Needle Drop

Needle Drop: Earl Scruggs

Earl Scruggs was a pioneering force in the world of Bluegrass who died just two days ago. While Earl didn’t really invent the three finger style, he certainly popularized it. It wasn’t until his banjo style met Bill Monroe’s vision that bluegrass music really came together with all of its definitive elements. So today, listen to some banjo music in honor of Earl!

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Blog News, Swig & Swill

World Party Day: Margarita Jello Shots

Nothing says “party” like jello shots, right? Well, maybe that’s more “college party.” Let’s try again. Nothing says “party” like a crafted gelatin preparation with homemade bitters and infused rye, right? Well, maybe that’s more of a “bourgeois hipster party with artisinal pickles and such.”

margarita jello shots in lemon slices

While both of these can be great, wouldn’t it be even better if we could combine them? Here’s our proposal: top shelf margarita in a jello shot. No preflavored jello, we’re going to be squeezing some limes ourselves. This gelatin will be equally at home in the casual cofines of college or amongst the disposable income set.

colored margarita jello shots

Following the wisdom Gary Reagan’s Joy of Mixology (and if you haven’t been following Gary, I suggest you do) we learn that alcohol + gelatin has been around since at least the mid-1800s, and you can make just about any old-timey cocktail or punch into gelatin if you are careful to adjust the levels of citrus, sugar, and water. Citrus becomes amplified, so it’s a good idea to cut it and/or add some extra sugar. If you are planning on using a cocktail that would have been shaken or stirred over ice, you’ll need to compensate for the water. Reagan suggests calculating the total number of ounces of liquid in a cocktail and using as much extra water as a third of that number. If you’re trying something new, I’d suggest starting with a small batch. You’ll probably have to make a few.

ingredients for margarita jello shots

Not interested in creating endless batches of subpar gelatin. Don’t worry. We’ve got a top-shelf margarita recipe right here:

1oz fresh lime juice
1oz simple syrup
1oz water
1 package unflavored gelatin (1/4 oz)
3oz white tequila
2oz triple sec
food coloring (you’ll probably want some excitement, right?)

Place the lime juice, simple syrup, and water in a small glass mesuring cup, and add the gelatin. Allow this to sit for one minute, then microwave the mixture on high for thirty seconds. Stir thoroughly to make sure that all the gelatin has dissolved, then add the tequila, triple sec, and food coloring. Stir thoroughly again and pour the mixture into a mold. Refrigerate for at least one hour or, preferably, overnight.

cored lemons filled with margarita jello

To make the snazzy lemon peel jello shots, you’ll need a handful of large lemons. We had three total, but you might use more for larger parties. Start by cutting the lemons in half, then scraping out the inside, trying to remove as much pith as pothible. Next, we placed each of the empty halves upright on a cookie sheet and filled them with the liquid jello/drink mixture. You may want to use pieces of crumpled tinfoil as supports to keep the lemon halves upright.Then refrigerate for at least 1 hour.

slicing margarita jello shot lemon wedges

After the jello has… well… jello-ed, slice the halves into thirds. And bam! You’ve got lemon slice jello shots! These margarita slices are especially tasty sprinkled with a bit of sugar.

dyed margarita jello shots in lemon wedges

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Tangerine Clutch from Mickey’s Girl

The giveaway fun continues today, thanks to Mickey’s Girl! The sweet Sylvia, founder and owner of Mickey’s Girl, is offering one of her hottest sellers — the Tangerine Tango Clutch — to one lucky Westervin reader. Do you love? I can just imagine dancing my cares away on a warm spring night with this eye-catching clutch at my side! Not that I get out much… but a girl can dream!

giveaway: tangerine tango clutch from

Before you enter the giveaway, be sure sure read my mini interview with Sylvia, if not to learn more about this doll, than for a little style inspiration!

Where are you from? 

Born and raised in LA.

edgy chic fashion from the Mickey's Girl lookbook

{ Photos from Mickey’s Girl’s latest photo shoot by Melody Melikian }

Tell me a little more about Mickey’s Girl and how you started it.

I constantly get asked, “So, who’s Mickey?” I got inspired by a guy in Europe whom I’ve dubbed “Mickey”. This guy had the utmost style, class, and demeanor, which was noticeable blocks away. He seemed so alluring and mysterious at the same time. I automatically pictured him paired with a babe of a girl who had equal amounts of those same qualities. I took the inspiration of his make-believe girl and applied “her style” to my store.

Sylvia Avanessian

Personally, I’m a bit of a tomboy, but I love sky high heels and lace, so most of my outfits would be rugged with a hint of elegance, which a lot of girls can easily relate to.

To be a Mickey’s Girl, one has to be fashionably fearless, elegantly racy & a role model for her own. Every girl has that inner star within themselves and sometimes you need that little push from “Mickey” to let it shine.

Describe your style in three words or less.

Edgy chic

What was your last halloween costume?

I was a scary werewolf — with the worst set of plastic glow in the dark fangs.

fashion shoot for Mickey's Girl

{ Photos by Melody Melikian }

What’s your favorite part about owning your own shop?

The awesome feedback I get when a customer discovers my store.

If you were a planet, which one would you be and why?

Earth- only life form I could feel alive.

giveaway: tangerine and gold clutch

Now win this clutch!


  1. Leave a comment on this blog post
  2. Enter before 11:59pm, CST, on Monday, April 2nd


Increase your chances of winning! Leave an additional comment for completing each of the following:

  1. Follow @Westervin on Twitter
  2. Follow @ShopMickeysGirl on Twitter
  3. Tweet: “I just entered this #giveaway on @Westervin to win a clutch from @ShopMickeysGirl!″
  4. Like Westervin on Facebook
  5. Like Mickey’s Girl on Facebook
  6. Pin one of the pictures above on Pinterest

The winner will be randomly selected using I will notify the lucky recipient via email on Tuesday, April 3rd.

A Pretty Pair

Buckets of Love

photograph by Soledad Burgos; illustration by Yelena Bryksenkova

{ Untitled by Soledad Burgos }

{ Cat Nap by Yelena Bryksenkova (via Where The Lovely Things Are) }

Fine Fixin's

Ice Cream Cookie Bowls

frozen yogurt and raspberries in a cookie bowl

Here’s a pretty clever idea that Sarah happened to spot on Pinterest. Not only do you get to make edible bowls, but you get to put ice cream in your edible bowls! You really can’t lose.

ice cream cookie bowl with raspberries

We decided to take a bit of shortcut on this recipe and just use some store bought chocolate chip cookie dough. Now the original recipe may work better, but we had some difficulty getting our cooked cookies off our muffin tin. I think this was partially due to over cooking them just a bit. Luckily we were able to salvage a few bowls (along with lots of cookie crumbs from broken bowls) and enjoyed them filled with frozen yogurt and raspberries. A lovely treat indeed.

frozen yogurt blend in a cookie bowl with fresh fruit


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A Pretty Pair

My Little Pony

photography by Nick & Chloe; painting by Rico Blanco

{ Fashion shoot for Junior Magazine by Nick & Chloé (via Nicole Licht) }

{ Untitled by Rico Blanco (via Booooooom) }

Needle Drop

Needle Drop: Love Interruption


After a performance at SXSW, Jack White is about to kick off his new solo tour. Tickets actually go on sale today, but if you’re learning that from me, they’re probably already sold out. But you don’t have to be disappointed, you can enjoy this snazzy video for “Love Interruption” off his new album. There was also a nice little radio documentary that aired in the UK, “The Jack White Story.” Be sure to check it out if you’re missing Jack.

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