Thursday, November 29, 2012

#SawPinnedConquered: Fruit Cookie Cups


I have been waiting a few weeks to share this recipe with you, and am beyond excited! I mean seriously, how beautiful are these babies?! Alas, I cannot take credit for this, but rather my sister-in-law Megan.  It started off as her amazing fruit pizza, and thanks to Pinterest, morphed into the most beautiful dessert you will ever make.


While planning the menu for game night, Meg remembered seeing these beauties on Pinterest, and decided it was a great way to take her fruit pizza and make it finger food.  I immediately stole the idea and took it to Thanksgiving dinner.  Another immediate success!

When we made these at Meg's house, we used the fruit she had on hand, mandarin oranges, green grapes, blueberries, and strawberries.  Since I had none of that on hand, I bought all that plus kiwi. 


I did alter my recipe slightly as I preferred less cream cheese filling and more fruit, using 1/3 less than Meg's recipe. Our filling is completely different than the filling in the original pin, which uses Cool Whip (I'm not a fan!)


Fruit Cookie Cups
Source: Adapted from Original Source
Makes: 24 Mini-Cups

Ingredients:

1      Package Pillsbury Refrigerated Sugar Cookie Dough
1      8oz package cream cheese, softened
1/4   cup sugar
1/2   tsp vanilla
Assorted Fruits, chopped to equal size

Directions:

1.) Preheat oven to 350 and grease a 24-count mini-muffin pan (or use liners)
2.) Slice sugar cookie dough into 24 equal parts, roll into a ball, and place in each muffin cup
3.) Using your thumb, mold the sugar cookie dough into the shape of the muffin tin, ensuring they stay equal thickness
4.) Bake at 350 for 10-12 minutes. Watch them!
5.) Remove from oven when golden brown. They will be puffy, but will lose that upon cooling. Once cool, transfer to a serving platter, tray, etc. 
6.) Mix the cream cheese, sugar, and vanilla extract together in a mixture. Pipe into the cooled cookies.  Top with fruit.


Here are a few tips:
-I spooned my cream cheese mixture into a ziplock bag, clipped the corner, and piped the 24 muffins.
-Meg's version just multiplied the above by 1.5
-Remove the cookies from the muffin pan before you decorate them!
-Removal can be tricky. A tip: push down slightly on the outside rim of the cookie, and rotate slightly, unsticking it from the pan.


I highly recommend making these, they are simple to prepare and are completely delicious!

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Office Inspiration: Desk


{via}
 
Now that I will be working from home, it's time to make myself a grown-up office.  I should say that it's not like my office isn't a grown up office now, I just want the place I will be spending 8-10 hours a day to be amazing.  I have the opportunity to pick the decoration in my working office- I mean think about it, how cool is that?!? My last office was horribly dated, had seriously mold and insect problems, and had these tacky, 4-5 foot tall posters with models pretending to be happy job-seekers. 

First and foremost, my desk.  Even with the lights my husband put in, my desk just won't cut it. The main problem with my desk as you can see from the picture is the size, mainly the depth. I had a general idea of what I wanted in a desk, and set out looking.

 
I had settled on the Parsons desk from West Elm, but wasn't in love with the $349 pricetag.

{via}


{via}

{via}
This past Friday I decided to check out Craig's List for the heck of it and found this beauty:


I had intended on painting it white, but the top is inlaid and absolutely a work of art, and decided against it. The only problem is I now have to change my entire planogramm for my office, including the paint color.

For now, here are some snapshots of inspiration for my new office, focusing primarily on pink & gold:

{1//2//3//4//5//6//7//8//9}
 
What do you think so far?

Monday, November 26, 2012

#ManiMonday: Zoya Indigo


Happy Monday! How was your weekend? Mine was fabulous- relaxing and spent eating and spending time with family, what more could I ask for?

Zoya Indigo is a dark, ink-blue polish with holographic glitter believe it or not.  The glitter is visible in the bottle, but once you paint it on the nail, it disappears. You can see a speck of it in this picture on my middle finger:


and in this bottle shot:


Zoya retails for $8 and can be found here or at Ulta, and is a 5-free brand! Make sure to like Zoya on facebook, this time of year they will begin to have AMAZING promotions for the holidays.  At the very least visit Zoya.com and create an account.

Hope you have a great day!

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Happy Thanksgiving

{via}
Happy Thanksgiving my friends & family! I pray that you have a blessed holiday surrounded by your loved ones, ever being thankful.  I know I take many things for granted, my freedoms, my family, my creature comforts, and am thankful for this day to reflect and be thankful for them.

Monday, November 19, 2012

#ManiMonday: Shellac Disaster

You may remember from a few weeks ago my moaning and anger regarding my Shellac experience? Today I want to share the evidence, my friends.

I should start off by saying I know I am a snob, and not your average customer, but come on.  I didn't pay $35 to have you paint my fingers.  And when we're conversing and I tell you that although I am not a certified nail tech, I consider myself an expert-every girl, and have high standards, you should have put forth your best effort. 



The pictures above are immediately upon leaving the salon.  Not only was there no clean line around my cuticles, there was uneven paint, leaving streaks and spots of visible nail. After some clean-up at home, I was left with this:



I will say I LOVED the color combination, Shellac 'Asphalt' and 'Zillionaire,' even if 2 coats of Asphalt was needed.  I will be reenacting this manicure with regular polish, I am thinking the closest dupes would be Zoya 'Dove' and Nubar '2010'. 

I did love the longevity of the polish as well and the strength it gave my nails.  I took it off within the first week as I was unhappy with the cuticle cleanup/lines plus I wanted to paint something different.


Removal, although a little time consuming was a breeze.  I used the foil method, soaking a cotton ball in acetone polish, resting it on my nail, and wrapping with foil for 15-20 minutes.  Upon removing the foil, the polish scrapes off easily with an orange stick/cuticle stick.  The only damage I sustained was on my pinkie from peeling off polish at the office, my own doing.

Overall, I will not be paying for gel polish applied "professionally" again.  I am considering investing in an at-home system and will do them myself.  I have done a lot of research in this area and had initially decided on Gelish, but with Sally Hansen and Sensationail receiving rave reviews, I will be looking in to that.

I don't want to discourage you from getting gel manicures, I have heard many people say how much they love it.  I would just be careful where you go.  I had my reservations ahead of time, but decided to stop being such a type A personality and trust a certified nail tech.  Yeah, my mistake. 

I learned a $35 lesson here folks, I have high standards when it comes to my nails, and will only do my own nails from now on.  And hey, when I do invest in a system I will be glad to give out high quality manicures to my friends and family!

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Recipe: Reuben Rolls


Reuben Rolls
Source

3/4 cup Thousand Island dressing
1/4 cup Dusseldorf mustard
2 tablespoons wine vinegar
1 teaspoon plus 1/4 cup minced onion (divided)
1 teaspoon minced garlic
Dash of Worcestershire sauce
Dash of hot pepper sauce
8 ounces corned beef (ground or shredded)
6 ounces shredded Swiss cheese
1/2 cup sauerkraut, rinsed and drained
12 to 15 egg roll wrappers
Vegetable oil

Make dipping sauce by combining dressing, mustard, vinegar, 1 teaspoon minced onion, the garlic, Worcestershire sauce and hot pepper sauce. Set aside.

To make rolls: Combine corned beef, cheese, sauerkraut and remaining 1/4 cup onion and mix well. Place about 2 tablespoons of the mixture in the center of an egg roll wrapper. Roll up as directed on package, sealing edges with a little water.

Deep-fry rolls in 2 to 3 inches of vegetable oil, heated to 325 to 350 degrees, until golden brown, about 3 to 4 minutes, turning to brown evenly. When done, remove from oil with slotted spoon and drain on paper towel. Serve with dipping sauce.

Makes 12 to 15 rolls.


This past weekend we visited my younger brother and his wife in NC and made these glorious treats.  If you love Reubens as much as I do, these are heavenly.  Just think...a deep fried Reuben...yeah, my mouth is watering for them right now.


A few substitutions: we used Dijon mustard, corned beef from the deli counter, sriracha sauce, and doubled the recipe. I will say having a fryer makes the work so much easier- who has the time or patience to sit over a skillet?


Is this something you would make for you or your family?

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Pretty Perfection: Wallpaper


I don't know if it's just me, but the word 'wallpaper' sends chills down my back, and not in a good way.  I immediately picture bad prints, usually tiny and repetitive, and let's just say dated. In the last few years I have noticed that wallpaper is making a comeback.


My mom told me at a young age that everything comes back...bell bottoms, suspenders, neon, etc.  In the case of wallpaper, I think I am ok with it.  These bold, bright prints are absolutely beautiful!


I am considering a remodel of my home-office, the only room I am brave enough to attempt wallpaper on.  Yes, it's gorgeous and stylish and hip...but it still has that bad reputation! Have any of you removed wallpaper?

When we moved into our house we remodelled the 'nursery' into my office, and removing the wallpaper banner was bad enough.  I can't imagine removing this off walls!


For now I will stick with neutral paint colors and just dream while looking at these beautiful and bold prints.


What are your thoughts on wallpaper? Is it something you'd use or something that should stay in the 70's and 80s?


Photos from House Beautiful, October 2012

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Blogaversary: A Reflection

As I look back over the past year, I can’t help but smile at the things I have learned through blogging. It’s been over a year, and this post is way overdue, but I wanted to share this with you, my blog friends.

{Fashion Leap: Maxi Skirt and Bare Arms}

Fashion
Over the last year my fashion-style has changed considerably.  I say evolved, but it is evolving more and more every day thanks to blogging.  I believe the experiences over the last 10 years of my life had shaped my fashion sense, and left me in a rut.  The professional positions I worked required me to wear suits and business dress during the day, with my off hours attired in sweat pants and t-shirts.  I really didn’t know how to bridge the gap between my professional and my personal wardrobe.
When I was dressing for occasions outside of work I felt like I looked like a Real Housewife, jeans, heels and an embellished tank and cardigan.  I am not saying this is a bad look, believe me, I still wear versions of this to work and events now.  I just wasn’t dressing my age or to my liking. 
My shopping habits pre-blogging consisted of trips to Macy’s where I would pick up a few pairs of CK jeans, tops, etc. with little room for creativity and my own style.  My makeup routine consisted of LancĂ´me products mainly, my hair was blow dried straight everyday, and my jewelry was the same pieces rotated in and out. 

{New Hairstyles and Bold Makeup}
Then came blogging. And style inspiration. And curly hair. And wavy hair. And braided hair.  And breaking out of my comfort zone. And where I am today. Like I said before, my style is still evolving, but has made considerable leaps from where it was previously. 

{Sequins}

Some of my new (favorite) style trends: maxi skirts, animal print, sequins, skinny jeans, boots, scarves, statement jewelry, and a variety of new beauty products which have been inserted into my daily routine.

{Fashion Leap: Cat Eye Glasses}


Social

I would have to say this is the change that means the most to me, the social aspect.  Due to the fact that I had to leave college early and go to work full time, I never really had true friends.  I’ve had acquaintances over the years, but no true girlfriends who I can tell anything to.  At times this bothers me, but then I remember I have something better than ‘true girlfriends,’ I have a sister. My sister Lyn has been my rock, my fortress, my best friend, my confidant, my counselor, and my sounding board for 26 years now. Although it hurt, I always took solace in the fact that I didn’t need friends; I had my siblings and my work acquaintances.  Then I moved away from my family.

{My Sister & BFF Lyn}
Since moving to Virginia, I have had the worst time trying to make friends.  I am a fish out of water.  And this time, I don’t have my sister; she’s a couple hundred miles away.  I just don’t fit in here, and it’s not for a lack of trying.  I’ve met women through school, work, and church, and nothing ever sticks and I don’t understand it! Is it because I don’t have children? Is  it because I’m not from here? I personally don’t see them as being reasons to not friend someone, but maybe I brought out insecurities in people?
My sister in law Dawn told me people make friends based on shared experiences, such as college students, new moms, working moms, etc.  It was a light bulb moment!  And I was more than happy to resign myself to having family as my friends for the rest of my life.

{Siblings}

{Family}
 
{A New Sister!}
 
{Sisters & Nieces}
Then came blogging. And ‘meeting’ numerous women just like me, women who enjoyed magazines, fashion, style, and other pretty things. I immediately felt at home, like I belonged. I didn’t feel like the odd man out anymore, I found my people! Being isolated in the middle of Virginia I haven’t gotten the chance to meet any blogging friends face to face yet, but for now Twitter, Facebook, instagram and Skype fill my void. Thank you blogging ‘friends,’ you have given me reasons to smile.
The past few months have been on the cruddy side, and my blog has given me reasons to smile daily.  It forces me to concentrate on the positive, finding new ways to make my readers smile, interacting with blogging friends, and more importantly distracting me from issues I have no control over.  The escape the blog provides me through pretty perfection, pinterest, social networking, etc. has kept me sane!

What does blogging mean to you?

Monday, November 5, 2012

Stocking Stuffer Swap


Come one, come all... we are asking any and all bloggers to join in on some holiday cheer while we celebrate the Christmas season in complete blogger style! No matter if you were naughty or nice (we really don't care!) we want you to link up so that you can be paired up with another blogger and spread the joy of gift giving and receiving.

You may have seen some buzz on twitter (@pinkofperfect & @darlingblog) or maybe you ♥ed the insta posts last week. No matter how or where you saw it, we are officially announcing the

1st Annual Stocking Stuffer Swap
The "rules" are simple:
1. Follow both At the Pink of Perfection & Delightfully Darling via GFC or Bloglovin'
2. Fill out the sign up form HERE.
3. You will be assigned a partner and notified by email or blog comment 
who to gift by Monday, November 19th.
4.Visit your partner's blog and get some inspiration for the perfect stocking stuffers, and get to know them while you're there!
5. Purchase your super cute stocking stuffers 
(must be a new item(s) and valued at $20 before shipping)
6. Mail your item(s) by November 30th.
7. Receive gift & write a post or record a vlog showing off your present. 
This post will need to publish on or before December 7th.
8. Link up here on Friday, December 7th so we can all share in the holiday cheer!!!

If your feeling fancy, snag the button below and tell your readers that you are participating in this awesome Stocking Stuffer Swap, after all... the more the merrier! If you require a different sized button, just email delightfullydarling@gmail.com

Grab button for Stocking Stuffer Swap
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ManiMonday: The Man With the Golden Gun


Ever since I laid eyes on this polish over the summer, I have been dreaming about it! I could not stop thinking about it, and am so happy I have it now! The price is steep at $39, but I was able to pick it up off ebay for $23 with free shipping!


This is the only polish I had to have from the Skyfall Bond collection, and cannot wait to use this on other colors!




This is 2 coats of 'Man with the Golden Gun' over 2 coats of Essie 'Wicked.' What do you think?

 
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