Saturday, December 31, 2011

Happy New Year's Eve!

Happy Saturday Readers! 
And more importantly Happy New Year's Eve!!

Typically my New Year's Eve consists of either staying in with parents or friends or going out to local bar aka something casual- but this year me and my friends from college decided to do NYE big in Manhattan. We figure we're all graduating soon so why not start off the year with a bang! We all bought tickets for a venue in downtown Manhattan and I'm so excited!! 

I found this dress at Forever 21 for $32.50! It was the last one left in the entire store and I'm so happy with it! 

Here are some other ideas for NYE that I found on Pinterest:
I'm all about the sparkles on NYE! 

Also in the spirit of the New Year, I purchased this Kate Spade bangle with some Christmas money! I think it's perfect for my new year, new beginnings!  

It says "This is the Year to.."
- lose yourself in a good book 
- add a twist
- play your cards right 
- make sparks fly
- be curious as a cat

How perfect is this bangle? I'm in love! 

Happy New Year fellow bloggers! Hope you are all ringing in the new year with friends and loved ones. Happy New Year!

ps just make sure you're not doing this tonight...


Friday, December 30, 2011

New Year's Resolutions

Happy Friday Readers! 

Today I would like to share with you my New Year's Resolutions! I make resolutions every year but I'll be honest-  I'm not usually the best at sticking to them. I think it's often because I make them too general or ambiguous andd most importantly I typically don't write them down. So, this year, I've decided on 5 New Year's Resolutions. They are a bit general but I have some more specific ideas about how to keep them. And this year not only am I writing them down, but I'm sharing them with all of you! 

Resolution #1

Keep up with current events. 
Since that I'm graduating in May, I think it's more important than ever to keep up to date with what is going on in our country and in the world. Intelligent people are more informed. I would like to think I am intelligent so it's about time to be more informed. 
My homepage is now the New York Times- I aim to at least read over the headlines of the top stories to keep up with current events.

Resolution #2

Be smarter with $$ 
I need to start realizing that it's really not necessary to purchase 5 beige sweaters- 2 are probably more than enough. Or the $5 cereal at the supermarket cannot taste that much better than the $2 one. I need to be especially careful with how I'm spending my money this semester since soon enough I will be out on my own and I will have to rely on myself to pay rent, bills, groceries, etc.
I will keep receipts from each week and try to tally up how much I spend and to see where I can cut down and what's wasteful spending. I will spend a bit more time looking for online coupons and deals! 

Resolution #3

Keep up with Pink Zin!
When I started Pink Zin in October, I never thought I would fall so in love with blogging. I have really found a hobby that I enjoy and I want to keep this up in 2012. I so appreciate my followers and readers and can't wait to keep up with you all in the new year. 
In honor of the new year, my dedication to Pink Zin, anddd for reaching over 50 followers- I will hosting my FIRST giveaway this Monday, January 2nd! Keep on the look out- it's going to be a great one :) 

Resolution #4

Stick to an active/healthy lifestyle
I think this is a general resolution I make every year but this is something I really want to stick to this year. I religiously do not use a scale because I don't trust numbers and I'm a firm believer that it matters how you feel and how your clothes are fitting. But my goal is to do some some sort of cardio/gym/yoga 4 times a week. I also aim to only order in food once a week. This should save me $$ (see resolution #2) and cut down calories. 

Resolution #5

Leave the Past in the Past
This past year has a been a whirlwind of events and emotions. I've experienced more ups and downs during 2011 than ever before. Dealing with a horrible, emotional breakup, the loss of my grandfather, and sickness plaguing my family- 2011 has in no way been an easy year for me. But in 2012 I resolve to leave the past in the past. Time for a fresh start, new beginnings. I'm confident and hopeful that things will get better in 2012. Though I know the next 6 months will being major change in my life, I'm ready for it and looking forward to what my future will bring. In 2012 I want to leave the past in the past and move on to a better and healthier future. 

Well there you have it! You all have to help me keep these resolutions! 

What are your New Year's Eve Resolutions?


Thursday, December 29, 2011

Christmas Present Recap!

Happy Thursday Readers! 

As I mentioned earlier this week I really would like to share some of the wonderful Christmas presents that I received this year with you all!! I've read on a lot of other blogs about the important line to draw between bragging and simply sharing, and it's something I completely agree with! I do not think the Internet is the appropriate place to brag or boast about what you received for Christmas when there are so many horrible things going on in the world today. BUT I do enjoy a general overview and sum up of the Christmas presents that you've all received so I would like to share the same with you :) I am so grateful and thankful for everything I received this year and could not be happier! 


Kate Spade goodies!: bow earrings and a new wallet! 

A set of three paintings from my aunt! I've been lucky enough to visit all three cities and the colors match my room in Boston perfectly! 

Desperately needed new perfume! Now I'm all set for the year :) 

Stocking Stuffers! 
Note: Roman Holiday and Funny Face- both featuring Audrey Hepburn! I'm slowing working on my DVD collection!

NEW riding boots! But get ready ladies...these bad boys are from...TARGET! yes- and I think they really are quite lovely! They look and feel great in person and are just the right price!

What was your favorite Christmas present! Can't wait to read about it! 


Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Baking Recap and Recipes!

Happy Wednesday Readers! 

I can't believe winter break is halfway over! I feel like I just arrived home yesterday! Things certainly have been busy but I've loved every second of it! Last week I was super busy baking in preparation for Christmas and thought I would share with you a few recipes that I've collected over the years and are big crowd pleasers! These cookies can be made for any occasion- not just the holiday season! Please let me know if you have any questions about the recipes! 

Red Velvet Cheesecake Brownies 
- 1/2 cup butter
- 2 oz dark chocolate, coursely chopped 
- 1 cup sugar 
- 2 large eggs 
- 1 tsp vanilla extract 
- 1 1/2 tsp red food coloring 
- 2/3 cup all purpose flour 
- 1/4 tsp salt 

- 8-oz cream cheese, room temperature 
- 1/3 cup sugar 
- 1 large egg 
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract 

  • Preheat oven to 350F. Line an 8- or 9-inch square baking pan with aluminum foil and lightly grease.
  • In a small, heatproof bowl, melt butter and chocolate together. Stir with a fork until very smooth. Set aside to cool for a few minutes.
  • In a large bowl, whisk together sugar, eggs, vanilla extract and red food coloring. Add in the chocolate mixture and stir until smooth. Batter should be red. If a brighter red is desired, add an additional 1/2 tsp food coloring. Add flour and salt into the bowl and stir until everything is just combined and no streaks of dry ingredients remain.
  • Pour into prepared pan and spread into an even layer.
  • Prepare cheesecake mixture. In a medium bowl, beat cream cheese, sugar, egg and vanilla extract until smooth. Drop in dollops onto prepared brownie batter. Gently swirl two batters with a butter knife.
  • Bake for 35-40 minutes, until brownies and cheesecake are set. A knife inserted into the cheesecake mixture should come out clean and the edges will be lightly browned.
  • Cool in the pan completely before slicing and serving, either at room temperature or chilled.
  • Brownies can be refrigerated, covered, for several days.
  • Makes 16 large brownies or 24 smaller brownies
  • Source

Pecan Danties 
- 1 cup butter or margarine, softened 
- 1/2 cup sugar 
- 2 cups flour 
- 1 teaspoon vanilla 
- 2 cups finely chopped pecans (use food processor)
- 1 tbls water 
- Red and Green Sugar 
  • Cream buttter and sugar together until light.
  • Add flour, vanilla, water and pecans. Mix well. 
  • Chill until firm. 
  • Preheat oven to 325F 
  • Shape dough into balls and squash flat into either red or green sugar
  • Bake about 20 minutes! 
Source: my mom's best friend!
**Use different colored sugar for different occasions (Valentine' Day?! Use pink!)**

Chocolate Chip Cookies 
- 1/2 poun (2 stick) sweet butter, softened 
- 1 cup brown sugar 
- 3/4 cup granulated sugar 
- 2 eggs 
- 1 tsp vanilla extract 
- 2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour 
- 1 teaspoon baking soda 
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 1/2 cups semisweet chocolate chops 

  • Preheat oven to 325F, Grease a cookie sheet . 
  • Cream butter and both sugars together until light and fluffy. Add eggs and vanilla and mix well. 
  • Sift dry ingredients together and stir in, mixing thoroughly. Add chocolate chips to batter and mix. Use an teaspoon to scoop out dough onto cookie sheet. Wet your hand with water and splat the dough into a 5-inch round.
  • Bake on prepared cookie sheet, on the middle of the rack, for 8-10 minutes. Remove from oven while centers are slightly soft. Cool on the baking sheet for 5 minutes before transferring cookies to a rack to cool completely. 

Source: The Silver Palate Cookbook

Combining your homemade baked goods make great gifts also! I gave each on my coworkers on Christmas Eve a small goodie bag and they loved it! 

What are you favorite holiday dessert recipes?! I always love to try new ones each year! 


Monday, December 26, 2011

Top 5 Tuesday: 2011

Happy Tuesday Readers!

Just Peachy

I'm linking up with Rachel from Just Peachy for Top 5 Tuesdays! This week's theme is 2011! I still can't believe the year is coming to a close- I feel like 2011 FLEW by and I'm terrified that this semester is going to go by even quicker! I would like delay graduating as much as possible please! 

1. Favorite Movie 
Harry Potter Deathly Hallows Part 2 
I mean not only was this the first movie that came to my mind but it just is so much more than a movie! I was (and still am...) a HUGE HP fan since I was little! I started reading the books when I was about 9 or 10 and would wait at Barnes and Noble until midnight each time a new book was released. I could read a HP book in under a week I was so obsessed! I felt similarily about the movies when they came out! Deathly Hallows Part 2 perfectly summed up the end of the Harry Potter story and a small part of my childhood! I can't wait to watch it again (and again...)

(my favorite threesome)

(just the scariest movie advertisement ever...)

2. TV Show 
Gosh, this is a really hard one! I'm actually a bigger TV fan then movie fan (judge me, it's fine!) but I absolutely LOVE television and keeping up with shows each week! Even though I have SO many favorites (Glee, Desperate Housewives, Gossip Girl, Pan Am, Grey's, Pretty Little Liars...just to name a few) I think my favorite NEW show this fall is Hart of Dixie! I've actually blogged about this show before so I won't repeat myself but I'm really really liking the happy story line and of course Rachel Bilson is amazing (still a soft spot in my heart for her since her O.C. days...)

3. Song Book
Okay confession time...I'm not a big music person. Not that's not to say I don't like listening to music. I love it! I put on Pandora radio every time I'm home alone or studying. But I'm not a diehard, favorite band, loves going to concerts kinda girl. The best concert I ever went to was Britney Spears in the 4th yah haha that pretty much sums it all up. 
SO instead I thought it was more appropriate to talk about my favorite book OR shall I say series...
these are by far the best books I've read all year...
they're addicting...
Run to the library...
Order it on your kindle...
Or head to your local bookstore because this is a must read- RIGHT NOW! 

4. Favorite Thing that Happened!
President of AEPhi 
Definitely one of the most rewarding and challenging experiences this past year. My entire year was pretty much consumed with my sorority and though at some points I was definitely frustrated and stressed (like rip your hair out stressed) but I don't regret it for a second. I love every single one of my sisters and they have defined by college experience and I wouldn't change it for a second. 

5. Favorite Christmas Present
This is really hard to narrow down since I really loved and appreciated all my Christmas presents this year! Even simple Christmas cards mean a lot to me! But I definitely think one of my favorites were All Wrapped Up Kate Spade earrings! 

They're pretty simple and sweet but are just so sparkly! I love them! 

Weekend Recap!

Happy Monday Readers! 
(warning: photo heavy post!)

Can you believe Christmas is over?! I think December 26th is one of the most depressing days of the year! Going to work this morning in an empty city was pretty depressing- at least it was an easy day! 

I've been catching up with all of your blogs and it seems like everyone had a GREAT Christmas and Santa treated everyone super well! It was so nice spending this weekend with both sides of my family. Parts of this weekend were sad though...unfortunately my grandma, aunt and uncle had to stay in Florida this Christmas because of my Uncle's health :( It was very strange not celebrating with them since I've never celebrated Christmas without my Grandma but I guess as we all get older, things inevitably change. I keep telling myself that this just means that next Christmas, when everyone is in better health, we'll have the best holiday yet! Keep my uncle in your prayers for me- I would so appreciate it :) 

Well anyways back to the weekend...we started on Thursday night celebrating my Dad's birthday! We all went out to dinner to one of his recently discovered Italian restaurants in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. The dinner was yummy and my dad had a great time- which is the most important!  

(opening a present from Alexander)

(hand drawn city skyline from Alexander!)

(my niece and nephew!)

(yummy mushroom pizza with fresh mozzarella) 

(Gnocchi!- very interesting version I must say)

(the next two photos are off decorated townhouses I passed on the way to work on Christmas Eve!- so cute!) 

After Dinner on Christmas Eve (no photos- sorry!) me and my parents went to Howard Beach (neighborhood in Queens) that are notorious for ridiculous light displays. This year there was definitely not as many lights as years pasts but it's still a nice tradition! 

Christmas Day

We hosted Christmas at my apartment this year and it was a crazy, fun-filled day! Photos to prove it! 

(Dessert table!)

(Kid's table)

(Some presents under the tree!)

(My niece eager to open her present from me!)

(One of my sisters opening presents!)

(My brother-in-law opening his new Lilly bathing suit trunks!)

(My other sister opening presents!)

(My nephew opening his new Leggos!)

(First course was homemade chicken soup with tortellini!)

(Getting ready to dig in!)

(The best Christmas dessert ever- STRUFELLI)
Fried dough dipped in honey with rainbow sprinkles- I mean could there be anything better) 

The beginning of the best card game ever- Mercante de Fare (Merchant at the Fair!) It's the silliest game ever and so hard to explain in writing but it's SO much fun to play and is a big Christmas tradition in my family! There's always one big winner....

(My nephew was quite the gambler)

And this year that was ME! I won the big pot at the end...

AND bought a monogrammed Marley Lilly with my winnings :)

Can you say best Christmas ever?!
Can't wait to keep reading about your fabulous weekends! 

Later this week I'll post a presents recap so I can share all the goodies Santa left me!