Maya Does Milwaukee….

One thing I have come to realize in the last few weeks is the importance of good and true friends. Between spending time with the beautious Rana, having Hillary come visit for a few days, and seeing the lovely Kate in Milwaukee this weekend – I realize how truly lucky I am (it’s always nice to be reminded of that!)

Last night I went to Milwaukee and enjoyed getting away from the little apple for a bit. I enjoyed feeling like I was in a big city for a hot minute and seeing Kate – it had been far too long! I love Milwaukee, and spending time there helped me consider the possibility of moving there someday, we’ll see : ) Milwaukee has an amazing energy: it’s artsy, authentic, and has a lot to offer us 20 somethings who are looking to strike a balance between work and pleasure. Here’s some of my favorite photos from our adventures today:

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My beautiful Kate!

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lululemon <3! I miss working there so much – definitely one of my goals to work there again one day (either at corporately or with retail!)

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Beaching it!

Summer Stripes – My Always Addiction

Every summer I find myself buying anything with bright and bold stripes. Maybe it’s my love of nautical coming into play, but I really can’t resist a striped maxi or boatneck shirt. I think I have a problem, but I’ve been good at window shopping (or surfing the Internet for goodies and inspirations). Here are a few of my newest cravings, which all include juicy colorful stripes. I should really stop daydreaming about them, but how can you blame me, these babies are beautious!

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Let’s just pretend this skirt isn’t $850….. (www.jcrew.com)

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Another J.Crew gem, this one’s a bit more in my price range for $128….(okay, not really) (www.jcrew.com)

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I really can’t get over how gorgeous this dress is – the muted colors, the perfect drape – I’m in love and I’m not afraid to admit it (www.anthropologie.com)

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Another Anthropologie beauty for summer time fun (www.anthropologie.com)

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Fresh squeezed colors in stripes – with a fun hippie vibe! We’re not even going to talk about how much beauty is…. (shopbop.com)

What’s your favorite striped piece for summer? Maybe this weekend I’ll have to find my own to add to my collection….

Flowers + Art = Perfection

I just discovered the incredible talented painter Lulie Wallace. I stumbled upon her work a few weeks ago and find myself coming back to her website admiring her incredible pieces (www.luliewallace.com). Besides having the most adorable name, Lulie paints incredible flower paintings, and her use of color is immaculate. Her pieces are whimsical, charming and fun – and I’m hoping to add a few to the apartment one day!

Here are some of her pieces, but check out more of her work on her website –

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Working Out, And Other Struggles

I used to be one of those skinny annoying people were envious of. The annoying type who (although modest), could eat a pizza and still fit into her size 0 pants. I know, no one likes that girl, and now I know why. After a successful 23 years of eating what I want, drinking what I want, and not excercizing on a regular basis….I have become what polite people refer to as “chubby”, a term I never thought would be ‘lovingly’ bestowed upon me by my boyfriend.

All crass aside, I’ve decided that the only thing to do is to do something about it. So this former skinny bitch is on a mission to become….well, a skinny bitch again. Besides purely superficial reasons, I also want to get fit to feel better. I’ve been struggling with some serious insomnia, anxiety, and all those other annoying predicaments, so hopefully this “healthy” thing will help.

Here’s what I’ve done so far…..

1) Going to Yoga, all day, every day,( except only when it’s not raining). Luckily for me, I have a wonderful teacher and an amazing studio a mere 5 blocks from my apartment. Although this limits my excuses considerably, I am very thankful. I’m hoping to find a bit more zen, balance, and flexibility on and off the mat (I’m sure I’ll share how this huge imposition goes.) I’m hoping to become this lady with a little help from Empower Yoga and a lot of veggie eating.

Via http://feel-that-burn.tumblr.com

2) I just bought Kris Carr’s “Crazy Sexy Diet” on Amazon (http://crazysexydiet.com), and I’m hoping to have it in my hot little hands soon! Besides being recommended by my fabulous yoga teacher, I’ve heard wonderful things from everyone who’s read the book. There’s a 21 day adventure cleanse (‘Adventure’ seems like a silly word, I think ‘Torture’ will probably be more accurate) and some tips for crazy sexy tips for healthy eating and living. I’ll let you know what I learn from it (I’ll proabably be obnoxiously tweeting about it), but hopefully only good things will come of it!

After 6 Years….

We finally have a good picture of the two of us together! We have pictures of us making faces at each other at junior prom, half sleeping photos with me on New Years Eve, bad haircut photos, acne photos, Brian’s hair blonde photos…..and now finally we have a few good photos – all by the lovely Shannon at PeoplePaperPrints. I seriously love this kid.

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Sprinkles Strawberry Cupcakes

Sprinkles Strawberry Cupcakes

I am the worst at baking. I am notorious for forgetting the flour, or doubling recipes, but forgetting to add more of the last few ingredients. I also tend to burn things, and start mini fires in the oven. Again, I’m the worst at baking.

But lately, I’ve had a hankering for cupcakes. Rather then spending copious amounts of money on cupcakes from the local bakery (the ones from Happy Bellies are orgasmic, really….(www.happybelliesbakeshop.com)), i decided to break out of my comfort zone and try making my own.

Obviously, I called in backup from my friend Emily, who is the best baker I know. We decided to make these delicious strawberry cupcakes from Sprinkles Bakery – a bold move. BUT, they turned out marvelously (which I accredit mostly to Emily), and they looked beautiful.

Check out the recipe I snagged from my dear friend, Martha Stewart. Also, it only makes 12, so if you’re like me and want to share the love of cupcakes with everyone you meet, double the recipe!

Ingredients – Cupcake Batter

2/3 cup whole fresh or frozen strawberries, thawed
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, sifted
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon coarse salt
1/4 cup whole milk, room temperature
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 cup sugar
1 large egg, room temperature
2 large egg whites, room temperature
Sprinkles’ Strawberry Frosting

Directions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a 12-cup muffin tin with cupcake liners; set aside.
Place strawberries in a small food processor; process until pureed. You should have about 1/3 cup of puree, add a few more strawberries if necessary or save any extra puree for frosting; set aside.
In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt; set aside. In a small bowl, mix together milk, vanilla, and strawberry puree; set aside.
In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream butter on medium-high speed, until light and fluffy. Gradually add sugar and continue to beat until well combined and fluffy. Reduce the mixer speed to medium and slowly add egg and egg whites until just blended.
With the mixer on low, slowly add half the flour mixture; mix until just blended. Add the milk mixture; mix until just blended. Slowly add remaining flour mixture, scraping down sides of the bowl with a spatula, as necessary, until just blended.

Divide batter evenly among prepared muffin cups. Transfer muffin tin to oven and bake until tops are just dry to the touch, 22 to 25 minutes. Transfer muffin tin to a wire rack and let cupcakes cool completely in tin before icing.

Ingredients – Frosting

1/2 cup whole frozen strawberries, thawed
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, firm and slightly cold
Pinch of coarse salt
3 1/2 cups confectioners’ sugar, sifted
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Directions

Place strawberries in the bowl of a small food processor; process until pureed. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat together butter and salt on medium speed until light and fluffy. Reduce mixer speed and slowly add confectioners’ sugar; beat until well combined.

Add vanilla and 3 tablespoons strawberry puree (save any remaining strawberry puree for another use); mix until just blended. Do not overmix or frosting will incorporate too much air. Frosting consistency should be dense and creamy, like ice cream.

Weddings on my mind

My lovely friend Shannon and I were scheming over lunch about event planning…and I couldn’t help getting a little (okay, a lot) excited about adorable event details and touches. I got so excited that I manged to curate an entire Pinterest board of adorable wedding/event touches.

Here are some of my current favorites for your viewing pleasure. Now I just have to magically become crafty enough to make them all

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Love this!

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Rainbow love fest!

via http://coutureeventsbylottie.com/2012/05/15/rainbows-bowties/

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Ombre Wedding love

Via http://ruffledblog.com/ombre-austin-wedding/

My favorite things – Photography + Alice in Wonderland

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Alice in Wonderland was always my favorite book growing up – what could be better than a political allegory disguised as a whimsical and charming children’s tale? Okay, but English major ranting aside, I adore these photos by the incredibly talented Annie Leibovitz. Annie, thank you – fashion photography (and photography in general) will never be the same.

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I die everytime I see this series. Annie Leibovitz, you are a goddess!