Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Gift Guide: $50 & Under

Gifts $50 & Under

1. Voluspa Candle - Cade & Lavender is one of my favorite scents that Voluspa has!

2. Kate Spade Knot Earrings - I wore the knot bracelet on my wedding day and absolutely love it! The earrings are simple and classy. They also come in three finishes. 

3. Philosophy Body Wash - You can't go wrong with this one. So many delish scents.

4. Lilly Pulitzer Cooler Bag - I have three of these and use them all.the.time. The beach, the boat, a get together. They get used a lot! 

5.Philosophy Lip Shine - I don't use this, nor do I have it, but considering how much I love their soap... this just sounds amazing! 

6. North Face Tech Gloves - I have these and love them.They are lightweight yet warm and I love being able to still use my phone! 

7. Minnetonka Slippers - We keep our home very cold in the winters and I have these on all day everyday.They are really high quality and definitely worth the $$.

8. Starbucks Gift Cards - Because gimme all the coffee. 

9. Sonix Phone Case - They have the most adorable cases!

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies

Another favorite family recipe for you lovelies today! This recipe actually comes out around Christmas time, but this year I decided it would be great for Thanksgiving! The cookies are moist and fluffy. They aren't overpowering and make for a perfect little treat!

  • 1 Cup sugar
  • 1 Cup canned pumpkin
  • 1/2 Cup butter, softened
  • 1 Tablespoon grated orange peel (in the spice aisle, very important!)
  • 2 Cups all purpose flour
  • 1 Tablespoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 Teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 Teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 Cup chocolate chips
  1. Mix together sugar, pumpkin, and butter until fluffy.
  2. In a separate bowl, mix together the grated orange peel, flour, cinnamon, baking powder, and baking soda. 
  3. Slowly add the dry mixture to the butter mixture until thick and creamy.
  4. Add the chocolate chips and stir until mixed in.
  5. Drop spoonfuls onto a baking sheet and bake 10-12 minutes or until bottoms are lightly browned.


Monday, November 21, 2016

Chocolate Pecan Pie

This recipe has been in my family for ages. My mom has made it since I can remember and it's a Thanksgiving tradition that has been passed on to me. I hope you will make it and be equally as wowed. It also doesn't hurt that it is a gorgeous pie!


  • 4 Squares of Baker's semi-sweet chocolate, broken into pieces 
  • 2 Tablespoons of butter
  • 1/3 Cup of white sugar
  • 1 Cup of Karo light corn syrup
  • 3 Eggs, slightly beaten 
  • 1 Teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 bag of pecan halves (1 1/4 cups for filling and the rest for topping)
  • 1 unbaked 9" pastry shells


  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Microwave chocolate and butter in a microwave safe bowl on high for 1-2 minutes or until butter is melted. Stir halfway through heating time and until chocolate is completely melted.
  3. Add sugar, corn syrup, eggs, and vanilla to the mixture and stir until well blended. 
  4. Stir in the 1 and 1/4 cups of pecans and pour into pastry shell. Carefully top the mixture with pecans in a circular pattern.
  5. Bake for 50 minutes or until filling is firm two inches from the edge. Cool on a wire rack.

Friday, November 18, 2016

Five on Friday

On the topic of moisturizers. I asked for some suggestions recently and got some really great answers! The only thing I forgot to mention is that my skin is typically quite oily! I did some research and Clinique moisturizing gel seemed to be the best answer. I have been using it just about a week now and love it. It doesn't leave my face feeling greasy or oily. It seems to just lock in the moisture and make my skin silky smooth. 
While I was cleaning last week, I opened my bathroom linen closet and realized that having it organized was so refreshing. It's the only closet in my home that is organized so I think the other closets will be getting a makeover soon..

Enough bathroom talk! The holiday season has arrived everywhere. I have been putting together some gift guides for the blog and been shopping for my family here and there. I am really hoping to buy some things this weekend and I also plan to get the decor bins up from this basement.

I normally decorate on Black Friday and the weekend after, but I am starting early this year. I am way too far into the holiday spirit.
Last weekend we had made absolutely no plans, until Friday afternoon (normally we have a plan a solid week in advance or even longer). I was running at the gym Saturday when suddenly I felt like I needed to cancel the plans we had just made the day before. 

It hit me that I actually missed Justin. I looked in my planner and realized that we had not gone on a date or had a weekend alone since August 8th. Our friends are the best and totally understood. We got sushi Saturday and made breakfast Sunday morning together. It was exactly what we needed!
Back to moisturizers. The hand soap at my office is so harsh and absolutely tears up my hands. Not to mention it's also a brisk 65° in the place. My hands are so dry 100% of the day. I bought some standard hand cream from Wegmans but I wanted to see if any of you all hand some cream you swear by?! Help!
Early next week I have some really great and easy recipes for Thanksgiving! So come back and visit! & happy Friday!

Thursday, November 17, 2016

California: Part II

San Francisco and Napa were the last leg of our trip and where we really did the most. We explored San Fran more than I expected and hopped around Napa like we lived there for years. 
-San Francisco-

We got to San Fran around lunch time on Saturday and were both absolutely starved. We stopped by some famous pizza place that had way too long of a wait and decided to wait it out anyways. Not much to report there.

Once we were gassed up with pizza, we went to see the Pink Ladies, then went to see the Golden Gate Bridge. We were way ahead of schedule so then we drove down Lombard Street (zig zag road) and I just about had a heart attack in the passenger seat. Then did shopping in Union Square.
 Pink Ladies

The hills are unreal
Not the best photo, but below is what it really looks like 
We had an improv show to go to that night and we planned on eating dinner at Tacolicious, then bar hopping until the show. Well we ate dinner and I did not have my party pants on. 

We went back to the hotel, I took a power nap, then we went to the show. I beg you all to please go to Secret Improv Society. It was SO GOOD. We even got called on stage and the best part? I was so full from dinner that I had unbuttoned my pants...... so I went on stage and my pants were unbuttoned the entire time. I don't think anyone noticed? But then again how will I ever know..

Sunday we totally just blew the tourist game out of the water. We did so.much.stuff. Ready?

We got breakfast at Mr. Holmes Bakery (so delish).

We went to Pier 39 to see the sea lions (BEST THING EVER).

We went to Alcatraz. 

We went to Baker Beach.

We got lunch in Sausalito. 

We went to Muir Woods.

We stopped at the Golden Gate Bridge, again.

We got dinner. Realized I had run out of underwear. Bought underwear. Then got ice cream at Bi-Rite. 

 Mr. Holmes Bakery - Go!

 The entrance to Alcatraz.

 Gorgeous greenery outside the prison.

 Baker Beach 

 Where we ate lunch.  
 Muir Woods -- truly was one of the highlights of our trip. 
 Battery Spencer Park
Bi-Rite Creamery

We went to bed super tired and the next day we were off to Napa.

-Napa Valley-

People don't tell you that when you go winery hopping, you actually end up in St. Helena AND Napa. We got up to drive to Napa on Monday morning around 7. We checked into the hotel and were off in an Uber by 9:30AM.

We started in St. Helena at Duckhorn. Such a beautiful place and I absolutely loved the atmosphere. We then worked our way down into Napa.
Next stop was Beringer Vineyards which was gorgeous and we ended up joining their wine club. Their selections were impressive and totally blew us off our feet (literally, I was feeling good after that tasting).

After Beringer we were off to Orin Swift, Cakebread, Sequoia Grove, and last but definitely not least, Stags Leap. 

Stags Leap was stunning and I love their wine. 

We then got ready for dinner at Rutherford Grill and ended the night early!

Our trip was phenomenal. We took California by storm and it certainly won't be our last trip there! I'll be back tomorrow with Five on Friday!

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

California: Part 1

This is one of those selfish posts that will allow me to remember this trip and have a little place to go back to and reminisce. 

Justin and I went to California for our one year anniversary. He happened to have a work trip to CA the week of our anniversary so we took advantage of this and I flew out towards the end of his work obligations. 

We started a little south of Los Angeles, at Terranea Resort. From the balcony of our room we could see Catalina Island and it was absolutely gorgeous. I got to the resort around 6:00PM on May 4th (Wednesday) and wasn't quite feeling jet lagged. Justin showed me around the resort and then we went to the closing party of his work trip. It got to be 12AM and the jet lag was hitting me. I slept the next day until 1:00PM.

Justin finished up all his work stuff around 2:30PM and we went into LA. We went to The Broad Museum, Rodeo Drive, drove around some neighborhoods, then went to Venice Beach.

One piece of advice on Venice Beach. Just Don't. 

View From Our Room

Leaving the Resort for The Broad

The Broad Balloon Animal

Venice Beach Palm Trees
Venice Beach
Our Dinner View at Terranea (I think there are normally tables under the lights?)

We stayed the night at Terranea and hit the ground running the next morning. We went to Hollywood Blvd, got donuts, and hiked the Hollywood Sign. We were up pretty early because we were driving from LA to Monterrey (about 6 hours).

We hit up In-N-Out Burger on our way outta town.

We drove on the main highway for a period of time before hopping on the PCH for the rest of the way. The PCH was absolutely incredible and I am pretty sure we were the ONLY ones not in a Mustang Convertible. 

We arrived in Monterrey Bay around 6ish on Friday evening. We were both starved and immediately went to dinner. We hadn't looked up places to eat when planning the trip and said we were just going to wing it. I don't recommend doing that. We were so indecisive and finally just picked on Trip Advisor. We ended up at Schooners Coastal Kitchen & Bar, which was really delish. 

The next morning we hit the ground running yet again and did 17 Mile Drive then headed to San Francisco/Napa Valley. San Francisco/Napa really deserves its own post, but we could not believe the views at 17 Mile Drive. We were in awe. 

The Lone Cypress! 

Part II (San Fran/Napa) will be up on Thursday and if you are interested then I hope you visit, but if not then I will be back on Friday with fun stuff!

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