That’s a Wrap!

It’s always nice to have productive weeks – this was one of them. It was also filled with lots of good food, mainly ice cream (and banana splits from Oddfellows). Maybe it was the long holiday weekend that kick-started a week of focus and inspiration. If only every other work week could be four days long. I’m looking forward to an eventful weekend, starting with the Taylor Swift concert. Until then, though, lets wrap up the week with a recap…

BEHIND THE SCENES: I love glimpses into people’s days, and Gayle King’s hustle is inspiring.

GIADA: Giada de Laurentiis has a restaurant in Vegas with the best chocolate lava cake I’ve ever had. This is a great inside look at the restaurant.

FOOD PROPS: The food stylist from The Astronaut Wives Club tells all.

STEP ASIDE, WAFFLE CONES: There’s a new cone in town.

FEMALE FILMMAKERS: And how Hollywood discriminates against them.

FAST FOOD: How McDonalds started in China.

ASIAN IMMIGRANTS: Starting to (very slowly) get some respect on TV?

MARIE CURIE: Production has started on a movie about this two-time Nobel prize winning scientist. Can’t wait to see the final feature!

MOVIES TO ADD TO YOUR LIST: The best films of 2015 so far.

DRINK UP: Tea may be strengthening your bones. Cheers to that!

VERY CREATIVE: A cake with wallpaper print. How cool.

LOCATION SCOUT: Secret filming locations in Paris.

Image by Lauren


Wes Anderson-Inspired Luggage

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To be honest, it took a while for me to fully appreciate Wes Anderson’s films. My first experience with a Wes Anderson film was when I saw parts of The Royal Tenenbaums. I couldn’t get all the way through it at the time since I was young and some of those scenes were a little too graphic for a tween. Years later I watched Moonrise Kingdom, and then most recently, The Grand Budapest Hotel. It was with this last film that I became a fan.

In all of his movies one thing is for certain: Wes’s attention to detail is incomparable. The graphics, props, colors, costumes, and the invented worlds are imaginative, whimsical, and unlike any other. So, when I saw that there were travel bags created that were inspired by Wes Anderson’s The Darjeeling Limited, I couldn’t help but obsess over them (and scroll through the brand’s Instagram feed). In addition to bags, the shop owner, who is an Italian lawyer, makes other pieces of clothing, phone cases, and stickers that are all Wes-inspired.

But back to the luggage. I love when props from films come to life, especially when they’re from movies that are creative and meticulous when it comes to every pieces that is used on set. Also, how great are the palm trees, rhinos, giraffes, and zebras?

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{Images: 1, 2, 3, 4}

Eat & Watch: Architect Birthday Cake & Three Men and a Baby

3 Men and a Baby Birthday Architect Cake

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Ever since I personalized my Netflix account, the movie suggestions have been on point. One of these suggestions was Three Men and a Baby, a classic and one of the movies I used to watch when I was younger (though at the time I definitely didn’t get the drug storyline). At Peter’s birthday party, he was presented with this amazing cake, which was appropriate for him since he is an architect. I thought this themed birthday cake was such a fun idea, and it would not only be a great cake for the architect in your life, but it would be the perfect thing to eat while watching this movie. Hang Batman from this crane, and then put them on top of this double layer chocolate cake. Don’t forget extra long candles to place near the base of the crane!

Image via Three Men and a Baby

7 Favorite Kitchen Backsplashes

When it comes to kitchens, the details are the most fun part. One of these details includes backsplashes. When done right, they are practical and beautiful. These are my favorite kitchen blacksplashes:

1. This honeycomb-shaped gray mottled marble backsplash is eye-catching and unusual. I like how it climbs the wall but doesn’t go all the way. This honeycomb pattern blends well with the kitchen, and gives a simple kitchen character.


2. Use chalkboard to make your backsplash even more functional. Write down recipes, ingredients you need from the store, doodles, and inspiring quotes!


3. It is typical for backsplashes to be tile or marble, but I love this idea of having windows as a backsplash. You can look outside while you do cook or do the dishes!


4. Having a backsplash that pops out against dark hard wood floors is such a beautiful idea. These lime green tiles stand out, but not annoyingly so. Such great contrast of light and dark.


5. Backsplashes can maintain a clean and simple look, like this gorgeous off-white color. However, what keeps the look interesting is the design of the tiles. Create stunning shapes in a neutral color to keep your kitchen minimalist and unique.


6. A counter-to-ceiling backsplash, especially in this light blue color, is captivating. The tiles do have different shades of color throughout, giving the kitchen a nice dimension.


7. Go bold or go home! These big colorful tiles are such a great way to make a statement in your kitchen. They also match the floor!


What types of backsplashes do you love most?

Eat & Watch: Leopard Cupcakes & Bringing Up Baby


I am constantly finding inspiration from films for new recipes. I have had this idea/recipe floating around in my mind for a couple of months now, and I just needed the time to do it. Inspired by Bringing Up Baby (1938), I created a leopard cupcake since the movie is, after all, revolved around finding Baby, an heiress’ pet leopard. I made a simple vanilla cupcake and added rainbow sprinkles to serve as the leopard’s spots, as well as created a topping that resembled leopard spots – just more colorful.

Make the cupcakes. I followed a simple vanilla cupcake recipe (below), and then added rainbow sprinkles to create a “spotted” leopard effect.
Tip: Fill the cupcake liner 3/4 full of batter – this will give you a puffy dome effect on top of the cupcake.

While the cupcakes start cooling, start making the cupcake frosting (recipe also below). This is one of the best parts because it involves a lot of butter and sugar and food coloring. Once the cupcakes have completely cooled, spread a layer of frosting over each cupcake. I kept the frosting white for this part so that the leopard spots would stand out, but it can be any color you choose.
Don’t Forget: Set some frosting aside for the leopard spots – I set aside 3 bowls (since you’ll be using 3 colors for the spots) filled with a little more than 1/4 cup of frosting for 12 cupcakes.

Once the cupcakes have been frosted, set the cupcakes aside. It’s time to focus on the 3 bowls of frosting. Now you get to choose which colors you want to create using food coloring. I wanted a light blue and lavender spot with a dark brown edge. I used 1 blue and 1 red drop of food coloring for the lavender, and 2 blue and 1 red drops for the lighter blue. You can also add more white frosting to create a lighter color.

Once you have your colors mixed, use your decorating tools for a detailed effect. I used the smallest tip in this decorating kit so I could have more control over what I was designing.
Tip: When you have such small frosting proportions or run out of icing bags, just use a small ZipLock bag to hold the frosting.

The first thing you’ll want to do to create a leopard spot is make small circles all over the cupcake with one of your frosting colors [picture on left – I used the light blue for a circle]. Once all of the cupcakes have the first color, you can add the second color. Instead of a circle, create a shape that resembles a parentheses [picture on right – the second color I used was lavender], outlining only half of the circle. It’s okay if your circles aren’t perfect, you want it to look natural.

For the finishing touches, use your third color to outline the two-colored spots you just created. You don’t want to completely circle the spots, but enough to give it a leopard look. At first I made my darker spots too thin, so I went back and made the edges thicker. Add small random squiggles so the spots aren’t standing alone. These spots are surprisingly simple to create; the only time-consuming part is the details on the spot, but somehow I find it relaxing. The best part about these cupcakes is that you can make them all different colors and because the spots don’t need to be a perfect circle, there is room for mistakes.

Vanilla Cupcakes

· 1/2 cup of butter at room temperature
· 3 large eggs
· 2/3 cup of baker’s sugar
· 1 1/4 teaspoon of vanilla extract
· 1 1/2 teaspoons of baking powder
· 1 1/2 cups of all-purpose flour
· 1/4 teaspoon of salt
· 1/2 cup of milk (I used 1%)

* Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees.
1. Beat the butter and sugar in a bowl with an electric mixer, or you can mix by hand.
2. Add the 3 eggs, one by one, and mix well after adding each one.
3. Add the vanilla extract to the mix.
4. In a separate bowl, mix together the flour, baking powder, and salt.
5. In the bowl with the electric mixer, add the flour and milk – alternating between the two, ending with the flour.
6. Beat the mixture until smooth, and then fill the cupcake liners 3/4 full.

Cupcake Frosting


· 2 cups of sifted powdered sugar
· 1 1/4 teaspoons of vanilla extract
· 1/2 cup of butter at room temperature
· 2 1/2 tablespoons of light cream (I used half and half)

1. In a bowl, mix the butter and vanilla extract together.
2. Add the powdered sugar in little by little – if you add too much at once the powder will go all over.
3. Add the milk and blend the mixture until it is light and airy. Add more milk if the frosting is not fluffy enough.

{food photos by a dash of cinema} {bringing up baby}