Tuesday, May 29, 2012

IPHONE CASES BY HAPPEE MONKEE


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The work of Australian photographer, Mable Tan is absolutely exquisite!  Her photography shop, Happee Monkee, features brightly colored photos of beautiful city landscape, architecutre, food and nature. I also love her use of typography to express motivational messages.  Her work is displayed as prints and photo cards, but I especially adore her iPhone cases pictured below...

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To view more of Mable's work, visit www.etsy.com/shop/happeemonkee

Friday, May 25, 2012

HAPPY PRETTY {LINKS!}


Garden painting2 by dinara mirtalipova
Hooray for the weekend!  It's time to official kick off the summer!  I'm taking Monday off to celebrate Memorial Day but I will be back on Tuesday with more happy pretty things to share with you.  In the meantime, enjoy some links!
2. Really cool iPhone Cases by Studio Rita via decor8
5. The J. Crew Ballet Boutique is open and ready for business!
6. I'm in love with the necklaces by Elephantine - and you should too!

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Chocolate Peanut Butter Cupcakes


Chocolate Peanut Butter Cup Cupcakes
These cupcakes are AMAZING!  I baked them this past weekend for a picnic and they were a hit.  I found the recipe over on Tastespotting by Danielle Jones of Something Like Susie Homemaker - she's a genius!  She adds COFFEE to bring out the intense flavor of the chocolate - BRILLIANT!
By the way, if you haven't heard of Tastespotting, head on over there now - there are tons, tons I say, of incredible recipes with stunning photos of food - so if you're into food porn - this sites for you! (bow-chica-bow-bow!) 


Chocolate Peanut Butter Cup Cupcakes (yields 24)

Choco­late Cupcakes

  • 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 3/4 cup cocoa powder
  • 1/2 tbsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 3 eggs
  • 3/4 cup buttermilk
  • 1/4 cup vegetable or canola oil
  • 3/4 cup strong coffee
  • 1/2 tbsp vanilla
Instruc­tions
  1. Pre­heat oven to 350°F/175°C
  2. In a bowl sift all the dry ingre­di­ents together: flour, sugar,cocoa pow­der, bak­ing soda, bak­ing pow­der, and the salt.
  3. In another bowl whisk together all the liq­uid ingre­di­ents: eggs, but­ter­milk, oil, cof­fee, and vanilla.
  4. Using a mixer with the pad­dle attach­ment, put all of the sifted dry ingre­di­ents in the mixer bowl and add the liq­uid mix­ture to it. Mix on medium speed for 30 sec­onds. Scrape the sides of the bowl, and mix for another 30 sec­onds on medium high. The bat­ter will be very wet.
  5. Fill the muf­fin tin with papers and then ¾ full with the batter.
  6. Bake for 15– 20 min­utes, or until a tooth­pick has been inserted into the cen­ter of one and comes out with a dry crumb on it.
  7. Let cool for a min­i­mum of 20 min­utes before frosting.
Peanut But­ter Cream Cheese Frosting
  • 1/2 cup (one stick) of butter softened
  • 1 cup smooth peanut butter
  • 1 cup cream cheese, softened
  • 4 cups powered sugar
  • 1 tbsp of heavy cream or milk
Instructions
  1. In a mixer with the pad­dle attach­ment, beat the but­ter till smooth
  2. Add the soft­ened cream cheese and beat
  3. Scrape the sides of the bowl
  4. Add the peanut but­ter and beat until fully incorporated
  5. Scrape
  6. Add in the pow­dered sugar until the frost­ing looks smooth
  7. Add in the cream or milk for 30 sec­onds on medium speed
  8. Frost cup­cakes
And Gar­nish with Reeses!!!
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MADISON SQUARE EATS


Madison Square Eats
My past weekend was packed with picnics, baking cupcakes, engagment parties, that by the time Sunday rolled along the idea of lifting a finger to cook just...felt...miserable. Joe and I decided we would just go out and eat - but which restaurant to choose from? Momofuku? Roberta's? Asia Dog?  Why not go to all of them! So off we went to the Flat Iron District to check out Madison Square Eats.
If you're in New York, and haven't checked it out - I urge you to GONOW! MSE is a food event next to Madison Square park with dozen of stands featuring some of the city's best food. They're open daily 11am to 9pm but you only have one week left before the food vendors go bye bye on June 1st. Here were some of our favorite bites below (more after the jump...)

We started off with Italian: Rice balls from Arancini Bros.(above) & Pizza fromRobertas (below)...
Robertas
Arancini Bros copy
Red Hook Lobster
Then it was off to the sea with a yummy BLT lobster sandwich from Red Hook Lobster Pound...And then to Asia with a amazing mango dog from Asia Dog. (I should mention we wanted to taste everything, so we portion controlled and took small bites - not only were stuffed at the end, but we had left-overs!)
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Peoples pops 2 copy
...Then it was time for desserts at People's Pops (where they shave the ice right there for you!) and Stuffed Artisan Cannolis because what kindof Italians would we be if we left without one?Canolis
But my FAVORITE were the cake truffles by Momofuku Milk Bar!(below)Momofuku Milk Bar
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Then we washed everything down with strawberry prosecco from Quartino...
Me

Monday, May 21, 2012

PICNIC IN THE PARK!


The weather this past weekend was incredible! A perfect day for a picnic in Central Park - which is exactly what I did with my husband Joe and some of our close friends.  You need to understand that this was a big deal. The past 4 years that Joe and I have been together, we've always said how we should go on a picnic - but we never actually did it because who has the time? But this time, we actually did! Hooray accomplishments!  Now I can cross having a Picnic in Central Park off my Spring 2012 Bucket List... Here are a couple of pics from the day...

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Friday, May 18, 2012

HAPPY WEEKEND! {LINKS}


Strawberry Salad
Friday, beautiful, Friday is finally here!  Let's end this week on a high note with a couple of links!  
1. I made this incredible Strawberry Quinoa and Chopped Salad by Cookie and Kate last evening - it's delicious!
2. Beautiful artwork by Danielle Kroll...
4. Painted snapshots by Les Ziguois - spotted on Oh Joy!
6. What I plan to bake next:  Molten chocolate cake - in a jar! Spotted on A Subtle Reverly.
{Have a great weekend!}

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

BAKED BY BUTTERFIELD


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I simply can not get enough of this new doughnut shop...and it doesn't help that it's conveniently located right outside my subway stop.  Baked by Butterfield offers artisanal, hand-crafted baked doughnuts made fresh every day.  The peanut butter and jelly doughnut is to DIE for.  Here are some pics of the yummy goodies - and yes I ate every single one!
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{peanut butter & jelly doughnut}
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{oh yes... the black & white cookie}
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Sunday, May 13, 2012

WEST CHELSEA ARTISTS OPEN STUDIOS


My biggest resolution for the spring is to force myself leave my little apartment and explore all the new and exciting things around me.  So when I read in Time Out New York that private galleries in Chelsea were opening their doors to the public, I decided to jump at the opportunity (and on my bike) and head on over.  I'm really glad I did.  It was such an amazing experience to view contemporary art - in my back yard none the less - and not have to pay, wait on lines or feel extremely drained.  Here were some of my favorite pieces that I came across on the tour.
Mike-Weiss---Jan-De-Vliegher
Jan De VliegherTreasury at the Mike Weiss Gallery
Mixed-Juicy-Juice-Joyce-Pensato-2011
Joyce Pensato,
 Juicy Juice 2011, part of the Mix/Remix exhibition at  Luhring Augustine 
Mixed-Remix---Albert-Oehlen,-Ziggy-Stargast-2011
Albert Oehlen
Ziggy Stargast , part of the Mix/Remix exhibition at  Luhring Augustine 
Mixed-Josh-Smith-Venice-Set,-2011Josh SmithVenice Set 2011 , part of the Mix/Remix exhibition at  Luhring Augustine 
Andrea-Rosen-Spring-2012-Nigel-Cooke
Nigel Cooke, Spring 2012 at the Andrea Rosen Gallery
Metro-Pictures-Cindy-Sherman
Cindy Sherman 
at Metro Pictures Gallery

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

THE HIGHLINE


1. Afternoon at the highline
Last Tuesday was the day from hell.  It was hot, humid and raining.  I could not for the life of me get my hair to dry for my 4 o'clock audition in Chelsea.  Running late, I knew it would take me three trains and nine years to get there from the Upper East Side, so I had to catch a cab - which was a miracle since all cabs go off duty at 4.  $18 dollars later, I arrived only to find out that they were done seeing people for the day.  I left the building in tears, looking like a wreck, surrounded by beautiful models.  I felt so fat...and frizzy ...and frazzeled.
So I decided make the most of my $18 dollar journey and walk along the High Line for a bit.  My mini field trip was the perfect antidote to what would've been a really crappy day.  It was so calm, peaceful and zen up there - my spirits were lifted.  I did a little people watching, took some pictures and met my husband for dinner at The Green Table inside the Chelsea Market.  Here are a couple of my little discoveries...
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I found this tiny sculpture to be amusing.  I call him Mini Model Man
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People overlooking Tenth Ave.
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This billboard made me laugh...
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...this one too! {so true!}
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People watching...
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Benches placed on top of a flowing stream/perfect to dip your feet in on a hot day!
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...good thing I wore my rainboots!

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Bonjour


Nicole
Welcome to my happy pretty blog where I will share the things in life that make are well...happy and pretty such as art, fashion, food, decor, photography and more!  Be sure to subscribe to keep up with the latest posts - I promise this blog will be a lot of fun!