It’s time for a new Seven for Saturday post, when I share an assortment of things on my mind this week:
1 – Feeling Sociable
Thankfully I am feeling less withdrawn lately post-fires and in the mood for going out into the world and seeing friends. This week has been the most social I have had since October 8th.
Monti’s is owned by Mark and Terri Stark. They have several outstanding restaurants in Sonoma County including Willi’s Wine Bar which was sadly destroyed in the fires (but they will rebuild!).
The Starks have added some of the more popular menu items from Willi’s to their other restaurants’ menus and when you order them, they donate $2 to a fire relief fund.
Elizabeth and I each ordered their popular warm spinach salad with shrimp then shared an order of Tunisian Carrots which come from the Willi’s menu. They are roasted whole and presented with a sweet glaze and green olives – healthy and tasty.
I also spent a day with a longtime friend who lost her beautiful home and everything in it in the fires. Having lost her wardrobe, she is working on building it back. She loves Alice Becker, a boutique in Novato, so we decided to go there. Alice herself helped my friend find some gorgeous things. She helped me too! I bought a couple of cute casual tops I will show you on the blog one of these days.
Tonight I am going to a friend’s home for a dinner party and I am so excited! She is a chef and her home is absolutely gorgeous. I am very much looking forward to this evening.
2 – A Birthday Portrait
My friend Debra has been a fitness instructor and personal trainer for decades. She is also an accomplished artist. I have enjoyed seeing her embrace her passion for art and grow her art business over the years.
We met for lunch last week to talk about the fires (because that is what everyone around here now) and celebrate my 50th birthday. Debra gave me a bottle of local bubbly and surprised me with a portrait she did of me! I love it and want to get it framed soon so I can hang on the wall in my office.
Debra sells her art and also takes commissioned pieces. You can see her work on Instagram and contact her there via direct message for more info.
Thank you, Debra. I love my special gift and you!
3 – Instant Pot Steam
Last week, I told you about my new Instant Pot Ultra which is a pressure cooker, a slow cooker and much more. I wanted to try out the steam function on the IP but since I got rid of our old metal steamer basket long ago, I needed to buy a new one. I opted for silicone and found this one at Sign of the Bear, a fantastic kitchen, home and gift shop on the Sonoma Plaza.
I had some asparagus in the fridge so I decided to try steaming a bunch in the IP. I was concerned the delicate asparagus would overcook in the IP but there was only one way to find out for sure. Unfortunately it was just as I suspected. The asparagus was limp and khaki green rather than bright green and immediately reminded me of my 1970s childhood. So I ate them all because I was in the mood for a trip down memory lane.
My conclusion is that asparagus, at least the skinnier variety, will overcook in the IP even after setting it for only one minute. I will continue to use the steam function, however, but only for sturdier vegetables like broccoli, cauliflower and carrots.
Next I am going to experiment with pressure cooking dried beans…hello, homemade hummus!
4 – Reformer
I had my second private Pilates lesson earlier this week with Carrie at Mindful Movement in Santa Rosa. This time I got to try out the reformer.
I spent about 25 minutes on it as Carrie carefully led me through different exercises, making certain I was breathing properly and engaging my muscles the way I should.
While the movements seemed easy at first, I would soon find out they are not. I used so many muscles at once! By the time I was done, I was red faced and sweaty. The next day I could feel my muscles getting sore – in a good way – and am already feeling stronger. I look forward to learning more from Carrie and seeing what this 50 year old body can do.
Thank you to Lynn Abate-Johnson of PeopleFW, my friend and fellow Kenwoodian, for referring me to Carrie.
Have you ever used a reformer before? If so, what was your experience?
5 – Mid Morning Matcha Latte
I used my frother to warm and foam my almond milk then added it to two teaspoons of matcha powder that I whisked with a little hot water and stevia drops. I love the taste of matcha, especially with a touch of sweetness.
I feel more energetic after I have my matcha latte. I usually make one mid morning, a couple hours after coffee, but maybe someday I will replace coffee with match. Nah, I love coffee too much.
Do you like matcha too?
6 – Searching for New Wellies
It’s finally time for my 6 year old Hunter rain boots to retire. Not only did the buckle on the shaft of one boot break off, but they both squish loudly when I walk. And my feet are always cold too, no matter how thick the socks. I guess last season’s heavy rains finally did them in.
The easy thing to do is buy a new pair of the same boots, and I may do just that, but I’m thinking about trying some other brand. I would love something with a bit more support yet stylish and versatile.
Do you have a rain boot brand you like? I’d love to find know your favorite.
7 – Wrap it Up
When I evacuated from our home during the fires the first night (I evacuated twice) I grabbed clothing that I really loved that would also be comfortable and warm.
This wrap from Stella Carakasi was what I put on that night and I kept it with me throughout the ordeal. And while it is certainly stylish, it’s also soft and comfy. Plus, the Let Loose Wrap is so versatile, it goes with just about every outfit.
I had planned to take it with me to France because it’s ideal for travel. It’s also reversible so it’s like having two wraps in one.
The fabric is made with super soft Natural Lux™ Tencel® and cashmere knit. I adore the feel of the material and love the pattern too.
December’s How I Wear My is happening December 6th. The theme is Blazer and the deadline for outfit photo submissions is December 4th. Send your photo and a description of your look to firstname.lastname@example.org if you’d like to participate.
I hope you have a wonderful weekend!
Disclosure: Affiliate links have been used in this post. My Stella Carakasi Let Loose Wrap was gifted to me. All other products and services mentioned here, I paid for. All opinions expressed here are my own, as always.