Holiday Wishlist 2015

Hope you all had a great Thanksgiving with family and friends and are able to take the day to relax and unwind after way too much good food, wine, and company.  With all of the black Friday deals and promotions on everyone’s mind, I chose to escape the mad rush at the stores today and have been making a mental wishlist instead.  Here is a peek at some of my most coveted wishlist items for this holiday season.

holiday wishlist 2015{Top Row, Left to Right}:

1.  The prettiest lace top for every occasion.

2.  Over-the-knee boot sensation.

3.  Fun print on a classic cross-body style bag.

{Bottom Left}:

4.  Waterproof wellies for the wettest days.

{Far Right, Clockwise from Top Left}:

5.  Mix metals with this dainty ring.

6.  Comfortable kicks for every day.

7.  Wrap-around, lace-up heels for holiday parties and date night.

8.  Detailed topstitching and gold hardware in a neutral hue.

Stay tuned for more holiday gift guides coming this month!

xo gina

Chocolatey Dark Chocolate Chunk Banana Ice Cream


This chocolatey dark chocolate chunk banana ice cream is healthy while still as decadent as it sounds and uses only a few ingredients.  My toddler has been extremely picky when it comes to breakfast lately, so I am always looking for fun ways to serve up something nutritious to start her day.  I stumbled across a recipe for breakfast banana bread ice cream sundaes in my searches on the blog, Top with Cinnamon by Izy Hossack, and altered it a bit, leaving out the cinnamon that the food blogger adds to hers and including the cocoa powder she suggests, but didn’t put in her instructions.  I also folded in some chopped up dark chocolate and topped the finished recipe with a handful of chocolate pieces as well.  While I think I would leave out the cocoa powder when whipping this up for breakfast, it made for a great mid-day snack and a perfect companion for our freezer when late nights always seem call for something sweet.  It also sparked my breakfast creativity and helped me come up with some other great frozen concoctions I have planned to try this week.


{Ingredients and instructions found on Top with Cinnamon and altered slightly}

  • 3 ripe bananas (that have been peeled and frozen)
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp cocoa powder
  • 1/8 tsp almond extract
  • 1/4 of a giant Hershey’s special dark bar, chopped (reserve a handful for topping)

Optional Toppings:

  • handful of unsalted almonds, chopped
  1. Break the frozen bananas in half and place with the rest of the ingredients, except for the dark chocolate chunks!, into a food processor.
  2. Blend until smooth and creamy (you’ll have to scrape down the edges of the food processor every few minutes).
  3. Fold in the dark chocolate pieces.
  4. Transfer to a covered container and freeze for at about 2 hours.
  5. Top with remaining dark chocolate chunks and chopped almonds.




xo gina 

My Life Lately {As Told Through Photos}


There are a few points on the calendar that I use as markers for when time directly following that will fly faster than the norm, like the fourth of July, the start of the school-year, the fall and winter holidays that fall in rapid succession like dominos and propel us even further into the next coming year.  And my favorite stand-by to help slow things down a little bit is to travel to the furthest tip out east with my family.  So, that’s exactly what we did just in time before the holiday whirlwind begins back home.  Here are a few photos from my life lately and our last-minute, short and sweet getaway in the Hamptons.


My girls.


The quiet days out east are the best.


My first lady.


This building is beautiful enough and then add the vintage car and the wine barrel and it’s just striking.


Running free.


Mornings with these two.


Always exploring.


Daddy’s girls.


Play-time by the vines.

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This is happiness.

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xo gina 

Picnic In The Park Third Birthday Party {Celebrating Emma Rose}


Three is awesome.  Or it looks like it is going to be.  Either way, it is off to a great start.  Emma is her own person right now, making decisions about what she wants to be for Halloween, eat for breakfast and wear to school.  This also means that now there is more room for disagreement, more stand-offs in the parking lot of the art museum when sliding down the enormous art sculpture tops her priority list and heading home to give her and her sister a nap tops mine.  She tells us in length what went on at the playground and who joined her in the castle at the top of the slide, and which toy she spent the most time on, who pushed who, and who said they were ‘sorry.’  She goes on and on about dance class, making sure to include every detail, and rehearse every song, and attempt to mimic the steps they learned that day.  She talks to us about the things and people she looks forward to.  She imagines.  She pretends.  We are literally watching her learn to love life.  And it is awesome.  For her third birthday we had a small picnic in the park with a few of her friends and I can honestly say, she never looked happier.  It was the perfect celebration for a pretty perfect little girl.


I took lunch orders the week before from each of the guests and packed each girl their own boxed lunch for the afternoon.  I poured pink lemonade in acrylic mason jars with lids and tucked a personalized bracelet in every box for all of her friends.


Every box included a cup of fresh cut fruit, a yogurt, and a pre-packaged set of utensils from one of my favorite party supply shops, Shop Sweet Lulu.  I used a mirrored tray from our home in the center of the table as well as jars and vases we had lying around that were filled with pretty flowers from the grocery store.


We stacked four wooden pallets, two on top of each other, next to another two on top of each other, to make a table for the girls that would be the perfect height for them to sit on pillows and enjoy their picnic.




The pillows were a mix from Urban Outfitters, Target, One Kings Lane, and from our home.


The guest of honor sporting her current favorite color, purple.


I made this four-layer cake, taking a shortcut by using boxed yellow cake.  I whipped up fresh cream with berries the morning of the party and layered the whipped topping between each layer of cake.  A few drops of red and blue food coloring added to white cookie icing was poured on top of the cake and garnished with flowers from our kitchen.  These apple cider donut holes from Montclair Bread Co. and the colorful macaroons from Asalt & Buttery were so delicious, neither lasted long.


The assorted sandwiches from Fresco Market & Catering were for the adults and parents at the party and the silverware, plates and napkins were easy to reach, so everyone there could serve themselves.


I made Emma and her friends a second cake that was a little bit sweeter, another four-layers of boxed cake mix with food coloring to give the cake a lavender shade, and vanilla buttercream between each layer.  The outside of the cake was topped with vanilla buttercream, too, with swirls of purple icing and a gold glitter candle for the birthday girl to blow out.


My Favorite Party Details From This Picnic in the Park Celebration:

  • The gold, mirrored bar cart
  • The naked cake with fresh whipped cream and berries
  • The wooden pallet picnic table for the kids
  • and MORE!


Stylist:  Pumpkin + Rose

Photos:  Pumpkin + Rose:

Catering: Fresco Market & Catering

Gold, Mirrored Bar Cart: Pumpkin + Rose

Picnic Boxes: Shop Sweet Lulu

Napkins: Shop Sweet Lulu

Utensils: Shop Sweet Lulu

Paper Plates: Shop Sweet Lulu 

Paper Straws: Shop Sweet Lulu

Melamine Round Dessert Plates: Shop Sweet Lulu

Cake stands: Pumpkin + Rose

Cakes: Emma’s mommy :)

Wooden pallet picnic table: Pumpkin + Rose

White and Gold Tassel Garland: Glam Fete

Gold ‘3’ Balloon: Party City

Gold Serving Platters: Home Goods

Flowers: Whole Foods

Fabric Tent: Pumpkin + Rose

Gold Mirror Tray: Pumpkin + Rose


Assorted Pillows: Pumpkin + Rose, Urban Outfitters, Target, One Kings Lane

*All Pumpkin + Rose items are available for rental in the NJ/NYC tri-state area*


xo gina

Fall Essentials


{Scored this colorful open-front blanket cape at Nordstrom Rack recently}

Fall is my favorite season for so many reasons, but somewhere towards the top of the list, with the apple pie and the pumpkin picking, is the fact that we get to break out our coziest knits and sweaters and wear them on repeat.  Two of my absolute fall essentials this year have to be the blanket cape and the knit poncho.  And the best part is that you can find both of this season’s top trends at a fraction of the price at so many different online retailers.


The open-front, wool-blend blanket cape is as comfortable as it sounds and is the perfect option to fight off the chilly autumn air.  It has been a staple of mine this fall at football games and outdoor activities and will be the easiest piece to transition into winter.  It will also be the perfect companion on flights this holiday season, doubling as a scarf and a blanket on the plane.


{Grabbed this knit cape at my local T.J. Maxx last month}

The knit poncho is the quickest way to pull an outfit together when the weather gets cool and I love the options that have fringe details, like this one pictured, and a cowl-neck or turtleneck to keep extra warm.


Easy to pair with jeans and a t-shirt or lightweight sweater underneath, both of these fall essentials are a simple and affordable way to look polished all season long.

Shop some of my favorite open-front blanket capes:

1. Colorblock Blanket Cape (ON SALE NOW!)

2. Open-Front Blanket Poncho (AN ADDITIONAL 40% OFF!)

3. Stripe Fringe Detail Cape

Shop some of my favorite knit ponchos:

1. Fuzzy Yarn Poncho

2. Fringe Turtleneck Poncho

3. Camel Fringe Poncho


xo gina