Sunday, July 27, 2014

Summer.


Sorry sorry sorry. That's three sorries for how sorry I am that it's been awhile since I've posted. What can I say, sandy beaches and salty water have gotten in the way. Let me show you what I've been doing lately...

My mom and I made our annual summer trip to the beach, heading once again to the beautiful Hilton Head Island. You can see last years trip recap HERE.

If you're unfamiliar with the splendors of Hilton Head, picture beautiful Spanish moss hanging off lush trees, picture perfect beaches and a family environment. Every year I go I love it even more!

Another reason I love it (besides spending quality time with my mom) is that there is great food on the island! We stayed at the lovely Westin this year and it was a gorgeous hotel that had great hotel food. Exhibit A, delicious room service breakfast. Seriously, stay at the Westin. 





In other foodie news I had a delectable Moscow Mule at a new restaurant called The Lucky Rooster. This restaurant had a super interesting menu and yummy food. Highly recommended!





Of course my mom and I had to have an Italian meal while we were there. Luckily we found Michael Anthony's, a fixture on the island for over 15 years. If you're looking for delicious Italian at the beach, look no further! Here we are with our beachy-tiramisu. Hee hee. 




Another great mother-daughter trip in the books!

Next up on my tour of Carolina beaches was the lovely Bald Head Island which we went to for my mother in laws 60th birthday. And what a celebration it was! Bald Head is a small island off the coast of Wilmington, North Carolina. You park your car in Wilmington, hop on a ferry and start relaxing on a car-free, golf-carts only beach island oasis. The 5 mile island has wildlife, a few restaurants and bars, beautiful beaches and not much else. But what else do you really need? I could have stayed for weeks. 

This was our home for the week. There's my mother in law (the birthday girl!) waving from the porch!





If you follow me on Instagram (@jackiefo)  you know that my adorable nieces Brooke and Claire were on the trip with us as well. Here they are chilling on the beach. I mean could they be cuter? I apologize in advance for the cuteness overload.




Brookie drove a golf cart! 




...okay, no she didn't really drive a golf cart. But she looked totes cute pretending!

 Claire Bear really relaxed by sitting back with some mags. Just replace her snack cup with wine and it could be me reading my mags... 




Here's Claire and I on the beach... 




...and here's Brookie and I. 





We climbed this lighthouse (Old Baldy - and no, I'm not making that name up)..




...and we kayaked in the salt marshes which was gorgeous. And kind of hard. Kayaking is a great arm workout you guys.




One of the greatest things about traveling with kids (besides their general adorableness) is that:

a) someone is always up before you to make the coffee and b) you can drink your cocktails on the beach out of cute Elmo cups. 



I also like it because sometimes they can be little detectives. What am I talking about? Well last year for our anniversary Mr. Fo got me an engraved Moon & Lola monogram necklace, something I'd been wanting for awhile. It's not diamonds, but it's not costume jewelry either...so I really tried to take good care of it. Of course in about two months I obviously  lost it. After searching and searching the cat was out of the bag, Mr. Fo found out and that was history. Until 6 mos later, Detective Brooke found it at Bald Head Island, a place I'd never been before...say whaaaat? See her below all proud and adorable with my lost necklace!




To make a long story short, the necklace must have been stuck in the lining of one of my bags that I took to the beach and it fell out while we were at Bald Head. Brooke found it on her way to say "goodbye to the beach" on our last morning there...could that be cuter? If she hadn't found it, it would really have been lost forever! 

And with the missing necklace memory solved, the sun set on our Bald Head Island trip! I hope to go back again next summer!




Driving home from the beach is always a bummer, but a visit to Pee Dees Orchard for some homemade peach ice cream makes it a little better. If that was closer to Charlotte I would probably turn into a peach from overexposure. Millions of peaches...peaches for me...


In other summer news, I celebrated the 4th of July with my BFF Kalle whose birthday is on the 4th. I made that cake I talked about HERE! It didn't turn out like the picture, but that's okay.



My mom was there for the celebration today...can we talk about how she looks so beautiful and young in this photo? #hottie



In news that is pretty much the opposite of cake, I'm training for my first 10K race which is a 6.2 mile race. Here I am post rainy run with my mini-triathalon partners. And seriously, it was a total downpour for almost all of our 4-mile run. I'm toying with the idea of following up this 10K with a half-marathon (that's 13.1 miles)...can someone please talk me out of this craziness???




Finally, I've got lots of weddings and events coming up late summer and fall. One of the most fun is a pink and orange Mexican Fiesta birthday bash I'm doing mid-August. Think a taco bar combined with a margarita bar...so fabulous, right? Combined with these beautiful, colorful flowers, I'm pumped to see how this fiesta turns out!



Whew..I'm tired from that recap...its almost like I need to go back to the beach to relax from just talking about my summer. (First World Problems...) Hope you're summer has been great and I'll be back with regular posts this later this week! 

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Little Man - Bowtie Baby Shower

Are you into cute baby showers and bowties? Well if so you will love this adorable "Little Man" baby shower my sister-in-law threw a few weeks ago. 


I loved this onesie garland with iron-on bow ties!



Flowers were adorned with paper bowties on sticks by Kilbi Branch Designs.










Kilbi also made this adorable "little man" banner and colorful bow.





My sister in law made these adorable napkin bowties with ribbon in the middle. 





The yummy cake was created by Koris Kakes - how adorable is it?




My favorite part were these adorable cookie favors from Edible Art. I loved the detail on the cookies!




I hope this little man shower added a little brightness to your Tuesday! Have a great one! 


Thursday, July 3, 2014

4th of July Cake (and more)

Happy 4th! (Well it's the 3rd today, but I feel like most people start saying Happy 4th! as soon as it hits July 1...) 

What are you doing or making for July 4th? I plan to eat a burger or hot dog of some sort, drink a refreshing beverage and wear red white and blue. It doesn't get any more American than that, does it?

Oh, and I'm also whipping up this:


Isn't it beautiful? It's a Striped Red Velvet Cake and you can find out how to make it HERE at Better Homes and Gardens. 

It looks more complicated than it is, you just make 2 Red Velvet layers and cut them in half. Then whip up some cream cheese frosting (OMG) and spread it between the layers. I love the unfinished look of the cake, it's simply gorgeous! 

Looking for something easier? How about my Red, White and Blue Mason Jar parfait desserts:



And if you need decorating inspiration for your Independence Day soiree, look no further than my Rust 4th of July styled shoot over on MomTrends! It's overflowing with patriotic flare and easy DIYs.



I hope your 4th of July is filled with food, friends and fireworks! 

Sunday, June 29, 2014

CK Mondavi Wine for Summertime




If you're into tasty wines at a reasonable price points and fresh summer ingredients, you're going to love this blog post! As part of a Clever Girls Collective campaign, I was able to taste test 4 wines from CK Mondavi.The verdict? CK Mondavi is the perfect 4th of July wine!  Not only is it the only wine in this price point (under $10!) to be 100% American made &  grown, but a percentage of sales goes to supporting veterans. It's a win-win! 




I paired the brand new CK Mondavi Wine Blonde Five, a white blend with flavors of honey, baked apple and lemon zest with my favorite summer bean salad. This black bean, tomato and edamame salad is seasoned with lime juice, salt and pepper and is a perfect compliment to CK Mondavi's Blonde Five. (The recipe for the salad is at the bottom of this post.)






The Chardonnay would also pair well with this summer bean salad if you're more into chards. 



CK Mondavi also sent me a Cabernet and another red blend, Scarlett Five. These wines are easy to find as 

















  • CK Mondavi wine is sold nationwide in every US state. Plus you know you are supporting a great cause because a



























  •  percentage of each bottle sold between May - August is donated to Intrepid Fallen Heroes (up to $50,000). 

























  • Intrepid Fallen Heroes Fund (IFHF), is an organization that supports the men and women of the Armed Forces and their families.


















  • So you're drinking yummy wine for a good cause, and it won't break the bank? Anyone can get on board with that!



    Summer Bean Salad
    Serves 8

    1 can black beans - rinsed and drained
    1 package shelled and cooked edamame 
    1 large avocado - diced
    1 pt. cherry tomatoes - quartered
    Juice from 3 limes
    Salt and pepper to taste
    Chopped Cilantro

    Combine all ingredients adding salt, pepper and lime until it tastes to your liking. Refrigerate until serving. Spritz with more lime juice before serving. 

    Enjoy and head to your local grocer to support veterans and their families by picking up a bottle or two of CK Mondavi!

    I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls Collective and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.

    Wednesday, June 25, 2014

    Healthy Summer Salads (Not Boring, I promise!)

    Happy Wednesday! 

    I'm excited because I asked my Instagram followers what they'd like to see on the Jackie Fo blog this summer and they gave me some great ideas! (Btw, follow me on Instagram @jackiefo ). Sometimes a gal needs a little help with her inspiration, ya know? 

    The first topic I'm going to blog about is healthy summer salads. Sounds boring, I know, but I promise these salads are anything but dull! I need a lot of "stuff" on my salad to make it appealing, so I made sure to find salads brimming with summer vegetables and fruits. If you're anything like me, you're working hard right now to get healthy and maybe even trim down a bit, and these salads fit the bill. Plus they give you an excuse to hit up the farmers market which I love doing...Don't get me wrong, I love a good grocery store, but there's something a little more fun about the farmers market.

    Let's take a look at this summer salad bounty? All the links to these fine recipes are underneath the photos.

    It's no secret I adore the classic Italian Caprese salad, so I'm loving this twist on it using strawberries and walnuts. This would be a great addition to a buffet or even a light lunch. 



    This veggie salad has everything but the kitchen sink - lima beans, tomatoes, peppers and more. It's colorful and beautiful too!



    If you're in the mood for Mexican (and I am a lot in the summer months) this Mexican summer salad is right up your alley. Plus it has avocado, and everyone knows that things with avocado are instantly awesome.



    Maybe you're in the mood for a Greek salad instead? You know what they say, feta makes everything betta...



    This tomato and cucumber salad with cilantro would make the perfect side dish to any summer meal, don't you think? 



    If you want a little grain in your salad, try this quinoa and nectarine salad. This salad is nutty, sweet and hearty! Plus you can quiz your friends and see how many people know how to spell "quinoa."




    Is anyone else really into the peppery flavor of arugula right now? I am...especially arugula with prosciutto. This salad has peaches, arugula and prosciutto. YUM.




    This salad has grilled shrimp, salty cheese and romaine lettuce. Honestly you can add grilled shrimp to any salad and it goes in the win column.




    Since I love pasta salad of any kind, I had to include my lemon orzo salad I made for the Homes.com site. Just try it and tell me you don't love it!


    Don't these recipes just make you want to whip up a hearty salad for dinner tonight? Like I said above, add grilled shrimp or grilled chicken to any of these salads for a main course meal. Who knew salad could be so delish?!

    Friday, June 20, 2014

    4th of July Mason Jar Parfaits

    Well hello and happy almost summer! Did you know that tomorrow (June 21) is the official first day of summer? In my mind summer started when I switched over to white wine but that's just me. Hehe.

    I've got a treat for you today on the blog. Perfect for summer, but really super duper perfect for the 4th of July. I whipped these up for a 4th of July photo shoot I did, but more on that later. First let me tell you how to make these super easy Red, white and blue Mason Jar parfaits.




    These no-bake desserts look adorable and would be the perfect addition to any summer BBQ. All you need is blueberries, strawberries, pre-made angel food cake and whipped cream topping. Plus mason jars, but if you're like me, you've got about a million of those lying around.




    First off, cut up your angel food cake into cubes. I like to get the small angel food cake cups because they are easier to cut than a big cake. 




    Place them in the bottom of your mason jar. 



    Pile on your berries.





    Top with whipped cream.





    And then top with more berries. 



    How adorable is this?


    See, how easy was that? 

    Ingredients:
     Red, White and Blue Mason Jar Parfaits
    Serves 4

    4 Mason Jars
    1 pint blueberries 
    1 pint strawberries
    Whipped Topping

    Follow the above directions and you'll have an adorable dessert in minutes!

    So, about that photo shoot I mentioned earlier. The wonderful site MomTrends (a great resource for busy but stylin' mamas) asked me to style a 4th of July photo shoot featuring some great products. I made these parfaits for the photo shoot and used one of the products (patriotic Duck Tape) to decorate the wooden forks. 


     


    You can see more photos like the below and see how else I used Duck Tape and other fun products by visiting the post HERE. Seriously, check it out for awesome 4th of July party inspiration!



    I hope you have a great first day of summer tomorrow! Do something extra-summery!