Fall Classics:  Fashion and Fun Food Inspiration 

A striped button down might be the most basic menswear staple, but on a woman it becomes fresh and sexy. 

If this Sateen-Striped Non-Iron Tunic from https://foxcroft.com received a report card it would read, “Plays well with others.” 

You can dress it up or down, and it will never go out of style. 

I loved wearing it with tights.

It was easy to layer with a faux fur vest.

I think it would also look fabulous with a belt. 

It’s an easy top to pair with jeans for a chic weekend look. 

I found this tunic on a shop I follow on Instagram: @foxcroft. They have classic styles for every woman. I follow them to see latest styles, trend alerts, contests, and giveaways. They offer free shipping and returns so ordering is risk-free. This tunic is only one of the great items I found @foxcroft. I’ll be sharing lots of other fabulous finds from this company within the next few weeks. 

Speaking of stripes and fall classics, this is a really easy recipe I make every fall. 

It’s great to bring to a Halloween Party or just serve after dinner as a special treat. 

Striped Delight Dessert

You need: 

1 1/2 chocolate graham cracker crumbs 

1/4 cup sugar 

1/3 cup melted butter 

1 8oz. pkg. cream cheese, softened 

1/4 cup sugar 

2 tbsp. milk 

1 8oz. container Cool Whip 

2 pkgs. instant pudding 

3 1/2 c. cold milk 

Combine crumbs, 1/4 cup sugar and melted butter. Press firmly in the bottom of 13X9 inch pan. Chill 5 minutes or for firmer crust, bake at 375 degrees for 8 minutes. Cool. 

Beat cream cheese with sugar and milk until smooth. Fold in half the whipped topping. Spread over crust. Prepare pudding as directed on package using 3 1/2 cups milk. Pour over cream cheese layer. Chill overnight. Spread remaining topping over pudding. 

Another easy classic recipe for this time of the year and perfect for a party is this fun fondue.

Zombie Slime Fondue

You need:

9 oz. white chocolate, broken into pieces 

1/2 cup whipping cream 

7 drops food coloring 

1 oz. semi sweet chocolate 

10 pieces gummy candy 

10 jet puffed marshmallows 

2 Granny Smith apples, each cut into 10 wedges 

Microwave white chocolate and cream in microwaveable bowl on high 1 to 2 minutes, or until chocolate is almost melted, stirring every 30 seconds. Stir until completely melted. Stir in food coloring until blended. Pour into serving bowl. 

Melt semi-sweet chocolate as directed on package; drizzle in spiral pattern over fondue. Starting at center, use a toothpick to draw a line through chocolate to side of bowl; repeat to make several lines. Repeat, but start at outside edge of bowl and draw lines through chocolate to center to resemble spider web.

Serve with remaining ingredients as dippers. 

Hope you are all enjoying this lovely fall season ! 

Thanks so much for visiting my blog. 

Your time and attention is always appreciated and any feedback is welcome. 

Yours truly,



Cape Cod Charm: Fashion And Food Inspiration 

I’ve always been fortunate to live close to beautiful Hyannis Port, Massachusetts and spent lots of time there as a child. It’s always so nice to be there when the Art Show is going on. 

I really liked the Gyotaku artwork by Patrick Hogan. It made me excited to try this kind of art at home with the kids and with my students during September when we start our Scientists’ Notebooks and talk about animal observations. 

Although the art exhibits were so wonderful to see, we quickly found beauty everywhere we went during our time in Cape Cod. 

I loved this little garden, which was outside The Brewster Bookstore. 

We got a little exercise exploring Nauset Beach, which is a picturesque area with a lighthouse and other amenities. This is actually the lighthouse used on the Cape Cod Potato Chip bags ! We were also saw The Three Sisters Lighthouses. I thought it was really interesting that they were named ‘Three Sisters’ because someone, back in 1836, thought they looked like ladies wearing white dresses and black hats.

I was definitely channeling the ever so elegant Jackie O, who spent her golden years in Hyannis Port, when I choose this outfit for my last day exploring the ‘Cape.’ 

All the dresses were found on http://www.thredup.com. Accessories worn with these looks were found at http://www.burlingtonstyle.com , with the exception of the leopard bow hat which I created with my own ribbon and a hat from a local craft store. 

Being in Cape Cod reminded my daughter, who was an awesome photographer as well as companion last weekend,  of all the wonderful seafood we make at home this time of year. My mom has a few favorite recipes which she has perfected and passed down to her daughters. 

Ready to prepare a seafood feast ? 

Cape Cod Clam Chowder

Chowder made from quahogs, large hard shelled clams, has long been a tradition on Cape Cod.

You will need:

2 dozen quahogs

6 ounces meaty salt pork 

2 large red or Yukon gold potatoes 

1 large onion 

1/3 cup flour 

1 cup light cream or half-and-half

Salt and white pepper 

1 1/2 to 2 tablespoons butter 

Chopped parsley, for garnish 


1. Scrub the clams well and rinse in cold water. In a large, heavy stockpot, bring 4 quarts of water to a boil. Add the clams, cover, and boil until they are open, about 35 minutes. 

2. Strain through a colander set over a large heatproof bowl to catch the clam cooking liquid. Strain this liquid through a sieve lined with cheesecloth. Boil to reduce by about a third. Measure out and reserve 8 cups of the clam broth.

3. Rinse the clams under cold water until they are cool enough to handle. Remove the clams from their shells, rinsing them briefly to wash off any grit. Coarsely chop the clams, cover, and refrigerate. 

4. Rinse the salt pork, dry, and cut off the rind. Finely dice the salt pork. 

5. In a medium saucepan, boil the diced potatoes 8 to 10 minutes.

6. In a large soup pot, cook the salt pork over medium low heat until it begins to render it’s fat, about 5 minutes. Add the onion, raise the heat, and continue to cook, 5 to 7 minutes longer. 

7. Sprinkle the flour over the onion and salt pork and cook, 1 to 2 minutes. Pour reserved 8 cups clam liquid and half-and-half and bring to a boil, stirring until smooth. Season with salt and pepper to taste. 

8. Add the diced clams and potatoes to the soup base and remove from heat. Ladle into bowls or large mugs, top with butter and a dusting of parsley. 

Cape Cod Clam Boil

A clambake is great when you begin with clam chowder and end with watermelon. Serve this clam boil with cole slaw and cornbread. Be sure to put out nutcrackers and you may even want to purchase disposable bibs!! 

You will need:

6 live lobsters 

6 dozen soft shell clams

6 ears of corn

18 small red new potatoes

6 knockwurst

Melted butter 


1. Fill each of 6 pans with a handful of fresh seaweed and 1 inch of water. If you don’t use seaweed, increase water to 2 inches and salt it lightly. 

2. Place 1 lobster, 12 soft shelled clams, I ear of corn, 3 potatoes, and 1 knockwurst in each pan. Cover with the lid or with a double thickness of aluminum foil and crimp tightly so no steam can escape. Refrigerate for up to 3 hours.

3. About 45 minutes before you plan to serve, light a medium-hot fire in your charcoal grill or preheat a gas grill to medium. Cook for 25 minutes. The lobsters should be bright red with curled tails. Serve with plenty of melted butter. 

Cape Cod Mimosa

We certainly can’t leave this classic out.

For each drink:

1 part cranberry juice

2 parts Dom Perignon or other champagne 

Pour the cranberry juice into a glass. Then fill the glass with the sparkling wine. 

Ready to host your own Clam Bake ? 

What will you wear ? You can dress down a little black dress with a denim vest like I did here- 

Dress: thredUP

Jewelry: Burlington Coat Factory

Sunglasses : polarized Polaroid from Sun Time Grossmont –  https://www.sunglassesandwatches.com
Or go nautical-casual like I did here. 

Top: Lauren Moshi

Skirt: UK style 

Sandals: Target

Bracelet: connectionsbymaya (etsy)

Sunglasses: polarized Polaroid from Sun Time Grossmont  https://www.sunglassesandwatches.com

Looking for new good quality sunglasses that are also affordable ? Sun Time Grossmont carries all the best brands from Luxottica, which is the largest worldwide distributor of sunglasses. Luxottica also owns Sunglasses Hut and LensCrafters but you will never see prices like Grossmont offers at either of those locations. I’m not sure why , but I’m glad I found this site –  https://www.sunglassesandwatches.com

They offer free standard shipping.

Use my code: FASHIONISTA at checkout  to receive 20% off the already low prices. 

Look for the company and their story:

IG: @suntimegrossmont

FB: @SunTimeLaMesa

Twitter: @suntimelamesa 

Thanks for allowing me to share some of the beautiful sights I saw on Cape Cod, a few favorite family recipes, and this great new site I found for sunglasses ! 

Hope you found this post worthwhile and hope you are having a wonderful summer! 

Yours truly,



Sequins Are Always A Good Idea…and So Are Hors D’oeuvres and Rum Punch 

A cocktail party in which the hors d’oeuvres become the meal is a great way to offer a nibble of everything on the menu, and it is a very easy way to entertain. You don’t need a huge dining room table, matching set of dishes or room to seat all of your guests to pull off this festive cocktail dinner party. Foods that easliy go from hand to mouth without worry about spilling on a silk dress or pale rug are best. Also, appetizers that don’t require silverware and can be hand-held in a napkin make it easier to juggle drinks. Design your appetizers as you would a dinner party-in courses. Serve a first course of cold appetizers, ready when guests arrive. Garlic shrimp, the blue cheese dip and chorizo on bread all taste best cold or at room temperature. The second course is the hot appetizers. Complete the meal with light, sweet nibbles for dessert. Count on about twelve to sixteen appetizer servings per person for a substantial appetizer dinner. Make your invitations specific. Tell your guests you plan to serve a meal of appetizers. This way guests will arrive on time and won’t make dinner plans for later. 

Thinking about what to wear ? Nowadays, anything goes when entertaining at home, but I think sequins and lots of sparkle are always a good idea. 

I found both of these Express brand dresses at http://www.thredup.com. The tassel bracelets are part of a stack available at http://www.candycourtboutique.com. I also found this Express Design Studio vest at thredUP. It’s easy to build a wardrobe with lots of variety when shopping at thredUP because the prices are 70% off retail all the time. 

This dress is called “The Julia” and I was fortunate to receive it from Kayrana Nuzzolese. She runs her own LuLaRoe Clothing business and there is a giveaway going on now for her Facebook group. Join at http://www.facebook.com/groups/lularoekayrana and visit her boutique at http://www.lularoe.com. 

Now that we got some fashion inspiration out of the way, here are some great easy recipes to pull off your own cocktail dinner buffet. 

Garlic Shrimp

You will need:

1 1/2 pounds medium fresh shrimp, or 3/4 lbs. cleaned frozen 

1/4 cup olive oil 

2 T butter 

4 garlic cloves, sliced 

2 T minced onion 

1/4 tsp. Hot red pepper flakes 

3 T fresh lemon juice 

1/4 tsp. salt

2 T fresh parsley

Peel shrimp, leaving tails on, and devein. In larger skillet over low heat, heat oil and butter. Add garlic and onion and cook 3 minutes without browning garlic. Add shrimp and pepper flakes. Increase heat to medium and cook, tossing constantly 3 minutes or until shrimp turn pink and begin to curl. Transfer shrimp and sauce to bowl. Add lemon juice, salt, and parsley; toss well. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate shrimp for at least 2 hours before serving to blend flavors. Makes 45-50. 

Blue Cheese Dip 

You will need:

2 T olive oil

2 tsp. red wine vinegar 

1 large garlic clove 

2 tsp. grated onion 

1/4 lb. crumbled blue cheese 

1 cup sour cream 

Fresh fennel and Belgian endive for dipping 

In a small bowl combine oil, vinegar, garlic, and onion; mix well. Add cheese and beat until almost smooth. Stir in sour cream. Serve with fennel and endive for dipping. Makes 1 1/2 cups. 

Beef Kabobs

You will need:

2 to 2 1/2 lbs. London broil

1/2 c. Olive oil 

3 T. Vinegar

3 T honey

2 1/2 tsp. Ground cumin

1 tsp. Paprika 

1/4 cup minced scallions 

1/2 tsp. Salt 

Slice meat into 1/4 inch thick strips, place in large bowl. Combine oil and remaining ingredients. Pour over meat. Cover and marinate in refrigerator at least 3 hours, tossing occasionally. Skewer meat by placing on onto long bamboo skewers that have been soaked in water for 20 minutes. Heat broiler. Place skewers on broiler pan. Cook 3 to 5 minutes, basting with marinade. Serve hot. Makes about 40. To reheat: Place on baking sheet, cover loosely with aluminum foil and heat in 350 degree oven for 20 minutes, or microwave for 1 minute. 

Spicy Chicken Wings 

You will need:

20 chicken wings

Vegetable oil for frying 

3 T fresh lime juice

3 T dry sherry 

1 T fresh chopped parsley 

1 tsp. grated onion 

1/4 teaspoon garlic powder 

1/4 teaspoon ground red pepper 

1/8 tsp. salt

Cut chicken wings at joints. Cut off and discard wing tips. Pour 1/2 inch oil into a large skillet; heat over medium high heat until almost smoking, about 375 degrees on deep fat thermometer. Add as many chicken wings as will fit in the skillet without crowding. Fry until golden, about 6 to 8 minutes, turning once. Heat oven to 250 degrees. Keep chicken warm in oven while frying remaining wings. When all wings are cooked, transfer to serving platter. Combine remaining ingredients; mix well. Drizzle over warm wings. Makes 40 pieces. To reheat:microwave on HIGH for 1 minute or heat in 350 degree oven for 20 minutes. 

Tuna Empanadas 

You will need:

2 T olive oil

1 small onion, chopped 

1/2 sweet green pepper, chopped 

1 -6 1/2 oz. can oil-packed tuna

1- 8 oz. can tomato sauce 

1 T chopped fresh parsley 

1/2 tsp. salt

1/4 tsp. freshly ground black pepper 

1 hard cooked egg, chopped 


2 c. flour

1/2 tsp. salt

1/2 c. shortening

5-6 T cold water 

In a skillet over medium heat, heat oil. Add onion and green pepper. Sauté 5 minutes and add tomato sauce, parsley, salt and pepper. Reduce heat to low and simmer , uncovered, for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add chopped egg. Set aside. In medium bowl, combine flour and salt. Cut in shortening until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Sprinkle in water and mix with a fork until dough forms a ball. Divide dough in half. On a floured surface roll each half out about 1/8 of an inch thick. Using a 3-inch biscuit cutter, cut 20 circles. Repeat with remaining dough. Spoon one teaspoon of tuna filling onto each dough circle. Using your finger, dab water around the edges of pastry. Fold over and press edges together with a fork. Pour 2 inches of oil into a deep skillet or Dutch oven. Heat to 375 degrees. Fry a few at a time, until golden brown. To reheat : 350 degrees in oven or 1 minute on HIGH in microwave. 

Chorizo On Bread 

Slice , brush with olive oil and assemble. Season as desired. 

Ginger Shortbreads 

You will need:

1 cup flour 

1/2 cup butter 

1/3 cup brown sugar 

1/4 cup candied ginger 

2 tablespoons cornstarch 

Pinch salt 

4 ounces semisweet  chocolate 

1 tablespoon shortening 

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Combine butter, brown sugar, ginger, cornstarch, and salt in food processor. Whirl about 25 seconds. Press mixture into 8 inch square baking pan. Bake for 26 minutes. Melt chocolate and shortening in small bowl. Dip cookies diagonally into chocolate and lay on wax paper. Refrigerate until firm. 

Mini Fruit Pizzas

Use prepared cookie dough, such as Pillsbury refrigerated sugar cookie dough,to make this extra easy. Roll 3/4 inch balls and bake in mini muffin pans at 350 degrees for 6 minutes. When they are cool, spread with cream cheese or cool whip and your choice of fruit. 

Rum Punch

You will need:

3 c. unsweetened pineapple juice 

2 c. fresh orange juice 

Juice of 4 limes 

1 cup dark rum 

1-1 1/2 c. grenadine 

Combine juices, rum, and grenadine and serve. For a layered effect, mix all ingredients except grenadine and pour into glasses, then add 2 to 3 tablespoons grenadine to each glass. The grenadine will sink to the bottom of the glass; juices will float on top. Makes 8 servings.

Hope you enjoyed this post and that it inspires you to have your own cocktail dinner buffet , or even just add a little sparkle to your style. 

Thank you so much for talking the time to check this out. Your time and attention is always greatly appreciated. 

Yours truly,



Keeping Cool: Summer Dresses and Candy Shop Milkshakes

Even if you never wear dresses during the rest of the year, come summertime there’s nothing better. The easy coolness of a summer dress is irresistible. Nothing to mix and match. No rules as to how long or short it can be. Look for lightweight fabrics that drape well and breathe. Color? Summer is full of it- take your pick. Pattern? Stripes, dots, flowers- anything goes as long as it’s relaxed, loose, and pretty. 

How about this fun ice-cream printed dress from http://www.bonnechancecollections.com ? My always stylish friend, Rachel, of http://www.myfashionfingerprint.com sent it to me for my birthday and I love wearing it. 

I found the colorful tassle necklace at http://www.walmart.com and the sandals are White Mountain Brand which I found at http://www.marshalls.com. 

This Calvin Klein maxi-dress was both easy to wear and pack when I recently traveled to the White Mountains of New Hampshire. I found it at http://www.thredup.com for 70% off the retail price. The sandals are White Mountain Brand from http://www.marshalls.com and the hat is from http://www.burlingtoncoatfactory.com.

This is a tunic I wore back it February with jeans and a fur vest, over leggings, and even tucked into a skirt. I think it works well as a bathing suit cover up. It’s great if you are going to be at a pool or beach but also want to look nice as you are running errands around town. 

The tunic is from http://www.tweetumsfashionboutique.com and the sandals are Guess brand from http://www.macys.com. 

I wore it over this suit from http://www.delias.com. The hat is from http://www.burlingtoncoatfactory.com. 

July 17,2016 is National Ice Cream Day ! 

Why not keep yourself and friends and family cool by hosting an ice-cream social? 

You can provide the ice-cream and blender and have guests bring their favorite toppings. 

Serve milkshakes that will make everyone smile! 

Here are two great Candy Shop Milkshakes ( Banana Split and Coconut Crispy ) that are easy to make and so delicious ! 

Banana Split Milkshake 

You will need :

5 maraschino cherries, divided 

1 cup vanilla ice cream 

1/2 cup milk 

1 banana, frozen and sliced into 1/4 inch thick slices, divided

1/4 cup colored sprinkles,divided 

1/4 cup salted peanuts 


1. Remove the stems from 4 cherries. In a blender, combine ice cream, milk, half the banana slices, 2 cherries, and 1/8 cup sprinkles. With the blender on medium low speed, blend mixture until thick and creamy, about 2 minutes. 

2. Pour half the ice-cream mixture into a tall glass; top with 2 more cherries, half the remaining banana slices and sprinkles and 1/8 cup peanuts.

3. Pour remaining ice-cream mixture into a glass. Garnish with remaining banana slices, sprinkle with peanuts; top with remaining cherry. Serve immediately.

Coconut Crispy Milkshake 

You will need:

1 chocolate-coconut candy bar

1 cup vanilla ice-cream

1/2 cup milk

1/2 cup crisp cereal 

1/2 cup chocolate syrup 


1.Using a sharp knife, finely chop the candy bar. 

2. In a blender, combine half the chopped candy bar, ice cream, milk, 1/4 cup cereal, and 1/4 cup chocolate syrup. With the blender on medium low speed, blend mixture until thick and creamy, about 2 minutes. 

3. Pour half the ice-cream mixture into a tall glass; sprinkle with half the remaining candy and cereal. Pour the remaining mixture into the glass and garnish with remaining candy and cereal. Serve immediately. 

Here are some fun glasses I found at http://www.polyvore.com. 

Add a colorful, fruity garnish to your frosty creations. Thread fresh fruit slices on a skewer and lay it across the top of each ice-cream treat. 

Another idea is to pour the mixture into a prepared pie crust, sprinkle with extra toppings, and then freeze. 

I love to use the mixture to make Popsicles this time of year. You can simply use Dixie cups and Popsicle sticks like this : 

However , there are so many fun Popsicle molds available now. I found these at http://www.target.com.

Hope you enjoyed this post ! Thank you so much for taking the time to check it out. I really appreciate your time and attention. 

Remember – 

And also: 

Happy National Ice Cream Day ! 

May it be both sweet and stylish for you ! 

Yours truly,



A Classic Approach To Fun Fashion and Easy Entertaining

If fashion once dictated style (“Here’s the look you’ll wear this season”) , now the opposite is true. Style is our own look, the image we present to the world, and is as personal as a signature.

 When shopping, I look for good quality classic pieces that can serve as a eutral fashion canvas with tons of potential. I also look for unique, colorful shoes and accessories at affordable prices so I will always have a variety of options when putting an outfit together. 

I added fun , leopard pumps and a polka dot bag from http://www.target.com to basic gingham pants and a simple white blouse from http://www.express.com. The necklace is part of the Luluavenue collection from http://www.stylebyalana.com.

This is a classic summer floral dress by Jessica Simpson which I found at http://www.thredup.com , Dingo brand boots, and fun jewelry from http://www.target.com.

I paired a classic Max Studio dress from http://www.nordstromrack.com with gold glitter pumps and a bright red bag from http://www.target.com. I added a leopard ribbon to an ordinary straw hat just for fun.

I wore this dress with tights when it was colder outside. The necklaces are both from http://www.stylebyalana.com. Bracelets are from http://www.alexandani.com.

It’s easy to entertain family or friends when you take the same fun, classic approach to your menu as you do to your wardrobe. 

The following recipes involve classic foods made a bit more interesting and certainly a lot more tasty. 

Marinated Mushroom-Topped Burgers

You will need:

1 lb lean ground beef

1 1/2 teaspoons lemon pepper seasoning 

2 cups sliced fresh mushrooms 

1/4 cup purchased balsamic vinaigrette 

4 Kaiser rolls, split 

4 slices Swiss cheese 


1. Heat grill. In medium bowl, combine ground beef and 1 teaspoon of the lemon pepper seasoning; mix well. Shape mixture into 4 patties.

2. In medium bowl, combine mushrooms, remaining 1/2 teaspoon lemon pepper seasoning and vinaigrette; toss to coat. Set aside.

3. When ready to grill, place patties on gas grill over medium heat or on charcoal grill 4 to 6 inches from medium coals. Cook 11 to 13 minutes or until patties are thoroughly cooked, turning once. 

4. To toast buns, place cut sides down on grill during last 1 to 2 minutes of cooking time. Place 1 slice of cheese on each patty; cook an additional minute or until cheese is melted. 

5. Place patties on bottom halves of buns. Top each with mushroom mixture and top half of bun. 

Rosemary Corn

All you will need is 12 ears of sweet corn, 1 stick butter , melted , and 2 teaspoons of fresh rosemary, chopped. 

On each ear of corn, pull the husk back without completely removing it. Remove silk and rinse corn and husks thoroughly under cool water. Combine butter and rosemary, blending well. Using a basting brush, coat each ear of corn with butter mixture; pull the husks back over the ear of corn. Place corn on grill over medium heat and grill approximately 20 minutes. Turn ears frequently for even grilling.

Spicy Sea Scallops 

You will need:

2 T. lime juice 

1 T canola oil 

1 garlic clove, crushed 

1/2 t. ground cumin

1/8 t. Cayenne pepper

1 lb. sea scallops 

2 cups cherry tomatoes 


Prepare marinade by combining lime juice, oil, garlic, cumin and pepper together in medium sized bowl. Whisk thoroughly. Alternately place scallops and tomatoes on metal skewers and brush on marinade. Place skewers on a platter, cover and refrigerate 30 minutes. Grill scallops 5 to 7 minutes, basting with marinade. 

Who can resist the aroma of fresh-baked cookies wafting through the house? Whatever recipe you choose, you are sure to please guests with these chocolate-filled delights. 

Double Chocolate Chip Cookies

You will need:

2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour 

1/3 cup cocoa 

1 teaspoon baking soda 

1/2 teaspoon salt 

1 cup butter 

3/4 cup sugar

3/4 cup brown sugar 

1 teaspoon vanilla 

2 eggs 

2 cups chocolate chips or use 1 cup chocolate and 1 other flavor that you prefer 

1 cup chopped nuts ( optional )


1. Heat oven to 375 degrees.

2. Stir together flour, cocoa, baking soda and salt. Beat butter, granulated sugar, brown sugar, and vanilla in large bowl on medium speed of electric mixer until creamy. Add eggs. Gradually add flour mixture. Stir in chips and nuts. Drop by rounded teaspoons onto ungreased cookie sheet.

3. Bake 8 to 10 minutes or until set. Cool slightly; remove from cookie sheet to wire rack. 

Best Brownies 

You will need:

1/2 cup melted butter

1 cup sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla 

2 eggs 

1/2 cup flour 

1/3 cup cocoa 

1/4 teaspoon baking powder 

1/4 teaspoon salt 

1/2 nuts 

Creamy brownie frosting ( recipe follows)

1. Heat oven to 350 degrees. Grease 9 inch square baking pan. Stir butter, sugar, and vanilla in large bowl. Add eggs. Combine flour, cocoa, baking powder and salt; gradually add to butter mixture, beating until well blended. Stir in nuts, if desired. Spread into pan.

2. Bake 20-25 minutes. Cool. Frost with Creamy Brownie Frosting. Add small candies if desired. I like to add different small candies depending on the seasonal or holiday decor. 

Creamy Brownie Frosting 

3 tablespoons butter

3 tablespoons cocoa 

1 tablespoon  honey 

1/2 teaspoon vanilla 

1 cup powdered sugar 

1-2 tablespoons milk


1. Beat butter, honey, and vanilla.

2. Add powdered sugar and milk; beat to spreading consistency. 

Strawberry Chocolate Chip Shortcake

You will need:

1 cup sugar

1/2 cup butter

1 egg

2 teaspoons vanilla 

1 1/2 cups flour 

1/2 teaspoon baking powder 

1 cup chocolate chips 

2 cups sour cream 

2 eggs

2 cups frozen non dairy whipped topping 

Fresh strawberries 


1. Heat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9-inch springform pan.

2. Beat 1/2 cup sugar and butter. Add 1 egg and 1 teaspoon vanilla. Gradually add flour and baking powder, beating until smooth; stir in 1/2 cup chips. Press mixture into bottom of pan.

3. Stir sour cream, remaining sugar, 2 eggs, and remaining 1 teaspoon vanilla in medium bowl; stir in remaining 1/2 cup small chocolate chips. Pour over mixture in pan. 

4. Bake 50-55 minutes. Cool completely on wire rack; remove side of pan. Spread whipped topping over top. Cover;refrigerate. Just before serving, arrange strawberry halves on top of cake; garnish as desired. 

Thank you so much for taking the time to read this post. 

I appreciate being able to share this fun, classic approach to fashion and simple entertaining. I hope you found it worthwhile. 

Yours truly,



Picnics…Fashion and  Food Inspiration From A New England Mom 

The “perfect” picnic spot, the people and the food make a picnic both memorable and fun. You can easily gather your friends and family together for a special occasion, or just escape city life and enjoy the outdoors. 

Many of you know I’m not exactly an “outdoorsy” kind of person. However, it’s hard not to be inspired to get out and enjoy the scenery and fresh air when you live so close to such beauty. 

This is a spot we found on our way to pick strawberries at a berry patch in Portsmouth, Rhode Island. It’s called Sachuest Point National Wildlife Refuge. I’m wearing a Boden dress from http://www.thredUP.com and accessories from http://www.burlingtoncoatfactory.com. 

It was quite a long trail for the kids and I was glad I prepared this snack mix to keep everyone happy. 

I’ve used the original Chex Party Mix recipe for years and try to keep it interesting by substituting different cereals, dried fruits , and candy. 

It’s super easy: 

In a large microwaveable bowl, mix cereals, nuts, pretzels, bagel chips ( whatever you prefer to snack on) . In a small microwaveable bowl, microwave butter uncovered on high about 40 seconds or until melted. Stir in seasonings of your choice. Pour over cereal mixture; stir until evenly coated. 

Microwave uncovered on high 5 to 6 minutes, thoroughly stirring every 2 minutes. Spread on paper towels to cool and put in individual cups or small bags to take along next time you plan a little adventure. 

We did find some great strawberries that day at Sweet Berry Farms. 

I used them with some store bought pound cake to make these awesome Strawberry Shortcake sandwiches. 

They are a quick and easy handheld version of a classic Strawberry Shortcake. No spoon necessary! All you have to do is slice 2 cups of strawberries, mix with sugar, and set aside. Beat 2 cups of heavy whipping cream, 1/4 cup powdered sugar, and 1 tablespoon of vanilla. Build the sandwiches by putting a layer of whipped cream on one side of the cake, followed by a layer of strawberries. Top with the remaining cake slice and serve immediately. 

I put together some healthier treats when we explored some scenic spots and great places to shop in Westerly, Rhode Island. 

Pita Pocket bread is a no-brainer when it comes to picnic food. I like to fill them with berries, spinach, balsamic vinegar, and goat cheese.

Chickpeas and tomatoes are also a great savory combination to use to fill up your picnic sandwich pocket.

Here are some of the places we stopped at and some of the things we did in Westerly.  I wore a dress I found just the other day at http://www.francescas.com , shoes from http://www.burlingtoncoatfactory.com, and my hat is from http://www.llbean.com.

 This is Wilcox Park. 

I did a little shopping at Watch Hill. 

This is Ninigret Park and a new friend  I met that day.

Dee’s Creamery was perfect at the end of that long day. When I pack up a picnic lunch , I often plan on enjoying  dessert at an ice cream parlor or stopping at Del’s Lemonade. Or both. 

Now that it is 4th of July Weekend , there are lots of parades, parties, and picnics. I often keep things simple with grilled chicken sandwiches , hamburgers, hotdogs, and watermelon . 

However , I do keep my wardrobe festive. 

The pants were a recent purchase at http://www.express.com. All other clothing and accessories are from http://www.burlingtoncoatfactory.com, except the bracelet. It is from @connectionsbymaya on Instagram and Facebook. 

This top and hat are  from BCF and jeans and wedges are from Target. 

This dress is called the “Love You Always” dress and from http://www.adornapparel.us. 

This dress is from http://www.marshalls.com and shoes are Madden Girl, from http://www.thredup.com. I found my flag scarf at http://www.target.com. 

As I said , I’ve always kept the 4th of July food simple , but I do make fun desserts, such as these “Grill” brownies. 

All you have to do is prepare a brownie recipe or mix in a cupcake pan and decorate with candy.

 I used a caramel cream candy and red, yellow, and green candy fruit slices to make the kebabs.  The pork chop is made from a caramel cream candy, which I stretched out , and used a toothpick to apply black food coloring on. The hot dogs are made with hot tamale candies and black food coloring. 

This drink is simple and festive enough for the 4th or any day you would like to make special. 

Watermelon Blueberry Cooler

Puree 6 ounces watermelon, 1 ounce blueberry vodka, and juice of one lemon wedge in a blender. Add ice and blend until smooth. If sugaring the rim, pour a small amount of blue decorating sugar onto a plate. Run lemon wedge around the rim of the glass. Dip rim in sugar. Pour cocktail into glass. 

It’s easy to decorate at this time of year simply without spending too much money or time by simply arranging flowers that are red, white, and blue.

You can bring them to a picnic in a plastic pitcher. Also, if you  don’t have a huge picnic basket , a wheelbarrow is a fun idea for carrying food , toys , and any special activities you choose to have with you. 

Most of all, be creative, keep it simple, and enjoy the moments. 

Thank you so much for visiting my blog today. I always appreciate your time and attention and hope you found this post worthwhile. 

Yours truly,



Birthday Surprises With Style: written with much appreciation xoxoxo 

During the first week of June, I entered a giveaway on Instagram hosted by the lovely Katy of @wearwhatwhere and @elenafominajewelry. I was already following Katy and have been inspired by her unique style for years. I eagerly entered the giveaway by choosing my favorite color necklace and tagging a few friends. 

I was delighted to find out I won and received the necklace a few days before my birthday. I decided I loved it so much I wanted to wear it on my birthday and found this dress at http://www.nordstromrack.com to wear it with.


This is my dad , some of you may know him as Ron Cece/photographer , Ronnie, or Mr.Cece. To me he is ‘Daddy’ , ‘Papa’ or ‘DADDY!!!’ 

We had some fun at the playground in Warren, Rhode Island ( after I shopped). This quaint little town is one of my favorite places in the state.

I love my necklace from http://www.elenafominadesign.com so much ! I’m glad I choose the color I did because it’s been so easy to style and seems to add just the right amount of eclectic flair and elegance to so many looks.

These are some of the other designs available and what I had to chose from. They are all so gorgeous and made of genuine stones and Swarovski elements . 

Here are some of the ways I styled the necklace: 

I couldn’t even stop admiring my new necklace as I was trying on clothes at http://www.express.com the other day.

 Thanks , mom , for the birthday money. 😉 I did end up buying the red dress and those pants and a couple of other pairs of pants. They were all ridiculously marked down, by the way, so you might want to check out the deals yourself. 
The adorable http://www.candycourtboutique.com tassel bracelets on my right arm were a sweet surprise from my dear friend, Alison. I really love them but not as much as I love her. Thank you, Alison, for always being there. Words can not thank you enough for your constant support. 

I included my Elena Fomina necklace and the tassel bracelets when styling the black pants. I love the fit of this pair called the “Mid Rise Flare” and they are only $22.00 today. 

Speaking of birthday surprises, I was really excited to receive this amazing http://www.zara.com dress from my even more amazing and always thoughtful best friend. I put it on right away and kept it casual with these http://www.target.com wedges and this hat from http://www.burlingtoncoatfactory.com. 

However , I’m looking forward to wearing it in a more dressed up way , with my Elena Fomina necklace, of course. 

Thank you so much , everyone , for allowing me to share a little bit of my birthday , and a whole lot of my style and musings this past year. 

It’s been exactly one year since I began this blog and I’ve learned so much from all of you. 

I appreciate your support and inspiration a great deal. 

Yours truly,



Ps. My future cake… For another  year , another post …

Be A Rainbow: Fashion, Food and Friendship 

I was thrilled to find this ultra-bright tassel necklace at http://www.walmart.com just the other day. I thought it would be perfect to brighten up my http://www.skiesareblue dress I recently found at http://www.thredup.com. I added colorful  accessories found in the necklace to make the whole look more cheerful. 

The hat is from http://www.target.com and bracelets, sunglasses, sandals, and phone case are from http://www.burlingtoncoatfactory.com. 

I found the bag at http://www.very.co.uk. It was a steal at only $31.00.

Here are some other fun summer bags I’ve been loving this season: 

Banana bag – http://www.boutique1.com 

Daisy bag- http://www.zaful.com

Center bag  with tassels and bag in lower right hand corner – http://www.inthepinkonline.com 

I wore this jacket from http://www.savers.com and tee from http://www.target.com in the morning when it was still kind of chilly. 

Later at school I was back to just the dress again. 

My class this year loved everything to do with rainbows , from our circle time poem “7 Rainbow Colors” to the concept of ‘being a rainbow’ when someone in the classroom was sad ( a rainbow in someone’s cloud). 

Children at this age naturally want to please people and are very eager to share a toy, pay a compliment or give each other hugs. Sometimes it’s more difficult, as an adult,to reach out to someone you care about when you know they may be hurting. 

Have you ever tried to lift the spirits of an unhappy friend with no success, or mistakenly made them feel worse ? Not only is your friend still blue, but you’re feeling like a failure for not being a better friend. First of all, you’re not a failure for trying to help a friend , and second of all, we’ve all been there and perhaps it’s because we think about what would help us to feel better, when that may be quite different than what your friend needs. 

Here are a few ideas for “Being A Rainbow” , or cheering up a friend. 

1. Let your friend vent.

Sometimes all people need to feel better is to get their problems off their chest. Allow your friend to talk about what is bothering them without interruption, judgement or offering advice. Unless your friend asks for advice, don’t give it. Also, don’t tell them you know how they feel. People experience things through their own filters. What would be a minor irritation to you could be a major catastrophe for your friend. Just listen and allow whatever histrionics they throw your way. 

2. Make them laugh.

Send a funny picture, video, or silly voicemail message. Laughter is the best medicine as they say.

3. Take them out. 

Sometimes a change in scenery makes all the difference in the world. 

4. Give them new pajamas.

Remember how much fun it was to get new pj’s when you were little? We forget the enjoyment new pajamas can bring as we grow older. Get your friend new pj’s that are fun, soft, or sexy, whichever they will appreciate most. 

5. Tell them you love them.

We sometimes take our friends for granted and don’t tell them how we feel often enough. 

6. Ask what they need.

It’s ok to ask your friend what they need. Not being a psychic doesn’t make you a bad friend. 

7. Give them a plant.

Instead of flowers that may die in a few days, give your friend a nice houseplant so they can enjoy it much longer.

8. Send a note of encouragement.

An actual card that is sent by old fashioned snail mail is preferable, but even an e-card can bring a smile to someone’s face. Taking the time to let them know you care is the important thing. 

9. Watch movies.

Have a movie marathon or watch your friend’s favorite television series. 

10. Feed them. 

When people are down they either eat more or don’t eat enough. Either way providing your friend’s favorite meal or comfort food when they are down will be helpful. If you can’t be there in person, have the food delivered to them from a nearby restaurant. 

Speaking of food… 

My mom has been making these Rainbow Cookies for years. They take a little bit of time and effort but are worth it. 

You will need:

7 ounces almond paste

3/4 cup sugar 

1/2 teaspoon almond extract 

3/4 cup butter

3 eggs

1 cup flour 

1/4 teaspoon salt 

15 drops green food coloring 

15 drops red food coloring 

2/3 cup apricot preserves

3 ounces semisweet chocolate 

1 teaspoon vegetable shortening 

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Grease 3 8×8 metal baking pans and line with wax paper. 

Beat almond paste, sugar, almond extract and sugar at medium high speed until blended. Reduce speed to medium and add the eggs.Reduce speed to low and then add the flour and salt slowly to the mixture until combined. 

Take 2 small bowls and add 1 rounded cup of batter into each bowl. There should be one cup left in the bowl.  Add red color to one and green to the other. 

Spoon the un-colored batter into one pan, and the red and green into the other 2 pans. Bake 10-12 minutes. 

Lay a piece of wax paper on a flat surface that will fit into the refrigerator. Later the 3 colors on the wax paper, spreading the apricot preserves between each layer. 

In a 1 quart saucepan, heat chocolate and shortening over low heat. 

Spread chocolate mixture over the red layer evenly . Do not put mixture on sides. Refrigerate for 1 hour. 

To serve, trim about 1/4 inch from the edges. Cut the stacked layers into 6 strips. Cut each strip crosswise into 6 pieces. You will get 36 square cookies.

These End-of-the-Rainbow Cookie Parfaits , adapted from the Pillsbury version, are very easy and over the top delicious! 

You will need: 

1 roll of Pillsbury refrigerated sugar cookies

2 eggs 

Gel food colors 

1 pint whipping cream 

3 tablespoons sugar 

1 teaspoon vanilla 

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Spray 10 muffin cups with cooking spray. Let cookie dough stand at room temperature 10 minutes to soften. 

In a large bowl, break up the cookie dough and add eggs. Beat with electric mixer on medium speed until smooth. Divide dough into small bowls and add food coloring. 

Scoop dough into muffin pan, making 2 of each color. Bake 15-17 minutes and allow to cool completely. 

In medium bowl, beat whipping cream, sugar and vanilla on medium high until stiff peaks form. 

Crumble each of the cupcakes, keeping the colors separate. Sprinkle the red into each of 12 glass parfait cups, glasses, or small jars. Pipe whipped cream on top of each. Repeat process with each color of the rainbow. Serve immediately, or refrigerate until ready to serve. 

Refrigerated cookie dough makes it so easy and fun to bring a smile to someone’s face. Try shaping chocolate chip cookie dough into a rainbow shape, add m&m’s and bake ! 

This Sunshine Punch recipe is also very easy and can be refreshing for anyone, whether it’s someone that needs cheering up or not! 

Sunshine Punch 

You need:

2 packages unsweetened Kool-Aid 

3 oz can frozen orange juice concentrate 

46 oz can pineapple juice 

1 quart lemon-lime soda, chilled 

Garnish: strawberries, pineapple chunks,banana slices 

Prepare Kool-Aid and orange juice concentrate according to package directions. Combine in a large punch bowl. Add pineapple juice, stir together and chill. Before serving, add lemon- lime soda and mix. Slide fruit onto bottom half of plastic straws and place into individual glasses, add chilled punch. 

Thank you so much for visiting my blog today.

I really appreciate your time and attention. I hope you found it worthwhile and hope it made you smile. 

Yours truly, 



Savouring the Last Days of School:Effortless Fashion and Food 

I’ve always loved the unique selection and impeccable quality of the Boden brand and was thrilled to find this Boden dress (new with tags)for 70% off at http://www.thredup.com. 

The hat is from http://www.llbean.com , earrings are on sale now at http://www.kohls.com , and bag is available at http://www.yoins.com. The phone case has recently been reduced in price at http://www.neimanmarcus.com. 

My necklace and bracelets were all recent purchases at http://www.burlingtoncoatfactory.com. 

The jacket is Lauren Ralph Lauren from http://www.macys.com.

The shoes I’m wearing here, out on the playground, are Madden Girl, purchased years ago at http://www.cohoes.com. 

These similar styles are available at http://www.zappos.com, http://www.oasis-stores.com, and shoemall.com . 

It’s been an amazing year in my classroom with a group of very spirited, inquisitive little friends. I love how my students are easily engaged and eager to participate in all our learning activities. 

These last week few weeks have been extra busy for my students. They are  preparing for  kindergarten graduation and getting ready to become full -fledged first graders. 

After a busy morning working on proper sentence formation, we did take a little bit of extra time to play outside and appreciate the beautiful weather. 

We also took a few minutes to visit the gymnasium to check out the new equipment our principal , Mrs.LeMar, just purchased. 

Isn’t this the coolest thing you’ve ever seen? I might get one for my own backyard. Kidding. 

Meanwhile, back in the classroom… 

We all got back to work ( I promise, Mrs.LeMar 😉and Mr.Piccirelli 😉 ). 

By the end of the day – 

True Story. 

Perfect time for a very simple, but very flavorful dinner: 

Peppered Beef in Parsley Crust


2 T. peppercorns

4 T.butter, softened 

1 cup parsley, chopped 

2 lb. tenderloin roast 

To do: 

Grind peppercorns until coarse in texture and spread evenly on a large platter. In a small mixing bowl, blend butter and parsley well. Spread butter mixture over roast, covering all sides evenly. Place roast on platter and roll in cracked peppercorns until roast is coated. Bake at 425 degrees for 1 hour. Serve thinly sliced with creamy horseradish on the side. 

Melon Salad with Honey Dressing 


1 cantaloupe melon

1 honeydew melon

3 T. lime juice 

2 T. balsamic vinegar 

3 T. honey 

2 cups lettuce 

2 cups arugula 

To do:

Slice melons in half, peel and cut into chunks. In a small bowl, mix lime juice, vinegar, and honey together, blending well. Pour over melon and toss. Place torn lettuce on salad plates. Using a slotted spoon, remove melon from bowl and place on lettuce, drizzle dressing over top. 

Need a special drink to complete your meal? 

Watermelon Martini 

You will need:

1/4 cup sugar

 1/4 cup salt

6 oz. fresh watermelon juice 

2 and 1/2 oz. vodka 

2 and 1/2 oz. limoncello 

1 oz. fresh lime juice 


Watermelon slices for garnish 

Chill 2-3 glasses in freezer 10 minutes before making. Mix sugar and salt and spread on flat bread plate. Dampen rim of glass with water or lime juice and dip into salt mixture. Combine watermelon juice, vodka, liqueur, and lime juice in a shaker. Fill with ice and shake 6-8 times. Strain and pour the mixture into prepared glasses and garnish with watermelon wedges. 

Thank you !

Hope you enjoyed this little glimpse into my day.

I always appreciate your time and attention. It means so much to me that you take the time to check out these posts. 

I truly hope you found this worthwhile, and all feedback is appreciated. 

Yours truly,



A Berry Stylish Brunch: Colorful Fashion And Food 

I’ve always appreciated the way color blocking adds interest to a simple fashionable design. It’s such a fun way to play with hues. You can pair brightly colored separates together or choose an item that already comes color blocked such as this adorable Minuet dress I recently received as a gift from my friend, Jen. 

It’s fun to accessorize a color blocked look with a big belt, chunky jewelry , and eye catching shoes. All the accessories here are from http://www.burlingtoncoatfactory.com. 

Here are some other dresses that you may like- 

They are available at (left to right, top to bottom) http://www.lattori.com , http://www.shein.com, http://www.houseoffraser.com, http://www.theoutnet.com, http://www.firstdibs.com, http://www.lattori.com. 

A color blocked look is so perfect for any occasion, especially a fun, casual brunch. It’s an easy and elegant look to put together whether you are going out for brunch : 

Or entertaining at home :

If you are preparing brunch , why not take advantage of the berries in season right now ? 

These recipes are perfect for this time of year. They are all quick, easy, healthy , and as appealing to the eye as they are to the appetite. 

Stuffed French Toast


4 oz. cream cheese

4 T. strawberry yogurt 

1 T. powdered sugar 

2 T. milk

1 cup strawberries 


4 large eggs

1 cup milk

2 T. sugar

1/2 t. ground nutmeg

2 to 4 T. butter

8 slices bread 

Fresh strawberries for garnish 

Prepare filling by combining cream cheese, yogurt and powdered sugar until smooth. Add milk until mixture is spreadable. Fold in strawberries and set aside. Using a large mixing bowl, whisk eggs, milk, sugar and nutmeg until blended. Over medium heat, melt butter in a non-stick pan. Remove bread slices from egg mixture and place in skillet, cooking both sides until golden. Spread filling mixture on 4 slices of toast, cover with remaining 4 slices.Dust with powdered sugar and garnish with fresh strawberry slices. 

The next two choices are adaptions of recipes from Pillsbury Magazine, which I’ve subscribed to for the past 14 years and simply adore ! 

Ham-Asparagus Rolls With Spinach Raspberry Salad 


16 fresh asparagus spears 

1/3 cup spreadable cheese with garlic and herbs 

8 slices Virginia or Smithfield ham

4 cups fresh raspberries 

1/4 cup purchased raspberry salad dressing 

To do:

Heat grill for indirect cooking as recommended by manufacturer. Break bottom off asparagus spears. Place 2 inches of water in large skillet; bring to a boil. Add asparagus; cook 1 to 2 minutes or until bright green. With pancake turner, remove asparagus from skillet; place in shallow pan of ice water. Remove from water; drain on paper towels. 

Spread cream cheese over each ham slice. Place 2 asparagus spears on each slice; roll ham around asparagus. Place two 10-12-inch metal skewers through 4 rolls.

Reduce heat to medium,and place ham rolls on unheated side of grill. Cook 3-4 minutes or until ham is lightly browned, turning once. 

On each serving plate, arrange spinach, raspberries, and 2 ham rolls. Drizzle each salad with salad dressing. 

Grilled Chicken Salad with Raspberries


2 tablespoons raspberry jam 

1 1/2 tablespoons raspberry vinegar 

1 tablespoon honey 

1 1/2 teaspoons olive oil 

2 boneless skinless chicken breasts 

1/4 teaspoon black pepper 

1/2 bag mixed salad greens

1/2 cup fresh raspberries 

2 frozen soft white or crusty wheat dinner rolls 

To do:

Heat grill. In medium bowl, stir together jam, vinegar, honey and oil. Reserve one-third of the mixture for dressing. Add chicken to remaining mixture, tossing to coat. Let stand at room temperature 10 minutes. 

Remove chicken from marinade; discard marinade. Place chicken on gas grill over medium heat or on charcoal grill. Cook 10-12 minutes. Sprinkle with pepper. To heat dinner rolls, place rolls in foil on grill during last 6 to 7 minutes of cooking time. 

In large bowl, toss salad greens and reserved dressing. Divide between 2 plates. Slice each chicken breast crosswise into slices; do not separate slices. Fan chicken slices; arrange 1 1 breast on salad greens on each plate. Garnish with raspberries. Serve with dinner rolls. 

Another idea for breakfast or brunch is to simply make pancakes, cut into shapes with a knife or cookie cutter and garnish with berries. 

Hope you enjoyed this post! 

Hope it inspires you to try a new look, recipe, or simply enjoy the fruits of the season.

I always appreciate your time and attention.  

Yours truly, 



ps. since we are talking breakfast ( I know, brunch) I’m leaving you with these three quotes from one of my favorite movies (Breakfast At Tiffany’s) –

pps. I just hate to end this post without 1 more quote :