The Little Things 

|2nd anniversary = cotton & dinner at sugarfish|

Andrew’s mom, stepdad and sister have been staying with us for the last two weeks and they’re going to leave this weekend. With them in town we have been keeping busy with fun activities, like trips to Disneyland and nightly game nights.  It’s been fun having company!  Andrew and I also celebrated our 2nd wedding anniversary on Monday and had the best sushi.  We have been reminiscing about our wedding all week.  If you’re curious about our wedding check out: Our Wedding LookOur Wedding Details, and Favorite Wedding Moments.

|view of the valley on a hike at Fryman Canyon|

|ladies breakfast at Joan’s on Third|

|DIY pizza party with friends|

|at the happiest place on earth with the one who makes me the happiest|

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Herb Salmon

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My herb garden is overflowing so I’ve been trying to test out different ways to use my herbs. This salmon is super easy and tasty. It screams summer and makes a pretty presentation for a weeknight at home or an impressive summer dinner with friends.

Here’s how I did it: I just chopped up about of half a tablespoon of each: parsley, scallion, tarragon and dill. Squeezed the juice of half a large lemon. Combine the herbs, lemon and some softened butter. Stirred it all together and coated the two salmon fillets with the herb butter. I then sautéed over medium high heat until each side was browned and cooked the way I wanted. I plated the salmon and topped it with more freshly chopped parsley, scallion, tarragon and dill and squeezed the remaining half a lemon over top. Voila. Enjoy.
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Summer Lemon Basil Chicken 

Basil Lemon
This grilled chicken recipe with basil and lime (I used lemons from my tree) screams SUMMER! It is super delicious. This has become an instant favorite especially since I have several of the ingredients growing in my backyard: lemons, basil, and scallions.  This chicken recipe is light, fresh and healthy, perfect for dining al fresco on a warm summer night. 
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Links to Make the Weekend Come Back Sooner

I spent the weekend trying not to melt.  It was 107 this weekend.  How is that possible?!?  That’s just insane.  And of course it happened to be the weekend we needed to help my brother in law move into his new apartment.  It was hotter than heck out there.  Thankfully we survived and spent the rest of the weekend in the air conditioning and binge watching The Killing.  I hope everyone else in LA survived the heat!  Here are some fun links to distract you from work and the extreme temps.

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1.  I must make this herbed tomato and roasted garlic tart to celebrate the last few days of summer.

2.  Love these beauty swaps for fall

3.  Who would have thought outdoor kitchens could be so gorgeous?

4.  The best way to have an apple a day: apple desserts for fall.

5.  Just another reason to love France: what French kids eat for school lunch.

6.  I’ve lived in Los Angeles my whole life and I still haven’t hit some of these spots on road trip LA guide.

Au Revoir for Now

IMG_8729 |la maison|

My heart is sad because today we are leaving France. My first visit to France was when I was 8 years old. Ever since then I was hooked. I decorated my bedroom with a French theme. I dreamed of the day I could return. I then learned that Andrew was French and spent his summer at the beaches in France. Learning that he was French definitely peaked my interest but at the time we were just friends. We would joke about me hiding in his suitcase.

Finally in college I was able to return to France when I studied abroad in Paris for four months. I loved absolutely loved living in a gorgeous city, where I walked to school, the markets and museums. It my first attempt at independence and I must say I did pretty good. Although I did blow a fuse in my tiny studio in the center of the city. I plugged the microwave into an extension cord and it sparked. I screamed and all the power went out. I was terrified that this silly little American girl shut off the power in the whole apartment building, but thankfully did not. Besides that little episode I loved my time in Paris. I wish I could have stayed longer. I was just getting used to the city when it was time for me to go.

At this time Andrew and I were dating and he came to visit me. He took me to his grandparents home in Bordeaux. His grandparents have two homes in Bordeaux that are just an hour apart. We stayed at the “city” home, which is in a small town in the suburbs of Bordeaux. We quickly visited their “beach” home, which is actually in a forest and a ten minute drive and walk to the beach. It was the middle of winter and their was not a soul in sight. The beach, road and city was deserted.

Summer in Vendays-Montalivet is a different world. I have truly loved my time in France. In my blood I am a quarter French, but in my heart I am full French. I can’t wait for the day when we can bring our kids here. I can picture Andrew and I with our future kids running in the forest, climbing sand dunes, playing in the waves and spending time with family. I am happy here. It feels like home.

IMG_3371 |we ate the most delicious garlic fries while looking over this harbor|

IMG_8725 |late night English & French Scrabble over tea|

IMG_3361-0 |the calm before the storm|

IMG_8743 |Paolina (my sister in law) and the storm|

IMG_8745 |the clouds, rain, wind, and tide came in and we went out|