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Friday Five

Greetings, from a rainy and grey Napa Valley. But, hey, at least it’s Friday! I’ll be spending the rest of the day cozied up with a tasty cocktail and a good read. What are your plans?

1. All I want is this cake with a cup of coffee, pretty please.

2. Ever wondered how to sight-see on a limited schedule? The Lazy Travelers have your back in this recent post!

3. I can’t get enough carnitas and these tacos are seriously screaming my name. I need them stat!

4. As I get ready to plant my spring garden, I’m reviewing this list of plants that naturally repel bugs! Pretty and useful?! Win-win.

5. If this doesn’t sound like a refreshing spring pasta dish, I don’t know what does. Plus, it has bacon?!


Friday Five

Happy March, everyone! I cannot wait until days are longer (and warmer!) and it’s not dark out when I wake up. However, I certainly didn’t mind spending some time in the snow last weekend. I skied for the first time and absolutely loved it. I can’t wait to go back!

Now, let’s get this Friday Five started with some of my favorite links from around the web!

Friday Five | @innatsshoes1. Calling all ladies who want to explore India! Erin from The World Wanderer has an incredible opportunity coming up in October 2017, that includes yoga, volunteering, and immersing yourself in India’s culture alongside other women from around the world! I’m definitely checking to see if I can make this happen! More details available here.

2. I’m so excited! I can now make my favorite order at Chinese restaurants at home using this recipe!

3. Are you as absolutely mesmerized by this DIY tutorial as I am? I have a feeling I’ll be trying my hand at making my own in the near future!

4. So, the ladies over at the Lazy Travelers argue that their recent vacation spot is the perfect spot for Instagram lovers. After seeing the photos, can you disagree?!

5. Never throw out leftover mashed potatoes again! Just use this delicious recipe and dip in the spicy sauce.



Friday Five

The last few weeks have been a bit turbulent. (And the current political state isn’t making it any easier.) Between overcoming health issues and rebounding from the holidays, I’ve been feeling a bit scattered and not very motivated. It felt weird to share all of these cool things that I’m genuinely excited about without coming off as tactless or superficial. I didn’t want to fake my way through posting in an effort to meet the scheduling I’d set on myself, so I decided a break was in order. And yes, it was definitely not you, it was me. I didn’t really have a timeline for getting back into posting, only that I didn’t want it to be too long and I wanted writing to feel natural again.

But then I saw Zie retweeted this tweet and it really struck a cord.

So now, here I am! And with such timing, too, as I’ll be celebrating f-i-v-e y-e-a-r-s of sharing my favorite recipes, restaurants, trips, crafts and tips with you this month. Time flies! There will be some cool changes coming soon-ish. Changes that I can’t wait to share with you, but will require some patience on your end (I’ve gotta whip some stuff together!) But hold tight! I think you’ll like what I have in store. So in the meantime, let’s get back to our first Friday Five of 2017, shall we!?

Friday Five | @innatsshoes

1. As my photo above indicates, the weather in Napa has been rainy as of late, which means I’m craving soups! This Thai-style soup is what dreams are made of.

2. This vintage map of France is amazing! The origin of every famous French food is mapped out.

3. While seemingly geared toward a family household, I love these tips for creating a happier home.

4. Want to make a sweet gift for Valentine’s Day? This sauce looks both easy and delicious!

5. SO proud of my home region of Napa Valley for making the New York Times’ list of places to visit in 2017! For those of you intent on visiting, let me know! Now to hit up the others on the list I’ve not yet been to..


Friday Five

Anyone else having an emotional roller coaster of a week? Whether due to your political views or what’s going on in your personal life, I’m a firm believer that it doesn’t take effort to be kind to any person you encounter (in person or online). So with that thought in mind, go give a stranger a compliment. Tell your parent(s), (fur)babies, friends, and family you love them. Hold the door open for that person walking in behind you. Maybe even pour your glass of wine/bourbon/chocolate milk just a little bit more full. Kindness doesn’t have to be difficult.

Now on to our regularly scheduled Friday Five programming!

Friday Five | @innatsshoes
1. Ummm… a chocolate tasting room in the heart of wine country!? I cannot wait to try this place out!

2. Excited to say I’ve been to the only Napa mention on this list of new wine country restaurants!

3. Wow! This chick is accomplishing a huge feat before she turns 27. Anyone else feel like an underachiever?

4. This is the cutest DIY craft for my absolute favorite holiday! If I make it, I’ll be sure to share!

5. Toffee is one of my go-to cravings. This recipe for toffee bites from Aimee at Schugary Sweets is too cute and too easy!

Friday Five

Oh, we made it through the week! We certainly deserve a cocktail in celebration, don’t we?

1.If you follow me on Instagram (you totally should), you know I’m a big fan of both Manhattans (up, please) and Old Fashioneds with bourbon. No rye for this girl. This update on an Old Fashioned adds peach and orange flowers!! I can’t wait to try.

2. Cassoulet is one of my absolute favorite French dishes. Thanks to this 7×7 article, I can now replicate the tasty version from SF’s oldest French bistro, Le Central Bistro.

3. Despite laughing through this entire list of things that happen while wine tasting, I can’t help but nod my head in agreement with just about all of them. We’ve all been there, ya?

4. I’m always looking for plants that I can keep alive for longer than a month. Thanks to Sunset’s awesome cactus styling video, now I can look like I know what I’m doing!

5. Summer is coming to a close, but I’m still itching to get a few of these done when I head up to Tahoe later this month!

How are you prepping for the end of summer / beginning of autumn? I can’t wait to start baking!

Friday Five

A quick Friday five before my Caribbean getaway! 

1. The wino spent 24 hours in this adorable New York town, and now I want to go, too. Such is life.

2. As usual, Jessica slays in the food gift department. I cannot wait to make these for Christmas gifts!

3. Even though I’m a local, I don’t have all of the best Napa Valley happy hours memorized. I tend to stick to the ones I know! I’m forever grateful for this updated Napa Valley happy hour list, which makes all of our lives a little easier.

4. I cannot even get over these muffins. I need them all in my life right. now.

5. Christina went to this charming Tennessee town and now I am figuring out how I can go. Great walking, Southern charm, and a foodie haven!? Count me in.

P.S. Are you following my Caribbean travels on Instagram and Twitter!? 

Friday Five

Happy Earth Day and happy Friday! Are you as overjoyed that it’s Friday as I am? Tonight, my bestie Charise is heading to visit all weekend long. I cannot wait! Do you have anything fun planned?

 1. Speaking of wanting to get out in nature, this post by Csaba and Bea of Our Wanders on great hiking spots in northern California make me want to explore my backyard a bit more!

2. My darling friend Kortni has been updating her recent home purchase DIY-style on. her. own. I absolutely love following along on her adventures, here.

3. After reading Silvia’s post on 7 ways Norway isn’t as expensive as one might think, I’m itching to get to Norway!

4. This Ricotta cheesecake? I die.

5. And this recipe for ramen noodle pork tacos from Andrew at Cook In Dine Out?! Dominique Ansel had better watch his back.



Friday Five

We’re finally getting more rain in California and I couldn’t be more excited! However, my productivity has severely decreased because of it. When it starts raining, all I want to do is be curled up in my bed, wearing my comfy clothes, drinking something warm and watching something good. I just got thrown into House of Cards (at season 4, terrible idea), so that would work for me. Any other recommendations?

But I digress. It’s the end of the week, so let’s Friday Five!

A Model Bakery English muffin and tea sounds like heaven right now.

 1.Congrats to one of my favorite Napa Valley restaurants on making this list of the 25 Best Wine Lists in America, compiled by The Daily Meal! Very much looking forward to my next meal and wine pairing there.

2. This recipe for pork undon noodle stir fry? Drooling over here.

3. It feels as though when we travel, we leave a piece of our heart in each neighborhood, city, or country we visit. Erin shares how Rishikesh captured her heart so quickly, in her recent post.

4. If you’re anything like me and have a bunch of corks around the house, check this DIY list out. Or, you know, use it as an excuse to drink more wine.

5. Sally’s Vanilla Almond Snack Bars have me drooling over here. Sweet, salty and made without grains or refined sugars? Sold.

Friday Five

And just like that, we’re nearly through with January. How?! I feel like I’ve been bouncing around from party to party and work event to work event. Now it means I’m this much closer to having to cool it with the social hours and tasty bottles of wine like the one below, also known as Dry February.

Let’s have one more go with the alcohol-friendly posting, shall we? And who knows, perhaps I’ll be sharing some boozy posts to curb my longing for a drink during the month of love February. Shall we distract ourselves with Friday Five?

Enjoying a lovely bottle of Ca’ Momi’s Pinot at their new restaurant.

1. Oh look more booze! In a valley known for its wine, downtown Napa will be getting a micro nanobrewery! Can’t wait to try it out come March.

2. Loving these 15 lunches to make ahead for work! Sound much more appealing than a can of soup..

3. Can you imagine traveling 15,000 miles over 6-7 weeks!? That’s just what Matt is doing in his off time. Erin from the World Wanderer was lucky enough to interview Matt– check it out here.

4. Absolutely loving these indoor DIY herb gardens! They look so easy to make.

5. Eek! Have you made any of these 9 mistakes while dining out? I definitely try to help out too much (plate stacking) and a few others 😦 Time to start adulting.

Friday Five

I love autumn in Napa. When we have an autumn season, that is. Cheers to autumn and Friday!!

Friday Five | In Natalie's Shoes @innatsshoes 1. I can say that I’m a fan, especially if I’m flying solo, but what do you think about this list of things to love about Southwest?

2. As a baker, I don’t use food coloring as many as most do. But I still found this article on natural food coloring interesting. Here’s to hoping my favorite mac ‘n cheese doesn’t alter the flavor due to the now natural coloring! I swear I’m an adult.

3. The Daily Meal dishes on the 25 Best Dive Bars in America and I’ve actually been to one on the list (Snake and Jake’s)! However, I’m wondering how Pancha’s in Yountville didn’t make the cut? It’s a classic!

4. Can we talk about this slow cooker bolognese sauce? How good does it sound? I need it.

5. This DIY scrub is everything I want to make for holiday gifting. Funny how the holiday season makes you think you’re Martha Stewart, right?