Guest Post: Summer Cocktail


Last week I mentioned that I had a very exciting guest post for while I was away and here it is- the first ever guest post by The Style Dossier! The Style Dossier is one of my favorite blogs where sisters Libby, Mandy, and Katy talk fashion, food, DIY, and beauty. They also come up with some amazing cocktails, perfect for any or every occasion. Knowing how great they are what they do, I asked them if they would come up with a cocktail for me based on my likes and my love of summer, and this is what they came up with: The Cocada.

Summer's are all about raspa's on those hot summer days, lounging by the pool, but most importantly those perfect summer cocktails. We think we have a real winner here: The Cocada is the PERFECT summer cocktail- it's fresh and tastes just like vacation! You know those drinks that make you feel like you're on a beach somewhere soaking up the sun? This is definitely it. It has pineapple, coconut and tequila, exactly what you need in a summer drink. Lately our secret ingredient has been Mexican flavored soda's as they make any cocktail taste so fresh. Just add tequila and you have yourself the best cocktail. The genius behind pineapple soda deserves a medal. Happy Summer!  


What's your cocktail of choice come summer? 
And thank you again Libby, Mandy, and Katy for guest posting! 

No Ice Cream Maker Ice Cream


When it comes to summer, my diet is as follows: fruit, grilled everything, Prosecco, melon and prosciutto, rosé, and most importantly, ice cream. I'm sure I'm not the only one who has fond memories of summers past that include ice cream, whether it's a special ice cream place or eating it as fast you can before it melts. If I had to choose, ice cream would definitely have to be my official food of summer.

Most of the ice cream I eat during the summer is homemade, but breaking out the ice cream maker (it's old school) is a process that I am usual to hot to be bothered with. However, making ice cream without one is not just easy, but yields the same creamy ice cream that the ice cream maker would. All that's need is a blender, a recipe, a bread pan and cling wrap, and some time. And a freezer, but I feel like that's a given...

(UPDATED TO ADD: This method also works great for making sorbet.)

To begin, prepare the ice cream recipe of your choice, and make sure that it is cold. Pour the mixture into a bread pan, cover with cling wrap, and let it freeze for a few hours (1 to 3), or until the mixture becomes icy. (Make sure not place deep into the freezer as it will freeze too quickly.)

After the mixture becomes icy, remove the bread pan from the freezer and pour the mixture back into the blender. Blend it on high to break up the ice crystals, and then pour it back into the bread pan. Cover and let the mixture freeze again for another few hours. Repeat the blending and re-freezing one to two more times. The mixture will start to thicken with each blend and start to resemble a milkshake.

Once the mixture has completed it's final time in the blender, leave in the freezer to set up. (If the ice cream calls for any mix-ins, like chocolate chips or fresh fruit, add them to the pan and mix with a spoon before placing back in the freezer.)  The amount of time until it is "done" depends on the desired consistency of the ice cream, but the mixture can also be left in the freezer overnight and left to thaw out when ready.

Trip Essentials


My soon-to-be view: the Portland Headlight in Maine. 

Happy first day of summer! In a few short days I will be off  to my first destination of the summer, Maine. I can't wait for the fun, sights, and the food. Especially the food. 

The fact that I haven't made a list of what I'm bringing/ packed yet is very much unlike me, and it looks like I will be packing the day before I leave, which is again, very unlike me. No matter where I go however, there are a few items that always find their way with me, and are truly my essentials. Once I have them packed, the rest should be a breeze, and hopefully I won't over pack/pack a pair of shoes for every outfit...

The Pliage bags from Longchamp are such a staple for me, and the large travel bag is no different. It has become my go-to bag for toting back souvenirs and purchases on trips, as a carry-on, or a weekend/short trip bag. I am going to be super ambitious and attempt to pack everything I need for my trip in it. Ha, ha, ha.

I have no idea what I am packing clothing-wise, but I know for sure I will be bringing along a a black maxi. I've been living in this one from Old Navy and know it will be perfect for the six-hour car ride and again for a day of sightseeing.

A camera is a no-brainer, and with scenic views like the one above, I can't wait to take my Rebel on the road with me. I not too long ago purchased the Jill.e camera bag insert and I love it as it fits perfectly into a bigger bag and can hold my camera and two lenses. 

M.A.C.'s Big Kiss is one of my favorite glosses in general, but especially in summer, as it's the perfect shade of coral. I love it for day and night. 

I always like to pack a scarf for frigid AC, a chilly night, or to cover up in observance of a religious setting. Since the weather in Maine can be more on the cooler side, and I freeze easily, I am bringing a few of my favorite scarves to throw on when the temperatures drop a bit. 

Even though it's been a minute since I've used it, I now remember why I bought my Kindle and how perfect it is for travel. I can't wait to get into one of my summer reads while on the road. 
Just as essential would be my iPod (yes, I am still loyal to my classic,) with some new downloads and a playlist or two. (Lots of Kaskade, no shocker there, especially his newest single, Atmosphere.)

I have a few posts in my absence (read: posts that I had for this week...), including a guest post that I am SUPER excited about. Until next time!

Summer To-Do List


I was getting a little nervous that summer was taking a rain check, (literally) but since the temperatures are beginning to warm up again, I am starting to think that my favorite season has not been canceled after all. This post grad period has had it's moments, but I have a feeling that my funemployment is coming to an end. At least I hope and pray to God that it is. 

With my last few weeks, maybe months of freedom, and the official start of summer just days away, I'm making (yet another) list of things I hope to do and check off this summer. (You can check out last years list here, and don't be surprised if they look similar...)

Make some more headway on my 25 before 25 list.
See how New York does Bastille Day.
Try macarons. Again.
Get a glimpse of Manhattanhenge.
Go berry picking.
Learn to love the local beaches.
Get an ice from Ralph's.
Check out the Rain Room at MoMA before it closes.
Relive camp days by making s'mores...Paleo-fied of course.
Go to a baseball game. (The last time I went to a Met's game, it was at Shea Stadium...)
Take a trip down the (Jersey) Shore.
Go to a farm. Befriend the animals.
Eat my way through Smorgasburg. (Can't believe I've never been!)
Start making a cookbook with family recipes.
Do something completely spontaneous/out of my comfort zone, and roll with it. 

What is on your summer to-do ? Any trips or special things planned?

Summer Reading


If it's one thing I plan on doing this weekend, it's getting back on track with my reading as I've been majorly slacking. It only took me forever to finish Relish and I haven't even touched the ones on my 25 before 25 yet. Summer reading in school days used to be the biggest pain, but now? I love nothing more than to relax and "escape" with a good book, whether I'm at the beach or in my backyard. Here are a few of the reads that will have me dusting off my Kindle (haven't used it in months!) and taking advantage of Amazon Prime.

Ask Wendy
Wendy Williams

The Wendy Williams Show comes on as I'm either finishing my workout or icing, and as a result, I always find myself getting sucked into her Hot Topics segment or whatever guest she may have on that day. Besides her love of DVF, one thing I love about Wendy Williams is the fact that she doesn't sugar coat things, something that is evident when she is giving advice in her "Ask Wendy" segment on the show. With the book covering everything from office etiquette to friend drama, I can't wait to read the A's Wendy has to these Q's. 

The Secretary
Kim Ghattas

I have a not-so-secret love of the Clinton family, and over the last few years I've enjoyed seeing Hillary Clinton go from First Lady, to Senator of NY, to Secretary of State. (And yes, I fan girl shrieked when I saw she joined Twitter this week...) The Secretary is a unique look at Clinton's role as Secretary of State and some of the 956,733 miles she traveled, as well as a journey of self discovery for author Kim Ghattas, as she gets a look at the country that played such a part in her childhood. 

La Bella Lingua: My Love Affair with Italian, the World's Most Enchanting Language 
Dianne Hales

By now, it's probably obvious that I love Italy/the Italian language. La Bella Lingua has been on my to-read list for some time now, and since I've progressed recently with practice, I've fallen even more with the country and the language (if that's even possible). I can already tell La Bella Lingua will be my "escape" book, and have me dreaming of my next trip.

Tim Gunn

Fashion books are some of my favorite reads, but so often they can be boring and redundant. Instead of "wear this, not that," Tim Gunn's Fashion Bible takes a look at "everything in your closet," and gives a brief history on it. Since I love a bit of fashion history and Tim Gunn, this one has "me" written all over it.

Paleo Cooking from Elana's Pantry
Elana Amsterdam

After reading about it on instagram, it was a recipe for Paleo bread that first brought me to Elana's Pantry a few months ago. Elana's site is filled with a ton of great gluten-free and Paleo recipes for everything from breads to cakes. After skimming the index (and seeing bagels!) Elana's newest cookbook is looking to be a quick favorite as well as my first Paleo cookbook!

I've shared mine, now it's your turn. What do you have on your to read list?

Chocolate Covered Strawberries with Cream Cheese


For me, these strawberries are the quintessential summer dessert. I often dream about eating them in the fall and winter, and while they make an occasional appearance during those months, it's just not the same. They are truly the best during the summer when strawberries are in season and at their largest, sweetest, and freshest. I had originally planned to make the first batch of summer after I went berry picking in a few weeks, but obviously, I couldn't wait that long.


1-2 pounds of strawberries (depending on the size of the berry), washed and dried completely
8 ounces of cream cheese, at room temperature
1 tsp vanilla extract (more or less to taste)
1 cup of semi-sweet chocolate (I use the Enjoy Life chocolate chips for a dairy/soy free option.)

Optional: If you want to make the cream cheese filling a bit sweeter, a bit of honey or maple syrup (or other sweetener,) can be mixed in. I personally use the sweetness of the berry/chocolate take care of that. 

Prep by lining a baking sheet with parchment or wax paper and set aside. Beginning with the strawberries, score the tip, about 3/4 of the way down, so that the strawberries "open." Place them on a plate, stem side down.

Mix the cream cheese and vanilla (and sweetener, if using) until smooth, then spoon the mixture into a piping bag (or a Ziploc bag with the corner cut off). Place the tip of the piping bag as far into the opening of the strawberry as possible and fill, but making sure not to overfill. Place each finished berry back on to the plate.

In a microwave or double boiler, melt the chocolate until smooth and glossy, making sure not to burn it. Dip each strawberry into the chocolate, about 3/4 of the way down (or to where it was cut before), and let the excess drip off before placing it on the baking sheet. Once all the strawberries are finished, place the baking sheet in the fridge to set, about 15 minutes. Remove from the fridge and serve.



What is it about summer weekends that are so blissful? For me, this weekend was equal parts relaxing and productive filled with shopping, (too much, I will admit..and soon deny) running into old friends, and consuming yummy treats. I also attended a cooking demo by Daphne Oz at the Columbus Circle Williams-Sonoma, which was really exciting.

For the demo, Daphne made two recipes from her book Relisha massaged kale salad with hemp seeds and Parmesan cheese, and her chili jam chicken. Both were as delicious as they appear in the book, but also required few ingredients, and very little time with both dishes ready in less than 30 minutes. Throughout the demo, Daphne chatted about her book, her love of food, what it's really like behind the scenes at The Chew (as hysterical/crazy as it appears on TV), and why she thinks it's so important that we take time to relish life. 

The trick to the massaged kale salad? "Manhandle it!"
The finished salad with a little red pepper thrown in and the most amazing vinaigrette ever. 

The demo was a lot of fun and Daphne was as sweet in person as she is on TV and in her book. Even though it took me a bit longer to get through than I anticipated, I guess you can say I relished Relish as it is filled with SO many great recipes and tips (and beautiful photos) like how to use PLU (price-look up) codes to find out how your produce is grown, how to decorate and entertain effortlessly, and what is essential in making the most out of all the relationships we encounter in life. Everything Daphne Oz presents in her book is doable, no matter what your age, income, skill level, etc. and best of all, Relish is all about finding your joy and happiness in every day, something that I am finally learning/allowing myself to do. If you are looking for a summer read that you will love way past summer, Relish is it. 

Isn't the weekend such a tough act to follow for Monday? (Yes, that was a reference to the Tony Awards...) What did you get in to this weekend? 

Favorite Workout Of the Moment: Tabata


It feels like months have gone by since my first post for "Fit Friday," (still unsure of the title but whatever!), but here we are! As I said before, the topics will vary, but for this month I wanted to share my favorite workout at the moment: Tabata.

A while back, I tweeted one morning that I much preferred to do my Pilates for the day from the comfort and convenience of my bed. Soon after, my friend Lauren tweeted me back telling me that I should give a Tabata a try. A Ta-whata?! I had to google it since I had never heard of it before, but was immediately intrigued at what I had found. If it hadn't been my rest/stretch day, I definitely would have done it that morning. I made it a plan to give it a try the following week, and what I thought was going to be an easy workout, had me panting and sweating, just two minutes in. What initially felt like torture has become one of my favorite workouts.

So what is Tabata? It's actually quite simple. It's a form of high intensity interval training (or HIIT), comprised of one or more exercises performed for 8 rounds. Each interval last for 20 seconds, with 10 seconds of rest between each interval. Total time? Four minutes. So a Tabata could look like this:

20 seconds of lunges, 10 seconds rest, 20 seconds of burpees, 10 seconds rest...


20 seconds of lunges, 10 seconds rest, 20 seconds of lunges, 10 seconds  rest...

I typically stick to one exercise per interval as I forget easily. And when I'm not making up my own workout, I'll follow along to one on YouTube (I especially love this one). I've been incorporating Tabata's into my workouts, about twice a week and I can definitely see a difference and feel myself getting stronger. Besides that, I love Tabata for a number of reasons:
  1. With the exception of a timer, it requires no other equipment. Weights and machines can be incorporated into the workout, but it's not necessary. Bodyweight all the way, baby! To keep time, a wall clock or stopwatch may work, but there are a number of free apps out there specifically for Tabata, (I use Gymboss) to keep accurate time.
  2. It's quick, yet effective- Time is tight for many people, so a Tabata leaves no excuses. But it works.
  3. Tabatas are completely customizable. There is no one way to do a Tabata, which is great for when I feel like focusing on certain areas.
  4. It can be done anywhere. At home or on the go, all that is needed is space to move about freely. It will definitely be my go-to workout while on vacation.
If you've ever done a Jillian Michael workout, you can definitely do a Tabata. Consult with your doctor if necessary, but know your fitness level and start slow. If you give it a try, let me know! You may hate me initially, but that feeling (and the next day soreness) will pass :)

Have you ever tried a Tabata workout? What is your favorite workout at the moment?

Bathing Suit Season | Suit Up!


Now that I'm off my soapbox, I'm sharing some of my favorite suits for the season. I think the greatest joy in swimsuit shopping (yes, there is joy in it) is knowing that trips to the beach, time by the pool, or vacation, is near. Plus, swimsuit shopping means shopping for fabulous accessories like sunglasses, hats, and my favorite, caftans. But more on those at another time.

Over the years, I have happily weened myself off of the typical (boring) black scoop neck one piece suit, opting instead for ones with a bit more flair and even color. I plan to explore that more this summer with some new suits, while still sticking to the tried and true. 

Panache (the best brand for all my D+ girls!), Michael Michael KorsFreya (another great brand for D+)

Bikinis were no doubt revolutionary when they first arrived on the beach scene, and I love how the style has evolved over the years, making it easier for any body to rock the style. Since I've dared myself to wear one this year, and going back to my love of crop tops, my pick for the summer would have to be the high waisted style; just the right amount of sass and coverage for me.

Luxe by Lisa Vogel, SplendidNorma Kamali

The tankini sure has come a long way from being boring, unflattering, and just terrible in general. I was pleasantly surprised by the selection available, from high to low of *gasp* flattering fits and colors. My personal pick would have to be the Norma Kamali suit: a pair of shades, and a headscarf (I'm thinking Pucci) and I am set for a day poolside. (sidebar: If you couldn't tell, I always go for a lewk with my swimwear.) 

one piece

A one piece bathing suit will always be an essential for me. Gone are my boring suits of yesteryear, with suits in fabulous cuts and colors taking their place. I'm still partial to a black one piece, but one with mesh and one-shoulder? Yes, please. 

Those are all of my picks, what are yours? What swimsuit style (or styles) do you gravitate towards? 

Bathing Suit Season | Part 1

There's no denying it now: swimsuit season is here. The weather is warming up, trips to the beach are being planned, and shopping for seasonally appropriate clothes is taking place. Another thing that's floating around right now is an insane amount of crash dieting and extreme fitness plans to "get skinny for summer." Seeing firsthand what some are doing, (and encouraging others to do) in order to achieve that "bikini body," is nothing short of frightening.

I know the sheer terror that this season can bring about, and I don't think there is anything wrong with wanting to tone up or reduce some jiggle where one sees fit. It's the nature of the summer season, and when you look good, you feel good. But when these extreme measures involve endless work outs while eating no more than 500 to 1,000 calories a day to achieve some ideal that is mostly likely only attained through Photoshop, there needs to be cause for concern. It's way too easy for these drastic measures to lead to something more serious, including eating disorders.

They say the most important thing you can wear is confidence, and when it comes to a swimsuit, that's definitely the case. For years, I was less than confident in swimwear, and I'll never forget the summer I started wearing shorts with my swimsuit at camp because my friend felt her thighs were too big (they weren't). Since I was bigger than her, I felt that I should do the same, not even considering the fact that I was at least six inches taller than her and "fit" from playing volleyball. It wasn't until three years ago that I finally dropped the insecurity (and extra clothing) and began to accept my body for what it was. Now, instead of focusing on my "flaws," I embrace my "assets" and shop for swimsuits the same way I would a dress for a special occasion, focusing on detail and fit. Again, when you look good, you feel good, and shopping for suits this way helps me to do just that. Instead of worrying about what I think my body looks like, I have more energy to spend enjoying myself and whatever I'm doing, like not falling off a jet ski in the deep waters of the Atlantic (true story).

While I feel so much better about my body now, I know I'll need a reminder at some point to not put pressure on myself to feel any sort of way. If you feel that way at any point this summer, do what I do: direct that energy elsewhere and focus on putting that pressure on your blender. Margaritas, anyone?

I'm stepping off my soapbox now. I'll have some of my favorite swimsuits for this summer up later today. xx

The Ocean Avenue Collection by Warby Parker


If my "dressing" post was any indication, summer style to me is all about having pieces that are "ready to go" at a moments notice. With all the happenings of summer, that last thing I want to do is waste time getting ready as every second of the season is precious. 

In addition to easy pieces, I also love having pieces that represent the feel of the season and bring back nostalgia of summers past. Enter the newest collection from Warby Parker, Ocean Avenue. Inspired by Coney Island/NYC in the 1979 film The Warriors, the collection features eight pairs of eyeglasses and fourteen pairs of sunglasses in styles and colors like Cream Soda, Sea Glass Blue, and Driftwood, making them the perfect "throw-'em-on-and-go frames." Looking at the collection, I was quickly reminded of my own summer adventures, including those at Coney Island, starting the day at the aquarium, going to Nathan's for lunch, and playing games and going on rides on the boardwalk until it was time to go home. Those memories always remind me that the summer is all about adventure and embracing the moment-no matter where it is or how simple it may be-and the Ocean Avenue collection truly embodies that feeling of the season.

So whether you are spending summer near Coney Island or Coronado Island, at the beach or at work, Ocean Avenue reminds us that while an official summer break may be a thing of the past for most of us, we should act like it anyway (responsibly of course!) and live for the moment of the summer season, even if it's just a kiddie pool in the backyard.

A few of my favorites from the collection include...
Dutch in Newsprint Grey

Beckett in Driftwood

Jasper in Orange Fizz

Preston in Sea Glass Blue

Jules in Ginger Lemonade

Roosevelt in Chocolate Soda

To see all the frames, head on over to Warby Parker, and as always with every pair of glasses that is purchased, a pair will be given to someone who needs it. (Can't express how much I love this program!)

Disclosure: While I was contacted by Warby Parker regarding this post, the views and opinions of the collection are all my own. 



Outside of the summer months, with the exception of a single watch, gold is not something I typically wear. But once the weather does warm up, the few gold pieces I do have are put into heavy rotation. From hoops, headwraps, and aviators, I love the way these golden details compliment my summer wardrobe. And a tan, of course! 

(Random side note: Gold is also one of my favorite songs on Macklemore and Ryan Lewis' The Heist/ the inspo for a few of the the pieces currently in my shop.) 

images via: one/two/three/four/five

p.s. I've hit so. many.  a few technical difficulties in this blogger to wordpress switch, so yeah, taking a bit longer /more effort than I anticipated. Doesn't help that technical things drive me absolutely mad...