Happy Halloween from the Ricardo’s

“He’s baba’d his last lu!”– Lucy Ricardo

Dressing up for halloween has ALWAYS been a highlight in our family. When my brother, sister, and I were young, our Dad made us our costumes by hand and he would take us out trick-or-treating till the last porch light in the neighborhood went off. Over the years, i’ve tried to think up fun and creative costumes for myself (i’ll admit there were definitely some dud years: last minute cowgirl anyone?). Ever since our frenchie, Rooney, joined our family, it has been customary that he and I have costumes that go together and this year was no exception:

Now this year someone else joined the family – and let me tell you, the thoughts and anxiety of: “WHAT WILL LUCY BE FOR HER FIRST HALLOWEEN???!” hit me as far back as mid-June. It turned out her costume came naturally to her…from her name, to her red hair, baby Lucy was the inspiration behind our family costume! This year I am proud to say that I will carry out my dad’s halloween spirit in my own family – check out the adorable mini Lucy and Rooney Ricardo!

Rooney’s adorable suit and tie was from Petoga Couture and his Ricky Ricardo style hat was found on amazon. I made his little bongo drum out of a cardboard flower pot and a canvas bag. Lucy’s sweet “I Love Lucy” dress and my matching apron (below) was purchased from LoverDoversClothing.

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Now on to some more fun! Since Bryan and I’s halloween celebrations consist of changing diapers, putting a baby to bed by 7:30, and diving into the bags of halloween candy that are supposed to be for trick-or-treaters, I was able to really admire what creative friends/family I have! I want to highlight my favorite halloween costumes that I saw over the weekend and today from some of my favorite people! Enjoy!

Groups/Couples

Sesame Street Martians: Aka the Yip-Yips

SO lets just start out strong. This is by far my FAV group costume ever. My friend Ashley (the blue yip-yip in case you couldnt tell ha!) goes all out with her costume on halloween, so much in fact that I look forward to her costume every single year. This year was definitely not a let down, I present the Martians…BONUS: watch them in action in the video below!

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Hey Arnold and Helga G. Pataki

Our friends Danielle & Dillon are the first of the awesome couple costumes I want to highlight. The cardboard head, locket, pigtails, and that unibrow of perfection makes this such an amazing costume!

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Marv & Harry from Home Alone: Aka The Wet Bandits

Next on the awesome duo costume, my friend Jess and her friend Chantal knock their Marv and Harry from home alone costume out of the park! The details are spot on, from the feathers to the awesome iron imprint on Harry’s face!

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Wayne and Garth: Waynes World

Another couple whose costume I always look forward to our are friends Tim & Chelsea. This year’s Wayne’s World get-up was totallyyy tubular! Party on, Garth! Party on, Wayne!

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Kids/Family

Baby Bee

Little Jasmine is making the cutie-pie meter go off through the roof in her sweet bumble bee costume. Jasmine is celebrating her very FIRST halloween and couldn’t be more beeeee-autiful in her costume!

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Paul Revere, Hollywood Starlet, and a member of the Rockford Peaches

Hello there adorable neices and nephew of mine! These three cutie’s always go all out with their costumes! From the adorable lantern and tri-cornered hat, the satin gloves and sparkly dress, and the amazing League of their Own uniform, these kids (and their super crafty/creative mom) always have the perfect accessories and costumes!

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The Cast of Little Red Riding Hood

Remember how I said my sister, brother, and I always went all out on Halloween when our dad took us out trick-or-treating? Well, my sister has been carrying on the tradition with her family for years now and this year her whole family looked as if they came straight out of a fairytale with their adorable Little Red Riding Hood costumes. Is that not the most fierce Big Bad Wolf you have ever seen and the sweetest Little Red Riding Hood? Melting.

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Raggedy Ann

Can you spot the real baby? Another first halloween for this sweet little rag-doll, Cora. Cora’s mommy and daddy are OBSESSED with halloween and always do-it-up with their own costumes and house decorations. Baby Cora is in for a lifetime full of great costumes, that is for sure!

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The WINNER of Halloween

Girl with the Pearl Earring

Remember my post about having some amazingly talented classmates in art school? Audrey has won halloween. When I was scrolling through my feed I almost skipped past this photo thinking it was an actual painting! Audrey, who is an incredible fine artist and graphic artist, was able to so perfectly transform herself into Johannes Vermeer’s famous painting of the Girl with the Pearl Earring. Prepare to be amazed…

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And with that, I bid you all a Happy Halloween! Tonight we plan on passing out candy to the neighborhood kids and/or eating all of the rest of the candy we bought for them. Hope you all have a spooktacular and safe halloween night!

love & lots of whit – jen xo

 

Valentine’s Day: Red Velvet Peanut Butter and Fluff Cupcakes

Valentine’s Day…ahhh, a time to celebrate LOVE and spend time with one another. No matter how you celebrate big or small, the happy sentiment of love all around on this day is endearing. Let me start this post by saying that Rooney was VERY excited to celebrate the holiday and would like to sell you some kisses:

14 cents is QUITE a steal!
14 cents is QUITE a steal!

Bryan and I’s love for each other and Valentine’s day goes back to our very beginning. How about a quick trip down memory lane…

Valentine’s Day 2011 proved to be the best Valentine’s Day I had ever had. Bryan surprised me the weekend before and pulled out an envelope that had a photo of the Boston skyline inside. He then let me know that on Valentine’s Day morning we would be flying into Boston for the night and coming home the following day. Keep in mind this was before we were even officially dating. So February 14, 2011, we flew to Boston and had the most amazing trip. He took me to Fenway Park (Go Red Sox!), we had dinner at amazing Italian restaurant, and we walked around one of the most charming cities i’d ever seen. The next day I had planned a little surprise for him. Long before we started dating Bryan told me, “just let me know when you are ready to start dating”. On the way home from our trip I pulled out a Mix CD that I made and played it. Each and every song on the CD said “I’m ready” or referenced being ready. He then asked me to be his girlfriend which lead to us becoming official.

The Valentine's Day trip that started it all.
The Valentine’s Day trip that started it all.

And now to Valentine’s Day 2015: I’m just going to come right out and say it. Bryan and I used to have an addiction.

Okay, okay, so maybe it was that we were just obsessed with peanut butter and fluff sandwiches when we first started dating. This year, in celebration of our love for this combination, I came up with the a cupcake that would pay tribute. Bryan’s favorite dessert is red velvet cakes/cupcakes so I wanted to use that as the base to my cupcake. I wanted to surprise Bryan with what I call Red Velvet Peanut Butter and Fluff Cupcakes. I used two different recipes and then my own ideas to create the final cupcake. Let’s just say that my Valentine loved them – here we are two days later, and there are no more cupcakes.

For the red velvet cake part of the cupcake, I did my research and ended up using Sally’s Baking Addiction‘s Red Velvet Cupcake recipe. I found this recipe to be easy to follow and made 14 delicious cupcakes.

Preparing the dry ingredients first.
Preparing the dry ingredients first.
Using the Kitchenaid to combine the wet and dry ingredients.
Using the Kitchenaid to combine the wet and dry ingredients.
After adding the red food coloring, I filled the cupcake liners.
After adding the red food coloring, I filled the cupcake liners.
Fresh out of the oven after baking at 350 degrees for 20 minutes.
Fresh out of the oven after baking at 350 degrees for 20 minutes.

While the cupcakes baked and cooled, my next focus was on the peanut butter icing. The Peanut Butter Cream Cheese Icing recipe I followed was found on food.com. This icing is to DIE for if you like peanut butter.

The delicious smooth Peanut Butter Cream Cheese icing.
The delicious smooth Peanut Butter Cream Cheese icing.

After letting the cupcakes cool, it was time for me to add my personal touch to the cupcakes. The icing incorporated the peanut butter side of peanut butter and fluff sandwiches, so I needed to now add the fluff. I used a cupcake corer to take out the center of each cupcake and then I filled each cupcake with a generous amount of ooey gooey marshmallow fluff. After filling each cupcake I finished the cupcake by piping on the peanut butter cream cheese icing.

Using a cupcake corer to remove the centers of the cupcakes.
Using a cupcake corer to remove the centers of the cupcakes.
Piping the fluff into each cupcake.
Piping the fluff into each cupcake.
Completing the cupcaks by adding Peanut Butter Cream Cheese icing.
Completing the cupcakes by adding Peanut Butter Cream Cheese icing.
Voilà! Red Velvet Peanut Butter and Fluff cupcake.
Voila! Red Velvet Peanut Butter and Fluff cupcake.

And there you have it! Just looking at these photos makes me wish I could go take a bite out of these right now. The cupcakes were just the start of our Valentine’s Day surprises. Bryan surprised me with a 70 minute couples massage which was just AMAZING. We both came out feeling completely relaxed. We then enjoyed a nice dinner at home because the snow kept us from going back out to our dinner reservations, and I was completely fine with that.

Now to leave you with a behind the scenes photo of what my photo shoot with the cupcake was REALLY like:

Rooney you are my Valentine too, but these aren't for you!
Rooney you are my Valentine too, but these aren’t for you!

love & lots of whit – jen xo

Powder Room Paint Refresh

After fully making over the morning room, our powder room which on the same level needed a little freshening up! Something about a bright yellow bathroom just doesn’t do it for me!

After fully making over the morning room, our powder room which on the same level needed a little freshening up! When we moved into our home, most of the paint choices from the previous owners were actually not too bad and we found we didn’t really need to do much painting! However; one of the rooms in the house, the powder room (which also happens to be our tiniest room), has always bothered me. Something about a bright yellow bathroom just doesn’t do it for me! Another pet peeve with the bathroom was the gold light fixture above the mirror. We are slowly trying to replace any gold hardware with brushed nickel pieces throughout the whole house. Here is our before pictures of the powder room in all of its yellow glory…warning may induce a headache from icky yellow brightness:

They call me mellow yellow...
They call me mellow yellow…
This gold light fixture had to go!
This gold light fixture had to go.

I went to the hardware store paint counter and I brought home many shades of blues and grays and taped them all over the wall. Bryan walked in and must have thought our bathroom had morphed into the paint color swatch wall at Home Depot. After many trips to and from the store, we finally decided on the perfect color blue. The color that we went with in the end is called English Channel by BEHR. We were able to prep the space and get the painting finished last Saturday and on Sunday, my dad came over to help us install a new light fixture, toilet paper rack, and hand towel rack. Afterwards, I accessorized the space a bit with new hand towels, bathroom accessories, and a rug to save our feet on that cold winter tile. I also found hand soap/lotion, Pecksniff’s in Ginger Flower & Patchouli, which I highly recommend.

Powder Room refresh = success! English Channel by BEHR.
Powder Room refresh = success! English Channel by BEHR.
Brushed Nickel lighting fixture.
Brushed nickel lighting fixture.
This Ginger Flower & Patchouli scent is absolutely amazing.
This Ginger Flower & Patchouli scent is absolutely amazing.
Side-by-side comparison. Goodbye yellow, hello navy!
Side-by-side comparison. Goodbye yellow, hello navy!

I am still trying to determine if a piece of art on the wall or some shelving adjacent to the toilet might someday be incorporated, but for now we are happy with our little weekend project, we even had a certain puppy help us with our painting!

Just call him Rooney Picasso!
Just call him Picasso!

love & lots of whit – jen xo

Meet Rooney

Since moving into our new home we have been trying to tackle one project at a time! We have been learning the good, the bad, and the ugly about home ownership which I will write more about later!

The most exciting piece of news is that on Saturday April 26, we got a new puppy! He is an 8 week old French Bulldog and was born on February 25. His name is Rooney! We have named him after Wayne Rooney from Manchester United – one of Bryan’s favorite soccer players from his favorite team. Rooney is all sorts of adorable! Check out our first family photo:

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What a photogenic little guy!

Everyone says puppies are a lot of work but whew-eee you don’t realize just HOW much work until you get one! He adapted to the house SO quickly, but since he is teething he likes to chew EVERYTHING. Luckily his cuteness makes up for the constant mini pee’s in the house, the whimpers that wake us up twice a night, and his gnaw marks on the furniture. Also, it helps that he LOVES to nap 🙂

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Here are photos of our first moments together! More updates soon on our new little bundle of puppy!

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Rooney was named after Wayne Rooney, Manchester United legend

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little fluffball ❤

love & lots of whit – jen xo