On My Bookshelf: The Glass Kitchen

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A few days ago, the husband and I took a really brief, but fun vacation to Boston and Hartford, Connecticut. Since I was a little girl, I’ve always packed a large amount of entertainment when I travel. It used to be coloring books and Barbies, but now, it’s about 8,000 books and 25 magazines.

For this trip, I wanted to keep things light, so I loaded my Nook with a new read and considered myself good to go. After several car rides and long layovers, I had to add a second. While I would have liked to have spent less time at the airport, I am pleased to report I had time to read two books. Two! And, they were both really good. Continue reading

2014 Fall Fashion

The fall collections had a vintage feel punctuated with luxurious textures and deep colors. I combed through the Fall 2014 RTW photos on Vogue.com and came up with a list of my favorite 10 trends.

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All photos via Vogue.com

1. Fur: Whether dyed in vibrant colors or kept classic in neutrals, fur was all over the place. Used as a trim, to cover handbags or as a full coat, there was a little something for everyone. Real may not be in line with your beliefs or budget, but fear not – there are a lot of great faux options out there.

2. Tweed: Tweed showed up in both outerwear and suiting. Pick up a great coat or versatile blazer. This is one trend you’ll find yourself reaching for year after year.

3. Leather: In skirts, tailored coats and as accents, leather was at nearly every show. Much like fur, you can find it in shades beyond neutral this season, but for my money, I’ll be sticking with brown and black if I make the investment. Continue reading

Missalaney

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1. Thanks to a number of appearances on a few fashion bloggers’ sites I now have an obsession with these Clare Vivier pouches. I’m craving the cobalt blue and leopard ones. Now, who wants to donate to my handbag fund?

2. This focaccia bread looks amazing. It also sounds really easy to make. I’m thinking this could be a good Sunday food project.

3. Amber Interiors did a reveal of a head-to-toe home renovation on their site. Each room has a collected, cool feel. I have serious house envy.

4. My obsession with ABC Family’s shows continues. Young & Hungry is a little cheesy, but light-hearted and fun. It’s my latest guilty pleasure.

5. A Beautiful Mess shared this DIY salt spray for perfect beachy waves. I’m dying to try it out.

6. I would love to be a better networker. The tips in this post are insightful and things I’d like to try at my next event.

Zucchini with Deconstructed Pesto

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Zucchini is one of my favorite summer vegetables. It’s versatile, healthy and delicious. And, as a bonus, it cooks in just a few minutes, which means you won’t be stuck in a hot kitchen to put this together.

Because we eat it so often, I’m always looking for new ways to make it. My most recent adaptation is a twist on pesto. Sliced zucchini is sautéed in garlic oil, and when it is just tender, it’s placed in a bowl and toped with grated parm, basil and toasted pine nuts. It really doesn’t get much better (or easier) than that.

zucchini-pesto Continue reading

Uncorked

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It’s been awhile since I shared some favorite wines, so this list is a little lengthier than usual. Lately, it’s been lots of white and rosé wines to beat the heat, but I’ve also included some reds from months past that were too good not to share.

Chateau Miraval, Côtes de Provence, Rosé, 2013: This rosé is a product of Brangelina, and it is great. Don’t let the celebrity endorsement discourage you, because you’d be missing out. I’m not the only one who thinks so (in case you needed added proof).

Chateau de Campuget, Costieres de Nimes, Rosé Rhone Wine, 2012: The perfect summer drink

DeMorgenzon, DMZ, Chardonnay, 2013: Crisp and fruity – A great picnic wine

Graham Beck, The Game Reserve, Cabernet Sauvignon, 2010, South Africa: This red is really lovely. Bring it to your friend’s house the next time you’re invited over for dinner. You’ll be asked again.

Espelt, Viticultors de l’Emporda, Garnacha: A light, spicy red

Gran Vin de Bourgogne, Bourgogne Hautes Côtes de Beaune, Domaine du Prieure, Savigny-Les-Beaune, France: A rich, full-bodied red

Tournon, Victorian Shiraz, Mathilda, 2011: Great peppery notes

Outdoor Space

When we moved into our house almost eight years ago, we knew it needed a lot of work. Slowly, but surely, we have changed every single room. New kitchen cabinets, fresh paint and brand new tile were just a few of the upgrades we made to our outdated ranch.

The final frontier was updating our outdoor space. The house had a small patio off the sunroom that fit a small bistro table and a gas grill very snugly. Grilling and sitting was challenging to say the least.

About a month ago, we asked our favorite contractor to expand the patio and add a pergola. We sent him a few photos of spaces we liked, and I couldn’t be more pleased with what he came up with.

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Continue reading

Summer Wishlist

Summer is in full swing, and I never put together my wishlist. In fact, I kind of thought I already had. Maybe, I’ve been too busy enjoying it. Don’t tell anyone, okay?

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Here are some things I hope to do this summer:

1. Host a BBQ.
2. Eat tomato, bacon and egg sandwiches with basil mayo. (A variation of this has made my list for like three years.)

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3. Make a batch of homemade ice cream.
4. Explore Kansas City.
5. Read a few books. I’ve heard We Were Liars is good. (Thanks to Kim K. for the recommendation. Keep them coming, please.)

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6. Get regular pedicures.
7. Spend some time on the beach.
8. Go on a few dates with the husband.

9. See a few movies. There’s something great about escaping summer heat for a great movie.
10. Learn how to make homemade ricotta.
11. Eat vegetables from my garden. (I’ve already had a cherry tomato, so we’re off to a promising start here.)

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12. Master the art of the quick pickle.
13. Go berry picking.
14. Wear some pretty summer dresses.
15. Find the perfect Rose.
16. Have some fun.

My, my, I’ve got to get busy, haven’t I?