baby on my brain + more modern nurseries

while we wait and wait (and wait!) for our baby to come to us and for the universe to get us a step closer to having baby reardon in our nest, i pass the time by looking at cute nurseries/kiddo rooms online. i am partial to the ones with white walls and lots of bright pops of color in the bedding and accessories of the room and rooms that have a vintage detail here and there.  once i started posting my favorite nurseries i realized that i also love the rooms that are saturated with color- walls, artwork, bedding.

here are a few of my current faves, all via ohdeedoh

vivien's happily nostalgic nursery


i love that color on the wall. if i were to paint the baby’s room it would be THAT color.

love the chevron rug. love the crib (that’s the one we have!). love the pale grey dresser/changing table.

all so sweet.

ave nursery tour

i love the gift wrap backed bookshelf (i have that paper…paper source!), those ruffly utterly girly curtains, the light fixture and the pale grey walls.

shared room tour

 

 

so bright! so cheery! so sweet! why am i yelling!

 

theres wine in them there hills! part deux

after we finished wandering around the grounds of paravi vineyard and were done relaxing on the patio, we loaded up and headed to bumgarner winery.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

bumgarner winery is in a charming little building that used to be a horse stable. all the windows and doors were open while we stood at the bar and sipped our wine and a light breeze blew through the building, keeping it nice and cool. this place was super laid back, quirky and the wines and hard apple cider ( we brought some home!) were very good.

the happy wine tasting crew

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

next up was boeger winery.

adorable.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

the grounds at boeger were beautiful with a grassy area  dotted with benches and umbrellas and draped with little globe lights, a sweet pond shaded by tall, tall redwoods and this

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

the girls that were pouring the wine were sweet, chatty and adorable. we all highly recommend you make this a stop if you are in the area. so much fun and lots of good wines to choose from. they also have lots of tasty locally made treats and goods there, too, including a slap-yo-mama-its-so-good chocolate bar filled with caramel. eff the caramello candy bar, that stuff was AWESOME.

and the tasting is complimentary. bonus!

we made the short drive into downtown placerville (very cute) and hit up synapse wines tasting room and then on to heydey cafe for some seriously good grub. daniel and i shared the chicken, brie and garlic pizza and it was delish!

a great time was had by all, a big thank you to the sober(est) drivers!

apple hill is a great place to go with the family in the fall and do the apple picking thing, but now you know that its also a fun place to get your grown up drink on, too!

the whole family wins.

 

theres wine in them there hills! part one

ooooh boy. its been over a month since my last post here. sorry!

it seems as though my new food blog has taken up most of my spare time, and now dackie has become the neglected oldest child.

again, sorry!

lets get back on track here.

lets talk wine.

vineyard @ para vi

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

on saturday we headed up to the apple hill area in placerville to do a little beer drinking, wine tasting and eat some tasty food with our good friends the speers

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

and the cervantes’

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

hey, look its us!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

we started by picking up some lunch @ nugget (oh sweet nugget, how we miss you!) and then made the short and pretty drive to jack russell brewing in the apple hill area of placerville.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

we had a tasty picnic there (they have a great picnic area with lots of benches with umbrellas) and we each had a delicious brew. i had the huntsman pilsner and daniel had the casked blonde ale.

after we finished up there we hit up para vi vineyard. bocce ball court, wine cellar open to everyone, patio with plenty of seating and 2 huge grassy lawn areas and a sweet wooden play structure for the designated drivers. or children.

fun!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

part deux tomorrow…boeger and bumgarner vineyards, synapse tasting room and dinner at heydey cafe. yum.

 

 

 

 

 

a new (food) home

i’ve been waffling (mmm…waffles…) back and forth about starting up another blog that will solely be focused on food.

i finally pulled the trigger! check out my new food blog brown sugar and bacon where i will continue to share recipes, photos and our food adventures.

this blog will continue to have a variety of content (sometimes including food) but brown sugar and bacon will be where i will share most food related things.

see you there! and here!

nailed it!

our very first ever book club meeting last night was a big success.

i mean, yah, we pretty much nailed it.

this was my set up, all that was missing was the lemon artichoke dip (low fat, but who cares, it was tasty!) since that was still bubbling away in the oven. i had lemon artichoke dip, the focaccia that i had baked that morning, crackers, grapes, mini cheesecakes with a balsamic raspberry sauce and some almonds.

for drinks i had a few bottles of red wine, summerfest, a nice conn creek sauvignon blanc that i bought during jens bachelorette weekend in napa and some cucumber mint water.

for our first meeting i think we had a pretty good turnout, there were 6 of us. we have a few others that will hopefully join in for round two in august. everyone loved the book and was excited to talk about it and share our thoughts, opinions and even pose a few questions. it was so great to be able to read a book and get to discuss it afterwards with others that had read it, too.

the book we read was hotel on the corner of bitter and sweet by jamie ford

i took a womens literature class in college that i loved and where i was shown how to think about and process books in a way that i never had before. thinking about the themes of the book, symbolization, what made the characters behave in the ways they did and making connections with my own life really makes the book more interesting and makes me use my brain in way that it doesnt get used much since college. last night i was the geek that had notes written in the margins of her book. but im okay with that.

on a side note…

i had set out this little bowl of vanilla caramels and chocolate covered sunflower seeds. all the caramels disappeared but only about half the sunflower seeds got eaten. these little candy and chocolate covered morsels are highly addictive. i cant stop eating them. as i type this right now i have a handful in my mouth and im typing with one hand so i can reach for more.

someone take these away from me.

mini cheesecakes with balsamic raspberry sauce

ive been feeling so intellectual lately.

it doesnt really have anything to do with making these cheesecakes (although if you are smart, you’ll make them, too). its more related to the fact that i have finally joined a book club.

i love to read and lose myself in the story and the characters and have been known to zip through a book or two per week. so a book club is perfect for me. i work with my little sprouts all day at the daycare so its nice to look forward to some stimulating grown up conversations on the weekend. book clubs are, of course, about the books but they are also about getting in some girl time with friends that i dont see as often as i would like. add in some delicious food, wine and local beer and now you’re speaking my language.

 

via full of good coffee

tonight is our maiden voyage and i offered to host so i have been cooking and cleaning up a small storm in anticipation of having the gals over. last night i made some lemon artichoke dip, started the focaccia (to dunk in that tasty dip) and baked up these little cheesecake morsels.

i also whipped up a balsamic vinegar and raspberry sauce to drape over their creamy little tops. daniel and i shared one once they had cooled a bit (to make sure that they arent poison) and i am proud to report that they are, assuredly, not poison.

the crust was simple, throw some graham crackers in a food processor until they are yummy little crumbs and then add in 3/4 of a stick of melted butter and 1T of brown sugar and mix it all up.

take room temp eggs, cream cheese and sour cream and whip them up nice and fluffy with some sugar and vanilla extract. add some lemon zest.

fill up the muffin cups with the creamy filling all the way to the top. they will puff up just a tad as they bake but then they will settle and sink while they cool.

toss half a pint of raspberries, 1 tsp of lemon juice, 1/8-1/4 cup sugar and 2 tsp balsamic vinegar into a pot and cook over med heat until the raspberries break down and the sauce thickens, about 10 minutes.

pour the pretty sauce on the cheesecakes and place in fridge to cool and set for at least 4 hours.

prepare to impress yourself.

yum.

full recipe here via joy of baking.com

kitchen yoga

i think about food a lot.

it may be a problem.

i blog about food, i read blogs about food, i take sub par photos of food, i love to cook food and i love to (hello!!!) eat food.

you want to talk about leeks or baking or herbed chevre or clafouti or basil or baked eggs? im your gal.

i roast garlic, i whisk vinaigrettes with a dash of dijon, a drizzle of honey and a few slivers of shallot.

i wrestle with little packets of yeast and try to convince it to play nice with the flour and the warm water and rise, damn you, rise and sometimes it cooperates and sometimes it damns me to kitchen hell (see cinnamon raisin dough, above).

here are some other things i do.

i burn toast, i overcook cakes, i undercook pork chops.

i make lots of mistakes in my kitchen. many. a plethora of mistakes.

but i am persistent and i just keep plugging away even when i seem to be having a week full of bad juju in the kitchen. sometimes the kitchen gods throw junk at me and i have days of meals that are just… off. like, it could have been really good but it just didnt quite reach that tasty status. and thats okay.

cooking calms me and focuses me and takes me to my happy place. cooking is my yoga. i feel centered after a good session in the kitchen.

so this is why i am minorly obsessed with food and all things food related.

as i type this i am listening to the joy the baker and shutterbean podcast.

guess what its about? you’ll never guess. guess!

yah. food.

check it, its awesome.

 

 

 

memorial day trip, part deux

we made it up to roseburg friday evening and daniel’s brother, sister in law and nephew arrived shortly after we did. they made the drive down from seattle after having to deal with some fun gridlock in portland ( at 3:00 on a friday of a holiday weekend. yikes.) we only get to see them and daniel’s mom a couple times a year so it was great to have everyone together.

saturday was all about using the smoker that branden had made (yes, he made it. from scratch, y’all. he’s crafty.) to smoke a huge slab of brisket. daniel made a rub, bbq sauce and mop sauce to slather all over it. branden gave the smoker to daniel as a gift (thanks branden!) so now we want to smoke everything- ribs, chicken, pork butt, pasta, cheese, lettuce. yes, those last 3 are ridiculous, but we just want to because we can.

they got the rub on the brisket before we went to bed friday night so it already had some flavor on it. daniel and branden prepared the smoker and got the brisket in there by 10:00 and then we had 7 hours to kill. we huddled around the smoker on and off all day, daniel and branden checking that the temperature stayed where it needed to be and tending to the brisket with the mop and then bbq sauce as needed. we all smelled like campfire by the time the brisket was done cooking but none of us minded one bit since all we could think about was that tasty, smoky dinner we were about to feast on.

oh yes, it tasted as good as it looked.

brisket, rub, mop and bbq sauce recipe here via steven raichlen.

it had a nice even smoke ring all the way around and that crusty, smoky bark was my favorite part.

we had some baked beans, corn on the cob and garlic bread alongside the brisket.

and of course there was beer.

branden requested some sierra nevada bigfoot since its like $13.oo/6 pack (holy hell) in seattle so we brought him a 12 pack of that and in return he brought us the mens room elysian original red.

day 3 we headed to the winchester dam fish ladder in roseburg.

unfortunately, those fish up there on that sign were the only fish we saw while we were there.

lazy fish.

at least it was beautiful there. and, since there were a million + 2 steps down to the fish ladder, we got our exercise for the day.

this is rosco.

i wanted to hide him in our car and whisk him away from branden and stef so that i could have him all to myself. he is a sweet pooch.

that was (more or less) our trip. it was great to see our family and get away for a few days. on our way home we took the 99 for part of the trip, instead of the 5, and found a fun looking restaurant that was right on the river with lots of outside seating on a huge deck. a little something to look forward to for our next trip up north!

memorial day trip, part 1

daniel, bella and i hopped in the car this weekend and headed up to oregon. our destination was roseburg but we also always like to stop in ashland on the way up or back down and walk around and have some lunch. the weather was indecisive all weekend but we did get some lovely sunshine in between bursts of rain.

daniel was kind enough to let me be co pilot on the way there AND back. what a guy!

on our way up we stopped in ashland for brunch. we headed to the breadboard where, sadly, both of our meals were mediocre. i ordered the eggs benedict and daniel ordered a turkey club. they were both meh. then we cruised around downtown for a bit, checked out other restaurants and did a little shopping. a short walk for bella and then we hit the road.

next stop- rogue creamery in central point, oregon.

beer. cheese. wine. how can that be bad?

they have two cases stuffed to the gills with cheese. two, i say!!!

decisions, decisions...

local wines

rogue creamery is definitely worth a visit and its just a few minutes off the 5 so its easy to get to. you can taste as many cheeses as you want from the display cases and they always have lots of cheese and cheese curd samples out. they also have a great selection of rogue ales and local wines. if that doesnt sell you on it, from the same parking lot you can stroll to a wine tasting room AND a chocolate shop.

seriously.

the tasting room pours tastes for 2 local vineyards, daisy creek and madrone mountain.

the owners of daisy creek were the ones doing the pouring when we were there and margaret lyon was  friendly and sweet and not at all pushy about purchasing wine. we ended up buying a bottle of the bonne fete rouge and the tasting fee is $5/person but if you buy a bottle of wine the tasting fee is waved. i love that.

we didnt make it into the lillie belle farms chocolate shop this trip but its on the agenda for next time. they are famous for a blue cheese truffle that im salivating to try.

i think bella liked the ride, this was the first long trip we’ve ever taken her on and she looked like this for about 4 hours of the 5 1/2 hour trip.

gluten free strawberry cupcakes

elana’s pantry recipe here.