Wednesday, October 14, 2009

What a Difference a Day Makes

You know those weekends away, albeit few and far between, that make you refreshed and possibly fall in love all over again?

I was lucky enough to have one of those over my anniversary weekend. It was simply blissful.

We ate, we laughed, we walked, we talked....blissful.

Beautiful Breckenridge, Colorado!

I realized while uploading my pictures that I did not take one picture of Main Street. Not one! It is a large but quaint few blocks with shops ranging from mountian gear to a doggie bakery with the cutest Starbucks (that is in an old tiny house) and a crepe cart smack dab in the middle.

Oh the crepes....yummmmmmmmmm!

We did a little hiking up by lake Dillon.


Oh yea, remember how I said we ate? And boy did we....
My favorite part of the whole weekend (except for the crepes-yummm again) was our "fancy" dinner out.

Le Petit Paris is an amazing little French Restaurant right off of Main Street. Sisters Arielle and Marie are the sweetest little team and make you feel at home from the moment they take your coat until the usher you out the door and wave goodbye until you are out of sight. Precious.

Just my kind of place. French bisto-esque with while linen table cloths and vintage advertisements all over the walls.

And the food. Well, the food was To. Die. For.

3 course meals that change with the seasons.

I was trying to be sneaky and not bother the people sitting 2 feet from us, who were probably wondering "who is this crazy girl taking pictures of her table".

After ordering that bottle of wine that is now my new favorite, and having some amazing fresh french bread we dined on French Onion soup and a goat cheese salad that I am determined to duplicate. Boeuf Bourguignon that was deconstructed and amazing and profiteroles that were beyond melt in your mouth!

Now I'm hungry....

The weather was beautiful all weekend, it seemed to be in the stars for us.

And yes, even though we were leaving fat and happy I had to end my weekend here....

Of course, before I realized I hadn't taken a picture of my crepe, it was gone....

I'm thinking of opening one of could be a fun opportunity.

But the pounds I would pack on would not agree with maybe not.

Here we are fat and happy (not in that order~giggle~).


Tuesday, October 13, 2009

HomeGoods Happy

Don't you just love that feeling when you walk into a shop and a calm comes over you're in your special place....your domain.

That's how I feel when I walk into HomeGoods.

Now, don't get me wrong. I love myself a good antique store. I love the feel of those stores too. And the smell....that smell of timeworn textiles and antiques.

But that gives me a whole other feeling....

The clean, crisp, feeling of HomeGoods, the feeling of knowing there is a special gem in there just waiting for me to find it. Some inexpensive little bauble that is whispering my name. Knowing I enjoy the hunt, and hiding from me on that bottom clearance shelf. Ohhhh it makes me shiver just to think of it.

So when Rhoda over at Southern Hospitality offered up an amazing giveaway and a quiz. I jumped at the chance to find out the definition of my "style".

Per HomeGoods here is their definition of my style. I'd say they're pretty right on!

Laurel, you are a Bohemian Classic

You have a refined sensibility and bring a sense of history and tradition into your decor. You appreciate how symmetrical arrangements and beautiful, well-crafted pieces create a solid foundation to a room. But you like to shake up this restraint with objects and accessories that express your personality and your love of other cultures. When traveling, you seek out unique objects that reflect what you love, and you use them in a sophisticated way. You want people to feel comfortable in your home, and cozy chairs, ethnic fabrics, unique pieces, and even a little touch of quirk or humor give your house a laid-back, Bohemian flair.

You value creativity. You are stylish and fun loving, and can be an inspiration to others. You have a natural sense of drama, and you know you have to be willing to take risks—whether with colors, finishes, furniture choices, or ideas—for your home to stand out. Your home can be happy and lively and the place all of your friends want to be.

Putting Your Style to Work!
With your style and needs in mind, here are a few tips that will help you make your home a little happier.

1. Your Design Challenge: ORGANIZE
The front hall sets the mood for your entire home. Consider how to accommodate all the room's functions as beautifully as possible. At the very least you need a console, and if you're short on storage, consider a dresser. Outfit the surface with nice trays and bowls for mail, keys and sunglasses. Keep a trash can for immediately tossing the junk mail. Closet-door or wall hooks encourage coat and bag hanging rather than dumping. If you have children, try to give each a basket in the closet for hats and gloves. It's nice to have a chair or bench for changing shoes, a mirror for last-minute lipstick checks, and a lamp or sconces for warm light.

2. Your Happy Place
Think of your outdoor space, no matter how small, as rooms, and create distinct areas. A pair of chaises flanking a little side table makes a living room. A lantern hanging from a tree or pergola over a table and chairs makes a dining room. A cluster of potted plants on a patio can create a cozy nook, and a single urn or bench placed at the far end can draw your eye, making a space seem longer. Big lanterns with candles sitting on the ground create a sense of space and give beautiful light. Try out new ideas before you start shopping by taking a photo of your area and laying some tracing paper over the print to draw whatever you're planning first.

3. Be Party-Ready All the Time!
Scent: The first thing you notice about a home is how it smells. Use naturally fragrant cleaning products. If you find a scented candle or fresh potpourri you love, stock up on it. Any scent you like, whether perfume or linen spray, can be used on upholstery, bedding or just spritzed into the air.

Mood: Nice, flattering light makes us feel good. So nix the harsh, direct light from overhead fixtures in favor of the softer glow from floor and table lamps. Also, stock up on some votive candles and a couple of hurricane lanterns for setting around the room.

Food: Devote space in your pantry or on a shelf for go-to party essentials: crackers, dip, chips, nuts—whatever you like to serve. Keep on hand a collection of attractive bowls and cocktail napkins, and you'll be able to set a spread—instantly!

Drink: The simplest and chicest thing is to have a drinks tray or table always set up. Include a mix of pretty glasses, an ice bucket, a lovely pitcher, and bottles of soda and water. When the bell rings, just add ice and limes.

How fun was that! Now it's your turn. If you haven't entered Rhoda's giveaway you have 'til tomorrow. I know, I know, not much time to meet that deadline but you must's for 100 bucks people! Who would pass that up? The link is up top....

Even if you miss the giveaway, the quiz is still super fun!

Enjoy and have a great day.

A house is not a home unless it contains food and fire for the mind as well as the body.
~Benjamin Franklin

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Let them eat cake!

Taylor, a lover of all things marshmallow, had a birthday recently.

Since we share an infinity for all things mallow, I decided to make him a S'more cake for his party and surprise him.

Oh how I love surprises....
But only when I get to do the surprising.

Unless of course it's diamonds, or shoes.
But who ever gets surprised with shoes.
No one. And that's too bad....
I wouldn't mind be showered with shoes on my birthday.
Obviously not actually showered, that would really hurt....

Anyway, this very special cake for this very special boy turned out beyond my wildest dreams.

Check it out! Isn't it adorable!!!!

It's chocolate cake with a Jet Puff Marshmallow center that was sprinkled with graham crackers. The cake is topped with buttercream, then fondant.

Yep, this one isn't good for the diet but, it was sooooo worth it!

I personally love how fondant looks on a cake but it doesn't taste half as good as straight buttercream.

After covering the cake. Then rolling out and poking holes in the fondant for the top "graham cracker" I cut Hershey's bars at an angle and used some frosting to keep them in place, as if they were melting right out of the S'more. Yummmmm! Makes me wish I had a campfire right now....

This puppy sure had some WOW factor at the party and all the kiddos wanted to know if it was real.

Well yea! If it looks like a S'more and tastes like a S'more.

It's a S'more.

Then 2 days later I was asked to make a baby shower cake for a precious little girl.

I've always loved cakes that look like packages so.....

White almond cake with almond butter frosting. My specialty!

It was actually humid here that day. Humid doesn't happen very often here in Colorado and of course it was on the day of the baby shower. My bow didn't dry well and wasn't quite as big as I wanted it but everyone was none the wiser! I got so many compliments and everyone wanted my business card.


I have a lot of people requesting cakes now and it's keepin' me busy. It seems I am the new Ace of Cakes around here.

I wish.

~On a side note, today is my 5 year anniversary. The hubs and I are spending the weekend in beautiful Breckenridge, CO and I am super excited. It will be crisp up there and the leaves should be amazing.

Hope you all have a fun filled weekend!

Happy October!