It’s October, Let’s Feast on Something Festive…


I’m pretty much an open book when it comes to my love of fall so yesterday was kind of like a mini holiday for me – cue the seasonal sugared rimmed beers, corn mazes, and unhealthy amounts of cider products we’ll all consume.  But, what you may not know is that I am obsessed with breakfast. There is something about waking up to something deliciously satisfying and then washing it down with a glorious cup of coffee that is good for the soul (amiright?).  Anyway, let’s talk about this season’s most delectable mascot: pumpkin. The amount of pumpkin/pumpkin products that I could/have/will ingest in the coming weeks is kind of embarrassing, but I’m really okay with it – and in fact, I’m adding to it. 

I’ve literally been craving pancakes for like, 3 weeks.  That’s pretty impressive for a person who maybe has 4 pancakes a year.  I just want pancakes, I want them to be healthy, and now I want them to be festive, and by festive I mean pumpkin.  This seems like a tall order for most, but Jen over at Yummy Healthy Easy didn’t think so!  I honestly haven’t been this excited to make something since I found out cake on a stick was a thing. Check out her recipe and drool-worthy pictures (from different angles) below. Um, YUM.  

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If anyone needs me this weekend, I’ll be making these. Both days. Nonstop.


XO

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My Vacation with the President…


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Okay, okay… so that was a small huge exaggeration. But, we were on Martha’s Vineyard together, soo… it’s basically the same thing, right?  This past weekend my family and I took a mini vaycay to a lovely little island off the coast of Massachusetts.  If you’ve been following any of my posts over the last year, it should be pretty apparent that I’m a sucker for anything preppy, quaint, oceanside, and/or cobblestoned.  So you can imagine my excitement when I arrived to find that MV has beautifully married all of these wonderful qualities.  

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The first night, we went to dinner at this amazing hidden gem located in Edgartown called The Terrace at the Charlotte Inn.  Living up to their tagline: “behind the times on purpose,” this place is truly one of a kind in decor, elegance, and service.  I don’t think I’ve ever compared a restaurant to a “work of art,” but, I’m making an exception here.  Every room and outdoor space that we were fortunate enough to explore were immaculate.  Each item appeared like it was hand picked with the space in mind and nestled with precision among the other fabulous treasures original to the home.  One room, in particular, was the perfect backdrop for an after-dinner drink.  Mahogany walls, a fireplace flanked by leather chairs, equestrian trinkets, antique paintings, and silver serving sets filled the room – think, the dream study you never had (and if you do have such a study, I’m coming over…).  

I think with all my fascination with the decor, I’ve forgotten about the food.  Two words: so. good.  We began with decanted red wine, fresh-baked rolls, and french onion soup.  Everything was hot, healthy, and flavorful.  For my meal, I chose a roasted chicken dish served with potatoes and veggies.  The real star here was the dessert.  If you aren’t drooling yet, prepare yourself – homemade. sea salt caramel. gelato. with chocolate ganache.  Just sayin’, it was the closest to Heaven that my taste buds are ever going to get.  Bonus:  Apparently this is a celebrity hotspot.  I just can’t vouch for which ones.  The waitress we had was very hush hush about it, as those celebs that do frequent The Terrace do so with a confidentiality agreement in hand…Fancy! 

Sadly, I don’t have many pictures from this lovely little nook, but check out what I did capture below!

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Fast forward to the morning and next on our food agenda (is there really any other kind of agenda?) was breakfast.  After grabbing a quick coffee at a great little shop (forgot the name.. whoops!) , we went to Among the Flowers Cafe.  Not much to say here except: great food, adorable atmosphere, and outside seating…among flowers. 

Another notable aspect of our trip was our biking adventure.  What better way to explore the island than to do so on our own two wheels.  Although, having not been on a bike that isn’t stationary in almost 4 years, my husband would say four wheels would be more appropriate for me. Let’s just say I struggled a bit at first, but it eventually came back… I mean, aren’t our bodies destined to never forget how to do this? Anyway, this was probably my favorite part of the whole weekend.  We trekked down to South Beach (not Miami…I’m not that athletic), to a lighthouse, and through some residential parts of Edgartown which literally left us speechless.  Those homes are like…perfect. I want to be in them.  

Here are some pics from our journey below!

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One last thing, coffee.  I’m obsessed with it and I will honestly go out of my way for a good cup.  I think I may have found a place for serious java lovers (25+ types of coffee-serious): Espresso Love of Edgartown. (Disclaimer: I have never used the word “java” before…do I sound as ridiculous as I think I do!?) This place was completely hidden and also completely packed so I wasn’t able to really take it all in at a leisurely pace.  But, I was able to order an Iced Skinny Vanilla Latte.  I’ve had a lot of lattes in my day, but this, this was majestic.  So good and worth the trip if you’re in the MV area (or in Boston – who knew!?).  Another bonus: this is also a celebrity hotspot – President Obama and Meg Ryan as of late. 

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And as always, no Cape trip is complete without…:

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Vineyard fashions will be coming up in a later post, so stay tuned!

Where is your favorite summertime destination?  I want to know – comment below! 

XO

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Pass the melon balls…


So, with all this talk about Fall, I think it’s officially safe to say this lady has moved on from warm-weather styles, but that doesn’t mean I’m not willing to spend a few more weeks enjoying the delicious tastes of summer.

I’m pretty sure every good summer ends with a party.  Now, I’m not talking about the crazy “college” party where the main course is a keg with a side of Cheetos… (although, a good glass of wine is never off the table…).  I’m talking about a more civilized gathering with a bit more emphasis on the food.

Now being in my mid-twenties, I have more of an appreciation for easy to prepare, relatively inexpensive, aesthetically pleasing, and quite honestly, practical food. If you’re planning on playing host(ess) to some of your friends and family in the remaining summertime weekends, here are a few tapas (little plate) recipes and serving options that definitely fit the bill – literally  and figuratively.

MELON BALL BLISS

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Perfection in 4 Easy Steps: 1. Buy a watermelon. 2. Buy a melon baller. 3. Ball the melon. 4. Put melon balls back into the shell and serve.  Literally could not be more simple, affordable, or adorable!

For a cheap melon baller, look no further than Target, hellooo $9.25.

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GRAPE CATERPILLARS

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I know that after the melon balls you were thinking this pretend party platter couldn’t possibly get any cuter. Sorry, but I just had to hit you with grape caterpillars – fruit with faces? Call me 6 years-old, but this is a must have.

Perfection in 4 Easy Steps: 1. Buy grapes, wooden skewers, mini chocolate chips, and a small tub of frosting. 2. Thread (washed) grapes onto each skewer until only about 1-2 inches of wood is showing. 3. Dip the mini chocolate chips in a tiny bit of white frosting and place on the last grape of one side. 4. Serve!

KIWI POPS

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Hot day? Looking for a lower calorie option to satisfy your sweet tooth? I give you the kiwi pop. While you can likely do this with any fruit, I think the small round shape that mirrors a traditional ice cream pop deceives the mind into thinking this sweet treat is a guilty one and who doesn’t like to feel like they’re getting away with something, so dig in!

Perfection in 4 Easy Steps: 1. Buy kiwis, melting chocolate (75% Cacao if you’re looking for the heart healthy benefits of antioxidants), and popsicle sticks. 2. Wash, peel, and slice kiwis into desired thickness – (just be sure to not make them too heavy or they won’t stay on the stick!). 3. Place (cold) kiwis on the popsicle sticks and melt the chocolate.  4. Dip kiwi sticks into the melted chocolate until fully coated. Allow time for chocolate to harden (Tip: Like cake pops, melting chocolate hardens best when in a cooler environment.  Also, when making pops of any kind, it is always a good idea to use a styrofoam block to stick them in so the chocolate dries evenly and without touching any foreign object!) Serve!

(END OF) SUMMER SALAD

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Harvesting season may have peaked, but there are still plenty of hearty veggies left for the taking.  Deliciousness and health benefits aside, summer salads just look great.  They are full of color and whether you’re a master chef or not, a plate with that much interest and dimension is sure to leave your guests feeling full impressed.

Perfection in 4 Easy Steps: 1. Pick out your favorite veggies and wash thoroughly. 2. Buy some sort of a crumbly cheese – think feta or goat. (The consistency and tangy flavor goes great with crisp greens!) 3. Add something unexpected.  Think corn or dried cranberries. 4. Drizzle a light vinaigrette (balsamic, lime, or raspberry are so refreshing!)

DRESS UP YOUR SPACE

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Okay, so this may be a bit elaborate for a summer party, but seriously, I’m in love with this room’s white, whimsical fantasy nature.  While the white may be best served in a bridal/baby shower setting (or a fancy soiree, if you will…), I still think this room has got it going on and I’m willing to give it a try if you are.

Perfection in 4 Easy Steps: 1. Buy balloons (white & clear – or whichever color you choose), small marbles matching the color of the balloons, and a helium tank (Balloon Time – $35 from Walmart). 2. Fill each balloon with helium and before tying, drop a marble into its body. (The weight of the marble inverts the balloon so it is suspended in teardrop shape) 3. Tie balloon and let it float to the ceiling. 4. Feel accomplished and dance around your balloon palace!

Have you ever implemented these fun ideas into your parties?  If you have, or are planning to, I want to be invited hear all about it!

XO

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