A Quick and Easy Tomato Pasta Recipe Plus My New Favorite Workout Wear and More

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.

This post includes affiliate links for your convenience at no additional cost to you. You can readmy full disclosure policy here.

Cookbooks and produce on kitchen counter.

Pumpkins are here!

Not here at Snowberry, but in all the stores.

Local favorite Orchard Nursery has lots of small pumpkins and gourds.

Bushels of small pumpkins at Orchard Nursery.

The bigger pumpkins arrived Thursday.

I can’t wait to stop by and see the displays this year.

Shelves of small pumpkins and gourds at Orchard Nursery.

There’s even have a pumpkin selfie wall.

Meanwhile, back in late summer …



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?!


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, fruit and honey.

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, honey and berry breakfast.

Labneh (also spelled labne) works in sweet or savory recipes and makes a great base for dips.


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.

Stack of pants tied with white ribbon.

  • 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.

More about my recent closet clean out here and here.


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.

Woman walking down sidewalk of shopping mall in from of Alo Yoga.

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.

Muse Hoodie | Muse Sweat Pant | Accolade Sweat Pant

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.

7/8 Length Yoga Pant | Grey Tank | White Tee

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).

Woman in dressing room trying on Alo Yoga wear.

Black Trousers | White Tee

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.

Woman in dressing room trying on pants pants.

Cactus Pants | White Tee

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?

Alo x 01 Classic Sneakers | Torrent Overshirt

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.

Couple with their niece at Alo Yoga store.



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.

J.Crew Forty Years of American Style book cover.

Forty Years of American Style

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).

Fall planters from Molly in Maine.

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.

Garlic Salt and Lime Pumpkin Banana Recipe.


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.

You can also follow along on Instagram and Pinterest.

Any thoughts you’d like to share?

I’d love to hear them and you can drop them in the comments below.

Woman standing on beach under pier.

Cheers from Snowberry!

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    • Thanks, Christine … that’s great to hear. I noticed their travel set and if the products work for me you know I’ll be buying it! Happy weekend! xo

  • Hi Juliet! Oh my gosh, what a surprise to see that you shared my last week’s post! Thank you! And thanks for the book shoutout. I am thrilled. What a lot of work your closet clean out was, but good for you. My closet is a hot mess. Maybe I will start work on it. What a fun trip you had to the Alo store! Our one athletic ware store here in Maine is Athleta. Not as chic, but I went the other day and came home with a few goodies. Yay for homegrown tomatoes! Enjoy!

    • Good morning, Molly! I love Athleta too … and Lulu … I love buying workout clothes more than actually working out. Sigh. Hope you have the best weekend! xo

  • Love you and UJ new fits !! I’ll have to go in to see her at Alo. Looks cute. And I’m going to make those muffins this week. Yummy!!!

    • I’m going to make them this week too! Do you have an Alo store in Rocklin? We were so impressed. If you come down here be sure to let me know. And I still need to plan a trip to see you … it’s been a busy couple of months. xo

  • Hi Juliet,
    Love the Alo clothes how beautiful are the colors !! Love everything you chose:)
    Homegrown tomatoes are delicious;we used to grow heirloom tomatoes and have fun choosing the varieties,but l think we must have very determined wildlife because we stopping “growing our own” as very little survived being pecked or nibbled at voraciously. Happy weekend !

    • Francesca …I adore heirloom tomatoes. They’re so unique and pretty. Too bad about the garden pests … we’ve been so lucky. Fingers crossed. Happy weekend to you too! xo

  • Juliet,
    Good evening! I feel your closet pain. I was so inspired by your closet purge I decided to do my own. I won’t lie, it was scary. Why or why or why do we hold on to things we do not wear? Since Covid and my husbands retirement my life has changed. I have so many clothes I no longer wear but I was holding on to them. Then you have the pre-menopause pile, are we ever getting back into those clothes? Do we even want to?
    In this season of my life I want simplicity and I find myself circling back to the classic and traditional clothing I used to wear, when by the way I was told I dressed like an old lady. LOL.
    As for buying things we don’t use, I am sure that we all have a pile like that. What I have decoded is not to beat myself up and to chalk it up as a life lesson. Then I either donate the goods for others to enjoy or sell them.
    Your pasta sauce looks delicious. I make one very similar. Here is a “recipe” for one of my other favorites, it is a raw sauce. Take chopped tomatoes add them to a bowl with 1 clove minced garlic, add some feta cheese and some fresh basil sprinkle with salt and pepper. Set aside until your pasta, is cooked then add the cooked pasta to the bowl of tomatoes and toss. Enjoy!
    I love yogurt and berries! I never thought of using labneh, I cannot wait to try it.
    Stacys pumpkin muffins look delicious!
    Speaking of pumpkins, I found some white and orange minis’ at TJ and have them in a bowl on the counter. Those cute little pumpkins make me smile.
    So far no other Fall decorating.
    I love your new athletic wear! I have to see if we have that store here or close by in Raleigh. Although I am trying not to add to my newly cleaned closet.
    I will be adding the Crew book to my library though. I love Jcrew and am happy to see the quality and design going back up. For awhile is was no good.
    Have a wonderful weekend Juliet!
    xo Elizabeth

  • You’ve inspired me to clean my closet!! I know I have to get rid of stuff… why is it so hard?? You look darling in the yoga stuff. I do love the pants ! They would probably be short on me though!! I’ve been straining my yogurt as well- and now I strained my cottage cheese because I hate it when it gets milky. It taste so much better without all the liquid. For me, my favorite lunch is cottage cheese tomatoes, and some fresh cracked pepper.!!

  • Juliet really love this post. So funny we both share that J Crew book. You know I’m a huge fan.. I also love ALO and am actually going today. I have a few tennis skirts from them and love the colors, and the pleated versions. I have issue with the tops being very cropped, so I will look for the plain t shirt. Those pants are nice and a great buy I bet you will wear a ton! I agree the zipper ones could be hard to alter. What do they think everyone is 5’10 when the average woman is like 5’3? Shelby is adorable and a great person to work there. She looks great in her look too.
    I have to try your tomato recipe.. I have made some variation on it, but yours looks better. Great tips for the closet purge. I have several bags as we speak. I like the idea of tying the pants up and if they don’t fit later you know you already attempted them a season before.. Makes it simpler.
    Also so true about seeing things on others and buying, but them not wearing! I have many items like that.
    Hope you have a great weekend!

  • Friends of ours LOVE and have been doing Alo yoga online for several years — would think it is the same Co?
    Thank you for the inspiring closet cleanout info, Juliet: I worked on mine last Spring, and as you mentioned, it is really an ONGOING project: 6 months have flown by and I feel it really needs a big workover!
    You also made a personal observation that coveting an item does not necessarily mean it is right for you: so true for me! It really is difficult for me to be clear and honest (to myself) about what items I will actually use enough to warrant its purchase…
    Pumpkin AND banana: never thought of that, but sounds great!

  • Thank you so much for sharing my pumpkin banana muffins recipe, Juliet!
    Your trip to Alo has inspired me, I definitely need to visit and add some pieces to my collection of activewear.

    xoxo Stacey

    • You’re welcome, Stacey. A few of my friends made the muffins and I’m going to bake them the week! Hope you find something fun at Alo. I’m wearing their sweats right now! xo

  • Helloooo Dear Friend… First of all, you look so fab in anything you put on! And I love that your handsome hubs was also shopping with you. I have never heard of ALo – they have fabulous pieces. Will you come to my house and help me to clean out my closet? I start off strong but lose interest about 20 mins. in. That tomato recipe looks delish. I will send it to the Mr. so he can make it for me. Have a wonderful week, dear Juliet!

    • Dearest Katie … I will come to your house to scrub the floors. Best not open the door to strangers … you never know who you’ll find there! If you get the Mister to make yummy bruschetta you’ll be one happy Preppy Empty Nester. Happy first day of fall! xo

  • Hi, I’m Juliet … welcome to Make Mine a Spritzer where we talk about all things home décor, classic style and more! I’m so happy you’re here!

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