La Petite Baleen

I’m a sucker for good marketing. I’m pretty sure I was sold on swim classes at La Petite Baleen based on the logo alone. Then once the instructor strapped swim goggles and a baby inner tube around Hank, it was game over.  Many thanks to my little bro for 1) not making me put on a swimsuit and 2) for enthusiastically jumping in with all the other new moms. Uncle of the year.

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After sending the above photo to our family chat, these are the responses I received:

Husband: “How was he relative to the other kids?”
Sister 1: “The next Michael Phelps.”
Father: “Look at the size of his hands. What an athlete.”
Sister 2: “He’s so brave, he doesn’t even look scared!”

Bunch of psychos. Some pics below of my little fishy:

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Dust To Dust Furniture: a pop-up

Attn: LA dwellers!

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My talented friend, Kristin Grant of Dust To Dust Furniture, is having a pop-up in Abbot Kinney today and tomorrow. Details below:

  • LOCATION: World Wide Mind
  • ADDRESS: 1306 Abbott Kinney |Venice, CA
  • DATES: 8.24 + 8.25

To check out Kristin’s lookbook and shop, click here.

Ash2 Ash3 Ash5

How to name your family dog

Monday’s post got me thinking about how much I want a dog. Which lead me to think about what I’d name my dog. Which reminded me how hard it was naming a human. Which got me stressed about what I’d name my dog. I digress…

Naming a dog is difficult. And critical. The name you choose will most likely be your children(s) password for the rest of eternity.* The New York Times even posted an article titled, “The Art of Naming a Dog“.

We grew up owning labs but when I was in college, my parents threw us a curveball** and bought a miniature teacup Yorkie from Texas. All five kids in my family have strong personalities and everyone had their own opinion of what the dog should be named. There were fights after fights. Our poor girl was nameless for weeks until one fateful Friday.

Her name is Beanie. Why, you ask? I’ll let my Mom explain:

At Nick’s little league game I was sitting on the sideline with all the other mothers. I had Beanie on my lap and was feeding her vitamins with a syringe [WTF?!]. A line drive beaned her on the head and she was thrown from my lap. Picked her up…she was limp and her tongue hanging out. Of course, I burst into tears. A father drove me to the vet and the Doctor said she wouldn’t make it….14 years later, she’s still going strong.

If you were able to read past the “feeding her vitamins with a syringe” line then you’ll understand where her name came from….

"it ain't over til it's over" - beanie berra

“it ain’t over til it’s over” – beanie berra

beanball

noun

A baseball pitch that hits or nearly hits the batter’s head and is sometimes used to intimidate the batter.

The odds of Beanie getting hit in the head by a rogue baseball were 1 in a million. Literally. She weighed one pound and my mom claims that if she had put her on home plate and given each boys 10 balls to try and hit her no one would have come close.

To any passerby, the name Beanie may sound trite but once you hear the story, we were clearly only left with one choice. It’s like they say in baseball, life begins when the season starts.

*I changed my passwords before posting this. RIP CHESS DOG.
** See what I did there? 

Must Love Dogs

I realize my posts are all over the map. You see, sometimes I receive requests from friends readers on topics they’d like me to blog about. Hence, the random post on dog accessories today. I’m not a dog owner but my ability to scour the Internet when I should be sleeping has prepared me well for the day I bring home a sweet pup.

Found My Animal Dog Collar

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Vintage White Elephant Dog Bed

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Non- hideous baby gear

registry
Non- hideous baby gear. Yes, that’s part of my Google search history. There’s no doubt that babies require a lot of “stuff” but I’m a firm believer that it doesn’t all have to be hideous and plastic  (although, sometimes sleep deprivation will lead you to buy things like this). We spend a lot of time on decorating our homes and new parents don’t have to sacrifice nice design for function, thanks to these companies:

Who knew a highchair could become a beautiful piece of furniture in your home?
We love our Trip Trap in Natural

A lightweight and foldable chair. NO batteries required:)

Made in the USA | Luxury high-end cottage style furniture.
We went with the Devon crib in white

Great if you love style as much as sustainability

Bumbleride Indie Stroller
It’s light, versatile and great for navigating tight urban spaces or conquering rugged beach terrain

New Sunday Night Ritual

Since Hank’s birth my skin care routine has gone by the wayside. Time and sleep are precious and I couldn’t be bothered to spend more than a few minutes each day and night on my skin. I took a good hard look in the mirror yesterday dropped a few f bombs and decided to book it to Sephora.

On my way to the checkout counter, I passed a section of Tony Moly face sheet masks. Two individually wrapped masks for $7.50. A steal. I decided on the Lemon Brightening mask.

lemon_largeI wasn’t expecting much based on the price alone but the effects were immediate. The best part of the mask? It’s great for lazy Sundays: simply lay the sheet-style mask soaked in the treatment serum over your face, relax/ stalk Instagram for 20-30 minutes and peel it off. Voila! You don’t have to wash your face after.

Try it out, if only for the scary looking selfie.

 

 

 

 

A cute gift idea

When Hank was born my Aunt sent him the sweetest collection of about 15-20 children’s books with his name (Henry/ Hank) in the title. Not only did this help me build his book collection but I’m certain that one day he will love reading about a superhero named Hank! The next time your friend/ sister/ co-worker has a baby, try it out (unless an unusual name is in play #yolo).

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Yoga: The best of SF

I’m not a yogi but have taken my fair share of yoga classes in San Francisco. With studios pretty much on every corner, I’ve rounded up my favorite instructors and studios below.
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Prenatal Yoga

Jane Austen :: Yoga Tree SF

Passionate about yoga and the transformational power of motherhood, Jane Austin specializes in working with prenatal and postnatal mamas. She is a mom herself and has been involved with the birthing community since 1990, working as a yoga teacher, homebirth midwife, doula (labor assistant), and childbirth educator. Jane teaches prenatal and postnatal yoga classes and teacher training courses in San Francisco.

Kari Marble :: The Mindful Body

Kari Marble is a mother of two and a certified yoga teacher, massage therapist, infant massage instructor and birth educator with a passionate and extensive specialization in the childbearing year and healthy family living. Her classes are highly regarded for their revitalizing and centering practice, educational content, and warm, nurturing community.

Restorative Yoga

Darren Main :: Donation- based Tuesday night practices at Grace Cathedral

Darren Main is a yoga and meditation instructor and author. His books include Yoga and the Path of the Urban Mystic, Spiritual Journeys along the Yellow Brick RoadInner Tranquility, The Yogi Entrepreneur and Hearts and Minds: Talking to Christians about Homosexuality.

Enrique Vallejo :: Candlelight Yoga at Laughing Lotus

Enrique draws from a background in dance and theatre and seeks to challenge and inspire his students with enthusiasm, humor and kindness. He believes that yoga is a fantastic tool for dissolving limitations and uncovering the brave, wise, compassionate warrior within.

For a Good Sweat

Courtney Harris :: The Pad Studios

Courtney is a certified nutrition and wellness coach through the Institute of Integrative Nutrition. As a result, her personal yoga practice has grown into a passion for the health and welI-being of others. She uses humor and down-to-earth sentimentality to illuminate aspects of the spiritual journey in a hectic world. Her goal is to put those practicing at ease and encourage them to try new things to improve their practice, on and off the mat.

Tom Lee :: Yoga Flow SF

I love his story about leaving corporate America behind. Read it here.

 

 

Summer Beach Must-Haves

Santorini Beach Tent

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Paddle Ball Set

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Hampton Sun SPF 30

SPF_30__49211.1425933429.1280.1280Green Toys Beach Bucket

71KY994eRAL._SL1500_Serena and Lily Beach Towels

fouta_towels_group_sum15c_8748J. Franklin Horseshoes

33192584_000_bMar Y Sol Tote

Caracas_Nat_CoralSisters of Los Angeles Playing Cards

IMG_3510Sensi Studio Panama Hat

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Adult Coloring Books

Yes, you read that correctly. My sisters visited Terrain of Westport yesterday and came home with adult coloring books said to relieve stress. This prompted me to dig a little deeper. Sure enough, I came across a CNN article from April titled, “Adult Coloring Books Topping Bestseller Lists” (read here).

Atlanta-based art therapist Susanne Fincher, who has published several coloring books, said coloring can lift the mood, reduce anxiety and relieve stress.

“Art making is a powerful intervention,” Fincher wrote in an email. “Neuroscientific research has shown that through the use of art therapy, the human brain can physically change, grow, and rejuvenate.”

Time to pull out the colored pencils (or not)…

{Secret Garden}

secret garden28015477_000_f{Enchanted Forest}

35344449_000_a 35344449_000_b{The Art of Nature}

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{Animal Kingdom}

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{Colored Pencils}

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Favorite online kids shops

I couldn’t have timed this post any better as my best friend just delivered her first healthy, beautiful baby girl! Below are my top 10 online shops for one-of-a-kind gifts/ decor/ clothing for the kids:

1. All Modern for kids’ table & chair sets

Risom+Kid%27s+Side+Chair2. The Wooden Wagon for natural wooden toys

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3. Fawn Shoppe for cute gift ideas like this kids’ apron

Screen_Shot_2014-11-14_at_8.05.52_PM_grande4. My Sweet Muffin

thwinwabear115. Blabla for knit and stuffed dolls

106466. Nature Baby

eco-conscious-baby-47. Serena & Lily

TB-ACC69-01_38. Heath Ceramics Kids Collection

6a00e552aabac3883401116900eaeb970c9. Brimful

brimful-toys-spring-2014

10. Poketo

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Bastille Day :: SF edition

GiraffeDine:

  • Gamine: my favorite local French restaurant (must try the escargots)
  • Bouche: an intimate and romantic restaurant on Bush Street
  • La Folie: French contemporary fare located in Russian Hill
  • La Fromagerie: a quaint cheese shop in the Dogpatch with amazing sandwiches

Shop:

  • Les Cent Culottes: French lingerie shop in Russian Hill (big sale for Bastille Day)
  • Isabel Marant: located in Jackson Square
  • Nest: Inspired by owner’s vacations to the South of France
  • Cotelac: ‘relaxed chic’ items located at this shop on Fillmore

Carmel Valley Ranch

Two visits in one month with a 5-month old in tow…that’s how much we love our road trips to Carmel. During this particular visit, we stayed at Carmel Valley Ranch — a 500-acre playground for adults and kids alike. On the property: giant oak trees with wooden swings, rows and rows of lavender fields, deer and wild turkeys roaming free, an elevated yoga platform with views of the valley and open fire pits for s’more making. We were the first guests to stay in the newly renovated suites and spent the majority of the time on the deck enjoying the outdoor soaking tub and views of the rolling vineyards. Hank was a happy little man and it was a fun-filled Fourth of July. Some pictures below from our stay:

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Tunics

Inspired by the ‘She’s In The Glow’ feature on Shopbop’s Style Director…some tunics (on a Tuesday) I’ve been eyeing below:

Tory Burch

Screen Shot 2015-07-07 at 8.09.50 AMJ.Crew

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Joie

tunic_3-detailRoberta Roller Rabbit

83637_a_1Mi Goldondrina

IMG_6513Calypso

00108J.Crew

C4368_WT0002_m

 

 

3 products to try right now

1. Tata Harper Be Adored. I am obsessed. This NYMag review is spot on:

Before J.Crew was the ultra-stylized, Jenna Lyons–fueled fashion brand it has become, it was associated with catalogues filled with 100 percent cotton, khakis, and nary a sequin. Models had unfussy hair and wore natural makeup — not in a minimalist Calvin Klein way, but in a girl-that-lives-next-to-your-Vermont-farm kind of way. Before the brand introduced a red lipstick to the catalogue in 2004, models wore flushed cheeks and  flushed lips; highlighted with a natural gloss, if any at all. Tata Harper’s Be Adored Lip Treatment recalls that popsiclelike J.Crew lip of yesteryear.

Tata-Harper-Be-Adored

2. Oribe Bright Blonde Shampoo and Conditioner. Helps kick the brassy/ yellow tones while brightening natural highlights.

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3. Goddess of Skin Bonifide Scrub. After reading about this product on ManRepeller and Into the Gloss, I had to give this scrub a go. Stay tuned.

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de Buci Baby

A friend recently told me about a new company, de Buci Baby, inspired by the designer’s love of toile and men’s pajamas (totally speaks to the East Coaster in me).  Alas, sleep sacks that are functional and fashionable!

I know what I’ll be gifting at my next baby shower…

Sleep Sacks

debuci-blue_plaid-2-A_1024x1024 debuci-blue_plaid-3-A_1024x1024 debuci-toile-2-A_1024x1024Toy Sleep Sacks

toile-toy_sleepsack-A_1024x1024 debuci-beige-9-A_1024x1024Blankets

debuci-ecomm-all-3_1024x1024You can follow their pretty Instagram account here.

Travel Tuesday: Bahamas

My sister recently graduated from Groovy UV — as if the birks paired with the cap and gown didn’t give it away ;).  To celebrate, she took the trip of a lifetime with friends to the Bahamas. Her pictures below have me daydreaming of quitting my day job crystal-blue waters and white sandy beaches.

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West Coast Craft

Hank and I took a little stroll down to Fort Mason on Saturday to check out West Coast Craft.

West Coast Craft is a craft and design show featuring carefully selected designers, artists, and craftspeople inspired by the mood and aesthetics of West Coast lifestyle. Cool but sunny, laidback yet innovative, they represent the best of West Coast craft.

Below is a roundup of some of the new, up-and-coming artisans I came across (fyi, there were over 250!). I should have gotten a head start of my Christmas shopping…

Elliefunday :: beautiful baby blankets that change the lives of marginalized women in India (I picked up an awesome handkerchief bib for Hank).

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Galanter & Jones :: Heated Outdoor Furniture (imagine the feeling of relaxing in a hot tub without getting wet).

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Noble Carriage :: Organic Baby Clothes + Gifts.

Screen Shot 2015-06-14 at 4.51.09 PMGray Market :: Fresh, Classic textiles for you and your home.

Screen Shot 2015-06-14 at 4.54.01 PMCaravan Pacific :: American Crafted Lighting.

ABOUTPAGE

Canoe :: modern leather goods.

wN_BlueVortexWallet_frontThe Granite :: an emerging female-owned and operated creative studio and workshop with evolving focus and inspiration.

bluedash-on-wht+copy+-+square+versionA Summer Afternoon :: Natural Wooden Toys.

ASummerAfternoon_008Pigeon Toe Ceramics :: objects with a story.

PT2015_044_a9d8914e-64e1-4391-a01c-b00db54781fe_largeChristy Dawn :: dresses handcrafted in LA.

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Father’s Day Gift Guide

PSA :: Father’s Day is Sunday, June 21st

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{DIY Deluxe Hot Sauce Kit}

Screen-Shot-2014-07-14-at-10.10.07-AM{Heath Paine socks}

35559897_000_a{American Flag Spatula– perfect for 4th of July grilling}

PSC-Web-Banners-Style-As-Faith-Eric-Lloyd

{Cotton Pocket Squares handcrafted in LA}

beachcover {The SunnyLion Tangle-Free earbuds}

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{J. Franklin Field Day Horseshoes}

TWEEDS_21

{Quoddy Canoe Shoe– I’m a fan of the navy laces}

PIP-MLW1NC-Waverly-Sp15-32jpg

{Marine Layer Waverly Woven Shirt}

CA322-TNB_Side_1024x1024

{Mulholland Weekender Bag–all orders 25% off with code: DAD2015}

 Screen shot2 Nantucket_Island_large{Custom Watercolor Map of his favorite coastline}

w38ss-sbbk-sel_GEO_US{Apple Watch}

vilebrequin_swimtrunks_BGJUNE10

{Vilebrequin Father and Son Swim Trunks}

PJ{Classic Pajamas}

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{In-home massage}

T2TL-01-0001_OC_50ML_A

{Tom Ford Noir}

16140-01_1416977312{Craftsman Tool Set in Natural Canvas}

Stripes on Sale

e5eecac9824574f4c4d3d75e798719f91. Joie Pentea B Dress

2. T By Alexander Want Striped Long Sleeve T-Shirt

3. Vince Linen Mixed Stripe Tank

4. Heidi Merrick Stripped Pencil Skirt

5. J.Crew Shirt

6. Lemlem Gauze Top

7. Kidmore Sneakers

8. Tory Burch Striped Shorts

9. Heidi Klein Bathing Suit

10. Theory Caneil C Dress

Bright Salads

The fog dog days of summer are almost upon us.  Some scrumptious spring/ summer salads:

Spring Salad with Fava Beans. Recipe here.

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Spinach Salad with Chicken, Strawberries, Blue Cheese and Almonds. Recipe here.

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Green Bean & Avocado Quinoa Salad. Recipe here.

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Shaved Brussels Sprout Salad with Red Onion, Lemon and Pecorino. Recipe here.

Food52

Insalata Caprese. Recipe here.

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Little Gem Lettuce with Roasted Beets and Feta Dressing. Recipe here.

little-gem-lettuce-with-roasted-beets-and-feta-dressingAnd, in case you missed it:

Off-the-Grid: Bolinas

Friends rented the same house in Bolinas (from this blog post) for the long weekend. We made the hour drive Sunday morning with plans to test our luck surfing. Sunday’s surf report: “Mysterious morning fog settling in and swirling about. A sinister SW wind putting the bite on the temps and rippling an already unwelcoming ocean surface. Sun is an enigma presently and may stay reclusive.” So, what do five novice surfers who have seen Blue Crush one too many times do? Head to 2 Mile Surf Shop to rent wetsuits and boards. Sleep training a baby will make one do crazy things.

Our friend Keith took a surf lesson the day before so we were hanging on his every word (before heading out my husband asked him if he was regular or goofy to which his sweet mother-in-law replied, “he looked good!”). As we paddled out, the sun broke and there was a pod of dolphins swimming about 20 yards from our group, temporarily distracting me from unwelcome sea dwellers and the fact that the neck of my wetsuit was impeding my breathing.

Overall, it was an incredibly successful day. No one got eaten by a shark, everyone rode a wave or two and there were cold beers, a hot tub and a sleeping baby (!) waiting for us back at the house. How did we get so lucky? Some pictures from our jaunt to Bolinas below:

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Oh Happy Day

The design + lifestyle blog, Oh Happy Day, has recently launched a highly curated online party supply shop. This bright (and happy) site makes me want to throw a fun summer fete for kids (how cute are these temporary tattoos?) and adults alike. “After years of collecting lanterns from China, street flags from Brazil, confetti from Paris (it’s better there!), and handmade piñatas from Mexico we decided to put it all in one place.” Everything is shipped from San Francisco. Have a great Memorial Day weekend!

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East Coast Living

Maternity leave and our whirlwind Midwest/ East Coast tour has sadly come to an end. It’s back to work and back to trying to get Hank on somewhat of a schedule (God help me). A few photos from our trip spent with the best friends & family:

FullSizeRender (1)FullSizeRender (3)Click below to view more:

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Rikshaw Design Flash Sale

Rikshaw Design is currently having a 30% off clothing flash sale (promo code: HEYSUMMER). Time to stock up on your kids’ summer clothes or even a coverup or two for you!

Inspired by the talents of Indian textile artisans, Rikshaw Design revives the ancient technique of block printing on all of their colorful creations—from baby bloomers to tunics (aka kurtas) for mom. The fabric is hand stamped by artisans in Jaipur, India, using a wooden block that’s been individually carved for each pattern.

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Crepes from scratch

Here’s another great recipe from our cooking class a few weeks ago. I’ve never been able to master making crepes (I even previously owned a crepe maker) until this recipe. All you need is a 7-ish inch nonstick skillet. My Aunt uses this and I plan on buying it as soon as I get back to San Francisco.

It takes a little practice, and you usually toss out the first one, but once you learn to make crepes you’ll be able to create many exciting dishes spontaneously.

Check out my favorite French restaurant’s menu for a little crepe inspiration.

tumblr_ngon4droDM1qzl2gjo3_500

Ingredients

  • 1 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1/3 cup water
  • 3 eggs
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

Directions

1. Combine the flour, sugar and salt in a food processor briefly.

2. With motor running, add the milk, water, eggs, and butter through the feed tube. Process until smooth.

3. Heat a heavy 7-inch nonstick skillet until quite hot. Pour in 3 tablespoons of the batter, then quickly tilt the pan so the batter spreads evenly, forming a crepe. Cook until lightly brown, 30 to 45 seconds; then turn and cook another 15 seconds.

4. Repeat, using up all the batter. As you finish the crepes, stack them between sheets of waxed paper to prevent from sticking. Wrap the stacked crepes in plastic wrap. They will keep in the refrigerator for 2 days.

(Makes 12 crepes)

Enjoy!

 

Holly Stuart Designs

If I could redecorate my home, I’d model it after the chic interior of the fictional White House in House of Cards (about all I could concentrate on while watching Season 2). The Underwood aesthetic: a neutral color palette, elegant, lush and subdued fabrics, brass lamps, dark wood trim, hurricane lamps etc. All very ‘Washingtonian’. So, I was perusing my favorite home decor shop in DC online (DC bound today so this was not totally out of left field) and as it turns out, they have provided many of the pieces to the House of Cards sets. While I’m not looking at any big pieces at the moment, I love these kitchen accents from Holly Stuart Home. She makes beautiful placemats, coasters and serving trays in a variety of colors and patterns. Frank & Claire approved. Receive 25% off all placemats using online code: springhassprung.

C-MB-SEP1030743_sea_1024x1024C-MB-na_1024x1024round_navy_trayP1030738_saxon_green_1024x1024ellipse_tray_saxon_greenP1030798a_1024x1024round_tray_sea_1024x1024

Allan’s Famous Frozen Margarita’s

I’m excited to share another fabulous drink recipe from Michael just in time for those warm summer nights (other posts by Chef Mike: the best bloody mary you’ll ever drink, wings and the perfect NY Strip Steak

Don't worry about calories...look what his margs did to these two friends of ours.

Worried about calories? Don’t. Look at these two friends of ours. They drink them all the time.

 

With Memorial Day only a couple of weeks away I thought this would be the perfect time to post my father’s famous frozen margarita recipe. It is the perfect summer frozen treat whether you are on a beach, boat, rooftop, BBQ or just chilling at home.

This is a recipe that was handed down by my father who used to throw sunset parties at our family beach house located in Davis Park, Fire Island. A small island located off the coast of Long Island about half-way between Manhattan and Montauk (the end of Long Island).

Our house was on the Great South Bay and faced west. The Atlantic Ocean was only a couple of hundred yards to the east. There were no cars on the island, no streets, no cable tv, and few phones — just boardwalks, sand, wooden beach shacks, and porches. The sunsets were magnificent and the margaritas even better!

This drink reminds me of ocean breezes, bare feet, boats and music – Essentially a Jimmy Buffet song. Here’s to a great summer!

A typical sunset at Davis Park, Fire Island

A typical sunset at Davis Park, Fire Island

What You Need

  • 40 oz blender
  • Tequila (Jose Cuervo Gold is preferred)
  • Triple Sec
  • Grand Marnier
  • Three (3) Limes
  • Frozen Limeade (Minute Maid is preferred) – 12 oz can
  • Fresh or Frozen Fruit (Strawberry, Peach, Mango are best) – Optional
  • Beer – Optional
  • Salt – Optional
  • IceFullSizeRender (12)

Directions

  • Pour the following amounts of liquor into the blender —
    • 7oz Jose Cuervo Gold Tequila – This is the perfect tequila for this recipe, if you’re drinking tequila on the rocks or shooting it straight I’m all for buying more expensive tequila, but for a frozen margarita it gets the job done. Whatever you do, do not use well tequila.
    • 3 oz Triple Sec – Any brand will do
    • 2 oz of Grand Marnier – This is key – Grand Marnier is expensive, but well worth it. A 700 ml bottle will last you about 12 blenders worth of margaritas. A great investment.
  • Next cut each lime in half and then squeeze 2 ½ limes (5 halves) of fresh lime juice into the blender. Squeezing fresh lime is imperative, it’s the difference between a good and a great margarita. You want your margaritas to be great! You can get a good margarita at Chili’s or TGI Friday’s.
  • Add approximately 4oz (1/3 of a can) of the frozen limeade. The frozen limeade is ads tartness and sweetness to the mixture. I’ve found that Minute Maid is superior to store brand frozen limeade. While slightly more expensive, it is well worth it.
  • If you would like to infuse fruit into your margarita add the fresh or frozen fruit now – Generally, 4 strawberries (stems removed), for Strawberry Margaritas — a few chunks of mango for Mango Margarita — or about half of a peach for Peach Margaritas is all you need. Fresh fruit is preferred, but frozen store bought is also fine and often easier.
  • For extra frothiness, add a splash of beer (this was my father’s secret ingredient). It also gives you an excuse to crack open a beer and drink it while you’re making your margarita. Similar to Bloody Mary’s, beer is a great Margarita chaser.
  • Fill the blender up with ice and blend until the mixture is smooth
  • For extra thick margaritas, pour half of the blended goodness into a pitcher and then refill the blender with more ice and blend again. When blended add the blended margarita into the pitcher and stir.
  • Meanwhile, cut up the remaining lime half and rim your class with the lime wedge and then dip into salt
  • Pour the margarita into the glass and enjoy!

 

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Pea and Artichoke Dip

My Aunts hosted an at-home cooking class in my Aunt Mary’s beautiful kitchen (scroll down for pics) a few nights ago which was incredibly informative and fun. On the menu: Pea & Artichoke Dip, Guacamole, Grits with Zucchini Custard, Grilled Chicken with Curried Couscous, Spinach, and Mango and Banana Nutella Crepes. They are both huge fans of Fine Cooking Magazine which shares recipes based on what’s in season. Below is a different take on the classic baked artichoke dip…a delicious way to eat your peas.

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Ingredients:

  • 1/4 cup panko
  • 3/4 cup finely grated pecorino romano
  • 1 Tbs. olive oil
  • 1 8.5-oz. can artichoke hearts, drained
  • 1 cup shelled fresh peas or frozen peas, thawed
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 2 oz. cream cheese, at room temperature
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 medium clove garlic
  • Worcestershire sauce
  • Hot sauce

Directions:

Heat the oven to 475°F. Combine the panko, 1/4 cup of the pecorino, and the olive oil; set aside.

In a food processor, pulse the artichoke hearts, peas, mayonnaise, cream cheese, remaining 1/2 cup of the pecorino, 1/4 tsp. salt, a few grinds of pepper, the garlic, and 2 healthy dashes each of the Worcestershire and hot sauce until combined. Transfer to a 1-quart baking dish (about 9×6) in an even layer; sprinkle with the panko mixture.

Bake until browned and warmed through, about 8 minutes. Serve right away.

{recipe via Fine Cooking}

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Terrain of Westport, CT

A local florist gave us the OK to start planting in my parent’s garden Mother’s Day weekend so in preparation, my sister and I have been doing our homework and taking trips to Terrain in Westport, CT (full disclosure: I can barely keep a succulent alive so the homework part is key). Not only is Terrain a 17,000 sq ft gardening mecca but the store is stocked with one-of-a kind pieces. Think: handmade furniture, herb-infused candles, dinnerware, cashmere blankets, plants and topiaries, beautiful coffee table books and more. Seriously, it’s some of the best visual merchandising I’ve ever seen so it’s no wonder this place is frequented by tastemakers such as Martha Stewart and Blake Lively. Terrain even offers classes and I’m looking foward to attending the Spring Marketplace on May 2nd.

FullSizeRender (1) IMG_6838 FullSizeRender (2) IMG_6840IMG_6842FullSizeRender (9)FullSizeRender (8)FullSizeRender (5)FullSizeRender (4)IMG_6875FullSizeRender (7)We made a brunch reservation at the Garden Cafe for this weekend so more to come!

Mother’s Day Gift Guide

1. Follain Gift Card

Screen Shot 2015-04-26 at 9.41.08 AM2. R. Nichols Breathe Candle

HDCD0008-23. Kitchit Personal Chef

oftl-main_thumb2-NYC-kitchit34. Fresh Peony Bunch

Screen Shot 2015-04-26 at 9.47.33 AM5. Eve Lom Rescue Mask

ss09evel896000398-nocolour6. St. Frank Blue Porcelain Planter

Screen Shot 2015-04-26 at 9.52.00 AM7. Rebecca Atwood Pillow

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8. Sunday Suppers

sundaysuppers_decor89. K. Jacques Sandals

k-jacques-naturel-ganges-sandal-product-3-12857086-180702796_large_flex10. Mr. Boddington’s Studio Card

Screen Shot 2015-04-28 at 8.24.38 AM

Spring Beauty Buys

627338d6d3a1acabc21c1a61f1d17f8f1. By Terry CC Cream :: an incredibly light texture that smells like roses and leaves your skin hydrated and plumped.
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2. Benefit Roller Lash Mascara :: super- curling and lifting mascara for a wide-eyed look.

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3. By Terry Baume De Rose :: for a subtle flush of color.

d5522846a1b266bf73658bccbf492d394. The Wet Brush :: the ultimate detangling brush.

The+Wet+Brush+-+Beauty+Box+--+Second+Floor+Flat

Saks Friends & Family

Almost everything at Saks is 30% off online (code:FRNFAM) and in-stores. Here are some pieces I’m eyeing:

1. Silk Ikat-Print Maxi Shirtdress

2. Theory Caneil Classic Pima Cotton Striped Dress

3. Marc by Marc Jacobs Classic Cotton Trenchcoat

4. Joie Suerte Printed Silk Drawstring- Waist Dress

5. Joie Jacolyn B Knit Jacket 

6. Rebecca Minkoff Freebird Embroidered Cotton Dress

7. See by Chloe Striped T-Shirt Dress

8. See by Chloe Printed Cotton Dress

9. AG Contour 360 Prima Mid-Rise Cigarette Jeans

10. Frame Le Skinny de Jeanne Distressed Jeans 

saks-friends-and-family

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