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Brittany Walker

Recipes to CRAVE

Pan Con Tomate – A Spanish Tapa

My favorite thing about Spain is the tapas culture.  By far.  And I don’t mean sitting down and ordering a bunch of small “share” plates as we would here in a tapas restaurant in the U.S.  What I love about Spain’s tapas culture is the fact that you can sit down literally anywhere, any time of day, order a beer, and they automatically bring you a traditional spanish tapa to nibble on.  Then you order your second round of drinks, and they bring you a different tapa to try– no request necessary.  This will, of course, go on for as long as you sit there and drink, and it is brilliant.  I suppose it is a bit analogous to chips and salsa with our tex-mex, yet it’s different.  Each tapa is different and unique– after a few days in Spain, you’ll find yourself critiquing the bar or restaurant based on the quality of the tapas they bring you.

I could go on for days about my love for tapas, but I wanted to share a very, very simple tapa dish that I saw quite often:  Pan con Tomate or tomato bread.  We’ve all probably had sliced tomato on a baguette countless times before, but I had never seen this specific recipe prior to our trip to Spain.  In Barcelona, it was brought out as a tapa in probably two out of three bars or restaurants.

pan con tomate - a spanish tapa -

The recipe is so simple, it’ll become one of your new go-to appetizers or a side to a salad. You’re going to need the following ingredients (most of which you may already have handy):

1. A crusty, rustic bread of your choosing

2. Fresh, very ripe tomatoes – I used Roma tomatoes

3. Good olive oil

4. Sea salt

5. Fresh garlic – 1 or 2 cloves

I toasted a few slices of my bread (a rustic sourdough) in my toaster oven for about 4 minutes or until golden brown.  You can also grill the slices in a grill pan, if you have one.  They don’t need to become dark brown– just toasted enough to be crispy to the touch. Once toasted, I sliced a garlic clove in half and rubbed the clove directly onto each slice of bread, followed by a drizzle of olive oil.  Depending on your taste for garlic, you can rub as much or as little as you like.  I then sliced the tomatoes in half and rubbed each half directly onto a piece of toast.  This is why you will want to find tomatoes that are very ripe– a softer tomato will scrape a lot easier onto the toast (and it’ll taste SO much better).  I’ve also seen a couple restaurants use a tomato puree, instead of rubbing the tomato onto the toast.  I honestly liked it both ways, but this version requires much less of a mess in the kitchen (if you want to try the puree, use the same ingredients and toss into a food processor).

pan con tomate - a spanish tapa -

After you’ve rubbed a tomato onto each slice, sprinkle some sea salt and you’re done.  Now, if only it wasn’t swimsuit season… then I’d be making these babies every night with a glass of vino, some manchego cheese, and marinated olives. Salud! - Signature

Home Decor to TREASURE

Globe Chandeliers under $400

Globe chandeliers under $400

This post includes affiliate links. This means, I may receive compensation for purchases made through this post.  That being said, I have personally purchased and used every item linked to on this post. All opinions are my own.

I have a slight obsession with Restoration Hardware. If I could pack my bags and live in the RH showroom, I totally would.  There isn’t one page of the catalog that I don’t love. Sigh.

When I saw the Foucault Iron Orb Chandelier, I may have drooled. Just a tiny bit… but at almost $1000?!? I just can’t justify it. Luckily, there are tons of copy cat models out there, including one which I chose for our kitchen.  We’ve had it over a year and I still love it…

Globe chandeliers

The version I chose was the Orb Chandelier from Ballard Designs.  I have purchased a few items from Ballard Designs over the years, and I’ve always had a great experience.  I love the simplicity of this fixture, without all the faux crystal.  The dangling glass ball adds all the elegance you need– but it is ALSO detachable.  The fixture comes without bulbs, so you can choose between the traditional tapered bulb or the spherical bulb.  I went with these spherical bulbs from Amazon and I love it.  I purchased the large chandelier (a whopping 29″ in diameter) at $499, but they also have two smaller versions just under $400.


Globe chandeliers under $400

Photo: Ballard Designs

During my chandelier search, I seriously considered this industrial version from World Market.  I’m always pleasantly surprised when I check out World Market, yet for some reason I always forget about it.  I need to remember to add it to my “go-to” list.  If it was a bit larger (it is 18″) I would have considered it more seriously…. it is only $149.99!! And has great reviews. Globe chandeliers under $400

Photo: World Market

Wayfair, of course, has a TON of options.  All in different sizes, styles, and prices.  I really like this version with the darker crystal and dark finish. At 19″ (and only $398), this one definitely packs a punch.


Globe chandeliers under $400

Photo: Wayfair

Lastly, this version from Shades of Light most closely resembles the original Restoration Hardware version, with the addition of glass crystals.  Ultimately, the crystals made me decide against it, but it is very large at 24″ and it comes in at a cool $349.  If the crystals were removable, I probably would have chosen this one.

Globe chandeliers under $400

Photo: Shades of Light

When I told my husband that I was on the hunt for an orb chandelier, he gave me that look of, “are you sure?”  But as always (*cough), he ended up very pleased with the choice.  I was worried that it would be too trendy and that I’d be completely over it as soon as I installed it, but I still LOVE it.  And, when you spend less than $400, you can afford to take a little risk.  Well, it’s much better than a $1000 risk from Restoration Hardware, anyway.

Are you a fan of the orb or globe chandeliers? Or will this be just another short-lived trend? - Signature


Also pictured: Iittala Aalto Vase from Amazon

Fashion to COVET, Places to WANDER, What to Pack

What to Pack for Santorini: Under $150

What to Pack for Santorini -

Santorini: One of Greece’s southernmost islands, this island possesses some of the most amazing sunsets you’ll ever find. Add to it the cliffs lined with white washed, plaster homes and those iconic blue accents — Santorini feels truly magical.

What to Pack for Santorini -

Greece was everything I had hoped it would be.  Wine, olives, beautiful architecture, seafood, and sun.  Being so remote, you pretty much only have 3 options to pass the time:  Bask on any one of the white, red, or black beaches; explore the island for wineries, shopping, or hiking; or eat.  Nothing to complain about there…

What to Pack for Santorini -

Bearing these options in mind, packing is relatively easy and you’ll find yourself in the same uniform each day: sundress, swimsuit, sandals, sunnies, and a cross body bag or backpack. Done.

What to Pack for Santorini -

White Lace Dress –

I went during the month of June and packed wayyyy too much.  I thought I would need whole outfits, but I ended up wearing the same 3 white sundresses over the course of 10 days– they were just so easy. Most restaurants on the island are pretty laid back and these dresses would transition pretty well from day to night.

What to Pack for Santorini -

Purple Shoshanna Bikini Top and Bottom –

While exploring the island, you’re going to want to have your swim suit on and ready to go underneath.  There are several remote beaches you’ll want to explore and they aren’t commercialized– this means no public bathrooms or changing rooms.  I loved the beaches that required hiking to get to.  Sure, we had to do without beachfront beer service, but I would take seclusion over convenience any day.

What to Pack for Santorini -

Suede Tie Leg Sandals –

Santorini is not like Mexico or other beach destinations that you may be used to.  There are no large resorts with walk up beaches.  The island is comprised of several small villages, all surrounded by rocky cliffs and unforgettable views.  Depending on what village you stay in, you may be doing a lot of walking, riding the local transfer buses, or taking a 4-wheeler around the island (highly recommend that, by the way).  Heels are an obvious “no” and even wedge sandals may be pushing it– maybe save a pair for an evening or two out for dinner.  During the day, I opted for nude flat sandals.  For hiking, you will of course want to bring something more durable and close-toed.

What to Pack for Santorini -

Festival Bucket Bag –

Along those same lines, large beach bags will not be your friend.  I brought one, of course, and it never left the closet.  They just aren’t practical for island exploring– they are more suited for resort type vacations with the beach within yards of your room. I thankfully brought a cross body bag and used it daily.  For the longer excursions on the 4-wheeler across the island, I had to use my husband’s bulky backpack and it was terrible.  Terribly ugly, that is.  If you’re adventurous and you KNOW you’ll be exploring the remote beaches, I would pack a light backpack to hold your necessities (and to bring back some wine to your villa, of course).

What to Pack for Santorini -

Notice the man backpack that was almost as large as me…

What to Pack for Santorini -

Jack Wills Blue/Stripe Canvas and Leather Backpack –

Last but not least, you’ll be in the middle of the damn ocean and you’re going to need sunglasses at all times.  Take 2 pairs that are large and versatile (and cheap– we lost 2 pairs on the trip).  You’ll thank me.

What to Pack for Santorini -

Warehouse Revo Sunglasses –

Looking back, I have only 2 regrets: packing too much and not taking enough pictures.  There are too many moments like this one below, that you’ll want to savor forever…

What to Pack for Santorini -
Happy travels!! Questions about what to pack for Santorini? Send them my way! - Signature

What to Pack for Santorini -

Home Decor to TREASURE

5 Steps to a Summer Table Refresh

5 Steps to a Summar Table Refresh -

This post includes affiliate links. This means, I may receive compensation for purchases made through this post.  That being said, I have personally purchased and used every item linked to on this post. All opinions are my own.

This winter– was terrible.  Even here in Dallas.  I can’t remember the last time that we have been snowed in for a week (or more) at a time.   With summer FINALLY here, I am craving color (and lots of it).

With so many summer holidays around the corner, the dining room table is the perfect place to start when adding a fresh pop of color to your life. I followed these 5 easy steps to create my own summer table refresh.

Summer Table Decorating -

1. Start with a good foundation —  Seasonal placemats

When I saw these at Crate and Barrel, I knew I had to have them. They’re rustic, yet modern, with the large woven fibers.  The texture is perfect for summer and the style isn’t too trendy– you’ll be able to reuse these for summers to come.

Kendari Placemat – Crate and Barrel

2. Mix ‘n match — Bold dinnerware

While navy blue may not be your traditional summer hue, the stark contrast between these patterns and the bright white is just so refreshing.  When going bold, don’t be afraid to mix patterns, so long as they are within the same color palette. I would say to stick to less than 3 different colors, but then again…. I hate rules.

To achieve this look, I purchased 6 dinner plates (3 different patterns, 2 of each), 6 smaller dinner plates in a solid navy, and 6 salad plates (again, 3 different patterns, 2 of each). All of which are from Crate and Barrel.

Como Swirl Dinner Plate  // Como Splash Dinner Plate  // Como Tile Dinner Plate

Baltic Dinner Plate

Como Splash Salad Plate  // Como Tile Salad Plate  // Como Swirl Salad Plate
Summer Table Decorating -

3. Create contrast — Accent with linens

Napkins and table linens are your opportunity to pack a punch– without busting your wallet.  IF I were one to follow rules, I would stick again to the “rule of three.”  With my dinnerware being fairly monotone, I brought in aqua napkins to create an otherwise nonexistent color contrast.

Fete Aqua Napkins – Crate and Barrel (currently out of stock – similar here).

4. Experiment with glassware — Mix shapes and sizes

I’m all about versatility.  If you’re going to spend a pretty penny on something, it should either be timeless or versatile enough for many types of use — and, if it’s pretty, I want to play with it (not put it on a shelf and look at it).  These stemless wine glasses can be used for red OR white wine (or a giant glass of bubbly if you’re into that sort of thing).  Since I went “low” on the wine glasses, I went “high” with the water glasses.  Looking across the table, you want to see some dimension.  Mix the shapes or sizes of your glassware to create this effect.

Jane Water Goblet – Crate and Barrel

Marquis by Waterford All-Purpose Wine Glasses – Amazon

Summer Table Decorating -


5. Funk and fresh — Create a fresh flower centerpiece with a funky piece or two

I love flowers.  They make me happy.  And I swear, all the flowers I get from Trader Joe’s last over a week. Every. Single. Time.

Hydrangeas are my drug of choice.  To offset their formality, I toss them into 2-3 small, funky vases. I found these white petal vases from my local HomeGoods ($12 each).  But you can find similar styles elsewhere online.

Similar – Nest and Burrow

And there you have it! A fun and funky summer table refresh.  What pieces do you add to your home for the summer? - Signature

Other items shown but not mentioned:

Villeroy & Boch Flatware – Amazon

Dumont Rectangular Dining Table – Restoration Hardware

Louis XVI Dining Chair – Wisteria

Blue Ikat Rug – Similar version at Overstock (originally purchased at Joss & Main)