Celebration for two!

So, back in January, I made it a goal to step outside my comfort zone and try some new recipes/actually cook a decent meal every once in a while.

My boyfriend and I just had a semi-chill Valentine’s celebration yesterday, and today my boyfriend had his yearly review at work, [which he killed, by the way!], so I decided that today would be a good day to do something a little special for dinner tonight.

We had been going back and forth about buying a Crock-Pot for the apartment, but never really came around to it. Well, today, I got a notification that Target had Crock-Pots on sale for 15 bucks [!!!!!], so naturally, I made my little merry way to Target to buy one! Added bonus, look how stinkin’ cute it is!

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I found a recipe for Slow Cooker Orange Chicken and decided to try it out, [I’ll attach the recipe below], and let me tell you that it is so easy to make! You literally only need 4 ingredients to make this dish so bonus, it’s affordable too!

I also decided to throw together some oatmeal chocolate chip cookies because, hey, I was feeling pretty adventurous today. Who would’ve thought!?

Slow Cooker Orange Chicken 

Ingredients:

  • 3-4 chicken breasts
  • 3/4 cup BBQ sauce [I used Sweet Baby Ray’s Original BBQ Sauce]
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 3/4 cup sweet orange marmalade [I used Smuckers]

Instructions:

  • Cut 3-4 thawed chicken breasts into bite-sized chunks, and cook them in your slow cooker on medium heat for about 1.5 hours [for best results, stir halfway through]. There is no need to add anything, the chicken cooks well in its own juices.
  • While the chicken is cooking, mix together 3/4 cup BBQ sauce, 3/4 cup orange marmalade, and 2 tablespoons of soy sauce until well blended.
  • After 1.5 hours, drain the chicken juices from the slow cooker – be sure the juices are drained well, as the sauce will become watery otherwise.
  • Pour your mixture in with the chicken. Be sure that the chicken is well coated and mixed in with the sauce. Cook on medium for an additional 2 hours [you may need to add more time if the chicken is not done]. The sauce may appear runny at first, but it thickens as time goes on/it cools.

Tips:

  • Add red pepper flakes and/or Sriracha sauce to the mixture to turn up the heat – I used red pepper flakes.
  • I added chopped onion and bell peppers at the same time I added the sauce mixture.
  • This chicken is wonderful served with rice.
  • Broccoli and carrots are also a great side for this dish.
  • You may also top the chicken with sesame seeds – I did not.
  • The chicken can be cooked on low, just add more time. Every slow cooker varies, do what is best for you.

Can we also just take a quick second to admire the gorgeous flowers he bought me yesterday for Valentine’s Day, because I can’t stop looking at them throughout everything I’m doing today! xoxo.

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Grammy fashion.

And, no, I don’t mean Grammy as in “what would my grandma wear today.” Unless you live under a rock, you would know that last night was the 59th Annual Grammy Awards. This year, I was just about obsessed with almost everyone [both the good and the bad] on the Red Carpet. Here’s some of my top picks from last night:

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Rihanna wearing Armani Privé.

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Lady Gaga wearing Custom Chrome Hearts and Vex Clothing.

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Chance the Rapper wearing Thom Browne. [Fun Fact Alert: Thom Browne was my godfather’s college roommate freshman year!]

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Chrissy Teigen wearing Roberto Cavalli.

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Maren Morris wearing ???.

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Nick Jonas wearing Balmain.

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Jennifer Lopez wearing Ralph & Russo Couture.

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Kelsea Ballerini wearing Ines Di Santo.

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Paris Jackson wearing Balmain.

What were some of your picks for best and worst from last night’s Red Carpet? What did you think of the show as a whole? My feelings were mixed, but overall, pretty good. xoxo.

My current go-to playlist, 2.0

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It has been over a month since I’ve given you a little tidbit into what I’ve been listening to, so I figured today’s the day for another go at it. If you catch me acting like a fool at a red light, it is most likely because I am listening to one of these songs.

  1. The Go! by Drive Like I Do. Old, pre-1975 is some of my favorite 1975. I can’t [and won’t ever] get enough of these guys. And if you totally adore this song, check out the live version, it is 1,000x better.
  2. Moving On and Getting Over by John Mayer. Who still isn’t over this whole new John Mayer album thing?! I certainly am not. I, for one, love, love, love this song. I am still swooning over the opening guitar montage extravaganza.
  3. The Lotto by Ingrid Michaelson. I love Ingrid Michaelson so much that it truly hurts. Every single one of her songs is catchy. Her voice is amazing. Her style is amazing. She is amazing. This is her most recent single and if you want to be put in a good mood, I suggest giving this one a listen.
  4. Find Me by Kings of Leon. I feel the same way about KOL as I do about John Mayer – I am still not over the release of their new album. Granted, John Mayer’s didn’t come as long ago, but still, I can’t stop. I’ve been listening religiously ever since the day it was released, and this is my favorite off the album. [Also, If you live in Buffalo, there’s a Groupon for $17 KOL tickets at Darien Lake so we should totally be friends and totally go!]
  5. Fake Love by Drake. At first, I tried really hard to hate this song, solely for the fact that it was released post-Rihanna breakup and I don’t want anyone hating on my girl. But, in true Drake fashion, I fell in love. Hard. I don’t even have to listen to this song in its’ entirety for it to be stuck in my head, that’s how catchy it is. He’s definitely one of the best.
  6. Shape of You by Ed Sheeran. Hellllllooooo, Ed. I shamelessly pretend that this song is being sung directly to me, for me. My inner fangirl is still living over the release of these singles, and clearly everyone else feels just the same because you can’t go anywhere without this song being on the radio. I don’t mind though.
  7. Hold Me Down by Halsey. I really hope that Halsey wins her first Grammy tonight, because this girl is so unbelievably talented. The entire album is constantly on repeat for me, with each song being as catchy as the next.
  8. Fool by Børns. Having this track as the final song on the album is a great way to end an all-around masterpiece. It is so catchy and will instantly put you in a great mood, and honestly, who doesn’t want that?!
  9. Night Shift by Of a Revolution. If you haven’t seen or heard of or listened to O.A.R., please do yourself a favor and do it. They put on a great show and release great songs that make you constantly think of summer. And who doesn’t want to think of summer during this dreary, cold winter?!
  10. Hopeless Opus by Imagine Dragons. Another feel good song [I know, I’m repetitive, but I’ve needed a little pick me up lately!]. I saw this song performed live and everyone in the arena sang in unison and it’s something I will never forget about every time I hear this song. It’s catchy, and really easy to get lost in when driving or stuck in traffic. xoxo.

How you know you’ve found the love you deserve.

I’m sure we’ve all had our ups and downs when it comes to relationships. But how do you know if he or she is the one?

In honor of the upcoming holiday, Valentine’s Day, here’s how I know.

Shoutout to my man for treating me like a queen.

  • You will become a priority.
  • Your needs will be put before theirs.
  • You will be looked at as if you are a masterpiece, flaws and all.
  • You will be respected one hundred and ten percent.
  • Your love will hold your hand when you feel cold, or anxious, or when they want you to know they don’t want to let you go.
  • Your relationship will be mature.
  • Your love will stay when times get rough.
  • Your love will make time for you.
  • Your love will put in effort.
  • You will not be left crying yourself to sleep.
  • Your love will see the best in you.
  • You will be welcomed with open arms.
  • Your love will support you in whatever you do, and will motivate you to keep going.
  • Your love will be honest to you.
  • Your love will mend the wrongs.
  • You will be met halfway.
  • Your love will not make you feel bad about yourself.
  • You will be embraced for your total self.
  • Your love will recognize your problems and help you fix them.
  • Your love will listen to your anxieties and your fears.
  • Your love will wipe your tears away.
  • Your love will appreciate you.
  • Your love will tell you good morning, ask you how your day is going, and tell you goodnight.
  • You will never feel as if you are not good enough.
  • Your love is about feelings found. Found again and again until the end of time.
  • Your love will love you exactly the way you are, because you are you.

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Not everybody’s love story will be the same. If they were, this would be a boring world. It would be a world without Taylor Swift songs, a world without RomCom movies. It would be a world in which all blog posts like this one are alike.

When you’ve met your love, you will know. It will feel different. A good different. And however your story unfolds, it will be the best love story there is. xoxo.

How many is too many?

Flashback to about two years ago and you’ll probably remember [and if you didn’t know me, now you’ll know] that I really never wore makeup. I couldn’t be bothered to put on anything other than mascara. I bought my very first foundation ever back in June – literally 8 months ago.

But, things have changed and I’ve started to try and experiment with makeup. Over those last two short years, one thing I’ve fallen in love with is lipstick. So, I’ve decided to take you on a little trip through my lipstick collection. I’ve gathered them all up, and now my master list is here for you to swoon or judge over, take your pick.

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Also, I am up for any recommendations of what you think I should have that is not on this lengthy list, so shoot your tips my way!

  • Covergirl Colorlicious Lipstick 280 – Decadent Peach
  • Covergirl Katy Kat Matte Lipstick KP09 – Maroon Meow
  • e.l.f. Jumbo Lip Gloss Stick 22142 – Summer Nights
  • e.l.f. Studio Matte Lip Color 82462 – Natural
  • e.l.f. Studio Matte Lip Color 82463 – Tea Rose
  • Kylie Cosmetics Gloss – Like
  • Kylie Cosmetics Matte Liquid Lipstick – Exposed
  • Kylie Cosmetics Matte Liquid Lipstick – Leo
  • Kylie Cosmetics Matte Liquid Lipstick – Posie K
  • Kylie Cosmetics Matte Liquid Lipstick – Spice
  • Kylie Cosmetics Metal Matte Liquid Lipstick – Heir
  • Kylie Cosmetics Metal Matte Liquid Lipstick – Kymagesty
  • L’Oreal Colour Riche Balm 118 – Pink Satin
  • Maybelline Colorblur Cream Matte Pencil 10 – Fast and Fuchsia
  • Maybelline Colorblur Cream Matte Pencil 50 – I Like to Mauve It
  • Maybelline Color Sensational Lip Color 420 – Deepest Cherry
  • Maybelline Color Sensational Lip Color 710 – Petal Pink
  • Maybelline Color Whisper Lipstick 30 – Pin Up Peach
  • NYX Cosmetics Butter Gloss BLG09 – Vanilla Cream Pie
  • NYX Cosmetics Butter Lipstick BLS13 – Sugar Wafer
  • NYX Cosmetics Epic Ink Lip Dye EILD05 – Slay
  • NYX Cosmetics Full Throttle Lipstick FTLS06 – Night Crawler
  • NYX Cosmetics Intense Butter Gloss IBLG11 – Tres Leches
  • NYX Cosmetics Lingerie LIPLI02 – Embellishment
  • NYX Cosmetics Liquid Suede Cream Lipstick LSCL02 – Life’s a Beach
  • NYX Cosmetics Liquid Suede Cream Lipstick LSCL07 – Sandstorm
  • NYX Cosmetics Liquid Suede Cream Lipstick LSCL13 – Respect the Pink
  • NYX Cosmetics Matte Lipstick MLS08 – Pure Red
  • NYX Cosmetics Matte Lipstick MLS30 – Aria
  • NYX Cosmetics Matte Lipstick MLS34 – Haze
  • NYX Cosmetics Matte Lipstick MLS35 – Honeymoon
  • NYX Cosmetics Matte Lipstick MLS36 – Zen Orchid
  • NYX Cosmetics Matte Lipstick MLS41 – Up the Bass
  • NYX Cosmetics Simply Vamp Lip Cream SV04 – Bewitching
  • NYX Cosmetics Soft Matte Lip Cream SMLC03 – Tokyo
  • NYX Cosmetics Soft Matte Lip Cream SMLC29 – Vancouver
  • NYX Cosmetics Soft Matte Lip Cream SMLC30 – Seoul
  • NYX Cosmetics Velvet Matte Lipstick MLS06 – Soft Femme
  • Sephora Lip Last Lipstick 16 – Maniac
  • Tarte Tarteist Creamy Matte Lip Paint – Namaste
  • Tarte Tarteist Glossy Lip Paint – WCW
  • Ulta Butter Balm Lip Gloss – Belle
  • Ulta Matte Lip Crayon – Engagement
  • Ulta Matte Lipstick – Mulberry
  • Ulta Lipstick 214 – Vintage Wine

If you made it all the way to the bottom, congrats. I can assure you this list will only continue to grow. xoxo.

What do you do?

What do you do when someone who has made such a tremendous impact on your life suddenly isn’t here anymore? Unexpected deaths are never easy, but they are especially hard when you don’t want to even think about the final outcome being real.

I’ve made it my mission to write about things relevant in my life throughout this year. With that come the good and the bad experiences. And unfortunately, this is one of the bad.

It’s hard to talk about my four years in Catholic high school without mentioning the man we all lost today, Deacon Dan. I mean, how could we not remember his highlighter-pink-doubled-as-a-magic-eight-ball Jesus statue on his desk?! Honestly, who even knew that was a thing?

When I hear others’ talk about their religion classes in high school, their experiences are not the same. The classes were boring, the message is monotone, it’s too serious, etc. Our classes were not boring, and half the time you didn’t even feel like you were learning about religion at all. We all learned and admired our God in a way that wasn’t strict – we learned in a way that was relevant to us. We watched films, had discussions, or completed assignments that most would not consider to be religious, but carried the message we needed to hear. He took the seriousness out of a serious subject, and we all listened.

The part that I admired about this man the most is the way he cared about all of us, individually. He pushed us to break through the boundaries we thought we had. He always wanted us to succeed, and to reach higher than the expectations we had for ourselves. He always checked in. He always wanted to know what we were doing. He always wanted us to reach our highest potential. What he did for me those four years, and beyond – I cannot even explain. It’s hard to believe that in this crazy world we live in, good people like him still existed.

He touched the lives of so many of us for the past 13 years, and I am sad for the students entering into NCHS that won’t get to meet him or experience how great of a man he truly was.

Thank you, for everything. I hope we’ll all make you proud up there. xoxo.

“And He will raise you up on eagle’s wings, bear you on the breath of dawn. Make you to shine like the sun, and hold you in the palm of His Hand.”

Things I’m currently obsessed with, 3.0 


  1. Awkward. I recently signed up for Hulu [I know, I’m behind] and have reincarnated my love for this MTV guilty-pleasure from many years ago. I forgot how freaking hilarious this show is. For the record, I’m still #teamMatty. 
  2. Buying [and wearing] XL Shirts. As if I am actually a size XL and not a size S/M. I can’t get away from my love of roomy, cozy clothes. I am currently sitting here typing this wearing a men’s XL tee shirt, happy as a clam. 
  3. Dunkin’ Donuts Cold Brew with a Shot of Hazelnut. I am one of those freaks that believes in drinking iced coffee year round. I just can’t get into loving the hot stuff. [SIDENOTE: It is Roll Up the Rim seasons at Tim Hortons, so I’ve been making the sacrifice]. No cream. No sugar. Just a nice smooth cup of coffee. 
  4. Makeup Revolution “Affirmation” Eyeshadow Palette. Holy cow guys. I’ve been going back and forth between different eyeshadow palettes and which one would be a great addition to my makeup stash. I was at Ulta the other day [shocker] picking up a couple things for my mom, when I decided to look into expanding my palette collection a little more. I found this palette by Makeup Revolution, which I’ve just recently learned is exclusive to Ulta, for just $15! I’ve been using it daily and I am obsessed. 
  5. Nature Valley Cinnamon Granola in a Bag. I have been nonstop eating yogurt and granola for breakfast in hopes that I will eventually get skinnier one day [lol]. I found a bag of this granola at Wegmans and decided to try it since I’m a huge fan of the Nature Valley brand itself. I would highly recommend this to anyone. It adds just enough crunch and substance to your yogurt that you need to feel full and satisfied. xoxo. 

Super bowl!

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Okay, okay. The Bills haven’t made it to the Super Bowl since I was 1 year old in 1994, but being from Buffalo, how could that not be my picture on this post about all things football?

There is not much that I love in this life more than I love sports. But what comes in a very close second is my love for food. So, naturally, how could I not be excited about the Super Bowl?! Sports and endless amounts of food all in the same day?! Hell yes.

So, on this holy day for sports enthusiasts, I am gonna dive into some of my favorite Super Bowl commercials ever. Because even if you aren’t a sports fan, who doesn’t love a good TV commercial or two?

  1. Bud Light’s “Secret Fridge” circa 2006
  2. Wendy’s “Where’s the Beef?” circa 1984
  3. Old Spice’s “The Man Your Man Could Smell Like” circa 2010
  4. Budweiser’s “We Will Never Forget” circa 2011
  5. Heinz “Wiener Stampede” circa 2016
  6. Go Daddy’s “Perfect Match” circa 2013
  7. Avocados From Mexico’s “First Draft Ever” circa 2015
  8. Doritos “Swipe for Doritos” circa 2016
  9. Volkswagen’s “Wings” circa 2014
  10. Pepsi-Cola’s “Security Camera” circa 1996

Here’s to Super Bowl 51! xoxo.

Firsts turn into lasts.

I’m approaching this weird time in my life where everything is coming to an end. It mostly revolves around my brother being a soon-to-be-graduating senior in high school.

Two nights, we had another “last” in this lifetime full of firsts. Since the age of 7 he has played hockey; from house to select to travel to high school, it has been something I’ve been a part of religiously for these last 11 years.

One of our most-visited rinks these last years was Hockey Outlet in the Wheatfield area. Last night, we had our last experience there. It is crazy to think that something so familiar is soon to be something of the past.

Last night, my brother and his girlfriend went off to their last school dance before prom. I remember going to that same dance what seems like 2,487 years ago thinking that we had a long time before things started to change. And honestly, you don’t. [SIDENOTE: Can we take a moment to talk about how they’re the cutest couple?!]

These next few weeks and months are going to bring about some huge life changes for our family dynamic. Having a sibling want to go on his own, states away, to accomplish great things with his life is both a blessing and a curse. How do you know everything will somewhat stay the same? You don’t.

Cheers to more final moments to a great kid. Let’s finish this thing strong. xoxo.

 

What I’ve learned working retail..

..[for 4+ years] is that while it seems like the easiest job in the world, it is also extremely frustrating at times. I wouldn’t change the experience I’ve had and the opportunities I’ve been given – working as an employee, being promoted to management, and making connections with many people from all over the world over the last 1,460+ days.

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Here’s some things I’ve learned [and some things I definitely won’t miss]:

  1. If you can refrain from being rude, do it. It won’t get you anywhere. Both as a customer or an employee.
  2. The schedule can suck. Holidays, nights, and weekends are almost always spent at work while your family and friends are galavanting around on multiple adventures and posting pictures of themselves having a great time.
  3. “The customer is always right” is not always true. But even if the customer isn’t right, its all about how you handle the situation at hand. Smile and wave boys, smile and wave.
  4. You won’t know all the prices off the top of your head. Not the ticket price. Not the price after percentages off. Not the price after tax.
  5. But, you will learn about the different sales taxes depending on certain areas in the country.
  6. You will suddenly know all about parenting when there is an unsupervised child running wild all over your store.
  7. You pick up some really good skills like how to succeed at small talk, how to use a computer, how to efficiently organize the littlest things, and how to fold clothes to perfection.
  8. Canadians don’t use pennies anymore. If you had a penny every time a Canadian customer forked over 8,000 pennies to pay for their transaction while saying this, you would be a millionaire.
  9. When a customer says they will “never shop here again,” 100% of the time, they come back. Don’t take it to heart.
  10. Working retail is a great opportunity for personal growth. Don’t treat it as a joke, you might need a good reference letter one day!

xoxo.