Babe Cave Reveal

All that obsessive HGTV watching and Pinterest pinning has finally paid off! Check out my Babe Cave.

The hubs and I bought our lovely house back in the fall of 2015. I call it my little yellow brick house. Yup, that’s right, because it is a yellow brick house… Anyhow, we bought the house for a number of reasons, as one does, but a big part of the appeal was that it had plenty of room to grow and we knew we could hang out a while before it started feeling cramped. The family who lived in the house before us had two kids and they let their kids pick the paint colors for their respective rooms. This meant that we inherited a neon green bedroom and a blue bedroom. Honestly, the blue room was totally tolerable but that neon green was the first to go! I turned the green room in to our guest room and chose a spa kind of vibe for the paint color. It’s pretty cozy and so far no complaints from guests but we did have one friend who was sad that we painted over the neon green.

The blue room sat around a while with no real plans. We just kind of threw things in it and I quickly claimed the walk in closet for my dresses and such. It will make a great nursery one day but since we haven’t crossed that bridge yet, I realized what we needed was a work/chill space just for me (haha!). Listen, guys go on and on about man caves so this isn’t that crazy right?  Also, since I like to keep myself busy doing blog posts, planning dinner parties, supporting female entrepreneurs, oh and working a 9-5 job, clearly I NEED my own space even if it is just to take a breather in between all that!

So check it out. I listed some of the more unique finds and where you can get your own (or similar).

Disclaimer: This is not a sponsored post and there are no affiliates link except where indicated. All thoughts and opinions are my own. Stores are listed only to provide reference. I am not receiving any compensation from any of the retailers listed below. 

P.S. I would like to thank Pinterest for making this possible haha.

Desk – Ikea; Lamp – HomeGoods; Side Table – At Home; Chair – HomeGoods; Craft Cart – Michael’s

I wanted the room to be feminine and clean and for some reason immediately fell in love with the idea of rose gold, white, and grey. I painted the lovely blue walls with a paint called Butter Icing by Olympic Paints. There was a part of me that wanted to paint the walls white but I realized that wasn’t really my style also I am fairly certain I would cringe at every smudge or speck of dirt on the wall. This color is soft and neutral enough but still has a cozy pink tone which I think makes the room warm and adorable. It works perfectly with some of the other colors in the house and the spa vibe that I took in the guest room.

Note: I am the worst at picking paint colors. I probably try at least a dozen before just walking in to the store and picking a color right on the spot and calling it a day. I am a make a decision and commit kind of girl.

Fur Chair – At Home; Pillow – At Home; Curtains – At Home; Frame (spray painted rose gold) – At Home; Bunny – WhiteFauxTaxidermy (Etsy)

Can we talk about this corner for a second? OMG I love everything about it! I saw this chair in the store and just knew I had to have it. I searched the entire store trying to find the right pillow to go with it and this sparkly gem jumped out at me right when I was about to give up. I couldn’t have dreamed up a better combo. The bunny is also a favorite find. I spent about an hour on WhiteFauxTaxidermy’s page on Etsy debating which animal would make the perfect addition to my room. I landed on the Lola bunny because she’s the cutest, duh! There is a chance I’ll buy everyone in my life one of these because don’t we all need fake animal heads on our walls?

White Frames – Ikea; Prints – Etsy; Map of Pittsburgh – Modern Map Art

I kind of knew going in what I was going to put on the walls (aside from Lola). A friend gifted me a set of love letter napkins for Christmas and I knew I could never eat with them because they are too sweet. I decided framing them would be the best thing to do. I was an English major in college so these really speak to the romantic literary nerd in me. Aren’t they the best!

The map of Pittsburgh streets is also a new fave. I received this print from the folks at Modern Map Art and I actually fell in love with some of their other prints of cities that are near and dear to my heart, like Chicago! It’s modern and simple and a perfect addition the space. Note: The link listed for Modern Map Art is an affiliate link and I will receive a small percentage of any sales.

Frame – Ikea; Print – Etsy; Leaf Platter – HomeGoods; Clutch – Moop

I wanted to throw in a side table just to fill out the room a bit and avoid having clutter on my desk. It might be wishful thinking since my hectic life usually results in a little bit of clutter. The leaf platter was another find that seemed to be a moment of destiny. I was approaching the check out at HomeGoods and there it was, sitting in the impulse buy section and I was like, oh you were meant for me! The clutch was a gift but it’s rose gold so of course it had to go in the room. Moop is a store making bags and other fun finds in Pittsburgh and I totally love them. Check out their online store here.

Baked Rigatoni with Chicken Meatballs

Oh, hi there!

I hope everyone had a nice weekend. We experienced some lovely weather in Pittsburgh which is always an instant mood lifter. Everything is in bloom and we are starting to see green. I think we can say that spring has finally arrived (does cartwheels and cheers loudly). My number one priority is to spend as much time outside soaking up those Vitamin D filled sun rays.

What books are you reading? I have been trying to read more but I am the worst at finding new books to read. I don’t typically subscribe to whatever the latest suggestion is on the Oprah book club list. In my mind, I am convinced that there is no way I’ll like whatever she likes. I don’t even know why I think that since I have read books from the list and enjoyed them. Maybe I need to stop being so stubborn…someday. So, anyhow, I just finished reading Today Will Be Different by Maria Semple. When I first started reading it I liked it a lot but then the more I read the less interested I was. The story was ok, a little hard to relate to the characters and the dialogue was a bit unrealistic in my opinion. There is a lot of high level adult kind of talking between the main character and her 7-year-old son. I am not sure what 7-year-old talks that way but maybe that’s the power of fiction. well, I think I just wanted it to be a little bit more exciting and it wasn’t.

I just started reading The Nest by Cynthia D’Aprix Sweeney. So far it is interesting but I am only a chapter or two in. I’ll report back once I finish to let you know how it goes. In the meantime, send me your recommendations! I need funny or exciting stories. I also watched Big Little Lies on HBO which is based on the novel of the same name by Liane Moriarty, I have a feeling I would like her other books or something similar. So yeah, leave me your suggestions in the comments. I really want to know what you have been reading lately.

Switching topics, which I like to do a lot and even say it out loud when I am doing it during a real conversation. I think people love talking to me, haha. But seriously, you know how some people talk about dreaming about something and then being struck with some genius idea? I am finding that this is happening a lot more as I have gotten older. I wake up with lots of ideas of things I dreamt about or things that pop in to my head just as I am waking up. There is probably some scientific reason for that right? I bet someone can tell me why I have all these moments of brilliance early in the morning. On the flip side of things, if something is stressing me out or I have to deal with a difficult situation I wake up playing out the whole thing in my head thinking that this is how I’ll handle it but then when I get to point where I need to handle it, I forget everything that I had rehearsed in my head. Strange.

You were probably wondering where this was going? Well, turns out I had one of those moments of genius that lead to the creation of this dish. I woke up one day and was like, “I am going to make a baked rigatoni pasta with meatballs and it will be delicious”. I bet this is what happens to all those famous chefs. Moments of genius. I am guessing that what really happened is I saw something on a menu or Pinterest and it inspired me and then my subconscious reminded me about it in some weird half dream/half awake state. The good news is I knew exactly how I wanted it to be and so I just had to execute it.

I wanted to bake this in a cast iron skillet (another aspect my subconscious determined for me). I used to be very timid about using my cast iron skillet because then I would have to clean it and of course I could probably do that wrong and the whole thing would rust and then no more cast iron skillet for me. Turns out you can avoid all that if you just read up on how to clean a cast iron skillet…easy right? I know! So, hop to it on the cast iron cooking cause it’s fun and stuff.

Baked Rigatoni with Chicken Meatballs

Baked Rigatoni with Chicken Meatballs


  • 2 14.05 oz Cans of tomato Sauce
  • 3 Garlic Cloves Crushed
  • 1 Tsp. Sugar
  • 1 Tbsp. Balsamic Vinegar
  • 1 Tsp. Fresh Oregano minced
  • 4 Tbsp. Olive Oil (separated)
  • I pkg. Ground Chicken
  • 1 Tsp. Paprika
  • 2 Tsp. Garlic Powder
  • 1/2 Cup Bread Crumbs
  • 1 Egg
  • 1 Tsp. Basil
  • Salt & Pepper
  • 1 Pkg. Rigatoni Noodles
  • 1 Cup Shredded Parmesan or other Italian Cheese
  • Fresh Mozzarella Sliced


  • Preheat oven to 375.
  • Start by making your sauce:
  • Combine tomato sauce, garlic, sugar, balsamic vinegar, oregano, and a tbsp. of olive oil in a pot and bring to a simmer.
  • Allow sauce to simmer for 20-30 minutes.
  • Season sauce with salt and pepper to taste and continue simmering until ready for use.
  • While the sauce is cooking, place the ground chicken in a bowl with the paprika, garlic powder, bread crumbs, egg, basil, and salt and pepper.
  • Combine all ingredients together.
  • Using your hands roll the chicken into small meatballs (tip: wetting your hands will help with rolling the chicken).
  • Prepare your rigatoni by brining a large pot of water to a boil.
  • Add your noodles and cook according to the instructions on the box.
  • Drain and set aside until for use.
  • As your noodles cook, heat your cast iron skillet over medium heat.
  • Add a 2 tbsp. of olive oil to the pan and swirl to coat.
  • Cook your meatballs in the skillet, turning to brown on all sides.
  • Once meatballs are cooked through place on a plate and set aside until ready for assembling.
  • Clean out your skillet and ladle a little of the sauce on the bottom.
  • Spoon a few noodles on top of the sauce followed by a few meatballs, a handful of shredded cheese and another layer of sauce.
  • Repeat layering (like you are making a lasagna) until you reach the end of the sauce.
  • Place slices of fresh mozzarella on top and bake in the oven for 20-25 minutes or until mozzarella is melted and starts to brown.
  • If the mozzarella is not as brown and bubbly as you'd like place it under the broiler for a few seconds.
  • Finish with a dash of basil and extra cheese, enjoy!
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    February 2017 – Stitch Fix Review

    Have you heard of Stitch Fix? I am sure you have but just in case.. Stitch Fix is a fashion subscription service where a stylist hand picks 5 different clothing items or accessories for you to try on and potentially purchase. They charge a $20.00 styling fee that is then applied to any of your purchases. You can get a fix sent as frequently or as infrequently as you want and you don’t have to purchase anything if you decide not to (note: you lose the styling fee if you don’t buy anything). Everything you get is a surprise and you have 3 days to try things on and decide which items to keep, mail back what you don’t like and repeat. More FAQ on SF here.

    This year I am sharing my reviews of my fixes and you may have already caught the one I did in January. I am a little late in posting my February review but let me just say this was a great box and I was really glad to see some different kind of pieces this time. I asked my stylist for some pops of color and some casual pieces. I think she did a pretty good of trying to match my asks with what they have in the Stitch Fix inventory. I am still loving my Pinterest board to death and constantly tweaking it.  If you are going to do SF you really need to consider investing some time in a Pinterest board and keeping it up to date with your latest fashion likes, loves, and “OMG cannot live withouts”! I don’t want to waste anymore time so let’s get right to it!

    Disclaimer: I was not paid or compensated by Stitch Fix to share my thoughts or promote their service. However, I have listed my referral link in the post which grants me a credit if you sign up for your own fix. 

    • Bay to Baubles – Fletcher Chandelier Earrings $28.00 

    I have had to be mindful of how much jewelry I get from SF. In my last few fixes I had asked them not to send me any because I was amassing quite the collection and running out of places to put things. This time around I figured it was about time for a new pair of earrings but they needed to be a statement piece or something more exciting. I pinned a few examples of chandelier earrings and was pretty excited to see this pair in my fix. I love gold everything so it was kind of an easy choice.

    Verdict: Kept

    • Skies are Blue – Frankie Lace Detail Blouse $48.00 

    All of a sudden I wanted a navy blouse with lace or some sort of cute detail. I was pinning navy blouses left and right. So, this arrived and I was super excited. YASSS, a cute navy blouse! Then I went in to my closet and realized I have like 3-4 other navy blouses. Why did I think I needed more? How did I forget that I even had that many in there?!?! So many questions. But listen, this is cute, simple and affordable so…make it 5 navy blouses. Note: This is why the idea of making a capsule wardrobe makes my armpits sweat. I don’t know what this editing process is and yes, I need all the choices!

    Verdict: Kept

    • Rune – Donaald Cowl Neck Knit Hoodie $64.00 

    I was getting to this point where I was asking my stylist to send me only things I could wear to work or out with the girls. I forgot that I also want to look cute when I am running errands and going to yoga, who doesn’t?! I had seen some more casual pieces on Pinterest and simple looking hoodies. It might seem like a waste but I never think to run to the mall and pick up a hoodie or sweatshirt. Usually I inherit these from my athletic siblings or purchase them on vacation as a form of souvenir. I decided to ask Cassie for a hoodie or something casual and she sent over this hoodie. Honestly, I pulled it out of the box and felt a little underwhelmed since it wasn’t overly detail but then I put it on. It has thumb holes!!!!! I love sweatshirts with thumb holes, it is like trying on a dress and discovering it has pockets. I liked the fit and actually appreciated the simplicity of it. The cowl neck was a nice feature and the hoodie is the perfect sizing, I actually still felt cute in it!

    Verdict: Kept

    • Loveappella – Zola Knit Dress $64.00 

    Cassie is crushing it in the dress department. She must have sensed that I was getting comfortable with showing off the curves and being secretly sexy without having the girls on full display. The color of this dress just spoke to me immediately. At first I thought this was going to be a bit too tight on me but this dress is magical. It has some sort of stretchy power that I cannot quite put my finger on. Also, the little detail of the slit is kind of amazing. There is some sort of spandex panel thing happening there (super technical fashion terms at work here…) and it smooths everything out. I wore this dress for my Vday dinner and felt very sexy. I also covered it up with a blazer and wore it to work…still feeling myself but in a professional “business” kind of way. Dear Cassie, you are crushing it with the dresses. Keep it up!!

    Verdict: Kept (I mean, duh!)

    • Pixley – Tarnow Sweater Sleeve Cargo Jacket $78.00

    This was an unexpected piece. I haven’t really received anything like this in the past and things that might have been similar I have usually sent back because the pattern was either too much or the jacket/coat was not terribly flattering. I kind of loved the sleeves on this. Were it not for the sleeves I might hate the jacket because the color kind of said camo/military to me. The sleeves were definitely a cute detail and made it feel feminine. This jacket has a hood with the option of folding it up and zipping it away. I also like how the jacket is structured and has a drawstring in the middle for additional tightening/loosening as needed. Perfect jacket for transitioning in to spring and could see it working well as you transition in to fall as well.

    Verdict: Kept

    In Summary: 

    I am sure you were keeping track but I actually kept my entire fix! This was the first time in over 2 years of using Stitch Fix that I actually kept the entire box *round of applause*. I think the combination of different pieces at reasonable prices helped me to make the decision. I have certainly sent things back based on cost alone so this time around I was glad to see that the things I loved were also affordable. This is an example of Stitch Fix getting it right! Can’t wait for my March fix and sharing it with all of you. Stay tuned.

    Mushroom & Asparagus Quiche

    Something’s just make me smile!

    It was basically summer for one day and I had mixed feelings about it. I loved feeling the sun because it instantly lifts your mood but then I remember that I am feeling the sun and wearing short sleeves in February because our planet is a mess, so, yeah. I think a lot of people felt the same way. I enjoyed it as much as I could and honestly it helped give me hope that sunny days were heading our way. In the meantime I have this really sunny Quiche to look at and pretend that spring is already here.

    I can hardly believe that February is coming to a close and we are already in March. Part of me is grateful that the time is moving along but then the other part of me feels like I am still trying to sort out all my ish and it would be great if we could just hold the phone for a minute. I am still processing that it’s 2017 and I am now half way through 30 which means starting next month I’ll officially lean in the direction of 31, and I don’t even know! Ahhhhhhhhhhhh! I don’t even know why I became an adult, I think most of us agree that it can sometimes be the worst.

    Some of you are probably reading this and saying to yourselves, dude chillax! I mean, you are probably right. I don’t even know why I get all worked about these things. I think I just needed to get it out there, that alone helps me to get grounded again. Thanks for listening guys, it really helps hehe.

    I should maybe consider talking more about this Quiche since it’s probably why you are here (you read as rolling your eyes and saying “duh”). I basically love Quiche and whenever I am tasked with hosting a brunch, I turn to Quiche because it is delicious, easy, delicious, and kind of fancy (yes, I said delicious twice…I know). I think I have mentioned before that we were a Sunday brunch kind of household. Saturday you could have cereal or whatever you wanted but Sunday morning was the best part of the weekend. We would usually wake up to the smell of something already cooking. If it smelled like bacon, I was already excited. My mom is the queen, of a lot of things, but in this case, making a frittata or scramble with whatever leftovers we had sitting around. It’s pretty amazing! On a few rare occasions we would have a Quiche but these were usually reserved for holidays or special events. Either way, they make me think of Sunday’s as a kid and always starting the day with a big brunch. I realize posting this on  Sunday is poor timing because how are you going to make this now but maybe save it for next Sunday or whatever, make it and eat it during the week. You do whatever you want!

    Quiche is super easy, even more so because I don’t usually fuss with making my own crust. You certainly should try it at a least once with homemade crust but since you want this for breakfast why stress yourself out? I always buy the refrigerated crust because it’s easy and works just fine. This also allows me to focus on the great ingredients that I want to put inside the Quiche. I love playing around with different flavor combinations, I usually go in the veggie direction but love adding salty bacon or pancetta from time to time.

    Mushroom & Asparagus Quiche

    Yield: Serves 8

    Mushroom & Asparagus Quiche

    Recipe adapted from Cook's Illustrated Cook Book


    • 1 Refrigerated Pie Crust
    • 8 Oz. Asparagus
    • 1/2 Cup Sliced Cremini Mushrooms
    • 1 Shallot Diced
    • 2 Large Eggs
    • 2 Egg Yolks
    • 1 Cup Milk
    • 1 Cup Heavy Cream
    • 1 Cup Sharp Cheddar Cheese Shredded
    • 1/2 Tsp. Salt
    • 1/2 Tsp. White Pepper
    • Pinch Nutmeg
    • Ice
    • Water


  • Preheat oven to 375.
  • Allow pie crust to come to room temp on the counter before handling.
  • Cut Asparagus stems so they are evenly sized, you should use your pie pan to determine how long they should be so that they can fit in a nice circle.
  • Heat a medium pot of salted water to a boil.
  • Add Asparagus to the pot and boil until they turn bright green.
  • Transfer the asparagus to an ice bath (ice and water in a bowl) to stop the cooking. Drain & set aside.
  • Dice the mushrooms into small pieces and saute in a pan with the shallots, you can use a little bit of butter but I prefer olive oil.
  • Cook mushrooms until soft. Set aside.
  • Place the pie crust in your pie pan and form to the shape of your pan. Prick the bottom with a fork several times to prevent air bubbles.
  • Place pan with crust in the oven for 10 minutes or until lightly cooked (should not be brown). Remove from oven to cool slightly.
  • Combine eggs, egg yolks, milk, cream, salt, pepper and nutmeg in a bowl. Whisk to combine.
  • To prepare quiche layer the mushroom and shallot mixture on the bottom.
  • Follow with the cup of cheddar cheese, evenly spread around the pan.
  • Place the asparagus in a circular pattern with the tips facing toward the edge of the pan (It's ok if they don't all fit).
  • Place the pie pan on the cooking rack (pulled out from the oven), carefully pour the custard mixture over the asparagus. Some of the pieces may move but that is ok.
  • Slide the rack in to the oven and cook for 32-35 minutes.
  • Quiche is done when a knife inserted comes out clean.
  • Remove from oven and allow to cool.
  • Quiche can be served warm or at room temp, my preference is warm 🙂
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    How to host an easy Oscar party

    It’s award season! Time to bust out the champs and don a sparkly dress for the 89th Academy Awards.

    Every year the hubs and I watch the Oscars with our best guesses as to who will walk away with the coveted gold statue. We are the worst at seeing the movies before the big show so sometimes this helps us decide which movies we want to put on our must see list. Of the films nominated for Best Picture we did see Arrival and Hidden Figures. I thought both films were great but I know the others are supposed to be great as well. This year’s race is going to be a tough one but I have everything I need to put together a great party.

    Disclaimer: I’ve partnered with SkinnyPop Popcorn in creating this post but did not receive any form of compensation. All thoughts and opinions are my own. 

    The Oscars are all about celebrating movies and the art of filmmaking. When I think of the movies I think of popcorn. Whenever we go to the movies I usually like to get a small container of popcorn, light on the butter. For whatever reason, I think we end up eating most of it before the movie even begins. I am also a salty & sweet kind of girl so pairing my popcorn with some sort of chocolate candy or something on the sweet side is usually a must. I think there are a lot of people out there who enjoy the salty/sweet combo so you’re party guests will be pleased by this fun and easy popcorn recipe (full recipe below)!

    This recipe is super simple and you can make it minutes before the big show. Whenever you are hosting a party it is always good to have a plan that wont leave you stressed out at the end of the night. Also, I might have really enjoyed drizzling the chocolate all over the popcorn. I mean, you should have fun when entertaining right?

    If we don’t order popcorn at the movies (which is like, never) then we might order some pretzel bites or a hot dog. Is it strange that you can get a hot dog at a movie theater? As I ponder that question you might be asking yourself where this is going. I know the Oscars are fancy and people wear dresses that cost more than my house (oh, geez, I really hope not) but for some reason I just thought pigs in a blanket would be a great addition to the menu (full recipe below). I may have made them slightly more fancy than your typical pigs in a blanket but they are small and delightful.

    Instead of the usual cheddar cheese I opted for gouda and a little spread of honey mustard just for that added touch! Again, simple and easy. Your guests will enjoy popping these in their mouths in between handfuls of popcorn.

    Ok, so we have the food covered and now we have to talk about drinks! There is really only one option for drinks in my opinion, champagne! Since you’ll be spending the whole night listening to acceptance speeches you might as well have a glass of bubbly in your end. I figured my friends would probably want their own bottle because they know how to do parties and it is great that you can get little bottles for occasions just like this.

    To complete your party set up you will need to think about the kind of decorations that will help set the stage (pun intended) for your Oscar party. I really wanted to emphasize the glitz and glam so I went with the gold theme. I even had edible gold star-shaped sprinkles in the popcorn! I really enjoyed putting a gold touch on everything. Thankfully all the craft stores know how to read my mind and are adequately stocked with all things in gold. I think this is where you really get to have fun!

    Now you are all set for your Oscar party. So go fill out your ballot, gather your friends, get cozy on the couch and watch your favorite stars rule the red carpet. Thanks to SkinnyPop Popcorn for providing the fun ballots and helping me get ready for the big show.


    Oscar Party Menu

    Oscar Party Menu


      Chocolate Drizzle Popcorn with Reese's Cups
    • 1 Bag SkinnyPop Popcorn
    • 1/2 Cup Dark Chocolate Melting Wafers
    • 1/2 Cup White Chocolate Melting Wafers
    • 1/4 Cup Mini Reese's Cups (you can swap out for your favorite candy)
    • Edible Gold Dust or Sprinkles
      Pigs in a Blanket
    • 1 Package of Lil Beef Franks
    • 4 Slices of Gouda Cheese sliced in to thin strips
    • 1 Package of Crescent Rolls
    • Honey Mustard (1 part mustard/1 part honey)


  • Line a cookie sheet with wax or parchment paper. Spray with a non-stick spray.
  • Sprinkle popcorn on the cookie sheet, try to spread out evenly.
  • Place dark chocolate wafers in a microwaveable safe bowl and microwave 30 seconds on half power, stir and microwave for 15 second intervals until melted.
  • Repeat process with white chocolate wafers.
  • Disperse the mini Reese's throughout the popcorn.
  • Using a fork, drizzle the melted white chocolate over the popcorn and then follow with the dark chocolate. Sprinkle popcorn with gold dust or sprinkles.
  • Allow the chocolate to harden before adding to bags or placing in a bowl.
  • Pigs in a Blanket
  • Preheat oven to 375.
  • Line a baking sheet with foil and spray with non-stick cooking spray.
  • Unroll the crescent rolls and separate. Cut each triangle in to three smaller triangles (lengthwise).
  • Brush each piece with a little honey mustard and place a piece of cheese on the dough.
  • Place a little beef frank at the wide end of the triangle and roll until you reach the end.
  • Place each piece on the cookie sheet and bake 12-15 minutes until golden brown.
  • Serve with a side of honey mustard for dipping.
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