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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!

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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. 

 

 

Monday Coffee Date #1

17 Oct

Happy Monday! Since it’s been a while since my last post, I figured I would mix things up a little bit and try something new. Every few weeks I would like to share some random thoughts in the form of a “coffee date” and say what I would say to you guys if we were having coffee in person.

cookshop-coffee

If we were having a coffee date I would tell you… our kitchen is (95%) done! We finished a couple of weeks ago, literally minutes before we had our family housewarming party. It feels so great to have a warm, cozy kitchen to cook in and I have definitely been spending a lot of time in there. I will share a full update soon with lots of pictures (once I have the time to take them!).

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If we were having a coffee date I would tell you… we have been cooking up a storm and I’m loving all of the fall recipes. I made chicken noodle soup last night which was perfect as I am coming down with the beginnings of a cold. Some other meals have included: spaghetti squash and turkey meatballs, tacos, and Caitlin’s Bacon, Eggs and Brussels bowl which is one of our absolute favorites.

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If we were having a coffee date I would tell you… farmers markets, bonfires, and all of the fall things have my heart right now. I’m squeezing the life out of fall right now and trying to fit in as much as I can. We went to a beautiful wedding this past Friday at our friend’s family’s amazing barn (congrats Kevin and Caitlin!) and a charity event there the next night as well. Both evenings concluded with a bonfire which was so much fun! Yesterday we were able to make it out to the Coventry Farmers Market which is my absolute favorite Sunday activity.

bonfire

mercado-3

Mercado, I love you.

If we were having a coffee date I would tell you… we have been so busy and sometimes it has been hard to keep up with life. I’m so thankful for the times that we get to spend with friends and family although sometimes it is easy to get run down and fall behind on things like cleaning and meal prepping. I’m trying to turn that around this week and be as productive as possible so I can relax this weekend when we have our friends housewarming party.

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Thanks for sharing this coffee date with me and fingers crossed, I hope to be back at least once more this week!

Christmas Survey!

23 Dec

I can’t believe Christmas is only two sleeps away! I’m doing as many Christmassy (not a word – I know) things as possible and I’m feeling quite festive this week as well. There is a Christmas survey going around the blog world and once I saw Sarah do it today, I knew I had to participate as well!

Christmas at alex's house

Eggnog or hot chocolate?

I was strictly a hot chocolate girl, until this year when I purchased some vanilla egg nog on a whim and added some homemade kahlua that we received as a Hanukkah gift and I thoroughly enjoyed it. However, hot chocolate is still my jam.

Christmas hot cocoa

Multi-color tree lights or white?

Multi-color! I know my girl Natasha will disagree with me on this one, but I think that multi-colored lights are the prettiest and that is what I’ve always grown up with so I’m sticking to it 🙂

Christmas lights

Do you hang mistletoe?

No. I’ve always meant to, but I don’t remember actually ever seeing while I’m out and about shopping.

When do you decorate for Christmas?

I start immediately on Black Friday and it unfolds from there. We usually don’t get our tree until the following weekend but it seemed like everyone was in a hurry to get the holiday season underway this year so we just went with that and got ours right after Thanksgiving as well.

Christmas Decor 2015

Christmas decor 2015 2

What is your favorite holiday dish?

I would definitely have to say it would be my Grandma’s homemade steak sandwiches that we have for dinner on Christmas Eve. They are amazing! And my Mom’s Bloody Mary’s on Christmas morning. I can’t really choose.

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Last year’s Bloody Mary! Can’t wait to enjoy one this year

Favorite holiday memory?

I don’t know if I can pick a specific holiday memory but I always find it fun to take our annual Christmas card picture at my Grandma’s house. It’s such an attempt at organized chaos, and Dan was able to be in the picture this year (benefits of getting hitched!).

What’s on your Christmas wish list?

Since we just got married and got a ton of wonderful wedding presents, I didn’t have a lot on my list this year. I did develop more of an interest in makeup this year so I’ve asked for some of that as well as gift cards. I also would really love a FitBit but we shall see what Santa brings!

Do you open gifts on Christmas Eve?

I am a purist about this as Dan and I always wait until Christmas morning. We do open a few gifts that are given to us at my Godmother’s house but besides that, it’s always Christmas morning.

How do you decorate your tree?

We have multi-colored lights and an assortment of ornaments that I have picked up over the last few years and some really fun ones that my Mom has gotten us, such as a margarita and a cruise ship.

Christmas tree2

Snow: love it or hate it?

I love love love it! I wish it wasn’t so warm this year (it’s supposed to be almost 70 degrees tomorrow!) and I’m hoping we get a lot of snow in January and February.

Real or fake tree?

Real. This is not a negotiable topic with me, just ask my father. 🙂

Favorite holiday tradition?

It would have to be a tie between our annual Christmas party and going to look at the amazing lights on Felt Road in South Windsor. Our party is always SO much fun and this year was no exception, mainly due to a certain someone’s grab bag gift which had everyone practically rolling on the floor in laughter. The lights on Felt Road are insane and I encourage everyone who is local to check them out!

Christmas party 2015

Felt Road lights

Favorite Christmas carol?

This is an impossible question to say the least. My Spotify Christmas playlist that I made has 70 songs on it so I’m not sure I can choose one. I am a huge fan of “Do You Hear What I Hear?” specifically Carrie Underwood’s rendition.

Favorite Christmas movie?

National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation, I’m totally obsessed.

Christmas morning tradition?

Dan and I usually set an alarm to get an early start on our busy day. We open presents here and then head to my parent’s house to open gifts there and enjoy our bloody mary’s. We then head to my Grandma’s house for lunch and then to Dan’s parents house after that.

Do you write Christmas cards?

YES! This year was fun because we used one of our wedding photos and I also included a picture of Billi and Bella.

I hope you guys have enjoyed reading this as much as I have enjoyed filling it out. It was probably one of my favorite posts to write because I just love Christmas that much. If I don’t get a chance to check in tomorrow, I wish you all a very Merry Christmas!

 

Five Things Friday: Feeling Festive

11 Dec

Happy Friday! Happy two weeks until Christmas! Happy all the things! As you can see, I am in a great mood and super excited about the upcoming holiday. More holiday plans are on the agenda for this weekend, including what should be a fabulous blogger event in West Hartford and celebrating Hanukkah with Dan’s family in Rhode Island on Sunday. I’m feeling quite random today (possibly due to too much coffee) so I will share a few bits and pieces with you guys today.

I attended a wonderful event this past Wednesday evening with Natasha in Wallingford at The Confetti Bar. It was a holiday candle-making event put on by Northeast Nutmeg. It was BYOB and snacks and such a fun time, especially since I was able to make one of my favorite things, a Christmas candle! Thank you so much to Vinny and Erin for hosting such a great event!

the confetti bar

northeast nutmeg candles

natasha and I

candles cooling

candle done

Our meals have been all over the place this week due to many holiday plans and just simply not wanting to cook most nights. We did enjoy some beef stew which I made in our crock pot on Sunday for a few nights. Also, after the event on Wednesday, Natasha and I shared a couple of apps at The Library Wine Bar & Bistro. The restaurant is owned by Gouveia Vineyard and was honestly one of the most beautiful places I have ever dined in and I can’t wait to go back!

beef stew

library wine bar

library apps

I have been listening to Christmas music non-stop, at work, in the car, and at home. I am especially loving anything by Straight No Chaser, particularly their rendition of the ’12 Days of Christmas’.

straight no chaser

Hanukkah in Rhode Island this Sunday should be an absolute blast. I love hanging with Dan’s family, drinking way too much wine, and enjoying yummy homemade food.

hanukkah

There have been so many fun and festive things going on at work this week. We had a catered lunch on Tuesday which was delicious and on Wednesday, all of the managers made cookies and desserts and provided us with hot cocoa as well. Today we have a pot luck to celebrate the end of a contest that has been going on for the past month. I definitely find that the days go by much faster when we have fun things going on!

work hot cocoa

That’s all for today! I hope you all have a wonderful weekend filled with so much laughter and love!

Marvelous Monday: Valentine’s Day Weekend

16 Feb

Happy Monday! Wow, that weekend felt like it went by in quite a blur! It was wonderful and marvelous and ALL of the good things so I’m very excited to share it with you.

Link it up!

Link it up!

Marvelous is… waking up on Friday morning to snuggles from our new kitty Bella. We rescued her from a friend of a friend of a friend (super confusing) and her owner had passed away so Jenna asked if we wanted to take her and of course we couldn’t say no! She is such a sweetheart and is already starting to fit right in.

Marvelous is… a delicious dinner on Friday night at Bonefish Grill. I’ve had a coupon for free Bang Bang Shrimp for quite a while as well as a gift card so I figured we would take advantage of that and have a fancy but frugal Friday night dinner. We both had their Valentine’s weekend fixed price meal and enjoyed salads, filet mignon & lobster tail as well as a chocolate crème brulee for dessert. It was all SO yummy and we have honestly never had a bad meal there.

There is literally nothing like this in the world. I swear.

There is literally nothing like this in the world. I swear.

A dirty martini with blue cheese stuffed olives AND a cherry pepper!

A dirty martini with blue cheese stuffed olives AND a cherry pepper!

I was craving steak like no other so this was an obvious choice. Oh and there was truffle butter on the side so... insane.

I was craving steak like no other so this was an obvious choice. Oh and there was truffle butter on the side so… insane.

My first crème brulee and certainly not my last.

My first crème brulee and certainly not my last.

Marvelous is… a Valentine’s Day filled with wine, cheese, and more wine. In discussing what we wanted to do for our Valentine’s day, Dan really had no preference and left it up to me so I decided that we would head out to the Litchfield area to our favorite vineyards and spend the day there not worrying about anything. We went to Haight Brown, Sunset Meadows, and Connecticut Valley Winery. It was so relaxing and absolutely perfect to spend an uninterrupted day together.

Can every Saturday involve my favorite Honey Nut Apple wine?

Can every Saturday involve my favorite Honey Nut Apple wine?

I am not ashamed to admit that I ate probably 75% of this. No shame whatsoever.

I am not ashamed to admit that I ate probably 75% of this. No shame whatsoever.

There is no prettier place in the snow than a vineyard.

There is no prettier place in the snow than a vineyard.

They gave me a pretty flower at Sunset Meadows. I love them :)

They gave me a pretty flower at Sunset Meadows. I love them 🙂

A little bit of Sangria with a side of snow. Perfect combo.

A little bit of Sangria with a side of snow. Perfect combo.

I really love this guy.

I really love this guy.

This is what we came home with. What can I say, I like souvenirs ;)

This is what we came home with. What can I say, I like souvenirs 😉

Marvelous is… basically beating the worst of the snow on our way home. We headed home just as the snow was really picking up so the drive wasn’t too bad at all. We picked up Five Guys burgers and fries on the way home (my dinner of choice) and spent the evening in front of the TV catching up on our shows. It was the perfect end to my dream Saturday 🙂

This burger hit the spot after ALL the wine.

This burger hit the spot after ALL the wine.

This made me laugh so hard!

This made me laugh so hard!

I hope you all had an equally amazing Valentine’s day weekend! Here is to hoping this week goes by fast so another wonderful weekend can happen 🙂