To Blend / A Cucumber Mint Cooler

 
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     Good morning! When planning out this season's recipes, I decided I want to focus on a different region's cuisine for each season. Each different region has a distinct seasonal feel to it's classic dishes, and the one the screamed spring to me was Asia! Asian cuisine is so veggie focused, with bright and fresh flavors that make the most sense for spring dishes - so with that, I'll introduce this cocktail to you. 

      Cucumbers are growing on me, and are ripe for the picking at the moment. We have some  in our garden, but until they too are ready to be harvested, farmer's market ones are the best option! Our mint in the garden, however, is constantly sprouting leaves and happens to pair perfectly with cucumber. Those two ingredients are the bones of this cocktail, and make for the perfect apertif on a warm spring evening. Get the full recipe below!

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Ingredients:

- 1 small cucumber, peeled

- a handful of mint leaves, plus a couple for garnishing 

- 1/2 cup of vodka

- 1/2 cup of lemon juice

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Directions:

1. Combine all ingredients in a blender.

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2. Blend until smooth and thin.

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3. Pour and garnish with mint leaves. Enjoy!

      Thanks for reading! I don't want to fully reveal where we're metaphorically visiting for the summer season, but I will say one thing - the goal of the summer will be living la dolce vita. ;) Have a fun week!

To Make / An Ideal Spring Dinner

 
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      Hi there! It's finally warm every day here now, and that means I'm craving all things fresh and simple for meals. On weeknights, it's a marathon to get good food on the table and bottoms in seats at a reasonable hour - so I usually opt for only one component of a dinner that takes more than 15 minutes to prepare, with the rest being assembled in that short time frame! This Monday, that took the form of grilled cheeses, accompanied by sweet potato fries (the time-consuming menu item) and tiger salad. 

     I know you've heard me ramble about grilled cheese and sweet potato fries before, but let me introduce you to tiger salad! Tiger salad is a cooling and refreshing cucumber salad from Northern China, with a bit of spice and sesame flavor to it. It typically uses lettuce in the place of cilantro, but I have A LOT of cilantro on hand right now - so it got tossed in instead! Cilantro brings a lot of flavor to this dish, and I think I'd prefer it here over lettuce anyways. I also made the addition of carrots, for the sake of using them up and adding more veggies! Get the full recipe below, along with my sweet potato fries recipe. 

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Sweet Potato Fries:

- 2 large sweet potatoes

- 2 tbs. olive oil

- 1 tbs. oregano

- 1 tbs. cumin

- a dash of salt + pepper

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 425 and slice your sweet potatoes into sticks. 

2. Toss raw sweet potatoes in olive oil and your herbs, then arrange on an oiled baking sheet.

3. Roast for 45 minutes, flipping the fries after 15 minutes.

4. Serve warm and enjoy!

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Tiger Salad:

 - 2 mini cucumbers

- half a carrot

- a handful of cilantro

- 1 tbs. of apple cider vinegar

- 1 tbs. of sesame oil

- 1 tbs. of sambal oelek

- green onions

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Directions:

1. Slice your cucumbers, carrots, and green onions. Mince your cilantro.

2. In your salad bowl, mix your vinegar, oil, and sambal oelek with your veggies.

3. Serve immediately and enjoy!

     Thanks for reading, and have a fun Wednesday!

To Mix / A Spring Bloody Mary

 
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      Good morning! Tomorrow is finally March, and my mind completely disregards the technical start date of the spring equinox, so from tomorrow until summer - I'll be in spring mode! I've been craving a bloody mary to go along with weekend brunch for a little bit, so this past weekend, I made it happen! It was the perfect opportunity to shoot the pretty red drink as it was incredibly sunny (a la spring!) and the perfect weather for brunch on our porch. I could get used to this! Now, my spring twist on this is simple: black pepper and lemon. I like to stick with a spicy tomato and carrot juice base and only add a little flavoring to complement it! Get the recipe below!

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Ingredients:

- 1 glass of spicy tomato/carrot juice (if you don't like the spice, feel free to get whichever tomato juice you like!)

- 1 shot of vodka

- half a lemon

- black pepper

- ice

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Directions:

1. Pour your tomato juice into your glass, over ice, then add in the vodka.

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2. Sprinkle black pepper on top, then squeeze your lemon into the drink.

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3. Stir and enjoy!

     Thanks for reading, and be on the lookout for my second brunch recipe for the week on Friday! Have a fun Wednesday!

For Music / Springtime

 

      Good morning! Each new season brings a new music mood for me. During spring, I'm always looking for simple and happy music, so today, I put together a little playlist to accompany this mood. Check it out below!

Spring Mood:

1. Blackbird / The Beatles

2. Love / Lana Del Rey

3. In the Morning I'll Be Better / Tennis

4. Paris / The Chainsmokers

5. 22 (OVER S∞∞N) / Bon Iver

6. Scarborough Fair / Simon + Garfunkel

7. Cranes in the Sky / Solange

8. Honey + I / HAIM

9. Rhiannon / Fleetwood Mac

10. A Case of You / Joni Mitchell

       Thanks for reading! Have a fun Wednesday!

For Reading / April

 

     Good morning and happy April! It's the start of a new month, and with that comes a new book to read. This month's selection is Outliers by Malcom Gladwell. It's an analysis on what makes specific people successful, and brings about the idea that luck, circumstances, and background do contribute to extreme success.

     I've previously read one of Gladwell's other books (David + Goliath) and find his writing style one of the easiest to follow, so this will probably be a short read. He's one of the best at making accurate observations, and I can't wait to jump in! Thanks for reading, and have a fun Monday!

For Pinning / March

 
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     Good morning! Spring has brought on a whole new breath of inspiration to my Pinterest board. The change in colors and overall mood is one of the best parts of the new season, when it's suddenly ok if it rains, as long as it's not freezing. That new outlook can bring out the creative in anyone, and the main way this creative is looking towards spring is visualized through these pins. Above, a farmers market fresh grilled cheese that will hopefully satisfy my need for artichoke dip and a grilled cheese at the same time.

      The prettiest shade of butternut, perfect for bringing in color and warmth to your look!

      I didn't think I'd ever see blue, olive, brown, and lemon look good together, but for some reason, these colors feel perfect for a moody spring look.

       Another dish I want to make soon: veggie filled enchiladas. I'm always in the mood for mexican food this time of year, especially when it involves a stream of avocado's on top.

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      I think it's ok to be obsessed with shearling year round. It doesn't hurt to pair it with tan leather, either!

      Lastly, I need some speckled earthenware in my life asap! I have a mug that has a similar texture, but I just have the feeling that one piece in this style is not enough.

     Thanks for reading, and be sure to check out all of these pins on my board here! Have a fun Wednesday!

For #MomStyle / Farmer's Market

 
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      Hi there! The outdoor farmers market starts soon, and I'm irrationally excited. So excited, that I've already planned out my outfit! 😂  

     Provided that it's a beautiful day out, I plan to wear my overalls with my denim top. I swear, I didn't pick overalls to portray a farmer; I just really like them! 

       Im pairing those with my beloved blush bandana and my favorite slides! They are the perfect accessories for spring, and I've already been wearing both out and about.  

     Thanks for reading, and have a great day! 

Mom Style: Low-Heel Pumps

 

     Hi guys! I realized about 6 months ago that I "had to have" some low-heel pumps. They are an ideal mom shoe. Close enough to flats to be comfy and with a slight heel to qualify them as dressy. This pair in particular was a great find. They are J. Crew, so you know the quality is good. The win is that I found them at a second hand store for $8! They are in pretty decent shape, minus a couple of scuffs. I fell in love with them because of their shiny patent blush color and the gold block heel. I can't resist a gold heel. 

     I paired them with a favorite striped button up and my vintage crop-flare jeans. They instantly add a little niceness to an otherwise casual and basic outfit. The light pink color is almost nude with my skin tone, which makes them a great neutral option for when my outfits call for it.

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      Side note: Brett's parents have this beautiful Magnolia tree in their backyard, and the flowers only hang around for about a week or less. Kristen and I had to get some shots with it! Gotta love spring!

      I really do love this outfit. It's almost getting too warm to even wear jeans, but these heels will look awesome with my skirts and dresses too!

       Wearing: Shirt from Urban Outfitters (similar here), Crop-flare Jeans (similar here), Low-heel pumps from J. Crew (similar here)

All photos by Kristen Williams

Mom Style: Spring is Here!

 

     Hey there! Just wanted to say a quick hello and announce that spring is officially here! I'm wearing sandals! Life is awesome! I actually bought these sandals a couple of years ago in Boulder, CO, on sale for $10. This was a little before this minimalist style became trendy, so it turned out to be a major score! Another great deal featured in this outfit is the midi skirt. It's by Madewell and I thrifted it for $8, which is basically 95% off. I pretty much died when I found it, and am pumped to wear it all summer. I'm going to go play outside now, bye!

Wearing: H&M shirt (similar here), Madewell skirt (similar here), BDG sandals (similar here)

Photos by Kristen Williams