Thursday, December 1, 2011

{fab finds} advent calendars

Hello Friends! Yes, I am still alive! I've been busier than busy, and have also had a few things going on in my personal life. I love LOVE love my blog and I am more than ready to be back! I have some fun & crafty things that I need to share with you all!

Since it's December, it is time to bust out your advent calendars!
Here are a few of my favorites from the web:

Christmas Advent Calendar

Emily @ 52 Mantels use of treat boxes and cups create an inexpensive & cute advent calendar! Another perk to her project & tutorial, she is offering her printables as a FREE download, woot woot!

Advent Garland

Another FREEBIE! Jordan @ Polkadot Prints has a goodie, but an oldie from last year that is cute to boot and available as a FREE printable. Oh, how I love aqua and red together :).

Advent Christmas Envelope Calendar

Is it obvious yet that I enjoy red & aqua?

This darling envelope advent bunting is by Jenny @ All Sorts. She is amazing to provide not only the template for the banner but also the template for those cute elf shoes!

Enjoy these great finds!


Tuesday, October 4, 2011

{delish dish} chocolate peanut butter torte

Chocolate PB Torte with Chocolate Ganache

 Chocolate Peanut Butter Torte
A crunchy, rich peanut butter mousse in an Oreo crust that is topped with a chocolate ganache & peanuts.

It's easy to say that this is a scrumptious & to-die-for dessert! Annie @ Annie's Eats is the master chef behind this recipe adaptation for this peanut butter & chocolate combination goodness - check out her blog for directions & the recipe to create your very own delectable dessert!

*Tip: this is a rich & thick dessert and served with milk would be an added bonus!

Here are my takes on the dessert:

Chocolate Peanut Butter Torte

Here's my first attempt at the recipe. I made it for a labor day cookout - cook-in rather since it was raining!

Chocolate PB Torte - Bake Sale 1

Chocolate PB Torte - Bake Sale 2

It was sooooo good that I decided to make it for the "bake for a cure" event at work along with my cake pop assortments. I jazzed up the box with a pinkalicious bow & pearls and some pink damask tissue paper as a liner.

Since I consider myself rather a novice & average at my baking skills, I thought I would pass along my tips & techniques for making this torte:
 * Annie already increased the Oreo count for the crust in the recipe instructions, but I felt like it could have even MORE Oreos crushed for the crust. I felt like I had to stretch it to get the crust high. The perfectionist in me wanted the crust to be even on the top, but that didn't end up happening - just smooth the ganache to the sides :) Besides, can you ever have too many Oreos? If you end up with too many, just whip up a few Oreo ball truffles ---yum!

* I didn't use espresso powder in mine because 1. I didn't have any & 2. I couldn't quickly locate it in the store. I am a lover of coffee but not necessarily frozen or coffee-flavored goods so I am not sure how I would feel about it being coffee infused. 

* Cream cheese at room temperature is key for easy mixing - I kept forgetting to set it out!

* I brought the cream to a boil while I started my chocolate melting. I felt as if they came to a boil/melt at the same time.

* I hold a deep appreciation for a KitchenAid mixer and what it does *not that I have one* I didn't have a whisk attachment the first go around for my mixer and had to whisk the whipped cream by hand and lets just say my arm was sore for days!

I hope you find yourself inspired & hungry!


Monday, October 3, 2011

{creative} think pink - awareness

This is definitely a fabulous find by very talented Chickabug!

Breast Cancer Awareness Printables

Breast Cancer Awareness Printables 2

I found this gem featured on HowDoesShe and just had to share it! After the success of their free printable party circle last year, Chickabug saw a need for a printables kit that is as useful as it is pretty. Touches for "real" men are included as well since they wear pink too!

Breast Cancer Awareness Cake Pops 1

Breast Cancer Awareness Cake Pops 2

I wanted to share something I made for this cause. My work has a "bake for a cure" every year and all entries are auctioned off with the money going towards BCA research.

I am an avid believer in presentation! I made a set of pink inspired cake & oreo pops/balls (with a few mini ghirardelli brownies thrown in). The cake and frosting combo flavors are strawberry cake/cream cheese, red velvet/cream cheese, and chocolate/chocolate. My lovely boyfriend helped me make a stand and I jazzed it up with some pretty paper & jewels. I had a box for transporting the pops to & fro for the winning bidder - that way none of them fall off during their travels. The hard work paid off - because they were definitely a hit!

Ole Miss Cake Pops 1

Ole Miss Cake Pops 2

Not the forget the boys since they wear pink too! I made a set of cake pops/balls that would appeal to one of their fall interests: football!

Until my cake pop catastophre the night before, I was planning on making Ole Miss and University of Memphis inspired displays, but due to a slight tumble of goods - Ole Miss prevailed ;) You can see the main component of this display peeping from behind - the Ghirardelli brownies cut & decorated like footballs. I made a few cake balls and oreo pops, and my cake pops like the pinterest trending footballs!

I made one more goodie for the bake sale, but I am going to share it with a recipe review later this week! I am working on being better about actually sharing the creative things that I do behind the scenes.

Be inspired and think pink this month!


Monday, September 26, 2011

{fab finds} kate spade: twirl inspiration


Twirl by Kate Spade
"She had a cocktail in hand and confetti in her hair."

I have been OBSESSED with Kate Spade's Twirl perfume since I received my sample from Sephora a few months back. I even kept the little cardboard holder because of the sprinkle of letterpressed, gold confetti that surrounds the tagline: "She had a cocktail in hand and confetti in her hair."  Those few words evoke images of well clad guests at a New Year's celebration to me!

Here are some of my "Twirl" inspired finds:

Gold Confetti DIY art

This DIY art looks just like the confetti on the perfume bottle!  

Natalie @Mint Love Social Club made this in about 5 minutes using minimal supplies. This goes perfectly with my Christmas decor & would look awesome for a New Years party. This is definitely on my to do list - visit her blog for the tutorial!

Glitter Nails - Debra Lippman "Boom Pow" Polish
                                                        {Image Source}

The gold glitter confetti nail polish over a blush pink nail is GORGEOUS!

I instantly had to know the what & where about it! Easily found but sadly not easily purchased - The "Boom Pow" nail polish by Debra Lippman has flecks of 24-karat gold dust bringing it to a grand $20 a bottle!

I am no fashionista in any form and I balk at spending over $3 for polish. Say HELLO to my discounted friend below:

golden girl nail polish

I recently went into my local Forever 21 looking for a hat to wear to a tea party and found this hidden gem at the check-out counter! The "Golden Girl" nail polish comes in at $2.80 a bottle and looks like it is a close match!  

I'll gladly spend a little less green for a little less gold ;)

kate spade tablescape

100 Layer Cake featured this FABULOUS Kate Spade inspired shoot.

2 of my favorite details: the striped, pointed table runner and the bow tie napkins.
The china - of course- is Kate Spade's. This is also inspiration for my Halloween decor that I hope to share soon :)

Martha Stewart Confetti Collection

Martha Stewart always has creative inspiration for every occasion.

These are some "wedding finds" {L-R}: large table & banner confetti, fringe background created from multiple kinds of paper, confetti covered cake, confetti filled programs.

Dwell Gold Vases

Dwell Studio has these great gold triangle gold vases in 3 sizes. Again with the real gold - 16-karat gold creates the overall design. I am looking to DIY a good knock-off of these $162 beauties.

Confetti necklace - JCREW

Getting their confetti-love on with us is JCREW! Snag this confetti inspired necklace for $38 dubloons.

In essence, the Kate Spade girl is...

quick and curious and playful and strong.
she mixes her matches and experiments with color.
she lets her imagination run away with her.
she is the first to make a toast and the last to say goodnight.
she looks for adventure around every corner.
she sings off-key but with great spirit. 

Pier One Polka Dot Tumblers 
Channeling my inner Kate Spade, I bought those Pier One polka dotted glasses above {no longer available} about 6 months back for a steal at $1.50 each compared to the regular $6. I am looking forward to using them this upcoming holiday season.

Hopefully you enjoyed my recent fashion love that spilled over to my design & party finds


Monday, September 12, 2011

{fab finds} we're all a bit mad here. . .

In honor of my best friend & kindred spirit's little girl turning one this weekend, I am making this week's posts theme follow suit with her party: Madi Hatter in ONE-derland! 

{Here is the party post from Tootie's baby shower that I threw for Lil' Miss Madi Beth!}

I've always had a soft spot for tea parties & I love that Alice in Wonderland took the party scene by storm. Here is a mini-round up of ideas that would be wonderful & whimsical touches to any tea party, bright & colorful or shabby chic!

Teacup Topiary

This paper rose tea cup topiary is just perfect! It is by Orchard House Creation on etsy, but is unfortunately already sold!

This could easily be recreated by using a teacup planter, Spanish moss as a filler, a dowel rod stem, and a Styrofoam ball covered in a multitude of roses made out of different, double-sided scrapbook pieces of paper. Embellish with a few glittered up butterflies!

Ruffle Cupcake Toppers

Another etsy find, Ruffle cupcake toppers in a various shades of pink add a romantic touch of nostalgia to any spread of sweets. The variety set by Jean Knee comes with 10 dainty toppers for your soiree.

Teacup Centerpiece

Tea Party Heart Doilies
                                {MS image sources}

Martha always has ideas for every occasion!
Collect cups & saucers, stack them high (secured with museum wax), and place votive candles and flowers on each set for a graceful, inexpensive centerpiece.

Get the how-to on making these heart doilies that also resemble flowers! Make them in various shades & sizes to add interest to your table top. The "Queen" would prefer them RED not WHITE ;)

Wonderland Party Shabby Chic Tablescape

This is a truly WONDERful WONDERLAND party thrown by Kasey Buick for her daughter Lola. She used mainly items that she already had on hand for a BEAUTIFUL budget friendly soiree. Visit her site to check out even more details and breath-taking pictures. I especially love the wonderland banner in its circus font and range of colors, the kraft & polka dot pom, and of course the furniture!

I feel like these party beauties help set the tone for the rest that is yet to come this week!

Saturday, September 3, 2011

{fab finds} pitter-pat goes my heart for etsy

I have been looking through etsy {one of the wonders of the WEB} a good little bit the past few days, and I have found some AMAZING shops, to say the least!

Fairytale Jubilee Collage

Are these costumes not drop-dead-gorgeous?!?

Located beneath the pink-feathered Juniper Tree, Alisha @ Fairytale Jubilee creates couture costumes for your little girls. Made with only the finest fabrics and trims, these costumes and headpieces not only fit your child's growing imagination but also grow with them! The dresses are styled after a pinafore so the costume is adjustable to "grow" with your child for years-to-come. The only question left is, "What will you wear to the Jubilee?"

All of the items in Alisha's shop is breath taking, and I just poured over every item and detail featured. Congrats on being featured in the upcoming October issue of Parent magazine - your talent & designs are definitely meant to be shared!

Slippin Southern Collage

Greg @ Slippin Southern sits on his front porch in the Carolinas sippin' sweet tea and creating wooden signs & art that bring out the "Gone With The Wind-esque" drawl in all of us.

His signs have a simplistic style that are filled with so much character, and I am 100% loving that font! I definitely have a mile long wish list from his shop - check it out! There are even some goods that will strike your fancy for the upcoming fall season and especially if you are a Twilight lover..... 

Everyone enjoys a little piece of the south. I was in Boston a few weeks ago and they just adored my drawl ;) It tickled them pink to see the word "y'all" texted - that's a new one for them. Maybe one day I'll move to where everyone loves to hear me talk just to hear my accent. Every girl's dream to be able to talk all she wants and everyone wants to listen, right?!? lol

These are just a few of my recent fabulous finds that I just had to share & I look forward to sharing many, many more!



Friday, August 12, 2011

{fab finds} back 2 school supplies and treats

Can you believe summer break is over?!? 

This actually happens to be one of my favorite times of the year :) Who can resist new school (now that I'm grown they're for the office) supplies? I still buy them even though my education is currently complete.

This week was the first week back for kids in my neck of the woods. I want to make all kinds of cute things for my sister's teachers, but I am not sure if they will think that's weird?!? They are in high school & middle school so I have to stay away from crayon themed projects - but there are still some uber cute ones out there!

Side Note: One of my coworkers gave me a huge compliment. She hoped that our future kids are classmates & that I'm their room mom :) I'm glad she enjoys my crafty creations.

Here are some of my favorite teacher themed freebies, goodies & projects:

Back 2 School Apple Oreo Bouquet

Mini Oreo Apple Pops

I have been crushing on these oreo apple pops! Aren't they just darling?!?

I have candy melts and (mini & regular) oreos waiting to be made into these beauties. Amanda @ Shindig Parties to Go and also Brooke @ The Crafting Chicks have made & shared the tutorials on these back 2 school treats.

Here are school supplies done right:




Stunning & Creative are two words that come to mind with this tablescape!
The innovative uses of school supplies as food and treats are outstanding. One Charming Party is the mastermind behind this Back 2 School set up which was featured by The Tablescape Queen, Amy Atlas.

Details I love:
Paper clips used as a filler, composition notebook printed table top, erasers wrapped like salt water taffy, using paper clips to hold the banner together, and the extra touch to the pencil cake: pencil candles with eraser flames - ingenious!

Check out their blog for extra pictures, tutorials, and even more great school ideas!

School Supplies Cake

Here's another fun take on a school supplies cake. This brightly wrapped goody is made by Leigh Ann @ The Butlers. I love all the brightly colored ribbons and flowers holding all the "treats" snug!

Teacher Apple Cookies

More apple cookies! I must have them on the brain :) 

From one of my favorite baking blogs, Sweet Sugarbelle created these cutie apple top marzipan cookies - she shares the recipe & helpful tips!

Love these! I like how she piped the leaf rather than using Air Heads like on the pops - that's exactly how I wanted to do my leaves. I might use a large chocolate sprinkle instead of a clove for these cookies.

Hopefully I have given you plenty of apple & pencil ideas for this school season! I have so many more ideas I want to share :)