VERMONT IN FEBRUARY

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HAPPY VALENTINE’S DAY

This past weekend I went on a little ski getaway with friends to Vermont- one of my favorite kinds of getaways, I really do love a good ski weekend. It was also my first time in the great state of VT. And let me tell you, it was exactly as I expected. Cue the jam bands and craft beer and boys with beards. And of course, beautiful wintery mountain scenery.

 We left Thursday night and drove in our beloved Subaru five hours north to Stratton Mountain, in the southeast corner of Vermont, a couple hours north east of Albany, NY. A very cute and quaint ski town with excellent slopes and 6-chairs a plenty. A little less resort-y than a place like Killington. Unlike the drought-ridden west coast, the Northeast has had quite the heavy hand of snow this year. I spent a lot of time with my snowboard in the trees with the boys, enjoying the powder.

We rented a great early 80s decorated tricked out ski chalet close to the mountain. Pro-tip: If you ever decide to own your own ski chalet, I highly recommend you install a sauna. Seriously clutch. The house we rented had one, and I spent hours in there with the girls, sweating out my toxins and drinking wine. All good for the soul. Also, our ski house has hilarious bubble windows. Kind of amazing. Sharing with you here some fun photos.

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Because a ski house in Vermont seemed like a perfect setting for some craft beer tasting, I brought along a special treat of a case of DuClaw’s Naked Fish chocolate raspberry stout. If you’ve never had chocolate stout before and you are a chocolate lover- you should really try it as a treat. This one is particularly milkshakey with sophisticated layering of flavors. DuClaw incorporates gourmet chocolate raspberry coffee into the grain bill. It was inspired by DuClaw Brewmaster Jim Wagner’s hot cups of raspberry coffee while hanging out at a favorite fishing hole. I’ve heard before that chocolate stout can be incorporated into baking and desert making for creative flavor and this beer inspired me a little. I am sharing with you here a beer tiramisu that I think would be a great easy and fast Valentine’s day weekend boozy treat- especially for sharing with a beer-loving partner. A classic tiramisu (Giada’s recipe here) is made with rum and espresso, and chocolate of course. You can substitute the rum for a stout beer or just add the beer to it (I chose a recipe using the latter).

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::Chocolate ‘Beeramisu'::

6 large egg yolks, room temp

½ cup + ¼ cup sugar

16 oz mascarpone cheese

4 large egg whites

2 oz dark rum

2 packages ladyfingers

12 oz chocolate stout such as DuClaw Naked Fish chocolate and raspberry stout

½ cup espresso

Bittersweet chocolate for shaving

9″ x 9″ baking pan OR individual mason jars as pictured above

  • In a baking pan arrange ladyfingers in a single layer to completely cover the bottom. You may need to cut them so they fit tightly. Repeat for a second layer of ladyfingers. Remove from pan and set aside (this step is to prep the ladyfingers for later layering). Follow same step for small individual mason jars.
  • In a mixing bowl, whisk egg yolks and ½ cup sugar until light and fluffy. Fold in mascarpone a third at a time, whisking to combine. Add rum and whisk it in.
  • Using an electric or stand mixer beat egg whites and ¼ cup of sugar to soft peaks. Fold gently into the mascarpone mixture a third at a time.
  • In the baking pan spread a quarter of the mixture to completely cover the bottom of the pan.
  • Combine beer and coffee in a bowl. Working quickly, dunk each ladyfinger into the beer & coffee mixture and arrange in a tight layer over the mascarpone mixture in the pan. When layer is complete, spread half of the remaining mascarpone mixture over the ladyfingers. Repeat with the second layer of ladyfingers (dunking and layering tightly) and top with remaining mascarpone mixture.
  • Cover with aluminum and let set refrigerated for 24 hours. Top with grated or shaved bittersweet chocolate. Enjoy! ♥

*recipe source

*beeramisu picture source (+slightly different simplified recipe)

DuClaw Brewing Company is a leading craft brewery founded in 1996 based in Baltimore, Maryland. Naked Fish is currently available in 12 and 22 oz. bottles in stores across Maryland, DC, Delaware, Virginia, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and North Carolina. It’s also available on tap at DuClaw brewpubs and in other select bars and eateries.

*this post was sponsored by DuClaw Brewing Company- however all opinions are my own. Especially my feelings about beeramisu. Thank you for supporting and reading ‘the wondergirl’

A VISIT TO THE WYETH ESTATE

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It’s no secret the state of Pennsylvania has some really amazing history and culture. When my mom visited me this past week we decided to check something off of our PA bucket list and visit the Wyeth estate and museum about 45 minutes south east of the city. The Wyeth estate is the property of the Wyeth family, including their family home and the studios of father son artists, N.C. (Newell Convers, what a name) and Andrew. N.C. was an early 20th century realist painter and very successful illustrator, most famously for Treasure Island. Andrew was a realist and regionalist painter of the mid 20th century – his most famous work is arguably Christina’s World  (see below) which hangs in the MoMa in NYC. Andrew was the youngest of N.C.’s five children, all of whom were artistic- one musician- and grew up in the Wyeth home in Chadds Ford, PA. The beautiful river-front museum that is on the property includes many works by N.C., Andrew, Andrew’s son Jamie and other artists of the Brandywine River Valley. We took a tour of the home as well as N.C.’s little white studio up the hill from the house. The studio was filled with easels and many objects he used as models for this illustrations and paintings – really fascinating. If you are in the Philadelphia area, I highly recommend the trip, as it was so interesting and very, very scenic, especially in the fall.

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Free People Every Girl henley :: leather harness :: herringbone pants :: Aritzia jacket (similar) :: Rag & Bone Newbury booties :: mini Pilot bag

 

MY GUIDE TO PHILLY

Recently I was asked to create a Summer Style and Hot Spot guide to Philly for Glam Media’s latest app. I’ve been in Philly now for just 1 year and 8 months (crazy right? feels like it has been so much longer!), which hardly makes me an expert on the city – but I have found a handful of gems (shops! restaurants! bars!) that I really love and frequent often (and take all of my visitors to) and it was fun to create this guide to share them with all of you. See below for my shoppable guide – and download the free iphone and ipad app here to see Style Guides for cities all across the U.S. by fashionable blogging gals.

PHILLY - OUTFIT INSPIRATION

::CLICK ABOVE ON IMAGES FOR LINKS TO BUY!:: PHILLY - HANGOUTS ::FOR MY OUTFIT ABOVE- SEE THE FULL POST HERE:
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I hope this inspired you to come visit Philly – I welcome visitors with open arms :-)

A TRIP TO THE CAPE

CAPE COD 04 CAPE COD MEM WEEKEND 031 CAPECOD 001 CAPE COD 004 CAPE COD 08 CAPE COD 009 CAPE COD 011 CAPE COD 10 CAPE COD MEM WEEKEND 020 CAPE COD MEM WEEKEND 038 CAPE COD MEM WEEKEND 035 CAPE COD 13 CAPE COD MEM WEEKEND 009 CAPE COD MEM WEEKEND 007 CAPE COD MEM WEEKEND 003 CAPE COD 07 CAPE COD MEM WEEKEND 001 CAPE COD 012 CAPE COD MEM WEEKEND 040 CAPE COD MEM WEEKEND 043 CAPE COD MEM WEEKEND 041 Over the long Memorial Day weekend I took a little road trip in my Subaru up to Cape Cod to visit my good friends Danielle & Luke, who now live there (we met in SF!). It’s a quick 5 1/2 – 6 hour drive up the Eastern seaboard, through 6 states (and practically all 13 colonies to get all historical on you)- starting here in Pennsylvania, up through New Jersey and over the George Washington Bridge to New York, up through the entire coastline of Connecticut, around Providence, Rhode Island into Massachusetts and over to the Cape. Sounds like a crazy commute to all the West coasters who are used to so many less states, but it is actually 50 miles less than the distance from SF to LA in California (a drive me and my friends did many a time up and down the 5 when I lived in CA for all those years). A couple more friends from Boston and Rhode Island joined at our ‘Cape house’ as we like to call it and despite not exactly high-summer weather we had a great time- beach walks (glute burners those sand walks), clamming, late night dance parties, shotskis, backyard hang-out sessions in multi-colored Adirondacks (painted by Luke excellently) and exploring and drinking and eating our way through all the charming Cape towns- Barnstable & Barnstable Harbor, Wellfleet, Provincetown, Sandwich and a little Chatham, Dennis and Hyannis Port (had to check out the Kennedy Compound, and the Taylor Swift house across the street) thrown in too. I consumed exactly 3 lobster rolls and about 18 glasses of white white. What more could you ask for from a holiday weekend? It’s fun to be able to explore a little of the East Coast while I live here – especially such an awesome and lovely place like Cape Cod. Thanks D & L for having me (they’re always so good to me)! Love you, your grand fun company and friendship and your home!

Happy June to you all and hope you enjoyed your holiday weekends as well! xx

 I’m wearing a Free People tee, a DIY denim skirt (love this, this & this one) and an Annabel Ingall silver leather tote

AUSTIN PHOTO DIARY PART 1

A week or so ago my SF girlfriends (one of whom now lives in Austin) and I all met up in the great state of Texas for a Spring Break of sorts. Austin is a seriously cool town, and we painted it red, like morning noon and night. I couldn’t get enough – I wanted to move in forever. It must have been the 80 degree dry heat, the serious BBQ and real deal Mexican food (dear God how I miss you…), the many lone star beers, the margaritas, the apartment complex pool, and of course, the company. Sharing with you here some of my photos…

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from the Top: daily stops at ‘Juice Land’ were very necessary – found a new favorite smoothie combo – Peachy Green (ie: frozen peaches and greenery) :: BBQ at the Salt Lick & wine tasting & group photo taking at Salt Lick Cellars (conveniently next door) :: Shopping at ‘Feathers’on South Congress (so good) :: a visit to Barton Springs ::

TO BE CONTINUED….

CHRISTMAS IN WHISTLER

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Greetings from Whistler, BC, Canada! I am up North here with my family enjoying a White Christmas. We could use a little more snow to make the skiing and snowboarding just a little better, but I will take it – and the clear skies. Merry Christmas Eve to you all and your loved ones! Hope you are all off celebrating and snuggling as well. One more sleep until Santa comes :-). xx

IN THE WISSAHICKON VALLEY

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When I chose to move away from San Francisco last winter, one of the things I knew I was going to miss was the nature and all of the outdoorsy activities I used to do in the Bay Area. I used to love to take my trusty Subaru outside of the city on the weekends to go on a hike in Marin up Mount Tam, put my feet in the Ocean at Ocean or Stinson Beach or head up the 80 into the Sierras to Tahoe. Growing up on an island in the great Pacific Northwest, I didn’t ever realize how much I loved being in nature and the out of doors, and how refreshing and rejuvenating it was for my spirit until I moved to the city. While I love the energy and culture of cities, they can feel claustrophobic at times to me. Luckily, San Francisco had so much surrounding nature to offer. I knew it just wasn’t going to be the same in Philly – the ocean is an hour + drive away (could be worse) and the state is pretttyyyyy flat. However, Philly has surprised me in several ways unexpectedly, and now I have discovered what I think might just become my new weekend oasis.

 When one of my oldest friends from said Pacific Northwest island visited me this past weekend (love her), I convinced her pretty easily to ditch out on seeing the usual tourist attractions (still haven’t seen the Liberty Bell in person, oh well) and instead get out our hiking boots and explore Wissahickon Valley Park just northwest of the city. It’s where people tell you to go when you tell them you like outdoorsy stuff, and I am surprised it took me this long to get there. We were about 2 weeks late to really seeing the fall leaves in their most brilliance, but the park really was beautiful and the light was perfect. There is even a cozy historical Inn in the Park where you can enjoy lunch- or just post hike Bourbon-spiked Hot Ciders. We said yes to that, twice. Sharing pictures from our day here…

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FREE PEOPLE JACKET (I also love this one and this one) / NORSE PROJECTS SWEATER HOODIE (also love this one) / LULULEMON PANTS / RAY BAN WAYFARERS / HIKING BOOTS FROM GOOD OLE REI

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 “The earth has music for those who listen.” ― George Santayana

A SONOMA AFFAIR

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A flashback to August when I went out West to see a good friend get married in the always glorious Sonoma, CA. We took advantage of the locale and spent the Sunday after wine tasting, actually just hanging out here, at Ram’s Gate Winery, which quickly became our new favorite. If you’re in the market for a great Sonoma/Napa trip – don’t miss this place.

I do miss being so close to Napa and Sonoma – it was such a great getaway locale. I will have to find me some wineries in these parts….

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rams gate 034 i miss all your faces and cute little personalities, girls ♥

NYFW: packed and ready

I am all packed and ready to go! Fashion Week here I come! I am jumping on a place tonight set for NYC.

one of the fun parts about FW is all of the outfits! the outfit planning! Can be overwhelming but a fun project. Here’s a sneak peak of a little of what is going in my bag….

a metallic maxi skirt… plenty of black lace….tuxedo stripe pants….jewel tones… studs and jewels…. pinky nude eyeshadows and dark dark lipstick (and some pinkier ones too)

Can’t wait to share with you all here all of my outfits and adventures… check back often xx

I will also be tweeting and instagraming all week, so be sure to follow here and here!

 *And Congratulations to Annie L. who won the Aidan Mattox sparkly dress giveaway!