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Chic Winter Style

We are officially in the thick of a cold, cold winter. But that doesn’t mean we can’t be fashionable while we’re trying to keep warm, right? Here are some of my picks for staying cozy without giving up style.

J. Crew Chateau Parka




OK, so it seems everyone and their mother has this coat, but there’s a good reason – it’s a great coat! Not only is it cute, but it also keeps you warm without the bulk. And I for one am so sick of those black puffy coats anyway! It comes in a ton of color options too. One word of advice – go one size down from your usual size as it’s quite roomy.

Infinity Scarf


  
Another ubiquitous trend but a necessity. A colorful scarf can make a neutral coat pop! I pair my gray coat with a blue/orange knitted scarf and receive so many compliments – another boost to the system during the cold winter months!

Boots



Finally, we all need a stylish and warm pair of boots. And while I am guilty of wearing that pair, there are so many other good choices out there.
How do you keep your sense of style in the cold?

Images via Pinterest

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Looking Ahead

  
2016 was a very good year – it was the year we had a son, became a family of four and actually survived to tell the tale! We even took a week-long vacation which was great. I had some fears about handling two kids but so far they’ve all been pretty unfounded!
I’m really looking forward to the new year – watching my kids learn new things each day is so exciting. But of course, I’m also looking forward to making strides for myself too. This year I would like to focus more on wellness through eating right, exercising, clearing my mind daily and also coming up with a better skincare routine.

I know it’s easier to say these things than to actually do them but I am really going to make a conscious effort this year because if not now, when? Here’s to a happy and healthy 2017. Hoping the new year brings you joy and peace. Just remember while you’re doing so much for others, to take a little time to do something special for yourself too.

 

Images via Pinterest

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Game Changer: Sunday Sauce

Growing up in an Italian household, a pot of meatballs and sauce simmering on the stovetop was an almost weekly occurrence. Meatballs cooked directly in the tomato sauce are insanely delicious and super tender, but having to babysit and constantly stir the pot for 4 hours can be quite time consuming.

So when I saw this Skinny Taste recipe for meatballs and sauce made in the crockpot, I knew I had to try it. My own version has a few slight modifications to fit our tastes, and I have to say I was pleasantly surprised on how it all turned out. Even my parents loved it and that’s saying a lot! I’ll definitely continue making the old-school stovetop version, but this crockpot one is great for when you just want to “set it and forget it” (with a few quick stirs along the way). Serve over your favorite pasta with a salad and some crusty bread. Enjoy!


Crockpot Sunday Sauce

For the sauce:
2 cans crushed tomatoes

1 tbsp olive oil

2 cloves crushed garlic

1 small onion finely chopped

Crushed red pepper and Italian seasoning to taste

Pinch of sugar (to offset acidity of tomatoes)

For the meatballs:
1.5-2 lbs ground turkey or beef

1/2 cup plain Panko breadcrumbs

1-2 cloves crushed garlic

1 egg

Italian seasoning to taste

Sauté onion and garlic in oil until browned – about 5 minutes


Add onion mixture and tomatoes into pot


Add seasonings and stir well

Mix together meat, breadcrumbs, garlic, egg and seasonings


Form golf ball-sized meatballs and gently place in sauce


Cover and cook on high for one hour
Turn down to low and cook 4-5 hours stirring occasionally


Serve with your favorite pasta
Makes 4-6 servings

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Back to School

If you’re anything like me, back-to-school time makes you a bit giddy. It’s not because the kids are going back to school (well, maybe a little) but it’s the feeling that you can have a fresh start, an organizational overhaul and get back into a routine.

Don’t get me wrong, I’ve LOVED having the husband home all summer – it’s been a ton of fun. But I’m also looking forward to getting back into the swing of preschool, dance class, play dates and the like. And on a personal level, I’m looking forward to doing more writing work and organizing myself better.

Here are some of my must-have items for creating a personal office space that’s both functional and a little bit fancy. Sound familiar? 😉

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Pineapple pencil holder, Moleskine notebooks, File folders, Wall calendar, Coffee mug, Desk lamp, Storage boxes, Sticky notes

What are some of your back-to-school must-haves?

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From Yellow to Violet

Well here we are in the middle of July. How did that happen??? One good thing about summer break is that we’re finally starting to tackle more of the home projects on our seemingly ever-growing list.

One project that’s been a long time coming is re-painting our multi-level hallway. The previous owners were big fans of yellow while I am not. Over a year ago, we settled on Violet Pearl from Benjamin Moore as the new color. But then life happened and oh, I had a baby! And painting was put on the back burner. 

Violet Pearl

  

Inspiration from a hallway done in the hue


 

But now we’re in the midst of getting it done and it’s looking great so far! I can’t wait to do a bit of decor updates and really make the space feel cohesive and complete. For now, here’s a sneak-peek of the color plus some inspiration.
 

Mid-project, you can still glimpse the old yellow

  

New lighting, bench and art

  

A calm and relaxing vignette

  

Loving the vertical display of photos


 What’s your next big home project?

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Well here we are in the middle of July. How did that happen??? One good thing about summerbreak is that we’re finally starting to tackle more of the home projects on our seemingly ever-growing list.

One project that’s been a long time coming is re-painting our multi-level hallway. The previous owners were big fans of yellow while I am not. Over a year ago, we settled on Violet Pearl from Benjamin Moore as the new color. But then life happened and oh, I had a baby! And painting was put on the back burner. 

Violet Pearl

  

Inspiration from a hallway done in the hue


 

But now we’re in the midst of getting it done and it’s looking great so far! I can’t wait to do a bit of decor updates and really make the space feel cohesive and complete. For now, here’s a sneak-peek of the color plus some inspiration.
 

Mid-project, you can still glimpse the old yellow

  

New lighting, bench and art

  

A calm and relaxing vignette

  

Loving the vertical display of photos


 What’s your next big home project?

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Summer, Summer Summertime

I can feel it in the air – summer’s coming! Now, I don’t like to do an entire overhaul of my home each season, but I do like to add some small pieces here and there to reflect the change and bring the seasons inside. Here are some easy and inexpensive ways to bring summer into your own home!

Candles

Such an easy change to make! During the summer, I love fresh and light scents. I have some lanterns to place them in and they add another dimension to my decor.

   
   

Flowers

For me, fresh flowers are a must in the warmer months. I love the color and life they bring inside. Just a few simple blooms are all it takes to give a space a breath of fresh air. Side note – I can always find cheap and cheerful flowers at Trader Joe’s and they really last!

  
   
 

Pillows

Again, a quick change-up of pillows can update a room and take it from winter to summer. I just scored this one on clearance at Target!

  
What are some easy ways you transform your home each season?