Monday, March 27, 2017

Bella Dinner Party Ideas

I am a social butterfly, who loves to entertain and having guests over for dinner parties. Dinner parties can be warm, lovely new memories made, sample new kinds of wine and I don't have to drive far. So lovely, go light some candles, dust off the "good"plates and let's create some dinner party ideas.

Dinner Party planning central...forks and knives up and ready.

This dinner party idea was created on the UCLA campus and filled with ice breakers, networking and California views. Dinner for 12 Strangers | Huffington Post.

Dinner party themes can be a lot of fun. I love the library/book theme, Taco Tuesday, outdoor wine and pizza bar, game night, Japanese decor tablescape, boho-chic, tea party and Mojito & cigars.

How do I get invited to this gentleman's appetizer party?

Yes, yes, yes... let's plan a Bohemian backyard party. Remove all shoes please!

Please pass the hummus, pita chips, veggie's & dip, wine, bruschetta, gulp, I think I'm hungry.

Here's a cute example of fun party favors. Loot bags have changed so much!

So what have we learned? Your guests will not remember if your house was cleaned from top to bottom, but will remember your dinner party warmth. What menu is your dinner party going to have, Bella? And will you be wearing your apron when your guests arrive?
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Friday, March 24, 2017

French Madeleine Recipe

Have you noticed that French Madeleines are popping up everywhere? You can get them at coffee shops, supermarkets and at children's birthday parties. Not really...maybe just at San Francisco ones. Recently, young Bella was invited to a preschool buddies house for a Madeleine cooking party. I'm sure your asking yourself, that seems a lot for 3 & 4 years olds to make? But, her French Daddy was lovely, had the children put on paper chef hats and taught all of us his French secrets. Can I share them you?

There are many kinds of Madeleines, but below is my favorite recipe. (I usually add half of the lemon zest.) You an also make olive oil & sea salt,  jasmine tea, peanut butter, lemon shell, one side dipped in chocolate, orange zest and with a raspberry center.

Recipe makes 20 French Madeleines:

3/4 cup butter
1 2/3 cup wheat flour
2tsp baking powder
1tsp of vanilla bean (or extract) 
3 eggs
1 cup sugar
zest 1/2 lemon
1/2 cup of powered sugar

First,  preheat your oven to 425F. Next melt the butter - let it cool on the side. Spray cooking spray on the madeleine pan *the trick here is to butter and flour each tray so the Madeleines puff up and brown nicely. Using an electric mixer stiff the flour and baking powder. In a separate bowl, mix the vanilla, eggs and sugar. Now add the flour mix to the wet ingredient bowl,  add the melted butter and finally the lemon zest. 

Breathe your creation in deeply!

Quickly reduce oven heat to 400F and bake your deliciousness for 7-9 minutes. Cool madeleines on a wire rack. Once they've cooled sprinkle them with powered sugar.

Try to eat all of them within 3 days. I find that they lose their freshness if kept any longer, but I know you can complete this problem. So let's go make a cup of tea while our Madeleine's are cooling. Ah, you've worked so hard today Bella. Do you have a favorite kind of French Madeleine's? 
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Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Ah Spring Must be in the Air!

Can you feel Spring in the Air? Was there an extra spring in your step this weekend? Oh I hope so. Last Friday in San Francisco, our weather welcomed in Spring. I left my jacket at home and dare I say out loud, changed my boots to ballet shoes. It was lovely and warmer and all I wanted to do was walk through the city. "It's nice to wake up to birds tweeting instead of the President tweeting." Jimmy Fallon

Pinterest popstreetkidz trends 2016.

Get ready for shedding some layers by eating one of these Spring Quinoa bowls.

Tobias Sørensen Goes Retro for Siviglia Spring/Summer 2013 Campaign.

SLUGS Fleece Rain Boot liners with Watercolor Cuff. 

I have always been a sucker for Cadbury Easter Creme eggs. As soon as I see them in the store I know Spring is right around the corner.

Check out Sprinkles on Sunday's gorgeous blog!

Spring fever equals spring cleaning. She looks like she's having so much fun with all her pink. NowI feel the bug to clean. Watch out! Ah Spring must be in air! Which season do you love the most and how much do you love cherry blossoms?
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Monday, March 20, 2017

Disney Ruined it for Everyone!

My bedtime story would usually end…and then the prince reached out his hand, helped the princess onto the horse and they would ride off into the sunset. I can’t remember my bedtime story ever ending with…and then my prince reached for the remote, turned on the ESPN channel and he stayed sitting on the couch... for hours. In this day and age, isn’t this ending more realistic?
I recently met someone at a cafe for a networking meeting. We both had a friend in common and he felt we could help each other in business. We connected over coffee and after a half an hour of chatting about work, our conversation turned personal and we compared notes on relationships, men and women, marriage and families. One of his comments has still stayed with me.

He said, “Disney ruined how women date and look for their mates. Women are still waiting for their prince on the white horse who can’t seem to find them.”

(photo from the movie Prince of Persia)

Shouldn't we be taught that relationships can be rewarding and difficult all at the same time? When I was a little girl, it never occurred to me that my Disney prince could have faults. If I wanted to be with someone exactly like me, then I should have just dated myself!

Disney teaches a fairytale image to little girls. Women tend to be focused on the magical wedding day and not as much on the marriage. It usually takes maturity and getting your heart broken, to learn that faults in a person can be a good thing. I believe there's a problem when you don't love that person, warts and all.

In college, I was given the best dating advice: ask yourself if you would leave your new puppy with your guy for the weekend. If you say no, ask yourself why you’re leaving the little girl in you, with him. Leave comment and let me know if you agree. Did Disney ruin it for everyone?
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Friday, March 17, 2017

Face It: Growing Old Gracefully

Watching the Today Show is one of my every day morning rituals. I was getting ready for my day,
sitting in front of my makeup mirror, when I saw the segment about the book Face It: What Women Really Feel as Their Looks Change. I put down my mascara wand and was glued to the T.V. Two former models wrote this book about what beauty means to women of all ages. They discussed their thoughts on how society doesn't teach us about beauty with growing older. How do we grow older gracefully if we never discuss this?

Growing older as a woman is a much needed topic. I believe that acceptance of where you are in life is key.

And then one of the authors talked about her modeling days. She was only fifteen when she started to feel like she was aging. She was on a photo shoot with another model who was only two years older then her. After the pictures were taken another model came over to give some advice. Something about how she only had a few good years left and enjoy it while it lasted.

The model was aging at the ripe age of fifteen!

I identify with these two quotes from the book. It's almost as if the authors are speaking directly to me.
"Take back that power and you will feel more beautiful. Our culture has given beauty power over women. We are told who and what is beautiful. We know that youth is beautiful. Most people see babies as beautiful. But grandmothers can be beautiful as well. Some of the most beautiful women in the world are those who smile, engage and appear happy at any age. If you take back the power of what makes you feel attractive, you will become more attractive to yourself and others."

"Put your beauty in your identity, not your identity in your beauty. Your identity is made up of many aspects of yourself"

We don't often hear that our identity is made up of many different aspects and until we grow older. It's then that we realize we had a lot tied up in our looks. 

I finished watching the Today Show and felt torn. I wondered if I should continue to put my mascara on after being re-taught this lesson or stop what I was doing. I decided to continue because I know how I feel about beauty and what I want to teach others. Can I get a hall pass since I sat down and wrote this post about Face It! What are some of your thoughts about growing older gracefully?
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