Monthly Archives: June 2010

It’s a White Out

I have never worn a white dress.

I have worn a white tunic, millions of white tank tops and tees, but never a white dress. Not on my wedding day, and not even on my Confirmation ( wore a white pencil skirt and a white top – I was a real dare devil).

But it is officially summer, and while a LBD (little black dress) is seasonless and timeless, summer heat and happy hours really do beg for white. I have searched my favorite search site, sorry Google, to find my favorite dresses in white for the season.
Cilla Dress – French Connection
I love this for a casual wedding perhaps, or summer party. I could also see this being great for a shower/rehearsal dinner/brunch.

Marilyn Dress by Kimchi Blue – Urban Outfitters

I love a shirt dress. And I love an open back. This little dress, which is now on sale, is the best of both worlds – and despite being white is crying out for a BBQ party!
Ponti-Roma Pencil Dress –
This dress is a for white hot glam moment. It is styled after a dress Victoria Beckham wore and to wear it in white is to really make a statement (wearing it in red, the other option, isn’t exactly for the faint of heart either). I think this would be perfect for a cocktail party, special date night – maybe the W roof top?
Criss Cross Jersey Maxi Dress –
I love the ease of this style. It is very “so Florida”. I would pack this away for a day-to-night honeymoon option, or consider this for a casual summer houseparty; ie house warming sometime in August/September.Well, I know what to wear now I just need to find some events.

Go vintage

It’s officially summer and nothing says summer like trading in your metro cards for evening walks, or bike rides. Two months ago, Mark and I bought bikes. The plan was for us to both ride to work at least 3 days of the week. I haven’t ridden in once. To his credit, he rides every day (Updating on Twitter @DCBikeTest). It’s very impressive.

Prior to the bike purchase, I campaigned pretty heavily for a motorized bike, specifically a Vespa. Two summers ago we had a Vespa. When Mark bought it on Craigslist, I was all “no, no, no”. After riding it into the sunset for about 1.5 years, and zipping through DC on the back of that zippy silver bike, when we decided to sell it, I was again all “no, no, no”. (True confession, I actually cried).

Something about the Vespa is so Roman Holiday and vintage chic.  It’s also more city and environmentally friendly than a car.  And that are too cute to beat.

Not us, although the resemblance is funny. I don’t ride side saddle – that’s ridiculous!

As we get ready to move back into the city I am keeping the Vespa dream alive, perhaps next spring.
Ciao bellos!

In case you’re having a case of the Mondays…

I have been out of the blogosphere all weekend as I am working with teens for a service/advocacy program. The program ends on Monday and it will be a busy day with the teens and a busy transition back into the office.

Long weekends, lots of teenagers and little sleep give some people a case of the Monday’s…
If you possibly have a case of the Mondays and need a few mental breaks here and there, here are some distractions (errr, tips!):
This is a cake ball. They were made famous by a sweet and funny little blogger named Bakerella. Her blog was the first one I really followed consistently (she’s a Sunday/Monday updater). Her ideas and talents are very impressive, but never oooh soo scary and intimidating.
This photo is by Elizabeth Messina. Her website,, was the source of our save-the-dates. She is a phenomenal photographer. She works with beautiful, regular people and “the beautiful people”. She has an amazing ability to find the calm and glow in all of life’s moments, from love to wedding to baby and beyond.

I have been married for five months and I still visit the Weddingbee. I was also an avid visitor to several other sites and resources, which I’ll be sure to share a long the way, but this site was key. The site has a collection of bride bloggers which means there is no Bridal Industry voice, it is just a collection of unique voices, perspectives, customs, cultures, budgets and relationships honestly and openly sharing their experience from engagement through the wedding day and for at least a year following. You will never find a more honest site about the experience of being engaged and planning a wedding.

If you’re still bored and just not swayed by sweet images, sweet foods, or weddings, check out Facebook for the afternoon. That’ll give you a mental break. See you on Tuesday!

A Classic is Classic forever

Something becomes iconic when it stands the test of time, it’s classic style overrides all trends, fads and fleeting whimsy. A classic is getting ready with girlfriends, posing in front on a mirror, a ponytail, a man’s white shirt, American made blue jeans, summertime, Audrey Hepburn and Grace Kelly.

Audrey Hepburn and Grace Kelly, Photo: Allan Grant/Time & Life Pictures – March 21, 1956

A classic really is forever.
Wishing you a classic and memorable weekend, no matter where your inspiration comes from!

Kicking it old school, an Elementary classic

What is better than this? Ok, so this is better, and really good at disappearing (really fast)!
So what could beat the world’s best sandwich that is also appropriate for lunch, dinner, midnight snack? Peanut Butter & Jelly Cookies!

I don’t know why I felt the need to move beyond the peanut butter & jelly sandwich, because truthfully I could eat it any day, at any time but sometimes you feel like a sandwich, and sometimes you feel like eating a bunch of cookies. Sometimes I feel like eating both, so that’s just what I did.

Here’s what you will need:

  • 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup smooth peanut butter
  • 4 ounces (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1/3 cup packed light-brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar, plus more for rolling
  • cinnamon and sugar for sugaring the cookies
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup raspberry jam

Recipe only slightly adapted from Martha Stewart
Makes about 30 cookies, depending on the size of the cookie, roughly tbsp sized.

Wow, butter is delightful – but not worth taste testing, yet!

Butter and peanut butter and sugar, and more sugar – getting closer!

Vanilla and egg are added. I do taste the dough here. I know raw egg – yikes! – but I do it anyway.

Add in the flour and dry ingredients, and look at this crumbly, buttery deliciousness! Taste away – still raw egg if you’re squeamish!
Ball up those cookies and throw them in with some sugar (I added cinnamon because I like it). I also like how they look like little mini donuts.
Bake at 350 – after ten minutes you pull these guys out of the oven and make a little dip in the top of the cookie, bake for another 6 or 7 minutes. Then fill the little dip with your favorite jelly, jam, marmalade.

And then pour a big glass of milk.

It’s mandatory.
Peanut butter and jelly really loves milk.

Weddings, Inspired

Today is five months since Mark and I got married. Time flies in five months. It’s also about 1.5 years since I was really in the thick of wedding planning. The wedding industry and the wedding blogging industry provide an endless supply of weddings to model after, weddings to aspire to, and weddings just to drool over. Early on I fell in love with this wedding by Ariel Yve, as featured on the very inspiring Style Me Pretty. source: Style Me Pretty, Photography by Raya Photography

After doing a lot of Internet searching, and finding inspiration at Snippet and Ink and many other fantastic sites, I thought it would be helpful to create my own inspiration board. I was planning our Boca Raton wedding from Washington, DC, and had limited opportunities to meet with vendors so my vision needed to be clear. I wanted a Mid-Summer Night’s Dream (in January), vintage, chic, Anthropologie, Classic wedding. Do you think that was confusing? This is what it looked like in my head…

From L-R: Tuxedo:Hugo Boss, Dress: Maggie Sottero, Martha Stewart, Ariel Yve, Confetti Cakes, Flowers from, Bari Jay Bridesmaid Dress, Ariel Yve,,

I won’t keep you in suspense any longer, as to where we ended up (and yes we did have a cookie bar!). In the posts to come I’ll share more recaps, tips, vendor strategies and lessons learned.

wedding photos from the very talented Ashley Colhouer Photography

And we live happily ever after. Happy Month-iversary!

Moving on Up to DC

>In the process of starting a new blog, we (Mark and I – more on him soon!) are also moving. We will be leaving our happy little condo in Northern Virginia, with all of it’s amenities and conveniences (our building is on top of the metro, connected to a movie theater, and within 100 yards of a CVS, 711 and 2 mini-markets) and moving back to DC… to a real house!

Our current place was where Mark lived before we met and is largely decorated in his style, with a few touches from me here and there. Our new house is a real house, with lots of real rooms and lots of potential for decorating. Exciting! Sartorial! Stylish! Overwhelming!!!

Meet my new best friend,! Sproost allows you to take a simple, visual quiz and determine your decor style. I am a huge fan of these types of quizzes. I took the “What type of Bride are you?” quiz on countless times – before, during and after being engaged.

After a series of rooms and a few simple clicks you’re told what you’re style is. I have taken the quiz maybe 10 (probably 20) times now and I still wonder wait in suspense to see what my style will be.

Prior to the moving process I never really thought about what my style would be, as I often think interior design is informed by where you live and the type home it is. But, either way, the results are always the same.

I am 50% French Eclectic, 33% Traditional Country, 17% Cottage Chic. Who knew!? This is my starting point. After we pack up, move in and shop enough so we have somewhere to sit, I’ll keep you updated on the progress and what we pick. What is your design style?

P.S. I was a romantic bride.

all images from

Quick Thought: Running in Style

This morning on the way to work I saw a 40+ year old woman running through K Street and Pennsylvania Avenue.

It is currently 82 degrees out.
That is hot.
It is especially hot at 9am.

She was singing so loudly that possibly her music made the heat, the traffic, and the shin splints disappear. What a great way to start the day. Also extra style points to her for matching her iPod wires to her running outfit.

How did you start your day? I did the P90X Extreme Yoga. It’s extreme, no joke, but more on that later.


Life gives you Lemon Meringue Pie


Two things to know about me:

  1. If I am going to someone’s home I will always offer to bring something
  2. I am a pie girl, I take the buttery, fruity, chocolatey, sweet, savory type over cake on nearly any day.

Okay, back to present, last Sunday an invite for Father’s Day and my sister-in-law’s mom’s birthday linner is sent out. It turns out my sister-in-law’s mom’s favorite dessert is Lemon Meringue Pie. Full disclosure, I have never made a meringue, I have never made a lemon pie, and I have actually never tasted a lemon meringue pie. Sounds good, I can do this. By Thursday the above mentioned really starts to sink in. By Friday I am actively looking for recipes (thank you By Saturday I am grocery shopping, and by Saturday evening a panic is starting to settle in.

Sunday I bake.

ents: Pie crust, you’ll get this recipe at another time. Because of the doubt I was feeling about the filling and the topping I went with a store bought. Homemade or store bought you’ll want to use pie weights (rice, beans, pie beads) and pierce the dough with a fork – like you might have done with a frozen tv dinner’s plastic wrap as a kid.


1 cup sugar

5 tbsp cornstarch
1/4 tsp salt
1 cup water
1/2 cup milk
4 large egg yolks
1 tbsp unsalted butter
1/2 cup fresh lemon juice

2 tsp fresh lemon zest

4 large egg whites
1/4 tsp cream of tartar
1/2 cup of sugar

Recipe from Gourmet Magazine, 1995

Make filling:
In a heavy saucepan whisk together sugar, cornstarch, and salt and gradually whisk in water and milk, whisking until cornstarch is dissolved.
In a bowl whisk together egg yolks. Cook milk mixture over moderate heat, whisking, until it comes to a boil, this happens all of a sudden and the mixture is surprisingly thick.
Take the pan off the stovetop and gradually mix into the egg yolks, whisking all the while so that your eggs aren’t scrambled. Return egg and cornstarch+milk mix to the stove. Simmer mixture, whisking, 3 minutes.
Remove pan from heat and whisk in butter, lemon juice, and zest until butter is melted. Cover surface of filling with plastic wrap.
Make meringue:
In a large glass or metal bowl with an electric mixer beat egg whites with cream of tartar and a pinch of salt until they hold soft peaks. Beat in sugar in a slow stream, beating until meringue just holds stiff peaks.
Pour filling into shell and spread meringue on top, covering filling completely, sealing it to pastry. I found it worked best to allow the meringue to lap up onto the baked pie crust. Draw meringue up into peaks and bake pie in middle of oven at 350 until meringue is golden, about 15 minutes.

Somewhere along these steps the first pie crust that I blind baked shrunk in the pan, do not forget to pierce the dough! So as I continued to mix, blend and whisk I snacked along the way on shrunken pie crust – it tastes just as good as you’d imagine, very.

The meringue was definitely the most intimidating, it’s very humid in DC (not good for flully egg whites) and after watching many episodes of Alton Brown I imagined it would be something you would have to learn how to make only from practice. Hah! Alton is such a good teacher, it worked! I just kept looking for the peaks. That’s them in picture #3.

Success! The pie was delicious, the meringue did shrink up a little bit and slide across the filling. So, while it didn’t look as picture perfect upon delivery as it did on the counter, it did get good reviews for taste. Things I would do differently next time: Put the meringue directly on the warm filling, this helps to set the egg whites; not drive 2+ hours before it gets served, this allowed the meringue to ride a slip and slide all the way there.

In the beginning

What prompts someone to blog? At this point I am not quite sure, I think the answer to that will come as I continue. One thing is for sure this blog will be an outlet for all the things that color my life in the brightest shades; food, fashion, style, and the sparkle moments that happen from the day to day.

My career is in marketing, but my background is in sparkle. Sparkle at the daily batch is defined as those moments when you find fresh beautiful peonies at your favorite farmer’s market (20th between Mass and Q St); when you find the perfect fitting jean (no matter your size, trust me it exists); when you conquer a recipe that seemed only fitting for the Martha’s of the world (turns out the risk of failing is half the fun); and when you’re able to spend time and celebrate life with the ones you love the most (you’ll get to meet them as we go).
Thanks for joining me in the beginning.