Posted in Food

So happy to share…my five favorite new-to-me bloggers

Thanks to Trop50 for sponsoring my writing about fabulous bloggers. This year Trop50 is granting 50 Fabulous Wishes. Click here to enter for a chance to win $1,000 to celebrate a friend with a refreshing attitude about looking and feeling fabulous!


I’m so excited about this opportunity to share some of my favorites with you!

I’ve chosen to introduce you to my five favorite new-to-me blogs.

First, there’s Alison, from this homemade life. I don’t even know where to begin to tell you how much I look forward to each of her posts. She combines beyond-gorgeous photography, to-die-for recipes, and spare, yet lovely writing. Visiting her blog is one of my small moments of any day. Love.

Photo borrowed from this homemade life

Second, I’d like to introduce you to Jessica from How Sweet It Is (thank you, Cheryl for sending me her way!).

Her blog is gorgeous. And so delicious that I’ve been tempted to lick the screen of my MacBook Pro. More than once. Her tagline reads, “Where Gluttony Meets Fitness.”

I knew I liked her and then, when I read this on her about page, I had to sit down: “Bacon makes me beam. Chocolate makes me shout from the rooftops with joy.”  Swoon.

Photo borrowed from How Sweet It Is

Third, I’d like you to meet Jen, from Jen Has a Pen.

Jen has been a loyal reader of in these small moments for a while now, but recently, I’ve gotten to know her better and I’ve been spending more and more time over on her blog. Why? Partly because I genuinely like her and partly because I find her voice honest and fresh. I am blessed to call her my friend.

Photo borrowed from Jen Has a Pen

Fourth, please meet Nici, from dig this chick (thank you, Yuliya for the recommendation!). Why do I love Nici’s site? Because it’s one small moment after another…one moment that could have slipped away, but didn’t. And her photos? And her children? Absolutely breathtaking.

Photo borrowed from dig this chick

And last, but certainly not least, I’d love for you to meet Jill, from Meet the Dubiens. After spending time on Jill’s site, the list of projects that I want to with Katie and Matthew is a mile long. Jill inspires me to remember that my kids are only little once and that I should let them get dirty and enjoy childhood. I found Meet the Dubiens through my other new love, Pinterest.

Photo borrowed from Meet the Dubiens

Please go check out these amazing bloggers. You won’t be sorry you did!

Don’t forget to enter the 50 Fabulous Wishes contest for a chance to win $1,000 to celebrate a friend with a refreshing attitude about looking and feeling fabulous. I was selected for this Tropicana Trop50 sponsorship by the Clever Girls Collective, which endorses Blog With Integrity, as I do. I received compensation to use and facilitate my post.

Wine in January

Last weekend, I had the pleasure of being in the company of thirteen amazing and dynamic women (and one gorgeously tacky purse named Pursey Galore) who gathered with me for a day of wine tasting and lunching in the Napa Valley.

We began our day at the gorgeous Whitehall Lane Vineyards, where we were treated with a lovely tour and tasting. We were scheduled to sample four delicious wines, but before our tour was over, we were surprised with a fabulous fifth wine to taste.


Though we had some beautiful white wines, if I’m completely honest, I only have eyes for reds.


Just like back in school…the ones in the front were paying attention, while the kids in the back were goofing off (okay, fine, they were tweeting about the event). ;)


We were guided through the first part of our tour by our knowledgeable host, Douglas, who made us all smile with his dry wit.


As our tour was wrapping up, Doug came by to check on us and charmed us with his knowledge of the family’s history and the gorgeous glass corks that Whitehall uses for a couple of their wines.


I kept trying to figure out how I could sneak one of these into my trunk…or swim in it. Either would have been acceptable.


After our amazing experience at Whitehall Lane, we moved on to Brix Restaurant and Gardens where we were escorted to the private Cottage Room.


Pursey Galore was the first one in and she liked what she saw.


The lovely Lori, of In Pursuit of Martha Points, dreamed up and spearheaded Project Purse and Boots. She kicked off our luncheon with a bit of information about what we’re trying to accomplish and then sang for her supper. Okay, not really, but she did delight us all with her lively rendition of Hey Big Spender as we passed the purse around for donations. (Thank you so very much, Lori! )

Cheryl and Nichole

The lovely Cheryl (L), from Mommy Pants, was our guest of honor for the day. Look at that beautiful smile!


To my left, you see that the gorgeously pregnant Amy (far R), from Diary of a Madwoman, is either napping or seriously considering stealing my bread.


We were thrilled to have Courtney (L) from Cupcakes and Wine and Kristy from She Just Walks Around With It, Promtacular, and partner at Clever Girls Collective, who really isn’t playing charades, even though it looks as though she is signaling for a touchdown.


What more could we have asked for but to be greeted with more wine?


Brix didn’t miss a detail…notice the customized menus.


Though my first inclination was to grab a spoon to eat this butter, I resisted the urge.


Grilled salmon with creamed spinach and green lentil vinaigrette.


Chicken breast with creamy farro and chanterelle mushrooms.


The most amazing, little details.


Irene (L) from Creative Ways and Playful Days and Stephanie (R) from Mommy vs. Madness.


Courtney, with a happy, wine-induced smile.


Amy, the spokeswoman for beautiful pregnancies.


Kristy (L) and Helen Jane (R), from her blog of the same name.

Amy, Flat Amy and Eileen

Eileen (R), from Bringing up Bronwyn, with Amy (L) (and flat Amy from Baby Baby Lemon).


Tara (L) from Bite the Bedbugs and Melissa (R) from Confessions of a Dr. Mom.


Cheryl, Lori, and me.


From left to right, me, Amy, Paige, from Slightly Off-Balance, and Jennifer, from Today According to Me.

And since a girls’ get together wouldn’t be complete with a discussion about shoes, I give you…


…pregnant (!) Amy’s red smokin’ hot boots…


…my bejewelled shoes…


…and Courtney’s super cute, Pursey Galore-inspired flats.

If I thought I could have gotten away with it, I would have never parted with Pursey. She was so happy with me. We had something special. But alas, I had to send her on because she has a far busier social calendar than I ever will.

Project Purse and Boots is dear to my heart, as Craig’s mother passed away this past summer from a series of small strokes. Please, if you have a moment, pop over and see the amazing and selfless work that Lori is doing for the American Stroke Association.

I would also like to send a huge thank you to Doug, from Whitehall Lane Vineyards, and Matt, from Brix, who were truly lovely to work with on this project. I couldn’t have pulled this whole event together without their guidance and partnership.

All photo credit goes to Eileen and Lori.

Grab Your Chips…Let Me Show You How to Make Salsa

I’m not a cook.  This is so not a cooking blog.

But this salsa makes me ridiculously happy.  Like small moments happy.  So, I’m sharing it.

The best thing about this recipe is it can be tweaked any number of ways.  Over time, I’ve increased the heat by changing up the chiles and I use a ton of cilantro.

  • 1 medium yellow onion
  • 14 ripe plum tomatoes
  • 4-6 serrano chiles
  • 6-8 garlic cloves
  • 1 small bunch cilantro
  • 2-4 canned or dehydrated chipotles
  • kosher salt
  • fresh lime juice

Here’s what I used this past weekend:

In a glass baking dish, place the tomatoes, chopped onion, whole garlic cloves, and serrano peppers (I also added those little orange peppers that look relatively harmless, but are so not…they’re habaneros and they are as hot as hot gets.  We’re tough like that here.)

Roast these ingredients in a 400 degree oven for 40 minutes, or until the tomato skins split.

While the vegetables are roasting, remove the stems from the chipotle peppers (I use dried chipotles, which I simply soak in hot water until they plump up).

This is what your vegetables should look like when they’re done…

Once the vegetables have cooled completely, remove the stems from the roasted peppers.

Place the roasted vegetables, chipotles, cilantro, and salt, pepper, and lime juice (to taste) in the food processor or blender and process until you achieve your desired consistency. (My food processor holds only half of the ingredients, so I do two batches.)  As you’ll see below, we like our salsa pretty smooth.

Transfer to a bowl and allow the salsa to sit for at least an hour.  It takes a bit for the flavors to meld together.

This salsa can be stored in an air-tight container in the refrigerator for up to a week.

But I’d be surprised if you didn’t eat it all by then.

Control Issues

Like most kids, Katie loves yogurt.  I mean, she really, really loves it.

Since the health benefits of yogurt are endless (here’s a great rundown), I am all too happy to indulge her.

I don’t, however, buy flavored yogurt multipacks.

Why not?

Because these yogurts are typically packaged in unsafe plastic and are loaded with sugar.

Here’s how we do yogurt:

I buy plain organic yogurt and 100% fruit spread and we mix our own, which enables me to control not only the amount of sugar, but also the serving size.

{Though multipacks are convenient, mixing my own truly takes about 30 seconds longer than peeling of the top of an individual-size container.}

I add just enough fruit spread to color the yogurt and give it a hint of flavor.  I then throw in whatever fruit we have handy–typically strawberries, raspberries, bananas, or blueberries.  (My ultimate goal is to cut out the fruit spread entirely, so I’m using less and less over time.)

Mixing our own also saves us money, since larger containers are more cost effective.

Worth a try?

{I use either Brown Cow or Stonyfield Farm yogurt because they are great organic options and Whole Foods Fruit Spread because it has only three ingredients; this blueberry spread contains only white grape juice concentrate, wild blueberries, and fruit pectin.}

About me

Nichole Beaudry @NicholeBeaudry Location: Northern California
Each and every day, I strive to appreciate the wonder, beauty, and whimsy in the small moments, the moments that, when strung together, form a lifetime.
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