Hello! Thank you for visiting my blog! Here you will get to know me—the “sweet girl” behind the dessert tables. The girl who loves to create. The proud mama who loves her boys to no bounds and the wife that thanks her lucky stars every day to have her husband, her best friend & business partner, by her side. Whether you visiting our blog or the first time or have stopped by before, please know that I’m incredibly grateful that you are here and look forward to getting to know you. So sit back, grab a large cup of coffee (or cake pop) and enjoy!
Feb

And we have a Winner for our Valentine’s Day Giveaway!

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YAY! Quickly I want to announce the winner for the Valentine’s Day Giveaway. Thank you so much for everyone that entered–you have no idea how much I  enjoyed reading everyone’s Valentine Day plans and favorite memories!!! If you didn’t win this time–don’t worry! We definitely have plans to do another one SOON! Have a great weekend everyone!

The lucky duck is…..Jessica Hurtado! Jessica be on the look out for an email from Chic Sweets. Congrats!!!

 My favorite valentine memory will forever be the day my daughter Julianna was born. February 14th 2011! We had a great 1st pregnancy just lots of fatigue. Delivery went smooth just some cramps. She was a week late and I just knew she was going to come on Valentines. She always gets two gifts, a valentine and a birthday gift and her sister gets one too. I always try and make it special for the both of them and my husband as well.

The winner was determined via drawing on Random.org. Thanks to B is for Bonnie Design and Ashley Brooke Designs for teaming up with us!

XOXO-Natalie

Jan

New Products added to our Shop and a Special Valentine’s Day Giveaway!

Hello Everyone!!! Hope all of you are having a great January! This is one of my favorite times of year–time to regroup, set new goals with pretty new planners, prioritize…a nice, clean slate.  It has been on my to-do list to do a much longer post running through all my goals for this year since when I put everything down in writing it holds me so much more accountable. BUT before I get to that post, I’m taking a moment to announce new products that have been added to our shop AND a giveaway! YIPPEE!

Color has always been a huge part of my design work so when it came to adding cake pops to our online shop I really wanted to do something that stood out and felt different. I’ve taken some of my all time favorite color palettes and created selected sets which I LOVE. Corals….blacks…mint…reds….oh my! On top of the select sets, we’ve also added glitter cake pops which are just about the prettiest things you will ever see. Below are a few glimpses into our sets. Of course, as always, Shay Cochrane is our girl for all of our product photography. Every time she works, she really just blows me away.

A few behind the scenes from our photoshoot…hey…we got some great lighting in that garage!

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And now for some amazing images from Shay

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2013 Shay Cochrane

All together now…it’s great…to be…a Florida Gator…(chomp, chomp)

2013 Shay Cochrane

2013 Shay Cochrane

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Now for the fun part–I’m a sucker for a great giveaway and collaborating with some of my favorite people only makes me more HAPPY!  You have until Thursday, February 6 at 12:00 p.m. (EST) to enter! *US residents only and winner will be determined via drawing on random.org.

I’m giving away a dozen Valentine’s Day cake pops plus a few of these other wonderful goodies!

1:  A set of 10 Ice Cream Valentine Note Cards from Ashley Brooke Designs. LOVE HER and her blog is amazing mix of lifestyle tips and fashion–a must follow.

2: Essie Nailpolish in forever yummy and watermelon. Two of the best colors. Ever.

3 and 4:  “Love Others Well” gold foil print and a set of six Choose Joy pencil Set from B is for Bonnie Design. How gorgeous is this print??

5: Red Velvet Cupcake scented candle from Target. It’s sitting right next to me and I’ve opened it up several times while typing this post. Just to inhale it. Sooooo good.

6: A dozen Valentine’s Day cake pops from yours truly! YAY! Makes the perfect gift!!!!

All you have to do is leave a comment on this post with your most favorite Valentine’s Day memory! OR if you even want to share what you are thinking about for this upcoming Valentine’s Day, that is fine as well!

If you would like additional entries…

  • Tweet about the  giveaway mentioning @ChicSweets and #CHICSWEETSSHOP
  • Facebook about the giveaway linking to our Facebook Page. (you must like the page first, so you can tag properly!)
  • Repost the Giveaway picture (above) on Instagram and follow @chicsweets21 and these amazing two shops @ashleybrookedesigns AND @bonniejoymarie. Tag #CHICSWEETSSHOP

Very, very important!!!! Don’t forget to please leave a separate comment for each entry!

Okay, Ready…Set…and GO!!!!!!!!!!!

XO-Natalie Clamp

Jan

Wrapping my Head Around 2013…

Hello everyone!!! How is your 2014 starting off? This is my first week back to work, after spending some much needed time with Steve and my boys. This past fall wedding season was unbelievable and the best so far for Chic Sweets which always leaves my heart in awe of how much we’ve grown these past few years. One of my biggest words for this year is: PRESENT. Chic Sweets can definitely soak up a lot of time from me, which is why when I’m home with the boys, work urgent matters handled, I’m trying to be PRESENT. Don’t get me wrong…it’s very hard at times. I’m tired…maybe cranky…I find myself glancing at my Facebook or Instagram feed more times than I’m willing to admit, but I’m trying and it’s something I’m constantly working on. And so these past few months I’ve found myself blogging less than ever before. I used to beat myself up about it because I really do enjoy writing and putting my thoughts on “virtual paper”, but taking the pressure off has helped me breathe a bit, focus, and finally, excited to blog..when I’m able to.

So I do have a mega-post I plan on sharing of things that worked/didn’t work for me in 2013, basically my way of looking back at the year and what I need to do personally, and professionally to continue making what matters happen. BUT before I do that, I’ve been dying to share so many glimpses into the past few months–a few of our dessert tables, candy projects and some behind the scenes outtakes. I typically hold off on posting these pictures to my site’s gallery because they are from my I-phone and sometimes taken when I’ve lacked quite a few hours of sleep. HAHA! So sit back, grab a cup of coffee, and take a peek at what we’ve been up to!

Happy New Year everyone!

Chevron inspired dessert table with Julie Perez from Chic Designs and Fabulous Events. It was a “surprise gift” for the bride and groom, courtesy of Julie. Love this!

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LOVED the branded candy boxes we did for our Chic Sweets (online shop). One of my favorite parts of this year.

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And speaking the our Chic Sweets’ shop, we have big plans to add cake pops this month, something that I’ve held off for sometime. Thanks to Shay Cochrane for the fab photos!

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Halloween time and at Tech Data over in Clearwater they kept us busy! From over 300 candy filled pumpkins to cauldrons…our hands were cramping! :)

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Road trip to Chapel Hill…why not? One of my favorite tables we’ve EVER sponsored for the ladies of Southern Weddings. I’m hoping to share a bit more about this soon!

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Moroccan inspired dessert table with Brooke Palmer of RSBP Events. Camel included. Seriously. I can’t make this stuff up.

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Gold glitter dusted cake pops for NACE Tampa Holiday Party at the Floridan in downtown Tampa. Great times with my cohorts. And one of our last big orders before we took off for the holidays.
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And finally, words can’t describe how much I love this picture. More the thought that all my Dad wanted to do was help and I can’t help but wonder what Steve is thinking here….hmmmmmm….

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Sep

YAY! Our New Shop…And a Giveaway!!!

 

IMAGE CREDIT: SHAY COCHRANE PHOTOGRAPHY

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Hey everyone! It feels surreal to even be typing this but our online shop is finally opened! The response from industry colleagues, friends and family has been amazing and I would be lying if I didn’t say I feel butterflies to finally share the entire collection! The concept behind this shop has been in my heart for sometime–a collection of gifts that tells a story and is very much personalized for YOU. Each one of our boxes speaks to the core of our business–clean, simple and has a unique color story that I really love!

When you visit our shop, you’ll see we have our gift boxes separated into two collections, our Everyday Collection and our Wedding Collection. Aside from both collections we also have our client partnership program for those professionals that are looking to gift a special client or business prospect with their very own branded gift box. You will LOVE this program!

Before I get to carried away, I really want to thank someone that helped to take the million thoughts and brilliant ideas in my head and produce images that I’m so proud to have in my shop. Shay Cochrane–you are beyond amazing and I’m so GRATEFUL to have you as a friend.

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And second to my husband…the words “thank you” seem so inadequate for everything in my heart….but thank you, thank you, thank you for all your love.

Now to celebrate our NEW SHOP, we are doing a giveaway!!! I’m giving away one of my favorite boxes from the Everyday Collection (our Sunshine Box) and some wonderful gifts from some really amazing, small businesses!

1. Our Sunshine Box

2. Oh Happy Day Art Print from the Lara Casey Shop. Lara Casey has been such a great cheerleader for myself and for so many others. Her prints, paintings and everyday products are a must as a business owner! Love you Lara!

3. Handmade Bibs from Oatmeal Lace. From baby bibs, bow ties and clutches, McKay’s Oatmeal Lace Design shop is drool worthy.

4. The Paris Collection, pencil set from Amanda Catherine Designs. Amanda’s pencil collections, seriously will really have you reconsidering ever using pens again.

5. Essie Nailpolish (set of 2)

6. Lovely gold and white striped Target Notebook. I have an obsession with notebooks and so I figured, why not?

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Help us spread the word about the Chic Sweets’ shop on social media and link back to my site or this blog post! All you have to do is leave a comment on this post with what your favorite Chic Sweets’ gift box from our shop! Yup, easy peasy!

You have until Wednesday, September 18, 2013 at 12:00 p.m. EST to enter in this fabulous giveaway! *US residents only and winner will be determined via drawing on random.org

UPDATE: WE ARE EXTENDING OUR GIVEAWAY UNTIL 12:00 a.m EST (TODAY, WEDNESDAY) SO YOU HAVE A FEW MORE HOURS TO GET YOUR ENTRIES IN!!!

If you would like additional entries…

  • Tweet about the giveaway mentioning the @ChicSweets and #CHICSWEETSSHOP
  • Facebook about the giveaway linking to our Facebook page (you must like the page first, so you can tag it properly!)
  • Share the photo (above) on Instagram and tag @Chicsweets21 and #CHICSWEETSSHOP

Don’t forget to please leave a separate comment for each entry! Okay, Ready…Set…and GO!!!!!!!!!!!

I’m keeping my fingers crossed for all of you!!!! AHHHHH! I’m so excited about this!

Also enjoy 10% off all of our gift boxes from now until next Wednesday–just use CHICSWEETS10 discount code upon checkout.

XXOX-Natalie

* UPDATE: Our winner of this contest, chosen at random, is KATY HAMILTON!! YAY! Katy, send me an email at nclamp@chicsweets.com and we’ll get your goodies off to you!

Thank you to everyone for entering!

Jul

The Chic Sweets’ Shop and a Little Story about the Shark Tank

Hello friends! Hope all of you are having a great summer. I’m a little sad it seems to go quicker than I’d like. Today I decided to be super ambitious and a did a video blog for today’s post (yes, I know…wow). Please note, I did this in one take, messy hair and five minute make-up so please cut me a little slack on this one. If you would like to see all our Daytime segments and our Shark Tank audition video, please click here.

And here are a few shots I could not help but share (I’m notoriously impatient, as the boss man likes to remind me). More details will be coming in the next few weeks as we announce a shop date and a giveaway, all wrapped up in one.

I’m….so….EXCITED!!!!!!!!!!! HUGE thanks to Shay Cochrane for the images–I love you Shay!

PHOTOGRAPHY CREDIT: SHAY COCHRANE PHOTOGRAPHY

Our Sunshine and Welcome Baby Girl Box which is part of our “Everyday Collection”

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And a glimpse in our “Wedding Collection.” I LOVE this collection!

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May

Yippee! Here it is! Mother’s Day Segment from Daytime!

Happy Wednesday everyone! Hope everyone is having a great day! Happy to share the Mother’s Day segment that aired on Daytime. This is a link to  our You Tube channel that also has all of our Daytime segments.  I could critique myself to no end but then I stopped and saw Baby P look at the television and yell out “Mama!” “Mama!” Thank you, Baby P, for always reminding me to NEVER to take life too seriously!

Enjoy everyone and have a wonderful Happy Mother’s Day. And don’t forget to visit our previous post with a freebie printable!

Apr

March through April-A Little Glimpse into our World….

Hello everyone! Wow! Am I the only one that ever sits back and wonder how quickly this year is slipping by?? I seriously still remember 2012 New Year’s! Okay, so today I decided to give a little glimpse into our world and then next week, I’d love to give everyone a longer update on my 2013 goal progress. Always inspired by the Making Things Happen movement and sharing a bit of where I am these days.

But for today, a look back at the tables we’ve done. I’ll be sure to share follow up details shots when I receive, but for now, I figured why not?

Have a lovely weekend everyone!

ANGRY BIRD BOYS BIRTHDAY PARTY: Event Planner (and mommy) Monica Varner, owner of Elan Events Studio

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Bridal Show: Perfect Wedding Guide. Tampa. We do a handful of bridal shows a year, and these are by far one of our favorites!

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Neiman Marcus: This spring season, Neiman’s is diving into cool blues and they wanted to treat all their fellow shoppers to one of our tables. We LOVE Neiman’s!

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Gender Reveal Cake Pops for my girl Zoe at Botanica. LOVE Zoe and her party was darling….

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March Madness anyone??? 300 of these babies for Tech Data Corporation. Wow. Let’s just say I needed a break from seeing orange for a bit.

Basketball Cake Pops

Happy Birthday Graham! A birthday table for one of my favorite people in the universe, Shay Cochrane (her husband’s 30th). LOVE Shay. Period.

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And cannot wait to share an adorable baby shower for event planner, Julie Perez from Chic Designs and Fabulous Events. Photography by Mariana of Kismis Ink Photography. We received so many great images from this one which I LOVE. Thanks Mariana!

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And finally, for no reason at all. Baby P.

I mean really, does there ever have to be a reason to see this boy in a boy tie, given by his Auntie Amanda. I think not!

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Feb

How To Valentine’s Dessert Table on the Daytime Morning Show

Happy February everyone!!! I’m SO happy to share a segment we did for the Daytime Show (WFLA), a lifestyle morning show, syndicated in the Southeast. The Daytime family has been always supportive of me, Chic Sweets and our growth. My first segment with host, Cyndi Edwards (one of the most amazing people I know) was a few years ago, when I first started and I still find it hard to believe they gave me a chance and the platform to share our work.

Enjoy everyone and a much longer post coming….SOON! Happy day!

Jan

Pink and Mint Dessert Table by Shay Cochrane Photography

Happy Day everyone! Interrupting my series on recapping 2012, with some goodness brought to you by one of my dearest friends, Shay Cochrane from Shay Cochrane Photography. I haven’t spoken a lot about this, but this year we are looking to branch out with the launch of our Chic Sweets shop. This has been long in my heart, but I wanted to take my time and really get a few pieces in place before sharing too many details. I’ve never been one to rush the process and so I can tell you it finally feels good to be ready for this next step. Where does Shay come in all of this? Well, she is giving me a hand with stunning images for my shop, close up of my products, personalized favors and why not include a dessert table in all of that?

I know Emerald green, is the “Pantone Color of the Year” and all, but I’m convinced it was all a big mistake. Mint!!! It should have been mint!!!!

Thanks again, Shay. LOVE YOU to the moon and back! Also to all my photographer friends: Shay is doing a business and branding workshop that is a “must” for everyone. Space is very limited so definitely sign up today. Hint…there may be a cake pop in it for you.

Also, huge, big, thanks to our photoshoot venue for the day–the Tampa Museum of Art in downtown Tampa. I love the Museum, mostly because it’s so unique, different, great open, modern space with so much natural light that comes through. We could not have done this without their help.

Have a wonderful day everyone! More news to come on the shop soon….

PHOTOGRAPHY CREDIT: SHAY COCHRANE PHOTOGRAPHY/ VENUE: TAMPA MUSEUM OF ART

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Jan

And Now….For What Did Not Work in 2013

Hello everyone! Still working on my Goal Setting series from my last post and now taking a look at what didn’t work in 2012. Again, if you haven’t visited my friend Lara Casey and her amazing exercises, you are missing out. Truly, it’s so very helpful.

Sticking to a schedule: This was a bit of a challenge for me, but I had trouble sticking to a consistent schedule all year long, and when something came up (child sickness, last minute event) I felt like it would derail me and then I would have trouble getting back on track.

Friendships: This is a huge BIGGIE for me. Friendships. I’m not one of those that has a million friends. Nope. I have a small circle of friends that I cherish but this year, I could not connect. Missed phone calls, voicemails, lunches and happy hours that never happened, the list goes on. The worse part? I needed my friends. I needed to hear their voices, their problems, their updates and get out of my world.

Networking Events: I’ll admit it. I’m lazy about attending Networking events for Chic Sweets. Sometimes it’s a mixture of the “oh, I’m tired” thing, but deep inside I think there is a part of me that is still deathly shy….like, it’s my first day of school type of shyness and the thought of walking in a room, with business cards on hand makes me want to run in a different direction and come up with every excuse I can. But I seriously need to get over it. Seriously.

My Phone: Raise your hand if you go on Facebook and Twitter too much. Crap. Like when did that happen? How am I holding Preston with one arm and glancing at my Facebook feed in the other??? What the heck is wrong me? I have to admit when I’m in “mommy world” I feel like it’s an outlet for me, but I still could cut down how attached I am to the thing. Sheesh.

Client Experience: Thank You notes, timely follow ups with potential clients via email, personal connections. I’m always looking to see how I can improve my client connections. Every day this year I told myself that I would set a “power day” aside to put postage on thank you envelopes, work on personalizing my paperwork a bit more, but it never happened.

Blogging: Writing is something I used to love but from two blog post a month, cut down to one, cut down to none is not working. Also before I used to just type whatever came to mind and not worry too much about making my voice sound “perfect.” Now I find myself rereading my posts, changing sentences that I don’t think readers would understand. I’m not perfect so why does it matter so much?

Finances: On the business end, SO need to work on this. I want to spend my day playing with pretty paper and making gorgeous layouts for my clients, but the reality is that as a business owner I need to have a handle on every aspect of my business. Steve has always handled the finance end of Chic Sweets, but I’m pretty he wants me more involved and more in tune with this area. And Steve–if you happen to read this, please stop laughing.

Finances (family): Honesty coming. Four boys, financially, is not easy. Lunch money, tuition, clothes, but I’m convinced instead of worrying about it (which is what I do 24-7) we need to think of better ways to manage finances on a monthly basis. And I feel like this sounds like such a cliché….New Year Resolutions—work on finances thing, but I’m convinced if we made some real lifestyle changes, that it wouldn’t be so hard.

Taking care of ME: Last time I went to the doctor for plain ole’ physical? Exercise? Diet? Dentist? Goodness, it was bad this year. And I know I should cut myself some slack…you have a houseful of boys…maybe it’s just not in the cards for you. But, whatever. I’ve got to make some changes. Same with Steve—I’m oh, so sure he wouldn’t mind some time for himself, to do whatever he wants. Yup, got to figure all of that out.

So that is where I’m at, my real list is a bit longer but this is just a snippet.

Next up-the hard work. Goals, action steps, all the good stuff. Yippee! Next week, I’ll likely interrupt these series of blog posts for a really wonderful (and colorful) shoot I did with my friend Shay Cochrane not too long ago BUT again, go to Lara Casey’s blog for all the goal setting, what fires-you-up goodness!

Have a great weekend everyone!