Today was the first lounge-outside-in-the-sun kind of day. I actually got a sunburn! The warmth of the sun felt so incredible after a long winter and now I am craving everything yellow - flowers, decor, food and fashion.
If I am going to indulge in a new top or maxi dress, I peruse the latest collection from Sky. Every piece is gorgeously detailed and very well made. I'm not usually one to shop online, but Sky fits so well. I am SO ready for summer dresses and flip flops!
An incredibly creative and thoughtful friend of mine surprised me for my birthday with an old restaurant placemat from Cape Cod which she beautifully framed with a touch of turquoise. What a great idea for wall art! Display where you live, where you've been, or where you're dreaming of going.
We had the most delicious coconut crusted tilapia while dining al fresco at TradeWinds restaurant in Virginia Beach. I think we ordered it 5 or 6 times within one week. It was ridiculously good. Once, I actually asked the chef if I could follow him into the kitchen. So back home in my kitchen, I attempted my own version. If you enjoy coconut shrimp, you'll love this. It is also easily gluten-free and super healthy. What's missing is the gentle roll of the ocean waves, and an endless stretch of soft white sand.
Coconut Crusted Fish:
1/4 cup cornstarch
1 egg, beaten
1/2 cup unsweetened desiccated coconut
1/3 cup brown rice crumbs (or regular bread crumbs)
Organic olive oil or coconut oil for frying
1. Combine coconut and brown rice crumbs in a shallow bowl. Place cornstarch in a separate bowl, and the beaten egg in a third bowl.
2. Dredge fish in cornstarch, dip in egg, then coat generously with coconut mixture. Season with salt and pepper.
3. Place enough oil in the bottom of a frying pan to coat the bottom. Fry several minutes on each side, until fish is browned and cooked through.
This is REALLY good with cocktail sauce. To make your own, combine 1/4 cup ketchup with 2 tbsp horseradish (or more if you like kick).
Chop House Salad:
2 ears corn, kernels removed from cob
1 stalk celery, chopped
1 small tomato, diced
2 tbsp fresh cilantro, chopped
1/4 cup chopped red onion
1/2 avocado, diced
Juice of half a lime (1+ tbsp)
2 tsp good olive oil
1-2 tsp honey (depending how sweet you like it)
salt and pepper to taste
1. Whisk dressing ingredients together in a small bowl.
2. Toss vinaigrette with salad ingredients and set aside while fish is frying.
You know that saying, "I'll give you the moon and the stars"? Well, it turns out you CAN make this happen. Symbolically, that is. For my birthday, my parents had a star named after me. While stars can't truly be bought or owned, the International Star Registry can "name" a star after a loved one and provide them with a personalized certificate and sky chart (named stars can be viewed through a hobbyist's telescope). Thought I'd share, as this is such a thoughtful, unique and eternal gift!
My star (circled in red) within "Big Bear" Ursa Major Constellation
Pottery Barn has released their gorgeous Coastal Style collection, in colours of sand and sea. I am obsessed with Pottery Barn. I love the capiz chandelier and sea glass filled lanterns. I'm now looking forward to setting up our outdoor lounge furniture to enjoy the warm summer sun.
Shop Pottery Barn Coastal Style Summer Preview HERE.
I just spent an incredible birthday weekend in Montreal. Michael booked our stay at Le Germain, a boutique hotel near Rue Sainte Catherine, the shopping mecca of Montreal. This was the ultimate experience combining chic decor, gourmet food, and excellent hospitality, thanks to our wonderful concierge, Andre, who made our stay so special.
This is the view of the room from INSIDE the shower.
Andre suggested dinner at Andiamo, with an all-you-can-eat gourmet fish bar which was out of this world. We chose our fish, and they prepared it grilled lightly with olive oil.
Appetizers for seafood lovers: Smoked salmon on sweet potato creme brule and parmesan crusted calamari.
The main course: Fish served with beurre blanc and bernaise along with ratatouille and parmesan risotto.
We walked all throughout old Montreal too.
We ended our stay at Spa Scandinave in Old Montreal where we indulged in hot baths, a eucalyptus steam room, a delicious cedar-scented sauna, and a Swedish massage. Everything was indulgent, like butter - our stay at Le Germain, the food, and the spa pampering. 36 definitely feels good!
I've had Carrie (whom I discovered through sealaura) turn my pen and paper blog vision into beautiful html reality. It was definitely time for a more fitting name and look. You can peruse her creative genius at Carrie Loves Design. Serious talent over there.
We are headed to Montreal tomorrow to celebrate my birthday at the Scandinavian Spa. And then... a week off from work. Pure bliss!