Thursday, May 27, 2010

Ultimate City Girls

Our favorite city girls will be splashed up on the big screen today - the opening of "Sex and the City 2". I am so excited!!

I wish I could say I was going to see it today, but that's not the case. I guess I'll have to watch the old episodes again to keep me going. I can never get tired of Big!! Even my mother informed me that she "used to" have a crush on Big. I wouldn't be surprised if she makes it to the theaters today!

Are you planning on going today? Are you attending any SATC parties?

I have a SATC poll going on over on the right sidebar - tell us which girl you are most like.

Last weekend, the Food Network had a Sex and the City cake challenge. Each of the 4 cakes was inspired by each of the girls. I won't tell you which cake won. If you missed it, you can still catch it this weekend. Check here for the schedule.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Red, White & Blue Cupcakes + Free Printables

With Memorial Day Weekend quickly coming up in just a few days and marking the unofficial start of summer, I wanted to give you some entertaining ideas in case you were having friends over to celebrate. I wanted to start off with everyone's favorite - dessert of course!

My little one is off from school on Tuesdays and Thursdays so we got to spend some time yesterday whipping up these fun and festive cupcakes. I do have to warn you though - if you have really strong feelings against food coloring, you may want to stop reading now.

Can't say I didn't warn you!

Normally I bake from scratch including the cake and the icing, but for this little project I just made it easy and used both a box mix and a ready made frosting.

I was inspired to make these because the other day when I was in Target, I found all these fun red, white and blue toppings...


How could you not be inspired?!?

So, I started off with a WHITE cake mix. Use whatever brand you prefer. I even made it with only egg whites to make sure I kept the white color pure.

Besides the toppings being red, white and blue, I wanted the inside of the cupcake to be colorful as well. This is where the food coloring comes to play. If you are that adamant about it, you can always skip this step and keep the cupcakes white. Your choice.

Follow the directions on the box and then separate the batter into 3 equal parts. I used gel food coloring to get the red and the blue you see here.


I found these patriotic cupcake liners at Michael's.


Pop them in the pan and then start with the blue batter. I used about a tablespoonful.


Next came the white. You just want to make sure there's no blue peeking through.


Then finish up with the red.


Bake it in the oven, again following the directions on the box and then when it's ready you have these lovely red mounds.


But when you cut it open, you have this...


So cool, right?!?

Next it's time to decorate.

My little one really got into this part.



Great Job!


I made 4 different versions - each one just slightly different. I wanted the edges to have the special decorations - sprinkles


If you look close you'll see they even have little stars in there...




and colored sanding sugar.



Then each center was topped with a swirl of white icing.


So festive!


But wait, they would look so much better with cupcake toppers...


Now that's a celebration!

I designed these on my computer and used a 3 inch scalloped edge punch to cut them out and attach to a pick. I prefer the 3 inch to the 2 inch size. I think it makes more of a statement. FUN!!!

Let me know if you end up trying these or any other fun desserts for the upcoming holiday. If you'd like to use the same cupcake toppers I used here, you can dowload the PDF for free!! Just click here.


Friday, May 21, 2010

Stationery Show - NYC 2010

This week I had the pleasure of attending the National Stationery Show at the Javits Center. It was a paper lover's paradise!!

Luckily when I got there, the registration line wasn't long at all. I was too late to register online so I had to do it in person.


There were tons of greeting card companies. I was happy to see lots of what seemed to be new companies. Glad to see people are still starting businesses!!

I seemed to gravitate towards the very colorful non greeting card booths. I especially love finding new ideas in packaging.

Here were a few of my finds:

This booth was extremely colorful. They sell paper flower making kits. Thought this would be a fun activity at a girl's birthday party.




I loved seeing booths that were lined wall to wall with paper like this one from Parallel Works. Could it get any better??



I think so!! I'd say when the walls are lined with colorful decorative edged favor boxes. So cute I just couldn't take it!


Now as far as creativity goes, check out these dresses...

This one was from a greeting card company called Aaron Potts NYC.


Their stuff was great - even down to their promotional material.


Gotta love those city girls!!

Not sure who this one was from but I thought it looked cool.


Both made from paper!!

Hmmm...wonder if it comes in my size.

Are you a paper junkie? If so, what are your favorite projects?

Friday, May 14, 2010

Peek At My Week

This week was pretty busy with my usual stuff. The highlight however was yesterday - heading down to the city to attend an event at B&H Photo. This time the topic was Macro and Nature Photography. So much info!! My head was spinning when I left. (in a good way) Can't wait to see the schedule for June!!

I have a question for you.

When was the last time you had a slice of pizza in NYC for a buck? Yes, ONE Dollar!! You probably can't even remember that far back.

I can.


After the B&H event, I was walking up 9th Avenue heading back to my car when I passed a pizza place on the corner of 40th & 9th where the sign read "1 Slice 1 Dollar" (or something like that) I was in shock! Could this be for real?? I had to check it out.

The pizza passed inspection - looked normal. Good in fact! Sure, I'll bite.

I asked for a slice.

They asked for a dollar.

With my slice in hand, I continued my walk up 9th. I have to say, it was really good! My only comment would be that the crust could have been a bit crispier. I like crispy crust. I'm very particular about my pizza. I would definitely go back to this place!!

For a peek into the rest of my week, here are a few random pictures.

Mother's Day flowers


Me. Procrastinating.


Oh, but check out my hideous nails! I went for a manicure Friday night because the hubbs gave me a gift certificate last Mother's Day that was due to expire the next day. I never get a color put on my finger nails (toes are a different story) but I figured since it was Mother's Day weekend, what the hell.

Less than 24 hours that was what they looked like!!

I'm back to clear.

Behind the scenes I am working on a new shopping cart for the TCG site. I need some graphics here and there so I asked my little one to help me out.


Tried a new broccoli recipe I found on the Food Network. So simple - my family loved it.


Worked on a recipe I will be posting sometime next week. Still sifting though the photos.


That was it. How about you?

If you're looking for something cool to do this weekend, head on over to DUMBO in Brooklyn. There's a Photo Festival going on.

I can't make it. I have more exciting events like 4 year old birthday parties to attend. If you go, give us the scoop.

Tomorrow night I'll be heading back into the city though. Yay!! Dinner with an old friend and then we're going to a comedy club to see a friend we haven't seen since Junior High School. She was funny back then so I'm sure it will be hysterical.

Come on by:

The Yes Show

Short form improvised scenes and songs using your suggestions.
Friday, May 14th & Saturday, May 15th
8 pm / $15 (general seating)
@ Gotham City Improv at Stonestreet Studios
48 West 21st Street (betw 5th & 6th Aves), 8th Floor

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Filter Frenzy

Do you ever use your photo editing software to go beyond just adjusting the sharpness or the lighting levels? If not, you should definitely start exploring.

Over the weekend, the hubbs came home with flowers for me, my mom and his mom for Mother's Day. I of course thanked him, but then immediately whipped out my camera to start taking photos before these babies started wilting.

Here's one that I took and liked from my Mother in-law's bouquet. Just a little lighting and sharpness adjustment here.


Then since I had some time on my hands (a rare occasion) I started playing around with the filters. This is what happened...

The Sponge Filter...


I like the pattern it made. It makes it seem like the rose is made from fabric.

The Stained Glass Filter...


For this one I still used the stained glass filter but bumped up the cell size for a different effect...


I think that was a bit more interesting.

Then for this one I applied the Fresco filter.


I really like the moodiness of it. I think this is my favorite. Very artsy.

Not because I'm moody.

Just because I like it.

So, go ahead and try some filters. Let me know how it comes out!

Friday, May 7, 2010

Random Photos - 1st Week of May 2010

I was originally planning on posting a recipe for you today - Zucchini Pie. One of my mother-law's recipes that would be great for a Mother's Day brunch. I just realized however that I HAVE TO go for a mani pedi since my gift certificate from last Mother's Day is going to EXPIRE tomorrow!! Can't let that go to waste.

Recipes take a long time so I thought instead I'd just share some random photos from my week. Is it as exciting as Zucchini Pie? Probably not, but here goes anyway.

I went to a reunion Sunday afternoon - very fun. The food tasted really good and I was especially impressed with the presentation. Look how the carrots and celery were cut so methodically and using a krinkle cutter to get a wavy edge. Lovely!


My nephew eating dinner at our house.


He LOVES to eat dinner over. Half the time he brings his own food though. I think he just likes that blue chair. My little one thought it was hysterical when she put her purple Easter hat on him. She also asked him if the Easter Bunny brought him a blue hat. All he could say was "huh"? They both seemed confused and I was completely amused. (they don't celebrate Easter)

Guacamole I made for my Cinco De Mayo feast. It came out so good! I could go for some right now!


My little one sneaking in a piece of cake before dinner. I really just liked the way the light was coming in through the window. She was way too involved with that cake to notice or even care that I was there.



Playground fun


My older one. She just adores me. Isn't it obvious?!?


On my way back to my building...


Purple flower in front of the building


also in black & white


These last two you may be wondering why in the world I'm taking photos of my kitchen faucet. I was drawn to the cool shadows the sun was making BEHIND the sink - in the background. I notice these things. Funny how my eyes never even noticed the giant piles of dishes actually IN the sink!



Well, that's it. Hope you have a great weekend, and if you're a mom, an even better Mother's Day weekend!

Blog Widget by LinkWithin