Pickled Onions Recipe
Over the last few weeks, I’ve enjoyed adding these pickled onions to almost everything - salads, tacos, and even my breakfast burrito. What you need: Mason jar Red onion White distilled vinegar Salt Honey Directions: 1. To start, take off the skin of the onion leaving everything else intact. 2. Using a sharp knife or mandolin, thinly slice the onion. If doing large quantities I found the mandolin to be very simple to use. 3. Gently pull the slices apart and place them into a mason jar, press down to keep them compact. Fill the jar to just under the brim. 4. Using 1/2c water and 1/2c white vinegar, stir in 1 tsp of salt and 1 tsp of honey. Keep in mind that if you're wanting to make larger quantities you can easily double this recipe. Just remember it’s one part water and one part white vinegar. 5. Pour the water/vinegar mixture over top onions, be careful not to pour too much. You want to press the onions down with a spoon until they are fully submerged under the liquid. 6. Store in the fridge overnight. Enjoy!
Quinoa Bowl - A Healthy Start To The New Year
Simple and healthy is exactly what I’m craving these days, and I bet you are too. At the risk of feeling a bit cliche, I’ve been back to meal prepping - our fridge is stocked, and I love having all these fresh ingredients at my fingertips. For the last few days, I’ve loved my very own twist on the quinoa bowl. This salad is simple, healthy, and best of all - delicious! Ingredient List Arugula Sweet potato Quinoa (I use a tricolor) Red Onion Feta Olive Oil The Prep Depending on how many servings or if you like leftovers, I prefer to cook in more bulk quantities. I take 2-3 sweet potatoes, peel, dice into small pieces, and toss with olive oil. I put them in the air fryer for 15 minutes or until golden, which could also be done in a 375-degree oven. I make two dry cups full worth of quinoa, and it is perfectly fine to sit in the fridge for the week. Quinoa is delicious in this salad and acts as an excellent base for other meals. Serves (2-4) One-half bag of arugula 3/4 c. Cooked quinoa 1/2 c. Cooked sweet potato 1/4 c. Thinly sliced red onion 1/4 c. Feta Dressing 1 tbsp olive oil Juice of 1 lemon squeezed Salt and pepper to taste Directions If cooking quinoa and sweet potato ahead of time, place them in the fridge to cool first. Take a large bowl full of arugula and add ingredients; quinoa, sweet potato, red onion, and feta. Drizzle about one tablespoon of olive oil over the top, squeeze an entire lemon, and stir. Salt and pepper to taste. Best if served chilled. While quinoa is high in protein, you can always add a grilled piece of salmon on top. I make a few servings worth so I can grab and go whenever I please. I hope you enjoy this fresh salad as much as I do! *I’d like to note that I try and use all organic ingredients when possible. For the feta, I’d suggest staying away from crumble and instead look for the block of authentic feta in water*
Reflections & Intentions
With each New Year I like to take a moment and reflect on the previous year. Recognizing both your accomplishments and challenges can help set you up for success in the future. If last year left you feeling a little all over the place, scattered or just unorganized I can’t recommend goal setting enough. You can use this customized printable to help guide you. Join me in making this our best year yet!
Holiday Gift Guides
The Holidays are officially here so today I’m bringing you a few gift guides that will hopefully make your shopping experience a little easier. This year I polled my Instagram followers to see which people on their list were the hardest to shop for. Top of the list was husband/significant other, tweens, and mother in law. I couldn’t stop there so I added gifts for her, for the home, for the beauty lover, and your pet. shop the guide shop the guide shop the guide shop the guide shop the guide shop the guide shop the guide shop the guide
My favorite holiday is right around the corner and I’m excited to share this year's Thanksgiving table. I probably put as much thought and effort into the table scape as I do cooking the food. This year, however feels extra special - it's a mix of something old, something new with touches of blue. My entertaining style is relatively casual and I feel this table reflects exactly that. The linens and silver are very traditional while the mix of rattan and pumpkins bring a more casual element. The fresh florals are a mix of white hydrangeas and eucalyptus which I sourced from Trader Joes. I used simple blue & white ginger jars as the vase. A similar look could be achieved with just eucalyptus and pumpkins going down the center. I added some sentimental pieces to the centerpiece. Both the silver candle stick holders and glasses were my Grandmothers who passed away last month. Incorporating them into the table feels extra special while my white dishes were a wedding gift from my Grandfather. Speaking of my white dishes, these plates were gifted to me almost 15 years ago. They've held up beautifully and are still available today. I love the classic style and that I’ve been able to add to the set over the years. If your in need of new everyday china, putting together a registry or just looking for an updated look - I can’t recommend these enough! A few new additions to the table are these chargers and napkin rings. I love how they could both be easily dressed up or dressed down. My bamboo silverware was an early Christmas gift to myself. I’ve been eyeing it for sometime as it reminds me of the original set from Tiffany & Co. This will be our first time using it so stay tuned on my thoughts! SHOP THE LOOK
Chicken Verde Bowl
I’ve quickly realized that busy nights require me to plan ahead for dinner. Now that girls are back to school and dance I find myself pulling out my crockpot at least once a week. This chicken verde recipe has quickly become one of my go-to’s. Not only is it easy to make but it’s delicious too.
The base of the recipe is from a Trader Joe’s Chicken Chile Verde recipe that I doctored up to make my own. What I love most is that you can serve it any way you like; whether over rice, black beans or a combination of the two!
1 large onion, diced
12 cloves of garlic, minced
2 jalapeños, de-seaded and diced (I only use 1 when the kids are eating with us)
2 lbs organic chicken thighs (I’ve also used chicken breast)
2 jars of Trader Joe’s Salsa Verde
1/2 tsp. Ground cumin
1 lime squeezed
1 avocado, chopped
1/2 red onion, chopped
1 bunch of cilantro chopped
1 can of black beans, drained
1 bag of Trader Joe’s jasmine rice
1 c sour cream
1/2 lime, squeezed
Add onion, garlic jalapeño, chicken thighs, salsa verde and cumin to slow cooker and stir to combine. Squeeze one whole lime over the top and cool on low for 8 hours or high for 4 hours. Before serving take chicken out to shred and then add it back to crockpot. Serve over rice and beans, or anyway you like it!
For the garnishes I like to prep and chop everything beforehand. My favorite topping is the sour cream dressing. Just stir 1 cup of sour cream with a 1/2 of a lime squeeze. Stir until creamy and drizzle on top!
This is the crockpot I use. I love it because the removable insert makes prepping and clean up super simple.
Girls Room - On a budget!
Super excited about sharing the girls' new room. When we sold our last home we also sold about 98% of our furniture including the girls’ bedroom furniture. Ever since I can remember they've had separate bedrooms but prefer to sleep together. So when we signed a lease for a 3 bedroom rental house I gave the girls two options - 1. You can share a bedroom and use the 3rd bedroom as a playroom or 2. You can have separate bedrooms but no real play area. They didn’t think to long about it and went with option one just as I suspected. Our rental is super charming, a 1930’s bungalow and despite the cuteness it lacks two things - size and storage! I knew immediately that the girls room would be best suited for twin beds. I wanted something fun and different for the girls. These beds came in a few colors but I just loved the pop of blue! When selecting the bedding I knew I wanted the main quilt to remain white. White bedding is the easiest to keep clean and goes with everything. I wanted the girls to have some say in the decorating too so I gave them the job of picking out their sheets. There were so many cute options to choose from - mermaids, sharks, rainbows, etc but it was ultimately flamingos that they chose. This sheet set was such a great price point too! There is something about blue and coral that I love so much and while not on purpose this room very much reminds me of Liv’s old bedroom. When it came to selecting a rug I was between two - a natural jute and and indoor/outdoor chevron. I ultimately went with the indoor/outdoor because of it’s durability. I know that it will easily transition to the next house.
Instead of using a traditional nightstand I traded it for a small desk and chair which both girls use frequently for homework. The wicker desk was a vintage find that was repainted. It paired perfectly with a reproduction ghost chair that just disappears in the room. The artwork above the girls’ desk was painted by my sister in law, Veronika. They have a very Lily Pulitzer vibe to them and I love them stacked on one another. Another great option is to do something like this above the bed - The mirrors above the girls bed were a HomeGoods find but I found some similar options here - As I mentioned storage is a major issue in this house so these wicker trunks are perfect for their dolls, stuffed animals and other bulky toys. I never realized how difficult it was to find a plain white dresser that wasn’t childish yet not too gigantic, and within budget. It’s safe to say I think I found it (the one downside is that it did need to be put together). For a little pop of fun I added new hardware to the dresser. These brass monstera leaves totally make it!
Hardware is one of the easiest ways to update a space whether in your kitchen, powder bath or a vintage piece of furniture. Here are some of my favorites from a source you probably never thought to check out. I hope you enjoyed a peak into my girls’ coral and blue room, I had the best time decorating it. When it comes time to move most of the items will be donated to a family in need. Some of my favorite organization to donate gently used furniture to are Mother’s Helping Mother’s , SPARCC and Habitat for Humanity .
Links for entire bedroom:
Construction is well underway at the new Ferguson Residence and I’m so excited to be sharing the process with you all. Back in May when I announced we were moving it seemed like time was standing still. Summer felt like one giant waiting game and while it didn’t go quite as planned; family road trips and long weekends away provided a good distraction. By the end of Summer our building plans were approved and we finally broke ground!
So in case you're just tuning in my husband is a builder (I work in real estate) and we unexpectedly sold what we thought was our ‘dream home’ last Spring. I will spare you too many details and instead you can catch up by reading this post here . Since we had just gone through the design process two years ago I pretty much knew exactly what I wanted. Similar to the last house we wanted an open floor plan with traditional spaces throughout. While the new house is a completely different layout there are definitely some similarities.
Prior to starting construction we needed to demolish the existing home on the property. The original home was what we call ‘non-conforming’, keeping the original structure and renovating was not an option. It took about two weeks to demolish the home, clear the site and bring any needed fill dirt. I should mention that anything that could be saved or donated was taken out prior to demolition.
Once the site was ready the stem wall began to take shape. It’s always surreal to walk the outline of the house and imagine standing in the same place when it’s finished. If you've ever built a home before you will have moments where it feels small, then big, and then small again. Walking the perimeter of the new house gave me all the feels!
Bringing in fill dirt for the stem wall was next on the agenda and just as we we finished the rains came. Back to back hurricanes left us unharmed but the outer bands produced so much rain that it took over 3 weeks for the stem wall to dry out. The few weeks delayed gave me the opportunely to make sure all the plumbing and electrical were in the right place. This means everything from plumbing drains to kitchen sink location and electrical floor outlets! Once dry the masonry crew came in to prep and pour the slab. There are a few major moments in the new build process and pouring the slab is definitely one of them. I waited patiently all day until I could etch our initials into the foundation of our new home.
As you can probably tell by the photo we were all heading in different directions - Nick to the gym, Liv to dance and Elle & I back home to finish homework however I’m so glad we snapped this photo!
So you're probably wondering now what? Well this is where the fun begins. Block is being delivered as I type this post and the next time I come on to write we should have our exterior walls up! In the meantime I’m working on our cabinet layout, picking out plumbing fixtures and looking for inspiration through my day to day activities. If home design is something you also love make sure you follow me Pinterest !
To watch my videos on Instagram Stories, go follow the ‘ new home’ tab and watch all the progress from start to finish.
My goal for these posts are to not only provide an insight into the home building process but also create a journal for myself as something to look back on. If there is something specifically you would like me to touch on make sure and comment below!
Palm Beach Getaway
Just this past weekend my husband Nick and I enjoyed a weekend getaway. It was a short trip, only 48 hours, but exactly what we needed to unwind, relax, and leave feeling refreshed! When I suggested an adults-only weekend getaway I had an ulterior motive in selecting our destination. First of all as many of you know we are getting ready to begin construction on our new home. As we embark on this new adventure I felt the need to travel outside of our hometown for a little design inspiration. Palm Beach is eclectic in style combining casual elegance in the most perfect way. It was Nick’s first time in Palm Beach so I wanted him to experience it in the best way possible. I booked our two night stay at The Breakers Palm Beach which is a 5-star hotel located on 140 acres of prime oceanfront property. The Italian Renaissance-style hotel has earned a spot of the National Register of Historic Places and is probably the nicest resort I’ve ever been to. While we didn’t get a chance to use many of the resort’s offerings they do have an 18-hole golf course, tennis courts, spa, and oceanfront fitness center. One the many reasons I love The Breakers is that you never need to leave the resort. The hotel offers everything from fine dining to shopping, and so much more. If I had to pick my favorite part of the trip it would probably be just sitting poolside, enjoying both the sight and sound of the ocean waves crashing. Our favorite dinner spot was right in the hotel at the Seafood Bar. It was so good that we ate there both nights! I would highly recommend the oysters & filet mignon sliders. I thought it was important to mention that the hotel was very diligent in their health policies related to Covid-19. There were not only sanitizing stations at every corner but masks were required in all air conditioned spaces and where you could not socially distance. Due to these restrictions the Spa was only available for hair and nail services. *Housekeeping was available The Shopping One of my favorite things to do in Palm Beach is shop of course. Since I was a little bit more design focused, I made hitting the antique shops more of a priority. If your into the same type of thing then Antique Row is a must! You can find a full list of stores and a walking map here www.westpalmbeachantiques.com Here are some of my personal favorites Palm Beach Regency Circa Who Devonshire Florida Regency Palm Beach Home Style Casa Gusto Elephants Foot Florida Modern D&G Antiques Authentic Provence If you're looking for something a bit more eclectic head to the Royal Poinciana for the avocado toast at Sant Ambroeus. The outdoor shopping center is home to stores like Stoney Clover, Zimmerman, Love Shack Fancy, Hermes and so many more. And of course don’t forget the world famous Worth Ave. Known for it’s luxury shops such as Chanel, Ralph Lauren, and Aerin it also has some amazing restaurants like Pizza Al Fresco and Renato’s. One of my favorite stores to visit is the Lily Pulitzer store, even if the bright colors aren't your style the store is absolutely beautiful and worth a visit! I picked up this green dress during my last visit and absolutely love it! Restaurants The Breakers offers both casual and fine dining options. For breakfast we enjoyed sitting at the Beach Club Restaurant which overlooks both the pool and ocean. Some fine dining options are Flagler Steakhouse, the Seafood Bar, and Echo. Don't be worried though, resort attire is always appropriate! Henry's Palm Beach is located right off property and the hotel offers a complimentary shuttle to transport it's guests. Some other great off property options Sant Ambroeus Pizza Al Fresco Renato’s Meat Market Lola 41 Cafe Boulud Other places to stay Eau Resort Brazilian Court Colony Hotel (opening in October) Pineapple Pad (VRBO)
Road Trip Essentials
As a parent I love recreating some of my favorite childhood memories. One of my fondest memories was going to sleep away camp in Tuxedo, North Carolina. Each year my Mom would plan a family road trip with a few stops along the way before dropping me off at camp. I can’t say that I loved the long car ride but it was always an adventure. In an effort to beat the Florida summer heat we packed up the car and headed north to the mountains. It took almost 10 hours to reach our destination but boy was it worth it. Cool days and even cooler nights made every ‘are we there yet’ worth it!
Given the circumstances of traveling this summer I have a feeling we aren’t the only ones planning a road trip. Here are some tips that have worked for us over the years —
The night before: • Set your route and plan out your stops whether it be for gas, bathroom breaks or food. • Pack and prepare food. We planned on eating all our meals on the road so the night before I made sandwiches and cut up fruit and veggies so they would be all ready to go. This not only cut down our stops but it was healthier too! • If you can pre-pack the the car, do it. It will make early morning departures so much easier!
• Make sure all devices are fully charged. This might seem obvious but just double check a full charge.
• If you traveling with children (especially young ones) have them pack an extra pair of clothes so you can move them from bed to car without changing.
My travel outfit:
I prefer comfort when traveling and this tank dress is just that. I added my favorite jean jacket around my waist so I would be ready for the cooler mountain temps!
The morning of departure we were up and out the door early, 5:00 am to be exact. As Nick finished packing up the car I was getting the girls out of bed. They stayed in their pajamas and crawled into the car with their pillows and blankets only to fall back asleep for a few more hours. Getting those first few hours of driving in while the kids are sleeping is perfect. Once they woke up I was ready to hand them their breakfast and iPads!
Pro tip: If traveling with kids pack a kids cooler or snack bag for the backseat. It’s much easier for the kids to manage their own drinks/snacks then constantly having to turning around.
Some favorite travel must haves:
• Books to read. I like to bring a book for the girls but audio books are a great option too.
• Coloring books & crayons. I especially love these crayons so they don’t roll off the table!
• Lap desk
• Interstate Bingo
• Headphones for everyone. I personally like the Apple AirPods but these are the headphones the girls use
• iPad/phone/other electronic devices
Pro tip: Make sure you download any movie or audio book the night before!
In an effort to keep the kids doing something other than having their eyes glued to the iPad the entire time we brought some crafts for the trip. My oldest had recently learned how to braid bracelets so I suggested she make one for everyone!
If long car rides make you queasy like me and my family try a game of Car Bingo . It will keep your eyes up and looking around!
This was Lucy’s first road trip and she was amazing. To be honest she is happy wherever we are and napped the entire way. I do suggest a few things if traveling with your family pet -
• collapsable dog bowl
• car seat harness
• or carrier
Not sure if it was the girls’ ages this year (6&9) or the activities we brought along but it was such an enjoyable road trip that I look forward to our next one! Stay tuned to for a followup post where I will share where we stayed in North Carolina along with some of our favorite hiking and dinner spots.
If your traveling over this long weekend I hope you stay safe and enjoy!
Watermelon Salad Recipe
Watermelon is the perfect summer fruit and not just because it’s cool and refreshing. Watermelon is loaded with antioxidants, rich in Vitamin B, and best of all it's hydrating. I’ve been making this watermelon salad for years, it’s the perfect side for any barbecue or cookout. Ingredients: 4 c. Seedless watermelon, cubed 1/2 c. Red onion thinly sliced 2 c. Arugula 1 c. Crumbled feta cheese 1/4 c. Extra-virgin olive oil 2 tbsp. Red wine vinegar 1 tbsp. Balsamic Directions: 1. In a small bowl, whisk together olive oil, red wine vinegar, balsamic 2. In a large serving bowl, combine watermelon, onion, arugula, and feta. Pour dressing and toss to combine. 3. Garnish with flaky sea salt. 4. Keep cold before serving.
Wine Spritzer Recipe
Wine spritzers have become my go-to drink of choice. Whether on a hot summer day, mid-day brunch or just because. I love how light and refreshing they are. Easy to make and served over wine the citrus adds a perfect zest flavor too. I prefer using Sauvignon Blanc in my spritzers however you can use any white wine. My personal favorite wine to use is Whitehaven it’s perfect for both spritzers and serving alongside a yummy meal. Ingredients: Ice White wine (I use Whitehaven) 1/4 glass chilled soda water Citrus of choice - lemon, lime, orange sliced Directions: Fill glass with ice and squeeze citrus over ice (I prefer using all three). Fill glass 3/4 of the way full with wine and top with soda, give a quick stir and enjoy! I love using a straw in my spritzer and these glass straws are my favorite. These are the same ones I use in my smoothies . I recently updated all of our wine glasses, I love these for their clean and classic design. I get so many compliments every time I pull them out to entertain too. Red wine glass (and what I use for my wine spritzers)
White wine glass
Water Goblet Cutting out drinking, not to worry. Soda water on ice with you favorite citrus is just as good. Don’t forget to serve it in your favorite wine glass.
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