Happy Hour

Happy Hour {Fall in Central Park} || Runway Chef It couldn’t be a more appropriate day for a Happy Hour post than the day before Thanksgiving. In a world that seems to become more wrapped up (pun unintentional) in holiday presents every year and less interested in being grateful, it can be hard to focus on what truly matters. Instead of my typical picture HH, I wanted to share a few things that I’m especially thankful for right now. Because I hate having all the attention on me (yes, I’m aware how ironic that statement seems) I’d love to hear things that you’re thankful for in the comments below, or, if you share a picture of something your thankful for on social media, use the #rchappyhour. And if you think you have nothing to be thankful for, well think again!

1. My husband- I know I say it a lot, but this guy is my entire world. There are not enough words in the whole dictionary to describe how thankful I am for all his unending love, support, hard work, dedication, honesty, patience, food-tasting, and photography taking.

2. My family- They may be slightly dysfunctional and there may be a few people who are no longer with us, but the older I get, the more appreciative I am of the family that I do have. I heard a story on the news about a man in Virginia who was staying in a homeless shelter. He had put an ad out looking for a family so he didn’t have to spend the holiday alone like the previous year because it made him so sad. It was a reminder to me, that no matter how crazy my family can drive me, there is someone somewhere who would do anything to have those people in their life.

3. Setbacks and difficulties- It may sound like a funny thing to be thankful for, but every single difficulty or set back in my life has always helped me learn a lesson, work harder, become a better person, or led me down a better path than the one I had originally planned for. I wouldn’t be who I am or where I am without those experiences, so for that I am truly thankful.

4. Food- The ability to have it, to know how to cook with it, to enjoy and taste the flavors of it, to be able to appreciate it, to live in a city full of restaurants that serve it so well, that I can make a living with it, and to be able to share it with loved ones.

5. Blogging World- Last, but certainly not least, I’m so incredibly grateful for this blog and everything that has come through it. Not a day goes by that I don’t realize how lucky I am that I get to share things I love with you, every.single.day. It’s taken a lot of hard work, love, and sacrifice (from myself and my family) to get RC where it is today and for all of that I’m truly thankful. But the thing I’m most thankful for are all of you who come to read, comment, pin, share, tweet, like, email, etc….it truly blows my mind away. I simply started this blog as an escape from a mountain of job applications and it has since turned into so much more- a network of friends, an escape from the dramas of real life, a wonderful community and support system, and a means of helping me provide for my family. I’m truly, beyond words, grateful to each of you.

Don’t forget…I really want to hear some things you’re thankful for in the comments below or on social media! I hope you all have a wonderful Thanksgiving and I’ll see you back here Monday morning!

Travel Daydreams- Sorrento, Italy

Travel Daydreams- Sorrento, Italy || Runway Chef While everyone is off gearing up for Black Friday and planning how to score the best deals for every single thing they need want in their life, I’m just over here scrolling through my Pinterest travel board, dreaming up my next trip. One place that keeps sticking out to me? Sorrento, Italy.  Of course, it’s no secret that I want to visit Italy. My family originates from there, and I have relatives who live in Italy so I would love nothing more than to immerse myself in the country (and let’s be real, I’d also love to immerse my face in lots of wine, pasta, and gelato!).  While I’m dying to visit Rome, Milan, and Tuscany, Sorrento is one place I can’t get out of my head (obviously not much has changed since I made this list a few years back). The beautiful water, the colorful houses, the fragrant lemons (read: limoncello), and, of course, the food. It truly looks like a dream! I’ve decided that before I turn 30, I must make it there. I may or may not have already looked at places to stay on this website. And I may or may not have already made a list of some of the things I want to do once I get there. Just a little proactive (read: persuading the husband) planning, you know?!? Here are some of the things I’d love to check out in Sorrento:

  • Check out Piazza Tasso
  • Rent a scooter to explore the area
  • Do a Limoncello tasting to find the best one (Cliche, I know, but I had to because we’re limoncello fanatics…we even made our own once!)
  • Explore the Amalfi Coast
  • Visit Chiesa di San Francesco to see the beautiful gardens (You must look them up if you don’t know what I’m talking about, they are so gorgeous!)
  • Hunt down the best local dishes and some fresh seafood
  • Learn the history of Sorrento
  • Go hiking to see the beautiful views

Looks like the only thing I need now is a plane ticket…and of course, to convince Mr. RC that we’re going!

Have you been to Sorrento? If so, do you have any recommendations for local food or local spots to check out? I’d love to add them to my list of things to-do once we finally travel there! 

*picture via*

Pumpkin Morning Glory Muffins

Pumpkin Morning Glory Muffins || Runway Chef #muffins #breakfast As much as we’d all like to, we all can’t live on turkey, stuffing, and pumpkin pie alone come Thanksgiving day (believe me, I’ve tried). Like any other day, it’s important to make sure you eat a hearty and healthy breakfast. Besides, I don’t know about you, but I’ve attempted the whole skip-eating-in-the-morning-to-save-for-dinner thing, and the verdict is, I love food too darn much to EVER skip eating. So I decided to remedy the Thanksgiving day breakfast woes with these pumpkin morning glory muffins (a fall take on my all-time favorite muffins). They are equal parts delicious, festive (they have pumpkin and tons of spices), and healthy (thanks to some sneaky veggies!). Not only will these muffins satisfy the morning hunger pains, they’ll also leave you feeling guilt-free enough to indulge in that second piece of pie later in the day (because obviously eating veggies for breakfast deserves a reward). Bring it turkey day, I’m armed with muffins and ready for you!

Pumpkin Morning Glory Muffins || Runway Chef #muffins #breakfast Pumpkin Morning Glory Muffins || Runway Chef #muffins #breakfast Pumpkin Morning Glory Muffins || Runway Chef #muffins #breakfast

Pumpkin Morning Glory Muffins || Runway Chef #muffins #breakfast Pumpkin Morning Glory Muffins || Runway Chef #muffins #breakfast

Pumpkin Morning Glory Muffins
Yields 18
A seasonal twist on the popular morning glory muffins with pumpkin, parsnips and cranberries
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Ingredients
  1. 2 cups all-purpose flour
  2. 2 teaspoons baking soda
  3. 1/2 teaspoon salt
  4. 2 tablespoons chia seeds (optional)
  5. 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  6. 1/4 teaspoon ginger
  7. 1/2 teaspoon allspice
  8. 10 grates of fresh nutmeg
  9. 1/4 cup honey
  10. 1/4 cup brown sugar
  11. 2 tablespoons molasses
  12. 1/3 cup oil (vegetable or coconut)
  13. 2 eggs
  14. 2 teaspoons vanilla
  15. 1 cup pure pumpkin puree
  16. 1 large carrot, grated (should equal about 1 cup grated)
  17. 1 large parsnip, grated (should equal about 1 cup grated)
  18. 1/2 cup shredded, unsweetened coconut
  19. 1/2 cup pecans, chopped
  20. 1/2 cup dried cranberries (you could also use raisins or chopped dates)
  21. 1 apple, cut into small cubes
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  2. In a large bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, salt, chia seeds (if you are using them), and spices. Whisk to combine.
  3. Next, mix in the sugar, honey, molasses, oil, eggs, and pumpkin puree, stirring just until everything is mixed.
  4. Lastly, fold in the fruits and vegetables, making sure not to over mix.
  5. Grease or line a muffin pan. Then use a 1/3 scoop to fill each tin up. Bake the muffins for about 25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center of a middle muffin comes out clean. Remove the pan and allow the muffins to cool for a couple minutes before removing them from the pan.
Notes
  1. Store leftover muffins in a tightly sealed ziplock bag. I usually keep the bag on the counter for 2 days and then, if there are still muffins left, I keep the rest in the fridge for up to a week.
  2. The fruits and vegetables are all fairly interchangeable. Feel free to use the nuts or dried fruit of your choosing and if you don't have parsnips you can simply do a totally of 2 carrots.
Runway Chef http://www.runwaychef.com/
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Shirt Dress & Over-the-Knee Boots

Color Block Navy Shirt Dress & Over-the-knee Boots || Runway Chef Just as I was getting all into layers and scarves and jackets, the weather decided it would be fun to warm up for a day. Yeah, fun if I hadn’t already made a full-on commitment to embrace winter. And fun if it wasn’t going to snow two days later. What a tease! I mean I wait all year to wear my favorite over-the-knee boots and then the weather tries to go and ruin my plans. Obviously, you can see that didn’t work out well (for the weather). A little warm air wasn’t coming between me and my boots.  A jacket, on the other hand, I’m more than happy to let the weather come between me and those puffy things any old time (am I the only one who feels restricted by jackets?! I’ve always hated wearing them!).

P.S. I rarely blog on the weekends, but for special posts I make exceptions. If you haven’t seen yesterday’s post yet, make sure you go check it out. It’s a fun one!

Color Block Navy Shirt Dress & Over-the-knee Boots || Runway Chef Color Block Navy Shirt Dress & Over-the-knee Boots || Runway Chef Color Block Navy Shirt Dress & Over-the-knee Boots || Runway Chef Color Block Navy Shirt Dress & Over-the-knee Boots || Runway Chef Color Block Navy Shirt Dress & Over-the-knee Boots || Runway Chef Color Block Navy Shirt Dress & Over-the-knee Boots || Runway Chef Color Block Navy Shirt Dress & Over-the-knee Boots || Runway Chef Color Block Navy Shirt Dress & Over-the-knee Boots || Runway Chef Joe Fresh Hat (similar) // Forever 21 Sunnies // Club Monaco Shirt Dress (similar) // H&M Shirt // Timex Watch c/o // Similar Over-the-Knee Boots // Chanel Bag 

Blog Tour

Blog Tour || Runway Chef Happy Sunday! I believe that this is the first ever Sunday post for little ol’ RC. But special posts, call for special occasions! Recently one of my dear blogging friends nominated me for a blog tour. Mary-Katherine (or MK) of Gold-hatted Lover and I actually went to the same small-town college in the middle of Kansas (talk about small world, right?!) and though we’ve never met in person, we email all the time and I just know this sweet girl and I would instantly be real life besties if we lived closer! I’m continuing the blog tour today by answering a few questions she asked me and introducing you to a few of my favorite blogger ladies (I have so many, it was so tough to choose!). 
 
What are you working on?

Right now I’m working on expanding the Runway Chef brand beyond the blog. I’m also working to create more video content (so let me know if there is anything you’d like to see!) and ultimately I’m always working to create better content and grow my audience. Oh, and I’m excited to finally be working on a much-needed site redesign!

How does your work differ from others in its genre?

For me, fashion and food is a way of life, so when I share a recipe or an outfit, it is not “just a recipe” or “just an outfit.” It is a part of a story, a story of creating a beautiful and stylish life woven together by the food we eat, the clothes we wear, the places we go, and the way we live.

Why do you write/create what you do?

Because nothing, save my husband, brings me greater joy than sharing about the things I love!

How does your writing/creating process work?

Like any creative my mind is constantly racing with a million thoughts and ideas and things to do. I keep a million and one to-do lists at all times and I try to stick to a block schedule with certain days for writing, certain days for creating, and certain days for other projects, but usually all blog/business things consume all of my life (much to the dismay of my poor husband). Obviously, this is a question I’m still trying to answer….

But enough about me….let’s talk about these 3 fabulous ladies!

Pretty Mayhem Pearl from Pretty Mayhem- I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. Truly, my favorite thing about blogging is the people I’ve met (or in this case “met”) from all over the world. Case in point- Pearl. This girl resides half a world away yet I feel like we would be the best of friends. We both love to travel, we enjoy good food, and you better believe we both love our bubbly!

“Hi there! I’m Pearl, a French girl living in Melbourne with a passion for entertaining, travelling, and all things pretty. My blog ‘Pretty Mayhem’ is my virtual version of the ultimate ‘soirée’ where everyone is invited, people from all over the world are mingling and the champagne is forever flowing. I hope you’ll come and join the party! xx”

Wander Hour Katherine from Wander Hour- Another fun thing about blogging/social media? Sometimes you search hashtags that lead you to Instagram accounts that lead you to blogs that lead you to people like this girl. I only recently found Katherine’s blog but it’s quickly become a favorite thanks to our shared loves of food, fashion and travel. My one complaint- I wish I had found it sooner!

“Aloha! My name is Katherine Lou and I was born and raised in Southern California but Hawaii is currently my home. I am the lifestyle blogger and photographer behind Wander Hour where I document my life in Hawaii through my photographs, my love for food, and fulfilling my wanderlust desires!”
 

Sparkle and Shoes Kelly from Sparkle and Shoes- So much love for this girl! She was one of the first blogging friends I made here in NYC, and we’ve pretty much been blogging besties since! She is one of the sweetest girls I know and we always have a blast hanging out!

“Hi RC Readers! My name is Kelly and I blog over at Sparkles and Shoes.  Alyssa and I met last fall at a blogger meet-up during Fashion Week and instantly clicked. On my blog you can find my thoughts on the latest fashion trends, stories about my life, features on things I find interesting and lately, as Alyssa has been inspiring me, recipes I have made.” 

 
I hope you enjoyed getting to know these ladies and their blogs as much as have. Now make sure to go show them some blog love!