I have a little Fall-inspired cocktail to share today as we gear up for the weekend: Apple Cider Sangria. I made this last weekend and it delicious — I love creating a pitcher of pre-made drinks when having friends over, it’s nice to have something already prepared so you can dive right into the party! To make the sangria, I chopped up two small apples, a half an orange, a few slices of lemon, and some cinnamon sticks and poured a bottle of red wine over the top. I let the red wine soak in the fruit overnight, and right before it’s ready to be served, I poured in a can and a half of hard apple cider (I used Down East cider — one of my favorites and totally delicious on its own — which is why I finished the other half of the second while making dinner!).  Be sure to scoop out some of the fruit into your glass when you serve it — cheers!

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Guys, is there anything better than a cheese plate? I’m loving the slate board we got as a wedding gift from my cousin, using chalk to mark the different plate components I think makes it so user-friendly, no more “hmm, I wonder what this cheese is?” guesses for our guests. I also got thrifty and used a leftover cardboard berry basket from the farmers market to hold some carb-y treats — eco-friendly and darn cute, don’t you think?

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I finally got around to doing a little bit of styling of my new Society Social bar cart, it’s a work in progress, but I felt like it was time to share a few snaps of what I’m working with!  I propped up a vintage painting that my parents gave us as a wedding gift, and culled together a bunch of pieces I already had scattered around our apartment, like a green lacquer tray from Target, my Kate Spade coasters (that coincidentally were a gift from Roxy of Society Social!), my Mrs Lilien Cocktail Book, and lots of little drink accessories, like striped straws and flamingo cocktail stirrers (what, you don’t have those lying around your house?).  I also added my new ‘shake, rattle, and roll’ cocktail shaker which I get a total kick out of! I need to hang a few more pieces on the wall above it, and I’m hunting on Etsy for some more vintage barware, but it’s getting there! I get so excited every time I turn the corner now and see it as I walk into the apartment — it makes me so happy!DSC_0003DSC_0001 DSC_0004DSC_0002

I tried my hand and some homemade pasta this weekend, and finally got a chance to use the pasta machine we got for our wedding — the process of making pasta seems so daunting at first, but it’s actually amazingly simple, and so worth the effort! I tried two different methods, the first was a classic all-purpose flour and eggs combination, and the second used an egg flour and water.  I also tried two different fillings with the dough variations, one was a ricotta, parmesan, and Italian sausage stuffing that I served with a red sauce, and the other was a butternut squash with maple brown sugar that my in-laws brought home to me from Vermont — I served those  with brown butter and toasted pine nuts.  I preferred the egg flour for a stuffed pasta like this, and think the all-purpose flour works better for a cut pasta like fettucini, but overall: YUM. Luckily I made about a gazillion of each, so I will be enjoying leftovers all week!

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This weekend we had big Saturday plans to go to Ikea and buy a new couch, but right before we left we checked the inventory online and saw that it was out of stock — bummer! So I was faced with a rare treat: a weekend day with zero plans. I decided to take advantage of our surprise day of freedom and threw a little impromptu dinner for friends. Since it was super last minute, I worked with what I had and re-purposed our table topper from our wedding, and some bright pink napkins from our rehearsal dinner, and then I finally broke out a few of our wedding shower presents, like my sea urchin salt and pepper shakers (I love them!), some Kate Spade candles, and a bunch of farmer’s market blooms — I was so happy with how it came out! ADSC_0033 ADSC_0037 ADSC_0040ADSC_0039

Over the weekend I tried out a new blow dry bar in Boston — BeStyled. I had a recent conversation with a friend where she predicted that getting a blow out before a party or event is some day going to be as prevalent as going to get your nails done — and I don’t entirely disagree, there’s almost nothing that makes me feel as confident and pretty as bouncy blown out hair from a salon.  This time was no exception, I loved the salon’s little details, like color-coordinated candy jars and chick-flicks on the TV (I watched Something Borrowed — love that movie!). It was the perfect little luxurious treat to kick off a long weekend!

Processed with VSCOcam Processed with VSCOcam Processed with VSCOcam cNote: BeStyled gifted me a free blow out to come in and try the salon, all opinions are my own. 

This weekend was a whirlwind of bridesmaid duties and wedding festivities as we celebrated the marriage of two of our dearest friends. It was a perfectly preppy wedding  in a big giant tent at a gorgeous estate — complete with a pink and navy theme  (I loved my hot pink bridesmaid dress) and romantic blush florals (I mean, look at those dahlias!). We danced our feet off late into the night and may have indulged in one too many glasses of champagne which resulted in quite the lazy Sunday to round out the weekend.

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The weather is unpredictable in New England, and this week the forecast is ranging from the low 60s up into the 90s. But the first cool morning this week when I was walking to work, my mind immediately went to fall footwear — it’s almost boot season I thought. I have a few items on my wishlist for fall — including a sassy pair of leopard wedge heels, and some luggage leather boots. All of these kicks would be welcome additions to my closet. What’s on your fall footwear wishlist? Fall Shoes

Clockwise from top left: Hunter Wellies, Black Flats, Riding Boots, Suede Booties, Leopard Wedge Heels

I am constantly trying to make my bed incrementally more comfortable and cozy (we got fluffy new pillows this weekend, a must!), but don’t you just always wonder how stylists get that “coziest place on earth” look when bedrooms are featured in magazines and design books? I ran across this image and I want to dive head first into that freshly made bed — the layered pillows, the slip-covered headboard, smooth crisp duvet… I mean — it might actually be dangerously cozy, I don’t think I’d ever leave!

8. Stephen Shubel Cottage

Source: Stephen Shubel Design

A few weeks ago when we were in Maine for a wedding, we hanging around the rental cottage for the ‘after-after party’ and a cousin of the groom started whipping up grilled cheeses with the local blueberry jams that had come in our welcome bags. I have since been dreaming about this late-night snack and realized all of the untapped potential of grilled cheese experiments. So I set to work this weekend to test some gourmet grilled cheese recipes that would be perfect for a grilled cheese bar at a casual party, or served bite-size as an appetizer.

Grilled Cheese Bar Ingredients

Are you ready for these pairings? First up, I recreated my late night inspiration with sharp English cheddar and wild blueberry jam (this one is still my favorite!). For a savory sandwich I combined goat cheese with cracked black pepper and fresh green chives (this won the husband vote). And for the most unique combination, I used a french brie, drizzled with honey, and topped with some sweet raisins.  My cast iron skillet was  pumping out these crusty, buttery little treats and we had quite the Saturday taste-testing all of my concoctions — I’m definitely using this idea for some simple entertaining with friends!

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