Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Happy Birthday Penny!

I couldn't resist...what girl does not love a balloon or better yet a room full of balloons? How about a HUGE balloon with golden tassels?!?  I saw these posted on Look Linger Love and Twig & Thistle - I gasped, sighed and wanted to share these with someone very special.  I knew right away who would love these more than anyone else...

Happy Birthday Penny!

All pictures and balloons are via Geronimo Balloons

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Monday, June 27, 2011

Red, White and Blue

Where did the time go? I feel like we have had so many cloudy, rainy and stormy days the last two months that the 4th of July sneaked right up on me.  I have to get my act together!  Every year I rummage around for a cute red, white and blue outfit but discover, once again, that I do not own anything patriotic.  I end up wearing white jeans and maybe a blue top.  Not this year!

Here are some casual to dressy ideas that I found to wear with my white jeans.  I just need to make up my mind and have the pieces shipped overnight!  What do you think I should get?

The Limited Striped Halter

Depending on what kind of event I am going to, I like the idea of the Talbots or the Old Navy red tank under the J. Crew blazer (see below).
Talbots Blouson Tank                                   Old Navy Tank

Even though this bag is on the pinker side of red, I like that it is water-resistant and nautical.  If I just buy this bag I will have achieved my goal of owning something red, white and blue.
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Friday, June 24, 2011

Beauty Radar - Summer Essentials

Summer Fridays are here! The office goes into slow mode and everyone races to the door when we close.  I am no different -  I love spending my weekends outside, on the beach, on the water with my family and friends.  But.. (isn't there always a but?) .. I will NOT go outside without sunscreen and I always wear a hat. So today, as I head out the door to take Amtrak up the coast to Newport, Rhode Island, I have on my face, in my bag and on my head...

Super by Dr. Nicholas Perricone - Sun Kissed is so cool - it is one color for all.  Well, that is not the coolest part.  It is magic!  I have dry, sensitive skin and cannot tolerate many products.  I get an instant "glow" and my skin feels fabulous when I apply it.  By the end of the day my skin does not feel parched or tired - it still feels great!  The best news is it has SPF 25 with 13.5% Zinc Oxide and has superfood ingredients - so it is working for your skin as you wear it!   This is the perfect everyday working girl/guy lunchtime sunscreen. I do not leave the house without it on my face.  Try it!

La Roche-Posy Anthelios Face Cream - SPF 60 is my go-to sunscreen when I am in the sun all day long, especially at the beach or on the water.  I hesitated to write about it because it has been written up in every magazine and blog, but it is a great product and I love it! I get a burning, itchy sensation from most sunscreens and this is the only one I can tolerate.  It also does not irritate my skin if I apply it after I have been in salt or chlorinated water.  I put this on first thing in the morning when I know I will be outside all day long and re-apply all day long.  This is a must buy!

I wear this J. Crew Straw Hat all summer long.  It is soft enough that you can lean back against a chair and read a book. It is great coverage for your face, d├ęcolletage and is chic enough for the most glamourous luncheon!  Luckily, it seems to be a J. Crew staple and comes back every summer because you will need to buy a new one after the wear and tear you will give it.  I actually need to run over and get a new one (maybe two) today before I head out - no pun intended! 

Happy Summer Friday!

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Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Native Shoes

What's not to like about these shoes?!?  Odor resistant and washable - with a family of boys I am hooked!  And it doesn't hurt that they are so cool looking. I am dying to try a pair, buy a pair for my husband and each of my sons.  How cute are the kids mini version?  Go to Native Shoes and check out all the fun styles and colors. 


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Monday, June 20, 2011

Slow Cooker - Sausage Lasagna

I have to tell you that having a slow cooker is the best thing ever - besides my Mangle!  You do a little prep, throw it into the slow cooker, walk away for 6 or so hours, and come back to DINNER!  It is so nice after a day at work or hours spent on a sports field to know that dinner is ready and waiting for you at home.

The hardest part of having a slow cooker is finding good recipes. My husband and I buy every cookbook we find for the slow cooker, but they may only have one or two recipes we like.  I am going to share with you our favorites, hopefully once a month or so, as we take this blog journey.

My husband is taking one of our sons to camp and my other son and I will be picking him up tonight right at dinner time - Father's Day Night!  It will be a mad dash to make dinner when we get in from the airport - so I thought to avoid all that - I am making Martha Stewart's Slow-Cooker Sausage Lasagna

I am timing it to be ready when we walk in the door, have a green salad prepared in the fridge and throw a fresh baguette into the oven to warm.  I also made just the mousse from an earlier post, Chocolate Tart Bake Off, for dessert. My husband and youngest son love mousse!  I think it will be a simple, easy and delicious Father's Day meal.

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Sunday, June 19, 2011

Happy Father's Day!

I was recently sent an invitation to join Pinterest (Thank you Sarah - not sure I should be happy or unhappy that you have gotten me obsessed!)  If you have not been to Pinterest or know about it, it is an amazing virtual scrapbook.  It is also mildly addictive.  I found all these Father's Day cards, projects and inspirations there.  

Happy Father's Day to my dad and my husband - I love you!! And to all of the father's in your life, enjoy your special day!

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Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Chocolate Tart Bake Off

Over Memorial Day weekend my mother and I each made a chocolate tart to be served at a dinner party we had over that weekend.  My mother made the Chocolate Mousse Tart with Hazelnuts from Martha Stewart and I made the Chocolate Pudding Cream Tart from Ina Garten's latest cook book "How Easy is That?"

It started because my mother suggested the mousse tart and my son wanted the pudding tart. So to make everyone happy - we did both.

I got to work on my tart first
 I had a little help from my son

 The pudding got very thick

 Adding the best ingredient, besided the chocolate, kahlua  

 Dad was in charge of the kahlua


My chocolate pudding cream pie! That is fresh whipped cream and shaved chocolate on top.

Now lets see what Mom did
The crust was made with sugar ice cream cones

 Mom's chocolate mousse tart with hazelnuts!

Side by side!

They were both delicious on their own but when you compared them at the same time - that's when it got interesting.  I would say everyone liked my mothers crust the best - it was salty and brought out the chocolate of the mouse.  The mouse was very light and would be a very nice dessert by itself in individual ramekins with raspberries.

My pudding was richer and more intense due to the kahlua and coffee that it called for.  It had more punch and for a true chocolate lover it delivered!

We thought that if we combined my mothers crust with the pudding I made it would be a knock out dessert.  So next time we may do just that and see what we think.

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