May 29, 2014

blue skies and stripes

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Tank: Rag & Bone. Shorts: James Jeans. Sunnies: Gucci. Sandals: Adam Tucker. Bag: A.P.C.

Rag & Bone tops and I are having a summer fling.

I know what you’re thinking. Believe me, I was thinking the same thing when I bought it. $115 is an obscene amount of money to spend on a tank top. Obscene I tell you! Yet here I am, sporting my pretty new Rag & Bone Bowery tank in the Arizona desert. (Sidebar: I really don’t like the term tank top. It reminds me of this. Sticking with “tank” or “sleeveless top” from now on.)

The thing is, sometimes when you find a piece of clothing that you love, a shirt that makes you feel good when you wear it, you just have to swallow the price tag and go for it. I am going to wear the sh*t out of this tank, because it is well made, drapes beautifully and makes me feel confident. Quality, not quantity, is my (really unoriginal) motto.

May 28, 2014

love notes

Mother's Day
{Mother’s Day at Stoller Winery}

Pug{Sometimes this little guy looks so sad}

PS{Palm Springs before the Rings}

PS Bungalow{Our lovely PS oasis}

Laguna Beach{Quick lunch stop in Laguna Beach}

May 27, 2014

four seasons scottsdale

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I’m starting to think that all of those retirees and “snowbirds” in Arizona are on to something…

As I mentioned last week, Phil and I recently escaped the Portland rain for four blissful days in Scottsdale, AZ. We stayed at the Four Seasons Scottsdale, which I highly recommend for a relaxing couples getaway. We spent our days hiking, lounging by the pool and playing tennis, and our nights drinking wine on the patio and enjoying long dinners without a care in the world.

I’ll be honest, I was skeptical of it at first, but Arizona – or rather specifically Scottsdale – is a magical place. The desert scenery is shockingly beautiful for how dry and, well, desert-y it is (I’m thisclose to covering my condo in potted baby cacti and navajo prints). And when the sun, which burns so hot and brightly during the day, begins to set behind the rocks, casting rays of soft light in every color imaginable? Forget it, I’m a total goner, enamored of the southwest’s awe-inspiring beauty.

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The grounds of the Four Seasons are sprawling with desert flora and stunning rock formations.

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A sunset view from dinner. Could you die?

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Every night ended with cocktails, shuffleboard and/or ice cream sundaes (chocolate chip cookie, vanilla ice cream, hot fudge and whipped cream please!) at Proof, a yummy, casual on-site restaurant with fantastic modern industrial decor. How about I just pocket those copper salt and pepper shakers, thanks.

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My handsome travel partner, basking in the glory of his come-from-behind shuffleboard victory, no doubt.

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The perfect setting to sunbathe. Give me an adults-only pool area, a plush lounge chair and a good book and I’m done for the day.

Scottsdale, I hope to see you again soon.

May 26, 2014

orzo salad

Orzo-Salad

I’ve made this orzo salad twice now, once for Mother’s Day and again today for Memorial Day. I love that it has very few ingredients, but a lot of flavor. As much as I love basil, the mint is really the star, giving the dish a fresh depth.

Hope everyone had a fabulous long weekend, I know we sure did. We spent the weekend eating and drinking with friends and family, and getting deeper and deeper into House of Cards. Yes, please. I felt like it had been a long time since I really cooked anything, so I spent some much needed 1-on-1 time with my kitchen. Other things on the menu from this weekend: salmon with dill instead of rosemary and omitted the capers, sauteed scallops, farro salad with barley instead of farro, corn, tomato and basil salad, and last but certainly not least, strawberry shortcake, oh my!

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Orzo Salad
serves 6

INGREDIENTS
1 1/2 cups orzo
1 (15-ounce) can garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed
1 1/2 cups red and yellow teardrop tomatoes or grape tomatoes, halved
3/4 cup finely chopped red onion
1/2 cup chopped fresh basil leaves
1/4 cup chopped fresh mint leaves
About 3/4 cup Red Wine Vinaigrette, recipe follows
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Red Wine Vinaigrette
1/2 cup red wine vinegar
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
2 teaspoons honey
2 teaspoons salt
3/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 cup extra-virgin olive oil

PREPARATION
Bring water to a boil over high heat. Stir in the orzo. Cover partially and cook until the orzo is tender but still firm to the bite, stirring frequently, about 7 minutes. Drain the orzo through a strainer. Transfer the orzo to a large wide bowl and toss until the orzo cools slightly. Set aside to cool completely.

Toss the orzo with the beans, tomatoes, onion, basil, mint, and enough vinaigrette to coat. Season the salad, to taste, with salt and pepper, and serve at room temperature.

Red Wine Vinaigrette:
Mix the vinegar, lemon juice, honey, salt, and pepper in a blender. With the machine running, gradually blend in the oil. Season the vinaigrette, to taste, with more salt and pepper.

May 22, 2014

desert heat

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Tank: Rag & Bone. Jeans: Joe’s. Sweatshirt: James Perse. Sandals: Adam Tucker. Sunnies: Gucci. Bag: A.P.C. Watch: Burberry. Bracelet: Linea Pelle

Several weeks ago, I spent a long, four-day weekend in Central Oregon with my family. The weather was cool but clear, the scenery picturesque, and the tennis courts were beckoning, “Come play with us.” Idyllic, non?

The thing is, I couldn’t really get away on my getaway. There was too much going on back at home – three work projects in full swing and closing on our first home (oh yeah, we bought a condo by the way). My heart rate rose with every “ping” of my iPhone, alerting me to a new email like an immediate call to action. I hardly slept, worked most days, and clutched my phone – that blessed and cursed device that keeps us all connected – throughout the entire trip.

Six short days later, Phil and I had closed on the condo and were on our way to Scottsdale for a romantic, four-day vacation. Exact same amount of time that I had just spent in Central Oregon, but somehow it felt so much longer. More luxurious. My out-of-office message was up, and I was officially unavailable. Sure, I kept my phone with me most of the time (I have an addiction, sir!) but that familiar “ping” no longer signaled a call to action. Whatever responsibility was waiting for me at home, it could wait. Vacation really is a state of mind.