Today on Weekend Meandering, A Home to Share, fall wedding guest dresses, my nieces favorite brownies + more. Join me!
Happy Saturday, friends!
Today I’m joining Kim and Elizabeth for Weekend Meandering.
Our weekly recap of inspiration and goings on.
My heart goes out to the millions of people enduring Hurricane Ian’s aftermath.
I can’t imagine what it’s like going through something like this.
Watching the tragedy unfold leaves me wanting to help but unsure how.
World Central Kitchen is our go-to for disaster relief donations.
And as usual they were up and running right away in Florida.
Providing food and other support to those in need.
We’re animal people and always look for ways to help pets in distress.
They are a well established organization in Florida (and Alabama).
Collecting and delivering pet food and supplies to hurricane shelters and animal rescues.
I can’t believe it’s October 1st.
Time to buy pumpkins.
Not too few and not too many.
Let’s get to it.
A HOME TO SHARE
Who follows My 100-Year Old Home on Instagram? Or the blog? Leslie Saeta, the powerhouse behind the brand wrote a book. That’s right, a book. A Home to Share. And it was released this week. On Tuesday she hosted a big book launch party at her home … her 100+ year old home. That charming, Father of the Bride-ish home in South Pasadena. I used to think it WAS the Father of the Bride house. It’s not. Although many movies and commercials have been filmed in Leslie’s home.
Anyway, about the party, I’m kicking myself for not going. She invited everyone. Yes, everyone. And apparently people flew from all over the country to be there. And, she prepared the food and did the flowers herself … with the help of her best friend, Maryliz.
I’ve followed Leslie for a long long time. Her home, like the Father of the Bride home, is my ultimate dream home. After reading her book I learned that it’s the house her husband grew up in. How awesome is that? Anyway, Leslie has a very farmhouse meets shabby chic style and is a big into vintage. She’s also an amazing DIYer. As you know, DIY is not my thing, but that doesn’t stop me from admiring this skillset in others.
I love Leslie’s entertaining style. She’s a collector of vintage china and glassware and is the queen of the mix and match. She gives a great tip in the book about buying vintage china and glassware in similar colors so even though they don’t match, they create a cohesive look on the table.
A Home to Share arrived on my doorstep Tuesday afternoon and I spent the next two evenings devouring every last word. And pouring over the beautiful photos by Shauna Gutierrez and Natasha Holland. You can read more about Leslies big book launch party here.
Meanwhile, Leslie’s book is sitting on my front porch where I plan to spend time today enjoying it some more.
A Home to Share is a wonderful gift book. And I’ve ordered it for a few special people on my holiday gift list.
Leslie, can you please host a second book party for those of us who (stupidly) missed the first? Or perhaps I can slide into your holiday open house invitation list? Never hurts to ask. I’ll be waiting by the mailbox.
MINI WATERING CANS
My most loved and often inquired about watering can sprung a leak last week. I think it rusted through. Many people have asked me where I got it and I have no idea. I scoured the internet and can’t find it. Although I did find this very similar can that looks larger.
Jim was headed to Ace Hardware last weekend, and I asked him to look for a small watering can. He sent me a photo from the store of this hammered brass can and I said SOLD.
Once again, I scoured the internet searching for the source, but can only locate the wholesaler. If you’re local, Jim purchased this one at the Ace Hardware in Walnut Creek.
Last year’s holiday gift guide included a cute green mini can which turned out to be very popular. So, I think a watering can round up is in order.
I use my mini can inside and out for small potted plants. I’m going to buy a second one so I don’t have to haul it back and forth. Leaving it outside may have contributed to its demise.
I like this full sized can too. I’m using an ugly plastic watering can for our big pots. Time for an upgrade.
FALL WEDDING GUEST DRESS
Yep, I’m back on the topic of weddings. Can’t stop, won’t stop. Guess what? The dress I wore to niece Megan’s wedding in late August is on sale.
Isn’t it fun when you pay full price for something and then it goes on major sale? Que sera sera. That’s how things work, right? No regrets, it was the perfect dress for me in August. And it can be the perfect dress for you this fall. And what a deal. I’m happy for you, really, I am. You can find it here and here.
It’s sized generously and I’m wearing an XS.
There are endless shoe options – colors and styles – for this dress. I wore these olive-green sandals to Megan’s wedding. They’d work just as well for fall. But I changed things up with these caramel sandals. This metallic pair is great too.
Let’s talk bags. I wore this Steve Madden bag to Megan’s wedding. It’s an ideal size for evening and it held everything I needed including my oversize iPhone. That said, I wasn’t thrilled with the metal logo on one side of the bag. It was easy to keep the logo side close to my body. But it bugged me. If the logo doesn’t bother you, it’s a great bag for the price.
But THIS is a fun wedding bag. Oh my gosh, I love this bag so much. I’m tempted to order it in anticipation of future weddings. I don’t know. Should I shouldn’t I?
At Megan’s wedding one of her friends was carrying the best pearl beaded tiny tote. She told me she got it at Nordstrom, but I can’t find it. While searching for it, I came across the same look in a clutch. Very cute, not sure the size works for me. This one on Amazon is very similar to the one she was carrying, but I think slightly larger.
I enjoy playing around with fun nail polish colors to compliment my wedding guest ensembles. I wore this pretty green polish on my tootsies for Megan’s wedding. And I really like these fall colors as well.
I generally go dark on my toes and light on my fingers. And I use regular polish. I’m allergic to gels. And, yes, my nail polish chips. Sigh.
Last week I wrote about my love for green kitchens and my favorite green paint colors. Did you know that green is trending in fashion too?! This gorgeous emerald dress caught my eye. How lovely for a fall or winter wedding, event or holiday party. I’d wear it with these shoes. And how about these earrings or these. All from Banana Republic. They have this beautiful cashmere wrap too, in three colors. It’s been a challenge for me to find many wrap options … not sure why, they’re an event essential.
Here are some other dresses I’d love to wear to a wedding or special event this fall.
And this shoe is a one-stop-shopping, ultimate wedding workhorse.
Ok, I need to stop. As mentioned, I have no weddings on the calendar for fall. Unless you’d like to invite me to yours.
LIGHTWEIGHT FALL SWEATER FROM LOFT
Last month I shared five ways I’m embracing fall. One of them involved a trip to Loft for a few new fall pieces. And I finally got to wear my new lightweight striped sweater. It’s about time. That said, by afternoon things warmed up, so I took it off and threw it over my shoulders. According to fashion blogger, Susie Wright, this is right on trend. What? When did tossing a sweater over your shoulders go off trend? I can’t keep up.
Anyway, I love sweaters, I love stripes and I love this Henley style lightweight sweater. (I have the same sweater in this pretty blue too.) My girlfriend jeans are also from Loft. They’re a great fit and super comfortable.
It seems I timed this post right, Loft is having a 25% off sale (my sweater is an extra 50% off) until October 3 (I assume that means through Sunday). Use code NEED.
MY NIECE’S FAVORITE BROWNIES
Lettuce is our favorite soup, salad, sandwich place in Walnut Creek. A great stop for a casual, yummy lunch. They also have mouthwatering desserts displayed right in front of the cashier’s station, so you have to stare at them, up close and personal, while waiting your turn. I have never said no to a dessert in my entire life. Even if I only have one bite, my answer to dessert is always YES. Lettuce offers several desserts each day, but one of them has always been a pan of brownies. Served in adult portions. Sadly, post pandemic, the brownies seem to have disappeared.
They are so over-the-top good I decided to try and duplicate them at home. Baked in a sheet pan, they’re thin and fudgy (no one wants a hard, dry brownie … at least not me) with chocolate sauce drizzled over the top and finally, a sprinkling of powdered sugar. OH, MY GOODNESS.
My nieces are just as crazy about them as I am. And I think you will be too. Better yet, they’re super easy to make. I use a box mix. Gasp. Don’t pretend to be shocked and scandalized.
This is the mix that absolutely, positively must be used.
Follow the package directions. If you like, add chocolate chips or chunks. I generally don’t because this is supposed to be quick and easy. Why gild the lily?
Using a quarter sheet pan (I like this one and buy a ton of them because after delivering brownies to the nieces, I won’t see the tray again). Spray the bottom with cooking spray. It’s probably not necessary but when chocolate is at stake don’t take any chances. Pour the batter into the pan, leaving a generous portion in the bowl to enjoy while the brownies are baking. Spread the batter out evenly and into the oven they go.
Now this is the tricky part. How long to cook them? Not long. Set the timer for 15 minutes and then check. You want the brownies set around the edges and not battery in the middle … but not all the way done. It’s a matter of trial and error based on your oven and your doneness preference. When you declare them done, remove them to cool completely. That’s why you need the left-over batter … these brownies are not all the way cooked therefore will be a mess if you try to cut into them too soon.
When completely cooled, drizzle the chocolate sauce of your preference in a zig zag pattern over the top. Then sift powdered sugar over that.
To serve used a good, wide, flat spatula and shimmy carefully underneath so as to not break up the perfect, generously portioned servings.
Little grand-niece, Haddie, enjoyed her first donut hole this week. I remember how excited I got when my dad took me for donut holes on our way to weekend running events. He ran, I ate donut holes.
Looks like Haddie’s ready to be introduced to Auntie’s brownies!
So there you have it, my weekend meanderings.
Let’s visit Elizabeth and Kim to see what they’re up to.
Odds and socks ~
This lake house tour will leave you swooning.
This windbreaker rain jacket is the best clothing item I’ve ever bought on Amazon. Ok, I haven’t bought that many, but this is awesome. I bought it in navy, and I’m tempted by black and army green. It’s only $39.94 ‘for a limited time only’ … whatever that means. The striped lining is what sold me. I ordered a small, and it fits perfectly. I can’t wait for rain – or wind – to wear it. It’s so good.
These design trends on their way out, according to Forbes. Camille Styles seconds their motion. I think these sort of pronouncements are hilarious and ridiculous. At the same time I’d be happy to see a few of these things disappear.
These are the best ‘house socks‘ ever. And as a certified sock connoisseur I’m qualified to say that. They’re great plane socks too. Spoiler alert … they’ll be on my holiday gift guide. Great stocking stuffers. My nieces will throw their hands in the air in exasperation … ‘no more socks, Auntie’ … apparently I’m the only one in the family with cold feet.
Last weekend we were out three nights in a row.
This weekend we’ll be in three nights in a row.
It’s all about balance.
What are you up to these first days of October?
As always, I appreciate your visit and welcome your thoughts in the comments below.
Cheers from Snowberry,