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lisbon, portugual - the fresh exchange

ALL THE COOL (FRENCH) GIRLS DO IT: I’ve mentioned my undying love of French brand Sézane before, and the company just launched a new “Essentiels” collection — pieces that will always be in stock (and in style). I’m coveting this bag.

WEBB TO BR: Did you hear the news? Marissa Webb, former head of womenswear at J. Crew and currently creator of her eponymous line, will be taking over as Creative Director at Banana Republic. I’m definitely interested to see what she comes up with!

SCANDAL MONOLOGUE: I had way too much fun with this Scandal monologue Mad-Lib generator yesterday. I mean, it’s kind of accurate — and could be used across any Shonda Rhimes show.

RAISING THE BAR: I was recently alerted to this awesome new program happening here in New York: Raising the Bar. On April 29, 50 bars across the city will host distinguished speakers in various fields, to give talks on interesting topics. I’m totally going to one! If you’re in NY, check it out here.

A LOVELY SHOP: Fallon recently launched an Etsy shop to help pare down her antiques collection. I adore her blog and style, and her shop falls right in line!

PLAYING BY THE RULES: If you’re a blogger who works with brands, I wrote an extensive post on The Well about FTC disclosure requirements. Knowledge is power, people.

TWEETING CAN GET YOU EVERYTHING: Including a job as a late night comedy writer. The times we live in, y’all. They amaze.

OH, THE PLACES YOU’LL GO: In Paris, that is. Carin always gives me fantastic ideas of places to visit when in the City of Light.

VERY SAVVY: Gabrielle just launched her new blog today, and it looks beautiful! Her taste is second to none, so be sure to follow along and show her some love if you don’t already.

This week. I don’t know what it was, but I felt completely stuck in the doldrums. No energy to do anything — whether that be exercising, being creative, or powering through projects. Perhaps it was the swift change in temperatures (I’m still in denial that I saw snow on my patio when I woke up on Tuesday). Did anyone else have kind of a ho hum week? I’ve also got all kinds of thoughts swirling in my head about my own businesses and what’s coming next. Put everything under a single name? Put everything under my never-revealed last name? Leave everything the way it is? Oy vey. I always think we’re our own worst enemies and most of the time we just need to get out of our own way when it comes to these types of things, but I’m in the process of figuring out whether to step to the right or to the left. You know how it goes.

Any fun plans this weekend, friends? We have a double date tomorrow to check out a ramen place — and my deep, undying love for a good bowl of ramen has me really stoked. Other than that, I plan on catching up with some friends around the country, sleeping in, and doing a bit of spring cleaning. Ice storms this week not withstanding, I can’t look at my winter coats for another minute — time to get the house ready for spring and summer!

Hope you have a wonderful weekend!

Image: The Fresh Exchange. Be sure to check out Megan and Mike’s amazing trip to Spain and Portugal!

In the Wind


Josh Works

This morning I was browsing around on nymag.com (daily obsession), and clicked on an article about ten new types of selfies. The article itself was kind of funny and a breezy scroll through, but one thing really caught my eye: this “drone selfie” taken by Josh Works. I thought it was beautiful and was kind of fascinated with it, so after watching no less than 3 times in a row, I clicked through to Josh’s website. What I found was really, really amazing.

Josh, his wife Jessa, and their son Jack have been traveling around the country in an Airstream since 2011. Their goal is to visit all 58 of our national parks (so far, they’ve seen 26). The travel project — and the name of their trusty Airstream — is called 1337Stream, and I’d say it’s a must follow. The family’s Instagram photos from all over America are truly spectacular, and beyond that, I think their manifesto is so inspiring. Here’s a bit that they’ve shared about why they’re doing this — it’s not just a fun family getaway (I highly recommend you read the whole thing here):  Read more »

Recipe: Pea, Pistachio, and Mint “Pesto”

recipe - pea pesto with pistachio and mint

easy spring recipe - pea pesto with pistachio and mint

pea pesto with pistachio and mint

Random fun fact about Joe and me: we really like to watch cooking shows while we eat. I think this tradition was actually born in college, when all the roommates in this big house we lived in would gather around the common living room TV during lunch time, and Food Network was the only thing that was universally agreeable. After school, we went for years without watching much cooking-related TV, but recently have been on a kick again. We’ve been watching lots of old episodes of Everyday Italian, which totally take us back to that time, as many of the episodes have air dates in 2004 and 2005. Giada’s pea pesto is a classic, and I was thinking about it the other day for this season’s recipe swap.

You read that right! A bunch of other gals and I are swapping delicious spring-inspired recipe like we did with cookies last winter, so this recipe was a perfect inspirational starting point. It’s basically the easiest thing ever: throw ingredients into a food processor and blend. Serve with crackers, crostini, veggies. Toss with pasta or dab a dollop on top of roasted chicken. It’s delish. What I love about this “pesto” is how surprising it is, on so many levels. The peas lend a slight sweetness to it; the pistachios, a wonderful creaminess; the garlic, that spicy, savory edge. I promise, you will love this.

If you can find fresh peas, by all means, use them. Frozen peas are just going to be a lot easier — no shelling involved, and you can scoop what you need out of the bag, lightly defrost them in warm water, drain them, and they’re ready. Like many other dips and pestos, this one gets better as it sits, so if you can, make it about an hour before you serve. Here’s what you do:

Pea, Pistachio, and Mint “Pesto”

Makes about 1.5 cups of pesto
Inspired by Giada De Laurentiis’ Pea Pesto recipe, though the below is my own reinterpretation

1/4 cup packed mint leaves (about 15-20 leaves)
1/4 cup shelled, roasted, salted pistachios
1 clove of garlic
1 cup of frozen peas, thawed
Juice of half a lemon
5 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
– kosher or sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

Combine all the ingredients except the salt and pepper in a food processor. Blend and pulse until the pesto is smooth, but still has a bit of texture, like a hummus or regular basil pesto. Taste — you will need to add salt and pepper, but the amount of salt can really vary based on how salty the pistachios are. Season appropriately, transfer to a serving dish, and cover and chill until you’re ready to serve. Just before serving, drizzle a little extra virgin olive oil over the top, and if you like, garnish with a sprig of mint.

Note: the measurement for the pistachios indicates nuts that were already shelled.

Springtime Recipe Swap!

Don’t forget to stop by these lovely ladies’ blogs and check out their recipes:

Clara Persis: Orechiette with Kale Walnut Pesto & Lemon Broiled Asparagus
Lemon Stripes: Paleo Strawberry Ice Cream
The Average Girls Guide: Strawberry Avocado Tacos
House of Earnest: Lemon Petit Fours


Images and recipe by Victoria McGinley for vmac+cheese