A friendsgiving feast

It's that time of year when you wear your stretchy pants and prepare to go into a full-blown food induced coma --there's no avoiding it. We got together with some of our nearest and dearest to join around the table and share in a Friendsgiving feast. The food was amazing and we had so many laughs! I'm proud to call this group my family and I'm feeling extremely blessed to have you all in my life. I wish everyone safe and easy travels and hope you enjoy every moment with your families! Happy turkey day! Gobble, gobble. 

More photos from Friendsgiving below:


Ten happy moments of the week

Image credit: Found on Pinterest, original source unknown. If you know the original source of this image or own rights to it, please let me know and I’ll credit/remove as appropriate.

1. Peppermint tea with a drop of vanilla extract! I've been trying to get my hands on this Butter Mint tea but they don't sell it in the States and the company is not being sympathetic to my begging emails... so screw them, I made my own version.  

2. Baking some more pumpkin cupcakes together with BryGuy this week so he could bring them to a work potluck. And by "together" I mean he pulled out the ingredients, preheated the oven and patiently watched me, while staying out of my way. 

3. Fun at Yeezus

4. A good old fashioned "punch off" at a local pub. For a dollar you get to test your punching strength on a punching bag machine. I'm not that good...what can I say? I'm a lover. Not a fighter. 

5. Having a total New Girl binge-fest on Netflix this week. Every night we've been watching it and laughing until our bellies hurt. 

6. A successful work event on Wednesday night that was fun and touching! But I'm most happy that it's over! 

7. Eating the best chocolate croissant I've ever found in the U.S. at Agiato in Manayunk and watching the marathoners pass by. I was especially happy to not be in their shoes. 

8. Taking full advantage of the Bloody Mary bar at Bourbon Blue during Sunday Funday with my CFMY peeps. 

9. Making plans for an impromptu Friendsgiving that's quickly coming together. I have so much to look forward to in the new few weeks!

10. Finding a cobbler to fix my riding boots! After I paid an arm and leg for them to be fixed once (and only to have them break again after the second wear) it was really awesome to find someone that would fix them the right way and give me a good deal on the repair! I totally recommend Roxborough Shoe & Luggage Repair for all of your shoe and leather needs. 


Sweet chili baked chicken wings

I found a family-size package of chicken drumstick in my freezer, and decided to cook them up as a little appetizer before we headed to the Yeezus concert. I threw together a quick Asian-inspired marinade and then let the chicken soak in that for a while. After baking these wings in the oven and slathering them with a reduction of the marinade, they came out sticky, sweet and spicy! S-cubed perfection! You can find the recipe below.


Yeezus concert review

This weekend I attended the Yeezus concert in Philadelphia with a group of friends. I have to say that I was really impressed with his performance and the theatrics. We all know Kanye is a little weird these days, but I really felt like he was trying to do something artistic and authentic. I mean you have to admit, the guy doesn't come off so well in interviews... but I feel like through his concert I saw a more genuine side of him. 

His song choices were excellent. Of course he sang a lot of stuff from the Yeezus album, but mixed in hits like Jesus Walks and Through the Wire from College Dropout, Runaway and All of the Lights from My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy (arguably my favorite album), and Coldest Winter from the 808s album.


Ten happy moments of the week

1. Getting to use my Kitchen Aid mixer for the first time ever! It's really a thing of beauty... and I used it to make delicious pumpkin cupcakes so this is really so many happy moments rolled into one. 

2. Catching up with our good friend Abdi, during an impromptu visit. Abdi lives and works in New Orleans and he's an incredibly talented artist. Check out website: http://abdifarah.com

3. Introducing hammerschlagen to some new folks and having an old fashioned house party (high school style.) 

4. Finally becoming a part of the 200 lb. back squat club, it's been a long time coming. I also hit a new PR (personal record) on my dead lift (and beat my old PR by 45 lbs! Say what!?) 

5. Seeing a breathtaking sunset as I left work yesterday, the sky was pink like cotton candy! 

6. Meeting BryGuy for some sushi and bubble tea at lunchtime is the perfect way to get my work week started

7. Checking out New Hope, PA for the first time and totally falling in love. Well really, I fell in love with Lambertville and New Hope. I could spend a whole weekend walking around those two quaint towns and checking out all of their shops and restaurants!

8. Heading down to The Tavern (a bar in our neighborhood) to meet up with friends for SundayFunday. Also, it made me chuckle that naturally all the guys were near the bar watching the games, and the girls were huddled around a table and just chatting about life. Typical. 

9. Google Chromecast has arrived! Now we can watch Netflix in our bedroom... this could be good, or very very bad. But right now I say it's good. 

10. Discovering a new store at King of Prussia that I really like, called Dynamite. It feels like a boutique but the prices are pretty affordable and the clothing feels like a step up in quality from a H&M or Forever 21. Total side note: Forever 21 has some amazing sweaters right now for the fall/winter. Go stock up!


Pumpkin cupcakes with maple cinnamon frosting

Yes, I know it's cliché. Pumpkin, pumpkin, pumpkin, bitches be loving pumpkin this time of year. I'm aware that it's the official "flavor of fall" and it makes everyone feel really warm and cozy inside. But the thing is, I actually really do like pumpkin...like all year round, not just for two months of the year. I also love cupcakes (also cliché - I'm such a girl) but I'm very particular about the cake consistency and the frosting. 

Well, I've been itching to use my Kitchen Aid stand mixer for the first time since receiving it as a bridal shower gift over a year ago. We were heading over to a friend's house and I needed to bring a dessert, so I decided that pumpkin cupcakes with a flavored frosting would be just the thing. The cupcakes turned out better than I could have expected, they were moist and fluffy and the frosting was the perfect compliment and not too sweet.


A Jersey house party and a great Sunday

Last weekend we took a little drive up to Neshanic Station, New Jersey to have a little cookout and campfire with some friends that we haven't seen in a while. It's amazing that you can drive less than an hour outside of Philadelphia and feel like you are a million miles away. The area is absolutely gorgeous, the trees are turning colors, the rolling hills are breathtaking and the are farm animals at every turn. We stayed at Nicole's parent's house which is so gorgeous and cozy. 


What to wear to Kanye's Yeezus concert

I'm heading to the Yeezus concert this Saturday and have been searching high and low for a little outfit inspiration. I wouldn't want to disappoint Ye, being that he's a creative fashion genius and all, with his leather jogging pants. With that being said, I think there's a few ways you can go with this, comfortable bad-ass, sexy video girl, urban glam, or an edgy punk look. 

Which look would you go with? 

I'm leaning towards outfit number one because I love my new leather jacket that was a birthday gift from Bry and I'm trying to wear it as much as possible, and I think this look will be the most comfortable and weather-appropriate. 


Ten happy moments of the week

Image credit: Found on Pinterest, original source unknown. If you know the original source of this image or own rights to it, please let me know and I’ll credit/remove as appropriate.

1. Having a little Sunday "family" dinner with great friends. Sometimes it is so challenging to live so far from my family. I miss just being able to go over to my parents' house and have a nice big dinner with them. But when you live a distance from your family, your friends become your family and it's so nice to have those times where you share a meal and relax together. 

2. A renewed commitment to making healthier eating choices and a great start on that new commitment this week. 

3. Not spending money on coffee this week. I have a coffee machine at my desk so there's really no reason to go out and spend money when I can make my own (except laziness.) 

4. Lots of positive news content these days. I'm a huge fan of the site, Upworthy and think it's great to hear stories about positive things happening instead of just tragedies (hello local news.) Some of the best stuff I saw this week was this, this and this

5. Watching my father-in-law get inducted into his college's Hall of Fame and feeling so proud and blessed to have him in my life. 

6. Hearing that someone tried out my paleo chicken chili recipe and it was a hit! 

7. Lunch dates with BryGuy during the work week. I'm so happy he doesn't work in the 'burbs anymore.

8. I know I gushed about this in my previous happy moments posts, but I really really like where I work. United Way Week was a blast and it ended on the best note possible when I won tickets to a comedy club, a credit for Uber car service, a free night at an awesome hotel in Philly, and gift certificates to two restaurants! Jackpot baby! 

9. Having a skype date with my wonderful, talented, and amazing girlfriend who lives in Egypt. I miss her so so so so so much but I'm starting the count-down until her visit to the States in December. 

10. It's Friday! And that's always a reason to be happy. 

Tell me about your positive moments of the week, pretty pretty please!



Halloween was fun this year! We got a few adorable trick or treaters and attended a super fun costume party. I'm not one of those people that's particularly crazy about Halloween, I find the whole thing stressful -- trying to come up with a creative costume, spending way too much money on something you can't wear again. Plus, I have high standards for costumes, so I can't just buy one of those overpriced ones from a costume store that feel like they are going to disintegrate. 

This year I used a few things that I had lying around and bought a couple of accessories to complete my 20s flapper look. BryGuy decided to be a Dia de los Muertos guy so we bought some high quality face paint and a cool hat and then he just wore black clothes that he already owned (including his tuxedo jacket.) 


Paleo Chicken Chili

Paleo Chicken Chili Recipe
I mentioned last week that I won the chili cook-off at work. Go me! I also mentioned that I would be sharing that recipe with you... but I lied. This recipe is close, but it's the healthier version. I mean, lets be honest, you're not going to win a cooking contest if you scale back on the calories. Truth be told, I was craving that prize-winning chili so much that I decided to make a healthier batch this week and I think I actually like this one better! I added more vegetables, removed the corn and beans, and kicked up the spices a bit. It was flavorful, hearty and bowl-licking delicious. Try it out and let me know what you think! 


Ten happy moments of the week

Image credit: Society6

1. Watching this video, a funny tribute to NYC subway conductors. People are so clever. 

2. Winning the 2013 Chili Cook-Off at my work! Woohoo, I made a chicken chili which was surprisingly easy and so flavorful. I'll make it again soon and post the recipe to this here blog. 

3. Carving pumpkins with my boo. It's been years since I carved a pumpkin and it was fun to see Bry struggling with his design. His came out scary, mine came out goofy. 

4. Dancing the night away at a wedding on Saturday, we had an amazing time catching up with family. The venue was gorgeous, the wedding touching, and the bride and groom were so happy and in love. What more could you ask for? 

5. A debaucherous day of tailgating on Sunday with friends from near and afar. The thing that made me happiest? The boys planned the whole thing and made all food/supply arrangements on their own, without female intervention. 

6. I'm so grateful for hot water. We've had some issues with our hot water heater this week and you don't realize how much you take a hot shower for granted sometimes. 

7. BryGuy cooking dinner. This week we resurrected a past tradition where Bry is responsible for dinner one night a week. This week he made beef stir fry and rice and it was delicious. I can't wait for lunch time so I can eat my leftovers! 

8. Finding some new riding boots. Nothing says autumn like a pair of riding boots over leggings and a chunky sweater. 

9. A new and improved budget and savings plan. (Wow, I sound like a huge nerd.) But it felt good to sit down to have a chat about our financial goals, now I feel refreshed and recharged and more focused on saving than before. 

10. The few trick or treaters that we saw this year were so cute. One little boy made my night by say "Oh snap, oh snap, what do I pick..." while looking through my bowl of candy. Then as he's running off to the next house he yells to his friends "Hey, they got the good stuff at that house! (In reference to us) Jolly Rancher pops, oh yeah!" 
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