the golden palace – aka trader joe’s

i’ve recently been delving into veggie/black bean/turkey burgers when i go out to eat because i feel less guilty – especially when i order the fries with extra aioli and finish it all. i’ve been wanting to make my own variation of these infamous burgers at home; until i thought about it and realized that it just sounds like way too much work.

and this is where trader joe’s comes in… for those of you who don’t know trader joe’s, i’m sorry and for those of you who do, how much do you love it?? seriously, though. it can be very intimidating for the newbie and i admit, about half of the time i go, i am purposely trying to find something new to bring home with me. i got over my fear of the store with a little help from some friends – aka: i used google. and google found PLENTY of blogs that told me exactly what to get at tj’s.

here are a few of my favorite finds:

quinoa cowboy veggie burgers – these are the veggie burgers i buy and they’re amazing! 4 to every box and they’re all individually packaged which is convenient because they’re not bad in the microwave at work. however, i prefer mine cooked in the oven (and i cook them for 8 minutes on each side because i like them a little crispier…) topped with blue cheese, an avocado and sriracha.

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speaking of sriracha… – their’s is real good. i mean, how else can i tell you that it’s good…?

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fig butter – i like to spread this on grilled cheese, pour it over a roll of brie, or even use it on my toast in the mornings. it’s a must get.

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scandinavian swimmers – my aunt and uncle actually got me hooked on these and for that, i’m quite upset with them. these are literally like crack for me. i seriously CANNOT.STOP.EATING.THEM. it’s dangerous and therefore i only buy them once in a blue moon.

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dark chocolate peanut butter cups – when these are around i can control myself a bit more. i actually keep these in the fridge or the freezer and they’re just the right amount of sugar that i need after a meal. and they’re especially nice because i can just eat one and feel satisfied.

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greek whole milk yogurt – the last thing i hunt for at tj’s is their whole milk yogurt. the flavors are good enough that you can eat them by themselves. i usually add some granola and nuts, and i’ll even mix it into my smoothies!

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what are your ‘go-to’s’ at trader joe’s? i’d love to hear!

NYE 2k17

happy new year, lovies! hope you all had a fabulous weekend ringing in the new year!

i hopped into the car with 18 of our closest friends and headed to bearsville, new york. we stayed in the most amazing airbnb house right outside of woodstock, feast your eyes on this beauty. fullsizeoutput_1202

the house was perfect. it was close enough to town but far enough away that we weren’t worried about keeping the neighbors up with our late night dance parties.


we drove down mid-morning on friday and headed back today. we spent the night in on friday and headed to explore woodstock saturday. tiffany and i vacationed in phoenicia a couple of summers ago and we knew we couldn’t go back to the catskills without a trip to our favorite restaurant, shindig. you most certainly cannot pass up the tinker tots when you go – they have the important job of transporting the ranch aioli STRAIGHT to the mouth. fullsizeoutput_1200

we stopped in a couple of stores and finished our afternoon out at one of the coolest bars in the town – station. there isn’t much to it, but holy moly it was real cute. some of the boys played pool while the rest of us relaxed and enjoyed some hot toddies. img_0044img_0027


our friend, katie, shares her birthday with NYE so we were sure to celebrate real well on saturday. that night we ate an amazing meal put on by a couple of the girls. some college drinking games, a dance party that carried us into 2017, and a competitive game of exploding kittens was how we rounded out the night. img_3266img_0054img_3272


i woke up new year’s day and, like the rest of america, felt like i needed some health in my life so i headed to a local juice bar and picked up a bunch of juice. after, a big group of us headed down the road for a long walk. a nap, some reading, football viewing and more lounging was how we finished up sunday. tomy and benji scoured the fridges and threw together some of the most amazing pizzas for sunday night – bacon, brussel sprouts and carmelized onions – yes please. img_0061

overall, it was an absolute blast. if you’ve never been to the catskill area – i HIGHLY recommend it, there’s seriously something for everyone.

i’ll leave you with this little funny – my friend, jess, randomly exchanged all the toilet paper rolls with these ones that she found on etsy… it provided us, with a bunch of laughs.  img_0051


happy new year – may 2017 bring everyone health, happiness and endless travel! xo

christmas celebrations

now that my computer has officially dried out and turned back on (in case you didn’t see the latest instagram post, i spilled coffee all over my computer christmas eve and it’s been drying ever since) i’m back! keep your fingers crossed that it continues to work…. PLEASE!


we spent this past weekend celebrating christmas and spending some serious quality time with friends and family. my parents flew in on friday and we haven’t stopped eating/drinking/galavanting around the town since. here is a small glimpse into the past couple of days…

first stop we made was one of my mom’s all time favorite restaurants, tiny thai, a small local favorite that’s BYOB it’s a seriously  hard to beat. and their takeout is a good as the dine in – which certainly isn’t always the case!

after dinner we headed back to my house to begin our christmas eve tradition – the annual book swap.

growing up, we were always allowed to open one gift on christmas eve and 9 times out of 10, it was ususally pajamas. now that we’ve grown up a bit [who am i kidding, we haven’t grown up] we’ve tailored our tradition a bit.

a couple weeks before the holiday we draw names and pick who we buy a book for; it can be hard cover, paper back, an audiobook, e-book, or even a magazine subscription. we’ve only been doing it a couple of years but it’s one of my favorite parts of christmas.


the next morning we did the full christmas thing – stockings, coffee, mimosas, more coffee, cinnamon rolls, and gifts. fullsizeoutput_10f5

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pajamas and mimosas 

we relaxed most of the morning, went for a long walk, and prepared for some dinner guests that evening. tiffany definitely takes the cake for her cheese board skills. fullsizeoutput_1146


i had to work christmas day but luckily i was able to escape at 3:30 and head home for another night of dinner guests, drinks, and laughs.

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spreading merry around the hospital

after plenty of cocktails and far too much food we busted out the game of things. it was the first time i played it and it was hysterical. keep the wine flowing and you’ll certainly have a blast. img_3233

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this was the best we could do….

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yesterday we worked out, made a couple of returns and went to manchester by the sea. it was amazing. be sure to bring some tissues and show up earlier anticipated – the ENTIRE theater was full.

it was a fabulous weekend spent with amazing people and 2017 is creeping around the corner, can’t wait to see what the future holds – cheers!

t-5 days.

t-5 days.

christmas is sneaking up on us very quickly and it will seriously be here before we know it! this past weekend i had to work, but i was still able to sneak in a little holiday baking. luckily, i’m done with all my shopping after i made a few last minute purchases on chuch street this afternoon.


hard to beat church street with all the lights and we happened to catch the tail end of a sunset tonight too.0EEDDCD0-0647-4F00-921C-2E055C03108D.jpg


this year i went to a cookie party (and yes, cookie parties are a thing. i had actually never been to one, but it was a great excuse to have a couple cocktails, socialize, and feel just a litte bit more festive) i decided to make a couple different kinds of cookies but this recipe was definitely my favorite. especially with this royal icing recipe.

[about royal icing – yes it’s kind of weird that you use raw eggs, but it is seriously the best. i will most definitely not be using any old frosting from now on… i did get myself a little piping kit and a squeeze bottle which were both super helpful. i opted to use a butter knife in place of a spatula.]

the cookies are fool proof and the icing really is too. it definitely made us feel like we’re professional bakers.

we also made spritz cookies which essentially are butter, sugar, a tiny bit of flour, more butter, and sprinkles. no wonder i would always sneak them as a child….


with our tree up, lights turned on, and christmas cookies finished, it most certainly feels like the holidays around here. just missing my parents who fly in friday!!

my sister sent me a link she found on a cup of jo and directed me towards the comments section where everyone is talking about their christmas traditions. i’ll be reading that all night. with wine. and frank sinatra holiday tunes.

what are your favorite traditions? 6baf6b58-25b7-4956-9592-d770baf156bc

wednesday wears

this evening i met some co-workers for an afternoon of christmas shopping and dinner out a leunig’s. i knew i wanted to wear something cute, but comfortable and most importantly warm – the wind was frigid on church street!

this is what i decided to wear:

gap jeans // these are [embarrassingly] from my high school days – and i have ZERO idea how i still fit into them. the holes have gotten progressively bigger and soon, i dread, it’ll be time to get rid of them all together…

jcrew sweater // again, i buy a lot of my sweaters one or two sizes larger because the comfort level is to die for!

white and warren cashmere scarf // one of the first christmas gifts i ever received from ian – it’s one of my all time favorite pieces – second to my travel wrap he got me the next year 😀

jcrew jacket // i asked santa for this wool coat a couple of years ago and today it’s still one of my favorite. it’s surprisingly extra warm and can easily dress up an outfit.

bonus! the jacket is on sale right now with code: HOLIDAY 

dolce vita booties // i found these babies at nordstrom rack in san francisco when i was visiting my older sisters. needless to say, i’ve treked across san fran and burlington in them and they have definitely gotten better with age.

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tomorrow into friday are supposed to be record lows for the year – wish me luck. i plan on not leaving my house. perhaps some christmas cookie baking and wrapping of presents…?

how do you stay warm during the holidays??

2016 in review

as i’m mentally preparing for another year i’ve been scouring over pictures on my computer. new ones, old ones, good, and most certainly bad [admittedly overly self critical over here]. here are a few of my favorite memories from this past year:


marielle and loic’s dinner party was definitely one for the books. and the whole night was extra special because of the paper crowns. fullsizeoutput_970


my co-worker and great friend, jess, and i spent the day at the spa in stowe. massages and facials followed by some steam room and a dip in the pool. it was exactly what the doctor ordered – especially because it was mid week! fullsizeoutput_a4a


every time we go visit our sisters in california i think to myself, “that was one of the best trips out there, it’ll definitely be hard to beat.” and yet, every single time we go back, it get’s a little bit better. our trip this spring was amazing. meagan, was able to fully relax and unwind with baby #1 at home – perfect getaway before baby #2. img_1850


memorial day weekend was one of the most spontaneous and memory filled weekends of the year. spending a weekend at my friend, jess’, camp in charlotte is a luxury and it might be one of my all time favorite places in vermont. it’s so easy to unwind and  not have a care in the world when you’re drinking wine on the porch watching the sunset. Processed with VSCO with c1 preset


our trip to wisconsin this summer was anything but boring. we kept it exciting by visiting the anchor [seen on diners, drive-ins, and dives], running a half marathon and doing some water skiing all within 72 hours. img_2019


one of the highlights of the summer was when my mom came to visit us in burlington. we hiked, we ate, we sat in the sun. we survived a monsoon and went to a show at shelburne museum all in one evening. we, also, wore hats. img_2237


tiffany turned 30. we had the best sister celebration at topnotch in stowe. after a morning of pampering, we took to the pool with cocktails. Processed with VSCO with g3 preset


we spent many a day on the lake. one of the most memorable afternoons was this one. hard to beat a day on the boat. great friends, tunes, and a beer or two will turn anyone’s day right around. img_2423


it will most certainly be hard to beat this day right here – day one of brenna’s bachelorette party at the palms resort in vegas. i think that’s probably all i should say about it…img_2459


ian and i hiked sterling pond this fall. we randomly saw friends halfway up, went for a dip at the top and took the long way home through stowe. it may have been the long way because of all our detours… doc ponds, cider mill, cabot.fullsizeoutput_ce0


twr – aka my dad – made an appearance in burlington this fall. lots of coffee, some exploring in montpelier, and a belly full of pizza rounded out this long weekend. img_2897


can hardly wait for what 2017 brings.

the gal gift guide

today i’m going to share some gift ideas for all your best gals out there. from girlfriends, to your mom, to a great co-worker there is definitely something on this list for everyone, happy shopping!


first thing on the list this year is this gigi new york uber clutch.

what i love about it is that it’s a perfect clutch to take to dinner or a night out on the town with your girls. it also fits nicely into a bigger bag for travel and you’ll keep it close because it holds all your necessities. it can be such a statement piece – especially if you buy it in one of their haircalf styles.

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this maya brenner initial necklace will surely make your gal smile. it’s simple and dainty but elegant at the same time. it comes in three different colors: gold, rose gold and silver and there’s the option to add more than one initial! it’s been on my list for quite some time.

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i was recently at mirror mirror in vermont (a local makeup  store) and fell upon this candle. it is the ultimate best holiday candle. it smells like a freshly cut christmas tree. plus it comes in a pretty jar that can be reused when the candle is out! screen-shot-2016-12-09-at-2-18-48-pm


i stumbled up on these cool planters when i was exploring etsy the other day. they’d look great on your dresser or your desk. honestly they’d even look cool without a cactus in them, and a collection of a few would be awesome during halloween.

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one of my all time best friends, madeline, owns RoseAndRoyce – a small shop based out of denver. she started RoseAndRoyce a while ago as a creative outlet and over the past couple of years her shop has exploded.

any one of her amazing skulls or a sweet pair of shoes would surely be a gift to remember. she sells via etsy and a bunch of local flea markets in colorado.


be sure to check out my guy gift guide if you missed it!