My Seven Handbag Essentials

Today I’m sharing a few of the little staples I keep tucked away in my day to day handbag. While a girl can’t be caught without a hair tie, bobby pins or ear buds, these select few items are also in my bag at (almost) all times.

  1. Two different shades of lipstick. I always travel with at least one coral-ish color that could work with either pink or red as well as one darker, more fall-like color. Currently, these are my favorites: coral & nude.
  2. Neutogena makeup remover wipes.  If you carry lipstick in your bag, especially one that’s a bright color or stain, you should definitely carry these…. just in case.
  3. RXBAR. Whether I’m catching a quick train to a client meeting or need a little snack to get me over my afternoon haze, I love having my Blueberry RXBAR at hand. The consistency is thicker too, so I never worry about having it get broken up in my bag.
  4. Oil blotting sheets. You never know when you’ll need to get rid of a little shine. These are a few of my favorites. This one, this one & this one.
  5. PartySmart Pill. Some say these don’t work at all but I have used them for the past year & my morning-after nausea is always lessened when I take this little guy. All herbal so if nothing else, a vitamin.
  6. Emergen- C. You never know when you’ll start to feel sick & I swear by these when I’m flying.
  7. L’Occitane Hand Lotion. Nine times out of ten, I leave my apartment without lotioning my legs. I love keeping this near for dry hands or legs. I love it because it won’t leave you greasy & isn’t over scented.

What are you guys up to for the weekend? In two weeks, I have a three week span of weddings so I have some preparation for that. Bridesmaids dress alterations, gift shopping, etc.

Cheers

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Summer Chickpea Salad

 

This is one of my very favorite recipes, especially in the summer when almost all the ingredients can be picked up at my local farmer’s market. Full disclosure, this is not my own recipe, but reblogged from one of my very fav food blogs, How Sweet Eats. Jessica recommends the salad be enjoyed on bread but I love it so much, I eat it as a lunch salad by itself. It also maintains extremely well in the fridge as I usually make it on Sunday & enjoy throughout the week.

Summer Chickpea Salad with Honey Garlic Lime Vinaigrette

yields: serves about 4                          total time: 30 minutes

What You’ll Need: 

3 cups chickpeas (or 2 (15-ounce) cans, drained and rinsed)
4 green onions, thinly sliced
2-3 ears grilled corn, cut from the cob
1 pint cherry tomatoes, quartered
3 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
2 tablespoons fresh chives
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
3 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1 1/2 tablespoons honey
3 garlic cloves, minced or pressed
1 lime, juiced and zested

The How To:

In a large bowl, combine the chickpeas, onions, corn, tomatoes, basil and chives. Toss well with the salt and pepper. Separately, in a small saucepan, add the oil, vinegar, honey, garlic, lime juice and zest. Heat over low heat and whisk until the mixture is warm and garlic cloves are sizzling a bit.Pour the liquid over the chickpeas and and toss well to coat. Cover with a piece of plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes before serving.

Check out How Sweet Eats for this recipe & many fantastic others!

Cheers!

What I’m Wearing: Instagram Roundup

Good morning & happy Friday, everyone! I’ve been getting a lot of messages regarding the recent style posts I’ve been posting on Instagram. Would you guys be interested in seeing more style posts? I’ve always shied away from consistent style posts because I truly am a little camera shy but love sharing, especially when it comes to clothes & accessories.

button up // pants (on sale!) // backpack // lip color is Candy K (pencil only)

palm babydoll top** // jeans

**more palm print perfection here

This is by far the most requested outfit. I wore this ensemble to Dave’s brother’s wedding a few weekends ago. A chic alternative to a dress & so comfortable to dance the night away. I love this outfit so much that you may see it reappear in some of our engagement photos.

top // skirt // heels (on sale) // vintage clutch (similar here) // lip color is Candy K (pencil only)

button up // jeans // heels // bag // sunnies // lipstick is Mac Red

I don’t know about you guys, but I’m ready for the weekend, which, thankfully, for me began last evening! This morning I flew to Chicago to celebrate one of my very best friend’s bachelorette. We have a fun filled weekend planned which I’ll be sharing upon my return. As always, feel free to follow along via the gram!

Cheers,

Viñales Itinerary

My excursion to Viñales was one for the books. Viñales was declared a UNESCO World Heritage site and is almost completely undisturbed beyond the city limits. Knowing there were so many activities we wanted to accomplish, we booked a private tour with Discover Viñales Tour Company. We were picked up by our driver early in the morning in Havana and departed for our two hour drive. Once in Viñales, we picked up our guide, Yaniel and headed toward the Indian Caves. We walked through the caves to the boat that guided us through the remaining cave. 

After the caves, we headed toward a tobacco field, sorting house and paid a visit to Rene, an expert tobacco farmers who’s been rolling organic cigars for over 50 years!

After the tobacco field tour, we had lunch at an organic farm overlooking the most picturesque valley. The meal was the freshest meal I’ve ever had, as we walked up the to the restaurant, we saw farmers pulling fresh vegetables from the ground. Talk about farm to table.

the view wasn’t too bad either

After lunch we visited the prehistoric mural and rode horses through the Silent Valley. 

I can’t recommend visiting Viñales enough and booking a tour with Yaniel through Discover Vinales. This city is the most undisturbed, beautiful area I’ve ever seen.

Cheers,

Currently Cooking…

Day to day, I’m constantly connected to technology. Whether for work, the blog or just scrolling through Instagram to pass time, I’m never far from my phone, iPad or laptop. After a long day at work, I race home to open a regular cookbook, flip the pages and land on a new recipe to try. If you’re an avid reader, you understand me when I say there’s nothing better than opening the page of book. Sundays have started to become my “me time” to delve into a cookbook, find a new recipe and get to cooking! Listed below are some of my favorite cookbooks.

1. Seriously Delish – if you follow the blog or my instagram, you already know I have a seriously love for Jessica Merchant and her food.  I’ve followed her blog since grad school and every time I make one of her recipes, they just get better & better. Read her book cover to cover? Follow her blog (& insta), How Sweet It Is for daily inspiration.

2. Cravings – I asked for Chrissy Teigen’s cookbook for Christmas mainly because I love her and think we’d be BFF- having no idea I’d actually love her recipes. No surprise, I do! Stay tuned for later this week when I share her incredible risotto.

3. Shake – ok, technically not a cookbook but mixology can be as fun (and complex) as cooking. Authors, Eric Prum & Josh Williams craft some amazing cocktails and put some exciting spins on the classics (I LOVE the Montauk Mule pictured above) all while giving a step-by-step process on how to make every cocktail perfectly- no intimidation factor here. Another major plus to this book is that it’s divided into sections based on season, so you won’t get stuck in a rut even in the dead of winter.

4. Cooking for Jeffrey – Ok, as if Ina needs any kind of introduction. Her cooking is beyond perfect and let’s face it, so is Jeffrey. This year, one of my resolutions is to work on preparing meat dishes. I certainly don’t hate preparing it, but I always doubt my ability so.. you know what they say, practice makes perfect. All of her cookbooks are divine but this one particularly has some great meat courses that I’ll be practicing over the next few months. Also obsessed with Foolproof, too!

Not pictured:

5. Mastering the Art of French Cooking– Julia Child’s bible & gourmet classic, one day I will master this book, for now, I will tread lightly as each practice soufflé bakes.

6. Molly on the Range– full of midwestern classics- be still my heart! I could never top epicurious’s review: “cooking from this book is as salty and cozy and a BFF sleepover”

7. Martha Stewart’s Cooking School – perfect to master the basics. Want to make a killer pot roast? Martha’s your girl.

8. Meat – back to my desire to learn to better prepare meat, this cookbook lays out all the basics, even down to terminology & cuts. I have a feeling I’ll be referencing this book a lot over the next few months.

9. Soup of the Day– for a short stint in grad school, I worked in a William Sonoma store (hello discount!) On slow days, I’d peruse the cookbooks dreaming of what I’d cook once I finally finished my thesis. I’ve always loved soups, especially served up with a little bit of crusty bread from the local bakery. This book provides plenty of options with 365 recipes to try.

10. The slow cooker Cookbook – if you haven’t learned to love the crockpot, you should. I don’t use mine nearly as much as I should but when I do, I’m so happy I did. It’s beyond easy to get in a rut when using a crockpot but with this cookbook you’ll have a myriad of options that don’t all feel so heavy.

What are some of your favorite cookbooks? Do you still buy cookbooks or do you prefer to find recipes from Pinterest or your favorite food bloggers online?

Cheers!

 

Catching Up

Does anyone else feel like the summer is flying by? I feel as if I need to invite summer over for cocktails & a cheese board and kindly mention that she’s moving way too fast. I can’t believe it’s already June! I’ve started logging a few pool hours, celebrated my birthday and even managed to surprise one of my best friends to celebrate hers. Here is a quick snippit of what’s been going on in my world.

morning light peeking through my windows

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frequenting my favorite morning asylum, Lorca

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Dinner at Mermaid Inn

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kicking off MDW the best way at bartaco in Port Chester

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perfect poolside view

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newest favorite spot at Indian Harbor Yacht Club

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turning 27 in this super easy dress from Lulus

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birthday treats

IMG_1598my heart is beyond full with my favorite ladies

who doesn’t love a little drake on a cake?

Cheers!

Whipped Goat Cheese with Warm Vanilla Berries on Toast

As promised, I’m back to bestow one of my new favorite recipes onto you. Whipped goat cheese with warm vanilla berries on toast. I’ve posted a few recipes from Seriously Delish but this one is fantastic. I love recipes that look and taste like you’ve been slaving away in the kitchen but in reality, are quite simple. This is a perfect breakfast treat, especially when hosting.

What you’ll need:

6 oz goat cheese, at room temperature
2 tablespoons half-and-half
1 1/2 cups fresh strawberries, hulled & quartered
1 cup fresh blueberries
2 tablespoons waters
1 tablespoon honey
1 vanilla bean, split, with seeds scraped out
pinch of salt
4 thick slices whole-grain bread
fresh mint for garnish

The How To:

1. Add goat cheese to the bowl of a food processor and pulse until crumbly. Continue to blend for 1 minute. With the stream on, add the half-and-half and blend for another 1-2 minutes. Puree until creamy and no large crumbles remain, about 2-3 minutes.

2. Add strawberries, blueberries, water, honey, the seeds scraped from the vanilla bean, the actual vanilla bean, and salt into a small saucepan. Heat over low heat until simmering, stirring occasionally. Continue to cook over low heat until the berries soften and become a bit syrupy, 2-3 minutes. Turn off heat & discard the scraped vanilla bean.

3. Spread 2-3 tablespoons of the whipped goat cheese onto each slice of toasted bread. Spoon the warm berries over the top and garnish with fresh mint leaves.

For more fantastic recipes, jump over to How Sweet It Is. Even if you aren’t kitchen savvy, you’ll be drooling over her fantastic food photography.

Cheers!