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Showing posts from 2013

Salted Caramel Bars- A Favorite Fall Treat

I love making desserts and this is one of my favorite fall treats for my family.  The base is a dough that tastes a little like shortbread but it is softer and less dense. Then there is a layer of velvety caramel that is topped with more of the yummy dough.  What makes this bar so darn good is the addition of fleur de sel.  I use fleur de sel because I feel it goes well with caramel, but any other type of coarse salt will do. What you taste when you bite into each bar is the sweet and salty flavor of the caramel and salt combination.  So good, a little unexpected and you will find after the first bite that it's so hard to eat just one! Here's the recipe, enjoy!

Birthdays, Luncheons and a Gift for the Guests

I am organizing a birthday luncheon for a dear friend.  I am polishing the silver, bringing out the crystal and using my finest white linen.  I also thought it would be nice to have favors for all of my guests. Years ago someone gave me the book, A Guide to Eleganceby Genevieve Antoine Dariaux.  I thought this book would be a nice gift for this occasion. I am tying the books with white bows and adding a vintage rhinestone brooch to each one for a little panache!

Madame Dariaux wrote this little Tiffany blue book back in 1964, but the advice is timeless. This lovely pocket guide provides advice on fashion in a charming but straight forward manner. Advice that your mother may have taught you, but it doesn't hurt to be reminded. Elegance should always have a place in our lives and like birthdays should never be forgotten.

My Clutch Obsession

I am obsessed with a clutch purse.  I like to use them when I go out for dinner or meeting the girls for lunch, or whatever excuse I have to take one out of my closet. I like them because I can choose designs that I might not select with a larger bag. Because of their size a brighter, louder print will add a little punch to my outfit and not overwhelm it. How cute are these clutch purses?  I can't choose which one I like best.

Isn't the apple and pear print on the Pomum clutch just so fresh and pretty? Veggie Garden print of this clutch would make a great gift for my gardener friend.

I want the Sleeping Beauty clutch to wear with a little black dress or just a pair of black jeans.
I love the whimsical blue birds print on this Pennipotenti Clutch.

One Kings Lane, My New Passion

Have I said how much I love One Kings Lane?  They have mastered the art of finding unique home furnishings and accessories so expertly that I don't have to leave the comfort of my southern city to get fabulous deals on luxe items for my home. So now I am not only drooling over the furniture on their web site but also their jewelry.  Yes, I am now being tempted by Carolina Design.  Not a place, but the person. Carol Workinger is the artist behind Carolina Design and she has gorgeous pieces that were sold on One Kings Lane. What I love about the website is that it is like opening a present, you never know what's inside until you open it, but it's always a nice surprise :)

Here are a few pieces from their "Necklaces We Love" and  "Gold Rush" collection now on sale:

Teardrop Sunburst Pendant, Blue Drusy by Coralia Leets
Gold Rush, Gold Coin Bracelet by BEN-AMUN.

Gold Chain Link Bracelet by BEN-AMUN.

Mini S'more Pies!

I love s'mores, but can you create the same chocolate, toasted gooey marshmallow flavor without a campfire? This easy recipe has 4 steps and 5 ingredients and the results have the same toasted marshmallow s'more taste that we love. The fudge center is rich and chocolatey and the graham cracker crust and marshmallow cream bring it all together to make a great s'more that you can make in your kitchen. No campfire needed :)

12- mini graham cracker pie crusts 2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips 1- 14 ounce can sweeten condensed milk 12- tablespoons marshmallow fluff 1/4 cup mini marshmallows
Makes 12 Mini S'more Pies

1. Place the chocolate chips and sweeten condensed milk in a pan and over low heat stir until chocolate chips have melted. 

2. In each pie crust spread 1 small tablespoon of  marshmallow fluff on the bottom of each shell (add more if you like the marshmallow fluff). It will be sticky, you may have to use two spoons to get the fluff off the first spoon and then spread.…

It's Only Fall But I'm Having the Winter Blues!

I love the color of blue topaz. The pale blue color of topaz looks like a piece of winter ice. I don't own any jewelry with this stone but I'd love to wear a glittering piece from this winter wonderland :)

I love the color of this icy blue and white topaz ring.  Perfect winter jewelry.

Pretty rows of topaz on this silver ring.

Sky blue stones and lots of bling on these pendant earrings!

Fall Handbag Wishlist!

I love the honey color of this bucket bag from Tory Burch.

A fabulous beaded mini baguette from Fendi.

 Brahmin handbag for just going around town.

How cute is this Valentino patten leather bag with a bow?

A Few More Sweaters On My List for Fall

Cool fall nights, sitting by the fire, wearing this cabled sweater with a pair of jeans.

I want this grey fringe sweater to wear with black jeans or with a simple black dress.

I'd like this sweater to wear with everything!

The (Cow) Bells are Ringing!

I made this for a friend to put a smile on her face when she was recovering from surgery. A bedazzled cow bell.  For when you need to get the attention of a family member, ring in the new year, or just want to make noise!

Cowbell + White Spray Paint + Bling+ Ribbon = Bedazzzled cow bell.

Fall Breezes Call for the Tangle Teezer - Review

Fall breezes rustle vibrantly colored leaves, but they also make a rat's nest out of my super fine hair. In comes the Tangle Teezer.It just arrived from Amazon yesterday, and it's nothing short of perfect. It brushes my wet or dry hair with little resistance and no snagging, snarling, or breaking of my hair. I also have a Wet Brush, but the Tangle Teezer is better.  Its bristles are stiffer so they get to my scalp resulting in both a head massage and thorough detangling. 

Wine Glass Name Tags

I need to make wine glass tags for a fall theme party where there will be lots of people and lots of wine glasses. My criteria for the tags are: they can't be too big, too expensive or too much in the way when you are trying to drink your wine.  I found a cute idea for the tags that fill all of my criteria. The leaf design is perfect. Small enough so it is not annoying when you are holding the glass, but not too small so there is enough space to write out a friend's name, and it fits the fall theme.  You only need four items to make the tags:  
1. Leaf Paper Punch 2. Paper 3. Hole Punch 4. Charm Rings
So simple! Leaf Punch The leaf punch that I bought is actually a grape leaf (fitting for a wine glass). I chose this type of leaf because it is wider compared to other paper punch leaf designs.  There's enough room to punch a hole on the side of the leaf and still room left to write a name. If you are interested I found the leaf punch here on Amazon. The paper I bought in fal…

Pumpkin Apple Cream Cheese Muffins

Fall baked goods are always tempting, so when I came across this recipe, I couldn't resist. Pumpkin AND apples- you don't get more autumn than that. I'll be eating them with a little bit of maple butter spread on top.

Pumpkin Apple Cream Cheese Muffins
Cream Cheese Filling
8 oz package of cream cheese (at room temperature) 1/2 cup confectioners sugar 1 egg white 1/2 tsp vanilla
2 cups flour 2 tsp baking soda 1/2 cup brown sugar 1/2 tsp salt 1 tsp cinnamon 1 tsp pumpkin pie spice 1/4 cup vegetable oil 1/4 cup white granulated sugar 1 egg 1/2 cup milk 15 oz can pumpkin puree 3 apples, peeled, sliced and diced
Preheat oven to 350 F. Line a muffin pan with parchment paper squares or cupcake liners.
Peel and dice the 3 apples. Place diced apples into a bowl and set aside while you prepare the cream cheese filling.
Using an electric mixer, beat together cream cheese, 1/2 cup confectioners sugar, 1 egg white and 1/2 tsp vanilla extract until mixture is fluffy. Set cream …

Lilly (Pulitzer) Your Phone!

If you need to add more "Lilly" to your life here is a free app for you!  CocoPPa allows you to change the icons on you cell phone to one of thousands of designs on their app.  Think Lilly, preppy, pink and loads of green! You can also download wallpaper and stamps from the Cocoppa site to redesign the way your phone looks.  
Here's what you do to change an icon: 1. Get the cocoPPa app 2. Choose your favorite icon  3. Select the app that you are changing the icon 4. Add to the home screen
Lots of pretty pros with this app, the only two cons I found are: 1. You cannot change any of the Apple icons that came with your iPhone  2. You have to keep the old icons you are replacing on your phone for the new ones to work.  I solved the multiple icon problem by putting all of the old ones in a folder on a back page of my iPhone.
Get going! Start adding some pink and green on your phone today!

Kid's Pink Flamingo Costume Tutorial

I made this pink flamingo costume for my niece last year.  I love the Pottery Barn costume but I thought I could created my own version of their pink flamingo kids costume and save a little money.

Pink Flamingo Body: I needed a pattern for the body of the costume.  I used Simplicity 2070 pattern pumpkin costume (Design A in the pattern) using a light pink fleece fabric. It looks almost exactly like the Pottery Barn version. You can make it without the arms as in the Pottery Barn costume but since my niece lived in New England she needed something warm to wear. The Design A pumpkin version comes with long sleeves.  Since you are using fleece you can easily cut them short without the need to hem since fleece does not fray very much or not add the sleeves at all. 

Pink Flamingo Hood:
Next, I made the flamingo hood using the same pattern as the chick (Design B in the pattern) made with the same light pink fleece as the body for the hood. Again, it looks very similar to the Pottery Barn hoo…

Caudalie Divine Oil Review

I recently purchased Caudalie Divine Oil on a whim. I was in the market for a new body lotion, and although I was skeptical (and kind of grossed out) by the thought of it at first, I'm glad I did it!

First, it comes with a spray so you can lightly mist it wherever it's needed. The smell is also really nice. It's very strong out of the bottle, but when it's on your skin, it's just right- I would say an earthy floral. I use it straight out of the shower before I towel off completely. I rub it into very damp skin and then pat dry. Surprisingly, I feel moisturized and not greasy or heavy. In fact, I even tried it on my face and it feels great. 
So if you're looking for a new way to soften up your skin, don't be afraid to try oil!

The Season to Dry Hydrangeas

We are coming to the end of the hydrangea season. To keep a bouquet that will last throughtout the  year I am going to dry my flowers. In the past I have tried to dry them without success by hanging them upside down and letting them air dry. This time I am going to use the vase method. First, only pick the hydrangeas which the color of the flower's petals has faded.  My blue flowers have lost most of their color and the petals are beginning to turn papery, this is the optimum time to pick them.

Cut the flowers leaving at least a 10 inch stem and remove all of the leaves.  I put the flowers in a vase with 4 inches of water and then placed them in a room where they will not get direct sunlight.  The water will eventually evaporate and the flowers will dry.  
The trick to getting a nice dried flower is to pick your hydrangeas after the color begins to fade and the petals begin to have a papery texture. It is important to gather them at this point.  By waiting to pick your flowers un…