9 Ways to (Tangerine) Tango

For me, orange has always been a love-or-hate color. I know people who are absolutely obsessed with it, and others (like myself) who can’t get anywhere near it. I do not own a single piece of orange clothing; I do not have a single orange accessory; I have never decorated with anything orange. Despite my love of pinks and reds, I have never shared the same affection for oranges or yellows (and perhaps justifiably so — they both look terrible with my skin tone).

That being said, I do believe that Tangerine Tango will be an excellent color to represent 2012 as Pantone’s Color of the Year. Honeysuckle pink was chosen for 2011 — a bold, energizing hue — and tangerine takes this concept even further. It is revitalizing and vibrant, perfect for a bright and sunny new outlook.

Despite my personal distaste for wearing orange, the pops of tangerine color that have been appearing on the runways as of late have been oddly appealing. Sometimes I think orange is incredibly ugly, but when used right, it can also be incredibly chic and refreshing. It looks amazing with some good color-blocking, and is a great burst of color in chunky necklaces or skinny belts, cinched at the waist. Fashion aside, it is also a great accent color for decorating (just don’t paint an entire room in Tangerine Tango — try a few squares of accent color instead).

Anyway, so without further ado — 9 chic tangerine pieces I found online:

And the all-important shopping information:

  1. Pleated Bib Dress, $25, forever21.com.
  2. Nantes Pennon Earrings, $98, anthropologie.com.
  3. Block Print Pillow, $20, worldmarket.com.
  4. Sparkle & Fade Suit Short, $49, urbanoutfitters.com.
  5. Roseblossom Kerchief, $14, madewell.com.
  6. Fire Ring Drops Earrings, $32, anthropologie.com.
  7. Qupid Athena Sandals, $29, piperlime.com.
  8. Edie Purse, $238, jcrew.com.
  9. Classic Wide Bangle, $28, jcrew.com.
And with that, I shall return to the comfort of my all-black wardrobe. This has been quite enough orange for one day.

 

So what are your thoughts on tangerine for 2012? Love or hate? (Please, I know there’s no in-between.)

 

{Image Sources: imagesmith.com, forever21.com, anthropologie.com, worldmarket.com, urbanoutfitters.com, madewell.com, piperlime.com, jcrew.com.}

Missoni for Target Launches in 10 Days!

…And I, for obvious reasons, could not be more thrilled. Missoni has made its mark in the fashion world and become known for its very distinct signature zig-zag pattern. I have never been a print kind of gal (I honestly have no idea why because I like prints, I just never buy them), but Missoni managed to win over my heart a long time ago. Of course, the prices made many a zig-zag print bikini or cozy knit sweater not much more than a dream for me. But no longer! Because Target’s latest high-fashion designer collaboration is the one and only Missoni.

The 400+ piece collection (!!!) will feature signature Missoni knitwear, swimwear, shoes, clothing and accessories, as well as home goods, stationary, luggage, and even a Missoni bicycle. (Okay, so I really like/want/need the bike, just because it’s cool.) Although not everything in the collection is my cup of tea (I mean, you can’t expect each item to avoid tacky territory), there are tons of fabulous pieces available for all fall fashion palettes, including lots of comfy knitwear.

These pumps are probably my favorite item from the entire collection. Definitely not one of the big stand-out pieces, but the detailing is super cute and I adore the chunky wood heel. Check out some more highlights from the complete lookbook below:

Some of the knits are cute, and I’ll probably be looking for some zig-zag patterned sweaters, like this one. A lot of the Missoni for Target accessories and home goods are super cute, I especially love those mismatched mugs! I think I’ll be spending more in the accessories department for this collection.

What are your thoughts on the Missoni for Target collab? Love it or hate it?

{Sources: top image via target.com; lookbook images via racked.com.}

Edible Art

{Chocolate Spice Moroccan Market Table for Brides Magazine | Amy Atlas Events}

As anyone who has kept up with this blog for some time (and you are champs!) would know, I do seem to have a certain penchant for desserts (don’t we all…). And I’m also a huge fan of stylish decor. When hosting parties, I’m always nitpicking over every single detail to make the atmosphere perfect — and so, these beautiful dessert tables are a huge inspiration to me. The displays are stunning and definitely help set the tone for the event. And the food looks delicious, of course!

Here is just a sampling of some of the yummy dessert table inspiration I’ve found — be sure to check out the designers’ websites for even more photos! (Trust me, their portfolios are drool-worthy…)

{Bridal Brunch Dessert Table | Amy Atlas Events}

{Poolside Dessert Table in the Hamptons | Amy Atlas Events}

{Missoni-Inspired Dessert Table for InStyle | Amy Atlas Events}

{Candy Shop Dessert Table | Amy Atlas Events}

{Graphic and Glitz Dessert Table | Shauna Younge Dessert Tables}

{Bridal Party Dessert Table | Shauna Younge Dessert Tables}

{Ice Cream Dessert Table | Jillian Event Design & Styling | Source: 100 Layer Cake}

{Lemon Dessert Table | Design 2 Decor | Source: Sweet Tooth}

I am blown away by the creativity and detail that goes into crafting these tables. The results are simply stunning and I wish I could post tons more photos. (If you want more inspiration, be sure to check out the portfolios of the designers featured in this post.) As you can see, there is quite the mix of styles out there, and something to suit every taste. I can’t wait to draw on these photos for inspiration when the opportunity comes for me to make my own dessert table!

{Sources: All images are property of their respective owners, as noted.}

How to Host an Afternoon Tea

I recently had the pleasure of having afternoon tea with a few friends. Formal (or even pretentious) as it may sound, I found it to be a great time to relax and catch up without having to go out to eat or deal with everyday time pressures. We threw ours together in under an hour, and it’s definitely something that can be set up on a whim, using basic items from the kitchen. If you’ve never had an afternoon tea, I would highly recommend trying it out – it can be an excellent way to unwind and doesn’t need to be a huge production.

The Set-Up

The setting can be as formal or informal as you like – to make your tea fancier, opt for a linen or lace tablecloth and linen napkins. Also try setting out fresh cut wildflowers if you can find them or writing out place cards. Afternoon tea – which is usually served at 4 p.m., by the way – does not need to be made into a big deal if that’s not your thing (it happens to be mine, however, and I’m a sucker for ultra-extravagant place settings). Feel free to tweak the basic tea set-up to suit your taste. A few pointers:

  • If you have fine china stacked away in a cabinet somewhere, now is the time to pull it out. It’s always fun to put it to good use for a tea with the girls!
  • If you happen to have a more savory menu (more snack food than scones), place the munchies in the middle and any dessert on the end so you can save it for last.
  • Make sure the tea is accessible to all guests present – generally, the hostess will pour tea for everyone present, but if you’re going for a more informal approach, it’s a good idea to minimize reaching across the table.
  • If you can set up your tea by a bright window, by all means do – it’s much more pleasant than sitting under artificial lighting.
  • Write out a few conversation cards before teatime if you think there might be a lull in the conversation, or if you simply want to have something fun to talk about.
  • Don’t use any large dinner plates for food – this is a tea, not a meal.

 

The Food

By teatime (4 p.m.), most people are hungry enough to eat, so feel free to put out quite a bit of food. Be forewarned, however: you might not have much of an appetite come dinner. Just keep everything in manageable bit-sized portions, because this is, after all, a tea, and eating a full meal would not be in proper taste (hah!), now would it?

It’s pretty easy to throw together some snacks from the kitchen if you’re in a rush or find yourself putting together an afternoon tea on a whim. This particular tea followed a more snack-oriented theme (with a cake served at the end), but you can also opt for more classic teatime treats, like fresh scones with butter and jam or cucumber tea sandwiches. A few recipes to try out:

The Tea

The most important part of any afternoon tea is, of course, the tea itself. Make sure you have a selection of teas available, but also feel free to brew a pot of a good loose-leaf tea as well. It’s a good idea to have a pot of plain hot water so guests can choose their own teas, but also have another pot with a nice, basic tea – perhaps Earl Grey, perhaps something more exotic, like Jasmine. Make sure to have a tea tray with the proper tea condiments: lemon wedges, sugar, and milk or cream (the British take milk, however). In 1946, George Orwell published his refreshingly direct 11 golden rules for brewing the perfect cup of tea — you can check the article out here.

Dress Code & Tea Etiquette 

Depending on how formal your tea is, you may want to have a dress code (usually nice casual clothes do the trick) or attempt to practice some of the many, many rules of tea etiquette. For example: never hold your pinkie in the air when sipping tea! I found this article to be fairly informative when it came to the rules for taking tea.

I’d be really interested to see how past teas have turned out for anyone, or if you’re planning to hold one in the future. Let me know!

chocolate chip cookie dough cupcakes

Chocolate chip cookie dough cupcakes. Try saying that five times fast.

Yeah, it’s a mouthful. No pun intended! (Okay, fine. Pun completely intended. I even spent a good three minutes setting that one up!)

But seriously, bad jokes aside — these cupcakes are too die for. For some reason, my friends and I all have an incurable obsession with cookie dough. It’s delicious and honestly who wants chocolate chip cookies? The batter is ten times better! (Try saying that five times fast too!) But I digress.

When my friend first proposed the idea of making these, I scoured the blogosphere for a good recipe to try out. Many called for baking the cupcakes first and cutting a hole in the baked cupcake to insert the cookie dough, but I wanted to find a recipe where the dough was actually baked inside the cupcake. I finally came across this recipe on Lovin’ From the Oven. (Well, it’s actually three separate recipes she compiled from various sites. This girl’s a genius!) They are not nearly as beautifully decorated as hers, as I am not skilled (at all!) with piping frosting. I can assure you they tasted heavenly though!

I used these adorable cupcake holders, which you can’t really make out on the finished cupcake. If you doubled the holders, though, I’m sure you would be able to see the pattern clearly.

You can see the cookie dough center here (although it blends in with the cake somewhat). I would recommend using mini chocolate chips if you can, as the larger chips can be a bit much. Also, the frosting is divine. A little sweet, but it balances the cupcake quite nicely and is fluffy and has the perfect subtle hint of cookie dough. Don’t skimp on this stuff!

The recipe I used was for 12 cupcakes, so I doubled all the ingredients to make 24. You will want to make the eggless cookie dough (for the filling and in the frosting) the night before. With the doubled recipe, I set aside about 3/4 cup — 1 cup dough (if you want a stronger cookie dough flavor use more) for the frosting and put that in the fridge. I then added the chocolate chips to the batter and rolled out 24 balls of dough and put those in the freezer overnight. You have to make sure they’re frozen before you make these, otherwise they’ll bake in the oven if they’re not cold enough!

Another thing I found was that I had a lot of extra cupcake batter (because the dough balls in the cupcakes displace some of the batter) and plenty of frosting (perhaps from doubling the recipe?) so if you want to make more cupcakes, make a little extra cookie dough and you’ll probably get 5-10 more, depending on how much batter you put in the cupcake holders.

These cupcakes require a little extra work than your run-of-the-mill chocolate and vanilla treats, but they are well worth the effort!

{ Source: Images by me. Please feel free to use — just leave a credit/link! }