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


How I've been Spending my Summer Days

I've been vary fortunate to have time off this summer from work (ahhhh the perks of working in a school) so I've been using that time to catch up with friends, eat lots of good food, and visit with some of my friend's new born babies. It serisouly been the summer of babies I tell you!! Anyway, here's a little peak of what's been going on around here. 
I took a trip up to CT and finally got a chance to visit my best friend's baby. Isn't he just the cutest?? 
He has years of spoiling ahead from this auntie ;)
Also took a trip out to the country of New Jersey (yes, there is country/farm land in New Jersey) to visit with another friend and her new little one. This one called for some vino out on the deck on this lovely summer afternoon. 
 What a doll this little one is!
D and I have taken some random trips into the city for day dates. We stopped at this cute little cafe near his office that serves all locally grown and sourced veggies. So I had this little platter of all veggies (garlic mashed potatoes are veggies you know!) for dinner with a nice glass of white wine.
I could totally be a vegetarian if all my meals looked like this.
Bar wisdom.
Ain't that the truth!
Dinner with my college girls. Love getting together with them as if no time has passed!

So how have you been spending these last days of summer?

xo Steph


Summer Vacations & Staycations

This summer, D and I just haven't really had a chance to go on vacation. Our last vacations were last summer to Vegas and Chicago, but nothing this summer. We managed to make it to the beach over 4th of July weekend despite that mini tropical storm but that's about it. I know we both want to get away somewhere but I just don't know if it's gonna happen between schedules and budgets. So whether we end up vacationing or staycationing down at the park or at our local pool, it's no reason to not wear something fun that evokes island breezes and tropical drinks! And as much as I love, love, love fall -- summer please don't end! Because when you end, that means I head back to work ;)

Summer Getaways

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One thing that D and I have done to make staycationing more fun was went to an ancient bath called Aire Ancient Baths. You can seriously find anything in New York. What is an ancient bath you ask? Well it's this ridiculously amazing luxury found in Tribeca, NYC; which was built to mimic the ancient bath houses of Rome and Greece. After a hard days work, you would basically swim around and float in these pools of various temperatures to relax and unwind the body and mind. D actually got us admission here and two massages for Christmas and we just got around to using them. It was seriously like heaven on earth. Staycation for the win!! We weren't allowed to take pictures (plus we were too busy enjoying ourselves!) but I pulled some of these images off their website.
First off, exposed brick heaven :))))
dim lighting, candles……so my style.
 And then this. Each pool had a different temperature ranging from a a standard hot tub, to a bath water warm, a salt water pool to float in, and a frigid ice one to take an icy dip (too wimpy to try that one!). They were without a doubt the most relaxing pool experiences I ever had. Aire even has yearly memberships (extremely pricey) but wow, would that almost be worth it to have unlimited use to these pools at any time. Could you imagine having a rough day at work and just being like, "yeah, I'm gonna go take a dip in the ancient baths before heading home." No big deal.
This place was seriously the best. 

Have you had a chance to get away this summer? What fabulous place did you go?
Or are you a staycationer? What did you do to make your staycation special?

xo Steph


Calling all Shark Week Fans!

It's that time of year again that people go bonkers for -- Discovery Channel's Shark Week!! If you're like me (and most of the population) there is a weird fascination with this terrifying creature. Even since I saw Jaws at a young age, I had this love/hate relationship with sharks. They terrify yet intrigue me. It was be the same party of me that loves Halloween so much -- I just love being scared. So with Shark Week 2014 alive and well, why not call some friends over and throw yourself a Shark Week viewing party. Go ahead and even create a drinking game around it too -- because there's always a reason to celebrate something!! All images I collected from pinterest and original sources can be found here
 Cute beachy themed table include a cupcake tower and salt water taffy.
 Cute cardboard shark cut outs I found on Etsy
Adorable cards -- could be used as invitations too!
Fancier table setting. How fun is that shark and shrimp bowl centerpiece??
Fruit salad or jello shots anyone?
Beach ball cake pops - genius!
"Sand dollar" cookies -- aka snickerdoodles -- my fav!!
More beachy cupcakes. Love the "sandy" beach with the umbrella!
Cute shark fin votive candles to set the mood.
And of course we can't forget a fun and cute outfit for the hostess with the mostess.
And I love shark week tee and ocean inspired sparkly nail polish!
And this little nugget was too cute not to share!!

So anyone else obsessed with Shark Week like me??

xo Steph


Birthday Week, and being MIA

It's been my birthday week this past week (yes, I do an entire week, don't judge me!) and I have to say 31 hasn't been so bad! In fact, 31 is feeling like it's going to be a good year. Here's a recap of what I've been up to lately.
Fact: Funfetti cupcakes are a perfectly suitable breakfast item on your birthday. It's weird because I don't typically like cake, but put me around a funfetti cupcake (or any cupcake in general) and all bets are off! Thanks momma for make these for me! My actual birthday, since it was a Monday, was pretty low key. D brought me home flowers and we got sushi take out for dinner which is pretty amazing.
Birthdays for me also tend to feel like New Years, complete with setting new resolution and goals for yourself. For me? Get back in shape!! Why is this so hard for me to do? Oh I remember why. Because I love to eat food and strongly dislike working out. Killer combo, I know. So on my birthday I got all revved up and cleaned out my fridge, making sure it was packed with fruits and veggies and greek yogurt to keep me on track. Please disregard the bottom shelf full of beer. Old habits die hard. You can take the girl out of college, but you can't take college out of the girl :)
On Wednesday of birthday week, D and I headed to Brooklyn to see John Legend in concert. Ummm, he is awesome. The concert was amazing, and Mr. Legend has this gift of turning a huge arena into what feels like an intimate setting. D and I had a great time and was even debating on potential wedding songs. We had a bet that if we heard our "favorite song" that night, we would make it our song. He didn't play it (damn you John Legend!) - but we might just choose it anyway.
Also, concert going already took the healthy eating lifestyle off track…..that very same night I gave my fridge a makeover. #FAIL #fatkidproblems
On a side note, these loaded nachos were in fact, worth it. 
Feeling kinda corny when having dinner at a friend's house. This is what happens when you have too much wine.
 Just yesterday was my "Sunday Funday Birthday" day drinking party at Pier 13 in Hoboken. It was a suuuuuper hot day, but overall a beautiful one. We had a great turn out (thanks to all my friends and family who came out!!) You all know how to make a girl feel special! ;)
It was soooo hot I felt like I was literally melting. I had my hair all cute and curled when I showed up, but up it went because of the stifling heat. My God, the heat.
Me, D, my brother and his gf Jenn
 Me and my girl Colleen. 16 + years of friendship.
So that's what I've been kind of up to lately. D and I have also been doing some wedding planning (still looking for a venue and "setting a date") and also dabbled in some house hounding. On top of all that, him and I are even toying with the idea of picking up and moving somewhere else. So stay tuned as that all develops. Until then……I promise I'll be back to blogging more! ;)

Happy Monday friends! 
xo Steph

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