Spring Is Here

Now…let’s hope it stays around. It looks like we are in luck, judging by the weather reports for the week, with temps reaching the high 50’s and 60’s almost every day. After last week’s rain, I am elated by this development.

The weekend didn’t disappoint, either. Sunday was too perfect a day to waste, so I took full advantage of it. I went to breakfast with a friend, found my way to a Farmer’s Market in Port Jefferson, NY (where I caught up with two of my favorite people—Linda and Madeline from Chocology), and even took a few minutes to relax and listen to the sound of the water lapping against the shore.

If the weekend is any indication, I’d say we’re in for a good week…at least weather wise.

Here’s a quick recap:


{Irresistible treats at a work event in New York City}


{My new motto courtesy of @thetaylorhouse}

Gym Selfie

{Gym Selfie}

Port Jefferson, NY

{A perfect spring day in Port Jefferson}

Chocology Unlimited

{A sweet gift from Chocology. Check out my Instagram to see what’s inside!}

The Friday Five

Goodbye, winter. Hello, spring (even if it does feel like winter is still lingering in the shadows). After suffering with back pain for the last week, I sure am glad to have two days off and no plans. Here’s to spending the next 48 hours away from my computer, somewhat off social media, and most likely on the couch with a heating pad, binge-watching shows from the week. It sounds like an ideal weekend, if you ask me.

La Boulange


Long Island Spring

{Hello, spring!}

Spring Starbucks Cups

{My latest obsession: the spring cups from Starbucks}


{A cozy dinner by the fire}

Chocolate Mousse Cake

{The most #instaworthy cake there ever was}

Cheers to the Weekend!

This week came and went, and I’m having a hard time believing we will soon be welcoming July. Summer feels like it is flying by right before my eyes. Aside from a minor setback with my anxiety (and my goals to eat less sugar, as evidenced in my Instagram recap below), this week was uneventful — albeit the usual busyness still ensued. I’m hoping to take some calmness with me into the weekend and spend as much time outdoors as I can. Cheers, friends. I hope you all have a great weekend!

Chocolate Chip Cookies

{Seriously chocolately chocolate chip cookies}


{Backyard Blooms}

LOFT Sunglasses

{New sunnies from LOFT coming to the blog soon!}

Fish and Chips

{Fish and Chips at the Post Office Cafe}

Chocolate Peanut Butter Dessert

{Can’t forget to leave room for dessert}

Follow me on Instagram and Snapchat (username: livinginsteil) to keep up with all of my musings!

Sweet Treats for Valentine’s Day

Sweet Treats for Valentine's Day

It just wouldn’t be Valentine’s Day without those sweet treats. And who better to talk about sweets than a chocoholic? Whether you’re staying in or dining out, Valentine’s Day is your one day to indulge (well, one day where it is perfectly acceptable to eat more than the recommended amount of sugar). So why not get creative?

Read on for a few delicious and decadent Valentine’s Day treats that you can make in no time.

This week, Emily at Cupcakes and Cashmere shared a simple but sinful recipe for Valentine’s Day that looks too good to pass up. How do strawberry brownie skewers sound to you? As a brownie lover, I’ll say they sound pretty darn good. And they’re easy to make, too. For extra gooeyness, add roasted marshmallows and drizzle your creation with white and dark chocolate.

If you would like to keep with the strawberry theme, Jamie at Treats and Trends has you covered with a gorgeous strawberry chocolate cake. Her cake almost looks too good to eat (and I’m sure it is delicious).

Personally, I love a good breakfast on Valentine’s Day. Which is why you’ll find me happily indulging in a crêpe come Sunday. But if you’re more into having breakfast in bed, Kate at Taffeta and Tulips has the perfect solution — mini chocolate chip heart-shaped pancakes. Growing up, I loved chocolate chip pancakes and waffles. And truth be told, I still do as an adult. But if you’re worried about sticking to those healthy New Year’s resolutions you made last month (you remember those), Kate will show you how to tweak the recipe so both your heart and head are happy.

Having a Galentine’s Day party instead this year? Then you’d be wise to make your way over to Camille Styles’ blog and check out her chocolate and cheese post. And if you still need more inspiration, her 15 delicious and healthy Valentine’s Day desserts post will melt your heart.

What are some of your favorite Valentine’s Day treats? Do you have any decadent recipes you’d like to share? Come on, don’t make a chocoholic beg!

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas

The day that we have all be talking about — planning for — and creating gift guides around — is here. I hope you have your shopping done, presents wrapped, and meals planned, and you can just relax in the company of family and friends.

I, for one, am looking forward to some down time. These last few weeks have been particularly busy for me (as I’m sure they have been for you, as well). Add in a hard spill that I took ice skating the other day while pretending to be Katarina Witt, and my tailbone and I could use some couch time.

My little family has a simple meal planned, complete with a delicious dessert (which yours truly was in charge of!). We will exchange gifts and spend some quality time around the tree (the first one I have ever done with white lights, by the way).

I hope you have a very Merry Christmas! I’ll be back on Monday with some posts to wrap up 2015.

P.S. Should you find yourself in charge of the dessert this year and need something quick and easy, don’t forget about the Reese’s No-Bake Peanut Butter Bars that I mentioned here. They are a crowd-pleaser — and your guests will be impressed by your confectionary competence. Just be sure to transfer the finished product to a nice tray before serving!

Wednesday Wanderings

This summer is going by way too fast (who’s with me?). I feel like I say this a lot, but the last couple of weeks have been a complete blur; and seeing my calendar read the middle of a July is making me sad. The nice weekend weather has me wanting to be out as much as possible, but come Monday I am beyond exhausted. Needless to say, I have neglected a few (okay, most) of my adult responsibilities like laundry, emails, grocery shopping, and cooking. I keep reminding myself that it is all for a good cause, though.

So, here’s how I’ve been occupying my precious summer days the past couple weeks:

West Neck Beach

{Beach Time!}


{Pretty Flowers}


{Afternoon Dessert}

Dressage at Old Field Farm

{Dressage at Old Field Farm}

Ice Cream Sandwich

{DIY Cookie Ice Cream Sandwich}

How are you spending the summer?

Munching on Macarons

Macaron Cafe - New York City

Everyone loves the macaron. The delicate French confection packs a lot of flavor into a small, colorfully sandwiched dessert. If you are searching for quality macarons, then look no further than New York City’s MacarOn Café. I stopped there in March to meet a friend for coffee, and my eyes were drawn to the brightly colored macarons, perfectly displayed and looking oh-so-delicious. I couldn’t help but order a few to bring back home for myself and my grandmother (who loves macarons and voted these the best she has ever had!).

Macaron Cafe - New York City

I was delighted when the MacarOn Café told me they were introducing a new flavor for spring. They already offer an exquisite selection, but their latest creation takes the cake (or the cookie!). If you like chocolate (et moi, j’aime le chocolat!), and grew up making S’mores, then the milk chocolate, marshmallow fluff and sprinkles macaron is for you. Let’s just say from the first bite I was sold. Even though I’m not a huge fan of marshmallows, this combination was rich and the flavors complemented one another well. If Nutella, dark chocolate or mocha macarons are your thing, then you should give the new milk chocolate and marshmallow fluff flavor a try. You won’t be disappointed!

Two other flavors that I have tried are the rose lychee and the coconut. The former has a very sweet, distinctively fruity undertone to it, while expertly capturing the lychee flavor (and I love it for its pretty pastel pink exterior), while the latter has a subtle hint of coconut in a creamy filling.

What I appreciate about the MacarOn Café is the amazing range of decadent combinations that they offer (pumpkin cinnamon, anyone?), and that each bite is unique. Spend some time on their site or in their cafe browsing the heavenly selection to see for yourself! Whether you order online or in-person, be prepared to receive your treats in a box that is as charming as its contents.

The texture of these macarons is a testament to the quality ingredients that the MacarOn Café uses. True macaron connoisseurs will appreciate the consistency that has been achieved to ensure that the macaron is not too hard and chewy or too soft and mushy. I particularly like that they are not overly sweet, but satisfy my sugar cravings!

With four locations in New York City, this is the perfect place to grab breakfast from their daily menu, stop in for a mid-afternoon macaron snack, or place an order for a lunchbox delivery if you happen to live or work nearby. And if you don’t call New York City home, you can still have your macarons and eat them, too, with their convenient order-by-phone option.

I think all that’s left to say is…bon appétit!

Photography by Vlad Polchaninoff
Macarons courtesy of the MacarOn Café