the cutest...

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

...birthday cards. If you're a regular reader, you already know my love of gold and dots, so these are just too perfect. Thanks to Molly and Sally at A Piece of Toast for bringing these to my attention! They are now saved in my "to buy" list once Easter rolls around and I can start shopping online again.


valentine's cookies

Friday, February 24, 2012

Happy Friday readers! Remember when I said back here that I was making Valentine's Day sugar cookies with my friend? Well that happened, but ditzo here forgot to write down the recipe! I will update this as soon as I get the recipe so everyone can enjoy slaving over these yummy cookies next year. I say slaving, but it was actually really fun. Stasia had the dough pretty much all made by the time I got there, so I started here, with rolling and cutting it out!

In very specific quantities, here's what you'll need:
1. A bunch of granulated sugar.
2. Many, many sticks of Land O Lakes salted butter
3.  Flour. Lots of it.
4. Probably eggs? I'm obviously rewriting this for you when I get the real recipe. 
1. About 12 pounds of powdered sugar (you wish I was kidding.....)
2. Almond flavoring
4. Vanilla extract, get the clear kind so it doesn't tint your dough
5. Meringue Powder. I didn't even know this stuff existed before, but it's a sub for egg whites.
6. Butter flavoring
7. Water. The only semi-healthy ingredient you'll see all day. 

Once the dough has chilled, been rolled out and cut, you'll stick them on an ungreased cookie sheet for 7 1/2 minutes at 375 degrees. Then roll, cut, repeat!

By the time we got through all the dough Stasia had prepared, we had made 225 cookies. WTF. It was awesome. Cookies were taking over her gigantic kitchen. 

Now on to the icing. The key is to make two types with different consistencies from the same batch. Start with making the "piping" icing. This is the thicker of the two that you'll use for the outline of the cookies and any words, polka dots, or other details you want to add. 

Once you've got the icing to the color you want, pour half of it in to an icing bag with a medium-sized tip. Then add more water to the rest of the icing in the bowl. This half will become your filler icing, use it after you've outlined the cookies with the piping icing. Pour the filler in to another icing bag with a smaller tip. See what I'm saying? Two different consistencies, same great color. That's the secret. Repeat until you've made all the colors of icing you want. Keep the bags of icing setting in cups (we used red beer pong cups) so the icing doesn't spill all over the place. 

Next, you decorate! Don't forget to outline with the piping, then fill with the thinner icing. Wait for the filler to dry if you want to write something (like those rose buds or the big "A"). If you want to make pretty designs (like the chevron-ish lines or the Salvador Dali hearts), don't wait for the filler to dry, hurry up and pick up a different color filler and get to work with a toothpick!

And voila! At the end you have some beautiful cookies and a hand cramp! And they'll be so pretty that no one will believe you made them yourself. All your valentines will be delighted when you show up at their door with these treats. And your co-workers will love you forever. 

Thank you Stasia for teaching me how bake and decorate these delicious sugar cookies! Can't wait until next year!

giving it up

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

It's official, Lent is upon us yet again and I now don ashes on my forehead and have been trying to come up with what to give up for the better part of a week. Well I think I finally have it figured out.... drum roll (totally unnecessary, but I'm keeping it)........

I'm doing the same thing as last year. No more online shopping. Plus a bonus for my newly formed (like 6 months ago) bad habit: no more pop. Soda. Coke. Whatever you call it wherever you are. I call it pop. And I can't have it at 2:00pm on weekdays anymore, or when I had too much to drink the night before, or really anytime over the next 40 days.

Now, the whole point is to give these things up and not make a big deal out of it, which I promise I'll do, but I need to somehow keep myself honest and I figured posting it on finer feelings will do just that. Every time I want to buy this or this (and yes, I'm still in the polka dot phase), I'll just need to remember that I can't cheat; my Lenten promise is on the internets for all to see and judge.

And just because I want a pretty picture in this post, here's some hump day inspiration for ya.


best gold polish

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

I just had to share with you the best gold glittery nail polish.... It's Essie LuxeEffects "As Gold As It Gets". It is seriously perfect: medium gold flecks that look great by themselves or over your favorite color. So run to CVS and grab this bottle before it sells out!


TGIT: happy thursday!

Thursday, February 16, 2012

I saw this on Facebook and liked it so much, I made it my phone wallpaper....


Wishing everyone a happy Thursday and enjoyable weekend!

j.crew fall 2012 delectables

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Has everyone had the chance to check out J. Crew's amazing Fall 2012 line up? I literally squeaked with excitement when I started perusing what the brilliant Tom Mora, in his first year as head of women's design, has created. In my opinion, he did an excellent job staying true to the brand's preppy roots, but took a few risks and added some extra flare I haven't seen previously from the line. Bravo, Tom and Jenna and J. Crew, bravo.

In a matter of coincidence, last night I had a dream that I had to run across the Plaza to J. Crew to be fitted for a bright pencil skirt and tie (yes, like menswear) before the store closed. I guess that's what happens when a shopoholic attempts to abstain from spending money on clothes for any length of time... Hi my name is Monica, it's been 3 weeks since my last shopping trip.

Back to J. Crew...  Here's a peak at some of my favorites from the Fall 2012 collection. They're all so ready to wear I can hardly stand it. Is it fall yet? :)

Hi jewel tones - glad to see you back for another season!

Want this sweater like I want my taxes to be done.... So. Bad. 

Pastels in the fall....? Ok! 

Neutral color scheme, shearling jacket and snake print maxi.... wonderous!

You can't go wrong with a J. Crew cable knit sweater. This ensemble is perfection for work, and then I'd throw on a pair of skinny jeans and boots and catch a flight to the mountains! 

Colors: j'adore. More pleated accordion skirts - yes!

I literally stopped in the middle of a post about my love of bows to write this post... and here are these amazing bow-patterned pants! These are on the short list. 

Leopard - it's back!

Can this please be my work uniform? Love absolutely everything about it.

[Sources: WWD and Fashionologie]

**Update** Sorry for missing the boat on wishing everyone a Happy Valentine's Day... I hope it was wonderful! I will get the post on the Valentine's sugar cookies up, hopefully by the end of the week. I forgot to write down the recipe.... ditz move, I know. Once I get it, I'll post the delicious outcome! xoxo

winter: revisited

Monday, February 13, 2012

First off, because it's on the forefront of my mind, J. Hud absolutely blew me away last night. What did you guys think? I was in tears halfway through the song. She has such poise and sent chills up and down my spine with her rendition of Whitney Houston's I Will Always Love You. Now back to the topic....

Has everyone else noticed all the blogs about spring fashion that have popped up so early in 2012? I love rushing seasons...I'm the girl that wears flip flops when it's 50 degrees in March and dons chunky sweaters and boots if it hits 75 in August. And I'm all for planning ahead, getting inspiration boards updated, stalking the Spring catalogs and keeping a shopping list of the next season's must-haves in your planner.... but there's still probably another month of winter in Kansas City. Just look what we woke up to this morning:

via Instagram @monicarosekc
As previously mentioned, I tend to leave the house in neutral and dark colors, especially in the winter. This was true yet again this season, but I'm determined to give my wardrobe a whole new look to last through the end of winter and will transform in to spring, with a minimal amount of purchases. My strategy is to only add bright pieces to my closet... Here are some of my favorite finds:

H&M orange dress: $49.95
Wear it now: with a blazer and boots
In the spring: as shown, with espadrilles 

Old Navy cap toe canvas ballet flats: $22.94
Wear it now: with your favorite skinny jeans and chunky sweater
In the spring: with shorts (preferably patterned) and a thin sweater

ASOS lace waisted dress: $35.81
 Wear it now: with tights and ankle booties
In the spring: with a super bright cardi

kate spade new york julianna flats: $75
 Wear it now: with opaque tights and a dress
In the spring: as a surprise pop of color under your maxi skirt

Gap colorblock button shoulder sweater: $44.95
Wear it now: with jeans and a patterned button-up shirt underneath
In the spring: with a mini skirt! Or I do like the white jeans Gap chose to style it with....

La Mer neon simple wrap watch: $88
 Wear it now: peeking out from sweaters
In the spring: as a statement piece on a bare arm

Marc by Marc Jacobs bob's memphis trip pochette: $298

And in a perfect world I'd be able to afford this disgustingly adorable bag...... but hey - the rest of the pieces are all within a 20-something's discretionary (post-tax refund) budget. 

That's all for today, I hope everyone had a great start to their work week!

weekend plans

Friday, February 10, 2012

TGIF times a million! I am so excited for this weekend. I have zero plans other than cookie baking, and couldn't be more thrilled. I'm hoping to get some good cleaning/reorganizing in, write a bunch of blog posts (NYFW!), snuggle up with my Kindle, and celebrate a good friend's birthday via brunch on Sunday!

I think this Andy Warhol quote will be my motto for the next two days....


Do you have any fun plans for the weekend? Whatever they are, I hope you enjoy it!

pretty packaging

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Is everyone getting ready for Valentine's day? I love it. Always have, probably always will. I don't get so much in to the nice dinners and flowers. I just love the idea of celebrating the ones you love. 

Last year I had quite the Valentine's day surprise.... I was working at my horrible ex-job when I got a call from the security desk saying I had a package. Blue Eyes isn't really the type for romantic surprises, so I was pretty perplexed. Once I got to the desk, I saw a beautiful plate full of heart-shaped sugar cookies, decorated perfectly with cute x's and o's, polka dots and a lot of purple! My sweet friend Stasia had made these delicious (and literally perfect looking) cookies and surprised me with the special delivery! I wish I still had the picture so you guys could see them... I just dug through my old tweets but apparently the old Blackberry (RIP) wasn't capable of doing that back then. Anyway, ramble ramble..... More on all this next week, but Stasia and I have a date to make the cookies this weekend, so you'll get to see what we come up with this year!

So now I'm trying to figure out how I want to package the cookies and other V-Day presents I have in store for some lucky loves. Here's what I'm thinking:

I'm madly crushing on this orange and pink wrapping paper from Paper Source.

This idea to use glassine envelopes for treats is adorable, just add stickers! Thanks Martha Stewart.


This is so simple and feminine, and all available at Hobby Lobby. Perfect for a mom or grandma's gift!

What are your plans for Valentine's day? Any exciting gifts you're giving or hoping to get?

happy february!

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

A little image inspiration for this short (longer this year!) but sweet month.....

[All image sources found via Pinterest]

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