and click View Full Site to find it.)

*Photo and idea by Jasmin Fine at 1 Fine Cookie

Guest Post: The Pruner’s Knife

I’m thrilled to share a guest post by my dad, Duane Hoy, today. He is eighty-three years young and has known the Lord since age twelve. May his insightful words and message bless you in a special way today!

The Pruner’s Knife

As I sit at my breakfast table and look out the sliding glass doors, I’m able to look a few feet beyond my patio and see my new young Royal Star magnolia.

It is not to be confused with other large varieties of magnolia trees. It is more naturally a bush but can be trained to grow more like a tree by cutting all but the strongest trunk and letting it grow like a small tree. It’s a very early bloomer being covered with snowy pure white blooms, this spring starting in mid-February.

My landscaper planted mine a year ago in the spring after I spotted it at a nursery in west Tulsa on the other side of the Arkansas River.

My heart was immediately set on getting one for my backyard, fulfilling a very long-held desire. I enjoyed three wonderful weeks of glistening snow-white blooms this last spring.

I am so wonderfully reminded of a beautiful individual who had a small to medium size Royal Star magnolia in his backyard.

Bro. John Howard and his wife Grace lived in a small block house on N. Grand in Pittsburg, KS, where our young family had moved in the early 1960s.

After thirty years of missionary service in India, Bro. John and Grace came back home to Pittsburg. He never owned a car but walked his routes in  Pittsburg, still being a missionary for another thirty years.

A very kind and gentle man, he would walk to our house way out on the north end of town to pay a short visit and pray for us and especially our four little girls—that they would develop into the godly women they are today. Then I would drive him back home. Needless to say, he was indelibly printed on my heart in a forever way.

As I observed my magnolia a few weeks after its blooming, I noticed the new growth was coming out in more of a horizontal direction. As it is yet only four to four and one half feet tall, I wanted it to grow in an upward direction, so I took the sharpest blade on my knife and made several studied cuts, removing the end growths on some limbs, hoping for the best. Some weeks later here in mid-June with plenty of rain, quite a bit of new growth is flourishing. Sure enough it is reaching in an upward direction.

This caused me to reflect on my own life and maybe you too have experienced some difficult circumstances, ones that might cause us to wince and cry out in pain.

Could it be that our master gardener is seeking some upward growth in our lives, reaching up to Him?

“‘I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener . . . every branch that does bear fruit he prunes so that it will be even more fruitful.’” John 15:1-2 NIV

How has God used his pruner’s knife in your life lately?

The new issue of Life Notes, my quarterly inspirational newsletter with a giveaway in every regularly scheduled issue, came out last week. It’s not too late to receive it. Sign-up is free and to the right! (If you’re on a mobile device, scroll to the bottom of the screen and click View Full Site to find it.)

*My photo

Scattering Seeds and Watching God Give Growth


“He also said, ‘This is what the kingdom of God is like. A man scatters seed on the ground. Night and day whether he sleeps or gets up, the seed sprouts and grows, though he does not know how.’” Mark 4:26-27

As I mentioned in a post earlier this month, Jesus specialized in telling stories from familiar daily life, stories that his listeners could relate to and draw spiritual lessons from. These stories are known as the parables of Jesus.

One of the parables Jesus told was the parable of the growing seed (the first part of it appears above.) He alerted his listeners right away that an important spiritual truth was about to follow when he basically said hey listen up, this is the way the kingdom of God works. I can just see the disciples and others nearby cocking their heads and leaning in to listen carefully, can’t you?

Jesus then reminded the people that once they scatter seeds, the seeds will sprout and grow on their own (compliments of the sun and moisture God provides and his divine design for plant growth, of course.) We are not the ones who cause seeds to grow. God is the one who gives growth.

And since Jesus said that this is how the kingdom of God works, we can see that the power to give spiritual birth and growth does not come from us. That power comes from God alone. The gospel holds power. The Word of God holds power. Our God is all powerful, and he can indeed bring life and change.

So if it’s our responsibility to plant spiritual seeds while trusting God to give them life and growth, how are we doing? Are we fulfilling our role? Are we actively scattering and planting spiritual seeds of the gospel and other spiritual truths from God’s Word? Do we need to be more alert to opportunities or more aware of just exactly how we can do this work of scattering seeds of truth?

Here are a few ways we can scatter spiritual seeds: through family devotions, by sharing scripture verses on our social media sites or in everyday conversations, leaving gospel tracts where they might be found, giving the gift of a Bible or contributing to an organization that distributes free Bibles, teaching Sunday School or VBS, etc., financially supporting missionaries and others in ministry, playing Christian music in our homes or places of business, going on mission outreaches and actively sharing the gospel, and by giving God glory for the blessings of life and answered prayers. And these are just a few ways.

Let’s give some thought to how we might be able scatter spiritual seeds this week, this month, this year. Let’s be aware and then be alert to opportunities. Let’s do our part—and then watch God give life and growth!

“I planted the seed, Apollos watered it, but God made it grow. So neither he who plants or he who waters is anything, but only God, who makes things grow.” 1 Corinthians 3:6-7

*What are some other ways we can scatter spiritual seeds?

*The next issue of Life Notes, my quarterly inspirational newsletter, comes out next week. Sign-up is free and to the right!

*Flickr photo by –Tico–, Creative Commons License

A Berry Beautiful Wedding Cake


Mother of the Bride, if your daughter would like a more natural and healthy component to her wedding cake, has she considered having it adorned with berries? Nothing says fresh and healthy like fresh fruit, right? And not only that, but it will add a yummy tartness to the sweetness of the cake and be colorful, too!

Strawberries and blueberries, as pictured above, would be the perfect fruit choice for a wedding around the 4th of July—or at any time of the year if the bride’s color choices are shades of red and/or blue.

But other kinds of fruit could be used as well. Can you picture other combinations using grapes, kiwi, pineapple, blackberries, melon pieces, or other types of fruit in addition to the strawberries and blueberries? Color will be a factor, of course, so it will work with the overall color scheme of the wedding, and your daughter will also want to consider what flavor of cake will complement her fruit choices—or vice versa. What fun considering all the options!

So check with your darling bride-to-be, MOB, and see if a berry beautiful wedding cake appeals to her. She might just say, “I think that’s a berry good idea!”

*You might also like to read Wedding Cake Idea: Coconut Cloud.

*Flickr photo by Sean Davis, Creative Commons License