Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Peppermint Christmas Dessert Party

Peppermint Christmas Dessert Party
2 years ago, the theme for my family's annual Christmas party was a peppermint, candy cane dessert buffet. Inspired by Amy Atlas dessert table scapes, I took the red and white color theme to the max, but in an organized manner (she is so good at doing that). Here's how I created it:
We hung some peppermint colored tissue paper pinwheels to create a backdrop, they are inexpensive and are sold by many vendors online. I found mine at
Peppermint Christmas Dessert Party
This was the invitation that was hand written and hand delivered to as many people as possible.
Peppermint Christmas Dessert Party
Every year I make homemade gingerbread cookies with royal icing according to the theme of the party - my favorite recipe to use and cookie cutter and decoration ideas to come!
Peppermint Christmas Dessert Party
To rim these cups filled with eggnog, I lightly dipped the rim of the cup in light corn syrup and then dipped it in a bowl of sugar sprinkles and let dry overnight.
Peppermint Christmas Dessert Party
I made a cake and decorated it with crushed peppermints and candy canes.
The candy arrangements on the side are made with jumbo sized lollipops, a little styrofoam in the base and red cellophane to cover. We wrapped boxes in wrapping paper to elevate them.
For the pretzels, melt white chocolate and dip large pretzel sticks just halfway and place on wax paper. Sprinkle them with christmas jimmies before they dry.
Peppermint Christmas Dessert Party
To make peppermint bark: melt a 14 oz bag of dark chocolate and spread evenly over a cookie sheet lined with wax paper. Let harden. Repeat with a bag of white chocolate and spread over the hardened dark chocoalte. Crush several candy canes and press onto top of white chocolate before it hardens. After it cools, break into pieces
Peppermint Christmas Dessert Party
Peppermint Christmas Dessert Party
Let me know if you want further details or ideas for your own Christmas party - I'd love to help!

Monday, November 28, 2011

Mixtape Mondays: Christmas Mix Vol.1

Ornament reflection
The most wonderful time of the year is finally here and I can't hardly contain my candy cane induced sugar high. Christmas music is like cilantro, you either love it or hate it, and I happen to love Christmas music (and cilantro). If you're a sceptic who believes that Christmas music is absolutely horrible, please give my playlists of of- the-hidden-track songs a listen.

1. Got Something for You - Best Coast, Wavves
2. ¡Happy Birthday Guadalupe! - The Killers (Every year they record a new Christmas single)
3. I Wouldn't Trade Christmas - Frank Sinatra
4. Holiday - Vampire Weekend
5. The Christmas Song - The Raveonettes
6. I'll Be Home For Christmas - She & Him (Their Christmas album is super duper cute)
7. White Christmas - Lady Gaga (On Thanksgiving, she had a holiday TV special on ABC, it was simply wonderful and showcased her talent, including an unexpected cover of this song)
8. Red Ribbon Foxes - A Fine Frenzy
9. Your Song - Ellie Goulding (I think she and Ewan Mc Gregor both do better covers than the original)
10. That Was the Wort Christmas Ever! - Sufjan Stevens (His Christmas album is already a classic, in my opinion)
11. Cinnamon and Chocolate - Butterfly Boucher
12. Winter Song - Sara Bareilles and Ingrid Michaelson (so freaking beautiful)
13. Christmas Lights - Coldplay (Free song of the week on itunes, I believe)

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving

These pictures and video are memories of last Thanksgiving at the Outer Banks. This year we will be going to Alabama to be with my mom's side of the family.
The holiday is a great time to reflect on things you are grateful for, that being said I think I am actually going to write out a list of things I am grateful for, instead of saying I'll "remember it," that way I can read it frequently, stay grounded, and remind myself not to take everything for granted.
I wish you a Happy Thanksgiving- filled with turkey, delicious side items and gratitude!

Monday, November 21, 2011

Mixtape Mondays: Girls & their Pianos

A playlist inspired by Charlotte Martin, a phenomenal singer/songwriter/classical pianist:

1. Without a Word - Birdy (I cant wait for this 15 year old's album to come out in the states)
2. Many Rivers - Charlotte Martin (wonderful, wonderful lyrics)
3. Navy Taxi - Kate Nash
4. Annie - Vanessa Carlton
5. The Flowers - Regina Spektor (Soviet Kitsch is still my favorite album of hers)
6. Tender Luna - Charlotte Martin (She released an album of lyric-less piano songs, I wish she would score a movie soon)
7. Elephants - Rachel Yamagata
8. You Are Goodbye - Holly Conlan
9. A Beautiful Spot Out on the Skyline - Charlotte Martin
10. Gone Away - Lucy Schwartz
11. Samson - Regina Spektor
12. You Are and So Am I - Charlotte Martin
13. Hey Jupiter - Tori Amos
14. All Glowy - Charlotte Martin

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Chorizo and Sweet Potato Enchiladas

Chorizo and Sweet Potato Enchiladas
Lately I have been all about easy meals that I eat the leftovers throughout the week. This recipe from Budget Bytes seemed to be the perfect answer: easy, delicious and inexpensive - definitely give it a go!

Monday, November 14, 2011

Mixtape Mondays: Currently Listening to...

Florence + the Machine's magnificent sophomore album and the Breaking Dawn Part 1 Soundtrack both came out last week, meaning I have a lot of new favorite songs!

1. Only if for A Night - Florence + the Machine (opening song, the new album has an even more Stevie Nicks/witchy sound)
2. Midnight City - M83 (80's Dance Party in your room)
3. Endtapes - The Joy Formidable (if you like Tegan and Sara, you will love this band - off the Breaking Dawn Soundtrack)
4. Neighbors - Theophilius London (very Kid Cudi, also off the soundtrack)
5. Blue Jeans - Lana del Rey (a recent discovery - cant wait to hear more from her)
6. Spectrum - Florence + the Machine
7. Video Games - Lana del Rey
8. Never Let Me Go - Florence + the Machine (power ballad)
9. Turning Page - Sleeping at Last (the Twilight soundtracks always introduce me to new artists I end up loving)
10. Breaking Down - Florence + the Machine
11. Love Will Take You - Angus and Julia Stone
12. Get it Wrong, Get it Right - Feist

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Wondering to Wanderlust

Germany '07
Germany '07
Germany '07Germany '07
Germany '07Germany '07
Germany '07
Germany '07
Germany '07
Germany '07
(Photos above are from a trip to Germany in Fall of 2007)

Senior year has been flying by and hasn't slowed down one bit. In the midst of school, internship, theatre and a social life, I have been trying to think about what I would like to do once I graduate, approximately 6 months from now. A huge part of me wants to travel for the mere fact that I don't know when again in my life I will have the freedom and lack of responsibilities to do so for an extensive amount of time. It's a huge desire that also feels a bit selfish, because I think stalling the real world might make it harder for me to join it when I come back, non to mention student loans. I am fortunate enough to have gone all the places I have, so I sometimes get a feeling that the fact that I "want more" when others have never even left the US, feels selfish. Also, I would hope that my travels, in which I would work and volunteer would be something that employers look well upon.
If I don't travel immediately, I must make a promise to myself to go somewhere new every year, and that doesn't have to be out of the country. I live in a huge country and have only seen a fraction of it, there is still adventure to be had here.
I have other "life plans" if you will besides travelling, such as potentially moving to Chicago and finding a job there(and take classes at The Second City) which would be an adventure in and of itself, but I just never want to regret NOT traveling.

What are your thoughts on this?

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Dias de los Muertos

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November 1 & 2 are officially Mexico's Day(s) of the Dead, or dias de los muertos. I've been saving lots of inspiration for my sugar skull folk art costume on my Pinterest (there's so much!)
This weekend, I got mixed reactions of recognitions of what I was, but mostly people knew what I was attempting to be and loved it! I usually don't wear costumes twice, but I do think I want to try this one out again, there are to many variations not to.
(above is pictures of us before going out, being silly, serious and scary)
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