Dream Vacation

I have a little treat for you today!  I'm taking over one of my favorite blogs, Love, Julie!
Julie is off in Greece and Turkey {jealous anyone?!} so I decided to talk about my ideal vacation...hey!  A girl can dream right?

Check it out here!

I also want to give a shout out to Jenna Lee at a la mode and Jenna at A Home Away From Home for recognizing my blog!  Please check their blogs out...they are both lovely and well-worth reading!  :)

xo natasha

San Fran Blogger Meet Up

I'm late getting this posted, but I am SOOOO beyond excited about this upcoming event...listen up West Coasters...this is NOT to be missed!

There is already a superb group of ladies set to join...maybe you're familiar with Michelle from Ten June, Michaela from Michaela Noelle Designs, Courtney from A Thoughtful Place, or Kate from Censational Girl???  Thought so!!  They're all going to be there...among many other bay area {and out of area} bloggers...and we'd love for you to join us!  :)

Let me know if you're planning on coming!!!

Hope you're all having a great Hump Day!  :)

xo natasha

Herb & Parm Fries

It's no secret that I have a major crush on all things cheese...and these Parmesan fries are certainly no exception.

The truth is, that I saw these fries on Pinterest and I instantly became obsessed...here's the recipe:

  • 1 pound of medium russet potatoes (approx 3 medium potatoes)
  • 1 1/2 TBSP of Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1/4 tsp Dried Thyme
  • 1/4 tsp Dried Oregano
  • 1/8 tsp Dried Rosemary
  • 1/4 tsp of Garlic Powder
  • 1/4 tsp of Old Bay Seasoning
  • 2 TBSP of Kraft Parmesan Style Grated Cheese {we use a LOT more}.
Preheat oven to 425.
Wash and cut potatoes into 1/8ths and place on a cookie sheet that has been lined with foil (I used Reynolds Release foil so that they will not stick, but you could also either use non-stick cooking spray or lightly grease the top of the foil with extra virgin olive oil). 
Mix all of the spices and the parmesan cheese in a small bowl. 
Place all of the potatoes (remember we are talking about one pound at a time) into a gallon size freezer bag, add olive oil and the parmesan cheese/spice mixture to the bag.  Seal the bag and shake until the potatoes are evenly coated.
Once thoroughly coated dump onto the prepared cookie sheet and spread in a single layer.
Bake 30-45 minutes or until tender and lightly golden brown. (Baking times will vary depending on the amount of fries that you make and the size that you cut them).

I think we could have used more time on these...to really crisp these up.  But they were still really delicious and definitely worth the effort...I would never recommend frying potatoes when you have this option in your back pocket.

Hope you enjoy!  Bon Appetit!

xo natasha

Linked to: Tasty Tuesdays

O is for {finally} being Outdoors!

Happy Monday everyone!

As you know, this past weekend was full of sun, relaxation, and not much else!  It's nice to wake up on a Monday and feel well-rested and refreshed.  A couple things to re-cap the weekend...

Our deck is FULLY built, but we've still got to stain it and add some finishing touches.  Hubs and I had our very first breakfast on the deck Saturday morning and it was so nice!
Wilson enjoyed it too!
    In anticipation of the deck being finished, we went online and ordered our deck furniture!

    It's Martha Stewart from Home Depot and on a crazy sale, plus we got $100 off by using a gift card...so all in all...only $300 PLUS free shipping!  Not bad, huh?  Hopefully it comes in time for the 4th of July weekend...we're pretty excited about it.

    We also got to go out on the boat...it was Wilson's maiden voyage...I think he did pretty well:

    We also got to visit the nursery again and buy some plants for our front yard

    A woodpecker's nest!

    Our lilac tree...

    Makes for some pretty blooms...and fragrant too!  :)

    Mr. Whiskers keeping an eye on the progress!

    How was your weekend...did you get outdoors?

    xo natasha

    Friday Fancies::No Rules Weekend

    Happy Friday...I'm thinking I'm looking MORE forward to this Friday than I have in a long time!  Call it the warm weather, call it the fact that I have nothing planned for this weekend other than relaxing...really...I am just SO happy the weekend is right around the corner!

    It's weekends like these that I call "no rules" weekends because, really...we can do whatever we want!  Pure bliss!  And what better excuse than to link up to {av}'s amazing Friday Fancies!?

    First, I must say, I am in love with this billowy Catherine Maladrino blouse...I love the color and the shape.  Matching, are these earrings I found on style.com...sorry they didn't link up!

    And what is HOTTER than black leather shorts?!?  Ummm yes please!  And these Louboutin stilettos?  Now we're talking!  

    Of course, no outfit is really complete without a little edge...I think the Alexander McQueen clutch does quite nicely...isn't the fringe fun?  And I couldn't resist this cute gold skull ring.

    So, with nothing on the agenda this weekend...the options are endless...what are your plans??

    xo natasha

    The Family Room

    Otherwise known as the hub of our little abode.  This is actually the room I most proud of...when we have house guests...they love spending time in this room and feel like they're "home" which is the biggest compliment they can give me!  It's the center of our living area...the kitchen and dining room are directly off this room...and even though there are things left to do {can we say "project" anyone!?}, I still love the space we've created.  

    Let's start from the beginning shall we?

     We pretty much ripped everything down to the studs out here.  Oh and we built a new fireplace.  You can read about the fireplace transformation here.

     You've heard this before, but I am kicking myself for not taking more before pictures.  The space to the right of the column use to have a pony wall...or in other words, was the window before they added on.  It looked SUPER out of place...so we knocked out the wall and made sure the beam across the top was better supported.

    Here she is all cleaned up!  :)
    Interestingly enough...the room to the right of the column is now our little office nook and we transformed the add-on to be our dinning room.  More pictures to come on that...I promise!

    And now for the decorated space...

    Yes, we purchased a HUGE sectional as a wedding gift to ourselves!  I LOVE it!  The microsuede is perfect for pets or any stains that happen...like red wine perhaps?  Yes, this puppy is a little miracle worker...and so so comfy!

    A little peak into the office space....and I love these pears and apples...from Pier 1.

     How much wicker can you spy?

    I swear the photos don't look this disproportionate in real life...guess you'll have to come over and see for yourself!

    The side table features all our favorite pictures...and Mr. Whiskers loves this area...

    Case in point!

    Here's a shot of the fireplace again.  It's centered on this wall...there is a sitting chair to the left...

    I actually like the craftsman feel of this chair, though it will be nice to upgrade to something else down the road.

    And the horror to the right of the fireplace is...

    Oy...it's not easy being married to a guy who works in the audio video world...though I can't complain...this flat screen was compliments of the shop and I know we can eventually mount the TV to the wall and find a fun console in the meantime...any ideas?

    The last portion of the living room, worth mentioning is it's proximity to the kitchen...

     It's great to entertain because we can be cooking in the kitchen and our guests can saddle up at the island or kick back on the couch.

    A close-up...we hope to eventually upgrade the fridge to match the rest of the stainless steel and I want to paint this cabinet following Michelle's tip here!  Can't wait!

    Sooooo...what do you think?!?  Do you get the "at home" vibe when you see these photos?  Hope so!

    xo natasha

    Summer is here!

    Happy Summer!!!

    As many of you know, yesterday marked the first official day of summer!  Can I hear a "Woo Hoo!!" {Vicki style of course!}!!  We're getting the boat in the lake and the back deck finalized...and yes, it's finally warm here!  TGIS!

    I thought I'd share a recent post I did for Jenna Lee over at a la mode a couple weeks ago.  I am definitely embracing this time of year...what's not to love?  And it seems I'm keeping within a yellow and orange theme!

    Who doesn't love cheerful daffodils?  Paired with the limes and burlap...this is a perfect arrangement for summer!

    Grilled peaches with goat cheese and honey?!?  Yes please!  You can see my version here!

    I am loving the coastal feel of these room...how cute are the pillows and side table?

    This Missoni swimsuit is adorable!  Would love to own this!

    To me, lemons are the essence of summer and I would love to hang this on my front door.

    Bike riding in the summer is the BEST!

    Grilled corn is so sweet and crunchy...I definitely prefer it on the grill!

    How refreshing does this look?

    Last, I would love to summer here...how divine!
    All images found {here}

    Ahhh...I'm all relaxed now!  What are your plans this summer?  Any big trips??  I'd love to hear!

    xo natasha

    Strawberry Scones

    One of my absolute favorite breakfast dishes are the fancy and delightful scones!  I love them in all flavors and how perfectly they pair with a latte or hot tea.

    This particular scone was made with fresh strawberries...and let me tell you, they did not last long!

    Adapted from Ina Garten:
    • 4 cups plus 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
    • 2 tablespoons sugar, plus additional for sprinkling
    • 2 tablespoons baking powder
    • 2 teaspoons salt
    • 3/4 pound cold unsalted butter, diced
    • 4 extra-large eggs, lightly beaten
    • 1 cup cold heavy cream
    • 3/4 cup small-diced dried fresh strawberries 
    • Pinch of cinnamon {I added this step for flavor}
    • 1 egg beaten with 2 tablespoons water or milk, for egg wash
    Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. 

    In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, combine 4 cups of flour, 2 tablespoons sugar, baking powder, and salt. Blend in the cold butter at the lowest speed and mix until the butter is in pea-sized pieces. Combine the eggs and heavy cream and quickly add them to the flour and butter mixture. Combine until just blended. Toss the strawberries with 1 tablespoon of flour, add them to the dough, and mix quickly. The dough may be a bit sticky.

    Dump the dough out onto a well-floured surface and be sure it is well combined. Flour your hands and a rolling pin and roll the dough 3/4-inch thick. You should see lumps of butter in the dough. Cut into squares with a 4-inch plain or fluted cutter, and then cut them in half diagonally to make triangles. Place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.

    Brush the tops with egg wash. Sprinkle with sugar {I used "Sugar in the Raw" for a more coarse effect} and bake for 20 to 25 minutes, until the outsides are crisp and the insides are fully baked.

     I enjoyed mine with a little blackberry jam...yum!

    What's your favorite kind of scone?

    xo natasha

    Linked to: Tasty Tuesdays