Sailing into Summer

Sailor 2

I bought this sailor inspired pajama top awhile back, but haven’t been able to give it too much street time, due to not having the right occasions or it being too cold for too long.  I bought it in the fall and intended to wear it more throughout the winter, but hibernation mode left me with few reasons to do so and so it stayed in my closet for a bit longer…until recently!

My work threw a party on a boat (fancy!) to celebrate the company’s anniversary and I knew I had the perfect thing to wear.  This top has a dressier vibe to it, elevating a basic outfit without trying too hard. It’s classic black and navy option keep it timeless and help to balance the novelty of the pajama silhouette and nautical touches.  I paired it with my classic loafers and my new kick flare crop jeans, which I love, for an easy but stylish summer outfit. Since then, this top has made its way into my summertime outfits in other iterations, with blue jeans and flat sandals, as well as with black silk shorts for a fun date-night outfit.  With a top like this, you’ll be sailing into summer stylishly!

Sailor 1

 

Fashion note: I’m wearing a Topshop top (similar here), Everlane jeans, Asos loafers and sunglasses from Amazon.

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WEEKLY WRAP UP/WEEKEND COUNTDOWN

What got me through the week and what I’m looking forward to this weekend!

Boy, oh, boy, what a week.  This one started off hectic and busy, filled with deadlines, planning and a lot of other things happening, the mid-week was elevated by concerts and birthday celebrations, which will likely be spilling over into this weekend.  I’m looking forward to relaxing and going out this weekend, as a nice contrast to the last week and weekend, and am especially excited since my birthday festivities align nicely with National Rose day, which is this Saturday, June 9th.  In honor of this sacred holiday, all the things I’m highlighting this week are wine related. How will you enjoy your weekend?

  1. How to make a frose:  What’s better than rose on a warm summer day? Frozen rose! In honor of the upcoming holiday, why not imbibe in this new summer classic?  
  2. Wine All The Time: I’m getting more into wine, thanks in part to a higher interest, but also thanks to this great book.  Wine can be intimidating and exclusive, and Marissa Ross, also the wine editor at Bon Appetit magazine, breaks down everything from winemaking, to wine varieties and wine pairings, to not only make wine seem less intimidating but more enjoyable.  This book is informative, helpful and still light and comical, making it a pleasant read.
  3. Local wine shops: Recently I went on a neighborhood wine stroll, walking through a collection of various businesses to sample wine and food pairings, which were largely chosen by a local wine store.  The pairings were great, but so were the selected wines, which helped pique my interest and helped me realize I like more other than my go-to rose and pinot noir. I’ve recently made some trips to my local wine store and have not only discovered a plethora of new, quality and affordable wines, but also a lot of help thanks to the staff and events like weekly wine tastings for $10.  I encourage you to look around and see if there are any shops in your area. It’s a great way to learn about wine and support a local business.
  4. Club Winc: My husband gifted me an initial trial to this awesome subscription service.  For a flat rate, you can receive three to four wines delivered to you monthly, with rotations rotating to give you a taste of new wines and brands, and also keep things somewhat seasonal.  Selections are tailored to your preferences, based on a palette survey you complete, and you can even choose the breakdown of the types of wines you want to receive (eg all reds, two reds and two whites) to ensure you’re satisfied.  They have a lot of great promotions available, so why not give it a try and discover some new wines for the summer?

The Cookies that Broke the Internet

Get it cooking!

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First, let me start by giving my apologies for the lack of posts in the last month.  It was a hectic one with unexpected visitors, a long trip back East, eventful weekends and a number of other happenings that all resulted in my absent posts.  However, I’m going to make it up to you by sharing with you some extremely important, not to mention tasty, content. I know I’ve been keeping my food posts to documenting the ADK Sunday Suppers, which is something I intend to continue, but I’ve decided to interrupt the regularly scheduled food programming with some important food that you really do need to make now.

My birthday is approaching and because of that occasion on which most humans celebrate with at least one type of dessert treat, I felt it appropriate to share the most recent baked good that graced my kitchen and belly in the most memorable way- these Salted Chocolate Chunk Shortbread Cookies.  Perhaps you’ve been one of the few people to not see some sort of Instagram post, blog or food article regarding these cookies that became instantly popular after Alison Roman featured them in her Dining In cookbook, which came out in the fall.  If so, then let me get you up to speed.

These cookies are thick, salty and mixed with chocolate chunks that give them a delicious sweet and salty combo.  I’m not typically one for a shortbread cookie but it just works here; these cookies need substance to balance the insane amount of chocolate chunks in each bite, which reminds me- if you make these, either by chunks or cut a brick of chocolate into chunks.  Don’t do chips, it just won’t be the same. The finishing touch that make these cookies so delectable is the rolling of the dough in sugar, resulting in the outer edges of each cookie having a crunchy, lightly sugar-y bite once the dough is sliced.

When the cookbook was released, it seemed like everyone was making them for their holiday parties, which escalated their internet popularity.  I wasn’t sure they’d live up to their hype, but I assure you they do. Some people have had difficulty making them, but I found if you follow her instructions (and even check out her instagram for more tips), they turn out just right.  Be sure to let them cool on the sheets for awhile before moving to wire racks, and then let them continue to cool on the racks a while longer.  But trust me, you do NOT want to miss out on these cookies. Make them now because everyone deserves a cookie like this.

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Detroit Rock City

Inspiration for the new week!

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Despite having lived in the midwest for nearly four years now, I’ve rarely ventured to any other city outside of Chicago other than Cleveland (where my husband is from) or Ann Arbor, where his brother used to live.  When my brother-in-law and sister-in-law moved to Detroit, my husband and I wanted to make a trip to the auto city, especially since we’ve heard so much about the cultural renaissance occuring there.

We finally made a trip this winter and it was short, but completely worthwhile.  We made the most of our time there, hitting up plenty of hot spots like the Eastern Public Market, which is buzzing with vendors where I had one of the best lattes and bought the tastiest fresh pasta; Sister Pie, the James Beard nominated bakery with some of the most unique and delicious treats I’ve ever had like a peanut butter paprika cookie and a black sesame macaron; and a local record store which had the largest selection you can imagine, allowing us to bring home both Fleetwood Mac and old school Kanye West. The rest of the trip was complete with cocktails in the downtown district, authentic Mexican in an off-the-beaten track but totally worth it neighborhood, plenty of wall mural sightings, and so much more.  

The amount of activity happening in the city, from a culinary, design, architecture and cultural perspective, is truly amazing.  There’s something for everyone to enjoy and I highly recommend it for a weekend trip. We plan on going back this summer to enjoy more of the outdoor spots!

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WEEKLY WRAP UP/WEEKEND COUNTDOWN

What got me through the week and what I’m looking forward to this weekend!

boat

We skipped right over spring and went straight into summer weather, and I’m totally okay with it.  Temps this week reached near 90 and that paired perfectly with outdoor activities like my company’s dinner cruise party.  The warm, sunny weather will be perfect for this weekend’s activities, which will be pretty festive thanks to both Cinco de Mayo and the Kentucky Derby falling on the same day.  I hope wherever you are, you have beautiful weather and you’re able to get outside and enjoy the weekend, whatever you do.

  1. How to make a mint julep:  Other than mint, I truly don’t even know what’s in the classic derby cocktail. This recipe is “the only one you need to know” so that sounds good enough for me.  I plan on indulging in a few of these (along with some margaritas) for Saturday’s festivities.
  2. Derby outfit inspiration: I already have my derby party outfit selected, and it does include a hat, but sometimes deciding what to wear can be a challenge, especially when you’ve never been to the race.  Leave it to Town and Country to provide some outfit inspiration, whether you’re attending a party, watching at a bar or simply staying in.
  3. How to make a margarita: Since I featured the perfect mint julep, I can’t ignore the perfect margarita since Saturday is Cinco de Mayo as well (Cinco de Derby as I’m calling it).  Head to the same source for instructions on how to make this classic cocktail, which I always prefer with salt and on the rocks. Jalapeno and classic are my favorite types of margs.  Just remember to hydrate properly, especially if you’re mixing margaritas and juleps!
  4. Guacamole recipe: What are margaritas without some guacamole to pair with? This weekend is the perfect time to make the classic Mexican appetizer to balance out all the cocktails.  This version by Ina Garten is a favorite as it’s relatively healthy, using plenty of fresh ingredients and produce.  Opt for some raw veggies- or at least a mix of raw veggies and chips- to make this an even healthier snack.  After all, you need something in your stomach to absorb all the margs!

 

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Sunday Supper Series- Turkey Meatballs with Mint Pesto and Fattoush Salad

Get it cooking!

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If you’ve followed the types of dishes I normally cook, you know I am not the most carnivorous person. I don’t particularly like burgers, dislike ribs and I don’t really understand what the fuss is about a “good steak.” Needless to say I tend to gravitate toward dishes that are more vegetable, dairy or fish based.

So when my sister-in-law chose this recipe as her pick for our recent Sunday supper edition, my initial reaction was a mix of hesitation and curiosity. I don’t particularly love meatballs, and I don’t eat lamb, but the dish looked so beautiful and with the addition of the mint pesto and the idea of pairing the meatballs with yogurt instead of a starch left me intrigued. I decided to swap the lamb for turkey, since when I do eat meat that’s usually what I opt for, and the dish still came together so well. The meatballs are surprising light and fun to make (there’s something very therapeutic and rewarding about the process of forming meatballs) and the combination of the browned meat with the light herbs and yogurt was so flavorful. The fattoush salad was the perfect accompaniment to heighten the springtime flavors. I highly recommend you give both a try for your next weekend meal. Don’t be surprised if they end up in your regular rotation!

Week 2:

Turkey (or lamb) meatballs with mint pesto and yogurt

(recipe courtesy of Bon Appetit)

Fattoush salad

(recipe courtesy of Love and Lemons)

 

Seriously, make this now!

Stretch it Out

Motivation to get you through hump day!

Pilates

I’ve previously written about my occasional attempts at Pilates class.  I’ve taken some traditional mat classes, some heated versions and others, but I’ve never stuck to one format or even practice consistently.  It’s not because I don’t enjoy it; in fact, I find Pilates to be a truly challenging workout that helps to tone your body in unexpected ways while also focusing your mind.  It’s just that I’m loyal to other routines and often can’t rationalize forfeiting one of my regular classes to introduce something else into my regimine.

Nonetheless, I’ve remained intrigued by Pilates and have continued to look for opportunities to practice more of it.  So I added “trying Pilates classes” to my winter to-do list and was successful in at least starting this task. I made a visit to a nearby studio that I’ve been meaning to visit for the last two plus years and was pleasantly surprised.  The studio itself is small, but able to hold plenty of Pilates devotees. It’s also well equipped and not only provides classic Pilates mat and essentials classes (perfect for new students or those revisiting the practice) as well as more advanced classes and those requiring special equipment, such as a Reformer machine.  

The variety of classes enables students to really learn and deepen their practice and provides a more robust workout.  The essentials class I took was perfect for a newbie but still a great workout for anyone who’s fit or who’s practiced similar styles, such as barre.  The teacher was very attentive and provided varying levels of difficulty for each pose, depending on the student’s ability or level of practice, which made for a tailored experience.  Even though I didn’t break a sweat, it was challenging yet fun, and I left feeling a tighter core and having truly enjoyed the incredibly fast hour of work. I plan to go back soon to take advantage of the private lessons they offer new students, as well as the equipment classes.  Stay tuned for more!

 

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