Saturday, July 30, 2011

lusting after...

Going out on the weekends I feel like I'm always at a loss for finding the perfect bag. I have some fabulous clutches, but they aren't the best for dancing. My dance moves can get pretty intense, and I feel like I always have to hold back just to make sure I don't whack someone across the face with my clutch. This Lanvin evening bag below is the perfect compromise. Gorgeous, and it can easily be worn across the body as soon as I need to bust a move/break it down/party like it's 1999...

What's your favorite purse to carry when you're out and about? Do you like to dance?

Speaking of dancing, if your looking to learn a few new moves check out this little man. He's got style...

Friday, July 29, 2011

put down al!

At first thought this was a wax Al - and on Today we stole Al's replica from the wax museum down the street - but no it's the real one with buff hottie Ryan Gosling doing the (not so heavy anymore - go Al!) lifting. Can't wait to see Ryan's new movie Crazy, Stupid, Love out this weekend!

Are you a Gosling fan?

Fun Friday musings: 
1. Harry Potter hilariousity - Love this and as my friend mentioned, we are fans, but would not be able to come up with enough HP names to fill a phone book! Must start memorizing for when this moment presents itself to me...
2. True Blood, not so much true love - So excited. Alex is a free agent...why doesn't he live in NYC?
3. Smart woman - Oh, I only hope to be such a great mother ;)
4. She just didn't see it coming - For those who can't put their phones down for one second.
5. Funny TV segment - Just because I laughed and hope you will too.

Yay for the weekend!

Thursday, July 28, 2011

boo! where's my chair?

The only ghosts I will ever accept in my house will be those of the acrylic form. Chic, versatile, and I'm assuming easy to clean, ghost chairs are a personal favorite. My friend's mom had some around her dining table and ever since I saw them, and sat in them, I was sold. They are surprisingly comfortable. A few ghost chairs are pictured in their natural habitats below. 

ghost book shelf!

How do you feel about ghost chairs? Do you have a favorite furniture piece at the moment?

images via: 1, 2, 3, 4, 56, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, and 12

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

heart of hearts

A few hearts for those who love...

1. Love note pocket pillow
2. Rose gold heart ring
3. Heart print dress
4. Identity love bracelet

5. Home is where the heart is
customizable print
6. Piece of my heart necklace

Just as I was finishing this post a friend sent me this text message -  perfect timing:

Appreciate all your loved ones for everything.
Loving is easy...remember the great times and imagine the even better times.
Forgive each other and let love consume you!

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

indian food, christmas lights, and cupcakes

My friend Katie Jane turned another year older last week and to celebrate we all went out to a fun restaurant in the East Village called Panna II. It is a family owned indian restaurant that has tons of lights hanging down from the ceiling - combination of Christmas and chili lights - and the walls are covered in holographic-like Christmas paper. It was a super cute place and BYOB! My only complaint would be that it was quite small and cozy and we sat next to the entrance. It got a little toasty. I recommend going during the cooler months, although their menus did make nice fans.

I offered to bring a cake since it's not a true bday celebration without baked goods. Who's with me?! KJ said her favorite was German chocolate so I set off to find the perfect recipe. Disclaimer: no real Germans involved in the creation of the recipe (I know came as a surprise to me too.) German chocolate cake actually originated in Dallas, TX - that's right we Texans know how to bake! A homemaker used Baker's german chocolate as a key ingredient in her cake and the recipe was published in a local newspaper. You could say the rest is baking history. Baker's german chocolate chocolate bar was named after it's American creator Sam German in 1852. 

More info here:

If you like coconut, chocolate and nuts this is the cake for you. I decided to make cupcakes instead of a big cake - easier to transport and I could leave some for my roomies. I made a few changes to the original recipe posted here. Recipe below includes the changes I made. There are three parts to the cake. The chocolate cake, which I am beyond embarrassed to note that I used a box mix, the coconut pecan filling, and the chocolate icing. The cupcakes turned out amazing, and they were also pretty easy. Lots of steps but easy assembly. Enjoy!

German Chocolate Cake 
Chocolate Cake:
Box mix - I used Arrowhead Mills Organic Chocolate cake mix with egg beaters, butter, and almond milk.
Any chocolate cake box mix will work. 
Coconut Pecan Filling
adapted from Cooks Illustrated via
Ingredients for filling:
  • 2 large egg yolks
  • 1/2 can (6oz) evaporated milk
  • 1/2 cup (3.5oz) granulated sugar
  • 2 Tbs packed light brown sugar
  • 3 Tbs unsalted butter, cut into 6 pieces
  • 1/8 tsp table salt
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract (I didn't have any and turned out fine)
  • 1 1/4 cups sweetened shredded coconut, toasted
  • 3/4 cups finely chopped pecans, toasted (350 degrees for about 8 mins)
Directions for Filling:
  1. Whisk yolks in med. saucepan, gradually whisk in evaporated milk.
  2. Add sugars, butter & salt. Cook over medium-high heat whisking constantly until boiling, frothy and slightly thickened.
  3. Transfer to a bowl, whisk in vanilla.
  4. Stir in coconut.
  5. Cool until just warm then cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until cold, at least 2hrs but up to 3 days.
  6. Pecans are stirred in just before cake assembly so they do not get soggy.
Chocolate Ganache Frosting
adapted from Cooks Illustrated via
Ingredients for Frosting:
  • 3 oz 60% cacao chocolate or higher
  • 1/4 cup plus 1 Tbs whipping cream
  • 1 Tbs butter, at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • 2 Tbs whole milk (I used whipping cream)
Directions for frosting:
  1. Heat milk in microwave for 30 seconds.
  2. Chop chocolates and transfer into a heat proof bowl.
  3. Heat cream until bubbles form around the edge of the pan, pour cream over the chocolate.
  4. Let sit for 1 minute then stir until combined.
  5. Add butter to the chocolate (make sure its soft and at room temp) and stir until combined.
  6. Whisk together sugar, salt, milk, and vanilla in another bowl until combined. Pour the sugar mixture onto the chocolate mixture, then stir until combined and smooth.
  7. Let sit at room temperature until thickened.
  8. Beat with an electric mixer until fluffy.
To assemble:
  1. Cut a cone out of the top of a completely cooled cupcake.
  2. Cut about a 1/2 inch off the bottom of the cone to make the top.
  3. Fill cupcake cavity with 1 Tbs (or so) of coconut pecan filling. 
  4. Replace cupcake top.
  5. Frost with a 1/4 inch layer of ganache.
  6. Top with final scoop of pecan filling.
  7. Eat. Yum, yum, yum.

Everyone loved the cupcakes, and KJ especially loved the filling... 

What's your go to birthday cake?

Monday, July 25, 2011

christmas in july

What were you up to this weekend? Some friends of friends of mine had a little Christmas in July get together this weekend. I am not sure as to the origin of this lovely holiday, but here are a few links that will attempt to explain. 

Here are a few photos of my roommates and I's Christmas tree - true Charlie Brown style - from Christmas 2010.

Walking through the tree lot - which one do we want? 

This one is definitely a winner, wrap it and bag it! 

Finished project! did that get in there?

Here is our beautiful tree decorated in our finest handmade creations.

Who needs branches at the top of the tree?
Give your angel a little room to shine! 

Tree story: We bought this tree at the tree lot right in front of St. Mark's Church in the Bowery. After paying too much for our little tree our nice salesman told us that he could sell us his tree stand for half the price of a new one. Great! He conveniently lived across the street - I mean obviously. We proceeded to wait at a bar close by holding our tree waiting for him to bring us the tree stand. He didn't want his boss to see. Now that is the true holiday spirit. If you live in NY stop by their little tree lot come the true holiday season.

Don't worry, Etsy ornament store soon to come.

Learn how to make your own angels out of coffee filters here:

If you need to learn how to make paper chains ask the nearest eight year old or get back in touch with your childhood crafting years. Didn't everyone go through that phase?

Much love and enjoy your Monday morning!