one//my new favorite chucks! If you order, get a half size down (and also wearing the most comfortable denim shorts you will ever wear...two words: elastic waistband)
two//my favorite things to brighten up my desk space...colorful bag, flowers from Billy, and my seersucker monogrammed mason jar!
three//we had our first bonfire in the backyard this past Saturday night with friends! I could sit out there all night long...s'mores, anyone?
four//it's fro-yo season, friends. my favorite combo? raspberry with dark chocolate with oreos and gummy bears on top. I'm totally predictable and get it 99% of the time.
five//daily inspiration :)
six//when I was in Texas earlier this month, I found the cutest macaron trinket box while shopping and many of you asked where you could find it! After some searching, I found the same ones available hereand here! I like to put earrings or some of my rings in it, and it could even house some vitamins or pills
seven//Easter selfie
eight//after some super long days, we finished working in our yard this weekend! We are so happy we got it done so early this year (with the exception of planting some flowers next month), so an afternoon refresher (tito's mixed with la croix-amazing combo) it was!
nine//this little boy helped us work - aka sat on his butt and "greeted" all the neighbors that walked by...

Follow along for more updates via my instagram!
*Here is a post I did on all my favorite ways to edit your Instagram pictures. 

PS-Thank you all for entering the Bib Jewelry giveaway, I'm so happy with the response of this! Today is the last day so if you haven't entered, get to it. 

Happy Tuesday!!


Cheesy Vegetarian Brown Rice Casserole

Monday, Monday...it's you again.

The good news? A brand new week to create memories and make your dreams happen (more on this in a minute..see below!)

I'm on a little venture right now called "trying to get my husband to like mushrooms". Leading up to this recipe, things weren't looking so good. He will eat them with certain things, but isn't a big fan. However, since he is a fan of casserole's and cheese I figure this dish might be one that maybe he wouldn't pick out the mushrooms. Ding ding! Winner winner...you know the rest.

+1 1/2 cups uncooked brown rice
+1 can (14 oz.) vegetable broth, simmered to reduce to 1 cup
+1 T mushroom base, added to broth to enrich the flavor (optional, but recommended)
+12 oz. mushrooms, chopped into pieces about 1/2 inch
+1 large onion, diced small
+4 cups chopped broccoli, stems and flowerets
+2 tsp. + 2 tsp. olive oil
+2 tsp. Italian Herb Blend
+salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste
+1 1/2 cups reduced fat sour cream
+1 cup grated low-fat sharp cheddar
+1/2 cup + 1/2 cup grated reduced fat Four Cheese Mexican Blend
+1/4 cup low-fat grated Mozzarella

You can go here to get the full recipe and instructions for baking! Her website has a ton of awesome gluten free and vegetarian dishes to check out while you're over there.

This recipe is full of flavor and is an easy one to make if you're doing a meatless night in your house but need something filling and satisfying!

Bon Appetite!

*About making those dreams come true...for the past couple months I've been following along with Eric Hill's project called The Global Odyssey, thanks to a blog reader who was actually friends with him. He is also on this season of The Bachelorette with Andi, but what he was doing with his life and this project was so much more. He wanted to travel to all 195 countries in world record time. Not only that, he wanted to "find awesome everywhere". How much do you love that? Long story short...I was so inspired by him and his journey then last week he passed away from a terrible paragliding accident. I may have never met him, but from following his project on Facebook I was blown away by all the stories and kind things people from all over the world (literally) had to say about him on his feed. It is just another one of those situations that helped put things into perspective and reminded me about the life that I want to live. There are so many dreams I have and instead of just having them in the back of my head chasing them, I need to go after them. Make them happen. I'm determined to.

Highly, highly recommend you go read about his adventures on his website (his videos are incredibly inspiring and crazy!) if you want some serious inspiration too! Here's one of the amazing tribute videos... :)


Bib Jewelry {Giveaway!}

Happy Friday party people!

Let's celebrate a little early, shall we? I haven't posted a great giveaway like this one in what seems like ages! (Oh, AND it's Tory Burch's Friends & Family Sale...25% off until Monday-use code FRIENDLY)

The online jewelry shop, Bib Jewelry, which reminds me of a less expensive Bauble Bar (lots of pretty statement necklaces, bracelets, and earrings) is offering one of you a $50 store credit

And it's my duty to show you what pretty baubles you can get with that! Take a look...

Gorgeous, right? All of them are perfect for spring and summer. 

Actually, some of these pieces, like the starfish necklace above and this amazing tassel necklace that I need in my closet, Stella and Dot has almost identical pieces but for so much more.

Many of these items can be yours (and whoever wins I want to see pictures of you wearing your cute picks! :))-just enter easily below!

**There you have it..many chances to win and you can pick and choose what entries you do! Giveaway will be open until next Weds. and the winner be contacted via email. Good luck!


6 Recent Favorites

(I have an awesome giveaway planned for tomorrow so I'm sharing some of my favorites today! Come back tomorrow to enter!)

1// The other night I had to come up with an easy, quick meal for just myself since Billy was working late and I was starving by this point (you know how that goes) so I threw together quinoa that I cooked in some vegetable broth, black beans, with a bunch of sauteed veggies then topped with feta cheese. I just used lemon juice and garlic salt to season...it was absolutely delicious and really filling. I made extra so that I could take it with me to work the next day for lunch, but ended up eating all of it. Whoops... 

2// There's no denying that summer is the busiest time of the year.  Fun? Yes! So many events to go to! But crazy busy with days filled with plans? Absolutely. Before I know it we will be in the middle of wedding season and the amount of free weekends will be close to nonexistent! Just in the next month, I have two bridal showers, Mother's Day, and a family birthday party. And you know what that means, right? Gifts. 

I typically try (try being the keyword here) to have all of my gifts bought well in advance because a. it makes me stress a lot less the week of and b. it's not a rushed gift so it's typically more thoughtful and unique. I admit that I've spent a lot of time in the past trying to find websites to keep in my favorites that have unique gifts items for all the events since I like bringing gifts that not everyone buys. UncommonGoods is one of my favorites that fits into many different categories...want to get a head start on those Mother's Day gifts?

 These state dish towels would be a great gift...they actually have a whole line of things (many of you asked me where the Texas glass I got was from-well this is the same company!), but these dish towels would look really cute displayed in a kitchen...

 This row boat salad bowl I came across awhile back couldn't be more perfect for my in-laws since they love boating!

They even have some really cool home decor items, like these agate coasters. I've seen almost identical coasters like this at much higher price points and I really like the color combinations of this set...

 And of course, I've been on the lookout for unique pots to plant succulents in and this striped set is affordable and super cute... 

Sidenote: Really loving this pillow case set for a master bedroom. How cute would they be for a newly engaged or married couple?! At less than $30, you can't go wrong there. This is just a small list of my favorites, you can shop more Mother's Day and home decor gifts here!

3// The Bluejackets coming back from being down 3-0 last night and beating the Penguins! Wow, was that a game to watch! So exciting! Since Billy has played hockey for so many years and is a ref (did you know that? he refs once or twice a week!), he's been extremely into this playoffs and that's putting it mildly. You should see him during the games...oy vey!

4// My work buddy and this candle. This candle...well, it is just heavenly. New favorite for sure.

5// This recipe for a Southwest Breakfast Scramble (loving all her recipes actually!) As one of the biggest breakfast fans out there, I must make this ASAP...

6// Have you seen this?! Give me anything wine related {especially something as fun as this...I mean, come on} and I'm a happy camper.

What are your recent favorites? Or your favorite websites for creative gifts? Share with me!

Happy almost Friday everyone!


How To: Easter "Man Basket"

If you followed this blog back in 2012 (wow suddenly I my blog feels really old), you may remember this post with the beer basket. You also may remember my terrible writing, design, fonts, etc. It's okay...it's so true. 

What I'm trying to get at is it's definitely time to update that post with this one! It's one of my most viewed posts, and what I take from that is that many of us are clueless as to how we can make unique gifts for the men in our lives. I know I am half of the time, but that's a story for a different day. Personally, I think this gift is fun to put together and is just a small, thoughtful gesture for that special guy in your life. Super easy, too.

I will keep this short and sweet since really this project is pretty self-explanatory and isn't rocket science by any means...

Things You'll Need To Pick Up On Your Next Target Visit:
+12 pack of your man's favorite beer
+Easter grass to fill the inside (I used 2 packs)
+Plastic eggs
+Your man's favorite candies and snack foods
+Your man's favorite shave/face items (because if your man is anything like mine he doesn't buy these as much as he should...cough cough)
+Any other items you think your man will love! (ie: a new flavor of grilling sauce for mine since we are about to get our new grill!)

What You Need To Do:
+Open the beer box from the top, not the sides! Hide the beers somewhere in your house until you can safely put them in the refrigerator without your husband noticing (possibly the day of?) and then cut a large opening in the top of your beer box. 
+Fill with grass, candy filled plastic easter eggs, and some of the other small goodies that fit in the bottom. Save the bigger items to go at the top. 

+Then, without crushing the items in the bottom, start placing the bigger items on top. I actually used a loofah (this works!) to prop the bigger items up on because it helped with the height so that some of the items stuck out of the box more. It's all about the presentation, am I right?
+Use tape, if needed, to secure some of the larger items that might be moving around to the box to keep them in place.
+Admire your latest project, watch your man smile when you give it to him, and don't forget to gift him those beers you hid or put in the refrigerator! I repeat...do not forget the beers. :)

 easter man basket

If you personalize it just for your man, how could he ever not like it? Impossible!

Have you made a basket for your guy before? If not, next year is your time to start. :) Special thank you to those who have actually been reading my blog since 2012 and have continued to stick around! It means so much, truly.

PS-You could also add some small liquor bottles, lottery tickets, or tickets to a sporting event! It would be cute if you taped those on the front of the box! Just some other ideas I've had. You can't go wrong! 

PPS: Billy sent me the link to this article about happy people this morning (we love reading things like this!) and I wanted to share. Happy Tuesday! 


Can Easter Be A Monthly Thing?

Happy belated Easter to all of you!

Can we take a vote to have Easter every month?! I know Rocky would be on board (he did well with new treats and toys!) It is honestly one of my favorite holidays, even as an adult (you should have seen me as a kid-I was one of those who instead of opening all the eggs at the end would open each one as I went and stuff my face...are you surprised at all?) 

Let's see...family, traditions, gorgeous weather, good food, making Billy a pretty killer Easter basket (more on that tomorrow!), and of course checking out all the goodies Billy put in my basket is fun too. What's not to love? 

Our weekend was the perfect mix of productive and relaxing. You can't hate a weekend like that! We were able to get so much work done in our yard...the whole backyard weeded, mulched, new hostas bought, planted basil and cilantro, grass got cut, chatted with our neighbors, and Billy re-hung my swing in a better spot. Billy always laughs at me because I literally love working in the yard together...I may not have the greenest thumb out there, but I do enjoy it. We also cooked out with my best friend Lindsay and her brother at their new place on Saturday (corn.on.the.cob..you are so delicious) and watched our NHL hockey team beat Pittsburgh in the playoffs! It was so exciting! Game 3 is on tonight and I'm hoping Billy can make it through with only a few screams and freak outs. ;)

{planter is from Garden Ridge!}
{top (on sale for $20!) // sunglasses // jeans (these fit amazing and are only $40) // shoes-I bought these in all the colors #obsessed}

Oh, and I may have held the most precious little Pom (you know, besides Rocky) that I think really needs a home. Preferably at ours... :)

Now for the good stuff: Easter Sunday!

Me and Billy woke up and made cinnamon rolls, exchanged our baskets (he did SO good and even got me these beautiful flowers!), and then headed to my parents house to help "hide" 250 (YES, 250!) Easter eggs for the kids before all the family came over....

easter baskets
Just picturing him shopping for all this stuff like different nail polishes and girly beauty items puts this huge smile on my face. I'm all about the smaller things for Easter, nothing extravagant since it's the thought that counts! (I told him I only wanted one candy related item and was pretty impressed with the wine choice and the cute gardening gloves:))

Also in love with this cute scallop tote bag he found! He knows I love little things like this...

And now I'll let the pictures from our day do the rest of the talking...

 That's 250 eggs, folks...

The quints are 14!

And I can't forget about our little "baby" :)
Rocky absolutely melts our hearts in the best way possible!

And that's a wrap! Feeling so refreshed and happy after a weekend like that.

Tomorrow I'll be sharing all the ins and outs of Billy's Eeaster basket! I think (well, I KNOW) I stepped it up a notch and since the other basket was from a few years ago (one of my most popular posts!) I thought I would update it and share what I did differently and what all I included.

How was your Easter? Did you get outside to enjoy it?

Have a great day everyone! :)


Things That Make Me Do A Vicki "Woo-Hoo!"

also known as five on Friday...


It's Friday. Duh and duh. 
Okay fine, that doesn't count because we all get happy on Friday's...especially Good Friday!
This weekend I'll be trying to top this man basket that I made for Billy a couple years back. We decided to make each other baskets again ($30 and under limit) and to be honest, I don't know if I will be able to top it and since he liked it so much I might just switch up the items that I put inside...

Do any of you have any other ideas of what I could add? Or what are some fun things you put in gift boxes for your man? Help a sister out, would ya?


I can't help but get really excited for this upcoming summer. Besides having two back to back weddings in July, it looks like we will be spending most of our weekends up at the cottage with Billy's family boating. I have absolutely zero problems with it...boats, sun, family, jetskis, Put in Bay and sunsets like this one? Count me in! 


One of the many things on my to-do list for the weekend is to plant some succulents for inside our house and also plant a few herbs. My inspiration for the succulents is the picture below...I love the different textures and colors of the pots so I'm hoping I can find something similar! 


My girlfriend Angela is getting married in July and we're (the bridesmaids) are throwing her a shower in May, so I've been turning to Pinterest for some serious inspo! I love this idea of putting pictures of them on the window pane and also something simple like this for the centerpieces...


 Happy to be spending this holiday weekend with my two boys and to grill out on Saturday with some friends!

I have lots of fun, exciting reviews coming up on the blog in the next month so stay tuned!

Also, I may have done some minor damage due to J.Crew's 50% off sale...just a little heads up that's it's still going on if you haven't shopped it yet! If you missed my post yesterday, here are some of my recent spring picks!

Hope everyone has a great Easter weekend with your family or friends! 
May the eggs be ever in your favor... ;)



It took pretty much all the willpower I have to not buy each and every item from this list when I made this.

Lately, I'm all about mixing patterns in a subtle way and now is the perfect time to do this since there are so many cute patterns/options out there for spring! I thought I would switch things up a bit and show a comfortable yet cute day look, that can easily be transitioned to a night look. There are so many times in the spring and summer where our lives get so busy with events that sometimes you have to plan your outfits ahead and the less you have to think about the day of, the better.

The main pieces in these two outfits (the shoes, jacket, and bag) stay the same but by just ditching the skinny jeans and throwing on this adorable lightweight dress can make all the difference (for the record-I would totally rock this day look at night, too.)
Mixing Patterns: Day to Night Outfits

Floral Moto Jacket (25% off with code TREAT) / Jeans, also love this pair (both on major sale)/ Striped Tee / Wedges, other pairs I love here, here, here/ Dress / Belt / Necklace / Striped Clutch (only $34!) / Leather Clutch

Can it get any cuter than mixing this floral jacket with stripes? I think not...

It's always around this time of year where blazers and light jackets are the things I tend to grab for the most because they can be worn with so many things (this jacket would be cute with shorts, like these, and maxi dresses as well!) and just look so cute when paired with other items. I feel like they always take an outfit up a notch, know what I'm sayin'? That is exactly what a spring/summer wardrobe is all about after all...comfort + looks effortless!

What do you reach for the most in your closet in the spring?

PS: If you didn't see already, most of these items are on major sale...#success.



Back with another healthy recipe today!

Remember when we went to San Diego this past fall and I fell in love with acai bowls?! Well, ever since we got back the struggle of not having any places that sell them here has been very real. ;) Not only are they one of the most delicious breakfast foods out there, but acai is know for it's insane antioxidant levels, healthy fats, iron, calcium, and beta-carotene.  A place here finally opened last month that sells them, but I quickly realized that it might be cheaper for me to make them myself due to how often I really crave them and want them for breakfast!

These bowls are packed with nutrients, are so delicious, and actually very easy to make. A winning combination in my book! If you have ten minutes, you can put one of these together and make your stomach very happy.

Acai Breakfast Bowl

+1 frozen acai packet (I bought the Sambazon brand from Whole Foods)
+1 frozen banana cut into pieces
+1 large handful frozen blueberries (or strawberries, peaches, etc)
+1/2 cup unsweetened almond milk
+1 large scoop peanut butter

Blend all ingredients together until thick and creamy. I used a food processor for this, but you can use a blender or Vitamix. If you use a blender, you may have to scrape the sides/mix it up a couple times. The frozen fruit helps give a better texture and you don't want to blend it too long because you still want it to be thick.

Top with sliced banana, your favorite granola, and any other fruit you'd like!

acai breakfast bowl

See my latest recipe, Roasted Vegetable Quinoa Salad (healthy vegetarian option) here!

Have you made an acai bowl before and if so what are your favorite toppings?