Thursday, March 31, 2011

Ice Cream Cone Balloons

Party Decor DIY.

Who wants regular balloons when you can have ice cream cone balloons? I think this is a cute spin on a traditional party favorite. Check out how to pull it off here.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Double Down Delicious

Cocktail Recipe.

Before our recent trip to Vegas, I happened to see a segment on Drinking Made Easy about a place called the Double Down Saloon - the home of the Bacon Infused Vodka Martini.

Many places have followed bacon trend, but the Double Down was the first to mix a little oink with their Stoli.



And this is how it's done:

Bacon Infused Vodka Martini
1 Bottle of Vodka
5 - 6 strips of crispy bacon
1 Large Mason Jar

Place the bacon and vodka in the large jar and store in the fridge for several days or up to a week**. Strain the mixture and return to the jar or bottle. Serve shaken with ice in a chilled martini glass

**Note: The bacon will go back to looking raw after sitting in the liquid for several days, but it is totally fine and still completely cooked.



And if this seems to scary to you, try using the infused vodka your standard Bloody Mary. It's like breakfast in a glass. Yummo!!

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Link Love.

Tuesday Inspiration.

Turqoise Tulips and Bliss
Love the use of ribbons to dress up a plain white chair.



Chocolate Shavings
Baked Apple Donuts and a hot cup of coffee.



Country Living
Different spin on the ever popular wall of mirrors look.



Paper, plate and plane
Make someone's day with special date stamped wrapping paper.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Not Yo Mama's Applesauce...Shot

Cocktail Recipe.

My hubby and I were in Vegas for the beginning of March Madness/St. Patty's Day which involved lots of beer, lots of betting, and lots of screaming at our failing brackets.

Luckily, I sat next to two very lucky guys from Missouri that were so happy with their winnings that they felt the need to share their cheer with us via a shot that tasted like this...



That's right. I'm talking about a shot that tastes just like applesauce. It is AWESOME. Add it to your repertoire and be happy.

Applesauce Shot
1 part Goldschlagger
1 part Apple Pucker
1 part Pineapple Juice

Shake with ice in a cocktail shaker. Strain into shot glasses. Bottoms up.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Cheater's Paradise

Cupcake Decorating.

Talk about a “wow” factor! These cupcakes are fun and a perfect way to enter into Spring.



You can skip all the mixing, dirty dishes and oven time by purchasing some cupcakes and then all that’s left is the fun part. It’ll be our little secret. Check out the tutorial here.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Karl Lagerfeld Diet

Packaging.

As if I didn't need another reason why I need to take a European sojourn this Spring...

Coca Cola has teamed with Karl Lagerfeld to create this limited edition bottle of Coca Cola Light.



I would love to use these at a springtime party, but they are available only across the pond starting in April. Guess I need to book a flight, eh?

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Please take the cake.

Favor.

There is nothing quite as elegant as a beautiful cake sitting on a cake stand. It makes a great display and is a special treat, but let’s face it…who has time to bake cakes from scratch nowadays. That’s why special occasions are the perfect time to break out the yellowed and tattered cake recipes that you been saving and get to work.



One thing about cake is that it is a serious dessert, there is nothing light and airy about a slice. I find that a lot of times people decline cake for this reason, because they are full from their meal and the couple of cocktails. That’s why I love these little take away boxes especially designed for cake slices. They are cute and convenient and who would turn down a nice little treat with the following morning’s coffee?

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Shabby Apple Giveaway Winner

Thanks to everyone for entering our Shabby Apple Giveaway. We're happy to say we have a winner...



Congrats to Brittany Kennedy, who is following SA on twitter and loves their Cider Dress.

Thanks to all who entered and stay tuned for another wonderful contest soon.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Link Love.

Tuesday Inspiration.

Rex & Regina
I love this display of escort cards in baby’s breath.



Call Me Cupcake
Gorgeous. Gorgeous. Gorgeous.



Home Shopping Spy
Spring bike-riding in style.



Grain Edit
This illustration from I Love Dust is SO cool.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Shabby Apple Giveaway

Contest/Giveaway.

Don't miss out on your chance. Today is your last day to enter to win this...



Details on how to enter are here.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Easter Goodies

Kids Treat.

Whenever I am in a situation where I have to provide treats for kids I always have an internal struggle on what kind of items to include. I want the kids to have the sugary treats that they like but don’t want them to bounce off the walls. And most children’s events have some sort of activity that requires them to at least stay still for a few minutes and nothing is worse than a room full of hopped up kids on a candy rush.



When I saw this post from No Fuss Fabulous I immediately thought “bingo”. Kids love fish shaped cheesy crackers and what a cute display that makes it extra special. So, if your name is coming up on the treat list at school, church or for Easter activities. This little carrot ensures that you will be a hit with both the kids and the parents.

Friday, March 18, 2011

Tulip Tricks

Floral.

Just when you think you can't handle another dreary grey day, Spring finally appears...well...kind of.

I know that technically the first day of Spring is next week, but Chicago is still feeling mighty winter-like to me. But I do have one thing to brighten my gloomy days - fresh cut tulips.



Actually, this is my favorite flower time of year and it's all because of tulips. They are almost always rather inexpensive and easy to find, come in a wealth of lovely colors, and are very easy to care for and arrange. And my favorite part is that they actually look better after a few days when they sort of fall into lazy swooping bundles of brightness.

Fresh cut flowers are a bit of an indulgence, but they add so much life to a space. Here are a few tips to extend the life of your floral investment in tulips:


Remove Foliage from the part of the stems that will be under water in your vase.

Cut off any white portion of the stem to allow better fluid intake. To prevent the intake of air into the stems, give them a fresh cut under water. Place immediately in a vase filled with water and fresh flower nutrients (preservative).

Recut 1 inch from the flower stems every 4-5 days to maintain water uptake.

Check the water in the vase frequently.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Eggcelent

Food DIY.

Now, I wouldn’t do this all the time. But it doesn’t seem that difficult if you needed to pull out the “wow” factor. I think it would be a cute surprise for a ladies luncheon served on top of a cobb salad.



Via Bramblewood Fashion.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Irish Soda Bread

Food.

The Irish aren't necessarily known for being a source of great culinary creations, but they do have some redeeming food options. And I'm not talking about the potato.

Irish Soda bread is slightly sweet and ever so tasty when served warm with pat of butter. It makes fabulous toast in the morning, or a great accompaniment to the standard meat and potato fare that my very Irish husband often requests.

I was very pleased to receive this recipe from one of my cousin-in-laws, because I'm confident that they'd know how to do this simple bread just right. So for St. Patty's Day tomorrow, I may not be making corned beef and cabbage...but there will be plenty of bread to soak up our Guinness.


Photo courtesy of Living a Beautiful Life



IRISH SODA BREAD

4 CUPS FLOUR
1 1/2 CUPS SUGAR
1 1/2 TSP. BAKING POWDER
1 TSP. BAKING SODA
1 TSP. SALT
1 CUP RAISINS
2 EGGS - BEATEN
6 TABLESPOONS MELTED BUTTER
2 CUPS BUTTERMILK

MIX DRY INGREDIENTS. ADD EGGS,BUTTER AND BUTTERMILK. FOLD IN RAISINS (USE A WOODEN SPOON TO MIX THE BATTER).

POUR BATTER INTO 2 GREASED LOAF PANS AND BAKE AT 350 DEGREES FOR 40-50 MINUTES. SERVE WARM WITH A PAT OF BUTTER.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Link Love.

Tuesday Inspiration.

Joy the Baker
I could use a toasted marshmallow milkshake right about now.



Decorista Daydreams
Love this chevron wall.



The blog is found
Great focal point.



qweddings
Who doesn't need a tambourine at a wedding?

Monday, March 14, 2011

Shabby Apple Giveaway

Contest/Giveaway.

Recently, I was going through old photographs of my husband's grandparents from when they were courting and I couldn't help but think how fabulous they looked. Everyone just dressed so much smarter and women's clothes were made to make a women's figure look glamorous. Don't you wish that you could find some of those amazing, timeless wardrobe pieces today?

Well, you can. Shabby Apple has a huge selection of vintage inspired clothing that will make you feel as classy as Jackie Kennedy and as sexy as Joan Holloway. And I am ever so jealous that one of our readers is going to win one of my favorite dresses from their Berkshire Collection (pictured below).



You can enter our contest in two different ways:

Option 1: Visit the Shabby Apple site, choose your favorite dresses, and then leave us a comment about them below.

Option 2: Become a follower of their blog and then tell us that have in a comment below.

Either way, make sure we have a way to contact you in your comment when we choose the winner. You have until March 21st to enter and we'll be announcing the winner on March 23rd. Good luck!!

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Edible TeaCups

Party Idea.

If you are planning on having a little girl’s birthday party anytime soon, these cute edible tea cups may be just what you need to inspire a theme.



They would be perfect for Alice in Wonderland, garden party, afternoon tea or dress up day. In the photo they have used candy but I think I would use a scoop of strawberry ice cream for dessert. Check out the tutorial here.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Blue Print for Success??

Food.

I've thought about trying a dietary cleanse before, but I've always chickened out because I really like food. But I think this is my year to be adventurous. I'm not trying to lose a ton of weight, but I'd rather not feel like the human equivalent of a cheeseburger. So after a winter of rich foods, I just need to give my body...well...a cleanse.

I read about the Blue Print Cleanse on Joy the Baker and thought that if my fellow food lover could survive, I certainly can as well.



So have any of you guys ever tried Blue Print or any other kind of cleanse. What do you think?

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Colored Spoons

DIY.

I love this idea and tutorial that Creatively Christy put together.



For one, I think the silverware looks modern and chic and I like the way the bright color makes the pattern pop. Number two, you can find inexpensive cutlery almost anywhere: Flea markets, dollar stores and garage sales. Finally, what a way to add a little zing to your tablescape and the process is easy enough and inexpensive enough that you can customize any or all events.


Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Fancy Baked Potato

Recipe.

As I have mentioned before, I am a girl with a Midwest upbringing and a healthy love for meat and potatoes. When having a get together with friends and family, I always try to serve the perfect partnership of steak and potato. But let’s face it, I care as much about the food as the presentation on the plate and a brown lumpy baked potato is hard to work with.



That’s why I was excited to read about the Swedish potato called the Hasselback on Chicho’s Kitchen. It has all the same qualities of a baked potato plus presentation. Crispy on the outside and creamy on the inside plus pleasing to the eye, makes me almost weepy!

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Link Love

Tuesday Inspiration.

Sweetapolita
Chocolate Marshmallow cake…oh my.



Remodelista
Finally a design-friendly fluorescent bulb that lets off warm white light.



Funky Black Owl
This Holstein-printed bombe chest is gorgeous!!



Garance Dore
Well hello, Gucci…where have you been all of my life?

Monday, March 7, 2011

Bulb Favors

DIY.

I love a fresh new idea for wedding favors and Once Wed has a great idea that would be perfect for a spring wedding - Wedding Bulb Planters made with vintage tin cans.



And the bright colors are making me so excited for spring events!!

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Succulents

Floral

I’ve never been shy about my love of succulents and I use them whenever possible in planning events. However, this week my goal is to add a few into my home d├ęcor. These are a few of the photos that inspired me…maybe they will inspire you as well.




Friday, March 4, 2011

Cocktail du Jour

Cocktail recipe.

Last night the hubby and I dined in a Manhattan hot spot. One of those places that takes reservations exactly 30 days out and had me poised with phone in hand dialing 9digits and waiting to hit number 10 until exactly time to light up the reservations line. It worked!

While we were waiting for our table we decided to have a cocktail at the bar. Upon being seated the bartender said, “Would you like to see the regular cocktail menu or the meat cocktail menu?” It was taking me a little longer than usual to respond, as my mind kept going to Snooki and remembering something she once said regarding a meat tail. I’m thinking they are two different things.



Turns out infusing spirits with meat has become a new trend. I ordered a drink called “the butcher” and while it wasn’t bad and I was pretty thrilled with my piece of jerky, I’ll have to pass on this trend. I don’t fancy myself ordering a moogarita instead of a margarita any time soon. If you would like taste test for yourself, check out this recipe.

The Butcher

1 strip beef jerky
1/4 oz. honey syrup
2 oz. aged rum
1 orange peel
dash of whiskey bitters

Soak beef jerky in aged rum for 30 minutes. Stir infused rum, honey syrup and bitters and pour into a martini glass. Flame an orange peel. Use slice of beef jerky for garnish. (To make honey syrup, mix 2 oz. honey with 1 oz. hot water.)

Thursday, March 3, 2011

BHLDN

Bridal Attire.

My goodness...I cannot stop drooling over Anthroplogie's new Bridal line, BHLDN (as in "beholden"). Gorgeous in ways that I cannot explain...love, love, love.


Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Apothica Giveaway Winner

Contest.

Thanks so much to everyone for entering to win our fabulous Apothica giveaway. We're happy to announce that we have a winner...



Congratuations to KrispyTinCan on your $25 gift certificate! We'll be emailing you today so you can claim your prize.

And everyone should stay tuned next week for another fabulous giveaway!!!

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Link Love.

Tuesday Inspiration.

Artisan Bread In Five
Pizzzaaaa on a stick!



Apartment #34
Need more space…go vertical.



Pretty Little Weddings
Love this starry night themed wedding.



Home
Gives new meaning to "dining on the water."