Day 260. 105 days and $106 left to go.

Los Angeles is beginning to feel the heat!!  There’s a heat wave on the prowl, so today I took full advantage and went with the ultimate summer sundress for spending the day outside and the evening indoors with the girls.

Day 259 - Before

Day 259 - Before

I am LOVING the primary colors on this bad boy.  Yellow, orange, purple, and green, oh my!!  This palette screamed “weekend ensemble” in a very high-pitched voice, so I had to purchase from the big pile of duds just so it would simmer down.

It was too long and a bit too large on top, so I had a few little mends to make.  First thing to focus on was the length, so I cut the dress off just below the knees!

Cut time!

Cut time!

Now that we’re getting shorter, I had to make it tighter as well.  I took in an inch on each side of the top to make it a little more fitted in my chestal area.  Out came the machine…

Did I say how obsessed I am with this fabric?

Did I say how obsessed I am with this fabric?

…and a brand new hem was made!  The dress now fit perf in the boob area!  Just to give it a little more flair, I cinched the area up top and pinned it together with a safety pin.  My trademarked “pinch and cinch” move!!

Pinch and Cinch!!

Pinch and Cinch!!

Kinda like Reese Witherspoon’s “snap and bend” from Legally Blonde? N’est-ce pas?

Bend and Snap!

Bend and Snap!

My sundress escorted me to a little McDonald’s run this morning for one of their iced coffees (totally treat!), a trip to the pile sale for some $1 finds, and then to the movies for some Eat Pray Love-ing.

Day 259 - After

Day 259 - After

We planned our girls movie day at the Grove…

Afternoon with the gals!

Afternoon with the gals!

…and invited the moms along as well.  Love taking up half a row in the theater!!

Movie with the Moms!!

Movie with the Moms!!

Not sure who saw it or not, but I must say, after I left I desperately wanted three things:

1 – A big bowl of pasta.



2 – A trip to Bali.

I want to go to there!!

I want to go to there!!

3 – A makeout sesh with Javier.

Oh Javier!!

Oh Javier!!

I’ve been getting some awesome EPL inspiration emails…may as well start the week off right with some chocolate thanks to my gal Cheryl!!


4 tablespoons flour
4 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons cocoa
1 egg
3 tablespoons milk
3 tablespoons oil
3 tablespoons chocolate chips (optional)
A small splash of vanilla extract
1 large coffee mug (Microwave Safe)

Add dry ingredients to mug, and mix well.  Add the egg and mix thoroughly before pouring in the milk and oil in.  Keep mixing.  Add the optional chocolate chips next (who makes that an option!) and vanilla extract, and mix again…

Mmm, cake batter!

Mmm, cake batter!

Put your mug in the micro wave and cook for three minutes at 1000 watts.  The cake will rise over the top of the mug, but don’t be alarmed!  Allow it to cool a little, and tip out onto a plate if desired.

This is too easy!!

This is too easy!!

EAT ! (this can serve two if you want to feel slightly more virtuous).

Optional Sharing Method!

OSM!! (Optional Sharing Method!)

Why is this the most dangerous cake recipe in the world? Because we are all only 5 minutes away from warm, gooey, delicious chocolate cake any time, night or day.

Ooh Cheryl, you may hold the key to my heart right here!!  Thanks for sharing!!

Keep the notes of inspiration coming my way! Will continue posting all week 🙂

103 responses to “Day 260. 105 days and $106 left to go.

  1. Oh, that cake looks so nice. And very, very dangerous. I’ll be trying that out very soon.

    Oh, and you seem to have two Day 259s.

    • Thank you!! Love that cutting and pasting… Thanks for having my back!! xx M

    • You are so talented! Keep up the good work! Your work is beautiful!

      ~Adele from Louisiana

    • So I just tried the cake recipe and I’m sorry to burst everyone’s bubble, but it tastes horrible 😦 and I was sooo looking forward to it! I’m very sad as it is that time of the month and I didn’t bother to stock up on chocolate, thinking I could simply make “fresh mugs of cake” anytime I needed a chocolate “fix” 😦

  2. Oh. Boy… This cake is brilliant – and way too dangerous for choc-a-holics like me to know about!

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  4. Bad. Very bad of you to post that recipe. Hmmm.

  5. Gorgeous dress, well done.
    Good of you to love Javier Bardem, who wouldn´t???? he, he.
    About the chocolate cake, I tried it a few months ago and after a while it goes rock hard. I suppose it is a matter of eating it straight away, wowwwwww

  6. You are something else!
    I got to your blog through a friend and I love it!
    Great ideas!

  7. Keep up the good work!! This weekend I’m going to try recycling some old jewelry into something beautiful. You’ve defintily inspired me!!

  8. Recently found your blog and am enjoying it! Just wanted to point out that orange, green, and purple are secondary colors; only the yellow (together with red and blue) is a primary color.

  9. I love the blog! OMG that was quite a ‘before’! The ‘after’ looks great though, and it fits you well.

    I love that lil chocolate cake – who knew you could make cake in a mug?? Ingenious…

    Ok, and that dress in the post below…yeeowww. Where do you find these things? I thrift and vintage shop a lot, and I rarely find gems like that.

  10. i LOVE your blog. i am so inspired.
    thank you so much for posting every day. i really look forward to it!

  11. Adorable! And thanks for the cake recipe!

  12. I love what you do! I check your blog every day. Today’s is one of my favs. I love the pinch and sinch. I’ll have to remember that. You’ve inspired me and my daughter. You look so great in the pictures. Maybe you could share some of your creations with your friends. I though that NY people were into wearing black, but it looks like it’s the case in LA too. I’m glad that you bring color into clothing. It makes me happy.

  13. Hope it won’t spoil the fun, but as someone who could wear some of those muumuus unaltered, I thought I’d better analyze the nutrients in the cake receipe before I tried it. As the recipe is written, here they are:
    Calories 1,018.2
    Total Fat 63.8 g
    Saturated Fat 15.3 g
    Polyunsaturated Fat 13.3 g
    Monounsaturated Fat 27.5 g
    Cholesterol 217.1 mg
    Sodium 99.2 mg
    Potassium 292.1 mg
    Total Carbohydrate 109.8 g
    Dietary Fiber 7.4 g
    Sugars 74.1 g
    Protein 13.0 g

    For anyone wanting to lose (or just not gain any) weight, you’d probably want to reduce the oil to 1 Tbsp and chocolate chips to 1 1/2 Tbsp, use 1% milk, and split this with a friend for a treat with a more reasonable 340 calories.

  14. You constantly amaze me, not only with your mad skills at sewing but at selection. The dresses/patterns are phenomenal, but keep that cake away from me! 😉

  15. i have to say….. thank you to Cheri for analyzing the nutriental stats. Sharing a treat with a friend such as this amazing chocolate cake makes it all the more enjoyable (especially at 340 calories) 🙂

    ps. love the pinch and cinch….”works every time”

  16. uhhh, tried the mug cake recipe with my minnesota sister. didn’t look like that!! And I think she is still scraping chocolate off her mug a year later…
    perhaps we give it aonther try. sober.

  17. i have been reading your blog for a while now and i am baffled at how you buy all these amazing pieces for a buck! i live in socal and cannot find such bargains! i am dying to know your buying locations!!!

  18. LOVE the dress and LOVE that we are “all only 5 minutes away from warm, gooey, delicious chocolate cake any time, night or day.” Amazing! But then I had to read Cheri’s comment, which revealed the fat bomb that mug cake is, and I think I might have to stick with my single serving, also made in a mug and microwave, no pudge brownies! At least Cheri gave some lighter alternatives! 🙂 Keep up the amazing designs, Marisa!!!

  19. Love the dress!

  20. Yea!! A vacation by book! I could use one.

  21. @Cheri… that math seems a little off. An average slice of chocolate cake has around 250 calories (with icing), an average brownie approx. half that number. How did you calculate out of curiosity?

  22. omG that recipe is AWESOME! Thanks for sharing!

  23. That dress looks fabulous when you’ve finished it (and pretty hideous before!) I don’t know where you find all of your huge, and dirt cheap dresses – our UK charity shops seem to specialise in boring, overpriced stuff – they charge about £3 for a 2nd hand cheap Tshirt. Good for you though – great inspiration!

  24. Love the dress. It reminds me of some of the beautiful crazy polyester I loved to wear in high school. I am making this chocolate cake TONIGHT!!!

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  26. that dress turned out sooo cute!! 🙂
    and that chocolate cake in a mug looks delicious!
    everyone seems to be talking about Eat. Pray. Love. Maybe I should go see it/read the book…

  27. I need to make that cake!!!!!! Thanks for posting 🙂

  28. Looks great! Can’t wait to read the book “Eat Pray Love” and see the movie.

  29. I made it…. it’s fantastic! I’m also working on my own dress transformation, thank you for all of your inspiration ❤

  30. I’ve been sewing for 50 years (since a very little girl making doll clothes) and there is no way I could be as creative as you. You have a remarkable eye for seeing the possibilities. I applaud you and hope some of your vision rubs off on me!

  31. I love the pattern on that dress! Reminds me of a pillowcase my grandma made me a few years ago (which I LOVE). Also, I showed my hubby that little 5 minute cake recipe – he immediately made it, ate it (I got a few bites), and is now calling everyone he knows to tell them how awesome it is. 🙂

  32. Mug Cupcake. Mug. Cupcake. Marzepan. Do you like Marzepan Marisa? I have never had it but i would like to try a delishious piece of this marzepan i read about in the magazines in the weighting room where i sit on thursdays before my “time out” visits with Doctor Schmaltzman. Marrrrzepannnn.
    PS I like youre dress today. Monday August 16th. I do very much.

  33. i hope you keep blogging after this is all over 🙂

  34. Now I feel really bad for clicking through when Cheryl has already pointed out the mug thing. BTW, it’s more than the usual because the proportions are off, in order to let it cook quickly.

    So. I hate to pile on… but the McD’s coffee contains a whole LOT of chemicals and a few of them are actually poisons. What a shame, because it would be nice to be able to buy coffee from them.

  35. Great use of the “ugly dress.” AND now I have to go make myself a mug o’ cake. Thanks.

    PS – I have LOTSO’ dresses if you are ever in Texas.

  36. I’m very inspired by your blog and can’t wait to try that 5 minute chocolate cake!!! If it’s true that you reap what you sew, you will be very successful in life! :o)

  37. it was delish, a success with two of my family chocolate lovers, my son and my brother, they shared the first one =)

  38. Yum !!! 4 the cake recipe !! but, is the flour all purpose or self rising ??
    Thanks !!

  39. I just found this blog on Yahoo… an absolutely delightful idea! I will have to go back to day one and catch up. I your blog and will share this with my teenage daughters…clothes, girls, creativity etc. And then I saw the cake recipe and knew immediately that my sink will soon feature chocolate cake covered coffee cups!
    Thank you for your inspiration Marisa!

  40. I just encountered your blog, and it’s quite delightful. What a great idea, to take some ugly cheap old things and turn them into something pretty!

    I’ve done this cake a few times and even tried a few variations. Did you know that cocoa powder can double for flour? I usually lower the amount of flour and raise the amount of cocoa powder (you get both extra flavor and the extra nutrients from the cocoa powder), and I also lower the sugar just a little. Then I lower the oil (and usually use olive oil, which is very good for you) and milk, and I add some plain yogurt in place of the extra oil and milk, which is also very healthy and does wonderful things for the texture. It’s lovely!

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  42. You can also make that same cake in a mug, using Betty Crocker’s Warm Delights. Just add only water, and they’re ready to pop into the microwave. I use two of the little cakes to bake in a coffee mug. Each little cake comes with its own icing — for a total of 150 calories. TWO cakes, which would work nicely in a coffee mug, come to only 300 calories, WITH icing.

  43. How fun! I haven’t thought of microwave cake for such a long time. My mom used to make cupcakes in ice cream cones for our birthdays. same basic idea but instead of in a mug it is in a cone (which as a child…and a lets be honest still to this time…made it more fun!)

  44. Hi THere,
    Just stubbled across your site cuz I saw you on yahoo. Awesome job on the dresses by the way. Oh! so the mug cake. We make one at weight watchers that is the same thing but about 5o calories! Mix one box of chocolate cake mix and angel food cake mix in a bag. Out of the bag measure 1/3 cup of that mix. Put in a mug, add 3 tablespoons water, stir and put in microwave for one minute. There you go, same mug cake but 50 calories!!

  45. hey, made “the fat bomb cake, but instead used ovaltine-(no cocao powder), and used nutella instead of the oil, and half the sugar, and no choc chips. Was Yummy, and actually couldn’t eat it all, my hubby thought adding a banana would be yummy!! Thanks girl.

  46. I’m an Indonesian in Netherlands (I move here 8 months ago). I loooove going to garage sale and rommelmarkt (flea market), some of the things I found here are a couple of months old women clothing women for € 1 or 2. Some of them are really good brand and others are good design. Most of them are selling it because they would be out of fashion next season–and you, on the other hand, recreates them. Some women, oh well, I’m not complaining for I am provided with good clothing. Btw, not all Bali is as beautiful as the film might portray–I haven’t see the movie but some of my friends work as crew–you might end up in tourist trap. Kuta is a tourist trap and Ubud, a few weeks after the film being made, has turn more into Kuta. If you would like to see the real Bali and it’s beauty, use Lonely Planet or go to the across island, Lombok.

  47. Dear Marisa
    I came to know about you from yahoo! I’m an Iranian woman in same age as you writing from Iran. I read about you and just wanted you to know that you are much more well-known that julie and julia, I saw the film and I saw your works too. I believe you are a perfect designer. Wish you good luck, and hope to see you as a number 1 designer one day.

    Thumbs up!

  48. I was going to write about how much I LOVE this idea about your dresses and it’s inspired me to learn how to sew, but, um… chocolate cake in 5 min?

    *whoosh* yum

  49. The dress was great! I also think you could make one of the straps wider while removing the other. That seems to appear in a few Hollywood dresses.

  50. going to try that amazing recipe!!! Thanks!!

  51. I really wish I had the patience to sew. I applaud you for your ingenuity. I am sure your were probably inspired by Julia and Julia, but the difference between you and her is that she appeared quite self indulgent, while you are creative and talented. Keep it up. I will continue to enjoy your blog until the end. PS-Pasta yes, Bali no (while quite exotic and lovely in pictures, as an American, you stick out like a sore thumb, have trouble finding food that you may like, have anxiety attacks while driving and have to plug your nose often for lack of proper sewage disposal and the fact that everything is covered in moss (and smelly wet mildew) because of the humidity. Sorry Bali, I thought I would LOVE you) , Javier yes, yes, yes, Cake no (but probably yes if I am going to be honest with myself). Take care.

  52. Love the cake idea, have heard of it before, and they said it was amazing…drizzle some chocolate over the top and add strawberries and candlelight, share with your significant other for a romantic treat.

    By the way, I must say, the dresses are wonderful!

  53. @Veronica, I used an online recipe calculator found in The average slice of chocolate cake or brownie wouldn’t have 3 tablespoons of oil and 3 tablespoons of chocolate chips. That’s the oil content for a whole pan of brownies! I must say it looks absolutely delicious in the pictures, and I wanted some–but I’m losing weight so I can look as cute as Marissa. The calorie count shocked me, too.

  54. Yay, fun projects!

  55. The dress looks so cute~~~~ Im a sucker for flower dresses….and cake!!

    can i ask one thing? Did u spread oil or butter in the mug before u put it the batter? or did you pour it like that and it came off easily?

  56. Dear Marisa,

  57. Dear Marisa, your the one who made that recipe? for the 5 min cake?
    i make that at least once a week! i have an allergy to milk to milk so i use soy milk……doesn’t taste as good. So i put a huge spoonful of peanut butter to give it some flavor. IT WORKS MARVELOUSLY! when i feel like I can cook but can’t I make a mini cake! I received the recipe through e-mail so I had no idea who made it. By the way, your dresses are amazing! i kinda do what you do by just using old clothes that my mom wore in the 80’s. Its fun to make old pieces of clothing and bring them back to life! My mom sees me wearing her clothes and she always says, “Ohh i love that top(or skirt). I used to wear that all the time!” I’m so happy that you have this opportunity to be inspired and make your own little outfits with such a low budget.
    Thanks, Mo 🙂

  58. Love the recipe!!! I tried the microwavable choc mug cake, it’s fab! I try it down to 3 tbsp instead of 4, and when microwaving, do I let it cook 3 minutes all the way or stop half way to make sure I don’t burn it? I’ll play around with it more. You rock!!

  59. That is sick! A cake in a mug- in the microwave!!! I just saw you on yahoo and I think you are awesome!! I have been sewing for a year and I only wish I had learned as a kid so I could have more experience under my belt. My 18 month old daughter is why I just had to learn to sew, she’s my muse and model and pest! I just made my first purse a few weeks ago and now if I could just figure out how to sew for me!

  60. I saw your story about the 365 dresses on Yahoo and decided to check it out! I love taking old clothes and re-fashioning them. I was totally unprepared for the 5 Minute Chocolate Cake recipe!!! Wow, thank you for feeding my soul and my chocoholic! SL

  61. Dress project? Awesome. Mug cake? Puts you in the genius category. I WILL be trying that.
    Here’s another little trick for 30 second ganache.
    Put a TBsp or 2 of ghirardelli 60% cocoa bittersweet chocolate chips in a glass prep bowl. Add a Tbsp of milk, any kind.
    Nuke for 20-25 seconds.
    With a metal spoon, stir it like the dickens. Keep stirring, and the whole mess will smooth out and voila. Ganache. Use it like fondue (I like to dip a banana in it) or just eat it with a spoon. Yum.

  62. Love this transformation.
    When I first saw the before, I thought you’d go for something ’20s, but your choice was way more mod
    Brava, brava, brava

    Saw your blog through a friend’s FB post of the Yahoo Green article

  63. Pingback: August Project Day 18: Investing (by request) « The Seifipour Family

  64. ~♥i was wondering what kind of cocoa do i use?♥~

  65. No offense to your friends, but they are going to have to step up their game a bit! They are looking a little drab next to you in your colourful weekend ensemble! Don’t tell them I said so. 😉

  66. love what you’re doing, but Red Green Blue are the only Primary Colors 🙂 hey, at least you know people are actually reading your blog!

    • ha ha ha i’m thinking photoshop and rgb…. long day, and i’m a scatterbrain since i quit smoking 1 week ago 😛 red yellow blue are primary LOL

  67. I love your all dresses and your idea for all

  68. I love how you change dresses to look great. This makes me want to sew.
    I am going to have to make that chocolate cake in a mug now. Thanks for posting that. Your blog is wonderful. I will start reading it more.

  69. Patricia Jordan

    I love your blog! How talented and resourceful you are. A woman after my own heart! You inspire me greatly. I feel so creative myself! I want to make something! Keep up the extraordinarily great work! I’ll keep looking and maybe it will rub off! What am I saying? It already has!!!! I’m smiling!!
    An admirer, Patty

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  71. You know sweetie, I have a bunch of housedresses and handmade
    aprons from my great gran, maybe I could do something with them.

    This repurposed outfit of yours really reminds me of my trunk
    full of grangran’s clothes. I’m with you orange, yellow and
    green were my favorite, happiest colors as a young girl.

  72. I am SOO having that tonight! That is amazing haha

  73. Pingback: August Project Day 19: I made the cake! « The Seifipour Family

  74. L.O.V.E the cake recipe!!

  75. Hehe I made the cake and I burned it…..Cooking is not my calling

  76. just wanted to comment on the cake again…I absolutely love, love, love it…I see myself fixing this on a cold winter afternoon or evening. When I mixed this up I put the egg into the dry ingredients and I think I might have over mixed a bit…it was very rubbery…but I’m already thinking about other flavors and chips to use…such an inspiring little thing this cake! p.s. I love the dresses and the daily blog!!!

  77. You are so creative and inspirational.

  78. I was skeptical of the high calorie content too until I started adding it up myself. I didn’t get over 1,000 calories, but it is still very high! I agree with some others…better to share, or substitute the oil for applesauce and cut out some of the chocolate chips. =)
    4 tbsp flour= 108 calories
    4 tbsp sugar=64 calories
    2 tbsp cocoa=30 calories
    1 egg=70 calories
    3 tbsp 2% milk=22.5 calories
    3 tbsp vegetable oil=360 calories
    3 tbsp chocolate chips=210 calories
    1 tbsp of vanilla extract=30 calories
    Total calories=894.5

  79. Pingback: 5 minute chocolate cake: this is going to ruin my life | a week from thursday

  80. Pingback: Day 267. 98 days and $99 left to go. | New Dress A Day

  81. I love the whole mug cake thing, found this recipe and it is INCREDIBLE.
    Choc Mug Brownie

    4 tablespoons flour
    4 tablespoons sugar
    2 tablespoons cocoa
    2 tablespoons oil
    3-4 tablespoons water
    pinch salt
    choc chips optional

    mix together in mug (has to be like cookie dough not too wet but not really hard either) and microwave for one minute.

    I’m blown away with your talent just WOW


  82. Absolutely love the little cake recipe. I’ve got a girlfriend coming over on Wednesday and this would be perfect for us to share. It’s Tuesday tomorrow, so I’d better make one – just to test it out. Then Thursday is shopping day and that always leaves me needing a pick-me-up. And who can get through Friday without a bit of chocolate?
    That leaves me with four days to come up with an excuse for making one on Saturday…

  83. Seriously? good cake? I tried it today. It was disgusting. Tasted like boiled flour, not baked. Awful. I bake and cook a lot, and I’m a chocoholic, this is not good cake at all. Wasted products.

  84. You are so adorable! I found your website by accident and am now hooked everyday in seeing what fantastic ideas you have in creating adorable and trendy styles. Very impressed my dear. Love love love the mug cake by the way, however I believe I’m trouble because I find myself craving it a lot!

  85. I also found your website, quite by accident, and am amazed DAILY by your creations. And, LOVE LOVE LOVE the cake in a mug. i had to tell you what I did to the recipe, though…I added coconut, switched out coconut extract for the vanilla, and traded hersheys kisses for the chocolate chips. Gotta try it! It rocks!! Keep up the good work!!

  86. hey! we found your blog great! (we love the fact that not only you get 1 dollar stuff but that after you redo it you post pictures of youserlf using them in real life, it’s way better than just the regular before/after plain pictures). I hope you don’t mind but we translated (to spanish, we’re from uruguay) this recipe and post in our blog, giving you the proper credit of course 🙂
    I just wanted to let you know we shared it, thanks!

  87. I wanna have a make-out sesh with Javier too! He is fine as wine. Just sayin’! 🙂

  88. Pingback: The 5-minute Chocolate Mug Cake! «

  89. This Mug Cake was awesome… made it @ the office and my co-workers got hooked!!! Got any more recipes… or more mug cake ideas??? Really easy to make with the children.

    (Puerto Rico)

  90. A friend shared your Mug Cake recipe…. wow. Now I have two reasons to visit you. The great talent you show with your clothes AND surprise cake recipes.
    Keep it up!

    Best Regards.

  91. I see chocolate cake in my near future. I was so busy looking at the cake I forgot what the dress looked like. I went back and looked though- and bravo! I would wear this- love it! And- I’m almost caught up to the current post after several days getting caught up.

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