I'm 30!

Monday, February 28, 2011

Last night I celebrated my 30th birthday with a star-studded Oscar's party of awesome family & friends. My mom and I co-planned this party filled with a few special touches. The red carpet cake consisted of layers of vanilla with red velvet in the middle (the red carpet!).

There were props for people to dress up as their pic for best picture. Here is reader Brian (who flew in from Chicago!) doing his best True Grit. He's also using one of my homemade moustache sticks (my grandma liked them too!)

Me & the hubs on the "red carpet." Notice my "half black swan, half white swan" dress.

The popcorn bar!

Who wore it best? Or as my mom says "Bitch stole my look." Steve is wearing one of the "Emergency Bow Ties" that I made! Of course Brady and Brian won the Oscar poll with 14 correct answers each. Steve came in second with 13 right picks!!

A big thanks to the Academy, God and everyone for coming out last night for the party! It's always nice when your birthday rolls around to be reminded how awesome the people in your life are!! I love you all!
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Oh You Fancy, Huh?

Friday, February 25, 2011

Oh how things have changed in a year. Last February I spent my days and nights outside the tents of Bryant Park during Fashion Week. Hearing the bumps of the music from the shows through my hotel window. This year, I’m living in the suburbs, knocking on 30’s door and putting on my Sunday best pitching a tent in my living room (I kid).

Drooling over the fall 2011 looks, I picked out my favorites.

Prabal Gurung• I die. DIE. The collar on the red/black combo, the potential red carpet dress and finally, the PINK COAT. AUGH!

Jason Wu• I would bet that Mrs. O liked this collection just as much as I did. I can see her in any of these Wu looks.

Jill Stuart & Charlotte Ronson
• I felt both of these looks were very wearable – right off the runway.

Victoria Beckham, Lela Rose, Nicole Miller
• I will call this group the wearable women.
• Watch this look from Victoria Beckham. The sweater / sweatshirt combo with a skirt beginning to trend – starting with spring 2011.
• Love the Lela Rose dress pairing with the knee socks.
• I’m seeing a lot of asymmetrical necklines! I enjoy the colors of this Nicole Miller.

Lace, Sparkle and Fringe…Oh, My!
Monique Lhuilier
Naeem KahnOscar de la Renta
If I was a movie star…
I’d wear these
Lela Rose
Jason Wu
Oscar de la Renta
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Captain is Calling

Thursday, February 24, 2011

(in best Oprah voice)

It’s a reader’s birthday and you know what that means….

(pointing fingers)


Just kidding. It’s…..


Today is reader Lauren’s 30th birthday. When I asked what drink I should feature as her favorite, she mentioned that she recently switched her go to, but “For the last eight year’s it’s been Captain & Coke.” Since I’ve never featured that dirty old pirate on this blog, I figured that it was time to pay homage to Captain Morgan.

According to the ever awesome Wikipedia, Captain Morgan is named after Captain Henry Morgan. – a “ruthless,” successful, Spanish privateer who dominated the Caribbean in the 1600’s.

In 1944, the Seagram Company began producing Captain Morgan in Puerto Rico, but the recipe came from a distillery in Jamaica. In 1984, the rum was introduced to the United States and, by volume, it’s the second largest brand of spirits to this day and the seventh worldwide. In 2001, Seagrams sold the brand to Diageo.

There are give or take 11 varieties of Captain Morgan on the market. The rum is distilled from sugar cane and some other goodies and then it is distilled in an oak barrel for up to a year to give it a golden color.

Captain has always remained popular, but as someone always interested in alcohol-marketing news, I’ve really liked it’s recent campaigns focusing on the “Show Us Your Captain” pose.

Happy Birthday, Laur! Have some Captain tonight!!
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Smell My Rosettes

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

(Shirt of the left, Old Navy. Shirt no the right, my new Old Navy shirt)

You all know my obsession with girly rosettes and ruffles. Well I recently took that love to a whole new level when I taught myself how to make rosettes. Give a girl a sewing kit, some tulle, wine and a Saturday night and…

Whooola. I turned an $8.50 Old Navy tee into a J.Crew-like top! I’ve also used this new skill to make an Anthropoligie-like necklace and a J.Crew-like belt.

While Google reveled a number of patterns for rosettes, I used this one from Brittsoucey.com.
I'm taking requests! Just send me your color preferences and if you want a belt, necklace or shirt! It may take a few days, but I'll make it!!
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Star-Studded Birthday

Sunday, February 20, 2011

I’m a sucker for a good theme / costume party. Therefore, I’m planning a star-studded bash to say farewell to my 20’s. You see, my birthday falls on February 27th – the same day as the Academy Awards. While I’m never one to suggest a Sunday Funday party, I am hoping my friends make this one an exception!

I’ve asked guests to dress “festively.” I’m usually the one that hates this description, so with a week to go, I wanted to give my guests some attire ideas.
· Sequins. No explanation needed.
· Tuxedo shirt. No one wants to wear the full thing. Keep it simple. Party on the top, casual on the bottom!

You can also take a tip from one of the movies nominated for Best Picture…
· Black Swan – who doesn’t love tutu’s.
· The Fighter – boxer
· Inception – come in your pajamas
· The Kids Are All Right – same sex couple
· The King’s Speech – duh, the king!
· 127 Hours – one-armed hiker
· Social Network – Facebook profile or “Like” button shirt
· Toy Story 3 – Buzz, Woddy or your favorite toy! (Barbie! Lol)
· True Grit – cowboy
· Winter’s Bone – your best snowsuit

And finally, I’m sure best costume will go to the person that comes in full, gold spandex as the Oscar Statue himself!
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Fashionably Bombed.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Fashionably Bombed. This is what I’ve decided that I’m now calling my weekend nights after too much wine, thanks to my new favorite find.

Fashionably Bombed is a blog co-written by adorable sisters Flannery (love the name) and Katherine Good. Yes, their last name is good! How perfect! One is a fashion expert and the other is a former NYC bartender. Talk about the perfect pair!

Not only do they make unique, fun cocktails, but the create some of the most entertaining, chic photo shoots. This blog is just bursting with inspiration! And seriously, how can’t you fall in love with girls that garnish cocktails with a Hostess Snowball cupcake!?

Here are some awesome drink recipes from the Fahsionably Bombed site.

Cupcake Champagne Cocktail
- ½ ounce butterscotch schnapps
- ½ ounce Vanilla Simple Syrup (recipe below)
- 1 teaspoon maraschino cherry juice (from the jar)
- 3 maraschino cherries
- Cupcake sprinkles

To a champagne flute add butterscotch schnapps, Vanilla Simple Syrup, maraschino cherry juice and cherries. Top with champagne and gently stir. Add sprinkles and enjoy!Vanilla Simple Syrup½ cup sugar½ cup water1 whole vanilla bean (seeds scraped out)Combine water, sugar, vanilla bean and seeds in a medium saucepan. Boil until sugar has dissolved, stirring frequently. Let sit for at least one hour. Let cool, strain and store in refrigerator.
# # #

Box of Chocolates Martini
Makes 1
- 1½ ounces chocolate liqueur
- 1½ ounces heavy whipping cream
- 1 ounce vanilla vodka
- 1 teaspoon chocolate syrup
- ½ cup crushed pecans
- Caramel sauce

Add chocolate liqueur, whipping cream, vanilla vodka and chocolate syrup to a shaker with ice and shake vigorously until a frost forms on the outside of the shaker. To garnish the rim, pour caramel sauce onto one plate and pecans onto another plate. Dip glass into caramel sauce and then into pecans. Now run, Forrest, run! But be careful not to spill your martini!
## #

Cherry Vanilla Bean Mojito
Makes 1
- 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice
- 2 tablespoons Vanilla Bean Simple Syrup (see recipe below)
- 10 ripe cherries
- 10 fresh mint leaves
- 2-4 tablespoons white rum
- Club soda to top off

Combine lime juice, vanilla bean syrup, cherries and mint leaves in a highball glass. Next muddle ingredients together. Next add 2-4 tablespoons of white rum (depending on how "Fashionably Bombed" you want to get!) and stir. Add crushed ice and top off with club soda. Garnish with a skewer alternating between cherries and mint leaves!

Vanilla Bean Simple Syrup
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 cup water
- 1 whole vanilla bean
Slice open vanilla bean and scrape out seeds. Combine water, sugar, vanilla bean pod and seeds in a medium saucepan. Boil until sugar has dissolved, stirring frequently. Let cool and store in refrigerator.

(all photos and recipes are from the Fashionably Bombed site)
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Cheers for Beers!

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

This past weekend, I finally had the opportunity to get my digital self in order. That means I’ve finally read / cleaned the work-related Google Reader and then 700+ email newsletters, store coupons, etc. in my Hotmail.

One email from the newsletter, Healthy Bitch Daily, caught my eye. Carolyn Scott-Hamilton (of The Healthy Voyager) listed out the pros of drinking beer – some of which surprised me.

Here are the highlights:
• Beer is fat-free
• Beer is low sugar (vs. a lot of martini’s and mixed drinks)
• Beer has no cholesterol
• Most beer contains malted barley, which is a source of soluble fiber, which aids in healthy poops and slows absorption of food. Some beer averages between 20 – 60 percent of your daily intake of fiber!
• MODERATE consumption of beer has been shown to reduce stress and the chances of heart disease (woah)

Of course with all these positive things, there’s got to be some con’s, right??
• Each beer adds about 150 calories to your day
• The more alcohol in the beer, the more calories there are
• Beer has been shown to send your appetite into overdrive
• Alcohol destroys vitamin C and vitamin B complex
• That term “beer belly” comes from the way beer interferes with those vitamins. Alcohol can effe up the way your tummy burns fat. It also causes the liver to swell.

Healthy Bitch Daily is a great newsletter that puts those confusing health things into simple terms for people like me that hate scientific stuff!
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Can You Hear Me Now?

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Last night, sometimes reader Melissa had one unfortunate thing happen. Her cell phone fell in the potty (Mel, I hope that you don’t mind me sharing this with my millions of readers lol).

Melly’s case is a common problem among cell phone users around the world. Your phone becomes drenched and you too become soaked with tears of sadness.

From my days working on a consumer tech assistance service, I will say, there is a solution. So I’m bringing back Tech Tuesday with a “How do I fix my cell phone if it gets dropped in water” solution.

Sometimes reader Melissa took a good first step in saving her cell. Right now her precious Blackberry is resting in a ziplocked bag (or airtight container) of rice. Score! This is said to help absorb the water. Beef jerky also works. No, really. I’m serious.

Before you place it in the rice, be sure to dry out the phone first with a towel.

Keep the phone in the rice or jerky mixture for the night.

You know what else works? Those silicon beads that come in shoes or leather bags in packs that say “do not eat.” Cut the pack and put the beads into the bag or plastic container. I’ve actually saved a few of these because I’m known to lose / drop things ; )

If you don’t believe me, visit the Geek Squad website.
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I Love You, Cupcake

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Just in time for Valentine’s Day, one of my most beloved winery’s has added my favorite blend to the lineup.

Cupcake Vineyard not only has my favorite word in its name (cupcake), but it also has some adorable, delicious wines.

Yo dudes – if you are making a romantic dinner at home for your honey, then may I suggest the Red Velvet variety? She’ll be impressed and go gaga because the bottle is cute and girly.

I was pleasantly surprised in December when I found a Prosecco blend! The website describes it as “light and refreshing with a nose that shows hints of white peach, grapefruit and honey dew-melon. It pairs well with Gorgonzola wrapped in prosciutto. (mouth.is.watering!)

Shot of Brandi* also approves the Pinot Grigio, Sauvignon Blanc and Merlot.
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Romantic Rosettes

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Seriously. I let out a gasp when I saw this cake.

My rosette self just about passed out when I saw this gem. In fact, it’s a bit ironic because I just got my shirt that looks exactly like this back from J Bo (who denied borrowing it…oh sisters!).

Visit I Am Mommy for the full tutorial on how to make decorate cakes like this!
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Friday, February 11, 2011

True confession: I forgot Valentine’s Day was on Monday.

I was writing one of my fancy blog posts for Thirsty Thursday of next week when it hit me – I can’t put this sexy Valentine’s Day post up on the 17th! Eek! V-day is Monday!

The hubs and I really don’t celebrate the famous Hallmark holiday. But boycotting it gift-wise doesn’t mean that I can’t dress festively!

Here are some ways to throw a little heart into your fashion choice on Monday.

Kate Spade Hearts & Flowers Grace Top

Urban Outfitters Heart Tights
Moschino Cheap & Chic Sequin Shirt
David Yurman Heart Ring
Victoria’s Secret Undies

Fred Flare Heart-Shaped Sunnies
ModCloth Coin Purse
Ban.do Shoe Clips
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Everybody got they cups, but they aint chipped in

Thursday, February 10, 2011

The Grammy’s are this weekend, so when it came to today’s Thirsty Thursday post, I was thinking – there are a lot of alcohol brands mentioned in rap songs.

So as you toast the Grammy’s this weekend, do so with some…
· “Gin & Juice” – Snoop Doggy Dogg
· “Pass the Courvoisier” – Busta Rhymes
· “In Da Club” – We gonna sip Bacardi like it’s your birthday” – 50 Cent
· “Whisky Girl” – Toby Keith (pick your brand poison)

Yes, you may be asking yourself, what are these liquors mentioned in that crazy rap music? Well…
· Hennessy is a cognac
· Cristal is champagne
· Patron is tequila
· Tanqueray is gin
· Alise is a fruity liquor

And once you are, as my dad says “feelin good,” why don’t you play…
· “Bartender”
· “Tipsy” – J-Kwon (what happened to that dude?)
· “Shots” – LMFAO

Finally, when that hangover sets in…
· “Blame it on the Alcohol” - Jamie Foxx & T-Pain
I'm sure that I am forgetting a lot, help a sista out...
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"The Guide To Life As It Should Be"

Wednesday, February 09, 2011

While reading some old party planning stories, I ran across a few articles that feature Colin Cowie. Thankfully, there weren't any pictures of CC (you know I hate looking at him), but there were some clever party tips that I thought I would share.

• Entertain simply. Don’t complicate meals and parties.
• Always look your best, elegant, yet comfortable and relaxed.
• The home is a window into your personality and style. Bring it to life.
• Spend 20 minutes a day cleaning your house
• Decant mouthwash into a sparkling glass container
• Use no less than 400-thread-count sheets and iron them
• Keep the following items in your guest room: notepad, pen, alarm clock, phone, water carafe and glass and a personalized welcome note.

(Sources: ChicagoTribune.com, Miami Herald)
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Some Like It Hot

Tuesday, February 08, 2011


Valentine’s Day is coming up. If you are planning to cook at home, let me recommend some ingredients to spice up your menu. They say that foods can have a sexually stimulating effect on people. Here are some key ingredients to help you “score.”

• Chile Peppers – their heat releases endorphins
• Ginger – said to increase sensitivity in erogenous zones
• Honey – boosts energy
• Mangos – said to increase the male libido
• Chocolate – boosts serotonin
• Almonds – the international symbol of fertility, almonds help sustain stamina
• Rosemary – with its aroma and flavor, it’s said that rosemary could easily be one of the most sensual foods
• Vanilla – said to arouse men and women

You may want to pick a few items from the list. A menu of all of these ingredients could send you into a sensory overload!

(Source: Fork Me, Spoon Me: The Sensual Cookbook via Epicurious)
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Marvelous Monogram

Monday, February 07, 2011

Today's my mom's birthday! Yeah!

If you know my mom, she's more craftier than me. Growing up, I remember my mom saving all of her extra buttons in her sewing box. When she realized that she wasn’t going to use a plethroa of them for their corresponding outfit, she glued them to a plain picture frame to add some jazz.

My mom’s DIY craft reminds me of this one from the blog Tip Junkie. The blogger took some broken jewlery and an initial plaque to create a chic, stylish monogram.

For a tutorial on this project, visit Tip Junkie.
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If you can't beat them, look cuter than them.

Friday, February 04, 2011

Coming out of Super Bowl media day, it seems that reporters were very interested in the players fashion statements. Many reported on Hines Ward’s cowboy hat, Troy Polamalu’s hair and Bretty Keisel’s beard.

So if you are looking to make a fashion statement this weekend, may I please direct you to looks from the best team. Most of these unique finds are from Etsy, because all the sports stores offer the same look (and the VS Pink stuff was sold out!)

Bling Bracelet
Vintage Terrible Towel

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Simple Bowl Party

Thursday, February 03, 2011


I have boy readers. I don’t know how I am hanging on to them with all of my girly talk. I keep trying to satisfy their tastes, but it’s rather difficult when all I can think about is glitter, bows and ruffles. So this one is for you boys.
With the Super Bowl coming up this weekend, I was thinking – what are the essential things you need if you are hosting a party.

SuppliesTelevision – no brainer, right? Make sure that you have enough seats for everyone to see it AND cable
Napkins - or paper towels
Cups – one can never have too many red cups
Toilet Paper - you don’t want run out while you have people over
Girls – come on, you don’t want this to be a sausage party

Wings – order them from your favorite joint. In my case, that would be Hooters. For realzy. Ask Brady where I had my 6th grade birthday party ; )
Pizza – order ahead. Don’t forget to get a plain one for those who may be vegetarian
Chips & Dip – Go for the standard Lays and sour cream and onion dip
Chips & Salsa – Another Super Bowl staple
Cheese – right now, I want to shred the Wisconsin cheese, but who doesn’t love cheese? (lactose intolerant people not included). Just buy some blocks at the grocery store and cut them up
Sandwich Ring – again, something that can be picked up from the store. You may want to put this out during the second half to help sober some people up
Sweets – pick up something chocolate for after dinner cravings. They make a ton of cute stuff at the local grocery store with footballs on it (think cupcakes, cookie cakes, etc)

DrinksBeer – this is an area where I recommend over-buying. Seriously, can you have too much beer? I mean you will drink it at some point, right?
Flavored Vodka – this one is for those silly girls that will tell you that you don’t drink beer. Supply some Sprite for the side and don’t forget ice
Wine – if you are feeling fancy, pick up a few bottles. Let me suggest one red and one white. Boxed wine is kinda hip now too

An added touch? People don’t want to leave the couch during games. Make sure the food and beer are close to the couch (use tables and coolers).

These are the simplest necessities for a successful Super Bowl party!
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7 & 7 for Steelers #7 in 11

Wednesday, February 02, 2011

My loyal readers know that I have a soft spot for all things Pittsburgh. Perrogies, Primanti’s, French fries on salads, Michael Keaton, ranch dressing…the list goes on. I mean heck, I even got married with the city as my backdrop.

So you can imagine my excitement that the Steelers are in the Super Bowl again this year. With a win, the Steelers will continue to maintain their title as the most winningest franchise in the NFL. Some have dubbed this “7 in 11.”

When thinking of drinks to serve at a Super Bowl party, I tend to start with where the big game is being hosted (Dallas) or the teams playing.

While I totally suggest that you get your hands on and serve some Iron City Beer, if you can’t get your hands on that and are looking for a signature cocktail for Sunday’s game, let me recommend you re-name the 7 and 7 to the 7 in 11!

Here’s the recipe for the traditional drink from Drink Nation….

Seven and Seven· 2 oz. Whiskey, straight grain
· 5 oz. 7-up
· 1 wedge Lemon

Mixing InstructionsA classic whiskey recipe. Use a highball glass, and fill it with cubed ice. Add the whiskey and 7-up, stir slightly, and garnish with a lemon wedge.
Recommended: Seagram's 7 Whiskey (hence 7 and 7)

A bit of history of this drink according to Wikipedia:
· Similar to the popular whiskey sour
· Saturday Night Fever, John Travolta’s character orders a seven and seven. It’s also ordered by Robert De Niro in Goodfellas.
· In the “Casino Night” episode of The Office, Ryan orders a sevent and seven with eight maraschino cherries and sugar on the rim for Kelly.
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