Friday, June 13, 2014

Dolce Vita

Do you remember in The Brady Bunch when one of the family members would need an obscure sum of money for a particular cause ($2, 140 to give a stray puppy a life-saving vaccination… or $8, 232 to stop the town’s library from being bulldozed… for example).  It would always seem as if their luck had just run out, when Marcia (Marcia Marcia) would spot a poster for an equally obscure competition and a top prize of the exact amount they were trying to get their hands on.

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If real life were like that, I’d be staring saucer-eyed at a prize jackpot of €203.16 right now and the only thing standing between me and this dress would be the minor obstacle of winning some brother- sister dance competition.

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dolcevita1

Daydreaming takes up a big portion of my real-life.  €203.16 is too much to pay for a sundress. Is it? (I love it)

If I were a rich girl (a whole other daydream), I’d be taking the whole dang collection.

Monday, May 12, 2014

How to Frost a Cake

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I made this Peanut Butter Birthday Cake (adapted from Joy the Baker’s recipe – here) for my bestie Marie’s birthday last month. (Marie is one half of the awesome duo responsible for this surprise last year). 

Everyone agrees that the peanut butter frosting is the best part of this cake.  Here’s a guide to frosting your birthday cake (the easy way) in 7 easy steps.

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A few tips before we begin:

Tip 1: Make more frosting than you need.  Frosting will inevitably end up stuck on the spoon, and the sides of the bowl, and on your clothes and in your hair and mouth.  That excess icing adds up. I doubled the recipe.  That may seem extreme, but I’ve never heard anyone complain about too much frosting before.  “Oh dang, just what are we going to do with the leftover frosting?”  We’re going to lick it slowly off a cold spoon while staring dreamily into space, that’s what.

Tip 2: Once it’s made, chill your frosting for an hour or two, then take it out of the fridge precisely 15 minutes before you start the frosting process.  This is the only part of my step-by-step guide that must be followed exactly.  It ensures the frosting is still chilled, but malleable. (I just typed the word malleable on my blog – whaaaat?)

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Step 1:  Place the cake on the cake stand you intend to serve it on.  There’s no moving the cake post-frosting. 

Step 2:  Spoon a lot of the mixture on to the top of the cake.

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Step 3:  Start smoothing the frosting out over the cake with a metal spoon, pushing dollops over the edges.  Add more frosting as necessary.  The spoon should never touch the cake, only the frosting.  We don’t want crumby icing.

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Step 4:  Keep smoothing and dolloping until you can’t see any more cake.  Your cake will look like a messy blob at this stage, but don’t panic.  If you can only see frosting, you’ve done it right.

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Step 5:  Take a clean metal spoon and make a swirly pattern on the top of the cake.  Work from the outsides in, again not touching the cake.

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Step 6:  Now, take a flat (butter) knife and trace around the rim, roughly flattening the sides.  This will ‘trim’ a lot of excess frosting from the sides, which goes back in the bowl (for later).

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Step 7:  Take a dry, clean napkin and wipe the messy frosting from the edges of the serving plate.  Immediately follow with a clean, damp napkin to remove the sticky frosting residue. 

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And that’s it!  I kept the decoration pretty simple this time, but you can be as creative as you like!

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Happy Birthday Marie – I loved our mini celebration! xo

Friday, May 9, 2014

The Creative Process

the creative process

Made me smile.  Happy Friday! xo

Thursday, May 8, 2014

Bibliomotocarro

Bibliomotocarro

Antonio La Cava (pictured) was a schoolteacher in Italy for 42 years.  After retiring, he wanted to continue to spread the love of reading to children. He created the Bibliomotocarro by restoring and modifying a used Ape motorbike.  It is a portable library housing 700 carefully-chosen books.  Antonio has been traveling throughout Italy in his cheery bookmobile ever since.  Don’t you just love this?

Side note:  The name of La Cava’s contraption, Il Bibliomotocaro, really tickled me.  I’m currently trying to learn the Italian language and always joke that you can add ‘o’ to the end of English words to translate them into Italian (perfect-o; fantastic-o…) – this moto carro sort of follows my rule.  Sort of.

via Messy Nessy Chic

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

To-do List

slow down

The Tuesdays that follow bank-holiday Mondays are the most hateful of all.  Worse than regular Mondays.  I spent a significant portion of yesterday sobbing on Skype to my boyfriend.  The rest of the day was just about getting through it.

Today, I’m focusing on one task: to slow down.

(This song helps)

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Monday, May 5, 2014

Go Pro

go pro

This is what a go pro looked like in the sixties.  We’ve come a long way after all...  via Swiss Miss

Friday, May 2, 2014

Best of… April 2014

via Facehunter

apr coco1

apr coco2

via Cocogroove

apr coohuco1

via Coohuco

apr couldihavethat1

apr couldihavethat2

via Could I Have That?

apr expresso1

via Express-o

via Facehunter

apr sj1

via Sincerely Jules

apr ft1

via Fashion Toast

apr modern hepburn

via Modern Hepburn

apr sj2

apr sj3

apr sj5

via Sincerely Jules

apr sorakeem1

via Sorakeem

apr tuula1

via Tuula

apr wheredidyou1

via Where Did You Get That?

April was a very beautiful month.  On a sidenote, if leopard print is making a comeback, I’m all over that. More (leopard print and everything else) on pinterest.

Thursday, May 1, 2014

Mayday; M’aider; May Day

Mayday Mayday Mayday is used in military operations throughout the world as a signal of distress in radio communications.  But do you know where it came from?

A man called Frederick Stanley Mockford coined the term in 1923, when he was working at Croydon Airport (London) as a radio officer.  Most of the air traffic at that time was between Croydon and Le Bourget Airport (Paris), so he adopted a French phrase in emergency situations, to summon help from French pilots and ground staff.  “Venez m’aider” (pronounced ven-ay may-day) translates as “come help me” and from that point on, Mayday stuck.

To signal distress, the call must be given three times in a row ("Mayday Mayday Mayday") to prevent any confusion in noisy conditions, and to distinguish an actual Mayday call from a message about a Mayday call.

This piece of nerdy trivia comes to you today because it is May Day (1st May) and because I can write about whatever I darn like.

p.s. It’s Summer!  It’s here!

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Swimming in Mexico

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If I could beam myself anywhere in the world today, it would be here, to the Hacienda Uayamon Hotel in Mexico.  The clever architects involved repurposed the original hacienda ruins as a swimming pool.  Beautiful!

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

The Phone Cone

The Phone Cone

Monday, April 28, 2014

Modern Art

Modern Art

What I think every time I see a piece like the one above:

Print

Friday, April 25, 2014

Knowing Hands

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hands

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Best of… March 2014

via Facehunter

mar coco1

via Cocogroove

mar cocohuco1

via Coohuco

mar cupcakes1

via Cupcakes and Cashmere

via Facehunter

mar ft1

via Fashion Toast

mar sj1

mar sj2

mar sj3

mar sj4

mar sj5

via Sincerely Jules

Aaaaand we’re just about up to date.  As always, more on pinterest.  Come hang out!