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Deckin' the Halls for 2011

I hate when people rephrase things to make them sound better.

We all know that a "Winter Wonderland" is really a "Frozen tundra" and that
"Jack Frost nipping at your nose" is code for "Frost bite rotting your nose off"

So in the spirit of honestly I will tell you. The things I'm sharing are not just for the New Year.
At least not for me. I have an obsession a healthy appreciation for all things glittery, sparkly, shiny, gold, silver and gaudy.

For those more reasonable, this is my little guide to looking good & livin' good this New Year's Eve.

Pairing a LBD with some gold pumps (or--be still my heart--gold oxfords!) would be gorgeous.

Or maybe feathers are your thing and you could pair a LBD with a great feather cape or necklace.

I am loving the Little Gold Dresses, and a mesh neckline & sleeves. Wouldn't that be so cute with a simple topknot hairstyle?

Give me a Voluspa "Crisp Champagne" candle to go with my flutes of rose and I will be a happy camper.

For me it's all about containing the crazy. Which means these guides were created with the idea of using small glittery accents to celebrate the New Year. That way they are easily interchangeable and your house doesn't look like a craft project exploded all over it! If that makes any sense. . .

New Year at Home
Urban Outfitters, Urban Outfitters, Anthropologie
Little accents to make your home feel festive.

Rare, TFNC, De.De, MinkPink, Lands' End Canvas
Little Black Dress & Little Gold Dress for NYE

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Christmas Wishes

If you happen to know the real-life me (much more boring than the blogger-me I should mention) then you probably received one of these in the mail.

If you know me and didn't, I apologize. I was drinking red wine while writing. So some maaay have slipped through some rose colored cracks. Or it was the Post Office. Yes, yes it  must have been them.

Wishing everyone the merriest Christmas! The older I get I'm realizing how much the holidays are really about family ( however crazy or annoying), friends, and relaxing together the best way you can. Be it with special food, drinks, games or presents.

So I hope you are doing these things, somewhere warm, cozy & happy.

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We Wish You a Homemade Christmas. . .

I love my friends. I love my family. I love my work.

Basically, I love WAY too many people.
Especially around Christmas time! Gifting, for me, becomes a hierarchical battle.
I am forced to attempt to quantify my love for people, and then rank them accordingly.
"Super love", "Kind of like" "Find annoying but don't dislike".

These are real categories. Don't pretend you've never done it.

In the end, I give most people some sort of gift. This is selfish on my part. I love to shop, even for other people. After hours of perusing, and many dollars spent, my joy is cut short by the arrival of my bank statement, and I decide to get thrifty about things.

So I share with you my Cinnamon Espresso Butter & my Salt n' Spice Blend.
The butter will make you wish you could eat it raw, by the bucket load. Seriously it smells that good. Slap it on an English Muffin with your coffee & you're good to go.

The Salt n' Spice is a spice recipe meant to mimic a McCormick product that was discontinued a bit ago. This stuff was the BEES KNEES on a microwaved baked potato. It's basically how I survived college. I found the recipe online (strangely enough from McCormick itself--hmmm) I bought cute spice bottles from Cost Plus World Market (did I mention this place is my Mecca?) Also, both these recipes follow my "takes less than 20 minutes" rule of DIY. Score!
Anyhow, enjoy.

And if you are a possible recipient of these gifts, STOP READING THIS! :)

Salt n' Spice


1/4 cup kosher salt
2 tablespoons McCormick® Perfect Pinch® Salt Free Garlic Pepper Seasoning, McCormick® Seasoned Pepper Blend or Lawry's® Seasoned Pepper
1 tablespoon McCormick® Garlic Salt
1 tablespoon McCormick® Onion Powder
1 1/2 teaspoons McCormick® Celery Seed, crushed

1. Mix all ingredients until well blended. 
2. Store in tightly covered jar in cool, dry place.


Cinnamon Espresso Butter


  • 2 teaspoons instant coffee granules
  • 2 teaspoons water
  • 1/2 teaspoon Spice Island® Pure Vanilla Extract
  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 1 tablespoon confectioners' sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon


  • In a small bowl, combine the coffee granules, water and vanilla. In a small bowl, cream the butter, confectioners' sugar and cinnamon until light and fluffy. Add coffee mixture; beat until smooth. Store in the refrigerator for up to 1 month. Yield: 1/2 cup.
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Another Use for Christmas Lights. Mini-Tutorial.

I am the queen of reading tutorials. I scour the net looking for the next thing I can do on my own, DIY, craft, scrap, scrape together & just generally mish-mash.

Sadly most of them I don't tackle, because if they require more than 20 minutes to accomplish I loose motivation completely. Please. Don't judge. :)

I figured I would share a little tutorial, my own rendition of something I have seen done many times and in many different ways. I figured I would share because this thing takes less than 10 minutes. Yes!

I took a square glass vase that I inherited from an event and I filled it with Christmas ornaments. Cute on it's own right?

It gets cuter. I layered a strand of Christmas lights in between the bulbs. I put the vase on a side table with a socket behind it and. . .
VOILA. Simple, chic, cheap, and did I mention simple?

Now I could have made this more sophisticated by taping the wire of the lights down into the vase, & securing the rest of the lights behind the table.

But I'm lazy :) So I used a few picture frames on the table to hide the unsightly wire from the lights.
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Escargot Wontons: My Failed Attempt at Lollipops

So do you ever try something & it fails?
But in the process something wonderful emerges?

So it is that I'm posting the birth of the Escargot Wonton.

It is the lovechild of my failed attempt at escargot lollipops.
Turns out I'm not Spencer on the Go, not a part of Foodnetwork's Great Foodtruck Race, not a decorated chef.

I am however a pretty dang decent home cook.

Please try these. Don't be scared by the fact that they are snails. Or that they come from a can. Or the indecent amount of butter you have to use.

JUST. TRY. THEM. You won't regret it.
*little warning though, don't put as much of the butter sauce into the cups as it calls for or you. . . and your arteries. . . might regret it.*

 Escargots Vol-au-Vent from Allrecipes


  • 12 helix snails, without shells
  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 green onion, finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon finely minced fresh parsley
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 2 tablespoons dry white wine
  • 12 puff pastry shells
  • 12 mushroom caps


  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C). Drain escargots; rinse in cold water and drain again.
  2. In a mixing bowl, combine the butter, garlic, green onion, parsley, pepper, nutmeg and wine. Mix thoroughly. Place 1 teaspoon of butter mixture into each pastry shell. Top each with 1 escargot, cover with another teaspoon of butter mixture and place mushroom cap on top.
  3. Arrange pastry shells on a 10x15 inch baking sheet. Bake in a preheated oven for 8 to 10 minutes or until golden brown. 
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All I Want for XMAS is. . .

Does anyone else remember that song "All I want for Christmas is my two front teeth. . ."
A.K.A. every parents worst nightmare?
Seriously when I think back on it, I don't know how my mother didn't kill me.
Singing & lisping at the top of my lungs.
I will make sure that my child never learns of this song.
The things our parents put up with.
But then again, one day your kid grows up, and buys you sweet things for Xmas. . .

So the song I'm currently singing (self-written) is "All I want for Christmas from my unborn children is. . ."

Hansel from Basel Bag

Encyclopedia of the Exquisite

Venokado Gift Basket with Rose Sparkling Wine & Butter London Nail Lacquer
Dubost Laguiole Cheese Knife Set
Marionette Bootie
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Happy Hump Day!

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Freebie Printable Part Deux : A French Bulldog in Paris!

Hellooo. So apologies are in order for the fact that my posts (and blog visits) have been few & far between.
I could make a million excuses, but I know I'm not the only busy one, so I wont! :)
Hope the the beginning of your holiday season is great. I will be stuffing myself with everything (but stuffing--yuk!) this year. All hail the glorious food coma!

Just wanted to share a little card I made below. It's not for class, I was just trying to practice my clipping masks in Photoshop. Not perfect by far, but getting sooo much better.

Both images were provided by stockxchng (here & here) and are greatly appreciated!
Please feel free to print this for personal use :)
You can find the download HERE

Top is the outside, bottom is the inside! I wanted it to say From Paris with Love, but thought if I left it blank you could fill it in wherever you are!

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Sometimes, on Your Birthday. . .

you feel a little sad.
Because you can't believe that another year has already passed.
It feels like just yesterday you were heading out into the world
Completely carefree
Ah so much has changed.
Maybe I'm just an old soul.
but I'm finding that I find many days to be much more exciting than my birthday

Which my childhood self would find impossible to believe.

But then I get something small in the mail.
That traveled from a long ways away.
A little drawing of a big fat cat. He looks familiar. Maybe an old acquaintance?
A twisted note, that only a friend would find sweet
and I think that maybe I'm not so old after all.
Maybe birthdays are still worth celebrating. 

Did I mention I recently turned 24?
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It's The Most Beautiful Time of the Year

It's the holiday season, which can only mean two things:

1. I will struggle not to consume all the baked goods and carb filled treats put in my face both day and night.
2. I will be on a socially acceptable spending spree, spending hours purchasing *gifts* for *other people* (really on a search to find pretty things for myself to wear to Christmas parties!)

Of course I will also be recording every claymation Christmas special, perusing recipes to find the next big "tradition" in our house, and hopefully getting sloshed at a few fabulous soirees.
At the very least I will be sitting in front of the tube sipping some bubbly watching Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, oh and can't forget every girl's favorite White Christmas!

Back to my original point. The next few months I will be trying to A. stay skinny (or get skinny, whichever) and B. get pretty (or stay pretty). In this wonderful spirit I wanted to share a few preemptive purchases I've made to make my season just a little bit brighter (also, my face).

I've been trying to build my make-up collection to cater to my skin tone & hair color, instead of just grabbing the newest color that doesn't really flatter me. I'm loving my new Lorac Blush in Flaunt. Nice cool pink for my super white skin! Its really bright, which at first scared me. But it goes on pretty sheer, allowing you to choose the intensity you want.

Best color ever. Bright pink with blue undertones you would think its shocking based on the intensity but its so flattering! I love it. Thanks to Diamonds & Tulle who turned me on to this stuff :)

I really like this brand for multiple reasons. For one, I love the art deco packaging! But more importantly I like her "saint/sinner" lines. "Saint" is a more sheer version of the color, while "Sinner" is more robust. I bought the Saint "Wine" color and it's so nice. Goes on like lipstick but the color is very soft, perfect for work. I think she describes it as 20% color. If you love the color but want more, just purchase the sinner counterpart!

Ok this is an oldie but a goodie.  This is the first eye shadow I was ever allowed to wear, when I was 13 my mom took me to the Clinique counter and said "only something that looks natural" which of course I was so mad about because I wanted every color in the rainbow. Now I can appreciate (some) simpler things in life and this is definitely one of them! I also buy the Dark Chocolate liner from them to pair with this.

All my new holiday make up really needs a pretty container. . .

So want to fill this with make up, or  just display it at my house!

Ok so now you know my beauty *secrets* for the holidays. What are yours?