Thursday, October 30, 2014

Fresh & Fancy [A Farm to Table Dinner]

Guys, I got into the blogger game as a way to let my creative side grow and flow, but really as a way to find myself attending gorgeous events and being sent Chanel bags c/o. Sadly, my Chanel must be held up at the post office.

The good news is that I was graciously invited to attend a gorgeous farm to table dinner by one of my oldest (and most dahling) friends, Katie, manager of the Garden State Plaza Lululemon store. Her awesome team planned and hosted a locally sourced dinner at Fresh and Fancy Farms in New Milford. Stepping onto the property, I immediately felt that I was attending one of those events that you see on a some blog on the internet (we're about to get meta over here), and this dinner was just that and so much more.

Upon arrival, guests were greeted with a warm apple cider bar, where champagne coupes were waiting with cranberries inside. In addition to the cider, a cheese and cracker table was offered as well. As soon as everyone had arrived and began mingling, passed hors devours were brought out; I personally enjoyed goat cheese with caramelized onions on crostini as well as pumpkin stuffed mushrooms (several other options were available as well but my memory is failing me).  Just before sitting down to dinner, an infused water bar was set out with frozen fruit and fresh herbs. As of right now, I've signed up to receive the recipes for everything we had, but I haven't gotten them yet. As soon as I do, you can expect a follow up post!

Fresh and Fancy Farms is a makeover of what has previously been Klinger's Farm for 97 years. This family owned farm is "dedicated to educating the surrounding community about local growing, planting, and maintaining a beautiful property while providing a convenient and fun on farm experience. Customers can expect to experience a creative and fun atmosphere along with professional expertise on local gardening and farming."(source) Fresh and Fancy also offers cooking classes and farm dinners. Farm dinners consist of 35 or so guests (strangers) coming together to enjoy all the farm has to offer, with dinner served under the stars. I'll definitely be heading back there in the spring/summer to get another taste of what they have to offer. Also offered is the option to host a private dinner on site as we did here. I'm trying to decide if my 26th birthday party should be here (cue husband rolling his eyes).

Thank you so much to Katie, her team, and Fresh and Fancy Farms for having me, I had a great time! xx

Looking for a refreshing drink? Add fresh dill and frozen strawberries to your water!

Our napkins were tied with twine that had acorns glued to the end. Swoon. I imagine that I'll be recreating these for future Thanksgiving meals!

Perfectly crusty, house made bread was hiding inside that flower pot. Maple butter was served in vintage creamers to compliment. 

Pumpkin soup with what I assume is truffle oil, so damn good! 

Fresh and Fancy was kind enough to whip up a vegetarian option for me and 3 others in attendance. We enjoyed a hearty pasta primavera with grilled vegetables and shredded cheese while our omnivore friends enjoyed pork tenderloin.

Dessert was fresh made apple cider donuts with homemade whipped cream and vanilla ice cream. These were so delicious that we asked for extra and received a bowl of these bad boys (just visible to the right in this picture). I had to tuck a few pieces into my purse to share with the husband.

Every guest went home with a pumpkin, some guests went home with 3 (guilty). 

I was lucky enough to sit between these two gorgeous men, Chris is on the left and Michael is to the right. xx
Please note my "farm chic" blouse (here)

(l-r) Katie. me, Jess, and Chris 

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

TLC Tuesdays [Prolonging the Life of Fresh Flowers]

I don't know about you guys, but I LOVE having fresh cut flowers in my house. I find fresh flowers to be the ultimate little luxury-they dress up any room and give it a sophisticated feel. I tend to have quite expensive taste when it comes to choosing flowers, I've been known to buy myself $12 roses for no reason (but that's what life is about). I don't feel the slightest bit guilty about splurging on beautiful flowers, but I do get a bit salty when they die within 2 days. 

What's a girl to do? Well, I went to one of my oldest friends, Alan, former Whole Foods flower connoisseur and current nursing student/perfect wavy hair haver, to gather his tips and tricks for prolonging the life of your foliage friends. 

First of all, you should know that Alan finds orchids to be "low maintenance", which really proves to you how adept he is at caring for plants. I personally killed an orchid in a record 72 hours. 

  • An Alka Seltzer tablet or piece of grilling charcoal dropped into the water will keep it clearer, longer. (Also, changing said water every day goes a long way)
  • Dropping a couple pennies in with a vase of tulips will keep them standing taller and straighter (but not for longer than usual)
  • Ice cubes dropped in tulips will keep them closed for longer, but ice cubes dropped in roses will help them open and flourish
  • Hammering or peeling the stems of hydrangeas (my favorite) will help them absorb more water, thus prolonging their lives 
  • Also, if you are hell bent on raising some orchids, Alan's suggestion is to water them once a week and keep them in your bathroom where they will thrive in high humidity and indirect sunlight
  • I've heard that pouring a bit of vodka in your flower water will prolong their lives as well, but it may be a better idea to drink a bit of it yourself-then your flowers will look perfect #VodkaGoggles
The gorgeous Ecuadorean roses that I picked up from Fairway on my day off. Swoon. 

Here's a delightful and blurry picture of Alan and me at his high school prom! xx Thanks for helping a sistah out!

Monday, October 27, 2014


So you may have noticed that I've been a bit MIA lately. Most of this can be attributed to craziness at work (we're down a team member and my boss is on me "like white on rice"). Some of this can be attributed to good old fashion laziness, and the rest of it comes from enjoying awesome weekends. 90% of my blog prep happens on Saturday and Sunday and I haven't had much time to do that with all the awesome Autumnal activities I've been engaging in with family and friends.

A few posts ago I detailed my ideal day which consisted of a spa trip, dinner in the city, and french pastries. That day, I decided that I'd do my best to make it a reality-I've been working hard and supporting my husband as he is well into his first semester of grad school, and I just felt like I needed a bit of "me" time (don't I sound like a stressed mother of 3). So, I did what any stressed mother of 3 (imaginary) children would do, I submitted a time off request and booked myself 2.5 hrs at the spa.

The cozy, cocoon-like waiting room at At Ease Day Spa

I visited At Ease Spa, which is a beautiful, intimate little haven in Hillsdale, NJ. Of course, I arrived 10 minutes late which left me stressed instead of completely calm. Also, I simultaneously developed and conquered a fear. Luckily for me, this spa was running a $149 special for a 25 min Apple Cider scrub, a 55 min massage, and a 55 min pumpkin peel facial. I was all about it. I was dying for the facial and massage and the scrub was just icing on the cake. That is until I thought about how I would be scrubbed-which I thought about far too late to back out of the treatment. I was presented with a shower cap, paper g-string, and a hand towel. That was all that separated my pale, dry body from my body scrubber and subsequent masseuse, Jiy. She scrubbed and polished my skin, which was perfectly lovely, but then she had to hose me down like a Camry at the Jiffy Lube (really, I'd like to think I'm a bit nicer than a Camry-perhaps an Audi A5 #DreamCar).

Let's just put it this way, that paper g-string did nothing to hide my "secret garden" (fear met and conquered), but hey, I survived! Regardless, I had a really relaxing few hours where I completely forgot about everything save for breathing and enjoying the moment. After my facial, where my new BFF, Svitlana, extolled the virtues of scrubbing ones skin (and judging me for not doing so at least 3 times a week), I took myself to Lord and Taylor to find a "farm chic" blouse (more on that later this week). Then I came home to bake an apple pie for my husband who then took me to AMano, our favorite restaurant in Ridgewood for authentic Napoli-style pizza (seriously, you must go).

The loafers, clutch, and Cabernet that accompanied my husband and I to Amano

The husband's arugula and sausage pizza (I had the vegetarian, which was to die for!)

All-in-all, life has been pretty great, but I could really use a few more hours in the day. And don't give me that, "you have as many hours as Beyonce" bullshit, because that girl does not do her own laundry, or dust her house.

I spent Sunday with some of my favorite things, a french pastry, a cappuccino, my girl crush-Rosamund Pike, and my best friend!

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Grown Up Friendship Bracelets

Recently, I've become obsessed with and inspired by Katherine Power, co-founder of WhoWhatWear, Domaine Home, and Byrdie Beauty. From what I can tell from stalking her instagram she frequently wears Monica Vinader's Baja chain bracelet (starting at $315) in the grey agate. While I feel more drawn to the Lapis in gold, there's no denying how gorgeous and wearable this piece is! Honestly, my hardest choice here is deciding which color I need. 

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

TLC Tuesdays [Office Supply Organization]

Before we get started, I have to apologize for the crappy quality of the below photos. I didn't realize how bad they were until I had run out of light. As previously stated, the show must go on . . .

Now, it's not at all a new idea that office supplies can be used to organize more than paper clips and pencils, but how many of us have actually put those Pinterest finds into action? I went to Staples last week and grabbed this paperclip holder, this wire filing rack, and this receipt holder and used them to get my bedroom in order. For me, the biggest deal was the filing rack, you can see from my before picture that I had a handful of clutches thrown together on a shelf in my closet-not easy to use in the least. My next challenge is to ditch the TD Bank Tote bag in favor of a more grown-up (anything but this) option for storing misc. pieces.

Previously, my bobby pins were in a clear mini bin beneath my hair ties, which means I never felt like pulling them out to use them.

My clutches were stacked messily on top of one another and I could never see what I actually had up there. Being 5 ft 2 doesn't help the situation either.

Before, my rings were thrown in clear bin which kept me from seeing them and I never wanted to dig for the ones I was hoping to wear. Now, they are clearly displayed on this receipt rack where I can be reminded of all the fabulous baubles that I have! 

Monday, October 20, 2014


Yesterday, I finally checked an item off my 101 in 1001 days to do list (inspired by Mackenzie's here). I made it into the city to S'mac for dinner with my husband! He may disagree but I think it was totally worth the 50 minute drive to wind up 25 miles away with delicious mac and cheese in front of me! S'mac specializes in fresh made mac and cheese dishes; you can either choose from their set menu (think Cajun, Buffalo Chicken, and "Lite" options) or you can make your own with any of the components found in their menu items.

Each meal is served in a skillet in three sizes ranging from "personal" (Nosh) to "I'm going to pay for this later" (Mondo) and is also available in a take home option or in a party size (you'll pay for it though). Also, they offer gluten free, lactose light, and vegan options as well! Honestly, you'd be hard pressed to find a person that wouldn't enjoy S'mac (unless they are grumpy about driving 25 miles for mac and cheese. ahem).

Obviously, you can't enjoy this post without knowing what I wore. 

My latest obsessions, this DVF mini cross body (on sale here) and vintage sunglasses that my best friend found in her basement (similar here). I like to think that these were the perfect mac and cheese eating accessories. 

My husband was all too thrilled to pose for a picture.

I had the Mediterranean Mac and Cheese and he had the Cajun style-both were delicious! (We both had the Nosh size, which was the perfect amount)

We had to break $20 for the parking attendant so we popped into Insomnia Cookies for take home treats (I went with a classic chocolate chunk and a deluxe S'mores cookie). I fully intend to eat a few bites everyday to really prolong the deliciousness that is these cookies. 

Friday, October 17, 2014

Cannot. Stop. Listening.

Today I bought a CD (digitally of course) for the first time in several years (sorry, Jon). After seeing Gone Girl for the second time last night, I found myself even more obsessed with Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross's brilliant soundtrack (and Rosamund Pike's haircut). I tried to find the files for free after seeing the movie for the first time to no avail. After last night, I knew I had to just bite the bullet and cough up the $11.99 (it is pay day).

Let me tell you this, its about 86 minutes long and I've been listening to it on a loop while working and it's the best ambient/background music since I started using Noisli. I could see myself listening to this for a long time, it allows your brain to flow freely and doesn't bore you. I thought to myself that if I ever became certified as a yoga teacher that part of this soundtrack would no doubt make its way onto my playlist (perhaps for savasana?).

YOU MUST BUY THIS SOUNDTRACK or download it if  you are savvier than I. 

Shop Bazaar Lusts

Every once in a while, I pretend that I have an unlimited budget and add all forms of designer nonsense to my shopping cart. Here is what I'm dying for from Shop Bazaar! Hint Hint; one of the above pictured items may actually find its way into my life! 

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

TLC Tuesdays [The List]

I'm sad to say that this past weekend was CRAZY and I wasn't able to sit down and prep for this blog week. Normally, I cram everything into Sunday afternoon, but that didn't happen due to family pumpkin picking (pictures to come later this week). Soooo, I don't have an original TLC Tuesday post for you guys. But I did pull a few links together that I like to keep filed away.

  • The Grown Up's Guide to Modern Manners (R29)
  • Ingredient Substitutions (BHG)
  • Pairing Wine with Girl Scout Cookies! (here)
  • How to Roll Your Sleeves [The J Crew Way] (TCP)
  • 20 Power Resume Words (here)

Monday, October 13, 2014

My Ideal Day

I'd pair this outfit with these loafers for my perfect day!

Today is proving to be much more Monday-ish than in recent weeks. It seems like all of my coworker and me are on the struggle bus-I have deemed myself the head mistress of the struggle bus driver academy-but I digress. I've taken to following The New Potato, which is a foodie lifestyle blog (think restaurant recommendations from Molly Sims and Jesse Tyler Ferguson). Every time they interview a guest, they ask them what their ideal food day would look like. I want to take that one step further to discuss what my ideal day would look like. While I really enjoy my job, the company I work for, and my coworkers (this has reached unhealthy levels of adoration), sitting through today would not be ideal for me.

So here goes:

  • Wake up at 6:30am-I am not a morning person, but I always feel great when I get up early and feel like I have the whole day ahead of me
  • The husband (who noted that I don't often use his name here) and I would take our babes for a leisurely walk around the block in perfect 68 degree weather
  • I would then head to The Fountain for a massage, facial, and pedicure, then I would have brunch at Sook Pastry
  • After that, I would head into the city to lose a couple hours inside the Museum of Natural History
  • I would then make my way over to S'mac for dinner and stop quickly at Magnolia Bakery for a cupcake and banana pudding (clearly I'm not counting calories on this ideal day)
  • Finally, I'd head home to spend some time on the couch with a glass of chardonnay, my pups, nameless husband, and cooking shows
After making up this lovely day, I really want to actually execute this. Perhaps for my birthday or I'll take a day off on a random Tuesday (which I loathe far more than Mondays). 


Forever 21 Coat Selections

I'm not really sure when this happened, but Forever 21 completely upped their outerwear game. I used to shop at F21 when it first came to the Garden State Plaza mall and then I stepped away for a bit to focus my attention on grownup, quality dressing. Well the joke's on me because they are now one of my favorite places to shop and I can't stop thinking about all that lost time. Below are 4 coats that I'm dying to own-POLL FOR THE GROUP-how ridiculous is it for me to buy 4 coats?? I mean, total they'd be around $200!

Another check in the Pro column for F21-all of their skincare and makeup is cruelty free and crazy affordable!

Friday, October 10, 2014

7 Reasons why Kylie Jenner and I are the Same Person*

*according to Instagram

1. We live the Pug Lyfe

2. We drive Range Rovers

3. We drink smoothies

4. We look great in lavender nail polish

5. We sit like dis

6. We like to photograph food

7. We love mugs

I mean, all the evidence is right there for you. Clearly, Kylie and I are cut from the same cloth. Follow Kylie here and follow yours truly here!