Spirit Saturday: an American Classic, The Mint Julep


In the spirit of the Kentucky Derby next Saturday this week's Spirit Saturday is the Mint Julep. I've got you covered on this true American classic for your Derby party next weekend. You'll be feelin' fine as you sip on these minty treats while cheering on your favorite horse!

The Mint Julep is a classic for the Kentucky Derby. Although it predates the Derby it is largely popularized by the Derby and Churchill Downs expects to serve aprox. 120,000 mint juleps next weekend. The Julep is traditionally served in a silver cup with crushed ice.

Muddle (or lightly bruise) the mint in simple syrup until fragrant.

 Stir your ingredients well.

It's like a snow cone...for adults!

The Mint Julep yields 1

3 ounces bourbon whiskey
6 sprigs of mint
3/4 ounce simple syrup

Muddle, or bruise the mint and simple syrup in the bottom of a mint julep cup or rocks glass until mint becomes fragrant. Add the bourbon and stir to mix. Fill glass with finely crushed ice and stir with a swizzle stick until ice begins to form on the outside of the glass. Top with more crushed ice and garnish with a mint sprig. Serve with a straw.

Color Block Like it's Hot, an outfit post


Color blocking is one of my favorite fashion trends. It can vary from so simple like the way I chose to feature for this outfit post to completely bold. I also love it because I thing it is a totally workplace friendly fashion trend. You can totally pull off some vibrant pants and a top or a monochromatic outfit to work and look chic and professional all at the same time! I also love this outfit because I can go from work to play in one outfit and it looks great for both occasions!

I am a big fan of statement jewelry so when I found this necklace on sale at Sloan Boutique in NW Portland I was stoked to say the least. I love pairing it with loose t-shirts and jeans to dressing it up with this outfit!

Outfit Details:
Dress, H&M
Blazer, F21
Necklace, via Sloan Boutique
Tights, Hue

Instaweek, a weekly wrap up


Row 1: I made one of my favorite snacks, Herb Roasted Fingerling Fries, which you can find here; proverbial shoe shot, outfit post to follow this week; my friend, Kristin, and I went wine tasting on Sunday, this was our last stop for bubbles!
Row 2: I had breakfast with a friend on Sunday and this was the colossal Bloody Mary I ordered, and yes that is a shrimp; Cassidy and I had a solid game of fetch this week; preparing garnish for Meyer Lemon and Thyme Gimlets.
Row 3: I received my first order of Stickygrams and promptly decked out our fridge; made a simple dinner of grilled asparagus and chicken breast with a dijon cream sauce; on Saturday night I went soul dancing with my brother, which was a lot of fun. DJ Beyondadoubt is one of my favorite DJs in Portland, she spins vintage Soul 45s.

If you have and Instaweek like post, please link up below, I'd love to to see it! You can also follow my happenings on Instagram @ForkandVine.

Spirit Saturday: Meyer Lemon and Thyme Gimlet


It's that time of week again to get your cocktail on...Spirit Saturday! This is a new cocktail favorite and there are a couple ways that you can make this Meyer Lemon and Thyme Gimlet. If you are only making two cocktails you can follow my instructions below. However, if you plan on making for a crowd I would suggest making a meyer lemon and thyme syrup by doubling or tripling the ingredients and steeping in a simple syrup mixture.

Muddle thyme in one cup of good quality gin and allow to steep for 1-2 hours before assembling cocktail.

I love making cocktail garnish! Garnish how you like. I decided to garnish with thyme sprigs and twisted meyer lemon peel...so pretty!

Juice your Meyer lemons!

This cocktail is a nice sweet and herb-ally cocktail. The thyme perfectly balances out the sweetness of the Meyer lemons. This is going to be a great sipper for spring and summer weather!

Meyer Lemon and Thyme Gimlet yields 2
Adapted from Small Bites, Food Finds in the Lower Hudson Valley

1 cup Gin
1 handful thyme
2 Meyer Lemons, juiced
3/4 ounce Simple Syrup
Garnish of thyme and lemon peel or slice

Muddle thyme in gin and allow to steep for 1-2 hours (the longer you steep the more intense the thyme flavor, I steeped for 1.5 hours). Strain out thyme leaves and add all ingredients except garnish in a cocktail shaker with ice and shake vigorously. Pour into cocktail glasses and garnish. Serve for brunch or an afternoon spring/summer cocktail.

Elbow Patches and an Aztec Print, an outfit post


As I edit through these photos (which is not a lot because Will did a phenomenal job photographing!), I notice that the scenery isn't quite right. If I didn't tell you when these were taken you would probably assume fall with all the leaves on the ground, but in fact we took these photos this week! Crazy how this spring has started out and I am just itchin' for warmer weather!

I am not the only one in our house frustrated over the cool temps. Will has just started his bike racing season and training and racing the amount of hours he does in poor weather is just crappy, to put it plainly. He is leaving this weekend for a race in Walla Walla and normally it is at least drier there than it is in Portland. However, he's been checking the weather and it's not looking good. Nevertheless, I hope  it turns around and he has a good time.

I don't often wear this frock because it needs a little altering to look right on me. I love the comfort and prints of Tulle dresses (and they have pockets!), however I find them to be a little short and busty for my figure. I usually have to wear shorts or leggings with them, otherwise I might be a little indecent. The other day I discovered that my cropped H&M sweater looks great with it, at least until I have it altered before summer.

I love this sweater, but I find it a little funny that the elbow patches sit just above my elbows. You would think I was super tall with a dress to short and a sweater with elbow patches to high, but no...I am only 5'6! That is my favorite part about remixing clothes, is taking garments that are unique (maybe there's something not quite right) and pairing them with another garment and the two together makes a fabulous outfit!

Outfit Details
Dress, Tulle
Sweater, H&M
Leggings, Nordstrom Rack
Boots, Enzo Angiolini via Nordstrom
Belt, F21
Necklace, Anthropologie
Bangle, thrifted
Earrings, We Dream In Color Etsy Shop

I hope you all are having a lovely spring!

Tomato and Tuna Pasta with Toasted Walnut and Spinach Pesto


This probably comes as no surprise, but I have gone back to eating gluten again...and full force! It is horrible, but I cannot get enough of those tasty carbs. I've been eating pizza, pasta, bread, you name it. There will come a time when I will have to cut myself off again, but for now I am going to eat some pasta! However, if you are not on the fast track to hell with me, you can totally make this with brown rice pasta. After all, this recipe is more about the pesto!

The pesto ingredients got a little tweeked after I took this photo. Pay no mention to the missing ingredients.

If you're questioning whether you really need to toast the walnuts for this recipe...yes, yes you most certainly need to! I promise you that the pesto will be all the more flavorful.

Don't forget to wilt your spinach as well!

Tomato and Tuna Pasta with Spinach and Toasted Walnut Pesto serves 4
Adapted from Every Day Food

1/2 pint grape or cherry tomatoes, halved
2 cans tuna fish, drained and flaked with a fork
16 oz fusilli pasta
shaved pecorino for garnish

1 bunch (about 1 pound), trimmed and washed
1 cup walnuts, toasted
1/4 cup shaved pecorino
1 tablespoon finely grated lemon zest
1 tablespoon lemon juice
2 tablespoons chopped parsley
2 garlic cloves
1/4 cup olive oil
coarse salt and pepper

Add spinach and 1 tablespoon water to a large skillet over med-high heat. Cook, stirring constantly, until spinach is wilted, about 3 minutes. In a food processor combine spinach, walnuts 1/4 cup pecorino, lemon juice and zest, parsley, and garlic. Process for 20 seconds then pour olive oil in food processor in a steady stream until emulsified. Add salt and pepper to taste.

In a large pot of boiling, salted water, cook pasta al dente, according to package instructions. Reserve 1 cup pasta water; drain pasta. Return pasta to pot along with pesto, tomatoes, tuna and cooking liquid. Toss to combine. Transfer to a serving plate and garnish with remaining pecorino. Enjoy!

Instaweek, a weekly wrap up


Now that Instagram is available for Android users I am officially hooked....along with several other million users! I've been taking pictures like crazy with Instagram, and while it's no substitute for the photo quality of the dslr I use, it totally makes up for in charm, convenience and weight. In celebration of my new fixation I thought I would introduce a new feature post, Instaweek, a weekly wrap up of Instagram pictures of my life. This first post actually includes photos from the past two weeks.

Row 1: Yesterday morning Will and I enjoyed lattes and pastries from our neighborhood coffeeshop; Will and Cassidy enjoying some quality snuggle time (it's our favorite past time!); Making a spinach and toasted walnut pesto for pasta dinner (recipe up on the blog this week).
Row 2: Shopping for chocolates at Honest Chocolates in Newberg with Patty (they charge by the pound!); Enjoying the sun with Will on Easter Sunday in my new vintage spring frock; Catching some good conversation and happy hour with friends at The Teardrop Lounge (they make the best artisan cocktails!).
Row 3: This sweet kitty cat was a little tired from all the Easter festivities; Getting some ink work done at New Rose Tattoo with Traci on my Margaret Kilgallen tattoo (color comes next in about 3 weeks); Having my favorite afternoon snack: toast with fromage blanc, roasted grape tomatoes and fresh thyme.

That's a snippet of two weeks in my life. You can follow me on Instagram under the username, forkandvine. Also if you have an Instaweek like post I'd love to see it, feel free to link up using the form below!

Polished for Work, An Outfit Post


I am pretty lucky to wear what I want to work. Our winery is very progressive so I am fortunate enough to wear some funky outfits like that green maxi dress, or go more conservative with this little number. I dress up often and really believe in putting my best foot forward with a polished, put together look.

The funny thing is, no matter how hard I try to put together a polished look, something is a little off. Like, wearing too long of a slip! No big deal because my friend at work, Patty, has no problem telling me. Unfortunately, it's after I've taken my outfit photos! Whoops!

This skirt is so fun! It's hard to make out, but it's printed with little horses all over and the pockets are in the back of the skirt! This was such a cute find while having a girls shopping day with my sister during the holidays in Sacramento. I bought this at the Sugar Shack, which is one of her favorite shops.

Outfit Details
Sweater: Free People, thrifted
Blouse: F21
Skirt: Alice Moon via Sugar Shack
Belt: vintage via Lodekka
Heels: Nicole via pedX Shoes

Spicy Baked Potato Chips


What do you do when your neighbor gives you a bag of Russet potatoes? Easy, make baked potato chips! These aren't just any baked potato chip, they have a nice little kick to them with a few pinches of cayenne!

I have a high threshold for heat so while I was making these I kept thinking: "oh Martha, these are not hot enough," and one pinch of cayenne turned into 4 pinches for me! So be warned, use 1-5 pinches depending on your tolerance for heat.

Spicy Baked Potato Chips serves 4
Adapted from Martha Stewart Living

Vegetable cooking spray
2 pounds russet potatoes, sliced into 1/4 in. rounds
3 tablespoons olive oil
coarse salt
1-5 pinches cayenne (depending on heat threshold)
fresh cracked pepper

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Lightly coat two rimmed baking sheets with cooking spray and set aside (this recipe makes 2 batches, or 4 baking sheets total). Put potatoes, oil, 1 tablespoon salt and the cayenne in a large bowl and toss well, season with pepper.

Arrange potato slices on baking sheets spacing potatoes about 1/4 inch apart. Bake, rotating sheets halfway through, until potatoes are lightly browned and crisp, about 30 minutes. Spread chips out on parchment paper and let dry for 5 minutes. Repeat with second batch. Sprinkle with more coarse salt. Enjoy!

April 9th, a Day of Reflection


I often shield a lot of my personal life from this blog, mainly because I want this to be a place of positivity, joy and carefree of everyday problems. However, today I want to share with you something very personal to me how I have coped with it and how it has shaped the person I am today. April 9th is a very sad, special and reflective day for my family and myself. It is the anniversary of when my father passed away, and today marks the sixteenth year without him in my life. I was unfortunate enough to lose my father in a freak accident when I was eleven years old. I miss him every day and am sorrowed by all the wonderful events I was not able to share with him. It is true that with time, grief, becomes easier. However, it is difficult to think what if? I have struggled with my grief over the years, but in the last five years of my life it has become much easier because I shifted how I look back on my father's death.

Instead of asking "what if," I try to remember all the wonderful memories I have with my father. Although my parents were divorced at the time of his death I hold many fond memories with my dad and of our family together in it's entirety. I was very fortunate to have an amazing father and shared wonderful experiences with him growing up; I know not all people have this luxury with their parents. My dad was devoted to us and being everything to us because he did not have a father growing up. We played horseshoes weekly, flew kites, went camping and biking. Actually, one of my strongest memories is my father teaching me how to ride a bike when I was about five or six. He had been working with me on it for nearly a week. I am pretty stubborn when it comes to learning something and wanting to do it myself so he took my brother and I to our neighborhood park where it grassy and softer to fall on. He left me to work on it myself, while he and my brother flew a kite, because I was getting really frustrated. Sure enough, within a couple minutes I was off and nearly ran them over! When I was in fourth grade my dad took me on a trip to Mission San Jose for my California mission project. On the trip, we also went to Winchester Mystery House. It was just the two of us; we had so much fun and I treasure that memory everyday.

The sad thing about time is that you sometimes lose some of those memories. Writing is one way I have been able to keep these memories alive. I know I will be able to look back on my writing even if a memory has faded. I do miss certain things, like how my dad smelled. After he died I would wear his flannel shirts because they reminded me of him. I also watched home movies often to hear his voice and catch glimpses of him (he was often behind the camera).

Grief is a funny thing, and there is no right or wrong way to grieve, well maybe not grieving would be the wrong way. It is different for everyone and it is especially difficult for children. The police department appointed a chaplain to our family, who definitely helped our family process the grief. My mom did the best she could in honoring and preserving our fathers memory and helped my brother and I with our grief the best way she knew how. Later in life I learned about The Dougy Center from a book my mom gave me. I wish we knew about The Dougy Center when I was younger, but it has helped me later in life understand my grief. They are a national organization dedicated to supporting children and families through grief. In Portland, they offer grief counseling programs for children that is a safe and constructive environment for them to grow in. I am looking into their volunteer program now that I am more comfortable and accepting of my grief.

Today is a hard day. There was crying...and in writing this it feels bittersweet because I feel I can talk about it so openly and yet my heart feels a little bit heavier today, missing my dad. Tonight Will and I are celebrating my dad by having one of his favorite meals...steak! I will be remembering fond meals where we had steak dinners and ice cream for dessert. To my mom and my brother I hope that you are filled with fond memories of dad today. Dad, I love you and you are greatly missed!

Photo: Apparition  by Animesh Ray

Daffodils and a Sweet Vintage Shift Dress


I love love love this dress! It's been quite a while since I've worn it since it was sadly laying in my dry cleaning pile, but I took it recently to be cleaned and couldn't help but wear it the very next day. I picked up this sweet little 60's shift dress up at a garage sale in Eugene about seven years ago! I love the sheer lacy sleeves and the sweet daisy print.

I have the urge to get back to some serious thrifting this spring and summer. I have scored some really cool things in the past...and also, regretfully, let go of some finds over the years. I really enjoy thrifting, but for some reason I kind of let it go recently. I think it's the crappy weather...who really wants to go to garage and estate sales when it's still snowing? Things are looking up though for my wardrobe and thrifting prospects as I see 70 degree days in the near future!

Here is one truth about me: I love shoes, but I am not very good at keeping them pretty. I try and I try to not wear my shoes out, but eventually, and sooner rather than later, they are worn or have stains. I am so bad at it. I love these Seychelles heeled oxfords and I am trying really hard to keep them looking the way they do now. If any of you ladies have any helpful tips for me on keeping shoes looking new I would really appreciate it!

Outfit Details 
60's vintage lace shift dress, thrifted
Sweater, AEO
Coat, Tulle via Modcloth
Belt, thrifted
Tights, Anthropologie
Shoes, Seychelles via DSW



Things have been a little quiet here lately on the blog, but I am happy to be back at blogging today and sharing what's been going on. My sister visited over the last weekend and we had a great visit. We went prom dress shopping, watched movies, ate delicious food and had lots of quality girl time. I am really gearing up for spring, but I wish the weather would follow my lead in the Pacific NW. While many of my fellow blogging friends in the upper Midwest and East Coast are experiencing a lovely, warm spring, we are still getting a lot of rain and even snow! I am really excited about this spring and summer because there are a lot of fun and exciting things happening from my sister's graduation, becoming an aunt and some happenin' developments at work. I was asked to attend a healthy cooking event next Thursday put on by Whole Foods and I am pretty excited to taste some healthy snacks and learn about some new products. Also, I am attending my first blogger meet up on Saturday the 14th! I am really excited to meet some cool blogging peeps and make new friends in this awesome community. Stay tuned here or on my Twitter and Instagram profiles for updates and pics.

In other news...Instagram is now available on Android! I was so stoked yesterday to finally join the Instagram revolution. I've been having a lot of fun the last couple days playing with the app. You can follow my account, ForkandVine, for musings and happenings in my daily life. I look forward to hearing from you and seeing your pretty pictures too!