Sweet Ideas

 {diy:candy heart bouquet}
There is no doubt that Valentine’s Day is one of my favorite days of the year. It’s filled with endless amounts of cuteness and of course pink. Here are some sweet ideas.   

How to: Get Zoe Hart's Signature Smoky Eye

To get Zoe Hart’s signature smoky eye all you need is Cargo’s Essential Palette in Warm Neutral. Or use colors you may have to recreate the look as follows.

Step 1: Apply a shimmery copper shadow over the entire eye using sweeping strokes from the inner corner outward. 

Step 2: Apply a pale highlighting shade underneath the arch of your brows.

Step 3: With an angled brush sweet a dark, espresso colored shade onto the top and bottom lash lines. Create a triangle shape by extending the line to the outer corners and blending. 

Step 4: Complete the look with plenty of mascara and a pale pink lip gloss.

Black and White Cookies

If you watch Hart of Dixie you’ll know that Zoe Hart’s favorite cookie in the whole world is the black and white cookie from Zabars in New York City. I have never actually tried the cookie from Zabars, but when I was going through one of my mums cookbooks I found a copycat recipe and had to share it (especially with the Hart of Dixie fans). The cookie is a cake-like lemon cookie and perfect to eat while watching Zoe and Wade’s romance heat up. 
How To: Make Cake Flour
1 cup of all-purpose flour minus two tablespoons and two tablespoons of cornstarch added. Be sure to whisk together. Make more as needed 1 cup at a time.
Copycat Zabars Black and White Cookie
• 1 cup all-purpose flour
• 2/3 cup cake flour, not self-rising (I made my own- see below)
• ½ teaspoon baking powder
• ¼ teaspoon salt
• 2 large eggs
• ¾ cup granulated sugar
• ½ cup whole milk
• 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled
• 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract (I used 1 teaspoon)
• ½ teaspoon pure lemon extract (I used the zest of one lemon)
• 2 cups powdered sugar, sifted
• 2 tablespoons light corn syrup, plus more if needed
• 1 ½ ounces bittersweet chocolate, melted
1. Sift together flours, baking powder and salt; set aside.
2. In a medium bowl, whisk eggs and sugar until smooth. Add milk and whisk to combine. Whisk in melted butter and extracts (or zest). Add flour mixture and stir to form smooth dough.
3. Cover and chill for one hour (no less and no more)
4. Line baking sheets with parchment paper and drop dough by desired size. Baked until edges are light brown. I used a one-inch cookie scoop and baked for 7 minutes. Time will vary based on size so keep an eye on your first batch.
5. Transfer cookies to a wire rack to cool.
6. When cool in a small bowl combine powdered sugar, 3 tablespoons whole milk and corn syrup. Whisk until smooth. Ice half of each cookie and return to rack to drip. Add chocolate to remaining icing, stirring until smooth. Add additional corn syrup to thin to desired consistency if needed. Spread chocolate icing over other half of cookie and allow to dry.

Style to Steal: Ivanka Trump

Ivanka Trump is kind of the Kate Middleton of the United States. She’s the girl we dream to be. Lavished in diamonds and all the best designers, but just because we can’t be her doesn’t mean we cannot take some pointers from Ivanka’s style. Her wardrobe is filled with neutral pieces paired with an accessory to make a statement, most often a pair of earrings. Recreate here "it" girl glow with these tips. What do you think about Ivanka is she one of your go-to “it” girl styles?

Five Things

{pink, yellow and purple tulips}
The week may have began on a scary note leaving me thankful note that my dad is such a top-notch driver, and was able to safely get us out of the dangerous snowsqualls that took over the expressway. While the week ended on an exciting note…. with Jack. This weekend I am at my parents working on some projects and recipes with my mum. What are you up to this weekend?
{working on jack's valentine's outfit}
 {currently loving: grapefruit}
{fabric for some clothing for Jack}
 {cold night essential: soup and homemade bread}

Classic Hearts

Let's go shopping: 1/2/3/4/5 

I’m the type of girl that still dots the “I” in her name with a heart. So you can imagine how excited I am when Valentine’s Day approaches and there are tons of heart items (and pink too!) in the store. Here you will find a few of my current favorite heart items from Tibi to Tiffany.

Zehnders Rosettes

Frankenmuth, is Michigan’s little Bavaria. It’s a place of horse-drawn carriages, covered bridges, riverboat cruises, and world famous chicken. While you can dine upstairs in Zehnders enjoying their world famous chicken, you don’t want to miss out on visiting downstairs for one of my favorite treats…Rosettes. Rosettes are a delicate crisp and tender pastry.

Zehnder’s Rosettes
2 eggs, slightly beaten
1 tablespoon sugar
¼ teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup flour (measure, then sift)
1 cup whole milk (they will not turn out with any other milk)

1. Add salt, sugar and vanilla to eggs.
2. Add ½ cup milk and all of the flour. Then add remaining ½ cup milk, stirring (do not beat).
3. If foamy, let set. Place oil and mold in fryer and heat to 385 degrees (keep hot during entire process)
4. Shake excess oil off iron and touch iron on paper towel to absorb oil.
5. Dip hot iron into batter, almost to the top, but not over the top of iron.
6. Tilt to side when removing from batter to avoid drips.
7. Place in hot oil. When rosette holds its shape remove the iron and allow to brown, then turn over to brown opposite side.
8. Remove from oil and drain on paper towel covered newspaper.

How To: Buy Flowers on a Budget

{Tulips in season: $6}
No matter what the time of year is you don’t have to spend a lot in order to have beautiful, fresh flowers around the house. Think beyond the elaborate bouquets and instead purchase one type of flower that is in season (I just bought a dozen tulips for six dollars), or buy something such as carnations that typically sell for about five dollars a dozen year round. When flowers are bunched together tightly and placed into a small vase the outcome is chic and stylish.
{Pink carnations: $4}

Five Things

{Valentine's treats for Jack this recipe with chopped cranberries} 
This week went by unnaturally fast for a week that started in the high 50's and ended in the teens with snow. On a positive note my parents are coming to visit. I can't wait to explore the city a bit with them, work on crafts with my mum and discuss paint and decorating ideas with my dad. What are your weekend plans?
 {Jessica Cosmetic's spring collection is perfect for a snowy day}
 {Chocolate chip cookies waiting for my parents arrival}
 {Jack likes the snow this time around}
{Prissy apron from my mum <3}

20 Ways to Spend a Winter Day

1. Curl up in front of the fireplace (a lot of hotels have fireplaces if you do not).
2. Take a winter wonderland walk through nature.
3. Build a snowman.
4. Make a batch of hot chocolate (my favorite recipe).
5. Take a horse drawn sleigh or carriage ride.
6. Go ice-skating.
7. Paint pictures in the snow (mix food coloring with water in a spray bottle).
8. Take snowboarding r skiing lessons.
9. Bake a batch of cookies (I love these, these, these, and these).
10. Make snow angels.
11. Learn how to knit or crochet a scarf.
12. Go sledding or tubing.
13. Snowshoe through a wooded area.
14. Make a pot of your favorite soup.
15. Snuggle under a blanket and watch your favorite movie while enjoying some sweet treats.
16. Take a bubble bath.
17. Make a blanket (this one is simple)
18. Go to a new restaurant or order in.
19. Find a winter carnival to go to.
20. Simmer some potpourri on the stove giving your house new ambiance (try my fall/winter or spring/summer simmering potpourri).

DIY: Upcycle Candles

Around Christmas time I showed you how to make this candle using left over candle wax. Another simple way to use left over wax is by creating a layered candle. For the candle below I used left over wax from the following brands: Yankee Candle, Slatkin & Co. and Kohls. The wax was placed in a mason jar (you can use whatever you’d like). IMPORTANT: Be sure to allow the wax to cool completely between layers. 
 Step 1: Melt your left over wax in a pot with water.
Step 2: Dip your wick into the wax and insert it into the bottom center of your jar. Allow to cool completely before you add your first layer of wax. After adding the first layer of wax I used skewers to keep the wick straight.
Step 3: Once cooled pour in your next layer.
Note: I usually do the layers as I finish candles and at the end of the month I have a new candle.
Step 4: Repeat step three until you fill to your desired height.
Note: Leave 3/4 to one inch of space between the wax and the top of the jar. Remember to cut your wick before lighting.

Homemade Instant Hot Chocolate

With temperatures dropping into the teens this week it presented the prefect opportunity for me to make a batch of my mums hot chocolate. In my opinion on a frigid day nothing is better than coming in and warming up with a cup of hot cocoa. I recommend adding a candy cane for the best peppermint cocoa you’ve ever had.

Instant Hot Cocoa
8 ½ cups (25.6 ounces) nonfat dry milk
1 ½ cups (6 ounce jar) nonfat coffee creamier
3 cups (16 ounce package) instant chocolate mix for milk (I use Nesquik)
1 ½ cups powdered sugar

1. Mix all of the above ingredients togther, and store in an airtight container.

To Make: In a mug add ½ cup of mix to 8 ounces of boiling water; stir. I like to add a candy cane and marshmallows.

Yields: 16 cups or 32 servings

Emerald: How to Wear Pantone's New "It" Color

Pantone has announced that Tangerine Tango is out and the new IT-color for 2013 is Emerald. Despite that fact that I am disappointed with this color selection this jewel-tone can help you channel your inner Duchess. Add the gem to your look via accessories, or your beauty regime, an emerald handbag is a great way to make a statement against a little black dress. Avoid buying a lot of this color unless you are in love - when 2014 rolls around it will be out and hopefully something fab will be in. How do you feel about the color of the year?

Five Things

{Jack likes to drive}
This week was filled with plenty of time outside with Jack and cooking up some confections in the kitchen. The weekend is calling for rain so I will be spending some quality time inside working on quilt blocks and doing some baking. What are your weekend plans?
{worked on some valentine's chocolates}
 {ice lining lake Michigan}
 {simmering potpourri my mum made me}
{unexpected heart in the snow}