Thursday, May 29, 2014

B Vacays: Napa

My favorite reds of the trip were hands down at Regusci!

A pink house on a vineyard! My fairy tale fully realized. 

The highlight of our meal at Bouchon.


The definition of picturesque views at Artesa. 

Bernikins never misses a photo-op.

A glimpse at the riddling process at Schramsberg. 

To say that I had a great time in Napa would be the understatement of the year. Great food, wonderful weather and copious amounts of wine--it's Bernikins heaven.

We were eager beavers when it came to hitting the wineries and we managed to hit at least four-five/day while we were out there. Ambitious, I know, but I am an over-achiever after all. First on our list was Regusci, a recommendation from a sweet co-worker of mine, and it did not disappoint. It had my favorite reds on the whole trip and definitely on my go-to list next time we are back in the area. Another favorite on our first day was Caymus, which had the friendliest servers and the liveliest crowd with great whites to boot! We loved the Chardonnay there and brought home two bottles. Other stops in day one: Frog's Leap, Silver Oak and V. Sattui. Ending the night with dinner at Bouchon and a bottle of wine at the hot tub, I'd say it was a successful first venture in Napa!

Seeing as my love for champagne is widely known, a stop at Domaine Carneros was a must. The scenery there was absolutely amazing, topped only by the breathtaking views at Artesa. Not one to miss a photo-op, Raymond Vineyards was a fun little stop, where I couldn't help but scoop up one of their dog-themed bottles of wine. After such a decadent dinner on night one, we opted for a more low-key evening at Hog Island--fresh oysters and wine galore.

Last but not least, and my hands-down favorite experience of the whole trip, was Schramsberg. The tours there book up weeks in advance, so I highly suggest planning ahead for this. We went on a tour in the caves where we learned about the process behind sparkling wines, and then got to try the famous Schramsberg Blanc de Blanc, which has been repeatedly poured at White House functions! If it's good enough for presidents, it's good enough for me.

Can you tell that I had a blast and a half? If y'all have recs, I would love to hear them! I'm already counting down the days till next time.


Wednesday, May 28, 2014

B Cooks: Roasted Salmon with Avocado and Grapefruit Salsa

It's really only been in the past year or so that I've gotten really into seafood, but I have always loved salmon. One of my favorite summer meals is this roasted salmon recipe, complete with fresh avocado and grapefruit salsa. It's super easy to make and is incredibly flavorful while also being healthy--win, win!

Not a big grapefruit fan? I also tried a similar recipe utilizing a mango salsa instead and it was equally delicious!

Thanks for reading y'all!


Thursday, May 22, 2014

Chartreuse Crop



 Crop top: ASOS // Skirt: J. Crew // Shoes: Zara // Bag: Forever 21 // Sunglasses: Karen Walker

The weather was so glorious in Napa that I managed to convince myself that a crop top was needed for a day of vineyard gallivanting. I'm nowhere near figure-fit to be wearing a crop top in public but you see the things I'm capable of telling myself after a few glasses of wine? #delusional

I scored this chartreuse skirt on super sale at J. Crew and let me tell you, there are few things in life that I love more than a solid J. Crew bargain. The bow crop top was a late-night impulse purchase eons ago but seeing as a sliver of midriff seems to be the style du jour, there are tons of other cute options here.

Thanks for reading y'all!


Monday, May 19, 2014

B Loves...

Picturesque views at one of my favorite places ever. 

Winery views in Temecula. 

Fresh mango salsa, served with grilled salmon.

Exploring in the historic Castro district in San Francisco.

Pure joy at the Seward Street concrete slides! 

The past few weeks have been a true whirlwind but in the best way possible. It's included numerous Disney trips (we have passes--so worth it), both local and Napa wineries and a short but sweet visit with my sweet friends in San Francisco. After a day of exploring in the Monterey/Carmel area (recap here), we headed up to San Francisco for a reunion with a few of my best friends from college. We stayed with my best friend Aaron (the patient photographer in the early days of the blog!) in the historic Castro district was such a treat and I'm crossing my fingers that I'll be able to make it back up there for Pride in a few weeks.

On a personal note: Being surrounded by my closest friends as I prepared for the man friend's deployment was truly a godsend and I could never thank them enough for their support and generosity. Preparing to say goodbye to this Marine has been one of the more challenging experiences in my life and it's made me all the more grateful for the time we had together on the trip. He's currently finishing training in Europe and will then leave for Afghanistan in a few months. So if y'all would be oh-so-kind, please keep him and his team in your thoughts and prayers and send general good vibes their way. In the meantime, my little Sophie and copious amounts of shoes will have to keep me company. ;)


Friday, May 16, 2014

B Vacays: Monterey & Carmel-by-the-Sea

After a hectic last few months, I was ever so grateful to escape work for a wee bit on a quick trip up the coast. We opted for the scenic route, driving up the Pacific Coast Highway and the views were absolutely spectacular. It added another few hours to the drive but it was well worth it--a once in a lifetime experience for sure.

First stop on our trip was Monterey/Carmel-by-the-Sea. I've heard such lovely things about the area, so I really wanted us to start our road trip there. We got in late Thursday night and spent all of Friday exploring the area (sporting this romper, no less). Seeing as no Bernikins trip is complete without a wine tasting, we opted for Caraccioli Cellars. Their sparkling wines were some of my favorite from the entire trip and everyone we worked with in the tasting room was an absolute delight. If you're ever in the Carmel area, I highly recommend checking them out!

And by sheer serendipity, my sweet friend Kathleen (the fab lady behind this awesome blog) happened to also be vacationing in the area. Talk about wonderful coincidences! We all ended up at Mundaka for a double-date dinner--delicious tapas, mind-boggingly good paella. Seriously. I haven't had paella this good since I lived in Madrid!

We had such a great time, we're already dreaming of our next trip back. Happy Friday, thanks for reading y'all!


Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Floral Romper


Romper: Yumi Kim from Revolve Clothing // Shoes: Zara // Bag: Coach // Sunglasses: Karen Walker

In prepping for my recent SF-Napa trip, I became absolutely obsessed with the idea of a floral romper. My very extensive search led me to Yumi Kim--adorable floral-prints galore! 

While I was pretty set on wearing this in Napa, reality came crashing down when I realized that going to the bathroom in a romper is very problematic because you have to take off the whole darn thing. Sure, as a grown woman, I normally don't have trouble getting dressed and undressed, but after a few wine's a whole other story. I imagine that the more glasses of wine one has, the more difficult it is to maneuver a romper in a bathroom stall.

I ended up wearing it around town during our day jaunt around Carmel--less potty breaks, less romper drama. 

And then I found a hot pink bench, so life worked out just fine.

Thanks for reading y'all!


Friday, May 9, 2014

Oui, Yes

Top: J. Crew // Shorts: Madewell (sold out, but love these) // Shoes: Alice + Olivia // Bag: Kate Spade // Necklace: Etsy

Now that shorts season is finally here, I am all about some boyfriend shorts. (Makes sense, considering I practically lived in these boyfriend jeans.) The relaxed fit makes it a naturally choice for casual dressing in the summer! I personally like throwing them on with sky-high pumps to counterbalance the slouchiness of the shorts. 

Speaking of shorts, I am going wild for these printed lovelies. 

Thanks for reading y'all! Happy Friday. :)