Happiness awaits

There’s a sign for Palm Grove Bar & Grill that reads “Where happiness awaits you.”

Ms. S&C just returned from her third trip to Anguilla, and her second to Palm Grove. It was this recent trip that she had the honor of chatting with Nat, the owner, while she ate her grilled lobster (with a tasty curry butter) and drank her Red Stripe. The conversation covered everything from Johnny Cakes, to American politics, to Anguillan heritage, to what it’s like to own a shack (Nat’s word) by the water. Ms. S&C likes this shack by the water. But, Ms. S&C pretty much likes all the shacks by the water in Anguilla.

Ms. S&C and her Red Stripe at Palm Grove, one of many favorite spots on the beautiful, relaxed, 16-mile long island of Anguilla.

Other Caribbean beverages of choice: Pyrat Rum, Carib, and Presidente. And, where are some good spots to drink said beverages? Favorite bars include: Dune Preserve (and if you’re lucky, reggae legend and owner, Bankie Banx, will be around; and if you’re really lucky, maybe you’ll show up on his birthday), and The Pumphouse (if you don’t see Bankie’s son Omari at the Dune, maybe you can catch him here on Friday night).

Favorite restaurants to wine and dine (there are so many!): Tasty’s (the best Johnny Cakes on the island, and they serve them for breakfast, lunch and dinner; Ms. S&C knows because she went there for breakfast, lunch and dinner), Picante (*really* good Mexican), Blanchard’s (for beachfront chic), and Smokey’s (great for live music and fresh fish sandwich). New places that she’ll be back to: E’s Oven (best bite of the trip was the grilled grouper with tomato jam), and Bonjour Cafe (a hippy-ish spot tucked back in the woods with a great vegetable roti).

The best way to hydrate? Fresh coconut water! (A rastaman that’s handy with a machete is particularly helpful in this endeavor.) And hydration is needed after sea kayaking, yoga on the beach, a Thai massage, and a night out at The Pumphouse.

Happiness awaits at many spots on Anguilla. This sunset spot was taken from Ms. S&C’s patio. She viewed it for eight full days. If you are ever thinking of visiting, please let her know (after three trips, she has copious notes that she’d love to share!).

posted by Ms. S&C

Savasana

There has been an absence of Ms. S&C lately. I guess you could say she is in Savasana. Regular readers and friends know of her love for yoga. Well, Ms. S&C went and enrolled herself in a yoga teacher training program at Yoga District. It is kind-of intense (Saturday class from 9-6:30; Sunday class from 12noon-6:30; plus homework and yoga classes during the week). But — after two weeks — she can assuredly say that it is more than kind-of awesome. It is really awesome. Wonderful, even. Totally worth it. Even though she wants to bore you with all  the details here, she won’t. (But, if you happen to be interested in this journey, you can hear all about at @yoga4everything.)

Suffice to say, Ms. S&C has some added obligations these days. And time constraints. While she’ll still be tweeting it up at @shoescocktails, she can’t promise that the blog will get a lot of attention during the next few months. But S&C isn’t dead! Savasana, or Corpse pose, is about conscious relaxation to invigorate and refresh the body and mind. It is an induced calmness so you can be reborn with full potential. We’ll be back rejuvenated and full of life!

Even though Ms. S&C is trying to use this teacher training session to instill discipline in her life (bye, bye animal protein), there are some attachments that are hard to let go. She is totally digging Athleta’s yoga clothing (recent purchases below). And her TOMS are showing some wear and tear, which is why the “exclusively ours” collection at Neiman Marcus is quite tempting.

We’ll be back wiggling our fingers and toes before long. Until then, Namaste.

posted by Ms. S&C

At a loss for shoes

Ms. S&C is at a loss. She bought this super awesome lace dress from Banana Republic for a special occasion next month, but has no idea what shoes to wear with it. Black? Dark brown? Chunky heel? Sleek pump? Given the 1920’s-inspired style, maybe something vintage-y? T-strap? (The shoes on the model are not an option, by the way.)

Advice, please!

posted by Ms. S&C

How to end summer

You’ve got an abundance of basil in your garden. Your farmer’s market still has cucumbers. You’re not quite ready to say goodbye to summer produce. You’re not quite ready to say goodbye to summer itself. And you want a cocktail.

We give you the cucumber basil gimlet.

This refreshing summer beverage was adapted from a recipe found over at What’s Gaby Cooking (but originally inspired by a Miss Mojito post from a few years back). Gaby probably had some time to think about, and plan for, her preparation of this cocktail. Ms. S&C’s preparation was a little last minute, and she didn’t have the patience for simple-syrup-making and pureed-cucumber-straining. So, her adaptation went something like this. (With more time, she would recommend the simple syrup making and cucumber puree straining.)

Ingredients:

  • Cucumber
  • Basil — large handful
  • Agave nectar
  • Lime — one half per cocktail
  • Gin

Directions (for one cocktail):

Peel cucumber, slice and puree until finely chopped. Fill glass with spoonful of pureed cucumber, 7 or so basil leaves, a squirt of agave nectar, juice of half a lime, and then muddle. Fill glass with ice, add an once and a half of gin and stir well (or preferably, transfer to a cocktail shaker to mix). Garnish with a cucumber wheel and sprig of fresh basil.

As a bonus: maybe you’ve got some extra tomatoes. Maybe that arugula became the bumper crop you never expected. Pick up some pre-made naan, whip up some arugula pesto, and top with whatever is around (maybe some parmigiano-reggiano,  maybe some goat cheese, and maybe fresh basil). And perfetto! Summer ingredients at their best.

posted by Ms. S&C

Fall favorites: dresses

What else is on the fall favorites list you wonder? Dresses! Flattering, comfortable, and versatile dresses. Garnet Hill’s Winnah Dress is a great example. It can be worn day or night. Made from jersey cotton, it is comfortable. And that twisted wrap-around-the-waist thingy make it is super flattering.

Garnet Hill also has a number of vintage looks that have caught Ms. S&C’s eye. The burnt orange floral dress is one of them. Or, the full skirt in the same print. Both can be dressed up with heels or dressed down with riding boots (like these already in Ms. S&C’s closet).

J.Crew is a spot where old school meets new school. This corduroy dress is an updated version of a classic. And we love updated versions of classics over here at S&C.

Ms. S&C wants to know: don’t be shy — what are some of your fall favorites?

posted by Ms. S&C

The fall wish list begins

Prepare to be inundated with Ms. S&C’s fall wish list items. We’ll start with these suede sandstorm boots from Madewell. Can’t you imagine them with cropped skinny jeans, or bootcut denim, or corduroys, or colorful tights? They’ve been referred to as “wardrobe workhouses,” and that’s right. I want to wear them with everything.

Also on the list are these perfect penny loafers. (Can you tell that someone’s Madewell catalog arrived yesterday?) Ms. S&C has been crying for the resurgence of penny loafers for years now. Picture them with tweed, camel-colored wool skirts, plaid, and argyle socks. The wannabe British schoolgirl in me squeals with delight. (But do these oxfords need the competition?)

Ms. S&C wants to know: she’s started sharing her fall fashion favorites — what are yours?

posted by Ms. S&C

Last Sips of Summer

Come late August, it’s all too common to hear the complaint, “I can’t wait for fall. I’m so ready for summer to end.” Now, this typically comes from folks who are tired of sundresses and swimsuits, and who are a tad too obsessed with their boot collections and ready to get back into a pair of jeans. And honestly, I’m one of those girls, generally speaking. My fall wardrobe has more options, more depth, more oomph.

But that does NOT mean that I will ever utter the words, “I’m just ready for summer to be done with already.” Nun-uh, no way. I want to eke the most out of every last drop of summer goodness, from the too-hot-to-handle days to the late afternoon storms.

What does this mean for Miss Mojito? Well, wearing my wrap-up espadrilles one last time, for one. And, perhaps most importantly, it means indulging in summer-friendly cocktails with as much frequency as possible over these few last precious days.

A friend whipped up this oh-so-tempting jug-full of Pimm’s Cup last weekend for a lovely picnic, and while the quintessential English cocktail is nothing new to readers of this blog, it was far too pretty a picture to pass up posting. And I love the idea of using a stem of fresh mint to stir your cocktail!

I’m a bit late in the game on the Pina Colada train thanks to a life-long predilection to disliking coconut. But as the flavor has grown on me, this Pina Colada Mojito sounds more and more attractive. The ingredient list is a bit involved, so I’ll have to report back and let you know if the shopping list is worth the effort.

The last item on my list sounds perfect for long summer evening of porch-sittin’: Spiked Cherry Tea. This particular version relies on black cherry rum and prepared ice tea – but I can’t help but wonder if a mix of black cherry juice and Firefly tea-flavored vodka might not hit the spot.

Here’s to summer – enjoy it while you can!

Posted by Miss Mojito.