Friday Favorites

October 30, 2015

Between Red Ribbon Week, my daughter's birthday, and various Halloween activities (including trick-or-treating at their Gammy's office), my girls have had an action-packed, fun-filled week. And the festivities aren't over yet because we've still got a few birthday surprises in store. Plus, Halloween is this weekend, and just like that we're officially launched into the holiday season. Despite having been battling a nasty cold since Sunday, I have had a stellar week and am positively giddy about everything that is going to happen--the feasts, the parties, the friends, the music, the mistletoe, everything--in the coming months. Have a fantastic weekend, enjoy your extra hour of sleep, and God bless!

Fun and festive Oreos that I think my daughter would enjoy making for her friends. 

This gorgeous fireplace.

A beautiful and clever 3D cookie box.

These 'California' printable gift tags.

A reminder

The Best Barbie Campaign Ever and a Birthday Wish

October 29, 2015

When I first watched this video, I was so moved I decided to include it in my Friday Favorites, but after some consideration I realized that it's too good to wait until then. And since today is my oldest daughter's 6th birthday, I thought it would be fitting to post something that would inspire her, and other little girls, to celebrate all the things they are and all the things they can be. I encourage you to share it with your little girl (or even your little boy), and if you don't have children, watch it yourself, as a reminder that girl power is real and it's never too late to be whatever you want to be. 

Happy birthday, my sweet, precious girl! Mommy loves you more than life, and I believe in you. You are already so amazing; I can only imagine the great things that you will do and become. Never stop dreaming, baby girl!

Pumpkin Madeleines

October 28, 2015

Madeleines, like macarons and petit fours, are beautiful and bite-sized, and you feel chic and delicate and very French when you eat them. And, like macarons and petit fours, I've always been a little intimidated by how complicated it seems to make them (they're considered cookies but they actually have a cake-like texture, and their signature shell shape comes from the special pan they bake in). To my delight, they were no more complicated than whipping up a batch of cookies or brownies. I found a recipe online, made a few adjustments since I didn't have everything the original recipe called for, and ended up with these slightly sweet, soft, and perfectly-shaped pumpkin madeleines. I dipped a few in melted semisweet chocolate (Oh. Em. Gee!) and dusted the rest with powdered sugar--both received rave reviews from my little girls (perhaps the harshest food critics I know). They're a nice accompaniment to morning coffee since they're not too sweet and don't interfere with flavored creamer, and thanks to their warm pumpkin spice flavor and lovely shape, they'll make a great addition to a Friendsgiving feast or holiday brunch.

Pumpkin Madeleines 
¾ cups all-purpose flour 
½ teaspoon baking powder
¼ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon cinnamon 
pinch each of ground cloves and allspice 
6 tablespoons butter
2 eggs, room temperature 
¼ cup plus 2 teaspoons sugar 
3 tablespoons dark brown sugar
¼ cup pumpkin purée
¼ teaspoon vanilla
powdered sugar

Preheat oven to 375° and prepare madeleine pan by coating the shells with butter and a light dusting of flour. Sift together flour, baking powder, salt, and spices, then set aside. 

Next, melt the butter and set it aside to cool.

In a medium mixing bowl, beat eggs and sugars on medium high speed for 5 minutes, then add the pumpkin purée and vanilla and mix until incorporated. Now use a rubber spatula to add the flour mixture in thirds, gently folding to combine the ingredients after each addition. Add the butter in thirds, again folding it in gently to mix all the ingredients together.

Use a cookie scoop or small ice cream scoop to evenly distribute the batter into the prepared pan, and bake for 12 to 15 minutes. Gently nudge the cookies out of their shells with a butter knife and allow to cool completely. Dust generously with powdered sugar, or dip in melted chocolate. Enjoy!

Wordsmith Wednesdays: Superfluous

October 28, 2015

Here's where I share my favorite words with you. Because savvy girls have impressive vocabularies.

Brilliant Ways to Use Pumpkins This Fall

October 27, 2015

Whether it's a spooky Halloween party, a fall harvest festival, or a Friendsgiving dinner party, pumpkins are a mainstay for this season's celebrations. I'm not really into carving them, but I do like having them around this time of year, so I've been looking for fun and creative new uses for them. As bowls for everything from soups to chips, a lollipop holder for trick-or-treaters, or perhaps best of all, a vessel for keeping drinks cold, here are some of my favorite ways to utilize the popular gourd. 

images via 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6


October 26, 2015

The most important things are not things. 

image via Instagram 

Friday Favorites

October 23, 2015

It's been a crazy week, and I sincerely apologize for the lack of content here. I was caring for my sick husband over the past few days, and if you've ever nursed a sick hubby or boyfriend you can probably attest that they require a lot of attention. And by the way, why is it that grown men are so much more high maintenance than the kids when they're not feeling well? Fortunately everyone in the family is feeling like themselves again so we'll all be able to enjoy the weekend together. Have a great one, and God bless!

Six style lessons from Christian Dior.

The cutest cake pops ever made!

Yet another home office I'm obsessed with. 

The most perfect holiday party shoes, if you can afford them. 

DIY tissue paper pumpkin

Wordsmith Wednesdays: Pulchritude

October 21, 2015

Here's where I share my favorite words with you. Because savvy girls have impressive vocabularies.


October 19, 2015

image via Instagram (@thecoveteur)

Friday Favorites

October 16, 2015

We're at the point in the year when our calendar fills up more quickly than we can keep up (besides school functions, it seems someone is celebrating a birthday every weekend), but I've got to say, I'm not mad about it. I love spending time with family and friends, and best of all, we're getting closer and closer to the holiday season. In fact, I learned yesterday that there are only ten Fridays left before Christmas. I'm so giddy I feel like Buddy from the movie Elf. And when I told my girls, they ran around the kitchen shrieking (although I'm sure the little one didn't know why they were screaming). It warms my heart to see them get excited like their mama. This weekend we've been invited to three different birthday parties, plus I'm still trying to work out a way to squeeze in time to pick out pumpkins. Exhausting, I know, but this mama wouldn't have it any other way. I hope you're weekend is everything you want it to be. God bless!

Beautiful Prague

A DIY faux fur stool that I think can pull off.

The beautiful excess that is the House of Chanel (and Naomi Campbell). 

Mini bow ties for a party. 

The best way I can think of to use up all that Halloween candy

Books I Want: My Reading Wishlist

October 14, 2015

I'm in avid reader, and while having two small children makes finishing a book within a reasonable amount of time a challenge, I haven't been deterred from one of my favorite pastimes (even if that means I can only read five pages at a time). And though I've got several books on my desk waiting for me to finish (including my girl crush Mindy Kaling's ridiculously funny Why Not Me? and All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr), I'm always hungry for more. Here are a few reads that are currently on my must-get list. 

That's What Fashion Is by Joe Zee
I'm a longtime fan of Joe Zee; it's hard to work in the fashion world and not admire this industry everyman. Besides being my BFF in my head, Zee is an amazing stylist and has impeccable taste, is honest without being mean (have you ever watched All On the Line with Joe Zee?), and doesn't seem to take himself too seriously. 

All the Words Are Yours: Haiku On Love by Tyler Knott Greyson
I love the back story to this book; the author has written a haiku poem about love every day for the past six years and posted it online. This book is a collection of his favorites, including some unpublished works.

Kate Spade: All in Good Taste
As someone who loves to entertain, and loves the Kate Spade brand almost as much (it's so perfectly girly!), I was immediately intrigued when I got the email about preordering this baby, which is all about hosting and entertaining. Also, since I tend to judge books by their covers, that pretty pale pink with the obvious red wine stain had me at first click. 

A book that has recipes, crafts, and "other homemade adventures"--I'm totally onboard! What could the other homemade adventures be, I wonder. My interest is officially piqued. Plus, I love the title.

Candy Inspired Cocktails

October 13, 2015

These cocktails are perfect for an adult Halloween party. Or a "we survived trick-or-treating with a toddler" toast after the kiddos have gone to bed. 

Toblerone Cocktail (this one might be my favorite)

Blow Pop Martinis (are these not the prettiest?)

Chic Skulls

October 9, 2015

I've never been a huge fan of skulls (I was probably the only fashion writer on the planet who didn't absolutely swoon over McQueen's iconic skull scarf), but lately I've been seeing lots of chic ways to style them, and suddenly I find them slightly appealing. I have very little interest in ever wearing any skull pieces or prints, however I might look for ways to incorporate small doses into my home decor. 

Using a skull to house blooms makes a surprisingly pretty centerpiece for a Dia de los Muertos-themed dinner party.  

Painted pumpkins seem to soften the scariness of this skull.

A glam meets grunge skull is more statement piece than spooky on this coffee table vignette. 

via Pinterest
At first glance it's actually hard to make out that this is a skull--the colors are so bright and cheerful. 

Friday Favorites

October 9, 2015

This week, news broke that Caleb Logan, the 13-year old YouTube star of the Bratayley videos, passed away from an undetected medical condition. My heart broke for the family--his parents, sisters, and friends who will never know the feeling of his hugs again. I can't even begin to imagine what it must feel like for them, and I can't help but feel thankful that I can still kiss and hug my darling girls every day. This week I smothered them, because you just never know. I bid you a happy and healthy weekend. God bless!

This cute home office

A gold bow blouse that I'm now obsessed with. 

Caramel apple trifles

These lounge pants, which are made by women in India who have escaped human trafficking. 

Kate Winslet insisting that her wrinkles not be photoshopped out of pictures.
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