Magnolia’s Banana Pudding

pudding2I recently tried Magnolia’s Banana Pudding after a long hiatus. To say that it’s crazy good is an understatement which is why I probably broke up with it for a little while. This weekend, however, I was on a mission to recreate the delicious dessert at home. I followed this recipe with some minor tweaks and I must say that the results were pretty much on par with the real thing.

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Wedding Series Part 1: My Bridal Shower

inv2Back in January, the women in my life came together for my bridal shower. Although I knew it was nearing, it was everything else that made it a fun surprise. Seeing the women who are most important to me, the incredible detail my friends put into the celebration, and the fun we had was the perfect transition into my soon- to -be life as a wife. Here are a few of my favorite shots from the day.s1

ss~champagne welcome with seating assignments~s4 s7 s6~wine wishing well; guests wrote when we should open the bottle and who it was from~ ~the best homemade cupcakes baked by my bridesmaids~ s10~more dessert- delicious greek yogurt with the works ~ ss4~bottled olive oil favors with rosemary and chili~ss2s2~P.S. my shower took place at the lovely Kyma in Roslyn~





FAVORITE FIND

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I’ve been searching all winter long for the perfect coat and I finally found it in Reiss’ beautiful Emile. It’s perfectly tailored, or as they prefer to say, sharply tailored and it’s everything my heart has been dreaming of. I have not purchased any new outerwear in the last couple of years (I swear!) and it totally goes to show that sometimes, good things are worth waiting for. I love the color, the dense wool fabric, the hidden buttons, and most of all…that neck line!





Wedding Snippets

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Hello and Happy New Year! I hope you have all had a wonderful Holiday Season. Since we returned from Italy, life became super hectic. A slew of new and exciting projects came my way and along with planning for our Big Day, things have been non stop. Am I the only one who felt as though the holidays came out of nowhere this year? I’m slightly embarrassed to admit that this was the first time since we’ve been living together that we did not put up a Christmas Tree. That’s how crazy busy it’s been. As January 1st coincidentally marked our official “100 Days till the Wedding“, I’m excited to share a little peek into our wedding planning process (in the order of events as they occurred).

Dress: Although I did not commit until after we booked, I fell in love with a dress before choosing a month or a venue. Thank goodness my dress goes with both.

Venue: We chose one of the first venues we visited. Neither of us had ever been there before and prior to our visit there, I had told a friend that I knew it was the venue we would eventually pick. I was so confident about it, I told that same friend I did not even have to visit it. I just knew.

Ceremony: Our ceremony will be held outside (weather permitting, of course) at our venue. Convenient yet nerve wracking since we will be taking our first photos together during cocktail hour. (We both agreed not to do a first look).

Band: We both wanted a band over a DJ. I left the choice completely up to my fiance’.

Photography: Choosing a photographer was an agonizing process. I looked at so many portfolios and met with a number of photographers until we finally found Robert Carlo. I can’t wait to see what he comes up with for our Big Day.

Rehearsal Dinner/Hotel: We chose a great little spot close to the hotel where we reserved room blocks for guests wishing to stay the night.

Videography: Not as tough as choosing a photographer, but nerve-wracking nonetheless.

Theme: Choosing a theme came naturally to me. I wanted to keep it simple and incorporate some personal aspects to make it special. Our venue has a neutral decor and so far, the recurring phrase has been “no color”. So, I guess that’s the theme… (with a little something, something of course).

Invitations: I worked with the amazing Angelina at Sogno di Sposa for my Save the Dates and Invitations. I personally loved the process of choosing fonts, papers, and textures and I’m absolutely in love with the end results.

Planning Meeting/Tastings: I just had the planning meeting at the venue where we went through everything from “run of show” to table linens to menu selections for the day of. Next up is the food and cake tasting.

Hair/Make-Up Trials: Hair and Make-up is a work in progress. I have a pretty good idea on the make-up I want but the hair has been a struggle! Do I wear it up? down? curly? straight? So far, there is no clear choice.

Bachelorette Party: The planning is in full swing. So far, my lovely friends have confirmed it will be on Miami Beach. Love.

In the works…shoes, jewelry, wedding bands, honeymoon location…Oh, and did I mention I will be starting a new job just 10 weeks before the wedding? Crazy.

 

 

 

 





Brandied Peaches

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This afternoon, I was craving a sweet treat but wanted something healthy to offset the daily gelatos and cornetti we enjoyed while in Italy. I decided on rough cut peaches baked in the oven with a touch of brandy and finished off with a drizzle of balsamic reduction and some freshly picked mint. The result was a delicious blend of sweet and tart which satisfied my craving without a ton of calories.

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Italy Part I: Sicily

photo 1 (5)~My new obsession: Scala dei Turchi in Agrigento~

We’ve just returned from a month long trip to Italy where we visited friends and family. Its been quite a while since I’ve been able to take a substantial trip and it was a treat to be able to extend it just a bit longer since we were having such an incredible time. I’ve certainly adapted to the slower pace and overall sense of calm we experienced during our stay. To say I’m feeling relaxed and rejuvenated is an understatement. Waking up to a delicious cornetto and cappuccino every morning and enjoying long afternoons on the barren September beaches of Italy was something I was so happy to experience together with my fiancé. We did quite a bit of traveling throughout Sicily and Rome and then enjoyed some downtime in Calabria during our last week. These are just some of my favorite shots from our Sicily. The rest will follow shortly. I hope you enjoy.

photo 2~My favorite part of the day: Sunsets on the beach~

photo 3~restaurant on the beach~photo 1 (1)~empty beach at dusk~CAM01881~Natural Fanghi/Mineral Mud Baths~photo 4 (2)~multi-colored tiles lining each step~unnamed (1)~I swear all Italian grafitti is about deep thoughts or love <3~214435578~farm fresh, warm ricotta cheese. yum.~photo 2 (3)~how Italians do street art~photo (3)~street in sicily~photo (1)~small port along selinunte~photo 4 (3)~Outdoor vegetable market in Palermo~photo (2)~outdoor fish market in Palermo~photo 1 (3)~the streets of Palermo~photo 2 (5)~the inside of a small church in Palermo~photo~one of the many “vistas” or beautiful views in Sicily~photo 4 (4)~evenings on the beach~photo 2 (6)~grocery store in edice~photo 3 (6)~freshly baked cookies going into the display case~photo 5 (1)~a rainbow in taormina~photo 1 (4)~arch and lantern in taormina~photo 2 (7)~one of many beautiful balconies in taormina~

 





Homemade Granola Bars

granola3This afternoon I was craving something sweet but somewhat healthy. I’d never attempted homemade granola bars before but I had been meaning to give it a shot and I’m super glad I did. They were so easy to make, required barely any clean up at all, and honestly taste a hundred times better than the store bought kind. I paged through a  few recipes online but ultimately threw in some ingredients I had in the house. The mix of both almonds and pecans coupled with fresh vanilla bean and raisins made for a tasty mid day treat.honey2+ing8bars





The Little Things

blossoms~loving all the cherry blossoms this time of year~

I’ve enjoyed a few days off for the holiday and I feel super relaxed, recharged and ready for the week ahead. We had a fantastic weekend with family and enjoyed a delicious Easter dinner. I’ve been loving the sunshiny weather now that Spring finally feels like it’s here to stay.

bamboo~bamboo and bleached wood ceiling decor with industrial lights at kyma~florals3~wedding floral inspiration~horse~steel horse head sculpture in bryant park~lamb3~brick oven lamb for easter dinner~





Bay Leaf Simple Syrup

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Bay Leaf is a flavor that brings me back to childhood. It was a go-to for my mom anytime I had a tummy ache. She’d boil water with bay leaves and sweeten with little sugar and it worked like a charm. This weekend, I decided to infuse simple syrup with bay leaves. Simple syrup is a must have for around the house. It’s super versatile and can be used in a variety of ways. This sweet, aromatic syrup can be drizzled over a simple cake, added onto a scoop of vanilla ice cream, used to sweeten tea, or my personal favorite, as an infusion in a vodka or gin cocktail. It also makes for a unique, homemade gift for a party host.

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Soda Bread

soda bread3This past week was the perfect balance of work and play. While I was super productive, I also managed to squeeze in some fun evenings with girlfriends in celebration of my birthday. On Thursday, I checked out the Wedding Show, hosted by New York Magazine and on Friday night, I checked out this restaurant for the very first time. This weekend has been a bit calmer due to the rainy, chilly weather and I’ve enjoyed some down time at home. This afternoon, in the absence of any comfort food in the house, I decided to have a go at homemade soda bread. I used this recipe but threw in a few extra raisins and another spoonful of sugar and the results were super yummy.

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