Saturday, August 30, 2014

Labor Day Style

Before the "no white after Labor Day" rule sets in, I wanted to let my white jeans have their last hurrah.  The weather has been beautiful, but a little cool in the evenings so I found pairing my white jeans with a light long sleeve shirt allows me to feel warm, but still looking like summer. Add a pair of your favorite wedges and a pop of red to complete your holiday weekend wardrobe.

An added bonus-these white jeans are on sale and the shirt is a perfect summer to fall transition shirt.

Jeans: J Brand | Shirt: Rails | Wedges: Stuart Weitzman, no longer available ( similar style ) | Bag: Louis Vuitton , vintage


Friday, August 29, 2014

Red, White, and Blue Cool Down

This week has been filled with sunshine, cloudless skies, and promises of summer still lingering for days to come.  It also means I am really hot and need something to keep me cool.

All you need is some strawberries and blueberries, Vita Coco coconut water, and the Zoku popsicle mold.  With these few ingredients and time to freeze overnight, you will have a delicious and refreshing, low-calorie summer treat.  

I have been wanting to make popsicles all summer, and I finally purchased the Zoku popsicle mold a few weeks ago.  It's inexpensive and can be purchased here, and I will be continuing to experiment with popsicle treats for the rest of the summer into fall (carmel apple popsicles sound great to me!)  

So enjoy this weekend holiday coming up with something festive, tasty, and fun!

Red, White, and Blue Popsicles
~Serves 6

  • 1 cup of chopped strawberries
  • 1 cup of fresh blueberries
  • 1 large bottle of Vita Coco coconut water
  • Zoku popsicle mold
~Add strawberries to the base of the mold-I used about 4 to 5 strawberry pieces
~Fill the mold half way with coconut water
~Add blueberries-I used about 10 blueberries per popsicle
~Fill the rest of the mold with coconut water
~Allow to freeze overnight 



Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Holiday Weekend Style

I love incorporating clothes I already have into specific holiday styles. For this holiday weekend I wanted to take my last chance of the year to wear red, white, and blue.  Although it's not overly patriotic, I still wanted to have each color represented in my Labor Day wardrobe.  For this holiday I will be keeping it casual, spending time with my family and friends at the lake for one last summer celebration.

This is my first fashion post and clearly it is obvious I am no fashion model.  But hopefully you will appreciate the clothes and setting more than the one who is wearing them and feel inspired to style your own holiday outfit this weekend! Doing these photos makes me laugh a little, feel very vulnerable and totally goofy.  Have fun with your clothes and be true to your own style.  

Natural wind machines are hard to control ;)

Shorts: 7 for All Mankind | Top: Adrianna Papell, Tj Maxx find ( similar style ) | Shoes: Stuart Weitzman, no longer available ( similar style ) | Bag: Bottega Veneta


Monday, August 25, 2014

Fig, Brie, and Kale Pizza

I've always wanted to experiment with figs, but never seemed to remember to buy them or find them in the store.  This past weekend I hit the fig jackpot at my local grocery store and decided to make my favorite food with them, pizza.

I found a lot of recipes online for fig, goat cheese, prosciutto, and arugula pizza, but since I don't eat meat and I really don't like arugula, I decided to alter this concept and make my own version.  I love all kinds of cheese, but I was in the mood for a good, buttery brie cheese. I am also part of the kale craze and can't get enough. And sticking with simplicity, I added just a little bit of extra virgin olive oil and voila (well almost, I was one minute away from burning the whole pizza and starting over).  

The end result of this pizza was savory, salty, crunchy, with a hint of sweet. I don't want to give myself a pat on the back, but I truly enjoyed this new pizza with figs. I made this pizza for my husband and gram and she kept insisting she really didn't like figs. Well let's just say she ate two pieces of pizza with a smile on her face.  

So for anyone looking to experiment with figs, give figs another chance, or just love pizza as much as I do, give this recipe a try. It takes about 10 minutes to prepare, about 10 minutes to cook, and probably one minute to eat. Pair this with a buttery chardonnay of your choice and enjoy! 

Fig Pizza
~Serves 2-3
~Prep time: 10 minutes
~Cook time: 10-14 minutes

  • 4 figs
  • 1 packaged of Brie cheese
  • 1/2 cup of kale
  • 1 tbsp of extra virgin olive oil (Colavita is the best!)
  • 1 whole wheat pizza crust (I took a short-cut and bought the Boboli whole wheat thin crust)

~Preheat oven to 450 degrees (425 if you don't want your pizza as crispy as mine)
~Scoop pieces of brie cheese and flatten with hands to place on crust
~Cut fig stems off and then cut thin slices and place on crust 
~Break off small pieces of kale and add to crust
~Drizzle olive oil on top of pizza
~Bake for at least 10 minutes on oven rack. I cooked mine for 14 minutes and it made it just crispy enough, right before it probably would have burnt 
~Allow to cool for a few minutes, slice into pieces, and bon appetit!


Thursday, August 14, 2014

Summer Slipping Away...

I know I'm not the only one who feels this summer is passing by way too quickly and feels they are still waiting to get their summer tan.  It seems this idea is true-every year you get older, time goes by faster and faster.

Maybe you've been caught up at work, stuck inside due to irritating summer rain, or maybe (for me) your every day life seems to take up your whole day and by the time you get your bathing suit and sunglasses on it's nine o'clock at night and dark out.

And just as easy as it is for me to pout and wear my sunglasses in the dark complaining I haven't had enough sun or made it to the beach, I am going to choose a different mind set.  I will choose to be grateful for having another summer and take advantage of what is left to come this season.  

Evenings on your patio with a glass of wine and good company, taking an hour lunch break to sit outside and breath, or going for an afternoon walk with your dogs are all summer activities to appreciate.  So even if you do have to sit outside at nine at night in your bathing suit and read your summer reading list with a head lamp instead of sunglasses, remember to be thankful for a summer evening-and just don't look at the clock!


Monday, August 11, 2014

Peach Frozen Yogurt

Summer still has plenty of more days to keep us hot and needing a frozen sweet treat to cool off every once in a while (which means every night in my life).  But since I like to incorporate a sweet treat often in my diet during the summer, I decided I needed to find a way to have a healthier option.

This peach frozen yogurt is very easy to make, only has four ingredients, and satisfies that desire for something savory.  Peaches were flooding the farmer's market this weekend and we couldn't buy enough (thank you Brace's Orchard-they always have the best). The frozen yogurt can be substituted with any fruit your heart desires or that is in season, but for right now I strongly recommend giving peaches a chance.  

No matter what fruit you choose, I promise you will have no guilt while enjoying this tasty yogurt and find yourself making multiple batches to keep on hand in case of an emergency (and yes a Wednesday night out on the patio counts as an emergency).  Enjoy!

Peach Frozen Yogurt
Serves 4

  • 6 peaches peeled, cut, and frozen over night
  • 1/2 cup plain or vanilla yogurt
  • 3 tablespoons of honey
  • 1 tablespoon of fresh lemon juice
~Allow peaches to freeze for a few hours or overnight
~Combine all ingredients in a blender and mix on high until mixture becomes thick and smooth
~Scoop yogurt into a separate dish and allow to freeze for 15-20 minutes
~Serve and enjoy


Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Summer in Sonoma

My husband and I recently traveled to the west coast earlier this summer to experience wine country for the first time and let me just say we were not disappointed. The land was spectacular with mountains upon mountains and rolling hills littered with luscious green grape vines with the sun always shining down on them.  We were looking to travel somewhere to taste great wine and just enjoy the sunshine and some downtime by the pool.  We stayed in Sonoma, which is often referred to as slow-noma due to it being slightly more laid back than Napa, but still with unbelievable wines and views.  If anyone is ever thinking of making a trip to California, I strongly recommend spending a few days in Sonoma no matter what kind or how much wine you normally drink, you will not be sorry you stayed.  Tip-we did rent a car in San Francisco (best airport to fly in and out of, and it was so convenient to have our own car to explore the area and drive to Napa for the day as well).
Kenwood Inn and Spa: We stayed here after me researching many, many hotels in Napa and Sonoma. We had previously thought of traveling to Italy this summer, but with time constraints it was not possible. Well enter Kenwood, a retreat that brings the feeling of Tuscany to Sonoma.  It is a beautiful inn with 30 rooms for adults only. The grounds are filled with greens and flowers and the scent of rosemary and lavender.  It is the perfect private retreat with luxurious rooms and spacious bathrooms. We were thrilled with our experience at the inn, and I will continue to highly recommend it to anyone staying in Sonoma. Tip-Kenwood is often featured on where you can get great deals and discounts that include breakfast daily with your stay.

St. Francis Winery: this winery does an amazing wine and food pairing at lunch time. This was something we had never done before, but I gained a much greater appreciation and knowledge for how the wine flavors do change with what you are eating. It is a beautiful setting (every winery is really) with great food, a great host and chef, and great wine.

Chateau St. Jean Winery: this winery is wonderful for a wine tasting, but before or after your tasting, grab lunch and eat in the most spectacular gardens. It was so peaceful and if you didn’t know you were in California you might think you were in the French countryside. Perfect combination in my eyes.

Glen Ellen Star-great restaurant in the quaint town of Glen Ellen, smaller menu, but the selections are just right and it is a great atmosphere. You may want to eat here more than one night!
Girl and the Fig-this restaurant is in downtown Sonoma and features a unique menu with delicious French inspired cuisine. Take your time at dinner and savor each bite. This place will not disappoint.

Benziger-A spectacular winery that captures the essence of making wine and creating a simple farm setting a place you never want to leave. The winery is biodynamic so instead of spraying bad bugs that eat the vines, they bring in plants to attract good bugs, that get rid of the bad bugs-allowing nature to take its natural course. Take a tour of the winery and then sample their reserve collection in their wine caves-a truly memorable experience.

Matanzas-Great wine, but the main attraction here for me was the lavender gardens. As you are pulling up the drive way you instantly smell the aroma of lavender everywhere, which I loved. Enjoy strolling in the gardens and relaxing. The winery makes their own line of bath, home, and cooking products from their lavender and every product smells more heavenly than the next. 

Kunde-The view from the top of this winery is breathtaking. And that is where you will have your tasting if you visit Kunde. Imagine sipping life changing Chardonnay and heart warming reds all while over-looking hundreds of acres of vineyards and catching a glimpse of the bay and San Francisco. Before you go to Kunde, check out the movie Bottleshock, which used Kunde to film their vineyard scenes (the movie is on Netflix). You will not want to miss this place.

Sugarloaf State Park-Beautiful park set up in the mountains of Sonoma. There are many trails to hike or run on for a quick 1, 3, or more mile jog.  We ventured to the mountain early one morning (East coast time still) and were able to experience the sunrise and all it’s beauty had to offer.

Downtown Sonoma-A beautiful place with a town square and huge park in the middle. There are so many boutique shops to explore and plenty more wine tasting venues on every corner. Go on a Tuesday night when the farmers market opens at 5:30 pm and families flock to the square to set up picnic blankets, grab fresh produce from the farmers, and open a bottle of wine. Live music plays and your evening just doesn’t get much more simple and perfect. 
If you are interested in taking a trip to wine country and would like more information please feel free to contact me, and I would be more than happy to share more travel tips and our adventures in Napa and San Francisco.