A New Season: Spring

Happy official spring!

Finally! The weather may not have caught up yet, but I can see the glimmer of light at the end of the tunnel. In the cold, grey days of March, it was such a pleasure to think of the bright and bold things to come.

As you might have been able to tell by my last post, the end of winter tends to be a down point in my year. It’s the strangest thing, but it’s pretty consistent (and annoying at that). But at last, we can rejoice in sunny days, brighter colors, and fresh and crisp food! Everything comes down to food, you know.

In celebration of the warmer season, here is a collection of things that I’m ready to bust out for our first Spring dinner. We’ll invite some close friends over, light up the grill, and enjoy the warm air outside under the clear evening sky!

To Drink

Drinks of course can be non alcoholic or alcoholic, but I find the second kind to be a bit more enjoyable. This pomegranate-grapefruit paloma is just right with a bit of the winter citrus but a distinctly warm weather feel. If you prefer something without any extra work, a fresh lemonade or a crisp glass of rose will absolutely do the job!

Pomegranate Grapefuit Paloma 

To Eat

Early spring may seem a bit early to break out the big guns on the bbq. Instead, ease in to the season with a grilled pizza. It’s easy to make, gives your party goers something fun to watch while they wait, and is ridiculously delicious. We tend to go the traditional route with our toppings, since my husband isn’t fond of straying very far, but I am dreaming of a caprese with balsamic reduction. Heaven in my mouth.

Grilled Pizza

While you’re at the grill anyways, you might as well throw on some seasonal fruit. Sprinkle slices with a little brown sugar and grill it up. Once you have a nice crust, top it off with some vanilla ice cream and call it dessert. We’re not here to be fancy, we’re here to relax and eat well.

Grilled Peaches

This recipe is a little more complex, but still incredibly easy. Plus, look at it. Seriously.

The Setting

Some of my favorite warm weather moments are the nights that you talk with your friends outside in the warm air. Imagine sitting back on your chair, chatting with your friends under the soft glow of these pretty lights strung up over you.

Outdoor Lighting

Ahh, isn’t that better? Oh spring, I’m so happy you’re finally here!

Beauty in the Feast

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I’ve wanted to host a brunch for over two years now. No joke. While pregnant I created a Bucket List of things I wanted to do pre-baby. Some items listed were with friends (concert, spa day), some things with Glenn (kayaking, MS walk), and some things just for me (completing a paint by numbers, yoga).

I’m just going to cut to the chase and admit that I completed very few of these (I’m looking at you paint by numbers). Once heavily pregnant and especially after having a newborn, I was lucky to be getting 5 hours of sleep a night. Thereafter, drinking coffee while it was still hot and naps were the sole occupants of my bucket list.

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After a year of pregnancy and infanthood, my interest in hosting a brunch was once again peaked when I saw the breakfast board (cue heavenly choir and a soft spotlight). An amalgamation of my favorite things- morning and cheese plates essentially, with a little English continental breakfast thrown in. Oh yes, this was going to happen.

Yea, so that was in April.

Come late June, I figured the time was as good as ever. My birthday was coming up and if that wasn’t reason enough to make it happen, I don’t know what was. Glenn would be in charge of Jackson and I would finally have my ladies over for a relaxing morning brunch. It was finally going to happen!

Except, of course, my two best girl friends had travel plans that essentially put one or the other out of the state for the next month. Okay, so it wasn’t going to happen on or near my actual birthday- but the plan was tentatively set in place. It was going to happen… eventually!

Over the course of the month, I collected little treats here and there. Some wine my friend had brought me from Santa Barbara, chocolates another friend brought from Austria, the almond champagne Glenn had gotten me for my birthday. And with every new treat I garnered more and more excitement (It’s the little things apparently).

I bought blueberry vanilla goat cheese for Tootsie, a creamy brie for me, and crusty French bread rolls to slather it all on. The day of I piled it all on my largest chopping board, along with a smathering of grape tomatoes, strawberries, avocado, and blueberries. I added little pots of Nutella and jam to seal the deal. It was gorgeous.

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(Not shown was the random, much smaller, cutting board with butter and some salami)

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Seriously you guys, I felt like one of those food photographers.

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Last one, I promise

And then we ate it. And it was delicious.

With our bellies full of food (and a bit too much wine), we spent the rest of the day lounging around. Jeannette headed out five hours later (as she was the more adult of all of us and hadn’t imbibed so much), but Tootsie and I ordered in Chinese food for dinner and chatted until 8pm. For those counting, that was a 10 hour brunch.

Totally made the 2 year wait worth it.

Happily Ever After- The Invitations

Love you then, Love you still. Always have, Always will.

My oldest and dearest friend is getting married to one amazing guy this fall. Ever since their engagement earlier this year, I’ve been buzzing with excitement.

I love weddings. I love the heartfelt words and watery eyes and butterflies. I love seeing family and friends traveling distances near and far to celebrate the happiness of two people they love dearly. I love the glittering decorations, decadent cakes, and celebratory bubbles. I love being out of breath from dancing and celebrating, and I love the quiet moments of watching the bride and her father on the dance floor.

I love it all.

Thankfully, my friend is more than willing to share this beautiful time in her life with me. In the next few months, I’ll be soaking it all in- first as I plan her bridal shower and bachelorette party and then as she and her new husband take their vows.

Which brings me to last night.

Tootsie called me a few weeks ago to ask whether I’d be up for an invitation stuffing party. Yes, she actually asked. Like she didn’t know all she had to do was say the words wine and wedding and I’d already be there.

So last night we all met up in her cozy condo. We poured wine and her talented fiancé cooked up an amazing dinner. We chatted for hours as we worked, taking sips of chilled rosé here and there and laughing constantly.

It was a gorgeous night, full of camaraderie and excitement for the future.

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