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Friday Five

It’s Friday. All I want to do is get my hands on a tasty cocktail and some sweet cream from Napa’s Miminashi. It never disappoints. But that’s a discussion for another time.

Let’s get to my favorite posts from around the web in this week’s Friday Five!

Friday Five | In Natalie's Shoes @innatsshoes1. If you like street art and “secret” locations, this place is for you! I’d totally be down to check it out.

2. Starburst fans rejoice! I can’t wait to get my hands on this limited edition bag full of deliciousness!

3. You don’t need to be a Somm to enjoy the places on this list. Your favorite Napa local (me, duh) has personally (and frequently..) experienced each place listed and can attest to their collective awesomeness.

4. I’m a big fan of meal prepping for the week, when I can remember/have time to do it! This plan sounds easy, flavorful, and like it won’t bore me for the week!

5. Italy has always been one of my wanderlust destinations. Here‘s exactly why I want to go.


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

Well, y’all, we finally made it to AUTUMN! I am so excited and can’t stop sharing it. What are you baking this weekend?!

It’s actually supposed to be a million degrees (give or take) in Napa this weekend, which means my baking will likely be delayed. Unless it cools off at night. Then I’ll bake the crap out of all the things. We’ll see.Friday Five | @innatsshoes1. I was trying to replicate a recipe for a coconut macaroon I had the pleasure of devouring a few weeks ago and searched Pinterest for the recipe. While this recipe (my version in the photo above) wasn’t like the one I ate, it was so easy and turned out soooooo tasty!

2. Oooohhh! Another fancy Japanese restaurant is coming to Napa! Excited to see what this one brings.

3. OMG. So there was a #lazyreunion in Portugal (during high season!) and I cannot get over how heavenly their trip looks! The Lazy Travelers continue to blow up my wanderlist. The. End.

4. Autumn is hands down my favorite season. Food! Cozy sweaters! Baking! Chilly nights! Apples! I’m loving this compilation of things to do in Sonoma County, so I don’t have to drive all the way to Apple Hill every time I want an apple-centric experience.

5. Continuing on that thought… how amazing do these cookies sound? I absolutely love macadamia nuts. Browned butter? Yes please.


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

Considering I live in Napa, I rarely take part of all of the things this gorgeous valley has to offer. However, the past week (in my world) has been filled to the brim with all things Napa Valley. Coffee dates at Napa Valley Roasting Company, lunch at R+D Kitchen in Yountville (that veggie club, tho!), al fresco dinner at Bistro Don Giovanni’s, and Thomas Keller’s picture perfect macarons from Bouchon Bakery. All quintessential Napa Valley.

It definitely made me realize how I need to take advantage of everything my hometown has to offer more often! This Friday Five, you’ll notice I pay extra attention to news and articles regarding Napa Valley. I really couldn’t help myself!

In Natalie's Shoes | https://innataliesshoes.wordpress.com1.Do you like Stone Brewing beer? Do you like Napa? You’re in luck! Check this recent news out.

2. This list of hidden gems in San Francisco has me in awe! That slide? The mosaic stairs!? I need to get exploring!

3. Have you ever considered taking a “voluntourism” trip? Erin breaks down what to look for and other considerations when traveling to volunteer on this post.

4. Congrats to one of my favorite Napa Valley restaurants on being included on this Top 100 Restaurants list!

5. Are you a plant killer, like me? Need ideas for easy care plants? Check this list out!

Playing Tourist: A Napa Valley Picnic

It’s been a while since I’ve played tourist in my hometown of Napa. The weather has been a bit more consistent and warm, so I’ve been itching to get outside. As usually happens with my life, I’m either booked up on the weekends or need a really, really good reason to get outdoors.

Enter UncommonGoods, a Brooklyn-based company specializing in unique items for your home, gifts, or yourself. I was invited to check out their extensive kitchen + bar tools section and pick my top favorites to try out. As someone who works at a nonprofit, I was absolutely swooning when I learned they’re a founding B Corp, which means they use the power of business to solve social and environmental problems. How could I say no?  Read the rest of this entry

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

Oh happy, happy Friday! I’m still recovering from my ridiculously fast visit with Kortni, where I we paraded up and down the Napa Valley and visited many wineries and restaurants in just one day. Since it’s still so fresh in my mind, today’s Friday Five is very Napa Valley-heavy.


The most gorgeous lemon tree at Inglenook in Rutherford.

 1.Every Napa Valley native has their list of must-dos and must-visits for tourists. I’m particularly fond of this list, as it mentions some personal favorites and new-to-me locations!

2. Because I’ve still yet to try my hand making salmon, but this recipe makes it sound easy enough.

3. I’ve been quite lucky to meet Napa Valley artist Penelope and view her work firsthand. This interview on her style, technique (painting the flavors of the wine as she’s tasting it) and inspiration is absolutely wonderful.

4. A fascinating article on the new normal in French cuisine in Paris. I’ll always miss the food from my trip to Paris..

5. I love every single bar on this list and I regularly recommend them to friends and tourists. Which is your favorite downtown Napa bar?

Friday Five

HAPPY FRIDAY! How does it always seem that shorter weeks are so. much. more. swamped/painful/stressful than regular weeks?

The end to this week is going to be so much better than normal. Why? Because my favorite Portland-er (..-ite? -ian?) is hopping on a plane to come play in Napa for the weekend! Yes, recently married Kortni will be frolicking up and down the valley with me and also causing my somewhat successful Dry February to be slightly less successful.

I can’t wait.1. Speaking of drinking wine all weekend.. Millennials drank the equivalent of 42% of the total volume of wine consumed last year,  I don’t know about you, but I was not surprised by the findings in this wine study.

2. Know a crazy cat lady? Here’s what to get me her if you’re searching for a perfect gift.

3. Loving this guide to traveling solo. Already scheming up a getaway.

4. Want to cook without the mess? Try some of these one-skillet recipes!

5. Because all cake should be dark and dreamy! Loving this recipe.

Friday Five

Happy first Friday of February! Can you believe the Super Bowl is this weekend and then we get a three-day weekend the following week!? All of this happy news is cause for celebration.

Let’s Friday Five!  1. Despite recently eating the most glorious salmon dish at Napa’s The Pear Southern Bistro (above), I know I need to reign in my post holiday eating. Sally makes getting my chocolate fix easy (and more healthy) with her skinny double chocolate chip muffins.

2. I know, I know. Will I ever shut up about the benefits of studying abroad? The answer is no. Check out how it can make you a better leader in your adult life.

3. And, big surprise!, cheese is an addicting drug. I’m just happy I have an excuse now..

4. Do any Francophiles have a strong opinion one way or the other on this potentially divisive idea? Having only been to Paris once, I’m still trying to figure out the arrondissements..

5. Loving the 10 Hottest Restaurants in Napa on Zagat! Only have 3 to go (after I get my holiday weight off, of course) to finish the list.