beauty · food · good reads · lifestyle

five ways to take care of yourself- my self care routine

As a (very) new mama, I find it’s even more important to carve out some time each day to take care of myself. Here are some things that I’ve been doing to get in some me time and do the things that I enjoy, now that our daughter is here. Honestly though there are some days when I would rather just stare at her all day and take photos and videos!

  1. I  love making myself an iced coffee every morning, or an iced espresso mixed with a protein shake. I really enjoy starting my day this way and will usually check my emails and write out a plan for the day.
  2. Once I get out of the shower in the mornings I like to use either the bare minerals complexion rescue or the nars velvet matte. I just use a small amount, especially when I know I’m not going out. Each of these has an SPF so it’s the only product I need to use on my face. One step and I’m good to go for the day.
  3. I started going back to the gym for a light workout each morning. I am not there for long and haven’t been doing anything intense yet, but it feels great to move and have that time to myself at the gym.
  4. I love to read so much and can’t imagine not doing that now. So every evening, I give myself a few minutes, even if I only get to read a few pages at a time. I’m currently in the middle of Less by Andrew Sean Greer.
  5. Once in a while I like to do a little pampering, whether it’s a face mask at home or going out to get a manicure pedicure. I think having some time to pamper yourself just helps you to feel more like yourself. I’m currently loving this face mask by Fresh and this nail color by essie.




no bake peanut butter bars

There is nothing more delicious than the combination of peanut butter and chocolate and there’s nothing better than not having to turn on the oven on a hot summer day! I hope you give these no bake peanut butter bars a try. They have become a staple in our fridge during the summer months. They are perfect to take along to a bbq or picnic!

recipe courtesy: the pioneer woman 


  • 2 sticks salted butter, softened, plus more for greasing the pan
  • 1 cup chunky peanut butter 
  • 2 cups powdered sugar 
  • One 12-ounce box vanilla wafers
  • One 12-ounce bag mini semisweet chocolate chips (I use regular sized if I can’t find the minis)
  • 2 cups semisweet chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup creamy peanut butter 
  • 1/2 cup chopped peanuts 


For the topping: Using a double boiler or a microwave, melt the chocolate chips and creamy peanut butter. Allow to cool for a couple of minutes while you make the bars.

For the bars: Grease a 9-by-13-inch pan with some butter. Using a stand or electric hand mixer, mix together the butter and chunky peanut butter until smooth. Stir in the powdered sugar a cup at a time.

Add the vanilla wafers to a food processor and process until they are in crumbs. Then add the crumbs and mini chocolate chips to the peanut butter mixture and mix until just combined. Spread it evenly into the buttered pan and set aside.

Pour the topping over the base. Spread it out evenly and sprinkle over the chopped peanuts. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour, then cut into 20 bars.

Keep refrigerated, as the bars and chocolate will soften at room temperature.







cauliflower chowder

My husband and I made this soup the other night and really enjoyed it. It has none of the unnecessary fat in a traditional chowder and all of the flavor. A great weeknight comforting dish that is so easy to prepare and utterly delicious.

recipe adapted from damn delicious 


  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 2 carrots, peeled and diced
  • 2 stalks celery, diced
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 4 cups chicken broth
  • 1 cup 2% milk
  • 1 head cauliflower, chopped
  • 1 bay leaf
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley leaves
  • one cup shredded cheddar


  1. Melt butter in a large stockpot or Dutch oven over medium heat. Add garlic, onion, carrots and celery. Cook, stirring occasionally, until tender, about 3-4 minutes. Stir in cauliflower and bay leaf. Cook, stirring occasionally, until barely crisp-tender, about 3-4 minutes.
  2. Whisk in flour until lightly browned, about 1 minute. Gradually whisk in chicken broth and milk, and cook, whisking constantly, until slightly thickened, about 3-4 minutes.
  3. Bring to a boil; reduce heat and simmer until cauliflower are tender, about 12-15 minutes; season with salt and pepper, to taste. If the chowder is too thick, add more milk as needed until desired consistency is reached.
  4. Add shredded cheddar and allow it to melt for a minute or two.
  5. Transfer the contents to a blender and blend until you have reached desired consistency and thickness.
  6. Serve immediately, garnished with parmesan cheese and black pepper.


I hope you give this soup a try, I guarantee you will love it!




pasta with cauliflower



I feel like every time I make this pasta, we say we need to make it at least once a week- it’s just that good. I know it’s hard to believe that such few and simple ingredients would lead to such a flavorful dish, but this is surprisingly delicious!! Try it and watch it get devoured.

The only time consuming part of the recipe is the time required for the cauliflower to actually cook down–but be patient because you do want it to get really soft and creamy, almost cheese-like. My mouth is watering even as I type, thinking about how good this is! I hope you like it as much as my husband and I do. It will convert all the cauliflower haters out there, I promise.

recipe courtesy laura in the kitchen 


  • 1 Head of Cauliflower, core removed and florets cut into small pieces
  • 3 Cloves of Garlic, minced
  • 3 Tbsp of Olive Oil
  • Pinch of Hot pepper Flakes
  • 2 Cups of vegetable Stock
  • 2 Tbsp of Fresh Chopped Parsley
  • 1 cup of Freshly Grated Parmiggiano
  • 12 oz of Short Rigatoni or any other short cut pasta
  • 2 Tbsp of Unsalted Butter
  • Salt and Pepper to taste

For the Bread Crumb Topping:

  • 1 cup of Breadcrumbs
  • 1 Tbsp of Fresh Chopped Parsley
  • 2 Tbsp of Olive Oil
  • ½ tsp of Fresh Lemon Zest


    • 1) Fill a large pot with water, sprinkle in some salt and bring to a boil.
    • 2) In a large skillet with high sides, add the oil and garlic and let it sizzle over medium heat, add the hot pepper flakes and cook them for about 30 seconds or until the garlic is lightly golden brown and fragrant.
    • 3) Add the cauliflower, season well with salt and pepper and sauté for about 8 to 10 minutes or until most of it is turning a lovely golden brown color.
    • 4) Add the chicken stock and turn the heat down to medium low. You can cover the pan with a lid if you would like at this point.
    • 5) Allow the mixture to cook for about 15 minutes or until the cauliflower is nice and tender.
    • 6) When the cauliflower has about 10 minutes left to cook, add the pasta to the boiling water and cook according to packaged instructions. Reserve ½ cup of the starchy cooking water.
    • 7) Drain the pasta and add it to the skillet with the cauliflower, add the starchy water along with the butter, parsley and cheese and cook the mixture together for about 1 minute on medium heat until the sauce thickens and coats all those pieces of pasta.
    • 8) Add the pasta to a large platter and serve as is or make the bread crumb topping.
    • 9) To make the topping, add the oil to a skillet and let it preheat over medium heat. Once it’s nice and hot, add the bread crumbs, parsley and lemon zest and let it toast up for a few minutes or until the mixture has a lovely golden toasted color all around and the bread crumbs are crunchy.
    • 10) Sprinkle this mixture all over the top of the pasta. Serve immediately!



roasted vegetable paella

The best paella I’ve had was when I visited Spain and since then I had been looking for a vegetarian paella recipe. I’m so glad I found this one with roasted veggies. If you’re a rice lover like I am, give this one a try!

recipe courtesy Ina Garten 



  • 2 pounds Holland bell peppers (red, yellow, and orange), cored, seeded, and cut into 1/2-inch-wide strips
  • 2 pounds fennel bulbs, tops and cores removed, sliced 1/4 inch thick
  • 1 pound baby eggplants, unpeeled, sliced crosswise 1/4 inch thick
  • 1 large red onion, 3/4-inch-diced
  • Good olive oil
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 cups (3/4-inch-diced) yellow onions (2 onions)
  • 2 tablespoons minced garlic (6 cloves)
  • 1 teaspoon saffron threads
  • 1 1/2 cups Spanish paella rice, such as Calasparra
  • 1 (12-ounce) jar roasted red peppers, undrained, such as Mancini
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika (not regular paprika)
  • 5 to 6 cups simmering chicken stock, preferably homemade
  • 3 ounces freshly grated aged Manchego cheese
  • 1/2 cup pitted Manzanilla or Cerignola olives, halved
  • 1/2 cup thinly sliced scallions, white and green parts


Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Position two racks evenly spaced in the oven.

Put the bell peppers, fennel, eggplants, and red onion in a large bowl, add 1/2 cup olive oil, 1 tablespoon salt, and 1 teaspoon black pepper, and toss. Divide the vegetables between two sheet pans and spread in one layer. Roast for 45 minutes, tossing occasionally.

Meanwhile, heat 3 tablespoons of olive oil over medium heat in a 14- to 16-inch paella pan or large (11-inch) Dutch oven, such as Le Creuset. Add the yellow onions and saute for 6 to 8 minutes, until tender. Add the garlic and saffron and cook for one minute. Add the rice and cook for 2 minutes, stirring to coat the rice with oil. Place the jarred peppers (including their liquid) and paprika in the bowl of a food processor fitted with the steel blade and process until pureed. Pour the mixture into the paella pan, stirring to combine, and bring to a boil. Add 1 cup of the hot stock and 2 teaspoons salt and cook uncovered over medium heat for 6 to 8 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the liquid is mostly absorbed, as you would cook risotto. Continue to cook the rice over medium heat for about 20 minutes, stirring in 1 cup of hot stock at a time whenever the liquid is absorbed, until the rice is al dente

Add the vegetables to the paella, add one more cup of stock, and stir carefully. If the paella is dry, add more hot stock. Off the heat, stir in the Manchego cheese, olives, and scallions. Taste for seasonings and serve hot.




holiday menu

I love cooking and baking any time of the year, but there is something special about making holiday meals. I love the way the whole house smells wonderful and there is anticipation of a great meal to come. The best part is sharing delicious food with the ones you love.

Here are some of my favorite holiday dishes:

  1. Fettuccine with White Truffle Butter and Mushrooms: recipe courtesy Ina Garten 



  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepperKosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 tablespoon good olive oil
  • 12 ounces cremini mushrooms, stems removed, caps sliced 1/4-inch thick
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 3 ounces white truffle butter
  • 8.82 ounces fresh fettuccine
  • 3 tablespoons chopped fresh chives, plus extra for garnish
  • 1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan, plus extra for garnish


Add 1 tablespoon of salt to a large pot of water and bring it to a boil.

Meanwhile, melt the butter and olive oil in a large (12-inch) saute pan over medium-high heat. Add the mushrooms and saute for 5 to 10 minutes, tossing often, until the mushrooms are cooked and the liquid has evaporated.

Transfer the mushrooms to a bowl and rinse out the pan.

Pour the cream into the saute pan and heat it over medium heat until it simmers. Add the truffle butter, 1 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper, lower the heat to very low and swirl the butter until it melts. Keep warm over very low heat.

Meanwhile, add the pasta to the boiling water and cook for 1 to 2 minutes. Drain the pasta in a colander and add it to the truffle cream. Add the chives and mushrooms and toss well with tongs. Stir in the Parmesan. Serve hot in shallow bowls, garnished with extra chives and Parmesan.



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6 cups mixed salad greens
1/2 cup pomegranate seeds (from half of 1 fresh pomegranate)
1/2 cup (4 oz.) feta or gorgonzola cheese, crumbled
1/2 cup pecan halves
1 cup balsamic vinaigrette (recipe below), or your favorite
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
1 teaspoon brown sugar
1 garlic clove, minced
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
3/4 cup olive oil

3. Jalapeno Cheddar Cornbread: recipe courtesy Ina Garten 



  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup yellow cornmeal
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoons baking powder
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 2 cups milk
  • 3 extra-large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1/2 pound (2 sticks) unsalted butter, melted, plus extra to grease the pan
  • 8 ounces aged extra-sharp Cheddar, grated, divided
  • 1/3 cup chopped scallions, white and green parts, plus extra for garnish, 3 scallions
  • 3 tablespoons seeded and minced fresh jalapeno peppers


Combine the flour, cornmeal, sugar, baking powder, and salt in a large bowl. In a separate bowl, combine the milk, eggs, and butter. With a wooden spoon, stir the wet ingredients into the dry until most of the lumps are dissolved. Don’t overmix! Mix in 2 cups of the grated Cheddar, the scallions and jalapenos, and allow the mixture to sit at room temperature for 20 minutes.

Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a 9 by 13 by 2-inch baking pan.

Pour the batter into the prepared pan, smooth the top, and sprinkle with the remaining grated Cheddar and extra chopped scallions. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool and cut into large squares. Serve warm or at room temperature.


4. cinnamon rolls: recipe courtesy Pioneer woman 



For the dough:
  • 1 quart whole milk
  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 packages (4 1/2 teaspoons) active dry yeast
  • 9 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
  • 1 heaping teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 scant teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 tablespoon salt
For the filling:
  • 2 cups (4 sticks) unsalted butter, melted, plus more as needed
  • 1/4 cup ground cinnamon, for sprinkling
  • 2 cups granulated sugar, plus more as needed
For the maple icing:
  • 2 pounds confectioners’ sugar
  • 1/2 cup whole milk
  • 6 tablespoons (3/4 stick) unsalted butter, melted
  • 1/4 cup strongly brewed coffee
  • Dash of salt
  • 1 tablespoon maple flavoring or maple extract


For the dough, heat the milk, vegetable oil and sugar in a large saucepan over medium heat; do not boil. Set aside to cool to lukewarm. Sprinkle the yeast on top and let it sit on the milk for 1 minute.

Add 8 cups of the flour. Stir until just combined, cover with a clean kitchen towel and set aside in a relatively warm place for 1 hour.

Remove the towel and add the baking powder, baking soda, salt and the remaining 1 cup flour. Stir thoroughly to combine. Use the dough right away or place in a mixing bowl and refrigerate for up to 3 days, punching down the dough if it rises to the top of the bowl.

Remove half of the dough. On a floured surface, roll out the dough into a large rectangle, about 30 by 10 inches, with a long side facing you.

To make the filling, pour 1 cup of the melted butter over the surface of the dough. Use your fingers to spread the butter evenly. Generously sprinkle half of the ground cinnamon and 1 cup of the sugar over the butter. Don’t be afraid to drizzle on more butter or more sugar!

Beginning at the end farthest from you, roll the rectangle tightly toward you. Use both hands and work slowly, being careful to keep the roll tight. Don’t worry if the filling oozes as you work; that just means the rolls will be divine. When you reach the end, pinch the seam together.

Transfer to a cutting board and, with a sharp knife, make 1 1/2-inch slices. One log will produce 20 to 25 rolls. Pour a couple of tablespoons of melted butter into several pie pans or baking dishes and swirl to coat. Place the rolls in the pans cut-side up, being careful not to overcrowd.

Repeat the rolling-sugar-butter process with the other half of the dough and more pans. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Cover each pan with a kitchen towel and let rise on the countertop for at least 20 minutes before baking. Remove the towels and bake for 13 to 17 minutes, until golden brown. Don’t allow the rolls to become overly brown.

While the rolls are baking, make the icing: In a large bowl, whisk together the confectioners’ sugar, milk, butter, coffee and salt. Splash in the maple flavoring. Whisk until very smooth. Taste and add more sugar, butter or other ingredients as needed until the icing reaches the desired consistency. The icing should be thick but still pourable.

While the rolls are still warm, generously drizzle icing over the top. Be sure to get it all around the edges and over the top. As they sit, the rolls will absorb some of the icing’s moisture and flavor. They only get better with time…not that they last for more than a few seconds!

5. Snickers Brownies: recipe courtesy Laura Vitale 



  • 1/2 cup of Unsalted Butter, softened at room temperature
    10 oz of Semisweet Chocolate, melted
    1 cup of Granulated Sugar
    1/4 tsp of salt
    2 eggs
  • 1 cup of flour
  • 2-1/2 tbsp of Cocoa powder
    1/2 tsp of Instant espresso powder
    1 cup of Chopped up Snickers


1) Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line a 8×8 inch square baking pan with parchment paper making sure it comes up the sides a bit, set aside.

2) In the bowl of a standing mixer, cream together the butter and sugar, add the eggs and mix well.

3) Add the melted chocolate, mix to incorporate. Add the flour, cocoa, espresso powder and salt.

4) Mix until everything is combined and the pieces of snickers and just mix to mix throughout the batter.

5) Spread the batter evenly in the prepared pan, bake them for about 35 to 40 minutes, allow them to cool completely before serving.

OPTIONAL BUT HIGHLY RECOMMENDED: Drizzle caramel (my husband makes his own) and then some coarse sea salt on top!!
6. Caramel Apple Pie: recipe courtesy Laura Vitale 
7 cups of Tart Apples, peeled, cored and sliced
1 tsp of Lemon Juice
Zest and Juice of Half of a Small Orange
¾ cup of Walnuts, chopped
1/3 cup of Brown Sugar
¼ cup of Granulated Sugar
1 Tbsp of Corn Starch
¼ cup of Caramel Sauce (I have a recipe for that too!)
2 tsp of Ground Cinnamon
1 9” Unbaked Pie Crust

For the Streusel Topping:

¾ cup of All Purpose Flour
2/3 cup of chopped Walnuts
¼ cup of Granulated Sugar
6 Tbsp of Cold Butter
Extra Caramel Sauce for Drizzling over the top


1) Place the pie crust in a 9” pie plate. Spoon the caramel sauce in the bottom of the pie crust and set aside.

2) In a large bowl toss the apples with the lemon juice, orange juice and orange zest. Add the chopped walnuts, cornstarch, both sugars and cinnamon, toss to coat.

3) Add the apple mixture in the pie crust with the caramel sauce at the bottom.

4) In a small bowl combine all the ingredients for the streusel topping and mix with your fingers until the butter is evenly distributed through the dry ingredients.

5) Sprinkle streusel topping over the apples and place the pie plate on top of a baking dish. Bake for 1 hour at 350 degrees. Let it cool completely.

Slice and drizzle over some more caramel sauce and enjoy!

Please don’t forget to have this a la mode and maybe some of that caramel sauce drizzled over the ice cream as well. 
What’s on your menu for the holidays?





the best tomato soup.

This is the best tomato soup ever. My husband has been requesting it ever since the first time I made it. This recipe was inspired by delicious tomato soup we recently had with my dear Father in law. The tomato soup there was smooth and creamy and so comforting  along with grilled cheese. I decided to make my own version, keeping it light yet flavorful with some small chunks of roasted tomatoes. I think roasting the tomatoes makes all the difference here.




  • 2 (28-ounce) cans whole tomatoes packed in juice, drained,  juice reserved
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons dark brown sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon Butter
  • 1 Tablespoon Olive Oil
  • 1 clove Garlic, Minced Fine Or Grated
  • 1 whole Onion, Finely Diced
  • 2 Tablespoons Tomato Paste
  • 32 ounces Vegetable Broth
  • 1 cup Water
  • a splash of  Heavy Cream
  •  Salt And Pepper, to taste
  • 2 Tablespoons Minced Fresh Parsley (or dried parsley)
  • 2 Tablespoons Chopped Fresh Basil (or dried basil)
  •  Croutons


Heat oven to 450°F. Lined rimmed baking sheet with foil. Cut the canned tomatoes in half lengthwise and place facing up in a  single layer on the foil. Sprinkle evenly with brown sugar. Bake for about 30 minutes- the liquid will have evaporated and the tomatoes will have a nice color with roasted edges by then. Let them cool slightly and set aside.

In a large pot, heat butter and oil over medium-high heat, then add onion and garlic. Stir and cook for 5 minutes. Add tomato paste and stir it in, cooking for another 2-3 minutes. Add roasted tomatoes with reserved juice. Stir together and bring to a boil, then reduce the heat, cover the pot, and simmer for 15-20 minutes, longer if you have time. Add the mixture to a blender and carefully puree, still leaving some texture to the tomatoes. Add cream, salt, pepper, parsley, and basil, and simmer for another 5 minutes.

Serve soup hot with a few crispy homemade croutons on top and a drizzle of olive oil if desired.

The croutons are a cinch to prepare- just heat up some olive oil and butter, sprinkle in some Italian seasoning- then add cubes of your favorite bread. You will know the croutons are done once they’re nice and crispy- after about 10 minutes.

Please note: Be very careful when blending the hot soup in the blender. If you cannot get your husband’s assistance like I do, please wait for the soup to cool before blending! Another option is to use an immersion blender.

What is your all time favorite soup?




pumpkin bread

This is one of my favorite fall recipes. I had never tasted pumpkin bread until my husband made it for me and used an eggless recipe when making it for my mom who is allergic to eggs. Ever since then, I look forward to having this bread every fall and we alternate between it and my favorite banana bread. I will post the recipe for that very soon.


recipe courtesy smitten kitchen

    • 1 15-ounce can (1 3/4 cups) pumpkin puree
    • 1/2 cup (120 ml) vegetable or another neutral cooking oil or melted butter (115 grams)
    • 3 large eggs
    • 1 2/3 (330 grams) cups granulated sugar
    • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
    • 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
    • 3/4 teaspoon fine sea or table salt
    • 3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
    • Heaped 1/4 teaspoon fresh grated nutmeg
    • Heaped 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
    • Two pinches of ground cloves
    • 2 1/4 cups (295 grams) all-purpose flour
for yummy topping:
  • 1 tablespoon (12 grams) granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon


Heat oven to 350 degrees F. Butter a 6-cup loaf pan or coat it with nonstick spray.In a large bowl, whisk together pumpkin, oil, eggs and sugar until smooth. Sprinkle baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinanmon, nutmeg, ginger and cloves over batter and whisk until well-combined. Add flour and stir with a spoon, just until mixed. Scrape into prepared pan and smooth the top. In a small dish, or empty measuring cup, stir sugar and cinnamon together. Sprinkle over top of batter.

Bake bread for 65 to 75 minutes until a tester poked into all parts of cake (both the top and center will want to hide pockets of uncooked batter) come out batter-free, turning the cake once during the baking time for even coloring.

You can cool it in the pan for 10 minutes and then remove it, or cool it completely in there.

Note- This recipe made three mini loaves which I baked for 45 minutes after which I checked with a toothpick and it needed to bake for another 10 minutes or so. These freeze well, but honestly mine never make it to the freezer.


What is your favorite fall recipe?

beauty · food · good reads

my world.

As we say our goodbyes to the Summer and wait for a consistent Fall, here is a round up of what’s been happening and what I’ve been loving. These are some things that have made the transition from lazy summer days into early mornings a little more enjoyable.

blade runner – I wasn’t sure what to expect when we went to see this movie, but it was unlike anything I’ve ever seen. It doesn’t feel like a movie. It was so well done that it felt like we were in every scene. The acting is superb and for someone who doesn’t usually enjoy futuristic sci fi movies, this was one of the best I’ve seen. I highly recommend watching this one in the movie theatre.

nest indigo- This is my favorite new scent. I realized how much I love it the other day when I found myself sniffing the clothes I had worn with this lingering scent on them.

spinach and artichoke lasagna- This is my all time favorite lasagna. I’ve been hooked ever since the first time I made it. If you are a lover of all things spinach and artichoke, give this one a try.


darjeeling tea- A dear friend of mine recently brought back this amazingly delicious tea from India. Nothing can compare to the flavor of this darjeeling tea, no matter how many different kinds I’ve had here in the States. They are just not as good. I often look forward to having a cup of this when I get home from work.

FRESH Soy Face Cleansing Milk- This is my new go to facial cleanser for both the mornings and evenings. The texture is so soothing and milky. It never leaves my skin feeling tight, but incredibly supple and soft. I highly recommend this for anyone who has sensitive skin and enjoys a non foaming facial cleanser.

naked smoky eye pallete– I recently purchased this eye shadow palette, even though I wasnt in the market for one because Sephora was offering it a discounted price and I’ve heard so many good things about the Naked palettes. I’ve been using it every day since this arrived in the mail- and have been loving it so much. No wonder Naked palettes are so popular- the quality speaks for itself!

zara cardigan  There isn’t much that I needed to add to my fall wardrobe, but an oversized chunky cardigan was on my list. As soon as I saw this, I knew I would want to live in it. It is so soft and cozy. I don’t have anything in this shade of green. It feels like walking around with a warm blanket wrapped around me. Fall I am ready for you- I have my cardigan!

Elena Ferrante Neapolitan novels–  This is a series of four novels that is about two friends.  It follows their lives from the time they were little girls playing with their dolls, into adulthood. Their friendship is complicated, as most relationships with those we love tend to be. What struck me the most about these novels, was not so much the story line but the author’s skill in telling the story. I felt like I knew these two characters like they were a part of my life and truly missed them once I finished the series. I cannot wait for the HBO series to come out.

essential oils- I recently started using essential oils and have really been enjoying them. I like to add a few drops of either peppermint or eucalyptus oil to the floor of the shower. When the warm water hits the oil, it creates a wonderfully fragrant experience. The peppermint oil is especially helpful in alleviating my migraines.

laal ishq– I have been struggling to get this song out of my head. It’s no surprise that it’s been sung by Arijit Singh.

What has been going on with you lately? What have you been loving?









salted peanut butter cookies


Being married to a peanut butter lover has given me the opportunity to discover lots of different recipes in pb is the star.  Growing up the only time I had peanut butter was once in a while at school for lunch in the form of the class peanut butter and jelly sandwich. Don’t get me wrong, I liked it. Peanut butter was just not something I craved or wanted in some form every day (like my husband does). He loves these peanut butter bars that I make, these peanut butter cookies, and now loves these super easy to make cookies! The only thing he says they’re missing of course is….chocolate. Next time I make him a batch, I might have to add some dark chocolate chips–yummm.


These are so good that I already have my eye on one (or four) post dinner… They require very few ingredients- five to be exact, and four if you want to omit the salt on top. Make the full recipe though- you will regret making half because I assure you these will be gone before your cookie sheets have even cooled.



1 3/4 cups (335 grams) packed light brown sugar
2 large eggs, at room temperature
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 3/4 cups (450 grams) smooth peanut butter
Coarse-grained sea salt, to finish


Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. I used a silicone mat- my new best friend.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the light brown sugar and eggs until smooth. Whisk in the vanilla extract, then the peanut butter until smooth and completely incorporated; you shouldn’t be able to see any ribbons of peanut butter.

You can freeze the dough before baking these but I did not and they came out great. Scoop out the dough- I used a small ice cream scoop. Sprinkle the dough balls lightly with coarse-grained sea salt just before baking. Mine baked perfectly when in the oven for 16 minutes. When finished, cookies should be golden at edges.

Let them cook completely, if you can, before serving. There was none of that around our kitchen though. Warm cookies were eaten and peanut butter lovers were very happy.