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Dogs in Costume

26 Oct

Happy Halloween weekend everyone!

How cute are these doggies in costume?  They were all at the Tompkins Square Annual Halloween Dog Parade.

Mr. T (he’s a French bulldog not a boxer- shame on you ABC News!)

Dogs Dress Up for Halloween Parade

Evita (LOL)

Dogs Dress Up for Halloween Parade

Fire truck
Dogs Dress Up for Halloween Parade

Double decker tour bus

Dogs Dress Up for Halloween Parade

For more parade photos, go here.  What are you being for Halloween?

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Best Ways to Celebrate Bastille Day

13 Jul

Tomorrow is Bastille Day or, as I like to think of it, the French Fourth of July.   That means it’s also an excuse to celebrate!  Here are some ideas to give your day a little je ne sais quoi…

Slice up a hot baguette, open a bottle of French red, and bust out the cheese board

AHeirloom's Wisconsin State Cutting Board

Daydream about a  trip to the Gardens of Marqueyssac-

Gardens-of-Marqueyssac-Perigord-2 (8)

Gardens-of-Marqueyssac-Perigord-2 (6)

Gardens-of-Marqueyssac-Perigord-2 (4)

Gardens-of-Marqueyssac-Peri

Watch Papillion, one of my favorite movies.  It’s about an innocent man sent to a brutal French penal colony on a remote island.  You can’t go wrong with Steve McQueen and Dustin Hoffman!
 

And finally, find a French doggie to pet!

Have a great weekend!

Cinco de Mayo & Kentucky Derby!

4 May

How often do two such spectacular events collide on the same WEEKEND day?  Not often is the answer, so huge celebrations are in order!  Instead of choosing one, why not celebrate both Derby Day and Cinco de Mayo?

Cinco de Mayo
Kick off your Saturday with a Mexican inspired brunch.

Huevos Rancheros

Make the perfect margarita.  You can’t taste the beer but it adds a nice kick!

Snack on some darling pinata cookies

Cinco de Mayo pinata sugar cookies

 And of course, play some Mexican tunes!

 
Kentucky Derby
Pick your pony.  For the last 3 years I’ve somehow blindly picked the winner (seriously!) but of course didn’t wager anything.  This year I have a friendly bet going and will be rooting for Creative Cause.

Meet all the horses here.  Who do you like?

Make a mint julep.  Such a civilized drink.  And the mint makes it so refreshing!

And don’t forget to grab a huge Derby appropriate hat.

 
 Have a fun weekend!

Valentine’s Day Gifts

7 Feb

Valentine’s Day is only a week away.  While you may roll your eyes at this made up holiday, the truth is you’re still on the hook for giving your significant other some token of your affection.  But that doesn’t mean you have to blow your whole paycheck on a cliché gift.  Finding the perfect gift for a reasonable price is easier than you think!

Here are some (affordable) ideas:

Remind them that “Home is Where the Heart is” with a customizable print for only $25.  Choose the state or country you want, then select the city and LilyGene will put a heart there to mark the spot.  You can mark your sweetie’s hometown or even the city where you first met!

Customize Your Home Is Where The Heart Is - Wisconsin 8x10

Create some ambiance with this romantic star projector For only $22, it transforms your boring bedroom into a shimmering night sky!

Go old school and make a mix CD.  I used to love making my own mixes and even now, they’re my favorite thing to listen to in the car.  Each one is like a time capsule, capturing the songs you couldn’t stop singing back in the day.  It’s funny how much, and how fast, your taste in music can change!  You can get 50 blank CD’s for $15.

Snuggle up with some gourmet hot chocolate ($8 for 12 packets) and cute heart mugs ($3.95 per mug)

Channel your inner foodie by creating your own wine and cheese tasting.  Follow these steps to creating a perfect cheese plate, and then pick up a bottle or two of your favorite wine.  Trader Joe’s has numerous good bottles that retail for under $10. Green Fin Organic California Red Table Wine is one of my favorites, and I think it’s only $5 per bottle!

0412cheese-board

Make like Braveheart and rock a kilt…bath towel.  $29.99 is steep but at the same time, this towel is kind of priceless!

Roses have been done, so why not surprise your Valentine with some beautiful spring tulips?  The bouquet below is $29.99 (add $7-$20 if you want a vase) and comes with free chocolates.

20 Multi-Colored Valentine's Tulips with Chocolates

Choose some romantic movies (Must Love Dogs is $5.98)  and curl up with some gourmet popcorn!  Foodie Reflections has an easy recipe you can make at home.

Must Love Dogs (Widescreen Edition)

Whatever you end up buying remember, it’s the thought that counts! 

What are your plans for Valentine’s Day?

New Years Eve- What to Wear

29 Dec

Can you believe it’s almost New Years Eve?  I can’t!

New Years Eve parties make me think of sparkles, champagne, and glamour.  Which outfit is more your style?

A dazzling sequined dress

Image 1 of Rare Two Tone Sequin Dress

 A bold white tuxedo blazer

Image 4 of ASOS PETITE Exclusive Tuxedo Blazer

Some sleek liquid leggings

Ankle-Zip Liquid Legging

No matter what you wear, I hope you have a great time celebrating.  Here’s hoping 2012 is a fun, happy, and successful year for us all!

Dancing with an ipod in Public

7 Dec

You know when you have your ipod on and you’re walking along to the beat and life seems great?  Then you take out your headphones and realize how silent it is…and that maybe you were singing along a little loudly?   

This video takes that to a whole other level.  Nothing  like dancing your heart out to Mariah’s All I Want For Christmas. In a mall. With an ipod.  Click the picture to watch the video!

  

I know what you’re thinking, where can I get a sweater like that?  Here you go:

A lady’s wreath sweater in elegant winter white.

A lovely unisex poinsettia print sweatshirt.

A candy cane sweater in a delicate shade of mint green, with candy cane accents.

Holiday Spirit

1 Dec

It’s the first day of December.  Know what that means?  Time to get in the holiday spirit! 

WordPress recently disabled video embedding which sucks.  Since I don’t want to pay $100 to embed this video, click the link instead.

Improv Everywhere + Santa + a riff on the Marshall’s spontaneous Christmas song commericals= holiday spirit like wo!

 http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=3c_mPevNk8E

 

 

Homemade Peanut Butter Cups

23 Nov

Wanna wow your relatives at Thanksgiving this year?  Make them some homemade peanut butter cups to take home!

These are SO good….and so simple to make.  They look impressive but don’t take much time.  Perfect for that last minute holiday treat!

Ingredients
4 cups of chocolate chips
1 cup peanut butter
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1 tsp. vanilla extract

Directions
Melt your chocolate chips, either in the microwave or in a double boiler.  Make sure the chocolate is completely melted and smooth, but be careful not to burn it!

Line a muffin tin with muffin liners.  Put a small spoonful of chocolate in the middle of each liner, than swirl it around so it completely coats the sides of the liner.   This is how you make the chocolate shell.  Once each liner is done, place the entire tin in the fridge to set for 20-30 minutes.

In the meantime, work on the next step- peanut butter!  In a medium sized bowl,  combine the peanut butter and powdered sugar until smooth.  Then mix in the vanilla extract.

Take your muffin tin out of the fridge.  Fill each chocolate cup about halfway full with the peanut butter mixture.   Push the mixture down so it lies flat, then top off with a spoonful of your melted chocolate (you may have to reheat it if it’s hardened).  Spread the chocolate around so it seals off the edges and no peanut butter is visible. 

That’s it!  Once you’re done, just pop those bad boys back in the fridge to set.  And prepare your taste buds for a smooth delicious blend of chocolate and peanut butter.  These cups are SO good!

Halloween Treat

31 Oct

Happy Halloween!

I have two treats for you.  Number 1, the best dog costume ever.

Another Cosplaying Canine of the Day

Number 2, the greatest song ever written.  It’s actually a really cool mash-up, and this girl’s voice is really good!

Candy Corn Chocolate Chip Cookies

28 Oct

My favorite part of Halloween, besides dressing up, is candy corn.  It’s one of the most addicting candies ever created. Try to eat just one, it’s impossible!

Rather than (ok, in addition to) just eating it straight out of the bag, I decided to  incorporate candy corn into cookies.  They’re perfect for a Halloween party!

Candy Corn Chocolate Chip Cookies

Ingredients
2 sticks of butter (make Paula Deen proud!)
2 cups flour
1 cup white sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp. vanilla
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1 cup candy corn
1/2 chocolate chips

Directions
Heat oven to 350 degrees.  Line cookie sheets with parchment paper and set aside.  Roughly chop your candy corn so it’s in smaller chunks.  Look how pretty it looks!

In a big bowl, cream butter and sugar together until combined.  Add the eggs one at a time, then add in the vanilla.  Make sure everything is mixed together well. 

In a separate bowl, mix the flour, salt, and baking soda.  Add this flour mixture into the wet ingredients, mixing until well combined.  Then, stir in your candy corn and chocolate chips. 



Drop by tablespoon onto your cookie sheets.  You don’t want the cookies to be too flat, or the candy corn will melt and might burn.  My cookies also spread a lot so make sure you leave ample space between them. 

Keep them in the oven for 8-10 minutes, but check them frequently.  When they are just turning golden brown and the dough is set, pull them out and let them cool on the pan.  They’ll continue cooking and you won’t risk burning them!

My first batch didn’t turn out well (they spread too much and fused into one big monster blob) but my second batch was so good I didn’t even have time to take a picture before they were being eaten!  Look at those big candy corn chunks- delicious!