Thursday, December 31, 2015

Peanut Butter Fudge

If you think I'm going to stop sharing yummy treats just because it's the New Year and some people try to convince themselves they will suddenly start eating better and working out (and then it lasts for all of a month - body related resolutions are just ridiculous!), then you've got another thing coming.

I do not believe in New Year's Resolutions as I think it sets us all up for disappointment and failure. Sure, it's great to want to improve our lives and well being but to think that we can miraculously change or improve on a whim is crazy! So many people rush to the gym upon New Year's fully motivated. Most then give up after 4 weeks. Stupid. Stop putting so much pressure on yourself!

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Shopping In Seattle: Diva Dollz

A couple weeks ago, as you may recall from last week's Christmas-y post, I spent a few days in Seattle with my co-workers. For the first time, I wasn't traveling to work a booth or any kind of event! Nope! This time, I was spending a couple days in EMC's Seattle office for 2016 planning and some much needed face time with my manager and other team members. I also got to attend their Christmas gala - nothing like getting dressed up, sipping on free drinks, and dancing the night away with co-workers!

It's been such a different experience this year having half my team located on the other side of the country. Jenn, my local teammate, and I have handled it pretty well. I know if I didn't have Jenn sitting beside me, it'd be a different story. Since the team is split pretty evenly, we manage. Jenn is definitely like a manager to me as she has been planning tradeshows for companies for years. I definitely learn a ton working alongside her and love having her guidance when our manager isn't available (or just not awake yet!).

Thursday, December 24, 2015

Styled by Cody: An Outfit for the Birthday Boy

For those who don't know, my boyfriend, Cody, was born on Christmas Day. I KNOW! I love it. I think it's cute. I love calling him my Christmas Baby (not in the sense that he was MY baby to have but, you know, baby in the pet name kind of way...oh never mind). Christmas is my favorite day of the year so I love that it is also his birthday! I like to think it was meant to be...

I actually know A LOT of December birthdays. My Bubbie is a Christmas baby with Cody (and she LOVES that they share a birthday, by the way! Have I expressed how much my grandmother loves my boyfriend? She sends him mail and never sends me any. HE GETS MAIL FROM MY BUBBIE, PEOPLE!) and then there's Red on December 30th. My grandfather's was December 28th and there's a whole bunch of other friends in the first weeks of December, too. It's just crazy.

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Christmas in the Office: LindyBop's Renee Green Alpine Set

This is the BEST week EVER! I love love LOVE Christmas! But you know that already, my little cookies. I express my joy of the holiday season all the time!

As I write this post, I am sitting in my hotel room in Seattle, Washington, waiting to get ready for our company's holiday party. Not only am I excited to attend with my team (out of my direct team of 5, 3 of them work out West so it's nice to be togethet!), I hear it is quite a fancy affair. Apparently, our company out here in Seattle goes ALL out with open bar, awesome food, photo booths, dancing, live music, and all out themes. Tonight is Monte Carlo and I have high expectations.

Thursday, December 17, 2015

What's Sara Reading? December Edition

It's the most wonderful time of the yeeeaaaar!!!

If you don't agree, well, then maybe we shouldn't be friends.

I'm kidding. I love you all too much.

Holiday cheer aside, Happy mid-December! I am beyond amazed that 2015 is coming to a close in just a couple weeks. What is THAT about? Are the years flying by faster and faster lately or is that just me? It's shocking. It is also shocking that this week marks Cody's and my 4 year anniversary. Ahhh! That's small potatoes for some but this is my longest relationship to date. I'm not sick of him yet so I guess I'll keep him around...

I am also on vacation next week - holla! - for Christmas. I am so looking forward to that! This weekend I am taking Cody to Ogunquit, Maine for our annual Birthday/Anniversary/Christmas/End of the Year Getaway! I started doing this two years ago as a way to celebrate his birthday apart of Christmas (he is a Christmas baby!) but now it's become our tradition to plan a small one or two night getaway to just celebrate everything! We've gone to some great spots (a brewery and inn in NH, Vermont for some touristy fun, etc.) and this year will be no different! I booked us two nights at the Meadowmere Resort and managed to find a package that included an interactive dinner with the chef and massages. Yes, please! There is also a fireplace in our room, an indoor poor, and an outdoor hot tub! I am very excited, to say the least! So stay tuned for more on that.

Before we take off for our mini-cation, here is this past month's reading roundup!

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

White Chocolate Dipped Oreo Pudding Cookies

What's better than Oreos? Oreo pudding. What's better than Oreo pudding? Oreo Pudding Cookies. What's better than Oreo Pudding Cookies? White Chocolate Dipped Oreo Pudding Cookies.

Have you caught on yet?

Thursday, December 10, 2015

100% Book Worm - and Proud of It!

Happy 5th night of Chanukah! Sick of latkes and dreidels yet? OF COURSE YOU'RE NOT!

I knew this new ModCloth dress had to go live on my blog during Chanukah. Why? Well, in my house, books coincide with Chanukah. OK, if I am being honest, in my house, books coincided with life in general but books and Chanukah kind of went together like PB & J.

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Traditional Potato Latkes for Chanukah!

Happy Chanukah, blogosphere!

Growing up with a Jewish mother and Catholic father was interesting. We volleyed back and forth between both religions over the years - attending church every now and then and also attending temple for the high holidays. We attended many a cedar for Passover but also had Easter egg hunts in the backyard.

The best part of having both religions in our house? Celebrating both Chanukah and Christmas. Before you ask, no, we did not get double presents. I have 2 sisters, remember? What do you think, my school teacher Mom and factory workin' Dad are made of money?

Thursday, December 3, 2015

Portions for Foxes

Bonus points to anyone who knows what my title is referencing!! Post in the comments for a prize (OK I should disclose the prize will be a virtual hug...or high five if you like your personal space)!

Title and invading personal space aside, how adorable is this dress? Look at the foxes! The prancing foxes! There are a few sleepy foxes too! I love it! I have to stop using exclamation points!

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Family Photos at Wolf Pen Farm!

Happy December! Since it is officially December and the Christmas countdown is on, I thought it'd be the perfect time to share some casual family portraits I captured a couple weeks back at a Christmas tree farm called Wolf Pen Farm in Southborough, MA. 

I was extremely excited to work with this family - mainly because Mom, Sayra, hired me at EMC! She is now our team's director (and no longer my direct boss) but she is still very much involved in my development at EMC and still has an office roughly 10 steps away from my desk. She's made a great impact on me in these past 2 years there so I was over the moon when she asked if I'd photograph her family this year.

Friday, November 27, 2015

Cherry Velvet, If You Please...

Anyone else think of "Black Velvet" by Alannah Myles when they read Cherry Velvet? No? Hmm. I can't be the only one who associates nearly everything with music. Then again, maybe I am...

Happy Friday, boys and girls! Happy Day After Thanksgiving, too! And if you're down with being insane (like Cody and his mom!), Happy Black Friday!

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Simple & Easy Pumpkin Bars

Getting sick of the pumpkin posts yet? NEVER! This is what November is for, my friends, and seeing as December begins next week, I knew I had to bring you at least one more great pumpkin recipe. This one is the best because it's also very simple and easy to whip together.

A luscious treat that takes nearly zero effort? Count me in!

Monday, November 23, 2015

The LindyBop Courtney Dress (and a Customer Service Tale)

I know I've told you before (and I will tell anyone who will listen!) but I really so absolutely love LindyBop. Mostly because of their amazing dresses and selection (with one example being this precious Courtney dress I got during their big sale recently) but also because their customer service rocks my socks.They're quick to respond to your inquiries and are quick to make mistakes corrected so that you leave happy.

I have a tale to share, my friends. You may read it, you may not, but I am sharing it here as I share my new favorite dress. I don't even care that it's probably more suitable for Spring or Summer. YOU CAN'T TELL ME WHAT TO DO, SEASONS!

OK, let's focus here.

Thursday, November 19, 2015

The Vintage Bazaar's Holiday Jubilee in ModCloth

I discovered a new antique/vintage extravaganza in my area recently - The Vintage Bazaar! Like the Brimfield Show you've heard me babble about, the Vintage Bazaar happens three times a year and their last event, taking place in early November, is their Holiday Jubilee.

Vintage decorations, antiques, and Christmas??

It really was an event made for me. How did they know?

Unlike Brimfield, there is a $10 admission fee but it's totally worth it! The event takes place on a farm and vendors fill their multiple tents and heated greenhouses with holiday goodies, vintage, and antique items. Among the vendors there are food trucks selling yummy delights and stands serving hot cocoa and cider.

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

What's Sara Reading? November Edition

Happy Mid-November! Are you counting down the days until Thanksgiving like I am? Come at me, pumpkin pie and turkey! We are hosting our second annual Friendsgiving this weekend and I couldn't be more pumped. We started hosting a Thanksgiving for our friends last year after I officially moved in with Cody and it was so much fun we decided to do it again this year. Do I see a tradition starting?

It's hard, though, because we have limited space in our old house. I don't necessarily want guests eating on our couch so we're going to have to squeeze into our makeshift long dining room table made of our 6 seat dining table lined up with our cheap foldout Walmart table. We may have to grab a square card table this year to put some additional friends planning on joining. I guess that's the challenge with dinner parties - you just can't invite everyone and have to be selective. We can really only cater to 10-12 people comfortably!

But we're not here to hear about my dinner party woes. No way! We're here to get this month's round up of books I've been reading. Once again, it's a hefty list (earlier editions tended to be 3-4 books, lately I'm sharing 5!). I gotta say, I've been reading more now that I have a Kindle. I don't know if it's because I am reading faster when the book is in digital form or if perhaps I read slower before to make a book last longer since ordering actual books took longer since they arrived via the mailbox. Not sure what it is, but I don't mind!

I read books like I eat snacks - by the handful!

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Mini Pumpkin Whoopie Pies

My absolute favorite part of Thanksgiving is pumpkin pie. Forget all other pies, I'll take pumpkin every time.  A big slice of pumpkin pie with a dollop of vanilla ice cream is just downright dreamy. It also makes a scrumptious breakfast the morning after Thanksgiving!

I think I could eat an entire pie myself if I tried - well, OK, maybe not. But I'd sure try!

Now, when we think of Thanksgiving desserts, it's the traditional pies we think of. Ooey gooey filling nestled into a flaky crust, right? Well, who says pie has to come in a crust, cut in a pie plate, served on a smaller plate, and eaten with a fork, all princess-like?


Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Looking Like a Million Bucks (Without Spending a Million Bucks)

Hello, my name is Sara and I have a dress buying problem. But I don't call it a problem. It's my collection. In my dressing room, I have a clothing rack full of dresses and skirts and that is what makes me happy. I feel great when I look great from head to toe - coordinated accessories included!

Now, before I get too far, I want to clarify some things. I know from reading the above, you probably have one of two reactions. You have either laughed and thought Oh that's so Sara! She's so cute! or you kinda of rolled your eyes and thought ugh how does she afford to buy all of these dresses? Seriously?

It's OK. I know. I know because sometimes I think similar thoughts!

No, I am not about to describe in detail my monthly expenses and income to show you how I do it and where my money goes. I'm a lady, after all!

What I do want to do in this post, however, is talk about building a retro/vintage/pinup wardrobe without breaking the bank - because it is possible! It's not easy and it doesn't all come at once (trust me when I say my wardrobe is a collection gathered over the years) but with some patience, some attention to detail, and knowing a few good spots to always keep on your radar, you can do it, too.

Thursday, November 5, 2015

Ashley is Sweet 16!

Just a couple weeks ago, Ashley celebrated her Sweet 16 with a large group of her friends, gal pals, and family. Dressed in a voluminous princess-esque gown covered in gems and sparkly stones, Ashley practically glowed as she danced and partied it up at her party.

I've known Ashley and her family for over 6 years. Her mom, Jay, was one of my managers in the studio I worked for when I graduated college. Ashley and her little sis, Ariana, always visited the studio and were quite used to being in front of the camera.

I haven't worked in the studio in over 4 years now but a bunch of us still see each other and hang out. Jay is one of the bunch and when she called me to shoot Ashley's portrait session as well as her party, I didn't hesitate to say yes.

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Spinach & Goat Cheese Stuffed Mushrooms

Confession time - one of my favorite foods are mushrooms.

I have always loved mushrooms. I remember being a little girl and eating my weight in stuffed mushrooms whenever I was able to. I had weird favorites as a kid, what can I say?

Whenever there'd be a family gathering or we'd go out to the Chinese food buffet, my first thought would be "I wonder if there will be stuffed mushrooms there..."

Not kidding. They felt fancy to me and they were just so gosh darn delicious!

Now, as an adult, I still love mushrooms and eat them on everything - pizza (always on pizza), pasta, stir fry, and by themselves, preferably stuffed.

Stuffed mushrooms are still my favorite way to eat them. You can stuff a mushroom with pretty much anything and that's so fun! A seafood and breadcrumb mixture (hello!), a tomato and mozzarella combo (so tasty!), or like these!

Saturday, October 31, 2015

Happy Halloween!

Happy Halloween, my friends!! Today kicks off my favorite time of year - HOLIDAY SEASON! Don't agree? Deal with it! Are you one of the grumps who hates talking about happy things like Christmas? Don't talk to me.

I don't get it. Who cares if we talk about Christmas now? It's a time of warm and fuzzy! It's a happy time of year where we can give gifts and eat yummy food and feel joy! What's so bad about being excited about that? Ya bunch of Scrooges!

But before I get myself too wrapped up in all that mumbo jumbo, let's get back to Halloween, shall we?

What are you being for Halloween? Have any fun plans for tonight?

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Pumpkin Pie White Chocolate Chip Blondies

So it's fall. It's the last week of October, which means it's more than acceptable to be dressed up for Halloween on any given day, sip on apple cider on the regular, wear boots and little denim jackets, talk about Thanksgiving plans, and pick out pumpkins as big as our heads to put on our door steps.

That makes me happy.

Wanna know what else makes me happy?

Pumpkin treats: muffins, donuts, bread, pie, cookies - I'll eat them all!

One thing that I think is missing out on the pumpkin action? Blondies!

Monday, October 26, 2015

It's All a Bunch of Voodoo! (Along With Some Thoughts on Body Image)

At first, I didn't know what I'd write to complement this kickass Voodoo Vixen dress that I scored off Zulily recently. I usually like to tie in a story or an activity in my style posts or at least keep a theme going for the post. I am not one to post photos and outfit details and leave it at that. Nah, I talk too much for that!

Then, as I was brushing my teeth this morning, I knew exactly what I'd discuss and highlight in this post.

My chubby. flabby, arms.

Woah - she's gonna highlight her flaws? Make everyone zero in on the parts of her body she hates?



Friday, October 23, 2015

Daniel's 1st Birthday Cake Smash!

 A couple weeks ago I met up with one of my favorite families to photograph their littlest celebrate his first birthday the fun way - with a cake smash photo shoot! Not familiar with what a cake smash is? It's when you introduce your baby to cake for the first time in honor of their first birthday - with a photographer present to capture the experience.

I photographed them a lot when I worked in the studio and I so miss them! They're so fun! It can go one of two ways, really. The baby can either dive in without abandon and totally love every bite or the baby will take one lick of the stuff and totally despise how it feels on its fingers and lips and throw a fit. I've experienced both situations.

Both can actually produce some pretty awesome portraits...

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Never Fail Apple Crisp

Do you have a favorite dessert (or even dinner) that is so stupidly simple, it feels bizarre even calling it a "recipe" when you refer to it? Even better - you don't even NEED a recipe when you make it?

Apple Crisp is definitely one of those. I feel like you couldn't ask for a more simplified fall treat. I mean, how can you mess it up? It's apples with a flour/butter/sugar crumble on top. BOOM! You've yummified the literal fruits of your apple picking labor.

I have always loved Apple Crisp. It is the entire purpose of apple picking, if you ask me! What else are you gonna do with that huge bag of apples? OK, actually, there are a lot of things you can do with a big bag of apples: muffins, cakes, even a yummy topping for some pork chops!

Still, what it all comes down to every fall is a classic Apple Crisp.

Monday, October 19, 2015

Frosty Fall Leaves

Do you believe in love at first scroll?

It took me .2 seconds to decide I needed this skirt from ModCloth in my life. When I spotted it, we were on our way to Six Flags for my dad's annual family picnic at work. Since the park is over an hour away, I was killing time on my phone browsing the new arrivals on ModCloth. What else was I supposed to do?

Friday, October 16, 2015

Orange Lemon Funny Cake: Guest Post for Miss Amy May!

Have you ever tried making a recipe from a vintage cookbook? It can be super fun! It can also be super...interesting.

Head on over to Miss Amy May's blog to check out my guest post featuring the recipe for this Orange Lemon Funny Cake from 1959's The General Foods Kitchens Cookbook.

It truly is a funny but delicious treat!

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

What's Sara Reading? October Edition

Holy Moses, it's October. THIS IS EXCITING! Unlike most of this world, I am so happy to see Summer go away. See ya next year, your humid b*tch! Sorry, too far?

As a Fall/Winter gal, I am in my happy place. My favorite months of the year are the ones that end in BER! It has cooled down some (thank GOD!) and the countdown to the holiday season has begun! Go ahead - ask me how many days are left until Christmas. I dare you.

We've got Halloween in just a couple weeks - the kick off to the most wonderful time of the year. Have your costume picked out yet? Don't worry - you'll get to see mine on this blog come Halloween.

Before we get too wrapped up in trick or treat, I bring you this month's edition of "What's Sara Reading?" Boy, it's a big one! Thanks to my trip to Amsterdam I did a lot of reading (aka devouring) last month. Mindy Kaling's book? Yeah, read the entire thing on the flight home the day after it was released.

Monday, October 12, 2015

A Retro Revolution: Julie Mollo's Pink Lemonade "Retroversible" Skirt!

I am so calling this skirt (along with all of Julie's designs) a Retro Revolution because, well, isn't reversible clothes pretty much just that? I mean, it's 2 skirts in one! Can't decide between yellow and pink? Guess what? You don't have to! Get sick of wearing pink halfway through the day? Just unzip it, flip it, and voila! New skirt for the afternoon!

As you may know, I met Julie Mollo a couple weeks ago at the New England Shake-Up, where she was a vendor. She had a cute little tent out on the sunny parking lot in the car show and her personality matched the weather! She greeted me with a warm smile and told me all about her designs - all of which she calls "retroversible." Her dresses and skirts are all reversible! I nearly died.

She got me to try some skirts on over my dress (that must have been a sight to see!) and we talked about crappy zipper quality - a HUGE pet peeve of mine. She agreed with me and told me how she only used heavy duty utility in her items, especially since they have to be adaptable to the reversible concept. I could tell! The zipper on this skirt is definitely heavy duty and zips so cleanly, it nearly gave me chills.