Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Cake Cups

Ever since the Launch Party two weeks ago I have had lots of people ask me how to make the cake cups I served for dessert. So here you go...

Supplies:
1) A baked cake... I used a box mix for this cake and just added pink dye to match the party...any cake will work.
2) Frosting... I used a basic buttercream recipe from the old school Better Homes and Gardens cook book. Any frosting will work, I think strawberries and whip cream would be cute for layering and delicious too!
3) Clear cups for serving so you can see the layers.
4) Decorations for the top...candles, sprinkles etc...the options are endless.


When you are planning on making a layered cake and this is what happens you need to improvise...cake cups is what I came up with.


I put a layer of cake on the bottom of the glasses, then a layer of frosting, then another cake layer etc. You can do as many layers that will fit your glass.


I finished mine off with hot pink sprinkles.


The finished cake cups on display in the dessert/candy bar.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Gift Wrapping

While I am in Minnesota it happens to be the same time of a baby shower for an old friend of mine. As I started wrapping the gift I was going to bring it was so colorful that I thought it would be a fun post. Here is what I did...


The gifts...bib, books, socks, and teddy bear.


Wrapping supplies...basket, ribbons, tissue paper, scissors and tape.


The wrapped gifts...and of course the iPad with Pandora on the Ella Fitzgerald/Louise Armstrong station...good tunes!


Tissue paper in the bottom of the basket for help with gift placement.


The finished product for the mommy to be.

Monday, February 27, 2012

My Grandpa Al

Well, you can disregard the low key weekend I thought I would be having...sadly on Thursday night my Grandfather passed away. I was able to fly home to Minnesota within hours of finding out, I am so thankful I can be home with my family during this time.

My Grandpa Al was an amazing man. I will miss you Grandpa...xoxo


Grandpa and me on my second birthday, 1983.

Friday, February 24, 2012

Favorite Four

It was a beautiful week in Philly...mainly 60s and sunny. Perfect for the dog park, walking around the city and lots of driving with the windows down! We have a pretty chill weekend planned...heading out to the 'country' to visit friends for the night, then a Pinterest Potluck I was invited to Saturday...I'm sure I will be blogging about that soon. And Sunday brunch with the ladies at the one and only Terrain Cafe.

Here are my favorite four...this week they have been Instagramed via my iPad. (clockwise from top left) 1)Enjoyed walking the city 2x this week...while I was wandering I found these beautiful doors. 2)Weekly Wednesday morning breakfast with the girls at One Shot. These beautifully packaged chocolates are always there tempting me. 3)I love displaying my few colorful dishes on my new kitchen shelves...thanks for hanging them Ben! 4)Thankful for Presidents' Day off so we could hit up Happy Hour with friends at our local Mexican joint.

Happy Friday! xoxo

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Ash Wednesday Shopping Spree

Ok, so this is what happened. On Fat Tuesday, Ben kept telling me to “go crazy because tomorrow Lent starts and we will be giving something up.” I did not know what I was giving up yet and didn't really think too much about it. The Spirit of New Orleans must have moved me because it came to me that I should give up my little sale shopping addiction—if you can even call it that. It is something that takes up time and money I could be spending elsewhere.

I frequent Target, H&M, Forever 21 etc. on a regular basis—don’t judge I grew up in the suburbs, so I usually see when things are on sale and just wait until then to buy. So yesterday morning when I figured out that I would give this up I had a little freak out. I didn’t know my last time shopping would be my last for the next 40 days! Ben and I agreed we would start our Lenten fast after the Ash Wednesday service last night.

So I went to my favorite shopping area in Rittenhouse Square and hit up my usual haunts: H&M, Anthropologie, Urban Outfitters and Paper Source. Later in the day I managed to make it to the mall to pop in Forever 21—one of my absolute favorites. I seriously wiped myself out going to all of these places in one day. It’s an addiction I think I can live without for the next 40 days.

Ok, ok, so this is what I ended up with…xoxo


Charming Charlie: (I used a gift card here:) Gold Bracelet ($7.97), Sunglasses ($9.97), Glasses Case ($9.97)
Urban Outfitters: Boots (were on super sale for only $19.99!)
Forever 21: Flats ($16.80)
H&M: Purse ($17.95), Orange clutch ($4.95), Stripe clutch ($4.95)
Target: Sally Hansen Polish in Mighty Mango ($1.97)

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Our New Loft

We are finally settled and I can show you pics of our new loft! xoxo


Living room.


Our new sofa!


My 'office'.


The bedroom...and Berlin in his usual spot 'guarding the house'.


Our kitchen.


Our dinning room.


Ben's office and his books.


The bathroom.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

In My Purse

In the last few weeks I have seen a few bloggers post about what they carry around with them in their hand bags, and I love it! So this is in no way an original idea but hoping you will like it...xoxo.




1) Merona Target Purse...on the sale rack for $4...I couldn't resist.
2) iPad, iPad smart cover in orange and pink H & M cover (old)...and I usually have a magazine or 2 just in case I run into some downtime.
3) Kenneth Cole sun glasses (old).
4) 3 camera bags...largest for my Lumix DMC-LX5...middle for camera cords/charger...and the smallest for iPad attachments.
5) Miscellaneous bag...nail file, anti bacterial gel, nail polish, Aleve and of course my mini tripod...never know when you're going to need it.
6) Buxton Wallet (old).
7) HTC Evo 4G phone.
8) Cosmetic bag...Mentha Lip Gloss, Lip Smackers, tweezers and Trident gum.
9) Hand cream...currently using...Caldrea Hand Balm in Olive Oil.
10) Huge fan of Uni-Ball Vision Fine...and I always have a pencil with me to write in my planner...old school right...I should have these things in my smart phone by now.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Misc Magenta Launch Party

Hope you all had a great weekend and possibly today off as well? There are so many fun things I am excited to blog about this week, but first and foremost the party...Friday night's launch party was a huge success! Thanks to all the ladies who came out to celebrate this blog. We had a fun night of eating, drinking, chatting and of course a little photo booth.

Here are pics from the night for you to enjoy...I guess this is a sneak peek of our new loft as well. I will post official pics of our loft later this week.

Happy Presidents' Day! xoxo


A few of the fun photo booth shots.


Some of the ladies mingling.


I couldn't resist buying these straws...too perfect!


The table setting.


Candy and dessert bar...cake cups!


Dinner time.


The ladies doodling on the table runner...I asked them to write down things they would like to see on the blog.


Some fun doodling and ideas for me...yeah! Thank you ladies:)

Friday, February 17, 2012

Favorite Four

It's the big day...launch party tonight for the blog! After staying up into the wee hours of the morning I am feeling ready for the ladies to arrive and PARTY!. Can't wait to show you pictures on Monday.

Here are my favorite four things from this week...well at least the ones I captured with a picture:) (clockwise from top left) 1)Getting this hot fudge malt on our trip home from Vermont...haven't had one in ages...YUM! 2)Arriving home from vacation and having fun parcels in you mailbox...like a little gift. 3)Ceramics class...I'm working on these little tea bag holders...will talk more about the class in a few weeks when it is over. 4)This $2 Forever 21 ring...I got it a few weeks ago and decided to throw it on for V-day and haven't taken it off since...I'm having a little love affair with it.

Have a fabulous weekend! xoxo

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Soup Swap

Monday night we had a soup-swap in our building. When I got the Evite I knew I was in, what a great way to socialize with the neighbors and get some soup! I made Broccoli Cheese Soup for the swap...click here for the recipe.

Here are the rules in case you want to host a swap of your own.

RULES 1. Size does matter. Bring six, 1-quart containers of soup. (1 Quart = 32 Ounces). 2. Tell us what ya got. Post your response as soon as you know what kind of soup you'll bring to ensure variety. 3. Package and label. Mark on the container the type of soup and if it is vegetarian or not. Please use new containers, and keep in mind that you will not get them back. Freezing soup works best. Each person will get a random number to determine the order of who selects first. We'll go through soup selection in six rounds.

Thanks for hosting Brian and Morgan!


My little soup labels.


Ready for the swap.


All the delicious soups ready to swap.


Fun snacks!


What we came home with...yum!

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Valentine's Day 2012

Yesterday was a wonderfully normal day with a few perks...



Clockwise from top left: Red Valentine's nails with glitter on the ring finger, the aftermath of Valentine's crafting with the little girls I nanny, a little heart notebook, margaritas and Mexican with my Valentine, Valentine's cards from family and friends, Dunkin Donuts Valentine donuts.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Heart Cookies

Happy Valentine's Day! Ben and I are not a big Valentine's couple, meaning, we have to make fancy dinner date reservations and get each other chocolate and roses. But otherwise it is one of my favorite 'holidays'. I love sending packages to friends and family filled with fun stationary, candy and gifts. I get so much joy out of it. This year we've also received our fair share of V-day packages...thank you family & friends!

Last year I made these delicious Peanut Butter and Jam heart cookies for local friends and neighbors. See the link for the recipe and below for how I packaged them up.

Have a fabulous day! xoxo


I made the heart with my thumb.


Packaged up and ready to be delivered.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Fun Finds in Vermont

This past weekend we were lucky to get away for a little skiing and spa time with friends in beautiful Stowe, Vermont. Here are a few photos of things I found while we were there.



1) Lake Champlain Chocolates 2)Bright colored UGG slippers...yes please! 3)Boutique on Main Street...my favorite shop in Stowe. 4)Fun sign! 5)Jellies at the Cider Mill. 6)Harvest Market was full of delicious treats and was so chic! 7)Picturesque Stowe gondola. 8)Great postcard design from the Ben & Jerry's factory...we had to take a tour we were in Vermont! 9)Found this fun clutch while boutique shopping. 10)Heart handle at the ski lodge. 11)Apr├Ęs-ski...our newest activity. 12)These guys were everywhere...just like you would expect.

Friday, February 10, 2012

Favorite Four

Happy Friday! Ben and I spent yesterday driving up to Vermont for a ski weekend with friends. We are heading out to the slopes today...hoping it is as beautiful and fun as I remember. One thing I am sure of though is that I will be very sore Saturday. The girls have already booked spa treatments for Saturday in preparation of this.

Here are my favorite four things from this week: (clockwise from top left) 1)Bought new $300+ Cole Haan leather boots on sale for only $39! 2)Actually found my favorite Valentine's candy at the store...Palmer's Double Crisp Hearts...usually impossible to find. 3)Dinner in Philadelphia's Chinatown with Ben. 4)Happy to be spending a weekend with friends in beautiful snowy Vermont.

Have a great weekend...see you Monday!

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Ideas

Next week I am hosting a launch party for this blog. It will be one month from when I started posting and I love hosting a party so why not. Here are a few ideas I have for the dinner party...get excited!

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Broccoli Cheese Soup

Cooking is something I have really started enjoying in the last few years. I think it helped getting married and having my own appliances and kitchen. I love trying new recipes so when my neighbor sent out an Evite for a 'Soup Swap' I was in. Of course I needed to use this opportunity to try a new soup recipe.

I decided to check out the Pioneer Woman blog for a good soup recipe. I haven't really picked up on the whole Pioneer Woman craze, but I had heard so many good things I thought I would give it a shot. While searching her recipes I came across this Broccoli Cheese Soup and I knew my search was over...it sounded too delicious!

After deciding the most important thing, what I was going to make, I turned up my music (a key component to cooking...I ended up with a mix of Norah Jones and Ryan Adams for this low key night) and started chopping and sauteing. I have posted a few pics of my process but you can see a great step by step photo guide on the Pioneer Woman blog.

If you are up for a good soup recipe for these last few weeks of winter I would definitely recommend this one. I will save the actual 'Swap' details until I have experienced it next week, keep an eye out for that post with details in case you would like to host a 'Swap' of your own.


I followed the recipe except swapping chicken broth with vegetable broth so that it could be vegetarian since it is a large crowd and I wanted to be able to accommodate everyone.


Lots of chopping...for how to chop an onion check out my friend Haley's blog Don't Eat The Paintings


Letting it simmer.


Adding cheese...I used Sharp Cheddar and Colby Jack.


Blending with my immersion blender...one of my favorite appliances...so nice not having to transfer to a blender and then back to the pot.


All blended and ready to be frozen until the 'Swap'.


The Broccoli Cheese Soup ready to eat...yum!!!

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Society6

Last week I was introduced to Society6... a great site with thousands of art prints, iPhone cases, framed art prints, t-shirts, stretched canvases, hoodies, and laptop skins. The instant I clicked on the site I knew I would be hooked. There is so much unique art that once you start looking through all of them you will have a hard time stopping.

Here are some of my favorites...and the best part is if you like them enough you can get them as art prints or on a shirt as well! Check them out.


Line 1: Chevron 006, I Remember Summer, Vertex
Line 2: Retro Phone, bokeh-ful, let's run away
Line 3: rain rain never go away, she followed her heart, Lake Tahoe Jewels
Line 4: snow spoon & cherry, Typographic Minnesota, Classical Yellow Bicycle

Monday, February 6, 2012

Auto Show

Finally after all the searching we ended up buying a couch this weekend! I'm so excited to show you pics of our new place...we are almost there! This weekend we also had a fun night with friends watching the Super Bowl and of course hitting up the Auto Show. It is a great date night that we have done for the last 5 years. The show is at the convention center in Chinatown so we always end up eating in Chinatown after the show...yum!

As a graphic designer one of the best parts about the Auto Show for me is getting all the brochures. They are always designed so well and the paper/binding is always impeccable. I would love to have the kind of design/printing budget on one of my projects that some of these brochures must require. Here are a few of my favorites.


My 4 favorite...Audi, Mini Cooper, Fiat, and Volkswagen.


Great photo and color in this Fiat spread.


Nice layout in the Audi brochure...and the paper feels like fine leather!