Five Things Friday: Puppy, Superbowl, and Snow

10 Feb

Happy Friday! This week has sure been a weird one, with all of the weather and everything else going on in the world (and in our lives). I have lots to share with you today and I haven’t done a post like this in forever so here goes nothing.

  • Let’s start with the biggest news: we adopted a puppy! It was totally unexpected hence why I didn’t mention anything on here before. We had known we wanted to get one in the near future, likely spring so the weather would be a bit better. We saw on Facebook that a local rescue organization, Pack Leaders, would be at Petsmart with their dogs available for adoption this past Saturday. We decided to stop by and fell absolutely in love with an 8 month old Plott Hound/Whippet mix named Forrest. Long story short, we ended up adopting him that day and changed his name to Charlie. He is fitting in well with our family (as in the cats are tolerating him currently) and I’m sure I will be sharing plenty of pictures of him here.

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  • With all of the puppy craziness, we were still able to host our small Superbowl gathering that we have each year. A few of our close friends came over and we ate the night away and also celebrated the Pats awesome comeback and win (YAY). The best treats of the night were provided by our favorite local bakery, Hartford Baking Company, in West Hartford. They provided us with a fantastic bread bowl and some pretzel baguettes that we sliced up for dipping as well. I absolutely love supporting local businesses and I encourage visiting Hartford Baking Company ASAP as their sandwiches, pastries, and coffee are also amazing and that bread is just everything.
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One of everything please!

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  • Winter has finally arrived and I know I am one of the few that is SO happy about it. I love the snow and the cozy feeling of being wrapped up in blankets while the snow falls outside. We got around 18 inches last night which was definitely our biggest storm of the season.
  • With the snow comes my urge to cook all the things. I made chili for super bowl which we enjoyed leftovers of all week long. I took Monday off and decided to meal prep some chicken pesto pasta for lunch for the week. I used a combo of veggie and gluten free pasta along with almost a whole jar of pesto and a couple of sauteed chicken breasts. I plan on making this again for this coming week so I will try to snap some pics and share the recipe as I kind of made it up as I went along. I also made Chrissy Teigen’s chicken noodle soup last night which was just what the hubby needed as he was feeling a bit under the weather when he got home from plowing.

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  • We have some fun plans for this weekend and I’m excited to get out as I feel like I’ve been stuck in the house due to the snow. We are doing some early Valentine’s Day celebrating with our friends Robbie and Jenna and heading to some wineries out in the Litchfield area which has become an annual tradition for the four of us. Sunday is a much needed girls breakfast with some of my favorite ladies.
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I’m sure there will be a repeat of this photo from last year 🙂

I hope you all have a fantastic weekend filled with all of the fun you can find!

Disclaimer: A portion of this post was sponsored by Hartford Baking Company. As always, all opinions are my own. 

WIAW: A Day in the Eats #2

11 Jan

Happy hump day! I hope you are all having a great week! I know it is definitely dragging a bit for me but I’ve been feeling pretty productive which is good. Today I thought I would share a day of my meals just to give you all an insight into what I’m eating on a normal workday. I really enjoy when other bloggers share a little peek into their eats for the day (such as this post by Tina) so I figured I would do the same. This is everything I ate yesterday, with the exception of a couple of handfuls of Goldfish when I got home from work and was absolutely starving before boot camp.

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Breakfast:

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I have a tough time with breakfast as I’m never really that hungry in the morning. I wanted to start out the New Year by trying to eat a light breakfast which is filled with protein so I’ve been enjoyed a hard boiled egg and a banana alongside my (much-needed) coffee. Dan prepared the eggs for me this week and they ended up being more on the soft-boiled side which I think I’m actually going to stick with because I love me some runny yolk.

Snack:

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I picked up some Luna bars while grocery shopping this week as I had a couple of coupons loaded to my Stop and Shop card and I’m happy to report that the S’mores one is amazing! I will definitely be buying these again and it kept me pretty full until lunch.

Lunch:

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In trying to start out the New Year in a healthier fashion, I have been making salads to bring for lunch. My salads have a lot of toppings including: spinach, red peppers, cucumbers, celery, olives, pickles, banana peppers, grape tomatoes, and some type of deli meat (this week it was buffalo chicken) with whatever dressing I’m feeling like that day. I paired the salad with a side of baby carrots.

Dinner: 

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Last night I went to a later boot camp class (6:30) so I knew in advance I would want a dinner which would be quick to throw together and easy for Dan to heat up since he had drill for the fire department last night as well and doesn’t usually get home until later. I made taco bowls with lean ground beef, brown rice, corn, black beans, salsa, guac, cheese, and plain greek yogurt. I enjoyed it with an orange seltzer which is a new favorite (thanks Alex!). These taco bowls were so delicious and easy to make. We have some leftover taco meat so we are going to have taco style baked potatoes tonight.

Dessert: 

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Guys, I have a new obsession. These Yasso greek yogurt bars are insanely good. I tried them a while ago in a different flavor and wasn’t totally hooked but I picked up the mint chocolate chip last week and they are incredible! It helps that mint chocolate chip anything is honestly the best in my opinion.

I hope you guys have enjoyed a little look into what I’ve been eating lately. Have a great rest of your week!

Quick Christmas (and New Years) Recap

5 Jan

I hope you all had a fabulous holiday! I really took the time to immerse myself in the spirit of the season which felt fantastic because it is so easy to get caught up in the busyness of it all. As I had mentioned, I had last week off and unfortunately I spent a couple of days sick on the couch with an awful cold. It was nice to have a reason to relax and we still fit in so much great food and fun with friends and family. I figured it would just be best to let the pictures do the talking.

We kicked things off on the 22nd with “lasagna night” at our house where the lovely (and talented) Natasha taught me how to make her amazing lasagna. Lots of laughs (and wine) were had that evening 😉

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Christmas Eve morning began with a new tradition of preparing eggs benedict for brunch followed by the not so new tradition of making deviled eggs to enjoy later that evening at Grandma’s house.

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Please excuse that all of my photos are from Snapchat. My phone storage is full and it’s the only way I can save a picture 🙂

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As many of you may know, Christmas Eve is probably my favorite day of the year as it is filled with so many traditions and we get to see lots of family and friends!

Christmas Day we opened presents at allll the places and enjoyed a delicious roast at Grandma’s. Dan received reindeer footie pjs from me for Christmas and he wore them for most of the day. We had Chinese food at my sister in law’s house with Dan’s family (another tradition) and ended the night with many drinks with Dan’s half sister and half brother. It was a packed agenda but I enjoy it so much every year.

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Our niece Aubrey

The rest of the week consisted of Dan, my Dad and some of our friends installing a new back door and screen door for us which I absolutely love. We also spent Thursday and Friday in Newport which I will recap in another post. Friday evening was spent at Dan’s aunt and uncle’s home for Hanukkah which was a lot of fun.

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New Years Eve was spent at Dave and Melissa’s house and there was lots of silliness and drinks (goes without saying).

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We ended our vacation on Monday evening with this veggie and chicken detox soup. I have been basically inhaling the veggies the past couple of days as my body is craving them after eating a lot of heavy foods and lots of wine during my vacation.

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I hope you all have a fantastic rest of your week and I will be back very soon with some more good stuff, including a recap of our little getaway in Newport.

 

Christmas Home Decor Tour

22 Dec

Happy Thursday! I can’t believe that Christmas is only 3 short days away. I’m soaking up every single second of Christmas cheer that I possibly can (Dan can attest to that) which is why I have been a bit absent although we have also been insanely busy as well. Today I’m sharing what is probably my favorite post of the year, our Christmas home decor tour. It’s even more special than usual since it is our first Christmas in our new home.

I used a lot of decor that we already had but I have definitely mixed in some new pieces because we have a lot more space to work with. We also have two trees, a real one in our upstairs living room and an artificial one in our basement. This way we can embrace the Christmas spirit regardless of where we are hanging out. I’m sharing a picture of two outdoor decor items, our HUGE Santa and our beautiful wreath that our friend Kylia made but we also have multi-color lights all around the roof line of the house, but they are acting up some nights so I haven’t been able to get a great picture.

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Santa says hi!

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I got that garland at Christmas Tree Shop for only $7.99! It’s one of my favorite pieces of decor.

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I took a lot of pictures of our tree, during different times of the day/night. This is the real tree that we got at Glastonbury Fire Department’s Company 4 Firehouse.

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Bella loves this blanket that I picked up this year from TJ Maxx.

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I’m obsessed with the above Santa lamp that I got at Christmas Tree Shop! It reminds me of some of the classic pieces that my Grandma has.

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As you can see, I took these a while ago but have been SO busy!

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I built the above kitchen table centerpiece all with items I found at Michael’s. It was so much fun to come up with a vision and put it together!

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I mean, how could I not get this?

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I thought I would end it with a shot of our artificial tree downstairs. Although I am impartial to a real tree, I adore the way that this one lights up our sometimes dark basement.

I intend to be back tomorrow with another post with some last minute festive things. In the event that doesn’t happen, I hope you all have a very Merry Christmas! Dan and I both have next week off so I hope to have some time for writing.

Holiday Stroll in West Hartford

6 Dec

Happy Tuesday! Today I’m sharing a sentence by picture recap of a fabulous blogger event that I attended this past Thursday evening in West Hartford. This was hosted for us as part a way to participate in the Holiday Stroll that West Hartford hosts each year on the first Thursday in December. I had no idea that this event happens every year and it was right up my Christmas-obsessed alley. I brought my friend Hanna as my guest and it happened to be her birthday that day too!

We began the evening at Max Burger where we enjoyed some delicious appetizers and drinks. My personal favorite were definitely the candied bacon “lollipops” and I will let that photo speak for itself. Max Burger was great and I will definitely be picking up some gift cards (as should you!) as Christmas gifts this year as I would love to share the deliciousness with my family and friends!

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The next stop on our stroll was at another favorite of mine, Cook Shop Plus. This store definitely warms my newly cooking obsessed heart. I loved all of the holiday items they had in stock and we were also able to enjoy some incredible hot apple cider.

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The Conard High School Jazz Band was there playing Christmas carols too 

BK & Co is a women’s boutique that was next on our list and I wanted to try on everything in the store! They also provided some bites to eat and cocktails as well.

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Lux Bond & Green is a fantastic jewelry store that I could literally spend hours browsing around in. We had so much fun trying on the unique pieces that they had to offer which were absolutely stunning. Hanna was the perfect hand model for us! 🙂

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Look at all that bling!

We ended our stroll with a stop at Savoy Pizzeria which is a relatively new pizza restaurant in West Hartford. Savoy Pizzeria’s specialty is craft pizza and also craft beer. We were gifted a growler of one of the delicious beers that they had on tap that evening.

It was a delightful evening filled with so much holiday cheer and it really got all of us into the spirit. Thank you to Kat from A Little Bird Told Me for hosting another excellent event!

Disclaimer: I was invited to this blogger event by the marketing company and management that represents these establishments.  All opinions are entirely my own. 

 

 

Thanksgiving Weekend Recap

30 Nov

Happy Wednesday! What a crazy week back at work it has been, but I can’t believe it’s already almost halfway done! I’m definitely reveling in my Christmas glory right now and soaking up every single second of holiday cheer. I figured I would do a brief “sentence per picture” type of recap to catch up on what we did this past weekend.

Wednesday night consisted of lots of wine and laughter with the ladies and gents.

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Our contribution to my Grandma’s Thanksgiving feast was this glorious baked pumpkin mac and cheese with roasted brussels sprouts.

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The turkey was perfection as usual.

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Naturally we ate alllll the food and loved every single bite.

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Christmas card photos were taken. (PS. my dress and boots are from Old Navy)

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Aunt Beth’s cheesecake looked absolutely incredible. Sad to say, I didn’t have any as my survival tactic for three Thanksgiving dinners was skipping dessert 😦

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We actually took the time out to make breakfast on Sunday morning! Well it was almost noon but brunch is just as good 😉

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I used up our turkey leftovers to make some turkey and corn chowder on Sunday night. Last night I also made my first attempt at turkey pot pie and according to the hubby, it was a hit!

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That’s all for today folks! I’m attending a fun blogger event tomorrow evening so I will be back in the near future to recap that. Have a great rest of your week!

House Update: Kitchen Renovation is Complete!

10 Nov

I hope you guys are all having a wonderful week! I have been wanting to write this post for a long time but I didn’t have the time to take the pictures and get my thoughts together. After six long months of hard work by my amazing husband (with some help from me), our kitchen is finally pretty much finished! The only things left to do are paint the other two window frames and get a new light fixture (which is why I’m not showing you the kitchen table area). I’m going to show you some before pictures (from the listing) and then the after photos.

First I will give you a brief rundown of what we did:

It was not easy by any means and it took a lot longer than we expected because life doesn’t stop during a renovation. All of the labor was done by us and Dan had a lot of help with the floor from my Dad and my aunt’s fiance Jorge for which we are so grateful. Many other friends and family members helped out throughout the process as well and we are so lucky to have such incredible people in our lives. We are so incredibly happy with the end result and it was definitely worth all of the hard work.

I will preface these pictures with a bit of background information; our stove is a Frigidaire Flair electric range and it is original to the home being built in 1952 and it works like a dream. It was actually the stove that was on the show Bewitched in Samantha’s kitchen! I wasn’t too sure about it at first but it is so unique and has become such a conversation piece.

Before:

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After:

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Pillows: TJ Maxx. Rug: Christmas Tree Shop.

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Thank you to Brian and Natasha for the wonderful new trash can and to Dave and Melissa for the adorable wine holder!

As you can see, quite the transformation has taken place! This has definitely been the most fun post to write as we are so proud of the results. Let me know what you guys think and if you have any questions at all, ask away!