Fashion, Food, Desserts, being a 30-something mom is exciting!

Archive for March, 2013

Happy Easter!

Happy Easter! We did very small baskets for the kids this year, as they have plenty of candy, and we are trying to get rid of things before their birthdays this year, so we decided less is more this year. Although I spent more!

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Sees Candy eggs and blow-pops. Kids were thrilled. I picked up a slightly larger egg for The Husband, but he devoured it before I could snap a photograph!!

On another note, I’ve been crafting this weekend, painting a piece of furnitre

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And changing this

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And it now has spa

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Hope you are having a wonderful Sunday afternoon! Happy Easter!

Don’t forget to enter my giveaway, it ends tonight at midnight: enter here

Until next time,

Jules


Easter Egg

Today I feel rather like an Easter egg. Of course I am enjoying it, the fun pastels!

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Cardigan: Target
Skirt: Lilth, thrifted, $4
Shoes: Christian Louboutin Strassed (by moi!) violet & violet AB
Handbag: Coach

As much as I adore Miss Beatrice, she is terribly heavy, so I’ve put her on shelf rest for a while. I have a small bruise on my left arm from carrying her there! (Granted I bruise super easy, but still!!)

The skirt, it’s one of the pieces I picked up on our thrifting excursion yesterday (don’t worry, I laundered it first!), I’m super excited about it! I love the colour.

Any big plans this weekend? Happy Easter!

Until next time,

Jules


Thursday Blues

I am feeling rather blue today, it’s super windy and it seems to me that there is a strange, not quite sure how to describe it, but it’s just the sense of something is going to happen. Something wild and strange. Perhaps I just didn’t get enough sleep last night!

I wasn’t thrilled with my shoe choice this morning, but I ran out of time, and so grabbed my most recent “standby” shoes & bag. I was going to change by bag as well, but again, time ran out on me this morning!!

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Cardigan: Target
Dress: Trina Turk, thrifted
Belt: The Cute and Sparkly Wife
Shoes: Christian Louboutin
Handbag: Hermes

And that my friends, is all I have for today! I scored some amazing deals on a quick thrifting trip this afternoon, but those I will save for another post. I have yet to decide what I’m keeping and what I’m going to resell. My operation “sell off on eBay” is going quite well!

Don’t forget to enter my giveaway , it ends on Sunday!

Until next time,

Jules


Wednesday Indecisiveness & Late Night Philosophy

Today I had the most terrible case of indecisiveness when it came to putting proper clothing on. I daresay it is the lingering effects of being slightly ill. However I pulled it together, as I had errands to run after my morning macaron party.

This is what I first had on:

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Cardigan: off eBay (Australian brand)
Skirt: Banana Republic
Shoes: Christian Loubouin Simples

I’m on such a navy & blue kick these days! No idea why, I don’t even own a navy handbag (may have to remedy that, and soon). Emerald green is another favorite of mine recently. Perhaps I am just learning to love colour.

What I ended up wearing today:

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Cardigan: Old Navy (I have these in 3 colours and duplicates of each colour.)
Blouse: Nanette Lepore
Camisole: Felina (also worn in my initial pairing)
Skirt: Banana Republic
Shoes: Christian Louboutin
Handbag: Miss Beatrice (Hermes Birkin)

I have realized lately I have been relying very heavily on my Christian Louboutin shoes. I fear my “others” in my closet are most likely feeling neglected and angry. Okay, maybe not as they are just shoes, but I really should try to wear my other shoes. It’s just hard, my Christian Louboutin flats and heels are just so comfortable. Really, like butter on my feet. In fact I’ve recently begun unloading on eBay some unworn shoes and clothing. In my recent closet reorganization I came to the realization that I either need an entire room for my “closet” space, or it’s time to scale back.

I’ve chosen at this point in my life to scale back. It’s hard, yes, but in the long run I think I will be more peaceful when it comes to dressing. I am ashamed to say I counted my cardigans this afternoon. Lets just say it’s not quite into 3-digit numbers, but it is close.

And my newest acquisition, Miss Beatrice. Oh my is she lovely. Excessive, outrageous, and one of 3 items in my fashion “bucket list”. The other two are: Chanel Bag & Burberry Trench. Specifically a pink Chanel bag with a linked heart strap. I saw it watching that show, The OC way back when. One of the girls carried it, and I’ve wanted one ever since!! The Burberry trench, well, it seems like something amazing. Not that I even wear the gorgeous trench coat I already own, but there you go. I probably will end up scratching it off the list eventually.

But acquiring Miss Beatrice has given me pause on “how much stuff do I really need?!”, and I’ve been working on that. I often purchase pieces to resell and then never get them listed. Not this past week!!! I’ve done rather well, netting over $750 in the span of 8 days. It’s encouraged me to keep listing and selling, although I need to set myself a goal, as I do much better with a goal in front of me! Perhaps if I keep it up finding that lovely Chanel bag will be a possibility! We shall see. I have only purchased one thing with my “earnings”, some crystals for a project I have planned for a charity event. Super excited!

So, anyway, it’s been a long day and I am going to turn in. Excited for tomorrow, we have a lovely day out planned with dear friends and our masses of children! I hope you enjoyed my tutorial I posted earlier, as well as my very random late-night musings above.

Don’t forget to enter my giveaway! It ends Sunday at midnight!!

Giveaway Here!

It’s open to all countries, and I have surprises set aside for each prize that I will not reveal until I package to ship. Needless to say, I’m excited to gift something fun and special to two of my readers!

Until next time,

Jules


French Macaron Tutorial

A while back I had a request to post a detailed “tutorial” on my French Macarons. Now, I’m by NO means a pastry chef, but I do bake as part of my event business. I am completely self-taught, loads of trial and error. My French Macaron recipe is tweaked to work for me, I cannot promise it will work for you. I altered and tinkered with about 7 different recipes, and this is my “this works well 90% of the time” outcome.

Recipe:

150 grams ground almonds
150 grams powdered sugar (I do not sift)
150 + 35 grams granulated sugar
50 grams water (I use filtered)
60 + 60 grams egg whites

I buy slivered almonds and process them myself, but you can buy pre-made almond flour. It’s just more expensive. I get slivered almonds for about $3/lb at Winco.

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I process about a pound at a time, as I’ll be making more Macarons next week. You don’t need nearly as much as shown above!

Then I measure out (food scale, digital, best $20 I have ever spent! Okay, maybe it’s neck and neck with my $20 Williams-Sonoma flour sifter!) 150 grams powdered almonds & 150 grams powdered sugar. Set this aside for later.

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Here’s the tricky part. Take 60 grams of egg whites and start mixing in large mixer until slightly foamy. While the egg whites are getting foamy, measure out 35 grams if granulated sugar:

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Add the sugar to the egg whites, put on medium (I have the larger kitchen aid mixer, I put it on a 5).

Now you will make the sugar syrup. (I use the Italian meringue method, it’s much more stable, and we are right at the high altitude marker) measure out 150 grams granulated sugar + 50 grams of water. I use this cute little 1.5c metal measuring cup, it fits perfectly on the stove and the size is splendid for this purpose. This sugar syrup will cook to 248-250 degrees. (Must use candy thermometer!!!)

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I tend to turn the stove up so this cooks quickly (I’m impatient!). The egg whites should have soft peaks by now. Turn the mixer down to low (I turn my off, apparently a huge no-no), and slowly ass the sugar syrup to the egg whites. Once well mixed turn that mixer up to med, and let it go for 10-15 minutes, or until it cools down (the bowl is warm not hot to the touch outside) and you have stiff shiny meringue!

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Now for the fun part! Take the bowl you set aside, and dump the other 60grams of egg whites in. This is where I add colour and flavour. Make it darker than you want, as when you add the merengue it gets pale. This batch is a pale blue-green and almond flavoured.

Mix until it’s all one smooth mass of goo. (No other way to describe it really!)

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By now your egg whites should be done. Probably good to turn that oven on to 325 (I use convection!!). I set my rack on the bottom half and only cook one sheet at a time. I also prepare my heavy pans with sil-pat mats. (You can also use parchment paper, I prefer the mats)

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And now, the fun. You add the merengue to the coloured mix, and give it 40-50 decent whips around the bowl. The consistency should be like a lava flow:

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You can’t go too wrong with the Italian method, it’s fairly stable. But be somewhat gentle. Too gentle and you have very bubbly cookies. It takes practice, so don’t worry if it comes out wonky the first time!

Now to fill the pastry bag and pipe onto the mats! Some people use a template, I just free form it. It works.

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Now tap the pans to catch the air bubbles, and pop them. Let it settle and they will smooth out.

Time to bake! I bake mine at 325 for 10 minutes. But your oven may vary. Cooking times is soooo scattered. Play around with it!

And voila! Ruffled feet!

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Now to fill, these are filled with an almond white chocolate buttercream. Mmmmmm!

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I fill the “macawrongs” too, the kids love them!

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Sooo. There ya go. Enjoy! Let me know if you try it and how my tinkered with recipe works for you.

Until next time,

Jules


A Few Days Recap….

As I have been gone for a few days, I remembered to snap photos before I left of some outfits. Yes, I plan my clothing in advance when I leave home! (And even then I have confusion and changes!!)

Soooo, for your viewing pleasure:

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Cardigan: Target (little girls’ section)
Dress: Kate Spade
Brooch on dress: Vintage
Shoes: Christian Louboutin flats (because I had lots of walking to do)
Handbag: Hermes Birkin (hereafter known as Miss Beatrice)

And this outfit:

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Top: Old Navy
Shorts: Kate Spade
Shoes: Christian Louboutin
Handbag: Miss Beatrice

Notice a trend here? I stuck with the same shoes quite a bit. And I’ve stuck with carrying Miss Beatrice around since last week. Hmm. My other bags might be getting jealous!

I changed my shoes here:

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Cardigan: Old Navy
Dress: Anthropologie
Shoes: Max Studio (thrifted for $3, a total random find! I was out shopping for costumes for a local theatrical production)
Handbag: Miss Beatrice

I also wore this & carried Miss Beatrice:

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Blouse: unknown, from It’s a Wrap in Burbank, Ca
Skirt: Kate Spade Lawson Skirt
Shoes: Christian Louboutin

And then there is today. I feel wretched, having overdone myself last week/weekend, but hauled myself into the closet and grabbed something slightly decent looking that is comfortable. Realizing I own no proper “loungewear”, not that is suitable for warm weather season that is! I feel rather Audrey Hepburn though, as long as you don’t see my poor red nose!

With belt & shoes:

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And how I’m really wearing it today, with the addition of a pair of slipper socks I took off as to not completely horrify anyone!

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Top: Old Navy (yes pictures with my shorts!)
Belt: Old Navy
Skirt: Unknown (swiped from a friend!)
Sandals: unknown. I bought these at a shoe shop in Sydney 4 years ago. They aren’t terrible comfortable, but they have glitter!!! It was at the end of my “bad fashion” years. (Truly, I would make the “don’t” list on glamour!!!)

I’m making a day of it in bed, as to get well as quickly as possible, for there are many other adventures planned over the course of a 2-week spring break my kids have. No time to be ill for an extended amount of time. Thank heavens I don’t have to work this week!

Don’t forget to enter my giveaway, I mean who isn’t joyful about free stuff?!
Giveaway Here

I mean, what girl doesn’t need a Kate Spade statement necklace? Good luck!

Until next time,

Jules


Anniversary Giveaway!

As promised last week, I am posting the giveaway & rules to honor my one-year blog-aversary!

First, the prizes, there will be two:

This fun Glamour Do’s and Don’ts of Fashion book + the black cosmetic bag filled with some surprises!

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And secondly, this lovely Kate Spade Daisy statement necklace + a set of custom embellished notecards from The Cute and Sparkly Wife (cards not pictured)

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Rules are as follows:

1. Open to anyone anywhere. Even international readers. (Although the book may be substituted)

2. To enter: leave a comment (not just a “like”, but a comment!) on this post.

3. You may gain one additional entry by emailing me: katespadegirlblog@gmail.com

4. Winner will be chosen by random on April 1, 2013. Contest ends at Midnight (PST) on March 31, 2013.

This giveaway is sponsored solely by me, no good or services were offered.

I wanted to keep it simple and straightforward! Good luck!

Until next time,

Jules