I've been dying over the new home decor items from Target recently. Having a chic home on a budget is SO attainable theses days. You could fool anyone on what you spent if you put together a room with these fabulous pieces. Mix high-shine, luxurious gold with bold graphic patterns and cute details for the perfect room. I mean, just look at that cute hedgehog lamp. Who could resist?



A few weeks ago I shared my tour of the Round Pond winery and olive oil mill. Ever since then, I can't stop thinking about all of the uses for their flavored olive oil. It had been a while since I made madeleines. They are pretty easy to bake but require a little bit of patience as you wait for the dough to chill. I had a thought, what if I used olive oil instead of butter (I can just hear the French screaming)? What if I took it one step further and used Round Pond's Meyer Lemon olive oil to give it one more lemon-ey twist? 

The result is below. The madeleines turned out perfectly and tasted incredible (if I do say so myself). I based my recipe on David Lebovitz's with a few substitutions (namely the olive oil). 

Olive Oil Madeleines with Lemon Earl Grey Glaze

  • 3 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 2/3 cup granulated sugar
  • Rounded 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/4 cup flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • Zest of one small lemon (this makes it extra lemon-ey) 
  • 7 1/2 tablespoons of Meyer Lemon Olive Oil 
2 Earl Gray Tea Bags 
  • 3/4 cup (150g) powdered sugar
  • 1 tablespoon freshly-squeezed lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons water

  • Step No. 1

  • Brush the indentations of a madeleine mold with olive oil. Dust with flour, tap off any excess, and place in the fridge or freezer.
Step No. 2

In the bowl of a standing electric mixer, whip the eggs, granulated sugar, and salt for 5 minutes until frothy and thickened.

Step No. 3 

Mix the flour and baking powder. Slowly fold into the wet mixture. 

Step No. 4

Add the lemon zest to the olive oil, then dribble the olive oil into the batter, a few spoonfuls at a time, while simultaneously folding to incorporate the olive oil. Fold just until all the olive oil is incorporated.

Step No. 5

Cover with plastic wrap and put in the freezer or refridgerator for about an hour until firm and cold.

Step No. 6

While batter cools, mix lemon juice and water in a microwavable bowl. Put in the microwave for 40 sec until steaming hot. Add two tea bags to lemon water and let sit for 5 mins.

Step No. 7

Set oven to 425 degrees. Mix together lemon juice tea mixture with powdered sugar. Set aside. 

Step No. 8 

Spoon one scoop of cooled dough into molds. Fill it so it is about 3/4 full but do not spread batter. 

Step No. 9 

Bake for about 8-10 minutes until edges are golden brown and tops are set. 

Step No. 9 

Pop out of molds and set on a drying rack to cool. Once cool to the touch, dip shell side into the glaze and allow excess to drip down. 

Enjoy with a spot of tea as a perfect afternoon treat. 

So pretty and, even more important, tasty.

This post was done in collaboration with Round Pond Winery and Olive Mill. Thank you for supporting the brands featured on this blog. 



The summer glow is fading but that doesnt mean that your makeup and skin can't look amazing in the fall. I have some wonderful new products to share with you. These are the products that I am most excited about these days and that I have been reaching for most often. Let's dig in...

While this color is a bit darker than I typically wear, it is perfect for fall. The moisturizing formula layers on to create a beautifully, saturated vampy color. It is the perfect compliment to cozy fall sweaters and otherwise minimalistic makeup. 

This stuff is crazy amazing. It says it hydrates for 26 hours, which is a bit of a stretch to me but it does keep my skin moisturized all day long. I bet if I didn't wash my face, it would continue working throughout the night. I just love how it sits under makeup and how it really does change the moisture level of my skin. I'd imagine it would work wonders if you lived in a dry, cold climate. 

What can I say? I'm on a bit of a Kevyn Aucoin kick lately. I really like the glow that this waterproof, 12-hour wear glow cream gives. It is very subtle so it looks natural and it really does last all day. Layered on top of the moisturizer above and my favorite liquid foundation, it really creates a pretty, natural look.  

On days when I need a little extra help, I reach for this YSL blur primer. I go back and forth between wearing primer and not but sometimes it helps to create a even-ing base for foundation. This primer does an incredible job of blurring imperfections. It is hard to describe but when you apply it, your skin looks more matte and evened-out. It also smells delicious which is an added bonus. 

In the beauty world, you can't watch a YouTube video without hearing about this product. I have to admit, it's not just part of a craze, it's actually a really amazing product. For those of you not super familiar with what a setting powder is, you apply it on top of makeup to "set" it or keep it in place. I use this powder around my eyes to prevent my concealer and eyeshadow from creasing. I also apply it on my t-zone to keep it matte all day. It layers on top of existing makeup and looks perfectly natural. 

So those are my latest beauty favorites. I have really been into perfecting the glowy look that has been all over the Spring 2016 shows. It starts with a great moisturizer (and a few hydrating masks) plus a blurring primer and a subtle highlighter. They all come together to give you a fresh, dewy glow. Perfect for the golden days of fall. Until next time real beauty girls...



It took me awhile to get used to fall in San Francisco. I still do a double-take when I look at the weather and the temps are in the 70s in October. Sometimes, it can be hard to want to cozy up in the SF fall because you are still wearing white summer dresses.

One thing that is easy to get behind is fall foods. Give me everything pumpkin, everything spiced and everything maple. I love it all. These pumpkin ginger scones have all of my favorite elements of fall in one tasty package. The other thing that's super awesome is that these are whole wheat AND don't have any refined sugar (if you don't add the glaze) AND no eggs. I followed this recipe from the New York Times. Next time I make them I will probably add one more tablespoon of maple syrup to give a little more sweetness and a full 1/2 teaspoon of grated ginger because I like them a little spicy. But overall these scones are pretty perfect!

I love them paired with the Fall Blend from Starbucks. The full-bodied flavors of the coffee mix well with the sweet, spiciness of the scones. I also like to pour in a little of my homemade vanilla syrup. I received this adorable simple syrup kit that makes the process super easy. You just fill the sugar to the sugar line then add warm water to the water line and shake. I added a vanilla bean for flavoring. It is the perfect accompaniment to my coffee.

My plan this fall is to curl up with a good cup of coffee, a scone warm from the oven and a few new books (right now I am reading Mindy's new book) Sounds pretty good, right?

This post was in partnership with Starbucks. Thank you for supporting the brands that are 
featured on the blog. 



Whenever I see padron peppers on the menu at a restaurant, I make sure to order them. Why? Because they are only in season for a short period of time and they are such a fun appetizer. One in twelve peppers is spicy so every time you take bite you are taking a little gamble. The best part is that they are super easy to make. I added a little creamy goat cheese sauce to round out the perfect appetizer.

Step No. 1

Wash and dry the peppers.

Step No. 2

In a small bowl add 3/4 cups of whipped or spreadable goat cheese.

Step No. 3

Add about 2 tablespoons of chives, a sprinkle of salt and a few cracks of coarsely ground pepper.

Step No. 4

In a pan over med high, heat about 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Once olive oil is hot place peppers in oil. Be careful because the oil will splash. Using tongs turn the peppers until they turn blistered and golden brown.

Step No. 5

Place on plate and drizzle over goat cheese sauce. I also like to serve on the side in case people want to dip.

Enjoy immediately.



If you've been following the blog for awhile, you know that I love frequent trips up to Napa. The fact that wine country is only an hour from my house is one of my favorite parts of living in San Francisco. I, of course, have my favorite go-to places but am always excited to discover something new.

This weekend, I was invited up to Round Pond to visit their winery for a tasting and their olive oil mill as well. I had been to near-by Frog's Leap (one of my favorite stops) several times but I hadn't stopped by at Round Pond before.

As you turn into the entrance, you immediately know this is a special place. The palm tree-lined drive leads to a huge key-hole window and a large estate. While the building is relatively new (2007) the winery has been in business since the 80s. They have sold and still do sell about 85% of their grapes to other wine makers. Fairly recently they have opened up the winery for tastings of their own wines and their olive oil mill for tours.

The winery is family owned and run by the MacDonnell family. It is currently in the hands of the second-generation MacDonnells. The land spans the valley floor and, as our guide told us, there are many different types of soils on their property. Other wineries typically grow their grapes in different parts of the valley ie the valleys, mountains, coast but because there are so many different types of soils and climates on the property, they can grow everything in one place.

I was surprised at how much I liked the first wine, the Sauvignon Blanc. I typically steer away from white wines and order red. What is interesting about their Sauvignon Blanc is that it has three different stages of the grape in it. The same varietal is picked at three different times to make up the complex flavor. I enjoyed it so much, I ended up walking away with a bottle for myself.

Next we tried a blend and a Cabernet Sauvignon (which they are known for) I love reds that come from this part of Napa, the Rutherford area, because they have this earthy, complex flavor to them. It was no surprise that I really enjoyed both of these wines. I was leaning a little more towards the blend but my sister preferred the cab. 

One of my favorite parts of the wine tasting was the food pairing. They have an executive chef on the property, who creates seasonal pairings from the gardens around the winery.

On the menu that day was a cucumber melon soup with prosciutto, green olive arancini, and a masa and short rib tartelette. It was fun to see how the flavors of the wines shifted when you ate the food. I personally love food with my wine so it was a nice exercise to see what pairs best.

I can't continue to write this post without mentioning the beautiful interiors. They were inviting and struck a perfect balance between rustic and modern. I could just imagine lounging on that couch after a few too many glasses of wine. 

But there wasn't time for lounging...we were off, across the street to the olive oil tasting. I was so excited because it wasn't something that I had done before. I was curious to see just what an olive oil tasting entailed (other than simply guzzling olive oil) 

We sat down with our small group of 6, including my sister and I. Three jars were placed in front of us. Our guide was very helpful at explaining different things about olive oil like "What is extra virgin?" (it means it is the first press of the olives) and "What about the color?" (it actually doesn't tell you if the oil is good or not) I never knew I had so many questions about olive oil. 

I'll give you one of the handy facts I learned...did you know that all olives eventually turn purple? There are no such thing as green olives? They are just purple olives picked early. 

After sitting down, we proceeded to take a sip of our first oil. He had instructed us to let it roll down your throat. Upon doing so, I had a burning sensation and choked a bit. Later, he explained that when the oxygen from your body hits the antioxidants, it causes that burning, choking sensation. I promise it wasn't harmful, just a interesting little science experiment. 

After drinking the olive oil (and vowing never to try that again) The brought our our food pairings. These food pairings were to show off the three olive oils we were trying: the Italian, the Meyer lemon and the blood orange.

The food was incredible. First was a burrata (how can you go wrong) drizzled with olive oil, fresh pesto and asparagus. The second was a smoked salmon, goat and cream cheese lollipop with the Meyer lemon olive oil. And the last was roasted beets with Hawaiian sea salt and the blood orange olive oil. It was so delicious.

After finishing our first pairings we discussed vinegar. They have just started making vinegar from their wine. We got to try two different kinds which varied by grape varietal. He explained that the professional way of tasting vinegar was to use a sugar cube which you quickly soak in the vinegar and suck out of the cube. It was a little odd to try but I love vinegar so I enjoyed the process. 

Served with the vinegar was this beautiful brined pork with huckleberries. The meat was so tender because of the vinegar. I'm going to have to try this method soon! 

Lastly came dessert. We were served an olive oil cake with the Meyer lemon olive oil, a blood orange olive oil brownie and a pomegranate jelly from the pomegranate syrup they sell. Also, they feature all of the recipes online so you can create them yourself at home.

Before heading outside to see the olive trees in person, he showed us how to make a shrub. I've been hearing quite a bit about shrubs at the hipster bars around SF. I was curious to what a shrub actually was. It turns out it is fruit soaked in vinegar for a few days then strained. For our mocktail, he mixed the shrub with simple syrup and soda water for a refreshing drink. You might be seeing more of this shrub business soon on the blog. I am dying to try making it at home. 

If you can't tell,  I had the most fabulous time at Round Pond. From the beautiful decor to the wines to the amazing food pairings, it was a unique experience in wine country. I also loved doing the olive oil tasting because it is something different and unique. When we head up to Sonoma for Thanksgiving, I can't wait to take my parents to do their own olive oil tasting. I highly encourage a visit next time you are up in wine country

This post was created in partnership with Round Pond winery. Thank you for supporting the brands featured on this blog.