Category: Uncategorized (page 1 of 74)

THE BEST SUMMER SALAD

File this under the best summer salad, because it combines salty and sweet and everyone’s favorite summer standard: watermelon.  I love that this side is so simple to put together and perfect for all of the outdoor get togethers this season.  I also love that this can easily turn into a meal with the help of some grilled chicken on top or a plate of grilled skirt steak to accompany it, and a glass of wine, of course, wouldn’t hurt.  I have had similar variations of this recipe over the past few years, but found this exact one to be my favorite.  I saw it in a copy of a local grocery store magazine that you can pick up, complimentary, at checkout.  Homerun.  It was filled with great sides, desserts and entrees that all were fairly quick to create and looked amazing.  If you are on the hunt for a crowd pleaser at your next barbeque, this is the one.  And I guarantee you will be recreating it at home, too.

Ingredients:

  • 1 French or sourdough baguette (I used sourdough because our local bakery was out of French baguettes and it came out great!)
  • 6 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 pint cherry tomatoes
  • 1 cucumber
  • 1/2 small red onion (I used a little less)
  • 2 cups watermelon chunks
  • 3 talespoons sherry vinegar
  • 1 (8 oz.) container fresh baby mozzarella
  • 1 (4 oz.) package prosciutto
  • 1/4 cup fresh basil

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Tear the baguette into 1-inch chunks.  Toss with 2 tablespoons oil, salt and pepper.  Spread in an even layer onto a parchment-lined baking sheet.  Bake 10 minutes, until golden and toasted, stirring twice.
  2. Meanwhile, halve the cherry tomatoes.  Chop the cucumber.  Finely chop the onion and cut the watermelon into smaller cubes.
  3. In a large bowl, whisk together remaining 4 tablespoons oil, vinegar, salt and pepper.  Add tomatoes, cucumber, onion, watermelon, and toasted bread cubes.  Toss to combine and arrange on a large platter or in a large bowl.
  4. Drain the mozzarella balls, tear the prosciutto into ribbons, and slice the basil.  To serve, arrange the mozzarella, prosciutto and basil on top of salad.

Happy summer!

xo gina 

NORDSTROM ANNIVERSARY SALE 2018 PICKS

The Nordstrom Anniversary sales are always all the buzz.  Sometimes it can almost be overkill, seeing so many of the same items posted over again, having your feeds flooded with reminders of the notorious sale, but there is a good reason for the highly anticipated events because you can score some killer deals at hugely discounted prices.  This sale in particular, allows you to purchase brand-new items for next season at a fraction of the cost.  The sale opens to the general public on July 20th and runs through August 5th.

Some of my favorite things to shop for during this sale are staples, like moto jackets by BLANKNYC, all the jeans from Levi’s and coveted ankle boots for cooler temps.  I like to stock up on the pieces that I will be so looking forward to wearing come Fall, after a season full of the same cut-off shorts and one-piece bathing suits.

Here are just a few quick things that caught my eye when I browsed the catalog.

1.   A statement trench in either an unexpected color or a more classic hue never goes out of style.

2.   I also love this printed coat for fall without the bulk and for winter over lots of layers.

3.  I am a huge lover of stripes, so this one would fit nicely in my sweater collection.

4.  Don’t forget the men in your life.  My hubby is a big fan of casual shoes, so I usually like to scoop up a few pairs for him.

5.  It’s also a perfect time to grab essentials for the new school year for your littles.

6.  I am constantly running after three little girls, so sneakers are my jam most days.  And I am loving the black and white Adidas shoes.

7.  Since athletic gear is a go-to (see #6 above), I can never get enough leggings.8.  The easiest way to elevate an outfit in the fall is with a great pair of ankle boots.  They go with anything from denim to floral maxi skirts.

Those are just a few things I have earmarked, but overall, closet staples are the way to go with anniversary sales like this one.

Happy shopping!

xo gina

 

APRIL READING LIST

 

So, March kind of came and went and I picked up two books that I just couldn’t get into, kept picking them up because I hate quitting on a book completely, but neither of them ever gained any speed for me.  And then life happened, as it tends to do, and time slipped away into April.  But my April reads proved to be some of my all-time favorites.  So many good ones, so few weeks in a month.

Behind Closed Doors by B.A. Paris

This one was a quick read.  What started out as a love story quickly became disturbing.  The terror you felt for the wife Grace, and her disabled sister was enough to keep you reading.  It was definitely twisted, but the story was gripping.

The Light We Lost by Jill Santopolo

A romantic love story was just the break I needed in the middle of a handful of psychological thrillers this month and it didn’t disappoint.

The Couple Next Door by Shari Lapena

This was another super fast read for me.  The story like that of an unsolved case the news outlets keep reporting and one you can’t stop trying to figure out for yourself.  And with each page, more secrets emerged, leaving you to question whether or not you really ever know the dyamics of other peoples’ relationships, even those you think you know so well.

The Wife Between Us by Greer Hendricks & Sarah Pekkanen

I thought this really picked up in the second half and although I liked it at the beginning, in part two, I could not put it down.  All of a sudden the book took a different turn and I found myself up well into the night, so that I could find out more about the assumptions I had made and the truths that were unfolding.

The Great Alone by Kristin Hannah

This was my most beloved read of the month.  And that kind of surprised me since it was the last one I finished in April and so different from the others I had read right before it.  But Kristin Hannah is one of my very favorite authors (for good reason!) and just such a remarkable story-teller.  Which might seem a bit obvious since it’s an author’s job to tell a story after all, but not many can do that quite like her.  She manages to really pull you into the book and the web that she and the characters in the book create.  Hannah is one of those authors that leaves you feeling like you know the people in the story so well and that the stories told within a story are those you have heard passed down before.  It’s believeable and raw.  And her writing is so skilled and flawless.

Some books on my radar:

My Husband’s Wife by Jane Corry

All The Missing Girls by Megan Miranda

Leaving Time by Jodi Picoult

Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng

For some of my other recent reads, check out my February picks HERE.

If you have any good book recommendations, send them my way!

xo gina 

FAVORITE FINDS: MARCH 2018

This week we officially ring in the start of spring and with that usually comes a long to-do list.  Whether you are looking to refresh your wardrobe, a master bedroom or the kids’ bath, this is the season to typically recharge and make things new again.  I’ve had my eye on a few key pieces for myself and for the house recently, so I rounded up some of my favorite current finds on Instagram and after getting a bunch of messages regarding each piece, I decided to include all links here!  There is a little for the closet, a little for the home, and a lot of what I’m loving right now.

Summer staple at a fraction of the price.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Give any cabinet a fresh look with this hardware.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Really want this kid-friendly (aka non-glass) coffee table for the playroom.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Loving this bodysuit to wear with denim shorts or long floral maxi skirts.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

*Saw that it just sold out, so HERE is a similar bodysuit!

The perfect skirt for spring and summer to mix and match with your favorite white tee.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Must-haves for summer.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Favorite place to stock up on rugs.

 

 

 

 

 

 

On the list for the playroom!

 

 

 

 

 

Distressed denim for under $70 🙂

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Enjoy!

xo gina

FEBRUARY READING LIST

Though it might have taken me until the very end of the month to pick up a batch of new books, they were worth the wait.  These were some really good ones.  They are all a bit different, which make them a great reading list to recommend to you all, because there truly is something for everyone.

THE WOMAN IN THE WINDOW  by A.J. Finn was one of those impossible-to-put-down novels.  And it was the first one like that for me in a while.  The last couple of books I read, right before this one, I just didn’t love.  I wasn’t excited to read them.  But this, I actually looked forward to picking up and finished cover-to-cover in just 48 hours.  It was a true psychological thriller with twists and turns up until the very end.  And the premise itself was original and fresh.  The writing was fantastic.  Without revealing too much (because if you had only one book to read this month, I would say this is the one, hands-down), you are given a front-row seat inside the life of a lonely child psychologist living in New York, who, along with the reader, becomes unsure of what is real and what is imagined.

SMALL GREAT THINGS by Jodi Picoult gives us a glimpse into what racism looks like today and explores truly how difficult it is to be confronted with racism head-on.  An African-American woman and nurse finds herself on trial for the death of a newborn baby, the child of a White Supremacist leader, who had explicitly given orders to have Ruth not handle her son.  With racial tensions at a high in our country, this book is a great, thought-provoking read for right now.

WHEN BREATH BECOMES AIR by Paul Kalanithi, is the accurate account of someone’s life and death, and this was a particularly tough read for me, as a human, as a person around his age (at the time of his death), as a woman who cannot imagine how painful it would be to lose a spouse (and at such a young age), and as a mother who cannot bear to think of a time I might not be with my children.  That being said, I think it is a must-read.  Such a profound look at life from someone who knew theirs was coming to an end.

AFTER YOU by Jojo Moyes is the sequel to ME BEFORE YOU, which I loved.  And it’s always so hard to beat the original.  But it’s still a good, quick read that follows the joys and sorrows of life after losing a loved one.  And if you haven’t read ME BEFORE YOU, do it!  I loved it and have purposely avoided the movie that was made after the book was written because the movie never quite leads up to the book.  😉

Next up on my list of books to read in March:

GIRL LAST SEEN

HOMEGOING

THE GIRL BEFORE

THE GREAT ALONE

What are you currently reading?  I would love to know!

xo gina 

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