Month : February 2012

pink and gold girlyness: my second annual Oscar party

It was so fun to host a girls’ night Oscar viewing party, and this year, in our new house.

While I had hoped that my 52″ blow-up statuette could greet guests outside, the wind just wasn’t working with me. So in he came to the front hall…

…along with this wreath that was flapping in the wind and falling apart…it ended up on the bathroom doorknob. πŸ™‚ Weather annoyances aside, I was happy with how the glittery girlyness came together.

To drink, I made “silver screen punch”, a recipe I found on the official Academy Awards website. It’s champagne-based, with some raspberry vodka, pineapple juice and blended frozen strawberries. It went down pretty easily and straws made it disappear that much faster! I love these little stripey straws – you can find them all over Etsy. I bought some gold washi tape to make little flags for them and busted out my recycled frappucino bottles for serving.

I am still perfecting the jello shot…for the Super Bowl we made a couple batches and I used more Knox. They were almost chewy they were so stiff, but it made for easy cubing and pretty presentation. I backed off on the extra gelatin this time – but almost too much – after sitting out a bit, they were too soft. Note for next time – one and a HALF packets of Knox for the perfect consistency! I was trying to work in gold and shimmer anywhere I could…I remembered powdered food coloring from a cake class I took at Michaels forever ago. I dry-brushed some on the shots with a tiny paint brush to “class up” the jello shot to be Oscar-appropriate hehe.

A party is no good without sweets and I made sure there were plenty. Pink cotton candy, gold buttercream mints, pink rock candy and gumballs, and “popcorn” cupcakes (vanilla with yellow-tinted marshmallows) in pink striped popcorn-style cupcake liners. Julie even took a picture of the table and the hostess. πŸ™‚

While they are somewhat time consuming, these “popcorn cupcakes” are super easy to make – I used a boxed mix (Duncan Hines French Vanilla – what else?) and a canned vanilla frosting. Tear mini marshmallows in half and stick them back together at weird angles – twist them and pinch them as you go – to create “kernels”. Roll the frosted cupcake tops in the marshmallow kernels and then use a small paintbrush and a few drops of yellow food coloring in water to brush on a little “buttered” tint. And if you must add bling (duh!) brush a little gold glitter food coloring on top for extra sparkle…it’s hard to capture in a photo, but the “popcorn” on these was festive and shimmery!

To balance out the sweet was the salty…pink popcorn boxes with buttered popcorn (no light stuff here…the Oscars only come once a year!) and two Gourmet Veggie pizzas compliments of our local Papa Murphy’s. (Have you tried that pizza? It’s as good as anything I could make at home, LOADED with veggies, and convenient for party prep!)

I was out of steam to cook the dinner cuisine myself, considering I flirted with the line of insanity in other areas of party prep, including separating pink cotton candy from blue to fit my color theme…(Page voluntarily took a photo because he thought this was so nuts)…

…and spent two episodes of Friends pulling apart a bag’s worth of mini marshmallows and re-sticking them back together to create the aforementioned cupcake “kernels”.

There are so many areas in which I’d love to go more all-out but I do sometimes wonder if friends already think I’m a little too obsessed with what is becoming an annual thing…

(But seriously…how fun would this wall cling graphic be next year as girls walk the red carpet hallway? I think I also need a strobe light to simulate flashbulbs. Add to cart.)

It’s hard that the Oscars always fall on a Sunday evening, and in the central time zone, run well past 10:00 when people have to get up the next morning for work and school routines. This year, I encouraged comfy lounge sweats attire, but it WOULD be fun some year to dress to the nines…or even bust out our wedding and/or prom dresses for fun. Maybe we’ll even invite the guys one of these years…does beer go with the Oscars?

More than anything, it was fun to spend the night with these fun girlies (photo texting with my bestie out in Philly who was having her own satellite party for one!)…

…and play a little Oscar bingo and fill out our own ballots…

See you girls next year!!!

Linking up today with Delightful Order!

consider this the oscar party “trailer”…

I woke up yesterday feeling the same way I feel on Christmas morning…it was OSCAR DAY! I had E! on TV all morning and early afternoon as I pulled together pink and gold everything for the party last night, complete with (what turned out to be more red than pink) gold-dusted jello shots. πŸ™‚

Whose dress did you love the most? (The least?) Did your favorite flicks win big? I was very happy with the results but of course the movie I had not seen (The Artist) won Best Picture…so I’ve made it an immediate mission to go see it. That, and I need to figure out how to score tickets to the red carpet someday. It’s officially on my bucket list.

I’ll be sifting through pictures and cleaning up the glitter…but back soon with a full run-down of the party!

bookcase bling

 

While I continue to drool over Pinterest images like the one above, we’re slowly making progress on our built-in bookcase project. We’ve purchased primer and this weekend, I’ll head to Sherwin Williams to get more of the trim paint our builder used (so the bookcases will seamlessly blend with the existing baseboards). The next step will be sketching out exactly how this will all come together, and buying the lumber for the shelving portion.

Until the dreaded priming and painting comes, I’m thinking ahead to accessorizing. And no, not just all the fun things I’ll put IN the bookcases (like all that yellow loveliness above!) but what I’ll put ON them. No ordinary knob hardware will do for these…they need to be a little funky and have some flair. πŸ™‚

I’m not sure I’m sold on using color on the knobs, but if so, these Antropologie lovelies are at the top of my list…

Source: anthropologie.com via Elizabeth on Pinterest

As an alternative to a metal finish, I like the still neutral but glammed-up mercury glass look…

Source: anthropologie.com via Elizabeth on Pinterest

Same with this vintage-cool glass knob that still has a hint of rubbed oil bronze that would match the hardware throughout the rest of the house…

Source: myknobs.com via Elizabeth on Pinterest

We have done some pewter throughout to mix up the finishes and complement the grey wall colors. I liked the modern square shape of this one…

Source: myknobs.com via Elizabeth on Pinterest

Same with this green glass (acrylic?) version…

Source: myknobs.com via Elizabeth on Pinterest

And if I can’t commit to a color, I like this neutral version as well…

Source: coolknobsandpulls.com via Elizabeth on Pinterest

I’ve always loved the look of these latch-style knobs – a little more industrial and I like when cabinet doors shut tight as opposed to “floating” closed.

 

Feel free to vote for any favorites…this gal is completely confused! πŸ™‚

farewell, facebook: an experiment

Inspired by a combination of a couple of my friends, a book I’m currently reading, the approaching Lent season, and something I’ve wanted to try for a while…I’m giving up Facebook until Easter Sunday. And while I know the idea is that you can have Sundays to “cheat”, for me that would be like giving an ex-smoker one quick puff on a cigarette – I just can’t be tempted. This has to be all or nothing. πŸ™‚

When I first pondered this idea, I thought for certain I was setting myself up for failure. But the more I get used to it, the more excited I am to take on this little experiment. I use Facebook as a time-filler and distraction, yes, but also as a way to keep up with friends and family – both local and long distance. While Facebook fits the convenience of our over-scheduled lives in that we can quickly feel “caught up” by reading a friend’s status update…are we really caught up at all? I recently had a coffee date with a friend and everything we talked about were things we would never have put “out there” in a social media outlet. In other words – staying in touch via Facebook in no way takes the place (or even is a substitution for) keeping up in person.

I’ve calculated that in a typical week I spend three or four hours reading the news feed, sending messages, and perusing links posted on Facebook. If I could save this amount of time every week, I could meet a friend over a lunch hour and squeeze in another coffee date – two IN PERSON encounters every week. I could have real face-to-face conversations and get away from a computer screen. Yes, please.

Lent seems as good a time as any to set a time frame for this experiment. And the fact that I’m reading MWF Seeking BFF, an experiment in which a girl dates a potential friend every week for a year, just reinforces the concept of getting out and making face-to-face interaction happen. Yes, I catch up with girls once a month at book club, and Page and I try to get out with other couples on the weekends, but I’d like to try and make this a higher priority on a more regular basis.

I have taken the bookmark out of my computer toolbar (both on home and work computers!) and removed the app from my phone. This alone helps in not being tempted, although I’m never short on reminders that it still exists. I had to laugh at myself though – today, day one alone, I had three or four times where something happened that was worthy of a Facebook update. Like I went to my eyebrow wax and they were out of concealer, so I had to go back to my office after my lunch break looking like I’d taken a beating in a back alley with my two red eyes. That would have definitely been status-update material. At least the story made it onto the blog. πŸ™‚

Speaking of, I’m only cutting myself off from Facebook, not all media in general – I still have my blogs (both writing mine and reading the ones I follow) and I still have my beloved Pinterest. I realized as the hours ticked down to the start of Lent that I would lose a lot of legitimate information once I took Facebook away – I get a lot of my “actual” news and local information via the site – not just friend info. So I set up TweetDeck on my work computer. I’ve never been well-versed in Twitter and this will be a good learning opportunity for me – plus I love that the organizations and companies I follow can subtly post their little news bytes in the background of my screen while I work.

Anyone else ever given up something like this? Permanently or for a short while? A friend of mine went on FB hiatus while she was studying for the bar and I remember thinking I could NEVER do that…but one day in, it still seems possible. In general, I actually feel a little lighter – it’s one less thing to check and “keep up on” each day. We shall see…stay tuned. πŸ™‚

oh my olio!

I think I’ve been neglecting the wonder that is Olioboard on PURPOSE because I KNEW this would happen…it’s already a mild obsession. It feels all too familiar…like when I first discovered Pinterest…or even back in the day, Facebook.

I’m going to have to set some rules for myself – like limiting how many HOURS a day I can play on this site. But damn if I won’t have a plan for every room in our house – and a visual to convince show Page what our master bedroom should evolve into!

let the (bookcase) games begin…

Now that we’ve been unpacked and settled in our house for a few weeks, we’re ready to disrupt the peace with our first house project…built-in bookcases!

We are really excited to add a little architectural interest in the living room, and more than anything – more storage! Plus it will be cool to know we’ve added our own mark in this room with something we did ourselves.

Because the floors are floating, Page will have to actually cut into them (trying not to think about that) to place the bases for the bookcases, otherwise over time, the weight of the bookcases would warp our floors. We’ve picked out some pre-built, unfinished cabinets for the bases (helllloooo storage!) and then Page will build shelves on top of those, and frame it all in with some molding to match the existing baseboards. As for me, I have the job of priming and painting all the pieces.

Here are our cabinets, in our basement, in all their “before” oak-colored glory….

They will go on either side of the fireplace on this wall, go up to the ceiling, and the width will stop short of the speakers.

Wish us luck! πŸ™‚

Manolo blue office progress

From the beginning, I knew my office would be what I deemed Manolo blue. And so, I began to gather some fun items to start pulling it together.

Several blue accents, but overall I love the clean, white workspace…

So glad I went with the “small” version of this light – it was much bigger in person than I had imagined, but I love it and it looks cool both in the day…

…and at night (especially from outside!)

The last items I need to add are this Ikea chair and ottoman that wouldn’t fit in the car during our last furniture excursion to Mecca. In the meantime, I’ve looked elsewhere but can’t find anything I love as much, and for this price point, which I’m pretty tied to considering it’s just an occasional reading spot and not a daily use living room piece. So far, I love working in here and am looking for any excuse to go to a city with an Ikea to finish this room up! πŸ™‚

party planning

I think I want to come back in my next life as a party planner…the kind who has millionaire clients with no budget. πŸ™‚ Until then, I’m keeping myself content with some preparations for the second annual Oscar Party

…and today, having a few friends over to watch the Superbowl.

It’s not a year where we’re particularly hard core about either team, but if we had to pick, we’ll go with New York. So some jello shots in their colors were a must, as well as these chocolate covered football strawberries.

I originally saw these during college football season, and finally got around to making them. I did the laces with white chocolate and this handy tool – LOVE these and have a couple of sizes.

I bought mine at Crate and Barrel but have also seen them at Sur La Table. The best part is that they fit my collection of Wilton brand decorating tips. Sooo much easier than those stupid decorating bags that rip if you buy the plastic version, and are impossible to clean if you get the fabric kind.

We’re also making these sandwiches that a Pinterest user lovingly referred to as “crack sandwiches” as well as these corn dog muffins from Iowa Girl Eats (and I know I’m not the only one using this recipe this year!).

Are you planning any fun parties or doing anything special for the Big Game today??