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O.M.G. Love: I Heart Cheese Prints

I am a firm believer
that cheese makes the world a better place
When you eat cheese you aren't thinking
wow, that person really hurt my feelings today.
You are thinking: ooh what is this symphony of flavor happening in my mouth?
how can I make this wonderful thing happen again?
So it is that the cheese continues to find it's way past your lips
until you can't handle any more
and you ultimately collapse upon yourself
having been defeated
by the amazingness of cheese
Am I the only one this happens to?
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Dreaming of Degas

There is nothing better than a good Degas.
The muted colors.
The soft shades.
The moodiness.
The flow.
The movement.
Makes me wish my mom had sent me
to those ballet classes
so I could be one of them

A Dancer.
Check out BalletArt on Etsy for the last four images.
Gorgeous no?
3 com

Lipstick Dreams: A Mirrored Menu Board

So as you may already know, I love a good dinner party.
I throw them all the time.
In my head.
or with my stuffed animals.
You know how I do. lol But in reality I wish I could have more little soirees.
It's tough. I'm at this point in my early twenties where
we all still carry those not-so-far-gone memories of raging &
pounding tequila shots with Natty Lites (the SB version of Bud if you don't already know its sweetness)
but that's just not my lifestyle anymore.  Yet at the same time I don't quite fit in with the 30-50 somethings I work with or at the cheese & wine shops I frequent.
So alas here I lie on my little blog playing out my fantasies & living vicariously through yours lol

Anyway on to my point. I have been obsessed (as I know many of you have) with all things chalkboard.
More specifically chalkboard paint & framed chalkboard menu boards.
My kitchen is an ode to a french cafe.
But recently the idea sprung into my head (with a little help from Miles of Style)
to just buy a gorgeously framed mirror
& use that to display my weekly menus.
Something like this perhaps?
While using dry erase markers is not as satisfying
as smearing words in lipstick.
It is more efficient.
So next on my list is: Mirror + dry erase markers.
I hear there is also chalk paint of some sort at craft stores
Used for writing those big shiny numbers on used car windows
to denote they are for sale. Those could work too :)
Whichever you choose, it's all so easy.
Which is what I'm all about.
I wanted to take a little moment and thank a couple of bloggers who have given me some lovely awards!
Since I am lame so on top of things, it has taken me but a few days, months a mere moment to snatch these up & share them with you. lol

Thank you Diamonds & Tulle for the 1 <3 your blog award, because I too heart your blog!

Thank you Gorgeous Glam for the Happy 101 blog award because you & your inspirational posts make me happy too!

Please forgive my slowness in posting them. I really do appreciate the sentiment :)
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Rug Love. Ikea Who Knew?

When I think of Ikea I think of a lot of things. Swedish Meatballs. Soft serve ice cream Vast expanses filled with basic shapes.
Bright colors & reasonable prices. And of course the random smattering of people's children running the halls.
What I do not think of when I hear the word Ikea, is glamor.
So imagine my surprise when City Sage opened my eyes to the elegant possibilities of an Ikea rug.

It must be fated because I, folks, am in dire need of a rug.
And my color scheme is black and white.
And I operate on a shoestring budget.
Like I said. Kismet.
My current rug, she's on her last leg. She's had a short but busy life making her way from a Homegoods store in Los Angeles up to my apartment in Santa Barbara. She's beautiful, but from the beginning she was a fragile soul. 
You see she sheds everywhere.It wasn't just a phase. And for that I hate her.lol
So farewell dear nuisance rug & hello to such wonderfully chic possibilities. . .

6 com

What's For Dinner: Italian Zucchini Boats

I've always wanted to go on a gondola.
Floating down a little waterfront
having some sweet voice serenade me.
Hopefully digesting some lovely Italian meal. . .
Ah dreams. 
Yes I dream of digestion. And so I prove to you once & for all, I am a foodie.
To satiate my hunger
whilst I save away for that long awaited boat-ride
I make inspirational little dishes
that upon hitting my lips, trick me for a moment
transport me
to a wee little gondola
on a wee little waterway
a million miles away

So check out these Italian Zucchini Boats, & perhaps you too, may float away. . .
Italian Zucchini Boats
1 pound ground turkey
1/2 medium white or sweet onion, diced
1/2 green bell pepper, diced
1 1/2 cup mushrooms, diced
2 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
1 (15 oz) can tomato sauce or crushed tomatoes
2 tablespoons Italian seasoning (or a combination of parsley, oregano and basil)
Salt and pepper, to taste
Olive oil
1 egg, beaten
1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
4-5 medium-sized zucchini
1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese

- Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
- Heat a large skillet or saucepan over medium heat with enough olive oil to coat the pan (roughly 2 tablespoons). Add diced onion and pepper. Saute a few minutes until they begin to soften. Add garlic. Saute another minute, until fragrant.
- Add ground turkey. Use a spatula or wooden spoon to break up the turkey and combine with the onion mixture. Cook until meat is browned.
- Add mushrooms and tomato sauce (or crushed tomatoes). Stir to combine. Add italian seasoning or spices. Add salt and pepper to taste. Stir to combine.
- Continue cooking the filling until most of the liquid has evaporated and the mixture has thickened a bit. Once thickened, remove from heat and allow to partially cool.
- In the meantime, slice each zucchini lengthwise. Use a spoon to scoop out the insides of each zucchini half, leaving a shell that is roughly 1/4 inch thick all the way around. Place zucchini shells in a large baking dish that is filled with 1/4 inch water.
- Once the filling has cooled, stir in the Parmesan cheese and beaten egg.
- Scoop the filling into the empty zucchini shells.
- Carefully place the baking dish into the oven (careful not to spill the water!) and bake for 25-20 minutes.
- Remove from oven and top with shredded mozzarella cheese. Return to oven and bake for an additional 10 minutes, or until cheese is melted.

Thank  you A Dash of Sass for sharing such a yummy recipe!
Psst it's actually pretty healthy too (especially if you cut back on the cheese!)
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Join Me in the Future (um, I meant Twitter)

Yes, I have fallen down the rabbit hole
and into the parallel universe known as Twitter
It's scary how quickly you begin to feel comfortable
Tweeting your little heart out.

Please come follow me, so I can not have to feel silly tweeting to myself  learn from all you experienced Twitter-birds.
I plan on sharing the same awesomeness I do here
but perhaps more often
you know, since its all concise & lightning-quick & stuff.
Just imagine all the great links you will find
Shared after my hours of perusing the web.
Recipes, Deals, DIY, Fashion.
You know you want to.

Plus I would love to find all of you on there!
so I can be even more inspired
by all the great things you do.

So tweet me bizzys. I'm so looking forward to it!

and if you are wondering about the suddenness of this new endeavor, it might have a little something to do with the new blog design happening with Ms. Bardot in Blue. . .oops, did I share that? lol

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Tiramisu Cupcakes + Alice & Olivia

This weekend was one of those amazing few
where the days seem to last forever
and I'm not cringing at finding
that is it Sunday evening yet again.
For one, I scored some great new kicks.
You know when really cool brands collaborate with Target?
Yeah well I never get to enjoy that.
Santa Barbara hates Target (this is not a fact, just an opinion)
Anyway I was reading that Alice & Olivia had a collaboration with Payless
which I promptly forgot about until I passed Payless with the best friend
who made her way up this weekend.
They only had one pair & it was size six & a half. My exact size. It was fate!
After a great day yesterday
I went wine tasting downtown today & took the trolley home.
Perfect summer afternoon.
I finished it off by making these delicious Tiramisu cupcakes.
Tiramisu is my favorite dessert so these were heavenly.
Filled with a dollop of cream cheese frosting & coffee liqeur
It just bursts in your mouth
Make them!

Vanilla Cupcakes
Adapted from Amy Sedaris

6 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
3/4 cup sugar
1 large egg
1 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1 1/4 cups all purpose flour
1 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons milk

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a standard muffin tin with 12 paper liners. In a medium bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.

In a different larger bowl, cream butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. Add the egg and mix until combined into the batter. Then add the vanilla and mix again. Finally alternately beat in dry ingredients and milk. Fill cupcake liners until they are about 2/3 full (I like to use my large cookie scoop for this). Bake for 16 to 20 minutes or until golden brown. Let cool completely.

Coffee Soaking Syrup
1 tablespoon instant coffee or espresso powder
1/2 cup water
3 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons dark rum, amaretto, Kahlua, or brandy

Stir the coffee powder, water, and sugar together in a small saucepan and bring just to a boil. Pour the syrup into a small heatproof bowl and stir in your alcohol of choice; set aside.

Cream Cheese Filling/Frosting
6 oz. cream cheese, room temperature
3 tablespoons heavy cream, cold
1 tablespoons dark rum
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 to 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar

Beat cream cheese until smooth with a mixer on low. Add in the heavy cream and continue beating until incorporated. Sift the powdered sugar then add it slowly, starting with the lowest amount and adding more as required to reach your desired sweetness and consistency. Add vanilla and increase mixer to medium. Beat 1-2 minutes. Set aside (in the fridge if you'd like the frosting to be firmer).

Cut a hole in the cupcake & fill with coffee syrup & cream frosting Re-top the hole with the cupcake crumbs. Top with frosting & spread.

Thanks 6 bittersweets for this amazing recipe!

What awesome things did everyone else do this weekend?