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Getting it right!

You know as a blogger, you put ideas out into the universe and hope people are listening but I certainly don’t have any illusions of grandeur. But then, people really listen or get inspired. See what I mean? Happy Monday!

My friend Emily was inspired to try making jam with her BF. Em really took to heart how fun and easy making jam was — and they got creative with the key lime!

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My friend Laura hit a homerun with her pastel blue — from shoes to her (steal of a) dress to her perfect earrings. Laura combined my suggestions of monochrome AND the addition of black to make an outfit office friendly and she looked beautiful!

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And to continue the blue theme… check out this pastel pedicure! Way to try new things, Mom!

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A recipe to share… Chocolate Banana Pudding Trifle

You know when you go to a potluck or a party and you want to bring something that combines ease of preparation with maximum impact? That’s what this recipe is all about. I am infamous for my inability to follow recipes. I think of them more of guidelines that rules. Sometimes, it gets me into trouble, but most of the time, I LOVE the results. This recipe I am about to share (drum roll please) is one where my experimentation yielded great results. However, in the spirit of not following recipes too closely don’t feel like you have to do it just like I did it.

So without further ado or explanation, I give you:

Chocolate Banana Pudding Trifle

(Adapted from Martha Stewart’s Chocolate Banana Pudding http://www.marthastewart.com/338402/chocolate-banana-pudding?czone=holiday%2Fspring-celebrations-cnt%2Fcelebration-fatherday&gallery=275527&slide=338402&center=307033)

Her’s:

Chocolate-Banana Pudding

Mine:

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The first step is to make the chocolate ganache because it needs to cool. It’s pretty easy. All you need to do is bring your whipping cream to a boil, remove from heat and add your chocolate chips, and then wait five minutes and add the powdered sugar. Then let that baby cool.

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Next, using your mixer, combine the pudding mix and the whipping cream. This is the best trick. It adds so much richness to the trifle.

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Then put down a layer of vanilla wafers and then a layer of the delicious pudding.

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Then add bananas and chocolate chips. Followed by a layer of whipped cream. It’s easier enough to make by whipping up (pun intended) heavy whipping cream and some sugar.

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So after the bananas and the whipped cream, add the now cool chocolate ganache.

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Then another layer of bananas…

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Then chocolate chips! And bam! You are done. you can’t miss on this stuff. It’s amazing. Don’t worry about layering it too carefully. All that mattters is that ingredients work together so it just layer it up and ENJOY.

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Ahoy! It’s a Boy!

Ahoy! It’s a boy! Nautical Baby Shower!

It was so exciting to plan this shower for my dear friend, Jess R.! I was lucky enough to have two fabulous co-hosts, Meg and Tamara, who made the whole experience delightful! So first things first, we got together for a brainstorm session. We met for coffee (what else?) and had the best time discussing thoughts and ideas. We settled on a nautical theme — for two reasons: because Jess and Dan (the parents to be) share a love of sailing and because their wedding shower a few years ago was also nautical themed — nice symmetry, huh? We discussed possible color pallettes and settled on navy blue and kelly green. All that was left was to divide up the tasks, get to work, and have that shower.

I showed up at Meg’s house pretty early Saturday am with a laundry basket full of stuff…

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Meg adorned her mailbox with these adorable balloons.

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I decided to make some life preservers using floral wreath forms and canvas. (Had to use my polka dot ribbons)

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For the centerpieces, Meg and I worked together. She combined the shells I got from my thriftiest and smartest friend, Hannah, with blue sea glass, mini wooden crates from Target, and Dollar Store candles. Meg also found these sweet ships at Beall’s that just make the table. What do you think?

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For food, we did a brunch spread. Unfortunately, I got swept up in the shower and forgot to take many photos of the food. We made bacon-wrapped pineapple, mini frittatas, pasta salad, blueberry and strawberry muffins, fruit salad, crudite, brownies and cake pops! Of course, we also had mimosas! I made all the labels for the food in a few minutes with my sweet anchor punch and paper!

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It was a lovely time for all. We are so excited to meet Baby Connor!

Check out the beautiful mother-to-be, Jess R.

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Tamara put together an adorable baby onesie banner!

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At the end we handed out the candles as favors — you guys know all about them.

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It couldn’t have been easier — thanks to my amazing co-hosts! Even when one of our activities did not work out, it all worked out and turned out beautifully. Here’s the hosts with the mom!

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Spring is in the air! And that’s means… Dresses!

With the sun coming out and the beautiful blue skies (sorry, Northerners!), it’s the perfect weather to start dusting off your Spring dresses…

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I have to admit to being totally inspired by this picture (above). I was strolling through Pinterest and I saw it and it captured my imagination. For me that’s what the fantasy of life in the Spring/Summer looks like. A beautiful, classic sundress, cool vintage accessories and gladiator sandals. It really inspired me to start thinking about Spring dresses. And if I am inspired, it means that I want to turn around and share it with you. So here’s a mix of fun spring dresses followed by some Spring styling…

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Inspired to try it myself, I tackled the trend… My first dress of Sping!

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Tropical Jeans – Yes, please.

Unlike BF jeans, tropical jeans are for everyone. Also, they SCREAM spring/summer — not to mention they couldn’t be more FUN! For some reason, I really feel them for Maria and Chris. I think you both would rock them hard. My friend Hannah suggested I use the Polyvore App to put together some outfits and so I did. It’s a very dangerous place for someone like me who lives to put together outfits.

So here’s what I came up with:

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A lovely weekend look that capitalizes on it being the season for pastels.

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A fun weekend look with metallics and sandals.

 

 

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A sharp outfit for a night on the town.

Then I did some styling of my own:

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And finally here’s some general inspiration:

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What fun trend to try out! Can’t wait to see what you all do with it!

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Boyfriend Jeans

I want desperately for this trend to work for me. It combines two of my great loves: jeans and slouchiness.

I think the secret is to work on proportion. Here’s an example from when my cousin Erica and I played dress up at the Loft.

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When she put on these trim BF jeans, I paired it with the tailored jacket and the low volume shirt. I think it’s important to pair something neat — like a structured jacket — with the jeans because I think it cuts down the sloppiness.

Take a look at these ladies below who do it right. Warning: This trend might be a stretch for ladies of a certain age. My mom can do it but she can’t really do ripped  BF jeans. The ones Erica is sporting are much more suited for ladies about the 30 line. (Sorry, to make it agey but I don’t want anyone to get too excited and then look not quite right — kind of defeats the purpose of the blog!) Comment with questions! 🙂

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Project Journal – Candle Shower Favors

I wrote this post a couple of days ago but wanted to wait until after the shower because I know that my friend, Jess, totally follows me — for which I am super grateful! So now that there’s no spoilers…

My friend Jess R. is having a baby! Squeal! My law school roomie and bestie, Meg, and our friend, Tamara, and I (is that too many commas?) decided to host a baby shower for the new mom! The best thing about hosting by committee (as I like to refer to it) is that we all have different jobs and we can put time and attention into our roles and it’s not overwhelming. I volunteered to do the favors for the shower. We brainstormed ideas in the first meeting of the committee and settled on something in mason jars. Further research on Pinterest led me to consider candle-making. Then the smartest gal I know, Hannah, told me how easy it was and walked me through the candle making via texts. So I made candles in mason jars with organic soy  — they turned out great! Then using my handy dandy anchor punch I decorated the shit out of them. I set up all the pieces and one of my kids stopped by for a baking lesson and chipped in. She helped me finish up the favors and they turned out great!

You don’t have to take my word for it either… you know I’ve got pics!

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Here’s how I did it. First, I order the supplies on Amazon.com. We joked at one of our planning meetings that the shower was sponsored by Amazon Prime because we are all such fans! Hannah approved the cost and said that I was getting a good deal — Hannah is a savvy shopper when she approves your purchase, you feel so grown up and responsible.

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From a distance, I fear these bags of soy flakes look a bit suspicious…

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Then I got all my supplies together… including my melting pitcher, jars, and wicks…

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Then I melted the wax double boiler style.

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Then poured it in the jars and let it set.

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Then we put them all together.

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Wasn’t that crazy easy for a big impact? The finished project made me smile big time. Stay tuned for more blog posts about the shower.

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