Mamma Mia // Rustic Italian Cooking Lessons with Wine

Italian Cooking - Rustic Tablescape

Happy Wednesday! Last week, I had the pleasure of joining forces with some local NYC fashionista’s to enjoy an evening of rustic Italian cooking lessons with Mamma Mia wine! I shared a bit of the festivities on Facebook Live in 2 parts, so feel free to learn more about the brand there as well.

Italian Cooking Lessons with Wine

Italian Cooking with Wine

As a Mom, I love to cook (luckily, so does my husband!) and when it’s time for us to wind down as grown-ups (without our little guy), we love a good bottle of wine. And when I’m out with my girlfriends, enjoying a glass is always a good idea too! That’s what this fun night was exactly all about. The benefit? Enjoying a rustic cooking lesson at Rustico Cooking, founded by famed chef and James Beard-nominated cookbook author, Micol Negrin.

With the holidays approaching, I thought I’d share some of my favorite moments from the evening for some major decor, food and wine inspiration. If you’d like the recipes to these delicious dishes, simply drop your email here for our newsletter, and we’ll be sending a special one out very soon with all the details to our subscribers!

We started the evening with some white wine from Mamma Mia. Its crisp and floral notes definitely were the perfect start to our amuse-bouche and the start of the cooking lesson.

Mamma Mia White Wine

Our chef shared that we would be making everything from scratch, including pasta, which I was so thrilled to do! For our appetizer, we enjoyed a small dish of Tagliatelle with Two-Meat Ragu. It was so perfectly done (if I do say so myself!). It was such a joy to make the pasta from a basic flour and egg mix and see it through to the final plating for all of us to enjoy!

Italian Cooking Lessons with Wine

Italian Cooking Lessons with Wine

Italian Cooking - Fresh Pasta

Italian Cooking Lessons with Wine

Italian Cooking Lessons - Ragu

Italian Cooking - Rustic Table and Tasting

For our main course, we had Chicken Scaloppine with Lemon-White Wine Glaze. As our sides, we made Roasted String Beans with Sundried Tomatoes and Fresh Thyme along with Braised Chickpeas with Spinach and Chili.

Italian Cooking Lessons with Wine
Italian Cooking with Wine

Italian Cooking Lessons

Italian Cooking Lessons with Wine

Italian Cooking Lessons with Wine

 With very few ingredients, we made Wine-Poached Fruit over Wine-Laced Mascarpone Mousse. Our dessert was simple, but perfectly ended the evening. Are you hungry yet? We definitely were and enjoyed the entire meal from beginning to end with Mamma Mia wines. The red was perfect for the dessert, as it was fruity and earthy.

Dessert Mis En Place

Italian Cooking - Wine

Italian Cooking Lessons with Wine

Italian Cooking Lessons with Wine

I loved all the kitchen tools we got to use, so I’m sharing them below as you start to plan your own menus for the upcoming holiday dinners! I know I’ll be making this entire meal again because I do love a great rustic Italian dish, wine, great company…and kitchen tools! What’s your favorite meal to cook and wine to drink? Let us know!

TSG Sign

Travel Diary Pt. 2 // Cape Cod Beach Stories

This Season's Gold // Cape Cod Beach 3

August is such a great time for vacation and travel, but also a reminder of the Fall season to come. It’s the time of the year where for those of you who go to school, have children in school or work at a school know it’s the last hurrah before getting back to the grind. Our favorite place to go is the beach. We enjoy the serenity of the ocean and the slow pace of simply enjoying time with each other, especially when we travel to faraway beaches rather than those closest to us in New Jersey. We have so many beach stories we still talk about to this day, and it truly is the happiest of times we can recall. Our personal favorite are our Cape Cod beach stories! 

This Season's Gold // Travel Diary Ridgevale Beach

This Season's Gold // Travel Diary - Ridgevale Beach

Every year when we return to Cape Cod, we make it a habit of visiting two of our favorite beaches, Ridgevale Beach in Chatham and Cahoon Hollow Beach in Wellfleet. They are both gorgeous beaches for two very different reasons.

Ridgevale Beach is the perfect area for parents with young children. You can choose to sit on the side of the shallow inlet area, known as the “creek”, where children can look for crabs and interesting shell life, or on the beach side, where the waves gently roll (the sandbars are the result!) in with a view of chartered sailboats colorfully sailing in the distance.

This Season's Gold // Beach Stories Sail Regatta

This Season's Gold // Travel Diary Beach Stories - Ridgevale Beach

This Season's Gold // Ridgevale Beach

This Season's Gold // Ridgevale, MA Beach Stories

This Season's Gold // Ridgevale Beach Stories

This Season's Gold // Beach Stories Ridgevale Beach

This Season's Gold // Beach Stories Cape Cod - Ridgevale Beach

Cahoon Hollow Beach, part of the Cape Cod National Seashore, is a beach with a bit of a younger crowd due in part to the rather steep sand dune you need to walk down to reach ocean. It is more challenging for someone who may have trouble walking a far distance or up a steep hill (going down is way easier!), so that is something to consider. We happen to love braving the walk every year and make it easier for ourselves with one of these carts filled with all of our stuff to make the trek down (ok, so it’s really my husband who deals with all of that!). The best part is to reward ourselves afterwards with a lunch at The Beachcomber at the top of the dune (also with easy access to parking for all of our stuff!). Note to self: Service can be a bit difficult to access on your phone, so don’t plan on any major Instagram posting or Snapchatting until after you’ve done the climb back up!) 

This Season's Gold // Cahoon Hallow Beach Stories

This Season's Gold // Cahoon Hallow Beach

This Season's Gold // Cahoon Hallow Beach Waves

This Season's Gold // Cahoon Hallow Beach, Wellfleet

This Season's Gold // Cape Cod Beach Stories

Thank you so much for reading! Are you headed anywhere right before the official start of the school year? What’s your favorite beach story?

Shop the Features // Outfit 1: Anthropologie duster (old, this one is perfect for the beach) | J.Crew Gold one-piece (old, bikini top) | Banana Republic hat (on sale!) // Outfit 2: Striped chambray dress (similar) | Hat // Kids Swim: Crewcuts rash guard (on sale!) | REI outrigger hat // Outfit 3: Cutout shoulder top/ Hat

TSG Sign

Travel Diary Pt.1 // Whale Watching in Cape Cod

Whale Watching in Cape Cod

Whale watching in Cape Cod, Massachusetts! Those are the only words that truly explain our family experience on a recent trip out with the Dolphin Fleet  (Dolphin IX, to be exact) to witness the splendor of whales enjoying their day in their natural habitat. It wasn’t even an attempt at watching whales, or being excited for seeing a fin or a tail, but a full on experience of watching humpback whales slap the water repeatedly to remove the barnacles attached to them and another whale breach (jump straight out of the water) over and over again as if in a fit of joy and celebration as we stared in awe at the beauty that are these enormous creatures of delight and wonder.

Whale Watching//Provincetown, MA

Whale Watching//Dolphin Fleet Provincetown, MA

IMG_2628

As a bit of advice, we did some research and learned that the Dolphin Fleet in Provincetown Harbor had the most informative crew (naturalists!) and best record of their guests seeing several whales (I am sure there are others) on their trips out. It was relatively inexpensive for a 3-hour tour (I know!), and we boarded the 1pm ride. Calm seas are sure to be something you’ll want to know ahead of time in the event that you are someone who gets ill on a boat, because even on calm seas the wake of another boat or all the passengers moving to one side of the boat to see a whale will rock the boat a bit. The entire tour is narrated by an informative naturalist, which made us appreciate the experience all the more, and if you don’t happen have the best camera or run out of space on your phone (as I did), they have a professional videographer record the entire tour/whale watch for you, which you can purchase upon returning to dock. 

Whale Watching// Whale Breach Provincetown, MA

Whale Watching// Whale Breach in Cape Cod

Whale Watching// Whale Breach Provincetown, MA

Whale Watching in Cape Cod, MA

I am not a whale expert in the least, but what I can speak to is the experience of seeing my son enjoy the moments, even at one point expressing how “awesome it is to experience nature like this”. That alone made the moment precious enough for us. See them in action on a recent Facebook post here, and feel free to like our page when you’re there! *wink* 

Hope you enjoy a part of our travel diary from our experience whale watching in Cape Cod. Have a great day!

TSG Sign

Ice Age // Going to the Movies with Neil deGrasse Tyson

Ice Age // Going to the Movies

Happy Friday! Friday’s are perfect for movie night, and we are headed to see Ice Age again! We are on vacation this week, and are having such a great time on the beach, whale-watching, mini-golfing, going to the movies, and all the great things you can do as a family when you visit Cape Cod! If you’ve been following us along on Snapchat (@thisseasonsgold), you’ve seen the amazing close-encounters with whales and more! I also hosted an event at a boutique in Chatham, and I can’t wait to share more about it when we get back!

As a start to my Learning Through Motherhood (LTM) series, I wanted to talk about going to the movies with my son. The movies are honestly one of the best ways to spend time with the family, and with the right movie, a wonderful learning experience for the little ones!

Recently, we were kindly invited to attend a private screening of Ice Age: Collision Course on behalf of Nellie from Brooklyn Active Mama (she’s amazing!). A Blue Sky Studios production (20th Century Fox), Ice Age: Collision Course is the fifth installment of the Ice Age movie franchise. My son and I went to see the movie, which was great for a 6 year old, and had the honor of meeting and speaking with Dr. Neil deGrasse Tyson, an astrophysicist and the character voice of Neil deBuck Weseal in the movie. For a little boy who often asks questions about space and history (and everything really!), I could tell meeting Dr. Tyson was a moment in my son’s life that he will never forget. 

Ice Age with Neil deGrasse Tyson

Ice Age with Neil deGrasse Tyson

As a mother and theatre teacher, what I learned from the famed astrophysicist was something I least expected. After being asked by a young boy what he would be if not a astrophysicist, he answered “I’d write music for Broadway musicals”. And after hearing more about his connection to the arts, it was then that my belief  that science and the creative arts must co-exist for a strong education was reaffirmed, something that truly matters to me.

Ice Age Scrat character

American Museum of Natural History

We ended the day exploring two exhibits at the American Museum of Natural History, Dinosaurs Among Us and Dark Matter (Hayden Planetarium). It was such a lovely treat to spend the day together with my son, and both of us learning together. 

American Museum of Natural History - Dinosaurs Among Us

As I close out this first post of my new series, I’d liked to end with what I learned from this experience as I stated in my post here.

3 Things I Learned

Going to the movies with my son is my favorite experience, especially when I ask the questions “What was your favorite part of the movie?”, “Why do you think that character made that decision?”, and “Who was your favorite character and Why?”

Giving your child the opportunity to explore the world around them without stopping them from asking questions helps them grow intellectually!

We are really, really small on this planet in comparison to the rest of the universe! (Perspective for what really matters in life!)

2 Things I Found Interesting

Ice Age: Collision Course was a wonderful lesson in science while entertaining enough for me and my son to watch!

Being a scientist is being an adult who never grew up because it is about constantly asking questions as to WHY things happen the way they do. (Thanks Dr. Tyson!)

1 Question I still have

Do I let my son explore and make mistakes enough for him to learn from them on his own? (My lifelong question as a Mom!)

I hope you enjoyed this first share of my motherhood experience, and I’d love to know – what movies do you like to watch with your children or those in your family?

Thank you for reading, and thank you to Nellie for sharing this experience with us!

TSG Sign

New Hope, PA // Warm days in a long cross-back dress

This Season's Gold // Long cross-back dress

Happy Saturday! I’m sharing one of my favorite places to visit today wearing my favorite long cross-back dress for the summer season! Not long ago, my family and I decided to spend a lovely day in New Hope (Bucks County), Pennsylvania, right along the west bank of the Delaware River. It happens to be one of my favorite towns to visit because there is always something new to see, somewhere great to eat, the people are wonderful and the energy of the town exudes creativity at every corner.

My son has always loved trains, so it’s no surprise that taking a ride on the New Hope and Ivyland Railroad is a highlight of his day when we visit New Hope. It is only an hour roundtrip, which is perfect for the little ones. We love the vintage feel of taking a scenic railroad ride that transports us to another time and place. Throughout the year, they have special events like riding with Santa and a Family Dinner train, which I would love to try. It truly is such special experience to have with your children.

It was such a hot day when we went, and wearing this long cross-back dress was the perfect way to stay light and airy while walking around the town. If you follow along on Instagram, it definitely was a favorite! When it’s just too hot to want to wear anything at all, I love finding the perfect piece that I can wear out all day and still feel nicely dressed enough for dinner al fresco. On cooler days, adding a vest or a blazer is perfect for those moments when indoors in air-conditioning. I love this dress in white too! This Season's Gold // Cross-back striped

This Season's Gold // Gorjana jewelry

This Season's Gold // Long cross-back striped dress Speaking of a long day, I changed into flats (reality-check!) and we went to our favorite place for lunch. Logan Inn, located on Ferry St., has both an indoor and outdoor restaurant with plenty of shade and a great view of the hustle and bustle of the motorcycles (many of them!) and people walking along Main Street. Their food is delicious and I particularly love their Sunday brunch.

A cool note of interest is that Logan Inn happens to be one of the 5 oldest inns in the country and some say it is haunted. I personally can’t confirm that, but I find it fascinating and honestly think it would be fun if it was! And if you’re looking for another great activity to do with the kids, you can pick up a horse carriage ride around the picturesque area right on Ferry and Main street. This Season's Gold // Cross-back dress in stripes

This Season's Gold // Logan Inn, New Hope

DSC_0463 DSC_0457 This Season's Gold // Logan Inn - New Hope, Pennsylvania This Season's Gold // Cross-back dress for summer Thank you so much for reading! Have you ever been to New Hope, PA? Any other places you recommend we visit? We’d love to know! And I’ve shared a few other great dresses that are perfect for those warm summer days! (Note to self – always be aware of your previous tan lines before wearing this style! Ha!)

If you happen to have a Nordstrom’s debit or credit card, then you’ll be able to shop early for some pretty cross back dresses that are part of Nordstrom’s Anniversary Sale. Let us know which is your favorite!

Shop the Feature // Long cross-back dress | Heels (similar) | Small handbag (I love this too!) | Flats (similar) | Reversible tote Jewelry

TSG Sign