Tuesday, May 25, 2010

"Boston, here we come"!

We're off for some serious tassel tossin' and 'woohoo-ing'!

See you all when we get back! :)


Monday, May 24, 2010

Cocktail Napkin Swap-ettes Listed!


The Cocktail Napkin Swap-ettes are listed!

Click here for the original post and go to the comments section to find out who commented before you!

Thank you to everyone who participated.

I hope you have fun shopping, giving and receiving!

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Cocktail Napkin Swap Ends Tonight!

Click on the napkin for details. :)

Thursday, May 20, 2010

... And The Grace Kelly Book Winner Is...

pink green & southern said...

I absolutely love Grace Kelly and would love to read this book!


True Random Number Generator 1 30 27

Thank you to everyone who entered. It was fun.

I have just finished reading
What Would Audrey Do
and I will be hosting a 'pass-along give-away' for this too.
(I completely made up this term but I like it) :)

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Going Ons This Week ...

My Grace Kelly book 'Pass-Along-Give-Away' ends tonight. The ending of the book is a real surprise and talks candidly about her isolated life in the palace. Very interesting! The author actually interviewed her but decided to publish their conversations long after her death. You know how some stories stay with you? This is one of them for me.

The response has been great for the Cocktail Napkin Swap so if you'd like to join us we'd love to have you! You can leave a comment here.

Yesterday was a beautiful day outside while I was driving into Irvine and Costa Mesa. Being high up on the freeway interchanges I felt part of the sky and puffy clouds that we rarely see scattered and hugging the foothills. The blue was even more pronounced and gave my mind a peacefulness that was so welcomed.

A song came on the radio that I associated with the boys being in elementary school and I found myself wishing I was inching up the line of cars on the ramp waiting for the bell to ring. One by one the freckled, tousled-headed boys of the neighborhood would come out of nowhere and tag the car. It was a game with no score keeping or prizes. Just a chance to run and be first and forgotten as soon as the door clicked open.

If only I could go back, just for a day, I'd linger at the faces where the sun kissed their cheeks and noses hundreds of times on the playground and baseball fields. I would find eyes as blue as the sky I was part of today - open and boundless in wonderment.

If only my backseat was filled with giggles of barefoot boys with the windows rolled down who found folly waving their toes to their friends passing by on the school buses as we headed home.

If only.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Cocktail Napkin Swap!

One thing I love are cocktail napkins.
They can help set the entire tone of the party right off the bat!

I thought it would be fun to organize a cocktail napkin swap because it is easy to do, and it'll be an inexpensive exchange with minimal postage costs.

If you think so too, you are invited to join the fun!

I think this will start the summer off in style!

Won't this be fun? :)

I haven't seen a swap like this before with the cocktail napkins or the way to find your partner but I'm sure it'll be great!

The average cocktail napkin package weighs 2.5 oz. and fits perfectly in a 6x9 clasp envelope.

Just to give you an idea of mailing costs, according to the USPS site 2.5 oz. plus an over-sized envelope going to your own zip is $1.22. Of course everything depends on your package weight, size of package and zip but you can see that this swap is affordable.

"The Cocktail Napkin Swap Rules "

1. Leave a comment if you wish to participate along with your email.
Including your email address will make it as easy as possible for your swap-ette to contact you for your snail mail specifics.

2. The commenter right above you will be the person you'll send your cocktail napkin package to but to make it more fun and more of a surprise, I won't post the comments section until Sunday so we can't peek to see who is above or below in the comments section until then!

3. Everyone will be responsible for finding and contacting their swap partner listed above their own comment. US and Canada addresses only for this swap 'cuz I have no idea what it would cost to send it international and my thought is not to have the postage cost more than the package of napkins themselves.
Is that cool for our first try? I hope so. :)

So lets' get the party started and I'll be the first and last to comment!

Hope you join in the fun!

The swap ends this Sunday, May 23.
I'll re-post with a Sunday date so it will come up on top in the dashboard.

Try to mail your package in 1-2 weeks after wards.

* Cheers! *

Friday, May 14, 2010

Grace Kelly Book Give-Away!

I have finally finished
High Society: The Life of Grace Kelly by Donald Spoto

so I'd like to share the love of Grace by passing it along to one of my followers.

My copy.

Kate Spade is having a vacay contest and yesterday one question was ...

"What picture was Grace making when she met her Prince in Monaco?"

If you guessed To Catch A Thief ... *obnoxious buzzer*... you are wrong!

She had wrapped that film long before meeting Prince Rainier III and was in Cannes for the film festival to promote The Country Girl and to continue her affair with Jean-Pierre Aumont (while still involved with Oleg Cassini). A meeting was arranged by a French movie magazine editor who was Olivia de Havilland's husband. The three of them drove from Cannes an hour and a half for a half hour visit in which the Prince was late but where they took a few photos for the magazine. There was no magic between them. Grace went back to Cannes to finish her publicity and then arrived in Paris to stay with Aumont before coming home for her sister's wedding. She was on hiatus from being suspended by her studio and before filming her next movie The Swan.

Extra scoop ~ she did not have an affair with Gary Cooper but did have a short, sweet one with William Holden. Bing did propose but only because he was taken with her during the filming of The Country Girl. She considered him a good friend.

Her acting career was also a huge disappointment to her parents as were her various relationships with men that were married, divorced and/or non-Catholic.
Mummy and Daddy were not pleased.

See how much I learned from reading this book? :)
It is mostly about her career and how empty Hollywood left her as she considered herself a stage actress but there are more gossipy morsels I have not disclosed!

So anyway, back to Kate Spade, knowing the correct answer, I did not answer To Catch A Thief but I knew it was presumed that this would be the answer. So I got it 'wrong' by popular misinformation, but my pride of my accurate knowledge in Grace is intact. This does little to get me onto a faraway beach but I burn easily anyway. :)

Note ~ There is a small cut in the jacket that was there when it arrived but if that doesn't bother you feel free to leave a comment if you are a follower.

I'll choose by random. Give-away ends next Wednesday, May 19th.

Have a regal weekend!


Wednesday, May 12, 2010

"Oh, Sheet ... Cakes"!

'tis the season to wrap up spring team sports and to remember the good times with a party that always includes a sheet cake!

I'm going to let you in on a little secret to making a BIG "wow factor" that you can do and you don't even need to bake the cake!

2 words ~ Color. Flow.

What is 'color flow'?
Basically, it's thinned out royal icing and you can find the recipe and technique here.

For the logo designs on the baseball sheets cakes, I went to the MLB teams' website and downloaded their logo and printed it out, enlarging it to fit a sheet cake.

I also made the individual players' baseballs with a Wilton half ball round pan and put two of the halves together and personalized them.
This was a home run!
What child doesn't love seeing their name and eating it?

To color flow the logo:

1. Take your printed logo and tape it to a cookie sheet.
You want it flat and stable.

2. Place a sheet of waxed paper large enough to cover the logo copy and tape it to the cookie sheet.

3. Take regular royal icing (not thinned) and make all your outlines in the appropriate colors.

4. When the outlines have set, in-fill with thinned royal icing in corresponding colors.

5. Let this set for a few days until absolutely, completely dry.

I like to make a few stars traced with a cookie cutter to be my testers. When they are dry so will be the logo, besides it's always good to have a few stars stored away for cupcakes.
They are virtually non-perishable.

The finished logo will be fragile and very light weight so here's how you take it off the waxed paper~

6. Remove the tape from the corners so your logo is free. You can also tear the corners off the paper. I prefer this way so I don't have to worry about sticky tape hanging off.

7. Carefully flip the logo onto a few paper towels that have been laid out and peel the backing of the waxed paper off.

8. Never try to do it the opposite way of peeling the icing from the waxed paper. This will break your design. If the design is thoroughly dry the waxed paper will come off easily.

The grease in the cake icing will darken the royal icing so either put on the design on the cake a day ahead so this can happen evenly or a couple hours ahead of your event so this will not happen. Either way works.

By the time my boys were in high school I got smart and I would use a store bought cake and just made the royal icing design. This saved so much time!

For the Beatles cake, which was the music for the marching band one year, I downloaded the a tiny album cover image I found on line.

I asked my grocery store to make this cake with a white background with blue and red (school's colors) for the borders. Yep, I used the tester stars here. They can add so much and I made extras to put on each band member's own piece of cake.
My motto for 7 years was ~"No band member left behind"! :)

I needed another cake and didn't want to do the same design twice so I had the store make one with a green background. I made the hash lines ~ which reminds me of a band joke...

"What are all these players doing on the marching field?"
hahaha - well, we band moms sitting in the stands loved it. ;)

Now go make those store bought cakes your own!!!

Monday, May 10, 2010

"Butterfly Cookies" - Decorated Cookie of The Month

I was inspired by The Butterfly Cookies I saw on the Fancy Flours website.
The Butterfly Wafer Paper Set is the key ingredient for the effect.
I read their 'how-to' but I did things a bit different.

You will need:Blue and Lavender Butterfly Wafer Paper Set (SKU: 3601-WP-BCS-1)
Butterflies Cookie Cutter Set (SKU: 4300-RM-BF-1 )
Edible Clear Writing Gel (SKU: 9999-CK-GL-1)
to act as 'glue' for the disco dust
Disco Dust (edible glitter)
Gel Colorings for icing tint
• Wax or parchment paper for catching the glitter
• Small craft scissors to cut out the

Butterfly Cutters

Butterfly Wafer Paper

Wafer paper is completely edible. It is made from potato starch and is printed with edible food colorings. I have a printer just for this process with edible ink cartridges but I found it more convenient to purchase sheets already printed. The wafer paper acts like regular paper. Small craft scissors work best to cut them out.

A word about the Writing Gel ...

By dabbing a dot on each wing top and spreading it thinly, the gel will act as an adhesive for the disco dust and will give the wafer paper just enough moisture to be able to bend the wings so they will not crack or split. The gel is also used to 'glue' the butterflies onto the cookies.

On to the butterflies ...

This is where I did my own thing.
Fancy Flours recommended adding the gel to the butterflies before cutting to make them more pliable.

I tried it ...
(photo below)
... but ...

... cutting was slow because of the stickiness so I completely cut out the images first, then smeared the gel with my finger and then sprinkled with disco dust. It went a lot faster!! You can see that the image of the blue butterfly (three photos above with the scissors) is 'dry'.

After applying the gel to the wings, I placed the butterflies in an egg carton to get the bend in the wings. This was a Fancy Flours suggestion and it was a good one.
The butterflies will dry with their wings bent upwards.

Oops! One got away!

I made some plainly iced cookies and some patterned ones to match colors with the butterflies.

When the icing was set but not completely dry, I sprinkled on the disco dust.

I used rainbow and blue and citrus colored dust on the cookies. I attached the butterflies after the cookies were dry with a bead of gel. Let the butterflies set.

A basket of springtime. :)

Linked to ~ Made By You Mondays

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Is This The Best Job A Woman Can Have or What?!?

At least I think so!

To my fellow maternal comrades~

"Wishing you a very happy and fun Mother's Day!"

So far I've had a great Mother's Day weekend ~

Dinner with friends in Pasadena on Saturday night at RedWhite + Bluezz.
Killer jazz, great food, excellent wine and non-stop laughter.
A stroll around Old Town.
Tulips from my bro and sis-in-law.
A gift from Mr. PM of Photo Shop Elements and a year's worth of lessons of my choosing at the Microsoft store beginning today.
3 coconut bon-bons from See's Candy (that's all I wanted).

I'm going out on a limb here saying I do expect phone calls today from the 2 reasons I am a mother! This is the first time I haven't had a child in residence for Mother's Day. No hand-made card. Today I will miss one. It's a bit of an odd feeling not to have at least CollegeBoy2 here but I guess this had to happen some time. I just never gave it a thought before. Ever.

After my class I'll drop off some decorated butterfly cookies to my friend and get my post ready for my Cookies of The Month to post on Monday then we'll pick up my fabulous MIL and head to Laguna or Newport Beach for dinner.

Hmmm, cosmo or margarita?
I know! I'll have one of each for each child.
There. I feel better already! ;)

Tell me how your day was special. :)


Friday, May 7, 2010

"Beep! Beep!"

I have suddenly forgotten everything my mother taught me about the perils of hitch hiking.

On purpose.

Have a snazzy weekend.

"Get Out Of My Dreams (get into my car") ~ Billy Ocean

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Molded Sugar Roses and Leaves

Molded sugar makes for a very pretty presentation at tea time and they're very easy and quick to make.

This project took me less than 20 minutes from start to finish.

Things you will need:
  • Superfine or regular Sugar
  • Food Coloring
  • Water
  • Plastic Candy Mold
  • Cardboard
  • Baking Sheet (optional)
Select your candy mold.
I think roses and leaves are nice for spring and Mother's Day. :)

I have used hearts for Valentine's Day and for wedding showers.

Place about 3/4 c. of sugar into a zip lock bag. The amount of sugar depends on how many you wish to make. Add one drop of food coloring. I used a gel color for cake decorating but any liquid-type will work fine. You'll see once you start mixing it if you want more intensity of color but start with a tiny amount. Usually a drop or two is all you'll need.

Add enough water to moisten the sugar. Maybe a little less than a tablespoon. We want the consistency of wet sand that will hold it's shape when you squeeze it.

If your sugar mixture is too wet, add more sugar. Too dry? Add more water. Color too intense? Add more sugar and adjust the water. There is no exact recipe and you cannot do it wrong. Isn't that great?
Smoosh it all together in the baggie. Leave some air in it so you have room to move the sugar around to mix everything.

You might give it one last final smoosh with your fingers in the bag to make sure all the color is mixed.

Here is my pink 'sand' ready for the molds.

Press the loose mixture into the molds.

I usually take a peek on the under side to make sure I have it all in the form.

Level off with a spatula or knife.

Place a piece of cardboard over the back of the mold and flip it over. Before lifting the cardboard, I tap each mold cup with the spatula to make sure it is released. From here, you can air dry or place the sugars on the cardboard on a baking sheet in a warm oven to dry.
This will take about 10 minutes.

Do not let the sugar harden in the mold.
It will not come out if the mixture is dry.

I like working with cardboard or poster board sheets because if you do want to speed up the drying process you can add more than one finished set to your baking sheet. Can't do that if your baking sheet is what you flipped your sugars on to to dry.

Ta da!Your sugars are ready for their close up and you have a wonderful gift or presentation with your tea or coffee, for company, or just for you!

Presentation Ideas:
  • Fill a tea cup with the sugars and give for a birthday or hostess gift.
  • Place the sugars in a cello bag and make a cute topper with ribbon.
  • Fill a small bowl with daisy and leaf sugars for summer parties with homemade lemonade.
  • Fill a small bowl with red, white and blue molded stars for July 4th.
Questions? I'll post the answers in the comments section for everyone to read. :)

Monday, May 3, 2010

Tory Burch Gave Me A Wedgie!

I was tired of flats and being vertically challenged.

So I bought what I thought might be my solution this season.

I decided to take them out for their premier last night to a lovely party among my friends most of whom are taller than my 5'3".

I took them out of the box, admired them and slipped them on my feet and instantly enjoyed my higher elevation.

I walked to my car in the garage. I stepped of out of car arriving at our destination and crossed the street when something went terribly wrong and Tory let me down, literally. The thong snapped away from the strap and I wobbled around which felt like forever and fell onto the back bumper of a car!

I was shocked! Not that I didn't twist my ankle but my new TB shoes were krap!

I walked into the house being even shorter than if I had been wearing flats and had to go barefoot for the entire party. Luckily these were very good friends who couldn't have cared less but I was so disappointed my ensemble was incomplete and my joy of new shoes, dashed.

I called TB corporate today in case there was a bad batch made where someone could end up much worse than I.

So I have decided to look elsewhere where the air is not so thin. :)

Havaianas from Dini's of Los Angeles

Bejeweled up close and personal. Gorgeous and safe!

Here's a past Havaiana's post with some more photos of all that sparkles.
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