Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Summer Staples To Wear This Fall

{ mixing summer's mesh or eyelet with classic fall plaid }

August marks the end of summer and the point when everyone beings shifting gears to fall.  Every year around this time I get antsy to update my fall wardrobe, but at the same time try to find ways to incorporate my summer favorites into colder weather outfits. Here are some ways I plan to blend summer and fall trends together to get the maximum use out of key summer pieces.

{ adding a leather jacket over top a summer jumpsuit }

{ pairing a sweater with a maxi dress or maxi skirt }

{ teaming boots and a bulky sweater with a leather mini }

{ Photo credit: 1 / 2 /3 / 4 }

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Summer Bucket List

It’s already August and I’m not sure where this summer has gone.  My new favorite weekend ritual this summer is to grab a coffee from a local cafe and sprawl out on a blanket with a good book in a park, choosing a different park each weekend.  Not only does this ensure some relaxation and reading each weekend (not to mention good coffee), but it has allowed me to explore neighborhoods of D.C. that I’ve rarely been to in the seven years I’ve lived in the area.  It leaves me feeling fulfilled and reminds me that this is what summer is all about - the great outdoors, exploration, and new experiences.  I’ll be sure to continue my weekend mornings in the park and plan to have just as much fun tackling the other items on my bucket list this summer.

A Refined Outlook’s Summer Bucket List

1) Make a summer spritzer using the lemoncello that my parents gifted to me ages ago

2) Clean and organize each room in the house

3) Update my work wardrobe

4) Join an online book club (a few favorites include: one, two, three)

5) Finish my Sex and the City marathon

6) Educate myself on home-buying and mortgages

7) Host a girls’ brunch

8) Create a summer playlist

9) Find new accent pillows for the living room

10) Dine al fresco in my own backyard

11) Experiment with hair styles for my newly short hair

What do you plan to accomplish this summer?

P.S. You can find my Fall bucket list here.

{Photos courtesy of Style Me Pretty and Project Wedding}

Monday, August 4, 2014

Summertime Peach Ice Cream

Last weekend I got the urge to make something for dessert that felt quintessentially ‘summery.’  Although I hadn’t decided what this dessert would be, I knew that it had to call for ingredients that are only in-season during the warmer months, not something that could be just as easily whipped up in the winter. Once I laid out the criteria, it took about five seconds to settle on my summer dessert - homemade peach ice cream.  

Fresh peaches have been a summertime favorite of mine since I was a kid and ice cream is a summer no-brainer.  My husband and I came up with the recipe below, and the outcome is beyond either of our expectations.  The rich peach flavor coupled with the sweet cream mixture is everything you could want in a dessert.  And a new go-to summer recipe is made!


Yields: 2 quarts (16 servings)

Time: Preparation 2 hours, ready in 6.5 hours

5 fresh peaches, peeled, pitted, and chopped
3 egg yolks, beaten
2 cups heavy cream
1 cup half-and-half
1 tsp vanilla extract
1¾ cups white sugar
¼ tsp salt

1) In a saucepan, mix together the egg yolks, heavy cream, half-and-half, and vanilla extract on medium heat, stirring often.  Do not allow the mixture to boil.  Once, the mixture is hot, add the sugar and salt to the saucepan, and mix well.  Continue to cook on medium heat for approximately three more minutes so the sugar and salt dissolve, continuing to stir often.  Remove from heat and allow to cool in the saucepan, stirring occasionally to prevent a skin from forming on the surface.  Once cool, strain the mixture into a bowl and cover with plastic wrap so that the plastic wrap touches and lays across the surface of the mixture.  Place in the refrigerator for at least one hour.  (The plastic wrap trick prevents a skin from forming on the surface of the mixture while cooling.)
2) Puree the peaches in a food processor until smooth.  Cool in the refrigerator for an hour.
3) Add the peach puree to the cream mixture, and mix well.  
4) Turn on your stand mixer to the slowest setting and pour the mixture into the frozen ice cream bowl attachment.  Mix until the mixture thickens, or approximately 25 minutes.
5) Transfer the ice cream to a storage container and freeze for at least five hours.  
6) Enjoy a bowl-full (even better with fresh peaches thrown on top) and save the rest for up to two weeks!

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