lately: #chesterlyeverafter

Last weekend, we celebrated the marriage of our dear friends, Seth & Allison. It was an amazing, epic, fabulous, stupendous, and fun weekend – so full of love and laughter, we were sad to see the end of it! From the start of the festivities at the rehearsal dinner, to the final send-off after Sunday brunch, we couldn’t have asked for a better time. I was honored to be a part of the bridal party, and couldn’t think of a better way to show off the weekend than here, for you all! I hope you enjoy the peak in : ) 

Cheers to the beautiful new couple! 

Alicia x0x0


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halloween ideas!

In keeping the upcoming holiday weekend in mind {remember this post from last week?}, I thought it would be fun to share some food and decor ideas for Halloween! It’s such a festive occasion, and with it being on an actual weekend this year, just that much more reason to go slightly above and beyond our usual plans. Here are some inspiring images, articles & the like – and please, do share any of your favorite ideas and ways to celebrate! 

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Decor & Details

 Our 55 Favorite Halloween Decorating Ideas 

11 Fun Halloween Decorating Ideas

Homemade Halloween Decorating Ideas  

40 Easy to Make DIY Halloween Decor Ideas

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Inspiring Imagery 

Image result for decorating ideas for halloween

Image result for decorating ideas for halloween

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Spooky Snacks & Festive Foods 

Fun & Frightful Halloween Recipes

20 Halloween Party Appetizers & Drink Ideas

Adult Halloween Party Ideas

21 Gross Recipes: Halloween Party Food

29 Spooktacular Halloween Recipes for Kids  

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! ! ! ! h A p P y  H a L l O w E e N ! ! ! !

lately: brew-do weekend 2015!

Another beer festival for the books! Although we’ve been a bit behind the curve with festivals this year {we’ve been busy!}, we make sure to never miss one of our favorites. The best part?! – it’s local! While we love travelling far and wide, especially in the name of craft beer, it’s nice to be just a few minutes away from such a celebration. We had glorious weather, delicious food, and of course…SO.MUCH.BEER.

The weekend was extra special this year, too – we had a surprise visitor on Sunday! My youngest sister was in the area, so we met up for a solid 8-mile Sunday hike, followed by {you guessed it!} more beer at one of our favorite local breweries. It was a fabulous weekend, and sister time made it extra special. 

Here’s a look! 

Alicia xo


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thirsty thursday: spooktacular cocktails

You know that there’s a holiday coming up when I plan a post around themed cocktails! In true Alicia fashion, these festive adult beverages are geared towards toasting Halloween weekend {!!}, in the best way possible – with ‘spirits’, of course. Here are a few of my favorite cocktail and drink ideas for celebrating; may you find in-“spooky”-ration in some, or all, of them!


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The Black Velvet {image & recipe c/o Real Simple}


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Witch’s Brew {recipe & image c/o Food Network}

Witch's Brew

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The Jack o’ Lantern {recipe & image c/o}

Hennessy Cognac Jack-O-Lantern Cocktail - Photo Courtesy: © Shannon Graham

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Swamp Sips {image & recipe c/o Martha Stewart}


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The Green Goblin {image & recipe c/o}

Green Goblin

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The Boo Beverage {image & recipe c/o}

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Spider’s Kiss {image & recipe c/o The Cocktail Project}

Midori® Spider's Kiss | The Cocktail Project

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chicken enchilada casserole

I have an unabashed love for Mexican food. But who doesn’t?

For the hubs and I, we get our Mexican fix from several different local joints around town – we have a place for excellent margaritas and good food, a place for good margaritas and amazing food, and a place for amazing margaritas and amazing fish tacos. Depending on our hunger {or thirst} cues, one of said places often makes the cut.

But what does one do when you’re craving enchilada casserole?

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I can’t remember what struck that particular chord in me not long ago, but I had such an intense craving for an enchilada-style casserole that I just could not shake it. So imagine my surprise when this recipe found its way, seemingly right into my hands, not long ago! I immediately bookmarked it and knew that it would make a dinner appearance as soon as I could make it happen.

Luckily, a week-long deluge of rain {followed by an equally rainy weekend} presented the perfect opportunity. A wet Sunday afternoon set the tone for dinner, and yes…it was time for me to make this. I rolled up my sleeves and set to work, happily bumping around my tiny kitchen, working away and rolling tortillas up with delicious filling.

The beauty of this dish is multifold…it requires few pieces of equipment, utilizes ingredients most of us have on hand, comes together in no time, and can be made to fit anyone’s taste buds. I stuck pretty closely to the original recipe, but as I sit here typing, my mind wanders to the idea of using shredded pork instead of chicken, crumbled queso fresco instead of shredded Mexican blend cheese, mixing pico de gallo in with the enchilada sauce, incorporating other vegetables into the topping…you see where I’m going with this.

It’s dishes like this that keep me coming back for more, both seconds at dinnertime and into my repertoire of favorite recipes. Enjoy! And do share any variations you might come up with when you prepare it – I’d love to hear from you!




Chicken Enchilada Casserole {recipe adapted from The Kitchn}

Easy enough to throw together even on the busiest of nights, this chicken enchilada casserole will leave you feeling satisfied and happy! Can be customized to fit any taste buds, or particular diet {sugar-, dairy-, gluten-free, etc.}. Leftovers freeze beautifully, or can be prepared and frozen in advance.


1 {15-ounce can} red enchilada sauce *whatever brand you prefer is fine!

10-15 corn tortillas, set out to room temperature

1 lb. cooked shredded chicken* {can be from a rotisserie chicken; 2-3 cooked chicken breasts; or pressure-cooker chicken}

1 {4-ounce can} diced green chiles

1 to 1-1/2 cups Mexican style shredded cheese

1 medium red pepper, sliced into strips

1 onion, sliced into strips

optional toppings: sour cream, plain Greek yogurt, pico de gallo, salsa, sliced avocado, guacamole, shredded lettuce, etc.

*I prefer to toss the chicken with a bit of seasonings, done to taste – here, I used: salt and pepper, chili powder, onion powder, oregano, garlic powder, and cumin. Feel free to do so according to your preference! 

To Prepare:

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

Lightly grease an 8″ x 8″ glass baking dish with nonstick cooking spray.

Ladle enough of the enchilada sauce into the dish to barely cover the bottom in a thin layer of sauce – about 1/4 cup or so. Set dish aside, but within reaching distance.

On a covered work surface, begin assembling the enchiladas. Lay one tortilla out, and spread down the center {no more than 2-3 Tbsp.} the shredded chicken. Top with a small scoop of the diced green chili. Gently roll the enchilada up and place it seam side down in the casserole dish. Repeat with remaining tortillas and filling mixtures, until you cannot fit any more into the dish.

One the casserole dish is full, sprinkle on the sliced onion and red pepper. Cover completely with remaining enchilada sauce, ensuring that all the surface area is covered. Sprinkle with shredded cheese, and bake for 20-25 minutes, until the cheese is melted and the sauce is bubbling. Portion out and assemble with desired toppings. Enjoy!


autumn oatmeal cookie bars

Another squash recipe, but this time – a sweet version!


I don’t know if it’s the cooler nights, seasonal flavors, or the fact that it’s no longer “swimsuit season” {LOL} but this time of year I start craving desserts. There’s something so special about sitting down at the end of the day, dinner cleaned up and dishes put away, and enjoying the perfectly sweet bite of dessert. For some people – ice cream {year round!}, others – cookies and cakes. I am not going to say no to any of those options, but boy…do I love me a good cookie.

This particular recipe was inspired by…as mentioned above…squash. I LOVE pumpkin, y’all! It’s a great ingredient to work with; packed with vitamins and minerals, full of flavor, and it serves as a great way to scale back on some of the typically not-so-good items that go into cookies. Paired with tangy Greek yogurt, the resulting cookie is perfectly moist and chewy, and loaded up with spices. A combination of rolled oats and all-purpose flour lends a hint of nutty flavor, which is beautiful with the pumpkin and brown sugar. The little nuggets of chocolate chips and raisins don’t hurt, either ; )

Once you bake up a batch of these, don’t expect them to last long. BUT! If you want to, portion of a section of the pan to freeze; your weeknight self craving something sweet, but not overly indulgent, will be glad you did.




Autumn Oatmeal Cookie Bars {recipe adapted from Averie Cooks}

Traditional chocolate chip cookie meets pillowy pumpkin cookies. They taste every bit delicious as they look: perfectly fluffy, with crispy edges and bursting full of flavor and goodies. Ideal for any autumn get-together; I promise, they won’t last long. 


1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt

3/4 cup brown sugar, packed {light or dark is fine}

1 large egg

2 tsp. vanilla extract

3/4 cup canned pumpkin puree {not pumpkin pie filling!}

1 Tbsp. molasses

3/4 tsp. cinnamon

pinch salt

3-1/4 cups all-purpose flour {I used a combination of 2 cups AP flour and 1-1/4 cups oats, just for extra texture and flavor}

1 tsp. baking soda

1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

1/2-1 cup assorted dried fruits…cherries, apricots, cranberries, raisins, etc. *nuts of your choice can also be used

*optional: for a sweeter cookie, add 1/2 cup of granulated sugar 

**optional topping: 1/3 cup granulated sugar + 3/4 tsp. ground cinnamon, mixed together

To Prepare:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

To the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine plain Greek yogurt, brown sugar {optional granulated sugar to be added here, if using}, and beat on medium-high speed for 3-4 minutes to cream ingredients together; stop and scrape down the sides of the bowl.

Add in the egg and vanilla, and beat on high speed for 3-4 minutes or until mixture is light and fluffy.

Add in the pumpkin, molasses, 3/4 tsp. cinnamon, pinch of salt, and mix until incorporated, about 1 minute.

Add in the flour {or combination of flour and oats} and baking soda, and mix until just combined. Fold in the chocolate chips {and any add-ins you might like} by hand. Cover the mixing bowl and let chill in the refrigerator for at least 90 minutes {I only chilled for about 30 minutes because of time constraint}. Dough can be chilled for up to 4 days.

Prepare your 9″ x 13″ baking dish by coating liberally with nonstick spray. Evenly distribute the batter into the dish, making sure to spread it out evenly and ensuring that all corners are filled. Top with optional cinnamon/sugar mixture, and bake for 20-25 minutes {edges will be golden and set, and the top will have just set; they will continue to firm up as they cool}. Let cool for at least 30 minutes before cutting into bars.

Cookies will keep in an airtight container, at room temperature, for up to one week, or in the freezer for up to three months.


lately: wedding time!

Last weekend, two of our dearest friends tied the knot. It was everything I could have possibly imagined, and even more so! The hubs and the groom go way back – we’re talking grade school, peeps! He was the best man in the wedding, and I was so proud of him – he prepared the most amazing trip for the guys, gave a wonderful toast, and basically rocked the title of “best man”. But I digress. 

It wouldn’t be in true Alicia form to let such a momentous occasion pass by without sharing some of the shots from the weekend with y’all, so here’s a peak in! Cheers to the newlyweds, we love you!

Alicia xoxo

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