Campfire Treats

Doing any camping this summer? If so, you might be looking for some tasty treats that go beyond the basic s’mores. Kick it up a notch with some of these campfire baked snacks.

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1. Bake muffins in an orange! What a great camping hack.

2. I love these elevated s’mores. Belgian cookie crackers, giant marshmallows, chocolate, and strawberry sauce.

3. Skillet brownies . (yours don’t need to be so healthy. Unless you want them to be.)

4. Baked apples, rolled in cinnamon and sugar.

Summer Dayz Popsicles

During these hot summer days I find that I’m craving something sweet and cold at the end of day. Let’s make some popsicles!

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1. I made a few with fresh strawberries, pureed and pieces.

2. Pimm’s Cups are refreshing.

3. Coconut water is hydrating, so it would make an excellent popsicle.

Colorful Summer BBQ

After a whirlwind couple of months with travel, including Singapore last weekend we decided we weren’t quite up to another weekend away. We decided to stay in Hong Kong, enjoy the long weekend (maybe you saw the Dragon Boat on Google), and indulge in a beach and BBQ day. A week late for Memorial Day, but sun, burgers on the grill, corn on the cob and watermelon.

After a fun day at Big Wave Bay, we headed back to our terrace to start the BBQ. We love light, refreshing Pimm’s Cups, so we tried out the Bon Appetit  recipe. We also had white wine {I made a few spritzers, cutting the wine with soda water}, coconut water {hydrating!} and beer.Last Import - 02

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For appetizer we had cut veggies and hummus, as well as chips and guacamole. Since there were so many pretty colors, I had to use my Merimekko napkins. I mixed some healthy tortilla chips and with regular tortilla chips to allow for health preferences.

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For dinner we set up a buffet {yes, I was trying to add some sparkle with the disco ball in the corner} then we sat down together under the lights. Burgers, carrot salad, corn, chips and watermelon made for the perfect beach day dinner.

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For dessert I wanted to end with something chilly to cool down after a hot day. We bought mango sorbet for something a bit lighter, topped with strawberry and kiwi. I loved using cute paper cups with my favorite flamingo napkins. Last Import - 30

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We sat around chatting in the moonlight for a bit, being glad we didn’t have to go to work the next day. A wonderful way to spend a long weekend!

 

DIY Wellness Day

This past Sunday I hosted some girlfriends for a healthy day of yoga, juicing and massage. It was a great to relax and spend time together, and feel good about it the next day. We had so fun that we are thinking of making it a series.

One of the girls knew someone who could teach yoga as well as our juicing class, so we arranged a private class. Sandra from Latin2Yoga was a great instructor and she got along well with the entire group. She was so laid back and helped the entire day run smoothly.

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The weather held out, so we were able to have the yoga class outside on the terrace. It was supposed to be a scorcher, so I put together water bottles for each of the girls, as well as sweat rags (nothing is worse than slipping and sliding on your yoga mat!)

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We started the day at 9 AM, with some light nibbles before yoga class. When everyone arrived, we had oatmeal chia bars and fruit out. I didn’t want it to be heavy, but some people need to fuel their work out, so I wanted to have something available.

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Our yoga class was 90 minutes of breathing, movement and relaxation at the end. It was the perfect amount of work and wellness—and I definitely felt sore the next day!

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After yoga, we were presented with cold towels, scented with peppermint. We added just a few drops to the water to give that high end hotel feeling.

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Then we really dove into the fruit, oatmeal chia bars and veggies with homemade hummus. I tried new bars this time, from my every day muffins, and they drew rave reviews. I used this recipe here.  We also served cold water and flat belly water {lemon, cucumber and mint, infused over night} as a choice of beverages.

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After we snack a bit, we started the juicing class. It was a 2-hour class, the first hour for understanding the benefits of juicing and smoothies and the second hour for tasting. Most of us are fairly educated on the value of organic produce, so it was a lot of fun to try out new recipes we had never imagined.

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Once we were well prepped and educated, it was time for lunch. My awesome husband put together a healthy spread of various salads and roasted vegetables. They were so good and so beautiful. With lunch we served iced tea {like the proper southern girl I am!}, my favorite T2 Quince Tea and for a light dessert, I made my favorite unprocessed mounds bites.

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Once we were good and full, we piled in a taxi and headed to get massages. One of the girls found a modern, fun place where we could get a choice of foot or body massage. It was nice to be able to all get a massage at the same time. I got a body massage and it was wonderful.

As a take away, I gave each girl a box of organic chocolates and some tea to take home to extend her wellness.

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We had so much fun spending the day together, and focusing on our wellness and ourselves. And, in truth, as I spend a lot of time eating healthy, it was great to share some of my recipes and favorites with my friends. I’m looking forward to the next installment!

 

Thoughtful Encounters

Lately, I’ve come to realize how much I value thoughtfulness. I’ve always recognized thoughtfulness, both having it and the absence of it, but not given it much weight past that. But it’s becoming clear to me how important it is.

My very favorite yoga teacher is here in Hong Kong. She has been my instructor since 2005 and I have never found another yoga teacher, here or across the US, that approaches her style. Her classes are well planned, leading from one posture to another, preparing you for the next one. Her style is calming and encouraging, accepting and kind, but the attention she puts into the class flow is really what draws me in.

It really hit me with our recent trip to Bali. We stayed in this little boutique hotel in Ubud called The Purist. With only seven rooms, their attention to detail was incredible. In fact, I’m not big on tipping generally, but there we did, as the service was that outstanding. The staff remembered our preferences and took care of our every need. They greeted us by name, made arrangements for us outside of their normal schedules and made us feel special. And their beautiful setting didn’t hurt.

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I try to remember this when planning an event as well. It’s not about how much you spend, or if all of your decorations are the same colors. It’s the thoughtful touches that really make your party memorable. Maybe it’s wraps on the back of the chairs in case guests get cold. Maybe it’s cold towels on hand on a hot day. Or maybe it’s even as simple as a bowl to toss your olive pits. Those details are the ones that make guests feel cared for and special. And, really, isn’t that what we all want?

Black, White, and Neon Cake + Tea

One of my good friends celebrated a birthday this week, so even though it was wet and rainy, I had her over for a little cake and tea.

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I used a tea towel for the backdrop, one I got in Florence, Italy. I don’t remember what is says exactly, but something about preparing and cooking food for enjoyment, love and family.

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I found these simple gold birthday hats at the grocery store and livened them up a bit with twine. I also grabbed the beautiful white flowers to freshen things up.

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I really loved these washi tape stirrers with the pop of neon color. You just can’t beat washi!

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It was just the two of use, so I made a little cake, and spruced it up with mini oreos. Not heathy, but oh so good with the yellow cake. And I made the T2 quince tea that mentioned in my last post, which was a big hit.

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Overall, it was a fun afternoon, even dodging the rain.

Black, White and Spring

The temperature is finally starting to warm up a bit, so I wanted to take advantage for a little outdoor thank you nibble for my husband. He’s been so wonderful and strong lately, taking care of me and the house in the past month. I wanted to take the time to celebrate him and say thank you.

We’ve had a hectic schedule, but with late dinner plans on Friday, I knew we’d have time for a drink beforehand. I set up a little party for the two us, with snacks and some champagne to just focus on him.

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I’m obsessed with graphic black and white with a bold pop of color. As l look desperately towards spring, green was my color of choice. I used our herbs to add the green lushness, and a fun tea towel as our place mat.

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It’s not a party without bunting! I found this great paper, printed it, and cut out triangles. I used a a gold pen sharpie on the edges to add a bit of fun.

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Since we had dinner plans, I just put out a few snacks– little sandwiches, nuts, and chocolate chia pudding.

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I got this print for my husband years ago, and we don’t have anywhere to hang it in our apartment right now. I framed it with washi tape for this, and my husband was happy to see it. Almost like an old friend he hasn’t seen in awhile.

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The chocolate chia pudding? Well, it’s tasty with sweet mixin’s, but not so great on it’s own. But the spoons– a gift from my mother-in-law– are awesome.

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It was a fun night. My husband really appreciated the effort and felt loved. Which is really why we throw parties, isn’t it? ;)

Modern and Whimsical Fairy Wings Kids Party

I adore everything about this private book reading party. What a gorgeous setting, with tons of pops of color, crafts, and snack.  And, seriously, I’m loving those wings.
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Kelli Murray‘s photo’s bring this party to life. See more from her and this party here.