Weekend Reflections: Our Anniversary Weekend

So, we already know that our first wedding anniversary didn’t quite go as planned. Unfortunately, Dan lost someone close to him and needed to be with his friend. For those that don’t know him, my husband is the most loyal person I have ever met. He will sacrifice anything for the people he loves and he doesn’t think twice about it; it’s one of the traits I love the most about him.

We were still able to spend quality time together and share a wonderful anniversary weekend. Of course it was filled with a roller coaster of emotions and practically everything we planned went wrong. However, that wasn’t much different from our wedding experience – perfectly imperfect. One thing that did work in our favor? The weather. The weather this weekend was an exact replica of the weather we had in Newport one year ago. Even Dan’s aunt emailed us to comment on it! We were able to take a nice long drive on Sunday and take in all the gorgeousness of our day. I love that summer lingered around long enough for us, once again.

WTRMLN WTR promoted my Friday night RIDE & after one taste, I’m addicted. 

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Friday Fuel: Apple Crisp Smoothie from Liquiteria…it’s kind of INSANE how much this smoothie tastes EXACTLY like it’s name..despite the fact that it’s filled with spinach, cayenne, and all other good-for-your-insides things.

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Friday was a FOUR class day and this is the picture of perfection when it comes to a break between classes! Refreshing iced green tea, a SWEET CORN MACARON (omg yessss) & a novel.

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Construction is still moving along at our apartment so while I’m cooped up in the living room, I’ve been crafting like there’s no tomorrow.

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Date night look for Saturday’s anniversary dinner. While my girl friends and I are loving this vampy lip, my husband begs to differ. It’s cool, keep wearing it & just don’t ask his opinion. 

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The romantically beautiful interior of Salinas. The food was equally as mesmerizing.

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A passionate weekend manicure.

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Stunning desserts at Salinas – bread pudding for him & chocolate pistachio tart for me.

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Breaking in to our wine box from the wedding and reading the notes we wrote for each other one year ago..in our disaster zone, mid-renovations kitchen.

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A sweet gift from an even sweeter man.

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And the most thoughtful gift from my in-laws that brought a tear to my eye, our wedding invitation perfectly framed.

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A whitening nightmare. I was so excited to try these strips and have a pristine movie star white smile. Too bad after only the SECOND day the trays completely burnt my gums. When I removed them my gums had swelled about 3-4x their size (terrifying) and were covered in horrific white blisters (kind of looked like I had tiny shreds of paper towel stuck to them). After a minor tear-filled panic attack I calmed down and googled my symptoms (always the wise decision). The google dentists told me it was a common side effect and I would be fine. The burn stems from the shape of the trays-in a dentist office a whitening tray is scalloped on top to cover ONLY your teeth. Store bought trays are straight on top to be marketed as “one size fits all” so the product comes into contact with the gums. My gums turned white due to the peroxide (think like when you pour peroxide on an open cut and it turns white). They instructed to brush teeth with a gentle toothpaste to remove any excess product then coat the gums in vitamin E oil. I followed those instructions and my gums instantly felt soothed. By the next morning the swelling had completely gone down. 

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I do believe the cure for anything, including a horrifying whitening experiences, is a good ol’ greasy diner breakfast.

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A Sunday drive led us to Halloween Town!

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….and the county’s best Sicilian slice [Sal's in Mamaroneck].

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Tapas, live music & caramel apple martinis to celebrate our one year on Sunday.

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We finished the weekend by choking down our still semi-frozen year plus two week old wedding cake that wasn’t really from our actual wedding. On the floor in our living room. Using a plastic fork from the trash.

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Hope you all had a fabulous weekend! The best thing about the delayed post here is that it’s already Tuesday which means we are THAT much closer to next weekend!

xoxo

Marriage – The First Year

3200 words on marriage. Let’s go.

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I didn’t exactly go into this which any expectations. I mean, Dan and I had been together just shy of six years when we said our vows. I figured we had this relationship thing down and not much would change. Of course, things did change, and not just my hair color. Things about us as individuals shifted and our relationship grew stronger. As it turns out things are quite different from the way they were one year ago. 

September 2013

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This was me one year and one day ago. Slightly anxious, a little nervous. We went through a lot from the moment we got engaged through this day. We had a two year engagement and while the first year was euphoric, during the second year things changed as the wedding date came closer. We faced two major problems leading up to our wedding, the first was my transition from full time student to an adult in the real world with a full time career and the second was family drama (which is putting it VERY lightly). The May before our September wedding I completed graduate school; it was bittersweet. Towards the end of my time spent earning my masters degree in applied psychology I realized that I did not want to spend my life doing the very thing I had just been trained to do. All the while I had been working in fitness, in various roles. Although Dan had encouraged me to pursue a career in fitness, I was apprehensive. I was terrified that I had just wasted an unthinkable amount of time and money only to do something I had been doing since I was 19. Little did I realize at the time how valuable an education is, even if your field of study does not pertain to your career. I now see how much I utilize all that I gained in school every day. However, that was not the case a year ago. I was so nervous about settling into a career, mostly because I didn’t want to SETTLE. Was psychology really the path for me? Was I just scared to take the plunge at a new-to-me job? Was I simply nervous that I wouldn’t be a good counselor so I ran from it? Would I be happy in the role of a counselor, no matter where I was placed? No. I realized, as I applied to numerous jobs in psychology that I wouldn’t be happy. I thought, “I want to do this, but not here. Not at this hospital, not at this center, etc.” Meanwhile, I had already worked at various gyms, studios and privately doing the same type of work and was happy as a clam no matter my surroundings. I decided that after I got back from my honeymoon I would take some time off from any work and find what I really wanted to do.

October 2013

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Half this month was spent in Hawaii on our honeymoon and the other half was spent overcoming jet lag and unpacking from our honeymoon. Two weeks off from life in the middle of paradise threw me completely off my routine. For about a week my sleeping was off and I was all over the place. Luckily for Dan, he had a job and a daily routine to go back to, but I had just entered in to my new state of limbo. I had no job, no classes to go to, no wedding to plan….literally nothing on my horizon. I spent the rest of October drinking too much and eating whatever I wanted and generally feeling sluggish and unmotivated.

November 2013

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As the holiday season rolled in I picked back up a bit. Granted, I was still drinking too much and eating too much junk, but I was enjoying it. I was going out with my friends and letting loose. I was also applying to different fitness studios and picking up more classes at the two studios I had been with previously. I was happy with work and things were looking up. I still had quite the handful of free time, which was why I started this blog.

December 2013

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The holidays were a whirlwind. Around this time my family and I started to mend our relationship after the strain the wedding had put on it. It was still somewhat awkward and brought back harsh memories. The holidays helped lighten the mood, I baked like crazy and continued to work on this little blog.

January 2014

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January was a tough month for me. It was the first time since the wedding that I put on one of my favorite pairs of jeans…only to find that they didn’t even come close to buttoning. It was extremely disheartening. The end of the holiday season and harshness of this passed winter took its toll on me. On top of that, the studios I was at weren’t doing that well and work left me feeling consistently anxious. The bulk of my classes were on Saturdays and Sundays so during the week I was home alone with little motivation and not much to do considering how brutally cold it was out. In all honesty, I spent much of January sitting on the couch watching YouTube videos and binge eating. Not exactly the life you picture when you think of a newlywed who is a full time fitness instructor. Despite the fact that my clothes barely fit I had no motivation to watch what I ate or even work out. My classes took up the bulk of my energy and the last thing I wanted to do was leave my apartment and go work out. Dan was starting to freak out that my job had zero security. I had no benefits, no 401k, nothing.

February 2014

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Valentine’s Day was the only highlight of this month. I continued the same behavior I had in January. I remembered the February a year prior and it made me sad. February 2013 I had my set routine from school, work and interning. I spent the weekend after Valentine’s Day in Newport RI with my sister, mother and mother-in-law at the Newport Bridal Expo. I was a bride to be full of excitement and my family and Dan’s got along and everyone was happy. Things just seemed so dark and sad now. I was becoming more depressed and Dan noticed. He tried to help by telling me that I had become complacent in this lethargy and needed to find a career. He pointed out that I had numerous jobs but nothing that offered security or longevity, or even routine. I needed something solid and he was right. I went back to the drawing board and sent my application out to every hospital, community center and government counseling and social work position. I missed being a student so I applied at every nearby college and university counseling center. I also applied to a variety of coaching positions thinking I could combine my love and experience in both psychology and fitness. Only one place bit back and it was part time cross country coaching position at a university about 20 minutes away from where we live. I was hesitant at first because it was only part time but I took the job hoping it would turn into something full time or that I could network my way into a counseling position there.

March 2014

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At this point things had gone pretty much completely back to normal with my family. Dan’s relationship with them still hasn’t recovered but at least I have them back. I was starting to feel better as the weather warmed up. However, my job situation was more tiring than ever. Even with the addition of coaching, I wasn’t making nearly enough to afford my bills and still did not have medical coverage. I started working as a promotional model for a liquor company which was another thing to add to my weekends. I had hoped coaching would fill in the week but being that it was part time it only filled in two days, plus in season meets would be on Saturdays. The driving was the worst. Every job I had was in the opposite direction from each other, scattered across the county and nowhere close to my apartment. I spent more time sitting in my car than I actually spent working. I spent my Saturday mornings and afternoons teaching back to back spinning classes. Then, I’d come home, shower, change and do a promotion. I’d come home have a quick dinner and drink with Dan and we’d go to sleep. Sunday morning I woke up early to teach until 11 or 12 and once again, showered, changed and worked a promotion for the afternoon. Dan works Monday-Friday and my weekends were consumed with work. We rarely spent time together. To top it off, I didn’t have much to show for it as I still wasn’t making enough and still didn’t have any benefits. Majority of what I made ended up paying for the gas I needed to drive everywhere.

April 2014

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In April we took a trip to Miami. It was the first time I tried on any of my summer clothes…which only led to another breakdown. Denim shorts that were once so baggy on me that a belt didn’t even help now couldn’t fit over my hips. Absolutely nothing fit me. I wasn’t about to buy a whole new wardrobe for one trip so I washed all my shorts and instead of drying them in the dryer I stretched them out by putting them on my dining room chairs and stretching the fabric over them. I let them air dry in the stretched out state. After that, they just barely fit and were quite snug. I have competed in various fitness competitions and dieted like crazy before my wedding. Despite the fact that I was devastated over nothing fitting me, I still had no motivation to diet. I know that sounds crazy. For my own sanity though, I needed a year to just let loose in a way I had never done before. Of course, I thought I would let loose in a “balanced” way, and simply give into cravings when I had them, but I pretty much just binged every other day. I didn’t want to go back to some crazy diet but I did promise myself I would stop binging. Easier said than done. However, it was hard to have any kind of routine in my diet when my life was so chaotic. Between coaching, subbing classes and doing promotions my schedule was vastly different every week. It was impossible to settle into any routine. One night after we returned from Miami I was desperately sending out my resume when I came across an article about a new studio opening in Manhattan. It boasted “multiple studios in one” as well as personal training and offered full time positions and medical benefits to instructors. It was also backed by a large corporation I had previously worked for. I immediately submitted my resume but didn’t think much about it after that. Scoring that job seemed about as likely as winning the lotto.

May 2014

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This was the month where things started to look up. Dan and I joined a new gym which kickstarted my work-out mojo. I was back into my regular workout routine and even lost some weight. I still wasn’t where I wanted to be but I did feel better about my body. I was still eating whatever I wanted but I was working out hard and noticed I was putting on some serious muscle, even if it was covered by a brand new layer of fat. One day this month I got a shocking e-mail from the director of the Spinning program at the studio in the city I had applied to. I had a phone interview with him and another director and they arranged to take one of my classes. I was absolutely elated to sign on to this company. I knew things would change but I was hopeful that it would be for the best. I was incredibly nervous about working in the city. I was used to teaching in the suburbs which has a much different clientele than lower Manhattan. Would they like me? Would my classes be good enough? Would I be good enough? Luckily, this studio gave us all plenty of training which boosted my confidence. At first I was apprehensive about the commute but it turned out to be a breath of fresh air. It was SO nice to not feel like I was living in my car!

June 2014

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In June I finally started to feel that balance I had been craving. I quit all my jobs in Westchester and decided I wanted to focus all of my energy into this new studio. I was insanely nervous about putting all my eggs into one basket but I knew I could only give it my absolute best if I gave it 100% my all. I was determined to become full time and commit myself to a company that I could build a career in, I didn’t want to have any distraction. I enjoyed the commute and finally being out of my car so much that I even started working out in the city instead of my local gym. I was walking a lot more and felt my mood lifting. Dan noticed the difference as well. I also finally had the weekends off for the first time since before we got married. He and I were finally spending some much needed time together and it was wonderful. I can honestly say that this summer together was one of the best. We had such a rough winter but we soaked up every minute of summer sun and enjoyed spending quality time together. We even started to see each other during the week more since we were both working in the city. We would meet for lunch or even just a quick coffee. Of course, my eating was still all over the place but I felt more balanced. Sometimes it was indulging in a cold glass of white wine by the pool while getting lost in a novel. The passed three summers I was on a strict diet, it was nice to have a summer to completely let loose.

July 2014

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During July our weekends together were golden. I had started to settle into my new routine and the weather was perfection. It was rarely humid or overbearingly hot. We spent most Saturday nights dining outside along the Hudson and lingering over coffee and brunch on Sunday mornings. I got back into running now that I wasn’t overbooking myself with teaching classes on the weekends.

August 2014

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This summer seemed never ending. Throughout August we continued to enjoy our weekend date nights and lazy days in the sun. I was enjoying my job and really taking in everything the city had to offer. When I went to school in the city I never tried any of the restaurants or food places because I was ALWAYS dieting for something. In between classes or on my way home I would take the time to pop into a new restaurant or bakery and try all the things that were on my mental “must-try-in-nyc” list. I was still working out pretty hard and reading like CRAZY! I would read on the train during my commute and all day long on the days we went to the beach or pool. I was blowing through books like never before and loved it.

September 2014

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At the start of September, I thought I would go back to my healthy eating habits and balance out with a routine diet. Then, I remembered that I promised myself a YEAR of not worrying about it. This month has been RELAXING. One year ago it was crazy, emotional and ALL about the wedding. This year I wanted the exact opposite. I wanted to relax and enjoy the fall with my husband. We’ve spent the weekends doing all the typical fall things and enjoying each other’s company. We’ve also spent some time reflecting on this passed year. Yesterday was our one year anniversary. Saturday we lazed around during the day and at night we went out to dinner at Salinas and celebrated our first year. We’re having a ton of work done on our apartment so unfortunately our plans were a bit skewed. We had planned on going out Saturday to a nice restaurant and on Sunday, our actual anniversary, we were going to open our wine (we did the Wine Box tradition at our ceremony), read our letters to each other from a year ago and enjoy a nice dinner at home. However, we have no access to our kitchen and everything from our bathroom and kitchen is piled up in our living room and taking up all the space on our dining room table. So, Saturday night we opened our wine box and read our letters on our mid-construction kitchen floor. Sunday we sat on our living room floor and drank our one year old expensive bottle of wine out of a plastic mini shaker (left over from when I did liquor promotions) because all our good glasses are sealed off in our kitchen cabinets. Then, we walked to one of our favorite neighborhood spots and shared a dinner of mediterannean tapas while listening to a great band play. Then, we came home and ate our [still completely frozen, because we forgot to take it out and thaw it on Saturday] wedding cake STRAIGHT out of the foil it was wrapped in, with a plastic fork we literally took out of our garbage that was leftover from a takeout lunch because all our utensils are also locked up. Oh, and it wasn’t even our wedding cake from our actual wedding. We forgot to bring that home. It was the cake his parents bought us after our church ceremony, two weeks before the wedding. I’m glad I didn’t have any expectations for this first year because I couldn’t have expected any of this. All I know is that we’ve grown together so much over this passed year and although some of it was rough, we made it.

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Before we got married I read this article called “Why my Wedding WASN’T the Best Day of My Life”. It was all about how we plan so much for this day and have all these expectations and anticipations. It was about how the wedding industry pumps this fairytale idea about how all brides are princesses and our wedding is the DAY of our life! Her argument was that the wedding isn’t the best day, but simply the first. What comes after the wedding is what’s truly the best: starting a life together, buying your first house, starting a family, all the little nuances that come along with a life shared with another. THOSE are the best days, and when you love someone and commit to them, the best is always yet to come.

xoxo

Weekend Reflections: First Day of Fall

Sadly, the summer has come to an end. However, as much as I love the summer I’m happy to welcome Autumn. The summer warmth tends to linger around for a good month or so even as a chill makes its way in. Fall is definitely my second favorite season. In fact, if I could live in a world with only two seasons where half the year was summer (with short shorts, neon colors, beaches, salty hair and extended sunsets) and the other half autumn (cool breezes, vibrantly colored changing foliage and an endless supply of scarves and all things pumpkin) I’d be the happiest girl. I love to get the most out of this season and try my best to extend it as long as possible before the harshness of winter hits. This time last year Dan and I were exactly one week away from our wedding! I was running around doing things like getting my hair colored, picking up my wedding dress and doing all the last minute packing. It was a very stressful time but also incredibly exciting! This weekend it was so nice to reflect on the happiness and chaos of one year ago over a calming dinner at home and velvety glass of red wine. Along with reminiscing we went apple picking and kick started some fall baking! Here are some shots from our weekend. Hope you enjoy and that yours was just as fun and festive!

Quite possible my ultimate favorite thing about Fall.

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Like…kind of obsessed..

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Spotted while shopping on Friday afternoon.

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I love sipping hot tea in the fall, especially in giant, endless mugs and this one is perfection for just that.

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This peanut butter is OUT OF CONTROL good.

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Finally, the people in coffee creamer land have heard my calls and have made creamer that is BOTH fat AND sugar free! I might have screamed in the grocery store…maybe just a little baby screech..

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Saturday outfit for apple picking…fully embracing scarf season.

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A cart full of mini pumpkins and colorful gourds is a beautiful sight.

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This shot just screams Fall.

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Love, love, love apple season.

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The traditional yearly selfie on the hayride.

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Naturally, we had to pick up some pumpkin beer. This one from Dogfish Head may be my new favorite.

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With a cinnamon sugar rimmed glass, it is perfection.

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Our stash from the orchard:

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Along with some farm fresh fudge…S’mores and Cookie Dough.

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I wanted to take this lil’ dude home with me.

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Afternoon pick-me-up; iced cappuccino with almond milk.

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I know this juice is meant to be a healthy snack, but mixed with Sailor Jerry’s Spiced Rum it makes the BEST rum punch of my life.

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I wanted to do some seasonal decorating, but we’re having some work done in the apartment this week so the most I could do was this table setting.

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Speaking of the work being done..it means I have NO access to my coffee maker! This cold brew from The Fresh Market has been the most delicious life saver.

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The first day of fall warrants the lighting of this fabulous new candle. It smells like a toasty fire lit on a crisp Halloween night. I can smell the crunchy orange leaves on the ground and candy corn in the air. It is perfection.

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Sunday morning was a rainy but still warm enough for a morning walk and iced coffees.

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Sunday breakfast…too much yet?

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I hope you had a wonderful weekend and are enjoying the start of Fall and eating everything pumpkin flavored! :)

xoxoxo

Apple Pie Stuffed Baked Apples

Happy first day of FALL!

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Yesterday my husband and I celebrated the start of the season by driving about 45 minutes upstate to go apple picking! It’s one of the best late summer/early fall traditions that I’ve been doing every year since I can remember. If you go at the right time, the drive is the BEST part because it’s incredibly scenic and the foliage is breathtaking.

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The ride back is equally stunning, but a bit more exciting as your mind goes crazy thinking up all the different things you can do with your hand picked loot. While my husband had his heart set on baking up his famous Apple Crisp, I was determined to finally make these baked apples! The idea of baking an apple pie into an actual apple came from one of the very first images I ever pinned, several years ago when I first got hooked on Pinterest.

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I had originally wanted to make these as a Thanksgiving dessert but decided they were probably a bit too labor intensive for a large crowd. I mean, it’s certainly doable but…I’m lazy.

Making these for two was perfect! I used a pre-made pie crust (thanks, Pillsbury!) and weaved a sloppy rustic lattice topping. To give them a little extra flavor pop I mixed Hershey’s Cinnamon Chips into the filling. I just might add these chips into every apple pie I ever make…oh my gosh, so good.

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They really are a beautiful little dessert. Instead of a slab (or two, or six..) of pie, everyone gets their own individual little baked apple filled with cinnamony decadence! As detailed as they seem, it really wasn’t all that difficult to make. I sliced the top of the apple off (about a third of the way down from the stem), then I scored the insides with a knife and scooped it out with a metal spoon. I also enjoyed a pumpkin beer throughout the process, complete with a cinnamon sugar rimmed glass. Priorities.

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After I removed the scored insides of the apples I rubbed the hollowed apples with lemon juice. I added the apple bits to a bowl, tossed them in lemon juice then added cinnamon, coconut sugar and cinnamon chips. I spooned the filling back into the apples, dropped a few tiny pieces of butter on top and covered them with pie crust!

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The crust was brushed with egg wash and generously sprinkled with white sugar which caramelized (do you say CAR-mah-lized or CA-RAH-MA-lized? I say the latter and am made fun of relentlessly.) in the oven and a gorgeous, sweet, crunchy topping.

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I can’t think of a better way to kick off everyone’s favorite season!

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Apple Pie Stuffed Baked Apples

Ingredients:

  • 2 Medium sized apples
  • 3 tsp lemon juice
  • 3 tsp coconut sugar
  • 1 tbsp white sugar
  • 3 tbsp Hershey’s Cinnamon Chips
  • 1/2 tbsp butter
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 prepared or home made pie crust
  • 1 egg

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a small baking sheet with foil and spray with non stick cooking spray and set aside. Slice to top off two apples (About a third of the way down from the stem). Score the inside of the apple with a sharp knife (like you’re making a checkerboard pattern). Next, using a metal spoon, scoop the inside out. Keep about a 1/4-1/2 inch of the apple. Chop up your apple innards into small cubes and toss in a medium sized bowl with 1 tsp of lemon juice. Rub one tsp of lemon juice into each hollowed out apple. Next, mix the coconut sugar, cinnamon and cinnamon chips in with the apples. Place your hollowed apples on the baking sheet and fill to the top with apple-sugar mixture. Cut your cold butter into tiny cubes and drop equal amounts on the tops of each filled apples. Cut 1/3 of prepared (or home made) pie crust into thin strips. Braid strips along top of apple in a lattice pattern. Or, you can simply drop a round cut out of pie crust over the top and punch a few wholes in the middle!

Whisk the egg in a bowl. Using a pastry brush, brush the mixed egg generously over the top of the pie crust. Sprinkle liberally with sugar. Bake apples for 18-20 minutes, or until the pie crust is golden and apples are very soft. Let cool 10-15 minutes and ENJOY!!

xoxo

Weekend Reflections; Fall gets an Early Start

The best part about this weekend was that, even though it wasn’t, it felt like an extended weekend. Despite the fact that I worked all day on Friday the weekend felt like it kicked off on Thursday thanks to an evening spent at the Yankee Game. Thursday was a gorgeous late summer day, the sun was shining and the weather was hot. Friday was gorgeous as well but Saturday brought in the rain which broke the heat wave. Sunday morning gave us quite a chill but it did warm up a bit as the day went on. After a few too many Blue Moons at Thursday’s game, Friday was a low key day that focused on work and then an early night. Saturday we had planned on going apple picking but the cold air and windy rain deterred us. Sunday we slept in, made a leisurely breakfast of pancakes & scrambled eggs, shopped around for new fall decor and candles and went for a long walk to soak up as much time outdoors as possible. This coming weekend marks the true end of summer and I’m hoping to spend a day upstate at one of the hiking trails!

Enjoying the Yankee game on a gorgeous evening.

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Well I ALMOST got him in this game day selfie.

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Next time, I should probably stick to just ONE round when out on a school week night.

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Commuting to work at 7am on Friday morning after taking in more beer than baseball required the biggest cup of coffee & my head buried in a novel.

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…and a Friday afternoon Pumpkin Spice Latte pick me up when my beer-induced-headache returned.

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Work goodies! Pretty much obsessed with these tanks.

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Took advantage of being cooped up inside on a rainy Saturday and finished up a commissioned chalk board menu board for an Etsy customer.

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Saturday afternoon baking.

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& Saturday evening imbibing..

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I think these mini mason jar candles from Bath & Body Works are the absolute cutest things ever.

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Sunday morning iced cappuccinos & a hot date.

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Sundays & pancakes are made for each other.

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Edible cookie dough…like, not for baking, JUST for eating. Two problems here: 1, WHY didn’t I think of this!? 2, WHY did I buy this?! Most dangerous purchase ever.

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Results of Sunday shopping.

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…continued…

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and continued.

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Changing leaves already and weather chilly enough for hot coffee.

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The best season for candles.

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The worst dilemma..finding something on Pinterest that you HAVE TO HAVE…but the photo doesn’t link back to a purchasing source. Does anyone know WHERE this coat is from!?!

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Hope you are all enjoying this last weekend and week of summer!!

xoxo

Spiced Pumpkin Bread

Tis the season!

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For pumpkin everything.

Last year, with our wedding kicking off the fall and spending prime autumn time (read, end of September through mid October) on an island in the middle of the Pacific, I kind of missed my beloved pumpkin season. I barely even had any candy corn last fall, which is unheard of seeing as Candy Corn is my all time favorite seasonal treat…I mean, like, even more so than Peeps.

So, this season I’ve decided to completely indulge in ALL THE PUMPKIN and make up for last year. Starting, of course, with Pumpkin Bread.

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The internet has decided that Pumpkin flavor in the fall is pretty much the epitome of basic so I figured why not try my hand at literally the most basic recipe ever.

The pumpkin muffin recipe on the back of the can of Libby’s.

It’s September and I’m thoroughly embracing my inner basic bitch. Whatever, she has good taste and I can’t argue with a chick that takes a ridiculous amount of photos of foliage, lights too many pumpkin spice candles and wears infinity scarves.

I used this recipe (can also be found on the back of your can of Libby’s Pumpkin, which I trust you already have a hoarded pantry full of) with two minor adjustments. I used all whole wheat flour, because it was all I had and I used 1 1/2 cups of sugar instead of 3. Three cups just seemed a tad overkill and they turned out just fine and perfectly sweet with only 1 1/2.

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So, we ended up making 12 massive muffins with enough batter left over to make this mini loaf of bread. We probably could have made two mini loaves along with the muffins but as usual we ate our weight in batter. Seriously though, this batter was way too delicious.

What’s your favorite pumpkin recipe?? Personally, I’m patiently waiting for my mother-in-law’s famous pumpkin bread, it is to die for!

xoxo

Weekend Reflections; Birthday Celebrations

This weekend we celebrated my husband’s birthday! His birthday fell on Sunday which gave us the entire weekend to celebrate. We were able to spend time with both friends and family which is all you need for a great birthday. Saturday was pretty hot and humid, but his actual birthday on Sunday was gorgeous. It was one of those days where the color of the sky was so vibrant I didn’t even want to blink and miss it. Here’s some shots from our weekend:

 

 

Friday afternoon baking: scones from Jessica’s outrageous cookbook Seriously Delish. Totally read the whole thing cover to cover as soon as it arrived then promptly made these. 

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Afternoon snacks during the season of pumpkin EVERYTHING. I’m not complaining.

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This is how excited I am over Flash Tattoos…kind of in love.

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Baking all the things my husband loves into one cake that just screamed DAN.

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A hot, sweaty, humid, seemingly never ending training run Saturday morning.

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This weekend reminded me that I need to invest in some sort of cake holder/transporter. This doesn’t really work.

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Fortunately, it did make it safely to my inlaw’s home.

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Saturday errands. These may be from the grocery store but that doesn’t change the fact that they are two of the best smelling candles. 

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Saturday night OOTD. Top by Free People, daisy dukes by me & sandals by Sanuk.

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Possibly the best appetizer ever. A soft boiled egg baked into a pocket of some of the most deliciously charred and chewy pizza dough, sitting atop a bed of ricotta & drizzled with truffle oil. I mean….

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Naturally, the best dough equals the BEST PIZZA EVER. The four of us each got our own and sampled each other’s. I got the salad slice, my husband got one with sausage and onions, my friend got the ‘shroom pizza and her fiancé got the bone marrow. I really can’t even decide which trumped the other they were all so insanely delicious. Top left is baked oysters that were just swimming in the most decadent pool of garlic butter. Just stop. 

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Along with phenomenal food, this spot had divine drinks as well! I was quite impressed with the cocktail menu.

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Since we were celebrating Dan’s birthday, dessert was a necessity. Half Baked Brownie Skillets for three of us (um, a steaming hot bowl of gooey raw brownie batter topped with a scoop of vanilla gelato. Heaven was right there in that tiny little skillet.)

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And my friend got this Panna Cotta which, according to her “just tasted healthy”. Ok.

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Between the company and the food, my husband was a happy dude.

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Sunday morning we woke up and went out to a favorite diner of ours for whole wheat pancakes, turkey sausage, sunny side up eggs and iced coffee. The birthday boy’s choice. Then we came home, snuggled on the couch and he opened his gifts from me.

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Sunday afternoon we headed out to RiverMarket Bar & Kitchen for a birthday brunch with my in-laws.

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I got the Montaulk Pointe lobster salad with a glass of viognier while he opted for the grass-fed burger & fries with a pint of local craft beer.

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One of my favorite things about RiverMarket (aside from the delightfully fresh, locally sourced food) is the small wide mouth mason jars filled with adorable brightly colored flowers. On the bar they had repurposed whiskey bottles brimming with a sweet singular sunflower. Obsessed.

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Post brunch it was back to my in-laws for coffee & dessert.

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The cake was a hit, which means the recipe will make its way here soon :)

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xoxo