31 December 2012


Wishing you an elegant and fancy New Years Eve. Cheers!

xoxo, Alicia

30 December 2012

A Flurry of Photographs

The snow continues to fall here in New York and it has made for a magical feeling this season.  It makes decorating this time of year that much fun too! Lately, I have been watching the delicate snow fall through our living room windows and it's as if looking into our own personal snow globe.  How about a glimpse?

Around our neighborhood:
{A snowy sidewalk path}

{Beautiful snow fall on a stone wall}

{Mesmerized by the glow of this nearly snow covered Nativity scene down the street from us}

{Lucky to own a pair of Sorel boots...thanks mom!}

{Gigi looking lovely in her new coat. Red is definitely one of her colors!}

Around our home:

{A glittery frosty winter wreath on our door}

{Snowy window pane in our mudroom highlighting the beauty of our decorative succulents}

29 December 2012

In My World

I hope you are enjoying the holidays.  Here is a little peek at what has been happening in my little world:

{A surprise from Mr. Belle Maison Et Moi!}

{Our tree, pre-ornaments}

{Our gift wrap details...my favorite color scheme and tags out of the bunch}

{Piglet's plush new bed from my parents. She couldn't be cozier}

{Gigi's elegant new coat from my parents. She looks more beautiful in the snow, it makes the red pop!}

{A homemade beet salad in attempts to erase all the indulgent eating and to start the new year right...}

See you tomorrow with some New Year's inspiration!
xo, Alicia

14 December 2012

Funfetti Oreo Cupcakes

This is an incredibly fun recipe that I tried for my sister-in-law's birthday recently.  I'm not a cake lover but I do love a cupcake!  "What's the difference between cake and a cupcake?" people ask me all of the time with a puzzled expression. To me, there is a huge difference: the texture, the portability, the automatic portion control, and the pure fun of peeling away the (hopefully decorative) wrapper, typically ending up with a dab of frosting on the tip of the nose.

This was such a fun project that my mom and I worked on together from picking out the cupcake wrappers, finding a big enough bakery box to transport the cupcakes, adapting the steps of the super simple recipe, the photography (great work mom!), and tying it all up with a simple ribbon.

{No birthday is complete without a beautifully wrapped gift!}
Funfetti Oreo Cupcakes
Adapted from Birthday Cake Oreo Funfetti Cupcakes by Megan's Munchies

1 box of Pillsbury Funfetti Cake Mix
1 container of Betty Crocker Rainbow Chip Frosting (the best & hard to fine!!)
3 eggs
1/3 cup oil
1 cup water
1 package of Oreo cookies (Birthday Cake Oreos if you can find them, I could not)
cupcakes wrappers
rainbow sprinkles

Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

For the Cake:
With a hand or stand mixer, combine the oil, water, eggs, and cake mix. I add just a pinch more oil to keep the cake from getting dry. 

Place the cupcake wrappers in the cupcake tin and place an Oreo at the bottom of each cup.  Fill with batter to 3/4 full.

Bake for 19 minutes or until a cake tester comes out clean.  The cupcakes will be lightly golden. Cool completely.

For the Frosting:
Scoop the filling out of the center of about 6 -8 Oreo cookies (save the cookie pieces & crush them up to sprinkle on top of the frosting for decoration), add to the Rainbow Chip frosting and mix. 

Carefully frost the cooled cupcakes leaving a bit of a border around the edge and sprinkle with cookie crumbs first, followed by rainbow sprinkles. 


13 December 2012

Winter Skin Comforts

'Tis the season for dry, two sizes too small skin whether it be on your face or your body.  The products below have been tested on my VERY sensitive, dry skin with success. I hope if you try any of them you find comfort in them too.

1.) Chanel Lait Confort Cleansing Milk for Face and Eyes {$45}

I received a sample of this and was hesitant to try it as I have tried cleansing milks in the past and they were terrible at making my skin feel clean and also left a greasy layer behind.  Wow!  Much to my surprise (and I don't know why I was so surprised considering this is a Chanel products) the cleansing milk was an opaque white that spread easily and rinsed clean.  The most remarkable thing about the cleanser is that it did not have one bit of waxy consistency and for those of you have used creamy cleansers (ahem...such as the one so often recommended by dermatologists) you will know what I mean.  A bit expensive, but a small amount will do and your 'visage' will thank you.

2.) Chantecaille Fruit and Flower Acids Mask {$86}
A gentle yet effective mask for dissolving dead, dry skin much like exfoliation but without the harshness.  Beneficial to use 2-4 times per month, in my opinion depending on how much exfoliation you prefer.  Again, a bit expensive, but this is a generous jar of product and lasts quite a while as it's not used daily.

3.) South of France Shea Butter Soap {$4.99}
A pure, natural vegetable based soap that is hydrating and smells gender neutral and just plain clean!  All of the South of France soaps are wonderful, but I find this is the most hydrating for the colder months.

4.) Nivea Essentially Enriched Body Lotion {$7.49}

A classic lotion that hydrates well and not with a waxy or greasy feel.  Mine is the version with a pump so it makes it quick and easy to use after bathing.

5.) Beauty Secrets Nail Matrix Cuticle Oil {$6.99}

A longtime favorite and dual purpose: moisturizes cuticles as well as instantly dries polish without smudging it.  Very cost effective and smells like sweet almond oil! I usually purchase mine at Sally Beauty Supply.

6.) Estee Lauder 'Re-Nutriv' Intensive Smoothing Hand Creme {$50}

Another WOW moment for me when I tried this!  Sinks in immediately and is not greasy one bit...the hydration even lasts through hand washing.  Absolutely fabulous product plus I like the simple packaging with the fancy gold cap!

Please consider trying these products this winter and perhaps even gifting some of the fancier items! I think you or whomever you gift these items to would be oh so appreciative.

Stayed tuned for Funfetti Oreo Cupcakes tomorrow!

xo, Alicia

photos: 1,2,6; 3,4; 5

07 December 2012


Last night over a delicious dinner with my dear friend  S.C., we were discussing attire for various holiday parties.  Naturally, there's bound to be one ugly sweater party involved in may people's holiday invitatation list (mine included), but there are also those parties that are more semi-formal than all out glittering affairs.  Sometimes the semi-formal parties are the most difficult to dress for so I've created a collage of a mix-and-match items that can be worn in various combinations to create multiple looks for each of the holiday parties on your list.  With this concept, you won't have to buy multiple outfits for each gathering but you will never look the same twice!

Sweater, Black Skinny Pants, Pencil Skirt: J.Crew
Statement Necklace: Forever 21
Metallic Pumps: Nine West
Snow Leopard Pumps: White House Black Market

04 December 2012

Buffalo Chicken Dip

I don't know about you, but I am still feeling stuffed from Thanksgiving!  Much of the holidays is about food, naturally, and while I love formal food, sometimes for casual get togethers it is helpful to have a quick, easy dip in your repetoire.  I'm sure most of you have had some version of Buffalo Chicken Wing Dip, but not all are created equally depending on the ingredients that are used.

My husband and I love this version that a co-worker shared with me many years ago and we strictly rely on a certain brand of hot sauce and blue cheese to create a well balanced dip.

Cream Cheese (I usually use Philadelphia, but feel free to substitute your store brand if you wish)
Frank's Red Hot sauce
*Marie's Blue Cheese (found in the produce section)
Mozzarella Cheese, shredded
Celery and Carrot sticks
Frito's Scoops

In a 9x9 baking dish, mix room temperature cream cheese with a generous amount of the hot sauce and spread to cover the bottom of the pan. Pour about half a bottle of the blue cheese on top of the mixture.  Shake more hot sauce over the blue cheese.  Sprinkle with mozzarella cheese to create a semi-thick layer of cheese topping.  Bake at 350-375 (F) for 25 mins or until bubbly and/or lightly golden.  Allow to sit for 10 minutes prior to serving.  Serve with Fritos, carrot and celery sticks, or tortilla chips or crackers.


*Regular full fat blue cheese; anything less creates a sour flavor in the dip.