This past weekend, I drove to Boulder, Colorado to visit a super fun friend, and also see how my new pup would fair on the road. Guess what? I had so much fun, it was inexpensive thanks to her hospitality, and Moppsie Mia was wonderful.
We had to go out to test Mia’s separation anxiety in a new place. Kathryn suggested the Posh Paint Studio. I live in the Aspen bubble, and had never even heard of one of these places. I did bring back childhood memories of being forced to attend painting class while all the other kids were out playing soccer. That particular evening’s artwork lesson was inspired by a tree at Chautauqua Park, and I added a personal posh spot of paint suggesting Mia in the wind. The next morning, we adventured to Chautauqua Park to recreated the painting in a photograph. Mia is not a natural model, and every tree looked the same.
I will call this weekend “Fingerprints on Laughter Leaves”. Artsy enough for Boulder?
Don’t let the 2 cups of sugar scare you! This cake is unusual and rich and full of fall flavor. A friend brought it to dinner last Sunday evening; I gobbled the one leftover piece on Monday night. She wanted to re-bake it on Tuesday (to get it right), so I tasted it again. Three days and I was addicted. I baked the recipe on Wednesday, and had it for lunch on Thursday.
Fresh Apple Cake
1 cup vegetable oil
2 cups sugar
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 cups peeled, diced apples
1 cup pecans or walnuts, chopped
1/2 cup flaked coconut
1 12oz package butterscotch morsels
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. Combine oil, sugar, eggs, and dry ingredients. Beat until smooth. Add vanilla.
3. Fold in apples, nuts, and coconut.
4. Pour into a greased tube pan. Sprinkle morsels over the top.
This morning, I unsubscribed from all my shopping temptation emails. It took around 3 hours!
Everyday, I receive approximately 125 emails from department stores, product blogs, and those overstock sale sites disguised as designer magazines. I think I have enough brooches to last me a while longer. I wake up, check my email, and think….shopping is my best friend! No shopping is not my friend.
To replace some of the brainwashing emails that tell me I need more stuff, I’ve suscribed to some newsletters about saving money, simplifying my life, and increasing self-esteem. Do you have any favorite sites? I’d love some recommendations!
Somehow, I managed to get behind on a couple of bills. Maybe it was the remodel, or maybe the hasty decision to quit my second job: babysitting. Regardless, my daily quality of life has suffered, and I’ve made a decision to get that confident attitude back…you know the one: I stand up straight and say I pay all my bills on time, and in full!
So, for the time being, no shopping, no parties, frugal food purchases, and free entertainment! Stay tuned for my adventures in saving money!
I collect cookbooks; some are recent publications, but many are vintage. I love reading a cookbook as a good novel. I love looking at the pictures or beautiful sketches.
Cookbooks are an excellent source of inspiration for a party. As I browse Martha Stewart’s Hors d’Oeuvres Handbook , I can imagine making the tiny breadsticks for my Twilight Italiano party. Some recipes remind me of a special friend or family member, and I can mark that for their birthday celebration.
I used to keep a three-ring notebook of magazine clippings and recipes printed from the internet as my own cookbook. With technology, I use my ipad photo roll for this. I’ve taken these clippings, and some new ones, and stuck them in a related cookbook. I’m always delighted to grab a cookbook from the shelf and also discover some additional ideas!
Take a Saturday morning, grab a cookbook, get inspired…….
Menu: men-u /’menyoo/ 1. A list of dishes available at a restaurant.
As if the word itself wasn’t so fun to say, the idea of ‘menu’ is super inspiring. I get a rush whenever a beautifully printed menu is presented, and the decision process of what to order just makes my heart pump. Although my normal item elimination process is to dismiss anything I could cook at home, many dishes have inspired me to re-create or cook a similar recipe for friends, inspiring a party.
This gallery is a menu of inspiring restaurant items and presentation that have inspired me to plan an event…….., and cheers to your own inspiration:
Miette’s display of chocolate bars inspires a Chocolate Tasting Party
Aspen Fashion Week’s popcorn snacks inspire a Movie Night menu
Rutique’s Pot a Feu is un-replicable, but what a delicious winter dinner party menu
Fresh n Wyld Friday Night Dinner inspires a Summer Evening Farmer’s Market menu
The presentation of blooming tea buds at The Slanted Door inspired me to simply have a friend over for special tea
I’ve always wanted to make this dish, and visiting The Stinking Rose inspired all sorts of garlic dish and decoration ideas for a dinner party
Junk’s salad presentation is super creative
This experience of a ‘Rocktail’ in Taos inspired me for a ‘Rocktail’ party for all my sober friends….
There are a ton of websites, books, and television shows that will list party themes and what to do to make that theme happen at your home. That is a little different than what I am suggesting in Pink Cloud Inc. blog (and hopefully a book someday). Just as I am writing, the writer was inspired to share with you, but every host or hostess needs their own personal, internal inspiration to throw a Killer-Super-Fabulous Party. You need to be stimulated and excited, so your next step is finding what inspires you.
Websites, books, and television shows are what I consider direct inspiration. At work, sometimes a designer will turn in a design that looks very similar to another designer’s look, and instead of calling it ‘copied’ or ‘knocked off’, we call it directly inspired. This is a good place to start. Look at other hostess’s parties and see if any of them really, really excite you, then plan one like it for yourself and your friends.
Here are some websites and blogs that I regularly browse: