Food

A Surprise 60th!

My family is incredible. Honestly, like beyond amazing. Anytime I get to spend with them is so special. They’re funny, warm, inviting, and the most generous, loving people you’d ever meet. Each one of them!

Everyone at Thanksgiving last year :)
Everyone at Thanksgiving last year πŸ™‚

We get together more than most, and love to celebrate everything. Recently, my Aunt Noel turned 60, and all of my Aunts & Mom threw her a surprise luncheon with all of the ladies in her life! It was such a perfect afternoon & she was so, so happy to see all of the friends and family that came out just for her.

We all met at Harbor Lights in Norwalk. It was a really cute restaurant, right on the water.

Source.
Source.

The sun was shining – even two beautiful swans showed up for the occasion!

They floated right outside our window all afternoon :)
They floated right outside our window all afternoon πŸ™‚

My Aunts put a lot of effort into making everything just right, I snapped some of the table details:

Custom M&M's with her face on them! I had never seen them with images before.
Custom M&M’s with her face on them! I had never seen them with images before.
My Mom made the centerpieces! She was calling/face-timing/texting/e-mailing me all week with her ideas & finds. I think they came out perfect!
My Mom made the centerpieces! She was calling/face-timing/texting/e-mailing me all week with her ideas & finds. I think they came out perfect!

We were all mingling & catching up when we got word that she had arrived! We grabbed our cameras and stood there as she walked in with her family. She was SO surprised, it was the cutest thing ever. Obviously, tears were involved πŸ™‚

Ahhh! So sweet :)
Ahhh! So sweet πŸ™‚

So surprised! Hugs for everyone πŸ™‚

Stole these pictures from my cousin, Kelley :)
Stole these pictures from my cousin, Kelley πŸ™‚

After some teary hellos, we all settled in and enjoyed some tasty apps!

Crab cakes
Crab cakes. I don’t really care for seafood in general, but these were really delicious!
Fancy oysters
Fancy Oyster Rockefeller. I ate everything but the actual oyster lol!

It was so sunny, I had to snap a pic of my celebrity Mama, wearing her Tom Ford’s at the table.

I think she's the cutest
I think she’s the cutest

Forgot to snap a pic of actual lunch! Whoops!

Toasts for the birthday girl!
Toasts for the birthday girl! (The people tuning in in the back were actually celebrating a surprise birthday as well!)
Miss KBell hosting a little trivia game that we may or may not have totally botched.
Miss KBell hosting a little trivia game that we may or may not have totally botched.
Best chocolate mousse dessert EVER!
Best chocolate mousse dessert EVER!

Always have to squeeze in time for group photos…

All of the sisters :)
All of the sisters πŸ™‚
All the girls with my Aunt
All the girls with my Aunt
Aunts & girls :)
Aunts & girls πŸ™‚
KBell & Mom
KBell & Mom
Can always count on Kath to ham it up!
Can always count on Kath to ham it up!

It was such a special afternoon & I’m so glad I was able to make it! In the words of Teresa Giudice, I love, love, love this family πŸ™‚

Happy 60th Aunt Noel! XOXO

Cape May 2013

So, for gosh, like 15 years, my family has been vacationing in Cape May, NJ for a week each Summer. It is one of my all time favorite places to visit, it is so charming & relaxing, I truly look forward to the trip each year. I wanted to chronicle our vaca this year, so here are some photos that I snapped while away last week!

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First up - my vaca mani! Gelish "Carnival Hangover" with the yellow accent "Don't Be Such a Sourpuss"
First up – my vaca mani! Gelish “Carnival Hangover” with the yellow accent “Don’t Be Such a Sourpuss”
Up not-so-bright and early & on our way :)
Up not-so-bright and early & on our way πŸ™‚
I spy exit 0!
I spy exit 0!
First stop: breakfast at Uncle Bills :)
First stop: breakfast at Uncle Bills πŸ™‚
This little rag tag band of elderly people plays in the gazebo on the weekend - they're so cute!
This little rag tag band of elderly people plays in the gazebo on the weekend – they’re so cute!
Here marks the beginning of a week of delicious, but crummy eating.
Here marks the beginning of a week of delicious, but crummy eating.
First beach day :)
First beach day with the PG’s πŸ™‚
Annual funnel cake :)
Annual funnel cake πŸ™‚
Out to dinner for my Uncles 60th! Mom & my Aunts :)
Out to dinner for my Uncles 60th! Mom & my Aunts πŸ™‚
As if we don't take enough photos - it was National Sister Day!
As if we don’t take enough photos – it was National Sister Day!
A mac & cheese, carbonara-ish dinner!
A mac & cheese, carbonara-ish for dinner!
Kath and Peyton being weird at dinner. lol
Kath and Peyton being weird at dinner. lol
Walking to the beach, eating cold pizza for breakfast. Don't hate it.
Walking to the beach, eating cold pizza for breakfast. Don’t hate it.
AJ (Aunt Julie) parasailing!
AJ (Aunt Julie) parasailing!
If you didn't know, I was the Bravoholic last week ;)
If you didn’t know, I was the Bravoholic last week – stay tuned for another post to come about that experience! πŸ˜‰
And I spent a few nights drinking & tweeting, a la Brandi Glanville.
And I spent a few nights drinking & tweeting, a la Brandi Glanville.
We had a little RHOC finale twitter party !
We had a little RHOC finale twitter party !
A not-so-nice beach day :(
A not-so-nice beach day πŸ™
We were freezing..
We were freezing..
Like, really cold.
Like, really cold.
Lunch at Stewarts. Chicken/bacon cheesesteaks? Ok.
Lunch at Stewarts. Chicken/bacon cheesesteaks + cheese fries? Ok.
Mini-golf!
Mini-golf!
The boys..
The boys..
The girls :)
The girls πŸ™‚
...and Katherine caught with her pants down.
…and Katherine caught with her pants down.
...twice.
…twice.
Salted caramel, chocolate covered pretzel cone. Dead.
Salted caramel, chocolate covered pretzel cone. Amazing.
This shirt kills me every time I wear it lol
This shirt kills me every time I wear it lol
Dinner at the Ugly Mug. Idk how these mugs don't ever fall on people!!
Dinner at the Ugly Mug. Idk how these mugs never fall on people!!
Ladies tea for AJ's birthday!
Ladies tea for AJ’s birthday!
My pot! I ordered a mango green tea. Really yummy!
My pot! I ordered a mango green tea. Really yummy!
Faaancy.
Faaancy.
Boas all around lol.
Peyton & I with our boas!
Girlies <3
Girlies <3
...and their Mama's
…and our Mama’s
Tea treats!
Tea treats!
Arm candy :)
Arm candy πŸ™‚
Making dessert for everyone...
Making dessert for everyone…
...the finished product! A frozen ice cream sandwich, cool whip, chocolate & caramel sauce cake.
…the finished product! A frozen ice cream sandwich, cool whip, chocolate & caramel sauce cake.
Katherine likes to snap pictures at every and any opportunity.
Katherine likes to snap pictures at every and any opportunity.
...all...the....time...
…all…the….time…
How cute is my little fishy? <3
How cute is my little fishy? <3
Hitting up Hot Dog Tommys!
Hitting up Hot Dog Tommys!
Chili cheese leaner wiener for the sis lol
Chili cheese leaner wiener for the sis lol
Scooby dog leaner wiener for me :)
Scooby dog leaner wiener for me πŸ™‚
...& a loaded mashed potato bowl to share.
…& a loaded mashed potato bowl to share.
Movie on the beach!
Movie on the beach!
Out to dinner & these clowns popped up in the window & scared the beejeezies out of us!
Out to dinner & these clowns popped up in the window & scared the beejeezies out of us!

There was a cover band at dinner who was a ton of fun! I got a clip of the girls being silly …

Tour of the Haunted Southern Mansion! Tour of the Haunted Southern Mansion![/caption]
Spy any ghosts?
Spy any ghosts?
...anyone?
…anyone?
...anyone?
…anyone??? …..Do you recognize this guy from Ghost Hunters?! I didn’t either, but he’s on the show!
We sat in a bark basement and tried to get in touch with the spirits. No such luck that night.
We sat in a dark basement and tried to get in touch with “Ester” and all the other spirits. No such luck that night.
I get a DQ brownie earthquake once a year!
However, we did luck out and made it to DQ to get our once a year brownie earthquake before they closed.
Yummy breakfast before we left!
Yummy breakfast before we left!
Mmm - snacking in the car :)
Mmm – snacking in the car πŸ™‚
We had to pick up our little Lily when we got home -  she's so excited when we pick her up after vaca :)
We had to pick up our little Lily when we got home – she’s so excited when we pick her up after vaca πŸ™‚

Just some random snapshots from my cell! Overall, a great week away with my family. I wish it hadn’t gone by so quickly πŸ™

Do you vacation at the same place each summer? Let me know where!

2012 Fall Favorites

Fall is one of my favorite times of year…the colors, smells, food, and fashion- to die! Not so lucky for us on the East Coast, this Fall has been aggressively interrupted by Hurricane Sandy, and most recently this friendly little Nor’easter named Athena. While my state, and town are currently buried in fresh white snow, I wanted to bring it back and remember that regardless of what we may feel…winter is not here yet!

To help get back in the mind set, I picked out some of my absolute favorite things about Fall 2012 thus far- enjoy!

Fall nailpolish! This has been a favorite of mine this season: Essie Bordeaux
This manicure is two coats of Gelish “Sweet Chocolate” with two coats of Essie “Bordeaux” on top. I’m in love with the pairing!
Transitional season jackets! I love this black leather one that I picked up at Marshalls a couple of years ago!
Candles! I burn candles year round, but the Fall scents are my favorites. My go-to’s are Vanilla, Pecan Pie, Fresh Baked Cookies, and Pumpkin Spice πŸ™‚
My midnight snack: Ben & Jerry’s Greek Frozen Yogurt. I am obsessed with their Blueberry Vanilla Graham flavor!
Halloween! This is one of my favorite days of the year! I usually like to get super creative, but kept it simple this year. Here’s the funny thing about our costumes: my boyfriend has to grow his hair out, one night we were playing around with it and he looked JUST like Danny Zuko! So we thought it’d be fun to dress up as Sandy & Danny for Halloween. Before you know it, we were about to get hit with Hurricane Sandy & everyone decided to dress the same in honor of the storm! I didn’t even really care for the costume, we did it all for his hair- which he barely ended up styling LOL. So you’ve heard it here: I did not dress up in honor of Hurricane Sandy, I dressed up to compliment my boyfriends locks!
Belts! I love adding a belt to a plain pair of slacks or around a simple sweater!
My Louis Vuitton πŸ™‚ I got this bag last year & it is so special for many reasons! I carried it right up until the beginning of Spring last year, and then packed it up until Fall- in my opinion it’s far too seasonal to carry throughout the summer! Ever since, I have been itching to take it out again. I think that sometime this week I’ll transfer everything & start carrying it again!
Bath & Body Works Paris Amour hand lotion, Gelish NOURISH cuticle oil, Bare Minerals Pretty Amazing “Fearless” Gloss, and a Revlon nail file. These three items are crucial, the lotion & oil I use at least a dozen times per day- my hands and nails get very dry once the weather starts to get chilly. I must have them on me (in my purse) at all times. πŸ˜‰
Seasonal phone wallpaper. It seems silly, but I always change my phone background with the seasons, holidays, etc. I had a colorful Fall scene for a while, but I just changed it to this gorgeous photo once the snow started coming down today! I know it’s borderline Winter, but I found it on Google a while ago & have been dying to use it. (I believe it was shot by Madeline Bea Photography– she has gorgeous work!)
Big, cozy sweaters! I bought this wrap from H & M in 2007 and still adore it πŸ™‚
Family dinners: Fall is all about cooking! I spent last weekend cooking a mini Pre-Thanksgiving dinner with my Mama. Nothing I love more than spending time with my family πŸ™‚
Everything APPLE! My Apple Crisp pie is hands down my favorite Fall recipe (and always a crowd pleaser!) I’ve already baked two this season & plan on making at least a couple more. Let me know if I should post the recipe!
Half/Oval/Mini-Stiletto Nails: I decided to try a completely new nail shape. I attempted this look almost a year ago & hated it! I decided to give it another shot except this time around I used a different filing technique & am currently in love with these nails! As they slowly grow longer, the pointier I’m able to shape them πŸ™‚ (Polish = Gelish “Black Cherry Berry”)

Those are just a few of my favorite things this season! What are you loving about Fall this year? Let me know πŸ™‚

Tasty Apple Recipe!

A few nights ago I tweeted a picture of one of my favorite treats! I first made these in my 3rd grade classroom & they quickly became a go-t0 snack for me. What I most love about them (aside from the fact that they are delicious), is that they take literally 5 minutes to make and I usually always have the ingredients on hand. Who doesn’t love a recipe like that?!

What you’ll need:

1 Apple

Cinnamon

Sugar

Cheddar Cheese

Butter

Slice your apple and arrange on a piece of foil
Sprinkle apples with cinnamon and sugar
Add cheddar cheese and a small pad of butter to each apple
Pop into the oven & broil for 2-5 minutes, or until all of the cheese is melted

And that is it!

It seems like an unusual combo, and obviously not the healthiest of foods… but hey, there is an apple in there, and I promise these are absolutely delicious!

Give them a try and let me know what you think!

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