Friday, September 30, 2016

Don't Be Afraid to take Whisks: Cookbooks and Gadgets I love

I love to cook.  Even when I'm tired at the end of the day when I start to cook I feel relaxed.  I generally like to find similar recipes and combine what I like about them.  Once in a while I'll find a great cookbook where I love more then one of the recipes inside.  Below is my current cookbook crush and the kitchen gadgets that I can't live without.

The Skinny Taste Cookbook is my new favorite.  I've made a couple of the recipes so far and they are delicious.  You can also find recipes on the website.

My husband kept hearing about the spiralizer from his coworkers.  I saw one when I was out one day and decided to pick it up.  I have the handheld version and it makes perfect skinny and wide spiralized veggies!  There is also a bigger spiralizer version that uses a handle and can spiralize a lot very quickly.

I can't live without my food chopper!  I got one from my wedding registry and I wasn't sure I would use it.  I actually use it quite a bit minus the times I've forgotten about it.  However, I've recently rediscovered my food chopper and love it!  I have this one but this one has received great reviews.  

I picked up mini spatulas for my sons' play kitchen.  I ended up using them for so many things like scraping out the last bits from a can.  They really are so useful!  This one has a set of three and this one pictured comes with a mini baster brush.  I highly recommend these mini's!

Don't forget to kiss the cook!

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

International Friends & North Fork Wine Tasting

The past couple weekends have been so much fun because my long time friend, Ilaria, who I met on an exchange program to Italy over 20 years ago came for a visit to New York City!  We have met a handful of times in different countries and kept in touch over the years via post mail, then email, and most recently Facebook.  

Our visitors spent their time primarily in New York City but I thought it was really important that they experience other parts of NY as well.  During the Fall, the North Fork of Long Island is filled with beautiful scenery, great wine, and fun harvest events.  This was a great opportunity to show them a different part of NY state.  For this trip I left the kids and hubby at home and enjoyed a girls day out!

Our first stop was Paumanok Winery.  We enjoyed a leisurely tasting and a light lunch.  Our favorite wine was the 2013 Merlot (not pictured here).

The Long Island Wine Trail is dotted every so often with great farm stands or harvest events.  We stopped at Harbes Family Farm to enjoy live music, fresh produce, apple cider donuts, and fresh roasted corn dipped in butter.  My mouth is watering just thinking about it....

My Outfit Details:  Shirt (Size S) // Jeans (Similar distressed here) // 
Shoes (Similar here) // Sunglasses 

Our favorite winery for the views was Kontokosta Winery.  This tasting room is located in a chic modern barn and looks onto the vineyards on one side and out to the water on the other.  We were able to walk out to the lawn to get a better view of the water.  The entire property was stunning!

Nothing beats the time I was able to spend with my friend, Ilaria, and her girlfriends who accompanied her on this trip!  I'm thinking I'll just have to be planning a trip abroad with the hubs soon!

"There are friendships imprinted in our hearts that will never be diminished by time or distance"

Friday, September 23, 2016

Camo Shirt Dress

Outfit Details:  Camo Dress (Size S) // Belt (Size S) // Sneakers // 
Sunglasses // Watch (Similar) // Bracelet (Similar)

The weather has been beautiful in NY this past week!  As the temps change I still love to wear a great dress.  So, when I saw this Camouflage Shirt Dress I had to have it.  Camouflage anything is very in syle this season and I consider Camo to be a pretty neutral "color" or pattern.

This dress is so easy to dress up or down with sneakers, boots or booties.  I have more of an athletic frame so I prefer something that can be easily slipped on and belted if I don't want to look too bulky.  This belt that I'm wearing was perfect and reasonably priced but I also considered wearing it with this one as well.  While walking around the city I also prefer sneakers.  I have these and these white sneakers that I wear often but I am also about to purchase these gold sneakers because they are soooo cute!

Comfortable and stylish is definitely my style of choice.  Here are some other Camo pieces I love:

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Strolling & Eating Through Bar Harbor, Maine

Bar Harbor is definitely worth a trip to see!  We loved every minute of the hiking, views, strolling around, and good eats we came across while visiting this quaint town nestled in Acadia National Park.

The town of Bar Harbor was easily walkable and had so many good restaurants to choose from.  It's pretty casual and kid friendly which was a plus for us with two rowdy little boys.  Our boys loved running around Agamont Park on the harbor.

We ate at at Cherrystones which had covered outdoor seating on the Village Green.  The food was great and they had a good kids menu.  We also had dinner at La Bella Vita Ristorante at the Harborside Hotel.  The food at La Bella Vita was sooo good.  They had pizza for the kids and great Italian food for the adults.  We sat outside with a beautiful view of the harbor.  I definitely recommend it.

Our favorite places to get something sweet were The Pink Pastry Shop for the yummiest whoopie pies ever and Mt. Dessert Island Ice Cream for some outrageous and absolutely delicious homemade flavors.  We also stopped into Coffee Hound Coffee Bar before heading out to our next stop.  I'm not a huge coffee drinker but the coffee flavors and specialties were out of this world.  I prefer my coffee to taste like ice cream and not coffee (so says a tea lover) so believe me when I say the Iced Acadian Turtle was amazing!!!

You can find more info about our Summer Road Trip to Maine and New Hampshire on my previous posts about our route here and what we did in and around Portland, Maine here and here.  

Happy Travels!!

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Little Denim Dress

This weekend we went to our first Harvest Festival of the season at Barton Orchards!  There is something about being in the country that is just so relaxing.  The kids also had a great time playing in the children's area, eating ice cream & popcorn, going on the hayride, and completing the night with fireworks.   Their excitement was infectious!

I've been all about my sneakers and denim lately.  Wearing heels is just not an option at a farm (unless you are really adventurous :) so this was the perfect opportunity to stay comfortable.  Generally, running after my children also require some sort of athletic shoe as well.  It was still a little hot out so wearing a dress was a nice alternative to shorts.  When I saw this denim dress on sale I had to have it.  It reminds me of my younger days, like many many years ago in high school, when I think I owned the same exact dress....ha!  My mother always told me that fashion comes back in style...take that puffy sleeves!

Outfit Details:  Dress (Size M) // Sneakers (Size 5)  // Sunglasses // 
Watch (Similar) // Bracelet (Similar)

This dress can be easily transitioned into fall with a cardigan, bomber, or leather jacket on top.  Booties or Boots would also look great in cooler weather.  

Overall it was a fun and successful evening at the Harvest Festival!  I also felt 15 again, minus the giggling and the blushing, so it was a win win!

Here are some other denim dresses that I'm loving for transition into fall:

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Beach Bums: Crescent Beach State Park, Maine

Hey All!  Hope everyone had a great long weekend!  We spent some time at the beach trying to soak in the last days of summer.  It reminded me a lot of our vacation up to Maine and New Hampshire a few weeks ago.  If you want more information about our road trip you can read about our route from New York to Maine and how we entertained our boys in Portland in previous blog posts.

While in Portland, Maine we wanted to spend a day at the beach since our boys love playing in the sand and surf so much.  I did a lot of research and found Crescent Beach State Park as very family friendly and only about 20 minutes from Downtown Portland.  This sounded like a perfect location for the day!

Crescent Beach did not disappoint!  The beach itself was not very deep but had a long stretch of sand in either direction.  Parking was plentiful and there are bathrooms (so important with little kids!), shower/changing area, and food at the entrance of the beach.  We brought a picnic for ourselves but there was plenty of options at the little grill/food area. The waves were very calm which made the water really kid friendly although pretty cold!  The beach and landscape itself was beautiful and people we so friendly!  I highly recommend a stop at Crescent Beach during your stay in Portland.

Happy Beach Bumming!!!

Saturday, September 3, 2016

He's Two Two!!! A Choo Choo Themed Birthday

Happy Birthday to our Little T!!!  I can't believe 2 years flew by so quickly.  I love planning parties for my boys (or really for anyone or anything)!  It gives me the opportunity to spoil them, get my creative juices flowing, and savor in those moments that you just want to keep forever.

We decided on a "Choo Choo" or "Two Two" themed birthday party because seriously, what little boy doesn't love a train!  My Little T is obsessed so instead of keeping with a popular cartoon train theme we labeled it a "Two Two" party!

The TWO TWO themed party supplies were so adorable!  I bought mine as individual items but there is also a party pack serving 16 people.

I made the cupcake wrappers with my Cricut Explore cutting machine. I use this item regularly and they also sell a wireless one as well called the Cricut Explore Air.  If you love to DIY and are interested in a easy to use dye cutter I highly recommend the Cricut Explore.  There are also so many great tutorials on the web.

If you don't love to DIY but love all these cute accents I also found some train cupcake wrappers here, here, and here.

Little T's Two Two T-shirt was found here.  It fit true to size and was soooo adorable!  It's sold in multiple colors.  Other options are here, here, and here.

Below are some other train party supplies I was loving:

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