Thursday, April 29, 2010

Do You Relay?

After many months of hard work, our Relay for Life event is tomorrow! I really enjoyed being a part of such a good cause. Hopefully, everything goes off without a hitch and on Monday I only have to report of our great success! Here's to making a difference!!

Monday, April 26, 2010

Item #596 That Can and Will Be Monogrammed

As I am sure I have said before, I love a monogram! I came across this monogrammed cutting board by Clairebella on today and was thrilled to pieces to find a new item for my initials to grace. Love. 

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Just What the Doctor Ordered

When things get hectic, I think the best medicine is a little tranquility. I can't help but think how divine it would be to spend my day sitting on this porch sipping sweet tea. Bliss. 

*Image via Chris Bickford for The New York Times 

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

On My Radar: ModCloth

If it was up to the boyfriend, he would watch football all day, everyday. Thursday's NFL draft is enough to send him into a frenzy while being a sad reminder to me that the end of spending Sundays doing "couple-y things" is near. Thankfully, his sister--who shares her brother's love of their favorite home team-- shares my love of the sport of shopping. She recently introduced me to ModCloth and I fell in love. They have an almost endless amount of fabulous frocks and accessories to choose from that will no doubt keep me busy until at least half-time. Here are a few of my current faves. 

Caits, please buy this dress above as it will be perfect for your Naval internship this summer. Dressing in theme for a serious internship is definitely appropriate. Always. 

Miss Issippi Dress in River

Friday, April 16, 2010

Lilly Loving

Last night I went to a charity event at the yacht club and one guest was wearing this Lilly number. When I first saw it on the Web site about a month ago I wasn't sure if I liked it but, me oh my do I love it in person! Definitely swoon worthy and most assuredly on the wish list! 

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Proud to say I'm a Little More Preppy Than That

Because I am a tried-and-true prep and proud of it! The lovely lady behind this blog is a fellow intern from Southern Living and her blog is usually a highlight to my morning. You might want to add her to your blog roll if you haven't already!


Ode to Marchesa

Oh Marchesa. How I love thee. I seriously think I shed a fashion tear browsing through your spring 2010 collection. Not only do you often dress my favorite character on television but your pieces are an architectural delight. Your bows and structural feats are surely the best in the business. Please keep doing what you are doing because your genius is incomprehensible. Love, love, love. 

Monday, April 12, 2010

Let's Make Plans

I love paper products. Stationary, cards--calling, business, birthday, holiday, or just because--, invitations, envelopes, you name it. Therefore, I take my commitment to an agenda/planner very seriously. Up until recently, I have always used leather agendas from Barnes & Noble. They had all of the aspects I was looking for and needed, in addition to an assortment of colors to choose from. July 2009 was the final month in my last B&N agenda and I was not pleased with the color selection when I went to pick up a new one. Metallic blue? No, thank you! I tried the whole iCal thing but I really need to be able to consult my calendar at all times. Seriously, I am the most forgetful person ever--as my family and the boyfriend remind me of quite often. Since toting around my Mac desktop is not a viable option I finally gave in and bought another agenda. I was first introduced to MyAgenda while I was interning at Southern Accents. It had all the things I needed and was super cute to boot! This year they have come out with a whole new line of colors and textures. I just received mine in the mail the other day and I am so pleased with the zebra print I chose. The calendar doesn't start until July so I must bear a few more months of my digital agenda. Hopefully, I don't forget too much in the interim! 

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Southern Dessert Staples

So, I have been on a recipe-trying stint lately. It must be this warm weather that has finally arrived, but I have been on a rampage to try to find my newest faves. Though Paula Deen is not usually my go-to-gal for recipes, she definitely got these cakes right. These staple desserts are definitely saved in my permanent recipe file!

Mama's Pound Cake
Courtesy Paula Deen

1/2 lb. (2 sticks) butter, plus more for pan
1/2 cup vegetable shortening
3 cups sugar
5 eggs
3 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for pan
1/2 teaspoon fine salt
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 cup milk (skim is fine... don't tell Paula!)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

With a mixer, cream butter and shortening together. Add sugar, a little at a time. Add eggs, one at a time, beating after each addition. Stir dry ingredients together in a bowl and add to mixer alternatively with milk, starting with the flour and ending with the flour. Mix in vanilla. Pour into a greased and floured tube pan and bake for 1 to 1 1/2 hours, until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean.

* For the summer I recommend serving it with homemade whip cream, fresh strawberries, and little sprig of mint for garnish. Yum!

Caramel Cake
Courtesy Paula Deen

1 cup butter, room temperature
2 cups granulated sugar
4 eggs
3 cups self-rising flour, sifted
1 cup milk
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

1/2 cup butter
1 cup packed light brown sugar
1/4 cup milk
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

1/2 cup butter
1 cup packed dark brown sugar
1/3 cup heavy cream, or more if needed
1 (16 oz) box confectioners' sugar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease and flour 3 (9-inch) cake pans.

Using an electric mixer cream butter until fluffy. Add granulated sugar and continue to cream well for 6-8 minutes. Add eggs 1 at a time, beating well after each addition. Add flour and milk alternatively to creamed mixture, beginning and ending with flour. Add vanilla and continue to beat until just mixed.

Divide batter equally among prepared pans. Level batter in each pan by holding pan 4 inches above counter dropping it flat onto counter. Do this several times to release air bubbles and assure you of a more level cake. Bake for 25 minutes or until golden brown.

While the cake is baking, in a saucepan, combine butter, brown sugar, and milk. Cook and stir over medium heat for 3 to 5 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in vanilla.

Remove cake layers from oven and allow cake to remain in pans as you prepare to stack and fill. Remove first layer and invert onto cake plate. Pierce cake layer with a toothpick over entire surface. Spread 1/3 of filling mixture on cake layer. Top with second layer, repeat process. Top with last layer and repeat process again.

Melt butter in a saucepan over medium heat and stir in brown sugar and cream. Bring to a boil, and transfer to a mixing bowl. Add confectioners' sugar and vanilla. Beat with a handheld electric mixer until it reaches a spreading consistency. AT this time it may be necessary to add a tablespoon of heavy cream, or more, if frosting gets too thick. Be sure to add cream in small amounts because you can always "add to", but you can't take away. Frost cake.

* I recommend serving it with a scoop of vanilla ice cream!

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Designer Du Jour: Matthew Williamson

Monday's episode of Gossip Girl brought me a new obsession... Matthew Williamson. (GG watchers may recognize the halter dress below from this weeks episode!) I had previously heard of the British designer but had never thought to look into his collections. Well, I am so glad I finally came around because his frocks are absolutely to die for. Picking just a few to feature was tres difficult, as you can see. But do you want to know what the best news is? He has teamed up with H&M to create a more affordable collection that is hitting selected stores April 23! Whoo! As for now, please delight in these delectable designer duds. 

Thursday, April 1, 2010

I'm Not Cool With That

I am not an uber trendy dresser. I stick with classics that work for me and my body type.  That being said, I usually try to incorporate a little splash of a trend into my classic looks to keep things fresh. There is one thing about trends that I firmly believe and that is, if you don't like it don't wear it! I know way too many people who pile on trend after trend and end up looking more like an explosion of What's Hot Circa [enter decade here], rather than a fashionista who knows her stuff.  Being true to my personal style has really revolutionized my wardrobe and produced a collection of pieces that I can--and do--wear year after year without looking tired. As I have come across this season's trends of the moment, I have made mental notes of what definitely would not work for me. Here are a few of my not so favorite looks this spring. 

Floral Prints
Elizabeth and James Juliet Dress

The Jegging
Juicy Couture Side-Zip Legging

The Gladiator Sandal
Miu Miu Pantent-Leather Gladiator Sandals