Lemons Literature and Lattes

Spring Break Season is here! That means it is time to relax and move at a slow pace and enjoy your day without the accompanying of school or business work. While flying on a plane or lying down at the beach, spring break is the perfect time to pick up a book and read! In my series, Lemons Literature and Lattes I am sharing with you two of my more recent favorite reads.  

The first is a more recreational enjoyment read and the other is more of an empowering life lesson read. If you are not the fan of holding a book in your hand, both of these books are available via audible.

First up, I share with you a book on a theme I know best – food. Taking place on Nantucket, three sisters are genuinely surprised to learn their grandmother owned a restaurant of which they now inherited with her passing.  Grandma of course has just one condition …. All three sisters must equally work there for the year and only after the year is up, are they then able to make the decision to keep or sell the restaurant.

The author draws in the reader in through the food, restaurant guests and employees as well as the local Nantucket vibe. Enjoyable as such is the relationship between the sisters of their childhood to the women they now are as adults. While already close, the sisters each live a very different lifestyle. Yet while working together, the sisters grow even closer and discover what made this restaurant a favorite to Nantucket.

Next up, New York Times Best Seller Greenlights by Matthew McConaughey. This is a memoir of Matthew’s life experience and the lessons that came out of those experiences. I would highly recommend this book!! I learned a lot through his stories on how I might be able to better catch more greenlights in my own life.  To entice you to read this book, I am sharing a few of my personal favorite Matthew lines…

Valentine Gift Ideas That He Will Love

What started off as a post on putting together the perfect old fashion romance drink for your guy transpired into me putting together a few more gift ideas for your man this Valentine’s Day. All these guy gift’s I have purchased at some point so I can say they are totally tried and true favs!   

OLD FASHION ROMANCE - A great way for a guy to unwind after a busy day on the job is with a pour of whisky. I highly recommend either the Woodford Reserve or the Basil Hayden. Along with the whisky, purchase him some glassware. Whisky glasses come in a variety of styles from cute and fun to monogram and traditional classic. With this gift idea I would encourage you to really make it a true old fashion and buy the drink accessories. Chicago Style Cube ice …. MUST! (I know sounds crazy buying your man ice but I’m telling you the square ice cube is symbolic to this classic drink). Be sure to also pick-up cherries and orange peel.

WHERE TO SHOP THIS GIFT: Whisky & Accessories can be found at Garfield’s Barrington http://garfieldsbeverage.com Whisky Glassware – Fun Look shop Angelina’s http://www.shopangelina.com Classic and Monogram Glassware shop Williams-Sonoma www.willaims-sonoma.com

MAISON MARGIELA REPLICA JAZZ CLUB - I recently purchased this bottle as a gift. I will tell you the combination of fragrances create a masculine smell that will certainly have you catching the attention of your love. Jazz is described as a scent of heady cocktail and cigars and this bottle and its package is as good looking as the guy who uses it!

WHERE TO SHOP THIS GIFT: Sephora www.sephora.com

FAST & FREE RUN BELT – Hands-down this is really a great buy! Practical and yet stylish. My guys use these when skiing in the mountains, on the Metra to downtown or just running around. Holds just the right amount of your personal belongs while on the go.

WHERE TO SHOP THIS GIFT: Lululemon www.lululemon.com

THE RIDGE – Remember that Seinfeld episode?? No guy wants a bulky wallet! This compact wallet is stylish and well designed for men of all generations.  

WHERE TO SHOP THIS GIFT: The Ridge www.ridgewallet.com

POCKET SQUARES – I personally think pocket squares make a man all the more distinguishable. It’s that extra touch and as we all know the details are found in the accessories. With beautiful patterns of red to go with the valentine theme to classic business colors, there is sure to be a pocket square your man would love to own.

WHERE TO SHOP THIS GIFT: J Hilburn – Maureen Slott http://www.maureenslott.jhilburn.com

PROVERBS WISDOM – Being an avid reader, I have read so many good books on business and personal growth in my life. At the end of the day, thou this particular book holds all the wisdom one would need to succeed in the game of life. What I love about this book is the design and layout. This company is well aware of the reality that most of us are probably not picking up a bible on a day-to-day basis to read and so it created these individual books as a way to encourage one to pick it up and start reading. Whatever your religious belief, this particular book (Proverbs) makes for a beautiful coffee table book or office table book that your guy can randomly just pick up and read.

WHERE TO SHOP THIS GIFT:  Alabaster http://www.alabasterco.com

ONE LIFE KITCHEN WINE CLUB – Hard to write this one without being bias as I am the business owner of this establishment. We take the guess work out of wine shopping by offering each month three bottles of wine from a specific region of the world that our sommelier has hand selected and sure to please a wine lover. Club membership provides access to monthly recipes that we recommend when pairing food and wine.

WHERE TO SHOP THIS GIFT: One Life Kitchen www.onelifekitchen.com

VALENTINE CARD – From the romantic to the darn right hilarious a valentine card is a must!

WHERE TO SHOP THIS GIFT: Angelina’s Barrington. http://www.shopangelina.com

GIFT WRAP – Perhaps I add this because I feel you all need you to find a reason to visit this store. I joke all the time saying I can never contain myself at this store. Seriously thou, this store has the ultimate array of making a showpiece out of any gift. The boxes, ribbons, bows, giftwrap are of finest quality. My thought is don’t spend a lot of money on a gift to just toss in a gift bag. Be sure to make your gift shine even before they know what it is by presenting your valentine a beautifully wrapped gift.

WHERE TO SHOP THIS GIFT: The Container Store http://www.containerstore.com

ALTOIDS SMALLS – The color design of the container looks as thou it was created with valentine’s day in mind. Ideal to have on hand at work while conversing with clients and all the better to have on hand when you’re walking in the door to kiss your love. The small container of mini mints (yes is it that cute!!) is the right size to have at your disposal anytime you need to freshen your breath.

WHERE TO SHOP THIS GIFT: Local grocery or drug store

Soul Nourishment Through Snail Mail

Top 10 Reasons I Send Snail Mail

  1. People getting excited when they see a handwritten envelope.
  2. A birthday is always worth celebrating.
  3. Proud of someone
  4. Encourage someone
  5. Fun way to celebrate a holiday
  6. Miss someone
  7. Mourn with those who mourn
  8. Show gratitude and appreciation
  9. Big Life Moments … weddings, showers, graduations, promotions
  10. No reason at all.. just because!

Top Favorite Local Card Shops:

Top Favorite Online Card Shops

Most of the online card shops above offer a one time 15-25% discount if you sign up for their newsletter/e-mail

Holstee - My very Favorite Card EVER - I even have this as a poster on the wall at One Life Kitchen - Isn't this the truth - Great one life manifesto!
Favorite Card Find of 2020 - Pencil Joy!!
Cards for all occasions - She can be found on Instagram @pencijoy
Can never go wrong buying rifle. They have such a variety of cards for all occasions.
This card comes in a package of 10 and is my go to snail mail card. Great combo being a Cub Fan and Rifle Card Fan all in one. This would make for a great little gift for anyone moving to or from Chicago OR how fun to have this as a card holder with tickets for a day at the friendly confines of beautiful Wrigley Field.

Encouraging you to send cards in 2021 and nourish the soul's of those you love!



Lemons, Literature & Lattes

Sharing several tastefully good food books by Erica Bauermeister, that I have enjoyed reading in this edition of Lemon Literature and Lattes.

The School of Essential Ingredients beautifully intertwines the poetic words of food around the students and stories that take place during cooking class. Reading this book will make you long for a delicious meal with friends.

The Lost Art of Mixing demonstrates how cooking and eating a meal together expands and enriches relationships. I think Anthony Bourdain said it well “you learn a lot about someone from having a meal together” While cooking brought these characters together, the relationships grew outside of the kitchen and table setting into loving friendships.

Lastly the book Joy for Beginner’s doesn’t focus around food but rather the profound conversation around a dinner table that challenged each woman to live life a little bigger by taking risks and tackling their fears.

If you love to read, I suggest all three. However, if you are not such an avid reader and were to only pick one book, I would recommend first and for most The School of Essential Ingredients.

To inspire you to start reading, I am sharing some of my favorite lines from each book ….

The School of Essential Ingredients

“Maybe your mind won't remember what I cooked last week, but your body will.”

“When it was mixed together, the salsa was a celebration of red and white and green, cool and fresh and alive."

"On a tortilla, with a bit of crumbled white 'queso fresco,' it was both satisfying and invigorating, full of textures and adventures, like childhood held in your hand.”

"Flour is like the guy in the movie who you don't realize is sexy till the very end. I mean to be honest, when you are dividing up the duties in the kitchen who wants to be the flour? Flour though is what holds the cake together. Mixed well you'll have a cake as seductive as a whisper in your ear."

“The more she cooked, the more she began to view spices as carriers of the emotions and memories of the places they were originally from and all those they had traveled through over the years.”

“The class stood companionably around the wooden counter, trying to navigate forkfuls of cake into their mouths without losing a crumb to the floor. The frosting was a thick buttercream, rich as a satin dress laid against the firm, fragile texture of the cake. With each bite, the cake melted first, then the frosting, one after another, like lovers tumbling into bed.”

The Lost Art of Mixing

“We’re all just ingredients. What matters is the grace with which you cook the meal.”

“Winter was a chromatic palate-cleanser, and she had always greeted it with the pleasure of a tart lemon sorbet, served in a chilled silver bowl between courses.”

“Her love of new ingredients had brought her to Abuelita, the owner of the local Mexican grocery store, who introduced her to avocados and cilantro, and taught her the magic of matching ingredients with personalities to change a person's mood or a life.”

“She had built her restaurant kitchen out of scents and tastes and textures, the clean canvas of a round white dinner plate, the firm skins of pears and the generosity of soft cheeses, the many-colored spices sitting in glass jars along the open shelves like a family portrait gallery. She belonged there.”

Joy for Beginners

“It mattered not where her feet landed because her heart was certain.”

“You're not traveling if you already know everything.”

“She quickly realized she had an affinity for the older books and their muted scents of past dinners and foreign countries, the tea and chocolate stains coloring the phrases. You could never be certain what you would find in a book that has spent time with someone else."

"...love is like waves, you ride one into the beach, and it's the most amazing thing you've ever felt. But at some point the water goes back out, it has to and maybe you're lucky...."

“The women ranged in age, but they were all old enough to know that in the currency of friendship, empathy is more valuable than accuracy.”

“I walked across a bridge that doesn't exist. And after that, being scared just didn't seem so important anymore.”

“A risk is a risk because it's avoidable.”

Fall Favorites for the Entertaining Kitchen

From apple orchards to harvest squash to thanksgiving dinner, the fall season is a special time in the kitchen. On today's blog I am sharing some of my fall favorites in both my home kitchen and One Life's kitchen.

Favorite Kitchen Collection

What can I say about mackenziechild.com that has not been said before?!?! Love everything about the look of classic beautiful kitchenware. Mackenzie Child Courtly Collection just makes the table dinner all the more elegant. These pots are good for cooking and absolutely perfect for serving-up right at the table. The extra win ... couple less platters you have to clean up.

Favorite Recipe Source

halfbakedharvest.com is our go to for delicious recipes. Tieghan Gerald is a MUST follow on social media! Every recipe that our kitchen has made from Half Baked Harvest has been so delicious. In addition to finding delicious recipes on both her instagram and her cooking blog, Tieghan has a couple delicious cookbooks (which you can purchase on her site) that would make for a nice addition to your cookbook collection or even a perfect gift for that food lover in your life.

Favorite Centerpieces

OK, I am a firm believer in candles and centerpieces to enhance the dinner table. While I enjoy purchasing fresh flowers for the table, the only small problem is flowers don't last for long. I found one way to preserve a table centerpiece for an entire season is to buy dry flowers. This awesome fall arrangement from heinens.com. I never seem to leave Heinens without picking up some kind of floral. Just wait till you go in there and see their holiday dry and fresh arrangements...OMG!!!

Favorite Fall Harvest Table Setting

Get This Table Setting Look - I really enjoy decorating the table for dinner parties. Nothing like watching the reaction of our guests when they see the table dressed so beautiful before them. I think the table accessories are like the jewelry to a cocktail dress or the pocket square to guys jacket. A little something extra is always necessary for the Thanksgiving table. I'm sharing some tablescape ideas from a recent friendsgiving event we put together at One Life Kitchen.

The farm to table wooden chargers, as well as all the glassware, utensils and the "must have" white plates are all from worldmarket.com. When it comes to cooking supplies or accessorizing your kitchen, World Market has everything you need to make your kitchen the heart of your home.

Favorite Greeting Cards

As a guest, it is always a nice gesture of etiquette to send a thank you note after attending a dinner party. While a thank you text or email gets the job done, there really is nothing that compares with the handwritten thank you note. Something sweet about unexpectedly receiving a card in the mail amongst all those bills and junk mail. My favorite go to stationary cards are  http://riflepaperco.com