funky monkey {chocolate chip banana muffins}

If you have some ripe bananas laying around and don’t know what to do with them, I suggest you get your butt in the kitchen and whip up my favorite muffins!  They’re extremely low fuss, easy to make and guaranteed to put a smile on your face. Recipe below.  Enjoy!

(a very simple mix of ingredients)

(gooey chocolate+banana=heaven)

(add some cream cheese icing if you want to be extra naughty)


1 ¾  cups all-purpose flour
1/3 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup white sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 egg, room temperature
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup sour cream (you can also use plain yogurt)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup mashed ripe bananas
3/4 cup semisweet chocolate chips


In a large bowl, combine the flour, sugars, baking powder, baking soda and salt. In another bowl, combine the egg, oil, sour cream and vanilla with a wire whisk. Stir into dry ingredients just until moistened. Fold in bananas and chocolate chips. Fill paper-lined muffin cups two-thirds full. Bake at 350 degrees F for about 20 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool for approx. 3 minutes before removing from pans to wire racks.

Note: This recipe has been adapted from here.

(all images by jetsetbarbie)

The top city to live in is…Vienna!

“For the third successive year, Vienna was ranked number one as European cities claimed more than half of the top 25 positions in Mercer’s 2011 Quality of Living index, which awards points for a range of criteria, including political and economic stability, culture, health and sanitation, quality of schools, public services and housing.”- Paul Armstrong, CNN

Even though I’ll be moving back to the US in just a few short months, Vienna will always feel like a second home.  It is with great pleasure that I share this wonderful news with you 🙂

For the full article, head on over to:  The top city to live in is … – Business 360 – Blogs.

ruffle my feathers.

shoes, necklace, clutch, dress, hair clip

hair extensions, eyelashes, tights, nails

Feathers are not just a summer trend my friends!  I’ve found some fabulous feathered items that you could work into your fall/winter wardrobe.  Can you guess which one is my favorite?

Damsel In A Dress | Engaged & Inspired

Check out my guest post this week over at Engaged & Inspired.  I feature some of the gorgeous wedding dresses I’ve had the pleasure of trying on over the last few months and talk about my current dress dilemma (any advice would be much appreciated).

Damsel In A Dress | Engaged & Inspired.


gold rush.

I’ve never been much of a fan of gold sequins…that is, until I stumbled across these to die for Gucci heels!  Of course they’re totally out of my budget (and not sequin but crystal) but it got me thinking…Maybe sparkly gold isn’t that bad?  I did a little digging (pun intended) and came up with a few of my picks for how I’d incorporate some gold in my life 😉

This fashionista below is a perfect example of how to add some sparkle to your style!

gucci “sofia”shoesasos dress, sequin shorts, black and gold jacket, real style

turkey day.

As an expat, it’s very important to me to keep up with my favorite American traditions and holidays while I’m away from home.  This picture is from the Thanksgiving dinner the Austrian and I prepared together last year and I have to say, we did a pretty good job.  This year, we’re preparing a big Thanksgiving feast for his whole family on Saturday.  Hopefully everything turns out as great as it did last year.  *fingers crossed*  Happy Thanksgiving!

mustache monday.

(credits: Toms, flasks, s-t-d, lip balm, cookie cutter, glasses, favors)

(credits: pillow cases, card, ring, onesie, gift wrap)

Love it or hate it, the mustache movement is still hot.  While the trend is certainly not new, it has gained even more exposure since the introduction of “Movember.”   I’ve rounded up my favorite ‘stache goodies that would be perfect for gifting this holiday season or incorporating in to your wedding style.  What do you think of this trend?  Is it here to stay or on its way out?

raspberry cheesecake brownies.

(all images by jetsetbarbie)

As you may have noticed, I’ve been in the cheesecake brownie mood the last few days.  I took out my Hummingbird Bakery recipe book and decided to try my hand at their Raspberry Cheesecake Brownie*.  It’s definitely not something you can make in a hurry (the base should be refrigerated over night) but it’s totally worth the wait.  I followed the recipe exactly and the results were excellent.  I must warn you though, this is a SUPER heavy and sweet dessert.  I will try to cut out at least 25% of the sugar next time and hope for the best.

(the recipe)

(mixing the brownie batter)

(oops- the cheesecake split**)

(raspberry topping)

(top with fresh raspberries and enjoy!)

*There are quite a few reviews of this recipe that detail various problems (soupy batter, runny topping, inconsistent baking times, etc) but I didn’t experience any issues.  Maybe it was beginners luck?

**A split cheesecake is usually caused by either over mixing the batter or during the transition from a very hot oven to a cold room.

cheesecake brownie cups.

(all images by jetsetbarbie)

I love cheesecake.  I love brownies.  Combine the two and I’m in heaven!  These lil guys are super easy to make, especially since there is some ”cheating” going on. 😉

I loosely followed this recipe and loved the results.  I only had one package of brownie mix so I adjusted the amount of the other ingredients accordingly.  Also, because I made these as individual cups, I adjusted the baking time to about 20 minutes.


(pouring the cheesecake batter over the brownie mix)

(the finished product)

engaged and inspired.

Remember that exciting news I mentioned the other week?  Well, I am proud to share with you my very first guest blog post on the absolutely wonderful wedding site, Engaged and Inspired.  I will be guest blogging on the site every Thursday, providing sneak peeks and insight into my wedding planning process.  I’m thrilled to be a part of a blog that I deeply admire and am looking forward to this new venture 🙂

So, without further ado, here are the inspiration boards I created for my post.  To view the full post and read more about my plans, please visit: Engaged and Inspired.