When someone asks you to come to their house in Sonoma for the day, you say yes. You dont question it, you just go. There is something immediately relaxing about being away from the city and amongst the sprawling fields of vines. The day we went it was beautiful. The sun was shining and the wisteria had just bloomed, its little purple blooms and fragrance wafting through the breeze. I didn't have my camera, just an iPhone but it was able to capture the relaxed, sun-soaked feel of the day. There are quite a few pictures but I hope you dont mind.
Here are a few things to know about my mini-trip…
My friend's house is actually for rent. It sleeps eight, is on a vineyard, has a pool and a pool house. As you can see below, it is absolutely dreamy. Find out more here.
We ate at VJB Winery where they have an outdoor pizza oven in a piazza-style courtyard. I hear their wines are delish too.
We stopped by Ram's Gate Winery. They were closed for a private event but they allowed us to wander the grounds and snap some pics. The aesthetic of the place is incredible as are the panoramic views. I couldn't get enough of the special details everywhere. Highly recommend visiting if you can.
You ready to impress people? Just casually mention that you whipped up a brussels sprout date salad last night. Yeah I bet they are sort of impressed now. And then tell them that you made your own salad dressing. Now they are completely blown away. You are welcome. All jokes aside this salad is pretty darn wonderful. A great combination of salty and sweet.
Assemble ingredients for salad: ~2 1/2 cups of shredded brussels sprouts (buy pre-shredded at TJs to save yourself the chopping), 5-8 dates (depending on how sweet you want it to be), 1/2 cup parmesan flakes.
Chop the dates into narrow slices and dump the parmesan into the brussels sprouts.
this recipe) mix the following ingredients together: 2 tbsp of olive oil, 1 tsp of apple cider vinegar, pinch of sea salt, 1 tsp of maple syrup, 1 tsp of dijon mustard. Massage into brussels sprouts.
If you could go into any store and only decorate your apartment from there (regardless of budget), which one would it be? For me it's Jonathan Adler. I love everything in the store from the bright pillows to the gold and lucite furniture and the cheeky ceramics. I have a dream list of key pieces that I seem to keep adding to :-) That lovely Bargello pillow has been on my list for some time now. It is the perfect pop to my otherwise neutral bed. The malachite frame and coasters that just came out are so fabulous too!
The best part is that today they are offering 20% off on some of the items below if you enter FABFINISH at checkout. That means that adorable ice-cream vase is just a little closer to being mine.
Today we are talking about these beautiful candles from Catherine Ellen. They are perfect for an early evening cocktail and cheese party with your gals. You know the ones where you swear that you are going out after, but end up drinking too much at home, and just decide to stay in and talk all night? Yeah those nights. I love that the candles are different heights and are in various vintage-inspired glasses. They are also unscented soy wax so they burn cleanly.
I paired them with beautiful ballet pink roses that opened up perfectly, a little cheese plate and some strawberry smash cocktails (recipe is at the end of the post). In small apartments it can be difficult to find the space to host people so I just converted my dresser into a buffet by adding a fabric runner and a few accessories from around the apartment. Then guests can pick up a cocktail and bite when they arrive and settle in for a long night of laughing and catching up. Who's coming over?
Here's how you whip up a little refreshing spring-ey cocktail:
This post was developed in partnership with Catherine Ellen and candles were gifted. The photography, styling and opinions are all my own.