Thursday, June 30, 2011

patriotic treats.

Today I'm posting a patriotic cupcake along with other 4th of July treats for the weekend ahead. I hope you all get to enjoy the long weekend [and the weather too].

bomb pop cupcakes from Confessions of a Cookbook Queen

 chocolate covered ice cream sandwiches from Taste of Home

 sprinkles & chocolate covered pretzels from Cupcakes and Cashmere

patriotic pizza cookie, from Pillsbury

chocolate dipped rice crispy popsicle from Twig & Thistle

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

bringing sexy back.

The other day I was introduced to Jessica Gerard, the owner of Flirt Boutique. She is probably once of the sweetest lady's around and her store is just adorable!

Flirt is a sexy-sweet lingerie boutique inspired by Hollywood glamour and pin-up girls.  Voted "Best Lingerie" by Minnesota Monthly in 2008 and by City Pages in 2009, it is clear that Flirt aims to please her customers! 

Romantic decor right down to the "Marry Me Pink" paint on the walls and comfortable atmosphere add to the shopping experience both for women and men. 

Flirt also carries European hosiery, perfume, jewelry, bubble bath, travel lingerie bags for a special trip, and a naughty shelf or two for bachelorette parties to pick up a treat!
I, personally am a fan of her store and with my soon-to-come nuptials have been given many gifts and have purchased a few goodies of my own that my fiance will be thankful for.

I have also gotten word on a new lingerie boutique opening up THIS Friday, July 1st!
It's located at the corner of 50th and France in Edina, called Room No. 3 

The store will be in between  Bluepeg & Beaujos.

I cannot wait to check it out! 

So if you are looking for something to surprise your special someone or just a fun, unique gift for a bachelorette, make sure you check out either one of these shops. 

177 N. Snelling Ave.
St. Paul, MN 55104
Hours: Mon-Sat 10-8

4948 France Ave.
Edina, MN 55410

worth every penny.

Now, I understand that getting excited about such things like appliances, will qualify you to be down right-OLD! I'm can remember when my parent's bought themselves a new tile floor for Christmas and they couldn't have been more excited. I NEVER thought I would see that day. However, Jon and I just purchased a Dyson DC33 vacuum and let me tell you...

  1. The thing glides across the floor like butter.
  2. It weighs close to nothing. [compared to most vacuum's]
  3. The suction is quite intense and picks up EVERYTHING on the first try. 

 If you are or have been thinking on spending the money to get a Dyson...I can promise you, it's worth EVERY penny.
* and on sale at Target [for a limited time only]

Saturday, June 25, 2011

relaxed comfort

relaxed comfort

Alexander Wang crop top
$435 -

Bodkin boatneck sweater
$228 -

Rag Bone cropped sweater
$275 -

Crew shirt
$199 -

Rag Bone cropped shirt
$137 -

French Connection crop top
$130 -

€76 -

€65 -

Acrylic sweater
€54 -

Dolman sweater
$25 -

Seven For All mankind
$147 -

Thursday, June 23, 2011

a little sun in my life.

I don't know about you, but these no show days from the sun lately are REAL depressing. I need a little sun in my life. I'm hoping that the Summer we all know and love here in MN is on it's way-for real this time!

This brings me to today's cupcake choice:
Sunflower cupcakes!
This will have to do for now!

You can make this cupcake in whatever flavor you choose and the sunflower design process is explained in more detail at Martha Stewart's site- what would we do without her?

I hope this little sunflower cupcake cheers you up today!

pioneer woman.

I haven't been posting much these last couple weeks due to my wedding being just about 2 weeks away. My focus has been making sure I am able to enjoy my 4th of July weekend...& we are SO in control!

I did want to share a blog that I try and read on a daily basis though. Her name is Ree and she's a city girl, turned country girl. She offers a broad spectrum of interests on her blog. Everything from cooking/baking recipes to photography contests, a section on home and garden and much more! 

Please check her out here at The Pioneer Woman!

What are some of your blogs you read daily?

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

b-day perks.

Everyone gets to celebrate a special day that is ALL theirs- their birthday! I LOVE my birthday, and people that know me well, know this. I usually begin the countdown early and am looking forward to next year's birthday at the strike of midnight.

I just wanted to share some fun birthday perks that helped make my day a little EXTRA special. 

A free yoga class compliments of Corepower Yoga.

A free Caribou Coffee drink.

A birthday percentage off at Anthropologie
I have to admit, this is my favorite!

A special birthday rose at Bachman's. 

& ending the night with a free movie code from Redbox.

*Just a little reminder, you must sign up for all programs/emails/memberships from these particular places to receive these perks!

Thank you to my fiance, friends and family for being the real reason my birthday was so special! 

What perks do you look forward to on your birthday?

Monday, June 20, 2011

Friday, June 17, 2011

cookie love.

Throughout my quest on food gawker, I have come across SO many talented bakers and cooks. I love trying to re-create their recipes when I have extra time and practice makes perfect!

The past few days, I have saved these incredibly talented baker's recipes for their cookies,

Here are my top 5...they are all AD-OR-ABLE!

Are these not the cutest? 


Which ones would you choose to bake? They're all SO cute!

Thursday, June 16, 2011

milk dud cupcakes.

For the past week and a half now I have been craving Milk Dud's. I know some people can't stand the  fake,waxy chocolate outside, but I love em'. I've made pit stops to a few local Walgreen's along with 3 gas stations [pathetic, I know, but I'm a girl] and NO ONE has had them. I mean, did they stop making these or what?

With Milk Dud's on the brain, I thought this was PERFECT for this weeks cupcake:

3/4 cup plus 1 1/2 teaspoons unsweetened cocoa powder
3/4 cup cake flour
2/3 cup all-purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1 1/4 cups plus 2 tablespoons packed dark brown sugar
5 tablespoons unsalted butter at room temperature
1 large egg
1 large egg yolk
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons buttermilk
3/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350F & line a standard 12-cup muffin tin with paper liners.
In a medium mixing bowl, whisk the cocoa powder and 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons warm water to form a paste, set aside
In another bowl, sift together the cake flour, all-purpose flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
In the bowl, while using an electric mix, mix the brown sugar with the butter on medium speed until they are well combined and you can see no pieces of butter visible.
Add the cocoa paste and mix well.
Once the mixture is well combined, add the egg and egg yolk.
Scrape down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula & in three sessions, add the buttermilk and vanilla extract, alternating with the flour mixture.
Divide the batter evenly among the muffin tin, filling them 3/4 full.
Bake, while rotating the tins halfway through, until the cupcakes spring back to the touch and a toothpick inserted in the center of a cupcake comes out mostly clean. Approx. 20-25 minutes.
Transfer the cupcakes onto a wire rack to cool, and let cool completely!

Frosting Ingredients:
3 egg whites
3/4 cup sugar
1 1/2 sticks butter, softened and cut into 6-8 chunks
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup caramel filling [recipe to follow below]

Frosting Directions: 
Combine the egg whites and sugar in a small heatproof bowl and set over a pot of simmering (but not touching) water.
Whisking occasionally, heat the mixture until the sugar is melted and it is hot to the touch.
Scape into a bowl large enough for use with an electric mixer.
Whip on medium-high speed until the mixture transforms into a meringue.
Keep mixing until the meringue is cool to the touch.
Turn down the speed to low and add in the butter a chunk at a time, then turn the speed back up to medium and mix until the butter is thoroughly incorporated.
The mixture may look like its curdled at first, but keep mixing and the buttercream will transform into what it shall-buttercream.
Add in the caramel until thoroughly combined.

Filling Ingredients: 
1 1/2 cups sugar
2/3 cup water
1 1/2 cups heavy cream
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/2 teaspoon salt
4 teaspoons vanilla extract

Filling compliments of Flour
by Joanne Chang
Filling Directions:
Place the sugar in the bottom of a medium saucepan and slowly pour in the water.
Stir gently to moisten the sugar.
If any sugar crystals are clinging to the sides of the pan, brush them down with a pastry brush dipped in water. Place the pan over high heat and leave it undisturbed until the mixture comes to a rolling boil. (You want to avoid crystallization of the syrup, which can happen if the pan is disturbed before the sugar starts to color.) Then continue to boil rapidly without moving the pan until the sugar syrup starts to caramelize-3-4 min.
The sugar syrup will continue to boil rapidly and will slow down once it begins to thicken.
You will see some of the syrup starting to color and darken around the edge of the pan.

When you start to see color in the pan, gently swirl it in a circular motion so the sugar caramelizes evenly.
The syrup will start to turn golden brown, and as you swirl the pan, the syrup will continue to get a bit darker. You are going for a deep amber brown color.
The moment the caramel becomes the right color, slowly add the cream and reduce the heat to low.
Let the caramel and cream sit for a few seconds until the mixture settles down, and then whisk to combine. Whisk in the butter, salt and vanilla.
Remove from the heat.

If your using for the frosting, set aside what you need, and refrigerate the rest for the filling or garnish.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

blister block.

I Just wanted to share a fabulous product I've been a fan of for a while now, Band Aid Brand-Blister Block.

Now, after reading the reviews for this product, I don't know if I would be running out to buy it, but this blister block has worked wonders for me. Tried and true-I'm on my third one!

Thursday, June 9, 2011

pink lemonade...

Cupcakes, of course!

I found these cupcakes on this site and thought they were the perfect choice for this Thursday's cupcake! I love enjoying a cold glass of pink lemonade when it's hot and the sun's out. Why not give it a shot in cupcake form. 

1 package white cake mix
1 small package vanilla instant pudding
3 Tbsp sweetened pink lemonade drink mix ( Country Time Pink Lemonade mix)
1 cup sour cream
2 tsp lemon zest
3/4 cup water
4 whites eggs
6 drops of pink food coloring

In a large bowl, mix together cake mix, vanilla instant pudding, and pink lemonade powder. Add in sour cream, lemon zest, water, oil and egg whites into the mix.  Beat with an electric mixer for about 2 min. 
NOTE: the batter gets very thick, so use a strong mixer. 

Scoop the batter into your cupcake pan, and bake at 350 degrees for 15-20 minutes. Make sure that a toothpick can come out clean-then you know they're done! 

Let cool completely before frosting. 

Frosting Ingredients: 
1 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup frozen pink lemonade concentrate, thawed
2 tablespoons milk
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
Zest from 1 lemon
2 pound package  OR 7 1/2 cups confectioners sugar*
3 drops of pink food coloring

Frosting Directions: 
Cream the butter and lemon zest together. Then add the pink lemonade concentrate, milk and vanilla extract. Mix well until completely blended. 
Start adding the sugar and mix until the frosting becomes light and fluffy. 
Lastly, beat in he food coloring.

Pipe the frosting onto the cupcakes! 
*There will be plenty of frosting left takes very yummy solo or wedged in between some graham crackers) 


Wednesday, June 8, 2011

simple pleasure.

I love going to get a manicure. It's a simple, affordable way to accomplish the feeling of being pampered. However, I usually find myself taking forever to look over the colors and end up going with a color I've had MANY times in the past. I'm always looking for new colors to try. 

Here are a few of my favorites & the colors I can't seem to go against. 

[a classic]


What are some of all your favorite nail polish colors?

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

lucky twin cities.

In this month's Lucky Magazine, the Twin Cities fashion community gets a shout-out!

Every month in Lucky, they feature a section called "City Pages". This is where they give a breakdown of the fabulous shopping boutiques in the area of choice, with this month's being our very own Twin Cities! Be sure to check out and support the local businesses listed!

Thursday, June 2, 2011

root beer float cupcakes.

I have been craving a root beer float ever since I had posted about them in my Summer Celebration post, so today's cupcake is: Root Beer Float cupcakes.

This recipe could not be easier! 
Take a box of your favorite vanilla cake, and 1 cup of your favorite root beer. Mix the two together...yep, that's it! Pour the mixture into cupcake liners [makes 24] and bake at 350 degrees for about 15-18 min. You want the cupcake to spring back when it's touched lightly.
Let the cupcakes cool completely once removed from the oven.

Use your favorite buttercream recipe* & 1 tsp. of root beer extract. Mix the two and frost cupcakes.

*basic buttercream recipe is compliments of Martha Stewart. The measurements used are for a large cake, please make sure you recalculate the amount of buttercream necessary for the cupcakes.


currently loving...

this AMAZING ring!

On my last weeks trip to Anthro, I swear I'm there on a weekly basis, I came across this ring. I tried it on and of course it fit JUST right. It didn't end up coming home with me that day, but I have been thinking about it ever since. They have MANY other amazing rings on their site right now worth checking out.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

new collaboration.

I have started writing a weekly blog post for a woman's clothing store called Grand Central Clothing. The brick and morter store locations are all down in Arizona, but are worth checking out if your ever in the area. They have just created a website so all of us out-of-town loyal customers can continue shopping and receiving the awesome merchandise were known to pick up when visiting a store location. Make sure to check out the weekly blog posts which can be found here. They have great, affordable merchandise!

Locations are: 
Tempe [on Mill Ave.]
516 S. Mill Ave.

Tempe Marketplace
2000 E. Rio Salado Prkwy #1062
Tempe, AZ 85281
480. 966.7467

922 E. University Blvd. 
Tuscon, AZ 85719