Friday Faves: Key West Edition

IMG_3178{happy hour view}

A few months ago, when my dad told me he had a conference in Key West in October, I mentioned I had always wanted to go there. A week or so later, he surprised me with a plane ticket. I was so excited, because when I said I had always wanted to go to the Keys, what I meant was I had always wanted to go to the Keys with my dad, a closet Parrothead who I think may have been an islander in a past life. We had a great time – Key West has a lot of history for such a tiny island, and the spring break atmosphere is pretty fun (so long as you have a quiet and relaxing hotel to return to). I spent the mornings reading in a hammock on the beach, and then the afternoons riding around the island on my rented beach cruiser. We had some amazing meals and took a couple fun sailing trips in the evenings after the conference would let out. And of course, I drank a lot of mojitos and rum runners (yum!) and ate a lot of key lime pie. As a west coaster, I don’t know if I’ll ever be back, since Hawaii is so much easier to get to, but if you ever have a chance to visit the Keys I would wholeheartedly recommend it.  I’ve posted more pics from the trip, and some thematic links to go along with them, below. Wishing everyone a wonderful weekend!

IMG_3147{not easy to get there}

IMG_3011{our hotel}

IMG_3261{my happy place}

IMG_3144{biking + shopping}

IMG_3241{kind of fun being a cheesy tourist}

IMG_3251{there’s no uber in key west… but there are pink taxis}

IMG_3149{café con leche}

IMG_3121{sunset sailing}

IMG_3227{and of course, a piece of key lime pie each day!}

Friday Faves

IMG_2510{early morning on the lake}

Happy October from beautiful Lake Chelan! I had such a whirlwind trip with my sister and little nephew last week that I forgot to post on Friday – so last week’s Friday Faves are this Monday’s Faves instead! We had the best time splashing in the lake and in the pool, chasing ducks, digging in the sand…..and of course lots of wine and cheese! I hope your weekend was equally fun, and that your Monday is off to a lovely start! Some fun links and pics from the week:

IMG_2308{Smitten Kitchen’s apple cake and butternut squash galette (from the cookbook)…..and a salad}

IMG_2426{wine with my sis in my new Husky drinkers}

IMG_2536{obsessed with this anti-aging hand cream}

IMG_2293{Having a little baby around makes holidays so much more fun! Cooper’s pumpkin bag was one of the first things I ordered with his name on it (seriously – I just looked it up in my email archives and I ordered it the day he was born!), so of course I had to get one for Harper as soon as PBK released their Halloween stuff this year (order date: July 20).  And then I set about to fill it with everything I put in Coop’s last year. Treat bag from PBK, books from Amazon, sleepers from Hanna Andersson (similar here, I actually got this version on sale after Halloween last year) and Carter’s, onesie, tutu, and pumpkin hat from Gymboree, Lifefactory bottle with candy, Baby Bling Bows (black and orange knots). *The Gymboree onesie and hat are no longer available, at least online, but if you’re in the market Janie and Jack has some pretty cute options (onesie, hat) – probably would have gotten those for H if I hadn’t already given her her goodie bag! I’m thinking she’ll still be able to squeeze into the 12-18 month next fall, so I’ll be watching the sale racks on November 1st!}

IMG_2294{And don’t worry, Coop got a few things too! Gymboree tee (adorable J&J alternative here), Hanna sleeper (also purchased on sale after Halloween last year, 2015 boys version here), Curious George book, and two Beavs hats that aren’t pictured – really more of just a random purchase than a Halloween gift, but the team colors are black and orange so it’s a two for one}.

Green Chili Posole

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Last February I was lucky enough to spend a few days at the most amazing resort in Arizona with my mom, sister, and sister-in-law. We stayed in a five star villa, practiced yoga every morning in a studio overlooking the desert and the mountains, took amazing classes, got massages each afternoon – and yet somehow one of the best parts of the trip was the food. Everything was fresh and healthy and seasonal and beautifully prepared, and pretty much made me wish that I was Oprah so that I could go home and immediately hire the chef to come work for me (or maybe just move to Miraval permanently). Breakfast and lunch were served buffet style, and we ordered off of a menu at dinner.  This is one of those times where I wish I kept a diary so that I could better remember all of the meals we had, because they were all pretty incredible (I took a lot of pictures, but they’re all on my old phone). There were usually four entrée items on the dinner menu every night, as well as four (teeny tiny) desserts, and our foursome had so much fun ordering one of each and trying everything – and it was all so good we could never pick a favorite. I ordered both cookbooks as soon as I got back, and have made quite a few things from them since (including a delicious arugula salad, raspberry lemon cookies, and chocolate peanut butter meringues). However, everyone’s* hands down favorite meal was the green chili posole we had one day at lunch.

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There’s an asterisk after “everyone” because I never actually ate the posole – it was made with pork, and I don’t eat pork so didn’t even try a bite. But my mom, sister, and sister-in-law all went back for seconds and then thirds – which is kind of funny since Miraval is big on small portions and “mindful eating.”  They made an exception for the posole, though, and have talked about it ever since (and in their defense, the bowls they give you in the buffet line are really small).  The posole recipe is in one of my cookbooks, so I’ve been meaning to make it for some time. I finally got motivated the other weekend, and I made a double batch – one pork (which I promptly delivered to my sister’s house as a thinly veiled excuse to see my baby nephew), and one chicken so that I could try some too.

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Posole is a Latin American soup or stew made with hominy, chili peppers, onion, and garlic. It’s traditionally made using pork, although – fun/terrifying fact – per Wikipedia, the Aztecs used to use meat from humans killed in ritual sacrifice.  Once cannibalism was banned, however, they switched to pork. How lovely. I’m sure anyone who tried both of my versions would tell you the pork was their favorite, but since I don’t know any better I thought the chicken was delicious. I used fresh tomatillos, but they can be hard to find (especially now that the farmers market season is mostly over) so you could use canned tomatillos as well.  If using fresh, you need to husk them and then rinse them really well as the husks leave a sticky residue. The poblano peppers gave the soup a bit of a kick, but if you can’t find poblanos I think green bell peppers would work fine too. I’ve only ever seen hominy canned (although to be fair, I’ve never looked for hominy until I made this), but I’ve heard you can find it dried in Mexican specialty stores. If you’re just going to a regular market, you can find both canned hominy and canned tomatillos in the Mexican food section (or “international foods” aisle), although it can be hard to find so you may have to really search for it.

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Aside from hunting down a few ingredients, posole is pretty easy to make. Sauté your onions, celery, garlic, and peppers in olive oil (note: it seems like this recipe calls for a lot of garlic, which made me nervous, but it somehow turns out not too garlicky at all), dump everything else in, and simmer for 40 minutes. While the soup simmers, prepare your toppings – all of my google research said the toppings are the most important part of posole. This recipe called for red cabbage, cilantro, cojita cheese, and lime zest and wedges, but I also saw recipes that suggested avocado, radishes, oregano, grated cheddar – basically anything you can think of that sounds good. I think fresh cilantro adds so much to soups, and I also loved the lime zest and juice. A couple recipes I came across also suggested serving the posole with flour tortillas or tortilla chips.  Just make sure to eat your tortilla chips mindfully.

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One year ago: curried butternut squash soup

Green Chile Posole, from the Miraval Mindful Eating cookbook

2 tablespoons olive oil
1 cup yellow onion, chopped
1/2 cup celery, chopped
1/4 cup garlic, minced
1 cup poblano pepper, diced
1 lb. lean boneless pork loin, cut into 3/4″ cubes (can also use chicken breast)
1 1/2 cup fresh tomatillos, chopped
1 cup canned hominy, rinsed well and drained
1/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped (plus extra for garnish)
4 teaspoons chili powder
4 teaspoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
6 cups low-sodium chicken stock
Red cabbage, thinly sliced, for garnish
Cotija cheese, crumbled, for garnish
Lime wedges and freshly grated lime zest, for garnish

Heat one tablespoon of the oil in a large saucepan over high heat. Lower the heat to medium-high, add the onions, and cook, stirring, for one minute. Add the celery, stir, and cook for 45 seconds. Add the garlic and cook, stirring, for 45 seconds. Add the poblano pepper and cook one minute longer.

Add the remaining tablespoon of oil and stir well. Add the pork (or chicken) and cook, stirring to sear on all sides, about 3 minutes. Add the tomatillo, hominy, two tablespoons of the cilantro, the chili powder, cumin, salt, and pepper; stir well and cook for 1 minute. Add the stock, stirring to scrap any bits from the bottom of the pan. Increase the heat and bring soup to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer until meat is tender and cooked through, 40 minutes.

Remove posole from the heat and stir in the remaining two tablespoons cilantro. Garnish with more cilantro, the cabbage, cheese, and lime zest; serve with a lime wedge.

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Friday Faves

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{Baby Coop, my all time favorite}

Happy Labor Day Weekend! Do you all have fun plans? I’m off to the beach and cannot wait.  This week was spent recovering from my cousin Clare’s wedding last weekend, which was absolutely gorgeous and so much fun. But between the whirlwind of activities (and late night afterparty around the campfire) and the heat wave we’ve been having, I’m ready for a little downtime and some cooler temps. Some fun links and pics to get you through these last few hours until the three day weekend (I hope everyone is leaving work early today!):

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{mini ice cream cone}

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{arcona eye serum – I’ve been using this am and pm with my opal and I think it’s working!}

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{sunrise in the columbia river gorge, scene of my cousin’s wedding last weekend}

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{Coop plus all of my cousins’ kiddos post-wedding last weekend – can you stand the cuteness?}

Friday Faves

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{road trip + mcdonald’s cone}

Happy Friday, everyone! Look at me, two blog posts in two days.  I’m pretty proud of myself! (Taking two months off creates a bit of a FF backlog, but I’m going to do my best to catch up over the next few weeks).  I hope everyone has exciting plans for the weekend.  I’m helping out at my family’s annual charity golf tournament tomorrow – the forecast is 97, so wish us all luck not dying of heatstroke.  I hope your plans involve a beach or a pool instead!

Some fun links to get you through your Friday:

  • Orange lipsticks – what are your thoughts? I went to Nordstrom the other night in search of the second one (the most neutral, obviously) but tragically it’s been discontinued.  I was already at the MAC counter so I tried on the first one just for fun, but of course it made me look like a clown.  And by clown I don’t just mean like someone wearing an absurd shade of orange lipstick, I mean like someone you would pay to come to your child’s birthday party wearing a rainbow-striped wig and make balloon animals. Yikes.
  • I would like one of these right this minute.
  • I’m working my way through Emily’s monthly beauty buys – so far I’m still on April, but I’m loving this series (I bet she gets all her products as gratis too, no fair).
  • I don’t think I’m as obsessed with Ryan Gosling as much as the average female between the ages of 15-50 (I’m too busy planning my future with this man), but I find all of this freaking out pretty hilarious.
  • How to Write a Wedding Speech – I wish every best man would read this!

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{my dear friend alison’s gorgeous pacific palisades wedding}

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{new favorite pinot}

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{and favorite party punch from pinot release party}

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{new favorite skincare product – thanks emily!}

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{cuddle time with my (current) favorite newborn, sweet greta jane}

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{and her adorable big brother with his birthday cupcake and his trucks}

Friday Faves

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{afternoon sun and a passion iced tea}

So, we made it through another week.  It’s been sunny and gorgeous and HOT here for the past few days, so I can’t complain, but I’m heading to the beach with some friends this afternoon and the forecast is mid-sixties and rain. Gotta love the Pacific NW!  I was in Spokane last weekend for my cousin’s college graduation and to see some friends – I attended law school at Gonzaga so it was fun to go back and to see how much has changed.  Luckily some things haven’t, like my favorite bar at the Davenport Hotel…or my old apartment, which was huge and beautiful and somehow only cost $495 a month.  Sigh.

Some fun links and pics from the week.  Wishing you all a wonderful weekend. xoxo

  • I would like someone to make this salad for me for lunch today
  • Fun Instagram tips (you know I love me some Instagram!)
  • Watermelon popsicles
  •  I need a new bag for all my weekend trips this summer – how cute is this one?
  • Food halls of NYC – this makes me want to plan a trip back!

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{pinot gris at the peacock room}

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{adorable travel skincare set – and gift with purchase}

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{my old law school apartment}

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{grammie and auntie car hit up the team store!}

Friday Faves: Austin

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{morning run along the river}

Happy Friday, everyone! I just arrived in Spokane, WA for my cousin Ellen’s college graduation and am going to attempt to get a quick post up while I sit in the hotel bar and wait for a girlfriend to pick me up for dinner. I lived in Spokane for three years during law school – so crazy how that seems like centuries ago, but at the same time it’s as though I never left. I’m enjoying a delicious glass of Adelsheim Pinot Gris and wishing I could still be satisfied with happy hour white the way I was in law school.

But I digress. This week’s faves are from last weekend’s trip to Austin, which was a whirlwind from which I’ve been recovering all week. Austin is an amazing city – young and hip and full of live music and amazing restaurants and bars.  And beautiful people, although what really stood out to all of us was how nice everyone was.  I literally didn’t open a door for myself from the time we arrived until we landed back in Seattle.  When we finished diner on Saturday night, our waiter told us “I’m worried you aren’t going to be able to get taxis, I’ve taken the liberty of calling one of our drivers who will fit all of you in his suburban and only charges tip, no meter.”  In hindsight, it sounds (a) like maybe he really wanted us out of his restaurant and/or (b) a little unsafe, but at the time we just chalked it up to everyone in Texas being so nice. 

As you’ll see from the pics, we ate (and drank) our way through the city.  Our condo had an amazing pool, so I was able to soak up a little much needed Vitamin D.  And most importantly, we were able to celebrate the bride, my very dear friend (from law school!!) Alison, who is marrying a really great guy in three weeks (!!!).  My bridesmaid diet starts on Monday (that’s totally enough time, right?) – between now and then, I’m going to enjoy catching up with old friends, toasting the graduate, and of course celebrating my mom on Sunday.  Wishing you all a wonderful weekend.

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{salsa and guac sampler at la condesa}

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{amazing sushi dinner at uchiko}

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{brunch beignets at annie’s}

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{baby p’s souvenir – might be regifted as my sister hates “anything with words on it”}

Friday Faves: Miraval Edition

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 early morning desert hike

Last week my mom, sister, sister-in-law, and I had the incredibly good fortune to hop a plane to sunny Arizona and spend a few days at Miraval, an amazing resort and spa outside of Tucson that I’ve been referring to as “Oprah’s Spa” (Oprah and Gayle went a number of years ago, and then Oprah sent an entire audience full of groups of girlfriends during her final season – if you were wondering).  Our days went a little something like this: breakfast, fitness class/hike/yoga, coffee/juice/smoothie bar break, classes or lectures (fitness, nutrition, cooking, mental health, photography, you name it), lunch, spa treatment, more classes or lectures, maybe some pool time, happy hour, dinner, bed.   Needless to say, our trip wasn’t nearly long enough and I can’t wait to get back.  A few highlights:

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life in balance spa – my new happy place

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hummingbird mama and her babies in their nest in the courtyard (in a kumquat tree!)

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pool time (not pictured: my prickly pear iced tea, so delicious!)

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desert sunset

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cooking demo with the pastry chef – lemon raspberry cookies and arugula salad with honey dijon vinaigrette (recipes coming next week, get excited!)

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downtime at the villa

Friday Faves

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{leaves changing at Greenlake}

One of the perks of taking almost a month off from blogging is that I have over three weeks of “favorites” (read: old instagrams) to choose from. So this “week” includes a couple pics from my East Coast visit earlier in the month, as well as some more recent highlights. This 70-degree October weather we’ve been having has made for some gorgeous sunsets all week, as well as some truly outrageous fall foliage.  And of course, a change in seasons always means a change in footwear.  I’m looking forward to the upcoming weekend – I hope yours is spent apple picking, at the pumpkin patch, and/or taking advantage of this amazing weather in other quintessential autumn ways.  Mine will be spent “catering” a party for my grandparents’ 94th birthdays, but I’m anticipating a Husky win tomorrow and a fantasy win on Sunday as well.  Wishing all of us the best of luck!

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{walk across the Brooklyn Bridge, Freedom Tower on the left – I heart NYC}

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{dinner view of Boston Harbor}

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{new fall flats. PSA: 40% off sale at J.Crew the past few weeks}

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{pink skies over a Puget Sound sunset}

Friday Faves

Happy Labor Day Weekend, friends! Its always a little bitersweet to say goodbye to Summer, but I think Fall is in the air – it was gray and rainy in Seattle yesterday, college football starts tomorrow, and in case you haven’t seen it all over Facebook/Instagram, the Pumpkin Spice Latte is back (a few weeks early, IMHO). I’m looking forward to celebrating my cousin Max’s wedding tonight, and the first Husky game in our new stadium tomorrow. I hope everyone has fun plans for the long weekend!

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{raspberry smash cocktails at the Four Seasons Santa Barbara}

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{chalkboard wall, inspirational quote, and tassel garland at my favorite local coffee shop near my parents’ house}

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{my new skincare obsession, thanks to my friend Jessie’s recommendation}

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{truffle popcorn on the RN74 happy hour menu}

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{berry sangria on the porch at my friend Katie’s beach house}

Very Berry Sangria, from Real Simple Magazine

1 bottle of red wine (750 ml)
1/2 cup raspberries (fresh or frozen)
1/2 cup blackberries (fresh or frozen)
1/2 cup blueberries (fresh or frozen)
1/2 cup strawberries, sliced
1 12 oz. bottle of ginger ale
1/2 cup sugar (or simple syrup, to taste)
2 oz. blackberry liqueur

Toss the wine, berries, sugar or simple syrup, and liqueur in a pitcher, cover, and refrigerate overnight. Pour in ginger ale just prior to serving. Fill individual glasses with ice and pour sangria over ice. We then topped with champagne, optional. Cheers!

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