Cupcakes on wheels…


That’s right, friends..cupcakes. on. wheels. How great is that?  I’m not sure why no one has ever thought of this before (at least in the Merrimack Valley, MA area), but I’m SO glad Nadine of Pipe Dream Cupcakes had this ingenious idea and implemented it in a flawless fashion.

I know at this point you’re probably drooling intrigued, so let me put things in perspective with a picture.

Image

Pretty awesome, huh?  This hidden, well..actually mobile, gem is not only completely adorable, but also absolutely delicious.  My fiance and I had the pleasure of literally stumbling upon it 2 weeks ago and I haven’t been able to stop thinking about it since (…in the most non-creepy way possible..?).  We were completely hooked after purchasing 4 cupcakes from Nadine herself.

Get out your napkins, here’s what we got:

RED VELVET 

Image

COOKIE DOUGH

Image

COOKIES & CREAMImage

S’MORE

Image

Hard to believe, but they taste better than they look, and let’s face it, they look pretty great.  The talented Nadine, like her cupcakes, was also extremely sweet and took the time to talk to us and let us into paradise her confectionary riddled world.  All the cupcakes aboard her mobile bakery are prepared fresh each morning and it shows. 

For more information, her current location, anddd more pictures of cupcakes,

visit her website: pipedreamcupcakes.com

her Facebook page: Pipe Dream Cupcakes

her twitter: @PipeDreamCup

or call: (978) 397- 6470

Here’s to finding sweet treats in the streets!

XO

Image

Advertisements

Pass the melon balls…


So, with all this talk about Fall, I think it’s officially safe to say this lady has moved on from warm-weather styles, but that doesn’t mean I’m not willing to spend a few more weeks enjoying the delicious tastes of summer.

I’m pretty sure every good summer ends with a party.  Now, I’m not talking about the crazy “college” party where the main course is a keg with a side of Cheetos… (although, a good glass of wine is never off the table…).  I’m talking about a more civilized gathering with a bit more emphasis on the food.

Now being in my mid-twenties, I have more of an appreciation for easy to prepare, relatively inexpensive, aesthetically pleasing, and quite honestly, practical food. If you’re planning on playing host(ess) to some of your friends and family in the remaining summertime weekends, here are a few tapas (little plate) recipes and serving options that definitely fit the bill – literally  and figuratively.

MELON BALL BLISS

Image

Perfection in 4 Easy Steps: 1. Buy a watermelon. 2. Buy a melon baller. 3. Ball the melon. 4. Put melon balls back into the shell and serve.  Literally could not be more simple, affordable, or adorable!

For a cheap melon baller, look no further than Target, hellooo $9.25.

Image

GRAPE CATERPILLARS

Image

I know that after the melon balls you were thinking this pretend party platter couldn’t possibly get any cuter. Sorry, but I just had to hit you with grape caterpillars – fruit with faces? Call me 6 years-old, but this is a must have.

Perfection in 4 Easy Steps: 1. Buy grapes, wooden skewers, mini chocolate chips, and a small tub of frosting. 2. Thread (washed) grapes onto each skewer until only about 1-2 inches of wood is showing. 3. Dip the mini chocolate chips in a tiny bit of white frosting and place on the last grape of one side. 4. Serve!

KIWI POPS

Image

Hot day? Looking for a lower calorie option to satisfy your sweet tooth? I give you the kiwi pop. While you can likely do this with any fruit, I think the small round shape that mirrors a traditional ice cream pop deceives the mind into thinking this sweet treat is a guilty one and who doesn’t like to feel like they’re getting away with something, so dig in!

Perfection in 4 Easy Steps: 1. Buy kiwis, melting chocolate (75% Cacao if you’re looking for the heart healthy benefits of antioxidants), and popsicle sticks. 2. Wash, peel, and slice kiwis into desired thickness – (just be sure to not make them too heavy or they won’t stay on the stick!). 3. Place (cold) kiwis on the popsicle sticks and melt the chocolate.  4. Dip kiwi sticks into the melted chocolate until fully coated. Allow time for chocolate to harden (Tip: Like cake pops, melting chocolate hardens best when in a cooler environment.  Also, when making pops of any kind, it is always a good idea to use a styrofoam block to stick them in so the chocolate dries evenly and without touching any foreign object!) Serve!

(END OF) SUMMER SALAD

Image

Harvesting season may have peaked, but there are still plenty of hearty veggies left for the taking.  Deliciousness and health benefits aside, summer salads just look great.  They are full of color and whether you’re a master chef or not, a plate with that much interest and dimension is sure to leave your guests feeling full impressed.

Perfection in 4 Easy Steps: 1. Pick out your favorite veggies and wash thoroughly. 2. Buy some sort of a crumbly cheese – think feta or goat. (The consistency and tangy flavor goes great with crisp greens!) 3. Add something unexpected.  Think corn or dried cranberries. 4. Drizzle a light vinaigrette (balsamic, lime, or raspberry are so refreshing!)

DRESS UP YOUR SPACE

Image

Okay, so this may be a bit elaborate for a summer party, but seriously, I’m in love with this room’s white, whimsical fantasy nature.  While the white may be best served in a bridal/baby shower setting (or a fancy soiree, if you will…), I still think this room has got it going on and I’m willing to give it a try if you are.

Perfection in 4 Easy Steps: 1. Buy balloons (white & clear – or whichever color you choose), small marbles matching the color of the balloons, and a helium tank (Balloon Time – $35 from Walmart). 2. Fill each balloon with helium and before tying, drop a marble into its body. (The weight of the marble inverts the balloon so it is suspended in teardrop shape) 3. Tie balloon and let it float to the ceiling. 4. Feel accomplished and dance around your balloon palace!

Have you ever implemented these fun ideas into your parties?  If you have, or are planning to, I want to be invited hear all about it!

XO

Image

Fall Fever Part II…


 While I spent some time with DVF in my last post, it’s time to get reacquainted with our old friends, Banana Republic, J.Crew, and Ann Taylor Loft.  All three stores offer fashion forward looks for a more affordable price.  Although it’s always great to have nice things, sometimes looking chic can really break the bank.

After scouring the websites and runway reviews for these fab outfitters, I came across some amazing finds that will definitely give your fall wardrobe a fresh update.  Like many of the high-end designers, these fall collections feature bold colors like maroon, burgundy, turquoise, orange/coral, mustard, and purple, revamped classic autumn fabrics like tweed and houndstooth, and intricate patterns that add interest to an otherwise average outfit without being overbearing.  In keeping with summer’s biggest trend, color-blocking is still in high gear, perhaps most notably in accessories.  Sometimes a unexpected pop of color (think bangle, bag, or earrings) can transform an outfit from “drab to fab” instantly, and often for under $50.

Check out a few of my favorite finds below:

Image

(bananarepublic.com)

Image

(bananarepublic.com)Image

(bananarepublic.com)

Image

(jcrew.com)

Image

(jcrew.com)

Image

(jcrew.com)

Image

(jcrew.com)

Honestly, you can’t go wrong with a touch of gold, either…(Especially links and pave encrusted anything!)

Image

(bananarepublic.com)

Image

(bananarepublic.com)

Ummm, how cute is this!?…

Image

(jcrew.com)

Image

(jcrew.com)

Here a few looks that are crisp air friendly whether at work or at play!

Image

(bananarepublic.com)

Image

(bananarepublic.com)

Can’t go wrong with a classic trench!

Image

(bananarepublic.com)

Image

(bananarepublic.com)

Say hello to a beautiful hacking blazer and a casual chino style pant.

She’s doing this all right.

Image

(bananarepublic.com)

Simplistic stripes… love.

Image

(jcrew.com)

Simplistic stripes in turquoise and navy with a camel pant?… love even more…

Image

(jcrew.com)

Have I mentioned that a fall must is the cap toe pump!? Totally adorable, totally classic.

ImageImage

(jcrew.com)

The Loft know’s style. Here are 8 looks that can easily transition from day to night in an effortless fashion.

Image

(loft.com)

Daydreaming of crunchy leaves and apple crisp…

XO

Image

Fall Fever Part I…


Okay, so call me crazy, but even with this fantastic sunny, summer weather we’ve been having on the East Coast, I am so ready for fall.  There’s something about the crisp, cool air, pumpkin spice lattes, and hot apple cider that excites me.

Food and cinnamon confections aside, fall trends and collections will be in full swing and I couldn’t be happier.  Back in February, when designers wowed us with their Fall 2012 collections, I’ll admit I was more focused on what bright colored bathing suit to wear to the beach than what darker-shaded coat I’d be wearing in 7 months.  However, fall is now just around the corner and my eyes can’t help but be fixated on all the amazing colors and fabrics that the collections have to offer.

One of my favorite dress designers is the iconic Diane Von Furstenberg, or DVF.  While my wallet lusts for an endless supply of disposable income to be able to afford all of her genius looks, for now, I’ll just have to settle on drooling over these beauties…or at least until my money tree is ready for harvesting…

Check out a few of my personal favs from her Fall 2012 collection.  Here’s to more dynamic color-blocking, brilliant burgundies, and body-hugging blacks…

ImageImage

ImageImage

So, I’ve made the executive decision since I am dying to wear my most favorite DVF Zarita dress in the fall, I’m considering it part of the Fall Collection and posting it below… Sorry, Diane..

Andddd, a pretty turquoise for good measure…

Image

(All Images: Diane Von Furstenberg)

Stay tuned for Mercedes Benz Fashion Week coverage beginning in September and Fall Fever Part II for more wearable, and wallet-friendly everyday looks that perfectly balance cozy and chic!

XO

Image

Red’s Not Just For Shoes…


I loooveeee red velvet cupcakes, cakes, cake pops, muffins (they do exist!)…pretty much everything.  I came across the most adorably packaged red velvet cupcake mix from William Sonoma and just had to have it – (I am most definitely every marketer’s dream…)

Image

So cute.  I’m an easy target. (williamsonoma.com)

Now to preface my baking experience the other night, you should probably know that I was running on little sleep and took on this endeavor at 8 P.M. after working a full day and without a mixer.  I guess what I am trying to say is that these directions were so simple that a grumpy, sleepy, and ill-equipped pretend
“cake-boss” …well, anyone can make them.

I read some of the reviews online and was shocked to see how many people had a terrible experience with this mix.  While it is a bit pricey ($15) and cream cheese frosting generally hates me, I couldn’t disagree more with all their complaints (think: greasy, dense, flavorless).  Ironically, moist (ew.), fluffy, and flavorful is more like it — and this is coming from the girl without a mixer, good thing I have a sensational bicep…

Check out the recipe by William Sonoma Kitchen below!

For the red velvet cupcakes:

 2/3 cup buttermilk

2 eggs

3/4 cup vegetable oil

1 tsp. white vinegar

1 package red velvet cupcake mix

For the cream cheese frosting:

8 oz. cream cheese

8 Tbs. (1 stick) unsalted butter

1 3/4 cups confectioners’ sugar

1 tsp. vanilla extract

DIRECTIONS:

To make the red velvet cupcakes, have all the ingredients at room temperature. Preheat an oven to 350°F. Line a 12-well muffin pan with paper liners.

In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the flat beater, beat together the buttermilk, eggs, oil and vinegar on low speed until combined, about 1 minute. Add the cupcake mix in 2 additions, beating each addition until just combined and stopping the mixer occasionally to scrape down the sides of the bowl. Increase the speed to medium and beat until the batter is smooth, about 1 minute more.

Divide the batter evenly among the prepared muffin cups, filling each about two-thirds full. Bake until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cupcakes comes out clean, 18 to 20 minutes. Transfer the pan to a wire rack and let cool for 5 minutes, then transfer the cupcakes to the rack and let cool completely.

To make the cream cheese frosting, have all the ingredients at room temperature. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the flat beater, beat the cream cheese on medium speed until smooth and fluffy, 2 to 3 minutes. Add the butter and beat for 2 to 3 minutes more. Add the confectioners’ sugar and beat until smooth and no lumps of sugar are visible. Add the vanilla and beat until combined.

Frost the cupcakes and decorate as desired. Makes 12 cupcakes.

Here’s to pearlized sprinkles and cuteness that’s good enough to eat…12 times.

ImageImage

Image

XO

Image

Woes of the Red Soles…


If you haven’t gathered by the mere aesthetics of my blog by now, I am a huge fan of Christian Louboutin.  I, like millions of other shoe-lovers, am mesmerized by their detail, shape, height, and most notably, their super-feminine, super-sultry red soles.

The brand’s founder “stiletto king”, Christian Louboutin, first began his company in Paris in the early ’90s. According to numerous articles marveling over this hand-made commodity, Christian credits a trip to Africa in the 1970s (where women were forbidden from wearing sharp stilettos in wood floor laden buildings…) for his inspiration to make footwear that “broke rules and made women feel confident and empowered.”(2011 YouTube Documentary)  Christian’s meteoric rise in the fashion world catapulted his red soles from the catwalk to red carpets everywhere in what appeared to be an effortless transition. These highly-coveted, high-priced shoes have not only revolutionized the fashion industry, but also modernized the term “sexy” giving women of all shapes and sizes the ability to feel empowered, confident, and classy.

Image

(christianlouboutin.com)

Like most things in life, too much of a good thing never ends well.  The Christian Louboutin empire is not exempt from this adage and in fact, has found itself in the midst of a law suit against another iconic brand, Yves Saint Larent (YSL).  In an attempt to not bore any non-legal readers, here’s a (fairly) quick overview of their ongoing legal battle.

In January 2011 YSL produced a “Cruise Collection” featuring monochromatic designs.  As you may have figured, one of the shoes, which was entirely red, featured the same vibrant color on its sole.  In what appeared to be an attempt at avoiding any judicial interference, Christian met with YSL to discuss a potential infringement on his trademarked Red Sole Mark.  When YSL refused to recall the shoes, Christian took legal action.  According to court documents, the initial complaint alleged “[…] trademark infringement, […] false designation or origin and […] unfair competition and […] trademark dilution, [as well as…] unlawful deceptive acts and practices.”  In response, YSL filed counterclaims, which requested cancelation of the Louboutin Red Sole Mark “on the ground that it is not distinctive, ornamental, [or] functional” and unfair competition, among other things.

The general crux of the case appears to hinge on whether the Red Sole Mark trademark was in fact valid, and if it were, whether color can be trademarked in the first place.  Various case law was provided in support of the Louboutin’s notion that it was entirely lawful to trademark his, now famous, red soles as precedence has been set that a color which carries with it a “secondary meaning” whereby it “identifies or distinguishes a particular brand” may be protected.  Qualitex Co. v. Jacobson Prods. Co., 514 U.S. 159, 161, 163, 115 S.Ct. 1300, 131 L.Ed.2d 248 (1995).  Essentially, “a color may meet the legal requirements for a trademark if it ‘act[s] as a symbol that distinguishes a firm’s goods and identifies their source, without serving any other significant function” Id. at 166.

The Lanham Act, used primarily in the fashion industry, has been “upheld to permit the registration of the use of color in a trademark, but only in distinct patterns or combinations of shades that manifest a conscious effort to design a uniquely identifiable mark embedded in the goods”Louis Vuitton Malletier, 454 F.3d at 116. Think, Louis Vuitton “LV” and Burberry Brit Check.  (You may also be thinking of Tiffany & Co. and their pretty blue boxes, bags, website…well, everything – interestingly enough, Tiffany’s came to Louboutin’s aid and filed their own brief to the court in support…we can’t possibly be without TWO of the greatest, and most notably colors in the industry, can we!?)

Ultimately, certain colors used by those in fashion world, specifically, must be arranged in such a way so that a distinct and recognizable secondary message or connection is made to a particular brand.  Being the proponent of Christian Louboutins that I am, I believe they have met this standard as red soles to women world-wide are synonymous with his brilliant work.  Image

The legal process is slow and thus, there still has not been a definitive ruling on this suit.  Let’s hope for the sake of Louboutin lovers everywhere that the distinctive red sole remains alive and well.

Well, it is easy to see where my interests are.  My two worlds collided in this post, unfortunately to the detriment of brevity.  I hope it at least provided a little look behind the catwalks and clothes racks and into the uglier, albeit interesting, side of fashion.

Since there is so much more to the case, check it out at: http://scholar.google.com/scholar_case?case=5176392495342625969&hl=en&as_sdt=2&as_vis=1&oi=scholarr

or

For all of you who have had enough reading for one day, watch the humble, Loubi himself in a short 5 minute video!:

XO

Image

Let’s be F.R.I.E.N.D.S…


Anyone who knows me is well aware of my obsession love for Jennifer Aniston.  Honestly, the woman is a style icon, super gorgeous, funny, talented (we will not speak of any box office bombs), and seems like a genuinely nice person that, quite frankly, I just want to be friends with.

My love for Jen Jen, as well as her genius style status, began with her role on the ultra-popular sitcom F.R.I.E.N.D.S.  If people weren’t pestering their hairstylists for the infamous, layer-crazed “Rachel” cut, they were busy mimicking her wardrobe.  It was then that Jen transcended beyond her Rachel character and stole the hearts of millions of viewers, who, quite fondly refer to her, still, as “America’s Sweetheart.”

While America is still captivated by her charm and charisma, she is the ultimate sweetheart to her new fiance, Justin Theroux.   After hearing about their recent engagement from none other than my own fiance (he’s put up with my love of Jen/F.R.I.E.N.D.S. for years now…), I seriously was more than happy and excited for her, as if she were part of my own circle of friends, or as she has said on the show… my “gal pal, Rachel Green.”

To celebrate her engagement, here’s a look back at her effortlessly chic style that gave her the title of Hollywood’s Best Dressed in 2010, Sexiest Woman of All Time by Men’s Health Magazine in 2011, and her presence on a myriad of other fashion forward publications such as Elle, Harpers Bazaar, and GQ.

ImageImage

Annnndddd, a sneak peak into what is sure to be an epic wedding between ridiculously good-looking people:

Image

If you’re not sick of Jen yet, how about a quick “Verdict” on one of my favorite fashion moments in the last year… Who wore it better?!

Image

Well, the verdict is in and it is really no surprise who I’m rooting for in this beauty battle…and if it is, you’ve clearly missed the point of this post.  If you need a little help, Jen Jen takes it by a landslide.  To start, the tangerine color is completely fab and definitely in, so I applaud both for being bold enough to bare it.  While Marisa Tomei looks pretty accentuating the dress with gold embellishments and a slick pony, Jen punches up the chic factor by altering the neckline and pairing it with another fav, crystal encrusted Christian Louboutins. Beautious! What do you think!?

Before I end this super long post (which I hope makes up for my lack of blogging this weekend), here’s one last Jen tidbit worth noting.  Ever wonder how she maintains her famous sun-kissed complexion and seemingly ageless skin?  Well, after browsing a recent interview conducted by Now Daily, Jen Jen confessed to using Vaseline petroleum jelly under her eyes at night, and took the readers into her nightly skin care regimen which includes using a gentle cleanser, a toner, and topping it off with Cetaphil Moisturizing Lotion. As a Cetaphil user myself, I can vouch for its amazing-ness in evening out my skin tone, providing lightweight moisture to my face without feeling greasy, and for not clogging my (acne-prone) pores. Highly recommend the cleanser, as well!  Though a bit pricey, think $13-$15 dollars at a drugstore, it is well worth the investment!  Image

Now back to that sun-kissed glow…Jen has mentioned in numerous articles her love for Johnson and Johnson’s Holiday Skin lotion.  It is my understanding that this lotion, which boasts luminating properties, provides a gradual, natural tan to its users in the same no-muss, no-fuss way that its Baby Lotion counterpart has been doing for years.  Sounds great, huh?  Well, here’s the catch – It is only available online or overseas.  It was the saddest day when I found out this necessary piece of information.  Can’t a girl get a flawless glow like Jen without going to Europe… although that would be a nice vacation.. hmm..  Anyway, check it out… if it’s good enough for Jen, it has to be worth the scavenger hunt.

  Image

Happy Monday!

XO

Arm Swag


So, lately the 2012 summer fashion scene has revolved more around what is worn on your wrists more so than what is on your body than ever before.  Myself, along with what seems like millions of other people, lovingly refer to this obsession as “Arm Swag.”  This is one of those trends that I love and wish I could pull off.  Having more than 2 bracelets on my arm makes me feel ridiculously over-accessorized, but show me someone else, and I’m green with arm swag envy.   Gold, silver, two-tone, neon, pastels… you name it, it’s in right now and I hope it never leaves.

In my opinion, the “holy grail” of arm candy is the Hermes Clic H Bracelet.  I was fortunate enough to receive the black/gold one as a law school graduation gift from my fiance (he’s that good…why can’t I graduate everyday?!).  Anyway, the bracelet goes with everything, and aside from my somewhat neurotic polishing routine, the little H never leaves my wrist.  Image

(hermes.com)

Aside from Hermes, there is a more wallet (and eco) friendly alternative with what seems to be a cult-like following – the Alex and Ani bracelets.  Using nearly all organic materials, this now ultra-popular Newport, RI company has made it big and even was selected by the US Olympic Committee to produce charms for this summer’s London Games. Did I mention they have the cutest and most unique charms that can be customized according to your interests!? Brilliant. Sign me up – I’ve officially jumped on the Alex and Ani train.

Image

(alexandani.com)

Here are a couple other obsessions that my wrists are dying for!

Image

(capecodjewelers.com)

Image

(davidyurman.com)

(kieljamespatrick.com)

XO

Image

Yum-Yum Eat ‘Em Ups!


I love baking. It’s a fact.  There’s something about cooking up a sweet treat that puts a smile on my face and in the bellies of those who are brave enough to eat what I bake. My biggest fan and guinea pig is my fiance, lover of nearly all chocolatey confections and quite the “cookies and cream” connoisseur.  While I don’t always have as much time to bake as I’d like, when I do it’s a production.  Picture billowing puffs of flour, at least 23897 5 unnecessary utensils, and a variety of liquids strewn about the counter.  Regardless, it’s fun and creative and that’s what I love about it.  Image

My latest obsessions (and by latest, I mean within the last couple of years) have been cake pops.  Seriously, how cute (and delicious) are they!?  If I had endless hours in a day, we all know what I’d be doing after my high praise for the almighty cake pop.  Starbucks had the right idea, especially with their “Birthday Cake Pop”… this creamy, adorable, pink pop is filled with flavor and, dare I use the most heinous word in the English language,… moist.  Okay, enough of my ramblings, all this baking talk has left me hungry!  Check out a couple of my cake pop creations!

XO

Image

ImageImageImageImage

There once was a girl from Nantucket…


Image

Okay, well not exactly… but I can dream, can’t I?!  This past weekend my fiance along with some friends visited this lovely little island and without hesitation I can certainly say that I’m in love. Since it was my first time experiencing all of the charm and enchantment that is Nantucket, I’m pretty sure I’ve spent the last few days wondering why it took me until my mid-twenties to visit.  Between the quaint shops, cobblestone streets, and what seems like endless “secret gardens” doubling as nearly every native’s backyard, this slice of Heaven is everything to be desired.  And don’t get me started on all of the beautiful people.  I’m pretty familiar with all things legal and I think know I must have missed the law requiring all people setting foot on the island to look as if they walked off the pages of a magazine and into a cozy, beachfront cafe.  Needless to say, I was thoroughly impressed and cannot wait to return (also, seeing Leonardo DiCaprio there didn’t pump up the posh factor or anything!)  Here’s to sunshine, soft sands, dirt paths, and seashells…  Check out a few shots from the weekend below!

XO

 

ImageImageImageImage