currently loving: the mini heeled sandal

mini heeled sandal currently loving: the mini heeled sandal

the mini heeled sandal currently loving: the mini heeled sandal



I’ve never really been a “heels” girl. Sure, I like wearing them out on special occasions, but as someone with five knee surgeries and zero coordination, they’re not really an every day kind of shoe for me. I want them to be–because, like every girl, I feel somehow prettier and more pulled together in a pair. I’m constantly on the hunt for shoes that give me a bit of height but don’t leave me popping Advil at the end of the day. Wedges are usually my go-to, but this summer I’m turning my attention to the mini stacked heel.


heeled sandals currently loving: the mini heeled sandal



I first found a pair of these in DSW and fell in love instantly–the heel was the perfect height for someone like me, and oddly enough, they felt even more comfortable than flat sandals. I’ve since picked up pairs from Sam Edelman, J. Crew and DSW. My favorite styles? I love the idea of just a basic leather pair, like the Borgia from Jeffrey Campbell, a pair with a touch of metallic like the Trina from Sam Edelman and this pair from Victoria’s Secret (so affordable, too!). Next I might splurge on something fun–I’m really on the hunt for a red pair, or maybe a touch of animal print like this Loeffler Randal duo. Have you found any good mini stacked heels out there this summer? Do share!



summer mexican-inspired picnic recipes

vegetables for mexican picnic summer mexican inspired picnic recipes


Ugh, you guys–I’m sorry. I think it’s pretty evident I need to work on my whole work/work/life balance thing (I mean obviously, considering I couldn’t make the time to post this whole last week). I’m going to make it up to you, starting with this delicious Mexican-inspired picnic I pulled together this past weekend–it’s a yummy one.


pineapple summer mexican inspired picnic recipes


Is it just me, or is Mexican food one of the things you crave most in the summer time? I don’t know what it is, but the instant the temps heat up I’m all about guacamole, salsa and tacos, 24/7. I went home this past weekend, where the kitchen is large and my Mom buys the groceries (win!), so I decided to put a summer spin on some of my go-to recipes Saturday night. I stuck to the basics: salsa (which I made homemade with peach for an added summer flavor), the best guacamole ever, fresh fish tacos and Coronas. I mean, tacos and cervezas? Sign me up.


fresh avocados summer mexican inspired picnic recipes homemade guacamole recipe summer mexican inspired picnic recipes


For the guacamole, you’ll need:

*This serves 5 people


  • 4 avocados, pits removed
  • 1 small red onion, chopped
  • a handful of cilantro, chopped
  • 2 small vine tomatoes, diced
  • the juice of two limes
  • salt and pepper, to taste


Start by scooping out all the avocados and putting them in a bowl. If you didn’t already know, avocados brown very quickly, so you’ll want to make this guacamole shortly before serving it so it doesn’t turn an unattractive brown (it will still taste good, just not look good!). Add the chopped onion to the bowl and mash the avocados well, either with a fork or a potato masher (my preferred method). Add the rest of the ingredients, then mix well with a spoon, tasting to see if you need to add more salt or pepper. Serve immediately alongside corn chips (and, of course, the tacos).


peach salsa ingredients summer mexican inspired picnic recipes homemade peach salsa recipe summer mexican inspired picnic recipes


For the fresh peach salsa, you’ll need:

  • 1/2 can diced tomatoes (still in their juice)
  • 1 orange pepper, diced
  • 2 peaches, skinned and chopped up
  • 1/2 white onion, chopped
  • A handful of fresh cilantro, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon garlic, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder (add more if you like more of a kick!)
  • Salt and pepper to taste


Pour 1/2 a can of diced tomatoes (still in their juice) into a bowl. Add the pepper, peach, onion, garlic, cilantro, chili powder, salt and pepper to the bowl and stir to combine. For the best flavor, make this the morning before serving–it’s at it’s most delicious when the flavors have a chance to sit and combine a bit. Serve along side corn chips.


grilled tilapia summer mexican inspired picnic recipes


For the fish tacos, you’ll need:


  • Fresh fish (something sturdy, like tilapia or mahi mahi works well). You’ll want to get one filet per two people.
  • the juice of 3 limes
  • olive oil
  • salt and pepper

The tacos taste best when the fish has been grilled, so a few hours before dinner place your fish in a baking dish with olive oil, the lime juice, salt and pepper and allow it to marinate for at least two hours. Once you’re ready, rub your grill pan with canola oil (don’t use olive oil–it has too low of a smoke point, meaning it can catch fire easily and become toxic). Grill your fish over high heat until light and flakey, about 10 minutes per side. Plate on a large serving platter so guests can help themselves, and finish with a squeeze of lemon and a bit of fresh cilantro.


mexican street corn summer mexican inspired picnic recipes

For the Mexican street corn, you’ll need:

  • One ear of corn per person
  • Cojita cheese (or queso blanco, if you can’t find cojita)
  • chili powder
  • cilantro
  • butter
  • salt and pepper

Boil the corn as you usually would, coating it in butter after cooking. Top with crumbled cojita cheese, chili powder, salt, pepper and cilantro. Go to town.


mexican inspired picnic food summer mexican inspired picnic recipes


Set everything out, along side tortillas for the fish tacos and beer for your belly. I also diced up some fresh pineapple for people to top the fish tacos with if they wanted–it was a great sweet addition! All together, this is such a quick, easy and delicious way to entertain–happy summer!









life lately, through snapshots

palm beach florida life lately, through snapshots


It’s kind of awesome that it’s already Tuesday, isn’t it? I spent my Memorial Day with my roommate celebrating her birthday with a sun-filled, lazy park day in Astoria. Her parents got her an awesome knife set, which I used to make her, her boyfriend and myself a birthday dinner–until I sliced off the top of my thumb. Apparently new knives are really really sharp…who knew!


Since typing just isn’t happening right now for my poor finger wrapped like a chubby mummy in gauze, I figured it’d be the perfect time for a photo dump of a few fun celebrations and moments happening lately.


cute way to store drinks for a party life lately, through snapshots outdoor wedding seating area life lately, through snapshots


^^ I loved the decor at the outdoor reception part of my cousin’s wedding^^


first kiss life lately, through snapshots


^^ The first kiss! ^^


wedding2 life lately, through snapshots wedding3 life lately, through snapshots wedding 4 life lately, through snapshots wedding1 life lately, through snapshots


^^ My adorable parents (& the gorg couple of the weekend, above them)^^


sunset paddle boarding life lately, through snapshots


^^ Sunset paddle boarders on the water outside the venue ^^


college grad1 life lately, through snapshots

^^ Graduation. Nailed it. ^^


college grad2 life lately, through snapshots college grad3 life lately, through snapshots college grad4 life lately, through snapshots


^^ My brother, and his sweet girlfriend ^^


college grad5 life lately, through snapshots vineyard1 life lately, through snapshots vineyard2 life lately, through snapshots^^ Yummy picnic eats at a vineyard this past Sunday ^^


vineyard3 life lately, through snapshots


^^ My friend, with the prettiest sun-lit blonde hair ever. I’m envious ^^




happy memorial day weekend!

13079 4572282260243 269859728 n happy memorial day weekend!


Happy Memorial Day weekend, you guys! I hope you all have the day off today and are already three glasses of wine/margaritas/beers/virgin daiquiris in. I’ll be spending a few hours at work, then I’m hopping on an Amtrak up to Boston to watch that little guy up there graduate college! I can’t believe I’m old enough to have graduated, let alone old enough to have a little brother who is now graduating–seriously, I don’t know where time went!


The rest of my weekend will be spent camped out in CT with my family–I’d say hopefully by my pool, but it looks like Mother Nature doesn’t have the same thing in mind with all the rain coming our way. Regardless, I hope you have a spectacular three-day weekend spent with friends and family!



homemade limoncello with pinnacle vodka

lemons for limoncello homemade limoncello with pinnacle vodka


For as long as I can remember, there has been limoncello in my house–specifically, my garage. While some parents may brew their own funky beers, mine loved to mix up the classic Italian drink for any occasion they could think of–graduation parties, summer picnics, even our annual Christmas party. It’s become a delicious partner to celebration in my house.


Which is why, when partnering up with Pinnacle Vodka this summer to showcase fun cocktails and entertaining ideas, this is the first thing that popped into my head. Not only is it a great, refreshing drink to have on-hand for summer entertaining, but it was the perfect way to celebrate my impending trip to Italy in a few weeks. Because what’s more Italian than limoncello?!


homemade limoncello with pinnacle vodka homemade limoncello with pinnacle vodka


Let’s get down to business. To start, you’re going to first want a bottle of high-quality, high-proof vodka. Enter: Pinnacle! Their traditional, unflavored version of vodka was perfect for this–it’s imported from France and is the highest rated vodka, so the quality is amazing, and it’s 80 proof, so it packs enough of a punch to really help extract all the flavor from the lemons (you should aim to use anything from 80 proof to 100 proof, which Pinnacle also has). You’ll be using four cups of vodka, along with 12 lemons and, eventually, 2 1/2 cups of sugar.


lemon zest homemade limoncello with pinnacle vodka


Zest the lemons using a vegetable peeler, being careful to avoid the white part (the pith). Put the zest into a large mason jar or other sealable glass jar and add the vodka (there should be enough to cover the zest–if there isn’t, add a bit more!).


homemade limoncello made with pinnacle vodka homemade limoncello with pinnacle vodka


Set aside the mixture in a cool, dark place for 4-8 days (a garage would be perfect, but if you don’t have one, like me, a pantry will do!). As times lapses, the alcohol will remove the essence of the lemon, leaving the vodka a pale yellow color (and smelling amazing!).


pinnacle vodka homemade limoncello homemade limoncello with pinnacle vodka


After that torturous wait period, it’s finally time to mix up your limoncello! Pour the vodka out of the bottle through a strainer, so you catch any rogue lemon peel pieces in the process. In a medium saucepan, combine the sugar and 6 cups of water over medium heat. Warm it until the sugar dissolves (but do not boil) and the syrup is clear, about 10-12 minutes. Allow it to cool, then pour the syrup into the lemon-infused vodka–it will turn cloudy and an even paler yellow. Sample as you go to achieve the desired sweetness–limoncello is traditionally served over ice in an iced glass, so you want it sweet enough to be able to sip casually. Cin cin!




AuthorLogo Pinnacle homemade limoncello with pinnacle vodka

Pinnacle Vodka shakes things up with unexpected experiences and delightful discoveries. Explore with other fun flavors at Also, check us out on Facebook and Twitter, or find more fun entertaining and drink ideas on our Pinterest page.


Pinnacle® is a registered trademark of Jim Beam Brands Co. and is used with permission.  This is a sponsored partnership, with Pinnacle® Vodka, via Mode Media.  The information, comments, and ideas expressed on this website are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the opinions or positions of Jim Beam Brands Co., its affiliated companies, or any of their directors or employees.

angel food cake with strawberry rhubarb compote

homemade angel food cake angel food cake with strawberry rhubarb compote



Summer days spent at my grandparent’s house came with one specific snack growing up: rhubarb. My grandpa had a whole amazing garden for most of my childhood, so there was never a shortage of fresh veggies for us to get our hands on while we were out playing in back, but rhubarb season was always extra anticipated.


I have distinct memories of sitting on their back deck, which was always forest green and forever giving me splinters, dipping long stalks of rhubarb in a huge bowl of sugar with my mom and slowly-but-surely finishing them all. The tangy taste of rhubarb is practically made for desserts, so I wanted to recreate that summer treat alongside one of my grandmas best cake recipes–homemade angel food cake. This combo is seriously out of this world, and it’s the perfect “light” summer dessert. It still feels like a treat, but it’s doesn’t weigh you down!



egg whites for angel food cake angel food cake with strawberry rhubarb compote angel food cake batter angel food cake with strawberry rhubarb compote


For the cake, you’ll need:

  • 1 cup cake flour
  • 1 1/2 cups, plus 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons cream of tartar
  • a pinch of salt
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 12 large egg whites, at room temperature


Preheat your oven to 375 degrees. In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat the egg whites, cream of tartar and salt until foamy peaks form. Add 3/4 cup sugar, then beat on high again, until the mixture forms very stiff peaks (this will take anywhere from 3-5 minutes, so have patience!). Switch the speed to low, then add the flour, vanilla and remaining 3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar, mixing slowly until combined (you may have to scrape the bottom, just to make sure you don’t have any leftover dry bits).


Pour the batter into an ungreased pan, then slam it on the counter once or twice to remove any air pockets. Cook for 30-35 minutes, or until the top has browned significantly and springs back slightly to the touch. Cool upside-down on a wire rack–after 20-30 minutes, run a knife gently around the edges and allow the cake to slide out. Cool for another 10 minutes.



strawberries and rhubarb angel food cake with strawberry rhubarb compote strawberry rhubarb compote angel food cake with strawberry rhubarb compote


For the compote (which totally makes the cake 100 times better, by the way), you’ll need:


  • 1 package strawberries, chopped small
  • 1 large stalk rhubarb, chopped small
  • 1 cup sugar


Place the chopped strawberries, rhubarb and the sugar in a pan over low heat. Stir to coat the strawberries and rhubarb with the sugar, then allow it to reduce down significantly, stirring occasionally for approximately 20 minutes–it will first become a bit watery, and then more of a mush once the strawberries and rhubarb soften.



homemade angel food cake with strawberry compote and fresh whipped cream angel food cake with strawberry rhubarb compote



To serve, cut a generous slice of angel food cake, and top with the compote (warm or cold–it’s good both ways!) and a dollop of Cool Whip or fresh whipped cream. Happy rhubarb season!



palm beach bound!

d56a30333d2271d1a8c65b2e465b7b73 palm beach bound!



I’m taking a long weekend and heading to a family wedding in Palm Beach today! If you can believe it, the last wedding I went to was in–get this–fourth grade. Needless to say, I’m long overdue for a little love, happy tears and dance floor action. You can catch my beach (and wedding) snaps over on Instagram–hope you all have a great weekend!




the short suit is having a moment

how to style a short suit the short suit is having a moment

I really thought I was going to hate short suits. I really did. At first mention, all I can picture are some old-school country club ladies who lunch in their pastels, loafers and pearls. Nothing wrong with that, just totally not my style.


But then they happened. And I found myself becoming OK with the edgier, more fashion-forward takes on the short suit (essentially tailored shorts paired with a matching blazer). And then I found myself really wanting one. There’s just something about them that feels cool and approachable while still being fashion-forward and, most importantly, work appropriate. I can’t decide which version I like more: an all-over bold color like red, or a funky, eye-catching pattern. I’m currently on the hunt for a pair that feels like me–maybe something similar to that chambray up there? Long live the short suit!



the year of 50 books: 11-15

the year of 50 books 11 15 the year of 50 books: 11 15

  Ah–another batch of books down! This group of five definitely took me the longest, mostly because I’ve had zero free (sane) time this past month or so. It’s also the most ecclectic (as you will see!)–but hopefully you’ll find something below that sparks your interest. I know I enjoyed them all!


One More Thing Cover1 custom 4f2bf1af5182e2e7894d244687389362907a7e69 s6 c30 the year of 50 books: 11 15
One More Thing: Stories and Other Stories, by BJ Novak This book is what I would affectionately refer to as “high-brow” comedy. Like The Office, which appeals to people who are entertained by a specific brand of humor, One More Thing is maybe not for everyone–but I loved it. The reason being: I felt like this went far beyond the typical “I’m a famous celebrity and now I’m going to write a book” indulgence. Maybe it’s because Novak got his start as a writer, not an actor, but I thought the book was incredibly witty and well written. Comprised of 60-ish short stories, each is written a little tongue-in-cheek…you could either take them for face-value and get a good chuckle, or really sit and think about the “deeper” meaning behind each of them (I chose to do both). Apparently, the audio book version of this features the voice talent of Lena Dunham, Rainn Wilson and Mindy Kaling. I was a little disappointed at first that I read it instead of listened (especially considering how much I love the real life best friendship of Mindy and BJ), but in the end it was for the better–I liked creating my own “voices” for all the characters BJ created. It’s hard to pick a favorite story from the book, but I think I’d have to go with either “The Girl Who Gave Great Advice,” “They Kept Driving Faster and Out Ran the Rain” or “The Beautiful Girl in the Bookstore.” The last had one of my favorite lines in the whole book: “She loved him, but she never quite got over the suspicion that she was just his favorite thing in the bookstore.” Rating: 8.25 out of 10

Paris Letters by Janice Macleod the year of 50 books: 11 15


Paris Letters, by Janice MacLeod The fact that this book is 100 percent a true story fills me with all kinds of warm fuzzies. I’m apparently hardwired to like a certain kind of book–specifically one where the main character (usually a writer/journalist), quits her job, moves to a new city (usually Paris/somewhere in Italy) and falls in love with a new way of life/the man of her dreams (who is usually the owner of a winery or something fancy). In this case, Janice packed up her life and moved out to Paris on a whim–simply because she’d always wanted to. There she met Christophe, who she fell in love with over strolls on the Seine and sideways glances from her favorite coffee shop to the butcher’s shop across the street, where he worked. Sure, I loved this book for the fantasy of it all (because who doesn’t dream of packing up shit and moving to Paris), but also because MacLeod touched on so many of my legitimate life worries throughout her journey. It’s hard sometimes to not feel like you’re just some cog in the machine and that your life is sailing past you without you really taking the time to enjoy a morning stroll in the rain, an afternoon over a Cappucino, or an evening spent laughing over wine and cheese. Of course, all those things are infinitely easier if you’re living in Paris, but they’re possible in New York, too. Or in whatever city you live. My biggest takeaway from this book was that, even though moving to Paris (or anywhere in Europe) is pretty much not in the cards for me right now, I can bring a touch of that Parisian c’est la vie attitude to my every day life. This was like a travel guide, memoir, romance novel and self-help book all wrapped into one. Rating: 8 out of 10


wheatbelly the year of 50 books: 11 15

Wheat Belly, by William Davis MD I really hesitate to call this a diet book. Please please please don’t call this a diet book–it’s really not. I picked up this book with the sole purpose of learning more about eating wheat and the ramifications of it on our bodies. While being tested for various other things, I unearthed a gluten sensitivity and I simply wanted to learn more about types of restrictions and educate myself. Dr. Davis writes this book in a very direct, straight forward and understandable way. It’s not too heavy on the medical jargon, so you don’t feel lost a few pages in. Truthfully, would I recommend this to everyone? Obviously not. If you’re not having issues, why bother? But if anyone has recently been diagnosed with a gluten sensitivity or other type of allergy, this might be a good book to pick up to learn more! Rating: 7.75 out of 10 (*if you need it)


6a0105368f4fef970b019b00480a64970d the year of 50 books: 11 15


The Book of You, by Claire Kendal I just want to shout it from the roof tops: THIS IS EXACTLY THE KIND OF BOOK THAT I LOVE. Sure, it was incredibly (incredibly) creepy–and eerie and disturbing, but as someone who likes to read abnormal psychology books for fun and educates herself on serial killers (this is getting weird…), I loved every page of it. We meet Clarissa in The Book of You at the precise moment that she spots her stalker again. The book bounces between present day, where Clarissa is sitting on a jury, to the past, where we start to learn more and more of the sick obsession Rafe, her stalker, has with her. Truthfully yes, I was a bit scared by this book–Clarissa’s fears were so well-written, and the sheer insanity of Rafe’s manipulative actions were almost incomprehensible. You’re simultaneously shouting, “How can no one else notice how creepy this is!!!!” and wondering how the heck she’s going to get anyone to believe her and help her. The book made a point to speak to a larger issue in situations like this–police assistance, and how threats of this nature aren’t always taken as seriously as they need to be. Throughout her time on the jury, Clarissa makes a friend (and maybe more…you’ll have to wait and see!), chronicles Rafe’s attempts meticulously in a journal (hence the title, The Book of You) and finally has her situation with Rafe come to a very frightening conclusion. I did have one issue with the book, and that is the ending. SPOILER ALERT I found it odd that, after everything Clarissa had been through, and finally finding love again, she would let something as small as an ex-wife keep her from her new love. I wasn’t into that–it just seemed so opposite of what her character had come to be up until that point. END SPOILER ALERT Also, I feel like I have to warn you–this book should have probably come with a trigger warning. If you are at all bothered emotionally by rape or violence, I’m not sure I would recommend this to you, as there are a few scenes that involve those types of scenarios. I would hate to have anyone read it on my suggestion and be disturbed by it, so proceed with caution. Rating: 9 out of 10



TOAO 100 1 3 2 the year of 50 books: 11 15


The One and Only, by Emily Giffin Calling all Friday Night Lights fans–this one is for you! Set in Texas and centering around football, The One and Only is pretty much a FNL tribute book if I’ve ever read one. It follows Shea, who is a reporter in the town, Coach Carr, the head football coach and object of hero worship, and an additional cast of rotating characters. Like all Emily Giffin books (see: Something Borrowed, Heart of the Matter and Where We Belong), The One and Only is filled with romance, longing (don’t you just love those will-they-or-won’t-they story lines?) and lots of heart. There were a few relationships in the book that gave me a bit of an “ick” reaction (you’ll see what I mean), but overall this was a good, fluffy beach reach. And I don’t say fluffy in an attempt to reduce the quality of this book–it’s just a perfect descriptor for the type of genre it falls into. Light, entertaining and a quick read! Rating: 6.5 out of 10 (*Also, this isn’t out until May 20, so hang tight and add it to your list!)




chicken showdown: honey ginger garlic vs. sweet bbq

baked chicken two ways chicken showdown: honey ginger garlic vs. sweet bbq


There’s one thing I really hate about living in the city: the absence of a grill. There is nothing I love more when warm weather hits than a few delicious charred pieces of BBQ chicken on the grill. It doesn’t make much sense for us three girls to buy a grill for the (minimal) space outside our apartment, so I knew I needed to come up with a new way to capture that classic grilled chicken taste. Enter: the chicken showdown.


This is really just a by-product of boredom one rainy Sunday, but it turned out delicious. I’ve always wanted to try my hand at a sweet homemade BBQ sauce and while I was at it, I whipped up another marinade of honey ginger garlic to see which one came out on top (and wait till you see which got the guy stamp-of-approval).


bbq sauce ingredients chicken showdown: honey ginger garlic vs. sweet bbq


For the sweet BBQ sauce, you’ll need (this was actually just one big “throw stuff in a pot” experiment, but it turned out good!):


  • 1 tablespoon canola oil or vegetable oil
  • 1/2 onion, diced
  • 3 tablespoons minced garlic
  • 1 1/4 cup ketchup
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 4 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 3 teaspoons ground mustard
  • 1 tablespoon worchestire sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper (add another 1/4 teaspoon if you want an extra kick!)
  • a pinch of salt and pepper


Saute the onion and garlic in the vegetable oil in a large sauce pan until soft and translucent. Add the remaining ingredients in, stirring well to combine/dissolve the sugar. Allow to come to a boil (really more like a “bubble”) then turn down the heat and let it simmer for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.



honey garlic sauce and bbq sauce chicken showdown: honey ginger garlic vs. sweet bbq


For the honey ginger garlic sauce, you’ll need:


  • 4-5 tablespoons minced garlic
  • 1 cup honey
  • 1 tablespoon ground ginger (you can find this in the aisle with all the other spices, typically!)

Combine all ingredients in a bowl and whisk until the honey loosens up and combines with the ginger and garlic.


chicken drumsticks two ways chicken showdown: honey ginger garlic vs. sweet bbq



For both sauces, place chicken legs (or breast or whatever you like best!) in a glass baking dish. Pour the sauces over the top, making sure to coat each piece evenly (you can use your hand to disperse the sauce if you need to). Bake at 375 degrees for 35-40 minutes, or until the sauce is bubbling and the skin of the chicken has browned (the inside should be juicy and white, with no visible pink).


Baked honey garlic chicken chicken showdown: honey ginger garlic vs. sweet bbq baked sweet bbq chicken chicken showdown: honey ginger garlic vs. sweet bbq


So the general consensus? Both were delicious, but everyone seemed to like the honey ginger garlic better! Maybe it’s because it was a bit different than the norm–the BBQ ended up tasting like a fresher version of Sweet Baby Rays (a good thing, if you ask me), and the honey ginger garlic with a nice change of pace. Either way, these would both be winners at your next summer weekend party–whether or not you have a grill!