Cupcake shops are popping up all over the place, and we LOVE it! You know how you see Starbucks on every corner (although maybe now every other corner...)? Cupcake shops are becoming as ubiquitous, and who doesn't want to be surrounded by cupcakes?
Trophy Cupcakes in Seattle is one such place. Their mission "is to provide beautiful and delicious cupcakes in a fun and creative atmosphere that inspires celebration." Sounds good to us.
Trophy is housed in Wallingford Center, in the Wallingford neighborhood of Seattle (where Dave Matthews and Eddie Vedder both have homes). Wallingford Center is a converted grade school, and Trophy is situated to the left of the main entrance when you walk in, so you do feel a little bit like you're loitering in the hallway, while waiting for your cupcakes.
Only the finest quality ingredients are used. Think "sweet cream butter" and "pure Madagascar bourbon vanilla". Is your mouth watering yet? It would be highly amusing if they still used the school bells in Wallingford Center, and we could make some sort of pithy Pavlov comment. But they don't use the bells, so nevermind.
Trophy has their solid standards of Chocolate Vanilla, Triple Chocolate, Vanilla Vanilla, Vanilla Chocolate and Red Velvet. We're pretty sure the flavors are not exactly proper nouns, and it is probably not necessary to capitalize them, but if you tasted them, you'd agree with us. They deserve capitalization. In addition to the tried-and-tested standards, they also offer 9 daily rotating flavors - you know, for intrigue - that include quirky flavor combinations like Chai Cardamom, Peanut Butter & Jelly, and one that sounds like it's calling our name: Chocolate Graham Cracker!
School is out, and, Kids, it's snacktime.
1805 N. 45th St. Ste. 209- in Wallingford Center
Miss Tyra is well on her way to world domination, with her hit "America's Next Top Model" in it's 8th, 9th or 10th season (please don't make me research my facts), and her somehow-popular daytime talk show, and her bangs. We mustn't forget the bangs. The bangs could take over the world all by themselves.
The bangs are so powerful that they must not be seen by civilians at the airport. The bangs must be carefully covered by a scarf, and then taken to a secret, private spa where they may relax and be pampered in private.
Photo: Gabriel S Matingas/Bauer-Griffin
Hidden bangs aside (or swept to the side), I sort of totally love this outfit. A lot. I love a big, fun print dress, that fits, but doesn't squeeze or poke your eyes out, and I am positively swooning over those shoes. Shocker, I know. But lookit how the color AND the pattern pick up the colors and pattern in the dress! Are you lookit-ing?
It's time, once again, for Top 10 Tuesday! If you were with us last week, you'll remember the "Ignore the Staycation Nonsense" post. Probably fondly. We are thankfully not the only travel-lovers with that perspective.
The sassy Mamas over at Traveling Mamas have created a "Boycott the Staycation" logo, which we adore:
They were also gracious enough to allow us to borrow a great Top 10 list post, to remind you where you could be going.
Courtesy of Mudslide Mama (which just makes me want to grab the Bailey's and some ice cubes), with the obligatory pithy quips from me:
Mudslide Mama says - In no particular order, the STAA Best Destinations for Travel in 2008:
1. Quebec City, in Canada: July 3rd marks Quebec City’s 400th anniversary, and the celebration will not only be festive, but also will recognize all the outdoor activities, festivals, culture and history that makes Quebec City a top vacation destination. This will be an eight month long celebration (you read that right - what a party!) with genuine French Canadian flavor.
(Ed note: we missed the July celebrations, but the autumn months are also truly gorgeous in Quebec - think colorful foliage).
2. Australia: Europeans are increasingly taking their holidays in Australia (the favorable exchange rate may have something to do with this), and resort hotels are correspondingly becoming more luxurious. But it’s not all luxury travel of course - there’s plenty of budget lodgings and eco travel opportunities in the Land Down Under. It ranks as one of my top places I’d like to see, as well.
(Ed note: This is my LAST continent, and it's nagging at me from the top of my "Must Go" list.)
3. Hawaii: Hawaii, and Maui in particular, is consistently voted the most popular tropical vacation island by those in the know (Conde Naste, Travel & Leisure, etc). It’s also the top honeymoon vacation state in the U.S., with each island offering its own unique take on what it means to be in Hawaii. Another plus: I’ve never had bad weather for more than an hour or two there. The weather is perfect.
4. China: The Specialty Travel Agents Association has chosen China as a best destination largely because of the upcoming Beijing Sumer Olympics games. However, more recently there have been some seriously disturbing issues - those that even make the news - regarding exactly how China is preparing for the games (prettifying a large, polluted urban area seems to mean dislocating a lot of long-time residents), and the country’s sanctioning of murdering monks in Tibet has led at least one country (France) to consider boycotting the Olympics. No country’s politics are perfect, of course, but with all the other great places to visit in the world, I know I have no travel plans for China in the immediate future.
(Ed note: Holiday Golightly's founder, Kerry, is currently in China. She scored an invitation to the opening ceremonies, and will hopefully use some of her free time to slap some sense into the government officials.)
5. The US Virgin Islands: Okay, I’m biased - my honeymoon was in St John, and in as such it remains one of my most favorite tropical vacation isles. St. John is 2/3 National Park land, and is the least developed of the three US Virgin Islands. St. Thomas has the most hotels and resorts, as well as the best shopping, whereas St Croix has tourism opportunities and what is considered the Easternmost part of the United States. The local saying goes, “Vacation on St. John, Shop on St. Thomas, and Live on St. Croix,” and that pretty much holds true.
6. India: It’s a large, geographically diverse country, so it would probably take more than one trip to truly get to know India. STAA recommends India for ecotravel - Bengal tigers are an endangered species, and there’s not much time left to see them in their natural state. And the Taj Mahal, needless to say, is also a huge draw.
7. Argentina: STAA recommends Argentina for those of us travel lovers who have been struggling with the dropping value of the American dollar. Rather than not travel at all, its suggested that Argentina’s bang for the buck combines well with many tourist friendly activities, top-notch restaurants, and boutique hotels.
Ed note: And Dulce de Leche.)
8. Vietnam: STAA suggests that Vietnam is the Next Best Thing in terms of luxury golf vacations, calling it the “next premier golf destination.” Really? Well, I’m not sure that golf travel packages in Vietnam will ever be on the same level as Scotland or Hawaii, but it has many other tourist friendly attractions. It’s a very affordable country to visit, for one, and two, the Vietnamese people are among the world’s nicest, most optimistic - Buddhism teaches kindness and forgiveness, and most people in Vietnam are Buddhist.
9. France: Ah, France! A Top 10 Travel list just wouldn’t seem legit without La Belle France. It’s the most popular country in the world for travel, and has everything any vacation lover could want. Luxury travel is practically defined by the French Riviera, and those of us who appreciate the fine arts go gaga over the Louvre and Orsay in Paris. 2008 is the 150th anniversary of the appearance of the Virgin Mary to a French peasant girl in Lourdes, and seeing that six million people make a religious pilgrimage there already, Lourdes is sure to be a top travel destination this year.
10. Alaska: Alaska is one of the most popular cruise destinations (with a pit stop in Vancouver, BC). Just as India’sAlaska Cruise, by Clark Misher Bengal tiger population is shrinking, so are those glaciers. Environmentally aware tourists are wanting to see the melting ice before it’s too late. The cruise ship vacations to Alaska are, of course, most popular in the spring and summer; it’s too cold for most travelers to come out of their cabins in the winter! The gorgeous scenery, combined with the summer home of many migratory species, makes cruising here an enormous draw.
Our biggest thanks and big hugs to the Traveling Mamas for sharing with us!
We told you, if you weren't taking an actual vacation this summer, you'd be spending the money online shopping, did we not? Online shopping has officially become a contact sport, in that we are being contacted, via email, with invitations to fantastic online sample sales.
In an effort to look perpetually chic for various events, our girls' weekends or just the random girls' night out, we indulge in the shopping. And the latest hot thing in online shopping is the online sample sale. These occasionally-exclusive, always distracting emails pop up weekly or daily to offer you usually high-end brands at discounts between 40%-70% off the retail prices.
HauteLook tells us "The most exclusive sales happen in private" - they allow you to sign up for free, and have offered brands such as Iisli, Decades Two, and Alice + Olivia. HauteLook does not require someone else to "sponsor" you - you may just sign up at the site, and will then receive daily emails with their sales.
Gilt Group is more exclusive, and to become a member, you must have a current member "invite" you. Although there is a link offering Today Show viewers an opportunity to sign up. Notsoexclusive - who hasn't watched The Today Show? Featured brands include Vera Wang Lavender Label, Thakoon, and Banfi Zambrelli.
Regent's Secret - another exclusive site, where you will need to be invited by an existing member. But if you look more closely, there is an option to register as a non-referral. Brands include Chelsea, Walter, and See by Chloe.
The exclusivity thing is very big, and makes people feel special, so that is some good marketing on their part.
Top Button "For fashion democracy" is more of a social site, complete with blog, user profiles etc., and is less focused on shopping than the other three sites. Some of the brands include Giorgio Armani (fragrance), LaRok, Gaiam and Bare Necessities.
Like anyone else, I adore getting email. So having these shopping opportunities just pop up in my inbox is always a treat. I'll click on the link, do a quick scan: very cute, very cute, would make me look enormous, very cute, I'm not allowed to buy any more eyelet clothing, etc., and then continue on about my business.
I haven't bought anything yet, but still look forward to the special emails, and am confident that my resistance will crumble like cookies if I see a subject line with the words "Christian Louboutin starts now!"
Chris Evans is another actor I would like to see more of. I did not see "The Nanny Diaries" or "Cellular", but I did quite enjoy Mr. Evans in his skintight scuba suit for the movie "Fantastic Four", where he played a superhero who could either run really fast, or set things on fire.
Without doing any fact-checking, I'm going to go with "set things on fire".
And me, without my flame-retardant clothing!
Did you know Chris Evans also used to date Jessica Biel?
HAPPY FRIDAY & HAVE A GREAT WEEKEND, FROM THE GOLIGHTLY GIRLS!
There used to be a commercial on TV in the 80s that sang "Cheese, glorious CHEESE! So scrumptious and luscious!" I find myself belting that jingle out, on a regular basis. This post is not for the lactose intolerant, sorry! The rest of us will honor a moment of silence for you.
Cheese! It's a garnish, it's an appetizer, it can be a full meal if you're feeling decadent. There are so many different varieties of cheese, and so many different areas and regions from which the cheese came, it's practically imperative to make it a travel/food challenge of sorts. To really experience the cheese, you should visit the place it originated. This is really just a great excuse to take a trip and eat.
We recommend starting in Europe!
The Netherlands - Gouda
Did you know this is pronounced HOW-da? We did not know that. Now we do, but will still probably say GOO-da unless in the company of an artisanal cheese expert. Gouda is a great blend of salty and sweet flavors, that develops a faint caramel taste as it ages.
Milk Type: Cow
Cheese Type: Semi-Hard
Wine Pairing: Cabernet Sauvignon & white varietals
Nottinghamshire, United Kingdom - Colston-Bassett, Stilton
The finest and creamiest Stilton, that is perfect served with Port or Sauternes for dessert. Colston-Bassett Stilton is also fabulous in salads and sauces.
Milk Type: Cow
Cheese Type: Blue
Wine Pairing: Sauternes
Lombardy, Italy - Parmigiano Reggiano
This is a hard, fat, granulated cheese made from raw cow's milk, and is vastly different from the "parmesan" cheese that masquerades as the real thing.
Milk Type: Cow
Cheese Type Hard
Wine Pairing: Champagne or a great Italian red
Fuerteventura Island, Canary Islands - Majorero Cheese
The taste is acidic, with a buttery but not salty taste. This cheese is very versatile, and can be used with pastas, potatoes and many vegetables.
Milk Type: Goat
Cheese Type: Soft
Wine Pairing: Vinho Verde
And if you can't make the trip across the pond, there is a Stateside destination that offers one of the most magnificent cheeses ever created:
Arcata, CA (Humboldt County) - Humboldt Fog
This is no time to be objective - Humboldt Fog is the best cheese ever. It is a creamy brie & blue combination that makes everything seem like a fairytale. Try it with a baguette, an apple, or just scoop it up with a spoon. It's delicious!
Milk Type: Goat
Cheese Type: Soft
Wine Pairing: Chardonnay
Pairing wine and cheese is standard; pairing travel and cheese is going to be the next big thing! Don't be afraid to jump on the bandwagon; Tuscany & Umbria have some excellent cheeses, and could be your first stop!
Jessica Biel has become more famous for her posterier and her relationship with Justin Timberlake, than for her actual acting work. THANKS, US Weekly! She has been in several of those futuristic explosion movies I don't watch, and she was also in "The Illusionist", with Edward Norton, which was very well done, and she is quite a good actress! Who would know that, US Weekly? With all your ridiculous coverage of her Justin Timberlake lovin?
She is also a very savvy airport dresser, as is evidenced from this photo.
Photo: Brett Thompsett, Kevin Perkins
This is one of my favorite travel ensembles, maybe minus the hat. Or plus a different hat. There's something too snowboarder-hip about a wool hat with a brim that is pushed a little to the side. But I digress. That is a fantastic trench, covering what looks to be like a very cute striped tunic in complimentary colors, and jeans that are the perfect length for flats. I normally run screaming from flat shoes, but I find myself strangely drawn to these patent wine numbers. I must have them. I must have them NOW!
Ohh the failing economy! Ohhh the gas prices! Ohhhh the recession! Oh come on - it's not the Great Depression (although the gas prices really are astounding). A vacation is essential to the human spirit, and a staycation is just a bunch of hooey.
Top 10 Reasons To Ignore That "Staycation" Nonsense:
1 - Staycation is not even a word. Someone made it up. It's like "truthin'" or "winningest".
2 - You deserve a vacation. You work hard!
3 - You're not getting any younger. Well? Are you?
4 - What if the economy is WORSE next year? Seriously.
5 - There is nothing on TV. And don't you dare tell me you're looking forward to the newest installment of "Big Brother".
6 - Studies have shown that people who take vacations are more effective at their jobs. You have read those same studies.
7 - You don't have to read any studies on your vacation.
8 - You know if you stay home, you're going to spend as much money online shopping as you would on a good vacation.
9 - If you don't go away, how can we be expected to miss you?
10 - If you DO go away, you can gloat and lord it over everyone else who has fallen prey to the phony-sensible "allure" of the staycation.
The whole premise of a vacation is to GET AWAY, so don't let any of those recent stories about "just ignoring your household chores" and "getting to know your own town" fool you.
A "staycation" is nothing more than being grounded. And even though you have a TV and a computer in your room, it's just not the same as getting out and enjoying all the fun things a vacation has to offer!
Dress up themes are sometimes a part of girlfriend getaways, bachelorette parties, wedding or baby showers, or just a regular old backyard party. If you've ever been confounded by a dress code, you will relate to this.
I was recently invited to a party where the theme was "Tiki Glam".
So...like a coconut bra and the YSL Tribute sandals?
Or an Alice + Olivia sequined dress with a flower halo?
I get "Tiki", and I get "Glam". What I do not get is how to smoosh those two together into a suitable outfit.
When faced with a confusing dress code, you could just email your hostess and say "HANH???" Or, better yet, ask your friend Google.
I Googled "Tiki Glam" and discovered that I am not hip or cool, and there is a whole movement out there that is Tiki Glam. There is even a website called Tiki Glam, and they explained, via photos, what it is:
Ahhh. I see.
So if you receive an invitation to an event, and are befuddled by the dress code, check with Google.
I am looking forward to the next party that has a "white clothing" dress code. That one I understand. I think.
Oh Batman. Your special bat-toolbelt is so big. Sometimes I wish Christian Bale didn't have so much integrity, so he would do more gratuitous nudity in films. And when I say "sometimes" I mean "all the time". "The Dark Knight" opens today, and Christian will be wearing a skintight rubber suit, so I guess that is something.
And I just stumbled upon something called "Metroland", which appears to be an art film, and we know what that means.
No, no, we couldn't post any still photos from "Metroland". This is not an NC-17 site, girls. You'll have to rent it from Netflix.
HAPPY FRIDAY & HAVE A GREAT WEEKEND, FROM THE GOLIGHTLY GIRLS!
- airplane travel
- austin weekend
- awards show
- bachelorette trends
- bachelorette weekend
- bouder, co
- bridal insanity
- bride gift ideas
- bridesmaid essentials
- britney spears
- cabo san lucas
- cameron mathison
- celebrities in airports
- celebrity fashion
- chicago weekend
- colorado getaway
- cowgirl weekend
- dining with girlfriends
- divvy it up
- food & wine
- friday men
- girlfriend getaway
- girlfriend weekend
- girls beach trip
- girls brunch
- girls gone fabulous
- girls night
- girls weekend
- golden globes
- guilty pleasure
- john krasinski
- katie holmes
- las vegas
- marthas vineyard
- new york
- new york weekend
- packing dilema
- san francisco weekend
- sex and the city
- ski package
- ski weekend
- spa getaway
- stacy london
- surf camp
- travel fashion
- travel to italy
- travel to tuscany and umbria
- valentines day for girls
- valentines day for singles
- wedding wear
- weekend activities
- weight loss
- what not to wear
- wine event
- winery weekend
- winter blahs