Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Mirror, Mirror

I'm having the loveliest time in fact, it's put me in quite the sunny mood.  Which means I probably need a sunny dress to match (solid logic, eh?).  Truth be told, the shoes are my favorite part of the ensemble....the necklace is pretty legit too.  The plan for today is waaaay cooler than shopping, however, so you won't hear any complaints here (I'll give you a hint, there may or may not be dolphins involved).  Wish me luck as I try and I try and even out these tan lines...okay I'll stop, now I'm just being mean.  Happy Wednesday!

1. Printed Silk Shirt Dress, Tucker $330  2. Bib Necklace, Kate Spade $148  3. Engraved Metal Bangle, ASOS $6.27  4. Noir Jewelry X Ring, Shopbop $77  5. Tanya Platform, Jeffrey Campbell $114.95  6. Sequin Zip Top Clutch, ASOS $44.76

Happy Leap Year!

Those of you who read Design-Muse regularly know I have a thing for celebrating obscure holidays.  I can't offer an explanation, the best I can tell you is it's really, really fun.  As you can imagine, it was all but impossible to resist the opportunity to celebrate the most obscure holiday of them all- so obscure it only shows up once every four years...Leap Year!  I did a good bit of research on the matter and found some really interesting information.  It seems back in the day, women were not only permitted to propose on a leap year, men were actually charged a hefty fine if they refused a proposal.  I seriously can't get over it.  I found a fun intersect in my new favorite hobby, antiquing, too.  Apparently the great souvenir postcard boom of the early 1900's produced quite a few Leap Year postcards, most of which are exceptionally frightening.  Some, however, are quite pretty.  I grabbed a few of the loveliest ones I could find (and a couple funny ones, too).  While I'm more convinced than ever that I won't be proposing to a guy anytime soon (seriously, some of these post cards are massively disturbing...Google search it if you don't believe me), I was thoroughly entertained by the sentiment of it all!   

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Get It Together: Oh Baby, Baby

1. Turquoise Pillow, $19.99  2. Baby Blanket Kit, Purl Soho $120  3. Innerlace Pendant Lamp, Crate&Barrel $269  4. Letterpress Typography Block, Etsy $15  5. Grey Linen Neon Yellow Stripes, Etsy $31.70  6. Themis Mobile, A+R Store $27  7. Sleep Rocker, Zac and Zoe $700  8. Caravan Crib, Kalon Studios $695
Monday, February 27, 2012

Design Musings

What's On Your Fridge?

So you may be wondering why I've posted a series of photos on/of my fridge today.  Valid question.  Here's what's up: Smeg fridges is sponsoring a contest of sorts on one of my favorite blogs, SF Girl By Bay and I want in on the action...not so much because I'm looking to win the prize (although it is pretty legit- $100 gift card to Appliances Online!) but because I was intrigued by the challenge posed.  What you keep on your fridge says a good bit about you, don't you think?  These are a few of my favorite memories and people- I love getting to look at their sweet faces everyday.  It makes me smile.  So what's on your fridge?

Friday, February 24, 2012

Working For The Weekend

We made it to Friday!  Good for us...pats on the back all around.  Anything particularly amazing going down this weekend?  I for one am doing a little bit of traveling which I'm pumped about...heading down to beautiful Palm Bay, Florida for some family time.  It's gonna be awesome.  Hope your weekend is equally exciting and you thoroughly enjoy the weekend links!  See you Monday!

Best of many worlds

Best of many worlds part 2

My friend the fashion designer (so proud of her!)

Need this.

Good to know...

Truer words were never spoken...

So cute I can hardly stand it.

Ohhh this is too amazing.

Beautiful, beautiful, beautiful part 2.
Thursday, February 23, 2012

The Foodie Files

One of my favorite parts of last week's Welcome Vivian baby shower was eating the Oreo truffles Kiks (derivative of Kiki, short for Aunt Nikki) made as part of our food display.  We had one of those 
"This is delicious, you have to give me this recipe" 
"It's so simple I don't even want to say it"
moments.  Except the truffles were so fancy I was pretty sure she it was just being humble, so I persisted.  Needless to say, she was telling the's a very simple recipe with a few inexpensive ingredients and a big 'ol payoff at the end of the road.  Jackpot.  I switched things up in an effort to utilize everyone's favorite seasonal cookie and got a 'two thumbs up' response from my test kitcheners.  And while, yes, it pained me to use an entire box of my tightly rationed Thin Mints for the recipe, the payoff was definitely worth it.  And if you know how obsessed I am with Thin Mints, you know that's a pretty big deal.

1 9oz box of Girl Scout Thin Mint Cookies
4 oz cream cheese
8 oz dark chocolate chips
15 Andes Mint Candies

Pulse cookies in a food processor one sleeve at a time.

Add cream cheese and mix well.  

Roll into 1 inch balls and set on a cookie sheet covered in wax paper.  Refrigerate for 30 minutes.

Melt dark chocolate for 30 seconds, then stir.  Repeat two times for a total of 90 seconds.  Dip balls in chocolate then set back on wax paper.

Melt Andes for 30 seconds, then stir.  Repeat for a total of 60 seconds, then pour into a ziplock bag.

Cut the tip of the bag and drizzle over truffles.  They're as tasty as they are pretty but all kinds of rich so be prepared!

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Mirror, Mirror

I think it's pretty clear what the inspiration piece for this outfit was...the rad little multi-colored clutch set the palate and tone for the whole look.  You know what's not clear, though?  How that crazy stylish, totally beaded clutch can be from Forever 21 and cost well under $30.  I just don't even understand how they do it.  But I'm glad they do.

1. Cutout Neck Cami Top, Topshop £20  2. Fluid Shawl Collar Blazer, Topshop £65  3. Theysken's Theory Cropped Skinny Jeans, Net A Porter $295  4. Embellished Tribal Clutch, Forever 21 $26.80  5. Gold Necklace, H&M $12.95  6. Gold Earrings, H&M $5.95  7. Crossover Sandal, Zara $79.90  8. Ridged Double Cuff, Asos $17.01  9. Senna Round Ring, Bario-Neal

Animal Kingdom

It's a wild animal kind of Wednesday...makes me want to go on a safari, or at the very least a really nice zoo.  Since spring is coming soon (or at least that's what I'm choosing to believe) I may just make that zoo wish come true in the near future...and who knows, maybe the safari won't be too far behind it (fingers crossed).  

1. Rhino What I'm Saying Top, Modcloth $51.99  2. Predator Stud Earring, Marc by Marc Jacobs $32.99  3. Savannah Story Giraffe Bust, Anthropologie $68  4. Monkey See Trinket Drawer, Anthropologie $28  5. Grr Power Ring, ModCloth $11.99  6. Elephant Eco Friendly Canvas Tote, Etsy $19.99
Tuesday, February 21, 2012
Monday, February 20, 2012

Design Musings

Letter Press-ident's Day

Hail to the Chief!  What better way to celebrate good 'ol President's Day than with a composite of the whole gang?  The Etsy shop that sells it, 1canoe2, has a few other pieces you probably need to check out...especially if you're a letterpress addict like myself.  

Friday, February 17, 2012

Table For Twelve: Welcome Vivian

It's been awhile since our last Table for Twelve.  Too long, in fact.  I can almost hear Ricky Ricardo as I type this..."Gabby, you've got some 'splaining to do".  Well, here's what's up: we're changing a few things around in 2012.  Change isn't exactly my favorite, even when it's change for the better (case in point, I've had 52 updates pending in my app folder for the last thank you apps, I like things the way they are) but I hope this is an adjustment you can get excited about.  For the next year, Table for Twelves will be a seasonal post...four a year.  I know, I know you're not okay with that, but wait there's more!  We came up with three other seasonal series that 1) are killer and 2) will run during the months between our Table for Twelves.  I was going to go ahead and introduce you to them now, but I kind of like the suspense that's building so I'm gonna wait and show you one month at a time.  Kinda fun, right?  Over the next three months I'll unveil one new series a month, then we'll circle back around to our next Table for Twelve and the cycle will repeat.  Cool?  Cool.

Now, back to this Table for's a good one.  You know I'll find a reason to celebrate just about anything, but when you give me a real, honest to goodness event that's gonna change all of our lives, the celebration swells accordingly.  Last weekend we got a chance to herald the coming of my cousin Natalie's baby girl, Vivian.  My cousins Nikki, Nadine, Leah and I co-hosted the shower and it really couldn't have been more delightful.  We took a different route from the soft, pastel color palate that traditionally monopolizes baby-centric events.  It was kind of a breath of fresh air to me.  We've all been to the same baby shower a million times over, why not make this one different?

One of my favorite parts of our decor was the Anthropologie-esque pendant installation we put together across the back wall.  It was cheery and fun and really set the tone for the whimsical party we set out to create.

The food was not only delicious, but really beautiful in and of itself.  We set up a doughnut tower, a display of Chick-fil-A Chick-n-Minis (so tasty), a veggie tray, chicken salad sandwiches, mini quiches, some fruit, Snickers salad (yup, you read that right), homemade Oreo truffles, a make-your-own yogurt parfait bar and pre-poured glasses of Natalie's favorite, fruit tea.

We kept the centerpieces and tableware simple but threw in a few pops of flash, pairing potted plants with delicate arrangements, plain jane plates with customized napkins and setting it all on a classic black and white polka dotted tablecloth with a metallic gold runner.  

In lieu of games (cause lets be honest, no one enjoys playing those at showers anyway) we had our guests put together a picture guestbook.  The drill was simple: write a message to Vivian on a dry erase board and strike a pose.  I can't imagine how much fun sweet Vivi will have reading through them someday! 

The presents just kept coming, which was great fun to watch.  There's nothing like an afternoon of pretty little baby girl goodness to get you smiling real big.      

*Side note: Although Natalie already decided on the name Vivian Rae, 
her sisters are still competing over Vivi's middle name.  For Christmas, Aunt Nikki got Vivian 
a bib that said "Vivian Nicole".  This was Jessica Dianne's best attempt.*

We sent everyone home with one of Natalie's most frequent cravings, a loaf of her Mom's homemade banana bread.  Random as it is, I also had a few really sharp looking custom coasters made.  We set them all around the room and let folks take a few if they so desired.  You know how I feel about details... they'll make or break just about anything.

As much as I truly love celebrating minor victories and silly holidays, there's really nothing more exciting than reveling in the excitement of a legitimate life event.  We're counting down the days 'til Vivian gets here...that little angel has quite a fan base.  She may not have made her grand entrance into the world just yet, but she's already so loved (and maybe the slightest bit spoiled).  

For more information on this party or any other Table for Twelve (S'more FunTuscan Night, Fancy Shmancy Dinner Party, Garden Tea Party, Pool Party,Sugary Sweet Goodbye Party, Picnic in the Park, Royal Wedding, Breakfast at Tiffany's,Valentine's Day) or to find out about Design-Muse's party planning services, contact me here.