This is by far one of my favorite room makeovers we’ve done at our house so far (which says a lot, since we removed a kitchenette from our master bedroom last year!), and I’m so excited to share these before and after images today! Our living room was ripe for a makeover with plush wall to wall mauve carpeting, tons of dark wood paneling, an outdated fireplace, and even a faux-wall that blocked off the staircase to our second floor. I’m happy to report though, that after quite a bit of elbow grease, it has finally lived up to its potential.  read more

One of the really fun things about my job is that I get to experiment with delicious food, and work with some of the brands that I admired for years. One of those brands is Martha Stewart Living, and I was so excited they invited me participate in a challenge this month to create an over the top tiny toast recipe using Boursin® Cheese that would wow guests when entertaining. read more

Last week my mom came to visit for a few days, and I took her up on some free-babysitting to tackle a house project that has been hanging over my head for ages: cleaning out my pantry and prop closet! One of the big selling points of our house when we still in the house-hunting phase, was a super long walk-in closet that sits off the kitchen in our entryway. read more

A brunch recipe on a Monday, you ask? Why, yes! Things are a little bit backwards here this week after lots of stormy weather, 2 days of power outages, and of course, no internet. It was an unintended digital detox weekend without lights, TV, or blogging. I read an entire book from start to finish, we got out of the house for most of the weekend, and indulged in lots of dining out and take-out. As power-outages go, this one was chilly but survivable. Now that we’re back in action (hallelujah for heat and WiFi!), I have a tasty brunch recipe that can finally be shared! read more

Is there any better way to start your morning than with coffee and donuts? I don’t think so! Which is why I love making homemade mini-donuts, and serving them with a fresh pot of coffee when we have friends and family stay the weekend. read more

It’s a rainy, stormy day in these parts so I plan to be indoors, tackling some projects at home (reorganizing my disaster of a pantry/prop closet is number one of the list!). Wrapping up the week with a few updates and links (Oscars party ideas, travel news, and my reading list!) before I sign-off for the weekend!  read more

I have been scratching my head for quite some time now, trying to think of a good way to use the Trader Joe’s Everything Bagel Seasoning that seems to be sweeping the internet these days. I grew up in an avid bagel-loving family, and the everything bagel flavor is my absolutely favorite. I’ve seen it used on avocado toast, stirred in mac and cheese, and a friend of ours used it on a loaf of homemade challah bread (oh-em-gee was that delicious). As I was brainstorming some appetizer ideas to make for my own personal Oscars viewing party this weekend (me: on the couch with a cocktail and snacks), I found the perfect occasion to sprinkle this tasty seasoning mix: on Pigs In A Blanket. read more

I’m working on my snack game for Sunday’s big night of red carpet viewing and all that Hollywood glamour. Oscar night at my house requires about the same level of appetizer commitment that the Super Bowl does in most other homes. I’ve been playing around with some ideas for quick and easy bite-size-tartlets, and these little guys were a winner. The base of the tartlets is made out of pre-made pie dough (use store-bought dough or thaw leftover dough from the freezer), pressed into mini-muffin tins. The dough is pre-cooked, and then filled while warm with a combination of  rich goat cheese, sweet apricot jam, and crunchy pistachios with a sprinkle of cracked black pepper. Get the full recipe below, and be sure to check out the other awards show viewing party recipes I’m making for the Oscars — Ruby Red Carpet Cocktails and Everything Bagel Pigs in a Blanket. read more

I haven’t thrown an awards show viewing party in a few years, but on a recent trip to Target I saw some cocktail napkins that were begging me to come up with some fresh ideas for this year’s Oscar night. Whether you’re throwing a big party for your girlfriends to come over and watch the awards, or you’re tweeting a play-by-play of red carpet dresses in your pajamas  (cough::cough, me),  the most important viewing accompaniment (besides a fully charged phone) is a signature cocktail. Champagne is always a nice touch, but recently I have been mixing up this quick cocktail on weekends and thought it would be perfect to serve for Sunday’s big event. I’m calling it my ruby red carpet cocktail, because it combines fresh ruby red grapefruit juice with vodka and some elderflower soda.  read more

Dinnertime can be a straight up struggle around my house these days. The hour when food needs to be prepped for our evening mealtime seems to align perfectly with official toddler meltdown hour. In an effort to avoid a matching mom-meltdown, I keep a few tricks up my sleeve for speedy dinners. One of them, is adding a cooked rotisserie chicken to my grocery order from Peapod, and repurposing it in a few different meals throughout the week. I thought I’d share a few of my favorite quick-fix ideas for using up leftover rotisserie chicken in the fridge today, as well as a brand new recipe I added to the mix recently while we’re on our New Year’s healthy eating kick. Each one of these ideas uses up about half a chicken, so you can pick two to mix and match for your weekly meal plan: read more