Happy first day of Fall! I can't believe the Summer is already over. Since this is my first official year out of school, I'm actually really looking forward to the Fall season without the commitment of a new class schedule. While drinking a Starbucks PSL is on (almost) everyone's list for Fall, Sam and I came up with a few other items that are on this season's bucket list for us.
I can't wait to get started this weekend - think spooky graveyard. Follow along on Instagram (@anna_elizabethevents) and Instagram stories to see how I check these items off!
one. Go to the pumpkin patch
two. Have a Fall picnic on Federal Hill
three. Make a pecan pie for Thanksgiving
four. Visit an amusement park
five. Take a day trip to Philadelphia
six. Share a recipe for mulled wine
seven. Go to the shooting range
eight. Take a haunted hay ride
nine. Go to a drive-in movie at Bengie's
ten. Cozy up at a football game
eleven. Dress up spooky for Halloween
twelve. Camp overnight with friends
What items are on your Fall bucket list? Share some with me below!
xo Anna Elizabeth
When I think of Fall, the first word that comes to mind is "cozy". For me, that means swaddled in a chunky knit, lounging by the fire, and snacking on countless warm cookies with milk. This is what I love most about the Fall. Baking a batch of cookies for a family get-together, an office treat, or just for fun on a Sunday afternoon immediately gives me a "feel-good" attitude. Have you ever tried crying while eating a warm. sugary cookie? You just can't. It's actually not possible. But... just, like picture that - it's a strange image to have in your mind.
I came up with this recipe by literally just combining all of my favorite Fall foods: toasted pecans, toffee, and caramel. And it turned out aaah-mazing. I'm not kidding. Sam said that this is single-handedly the BEST dessert I've ever made. Now... that could be saying a lot for my baking in the past buuut, I'll let it slide if that means that I've now hit "pro" status (in his mind, at least).
I'll let you guys in on a little secret - when I made these a few Sundays back, I didn't get a chance to shoot them because the sun had gone down before they were done and I actually didn't catch them in good lighting until Wednesday that week (blogger problems). So, when Wednesday rolled around, we barely had any cookies left to shoot (pictured is literally the leftovers) because we were snacking on them like crrrazy. I was like, "cookies for dinner?" Sunday, Monday, and Tuesday.
So, if the recipe itself doesn't convince you to make them, just know that you're basically "food-prepping" your dinners for the week. #Responsible.
How did your Pecan Toffee Cookies with Caramel Drizzle turn out?
What recipes do you want to see next on AEE? Let me know in the comments below!
xo Anna Elizabeth
Since we haven't quite made it to 70 degrees and official Fall status yet, I'm sharing today how my wardrobe and I have been gradually transitioning into Fall from the Summer months. Although I have the urge to pack up my short sleeve blouses and relaxed sun dresses and wave goodbye for the season, the weather hasn't totally agreed (that doesn't mean that I haven't had my first PSL already #notsorry).
With that being said, I can already tell you that this plaid scarf that I scooped up from Nordstrom last month is going to be one of my Fall staples. It's lightweight, versatile, and it can easily be used as a relaxed accessory with ripped jeans and sandals on a Sunday afternoon or it can help dress up a skirt and heels for a downtown date night.
I paired my plaid scarf with the softest, chambray button down from TopShop and a skirt that I've owned for over 5 years now and probably snagged for less than $20 from Forever 21 (seriously). I slipped into my favorite, nude pointed heels and finished the look with delicate gold accessories and a sultry, sheer lipstick from YSL (another Fall staple, for sure).
Jade from Jade Nikkole Photography (we've featured her work before here) was kind enough to meet me on top of Federal Hill before the sun set to overlook the city skyline. It felt very special for me because I couldn't remember a single, other time that I'd done that since I moved to the city over 4 years ago. It was packed at the top with tourists snapping pictures on their phones and locals sitting on park benches hand in hand with their significant other relaying their work day or friends venting to friends. After the sun had set, Sam and I slipped away downtown to grab pho and steamed buns (a first for me!) at a new, cool spot nearby.
Shop this look:
How do you transition your wardrobe from Summer to Fall?
xo Anna Elizabeth
Abbey is another blogger that I've known for years (8, to be exact). We grew up in the same hometown and attended high school together. When she launched her blog, Twenty Something in the City, this past year it came as no surprise to me because I've always known her to be extremely insightful, full of grace, and a creative soul to be around. Going to Abbey for millennial advice, whether you're debating a move to the big city, wondering how to navigate your first job out of college, or just need to give yourself a pep talk after a long week, seems very fitting.
That's why I've asked Abbey to stop by the blog today and share a few of her secrets with us. Lets get to know the babe behind the blog below:
What are a few words you live by? There are 3 words specifically -“Life goes on.” It’s something my mom has said to me for as long as I can remember and one saying that has constantly kept me grounded.
What inspired you to start your blog? Starting a blog has always been something on my to-do list. I’ve started a few in the past that have failed miserably (the 3rd time’s the charm). In full transparency, the last few months have lacked the creativity that I crave in everyday life. This blog has become something for me to fill that void as well as set goals for myself in relation to adventure, impulsivity, writing and photography.
What is your day job? I currently work in customer experience and social media at a Financial Tech start-up in NYC called Betterment. I am incredibly lucky.
Instagram, Snapchat, or Twitter? Instagram – 100%. I love the idea of being able to share your life and thoughts visually with others that care or take an interest in you and vice versa.
Where do you see yourself in 5 years? Ideally, I will be well traveled and have perfected my writing and photography skills. While it may be a stretch goal I would love to be the creative director of some fabulous company. Or at the very least, working within the marketing/creative department of a company I take pride in.
What is your all-time favorite movie? This is SUCH a difficult question for me. I love so many movies. Perhaps it would be easier by genre? Haha I’m not sure. A movie I could watch over and over again is “The Dark Knight” (surprising, I know). My favorite feel good movie is probably anything with Tom Hanks, “A League of Their Own” and “Big” are definitely up there.
One thing you can’t live without? Peanut Butter. I use it on everything for any meal. I love Peanut butter with Apples and cheddar cheese as a snack.
What inspired your move to New York? I think every little girl goes through a phase where they dream of living in the Big City. That phase just never went away for me. I remember knowing I wanted to live in New York at 13 years old when I saw the Rockefeller Christmas Tree for the first time. I am the BIGGEST Christmas lover and there is just something so magical about the Holidays in New York. My mother always encouraged me to follow my dreams, and so… Here we are and happier than ever.
Finish this sentence: My readers would never guess that: I am the biggest comic book nerd. I’ve seen most comic book series movies at least 10 times. Helllllooooo Deadpool.
What is one thing on your bucket list? Travel to Rome and have a piece of pizza at every restaurant I go to.
What trends are you most excited about for Fall? Being in NYC, it feels like there are constantly trends that are coming and going but two that look like they are staying are over the knee boots and chokers. I think both pieces allow you to feel so sexy in a way but at the same time you are just adding more fabric to your ensemble. It feels so hypocritical… and I think that’s why I love them.
What is your most cringe-worthy moment to date? Oh gosh, have you met me? There are too many to count. I think most recently I went to lunch with the CEO of my company and somehow wedged spinach in my front two teeth without realizing it. He never told me, and my colleague had to tell me when I got back to the office. I’m cringing just thinking about it. He will probably always remember me as “Green Tooth Girl.”
What is your go-to recipe? Stir-Fry! It’s so simple. I always get the pre-packaged stir-fry vegetables from the produce section of Trader Joes. Sautee in some soy/teriyaki sauce and serve over rice.
If you could be any celebrity, dead or alive, for one day who would it be and why? I would have to say, Audrey Hepburn. She was unbelievably talented, beautiful, classic and stylish. I have so many books about her life and how she made her life something to be proud of. I would love to be able to feel confident and happy about the way I lead my life like she was able to. She was a mother, a daughter, an actress, a dancer, and a fashion icon. Who wouldn’t want to be that?
What advice would you give to someone just starting out? Take pride in what you do, it shows in your work. Don’t get down on yourself for not being successful the first time around. You are young, you can grow, learn and absorb from the world around you. Take the time to do so. Only you can make yourself happy, so be sure to make the right decisions and take care of yourself.
Follow Abbey along on Twenty Something in the City: Blog / Instagram
xo Anna Elizabeth
Can you guys believe that this Summer is almost over? While I am looking forward to some cooler days, cozy sweaters, and Fall adventures, this past Summer was definitely one for the books. Sam and I traveled to Canada to explore Montreal and celebrate 5 incredible years together, we vacationed in Tilghman Island with family, and I got the opportunity to work on a ton of creative projects with boss ladies that have quickly become friends.
With the temperature winding down, I wanted to make one last Summer splash before sending this season on its way. I wanted to soak in the last remembrances of this warm, free-spirited season - make lemonade out of lemons, if you will (can't have a Lemonade post without at least one corny line #notsorry).
This Brown Sugar Lemonade with Mint is the perfect, non-alcoholic drink to serve at a gathering to celebrate the end of this sunny season. It's like your favorite childhood treat went to study overseas for the semester and came back fancier than ever, waving around her freshly stamped passport and ordering dinner in French.
(Makes 1 pitcher)
How did your Brown Sugar Lemonade with Mint turn out? What recipes do you want to see on the blog next? Let me know in the comments!
xo Anna Elizabeth
Hey, babes! I hope you all have enjoyed our latest book club read, The Girl on the Train, by Paula Hawkins! For those of you who joined us two weeks ago on the blog, I told you to read to the end of the book for our final discussion tonight. In my opinion (and I think you would agree), The Girl on the Train has lived up to its rave reviews and loyal following by readers. I thought that it was such a fun book to end the Summer with, especially after our more heavy book club read last time around. I think that this book has even gotten me back to my murder-mystery roots!
So, in proper #BabesWhoBookClub fashion, today I'm posting some discussion questions about the second half of the book to get the conversation going. Go ahead and take a peek below to see my questions and answers, and be sure to leave your answers in the comments. Now let’s get to it…
1. One of Rachel’s deepest disappointments, it turns out, is that she can’t have children. Her ex-husband Tom’s second wife Anna is the mother to a young child, Evie. How does Rachel’s inability to conceive precipitate her breakdown? How does the topic of motherhood drive the plot of the story? What do you think Paula Hawkins was trying to say about the ways motherhood can define women’s lives or what we expect from women’s domestic lives, whether as wives, mothers, or unmarried women in general?
2. Think about trust in The Girl on the Train. Who trusts whom? Who is deserving of trust? Is Rachel Watson a very trustworthy person? Why or why not? Who appears trustworthy and is actually not? What are the skills we use to make the decision about whether to trust someone we don’t know well?
3. Other characters in the novel make different assumptions about Rachel Watson depending on how or even where they see her. To a certain extent, she understands this and often tries to manipulate their assumptions—by appearing to be a commuter, for instance, going to work every day. Is she successful? To what degree did you make assumptions about Rachel early on based on the facts and appearances you were presented? How did those change over time and why? How did your assumptions about her affect your reading of the central mystery in the book? Did your assumptions about her change over its course? What other characters did you make assumptions about? How did your assumptions affect your interpretation of the plot? Having now finished The Girl on the Train, what surprised you the most?
1. I think that infertility can be such a devastating moment in a woman's life if she has imagined herself carrying her own child. I think that a large part of that disappointment has to do with the fact that society has placed such an importance on becoming pregnant and starting a family. Having the woman that Rachel's husband had an affair with become pregnant so quickly with his child played a huge part in Rachel's mental breakdown. Rachel expressed many times throughout the book that her depression and drinking habit began when Tom and her found out that they could not conceive on their own and could not afford any more IVF treatments. I think that she then blamed herself for her and Tom's divorce and used it as an excuse for why Tom cheated on her with Anna.
2. I think that this book messed with my head so much because the one person throughout the whole first part of the book that I trusted was really Tom (which is why it was an awesome plot twist). Both Rachel and Anna felt the same way which made it so difficult to see that he was the one behind Megan's murder. Before Rachel came to the realization that Tom had been lying to her and abusing her while she was blacked out, I think that she trusted him wholeheartedly. Personally, I think that the skills that we use to make the decision about whether to trust someone we don't know well is mainly based on our "gut feeling" or the person's body language and likability. I think that this book really showed how easy it is to trust to someone that can be potentially harmful (and even deadly), especially if they are good at manipulation.
3. Based on the context of the first half of the book, I found Rachel to be very desperate, depressed and, more or less, hopeless. I felt extremely bad for her because of her husband leaving her for another woman but, I also felt that there was a certain point where if she wasn't helping herself, she was truly never going to change. I also made assumptions about Anna, based on her dramatics and fears about Rachel. I felt that she was very dependent on Tom and that, essentially, she would do anything to keep him (which is why the last page of the book really shocked me).
What surprised me the most was that Tom was the killer, I had the impression that he was truly in love with Anna and was the victim in the situation with Rachel and her drunken and obsessive behavior. Seeing that scary and manipulative side of him in the end was really such a great twist to the book.
Now it's your turn to answer the discussion questions! Leave your responses in the comments below and feel free to get the conversation going with your fellow book club babes.
xo Anna Elizabeth
Welcome to Anna Elizabeth, my creative space for fashion, recipes, styling, tutorials, figuring out how to run a successful business... and all of the little moments in between!
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