Saturday, October 29, 2011

Pumpkins: Pumpkin Ice Bucket & Pumpkin Beer

I enjoy a good pumpkin beer. They are a perfect addition to a Halloween party or Thanksgiving dinner. A recent post on The Stir suggests serving your pumpkin beer in a glass rimmed with cinnamon & sugar, sounds good! I suggest serving the bottles in a pumpkin ice bucket. Very easy...

Hope you are enjoying the Halloween weekend! xo Lizzie

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Pumpkins: Pumpkin Whoopie Pies & Milk

I came across a recipe from King Arthur Flour for Pumpkin Whoopie Pies (you can find it here) and I couldn't resist trying it out. They turned out wonderful! The smell of Fall holidays permeated my home as they baked in the oven. 

And what goes better with whoopie pies than milk?! Milk is my favorite.


good night... xo lizzie

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Pumpkins: Smashing Pumpkin Margarita

Tis the season for pumpkins! I made this Halloween cocktail- a twist on the classic Margarita! Meet the Smashing Pumpkin Margarita... it's YUM!

What you need:

2 oz. Tequila
1 can Pumpkin puree
½ cup Brown sugar
¼ cup Sugar
1 Tbsp. Cinnamon
1 pinch Nutmeg
2 cups Water
½ oz. Orange liqueur
½ Lime juice

Make pumpkin simple syrup by combining pumpkin puree with brown sugar, sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, and water in a saucepan over low heat. Stir for 20 minutes. Remove from heat, cool, and strain. Combine the juice of half a lime, tequila, and 2 oz. pumpkin simple syrup. Shake well and serve on the rocks. I served it in a glass rimmed in orange sugar and garnished it with Pumpkin Marshmallow Peeps.

Smashing Pumpkin Margarita! Happy Halloween... Cheers! xo Lizzie

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Pumpkins: Creepy Crawly Pumpkin Posies

This is the perfect centerpiece for a Halloween party. It's really very simple and lots of fun to put together.

You'll need:

1 Medium Pumpkin
Fresh Flowers
1 Cup (that will fit inside the pumpkin)
Plastic Spiders
Ice cream scoop to clean out the pumpkin

Use the top of the cup you chose to trace a circle on the top of the pumpkin. Cut the top off along the line. Clean out the inside of the pumpkin, scraping it very good with the ice cream scoop.

Insert the cup and fill 1/3 of the cup with water.

Now arrange the flowers inside the cup.

If you are just having an Autumn dinner party or wanted a beautiful centerpiece for Thanksgiving, you would stop here. But I am making this for Halloween, so I need to turn up the creepy!

Place the spiders on the flowers, working them into the petals to get them to stay. If you want to have some crawling up the pumpkin then spray the bottoms of the plastic spiders with spray glue and the apply them to the pumpkin.


I am doing a lot more with pumpkins this Fall... stay tuned! xo Lizzie

Friday, October 14, 2011

Fall-ing For These Adorable Handmade Childrens' Halloween Costumes

I really enjoy Halloween the food, the decorating, the falling leaves...  but my favorite part is seeing the costumes children choose. This is strange because I myself, have never been into dressing up for Halloween. I think I was a black cat for most of my childhood Halloweens. 

Me (as She-Ra, The Princess of Power) & my mama carving a pumpkin. Yeah, I carve pumpkins in full costume ;)

Looking back at the few costumes I wore, I think my She-Ra costume is my favorite. My mom did good, using my ballet leotard and tights. We lived in Las Vegas, NV then and moved to Western New York a few years later. 

Halloween in NY requires you to be a bit more creative because its cold and you have to find ways to make your costume warm or cover your costume with a big puffy coat.

I saw some adorable Halloween costumes on Etsy and wanted to share! Click on the description to link to the costume's Etsy store.

Bumble Bee (cool parents will secretly be humming Blind Melon's No Rain in their heads)


There are too many adorable costumes on Etsy, I could do this all night! What are you dressing up as for Halloween?  xo Lizzie

Saturday, October 8, 2011

French Macarons; The Search Begins

Since returning from Paris last month, I am in search of the best macarons here in the states for my upcoming wedding. I decided to start my search with these little cuties from Sparkles Kitchen in Milpitas, CA. 

The macarons were shipped to me in a blue plaid cooler.

I ordered 4 flavors; Passion Fruit, Raspberry, Salted Caramel, and Madagasgar Vanilla. They were all really wonderful but the Salted Caramel was my favorite!

The flavors were great, the texture- perfect. I was expecting them to be a little larger but smaller might be good for a wedding since there is so much to eat at a wedding!

I feel it's too early to end the search here. Especially since I live next to New York City, a mecca for cute pastries. xo Lizzie

Friday, October 7, 2011

September 12th, 2011 My Midnight In Paris

Normally I like to keep my posts short and sweet but you may have noticed I didn't write much in September(maybe not, I still do not think anyone actually reads my blog). I was in London, Paris and Bruges. It was my first "real" vacation with my boyfriend Jeff. We have been together for 3 years and decided we were going to really do our first vacation up big and enjoy ourselves. I had no idea just how big this trip would be...

Monday September 12th, Jeff and I woke up late that morning knowing that we had a late night out in Paris planned. Jeff went out to find us some breakfast. Most of Paris is closed on Mondays but he came back with cheese baguettes, chocolate croissants and French macarons (my favorite). We enjoyed them in bed while watching the only English channel on TV over there. 

Around noon I finally got out of bed. I had to get started on getting ready. I didn't want to go home with just a few awkward goofy photos of Jeff and I in Paris - you know the ones where you hold the camera out in front of yourselves and hope you get both of your heads in the picture?  We had arranged to get professional photos of us taken by One and Only Paris Photography. We were getting really dressed up- me in a black empire waist gown and Jeff in a black suit. 

We got in a cab to meet our photographer on a bridge near the Eiffel Tower. Jeff and I both seemed to have a nervous excited vibe, as we had never had professional photos taken of us as a couple and were unsure what to expect.

We met our photographer and for the next 3 hours it felt like I was on America's Next Top Model. We were photographed all over Paris. People were staring at us getting our pictures taken, even taking pictures of us themselves as if we were celebrities. The wind was out of control that day, flipping the massive amount of hair that I have all over the place. The shoot ended in a garden at Notre Dame. We were getting portraits of ourselves alone and it was Jeff's turn to be photographed. I stood back and watched. 

A couple of middle aged American women came up to me and asked me why we were being photographed. I said "Because we are in Paris!"  One of the women pressed me for more information "Are you engaged?" "No," I replied. Then she asked if we were married and I said no. She then asked me what the occasion was and I said, "PARIS! We are in Paris! That is the occasion!" The woman stared at me wide eyed for awhile and shook her head a bit and grumpily walked away with her friend.  After we wrapped up with our photographer I shared this story with Jeff as we were walking and we were both laughing about it.

It was 6pm and we had reservations for dinner at 9pm so we decided to go to a cafe by the river and have a drink. We each had a champagne cocktail and watched as the sun began to set. We enjoyed a few drinks and then decided we should try and find a taxi to get us to the Eiffel Tower.

Our champagne cocktails we had before going to dinner. Such a beautiful spot!

We got ourselves over to the tower in time for dinner. We had reservations at Le Jules Verne, a Michelin Star restaurant inside the Eiffel Tower. The restaurant has its own private elevator and I clung to Jeff as we sped to the top of the tower. The elevators opened to  an elegant yet modern cozy restaurant with warm lighting. We were showed to our table- by the window!!! Our meal was amazing and the deserts were out of this world! Le Jules Verne is such a romantic place, it's amazing! Panoramic views of Paris, sipping champagne while holding hands... The staff at Jules Verne will never rush you out, each table in the restaurant is only sat once per night, sip your champagne slow and take it all in!

As we left the restaurant I was handed a bag of wrapped pastries to take home with me compliments of the pastry chef. When we got back down to street level I took off my 4 inch heels and pulled my flats out of my clutch. I was juggling quite a bit and Jeff was laughing at me. I had my heels in one hand, my clutch under my arm and in my other hand I had my camera and the bag of pastries.

Jeff said he wanted to walk a bit and take in the lights. I agreed. We walked around the tower, people watching and talking about the Eiffel Tower itself.  We stopped directly under the front arch of the tower and Jeff stopped and pulled me in for a kiss and we stood there holding each other for several mins (me still with all my junk in my hands lol). A guy came up to us while we were holding each other and tried to sell us a rose. We didn't let go of each other and both of us shook our heads no. The guy took the rose and tucked it into my arm by my clutch purse giving me no choice but to take it and then went around to stare at Jeff's face for payment. We let go of each other, typically this is when I would have gone Jersey and threw the rose at the guy but I didn't want to ruin our night. Jeff paid him and was laughing at me again. 

I said "what"? He said, "Just what you needed, another thing to hold." and then he said...

"Why don't I trade you the rose for this..." and he pulled out a diamond ring! 

Everything kinda of got hazy and I think I stopped breathing for a minute and I heard him say "This is not the real ring it's a stand in from Macy's, I didn't want to travel with the real ring." I pushed hard to focus and that was when I saw how HUGE the ring was. I laughed fighting back tears of happiness.

And then he got down on one knee, framed by the Eiffel Tower arch and asked me to marry him. Tourists walking by us stopped and gasped. And I totally lost it I was crying and saying yes all at the same time. The tourists clapped and said congrats. I stood there in a happy numbness wondering if I was dreaming. I even asked Jeff if that really just happened, "Is this real life?"

I put my rose in a pellegrino bottle when we got back to our hotel :)

We stayed by the Eiffel Tower taking it all in and then we got in a taxi to return to our hotel. In the cab Jeff told me I no longer had a boyfriend and that he was my fiancee. I melted! We got to our room and took turns calling our parents who were overjoyed for us.

I got my real engagement ring when we got home, I was blown away! Jeff picked the perfect ring!

My ring!!!

Macaron obsession and MY RING!

So now the fun begins... wedding planning! I promise this will not become a wedding blog, but since I am the queen of diy, I plan on doing a lot of diy for my wedding. If anything turns out well I will be sure to share it. I still can't believe we got engaged in Paris, I mean who does that?! I mean besides Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes... ;)   xo Lizzie