Couple Things…

nutella-browniesponytailbefore-sunrisecerealtruffle-tater-totsheadphones

Made these Four-ingredient Nutella Brownies – not only are they amazing-tasting, but your house will smell spectacular even after they’re out of the oven. I didn’t have walnuts and used pistachios on top instead.

The perfect little ponytail, dontcha think?

We started the Before Sunrise trilogy recently and I didn’t like it as much as I thought, we’re moving on to Before Sunset this weekend, maybe it’s better?

We’re kind of obsessed with cereal in this house lately! Crispix are the fave, followed by Raisin Bran, but good ‘ol Cheerios will do when we’re out of everything else. And we like bananas on top, does anyone else do that?

And the gift exchange with my friends (where I used this pretty and inexpensive gift wrap) was SO fun! Any night that starts with truffle tater tots and ends with thoughtful gifts is a major win in my book!

Z has become obsessed with the headphones we bought her a year ago when we went to Puerto Rico (she wouldn’t wear them then, of course).

 

Have a great weekend! Shameless asks to follow me: Bloglovin, Twitter, Instagram.

Z Style – In Between Seasons

Ok, so we’re still in the heart of winter, but we’re all dreaming of spring, right? Well my little Z is too. When I pull out her big sweaters to wear, I get a “no, mommy!” Although hearing “no” from a toddler is par for course, so I can’t make too much of it, ha! Anyway, I do think there is some reality in that little “no” because she is sick of winter too – there’s no outdoor playground-ing in the winter, no walks outside, or rides on her trike. Boo to all that! So, if I can have her wear a little outfit that helps her think of warmer times so be it. I found this adorable peplum tops at one of Crewcuts many sales on sale (extra 30 or 40% off) and thought it would be great now with a long sleeve underneath and adorable in the spring/summer with white pants.

toddler-style-5

Long-sleeve onesie – Carter’s. Navy peplum top – Crewcuts (similar). Pants – Crewcuts (similar). Boots – Zara (old). Purse – retro, it was mine when I was little!

But What About the Shoes…

Temps finally rose for us in the New England area the past few days, and don’t get me wrong – I love a good 40-degree day when you can go out in a sweater and a vest instead of every layer you own PLUS a down winter coat just to stay warm. But – you better still be wearing your boots or galoshes because the 3 feet of snow outside is melllllting. Like everyone else, I am jumping on the “I can’t wait for spring” bandwagon and pulling together a bunch of items that I am desperate to wear now but will have to wait until spring, but I am focusing on footwear. Footwear is the final piece to the thank-God-it’s-finally-spring puzzle because you have wait a lonnnng time to wear them without fear of ruining them in snow and endless puddles. Here’s a little round-up of some spring shoes I am coveting right now…

spring-shoes

1. Love these Nautical Ballerina flats from Zara. 2. I am obsessed with the shape of d’orsay flats and can’t wait to get a pair – I love these Ted Baker London Cadeen Flats, the pop of peach is lovely. 3. These Soludos Lace Up Espadrille Flats are adorable and look SO comfy. 4. I had to include a yellow shoe because I always think yellow when I think spring. Aren’t these Tippy Pumps from Anthropologie perfect? 5. A bright-patterned ballet flat is perfect for spring, I love these DV8 by Dolce Vita Tasmin Flats and they’re under $40! 6. And these Lucky Brand Two Piece Flats, these just scream spring! 7. Chuck Taylor Metallic in Rose Gold – the perfect feminine sneaker for spring. 8. I love these pink J.Crew Collection Blakely summer stripe pumps, just the perfect bright color.

What shoes are you looking forward to wearing when it gets warmer AND drier?

Pretty (Yet Inexpensive!) Gift Wrap

budget-gift-wrap-6

I know you’re not supposed to “judge a book by its cover,” but I sure do love a well-wrapped gift.  I’ve shared all sorts of how-to’s on gift wrap with you before from DIY Gift Wrap to Hand-Decorated Gift Bags to Homemade Gift Tags. But sometimes, there’s nothing like some pretty store-bought wrapping paper, right? Some friends of mine and I do a really fun holiday gift exchange every year where we don’t just get each other gifts, but we pick a letter for each person and then have to buy gifts that start with that letter – it’s a fun challenge! So when time escaped us and it was all of a sudden the end of February when we were finally able to get together to exchange gifts, I decided I needed non-holiday wrapping paper for their gifts (plus the Christmas paper has long since been packed away for the year).

budget-gift-wrap-1

I ended up finding this great Nicole Miller wrapping paper for $3 at HomeGoods, isn’t the mint green pattern so pretty? Then, I found this cute ribbon at the dollar section at Target and I thought it would coordinate perfectly! Note – the ribbon pieces are very small, like a foot or 18 inches.

budget-gift-wrap-7

I layered the blush pink rope over the teal ribbon.

budget-gift-wrap-8

I also used a little colorful tassel I already had for this gift.

budget-gift-wrap-9

And made some cute gift tags to coordinate, of course! Happy gift wrapping…

Couple Things…

triple-chocolate-chip-cookiesvalentines-balloonsmuckykids-art-studioacitron-arlington-mashrimp-fried-rice apple-bandit

Made my hubby some triple chocolate chip cookies for Valentine’s Day!

Valentine’s Day balloon fail. Only the white one popped though, the other 2 are still floating around the house…

My Z and I went to a cute little local art studio for kids and she made this adorable paper doll! Well…I helped with cutting and gluing, but the color scheme is all my Z.

We braved yet another snowstorm Saturday night to keep our reservation at a favorite local Mexican place Acitron.

We made homemade shrimp fried rice this week (still craving Chinese and looking for healthier options than getting take-out).

Apple bandit, every time I eat an apple, she takes it! Not that I can complain about her eating so many apples.

hublinks_handmade

In other news, these local bloggers (including me, again!) were chosen by Blog Better Boston’s guest curator, Holly of Holly Dolly to represent the best of the best “handmade” posts this week.

Show these blogs some love:

  • Don’t want to go out? Rules for the Modern Girl shows how she replicates her favorite fish tacos at home.
  • This girl must have an amazing handmade wardrobe. Oh, She Dabbles shows off two of her most recent makes.
  • Styled by Jess (yours truly) shares a super simple and quick way to make your own thank you cards.
  • Make your fish (or chicken) dishes go from ‘eh’ to ‘yum!’. A Lovely Life Indeed shares her mother in-law’s secret.
  • Salem Style’s Etsy interview series is so lovely! Find out what she learned about Witch City Wicks candles.
  • Looking for a quick update to tired clothing and accessories? Put a stud on it! Style Wire shows you how.

Want to be featured in the next edition? Sign up for the {hub}LINKS newsletter and submit your posts!  Have a great weekend everyone!

DIY Paper-Covered Light Switch Cover

diy-light-switch-cover-9

We’ve been making a few changes to our Z’s bedroom to grow from nursery to toddler room – she has a bed, new dresser, and at some point we’ll move out the glider chair and bring in the teepee Santa brought her for Christmas. It’s all very exciting! One small change I made recently was to add a little extra color to her wall to coordinate with the floral theme of the room. It was so easy to cover her light switch with colorful paper that I though I’d share with you the few steps it took to do. We were at the craft store and I picked a few options and had her narrow it down to the one, and here’s what she chose:

diy-light-switch-cover-1

Good pick, huh?

diy-light-switch-cover-2

All you’ll need for this project is: a sheet of paper to coordinate with the room, tacky glue, light switch cover, x-acto knife, pen, and scissors.

diy-light-switch-cover-3

Start by tracing the light switch onto the back of your colorful paper.

diy-light-switch-cover-4

Cut out the shape with about a 1/2 inch or so around the tracing. Use your x-acto knife to cut and x into the middle square where the actual light switch will go. Also press the knife through the tiny hole where the screw will go.

diy-light-switch-cover-5

Cover the light switch cover with tacky glue, I use my finger so I can make sure it’s a very thin coating of glue. You want to get the glue around the back of the light switch cover as well. Wrap the paper around the cover and press to secure.

diy-light-switch-cover-7

Pop your finger through the x cut from the front…

 diy-light-switch-cover-6

…and press the paper into the glue on the back of the cover.

diy-light-switch-cover-8

Trim the corners and let dry.

diy-light-switch-cover-11

Once dry, screw the light switch cover back into the wall and enjoy the pop of pattern! Of course my Z noticed right away and said “Mommy, look!” as soon as she walked in the room.

Z Style – Business Casual

My Z is an active girl – always running, spinning, climbing, etc… and therefore, she spends most of her time in pants.  When I want to dress her in something a little more dressed up she ends up looking like she’s ready for a day at the office, which I think is a pretty cute look for a toddler. Here’s one of our fave business casual looks she’s been sporting lately. *Note the bow, she is obsessed with putting a little clip in her hair – always accessorizing? I don’t know where she got that from…

toddler-style-1

Hair clip – Nordstrom (old). Sweater – crewcuts (similar). White Collared shirt – Old Navy (old). Pants – Joe’s Jeans in black, TJ Maxx find. Shoes – Livie & Luca.

Linked up today with:

Lemon Coconut White Chocolate Chip Cookies

lemon-coconut-white-chocola

It has to stop snowing here in the North East. Yes, we have like 2 feet of snow just sitting on the ground outside and more in our forecast this week! But more-so than that, every time it snows I am literally beckoned to bake something. The snow whispers “make something sweet and delicious…make something sweet and delicious!” And, well, I am a directions-follower, so…  When it snowed on Saturday I decided it was time to finally try this recipe for Lemon Coconut White Chocolate Chip Cookies that I had been saving for, well….a snowy night stuck inside.

lemon-coconut-white-chocolate-chip-cookies-2

This is a pretty basic recipe with all the usual suspects of a cookie recipe: butter, flour, sugar, brown sugar, vanilla – but also some unique things like coconut, white chocolate chips, and lemon pudding. The lemon pudding is such an interesting ingredient where the lemon flavor comes from (obviously) but also adds a soft, chewiness to the cookies.

lemon-coconut-white-chocolate-chip-cookies-3

The lemon, coconut, white chocolate may not sound like an ideal combination but I assure you – these are spectacular and a nice change from a usual chocolate-based cookie. I also am a big fan of lemony desserts and this has just enough of that tart-ness…so good!

lemon-coconut-white-chocolate-chip-cookies-6

Enjoy!

So Done with This Week.

Usually on Friday I post a few pictures from our week and talk about the highlights. There were some highlights to this week as usual, but overall it just. plain. sucked. I don’t usually “go there” on this blog when things go wrong because why read a blog when someone is just complaining about their day? I am a positive and generally happy gal and like to spread that around, which is why this blog usually has a happy glow. Well not this week, friends. One thing after the next happened this week… Nothing major, nothing life-changing…just one mundane, crappy thing after the next. Do you need examples? I hate when people leave you hanging without examples. Let’s just say this week was filled with an unusual amount of tantrums (Z), 2 bouts of food poisoning/stomach bug (me, blech), sleepless nights because of 2-year molars (Z), sleepless nights from being pregnant and very sick (me), sleepless nights because everyone else was up and complaining (my husband), and of course – more friggin snow (the entire East Coast).

Ok, I think that’s all. Oh, one more – I cried at the grocery store out of sheer frustration with a side of hormones.

I will share some photos with you because we did manage to squeeze in some good times this week (much earlier this week as the case may be….). Here’s to 40 degrees on Saturday, sneaking off for a pedicure, and taking naps to catch up on sleep – that’s what I hope to be up to this weekend!

craigie-on-main-1craigie-on-main-2valentines-packagesvalentines-packageboston-blogger-dinner

My husband and I celebrated Valentine’s Day early with a night out at Craigie On Main. We’ve been wanting to go there for years and it did not disappoint! (Note – this night was the first wild Z tantrum of the week because she didn’t want us to leave her with the sitter, tantrum essentially lasted 24 hours.)

The bartender at Craigie even made me the most delightful mocktail with pineapple and cola.

We mailed out Valentines kisses!

We received the most FUN Valentine’s Day package of goodies in the mail…

And the total highlight of my week was escaping for a few hours to attend the Boston Bloggers dinner at Boston Chops! Georgina organized the dinner and it was such a blast connecting with old blogging friends and meeting new ones. Thanks for inviting me and can’t wait to see everyone soon!

Happy Valentine’s Day and have a great weekend everyone!

J. Crew Autumn/Winter 2014

I can’t let New York Fashion week go by without some acknowledgement…although being pregnant keeps less excited than normal at scoping out the styles since I won’t be able to wear them for a while. That said, have you seen any photos from the J. Crew Fall, 2014 RTW presentation? This outfit sort of summed it up for me…killer shoes with a dramatic jacket over basics. I guess this will just be more inspiration for me to lose that baby weight!

jcrew-fall-2014-rtw

photo source: Getty Editorial

Ps. Tory Burch, Milly, and kate spade shows were fab, too!

//instagram.com/p/kUKKsyyR4M/embed/

Pss. Our own little NYFW runway at home