Netflix and Watermelon Mimosas for Back to School

This mimosa recipe is a great way to take your favorite summer watermelon and bring it right in to fall! Plus, now that the kids are back in school, you get the TV to yourself! Here are the Netflix Movies and TV Shows you need to be watching. (ad) #StreamTeamAmen. The kids are back in school! So grab your mom friends and share some watermelon mimosas in celebration! And in preparation of my youngest finally being in school for a full day, I’ve prepared a list of the Netflix movies and TV shows I plan on watching. Because I can.


Prosecco Vinaigrette with Kale Salad

Kale salad with Prosecco vinaigrette.What a classy little lunch, right?! That right there is a totally civilized salad and a glass of bubbly totally suited for ladies who lunch. But I get a chance to eat out with my girlfriends about once every six months so I don’t really know any ladies who lunch. I definitely don’t know any who would have a glass of Prosecco at lunch (and I’m totally not judging, I’d really like to know those people. I love day drinking!) So this recipe for Prosecco Vinaigrette feels really special, when in reality it is super easy and pretty darn basic.

Prosecco vinaigrette recipe for kale salad with oranges and raspberries. A refreshing summer salad! For the dressing you will need the ingredients shown above. Pretty much stuff you have lying around your pantry. Except for maybe the Prosecco. Do your self a favor and go buy a bottle. Keep it on hand for that one time you do get to invite your adult friends over and pretend you are fancier than you really are. That is not for their benefit, but yours. Get out of mom mode and turn on your inner socialite. You only need a little bit for the salad so you’ll be able to drink the rest out of fancy flutes (or juice glasses. whatevs).

Kale salad with Prosecco vinaigrette.This dressing is made like most other vinaigrettes. I like to make it in a mason jar so you can shake it up and then store it in the same container.

Prosecco Vinaigrette Recipe. Pairs well with kale salad. I’m so fancy…you already know…Sorry. Couldn’t help myself. Add your Prosecco.

Easy Prosecco vinaigrette dressing for salads. I used a fork to really whisk it up followed by a shimmy shake in the jar.

Kale salad with almonds, oranges and raspberries in a Prosecco vinaigrette.And here is why this is so easy. You can make this ahead of time if you know your friends are coming for lunch. Or you can quickly make it while they are there. You can also not invite anyone over and keep it all to yourself. I love a kale salad but the idea of massaging it and washing it and trimming out the rib is much too much work. So I bought the Taylor Farms bagged kale salad with Brussels sprouts. I ignored the cheese, crouton crumbs and dressing and instead added fresh raspberries, orange segments and almond pieces. SO GOOD! It looks and sounds totally impressive, tastes great and was next to no work at all.

Kale salad with Prosecco vinaigrette.If you are having a large group I would toss the salad with the dressing right before serving. Or you can find a cute tiny pitcher to put the dressing in and have the guests dress their salads themselves. If I was saving this for my lunch for the week, I would keep the dressing in the jar so it is ready to go and rinse the raspberries and section the oranges as needed.

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Prosecco Vinaigrette with Kale Salad
This delicious salad is perfect for warm weather and features a delicious Prosecco vinaigrette.
Recipe type: Appetizer
  • For Lemon Prosecco Vinaigrette
  • ¼ cup Prosecco DOC
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 2 TBSP Dijon mustard
  • 2 TBSP fresh lemon juice
  • 2 TBSP honey
  • Kosher salt and freshly cracked pepper, to taste
  • ½ cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • For Salad
  • 4 cups Brussels sprouts, rinsed and trimmed
  • 2 cups chopped kale leaves
  • (or 1 bag of Taylor Farms bagged Brussels Sprouts and Kale salad mix - removing the extra toppings bag - if using the measurements above, it will make about 6 servings as a side dish or 3-4 as a main dish. The Taylor Farms bag will feed about 4 side dish sized portions or 2 main dish portions)
  • 2 navel oranges, segmented and sliced
  • ½ cup fresh raspberries
  • ½ cup chopped almonds
  1. For the dressing
  2. Whisk together Prosecco, garlic, mustard, lemon juice, honey, salt and pepper with fork in a small bowl or jar.
  3. Gradually whisk in olive oil until well combined.
  4. For the salad
  5. Plate kale and Brussels Sprouts.
  6. Top with orange segments and raspberries.
  7. Top with chopped almonds.
  8. Drizzle with dressing just before serving.

*Prosecco and recipe were provided for this post.


Simple Unique Entertaining Tips

Use modpodge and fabric to dress up a store-bought succulent container. I think entertaining friends is a great way to share yourself with them. Through your home decor choices to what you serve, when you invite people in, you are letting them get to know you more intimately. Here are some simple, unique entertaining tips to let your personal style shine through while having a great time with friends.

I love succulents as much as the next person. But I have a black thumb plus I don’t like to be dirty. I don’t know how to replant plants in to decorative pots and every time I decide I’m going to do it, I buy a huge bag of dirt (why don’t the home improvement stores sells a half bag???) that just sits there for a year before I throw it out. What I’ve started doing instead is just adding a little pizzaz to the pots the plants are sold in. I make sure to leave the bottom free so the water can still drain out. Here, just a little bit of Mod Podge and some bright fabric make these pots a little more fun. I have these all around my house and it not only makes the house feel more lived in (plants really are miracle workers) but I can show a bit of my design style in the colors and fabric patterns that I choose.

Upcycle a tray from the top of a box of candy. Just use a little modpodge and cool wrapping paper. I don’t know about you but I am NOT made of money. I love to shop but shouldn’t. So I try to look at things that are around the house and figure out how I can use them in a new way. This “tray” was actually part of a plastic box that held candies at Christmas. I used a little Mod Podge and some cool wrapping paper to make it a custom tray. And I love leopard so this was another great way to show a little of myself. It’s not heirloom quality by any means, but it totally passes as a tray and when I think it has done its job, I can throw it out and not feel like I’ve wasted money.Easy entertaining idea: a unique candy or a special treat you brought back from a recent trip to share with your friends. I love candy. My husband and I don’t take ourselves to seriously so I love to have candy to put out when friends drop by. Candy makes people happy. And even when someone is on a diet, they will still reach for one piece of candy. Pretty much any candy will work but I like to use the opportunity to pull out some unique candy that you can’t find everywhere. These cinnamon milk dreams are pretty and delicious and were picked up on my recent trip to Portland. Not only am I sharing something new with my friends, but I’m sharing a little bit about myself and my love of traveling and finding new things.Kim Crawford sparkling wine for entertaining your friends in style. And even at the most casual of gatherings, you should serve sparkling wine. Don’t save it for a fancy occasion. Serve it on a Tuesday afternoon. Because most people don’t. You don’t have to spend a ton on a great bottle. Find one that you like and share it with your pals. A lot of people like to play it safe and serve what they think most people like or what they know they like. But I like to take that risk of serving something new. Sure, there have been flops. Which has made for some pretty fun memories.Use a drop of essential oils in your sparkling wine! This wild orange is like a refreshing mimosa.I’ve recently become obsessed with essential oils and have been wanting to try them out in all different ways. YOU GUYS! The wild orange oil in sparkling wine???? AMAZING! The lavender was thumbs up emoji too. Do things different. (Just be careful ingesting the oils and always follow directions on the bottle! The oils paired perfectly with this sparkling wine from Kim Crawford.Essential Oils in ChampagneKim Crawford is one of my favorite wine brands. If I could only drink their Sauvignon Blanc for the rest of my life, I’d be a happy lady. But this sparkling wine is definately a new favorite. It’s crisp and dry with a vibrant fizz. If you see it in the store, pick up a bottle and try it for yourself! Their motto is “Undo Ordinary” which I adore and is how I try to do things in my own life. Ordinary is fine. It’s just so much more fun to color outside the lines once in a while. For me, it’s next to impossible to not be creative. Sometimes I think my personal motto should be, “Can’t leave well enough alone.” But that makes me, me. And my guests know this. And embrace it. (I think.) How do you entertain differently and let your personal style come through?

*Kim Crawford sent me a bottle of their Fizz Methode Traditionnelle to try.

Best Champagne Punch Recipe

Best Champagne Punch Recipe.This is the best champagne punch recipe. The only one you’ll ever need. It is my family’s go-to celebratory recipe and we’ve been serving it for years. But if you get the chance you really should serve it to your friends out in the middle of the desert. All images via Tammy Mendoza.

Photo shoot out in Palm Springs.Since we were headed out to Palm Springs to shoot some new head shots, we thought it would be fun if we shot a recipe post while we were out there. This is the type of stuff that is so fun for a creative person. So often I have these big ideas in my head but the logistics to pull them off are a little bit too much for one person, or on account of family time constraints. I was SO excited to be able to sneak away with Tammy and Lauren and get to do something totally different.

Champagne and the desert. Two of my favorite things. We found this gorgeous little spot to set up in and got the bottles popping.

Best Champagne Punch RecipeAnd then started assembling the ingredients. This punch is pretty citrus-y so its refreshing and flavorful.

Add the champagne.What I love about champagne punch is that it works well for a crowd and because of all the other ingredients, you don’t need to splurge on the good bubbly. A super cheap bottle is perfect. And since this is SO yummy, you will need to make several batches. Know that going in and have several batches prepped ahead of time.

Slice citrus fruits for an easy garnish for your punch.Usually the garnish is some citrus slices. If you want to get crazy, you can add fresh raspberries. The pop of pink is a really fun touch. And edible flowers would be even more lovely.

Champagne in Palm Springs.Although this is a punch and your natural instinct might be to run towards your standard punch bowl, you should change things up a bit. I like to serve this Here I decided to use a vase to serve the punch in.

Make champagne punch and serve it in something other than a punch bowl to keep things interesting. I love to use things for something other than their intended purpose.

Delicious citrus champagne punch.But if that’s not your jam, simply make several batches and serve them in mismatched glass jars. Empty wine bottles are perfect for this. And this is a great way to make sure that all your guests can get their beverage quickly without having to wait for the ladle.

Best champagne punch recipe..How gorgeous is this?! It really makes me want to throw a whole desert party.

Fur coats and champagne punch in Palm Springs.

Best Champagne Punch Recipe
Best champagne punch recipe. Citrusy and refreshing, this punch is perfect for all your festive gatherings.
Serves: 3 quarts
  • 1 can (46 oz.) Pineapple Juice (cold)
  • 1 bottle (28 oz.0 Club Soda (cold)
  • 1 can (6 oz.) Frozen OJ Concentrate (thawed)
  • 1 bottle Champagne or Sparkling Wine (chilled)
  • 1 lemon or lime, finely sliced for garnish
  • 1 cup fresh or frozen raspberries for garnish (optional)
  1. Combine all ingredients, stir and serve.
  2. Garnish with a slice of fresh lemon or lime.
  3. Can be made the night before but wait to add the club soda and champagne until ready to serve.
  4. Should at least plan to double or triple the recipe. It is a crowd pleaser.

All images by Tammy Mendoza of Dez and Tam Photography 

*I did not create this recipe. Years ago, before blogs and Pinterest, when you found a recipe you liked, you wrote it down and emailed it to all your friends and family. The source for this recipe is long gone. If you know the source, please share! I like to credit when credit is due! 


7 Great Marmalade and Jam Cocktails

Mmmmmm.  Marmalade cocktails are awesome. So I am kind of in love with the idea of using marmalade in my cocktails.  Especially orange marmalade.  It is both sweet and sour and that appeals to me very much.  I thought you could probably just add it to champagne to do a fun take on a mimosa.  But it was missing something.  So I decided to do a search for marmalade and jam cocktail recipes so I can learn how to build a better drink.

There are so many variations of marmalade cocktails.  Have you tried them?

A gin based cocktail from Food Network.

Another one that is gin based but adding a little Campari from Food Republic.

Here is a Brunch Punch made with vodka and orange marmalade.

Check out the Weissen Sour with both beer and bourbon.

Gin and jam cocktail from Honestly Yum.

A whiskey based cocktail with fig jam.

Lemon Verbena and Raspberry Jamtini.  Doesn’t that sound refreshing!

Champagne and marmalade is a new take on a mimosa.And here is a GREAT article for how to make the best cocktails with jams and marmalades.  There IS a formula.  I was totally missing the citrus.  Looks like I better try to make some more…Cheers!

Splurge vs. Save



sparkling wineShhhh.  Don’t tell anyone.  I’m guessing that most other bloggers are guilty of this little switcheroo too.  My shoots happen in the morning when I have the best light in my kitchen.  And while this might be prime mimosa time, it’s usually not practical to drink the drinks you need to pour for your styled shoot.  So while I may use a higher end brand in some of  the photos (La Marca is only $10 at Costco so I guess it isn’t really higher end – but it super yummy and I actually like to drink it) the bottle is not actually opened.  Instead, I swap out a less expensive one (in this case about $5) to use in the detail shots because then I feel better pouring it out.  What are your tricks?