Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Diet Cake?


You'll never believe where I found my latest food favorite...Cracker Barrel. I know what you're thinking. Before you judge, read and try this for yourself. When I saw Coca-Cola cake on the menu, I thought it was unique and decided to try it. The cake was one of the most delicious, moist cakes I have ever tried.

So I did a little research online for Coca-Cola cakes and tried a few recipes. The traditional Coca-Cola cake is made with eggs and buttermilk and other delicious ingredients. Not so good for the Jillian Michaels' Shred "I better eat healthy food" mentality I've had lately.

But, after a few trial and error cakes, I found out the the best results can be achieved from an ordinary cake mix in a box. And the variations are endless.

And Diet Friendly.

Basically, a cake can be made with any soft drink in any flavor. Generally, Sprite and 7 Up work well with yellow cakes and darker soft drinks like Diet Coke and Root Beer work best with chocolate cakes. I suppose that you could use orange or other flavored soda, too, but I have not tried that. Since there is only diet soda in my house, I used Diet Coke and Root Beer.

The cakes are made without eggs, which is an excellent solution if you know someone who has an egg allergy. It's also lower in calories, fat, and cholesterol than a regular cake made with eggs and oil.

The Process
1. Mix the ingredients as instructed on the box except that instead of adding water, oil, and eggs, add 1 can of the soda of your choice.
2. Bake according to the directions on the box following temperature and time guidelines.
3. You may have to add up to 5 minutes to the baking time for any extra liquid. Check your cake to ensure that it is properly baked.
4. For layer cakes, I like to use fat free Cool Whip in between the layers.


Isn't that easy? You'll discover a delicious cake that is so moist. The cake does not rise as much as an ordinary cake, but it tastes and looks like heaven. The same process works for cupcakes, too!

What combination would you like to try? I'm thinking that a lemon cake mix with Diet Sprite would be simply divine.

Happy Wednesday!

xoxo

P.S. And speaking of food...I have the names of the lucky winners of the Lilly Pulitzer animal crackers from the giveaway sponsored by the Pink Pelican. VA Girl, Suburban Prep, and Sarah Brooke; please contact me by email to coordinate your win! Thanks to everyone who entered this fun contest.

P.S. I also wanted to invite you to visit my friend Wendy at Life is Better With a Twist of Lime. She's back in blog land after taking a little break. Her fun posts are always such a treat.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Cupcakes and Wine


On Sunday evening, I had the pleasure of enjoying cupcakes and wine with some lovely ladies including some bloggers you may know. Melanie from The Pink Washingtoniette and I had been talking about hosting a blog gathering for a while and I'm so glad that we decided to organize the party.


Pink Preppy Lilly Lover, Landlocked Mermaid, Grove Gals, DC GOP Girl, and 2 Preppy Girls were among the guests at the party. Everyone was just as lovely as I imagined and I felt as if I knew them before we "met." We talked about everything including careers, travel, and children. Isn't it so amazing how we all come together in blog land?

Ashley made the most beautiful cupcakes that not only looked but tasted like heaven. Margaret's wine was also especiallly delicious!


A huge thank you to Linda at Persnickety Palm who generously gave a special discount to include in the goodie bags.


Remember that there are major Lilly sales happening today! Rue La La and One Kings Lane are offering things from the Garnet Hill for Lilly Pulitzer line. My favorites are the quilts, shams, and towels.

Tomorrow is the last day to enter to win limited edition Lilly Pulitzer animal crackers in my giveaway. Enter to win!

xoxo

Monday, June 28, 2010

Classic Summer Drink



With the temperatures near 100 degrees, it's important to stay cool and hydrated. Aguas Frescas, fresh waters, are refreshing, light drinks that are a warm weather classic in Mexico. You can find these drinks everywhere from private homes to street vendors to upscale restaurants. The colors of the water look so pretty in clear glass containers and are elegant for parties and entertaining.


The flavor possibilities are endless. Usually, I'll make a pitcher of whatever fruit I have in abundance. Some of my favorite flavors for aguas frescas are watermelon, cantaloupe, and strawberry. The key to a good drink is to have the light fruit flavor without having a drink that is the consistency of a smoothie.

There is not an exact recipe for making aguas frescas, it's best to start blending the fruit, water, and sweetener and mix to taste. You can add sugar, agave nectar or honey to sweeten the drink. Here's a simple recipe for watermelon water, but again, you'll probably want to tweak the recipe to your taste.

Ingredients
6 seedless watermelon
2 cups cold water
1 tablespoon lime juice
1 tablespoon sugar(more or less to taste)

To Prepare
1. Cut the watermelon into cubes or scoop with a melon baller.
2. Blend half the watermelon pieces with 1 cup of water until smooth in a blender.
3. Pour through a strainer into a pitcher to remove some of the pulp. You can skip this step, but I prefer less pulp in my water.
4. Repeat the process with the remaining watermelon and water.
5. Add in the lime juice and sugar to taste.
6. Serve with ice and garnish with a slice of lime or mint.


When I was living in Mexico, we would prepare some water with leftover fruit that we had on hand. Always such a great treat.

What kind of fruit would you use to make agua frecsa?

xoxo

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Giveaway and a winner, too!


Remember how difficult it was to find the special edition Lilly Pulitzer animal crackers? Maybe you found them, but do you have any now? Here's your chance to win a box of these hard to find cookies. In fact, the Pink Pelican is sponsoring a giveaway for 3 boxes of cookies, so I'll choose 3 winners!

Here's how to enter:
1) just for leaving a comment below this post
2)by subscribing to our RSS feed on The Pink Pelican Blog.
3) by "liking" The Pink Pelican on Facebook.
4) by following us on Twitter.

Be sure to let me know how many entries to give to you! To make this a quick and fun giveaway, please submit your entry before midnight on Wednesday, June 30. I'll announce the winner on July 1!

You can shop at the Pink Pelican here. They are offering a special deal with the Ashley dress in Hen House. Buy the dress, get a pair of Spaghetti Strap McKims for free!

The Preppy Outlet, the Pink Pelican's outlet store, also has most of spring on sale for 50% off.

Here's the contact information for the Pink Pelican:
Village on Whitesburg
256-882-1433

Send an email: customerservice@thepinkpelican.com

Stop by in person:
Village on Whitesburg
4800 Whitesburg Drive Suite 6
Huntsville, Alabama 35802

A huge thank you to everyone who participated in Follow Friday! I'm constantly amazed at how wonderful our blogging community is and am delighted to find new blogs each week. Although we didn't make it to 50 links, we were close and I'm hopeful that next week there will be more than 50 bloggers on the list. Congratulations to mrs. mfc who is the lucky winner of an A. Tierney makeup bag! Thanks for sharing your blog. Please contact me within 2 days with your mailing address.

Enjoy your Sunday! Today Melanie from the Pink Washingtoniette and I are co-hosting a Cupcakes and Wine party. It will be so exciting to meet some of my "blends."

xoxo

Friday, June 25, 2010

Follow Friday!

I have a challenge for you today! Spread the word about Follow Friday so that we can have the most links to date. Tell your other blogging friends about the blog hop, spread the word on Facebook and Twitter. My goal is to have 50 links by the end of the day. When we reach the goal, we'll celebrate with a prize going to one of the bloggers who submitted a link. Get an extra giveaway entry for friends who leave a comment letting me know that you referred them to the blog hop.

Remember that the list will be new each week. The links do not carry over from one week to the next. Please link up each week for new participants to find your blogs. This list is only open to add your blog links on Fridays. It will be visible all week to visit the blogs listed. What a great way to meet new pink and green loving blog friends!

Want to be a part of this Blog Hop? Click for instructions and code…



xoxo


Thursday, June 24, 2010

Minnie Shift Designer

When I went to Persnickety Palm on Monday, the minnies were so tickled to find something just for them. The store has a template for minnies to design their own shift dress. Once the dress is designed, the store will display the fashion creation. Even better is the 20% discount that you'll get off of your next purchase.

Here's Natalia's design...


A pink and green tennis outfit complete with accessories!

And Alexia's design...


A pink and green cd motif print entitled "Let's Play Music."

Stop by Persnickety Palm to pick up your template or ask Linda to include one in your next order so that your Minnie can join the fun!

xoxo

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Isn't She...

Pretty In Pink!

I was consulting my Lilly Pulitzer Time Flies agenda and happily discovered that today, Wednesday, June 23, is National Pink Day. What a fun holiday! To celebrate, I've found some images of some of my favorite ladies who are beautiful in pink.

A few years ago, a complete stranger, a man who was maybe 65 years old, told me that I looked like a young Grace Kelly. I was so incredibly flattered and kind of agree with him when I look at this first picture. Do you see any similarities??











xoxo

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Cellphones and Cellophane


Summer is one of my favorite times to go to the movies. The girls and I went to see Toy Story 3 and I was so annoyed at the rude behavior of so many people in the theater. It was a good opportunity to discuss appropriate movie theater behavior with the girls.

1. The multitude of requests to turn off cellphones before the movie were ignored by many people. To the teenage girls two rows in front of me, I can see your illuminated screen while you are texting for an hour. It's very annoying. Along with the same cell phone etiquette, if you do happen to "forget" to turn off your cell phone and it rings during the movie, DO. NOT. ANSWER. IT. And certainly, you should not answer the phone and loudly whisper during a 5 minute conversation!


2. Yes, this is a new release. The theater will be full. Please arrive before the movie starts. Entering after the movie has started is disruptive for other patrons. No, I will not move so that little Johnny can sit in the aisle seat. If you want to select your seats, arrive early enough to do so!

3. Please keep candy "noise" to a minimum. Open plastic and cellophane containers BEFORE the movie begins. It's so annoying to hear things constantly crinkling during the movie. Try to eat and drink your refreshments quietly, especially during "quiet" moments in the movie.


4. Don't put your feet on the chair in front of you, particularly if someone is sitting there! This seriously happened in the theater. Don't kick the seat in front of you. Sounds pretty obvious, but you'd be surprised at the things that I saw. Or maybe you know what I mean about bad behavior at the movies.

5. Usually I shoot the "teacher eyes" at offending parties, but if that does not work, I let the manager know, and he or she can handle the situation.

6. When the movie ends, please take trash and throw it in the trash can. It was a shame to see so many people get up and leave all of their trash on the floor.

Am I expecting too much of people when I go to the movies? I don't think so? Have you experiences any bad behavior at the movies?

By the way, I highly recommend Toy Story 3. The messages in the movie are so sweet and there were moments where I thought I would cry. It's so sweet.

xoxo

Monday, June 21, 2010

National Wear Your Lilly Day


Today is National Wear Your Lilly Day! What better way to welcome summer than with a bright, colorful, and happy wardrobe? What are you wearing today? I'm wearing "old school" Lilly ~ my beloved Krista dress in the Juicy Patch print from Summer of 2001. It has my all time favorite print in it, too, Shrimp Cocktail. I'll pair this with orange McKims.


Summer 2001 Juicy Patch Print includes
•Shrimp Cocktail
•Pink Pigs in a Blanket
•Sunrise Pina Colada
•Pistachio Green Singapore Sling
•Fruit Punch Juice Bar
•Crocodile Cooler

Corporate Lilly Pulitzer Stores are offering a special gift with purchase today. Purchase $250, receive a Small Originals Tote. Purchase $350, receive a Large Originals Tote.

Today, I'll be visiting Persnickety Palm who is also offering special GWP goodies for this special event. Free Original Tote with total purchase of $275; free thermal mug with $100 total purchase; and free Murfee scarf with $450 total purchase!

Lilly should have a street team on patrol in the Lilly Jeep to suprise people wearing Lilly! It would be a lot of fun and they could give a special prize to Lilly lovers they find or take their picture. Lilly corporate, if you're reading this, I volunteer to be on the DC/MD/VA street team next year!

Take lots of pictures today to share! What are you wearing today?

xoxo

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Happy Father's Day

When you are out and about, do you ever see things and think, "I have to blog about this." When I was in Mexico earlier this month, I had that feeling when I saw these sculptures.


The Monumento al Padre, Monument to the Father, are three figures sculpted from bronze that are located in the Plaza del Carmen, a few steps from the Teatro de la Paz and the Carmen Church where my friend Lucia was married.

The sculptures of a father and his children are created by artists and Joel and Mario Cuevas. The playful figures are detailed and skillfully created. I initially fell in love with these figures because of their beauty, but then was determined to share them with you after I read the plaque.

It states:

“Only a parent possesses the necessary art of being able to inspire in their children respect, love and friendship, all at the same time.”

Such a powerful phrase. As a parent, I hope that I can achieve this art with my daughters, just as my father did with me.


Happy Father's Day to all of the wonderful fathers!


xoxo

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Homemade Hot Fudge



So it's summer and the last thing you probably want is something hot, but trust me, you'll LOVE this homemade recipe for hot fudge. This is my Aunt Janie's famous hot fudge that is actually closer in consistency to taffy or ganache. It is soooo good.

Ingredients:
1 cup sugar
1 heaping tablespoon cocoa
1/2 cup evaporated milk
1/3 cup light Karo syrup
1/4 cup butter
1 tsp vanilla

Preparation:
1. Put the sugar and cocoa into a heavy 1 quart pan. Stir until all the lumps are gone from the cocoa.

2. Add the evaporated milk and Karo.

3. Stir constantly while heating on medium high until it comes to a full rolling boil. Then, boil for 4 minutes.

4. Remove pan from heat. Add butter and vanilla. Stir well.

5. Serve on ice cream and enjoy!



Speaking of sweet things, have you heard about Cupcakes and Wine, an evening of fun hosted by Maryland Pink and Green and the Pink Washingtoniette? Please let me know if you would like to attend this event next Sunday evening and I will send you an email invitation with all of the details.

Happy Saturday!

xoxo

Friday, June 18, 2010

Join Follow Friday

Do you like to find new preppy blogs? I am so thrilled when I find a blog that I instantly LOVE and want to read post after post. You know the kind of blog, fun, fresh, and preppy. Last week, we had a fantastic turnout for Follow Friday and I found so many cute, new blogs. Here's how you can join the fun:

First, follow Maryland Pink and Green. Then find and read new preppy blogs on the list. Comment on the blogs telling them you’re from Friday Follow. Follow back when you get a new follower through Friday Follow.

The Blog Hop is so much fun! Follow a few or follow them all. This list will be new each week. The links do not carry over from one week to the next. Please link up each week for new participants to find your blogs. This list is only open to add your blog links on Fridays. It will be visible all week to visit the blogs listed. What a great way to meet new pink and green loving blog friends!

Hosted by Bethany at Maryland Pink and Green. Join me every Friday as we celebrate followers! Link up your blog name and URL below to follow and be followed!

Want to be a part of this Blog Hop? Click for instructions and code…



Please leave me a comment if you follow me so I make sure I am following you back!

xoxo

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Kate Spade Sample Sale

At the Kate Spade Sample Sale, you can save up to 75% off regular prices! Click here to enter the sale.

An adorable summer bag that is ideal for walking along the beach or quick shopping trips. The pink detail is a bonus!

These tights are a great match for the Jubilee Seamus dress and will be perfect to wear in the fall. I've been looking for this color ~ forever!

Kate Spade's clothing is so pretty and I'm happy to find it in more stores lately.

Hope you found something fun at the sample sale.

xoxo


P.S. Here's another fabulous deal for you. Get 25% off Vineyard Vines with the code dailycandy.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Where Zorro was filmed...


While I was visiting San Luis Potosi, Mexico, I had the opportunity to take a private tour of the Ex-Hacienda de Gogorron. This gorgeous residence is located about 40 minutes from the city. The grounds surrounding the main house served as a primary filming location for the movie, "The Legend of Zorro." Antonio Banderas and Catherine Zeta Jones both lived in San Luis Potosi on a full time basis for about 6 months and fell in love with the colonial city.

Haciendas in Mexico were large landed estates that functioned very much like a town. There is a main house, church, jail, and other buildings in addition to the vast amount of land suited for agriculture. The hacienda owner had absolute rule over his estate, but may have spent the majority of his time living in the city. The era of large haciendas ended with the Mexican Revolution of 1910. Many haciendas were burned or destroyed by revolutionaries. Today, some ex-haciendas today are privately owned while others have been converted into hotels.


The interior of the hacienda is absolutely stunning! I love the arched patio and the gorgeous colors.



This fireplace had a secret room and hiding place behind it! So cool!




Antonio Banderas brought his own horse to Gogorron to ride while the movie was being filmed. He used to ride every day on the grounds of the ex-Hacienda. Sadly, his horse died in Mexico and is buried in a secret location on the property so that the remains are left undisturbed.



This gorgeous peacock lives at the hacienda with 3 other peacocks and a variety of other animals. I had to stalk him for a while to get this gorgeous picture. Isn't he stunning?





Hope everyone has a very happy day!

xoxo




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