3.19.2014

Healthy Eats: Spaghetti Squash & Meat Sauce

I'm currently trying to jump start my healthy eating/living lifestyle again as spring is right around the corner. You know how they say summer bodies are made in the winter? Yeah well, this winter was a little too long and cold in my opinion, so eating indoors was one of my favorite hobbies. So spring will have to do for prepping my body for bikini season! First off on the menu, Spaghetti Squash! I was so pleasantly surprised how this came out and I love how it's relatively guilt free because you're substituting a veggie for a pasta. Once you realize the versatility of this sneaky little veggie, the possibilities are endless!
 
What You'll Need:
1 large spaghetti squash, cut in half lengthwise, seeds removed (more on that below)
extra virgin olive oil
salt and pepper

Any ingredients you need to make your favorite sauce. Mine include:
1 jar spicy tomato and basil sauce
1 can small tomato sauce (Hunts)
lean ground beef (you could use ground turkey too)
spices (basil, garlic, red pepper flakes, oregano and a pinch of sugar to cut the acidity)
Start by preheating your oven to 400 degrees.
So the hardest part of this dish will be trying to cut this sucker open!! I have a pretty nice knife set we got from D's aunt and uncle last Christmas (thanks Aunt Pat and Uncle Joe!) and even then I had to really work this thing! If you have a samurai sword, great! If not, put some elbow grease into it. I actually have a little trick where I cut a sliver off the side of the squash so it will lay flat on the table as I cut it. That may work for you too. Once you cut it in half, you need to scrape all the seeds and gunk out, much like when carving a pumpkin. Hint: Use an ice cream scooper like I did. Super easy.
Put both squash halves on a baking sheet, and brush on EVOO and a sprinkle of salt and pepper to your liking. Stick that in your oven and bake for 45 min -- 1 hour, or until tender. I liked mine more "well done" so I went the whole hour. And while that's in the oven, take that time to make your favorite sauce. I made a meat sauce (seen below) but you can really make any kind of sauce you want, including ground turkey, meatballs, veggies, or meatless.
Once your squash is completely roasted, take out of the oven and scrape the inside of the squash with a fork. You'll see like magic, spaghetti like strands will form. Continue scraping the squash strands and remove them and place in a large bowl. If you want to get fancy or creative, you could even keep them inside the squash and serve it a bowl.
Plate it and serve with your sauce. 
And a sprinkle of Parmesan cheese if you're feeling naughty ;) I opted out because I'm trying to be good. But then I added a piece of garlic bread.....so scratch that!
Voila! Spaghetti Squash and meat sauce. A lightened up version of your favorite pasta staple.

Anyone else loving on the spaghetti squash right now?
How else do you prepare this dish -- please share with me! 

xo Steph

3.17.2014

Lucky Little Details

Happy St. Patty's Day all! May the luck of the Irish be with you today! Enjoy some corned beef and cabbage, a shamrock shake or a nice tall pint Guinness to celebrate in style. And even if you don't get a change to do anything festive today -- try to wear some green somewhere. Even some green nail polish would totally be suitable for work :)

Lucky little details

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Sweat shirt / Hunter wellington boots  / Tory Burch slip on shoes / Tory Burch satchel handbag / AurĂ©lie Bidermann pendant necklace / Sterling silver earrings / Essie nail polish / Essie nail polish 

How are you celebrating this Monday?? 
I'll be stopping for my once a year Shamrock shake after work and enjoying every last drop!

xo Steph

3.13.2014

Shamrockin' Inspirations


Today's #tbt is a collection of some festive St. Patty's day finds to bring a little luck into your life this month. As I've mentioned before, St. Patrick's Day is a personal favorite holiday for me, even if I'm only less than a 1/4 Irish! Well let's be honest, any excuse to celebrate a themed holiday is enough for me to get all excited about it -- but hey, that's just me. Here are some of my picks to make your St. Patty's Day a little extra lucky : )
All images and links to recipes can be found {here} on my {pinterest page}
1. my hunter boots are especially festive on St. Patty's Day
2. Guinness with a shamrock in the foam
{fun fact: I learned how to do this when I worked at an Irish pub in college. Takes a bit of practice but is surely a crowd pleaser!}
3. lucky shamrock pasta with pesto
4. love this delicate table setting
5. corned beef and cabbage soup
6. lucky charms chex mix for all day snacking
7. copy cat version of McDonald's Shamrock shake. 
{and I bet it tastes even better served in a mason jar!}
8. Baily's Irish Cream shamrock cookies -- yes please!
9. a hearty dinner of Irish beef stew and mashed potatoes
And of course some fun pics of me and D, enjoying my shamrock shake from McDonald's and of course, gotta represent with my Hoboken Irish tee.

Do you all celebrate St. Patty's day with festive foods and fun traditions?
For me -- I must have a Shamrock Shake every year....so good!!

Happy almost Friday! :)

xo Steph

3.12.2014

Leather Jacket Weather

Could it be? Is it actually leather jacket weather? Leather jackets are kind of funny things. The weather has to be JUST RIGHT for me to wear my leather jacket out. I'm talking an early fall or spring day. It also can't have any precipitation or even a chance of rain for fear of ruining the leather. D and I have a running joke that we can never wear of leather jackets because the outdoor elements need to be just so. This weekend was one of those glorious moments for us where we both rocked out our leather with pride and style. Granted I was a little chilly (it maybe hit 50 degrees on Saturday) but to us Northerners, those temperatures after this winter might as well be summer right? This look below is very similar to the outfit I wore this weekend.


Leather jacket weather

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Anyone else feel really particular about  leather jacket weather?
or am I the only weirdo out there?
Either way -- keep it coming.....bring on the spring!!

xo Steph

3.11.2014

Love Lately {Cold Weather Edition}

 I've been terrible with posting lately, so my apologies for that. With that being said, I thought it would be a nice to share some pics from my trusty iphone of things I'm loving lately. Take a look : )
1. The last of the Winter Wear. Even though I am SOOO OVER snow days, they give me an excuse to wear cute outfits like this.
Hello J.crew and Hunter boots obsession : )
2. Chunky Scarves. The winter that overstayed it's welcome at least allows me to still wear these extra cozy and chunky infinity scarves. I got this one for Christmas from D's mom and it is seriously like wrapping yourself up in a blanket. Amazing.
3. Cold weather also means D and I get to wear our matching trapper hats out and about like nerds.
4. Little known fact: I have curly hair. I never wear it curly, like ever. I just feel like straight hair is more manageable and looks more natural on me, so I have been straightening it since the invention of the flat iron. Not kidding. I think I had the first "flat iron" in 10th grade that actually had a water chamber and "steamed"your hair straight. Ghetto. And dangerous. I had many steam related burns from that tool. But I digress. I've been feeling a little sassy lately and splurged on some quality hair products and have been playing around with my curls. For any of you curly haired girls out there -- please share with me your tips and favorite styling products!!
 5. The Melting Pot. I recently went to dinner there for a friends birthday and I forgot how much fun fondue can be. I love interactive dinners like hibachi, so The Melting Pot is right up my ally. Weird thing though, our service was soooo slow. It took our waiter like over an hour to bring out our food, which is strange considering we cook our own food at the table. So it's not like I'm waiting for it to be cooked. Hmmmm oh well. The dessert tray made up for it all. Rice Krispie treats dipped in dark chocolate and peanut butter. HEAVEN. 
6. Comfort Foods. Snowy cold days make me crave comfort foods. The last snow day we got, D and I headed to our favorite restaurant down the block. My choice: grilled cheese and french onion soup. Holla!
7. Lazy Sundays. The kind of Sunday where I don't even get out of my sweatpants kinda day. I had that kinda day last weekend and it was glorious. I snuggled with this cute thing under the blankets alllll day.
 8. Love notes. This is what happens when your boyfriend packs your lunch for work. Amazing how the small things can totally make your whole day. 
He's cute.

Happy Tuesday Friends!

xo Steph





3.04.2014

The Oscars are like the Prom for Celebrities

Seriously, it's like the prom for both celebrities and regular people like ourselves because we all fawn over the pretty little gowns. Moments like this I wish I was a celebrity rubbing elbows with all the stars. But sigh....I'll watch from my couch instead. Anyway, here are my favorite picks from Oscars big night. On another note, I don't have worst dressed because everyone in my opinion was pretty on point!
Kate Hudson was my ABSOLUTE FAVORITE. Even though she wasn't up for any awards, she stunned in this dress. Then again, she aways looks amazing -- especially on the red carpet.
Lupita was the lady of the night snagging a best supporting actress award. She is definitely the new "it girl" so be prepared to see more of this adorable chickie! And this dress was my second fav of the night.
LBD baby bump style : )
Sandra was gorgeous in this color - just bummed she didn't go home with an oscar.
THE lady of the night was Cate. Lucky for her she looked amazing in this dress as she brought home the coveted Best Actress award of the night.
 Charlize is always supermodel stunning.
 And J. Law is aways adorable. This dress is soooo much better than her past few awards dresses. Her Golden globes dress in particular.
Loved this look on Anne.
 Julia just seemed really happy and bubbly and ready for a good time that night.
Jenna just had a baby how long ago?? She is gorgeous and so is this dress!
And Mrs. McConaughey was simply beaming and blushing (get the pun?) in this blush colored gown. She was like a proud momma watching her hubby win the best actor award for Dallas Buyers Club. She looks as regal as those Oscar statuettes in my opinion.

So who else loves watching the Oscars and what was your favorite dress pick of the night?

xo Steph 

3.03.2014

I've got the winter blues....

It's official. I've got the winter blues. Which is weird to say now that it's already MARCH! Did you hear that mother nature? It's March! Let's get it together and bring on the spring. No more snow thank you very much. It's no secret that it's been a long, hard winter in the North East and I'd be lying if I said it doesn't take a toll on you. For me, it's been hard blogging on a regular schedule so I'm sorry for that! The cold weather just makes me want to snuggle under the covers with D and the pup and catch up on our tv watching (I know, the wild lives we live!) Current Netflix addiction: The Following. Any other The Following watchers out there?

Winter blues

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I'm also hoping to get back to a regular blog posting schedule soon. I blame it on the crappy weather that kills motivation and the new job that has me busier than ever. I wanted to say thank you to all my readers who stick with me despite the lack of daily posts -- I assure you I'll be making a blogging comeback as soon as spring decides to show up. And on that note, this is my last official post on snow, winter, being cold, winter clothes, and me complaining about said things, etc. 
The end.

Happy Monday everyone! : )

xo Steph
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