happy halloween!

Happy Halloween everyone! Are you feeling spooky yet? Are you doing anything fun and festive for the occasion? Well for me, we have the option to wear a costume at school, but since most of mine aren't really school appropriate (aka too tight/short) I'll be opting to wear my orange tweed skirt to show off my festive side. So today I wanted to share some pictures from this past weekend which was filled with fall festive fun! It was fabulous : )
D and I headed up to the Poconos to visit my parents. I forced him into doing a haunted house with me,  and it was hilarious because how much he hates this kind of stuff -- yet he still lets me do it. What a doll he is. We went to this place called the "Hotel of Horrors" which was supposedly a haunted hotel in the 1800's. I don't know if it's true or not but geeeez oh man, that ish was scarryyyy!!
Doesn't the outside of the hotel look like some scary old mental institution? At least that's what I thought. That's my scared face above as I try to warm up with some hot chocolate!
We made it out of the haunted house alive and headed back to my parents house for some major snuggles to warm up next to the fire. I love my parent's fireplace -- it's seriously one of my favorite things about going home. The smells of the burning wood and the sound of the crackling wood -- oh yes! Between the cracking fire, drinking hot apple cider, snuggling on the couch under blankets and making D watch the movie "Halloween" on dvd for the 38294782 time --
I was in HEAVEN!
On Sunday we hit up the Great Pocono Pumpkin Festival bright and early before the Giants played the Eagles.
pumpkins and gourds galore!
the parentals.
me and momma.
love him : )
and of course we had to hit up the world's largest general store. If this was actually the world's largest general store, I'm not really sure, but it was pretty damn big and had fun for all. My mom left with some homemade peanut brittle, D left with two vintage style kerosene lamps he's been on the hunt for for a while now, and I came home with an amazing home made popcorn maker complete with organic kernels and all the fun seasonings. More on that in a future blog post coming soon!

Anyway, hope you all have a spooktacular Halloween!
Halloween costume pics of me and D coming soon : )

xo Steph


I've got a thing for Halloween .... costumes!

HAPPY almost HALLOWEEN everyone! Did anyone get dressed up last weekend or are you waiting (like me) for this coming weekend?
It's clearly no secret I'm obsessed with all things Halloween, and one thing I love doing is dressing up every year. I thought it would be fun to look back at costumes I've worn in the past...and don't worry, I'll be sure to share my costume from this year next week. This year D got to pick our costumes -- ahh the things you do for love!
Back in 2008 I went as the Fashion Police. I took a regular "sexy cop" costume, and had post-it notes and a pen and wrote out citations of fashion violations. (long before Joan Rivers made it cool!)
Wardrobe change. That same year I went as a red crayon. In "risque red" to be exact. It was a big hit
That Halloween my roommates and I threw a Halloween party and I made this awesomely fabulous cupcakes....
And carved pumpkins....
And I love my little Halloween tree that my mom got me a few years ago. It's like the Charlie Brown Christmas tree -- but for Halloween. Every year my mom will get me a cute little ornament too! : )
 My brother also dressed as toad from Super Mario. Yes, he is only wearing a diaper and a weird vest. Surprisingly enough, two of my friends came as Mario and Luigi (totally unplanned) so clearly they had to take a picture together!
At my 2009 Halloween party I went as a deer hunter (because I'm from Pennsylvania, and everyone I met in Jersey assumed we all hunt and eat deer!) haha, by the way -- I don't.
 2010 was my first Halloween with D and I LOVED our costumes -- Popeye and Olive Oil!
 Kisses for my sweet sailor.
 That year, my brother showed up in a costume you might remember from a popular SNL skit.
I'll leave that up to you whether you catch the reference or not!
 Halloween 2011 D and I went as Mario and Luigi from Super Mario brothers. This was the year we had that weird blizzard in October -- and yet we still managed to call a cab, and head to the bar for our party like a bunch of crazy people! We went out with D's cousin and her boyfriend (who went as Publisher's Clearing House winners -- complete with giant check) and could you believe it -- they actually won the costume contest and won $500!
 This year, D and I went as us in 50 years. Basically a grumpy old couple. It was a hit at the bar and I have to say -- I was the most comfortable Halloween costume I ever wore. A mumu and slippers from Sears was clearly the way to go. D got his whole costume from our local Goodwill.
This will also be known as the Halloween of Hurricane Sandy.
The hurricane hit us only a few days after these pics were taken....
Our friends went as Double Dare -- and they really went all out. They even had fake slide to put in their helmets! Unfortunately they weren't even nominated for best costume like they were last year so that was a bummer -- boo.
I can't wait to share with you pics from this years costume....stay tuned!!

So do you all still dress up for Halloween, or have you not dressed up since the days of trick or treating??

Happy Tuesday everyone!

xo Steph


Mad about Plaid

Plaid has always been in style, but fall and winter bring this quintessential pattern to a whole new level. For some reason when fall rolls around, I just can't get enough of plaid everything. I wear it to do all of my seasonal things (i.e. pumpkin picking, cutting down the christmas tree) because it puts me in a cozy and festive spirit. And I've taught D well because he automatically knows. Last year when we went pumpkin picking he said "this is festive right?" when picking out his outfit! --- ahhh I love how he gets it! This lovely outfit is a #tbt,  and one of my favorite weekend casual looks.
| Details |
Navy cardigan: Ruehl (similar) // Plaid shirt: J.Crew (similar) // Tshirt: Target
Jeans: Express // Booties: Rampage // Bag: Michael Kors (similar)
Necklace: Tiffany & Co (gift from my bff)
 Happy Friday eve everyone
Hope you all have a lovely day!

xo steph


entertain | celebrate Oktoberfest

Amidst all the pumpkins, and spooky and scary everything we surround ourselves with in October to prepare for Halloween - celebrating Oktoberfest is a fabulous German tradition and perfect excuse to celebrate some other favorites of mine -- beer and food! So why not have an Oktoberfest themed get together this weekend? Especially for those who hate Halloween (who are those people by the way??) get festive with all that fall has to offer sans the scary stuff. Take a look at all these details below. 
All original sources can be found on my Oktoberfest board on my pinterest page.
| the details |
1. the perfect party need a festive invitation
2. keep decor simple. sheafs of wheat, and a wide array of craft beer bottles
3. beer tasting are made that much more awesome in this rustic wooden glass holder
| the food |
4. no better companion for a german themed party other than freshly baked pretzels
5. beer cheese soup in a bread bowl -- hello!
6. beer mac and cheese
7. Oktober lager stew made with german sausage 
| the extras |
8. photo booth fun - try a giant sized pretzel as the ultimate photo booth for insta-fun 
9. Boozy Guinness root beet floats. um, yes please.
10. the perfect combination of salty & sweet. beer and pretzel cupcakes for guests to take home

Interested in more Oktoberfest accessories to get into the festive spirit? These slippers are perfect for the host and hostess who have been on their feet all day, brew your own beer  for the occasion, and this or this for serving beer to your guests.

So do you celebrate Oktoberfest?
hope you all have a lovely day -- prost!

xo Steph


Soup Weather | Eggplant Ravioli Soup

As I've mentioned before, fall weekends for me are all about soup. There's nothing like making a big pot of soup on a Saturday or Sunday afternoon that warms you up better. Plus, you don't have to worry about cooking because it's ready to be heated up whenever. So once it's made its no muss no fuss. Just the way I like it. 
Last weekend I decided to try this Eggplant Ravioli Soup because I'm a huge fan of ravioli and well, eggplant parm is pretty bomb! So both in a soup seemed like a winning combo to me. The results were delicious - check out the recipe below!
What You'll Need:

2 tbsp butter
1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 eggplant, half of the skin peeled to make stripes in the flesh chopped into 1/4 inch cubes
2 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
salt and pepper
One 32 oz. container of chicken broth (I used organic and low sodium)
One 28 oz can crushed tomatoes
(I live with an Italian, so only Tutto Rosso or San Marzano will do!)
1 pound raviolini (mini ravioli -- and Celentanos is the best brand to get)
1 cup torn or sliced basil leaves
grated parmigiano-reggiano cheese for topping

1. In a medium soup pot, melt the butter with the EVOO over medium heat. Add the eggplant and garlic, season with salt and pepper and cook until softened, about 5 minutes. Add the chicken broth and tomatoes and bring to boil. Add the raviolini and cook until tender, about 3 to 4 minutes. Stir in the basil.
2. Serve in soup bowls, topped with lots of extra cheese : )

it's that simple!
Served best with your favorite beer or glass of wine -- the perfect Sunday combo!

Also funny little sidebar: D doesn't like eggplant. He claims "it's a texture thing." Okkkkk. So when I made this soup I was hoping he wouldn't even notice. And in fact I was right! He took one look at the pot of the stove and said, "ohhh is that zucchini in there?" Mind you I didn't say yes, because that would be lying, so I just smiled and said "I hope you like this soup -- it took me forever to make."
In fact he did love the soup, and I waited until he finished his second heaping bowl to tell him that I guess he likes eggplant now ; )

Hope you all enjoy this recipe as much as D did!!

xo Steph


polka dot tops, boots and some fur...

This was one of my favorite outfit last year (#tbt) and right around now the weather is getting crisp enough to get away wearing only a leather jacket and be comfortable. Awesome! Throw on some boots and a little faux fur and you've got yourself a chic autumn outfit. 
| Details |
Leather jacket: Gift  (nice option) // Polka dot sweater: Old Navy last year (cute option) 
Faux Fur scarf: J.Crew factory (similar) // Black mini skirt: Target (nice option) // Leggings: Gap // Boots: Steve Madden (similar)
Also I'm a big fan of wearing black and brown together (always have) yet some people think this is a fashion faux pas?
What are you thoughts on wearing black and brown together?

Happy almost Friday!!

xo Steph


sick days and breaking bad

First things first, I want to apologize for not posting in daaays (since last Thursday, but who's keeping track right?) but I have a really good explanation, I swear. So for one, I've been sick. I don't know if it's a cold, allergies, sinus infection or something else icky but I've been over here sneezing, blowing my nose, and drinking hot tea and chicken soup like it's my job. Totally not how I planned on spending my weekend. So that is one reason. My other reason for the lack of blogging. Two words: Breaking Bad. You either watch it or have at least heard of it, but either way I have to say this -- it. is. amazing. Seriously, the best show on tv hands down. I was late to the game, but better late than never. The show has run for 5 seasons and I decided to pick it up and see what everyone is talking about. With my trusty Netflix in hand, D and I became engulfed, immersed, OBSESSED with this show for hours on end. I'm talking coming home from working, plopping down on the couch and watching episode after episode on Netflix until 4am each night until we finished the series. Ok maybe not 4am considering we both wake up 5am every morning but you get the idea. We stayed up LATE.
Anyway, we just finished the show last night and I am suffering from withdrawals and currently experiencing PBBD (post Breaking Bad depression). Not sure anything will fill this void in my life, other than meth itself (kidding). So I'll just hang on to the memories that Jesse and Mr. White are still cooking up a batch somewhere out there ; )
So after all of this - I thought putting together a Breaking Bad themed party was just the thing to help me through this difficult time. For all my other Breaking Bad fans out there in blogger land - enjoy!
For all original sources and more fun, check out my Breaking Bad obsessed pinterest board.
And my apologies for anyone who won't get these BB references. 
For the festive theme party, it's all about the blue crystals. 99% pure
1. rock candy "crystal meth" cupcakes
2. festive blue drink - sign me up!
3. decorate with beakers. or better yet, use them for cocktails
4. fried chicken from los pollos hermanos. of course
5. funyuns. extra funyuns
6. breakfast all day every day. Walter Jr. would approve.
7. chamomile tea with soy milk. hold the stevia please.
8. love this print -- respect the chemistry.
9. mr. white and jesse doing their thing
10. cheers bryan cranston and aaron paul for a job well done!

and if you want to see a Breaking Bad video montage that will probably make you laugh and cry, check this one out over at buzzfeed. They have good stuff over there.

So please tell me, do I have any other Breaking Bad obsessed fans out there??
I'd love to chat with others about how depressed I am now that it's all over.
Who was your favorite character?
Did you like how it ended??

xo Steph

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