Pumpkin’s Hitting the 7-Mile Island

 

For some reason, pumpkin arrived early this year. Starting on August 17th, I noticed my favorite food blog, Averie Cooks posted her first pumpkin recipe, Pumpkin Macaroni & Cheese. At first, I was stunned being that it was just the middle of August but then out of nowhere I started seeing pumpkin popping up everywhere!

 

This originally made me a bit mad. I do LOVE pumpkin but I like it in the fall. Summer, in my opinion is when watermelon, strawberry, and peaches get to shine. I didn’t think I was ready to let go of these summer flavors but since it was inhabiting my favorite local hot-spots, I caved and I’m super glad I did.

 

I’m now going to walk you through all the best places in Avalon and Stone Harbor, New Jersey that you can get your pumpkin-fix started early.

 

First up is Wawa. In my opinion, Wawa has the best Pumpkin Spice coffee. In fact, I actually feel really bad for people outside of the Philly area who think Starbucks is where it’s at for pumpkin spice. It’s so not. The only thing that’s a little unfortunate about Wawa is that their iced coffee is way lacking. It already has some sort of mysterious milk/cream (??) concoction mixed in and unless you’re a newbie coffee drinker, this is way unappetizing. However, just do what I do if you need it iced (it is still summer by the way!) and buy a large hot Pumpkin Spice coffee (no milk) in the morning and let it sit out for a couple of hours. When you’re ready for your afternoon cup, pour some ice cubes and your go-to milk substitute in and you’re all set for the ultimate indulgence.

 

You can also find one of my absolute favorites, Pumpkin Pancakes, at Uncle Bill’s Pancake House in Stone Harbor (beware: they’re not on the menu yet at the Avalon location). I had these this morning and I’m already craving my next stack. They’re super pumpkin-y and perfect to change up your everyday breakfast routine. They’re also featured in the picture above and if you can look at them without immediately needing your own plate, then I need to take some lessons in self-control from you.

 

The Fudge Kitchen in Stone Harbor also started selling their Pumpkin Fudge recently. I haven’t tried this yet due to the fact that I still have a week left of my official bikini-uniform season and can’t indulge in everything. But once my fall wardrobe is unveiled and I can afford to pack on a couple extra pounds, this will for sure be my first stop.

 

Lastly, I’d like to introduce you all to the miracle that is Pumpkin Pie ice cream from Springer’s in Stone Harbor. There are so many flavors to choose from but mark my words, Pumpkin Pie is where it’s at. In fact, I think I need to abandon my go-to choices from now on and stick to this fall favorite. What makes it different from any other Pumpkin ice cream I’ve ever had is that it has bits of pumpkin pie mixed in (YUM!). Top it off with some chocolate sprinkles and you’re sure to make the long line of waiting customers super jealous.

 

So if you’re ready to make the plunge into fall, be sure to check out the pumpkin items I featured above! 🙂

 

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Scented Soaps to Keep the Spirit of Summer Alive

 

summer.scented.soaps

Every year in the first weekend of August, Stone Harbor, NJ hosts the Stone Harbor Arts & Crafts Festival. And every year, no matter how perfect of a beach day it is, I enlist one of my parents to drop me off at 80th street so I can roam the hundreds of booths of everything from homemade candies to beach décor to sea-inspired jewelry. (Also, every year I tell myself I won’t buy anything but by the time my parents come to pick me up, my arms are stacked with goody bags of things I just “had to have.”)

 

This year, as per usual, I hop out of the car at 9:00 am and begin my hunt. I make my first stop to pick up an iced coffee and then get started on my route. I was doing pretty well and did a loop around most of the tents and didn’t buy anything! That was until I hit the A House of Suds booth. Something about the beautiful display of pastel-colored soap bars lured me in and once I started smelling the prettiest colors, I couldn’t stop.

 

Of course another thing I love about the Stone Harbor Arts & Crafts Festival is also how incredibly nice everyone is. Therefore, it’s impossible to not start chatting with the shop owners. A House of Suds is no different. I was told all about the Goat’s Milk and Olive Oil soaps, the 18 (!) new scents, and the discount I could get if I bought three soap bars instead of just two. Hence, I was sold.

 

They have so many scents that it was hard to just choose three. But I landed on ones that I knew could keep the magic of summer alive even after Labor Day Weekend rolled around. They were Coconut Lime, Orange, and Calming Water. In the running were also Bamboo, Lavender, Sweet Strawberry, and Lemongrass. I’ll have to order those online once I run out.

 

Now that summer season is almost ending, I’m so glad I made my purchase because even when I have to leave my perfect seaside town, I’ll be able to jump in the shower and be transported back to summer scents. Check out A House of Suds soaps here and grab a couple bars to keep you daydreaming about summer vacation well into the fall!

 

And don’t forget to follow me on Instagram @pinklyperfect_inc to see other ways I’m capturing the spirit of summer all year 🙂

 

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My Perfect Mermaid Party

 

mermaid.tassle.party.decoration

The only thing I love more than going to a party is hosting one. And in the summer, I have an especially fun time planning cute, beachy décor for any get-together with my besties. For my end of summer bash, I decided I’d throw a mermaid-themed party and I am so excited to share with you all the fun decorations I found!

 

I always plan super far in advance so I’m not running around last minute and settling for some less-than exciting paper plates at Target or some generic party supply store. Plus, I absolutely love supporting other small businesses so I end up buying most of my party supplies on Etsy. Also, what I’ve learned is you don’t have to go crazy with too many themed party supplies. Instead, it’s smarter to buy a handful of themed products and use them as accents to accompany solid color items you can buy in bulk.

 

For this party, I decided I would buy 4 mermaid-inspired decorations and then mix in solid paper napkins, plates, and cups. To accompany the cups and add some spice to our pink lemonade, I bought these Seafoam Green/White Paper Straws from ShopCelebrationLane. They’re pretty subtle and will be just enough of a mermaid-touch without being too cliché. Plus they’re only $4.00 for 25 straws, which will last me two parties, instead of one. Sweet!

 

Party Straws

 

My next two items I purchased was for the décor. I found this super cute Mermaid Tassel Garland (pictured above) from LoveGarlands and I can’t wait to hang it over my food display. It’s $23 for the 13” inch garland, but it’s well worth it because I can re-use it after this party for another one next spring. I’m also super obsessed with confetti balloons and decided I’d purchase 6 of these Gold Confetti Balloons from LolasConfettiShop to add to my decorations. They come in sets of three balloons for $7.00.

 

Glitter Balloon

 

My last decoration is the only literal mermaid decoration and it’s this super cute Glitter Mermaid Cake Topper (see below) from Pelemele. It works perfectly with the color scheme I’m going for and allows me to save money on the cake, buy it solid white, and add this mermaid topper for all the decoration it needs. It’s $15.89 and ties in all my decorations perfectly.

 

Cake Topper

 

 

So next time you throw a party or if you need some last minute inspiration, check out the Etsy links I featured and be sure to impress your friends with these perfect decorations!

 

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Beach Hair Anywhere

 

beach.hair

When you’re spending all summer day attempting to soak in as much sun as possible these last few weeks of summer, sometimes you wind up staying at the beach well into the early evening. This is excellent strategy because pretty soon you’ll have to be back in school and you’ll want to reunite with all your friends with the best tan ever but it does cause one teeny, tiny, little problem…your hair.

 

If you’re brushing off the last particles of sand from your feet at 6 pm every night, then you’re left with very little time to primp prior to dinner and meeting up with your besties for some mini-golf and ice cream. But of course you need to look good just in case the pack of lifeguard cuties rolls by! So what to do!

 

Maybe you’re lucky enough to look half decent with wash and wear hair and if you are TRUST ME count your blessings. But if you’re like the rest of us and look more like a run-over porcupine with air-dried hair, then we need some major help in the form of excellent hair products to make us feel super confident if we run into our crush.

 

I’ve been through the ringer trying to find a good leave-in spray that will turn my damp, messy curls into dry, shiny beach waves and let me tell you, it has not been easy. A lot of hair products are not strong enough and often leave my hair with crunchy or slimy curls that make me want to jump right back in the shower and give it another go. Luckily, my best friend recently introduced me to Sexy Hair’s Healthy Sexy Hair Soy Renewal Beach Spray and I am so glad she did!

 

I’m always a little skeptical when my friends with perfectly straight, shiny hair suggest hair products to me as if they know what it’s like to live with my out of control mane of frizzy curls but I am so happy I took the leap and tried this one. Ingredients include Argan Oil, Algae Extract, and Soy Protein (among others). Simply spray onto your damp hair and pretty soon, your mess of curls will turn into perfect beach waves! Top it off with Healthy Sexy Hair’s Soy Renewal Oil if you have time when it’s dry and you’re going to actually want to start wearing your hair like this on the reg instead of as a last resort!

 

Trust me on this one and check them out here and stay on the beach as long as you’d like today!

 

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Summer Steals & Sales

 

summer.sales

I look forward to summer all year. As soon as Labor Day rolls around, I’m already daydreaming about next year’s Memorial Day Weekend and thinking about how much I can’t wait to be back in my favorite beach town, hitting the pool, and relaxing with my friends and family. One thing that goes along with this is also thinking about my outfits. That’s why as soon as Resort collections pop up in the freezing winter, I spend my nights scouring the internet in order to land the most perfect beach cover ups so I’m not scrambling to find one before summer rolls around.

 

This method, however, ends up costing me loads of cash and before I know it I’m dropping hundreds of dollars on clothes I won’t wear for months. As I have gotten older and wiser, I’ve learned a valuable lesson that I will now pass along to you. Mid-August is actually the perfect time to stock up on your beachwear for next summer.

 

All the cutest styles you were debating purchasing a couple months ago before saving your babysitting money are now on sale and are basically calling your name. There are so many great finds that you can purchase for (in some cases) half the cost that you can rock for the last couple weeks of summer and even better, next summer!

 

The three beach cover ups featured in the picture above can all be found on ASOS (if you’re not already checking out this site, now’s the perfect time to start!) and cost less than $20 (YAY)! Plus they are super cute and you can get a couple wears in before this summer ends.

 

Check out Asos here for the link to their Swimwear sale and get ready to land some awesome pieces!

 

 

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Easy Exercises to Maintain Your Beach-Ready Bod

 

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I’m going to get really frank about something because I know I’m not alone. By the end of the summer I get very lazy. Something about knowing that bikini-uniform season is ending makes staying motivated to exercise very difficult. It’s not like the beginning of the summer or right before Memorial Day Weekend when you know you’re going to need to feel really comfortable in minimal clothing 24/7. Combine that lack of pressure, the sadness that summer season is ending, and the feeling that you need to stock up on all the ice cream and funnel cake you can before your favorite seaside town’s closed up for the off-season, and it’s super easy to put on the extra couple pounds you worked so hard at keeping off.  (Aside: the other night I was getting anxious about summer ending and before I knew it, I had consumed three handfuls of caramel corn. End aside).

For the record, this happens to me every summer around the middle of August so I’m being realistic that it’s just how it’s going to be. But the article I found below on the teens section of KidsHealth.org feature super easy workouts you can do to mix into your day that are little helpers that can make a big difference in not feeling even worse about life once September rolls around.

Read it here so you can indulge in those big pancake breakfasts, ice cream sundaes, and handfuls of saltwater taffy without any (read: too much) guilt!

And as always, remember to follow me on Instagram @pinklyperfect_inc 🙂

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Sweet Strawberry Shortcake Smoothies

 

strawberry.shortcake.smoothie.recipe

Something about the summer makes me really crave sweets. I think it’s because growing up summer symbolized freedom, fun, and breaking the rules. You don’t have to go to school, you don’t have homework, and the extent of your responsibilities is limited to somehow surviving the 45-minute swim class at day camp before you got to “free swim” and could play with your friends. And then there’s the ultimate rule-breaker: dessert. During the summer months, consumption of sweets seemed more common and often included yummy treats like cotton candy, ice cream, boardwalk funnel cake, and popsicles. So even though I’ve well outgrown my days at summer camp, I’m still constantly craving some sweet, ice-cold treat by mid-afternoon that needs to be quenched.

 

Combine my need for sweets and my obsession with the color pink and you have my new favorite summer treat: Strawberry Shortcake Smoothies. I found this recipe on my all-time favorite food blog, Averie Cooks, which you can find here!

 

It’s super easy to make; all you do is blend up strawberries, almond milk, and diced up angel food cake and you have the prettiest, tastiest smoothie that will certainly satisfy your sweet tooth whether you’re taking a break from the pool or need a bike-roadie on your way to work.

 

Give this recipe a try and let me know what you think! And don’t forget to follow me on Instagram @pinklyperfect_inc 🙂

 

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Perfect Pink Nail Polish

 

pink.colorclub.nailpolish

I’ve learned a lot of wonderful life lessons from my mom. One of which is to never leave the house without your nails done. This may seem silly (and it certainly is to an extent), but it’s really so important. You never know who you’re going to meet and it’s definitely difficult to take a girl with random chips of mint green polish on her nails seriously.

Because this idea has been engraved in my brain for years, I always make sure to have my nails covered in color (toes and hands). And in the summer, I absolutely love scouring the polish displays at my favorite salon to find the perfect shade of pink, which can be quite a difficult task due to the many options that are almost there but are either too orange, too purple, too translucent, too milky, too red, too wrong.

However, a couple weeks ago I FOUND IT. The most perfect shade of pink that screams summer in a bottle. Feeling like Goldilocks, I can confidently say that this color is just enough pink, just enough neon, with a perfect hint of coral to make you so happy every time you look at it. Plus, the touch of neon also makes you look tan—yay! Here it is, girls, my perfect summer shade of pink: Color Club’s Flamingo.

Buy it here and become obsessed like me and don’t forget to follow me on Instagram @pinklyperfect_inc 🙂

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Cutest Way to Stay Hydrated at the Beach

 

coconut.water.fruit.popsicles

One of my favorite things about summer is how hot it gets. I find sitting out in the heat for hours with an occasional swim in the ocean to cool off the most relaxing way to spend a summer day. One thing that comes along with that perfect summer heat, however, is the threat of getting dehydrated, ruining your fun and turning you into a moody, exhausted monster. To help prevent this terrible transformation, you can of course go the boring route and stick to multiple glasses of water per day but I’m about to offer you something a bit more exciting.

 

My new obsession is making Coconut Water & Fresh Fruit Popsicles. They are super cute and plus, they’re way easy to make. If you don’t have a popsicle mold at home yet, it’s definitely worth stocking up on. Heres a great one from Williams-Sonoma that’s currently on sale for only $14.99.

 

All you need is coconut water (any brand will work, my personal favorite is Zico) and fresh fruit of your choice. Just fill up the popsicle mold with the coconut water (any flavor will do but I’m all about the classic) about ¼ of the way full, place the popsicle stick in the mold and freeze for about 30 minutes. Once the 30 minutes is up, take them out of the freezer and add some fresh fruit and more coconut water. Then place the molds back in the freezer and let freeze for about 2 hours.

 

Once you take them out, you’ll have the most beautiful, tasty, and healthy frozen treats that are fun to eat and a perfect way to keep you hydrated! Pictured above is my favorite—classic coconut water with fresh-cut strawberries but feel free to use whatever ingredients you like the most (or think is most pretty!).

 

Enjoy and stay cool this weekend 🙂

 

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15 Songs You Totally Forgot that Need to be Added to Your Summer Playlist Immediately

 

summer.songs

Whether you’re hitting the pool, going for a run on the beach, or just hanging out with friends, setting the scene with a perfect playlist is key. And while there are so many great songs of Summer 2015 (hollaa “Where Do Broken Hearts Go”), it’s equally important to make sure you throw in some oldies but goodies. This will shake up your mix enough so you won’t get bored of hearing the same ten songs you’re also hearing on the radio loop. And the best part is it’ll land you major points with your friends because what’s better than being reminded of the song you listened to thousands of times while daydreaming about the epic crush you had in Summer of 2012? Umm nothing. Here’s 15 of my favorites! Enjoy 🙂

 

Best Beach Playlist :

  1. “How Bizarre” by OMC
  2. “How We Do” by Rita Ora
  3. “What the Hell” by Avril Lavigne
  4. “If It’s Loving that You Want” by Rihanna
  5. “Upside Down” by A-Teens
  6. “We Fit Together” by O-Town
  7. “Live While We’re Young” by One Direction
  8. “Clumsy” by Fergie
  9. “Your Love is My Drug” by Kesha
  10. “Never Let You Go” by Jakaranda
  11. “Starry Eyed Surprise” by Oakenfold
  12. “Damaged” by Danity Kane
  13. “I Think I’m in Love with You” by Jessica Simpson
  14. “Untouched” by The Veronicas
  15. “He Loves You Not” by Dream

Make sure you follow me on Instagram @pinklyperfect_inc 🙂

 

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