A Denim Pencil Skirt…

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I brought out my denim pencil skirt for work on Tuesday. Denim skirts are great for casual offices, because you can combine the casual (denim!) with put-together office attire (pencil skirt and heels!). If you’re on the shorter side (like me!), the key for pencil skirts is to make sure that they fit just above the knee (will help elongate your legs), and are fitted but you’re still able to move and breathe.

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The skirt is a few years old from Banana Republic, and I paired it with a black skinny belt, James Perse top, and nude heels.

Skirt – Banana Republic (similar), Belt – Limited (here in grey, white, and gold), Top – James Perse from Nordstrom Rack, Heels – Shoemint

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Asparagus Salad with Garlic Confit Vinaigrette and Pickled Radishes

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Nick was inspired by this Serious Eats post on Raw Asparagus Salad for the first course of our dinner party last week.

First step, is the garlic confit. Garlic confit is one of those amazing creations that makes your entire house smell like heaven and adds a fantastic touch to almost any dish.

Nick uses the garlic confit recipe from Modernist Cuisine, and has tried both the sous vide and pressure cooker methods. He prefers the pressure cooker version simply because it takes two hours instead of seven! It’s extremely simple, just take olive oil, garlic cloves, rosemary, and thyme, and place mason jars in the pressure cooker, filled with water halfway up the sides of the jars.

While the garlic confit is cooking, it is time to prep the asparagus. Using fresh asparagus (ours came from our local farmers’ market), slice (using a mandolin) on the finest level (basically, as thin as possible). Make sure to use a cut resistant glove!

After it is sliced, place the asparagus in an ice bath until the edges start to curl.

To make the pickled radishes, compress the sliced radishes in a chamber vacuum sealer with a vinegar (red wine and apple cider) and salt mixture.

Finally, the dressing. He combined 2 T garlic confit (cooled) with 4 T red wine vinegar, a pinch of salt, and 6 T of olive oil (for 6 small salads).

Toss with the radishes and asparagus, plate, garnish with freshly ground pepper, and serve.

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Imma Bee!

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Yellow is such a fabulous, happy  color, and when I saw that Marion from MarionBerryStyle had picked yellow for her trend of the month challenge, I was really excited.

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The key with wearing a bright color like yellow is to either play up the brights, and go full-force color-blocking, or tone it down with neutral colors (the latter is more professional).

I picked up this top (thanks to Amy of LowCarbHighStyle!), and paired it with my Minnie pants, a white blazer, a statement necklace, and black peep-toe pumps.

Top – Old Navy, Necklace – Banana Republic, Blazer – Nordstrom BP, Pants – J Crew, Heels – Cole Haan from Nordstrom

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Walla Walla Spring Release Weekend

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With celiac, beer is out of the picture. But, I’m definitely able to enjoy a fantastic glass (or two!) of wine. When our good friends Eric and Nicole suggested we join them and some friends for their annual trip to Walla Walla for the Spring Release weekend, we were all in.

With seven of us coming from Seattle, we decided to get a house off of VRBO. It was a great choice! We were walking distance from downtown, and I was able to get in some great runs in the mornings.

We started the trip with Abeja. Abeja’s grounds were beautiful, but unfortunately, we weren’t overly impressed with the wines.

Next up, was Reynvaan. Reynvaan is a relatively new winery started in 2004, and they recently closed their winery (after this spring) to list members only. Luckily, with our 2010 Futures order that we made, we’re now on the list Smile. We got to meet Matt, Mike, and Gale, and had an absolutely fabulous time tasting some of the best wines that I’ve ever had. Every Syrah was unique and yet also spectacular. We purchased 2 bottles of the 2009 The Unnamed Syrah, and 2 bottles each of 2010 The Contender Syrah, In the Rocks Syrah, and the Unnamed Syrah.

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Then we headed to Waters. We met Jamie and Dreux, and tasted through their series. My definite favorites (and our purchases) were the 2010 Tremolo and the 2009 Loess Syrah (Syrah became a definite trend of the weekend!).

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Then Sleight of Hand. We didn’t love anything, but were also in a hurry to make it back to the house. We did make time for some lunch at the Andrae’s Kitchen food truck. The food was awesome. I had their fish tacos, Nick enjoyed his burger, and other folks also had burgers, fries, and poutine.

Finally, we finished day one with the Corliss Spring Release party. We got to enjoy some barrel samples, some fabulous wine, and of course had to make a Syrah purchase. We picked up half a case of the 2007 Syrah (which we ended up sharing with Andrea and Justin), and a bottle each of the 2005 Cabernet Franc and 2006 Cabernet Sauvignon. Of course, we’re now on the Corliss list as well…..

We started Saturday morning with the Figgins release party. The Figgins family started Leonetti Cellar, one of the big names in Walla Walla wine (and one of the infamous lists to get on the list). They make one red blend, and also had a fabulous 2010 Riesling. We picked up two bottles of the blend, and got on the list for the June release.

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We then made our way downtown for the rest of the afternoon. First, we started with Charles Smith. Unfortunately Charles wasn’t there, but we did taste some great affordable wines, picked up two bottles of white (Sauvignon Blanc and Chardonnay) and pre-purchased (of course!) the 2009 “Royal City” Stoneridge Vineyard Syrah.

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Otis Kenyon is another great affordable winery, and we were all big fans of their 2009 Carmenere. We also picked up a bottle of the 2008 Cab Sauv.

Then Spring Valley. Nicole is friends of the family, and their wines were quite good, although I must say that my favorite were the chocolate truffles made by Bright’s candies with the Nina Lee Syrah.

Finally, finished with Rotie Cellars before dinner. Nick was a fan of the 2010 Southern Blend, so we picked up two bottles.

Our last day, we went to L’Ecole No 41. It was a great finish, as we found a fantastic summer white with their Semillon/Sauvignon Blanc blend (good enough that we all shared a case!).

Downside of a fabulous trip? We had to make a wine budget category for Mint!

I Need a Polo….

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Nick golfed growing up, and for our 3rd Christmas together, he bought me my first set of golf clubs.

We decided to get back into golfing more regularly than never, so went to the driving range on Sunday night, and then played 9-holes yesterday.

I wore my J Crew Minnie pants, but realized that I don’t have any cute polo shirts! (Or actually, any polos at all!) I kept it simple with a mint green tee (also from J Crew), and my oh so cute golfing shoes.

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Pardon the hair flying everywhere!

Pants – J Crew Minnie, Tee – J Crew Vintage Cotton V-Neck Tee

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Fun to the Maxi

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Hope everyone had a fabulous 3-day weekend! We kicked it off at work on Friday with a “beach-themed” day for those of us who were in the office and not out enjoying the sunshine. What I wear to the beach is definitely not what I wear to work, so I had to figure out how to fit within the theme, but still stay work appropriate.

I settled on my blue-printed maxi, and wore a black cardigan over the top for work to keep it “office appropriate.”

Dress – Banana Republic, Wedges – Report from Nordstrom, Cardigan – Stem from Nordstrom

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