Five on Friday | Superbowl Food Edition

January 31, 2014
Happy Friday lovely readers! Trying a little something different for this week's Five on Friday and talking about 5 great foods to serve for the Superbowl!! I think we can all agree - that regardless of who is playing in the game - it's about the company, the food and the commercials!


Pigs in a blanket have a very special place in my heart and can not be easier to make! Certainly a crowd pleaser, especially if you have some kids around - who am I kidding - I'd devour them all! 

I made a similar version of this recipe last year and they were gone before the second quarter! 
mini mac & cheese bites

Taylor from It's the Little Things shared this Pimento Cheese Pastry Appetizer and I can't wait to try it! 

We all need a little sugar fix in our lives and these brownies look so good! Since I'm not the biggest fan of peanut butter - I'll probably just skip that step! 

Only 110 calorie mozzarella sticks?! I'm pretty sure the hardest part of this recipe will be not eating them all before your guests arrive! 

If you guys have not seen this commercial yet - or even if you have - take a look!! Sweetest Superbowl commercial ever! 

Happy Weekend! 


Wedding Wednesday | Etsy Shops

January 29, 2014
Happy Wednesday dolls! Since I wasn't blogging when I planned my wedding (March will be one year) I decided to start recapping some of my favorite things throughout the process all leading up to our one year anniversary!! Hopefully this will help some current brides out there or even some ideas for the bride in your life!! I used Etsy for a few special things and had exceptional service with each of the shop owners. There is something really special about having handmade / one-of-a-kind items for your wedding day.

~The Veil~
A tad unconventional in this sense, but I knew I wanted a very full look for my veil - think Priscilla Presley marrying Elvis. My mom and dad got married in the 70's and I was always obsessed with my mom's veil!! Sadly, she didn't have it when we moved to America or I would have definitely worn hers! 
I wasn't able to find anything decently priced at any bridal stores - so I went in search of the perfect veil on Etsy! I decided to go with Veils of Art. Working with Olga was very easy and she sent a couple of swatches to me so that I could match my dress exactly. She has an online website as well and like I said is very reasonably priced!!  
Final look:
Photo Credit: Gwen Tundermann

~Personalized Handkerchiefs~
Gary and I both decided that we wanted to get large canvases for our parents after the wedding, but I wanted to be able to give both sets of parents something at the rehearsal dinner. I had seen the idea of personalized handkerchiefs floating around for a while and really loved the fact that color, words and everything would be my own.  I used 4myangels boutique and Melanie was very easy to work with. In fact, you basically put the personalization into the order form and that was it! 
sample on website

~Wedding Cards~
I loved photos of brides and grooms reading their respective wedding day cards and wanted a cohesive look for ours. I searched Etsy for a very simple but classic look and found Stefanie's shop, marrygrams. There are so many options to choose from and not only for weddings!! As a side note- I didn't want Gary to forget to write a card for our wedding day (not that he would have) but being the overly detailed bride that I was, I purchased one for me as well! 
This was the card Gary gave to me...

I had never heard of a "toss" garter before, but apparently it's a thing! I was lucky enough to wear the same garter that my sister wore on her wedding day 10 years prior and wanted it to stay in our family...I have two nieces!! If you've ever searched Etsy - you know there are a TON of options for garters! I didn't want anything too fussy and I certainly didn't want to pay an arm and a leg for something that I wasn't even keeping! I found PartyGurlShoppe and for only $3 I knew it was a steal!! As an added bonus it was almost identical to the one I already had! If you are planning a bachelorette party I highly suggest checking the site out as there are so many cute ideas! 
Both garters! 

~The Bridal Hanger~
I was actually gifted a bridal hanger as an engagement gift from my best friend, but for that same friend I ordered a bridal hanger for her wedding which was three months prior to mine! As with garters, there a ton of handmade options for wedding hangers. I wanted to find something reasonably priced with great reviews. I found Morgan's shop Snooty Bride and was instantly sold! She has a ton of top notch reviews and the delivery time was impeccable.

bonus: currently on sale! 

My love for Etsy has not subsided and I'm sure I'll continue to purchase from the site. Did you use Etsy for anything for your wedding?

~These opinions are my own and I have already paid and used these items. I have not been compensated for my review~

Monday Musings

January 27, 2014
It's Monday already and feeling super refreshed after an extremely relaxing weekend. With the weather being - here's a shocker- bitterly cold…it was super low key and forced me to relax.

I was able to cross "take a yoga class" off my bucket list and unfortunately for me - not my cup of tea!! I thought I'd be like this…
 But, my body doesn't work in that way and the minute the Yoga teacher asked the class to breathe and exhale and say "OM" I knew I was done. I stayed for the full hour - but need something more high intensity and I'm an instant gratification kind of girl!

Before the Bachelor Wedding I half heartedly watched the Grammy's red carpet. Totally get that this is the red carpet where the stars can let loose a bit with their look, but still with the pick of designers and stylists out there - the look doesn't have to be so, bad! Not many favorites here - but these ladies looked pretty!

On to the Bachelor Wedding!! 

I am a girl that LOVES weddings!! I really loved every detail of planning mine - so watching how other people do it is always interesting to me. Granted, I didn't have cameras following my every move and - probably best since I had my fair share of bridezilla moments! 

I'm just curious if anyone else felt a little uncomfortable while watching and they just kept going on about their lack of "sexy time" before marriage! We get it…you're waiting - wonderful, but must you share that with the world, REPEATEDLY?! And then the two most uncomfortable moments watching Sean buying lingerie followed very creepily by the constant shot of the "honeymoon suite"!!! 

Mindy Weiss can do no wrong - I'm pretty sure an unlimited budget allowed for the stunning centerpieces and opulent ceremony altar and seating!! It really was a beautiful wedding and at the end of it all they are sweet & happy and that's really all the matters!! I do wish they showed the reception…Would have really loved to see how the decor looked! 
The lovely couple!! People Mag had some inside Instagram photos here

And finally…with the help of my tech savvy husband - I created my first button! 
If you'd like to swap buttons, let me know!! The code is on the right hand side! 

And that's all for today!! Happy Monday and hope it's a wonderful week for us all!  


Five on Friday

January 24, 2014
Happy Friday lovelies! Short week around here, but overly excited to greet the weekend! I'm happy to link up with the wonderful ladies of A. Liz AdventuresCarolina Charm & Hello Happiness! for their 5 on Friday! 


One of the perks to where I work is that the building is connected to the mall...yes you read that correctly! On Wednesday I ventured to Banana Republic just to poke around and I purchased this skirt for $12!!! The price marked on the website is higher than in store. It was marked down from $89.50 to $20.99 with an extra 40% off making this a steal of a deal!! Didn't even think twice...

I really hope I am not the last person on the planet to read this article about Martha Stewart's beauty regime, but if I look that good at 72 I'd be a happy lady!! For the most part she uses pretty high end products, but with drug store brands providing similar, if not the same results - maybe we can all achieve that level freshness! 

My friend Erica sent me the link to the curl styler - I was amazed & fascinated watching the video tutorial on Sephora's website...and then I saw the price (womp womp). I did find a cheaper alternative on Amazon, but still sort of pricey!! I'll probably stick to my Wand for now... Please let me know if you have one or have ever used one!! 

With some of the backlash that Wolf of Wall Street is getting in the press and from movie critics, I found this New York Times article to be so interesting. It's a bit of read and at some points you do really question this man's sanity, but it's an interesting take on the "Financial World." 


While I'm certainly no Seattle Seahawks fan (sorry)- this commercial of fullback Derrick Coleman and how he has overcome his disability is truly inspiring! A little bit of the story is also found here. Side note, does anyone else get super emotional watching the Johnson & Johnson commercials for the Olympics...gets me every time!! 

And on that note - hope you all have a wonderful weekend! 


Benefit's Brow Bar Review

January 22, 2014

I have a confession to make - I'm a brow snob!! What does that mean exactly? Well for me it means going to professionals to get my brows waxed! We are all pretty familiar with Benefit's products, but some of you may not know that Benefit also offers a wide array of services including brow waxing, threading and spray tanning (these do vary by location). Personally I go for the brow wax and have gone since moving to Boston four years ago! They recently opened up their full store location on Newbury Street and it does not disappoint! 

I waited about two months in between the last time I went, to show you just how clean they make your eyebrows look. Please don't be scared...

You'll also notice I have a very high natural arch on my left brow...if I showed you my license pictures you'd die!! 

Eerily similar to Brooke Shields look...
The wax they use smells good and does not burn or sting in any way. All these ladies are professional aesthetician's and really take pride in their work. They give you a little touch up after to make sure you aren't too red and off you go! 

I like the look of full brows and think it compliments my face shape. Camille Belle's eyebrows are pretty much my idea of perfect! 

Here is my final product about a day later- again so weird to take a photo of a mirror!

If you're in the Boston area - any of the girls at the Newbury Street or Downtown Crossing location do a great job - I've been to Cristin a few times and she's great!! 
If you are interested, please visit Benefit Cosmetics to see if there is a brow bar near you!! 

So ladies - what's your go to for eyebrow maintenance? Have you ever been to a brow bar before?

p.s. Benefit Cosmetics did not provide me with a free eyebrow wax or anything free for that matter - all opinions are my own!! 


A Long Weekend Recap

January 21, 2014
Happy Tuesday lovelies!! This weekend brought much needed rest and relaxation after last week!! Friday night we went to a really cute restaurant in Washington Square called The Fireplace.  We shared the pan seared scallops with lobster hash and a side of garlicky broccoli and whipped mashed potatoes. It was delicious! It's really a cozy restaurant and has been a staple in Brookline for a while. We're pretty lame on Friday nights and what used to be going to bars until late in the night turned into a movie on the couch…but I seriously wouldn't trade it for the world. We watched Guilt Trip on Netflix and Barbra Streisand and Seth Rogen were hilarious!!

They kindly split the portions for us

We had a pretty low key Saturday and joined some friends for sushi at their place! Sunday was Funday indeed!! Have you guys ever heard of Sky Zone? (Alexis's husband Jim opened one on Real Housewives of Orange County) It's basically a indoor trampoline park!! They are franchised…so it's a pretty safe bet there is one near you! The kids are separated from the adults, so you don't feel like you might hurt them - or I should say they won't trample all over you! We jumped for an hour and the amount of calories you burn is insane!! It was such a fun time, but to know you are getting your workout in as well was a double bonus!! 

Probably the cause of my soreness on Monday

This weekend I finally bit the bullet and purchased a red lipstick from MAC. I decided over the other brands, mostly because I wanted to be color matched. Ruby Woo is very matte (exactly how I prefer lipstick) and the lip liner is Cherry. It's a look I'll have to get used to, but for those nights I want to spice it up - this will be perfect!

I think we can all agree there is nothing quite like waking up a little late on a Monday knowing you aren't late for work!! We went to see Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit and there were literally three other people in the theater.
Chris Pine was crazy good in this movie and if you are a fan of movies like Mission Impossible or any of the Bourne movies you'll love this. 

And just like that the weekend came to an end with some wine in my glass ready to watch The Bachelor! Just out of curiosity - do these women get at all mad when they potentially have to be the ones on the "risky" date i.e. bungee jumping or rappelling off a building?! I'm not sure how some of your first dates went, but none of mine involved risking my life!! 

Also did anyone else notice our girl the "Free Spirit" walked out of the rose ceremony with some Louboutin's in her hand!! For a girl who doesn't like clothes, she's got great taste in shoes! 

Hope you have a wonderful day!! 


Get to know me...

January 16, 2014
Happy Thursday morning!! Personally, I always love reading about other bloggers and "getting to know them" a bit more so, in an effort to help you get to know me a little better, I thought it would be fun to share ten random facts about myself!

1// I speak Russian fluently but can't read or write it - I was just shy of two years old when my family moved from the Ukraine to Florida.

2// I am a reality T.V. junkie - this may not be a random fact if you know me, but I like almost every reality show out there. There are some extremes that I refuse to watch, but for the most part if it's a singing competition, dating show or on Bravo I'll watch!

3// I have to sleep with the fan on, even if it's freezing outside. There is just something comforting about a little white noise. My husband hates it!

4// My nails have to be painted at all times. If the polish is chipped on one nail, the rest of them have to come off too.

5// I used to teach runway and just about every other class at John Casablanca Modeling - I started working there when I was 16 and worked until I graduated from college!

6// I played competitive tennis for 12 years and quit right before I started school at the University of Florida.

7// I have an obscene amount of purses and they don't fit into my closet anymore - I've had to become a little creative.

8// The stores I love to shop at most are Banana Republic, Ann Taylor, J.Crew & TJ Maxx - however you will be surprised to find out that I rarely shop for myself and my mom is pretty much my personal stylist!! She has a knack for getting great deals!! BONUS - we have the same shoe size!

9// Right before I go to get a hair cut, I think "this will be the time I get something totally different" but every time I chicken out and go with what I know works!! I've also never colored my hair...

10// I didn't have a middle name until I got married this past March! You can imagine my excitement when my initials went from BS to BSP!! Now I'll monogram everything I can get my hands on!

And in honor of Throwback Thursday and what would have been my grandfather's 90th birthday - here is a picture I keep on my mirror and look at daily - my guardian angel and me at about 2 years old!!

So there you have it - 10 little random facts about me! Do we share any commonalities - do you have anything random about you?!


What I'm Loving Wednesday | Kitchen Edition

January 15, 2014
I never thought I'd be one to care about a kitchen. I should note that 3.5 years ago I barely knew how to boil water (sad but true story), so having a functional and gorgeous kitchen weren't really on my radar. But alas, as we age, our dreams shift a bit and kitchens apparently become our new version of Louboutins!

I dream of a contemporary and functional kitchen that provides me with immense amounts of counter space as well as storage space- none of which I currently have in my nice little one bedroom apartment in the city! Below are some of my favorites from Pinterest (follow me here) - Funny story, on Sunday I showed some of my "House" pins to my husband and he got sucked in as well - I tell ya, Pinterest is a black hole!

There are so many creative ways to store items in your kitchen - here are some of the best I've seen! 

Do you dream of kitchens and how you'd like for them to look?