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DIY Photobooth, Photoshoot & Photoshop

So for the best friend's, only child's, first birthday
there were bound to be some serious
It was a circus theme by golly
and don't we all have a little freak in us?
The bff enabled & enhanced the silliness
with a DIY photobooth.
Something as simple as hanging a piece of fabric
off the rafters of a patio covering
can make pictures look professional
and special enough to be given as keepsakes!
Just crop out the rest of the background
in this case a toasty backyard
and you have an awesome circus themed photo shoot
fit for a king, or a one year old, whatever lol
Add a little Photoshop, and you are in a classic 1930's circus scene.
Check out Evite for instructions on how to create an actual booth (not just backdrop) indoors. I promise its easy.
She also gives advice on rental a convention booth for only $48 dollars for a more polished look.
Also check out the baby's first bday over @ Bits & Baubles
P.S. Doesn't the bf look handsome? What's funny is his real nose kind of looks like that (but a little smaller lol)
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Napa Style

So did you know, that I am officially an independent fashion blogger?
I know shocking.
Not many of my posts are specifically about fashion, but I think a lot deal with style.
So I suppose it's deserved. lol
Anyway I thought in order to properly maintain my title
I should do a little post about some outfits that I wore
this time the phtoshoots were taken 
in Napa.
By a reluctant bf of an awkward little blogger. lol I try.
 I did suggest a mani/pedi to all traveling ladies.
The color I'm wearing is called "Tickle Me French-y" It just charmed itself off the shelf and onto my nails.  On the drive up I wore a floral skirt & tank with ankle boots.
I needed the ultimate comfort to survive such a long drive.
On our casual wine tasting day, I wore a white blazer with my Forever 21 tank and shorts.
and finally for the Wine Train adventure I wore a sheer white dress with knitted details
and a navy blue blazer.
Add red lipstick & wedges (no falling allowed)
and I felt like a Betty indeed.
Hope you enjoyed my little (& first) outfit post!
I actually do love fashion a lot more then I let on. . .
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The Reason I am a Creepy Wedding Blog Stalker

Is because I'm engaged! Just kidding. Oh that was a bad one. See what I mean. Creepy Wedding Blog Stalker here, and apparently the creepiness is spreading into the realm of inappropriate and uncomfortable jokes. Hehe hopefully my mom doesn't read this and call me up "why didn't you teeell mee, I'm your moootherr". Yes, I know you are my mother. And if I were ever to have amnesia, the one fact I would remember is that you are my mother, because I am sure you wouldn't allow me to forget that. You would conquer amnesia.

Anyway nope not engaged and if we could keep my creepy jokes just between us, I don't want to scare the bf. lol. I love blog stalking wedding sites because they provide a wealth of entertaining & hostessing ideas, projects, downloads etc. Somehow people just feel like being really generous around weddings. Apparently being single means you don't deserve excessive amounts of freebies. Well I say boo. Did I say boo? I meant to say F-that.

So in my bitter browsing, while grinding my teeth at all the downloads that are personalized & uneditable & say "You're invited to my awesome --insert ridiculous theme here-- wedding" I sometimes come across downloads that can be used for just general good times. Even better sometimes they are left open enough for you to insert your own info!

And so I apologize to the download gods for my lack of faith. Then I share my finds with you on this blog.
Today it is some goodies for having a wine & cheese party (which is what I think heaven may be, but I'm not sure)

So please check these out & put them to use. I know I will if I can wrangle together some of my classier friends . . .
Head over HERE, to the Wedding Style Guide to download the invites, notecards, & labels. . .

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Daydream, I Fell Asleep Amid the Flowers

It's yet another summer day in Santa Barbara, which means a dense fog is rolling along the terracotta rooftops & it is nearly impossible to drag your bones out of bed. Especially when you find a warm body next to you that says "skip work today". 
While your body must refuse this request, it lingers. Your mind rebels and you come to find that it has in fact, decided to skip work. 
And so you daydream.

Of soft whites

of different times

of sweet sparkles

and of course
of true romance!
for indulging my daydreams.
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Funnel Cakes & Fun Times

This weekend was my one and only nephew's first birthday!
Ok, just a secret FYI, he's not my real nephew lol
He is my best friends son and I was lucky enough to adopt the moniker of Auntie Rachel.
I take this title very seriously.
So I decided that for the awesome Carnival themed birthday his super creative mama planned for him
I had to contribute in the only way I really know how
by cooking!
So I scrounged around and dug up a delicious recipe for Classic Funnel Cake
the kind a young boy could enjoy at any local carnival. 
I also tried out a recipe I've been hanging on to for Cherry Compote to be used as a tasty fruit topping.
So yummy.
I enjoyed a trial run of the recipes myself on Thursday.
Before sharing the goodness again on Saturday
This is a great recipe for a special occasion.
And super easy as well.
Just be careful, its addictive and I'm pretty sure
it's not too good for you. . .

Classic Funnel Cake 
  • 1 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 large egg, beaten
  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1 cup milk, plus more if needed
  • Canola oil, for frying
  • 1 cup confectioners' sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • Whipped cream and/or fruit sauce, for serving (optional)


Sift the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt into a large bowl. In a smaller bowl, whisk the egg with the granulated sugar until pale. Whisk the milk into the egg mixture, then gently fold into the flour mixture. It should be a bit thicker than pancake batter but thin enough to pour. Add up to 3 tablespoons milk to loosen the batter, if needed.
Heat about 2 inches of canola oil in a large high-sided skillet or pot over medium-high heat until a deep-fry thermometer registers 375. Meanwhile, mix the confectioners' sugar and cinnamon in a small bowl. Hold a funnel in one hand with your finger plugging the hole at the bottom. Pour 1 cup batter into the funnel. Hold the funnel over the hot oil and remove your finger from the hole, letting the batter drop in a spiral pattern all over the surface of the oil. It will look like lots of individual pieces at first, but as you continue to add batter, the pieces will fuse together. Cook until the batter floats and the underside is golden brown, about 30 seconds. Flip with tongs and cook until golden brown on the other side, about 30 more seconds. Transfer to a paper-towel-lined plate and repeat to make 5 more funnel cakes. Dust with the cinnamon-sugar and serve with whipped cream and/or fruit sauce, if desired

Cherry Compote

1 pound halved and pitted fresh sweet cherries (4 cups)
1/3 cup sugar
1 teaspoon finely chopped fresh rosemary
2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar
Coarse salt and ground pepper
  1. In a small saucepan, combine cherries, sugar, fresh rosemary, and 1 tablespoon water.
  2. Bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer until cherries are nice and tender and liquid is slightly thickened, 12 to 15 minutes.
  3. Remove from heat and stir in vinegar; season lightly with salt and pepper. Let stand at room temperature until cool. Serve or store.