Mother's Day Gift Guide

Mother's Day will be gracing us with its presence in just a few days, and if you're like me, finding the perfect gift for your favorite lady can seem like a daunting task. This year, I thought deeply about my mother and the pieces of her life that are important to her: from her home which she cherishes as a personal oasis to her super sweet tooth and her reserved sense of style. The possibilities seemed endless, but as I perused the web I stumbled upon a few gifts that stood out!

As you embark on your personal gift giving expedition, this year's "Mother's Day Gift Guide" may help point you toward a gem that embodies the essence of your mother (or mother figures),

Top Row (L to R)

$32 - Boxcar Walnut Planter - Houzz

$30 - Chocolate Honey Caramel Bees - John and Kira's

$45 - Tea for Two Tower - Waxing Kara

Middle Row (L to R)

$60 - Monogram Clutch - Naves Design

$56 - Stemless Fountain Aerating Wine Glasses - Uncommon Goods

$68 - Marble + Acacia Cheese Board - Anthropologie

Bottom Row (L to R)

$88 - Muse D'or Candle - Jon Adler

$250 - Raleigh Ladies' Summer Glove - FitzGerald Morrell (15% OFF with code : MOTHERSDAY2017)

$130 - Marble Phone Dock + Lightning - Native Union

GT Getaways: London Trip!

BigBen.JPG

It's hard to believe it has been a full month. As everyone was eagerly awaiting warmer weather on the east coast, Mark and  I were fortunate enough to be springing forward in London!!!

Spring often signifies a period of rejuvenation, and embarking on my first adventure to this beautiful city across the pond was just what I needed to get my creative juices flowing. Old world charm, with many modern notes; London's celebration of diversity is evident in its architecture, street-style, food, and most notably the people.

Being my first time in London, Mark's sister and her husband (thanks Tammy and Alex!) were our gracious tour guides. Our jam packed days (but well worth it) and included trips to all the major landmarks, as well as some hidden gems. This post only highlight a few of my favorite sites.

1. The Queen's Walk

As a first-timer, my number one desire was to see as many major landmarks as possible. London's Queen's Walk made this easy. We found convenient parking under St. James Park, starting our day-long tour at Buckingham Palace followed by seeing Big Ben. We then took a stroll across the Westminster Bridge and got up close and personal with the London Eye. We ended this portion of the day at the Tate Modern.

2. Tate Britain & Tate Modern

Art museums exhibits and tours often give me an opportunity to gain a more visual history of my travel destination. The Tate was no different. With two locations in London, the Tate Modern is London's official museum of Modern Art, and the Tate Britain is the official home of British art from 1500 - present. At Tate Britain, we got the opportunity to see the David Hockney exhibit (which was phenomenal and showing until May 29th). I was also pleasantly surprised to stumble upon Stan Firm Inna Inglan : Black Disaspora in London, which was a time capsule of photographs highlighting the black British experience during the 1960-1970s.

3. Camden Town, Camden Market

Even across the pond, there were bits and pieces that reminded me of home.  To me, Camden Town was reminiscent of Philadelphia, sprawling with mom and pop shops that made me feel less like a tourist, and more like a Londoner. My favorite part of this area was the Camden Rock Market. Similar to Philadelphia's Reading Terminal Market, the Camden Market was a two floor building packed with (at least) hundred stalls and live entertainment sprinkled throughout. We were able to pick up some locally made gifts for our family and friends, and as a special treat, sampled some gin at Half Hitch microbrewery. 

4. Akeman Inn (Kingswood)

Prior to arriving, we expressed an interest in trying food at a local pub or restaurant. Tammy and Alex,  had been interested in trying Akeman Inn (a pub in Kingswood, a short drive from their town, Aylesbury) for quite some time, but waited for our visit so we could experience it together. I'm happy to report that we thoroughly impressed The pub (formerly a 17th century Inn) served a menu of traditional British fare (fish and chips, bangers and mash), as well as some unique dishes like the Scallops of the Days (which still had the beard attached!) 

5. Picadilly Circus

Although I tried to resist, our stroll through Picadilly Circus, brought on strong desires to feed my shopping addiction.  Affectionately referred to as "Times Square" of London, the streets of this posh neighborhood were buzzing with people. Tall buildings with more colonial facades had been transformed into modern shops for some of the biggest brand names. For those who aren't into the shopping scene, you can still are in luck, this district is also full of street performers and artists, theaters, and it is a short walk from Chinatown, SoHo, and Covent Garden.

As the old saying goes, I left my "heart in London." We are already plotting our next trip, hoping to see much more!

 

3 Summer Salads to Upgrade your BBQ

Although it's hard to believe, summer will be making a swift exit in the next few weeks to make way for the cool winds of Autumn.  Before we store away our grills, and cover up the patio furniture, there's still ample time to celebrate by planning an end of summer BBQ.

As  you peruse your grocery story for hotdogs and hamburgers, and check out your local farmers market for the most ripest seasonal fruit, remember that no summer soiree is complete without a summer salad! From old time favorites of the potato or pasta variety to salads that add some flare to the freshest fruits and veggies, everyone I know has their favorite they look forward to indulging in this time of year.

If you are feeling adventurous, and want to take a little excursion from your traditional summer salads,  here are three salad upgrades that are sure to win your heart.

 Photo by Geo Darwin

Photo by Geo Darwin

Grilled Corn & BLACKBERRY SALAD WITH BALSAMIC VINAIGARETTE

( Recipe c/o Korena in the Kitchen )

Best when made with corn fresh off the cob, this unlikely pairing is the perfect marriage of sweet and savory. Tossed lightly in balsamic vinaigrette gives this salad and extra special punch!

 Photo by Food Network

Photo by Food Network

 

 

Cous Cous Salad with Tomato and Mint

(Recipe c/o Food Network )

Pasta move to the side, Cous Cous may just be the new winner. A  simple Mediterranean salad complimented with some mint. 

 

 

 

 

 Photo by My Recipes 

Photo by My Recipes 

GEORGIA Shrimp and Radish Salad

( Recipe c/o My Recipes )

For the seafood lovers looking for a bit a flare this is one to try. The radishes pairing perfectly with fresh shrimp creates an amazing texture and flavor to die for!

Home-Cooked: Strawberry Guacamole

After many years of internal debate and unnecessary apprehension, I can finally say that I am an avocado lover. My initial reservations about this lovely green fruit were washed away when it was perfectly paired with it's berry cousin: the strawberry! I owe this to a local Mexican restaurant that prides itself on it's robust "guacamole" menu.

The menu at this restaurant covers a wide span of flavor profiles from sweet to savory or spicy to mild. This means that there is a type of "guac" for every type of food lover!  As I have eaten my way down the list sampling all the varieties, none compare to the first one I had the fortune of trying: Strawberry Guacamole.

After many attempts to recreate this dish for my own purposes, I've finally landed on my own recipe worth sharing. It's quick and easy, and has become a hit at potlucks, parties or cookouts. The recipe can be found below!

STRAWBERRY GUACAMOLE

Ingredients

  • 2 Ripe Avocados (Medium to Large Sized, Pitted and Scooped)
  • 1/2 Cup - Chopped Strawberries (Fresh and Ripe)
  • 1/8 Cup - Chopped Black Olives
  • 1 tablespoon -  Minced Garlic
  • 3 tablespoons - Chopped Cilantro
  • 1 Lime (Finely Zested, Juiced)
  • Salt and Pepper to taste

Directions

  1. In a large bowl mash the avocados with a fork or potato masher until coarsely mashed. 
  2. Fold in strawberries, black olives, minced garlic, cilantro and lime until well mixed. Add salt and pepper to taste. 
  3. Garnish the top with some olives and chopped strawberries.
  4. Serve immediately, or cover and refrigerate.

 

 

 

 

 

Table Talks: E.M. Ricchini

Geo’s Table is committed to uplifting and supporting others as they bring to life their passions. Table Talks will be a regular feature that highlights a creative, entrepreneur or mover-and-shaker who is making an impact in the Philadelphia community (and beyond), with hopes of connecting them to others who can help push their vision forward.

ABOUT E.M. RICCHINI

  Photo by   Danielle Conyers

Fashion and lifestyle blogger at larkandlace.com, freelance writer and on-air personality at MyNewPhilly.com, the lovely E.M. Ricchini is a born-and-raised Philly girl who is making a quite the unique and positive impression on the community.

When I met E.M. Ricchini at a recent tasting event, I was instantly drawn to her cool and coy demeanor and impeccable sense of style. Her natural knack for giving urban street style a flawlessly modern upgrade fueled me to strike up an initial conversation, which ended in an invite out for drinks a few weeks later.

As a creative E.M. has navigated the media world with curiosity ; first attending art school, and going on to work for heavy hitters like Fox 29 and Philly Voice. Through trials and tribulations, and with an eagerness for adventure, she’s continued to land on her feet.

All of which made for a very dynamic and fulfilling conversation.

Table Topics

The Setting:  Los Cantinas  Dos Segundos, 2nd Street  | Prickly Pear Margaritas (Virgin for her)

Topic 1: Iceland - The beauty of Iceland, and her privately chic (and epic) wedding ceremony on the shores of Reynisfjara.

Topic 2: Blogging Philosophy -  Her blogging philosophy is simple she likes her writing to “come naturally and treats [her] blog as a journal…”

Topic 3: The Vegan Life - Leading a straight edge and vegan life, E.M. is able to add veganistic flare to many classic dishes. One of her favorite dishes includes a recipe for black bean brownies that she promises are to die for (and I believe her!)  

Photos by Violet Short Danielle Conyers

What’s Next?

E.M. plans to continue evolving as a writer and is open to freelance opportunities. She is also in charge of brand management and creative direction for one of Philly’s hottest new startups, GoBabl.  The imprint she's made on the Philadelphia community is apparent, and as she continues sharing her art and thoughts with the world her following will surely continue to grow.

Both being avid supporters of Philly's ever expanding blogging community, this was a meeting of the minds that ended in great success! We ended with the promise of a collaboration that will grace our blogs soon!

CONNECT WITH E.M. RICCHINI

Instagram: @emricchini  | Blog: www.larkandlace.com