Sunday was a dreary day in the Bay Area and we finally saw a trace of rain, but you would’t know it was cold and cloudy by the looks of this fabulous Chardonnay in my dining room. If you’re on the hunt for a Chardonnay that is full bodied with a hint of butterscotch, then look no further!
White Oak Vineyards & Winery Chardonnay is a true chardonnay in every sense; from the honeydew melon and tropical fruit flavors to the toasty oak finish. My personal preference when it comes to Chardonnay is to taste a bit of fruit and not a ton of oak. There’s a reason this variety is one of White Oak’s best sellers that they’ve been producing since the 1980’s.
This bottle retails for $26 and is truly worth every penny. You’ll want to savor every sip…as I am right now while writing this post!
A couple weekends ago I was the lucky guest at my girlfriend, Cindy’s bridal shower. Her friends, Rose and Christine hosted a gorgeous event at Christine’s home and I had to share some of their fabulous decorations and ideas. They mostly came from Pinterest which is where I love to get ideas for everything from cooking to bathroom remodel ideas.
The event was a champagne brunch with delicious quiches, french toast, cheeses and croissants. There was even cake for dessert of course!
The cake was so beautiful that I can’t wait to see the wedding cake!
The champagne area included a mimosa bar with 3 kinds of juices and if your champagne was getting a bit warm, then there were champagne ice cubes to help keep it cool (genius!). To keep the champagne cool, Rose made ice cubes filled with gorgeous flowers just for decoration.
My gift to the bride was four bottles of wine for four of the “firsts” the newlyweds will experience in the coming year (first wedding night, first anniversary, first dinner party, and a bottle for just because). I should have taken a picture of it in the basket I put it in…much cuter than the bottles just sitting out!
I love a great brunch. I love it even more when champagne is involved and it’s even better when you can enjoy it all with good friends! We have one last hurrah to celebrate Cindy next weekend before she gets hitched!
I lived in Chicago for a couple of years and hands down one of my favorite places to eat was Lou Malnati’s. I loved it so much that when I moved back to California, my neighbor and friend, Aleida shipped me their pizza for my birthday. Recently, I found a slow cooker recipe for deep dish pizza on Pinterest. I was a tad skeptical and Ted was definitely questioning my judgment, but we tried it anyway.
Trader Joe’s makes an awesome fresh pizza dough, so I decided to use that. The original recipe calls for a sautéed onion and to simmer the crushed tomatoes. I omitted the onion and skipped heating up the tomatoes. It turned out to be spectacular! Sure, it still isn’t Lou Malnati’s but it definitely satisfied my craving for deep dish pizza without having to fly all the way to Chicago! Even better was that it all went into the slow cooker so I didn’t have to rush at dinner time and adding the parchment paper meant no mess!
1 pound homemade pizza dough (Trader Joe's works great!)
2 tablespoon cornmeal
2 teaspoons garlic powder
28 ounce can crushed tomatoes
2 teaspoons dried Italian Seasoning
1 1/2 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon salt
2 cups shredded italian blend cheese
1/2 pound italian pork sausage, cooked
Garnishes: Parmesan cheese and chopped parsley
This recipe works best in a large oval 6-8 quart slow cooker. Roll the pizza dough out onto a large piece of parchment paper. Make sure to roll and stretch to dough into an oval 2 inches longer and 2 inches wider than the crock of the slow cooker. Sprinkle with cornmeal and press into both sides of the crust. Then use the edges of the paper to lower the crust into the crock.
Mix garlic powder, Italian Seasoning, salt, sugar, and crushed tomatoes.
Meanwhile, cook the pork sausage in a separate skillet, breaking apart with a wooden spoon.
Spread the cheese over the bottom of the pizza crust. Lift and stretch the sides of the dough so they stand up past the cheese. Sprinkle the crumbled sausage over the cheese. Then spread the tomato sauce over the sausage. Lift and stretch the sides of the crust again so it is above the edge of the sauce.
Cover the slow cooker with a long piece of paper towel. Then place the lid over the paper towel and pull it tight. This helps catch excess moisture.
Slow cook the pizza for 2-4 hours on high, or 4-6 hours on low. When you are ready to serve, lift the pizza out of the crock by the edges of the parchment paper and sprinkle the top with parmesan cheese and parsley. Cut into 4 pieces.
It’s been over a year since I started hearing from girlfriends about these to-die-for leggings that women are basically live in. They are called LuLaRoe and it wasn’t until recently that I finally tried some of these leggings for myself…and then I discovered the shirts…and the skirts…and that there’s even more styles! See for yourself how happy I am wearing my new LLR Maxi! I’m now the proud owner of one maxi, 4 pairs of leggings and an Irma. I’d own more, but I’m trying to limit myself somewhat!
I met my friend Kristen and her husband Matt in our birthing class for Toddler D. They’ve since moved to San Diego and become LuLaRoe Fashion Consultants, in addition to maintaining their full-time day jobs and raising their gorgeous little girl. Since I’ve been intrigued by these leggings, Kristen has been kind enough to educate me and add me to her Facebook group, Style Savvy Shopping by LuLaRoe where the sales happen, you can look at styled outfits and post pictures of the unicorns you’re in search of.
Before I show off my new threads I want to share a bit about LuLaRoe. Their motto is “where through fashion we create freedom, serve others and strengthen families. A place where lives are being blessed and dreams achieved through love, confidence, purpose and growth.” LuLaRoe creator, DeAnne Stidham was a single mother of seven children who wanted to balance work and home life. She met a pair of dress wholesalers and was inspired to start a company that liquidated end-of-season dresses through Pop-Up Boutiques. The wholesalers loved DeAnn’s talent and believed in her. The Dress Party was born! With the help of her husband, Mark, LuLaRoe was launched.
LuLaRoe was launched in 2012 with the first maxi skirt cut and sewn for DeAnne’s pregnant daughter. Her friends then wanted one and soon she was making 40 skirts by hand. Wanting to inspire and help other women gain financial freedom, DeAnne figured she’d let other women sell the skirts. In February 2016, there were 10,000 consultants, but today there are over 25,000 consultants! LuLaRoe is about to become a $1billion company and joining the ranks of Google, Apple, eBay, and Facebook. 2015 saw sales of $79million but in Q1 of 2016, sales were already at $110million!
The materials are oh so soft and comfortable to wear. Since I work from home, I love the leggings and the Irma shirt. The maxi skirt which can be converted into a dress is also super comfy. What’s the downfall? Wanting to buy every single item in all of the fun styles and prints! Prices vary from $23 (kid’s leggings) to $70. There are only 2500 pieces of clothing produced in a single print (leggings not included), so you need to jump on an item if you love it or you could end up searching for your perfect unicorn. The products are named after DeAnne’s family members, so you might love a Julia, Cassie, Carly, Bianka, Lindsay, Monroe, Randy, Nicole, Irma or Joy! (below are some descriptions of the various styles)
Are you ready to grab a pair of leggings yet? Kristen and I have teamed up to giveaway a pair of leggings to one lucky follower. All you have to do is join the FB group Style Savvy Shopping by LuLaRoe and comment below that you’re more than ready to join the LLR phenomenon and start living your life comfortably! We’ll pick someone at random to receive the leggings by Monday, September 19th! What are you waiting for?!
YES, wine definitely goes with everything. I would never argue that statement. As fall is quickly approaching and all you can think about is curling up on the couch to watch your shows or catch up on what you’ve missed, turning on the fireplace and enjoying your favorite glass (or bottle!) of wine, you might need a snack to enjoy with your wine. Popcorn is the perfect answer and SkinnyPop knows all about us wine lovers.
I only recently learned about SkinnyPop popcorn from my girlfriend, Laura. She raves about it and when she watched Toddler D when Baby K was born I had asked what food, drinks and snacks she’d like on hand. The first thing she said was SkinnyPop and the second was Chardonnay. Ok, maybe the Chardonnay was her first request, but you get my point!
SkinnyPop has put together an exclusive wine and popcorn pairing for our easy reference. I have to say that I’m really craving the Chardonnay and White Cheddar pairing, but the Pinot Noir and Dusted Dark Chocolate also has my eye.
Tonight, I’ll be enjoying Original SkinnyPop, La Crema Pinot Noir Rose and staying comfy in my LuLaRoe leggings while catching up on Real Housewives Orange County! Stay tuned for more on LulaRoe with my good friend, Kristen!
Which pairing do you want to try and what tv indulgence are you going to enjoy it with?