Friday, August 1, 2014

Five on Friday {August 1, 2014}

Happy Friday Gals! Hope everyone had a great week and fun weekend plans ahead - here are the 5 things I've been obsessing over this week!

ONE | B’s Very Jersey BBQ
A little sneak peek of one of the custom designed printables!
The summer event of the season is finally here… B's Very Jersey BBQ!  That's right, she's trekking out to my territory and hosting a fabulous neon themed BBQ this weekend!  So not only does that mean lots of gal'ing at the actual party, but bonus gal time leading up to it with all of the party prep - yay!!  We're kicking things off today with some last minute crafting, cocktail taste testing, and lots and lots of catching up, thanks to the running list B has been keeping of all things that we must discuss when we are reunited!  And not to worry, there will be a fullll post with all of the neon-y details of this amazing event.

TWO | Baby M's Monster Mash
My little monster
Now that it's August, I'm officially in hardcore party planning mode for Baby M's big first birthday extravaganza!  We've decided to do a monster theme, mainly because I found tons of cute monster-y ideas on Pinterest.  So to kick things off, I designed some Monster Mash invitations, and decided to include a picture of Baby M dressed up in his finest monster gear.  The above is a couple of the adorable pics from our photo shoot and I'm already obsessed with the theme!

THREE | Beach-y Weekending
Beach Babes
This past weekend I was finally able to get to the beach which also meant it was Baby M’s first official trip to the beach! GG and I had off from work on Friday, so we headed down to the shore on Thursday night and met up with friends on Friday. It was such a great day, and Baby M absolutely loved it! He had a blast splashing around in the water, taking in the sights of the boardwalk and dining al fresco with an ocean view (oh and eating the sand by the fistful!). All in all it was a really great weekend and I’m counting down the days until we have another free day and can go back!

FOUR | Nordstrom Sale Picks

I know I’m suuuper late to the party, but I placed a big ole order on in honor of their amazing anniversary sale, and I just received my goodies this week! While I did some initial browsing in store, I find that their selection is much better online, plus I can never resist getting an added bonus from Ebates when ordering online. And as a final bonus, since I ordered a beauty item, I snagged 3 free product samples too.. seriously while I love the instant gratification of shopping in store, you really can’t beat the amazing deals you can get online! The above is a collage of my picks.. I may have gone a bit overboard, but it is their trademark sale, and I just had to take advantage of it!

FIVE | New Alex & Ani Bracelet

I know I've professed my love of Alex & Ani before, so I was so excited to pickup a new bangle to add to my stack!  I was picking up a couple for my two sisters' birthdays and just couldn't resist getting one for myself (and luckily they are pretty reasonably priced, so I didn't feel too bad).  I picked up my birthstone gem of Amethyst and I love the way it gives a little color to my gold stack!

So excited to be linking up with AmandaJennieAmyKarli, and Lauren - thanks Gals for hosting today's link-ups!

- M

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Party Like a Pop Star

What occasion could possibly bring Lorde, Miley Cyrus, Sia, Lenny Kravitz, Lady Gaga, and Justin Timberlake all together in the same room?

(Hint: It isn't the Grammys).

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Frozen Hot Chocolate Martini

After getting so much love for my no-frills frozen hot chocolate hack a couple weeks ago, I decided to take it up a notch and make a version that was more appropriate as an after work treat.  Along with this recipe being super easy, it combines my favorite things – chocolate and alcohol! And thanks to the sugar free hot chocolate, it’s still skinnier than using a chocolate liqueur.. so feel free to pour yourself a second once the first one disappears quickly!

Ingredients (makes 2 – feel free to cut in half for a single serving):
1 packet of sugar free hot chocolate mix
½ cup of cold water
3 shots of whipped cream vodka
2 shots of Baileys

Mix chocolate mix and water in a cocktail shaker (without ice!) until fully dissolved/no lumps remain.  Add all other ingredients and fill the shaker with ice.  Shake until nice and frosty.  Strain into a martini glass, and enjoy!  It’s like Christmas in July/a trip to boozy visit to Serendipity 3, without the snow and annoying crowds!  What’s your favorite way to spice up an otherwise non-alcoholic beverage?!

Thrilled to be linking up today with EmilyKateJennifer JuniperEmilyKristenEmilyMandy, and Mandy!!!


Sunday, July 27, 2014

Guest posting - Six on Sunday

Hey Gals! Are you loving this fabulous weekend as much as we are? As an extra treat, we're guest posting today over at The Diary of a Real Housewife by participating in the Six on Sunday Q&A series. Check out our answers to Jennie's fun questions to learn a little more about the gals behind this blog!

The Gals

Friday, July 25, 2014

Five on Friday {July 25, 2014}

Yay, it's Friday! Who else is excited for the weekend? We're ready for some fun and relaxation, so let's take a peek at our five obsessions of the week:

ONE | NYC Blogger Meet-Up

Calling all NYC-area bloggers! After seeing all of the fun that other bloggers have been having on their blates recently, we thought it would be fun to arrange a brunch chat with others from blogland who reside in the NY/NJ area. The brunch will take place in Manhattan on a weekend in August or September - comment below or email us if you're interested in participating, and stay tuned for more details coming soon!

TWO | National Ice Cream Day

This past Sunday was National Ice Cream Day...I mean really, what's not to love about that? I promise not to tell if you've decided to extend the celebration into the rest of this week! My tasty treat to celebrate this holiday was Van Leeuwen Mint Chocolate Chip - soooooo refreshing and delicious!

THREE | LeAnn & Eddie

Did anyone else catch this new reality series trainwreck? We are definitely Team Brandi when it comes to picking sides between Real Housewife of Beverly Hills Brandi Glanville and her ex-husband, Eddie Cibrian with his new(ish) wife, LeAnn Rimes. It seems like Eddie and LeAnn have grown sick of Brandi trashing them on her show and in her (hilarious) books, so they've launched their own series to show us their side of the story. 

My biggest problem with the show is that it's too boring - there is no drama or interesting plotline! However, it does give me a chance to watch the beautiful (though shady) Eddie Cibrian, which is always a plus (side note - M and I have decided that while he is cute in pictures, he is downright smoldering in action on TV...does anyone else see this?). I may give it another shot in case things start to improve, but right now Bravo does not need to worry about me losing my viewing time to another network!

FOUR | Taylor Swift musical tribute

A good friend of mine was the music director of a tribute to Taylor Swift that took place this week at 54 Below, a fantastic NYC cabaret venue. I was super impressed by how the group was able to rearrange these songs and put new twists on them, while also delivering fierce harmonies and powerful belts. While I'm familiar with TSwift's major hits, this concert has inspired me to check out some of her lesser known tracks (suggestions are welcome!). Some fantastic tunes plus a yummy blackberry mojito...not a bad way to spend a random weekday evening!

FIVE | Bachelorette weekend

My friend Alyssa (who recently had a beautiful, sparkly bridal shower) is having her bachelorette party this weekend! I'm hosting cocktails on my patio, then we're heading out to a nice dinner at the Gansevoort Hotel before dancing the night away at R Bar. I'm so excited to have a fantastic night out on the town with some of my very favorite people (plus it's a chance to dress up and throw on some sparkles and gems - yes, please!).

Cheers to AmandaJennieAmyKarli, and Lauren for hosting today's link-ups!


Thursday, July 24, 2014

Opening Lines: The Real Housewives of New Jersey

After what has seemed like an eternity, our Jersey housewives have recently returned to Bravo! While we don't like to play favorites with our housewives series, the Jersey gals always hold a special place in our hearts because, well...we are Jersey gals too! Even though it's not always portrayed in the best light, we still get a kick out of seeing our home state "on display, on display."  
With three departing cast members, three brand new cast members, and one returning familiar face (welcome back, Dina!), our Honorary Gal Andy Cohen has given the series a much-needed shake-up. Just like we did for the most recent Housewives installments of New York City and Beverly Hills, it's time to rate the new opening lines! To be perfectly honest, we were slightly underwhelmed during our first listen, but hopefully that will change as we hear them again and again throughout the season. Let's jump in and see what the ladies have in store for us this time!

TERESA: You never know how strong you are until it's the only choice you have. it looks like we're going "serious" with the taglines for this season. As every Bravoholic knows, Teresa has been with this franchise from the very beginning and is the break-out star. She is also currently embattled in a legal dispute that may involve jail time, and could even result in deportation for her husband. I understand why she wants to present herself with a less frivolous tagline this season, but it's not too fun for us viewers (remember last season when she was calling out the "haters" because all she does is "love, love, love"? That's the kind of galish line I was hoping for!). Basically, this line is missing Teresa's trademark sass, so it's also missing the mark for me.

MELISSA: I've learned to forgive and never regret.

Alright Melissa, we get it – your storyline no longer involves fighting with Teresa. And while I’m all for moving on with some fresh drama storylines, I’m not a fan of this tagline at all. Melissa is far from being the bigger person that she’s desperately trying to portray, so I’m not buying that she’s learned to forgive. And as for the second part, what does that even mean?! I’m pretty sure she has lots of regrets, since she’s the first to backpedal every time she gets called out on her bs! Maybe I’m being too harsh on Mrs. Gorga with this one, but like with Teresa, I’d much rather a fun and sassy tagline instead of this annoying one.

TWINS - NICOLE & TERESA: You're not seeing double - you're seeing trouble!
First and foremost, I’m shocked that these new gals decided to do a shared tagline! I get that you’re twins and it's clearly their thing, BUT, based on the little I’ve seen from them so far, neither seems to shy away from the spotlight, so I don’t know why they wouldn’t each want their own tagline and identity!? But putting that aside, it’s not a completely terrible tagline. At least it’s not as serious as some of the others, and it does give the promise of some drama, so I suppose it’s perfectly fine… not great, and certainly not making any top 10 lists (umm.. and side note, we totally need to put one of those together in the near future!), but just fine.

AMBER: I'm a survivor - no one is bringing me down.

Ok, I had really high hopes for Amber since I’m pretty sure she’ll be stirring the pot plenty this season. And while I admire her strength as a cancer survivor, I don’t like that she’s ripping off one of my favorite Jersey taglines of all time – Teresa’s from a couple seasons back, which was “I’m a Jersey Girl, nobody can knock me down!”. I’m sorry, but it’s completely unacceptable to take from a former tagline, especially when it’s from your own location!

DINA: I'm back to bring the zen - Namaste, bitches.

Dina is my favorite Manzo (though let's face it, she wasn't exactly facing too much competition from the Caroline clan!) so I was thrilled when I learned she was returning to the series this season. However, I was less than thrilled to see her new Earth Mother personality (maybe that's why she and Danielle always fought when they were on the show together - they were too similar with their "love and light" attitudes!). She is really forcing the zen angle this season, though at least she slightly tempered it with her oh-so-ironic "Namaste, bitches." Does this maybe mean that we can count on Dina to bring some drama this season? Pretty please?

Now let's rank our favorite and least favorite lines:

This is a tough one for me because I am just not that impressed with anyone's opening line this season! I tend to like the fun, punny lines (like Aviva's leg comment for the past season of NYC), so these are a bit too somber for my taste. Having said that, a winner must be crowned and for me, that honor goes to Dina by default. Her line isn't fantastic by regular Housewives standards, but at least she attempted to be slightly saucy.

There are many other horses in the race for least favorite, but I think I have to hand this one to Melissa. I don't like that she's playing the martyr once again by talking about her ability to forgive (especially since I think she's just as much to blame as Teresa for their family feuds), and I really don't understand where she's going with the "never regret" ending - did she steal that from her old high school yearbook? Bottom line - I expected much more sass from you, Melissa!

I agree with B on this one – it’s like we’re picking the best of the worst! I almost went with the twins, but must disqualify them on the basis of having a shared tagline.. I just can’t let that one go! So, I also have to give it to our gal Dina. While I really hate the zen angle, in the end she brings it home with her sassy 'Namaste Bitches'. I do think this means she’s ready to bring the drama back to the Garden State and of all the Gals on this season, she’s definitely my fave, so she definitely takes the win.

As for the other end of the spectrum, I could pretty much make an argument for any of the others to be the big loser (or as Andy would say, the Jackhole!), but since I have to narrow it down, I’m giving this one to Amber! I just really can’t get past the fact that she’s giving us a recycled tagline.. and a worse version at that! And just like B’s gripe with Melissa, from the little I’ve seen of Amber, I was certainly expecting more sass and at the very least, more snark!!

Do you agree with our choices, or does another housewife's line reign supreme for you? Don't flip a table on us, just comment below!

Linking up with Katherine!

The Gals

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