Old Navy perusing

In the post holiday daze, I have curbed my shopping.  But when that retail itch strikes, I turn to Old Navy to pick up a thing or two without taking a hit.  Here are a couple things currently striking my fancy.

A plain black maxi skirt has been my mental list as a staple for awhile.  Great for flying in, beach cover up, and work "meh" outfit days.  

I have a light chambrey shirt from Old Navy, andit is in the normal rotation. This dark one, for under 30 dollars, is a good investment. 

Cute red flat, under 20 bucks, get it ladies. 

Look at these little french knots!  A twist on a classic cream sweater, my cup of tea exactly.

I have seen this print in person and it is great.  Paired with above sweater and you've got a nice little outfit on your hands.

Now this to some may seem moo-moo esque, but I love it.  A scarf, flat sandals, big earrings and a jean jacket and I am picking groceries not in my yoga pants.  Running errands in an outfit is taking care of yourself in the littlest of ways.

The word culotte caught my eye, zapping in on the print and seeing a tiny floral print - sold.

Hope this inspires some chic budget staple shopping!

All images via Old Navy


Friday round up!

Happy Friday!  We are celebrating a birthday this weekend - Miami Beach style.  Think less models and bottles and more Thai food at 6:30pm and drinks with friends at 9pm.  Hope everyone has a lovely weekend!  xo

As I mentioned, Thai food and drinks on Saturday.  HBD!

New staples that I have not taken off since Christmas.

Recipe for inventory.

I boil eggs almost weekly - good to know.  Plus 29 extra know-hows.

Can we talk about how great these flat sandals are?  So Miami and fun!

Image via my Pinterest


Recipe recap - Miami Winter meal

Last night I got to the gym, opened my trunk and no gym bag to be found.  On the kitchen counter...I took the hint, got home and decided to take my extra time and make a "special" weeknight meal which in my book equates spending more than an hour and making more than two parts (last night - mushroom gravy, pork tenderloin, mashed potatos, and peas).

This is something I would normally reserve for a Sunday supper, but I had the gift of time and I took it. When we sat down to dinner I commented, "Isn't this a nice Winter meal?" Response: "The front door is open, this is a nice 'Winter' meal." Regardless, I am wearing a big scarf and booties today and not sweating. It is Winter in Miami!

Here is a recap of how dinner went down:

Pork tenderloin:

I made a quick marinade of  2 T dijon mustard, 1 T fish sauce, 2 T maple syrup, 2 T Worcestershire, 2 T olive oil and 1 T chopped rosemary. Threw it in a ziplock with the pork (poking holes in the pork with a fork to help absorb the marinade), and kept it on the counter for 20 minutes while I walked the pooch.

I preheated the oven to 400 and got a skillet up to a high set on the stove.  I seared the pork on all sides, discarding the marinade, searing about a minute a side.  I then put the skillet in the oven and set the time for 10 minutes.

Once the pork was cooked, I took it out of the oven, put on a cutting board and covered the pork to let it rest.


Meanwhile I got a pot of salted water to boil with 2 lbs (cleaned) red skin potatos.  After cooked, I drained the water, returning the potatos to the pot (less to clean), and added 1/2 cup chicken stock, 1/3 cup shredded Parmesan, 1/2 t ground pepper, and 1 T butter. Mash and keep in pot. Add more stock if it looks dry.

A little tip - if you put a skillet with warm water underneath the pot of mashed potatoes, it will stay warm on the stove.

Mushroom gravy:

I took the pan I made the pork in and added 1 cup chopped mushrooms (any will do) to the pan with a dash of olive oil and 1 t of salt on medium heat.  Cooking off the liquid of the mushrooms takes about 6-8 minutes.  I then added a packet of dried mushrooms I rehydrated in 1 cup hot water and chopped up. Saute another 2 minutes and add 2 T of flour, until the mushrooms cover the flour and it becomes a paste, but not burned!  Then add 1 cup chicken stock, 1 cup mushroom liquid, 1 cup dry red wine. Added 1/2 t pepper, bring to simmer and let reduce to half of liquid.  At the very end add 1 T of butter and swirllll around to make it silky smooth.


Remove from freezer, add 1.5 cups to bowl of water, heat up in microwave and drain.  Mmhmm.

Dinner is served!  All images via my shoddy iPhone.


Recipe recap - Almost Vegan Soup

Last night I tried a new recipe I snagged from my friend Read's blog.  It was delicious and had few ingredients which is great for weeknights.  The cauliflower made it seem creamy and hearty. Perfect for a Miami "winter" night.  It was 55 and we were cold, oh how the mighty have fallen.   

I used chicken broth, but if you used vegetable broth it would be a vegan recipe.  It was a complete success and I will be making this again.  

  • Roasted Cauliflower and Kale Soup (adapted from William and Sonoma)
  • 1 large head cauliflower, trimmed and cut into florets
  • 5 T olive oil
  • 1 large bunch curly kale, stems removed and torn into small pieces
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 2 celery stalks, diced
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 7 cups chicken or vegetable broth
  • 1/3 cup pine nuts, toasted
  • salt and pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

Toss the cauliflower with 2 T olive oil and season with salt and pepper.  Roast, stirring occasionally, until the cauliflower is tender and the edges are browned and crisp, about 22 minutes. Take out of oven. Reduce oven temp to 300 degrees.

Toss half of the kale with 1 T of olive oil and season with a little salt. Roast, stirring once halfway through, until the kale is crispy, about 25 minutes

Meanwhile, in a Dutch oven over medium heat, warm the remaining 2 T olive oil. Add onion and celery , cook until soft, about 8 minutes. Add garlic and stirring constantly for 1 minute. Until you smell the garlic, make sure not to burn it.  Season with s & p. Add cauliflower and broth, increase heat and bring to a simmer. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover and cook for 10 minutes. Stir in the remaining kale, increase heat to medium and cook, uncovered, for 10- 15 minutes.  You want some of the broth to evaporate.

Using regular or immersion blender (if you don't have one, buy one this second, number one kitchen gadget I use).  Serve with toasted pine nuts and crispy kale immediately. 

Here is a picture of the magic happening.  I enjoyed the soup with some crackers and cheese and had a nice weeknight meal.  


Happy 2014!

We're a week into 2014 and I am revamping a couple things. Nothing major and most are a reaction to holiday indulgences and relaxation, and it is time for a bit of a reboot. Others are small things lingering on back burner of the brain in terms of "I really should X." I believe January is not the only month one should examine changes. I try to make small, manageable tweaks to be happier, healthier, and live a more balanced life year-round.

That being said, here are the top things I want to concentrate on as 2014 launches off -

1.  Eat less fake sugar.  I do not consume a great deal, and the diet coke, tuna melt, chip lunch combo I cannot see ever fully going away in my life.  I aim to not add sweetener to coffee/tea and be more conscious of when I do choose to have sweetener in my meal/snacks.

2.  Drink less coffee, drink more tea.  We'll see how this goes.  So far, medium.

3. Try to enjoy my day/week more and stop slow down my continued planning of next month, next summer, 2018.  It is not productive, this is going to be a life long battle.

4. Write more letters/cards.  This is something I enjoy and I have fallen a bit off the wagon.  Probably attributed to wedding thank you note anxiety.  I love to send real birthday cards via snail mail.  Trying to get back on my game on this.

5.  Keep up with my tennis.  I took group lessons all Fall and have gotten a wee bit better!  I want to carry it through instead of letting the momentum fall.  This tends to happen after I have invested time/effort into something structured, then have to continue with just my own will. Once a week I want to go to the public courts/back wall - pretty realistic I think.

6.  Be thankful and enjoy what I have instead of pushing forward to the next thing.  Again, continual growth area.

Happy 2014 dear readers!