Saturday, November 30, 2013

Special Thanks

Just wanted to give a special thank you shout out to Kelly from Kelly in the City because I won her giveaway! I am so excited to receive my Chloe + Isabel Coral Branch Cuff in the mail! I am a huge fan of Kelly, she has such an amazing sense of style and I really admire the fact that in addition to being an awesome blogger she is also a teacher! I don't know how she finds the time to do it all! 

Thanks again Kelly!

What do you all have planned for this weekend?


Friday, November 29, 2013

Black Friday Deals

I hope you all had a fabulous Thanksgiving. I'm currently recovering from a food coma so I'm sorry this post is going up late but I'm pretty sure I still have tryptophan coursing through my veins. I've spent my morning in my pajamas doing a little Black Friday shopping on my computer. Online shopping is so much easier than getting into a fight over the last cashmere cardigan with some stranger at the mall! Today I'll let you know of all the deals going on in stores and online!

J Crew: 30% your entire purchase with the code HOLIDAY (now through Dec 1)
J Crew Factory: 50% the entire store with code HOLIDAY50 (through Dec 3)
LL Bean: 10% off your entire purchase plus a $10 gift card with $50 purchase (through Dec 3)
Banana Republic: 50% off one item until 1PM, 40% off entire purchase with code BRGIVING
ASOS: 20% off everything in the store with code GIMME20 (through Dec 2)
Ann Taylor: 40% off everything with code GET40
Kate Spade: Up to 75% off selected items in special online sale
Kate Spade Outlet: 50% off entire store plus an additional 20% off your purchase!
C Wonder: 30% off 3 or more items with code GIFTS30
PLUS Macys, Bloomingdales and Nordstrom all have awesome individual item sales too!

Do you go out shopping on Black Friday?
How was your Thanksgiving, are you in a turkey coma too?

Thursday, November 28, 2013


Happy Thanksgiving Everyone! 
I am so excited to spend the day with my family and friends surrounding by delicious food. I can't believe that 2013 is almost over but I am super blessed with how far I have come within the year. I have so much to be thankful for this year mainly because so much has happened and changed this year (in a good way!). Not only am I thankful that I finished my Masters I am so happy that I finally got a big girl job after taking some me-time over the summer. It was a much needed break to re-focus myself on what I want in life. 

So with further ado, here are a few things I am very grateful for this year... 

"If there are no dogs in Heaven, then when I die I want to go where they went"

My friends
Literally don't know what I would do without them.
 They make my world a better place to live in.

Summer has always been a time for me to clear my head. 
Sitting by the water is the best therapy a girl could ask for.

My Cousins
I've said it before but as an only child my cousins have been my "siblings" all my life.
 I am so excited to see what adventures are to come with them by my side.

My Parents
 (and selfies in hotel bathrooms with my parents in matching outfits)
So lucky to have such an awesome support system to be there for me during the good and the bad!

What are you thankful for?

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Exciting News!

I am so excited to announce that during April break when my students are off from school I will be going on vacation to Costa Rica! Each year my cousin plans a huge vacation for a big group and this is the first year I am done with grad school and able to attend! We are staying in Tamarindo Costa Rica at the Villa Alegre Resort and it looks absolutely beautiful. There are 25 people going so we have the entire house to ourselves and we have our own private chef to make us breakfast and lunch every day! 

This will be my first time out of the United States so I just filled out an application for my passport. I am excited to vacation with two of my cousins, meet some new people (since I don't know all 25 people in attendance because most are friends of my cousin from Chicago) and have a little adventure in my life, especially after I promised myself that I would break out of my shell more this year and do things I wouldn't normally do. There are so many fun excursions we get to choose from and although not everything has been nailed down yet we are definitely going to tour the rain forests and visit a volcano in the area! Plus this will be excellent practice for my future stint on the reality television show Survivor (which I applied to last week... so I can cross that off of my 25 Before 25 list)!

Check out some pictures of where I'll be headed...

Overview of Tamarindo Costa Rica

The beach is a few feet from our private pool

Our house for the week!!! Doesnt it remind you of something you would see on The Real World?!

Hammocks on the side of our house by the pool

There are plenty of fun activities for us to do... 
On our list is an excursion through the rainforest!

This photo was taken from the house we are staying in. 
Monkeys everywhere!

What vacation spot is on your bucket list?

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

New Recipe: Sausage and Peppers

Happy Tasty Tuesday! I'm sure if you're Italian or if you've ever attended a party at an Italians house than you have definitely had sausage and peppers. It's one of those staples at any of my family events that I grew up on. Everyone makes sausage and peppers differently but today I will share with you my version, which is pretty quick and easy if you ask me.

- 1 package of hot sausage 
- 1 red pepper
- 1 green pepper
- 1 small onion
- 1tbsp of oil (either olive or vegetable)
- 1/3 cup tomato sauce
- 2 cloves garlic, chopped

  1. Heat large pan or skillet over medium heat- add oil
  2. Take sausage out of casing and break it up into little pieces and add to the skillet
  3. Add garlic to pan
  4. Cook sausage until no longer pink in the middle
  5. In the meantime, slice peppers and onion into stripes and add to cooked sausage
  6. Continue to cook sausage, peppers and onions until peppers/onions are soft and sausage has browned up
  7. Finally add 1/3 cup tomato sauce and mix thoroughly and leave it on for an additional 1-2 minutes
  8. Serve and Enjoy!

Monday, November 25, 2013

Gifts of Gold

The holidays are filled with sparkle and shine so going along with holiday gift theme I thought I would highlight some of my favorite gift ideas with a gold theme! One of my favorite bloggers Mason Like The Jar posted about some of her favorite gold gifts last week and I was so inspired by her post that I figured I should share mine as well. Some of my favorites on my list include the gold tree jewelry holder, glitter ballet flats (perfect for upcoming holiday parties!), and the adorable greyhound bookends. As a dog lover I feel that I need to find Akita bookends that look like Misa to decorate my shelves. 

Do you prefer silver or gold (Judging by this post I'm more of a gold girl)?
Are you embracing your sparkly side with the holidays coming up?

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Weekend Recap and Sunday Thoughts

I hope you all had a wonderful weekend, it seems they always just fly by! This weekend for me was pretty relaxing which was just what I needed after last week. On Saturday I did a little shopping with my friend Megan. We started at this local store in our area called Wits End, its basically this amazing Christmas store that sells amazing decorations and ornaments but also sells a variety of jewelry and clothing items (including brands such as Lilly Pulitzer and Vera Bradley). This place is literally heaven, its so cheery and definitely put me in the Christmas spirit. I scooped up a birthday gift for a friend, two ornaments for my parents and a pair of earrings for my mom. 

Toy soldiers outside of Wits End


Christmas Heaven

After Wits End we headed to the mall really quick. I was very proud of myself because I didnt buy anything for myself, instead I focused on scoring some items for my mom for Christmas. My mom is my favorite person in the world to shop for because she has such a great sense of style. I wanted to go to Ann Taylor because everything in the store was 40% off so I was able to grab two cute skirts, a cardigan and a blouse for her at a discount. It felt good to knock some Christmas shopping off my list of things to do. 

It was freezing this weekend! 
Saturday night was the perfect night to stay in and have a fire.

My cousins and I in warmer weather... 
I miss summer looking at this picture!

Today I woke up to snow on the ground... yuck! But I am headed to my uncles house for a pre-Thanksgiving luncheon. I always jump at the opportunity to hang out with my family, especially my cousins because we always have so much fun together. 

How was your weekend?
Did any of you do any Thanksgiving prep to get a jump on Thursdays festivities? 

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Thanksgiving Pin-spiration

I know most of us have been in Christmas mode for sometime now but I hate the idea of forgetting about Thanksgiving. Thanksgiving is basically the opening day for the holiday season. There is always plenty of food, family and fun at our dinner table and when I think about it, I think it may be my favorite holiday. Today I will be sharing with you some of my Thanksgiving Pin-spiration... my mouth was literally watering while looking at recipes. 

Corn kernels, candles and pumpkins make the perfect center piece for a dinner table. Although at my family's parties the center pieces are few and far between... replaced by bowls full of mashed potatoes and gravy!

Everyone discusses making Christmas cookies but how fun are these Thanksgiving treats? 
They look super easy to make as well.

Turkey manicures?! YES!

Typically I shy away from anything healthy on Thanksgiving, its my day to my body weight in stuffing and pie but I could make an exception for this fun fruit platter. It blows my mind how creative some people are!

This is a fun dinner table idea, everyone can write down what they are thankful for and then share it with the table. 

What are you Thanksgiving traditions?
Do you have a special recipe you make?
** Dont forget to follow me on Pinterest to see all my holiday ideas**

Friday, November 22, 2013

Friday Favorites

TGIF friends... boy this has been a long week! Maybe it's because I know that next week is Thanksgiving and that I have a 3-day work week but this week has been dragging. Even though I am not loving how long it took for this week to end, here are a couple things I am loving....

It has been freezing here in the 518, so cold that I've officially taken out my winter coat and I had to pre-heat my car because it's been covered in frost when I leave for work. Last Christmas I got a heated mattress pad for my bed and it has been getting plenty of use this week. I set it for 2 hours and when I get into my bed, it's already toasty warm. Definitely one of the best products I own and I highly recommend it.

Catching Fire
I am so excited to see the new Hunger Games movie, Catching Fire was my favorite book in the series. Last night I went to one of my girlfriends houses with a bunch of friends to watch the first movie in preparation to see the second movie next Tuesday. As mentioned previously I have a little crush on Jennifer Lawrence so I'm excited to see her kick some butt.

I've had my eye on this pretty cream sweatshirt for some time now but I am excited to say it has finally gone on sale! Once my new paychecks start coming in this will be one of the first things I purchase. I love the embroidery design on it, definitely makes this sweatshirt much dressier!

I've been loving all the friends and family sales that have been happening online and trust me, I have been taking full advantage of them. Unfortunately I don't have a lot of these amazing stores like Nordstrom and Bloomingdales in my area to browse through, however I do have a Macys. Each year Macy's has a Friends and Family event where you can take 25% off of everything in the store including brands like Michael Kors, Kate Spade, Ralph Lauren and Northface. I am definitely looking forward to picking up some gifts for my mom at a discount and scoring some cashmere sweaters and accessories for myself!

I've been in a glitter sort of mood with the holidays coming up which is why I have been loving this new collection by Essie. These sparkling polishes would be great top coats for fun holiday nails. They have so many fun patterns and colors to choose from that I can't make up my mind!

What are you currently loving?
Do you have anything fun planned for the weekend?

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Head to Toe J Crew Factory New Arrivals + A SALE!

J Crew Factory Store has had some awesome new arrivals for the upcoming holidays. Not only are all the of the new arrivals 40% off but they are also offering an additional sale for each item purchased. I decided to make a holiday outfit solely out of Factory items and every single item I used was available at a discount price. I think these plaid pants would be perfect for a more laid back holiday party that you don't want to wear a dress for, but I still dressed them up with gold accessories and a feminine peplum top. I'm also in love with their cashmere cardigans, with all the deals going on this is definitely the time to score a couple!

What are your favorite J Crew Factory new arrivals? 
Would you rock the plaid pant?


Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Oprah's Favorite Things

Fun fact, I'm a little obsessed with Oprah. When I was younger every year I would count down the days until the Oprah's Favorite Things episode. If you don't know what that is I'll fill you in. When Oprah still had her talk show every year she would do a holiday episode where she would highlight some of her favorite products (ranging from designer shoes and flat screen TVs to food products and pajama sets), and she would give every single item to her audience. It was so fun to watch them jump up and down and celebrate because they would walk away with thousands of dollars worth of presents! Now that Oprahs show is done, she still highlights her favorite things in her magazine and website. So I decided to pick 9 of my favorites from Oprah's Favorite Things List.

  1.  Genevieve Ugg Boot- I love my Uggs especially when it's freezing outside and I'm looking for comfort. This new Ugg design has these adorable leather bows on the back on them!
  2. Caddylicious Stationary Set- I've been sending a lot of thank you cards lately (especially with the holidays coming up) and I love the little note pads and stationary Oprah chose where you can get your name monogrammed on the top.
  3. Himalayan Salt Shot Glasses- Although tequila was not my friend last weekend I thought these shot glasses would make great gifts for the entertainer in your friend group. They are carved from high quality Himalayan salt so there is no extra salt necessary when your holiday party decides to get a little wild!
  4. Monogrammed Lazy Susan- For the friend who just got a new apartment or for someone who likes to host dinner parties, this monogrammed lazy susan would be a great addition to their kitchen accessories.
  5. Sweater Mugs- Do I need to explain why I think these mugs designed like sweaters are awesome? I didn't think so.
  6. C Wonder Quilted Jacket- Clearly I have been a little obsessed with C Wonder lately, these fun jackets come in the most beautiful jeweled tones with fun patches on the elbows. 
  7. Monogrammed Leather Gloves: This is one classic accessory that I don't own, I really should invest in a pair of classic leather gloves because they never go out of style. You can buy these in different lengths and colors!
  8. Sprinkles Cookie Dough- This tube of delicious cookie dough will be shipped to your house. For those of you who don't like to bake, these are perfect for when you get a sweet tooth!
  9. Custom Dog Pillow- This gift is for the animal lovers in your life. You mail in a picture of your pooch (or kitty) and they will send back a hand drawn custom pillow with your furry friends face on it. I think Misa's mug would look great in pillow form!
** Also please take a minute to watch these audience members react, it's hilarious.
 I would probably be flopping on the ground from excitement**

Have you ever watched Oprah's Favorite Things Episode?


Tuesday, November 19, 2013

New Recipe: Roasted Red Pepper Bisque

Finished Product
Happy Tasty Tuesday!
With winter right around the corner I thought I should learn more soup recipes. A couple weekends ago I went out to dinner with some friends and got the most amazing roasted red pepper bisque and I knew I had to make it at home. This was the first time I ever made this recipe and it was pretty simple to make (it took about 45 minutes from start to finish including heating it up on the oven) and turned out so delicious. It is perfect for those chilly nights.
Prior to broiling them
- 8 medium sweet red peppers
- 1 large onion, chopped
- 2 tbsp butter
- 3 cups chicken broth
- 2 cups half and half
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp pepper
- 1/2 cup asiago cheese grated
In the blender!
  1. Line peppers on a cookie tray and broil them under the heat until the skins blister (aprox. 5 minutes). With tongs, rotate the peppers 90 degrees until all sides are blistered.
  2.  Immediately place peppers into a large bowl and cover it for about 15 minutes
  3. While peppers are covered, saute onions and butter in a large pan until soft. Let cool.
  4. Once peppers have sat for 15 minutes peel off and throw out charred skin. Remove stems and seeds and set peppers aside,
  5. In a blender, combine the onion mixture, roasted peppers and 2 cups of chicken broth and blend until smooth.
  6. In a large saucepan combine pepper mixture, half and half, remaining chicken broth, salt, pepper and cheese.
  7. Heat under medium heat until warm.
  8. Enjoy!   *I like to sprinkle a little asiago cheese on top too for garnish*
Finished Pot

Monday, November 18, 2013

Weekend Recap

 I had the most amazing birthday weekend. Firstly, I would like to thank all of you who wished me a happy birthday, you have all become my (blog) friends and I appreciate all the love. I also want to thank my friends and family who made me feel so special, I am one lucky gal!

My downfall
My cousin Zach
     On Saturday night I went out with some friends and my cousin for drinks.... maybe one too many drinks because Sunday morning was rough. Lesson learned. I have many friends... tequila is not one of them. 

They bought me so many fun gifts, I'm excited to wear each and every one of them. 

Sunday was nice and relaxing, mainly because I was too hungover to get off the couch. But I did rally and make it to a nice dinner at Sake, a hibachi restaurant in our area, with my parents. Plus my parents bought me a beautiful Kate Spade clutch, belt and bangle that I love. The glitter clutch and belt will be perfect for the holidays. 

So again thank you all so much. I'm excited for the year ahead, and hopefully with a little bit of work I'll be able to cross of all items off my 25 Before 25 list. 


Sunday, November 17, 2013

25 Before 25...

       Today is my 24th birthday and I am officially getting older. I am so lucky to be able to spend this whole weekend with friends and family, it has been a great last couple of days. So much has happened in the past year, I graduated with my Masters and started my first "big girl job." Although there is so much more to be done I am happy with how far I have gotten. I was inspired by the College Prepsters 25 Before 25 list and decided I should make my own list of things to accomplish. This way I can have an actual goal list to hold myself accountable for, so I officially have 365 days to complete all 25 items on my list which I think is attainable. 
25 Before 25:
  1. 1.    Spa Day. I’ve gotten a facial before but I’d like to have a full day of pampering with a massage.
    2.     Plan another girls trip with my best friends, preferably somewhere with a beach and a pina colada in my hand. Either way I'd like to vacation somewhere I've never been before.
    3.     Visit Chicago (again), my cousin lives out there and I want to make sure I get out to visit at least once a year.
    4.     Expand my blog. I really want work at promoting it and getting my idea’s out there, maybe even get a sponsor or two.
    5.     Build up my savings account. Grad school drained my bank account but I’d like to have it built up to where it was before I got my Masters.
    6.     Start and finish Breaking Bad. Just what I need… another TV show on my list.
    7.     Read more books. I’m really good at picking up a book in the summer but I tend to slack during the other seasons. (Also… remind myself that fashion magazines do not count as books).
    8.     Take more pictures. My friends and I hang out a lot but sometimes we forget to capture those memories in pictures. So I vow to take more pictures.
    9.     Go see a New York Knick game at Madison Square Garden. I’ve seen them play when they come to Albany, but this winter I want to see them play on their home turf.
    10.  See another Broadway show. I try to get to one once a year.
    11.  Go to the Lights in the Park in Albany. Haven’t seen them in years but I love Christmas lights.
    12. Take a cooking class, I love to cook but I want to expand my horizons
    13. Organize my accessories, I have pretty good jewelry organization but I need a better way to display bags and scarves.
    14. Plan a dinner party for my friends--- channel my inner Martha Stewart.
    15.  Treat myself to a fun manicure, this sounds weird but I’ve never gotten a manicure, only a pedicure. Mainly because I’m a nail biter but I want to get a fun manicure for Christmas/New Years.
    16. Drink more water- I only treat myself to soda if I go out to eat but I need more H2O in my daily routine/
    17. Attend a concert; this was the first summer I didn’t go to SPAC (our local outside arena). So next summer I need to go back.
    18. Get a signature drink. If we got out for drinks I am always open to experimenting but I do want a signature drink I can order out and enjoy.
    19.  Treat myself to an expensive piece of jewelry. Diamonds are a girl’s best friend, right?
    20. Take an exercise class. Ugh.
    21. Wear bright lipstick- I love the look on other people but I’m still not so sure I can pull it off…
    22. Clean out my closet- I need to do an honest inventory of what I have and donate what I no longer need.
    23. Apply for a reality show- My cousin and I have decided to send in an audition tape for Survivor: Blood vs. Water 2. Maybe next year I’ll be sporting an Immunity necklace around my neck instead of a J Crew statement piece!
    24. Try new restaurants- I tend to stick to my signature favs instead of expanding my horizons- this will change this year!
    25. Continue to promote myself professionally- As the Jefferson’s would say, “I’m moving on up!”

    Do you have a list of things that you want to accomplish this year?
    Whats on your list?

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Saturday Thoughts

Happy Saturday!
I'm switching things up a bit and posting my Sunday Thought on a Saturday this week because I have a special post for tomorrow. As I mentioned yesterday, it's my birthday weekend so I will be celebrating with various friends and family. I can't help but feel a sense of fulfillment when I am with loved ones so this quote was especially appropriate for this week. I am very lucky to have such a wonderful support system surrounding me and I honestly couldn't imagine anything better to have than that...

Who are the people that mean the most to you?

Friday, November 15, 2013

Friday Favorites

I thought that this week flew by because of the long weekend, which is good because there are so many things I am looking forward to this weekend! Check out some of the things I have been loving this week!

My Birthday Weekend
My 24th birthday is this Sunday but I think it's appropriate to celebrate all weekend long. I have some wonderful plans lined up with friends and family. Plus on my actual birthday I'll be highlighting my 25 before 25 list!

C Wonder Flash Sale
It's alway so much fun to come home from a long day at work to an online flash sale. C Wonder gave early access to its Facebook fans and I took full advantage of the sale scooping up a navy silk blouse, some fun baubles and a pair of black flats for $32! I was in desperate need for a new pair of black flats and these were perfect (say a little prayer for me that they fit because they are final sale!). It was an early birthday gift to myself.

I've had my eye on this beautiful French Connection dress for a couple of months now and it has finally gone on sale (plus an extra 20% for Friends and Family!). One of my favorite bloggers Kelly in the City, was sporting the white version on her blog a couple days ago and it looked great on her but I'm still debating whether I like the white or black better for myself. So I need your advice... do I go with black or white?!
American Horror Story: Coven
I've been a fan of the AHS series since season one but this season has been my favorite. I think the real reason I love it so much is because it's all about women witches kicking ass. It's so nice to see a series where the leads are all women, and oscar winning women at that! Jessica Lange and Kathy Bates are show stoppers. If you like a good scare seasons 1 & 2 are on Netflix too. 

Confession: My short iPhone cord drives me absolutely crazy because it is always coming unplugged. I saw these awesome 10ft colored iPhone cords on Amazon for only $2.50 and I need to order it ASAP. The lime green is my favorite. 

What are you loving this week?
What are your plans for this weekend?