Wednesday, August 31, 2011

How Do You Fall in Love with Fall?

Even though I hate to see summer go...I LOVE pretty much everything about fall.  The turning of the seasons has become much more prevalent since moving to the mountains.  I love the crisp air in the morning, how the leaves turn orange, red,  & yellow, a cozy scarf, the introduction of autumn flavored lattes, and of course a flickering fire at the end of the night. 

Fall is when things start to quiet down around here, but to me, it's one of the most beautiful times in Tahoe.  Can't wait to got the festivals, drive through Hope Valley, and hopefully get to Apple Hill!  Lots to look forward to!  Here are some visuals...


MMMMM I adore that last photo...kitty in argyle?  Heart.

Find all my fall pins here!

I just love fall so SO much that I wanted to kick off a little series...


Since tomorrow is September and we're officially transitioning into fall, I thought this would be the perfect time to have some of my favorite bloggy friends tell you their five favorite fall items!  I'll be running this series every Thursday until the first {official} day of fall: September 23rd!

  Look for my first Fall 5 feature tomorrow!

So tell me...what makes you fall in love with fall?

xo natasha

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Chunky Blue Cheese & Yogurt Dip



As many of you know...I am a HUGE Ina Garten fan!  Her recipes always have simple yet delicious recipes and this dip is no exception!  Full of bold flavors...I would have never missed the sour cream and excessive mayo that a traditional blue cheese dip calls for.  The Greek yogurt definitely adds a great tang!

Recipe from Barefoot Contessa's How Easy is That?
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped shallot
  • 1 t minced garlic
  • 2 T freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 7 ounces {just less than a cup} Greek-style yogurt
  • 1/2 cup good mayo {I used lite}
  • 4 ounces {half cup} sharp Gorgonzola {blue cheese works as well}, crumbled
  • 5 dashes Tobasco sauce, or to taste
  • 1 t kosher salt
  • 1/2 t freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 T minced fresh chives
  • Crackers or veggies for dipping
Place the shallot, garlic, lemon juice, yogurt mayonnaise, Gorgonzola, Tobasco, salt and pepper in the bowl of a food processor fitted with a steel blade {I used a mini one...perfect size}.  Pulse the processor about 12 times, until the mixture is almost smooth but still a bit chunky.  Add the chives and pulse two or three time, until well combined.  Transfer to a serving bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and chill for at least 2 hours to allow the flavors to develop.  Serve with vegetables and/or crackers for dipping. 


This is perfect for a party or as a snack...great alternative to a rich dip without sacrificing the bold flavors.

Hope you enjoy!  Bon Appetit!

xo natasha

Linked to: Tasty Tuesdays

Monday, August 29, 2011

Carmel, Monterey & a Wedding

We had quite the whirlwind of a weekend full of great company, good food, beautiful sites and a storybook wedding!  Here is a quick snapshot of all that we did!

  First things first, I got to have lunch with the darling Michaela!  I loved getting to see her...though we did not get nearly enough time together!  I really need to go back and spend the day in San Jose...LOVED the restaurant we ate at and all the fun people watching...it was great!  I always appreciate the time spent connecting with my bloggy friends in person...it reminds me why I blog and enjoy it!  Michaela has defintiely become a dear friend, both in the blog and real world.  :)

Hubby and I picked up our two best friends who flew in from North Carolina for the wedding...we had dinner in Carmel Friday night and thoroughly enjoyed our meal!  I would recommend Little Napoli if you're ever in the area...amaaaazing!

 We got to go to Pebble Beach and check out the beautiful 18th hole.

 We then headed down to Cannery Row and had brunch overlooking the Monterey Bay...can you spot the planking seal in this picture?!

Hubby ordered the fully loaded Bloody Mary...complete with shrimp!  Yum!

 Next, we headed to the Monterey Aquarium...loved the jelly fish!

And this HUGE sea turtle!

 And even BIGGER sun fish!  Amazing.

Of course...the reason we were all in Monterey...was the wedding!  Loved the florals.

 The blushing bride!

 Hubby and I.

 Gorgeous view at the Pasadera Country Club.

 Lots of great details...there was a postcard theme and these were the little place cards...my talented girlfriend made them...pushing her to start an Etsy shop!  :)

Me & Mer...love her!

Sorry for the photo overload...these are just the ones I snapped on my phone!  :)  It was great to reconnect with old friends and make new ones at the wedding!  Loved all the details of the big day and I know we all had a wonderful time celebrating!

Did you all have a great weekend?!

xo natasha

Friday, August 26, 2011

Friday Fancies::Wedding Guest Two Ways

Though it's the end of summer...this weekend is the first only wedding we're attending of the season!  I love going to weddings...it's really an opportunity to dress up and feel a little special!  Ironically, {av} chose a wedding theme this weekend for her Friday Fancies!

This is a special dress worth wearing during a special occasion...the Rachel Gilbert dress especially does the trick...I am obsessed!

It's easy to pick out accessories that are outrageous and expensive....I thought it would be fun to dress this dress up two ways...less & luxe...why not mix it up?!

Flat sandals are a great way to add sparkle, but keep a casual feel to the outfit.  Paired with the pearl earrings and sequins clutch...I love the overall feeling this gives to the dress.

On the flipside...I am loving the heeled sandals and Marchesa clutch...total glam.  Of course, I adore the geode inspired earrings...definitely one of my favorite trends right now!

How do you fancy it up for weddings?!

xo natasha

P.S. I get to have lunch with Michaela today...pretty excited!!!  :)

Thursday, August 25, 2011

DIY::Jewelry Tree

Several months ago, I showed off how I display my jewelry {post found here}...I got a lot of great feedback on this little jewelry tree in particular:


My friend made this tree for me, based on a jewelry tree she had made for herself.  Recently, my friend moved to China and since she knew how much I loved her tree...she decided to leave it with me.  I thought, in taking in her tree, I would show you how I put it together {though it's really not rocket science!}.  Hey...any chance to DIY, is worth sharing with all of you!  :)

 All you need is:

Pot or Bucket
Fine Sand
Branches {manzanita, willow...really, whatever you can find}
Jewelry

Fill the pot with the sand and place the branches to maximize your display space.

Place jewelry on the nooks and crannies of the branches {avoid cat's curiosity}.

I placed little trinkets to personalize it as well.


I used necklaces and earrings...still need to fill this baby out!

 Here is the finished product!

And here she is in her new home!

I'm definitely happy to proudly display my friend's jewelry tree...these particular branches give me a LOT more room to hang and display jewelry.

So...what do you think?  Will you be making a jewelry try anytime soon?

xo natasha

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Find me at Ten June Today!

Happy Wednesday Lovelies!

I'm very excited to be guest posting over at my girl Michelle's beautiful blog Ten June today!  


She asked me to participate in our awesome Genie Series, where I get to indulge in three wishes!  Definitely head on over there to check it out.

 

For those of you who don't know Michelle's or her blog...you're defintiely missing out!  She's witty, talented, and beautiful to boot!  I got to meet her in San Francisco during our Blogger Meet Up and I instantly loved her!  :)  She has chronicled the make-over of her house and I never cease to be amazed at all she accomplishes and designs!  Take a look:

 I am in LOVE with her office...those stripes are just gorgeous, aren't they?!

 Her breakfast room is so clean and chic.  That living garden wall is pure perfection.

 Her kitchen is classic...love the white cabinets and dark granite counters.

I seriously need this yellow rug in my life...and the pillow is the perfect companion.

Michelle and her husband recently finished remodeling their master bathroom.  They gray cabinets are absolutely genius!  The whole space feels like a romantic spa...such a beautiful job.

For a full house tour, go here.

And don't forget to check out my guest post today...found here!

Hope you're all enjoying your week so far!  

xo natasha
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