Thursday, February 26, 2009

Oh how I love the dollar bins!

Somehow, I walk in to Target looking for one thing and I come out with 6 things. And did I mention that did not include what I went in for? Too bad they didn't have any gold sandals! Moral to the story... I absolutely cannot go to Target without making a stop at the dollar section. You can find some of the cutest seasonal item or just little happy's.

Preppy Puppy has not even made it home yet and he/she is already going to be outfitted in pink and green! I could not believe it when I found this collar and matching lead in the dollar bins. What a great buy?!


Then I also found these cute little pails that can house anything from pens to candy to flowers. I went ahead and got four and used two of them to organize stuff on my desk. I just thought that they would be handy to have around. It is sometimes hard to find places for little things to live! They would also be the perfect compliment to Easter decorations or a table setting.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Throwdown for the Hometown


So I just found out that we are having a mixer with the theme of "Throwdown for the Hometown." We are suppose to dress up with things that represent where you are from. Okay... I am from Memphis. I have a few ideas, but I wanted to see what yall think of when you hear Memphis?! Any ideas of how I could translate that into a costume? Thanks in advance for your help!

Tory Burch Shoes

Believe it or not, I do not own any Tory Burch shoes!! I was waiting to see if the fad actually stuck around before I shelled out $200 for ballet flats. One of my Norstrom e-mails this morning had these espadrilles on the bottom and I just had to look into them! Tory's latest line has come really fun pieces that I might have to consider adding to my shoe collection! These were my favorites...

Tory Burch 'Reva' Patent Leather Espadrille Flat
Also available in silver, gold, and brown

Tory Burch 'Miller' Logo Thong
Also available in orange, black, and brown

Tory Burch 'Astor' Moccasin
Also available in "luggage" and "bleach" (ha!)

Triple Digits!

I just wanted to say thank you to all of my amazing followers! I cannot believe that there are 101 of you, to be exact, that are interested in keeping up with my blog. Honestly, I no clue about this whole blogging thing when I started late last year. It has been so much fun getting to know you all and keep up with your daily lives.

Please feel free to leave me a comment with ideas that you would like me to post about or questions that you have!! I am always looking for things that yall would be interested in :)

Also, I am working on my first giveaway to honor my 100th post, which is just around the corner!

Alrighty, I am back to the books... countdown 8 hours and 45 minutes until the big test!!

Monday, February 23, 2009

Mardi Gras: LPW Edition

This post is a shout out to my fabulous friend M, with whom I have spent many fun and crazy moments with!! After moving away from Memphis during middle school, she became a NOLA resident. One of my favorite memories from high school was my "college visit" to Tulane that "magically" occurred during Mardi Gras week. We hopped from house party to parade to krewe balls all week long. Somehow, we managed to party to the LSU frat boys AND live to tell the tale! Anyways, I wish that I could have been down there again this year to celebrate, but this darn test on Tuesday really cramped my style!


So this is what I decided to do to celebrate the week! I made my very first homemade king cake! First, let me warn you that this is not for the faint of heart. Also, the recipe calls for a HEAVY DUTY mixer -- ex. KitchenAid Stand Mixer -- and they really mean it. Yes, I had to learn this the hard way. Also, I would recommend not making this if you are not in good shape. Seriously, my abs and arms are still aching from kneeding the dough yesterday! I kept thinking that at least I was burning off some of the calories I was about to eat. With all the warnings having been said... let's proceed to the recipe!

Southern Living's King Cake

Yield: 2 cakes

Ingredients:
  • 1 (16-ounce) container sour cream
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 (1/4-ounce) envelopes active dry yeast
  • 1/2 cup warm water (100° to 110°)
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 6 to 6 1/2 cups bread flour (you can also use all-purpose, but the cake will be denser)
You will need to choose one of the two filling options!

Filling Option 1
  • 1/3 cup butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
Filling Option 2
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 2 (8-ounce) packages cream cheese, softened
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
Creamy Glaze -- not optional :)
  • 3 cups powdered sugar
  • 3 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 to 4 tablespoons milk
  • Decorating sugars

Directions:

1. Cook first 4 ingredients in a medium saucepan over low heat, stirring often, until butter melts. Set aside, and cool mixture to 100° to 110°.

2. Stir together yeast, 1/2 cup warm water, and 1 tablespoon sugar in a 1-cup glass measuring cup; let stand 5 minutes.

[Watching yeast activate is actually pretty interesting!]

3. Beat sour cream mixture, yeast mixture, eggs, and 2 cups flour at medium speed with a heavy-duty electric stand mixer until smooth. Reduce speed to low, and gradually add enough remaining flour (4 to 4 1/2 cups) until a soft dough forms.

[This became known as plan B. I almost burned up my roommate's hand mixer, so I turned to the Cuisinart with a bread attachment. I will NOT be making this recipe again, until I get a HEAVY DUTY stand mixer like the recipe calls for ;) but the recipe turned out okay so I guess you could use a food processor with the special attachment instead.]

4. Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface; knead until smooth and elastic (about 10 minutes). Place in a well-greased bowl, turning to grease top.

[Before]

5. Cover and let rise in a warm place (85°), free from drafts, 1 hour or until dough is doubled in bulk.

[During]

[After!]

6. Punch down dough, and divide in half. Roll each portion into a 22- x 12-inch rectangle.

7. Filling Option 1: Spread 1/3 cup softened butter evenly on each rectangle, leaving a 1-inch border. Stir together 1/2 cup sugar and cinnamon, and sprinkle evenly over butter on each rectangle.

Filling Option 2 (this is what I did): Beat 3/4 cup sugar; 2 (8-ounce) packages cream cheese, softened; 1 large egg; and 2 teaspoons vanilla extract at medium speed with an electric mixer until smooth. Spread cream cheese mixture evenly on each dough rectangle, leaving 1-inch borders.

[mmmm... the best part is getting to lick the spoon!]

[I used a measuring tape to make sure that my dough was rolled out to the correct dimensions.]

8. Roll up each dough rectangle, jelly-roll fashion, starting at 1 long side. Place one dough roll, seam side down, on a lightly greased baking sheet. Bring ends of roll together to form an oval ring, moistening and pinching edges together to seal. Repeat with second dough roll.

[Make sure to roll tightly and evenly!]

9. Cover and let rise in a warm place (85°), free from drafts, 20 to 30 minutes or until doubled in bulk.

[This is what it looks like after it has proofed again and is ready for the oven.]

10. Bake at 375° for 14 to 16 minutes or until golden. Slightly cool cakes on pans on wire racks (about 10 minutes).

[This is what it looks like after it came out of the oven. I should have let it cook a little longer so that the inside would have been completely cook. So, the cake should be golden brown --> brown.]

11. Make glaze. Stir together first 4 glaze ingredients. Stir in 2 tablespoons milk, adding additional milk, 1 teaspoon at a time, until spreading consistency.

[I used a whisk to combine all of the ingredients. Also, it took a good amount more milk than the recipe called for to even get it to be spreadable.]

12. Drizzle Creamy Glaze evenly over warm cakes; sprinkle with colored sugars, alternating colors and forming bands. Let cool completely.

[I was so excited to find these pink and green sprinkles on the baking aisle! It wasn't until after I had put them on the cake that I realized that they are watermelon flavored! Oh well... it still tasted good!]

[Voila!]

Laissez Les Bons Temps Rouler! I hope you all have a wonderful Fat Tuesday!!

Sunday, February 22, 2009

I just saw this trailer!


I am pretty sure that most of my readers have figured out that I am addicted to Chick Flicks. While watching the Oscars tonight, as I am sure most of you are too, this trailer was one of the ads. It looks absolutely precious!! Sandra Bullock has been one of my favorite actresses since she starred in Miss Congeniality. Here is the trailer if you missed it tonight...

New Lilly Catalog

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Room with a Hue


Like a blushing bride on her wedding day, this room blends just the right amount of pink and white. The walls, soaked in a delicious shade reminiscent of blooming azaleas (Pink Sky from Ralph Lauren Paint), lend a happy background to crisp white linens. A monogrammed upholstered headboard stands tall against one wall. On another wall, panels hung high above the window casings avoid the choppy look of white curtains meet pink wall meets white ceiling. Ooh la la! This is bright done right.

Sassy and Sophisticated
Homeowner Diane Smith of McKinney, Texas, pulled together this charming look for daughter Logan’s bedroom. It’s the careful balance of backdrop and decor that makes the space.

On the bed, a hot pink fleur-de-lis design on a lime green pillow offers enough graphic punch in a room with this much color.

Other accessories, while pretty, are basic so they don’t compete: lamps with soft green shades, a framed photo and clock on the dresser, and a citrus green faux-suede chair. Faux suede is a great choice because it’s budget friendly and easy to clean with mild soap and water. The pine chest by the bed and a pair of antique prints hanging above ease some classic simplicity into the otherwise posh room.

Diane painted this design but you could frame a piece of wallpaper. Visit www.creativewallcovering.com to search hundreds of wallpaper choices.

Swank Paints

The fashionable scheme flows into the adjoining bath, where this space just keeps on giving--ideas, that is. Diane, a faux-finish artist, stenciled a block of fleurs-de-lis (inspired by the pillow) onto the wall. She framed the design with gold strokes that mimic the curves of the headboard. The intricate painting adds one more special touch to this gem.

Pick a Pink, Not Just Any Pink
See if one of these options tickles your fancy.
1. Cheery (#6584), Sherwin-Williams
2. Bubblegum (#4069-32), Sico
3. Begonia (#6599), Sherwin-Williams
4. Dragon Fruit (#6855), Duron

Sources
  • Paint color is Pink Sky from Ralph Lauren Paint, available at The Home Depot (R)
  • Green-and-pink fabric on pillow is Who’s Your Daddy print (discontinued)
  • Green faux-suede fabric on chair from Cutting Corners, Dallas, www.cuttingcorners.com or (972) 233-4503 (R).

"Room with a Hue" is from the May 2008 issue of Southern Living.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Studying the Law

LPW has been studying the law in more ways than one this week. I am enrolled in an American Legal System class where my professors noted on the first day of class, "we will be going over material in one semester that takes law students 3 years to cover." Okay, so I was a little intimidated. Now that we are two months in the class I have a better understanding of the history and structure of the legal system.

Here's the kicker... we have the first of our 2 tests on Tuesday. Yes, you heard me right. Our entire grade is based off of 2 exams!! That means that I have to knock this exam out of the park to make an A in the class. So, in turn, I have locked myself in the apartment this weekend in order to prepare myself. Thank goodness I am studying with a friend on Sunday, and then attending a study session on Monday. These extra efforts will hopefully pay off in the end. I know that this class is preparing me for law school, and I do enjoy the subject matter that we are covering!

On to the other side of law that I have been studying. This kind is much more personal and very distressing to all parties involved. There is a case in my hometown where the daughter is accused of having stabbed her mother more than 50 times. This occurred 3 1/2 years ago when she was only 18. She has finally made it to trial, which has occured over the last 11 days. Today will be the closing arguments, then the case will be handed over to the jury. It is amazing to me how modern technology has allowed me to keep up with the trial by both blogging and live video feed. I ending up knowing a lot of her friends that were forced to testify against her. I can't remember if I ever met her, but I know that we had a good number of mutual friends/acquaintances. I pray that God will take care of her no matter what the verdict is. I am sure she is a totally different person now, then she was when the incident happened. Watching this case, reinforced to me that I DO NOT want to go into any type of criminal law.

This case made me realize how important growing up in a stable, loving household is. I guess I just always took for granted the way that I was raised. Have any of you ever had a case that just really touched or reached out to you?

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Pearls Are a Girl's Best Friend

I got my first pearl necklace at the age of 6 that were given to be as a gift for being a flower girl. I have been in love with pearls ever since. For my 18th birthday my parents gave me the most beautiful strand of Tiffany pearls. For graduation, my grandmother gave me the David Yurman pearl cable bracelet. This was later followed by a bracelet that my mom had designed from my late grandmother's pearls. For my 21st birthday, my parents gave me a David Yurman pearl ring. Pearls have been involved in all kinds of special occasions for me.

J.Crew has some fabulous pearl pieces this season! Some of them have been designed as traditional bridesmaid gifts, while others are more fashion pieces. You can click on the pictures to take you to the link.

Necklaces:







Earrings:



Bracelets: