Thursday, August 4, 2011

On Vacation!

Back in September :)


Thursday, July 21, 2011

The Cupcake Carousel

Hi ya'll! I haven't had the time to post the big party photos yet. Plus I halfway forgot to take good photos because who has the perfect spread ready to photograph before the guests arrive?? NOT ME!

But this is a cute little find that I wanted to share: The Cupcake Carousel. I bought 2 of these (one pink, one brown!) last week. I thought they'd be perfect to store the 48 party cupcakes in overnight. I have another cupcake carrier that only holds 12 regular cupcakes which is not very practical considering most mixes make 24. Well I learned a few things. A) the Cupcake Carousel does not hold cupcakes baked in a wide cupcake pan (you know the ones where the cup kinda triangulates out?) B) the Cupcake Carousel does not hold an overfilled cupcake next to another overfilled cupcake (ie. no major muffin top) and it seems like there was a C) but it escapes me.

Tonight though, I perfected the Cupcake Carousel equation: 1/4 cup per cupcake and they all fit nice and comfy. 3 tiers of 8 each in these cute holders which stack inside.

And it could even accommodate the dinosaurs. Another cute kit by Meri Meri. So alas, tomorrow will be this birthday finale with cupcakes at preschool summer camp. Behavior didn't merit the treat last week. More on that later (maybe).

Happy Friday (nearly if you are reading this late tonight!)

Elle :)

Monday, July 11, 2011

Serene Sunday

It doesn't get much better!

:) Elle

Friday, July 8, 2011

Meet Max.

The bane of my existence! This puppy journey started in February. Well I guess in December really, when he was born. My husband wanted us to get a dog for security, I insisted on a family friendly version. Though, I being the dog lover in the relationship, was completely against getting a dog period. Alas the opportunity to add a English Lab to the family arose and here we are 5 loooong months later. I am truly living Marley & Me. This dog is bananas. Full out spastic, unruly, bananas!!!! (That should be in all caps) And strong as an ox.

This morning I had him out in the front of the house, on a leash, to do his business. A neighbor walks by with his 7 lb well behaved fluff ball. I should mention that I had slipped on a t-shirt dress with no bra and hadn't brushed my hair. Serves me right, I guess. I really shouldn't go out of the house like that. But I thought -it's Friday morning at 6:20am, who will I see? Well, Tom & fluffy were the unexpected answer to that question... Anyways said puppy of ox strength just about tore my arm off and drug me across the driveway. He's about 50-60 lbs now. Grrrrr.... And ok, I could forgive him for that. He was excited to see a "friend" but bring him inside, he steals shoes, catalogs, my kids art from the walls, you name it. And yes, we have bought him a gazillion toys and bones, kongs with hidden treats and he has a crate.

Well writing this post has taken a little longer than expected. I've had to stop at least 10 times for this unruly animal. Now it's time to get in the shower. I pray that one day he will be the good family dog I didn't agree to.

Not sure how the photos got positioned in the collage fashion, but I've no time to investigate or amend. Photos: All taken when I still found him marginally "cute". Max getting himself stuck in the shower, Max relaxing under the bed (we've removed all rugs) Max looking deceitfully peaceful and adorable, a better representation.

:\ Help!! Elle

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Gratitude & a fresh new look

Whew! I know - I was sooooo ready for a new look too. You see, I made this deal with myself a while back that my blog budget would be, in dollars, the number of followers I have. That was back when I was new and ambitious and hopeful and full of comments, etc.. Then I took a break, then another and another and I never really got a budget for much more than a customized signature.

Well earrrly this morning I was visiting Sugarbelle, who makes the MOST ah-mazing decorated cookies I have come across. And well, as blogs do, that led me to Knitty Bitties, which led me to Michelle, which led me to Shabby Blogs. Thanks to all of you for leading me down the road to a fresh new look for FREE! And I'm sure if you are (which you most likely are) more tech savvy than I - you could do some major stuff with these free design elements. As for me, this is what I've come up with and I've learned a few things (which is ALWAYS good!) and I think it looks so.much.better. Not that I didn't appreciate my last free background, but it was time to change!

So here we are, I'm soooo excited and hoping to play around with some other bits and make this space even more pretty. Maybe one day I will have a budget big enough for a custom blog makeover. Until then, I'm pretty darn happy.

I need to take creative blogging 101 - anyone offer that??

Elle :)

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Elle's Scrumptious Blackberry Cobbler

You REALLY should try this, I mean REALLY.

Elle's Scrumptious Blackberry Cobbler
4 c blackberries, frozen or fresh
1/2 c white sugar
2 t corn starch
1/4 c lemon juice (approx 1 nice lemon is fine)

Put blackberries in a bowl, sprinkle on sugar & corn starch. Pour on lemon juice and let sit while you do everything else.

1 stick (8T) butter
1.5 c self rising flour
1.5 c milk (I use 2%)
1/2 c white sugar
1/2 c turbinado sugar

Put your stick of butter in a 3 qt baking dish (13x9x2 is fine and I used Hefty Easy Ovenware since I'm taking these to a dinner). Preheat oven to 350. While your oven is preheating, stick the baking dish of butter in the oven. Let the butter melt while you mix the cakey part. BE CAREFUL to not let your butter burn (yes, I've done this!).

Meanwhile put your flour, milk & sugars into a mixing bowl and mix it all together (I use a whisk). It's quite soupy.
**Tip - baking this is even more fun with a cute helper!**

When your butter has melted, take our your dish, and pour this on top. Don't stir it in the dish. Toss your berries in the bowl and break up any sugar or starchy chunks. Spoon the berries and juice into the pan.

Bake for 30-45 mins.

I serve it warm with a scoop of Haagen-Dazs vanilla. YUM!

**Peach variation:
instead of the blackberry mixture, use 2 cans of peaches in lite syrup. Strain one can and leave one with the syrup. Super yummy and easy too!

If you make it, let me know what you think. We love it around here.

Happy 4th!

:) Elle

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Sunday Morning Breakfast

Thanks Jamba! Super easy, quite tasty & only 130 calories (or 260 if you drink 16 oz.)

Happy Sunday :)

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Type A planning part one: birthday party

Hi! Yeah, yeah I know it's been a while but I won't waste any time explaining when there's nothing to explain.

I wouldn't say I'm a true and complete Type A personality. I can be rather laid back about some things, like housework for instance. I feel compelled to at least clarify that my bathrooms are always clean, but other rooms can, at times, be untidy and I've been known to skip making up my bed on occasion. There are some instances when my Type A tendencies take over, birthday party planning for my kids is one such instance.

My little one will be turning 3 next month and he's very excited about it. Daily he asks me "Mommy, I free (3) in July yet?" Which I find just about as cute as you could possibly get.

I asked him what kind of party he'd like while browsing a party supply website one day (mistake #1) and he was very keen on the dump truck theme. And he's requested a "stand up scooter like Olivia (the pig)" as his gift. So earlier this week when I had a miraculously free 90 minutes to spare, the hunt began. No scooters of the 3 wheel variety available on island so far as I could tell. No dump truck party supplies either. Only plain black or yellow and one bulldozer balloon found. Humph. This is when the floodgates open. I realize this party, like many others, will involve some online ordering, ocean freight, customs duty and delivery. That also welcomes the temptation to also order all the many other things you and your children "need" but cannot find on-island. Like new bed linens of the PBK variety, new kiddie luggage and backpacks for our upcoming vacation (type A planning part 2), kitchen soap from Williams Sonoma, and the list could go on forever and ever amen.

So today I will spend at least an hour or two on-line ordering so the goods can make it here on time. I will call my family members to see if they need to add anything to the shipment. See - an aspect of life in paradise you probably hadn't considered, eh? Of course my research began days ago and so far these are definitely on the list. I still have to decide which mylar dump truck balloon is most suitable. Other than that my party list is pretty much complete.

I don't think these Meri Meri cupcake kits can be beat. Saw the princess & pirate varieties in WS last year. Miraculously found a shop on island that had them, all but the dump truck pack that is...

And their party supplies are pretty near perfect. Cute with the right mix of class. Fun for both child and parent!

Type A planning part two sneak peak:

Have a lovely day!!

Elle :)

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Busy, busy

Well for a change, I'm having a busy social weekend sans kids. No birthday parties for the 6 & under crowd! All work related but should be lots of fun.

Dinner tomorrow night, party on Friday evening & brunch on Saturday morning. The party should be quite swanky and we are setting up an Amy Atlas inspired dessert table. HOPING to get some pics to share.

Signing off for the weekend (at least). Hope you have a great one!

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

More miscellany

See another great thing about keeping a blog is you have logged when your last pedicure was. I knew it was about time for another one.. My MiamiBeet is getting a bit dull.

Wondering what I've been up to? Birthday mania. My eldest turned 5 about 2 weeks ago. Had a ridiculously expensive joint party with a classmate a week prior, a tiny party at home just she and I, Daddy & little brother joined later for yet another song & candle, family party 2 days later and the final family party for the in-laws about a week ago. I couldn't wait to take that freakin' Tangled plastic tablecloth off the dining table! I baked cupcakes, cupcakes, a small cake and a regular cake. And yes, I ate too much cake. Now tomorrow is my mom's birthday. I was looking for an excuse to make Gooey Butter Cake because I tried a piece in early January and it has been haunting me ever since. But no, my mom wants her standard malted milk ball cake and it is, after all, HER day.

Work has also been crazy and will continue to be through the weekend.

Additionally my little one (2.5 and wild) started limping last week :( Doctor visit, ultrasound & x-ray and thankfully no irregularities. So just a mystery limp for now that has definitely improved and will hopefully disappear very soon.

And now just to spice things up a bit a couple of photos:

She was apparently getting a little tired of the endless festivities as well.

A photo of the aforementioned small cake taken without the auto function I might add.

Elle :)

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

10 7 things about today +1

Look at this - second post this week!

I'm crap at remembering to take photos and so I just decided to do this today. I'm going to write 10 things about today. Here goes:

1) I made a really-bad-for-the-size-of-my-thighs discovery this morning. Julian's waffles. Toaster waffle heaven here people! I discovered them at the store this week and thought I'd try them out on the kids. They prefer Eggo. Such unrefined palates they have...

2) I don't want to call him creepy, because it's not nice, but he is kinda creepy. There's this guy that works for the complex I work at. Many mornings when I park in the garage, he is there sweeping and he just gives me the creeps. I chose a different spot this morning because there he was, sweeping where I normally park {shiver}.

3) I brought the gift that my boss gave me for my birthday last month to work today. I want to return it. It's a beautiful Penhaligon's crystal atomiser. But really, who uses an atomiser? Not me I'm afraid. I have one single bottle of perfume on my dresser and it's SJP NYC and cost less than 50 bucks. Clearly I am not a perfume connoisseur. Wasn't able to return it today, maybe tomorrow...

4) My son got his first "time-out" at preschool today. He just started last week. I'm sure it's a sign of things to come. He and 2 other boys were throwing sand at each other. No way!

5) I got a pedicure today. OPI Miami Beet "a racy red-violet". I like it. A little less violet than it looks in the bottle and for me, that's a good thing. It was a lovely pedi, I was overdue. I had repolished and top coated my last pedi, um a couple times.

6) Polished my own nails because I really find manicures a waste of money. Unless my cuticles are in really bad shape, it bothers me to pay for a manicure that chips in 2 days. That's just me.

7) I'm getting my haircut tomorrow - yay! I'm also overdue for a haircut. I can get away with it bcs my hair is dead straight. Wait - I guess that isn't really about today. Well I made the appointment today.

8) What do you think of this watch? I've wanted a Philip Stein for a while - just want to try out the Teslar technology. My mom swears she feels a difference. I have a gift certificate to use that can just about cover the cost of this. I tried it on but I'm not sold on the rose gold. I wish it was stainless. (I'm getting off-base here as this is not about today either!)

9) Hmmmm... I think that about covers it.

It's 10:13 so time to turn this thing off and hit the sack, for as you know, 5:45am will be here too soon!

Elle :)

PS - Llama, I swear I had to look back at your email from ages ago to figure out how to strikethrough that 10! One day I'll remember all by myself! :D

Monday, January 10, 2011

I resolve

to try to comment more often and to blog more often. And maybe even tweet more often.

See I almost had a nice long post tonight, but then I read and commented and now it is 23 minutes past my bedtime and 5:45 am comes way to freakin' early.

Oh I also resolve to find some other lovely blogs that I look forward to reading.

Goodnight :)

PS - Want to know what else I got caught up in? Brave Girls Club/Camp. I don't feel like linking it, just go google it. Does that look great, or what?