Candy Heart Lantern
Everyone loves the classic candy hearts on Valentines Day so I wanted to incorporate them into a DIY decor project for the holiday. I was going through my closet of craft stuff and found a paper lantern and big old bag of the candy hearts. Why not combine the two and make something fab and unique! This candy lantern is a great item of display windows in stores, home entry ways, over a dining room table or wresting on any table top!
The lantern , available at any Party City, has a battery run light at the bottom to make our candy heart lantern shine bright! This is what ya do! Take candy hearts and a glue gun and paste them onto your paper lantern! I glued the hearts along the already made wire lines of the lantern as an easy way to make straight sections.
Then, simply hang or place your finished lantern for a a cute and unique Valentines Day look! I love this candy heart lantern because it legit takes ten minutes to make and looks like a million bucks! Its also a cheap DIY project that will create tons of atmosphere in whatever room you place it! This is an awesome piece for party decor as well! A bunch of them hung together would look amazing!
Send me your Valentines Day DIY Projects and get featured here on the big day!
Good Day LA
Yesterday, I went on Good Day LA to model some Valentines Day fashion finds with style expert Jamie Krell! I had such a great time and got to rock some awesome bow shoes from Sole Society and absolutely love everything they do! Its my new obsession. Sole Society delivers the hottest shoe trends to your door at affordable prices. I’m talking the cutest shoes ever for $49.00! Yup! Most of their shoes, and all trendy and fab, are usually $49. Honestly such a great find!
Valentines Day Boxer Shorts
I am so obsessed with this gift for the man in your life! I love buying boxer shorts for my boyfriend because there are so many fun options and I also love personalized gifts so this is right up my alley! What do you think? Would you get this for your love? These Valentines Day boxer shorts are a great little gift that your man can use all year round and sooo on your budget! Lovin em!
These personalized Valentines Day boxer shorts can be found here for $22!
Valentines Day Centerpiece
Candy hearts are a classic Valentines day treat and one that is perfect for decor! They actually seem to be creeping up everywhere. Even on chinese take out boxes! These mini boxes are available at World Market and make the perfect base for flower arrangements. Pair those boxes with some cute pink and white striped candles enclosed in a candy heart rectangle and you have wonderfully unique and romantic valentines day centerpiece!
First, cut a circle out of the top of the chinese take out boxes and secure the flaps with double sided tape! Place a shot glass in the box for 4 mini pink roses to sit in. Set them in the box so they are bursting out of the whole! You can add some greens to the center box to create some depth and texture and break up the flower design of the entire centerpiece! You don’t want all three box arrangements looking the same!
Then, place candles between the take out boxes in a line and finish it off with surrounding the candles and take out boxes with candy hearts! Super cute and so easy! The perfect Valentines Day centerpiece! Hostess Handbook tip: Get these candles at Rite Aid for $1.30!
The Los Angles Times travel show sounds like so much fun and a much needed getaway in your own backyard. We are now in the dead of winter and I know a lot of us are dreaming about vacations in exotic places with sparkling water and pristine beaches. However, you don’t have to travel anywhere but to the LA convention center to get a piece of all that vacation bliss. Check out the “Travel in Style Pavilion” and enjoy interactive experiences to pamper and transport you to vacation heaven! The Los Angeles Times travel show will also have a “Culinary Stage” where you can try dishes from around the world! This sounds right up my alley! Pampering and eating! Wahoo! There will also be vacation giveaways and other interactive experiences to get you in the vacation mode! The perfect cure for the common winter blues! I am so pumped!
Splish Splash without getting wet!
Try a Zip Line!
Quinoa with Mushrooms and Parmesan
Dinner parties are always super fun but the menu can be stressful! You want to make dishes that people will remember and want to re-create at home! This quinoa with mushrooms and parmesan recipe is really simple and unique and will definitely get guests talking! Its a great substitute for rice, roasted potatoes blah blah blah. You have to get creative with your sides and this is a wonderful solution!
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 clove of garlic chopped
1 onion choppped
2 cups mushrooms chopped
1 1/2 tablespoon butter
1 1/2 cups quinoa rinsed
3 cups chicken broth
1/2 cup grated parmesan
Take the olive oil and heat it in a skillet with the onions, garlic and mushrooms till browned.
Take a sauce pan and melt the butter in it. Add the quinoa and mix for about two minutes and then add the chicken broth to the pot. Bring the mixture to a boil and then down to a simmer for 10 minutes.
Mix in the parmesan and the olive oil, onions, garlic and mushrooms to the cooked quinoa! Voila you have quinoa with mushrooms and parmesan! I like to sprinkle some parmesan on top and a medley of pepper to create a nice presentation!
Maple Bacon Beer
Yup, it exists! Maple bacon beer is a real thing and the bottling is sooo super cute that I had to cover this item for a great hostess gift! The super bowl is coming up this weekend and this would be such a hit at any party! Everyone will want to try what this beer tastes like! Also Mardi Gras is upon us and this Rogue Voodoo maple bacon beer would be another great gift for all of your celebrations leading up to Fat Tuesday!
You can buy this beer at World Market or online here
Alfred Coffee Shop
The long anticipated opening of Alfred Coffee shop has arrived! This Melrose Place neighborhood spot fulfills all of our dreams. As one of the locals, I have been waiting for this boutique coffee shop and am glad to see that I am beyond impressed with its selection of Stumptown coffee , delectable pastries and homey decor! Everything you want in a coffee shop to call your own!
Eater LA- Elizabeth Daniels
I had the pleasure of meeting the owner who took me through his favorite selections, among them are the sour cherry and chocolate scones. YUMmazing! That will have to become a staple of my diet! Another must try item is the Stumptown iced coffee. Take it on the road with you with this bottled drink that is made by “cold brew,” not poured over ice and then watered down! You get the full caffeine affect!
Now, here comes the most exciting part for me! Obvi, I love throwing my DIY parties and so I asked if the owner would be open to allowing people to have parties in the space after hours and he is Down! Wahoo. It is a perfect atmosphere for a low key party, opening, comedy show, neighborhood music venue!
To inquire about gatherings at Alfred Coffee Shop please e-mail
Talk Show Appearence
I am beyond thrilled to be writing this article about my FIRST talk show appearance for The Hostess Handbook! I went on a new talk show called Naturally Beautiful on the Veria Network, which is a cable network focused on health and wellness. Actually, its the only network on TV that is all about health and wellness. Pretty cool. I went on the show to teach some DIY tricks for making your own makeup! Yup, I was on TV digging into aloe vera plants and using the gel to make lip glosses and mascara! I had sooo much fun and everyone on set was amazing. So warm and welcoming! I cannot wait for you all to see the segments. I am in three of them!
The first is where I show people how to make mascara, bronzer, lip and cheek stain all out of natural products such as beets and corn starch. Yup, basically everything in your kitchen sink. Then, I have a mini interview about the DIY parties I throw and then another segment where we do a makeover with the homemade makeup products.
80's Lipstick Nails
Of course, I had to get my nails tricked out for the segment as only I can do! I decided to go 80′s makeup chic! So kitschy! Wahoo!!!! I will let you all know when the air date will be and what channel to find the segments on!
Valentines day is around the corner and it is a super busy time for gatherings and parties. You obvi want to have some cool accessories at your party but don’t want to spend a fortune soooo I suggest making these heart straws. They are super easy to put together and will cost you about 10 bucks for 100 straws. Pretty good deal! This is what ya need to do!
Take pipe cleaners and make them into heart shapes
Take a funky straw like this red striped one!
Take a glue gun and glue the two together. Easy peasy!
LA Bacon Festival
Yup, you read it right! There is going to be an LA bacon festival in February and I am beyond excited! What a fun event for the dining diva in us all. I can’t wait to taste all the savory and sweet dishes they whip up with this old time classic ingredient. The festival is only for one day sooo I wanted to give you a heads up before it gets sold out. The LA bacon festival will be held on February 9th from 2-6pm at the Peterson Auto Museum so get on it befor it sells out!
H and M Striped Dress
Be bold this new year in a fun black and white striped dress from H and M! This number will definitely make you a hit at any party. If you got, it flaunt it girl! Pair with a great black and gold studded purse and heels for a killer look!
This striped dress screams sexy jail maven for Valentines Day! Just a thought!
Homemade Strawberry Tart Recipe
Contributing Chef- Abby Reibman- Author of The Desk and The Stove
This homemade strawberry tart is one of my all-time favorite summer desserts – the fresh strawberries, vanilla pastry cream and lemon crust all work so well together, and, remind me of lazy Sundays spent at Nonna’s house near Rome. Serve this tasty treat with a glass of Prosecco for your summer get-togethers. A word to the wise: try to save a slice – it might just be even more delicious for breakfast!
½ cup unsalted butter, chilled and cut into cubes
½ cup plus 1 tbl sugar
1 egg, plus 1 yolk
1 2/3 cup AP flour
zest from ½ lemon
3/4 tsp baking powder
Pinch of salt
2-3 cups strawberries, sliced
Lemon zest cut into strips
½ cup sugar
½ cup water
2 1/8 cups milk
½ vanilla pod
zest from ½ lemon
4 egg yolks
¼ cup, plus 2 tbl sugar
2 tbl AP flour
2 tbl corn starch
1- In a large bowl, mix together the chilled butter into the flour with your hands, working quickly. Add the egg, egg yolk, sugar lemon zest, baking powder and salt and gather together. Quickly knead the dough into a ball, flatten into a disk and wrap in plastic wrap. Let chill in the fridge for at least 45 min.
2- Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 350 F and begin the pastry cream.
- Pour the milk into a pot and add the vanilla seeds and lemon zest. Bring it to boil; once reached, remove from the heat and let stand for 10 min.
- Whisk together the egg yolks and the sugar until they become pale yellow (the ribbon stage). Add the flour and cornstarch to the sugar/egg yolk and whisk to combine.
- Add a bit of the milk/vanilla/lemon zest mixture to the eggs/sugar bowl to temper the eggs. Whisk to combine and then add the rest in stages.
- Return the entire mixture to a pot and cook over high heat until the cream begins to thicken. Transfer to a bowl and cover with plastic wrap directly on the cream and refrigerate for at least 30 min.
3- While the pastry cream is chilling, roll out the dough on a floured surface to ½ inch thickness and transfer to a buttered and floured tart pan with a removable bottom. Trim excess dough and prick bottom and sides with a fork. Bake blind by covering the tart with a disc of parchment paper and weighing it down with dried beans – this will prevent it from swelling in the oven.
4- Bake for 20-25 min until golden brown. Let chill on a wire rack.
5- Fill the cooled pastry shell with the cream and decorate the top with the sliced strawberries.
6- Make a simple syrup for the topping by dissolving the sugar into the water with the lemon zest over medium heat. Once you have a thick syrup, remove from the heat and remove the lemon zest. Using a pastry brush, gently brush the syrup over the strawberries to create a glossy look. Cover and refrigerate the tart for 30 min- 1 hr before serving.
The best thing to do on Valentines day is to have a bunch of friends over for a FAB dinner party! Celebrating together is always so fun! This holiday is one of my favorites because you can get really get cute and kitschy with the valentines decor. Weather your using these items in your own home or bringing them as a gift to another, these cheese boards are the perfect Valentines day gifts!
This heart cheese board is a great Valentines day gift as well. With the heart knife, it is a perfect complete set to bring over to someone’s home. All you need is some cheese and crackers! So, if you need some unique valentines day gifts look no further!
In preparation for my first TV appearance as a DIY expert, I experimented with making homemade lip gloss. My friend came over and we spent a good chunk of Sunday morning whipping up some berries, honey and corn starch. Legit, it is that simple to make your own lip gloss. Of course, you can substitute black berries for raspberries or beets to create different colors. Here is how ya do it!
1) Blend (in a blender) a small container of berries with
2) 1 Tablespoon of honey
3) 2 tablespoons of corn starch
4) Remove any seeds from the mixture
Per usual, these things are totally up to you so play around with the proportions to find a consistency that fits you best. Here are some tips for your own homemade lip gloss…corn starch will make your mixture less liquidy and more gummy and the honey will lend a smooth richness to the blend!