Green, Brown and a Hint of Chartreuse

WEARING: SILENCE & NOISE PLEATED MINI TANK DRESS | 
LORD & TAYLOR BROWN SUEDE LEATHER JACKET | NINA RICCI POUCHETTE | 
THE PEACH BOX PEARL EARRINGS | ALDO NUDE HEELS

Happy Tuesday! What did everyone think of the debate last night? I have to agree with most, Hillary definitely won the first round. Donald Trump allowed his buttons to be pushed immediately, and was his usual narcissistic self. I could barely understand half of the things he said because he was so scatterbrains. Completely unprepared, he babbled on about anything else except answering straightaway the questions he was asked. And girls, what did you think when you saw Hillary Clinton in red? The moment I saw how she was dressed for the occasion, I knew she was going to kill it! Tell me a time where you wore red and you didn't feel empowered, fierce and sassy! She was literally on fire! 

The latest dress I picked up at Urban Outfitters makes me feel just how (I'm sure) Hillary felt last night. Ready to conquer anything. This emerald green pleated mini tank dress truly hugs my hips and makes me feel confident and one major #girlboss. To accessorize, I styled the dress with a favorite Lord & Taylor brown leather-suede jacket and the Nina Ricci pouchette, that gave the entire ensemble a pop of color in the already warm and cool tones of the jacket and dress. My most recent favorites earrings are from The Peach Box. These dainty and delicate pearl drop numbers are modern yet classic. Lastly, I wore Aldo nude heels to elongate my petite figure and to have the dress be the main 'attraction' of the entire look. With the color schemes, I think any other kind of colored heel would have brought too much to the outfit. 

If you'd like to shop the look, scroll down to direct links of the items. Links are also available at the top of the post as well. Or go to my LiketoKnow.it page for direct access. Coming up on the blog - more recipes including the start to fun fall baking, including Halloween! And MaQ's birthday is this Saturday! He's turning 4 but to me he's still just my big baby. :) Stay tuned for a recap on our celebrations and more! Can't wait to share with you with what we'll be doing. Have a great rest of the week!   

LOVE & XX'S,

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MaQ Shepherd's Pie

Sponsored Post: This post is intended for 21+ and sponsored by Wente Vineyards, but the content and opinions expressed here are my own.

Check out Wente Vineyards Wine Here.

Check out Wente Vineyards Wine Here.

Happy Sunday! The fall season has arrived and you know what that means - I get to cook all my favorite recipes to share with you guys! I am also discussing more about my passion in cooking today with Wente Vineyards wine! You'll rarely see me drink a glass of red during the warmer seasons, but as soon as that crisp air kicks in, I'm stocking up on a ton of pinot noir! And Wente Vineyard's Riva Ranch Pinot Noir is absolutely delicious! I had to create a hearty Autumn dish to perfectly go with my new favorite wine!  

One of my go-to fall meals is the classic Shepherd's pie (or Cottage pie as it's sometimes called). Rich in ground beef with carrot, onion, & garlic, and topped with gorgeously browned mashed potatoes, I did a tiny twist on my creation. Using the German Shepherd rolling pin from Stodola, I created thin-like biscuits to put on top of the pie. I was going to go for a rectangular pastry puff piece, but was concerned it might come out too mushy on top of the mashed potatoes. So instead I made circular biscuits using a glass. I loved how the pastry gave the dish more texture. It's flaky goodness made me oh so happy!  

MaQ Shepherd's Pie

Photos & recipe by © Suzanne Spiegoski 

Photos & recipe by © Suzanne Spiegoski 

Serves 4-6

Ingredients:
1.5lbs ground beef or lamb
Olive oil
1 large carrot
1 onion
Fresh thyme
Fresh rosemary
4 garlic cloves
1/2c red wine (Wente Vineyard Riva Ranch Pinot Noir 2014)
Splash of Worcestershire sauce
1/2c chicken broth
2Tbsp tomato paste
salt & pepper
5 large potatoes
1/4c heavy cream
3Tbsp butter
2 egg yolk
1c Parmesan cheese

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven at 400 degrees.
  2. Peel potatoes. Boil in hot water for 15 minutes. Drain, cool and set aside.
  3. Grate onion and carrot. Mince garlic and fresh herbs.
  4. Add olive oil in pan and cook meat until brown. Drain grease.
  5. Add onion, carrot, garlic, and salt & pepper.
  6. Add thyme, rosemary, tomato paste, red wine, and Worcestershire sauce.
  7. Add chicken broth. Cook on medium heat until most sauce has thickened.
  8. Meanwhile, mash potatoes in a bowl. Add salt & pepper, butter, heavy cream, egg yolks and Parmesan cheese. Mix well.
  9. Place meat in casserole dish. Then layer with mashed potato mixture. Take a fork and lightly poke.
  10. Cook in oven for 20-22 minutes. Serve immediately.

--- For the MaQ Shepherd biscuits, I used puff pastry and the German Shepherd rolling pin from here.

What's the secret to getting that nice golden color on the mashed potatoes? Parmesan cheese! I tried to focus the browning around the edges so the biscuits would have all the room they needed to also bake nicely on top.

Karl Wente, a 5th generation winemaker, blends his two passions of making wine and making music together. I love music and normally have some on while I cook (and maybe dance), and blending passions with Wente Vineyards is something you can do too! Watch Karl's video and share what inspires you or what you might pair your bottle of Wente wine with! I know I will be going through a ton more of red wines from them. :) 

Try Wente Vineyard wines and take advantage of their free shipping for a limited time only! Use code, 'JRNYSHIP1' and join the Wente newsletter to stay in touch with all things Wente! I used the Riva Ranch Pinot Noir 2014 wine to cook the minced meat with. Smooth and full of body it was also the perfect wine to accompany dinner with! I even got to enjoy dining al fresco afterward! Got to take advantage of this gorgeous weather we've been having in New York!  

What are your unexpected ways of pairing wine with your passion? I'd love to hear and see what favorite wines you all drink while out and about doing your favorite thaaaannng! Are you more into reds or whites? Maybe only rosé? Alright, Sunday Brunch is here and leftovers of MaQ Shepherd's Pie is calling my name! Enjoy the rest of the weekend, everyone! 

LOVE & XX'S,

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Tapout Workout

WEARING: TAPOUT PRESTIGE BRA, TAPOUT PRESTIGE CAPRI, & NIKE RUNNING SHOES

As much as I love going out and meeting new people, there's nothing better than spending quality time with MaQ and getting our sweat on! I'm not a gym rat, never have and never will be. On the other hand, I've always been an extremely active person. When it comes to staying physically fit, I have my years of figure skating to thank. Not only did it keep me in top shape I was aware of the discipline it took to stay that way, and since then I haven't changed. 

I love to make working out a fun thing. I love to take a dance class here and there with some of my girlfriends or go rollerblading over at the East River bikeway with MaQ. I like to go running when I'm having a really shitty day. Even doing random pull-ups is in my repertoire if the opportunity presents itself! Random fact: I was one of the best in the state of Michigan for pull-ups (chin-ups) when I was around 11 years old. I can still do them, but not as many when I was younger, which was roughly 15-20 at a time. Crazy, huh?

Walking nearly everywhere (within reason) in the city is also what keeps me burning those carbs. And talk about a money-saver! I only take cabs or the subway if it's more than a half hour walk. Or if I'm in heels for the evening. Otherwise I enjoy taking the alone time to walk to an event or get-together. It clears my head and I'm always left refreshed and rejuvenated. Plus, I usually give myself a treat after a longer walk such as a pastry or a cup of coffee with a ridiculous amount of sugar and hazelnut-flavored sweetener. Okay, sometimes maybe both... Maybe. ;)

For the first day of fall, we shot my new favorite athleisure wear from Tapout. I'm wearing the Prestige Bra in Black & White and paired it with the Prestige Capri in Black. The bra itself has a great amount of support and unlike some workout bras I've worn in the past, this one proved to be breathable and comfortable at the same time. My favorite little details are the mesh panels on the pants that are behind the knees. They actually provide exceptional ventilation. You can shop the look down below or just follow the links above. Also, use my discount code 'SUZTAP20' for 20% off your entire purchase from 9/23 (today) to 10/9.  

Wishing everyone a relaxing and enjoyable weekend! I'll be working on the blog but will also be seeing one of my closest girlfriends who's in town for work the next few days. I'm super excited to catch up! I just love her!  

Sponsored post in collaboration with Tapout.

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New York Fashion Week

ShopStyle Event

Happy Hump Day, everyone! I'm excited to finally share with you my NYFW SS17 blog diary and all the experiences that came with it. I was delighted to receive invitations to more than a few shows and still relatively new to the blogging world, it was my first year to document my day-to-day life during New York Fashion Week. Let's take a recap of the shows I had the pleasure of attending, a few events, along with my outfits and trend-picks.

NYFW SHOWS

 

FASHION PALETTE

A Sydney and New York events production company, the Fashion Palette show consisted of 6 designers sharing the runway. All Australian Womenswear the designers included were Con Ilio, Cristahlea, Stephanie Chehade, Milanja, Homebodii, and Sui Generis. I truly loved each and every designer's collection but the dress that stole my heart was the pearl-beaded white dress from Con Ilio. It was heaven-sent. Any bride's dream gown! Take a look at the dress's back details here.

DAN LIU

An award-winning Chinese & Japanese Canadian fashion designer, Dan Liu presented color contrasts, embroidery details and tons of Parisian inspiration. Chic, elegant and with romantic flair, each seat came with a single red rose. Nice added touch to the overall concept! My favorite piece from his collection was the 'Purple Skyline'. A satin dress with short sleeves mixed with purple and green stripes, it is the perfect day-to-evening dress for fall. You can find it in the collection of pictures above.

LEANNE MARSHALL

My favorite show, Leanne Marshall is a whirlwind of a talent. Since her Project Runway win from Season 5, Leanne has captured an effortless grace and timeless elegance in her collection. I was completely blown away by all 41 looks of periwinkles, lavenders and orange colors. Let's not forget the pinks! Truly ethereal and refreshing, the fabrics from this collection have certainly put silk chiffon and organza back on trend! My favorite look was the final piece which was a tanzanite silk organza gown with long sleeves, chiffon bead and organza embellishment. This dress was killer!

KYBOE!

Bigger is better and Kyboe! had a massive show at the Skylight Moynihan Station. One of the largest shows I've ever seen in person, Kyboe! showcased their creative and stylish designed watches, which are inspired by the vibrant and colorful tulip fields of the Netherlands, as some of the most beautiful and fit models strutted down the runway! It was an innovative and fun show, the music had me gyrating in my seat! I loved the color-coordination scheme and overall playfulness of the show. I even received one of their watches as a gift! Check out the group watch shot above - mine is the black one. :)

ANNIESA HASIBUAN

What can I say about this show?! An Indonesian-inspired D'Jakarta collection, models wore hijabs for each look, clearly demonstrating uniqueness and the freedom in expressing other forms of style & beauty. Each detail is rich in culture. Brocade and pearls, sequin stones - all embodied glamour and elegance. Fitted for a Queen! I felt very honored to attend every show, especially this one as I grew up in a Muslim community where the familiarity was apparent and I was excited to see expansion in this creative world. A kind of cultural shift such as her designs will help break down stereotypes and demystify misconceptions of hijab in America. It was empowering and such a treat for my last show. Favorite hands-down was the final garment. Hints of gold and crystal, the model shimmered down the runway like a butterfly. Truly breathtaking!

EVENTS

HOT TO ADOPT FELINE FASHION LOUNGE AND ADOPTION EVENT

Hosted by Katie Cassidy and brought to you by Fresh Step, the cat-crazed event was a big hit! I love the idea of mixing a good cause such as adoption with the world of fashion. To check out more details about this event along with how you can help contribute to cat adoption, go to my latest post here.

SHOPSTYLE SOCIAL HOUSE

I really wanted to love everything about this event except there was one slightly BIG flaw. With only one person to help there were far too many people waiting in line just to rent clothes and accessories. Though there were a lot of brands and labels that I would have been happy to try, after waiting in line for over thirty minutes just to get past only about two feet, I had to leave due to another show I had to attend to. So sadly, I didn't get anything :( It felt like a loss of time, but the hors d'oeurves were smashing and the views from the Glasshouses were spectacular!

PLYMOUTH GIN PARTY

Need I say more? This was the perfect end of the week party to unwind with blogger friends and catch up after all the chaos from New York Fashion Week. I'm not much of a gin drinker, but after this event I think we will be getting along just fine. My favorite drink during fashion week was the classic Martini, but a little dirty. ;)

OUTFITS & TRENDS

RUFFLES

On Day 5 I wore an off-the-shoulder dress from H&M with ruffles. The extra movement elevates feminine elegance, making it more modern and edgy. To complete the look, I paired it with a Dress Lily Cross Body bag in periwinkle and a black wrap around choker with gold rings as finishing touches.

DENIM

Day 3 was literally the hottest day during fashion week. With 90+ degree temps, I still opted for an amazing Dress Fo denim wrap trench to wear for the entire day! Call me crazy, but all in the name of fashion! I saw tons of different textures and cuts with denim this SS17 season. From coats to chokes, to boots to two-pieces, denim is still in!

METALLICS

Day 1 I wore a metallic silver pleated top from one of my favorite stores, Mango. It's fresh and fun, dazzling up a casual outfit in no time! I paired the top with BDG mom jeans, a black velvet crop jacket, and nude oxfords. Check out the metallic belt I snapped away from Anniesa Hasibuan's show above! It's been trending for some time but metallics are here to stay!

PERIWINKLES & TANGERINES

These colors are hot off the runway. I've seen these color tones in almost every show. I had to share a few of the orange palette's from Leanne Marshall's show. Aren't they gorgeous?! And with a white jacket? Perfection. These colors are also flattering on many skin tones, so don't be surprised to see a lot more of these colors on trend for the next season!

This post is brought to you by Shopping Links.

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Hot to Adopt

By now, I'm sure you know my husband and I own a German Shepherd dog named MaQ. What a lot of you don't know is we are also cat people! One of our dearest friends has two adorable kitties that he rescued (Owawa & Tiger) and we consider them to be like family. (Even though the 'kids' - as in MaQ and the cats fight every so often ha ha!) Did you know that millions of cats enter shelters each year, yet less than half get adopted? Which is why, regardless what animal-preferred person you are, the first step one should always take is to adopt! It's #hot2adopt 😊

Fresh Step is on a mission to help every shelter cat find a forever home. I recently attended Fresh Step's Hot to Adopt Feline Fashion Lounge and Adoption Even hosted by Katie Cassidy during New York Fashion Week, where felines and fashion came together to help raise adoption awareness and have fun at the same time doing so. They had a 'cat-ified' fashion sketch artist, 'cattoos' like paw prints, whiskers and more, a feline adoption lounge where you could hang out and play with the oh so cute kittens, and even pedicabs to help you get around, with a black canopy to cover you from the hot sun or run. It was a meowing time!

And check out the adorable limited edition Hot to Adopt T-shirt I was given at the event! They even had their gorgeous models strut down the runway wearing them, with their furry pals in tow of course. 😻 A portion of the proceeds from these designed T-shirts will benefit shelter cats across the country. You can get one from freshstep.com or enter your chance to win one in their ongoing contest.

Fresh Step is calling all feline fashionistas (and gents) to step out wearing their love of cats in celebration of "Feline Fashion Fridays". Cat owners can show their love of cats by posting a picture of themselves with their cat in feline fashion finery to Fresh Step's Instagram using #freshstepcontest each Friday through October for a chance to win free Fresh Step litter, a $250 VISA Gift Card and your very own #hot2adopt T-shirt. Follow @freshstep on Instagram to get started. See official rules here.

I love Fresh Step because they have a long history of supporting shelters (as do I) nationwide. Let's keep increasing adoptions and saving lives. Join the mission to help every shelter cat find a furrever home by wearing your love of cats T-shirt. To learn more and help make it #hot2adopt visit freshstep.com.

Stay tuned for my next post on more of my NYFW adventures!

LOVE & XX'S,

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Firelight Camps Travel Diary

Firelight Camps Deck
Mud Room Shoe Rack
Study Desk
King Size Bed Portrait
Lantern Firelight Camps
MaQ Firelight Camps Portrait
Yellow Flowers
Firelight Camps View
Me and MaQ Portrait Firelight Camps
Firelight Camps Ant
Bonfire FIrelight Camps
Firelight Camps Main Lounge
Firelight Camps Deck Portrait
Firelight Camps Safari Tent
MaQ Firelight Camps Portrait
Living on the Edge
Drought Me and MaQ Portrait
Thorny
Taughannock Falls 1
Taughannock Falls 2
Taughannock Falls 3
Taughannock Falls 4
Hawks Taughannock Falls
Firelight Camps Portrait Me and MaQ
Dusk at Firelight Camps
Hammock Firelight Camps Portrait
Candle by Shop Evil Queen, Adventure Awaits. 

Candle by Shop Evil Queen, Adventure Awaits. 

Night Time Shot Firelight Camps
Sunflower Graffiti Ithaca Downtown New York Portrait

When I attended an event at the W Hotel in Midtown this summer, I was introduced to the world of 'glamping'. That is, glamorous camping. Or rather, my kind of camping. ;) I knew I had to experience this before the weather got too cold. That's why I brought my husband and our pooch, MaQ, to Firelight Camps right before the start to New York Fashion Week, for a lil' R&R before our chaotic schedules ensued. 

Located in Upstate New York, schools such as Cornell University and Ithaca College are nearby, yet the campgrounds transport you to the middle of nowhere. With 18 safari tents made up with high thread count linens, they are warmly lit with battery-powered lanterns and covered with mesh screenings to help keep the bugs out. The furniture is impeccable. With hardwood floors and either a king-size bed or two full-sized beds, each tent also comes with its own deck and writing desk (My DREAM). Out on the balcony there's two rocking chairs that over look a lush and leafy oasis. Imagine how the foliage will transition - oh the views! Did I mention the tents come with wi-fi? #alwaysworking But come nighttime, you can see the stars and hear the crickets while you fall asleep. Super cozy.

The main tent lobby has daily complimentary continental breakfast, complimentary happy hour tasting of Finger Lakes craft beverages (the rosé is 👌), a cozy mini-lounge where there are campfires daily both in the morning and evening (hello smores), a Bocce ball court and other onsite games like cool boardgames such as Sorry! and more. There's even yoga! You have immediate access to the Buttermilk Falls hiking trails but we instead wanted to see one of the tallest waterfalls on the east coast, the Taughannock Falls! What was really wild was the drought. It looked as if someone shut the water off! There was no waterfall, but it was totally fun running with MaQ where there should be water running through. 

Ten minutes away from Firelight Camps is the downtown scene with bars, restaurants, bookstores and cute antique shops. You can even catch a film at the Ithaca Commons. The food's delicious! One night we even tried Mexican at Viva Taqueria, and were pleasantly surprised by the freshness and quality of their food. And pet-friendly. Great service too! I also had the immense pleasure of eating Jimmy John's for lunch as well, after not having their subs since college which was awhile ago. They are so unbelievably good! There are tons of wineries and cideries to visit close by, and let's not forget to mention the spa that's literally a few steps away from the campgrounds! To see a full list of things to do, click here

We had the best glamping experience one could ever imagine. I'm a city girl but also love the country life and love to go hiking with the boys during our downtime. I don't get to enjoy nature very often so when I do, I like to soak up every minute of it! Whenever I escape the city I'm always left rejuvenated, uplifted and inspired. Ready to go at it, all over again! To read more on Firelight Camps, go to www.firelightcamps.com

Special thanks to Emma for making this trip possible! Xo.


Our most recent travel experience, glamping at Firelight Camps in Ithaca, NY! Special thanks to Emma for making this trip possible. We never camped this luxuriously before! www.firelightcamps.com 

LOVE & XX'S,

MaQ and Suz Logo

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