Happy weekend, friends!
Do you have big plans for the weekend?
We’re hanging out at home.
And will finish watching The Dropout.
Have you seen it?
We’ll also spend lots of time on our back patio.
Earlier this week I revealed some updates I made to our outdoor living space.
What’s on my mind this week?
I thought you’d never ask …
GROCERY STORE PLANTS
Sometimes you find the best things in unexpected places. Everyone raves about Trader Joe’s flowers, but do you ever hear anyone doing the same about (insert name of your local mega-chain supermarket here)? Recently I picked up a couple of wonderful plants at our local Safeway. I went in for taco shells and came out with taco shells, a big healthy fern, and a bright pink ivy geranium. I plopped them into pots I already had and voila, our back patio – at least how I feel about it – is transformed.
The fern adds a wonderful pop of color and breaks up our large, stone retaining wall. And the ivy geranium does both of those things AND it hides the water feature’s electrical outlet. Bam!
Like me, our patio has a few problem areas and earlier this week I addressed a few of them. And then I zhushed things up a bit
Monica Vargas Photography
A few patio sources ~
- Garden Stool from Ballard Designs
- Woven Candle Holder from Flaunt
- Coasters from Serena & Lily
- Striped Throw from Eye for Pretty Home, also found here
- Woven Square Tray & Wooden Bowl from Eye for Pretty Home
- Woven Glasses from Jansen Home
- Terra Cotta Pots from Terrain
- Woven Console Table from Frontgate
JENNI KAYNE SUMMER DRESS
Do you love the Jenni Kayne clothing brand? I love the Jenny Kayne clothing brand. Especially how all the pieces work together to create a single, cohesive wardrobe. The brands catalogue, which frequently graces my mailbox, feels like a capsule wardrobe.
It’s also very coastal grandmother (remember, the coastal grandmother aesthic has nothing to do with being a grandmother … or living on the coast) which is totally my vibe. Simple, neutral, and classic. And I love that because I’m always trying to simplify and edit my wardrobe. In fact, I set a goal to get all my clothes into our primary bedroom closet. My half of the closet. I currently overflow into a small walk-in closet in one of our guest bedrooms. Jim overflows into the other one.
For the past couple of years, I’ve added one Jenni Kayne piece to my closet each year. The last two years it’s been the Summer Dress in difference colors. I started with the Summer Dress in willow along with the Cotton Cardigan in ivory. Last year I bought the Seersucker Summer Dress in ivory (it reads white). I love and adore this dress style. Obviously. It’s light weight, can be dressed up or down and, topped with a cardigan, it can go from spring to summer to fall.
Because I bought several … ahem, investment dresses … at Flaunt in Danville this year, I may forgo my annual Jenni Kayne purchase. The Jenni Kayne price point is on the higher side. That said, if Jim were not looking over my shoulder, I’d be tempted by one of these dresses.
Jenni Kayne has a home brand too. And true to her clothing, her home style is neutral and restrained. It’s a very popular look right now, but for Snowberry you know I lean into color.
A FUN SUMMER READ
Last week a reader commented that she enjoys book recommendations. So, Barbara, this is for you.
I’m not sure how I heard about this book, but it was in my Kindle downloads, and I started it last week. It’s fun, easy reading. I’m halfway through I can recommend it so far. Here’s how Amazon describes The Truth and Other Hidden Things …
On the same day Bells Walker learns that her IUD has failed, her husband, Harry, is denied tenure at his Manhattan university. So, Bells, Harry, their two adolescent children, and her baby bump move to New York’s Hudson Valley, where Harry has landed a job at Dutchess College in the town of Pigkill.
When the farm-to-table utopia Bells envisioned is anything but, she turns to the blogosphere. Under the pen name the County Dutchess, she anonymously dishes about life in Pigkill, detailing the activities of hypercompetitive parents and kombucha-drinking hipsters. Suddenly, Bells has a place to say all the things she’s been secretly thinking about being a wife and mother. As Bells turns the focus of her blog on her new neighbors, her readership continues to grow, but her scandalous posts hit closer to home: she puts Harry’s new job in jeopardy, derails her children’s lives, and risks the one real friendship she’s built.
When Bells uncovers scandals right under her nose, the Dutchess goes viral, and soon everyone is asking, who is the County Dutchess? Now Bells has to ask herself if it’s worth losing the people closest to her to finally feel noticed by everyone else.
CHATEAU SONOMA ANNUAL BUBBLE CLUB PARTY
Week before last I was sick, this week it was Jim’s turn. And we missed a bunch of great stuff including two fun events last weekend. The first, grand-niece Haddie’s first birthday party.
And we missed Chateau Sonoma’s annual Bubble Club pick-up party. The party, held at the incredible home of Chateau Sonoma’s proprietress, Sarah Anderson, is something we looked forward to. I’ve mentioned the French bubble club here. But have no fear, the bubbles were retrieved, and party attended by Kyle and Melody. And a couple of their friends. You can read about Kyle and Melody’s recent wedding here.
The party had a Bastille Day celebration theme and paella on the menu. Here are Melody’s meanderings …
The paella, Zuzu Wood Fired Paella, by Chef Ben Robinson, was incredible.
We ran low on lemon wedges so Ben made an amazing lemon saffron aioli.
A winning solution!
Sarah was just super welcoming, and I loved all the different areas set up for
guests to sit, sip, and enjoy Chef Ben’s paella and take in the beautiful surroundings.
We sat on her kitchen porch.
In addition to paella, there were many other goodies including an All-Things Lavender Cake from Taart by Aline, a local artisanal baker. I watched the cake being made on Instagram a few days prior and you can see it too right here. It’s a work of art.
Look, Kyle and Melody got in front of the camera!
After the party Kyle, Melody and friends went to SIGH on Sonoma’s Plaza. Melody says,
that’s woman owned, and I loved it.
Incredible flights, and to Kyle’s surprise,
froze with Nerds topping.
I think Nerds is some sort of candy topping … but this is new to me.
Chateau Sonoma is a wonderful French inspired shop on the Sonoma Plaza. If you haven’t been, go. I frequently make the trip for birthday, hostess and holiday gifts, and, of course, to pick up my bubbles. I always come home with something for me too. Chateau Sonoma also has an online shop.
If you’re interested in the French Bubble Club, you can learn more here.
Yesterday I harvested our first tomatoes! Bruschetta is on the menu tonight. You can find my favorite bruschetta recipe here. It’s from Valerie Bertinelli. I leave out the olives, because yuk, I don’t like them. Feel free to leave them in. I won’t judge.
I bought these mini cheese boards at Target a couple years ago to serve individual charcuterie. They’re only $7.00 a board! I use them for everything. Bruschetta, charcuterie (see below) and even s’mores and other desserts. When sitting around our fire table its nice guests do not have to get up and down or reach around. Oh, I always include a tiny jar of Dalmatia Fig Spread on each board. So good with a slice of baguette and cheese. This mini board is a fancier (and pricer) option.
Heat chopped garlic in olive oil and let it steep for a time.
Cool, strain out the garlic and use the flavored oil in your tomato mix.
I like the sound of this, but I’d leave the garlic (diced) in the oil in lieu of (or in addition to) the raw garlic in Valerie’s recipe.
Everybody has a method for toasting bread, and this is mine ~
- Preheat oven to 450.
- Slice baguette about a ½” thick on the diagonal and lay out on a cookie sheet.
- Line it with parchment for easier clean-up.
- Rub one side of each piece with sliced garlic, brush with EVOO and sprinkle with Kosher salt.
- Bake for 2-3 minutes.
- Turn the slice over and brush other side with EVOO, sprinkle with salt.
- Bake another 2-3 minutes. What closely so they don’t get too brown or burn.
I could eat bruschetta for lunch and dinner every day all summer long. An Aperol Spritz is a great accompaniment.
So, there you have it my week in review.
Now let’s see what Kim and Elizabeth are up to.
IN OTHER NEWS ~
-I’ve mentioned this podcast for woman over 40 before (I’d argue it resonates for woman of any age). It’s so good it’s worth another mention.
In case you missed it, last weekend I celebrated my
I bet you know a few of them and love them too!
As always, I appreciate your visit and welcome your thoughts in the comments below.
Cheers from Snowberry!