Hot Cocoa

I made this hot cocoa for the first time last week because I wanted something sweet after dinner and it was so good that I’ve made it 3 times since! Even Joe has been requesting it! I promise it’s super easy to make and absolutely delicious… the perfect after dinner (or morning or afternoon) treat. If you get a chance to try it, be sure to let me know!
mugs: Pier One (last year)

1/4 cup cocoa
1/2 cup sugar
1/3 cup water
4 cups milk
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla

Combine cocoa, sugar, water, milk, and salt in pot over medium heat. Once thoroughly heated, remove from heat and add vanilla. Serve immediately… preferably with mini marshmallows!

Teacups and mugs are the perfect small gift, especially if you’re stuck for something small and don’t know what to buy. Almost everyone drinks coffee, tea, or hot chocolate and most people don’t like to spend money on something so small but love getting pretty ones as gifts- at least I do! You can add some tea, local honey, some fancy coffee, or even hot chocolate mix and marshmallows to make the gift a little more personal! Anthropologie has some really pretty ones!


Chocolate Chip Banana Nut Bread

I don’t know about you but we never can seem to eat bananas before they turn brown. As much as I love fruit, I am terrible at choosing it over sweets so it doesn’t get eaten as quickly as anticipated (best laid intentions…). My sweet tooth has been terrible lately so naturally, when we had some brown bananas, I had to make chocolate chip banana nut bread. It was delicious! And made me feel a lot better about eating chocolate for breakfast!
recipe adapted from Sweet & Delish

1 cup mashed bananas (I used 2 1/2 bananas)
1 egg
2 cups flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup white sugar
1/2 cup butter (the original recipe calls for unsalted but I almost always use salted- except in icing)
4 tbsp milk
1 cup semi sweet chocolate chips
1/2 cup walnuts or pecans (I used both because I only had a little bit of each in the cabinet)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9×5 loaf pan and set aside. Combine flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. In a separate bowl, cream the butter and sugar. Lightly beat the egg and add to the creamed mixture and then stir in the bananas. Mix the dry ingredients until just combined and stir in the milk, chocolate chips, and nuts. Pour the batter into the pan and bake for 1 hour or until a toothpick inserted into the middle of the loaf comes out clean (I checked mine at 50 minutes).

I hope you all have a great weekend! I’m pretty excited to be featured on Organized Mess, in Chelsea’s Philadelphia Bloggers Spotlight today! I met Chelsea last fall doing a fashion show for Chloe Johnston and recently reconnected during a blogger brunch for Zomato. She is really sweet and her blog is super cute! I hope you’ll stop by to check out my interview and to read about all things fall! Enjoy!


This is the last weekend for Nordstrom’s Fall Clearance Sale. If you missed it, check out my post here!

White Chocolate Blueberry Scones

I know I’m revisiting an old favorite here but it’s been over 2 years since I posted this recipe and my first attempt at photographing the scones didn’t do them justice. I’ve also picked up a few tricks in the last couple of years that has made baking these goodies a little bit easier.
recipe adapted from a long ago find on

3 cups flour
1/2 cup white sugar
5 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup cold butter
1 egg beaten
1 cup milk
1 cup white chocolate chips
1/2 cup blueberries (I’ve been using frozen lately and they bake really well)

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Grease two baking sheets or line with parchment paper and set aside.
Ina large bowl, combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt; then cut in the butter (I cut it into small cubes before tossing it in the bowl- I think it makes it easier to cut in since I usually mash it with a fork!). Next, mix the egg and one cup of milk and add to the mix taking care not to over stir. Add the white chocolate chips and blueberries last- you’ll probably have to knead them into the dough at this point (if I’m being honest, I don’t actually measure these out- I just eyeball it and stop adding when I think I have enough- I like a lot of white chocolate chips and blueberries in my scones!).

Cut dough in half (easy to do while in the bowl) and roll into a ball (tip: put some flour on your hands and sprinkle a little on the dough first so that it doesn’t stick to your hands… otherwise, it will). Place on a prepared surface (I just sprinkle some flour on my counter top) and knead dough into a rough circle. Slice into four quarters (you can use a knife but I’ve actually been using a pizza cutter and I like it better). Fold quarters in half and place on greased baking sheets. Bake for 15 minutes.

Top with additional butter and serve warm with coffee, tea, or a cold glass of milk! Happy weekend, guys!

More scone recipes: Oatmeal Cinnamon Raisin Scones, Strawberry Scones, Cream Scones


Caramel Chocolate Chip Brownies

I made these brownies last weekend for an end of summer barbecue and they were delicious! They were super simple to make (cue boxed brownie mix) and didn’t take long at all. Although these were a great dessert to bring to a party, they’d also be awesome enjoyed at home on your couch with a cold glass of milk (or with coffee for breakfast… because who doesn’t love dessert for breakfast?!)!
recipe from I Heart Naptime (don’t we all?!)


1 box fudge brownie mix (+ the ingredients the box calls for: mine called for 2/3 cup oil, 1/4 cup water, and 2 eggs)
1/4 cup sweetened condensed milk
1 cup milk chocolate chips
1 (11oz) package wrapped caramels
1/3 cup sweetened condensed milk


Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease (or line with foil) a 9×13 pan and set aside. In a large bowl, make the brownie mix according to the directions on the box. Add 1/4 cup sweetened condensed milk and the chocolate chips and mix.
In a separate bowl, combine the caramels and 1/3 cup sweetened condensed milk and heat in the microwave for 30 seconds at a time, stirring occasionally (you can also heat the caramels & milk in a saucepan over medium heat). Meanwhile, pour half of the brownie batter into the pan and bake for 8 to 10 minutes. The pour the melted caramel mixture over top of the bottom layer and cover with the remaining brownie batter. Continue to bake for about 25 to 30 minutes (I took mine out after 25 minutes), or until a toothpick comes out clean. Remove the pan from the oven and allow to cool before cutting (otherwise the melted caramel will be a mess! I definitely cut mine too soon!).

Happy Friday! I hope you all have a wonderful weekend!


Shop my favorite Labor Day sales here:

J.Crew (30% off your purchase of $125 with code GETSHOPPING):

Banana Republic (40% off your purchase with code BRFALL):

The Loft (30% off new arrivals & 50% off summer sale styles):

Berry Green Smoothie

Joe and I have been making smoothies a lot lately. It’s usually so hard for me to get in the recommended amount of fruit and vegetables (I have a hard enough time trying to drink enough water… I never do!) so I decided that adding a smoothie a day should help! Green smoothies are my favorite, and, though they’re not Joe’s, I make sure to put enough fruit in his so that it tastes extra sweet (he likes mango in his). I feel like the best thing about smoothies is that you can’t really go wrong but I still like to use a recipe as a guideline so I thought I’d share what I’ve been making the most lately!

1 cup coconut water (I use a coconut water & pineapple juice mix)
1 banana
1/2 cup spinach, rinsed
1 cup blueberries
1 handful frozen strawberries

Add the coconut water to the blender and layer in the rest of the ingredients. Blend well. Enjoy!

I’m hoping to try adding some almond milk this weekend! I’ve never tried it but I’ve heard really great things and I found a recipe for a blueberry basil smoothie that includes almond milk and sounds delicious! I’ll let you know how it goes if I make it! Happy Friday and have a great weekend!!


A Twist on the Traditional Sausage and Peppers

Basically this recipe came about because I had sweet Italian sausage in my freezer & my friend gave me a recipe for a pasta dish that looked really good… I ended up not having the exact ingredients so I improvised & ended up with a really tasty dinner! I have to admit that I haven’t been cooking much these days. Because free time is sparse between the baby, doctor’s appointments, work, the blog, trying to keep up with the house, and everything else (not to mention trying to have some family time when Joe gets home), my friend showed me how she meal plans for two weeks at a time (I’m actually thinking about doing a post on that soon… if any of you are like me and don’t think about dinner until you’re already starving, this is really helpful!). However, it’s been about 3 weeks and I haven’t even gotten to the grocery store yet… maybe next week (because aside from not always being the healthiest option, it’s also bad for the budget!)? So, in between ordering out, I’ve been trying to cook with ingredients we already have & sending Joe to the local market to pick up small additions.
*note: serves at least 6 but this recipe is really simple to make for a smaller group, just lessen the amount of additions. For example, if you’re making it for two, I would only add 3 sausage links rather than the whole pound and I’d cook less pasta (maybe half of a box) to avoid having too much left over.

1 can diced tomatoes
1 pound sweet Italian sausage
1 red pepper, diced (you can also use green or whatever you have on hand)
1 box of fresh mushrooms, halved
1 box or bag of egg noodles (or, again, whatever you have on hand)
Parmesan cheese, if desired

Heat about a tablespoon of olive oil in a deep frying pan over medium heat. Meanwhile, cook the pasta according to the directions on the package. Cut the sausage into bite sized pieces and cook until browned. Remove from pan, along with most of the olive oil, and set aside. Add the chopped red peppers and mushrooms and cook for about 3 minutes. Add diced tomatoes and sausage and allow to cook until heated through. Serve hot over pasta and with fresh bread and butter! Delicious!

Oh, I’ve also been really into HGTV lately and was inspired by Fixer Upper to create these pretty place settings!

Happy Friday, guys! I hope you all have a great weekend!



Joe and I had this antipasto tray for dinner the other night (and for lunch the next day) with a glass of red wine and it was delicious! This is our favorite dish & it’s so easy to make!

roasted red peppers
mozzarella cheese
Parmesan cheese (the block kind, sliced, I didn’t use it here but it’s delicious in spreads like this)
green olives (and/or black olives)
french bread
*you can also add Italian meats like prosciutto (my favorite)

Assemble on a cheese board or large tray
To make it easy, I buy everything pre-made (the artichokes are pre-marinated, roasted red peppers are already done, etc., etc.)

Happy Friday, guys! Have a great weekend!


How To Make a Quiche Two Ways

I love a good quiche! They’re great for breakfast or brunch and even a delicious option for dinner when served with a salad! My favorite is spinach and cheese but the great thing about quiche is that you can pretty much add whatever you want! I would also suggest, if you’re a meat eater, combining the bacon and spinach in one quiche!
recipe adapted from Paula Deen’s recipe for spinach and bacon quiche


1 1/2 cups heavy cream (I used 1 cup heavy cream and a half cup of half & half to make it a little lighter)
6 large eggs
salt and pepper
2 cups fresh spinach or 1 box frozen spinach (I used frozen because I had to get the ingredients a little bit in advance)
1 pound bacon, cooked and crumbled
1 1/2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
1 (9 inch) refrigerated pie crust

Directions (same for each quiche, just sub out bacon for spinach):

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Press the pie crust into a glass pie plate and crimp the edges.
Whisk the eggs, cream, salt, and pepper. Layer the bacon and cheese in the bottom of the pie crust, then pour the egg mixture on top. Bake for 35 to 45 minutes or until the egg mixture is set (I baked mine for about 35 and it was perfect!).
Cut into wedges to serve.

Enjoy! Happy Friday!


Avocado Toast

This is a super easy and delicious recipe that I made a few weeks ago for myself for breakfast (not sure whether or not I could get Joe to try this). It was nutritious, really tasty, and filling, and it took almost no time to make… that’s a perfect recipe in my book!
recipe adapted from Rachael Ray


1 teaspoon butter
1 egg, beaten
1/2 avocado
1 slice of bread, toasted (I used leftover Italian bread)


In a small nonstick pan, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the egg and season (I used a little bit of salt and pepper) and scramble. In a small bowl, mash avocado and season (again, I just used a little bit of salt and pepper) and spread on toast. Top with scrambled egg and enjoy! Optional: sprinkle with pepper and top with hot sauce.

I hope you all have a wonderful weekend! I’m off to the hospital to see our baby girl who is two weeks old today! These last two weeks have definitely been the fastest two weeks of my life (and they’re right up there with most stressful and overwhelming, too)… but also extremely amazing and exciting! We’re hoping to have her home soon! I can’t wait to share pictures with you guys!


Chocolate Chip Mug Muffin

I made this for myself one morning that I was craving a chocolate chip muffin but didn’t want to make a whole batch and didn’t feel like running to the store to get one. So, naturally, I Googled chocolate chip mug muffin (since I knew that there are single serving mug cakes that you can make in the microwave… my favorite is this chocolate lava cake) and came across this recipe. It was actually really good! I added lots of butter to the top of mine and paired it with a tall glass of milk! I’m actually thinking about making one today after my doctor’s appointment!
recipe from Budget Bytes

1/4 cup flour
1 Tablespoon brown sugar
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/8 teaspoon salt
a pinch of cinnamon
1/2 Tablespoon butter
2 Tablespoons milk
a handful of chocolate chips (or 1-2 Tablespoons frozen blueberries)

Combine flour, sugar,baking powder, salt, and cinnamon in a microwave safe mug. Add butter and mix until mostly well combined. Add in the milk and stir together. Add chocolate chips and stir into batter. Sprinkle a few on top and microwave for about 90 seconds (I took mine out around the 80 second mark).

I hope you all have a happy Friday and a great weekend!