GNO Vol 2

My friendships are very important to me, so I make sure to book Girls Nights Out at least once a month. These outings entail three coats of mascara, liquid lipstick, gin & tonics and lots of laughs. Tonight we are putting the babies to bed and hitting up Napa Prime Chop House & Cigar Bar!

Getting gussied up is one of my favorite things to do. I’m here for big hair, big lashes and a fresh manicure. The amount of time it can take to get ready for a GNO is limitless. One would think I’m prepping for the Grammy’s. I enjoy every minute of the process! Love Pinterest, who doesn’t? Click here to check out my board created specifically for outfit inspiration.

False Lashes by PUR + Huda Beauty
Sally Hansen Color Therapy Top Coat + Squeaker of the House by OPI

Fancy Boards: Vol 1

If you haven’t attempted a charcuterie board, what are you waiting for, love?! #BOARDit & they will EAT!

Over the holidays I was the queen of transporting boards to parties. Shout out to Maegan Brown #TheBakerMama. The spread below is the fancy board I took to my MIL’s Christmas Eve Brunch. My theme was hearty biscuits with all the fix-ins.

Can I tell ya a little secret…I have NEVER made biscuits! I know, don’t judge me. Being from West (By God) Virginia, this is a sin. Feeling overzealous, I figured I’d make up for lost time and do two different kinds. The first was an Everything Bagel Biscuit curtesy of Daphne Oz. And the second was a Hot Honey & Thyme Biscuit from the masterminds, Erin Patinkin & Agatha Kulaga of Ovenly. They were devoured, and obviously made the cut for Varsity status. #FutureBrunch #AllStar

Veggies, Fruit, Cheese, Green Goddess Dip, & Everything Bagel Biscuits
Hot Honey & Thyme Biscuits

Week Night All Star: Vol 4

Cooking is my most favorite past time. When I have infinite time to do it, it’s even more enjoyable. The time you invest prepping your staple ingredients, always pays off. What I mean is this, if fresh vegetables are washed, peeled/trimmed and stored at eye level in the fridge you’re more likely to incorporate them in your dishes. When eggs are hard boiled and shelled, I’m apt to reach for one as a quick snack in a pinch. Anytime I’ve boiled or roasted chicken, I make homemade chicken salad. By simply adding salt, pepper, freshly chopped parsley and scallions, you’ve dressed up an otherwise boring dish. I’m not a fan of eating the same meal on repeat throughout the week. With a little planning, I can assemble healthy meals from the bits and bobs that have been prepared in advance. In my opinion, nobody does this better than Lisa Bryan from Downshiftology.

Roasted cauliflower, carrots, red onion and sweet potatoes
Ground turkey with sautéed broccolini, yellow peppers and carrots
Shredded chicken breasts with parsley
Roasted celery, carrots, sweet potatoes and red onion with scallions and parsley

In each of the pictures above, the meals came together in minutes because I invested time on the front end. By prepping my ingredients before hand, i.e. – chopping vegetables and herbs, that’s one less thing to do when my boys are T-Minus from eating the house down.

Fancy Feet Vol. 2

If you grew up in the 90’s, this post is for you. I’m a big fond fan of Dr Martens and flannel. When 90’s fashion came back on the scene, I was blasting Lithium on SiriusXM. In this volume of Fancy Feet, it feels only right that my Gucci combat boots take center stage. The Gucci fashion house can be…over the top for some, but for this diva they are just right. Am I right or am I right?

Thanksgiving Feast Prep

With Thanksgiving approaching, this home cook is researching recipes for the big feast, making personalized place cards, decorating the dinner table and tweaking the oven schedule spreadsheet. I do quirky things through out the year to prepare for a meal of this stature and always save everything pertaining to this meal in a manilla folder. And let me tell you, the seams on that bad boy are close to bursting!

My inspiration comes from, but is not limited to;

Like a true dork, I commit my action plan to a spreadsheet. See my first draft below.

DishCategoryDateTimeAcknowledgements
Nuts, olives, figs & prosciuttoappetizerThu, Nov 28, 2019
Barefoot
TurkeyMainThu, Nov 28, 20199:30 AM
RollsSideThu, Nov 28, 2019

GravySideThu, Nov 21, 2019
Barefoot
Brussel Sprouts VegetableWed, Nov 27, 2019
Bon Appetit
Carrots VegetableTue, Nov 26, 2019

Green BeansVegetabledelegated

Cranberry SauceSidedelegated

Sweet Potatoes & MarshmallowsStarchWed, Nov 27, 2019
Sunny Anderson
DressingSideTue, Nov 26, 2019
Barefoot
Apple PieDessertdelegated

Macaroni Alfredo w/ pumpkinSideWed, Nov 27, 2019
Better H&G
Perfect mashed potatoes Starchdelegated
Bon Appetit
Gruyere & Thyme Stacked Potatoes StarchWed, Nov 27, 2019
Fork in the kitchen
Mini Pumpkin PiesDessertThu, Nov 28, 2019
ambitious kitchen
saladsideThu, Nov 28, 2019

Thanksgiving Feast
Thu, Nov 28, 20191:00 PM

The table is set days in advance, so I can get ahead of as many fussy tasks as humanly possible. Yes, I’m talking place cards, fancy napkins, candles, chargers, plates, dinner glasses, etc. Do as much in advance as you can. #PreparationAndPresentation

Coffee & Scones

This morning my girlfriends came over for coffee and scones. I know what you’re thinking…Damn girl! What time did you get up this morning?! Well, let me tell ya a little secret, the scones have been assembled and waiting for this very occasion. That’s right, I made them (up to a certain point) in advance! #BarefootContessa #InaGarten #MakeItAhead

The trick to effortless entertaining and stress free hosting is, being prepared and having a plan. It’s that simple. I love having home made baked goods tucked away for a rainy day. Just before the girls arrive, I’ll toss them in the oven and wait for their aroma to fill my kitchen with bakery vibes!

Coffee Beans – This is a blog post all on its own. I personally like to buy the beans and grind them at home. When you really want to impress the #CoffeeClub, try beans from the Hampton Coffee Company or Starbucks.

Red Carpet Affair

The Eva Bryn Shoetique turned one! What a fantastic shop! I’m incredibly happy for my dear friend Kelly who turned her passion into reality. I admire anyone who brings their dream to fruition.

For this occasion, I wanted my shoes to be the star. I paired my hand drawn graphic tee with a structured blazer, leather trousers and my beloved Lucy Choi Dorsett ankle boot.

My handsome husband looking fly per usual! #GucciMan #Chloebag #Hermesbelt #EssiePolish

Ride or Die Vol. 1

This edition of Ride or Die is focused on the kitchen tools every cook should have. Here they are in no particular order: hand mixer, classic chef’s knife, knife sharpener, wooden spoon, slotted metal spoon, vegetable peeler, milk frother, measuring cups and spoons, mandoline, cutting board with deep well, and a citrus juicer.

Allow me to elaborate a touch:

Using a frother gives this home barista latte vibes and I’m HERE for it!

I adore home made chocolate chip cookies, don’t associate with anyone who doesn’t matter of fact. Measuring spoons and cups ensure accuracy a baker needs while a hand mixer gives me total control over the batters consistency. #TypeA #OCD #ControlFreak

Vegetables, fresh ones, require a bit of effort upon purchase. I prep all veggies straight away. This could entail peeling them, rinsing, drying, or keeping them fresh in containers, some full of water (i.e. carrots, celery, etc). Thanks for that pro tip, Downshiftology! I’ve noticed that when prepped vegetables are at eye level in the fridge, one is more compelled to nibble on them rather than cookies.