A Thanksgiving Outfit, Fall Cocktail, Prepping for the Holidays + More on Today’s Weekend Meanderings

Today on Weekend Meanderings, a fall outfit you’ll love, quick and easy pantry pasta, a historic hotel, a yummy thanksgiving cocktail and, yes, preparing for the holidays.

Happy weekend, friends!

It’s Saturday and I’m joining Kim and Elizabeth for Weekend Meanderings.

Our weekly roundup of inspiration and goings on.

Green kitchen fall vignette.

It’s November.

And somehow we skipped from Halloween to Christmas.

But hold up.

Let’s savor fall and enjoy Thanksgiving.

And, yes, we can prepare for the holidays.

Are you ready?

Let’s go!



Last weekend I accompanied Jim to a dinner at The Madrona in Healdsburg. I had a last minute panic about what to wear. Does that ever happen to you? It’s been chilly here (into the 30’s overnight – yikes) and my late summer wardrobe of floaty dresses wasn’t going to cut it. Having gained 10 lbs over the past two years (sadly confirmed during this week’s annual physical) I felt like my fall/winter outfits were a little snug and as a result I felt uncomfortable. What’s a girl to do (besides eating less and exercising more) but go shopping. Banana Republic’s has grabbed my attention lately, so I decided to start there.

I did not intend to look at denim, but when I tried on these high-waisted, wide-legged jeans I fell in love. Same goes for this corduroy blazer. It feels a little retro but also fresh and new at the same time … and I’m loving the look. I also picked up a belt and beautiful silk scarf. When I went shopping I was wearing the Loft long-sleeved tee I’ve been raving about and it worked perfectly underneath this outfit. I ordered another two tees in soft white and one more in black. When I find t-shirts I love, I buy in multiples. Thankfully, the pants didn’t need to be hemmed (generally I have to hem everything) and my low heeled, Paul Green booties worked. A higher heel would have been fine too.

woman taking mirror selfie in jeans and Banana Republic blazer.

I was happy for a reason to pull out my favorite, years-old leopard print clutch from Clare V. It must be a popular one because they’re still selling it.

This is a great Thanksgiving outfit, right?!

Fall Outfit Collage with Banana Republic jeans and corduroy blazer.

Wide-leg Denim |Long Sleeve Tee | Hoop Earrings | Corduroy Blazer | Belt | Clutch Bag | Scarf | Booties

The Madrona recently reopened after a major renovation led by designer, Jay Jeffers. The event we attended was on the veranda but I poked around inside and its spectacular. It was too dark for good pictures but here are a few from the hotel’s website. You can read more about The Madrona’s reinvention here.

The Madrona.

The historic Madrona Manor built as a private home in 1880.


The Madrona veranda and deck.

The veranda and terrace where our event was held.


The Madrona drawing room.

I took a peek inside this gorgeous blue drawing room.

The garden’s are beautiful too we had wine on the terrace before dinner.

Six women in garden of Madrona Hotel in Healdsburg.




A couple of weeks ago I saw a recipe for Paccheri Pasta with Peas, Peperoncino and Pecorino in the Wall Street Journal. Last Monday I was in need of a quick lunch and came up with my own version with what I had on hand. I used a combination of left over dry pasta – Lumache and Penne Rigate – and the Vella Dry Jack cheese I mentioned last week.

Bowl of pasta.

Here’s my version ~

Bowl of pasta.

Quick & Easy Pantry Pasta

5 from 2 votes
Servings 4


  • 1 lb Pasta - whatever you have on hand I used a combination of lumache and penne rigate
  • 1-2 cups Frozen Peas
  • Pancetta - or bacon, sausage, whatever you have on hand - cut up in small pieces I used pancetta
  • 2 pinches Crushed Red Pepper Flakes
  • 1/4 cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • Kosher salt to taste
  • 1/2 cup Grated Dry Jack Cheese, plus more to finish Parmesan or Romano work too
  • 2 tbsp Flat Leaf Parsley, minced If you have it, I did not.


  • Bring a large pot of well salted water to boil Add pasta and cook according to package directions.
  • Add peas during the last 3-4 minutes.
  • While pasta is cooking, render pancetta until slightly crispy. Drain on paper towel.
  • Reserve about 1/2 cup pasta water. Then drain pasta & peas and return it to hot, dry pot.
  • Add red pepper flakes, salt, olive oil, cheese, pancetta and gently stir until well combined. If not saucy enough add a little pasta water ... even a pat of butter.
  • Spoon into bowls and garnish with more cheese and parsley, if you have it.


If you loved the first season of For the Love of Kitchens on Magnolia Network, I have great news … a second season is coming! Soon! Next Friday, November 11th.

DeVol Kitchen Instagram post.

In my next house, if there is a next house, it’s my dream to have a DeVol kitchen.

I can’t find a trailer for season two, but here’s season one. I could watch it all day.


DeVol Kitchens website and Instagram are full of dreamy kitchens and next level inspiration. And if you’re a obsessive fan like me you can order their catalogue.



Earlier this week I joined the holy blogging trinity of Cindy, Mary Ann and Annie, along with their friend, Sheri, for an Autumn Progressive Dinner. We started at Snowberry with Apple Cider Aperol Spritz.

Apple Cider Aperol Spritz drinks

Monica Vargas Photography

I love a batch drink for entertaining. But this one is just as good made for one or two. Here’s the single spritz version.

  • 4 oz Hard Apple Cider
  • 2 oz Aperol
  • 1 oz Club Soda
  • Thyme sprig & apple slice for garnish

Pour cider & Aperol over glass full of ice and top with Club Soda. I rimmed the glasses with cinnamon sugar.

Jim is not a fan of cinnamon, so no fancy rim for him. He doesn’t like ‘tree branches’ in his drinks either, but was too distracted by the cinnamon to notice the thyme.

Apple Cider Aperol Spritz

Monica Vargas Photography

This is a perfect Thanksgiving pre-dinner drink. You can find the recipe, multiplied for 10, here. And watch the video here.


To go with the spritzers I made Ina Garten’s Chipotle & Rosemary Roasted Nuts. I substituted thyme for rosemary.

Ina Garten Roasted Nuts on sheet pan.

Speaking of Thanksgiving, yesterday I pulled out my Gobble book by our beloved Preppy Empty Nester’s sister and nephews. It’s a treasure trove of holiday recipes, entertaining tips incorporating all their family holiday traditions. This book charmed me when it was published last year (it even has it’s own Instagram) and I think it will you too. It just occurred to me this is a fun gift idea for the young and newly married. Hmmm … who do I know who’s young and newly married?

Pulling Gobble book off shelf.

Gobble: The Quintessential Thanksgiving Playbook by Nadine, PK & Christopher Isacs



In case you hadn’t noticed – insert eye roll – the holidays are coming. Forget Thanksgiving … we’ve gone straight from Halloween to Christmas. If your tree isn’t up, I don’t know what to say … you’re already behind.

And speaking of behind, I still haven’t ordered a new tree. We sold our tree over the summer because it was sized for our house two houses ago and it was too small for Snowberry. I’m looking at King of Christmas’ Charlie Brown style tree. But I’m not sure if we need an 8′ or 9′. A decision needs to be made. Stat.

Christmas decor at the Lazy K.

The Lazy K at Orchard Nursery

While I’m contemplating tree sizes, what I really love about this time of year is all the wonderful things to do and see. Tree lightings, ice skating rinks, open houses, holiday teas and having a Belini at the bar at Il Fornia after a rough afternoon of holiday shopping. Our local ice rink will be up by Thanksgiving (or sooner). I don’t skate, but I love watching all the fun. The Walnut Creek Historical Society’s annual Holiday Tea and Faire is back (November 26 – December 11) after a two year absence. I’m attending the tea with two friends, and I can’t say who because one of them is going to be surprised. You can find tickets to the teas here.

Christmas wreath and sign at Orchard Nursery.

Orchard Nursery Holiday Shop

I also love holiday performances … plays and musicals. Especially local theater. This year, A Christmas Carol will be performed at San Francisco’s A.C.T., November 30 – December 24, and our local Lesher Center for the Arts, December 8 – 22. We saw it last year at the Lamb’s Theater in Coronado when we were in town for our annual pre-Christmas holiday. This year the Lamb’s Festival of Christmas runs December 1-24. The Town Hall Theater in Lafayette is performing Cinderella: A Fairytale December 3-18.

We usually spend a December weekend in San Francisco on Union Square. We have tea at one of the big hotels, enjoy dinners at hotspot restaurants, shop and attend a performance or two or three. Beach Blanket Babylon’s holiday extravaganza was one of our favorite holiday traditions but it closed in 2019 after a 45-year run. The San Francisco Gay Men’s Chorus Holiday Spectacular is back with five Bay Area dates. It’s the best. And, a more recent tradition is the Allman Family Revival concert at the historic Filmore Theatre. It’s not really holiday related, but we fit it into our San Francisco weekend so it feels like a holiday thing. This year it’s December 17th and you can still get tickets here. It’s the last show in an 18-city tour and if you loved the Allman Brothers Band, it’s not to be missed. You can find all the tour dates here.

And speaking of local holiday stuff, Orchard Nursery & The Lazy K in Lafayette opened their holiday shop this week. See above photos. Oh my goodness, it gets better every year. I did a quick walk through yesterday morning and got so many ideas, my mind was spinning in 100 directions and holiday overwhelm set in. If you live in the Bay Area and haven’t experienced Orchard’s holiday showcase it’s well worth a trip. That said, you probably have a local shop or nursery that does something similar. Yay for local holiday fun.

And, finally, if you are planting forced amaryllis bulbs to bloom for the holidays, now’s the time!

Amaryllis bulb planted in terra cotta pot.

So there you have it, this weekend’s meanderings.

Let’s visit Kim and Elizabeth to see what’s they’re sharing.



Odds & Socks ~

Jim’s out galavanting again.

I stayed home because of my stupid back … again.

He sent photos last night from the Hollywood Bowl.

Zac Brown concert at the Hollywood Bowl.

We had plans to stay at the Proper Hotel for the weekend.

And lunch today at the Ivy.

The Hollywood Bowl is one of the coolest concert venues.

Have you been?

All is not lost, I’ll join the fun on Sunday when they head up to Oakland.

But, let’s face it, the Oakland Coliseum is not the Hollywood Bowl.

Yesterday my friend Sheila featured our kitchen on her Friday Favorites.

That was a fun surprise.

Do you follow Sheila at Maison de Cinq?

It’s one of the original home and decor blogs I followed and it’s next level.

Speaking of next level, our Kim and her pals Cindy and Sarah, had a Signature Style post out this week.

I love the topic … does your wardrobe reflect your home?

That’s a great question … be sure to check it out.

And Happy Birthday to my youngest niece, Shelby, who turned 21 last week!

Two woman walking down street with arms around each other.

Aunting is my favorite thing.

It feels like yesterday I was making cupcakes for her 5th grade class, and now this.

Three girls out celebrating a 21st birthday.

Lianne, Shelby, Ashlyn

She’s in Lake Tahoe celebrating with her friends.

Don’t forget to turn back your clocks tonight/tomorrow morning.

Unless you live in a state that does not partake.

If you missed last weekend’s meanderings, you can catch up here.

And follow along for more fun on Instagram and Pinterest.

On Thursday I’m joining some friends for a holiday charcuterie roundup.

As always, I appreciate your visit and welcome your thoughts in the comments below.

Basket of mini pumpkins and gourds.

Cheers from Snowberry!




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  • Loved the whole blog and the Devol kitchens was a highlight. Definitely went down the rabbit hole. Amazing Artisans. Loved the fall outfit.

    • Debbie … isn’t DeVol amazing? I could spend forever on their Instagram and website. I really appreciate your kind words and hope you have a fabulous weekend. xo

  • Love your outfit! You look fabulous, seriously.
    Am totally smitten with the Devol kitchen show on Magnolia network. I love The Lost Kitchen too!
    Thank you for that recipe…I have peas, bacon, Italian cheese on hand and dried pasta so my hubby will be thrilled…he adores pasta!
    I read all your blog posts :-))

    • Leslie! Yes, The Lost Kitchen is wonderful too. I love so many of the shows produced by Magnolia and can’t wait for DeVol’s return. Hope you and your husband enjoy that pasta … so easy and delicious. Bon appetite! xo

  • Juliet, Love that outfit on you! It was perfect for the dinner. I wish I was taller and could wear those jeans.. I will give them a try when I’ at our store..SO many pretty things right? I think the jacket and scarf and perfect and so good together on you! Madrona Manor.. I had forgotten about that spot. Looks gorgeous inside. Is it a hotel again?
    Love the holiday activities now that we can really go out again after two Christmas’s. They used to have a tea around here. A lot of things went away during the pandemic sadly. Those are always the most fun holiday teas with girlfriends! Love that garden shop too. I am sorry you missed the LA trip and I hope you get a redo and feel better. Enjoy Sunday,
    I will be trying your delicious looking pasta. I just pinned it and will sit and watch this fantastic kitchen show..Last time we were in London, we had the Devol showroom below our Airbnb and it was TDF. Gorgeous is not a strong enough word. If we win the Powerball I’ll be calling them.
    Have a fun weekend!

  • Hi Juliet,
    What a great post, I feel like we’ve just had a nice long visit together! I’ve been out of the loop for awhile dealing with stuff, but I’m hoping to get things back to a new for me normal soon. I’m looking forward to my favorite time of year and all the festivities. The colors,sounds, aromas, All the good things!
    Love your outfit and I think it’s perfect for a casual Thanksgiving gathering! You always get it just right.
    Xo Heidi

  • 5 stars

    YOU ALWAYS LOOK AMAZINGl Love that outfit on you! You look 6 feet tall.
    Your nieces are adorable. How many do you have? Are they all the children of your sister?
    I have two nieces and I love to spoil them, always have.

    I am sorry that you missed your trip. Stay well friend. Hopefully you will be back to normal soon.
    Although it is Nov, I am getting restless for my Christmas decor. I usually put up 5 trees between 4-6 feet. This year I think I will do three and call it a day. The lights twinkling in the morning always make me smile.

    I have Katies’ sisters book. Such a great book for Thanksgiving.
    I have pinned the pasta, it looks delicious!
    Have wonderful weekend! xo Elizabeth

    • Thanks, Elizabeth … great minds think alike and we both love the Gobble book! Nieces are the best. My sister has three girls and my cousins daughter is also considered a niece … so total of 4. And I have two grand-nieces and 2 grand-nephews with one more grand-nephew on the way! xo

  • Just ordered the Tee in gray to go with skinny gray pants and sometimes a gray fur collar. I plan on trying the pasta on Tues.

    • Eileen … is the gray back in stock? I tried to order it the other day and then it vanished. I must try again. Thanks for tipping me off! xo

  • Another fun post! I’m enjoying your recipes. Made the mashed potato recipe last week and it was delicious and perfect for the two of us. This week’s pasta recipe reminds me of one my daughter and I were inspired to create after watching Diane Keaton cooking in Something’s Gotta Give – love that movie. We use pasta, sweet Italian sausage, roasted vegetables (red bell peppers, grape tomatoes, onions, and asparagus), along with parmesan cheese and butter. I need to give yours a try!

    • Kelly … that movie! My favorite. So glad you liked the easy mashed potatoes … so easy to make quickly. Which is a good and a bad thing at the same time! xo


    • Contessa! Surprisingly these fit me perfectly … thank goodness because I needed them that night. I’ve never seen La Contessa in jeans. When they arrive you must snap photos!!! xo

  • 5 stars
    Juliet! You look fabulous in those high wasted jeans and the corduroy blazer!!! Love your style! Your kitchen counter with your basket of apples looks so perfectly fall!!
    Devol kitchens! I keep meaning to visit the nyc showroom when it’s open! I always look in the windows!
    I’m so sorry you missed out on the Hollywood bowl! I hope your feeling better with your back!

    • Oh my gosh, Annie … I forgot they have a showroom in NY. We had a trip that was cancelled and it was on my list. You MUST go!!! xo

  • Ah, can’t wait for season 2 of the Devol kitchens show! I watched the first season multiple times. You might pine after a Devol kitchen, but your pale green kitchen is to die for! Don’t think I have ever seen this space before! And count me as one who is way behind — I am still loving and posting fall/Thanksgiving decor…. Have a great week!

  • That outfit is so cute on you, Juliet, and it looks like it was perfect for the event. The venue in Healdsburg is stunning – and looks like a beautiful place to host an event. I can only imagine the number of weddings they must have.
    I was in Walnut Creek yesterday and decided on a whim to stop at the Ace Hardware you had mentioned a few weeks ago. Wow! What a fun, unexpected place that turned out to be! I had fun taking a look inside of there and wish I had had more time to see the outdoor nursery. Another trip is in order.
    Speaking of which, Orchard Nursery in Lafayette…I remember my grandmother taking me once to a store in Lafayette when I was about 5 that had lots of plants. We were indoors and it was Christmastime and the place was magical. They had all of these moving figures, lights, decorations. I have always remembered it but never thought about where it was. I’m wondering if that was the place? I’ll have to make another trip down soon and look up Orchard Nursery – I’m thinking that’s it and I always remember how enchanted I was that day! Thank you for the holiday memory.
    Enjoy your week, and our rain!

  • Hi Juliet,

    I love those jeans they look so cute on you, I’m not sure if my extra 20 pounds would look as good in those jeans! One of my best friends and was the manager at lazy K for a probably 30 years. They always do such a wonderful job and everything but especially Christmas. I do miss shopping there for those special little things. We do have Rogers gardens here in Newport Beach which is also very special. If you have a chance to come to Southern California you definitely have to go there. The progressive dinner looks fun !
    Xo martha

      ROGERS GARDEN Owned by my COUSIN!
      I think you both know that but just in case………………I HAVE REMINDED YOU!

      • You’ll have to go next time you’re down in Newport Beach area! Make sure and make reservations at their farmhouse restaurant at least a month ahead of time. I would love to meet you there sometime.!!

  • I love the jeans. I have some like them from J Crew from 15 years ago! The whole outfit is so cute.
    I bought all these fun things for fall and have had no opportunity to wear them much! I hope your back is better soon.
    Thanks for the Devol Kitchen info – dreamy for sure.

  • Hi Juliet

    I loved that corduroy blazer at Banana too. I resisted because I really don’t need it but it sure looks fabulous on you. I love the jeans with it as well. Congrats on having Sheila feature your darling kitchen! I will pop over and visit. The Madrona manor looks beautiful with it’s redo by Jeffers. I had a feeling it would be wonderful!!

  • Juliet, you looked amazing in this outfit. I need a beautiful jacket that that to go with my jeans. I have a leopard bag and great boots. Your post was filled with some much goodness. I thorough enjoyed sipping my coffee and reading.

    • Thanks, Tammy … that’s so sweet of you. Sounds like you have the makings of a great fall outfit! Happy weekend! 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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