Friday, March 29, 2013

Sailing in Greece



I've seen a lot of pictures of the seas surrounding Greece and in each one, the water seems to be a different, yet equally stunning shade of blue. I would love love love to spend a day in a boat exploring all the beautiful blues of that Aegean Sea. 

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Icons Hotel


Icons Hotel in Santorini Greece is a cave transformed into a boutique hotel. It has 23 rooms, each one different from the other. Um, and I don't know if you noticed from the picture, but there's jacuzzis and pools in the rooms. Click here to browse the website.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Greek Food



One of my favorite things about greek cuisine is the abundance of feta. Here in the US, we sometimes sprinkle small portions of feta cheese to add a kick of fresh, cheesy goodness. In Greece, they don't sprinkle. They don't even crumble. They cut a block of feta and serve it to you on a place with some vegetables (see middle photo above). 

My favorite greek food to make at home is Spanakopita. The fresh, crisp phylo dough softly covering a beautiful, blended mixture of feta cheese, fresh parsley, lemon juice and other fresh herbs and spices is so tasty. The perfect appetizer. For a great spanakopita recipe from David Lebovitz, click here.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Greece: What to Wear


One of the most important parts of planning a trip is packing! What would you pack for a trip to Greece? Inspired by the above photo (source), I put together an outfit that feels perfect for this warm, breezy, adventurous place. With so many beautiful things to see, you can't forget your camera!

1. ASOS Stripe T-Shirt - $28.82
3. ASOS Tort Clubmaster Sunglasses - $14.03
4. Neves Vintage Hand Rubbed Belt - $30.00
5. Evans Brown Buckle Cross Body Bag - $45.00
6. J.Crew 7-inch Chino Short - $48.00
7. Roxy Carlota Sandals - $39.00

Monday, March 25, 2013

Join me, we're going to Greece!

This week I'm gonna try something different on FEST. As a lover of travel who has found herself locked in a "working" lifestyle that doesn't allow time for much vacation, I've found freedom in being able to discover beautiful things online. While I do plan to spend a lot of time traveling in the future, I just can't do it now so I'd like to take an online vacation this week. And I'd like to invite you to come along. 

Let's go, we're going to Greece!

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Spring is here!

Spring is officially here and it's got me dreaming of bright floral prints, sunny sidewalk cafes and sweet, fresh foods.

I've just updated The FEST Shop with lots of bright, fun items so be sure to check it out.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Introducing...

I'm very excited to introduce a new shopping element to my blog! Over the last couple weeks, some of you may have noticed a new button to the right called "FEST Shop". Click on this link and you'll be taken to a page that lets you scroll through a wide selection of clothes, accessories, beauty items and home goods selected by yours truly especially for YOU. The FEST Shop is a place where you can enjoy a little retail therapy as all of the images click directly back to the webpage where you can purchase the item online. Additionally, you can pin items for later reference or tweet them to share with your friends. All items in the FEST shop are selected with YOU, the FEST readers, in mind as I strive to select items that will add value to your wardrobe or home and not break the bank (usually).

So go ahead and visit The FEST Shop. It will be updated on a regular basis (at least weekly) so bookmark the link so you don't forget to check back regularly updates.

Happy shopping!

Monday, March 11, 2013

Blue Skies



This weekend, I snapped some photos of my favorite views in Redondo Beach and Palos Verdes. After a small rainstorm the night before, the sky looked so clear and blue!

I hope you had a nice weekend!

Friday, March 8, 2013

Can I please go here?

Smithsonian has just announced the 50 finalists in its tenth annual photo contest and The Atlantic has published its top picks on their website. The above photo, taken by Jason Hatfield at Bryce Canyon National Park, really inspired me. Those stars are just beyond me. Click here to view the full gallery on The Atlantic and click here to view all 50 finalists on Smithsonian.

Chicken Parmesan with Marinara Sauce


This is one of my favorite "go-to" meals for dinner. The directions and ingredients are so simple, that I can actually make this dish completely from memory now (a very rare thing). Italian food has the wonderful ability to make an entire house smell like home. It's so classic, so delicious, so right.

Chicken Parmesan with Marinara Sauce
From Jill Parker, as told to me by Suzette
Yield: 4-6 servings
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Bake Time: 45 minutes-1 hour
Total Time: about 1 hour, 30 minutes

INGREDIENTS:

3 thinly sliced chicken breasts (about 1/2 inch thick)
3 Tablespoons butter, melted
3/4 cup bread crumbs
2 cups marinara sauce (I used Prego, but you could also use this)
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese (or 3 big slices)
1/2 cup parmesan cheese
8 oz. spaghetti noodles, cooked

DIRECTIONS:

Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a baking dish with cooking spray.

Dip chicken in melted butter, then generously coat both sides with bread crumbs. Lay chicken flat in baking dish. Cover with marinara sauce, followed by mozzarella cheese, and then parmesan cheese. 

Bake in oven for 45 min. to an hour, until chicken is fully cooked. 

Serve with spaghetti noodles and garlic bread. 

Enjoy!

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Signs of Summer

Jeans: Zara, Belt: H&M, Shirt: Target, Jacket: J.Crew, Scarf: H&M, Sandals: Billabong

The holidays seem to come and go in a flash, then we're left with winter. Smaller holidays like Valentine's Day and St. Patrick's Day help mix things up, but in my mind, I'm just dreaming of summer. This Sunday, March 10 is a day I like to celebrate for less obvious reasons. It's the start of Daylight Savings Time in the US and for me, that is the first sign that summer is close behind.

Get the look >>

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

The Cutest Mad Men Scene


I've been catching up on past seasons of Mad Men and the other night, I was completely smitten by one of the scenes in Season 3. At an outdoor dinner party, newlyweds Pete and Trudy get up and start dancing--a full-out, choreographed Charleston dance. Cutest thing ever. It made me want to blast myself back in time, when dancing was a cherished and practiced pastime.

Are you a fan of Mad Men? Season 6 starts on April 7. Just a month away!

Cinnamon Baked French Toast

Holy moly. I originally pinned this recipe about a year ago and last week, I had the divine pleasure of finally enjoying this heaven-sent breakfast dish. I say heaven-sent because not only is this one of the most delicious things you've ever put in your mouth, it's also one of the easiest make-ahead breakfast dishes out there.

Cinnamon Baked French Toast
From The Pioneer Woman
Yield: one large casserole (about 12 servings)
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Wait Time: 8-12 hours
Bake Time: 45 minutes-1 hour
Total Time: about 9-13 hours

INGREDIENTS:

1 loaf crusty sourdough or french bread
8 whole eggs
2 cups milk
1/2 heavy whipping cream
3/4 cup sugar
2 tablespoons vanilla extract

{for the topping}

1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 stick cold butter, cut into pieces

Homemade Buttermilk Syrup

DIRECTIONS:

The night before you plan to serve, grease a 9x13-inch casserole dish. Tear bread into chunks and evenly distribute in the pan. Mix together eggs, milk, cream, sugar and vanilla. Pour evenly over bread. Cover tightly and store in the fridge overnight.

In a separate bowl, mix flour, brown sugar, cinnamon and salt. Add butter pieces and cut into the dry mixture until mixture resembles fine pebbles. Story in a Ziploc bag in the fridge.

When ready to bake, preheat oven to 350 degrees. Remove casserole from the fridge, uncover and sprinkle evenly with crumb mixture. Bake for 45 minutes to an hour, or until top is crispy and browned. Scoop out individual portions and serve with homemade buttermilk syrup.

Monday, March 4, 2013

Petra



When I was in 6th grade, I learned about Petra, a 2,300-year-old city in southern Jordan carved out of rock. It amazed me. When I was 22, I had the marvelous opportunity to visit Petra and it absolutely lived up to my 11-year-old dreams of beauty, innovation and wonder (click here to read a blog post about my experience there).

Without the incredible carved edifices, this location would be a beautiful one (think Southern Utah). Add in such beautiful architecture created using nothing but hand tools and ladders and this place is really something.

Photos via.