Soup, Sandals, Father’s Day & Other Ramblings

Today on weekend meanderings, a hearty, healthy soup, impossibly chic embellished sandals, a spy thriller and a few other thoughts.

Happy weekend friends! It’s time for the weekend post with Kim and Elizabeth, our weekly roundup of inspirations and goings on.

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Collage of flowers from garden.

Our garden saga continues, and not in a good way. Although there are some bright spots so I’ll focus on them. We’ve kept the garden gremlins out of the raised beds and the flowers, fruits and veggies are looking good. I cut a few flowers this week … and enjoyed the strawberries.

Outside of the garden, my week didn’t go according to plan. Reentry from any vacation can be challenging, compounded by jetlag. Wah wah wah. This is just another way of saying, I was less than productive. I had every intention of cranking out a post about our Apuglia adventures … didn’t happen. So next week you can expect a one two punch … what I wore and what I did in Italy. I know, you’re on the edge of your seat. But let’s get back to today and what’s on my mind this weekend.


Hotel Borgo Egnazia

Last week we stayed at the Hotel Borgo Egnazia in Fasano, Italy. The hotel’s name means nowhere else and it certainly was a hotel like no other I’ve experienced. The hotel is only 15 years old (a celebrity favorite – Justin Timberlake and Jessica Biel were married there in 2012), and built to feel like an old Italian village. More on the hotel and the Apuglia region in a couple of posts coming later in the week.

Pool at Borgo Egnazia.

The G7 Summit is being hosted at Borgo Egnazia this week. And we were the last group of guests at the hotel before being unceremoniously shown the exits last Friday. Just kidding, the hotel was nothing but gracious from arrival to departure. But when we did depart, preparations were in full swing for the Summit. Quite honestly we were surprised the hotel was occupied up to that point given the security preparations happening in and around the hotel.

Entry courtyard at Borgo Egnzia preparing for G7 summit.

Above image – constructing the summit entrance canopy

On our last night, as farewell speeches were being given, a military helicopter circled overhead. It was kind of exciting. We’d seen all the temporary helicopter pads around the perimeter and the security operations around the city were quite impressive.

G7 Family Photo.

Guglielmo Mangiapane/Reuters

I can’t to share more about Borgo Engazia with you next week. It’s truly a unique and special hotel and no wonder it makes the list of best hotels in Italy. We were lucky to experience it.


Metal Toe Ring Sandal

A few weeks ago I did a summer sandal round up and mentioned this pair of metal toe ring sandals on my wish list. While in Italy I spotted a similar pair of Maria Luca sandals at the hotel’s boutique. They’re exactly what I was looking for and will always remind me of la dolce vita.

Overhead shot of metal toe ring sandals on a Persian style rug.

These are the same sandals with a stud embellishment. I think they’re impossibly chic, with a peasant skirt or dress.

woman wearing floral peasant skirt and leather sandals.

As the kids like to say, ‘they’re giving’ Jackie O.


The Helsinki Affair

On the very lonnnnng plane ride home from Italy I read the best book. The Helsinki Affair by Anna Pitoniak. Lately I’ve been readying a lot of fluff books … beach reads. Very enjoyable and I’m not putting them down … it’s not easy to write a good one and I enjoy them as much if not more than the next person. But it was fun to change it up with this spy drama. Even better, the protagonist, who becomes CIA station chief in Rome, is a relatively young woman. I can’t image this book won’t be made into a movie or limited series. I was riveted.

The Helsinki Affair book cover.

The Helsinki Affair

Soup & Biscuits

This week I was really dragging. Jim had a head cold and I’ve done everything in my power not to get it. So far so good. Anyway, I wanted to make healthy soup but was tired (read lazy) so when I saw this soup mix at the grocery store I thought why not? Generally when I make a legume based soup I buy many bags of different beans and mix them together. So this is just that. To make things even simpler I grabbed a prepared container of mirepoix at the store (chopped onions, carrots and celery). When I got home and read the directions for the soup mix, I decided to use chicken stock instead of water and I also added a can of petite diced, fire roasted tomatoes. I didn’t add additional seasoning other than the 1tsp of salt on the package directions. Oh, I added frozen sweet white corn. You could add a parmesan rind to the pot for more flavor, but the soup was very flavorful as I made it and hit the spot for lunch a few days in a row.

On our last soup day I was craving something more … more carbs. We were fresh out of any kind of bread so I looked up easy recipes for drop biscuits and found this one that I can highly recommend. Oh my gosh … these are the best. The outside bakes up a little crispy and the inside is soft and fluffy. I’m embarrassed but I’m going to tell you anyway … I ate three. Three at one meal. Jim was astounded. Nothing gets between me and my carbs.

Pan of just baked drop biscuits.

It’s strawberry shortcake season, and this biscuit recipe would make a wonderful shortcake base.


Father’s Day Weekend

I can’t believe we’re in June, much less mid-way through and it’s Father’s Day weekend. This will be the second Father’s Day since my dad’s been gone and I miss him. Many of you will be having similar thoughts and feelings over the weekend. I love to take a little trip down memory lane, looking through old photos and talking about some of my dad’s funny moments – there were many – and general family lore.

And speaking of strawberry shortcake, my dad had a sweet tooth, I guess we know where I got mine. When dessert was served – strawberry shortcake or otherwise – he’d call out to whoever was in the kitchen to ‘make mine an adult portion!’

Father and son in their Navy whites just before son's wedding

My dad with his dad, San Diego, 1960

This weekend would have been be my mom’s 90th birthday. She died from ovarian cancer when she was only 64. As I approach my 62nd birthday I think about that more and more. But, not to be a downer, the reason I bring it up is because her birthday usually coincided with Father’s Day weekend and after my parents divorce she liked to give us a hard time about her birthday getting the short shrift. Oh mom … happy birthday, we can handle both!

Father walking his daughter down the aisle in 1960.

My mom and her dad, San Diego, 1960

Anyway, I hope your weekend involves celebrating the amazing dad’s in your life and evokes happy memories of the dad’s no longer with us. Oh, and Happy Father’s Day to Jim!

Dad holding young son in his lap at table.

Kyle & Jim, Laguna Beach, 1992

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And that’s what I have for you today. Let’s see what’s inspiring Kim and Elizabeth.



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In case you missed it, last week we talked about raffia sandals, white t-shirts, facial tanning water and more … catch up here.

Cheers from Snowberry!

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  • Juliet,
    I hope that you are now on the road to recovery…jet lag is no joke. Hopefully Jim is felling better too! I am curious, with all of the overseas travel that Jim does for work does he suffer much from jet lag?
    Your garden and photos look beautiful! Happy to hear the critters are under control, I will keep my fingers crossed that they have moved on to other pastures.
    Did you get the sandals? They are beautiful.
    As for the hotel, what a magical place. I so enjoyed following along on Instagram. I can only imagine all of the security prep for 7 world leaders.
    Happy Father’s Day to Jim, and to all of the dads here and who have passed. They are forever in our hearts. My dad is 85 and broke 4 ribs playing basketball last month, he is on the mend and told me just yesterday he will be playing again next year. He said he has one life and he is not missing the things he loves.
    The soups sounds delicious as do the biscuits, I can see what you ate 3.
    I am off to check out the book. I am like you I will read most anything except true crime and scary books.
    Have a wonderful weekend Juliet,
    xo Elizabeth

    • Good morning, Elizabeth! I love your dad’s spirit … and he’s right! My dad was active right up until the end and taught me the benefits of getting out there and having fun with exercise even if I wasn’t very good at sports. Hope your dad’s feeling better … broken ribs are seriously painful. Hope you enjoy the rest of the US Open weekend .. and Father’s Day! xo

  • Juliet, Hope Jim is on the mend! The hotel looks gorgeous. How exciting to be there before the G7! I would have wanted to see some of those guys! I can’t wait for your write up about it all. Love the sandal and it’s great you can now think of your beautiful trip when you wear them.

    I didn’t know Red made soup mix! I will try this and I love the shortcut of getting Mire Poix mix to start.. Looks delicious. Those biscuits do too. Sometimes when you are tired, nothing feels as good as carbs and comfort food! Don’t feel badly.

    I love hearing more about your dad and the photos of him and your mom! Her wedding dress was so chic! I can see how you look like her. My mom’s wedding pic is very similar. Thinking of you this weekend and sending hugs.

    Jim also adorbs in that photo. Hope he has a good one! xo

    PS The book sounds good.. Thanks for the rec!

    • Kim! They have a few good soup mixes … who knew?! I’m 100% onboard with taking advantage of shortcuts. It’s been fun watching the G7 coverage knowing that’s where we were a week ago. It’s an amazing hotel and I can see you and Max enjoying lounge time around its pools and beach. I always enjoy your family pix too … our parents were of the same era. Mine perhaps a little older. Happy weekend to you! xo

  • Hi Juliet,
    Your family photos are so incredibly thank you for posting, now l see the strong Navy connection!! And l am going to make Strawberry shortcake for my hubby thank you for the recipe for scones sounds bliss. Happy Father’s Day weekend !!

  • Those biscuits look just like our family’s favorite strawberry shortcake recipe. It was the traditional Mother’s Day dessert. I was born on Mother’s Day and my Father still hasn’t forgiven me for making him miss his favorite dessert. I learned to make it and I hope it helped make up for it. He was a funny guy and I miss him very much. Great family pictures.

    • Ha! Cristi! That’s funny. I love how dad’s can keep a joke like that running … for decades. Forever. Wishing you the best weekend with lots of happy and funny remembrances. xo

  • Wow: the Puglia hotel and being there before the G7 — looking forward to your post, Juliet! Everyone needs downtime, BTW, and the need for it rarely happens when we wish. For me, the contrast between vacation and normal life is massive and the demands catching up once home mean I hardly reflect on my trip (we go away for 3 or more weeks bc hubs wants to and has at least a week of work there) — good reason to have a blog! Re. your garden: did the Nest capture who your marauders are??? Re. Bob’s Red Mill soup mixes: I love that Vegi mix! I have always prepared it with their recipe on the bag as a “cream soup”, really just milk added shortly before serving with all added veggies puréed. It is one of my husband’s favorites, as he always comments how much he likes it (as if he hasn’t had it before!). Perhaps they changed the recipe on the bag now. We will def. have to try your drop biscuits. Wonderful family photos — and I can see that you inherited your mom’s figure. You can see love in Jim’s eyes in that father-son photo… Interesting about jet lag: I will be heading to Europe early next week and generally have a rough time adjusting going east, taking 5-7 days to feel reasonable after arrival. But coming west, I adjust very quickly, in a couple of days at most. My husband, from Italy, has somewhat the reverse pattern. He has a very slow adjustment coming back west, and it was not noticeably different when we lived in CA versus the MW now. May get “The Helsinki Affair” for my flight — thank you for the recommendation! Much better than too much blue light from movies disrupting attempts to sleep!

  • Hi Juliet,
    The “time thief” got away from me, then when I did write you I got interrupted and lost my text that I was just about to send you. An err, does that happen to you?
    Sorry about the garden saga, yay the gremlins have gone away. I love the flowers.
    Hotel Borgo Egnazia looked spectular. You were the there during an exciting time. I look forward to hearing more about your holiday. Get lag is so hard on the body. I can’t sleep on the plane. If you can please share your secrets. I’m not crazy about flying. Horrible turbulence scares me.
    Your mother so pretty, wow such a pretty figure. Your father is sadly missed. I so enjoyed seeing your grandfather and dad together. I’m a big picture person. You feel like an orphan when both parents pass away. At least I do. Both of my parents were so young when they passed. Like you I miss them too.
    Seeing Jim with his son is sweet. Fun to travel down memory lane.
    Have a good week. Lots of sleep so you can feel perky again.

    • Hi Katharine, if it make you feel any better I ‘lose’ blog comments all the time. Over the weekend I was trying to comment on a friend’s blog and gave up after three attempts … and message disappearances! Ah, the mysteries of the inter-webs. I don’t sleep well on planes, but for long flights I take something similar to valium in a very tiny dose. I take it just before the main meal is served and can generally get 3-5 hours of sleep. On our recent trip, it didn’t work and I never recovered from jet lag while we were in Italy. Ugh. Jim on the other hand sleeps well on planes and is generally asleep before we’ve taxied to the runway. Annoying. On another topic, no matter our age we don’t get over the loss of our parents. It’s so nice to be able to look through family photos and scrapbooks and remember happy times. Hope you’re week’s off to a great start. xo

  • Hi Kim! Wow, what a place you stayed at! I can’t believe you were there right before the G7 summit! Love those sandals, but I am hiding my toes because there is absolutely no where to get a pedicure here — at least not for weeks or even months… That picture of you dad and grandfather in their uniforms is classic. And your mother’s short wedding dress is darling! Always fun to catch up with you. Welcome back!

  • Oh, gosh, I did it again, called you Kim. You can’t put her name at the end of your blog post. It is the last thing on my mind then. I am so sorry, JULIET!

  • 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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