My darling husband planned a weekend in Napa for me for my birthday! Which is about time, because I have lived in the Bay Area for almost five years now and never been (ok I was pregnant for a large chunk of that time... but still, travesty). Of course, these things never go to plan and there was more than a little panic when our childcare fell through a week before our trip. Like crazy people we decided to do it anyway, babies and all, and treat it like a test-drive now that we have to travel with two kids. I think we all had a great time, even with the sleep deprivation and a surprise bit of projectile vomiting. If you have to take kids with you to Napa (it can be done, but I wouldn't do it if I didn't have to) then read on for some child-friendly options.
We stayed at the Harvest Inn in St. Helena, and we loved it. This is a great choice if you’re traveling with kids, it was very child friendly and there were a lot of families there. That being said, it didn't feel over-run. We really loved how quiet and secluded the grounds were (I’m positive my husband chose this place because he read a review that referred to it as shire-like). The kids loved the coy pond, the restaurant's garden complete with apiary, and some of the more whimsical sculptures that are scattered around the property. The restaurant, Harvest Table was fantastic, I would recommend eating there even if you aren't staying there. I had the best whiskey cocktail, it’s called the Highlander and you should get one, or three… Definitely make reservations if you want to eat in the dining room, but the bar is comfortable for small plates and appetizers.
This is not the newest or fanciest place you could stay, but it was comfortable, quiet and close to most wineries. There is also a Dean & Deluca within stumbling distance for all of your over-priced but so very pretty culinary needs.
Since we didn't want to deal with grumpy babies and hang-overs we didn't hit the wineries as hard as we might have done. A lot of the wineries are 21 and over and not child friendly, so if you’re traveling with the kiddies, check that out first. We were sort of rolling with the punches so I found a winery on a kid friendly list that looked like we all might enjoy it. We ended up going to Castello Di Amorosa, a replica of a medieval Italian castle complete with turrets and moat. The tastings are done at the bar, but they have a family tasting room with tables for the kids to color at and fancy grape juice. There are also some goats and sheep paddocked outside the exit that you can look at on your way out.
The other winery I would highly recommend was Duckhorn, we were already big fans of the wine, but the winery tasting was amazing. This is by appointment only, but that just means the experience is way more relaxed. Tastings are done at private tables, and they also serve small bites. There were a bunch of babies and small children there as well. Even without the fantastic wines, this is worth it just to sit on their beautiful patio.
I couldn't resist hitting up Yountville on our way out of town. While we still haven't managed to get that reservation at The French Laundry (hahahahaha) and I chickened out of taking the babies into Bouchon Bistro, we did stand in line at Bouchon Bakery for Macrons and it was so worth it.
While I wouldn't take the kids with us the next time we go to Napa, I would definitely say that its doable. So if you're vacationing in the region with your kids, or you're like us and your childcare falls through, don't panic! It can be done.
I feel like the summer has just been flying by, so many things to do and so little time to do it in. We spent the fourth celebrating in Napa, which was so much fun even though we had to bring the babies with us. Since then I've been a little side-tracked by being the best wife ever and throwing my husband a surprise birthday party.
Can you believe this cute little chambray sundress was under $20? This is such an easy look, almost as comfortable as wearing a pair of jeans but super feminine at the same time. I used to avoid wearing dresses because I felt like I had to fancy them up, but I have seen the error of my ways since having the babies. I just have to add a couple of accessories and a pair of casual shoes and I’m done, who doesn't love that?
Hat Nine West (similar) | Dress Old Navy | Belt Vintage | Cross-body bag Kate Spade (similar here) | Watch Vintage | Sandals Madewell
You may have noticed that I am a disturbing shade of pale, and this is me with a tan. If I want to spend any time at all in the blazing hot California sun a hat and sunnies are a requirement. This hat is one of my favorites because it’s packable so I’m always free to take it off and shove it in a bag or stroller or where ever, and I definitely have and it still looks great. This little ratan cross body bag has a beachy-picnic vibe about it that echoes the rest of the outfit and touches on the wicker basket trend that seems to be happening right now. I threw this little belt on at the last minute to add a pop of color and give this dress a little more structure.
I have been thinking about making an old fashioned since my sister-in-law made us a jar of bourbon soaked cherries as a house warming gift (she writes a food blog, check it out here). Just a warning that this is the way that I personally make my Old Fashioned and its evolved to fit my tastes. What this really means is that due to laziness and lack of ingredients, or as I like to think of it, ingenuity and innovation, I have come up with a recipe that I pretty much always make as long as I have bourbon on hand.
Sugar cubes are one of those things that I always mean to have in the house, but just never get around to actually buying. Not to worry, a teaspoon of sugar will do just fine. Bitters are the real concern, though once you buy a bottle they pretty much last forever. I’m almost certain that most recipes call for only a few drops of bitters but I like kind of a lot. I muddle the bitters and the sugar to make a paste before adding the bourbon.
I would recommend that you shake this drink, stirring just doesn't dissolve all of the sugar properly. Once you’ve added the bourbon and given it a good stir I highly recommend running some orange peel around the rim, and throw in a couple of cherries and you have yourself one lazy Old Fashioned. I know this one is a classic, so let me apologize now if I have offended any die-hard mixologist with my bastardization of ingredients and incorrect technique.
Lex’s Lazy Old Fashioned
1 cube or tsp sugar
bitters to taste
2 oz. bourbon
Muddle sugar and bitters in a shaker, add ice and bourbon. Shake to mix. Place fancy giant ice cube in a low ball glass, pour in bourbon mixture. Rim glass with orange rind, garnish with twist and throw in as many cherries as your heart desires. Enjoy!
**I received this product as a gift by Marc Jacobs Beauty and the people at Influenster. I was not required to write this post and all of the opinions are solely mine. **
This post was not paid for by anyone, I received product as a gift to review in a different capacity. What I will say is that I don't post reviews on my blog, I write about things that I love, that I think other people should know about because they might love them too. If I don't love it, I’m not writing about it, money or no money. So long story short you probably wont be seeing any posts about dental hygiene products here...
But lets get down to business! Marc Jacobs Glow Stick Glistening Illuminator is pretty magical. I am not a make-up girl (not that there’s anything wrong with that). Foundation scares me, concealer is a nightmare and bronzer is so beyond my capabilities that I don't even touch it. I can handle mascara, eyeliner and lipstick with the help of make-up remover and an unseemly amount of time. So trust me when I say that this stuff is super easy to use and adds a very subtle sheer glow that even I have mastered, if I do say so myself.
I apply glow stick anywhere the light should catch my face. The obvious places are cheekbones, and the bridge of your nose. I also like to put the tiniest bit on the inner corners of my eyes and under my brows from the arch to the outer edge, both in an attempt to not look like I have two children keeping me up at night (just kidding they sleep like the actual babies they are, its my husband's snoring). I would take all of those tips with a grain of salt and my self-admitted cluelessness.
Let me tell you a little story, my alarm goes off every morning at 6am so that I can get my ass out of bed and go to Barre class or practice yoga or go for a run or even just have an undisturbed cup of coffee. Most mornings I hit snooze and go back to bed… I try not to judge myself too harshly, considering I have a ten month old who’s just started walking and finally sprouted her first tooth. But I do like to make myself feel a little less lazy by wearing workout clothes, fake it till you make it… to the gym, right?
,My incredible and amazing husband surprised me with these fabulous yoga pants from Alo Yoga, for my birthday. I love them, they are beautiful and they make my butt look awesome. I am also terrified to wear them for obvious reasons. Between babies, coffee spills and Kardashian level wardrobe malfunctions they are a little nerve wracking.
This would be the perfect outfit to grab a coffee after an early morning Barre class, maybe I'll try that some time. I love this over sized cashmere sweater, its so soft and comfy. And here’s a secret, I’m wearing it backwards! By putting the deep-v on in the back I can show off my cute sports bra and use the high neck in the front to cover-up the inevitable sports bra induced uni-boob.
I may still not be the workout type, or a Jenner... but I'm feeling inspired. I'm definitely going to hit the gym tomorrow, or at least get a coffee.
Well, we’ve been in the new house for about two months now and we’ve settled in for the most part. We’re still getting used to the extra space and all of the new responsibilities that come with owing a house, like paying water bills and garbage day. Of course, there’s still a lot to do but that’s the fun part!
I have some great posts in the works for you and I’m so excited to be able to share all of the progress going on in the new house. Besides what I hope will be some epic before-and-afters and room reveals, there will be some new features as well as some of the same old stuff that hopefully you were enjoying before. I can't wait to try some new things out and see if you like them!
I’ve only been writing this blog for a short time and I have to say that I’m a little surprised at how it has a life of its own. This has and will continue to be a learning experience for me. I’m going to try and focus on making things that I’ve enjoyed and felt were successful even better. I would love to hear from you about anything that you really like and would love to see more of.
Happy Canada Day! and I hope you all have a great 4th of July weekend!