Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Sunday, July 25, 2010

"All you've ever wanted was good weather, a strong man, and french fries."

Friday, July 23, 2010

What's New, Cupcake?

Like I've said many times, I'm a huge fan of semi-homemade baking. Last year, I purchased Hello, Cupcake and have wanted to make every single cupcake in the book since. In reality, I've only tried a few but love the easy and inventive techniques that Karen Tack and Alan Richardson have come up with. A lot of these cupcakes are made with unusual mixes of candies/snacks, and I probably wouldn't eat them, but I think they're so fun to make and jazz up any dessert table. Most of the cupcakes are playful and better suited for children's parties, so last July I made these animal cupcakes to supplement the huge sheet cake at my niece's birthday party:

I was most pleased with the elephants, especially since it was my first time using candy melts (the trunk and ears). But the monkeys turned out kind of creepy...(reminded me too much of the scary-ass flying monkeys in the Wizard of Oz)

I just bought What's New, Cupcake (the second addition to the Tack/Richardson cupcake series) and thought I would try another one out for my niece's birthday this year. There were a lot of options for a 4 year olds birthday but decided on these candy flower cupcakes. For one thing, they are practically all sugar and I don't think my sister would be too thrilled if I showed up on any other day with these. And again, I thought they would add a nice decorative touch to the table.

Pink flowers made with marshmallows, spice drops, nilla wafers and melting candy.

Smaller flowers were made with m&m's and mini oreos (and pretzel stick stems)

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Universally Speaking

There are very few problems in life that music cannot ease the stress of dealing with. I'm sorry to say I forget how much I love music until these moments come along. Today, I'm reconnecting with an old favorite:

Monday, July 19, 2010

Travel Travel Travel

With thoughts still lingering from last nights post, I did go out and buy Eat Pray Love and have fully immersed myself in it. Pleased to say I'm pleased so far, and still feel the need for a change of scenery. I don't think I've ever wanted to travel so badly. I'm going to Somerset, New Jersey next week for a wedding and I recently told a friend, "You know you're in desperate need of a vacation when you're excited to go to New Jersey." Just the thought of leaving for 5 days (even if it is for America's Armpit) is enough for me to look forward to.

A recycled photo from my trip to Pakistan earlier this year. I lived in these shoes for the 3 weeks I was there.

Big Screen

I've unintentionally stuck to my new years resolution and have already seen more movies in the first half of this year than I saw altogether in 2009. I haven't been a huge Julia Roberts fan this past decade (much more impressed by her '90s movies like My Best Friends Wedding and Pretty Woman) and I feel a little bit like a sap in saying this, but the trailers for Eat, Pray, Love have really been overwhelming me. Having no previous interest in this book, I just spent some time reading the first 30 pages on google. I don't know if it's some subconscious "quarter century crisis" or this fleeting fantasy of disappearing with no safety net or obligations (I say fleeting because deep down this petrifies me) or the idea of traveling and immersing in different cultures, but I'm hooked and inspired (hopefully
that isn't fleeting). "Buy Eat, Pray Love" has just been tacked on to my to-do list for tomorrow. And even though big screen adaptations rarely live up to the original text, I plan on watching it when it comes out.

Other summer flicks I'm interested in:
The Kids Are Alright
Easy A

Sunday, July 18, 2010


95% of the time, I edit my photos for the same effects: sharp, bright and vibrant. I don't experiment much, or stray from the norm (maybe I will if I ever invest in photoshop with it's thousands of options), but I felt like antique-ing this photo. Taken at a recent pre-wedding party for my brother-in-law's brother.

Thursday, July 8, 2010


Though summertime is usually the best season for bright nails, I'm taking a break from stained fingers and wearing a nude shade. I've always been a fan of nude nail polish, it's less shocking that bright colors, goes with everything, and there's something very smooth and sleek about it. Last week I found the perfect shade:

Sephora by OPI in "Nonfat Soy Half Caff"

In general, OPI makes good nail polish, only trumped by Sally Hansen's Hard as Nails. Because you really can't beat $1.99 quick drying nail polish that is somewhat chip-resistant.

That was a pretty random post, but I just felt compelled to share my great find :)

Monday, July 5, 2010

Long Weekend Part II

My dad loves to grill. Of all the things in our house, the barbeque (seen below) was probably the best investment. We barbeque about twice a month (sometimes more) so of course the 4th of July is no exception. This weekend, like most families in America, we had a BBQ with close friends.

My dad flipping burgers

Shrimp skewers

In the spirit of trying new things, my sister bought this croquet set. We never did get around to trying it.

I baked a red, white and blueberry cake.

Okay, so that is box cake mix, and the frosting is from a can, but I really suck at baking cakes from scratch. I think taste overrules being able to say "I made it from scratch!" so for now, I'm sticking to Betty Crocker. I saw a couple of variations of the strawberry/blueberry 4th of July cake decorating technique, but you wouldn't believe how fast and easy this was. I made a simple 2 layer white cake, filled and covered with vanilla frosting, and adorned with strawberry halves and blueberries. If ever decorating with strawberries, beware of their drippiness! I had to clean up/re-frost a few small sections before serving, but it certainly added a bit of festivity to the dessert table.

Good food and company aside, I'd have to say the highlight of the night was my 4 year old niece shrieking out of excitement when the fireworks started; we're lucky to have a decent view in our backyard of the fireworks from surrounding cities on the 4th of July. Not as good a view as last year, but oh well :)

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Long Weekend

I'm just about to get ready for a 4th of July family BBQ and thought I'd post a few pictures from the weekend thus far. Saturday morning, we had lunch in Palos Verdes and then explored a little bit. It was such beautiful weather, we hung out on these rocks/cliffs that overlook the ocean/South Bay and then ended up moseying around for the majority of the day.

"Rock climbing" in sandals and a maxi dress was loads of fun. Glad I didn't plummet to my death! Just kidding. I was actually more concerned about dropping my camera.

the seaweed/kelp looked like shards of glass in the sun

This guy was out there fishing for awhile

Wishing everyone a safe and fun 4th of July!

Saturday, July 3, 2010

It's a Recession

A cherry icee, 1 roll of Kodak B&W film and a nice little break from the day...all under $10.

Just a random train track we passed on the way home.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Clunk Clunk

Did anyone else know that Lucky Brand makes shoes? And not just hippie-moccasin-hemp-shoes!

I almost bought these today. I love love loved the tan leather t-strap as well as the 1970s clunky, wooden platform (I'm a sucker for anything the slightest bit '70s). They looked really cute on and the sole was super soft and comfy. The more I stare at this picture from my phone, the more I'm considering buying them...