Today on Weekend Meanderings a quick and easy tomato pasta recipe, my new favorite workout wear, J.Crew’s new coffee table book and more.
Happy weekend, friends!
It’s Saturday and I’m joining Kim and Elizabeth for Weekend Meanderings.
Our weekly roundup of inspiration and goings on.
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Pumpkins are here!
Not here at Snowberry, but in all the stores.
Local favorite Orchard Nursery has lots of small pumpkins and gourds.
The bigger pumpkins arrived Thursday.
I can’t wait to stop by and see the displays this year.
There’s even have a pumpkin selfie wall.
Meanwhile, back in late summer …
GARDEN UPDATE … WE HAVE TOMATOES
Finally! Our tomatoes are ready and I made the yummiest, and simplest tomato, basil pasta. This serves 2-3.
Heat 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil in heavy pan. Toss in 1-2 cloves of minced garlic, 3 cups cherry tomatoes, 1/2 tsp salt and a pinch of sugar. Cook, stirring occasionally, until tomatoes burst and form a sauce. About 6-7 minutes. In the meantime, bring a pan of salted water to a boil and add 1/2 lb linguine … about 9 minutes. Add drained pasta to tomato sauce with 1/4 cup torn basil leaves and toss. Serve with fresh grated parmesan cheese.
How’s that for farm to table?!
LABNEH … MEDITERRANEAN STYLE YOGURT
While we’re talking about food, I made a really good fruit and yogurt breakfast side dish this week using labneh, a Mediterranean style cheese spread made by straining Greek yogurt. I was inspired by our recent brunch at Cypress, a Mediterranean style restaurant in the Atticus Hotel, during our recent visit to the Oregon wine region. It’s as simple as combining labneh, honey and fresh berries.
Labneh has the consistency of cream cheese and spreads beautifully. At Cypress the dish was presented with labneh spread across a small plate, with blueberries and strawberries on top. The honey wasn’t visible and I think it must have been mixed with the labenah, so that’s how I made it at home. In a small bowl, I added about 2 tablespoons of labnah, drizzled on a little honey (maybe a teaspoon) and mixed it together. I topped it with blueberries and sliced strawberries and decided to sprinkle mint leaves on top I have a big pot of mint in my garden and why not. Voila … a labenah, honey and fruit breakfast delight!
Labneh (also spelled labne) works in sweet or savory recipes and makes a great base for dips.
CLOSET CLEAN OUT WRAP UP
My closet clean out is done. Done for now. Reality is that a clean and organized closet is an ongoing process … it doesn’t ever end. New things are coming in, more things are going out. I already have a new donation pile started in the garage and several pieces on my desk to photograph to add to my Poshmark closet for online sale.
A quick review of my process ~
- I went through each and every item in my closet and tried it on (yes, every single one) and asked myself do I love it, does it fit, do I have something(s) to wear it with and do I want to keep it.
- If the answer is yes (the keepers), I tried to create new outfits and snapped photos to save in the Outfits folder in my phone.
- I made a list of pieces to be on the lookout for to complete outfits, or of pieces I need to replace.
- I pulled out pieces in need of alteration and took them immediately to the tailor and cobbler.
- I kept a stack of pants that I love but are a bit snug. I tied them with a ribbon and placed them on a shelf and set a reminder to try on again at the end of the year. If they don’t fit then, I’ll (reluctantly) part with them.
- The pieces I decided not to keep went into two piles … donate or consign/sell. I took donations to Goodwill and our local Assistance League’s Way Side Inn Thrift Shop. And I made an appointment at ReChic, a local consignment shop, and put other pieces for sale on Poshmark. (Pieces that weren’t in good condition went into the trash, fortunately this was a very small pile.)
- Special occasion clothing was separated into my auxiliary closet (extra bedroom closet) and only everyday pieces remain in my primary closet. I also separated sentimental items that I may never wear again but have special meaning and I don’t want to part with. Special occasion and sentimental pieces got zipped into these garment bags. Jim uses the same bags to protect his suits and good jackets … no longer worn as often as they once were.
An observation … during the clean out process I noticed several pieces that ended up in the consign/sell pile are things that I really, really wanted and in some cases waited and saved to buy… and then didn’t use. Like a pair of Hunter rain boots that I never wore. And a Louis Vuitton Artsy bag that I only used a couple of times. Thankfully that bag was a consignment purchase and I didn’t pay full price, but it was expensive enough. What’s the lesson? Just because I love and admire something on others doesn’t mean it’s right for me or will fit into my lifestyle … and I need to be more thoughtful and realistic about making bigger-ticket purchases.
ALO YOGA WORKOUT WEAR
And speaking of bringing new things into my closet, do you know about Alo Yoga? Probably so because I’m the last to know anything. Thanks to niece Shelby, who started working at Alo a few months ago, I’m fully up to speed on this fast growing active wear brand that has a lot of young, celebrity buzz. On Thursday Jim and I made an inaugural visit to Shelby at the Alo store in Broadway Plaza … and, surprise, we didn’t come home empty handed.
First of all, we loved the store. Ironically it’s in the former J.Crew space so I know it well. It’s light, bright and expansive … we loved the large dressing rooms with flattering light (for a dressing room). Everyone in the store including Shelby was friendly and fun and helped us find what we were looking for.
The store is dressed for fall with lots of deep browns and green khakis. But not to worry, there’s plenty of the requisite in black, white and gray as well as fun pops of color like fuschia and coral.
We also saw some pretty light brown and tan colors like this cozy Alo hoodie and these sweatpants that daughter-in-law Melody wore on our trip to Oregon a couple weeks ago. Apparently she’s in the know. And these oh-so-soft sweatpants that I bought and will be living in at home this fall and winter.
Sizing is always interesting in active wear. Shelby told me she wears XXS in Alo’s yoga pants. I found small worked best on me. And really like their high waisted, airlift legging and purchased a pair the 7/8 length. And I fell head over heels for their uber comfortable and seamless, high neck sports bras (medium for me). I seek out sports bras and workout tops with a high neckline to keep sun off my chest, which has already suffered enough damage. I also bought this super soft workout tee … also in medium.
But the piece de resistance are these high-waisted trousers. Shelby encouraged me to try them and they’re amazing! I need to have them hemmed (the story of my life).
I also tried on this pair of pants in cactus … and I love them too. The ankle zippers make them a little challenges to take up, that said the pants are pretty fantastic, and I’m still considering them. In the below photo I’m wearing a small t-shirt … and I later decided to sized up to a medium.
My picks ~
Jim got in on the act too and came home with these track pants, a couple of these light-weight crew neck tees, this jacket, a ball cap … and his piece de resistance these just dropped sneakers. Apparently the unisex sneakers are selling like hotcakes. I was tempted but had a full cart and decided to hold off. Shelby’s manager, Mahogany, said they’ll sell out. Eek … should I buy them?
Jim’s picks ~
Alo stands for air land and sea … this article offers a deeper dive into the company.
Ok, Alo Yoga, we’re impressed and we’ll be back. If you visit the Walnut Creek store be sure to say hi to niece Shelby.
J.CREW IS CELEBRATING 40 YEARS
J.Crew is celebrating 40 years with a limited edition coffee table book, Forty Years of American Style. As far as I can tell it can only be purchased from J.Crew’s website. Maybe it’s available in J.Crew stores, I don’t know, but it doesn’t appear to be in book stores. I ordered a copy and it’s on its way. I. Cannot. Wait.
I’m so happy to see J.Crew having a resurgence and I enjoy following their chief designer, Olympia Gayot, on Instagram. Her outfit posts, snapped in her office, are the best. Maggie Bullock’s The Kingdom of Prep: The Inside Story of the Rise and (Near) Fall of J.Crew (recommended by Kim earlier this year) is a fascinating history of the company and I devoured it in a single weekend.
Odd & Socks ~
Fall prep includes my front porch and window boxes. Favorite blogger, Molly in Maine, has some great tips for adding color and texture to our fall planters. And in more exciting news, Molly’s home is featured in Nora Murphy’s new book Country House Living and it’s available for pre-order now (delivery February 20).
This week I did something I don’t normally do, I ordered a celebrity beauty product. Not just any celebrity, no no no. Jennifer Aniston celebrity. I think we all know she launched a hair care product line, Lolavie … how can you miss it. But the recent announcement that her line made The Clean List at Credo Beauty got my attention. And sent me running to see how my long, long time hair care products rank. Not good. So I took the plunge and ordered the Restorative Shampoo and Restorative Conditioner. I’ll let you know what I think. If you’ve tried Lolavie, I’d love to hear your thoughts.
It’s time to start fall baking and I can’t wait to try Stacey’s Easy Pumpkin Banana Muffins.
Current Favorites ~
And that’s what I have for you this week.
Let’s see what’s inspiring Kim and Elizabeth …
If you missed my last post, you can catch up here.
You’ll find all my weekend roundup posts collected here.
Any thoughts you’d like to share?
I’d love to hear them and you can drop them in the comments below.
Cheers from Snowberry!