Snow Long Winter

Thursday, May 26, 2011

When I was thinking of the perfect drink for a Memorial Day celebration, my mind started spinning. I’ve already done a number of red, white and blue cocktails and shots that I didn’t want to cover again, so I started thinking of cold drinks and then it hit me.

I want a snow cone. But an alcoholic one.

You know, like spiking the ice that came from the Snoopy machine that you had when you were a kid. Did I cover this before? Sorry if I did ; )

It's like saying goodbye to that horrible, sucky, snowy winter and hello to the super sun!

So here it goes…

End of Summer Snow Cone (recipe from The Star)
1 cup sugar or sweetener
1 cup water
1 cup either Blue Curacao (for blue snow cones) or cherry brandy (for red snow cones)

In a saucepan, stir sugar and water on low heat until completely dissolved. Stir in liqueur. Transfer to spouted pitcher (for easy pouring) and pour into ice cube trays. Freeze ice cubes overnight. Makes about 18 cubes.

In a blender or food processor, pulse ice cubes until there are no large lumps. You may need to form into balls (warning, this is a bit messy) and refreeze before serving. Scoop or spoon into paper cups or a martini glass.

Makes three drinks.
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Boy, Why You So Obsessed With Me? - MC

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Meow – how unCATrollably cute are these DIY Hello Kitty glasses from Etsy?

The hippest thing in the blogosphere to hang on your door when someone has a birthday in the house? The DIY balloon wreath! (Party Like a Kid)

When Martha Stewart plans parties, they are crazy. But what if you are planning a party that she is attending? You go nuts. Example, Martha’s friend’s daughter’s bat mitzvah. I wish I was friends with more Jewish kids growing up! Like seriously – look at this thing! Horses on loan from a Bergdorf Goodman display, a candy sculptor, centerpieces made from candy (above), a personal graffiti artist that made hats & t-shirts, a wax station to make silly wax shapes with your hand, and much, much more food and d├ęcor. (

The fact that Katie Holmes is a robot with a contract to be married to Tom Cruise bothers me. But what doesn’t bother me? SURI and this hot pink dress Katie stepped out in this week. LOVE. I’m on a fuchsia obsession right now. You’ll see that as a theme for my summer wedding wardrobe. (

A brand that had been getting a lot of press around blogs this month – Geronimo Balloons. Check out their delicious blog for their oversized balloon creations – perfect for a party or upcoming photo shoot (engagement, wedding, family, friends, etc). While their balloon toppers are a bit pricey for a large inflatable and some sparkly poms, you can totally use this as inspiration!
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Thursday, May 19, 2011

If there is a word I use a lot, it’s dude.

I know. It’s unattractive. I’m not a surfer. I’m not a guy (questionable sometimes). But I overuse the word Dude. I just can’t help it, dude.  

 Reader Aunt Michelle told me about this new drink that she sampled at a country music concert and told me that I must write about it. It’s called….Dude!

 So the Dude is a grown-up version of that concoction that you made in high school (we called it “Dewey”) that included vodka and Mr. Dew. Which if you say it kinda quick, Dude can sound like Dew-ed.

Not only does Dude share a Mountain Dew taste, but it also has that electric green color.

 According to the blog Beverage Underground, you can mix it with ginger ale or cranberry, but it’s really made to be a shot drink. If I was under 21 and attending a summer concert, I'd totally dump out a bottle of Mt. Dew and replace it with this for easy parking lot drinking ; )

Will you try (it) Dude?

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50 Cent Said We Gonna Party Like It's Your Birthday

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

While I’ve already faced the big 3-0, a number of my friends are nearing the end of their 20’s (ah hem, Dana).
I LOVE this photo collage from Martha Stewart. I totally recommend making one of these when you host a milestone birthday party. To make it look extra chic, get all the pics printed in black and white like this example.

Another DIY tip that I loved from this party was the photo hats.

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Dip, Baby, Dip

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Brace yourself. This recipe may be lethal. It just may lead to a sugar overdose.

Cupcake Fondue.

I'm speechless.

Cupcake Fondue
3 cups powdered sugar
1/3 cup liquid (orange juice, fruit juice, milk, or water)
2 tablespoons light corn syrup
Miniature-size cupcakes in the flavor of your choice, cooled and unfrosted
Assorted sprinkles, chopped nuts, and other toppings
1. Make a batch of your favorite mini cupcakes – homemade or from a mix. Make them nice and small so you don’t feel guilty about enjoying 2 or 3 of them. If you use paper liners for baking, remove them after the cupcakes have cooled. Pound cake or any other firm cake works well for skewering, but any cake will do. I used a simple yellow box-mix cake. Allow to cool completely before dipping.
2. Make the fondue: Whisk together powdered sugar, orange juice, and corn syrup. Adjust the consistency with a drop of liquid or a dash more powdered sugar until you get have a smooth, thick glaze. I used orange juice for the liquid portion to give it a citrus flavor and cheese-like yellow fondue color. You could also use grape juice for a pastel purple, or milk/water and add your own coloring.
3. Pour frosting into the fondue pot. There’s really no need to heat the mixture, but you can keep a small tea light or very low flame underneath just for looks! Display sprinkles and toppings in small ramekins or portion cups and arrange around the fondue pot. Skewer cupcakes in the side and dip the top half into the fondue, then flip the cupcake over and the frosting will drip nicely down the sides. Sprinkle liberally with your favorite toppings.
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If You Fail To Prepare, You Prepare to Fail

Monday, May 16, 2011


That quote above is a famous one that my late 8th grade English teacher would always say. I used this quote as my motto in college and even had it printed below my computer screen. I also tend to use it a lot at work when planning for a party - if you fail to think of the smallest details, you may fail during the event execution!

Biz Bash is celebrating some of the best event planners this month. In one of the features, they ask planners to share their best advice. Here are some of my favorite tips:

• Imagine yourself as the guest. From receiving the invite to walking in the door, think through every step of the process, as if you were the invitee at your own event."
Jayne Sandman, 31, director, BrandLinkDC, Washington

• “No matter how many times you checked your to-do list, check it again. Then make your motto, ‘No problem, we’ll have that handled ASAP.’ And whatever the request is, follow up and handle it quickly, and smile.”
Cara Kleinhaut, owner, Caravents Inc. Event Production & Design, Los Angeles and New York

• “Creativity makes the difference and doesn’t always cost much.”
Paul Scott, general manager, Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Hotel, Lake Buena Vista, Florida

• “Always plan on rain.”
Bryan Rafanelli, founder, president, C.E.O., Rafanelli Events, Boston

• “Create a 'power triad' tailored to your objectives. If you don’t have one, start with this: ‘Think like a strategist, create like a filmmaker, measure like a C.F.O.’”
David Michael Rich, senior vice president, strategy and planning/worldwide, George P. Johnson Experience Marketing, Boston
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Guess Who!?

Friday, May 13, 2011

I receive a catalogue for this brand in the mail this week. I’ve read fashion blogs that have been talking about how cool this brand extention is, so I gave the book a look.

Do you like? Maybe a little J. Crew?

Maybe Gap or Banana?

NO! It’s LAND’s END! And it’s Affordable! Simple! Good quality! And has a nautical, summer feel to the line. I also hear that if you place an order online you get a hand-written thank you note. What's better than that?

This is from the Canvas line.

Look #1 - cute pants and ruffle top!

Look # 2 – this one took a lot to past because I have almost the same dress from Anthro

Look #3 (Yes, Dana. I’m eating my words. I may like Rompers).

Look #4 – this reaffirms my commitment to pairing chambray with prints!

Oh and I personally love the name Land's End - a little nod to my Cabo honeymoon!
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Torrontes! Torrontes!

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Oh my gosh readers. I totally realized that I forgot to recap my learnings from wine class! Don’t worry, I’ll get on that soon. I learned a lot in that class and found my new favorite white wine – Torrontes!

What is Torrontes? According to my wine teacher, it’s a white wine grape from Argentina. That’s all I really wrote down in my notes and memory because I was too busy enjoying this delicious glass.

So to tell you how great this wine is, I had to do a little research. I pleasantly found a February 2011 story written for the New York Times by Eric Asimov (long time wine writer). He stated that “Torrontes has been touted as the hottest thing to arrive from Argentina since the tango.” He goes on to say that it will be as popular in the U.S. as pinot grigio! Yes, Eric – our heads are thinking alike on this one!

As the story points out, Torrontes is very aromatic – it smells like flowers and fruit. You aren’t sure if you should pour some on your wrists or drink it!

Something that I don’t like about this wine is that is confusing. There are a few different grape varieties, so it can make it a bit difficult to figure out which one to try. And my honest opinion to find your favorite? Try them all! You aren’t going to find your new go to wine without a little experiment!

I can't tell you the brand of Torrontes that I've been enjoying because I can't keep bottles of it around long enough! You will finish the whole thing (with friends) because it is that good!
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Summer Book It

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

First of all, before you read this, know that it isn’t becoming a reader Lindsay blog. She’s just bored because her job is…urrhhh…ahhh…on “lockdown” right now. And no, she doesn’t work at a jail.

Anyways, tonight we were discussing books and this past weekend I spent some time updating my Nook and shopping at Barnes & Nobel, so I thought it would be a good time to give you my picks for summer reads. Some I have read, some are on my list.

All books and snippets are from
  • A Vintage Affair by Isabel Wolff
    • I read this one in Cabo last year. I love the way it combines a career change, friendship, romance and FASHION!
    • About A Vintage Affiar
      • “When vintage clothing expert Phoebe Swift decides to abandon her career as a Sotheby’s auctioneer, she opens London’s Village Vintage, selling only the best recycled designer duds. However, it isn’t long before we discover that the cupcake dresses and alligator clutches that populate her quaint neighborhood shop aren’t Phoebe’s only baggage. Reeling from the death of a close friend and the subsequent collapse of her wedding engagement, Phoebe is in need of a change. She certainly loves the clothing she sells for its history, but it takes a new and profound friendship with the elderly client Mrs. Bell to show Phoebe to care for herself in the same way.”

  • Sweet Jimmy by Kristin Gore
    • If you love Sammy’s Hill and Sammy’s House like me, you’ll be excited to see another book from Kristin Gore – Al’s daughter. But judging this book by the cover (and words from the description), this book is going to take a serious tone. Still, it’s on my list!
    • About Sweet Jimmy:
      • In the throes of a quarter-life crisis, Jiminy Davis abruptly quits law school and flees Chicago for her grandmother Willa's farm in rural Mississippi. In search of peace and quiet, Jiminy instead stumbles upon more trouble and turmoil than she could have imagined.
      • She is shocked to discover that there was once another Jiminy--the daughter of her grandmother's longtime housekeeper, Lyn--who was murdered along with Lyn's husband four decades earlier in a civil rights-era hate crime. With the help of Lyn's nephew, Bo, Jiminy sets out to solve the cold case, to the dismay of those who would prefer to let sleeping dogs lie.

  • Carrie Diaries by Candace Bushnel
    •  I also read this in Cabo (we had no internet or cell phones and I like to read!) It’s a quick reed because…it’s a teenage book!
    • If you are a Sex and the City fan, you’ll love this book because it features Carrie from….
    • About the Carrie Diaries:
      • Grade 9 Up—In the 1980s, Carrie Bradshaw is the oldest of three girls who live with their widowed father. She is on the swim team, wants to attend a summer writing program in New York, has applied to Brown, and is the last of her girlfriends to still have her virginity. When the rakish Sebastian Kydd returns to town, all the girls in the school become distracted, but he seems to have his eye on Carrie, at least until her best friend begins to take notice of him. The action is lightweight: senior pranks are played, dates are prevalent, friendships are tested, and Carrie keeps letting boys run rampant over her. It takes most of the book for her to stand up for herself. This protagonist is clearly written to resemble her older self as portrayed in the TV series Sex and the City. She spends the novel questioning relationships; worrying about friendships; developing a funky, independent sense of fashion; flirting with boys while dating two at once; and having a gay male friend. 

  • Summer in the City by Candace Bushnell
    •  I just started reading this one on my Nookie!
    • It’s a follow up to the Carrie Diaries and gives readers a look to her transition from high school to living in New York. Spoiler Alert – this is where we meet the rest of the SATC ladies!
    • About Summer in the City:
      • Summer is a magical time in New York City and Carrie is in love with all of it—the crazy characters in her neighborhood, the vintage-clothing boutiques, the wild parties, and the glamorous man who has swept her off her feet. Best of all, she's finally in a real writing class, taking her first steps toward fulfilling her dream.
      • This sequel to The Carrie Diaries brings surprising revelations as Carrie learns to navigate her way around the Big Apple, going from being a country "sparrow"—as Samantha Jones dubs her—to the person she always wanted to be. But as it becomes increasingly difficult to reconcile her past with her future, Carrie realizes that making it in New York is much more complicated than she ever imagined.

  • One Day by David Nicholls
    • Oh boy. I read this book on a flight to LA. After a bit of a slow start, I couldn’t put it down. It’s just fabulous. Don’t ask me to go into detail about this until you’ve either read it, or decided that you don’t want to read it, because...
    • It’s going to be a movie! This July (read it quick) starring Anne Hathaway and the hot dude from Across the Universe. Anne’s going to go full British accent for the movie – let’s just hope that she can pull it off.
    • About One Day:
      • It’s 1988 and Dexter Mayhew and Emma Morley have only just met. But after only one day together, they cannot stop thinking about one another. Over twenty years, snapshots of that relationship are revealed on the same day—July 15th—of each year. Dex and Em face squabbles and fights, hopes and missed opportunities, laughter and tears. And as the true meaning of this one crucial day is revealed, they must come to grips with the nature of love and life itself.
What's on your summer reading list? Did you read any good books lately? I'd love to hear!

(Source: All book photos and descriptions from
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I Heart MOM

Sunday, May 08, 2011

Happy Mother’s Day to all of my mom readers out there. I know that a lot of you have daughters (god bless my mom – she has two – oh and my gram – that has FIVE), so I thought that I would share with you this hilarious poem by Tina Fey.

Happy Mom’s Day!!

A Mother's Prayer
By Tina Fey

First, Lord: No tattoos. May neither Chinese symbol for truth nor Winnie-the-Pooh holding the WVU logo stain her tender haunches. (Editors Note: I changed the school for this post).

May she be Beautiful but not Damaged, for it’s the Damage that draws the creepy soccer coach’s eye, not the Beauty.

When the Crystal Meth is offered, May she remember the parents who cut her grapes in half And stick with Beer.

Guide her, protect her:
When crossing the street, stepping onto boats, swimming in the ocean, swimming in pools, walking near pools, standing on the subway platform, crossing 86th Street, stepping off of boats, using mall restrooms, getting on and off escalators, driving on country roads while arguing, leaning on large windows, walking in parking lots, riding Ferris wheels, roller-coasters, log flumes, or anything called “Hell Drop,” “Tower of Torture,” or “The Death Spiral Rock ‘N Zero G Roll featuring Aerosmith,” and standing on any kind of balcony ever, anywhere, at any age.

Lead her away from Acting but not all the way to Finance. Something where she can make her own hours but still feel intellectually fulfilled and get outside sometimes And not have to wear high heels.

What would that be, Lord? Architecture? Midwifery? Golf course design? I’m asking You, because if I knew, I’d be doing it, Youdammit.

May she play the Drums to the fiery rhythm of her Own Heart with the sinewy strength of her Own Arms, so she need Not Lie With Drummers.

Grant her a Rough Patch from twelve to seventeen. Let her draw horses and be interested in Barbies for much too long, For childhood is short – a Tiger Flower blooming Magenta for one day – And adulthood is long and dry-humping in cars will wait.

O Lord, break the Internet forever, That she may be spared the misspelled invective of her peers And the online marketing campaign for Rape Hostel V: Girls Just Wanna Get Stabbed.

And when she one day turns on me and calls me a Bitch in front of Hollister, Give me the strength, Lord, to yank her directly into a cab in front of her friends, For I will not have that Shit. I will not have it.

And should she choose to be a Mother one day, be my eyes, Lord, that I may see her, lying on a blanket on the floor at 4:50 A.M., all-at-once exhausted, bored, and in love with the little creature whose poop is leaking up its back.

“My mother did this for me once,” she will realize as she cleans feces off her baby’s neck. “My mother did this for me.” And the delayed gratitude will wash over her as it does each generation and she will make a Mental Note to call me. And she will forget. But I’ll know, because I peeped it with Your God eyes.

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Take It To The Max Silly

Friday, May 06, 2011

I was feeling a little uninspired this Fashion Friday for topics, so I was going to skip a post. Then I thought – reader Lindsay looks forward to these posts so much, that I should put something up there.
Then it hit me. Maxi dresses are so hot this year. Every time I see one, I just want to send the link to Lindsay because she is so tall and can wear a lot of trends that I can't.  When you are 5-foot-nothing, sometimes you look a little silly in a long dress. In my family, we had a great aunt, Jay, who used to wear long, patterned dresses, so when I like to call them “Aunt Jay Dresses.”

I digress.
So for my vertically unchallenged readers that are more than 5’8”, may I suggest some adorable maxi dresses for the summer. An added bonus? They are all under a Benjamin (aka $100)!

I love this one from Old Navy – affordable, has crochet – which is hot this year
Anthro dress – I got a SUPER good deal on a long dress here last year that I’m going to TRY and attempt to wear to a wedding.

Free People maxi with a cut ruffling on the bottom!

Um, does it get much better than this $20 basic-black maxi from Target!?

OH YES IT DOES! This dress from H&M is under TEN DOLLARS. It’s $9.95!! RUN THERE NOW!!! There is also a cute red/pink version!! You can totally dress this up and down.

Last, but not least, an adorable striped number from J. Crew. Love the nautical feel of this!
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Mas Cerveza Por Fabor!

Thursday, May 05, 2011

Happy Cinco de Mayo. And for you gringos, that means Happy 5th of May! In the past, I’ve celebrated this Mexican “holiday (aka American drinking occasion) in the past with margarita recipes. This year, I wanted to do something a little different and feature CERVEZA! Or Beer!!

Corona is one of the best known beers from Mexico and the most sold beer that is produced by Mexico. According to Wikipedia, Corona is one of the five most consumed beers in the world and it’s available in 170 countries. Some more facts:

• Corona was born in 1925

• Corona has 4.6% alcohol by volume and typically served with a wedge of lime or lemon

• It’s one of few beers that is available in a clear bottle. But watch out – this can cause it to become skunk quicker!

• Corona was the first beer to print its label directly on the bottle.

• Corona began importing to the United States in 1979.

• The crown on logo on the label pays homage to the Cathedral of Our Lady Guadalupe in Puerto Vallarta.

• In Spain, it’s called Coronita. Translation: Little Crown.


(Sources: Wikipedia & Corona)
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Shot of Syrup?

Tuesday, May 03, 2011

Loyal readers will remember a few months ago when I talked about my love for appetizers in shot glasses. You know, like a shot of ranch dressing with veggies or a shot of tomato soup garnished with a mini grilled cheese? I mean aren’t these just perfect apps to be featured on a blog called Shot of Brandi*!?

Well this week I saw another perfect shot – syrup! Garnished with French Toast!! How deliciously yummy is this! Perfect for a breakfast party or an appetizer at a brunch!

(Sources: Hostess with the Mostess via Frilly Milly Events and photography from Lauren Blair Photography)
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God Save McQueen

Monday, May 02, 2011

As one Twitter-er said, it was a Disney weekend. A common girl married a prince and the villain was killed.

If the week couldn’t be any more exciting, tonight is a huge event for the fashion-obsessed - The Costume Institute Gala. Fittingly, the event is honoring the late, great Alexander McQueen – just off the fashion houses biggest weekend ever after creating Kate Middleton’s dress.

Here are some of my favorite looks from the event (all images from Fashionologie)

Anna Wintour in Chanel couture – love the color pallet and blocking on this beaut

Diane Kruger in Jason Wu – sparkly and sexy.

Michelle Williams in Miu Miu – love the birds

The “sweet” Dylan Lauren in…of course, Ralph Lauren. I suspect jewel tones will be super hot this year.

Eva Mendes in Stella McCartney – yep – she is one of my girl crushes.

Kristen Bell in Tory Burch – I’m a sucker for the one-shoulder look!

Isla Fisher in Tory Burch – and another one of my girl crushes.

Ashley Greene in Donna Karan

Emma Roberts in Michael Kors – I LOVE this look. It’s youthful, great hair, love the cut-outs – Love!

Gwyneth Paltrow in Stella McCartney – I know, the long sleeve, sequin look is getting old, but Gwynnie looks hot.

Salma Hayek in Alexander McQueen – Salma looks smokin’ hot

Maggie Gyllenhaal in Stella McCartney – I love the cut of this dress

I was also lovin’ Nicole Richie and Dakota Fanning’s hair. And Evan Rachel Wood would have made my list – but I couldn’t get past the hair.
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