March 30, 2010

Homemade Peeps

I love Peeps. They're just so cute and sugary! And come in the best colors. The image below, Peep Show, always makes me giggle.

After browsing cute Easter ideas on marthastewart.com, I discovered a recipe for homemade Peeps. Yum!


Aren't they cute?

Here's how to make them.

Ingredients

Makes about 1 1/2 cups
  • 1 unflavored gelatin (2 1/2 teaspoons)
  • 1/3 cup cold water, for gelatin, plus 1/4 cup for syrup
  • 1 cup sugar

Directions

  1. In the bowl of an electric mixer, sprinkle gelatin over 1/3 cup cold water. Allow gelatin to soften, about 5 minutes.
  2. In a small saucepan, combine 1/4 cup water and sugar, and stir over medium-high heat until sugar is dissolved. Stop stirring, and place a candy thermometer into sugar water; wipe sides of pan with a wet brush if sugar crystals have splattered up. Boil sugar until temperature reaches the soft-ball stage (238 degrees). Remove syrup from heat; add to softened gelatin. Using the whisk attachment of an electric mixer, hand-stir the mixture a few minutes to cool; place bowl on the mixer stand. Beat on medium high with the whisk attachment until soft peaks form and the marshmallow mixture holds shape, 8 to 10 minutes.
  3. Transfer marshmallow mixture to a large (14-inch) pastry bag fitted with a 1/2 inch (No. 11 Ateco) tip, and use immediately.
Step 1

Line a baking sheet with the colored sugar or other coating so you can pipe in assembly-line fashion — the piping process goes quickly.

Fill rimmed baking sheet or small bowls with about 1 1/2 cups sugar. If desired, color white sugar by stirring in luster dust or sparkle dust a little at a time. Pipe shapes onto sugar. Bunnies and chicks must be completed one at a time.

Step 2

For bunnies, pipe a 1 1/4-inch mound about 1/2 inch tall onto sugar. Pipe a small mound on one side for the tail; pipe a larger mound for the head on the opposite side. With a damp finger, pat down any spikes formed from piping the body, tail, and head. Pipe the ears, starting from the top of the head, and pipe onto the body, pulling forward and off to finish. Pat down the spikes on the ears. Working quickly so the marshmallow surface does not dry, use a spoon to cover the entire surface with sugar. Allow a few minutes for the shape to set, and lift out of sugar with a spoon or small offset spatula. Pipe on royal-icing faces with a 1/32-inch (#1 Ateco) icing tip; place in a parchment-lined airtight container until ready to serve, or up to 2 weeks.


Step 3

For chicks, pipe an oval shape about 1 inch wide, tapering the end and pulling upward to finish with the tail. On the opposite end, for the neck and face, pipe a mound about the width of the body, pushing toward tail and up. Pull away from the face to form the beak. Working quickly so the marshmallow surface does not dry, use a spoon to sprinkle sugar over the surface. Allow shape to sit a few minutes to set; lift out of sugar with a spoon or small offset spatula. Make large and small chicks by changing the dimensions.

Who else loves Peeps?


P.S. Thank you so much for the birthday wishes! I had a wonderful day :)
I also had a great time on my D.C. trip with the girls. I have fun cherry blossom pictures to share soon. Can't wait for Easter now!

March 26, 2010

Jetting off

I am headed to Washington D.C. today for a girl's weekend with my Sigma Kappa sisters. It is always wonderful to reunite with them and our weekend will be filled with good times, good food, precious memories, fun and more as we explore our nation's capital and . . .

The Cherry Blossom Festival!
Our reason for the visit.



Bloom, cherry blossoms, bloom!

Cheers to a fun weekend with old friends :)

March 25, 2010

26

Happy Birthday to me! I am 26 today.
Cheers to a wonderful life, family, friends and more :)
I am truly lucky and plan on celebrating in style today!


26 things about the birthday girl:
1. I started dancing at age 3 and have loved tutus ever since.
2. If I could have any job in the world I'd be a Radio City Rockette.
3. I graduated from Elon University with a major in journalism and a minor in dance.
4. I've always lived in the South. Born in Va., grew up in Ga., went to school in N.C. and then moved to Fla.
5. I studied abroad in Barbados for winter term (one month long). I won a limbo contest while I was there.
6. I was a cheerleader in middle school, high school and my freshman year at Elon.
7. My favorite colors are turquoise, pink and lime green.
8. I have one younger sister who is married and lives in Atlanta.
9. I heart Disney World.
10. I love to travel and a few favorites have been France, Italy, Hawaii, Barbados and several cruises.
11. I am a Sigma Kappa.
12. I hope to write a book someday.
13. I am a bookworm and read every day. I always have a book with me.
14. I took surfing lessons in Hawaii.
15. I love hot dogs. I don't know why.
16. I was the first person in the whole third grade to memorize the multiplication tables and won a prize.
17. I was in the gifted program and it changed my life.
18. I played the violin from age 6-11.
19. I live for a good quote.
20. I do not eat seafood.
21. I love to be silly, have fun and be spontaneous, but I am also a planner.
22. I was in a commercial and did a little modeling when I was little. (My sister was the successful one though!)
23. I own a pink Christmas tree.
24. The Fox Theater in Atlanta is one of my favorite places.
25. I love trips to Sandestin with my family. Beach vacations are wonderful.
26. Being happy and making others happy is my life goal.

Hooray for 26!!

March 24, 2010

Tagged!


A huge thank you to Trish at Pink Preppy Lilly Lover for crowning me with the Preppy Mafia tag! Thanks Trish - you always make me smile and it is an honor to receive it from such a stylish, beautiful person, inside and out. Thanks for sharing the love! (Thanks to Beth Dunn at Social Climbers for starting this up as well!)

Rules
1 Add the button to your blog
2 Answer the questions below
3 Pass on to 10 bloggers you love

1. Who is your style icon? A mixture of Jackie O. and Reese Witherspoon. Also, Tenley from the Bachelor. Love her curls! She always looked put-together and she totally rocked those rainboots on the hometown date.
2. What is your favorite socialite lit book? Devil in the Junior League.
3. Favorite party theme? Tea party - big hats & sundresses. Hollywood - pretty dresses and trendy food. Princess - crowns never go out of style. Country Club - tennis whites and golf attire.
4. Go-to Halloween costume? Elle Woods. I always have a pink dress in my closet. Add a pink purse, a little dog and some sunglasses and you're legally blonde.
5. Extravagance you can't live without? Bobbi brown eye cream, manicures and pedicures, Origins knot-free shampoo and conditioner, cupcakes, pretty dresses and a nice pair of shades.
6. Living person you admire? My parents. They set a wonderful example for me, support me no matter what, encourage me every day and gave me every opportunity they could to help me spread my wings and grow into the person I am today. They are very giving and I admire their love for others, their strength, their relationship with God and their hard-working, can do anything nature.
7. Greatest fear? Falling short of my dreams. Missing out on opportunities. Bad things happening to loved ones.
8. Trait you deplore in yourself? Holding grudges. Letting others rob me of my joy.
9. Which talent would you most like to have? A beautiful singing voice. Design skills. Better dance abilities. (There's always room for improvement.)
10. Greatest achievement? Landing an editorial position at a magazine fresh out of college after graduating with honors. But mostly? Moving to a city where I didn't know anyone and building a happy, successful and fulfilling life for myself while making my parents proud.

March 22, 2010

Welcome Spring!

I am oh so glad spring has arrived. It is my favorite season for sure. What do I love most about spring? Easter, flowers blooming, jelly beans, bunnies and chicks, Easter candy, Peeps, beautiful spring colors, walks outside and sunny days.

I love this song/dance by the Glee girls. Walking on Sunshine (the song) always makes me smile.

(Sorry it's a bit fuzzy)

Perhaps I will slip on this yellow dress and some gold flats and join them!

{Image: J. Crew}

Happy Spring!

March 17, 2010

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

Happy St. Patrick's Day and enjoy all things green!

I'm celebrating with my green polka dot shoes :)


An Irish blessing for you:

Wishing you a rainbow
For sunlight after showers
Miles and miles of Irish smiles
For golden happy hours
Shamrocks at your doorway
For luck and laughter too
And a host of friends that never ends
Each day your whole life through

Have a great one!

March 16, 2010

Pretty baubles






. . . just wanted to share some pretty jewels to brighten your day. Isn't Milly's new jewelry line gorgeous? I certainly would pair any of these accessories with my outfits to add a little something extra.

I hope everyone had a great weekend. Dinner at Canada in Epcot was fabulous! It was worth waiting five months to eat there. It is supposedly one of the best steakhouses in Orlando (hard to believe), but it actually was quite good. And, it's always fun to walk around the world :)

I also had a great, relaxing weekend in Bonita Springs. A few walks on the beach, good meals and sunshine were just what I needed.

It's a busy week at work, but the fact that my birthday and my D.C. trip are next week keeps me smiling. Enjoy your evening!

March 12, 2010

Singing in the rain

It's a rain boots kind of day.


Things bringing sunshine despite the rain:
1. Winning JGIWC's giveaway yesterday. (Hooray!)
2. Lunch with an old friend. (Park Plaza Gardens on Park Ave. Yum!)
3. Dinner at Epcot tonight - Canada. (Took five months to get a reservation.)
4. Spending the weekend in Bonita Springs. (Hoping for warm sunny days.)

Happy Friday and have a wonderful weekend!

March 10, 2010

Wordless Wednesday: Classic Beauty


Audrey Hepburn and Grace Kelly backstage at the 1956 Academy Awards.
{Photos by Allan Grant for Time magazine}

March 9, 2010

Photo Tag

Queen Bee Swain has tagged me! Thanks :)

Directions:
Open your first folder.
Scroll to the 10th picture.
Post the photo and story behind it.
Tag five people.

This picture was taken on my 22nd birthday during my senior year at Elon. My mom and sister (pictured) came into town to celebrate with me and to attend the Mother/Daughter luncheon my sorority was having. We had a princess party at the bed and breakfast where we were staying, complete with crowns and a delicious pink and green cake my mom made me. The reason why I was so tan is because I had studied abroad that winter in Barbados and I had just gotten back from a spring break cruise. I remember this being a wonderful weekend!!

I tag:

Have fun!

March 8, 2010

Seize the week

"It's your life
What you gonna do
The world is watching you
Every day the choices you make
Say what you are and who your heart beats for
It's an open door
It's your life"

"To live the way that you believe
This is your opportunity
To let your life be one that
Lights the way"
— Francesca Battistelli

Lighting the way with JOY this week!

March 3, 2010

Happy March!

March is my most favorite month of the year. I am so happy it has finally arrived! There are so many things I love about March and here are a few I look forward to the most.


Favorite things about March!

1. My birthday! March 25.
2. D.C. trip with some Sigma Kappa sisters + Cherry Blossom Festival!
3. Longer days, meaning more FL sunshine.
4. The first day of spring - March 21.
5. Easter is on its way + fun trip planned with my family.
6. Warmer weather so I can ride my pink townie Lilly!

Happy times are ahead!

March 2, 2010

Banana Bread Recipe

(Photo courtesy Food Network)

It's been rather cool in Florida and last night I decided there was no better time than the present to bake up some banana bread. I decided to try a new recipe and found one from no other than Flour Bakery in Boston. I've never been, but heard it's wonderful. After trying their recipe, the proof was in the pudding — or in this case the bread!

Flour's Famous Banana Bread

1 2/3 cup flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. salt
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
1/2 cup oil
3 1/2 bananas, mashed
2 tbsp. sour cream (I used greek yogurt)
1 tsp. vanilla

Sift together the flour, baking soda, cinnamon and salt. Beat sugar and eggs together. Add oil, bananas, sour cream and vanilla. Fold into dry ingredients. Bake at 350 for 45 minutes to one hour.

Enjoy!

March 1, 2010

Blue Note Ball

This past weekend was the Junior League of Greater Orlando's Blue Note Ball . . . and I certainly did have a ball! It was an "Old Florida" theme and was held in the Winter Park Farmer's Market. Decorations included crates/burlap sacks filled with oranges and we were even handed a sweet tea vodka drink in a mason jar at the entrance. There was a live band, silent and bucket auctions, a photo booth (so fun!) and lots of dancing. The food was delicious - yummy Southern food like ham on sweet potato biscuits, crabcakes, pulled pork and coleslaw, spinach salad, chicken fingers, mashed sweet potatoes and shrimp and grits. For dessert there was a s'mores station with marshmallows on a stick that were dipped in chocolate and rolled in graham cracker crumbs. It was quite yummy! I didn't win anything in the auction, but my bf won a meat smoker. Ha! It was the hot item of the night and everyone was talking about it.

A new philanthropic addition to the event this year was the Brown Bag Campaign. With our invitations we were all given a brown paper lunch sack and encouraged to fill it with donations. The reason for the sack is that it's what many children bring their lunch in to school, yet many Central Florida children have to go without lunch. All donations will go towards helping these children.

Invitation.

Invitation and bag for the Brown Bag Campaign.


Sweet Tea Vodka drinks in a mason jar :)

Me and my handsome date ;)
(Ignore the ugly armband)

Lots of fun auctions.

Photo booth (right corner).


I had such a great time and I'm sad it's over.
I heart JL!
 
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