New Winner of $20.00 gift certificate to Magnolia-licious!!

Hi friends!! The first winner didn't claim the prize before 9pm tonight, so that means I pull a new winner! Here we go... The new winner of the $20.00 GC to Magnolia-licious is...........................

and #45 is.....

Congrats Shirley!! Please contact me before 9pm Pacific Sunday April 3rd to claim your GC.  If I don't hear from you by then, I will pull another winner. Thanks again to everyone that joined us in our blog hop! Hugs!

April Fool's Day FOOD

For some reason, we never really celebrated April Fool's Day until a few years ago.  Now we're having the best time with our "funny food."

This year, I'm serving "sundaes" for dinner....

Kiddo is going to be so disappointed when he realizes we are not having ice cream for dinner, but that it is, in fact, mashed potatoes and gravy. 

{To make things super easy, we're using instant mashed potatoes and jarred gravy.  I know, I know...not the healthiest, but I won't tell if you won't.}

And how cute is that "cherry?"  I was SO excited to find that jar of Peppadew peppers at the grocery store! I might have squealed.

Here are a few blasts from April Fool's past:

Mashed Potato Cupcakes...

{I think these are my favorite.}

Meatloaf Cupcakes (yes, those are meat cakes, my friends)...

Spaghetti & Meatball Cupcakes...

 I also love these ideas and am filing them away for next year:

Macaron "sliders" from One Vanilla Bean
"Grilled Cheese" from Family Fun (will be in kiddo's lunchbox tomorrow)
Candy-filled Fruit Cup from Come Together Kids
"Lasagna" from Food Network
Candy Sushi from La Casserole Carree (in French, oo-la-la)
Ducky Punch (not an April Fool's post, but I still think it would be great) from TidyMom
"Fakin' and Eggs" from Making Memories (sold by the name alone!)

Do you have any April Fool's FOOD ideas?  I wanna hear 'em.

New Things

New Tables

New Paintings

New Blue and White Bone Inlay Boxes and Pink Inlay boxes too...

Another new painting

And another fabulous and very reasonably priced table

It really is like Christmas at Black & Spiro lately with all of the beautiful new things we have arriving from our overseas suppliers and also our wonderful Australian suppliers too.  Here are a few things which just arrived in this week.  I am finding it hard not to take things home.  I whisked one of the new pink inlaid trays home with me yesterday and I am obsessed with it...almost as much as my garden!!!


Hopefully I will be back soon, but enjoy the home of the one and only Vidal Sassoon and his wife.

Vidal Sassoon and wife Ronnie designed this modern home with the help of interior designer Richard Neutra.  The home looks out onto the Pacific, downtown Los Angeles, the desert, and San Gabriel Mountains.  ENJOY!

To see more visit here.

For those of you that love modern furnishings, visit my sponsor, Spacify, here.

Architectural and Interior Design in Buckhead

See you soon,

Garden Pots Inside

After planting a few little pots for my garden table on the weekend I have been thinking I might do a few more so that I can bring some inside to put on the table in our lounge room or to place down the centre of the dining table when we have people over for dinner.  I also love how they are placed on the bench in the bathroom I have posted above.  I think it would be a nice idea to find an old rack with perforated shelves {like Brooke's} so that I can store lots of potted up succulents and also my potted bulbs and herbs in the garden near our garden shed.  Lots to do!!

PS.  If anyone is wanting to plant up some of these traditional little terracotta pots, I purchased mine from Bunnings.  I think they were approximately $2.50 per pot.  And if you live in Brisbane and want to purchase some bulbs then head to Bunnings as well.  Bulbs can be a bit tricky to buy here in Brisbane due to them not really liking our climate.   Oh and one more thing, if you want to plant some sweet peas you need to get them in this week if you live here!!  Mine were planted yesterday.  I can't wait to see them grow and flower over the coming weeks.

PPS. I only know these things about when to plant etc. thanks to Merve, Uncle Robbie, my mother, my grandmother and the lovely man at Bunnings who is my new best friend.  What would I do without them!!

image 1 - via delight by design scanned from easy elegance, image 2 - {thanks viera}

Kate Plus 8 is BACK!

cupcakeMAG gives you scoop with all things Kate and just how FABulous she is!  
Check out the one on one chat with Kate Gosselin! 

{All images courtesy of TLC}
On Monday, April 4 at 10pm, TLC brings back all-new episodes of KATE PLUS 8. Excited yet? We are thrilled. The hour-long premiere episode follows Kate and her eight as they travel 21 hours across the globe to Australia – the longest flight they’ve ever taken. Read on to see what they have been up to as they have never stopped filming. Get to know Kate a little more - from her pet peeves to her style - Kate gives us a second look at her life. 

In our interview we learned that Kate is only human as she confess to us that "My house is always somewhat 'clutter controlled', my bedroom/office is my 'dumping grounds' as I call it. It's always in half packed to go away mode and half unpacked mode... It's atrocious and I long for help in that arena...disturbing even on its best days..." She also filled us in our her newest pet peeves, " toys, snacks, cups, school paraphernalia, etc. rolling around my vehicle while driving" and like us, she probably couldn't survive without her iPhone. Kate is seriously an amazing mother and we were thrilled that she had a chance to fill us in on life. We just adore Kate and her amazing 8!

1.) We have to say -- we missed YOU and are thrilled that Kate Plus 8 is back for a 2nd season. What can we expect to see this season? 

We've not stopped filming at all so our crazily wonderful schedule has never missed a beat, but you can expect lots of travel to amazing places, some helping others, local history/education... Fun, fun, fun and lots of kid noise and mom's loud voice, as always! :)

2.) Your latest book, I Just Want You to Know, how did that come about? It will be great for your kids to read and look back on one day. We loved the format of how you wrote it. 

I Just Want You To Know was the combining of my journal I kept nearly daily while still married and before (Jon &) Kate plus 8 was a household name. It describes my struggles of that time with 8 young kids. Also laced into the book is a personal letter to each of my kids that describes them, my unique love for them, my challenges to them and my dreams for each of them. Overall, it's my favorite book I've written (on my own on my iPhone as I was traveling, no less) of my three. It's timeless and true and has surprisingly inspired moms all over to write a love letter to each of their children! Not intended, but a wonderful outcome! 

3.) Over the years we have watched how organized you are and really, have to be. What suggestions do you have or what are some of your favorite tips to keep things organized?

Do it now! If something needs to be labeled, taken care of, etc, do it now or at very least, keep a running to do list and make sure it gets on it now. My list is in the notes section of my iPhone and I have each week on it's own page with each date listed and things that need to get done on it daily (this mag interview was on today's list) as well as Target, Whole Foods list etc. I make lists! End of organizational story.

4.) You are constantly on the go and always look so well put together. What is your go-to outfit?

Aww, thanks. I go to: Jeans, a cute top and earrings and heels. Done.

5.) Back to Kate Plus 8! How has the show changed? 

Other than the obvious changes, the kids are growing up, developing friendships and schedules of their own, opinions, love of travel and knowledge and our life stress is changing in nature but constant so there's still lots of drama! Hopefully someday, you'll see me dating (gulp!) at some point... I'm moving towards considering a possibility of re-entering that world of dating... Maybe! {lol}
6.) Are you glad to have the film crew back? I am sure the kids love having them!

They've never gone and yes, we indeed love our friends.
7.) You are one busy momma + have taught so many how you can balance + be a super woman. What's up next for you? 

Currently I'm holding steady. However, I'm open always for more fun (I consider work fun... Love what I do!) and different new experiences in the media/TV world. I feel comfortable in my career and am constantly challenging myself to do more and do it well-- to the best of my ability! So, we shall see what 2011 brings my way!

And lastly, get to Kate a little more! Read on to see just what who her latest love is....

Likes: My dog Shoka -- I'm totally in love with him now (we got off to a rough puppy start but since getting him back, we are ALL in love with him). Very lucky he is part of our family. He absorbs worry and gives unconditional love!

Dislikes: decaf coffee, cold coffee, coffee that is so strong I choke! 

We seriously adore Kate (we need TEAM KATE shirts around here!) and can't wait for Season 2 of Kate Plus 8! Set your DVR's now and remember to watch Kate Plus 8 on TLC this Monday, April 4th! Check your local listings so you don't miss it! 

Heavenly Cake Baker's - Orange-Glow Chiffon Layer Cake and Devil's Food Cake w/Midnight Ganache

The Heavenly Cake Baker Group is captivating, in-depth, enthusiastic, imaginative, and open to new ideas. We are also honest to the best of our knowledge for trials, mishaps, flub-ups, victories, and a finished product actually looking and tasting like the cake is suppose to. This last week we baked the Orange-Glow Chiffon Layer Cake using the batter recipe from the Bostini cupcake batter, only changing the flour from cake flour to unbleached, all-purpose flour and baking in a 9-inch spring form pan. I thought I was error free on this recipe and just noticed while typing this post how Rose tells us to put (2) cakes strips overlapping the entire outside surface. I used one, which could be the reason my Chiffon cake was a little more sunk in the middle then others.

We also whipped together a delicious True Orange Whipped Cream to be dolloped over the top of our Chiffon cake. The orange marmalade, strained, is such a great touch along with the orange zest.

I was in a slight hurry so put the strained syrup into the freezer to cool faster before adding to the heavy cream.

I have read in Hannah's blog, another amazing baker, about why using a flower nail works so well for even baking outside to center. This cake was my first time trying the flower nail for myself and I loved how well the small metal piece works to help equally distribute heat for even baking.

Loved the cake, and loved the true orange whipped cream! Check out the rest of the group's cakes by clicking here for the blog list to see just how talented this group is.

I also made the Devil's Food Cake with Midnight Ganache back on March 13th with the rest of the Heavenly Cake Baker's but did not have time to post so I thought I would now.

I shared a slice of this cake at work and the cherries were a HUGE hit, especially since mine soaked in the cognac for over 1 week. I actually prepared to make this cake WAY ahead, knowing I was going to have a crazy schedule.

The midnight ganache lived up to the name even though I toned down the deep chocolate flavor a little by using half milk chocolate with the dark chocolate and cocoa.

If a person is looking for a chocolate overload, look no further . . . The Devil's Food Cake w/the amazing Midnight Ganache is loaded with a deep chocolate flavor, inside and out! Everyone enjoyed the cake in small pieces because of the richness and I have people still talking about the cherries two weeks later.

Bread : it's what's for dinner . . . Works for Me Wednesday

It occurs to me that I should be a marathon runner, not because I love to exercise, but because I am in a constant state of carbo-loading.

You guys....I LOVE bread.

Exhibit A: my "usual" at Panera.
French Onion Soup in a bread bowl with a side of baguette

Or as Mr. E called it this afternoon....

"Bread with a side of soup."

I admit it, I am smitten with bread...and Panera. And I LOVE than they give you the bread that was scooped out for the soup.  That chunk of bread is like a little piece of heaven. (Please tell me there is bread in heaven.)

Speaking of bread (and I can't believe I've never shared this recipe before)...this is the ULTIMATE white bread for sandwiches, toast, snacking (?). :) If you love bread like I do, I BEG you to make it.

{My pictures aren't great, but the bread....oh, it's incredible!  It's carbo-load time!}

White Bread 101 
{barely modified from The King Arthur Flour Baker's Companion }

3 c. all-purpose flour (you can subs. WHITE whole wheat flour here)
2 tsp instant yeast
1 & 1/2 tsp kosher salt
3 TBSP sugar
4 TBSP softened butter
1/4 c. dry milk
1/3 c. potato flakes
1 & 1/8 c. lukewarm water

Combine all ingredients together.  Dump onto a lightly floured surface and knead until you have a smooth dough...about 10 minutes.  Add more flour as needed, but add sparingly as more flour equals a heavier, drier loaf.

Transfer to a lightly oiled bowl; cover with oiled plastic wrap and let rise for 1 hour.

Transfer to a lightly greased work surface and shape into an 8" log.  Place in a lightly greased 8.5" x 4.5" loaf pan.  Cover loosely with the oiled plastic wrap and let rise about 1 hour....or until the dough has risen 1 inch over the rim.

Preheat oven to 350.  Uncover and bake the bread for 35-40 minutes, or until an instant thermometer reads 190 degrees. (Tent with foil during the last 10-15 minutes of baking if it is browning too quickly.)

Remove bread from the pan and place on a wire cooling rack.  After 15 minutes, brush with butter.  Cool completely before slicing.

Makes a mean grilled cheese or PB & J sandwich! 
works for me wednesday at we are that family

{This post about my love for "bread with a side of soup" is sponsored by Panera. My obsession with carbs, my love of French Onion soup and my extra 15 pounds are mine and mine alone.}

Does your BOOTY need some BLING? We got you covered! Giveaway too!

We have gotten the perfect little something for your booty. Yep, we said it. Star Candy brings you the fabulous line of cute little underwear - they truly are"blinging out on booty at a time". We LOVE. Why else are we just simply in love with this line? The designer & CEO, Marisa is just a doll! We envy her for coming up with such a brilliant idea for the booty. Star Candy is the MVP (Most Valuable Panty) in our panty drawer. As for Marisa, well she has so much passion for what she does - we had to share our chat with you! Did we say how much we LOVE her?

{Marisa at the Golden Globes Gifting Suite}
{1} Tell us about the brains behind the blingin' booty, YOU!

I was born and raised in Los Angeles. I grew up dancing ballet which taught me a lot of discipline & probably had something to do with my love of bling and glitter. I was a dancer for 14 years. The highlight of it all was dancing The Nutcracker with The Los Angeles Ballet Company at The Dorothy Candler Pavillion at The Music Center in Downtown Los Angeles. During high school I took honor's classes, was on the drill team, and became a cheerleader. After graduating high school I went on to attend the Universtity of Southern California and graduated with a degree Business Marketing from the USC Marshall School of Business.

{Marisa and her hubs, Rich at  the American Music Awards Backstage Gifting Suite}
{2} Tell us about your baby, Star Candy.

Star Candy is for the cool and confident girl who is fun and flirty. She likes to be noticed and enjoys having a little secret to surprise someone with. The undies are comfortable enough to wear daily, but could also be worn for a night out on the town.

I want women of all ages to embrace their flirtatious side, but also maintain complete confidence and comfort. When you are able to be comfortable and sexy, confidence always follows. It is so important for women to have a strong foundation of self confidence, so my goal was to create a collection of underwear that would inspire women to feel at ease in their own skin and exude self confidence as well as a splash of sex appeal.

{3} When did you realize you wanted to bling out America? Like you said, "one booty at a time!" When did the idea come to you?

It's actually a funny story. I used to do custom bling for private clients. I would decorate cell phones, belt buckles, t-shirts, & even door knobs once. I love to make rhinestone designs. One day I went downtown to this store that would let me use their heat press. I made a small design, but forgot my t-shirt. Luckily I still had some booty shorts in my car from my shopping spree the day before. So when I went out to look for the t-shirt I found the booty shorts. I figured why not just put the design on some underwear. It was literally one of the only things I had not bedazzled before. So I brought in the pair of undies (freaking out the 16 year old boy who did the heat press) and asked him to press my design on the underwear. I wore them the next day and my husband reaction was priceless. "What are those? Those are so cute!!" and that is when I decided that I was going to Bling Out America One Booty at a Time.

{4} What exactly goes into your design process?

The brainstorming process of Star Candy is never ending, It is always fun and there is no telling when a great idea might come up. Many times I will wake up and jot down some notes or a rough design and ask my husband how this would be on my booty. Once a design or phrase is selected I begin (my specialty) laying the stones and creating it by hand. Each rhinestone is set down one at a time. Once the design is finished I will press it onto the color panty I feel it should be on. After some samples are finished I like to have a little party with some friends and make it an informal focus group. The best focus session was at a happy hour with my girlfriends. One of the girls asked a group of guys what they thought of the new items, they loved them, and she got a date with the cutest one. We all agreed STOP STARING had to go to manufacturing.

We spent 1 1/2 years perfecting the fabric and making sure we had the best stones. We definitely wanted to deliver the highest quality possible. I lay the original design by hand and then send it to a factory to be mass produced. The manufacturer maintains our high standards and knows that I will not hesitate to refuse an order if it is not perfect.

{5} What is your favorite item?

I love them all but, I have 2 favorites. First is our original pair that says "WANTED" on the booty and has the pistols on the front in bright fuchsia. This is our signature pair and the one that started Star Candy. My other favorite item, which is a celebrity favorite in Hollywood, is the Skull T-Shirt. A girl can't live in panties alone!

{6} When you aren't designing your next pair of bedazzled undies, what can we find you doing?

When not working, you can usually find me at the mall. I pretty much live and breathe fashion.

I am a TOTAL animal lover. I spend time between a couple shelters volunteering and sharing my love for all the cute little furry guys. I do other charitable work for various LA based organizations. I help mainly with event planning and production.

I love to hang out with my girlfriends or double date with the hubbies. Friends are very important to me. We are lucky to be in Southern California where the weather allows us to enjoy the outdoors and my husband's BBQing. Cooking outside makes for easy clean up. 

{Ke$ha with her "Shake Your Money Maker" undies}

{7}What is up next for the biz?

We are expanding our bridal line in the next couple of months. Our goal is to have a one stop shop for the bride and her entourage.

{WIN IT! Star Candy Logo Tee & 2 Pairs of Underwear!}
We are sure at this point you are now in LOVE with Star Candy and Marisa of course - well, LOVE her even more because she is givng you a chance to win some goodies! Read on to enter to win 2 pairs of underwear to bling out your booty along with a Star Candy Logo Tee! Enter below......

Giveaway: Star Candy Logo Tee & 2 pairs of Underwear to BLING OUT YOUR BOOTY! Pick 2 of your choice! 
How to win: Visit Star Candy and tell us which 2 pairs you would choose. This comment is mandatory. You also MUST be a follower of cupcakeMAG and cupcakeMAG for Littles. 

For extra entries you can do the following below and leave us a separate comment for each letting us know. The more you comment the better chance you have to win!

1. Follow cupcakeMAG on Twitter.

2. Follow Star Candy on Twitter. 

3. Make sure you "Like" us on our Facebook page.

4. Make sure you "Like" Star Candy on Facebook. 

5. Subscribe to our updates (top right corner above) - just sign up with your email!

6. Tweet about this giveaway and include @cupcakemag -- you must tweet, not just follow.

7. Tweet about this giveaway and include @shopstarcandy -- you must tweet, nut just follow.

8. Write a blog post about this giveaway on your blog and send us the link.

We will select a winner via on Tuesday, April 12th at 11pm. Please make sure you enter the mandatory comment first before doing the extra entries.


A little under the weather today.  See you soon.

I am leaving a photograph from an advertisement for Stark Carpet that I have been in love with for some while.  I hope that you enjoy it.

Architectural and Interior Design in Buckhead

See you as soon as I can, friends.

Papertake Weekly - Sketch Week

Hi everyone! I'm soooo excited cause we're actually getting some spring weather instead of blizzards! LOL! It was sunny all day yesterday and in the 50's, and then we're supposed to be in the high 70's by Friday! It might rain next weekend, but I don't care! It's still not going to be yucky snow! LOL! Moving on from the weathr report, it's time for a new challenge from Papertake Weekly!! We get to play with one of Dawny's fabulous sketches, and we are sponsored this week by the wonderful Simon Says Stamp!

 For my card,  I used one of Peggy's cute Easter Cutouts from Peggy Loves Vintage. It's so very easy to make cards using her images! You just print one out, mat it, and attach it to your card! I think I've said it before, about the only way it's going to get any easier is to walk into a store and buy a card! Be sure and visit Peggy's blog and become a follower! She loves to give away free images!!

Cardstock is Bazzill, DP is from Nitwit Collections, flowers are Prima and Wild Orchid Crafts and the ribbon is May Arts 100% silk from Stamp and Create. I added machine stitching and popped up each individual panel. Sorry I didn't get a pic of the dimension this time.  Please be sure and visit Papertake Weekly to see the rest of my talented teamies creations. Then we'd love it if you'd grab your paper and glue and play along! Thanks for stopping by to see me today and hope to see you back again soon!

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