Friday, September 30, 2011


Are you wanting to have a gathering but don’t have the time to do all the planning that a Halloween bash takes? How about getting a few friends together for an Oktoberfest celebration instead? Who doesn’t love sausage, mustard and a few delicious German brews. Check out this spread of Oktoberfest recipes, you are sure to find something fantastic.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Apple Cider Cups

I adore apple cider and this cute apple cup presentation could not be more fantastic!

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Charming Cheese Markers


I love all cheese. Stinky. Sharp. Soft. Hard. Blue. Goat. They are all more than alright with me.

However, my husband has a very distinct set of criteria of cheese that he will eat. So he needs fair warning when we have a large cheese display. Which is why these charming cheese markers from Beach House Living are perfect for us.

Wouldn't you like some too?

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Link Love.

Tuesday Inspiration.

Aunt Clara’s Kitchen
A humble Dominican honey candy gets a little makeover. And it’s easy to make…only two ingredients!

Umm…how gorgeous is that fireplace? And don’t even get me started on the chandelier!

My oh my this is a gorgeous wedding cake.

The Indigo Bunting
If your nephew asks for a Thor-themed birthday party, you should make it as adorable as this.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Hip Hermes


Hermes scarves are about as iconic as it gets, but the price and traditionalist idea of a neck scarf has always kept me firmly outside of the store window peaking in...never buying.

But in the last year, I have been loving the idea of wearing a scarf over my hair in a style reminiscent of Jackie O in the 70's. Heck...I'm even loving the Man Repelling turband that Leandra Medine sports.

And to further peak my interest, my aunt gave me a copy of the new Hermes lookbook...

Be still, my heart. These pics feature some great new punchier and modern takes on the Hermes scarf. And some of the creative ways that they feature using the scarves (as a belt, a bag, a skirt, a top) goes a long way in encouraging the investment.

Le sigh. I might have to wander in the store and take a closer look at these beauties.

PS. How gorgeous are these enamel bracelets too?

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Classic Bridal Beauty


When I watched the Royal Wedding this April, I was absolutely taken by how classically lovely Kate looked in her gown. And I also thought, " looks like the new bridal gown trend is going to be a bit more conservative." And you know what? I'm glad.

For the last few years, most dresses that had sleeves or covered your shoulders looked a bit dowdy. So why would you ever pick a dowdy wedding dress over a lovely yet more revealing strapless mermaid gown? Duh.

Now, designers are producing lovely options with lace sleeves, classic (non-cupcake like) shapes, and simple elegance. Can you imagine how timeless your wedding photos would be in these lovely gowns? I think it is absolutely refreshing. What do you think?

All dresses by Rosa Clara.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Gin Goodness

Cocktail Recipe.

Gin and I have been enemies ever since a night in college long ago when my friend was a bit too generous with her pour in our gin & tonics. I try to like gin because it is in so many classic cocktails, but one sniff gives me a shiver shake and wave of nausea. Not so fun.

During Fashions Night Out, someone did the bait and switch on me. Intermix was serving 3 lovely punches and it wasn't until after I had already tasted a few sips of my delicious drink that I saw this...

Gorgeous bottle? Yes.

But it is enemy!!

However it didn't taste like my enemy. In fact, it was quite delicious. So there may be hope for my yet. I can finally proudly display a gin bottle on my bar with out cringing. And if you'd like to try the drink that had me so smitten, here you go:

The Darby

1 1/2 oz Bols Genever
1/2 oz Simple Syrup
1/2 oz Fresh Squeezed Lemon Juice
Lemon Twist
Brandied Cherry

Combine Bols Genever, Simple Syrup, and Lemon Juice in a shaker with ice. Pour into a cocktail coupe glass. Top with champagne and garnish with a lemon twist and a brandied cherry.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Decor Inspiration

Interior Design.

I am a mid-century modern junkie. Saarinen, Florence Knoll, Eames, Bertoia...they are all mighty nice in my book. And one of my favorite stores in the whole world for fabulous vintage pieces is Post 27 in Chicago. They have a fabulously edited selection of vintage furniture mixed in with new products from local designers of both decor and fashion. Love.

So I've been very happy to add their blog, The Outpost, to my list of Sunday blog browsing. Every Sunday they feature an inspiration picture featuring vintage interior images. And they always inspire me. I recommend you add The Outpost to your Sunday browsing list as well...

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Moveable Mummies

I check out family chic blog as often as possible because I always find a fun, adorable project like the moveable mummy. All you need is some flexible wire and muslin.

The uses for these fun crafts are limitless. They could be used at spooky place cards at a dinner party. If you are up for the challenge, put all the mummies into fun poses that remind you of your guests. Check out yoga mummy here.

You could also use them to hold food labels for your buffet or just placed strategically around the party with funny signs. Halloween always makes for a fun bash but moveable mummies could make it epic!

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Link Love

Martha Stewart
Planning your Halloween bash…how about shrunken heads in cider?

Style Me Pretty
This table scape is GORGEOUS!

Apartment Therapy
How clever.

Nook and Pantry
Thumbprint pumpkin butter cookies…enough said.

Monday, September 19, 2011

UV Cake Vodka

So what do you do if you own a vodka company and you are celebrating your 10th anniversary? You celebrate with a limited edition cake vodka of course. I checked out the official website and was intrigued by many of the fun cocktail recipes shown. Also, it is a low calorie vodka…what?

Next time you are attending a celebratory function of any kind. Leave the cupcakes at home and bring the cake vodka instead.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Apple Cider Caramels

Nothing says fall more than apple picking. This year the weekends seem to be a little crazy and I haven’t yet worked out a way to get in a good apple picking session. But I decided to get my fall fix in another way.

I saw this recipe on Blondie’s cakes and normally anything that involves a candy thermometer has me running the other way. But I decided I would plan a day over the next couple of weeks and give these little treats a whirl and bring on the feeling of fall.

What are some of the ways you prep for fall?

Friday, September 16, 2011

Cake Stencils

Baking Supply.

I love to look through baking supply stores and catalogues to get inspiration for sweet treats, and Fancy Flours definitely brought back some memories with their large assortment of cake and cupcake stencils.

When I was little, my mother loved to come up with creative cakes for all of our birthdays, and she never disappointed. One of my favorite creations was when she took a white cake, cocoa powder, and the stencil of a cowboy hat to create an amazing Country Western-themed cake for my dad. I thought it was magic.

So if you need any new ways to gussy up your cakes, cupcakes or cookies, check out Fancy Flours' selection of stencils. Maybe your kids will think your skills are magic as well.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Fancy Olives


When you are having a cocktail party, it is VERY tempting to go crazy making a ton of appetizers. But think about your favorite bars and lounges. They usually have containers of spiced nuts and other little nibbles at the bar. That's it. So why are we working so hard?

One of my favorite nibbles when having a cocktail is olives. You can buy some really nice assortments at Whole Foods. But if you want to take just a teeny tiny bit of effort and marinate them to create something very unique, I have a recipe for you.

Citrus Marinated Olives
From the Bon Appetit Test Kitchen

2 cups mixed oil-packed olives
1/2 orange, quartered into wedges and thinly sliced
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
3 garlic cloves
1 tablespoon crushed coriander seeds
2 bay leaves
1 small red chile, halved lengthwise

Place the mixed oil-packed olives in a bowl with the orange. In a small saucepan over low heat, combine the extra-virgin olive oil, garlic cloves, crushed coriander seeds, bay leaves, and the red chile. Cook until fragrant and garlic begins to brown, about 20 minutes. Remove pan from heat and let steep for 1 hour. Pour oil mixture over olives and stir to coat. Marinate at room temperature for 2 hours, or cover and chill up to 4 days. Bring to room temperature before serving.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Bunch of Bangles


Stacking lots of bracelets is in. Stacking lots of bracelets that don't cost an arm and a leg makes me happy.

So these bracelets make me a Happy Hip Hostess. Yay!

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Link Love.

Tuesday Inspiration.

The Kitchn
Jam-filled biscuits would be the perfect way to start the day…

The Cinderella Project
This gorgeous butterfly blouse is everything…

Coco Cake
I think this display of floral designed cupcakes on the rustic cake stand is SO lovely.

Threading in the Choirs
The ceiling detail in this NYC resto makes me smile.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Preschool Parties Winner

Contest Winner.

Thanks to all for entering to win the fabulous book, "Preschool Parties: Easy Ideas for Princesses, Pirates, and Other Little People."

Our randomly selected winner is...

Erin, who said:

I have a 4 year old little girl with fantasies about tea parties, pricess parties, pirates and hidden treasures. To say that planning parties for her is a small task quite the understatement. I end up spending so much of my time searching on the internet and scoping out party blogs. What a wonderful idea to compile it all into an adorable book full of inspiration and magic to any child. I could simply show my daughter the book to give her ideas for her birthday rather than blindly asking what she'd like. Thank you so much for the chance to win!

Congrats, Erin!

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Grilled PB&J

I know, I know…what could slapping a little butter on a PB&J and throwing it in a skillet really do? Believe me the end result is heaven. Since I have trouble actually enjoying the sandwich since it involves smothering the already caloric peanut butter with extra butter, I came up with a solution.

Think appetizer. I cut mine into bite size pieces and served with toothpicks on a tray topped with peanuts and lemon leaves. Everyone loved the adult spin on a childhood classic and now I am trying to think of other sandwiches that could become appetizers… maybe nutella and banana? Next, I think I will look for a cute lunch box and serve them tableside.

Friday, September 9, 2011

Seeing Red


I've been lugging around my September issues of all the magazines to see what's new in the world of fashion and beauty. And you know what? Red lipstick is still in.

I, for one, am completely psyched that I can still go rouge because I've assembled a cast of 3 fool-proof colors that I rotate for everyday wear. And even though I was hesitant at first to wear them (are people staring at my bright red lips???), I soon got over that. There isn't a day that goes by that I don't get a complement on my daring I must be doing something right.

So today, I'm sharing my secret weapons with you dear readers. Get out and buy one. You'll love them!!

Chanel Rouge Coco Shine - Rebelle
Slightly coral and sheer. No fuss application for daytime wear. I also layer over other colors to add extra shine.

Laura Mercier Creme Lipstick - Sunrise
Slightly more orange undertone to this creamy red color. I wear this for both more formal day or night occasions. The Chanel color from above looks great layered over this for a glossier look.

Lorac Breakthrough Performance 15 SPF Lipstick - Leading Lady
This is the lipstick that sparked my red love affair. More of a cool undertone, but what I would call a true red. The moisturizing texture feel luxurious when you wear it. LOVE it for evening.