Friday, April 24, 2015

Natasha's Kitchen Wish List


I think I buy more items for my kitchen than any other room in my home (especially glassware, I have a problem). I LOVE kitchen items. I was thinking over this past week about a few things that I eventually want to splurge on & I started to compile a list. I finally landed on these ten items. I hope you all enjoy & that it brings you some inspiration for your kitchen essentials.

1. Le Creuset Signature Enameled Cast Iron Round French Oven
2. Garlic Press
3. Le Creuset Signature Oblong Flame Grill Pan
4. Bennett Salt Cellar
5. Old Dutch Moscow Mule Mugs
6. Kate Spade Fancy Another Tray
7. Nespresso Pixie Titan Bundle
8. Tulip Champagne Flutes
9. Gold Chevron Decanter
10. Lilly Pulitzer for Target Ceramic Mugs

What item would you get without even thinking twice? Let me know below! 

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

5 Spring Trends I Can't Wait to Try

Normally, I'm not the girl who follows the trends for a season; I mostly just wear what I love and feel comfortable in. But I can't even lie, there are some really cute trends for spring 2015! My favorite part of fashion is that trends can always come back a new re-imagined way. This seasons biggest trends were popular "back in the day" and have somehow found  their way to this season's must-have list; ie. large floral blossoms, long fringe, bohemian looks and so much more. 

Check out my favorite trends of the spring season that I cannot wait to try!  

1. Large Floral Blossoms



2. Mixed Prints 





3. Fringe 






4. Bohemian





5. Picnic Plaid aka Gingham Print 


What's your favorite look? Let me know below!


Images: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Baked Spaghetti Squash al Forno



I've experimented with spaghetti squash before in the past but never quite like this. I love the way Chrissy Teigen was able to make this dish simple yet amazingly decadent! The low and slow homemade tomato sauce paired with the rich creamy mozzarella is a match made in heaven. Get into the recipe below, you guys!


Ingredients  
Roasted Spaghetti Squash:
  • 2-4 small spaghetti squash, halved lengthwise and seeds scooped out
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • Salt and pepper
Tomato Sauce:
  • 1 medium white onion, cut in quarters
  • 1 (28 ounce) can crushed tomatoes
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 4 tablespoons butter
Toppings:
  • 1 ball fresh mozzarella cheese (I used an Italian cheese blend with mozzarella, provolone and a few other Italian cheeses)
  • 1/2 cup of grated hard provolone or pecorino (not needed if you use Italian blend)
  • Fresh basil or rosemary, for garnish (I used parsley)

Directions

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

While oven preheats begin to prepare the squash. Slice the squash lengthwise, scoop out seeds, and rub a drizzle of oil all over the cut side of both squash halves and sprinkle liberally with salt and pepper. Gently rub the salt and pepper into the flesh of the squash to ensure it is well incorporated.




Next,  use a roasting pan to bake squash for 30 to 45 minutes depending on size. You want the squash to be tender enough to scrape into strands. After squash is tender, remove from the oven and scrape the squash into strands.

While the squash bakes make the sauce. Saute the onions in a little olive oil until translucent. Next, add garlic, crushed tomatoes, and butter in a large saucepan over medium heat. (Don't forget that you can season this sauce to your liking. I added a sprinkle of salt, pepper and brown sugar for added flavor.) Bring to a simmer and lower heat to keep sauce simmering lightly for 45 minutes. Stir occasionally. Remove from heat after 45 minutes. 



To assemble the squash, separate some of the squash strands from each half. Place a few tablespoons of sauce in each half, top with a layer of cheese.  Put under broiler until cheese is browned and bubbling (approx. 5 minutes, watch carefully). Top with fresh garnish, salt, and pepper.



Has anyone tried spaghetti squash before? I love it because it's a super cheap, versatile veggie that can be prepared in a million different ways! It also gives that wow factor when you present it.

Would you try this recipe? Let me know below!


Recipe adapted from sodelushious

Thursday, April 16, 2015

12 Steps to Fulfillment by Alan Cohen


I came across a gem of inspiration and motivation on a blog ran by world famous author . It was a treat for me to read & I wanted to pass it along as someone out there might need it too. 

When Joseph Campbell, today’s most famous scholar of mythology (and author of the excellent “The Power of Myth”) created the expression “follow your blessing,” he was reflecting an idea that seems to be very appropriate right now. In “The Alchemist,” this same idea is called “Personal Legend.”
Alan Cohen, a therapist who lives in Hawaii, is also working on this theme. He says that in his lectures he asks those who are dissatisfied with their work and seventy-five percent of the audience raise their hands. Cohen has created a system of twelve steps to help people to rediscover their “blessing” (he is a follower of Campbell):
 
1] Tell yourself the truth:
draw two columns on a sheet of paper and in the left column write down what you would love to do. Then write down on the other side everything you’re doing without any enthusiasm. Write as if nobody were ever going to read what is there, don’t censure or judge your answers.

2] Start slowly, but start: call your travel agent, look for something that fits your budget; go and see the movie that you’ve been putting off; buy the book that you’ve been wanting to buy. Be generous to yourself and you’ll see that even these small steps will make you feel more alive.

3] Stop slowly, but stop:
some things use up all your energy. Do you really need to go that committee meeting? Do you need to help those who do not want to be helped? Does your boss have the right to demand that in addition to your work you have to go to all the same parties that he goes to? When you stop doing what you’re not interested in doing, you’ll realize that you were making more demands of yourself than others were really asking.

4] Discover your small talents: what do your friends tell you that you do well? What do you do with relish, even if it’s not perfectly well done? These small talents are hidden messages of your large occult talents.

5] Begin to choose:
if something gives you pleasure, don’t hesitate. If you’re in doubt, close your eyes, imagine that you’ve made decision A and see all that it will bring you. Now do the same with decision B. The decision that makes you feel more connected to life is the right one – even if it’s not the easiest to make.

6] Don’t base your decisions on financial gain: the gain will come if you really do it with enthusiasm. The same vase, made by a potter who loves what he does and by a man who hates his job, has a soul. It will be quickly sold (in the first case) or will stay on the shelves (in the second case).

7] Follow your intuition: the most interesting work is the one where you allow yourself to be creative. Einstein said: “I did not reach my understanding of the Universe using just mathematics.” Descartes, the father of logic, developed his method based on a dream he had.

8] Don’t be afraid to change your mind: if you put a decision aside and this bothers you, think again about what you chose. Don’t struggle against what gives you pleasure.

9] Learn how to rest: one day a week without thinking about work let the subconscious help you, and many problems (but not all) are solved without any help from reason.

10] Let things show you a happier path:
if you are struggling too much for something, without any results appearing, be more flexible and follow the paths that life offers. This does not mean giving up the struggle, growing lazy or leaving things in the hands of others – it means understanding that work with love brings us strength, never despair.

11] Read the signs:
this is an individual language joined to intuition that appears at the right moments. Even if the signs point in the opposite direction from what you planned, follow them. Sometimes you can go wrong, but this is the best way to learn this new language.

12] Finally, take risks! the men who have changed the world set out on their paths through an act of faith. Believe in the force of your dreams. God is fair, He wouldn’t put in your heart a desire that couldn’t come true.

Which number resonates the most with you?

For me it's number 4, 10 & 12. Friends and family often tell me about the things that I do well, but I never look at them as "talents". Number 4 changed my perspective on that because though small in nature these talents can, like the text said, be hidden messages to my large occult talents.

Number 10 speaks volumes because it's important to remember to not be so rigid in our approach to life. There are so many things that happen in life that take us off our initial path, but it's up to us to embrace that change or struggle and continue on the journey.

Lastly, number 12 say's it all. "God is fair, he wouldn't put in your heart a desire that couldn't come true." I love that! To me, that just means keep on dreaming, never let someone or yourself talk you out of pursuing whatever it is that you want. Believe in the force of your dreams.

Hoping that this brings you joy.

xo

Source: Paulo Coelho Blog

Image 

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Natasha's Monthly Wine Pick: 2013 Bridge Lane Red Blend


It was love at first sip. I had my first taste of Bridge Lane's 2013 Red Blend at Wine Riot a few weeks ago. They were the last table we had time to see and boy did we save the best for last! The Red Blend had something special about it that was super memorable (I love that in a red wine!)

This is a medium-bodied, dry red wine with black cherry, cedar and spice flavors. 46% Merlot, 37% Cabernet Sauvignon, 12% Petit Verdot and 5% Malbec. I think that 5% of Malbec is the special little addition to the blend.



Lieb Cellars’ is the winery that makes Bridge Lane wine. The wines are hand-crafted in small batches and offered in 3 different formats – bottle, box and keg (that's right, you read that correctly, keg). At only $16 this wine is delicious & affordable! What's not to love? It's a wonderful blend that I would pair with just about anything. Enjoy with your meal or simply by itself while relaxing!



You won with this one, Bridge Lane! I love it.

Have you heard of Bridge Lane wines? If not, check them out here, here and here!

Thank you again to the lovely team over at Bridge Lane who gifted me with this bottle for review. The content and opinions expressed here are all my own.

P.S.
Did you like this review? Check out my previous wine review here.

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