Food & Wine

The Carneros Inn

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The moment we pulled in to the Carneros Inn, I felt all of the stress of home melt away. This is our very first trip away from our three small children (yikes and yay at the same time!) and I’ve been a little worried about it. Oh, but the quiet drive up to the wine country with my husband reassured me that we had done the right thing in coming here. And then seeing our accommodations at the Carneros Inn confirmed it once again. This place is a mini-paradise, y’all! I cannot recommend it more highly.

The soft muted orange and grey colors everywhere contrast beautifully with the green and every amenity imaginable is here. There’s a gorgeous gift shop, a fabulous spa area, super comfortable suites with clean design, comfy beds, luxurious bathrobes, gorgeous bathrooms with a huge tub and a waterfall shower and an ADORABLE outdoor patio complete with relaxing loungers and heat lamps. I seriously want to live here. . .

 

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I love the aesthetic of this place!

 

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Gorgeous vistas await at every glance.

 

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Y’all, I even love the font! (Is that weird?!)

 

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How fabulous is the contrast of grey, soft orange and white here? Jewelry design ideas abound!

 

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Adorable vignettes beckon you to sit and rest awhile everywhere you look

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I mean… (right?!)

Wine Collection Tips

Red wine bottles stacked on wooden racks

My hubs is a wine dude. When we were dating, I was continually impressed by his knowledge of wine. On each date, he would order a wine and it was always delicious. Come to think of it, throughout the time I’ve known him, I’m not sure he’s ever ordered a bad wine for me. In fact, he usually orders a glass each of two different wines and lets me taste each and chose the one I like best. He says that’s a fun challenge for him and ensures he orders two really good wines. Is he a treasure or what?

With a man like him comes a decent-sized (and quality!) wine collection. I consider that a huge plus, but it does come with a few challenges, too.
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Variety is the Spice of Life

Homemade Cooked Spaghetti Squash Pasta

If you’ve been reading the blog lately, you know that a week ago Friday I lost my mind and agreed to do a Whole 30 challenge with some girlfriends. (Clearly they are really dear girlfriends or I never would have agreed to join them in such insanity. Love y’all!) After a week of eating clean, I had some thoughts to share and possibly encourage you to join us. One of those thoughts was that trying new things is key. When I get stuck in an eating rut, my engrained habits kick in and I want to eat things off the plan. When I plan well, though, and have yummy foods to eat, I really don’t feel deprived in the least. And I’m certainly not hungry on this challenge!  Here’s why. . .

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My First Week of Whole30

Salmon with Spinach

What a week it has been! On Friday, I agreed to do a Whole30 challenge with two of my girlfriends and on Sunday, we began. I didn’t have a lot of time to plan or prepare since they had already chosen a start date when I jumped on board, so I did a quick internet search and relied a LOT on their help. After a week of doing this eating challenge, I have a few thoughts to share.

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My Whole30 Challenge (Yikes!)

Baket with eggs

As of this morning, my life was completely normal. My days were filled with lattes and croissants, chocolate and breads. Well, not only with those things, of course, but I certainly indulged in them as treats, and not just on rare occasions. (That’s one of the benefits of pregnancy and breastfeeding, right?) Anyway, today started off with a delicious homemade latte and a yummy bowl of Fage yogurt with fresh berries and a few cornflakes for crunch.  I dropped my oldest off at school and went on about my day. Little did I know what was about to happen. . .

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A Dash of Paprika

iPadAir2

I love my iPad. Truly, I use it for so many things. It is great for working on the go, easier to travel with than a full laptop (but still allows me to blog and stay connected on trips), it keeps my littles entertained with movies on long flights, allows me to read books on my Kindle app, taking an entire library with me on the go, and so much more. But, this post isn’t really about my iPad. It’s about the so much more. (more…)

Merry Christmas to Me!

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Hubs and I are really into coffee. Part of it is due to my my friend Pauline’s influence, as she encouraged it by giving us her old espresso machine when she upgraded to a new one. I think it really took off to new heights, however, when we lived in San Francisco. SF is coffee-crazy and incredible artisan coffee abounds there, so we were a little spoiled with options and our standards raised in proportion.
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Samovar Tea Lounge

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San Francisco is known for coffee.  I loved coffee before we moved there, but during our time in SF, I became even more of a coffee snob and so did my hubs.  San Francisco has no shortage of incredible coffee shops.  Blue Bottle, Ritual, Four Barrel, Sightglass, Philz – they all come up in conversations about the best coffee in the city.  But, true to its health-conscious reputation, tea is a pretty big deal in the city by the Bay as well.  One fabulous example of this is the Samovar Tea Lounge.  With locations in the Castro, Hayes Valley, Yerba Buena and now the Mission, this hotspot is well worth the hype.  Featuring artisan teas from around the world served by a staff that is well-trained in the art of tea, Samovar is the real deal.   (more…)