Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Tape it Up

I know Japanese-style paper tape isn't exactly a brand new phenomenon. But I'm loving these designs from  Etsy shop RetroNaNa.

And do I even need to ask: How cool is this cotton lace tape?

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Buttercream Perfection

You heard me. I've found buttercream perfection. In my world, frosting is worthy of its own food group. I used this frosting recipe at several parties I threw this summer and promised the recipe to so many people I can't even count that high. So get out there and start baking...this is the stuff dreams are made of.

Vanilla Buttercream
1 1/2 C.  Unsalted Butter, room temperature
1/4 C. + 1 1/2 tsp.  Milk, room temperature
1 Tbsp. + 1/4 tsp.  Madagascar Bourbon Vanilla
7 C.  Powdered Sugar

1. Cream butter on medium speed (1-2 minutes) until even. Scrape bowl and beater.
2. Add milk, vanilla, and half of powdered sugar. Mix on medium speed for 2 minutes. Scrape bowl. Mix for another 2 minutes on medium speed. Scrape bowl again.
3. Add remaining powdered sugar and mix on medium speed for 3 minutes (or more--depending on how fluffy you like your frosting). Scrape bowl.
4. Mix one last time on medium for 30 seconds.
5. Store in airtight container at room temperature. If you're not using immediately, store in refrigerator for up to 1 week. Bring to room temperature before using.

A couple notes: 

  • I use my stand mixer for this recipe, but a hand-mixer works equally as nice.
  • Don't even think of using crappy vanilla for this recipe. Buy the good stuff. It makes a world of difference. Promise.
  • Let your butter sit out at room temperature for 1-3 hours (depending on the temperature of the room). You should be able to make indentations with your fingers when you squeeze it gently. 
  • Scrape, scrape, scrape that bowl. I'm usually a lazy scraper; but scraping the bowl and the mixer blade definitely contributes to the most heavenly frosting.
  • This recipe is basically foolproof. Tweak the ingredients a bit to fit your mood--add more sugar for frosting cookies, or add more milk for thinner frosting.
Don't even try to keep yourself from licking the spoon. :)

Monday, September 27, 2010

A work of art is the unique result of a unique temperament.
--Oscar Wilde


Just noticed they're setting up the pumpkin patch near our home. I wonder if we'll run into this family again this year. Festive, no?

Disclaimer: I took this picture last year amid all my end-of-pregnancy nastiness. I decided not to post it then because I didn't want to be mean. But I've since come to appreciate this ultimate display of family togetherness and festivity. You should have seen the grimace of pain on the dad's face the entire time. Poor guy. And I think my identity-hiding orange dots totally counteract the meanness of it all, anyway.

Mean? Maybe.
Funny? You decide.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Weekend Style

I've been obsessed with this outfit lately. It's an ideal blend of casual comfort and polished style. It's perfect for cheering on the sidelines of a soccer game, a quick trip the the farmer's market and lunch out with friends. Which just happen to be my Saturday plans. Now that I've further convinced myself that I need this outfit, I better get shopping. :)

Have a great weekend!

Sweatshirt: J. CrewScarf: BodenClutch: Hobo Intl.Jeans: SevenFlats: Sam Edelman

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Brazilian Candy Makers

No excuses: I'm a scatterbrain, plain and simple. I've been meaning to tell you about my friends over at Brazilian Candy Makers all summer. And now,  here we are on the first "official" day of fall and I'm just getting around to it. Better late than never, eh?

Anyway Diane & Charlline are two friends from Brazil, now living in Pennsylvania who are the creative duo behind Brazilian Candy Makers. I love peeking in on their blog to see their newest parties. My favorite is the Butterfly Party. I love the fabric butterflies and the matching fabric bags. And look at the detail on those cake pops!

I love their attention to detail, and their clever presentation.
Stop by their blog to see more of their work.

Photos by HH Eventos, via Brazilian Candy Makers.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Card Organizer

I always say I'm going to be better about remembering birthdays. In truth, I completely missed a couple key birthdays (think: immediate family) this year. Maybe next year I'll have better luck with this cute Greeting Card Organizer from Meri Meri on my side.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Project Wish List

So many projects, so little time. Here are (some) of the projects on my to-do list:

"True Love" Embroidery patterns via Spot Colors.

I want to make a set of tea towels with each of her darling designs in the True Love series.
And wouldn't these make the cutest hostess gift?

Since Bubs (Charlotte) has a Halloween birthday, you can bet we're going all out for Halloween around here.

And while we're talking Halloween, how 'bout these little mini-candy bar wrappers from Trillustrations?

I'm stock piling my toilet paper tubes (really) for a rainy day.
Since we're fresh off our Disneyland vacation, I think the Seven Dwarfs will go over pretty well.
More info here.

And for the day that I'm feeling extra-ambitious, I'm gonna whip up one of these little party skirts for Baby Charlotte. If it goes well, maybe I'll make a little somethin' for myself. That might be pushing my meager sewing skills...but isn't this a cute skirt? Photo and tutorial can be found on Ucreate.

One final project: Hudson's been missing his buddies since they started kindergarden this year. I think we'll throw a Pirate Playdate one day after school. He can hang out with his new preschool buddies and the super-cool kindergarden crowd. They can all bond over buried treasure.

And the cutest printables from the Cottage Industrialist will add the perfect touch to a Pirate Playdate.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Last Week

You'll have to excuse my absence last week. We were busy doing a little bit of this:

and a LOT of this:

Being the wife of a resident comes with plenty of ups and downs. But this month is one of the ups. We love having B around. He's funny, energetic and adventurous. And here's the kicker: I've enjoyed the luxury of taking naps. I'm one lucky girl. Hope you had a great weekend!

Thursday, September 16, 2010

It's Here: Rue Magazine

Today's the day! I'm sure you've heard the news--Rue buzz has been all over the blogosphere for the last month. I'm so excited to check out the premier issue of Rue Magazine. I've been waiting impatiently for launch day to arrive. I also want to say a huge congratulations to my friend Anne...what a great accomplishment! I just knew you'd do something fantastic with your writing skills and eye for style. I know the magazine will be a smashing success.

Now what are you still doing here? Get over there and start drooling over all that eye candy.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

More Dance Faves

Recently, a reader tweeted me to ask about more of my favorite movie scenes. Being an ex-dancer, naturally most of my favorite movie scenes involve dancing. Here's a few more for your viewing/dancing pleasure:

This funny how-not-to-dance scene from Hitch always makes me laugh.

And who can forget Napoleon Dynamite's smooth moves?

Finally, one for those who want a little more serious technique... the Jai Ho during the closing credits of Slumdog Millionaire.

How about you? Any favorite movie dancing moments???

Friday, September 10, 2010

Cucumber Punch

I thought I was ready for fall. Then we had a couple 65-degree days that have me reconsidering my commitment autumn. If you're not ready to let go of summer yet, make a batch of cucumber punch. Sounds weird, I know, but trust'll love it. The best part: there's only three ingredients.

1 can frozen limeade concentrate
1 liter diet sprite
cucumber slices

Dump it all in a pitcher, swirl 'em around real good, fill up a glass with ice and hold onto summer for a bit longer. (And really, don't forget the'll want to dilute just a bit).

Photo from Martha Stewart Weddings. Because her photo is so much better than mine turned out. :)

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Before & After

Here's a recent project. I took this pearl belt that I never wear (for obvious reasons), added some turquoise beads, more pearls and a handful of sparkly bits and turned it into this bracelet:

And just in case you're wondering where one gets such a thing as a pearl belt with a brooch closure: don't fret--I didn't pay actual money for it. It was a vendor sample when I worked in the accessory world. I've got several other jewelry rehab projects coming your way...I feel a blog series coming on. :)

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Science Monday

If B and I are ever in the car together on a Friday morning, we listen to NPR's Science Friday. Go ahead and say what you're thinking: Nerds. You're right. We've got more family time than usual planned for this month, so for Labor Day we opted out of the holiday hot spots and had a little "Science Monday" here at home.

This is what we came up with:
Home Made Root Beer

Egg Drop Contest

Paper-Mâché Volcano
The paint on the volcano is still drying. I'll have some explosion pictures for you later on this week. We also grilled up some burgers and corn on the cob, and the guys finished off the night with a campout in the back yard. I hope you all had a terrific holiday weekend.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Dance Sequence

I think this dance sequence from (500) Days of Summer is one of my all-time favorite movie moments. I caught it on tv again last night, and have been giggling about it ever since. Now that I think about it, I also love the similar moment from Enchanted...I guess I just love a good dance sequence through the park.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

DIY: Vinyl Wall Clock

Hi, my friends. My DIY this month is one for the kiddos. Start back-to-school season with a new learning "tool" in their rooms (disguised as a fun, colorful clock, of course).

Here's what you'll need:
Assorted vinyl sheets
Transfer tape
Clock movement set
Something to cut vinyl*
A wall (what's a wall clock without a wall, after all?)
*I used my Cricut to cut the numbers. If you don't have a vinyl-cutting device, you can actually just draw, trace, or stencil the numbers on the back of the vinyl sheets and cut them out with tiny scissors. If you want more information on this method, simply drop me a line.

Let's get started:
1.  After you gather up all your supplies, simply cut numbers from different colors of vinyl. My numbers are roughly 2.75" tall. I used varying widths and fonts...but do whatever you want.
2.  Cover each number with transfer tape so they're ready to stick to the wall.
3.  Mark the spot on the wall where you will mount your clock hands.
4.  Measure 6" (horizontally and vertically) on either side of the mounting spot and make a mark:

5.  Loosely adhere the 12, 6, 3 and 9 where you made those marks. Don't press the transfer tape all the               way down in case you need to re-adjust your spacing:

6.  Fill in the rest of the numbers. Again, don't press them all the way down yet:
7.  Adjust your spacing, then press the numbers down. Scrape across them with the edge of a credit card to make sure they're on nice and tight.

8.  Remove the transfer tape.
9.  Cut a circle to "hide" the clock movement.

10.  Attach the clock hands and battery to the movement.
11.  Mount the hands on the wall (I used command adhesive strips).

Step back and admire your work. Pretty great, huh?
As always, feel free to email me with questions or comments.