Sunday, January 31, 2010

sweet treats

I gave my new kitchen a little love this afternoon and whipped up two delicious treats. I broke in the new kitchen last week by making yummy peanut and jelly bars and cheesecake cupcakes. This weekend I kept things a bit simpler and made peanut butter cookies and brownie cupcakes, both courtesy of Martha Stewart. I've been using my parents and coworkers as guinea pigs with all my concoctions. Last week's treats turned out to be a hit so I'm hoping these will go over just as well!

My cute new kitchen. I'm still getting settled so stay tuned for a full post about my new digs...

I couldn't resist taking this picture. I love how some bloggers take pictures of the entire baking/cooking process. Unfortunately I don't have someone there to take pictures and it becomes difficult to take pictures while baking, but this just looked like a heart attack waiting to happen...these are the makings for yummy, yummy goodness :)

Yummy Valentines cupcakes, love the sweet heart on the top.

Saturday, January 30, 2010

this chick

This is me and my friend Megan McAlister. We met in 6th grade and we were instantly inseparable. We remained best friends all throughout high school. Me, Megan and our friend Alex Crotin were the three musketeers throughout junior high and high school. We all went our separate ways for college. During our freshman year we stayed in touch but over time our conversations became less frequent and I had no idea what was going on in either of their lives. It's funny how this person that was a huge part of your life for so long suddenly becomes a mere acquaintance. Last spring Megan called me out of the blue (this was a HUGE deal). For so long I had always been the one that followed up with Megan so to actually get a call from her meant a lot. Over the course of the last nine months we've managed to keep in touch and it's been so great catching up and being a part of her life again. I will be flying to sunny San Diego next week to visit this sweet girl. We haven't seen each in six years, so it's gonna be crazy to finally reunite! The great thing is I feel like we're gonna pick up right from where we left off when we were only 18 (WOW!). Here's some pictures of me and Meg when were just babies.

Our senior year our Homecoming theme was decades. The seniors were 70s so we got wear these fabulous dresses and go-go boots!

Megan and I circa 1997. I don't know what I'm doing with my head in this picture but Megan looks so young that I couldn't resist posting.

Alex and I being goofy at the Rose Parade. Alex is coming down to SD to visit while I'm there...can't wait!

Me, Alex and Meg on the first day of school -- senior year.

Oh, and by the way I'll get to see this chick while I'm there! My sweet Mary Grace will be picking me up from the airport on Thursday and we'll have the whole day to play in SD...can't wait!

Sunday, January 24, 2010


My mom got this nightstand close to 15 years ago and it has certainly seen better days. The first version was painted bright pinks and purples and each drawer had a different pattern, like polka dots and flowers. It sounds a bit juvenile but at the time I remember thinking it was so cute. Well some time in the course of 15 years my mom decided to paint it white and mosaic the top. She never really completed the project and I think at one point she must have decided to take the mosaic tiles off. That project must have gone by the wayside and the nightstand ended up spending the better half of the last decade collecting dust in the garage. Well as a new homeowner, rather apartment lessee I am in need of lots a furniture and more specifically a nightstand. Luckily I saw lots of potential in this little guy, otherwise I don't think I couldn't have endured the hours of sanding that were bound to follow. Behold the before, it was covered in dirt and dust and had tape on the front and back, I kept wondering where that tape had come from...

The mosaic rose mom had attempted, thank goodness the whole top wasn't mosaiced.

2+ hours later my arms were so sore, I'm still sore today...goes to show you how out of shape I am.

The finished product in my new apartment. I got cute glass pink hardware from Hobby Lobby.

Full length shot with my cute window pane.

Friday, January 22, 2010

like mother, like daughter

People have always told me I look just like my mom. I don't see it and think these people are crazy. And I always insist that if you saw my father you'd be singing a different tune. My dad and I share the same nose and large forehead, both of which I hate. Aside from that my coloring is completely different from my mom's. I'm fair skinned with blonde hair and green eyes, while she has olive skin, brunette hair and brown eyes. Clearly I got all recessive genes. Well a few years ago my mom and I stumbled across these two pictures. The one of me is from pre-school and the of mama is from kindergarten. We look almost identical, it's crazy, especially with the awkward kid smile, it's just too much! I swear if you took my hair and put it on mom's you wouldn't know the difference. So clearly we do have some things in common :)

Thursday, January 21, 2010


A few months ago I wrote about this dresser. This dresser was my mom's growing up and it used to have a terrible green finish, but my sweet Grandpa stained it for my mom and gave it to her as a house warming gift. Well Mama was kind enough to keep the tradition alive and give it to me for my own home. Since everything in my room is white, I figure I would repaint the dresser white and distress it. I consulted my sweet friend Mary Grace and she was kind enough to give me a few tips and even suggested a paint color (Behr, creamy white). I tackled the project over the Thanksgiving break and recruited my step-dad, Bob. Here I am outfitted in my cool gloves and goggles. We had to strip the dresser down so I had to be properly outfitted, but I'm fairly certain I didn't need those goggles (thanks Bob).

I finished painting the dresser over the Thanksgiving break, but it took a bit longer finding the right hardware. I initially wanted to get knobs from Anthropologie, but that proved to be entirely too expensive. I ended up buying hardware from an Etsy shop I stumbled upon, but there was a bit of an ordeal there too. All that to say it took two months to complete the project but I am absolutely in love with my new dresser.

Here's the back of the dresser and the remnants of the hideous green paint. My Grandpa wrote a sweet note to my mom that reads DAD To: Belinda, Finished 10/20/80, with love, Michael J. Carone. My grandfather passed away close to 20 years ago, so it's definitely nice to have a little piece of him with me :)

Here's the before...

And, Ta-dah, behold the finished product. It looks like a completely new piece, I love it!

Here's the full picture with all my fun pictures and keepsakes.

And up close, that sweet pitcher is supposed to be filled with just imagine some sunflowers in there. And that adorable print is from sweet friend, Mary Grace's Etsy shop.

Can't wait to get started on my next piece, stay tuned...

Sunday, January 10, 2010

inspire me

I'm excited to say that I have signed a lease and will be renting an apartment! I've been living with my parents for the last year and a half and I am so ready to go. I am currently in the process of moving things but I hope to fully moved in by next weekend (fingers crossed). Right now I'm most excited about decorating. My sweet parents will be bidding me adieu with a good amount a furniture. For the most part my bedroom will be fabulous if I do say so myself. I have been given my entire bedroom set so everything in the bedroom will stay as is. I will be focusing most of my energies on the living room. I am getting a great couch and love seat, but they will definitely need to be reupholstered. Having been raised by a mother that loves shabby chic it has only been natural that I too love shabby chic homes so I was smitten when I found this fabulous mirror and night stand.

I got these adorable candlesticks too for only $8.

I figured that I would repaint the pieces white some time in the future but the turquoise color has grown on me and I've decided to use these pieces/color as an inspiration for my living room. My sweet and talented friend Grace has gotten into creating inspiration boards so I asked her to design one for me so I can envision my apartment's potential. Here's the great board she created for me. You can check out her full post about it here.

When I saw what she had put together I was excited to say the least. It will certainly take some time to acquire everything I want but I'm excited to start searching for pieces and fabrics to make this board a reality. Stay tuned as I get myself moved in and my new digs start to come together.

Friday, January 8, 2010

top sites

For today's Top 5 the girls and I are listing the Top 5 websites we visit daily. Sadly, the bulk of mine are celebrity gossip websites since I'm pretty much obsessed with celebrity pop culture, it's really quite unhealthy.

1. Twitter: This time last year I was still completely confused about Twitter. I honestly had no idea how it worked and didn't really get the point. Fast forward one year and I've become obsessed. Literally, just about every random thought that comes into mind will be translated into 140 characters. You can check me out here.

2. Perez Hilton: So I can't really stand Perez Hilton but I've got to admit he's the only celebrity blogger that provides the most posts/information every day. I was introduced to this site by my friend Margie a few years ago and I've been obsessed ever since. It's probably the first site I visit everyday when I first open my computer.

3. Texts from Last Night: This is a recent discovery. I first saw them on Twitter and then navigated my way to the site. This site is hilarious and I can't help but to laugh out loud when I read the ridiculous messages some people send. I once tried to send my own crazy texts but I was denied...sad.

4. Evil Beet Gossip: When I started getting sick of Perez about a year ago I started venturing into other celebrity gossip blogs. It's really not great and I can't really stand the administrator buts it's always nice to see new pictures and stories that Perez doesn't always catch up. I'll probably take it off my bookmark bar soon just because I really don't like the administrator, she seems annoying. But it's one of those things that since it's there I can't help but to visit the site, it's become apart of my routine.

5. Dlisted: This is by far my favorite celebrity blog because the writer is hilarious. If anything, I visit because of his funny posts. He has a wonderful way of writing about celebrities ridiculous antics and I can't help but to laugh when I visit his site.

Monday, January 4, 2010

music monday

Today my girls and I are mixing things up. Must Have Monday is being revamped for today to Music Monday...I guess we could all it Must Have Music. I love music and I love finding new tunes. My current fave is "Song for No One" by Miike Snow. I came across this fun jam while watching the Jersey Shore. Yes, I watch the Jersey shore and I think you should too because it is AMAZING!! Anyways, I was watching it the other day and heard this song...thanks to my handy dandy iPhone and the amazing Shazam app I was able to identify the song. I love it!! Currently listening to it on repeat!

Friday, January 1, 2010

new year, new me

Happy New Year! Can't believe it's 2010...crazy! For today's Top 5 my friends and I will be blogging about our Top 5 New Year's Resolutions!

1. Cut back on Diet Coke: I'm a Diet Coke addict. I drink one or more cans a day. It's not even for the caffeine so much as I just love the taste of Diet Coke. As everyone knows carbonated drinks are terrible and I would love to quit Diet Coke for good. I was able to cut it out completely a few years ago and actually lasted five months. I would love to test myself again and see if I could actually kick my habit. I've tried to go cold turkey and it never seems to work, so I'm gonna try tapering off and see how it goes.

2. More exercise: I hate exercising, I can never seem to get motivated enough and I just can't seem to get into it. Recently I have started yoga and I feel like I finally have an outlet. Classes definitely work better for me and it's almost as if they hold me accountable. I also took my first spin class earlier this week, so hopefully that is something else I can add to my workout schedule.

3. Cooking: I never had any desire to cook until like last month and all the sudden I'm looking at recipes and browsing through cook books at Barnes and strange for me, but I'm going with it. My sweet step-dad noticed that I was starting to cook/bake so he went out on his own and bought me my very first cook book. I've already dog-eared the recipes I want to try...stay tuned.

4. Budget: I am terrible at saving money. I actually have a good bit of money in savings but I still am never able to really cut back. For the most part if I see something I want I will always buy it, sure it makes for a great wardrobe but an empty wallet. I would really love to to just say "no" and not always indulge.

5. Eat Healthier: This one kind of ties in with cutting back on Diet Coke. I'll admit it I'm total junk food and fast food junkie. The last few months I've been trying to cut back on fast food (not so much junk food) and it's something I'd like to stick to. Fast food is so gross and expensive for that matter. As I start to cook more I hope I will be encouraged to eat better as well.

Hoping you have a blessed 2010!