lunch

The Land Of My People!

Both sides of my family are Italian; my Mother’s family is from Ischia — a small Island off the coast of Naples, and my Father’s family is from Calabria, the Southern most point of the country + just a hop skip and a jump away from Sicily. We’ve been to Ischia before [it’s stunning] + actually took a quick day trip so my Dad could see this time around, but we were really excited to spend a little time in Calabria + explore our roots!

Calabria header

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NYC/NYFW Day Trip With Desire + Attire

I love meeting up with other bloggers. There is nothing more incredible than connecting with positive, hard-working, like-minded women who are hustling towards their goals just as much as you are!  After being introduced to the beautiful Desiree [of Desire + Attire] via one of my college roomies [Miss Jessica!] + learning that we lived so close to one another, we decided to connect!

We talked blogging, ideas, collaborations, and wanting to make all kinds of other plans…  including being in NYC for NYFW.

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Time For Some Healthy Eats!

I am coming off of a month (or so)-long food bender. I don’t know how or why, but I’ve been a total savage. I haven’t made an actual grocery store run in weeks and I’ve spent far too much time going through drive-thru’s and ordering take out. I had a little “get yourself together” moment over the weekend and have spent the last couple of days working to get myself back into a good, healthy zone!

Get back to the healthy carts!
Time to start eating the rainbow (and Yasso bars 😉 ) again.

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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 🙂

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 🙂

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 🙂

Ahhh! So sweet :)
Ahhh! So sweet 🙂

So surprised! Hugs for everyone 🙂

Stole these pictures from my cousin, Kelley :)
Stole these pictures from my cousin, Kelley 🙂

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 🙂
All the girls with my Aunt
All the girls with my Aunt
Aunts & girls :)
Aunts & girls 🙂
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 🙂

Happy 60th Aunt Noel! XOXO

Ladies Weekend!

This past weekend I spent some quality time with so many of the special ladies in my life. Friday night I went out with some girlfriends to celebrate a 24th birthday. We did a little bit of bar hopping & a lot of catching up!

I don’t get to see these pretty faces as often as I’d like, so nights that we have one another’s undivided attention mean the world to me! 🙂

Kelly (the birthday girl!), Erin & myself
Kelly (the birthday girl!), Erin & myself Friday night

Random throwback:

Erin sent this to me the other day, and it makes me want to cry! It's she & I on our first day of Kindergarten :)
Erin sent this to me last week, and it makes me want to cry! It’s she & I on our first day of Kindergarten 🙂

I spent the night at my parents house because on Saturday morning we were waking up extra early for a family shopping trip with all of my Aunts, and my lady cousins.

Early morning photo-boothing :)
Early morning photo-boothing 🙂 (Missing a few pretty faces in this pic)

We had a great day together! We did some Christmas shopping, and enjoyed a lovely lunch . Every time we went into a store with baby clothes ALL of us couldn’t help but pick out the cutest baby outfits! We have serious baby fever – someone in the family needs to have a baby stat…maybe get married first lol!

The past few years I’ve become more adamant about spending time with my family. I would rather spend my day in their company than anything. I’m blessed to not only know, but be related to such beautiful people – all of my Aunts, Uncles, Cousins, etc. are kind, warm hearted, supportive, absolutely hysterical, and simply beautiful inside and out.  I wouldn’t trade them for the world!

Family photo from Thanksgiving :)
Family photo from Thanksgiving 🙂

Later that night I celebrated my sorority’s 10 year anniversary! I loved being a member of the Iota Delta chapter of Phi Sigma Sigma when I was in college. My greatest friends and memories from those four years are due to my sisters. People love to knock greek life, but unless you’ve experienced the sisterhood and the bond that stems from being part of a Pan-hel organization, it’s nearly impossible to explain.

It was awesome to all be in the same room & reminisce.

This obviously calls for some throwbacks:

At my initiation in 2007 with the rest of the lovely Kappas :)
At my initiation in 2007 with the rest of the lovely Kappas 🙂
Formal 2007!
Formal 2007!
Save the Ta-Ta's 2007
Save the Ta-Ta’s 2007
At our 5 year anniversary in 2007!
Some of the ‘Kiotas’ our 5 year anniversary in December 2007!
Toga!
Toga! 2008
Breast Cancer Walk 2008
Breast Cancer Walk 2008
Spring Break in Italy with some of my Greeks <3
Spring Break in Italy with some Greeks in 2009 <3
A mother's pinning in 2009
A mother’s pinning in 2009
Military Mixer 2009 :)
Military Mixer 2009 🙂
Fun night in 2009
Fun night in 2009
Rumble in the Jungle 2009
Rumble in the Jungle 2009
Rock-A-Thon
Rock-A-Thon 2010
MS Walk 2010
MS Walk 2010
Formal 2010
Formal 2010
Graduation in 2010
Graduation pic with two of my sisters in 2010 🙂 (Please excuse our extreme Jaundice lol)
At an alumni brunch in 2011
At a post-grad alumni brunch in 2011

Well that was depressing – and I barely put a dent in it. So many fun times. 🙂

Here are some pictures from Saturday’s 10 year reunion:

Me with 2 of my favorite Stephs!
Me with 2 of my favorite Stephs!

I wore a pleated cream skirt with a black Forever 21 button down shirt, black tights, double buckled black suede pumps, and a gold plated collar necklace.

My roomie & I :)
My roomie & I 🙂
Lauren, Alexis & I
Lauren, Alexis & I
The alumni in attendance - unfortunately, a lot of ladies couldn't make it :(
The alumni in attendance – unfortunately, a lot of ladies couldn’t make it 🙁
10y8
Group shot!

It was a great weekend. I love playing catch-up with people I haven’t seen in a while!

What were you up to this past weekend? Anything exciting? 🙂

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