Email with questions, comments, or concerns. Powered by Blogger.

This Week's Top 10

1. I'm leaving this morning for 24 hours of camping with several of my close friends. I'm really excited to unplug, sleep in a tent, make real s'mores, and go on some good hikes! Lately it's felt like I have been so busy doing a million things that I've forgotten how much fun and carefree summer is supposed to be. I really just can't wait to be outside and go on a little adventure.

2. Speaking of being outside, it's been so crazy hot this week. I wish I could live in this romper.

3. The #NSALE isn't over yet! Shop my picks here, and the entire sale right here.

4. Another great sale right now: extra 50% J. Crew sale, and 30% off full priced dresses/swim/sandals

From the sale, I love this cashmere sweater (comes in a million colors and would only be $50, regularly $240!!!), this fabulous beach cover-up, and this adorable fringe tank.

5. I shared a new favorite smoothie bowl recipe yesterday here on the blog, and I'm thinking this healthy french toast bake will be next on my breakfast recipe list.

6. This outfit on Bradley is everything.

7. Have you gotten your planner for the new school year yet?

8. Or are you a rising high school senior wondering what to wear to senior photos?

9. I also revealed my bathroom tour and a fun coupon code on the blog earlier in the week!

10. This all-white beach house in South Africa (!!!) is basically out of this world... literally and figuratively.

Have a great weekend! Any camping tips for me? Do you have any fun plans? I get to see Jack on Sunday (it's been three weeks!) so that will be so nice as well.

Green Mango Smoothie Bowl

I've been super into smoothie bowls lately, especially after I tried this concoction and discovered how easy it is to create dessert for breakfast. I recently have had a ton of spinach in my fridge, so I thought for my second time around I would try a green smoothie bowl... To my surprise, it was so delicious! Unlike kale or arugula, spinach really has no taste when blended in a smoothie, so it's the perfect little trick to add for extra nutrients.

I stuck to my tried-and-true smoothie elements, like Almond Milk, plain greek yogurt, and a small frozen banana, and then added the fruit of a whole mango and an extra big handful of spinach. The bright colored mango combined with the super green spinach made my smoothie almost neon, and then the combo of fresh mango, yogurt, milk, and a frozen banana made this smoothie incredibly creamy.

What you'll need:
2 tbsp greek yogurt 
1/3 cup unsweetened almond milk 
1 small frozen banana
1 mango
1 giant handful of spinach

slivered almonds
chia seed/hemp seed

Blend everything together, adding more yogurt or less milk depending on thickness. Frozen bananas work better to add creaminess to the smoothie, and make it colder which is always a bonus! Add toppings of your choosing (other great options would be other berries, coconut shavings, granola, honey or agave, etc.)

I topped my smoothie bowl with blueberries and slivered almonds, which were a really great combo that added a delicious crunch to my bowl. Something about crunching or actually chewing makes a smoothie bowl a lot more satisfying and makes me feel fuller for some reason. I usually added chia or hemp seeds to my smoothie too for extra fiber or protein.

What's your favorite simple green smoothie bowl recipe? Please share below- I'm on a kick and I want new ideas to try!!

Choosing a Planner / Agenda

It's hard to believe next week is already August, aka the officially month where most 2016-2017 planners / agendas begin. I've had my planner ready to go since May, but I wanted to share a few cute options today in case you're still on the lookout for a good agenda for the school year.

Wise Words // Maybooks (comes in a million colors/patterns/monogram styles) // Kate Spade stripe
Day Designer (mini and full) // Desktop // Ban.Do

This year I will be using this striped Kate Spade agenda. Let me know if you're interested in seeing a closer look at what the inside looks like / my plans for organizing it. In the past I have used the Day Designer, a Maybooks planner, and a large Lilly Pulitzer agenda.

A few pros and cons of each...

The Day Designer is really roomy and wonderful overall. The actual pages are incredibly organized, probably the most organized of any planner out there. The day-to-day pages allow you to set goals and reminders at the top, and next to your daily schedule, which is lined and numbered per hour, there is a to-do list, checklist formatted list as well.

The Lilly Planners are a popular choice because of the classic Lilly look and convenience factor (and the adorable stickers that come with it!!!). However, in my personal experience, I struggled with the Lilly planner. I used a size large my sophomore year, after a mini my freshman year. I assumed the large would suffice, but it's safe to say it was still too small, and I would recommend to anyone choosing a Lilly planner to opt for the "jumbo". The pages are very basic and simple (just lines), so the more room you have, the easier it will be to stay organized. 

I used a Maybooks agenda this past year and found it to be incredibly compact, which wasn't actually a bad thing. As I mentioned above, my large Lilly planner felt too small and often left me feeling irritated when I had no more room left to write. My Maybooks planner is definitely way smaller than the Lilly, for sure the smallest planner of all of the ones I've used, but for some reason it didnt feel as crammed. The daily boxes are totally blank- no lines or anything, so occasionally organization was a challenge if I had a ton of assignments on a particular day. However, I loved that this planner was completely customizable and incredibly compact. I often felt like the spirals of my Day Designer and Lilly agenda were bulky, and despite having less room with my Maybooks, the compact style was really nice.

I am really excited to try out the Kate Spade agenda this year. I feel like having a ton of room in my planner now that I'm starting college just makes the most sense, so it should be a good fit for what I need! 

Do you have a favorite planner?

My Bathroom Tour

Next week will mark one year of living in my current house, but it feels like I've been here for quite a while! One of my favorite things about this house is that I have my own bathroom in my room, a little luxury that I never understood until we moved. I love having a place where I can spread out my make-up and fragrances without getting in the way of someone else, and it's just a convenience overall.

What to Wear for Senior Photos

I took my Senior Photos in Rhode Island last August, and I know a ton of other girls at my school took theirs around the same time as well. With senior photos just around the corner for the class of 2017, there comes a little bit of stress with what to wear, how to do hair and makeup, and where to shoot. Luckily, professional photographers are pros for a reason, so they’re good at picking locations, telling you how to tilt your head for the perfect look, and they’re even pretty good about making sure all flyaways are tame and there isn’t any mascara on your eyelids. However, one thing that you have to do before you meet up with your photographer is pick out a couple of outfits, or at least a few different tops for your shoot. 

When I did my senior pictures I wore white jeans, and I brought one short-sleeve top, a sleeveless top, and a sweater. I did my photos on the Cliff Walk in Newport so I knew I wouldn’t want to be in a dress or skirt, but I always think it’s cute when girls do one outfit with pants, one with a skirt, and another with a dress. I wouldn't suggest doing more than three outfits because you might feel overwhelmed when you’re trying to fit in all of your outfit changes during the actual shoot, and it’s also rare that you will actually find a place to change that isn’t behind a bush, a tree, or your mom (it's true). 

When it comes to picking the outfit, here are a few tips:

1. Make sure you're comfortable // This is extremely obvious, but it's important to remember that if you're feeling uncomfortable, even if that means you're just a little too hot or too chilly in your outfit, you won't be focused on smiling and looking good for the camera. Rather, you'll be stressed about how you're sweating, or you're shirt is poking out, etc.

2. Patterns are cute, but steer clear of stripes, graphics and plaid // I think it's really cute when girls wear Lilly tops or dresses, for example, because the patterns and bright colors peek out in the picture and add a little personality. However, stripes and plaid are notorious for just not photographing well, and occasionally making people look wide. Stripes and plaid are also more distracting to the eye because of the symmetrical/geometric pattern. Graphics are also generally too random and casual. However, if you're really against looking too basic in a solid top, remember that fun textures and detailing always look good, like lace or crochet.

3. Pick a flattering sleeve and neckline // In general, your outfit should be a flattering one, of course. That's another obvious one! You want to look good, so don't wear something that doesn't make you look great. If you’re self-conscious about your arms, avoid sleeveless or cap-sleeve shirts and tank tops, as they tend to make arms look fuller. For necklines, it's easy for collars to get messed up if they're popped, so only choose a polo or button down if you prefer to keep your color down (I personally rarely keep my collar down!), and since off-shoulder is trending, I just want to point out that you might run the risk of looking like you went sans clothing if you opt for a top like that.

4. Know what colors look good on you // This is pretty basic, but make sure you're not wearing something that might make you look washed out, blend in with your hair/skin, etc. 

Overall, I would recommend picking outfits that are easy to change in and out of, don't really worry about shoes too much (trust me, the pictures people end up using for senior photos are rarely full body pictures, which makes sense because in a yearbook you want to focus on your face and pic a closer shot), and try to have at least one top be a solid color as it's the least distracting and often most flattering!

Shop below for a few ideas of what to wear if you're still a little unsure:


Sea Salt Chocolate Black Bean Brownie Bites

Happy Saturday! I know I don't usually post on the weekends, but I wanted to quick remind you all to enter my giveaway here, and to shop the Nordstrom sale before things sell out! I also just had to share this recipe I made on Thursday...

So, the other day I found a tupperware container in my fridge with an extremely questionable looking substance inside that turned out to be undrained black beans. It just so happened to be pouring rain, I was bored, I wanted chocolate (there's a shock), and I was in the mood to bake. What does one do when all of those stars align? And there are black beans in the fridge? Turn to Pinterest and whip up some black bean brownies!

I explored a ton of recipes and ended up using this one as my inspiration. Because I wasn't sure how the brownies would turn out, I cut down the recipe. (That last sentence is a total lie; I only cut down the recipe because I had a small amount of beans.) I ended up making a mini batch of brownies, and once they were done and I did a little sampling, I realized they were dense and fudgy enough to be cut into small squares that still satisfied my sweet tooth! I added my own little twist and sprinkled the brownies with cinnamon and powdered sugar and sea salt on top. Ugh, they're so good.

5 tablespoons drained black beans
1 tablespoon coconut oil
1 1/2 tablespoons honey
2 tablespoons cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1 egg
Sea Salt

The whole process is super easy. I didn't even get out a bowl! I used our smallest food processor and it worked perfectly.

1. Preheat your oven to 350 and drain your black beans
2. Add beans, coconut oil, and honey to food processor; blend until smooth
3. Add cocoa powder and vanilla; blend until smooth
4. Add egg; blend until smooth (obviously)
5. Bake for 11-13 minutes on parchment paper on a pan until the brownies have cracked at the top and a toothpick comes out clean
6. When you take out the brownies, dust lightly with cinnamon and a good amount of sea salt. Let the brownies cool before cutting!


This Week's Top 10

1. The #NSALE public access is officially here!!! Shop my picks for the sale here, and the actual sale HERE!

2. I tried three new recipes yesterday! Another smoothie bowl, black bean brownies (recipe will be up tomorrow!), and I made crepes last night with one of my friends!

3. Ahh, it's only been a few days and I already miss Sammy so much.

4. I've been adding a ton of clothes to my closet on Poshmark!! You can shop my closet (frannieacciardo) here, and if you create a new account be sure to use the code NTYXT for $5 credit!

5. My dorm is finally coming together!!! I ordered my bedding this week (it's a surprise!), but hint: I want this pillow to match.

6. ...and how cute is this pineapple lamp?

7. Follow my dorm board on Pinterest for more dorm inspiration!

8. I think I just discovered my new favorite interior design blog.

9. Loving this workout tank (on sale now for under $25).

10. Have you entered my giveaway yet?! You can win your own JimmyCASE iPhone case!


Nordstrom Anniversary Sale Picks

Today is the final day for Early Access to the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale, which means that public access for anyone to shop starts tomorrow!!! I've rounded up my picks from the sale and organized them into shapable widgets, which means you can click the icon next to each product and be directed over to the Nordstrom site. I've also organized my picks into six categories: dorm, fitness, accessories, shoes, and beauty so your shopping can be made easy.

You might wonder why I skipped fashion but to be completely honest I just didn't love a ton of the clothing options in the sale! I think a lot of bloggers have already covered that, too. The only thing I want to quick mention is this pair of dark wash skinny jeans that are under $50 and look like they'd be an amazing staple for everyone's wardrobe.

Oh, but the best part about my particular shopping guide?! Almost everything I've picked is under $100! Get to it...

Happy shopping!


I didn't really realize it until I sat down to write this post how many "long-distance relationships" I have in my life... My dad has been living in Rhode Island for the last two years (he actually just relocated to Dallas, though!), Jack has been spending the summer in Door County, and blogging has introduced me to so many fabulous friends who are scattered across the country. I've always had my mom's family in St. Louis, and my dad's family across New England, so having a few miles between me and my peeps isn't all that strange to me. However, when you're reunited with the people you love and only get to see so rarely, it's the sweetest treat.

I actually, to be honest, completely forgot how much I love Sammy until she hopped out of the car in her pink romper and ran to give me a hug on my front steps. We all have those friends that it doesn't matter how long it's been since you've seen them, but right when you're together again it feels like that big gap never even existed. We picked up right where we left off and it was amazing! Thinking I only had 72 with Sammy is crazy because somehow, as short as that might be, it totally made up for the last two years of not seeing each other.

On Saturday night Caroline and I took Sammy to one of our favorite restaurants, famous for the frites and aioli. We also stopped by Lake Michigan and actually got in the water... um, I'm surprised we all made it out without hypothermia! It was freezing, but swimming in the pitch black night was really fun and totally worth it. We took Sammy to Culver's after for custard, a Wisconsin staple... safe to say, we ate a lot in those quick 72 hours. Oops. It happens.

On Sunday we stayed in our pajamas until one and then got brunch with my mom and Caroline's mom. We went to my friend's graduation party before returning home to relax, blog together, and make ice cream sundaes. After all, it was national ice cream day!

You can read all about our day on Monday in yesterday's collab, too, which includes a few yummy breakfast recipes from our lazy morning at home!

Overall, I am so so glad I made it home from Martha's Vineyard in time on Saturday to spend the rest of my weekend with Sammy before she returned to LA. I'd take a staycation in Wisco with my BFF anyday over another vacay!!!

PS- Get the details on my outfit in this post here (and enter my giveaway in that post, too, while you're at it ;)

Breakfast & Blogging in Bed

One of the best parts about having Sammy in town is not only being reunited with my best friend (that I hadn't seen in two years!!), but also being able to do all of my favorite blogging things with her and Caroline, and doing them together instead of alone or just the two of us makes everything triple the fun. On both Sunday and Monday we admittedly stayed in our pajamas until noon and then finally got around to getting something to eat. On Sunday we brunched, but Monday we made a quick trip to the grocery store to return for breakfast and blogging "in bed" (aka, the couch). Something about giant yogurt parfaits and avocado toast always is so satisfying, especially on a sunny summer morning with your BFFs. And, staying in pajamas, or what we like to call our "preppy homeless" attire, make for a fun change from the typical process of getting dressed up and going out.

Our morning menu, as mentioned, included deliciously large layered yogurt parfaits and my personal favorite, avocado toast.

We layered our parfaits with Fage 0% plain greek yogurt (my favorite kind of greek yogurt because it's super thick and there isn't any added sugar), Kashi Cranberry granola which I had never tried but ended up being delicious, and lots of berries and cinnamon.

A few tips for creating the perfect parfait:

It's all about the ratios //  Organize your parfait in layers and add a little bit of everything in each layer.

Start with the yogurt, but not too much! // What goes in the bottom is going to be the hardest to reach, and the last bite, so you'll want to make it tasty knowing you probably won't be able to stir that part all up. If you add too much yogurt in at the bottom you'll be left with all yogurt and no yummy toppings at the end.

Add something unexpected... // Greek yogurt, granola and berries are of course the base recipe for perfection, but adding cinnamon was a little unexpected and an addition so delicious I wouldn't have wanted to enjoy my parfait without it! You could also try honey for added sweetness, lemon zest for a citrusy twist, or slivered almonds for even more crunch.

I also whipped up another avocado toast creation, but used a few different ingredients this time around. In honor of making it at Caroline's house, I added a citrusy touch into the mix: lots of lemon!

We used this really delicious sprout bread, and this is how I made the avocado mash:

1. Mash up two ripe avocados in a bowl, but don't overmash as the stirring to follow will contribute to that. 
2. Squeeze the juice of half a lemon and mix together
3. Add a splash of olive oil (a little less than a tablespoon)
4. Grind sea salt and a little pepper, to taste

Mix up the mash until all ingredients are distributed evenly, and use a spoon or fork to spread over your toast. Garnish with a lemon and you're done!

This breakfast was honestly so delicious and seriously easy- no cooking or baking involved! We spent the following few hours before Sammy had to get on her plane home blogging and just hanging out together in our pajamas... The whole time she was here was the best and I miss her way too much already!!!

 How do you do lazy morning breakfast with your BFFs? Make sure to read Sammy and Caroline's posts on their blogs today too.

JimmyCASE Review (& Giveaway!)

When it comes to iPhone cases, I have to admit I'm pretty uncritical and really not picky at all. My mom got me this Kate Spade iPhone case at the Apple store when she picked up my iPhone 6 in the fall and I never thought twice about it until the jimmyCASE reached out about sending me their iPhone 6s Wallet Case

Martha's Vineyard Recap

My first trip to Martha’s Vineyard this last week could not have been more fun! My Aunt spontaneously texted me just a week and a half ago on the Friday afternoon I was driving up to Door County and invited me to the vineyard this past Wednesday through Friday. Living in Boston, she goes to the vineyard quite frequently and had to make a short trip out for work, so she suggested I hang out with my cousin for a few days on the island. OMG, am I glad I could go! I had to nanny on Monday and Tuesday, so the timing couldn’t have been more ideal. I flew out Tuesday afternoon right after I was done! My cousin, Aunt, and I had so much fun, and I’m so lucky I had them to show me around. My aunt has been visiting the vineyard at least once a year since she first went with my uncle and my parents 25 years ago, so she definitely knew where I had to stop to make the most of my 48 hours on the island for the first time.

Like I mentioned, I flew out after nannying on Tuesday afternoon. I landed in Boston pretty late and we spent the night at my aunt’s house. Wednesday morning we slept in, packed up, drove out to the Cape and got on the 2:30 ferry! Immediately upon arrival I was greeted by quintessential New England style homes, white sand beaches, a million Jeep Wranglers, and a sea ;) full of people donning Black Dog caps and Jack Rogers. If you haven’t already been to Martha’s Vineyard or painted up a pretty picture in your mind of what it might look like based off of that description, it’s pretty safe to say when you think of preppy New England heaven, you’re thinking of MV.


Our first stop on the island was the Atlantic in Edgartown. We were staying up Main Street in Edgartown at a little inn, so we just made the quick drive from the ferry that dropped us off in Oak Bluffs straight over to the Atlantic for a snack. Okay, if you’ve never had crab guac and you’re a fan of seafood like I am, you need to experience it. We ordered the king crab guacamole (I might just be the biggest guac fan out there, have you seen my recipe? Or this avocado toast recipe I posted the other day?) and it was incredible. My cousin also ordered the tomato bisque with came with a savory fontina grilled cheese on the side that was delectable with every bite!

We explored downtown Edgartown following our stop at the Atlantic where my aunt and cousin pointed out some of the cutest shops and spots on and around Main Street. We eventually headed back to our hotel before venturing to Oak Bluffs, seeing that area, and then having a late dinner at The Sweet Life Cafe. 

The ambience at the Sweet Life was simply charming. We’re talking an ivy-covered exterior of a petite, old victorian home and a back patio sparkling with strung lights. The three of us shared the beet and burrata salad to start. I love beets and really any kind of cheese, and so does my aunt. We both agreed that this dish was outstanding. I had the scallops for dinner, and we tried the blueberry pie and black forest cake for dessert…. My scallops might have been the best scallops I’ve tried (and I love ordering scallops), and because I have a huge sweet tooth, I enjoyed the desserts as well! I do have to admit, however, that the desserts weren’t that outstanding, and I probably could’ve (and should’ve…) skipped them because I was pretty satisfied after my scallops (which were huge! the entree came with four big divers!).


Thursday morning my cousin and I woke up feeling a little sluggish from our huge dinner and wanted a healthy breakfast. I was so happy we’d brought our bikes over to the island because that made for incredibly convenient and easy transportation around the Vineyard. We biked down main street to Rosewater Market and Take Away, which I have concluded to be my favorite place. We both had the chia pudding with house-made granola and it was outstanding. I talked a little about this in my Top 10 on Friday, but it was simply incomparable with any other chia puddings I’ve tried/made, and the granola was equally incredible. Rosewater, besides offering healthy foods in a take-away type manner, has a cute little shop and the prettiest sit-down area, both inside and out.

We shopped in Edgartown for a couple of hours after where I honestly wanted to buy, like, everything, in every store. We wanted through a neighborhood down a side street and also fell in love with the houses, landscaping, and flowers…. what a surprise! 

We stopped at that point for ice cream at Scoop Shack once we made our way back to the main cluster of shops. Something about ice cream in New England is seriously crazy good. I don’t know what it is, but I’m always eating ice cream when I’m in Boston and Rhode Island and I have noticed it’s just so much better. I opted for my typical order: black raspberry chocolate chip in a sugar cone, but Scoop Shack had some really fun and delicious looking flavors. Unfortunately I think more of my cone ended up dripping onto the dock than made it into my mouth, but it’s whatever. It happens I guess, lol.

Once we finished our cones, my cousin and I got on the, literally, two minute ferry over to “Chappy”, or Chappaquidick Island. We left our bikes in Edgartown, which was not smart, because we quickly discovered that unless you’re beachin’ it or driving/biking to the end of Chappy for the lighthouse, there’s nothing there. We wandered around some trails and actually attempted hitchhiking for about an hour before giving up, and heading make to Edgartown, blisters in tow, for lunch at Among the Flowers.

Among the Flowers is such a cute, healthy sit-down spot right in the main cluster of downtown Edgartown. We each ordered a salad, and my watermelon and tomato salad was so refreshing and delicious, like summer in a bowl! The salads were huge so we each took about half of them back to the hotel with us and finished them after our…. 20. Mile. Bikeride. Yeah, let me tell you about that.

After lunch my cousin and I went back to the hotel and changed into our suits and more casual clothes. We biked, albeit got lost for like two miles and had to detour back, to Jaw’s Bridge where we planned to jump off, but when we got there it was rainy and crowded, so we skipped the whole swimming/beach thing, and continued to Oak Bluffs to find the East Chop lighthouse. Did I mention that’s an 8 mile ride? Oh, and it was pouring rain the whole time?

We got to East Chop light and discovered it to be tiny. It was honestly pretty funny… the whole thing. Like, we biked 10 miles in the pouring rain, which was fun just considering we were in the Vineyard and TBH everything there is fun, and then once we got to the lighthouse it was just like, what? This is it? We biked back to our hotels and cleaned up for dinner. We wanted to watch the sunset in Menemsha and have a picnic with lobsters from Larsen’s Market, which I have heard is one of the most beautiful spots to watch a sunset, not only in MV, but on the East Coast in general, but since the weather wasn’t really cooperating, my aunt and cousin still showed me Larsen’s and then we had dinner at Homeport. The food was delicious, of course. I really think anything you order there would taste incredible… there were two older couples right next to us enjoying lobsters all around, and the restaurant is BYOB so it was a fun ambience, too!


On Friday my aunt didn’t have to work, so she woke up early to take some cool boot camp workout class in a barn with her friend (#goals)! My cousin and I biked out to Katama, or South Beach, to meet her afterwards for breakfast at Right Fork diner, which sits right at the Air Field so you can watch the biplanes take off and land while you enjoy breakfast. I ordered the greek yogurt and granola, which was fabulous and topped with colossal assortment of fresh berries. My cousin ordered their famous pancakes, and those might’ve been the fluffiest pancakes I have ever seen! So yummy- you all know brunch is my fave meal of the day!

We went back into Edgartown to shop a little more, because really, you never can shop enough there! We stopped in C.B. Stark, one of the cutest jewelry stores I think I’ve been in, seriously, where my aunt got me a gorgeous silver charm of the island to add to my charm bracelet I received from my grandparents for graduation. The charm is such a beautiful memento of this fun trip and my first time to the vineyard, and I absolutely love it.

We also went to Island Alpaca on Friday afternoon, which I found hilarious. There were 50 alpaca (alpacas? is it plural? I don’t even know) at this alpaca farm I guess you could call it, and it was honestly just so funny. They all have afros! I kind of felt bad for them, their fur is so thick and I was almost 90 degrees!

We finally ventured out to Vineyard Haven to see the town and stopped for a quick bite. We popped in more shops before getting on the 5 PM ferry and then driving back to Boston. Overall, it was a fast and full three days, but incredibly fun and awesome to spend time with my aunt and my cousin in my new favorite place!!! I spend so much time in New England so I always forget there are new places to go, too. I need to stop thinking I’m a local… I’m not quite on that level yet!

Have you ever visited Martha's Vineyard?