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Heart Full: Giving Back This Holiday Season

Heart Full: Giving Back This Holiday Season

A few weeks ago, I found myself watching the tragic stories, which seem all to frequent, of the hurricanes, wild fires and other natural disasters, and found myself heartbroken over all of the scenarios… which I don’t get overly emotional… but then you have a best friend of 20 years who lives in Napa during the wildfires and you realize HOW close to home these tragedies all hit. Then you go visit Napa after the fires and see these homes just burned to the ground, families belongings lost, animals without homes… truly truly heartbreaking. Seeing as though I, along with many people, don’t necessarily have an ample amount of money to donate to these relief efforts, I decided I would give my time, and some treats, and help in a different way.

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Friday’s Favorites: Holiday Party Outfit Ideas

Friday’s Favorites: Holiday Party Outfit Ideas

Holiday parties are either in full swing or they are about to be in full swing, and if you’re anything like me you may or may not be waiting until the last minute to find something to wear. The other weekend I was frantically going through the mall…. ON A SUNDAY… DURING THE HOLIDAYS… after taking maybe 5 laps in the pretty small Orland Square Mall, and making numerous returns to various stores (I got the looks from the workers like “…. didn’t  I JUST ring you up?”)… I made it out with holiday party outfits. To make your last minute lives easier, I’ve gathered some of my favorite holiday outfit finds. So sit back, relax, and online shop your way through the day until the clock strikes happy hour o’clock.

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Holiday White Wine Sangria

Holiday White Wine Sangria

Currently: in a mental debate on whether or not I should start off this post with I’m dreaming of a white (sangria) Christmas. Either way, this holiday sangria is the bomb, and it should be made in a very large pitcher for every holiday party you have/attend.

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Chocolate and Peppermint Chip Cookies

Chocolate and Peppermint Chip Cookies

Here’s to the beginning of holiday recipes. I’m starting off by making your Monday after the holiday weekend a little sweeter with these Chocolate and Peppermint Chip Cookies. A timeless and classic Christmas time combination that goes great in cookies, drinks, candy… etc.

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Statement Sleeve Sweaters

Statement Sleeve Sweaters

Today, I’m talking all things statement sleeves because there are already so many Black Friday deals being released… so you have got to know what you want to shop for! Plus these are great sweaters that are comfortable and they can be dressed up for all the holiday parties that are in everyone’s (very) near future.

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Cooking with Barilla

Cooking with Barilla

I have partnered with Barilla® to share this post about their Collezione artisanal pasta

A few weeks ago, I had the pleasure of going to the Barilla U.S. headquarters in Northbrook, IL. A small group of other amazing bloggers met with Chef Lorenzo Boni, and he showed us all his tips and tricks, from making his delicious pasta dishes to photography.

He specifically spoke about Barilla’s line of artisanal pasta, Collezione. What makes it different from your traditional dry pasta is the fact that it is cut using traditional Italian bronze plates. This gives the pasta an “al dente” texture, which I 100% prefer. I love my pasta cooked al dente (slightly firm) … it’s the best way to eat your pasta.

There are eight different cuts of this pasta, and some may look familiar, like Penne. However, the Collezione Penne has ridges on both the outside and the inside, making it ideal to hold onto the delicious sauce you’re serving with your pasta.

The six of us bloggers then split up into three groups to make three delicious pasta dishes. I partnered with Caroline from The Brazen Gourmand to make a pasta dish with roasted tomatoes, fava beans, fresh basil and Casarcce. This dish was so incredibly simple to make and so colorful. When you’re eating colorful, and not to mention delicious, food, it is hard to not be so happy… I mean… like you’re also eating pasta. How can you not be happy?

Before I share the recipe with you, I’m going to share the link where you can read more about the Collezione line of pasta and also find more recipes.

 

Click here to find out more!

https://www.barilla.com/en-us/product-results/pasta/range/collezione/?sort=alpha

 

Click here for recipes!

https://www.barilla.com/en-us/product-results/pasta/range/collezione/?sort=alpha

Below is the recipe for this delicious pasta dish!

RECIPE:

Ingredients for 6 people

  • 1 box Barilla Collezione Casarecce
  • 2 pints colorful tomatoes
  • 4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • Garlic clove, chopped
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 cup fava beans, blanched, peeled
  • 10 fresh basil leaves
  • 1 cup Ricotta Salata Cheese, shredded (optional)

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil, pre-heat oven to broil.
  2. Meanwhile, season tomatoes with garlic, salt, pepper and 1 tablespoon of olive oil.
  3. Broil until tomatoes burst and blister.
  4. Cook pasta accordingly to package directions. Drain pasta and toss with remaining olive oil, tomatoes and beans.
  5. Stir in cheese and basil before serving.
  6. Enjoy!

Friday’s Favorites: Friendsgiving + Thanksgiving Recipes

Friday’s Favorites: Friendsgiving + Thanksgiving Recipes

Last minute planners rejoice. I have a last minute guide to all things friends and thanksgiving. From affordable yet fancy looking table settings to super easy recipes to whip up to cocktails… cause what’s a holiday party without some amazing cocktails… I’ve got it all right here for you. It’s basically like Christmas came early.

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Friday’s Favorites: Skin Care

Friday’s Favorites: Skin Care

Ok, talking skin care today because I have some terrible skin and the past month and a half have been TERRIBLE. Now that it is kind of okay now, I am sharing some of my favorite natural skin products!

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Baked Brie with Pepper Jelly

Baked Brie with Pepper Jelly

Next up on the #friendsgiving series is this unbelievably delicious baked brie cheese. I’ve done so many variations of baked brie in the past, and none have quite turned out like this one. This was by far my favorite, and I think I can attribute that to the fact that I threw some pepper jelly on there. Mix it with some craisins, walnuts and pumpkin seeds. You’ve got yourself the easiest appetizer out there. Literally, you do not make anything. Assemble and cook.

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Roasted Acorn Squash Salad

Roasted Acorn Squash Salad

It’s officially November, Halloween has come and gone, now it is time to think about Thanksgiving… not Christmas. It is just too early for Christmas. We can’t skip over the Thanksgiving hype. Next, to 4th of July food, it’s the second best holiday food menu out there! This is the first installment of many to bring you various Friendsgiving and Thanksgiving recipe ideas. They’re all supposed to be super easy, but also super delicious. Nobody wants to be bringing or eating bad food during the holidays. It should be against the law. The first recipe I have is a Roasted Acorn Squash Salad!

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