Turkey Day Eve

Happy Turkey Day Eve everyone! Are we all ready to savor in all the Thanksgiving foods tomorrow? I know I am. I will have my stretchy pants all ready to go. Because for me, Thanksgiving is all about comfort and the side dishes. Yup, that's right. I could eat a full plate of just sides if you let me. I little mashed potatoes & gravy, corn, biscuits and the stuffing. Oh, the stuffing that my family makes is simply THE best. Unrivaled by any other stuffing I've ever eaten. I can't wait for it :) Can you tell I'm just a little excited for it? Followed by a carb induced coma on the couch, while watching football, by the fire. Heaven I tell you!
Turkey day duds

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J Crew j crew top / Sweater / Grey shirt / Helmut Lang black stretch pants / Minnetonka brown suede shoes, $145 / J Crew j crew scarf / Sweet Potato Pie Thanksgiving Collection

Do what will you be wearing tomorrow for Thanksgiving dinner?
Do you dress it up or keep it comfy? 

xo Steph


Last Month in Salem

A midst all my busyness, I've forgotten to share my most recent check off my life bucket list: visiting Salem, MA during the month of October. D and I went up to Salem with another couple and friends of ours and it was suuuuuch a fun trip. Like seriously, Salem during October is like this little Halloween-town where all the spirits and ghosts come out, and everyone's love for Halloween is celebrated. I highly recommend to anyone who is Halloween obsessed or who even loves history. Because the city is rich in history. But first up, we took a quick stop into Boston....
Beers from Cheers. Obviously.
 Where everybody knows your name....
 We did a quick stop for beer and dinner. And of course lobster rolls, because when you're in New England, you must get the lobster rolls. It's a rule!
 We booked hotels about 20 minutes outside Boston and Salem which had these charming little fireplaces that totally added to vibe of the weekend. We sipped authentic Boston micro brews by the fire and read up on all the fun, and haunted happenings of the weekend to come. 
 The next day the first stop was the Salem Witch Museum. Which from the outside just oozes creepiness and hauntings. The actual history of the Salem Witch Trials is fascinating, so if you know nothing about it, I suggest definitely grabbing a book and reading up on it. Crazy!!
 Some of the original architecture and buildings are still there from the 1600's. The cemetery below is actually the 2nd oldest cemetery in the country and has people from the original Mayflower voyage buried there. Pretty crazy stuff! D the history buff loved it. 
 Midway during the day, we stopped off at Salem Brew Works for some lunch and tasty Massachusetts brewed craft beers. My favorite was the blueberry ale beer which they garnished with fresh blueberries. Along with their blueberry ale, their pumpkin pie ale with rimmed graham cracker crust was a close second. 
And last but not least, we got to meet Michael Meyers. As in THE Michael Meyers....the one who played the psycho killer from the original Halloween movie (my favorite Halloween/scary movie of all times!) We got his autographs and pictures with him. Creative D even thought it would be cool to have Michael Meyers (aka his real name is Tony Moran) strangle him, which made for great photo ops! So overall we had an awesome time and are even thinking of making it a yearly tradition :)

Anyone else ever been to Salem before? Or intrigued by the Salem Witch Trials like I am?

xo Steph


Don't Forget About Thanksgiving

So are you one to decorate for Thanksgiving or have you already fast-forwarded to Christmas? Confession: one of my biggest pet peeves is putting your Christmas stuff up for Thanksgiving. What happened to Thanksgiving? When did Thanksgiving become the red headed step child of holidays that gets no love? Thanksgiving for me has always been one of my favorite holidays as a kid, so I think its important to give it it's day, complete with festive, harvesty decor and enjoy the day for what it is: being thankful! And don't worry, I have NO problem breaking out the Christmas stuff on black friday. In fact, we're going out as a family to get our Christmas tree on Friday. Just like the Griswald family cutting down their tree. Let's just hope Todd and Margo don't spoil all our fun ; )
all original sources can be found on my Thanksgiving board on my Pinterest page : )
 | Decor |
1. spray leaves gold and write names for pretty name cards
2. gold leaves also look gorgeous on white pumpkins
3. LOVE this entryway with the cornstalks, mums, and pumpkins galore
4. baskets of pumpkins and gourds for simple arrangements
5. stencil "give thanks" on a white pumpkin
6. love this thankful burlap banner
 7. frame printables in simple frames
8. Thanksgiving sangria
9. These Thanksgiving plates are adorable
10. use candles and bittersweets for decor

| Make Yearly Traditions |
11. make a pumpkin "snow man" with the kids and have a contest to see who builds the best one
12. make someone wear the turkey hat for whoever shows up the latest to the party
13. have a pumpking smashing party after dinner to work off that turkey coma. Plus its a fun way to symbolically go out with the pumpkins and in with the pine trees : )

So do you all decorate for Thanksgiving or have you turned your house into a winter wonderland already?

xo Steph


November Cravings

November is finally here and it's one of my favorite months. For one thing, I work in a school in New Jersey and we have what's known as "NJ Teachers Convention" -- so we get the first Thursday and Friday of the month off. Who doesn't love a four day weekend? Add that to Thanksgiving vacation this month, and November tends to FLY by. Plus now that Halloween is over, it's now ok to have the holidays on the brain and get in the festive mood. Christmas music is officially acceptable to be played. Holiday shopping can be started. Merriment and joy can officially be smelled in the air :) And now that it's gotten much colder, I've been craving some warm and cozy clothes to get me through. I've been really attracted to the red, black and white combo lately and loving wine colored nails. And P.S. red cups are officially out and about. That means business people :) Here are some pieces that I'm currently craving to add to my wardrobe.

november craves

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Halloween Recap

Keeping my promise over here and sharing some of my Halloween pics from the weekend :) So first off, you know D and I LOVE Halloween. Well actually, I love Halloween and D inadvertently had to either start loving it or, well, start loving it. Needless to say, he's on board for dressing up for Halloween for the rest of our years. And I love that!
But here is the unveiling of our 2014 costume. And no, we are not an Italian stereotype and a artsy hipster. 
We are Rocky and Adrian from…….Rocky!
"YOOOOOO Adriannnn!!"
And for those of you who are not familiar with the movie or reference, here is a picture below from the original Rocky movie we were trying to channel. Usually when people do Rocky costumes, they do the typical "Rocky in his boxing gear" or "Rocky in his work out gray sweatpants." As for Adrian, who ever dresses up as Adrian? Well I do because if you know the movie, Adrian is pretty kick ass. So we went as Rocky in his sweet leather jacket and mousey "pet shop" Adrian, complete with short hair and cat eye glasses. Shown below :)
Of course our chalkboard wall had to get some love too.
Halloween in HoBOOken :)
Group shot before we went out. We had a birthday girl and her piñata, Rocky and Adrian, and Goose from Top Gun.

Check out D's shiner I gave him. 
it's pretty amazing what you can do with a little purple eye shadow!
This was one of our easiest Halloween costumes to date. I owned all the clothes to make my costume, and D's pieces were all straight out of my dad's closet haha. I was really worried a lot of people wouldn't "get" who we were -- because let's face it, if we weren't standing together the costume doesn't make sense. But surprisingly we got soooo many compliments and people just loved it!

So how was your Halloween? I'm always a little bummed when it's over, but at the same time the trifecta of holidays for me is just beginning. Now on to Thanksgiving……

xo Steph


HAPPY HALLOWEEN!! Ok, now that I have your attention, first things first. I'm the worst. I said I was going to be blogging away this month and October has been a huge fail in that regard. Well, only a fail in that I haven't actually sat down with my computer to blog -- but a huge WIN that I did sooooo many fun things this month, I have tons of cool stuff to share with you in the next days and weeks coming up. PROMISE! So to ease myself into the blogging world, and in celebration of one of my favorite holidays, we will recap the last few years of Halloween costumes because -- Halloween costumes are kind of my thing. My jam. I just love dressing up and being someone else for the night. So take a look at years past and enjoy your Halloween weekend :)
 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.
Halloween 2013. EPIC WIN! I left it up to D so pick this years costume and since Guns n Roses is one of his favorite bands -- Axl Rose and Slash it was. Admittedly I was a little skeptical, but our costumes were so easy to recreate and such a hit at the bar, we even won second place at a costume contest at a local bar. I'm only slightly bitter because 1st place was $500, while 2nd place was a stainless steel cooler. An awesome stainless cooler, but at the end of the day, it is a cooler. And not filled with $500. But probably one Halloween we had the most fun!
D even brought he real guitar out to make the costume complete.
Please, no flash photography.
Our family and friends also represented with awesome costumes including Pulp Fiction and The Price is Right contestants.
At the end of the night D even got to go up on stage with the cover band to channel his inner rock star.
Welcome to the jungle anyone??

So there you have it. A round up of a few Halloween's past. Stay tuned for this weekend's costume.
Any guess what we might be?
Happy Halloween friends ;)


Hello, October!

First off, hi! I'm back from the radio silence (otherwise known as the month of September!) and I'm so sorry I've let blogging go to the way side, but the start of this school year has been ROUGH to say the least. Things are finally starting to calm down and I feel like I can get my head above water now. Which is great, because it's just in time for my absolute favorite month........
Happy October everyone!!  
October, let me count the ways why I love so: the changing of the leaves from green to vibrant reds, oranges and golden yellows (the reds are my personal favorite!), the crisp fall air, cozy over-sized sweaters, chunky knit scarves, boots, bonfires, football season and tailgating, apple picking, hot and fresh farm stand cider, pumpkin picking, carving, and decorating......ok, just pumpkin everything. Including the coveted pumpkin spice latte (Dunkin is preferred over Starbucks), Cheers to Oktoberfest, and fall flavored beers, scary movies, haunted houses and hayrides (D has a love/hate relationship with these - but always ends up going anyway), Halloween, and preparing this years Halloween costumes (because you know, costumes are kind of my thing!) Finally booking a weekend trip up to Salem, MA for a weekend filled with witch hunts and scary ghost tours. The return of scary fall TV shows like American Horror Story and The Walking Dead......and hopefully the final installment of the Paranormal Activity movies (D and my yearly tradition) And lastly, we're having our engagement party this month! So many fun things to look forward to (and blog about), so I promise more blogging coming your way.I just hope I have enough time to fit in all my October fun :)

xo Steph


My Early Fall Wish List

Some may say that it's too early to thinking about fall, and fall fashion, and pumpkin everything….but then you work in a school -- back to school time = fall. I'm back to work this week getting my office ready and then after labor day is the students first day back. And then it's all over. School and fall will be in full swing for me. But it's always been a favorite time of year for me, even as a kid. Back to school time signaled something in the brain of exciting new beginnings. What will my new schedule look like? Who are my new teachers? Will my friends be in my classes? And of course, the fall clothes. My mom always treated my brother and I to some new clothes for school to keep you looking stylish and fresh. And for me, that tradition even as an adult has never worn off. These days my shopping has been really scaled down (being that we have that whole saving for a wedding thing coming up) so I have to pick my new items carefully. Rather than getting a whole new wardrobe, I'll be adding a few pieces to freshen up my overall look, and add some fun fall touches. Here is a look of what's on my fall wish list: 

Fall Wish List

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1. Fall Scents. I usually do a big candle/fragrance haul from Bath and Body Works when I have a coupon. I stock up on my favorite fall candles (Pumpkin Apple, Pumpkin Sugared Doughnut and Pumpkin Pecan Waffle are my favorites) and also invest in those plug in wall flowers to keep my home and my office smelling yummy. The kids especially love my scented office, and I think the scents seem to calm them down when they get stressed out. Perfect for school counselors everywhere. 

2. New Boots. Let's get one thing straight. Fall = boots. I've been wanting a nice pair of Tory Burch boots for a while now, and if I can find a pair to fit over my wide athletic calves, I'm going to have to splurge. 

3. Classic Fall Essentials. Such as this black quilted vest and buffalo check button down. These will literally never go out of style, and depending on how well you take care of your clothes, you can wear these pieces for years and years to come. 

4. Dark Nail Polish. Oh how I live for the dark rich colors of fall nail polish! It's really the little things that get me excited people! My all time favorite fall color is Essie's Wicked, which is a dark burgundy/chocolate color that flatters any skin tone. But I'm going to try out some new colors as well. I'm kinda loving the idea of slate gray nails for fall as well. 

5. New Cell Phone Case and Accessories. When you are on a limited budget, the best way to freshen up a look with with cheap accessories. So swap your cell phone case out to something fun and fresh, or get a new piece of jewelry. It will make any old outfit feel new again.

6. New Fragrance. Colder weather means you can wear heavier, warmers scents. So it's always good to swap out your fragrance. I love Chanel's Coco Noir as my fall/winter scent because it is a richer scent but I'm also intrigued that J.Crew just came out with a fragrance, and in a portable rollerball form, so I'll be sure to check that one out!

7. New Planner. Because I'm a school counselor my brain functions on an academic calendar instead of the typical Jan-Dec calendar, I am always shopping around for a new planner for the beginning of fall. As I mentioned in this post, I splurged on the Whitney English Day Designer and I am in LOVE with it. Such a nerd I am, but #sorryimnotsorry. I am already loving how productive I am when I use it, and I can not wait to use it at work as well! The Kate Spade planner above is also adorable and has a similar aesthetic with the black and white stripes as the Day Designer. 

So what is on your fall wish list this year?

xo Steph


Life Lately: Summer Stragglers

Cleaning out the iPhone, I found a bunch of summer stragglers that I'd thought I could share on the blog. Old pics from a vintage car show D and I went to with his family, and old recipe I intended to share on the blog, and other random stuff. So enjoy this post of complete randomness.
A few weeks ago at the Monmouth Race Track Vintage car show. I say we bring back the days of the drive-in movie? How charming is this little tray of drive-in food. Who's with me??
I think red might be his color :)
And then I forgot to share this recipe for marinated pork chops, which by the way, was banging!! It was kind of like a mix of tangy BBQ/Asian inspired. I usually never cook pork (I don't know why, just always stick with chicken) and I rarely play around with making my own marinades. But to avoid the dinner blahs I got bored and found this marinade recipe on pinterest -- and it was a total hit! Not only was it delicious and D and I both loved it, but I had all the ingredients on hand to make the marinade/sauce. So it was soooooo simple. I'm hoping to make this recipe again with chicken, and making extra sauce to to drizzle on top of veggies or my mashed cauliflower shown here. 
 Did I mention mashed cauliflower is the most amazing substitute for mashed potatoes?? It's the easiest thing ever, and guilt free when I feel like I want to carboload on a big bowl of mashed potatoes. A big bowl of mashed cauliflower seems like the perfect option!
 Breaded chicken cutlets topped with fresh arugula, fresh mozzarella, roma tomatoes and drizzled with a balsamic vinaigrette. I got this dish titled "Chicken Guiseppe" the other day while dining with some girlfriends and I became obsessed.  This is on my to-do list of dishes to recreate at home. 
I also polished the entire thing off :)
 Super moon over NYC.
Does anyone else's dog like to spoon? Or is my dog the only weirdo??
But I have to admit, she is one of the best snuggle partners you will ever meet!!

Happy Monday friends!
xo Steph

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