Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Sausage and Peppers with Cherry Tomatoes

Happy Tasty Tuesday!
It's getting cooler outside so I've been bringing out the crock pot so cook up some colder weather meals. There is nothing better than coming home to a home cooked meal after a day of working, without having to do any actual cooking. I really love homemade sauce, so I decided to create my own by adding cherry tomatoes to this crock pot recipe. What's really cool, is that when the crock pot reaches a certain temperature, the cherry tomatoes burst and mix with the seasonings to create a savory sauce.

  • 1 package of hot sausage (remove from casing)
  • 2 red peppers, sliced
  • 1 small onion, sliced
  • 2 packages of cherry tomatoes
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 4 cloves of garlic, minced
  1. In the crock pot, combine all ingredients and stir to combine. Make sure you break apart the sausage into tiny pieces. 
  2. Cook on high for 3-4 hours.
  3. Serve over ziti.
  4. Enjoy!

Monday, September 28, 2015


Happy Monday!
Like many others around the world, I spent this past weekend celebrating Oktoberfest. I never really understood why Oktoberfest was celebrated in September, but I'm not complaining because the weather this past weekend was fantastic and it was the perfect day to be outside enjoying a few German beers with friends. If you're in the Albany area and a fan of German food and beer, I recommend checking out Wolff's Biergarten because even when it's not Oktoberfest, they have an awesome atmosphere to check out a soccer game. 
As far as the outfit I wore is concerned, it was a hot day and I wasn't about to bring out my new fall clothes just yet. So many people had heavy sweaters, scarves and boots on and I couldnt imagine how hot they all were because it was quite warm under the sun. I opted for a navy eyelet top and my new favorite leopard slip on sneakers

Did you visit Oktoberfest in your area?

Thursday, September 24, 2015

New Recipe: Bourbon Chicken

Happy Tasty Thursday?
Since I didn't have time to post a recipe on my usual Tuesday, I decided to switch it up and celebrate Tasty Thursday instead. This was a new recipe that I tried earlier this week and it packed plenty of flavor. Despite its name, it's an Asian inspired chicken. I started it when I got home from work and had it finished within 35 minutes of starting so it's definitely an easy dish for when you're looking for a quick and easy meal.

  • 2 lbs boneless chicken nuggets (you can buy chicken breasts but the nuggets are easier to dice up)
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/4 tsp ginger
  • 1 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 1/4 cup apple juice
  • 1/3 cup light brown sugar
  • 2 tbsp ketchup
  • 1 tbsp cider vinegar
  • 1/3 cup low sodium soy sauce
  • 1/2 cup water

  1. In a large skillet, heat oil over medium high heat.
  2. While skillet is heating up, dice up chicken into bite sized bits (think when you get hibachi chicken at a restaurant).
  3. Add chicken pieces to skillet and cook until browned.
  4. Remove chicken and set aside.
  5. Add remaining ingredients, stir to combine and heat until well mixed.
  6. Add chicken back to skillet and bring to a boil.
  7. Reduce heat and simmer for 20 minutes.
  8. Enjoy! -- Note: I served mine with rice and vegetables

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

NYC Recap

Happy Tuesday!
I don't have a recipe for you guys today, but I am trying two new recipes later this week so I will have one soon! Instead I'm gonna show off a few photos from my trip to NYC this past weekend. I had so much fun visiting with friends, but as usual I could use a vacation from my vacation. I did get to check a few things off my bucket list though, including walking across the Brooklyn Bridge! 
I arrived on Friday afternoon and immediately hit the town to do a little shopping before we met up with friends for dinner. The shopping in NYC is always so much better than Albany so I couldn't resist the opportunity to have a little retail therapy. The weather was absolutely beautiful so I took as many opportunities as possible to be outside and walk. After taking the ferry and walking the Brooklyn Bridge on Saturday, we went to the Feast of San Gennaro in Little Italy, which is this huge street festival with plenty of amazing food vendors. I gorged myself on authentic Italian cuisine and plenty of homemade gelato. On Sunday, it was another gorgeous day so we spent the afternoon in Central Park before I had to make my way back to Albany. I'm already looking forward to planning another trip in the city since it only cost me $20 round trip on the Megabus, it was so nice to visit friends and catch up... the perfect end to summer. 


Saturday, September 19, 2015

Weekend Reads

Happy Saturday!
While I'm off spending my weekend in NYC with friends, check out some weekend reads that I picked out for you all!

Weekend Reads: 

  • With the presidential race heating up, Jimmy Kimmel brought in some important correspondents to discuss the candidates, a bunch of kids. Their honesty on the issues are hilarious. 
  • Speaking of Jimmy's, I'm a huge fan of Jimmy Fallon's lip sync battle, where he competes with celebrities in the ultimate non-karaoke competition. Last week he competed against Ellen Degeneres with guest judge Justin Timberlake, and magic ensued. 
  • I'm on the hunt for the perfect suede bootie for fall and Sole Society has a variety of amazing options I'm considering. My two favorites are these western booties and this army brown option.
  • Since I'm in NYC this weekend, I thought this article was perfect: 11 Tips for Taking the Best Travel Shot on Instagram.
  • Now that the pool is closed, I'm getting back in the kitchen to cook up some new recipes. Rachel Ray gives me 16 Quick and Easy Fall Recipes that I definitely want to try including spicy creamed corn and butternut pudding. 
  • I've been on the hunt for cute work pants for fall and Tommy Hilfiger came to my rescue with these plaid ankle pants.
  • I had to take Misa to the vet last week and it's always a production because she is so afraid. As usual, there is a Buzzfeed article to describe my usual experience: Pets Afraid of the Vet
What are you up to this weekend?

Friday, September 18, 2015

NYC Bound

I'm super excited because today I'm en route to NYC for the long weekend. Normally, I head to New York City once a year in December to do a little Christmas shopping but this year I'm getting another opportunity to spend some time in the city and I won't have to battle the cold weather. A few weeks ago when I was in Chicago a couple friends of mine we're discussing making a trip to NYC for a long weekend in September and I immediately knew that I wanted to join. Luckily for me I was able to find tickets from Albany to NYC on the Megabus for $20 round trip (what a steal)!

I'm not quite sure what adventures we will have lined up this weekend, but I know it will be fun. Be sure to follow my travels on Instagram!

Thursday, September 17, 2015

Apps of the Moment

We live in a world where our phones are typically attached to our hip (I'm guilty of this) and we use it for more than just communication. It has become our source for news updates, movie times, music and the occasional funny cat video. So today I'm discussing my favorite apps of the moment.

My friends and I are obsessed with sending each other funny gifs that represent whatever we're talking about at the moment. For those of you who don't know, gifs are tiny animated pictures, typically taken from various social media like television or movies. Giphy is a free app that allows you to search for a variety of different gifs and download them straight to your phone. 

A few months ago I bought a Roku and my life was instantly changed. I'm a huge TV buff (not my proudest accomplishment) and purchasing the $50 Roku allows me to stream Netflix, HBO Go and Hulu (along with a variety of other options) straight from my television. The Roku app on my phone is a built in remote control that allows me to access my Roku, choose and play my shows using my phone instead of locating my remove which is probably buried somewhere in my bed. 

Foodspotting is a visual guide to good food in your area. Instead of reviewing restaurants, you can recommend dishes and see what others are eating when you go out. This is great for me because first of all I love trying new restaurants but also I'm that girl who stares at what other tables are ordering and think to myself "that looks good, I want that". This lets me look at what dishes other people ordered at a restaurant straight from my phone!

A girlfriend of mine tuned me into this app when we were in Saint Maarten. In the summer I always have a fan blowing on me when I sleep, I like feeling cool when I sleep but I also like the sound it makes when I sleep. Once it gets cooler out though I will be putting away my fan but still missing that white noise when I sleep. Enter this free White Noise App, you can pick a variety of different sounds to play when you sleep, whether it be waves breaking on the ocean, the sound of rain outside your window, crickets or just the good old fashion sound of a fan. It definitely helps me sleep better at night (especially when Misa barks at the newspaper man at 4am!). 

What are your favorite apps at the moment?

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Pattern Play

Happy Hump Day!
This past weekend I went to our local Italian Community Center for their annual Italian Festa. It's become a family tradition where we go and visit and mostly importantly, stuff our faces with food. However, it was much to my dismay that right before we got ready to go on Saturday the skies opened up and it began down pouring. The festival is held outside but luckily it's under a giant tent yet it's still difficult to find something to wear in that sort of weather. Luckily, my favorite Gap boyfriend jeans came to my rescue and kept me warm while the rain came down (although I'm not going to lie, I wish I had some elastic waist pants on to handle all the pasta I shoved in my mouth). 
A new addition to my wardrobe are these fantastic slip on calf hair sneakers. I ended up picking them up at J Crew Factory during Labor Day weekend when they were only $25! I had been looking for a pair for quite sometime but I didn't want to pay an arm and a leg for them, so $25 was the perfect price for my wallet. It finally warmed up and dried up so I gratefully packed back up my boyfriend jeans until a later fall date, but it was great to pull them out for a night out. 

Jeans, Gap (similar style here) // Top // Slip Ons
Crossbody Bag // Necklace Macy's, old // Bracelet
Sunglasses Michael Kors Outlet (similar)

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

New Recipe: Prosciutto Panini with Sun-Dried Tomato Spread

Happy Tasty Tuesday!
Back when I was visiting Chicago in August we grabbed lunch at Ceres' Table and I had the most fabulous prosciutto panini. I was immediately inspired to recreate the sandwich at home. I always love trying new dishes when I'm out because it gives me ideas of recipes I want to try at home with a twist. The sandwich I made was packed with flavor, but I do wish I invested in a panini maker because it probably would have been much easier to grill.

  • I loaf of sourdough bread
  • 1/2 lb of prosciutto, sliced thin
  • 1 block of fontina cheese
  • fresh arugula
  • 1/2 cup light mayo
  • 3 tbsp sun dried tomatoes, diced
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1 tsp Italian seasoning
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
  • garlic, minced
  • 4 tbsp olive oil
  1. In a bowl combine mayo, diced sun dried tomatoes, sugar, Italian seasoning, lemon juice and garlic. Stir to mix completely and then refrigerate for 45 minutes before using. 
  2. Slice sourdough bread and fontina cheese.
  3.  On bread spread sun dried tomato spread on one side of the bread and olive oil on the other side. Layer fontina cheese, prosciutto and arugula on sun dried tomato side of the sourdough bread, making a sandwich. 
  4. Place sandwich olive oil side down onto a skillet and grill over medium high heat. Continue to check the break to make sure it doesn't burn but you want the cheese to begin to melt. Flip so that both sides of the bread grill to a crunchy texture.
  5. Serve and enjoy! 


Monday, September 14, 2015

September Florals

First of all, I would like you all to respect my privacy at this time because the pools are officially closed until next year. I'm quite devastated and can't imagine what my weekends will be like now that I won't be sunning myself all day, not to mention my tan will be fading before I know it (the horror). Alas, it was a good summer and I'm so thankful that we had the great weather that we did. 
I know that everyone is anxious to wear their new fall purchases and jump back into "sweater weather" but it is 80 degrees in the 518 and summer has no intention of slowing down. I'm not patient when it comes to many things, but waiting to wear my new fall clothes is something I have no trouble pushing aside until the time is right. That means you won't see my wearing any vests, plaid or sweaters any time soon and instead you'll see a few more dresses including this floral option I picked up during Labor Day. 
Labor Day deals were incredible last week, and although I try and focus on purchasing items for fall, it was a good time to grab a few last minute summer items on super clearance. It will be a fun surprise when next April when I pull out my clothes for spring and I find a few items I purchased at the end of this season. 

Dress // Sandals // Bag Michael Kors Outlet (similar)
Jewelry Kate Spade & J Crew, old
Sunglasses Kate Spade Outlet (similar)

Thursday, September 10, 2015

Insta Life Lately

Since I don't have any outfits to share with you this week, I thought I would do a summary of what I've been up to on Instagram lately. Instead of posting what I'm wearing, I tend to use Instagram to share my adventures of what I've been up to. Last night I went to dinner with my parents and grandma to celebrate her 91st birthday and we went down to Troy to enjoy the beautiful nights breeze at Browns Brewing Co. The food is fantastic and their huge deck offers a great view of the Hudson River while you dine.

This is a common sight of me in the summer, minus the pool float. I'm not sure about where everyone else lives, but the 518 was so hot this past Labor Day weekend and I spent most of my weekend submerged in the water. This upcoming weekend is the last week for the pool and my depression is setting in, I don't want summer to end!

Last Saturday I made the trip up to Manchester Vermont for the day to do a little outlet shopping. Manchester is perfect because they have the perfect mix of popular stores and small boutiques, plus they have some fantastic restaurants to enjoy while you shop (I highly suggest picking up a sandwich and homemade cookie at Zoey's Deli). I ended up picking up some great pieces for fall (and some end of summer clearance), which I'll be showing off in the upcoming weeks. 

August 26th was National Dog Day so I couldn't resist Instagramming a photo of my pride and joy Misa. If you're wondering lying in bed with a look of "why are you in here, I was napping" is a common look for Misa. She wasn't thrilled that I interrupted her slumber with an impromptu photo shoot, but it's hard not to photograph that face! 

I guess you can say I have a thing for zebras and stripes. My sheets and blanket matched my new Lilly dress that I picked up during the After Party Sale a few weeks ago. You can get my entire Whim by Martha Stewart bedding at Macy's.

What have you been up to lately?
Be sure to follow me on Instagram at @ahromano17!

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Wednesday Wish List

After hitting up the outlets this past weekend I was getting so many ideas for fall. Currently it's 90 degrees out so it's not like I'll be sporting any fall-wear anytime soon but it's still fun to look at all the new styles and get ideas for what I want to invest in once the weather decides to take a turn for the worse.
This year, for me, it's all about items that can be mixed and matched so I get more bang for my buck. I've never been afraid of a pop of color but I'm going to try and focus on some neutrals this year that will help me get through the long winter months with more outfit options. Also on my list this year are plenty of vests. I picked up a navy quilted puffer vest this past weekend and I can see myself getting so much use out of it during fall, but the above army green lined vest is also something I'm looking to invest in as well.

What are you looking to invest in this fall?

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

New Recipe: Chocolate Cheesecake Pudding

Happy Tasty Tuesday!
"When baking, follow directions. When cooking, go by your own taste"
I'm not a huge baker, unless it comes from a Betty Crocker box but boy do I love desserts, but when I stumbled upon a recipe for chocolate cheesecake pudding I knew I had to go out of my comfort zone and try it because it just looked that good. And man, this recipe lived up to its potential and really was super easy to make.

Ingredients for pudding:
  • 12 oz cream cheese softened
  • 1 box (5oz) chocolate cook-and-serve pudding
  • 2 1/2 cups milk (I used skim)
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1 small Hershey bar
Ingredients for whipped cream (makes a huge bowl):
  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 2-3 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  1. In a large microwave safe bowl, use a hand mixer to combine softened cream cheese and dry pudding mixture. Mix on low until light and fluffy.
  2. Whisk in milk and heavy cream, blending completely.
  3. Microwave the mixture according to the pudding box directions until the chocolate had thickened to a pudding consistency.
  4. Spoon the pudding into individualized bowls and refrigerate for 2 hours until chilled.
  5. In a separate bowl combine all ingredients for whipped cream and whisk until it thickens to whipped cream consistency. Refrigerate along with pudding.
  6. When ready to serve place a dollop of whip cream on top of pudding and shave chocolate from the Hershey bar on top for garnish.
  7. Enjoy!

Thursday, September 3, 2015

Nordstrom Rack is Coming to Albany!

Today is an exciting day for those living in the 518 because we're finally getting a Nordstrom Rack. For years the only major department store we had in our area was a Macy's, and I was thrilled last year when we get a Lord & Taylor, but today is the grand opening for Nordstrom Rack and I finally feel like I can get access to these brands that I've been only been able to shop online for. I was so tempted to go into work late today so I could attend the grand opening at 8am but I was on my best behavior and decided to wait until this weekend when I could shop their Labor Day Sales. 
While browsing their website I picked out a few items that I already have my eye on. Although this isn't a full Nordstrom, I'm still excited about the deals that will be available to me, just in time for fall to arrive. High on my list are those navy suede booties pictured above. I felt like brown and black boots are so common but a navy boot would be a fun twist for fall!

Do you have a Nordstrom in your area?

Plaid Top // Ring // Keds // Weekend Bag

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

See Spot Run

It is hot.out.
So hot that I actually struggled to put together outfits for work this week that were both professional and comfortable in the heat. Things I definitely wanted to avoid this week was anything tight or fitted so I immediately side lined any pencil skirts this week in favor of more flowing skirts and dresses. Enter this navy polka dot skirt that I actually stole borrowed from my mom. We're both lucky that we share the same size because we often swap items in each others closet, which comes in handy when it comes to clothes for work. 
Post work tonight I'm grabbing dinner with my grandma. Her 91st (!!) birthday is on Friday and normally we would go out to dinner as a family to celebrate but my grandma informed us this week that she had "other plans" and would be attending a wedding on her birthday, which made me chuckle because I can picture her on the dance floor on a Friday night. So instead the two of us are going to have dinner together and since it's so hot we'll probably grab ice cream tonight as well, might as well splurge.

Skirt // Top French Connection, old
Sunglasses Kate Spade Outlet, old (similar)
Bag Michael Kors, old (similar) // Sandals Steve Madden, old