Molly's Haircut

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

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Our sweet Molly did what we all dream about: chopped her long locks for a short adorable pixie. Yes I'm jealous, jealous she has the face and attitude for this cut and I don't! I was at dinner with some friends when Molly walked in the restaurant surprising all of us with her spur of the moment decision- I nearly cried I loved it so much. It looked so freeing and carefree! I immediately wanted to cut my hair right then and there, but the swollen face and bad hair texture from pregnancy reminded me it just wasn't a good idea at the moment. Plus I didn't want to it to be labeled a mom cut. Because no matter how rockin cool and BA a cut might be- if you have a kid it automatically turns into a mom cut. THE STRUGGLE. 


S'mores Cupcakes

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

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So the other day I (Molly) came home to these beauties. What a fantastic surprise right? My very talented future sister-in-law/friend made us some yummy treats. Caitlin does many of our recipes here on Irrelephant from the Caprese Pasta Salad to the Crème brûlée. Her recipes are easy to understand and make even I (who only makes cereal and sausage balls once a year) feel like a confident chef! I believe a little birdy told me she is starting her very own food blog in November!  So...Look out for that!  
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Graham Cracker Cupcakes 
2 sticks of unsalted butter, softened, plus more for pans
3 cups of cake flour, plus more for pans
2 cups packed dark-brown sugar 
1 cup granulated sugar 
6 large eggs 
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract 
1/4 teaspoon salt 
8 ounces of sour cream
1/2 teaspoon baking soda 
1 1/2 cup graham cracker crumbs (20 squares) 
1/3 cup melted unsalted butter 
1/4 cup sugar 

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Line cupcake pan with paper cupcake liners. Beat together butter and sugars with a mixer until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Beat in eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in vanilla. In a separate bowl, whisk together flour and salt. In another bowl, combine sour cream and baking soda. Start by adding 1/3 of the flour mixture to the butter and sugar mixture. Then add half of the sour cream mixture. Repeat both steps. End with the last of the flour mixture. Divide the batter between the muffin tins. 

In a small bowl combine the graham cracker crumbs with the melted butter and the sugar. Sprinkle the graham cracker mixture over each cupcake. Bake until golden brown or use a toothpick test to ensure they are done, about 30 minutes. Let cakes cool in pans, about 25-30 minutes. Remove cupcakes, and let cool completely on a wire rack. Make frosting and filling in the meantime.

Chocolate Ganache Filling
10 oz of chocolate chips
1 cup of heavy whipping cream
1 teaspoon of vanilla
Piping bag 

Melt the chocolate into the heavy cream over a double boiler, over medium heat. Stir constantly to ensure even melting. Allow to come to room temperature. 

Marshmallow Frosting
8 large egg whites
2 cups of sugar
1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar 
2 teaspoons of pure vanilla extract 
Brûlée' torch
Frosting bag and large round tip

Place the egg white, sugar, and cream of tartar in a heat proof bowl. Set over a sauce pan filled with simmering water (double boiler concept). Whisk constantly until the sugar is dissolved and the whites are warm to the touch. About 3-4 minutes. Remove from heat and beat with an electric mixer/beater. Start on low speed and gradually increase to high. Beating until stiff, glossy peaks form, 5-7 minutes. Add vanilla and mix until combined. 

Now, assemble your cupcakes!! 

Use a 1/2 inch cookie cutter and cut the centers out of the cupcakes. Fill a frosting bag with chocolate ganache and pipe the chocolate filling into the cupcakes. 
Using a clean bag with a large round tip, pipe the frosting on top of the cupcakes. Toast the tops with a brûlée torch, taking care not to burn the paper liners. Serve immediately and Enjoy! 


Splash of Color

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

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Color blocking is in.. So why not do it with your hair? 
We used our models ombred purple hair to create a color blocked updo! 

Adding a pop of color like this is a great way to change your style. If you didn't want to commit to the process of coloring but really wanted this look you could try a scarf/headband or even some of Bumble and Bumble's Spray Chalk.

Happy Tuesday!


Baby "Shower" Party

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

As we are still patiently waiting for baby Ballentine to bless us with his presence, we will show another big step in preparing for his arrival...


Two months later here's a bit of the fun party thrown for the Ballentines'. Several of our talented friends added their touches to the night, which turned out to be a sweet southern backyard celebration. 

Let's start with the food!
Caitlin Cody (new blog "CupCait" coming November 2014) did the yummy yummy spanish inspired catering. I personally have been dreaming about this food ever since. 

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Courtney Bryant did the amazing gluten free deserts and Laura Chancey from Humble pie graced us with the beautiful fig galette. Yum. So as you can see ... we have some talented foodies among our friends. 

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If you're friends with Jo, you are basically family. And it was important to her that everyone felt comfortable and cozy. You can't get more comfortable than having all of your friends come celebrate at your own home. When Joanna suggested her house, we were all elated. It was the perfect backdrop for the night. And the place where all of baby's first memories will be made. So why not start with the shower!

In addition to the Ballentines' warm and welcoming home, we added a few fun areas in her backyard for all to enjoy. A gentlemen's corner (stocked with appropriate beverages), some rounds of Cornhole, a projector playing "Baby Mama" and a firepit were all a part of what made this night so special.

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A big thanks to all who made this happen.

Now... come on baby. We are ready to meet you!


The Double Bun

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

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There are a few things in life that bring us as much joy as fast hairstyles, like this one! Here’s a new fall trend that we absolutely love! It’s quick, easy and the perfect solution for those busy mornings! Not only is it a breeze to whip together, but it instantly makes you look like a million bucks. We love that its classy and elegant but can be paired with a weekend at the zoo outfit! Happy hair-doing! 
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  • Start with textured hair. Tease crown and nape of neck.
  • Separate into two sections- ear up and ear down. Making sure the two sections are the same density.
  • Form first section into a little bun (teasing from roots to ends helps make bun thicker) Pin.
  • Take lower section and repeat. 
  • Then loosen hair around head and pull hair strands out around entire hair line.
  • Hairspray and enjoy!


Any day now...

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Description of PhotoLet the waiting game commence! Okay, it has been going.. for awhile. Her due date is literally around the corner (next week!) and she is as ready as she will ever be! With swollen feet and a lot of restless sleep Joanna is highly uncomfortable these days. But as uncomfortable as she is feeling right now, can we just marvel at what a beautiful pregnant woman she is?  Raising the bar that Joanna.  Our brilliant photographer buddy, Rylee Hitchner, photographed Joanna in her dreamy home. I love how real and comfy her maternity pictures turned out!  Great Job Rylee!Description of PhotoDescription of PhotoDescription of PhotoDescription of PhotoDescription of Photo
Come on little buddy. Your mom can only go on so many long walks! We are about to start pulling out all the spicy food we can get our hands on!  Have any of you tried any ole wives tales that naturally induce labor...and worked? Do tell!-mojo 

Buttered Coffee

Monday, August 18, 2014

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Have ya'll heard of this whole putting butter in your coffee thing?? We've had a lot of friends that have been adding this to their daily regimen. Mostly- they are friends who are involved in some sort of consistent work out but the health benefits seem to be worth sharing! 

These coffee drinkers claim to have an intense amount of focus after a cup of buttered coffee. This may be coming from the the MCT oil that is added- it is said that putting a tablespoon of this oil helps with extreme focus and productivity! (enough reason to make me want to try it!) Because you would be putting butter instead of cream and sugar, the drink leaves you feeling fuller longer. From our research, it seems to be a high calorie drink that has a lot of benefits so far. So we suggest it to those that are actively working out- or for those that don't mind the 200 calories or so :) 
Here is a quote from a dietitian: "Metabolism is about hormones, blood sugar balance, and the quality of food — NOT just the quantity, therefore the healthy fat found in butter is important for our brain and waistline, regardless of the number of calories." 

So what do you think? Have you tried it or thought about it? Were curious to see what some of you think! We asked Craig (who is a huge coffee lover) to show us how to make it! So here are a few things you'll need:

Preferably freshly roasted. Whole bean is always the best. Grind just before brewing and you will get the fullest amount of flavor and aroma possible. Try to buy local! My favorite is Seeds coffee in Homewood (AL). Klatch is probably my favorite non local roaster.
Coffee Brewer
We used a Hario V60, which we highly recommend. You can also use a french press, siphon, or automatic if it is preferable.
Coconut oil is also a good substitute. MCT oil is Coconut oil and Palm Kernel oil that has been concentrated.You don't have to have the oil if you don't like it. Buttery coffee is delicious in of itself. 
Unsalted Grass-Fed Cow Butter 
Kerrygold is the easiest brand to find that makes Grass-fed butter, and they're real good. 

Grind beans and Brew 2 cups (16oz.) Coffee
Add 2 Tablespoons of Grass-Fed butter to blender
Add 1 tablespoon of MCT oil to blender (You may need to use less the first time see if you like it)
Add freshly brewed coffee.
Blend in blender well.
Serve immediately and enjoy!

Anybody have good experiences with this, or not your cup of tea coffee? 


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