Wednesday, October 9, 2013

It's never too late, or too early, to be who you want to be..


I am approaching the 6 month mark in my new career, in a brand new industry, with a HUGE learning curve - and I can without a doubt say that I am still (if not more so), as excited and enthusiastic to work with so many intelligent, cool, forward-thinking people, as I was when I started. My job is different everyday, and I learn new things almost on the hour - and I couldn't feel anymore lucky to have such a challenging, albeit rewarding, career. In reflecting on the past 6 months, I'm reminded of all of the people who have helped get me where I am today - and continue to unconditionally support and inspire me. I wrote a "letter" (alright.. technically it was an e-mail, but it's 2013 and I'm in tech - so it's fitting..) to my family, announcing my career move and thanking them for all they do. Everything I wrote in that letter 6 months ago, stands true each and every day, so I wanted to share it here, as a reminder to my family, that I love you more than words and value the relationships I have with each one of you. I continue to be impressed with such an outstanding group of people, and I feel so completely blessed to call you family. 


May 8th, 2013
Hi all!

I wanted to send out a note and let you all know that I am making a career change, and moving into the position of Technology Solutions Executive with Pomeroy. My start date is June 3rd and I am very much looking forward to this exciting change. As I approach 27, I think about what I thought my life would be when I was 18. Trust me, it looked nothing like the one I'm living today - and THANK GOD for that! I have done so much more than I imagined I was capable of, and it's all because of the ridiculously amazing people in my life.  

Scott & Val - I would say that the two of you together are the personification of "good things happen to those who wait" - but we all know that old adage is a bit flawed. In truth, good things happen to those who work hard at a goal and never give up! For people so young, your stories were already so rich when you met - and the life you have built together and the amazing children you have created are proof that if you focus on your dreams, stay positive and explore new and different things all in the pursuit of yourself - you can create a life more incredible than you had ever imagined, with the person more wonderful than you could have ever dreamed up! 

GG & Genen - I hope I can create a life with someone who is as dazzled by me, as Genen is by GG. Genen, you have always taught me to be humble and thankful for everything you are fortunate enough to have. Anytime I have been asked any variation of the questions "who do you most admire?" or "who has inspired you the most in your life?" - my answer has always been, my grandmother. GG, you have taught me so much about how to be a assiduous, successful, gracious and beautiful woman. For me, the life and love you and Genen have built is awe-inspiring, and the standard against which all others are measured. Thank you for being the most positive and enthusiastic people I know. 

Daddy & Felicia - Daddy, you have always been my best friend. Not all girls can say that about their fathers. I am so lucky to be able to say that about you. Thank you for always being there to teach, listen, advise, encourage and support me. I am also so thankful you met Felicia. She is like the icing on the cake! Fifi, your confidence in me has helped build confidence in myself, and I am so glad you are my family. 

Emily & Molly - I hope you know that throughout our lives, everything I have done, I have done with the hope of setting a positive example for the two of you. I love when asked about my siblings, because I am always bursting with so many wonderful things to say! I am so proud to have you as my sisters. You are both so beautiful and so full of energy and light. Emily, you are brilliant and hilarious! Your intelligence is beyond measure, resulting in your incredible wit. Molly, you are creative and fearless. I know you are going to be such an inspiration. 

There's a quote by one of my favorite authors that reminds me of the things I have been taught by this family:

“For what it’s worth … it’s never too late, or in my case too early, to be whoever you want to be. There’s no time limit. Start whenever you want. You can change or stay the same. There are no rules to this thing. We can make the best or the worst of it. I hope you make the best of it. I hope you see things that startle you. I hope you feel things you never felt before. I hope you meet people who have a different point of view. I hope you live a life you’re proud of, and if you’re not, I hope you have the courage to start all over again.”      - F. Scott Fitzgerald

Thank you all for everything you have taught me, and everything I will continue to learn from you. I love you so very much. 

xoxo,
Allison

Thank you all so much, and I can't wait to see what the next 6 months will bring! :)

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Chocolate Chess Pie



I wanted to make a chocolate chess pie but I didn't have enough butter or any real eggs (I typically avoid both). I did, however, have apple sauce and egg whites (I eat an obscene amount of egg whites - so I buy them by the carton, usually 2 at a time). The result was so verrryyy delicious.. Although, I don't really know how it would compare to the real-egg and real-butter version...

INGREDIENTS
Chocolate Gram Crust
10 sheets gram crackers
5 tablespoons unsweetened apple sauce
3 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon Hershey's cocoa powder

Filling
1/2 cup unsweetened apple sauce
3 tablespoons Hershey's cocoa powder
1 cup sugar
2/3 cup  Egg Beaters® 100% Egg Whites, lightly beaten
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt


DIRECTIONS1. For the crust: pulse the graham crackers in a food processor until finely ground. Add the sugar and cocoa powder. Give it another pulse. Add the apple sauce and combine until mixed. Press into a pie plate with the back of a spoon.

2. Chill for 20 minutes. Bake in a preheated 325°F. oven for 15-20 minutes. Cool for 20 minutes.

3. For the filling: Melt the butter and chocolate together. Pour into a bowl and whisk together the sugar, egg whites, vanilla and salt. When the crust has cooled for 20 minutes, poor the filling into the crust and bake in a 325°F. oven for about 40 minutes, until the top is set.

4. Top with whip cream or a dusting of powdered sugar. (optional)

Monday, December 31, 2012

Glorious Mistakes


“I hope that in this year to come, you make mistakes.

Because if you are making mistakes, then you are making new things, trying new things, learning, living, pushing yourself, changing yourself, changing your world. You're doing things you've never done before, and more importantly, you're Doing Something.

So that's my wish for you, and all of us, and my wish for myself. Make New Mistakes. Make glorious, amazing mistakes. Make mistakes nobody's ever made before. Don't freeze, don't stop, don't worry that it isn't good enough, or it isn't perfect, whatever it is: art, or love, or work or family or life.

Whatever it is you're scared of doing, Do it.

Make your mistakes, next year and forever.” 


Neil Gaiman











Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Gourmet Cookie Gift Box

The Holidays are a busy time for all of us - be it the umpteen Christmas parties to attend... the shopping (or lack there of) that sneaks up and turns into a last minute scramble with roughly the same amount spent on next day shipping, as the gifts themselves... the homemade treats and sweets that you wish you had the time to make... the list goes on. Luckily, there are little tricks and shortcuts to give the illusion of a Martha-Stewartesque-pinterest-worthy holiday that fits into the life of the always busy, modern-day woman.

So, what is one shortcut you can take to make your holiday every bit as thoughtful, gorgeous and (most importantly) affordable as you want it to be.... if you live anywhere near a Trader Joe's - you're halfway there. I've probably confessed my love for TJ's many times before, but during the holiday season, that place is solid gold. They probably spend all year planning how they're going to top the previous year because it seriously just keeps getting better. Most of the holiday items are in such pretty packaging, every bit of work is done for you.


But, if you're looking for more of a WOW factor (like a 'I spent a small fortune at a local bakery' or a 'of course these are homemade' kinda wow) they've got you covered.. with a little help from your local craft store. LISTEN - I know we already covered the busy life you have - but run into Michael's/Hobby Lobby/whatever for 5 minutes while you're running all of your other errands and pick up the 3 things from the list below. Two short errands and a little assembly time, and ta-da! You little Susie Homemaker you... and you thought you didn't have time to be this adorable.

So easy, so pretty.


WHAT YOU'LL NEED
Trader Joe's 
Dark Chocolate Star Cookies
Milk Chocolate Covered Potato Chips
Candy Cane Truffles
Pinachios
Mini Candy Cane Cookies
Chocolate Rings
Chocolate Hazelnut Cookies
Kona Coffee Creamy Half-dipped Shortbread Cookies

Note: you only need 1 of each to make 6 gift boxes
if you want to substitute any of the different 8 'ingredients' - go for it! but keep it to 8, so you have 2 treats per compartment. 
I also made sure to have a variety of color (meaning not all chocolate, not all cookie.. you get the idea.)


Michael's (or local craft store)
4-section treat boxes (x2)
**mine came in a set of 3 per package

white cupcake liners
**mine came in a set of 75 - you'll need 48 for 6 gift boxes

ribbon
whatever look you're going for - go crazy! you'll need 10 yds

Assembly time: 30-45 minutes

That's it! I also used 2 sandwich bags as "gloves" while putting the goodies into the boxes and for the love of Christmas - make sure you have a good pair of scissors for cutting the ribbon, or your crappy ones will drive you insane and make the ribbon all frayed a minimum of 17 times before you get a nice, crisp ribbon edge.

Merry Christmas!!  

Monday, March 26, 2012

Dazzling Top Coat

Top Trends - Spring 2012


This Spring Daisy Buchanan and Edie Sedgwick are throwing a party on PAN AM. The 20s met the 60s and we're all loving it.
  
So what are the Top Trends for 2012...

Birds
Pastel and Translucent Fabrics
The Peplum
Baroque Flourishes and Lots of Lace
Drop Waist/The 20s
Deep Sea - Dazzling Blues
Digital Imaging
Bra Tops - Midsection - Hot Pants
High-gloss Accents and Matte Satins
Abstract Art - Bold + Mod Florals - Black and White
White: Suits, Shoes, Accessories

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Cajun Night Before Christmas

Twas the night before Christmas an' all t'ru de house, Dey don't a ting pass Not even a mouse. De chirren been nezzle good snug on de flo', An' Mama pass de pepper t'ru de crack on de do'.

De Mama in de fireplace done roas' up de ham, Sit up de gumbo an' make de bake yam. Den out on de by-you dey got such a clatter, Make soun' like old Boudreau done fall off his ladder.

I run like a rabbit to got to de do', Trip over de dorg an' fall on de flo'. As I look out de do'in de light o' de moon, I t'ink, "Mahn, you crazy or got ol' too soon."

Cux dere on de by-you w'en I stretch ma'neck stiff, Dere's eight alligator a pullin' de skiff. An' a little fat drover wit' a long pole-ing stick, I know r'at away got to be ole St.Nick.

Mo' fas'er an' fas'er de' gator dey came He whistle an' holler an' call dem by name: "Ha, Gaston! Ha, Tiboy! Ha, Pierre an' Alcee'! Gee, Ninette! Gee, Suzette! Celeste an'Renee'!

To de top o' de porch to de top o' de wall, Make crawl, alligator, an' be sho' you don' fall." Like Tante Flo's cat t'ru de treetop he fly, W'en de big ole houn' dorg come a run hisse's by.

Like dat up de porch dem ole 'gator clim! Wit' de skiff full o' toy an' St. Nicklus behin'. Den on top de porch roof it soun' like de hail, W'en all dem big gator, done sot down dey tail.

Den down de chimney I yell wit' a bam, An' St.Nicklus fall an' sit on de yam. "Sacre!" he axclaim, "Ma pant got a hole I done sot ma'se'f on dem red hot coal."

He got on his foots an' jump like de cat Out to de flo' where he lan' wit' a SPLAT! He was dress in musk-rat from his head to his foot, An' his clothes is all dirty wit' ashes an' soot.
A sack full o' playt'ing he t'row on his back, He look like a burglar an' dass fo' a fack. His eyes how dey shine his dimple, how merry! Maybe he been drink de wine from de blackberry.

His cheek was like a rose his nose a cherry, On secon' t'ought maybe he lap up de sherry. Wit' snow-white chin whisker an' quiverin' belly, He shook w'en he laugh like de stromberry jelly!

But a wink in his eye an' a shook o' his head, Make my confi-dence dat I don't got to be scared. He don' do no talkin' gone strit to hi work, Put a playt'ing in sock an' den turn wit' a jerk.

He put bot' his han' dere on top o' his head, Cas' an eye on de chimney an' den he done said: "Wit' all o' dat fire an' dem burnin' hot flame, Me I ain' goin' back by de way dat I came."

So he run out de do' an, he clim' to de roof, He ain' no fool, him for to make one more goof. He jump in his skiff an' crack his big whip, De' gator move down, An don' make one slip.

An' I hear him shout loud as a splashin' he go, "Merry Christmas to all 'til I saw you some mo'!"

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Perfect Autumn Scent

love love love this woodsy, warm scent for chilly weather

Monday, September 26, 2011

Church Fans


I recently went to see The Help (which was amazing, hilarious and just all-around fantastic) - and one of the tiny nuances that caught my attention were the well-loved fans the women had with them at church. There was something so pretty about them, so I of course immediately set out upon an intense Google search, and discovered the 'history' behind the paper flabellum. The hand-held fans were a vital part of worship in the American South, in a time where modern air conditioning was not a luxury afforded by most churches. And although frequently depicting images of The Last Supper, or a replica of one of Warner Sallman's well-known biblical scenes on the front; the backs were considered prime real estate for funeral homes, insurance companies or even the local Buster Brown - pretty much anyone hoping to gain the attention of the wholesome homemaker 'fanning away the heat' at the Sunday Morning sermon.




Thursday, August 25, 2011

Black Honey - Fall 2011

This fall, rules are made to be broken. Mixing and matching leathers makes for a surprisingly cool, totally-not-trying combo. Slip into a sequin mini-dress and your favorite pair of worn in boots, or pair your sexiest leather leggings with a slouchy sweater and pile on the bangles. Whatever look you go for, natural eyes, slightly-stained lips, and pale polish keeps everything from having too much edge, and just enough ease.  

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Missoni for Target this September!!


Shut up, shut up, shut up!!!! Missoni is launching a 400 piece line for Target, September 13th!


According to Vogue.com: "Come fall—September 13 through October 22, to be precise—the 400-plus fruits of their collaboration (the biggest to date, apparently) will hit Target stores nationwide, the latest in a long line of couplings for the retailer (Proenza Schouler and Rodarte among them). Everything from clothes (women’s, men’s, kids'), to bed sheets, to enough dinnerware to set the table for colazione, pranzo, and cena—all in plenty of Missoni’s swirls, zigzags, and near-hallucinogenic florals. “It’s been a fantastic experiencce, " says Angela Missoni,“one we are eager to share with families across the United States.”

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Strawberry Shortcake

ohmugauh. amazing.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

The Lovely Laalee Jewelry Collection




When I was in college, my favorite birthday presents always came from my adorable friend Christy. It was always a pair of drop-dead gorgeous, wear-em-everyday earrings. Her gift for the perfect gift has recently translated into a jewelry line, Laalee, available on Etsy.com. Laalee has something for everyone, featuring cut-glass stones and precious metals. Not to mention, the price points are spot on, making Laalee the perfect little gift for just about anyone. Shop Laalee anytime during the month of July and receive 10% off for her Christmas in July SALE!

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Oh.. I'm tumbling.

I recently got a Tumblr account... I'm not 100% sure it's much different from what I accomplish through this (my blog)... But it's trendy, so I'm game. It's more or less an avenue for me to share my new crack-habit with the world - Stumbleupon. I'm obsessed.

Monday, May 2, 2011

Better than an ice cream sundae...

The most adorable girl in the world (and one of my best friends) has started a blog!! Pretty pleasing... with sugar on top: a blog about fashion, decorating and everything sweet! This blog is better than your favorite ice cream sundae - sprinkled with just enough sass! xoxox Love you Elle!!

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Banana and Ice Diet

While on the hunt for a unique (albeit - last minute) hostess gift, I settled on a single orchid. I recruited the lovely girl at the florist counter to help me select the most perfect plant and she was sweet enough to offer me some orchid care tips.. which I thought were worth passing along: 3 ice cubes, once a week and a banana slice placed under the leaves, next to the stem. Considering bathing suit season is right around the corner, I might give the orchid diet a try...

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Just in time for Spring...

With recent temperatures in the 70s, I can't help daydreaming about sunny Spring days... I'm already a huge fan of Marc Jacobs Daisy, so this lighter version, Daisy Eau So Fresh, will be absolutely perfect for warmer weather!

Monday, February 21, 2011

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Watercolor Diary

The girl's got talent...
Caitlin McGauley, a watercolor artist, is an remarkably talented young lady with quite the portfolio of work! Projects include names like Lucky, JCrew, Kate Spade, Fashion's Night Out, Hermes and Lonny Magazine - just to name a few.





I, personally, have always wished I had the time and talent to keep a watercolor a day diary... it would be such a pretty way to leave a little record behind..