vegan challenge

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to you all.  I hope all your homes are decorated, shopping is done and all your holiday parties have been great.  I haven't done much decorating or partying but thankfully my shopping is done. :)

What I'm really excited about is the new year which is coming so fast...right?!  Where did this year go?  I was recently approached by blogging friend, Laura Henderson who is the Executive Director of an organization called Pasado Safe Haven, a non-profit working to end animal cruelty and create a more compassionate world.  She asked me if I'd be interested in doing a New Year's resolution post and because New Years is my favorite holiday and I love personal challenges, I said Yes. Pasado's Safe Haven is launching a new initiative called 7 lives in 7 days which inspires people to try and hopefully maintain for life, a vegan diet.

Click here for a full 7 day menu of healthy, delicious meals.  

They include a shopping list and a swap list.  To be honest, I don't eat that fancy throughout the week.  I eat oatmeal every morning and a salad for lunch.  Dinners revolve around beans and pasta dishes.  It's so super simple, super economical.

Not only will you be doing your health an amazing favor, who doesn't need a healthier happier you right now?  You will also be helping stop the horrid treatment and suffering of beautiful animals that needlessly die to feed us.  Also, animal agriculture is the most destructive industry on this planet. What a way to start a new year!  You can start today or you can make it the best New Year's resolution ever.  My suggestion would be to have a good pantry and refrigerator clean out right after Christmas.  Stock the kitchen with lots of healthy foods for this challenge and then just go for it.
You in?

P.S. - I'm back on Instagram


where there's a will

...there is a way. Yesterday we had 24 guests inside our house for a sit down dinner, a feat I never thought possible and yet it worked.  Cold drizzly weather left us no choice.  It was cozy to say the least.  These are the before pictures, I was too tired to take afters.

I clipped foliage from the trees outside.

We had to move the refrigerator in order to squeeze in a table for the food.  That essentially cut off a good portion of the house.  So instead of being in 970 sq ft, we were in about 600.

The black and cream toile is a drapery panel.  The napkins are just cut fabric, I didn't have the time to sew them but no one seemed to care.  The flatware is from my childhood.

The stuffed portobello mushrooms were a big hit even with the meat eaters. All in all it was a success.  I'm exhausted but giving thanks that I don't work today.  The linens are being washed as I type and the house will slowly be put back together.  How was your day? x


autumn stuffed portobello mushrooms

Hello from crazy land.  I honestly cannot remember when I've been this busy and I want it to stop. I also feel bad I haven't posted any good vegan recipes in a long time.  Also, this will be the first year in a long time that turkey will be served here.  I won't be preparing or eating it but we have about 25 people coming and for some reason that's what they want to eat.  I'll be ordering most of the meal from a local market.  I'll make the vegan main though and this is it.  It's so easy you can do it in about 30 minutes, unless you follow the recipe Stephen Andrew Jones gave me for prepping the mushroom caps.  Have you been following his Thanksgiving preps? They have been so good and hilarious at the same time.  I think we should all band together and try to get him on TV somehow. Can you even imagine how great that'd be?

Autumn Stuffed Portobellos

6 Portobello Mushrooms (I used mini ones here but the large ones will work)
1 1/2 cups cooked rice (I used brown here but wild rice would be pretty)
1/2 cup fine dice onion
1/2 cup fine dice celery
1/2 cup fine dice apple
1/4 cup dried cranberries
1/4 cup sunflower seeds
1- 2 Tablespoons balsamic vinegar

Saute the onion and celery til soft in a little olive oil
Add the apple, cranberries and sunflower seeds and saute for about 3 minutes
Add the rice and mix thoroughly
Drizzle in the balsamic vinegar - add more to taste if needed
Season with Salt and Pepper

Stephen Andrew Jones mushroom prep in his words, "make them totally vegan and do an herb/garlic "butter" of olive oil, salt, tons of thyme, cayenne, and like 25 cloves of garlic in the food processor. I rub that all over them, roast in hot oven for a few min to evaporate moisture"

Or you can brush the inside with a little olive oil, salt, pepper and put them in the oven for about 5 minutes.

Stuff each portobello with 1/4 to 1/3 cup mixture and bake in 350 degree oven for 20 minutes and serve.  They are good hot or at room temp.  The mushroom is soft and delicious and there is a nice crunch from the celery, apple and sunflower seeds.  These will go well with mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes and green beans so you will not feel left out.  xo


everlane drop shoulder tee review

The Drop Shoulder Tee is a great tee.  It's only the 2nd Everlane tee I've tried but I like it a lot. You can read my Ryan tee and tank review here.  If you recall my only issue with the Ryan was that I preferred to wear it backwards. You don't have to wear this one backwards:)  My favorite part about this tee is the sleeve.  It goes all the way down to the elbow and is finished with a nice wide hem. The bottom is finished with the same hem.  The neck is not huge either which is good if your decolletage looks anything like mine.  They call this color Clay but in real life it's a pretty brown.  I should have fancied up the styling here but I was in a hurry and honestly this is how I look most days.  I've washed the tee twice and hang to dry and it seems quite durable.  The cotton is even produced here in the USA.  I ordered a small and like the looser fit.

Other details...

The Madden Girl Krespo bootie is pretty much sold out everywhere but This boot, also made by Madden Girl is quite chic and on sale.  It's such a comfortable shoe if you are on your feet all day.

The handbag is also vegan, made by Deux Lux - similar here.   This handbag will last forever, it's so well made and does not look cheap/flimsy like some vegan handbags can.  It comes with a long detachable strap so you can wear it crossbody style if you want.  I wore it all through Europe and it was perfect for travel.

I was able to purchase this tee with credits I earned from you!  If you'd like to use my code here it is...

If you'd rather not, go directly to their website Here.  Everlane has really upped their game making beautifully made and downright luxurious clothing but still keeping the price low because they've cut out the middleman.  If you'd like to read about how the tee's are made, click here.  It's pretty impressive.  

So that's it.  Happy Friday to you all, enjoy your weekend.  I'll be working.  x

what to wear on thanksgiving

Me-Too flats. So Comfortable for being on your feet all day.

Is it too early to discuss Thanksgiving Day Fashion?  I didn't think so.  I had an appointment on Tuesday that required me to pull myself together for the day and this is what I wore.  It was a long day and at the end I realized that this would be perfect for Thanksgiving day. This year we will be hosting and as all American's know it is a really really long day.  Dinner will be served outside like this again, so I gotta be comfy because of all the in and out.  So the other day I wore this $2 brown vintage floral blouse, remember when I bought it at that great Palm Springs estate sale?  

I wish I could link to beautiful vintage blouses that cost $2 but I can't. You have to dig through piles of crap to find them. But this gorgeous one at Ann Taylor Loft is on sale and I'd wear it in a minute with cute jeans. What are you wearing, will you be comfortable and is all that work worth it? x


maidenhair fern

Way back in May when Country Living came and shot the house, one of the best things they brought was this gorgeous maidenhair fern. Side note - I just found out my house will be in the April 2016 issue.  I've always loved these ferns but have never been able to keep one alive for more than a month.  I'm not sure what I did that killed them off so quickly besides over watering and putting them in the wrong location. Apparently I've got it figured out because this one is not only still alive but it's thriving.

One of the things you read about them is that they don't like to be moved around.  Well this one was put in the back seat of our car and driven 700 miles to northern Utah where it was met with several days of blizzard weather conditions.  I placed it in our bedroom which has eastern light and low and behold, it didn't die.  It went through quite a few extreme weather conditions while there and none of them bothered it.

We shoved it in the backseat again on the way back and then put it in its current location which gets mostly eastern light and OMG, it's still living.  So to keep one alive I'd...

1.  Place where it would get ample eastern light if at all possible.

2.  Water deeply just before it gets completely dry.  About once a week depending on weather conditions.  You want it to stay pretty evenly moist.  Not soggy and not dry.

So far that's all I've done to keep it alive.  Have you had any luck with them?  I'd love to know if you've fertilized or any other tips you've used to keep them alive.   x


hello again

I thought I'd share a few photos with you.  As I said in my last post about being busy, that is still happening.  My work situation has changed a bit and I'm getting situated in a new room and that takes time.  I'm pretty excited about my new assignment and I'll share more about that with you later. 

A small outdoor gathering we had this weekend.

A glimpse of Alex and B's living room

The newest addition to our big fat dysfunctional family. :)  Lily.

A corner of my new room.

See you all soon when hopefully I'll have something riveting to say.  Don't hold your breath. x

settle down

I honestly cannot remember the last time I was this busy.  It's been almost 3 weeks since we've been back and I just now feel as if I can settle down a bit.  Getting the garden taken care of has been high on the list.  It did take a beating but to be honest it always does in the summer.  I'll try and get some photos this weekend.

Did you know we had a caretaker that actually stayed here?  We did and it was the best thing.  The gal who stayed here was a meticulous cleaner.  I've pretty much fallen in love with all the cleaning products she used.  The house sparkled and smelled so good when we walked in.  She also bought a mop and bucket, something I've never used here.  I've always just gotten down on my hands and knees, which now that I'm using this mop, I realize how ridiculous I've been.  Before this, I thought all mops were bulky and smelled, but this one dries out quickly and cleans so well.  So thank you for that Katie.

She also put Mrs. Myers Lavender hand soap in the bathrooms.  Smells soooo good.
And Mrs. Meyers Red Clover dish soap and all purpose cleaner in the kitchen.  The whole house smells heavenly.

Can I just say...I adore being home.  x


home sweeeeet home

Just a quick pop in to say...I'M HOME.  There really is no place quite like home right?!  I cut a few ferns, stuck them in a vase and took a some photos to share.  One of the nice things is that Country Living left me a few goodies that I had almost forgotten about.

Such a gorgeous rich color that goes with everything in the living room.

I have a lot to get organized so I'll be back shortly.  Thank you for all the thoughtful comments you've left over the last 5 months.  You have no idea how much they helped me keep my sanity. Larry would argue that last sentence. Ok, I'm going to go have a look at a pretty bird in my yard.  x

fall color

Hello and happy Friday to you.  As promised here are some pictures of the gorgeous fall color going on right now. Yesterday we had snow and were worried that it'd knock down all the leaves but they hung on for dear life.  We have hiked the bejeezus out of these hills. By the time I go home I will have logged close to 600 miles hiking and most of it has been up steep ski runs.  Larry will have over 1000 hiking miles clocked.  We will be heading home soon and while I cannot wait to get home I will miss the fresh air and these daily spectacular hikes.  I hope you enjoy these pictures as much as I've enjoyed taking them.

brrrr - yesterday



ahhhh autumn

Autumn has definitely arrived here on the top of the mountain.  The last few days have been heavy on "color hikes" searching for the most spectacular colors of changing leaves. Tomorrow we have a great hike planned that is supposed to be incredibly rich in fall color. In the meantime I'm dying to get home to decorate and organize for my favorite season.  For the time being though, all I can do is take a look back and share some of my favorite fall photos, a little bit of fashion, food and decor...

similar cardigan at  The Limited

Will be back soon with some gorgeous fall color.  x

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