MiniLuxe Nail Polish

As you probably know, I am a nail painter – my nails are painted 100% of the time. This is for 2 reasons: 1. I like the way it looks having a perfectly painted fingernail. And more importantly 2. I am a nail biter and if my nails weren’t painted I would nibble all the time – nail biting is a fierce addiction.

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I almost always use some sort of shade of red for my nails so when I received a package of nail polish in the mail from MiniLuxe to try out, I was so pleased that there was not one red in the mix! From left to right these colors are: Lucky, Hingham, Lolita, Corey, and Jade. I love that all MiniLuxe nail polish is eco-beautiful and free of harsh chemicals.

 

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I started with the Lucky, because – well – who doesn’t need a little more luck? I thought it would be cute on my toes, don’t you agree?

 

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Specifically, I knew this color would coordinate perfectly with my favorite tribal print black and white skinny leg pants from GAP and simple black flip flops to let that Lucky pop.

 

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Next, I tried Lolita on my hands. Full disclosure, I have used this color before and LOVE it. Have you ever found a shade that just works perfect with your skin tone? Lolita is the perfect purple/pink for me.

 

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And, just last night I went for it…the hottest pink I have ever painted my nails – Hingham. It’s such a great bright and bold color for summer. Thanks MiniLuxe! Now I am out of my red rut!

 

*Disclaimer: I received complimentary goods for this post, however all above opinions and thoughts are my very own.

Polo Match in Newport, RI

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One of my favorite summer activities is to go to a Polo match in Newport, RI. Have you been? Matches are put on by the Newport International Polo Series every Saturday at 5pm. Gates open nice and early at 1pm and tailgating is highly encouraged.

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We went a couple weeks ago and had a blast – it was our Z’s first polo match (we tried to go last year, but the field was too muddy for polo that day so we had picnic in the park instead).

 

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She loves social settings with good people watching and yummy snacks, so obviously she loved this.

 

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We had a smorgasbord of snacks including an orzo salad, toasted bread with fig jam and blue cheese, and the delicious charred corn and zucchini with basil that I told you about yesterday. We served our snacks with beer and wine too – water for Z, of course.

 

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We even got to see this player up close…

 

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I will say, the highlight of the event for Z was when in the middle of the match we were let on the field to stomp the divots. We did a lot of chasing to make sure she wasn’t stomping any steaming “divots” if you know what I mean…

 

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All in all, going to a polo match in Newport is a great way to spend the late afternoon. There are a couple food vendors but I definitely suggest packing a cooler of snacks and drinks, bringing a blanket to sit on and maybe a few beach chairs.

 

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If you are in Newport this summer, you should check out a polo match, they run every Saturday through September.

Charred Corn and Zucchini with Basil

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I made this salad last weekend and couldn’t believe how delicious and flavorful the salad tasted with such few ingredients and simple process to make. I was shocked – in a good way! This salad was so yummy that when we served it to our party of 4, I went back for seconds….and it was gone. I guess I”ll just have to make it again real soon.

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First, cut the corn off your husks, I used 4 small/medium size ears of corn *Tip: place a small inverted bowl inside a larger bowl. Cut the end of the husk off so you have a nice, flat surface and place on the inverted bowl. Slide your knife down the husk and the kernels will fall into the larger bowl. This contains the mess – if you don’t use the bowl, the kernels tend to fly everywhere.

 

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Next, chop one red onion and cut one zucchini into thin slices. Place all ingredients into a skillet on medium high heat in a couple Tbs of olive oil.

 

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Add salt and pepper, stir once, and WALK AWAY. This is the only hard part of this recipe. You have to leave the ingredients alone in the pan to get their char. Don’t touch…

 

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In the meantime chop your basil, about a dozen or so leaves.

 

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Place the basil in a bowl and once your veggies have a nice char after 10 to 15 minutes, place them in the bowl with the basil. The basil will wilt a little as you incorporate. Serve warm, enjoy!

Let me know what you think of this salad after you try it, you will be as pleasantly surprised as I was.

Couple Things…

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It’s been one of those weeks where this morning I woke up and thought…”we made it!” Our Z was sick all week. The second time we went to the doctor this week she got another strep test (negative both times) and when we were told to wait in this tiny exam room for 6 minutes for the results…well, the first photo was her reaction. She maaaaaay be as much of a drama queen as her mama… ūüėČ

We had snack time picnics inside all week.

I did have a meeting one evening this week and got to wear my green lace skirt that was a souvenir from London.

I also got to meet a couple good friends for dinner. We went to Sweet Basil, have you been? Their basil pesto dip you get with bread is amaaaaazing!

 

Have a great weekend everyone! I have a very healthy, VERY delicious summer salad recipe for you next week, you’re going to love it. As always, thanks for reading this blog, I sure do have a fun time writing and creating posts so thank for letting me share this little part of my life with you!

Summer Clutch

My go-to bag in the summertime is usually a clutch. It just seems to summer-y to carry a light, tiny bag with just the bare essentials . *Note – the use of a clutch¬†is when I am child free and don’t need to carry snacks, diapers, emergency toys, sunscreen, etc…

Anyway – here are some cute clutches I’ve been spying lately…

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1. I love this neon Colorblock leather envelope clutch from GAP, it will transition to Fall very nicely. 2. I love this Sparkly Pouch from a-thread, the wrist strap is very helpful so you don’t to do quite so much clutching. 3. Deux Luxe Striped Dotty Clutch from Urban Outfitters on major sale right now, too! 4. If you’re splurging, you should think about this Marc Jacobs leather clutch – at least it’s on sale at the Nordstom Anniversary sale right now! 5. Anthro‘s Flowerbed Clutch is the perfect perfect pairing for outfits from spring into summer, and 6. I am showing you the inside of this cute Cork Clutch from J. Crew Factory with its cute navy polka dot interior, it just snaps open.

Which clutch is your favorite?

Buttermilk Blueberry Mini Bundt Cakes

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I am always looking for a reason to use my cute mini Bundt cake pan, so when we had just a few blueberries left from our pick-you-own blueberry trip last week I knew just what to make.  We used this recipe for Buttermilk Blueberry Bundt cake, reduced it by half, made a few other edits (see below) and made them into mini Bundts instead of one giant cake. Good call, right?

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Prepare your ingredients as directed by the recipe. We substituted half the oil with apple sauce to save calories. We also halved the entire recipe, which was the perfect amount to make 6 mini Bundt cakes.

 

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Grease the heck out of your mini Bundt cake pan – this time we used Pam spray and it worked great. Spoon batter into your mini Bundt cake pan until it’s about 1/3 full. Sprinkle with blueberries. Then fill the mini Bundts with remaining batter and sprinkle with a few more blueberries. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes. Do the toothpick test and make sure it comes out clean and you know they’re done.

 

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Let your mini bundts cool in the pan and then turn them out onto a cooling rack.

 

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Mix your glaze Рwe used  a ratio of 1 part milk to 3 parts powdered sugar. Drizzle over mini Bundt cake right before serving.

 

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Look at all those blueberries – enjoy!

A Love of Shoes

I’ll never forget when my sister was pregnant with my niece (who is now 6 years old with 2 loose teeth – so grown up!!) I found a photo in Vogue of a baby/toddler sitting in the middle of a pile of her mommy’s shoes, trying them on. The baby had very curly hair just like my sister so I ripped out the image, showed my family, and was certain that this would be the image of my then unborn niece. Well, it turns out, I think I actually had that baby from the Vogue photo. My Z has super curly hair, as you know¬†and a major MAJOR love of shoes. Here’s how I know…

Sometimes, when the house is quiet and I know my little Z must be up to no good, I walk around the corner and find her here… z-shoes-5

She loves to stand in front of the basket where she and I keep our shoes (my husband’s feet are too large for his shoes fit in this particular basket, so he has his own). She takes out all of her shoes and tries to put them on herself. Recently, she also has fun finding pairs and matching them together. Who needs the game Memory? We match shoes in this house.

 

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But she doesn’t discriminate, his basket of shoes is equally as interesting as ours! She can even climb into his basket.

Then, every morning when we’re upstairs getting dressed – not just SOME mornings, this is EVERY morning – she opens my closet where I keep the majority of my shoes on the floor and goes to town trying them on, picking them up, sorting them…

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She has a particular love of these oxfords. I think they’re snazzy, but I think when the day comes that she wears a size 7 1/2 women’s shoe, they will become hers because she loves them so much.

 

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And recently, she discovered that I keep some old, lesser worn shoes in a Tupperware container under the bed. Now, every few mornings she remembers this bin and reaches to get it out…

 

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So I usually drag it out for her, open it up, and let her go to town playing, trying them on, organizing them in pairs.

But how does she already have such a love of shoes at 20 months old?

According to Christian Louboutin, when a woman tries on a pair of shoes, she doesn’t just look at the shoe and like/dislike them, she looks at her entire self in the mirror and sees if she likes “how” they make her look.¬† He says “shoes are a pedestal.” Is my Z doing this? No, she’s too little to even know about image and how something looks. She has pure, naive tastes of what she likes and dislikes and therefore, I think I have pretty strong evidence here that a love of shoes is something you’re born with.¬† Sure, she’s observed me prancing around in some pretty great shoes, but her love goes above and beyond just trying to be like mommy.

 

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This baby looooooves her shoes! These are her latest love, some cool Puma sneaks (and yes, those are her DIY Jean Shorts!).

Couple Things…

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We went to Grafton Street Pub one night and had some amazing apps – charcuterie and arancini.

We also went blueberry picking and got 2 pints of fresh blueberries (look at the tiny hand picking blueberries!).

Z and I decided to get somewhat dressed up on Tuesday in black and white for no reason at all!

…and then we headed to Panera for lunch. Poor Z has inherited the family gene of the love of chips. Salty, crunchy, chips! She was so happy when I told her we re going to split my bag of Baked Lays.

For dinner one night this week, we made a salad with steak tips, blue cheese, and these fabulous golden beets, so good.

I was going to share a photo here from the beach yesterday, but we were having too much fun to stop and take pics!

Happy Weekend!

What to Wear – to the Beach

It’s too hot here so we’re heading to the beach! I sound so spontaneous, don’t I? It just so happens that we (in the Boston area) are in the middle of a heat wave and all I can think about is diving into a cold body of water so we are in fact lucky we were already planning for the beach! And we got our Z a floaty in the shape of a kitty cat. She loves it, obviously – pics soon, I promise. Stay cool!

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1. I wear the Sun-lite cover-up from the Patagonia girls department (the XL fits fine). It has UPF sun protection of 50+ which is main the reason I bought it, but it’s cute too. 2. One-pieces that aren’t matronly are hard to find. J. Crew has a great assortment and if you still need one for the summer the sale suits are an extra 30% off right now with code EXRTRA30. I have the Liberty Ruffled Tank in Amy Hurrel Floral. 3. You need shades for the beach, I love these Toms Sandela sunglasses. And their sunglasses are part of their one for one campaign just like their shoes! 4. A simple read is perfect for the beach (when I’m not chasing after Z). Right now I’m enjoying Revenge Wears Prada (the sequel to the Devil Wears Prada). 5. I love the idea of this Beach Mat with Pillow from Target for lounging at the beach, and it rolls up for convenient schlepping from the car! 6.¬†I still wear classic J. Crew flip flops every summer. and 7. Large, classic L.L.Bean tote to carry your towel, reading material, sunblock, etc…

**Don’t forget your sunscreen! I wear Neutrogena Ultimate Sport on my body and Elta MD on my face.

Assembled at Assembly Row

I was excited to be asked to pay a visit to the new Assembled Handmade Arts Market at Assembly Row in Somerville, we’ve been meaning to stop by and check it out. Every summer Saturday from 11 -4pm over 80 artists and a handful of food trucks assemble – we went this past weekend and had a blast. The diversity of booths was great – jewelry, knitwear, food items, painted art and so much more, there really was something for everyone.

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We were pleasantly surprised at how many artists were there set-up to sell. We let Z out of her stroller and followed her lead at first…

 

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She loved this artist selling these cute ceramic dogs – she definitely thought they were real.

 

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My husband liked this booth selling all natural BBQ rubs – they even have one that is salt free!

 

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Z and I were enamored with the bold necklaces and other jewelry that we saw, no surprise there.

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I almost wasn’t able to leave without one of these custom birch wall art pieces, don’t you love that forest scene on the bottom right?

 

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And look at this artist selling wood bangles and these beautiful handmade bowls.

 

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But then I saw this little tent selling handmade sandals, that’s right – hand. made. sandals. I spotted the green slingbacks and I was sold!

 

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Then it was time for lunch. There were a few food truck options and we picked The Happy Taco and Bon Me (we had to get their banh mi after we had just made our own).

 

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We waited forever for our tacos but when we got them we knew why…the fish taco was freshly fried and piping hot. We also got the lobstah taco – you guys, SO worth the wait. YUM!

 

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From the Bon Me truck we got a traditional pulled pork sandwich that was just out of this world.

All in all, a great way to spend the afternoon. Check it out this summer – you have until September 21st. And don’t forget to get that fish taco if The Happy Taco is there when you go!

 

*Disclaimer: I received complimentary goods for this post, however all above opinions and thoughts are my very own.