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Fall Bucket List

8 Sep

Happy Friday! While this short week has seemed pretty long for me, I can’t even begin to imagine what others throughout the country are going through in places like Houston, Florida with the hurricanes and out West with the wild fires. You guys are all in my thoughts and prayers constantly.

I know that it isn’t officially fall yet but I’m just too darn excited for the new season to begin so today I wanted to go over a few things on my fall bucket list! Our friend Robbie recently texted us about how excited he was for fall because we always visit our favorite brewery this time of year and it had me brainstorming on all of the things I’m excited to do and enjoy.

  • Visit ALL of the fairs and festivals
Hebron Fair 2017

Yes, nearly all of my pictures are taken with Snapchat. Also, this baked potato was everything. 

Hebron Fair 2017 2

Dave won the “last chance” heat and got a trophy!

Okay so maybe not alllll of them because that would get quite costly, but at least our favorite ones. We went to the Hebron Harvest Fair last night and we are going again tonight to see one of our best friends participate in the demolition derby and figure eight derby. We will also be visiting the Big E several times as it is honestly one of my favorite places to be 🙂

  • Try some new-to-me foods and recipes
Apple seltzer

Picked this up to try, I will let you know how it is!

homemade pasta sauce

We made homemade pasta sauce this past weekend for the first time using this recipe

One of the reasons I am so excited for fall is because of the cozy and delicious foods that I love to cook each year. I have pinned countless new soup and casserole recipes to try over the coming months. My crock-pot will definitely be put to good use!

  • Make some new fall cocktails
pumpkin-beer.jpg

This beer is phenomenal and at over 8% alcohol, definitely does the trick 😉

I have seen so many yummy looking recipes for fall drinks, such as this one and this one, and I can’t wait to start sampling them myself. I also love this time of year for enjoying a nice glass of red wine, which always makes me feel nice and cozy.

  • Wear ALL of the fall fashion 

nordstrom shirt

I recently picked up this top from Nordstrom and I’m eyeing this dress from my favorite store, Old Navy. I love all things related to boots and scarves too!

There are many other things I have planned for fall so stay tuned and I will share, as time allows! I’m expecting work to be quite hectic in the coming weeks but I will when I can 🙂

Have a great weekend!

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LDW 2017: Goodbye Summer!

6 Sep

Happy hump day! I hope the week is going by as fast for you as it is for me 🙂 Monday was excellent (aren’t all days off?) but yesterday was a bit of a pain as it was a very long day back at work and then I came outside to a dead car battery. It could have been worse so it’s all good. I figured a brief recap of my weekend would be a great way to kick off the week!

Friday: 

Friday Apps

lemon drop martini

I took the day off to turn my 3 day weekend into 4 days. I went to boot camp that morning and then ran errands. Alex came over later in the afternoon and ended up staying for apps and dinner before Dan and I headed out to the Diamond for drink. It was a really nice evening!

Saturday: 

El pollo guapo

Hooker Brewery Hartford

 

Bartaco night

With it being our first free Saturday in quite a while (and for the foreseeable future too) we decided to make it a spontaneous day. We had lunch at El Pollo Guapo with our friend Nick, who just started college. If you haven’t tried El Pollo Guapo and you are local, head there ASAP, it is incredible and the owners are the absolute best. The rest of the day/night was spent with Tyler & Shivani at Back East Brewery, Hooker Brewery, and then out and about in West Hartford. It was a perfectly unplanned Saturday.

Sunday: 

Sunday at lake

It was gloomy and rainy for most of the day. We headed up to the lake to see Dan’s parents. After a delicious lunch, we decided to take a trip to Walmart with Dan’s mom and then we also stopped at an awesome package store up near where they live and I picked up some bottles of wine (at a very low price) that I can’t wait to try. We headed home and spent the rest of the night parked on the couch and it was glorious.

Monday:

Hike with Dan and Charlie

Hike pic
Monday was a wonderful mix of fun and productivity. We started the day with a hike to the reservoir with Charlie. After that, we came home and got sh*t done! There was meal-prepping, closet-cleaning, yard work, and laundry. We also used all of our CSA tomatoes to make some jarred pasta sauce which I’m really excited about! It was such a productive afternoon and it felt amazing to plop down on the couch that evening.

It was a great weekend and I’m looking forward to all of the fall things to begin, starting with the Hebron Fair this weekend. Have a great rest of your week!

WIAW: Definition of Summer

12 Jul

Happy Wednesday! I feel like I say that at the beginning of every post but a day when I have some time to blog is a happy day 🙂 Today I’m sharing a smorgasbord of different meals and drinks that I have enjoyed so far this summer. Between our fantastic CSA (which I plan to cover in a future post) and farmers market trips, we have definitely been embracing summer foods.

Maggie mcflys tuna salad

Quite possibly one of my favorite salads ever, the Ahi Tuna salad from Maggie McFly’s 

Cheese plate bday

I had to show off my favorite lobster cutting board. This cheese plate is from my birthday celebration 🙂

birthday cake 2017

Alex made me this wonderful birthday cake too!

engagement party chipotle

Dan’s cousins engagement party was catered by Chipotle which is the best idea ever

Stony creek beer

We visited Stony Creek Brewery on my birthday and it was the perfect day!

birthday lobster

My birthday dinner request was a lobster roll so Dan bought a few lobsters and made them for us!

Apps brian and natasha

This past Friday we had Brian and Natasha over for dinner. We enjoyed fresh salsa from Fairweather Acres along with homemade guac and some cheese and crackers. I love me some apps!

Caprese salad

I also made a caprese salad with tomatoes from our CSA, fresh mozz, and basil from our garden

brian and natasha dinner

Our dinner included a little bit of everything: grilled chicken, steak, kielbasa, potatoes, squash, broccoli, and the caprese salad

buffalo chicken wrap

Dan had a prior commitment on Monday night so I was on my own for dinner. I made Brittany’s buffalo chicken wrap along with a salad consisting of tomatoes, cucumbers, fresh mozz, and basil.  

burrito bowl

Dan had another meeting last night so I made myself a burrito bowl with quinoa, chicken, black beans, corn, avocado, green onion, salsa, and plain greek yogurt. It was delish!

That’s all for today folks! I’m ready to tackle the rest of this week and relax as much as possible this weekend 🙂 Have a great rest of the week!

Five Things Friday: Summer Lovin’

23 Jun

Happy happy Friday! I feel like this week dragged on a bit but that might be because we have very few plans this weekend and I’m so pumped to just relax with the hubby! It was definitely a busy week and I have a huge piled of unfolded laundry calling my name this evening (ugh). I figured I would share five random thoughts from the past week (or two).

  • We signed up for our first CSA with Fair Weather Acres farm and our first pickup was this past Sunday. We received so many fresh and delicious veggies which allowed us to be a bit more creative with our cooking this week. Our box included: 2 lbs of spinach, 1 head of lettuce, 1 quart of strawberries, 1 bunch of swiss chard, 1 bunch of radishes, 1 head of broccoli, garlic scapes, and bok choy. I loved everything included but I think my favorite were the strawberries and the garlic scapes. We made two new recipes with some of the veggies we received, a garlic scape and spinach frittata as well as swiss chard and garlic scape pasta. Both were yummy!

frittata

swiss chard and garlic scape pasta

  • My cousin Daniel graduated from high school on Tuesday and we were fortunate enough to be able to attend. He gave a speech during the ceremony which obviously had everyone in our family in tears. We went out for a wonderful dinner at Bertucci’s after too. It was a great evening!

Daniel graduation

  • Last Saturday went down as one of the top five days of this year for me so far. Natasha, Jenna, and I attended our friend Miko’s bridal shower which was SO much fun. We were nonstop laughing the entire time due to the very creative and hilarious games that her bridal party had planned. After the shower, Jenna and I met up with the boys in Granby at Lost Acres Vineyard where we enjoyed some wine and a fantastic cheese plate. After that we ventured over to Brignole Vineyards, also in Granby, and had a really fun wine tasting (the guy giving our tasting was hilarious) and some fabulous sangria. All of that wine meant for an early evening catnap but we managed to rally and make it out for our friend Kevin’s birthday. It was truly an amazing day!

Miko's bridal shower

Lost Acres cheese and wine

  • Salads have been my jam lately. Ever since returning from our cruise, I have been craving salads and fresh veggies ALL the time. I have particularly been enjoying my current lunch salad which includes strawberries and goat cheese which is such a fantastic combo. If you haven’t tried it, you should!
Firehouse Subs salad

First salad from Firehouse Subs, sooo good!

chicken fajita salad

The chicken was way too spicy, even for me! Less chili powder next time for sure 

Strawberry goat cheese salad

  • Father’s Day was filled with so much delicious food and lots of sunshine. We treated my Dad to lobster rolls at Jessica’s Garden in Marlborough (highly recommend!) and then we visited Dan’s parents for dinner at their new lake house in Ashford. It was a wonderful end to a great weekend!

jessicas garden lobster roll

Father's day 2017 1

Life has been pretty great lately but I am excited to have very few plans on the radar this weekend. There is a bottle of Rosé and some grilling on the agenda and that’s the way I like my summer weekends!

Market Place Kitchen & Bar – Avon, CT

17 May

A couple of weeks ago I was invited to attend a blogger event at Market Place Kitchen & Bar in Avon, CT. I hadn’t attended an event in a while due to being crazy busy (hence the slight delay on this post as well) so I jumped at the chance to try out this new restaurant.

Market Place Kitchen & Bar describes themselves as a “Modern American restaurant” and they also have locations in Woodbury and Danbury, CT as well as a location at Mount Snow in Vermont. They put their emphasis on using locally sourced ingredients whenever possible which also allows Executive Chef Roy Kalil to be very creative with his dishes.

Marketplace 1

How pretty is that drink? Pictured: The Parisian cocktail and an Ahi Tuna Tartare Philo Cup

Marketplace 6

Executive Chef Roy provided some great info about the goals of Market Place as a restaurant

We enjoyed several of those creative dishes throughout the event, including croquettes, philo cups, deviled eggs, and watermelon kabobs. I will let the photos speak for themselves as everything was incredibly delicious and I really can’t even put into words how fresh each dish was. If I had a choose a favorite, I would say the smoked salmon deviled eggs, but are you really surprised by that?

marketplace 2

Ahi Tuna Tartare Philo Cups

Marketplace 4

Watermelon Kabobs with goat feta cheese and fresh mint

Marketplace 5

Smoked salmon deviled eggs

Marketplace 11

Wild Mushroom Risotto Croquettes

In addition to the food we tasted, we were also provided with three different cocktails to try. Each drink was so unique but my favorite was the frozen Moscow mule which was incidentally my first ever Moscow mule. It was refreshing and so smooth and would be perfect on a sweltering day like today.

Marketplace 7

New Age Margarita with salt foam which is my new favorite thing in the world 😉

Marketplace 8

Frozen Moscow Mule.. I could really go for one of these right now

We also had the pleasure of enjoying a mixology demonstration by one of the bartenders which was so much fun. They clearly take great pride in their cocktails and that was evident by the amount of effort that went into each drink that she prepared.

Marketplace 10

Working her magic!

 

Marketplace 9

MP Manhattan – looks so tasty!

The atmosphere and decor at Market Place is absolute perfection. I was in love with the wall of wine bottles and the beautiful wood that was used throughout the restaurant.

Marketplace 3

I want this in my house. 

Dan and I both walked out of the event exclaiming that we cannot wait to return. The vibe is new and fresh with food that is unique and delicious.

Note: All food and drinks were provided at no cost. As always, all opinions are my own.

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!

max-burger-1

max-burger-2

max-burger-3

max-gift-card

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.

cookshop-plus-mixer

conard-high-school-jazz-band

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.

bkco

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! 🙂

lux-bond-1

lux-bond-2

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. 

 

 

Memorial Day Weekend 2016

2 Jun

Happy happy Thursday! A three day week for me  (Monday AND Tuesday off) means that this week is flying by! I figured I would do a quick recap of all of the fun that was had this past weekend. It was truly filled with the best food, wine, and even better friends and family!

Friday evening was spent at Cassidy Hill Vineyard and then the Diamond with no pictures taken (oops!). I guess I was just really excited for the long weekend.

Saturday we attended a cookout at our friend Jim’s house where we had some delicious food and I enjoyed a couple cans of Lila Rosé which was really good, and I love that it comes in a can. We also attended a neighborhood pig roast with Dan’s parents and our friend Christian which was cool because we got to meet some of our new neighbors.

Lila Rose

Jim's cookout

Sunday afternoon was spent at Still Hill Brewery with Robbie and Shivani with no pictures taken again. Sunday evening we were at Dan’s parents house for a little cookout and Alex joined us as well. We had a fun ride on their neighbor’s golf cart too!

golf cart ride

I also took very few pictures on Monday as the parade was cancelled due to the weather but we still attended a cookout hosted by the fire department which was fun and we got to spend some time with our flower girl and ring bearer who we definitely don’t see enough!

Fire dept picnic

I took Tuesday (in addition to Friday) off to give myself a mini-vacation. I spent the afternoon with Natasha at Gouveia Vineyards in Wallingford which is absolutely breathtaking and a perfect way to spend a day off. We ended the day with dinner at our house with Brian and Natasha and we enjoyed salmon, grilled chicken, potato salad, and cole slaw. SO yummy!

natasha and i gouveia

gouveia view

gouveia tasting

dinner on patio

It was quite a fun weekend and I was pretty tired by the time bedtime rolled around on Tuesday but it was well worth it. The busyness continues through this week and this weekend as we are heading to NJ for my cousin Maggie’s college graduation party which will be fun!

I have some fun posts in my head which I’m hoping to have the time to sit down and write so stay tuned 🙂