Hello LOVE Month -- Editors' Note - A little bit extra personal?

The month of LOVE! Oh sweet LOVE. We cherish this month as we hold our loved ones closer for Valentines Day. I especially love this month because of all the pink that fills the stores!

cupcakeMAG will be sharing with you one super fab 1st birthday for my little darling, Kennadi. We can't wait to share the event as soo many have worked so hard to make it possible. We thank you -- you know who you are! 

As always we have some must-read celeb interviews and this is the month our team takes on Mercedes- Benz Fall 2011 Fashion Week in New York City. We will have all the on-site designer interviews, designer reveals, beautiful collections and fab fashions! NYFW also makes it a crazy busy month for us but keeps us going! We can't wait to bring you all the up-to-date daily runway shows, designer interviews and on-site celeb chats!

We also have amazing giveaways and featured bloggers to share this month including an exclusive interview and giveaway with the ladies behind Layla Grayce and so much more! It is going to just be a FABulous month. 

Now - onto the more personal topic for the month. About this time last year I was getting ready to give birth to my third beautiful little girl Kennadi Audrey Monroe (yes, named after Jacqueline, Audrey and Marilyn) - almost a month and half early. Yes, I had her at 35 weeks. Weighing 4lbs 12oz when we left the hospital we were beyond blessed to spend no time in the NICU and leave with our baby girl.

Kennadi, only a few days old. 

Kennadi's Birth Announcement Photo
However, when I got home it hit me how precious and dainty Kennadi really was. I don't know if it was the anxiety of having a preemie and taking care of such a tiny little one or if I was just overwhelmed by the fact that she was so little. I went into serious post partum panic. I don't know if it was quite depression but I remember reaching out briefly on Twitter because I was having such an out of body experience of panic and it was awful, so so awful.

I thank ONE person for truly taking a second to read my tweet and saving me. Yes, saving me. She made me realize I wasn't crazy and things would be normal again shortly. So who is this so FABulous little lady I call my "Post Partum Angel" - she is known as @LaStylistMom on Twitter.

Bethany showed me that there was light at the end of the tunnel. She also taught me that many people go through this and suggested Brooke Shields amazing book "Down Came the Rain". This was a person who tweeted me. A person I had never spoke to before. That second when I got her tweet and her number I called her. She dropped everything to help me and she did. I felt so much better just talking about it. And to do this day, I am so blessed to have had someone like her to just tweet into my life. She will always be a special friend in my life. 

You would think that after having a miracle baby and going through a rough pregnancy I would be beaming with joy but the week or so after deliver was the roughest time of my life. And let me tell you, I was very thankful for my little cocktail of happy pills to get me through those teary nights.

I know this may be a little personal to share but I wanted to put it out there for my readers to see that I am too, human.  I hope I don't loose any of you. We are all human right? I wanted you all to know that it is okay to seek help. Help is good and sometimes what you have to do to make it through another day. Whether it is post-partum or just the stressers of every day life - seeking help and learning on a supportive friend during that difficult time made everything so much better. 

It is a New Year so keep it real my cupcakes and seek help if you need it - it is okay and will make you a better person. That is my February memo to all of you. And remember, I am always an email away! As always, thanks for all your love and support. Lots of love! 


Interior designer Kelli Ford has a strong affinity for blue as you will see.  Throughout this Beverly Hills vacation home that Kelli shares with husband Jerry, blue is in some form present in the rooms.  ENJOY!

Love, love this home!  Hope that you have enjoyed this tour.  Pick up your copy of this month's Veranda magazine.

See you soon,

Sneak Preview -- Toni Francesc

Spanish designer, Toni Francesc, is set to show his new collection GARUDÀ 
at Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week New York

Toni Francesc will present his Fall/Winter 2011 collection during Mercedes Benz Fashion Week and will return to Lincoln Center on Saturday, February 12, 2011, in The Studio at 9:00 p.m. This will be the fourth season Francesc will show his collection during New York Fashion Week. 2009 was the first season the designer was chosen to take part in fashion week in the U.S.

The upcoming collection, GARUDÀ, is Francescs interpretation of the Phoenix, an eagle-sized bird with red plumage burns in its own flames only to rise from its ashes every 500 years. The Phoenix has long been presented as a symbol of rebirth, immortality and renewal. The collection provides an into insight to each phase ranging from the fire to the ashes.

GARUDÀ is a collection that is focused on fire; its luminous and incandescent colors are the protagonists of the collection: intense golds, oranges and reds are the focus. The energy of the fire brings in ash grays and blacks and are combined with fabrics and silhouettes that represent the combustion and reemergence of the Phoenix. Garments are composed of luscious silks and wools. Generous, straight forms are combined with volumes that nip in at the waist and hug the body in clean lines that trace the female figure.

Francesc is at the forefront of breaking international markets for the world of Spanish designers and will continue to be successful this upcoming season.

check him out: www.tonifrancesc.com


I seem to have a rather persistent problem when it comes to packing a suitcase and that is I completely overpack.  Every single time I just can't help myself and the worst thing of all is that my carry-on luggage could be compared to everything 20 people would need for a 2 week holiday.  It is just ridiculous. 

However, after hauling my usual 10 tonnes of so-called 'I can't live without' luggage on a 20 hour flight from Brisbane to New York a few days I ago it was quite humorous to read an article by Amanda Fortini in the New York Times this morning in which she proclaims her obsession with the overpack too. 

I was comforted by the fact that she too has packing anxiety and as her friend kindly puts it - 'It's like you're traveling by ocean liner.  Will you be accompanied by a porter?'  I WISH I could be accompanied by a porter.  Usually my husband is around and has in the past helped me lug large seashells in my carry-on luggage from Hawaii and cushion covers, mirrors and a painting from LA but this time it is just me and my carry-on and let me tell you it is exhausting running for a connecting flight with 3 heavy bags.  I have vowed and declared that on our return flight next week I will only be bringing 1 bag into the cabin with me and the rest will be checked in.  It will be interesting to see how I go.

It is snowing here in New York which is quite amazing as this time last week I was swimming in our pool with Harry and Max in 30 + degrees.

Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Cupcakes. . . . . yeah, you heard me.

Kiddo's birthday was last week and he LOOOOOOOOOOVES cookie dough.
{So does his mother...it's hereditary.}

I knew exactly what to make him for his birthday cake, Cheryl's Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Cupcakes.

Let me break these bad boys down for you....

First, there is a chocolate chip cookie cupcake. Then, they are filled with chocolate chip cookie dough filling.  And finally, they are topped with a brown sugar cookie dough frosting.

{Yeah, you don't WANT to know the WW points on these puppies.}

For the cupcakes and the filling, I'm going to link you to Cheryl's printable recipe.  The only change I made on those was to add just a *pinch* of salt to the filling.  You could totally skip that if you wanted.

I changed up the frosting just a bit, so here is that recipe...

Brown Sugar Cookie Dough Frosting

3 sticks unsalted butter, room temp.
3/4 c. light brown sugar, packed
1 lb. box powdered sugar
1/2 tsp. coarse salt
3 TBSP milk
2 and &1/2 tsp vanilla
mini chocolate chips

Cream the butter and brown sugar with the paddle attachment until fluffy.  Add in the powdered sugar and beat on low until incorporated, then increase the speed and beat until smooth and combined.  Add the salt, milk and vanilla; blend until smooth.

Frost the cupcakes. (I used a Bakery Crafts 9CS tip.)  Sprinkle with mini chocolate chips.

Now, it's time for the candles.

And I have NO IDEA how this happened, but the reflection of the flames made ♥'s in the picture.  Is that cool, or what?!?!?

{Here's what 12 looks like around here.....sweaty hair, flared nostrils, fruit punch mustache and all. ♥}


Interior designer Darryl Carter worked closely with this Austin, Texas couple while designing their interior. Parents of two children, the couple visited antique shops with Carter before making choices of furniture. Carter also used reclaimed wood where possible to finish this gorgeous home. ENJOY!

I hope that you have enjoyed this post. Pick up your copy of this month's Veranda.

See you soon,

Veranda 2011

Peggy Loves Vintage - whatever you do...don't forget!!!

Happy Sunday everyone! Sure hope you're enjoying your weekend! We've actually got a little bit of weather here today. It's cloudy and we've had a mix of rain and snow showers. So it's starting to look a little more like winter than spring. Today I've got a card for you featuring another one of the adorable images from Peggy's new Cutie Couples Cutouts over at Peggy Loves Vintage. These images are soooo much fun! This card took me absolutely no time to make! I just cropped out this picture, printed up on cardstock and assembled the card.

I think this image is so funny!! Her whomping him on top of the head with her rolling pin, and him waving his little home sweet home sign. LMBO!  The sentiment is one of my own of course that I just printed up using Microsoft Word onto cardstock. The cardstock is Bazzill and the DP are from Nitwit Collections. I added some faux stitching around the panels.

So if you're looking for a way to make some cute Valentine's Day cards in a snap, and you like the vintage look, then hurry on over to Peggy Loves Vintage and grab these Cutie Couple Cutouts! You'll love them!  And don't forget to follow Peggy's blog too! She loves to give away free vintage images!!! Thanks so much for stopping by to see me today and hope to see you back again soon! Hugs!


As always, I enjoyed my trip to Birmingham to see my daughter!  Such a beautiful campus and city.

We went to Cocina * Superior for lunch.  The Mexican food here is the best I have ever eaten, and I have eaten my share, including the food in Mexico.

We later went shopping around and stopped in at Barnes and Noble, my favorite book store.  We had a coffee drink and sat on the garden deck!  It was in the 70's and sunny.  Such a gorgeous day!  ENJOY!

Have a great Sunday!  We are having another beautiful day.  I took these photographs with my new Panasonic Lumix.  Love it so far, although I haven't learned much of what the camera is capable of doing.

See you soon,


This beautifully rustic home in Aspen, Colorado was designed by Cheryl Tague.  ENJOY!

To read more about this home pick up your copy of the Jan/Feb issue of House Beautiful.

See you soon,

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