{recipe} soft & chewy chocolate chip cookies


I think I have 6 different "favorite" chocolate chip cookie recipes. It's just that, I get bored. Don't get me wrong, I'll make a winning recipe over and over again but I also love trying new stuff. I recently made these insane chocolate chip cookies and I'm never looking back. I'm so glad I stored some pre-portioned dough in the freezer for all those immediate cookie cravings. 

These cookies don't spread much when they cook precisely because the dough needs to be refrigerated before baking. Don't plan on making these cookies and eating them in 30 minutes. The crucial step is letting the dough chill which takes at least 2 hours. They are small but mighty delicious. They come out of the oven thick and gooey and they stay that way even after they cool. This is the chewiest, chocolatiest cookie I've ever had. Also, feel free to use your favorite combination of chocolate chips. This is just what I had on hand.

{our wedding} the details


You guys, Pinterest is the worst....when I comes to planning a wedding. So are wedding blogs like this one. Oh my gosh, I became obsessed! This blog was my life and it was really sad. I had to have every "trendy" "Pinterest-worthy" detail and it consumed me. Finally, after having a good "come-to-Jesus" moment with myself, I got a grip and focused on the things that really mattered. I love how the day turned out. The venue, colors, theme all came together just right.

Our guest book from Artifact Uprising was such a hit! Everyone commented on it and we loved reading all the notes the next day. It's now sitting on our coffee table and it's a great reminder of our special day.

thimble islands


Growing up in Westport, CT meant that I lived in a bubble. We rarely ventured beyond the city limits unless we were going to Greenwich to do some extensive shopping. I honestly had no idea what the eastern coast of Connecticut had to offer. Now that we're living in New Haven, we're making a point to explore the other coastal Connecticut cities.

After a lazy morning of pancakes and french press coffee, we headed out to our first stop on this Connecticut coastline tour. Our destination, the Thimble Islands. We took the "scenic route" out there which just meant we avoided I-95 at all costs. C loves going for a drive, so we rolled down the windows and took in the amazing weather and scenery.

We took this cruise and soaked up some sun while exploring the Long Island Sound. It was a great afternoon and a perfect date! The houses are so cool and it's fun to imagine what life would be like living on one of these teeny, tiny islands.

monday musings.


>> Let's talk about the VMAs for a second. First of all, who still watches music videos? Second, what is/was the point of music videos in the first place? But more importantly, holy. justin. timberlake. That was everything. I die. The entire 30 minute mash-up of all my favorite JT songs was amazing but I was so anxious to see N*SYNC. Seriously, best ever. I promptly turned the VMAs off after that. I just couldn't. I have since been inspired to play Justin Timberlake throwbacks all day long.

>> I'm still really digging Barre3 online workouts. The hardest part is choosing which workout to do! I can definitely feel the burn though so I do think they are working. It's so nice to do it whenever I want from home.

>> We're thinking about testing out the Hotel Tonight app to book a place to stay for Labor Day. We're hoping to go to Newport and NYC or some place close but everything is SO booked. Hopefully this app will be our ticket to a romantic weekend getaway! 

>> I can't wait to share my post about our boat cruise around the Thimble Islands. We had such a great time exploring the little town and oogling at the insane houses on these tiny islands. Great date day.

>> I've dialed in the best smoothie combo ever. And, I'm willing to share. It consists of unsweetened vanilla almond milk, chocolate protein powder, frozen banana, peanut butter, frozen blueberries and some spinach. Honestly, it's awesome.

>> I'm going back to Dallas in just two weeks and I'm PUMPED to see my sweet friends get married. I'm also planning to make a stop at DryBar, Blue Goose and Northpark. There's a chance I'll make an appearance at tailgate too. My cowboy boots are feeling lonely.

>> I'm planning on making a double batch of these bad boys for a little get together tonight for the Yale Partner's club.

image via

book review // Bread & Wine


I just spent a few quiet moments on this beautiful Saturday finishing Bread & Wine by Shauna Niequist. I read the first 150 pages within hours of receiving the book in the mail last week. Then I tried to slow myself down because I didn't want the book to be over so soon! That's when you know you're reading a good book. 

My sweet friend Mary first brought this book to my attention a few months ago. I heard about Shauna's two other books, Cold Tangerines and Bittersweet, and this was her newest. I'd had her books on my reading list for awhile but kept pushing them to the side when I looked for a new book. I typically read on my Nook but I knew that I wanted to read the paper version of her books so that I could mark them up with all my thoughts. 

I finally ordered Bread & Wine and I'm kicking myself for waiting so long. it. is. so. good. I dogeared basically every other page because she said something awesome or because I wanted to try the recipe. Her writing is fluid, easy to read, and thoughtful. Each chapter is a short story, maybe just a few pages long, but her points are so well made. 

About 30 pages into the book, Shauna writes about being hungry. She writes about loving food and finally admitting that she's "hungry". Mostly for food, but also for life. And she goes on to say...
"To feed one's body, to admit one's hunger, to look one's appetite straight in the eye without fear or shame - this is controversial work in our culture.
Part of being a Christian means practicing grace in all sorts of big and small and daily ways, and my body gives me the opportunity to demonstrate grace, to make peace with imperfection every time I see myself in the mirror. On my best days, I practice grace and patience with myself, knowing that I can't extend grace and patience if I haven't tasted it."
Preach Shauna. And so, this is how the book continues. With Shauna's wise, smart, and insightful remarks about our daily life. About gathering around a table, sharing a meal, the bread and the wine. She really hit the nail on the head with this book. I would have highlighted every line...but that's just called coloring. 

And then there's the recipes. Amazingly simple, but worth mentioning all the same. I found all her notes and anecdotes about the recipes so fun to read. I already have grand bread making plans for Monday. 

In lieu of finishing this book so fast, I went ahead and ordered her two other books. I'm sure I'll have them finished by the end of next week. Thank goodness she writes a blog... 

DIY // repurposing an old window


Shortly after C and I arrived in New Haven, we checked out this amazing salvage store. It's such a bizarre place with sinks, hardwood floors, marble tiles, and of course, old windows. I immediately knew I had to have one to hang in our new place.

I scooped up this window for $5, a steal! This one was in great condition which meant I really didn't have to do much. 

I cleaned it up and installed some little hooks on the back so that I could hang it on our wall. I chose to hang the "nicer" side facing out primarily because I didn't want the window to look too rough. I also sanded the frame down a little bit to get some dirt, stairs and impurities off. I wanted to try to sand most of the white paint off in spots but I just didn't have the energy.

book review // Blue Bistro


I love reading on the beach. But I'm easily distracted so I need something that's easy to pick up and put down.

I downloaded this book just before we left for our honeymoon and ended up finishing it in record time. 

The story is set in Nantucket, where my awesome sister works and lives! The characters are funny and relatable, but slightly predictable. I didn't mind that though. Sometimes it's just nice to zone out when I read. The book was also easy to read while simultaneously people watching at the pool. I enjoyed Elin's writing style and I would definitely consider reading another one of her books. She has a whole selection of "summer reads" to choose from so I would recommend picking up one of her books as the summer winds down. My guess it that they all have a similar flow and style to them but they won't disappoint.

PS. Totally unrelated but I just did my first Barre3 workout, just a quick 30 minute one, and my whole body is burning. So intense. I love it.

august beauty favorites


A friend of mine once told me that I should go into sales because I was telling them about my favorite photo book vendor and I apparently did a really good job convincing them that the product was legit. When I find something I love, I'm usually quick to spread the word. What better place to share my beauty faves than on my blog!

Alright, here is this month's starting lineup. If you haven't already noticed, our little back porch has become the perfect spot for my blogging photography. Also, the midday sun that I get to take advantage of since I'm not working is really working for me too.

Organix Shampoo & Conditioner >>> I love trying out different shampoos/conditioners. I used to gravitate towards the expensive "salon" brand stuff until unemployment struck. While that stuff really does an awesome job, I've found the Organix brand makes some pretty quailty products too. At first, I was using the Nourishing Coconut Milk Shampoo and Hydrating Macadamia Oil Conditioner. In truth, this is just because that's basically all my Target had at the time. I recently pick up the "Thick & Full" line and I'm really liking it. I think it gives my hair a little more grit and texture which it needs. I have a lot of hair but it's very fine so it quickly goes limp if I don't give it some love. I've also been using the Sea Salt Spray for summer, beachy waves (love it, no crunch) and the Coconut Oil Mist which I spray on my super dry ends. I think it's a quality line with tons of great options and everything is under $10!

monday musings.


I've had my eye on this Etsy shop for awhile now...

>> I finally ordered Bread & Wine and I can't wait to start it. Unemployment is working for me...for now.

>> I browsed the Lilly sale this morning once they got their site working again but I just couldn't pull the trigger on anything. There's tons of cute stuff though so if you DO have a job, you should check it out. Soon.

>> How amazing are these leopard loafers I snagged at Target for $20?! It's ok, don't be too jealous.

>> We discovered New Haven's answer to Tiff's Treats and it's called Insomnia Cookies. Dare I say they are even better than Tiff's?

>> We have some friends who will be in Dallas for work training soon so of course we sent them an extensive list of places to eat. Definitely made us a little nostalgic for some of our favorite Dallas eats like Blue Goose and Oddfellows.

>> I had a wonderful Skype date with my dear friend and my god-puppy! Catching up with her made me realize how lucky I am to have such wonderful friends...and modern technology!

>> I slowly dumped myself out of bed this morning when C got up so that I could make him lunch. I figure I better make good use of unemployment by treating him to some lunches. 

>> I really want to sign up for a membership for this after reading about it from Eat, Live, Run. She always says she gets a great workout!

>> I made the most amazing chia latte with this tea this morning. Total indulgence. Another indulgence...this fro yo I picked up last night. Insane.

{our wedding} the slideshow


I didn't cry the day of our wedding. I did have a bit of a meltdown on Friday morning but not a tear was shed on the big day. But then, our wonderful photographer sent our slideshow. I lost it. It was like reliving the day all over again. It was so amazing to see all our friends and family having an amazing time and celebrating us. 

Since it's Friday, the weather is amazing and's Friday, I thought I'd share our slideshow with you here. Hope your day is as wonderful as this video.

{our wedding} the honeymoon


Shortly after we got engaged, C announced that we'd be honeymooning in Hawaii. Ok well maybe he wasn't that dramatic but he had a pretty strong opinion about it. Knowing that I had more on my plate than I could handle, I gladly accepted his willingness to plan and execute the most perfect honeymoon. 

It wasn't until just a week or so before we left, that I was clued in to what we'd be doing. We sat down together and picked out a bunch of activities that we had our travel agent (she was amazing!) book. When we arrived at the hotel, they simply printed our itinerary and we were on our way. 

Our honeymoon consisted of a bit of adventure mixed with plenty of beach/pool time. We ate some of the most amazing meals, we explored waterfalls, we met great people, we slept in, we ate our weight in carbs at breakfast, and we took it all one day at a time.

So in honor of celebrating 1 month of marriage, I'm sharing a few pictures of our adventure with you!

Destination: Kauai, HI

>> Merriman's Fish House (seriously best meal I've ever had...)

>> Horseback Riding - CJM Country Stables
>> Helicopter Tour and landing at Jurassic Park Waterfall - Island Helicopters
>> Napali Coast Sunset Sail - Capt. Andy's
>> Lu'au - Grand Hyatt Kauai

We also toted this book everywhere we went. It was a gift from friends who had previously honeymooned in Kauai. 

monday musings.


Recently, I've felt a little self-consious about sharing stuff on this blog. I had one of those revelations where I was, everything anyone wanted to know about's all here...

But that moment didn't last long and I'm back at it, updating away!

>> C started orientation for school last week. It. was. insane. He's basically at school all day and then there is usual a social function at night that I tag along to. We've met some great people already and we're attempting to settle into a routine. Actual classes won't start until next week.

>> Two weeks ago, before orientation started, we took a little trip to Baltimore to pick up a few things from the new in-laws, see friends etc. It was great to catch up with the Baltimore gang for a few days. However, the drive. Yikes. We must have the worst luck with traffic. We're taking the train from now on. 

>> Our place really feels like home after we built an awesome bench from Target and hung our coat rack (yay registry present!). In celebration, we threw our first party last week to kick off orientation. We invited three other couples over for appetizers, drinks and dessert. The event was a huge hit and it was so fun to show off our place. I'll be sure to follow up with a post detailing all the goodies we made. 

>> I just got my membership to the Yale gym last week. I also FINALLY signed up for a membership at Black Swan Yoga TV. Basically, for $8/month you subscribe to a teacher's channel and you can watch yoga videos whenever you want. They have all different varieties, lengths,'s such an amazing site. And for less than the cost of one studio class. I subscribed to Alisha and took her Sun Salutations class yesterday afternoon. Loved it. 

>> C and I have been doing some running around our neighborhood but I've definitely been working out much less than I did in Dallas. I've been toying with the idea of running the Hartford Half in October...which means I should probably get my butt into gear. I'm hoping that with my new gym membership, I'll be more inclined to mix up my workouts and start swimming again. I'm also still interested in exploring the world of spinning so I'm excited to see the Yale gym class schedule when that comes out.

>> Tomorrow C and I will have been married for one whole month. Whaaaa?? It feels like the wedding was just yesterday. We're already obsessed with the pictures we've seen that perfectly captured our day.

>> We spent Saturday night just outside Queens visiting this amazing couple we met on our honeymoon. They had waited 30 years to make the trip to Hawaii! We had such a blast chatting with them on our boat cruise (which reminds me, I owe you a honeymoon post!) that they insisted we come over for dinner when we returned from our trip. We had such a wonderful dinner with them and we got to meet their daughter and new-ish (1 year) husband. People man. They'll getcha which that kindness thing.

>> I finally got C out on the golf course with me last week and we had a blast. It took me at least 6 holes to get back in my groove but it was great to be back out on my home course. C is exploring the idea of getting some sticks of his own so we can play the Yale course together. 

>> There was also this time where I made biscuits on Saturday morning...on a whim. 



T-shirts. I probably have 20+ tees in my drawer. I probably wear 3 of them. My past favorite tees used to be those super soft vintage tees from JCrew. Then I realized that after just a few washings, they were shredding. So that was awesome. 

But seriously, let's talk about finding the perfect t-shirt. Some are too sheer. Most shrink the minute you wash them. The torso is too short. They stretch out too much. The problems are endless. And the tees that actually do fit the bill, usually come with a hefty price tag. 

Then there was Everlane. And the world was made right. The tees are $15. They don't have a store. They are cutting out the middle man. Genius! 

Not only do they make the most perfect tees (I ordered two and now need 6 more...), they have also curated the most perfect selection of men's and women's basics. I'm on my way to ordering one of everything. 

Why did it take someone so long to make something so perfect?

This is not a sponsored post. I just really like t-shirts and want you to know about a super awesome brand. However, I do earn referral rewards if you use my link.
© ALESSANDRA MARIE • Theme by Maira G.