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Monthly Archives: April 2013

Mother’s Day Gift Guide

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It’s almost Mother’s Day! May 12th! My most favorite day of the year!

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My whole life my mom has been spoiling me: one random Tuesday my brother and I came home from school to find gifts (a lava lamp for him, a giant mesh hanging butterfly for me) set up in our rooms; the month before 8th grade graduation, she called me in sick to school and took me dress shopping at the fancy mall an hour away; when I moved to Colorado for college, she drove the entire 20+ hours so I could sleep off my hangover…That’s serious selflessness! She deserves more than just one special day, but I do love that there is an official holiday just to celebrate her.

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I admit I hit the jackpot in the Mama lottery, but even if you aren’t besties with your mom, she still got stretchmarks for you, endured your crummy middle school band performance, and gave you plenty of stand-up comedy material. Make her brunch, take her to the Botanical Gardens to see the rare orchid exhibit, tell her you love her, and give her one of these (click on the link to go to website):

Because it’s Hot to Keep Cool–bright hat, $16.99

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Because Turning the Camera Off while Shooting is only Funny the First 100 Times–easy digital camera, $164.95

cameraBecause She Deserves Better than 1-800 Flowers–tulip and iris bouquet, $62

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Because Your Mama is the Chicest Shopper at the Farmer’s Market–french market basket, $48

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Because Your Mom is Sweet, and Likes ’em, Too–zingermann’s baked goods, $50

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Because it’s Spring!–bright blazer, $89.50

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xo

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Not an Oxymoron: Delicious Vegan Cupcakes

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On Friday, I went to a housewarming party and offered to bring the desserts….and then I remembered the hostess is vegan. D’oh! I had a moment of panic where I seriously considered bringing fruit or popcorn–but then I started searching the internet. After reading hundreds of comments on at least a dozen recipes and studying a variety of articles, I came to the following conclusions: flaxseed, applesauce, and coconut oil are all over-rated fat substitutes. So I decided to look for a recipe that was either banana or pumpkin based–and then I remembered that Hummingbird Cake (the new red velvet) incorporates both!

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This cake is bursting with flavors of pineapple, caramelized banana, and salty pecans. The texture is just sublime–crumby and moist. Although I would have preferred a cream cheese frosting, this drizzly icing does a more than adequate job. I would happily make these again, and not just for a vegan crowd! The recipe below is so heavily modified from Boulder Locavore it seems ridiculous to even link it, but if you’d like to see the original inspiration, click on over.

Cake (makes 12):

-2 large bananas, roasted and smashed

-1 1/2 cups all purpose flour

-1 tsp cinnamon

-1/2 tsp baking soda

-1/2 tsp salt

-1/2 cup sugar

-1/2 cup light brown sugar

-1/4 cup plus 1 tbsp canned pumpkin

-1/2 cup plus 1 tbsp grape seed oil

-1 tsp vanilla

-1/2 cup fresh pineapple

-1/2 cup chopped pecans

Directions:

1.) Roast bananas-peel on-in a 350 degree oven for 12-15 minutes, until skins are black. Remove peel and mash bananas in a bowl. Set aside.

2.) In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, salt, baking soda, and cinnamon.

3.) In a small bowl, whisk together the pumpkin, sugars, vanilla and oil.

4.) Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and stir to combine.

5.) In a small bowl, crush the pineapple with forks until thread-like.

6.) Add the mashed banana and the crushed pineapple/juice to the batter.

7.) Fold in the chopped pecans.

8.) Divide evenly among 12 cupcake liners. Bake in a 350 degree oven for 12-15 minutes until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Let cool completely before frosting.

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Frosting:

-1 cup of vegan margarine

-3 tsp vanilla

-4 cups powdered sugar

-1-3 tsp vanilla rice or almond milk

Directions:

1.) Using an electronic mixer, whip the margarine on high until light and fluffy, about 5 to 6 minutes.

2.) Add the vanilla and powdered sugar, and beat until incorporated.

3.) Depending on the texture, add 1 to 2 tsp of the milk substitute.

4.) Place inside pastry bag or ziploc with the corner snipped off. Drizzle over the top of cupcakes, and adorn with pecan.DSC_0254

Enjoy!

xo

 

Fashion Dare

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Want to know a guaranteed way to come across as a chic fashionista? Break “the rules”–pair black with brown! Rock head-to-toe white in winter! Mix stripes with polka dots!

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I paired a polka-dotted collared shirt with this striped sweater, which is pretty tame as far as rule breaking goes. This is like the jay-walking of fashion crimes. But unexpected none the less!

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Would you ever pair stripes with polka dots!?

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xo

Currently loving…

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Pellegrino. Until very recently, I abhorred sparkling water. Thanks to living in Europe, I am now fully aboard the bubbly water train! Can’t get enough!

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Tortoise Comb. My best friend Lauren sent this to me in a Christmas package of whimsical goodies. I feel so fancy detangling my wet strands using this comb, and I love how it looks sitting on my vanity. So luxurious–Thank you, Lauren!

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L’Oreal Revitalift Total Repair 10 Serum. I have switched from the night cream in this range to the much lighter serum, and my skin is much happier.

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Bright nail polishes. These punchy colors compliment my (faux) tan perfectly! Writing work emails is much more pleasant with happy hued digits.

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Blooming daffodil bulbs in my kitchen. Although the temps have yet to rise above freezing here in Copenhagen, these delightful flowers at least cast the illusion of springtime…

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What are you loving this April?

xo