Shopping Successes

Since we woke up to sunny blue skies, Munchkin and I decided to head out to the park after breakfast and take advantage of quite possibly one of the last warm summerish days of the year.  We had a great time running around, climbing, swinging and going down the slides.

We had a very successful shopping day yesterday.  We didn’t make it to all the stores that I was hoping, but I got almost everything I needed at Target and TJ Maxx. On our way out the door, the weather started to take a turn for the worst. We had to run through the Target parking lot to make it into the store before it started monsooning.

 I finally found a pair of boots at TJ Maxx. They’re just plain black suede boots, but for $35 they were a steal. They are also super comfy which is a must for me.

I got some good stuff at Target, as well.  I spotted this shirt dress and knew it had to be mine.

I also grabbed some fall decorations from the dollar section.  These pumpkins were only $2.50 each. I also got some decorations to put up in front of the house, which I’m planning on doing this weekend.

For lunch/dinner I made a chicken veggie stir fry.  I had a bunch of veggies in the fridge that needed to be eaten and a stir fry was a super easy way to use em all.

I served the stir fry over Uncle Ben’s Long Grain and Wild Rice.  It was the first time that I bought this rice, but I will definitely be repurchasing because it was very good.

Now that Munchkin is napping the afternoon away, I need to do some cleaning. We are heading out to Long Island tonight for dinner at Minado’s.  We are meeting up for dinner with Tommy’s cousins and their baby girl, Arianna.

We have some big plans this weekend and they involve boats and pumpkins, weather permitting.

What are your plans for the weekend?
What’s the last ‘steal’ purchase you made?

What I Did on my Day Off

My first day off didn’t go exactly as I had planned, but it was a good day nonetheless.  I got a bunch of stuff done that I had been meaning to do for weeks.

After chowing down on my pumpkin pancakes for breakfast, I took a trip to the nail salon.  It had been months since I got my nails done, so I felt like this was the perfect way to start off my day.

My Shape magazine accompanied me to the nail salon.  I have a whole stack of magazines to read because I am subscribed to Self, Shape, Glamour, Fitness and Elle. I love reading magazines, but with all my school reading, I have little time to get through them all.

I chose one of the new colors from the Essie fall collection for my nails.  It’s called Lady Like and its a gorgeous pinkish, mauvey color. I have a feeling this will be appearing on my nails regularly this fall.  I seriously can’t stop looking at my hands because I love the color so much.

Once my nails were dry, I headed home to spend some quality time with this guy.

His new favorite activity is coloring.  I bought him a Spongebob coloring book a few weeks ago and all I hear all day is him yelling color Bob.  His vocabulary is increasing my the day and it is so amazing to see this little guy pick up words so quickly.

In the meantime, I also did all my laundry. The laundry basket was actually empty for once. Not a regular occurrence in this house.

While the Munchkin napped, I cleaned all my makeup brushes.  This is an activity that I absolutely loathe.  I know its something that I should do more often than I do, but I have to force myself to wash them every time.

After bath time, Munchkin and I snuggled on the couch and watched the prime time shows on ABC. I really enjoyed the new show Suburgatory, I have a feeling it will be as big a hit as The Middle and Modern Family.

I have big plans for today. I’m looking to get all my errands done today so I can enjoy the real weekend starting tomorrow. I want to hit up Target, TJ Maxx, Trader Joe’s and Michael’s, but first I need to make myself some lunch.  I have some chicken defrosting and I’m planning on making a quick stir fry to fuel my shopping trip.

Have a great Thursday!

What magazines do you subscribe to?
Do you do your own nails or get them done at the salon?

Kicking off a Five Day Weekend

Can you think of a better way to start off a five day weekend than with pancakes?I can! With pumpkin pancakes!

I woke up this morning with pancakes on the brain and I knew that pumpkin pancakes where the only way to cure my craving. Luckily, I had no objections from my little pancake lover.

I’ve made pumpkin pancakes before, but I couldn’t remember what recipe I had followed so I did a little searching and found this one.  I was very intrigued because the recipe calls for egg whites to be folded in as the last step.  I knew that this would make the pancakes light, airy and extra fluffy.  Needless to say, I was sold.  I tweaked the recipe a bit, so here is my version.

Pumpkin Pancakes

  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • pinch salt
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon/pumpkin pie spice
  • 2 eggs, separated
  • 1 cup milk [I've used both skim and almond milk]
  • 1/2 cup canned pumpkin
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil

Sift together all the dry ingredients.   In a bowl, beat the egg whites until soft peaks are formed. In a separate, large bowl, cream together egg yolks, milk, pumpkin and oil.  Stir in dry ingredients into the wet mixture.  Fold the whites into the batter.  Cook pancakes on a griddle and dig in!

As a side note, if a recipe calls for egg whites to be beaten separately, I always do them first so I don’t have to wash the mixer attachments. If you don’t clean the batter off of them and go to beat the whites, peaks won’t form.

As soon as I bit into these bad boys, I texted Tommy that I had to recreate them for him this weekend. Dare I say, these might have been the best pancakes I ever ate.  Try em out, let me know if you agree!

I’ve got big plans for today, places to go, people to see.  Okay, maybe I was a little dramatic there, but I am on a mission to find boots for the fall. Wish me luck because so far, every time I find something I like, there’s something that keeps me from buying them.

I’m also excited for the premiere of Suburgatory tonight.  I really think that show is going to be great!

Have a great Wednesday!

What’s you favorite kind of pancake?
Are there any new fall shows you’re looking forward to?

Spaghetti Squash: Take 1

On Friday, I tried my hand at making spaghetti squash for the very first time.  I had never heard of spaghetti squash before last fall, and it took me a year to build up the courage to actually try it.  And let me tell you, I am so happy that I did.  
I made the spaghetti squash with pesto and Parmesan cheese and it got two thumbs up from all who tried it, even my littlest food critic. 
The hardest part of the whole recipe was getting the squash cut in half.  I opted to slice it before putting it in the oven because it cut about a half hour off the baking time. You can bake the squash hole, just make sure to poke some holes in it with a skewer so it doesn’t explode in the oven.
I scooped out the innards and was left with two halves ready to go in the oven.
Pesto Parmesan Spaghetti Squash

Ingredients
1 spaghetti squash
8 oz package Crimini mushrooms, sliced
1/3 cup pesto sauce (I used a store bought pesto)
1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 large tomato, thinly sliced
extra Parmesan cheese for sprinkling
Place the squash innard side down into a baking pan with a little bit of water, and bake for 40 minutes at 375 degrees F. Meanwhile, brown the mushrooms in a skillet.
After 40 minutes, remove the squash from oven and let cool. Once cool enough to touch, shred the inside of the squash by running a fork lengthwise through the squash, creating noodle like strands.
Place the squash noodles in a bowl and toss with 1/3 cup pesto sauce, 1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese and mushrooms. Transfer the noodles to a baking pan, top with tomato slices and sprinkle with extra Parmesan cheese. 
Put under the broiler for 10-15 minutes or until the cheese browns. Serve and enjoy!
I am so happy that today is my last day of school this week.  But, I have to get back to the books for now because I have an in-class writing assignment today.
Have a great Friday Tuesday! ;)
What’s your favorite squash recipe?

A Cosmically Good Weekend

Why do the weekends fly by so quickly? Luckily I only have two days of school this week, so I will soon be enjoying a 5 day weekend.

Friday started off with a trip to the supermarket where I made an incredible discovery. I was looking for Pumpkin Spice waffles when I ran into these bad boys.

With the Pumpkin Spice bagels in my cart, I walked over to the dairy section of the supermarket hoping to find cinnamon cream cheese, but I’m pretty sure that doesn’t exist.  So, I decided to take matters into my own hands. In the spice aisle I found a cinnamon sugar grinder and I knew this would make my bagels amazing.

When I got home, I toasted up a bagel, spread on some cream cheese and topped it off with some cinnamon sugar.  It tasted amazing! If you can find these bagels in your supermarket I highly recommend em!

I also took my first stab at Spaghetti Squash on Friday and was pleasantly surprised with the results. I made it with a pesto Parmesan sauce. Recipe will follow soon.

Pun intended ;)

Even though the weathermen kept yelling about how the weekend was going to be a washout, that didn’t happen. We woke up on Saturday morning and headed over to the farm stand for some fresh produce.

Munchkin had a ball checking out the pumpkins.

Munchkin and I spent most of Saturday outside playing on our swing set. His favorite part is the steering wheel, he could play with the thing for hours on end.

I also nearly had a heart attack when I found a salamander slithering up my leg.  Even though they are virtually harmless, looking down and finding a lizard on my leg was not a pleasant experience.

After working up an appetite outdoors, we enjoyed some of the fresh fruit we got at the farm stand.

After Munchkin was fast asleep, Tommy and I headed out for a night on the town.  Unfortunately, the towns in the Poconos are lacking in the night life department so we ended up at the bowling alley.  Neither of us had been bowling in years, but it was a lot of fun. The bowling alley does cosmic bowling at night, so the whole place was lit up in black lights.

We also made a bet that whoever lost would get dinner that night. So of course I had to lose.  Notice that I did get two strikes, but that wasn’t enough to win.

Since it was getting late, it was almost impossible to find a place that was open, but not fast food. Luckily, this place had crazy neon lights which we saw through the crazy fog.

Luna Rossa is a sit down restaurant, but by the time we got there only the bar section was open and we were limited to the bar menu, which included brick oven pizza.

We got two pizzas to share and enjoyed them along side some Yuengling. For a complete hole in the wall place in the middle of nowhere, the pizza was surprisingly good, and that’s coming from two native New Yorkers who know their pizza.

Sunday was spent relaxing around the house.  Munchkin decided to bake an imaginary cake.

Cake is Munchkin’s newest word and he points at the oven repeating cake.  Maybe I have a future baker on my hands?

I also finished up reading Room last night.  It is really an amazing story about a five year old boy and his mother who have been held captive since the mother was kidnapped at age 19.  I don’t want to give any of it away, but its one of those books you cannot put down.

Now I need to finish up my reading for school! Have a great Monday everyone!

What’s the last good book you’ve read?
Have you ever discovered a really good hole in the wall restaurant? 

Cracker Jacks

My boyfriend went to the Legends Suit at Yankee Stadium…and all I got were some Cracker Jacks.

While I was being my studious self yesterday, Tommy got to have an amazing baseball experience.  Thanks to his cousin, he got to go to the Yankee game, but this wasn’t you average game.  They got to sit in the premium seats, you know, the kind that cost $260 a pop.

They drove to the game because parking is, of course, included.  They got to eat at the all-inclusive buffet which was stocked with food you would not expect at a baseball game.  All you can eat sushi, seafood, steaks, etc.

If the free food wasn’t enough to make me envious, I got this picture in the middle of class.

Yes, they sat one row away from the field.  Tommy said they could smell the freshly cut grass, which is something you definitely don’t get sitting in the top, top rows, where I usually sit.

Even though the Yankees lost pretty badly, they had a great time.

Now, I need to get myself to the supermarket because spaghetti squash with pesto is on the menu for today.  I have high hopes for the recipe!

Have a great weekend!

Have you ever gotten free expensive tickets to an event? Why didn’t you invite me along? ;)

Plate Replacement

Since I was feeling a little better this morning, I decided to take a trip to the DMV to replace my license plates, because one of mine randomly disappeared off my car last week.  Just my luck, I pulled up to the DMV to find that it was closed for the day because there had been a small fire there overnight.

I was determined to make my first trip out of the house after being sick a success, so I decided to take a detour and go to the barber shop and attempt to cut Munchkin’s hair since our last trip to the barber was not a success. Luckily, this barber was a bit better with kids and got Munchkin to sit stand and watch Toy Story for long enough to fix his hair up a bit.  It also helped that he bribed him with two lollipops.

Sleepy Munchkin enjoying his lolly

Since the haircut was a great success, I decided to try the other DVM office.  I’m glad I did because we were in and out with new plates within 15 minutes.  I am now the proud owner of the gross yellow colored New York license plates. The old ones were so much nicer!

 I had so many fun recipes planned to try this week, but they all got put on hold because of my cold.  I do think that I will be making my first attempt at spaghetti squash tomorrow, so keep your fingers crossed that its edible. ;) Time for me to get ready for school, yay! Can I just say how jealous I am that Tommy gets to go to the Yankee game tonight? Just kidding, school is so much more exciting than baseball. NOT!

Have a great Thursday everyone!

What’s your favorite baseball team?

Pumpkin Carrot Bread

There are very fews things in the world that I hate more than being sick.  I woke up yesterday feeling like poop, sore throat, cough, stuffy nose, the works.  I split my day between laying in bed and laying on the couch.  But, on Monday I made something so amazingly yummy that I have to share it with you. I found this recipe on Tina’s blog and knew I had to make it when I read her raving about how good it is.
Pumpkin Carrot Cake Bread
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 cup all purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 egg
  • 1 1/2 cup pumpkin
  • 1/3 cup packed brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 cup grated carrot
  • 1/2 cup craisins
  • 1/3 cup chopped walnuts
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Mix together the flours, baking powder, pumpkin spice, and salt in a large mixing bowl.  In a separate bowl, mix the egg, pumpkin, brown sugar and vanilla.  Add the wet ingredients to the dry and mix until evenly combined.  Fold in grated carrots, craisins and walnut.
Spray a loaf pan with cooking spray and pour batter into pan.  Bake for 25 minutes or until a toothpicks comes out clean.  Let cool and enjoy!
I couldn’t find my loaf pan so I baked it in a bundt, which also worked well.  This bread is soo good. I know I will be doubling this recipe next time because it was gone in one day.
Now I’m going to crawl back into bed and hope this sickness leaves me alone soon. 
Have a great Wednesday everyone!

A little bit of shopping

Happy Monday everyone! I hope you had a great weekend because I know I did!
We started the weekend very deliciously, with some sushi. It had been almost two weeks since we went out for sushi, which I’m pretty sure is some kind of record. Munchkin is liking sushi more and more as he gets older.  Its pretty funny to see a little guy in a highchair throwing back Alaska rolls. 
On Saturday, we woke up in the Poconos and I was ready to get outdoors.  The weather was gorgeous with a slight chill in the air, the perfect weather to go check out the farm stand. 

My eyes lit up when I saw all of the pumpkins, squash and gourds for sale already.  As much as I would love to buy them all and decorate already, I really want to go to a pumpkin patch and get the whole pumpkin picking experience. 
I did purchase some spaghetti squash, which I will be attempting to make this week, for the first time.  Keep your fingers crossed that I don’t screw it up!
We also hit up the supermarket where Munchkin not only got a free cookies at the bakery, he also got a sticker at checkout.  He was one happy camper!
Saturday night was date night! We decided to go to the movies and ended up seeing Drive.  We were going to go to the movie theater that we went to last time, but its like a half hour drive away so instead we decided to go to the Poconos Movieplex.  It was seriously like the strangest movie theater we’d ever been to.  It looked like it was stuck in the 80s and it totally gave us strange vibes, kind of like in movies when outsiders come into the little town.
Luckily, the locals did not turn out to be zombies and we got out of there alive. The movie, however, was so weird.  It has really good reviews online, but both of us were just really confused throughout the movie. There were a lot of awkward pauses and the ending didn’t really make sense.  I don’t recommend it. 
After the movies we hit up Red Robin..yum! I had a coupon for a free birthday burger, which you get if you sign up for their newsletter.  I had the Oktoberfest burger which was really good. Its had beer flavored mustard, Swiss cheese, onions and ham on a pretzel bun.  I’ve never had mustard on a burger before, but it definitely works and gives the burger a really yummy flavor.
On Sunday, we hit up the outlets to get some new pieces for our fall wardrobes.  I got my first plaid shirt at J Crew and I can’t wait to wear it.  I think it’ll look great with jeans and boots for fall. Munchkin got new fall sneakers and a raincoat with matching galoshes.
I fell in love with a winter coat for Munchkin, but they didn’t have his size in store.  Thanks to my online shopping skills, Munchkin’s coat will me arriving in 5 to 7 business days!
Now I need to catch up on some homework, I know you’re jealous. 
Have a great Monday!
What did you do this weekend?
What’s your fall fashion must have?

Welcoming Fall

Happy Friday everyone! Fall arrived in New York last night and it was kind of entertaining to see who doesn’t watch the weather channel. There were some shivering people dressed in shorts and tank tops on the subway. Another thing I observed on my subway ride home was that no male over the age of 10 should ever wear Crocs, especially not neon orange Crocs.  Not a good look. The train that I take always has a lot of interesting people, wearing even more interesting clothes, because it goes through a hipster neighborhood.

Since I did watch the weather channel, I knew that fall was rapidly approaching and with the temperatures dropping, what is better than a piece of warm, gooey apple crisp. This is seriously the world’s simplest recipe and probably the best apple crisp I’ve made.

Apple Crisp

  • 6 apples, cored and sliced
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 3/4 cup all purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup old-fashioned oats
  • 1 stick cold butter, cut into cubes
  • 1 1/2 tablespoon apple pie spice

Heat over to 375 degrees.  In a large bowl, combine apples, 1/2 cup brown sugar and 1 tablespoon apple pie spice. Mix well to coat apples.  Transfer apples to baking dish.  In a separate bowl, combine remaining ingredients.  Using your hands, kneed the cold butter into the flour and oats to create a crumbly dough.  Crumble the dough over the apples and bake for 30 minutes or until the apples begin to bubble through the topping.  Serve and enjoy!

I probably make more apple crisp than anything else during the fall.  It’s my quick, go to recipe for some good comfort food.

I’m going to be hitting up the farm stand this weekend, so hopefully I can get some nice, in season produce to play around with next week.  I’m really hoping they have squash, but I think it is still to early.  Fingers crossed!

What’s your favorite fall comfort food?
What are your plans for the weekend?