Thursday, December 29, 2011

MAKE... PEANUT BUTTER BALLS (cue shwetty ball jokes)

My friend Lindsay's grandmother used to send these to her in December every year of college. The tin would arrive and Lindsay and her roommates (myself included) would demolish these by the end of the day. This year I'm making them for the first time for my New Years Eve party, but I'm making the Oreo cookie version.

Here are the results and both recipes:

Recipe for Chocolate Peanut Butter Balls (makes around 54)
-2 cups rice krispies
-1/2 cup creamy or crunchy peanut butter
-1 cup sifted powdered sugar
-1/4 c. butter
-1 1/2 c. semi-sweet chocolate morsels

1. In large electric mixer bowl, beat peanut butter, butter, and powdered sugar on medium speed until thoroughly combined. Add rice krispies cereal, mixing thoroughly. Portion mixture, using rounded teaspoon. Shape into balls. Place each ball in paper cup. Refrigerate.

2. Melt chocolate morsels in small saucepan, over low heat, stirring constantly. Spoon 1 teaspoon melted chocolate over each peanut butter ball. Refrigerate until firm. Store in airtight container in refrigerator.

Recipe for Oreo Balls (makes around 42)
-1 (16 oz.) package of Oreos
-1 (8 oz.) block of Philadelphia cream cheese
-2 (8 oz.) packages of Baker's semi-sweet baking white chocolate, melted

1. Crush 5 of the cookies to fine crumbs in food processor; reserve for later use. (Cookies can also be finely crushed in a resealable plastic bag using a rolling pin.) Crush remaining cookies to fine crumbs; place in medium bowl. Add cream cheese; mix until well blended. Roll cookie mixture into balls, about 1-inch in diameter.
2. Dip balls in chocolate; place on wax paper-covered baking sheet. (Any leftover chocolate can be stored at room temperature for another use.) Sprinkle with reserved cookie crumbs.
3. Refrigerate until firm, about 1 hour. Store leftover truffles, covered, in refrigerator.
*How to Easily Dip Truffles
Place truffle ball in melted chocolate to coat; roll if necessary. Lift truffle from chocolate using 2 forks (this will allow excess chocolate to run off) before placing on wax paper.
-adapted from source

Wednesday, December 28, 2011


After reading The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo about a month ago, I've been SO excited to see the David Fincher version of the movie. Yesterday I went to see it and was not disappointed. I might even have to see it again in the theaters because there's so much to take in. What was most amazing was the transformation of actress Rooney Mara in her role as Lisbeth Salander. She truly became the character and I forgot I was watching an actress.

To achieve the look of Salander, renowned makeup artist Pat McGrath used numerous makeup techniques, coming up with as many as 200 different versions of a smoky eye. CoverGirl Liquiline Blast in Black Fire and Brown Blaze were highlighted with CoverGirl Intense ShadowBlast in Brown Bling. McGrath then smudged in Dolce & Gabbana The Eyeshadow Quad in Volcano and CoverGirl Eye Enhancers 1-Kit Eyeshadow in Forever Fig

While promoting the film, Mara's red carpet looks haven't been too shabby either. 

From left to right; Givenchy Haute Couture dress, Roksanda pantsuit, Prabal Gurung dress and Christian Louboutin heels, Carven coat and Brian Atwood pumps, Rodarte for Opening Ceremony dress and Christian Louboutin Mary Jane wedges

I love the chic and classic look of Mara's face on the red carpet. She reminds me of Jennifer Connelly here.

Makeup used for Mara's flawless red-carpet face by her makeup artist, Kate Lee. 

Chanel Hydramax Serum, $82
Chanel Perfection Lumiere Flawless Fluid Makeup, $55
Kevyn Aucion The Creamy Glow in Tresbelle, $24
Chanel Brown Pencil in Noir Cendre, $29
Chanel Inimitable Waterproof Mascara, $30
Chanel Rouge Allure Velvet in La Somptueuse, $32

Monday, December 26, 2011


Mascara can really make your eyes stand out, but no-one wants clumping. I recently learned this trick and instantly noticed a difference. Take the mascara wand and as you brush your lashes from root to tip, wiggle the wand back and forth horizontally. You will have perfectly separated lashes.

I swear by Clinique Lash Doubling Mascara for everyday wear and Revitalash to grow your lashes at nighttime.

Saturday, December 24, 2011


For me, baking is somehow therapeutic. That's a good thing because I have a lot of cupcake and cookie making to do in preparation for the New Years Eve party I'm hosting. The guest list seems to keep growing and growing. On the topic of baking, here are the baking gadgets and decorating items I've got my eye on.

1. Sanding Sugar $5.50- $7.95 (can't wait to decorate chocolate dipped pretzels with this stuff)
2. Pink Petal Baking Cups $3.99 for 24 (just bought these for pretty cupcakes)
3. Chicago Metallic Cupcake Surprise Pan $19.95 (perfect for making stuffed cupcakes)
4. Red Silicone Nonstick Rolling Pin 12" $40 (this would make rolling dough much easier)
5. Air Bake Ultra Insulated 9x13 Covered Cake Pan $12.99 (practical pan at a great price point)
6. Cuisinart 4-cup Mini Food Processor $49.99 (I already own this, but I couldn't bake w/o it)
7. Baker's Edge Nonstick Edge Brownie Pan $34.95 (perfect edges on every brownie)

Wednesday, December 21, 2011


Such a smart video. Watch this woman show 25 different ways to wear a scarf in under 5 minutes. I'm going to try out "the bunny ear."

A few of my favorite scarves below.

1. Alexander McQueen Red Flower Skull Silk Scarf (Swoon. Love this one.) $575
2. Madewell Swirl Paisley Scarf (This scarf is so versatile.) $52
3. Paula Bianco Wrap Scarf (I have this scarf in black and love it. Plus, it's very warm.) $83

Tuesday, December 20, 2011


This post is inspired by tonight's ridiculous yet amazing train-wreck episode of Real Housewives of Beverly Hills. Can we discuss Kyle's white party? So damn good! After seeing all that white, I wanted to choose my favorite white items I've spotted on the web. Winter white looks so refreshing against all the gray and black we tend to wear during the cold months.

1. Rag & Bone Nightingale shirt
2. Lulu Frost Navette Swarovski crystal earrings
3. Thakoon embroidered silk-gauze blouse
4. Devastee Ulysee blouse shirt
5. Stine Goya Show jacket
6. Reed Krakoff leather shoulder bag
7. Adia Kibur cuff
8. Gryphon Essaouria tee
9. Elizabeth & James Paloma dress
10. Tibi leather-trimmed satin-twill tuxedo jacket
11. Alexander McQueen Britannia leather box clutch

Saturday, December 17, 2011


Are you slightly intimidated by Etsy? Fear not, Etsy is a fabulous alternative to shopping in stores.
Plus, you'll find that many items are one-of-a-kind or handmade, making for some really special gifts.
I just wrote an article on how to navigate Etsy. Check it out here.

Below you'll find a few of my favorite Etsy items and sellers.

I've featured these pillows before, but I just adore them. They'd instantly add some personality to a room. 
Etsy seller: Alexandra Ferguson

I love these fun Palm Beachy vintage necklaces. They would add some color and interest to any outfit. Etsy seller: Noble House Designs

My favorite place to score amazing vintage finds from jewelry to clothing. 
Etsy seller: NOV Vintage

These distressed frames add just the right bit of rustic style. 

Wednesday, December 14, 2011


These mittens seriously make me want to hail a taxi! Are these not the cutest things? They would make a great holiday gift for your bff or sis.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011


My husband's favorite sugary treat is a black and white cookie. If I spot these cookies at a deli or gourmet food store, I have to grab one for him to try. Last night we finally tried making them ourselves. The results were really good, so good that they may just rival the ones at Sage's Deli in Fort Lauderdale. The recipe is definitely a process, but if you follow the directions exactly, you'll end up with delicious black and whites.

Monday, December 12, 2011


It's hard to believe that the holidays are almost here. It seems like 2011 has flown! Below you'll find some of my favorite gift picks, from the clever IPad "book" case to the kitschy alarm clock. 
Fa la la la la...

1. Dodo Case (a genius iPad case disguised as a hardcover book) $59.95 

2. Round Horn Bowls (delicate and beautiful) $14 

3. Pyrite Heart (an eye-catching paperweight) $52

4. Bobbi Brown Party Shimmer Brick (the perfect amount of shimmer for evening) $40

5. Wildfox Couture Free Spirit Oversize Raglan (soft, vintage-inspired tees) $77 

6. Theodora & Callum Scarf (chic, practical, and lots of colors to choose from) $88

7. Voluspa Candle (My favorite candles ever! The scents are divine) $19.99

8. Fresh Sugar Lip Treatment (a moisturizing lip balm with a crisp scent) $22.50

9. Book, The Sweet Life in Paris (I adore David Lebovitz's books and website) $10.99

11. Luxury Plush Foot Duvets (The dreamiest, coziest slippers. Thanks Lindsay for turning me on to these!) $24

Friday, December 9, 2011


Are you as hooked on reality TV as I am? I can't help tuning in to watch The Bachelor, any Real Housewives episode, or So You Think You Can Dance. As a twist on sports fantasy leagues, this website lets you get in on a bit of friendly competition from the comfort of your couch. Simply choose your reality show. Then create your own league with friends or let the website pair you with strangers in a public league. It really makes watching TV a lot more interesting! Check out Fantasy 4 Reality here.

Thursday, December 8, 2011


I'm a fan of Bethenny Frankel, from her TV show to her cookbooks. Her lasagna recipe is a great go-to for dinner. It's healthy, filling, and a perfect meal with a salad and a glass of wine.  It can easily be jazzed up by adding spinach, fresh herbs, etc. It serves four so I sometimes make this for my hubby and I, then freeze the rest (it freezes really well).

Makes 4 servings
  • 8 ounces whole wheat lasagna noodles (available at Whole Foods)
  • 1 pound turkey sausage (take it out of the casing)
  • 16 ounces any tomato sauce (don’t be a hero--just buy the kind in a jar)
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh Italian (flat leaf) parsley
  • 2 tablespoon chopped fresh basil
  • 15 ounces part–skim ricotta cheese (If I can't find part-skim, I buy non-fat and add a little full-fat ricotta)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon pepper
  • 4 ounces shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese
  • 1/3 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  1. Preheat the oven to 350.  Cook the noodles according to package directions.  Set them aside.
  2. Brown the turkey sausage in a nonstick skillet with cooking spray. Stir in the tomato sauce.  Set aside.
  3. In a bowl, combine the parsley, basil, ricotta cheese, salt, and pepper.  Set aside.
  4. Spray a baking pan (9x13 inches) with cooking spray.  Ladle about 1/3 of the tomato meat mixture into the bottom of the pan.  Cover with half the noodles.  Spread half the herb-ricotta mixture over the noodles.  Repeat with another 1/3 of the sauce, the remaining noodles, the remaining ricotta-herb mixture, then cover the whole thing with the remaining sauce.  Sprinkle the mozzarella cheese and the Parmesan cheese over the top.
  5. Bake for 30 minutes or until heated through and bubbling.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011


This perfume sample was lying on my mom's bathroom counter and after one spritz, I was obsessed! I'm not a big perfume wearer, but this subtle, clean scent does not overpower. Maison Francis Kurkdjian Aqua Universalis is a unisex fragrance and its name means Universal Water in Latin, "a water for all uses, for everyone and everything."

Notes include:
-Bergamote and Lemon
-White Bouquet (Lily of the Valley and Sweet Mock Orange)
-Light and Musky Wood 

Paris-born, Francis Kurkidigan, is a renowned perfumer who has created fragrances for fashion houses from Yves Saint Laurent to Jean Paul Gaultier. In September 2009 he opened his own fragrance house, Maison Francis Kurkdjian, in Paris.

What is your favorite fragrance?

Tuesday, December 6, 2011


Winter can bring out bad hair days. I'm talking dry strands, fried ends, dull color, and static. These products and tools will truly help revive your tresses and maybe even help turn a few heads.

I just purchased Fibre Architecte from Kerastase by the recommendation of my hair stylist. All of the Kerastase products are great, but I really wanted something that would keep my ends from getting fried by my flat iron. Hear more about this product here.

This hairdryer will change your life. I'm not kidding. I didn’t know what I was missing until I tried the T-3 at a friend’s. The next day, I immediately ordered one and recently turned my sister (a straight hair-aholic) onto it, as well. While it’s expensive, just think of it as an investment. 
A repeat Allure and InStyle beauty winner, the T-3 uses ionic and infrared heat so your hair dries in significantly less time. It leaves hair smooth, eliminates flyaways, and keeps hair healthy by not over-drying. Order it from a professional website so you’re guaranteed the product warrantee. Of the various models, I recommend the T3 Featherweight Professional Hair Dryer at the lightest 13 oz. weight

I am obsessed with this line of products. I've tried argan oil and moroccan oil based products, but I believe this macadamia line puts the others to shame. My hair is in the best condition when I use the deep repair masque and healing oil treatment. Read more about Macadamia Natural Oil Hair products here and purchase at Ulta.

The Rusk Hair Straightener heats up instantly and has various heat settings so you can adjust the temp. It’s infused with ceramic and titanium technology to straighten hair from roots to end without causing any frizziness. Your hair will look smooth and shiny!
One of these days I'm going to give in and buy a Mason Pearson brush. Supposedly these are the Rolls Royce of hairbrushes. The natural bristles are known to give hair shine and evenly distribute natural oils. There are a variety of brushes in the line so you can find the model that works best for your hair type. 

Thursday, December 1, 2011


Every Thanksgiving my mom makes her butternut squash soup (although it's good anytime of year). It's easy, healthy, and so yummy. She tops it with apple chips but I also like it sprinkled with pomegranate seeds. The leftovers make the perfect lunch on a chilly day. Below, you'll find the recipe.

4 Tbsp. butter
1 1b. carrots, peeled and sliced
1 lb. winter squash peeled, seeded and sliced
1/4 c. chopped onions
1/4 c. chopped walnuts
3 1/2 c. chicken stock or broth
Salt and pepper to test
Garnish of choice (chopped parsley, apple chips, pomegranate seeds, etc.)

In a medium saucepan, melt the butter. Add carrots, squash, and onions. Cover pan and cook over low heat for 5 minutes. Add walnuts, stir briefly, then add 2 1/2 cups chicken stock. Cover pan and cook at a simmer until vegetables are tender, about 15 minutes.

Transfer soup to a processor or blender. Add remaining 1 c. chicken stock and puree until smooth. Season with salt and pepper. (Can be frozen or made ahead at this point). Taste and adjust seasoning before serving in bowls. Garnish with parsley, dried apple chips, or pomegranate seeds.