Friday, February 28, 2014

Mandarin Cake

This past weekend, my husband asked me what baked treats I had in the house. Sadly, I didn't have a single thing to give him, clearly he has gotten used to me baking on a weekly basis. I picked up Real Simple magazine on a sourcing trip to Joann Fabrics and was flipping through when I saw the recipe for this AMAZING sounding Mandarin Olive Oil cake! I should tell you right now that I love citrus but I HATE pulp. Luckily, this loaf-like cake calls for juice and zest, both of which I can live with! 

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Washi Framing

Seriously though, how easy is this? I'm still working on our bedroom decor, (by working, I mean not doing a damn thing). So I saw this and thought it would be an easy, temporary way to update my bedroom. My husband isn't a huge fan of it (he actually hates it), and when I decide to be extra nice to him, I'll take it down. 

He just said to me, "I don't think you should post that, it looks stupid".

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Wednesday Words

All I'll say is this, I tend to live my life in reverse of these words but I've been making a conscious effort to seek more quality in all areas of my life.  

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

My best friend, who is always on the forefront of what is happening suggested this website to me. Considering she knows me better than anyone (this pretty much includes my husband), I LOVE it! is a website that offers limited edition runs of jewelry, apparel, accessories, and housewares. I live for Target's always on-point collaborations, but sometimes I just crave an item that I know I won't see on every woman I pass, which is why I'm such a huge fan of the limited edition concept. I fall in love with random products on a near daily basis, and I'm hoping you'll see all of those love affairs on this page for many days to come, but I am SO excited by this website that I lost count of how many items I'm lusting after. 

The site is beautifully designed and the products are expertly curated and I love that the price points are a bit higher. To me, the higher price point not only ensures that you spring for the item that you want, but it also makes that item feel so much more special, than say a $35 skirt that you'll wear twice. 

Monday, February 24, 2014

Monday Must-Haves: Bake Ware Needed

It seems like I've spent the past 5 Sundays in the kitchen baking and I've started to identify what I really need to step up my game! My life would be about 1,000 times better if I had a second bowl for my KitchenAid mixer, instead I find myself doing dishes while baking-and I am NOT about that life. Also, my desire to bake macarons at home has reached a fever pitch and I'm dying for this Lekue Macaron Kit

Bakeware Needed

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Vanilla Bean Donuts

I know that the whole world has been dying for donuts recently (hello, Kate Spade x Darcel) but I saw the picture above and had been thinking about them all last week. I grabbed this donut pan from Sur La Table and also picked up a Wilton Sprinkle Medley (yes, that's a real thing) and went to town over the weekend. Admittedly, I wish my glaze looked more like the ones above, but that will just require a little time and patience to finagle the recipe. I found the whole process to be no harder than baking cupcakes, with a whole lot more wow factor! 

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Wednesday Words

I started this blog as a way to recognize and talk about what makes me happy on a daily basis. Since Novelty's inception, I find myself endlessly inspired.  I encourage everyone to open their eyes just a little bit wider to find the novelty in the ordinary-that's where true happiness exists. 

Monday, February 17, 2014

Monday Must-Haves: White Wine

I've always been a Pinot Noir drinker through and through, but over the past few months I've been reaching for Chardonnay when grabbing a bottle either for myself or as a gift. Due to my previous incarnation as a red drinker, my wedding registry consisted only of stemless Riedel glasses intended for cabernet and merlot. I've since learned that a glass of white should always be held by the stem to ensure that your hand does not warm the bowl of the glass. Ideally served at 58-62 degrees, a glass of white is much more delicate than a hearty red. All this taken into account tells me that it's about time to invest in a collection of stemmed white glasses, we've been drinking from two free glasses earned in a wine tasting. I'm having a really hard time deciding which are perfect for us, so I pulled a few favorites . . 

Friday, February 14, 2014

Discovering Pinrose

I am one of those people that is very rarely satisfied with one version of anything. For example: I own 10+ pairs of sunglasses, 5 + black nail polishes, and 3 + red lipsticks. Why? Because I have to try every single shade, shape, silhouette, and finish before deciding on my favorite. Even when my favorite has been determined, I will have to try whatever subsequent edition is released to ensure that my favorite is still at the top of the list. This applies to every aspect of my life save for fragrance.
I have 4 tried and true scents, each with their own job description. Chanel's Chance is my go-to, this is the fragrance that everyone compliments me on. Gucci's Guilty and Tom Ford's Violet Blonde are my stronger, night-time scents. Violet Blonde is reserved for truly special occasions such as birthdays, weddings, and celebratory dinners-just a light spritz of it transports me to a happier place. Lastly, I have Marc Jacob's Daisy, which is my lighter every day scent. I wear Daisy when the temperatures soar and when I'm wishing they would (like right now)! 

Well, all of the above can be disregarded now, because PINROSE has changed me for the better! Pinrose offers a quiz that pinpoints 3 recommended scents for you. Their quiz takes into account the current fragrances you wear, your musical taste, your fashion sensibilities, and your environmental preferences. You have the option of receiving towelette samples of all 3 for free (billing information is not required). 

Their whole philosophy is that you should be able to live with the scent and see what fits best into your life and existing wardrobe of fragrances. I personally love the idea of trying each whenever the mood strikes me. After finishing the quiz, Rooftop Socialite, Campfire Rebel, and Treehouse Royal were my suggested fragrances. At $50 for a full size bottle, I may end up purchasing all 3! 

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Wednesday Words

I know that this technically violates the rules of Wednesday Words, but sometimes love doesn't require words. And who doesn't love elephants?!

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Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Heartfelt Handmade Valentines

I was inspired by the two photos above to create my own Valentines to pass out to friends and family. They were so easy to make, the only reason they took longer than 30 minutes was because I kept stopping to take pictures!

What you'll need (all supplies found at Michaels):

  • Note cards with envelopes in the size of your choice 
  • Initial stamp pad and ink are optional (I found my stamps and ink for $1.50 each!!)
  • Heart hole Punch
  • Adhesive lines or dots (typically used for scrapbooking)
  • Paint swatches in as many colors as you can grab!

*I went to Home Depot and snagged about 50 paint swatches in various colors. Glidden offers swatches that are larger than an index card with very little wording on them!*

To craft these beautiful babies, simply hole punch hearts from the swatch(es). Then affix with either glue dots or glue zip lines, place on front of card and/or envelope. Write your love note inside and place in envelope. Stamp the envelope with your recipients initials and pass them out! 

Monday, February 10, 2014

Monday Must-Haves-Target Spotlight

It's safe to say that I always have an item or two in my Target online shopping cart, and their Spring 2014 Nate Berkus and Threshold Collections are looking SO right! I'm still on the hunt for pillows and they have a few really solid options that I'm considering! 

Target Spotlight-Nate Berkus and Threshold

Light bulb lamp

Wood bowl

Bar tool

Wine coaster

Jute basket

Nate Berkus frame

Sunday, February 9, 2014

Super Bowl Snacks

I should just let you all know that despite my recent post on Instagram, I am not a fan of the Jets, or of any football (or sports) team. I look forward to the Super Bowl because I love food, parties, and the half time show. I especially loved Bruno Mars' performance-who let's face it, was the real winner of this game! Last week I shared some inspiration for the appetizers that I was planning to make, and I chose the layered chili dip and the corn dog muffins. Both were so easy that I was able to squeeze in a Super Bowl inspired mani! I'm ready to gather inspiration for next year, share your favorite game day recipes with me-what do I NEED to know about!?

In a 9x13 pan, spread cream cheese, then sour cream, followed by chili, and top with shredded cheddar cheese! Pop it into the oven uncovered until cheese is melted and dip is warm. (see, super easy!)

I used 2 boxes of Jiffy mix and filled 24 mini muffin tins 3/4 of the way, chopped the cocktail wienies and sprinkled into the tins, then covered the rest of the way and baked according to the box. (another super easy one!) 

Somehow, I completely forgot to take photos of both the finished muffins and the dip, sorry for the re-post!! I guess I really didn't have time for that mani . . . 

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Toffee Bark

I made this toffee bark as a treat to bring to a Pinterest Party that I attended (more on that in a later post) a few weeks ago and it was delicious! It required 5 ingredients and about 20 minutes of time and it was more than worth those 20 minutes! 

Next time, I would put the saltines in a food processor and grind them into a fine powder to create a less crumbly bark. I also suggest lining your pan with wax or parchment paper for easy removal! 

The original recipe doesn't add chocolate, but it just seemed unfinished to me so I had to add a little in! 

What you'll need:
1 sleeve of saltine crackers
2 bags of chocolate chips (varies based on how much you like)
2 sticks of butter
1 cup brown sugar

1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees
2. Lay out your saltines along the bottom of your tray. These can be left whole, crushed, or processed to a fine powder
3. Bring butter and brown sugar to a boil for 3 minutes, stirring all the while. After precisely 3 minutes, remove from heat and pour over saltines in an even coat. 
4. Place chocolate chips in a glass bowl over a boiling pot of water to create a make-shift double boiler. I won't judge you for melting chocolate in the microwave if you prefer!