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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?

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When Life Gives You Lemons

When I received the new issue of HGTV Magazine in the mail, the first thing I noticed was the lemon wreath featured on the cover. Great, I thought. Perhaps there’s a tutorial inside about making the wreath. Unfortunately all there was was a price tag of over $100 to buy it on Etsy. 

Love the wreath, but not the price!

 
I decided I could make my own wreath to brighten up our front door and entryway. I searched for a few styles online and decided on a more simplified design. I picked out a grapevine wreath, a small bunch of lemons on sticks and some greenery along with a sheer aqua ribbon at the craft store.
  
Here’s how I put it all together:

1. I played around with the placement of the lemons and greens until I was satisfied then snipped off some length and hot glued each piece onto the wreath.

  
2. I cut the ribbon and made a bow to add in around the lemon and greens cluster.

  
3. I used another small loop of ribbon to tie around the top of the wreath to hang from door. 

  
I think it will look great with our new blue door (pics to come!)
Easy to make and the materials cost less than $20! What have you recently been inspired to create?

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Shop Spotlight: Domestic Dry Goods Co.

Last week I finally stopped in to check out Domestic Dry Goods Co., a home decor and lifestyle shop located in Rye, NY. I’ve been wanting to visit for a while after seeing it featured in Westchester Magazine and it didn’t disappoint.


The shop features everything from home decor items, speciality foods, skin care and kids items. The products are well-priced and everything is made in the USA – many items being unique to the shop.


  

I got to talking with Erin, the owner of the shop and she told me that they’ll ship goods anywhere as well as personalize items and even create gift sets – perfect for end-of-the-year teacher appreciation.

At 3, Lady M has now discovered a love of lip balm so I bought her a set from S.W. Basics, a Brooklyn-based organic line featuring only a few ingredients. Seemingly much safer than the old Lip Smackers!


There were many other things in the shop that I could see myself getting – I may have to go back to get this cute Westchester tote bag! They also come in other designs such as The Hamptons, Martha’s Vineyard and Paris.


If you’re looking for a cool hostess gift, birthday present or a little something for yourself, stop into Domestic Dry Goods Co. and help support local businesses!