Christmas is unquestionably my favorite holiday. I love the colors, the smells, the family, the friends, the gifts, and the generally palpable goodwill. Since I was a small child my family has rallied around Christmas decor and general holiday coziness. But this year is a little different. The hubs and I are living our “year of less” so our Holiday will obviously reflect our minimal lifestyle.
This year is all about a simple pallet: black, white, and natural green. So I headed down to my handy local 99 Cent Only Store and bought some white lights and garlands…literally you can buy yards and yards of garland for pennies. Then in order to add a little touch of fancy, I headed to the LA Flower Market and scooped up a few bushels of silver dollar eucalyptus…voila!
Our cute little apartment doesn’t have a ton of storage space so rather than buying a stand for our tree [where would we store that?] I flipped our end table, it was hollow and just the perfect size to hold up our cute little tree.
I added tons of garland and recycled the candlesticks from my Friendsgiving tablescape.
The bedroom wasn’t neglected and obviously, I kept it simple.
Things can get stressful so if you need a little holiday support don’t hesitate to sign up for some coaching from me, Dr. Ally. I am making myself available for the holiday season. I hope you all have an equally beautiful and love-filled Holiday!
Hey lovelies! Cigars and Cupcakes is slowly developing into more than just an outlet for my craftiness. It’s going to develop into a space where I get to define what being feminine is to me. So, your dear Cupcakes AKA Dr. Ally has been heading around the country throwing women’s empowerment out the window like beads during Marti Gras. I showered a beautiful, motivated, and powerful group of women with love at my Atlanta Boss Babes Brunch.
We ate in the beautiful Juniper Restaurant in the Hyatt in Midtown. Being a total downtown girl I felt absolutely at home.
And of course, I added a few flowers and handouts.
Then we had the opportunity to get to know one another…
Of course, it took some genuine superheroes to help me with the logistics, The Superfriends. They are a group of dynamic ladies that throw events in the ATL area. If you need something planned you should hit that little link and check them out.
I have a few more cities in mind, so if you live in Boston, New York, or Detroit, get ready for brunch, conversation, and genuine girl magic!
Yesterday was my beloved, Aaron’s birthday. I always greet this day with equal parts excitement and trepidation. Because what do you do or get for a person that has such specific interests. I mean literally, this guy would want like a $10K camera built in 1893 currently residing in a small town in the French countryside. Like how do I get him that? So, when you find yourself in a similar situation go sentimental and focus on experiences rather than things.
Since he turned 33 I wrote down the 33 reasons why I loved him so much and hung them from balloons in our bedroom. All the inside jokes, all the moments, all the touching expressions.
Then I just love the cute balloons. Thanx Target!
Then we scheduled an intimate dinner with 10 of his closest friends at Gracias Madre in West Hollywood.
Like, look at this place; Photo by the fabulous, Tawny Alipoon.
We talked some more!
You never know what will come up at our table but you know it will be deep, confrontational, and conscious.
So, I’m utterly obsessed with all shiny things. My sisters actually call me magpie because of my fixation with bling. Hence, my serious need for a gold…seriously gold pen.
The Krylong 18 karat gold leading pen is the answer.
I don’t always have an opportunity to travel but I love it when I do. When I go somewhere I really like to act like a local, go to their local eateries, hang at the best bars, all of that townie stuff. My trip to DC wasn’t much different but I did hit up some touristy areas, don’t judge me.
I did a little shopping.
Saw some sights!
That’s the Newseum, the place where all nosey people like me get to see the history of news!
Had to swing by the National Museum of Natural History.
Then my dear friend Charita and I organized an amazing group of motivated and dynamic entrepreneurs for Sunday brunch at Lincoln. We supported each other, shared with each other, and had some seriously amazing girl boss time.
I had a little costume change so yes this was on the same day!
Then I took a very personally meaningful trip to the National Museum of African American History and was given a tour by my dear friend Timothy. She’s not just a phenomenal friend but also an amazing curator. African history is American history and as someone that always seeks knowledge, I was constantly surprised and frequently moved to tears. I recommend everyone go.
It was sugar, not cotton that brought my ancestors here.
9-year-old Rose was sold to a different plantation from her mother and on the auction block, her mother gave her this bag filled with a dress, walnuts, and a lock of her hair. she never wanted Rose to forget who she was. What were you doing when you were 9? I know I wasn’t doing this.
Nat Turner’s Bible. It’s amazing to me how religion comes to soothe the fears of people in the direst situations. Faith is a beautiful thing.
I can’t wait for change to come! May each of you go to bed tonight having made this world more beautiful for at least one person. xoxo
Let’s be honest, with world hunger, violence, terrorism, and any other number of regular atrocities, taking pictures in sprinkle pools and with life-sized gummy bears might seem like pointless fluff. And, partly, it is. However, I liken all of the heaviness of this life to a huge swimming pool. On one end the water is 3 feet deep and the other end is 30. We can only stay in the deep end for so long before we need to head back to the shallow end and catch a breather. This is that breather. We can handle everything that comes our way but we need to learn how to recharge our batteries. I do it by focusing on things that make me happy. Things like pink, cuteness, documentaries, glitter, crafts, and yoga. This week it was the Museum of Ice Cream that made all of my pink and colorful dreams come true. Here are some images, I hope you enjoy and find a little happiness today!
Wonder Woman is killing in the theaters and reflecting our changing climate where women rule supreme! No, we didn’t get Hillary but globally it’s the time of the woman. Lest we forget, the largest protest in HERstory was dedicated to and organized by women. The world is changing, gone are the days of hand to hand combat and protecting our caves, now politics requires diplomacy and a gentle thoughtful touch, that’s where we come in. So, in honor of all things woman I’ve cultivated some Wonder Woman inspo to motivate your Monday.
Go gold, metallics are powerful.
While you’re at it grab some Wonder Woman inspired fashion. Think bangles, amazonian/Greek inspired dresses, and lots of laurels.
Wonder Woman’s home, Themyscira, is a little reminiscent of ancient Rome. So why not go Greek with your inspo.
Then always remember who runs the world!!!
I love cake. Well, I guess there aren’t many people that hate cake…but I really really love it. My mother was a big baker and we baked a cake every Friday. It was our Sabbath tradition. So, I want to integrate it into my new life with my hubby.
Today isn’t a baking lesson, just a little cuteness for your day. But this is the very helpful baking pan set I used from Target. I bought a simple white boxed cake and used some of the massive amounts of pink food coloring I have lying around the house…yes I have so so much pink food coloring. I gathered 5 bowls and added 1 cup of batter to each bowl. Then I added no food coloring to the first bowl, .5 drops to the second, 1 drop to the third, 2 drops to the fourth bowl, and 3 drops of food coloring to the fifth bowl. I mixed them well and added them to the pan and baked them as directed. They baked very fast. Keep an eye on them.
And it was yummy too!
Fairy toast is possibly the cutest insta trend ever!!! I did my own version with some fancy cream cheese flavors.
I just added strawberry, blueberry, and plain cream cheese to a bowl and then…
So number one, today is my birthday!!! Yay, throw some glitter in the air!!!! Every bday I attempt to do some adorable DIY and this year is kinda my favorite. I mean look at this pink and floral goodness!
I started with an inordinate amount of balloons (light pink, pearl pink, white, and clear), glitter, confetti, a handmade paper cone (for putting glitter and confetti in the balloons), string, and a manual balloon pump.
I blew up all the balloons in different sizes and added glitter and confetti to the clear ones. Then I tied a string to something static, I choose my drawer knob and began tying balloons to the string. I spaced each balloon about four inches apart with a total length of 7 feet of string. I made a total of 5 strings. Then I taped them to the wall, by the string, adding tape to any area of string that I felt needed to be secured.
I flattened the balloons against the wall and occasionally taped one of them down too. Well, there were a few bald spots so I added a few free-floating balloons with a tiny roll of tape-sometimes more than one.
The wall didn’t feel complete so I added some silver dollar eucalyptus, lemon leaves, ranunculus, and silk peonies. At first, I tied strings around the ends of branches and tied them to other strings in the greater structure. This became exhausting so I literally started taping them directly to the wall or to balloons themselves.
This is what I ended up with, stinking cute. I placed a pink backdrop below my creation in preparation for my shoot.
Then just get cute and shoot!
If anyone makes a balloon wall I simply MUST see!!! Happy crafting my lovelies.