Today is the first day of spring and I have cupcakes on my mind.
Enjoy these yummy pictures of cute spring cupcakes and have a happy day!
Today is the first day of spring and I have cupcakes on my mind.
Enjoy these yummy pictures of cute spring cupcakes and have a happy day!
And what's cutter than Valentine's Day cup cakes?
Some people think Valentine's Day is the ultimate cheesy holiday. But you don't have to go all crazy and sappy with the dinner and roses. How about a simple gift of cupcakes?
Cupcakes make everyone smile and are easy to make. And if you are busy - buy some.
Be cute. You still have a day left to make a special person happy.
Is your Christmas tree still up? We all love decorating and setting up our houses for the holidays and we all hate taking it down.
It's mid January and it's past the acceptable time to still have your tree and decorations up. Take a few hours and store your pretty decorations in your garage or storage closet. There are great storage containers sold specifically to hold delicate ornaments or artificial trees. One tip is to try and keep all Christmas items in the same area. This way you can easily access them the next time you need them.
Its just a matter of time. Take a few hours and put them all away so you can enjoy them all again next December. Have a fun Saturday.
Are you having a New Year party to bring in 2013?
New Year parties are all about fun and celebration. Make it happy. Make it festive. Bring out champagne, clocks, party hats and balloons. Have confetti, blowers, and streamers. If weather permits, have sparklers outside or fireworks. Typical decor ideas include having clocks, using gold and silvers mixed with black or red. And of course bottles of champagne.
However you choose to celebrate the incoming New Year, have fun and enjoy your friends.
The White House Christmas tree tradition started in 1889 when President Benjamin Harrison lit the first indoor tree with candles in the second floor of the Oval room.
Since then we have had electricity, and beautiful lit trees delivered to the White House and adorn and accompany the presidential festivities. Each first family chooses the style and decor of their tree. But there have even been treeless years such as when President Teddy Roosevelt in 1903 banned live Christmas trees from the White House, saying evergreens should not be chopped for the sake of a holiday
Here are some great photos of our presidents and their trees.
And how about taking the small extra step of Christmas decorating your bedroom?
A simple wreath, or garland. A few stocking at the end of your bed. Christmas candles or ribbons on your night stand. It really does not take much to add a touch of Christmas spirit to your bedroom. You don't have to go full out and put a tree. It's it simply about a detail here or there to remind you of this special time and to bring a smile to your face.
If you are in London, you must stop by and see Harrod's "Christmas World".
Harrod's knows how to go all out and how to wow us with luxury. And their 8,000 sq. ft. Chrsitmas world department is no different. They have every imaginable Christmas decoration, boxed cookies, gifts and of course, the iconic Harrod's Christmas bears. You can't miss the first floor Food Hall filled with all kinds of Christmas cookies, cakes, brandy pudding and boxed food gifts. Part of the Christmas food celebration is their exclusive "12 ice-creams of Christmas" with flavours like Mince Pie, Christmas Pudding and Brandy Butter.
Enjoy your Christmas shopping fantasy!
Make Christmas cup cakes?
Some of us are so busy during the holidays that we don't have time bake or have fun in the kitchen. I know I seem to fall into this category. So why not buy beautiful and unique cup cakes and have them delivered? There are many companies online that will custom make any design you can think of for your Christmas party or your family event. All you have to do is come up with a concept or choose from the existing designs.
It doesn't matter that you did not bake it yourself. At the end of the day, it's about not stressing out and still having fun over the holidays.
So relax, order your cute cupcakes online and enjoy the time you saved.
I love Christmas and I love macaroons. Put the two together and you get "Macaroon Christmas Trees".
I made and used a few of these macaroon Christmas trees in the HGTV Christmas Special when I decorated Alison Sweeney's home for the holidays. And people always ask me about the them and how to make them. They are so simple to make and so cute. You can made them in any color you want and the best part is that you can eat them too.
All you need is a foam cone and lots of macaroon in any color you want. After you apply the macaroons, you add a cookie or a bow topper and voila! Edible decor!
There are millions of ways to use candy canes to decorate for the holidays.
Candy canes are inexpensive, edible and a traditional detail that screams Christmas. So why not get creative and use them in fun ways to get the mood started. I have used candy canes to decorate on the table, in flower arrangements, in drinks, on wreaths, in trees, on gift wraps.
Everyone loves candy canes!
Not everyone is religious. And not everyone wants a traditional Christmas.
If you have kids are are in a fun spirit this year, try something light and fresh and designed completely to suit your mood. If you are starting a new life, try a new Christmas style and tradition. If you are sad, try something with more zest and life. Don't get bogged down with traditions that don't mean anything to you. At the end of the day Christmas is about love and family - not your tree.
Step out of the box and try non traditional Christmas this year!
Is your tree up Yet? Have you set up your living room in preparation for the holidays?
If you can't make up your mind on how to decorate or if you have any insecurities about how to dress your home for the holidays, go with the classic traditional Christmas style. Warm red, green and gold rooms are beautiful and speak loudly about the season. Traditional style is easy to pull off and very fast to shop for. You may already have lots of traditional decorations and adding simple touches such as strings of popcorn or candy canes will complete the look.
Gather friends, get the kids involved. Don't take it on all by yourself and stress out. Keep in mind that the whole purpose of Christmas is about love and sharing. Come together as a family and decorate together.
Have fun setting up your tree!
One of the fun things about Christmas is the shopping and the wrapping. And why not get creative and have fun making your presents special?!
You don't have to spend a lot of money to wrap presents and make them look cool. Keep in mind that it is very temporary.You can use brown paper, old news paper or even recycled old wrapping paper. But what is really going to make your gift stand ut is the topper and ribbon you choose to decorate it with. I have used small pieces of pine tree from the trees, candy canes, extra or left over tree ornaments. The choices are endless.
I would love to see your creative gift wrapping. Send me photos if you come up with some creative ideas.
The paintings of "The First Thanksgiving" all show the Pilgrims and Indians eating al fresco.
So if weather permits, why not do the same? Take your Thanskgiving celebration out to the back yard! It makes for a more intimate, familiar and less formal affair. Kids can play, dogs can run and adults can spill anything. And the best part is that it will keep everyone away from the tv and in conversation.
If you do take your celebration outside, keep in mind that you should have some lanterns, some wrap blankets and some pumpkins to decorate the yard. Let guests know in advance that they will be outdoors so they dress accordingly. After your meal you can light a bonfire and keep the family together even longer while everyone enjoys the warmth and cozyness of a fire.
Have fun this year and enjoy what could be the last use of your back yard for the 2012 year.
What do you do with all of the left over Halloween pumpkins? You recycle them into great Thanksgiving decorations, of course!
With pumpkins, you can decorate tables, create flower pots and arrangements, make seasonal candle holders, carve out drink coolers and even hollow out small ones into appetizer dishes. The uses for pumpkins are endless. It's all about creativity.
I hope these images inspire you to do something fun with pumpkins this fall.
Right about now, I start running out of time. There are so may fall events and parties that I don't have time to bake. And of course, there is Thanksgiving.
But thank goodness for all of the fantastic bakeries that sell gorgeous Thanksgiving cupcakes and create custom cupcakes for the fall. You can order from existing styles or have them create your own design to fit any event style.
Cupcakes may not seem like the most traditional dessert choice. But they are great for kids and look beautiful when placed on a tray for everyone to self serve. You can have traditional flavors like sweet potato, pecan pie, or pumpkin fillings that really say Happy Thanksgiving.
So don't stress. Don't let the little time consuming cupcakes make you crazy. Just order them online and enjoy your day!
Day of the Dead is mainly a Latin holiday, tied to the Catholic celebration of "All Saints Day." Both festivities are about the gatherings of family and friends to pray for friends and family members who have died.
The Day of the Dead has taken on a very colorful form in Mexico where it is a national holiday. Family members set up altars to commemorate the death of their friends. They put out the deceased persons favorite foods and liquors to honor them.
What I like the most about Dia de Los Muertos is the creative "calavera Catrina" make up designs that women paint themselves in to resemble the dead icon.
Happy Day of the Dead!
Happy birthday to me! ...and happy Halloween to you!
Halloween has to be the coolest day to have a birthday because everyone is all dressed up and in a good mood. Friends all have something planned and it's an all around let-it-all-hang-out kind of day. It's ok to be an adult and act silly.
I hope you have a great day and a fun and fantastic evening out.
Are you too old to have a Halloween Party? Now that you are all grown up, must you pass out candy at the door?
No way! As an adult, you can still have fun and celebrate the notoriously silly day by having some friends over for a Halloween dinner party. Think of a theme you like and decorate your dinner table with fun props that will make everyone smile and relax. Buy some spray web and make your chandelier look spooky. Buy orange bulbs. Light up tons of candles. Get some mini pumpkins and use them as name place holders or menu holders. Rent a smoke machine. Have dry ice. Dress up. Have fun! It's the one day of the year that you actually become a child again.
Happy Halloween Party!
I can't cook...but I love to make cupcakes!
Halloween is the perfect time to make and decorate really funny cupcakes and share them with your friends. No better way to celebrate this fun holiday, that to give out cupcakes decorated in cute themes.
Cupcake decorating is also a great way to get kids together in your kitchen and all having a good time doing an activity together. Gather up some neighbohood kids and have a cupcake decorating party. Your kitchen will be a mess and you will love it!
Start thinking of something fun and creative to bake. And if you are a bit lazy or don't have time just buy some online. There are fantastic cup cake makers out there with ingenious little treats.
Halloween is coming up in a few days....
Walk outside, take a look at your house from the front yard and then come up with a simple and fun Halloween style to help set the scene for all of your neighborhood kids to celebrate the spooky night. You don't have to spend a fortune. You don't have to go wild. Simple carved pumpkins and candles will bring on the mood. Just decorate your front door so it looks seasonally appropriate.
And for all of you that need some creative help, here are some photos that might inspire you to do some outdoor Halloween decorating of your own.
The Fourth of July is here upon us. Have some fun and get creative decorating your picnic or dinner party. Fun ribbon and pretty little flags will create the mood and get everyone in a festive mood.
Here are some insprirational photos that will inspire you up for decorating your party.
Hope you have a wonderful Fourth of July!
I am completely into white kitchen this year.
Some people feel white is bland, or cold or not appropriate for carpentry. But I love white cabinets in a kitchen. I think it's clean color that reflects light and makes any food stand out and look better. For centuries white marble has been used in European kitchens. And today it looks just as good. A classic touch and a great alternative to boring builder "granite". White cabinets look incredible in cottages, traditional homes and beach homes in combination with wood floors. You can continue the white theme by also having your doors and baseboards painted white and add color in the surrounding rooms.
No matter is your style is modern or traditional. white is an amazing pop of brightness that will make your kitchen timeless.
Summer is here. So get yourself to the beach, or a pool and relax in a cabana.
We all fall visually in love with cabanas. But more than that they are so fun and practical. We get the sensation of being outside, yet we are still enjoying nature and outside. And the practical part, of course, is that you are shaded and protected from the sun.
You can read, lay around looking cool, sleep or just people watch from cabana. So find a nice one and enjoy your weekend.
Happy Memorial Day!
Don't forget your mom, the woman who brought you into this world. Mother's Day is this Sunday, May 13th so if you have not bought her a gift, get busy.
Whether its flowers, a spa day, something sweet or breakfast in bed, or a Sandra Espinet scented candle, its the thought that counts. So surprise you mom with hugs and smiles and tell her how much you appreciate her.
Happy Mother's Day!
How dedicated are you to making Easter Eggs?
Artist Jacek Yerka has created an art out of making incredible pierced egg designs. They are so intricate and so delicate that they look like lace.
I'm not sure I could ever have the patience to create anything this beautiful, but I am looking forward to painting some good old Easter Eggs this weekend.
Have a happy Easter weekend!
Happy Valentine's Day to you all!
Today is the one day of the year that is completely acceptable to be corny with sappy with cards and gifts. As a matter of fact, it's expected. It's ok to pretend you live and star in a romance movie. But most important it's the day you can be creative and come up with cute and silly ways to show the person you love how much you care. So go ahead and have some fun. Enjoy the luxury of love. Not everyone has it.
May your day be filled with smiles and your evening be filled with love.
Valentine's Day is tomorrow. Are you running out of ideas? Have you already sent the roses, chocolates, cards and green M&M's? Here is a cute and simple way to show your love: red lipstick.
All it takes is a few seconds to write a simple sentence or a few words on your lovers mirror. Find the prettiest mirror and your brightest red lipstick and go for it. Go for your luxurious Chanel rouge allure red. Simple and direct.
What are some of your other favorite Valentine's Day ideas?
Beginning today, January 23rd, the Chinese astrology and lunar calendars mark the start of 2012 Year of the Dragon!
In Asia the dragon is revered and is considered powerful and good. Kings and rulers relate to the dragon and unlike in the West were we see the dragon as evil, they see the dragon as royal and almighty. It is the only mythical symbol in their calendar and the dragon is made up of several other animals including the tiger, fish, snake and an eagle. The dragon usually clutches a pearl symbolic of its super-natural powers (also wisdom, which is why in the dragon dance he chases the pearl). It is also usually accompanied by thunder, lightning and rain, all powerful yet totally unpredictable signs.
Happy 2012, Year of the Dragon!
Fruit Cake? Really?
It's one of those old fashioned, kinds of foods, like Spam. It belongs in the 50's and should stay there. No one really dreams of fruit cake anymore, do they? It's a gift you put on your counter and look at for a few days because you are scared of it. Then you cautiously re gift it to the housekeeper.
It's almost universal - no one likes fruit cake. No amount of bourbon can mask the taste of soggy fruit. Yet every year someone gives me a fruit cake. Are they regifting too? Or do they just not like me?
They say you are what you eat. So I'm staying away from a cake filled with "fruit" and "nuts."
If you have a fireplace mantel, its the natural focal point to start your Christmas decorating.
The fireplace is always the coziest place in a room so naturally it will be a good place to create the mood. It does not have to be complicated, just pretty and new. You can decorate with pre-bought garland, stockings, or fresh flowers. You can hang wreaths, add nut cracker statues or apothecary jars of pine cones.
It's really all about how you feel and what your holiday theme is. You can choose to go the traditional route and use lots swagged garland, big ribbons and pine cones and top it off with poinsettias and candles. If you have kids you can add candy canes to the garland and put a small side table with cookies and milk next to the fireplace for Santa.
Whatever you choose to do, turn on some music and have a happy decorating day!
I don't cook, but I love to bake!
I bake for my friends and family every holiday, and of course Christmas is no different. Baking and making cookies for the holidays has become a tradition around my house and my friends all expect their cookies. It's a fun way to get creative and show people you care.
Ok...I know we are all on diets and we all eat healthy most of the year. But when my cookies arrive - I promise you will be happy to break the rules and live a little.
So off to the store I go. I have tons of ingredients to buy and I can't wait to get started on my holiday yummies!
I am very excited that the premiere of my new HGTV Christmas Special "Celebrity Holiday Homes" in which I decorate the home of "The Biggest Loser" host Ali Sweeney is this weekend.
Ali's home is in the Hollywood Hills and has an amazing view of Los Angeles. So I decided to give her and all out Hollywood Glam Christmas. I invited and had the pleasure of having chef Top Chef Antonia Lafoso prepare the Christmas meal and Sarce sing and play the piano for the evening.
I hope you can tune in or set your Tivo to HGTV on Sunday, December 18, at 8 p.m EST.
Here are a few sneak preview pictures!
Wondering how to incorporate purple into your design scheme? Here are some tips from me on the best ways to make purple work:
And don't forget to check out my new HGTV "Celebrity Holiday Homes" special premiering on December 18th at 8 p.m. EST. I decorate Allie Sweeney's home in all shades of purple to create a super glam holiday look! Check your local listings for times and airdates!
I am very excited to announce the premiere of my new HGTV Christmas Special "Celebrity Holiday Homes" in which I decorate the home of CSI Miami's star Eva La Rue.
I hope you can join in and watch me transform Eva's living room into Santa's North Pole workshop. It was a fun show to work on and my elves and I really enjoyed playing with trains, wrapping presents and laughing with Santa. I invited and had the pleasure of having chef Brian Moyers from B.L.T restaurant in Los Angeles serve Eva's Christmas meal and we all enjoyed Laura Tattershal's custom cookies as a treat.
I enjoyed meeting Eva and her lovely family. At the end of the day, no matter how you decorate your home, Christmas really is about that - spending time with the ones you love!
So put it on your schedule or set your Tivo this weekend. Sunday night, Dec 4th at 8pm on HGTV.
Here are a few sneak preview photos...
And what do you give thanks for?
Today is day to reflect, look back on the year and give thanks for all you have. Stop and think of all of the great things that have happened or that surround you. Remember the small things that made you smile and the big things up ahead.
Happy Thanksgiving to you all!
Get busy setting that table!
Tomorrow is Thanksgiving and I hope you have all of the ideas for your table in place and all of the decorations you will set out organized. Don't leave it for the last moment. Take some time today and get ready and be ahead of the game for tomorow. Don't stress out. Have fun with it. It's a family celebration.
Have a great Thanksgiving!
Thanksgiving is almost here. Have you thought of how you will be dressing your table?
If you are hosting a Thanksgiving party it's time to start thinking of your theme and the style you want your table shown for your guest. No matter if it's casual, formal or somewhere in between planning is key and making sure you have everything in advance is essential. Keep in mind who your guest are. If there are a lot of kids, you may want a separate area or table for them to eat. Don't leave the decorating and planning for last because the day before and the day of you will only be thinking about the turkey.
Here are some pretty photos that may inspire you to come up with a good theme for your Thanksgiving dinner. Remember - your guest will love walking into a pretty dining room wher you took the time to plan out a memorable family meal for them. Have fun!
And what do you do with all of the leftover Halloween pumpkins?
The obvious would be to make a great, hearty, warm pumpkin fall soup. But you can also recycle them into fun decor ideas that will make the fall and the upcoming Thanksgiving holiday more special.
If you have big pumpkins, a very easy way to reuse them is to set some by your front door or make an arrangement by your fireplace. Medium pumpkins make great coolers or flower vases. Just cut the tops off and scoop out the inside to create room for the ice or the flower oasis. If you have mini pumpkins you can use them as candle holders on your table or you can simply put them in a grouping on the dining table to create the fall feeling. The mini's also make great placecard holderd or can simply be put on a dinner plate with a ribbon.
The uses are endless! All you need is a little creativity. Have fun recycling your Halloween pumpkins!
Alright , I could not resist!
As Halloween approaches, don't you have the huge temptation to dress up your dog? There are some hilarious costumes out there so that your dog can also enjoy the silliness of the season.
Make yourself and everyone who sees your dog laugh. Bring some humor into your world and dress up your pet. I know I smiled when my friend Rich dressed up his Beagle as a bee last year!
Happy Halloween Weekend.
The simple act of setting a few pumpkins in or outside of your home to decorate will put you in the spirit and get you in the mood for fall.
Hard to tell it's fall here in Los Angeles because we are having such nice weather, but other parts of the country it's chilly and cold and the leaves are falling. The perefect time to run out and find yourself a local pumpkin patch and select some big fun carving pumpkins or decorative pumpkins for the season.
Enjoy the fall!