Independence Day, America’s National day is made for picnics, fireworks, and hamburgers (veggie OK). Some people associated the day with baseball, but my first memory of the federal commemoration of the Declaration of Independence is of a carnival. The Annual Southampton Days Fair in Bucks Country, Pennsylvania was a rowdy conglomeration of live music, midway games, temporary rides, funnel cake, Bingo, a car show, and something strange called a Baby Parade. It doesn’t get more American than an inability to edit excess!

This year feels particularly memorable with the recent SCOTUS ruling on marriage equality. Yes, the country still has some issues. But, it has been said “democ­racy is the worst form of gov­ern­ment, except for all the oth­ers.” I feel proud to be a citizen of the United States.

And what better way to show off that pride than with themed picnic gear and a flag-inspired fashion color palette?

Independence Day themed picnic options featuring Converse, Sur la Table, Kate Spade, Baublebar, Chandon and more!

1 / 2 / 3 / 4 / 5 / 6 / 7 / 8 / 9 / 10
0 comment

BBQ Season

This past week ushered in the heatwave! The first official day of Summer (the solstice) occurs on June 21; the days are long and the sun is intense. For the first time ever, my husband and I have a backyard as a respite from the swelter. We have only been in our new home a mere three weeks, and yet one of the first orders of business was to set up the grill and to get a propane tank. Our second order of business was to fill our wine “vaults.”

With a soundtrack of classic rock (David Bowie, Van Morrison, Bobbie Gentry, Dr. Hook, Paul Simon, Bob Dylan), my husband and I invited over ten friends for an impromptu hangout. The menu included a faro salad, soy-chili-lime salmon, the beef dogs from the Brooklyn Hot Dog Co. (they snap!), a purple cabbage slaw, and worcestershire-onion burgers. Not included in the aforementioned list is my FAVORITE and most simple summer salad: a watermelon, mint, and feta salad. Salty, sweet and refreshing!

Watermelon, Feta and Mint Salad (serves 6) 

  • Half a large watermelon; cubed
  • 3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons EVOO
  • 8 ounces feta cheese, drained and crumbled
  • 1 loosely packed cup fresh mint leaves (I picked mine directly from the backyard! Growing mint is super easy, especially since it’s a weed.)
  • Pink Himalayan Sea Salt

While we were preparing the foods, my friends and I enjoyed glasses of CK Mondavi Blonde Five from our wine cooler at 46 degrees. It’s a great and easy summer wine with aromas of honeysuckle and pear. Luscious flavors of baked apple, honey and lemon zest give this ‘blonde’ a refreshing finish that isn’t too sweet.

The vineyard is run by the legendary Napa Valley wine icon, Peter Mondavi Sr., a World War II veteran. Its price point is under $10 a bottle; the only American made and grown wine in that range. Beyond the pleasant taste, I particularly loved that a percentage of each bottle sold between May – August is donated to Intrepid Fallen Heroes Fund (up to $50,000).  Funded entirely by public donations, IFHF serves U.S. military personnel wounded or killed in service to our nation and their families.

Interestingly enough, owner Marc Mondavi was born on the 4th of July.  The fourth generation wine-making family paired with the patriotic nonprofit in celebration of the owner’s 60th birthday and to honor America’s veterans! A double whammy. 

What is your favorite wine and BBQ pairing?

I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls Collective and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.

0 comment

The Olympics: Sochi 2014

The Olympics always inspire me: humans pushing themselves to the limit in search of fulfillment, pride, glory, and their countries. Sometimes the stories are based on sheer determination, other times, in honor of siblings, in determination to represent friends, as a way to pay homage to their nations. Whatever the case may be, the humans who partake in the feats are extraordinary – often sacrificing normal lives in pursuit of a singular goal.

Vintage Olympic Travel Bag from the SixtiesThis bag  has great graphics of past Olympics host cities, listing them with their respective country flags from 1936 – 1968, though it is interesting to note that the Berlin flag stands in for the 1936 era German flag…

I still replay moments from the Beijing Opening ceremony (that perfect unison), Michael Phelps swimming, Nastia Liukin medal haul, the dream team, Misti and Kerri on the sand, Kerry Strugs landing, and Jesse Owen’s statement on civil rights. The Olympics represent a microcosm of the human spirit.

Team USA by Ralph LaurenPatches, sketches and other sources of inspiration for Ralph Lauren’s official Team USA Opening Ceremony Cardigan cover a design table at company headquarters.

Although I don’t think the USA was the best dressed at the Soshi 2014 Opening Ceremonies (did you see France’s Lacoste jackets? Mexico’s Cardigans? Spain’s Hats? Canada’s Hudson Pay Red Parkas? Sweden’s Leggings?)… I love my country and so let’s represent TEAM USA with the items below.

Inspired by the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics, featuring limited edition TShirts, Sunglasses, Nailpolish and more!

  • Sheriff & Cherry gives a nod to the Olympic rings on these 5-color aviator sunglasses.
  • An illustrated history of the winter games (beginning in Chamonix in 1924) and the athletes, featuring stunning photography in the National Geographic fashion, Freeze Frame: A Photographic History of the Winter Olympics.
  • Designed exclusively for our collection for the 2014 U.S. Olympic Team, these fingerless gloves are made in the USA by Ralph Lauren from warm wool and feature a knit historical American flag and “USA” knit in patriotic colors.
  • Inspired by the heart of a winner, this Limited Edition Olympic glitter nail polish is called Champion by Let it Glitter!
  • This beautiful coat hanger with leather and natural wood is signed and designed by Valérie Windeck – who modeled them after the olympic rings!
  • The Olympic Rings Necklace by Bubble Jewelry is made of %100 cotton thread. When you can’t win a medal, you might as well wear this around your neck.
  • Sadly, we cannot all be great athletes…that’s why this stainless steel flask for the “USA Olympic Drinking Team” is for you!
  • Part of Vivienne Westwood’s 2012 Olympic themed collection, in honor of London’s’ home games, a highly graphic Medal Print T-Shirt.  I know it’s technically British but we’re friends and our flags do have the same colors…

Go #TeamUSA!