Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Monday, December 5, 2011


cupcakeMAG readers the time has finally come -- we are moving on over now to cupcakeMAG.com! 
Please book mark it ASAP as we will NO LONGER be updating here AT ALL.

We are tying up loose ends right now but stay tuned -- the new site is launching today!

As soon as it's live we will give you little update so you can subscribe to our new site as we no longer will be on blogger. We can't wait for you to see it!

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Missoni Does it Again!

A year ago, I was out shopping with my mom for a new tote bag that would fit my laptop. I had already done the sorority tote bag and the Longchamp and I was looking for something unique, but not too flashy. The search went on and on until we wandered into a little luggage and gifts store.

In the very back of the store, I stumbled upon one bag that stood out from the rest. It was a Bric's bag in the ornamental signature print. It was different, well-made and perfect for toting around my laptop, folders, books and more!

Out of curiosity, I recently searched for Bric's online and stumbled upon their collaboration with Missoni! I can tell you from experience that to own a Bric's bag is to love it. The quality, durability and style is unmatched. Paired with Missoni prints, I couldn’t help but oogle with amazement!
Travel in style with rolling duffels and carry-ons, or maybe ask Santa for the laptop case? I haven’t been this excited since Missoni collaborated with Target!

What do you think of the luggage line? Love it?

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Must-Have -- Rings that Give Back!

We can thank The Real Housewives of Orange County, Alexis Bellino for connecting us with one FABulous small biz. Holly Freese is the Founder and Designer behind some pretty amazing bling - Expressions Rings of Hope
Black Cowboy Swarovski Ring $40 
As seen on Alexis Bellino 
Not only is the Focus Ring ($40) our go-to accessory for everyday (because it pretty much matches anything & everything) but it also supports a good cause. Bling for a cause! What's not to love? Read on to get to know Holly and see what inspired this oh-so-fabulous biz! Holly is absolutely one of the sweetest cupcakes we have ever met and has one of the biggest hearts. We admire Holly for getting the word out and spreading an amazing message to everyone! 

{1} Tell us about yourself & about Expression Rings of Hope, your biz!

My name is Holly Freese and currently I live in Grand Rapids, Michigan.  I am 28 years old and currently a Stay at home Mom of 2 boys;  Walker is 2 years old, and Bryce is 1 year old. Before having children I was in advertising sales downtown Chicago.  I started Expressions of Hope in May of 2010.  I was inspired by my friend, Mike Kacynski, who passed last April from Renal Cell Carcinoma. I wanted to do something with my time, and also wanted to help make a difference!  So, I came up with this idea of creating a little piece of HOPE that women can wear as a accessory to their wardrobe, or as reminder of someone they loved that had passed.  Also, with the purchase of an Expression of Hope Ring, a portion of the proceeds from each ring sale is being donated to the V Foundation for Cancer Research.  I hope to make a stride towards finding a cure for cancer.  There is far to many cases out there, and we need to all come together to help find a cure!
Who doesn't love pink? Patience Ring, $40
{2} What has been the best part about having your own business?

The best part of having my own business is being able to help those who lost loved ones smile, and being able to help support a good cause.  It really makes me smile to see how many supporters I have, and how many continue to follow me each and everyday.  The more supporters I have, the more we can donate towards a wonderful cause.  I love to hear about my "Hope Fans" inspirational stories.  I am truly thankful to those who have helped me and continue to help spread my message BLING FOR A CAUSE! 

Make sure you add the Holiday collection to your wish list!
{3} When did the light bulb go off that you knew this is what you wanted to do?

After my best friend's husband, Mike Kacynski, died last April 2010 of Renal Cell Carcinoma I kept thinking about what I could do help.  He found out in February of 2010 of his disease, and 3 months later he was no longer with us.  I just couldn't believe how this could happen.  Since I was a Stay at Home Mom, I really wanted to start a business that helped my family, as well as helping out a greater cause.  I decided to start making these Swarovski Rings, and donate towards the V Foundation in Mike's name.  

{4} Do you plan to expand the line?

I defintely hope to grow this business, and expand my product line.  I have had some people recommend some jewelry for little girls, or bracelets for women.  I will eventually get a few more products, but for now, I am just trying to get my name out there. 

Make sure you check out these beautiful bracelets too!

{5} What's up next? 

Well....I really just want to get my name out there as much as possible.  Just in the last 2 months my business has really grown and I have quite a few followers on Facebook and Twitter.  I hope to keep that going, keep reaching out to those who have lost loved ones and hear about their stories.  It inspires me to keep growing and moving forward.  I am just trying to keep contacting people in helping spread my message BLING FOR A CAUSE!  The more people who are "BLINGING," that means the more money that has been raised and donated towards cancer research and finding a cure for this awful and all to common disease.  I appreciate you taking the time with me, and look forward to this upcoming year and what's to come of Expressions of Hope. I thank everyone again who has helped me, supported me, and believed in me.  Thank you!!!

{All Things Expression Rings of Hope}

{Thank you Holly for our beautiful BLING FOR A CAUSE. We absolutely adore the Focus ring you sent for review purposes and love everything you do!}

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Our Picks -- Small Business Saturday

cupcakeMAG loves supporting small biz and as you all know it is one of our passions. After all, HANDmade with love is the best right? Well, today is just another day to have a reason to scroll Etsy, shop local and HANDmade to support all of those small business owners out there. Don't have the time? Lucky for you we have done the shopping for you! Check out our past Featured Etsy designers here too!

The Lucky Elephant
Free shipping now!
Expressions of Hope
Bling for a cause! Buy 1 get 1 half off now!
Made By Girl By Jen Ramos
My Adobe Cottage
The Spotted Olive
Star Candy
Blinging America One Booty at a TIME!
Gussy Sews
Lehla Shop
Support small biz today!

Monday, November 21, 2011

New Beauty Obsession

By: Tiffany Olson

You know when you find a product that actually works, and you're so hooked that you just have to tell everyone?

I have a new product!!

Behold.... the Urban Decay Eyeshadow Primer Potion!!!

Eyeshadow creases cease to exist when you use this product! I actually found it on accident, because it came with a set of eyeshadows that I bought from Urban Decay. I remember checking my eyeshadow half way through the day the first time I used it, to see if the inevitable creases had formed. There were none! Ah! End of day? None. Amazing!! Even now sometimes I keep looking just because I can never believe there's not even the tiniest of creases.

You don't need a lot, just a tiny dab. (I know this because I have been using the tiniest dab for a few weeks now because I'm almost out!)

PS - It's only $10! You can buy here.

{What is the best beauty product you can't live without?? I love hearing personal references from what everyone is obsessed with. I still don't know how I lived before discovering Nars Blush in Orgasm thanks to Kim!! You can read that article here.}

Tune In -- Tori & Dean's Home Sweet Hollywood Season Premiere

Images courtsey of Oxygen

Lucky for us, we received the season premiere episode of Tori & Dean's Home Sweet Hollywood a few weeks earlier, and lets just say, we've watched it three times now. We know, a little obsessed to say the least! This season begins with a heartwarming (grab your tissues!) moment as the beloved Guncles Bill Horn and Scout Masterson anxiously await the arrival of new baby girl, Simone -- the baby of their dreams. It was so amazing to watch the joy and we just can't get enough of the Guncles we love! And it doesn't stop there -- The Gunles aren't the only ones with with big news to share. Tori gives Dean a surprise gift on Valentine's Day -- news that they are expecting their third child. Can we say exciting? We are jumping up down thinking about what this season has to bring! 

The Guncles everyone LOVES!

Sweet Simone
Image courtesy of Bill Horn
With a brand new business in the works and a brand new baby -- this season is action-packed.
The family that plays – and works - together stays together, and this season Tori, Dean, Liam and Stella show viewers again what a family living and working in Hollywood is all about. With a new store opening – an antique furniture and lifestyle store aptly named “invenTORI” - a book deal, dual acting careers and a third baby on the way, Tori and Dean once again prove that they can do it all, even under the spotlight of Hollywood.

Lehla Shop's Magneblooms inside invenTORI
With plenty of laugh out loud moments it is defintely one of the best premiere episodes so far and we are counting down the days until November 29th when it all begins -- full swing! Tori and Dean have captured us once again as they open their doors to a humble home and let us into a glimpse of their lives. The Spelling-McDermott's never let us down!

Tune into Oxygen for the Tori and Dean: Home Sweet Hollywood Season Premiere on Tuesday, November 29, at 10pm ET/PT. Don't miss it cupcakes! And while you wait, shop invenTORI now.

Confessions of a Manicure-ista!

I have a confession to make. I paint my nails an average of twice a week. Between chipping and regular wear and tear, it’s a must. Being on a tight budget, I don’t go to the nail salon very often, so I take matters into my own hands (literally) to make sure my nails are neat and tidy.

There are so many fabulous nail trends right now. For a quick and fun How-To, check out the youtube video I made showing how to paint the recently popular “half-moon nails.”

Here’s some pictures of my past “half-moon” designs and color combinations!

Right now, however, I want to take a moment to dwell on my most recent nail color. I’m currently wearing Le Métier de Beauté nail polish in Ken’s Vintage Vine.

Now, I know what you’re thinking...of all nail polishes, this is definitely the cheapest! Although for most of us, it may not be budget friendly (it IS about double the price of Essie...not to mention Sally Hansen!) however this nail polish is magical, I swear!
It brushes on smoothly, and there’s minimal chipping...I haven’t changed my nail color in a week – a major feat if you know me well!

I love my Le Métier de Beauté nail polish so much and I just wanted to share it with all of you! If you are due for a splurge and love painting your nails check out Le Métier de Beauté, you won’t be disappointed!

Neiman Marcus has a great selection of Le Métier de Beauté online. Get your perfect polish in the click of a button here: neimanmarcus.comFor more ideas on nail designs, check out my board on Pinterest dedicated solely to nail painting designs!

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Giveaway from The Colorful Gator!

The Colorful Gator, a sweet little boutique in Gainesville, Fla., is offering all of us Cupcakes a chance to win a FREE Lilly Pulitzer Murfee scarf!

Once they hit 1,000 fans on their new Facebook page, they’re randomly select a fan to win the scarf.

If you don’t have one of these scarves already, let me just tell you, they are life changing. They’re 51% silk and 49% cashmere...aka the softest accessories in my closet. I own two and I wrote them all summer long and plan to tie them a little tighter for the upcoming chillier weather.

Help out our friends at The Colorful Gator by liking their Facebook page. You can also shop with them online , follow them on Twitter @ColorfulGator and their blog.

Check out how they styled outfits around these ultra chic and soft Murfee scarves on their blog:

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Help cupcakeMAG Win!

Naya asked cupcakeMAG editor, Casi Densmore-Koon to participate in Naya Shoes Renew Your Soles to celebrate America Recycles Day! Casi was asked  to style 5 looks around ONE pair of Naya Shoes which she received when she donated 5 pairs of unwanted shoes! So, we took our favorite pair - the Kasha Bootie in Oxford Brown grabbed cupcakeMAG's Editor Assistant, Katie - and Casi got to work styling 5 looks. But, we need your help! Read on to get the details and please VOTE on Facebook for Casi!

Take a look at the 5 looks styled around the Kasha bootie!
After you browse the looks PLEASE head over and LIKE Naya Shoes on Facebook, scroll down and VOTE Casi Densmore-Koon! It automatically enters you to win a pair of Naya shoes -- 5 Facebook Fans will be winning so enter now and vote for us! Pretty please? 

Don't mind the iPhone pics. 
We are on a busy schedule around here and were on a time crunch to quickly pull the looks together!

Thank you Naya shoes for our Kasha bootie and asking us to participate! 
Want to get the looks? Stay tuned! Tomorrow we will give you all the details so you can! 
Tell us: Which look is your favorite?
And, don't forget to vote! 

Friday, November 4, 2011

cupcakeMAG chats with celebrity trend expert & PR maven -- Rachel Florio-Urso!

When I went to write this intro, I pulled up my email and searched Rachel's email address. With hundreds of emails between us - I was shocked to realize when I looked at the very first convo between us to see it has been exactly 2 years today (click screen shot below!) since I have had the amazing privilege to work with this PR maven, Rachel Florio-Urso. It is our official "friendversary" (not to mention my wedding anniversary too!) and makes the perfect day for me to share this interview! 

Rachel Florio-Urso is one of most driven ladies I have worked with; she has passion, dedication, and not to mention, a turn around of like .2 seconds when it comes to emails. She is seriously - just amazing. I call her my go-to-gal because it is such a pleasure to work with someone who is so great at what they do and gets you things in flash-- sometimes, even overnight. Rachel is a miracle worker who bleeds perfection when it comes to the world of Littles! 

I could honestly type an entire page of how great she has been over the last two years but I won't bore you! Instead, just read our interview with Rachel below. You will soon see exactly why we not just value her friendship but simply adore Rachel.

{1} Tell us, what is a day in the life of Rachel Florio-Urso like? 

Where to start...?   

I kiss my husband, Robert goodbye at 7 AM as he heads off to work and one hour later it’s as if the timer starts the countdown! I text my oldest daughter to make sure she made it home from another late night college party and to see that she is up and not missing class. I then check to see if my other daughter made it to high school on time. After I know the girls are all set, I wake my son, get him dressed, fed and on the bus to elementary school. Then the dog gets walked, the beds get made and my work day begins. At my desk, I weed through an average of 500 emails daily, update my many SM accounts and meet numerous deadlines to gain brand recognition for my clients. Additionally, I am always forecasting trends and speaking with A-list celeb reps in order to gift them appropriately. FYI, paying to place your brand in a gift basket does NOT mean the celeb has it and it certainly doesn’t mean they wanted it or love it. Don’t be fooled!  

If I’m not traveling on a plane, train or in a car for my many meetings I am at my desk and often work through lunch. I think the phrase “There aren’t enough minutes in the day” was meant for me. I’m sure most of us working moms feel the same! I keep many lists and I am extremely organized so that keeps me sane. There is never a day that I don’t get to post a few media plugs on my site. Follow me on FB, Twitter or LinkedIn and you will see what I mean. I also started a new blog called, “Keeping up with Rachel Florio PR and the In’s and Out’s of the Biz”. These are somewhat informative yet personal posts when I have the time to share. I told everyone Jessica Simpson was pregnant last month and last night her rep emailed me the confirmation before People posted it. This is why you might want to follow me! 

After seven hours of typing, calling and meeting it is time to get my son off of the bus, get him a snack and spend some quality time together while going over his homework and then it’s back to my desk. Shortly after, I cook dinner and take care of the rest of the family while continuing to work from my iPhone or iPad. Dinner is our time to discuss the events of the day and to add sporting events, birthday parties and college tours to the calendar. I have a NO tech device rule in my kitchen and my dining room and the kids know that’s a rule not worth arguing over. When my two wonderful step children are home I am sure to give them some undivided attention as well as making it to all of their sporting events too. All of our kids know they are all loved equally! After everyone is off to bed the laptop is used for my late night Tweets and LinkedIn updates. You can find my Tweets at 2AM. It’s all crazy, but it’s also all great! I have my hobbies like riding horses, kart racing or sailing and we find time for family vacations (and staycations). We make it work! 

{2} What challenges do you face as you are running a major PR firm while running a household? 

I appreciate you calling my firm “major” - it didn’t happen over night! Hard work really does pay off. I am a very passionate person and if I believe in something I want to share it with the world. Someone once told me I could sell ice to Eskimos and while they might be right, I would only try to sell it if it was the very BEST ice an Eskimo could buy! I have always loved a challenge and doing all that I do is definitely a good one. I have owned my public relations business for over a decade now so it’s a part of me. Without it I think I would feel lost.  

A key component in achieving this level of success has always been my drive, determination and relationships I have built in this industry. I don’t give up until I close a deal and being selective as to the brands that I take on has allowed me to gain the respect of my fellow media members. Editors can rely on me, celeb agents trust me, bloggers know I have the goods and my clients love the press and connections that I make for them. When everyone is happy, I am happy! That is what really keeps me going. As cliché as it is, I can honestly say the bigger reward is not from the retainer, but rather from the “thank you” that someone gives me. I truly love to help people. I’m a proud humanitarian that knows we are all here for a short time and at the end of the day there isn’t anything more important than making someone happy.  

{3} How did you become so passionate as a celebrity trend expert? 

My world revolves around babies and children. I solely focus on a niche market: the baby and children market. Robert and I have five kids between the two of us ranging from ages eight to eighteen. It’s a juggling act, but we wouldn’t have it any other way. We are actually trying for baby number six! There isn’t a five minute period in my day where I am not looking at maternity, baby and child images, write ups or brand samples. I loved being pregnant. I loved having babies. I love children. I love my teens (even when they push mom to her limits!). I have produced and hosted over 40 television segments as a celebrity trend expert and I have enjoyed every one of them as much as my first! 

{4} What trends are you predicting for 2012?  

This is always my favorite question…  

You will be seeing more modern styles with clean lines when it comes to nursery and kid room furnishings and accessories. Bold colors and graphic prints will be even more appealing in 2012. I happen to love fluff and anything girlie or vintage inspired so I am proud to say this classic style is always here to stay. It’s not always about the trend. Each consumer has their own sense of style and as I always say, “be bold and mix it up”! If you enjoy the comforts of the things that surround you, you have successfully selected the right purchases for you.   

{5} Can you tell us about your latest project? 

Designer Diaperz! Watch for them as they will be all over the media and on a shelf near you soon! You can follow Designer Diaperz on Facebook or Twitter. This is a brand that I have dreamt about over the past seven years and I have been working on its launch with my partner, Robert Croak of Silly Bandz, for the past year.  

I wanted to be the woman that evolved the diaper world by introducing fully printed diapers. When I was offered to pitch my brand on Shark Tank I learned that other diaper manufacturers finally caught on and tested the market. I was devastated for about two minutes! When I saw them, touched them and noticed their price point I felt that much more excited and ready. So much so that I opted out of finalizing my Shark Tank paperwork and jumped on a plane to Toledo to meet with the man that made it big by creating the kid craze brand, Silly Bandz. I knew he was the perfect fit! Currently we are packaging our diapers and will be ready to roll them out soon. If any of you see a crazy lady in the diaper aisle of your local supermarket taking pictures of herself posed with diaper packages that would be me! I really think I will faint walking through a store that is carrying our brand! 

{6} What is up next for you?  

I am in talks with a few networks as I hope to gain my own show and hopefully another baby! Only time will tell. In the meantime I feel blessed to be able to do what I love to do on a daily basis! 

If you aren't already - make sure you LIKE Rachel Florio PR on Facebook, follow her on Twitter and sign up to receive blog updates! And, as Rachel always says....."Smile and Pass it on...." 

{All Things Rachel}

Thanks Rachel for this interview, for your friendship, and for just -- being you! 

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