Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Breakfast fit for a Queen

I am from a very close family, and one thing I immediately loved about Jonathan was the love and appreciation he had for his family too.  With mine all living in New England I don't often get to spend special occasions with them and on days like mothers day, i can't help but wish i had family close by. So on mother's day, we decided we wanted to make brunch for his mom and sister and plan to spend the afternoon at the beach. His sister declined, however his mom came and enjoyed brunch with us!
I received a waffle maker for a shower gift and i had been eager to use it but I knew when Jonathan mentioned having "the best waffles" growing up, I knew i was in trouble. You see, Jonathan doesn't really like me making anything he is used to his family making... he doesn't feel it will be the same (duh). So i did a little research and created with what i thought turned out to be a very successful recipe! 

On The Menu
Buttermilk Belgian Waffles 
*served with fresh strawberries, Mascarpone Cream & Vermont Maple Syrup
Baccon (for the two omnivores)
Strawberry Bellinis

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon Vanilla or Rum
  • 2 cups well-shaken buttermilk
  • 3/4 stick (6 tablespoons) unsalted butter, melted and cooled to room temperature
  • 2 large eggs
  • Vegetable oil for waffle iron

Preheat waffle iron.
Whisk together flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a large bowl.
Whisk together buttermilk, melted butter, and eggs in another bowl, then whisk flour mixture into wet ingredients 
Brush hot waffle iron lightly with vegetable oil and pour a 1/2 cup of batter into the waffle mold
Cook waffles according to manufacturer's instructions- until golden and cooked through, usually when they stop steaming (about 4 minutes). 
Dust with powdered sugar 

Strawberries & Mascarpone Cream
1 pint strawberries sliced
1 T sugar

1 8-ounce container mascarpone cheese or one 8-ounce package cream cheese, room temperature
1/2 cup sugar
Touch of fresh grated ginger
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup chilled whipping cream

Add sugar to strawberries, stir and refrigerate. Using an electric mixer, beat first the cheese, sugar, ginger and vanilla in medium bowl to blend. Add 1/2 cup cream; beat until soft peaks form. Add rest of cream; beat until thick and stiff.

1 bottle of Prosecco

1 Pint pureed & strained fresh strawberries
 Simple Syrup

Place Champagne flutes in the freezer for 20-30 minutes. 
Heat water and sugar to create the simple syrup. Chop strawberries, add to pot and boil. When strawberries are soft (about 5 min) smash with a meat tenderizer, cover and let simmer a few more minutes. Pour through a mesh strainer and chill the strawberry juice until ready to use.
Pour into Champagne flutes and carefully layer in Prosecco

*In place of sugar i prefer to use Splenda or Truvia 

Monday, May 9, 2011

Perfect Pout

Lip color is the one makeup product that can always be found in a handbag; because it plays an importnat role in in creating and fine tuning a signature style.   Lipstick can instantly transform your look without too much effort, It can sometimes completely and magically alter the all round look. With the seasons bold trend, lip color becomes more of an accessory than an afterthought. 
To rock this trend pair with a natural and light make-up application, this allows you to look finished and fresh- without being too overdone. Then add a touch of black eye liner, a neutral blush and loads of mascara.  Make sure to keep your brows tidy. I personally prefer a matte lip look, opposed to the traditional pearlized and gloss finish. If you decide to use a liner (which isn't a must with this lip), be sure you wear something neutral and of the same depth as the lip color. 
Orange is the number one color trend. The tones of orange vary from hot to bright and deep, which makes it easy for anyone to wear. Yes- I said anyone can wear orange lipstick! The trick is finding which hue is right for your skin tone. When using more orange tones, add a little bronzer to create a sun kissed, summery look. 
The newly re-released Revlon Super Lustrous Cream Lipstick in Siren $6
INGLOT Cream Lipstick #103 $12
Clinique High impact lipstick in Peach Pop $14
MAC Lipstick in So Chaud $14.50
Pink lips may be my ultimate favorite- no matter what season it is! Fuchsia is bold and feminine, and is a little younger than the classic red. This pout was sported in Fendi and DVF on the runways. 



Giorgio Armani Sheer Lipstick #8 Pink $27

Clinique Long Last Lipstick in Watermelon $14

Coral is a great, more subtle alternative to the daring orange and fuchsia lip. A creamy coral is perfect for day and a matte can pump up the intensity at night. 


Lipstick Queen Sinners Coral $18

INGLOT Cream lipstick #100 $12

Korres #45 Coral Mango Butter Lipstick $18

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Eggcellent Easter Cupcakes

It has been quite a while since my last post. Things have been very chaotic with family and friends in town for my wedding last Saturday. Yes..I am now a married woman (blog post to follow)! 

I have to share my recipe for Pistachio Hazelnut Cupcakes! My family arrived Easter weekend and I made these cupcakes to share with everyone.
They were a huge hit...My husband even said they were the best cupcakes he has ever eaten! 


Simple white cake mix recipe (use whichever recipe floats your boat)
1 box Jello pistachio pudding mix
Pistachio extract
crushed pistachios

Let the cupcakes cool completely. To inject the cupcakes, fill a piping bag with 6 oz of Nutella Simply push the tip down into the center of the cupcake, pipe in the filling until the cupcake swells slightly on the top.  Prepare the Hazelnut Buttercream Frosting recipe below and pipe it on the cupcakes.
Finish by adding 2 Cadbury Mini Eggs on top. 

Chocolate Hazelnut Buttercream Frosting

1 stick unsalted butter, softened
1 13-ounce jar of Nutella
pinch of fine grain sea salt
1/2 tablespoon clear vanilla extract
1 pound confectioners’ sugar, sifted
5-6 tablespoons heavy cream or milk
1. In a large mixing bowl, cream butter and Nutella until well combined. Slowly add in confectioner’s sugar, and continue creaming until well blended.
2. Add salt, vanilla, and 3 tablespoons of heavy cream or milk. Blend on low speed until moistened. Add an additional 3 tablespoons of heavy cream or milk until you reach the desired consistency. Beat at high speed until frosting is smooth and fluffy.
-This recipe will make enough frosting to generously frost 24 cupcakes. You can easily adjust the consistency of this recipe by simply adding in more heavy cream or milk.
-Covered and refrigerated frosting can be stored for up to three days. Simply bring it to room temperature and beat with an electric mixer until smooth. You may need to add a couple of teaspoons of heavy cream or milk to revive the consistency.

Monday, March 28, 2011

labor of love

Introducing my DIY Beach Chic wedding invites! 
I designed, created, printed, cut, and assembled each invite.

We are so pleased with the outcome of our invitations! Seeing them come to life from an idea, to a sketch to finish product was wonderful!
We have received sooo many compliments on the originality of them! Everyone loves these!

8.5x11 bulk Snow White Cardstock:  4.95/50 pack = 24.75
5x7 Signature Pocket Fold:  .69ea = $69.00
Precut Invitation Mat:  .18ea = $18.00
Mailing Envelope:  .15 = $15.00
Belly Bands in Snow White: $8.95/50 pack = 17.90

$144.65 total paper cost

1” starfish design seal- 10.00
(7) Aladine Glue Gun Sealing wax- $4.00 ea

$38.00 – 15% off coupon= 32.30

Tombo Permanent adhesive


Other items
Glue gun
Printer & ink

My invites came out to be $2.23 each! 

Sunday, March 20, 2011

This makes me smile.

My brother who is studying abroad in Madrid Spain, sent me this video via Skype and i had to share!

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Straight Talk

What is the craze about Keratin? Is it worth the hassle or coughing up $300? 
I have personally taken the journey through two straightening treatment options and give you the 411 on each. 

I was very intrigued when I saw the commercial for the Garnier Fructis Blow Dry Perfector. It claimed to straighten your hair, and shorten your blow drying time. On the downside, it only lasts up to 7 shampoos.
So, I decided to finally give Garnier a try. It comes in two simple steps: the 20-minute Smooth-It serum and the heat activated Perfect-It cream.  
The Step By Step
First, I had to shampoo my hair, I used a clarifying formula. Now, my hair was ready for the first step. To apply the serum, I separated my hair into 9 sections. I ran the serum over each section as I gently rubbed it into my hair.
Then, I combed over each strand to make sure it was coated. I have fine hair, but a lot of it, so I wanted to make sure that the Smooth-It serum penetrated my hair, especially my roots. I also left it in for 30 minutes instead of 20. It smelled horrible…like
ammonium thioglycolate (the same chemical used in perms), it was strong!

Finally, I tipped my head over the side of the bath and rinsed out the Smooth-It serum. After I towel dried my hair, I applied a few pumps of the Perfect-It cream. It felt creamy and didn’t weight my hair down when it was dry. It took about 15 min to blow dry my hair instead of the normal 30. I also flat ironed it.
My hair felt a little more dry and porous than normal. It didn’t turn out as straight as I was hoping it would be, but it definitely is shiny and my bangs stayed straight for days!
Key Ingredients: Cysteine and Rice oil
Average cost: $10
Results:  up to 7 shampoos
Post requirements: none.

Also known as Brazilian hair treatments, keratin hair treatments are a semi-permanent, hair-smoothing, curl-softening professional chemical treatment. These treatments are the newest trend in defrizzing and smoothing many textures of hair from curly to relaxed.

 Keratin hair treatments only last three to six months they only soften curl, eliminate frizz and can make hair healthier over time.

But the buzz about the treatments isn't all positive, mostly because many of the brands on the market contain Formaldehyde. This is what creates the long-lasting smoothing effect.
Indeed, there is a need of chemicals to make the process work. Chemist Doug Schoon, president of School Scientific in California agrees; To get "shiny, straight hair for months, formaldehyde or other aldehydes (which turn back into Formaldehyde at 450 degrees) must be used," he says. 
Formaldehyde is on the Department of Health and Human Services' "Reasonably Anticipated to Be Human Carcinogens" list, and has been linked to certain cancers like leukemia. But it is believed that the levels of formaldehyde found in these treatments are safe according to OSHA (Occupational Health and Safety Administration) especially when proper protection and ventilation are used. It is believed that in the course of getting their hair done, (clients) will never exceed the “safe” limit of formaldehyde exposure.

The different types of Keratin treatments offer similar but slightly different results. I had wanted to try the Brazilian Blowout for months. A friend had it done and her hair came out fab! I chose this specifically because I couldn’t imagine going three days without moving my hair! 
I have very curly hair, and a lot of it! I also have bangs, which are a total pain. I spend a ton of time blow-drying it everyday and then if I want it relatively straight I have to use the flat iron. Living in Charleston, the summer humidity is miserable and no matter how long I spend making my hair (and bangs) perfect, it is ruined when I walk outside!

Brazilian Blow Out Step By Step.
First things first… my hair was washed with a clarifying shampoo to remove any residue and product build up and blow dried. Then the treatment is applied section by section, and combed through the hair. Next, I sat under a dryer for a bit with the treatment on my head, before the stylist blow dried my hair a second time, and sealed the treatment by using a flat iron. (Tip: Ask for cotton which will lessen the burning sensation of eyes)

Next, the treatment is rinsed out, hair is blow dried and in my case flat ironed again. I opted for this treatment because I knew i didn't have to wait any time to style or wash it.  Now if you receive a keratin treatment other than Brazilian Blowout you will be done and walk out the door knowing you can't wash your hair, put it in a ponytail, get it wet or put it behind your ears for 72 hours.
 The entire process took a little longer than two hours (because I wanted to try the new hair tinsel too)!

Even though it wasn’t required, I didn’t wash my hair for a few days. When I did wash it for the first time it felt much softer and smoother. I did still have to blow dry it for it to be straight, but it took way less time and when I didn’t do anything, it wasn’t curly- just a little wavy. My bangs however still curl up. Hmpf.

Key ingredients: A proprietary polymer system and Brazilian Super Nutrient Complex 

Average cost: $350
Results: 3 to 4 months of suave hair
Post requirements: You can wash hair immediately and style as usual. Sulfate-free shampoos are recommended, infused with Keratin.

So you ask;  which would I chose? 
Neither. I hated the way Garnier made my hair feel and although my bangs stayed straight, i feel like i'm damaging my hair more than helping it.  I loved the Brazilian Blowout, especially how it made my hair feel and look and how easy it was... but not for the price! I will probably continue to get the keratin on my bangs, which usually runs about $75. 
So there you have it folks, the decision is yours!

Friday, December 10, 2010

Frito Feet

I absolutely positively love the smell of my pup's paws. i love falling asleep to the scent and waking up to it! for me, it's right up there with puppy breath and fresh cut grass. i don't know if it's the equivalent to adoring the devine smell of say skunk or gasoline but i have to imagine someone out there being opposed and possibly even offend of my love of puppy feet!  Jonathan for one thinks I'm totally nutty when i purposefully lift up her paws and sniff, so i have been determined to find any evidence to prove my sanity. 

Well, i came to find i am not alone. There is question after question  out there about why the smell of dog feet is so sweet.  Some say buttered popcorn,  some nachos or Doritos and there is even a term coined..."Frito feet". 
Just like humans have colonies of bacteria and micro organisms living on their body's, it is the same with animals. Bacteria and yeast naturally reside on the skin of all animals. The feet of Dogs contain many hideaway spots, such as the areas between toes and the spaces between the foot pads. These areas are prone to increased levels of moisture and are not exposed to as much air circulation. This allows the bacteria and yeast to proliferate zealously. These micro-organisms give off odors. Because cats groom themselves more thoroughly than dogs, they are less likely to have foot odor. In particular, the naturally occurring and harmless yeast contribute to the slightly musty smell that tends to emanate from the pup's feet. 

The smell is not harmful, nor does it mean the feet are infected. 
Nor does this information make me any less likely to smell Pearl's paws.