Boas of a feather flock together

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

There is something about feather boas that immediately signal FUN.

I love the way some creative individual used boas as a candy bar backdrop. And the glitter letters didn’t hurt the awesomeness of this photo!

Here are some other awesome crafts that you can make with an old or new boa:

Door letter (I also like replacing the tulle above the door with boas!)

Wreaths 1 and 2

And it's never too early to start thinking of the holidays! How about in your Christmas tree!

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Get The Patron And Tell Them That It's On

Thursday, September 22, 2011

You guys know me. I love cupcakes and I love alcohol.

Typically, those two don’t match up too well at the same time (unless it’s a birthday party), but there has been a recent shift in cooking that involves cocktails.

Tonight, I made these – Patron Cupcakes. Yep. You read that right. Mr. Pat Ron cupcakes.

(taken by me!)

Here is the recipe copied straight from the Fierce Foodie blog:

Patron Cupcake Recipe
·         1/4 cup lime juice
·         1 1/2 tsp lime zest (1 lime)
·         1 c. milk (I used 2%)
·         1/4 c. vegetable oil
·         2 tsp Patron
·         1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
·         1 cup sugar
·         1 1/3 c. all purpose flour
·         1/4 tsp baking soda
·         1/2 tsp baking powder
·         1/2 tsp salt
Preheat oven to 350F. Fill a 12-cup muffin tin with liners.
WET INGREDIENTS: In a large bowl, mix together lime juice, lime zest, milk, oil, Patron, vanilla and sugar.
DRY INGREDIENTS: In a small bowl, mix together flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt.
Add to lime mixture and stir until just combined. Divide evenly into muffin tins. Bake for 20-24 minutes, until a tester comes out clean and the cakes spring back when lightly pressed. Turn out onto a wire rack to cool completely before frosting.
The Tequila Lime Frosting Recipe
·         1/4 cup butter melted 
·         1 tbsp heavy whipping cream or milk
·         3 tbsp lime juice
·         1 tbsp Patron
·         2+ cups confectioners’ sugar
·         coarse sugar and salt for “rims”
Cream together butter, milk, lime juice, tequila, and 2 cups of confectioners’ sugar. I ended up using maybe 4-5 cups of sugar. With 2 cups, the frosting was very wet and could basically be poured. Add and add the confectioner’s sugar (in 1/2  c. increments) until it’s where you want it.

Spread on cupcakes and roll the edges in a small amount of coarse, colored sugar if you like.

Note that like the blogger, I used a lot more confectioners’ sugar than called for to get the icing to be less watery.

My Verdict: The hubs isn’t a fan of the icing (it has bite), BUT I’m thinking of adding some blue sprinkles and extra sweet icing for the West Virginia game this Saturday. I enjoyed them! They were a bit more salty/limey, so it’s a refreshing taste and great for a tailgate!

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Halloween Reader Mail Bag!

Wednesday, September 21, 2011


Reader Lindsay Writes:
"You need to do a blog entry about what to wear for a coworkers Halloween party!!! You can’t go sexy…but you also don’t wanna look like a tool either."

  Oh Lindsay. This scenario reminds me the start to an episode of “The Office.”

  I thought about this and here are some tips:
             Play it safe, but think ears and ass. Go for something simple like a cat – all black outfit, ears and tail. OR Minnie Mouse – red and white polka dot shirt with black skirt, etc. – polka dots are super in right now too.
              DO NOT go political or borderline racist. Don’t mess with nationalities (unless you are a  tasteful German beer wench)
            Think clever, not creative.
o   Three coworkers and I went as the three blind mice one time (there is power and comfort to having a team outfit)
           Think TV Shows
o   The Mad Men look is super in
o   Cartoon characters are typically safe (think Disney!)
o   Teen Mom could potentially be offensive ; )
o   Rachel Zoe: fur vest, boho top, wide legged jeans, Starbucks cup, oversized sunnies
*  Bonus points for getting a guy friend to be Brad Gorski – preppy wearing a bow tie
o   I’d say Jersey Shore, but I think you can do better than that
        Other “safe” things (but don’t think sexy)
o   Pirate
o   Greek god/goddess
o   Any animal that does not involve spandex
o   Train conductor
o   Cowboy or cowgirl
o   50’s poodle skirt
·            If the product packaging has the word “sexy” on it, chances are it’s not right

·            Before you go out the door, ask yourself some questions:
o   What if people pass these pictures around at work on Monday. Am I comfortable with how I look?
o   Would I want my picture in this outfit on Facebook? Would I wear this costume standing in front of my high school classmates?
o   Can you see my butt or am I showing too much cleavage or body parts?
·            If you answered yes to any of the above, reconsider your costume.

·            Finally - if you are single and you are attending a Halloween party, think ahead. What if I hook up.? What am I walking home in? Consider packing a shack pack. 

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Stop and Smell the Roses...Okay, Now Win Football Games

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Let’s take a moment to forget about that awful Steelers loss last week, the rape accusations against Ben Roethlisberger and that helmetless motorcycle crash to focus on something else – his wedding.

I know. My fellow Pittsburghers are tired of hearing about this. You would have thought that this was basically the Royal Wedding of Pittsburgh. But there is one detail of his wedding celebration that I want to focus on – the rose wall.

Local florist Hepatica designed a wall of roses for the wedding. You know, kinda like the celebrity red carpet step-and-repeats, but with ALL FLOWERS. (FYI – step and repeats are what we in the industry call the plastic backdrops on the red carpet with the event and sponsor logos).

Anyways, back to this flower wall. A reliable blog reader informed me that the florist placed each and every flower into this wall. Then it fell over and they did it again. Like seriously. That takes patience and skills. While I would never want to recreate a flower wall to this scale, I think it would be cool to add as a backdrop to a candy bar OR using fake flowers at a shower or event.  

Oh and don’t worry – according to Whirl Magazine, the flowers were donated to the Ronald McDonald House.
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Outstanding in the Field

Saturday, September 17, 2011

After a bit of a hectic travel, moving and personal schedule, I’m very excited to finally be getting caught up on things I’ve been meaning to read and write about. That includes something from an old issue of Vogue called Outstanding in the Field.

The company’s issue is to ”… re-connect diners to the land and the origins of their food, and to honor the local farmers and food artisans who cultivate it.”

Outstanding in the Field is a roving culinary adventure. This group takes long tables and sets them up on mountains, gardens, farms, islands or ranches. Then the theme of the dinner is to honor the people that farmed the food and almost all ingredients are local.

Guests tour the farm and mingle and then once the meal is prepared, the farmers, chefs and foodies sit down and enjoy the meal!

The schedule and tickets to the meals are released on March 20th (the first day of spring) and cost around $180 per person (not including tax). The cost includes wine, passed apps, four seated courses with wine pairing and all gratuities. The producer discussions and a tour of the farm is also included.

If a tour comes by near you, I would recommend checking it out (it’s now on my 2012 to do list). From what I’ve read, it looks like an extremely cool culinary experience and an opportunity to meet some new foodie friends.

(All photos from the Outstanding in the Field Facebook page
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NYFW 3 - The Final Look

Friday, September 16, 2011

Okay – this slide is a little random, but bare with me (it’s hard to match all my favs into pics). Again, the black and gold standing out.

It was difficult to narrow down my favs from the Tracy Reese show because there were so many! In typical spring fashion, the models carried some adorable the umbrellas. And the colors of these Badgley Mischka frocks – OBSESSED. I love the shape and detail on these dresses. (note those ruffles at the waist again!)

Here’s three black and white looks that caught my eye (and also got some Michael Jackson into my head!) Love the bow on the first frock, the sequins on the second and I mean seriously – how amazing does Karlie Kloss’ body look in third dress! Wow.

And last, but certainly not least, another bit of a mash up slide with pastels. Of course all of the Marchesa gowns were red-carpet worthy with tulle explosions. Same can be said for Reem Acra. Still crushing on Dennis Basso (PETA most likely still wants to crush him). And finally, In a typical fashion, Oscar de la Renta sent dazzlers down the runway. There were a lot of stunners in the bunch, many of which we were in bold colors. I appreciated some of the more everyday dresses in bright hues as well.

Overall, a lot of awesome things to look forward too during the awful east coast/Midwest winters. Here are some things to note.
·         Bight, bold colors will still rule in the spring. Gap and J. Crew both showed some looks with bright pants again.
·         Sequins, one shoulder looks and mullet dresses (short in the front, long in the back) are will still be in!
·         While they didn’t make the images, I loved a lot of the wearable looks from Tory Burch. One rather neat thing to note was that all of the models wore flats! They looked a little frumpy, but it was totally Tory’s style! The color pallet of this show was perfect and I loved the sequin touches.

The Not So Hot:
·         I really liked some things from MK and Ashley’s The Row line, BUT they paired some cute dresses with like white yoga plants.
·         Nips (as in boobies) were out on the runway. From Yigal Azrouel to Adam to Preen to Christian Siriano
·         J. Crew presented a collection. While I’m a big store fan, I wasn’t in love with the looks. Like single pieces were cool, I didn’t like how the things were styled.
·         I’m seriously over the no pants Saturday look. Like really – who can pull that off on an average day? I get that this is spring, spring is kinda bathing suit season, but Its like walking around in my cheerleading kickpants without a skirt! (I’m talking to you Vera Wang!)
·         Oh Betsy Johnson. You make the best bras. You really do. But I don’t want to see them on the runway. I thought we retired that Brittney Spears look of the undergarments popping out. The clothes in this show just looked ill fitting.

Wheew! This is a record setting blog day for me! Four posts in one day! This is totally racking up posts leading up to a big blog milestone coming up! Expect fireworks, sequins, glitter, cupcakes and maybe some crafts. 

(all photos from
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Me and my model friends are back!

Purple was a predominate color in the shows. I adore the Luca Luca dress – showing the right amount of leg. The Prabal Gurung dress reminds me of a lot of long sleeve dresses that have been popping up on the red carpet during award season. The pattern on the Rodarte dress is sweet. Natalie Portman’s BFF’s frocks looked like they came from an art museum – they were all so beautiful!

The next set of dresses felt very normal-person-wearable to me. I was almost too distracted by the adorableness of the newest Beckham addition to even think about her collection (I kid). ADAM is showing that polka dots are a fall trend that will carry on into spring (worth the investment!). And Nicole Miller did some rad things with patterns – this is one example.

Sorry for this background in the pic – that was the setting for the Isaac Mizrahi show, BUT note that his first few models came down the runway in this springy pattern! I LOVE these looks (worth a full page). From the shape to the sequins to the bows – it was all divine! I’m watching out for the big florals. Note that Kate Spade was passing out bright pink flower pins to passerbys during Fashion Night Out.

Of course pastels are going to be popular for the spring. These stunners are simply beautiful. Love the feathers on Ralph Lauren. You know my heart is always with Christian Siriano. He also designed this really cool t and big skirt looks. And Jenny Packham – oh Jenny. She’s getting so much press from her show because the press wants to know if we will see Princess Kate in one of these gowns. I adore the detailing on this Packham piece.

Oh yeah, speaking of the Packham pieces…well I couldn’t get away with just posting one. Of course I was drooling over this whole collection. I mean sequins and glitter galore! The first gown reminded me a lot of the one that Kate Middleton wore in the U.S. Love the flower applique and color on the third one. The fourth dress got me with the color and squares. Finally the last one – ugh. Love the flowers. 

(all photos from

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In life, you have to make sacrifices. One sacrifice I made recently was to decline an invitation to attend Fashion Week. You see, I’ve been working on a potential partnership between a client of mine and IMG (the planners of Fashion Week) and my contact graciously invited me to attend the shows for a day. I mean do you not DIE? Well, being the responsible adult that I am with a rather large vacation planned later this month, I had to tearfully decline.

But never fear, the internet is here (to save the day). I can indulge in the shows for the comfort of my kitchen table. Yeah, yeah, yeah, not the same, but it does save the pressure of finding the perfect outfit!

So I had to break this post up into four. There were just so many looks that I liked from this season’s shows; I couldn’t possibly post them all at once. So check back through the day for my favorite spring 2012 looks! Oh and warning - there may be some major designer misspellings in this post, but I didn't have time to proof! And my not-so-awesome photo skills are totally on display. Sad. 

To start things off, I’m seeing a lot of black and yellow on the runway. I wonder if designers are closet Pittsburgh sports fans or Wiz Kahlifa’s music was an influence : ) Here are three looks that I liked from Monique Lhuillier, Yigal Azrouel and Rachel Zoe. Yes, that is Rachel Zoe as in the stylist! 

Speaking of Monique Lhuillier, I LOVED this show. Specifically the looks in this purple/blueish color and the shape of the basic black dress. You won’t see many black looks in this bunch – spring 2011 is ALL about COLOR!

 There were some rad stripes on the runway. I was loving these frocks from Nanette Lepore, Alice + Olivia and Marc by Marc Jacobs.

Another one of my favorite collections was Jason Wu.  You’ll notice in this bunch that the looks on the left and right are pretty similar. I think it shows two very similar, yet different looks. A few shows had the ruffle waist line like the model on the left. Wu’s collection had a lot of embellishments and structure. 

(all photos from
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Here for the Beer

When I think of my chick friends, most of them aren’t snobby about drinking beer. Maybe it’s because we were all raised in a blue collar town (or attended school at West by god Virginia). We were basically born to like football and tailgate with the guys.

Well some breweries are now marketing beer towards women with some girly names and packaging.

One of the first girly beers that I spotted was Matilda from Goose Island. While the name sounds a bit more vintage than contemporary, Matilda is described as “Wild in character, with a slightly fruity aroma and a spicy yeast flavor that is as unique as it is satisfying.” The brewer’s notes go on to say it’s an intriguing choice for beer and wine lovers. I’m a big fan of Goose Island’s 312 – a tribute to the Chicago area code, so I’ve been trying to locate this beer. However, finding this brew may be a bit of a challenge. Last I checked, it was only available in the Midwest.

Last week I spotted this uncreatively named brew called Chick Beer via the Refinery 29 newsletter. Is this offensive to sip? I mean I guess it’s okay for a girls’ night (or Chicks’ Night Out – pun intended), but it would be kind of embarrassing to have your man drinking some “Chick.” While Chick is under 100 calories a bottle, it’s only 4.2% alcohol by volume. If you are checking your beverages, typically wine is between 9-14, so may need to chug a few of these before you get a buzz. Oh and note the purse packaging and the LBD on the bottle! 

A beer that wasn’t available in the U.S., but a must cover in this post is Beck’s Hello Kitty branded beer bottles. Enough said ; )
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Just Dance

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

A few years ago, I attended my sorority’s 100-year anniversary on the West Virginia University campus. Among the things on display at our sorority house was a former alum’s scrapbook.

This book was filled with a ton of super cool memorabilia. But one of the things that totally stood out to me was the dance cards. For each Chi Omega function, the lady kept a card of who she danced with.

I did some research on the history of dance cards.

According to Wikipedia, a dance card is typically a booklet with a decorative cover, listing dance titles, composers and the person with whom the women intended to dance. The cover would typically list the name of the event or ball and the booklet would have a decorative cord by which it could be attached to a lady’s wrist.

It was common for gents to say to a gal “pencil me into your dance card.” Could this have been one of the original pick up lines?!

Here are some examples of vintage dance cards.



I love the idea of incorporating dance cards into contemporary entertaining. A way to do this is to talking to your deejay before the event and determining the slow songs. Then, create a booklet with the slow songs and space next to song for people to pencil in their dance partner!

I found one example of a couple making a dance card for a 2008 wedding that had a 1920’s-inspired theme (source). However, I couldn't upload the pic! Visit the site to see! 
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Be My Guest

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

All aspects of weddings have become totally unique. From personalized favors from the bride and groom, to unique bridal party entrances, to outside of the church wedding venues. Couples are really looking for ways to make their wedding stand out.

One of my favorite areas in which couples are showing their creativity and personalization is with guest books.

If you are looking to replicate this for a wedding, birthday, shower or your next party, I think two things are key.
1.      Pick and item that means something to you (and your significant other if it is a wedding)
2.      Think of what you will do next with the item. Will you display this in your house? If so, pick something that you are willing to live with hanging on your wall!

Here are some of my fav guest books that I’ve recently spotted.

·         Finger People: This is so fun. People pick a color ink, dip their thumb, or finger in the ink and then put their finger print in a book, along with their signature.

·         Finger Prints: you can also take the concept of the finger prints and have people add to a tree or balloon like this couple!

·         Guitar: For that rock ‘n roll couple, have guests sign a guitar or a record!

·         Wine Corks: I’ve been saving wine corks to make a wreath, BUT for an extra touch, I’ve been writing on the date and reason for drinking the bottle on the cork. It will be fun to look back on! I like how this couple used the corks as a guest book!

·         Ornaments: I’ve been obsessing for some time over the idea of a winter wedding, so it’s only fitting that I LOVE this idea. Have guests sign ornaments in your wedding colors. How fun will these be to hang on your first tree!?

·         Wine Bottle: Another FAB idea. I saw a couple do this with five bottles – one that they would drink on each of their first five anniversaries.

·         Calendar: This is a secret tricky one. People sign on their birthday. Then the couple has a calendar with everyone’s day!

·         Jenga: LOVE. Sign pieces of a Jenga game! So fun for when people come over for game night!

·         Mad Libs: Another fun game – guests fill out their own Mad Libs like card!
  • Surfboard: And last, but certainly not least, for the beach-loving-surfer couple, a surfboard!   

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Monday, September 12, 2011

Have you ever realized how difficult it is to shop for wall art?

 I’ve recently been attracted to personalized art with a combination of illustrations. One of my favorite of these is Ideal Bookshelf.

It’s a simple concept - artist Jane Mount sketches peoples’ ideal bookshelf – books that the recipient of the art loves. 

I can totally see this print in a living room, office or even a baby’s room (see childhood books). It’s also a great gift for a librarian!

Like with all art, this is an investment. A personalized pic from Jane can run between $225 - $500, but it’s a piece that will totally stand out!

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Happy Friday

Friday, September 09, 2011

Why can't every workplace have one of these....

(sources: Mrs Lillian and here
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Tuesday, September 06, 2011

The college football season has officially begun!

And while I spent seven hours watching my favorite team try and complete its first game (thanks lightning!), I did some research to find a new, awesome tailgating recipe. While I may not have scored with my search (pun intended), here are some potential winners.

·         Like who doesn’t love a baked potato? You find me one person that doesn’t and I’ll talk some sense into them. Lol. So I found this recipe where it’s a baked potato combined with the word mini. A mini-baked potato! A 2-point conversion if you ask me.
·         I’m not sure of the tailgateability of these, but if these mac and cheese bites don’t say fall comfort food, then I don’t know what does.
·         For dessert, how about these football-inspiredchocolate covered strawberries. While you can buy them from this site, they look pretty easy to make. Yummmm.
·         Another sweet treat – cake batter dip. MyMouthIsWatering.

·         I love this variation of the jalapeno popper made with crescent rolls.
·         For some new dips, what about…Blue Cheese Bacon, White Pizza Dip, Mississippi Sin Dip, Cheddar Bacon Dip (I like that this one is also referred to as “crack”) and don’t forget that pumpkin dip that I gushed about last year!

And finally, the most absurdly awesome tailgating recipe. I give you, the Snakadium! This gem involves a gauc football field with salsa and cheese dip end zones, then surrounded by chip dippers and a Rice Krispie Treat fence. I die. 

Okay, now time for you to dish. What’s your favorite tailgating recipe? 
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