Green & Gray

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There’s a huge discussion happening on the web about whether the gray trend is phasing out or if it’s here to stay.  As a lover of bright white, clean, airy spaces which has also taken the design world by storm, gray is a nice alternative to those worried about a white space being too stark and for other spaces that simply can’t pull off the all-white look.  I personally think gray is going nowhere anytime soon.  Embrace it, people!

On our way back from Italy, Jake and I had a layover in Copenhagen that was just long enough for me to fall in love with it, but short enough to leave us longing for more and anxious to plan a trip back.  While I’ve fallen harder for Danish/Scandinavian design over the past few years than I ever knew possible, being in the epicenter of said design was exhilarating.  When our trip ended and I realized I’d been bitten by the travel bug, I immediately started scoping our out interesting places to potentially visit if we were to ever head back to Denmark, Sweden or another Scandinavian country. I stumbled upon a real estate firm in Sweden that only lists higher end, beautifully designed properties and spent far too much time scoping out every single property on their site. One of their featured listings in Gothenburg, Sweden was an almost entirely gray space that was still bright, airy and clean – proof that you don’t need an ALL white space to pull off that look and feel.  I was surprised that I could love this much gray so much!  To achieve the look, it’s important to throw some green into the mix to bring life to the space (potted herbs, ferns, fiddle leaf figs), add some texture (woven baskets, chairs, rugs, light fixtures, a butcher block counter top, exposed brick, etc.) and keep furniture pieces visually light with clean lines and simply design (nothing clunky, heavy or ornate here!).  Scroll down to check out the rest of the space!

All images by Anders Bergstedt via Stadshem.

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Weekend in Napa

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Jake and I spent the weekend in Napa to celebrate the marriage of our business partner, Logan to his beautiful new wife, Elizabeth. The two were married at Brown Ranch in Carneros on one of the most stunning properties I’ve ever seen in front of rolling hills of vineyard and next to a perfect lake. It was truly magical! We were in post-wedding recovery mode on Sunday while juggling a few visitors before heading back to work yesterday. Just before sunset last night, I took a stroll around our property to capture some of its beauty during “magic hour” as we call it and here are a few of my favorites. Cheers!

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Greetings from Paradise!

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I’m so excited to be spending today and tomorrow at Terranea Resort in Palos Verdes!  Terranea has always been a wonderful supporter of ONEHOPE Wine and we’re proud to be partnered with a hotel that cares so deeply about giving back.  This is my absolute favorite resort on the planet – if you haven’t visited, you must!  Visit virtually today by following my adventures on Instagram at @onehope and @megrobins.  Cheers!

We’re Engaged!

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On March 21st, Jake asked me to spend forever with him and I’ve been in pure engagement bliss ever since. I wanted to document absolutely everything so that I never forget, so here we go :-)

On Christmas morning, Jake and I exchanged gifts at my parent’s house as we were visiting for Christmas. A few weeks before, he had asked what I wanted for Christmas and I stated that I really wanted to go to Italy so if he decided not to get me anything for Christmas so that we could put that money toward taking a trip to Europe, I would be thrilled. I vowed to spend lightly on his Christmas gifts so that I too could save for the trip of a lifetime. On Christmas Eve Jake confessed tricked me that he simply could’t figure out an affordable option for us in Italy and that he’d decided we’d go back to Hawaii later in 2015 (which was my second choice of travel). I was a little disappointed that we wouldn’t be going to Europe, but was at the same time thrilled that we’d be heading back to Hawaii (we had such an amazing time there in 2014) and I figured we’d save Italy for a later date when the timing and financials made more sense. On Christmas morning as we were exchanging gifts, Jake pulled out his computer and presented me with a powerpoint that detailed our trip to…….ITALY! I was in such shock that I embarrassingly sobbed for a few minutes an in disbelief that he had taken the time to figure out our work schedules, research accommodations and book flights to all of the places I’ve dreamed of visiting for as long as I can remember.

Fast forward to January…

January-March were crazy chaotic putting together our Summer catalog which was the first ever that we were to introduce. In between sourcing, a team retreat, making over a house, product testing and more sourcing, we were also planning a recruiting event for our viaONEHOPE community in Napa. ONEHOPE purchased a property in Napa in September 2014 (more on that later) and we knew we wanted to host an event at the vineyard before construction on what will be our biggest project to date. I was part of the team putting on the event and headed up to Napa on the 19th to get ready for the weekend. My mom (also a part of our viaONEHOPE community) had asked if I needed her there for help. When she mentioned that my dad was taking a business trip to Mexico and that she needed a trip outside of crummy, cold, wintery, Michigan, I agreed that it would be great for her to come. I picked her up in March 19th from the airport and headed to Napa to get ready for the event.

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Honestly, the events of the 21st were kind of a blur, but this is what I do recall… We shopped in the morning for meats/cheeses and last minute necessities for the event and headed to the property. A few of the girls from our team as well as Jake’s mom and older sister joined us later in the morning and helped prep some of the food while others dusted, swept and got the house ready. I’d asked my best friend Carla to come to the event since she’s in the Bay Area and I was hoping to see her and was thrilled when she made the trek to Napa. A few of Jake’s girlfriends were there visiting as well and joined us before the event. I remember my mom telling me several times that I needed to get ready and that she could handle the rest of the food prep. I’ve done countless shoots and events for ONEHOPE and know how stressful that last hour can be so I was reluctant to take her advice, but finally took a few moments to myself to curl my hair, fix my makeup and put on a dress. I knew the dress I was putting on was Jake’s favorite, but didn’t know about his plans for that day.

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I was standing in the bathroom curling my hair when Tiffany, from our team came in to check on me and we chatted about her adorable baby belly, anticipating being a mommy of two, the flow of events for that day, and that she wanted to film a quick video with Jake.  She wanted the video to be out in the vines to welcome our new viaONEHOPE recruits to the team which seemed totally normal to me and I loved the idea.  I agreed to help her with the video, finished up and went outside to meet guests. Jake flew in from a business trip during the event and I remember giving him a hug and a kiss as he walked in the door and he said “you look so pretty – that’s my favorite dress.” ((Insert heart explosion)). We dove into the day – meeting and mingling with as many people as possible and I took a minute to chat with my best friend before the formal presentation and wine tasting were to begin. After a minute or two of talking, she said “I think I’m going to cry” and started to walk away. When I followed her and asked what was wrong, she said “I’m so sad that you guys are tearing this place down,” and continued to walk away.  At the time, Carla and her husband Clay were starting to house hunt and I assumed she was just emotional about the process. The house on our vineyard is going to be taken down in preparation for another big project and while the current home is charming, it has a TON of issues so I thought it was a little odd of Carla to get emotional about something that seemed so silly, but assumed it might have to do something with their house hunting and wondered if maybe she was just having an off day. I had no idea that one of Jake’s friends had just told her he was planning on proposing that afternoon.

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About halfway through the event, Tiffany grabbed me to gather a few items to take out to the vines to film our video. We found a bottle of Sparkling, an ice bucket and some flutes to “toast to the viaONEHOPE community.” The three of us (plus our photographer) walked out to the vineyard together, stopped in the clearing that will eventually be home to our winery and Tiffany started filming on her phone. I was standing next to her when she mentioned that Jake still had his name tag on and that I should run over and grab it from his lapel. I walked over to Jake, took his name tag and as I turned around to walk away he grabbed my hand. I just remember him saying, “no, actually, I’m proposing right now” before he got down on one knee. As everyone who has ever been surprised with an engagement knows, the next few moments were completely a blur. He was so nervous and he’s never nervous. I just remember him mentioning that he wanted to spend forever with me, that he couldn’t wait to build a family and a life together and that he wanted my “big brown eyes” to be the last thing he saw as he took his last breath.  I was in complete shock, yet so touched and so ecstatic that the best man I’ve ever met was asking me (ME!!!!) to be his bride. He pulled out the ring of my dreams and I said “YES!” in between sobs. I also remember saying, “are you serious? Is this really happening?!” at least a half dozen times before our families ran out to the clearing to give us hugs and congratulations.

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I always thought that a low-key engagement while on a vacation or even while at home with just the two of us would be the way I’d want to get engaged. But there is something so special about having your closest friends and family there to celebrate immediately after that is irreplaceable. Having Jake’s sister, his parents, my mom and best friend there along with many of our friends from over the years was so incredible. I’ll never forget watching my mom and his sister Michelle run through the vines to congratulate us, a warm embrace from Jake’s parents, hugging Carla on our walk back to the house and my mom handing me the phone to talk to my dad for the first time.  Complete and utter joy….

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The following week, we jetted off to Italy for the trip of a lifetime. Our little engagement-moon was absolutely perfect in every way.

As blurry as it is, I will never, ever forget that day. I am so thankful that he chose me and that we get to build this crazy, wild life together. <3

HUGE thanks to everyone who made our day so special… all of the friends, family and colleagues. Lastly, thank you so much to Megan Clouse who captured every single moment. We’ll treasure these images forever.

Life’s a Beach

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Hello there :-)  What have you been up to?  It’s been one doozy of a year and I realize it’s been a while since I posted.  With a busy work schedule, far too many projects to keep track of and the ease of other platforms like Instagram to satisfy a creative/content craving in a pinch, I’ve found myself moving away from my little home blog base and catch myself missing it often.  I think I psych myself into thinking every post needs to be an elaborate tutorial, an over-the-top shoot that took weeks to curate or something crazy, but sometimes simple is better.  In the words of Don Draper himself, “make it simple, but significant.”  See you next week for a little catch up.  Until then, I hope you find a little down time for some summer breeze and a good book at the beach.

Cheers!

Meg

{photo via Gray Malin}

Pappardelle Pasta with Portobello Mushrooms, Caramelized Onions & Goat Cheese

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When brainstorming for a simple meal to pair with our Pinot Noir at ONEHOPE, I had one thing stuck in my mind and knew we had to make it work – pasta.  Pasta is so simple to make and can be manipulated to perfectly pair with any wine.  Whether you’re craving something creamy, acidic, cheesy, spicy – there’s a pasta for every desired taste profile.  Since mushrooms and goat cheese are both wonderful for a Pinot Noir, I searched the web for inspiration and landed on this.  Done and done!  A ribbon pasta just seemed more romantic (a la Lady and the Tramp) so I decided on Pappardelle in lieu of Ziti to keep with our Valentine’s Day theme and to also really soak up that goat cheese.  This savory, hearty pasta pairs wonderfully with ONEHOPE’s Edna Valley Pinot Noir. This wine is just acidic enough to cut through the rich goat cheese and is the perfect, full bodied and earthy compliment to portobello mushrooms and sweet, caramelized onions. YUM!

Yield: 4 servings

Ingredients

  • 1 pound pappardelle pasta
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 2 onions (chopped)
  • 1 pound portobello mushrooms (stems and gills removed, caps sliced in half and then crosswise into ~1/4″ slices)
  • 4 ounces goat cheese (crumbled)
  • 4 ounces freshly grated parmesan
  • 2 tablespoons fresh parsley (chopped)

Directions

  1. In a large pan, heat 1 tablespoon of butter and 2 tablespoons of olive oil over medium heat. Add onions and stir occasionally for ~30-40 minutes or until onions are golden brown.
  2. While onions are caramelizing, in a large pot, boil your pasta in salted water according pasta’s instructions.
  3. Remove onions from pan and heat 1 tablespoon of butter with 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Add mushrooms and stir until soft and medium brown. In the same pan, add the onions, balsamic vinegar, pepper, half the parsley.
  4. When pasta is fully cooked, drain and add remaining olive oil to the pot. Return cooked pasta to pot, add the onion and mushroom mixture, salt, water, 2/3 of the goat cheese and 2 ounces of grated parmesan. Toss while making sure to evenly coat pasta and meld flavors. Plate immediately.
  5. Garnish each dish with remaining fresh, crumbled goat cheese, top with remaining parmesan and a sprinkle of parsley.
  6. Pair with ONEHOPE’s Edna Valley Pinot Noir.  Cheers!

PS: Check out my other Valentine’s Day wine pairings here and here.

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Wilted Frisée with Coarse Grain Mustard Vinaigrette and Granny Smith Apples

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No meal is complete without something green so when putting together a 3 course wine dinner, I knew we needed a little something fresh that would be a perfect pairing with Chardonnay. While I was bouncing around ideas with our Sommelier, she threw out the idea of a wilted frisée salad.  Honestly, I was skeptical.  Frisée are the little bitter greens that I’ve always picked out of a mixed green salad simply because they’re always a little too tough or frankly, bitter (which they are by nature). I’ve never been a fan. Creating a salad comprised of all frisée scared me, but she convinced me when she suggested slightly wilting it to make it easier to eat and to help meld the flavors of a course grain mustard vinaigrette. I decided to take the chance and I’m so glad I did. I could not believe how much I LOVED this salad – I actually went back for seconds! The combination of light, slightly bitter greens, mustard vinaigrette and apples are the prefect compliment to our California Chardonnay. The chopped, granny smith apples bring out the hint of apple and pear in the wine while the mustard vinaigrette offers the perfect touch of acidity to compliment the bitterness of the greens. This is a delicious, light and crisp salad to enjoy before a hearty main course (coming tomorrow). YUM! Give it a try this weekend for your Valentine and I promise you’ll love it.  Just be sure to pair it with a little Chardonnay. The combo is pretty spectacular.  Scroll down to view the recipe!

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Yield: 2 salads

Ingredients

1 head frisée
1 tablespoon coarse grain mustard
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/4 cup feta
1/2 medium granny smith apple (chopped)

Directions

1. Heat a large pan over medium heat. Add 2 tablespoons of olive oil.
2. Toss greens in pan until slightly wilted and just starting to brown.
3. To make your vinaigrette, whisk together mustard, red wine vinegar, black pepper, salt and remaining olive oil.
4. In a large bowl, toss greens, chopped apple, feta and drizzle with vinaigrette.  Serve with a crisp chardonnay.

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Cherry Preserves & Goat Cheese Puff Pastry Appetizer

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Happy Wine Wednesday!  With Valentine’s Day quickly approaching, I wanted to share a little something I put together for work – Valentine’s Day food and wine pairings.  Jake and I are true foodies and we love exploring new restaurants in our area, but some of my happiest memories with him are when we’ve cooked together and enjoyed a great bottle of wine at home.  The goal was to create 3 easy-moderate recipes that paired deliciously with three of our wines and could be simply replicated by a couple or whichever partner has decided to treat the other on Valentines Day.  I did some research and after bouncing ideas around with our Sommelier, we decided on a few that would be perfect.  We gave them a try and they were SO GOOD!  I will definitely, 100% be making each of these again… and maybe this weekend :-)

The first one is a sweet and savory pastry that will melt in your mouth. Paired with ONEHOPE California Chardonnay, the goat cheese, cherry and buttery pastry highlight the crisp apple and pear notes in the wine. Enjoy the hint of caramel on the finish to perfectly meld with the savory goat cheese and pastry. YUM!  Find the recipe below and stay tuned for two more yummy treats tomorrow and Friday. xoxo

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Yield: 4 large pastries

Ingredients

2 sheets puff pastry
8 oz. cherry preserves
8 oz. chevre
Egg wash (1 egg + 2 tablespoons of water lightly beaten)
2 tbs melted butter
Powdered sugar (optional)

…and the perfect Chardonnay :-)

Directions

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
2. If using frozen puff pastry, allow it to thaw for 30 minutes.  You want your pastry to be workable, but not sticky.
3. Lightly flour work surface and rolling pin. Roll dough to just under 1/4″
4. Cut out your dough using a large cookie cutter. We were able to cut out 8 large hearts (enough for 4 pastries) and 4 small hearts (enough for 2 pastries).
5. Place half of the cut out dough on your work surface and layer shapes with chevre and preserves. Be careful not to use too much of the either cheese or preserves. For a 4″ heart cookie cutter, we used about 2 tablespoons chevre and 2 tablespoons preserves per pastry. Be sure to leave a 1/2″ border of dough around the filling.
6. Place the remaining dough shapes on your work surface. Using a knife, score the dough in whatever design desired. This will allow your pastry to vent while baking.
7. Give the scored dough shapes a little stretch and place over the shapes with the chevre and cherry preserves. Make sure the edges line up.
8. Using a fork, press the top and bottom layers of dough together around the edge of your pastry to seal it shut.
9. Using a brush, lightly coat each pastry with egg wash and melted butter. Place on greased cookie sheet and bake for about 8 minutes (or until edges are golden and pastry begins to flake).
10. Remove from oven and allow pastries to set for 2-3 minutes before serving. Sprinkle with powdered sugar if desired.

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Lately…

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 {A shot of our famous glitter bottle.  How rad is this thing?!  AND each one provides 15 healthy meals to a child fighting hunger}

Hey there!  No matter how prepared we feel for the holidays at work, it’s always insane in December and blogging just falls by the wayside.  November and December are the two months when over 70% of our business for the YEAR occur and we trade our spaces behind the computer to high-tail it to the warehouse to help with fulfillment.  I realized it had been a few days since I last posted so I wanted to drop by with a note to say hello.  Check out a few of the things I’ve been working on and be sure to follow me on Instagram for more realtime updates :-)

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{Sneak peek at a fun new project I’ve been working on with my mom.  Pillows galore!  I’m dying over the colors!}

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{The 31 Bits holiday party is always an absolute blast.  How dreamy is their space with those lights and balloons?}
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{Finally found a few hours to put up our tree :-) Half of the lights weren’t working, Target didn’t have any white lights in stock and the process took a million times longer than I expected, but her glow makes me SO happy.  And kitty is clearly enjoying it too.}Screen Shot 2014-12-09 at 12.57.59 PM

{Behind the scenes at yesterday’s NYE shoot featuring our glitter bottle with Zoom Theory!  By the end of it we were covered in confetti and champagne, but I’m stoked at how this turned out and can’t wait to share the final images.}

Cheers!

DECEMBER

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{images via 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9}

Happy December 1st!  Can you believe it’s the last month of 2014?  I’m both ecstatic and terrified – excited that my favorite time of the year is here and scared to death that every year seems to fly by even faster than the last.  The feeling really hit me yesterday while working in our warehouse with a group of 25 volunteers who were there to pack up our orders from our Black Friday sale.  Over 27 pallets of boxes were packed, stacked and hauled onto a UPS truck late last night and the reality really set in.  Not only are we having a great year, which I am thankful for to my core, but the holiday bustle is truly here to stay for the next four weeks.  Even in the madness, I vow to make this season merry to the very last minute.  My Christmas playlist is on shuffle/repeat, I can’t wait to attend a few holiday events this week and our Christmas tree is going up whenever I can find a few free hours to make her pretty.  Are you feeling the holiday cheer yet too or am I just a crazy #basicwhitegirl?! 😉

PS: Take a look at the holiday images that are making me feel all warm and fuzzy on my Pinterest – feeling so inspired by some of these!

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Cheers

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