Friday, June 28, 2013

Book Review: The Help

I have read tons of books... but this is by far my favorite!

"The Help" by Kathryn Stockett

I am not one to spoil a good story, so no spoiler alert here... but if you have never read this book, get to it! I actually have to admit that I have been living under a rock and I had never even seen the movie until about a week ago after I finished the book. Just as usual, the movie does not do it justice! SO many plot twists are left out of the movie, so I would highly suggest reading this even if you've already seen the movie! This book is truly so uplifting! After reading, I felt as though I would be able to do absolutely anything in the world... what a fantastic feeling! But really, just read the book! It's beyond fantastic!

My Current Reading List

Now that I have crossed off "The Help" I am adding two more books to my list! 

1. "Mating Rituals of the North American Wasp" by Lauren Lipton

2. "White Girl Problems" by Babe Walker

Happy Reading! What is the best book you've read recently? What is on your reading list?

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Recipe of the Week: Nutella Cookies

I am completely obsessed with Nutella! It is so yummy! These delicious cookies have been a family favorite ever since my mother and I discovered the recipe a few years back! I assure you that you won't have any problems finding someone to eat them, rather you won't be able to make them fast enough!

What To Get:
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. table salt
1 stick unsalted butter
1 1/2 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 cup Nutella (be sure to chill the Nutella beforehand)
1 tsp. vanilla extract
Finely chopped hazelnuts 

What To Do:

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees & place parchment paper on baking sheets
2. Whisk together in a bowl & set aside: flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt
3. Beat butter & sugar in a mixer on medium speed for 5 minutes
4. Add eggs one by one, being sure that each is fully mixed in before you add the next
5. Add the Nutella & vanilla
6. Add flour mixture in two parts, mix until combined (but no longer!)
7. Form 3 Tbsp balls of dough & roll in the hazelnuts (you will need to press gently in order to help the nuts stick to the dough)
8. Place dough on sheet. Bake for 15 minutes & be sure to only bake 6 at a time.
9. (My Tip): I like to use a flat baking sheet that does not have edges, and after the cookies come out I pull the parchment off the cookie sheet & onto my granite countertop carefully. This helps the cookies cool faster & will also allow you to put a new batch of cookies onto the sheet!

I hope you love these as much as I do! Good luck with your baking! If you are saving any for friends, I assure you... you'll need to put a "do not eat!" note on them... and even then, I can't promise they will be safe!
As always you can contact me with any questions! Have a fantastic weekend, and make some nutella cookies for somebody you love!

Florida Summer

Tomorrow is summer solstice, meaning two things: National wear your Lilly day and the official beginning of summer! In honor of the start of my favorite season, I thought that a list of my fav summer pastimes was due!

1. Outdoor Exercise 
Biking, swimming, walking, oh my! I love all of these things and they are even better in the fantastic summer weather! Living in south Florida, my favorite spot to bike or go for a walk is with out a doubt the Lake Trail on Palm Beach island! There is nothing more beautiful then enjoying the view of the intercostal waterway, the beauty of downtown West Palm Beach across the water, or the fantastic architecture and landscaping of Palm Beach that is so wonderfully displayed along the Lake Trail! After working up a bit of a sweat, a swim in the pool at home is a must! 

2. Casual Boating 
Popularly known as a "booze cruise" (also the name of one of Lilly's summer 2013 prints!) a relaxing afternoon riding around in the boat with great friends, as well as yummy food and refreshments is a fantastic way to spend a summer day! My favorite spot to cruise is along Jupiter Island! All of the amazing mansions in Jupiter are hidden from road view by large trees and hedges, but because the homeowners want to enjoy the view of the water from every inch of their home, the only way you can gain a full view of the homes is from the water! There is NO better way to enjoy the amazing mansions of the island than by boat! Invite friends, pack yummy appetizers, and cruise the day away! 

3. Become a Beach Bum 
A good afternoon at the beach can solve anything! My biggest tip for enjoying the beach is planning ahead. If you know you will be there during lunch, pack something or pick up subs on the way. If you know you aren't a fan of being sandy on the way home, pack a change of clothes. I have found that the more prepared I come to the beach, the happier I am when I leave! I am sensing the potential for a post on my beach essentials in the future... 

4. Fishing
My parents are hugely into fishing, and while I am not as avid of a fisherman as they are, I do enjoy a good day out on the water! I prefer fishing in the open ocean as opposed to fishing "inside" as we call it at my house. But whichever you prefer, take advantage of the calmer seas in the summertime! Especially if you are easily sickened by the seas, the summer in Florida is the best time to go out fishing! I'm hoping to catch some Mahi or Yellowfin Tuna this summer! 

5. Mani-Pedi
Summertime for me is all about rejuvenation! Focusing on eating clean, exercising outdoors, relaxing, and taking care of my body! A great way to pamper yourself is to get a summer mani-pedi! Be sure to pick out a fab summer shade! My current favorites are "lovie dovie" and "rock the boat" by Essie! 

6. Make Your Own Smoothie 
There are some great fruits in season during the summer such as blueberries, strawberries, blackberries, cherries, peaches, raspberries, and many more! Check what is fresh and in season local to you, then bring it home & make a delicious summer smoothie! Also, a trip to your local farmers market makes for a great summer activity! 

7. Stock Up with Sales! 
Summertime boasts some great sale prices, so be sure to take advantage of the opportunity to grab some great deals! Plus, who doesn't love the summer colors and styles? I know I do! 

Until next time, I hope all of you are enjoying your summer! What are your favorite activities? 


Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Gretchen Scott Designs Giveaway

Whether you are a long-time fan & customer of Gretchen Scott, or this post is the first time you have heard of the brand, this giveaway is AMAZING!

Here's how it works:
1. Follow this link and sign up to be part of the giveaway: click here!
2. Share your personalized link!
3. By having only 10 people sign up using your link, you will get access to a free item from Gretchen Scott (with most of her tunics around $100-200, that is a great deal!) AND you will also be entered to win the grand prize trip to Gretchen Scott HQ in New York City.

Does it get any better? Here are just a few of the fabulous tunics by Gretchen Scott:
Happy Wednesday and good luck!

Note: This giveaway is not affiliated with this blog, I am simply promoting the giveaway because it is amazing!

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Under $10 Tuesday - Koozie Edition

As an avid shopper, there are few things I love more than a good deal! So, it seemed entirely appropriate to do a weekly post of all my "fab finds" of the week! Summer is in full swing, and koozies are a must! Being underage, my koozies serve as a must-have accessory for my arnold palmer or ginger ale cans, but these fab drink dressings will look great on anything that you are sipping on this season!

Country Club Prep

I am in LOVE with all of their adorable & witty koozies! The "guys in ties" and "girls in pearls" koozies are my absolute faves, but all of their great designs are worth checking out! Take a look at all the fab koozies that Country Club Prep has to offer here. All of their koozies are only $5.07!
Vineyard Vines Whale Shaped Koozie
This is just too cute for words! Nearly all items made by Vineyard Vines are adorned by their loveable pink whale logo, but they took it to a whole new level with this koozie that is actually whale shaped! This is also a steal at only $5! Get yours here

Monogrammed Print Koozies via Etsy
These are just amazing. There are 48 different patterns, all available in any of the 35 different colors. PLUS there are 13 different styles of border for the monogram, 35 fonts for names or 12 fonts for monograms! The possibilities are endless which is why I LOVE this item! And somehow it gets even better when you come to find out that they are only $9 each! Check out all of the adorable combinations, and order one for yourself here!

Lilly Pulitzer Koozies

I'm sure that y'all expected these to be featured! I adore all the Lilly koozies, and they are all a great deal at around $6, but for the sake of this post, I'm highlighting some fab monogrammed Lilly koozies from Etsy! 

While this is just above our ten dollar theme, these are too cute to not feature! These Lilly koozies have been glammed up with a glitter monogram! Get them for $12 here!

This monogrammed Lilly koozie is only $8.99 and they are SO cute! They can do different styles of monogram or different colors, so you can make it your own! Get yours here!

Happy summertime! I hope the days aren't too hot wherever you are reading from. Have a great week! 

Friday, June 14, 2013

Nautical Accessories for Summer

Happy Friday!
With summer here officially on June 21st, stores are finally carrying the summer clothing and accessories that Floridians consider their year-round wardrobe. I personally love seeing the bright prints, nautical motifs, and sea-themed style. The main reason I adore summer styles so much is because everything is so versatile. It is meant to go from beach, to boat, to barbecue, to seaside dinner. These are a few of my favorite nautical-themed accessories for this summer, some of which I already own and love!

Marley Lilly Monogrammed White Anchor Rope Bracelet

I just recently purchased this bracelet, and I truly have fallen in love! The rope detail, the monogram, the gold anchor clasp, this bracelet has it all! I typically don't purchase tons of bracelets, mostly because I own a few very nice pieces that go with everything. But I knew when I saw this bracelet that it was a steal at $29.99 and that it absolutely had to join my collection! Get it here!
Here's how I have styled it recently: 

Lilly Pulitzer Scallop Belt

To say that I am obsessed would be an understatement. This belt pairs perfectly with a summer maxi dress or even with a skirt, and the possibilities are truly endless. This piece adds that extra flair to any outfit, and I am anxiously waiting to get one for myself. Grab this cute add-on here

Keil James Patrick Brand
If you have never heard of Keil James Patrick, or if you do not follow him and his girlfriend on Instagram (@kjp and @sarahkjp) you truly have been missing out! This duo has so much style, and their New England based brand does not fall short of perfection. These are a few of my favorite summer essentials from their current line (and let me tell choose my top two was an immense challenge!)

Beach Knot Archer Wrap Bracelet - Get yours here!

Coral Laurel Cape Codder Bag - Add it to your collection here!

Monogrammed Anchor Earrings 
I am obsessed with etsy, and this is one of my most recent finds that will make a perfect earring to wear to the beach. I am a pearl-girl by nature and I rarely wear anything else, but I hate wearing them to the beach for fear of them getting lost, dirty, or broken. At only $8.95 and with tons of color combinations and styles of monogram available, there truly is something for everyone with this earring. I found these on the etsy shop, "PishPoshPendants." Get yours here!

Lilly Pulitzer Shoreline Tote in "Bright Navy Raise the Sails"
This is the perfect beach tote or casual purse! I already have a shoreline tote from the resort collection in the print "bright navy jammin" but I think I just may have to add this new tote to my collection! Grab this fab accessory here!

That's all for now! I hope you have a fabulous weekend and soak up some summer sun! 


Thursday, June 13, 2013

My Top 10 Favorite Quotes

Happy Thursday!

In honor of my first post ever {I'm just a little beyond excited} I thought it would be entirely appropriate to start with my top ten quotes that inspire me! I hope that you'll enjoy and also begin getting to know me!

1. "Being true to yourself never goes out of style." -Elle Woods
2. "If people are trying to bring you down, it only means that you are above them."
3. "A woman is like a tea bag: you can't tell how strong she is until you put her in hot water." -Eleanor Roosevelt
4. "You catch more flies with honey than you do with vinegar."
5. "Class is knowing what to say, when to say it, and when to stop."
6. "Life's a party, dress like it." -Lilly Pulitzer
7. "You can be the ripest, juiciest peach in the world, and there's still going to be somebody who hates peaches." -Dita Von Tesse
8. "The greater part of our happiness or misery depends on our dispositions and not on our circumstances." -Martha Washington
9. "Show class, have pride, and display character. If you do, winning takes care of itself." -Paul Bryant
10. "Keep your heels, head, and standards high."

Have a wonderful Friday tomorrow! What are your favorite quotes?