Its the Great Pumpkin Spice Syrup DIY, Charlie Brown


Even though it's release was early this year due to the popular demand, I waited until the first day of fall to enjoy a pumpkin spice latte from Starbucks. Like apple picking, nothing says the start of fall quite like it.

While I truly enjoy my favorite seasonal beverage, in the long run its expensive, and, sigh, a bit high in calories, even made nonfat (70 calories in just whip cream? Yikes!). When I saw a recipe for a DIY pumpkin spice syrup on Foodgawker,  I jumped right on it as I already had a can of pumpkin in the pantry (saw it at Trader Joe's and figured it would come in handy, especially this time of year).
If your a PSL or just a pumpkin fan, you are definitely going to want to have this syrup on hand. It is extremely easy to make and nothing short of perfect. Even if your not a coffee drinker, you can still enjoy it with milk for a coffee-free latte, with milk and ice cream for a pumpkin pie milkshake etc. Topped off with a little whip cream and pumpkin pie spice*, its the perfect at home fall treat.

*So I had no idea "pumpkin pie spice" was a real thing, as in a product that people actually buy. I decided to make some just for the sake of having it for my PSL's, since we had all the spices on hand. I'm glad I did because a small jar sells for $6!!!! If your fortunate to have a Trader Joe's nearby its only$1.99, but seriously, make it yourself. Guaranteed, you already have the necessary spices on hand. 

Born in the USA...


...and these are the only states I have visited. 

Sad, right? Needless to say, I need to will be traveling more in my own "backyard". 

There are many places I have always dreamed of going, and others that I discover from day to day, and wish to see. Here are the places that are at the very top of my list:

For as long as I can remember, I have always wanted to go to the "best" coast. California has EVERYTHING! I for sure would love to see So Cal, San Francisco, Santa Barbara, and Wine Country, with a detour to Rachel Zoe's house somewhere in between. 

 Seattle, Washington
The Space Needle, Pike Place Market, and the home of my all time favorite, Starbucks.  

Chicago, Illinois
From the architecture to the deep dish pizza to the history. I love the cool, contemporary vibe that is the windy city. Also, I'd love to see the beach for myself.

New Orleans, Louisiana
 Without a doubt, NOLA is number one on my list. I love the history and culture of Louisiana, and how incredibly rich it is. From the music to the art and of course the FOOD! Po-BoysBeignets, I want to try it all. Most importantly, a trip to NoLa would not be complete for me without a trip to the Superdome to see the Saints in action.
Who Dat?

Does your wanderlust ever have you itching to visit places "in your own backyard"?

(Click here to make your own visited states map.) 

Brooklyn Flea


On Sunday, I finally got to check out the Brooklyn Flea in Williamsburg, with my friend Gabriella. Even though I see and read of the fabulous finds from the Flea (such as $30 for a vintage YSL suit by another dear friend) I was still a bit skeptical (in case you forgot why). After that first glance over when entering, I was surprised to see that it wasn't just a bunch of old crap (just being honest), but a mix of vintage items, random knick knacks, as well as stalls featuring independent clothing and jewelry designers.

Gabriella and I browsed the stalls looking at everything from vintage designer goods, to furniture. However, my favorite stall would have to be one that had a bunch of dresses and clothing from the Studio 54 days. I'm talking glitter and sequin EVERYTHING! It was fabulous! I was gasping for air (my version of the normal persons "ooh" and "ahh") at each piece. What I fell in love with most was this purple dress and the fact that according to the vendor, Diana Ross had the same one in mahogany.

But I didn't buy it. Even though I am still getting used to the whole idea of thrifting, this weekends trip to the flea has me coming around to actually doing it. From that glam dress above, to the absolutely amazing silk jumpsuit that Gabriella bought, those one of a kind pieces are just too good to pass up. And plus, that's what dry cleaners are for right?

What did everyone do this weekend? Any thrifting? Hope you all have a wonderful week!

Chicken Normandy


With the abundance of apples in my house, I wanted to find a dish that allowed me to cook with apples, as opposed to just baking with them. I first saw the recipe for Chicken Normandy (or chicken à la normande), last year, but never got around to making it. I figured there was no better day than a rainy Friday after a hellish week to give it a try. With a Macintosh and Gala carefully selected, it was off to the kitchen to get started.

Even though this dish had many steps, it was all worth it in the end because it was DELICIOUS. The flavors of the apples, cider, brandy, onions and cream (I used light sour cream and it worked phenomenally) together is honestly, unexpectedly good. I could definitely eat the sauce on its own; it was that good.

apples sauteing in butter. Paula Deen would be proud.
A couple more steps, some simmering, etc, and voila:
An instagram pic of the final product.
It may sound cliche, but it truly was the quintessential fall comfort food dish. I will definitely be making this dish again, long after the apples we picked run out.

Nail Art


To say my friend Lauren is a pro at nail art, would be an understatement. She is freaking amazing at it. When she was over my house the weekend we went to the feast of San Gennaro, she made it her mission to give me the full nail art treatment. Since I normally stick to the same colors, I was a bit hesitant at first. But after she got started, I began to relax, and was really excited for the outcome.
the master at work

The final product: leopard nails!!

(colors used are Essie's Sugar Daddy for the base, Forever 21's Mint for the tip, NYC Pink Promenade Creme for the spots and Wet n Wild Black creme for the spots)

Check out Lauren and her friend Julia's nail art blog F!nger Paintz, with pics of their designs, and tutorials. Even if its not your thing, the talent these two girls have is INCREDIBLE, and its definitely fun to look at.

What's in my bag?: Day trip edition


Since Saturday's trip upstate to go apple picking was a roughly 2 to 3 hour car ride, it was essential I had things to keep me distracted from being seated for so long occupied and entertained. Even though I have midterms this week and next, I opted for some fun, easy reading material and my ipod, instead of my notes and textbooks. Reading my finance text would have just made me car sick anyway :)

I brought my smaller bag for my essentials. Perfect for walking around the farm stand area.
(Asos bag) sunglasses, eye drops, Rosebud lip salve, pen, ipod, iPhone, Louis Vuitton coin purse/key thing. 

We have tons of reusable totes around and it made packing my extras a cinch!
(tote for the car) camera, makeup bag, backup sunglasses, bottle of water, agenda, notebook, and a magazine (October's Harper's Bazaar in this case)

What are your day trip essentials?

Apple Picking


It seems that everyone in the Tri-State area took advantage of the warm weather and the long weekend to head upstate and go apple picking on Saturday.  Despite the temps and the mud (from Hurricane Irene?) it was nice to see the beginning changes of fall, and to be out of the city and in the clean, country air.

While the drive to the orchard and, being upstate is nice, my absolute favorite thing about apple picking is the abundance of apples that is now in my house! Muffins and pie are a given, but I can't wait to try some new apple infused recipes!

Hope you all had a wonderful weekend! 



It's amazing how something as sad as death, can be inspirational and motivational at the same time.

Realizing (at the 99th hour that is my senior year, I know) that I'm not really cut out/in love with my major as I had previously thought, has had me in a rut and doing some major soul searching. After missing the train Tuesday, I decided to skip class, and went back home to take what ended up being a two day mental health vacation (it would have been the whole week, but I had presentations due).

When the news broke Wednesday night, that Steve Jobs had died, I was begrudgingly preparing for the rest of the school week. I was shocked and saddened. My sadness, however, soon became inspiration, when CNN played a clip from a speech Steve Jobs gave in 2005. It then clicked:
“Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma — which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of others’ opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.
Steve Jobs was nothing short of a genius and as everyone has been saying, a  true visionary. He had successes and he had failures. He had dreams and ideas so big, that many just couldn't fathom them. Yet, no matter what, he let nothing get in his way. For that I am grateful, because I can't imagine my life without my Macbook, my iPhone, and most certainly not my iPod. 

So thank you Steve Jobs, for sharing not just your wonderful inventions and products, but also your passion, with the world. 

Lastly, I wanted to share this clip I saw earlier today. What a great sense of humor Mr. Jobs had. 

Have a wonderful weekend everyone! :)

Currently Watching: Pan Am


When I initially started to right this post, every sentence included a reference to Mad Men, but honestly, there is no comparison. Sure they are both set in the Sixties, are dramas, and have amazing wardrobe styling, but Pan Am is definitely in a league of its own. 

Why I love Pan Am
-It's nice to see a group of ambitious women, seeking out adventure and travelling the world, while having the job "a million girls would die for" (I know I would). No, I am not getting all feminist on you, but compared to most other shows about groups of women (cough Housewives, cough Bad Girls Club), its nice to feel inspired and not ashamed after watching.

-Air travel was SO glamorous back then! Oh, I wish for those days!

-Of course the stewardesses looked fab, but so did the passengers. When did this become the norm for air travel? Long gone are the days when people not just dressed up, but actually cared about their appearance.

-I also really appreciate that ABC took the time and did their research in conveying an actual portrayal of the Pan Am days. I really enjoyed watching this video and this one as well, of former Pan Am stewardesses recounting stories of the good old days of glamour and elegance. I also couldn't help but notice how FABULOUS all of those ladies looked. 

-Lastly, Pan Am does nothing for my wanderlust (which has been at an all time high lately). London and Paris in just the first two episodes? Be still my heart. 

Are you tuning in to Pan Am? Love it or loathe it?

Trail Mix


Making healthy eating choices and my school cafeteria are an oxymoron to say the least. Where everything is fried, and full of sugar and ingredients I can't pronounce, its hard to find anything healthy to snack on in between classes. As I made my list for my weekly trip to Trader Joe's, it dawned on me; why not trail mix? It's easy, convenient, and most importantly, healthy.

Since I have some weird, undiagnosed food allergies, I'm limited to cashews and almond slivers. Mixed with dried cranberries, and chocolate covered almonds (there had to be some fun factor), I'm very happy with the end product. I can't wait to switch it up, and try other combinations (since I have the snacking habits of a five year old, and get sick of something if I eat it to much).

What are your favorite on the go snacks? Do you have any trail mix combinations I should try?