Fall Sale Picks: J Crew and Madewell

I’ve noticed there are a lot of great fall sales going on right now, many of which end today! It’s a great chance to add new items to your closet at a discounted price, many of which can easily transition right into the upcoming winter season.

Below are some of my current pics (and purchases, hehe) from J Crew and Madewell. J Crew is offering 30% off current sale styles, while Madewell is offering 25%. But act quick because both sales end today!

PicMonkey Collage jcrew

J Crew – Take 30% off your order with code SHOPNOW

  • Scalloped Dress – Originally $168. Now $119. With discount $83.30. Love this with a fall blazer and leopard pumps.
  • Jeweled Sweater Tee – Originally $98. Now $69.99. With discount $49. The jeweled neckline is everywhere right now, and this sweater is warm enough to wear into colder temps.
  • Scallop Trim Mini – Originally $98. Now $78. With discount $54.60. Love this for Christmas! Actually purchased to wear Christmas Eve.


PicMonkey CollageMadewell – Take 25% off your oder with code HELLOFALL

  • Boucle Varsity Jacket – Originally $145. Now $108.50. With discount $81.37. The varsity look is hot right now, so this is a great deal on a trendy piece!
  • Denim Boyshirt in Saltstone Wash – Originally $88. Now $69.50. With discount $52.12. I’ll take a $52 chambray shirt anyday.
  • Hepcat Shades – Originally $55. Now $44.50. With discount $33.37. I’ve been eyeing these since the summer. The color is great for multiple seasons and the style is current.

Get shopping, ya’ll! Don’t miss out on these great deals and more!

Know of any other great fall sales going on? Please share!

Do you have anything on your wishlist/must-have list?


Sun Dried Tomato Risotto

This is our rockstar meal. Whenever we make risotto, which is only on occasion, we sit down to eat with a glass of wine and literally feel like rockstars. It’s just so decadent.

Risotto is definitely a meal that intimidates many, but all it requires is your time. And your arm. Prepare to get an arm workout in, because you need to be stirring constantly. If you can dedicate yourself to that, then there is nothing standing in your way of a dreamy creamy meal.


  • 1/4 cup sun dried tomatoes, chopped finely
  • 1/4 cup onion, chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 cup arborio rice
  • 4 cups chicken stock
  • olive oil

Heat up your olive oil in a pot over medium heat.


Cook your onion until soft, then add in your garlic.


Throw in the arborio rice and toss with the olive oil until all pieces are coated.

Now, you begin the process of adding the chicken stock. We add 1/2 cup at a time.


Stir the liquid constantly until the liquid is completely absorbed.


Repeat this process until all 4 cups of chicken stock are absorbed.


Right before the last 1/2 cup is soaked up by the rice, add your sun dried tomatoes and parmesan cheese. Season with salt and pepper.


We typically serve alongside a delicious salad. We went with a Cajun Kettle salad this particular evening along with a glass of burgundy wine and it was pretty much perfection. Rockstar perfection.


Don’t be intimidated by risotto- give it a try. I promise you’ll be so glad you did and you will feel absolutely accomplished that you made such an amazing dish!

Have you ever made risotto before? Do you feel its tedious or worth it?

A Top Choice Wedding

On Sunday night, we celebrated the wedding of two friends, Alison and Dean!


Pete and I were looking forward to this wedding, not only to celebrate with our friends, but also because the venue, Addison Park, was actually one of our top choices.


Addison Park is a beautiful wedding venue in Aberdeen, NJ. It is very elegant, with a black and white motif and large black spiraling staircases. Since our colors were black and white, this obviously appealed to us! For us though, The Palace won. But it was still fun to see a wedding at our second choice!


I don’t know if I’ve ever mentioned it on the blog before, I met Pete through one of my best friends, Colleen. Colleen, her husband Dave, and Pete all went to high school together.


Ironically, I went to college with Dave but never knew him!

Anywho, one day Colleen, Dave, and I went to a bar and Dave brought Pete. The rest is history I suppose. But what’s great is that we all have the same circle of friends.


So at an event like this, my best friend will always be there.


The night consisted of food, drinks, and lots of dancing. We had a great time!



Unfortunately we ducked out about a half hour early because I had work the next day, but a great time was had by all.

Congrats again to Dean and Ali!

Have you ever attended a wedding at your second choice venue? Or even where you got married?

How did you and your husband meet?



Italian Stromboli

After the fun I had this past weekend making stromboli with my family, I wanted to share the recipe with you all! It’s actually fairly simple and once you know the drill, it’s fun to come up with various options for fillings. I’ll share the process for two meat strombolis and will discuss making vegetarian options at the end of this post. Enjoy!



  • Store bought pizza dough (one dough for each stromboli)
  • Meat (I use pepperoni and/or proscuitto)
  • Shredded Mozzarella
  • Spinach or Arugala
  • Olive Oil
  • Salt and Pepper

The first thing you need to do is flour a work surface. Get enough flour on your hands and on a rolling pin as well. I usually press the dough into a rectangular shape with my hands before starting to roll, as seen below.


Once I have my shape fairly laid out, I roll it out with a rolling pin.


Regarding ingredients, I first sprinkle some shredded mozz on the dough.


Then, I layer the meat.


I tend to stick with proscuitto and pepperoni.


Once the meat is down, I top with a green. I prefer arugala, but cannot always get it so will use spinach in its place. I’ve even used romaine when I had nothing else on hand.


Then, I top the green with another sprinkle of shredded mozz.


Finally, I roll up the dough. I start with the thinnest end and roll tight, tucking in the sides as I go. Be sure to pinch the ends shut once all rolled up.


Using your hands (or a pastry brush if you are fancy) brush on some olive oil. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.


Be sure to poke holes into the dough with a fork so it can breathe while in the oven.

Bake in a 425 degree oven for 30 minutes. If you are making more than one stromboli at once, the time may increase.


Slice your stromboli loaf and enjoy!

Vegetarian variations:

  • Spread pesto (I’ve used regular pesto and sun dried tomato pesto) on the dough. Layer with sliced provolone and spinach. Top with roasted red peppers.
  • Spread ricotta on the dough. Top with shredded mozzarella. Add arugala.

What are some other stromboli variations you would try?

It’s a Family Affair

On Saturday, Pete and I got together with my family down in Howell for dinner. My parents just had a ton of work done in their house, including getting a brand new (and beautiful!) granite table. This was going to be the first time we all had a family meal in the new kitchen. I was in charge of cooking and decided to make stombolis. 5 different kinds of stromboli to be exact. Little did I know it would become a family affair, but an exciting one at that!

On the menu were the following:

  • Pepperoni Stromboli
  • Proscuitto Stromboli
  • Ricotta and Mozzarella Stromboli
  • Roasted Red Pepper and Cheese Stromboli
  • Pepperoni Stromboli on Whole Wheat Dough

First step with making strombolis is to get your dough ready.


Luckily, I had some help with that. My niece, Isabella, became a pro at rolling out dough!



With some help from her Uncle Pete, she really got the hang of it.

Once they rolled out each dough, I added the ingredients. Mozzarella first, ingredients second, topped by spinach and some more mozzarella. Time to roll those babies up!


Once rolled, my sister seasoned with salt and pepper and poked holes with a fork into each stromboli loaf.


My mom added the toppings for the ricotta and mozzarella stromboli and even got my nephew, Cameron, involved!


It was so cute to watch kids get excited about cooking!

Once all five strombolis were in the oven, the chefs paused for some photographs.


The guys, who we dubbed “the eaters” wanted in on the fun.



Soon enough, dinner was ready.


Oh yea, baby!


Absolutely loved cooking and preparing this meal with my fam- and being able to break in the new kitchen and table together! Ciao!


Have you ever cooked with kids before?

What is the last meal you made with your family?