That’s Amore : Holiday Fashion & Gift Inspiration for the Pizza Lovers in Your Life 

That’s Amore 

“In Napoli where love is king

 When boy meets girl here’s what they say

When the moon hits your eye like a big pizza pie

That’s amore

When the world seems to shine like you’ve had too much wine

That’s amore 

Bells will ring ting-a-ling-a-ling

And you’ll sing “Vita Bella”…”

Dean Martin 

This may not be a holiday song, but to me a true family classic, and isn’t that what holidays are all about? Remembering special traditions and most importantly, special people, who add meaning to my life each and every day is what inspires me to want to savor each moment and put a little creativity into my wardrobe, meal planning and also into my gift giving. 

This is one of my favorite dresses. It is Laundry by Shelli Segal from I love the cheerfulness of the bright red color and it’s so easy to dress up or down. I’ve worn it with sandals in the summer, a tweed blazer in the fall, and my new favorite way to wear it ( now that it is so cold) is with a blanket scarf from 

My hat is from Target and I recently found the boots at 

Now back to the song… and that pizza pie! You must have a pizza lover in your life, right?  What’s a better way to show them you care than to take the time to put together these fabulous and also extremely useful ( and stylish) items for them to create their own pizza ? 

 If the pizza lover you know is a child you can even prepare this gift and spend a few hours teaching him or her how to make their own pizza! 

I was inspired by this gift basket found at to try to put together my own pizza lover’s gift, so I could design and cater it to the needs of the person or family I would present it to. 

I do think it is a fabulous basket and a bargain at under $100.00 for so many great quality items. 

If you want to make your own, start with a reasonably priced basket set such as this one from

Look for special kitchen towels to match the style of the recipient for lining the basket such as this one from

You can have a personalized mixing bowl made at

Find a special pizza cutter for just about any personality type-

I know my son would love the Darth Vader Light Saber version from 

Add a pizza peel , which can also be personalized at and

Include a bottle of your favorite extra virgin olive oil. 

And of course , pizza spices, which can be easily found at your grocery store or you can order specialty versions. 

There are lots to choose from online and also some organic versions on etsy.

Add your own homemade pizza sauce and dry dough mix . They are really easy to make and you will feel so good being able to present these homemade products! 

Homemade Pizza Sauce 

You will need: 

1/4 cup olive oil 

1/2 medium yellow onion, diced 

2 tablespoons minced garlic 

3 cans chopped tomatoes 

1/2 teaspoon salt 

1/2 teaspoon pepper 

1/2 teaspoon ground pepper 

1 teaspoon sugar 

1 tablespoon minced fresh thyme 

1. In a large saucepan or skillet, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add onion and garlic; sauté until onion is translucent, 5-7 minutes. Add chopped tomatoes; summer over low heat for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. 

2. Season sauce with salt, pepper and sugar, if desired. Continue cooking. Stirring occasionally, until sauce is thickened, about 45 minutes.

3. Spoon off any clear liquid and discard; stir in thyme and cook about 10 minutes longer. Let sauce cool.

4. Using a funnel, pour cooled sauce into a decorative jar;refrigerate until ready to place in the basket. 

Dry Dough Mix for No-Knead Deep Dish Pizza 

Mix together in small bag or small container:

2 3/4 cups all purpose flour

1/2 cup semolina flour 

2 teaspoons yeast 

1 1/2 teaspoons salt 

Write down on an index card the following instructions:

Add 1 1/4 cup warm water and 2 tablespoons of olive oil to the mix. Combine all ingredients until they form a slightly sticky soft dough. Cover and let rise for 30 minutes, then place in greased pizza pan and let it rest for 20 minutes. Pat it and stretch it to cover the bottom of the pan. Preheat oven to 425 degrees, add sauce and desired toppings. Bake for 15 minutes.

Enjoy ! Wait… the song says something about wine, right ? 

Here are some great choices that are perfect for pairing with homemade Italian pizza : 

Barbera d’Asti

Ceresuoio di Vittoria DOCG

Chianti DOCG 

There you have it. Fashion, Food, Wine. I couldn’t have said it better than the one and only Dean Martin. “That’s Amore.” 

Thank you so much, for taking the time to read my little blog today. I hope you found it worthwhile and hope it made you smile. 

Whatever you do, put your imagination and heart into it, and you will never go wrong. You will create your own special moments, memories, and traditions. 

May this season bring you only the most delightful moments.

Yours truly, 




Baby, It’s Cold Outside: Warm&Cozy Ideas For You and Your Loved Ones 

“I really can’t stay

Baby it’s cold outside 

I’ve got to go away

Baby it’s cold outside”

Louis Armstrong | Baby, It’s Cold Outside 

This is such a classic song and what better way to stay cozy and also stylish this time of the year than with a classic cocktail dress and cozy accessories at very affordable prices. 

I found this WHBM ( White House Black Market) cocktail dress, the hat, and boots all at The jacket, scarf, and faux fur lined tights are from

At this time of the year, I like to give presents that really show people I love how much I care about them. I try to put time and effort into presents that are meaningful as well as useful. 

Here is an idea that you can make and give to someone or enjoy with your family after a fun day at a tree farm or while you are out sledding or ice-skating. 

Hot Cocoa Gift Box

I found these adorable mugs and provided a link-

The hot mugs can be great hand warmers. 

Enjoy creating this box and when giving or using don’t forget to include a thermos of milk and homemade cookies for dunking ! 
These marshmallows make a nice addition-

For more sophisticated drinkers, spice hot chocolate with a teaspoon of raspberry or preferred liqueur.

If you want a different option, include instant coffee to make Hot Mocha Cocoa.

Fresh cinnamon makes a nice festive touch as do trimmings from nature-

Make your own hot cocoa mix- 

You will need: 

3/4 cup sugar, divided

1 vanilla bean

1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

1 tablespoon ground cinnamon

1 package ( 3.2 ounces) dry milk

1. Put 2 tablespoons sugar and vanilla bean into a coffee grinder or blender. Process to a fine powder.

2. Combine remaining sugar, cocoa powder, cinnamon, and dry milk in a plastic bag; add ground sugar mixture. Shake well. Transfer powdered mix to an airtight container. 

3. To make a cup of hot cocoa, stir 1/4 cup of the cinnamon -flavored dry cocoa mix into 8 ounces of hot water. 

You might want to gift it in a special container such as this one- 

Tala cocoa shaker and other retro inspired cookware can be found at . 

Make your own Chocolate Orange Syrup

You will need:

1/2 cup heavy cream 

6 ounces semisweet chocolate 

1 cup light corn syrup

3 tablespoons orange juice concentrate 

1 tablespoon orange extract 

1. In a medium saucepan, set over medium heat, bring cream to a boil. Add chocolate; whisk constantly until blended and smooth.

2. Add corn syrup, orange juice concentrate and orange extract to the sauce pan. 

3. Remove from heat. Cool completely. Pour syrup into jar with a tight fitting lid. Store in the refrigerator. To make a cup of cocoa stir 3 tablespoons of the syrup into 8 ounces of hot milk. 

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 

1. Heat oven to 375 degrees F.

2. Stir flour, cocoa, soda, and salt. Beat butter, sugar , brown sugar, and vanilla in large bowl on medium speed of electric mixer until creamy. Add eggs; beat well. Gradually add flour mixture, beating until well blended. Stir in chocolate chips. Drop by rounded teaspoons onto ungreased cookie sheet. 

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

Makes 5 dozen cookies 

Thank you so much for visiting my blog today. I truly hope you found it worthwhile and inspiring. 

Wherever you are, whoever you are with, stay cozy and happy all year long. 

Yours truly,


Let’s stay in touch

Facebook: Jennifer Lee Quattrucci 


Easy Elegance: Festive Fashion and Fare 

Entertain with festive fare for holidays that are healthy and hassle-free! 

At this time of the year, it’s easy to get caught up in the holiday rush. I put together these light and lucious recipes to cut down on the hustle and bustle but also tuck healthy eating into my celebrations. They are all time- saving solutions for any busy host or hostess. 

However, whether I’m going out or staying at home I love to dress up and this time of the year gives me an extra excuse for more glitter and glitz! 

I was inspired by the sophistication and colors of the Classic Black Sheffield Daniel Wellington timepiece/bangle set  in rose gold to style this outfit. 

The set is now 10% off at and if you use my special code: MTFxDW you will receive an ADDITIONAL 15% off !

My dress is Express brand found at My shoes and hat are from and the necklace was a gift from my daughter found at 

Here are some different options available at for you to create your own ‘Daniel Wellington’ inspired outfit or shop for that special someone in your life. 

And of course, here are some healthy and hassle-free recipes to make any event easy and also elegant and special!

Glazed Beef Tournedos 

3 tablespoons steak sauce

2 tablespoons ketchup

2 tablespoons orange marmalade 

1 tablespoon lemon juice 

1 tablespoon finely chopped onion 

1 garlic clove 

4 beef tenderloin steaks 

In a small bowl, combine steak sauce, ketchup, marmalade, lemon juice, onion and garlic. Set aside 1/4 cup for serving.

Coat grill rack with nonstick cooking spray before starting the grill. Grill steaks, uncovered, over medium heat or broil 4-6 inches from the heat for 5-7 minutes on each side, basting frequently with remaining sauce. Just before serving, brush steaks with reserved sauce. 

1 serving = 308 calories/ 12 grams fat 

Marinated Mushrooms

2 cups small fresh mushrooms 

3 tablespoons rice wine vinegar 

2 tablespoons olive oil 

1/2 teaspoon dried basil 

1/2 teaspoon dried marjoram

1/2 teaspoon mustard seed 

1/4 teaspoon onion salt 

Place the mushrooms in a bowl. In another bowl, whisk the remaining ingredients. Pour over mushrooms and toss to coat. Cover and refrigerate for 8 hours or overnight. Drain and discard marinade before serving. 

1/2 cup = 46 calories / 4 g fat 

Tortellini with Roasted Red Pepper Dip 

I package (19 ounces) frozen cheese tortellini 

1 jar (7 ounces) roasted sweet red peppers, drained 

3 garlic cloves 

1/2 cup fat free mayonnaise 

1/2 teaspoon balsamic vinegar 

1/4 teaspoon salt 

1/8 teaspoon pepper 

1 tablespoon olive oil 

1 large zucchini, cut into strips 

Prepare tortellini according to package instructions. Meanwhile, place red peppers and garlic in a food processor; cover and process until combined. Add the mayonnaise, vinegar, salt, and pepper; cover and process until blended. Transfer to a small bowl. Drain tortellini; toss with oil. Serve with zucchini strips and red pepper dip.

14 tortellini and 4 strips with 4 tsp. dip= 143 calories / 5 g fat 

Cherry Cheese Pie

2 teaspoons unflavored gelatin 

1/4 cup cold water 

1 package (8 ounces) reduced fat cream cheese 

1 teaspoon vanilla extract 

Sugar substitute equal to 2 tablespoons sugar 

1 envelope whipped topping mix

2 cups fat- free whipped topping 

1 reduced fat graham cracker crust (8 inches) 

1 cup reduced sugar cherry pie filling 

In a small saucepan, sprinkle gelatin over cold water; let stand for 1 minute. Heat, over low heat until gelatin is completely dissolved. Remove from the heat; set aside. In a large mixing bowl, beat cream cheese and vanilla until blended. Gradually, beat in sugar substitute. Gradually add whipped topping mix; beat in gelatin mixture; beat 1 minute longer. Mix in 1 cup whipped topping. Fold in remaining whipped topping. Spoon into crust; top with cherry pie filling. Cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour before serving. 

1 piece = 259 calories , 10 fat 

Thank you so much, for taking the time to read this post !! Hope you found it worthwhile and hope you are inspired to spend some time entertaining with festive fare – fashionably and healthfully, of course!!! 

Yours truly,



Become A Layer Slayer: Fall Fashion and Fabulous Treats (You Will Love)

With the significant drop in temperature, I’ve prepped for fall weather by reviewing and revising some lessons in layering. I’ve put together some fun, easy looks using pieces I already had and added just a few new items I decided were ‘must haves’ for me. 

I had to have this Dot Tencel Dress from I added a burgundy faux fur vest I’ve had for more than six years. I remember my son being in a baby carriage as I wheeled myself ( and him and my daughter) back to in my local mall when I saw the vest in the window. I was actually wearing the burgundy Franco Sarto boots at the time and decided that the fact I was wearing the boots when I saw that vest was a sign I had to buy it. As the month went on I did end up going back to the same store and bought the vest in every color. Shhhhhh… no one needs to know all that! 

I layered the same vest and boots with a cocktail dress from Express which I actually found at

I found a cute little denim vest in the kid’s department at Target and decided to layer it over a Max Studio dress I found at The Rack. And quite obviously , I’ve gotten tremendous use out of those old boots ! 

I found a new pair of boots just a couple of weeks ago at Burlington Coat Factory. I wanted a pair of OTK boots and I was lucky enough to find these ( and a black pair) very reasonably priced. 

I wore them to keep cozy while wearing these deliciously bright layers. The dress is Dolce Vita from and the jacket was from BCF years ago. 

It’s always fun to use comfy blanket scarves when pulling together a look this time of year. I love this one from @momajuicy ( Instagram). The colors are so vibrant and the material is ultra soft yet warm. 

This time of the year we are always looking for new dessert options , either to entertain with or just enjoy after a busy day. I try to incorporate some healthy foods into treats for my family so that they are delicious but not a nutritional failure. 

Try layering pears with almonds and chantilly cream for a super easy after school snack or refreshing dessert. 

You will need :

1 package of fat free vanilla pudding cups ( 4 cups) 

1 container ( 8 ounce) fat free whipped topping 

1 teaspoon almond extract 

2 cans (15.25 ounces each) light pear halves 

1/4 cup sliced almonds, toasted 

1. For chantilly cream, in a medium bowl, combine pudding, whipped topping, and almond extract. 

2. To serve, arrange 3 pears halves in each of 4 serving dishes. Top each with chantilly cream and sprinkle with almonds. 

Try layering healthy apricot compote over vanilla ice cream for an added serving of citrus which is so beneficial this time of year. 

Apricot Compote 

You will need:

1 can (15 ounce) light apricot halves 

1 cup dried apricots 

1/4 cup golden raisins 

1 tablespoon lemon juice 

2 teaspoons finely chopped fresh mint 

3 cups fat free vanilla ice cream 

In a medium saucepan, combine apricots, raisins, lemon juice, and mint. Slowly cook over medium high heat until liquid is almost gone and dried fruit is rehydrated. Serve warm with ice cream.

Layer a delightful sorbet with raspberries for an extremely easy yet pleasing treat. 

Chocolate- Hazelnut Sorbet 

You will need : 

2 cups hot water 

6 decaffeinated chocolate-hazelnut tea bags 

1/2 cup chocolate flavored syrup 

2 tablespoons hazelnut liqueur 

2 teaspoons instant espresso powder 

Fresh raspberries 

1. In a small saucepan, bring water to a boil over high heat. Remove from heat and add tea bags; let stand for 5 minutes.

2. In a large bowl, combine tea mixture , chocolate-flavored syrup, liqueur, and espresso powder. Cool to room temperature. Chill for 1 hour in the refrigerator. 

3. Freeze tea mixture in a 1 1/2 quart ice cream freezer according to manufacturer’s directions.

4. Serve with raspberries. 

Thank you so much for taking the time to read this post. I hope you found it worthwhile and that inspires you to have some fun with layering, either in your wardrobe or with your recipes ! 

I appreciate your time and attention and I’m interested to hear from you. 

What are your favorite ways to stay cozy, yet fashionable? 

What are your favorite go- to recipes during this busy time of year ?

Any suggestions? 

Thanks again !

Yours truly,



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 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 Accessories worn with these looks were found at , 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 –
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

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 –

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 The tassel bracelets are part of a stack available at 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 and visit her boutique at 

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 ? My always stylish friend, Rachel, of sent it to me for my birthday and I love wearing it. 

I found the colorful tassle necklace at and the sandals are White Mountain Brand which I found at 

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 for 70% off the retail price. The sandals are White Mountain Brand from and the hat is from

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 and the sandals are Guess brand from 

I wore it over this suit from The hat is from 

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 

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

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 to basic gingham pants and a simple white blouse from The necklace is part of the Luluavenue collection from

This is a classic summer floral dress by Jessica Simpson which I found at , Dingo brand boots, and fun jewelry from

I paired a classic Max Studio dress from with gold glitter pumps and a bright red bag from 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 Bracelets are from

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 and accessories from 

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 , shoes from, and my hat is from

 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 All other clothing and accessories are from, 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 

This dress is from and shoes are Madden Girl, from I found my flag scarf at 

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,