food

A Perfect Christmas [2014]

The holidays have come & gone…and far too quickly at that! Though I’m ready to jump head first into the New Year, I have to go back and recap all of the wonderful things I was able to do, and the wonderful people I was able to see over the past couple of weeks that I’ve had off from work. I have far too much to share in one post…but I think that four will cut it! Here is #1 :).

In this particular post, I wanted to recap Christmas!

After a crazy Christmas Eve (travel) Day, we got all dressed up for our annual holiday visiting. I felt very Kris Jenner with my collar necklace :)
After a crazy Christmas Eve (travel) Day, we got all dressed up for our annual holiday visiting. I felt very Kris Jenner with my collar necklace 🙂

(more…)

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 🙂
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 🙂 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. 😉
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 🙂
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 🙂
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 🙂 (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 🙂

Fun in the Bahamas! Pt. 1

I spent the past week in one of the most beautiful places I’ve ever been- Freeport, Bahamas. When my Mom invited me on the trip a few months ago, I couldn’t pass it up! I went with my Mom, Dad and little sister, Katherine (we missed my brother who is away at college).

Day 1:

We left our house at the crack of dawn last Saturday and headed to Newark airport. Now let it be know that I do not enjoy flying. I am super anxious and do not understand how all of those people, and all of those suitcases stay in the air. I just don’t.

After a not-so-scary flight, we landed in Ft. Lauderdale, I looked out the window and set sights on this beautiful little puddle jumper of a plane… then I saw my suitcase.

I knew we were going to have to take it to the island. Luckily, I’ve flown on a baby plane a couple of times in the past so I wasn’t completely freaking out- but my nerves still kicked in. Something about my wingspan being smaller than the planes width, and my ability to touch the pilot from my seat doesn’t sit well with me.

However, my 16 year old sister is a champ, and volunteered to hold my hand. 🙂

The flight was no longer than 40 minutes, and before you knew it we were in the beautiful Bahamas! It was dark by this time, but we hopped in our rental car and headed to our hotel. Fun fact…in the Bahamas they drive on the left side of the road.

JUST incase you might forget..

We got to our hotel and settled in. My sister and I shared a gorgeous room with a balcony over looking the ocean.

I promise the ocean is back there 🙂

We hadn’t eaten all day so we went to this little greek spot across the street for a quick dinner, my appetite is basically non-existent when I fly, so I just had some Tzatziki sauce with warm pita chips- so good!

We went back to our rooms and completely crashed. We were exhausted- plus we wanted to be up bright and early to lay out!

Day 2:

We spent the first day pool side. This guy played his steel drums all day, it couldn’t have been any more tropical of a setting.

I spent the day completely engulfed in The Huger Games and my pina colada (I’m not sure which of the two is more amazing!)

We shared some wonton nachos poolside…

Wonton chips, grilled chicken, tomatoes, cheese sauce, BBQ sauce, sour cream and jalapenos (healthy eating was clearly on hold).

That night we went to Agave for dinner. Obviously drinks were in order!

I could go for a margarita right now..

I ordered grilled pineapple & lime glazed chicken breast with black beans, rice and golden plantains. A little spicy but still yummy 🙂

Day 3:

Breakfast, beach, books, and booze!

Veggie omelette, wheat toast, a slice of french toast and bacon- my body was not used to eating so much!

…oh and burns for Katherine who struggled to find shade LOL

Dinner was at Giovanni’s…

Spaghetti carbonara

Dessert: mini peanut butter ice cream cone! I swear this thing was only an inch and a half tall..

We stopped to take some pictures on the way home…

KBell & I. She's 7 years younger, and officially taller than me 🙁
Mom & Dad

I have so many more pictures to share, but I think I’m going to have to break this trip into two or three posts!

Ohh…how I miss the Bahamas already…

Munchies, Manis, and Manning

While I’m not the biggest Football fan I do enjoy watching the Superbowl. Seeing as my entire family is made of Giants fans, this one was extra special. I spent Superbowl XLVI at my parents house relaxing, eating and enjoying some time with everyone. (I was not going to take any chances watching this game with my die-hard Giants fan of a boyfriend, he was halfway across the state doing whatever it is he does lol).

My Mom, and sister were so cute in their Giants gear! I love that my Mom wore her heeled clogs, I would have done the same 🙂

The girls spent the day  cooking and baking some yummy treats for the family. We had so much food, I had to take some pictures of my favorites!

My Mom made mac and cheese (my absolute favorite), the most tender pulled pork and she totally outdid herself with a serious nacho platter. My sister and I made a dirt pudding (vanilla pudding mixed with cream cheese, butter, cool whip, and Oreos).

We made another special dessert in honor of Eli- seeing as Ange (Mom) is obsessed with him! Every time he’s on screen she says “I LOVE Eli…he’s such a nice boy!” So of course we had to make his favorite cookies! Eli’s Mom makes him “Lace” cookies whenever he visits home, and I can see why- they were SO good!

They are very thin, crispy, oatmeal, brittle-like cookies. We made 6 dozen, and they were such a hit. I honestly cannot wait to make them again!

Whenever I’m home I’m always playing manicurist. I gave my Mom and sister gel manicures- Katherine got the sweetest Valentines Day inspired mani!

We had a really nice time, I love being with my family. Plus the GIANTS won! 🙂

What did you do/eat on Superbowl Sunday?

A No-Diet Weekend!

So I’ve been doing a great job (in my opinion) of eating healthy and increasing my exercise the past few weeks. However, one cannot live on fruits, veggies and low carbs alone. I decided that this weekend I would indulge a bit and satisfy some of the major cravings I’d been having.

Friday night I usually come home from work, throw on some sweats, order a stuffed crust pepperoni pizza from Pizza Hut (my weakness), watch a movie and paint my nails. It is honestly the highlight of my week- it’s my time to vegg, relax and unwind. My boyfriend is usually at the studio (he sings in an incredible group- check them out), and my roommate is far more ambitious at maintaining her social life than I am (LOL) so it’s nice me-time 🙂

In my conscious effort to spend less money and eat healthier I decided against ordering a pizza (because I knew I would eventually eat the whole thing) so I made a small personal pizza I had in the back of the freezer- which hit the spot. I helped myself to some other junk foods that I still had in the house, but all in moderation! I was proud of myself for not eating TOO much garbage.

I had been craving nacho cheese for the longest time!

Even though I didn’t completely pig out I still felt SO guilty, so first thing Saturday morning I spent some time exercising (think lots of crunches, squats, and jumping jacks) it was enough to get me feeling good again and ready to continue my weekend of indulging…

My boyfriend and I had to take a trip to the Manchester mall on Saturday afternoon; whenever we’re in that area we can’t help but stop at Texas Roadhouse. We went for lunch and got a baby blossom to share, he ordered potato skins as a meal (I tried to stop him lol) and I got a country fried chicken steak (? I never know what the heck it’s called…but it’s chicken) I got a side salad and a sweet potato as my sides.

The fact that eating all of this food is generally normal for me, was a wake up call. After eating so well, I couldn’t bring myself to completely fill up on garbage. I ended up eating some of the onion, my side salad and sweet potato. I barely touched my chicken- so I packed it up to bring home.

Baby Blossom's are amazing...

That trip was enough to kill my fried food cravings for a while. The late lunch served as an early dinner, so I spend the rest of the evening detoxing with tons of water. Later that night the sweet tooth kicked in, a half a snickers bar and a small cup of ice cream was the perfect treat.

Sunday I spent the day at my parents house, my sister and I made a buffalo chicken dip (we tried to substitute all of the creams and cheeses for low-fat, low-sodium options) of course we didn’t end up following the recipe properly…but it turned out yummy!

And of course my Mom made an amazing dinner…I’m so glad I was able to end the weekend on a healthy note 🙂

Mashed sweet potatoes, gorgonzola salad, roasted chicken with veggies (and the most amazing caramelized onions I’ve ever had!) She had a couple other sides that I wasn’t able to get pictures of, but it was all so delicious and started to get me back on track.

I won’t be eating as much junk this coming weekend, because I do feel like it threw me off track a bit. But I will treat myself here and there. For now, it’s back to a week of healthy eating!

1 2 3

Copyright ©Amanda Bella 2017 * All Rights Reserved

Theme by BluChic | Customized by Designs by Virtual Bren
Unauthorized Use and/or Duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site's owner is strictly prohibited.