Greenway Carousel

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Have you heard of the new Greenway Carousel in Boston? It’s right across from Fanueil Hall on the Rose Kennedy Greenway. The carousel just opened a month ago and I’ve been dying to check it out. Our Z loves carousels and I thought it would be the perfect fall activity.

DSC_0470The carousel isn’t made up of your usual ornate horses, rather a bunch of beautifully sculpted animals from a squirrel to a lobster to a butterfly to a grasshopper. Turns out, they asked the children of four area elementary schools to draw what animals they would most like to ride on in a carousel. How cute is that? They took the children’s drawings to a local artist from Newburyport and he sculpted by hand the 36 animals for the carousel.

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Each ride is $3 and it honestly is one of the shortest carousel rides I’ve ever been on, but fun nonetheless. *Note – the animals don’t have seat belts so if yours is little like mine is, hold on tight!

DSC_0471The Greenway Carousel is open daily 11a-9p through Columbus Day and then weekends through New Years Eve.

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It’s even fun to just watch…

Couple Things…

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We cooked so much this week, don’t you always feel like cooking more when it’s colder out? We made homemade roasted red peppers for the first time and they came out great.

We also made spaghetti squash for the first time and it was surprisingly delicious. Very pasta-esque! We will make again and I’ll be sure to blog about it.

Our Z kept *making us dinner each night too – I love to see what she comes up with…

I discovered this week there is nothing cuter than a toddler gymnastics class.

Sunday football snacks for lunch!

And a super fall-ish outfit for this chilly week.

Have a great weekend! Follow me on Instagram to see more fun photos all week long.

Perfume Advice

I need a new scent. I was cleaning out this little basket of cosmetics I have and found a free sample (from who knows when or what) of Jo Malone’s Wild Bluebell cologne and I just love it! I went through the sample in a matter of weeks – and I don’t wear perfume very often with working from home and all. And I certainly don’t wear perfume when I’m playground hopping with my Z. But – there are occasions when I’d love a little spritz: date night with my husband, meeting friends for dinner, or heading out to a fun blogger event.

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I almost bought the Jo Malone scent on our trip to London earlier this summer (it is an English brand after all), but I couldn’t pull the trigger, I wasn’t sure if Wild Bluebell was the one… I wish you could scratch and sniff on a blog – I need advice! What do you wear? Do you have any scent suggestions for me? What perfume should I pick?

DIY Wrapping Paper

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I am so sick of all the wrapping paper we have to choose from our wrapping paper collection. I feel like we’ve had the same rolls forever!! My cousin who got married last summer is having a sweet baby girl this fall and my Z and I are headed to her shower this weekend. I of course made her a little card (which I won’t show so it will be a surprise) but wanted to have some coordinating wrapping paper too because, well, why not? Aren’t you supposed to make everything cuter for a baby girl baby shower? It’s so easy – you have to make your own wrapping paper for your next gift giving occasion.

DIY-wrapping-paperYou will need: banner paper, stamps, ink pads, scissors, and ribbon (or raffia or twine) to finish the package.

 

DIY-wrapping-paper-1The first step is to get a scrap piece of paper and play around with your stamps, different colored ink pads, and layout. From my test I learned the silver and lightest pink ink pads weren’t going to work on my white banner paper. And that I would make the gold a prominent colored used with pops of pink and then tie up the present in pink raffia.

 

DIY-wrapping-paper-2Cut your paper and start stamping!

 

DIY-wrapping-paper-3Once you have a few lines of your pattern down, you can stamp ahead and move faster – for example I went ahead and did all of my gold stamping and filled in with the pink accents.

 

DIY-wrapping-paper-6And now you’re ready to wrap.

 

DIY-wrapping-paper-8I added a bow made of pink raffia for an extra pop of pink for baby girl. I love how this came out and can’t wait to make more DIY wrapping paper!

Apple butter

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If you follow me on Instagram, you know that we went apple picking over the weekend – an almost required early fall activity! We decided to get the largest bag possible and ended up with 20lbs of apples. The first thing I made was an apple pie, which is almost the very reason to go apple picking, wouldn’t you agree? But then we decided to make apple butter.

Did you know that apple butter is not, in fact butter? Rather a yummy combination of slow-cooked apples, sugar, and cider. And therefore a more heart-healthy toast topper! We used this easy-to-make recipe from Food Network Magazine that allows you to slow-cook the apple butter in the oven at a low temp. Be warned though – this only lasts about 5 days in the fridge, for that reason we halved the recipe.

apple-butter-1Dice your apples and combine with brown sugar, apple cider, and salt. Simmer 20 minutes until apples are soft.

 

apple-butter-2Remove from heat and add lemon juice, vanilla extract, cinnamon, and cloves. Blend in a blender or immersion blender.

 

apple-butter-4I love any excuse to take out the immersion blender! Blend until no more chunks remain.

 

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Place in a pre-heated 250-degree oven and cook for 2 1/2 to 3 1/2 hours, stirring every 3o minutes. Cook until the mixture thickens and looks like, well – butter!

 

apple-butter-6Let cool completely and then…enjoy! We love apple butter on toast, english muffins, pancakes – or any kind of bread product, really!

Fall Denim Trends

Denim jeans are always in style – every season, always. But, every season there are distinct denim trends: some fresh and some recycled so to speak. Here’s a roundup of some of my personal fave denim trends right now.

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1. Coated denim is everywhere right now – it gives jeans an almost leather look. I love these Coated Skinny Trousers from Zara. 2. I love a good pair of distressed denim jeans, but since that means there will be machine-made-purposeful holes in your jeans, these aren’t going to last more than a year or two. So, why pay a lot? I have these Rockstar Mid-Rise Distressed Jeans from Old Navy and they’re great – flattering, comfy, and perfectly distressed for under $40 (or even less because they always have coupons). 3. Embellished denim is in – I love these Quilted Street Skinny Joe’s Jeans from Bloomingdale’s with the interesting quilted knees. 4. I have always loved patterned pants – polka dots, stripes, Aztec print (I personally wear these constantly) so for fall denim I’ve been eying these Midrise Toothpick Jeans in Fern Print from J. Crew. Paired with a bright colored top – love this look! 5. If you’re a trend-follower, then you must get a pair of gray denim for fall – these 7 For All Mankind Skinny Jeans with Ankle Zips from Shopbop are my absolute fave (in fact, I think my birthday is coming up, isn’t it? =)). 6. Mixed Media denim – have you seen these? I love the idea of having a little leather or suede on my jeans. These BLANKNYC Jeans Patchwork Skinny in Bonner Pilot from Bloomingdale’s are the most unique I’ve seen and they’re under $100!

What denim trend will you try?

Couple Things…

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What a busy week! We did a little fall decor shopping and put out mums and pumpkins.

We got to really dress for fall since it was so chilly! Don’t you love those Toms shoes?

We broke out Z’s Halloween jammies this week.

I was also busy making more hand painted wooden bead necklaces – I’ll be exhibiting and selling these necklaces and some handmade cards at our local Arlington Town Day on Saturday!

I also hosted the Children’s and Maternity Clothing Exchange at Wild Child – chatting, munching, shopping! We had such a great time, thanks to everyone who came out – more of a recap on Monday.

But first the Cake. cupcakes were the hit of the night…

Don’t forget to enter the Wendy’s Flatbread #6SecondsFlat Sweepstakes to win $6,000! Make a video like I did below…visit the sweepstakes landing page for more information.

https://vine.co/v/hnIeQ2DTxdu/embed/simple//platform.vine.co/static/scripts/embed.jsHave a great weekend!

 

I got a BeStyled Blowdry

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A bunch of my husband’s buddies (or so it seems) are getting married this fall which means 2 things: 1. lots of fun nights out to attend these weddings and 2. lots of getting all dolled up in our fanciest clothes! I never seem to have trouble finding what clothes to wear since I’ve been relatively the same size since high school and have a pretty good collection of wedding-appropriate-dresses and shoes. It’s really, for me, how to complete the dressed up outfit with an equally dressed up hair style.be-styled-appointment-4I’m horrible at styling my own hair, or maybe just ignorant. I watch hair tutorials on other blogs and I think “my hair is too thick for that” or “my hair is too short for that” or “that looks super complicated.” So for dressier events such as a wedding I always end up just straightening my already straight hair and maybe putting in a cute bobby pin and calling it done.

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You can only imagine how THRILLED I was to hear about Be Styled blowdry bar opening in Chestnut Hill and Wellesley. For $35 you can pop in and get your hair washed and styled in 40 minutes. And the experience is just…so…relaxing and indulgent. You’re offered a mimosa or cappuccino when you arrive…and then pass by the candy bar to grab a little snack. And after your hair wash, you sit in a chair and watch movies on the big screens (SATC2 was on when I was there) or play with a BeStyled iPad.

be-styled-appointment-3I mean – what a great way to spend a Saturday morning AND you come out looking fab.

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In theory a blowdry should last for 3 days but after my day that included an outdoor cocktail hour followed by dancing all night…I was desperate for a ponytail when I got up the next morning, ya know…

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PS. The wedding was a blast…

*Disclaimer: I received complimentary goods for this post, however all above opinions and thoughts are my very own.

Healthier Eggplant Parm

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I mentioned quite a few weeks ago that we made this summer version of eggplant parm. Well – you can really make it any season and it’s actually just a healthier version of the traditional breaded and fried eggplant parm. And it’s stacked. Who doesn’t like dinner in a stack? Here’s how we made it in four simple steps:

healthier-eggplant-parm-4Season your eggplant with salt and pepper and grill it, about 2 – 4 mins/side.

 

healthier-eggplant-parm-3Slice your mozzarella.

 

healthier-eggplant-parm-1Stack your dinner – eggplant, then mozzarella, continue…

 

healthier-eggplant-parm-2Pour your sauce over and done! We used our fave homemade marinara sauce for ours. Enjoy!

Whole Foods Arlington, MA

whole-foods-arlington-ma-2It’s kind of exciting when a Whole Foods Market opens in the town where you live. I was invited to tour the new store last night in Arlington, MA and I jumped at the chance! The store doesn’t open to the public until tomorrow – there is a bread breaking ceremony at 9:45am and then the store opens at 10am. But I am going to give you a sneak peek! In full disclosure, this is just me telling you about what I think are the most fabulous parts of the new store – this is NOT a sponsored post – I’m being neighborly!

DSC_0442It was interesting to tour a store that wasn’t open because there were vastly empty areas like the fish counter and produce department and other areas filled to the brim like the middle of the store where the packaged foods are. The store seems to have a small footprint but still filled the brim with everything you’d want from a Whole Foods…

 

DSC_0447Yummy prepared foods section including a Burrito bar…

 

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…cheese counter…

 

DSC_0445…and unique to this location – a fresh pasta counter! I can’t wait for fresh pasta, what a great idea.

 

whole-foods-arlington-ma-3In celebration of the opening there are great doorbuster sales all week on swordfish, boneless rib-eye steak, and tomato clusters.

 

DSC_0450Of course being Whole Foods, they are already very tied to the community. They’re even selling Minuteman Mix ice cream from local ice cream shop Chilly Cow (we love this place)! And, better yet, 1% of sales from the opening day will support local charities like Arlington Boys and Girls Club, Arlington Center for the Arts, and more. You know I’ll be back for opening day!