Wilton Mom ReTreat 2010, Chicago

By Shannon Gosney
In Blogging Events
August 30, 2010

I love working with Wilton!  I’ve worked with them during Halloween of 2009, hosted a Cookie Exchange for Christmast 2009, and am getting ready to post a special giveaway that correlates with the Wilton Mom ReTreat I attended in Chicago last month – along with 6 other bloggers!

I had never been to Chicago before and had a BLAST when I attended the Wilton Mom ReTreat in June!  Not only did I learn more about Wilton, but I had the special opportunity to meet the people behind it all – from Marketing to Product Development to Yearbook Designers and more!  It was so neat to meet the people in person who I’ve worked with over email and it even turned out that one of the very important people working for Wilton is the son of some of my parents’ friends!  I am amazed at what a fantastic company Wilton is!

When we first entered Wilton Headquarters, we were surrounded by beautifully designed and decorated cakes.  The room in which we took the course included the cakes that were photographed for the 2011 Catalog!  There were cakes for boys, girls, Halloween, Christmas, weddings, and more.  It was amazing!

During the Wilton Mom ReTreat, we had the opportunity to complete the new Wilton Decorating Basics Course – part of the new curriculum Wilton has developed.  It was so much fun and I feel like I can more easily decorate a good-looking cake than before!  We learned how to make icing, ice a cake, decorate a cake (stars, shells, flowers), and decorate cupcakes and cookies as well.  We also learned how to create flowers, including mums and roses.  Our first day was started off by Ann, who is amazing at decorating cakes!

We started with a cake and used a cake leveler to create a flat surface.  Then we piped a border around the bottom layer and filled it with a pack of pudding.  Next, we placed the other layer on top and iced the remainder of the cake.  Next we decorated a picture of a cupcake on the top of the cake.  At first I thought there was no way I could do that free hand, but then I learned how.  You take a picture of the cupcake and place a layer of wax paper over the picture.  You then take piping gel and trace it.  Next, you take the wax paper and turn it over so that the gel is on top of the cake.  You press your hand on the wax paper and smooth it out, thereby transferring the gel to the cake.  From there, you decorate the cupcake with different tips and colors of icing.  Awesome huh? 

I was actually pretty impressed with the way my cake turned out.  In fact, I took it back to the hotel with me and enjoyed a little bit of it with Jenn and Tanya!  Cake fight included – lol!  It was definitely much easier than I ever imagined it to be.  I was having so much fun with the cake decorating class and couldn’t wait to learn more!  We definitely had a blast!

For lunch, we enjoyed some yummy Chicago-style pizza and salad.  The pizza was so good!  It was unlike any pizza I’d had before.  The pizza was layered with cheese, toppings, and then sauce.  We all ate it with a fork.  It was the most delicious thing ever.

While in Chicago, we also had the opportunity to meet some important people, such as the product development team, Wilton Yearbook Designer, Marketing Director, and of course our beloved blogger rep!  We also met some new people that we will meet again – MARIO!!!!  He was awesome!

We had some amazing dinners – with good food, great service, and lots of laughter.  Let’s just say that at this dinner, I learned about an English dessert that had a VERY interesting and funny title.  This will always be an inside joke with a few of us.  I also found new friends in some of the bloggers I met.  They were there to emotionally support me when I had a little bit of a hard time at the event and for that I am so grateful.  You girls know who you are and will always have a special place in my heart! 🙂

The next day, we learned how to make roses.  It was so much fun!  I was so excited to have made a rose that actually looked really good and I shouted out with excitement, “Yes!”  Followed by that was a loud PLOP!  Dangit!  My rose on the wax paper flew off the Rose Nail and landed on the floor – upside down of course!  At least we all had a good laugh about it!  LOL  In addition to the roses, we learned how to write with icing.  I did surprisingly well at this task!  I made a special “Wilton Mom ReTreat” cake for the occasion.  Hopefully the staff at Wilton enjoyed it!

That night, Mario (our wonderful limo driver) took a few of us for a night out on the town – downtown Chicago.  It was so much fun!  We drove around Chicago and he showed us some of the main historical spots.  It was so much fun! 

During the event, we also had the opportunity to attend the Wilton Big Tent Sale (AMAZING!!!) and on the final day, we learned how to make flowers with gum paste and icing.  They were so much easier to make than I ever imagined!

I look forward to working with Wilton and serving as a Mom Ambassador.  Wilton is an amazing company and I wish the greatest of things for them!  Thank you again for everything Wilton!

Wilton sponsored the Wilton Mom ReTreat and provided all accommodations and products for this event.  All opinions expressed in this post are 100% mine.

About Has 4151 Posts

Shannon Gurnee is the author of RedheadMom formerly "The Mommy-Files", a national blog with a loyal following. She has a Bachelor's Degree in Marriage, Family, and Human Development with a Minor in Business Management. Shannon and her husband, Frank, have a large family with 6 awesome kids and love living on the Central Coast near San Luis Obispo, California, as well as traveling around the world. A full-time Social Media and Professional Blogger, Shannon also serves as a National Brand Ambassador for many well-known companies. Her blog focuses on motherhood, family fun activities, traveling, fashion, beauty, technology, wedding ideas and recipes while providing professional opinions on products, performances, restaurants, and a variety of businesses.

6 Responses to “Wilton Mom ReTreat 2010, Chicago”

  1. Sharon says:

    Looks like a fun event! I’ve always wanted to take a Wilton cake decorating class. Love the tip about getting the cupcake outline on the top of the cake. What a clever idea!

  2. […] have LOVED working with Wilton and am honored to be working with the team as a Wilton Mom Ambassador.  Birthdays, holidays, and other celebrations are very important in my family and thanks to […]

  3. Karen R says:

    I didn’t know the trick to making designs like the cupcake. I just love Chicagi deep-dish pizza. Your cakes look good!

  4. Looks like so much fun… you did a fantastic job & I’m sure the Wilton staff LOVED your cake.
    How funny that your rose fell onto the floor, you poor thing.
    I’m glad you had such a great time in Chicago.

  5. Jenn says:

    Looks like a great event. I can see why you love it so much. I would enjoy being a part of an event like this.

  6. […] and I am proud to represent them in the blogosphere!  In fact, a few months back, I attended the Wilton Mom ReTreat and experienced the all-new Decorating Basics Course.  It was rewarding and so much fun!  We […]

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