Archive | June, 2012

The Travelling Elefant

28 Jun

As some of you can tell I have a powerful wanderlust. I love exploring new cultures and countries. I get a little bit depressed when I don’t have a trip on the books, something to look forward too. I am lucky enough to have traveled to many places already. If you haven’t had the opportunity to travel as much as you’d like and are looking for some travel inspiration here are a few trips I have posted under the Travelling Elefant. http://lechicelefant.com/travel/ Its still a work in progress so bear with me. There are many other places I still want to visit.  Here are a few on my bucket list.

Norway: Pulpit Rock

Peru: Machu Picchu

Photo By: Ross Borden

Oregon: Coast Line 

Turkey: Thermal Pools

The French Alps: Lake Annecy

“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines, sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.” – Mark Twain

~All photos I got off google images and could not find their owners, if one is yours please let me know.

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Vintage WWII Party

26 Jun

Happy Tuesday everyone! In my search for sensational party ideas I came across a Vintage World War II fourth of July party. Of course it was love at first sight! I found these pictures on simply stunning, and I have to say the party truly is stunning. It incorporates my love of vintage themes and it’s a unique idea.

Festive 4th of July Favorite

25 Jun

Beaches, barbeques, and boat rides.  That basically sums up our fourth of July plans. Whether you are going to a party or planning one, I am big on the menu, especially the desserts.  Just like fourth of July fireworks desserts are like the grand finale of the evening.  Here are a few that will have your party going out in a bang.

Sparkler Cupcakes- Better Homes and Garden.

Ingredients

  • 1/2cup red candy coating disks
  • 1/2 cup blue candy coating disks
  • 1/2 cup white candy coating disks
  • 2 1/2 cups Creamy White Frosting or canned creamy white frosting
  • 12Confetti Cupcakes or other 2-1/2-inch cupcakes in paper bake cups
  • Red, white, and blue sprinkles and/or jimmies (optional)
     
    Directions1.Place colored candy coating disks in three separate small microwave-safe bowls. Microwave one bowl on 100 percent power (high) for 30 seconds. Stir; microwave for 20 to 30 seconds more or until melted. Repeat, one at a time, with the remaining bowls of candy coating. Transfer the melted candy coatings to three small heavy resealable plastic bags. Snip off a small piece from one corner of each bag. On sheets of waxed paper, make 8- to 9-inch-long sticks (about 1/4-inch thickness) of each color candy coating by piping back and forth over waxed paper in a zigzag pattern. Let stand about 1 hour or until firm. (If necessary, place the sticks of candy coating in the freezer until firm.)2.Meanwhile, place Creamy White Frosting in a disposable pastry bag fitted with a medium star tip. Pipe frosting over Confetti Cupcakes.3.Break the zigzag sticks of candy coating into 3- to 4-inch lengths. Insert the candy sticks into frosting, radiating out from the center like a sparkler. If desired, sprinkle with colored sprinkles. Makes 12 (2-1/2-inch) cupcakes.

     
    Red, White and Blueberry Ice Cream Dessert – Better Homes and Garden. 
     
     
    Ingredients

    • pints raspberry sorbet, softened
    • pints vanilla ice cream, softened
    • recipe Hibiscus Syrup
    • Additional blueberries (optional)
       
      Directions1.Line two 8x4x2-inch loaf pans with foil, extend foil over pan edges; set aside. Spoon 1 pint of raspberry sorbet in each prepared pan; spread evenly. Cover and freeze 1 to 2 hours or until firm. One-half hour before spreading second layer, allow vanilla ice cream to soften 30 minutes in refrigerator. Spoon 1 pint softened vanilla ice cream on raspberry sorbet in each pan. Cover; freeze 4 hours or overnight until ice cream is firm. Place serving platter in freezer.2.To serve, remove ice cream loaves from pans, using foil to lift. Peel back foil and slice each loaf in 8 slices. Place slices on frozen serving platter. Serve with Hibiscus Syrup. Or scatter the additional blueberries over slices. Makes 16 servings.

      Fruit Tart Flag- Food Network
       
       

      Directions

      Fill premade miniature tart shells or phyllo cups with sweet mascarpone cream (recipe below), then arrange on a tray and top with blueberries and halved strawberry slices to create stars and stripes.

      Mascarpone Cream:

      Beat an 8-ounce container of mascarpone cheese and 3 tablespoons confectioners’ sugar with a mixer until smooth. Gently fold in 1/2 cup freshly whipped cream.

       

Party Time!

21 Jun

So you want to throw a party, but the whole idea seems a little overwhelming and a bit daunting? Where do I start? What should the theme be, where is it going to take place, who should I invite, where do I get the supplies?! Ok, Ok one step at a time! First, I always think of a theme even if it’s just a few colors that I want to thread throughout the party. Here are a few websites that will help you pick a theme and buy all the party supplies you need to ensure your party is epic…or at least it will look really good!

Birthday Party Express Why you’ll love it: It’s a one-stop shop. It has a ton of theme ideas and everything is packaged together so you don’t need to stress that the party hats match the plates, etc.

Oriental Trading Co.- Why you’ll love it: It’s great for bulk purchases, such as favors, or prizes for games. They have endless options.

Party City– Why you’ll love it: It has great sales and great variety.

Ikea– Why you’ll love it: It’s the dark horse of party supplies, but you can get some great paper goods for good deals and the colors are just a little bit different.

Save on Crafts– Why you’ll love it: This site is for my DIYers, so of course I am in love with it. If you are looking to get creative then this is your site. They also have the must current trends when it comes to entertaining.

Etsy: Why you’ll love it: Talk about customized! I love Etsy because you can really personalize anything and the shops are so easy to work with.

You’re Making Me Blush

19 Jun

I am trying to incorporate much more color into my life. I tend to gravitate towards black, grey, and blue. I seriously need to branch out. If you’re in a color slump, like me, check out the inspiration boards I have put together on a few colors that I really loving right now.

Blush: What is prettier than the color blush?  It’s just so girly and lovely. So, embrace your femininity and incorporate some blush into your life.

Inspiration: 1. Bare Face Mineral/ 2. Laughing with Angels/ 3. Riazzoli/ 4. Fossil 

Turquoise: I know, I know it’s basically blue, but I couldn’t resist the bright happy color of turquoise. It amps up a space, party, or outfit.

Inspiration: House of Turquoise

Coral: Coral is like the essence of summer. How can you not look at the brilliant shade and think of sandy beaches and summer tans?

Inspiration: 1. Breakfast at Yurmans/2. Radar to the Scene 3. Etsy 4. High Heels and Moccasins/ 5. J.Crew

Welcome Home

17 Jun

For some of you that have been with me since the begining you might be starting to wonder why I only talk about throwing parties but never actually throw one of my own. I promise you, I am not all talk, I am simply homeless! My husband and I have been in transition for about four months. I am happy to report that the end is near, in two weeks we close on our new house! I then guarantee we will have a huge summer party full of lots of DIY party ideas.

In the meantime, I have been getting antsy (I am sure my in-laws are getting antsy for us to leave as well:) ). I decided today I would make a wreath for our new door. It has our new house number on it which I think adds a personal touch. Here is the step- by-step guide on how to recreate it.

Materials needed: For the wreath and embellishments I used all natural materials.  I like the look of the dried lavender and pussy willows with the twig wreaths. Anything will work though.  Get creative!  You also need wooden numbers, paint, green wire, and a glue gun.

Step 1. Simply start by sliding the embellishments into the wreath, filling in however you like.

Step 2. Once you have the wreath filled in the way you like, flip it over and wire-wrap all the stems so that they are secure.

Here is what it should look like without the numbers.

Step 3. Apply the wood numbers. My craft store did not have any wooden numbers that would fit my wreath so I bought a sheet of thin wood and traced the numbers onto it. I then took an exacto blade and cut the numbers out.

Step 4. Paint the numbers

Step 5. Hot-glue green wire onto the back of the numbers.

Step 6. Add the numbers to the wreath!

DIY Puppy Popsicles

14 Jun

My precious, little (well not really so little, 70lbs) pup Dash had to undergo leg surgery a few months ago. Unfortunately that led to her leading a sedentary, very lazy recovery period where we couldn’t let her run and be playful. She has now fully recovered.  She is also seven pounds heavier. This posed a little bit of a problem for me because I love to spoil her with treats! I started making her puppy popsicles. It’s great because it’s a more healthy alternative than just giving her full treats.

Here is how it works, it’s pretty simple. Take a few of your dogs favorite treats. I used the small milk bone treats for this. 

Then stick them in a plastic bag and smash them up with a rolling pin.

Then take an ice cube tray filled with water and sprinkle the treats in.  Remember not to put them in your drinks!

 The end result, you get 12 treats while only using three small milk bones.

They look yummy don’t they? 🙂 Dash loves them so much, she now licks her lips and wags her tail every time someone gets something from the freezer! Now she can cool down like the rest of us on those hot, dog days of summer. 

You’re Invited to Attend

13 Jun

Who doesn’t love being invited to a party?  The invitation is so important and there is a reason why.  It’s the first glimpse your giving to your guests about your party. It’s the sneak peek of the main event. You are setting the tone.  Will it be a formal affair?  Is it going to be casual? Will the theme be cowboys and indians, or purple and chartreuse?  So choose carefully on the message you really want to send. Who knew picking out the invitations was so complicated right?  I have posted a few invitations I love right now, with the links on where they are from so you can peruse for yourself.

I love this invitation from Wedding Paper Diva becuase it has a vintage quality about it.

This invitation from Delphine Press is the epitome of a classic elegant invitation.

If laid back and casual is more your cup of tea this love note style invite from Elum evokes relaxed party.

Elum also does any other party invitation as well as birth announcements. Here is a cute old-fashioned feeling Christmas-party invite.

I, personally, am not a huge fan of modern style but I have a few friends that love the bold colors and clean lines. Here is a simple modern invitation from Betsy White.

Here is one of my personal favorites from Minted.  It’s so whimsical. Another plus is that these invitations are extremely affordable!

 

Patio Reveal

11 Jun

A few weeks ago I posted about how our patio set was in dire need of a little design TLC. Here is the post in case you forgot, or maybe you just blocked out the horrible ugliness.  The set itself is in great condition but the colors were quite worn out and the cushions had no padding left to them. I know, the horror! 🙂 Well finally after a long and painful search for the perfect-patio-poofs I have completed the set’s make-over. Here are a few before and after pictures. What do you think, is it more colorful and inviting?

BEFORE

AFTER

BEFORE CHAIR:

AFTER CHAIR:

 

Dad’s Day a BBQ Menu

10 Jun

I find it interesting that mom’s get a brunch and dad’s get a BBQ. I don’t make up the rules, I only follow them! My dad loves BBQ so I am not about to challenge tradition. I have, however, researched and found some twists on the classic grilled BBQ favorites.

Grilled Corn on the Cob with Garlic Butter, Fresh Lime and Cotija Cheese-From: Food Network

Ingredients

  • 8 ears corn
  • 4 fresh limes, quartered
  • Garlic butter, recipe follows
  • 1/2 cup grated cotija cheese
  • 2 tablespoons chopped chives, for garnish

Directions

Preheat grill to medium. Peel back the husks of the corn without removing them. Remove the silks and recover the corn with the husk. Soak in large bowl of cold water for 30 minutes. Remove corn from water and shake off excess. Place the corn on the grill, close the cover and grill for 15 to 20 minutes.

Unwrap corn and brush with the garlic butter. Sprinkle with the cotija cheese and squeeze with lime. Sprinkle with chopped chives, to garnish.

Perfect Grilled Vegetable Kebabs-From: Martha Stewart

Directions:

Just pick your veggie — or make mix-and-match kebabs — and master a few basic techniques. Always heat the grill to precisely the recommended temperature and use skewers to keep small or narrow veggies from falling into the fire (wooden ones should be soaked in water for 30 minutes beforehand so they don’t burn). Finally, if you’d like to add restaurant-worthy crosshatch marks, wait until the grate leaves a set of lines, then rotate the vegetables 90 degrees. It’s surefire advice for mouthwatering success.

For kebabs, thread mixed pieces onto skewers. Or use one vegetable, with garlic or herbs. Brush with olive oil, and grill over medium heat; turning, until marked and tender, 12 to 15 minutes (8 to 10 minutes for cherry tomatoes and boiled potatoes).

Grilled Chili Dogs-From Recipe.com 

Ingredients
  •  1  can (15 ounces) red kidney beans, drained, rinsed and coarsely mashed
  •  1  can (8 ounces) no-salt-added tomato sauce
  •  2  teaspoons sugar
  • 1 teaspoon chipotle chili powder (such as McCormick) or regular chili powder
  •  1/2  teaspoon ground cumin
  •  1/2  teaspoon dried oregano
  •  8 fat-free hot dogs (such as Ball Park)
  •  8 hot dogs rolls
  •  1/2  cup reduced-fat 4-cheese Mexican-blend shredded cheese
  •  1 small onion, peeled and finely chopped
    directions
    1.In medium-size saucepan, combine beans, tomato sauce, sugar, chili powder, cumin and oregano. Simmer on medium heat for 5 minutes, stirring.
    2.Spray a stovetop grill pan or skillet with nonstick cooking spray and heat over medium-high heat. Grill hot dogs for about 5 minutes, turning halfway.
    3.To serve, place hot dogs in rolls. Spoon chili over the top of each. Sprinkle each with 1 tablespoon of the cheese and some of the chopped onion.

    Grilled Banana Split Sundae-from Recipe.com 


    Ingredients
    • 2 firm, ripe bananas, unpeeled
    • 1  tablespoon honey
    • 1  pint vanilla ice cream
    • 1/2  cup fudge ice cream topping, heated
    • 1/4  cup coarsely chopped pecans or walnuts, toasted
    • Whipped cream (optional)
    Directions
    1. Slice bananas in half lengthwise and then crosswise so each banana yields four pieces (do not peel). Brush honey on cut sides of bananas. Let stand for 5 minutes.
    2. For a charcoal grill, grill bananas, cut-side down, on the rack of an uncovered grill directly over low coals for 2 minutes or until grill marks appear. Using a pair of long-handled tongs, turn over and grill 4 to 5 minutes more or until skin pulls away from the banana. (For a gas grill, preheat grill. Reduce heat to low. Place bananas on grill rack over heat. Cover and grill as above.)
    3. Peel banana pieces. Arrange 2 pieces of banana in each individual serving bowl. Top each serving with 2 small scoops of ice cream. Ladle 2 tablespoons of hot fudge over each sundae. Sprinkle each with 1 tablespoon of chopped nuts. If you like, add whipped cream and place a cherry on top. Serve immediately. Makes 4 servings.
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