snow day bucket list

Well, Blizzard 2015 wasn’t quite what the weathermen had predicted.. or what I was hoping for.

But it’s not a total bust. Travel bans are still in effect this morning for the state of Connecticut and according to News12 our town has about 9 inches and counting with the snow still coming down at a decent rate.

Snow days call for a little extra fun- both indoors and out. Here are a few of my favorite snow day activities.

  1. Hot chocolate (with Baileys for all you over 21 year olds out there!)
  2. A Hot Breakfast
  3. Something in the Crockpot for dinner.. tonight we’re making this delicious Chicken Parm & Quinoa Soup! YUM
  4. Netflix.. lots of Netflix
  5. Do not, I repeat, do not put on jeans. Yoga/sweatpants all day.
  6. Make a snow angel
  7. Build a snowman
  8. Complete one household chore.. (I know, I know- how lame. But hear me out on this one. A snow day is like new found time gifted to you from the snow gods. Do yourself a favor and get something done so that the rest of your week goes by much easier!)
  9. Clean off your car.. you will not want to do this tomorrow before work
  10. Walk in the snow & snap some pictures. There’s nothing better than seeing your home and town in a blanket of white

We haven’t ventured outside yet but here’s a look out our window of a very snowy Milford. Happy snow day!IMG_5188

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let it snow, let us shop!

Get ready, Northeasters! Looks like the snow is coming and we all might be in for a good old fashioned snow day or two! I for one am welcoming the snow and can’t wait to see our little town covered in a blanket of white.

Looking for something to do while you’re warm and cozy inside this week? How about some online shopping for a steal! If you love luxury brands but don’t necessarily want to spend the luxury dollars, you need to join Rue La La and Gilt.

I found these two sites a little over a year ago thanks to a couple of my stylish & thrifty coworkers. I’ve found high thread-count sheets, the perfect moto jacket, black Sperry boots, ridiculously low price meals from Plated.. just to name a few of my bargain priced steals. I love Kate Spade bags but call me crazy, I really don’t want to spend $400+ on one purse. Actually, I really don’t want to pay full price for anything and thanks to these two sites, I don’t have to. I have found two of my treasured Kate Spade bags for around 75% off the list price!

How they work:Both Rue La La and Gilt are membership based online shopping sites with different brands and boutiques added each day. Rue La La’s new boutiques start at 11 am Eastern each day and Gilt’s start at noon.

Shipping: Rue La La charges $9.95 for their “Rue 30″.. you pay with your purchase and for the next 30 days all your purchases ship free. Need it faster? You can choose Expedited shipping for an additional cost.  Gilt offers a similar shipping policy with ‘Gilt Unlimited”: $9.95 for 30 days of shipping. With Gilt you can also select Standard, Expedited, and Overnight shipping on your one time purchase if need be.

If you’re searching for something specific, you’ll probably have to check back daily just to see what’s out there. But don’t get discouraged! Last year I was looking for a special dress to wear to a rehearsal dinner and looked for a week or so and found the perfect Lilly Pulitzer dress for more than half off! The dress fit great and I ended up not only wearing it for the rehearsal dinner, but my parent’s surprise 25th wedding anniversary party as well.

here's me with my siblings at our parents surprise 25th wedding anniversary party I organized.. wearing the bargain Lilly Pulitzer dress!
here’s me with my siblings at our parents surprise 25th wedding anniversary party I organized.. wearing the bargain Lilly Pulitzer dress! Photo credit: Marianne Walls http://www.mariannewallsphotography.com/

Another thing I love about Rue La La is their “Still Want It” option. If they are sold out of an item you want, many items will have a “Still Want it” option to choose. You select the item and if they can find it, it’ll ship to you! A sheet set Brian and I were looking for just became available this weekend and is now on it’s way to us. Score!

Ready to shop? Check out Rue La La here and Gilt here.

Where else have you found great deals online? I am always looking for a bargain and would love to hear where you find your best deals! Share in the comments below.

plated… it’s what’s for dinner

Brian and I have been really into cooking and eating at home lately. It’s much more affordable then going out to dinner, plus you can control the ingredients that are going into your meals.

A total foodie at heart, I just can’t get on-board with cooking the same few meals over and over again. Sure I have my favorites and go-to recipes, but I really love to try something new and experiment (with guidance!) in the kitchen.

This is why I am so excited to try Plated! And even more excited that this weekend they’re available on Gilt City for a ridiculously great price.

A little bit about what I know about Plated… Plated delivers all the ingredients (minus a few kitchen staples) for chef created meals you can cook at home in around 30 minutes. They are dedicated to providing delicious meals that are relatively easy to prepare using fresh, high quality ingredients.

Before you go running to sign yourself up for this service, check out their delivery areas to make sure they’ll deliver to you!

For a great deal this weekend- Check out Gilt City             * New clients only

For an extra 20% off use code EAT20 through Sunday only!

Haven’t used Gilt before? You’re in for a real treat. One of my most fav places to shop for just about anything.. but more on this later. Sign up here!

Stay tuned for my review of our meals and the service at Plated!

(galley)ry wall

Your home should be your oasis. The beach has always held my heart, so this Galley-ry (get it?! galley, ship, beach..) wall had to nod to some nautical themes. The pinnacle of my style and personality is in this fun little project I’ve been working on since I moved into my first apartment… 3 apartments ago! I finally felt like I had enough pieces collected and with bf here to hang up the art, my vision was finally a reality in our humble home by the water.
Hanging your own gallery wall really isn’t too difficult. All you need is a vision, some artwork, blue painters tape and a few nails. And possibly a Command strip or two if not all of your frames have hangers.
First begin by laying out all of your pieces on the ground. I recommend working on the spacing while it’s on the floor.gw 1
We measured our wall to determine just how far on each end we wanted to leave to make the design look centered.
After your satisfied with your design, flip your frames over so you can see where you’ll need to place the nails. Here’s where your Blue Painter’s tape will come in handy. You can use the tape on the floor across your frames to mark where the nails will need to go.  Then take the tape strip, transfer it to the wall, and hammer in your nails. You now have the perfect blueprint for one row of your gallery.
gw2
For my design, we worked from top, to the bottom, and then filled in the middle. I wanted to make sure the complete design had even edges along the top and bottom.
here's brian nurturing the perfectionist in me by measuring our distances and leveling off each frame.. isn't he terrific?
here’s brian nurturing the perfectionist in me by measuring our distances and leveling off each frame.. isn’t he terrific?
Ta-da! Final product below!
gw4
I couldn’t be happier with how this project turned out. After building up the concept in my head for so long, I’m glad to see it finally hanging on my wall.

A little bit about my pieces: 

Primitives by Kathy I first discovered this brand in an adorable little beach shop on Maui in 2012. I loved the antiqued, rustic look to her pieces and brought a pillow back with me to the mainland. Nowadays you can find these bad boys just about anywhere.. I’ve even spotted them in Marshalls and Home Goods (the thrifty, home decorator’s paradise!).

Frames- I’ve been adding to this collection for quite some time, but just about every one of these came from Marshalls or Home Goods. Their selections are ever changing so be patient in your search if you’re out for something specific. I was typically able to score at least one new treasure each trip.

fro yo

I absolutely love frozen yogurt, waterice, ice cream, gelato.. basically if its frozen, pass the pint my way please! Unfortunately these little cartons can really pack on the calories and with four servings in a pint (seriously? they must be joking right?)– I’ve been trying to find some creative ways to get my frozen fix in a healthier way.

Enter this little frozen yogurt treat. I made this recipe this week as an after dinner snack and it was a hit!
my apologies for this blurry image- way too much excitement to eat this sweet bowl!
my apologies for this blurry image- way too much excitement to eat this sweet bowl!
My spin on this: Try greek yogurt instead of plain.. you’ll add more protein into your snack (Helping you to stay full longer!). Substitute the strawberries for mixed berries or peaches- the possibilities are endless!
Delicious!
Extra: Snag these adorable prep/dip/snack bowls here to help keep your portion sizes down but your kitchen style up!

anchors aweigh

New year, new you.. we’ve all heard it- and probably said these words. But do we really mean it? What changed when the ball dropped on December 31st? Our attitudes. For most people January 1st signals a fresh beginning and new possibilities. Its an opportunity to jump start those goals that have been wearing on your mind, finally correct that nagging habit, take on a new hobby, you name it.

So cheers to the new year and our new found positivity! Welcome to my little piece of new year bliss- even keeled life. I hope this blog will serve as the culmination of many nights of pinning sessions, kitchen creations, and life as a Nittany Lion turned Connecticut Yankee.