Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Roasted Tomato, Avocado & Hummus Open-Faced Sandwich

Happy New Year everyone! If you're anything like me, today is the start of my commitment to eating healthy. Lets just say that the holidays were filled with many a (delicious) cookie and cheesy appetizer, not to mention I'm almost five months away from having to fit in my wedding dress!

Below is a great idea for lunch that's super easy to bring to work (I bring the ingredients individually in these small containers, and assemble it in our office kitchen). It has a ton of flavor and it super healthy (Just a little over 580 calories)!

Roasted Tomato, Avocado & Hummus Open-Faced Sandwich


  • 1 Thomas' Light Multigrain English Muffin
  • 4 Tablespoons of Hummus (recommended: Sabra Supremely Spicy)
  • 1/2 an avocado sliced 
  • 4 Roasted Tomatoes (recommended: Ina Garten's recipe)
Slice your English muffin in half and assemble both sides face-up on your plate. Spread two tablespoons of hummus, arrange two avocado and top with two roasted tomatoes on each side. 

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Merry Christmas from the Ferrara Household!

A couple of shots of my parents' puppy's first Christmas...

Lily patiently waiting for Santa in her new (monogrammed) shirt from Mommy

Santa did well

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

#26 Acts

In light of the recent tragedy in Newtown, Connecticut last week, I wanted to share something that Ann Curry has initiated which I think can truly serve as an inspiration to us all: 

"After being in Newtown, I woke up the next morning and thought about what could be done. What is the answer to this kind of national suffering?  And I remembered a moment on the edge of Darfur, when I came upon a woman who was elderly and in the hospital, recovering from burns after an attack by Janjaweed militias. She was surrounded in the hospital, by younger women carrying babies, and I asked her to tell the story of how she had suffered these terrible burns all over her body. I learned that she had tried to rescue her invalid husband when her village was attacked and her house was set on fire. She tried to carry her husband out of her house and stayed so long that the thatched roof of her house came down, the hot embers giving her 3rd degree burns.  But she was unable to save her husband. Her husband died.

I remember walking out of that hospital, and the producer saw the look on my face. He said, “Are you okay?” And I said, “No.” And without even thinking, I remember going to our team van and pulling out a Polaroid camera I had brought on that trip. And then I went to all of these women with their children who were in the  courtyard of the hospital, knowing that they had never owned a photograph – ever – of their child. I went around from woman to woman, and I took pictures of them, I took pictures of them with their child, or just of their child alone – without even thinking, just snapping pictures. The first time I did it, I remember giving a photograph to a woman, and she looked at this black square with this quizzed look on her face, and I said, “Just wait one minute! Just wait one minute,” holding up one finger. And then I watched her face melt as she watched her child’s face slowly appear on that Polaroid. It made me feel better. So I went from mother to mother to mother until I ran out of film. After the experience in Newtown. I thought, “What if? Imagine if everyone could commit to doing one act of kindness for every one of those children killed in Newtown.” So that’s what I tweeted. And guess what? People committed. I said in my tweet, “I’m in. RT if you’re in.” Not only did they commit to 20 acts of kindness, they wanted to up it to 26 acts of kindness for every child and adult who was lost at the school. Some even debated maybe we should include the mother, who died, at 27 acts. Some debated maybe we should include the killer as well as he was struggling and in pain. 

I think it’s up to you. Commit to how many acts of kindness you want to. It’s really your choice."
So, what act(s) of kindness can you commit today to honor those who lost their lives in Newtown? I'm on my way with 2 completed and 24 to go... after all, kindness is contagious

Friday, December 14, 2012

Save the Dates!

Believe it or not, tomorrow marks 175 days until Anthony and I get married! We're so excited and planning the wedding has been a ton of fun. I've been documenting everything we've been doing, so I'll definitely have endless planning posts to come post-wedding.

Here's a little something that I can share with you now that I've put them in the mail... our SAVE THE DATES! My friend Michelle introduced me to the website where they have endless save-the-date options for all types of couples. We chose the below design because we thought it was classic and fun, plus we could match the border to our wedding colors:

Since you're ordering online and it's a bit hard to sense exactly what the save the date will look like, Minted will send you samples of as many invitations as you'd like. They also always have sales (10-15% off) which can make a big difference for a large order! And obviously they're not just for wedding items... Minted has holiday cards, stationary, and much more.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Pulled Pork Sliders and More...

Welp, Jenelle and I hosted yet another exciting Christmas party this year! Although it was a bit crowded (more than 35 people squeezed into my tiny apartment!), it was very fun and I'm extremely grateful to have such wonderful friends to spend the holidays with.

I'm not going to go into as much detail as last year's holiday post, but I will say there were two big hits on the table this year. The first, of course, were the chicken bacon wraps (I'm telling you, they're a guaranteed party hit). The second, were my pulled pork sliders with homemade coleslaw. I got the recipe here on Paula Deen's website and turned them into bite-sized sliders since I was only serving appetizers (one batch of Paula's recipe will make approximately 24 sliders). Best part about these babies? You leave them in the slow cooker ALL DAY and then prepare them to serve right before everyone arrives. I also, personally, think that coleslaw is much better the day after making it, so I prepared the slaw the night before the party and refrigerated it in Tupperware (then left it out for an hour or so before stacking it on the pork so it could get to room temp).

Here's a little pic:

You'll noticed some baked brie in the corner which was delicious as well! I got it here on Pillsbury's website and it's wrapped in Pillsbury Crescent Rolls... YUM! Then topped it with a bit of raspberry preserve.

I got so wrapped up in cooking everything this year that I forgot to whip out my Canon and take pictures on the way. So, here's (one of) my New Year's resolutions: Take better pictures along the way for Travels, Tastings and Tales! I made my first attempt on my guacamole post, so hopefully they keep getting better :)

Friday, November 30, 2012


Believe it or not, Christmas is almost here! That being said, I happen to be in line with Nordstrom's belief that one holiday should be celebrated at a time, so I've waited until after Thanksgiving to share this top ten (in no particular order)... I hope everyone is enjoying the season with their family and friends as we get ready to ring in a new year!

You can't have a holiday shindig without some fun holiday beverages! I especially love drinks during this season because they tend to include cinnamon and some of my other favorite spices. Here's a delicious drink recipe for a fall/winter Sangria that is sure to be a hit!

9. CHRISTMAS PJ'S: On every Christmas Eve since I can remember, my parents (a.k.a. Santa) would put Christmas PJ's on our pillows to be worn that night... a great way to drum up excitement for Christmas morning. Even though I'm 25, I still love getting my Christmas PJ's! My favorite as of recent have been the Vineyard Vines 'Lazy Pants.' After a few washes they become super soft and comfy!

8. HOLIDAY DECORATIONS: Now, as a 25 year old with a small apartment, I try to limit myself to one bin of decorations... however, I must say, it's one wonderful darn bin. My favorite spot to shop for Christmas decorations is the Christmas Tree Shop which has great deals on decorations for every holiday! I'm also a fan of Pier 1, but try to limit myself since it can get a little pricey. Here's a beautiful little table setting available at Pier 1:

7. CHRISTMAS TREE: I know this kinda falls in the #9 category, but here's my little Hoboken Charlie Brown Tree for this year!

6. IT'S A WONDERFUL LIFE: This is a movie favorite of my family's which can always be found on repeat during the holidays. If you haven't seen it... well... you really should. 

5. CHRISTMAS TIME IN NYC: There's absolutely nothing like it. If you can make it into Manhattan around the holidays, here are a few suggested stops: 

4. HOLIDAY OUTFITS: I already did a post on some fun holiday party outfits, but I couldn't pass on the opportunity to post another party dress. Here's a beautiful dress from Rent the Runway by Badgley Mischka:

3. HOLIDAY COOKIES: This year I'm heading to a holiday cookie exchange... I'm going to bring these babies to switch things up a bit. I know s'mores are a bit summer-ey, but at least I know that know one else will bring the same thing! Plus, these Spicy Smokey S'mores Bars are amazing! 

2. HOLIDAY PARTIES: My friend, Jenelle, and I have started a tradition where we hold a Christmas party for our friends (see last year's post). This year, we're going to switch up the food a bit... Here's a little preview of an item on the menu. We're going to make Paula Deen's slow cooker pulled pork sandwiches with buttermilk coleslaw. BUT, because we're only serving h'oeuvres, we're going to make them into little sliders! The best part is that the pork will just sit in the slow cooker all day while we take care of other things. 

1. TIME WITH FAMILY: Of course this is number one... It's what makes the holidays so special! 

Anthony and I at an 'ugly Christmas sweater' party

"Dear George, remember no man is a failure who has friends. Thanks for the wings. Love, Clarence." 

- It's A Wonderful Life, 1946

Friday, November 16, 2012

Holiday Parties = An Excuse to Play Dress Up

There are two main reasons I love New Year's Eve. The first is due to the fact that it's my handsome fiance's birthday (he'll be a whopping 26 years old this year) and the second is that it's the one holiday where you can wear an overabundance of sequins and sparkles without worrying about peacocking in the crowd!

I know it's a bit early, but here are some of my favorite finds for New Year's and holiday festivities...

Rent the Runway

I'm a huge fan of Rent the Runway and have used them for several different occasions. It's a website where you can rent designer dresses for a ridiculous discount which is perfect for girls like me who tend to buy a dress, wear it once, and then throw it in the back of the closet. 

This dress below is by Badgley Mischka and retails for $495, but you can rent it for New Year's for just $75! Not a fan of this dress? Rent the Runway has an entire 'New Year's Eve Sparkle and Shine' section of their site to find just the right dress for you. 

Kate Spade New York 

If I had $325 to spend on shoes and had some height to spare (I'm 5'11) these would be my first purchase. These shoes are absolutely adorable (they remind me of confetti) and would be the perfect compliment to a little black dress. You can find them here on Kate Spade's website. 


Anthropologie has some beautiful jewelry to mix and match with holiday attire. My favorite of the bunch is this bracelet below. Not only does it sparkle, it's a steal for $38! Find it here at

J. Crew 

J. Crew has plenty of clothing and accessories for the holidays. Since it's one of my favorite stores, it was difficult to pick just one thing, but I love this invitation clutch in glitter. If you're not a fan of glitter, they also have the clutch in other solids and patterns as well. 

American Eagle

I haven't shopped in American Eagle in ages, but when I came across this fun cropped sequin blazer in a magazine, I just had to buy it! The blazer also comes in black and would look amazing with black skinny jeans and some nude pumps (plus it's only $49.95!). 

Forever 21

When you're running around last minute looking for a fun (but cheap) holiday look, Forever 21 is your place. Around the holidays, Forever 21 is filled with festive attire and you rarely find items over $50. Here's a cute 'shimmering pailette miniskirt' that I found which could be both dressed up or dressed down.

Happy holiday shopping!