Life Lately

Hello hello! Yes, I’m still alive over here :) It is true that studying for the bar is exhausting, and I am absolutely dying over the fact that I cannot enjoy the beach right now. Still, I have had some pretty awesome study breaks. I mostly constrain my “larger” breaks to a few hours, 1-2 nights a week. I usually plan a few hours off on a Saturday or Sunday, and one weekday evening. The boyfriend and I try to plan something outside to make up for my lack of outdoor activities, thus explaining the many sunset pictures to follow.

One night, we went to Race Street Pier. It’s actually pretty silly that we hadn’t visited before. The architecture is visually beautiful and the grounds are well-kept. It was so calming sitting on a bench, listening to the water’s current, and watching sailboats and clippers float by. The fact that this pier sits directly below the Ben Franklin Bridge makes the view all the more awing.

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The other night, we went on a “Date to Date” (idea courtesy of Damsel in Dior). We recently had our 80 month dating anniversary… a kind of ridiculous date, but the perfect excuse for a date to date! I put on a new maxi dress, grabbed a bottle of wine, and whisked off to Audrey Claire. It was an absolutely delightful 2.5-hour dinner, full of delicious food and wonderful conversation.

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Processed with VSCOcam with c1 preset^^^Content in my favorite restaurant with my favorite boy.

photo 1 (11) copy^^^Braised Short Rib flatbread with portobello, melted fontina, and truffle oil.

photo 2 (11) copy^^^Grilled Corn on the Cob for 2 with chili aioli, feta, and lime. The boyfriend and I have been making a version of this at home lately. Let’s just say, this version blew our’s out of the water.

photo 3 (12) copy^^^Spring Pea Risotto with sweet mascarpone.

photo 4 (11) copy^^^I believe they gave us an extra big helping since we were sharing. Our favorite – the Maple Brine Pork Chop with wild boar bacon, candied dates, and gorgonzola-granny smith apple butter.

photo 5 (6) copy^^^I dub this my favorite dessert in Philly. Banana Bread Pudding with white chocolate, cranberries, whipped cream, and caramel drizzle. :)

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After dinner, we walked to our favorite dog park and community garden. The views were spectacular.

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We eventually directed our after-dinner stroll to the Oval, where an outdoor screening of the Italian Job was playing. This was seriously the BEST study break of all time, don’t you think? It was the perfect night after a very long day of studying.

This summer has been pretty darn fantastic so far. I hope you’re all enjoying this summer season to the fullest! How did you celebrate the first day of summer?

MANNA’s Guac Off!

Yesterday, I was happy to attend MANNA‘s Guac Off event at the Sonesta Hotel. Before I get into all the delicious guacamole details, let me say how honored I was to attend an event that raised money for such a wonderful cause. The money raised at the Guac Off helped fund MANNA’s mission of delivering nutritious meals to those battling life-threatening illnesses. So, when this event was brought to my attention via Philly PR Girl, I thought it to be the ideal Sunday study break.

Walking into the event, we were greeted by a room full of chefs and fiesta music. We grabbed a couple Caronas to pair with our guacamole samplings and made our way around the tables (for a full list of the competitors, click here). Our first stop was Anita’s. They were whipping up a batch of classic, as well as mango guacamole. Seriously, mango is a match made in heaven with avocado. We also learned that DiBruno Bros. carries Anita’s Guacamole! Head on over to sample some for yourself!

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We were also impressed by Guacan’t Believe It’s Not Butter – not only for their name, but also for their recipe, which earned them the Fan Favorite award! I remember the citrus really coming through on this classic batch. Well deserved, ladies!

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We loved this duo’s enthusiasm. You could tell how proud they were of their concoction – as they should have been! The Guac-ness Monsters created a dessert guac that was out of this world! They included honey and mango to their recipe. I’m definitely going to have to add these two ingredients to my next batch of homemade guac. It made the guacamole lighter and refreshing!

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Ahhh my personal favorite was Cat Attack’s Guac Steady. Bacon, garlic, and onion, oh my! Seriously, these are all my favorite ingredients. Mix them in a bowl of avocado, and you’ve got a winner in my book. Thank you for sharing such an amazing batch of guacamole with us!

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And finally, just to show that bacon truly does make everything better, Flam’s Rockin’ Guacamole won the award for Best Individual Tasting! I remember this sampling having not only the flavor and saltiness of bacon, but also a hint of sweetness (I believe from pineapple)! I’m pretty sure this recipe would put me on the best social host of all-time list. It’s a must-try.

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The boyfriend loves his guac, so he was happy to come with and help contribute money to a good cause. We both enjoyed ourselves very much. A big thank you to MANNA, Philly PR Girl, and all the contestants for making our afternoon so entertaining! For future MANNA events, please refer to their website. The Sonesta Soiree looks like a very fun event, especially in the heat of the summer!

Summer Longing


These past couple weeks have brought the warm summer weather with them. I absolutely love this time of year. The humidity and extreme heat have yet to roll in, and everyone is trying to soak up as much outdoor time as possible. My routine of studying almost every day has me very nostalgic for summer vacation. Carefree beach days, fresh shucked oysters, long walks on the sand, and challenging hikes in the Berkshires. I miss it all. I do have about three weeks free following my exam, before I begin work. I’ll have to pack as much summer in as possible! But for now, summer vacation is still a much anticipated time for me…I know I shouldn’t complain too much. I’ve been so spoiled the past few years on a student schedule. Still, I’m keeping with the perspective that this whole studying thing will make my last summer vacation that much sweeter.

I couldn’t help but stroll down memory lane last night on my iPhoto. Here are a few pictures that portray my quintessential summer vacation.















(hydrangeas, oysters)

Study Breaks & Dinner Dates

Study breaks are what make my world go ’round these days, and writing this post is one of them! I miss the days when I didn’t feel the pressure of the ever-looming Bar Exam… alas, I knew this was coming, and it’s just something that has to be done! There have been so many ups and downs the past couple weeks, and I truly need a study break from time to time. Luckily, my boyfriend is here to encourage me, as well as treat me to a few lunches/dinners out. I mean, a girl’s still gotta eat, right? There is no better study break than a dinner date with the boyfriend!

I have a couple dinners I’d like to recap for you all (Philly foodies, gather around!), the first of which was my boyfriend’s birthday dinner! The boyfriend loves his steak, and one place we had been dying to try was Stephen Starr‘s Barclay Prime! We’ve gone to Starr’s Butcher & Singer multiple times during past Restaurant Weeks, but had yet to try his second steakhouse with a more modern feel.

photo 1 (2) copy^^^I know, I know. This looks deliciously ugly incredibly impressive. However, this is my own creation, not a restaurant’s :) I always make a mini cake for my boyfriend’s birthday. It’s the perfect size for two people to share.

I noted that there was a birthday when I first made our reservation. When we walked in, the hostess told us she had a special table reserved for us. It was actually so sweet. They sat us at a four-person table, so to let us sit side-by-side. We absolutely loved it.

Neither of us had ever tried steak tartare, and I’ve always been curious. Also, what better place to try beef tartare than an awesome steakhouse? We put an order in. The boyfriend liked it a lot. I’m glad I tried it, but the texture just wasn’t for me!

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I personally really enjoy a good steak every once in a while. And this was the perfect place to indulge in one. Although we normally like to get two different entrees (so to try each other’s), we couldn’t resist both ordering steak for this dinner. He ordered the 12 oz. filet and I ordered the 8 oz. There were many other options, such as dry aged new york strips and porterhouse steaks, but we’re both partial to filet mignon. Before the steaks were served, our waiter came out with a tray of steak knives to let us choose our own. I was feeling fanc-ay.

IMG_3569^^^ My 8 oz. filet with just a bit of greens.

IMG_3570^^^The truffled mac n cheese and his 12 oz. filet in the background. I truly wanted to take more shots, but the flash was blinding!

No worries all, we brought a LOT of left-overs home. About a third of each our steaks and a little mac n cheese for the next day! We needed to save room for some birthday dessert! We opted for the toasted chocolate s’mores – a chocolate cake with marshmallow center, chocolate mousse, toasted meringue, and graham cracker ice cream. I didn’t even have to mention it was the boyfriend’s birthday, and our dessert came out in proper form.

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We left so, so impressed by our entire meal. We were also given a little blueberry cake to take home with us. The staff were so accommodating and the atmosphere was absolutely stunning, as many of Starr’s restaurants are. Thank you again, Barclay Prime, for helping make our dinner so memorable.

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A second dinner date was brought about as a much needed time away from the city. The boyfriend and I lived in Wilmington, DE a couple years ago (actually, it was our first apartment together!), and discovered Terrain while living there. This dinner was in part my boyfriend’s own gift to me for my graduation. He has been such a good sport, traveling to Rochester for my half and to the Hudson Valley to meet up with my parents…the fact that he also planned this dinner was really sweet. And it had perfect timing. I needed a break. He chose this restaurant, and I actually loved his logic – it was close to where I went to law school and held many memories of friends and family visiting, as well as our first year living together. I hold those memories and this place very dear.

Terrain is about 40 minutes from the city. It’s also a BYO, which is awesome. However, the drive has kept us away for quite a long time since moving back to Philly. It’s also just so convenient to grab a taxi when living in a city…something you can’t really do when traveling to Terrain. Coming here made us be a bit more responsible :)

Before our reservation, we wandered around the grounds a bit. Terrain is owned by URBN, the company behind Urban Outfitters, BHLDN, Anthropologie, and Free People. Terrain is dedicated to home goods and landscaping. Think: Anthropologie decor, but with plants and terrariums. Walking around this place makes me wish I had a home to furnish and a backyard to landscape.

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Off to dinner we went! Our reservation specified that we wanted to sit in the greenhouse, but there are seats inside, closer to the store, as well as outside by the garden.

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We sat down, opened our wine, and looked around. This place has transformed a few times since we first visited. It originally had these old cathedral doors that I adored, but they’ve since been sold. However, there are a few mainstays, such as the giant staghorn fern that hangs from the ceiling and the lights that are strung above.

Time to talk food! Terrain gives you a complimentary bread pot, but we always order an extra. I know – gluttonous. But perhaps you’ll know why once you try this thing. The bread comes warm, with a side of flavored butter with salt. The flavors change almost every time I visit. I’m not kidding when I say we ask to keep our butter to dip whatever we want in it. It’s that good.

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If any of you follow PhillyFeedMe, you know that the boyfriend and I really love our cheese plates. We initiated our very own Philly cheese plate tour a couple months ago, and we’ve been in cheese heaven ever since. Although Terrain isn’t technically in the city, I’m counting it. This was one of the best on our tour thus far – big portions and a ton of compliments, including strawberry jam, blackberry preserves, honey, mustard, apples, and pickled carrots.

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Unfortunately, I didn’t get the best pictures of our entrees. I still have to mention my boyfriend’s dish – filet mignon served with carrots, asparagus, mashed potatoes, and a chunk of blue cheese butter. Holy yum. We also always try to save room for dessert here. We’ve tried a few over the years, but our favorite has to be the house-made gelato. The flavors of the night were strawberry, coffee, and vanilla. The flavors were bold and true.

I’m thankful to have these opportunities during such a stressful time. Although the days are filled with lots’o’law, I’m so happy to be able to spend some quality downtime with my favorite people! Back to the grind.

Happy Birthday!!


I’ll be taking strategic study breaks today to help celebrate my boyfriend’s birthday! Yes, he still has to work (womp womp), but I have a few special things planned for tonight and over the three-day weekend! I can’t wait to surprise him with what I have planned!

It’s funny to think about how things work out – we’re both from two far away states, and met while swimming at the same Ivy League university. We’ve been together for almost seven years, and I am still so proud of this man! I’ve watched him work hard to accomplish so many of his goals, and I can’t wait to see what he puts his mind to next. He continues to impress me with his drive and ambition, as well as his kindness.

So, in the interest of keeping this short and sweet – Happy Birthday to my best friend and boyfriend! Words cannot express how much I love you, and I am so grateful to have you in my life. I hope you have the happiest of days :)




Study Time


The time has come to buckle down and study for my Bar Exam. I’ll be out of commission for a couple months, but may check in from time to time. A girl’s gotta have her study breaks too! So long blogosphere…catch you on the flip side.

While I’m gone, at least check out this amazingly entertaining video by Man Repeller depicting how to tie a neck scarf.

(image via pinterest)

Study Time


The time has come to buckle down and study for my Bar Exam. I’ll be out of commission for a couple months, but may check in from time to time. A girl’s gotta have her study breaks too! So long blogosphere…catch you on the flip side.

While I’m gone, at least check out this amazingly entertaining video by Man Repeller depicting how to tie a neck scarf.

(image via pinterest)

Study Time


The time has come to buckle down and study for my Bar Exam. I’ll be out of commission for a couple months, but may check in from time to time. A girl’s gotta have her study breaks too! So long blogosphere…catch you on the flip side.

While I’m gone, at least check out this amazingly entertaining video by Man Repeller depicting how to tie a neck scarf.

(image via pinterest)

The Love List

I’m in the mood to share what I’ve been absolutely loving lately. I’m lucky enough to have people in my life who have given me so much love and support. As my law school career comes to a close, and I look ahead to the Bar Exam, I truly appreciate the friends and family who have helped celebrate this important step with me. And of course, I can’t forget my boyfriend! He has helped me through the ups and downs of both my law school and college years. Those can include some seriously stressful times! However, he has never ceased to make me laugh and find the positive in all situations. I’m lucky to come home to someone with whom I truly enjoy spending my time. I can’t wait to see what is in store for us. I’m just a bucket of love right now :)

Here are a few things I’m currently loving.

1. Blue Apron


I bought my mom a subscription to Blue Apron for Mother’s Day this year, and she receives her first meal on Wednesday! I like the fact that all ingredients are provided for you. That’s a major concern of mine. As someone who’s cooking for only me and my boyfriend, I regret buying ingredients that I know may go to waste. For instance, packages of sandwich thins. The two of us can’t really eat a whole package before the expiration date, unless we actively eat sandwiches throughout the week. However, Blue Apron allows you to try new and exciting recipes without the guilt of wasting ingredients! I can’t wait to hear how my mom likes it! If she’s as big a fan as I hope, perhaps I’ll gift myself a subscription.


2. Birthday Gifts (and cake)!


love finding gifts for people! The boyfriend’s birthday is fast approaching, and I’m looking to get/do something that’s really memorable for him. I won’t be so detailed in talking about this, but I wanted to ask, what is the best gift you’ve received? What is your favorite kind of gift to give? I’m usually partial to gifts that are experiences. And as for the cake… I like to pick a recipe that I know the birthday boy (or girl) would like. For instance, my mom loves anything lemon, so I baked her a mini lemon poppy seed cake for her birthday last year (recipe here)!

1235469_10200488670279341_1886086751_n(I’m an amateur baker over here – please ignore the poor icing job!!)


3. Double Pearl Earrings


If you read my blog/twitter, you’ve probably seen me talk about these beauties before (this post and these Bauble Bar earrings, in particular).  I can’t help it, this twist on a classic earring just lures me in. Not to mention, I think they’re gaining momentum. Check out Tory Burch’s ears at the Babson College graduation last weekend!

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4. Your Child’s Drawing Made Keychain


This is another Pinterest find that I thought was absolutely adorable. Mia van Beek of Formia Design does a wonderful job capturing a child’s drawing in titanium form. I can’t think of a more precious memento than this! If you have kids – I totally suggest looking at her Etsy shop!


5. This Philadelphia Wedding


Seeing this couple pose for photos around the Philly I know and love makes me smile. Emily Wren photography did a fantastic job capturing beautiful moments between the bride and groom. Also – just look how lovely the above picture is in front of the Barnes. This museum is one of my favorites, particularly because of its architecture. This would be my choice of backdrop if I were to have my wedding in the city! Check out this bride and groom’s story featured on Style Me Pretty! The video is pretty awesome too.

(image 1, 2, 3 my own, 4, 5, 6, 7)

Hudson Valley Weekend pt.2


I had been wanting to go to the Storm King Art Center for a couple years now. I’ve seen it featured in the fashion realm via Vogue and Vince, and heard fantastic things from friends. The fact that the Hudson Valley is about 3 hours from Philly was a deterrent. However, this past weekend was the perfect excuse to go!

Back when I was speaking with my mom about a possible post-law school/mother-daughter “retreat,” we had thrown around the idea of a yoga retreat, complete with CIA eats and a visit to Storm King. These loose plans never came to fruition, but my mom was kind enough to remember how excited I was about Storm King.

We arrived at the art center on Sunday around 10:30. There was already a line of cars waiting, but it wasn’t overwhelming. This could have been due to it being Mother’s Day, as well as the gorgeous sunny weather. Still, if you are looking to visit, I suggest getting there early! Once walking up to the Visitors Center and grabbing a couple audio tours, we were off to enjoy the sculptures.

Storm King Art Center includes 500 acres of fields, hills, and woodlands, as well as over 100 sculptures. You can tell each piece was strategically placed throughout the grounds, so to provide the perfect backdrop. Some sculptures are also very large. I found it interesting to view them from far away, and then up close to see the detail and craftsmanship.

We walked the entire grounds. This was doable, but quite a walk!  There are bikes available for rent and a tram that goes through the grounds every half hour. However, we didn’t mind the walk. We thought of all the walking as taking the place of a hike that never quite happened that weekend. Needless to say, we were ready to take a break after exploring the center. One thing I LOVED about Storm King was the fact that they allow you to picnic on their grounds. They provide a cafe and picnic tables, but people were also sprawled out among the sculptures (just a little ways from the picnic tables) with blankets and picnic baskets. This is different from what I’m used to with the arboretums and gardens surrounding Philadelphia. I love the fact that you can tour, relax, and eat without so many restrictions at Storm King. Luckily, my parents and I always carry picnic gear in the car. We followed suit and laid out a picnic blanket to relax a while before leaving for the day.

I am so happy to have made it to Storm King, and I can’t wait to go back. I know I probably wasn’t able to take every piece in. In fact, I’m not sure if I even saw all the sculptures! I hear the grounds are absolutely gorgeous in the fall. Perhaps I’ll revisit then!






IMG_3461^^^Look familiar UPenn grads? Alexander Liberman is the artist of this structure above Locust Walk!





IMG_6049^^^This grass was so beautiful whenever a slight breeze came through.

IMG_6052^^^The Three Legged Buddah is part of Zhang Huan’s Evoking Tradition. It was absolutely majestic. 




IMG_6067^^^The silver piece in the center of this sculpture would rotate with the wind. Very neat. These little ones were so intrigued.

What is your favorite place to visit in the spring? Where do you like to travel when you want a weekend away?