Monday, October 31, 2011

Crafty Craft

I've always dreamed of a craft wrap presents and scrapbook and store all the pretties that I buy. This is the laundry room of my Aspen mansion! I chose a pink and brown color scheme and all my Juicy Couture shopping bags and shoe boxes make perfect storage spots.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Taos: the art of nature

"Not all things are art, but all things are art supplies" -Kim Henkel

Saturday, October 29, 2011

LBD and NOTHING to wear

I have already missed my first opportunity to wear my New LBD. I had NOTHING to wear with it! Seriously. So I spent a relaxing Saturday on, virtual shopping and outfit making. Now, I definitely have a list for my next paycheck/trip to Denver. Which one is your fav?

Orchids on Ice

I've recieved an orchid as a hostess gift. Now comes the fun part: keeping it alive! A tip from guests: an ice cube a day. It has definitely worked for the first week!

Thursday, October 27, 2011

I have NEVER......

I love serving lasagna for a party. I have my favorite recipies because they always get ooohhss and ahhhas, but the best part: Check out this picture of my kitchen taken 1 hour before the arrival of 25 hungry halloweeners. In the oven, I have a portobello proscuitto lasagna, a butternut squash, and a classic bolognese. When everyone arrives, I take them out and place them on the bar for a buffet of yum. Yes, some guests did acknowledge my shopping habit: three matching lasagna pans.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Sugar Cookies

A few years ago, I bought a Kitchen Aid stand mixer. I wanted to make cookies to take to my meetings.....special, decorated, sugar cookies. I don't know what I was thinking as I usually have less than an hour between work and a meeting, which obviously isn't enough time to bake and decorate cookies.

However, for a party, I've figured it out. Tuesday after work, I make the dough, roll it between two sheets of parchment, encase in saran wrap, and pop it in the fridge. Wednesday after work, remove it from the fridge and cut and bake the cookies. Thursday after work, make one recipe of Royal Icing with meringue powder, divide into fourths, color and drip into squeeze bottles. Decorate and dry overnight. It was fun!

I used recipies and they turned out perfect and stayed fresh for at least 7 days. Really. I served them vertically (I know vertical presentation is out, but....) stacked in a glass vase.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Super sweet popcorn recipes

I'm inspired to have a quiet movie night with Super sweet popcorn recipes and a few good friends.....maybe even as a night before thanksgiving party.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Halloween Decor

I love to decorate for halloween. This year, I finally finished one painting and my black fruit bowls.

The Secret Closet

I live in an Aspen Mansion: 702 sq ft. To make this space work for the lifestyle of entertaining for dinner, parties, out of town guests, and myself (me time IS entertaining myself), I had to be creative. The coats go in the bedroom closet, and the office goes in the coat closet. The top shelf holds my scrapbooks and a select section of my fashion library. A desk from Target's Avington Collection fit inside perfectly. I still need to wallpaper or paint and add another upper shelf. For parties, the office turns into the perfect surprise dessert tablescape.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Old Fashioned Pumpkin Carving

I love my friend's annual old-fashioned pumpkin party. It's so cute the way he prepares the garage for the event. Pizza. Pumpkins. Oreos. Perfection. Guess which jack-o-lantern is mine.

Monster Zucchini

An officemate grew this giant zucchini. It boasted a 15 1/2" circumference and 23" length. I shredded it to share with other co-workers, keeping 6 cups for myself. That zucchinin turned into my fall favorites: zucchini olive enchiladas and chocolate zucchini cake.


I see this BOO!ing stuff on the craft and party styling blogs I follow. You print the BOO! sign, attach it to a treat, secretly give it to your neighbors, then the neighbors are supposed to post the sign in thier window and pay it forward to two other neighbors. Let's see how far this goes in Aspen????? I probably just gave some coyotes a sweet tooth.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Sugar Skull

Today, I'm making Sugar Skulls. Later in the week, I will attempt to have fun decorating them. About's Gallery is so inspirational:

Dead Bars

While shopping in Taos, we stumbled across this very inviting day of the dead boutique. I picked up molds for these and have been making little dead bars from meltable chocolate wafers. This is seriously harder than it looks!

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

the Package

Presentation is everything. How often do we hear that? And see that? and respond to that? I'll buy a $100 chocolate bar if it is wrapped in lavendar polka dots and a ribbon.

So as I'm planning an I SCREAM party, I'm imagining serving all the carefully created flavors from freezer safe tupperware. Not happening at my party. I had to have paper ice cream packaging. Garnish delivered....a package of ice cream packaging, packaged in beautiful brown paper with a beautiful brown paper reciept with a handwritten thank you note. Oh My!

Monday, October 10, 2011

Cookbook Collection

I collect cookbooks, and sometimes I use them. Actually, once or twice a week I get them down and browse and bookmark a recipe or two for the week. I love storing them on top of the kitchen cabinets. They add a bit of homey and lots of color to a clean, plain apartment kitchen.

HELLoKitty e

I made a Hello Kitty Skull for this year's upbeat, cute & cuddly Halloween theme.

Sunday, October 9, 2011


At Far West Fungi in San Francisco's Ferry Plaza Farmer's Market, you could purchase a poop to put under a dome and grow your own mushrooms at home! Absolutely beautiful display.

I left my Pear in San Francisco

Unloading fruit crates at the Ferry Plaza Farmer's Market in San Francisco. I'm a graffiti is art lover, and this memory is making me smile.

Standing at the Door of The Slanted Door

11:45am Reservations. We waited in the rain for the doors of The Slanted Door to open. We loved our modern Vietnamese brunch.

As any foodie can tell you more about this restaurant than I, these are the highlights:

five spice duck confit salad with frisee and asian pear - I always try to order something that I would never make at home: duck confit.
grilled black mission figs, lemon ice cream, toasted parmesan: ok, this sounds a little wierd, and it felt a little like judging 'chopped', but yum.

And the tea. I'd had this type of tea at my friend Eileen's home. Here, served in a goblet, steaming on a rainy afternoon, it was just fabulous. I will be serving this at home, with this inspiring presentation.

Oysters for Breakfast

Yes. I am not a big breakfast eater: coffee with half & half is the norm. First thing Saturday morning of a weekend in San Francisco, we crossed the street to the Ferry Plaza Farmers Market . Oh My.

My jaw hit the cement when I saw the Oyster booth. We ordered two of each of today's catch (is catch the right word?). Shuck and Serve on a paper plate with condiments like a hot dog. Oh My. These were the best oysters I've ever eaten. Ever. Traveller's Tip: Eat Oysters at the Ocean. Eat Rocky Mountain Oysters in Colorado.

I've never used, but boy those commercials stick in my head, especially when I have a few extra bucks in my pocket. It's as close to gambling as I'll ever get. C'mon four star! No? Ok 5 more dollars. No? Ok, three star and 5 more dollars.

I very much enjoyed the lobby. It smelled nice and the glass elevators mesmerized me. But there was no spa, and it was ordinary. A once in a lifetime stay for me. I'm a fan of 'boutique' hotels. I like a lobby and a room that I would not have at home......even Kimptom's Hotel Triton is a bit on the conservative side for me. However, here's a great idea from the Triton's lobby:

spraypainted pinecones! They will be perfect in my hotel suite size apartment in Aspen.

I'm staying in this weekend: broke. But I am planning a pinecone hunt and a little spraypainting.


How inspiring is the desssert table and menu at the SFMOMA Rooftop Coffee Bar?

Mondrian is translated into so much modern design, usually as literally as this slice of cake, but who cares? It reminds me that art is everywhere and in everything.

Party Parts

What is your favorite part of a party? I love it all, but I can seriously obsess over the tablescape. I spent probably two hours last night just googling 'dessert tables', looking at the same images over and over.

One trick I've learned to stop my overactive imagination from an obsession is to put it on paper, or in this case, the iPad. This morning, I sketched up the dessert table for an upcoming party. Now, I can get on with the fun parts: baking, glittering, stamping, and printing. I bet it's done by the end of the day!

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Location:my sofa

Thursday, October 6, 2011


I just put together my mood board for October's Party-of-the-Month. It's two weeks plus two days away, no big deal, except I live in Aspen, and it's snowing. Basically that means I have to order whatever supplies I need last week to even hope that they arrive by the party. Alas, it keeps me creative.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Friendship Fuels

This is the type of weekend that makes Aspen famous. The Aspens are changing to perfectly match the blue sky. I flew over them on my return from San Francisco. I should be blogging about either one of these inspiring experiences, but I have a report for work due on Tuesday morning in the form of a four hour PowerPoint presentation, so I've been glued to my lap top every night this week and since Friday night.

Saturday morning, I awoke to a text: I will call you later. I have leftover delicious sirloin beef brisket and it is just enough for your dinner so you can work on your presentation and have a nice meal while you do it.

I can't describe how this thoughtfulness feels. I tear up. I should know...I actually make food for others quite often. Just this week, I made a lasagna for a co-worker's family because she was on a work trip to Asia. I like doing it so to me it seems no big deal. But it is a big deal. Any simple kind doing of neighbors or friends or co-workers is a meaningful gesture that can make life easier and more joyful.

Please pay it forward.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Location:my apartment