October’s Mix: Pumpkin Spice Moscow Mules

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Hi guys,

It’s time to share October’s mix with you. This month’s drink is similar to September in that it’s a fun twist on a popular cocktail. When I think October I immediately think of colorful leaves, fall spices, and pumpkin of course. These very best parts of fall inspired October’s drink: a Pumpkin Spice Moscow Mule. After adding pumpkin flavor to almost every aspect of my diet and lifestyle, a cocktail felt like the natural next step in the progression of my pumpkin addiction.

When walking through the kitchen section of Homegoods, I saw a variety of pumpkin flavor syrups. These are meant to add a little flavor to coffees but I wondered what else they could do. Trying to imagine what this would pair well with, I decided vodka was probably one of my best bets. I also love classic Moscow Mules and figured the ginger beer would be a nice paring with the pumpkin spice.

I was a little weary at first because one of my favorite flavors in drinks is lime, so I was nervous that eliminating that from the recipe would ruin it – but I was fairly certain pumpkin and lime wouldn’t be the best combination of flavors. Eliminating this, I sought to add something else to the mix to bring out the spice and help to cut down the sweetness. Cinnamon did just the trick, but I think nutmeg could be a yummy spice to throw into the mix as well!

This recipe did take a little trial and error, and I even had it reviewed my BSB’s very own cocktail expert, aka my mom. I underestimated how strong the pumpkin spice flavoring was. I initially used 2 oz, but it was so overpowering it was hard to notice any of the other flavors at all. Eventually we settled on an ideal mix which you can find below!

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What are some of your favorite fall drinks? Comment below!

Love Ashley

Apple Picking

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Every family has their traditions. As time goes on we grow out of some, let others go, and create new ones.  Growing up, many of our family traditions were known as “forced family fun.” I can still remember the dread of having to get out of my warm bed on a chilly weekend morning to tag along on another reluctant adventure. Looking back now, these are some of my most cherished memories.

One tradition I can always remember loving was apple picking. Every year my two siblings and I climb trees to reach the best apples we can find. In recent years it has been getting harder to find a time that we can all be together but I was so happy when we all made the trip to Brooksby’s Farm, in Peabody this past Saturday. It took a little bit of coaxing and some tough negotiating (my brother would only agree to three pictures and not a single click of a camera more), but we managed to make it work.

When my mom and I went earlier in the season, the line was incredibly long so I was nervous that we would have to deal with long lines and crowds again, but it was way less busy! We go to walk right into the orchard and climb any tree we wanted. The apples tasted so good we couldn’t stop eating them.

After we had picked our share, we went over to the pumpkin patch. As kids the rule was that you had to be able to carry your pumpkin to the car. I think on those days I developed super human strength because I was always determined to take home the biggest one I could find. Now I think the little round ones are the cutest.

Next to the pumpkin patch is the farm stand where we get to the best part of our trip – apple cider donuts. Thankfully this line was shorter than usual too and we were able to grab a warm batch of donuts and some cider too. Shortly after it was time for us all to go off about our days. Life seems to be getting busier every year but I’m so thankful for the traditions that have stood the test of time and allow us to all be together again.

Do you have any special fall traditions? Comment them below!

Love Ashley

What’s in my Mug

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I used to firmly believe that crisp fall mornings were meant for sleeping in and staying in my warm bed for as long as possible. Now that I have a puppy who wakes me up before the sun even thinks to rise, I find myself enjoying a new part of the fall days. One thing that makes it easier for most people (myself included) to wake up earlier is caffeine. I have never been a major coffee fanatic, but lately I find I’m starting to rely on it more and more. Now that the fall season is in full swing, I get to bring my love of all things pumpkin into the mix. To celebrate my new fond love (need) for coffee in my daily life, I am sharing what’s in my mug through the week:

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Weekday Mornings

I am up and out of the house around 6:00 on the weekdays, so caffeine is a must. To be honest, I never actually learned how to make coffee in a pot (I can imagine it’s probably a super obvious process that would nonetheless confuse me), so having a Keurig is a lifesaver. I have three different fall-themed K-cups that I use:

Starbucks Pumpkin Spice Medium Roast Coffee Keurig K-Cup Pod

Green Mountain Coffee Pumpkin Spice Coffee Medium Roast K-Cop Pod

and Stop & Shop’s Pumpkin Spice Keurig K-Cup Pod

I love how quick and easy it is to have my coffee ready to go. I have really begun to appreciate travel mugs. This adorable Kate Spade one was a gift from my best friend Abby! It’s really coming in handy these days, so thanks Babs! Because my love of pumpkin is extreme. I also add pumpkin flavored creamer to cut down the bitterness a little.

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When it feels like Summer but looks like Fall

On fall days that feel like they belong back in August, I stay with my pumpkin theme but keep things cool by getting and iced coffee instead. My mom and I love Dunkin’ Donuts Pumpkin Swirl flavor. She gets it hot and black with just one pump, while I’ll take it hot or cold with almond milk. When the weather gets cooler, I tend to switch over to hot coffee, so it’s nice to be able to shake things up every once in a while.

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Whenever I can find an excuse to go to a Starbucks

The Pumpkin Spice Latte from Starbucks is one of my all-time favorite things about fall. Any time I’m out running errands or need a midday pick me up, I find myself wandering in to get one. The other day I got an extra one for free and I was so happy I wanted to hug the barista. These cups of happiness really just make my day.

What are some of your go-to drinks?

I wanted to hear all about what’s in you mug too, so comment below!

Love Ashley

Fall Fanatic

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Happy fall y’all!

As soon as it was October, I fully embraced every aspect of the autumn season. I think to say fall is my favorite time of the year may be an understatement. Don’t get me wrong, I’m a total water baby who loves the summer sun, but there is just something about a crisp fall day in New England that brings back years of happy memories. Some of my favorite fall activities include: asking everyone in my family at least once per day if they will go apple picking with me, taking the scenic route home (going way out of my way on my commute home to find any and all trees that have changed color), consuming apple and pumpkin products in any capacity, almost exclusively, making far too many trips to Home Goods, and repeatedly saying “Oh wow, I just love fall.” I welcome the eyerolls from those of you who think I am as basic as they come because I love this time of year and nothing is going to stop me from taking it all in every second I can.

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This fall though is especially wonderful because I now have my pup! I love having a puppy around because I finally have someone who is just as excited by everyday things as I am. Luca doesn’t mind that I want to stop every five seconds to look at a tree or some pumpkins. He is more than happy to stop with me and smell anything and everything in his path. He makes everything an adventure and I am so blessed to have a new companion by my side!

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Our most recent adventure took us to Brooksby’s Farm in Peabody. I have been coming here for as long as I remember. One of our oldest traditions is taking pictures with my siblings in the apple trees. Almost every year it seems make the Christmas card picture because it’s just about the only time my mom can get us all together. I think the only reason this seems to work is because we know that there are warm apple cider donuts waiting for us inside the little farm stand. The line is almost always to the door when we go but the wait is always worth it.

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I think I may have done every fall activity imaginable, but that won’t stop me from trying to find more. If you love fall like I do and have some fun activities to share, comment them below!

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The Monthly Mix: Prosecco Paloma

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Hi everyone!

I am so excited to share my new little project with you guys: the Monthly Mix! Each month I will be sharing a new drink recipe on the blog. I honestly can’t wait to find new drink recipes myself because I’m getting a little tired of the same old cocktails and am definitely ready to shake things up a little (see what I did there..).

September is a tricky month because everyone starts gearing up for fall but the weather is still warm most of the way through. This seems especially true this year in Boston because most days have been in the mid-70s and above! Because of this, I decided to choose a fun new twist on a classic refreshing drink, the Prosecco Paloma.

This new concoction came to me recently after discovery two great things in this world: 1. The Paloma and 2. Trader Joe’s Grapefruit Prosecco. The only thing I don’t like about this drink is how long it took me to find out about it. I have lived 22 whole years of my life never having heard the word ‘Paloma.’ Granted, up until a year and half ago it didn’t pertain to me much, but now that I’m feeling 22 and living out my life as a post-grad, I knew it was time to find something to order out at a bar or restaurant.

Before I get into this drink, I’ll give you some background on the classic Paloma.  Let my preface this by saying that I am an avid tequila lover. To some this is a deal breaker, so if this is you, don’t be alarmed, I’ve found this recipe works great with vodka too! If you are like me and a big tequila fan, or even a moderate tequila fan and don’t know what a Paloma is, then you’re in luck because I’m about to blow your mind. Conversely, if you are far more sophisticated than me and have known about this drink forever,  then sorry, but stay with me because this isn’t your typical Paloma here.

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So I’ve ordered just a regular Paloma a few times now, – you know, making sure I did my thorough research and all – and I’ve discovered a few things. First, there are a couple different ways to mix up this classic. Some make it with grapefruit soda, while others opt for grapefruit juice and soda water. Personally, I like it best with fresh grapefruit and lime juice and seltzer, I think the soda is too sweet. Second, the tequila used plays a major role in this drink. I feel like this is may be and obvious observation and true with all drinks, but especially in this case, get the good stuff. I am certainly not an tequila expert, but I pretty much exclusively drink Patron because its clean and doesn’t make me want to curl up in a ball once the sun rises the next day. So as far as your typical Paloma goes, here are the main takeaways: stick to the good stuff- fresh juices, clean clear tequila, and seltzer are all you need, may be a little simple syrup if you like things on the sweeter side.

A Paloma is also a great lower calorie alternative to other drinks like margaritas and fruity cocktails. It really just depends on what you put in and without the added sugar of soda there isn’t much “bad” in it. You can find my favorite classic recipe here. Now onto my own twist…

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I am a big grapefruit fan, again something that people seem to either love or hate. I am also a big Prosecco fan. Putting this all together, I was beyond ecstatic when my darling mother came home with a bottle of grapefruit Prosecco from Trader Joe’s. I instantly dreamed up a way to combine it with my newfound favorite: the Paloma. I think the Prosecco strikes the perfect balance between the bubbles of the seltzer, while adding a little more sweetness without being too much like the soda. Given all the ingredients, I guess you could argue this is more of a summer drink, but I personally love it and think it can be consumer year round…where there’s a will there’s a way!

This drink is perfect for parties and I am just in love with the color of it. If I’m being completely honest, the color alone would have probably been enough to entice me and was one of the things that made me fall in love with Palomas before I even tasted one. I added some cute straws from Target to complete the look (they were $1 for the pack, so I couldn’t resist). I had a blast sipping this drink. I hope you guys like this recipe and be sure to let me know what you think below in the comments section! I would also love to hear if you have any suggestions for upcoming monthly mixes, so if there is anything I should true, comment below!

 

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A Sunny Lunch at Sea

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odysseylunch-10Hi guys,

In my last post I talked about my family visiting and how I got to adventure around my home state with them. One of those adventures was a lunch cruise around the Boston Harbor aboard the Odyssey. I have gone on the Odyssey before for a dinner cruise. I absolutely love it every time. It was cool getting the chance to see the views in the daylight and it was absolutely beautiful out.

For my adventure at sea, I wore a pink ruffle top bodysuit and my favorite white eyelet shorts, both from Forever 21. I also wore a pair of nude wedges that I got a few years back and still love to wear. My bag was probably my favorite part of the whole outfit! It was such a fun way to add pops of pink to an everyday summer bag. I got it at Homegoods for under $20 and the best part is that’s insulated, so I can use it as a cooler when I head out for a day at the beach!

Shop this post

Bodysuit: Forever 21 | Shorts: Forever 21 (similar here) | Shoes: Jessica Simpson (similar here) | Bag: Homegoods (similar here & here) |

 

Roaming around Rockport, MA

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My mom’s side of the family have been in town for the past week. They came out to celebrate my sister’s and my graduations. While they were with us, I got to play tourist in the Bay State and explore some of my favorite spots. One of my mom’s and my favorite spots is Rockport, a small beach town. Fun fact: it was on of the shooting locations for the movie “The Proposal,” with Sandra Bullock and Ryan Reynolds.

Rockport is known for its nautical charm. I love all the little shops, especially the ones that have salt water taffy. When we first got to Lockport it was raining and the sky was really dark. Luckily though the sun eventually came out and my family got to see the full beauty of this small little port town.

The furry little guy in some of these photos is Luca, my new pup. I can’t wait to share a whole post about him with you guys, but I’m waiting to get a few more good shots of him..and he doesn’t like to sit still for very long which makes that difficult.

Have you guys ever been to Rockport or another costal town? Which is your favorite? Comment below!

A Dress for Every Spring Occasion

Guess what…it’s officially dress season! The temperatures are rising, the sun is hanging around longer, and the promise of a season filled with fun occasions is in the air. This spring is particularly busy for me because both my sister and I are graduating – her from high school and I from college. This means lots of reasons to play dress up!

For the past few weeks I have been scouring the internet to find the perfect dresses for everything from formal and day events of my senior week, to graduation ceremonies, to backyard parties. I figured I would share some of my favorite findings with you guys, in case you are in need of some pretty new looks as well. I have organized them by color and you can click on them to shop each one. Enjoy!

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BTWR-WD243_V1_102609668BTWR-WD133_V1pink gingham_102960630_102607699BARD-WD136_V1 LIKR-WD127_V1  romper hpeyelet corla orange romper peach bowNBDR-WD833_V1peach dressorangelace yellowyellow ginghamyellow wrapPRIP-WD472_V1yellow halteryellow ots

yellow green romperlight greengreen flowersgreen ginghamgreen bluegreen halterblue floralblue nordstromblue laceblue otsblue dotsblue purplepruple longsleevepurple midipurple romperpurple buttonspurple dotspurple lace

 

Let me know which are your favorites in the comment section below!

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Pineapple Grove

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Happy Friday!

If you guys are new to BSB, I’ve been sharing some of my favorite places and styles from me spring break trip to Florida that I took earlier this month. You can check out my other days here! Today’s post is about one of my favorite murals located on Pineapple Grove on Atlantic Avenue, in Delray Beach! I love all the fun colors and, of course, the pineapples!

I’m loving all things pineapple right now (like so many others). I actually recently purchased the cutest pineapple drink mixer from Tommy Bahama at Marshall’s. You can find a similar one here from amazon!

Anyway, my mom and I stayed pretty close to Atlantic Avenue, so we made frequent stops there. On our way to dinner at Park Tavern, we stopped by this mural to capture a few shots. We also walked around through some shops. I always love to go into the Tommy Bahama store on Atlantic (and the one by me at home) because I am in love with the smell. If you haven’t been in, and don’t know what I’m talking about, you need to go and smell for yourself.

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Another favorite shop of mine is the Snappy Turtle, everything is so bright and colorful. It’s really like a dream. Even their dressing rooms are adorable. I love to stop in when I’m in the area and see all the bright patterns.

What are some of your favorite vacation shops? Comment below!

Outfit details: Romper: Tobi (mine is a few years old, so I’ve linked some similar yellow styles here, here, and here) | Jean Jacket: Forever 21 (Old, similar here and here) | Shoes: Old from DSW (similar here, here, and here) | Bag: Revolve, Lulus, Amazon |

 

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Blue and White Stripes at Mizner Park

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Hi guys,

In case you haven’t begun to notice from my last couple of posts, I have been wearing a lot of blue and white so far (and there’s only more to come). I love blue and white together, especially in spring and summer. It makes sense too considering I chose them for my site’s colors, my room, and a huge part of my wardrobe. I think the colors go well together and remind me of my favorite place to be – by the water!

I have also noticed that this trend is catching on. A lot of the stuff I have been seeing at my favorite stores are featuring a lot of blue and white and a lot of stripes! For dinner on Monday night, my mom and I went to a restaurant in Boca, called Louie Bossi. I went there on NYE this year for dinner before heading out for the night. I love their food, especially their pizza which they cook for 90 seconds at 900ºF. It comes out crisp on the bottom but with a nice doughy center to the crust.

For dinner, my mom and I split a wild mushroom pizza and the lobster pasta special they had. It was all so good. I can’t wait to go back next time I’m down there. Before heading to dinner though, we stopped at Mizner Park for a little and walked around. I love Mizner for two reasons. First, the shops are the best! I love to walk through them and see all the cute stuff. Second, it’s pink!…enough said.

What are some of your favorite places in Southern Florida? Comment below!

Outfit details: Top: Forever 21 | Jeans: Joe’s Jeans | Bag: Revolve, Lulus, Amazon | |Shoes: Old from DSW (similar here & here)

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