April 29, 2013

DIY: girl's onesies & free graphic download



LADY WITH A BABY!  Friends, family, strangers, heck...Kim Kardashian - babies are popping up (out) everywhere!  With the onslaught of wonderful news comes showers and visits to meet the little preciousessss, so I wanted to create some fun and whimsical onesies to share with the new bundles of joy.  

Is there anything cuter in the wonderful world of baby attire than a onesie?  Well, the answer is no.  And these summer onesies I found that are sleeveless and leg/pant-less(?) TAKE THE CAKE.  They're like little cotton bathing suits - what else does a little baby need to run around (or be carried around) in the summer?  

They're also great for showing off those adorable chubby arms and legs babies have.  You know what I'm talking about, the fat rolls with creases that look like overstuffed sausages haha!  Enjoy it while you can little baby, cause once you're an adult, super leg chub in a pant-less onesie is not as widely accepted.  I know, what a cruel cruel world we live in.



Some of you might be wondering why only the girl babies are getting love in this post.  Well, do not fret, we have an upcoming post for your little gentleman as well.  Stay tuned!  Also, "merde" below is French for "poop"!  That's right, we're keepin it classy, ladies (anything in French just sounds more ladylike and proper, right?)



Materials:

  •  Transfer paper: Michaels, $18 for 10-pack or Amazon, $13 for 12-pack  *there's different transfer paper for light and dark fabrics, so make sure you choose according to your fabric color
  •  Baby Onesies: I got mine at H&M, $12 for 3
  •  Ink jet printer: the transfer paper won't work on laser printers
  •  Graphic designs to print (see below)
  •  Scissors
  •  Iron and a sturdy surface (I covered a wooden cutting board with a pillowcase)


Instructions:

1.  Print out the designs on the transfer paper using your ink jet printer (these will be mirror-image)

2.  Cut the designs out, trying to get as close to the edges as possible (but not on the lines).  This will minimize the clear shine you might see around the images after ironing.

3.  Lay the images downward on the onesies and position them where you'd like them.

4.  Follow the directions on the transfer paper packaging to iron the images on, making sure to press firmly along all the edges.

5.  After the image is cool, slowly peel off the paper backing.  And then you're all set baby!







April 26, 2013

mother's day gift guide




Can you believe May is upon us next week already?  Mother's Day is May 12th!  Still a couple of weeks away but it doesn't hurt to start looking for that perfect gift for mama right?  Here are 9 things that we came across that would befit any mom!  From cook to gardener to a mom that needs to relax in luxuriousness, we hope this helps for some ideas.  I got it for my mama!

  1. I love you card - Rifle Paper Co. // LOVE this stationary company
  2. gold dipped poreclain spoons set - Leif Shop // based out of Brooklyn, love their concept and mantra the "smallest things can inspire and enrich your daily life"
  3. Texas cutting board - A.Heirloom // based out of Brooklyn too, by a husband and wife!
  4. gold tone Swarvoski crystal elements floral stud earrings - Alexis Bittar // studs to feel classy everday
  5. Akoya white gold  pearl bracelet - Mikimoto // classic Mikimoto! pearls, enough said
  6. kimono silk dressing gown robe - Temperley London  // I want this for myself! 
  7. black caviar scrub - Balenciaga // luxuriously exfoliating
  8. engraved garden markers - Anthropologie // for indoor/outdoor herb garden
  9. climbing roses trowel - Anthropologie // galvanized steel never looked so girly
 

April 23, 2013

summer wish list




Here in Texas, you can expect it to go from lovely warm spring to blistering hot summer in the blink of an eye.  I always get giddy with excitement as the season comes around and cannot wait for those long summer days.  For me, it means outdoor fun in the sun complete with pool lounging (who knew laying around a body of water like a beached whale could be so relaxing?), picnic having, outdoor exercising, vacationing and I'm-on-a-boat-hanging-out-on-the lake-ing.  Here's my current wish list of what I'm summer dreamin of:

1.  white mesh tee dress - asos, $92  //  easy, simple and most importantly, comfortable!

2.  sunglasses - celine, $294  //  I don't normally buy designer shades anymore, but I really love these

3.  bird print kimono - zara, $129  //  beautiful print and perfect to use as a cover up

4.  Nikon 1 - nikon, $450  //  I dislike bulkiness when traveling and have been on the search for a more compact camera with excellent picture quality.  It looks like mirrorless cameras are the way to go

5.  dry shampoo - oribe, $39  //  I know what you're thinking - $39 for dry shampoo!?  Goodness gracious!  BUT, I have friends who have personally used this and rave about it, not to mention all the online reviews are great.  I am intrigued!

6.  crystal shard and anchor rings - Bing Bang NYC, $68/each  //  delicate, whimsical and gold plated so they don't tarnish from all that pool/lake water


summa, Summa, SUMMA-TIME!

April 17, 2013

FITNESS: essentials




Tis the season to get fit! What better motivation than with shiny new things.  Swimsuit season is upon us and who else has that pudge, that won't budge! I do, I do.  So here I am baring my soul  about my body image in hopes to bare my beach bod come pool party and summer vacation time.  It's just not about being thin, but being healthy.  Eating better, living better, being (a) better (person).  Daft Punk puts it best: "harder, better, faster, stronger".  Here is what's in my gym bag, what's in yours?  


  1. skinny work out capris - Forever 21 (similar), $17.80
  2. medium impact tonal stripe raceback sports bra - Forever 21, $10.80
  3. run speed short - Lululemon, $58
  4. nike dri fit knit long sleeve - Nike Running, $70 // I love long sleeves with thumb holes. 
  5. fly away tamer headbands - Lululemon, $12
  6. stainless thermal portable mug - MUJI, $29.50 // tried and true, keeps hot beverages hot and cold beverages cold for over 6 hours!!
  7. no ultimate show socks - Lululemon, $14
  8. nike+ fuel band - Nike, $149 // been kind of obsessed to stay active and hit my 3000 fuel point goal everyday. 
  9. harajuku lovers super kawaii earbuds - Monster Products, $19.99
  10. nike free tr fit 3 breathe - Nike, $95 
  11. harbour dot large weekender - LeSportSac, $116 // good for travel too. 
  12. medium impact crisscross sports bra - Forever 21, $12.80

 
 


Even with all the cute workout gear, remember that nothing looks as good as healthy feels.  And if you still look cute after your workout, you're either lucky (ugh) or you didn't train hard enough. :P  Whether you walk, jog, or run, dance, skip or jump. Just get active. Get moving! Here's to the most amazing thing you'll ever own ... your body! Embrace it and love it. Go get 'em girl!  ;D 





Our hearts and prayers go out to Boston.  





April 14, 2013

EAT: poached pears with vanilla bean ice cream


Care for a pear?  This was my very first time having poached pears, and I am officially in love.  It has quickly become my new favorite dessert - light, sweet, and absolutely perfect for spring.  With beautifully ripe pears showing up in every produce market, I was on the hunt for a new recipe.  And this one was excellente!

I know even the thought of a poached pear can be so... how do you say,  fancy schmancy.  But trust me, this is one of the easiest recipes  - you're really just simmering the pears in a mixture for a few minutes.  

I used a simple recipe that incorporated a fresh vanilla bean, then plopped a scoop of vanilla bean ice cream on the side.  Friggin-UH-MAZING.  Who doesn't love that heavenly warm/cold combination in a dessert?  My next time making I'm going to try adding ginger, star anise and cinnamon.  Drooooooool. 


Original recipe is from Chow.  Make sure to choose pears that are ripe and ready to eat (I had a couple that weren't ripe yet and they didn't turn out as good as the others).  Here's how you can tell if a pear is ripe: check the neck!  A ripe pear will give and be softer at the neck (around the stem area) once it's ready.  If you're using Bartlett pears, those will actually go from green to yellow when ripe.

Ingredients:
  • 4 Bosc, Anjou or Bartlett pears (make sure they are ripe)
  • 5 cups water
  • 2 1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 4 (1-by-3-inch) strips lemon zest (outer lemon peel)
  • 1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise and inside scraped (use both seeds and pod)
  • vanilla bean ice cream (or your ice cream of choice)

Directions:

1.  Wash and peel the pears, leaving the stem intact.  Slice off the bottom 1/8 inch of each pear to create a base for the pear to stand upright.

2.  Combine water, sugar, lemon zest and vanilla bean (seeds and pod) in a medium saucepan.  Bring to a boil over high heat, stirring until the sugar is completely dissolved.

3.  Reduce heat so the mixture is at a bare simmer.  Add the pears, laying them on their sides so they are almost completely submerged.  Cook, turning the pears occasionally so they become saturated on all sides, until they are tender when pierced with a fork (roughly 7 minutes).

4.  Allow the pears to cool completely in the poaching liquid.  Serve immediately, placed upright on the plate with a scoop of vanilla bean ice cream.  Any leftovers can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 2 days.


Have fun and share your pears!

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April 12, 2013

SOUL: picnics in the park


This is the stuff spring/summer dreams are made of!  I love Love LOVE being outside when the weather is nice.  Running, biking, reading, jumping, kicking, napping, jamming, dancing, yelling, eating - outside in the sun is better!

Last night included picnicking with great company and live music.  Throw in a bottle of wine and we were SET.

Feed your soul and get your booty outside to do whatever the heckers you want!





April 10, 2013

WEAR: DIY floral maxi skirt



MAXIMUM SKIRT.  That's what I assume maxi skirt is short for.  I even tried looking this up on the all-knowing interweb and ran into some funny theories (and boring histories).  I guess it's the opposite of a mini skirt, which is short for minimum skirt.  Or is it miniature skirt?  Either way, all I know is maxi skirts rock and I love wearing them.  They're so comfortable and flowy, and they hide your legs on days when you might've forgotten to shave (score!). 

With florals being all the rage for Spring, I had to jump on the bloomin bandwagon and make this maxi skirt.  I encourage you to try it - it really only requires basic sewing machine skills (trust me, that's all I've got).  Hey, if worse comes to worse, you can scrap the project and use the fabric as a lovely springtime tablecloth.  You pretty much cannot lose here.  =)




Materials:
  • 2 yards of fabric (I got mine at Jo-Ann's for $11/yard)
  • 1 1/4 inch elastic band (Jo-Ann's, $5)
  • coordinating thread and sewing machine

Instructions:

1.  Measure out the skirt height you'll need from your waist to the ground (including heel height).  Add 2" on to this measurement to account for the 1/2" bottom hem and 1 1/2" waistband.  Cut the excess fabric from the height of the skirt.  I kept the width of the fabric as is since I wanted a very full skirt.

2.  To hem the bottom of the skirt, fold the fabric 1/2" inwards along the bottom and iron the edge (you can use pins to keep it in place).  Next, sew along the ironed edge for the entire bottom length of the fabric.


3.  Now you'll need to sew the skirt side edges together to create a big cylinder shape.  Lay the fabric face up, then take the left edge and fold the fabric over in half (like a book).  The "book" cover should be the inside part of the fabric.  Pin along the right edge, and then sew down the length of it.  Afterwards, flip it right side out and you should have a cylinder shape.

4.  The last part will be to create the waistband.  At the top of the skirt, measure out 1 1/2", fold it inwards and iron the edge (using pins if you need it).  Next, sew along the very edge of the folded flap (this is what is going hold the elastic band), but stop at 2" before sewing all the way around.


5.  The 2" open area will be where you feed the elastic band through.  Measure and cut the elastic band to the length you need by placing it around your waist, making sure it's fitted but comfortable.  Attach a safety pin to the edge of the band - this will help you guide the band through waist "tunnel" you just sewed.  


6.  Feed the elastic band through, making sure it doesn't get twisted.  After it's made it all the way through, pin the two edges of the band together and then sew using a reinforced stitch.  Then, just finish sewing the remaining 2" of fabric that you left open and you are all set.  Put that skirt on and prance around like you've never pranced before!


Enjoy your maximus skirtimus!

April 8, 2013

SOUL: born to be free



Go for long walks.  Ride bikes along the water.   Indulge in hot baths.   Be kind to yourself.  Count your blessings.  
LIVE FOR THE MOMENT.  Happy Monday and have a splendid week! 


Photography by: Paulo Salud 


April 5, 2013

DRINK: refreshing grapefruit sake mojito cocktail



A mushroom walks into a bar.  And the bartender says, "HEY, we don't serve food at the bar"!  Mushroom says,  "hey, come on now, I am a fungi"!  :)  har, har.   Many jokes begin with a "walks into a bar" line.  It's called the "set-up" - alerting the audience that most likely something humorously climatic should follow.  Well guess what, I fooled ya! No funny climax here.  haha. j/k.   I was racking my brain for an opening statement.  Even jokes have thesis statements these days - oh the pressure, no wonder when writer's block occurs, it's no joke (ha!).  Anyways, bar jokes, a cocktail post, RELEVANT  if you ask me.

Um, did someone say cocktail?  Grapefruit, lime AND mint cocktail? Everything about it is just so REFRESHING! Just in time for warmer days ahead.  Classic mojitos are usually made of white rum like Barcardi but using sake as a substitute gives it an even lighter feel, but doesn't necessarily take away from the taste.  'Goes down smoother' is just another way of saying, 'gets to your head faster'.   Neato MOJITO! Check out this simple grapefruit sake mojito recipe below and then after you can hear me rave more about mint and grapefruits.



Ingredients:

  6 (or more) fresh mint leaves
  1 tsp. granulated sugar (or 1 oz simple syrup)
  1 lime (cut in half, then 1/3 wedges, then cut into 1/3s again)
  1 ruby red grapefruit (peeled and segmented or cut in halves and 1/4 for garnish)
  5 oz sake (just regular dry sake, not sparkling or unfiltered sake)
  1 oz club soda ( or grapefruit juice)
  1 sprig of mint (for garnish)
  Ice

Instructions:
  1. In a cocktail shaker, muddle/crush fresh mint leaves together with the granulated sugar, lime wedges and segmented grapefruit.
  2. Add in the 5 oz sake and shake with a handful of ice with the ingredients above and shake vigorously.  Taste with a straw, if grapefruit and limes make it too sour or bitter, add more sugar. 
  3. Pour all contents into a glass.
  4. Top with 1 oz club soda or grapefruit juice, a sprig of mint, a grapefruit wedge, and/or lime wedge for garnish.



When you smell mint, don't you want to rub it all over your face and body? Maybe it's just me. Grapefruits too,  or anything citrusy for that matter.  Whoever came up with mint and grapefruit shampoo and face wash,  is a genius!  Grapefruit claims to improve complexion and mint's aroma is naturally soothing so it only makes sense.   At this rate, the grapefruit and mint can do no wrong.  While some girls are having champagne wishes and caviar dreams, I am dreaming of sake mojitos and grapefruit and mint sorbets (pronounce it like the French). Oh what, did someone say grapefruit and mint sorbet?  Stay tuned,  summertime recipes coming soon.


xoxo, cheers. 

April 3, 2013

DIY: studded makeup bag





I first saw this darling little makeup bag tutorial on Say Yes to Hoboken.  I know it looks pretty daunting with the zipper and all, but it actually is not hard to make!  Just follow the step by step instructions and you'll surprise yourself on how easy it actually is to sew.  Throw your own little personal touch on there - I added tiny little studs to give it an edgier look.  


Materials:
  • two coordinating fabrics (you may want to choose a heavier upholstery fabric for the outisde of the bag)
  • one zipper (I used a 9" zipper)
  • matching thread
  • pins, scissors, ruler
  • sewing machine
  • studs (I got mine from The Metals Shop on Etsy, $7)
  • e6000 glue (or super/craft glue if you'll be gluing studs)


Instructions:

1.  Cut two pieces of each fabric (four pieces total) to 5 1/2" x 9 1/2"
2.  Take one of the outer pieces of fabric and lay it face up.  Put the zipper face down at the top edge of the fabric.  Next, lay one of the lining pieces face down along the top edge of the outer fabric/zipper
3.  Pin all three pieces together along the top edge, and then sew the top edge


4.  Flip your outer fabric so that it is on the outside (right side up) with the lining underneath it
5.  Take the second piece of lining and lay it right side up.  Place the piece you just sewed and align it on top, right side up.  Finally, take the last piece of outer fabric and lay it face down on top
6.  Pin all the pieces together along the top edge again, and sew along the top edge


7.  Next, iron the outer pieces flat.  Then, flip the outer pieces together with the lining pieces sandwiching them
8.  Pin along the opposite side of the zipper, and sew along the bottom pinned edge


9.  Position the zipper to the middle.  Unzip it halfway and sew along the two edges, through the zipper (pinch the zipper together while sewing through it).


10. Pinch the edge of one of the corners and measure out 2 1/2" with your ruler.  Mark the line and place a pin next to it.  Sew along the marked line, then cut the triangle end off.  Repeat for the other three corners.
11.  Flip the bag inside out, and your makeup bag is done!  Embellish as you please - I decided to glue tiny little studs on mine.




enjoy!

April 1, 2013

EAT: blueberry and almond quinoa pudding



I started eating quinoa about a year ago, mostly as a substitute for the usual meal carbs (rice, bread, potatoes).  I'm always looking for ways to maximize my nutritional intake, and quinoa is loaded with protein, fiber, iron and magnesium (just to name a few).  It's usually a hit or miss with people, but I enjoy it and was excited to try this recipe for a sweet version that is similar to rice pudding.  

Well, it turned out pretty scrum-diddly-umptious!  Kind of like a chilled, sweetened, cinnamon vanilla oatmeal.  Add fresh blueberries and sliced almonds (or whatever fruits/nuts you have on hand) and it's absolutely perfect for breakfast or dessert.




The original recipe comes from the cute and charming blog Honest Fare.  I used almond milk, but use whole milk if you'd like a creamier version.  I also recommend using freshly grated cinnamon and a vanilla bean if you have it (no biggie if not).  Fresher is always better. =)


Ingredients:
  • 3 cups whole milk, or 3 1/2 cups almond or coconut milk (I used So Delicious almond milk from Central Market)
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1/4 cup of sugar or your favorite sweetener
  • 1/6 teaspoon cinnamon (I used freshly grated cinnamon sticks)
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla or one vanilla bean
  • a pinch of salt
  • 1 cup quinoa
  • fresh blueberries
  • sliced almonds

Directions:
  • Use a strainer to rinse the quinoa with cold water for a few seconds
  • Combine the milk, water, sugar, salt, cinnamon and vanilla in a medium saucepan and bring it to a simmer.  Add the quinoa and stir
  • Reduce heat to medium-low and partially cover to about 3/4 of the way.  Cook for roughly 30 minutes, making sure to stir every few minutes
  • If the pudding is a little dry or if the quinoa is still hard, add a splash more milk/water and cook fully covered for a few more minutes
  • Remove from heat and let cool to room temperature, then spoon pudding into bowls.  Let the pudding chill (if you prefer) and then top with blueberries and sliced almonds.  



bon app├ętit!