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Product Reviews

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Cozy for the Holidays {Featuring Vera Bradley}

Lifestyle, Product Reviews

Vera Bradley Holiday Sale 2018{c/o VERA BRADLEY Hooded Robe, Printed Slippers, and Throw Blanket in Bordeaux Blooms}

The holidays are always my favorite time of year, and even more so now that I have my son Christian to celebrate with. Christmas in New York City is always pretty magical, and while I love things like ice skating in Central Park and viewing the Christmas Tree in Rockefeller Center, what I’m really looking forward to is spending cozy evenings at home, snuggled up on the couch with my little one.

This Vera Bradley robe is probably one of the softest things I’ve ever put on my body, and the hood makes it extra homey. Christian kept reaching up to stroke the fleece whenever I held him. We have hardwood floors throughout our apartment, so the floors tend to get chilly. I’m always on the lookout for cozy slippers, and these keep my feet nice and toasty (especially when I’m sneaking into the kitchen for a late-night hot cocoa). Seeing his tiny face light up when we put up the tree was the best feeling in the world and would melt even the toughest Scrooge’s heart. And of course, I couldn’t resist the matching throw blanket, that’s so soft, warm, and perfect to bundle up under during cheesy Christmas movie binges on Netflix.

As soon as I saw the Bordeaux Blooms print, I knew it would be perfect for the holidays.  Vera Bradley has tons of iconic prints, and as some who’s always been a sucker for matchy-matchy ensembles, I absolutely LOVE that they have so many products available in each pattern. You can even shop-by-print on their site.

If you’re looking for the perfect holiday gift for a lucky lady in your life, you really can’t go wrong with Vera Bradley. They’re a classic brand that never goes out of style. I’m especially enamored with their travel duffels and backpacks which are perfect for weekend getaways.

Happy shopping! 

Vera Bradley Holiday Sale 2018
Vera Bradley Holiday Sale 2018

Full Disclosure: This post is brought to you in partnership with InSTYLE and Vera Bradley. Although I have been compensated, rest assured that every product and recommendation has been fully vetted by me, and all opinions expressed are my own. Thank you for your trust and for supporting the brands that help make this blog possible.

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The Meatball Shop

Around Town, Product Reviews

True story: I’m addicted to meatballs!

Yes, you read that correctly. If I had to pick the perfect food, a meatball just might be it. I’ll take them in just about any variety: beef, chicken, pork, venison… whatever. I’ve even dragged my husband all the way out to the Ikea in New Jersey under the guise of needing a new throw rug or coffee table. But in reality, all I wanted was a plate of Swedish meatballs and a side of ligonberries. Yep, I’ve got it bad!

So now that you’re aware of my condition, I’ll let you in on another little secret. You can catch me almost every other week at one of my favorite casual dining spots in the city: Meatball Shop. My husband and I have been regular fixtures pretty much since the day opened their first location on the Lower East Side years ago. We’ve tried just about every combo (including chicken with mushroom sauce, beef with classic tomato, pork with parmesan cream sauce, etc…), and it’s hard to choose a favorite because they’re all SO GOOD.

I was recently invited to the Greenwich Village location to try our their all-new menu and was instantly impressed. They’ve expanded their offering to include vegan and gluten-free options, seafood balls, and even more great salad combinations. My friends and I like to dine out together, so it’s awesome that one of my favorite restaurants can suit just about everyone’s dietary needs. On this visit, Eric and I made it a family affair and brought Christian along. The restaurant staff were very accomodating – allowing us to bring in the stroller and offering a high chair. Right now, we just give Christian tiny nibbles off our plates to sample, but I can’t wait for him to try the kids menu when he’s older.

On this visit, we tried the Thanksgiving Platter with turkey meatballs, stuffing, mashed potatoes, brussel sprouts and cranberry sauce. It was everything a comfort meal should be. We also got a few appetizers, including mozz balls, risotto balls, and mini buffallo balls (hubby’s favorite). Meatball Shop has a great selection of craft cocktails, and my personal favs are the Devil’s Juice Sangria (pictured above) and Fool-Aid Punch.

Oh, and did I mention they serve custom ice cream sandwiches for dessert? My all-time favorite combo is one chocolate chip cookie and one peanut butter cookie with caramel icecream in the middle.

If you’re ever in the mood delicious food in a warm and friendly atmosphere, I highly recommend checking them out. Meatball Shop has locations throughout NYC and recently opened a new spot in DC. And if you can’t make it in person, you’re still in luck because they have a cookbook available for purchase on their site. I got mine a few years back, and it makes a great holiday gift for folks who know their way around the kitchen.

 

Mother's Day Gift Ideas with Jared Galleria of Jewelry
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Mother’s Day Gift Ideas with Jared The Galleria Of Jewelry

Maternity, Product Reviews

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Jared The Galleria Of Jewelry. The opinions and text are all mine.

Mother's Day Gift Ideas with Jared Galleria of JewelryFull Disclosure: I was asked by Carusele to participate in the #JaredTimelessMoments campaign, sponsored by Jared The Galleria Of Jewelry. Although I have been compensated, all opinions are my own.

This year, Mother’s Day holds special importance for me as I rapidly count down these last few weeks of my pregnancy. While my husband and I have spent years dreaming and planning for this moment, I still sometimes find it hard to believe that very soon I’ll be a mommy. My heart is filled with so many emotions – ranging from nervous apprehension to pure joy and excitement – as I think about parenthood and the kind of mother I’d like to be.

Luckily, I have a fantastic role model to emulate. My mother and I may not always see eye-to-eye, but one thing I’ve never doubted is her love for me. She is truly a woman who would sacrifice everything for her children and always worked hard to make my brother and I feel protected and loved. I hope that as I raise my own children I can provide them with the same unwavering and unconditional love and support that I received from my mom.

Mothers-Day

As a kid, you think your parents are invincible, but my brother and I recently came very close to losing our mother after she suffered a massive stroke early last year. It’s been a surreal experience having to switch roles and take care of the woman who raised us. Her recovery has been remarkable and a true example of faith, willpower, and determination. Her feisty and outgoing spirit has also returned along with her physical strength, so this Mother’s Day will be a special one that we get to share as we both eagerly await the arrival of her new grandchild.

Mother's Day Gift Ideas with Jared Galleria of Jewelry

Mother's Day Gift Ideas with Jared Galleria of Jewelry
Mother's Day Gift Ideas with Jared Galleria of Jewelry

I’m very thoughtful and meticulous when it comes to gift-giving, and I’ve always enjoyed celebrating special moments with jewelry because of its longevity and ability to provide a lasting memory to its wearer. Since this will be the first Mother’s Day that I get to celebrate as a soon-to-be mommy, I wanted exceptional pieces to commemorate the occasion. That being said, I was ecstatic to collaborate with Jared The Galleria Of Jewelry to find something truly memorable. While browsing and trying on different jewelry, I discovered tons of gift ideas for both my mom and myself like this unique heartbeat necklace, these statement-making hoop earrings, and this absolutely gorgeous diamond choker.

The strength of diamonds – and in particular how they are created under pressure – comes to mind when I think of my mother.When I explained my vision and preferences to the staff at Jared’s, they were a dream to work with and provided tons of options and insight while helping me choose the perfect pieces to express my feelings on Mother’s Day.

Mother's Day Gift Ideas with Jared Galleria of Jewelry

Mother's Day Gift Ideas with Jared Galleria of Jewelry

I wound up selecting this stunning diamond pendant necklace and beautiful triangle bolo bracelet for their simple elegance and dual meaning. For me, the three diamonds and three points on the triangles represent the past, present and future, as well as my mother, myself, and my unborn child. Both pieces are great for special occasions as well as casual everyday wear, and I couldn’t wait to show them off at my baby shower this past weekend where I wore them with the gorgeous blue maxi dress you see above.

My husband and I were both impressed at the range of selections at so many different price points as well as how patient and attentive the associates were throughout the entire selection process. If you’re in search of the perfect gift (either for yourself or the mother-figure in your life), I highly recommend checking out Jared’s helpful Mother’s Day Gift Guide. It’s full of wonderful selections that are sure to bring a smile to any mom’s face.

With Mother’s Day right around the corner, I’d love to know how you all plan to celebrate. Let me know in the comments, as well as what you think about the pieces I selected from Jared’s!

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