i love outdoor spaces

Pretty outdoor spaces are my favorite – and these pictures reflect perfectly my daydreaming today in this gray, gloomy weather! As soon as the sun comes out, I am planning a little picnic outside with lots of pillows, Shabby Chic blankets, and flowers galore. So romantic. I might even dress up and pretend I’m Keira Knightley in Pride and Prejudice.

Gorgeous. So relaxing. I could spend hours on this bench reading the next book on my list: Belle in the Big Apple. Very intellectual.

The perfect picnic and most romantic setting in the world.

I love these pillows and chairs for the beach. So cute! And I want that fabric.

Hammocks: amazing.

I love prairie-style pictures like this. And the lanterns hanging from the tree are beautiful!

Twinkle lights AND a hammock: heaven!

Imagine having a rose-covered tree swing as a little girl – too precious!

All images are courtesy of Pinterest.

make your own bookplates

One of the most thoughtful graduation gifts I ever received was a collection of my favorite classic novels – Pride and Prejudice, War and Peace, Anna Karenina, and Crime and Punishment – in special collector’s edition hardcovers. Is it nerdy how much I love them?

If you’re looking for a graduation gift over the next few weeks, this is an easy, affordable, and meaningful gift for that lucky graduate! You can personalize it by adding one of these homemade bookplates too. I made these with decorative paper (the kind I was busy searching for at Michael’s yesterday!) and a template I made for the bookplate insert itself. These templates are attached as PDFs below in maroon, black, light blue, and light green! The PDFs are already sized, so all you need to do is print!

Template for Light Blue Bookplate


mba lesson of the week #6

May 25, 2011

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my favorite things: cupcakes

May 25, 2011

Today was my C&C day – Cardio & Color – with my lovely mom, aunt, and baby cousin…who I’ve decided is the cutest little thing in the entire world. Just love her!

The four of us went on a nice walk by the beach. And everyone knows that after you engage in any exercise at all, you are deserving of a cupcake (or two, or three). On our way home from the walk, my mom and I stopped by this amazing bakery, thanks to my aunt’s excellent taste, and I just had to share the pictures with you.

If any of you have seen the movie Bridesmaids, it reminded me of Annie’s “Cake Baby” cake shop (a fantasy of mine!). And what’s even better is that the bakery is vintage-style – the girls wear vintage aprons, they serve cupcakes on vintage trays, all of the signs are vintage, and everything is perfect!

Isn’t this sign the cutest?

And this sign too?

Such a princess cupcake with a pink glitter rose on top.

Chocolate heaven.

Bumble bee chocolate cupcake with delicious honey frosting.

Mint dream dipped in chocolate.

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“life is precious” jar

May 23, 2011

I made one of these jars for my mom on Mother’s Day last year to express my gratitude for everything that she does for me, and today decided to expand it to everything in life that I am grateful for – what makes life precious.

I thought it would be a cute gift idea that you might enjoy! Happy Monday!

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chocolate-dipped macaroons

May 19, 2011

Last month, while I was drooling over Reese Witherspoon’s pink wedding dress in her exclusive article in People magazine, I came across a recipe for homemade macaroons by…who would have thought…one of my favorite women from the Real Housewives of New York City, Jill Zarin!

As a former devoted Real Housewives fan (until I started taking night classes), I knew I HAD to try this recipe. Especially when I saw how easy the recipe is, and that it only has six ingredients. They taste incredible!

Chocolate-Dipped Macaroons

Adapted from Jill Zarin

Makes 30 macaroons.

2 14-ounce bags of sweetened, flaked coconut
1 14-ounce can of sweetened condensed milk
2 tablespoons of sour cream
1 tablespoon of heavy cream
1 1/2 teaspoons of vanilla extract
1 12-ounce bag of semi-sweet chocolate chips

1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees.

2. Mix coconut, sweetened condensed milk, sour cream, heavy cream, and vanilla extract.

3. Scoop small spoonfuls of coconut mixture (I’d recommend using your hands) and press the mixture firmly together so that it doesn’t break apart after baking. Place on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper.

4. Bake for 22 to 24 minutes. Let cool.

5. Double boil semi-sweet chocolate chips until melted. Dip macaroons into the melted chocolate, and let cool. Enjoy!

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mba lesson of the week #5

May 18, 2011

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May 18, 2011

Well, I made it! Survived one of the most challenging school semesters to date, and I couldn’t feel better! As long as I don’t think about my three looming summer school classes… I’m going to focus on the now.

What is most exciting is that finance…accounting…operations…economics… will never, ever again be a part of my life! I got my fill. And I am definitely done.

Summer Bucket List

Have a day devoted to watching romantic comedies in my pajamas. The entire day. Be a couch potato. Eat a 2-pound box of See’s candies as I sob my way though the predictable happy endings that I adore. Spend another day watching the Oprah Winfrey Network. I’ll need some way of coping with the end of her show.

Clean my room, car, closet, bathroom – everywhere that I have gradually been cluttering up throughout the past 5 months and only now have time to obsessively organize. Invest in a labelmaker.

Take advantage of the beautiful place I live! Learn how to surf – and not just in the whitewash. As a California native, this is a must. Also, get in on the new trend of stand-up surfing, aka paddleboarding, with my grandparents. Run on the beach. Yoga on the beach. Ignore the weird stares as people walk by my yoga poses.

Make a gourmet breakfast – and I’m not talking eggs and bacon, but the whole shebang. Homemade sticky buns, cinnamon rolls, fresh-squeezed juices, everything. Just to make up for any pounds I shed from all my surfing.

Go to lots of country concerts. I’m thinking Tim McGraw, The Band Perry, Luke Bryan, Sugarland, and Toby Keith. My cowboy boots will be getting a lot of use this summer. Speaking of country, see a drive-in movie from the bed of a truck. Also wearing cowboy boots. Indulge in milkshakes and burgers. (I must be hungry writing this list with all of these food references…)

The three C’s: Cook, Craft, Create. Spend a day outside in the sun blasting the August Rush soundtrack while painting the most girly, dainty roses I can imagine. Keep up my adventures in cooking – watch out Julia Child! Get better at documenting my creations. And share all of this with you! I love blogging!

“We begin to find and become ourselves when we notice how we are already found, already truly, entirely, wildly, messily, marvelously who we were born to be.”
— Anne Lamott

Image from Pinterest.

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May 14, 2011

I hope all of you are having a very fun Saturday night…hopefully slightly more fun than making this one-page “cheatsheet” that I’m allowed to use on a big operations final this week! I am fully taking advantage of this opportunity… and yes, that is size 4 font… I’ll be the one with a magnifying glass out in class.

More crafty/cooking posts to come soon! As soon as these finals are over – and believe me, they can’t come soon enough – I will be back to my happy domestic self, free from inventory, production schedules, and kanbans. And finance. Lots of finance. But at this point I don’t have a clue what is on my finance final… clearly I have a lot more studying to do! 🙂

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tiny matchboxes

May 11, 2011

It’s finals week. Seven of the nine classes down, two to go. Never mind that they’re the hardest finals I have yet – but they are clearly a lower priority than 1) catching up on all of my TV for the week, 2) reorganizing my sock drawer, 3) exercising (if you saw a girl singing – and occasionally dancing to – the Glee cover of Rebecca Black’s “Friday” while running on the beach, that was me), and 4) following through on a crafty little dream I had the other day to decorate tiny matchboxes with cute paper, ribbon, mini rosettes and any other girly things I can get my hands on. Then, print tiny notes to put inside of them, or fill them with candy, earrings and gifts.

These are worth failing my finals for!

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