28 February 2011

Samuel Johnson {quotes}



Almost all absurdity of conduct arises from the imitation of those who we cannot resemble.


Samuel Johnson

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mustard

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24 February 2011

banana nut bread {yummy!}



when i realized yesterday that it was national banana bread day, i happily used that as an excuse to make one of my favourite treats. my go to recipe is from my go to cookbook, the joy of cooking.

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joy of cooking

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banana bread b+w

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walnuts

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measuring cups

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nuts in a cup

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measuring spoons

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banana bread loaf

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banana bread bite

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joy of cooking recipe {with my adjustments noted}

have all ingredients at room temperature
preheat oven to 350
grease 8 1/2 x 4 1/2 inch loaf pan

whisk together:
     1 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
     3/4 teaspoon salt (i use 1/4 teaspoon)
     1/2 teaspoon baking soda
     1/4 teaspoon baking powder

in a large bowl, beat on high speed until lightened in colour and texture, two to three minutes:
     5 1/3 tablespoons unsalted butter (i use 6 tablespoons of salted butter)
     2/3 of a cup of sugar 

beat in the flour mixture until blended and the consistency of brown sugar. gradually beat in:
     2 large eggs, lightly beaten

fold in just until combined (i put in the mixer and blend completely):
     1 cup mashed very ripe bananas (i freeze very ripe bananas, thaw and then place whole into the mixer)
    1/2 cup coarsely chopped walnuts or pecans (i use about 1 cup of walnuts)

scrape the batter into the pan and spread evenly.  bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, 50 to 60 minutes.  let cool in the pan on a rack for 5 to 10 minutes before unmolding to cool completely on the rack. 

{i love to enjoy mine sliced at room temperature or heated in the toaster with a bit of soft butter...of course with a cup of tea!}









23 February 2011

updating my website {my work}



i'm once again in the process of updating and freshening up my website.  please click on the image below and take a look around! xo

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21 February 2011

leifsdottir pop up shop launch party at cake plate {good taste}



cake plate (if you don't already know) is a fabulous women's boutique in napa, owned and operated by sisters, lindsay kroll and paige smith.  in addition to great lines including milly, hudson jeans, kate spade and trina turk, lindsay and paige launched their own house brand, cp by cake plate, which consists of classic yet chicly savvy dresses, skirts and tops.  i love that one can walk into cake plate and find the perfect dress for a ladies brunch, a handful of tasty accessories for saturday night and, oh look, a set of divine champagne flutes from roost! having owned a retail business myself, i have such respect and admiration for lindsay and paige's well edited collections, their business acumen and above all, their ceaseless creativity with regard to how they continuously conceive of remarkable and unique ways to promote the shop.  whether it's a guy's night out so the men can shop their lady's wish list or a lovely trunk show where they take the fashions to you, lindsay and paige are on it...but this new concept is the best of all! cake plate is now featuring a designer pop up shop wherein a chosen designer will take up residence in its own space within the store for a few months. how genius is that?! the first designer house guest is leifsdottir, a line that i really like, so when lindsay got in touch to ask if i could shoot the event i was thrilled.  the ladies did such an amazing job of decking out the space with fun baubles from anthroplogie, hair calf rugs, stave luminary lights (which i'm obsessed with and are locally made!), a wine bar, yummy hors d'oeuvres and of course a group of fun and fabulous ladies.  be sure to pop in while there is still inventory!

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20 February 2011

we love our wellies {hunter boots}



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love my wellies

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yes, i still love my wellies

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still love my wellies

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i love my snowy wellies

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basket of wellies

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19 February 2011

15 February 2011

brown estate {my obsessions}



i am beyond thrilled to be writing this post and sharing some images from what was undoubtedly one of THE most enjoyable shoots i've ever had. i should back up and preface this post with admitting that i have basically been obsessed with brown estate wines since i was of legal age to enjoy them, and i'm not going to lie, i was in essence starstruck when i first received the email inviting me out to the property.   i quickly realized that as the shoot date was growing closer, i was becoming more and more excited and the anticipation easily rivaled that of my four year-old's as he watches the oven in wait of baking peanut butter blossom cookies!

if you have never had the distinct pleasure of visiting brown estate, then as soon as you are finished enjoying this post, you need to immediately get on the phone and book an appointment!  everything about visiting this property is amazing; the winding country roads you travel to get there, the majestic oaks you see upon entering the gate, the whimsical lacy lichen (which most people mistake as spanish moss) hanging from the trees, the stunning victorian home that screams fabulous, and of course, the perfectly simple, yet so refined, wooden and stone exterior of the winery. every detail of the winery, tasting room and element of a visitor's tasting experience has been thoughtfully designed and executed to perfection. weather you are nibbling on coral's beautifully designed cheese plate where every item has been specifically chosen to pair perfectly with the individual and distinct attributes of each wine, cuddling beneath plush blankets, sipping the duppy conquerer from snifters in front of the custom fireplace that dave built himself, or living it up with a lively group at the concrete bar in what is undoubtedly, one of the swankiest tasting rooms in napa valley...you will have a good time and your taste buds will be happy!

yes, the wines are amazing, the property stunning, the interior spaces fabulous; but what really makes brown estate uniquely special and what keeps their fans coming back year after year to see what new creation they've unveiled, is the brown estate family.  siblings; dave, coral and deneen, really have it figured out, working together as such an amazing team whose chemistry is only further brightened and enhanced by honorary sibling, stefanie.  this foursome is a force to be reckoned with- talent, brains, wit, humor, creativity and ingenuity abound with these four...and they could not be nicer, cooler people!

upon arriving to brown estate you will instantly be greeted with warm smiles and laughter, by the time you leave you will feel like you are a part of the family.

now seriously, get on the phone and book yourself an appointment to visit! 707.963.2435

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{the winery}

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big oak in the fog

{the breaking fog - cover photo of the spring 2011 BE paper!}

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morning fog

{winter morning in the eastern vineyard - centerfold of the spring 2011 BE paper!}

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dave brown

{the always smiling dave brown}

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spanish moss abounds

{nature's lace}

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cave door

{cave door}

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cave

{entering the amazing caves}

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family table in the tasting room

{the centerpiece of the tasting room}

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swirl

{swirl. sniff. taste. ahhh!}

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cheese plate #1

{just one of coral's perfectly constructed cheese platters. yum!}

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winery from the creek

{view of the winery from the creek}

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{the family - deneen, stefanie, coral + dave}

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snifters by the fire

{fireside perfection with snifters full of duppy conqueror}

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crate

{tasting room crate}

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www.brownestate.com | 707.963.2435