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


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.

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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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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.)


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?

Around Here

My vegetable garden is looking amazing. There are tons of tiny little tomatoes, a yellow squash and a cucumber growing right now. So, fingers crossed, we will have fresh veggies this summer.

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When we go outside now, Ellie likes to get to work picking up sticks. I’ve been recruited to her lawn crew. She’s a pretty good boss, but the pay is terrible.

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The gelato at Pizza Bella is bananas. If you’re in KC, you should try it.

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Strawberry & Goat Cheese Crostini with a Balsamic Drizzle


I’ve had the idea for strawberry and goat cheese crostini with a balsamic reduction rattling around my head for at least a month – maybe even two. Last weekend, I finally made time to try out the recipe. I should have gotten on top of this sooner.

With strawberries only in season for a little while longer, I would strongly recommend you do the same, because these crostini are delicious.

Pretty enough for entertaining, these are well suited to dining al fresco. The crostini, balsamic reduction, sliced strawberries and toasted almonds can all be prepared in advance. Can’t you just picture them with a glass of white wine on your patio?

This dish would also be perfect at a BBQ. You could even bring the components to someone else’s house and assemble them there if you like. Continue reading


Missalaney-June 1. I’m always looking for new books to read and am eager to try some of the ones highlighted on Lauren Conrad and A Beautiful Mess.

2. This summer I’ve already been wearing braids on repeat. I love these tips from Emily on how to up your braid game.

3. This summertime grilled bread from How Sweet It Is represents how I’d like to eat every night.

4. These acrylic glasses are adorable and would be perfect for eating outside, don’t you think?

5. Elise gives really great, usable advice on how to use Instagram for your business.

6. It’s summer in Kansas City, and there are a million things I’m dying to do. Berry picking, visiting the natural history museum and seeing the labyrinth at the Nelson are at the top of my list.