I am playing major catch up from this weekend. It was so much fun taking a party bus to go see a baseball game, but the morning after was heinous. Now I'm in Charlotte, NC for meetings and I need to be working on my presentation for tomorrow, but the internet on my work computer is lousy and it's not loading(exactly why I love my Mac!). Please, oh meeting gods, let this presentation load. In the meantime, enjoy the pieces of my weekend!
Oh by the way...I definitely wore my new Tar-jay dress on Sat!
...hope everyone has a great weekend! This weekend I'll be going to a baseball game, celebrating several birthdays, and of course painting furniture. If I can convince myself to wake up early enough on a Saturday I'll try to go to some yard sales as well.
You Tube Friday is hard for me this week, so much good music that I want to include.
Sam Cooke - You Send Me is one of my favorites of all time, he was just so smooth. I laugh to see how the audience is just mindlessly clapping along.
Duffy - Syrup and Honey, I could listen to her voice forever.
Martha and the Vandellas - Heat Wave. It's like a heeeat wave...
Do you like turtle chocolates? Do you like cake? Do you like the idea of a turtle chocolate cake? I made this one the other day with a friend whose father requested it for Dad's day. We decided that we were going to make whatever cake he asked for, so when the two ideas he threw out were pineapple and turtles, we both decided that we hated pineapple upside down cake and opted for the latter. Of course, I had never actually made a turtle cake before, didn't know if it was even possible...but thanks to the interwebs I found a recipe and gave it a shot. It turned out mighty tasty if I do say so myself(I tried a little sliver off the side and iced over the hole...if you look closely you can see it on the bottom left hand corner of the cake...)! I would love to have shown a picture of the cross-section, but alas, it was not my cake to cut and it was whisked off to Greensboro for a Father's Day dinner. If you want something different for your next cake give this one a try, it's rich and gooey and the icing is to die for...I might have licked the whole bowl clean...might.
as adapted from Diana Rattray's recipe on About.com
1 box German Chocolate Cake Mix
4 oz. Butter
1 1/2 c. Water
1 1/2 c. Oil
1 can Eagle Brand Sweetened Condensed Milk
1 lb. Bag of Caramels
1 c. Chopped Pecans
4 oz. Butter
3 Tbs. Cocoa Powder
6 Tbs. Evaporated Milk
1 lb. Confectioners Sugar
1 tsp. Vanilla
Use a 13x9x2 in pan
1)Combine and mix the cake mix, oil, water, butter, and half of the sweetened condensed milk. Pour half of the batter into a greased and floured baking pan and bake at 350 degrees for 20 to 25 minutes.
2) In a saucepan over low heat, combine the other half of the sweetened condensed milk and the caramels (do I need to tell you to remove the plastic?) Continually stir the mixture until the caramels have melted into a smooth sauce.
NOT my hand...too man-ly. fyi.
3) Spread the caramel over the baked cake layer...
...and next comes a sprinkling of pecans.
Then pour the rest of the cake batter over top and bake another 25 to 30 minutes longer. Let the cake cool off before frosting.
4) To make the icing combine the butter, cocoa, and evaporated milk in a small saucepan over low heat. Stir until butter is melted and the mixture is blended. Remove from heat and add confectioners sugar and vanilla.
Garnished with mint and nasturtiums, an edible flower, from my garden.
If you asked my roommate if I had a lot of plates and platters she would probably respond with a friendly eye roll and a comment along the lines of "is the Pope Catholic?" So what would I need these random plates and candlesticks from Goodwill for? Well, here is a small hint...I am throwing a bridesmaid luncheon in the fall with a yellow color scheme....
...and I'm going to need a yellow cupcake stand for the yellow cupcakes we will serve! I saw this neat DIY on another blog (please let me know if it is you so I may give proper credit!) and I decided to try it instead of spending some bones on a new cupcake stand. I thrifted all of the plates and the two candle sticks for about $10. One can of spray paint, some really strong glue, plus some clear sealant, and I came out with a unique, one-of-a-kind cupcake stand on the cheap. Because cupcakes come with handy-dandy, pretty paper containing units, they are safe to set on the sealant, but I wouldn't put food on it without some kind of barrier in between the two. One key to this is to find three plates where one is large, the other is medium and the third is small, and in my opinion, the more different the textures and shapes of the plates the better and more visually interesting your cupcake stand will be.
The only thing that will make this project sweeter is actually getting some cupcakes up in this piece... :)
"Summer afternoon - summer afternoon...the two most beautiful words in the English language." - Henry James
I am going to celebrate the first day of summer by going to Target after work to pick up this cute dress for $25 smackeroos. I tried it on last week and I have been kicking myself for not buying it. I can picture me wearing it just about anywhere; either dressing it up with some great earrings and high heels, or dressing it down with some flops for a picnic. Cheers to many good summer memories of sun dresses, good books, ripe peaches, and maybe just a little sweet tea vodka in my lemonade
By the way, have you read "Girl With the Dragon Tattoo" by Stieg Larson yet? If you haven't, you should!
I might have slipped away to the beach for a night...oops. I couldn't resist, it is just... so... hot... The rest of the week was spent on projects and a little baking. Two words: turtle cake. I will be sharing that one later this week! Also, if you notice that my photos from this weekend look a little bit more awesome than usual, its because they were taken on my new Pentax k-x DSLR camera! I am SO in love with it, and the fact that I got it fo' free with award points from my company makes me love it that much more. Now if I could just get some photog chops to match my camera's coolness that would be great because it sort of makes me feel like a toddler driving a lamborghini. Snippets of my weekend...in high def.
Sorry for the silence the past two days! I have been busy, busy on projects. Projects for what you might ask? Well, here is the big announcement, I have signed up to get my own little retail space in an antiques emporium! I know, I know, it is crazy, but I really think that I can do this. It is going to include all sorts of things like, refurbished furniture, pillows that I make, antiques, oriental rugs, maybe some jewelry, and all the other things that I enjoy. All of this while still maintaining this blog and my real job....wish me luck!
I am going to be working away through the weekend and probably will come out completely covered in paint...but I'll be jamming to Jamie Cullum, enjoy!
I feel that Father's Day gets a little bit of its thunder stolen by Mother's Day, which comes first in the calendar year and was established WAY before the paternal celebration. Father's day was actually proposed by a woman in Spokane, Washington whose mother had passed away when she was born and had been raised by her father. 60 years later and Dick Nixon finally signed Father's Day into law as a permanent national holiday.
I am lucky to have an amazing dad, and I am told that we are two peas-in-a-pod in the personality department. That is why I am not going to do this holiday a disservice by getting him a tie or some golf tees. No, let us not marginalize our second parent's celebration of the year, and rather let's get our dad's something awesome, something really awesome.
For the dad who enjoys sitting after dinner with his glass of Whiskey and doesn't want to dilute his favorite spirit with ice. Whiskey Stones are made from Soap Stone and will keep dad's beverage cold.
If your dad is a southern gent like mine (or even if he is not) a cool t-shirt from a company like Southern Proper is great for the days when he is NOT wearing a suit and one of the million ties that he already got for Father's Day....
I started my weekend off with a bang, or really more of a slice, I took myself to Urgent Care for the second day in a row to staunch the bleeding from where I tried to take my finger off with a box cutter(don't worry I'll spare you from the photo). Let me tell you how un-good a tetanus shot feels, not to mention the stitches. I am just worried about what kinds of mosquitos I will create when they bite me and I have all of these steroids and tetanus vaccine in my system. I will become suspicious if I start to see them lifting weights or 'roid raging on the birds. I did still go to the thrift stores and was able to make some sweet purchases which I will talk about later this week along with an announcement.
Lewis always makes me feel better.
So does Mexican food, and Mexican bunting.
Doughnuts can make you forget about the poison ivy on your face and the boo-boo you have on your finger. Doughnuts, in my opinion, can do just about anything, including but not limited to: make you friends, cure cancer, save babies from burning buildings, and make you thinner.
Roll that beautiful doughnut footage.
Please don't hate me for posting this.
And I got to go out on the lake with some friends on their boat, not a bad weekend for a roided out, falling apart girl, huh?
So glad it's the weekend! I plan on hitting up some thrift stores and spending the rest of my time by the pool(face covered to protect my healing poison ivy!) I know it's still spring for a few more weeks, but man does it already feel like summer down here in the south.
It feels like what Janis is singing about, summertiiiime, and the living iiiiiis eeeeaaaasy. She was so great, it's like she woke up, ate breakfast, lunch, and dinner (and ok did a little heroine) and felt all the emotions of life in between.
It is time for an ode to my kickball team, Ace of 2nd Base. We are playing the number one seed in the championship game tonight. I myself am having a personal competition with the poison ivy that decided to show up on my face this morning and close my right eye with swelling. Lucky for me I took myself to Urgent Care and got a nice shot of steroids on a place where the sun doesn't shine from a male nurse who looks like "Cousin Eddie" from Christmas Vacation. Let's hope they don't drug test before the game...look out outfielders, I'm on the roids...that ball is going to soar
Have you ever thought about playing in an adult kickball league? It's all sorts of fun. $60 bucks for a season. Do it.
I am not a label person. I'm really not, I swear. I don't care if my clothes are designer, just so long as they look nice and fit well. To be honest, even if money wasn't an issue for me, I would still pick up stuff from Target(you know you love it too...). A tag in the back of a dress is just not one of those things that gets my motor running.
That being said, I just found this website that has designer dresses for RENT. Oh man, when I browsed through, I was hooked. It's called "Rent the Runway" and they buy dresses straight off the runway to rent them to you for about %10 of the original cost. This makes me designer giddy for two reasons, 1) alright, alright I know I said I didn't care about it, but it would be fun to wear a Proenza Schoeler or DVF dress for one big, special night, and 2) it gives me license to try some outfits that I normally wouldn't purchase because you think "oh that's so unique, I won't be able to wear it much because everyone will remember it."
The deal is like this, you order the dress to arrive by a specific date (say a wedding, gala, or party of some sort) and they send you the dress of your choice in your size AND the next size over just in case, to make sure it fits. You wear it and have an awesome time in your super special outfit, and then you send it back to them in a pre-paid/addressed package. They take care of the dry cleaning, and if you are like me and worried that you might have a little too much fun in your dress, you can get insurance for an extra $5. It's perfect for the girl who has a million dresses in her closet, but "nothing to wear." The rentals range from $50 to $250 and the original costs of the dresses are anywhere from $400 to $thousands(eek that price hurts my feelings!) I'm totally going to try this for my next big event. I particularly have my eye on these lovelies...