A fall day in the park – blanket scarf and Hunters

Fall day in the park - blanket scarf and rain boots

What a whirl-wind of a weekend! It was good… but it was busy. And after a dreary week of rain, the weather was absolutely gorgeous – which you can probably tell from the sun in these pics! Friday night we ate some noodles and watched some Netflix – which was much needed after a hectic week. My in-laws offered us ballet tickets for Friday night but we politely declined. I love the ballet, but sometimes you just need a Friday night in with pjs and take-out and this Friday was definitely one of those nights. Saturday morning I headed for a quick manicure, then we headed to the park to walk around and snap some pics. After Emmylou went down for a nap, I decided I HAD to do something with the ridiculous amount of apples I’ve been dealing with from my apple tree so I got started on some apple butter, which turned out so good (didn’t use any sugar, so good for you to!). I’ll post the recipe later in the week.

Sunday morning my friend and her daughter (who is a few months younger than Emmylou) came over for some much needed catching up. Emmylou and I set up a bunch of toys in the yard and made some snacks (and iced coffee) and we spent them morning sitting in the sunshine. It was bliss. And Emmylou and the other little girl were so cute playing together. At one point we went in her bedroom to check on them and they were jumping on her bed and giggling. CUTEST EVER.

I’m not going to lie… I’ve been having the best time updating my wardrobe for fall this year. I’ve been finding the cutest pieces for fall at such great prices. I’ve gotten SO MANY compliments on this H&M scarf. It’s so soft and cozy – I want to wear it all day, everyday (until May… hehe). I also LOVE this pink scarf with fringe from H&M (they have so many cute options right now). My jacket is again from H&M (also love this option with the faux fur trimmed hood), and I’ve broken out the Hunter’s for the season. I’m loving these distressed skinnies and my hobo bag from Steve Madden (also love this black one with a grey detachable strap).

Hope you all had a great fall weekend! Next weekend it’s supposed to rain (and maybe even SNOW) so I’m super happy I had a chance to take full advantage of the sun these past few days!

Fall day in the park - blanket scarf and rain boots

Family fun - fall day in the park

Fall day in the park - blanket scarf and rain boots

Fall day in the park - blanket scarf and rain boots

Fall day in the park - blanket scarf and rain boots

Fall day in the park - blanket scarf and rain boots

Fall day in the park - blanket scarf and rain boots

Items, ideas & inspiration: No. 12

ITems, ideas & inspiration NO:12

MOVIE: Bridget Jones’ Baby. Bridget Jones is back! I am way too excited about this release. It opened this week and I can’t wait to schedule a movie date with girlfriend to check it out. I’ve always loved Bridget Jones’ character, her hot mess status totally appealed to me in my early twenties (who am I kidding, it still does…) and I’m so excited to see what she’s up to now as a 40-something successful TV producer who’s life is grandly interrupted when she finds herself pregnant…

BOOK: The Girls. This book is getting great reviews and has totally caught my attention. Set in Northern California during the 1960s, it follows lonely teenager Evie Boyd as she befriends a group of girls who are caught up in a psychedelic cult – which is loosely based on the murderous Charles Manson commune.  Another compelling dimension – the author, Emma Cline, is just 26 and already getting so much acclaim. This one is definitely a must read.

RECIPE: Saison steamed mussels with fennel, saffron and preserved lemon from Local Milk. You read that right, these mussels are steamed in BEER! And not just any beer, a deliciously robust saison. Holy man am I excited about these. I’m from the East coast and every time I go home to visit I have mussels (and scallops, and lobster… spoiled, I know). It’s my favourite thing about the trip. Seeing my family comes in a close second… Haha. Just kidding Mom.. And if you want to see something funny, try giving my toddler mussels. She pops those things like they’re skittles. Anyway, I want to eat these now and every day and you’re welcome for sharing this recipe with you 🙂

*Saison steamed mussels, with fennel saffron and preserved lemon via Local Milk*
*Saison steamed mussels, with fennel saffron and preserved lemon via Local Milk*

READS: 10 Fall updates for your home
It’s from Glitter Guide, so you know it’s good…

10 ways to save time in the morning this Fall
Also about Fall, also from Glitter Guide…

Busy life? Here’s how to make home a little more serene

Candles, cocoa and 9 other ways to bring hygge into your home
Seriously OBSESSED with this concept

How to find the perfect sunglasses for your face shape

10 French wedding traditions
You know I love reading about French culture…

Falling head over heels: Pumpkin pistachio muffins

3 pieces of solid dinner party advice from people who throw a lot of them

The spot-on way Chris Pratt handles arguments with wife Anna Faris
Super cute and I totally agree

24 cool AF things from Amazon you can order now and have tomorrow
Sorry…

*Hygge: The Danish ritual of enjoying life's simple pleasures. Via Veranda Magazine*
*Hygge: The Danish ritual of enjoying life’s simple pleasures. Via Veranda Magazine*

SHOPPING: In honour of the official start to fall this week, I’ve rounded up a few of my fall favourites from around the web. H&M has some great pieces right now. I just ordered these distressed jeans with with raw-edge hems, this cashmere hat, and this grey scarf that I’m totally obsessed with. I LOVE this alpaca-wool turtleneck from Aritzia in charcoal and seriously considering this sweater dress – paired with leggings and boots it could easily become my official fall uniform… Speaking of boots, I love these grey riding boots (and they’re on sale), these navy suede booties, and these suede knee-highs in caramel. And for working out – ha… who am I kidding – for watching movies on the couch I love these navy stir-ups with mesh paneling and this cozy wrap cardigan.

Creamy mushroom soup with truffle oil

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It has been SO long since I’ve had mushroom soup. Too long… When I was a kid I was a huge fan of the canned variety, but now that I’m a fancy grown-up and have realized that whenever I try something that makes me nostalgic for my childhood (I’m looking at you packaged ichiban) I end up sorely disappointed, I knew I had to create a grown-up version to satisfy my craving. I love making soup in the colder months. I probably love making it even more than I love eating it to be honest. There’s just something about the a pot of soup simmering on the stove and filling your house with a delicious aroma that is so cozy and comforting.

We are having quite the rainy week here – in true fall fashion – and it doesn’t look like it’s going to let up anytime soon! I have been seeing in the news this week that they’re calling for an extra snowy winter where I live, which will be strange because we had such little snow the past two winters, but right now I’m looking forward to it. What I’m not looking forward to is shoveling! Haha. But I’m sure if I keep making soup, Zach will handle most of that. Lol.

I didn’t want this soup to be super creamy, but I wanted it to have a bit of thickness to it. I am really happy with the flavour and texture that blending the ingredients provided for this purpose. I’d also like to try thickening the soup with potatoes because I think that would also be amazing. I served this soup with a small roasted chicken and some crusty bread. We invited the in-laws over to partake and everyone loved it. I think it’s partly because you don’t often get homemade mushroom soup, I don’t anyway. And it was pretty easy to make! The hardest part was finding the dried mushrooms. I actually went to two places, then sent Zach to a third, where he found them. The truffle oil I just order off Amazon because it can also be hard to find it stores, so if you like it it’s good to keep a small bottle in your cupboard. It’s great on grilled cheese or on home-made pizza or even in mac and cheese! It’s expensive, but lasts forever because it’s so flavourful, you just need a tiny bit.

I hope you like this soup and are enjoying the fall (which doesn’t actually officially start until tomorrow which I keep forgetting because of the fall weather we’ve been having all month!).

 

Creamy mushroom soup with truffle oil

Creamy mushroom soup with truffle oil

Creamy mushroom soup with truffle oil

Creamy mushroom soup with truffle oil

Creamy mushroom soup with truffle oil

Creamy mushroom soup with truffle oil

Print Recipe
Creamy mushroom soup with truffle oil
A creamy mushroom soup served with parmesan and truffle oil for a comforting meal the whole family will enjoy!
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 50 minutes
Passive Time 20 minutes
Servings
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 50 minutes
Passive Time 20 minutes
Servings
Instructions
  1. Melt butter in large pot. Add chopped onions and cook until transparent (about 5 minutes). Add garlic and cook 1 more minute. Add three cups of mushrooms, and about half the amount of stock (enough to cover the mushrooms). Simmer for 20 minutes. Add to blender and blend until smooth.
  2. Pour mixture back into pot and add remaining stock, cream, 3 remaining cups of mushrooms, and 1 cup of the dried mushrooms that you have re-hydrated according to package instructions. bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for 30 minutes. Taste when almost done cooking and add salt and pepper as needed. Add parsley in when soup has five minutes remaining of cooking time.
  3. Serve with shaved parmesan, a drizzle of truffle oil, and your favourite crusty bread.
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Transitioning to fall with the perfect sweater dress

White turtleneck sweater dress

After the rainiest summer, we are seriously having the most gorgeous fall and I’m loving every minute of it! It’s been warm and sunny with a hint of coolness in the air – and frosty mornings have had me pulling out my gloves a few times already! The leaves have turned beautiful golden yellow and are starting to fall from the trees, as are the apples in my back yard, of which I have WAY more than I know what to do with. After Emmylou wakes up from her nap, we’re going to deliver a few bags to the neighbours, but that’s honestly a drop in the bucket… haha.

We had a very happy and busy fall weekend over here. Saturday morning I got my hair done (it was much needed and I savoured every moment with an iced coffee and magazine in hand), then we shot the photos for this post. Saturday night Zach went out for a ‘guys night,’ so naturally I spent the evening on the couch – eating sweet potato fries, watching Real Housewives, and doing a bit of work. It was bliss. Sunday we went to a charity event at which Zach (with several of his co-workers) pulled a full sized air plane and I took photos (because trust me, no-one wants me as a team member when in involves an activity that takes upper body strength). It was a great event – Emmylou got her face painted, there were food trucks and a bouncy castle, and a couple of our friends met us there with their baby girl who I got to hold and swoon over while we waited for our macaroni and cheese to be ready. There is nothing better than a sunny fall weekend spent with good food, good friends and time to relax!

This outfit is quintessential fall for me. A cozy turtleneck sweater in cream – one of my favourite neutrals, a simple pair of loafers, and a brown crossbody (similar here, here). I’m also wearing rose gold coloured hoop earrings, but it’s hard to see in the pics). I love this outfit for a fall Saturday spent out and about, but it’s also totally work appropriate so I plan to get a lot of use out of it. When the weather gets a bit cooler, I can see myself pairing it with booties (like these, or these), a hobo bag (love this Matt & Nat one and will just daydream about this Kate Spade one for a bit), and some stockings. Or even leggings and my Hunters for a more casual look!

Happy Monday friends! Cheers to a great week ahead!

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Items, ideas & inspiration: No. 11

no-11

BOOK: The Earth Diet: Your Complete Guide to Living Using Earth’s Natural Ingredients. I’ve always been kind of a hippy at heart, so when I heard author Liana Werner-Gray talking about this book on a podcast recently, I knew I had to read it. It’s all about eating natural, unprocessed foods and using non-toxic personal items like deodorant and cleaning supplies. I’m really excited to read this book this fall and use it as inspiration to eat a bit healthier! Werner-Gary also has a podcast on Hay House radio which I’m also excited to try out because as all of you know, there’s nothing I love more than walking my dogs while listening to a great podcast! It’s a perfect way to carve out a little ‘me-time’ while still getting the dogs some exercise. If I have an iced coffee in hand to sip, all the more better!

MUSIC: The Head and the Heart has a new album out and I’m loving it. I have been a fan since their first album came out a few years ago (I was living in Vancouver at the time and had the chance to see them live which was amazing). Their new album, Signs of Light is a bit more pop and less folk than their previous sound, but it’s upbeat and quirky and great listening on Friday evenings while sipping a cocktail!

RECIPE: Things are cooling down here, especially in the evenings, so I’ve been endlessly dreaming about warm soups, stews and other fall comfort foods. When I was little I LOVED Campbell’s tomato soup (served with grilled cheese, obviously), so when I saw a photo for this Roasted Garlic Tomato Soup from Naturally Ella, I got really excited because seriously, it looks AMAZING, and I’m sure is much healthier than my childhood can of Campbell’s.

*Roasted tomato soup via Naturally Ella*
*Roasted tomato soup via Naturally Ella*

 

READS: To the Mom with a toddler and a baby
This gave me all the feels – seriously kudos to all the Mom’s living this right now!

Why every twenty something women needs to try meditation

This flavour-packed pork ramen is ready in just 22 minutes
This needs to be added to my week-night dinner rotation…

A gorgeous floral Instagram account that’ll make you believe in fairies 

The simple hacks that make our lives run smoother
Some great tips from Cupcakes and Cashmere – including washing your face when you get home from work BEFORE you’re too tired! Genius!

How to dress like a French girl on a budget
(You know my weakness for anything French…)

The 7 best healthy snacks for work, according to a nutritionist 

The sweetest glitter bag on the planet
This J.Crew bag looks like a piece of cake… with sprinkles

*A sprinkle cake inspired bag from J.Crew? You're totally speaking my language...*
*A sprinkle cake inspired bag from J.Crew? You’re totally speaking my language…*

SHOPPING: Fall is upon us in a big way here in Alberta, so I’ve been searching for items to update my fall wardrobe. I just ordered this khaki green hooded H&M coat, which is a great price, I also love this biker jacket from H&M – another great price point, and this beautiful grey wool coat that would be perfect for even colder weather. I’ve got my eye on this long-sleeved grey knit dress to go with my coat, this navy wrap dress for work, and THIS plaid wrap dress which also looks like pyjama’s which makes it a must have… I love, love, love this light blue Free People turtleneck (on sale!), and this grey sweatshirt with raw-edge cuffs would be perfect for weekend lounging. I’ve been keeping my eyes open for the perfect fall bag and I like this grey braided leather crossbody and well as this ivory option at a great price point.

Maple chocolate banana bread

Maple chocolate banana bread

I LOVE banana bread. It’s so simple to make, inexpensive and obviously a great way to use up neglected bananas, but it can get a bit dull if you make it all the time. I wanted to spice things up and make a chocolate chip loaf, but Zach is trying to cut back on sugar so I decided to play around with making a chocolate loaf, using natural sweeteners. This is the second time I’ve made it and it was literally gone in less than 24 hours! I think a new batch is in order because it’s seriously so chocolaty and moist and delicious but healthy enough to have for breakfast, and who doesn’t love having chocolate for breakfast…

We’re into colder weather here in Alberta the past couple of weeks (we’ve even had frost a few mornings this week) so I’m all about the baking. So far it’s been muffins and loaves, but our apples from our tree out back are perfectly ripe so we’re planning on spending some time this weekend picking, delivering bags to various neighbours, and making some apple butter and maybe an apple cake (which I much prefer to apple pie I’ve decided). Emmylou is pretty excited about the whole situation because she’s been watching the apples grow all summer, and trying them out every once and while to check how things have been progressing. Now that they’re sweet, she wants them in everything – oatmeal, yoghurt and just sliced up for a snack. We should probably do more vegetable gardening next year because she would be SO excited, but I’ve always avoided it because I just love going to the farmer’s market in the spring/summer and they seem to do such a great job at growing the veggies – why mess with a good thing? Haha. Although I did grow some amazing purple carrots a few years ago… so I might have to re-think my stance!

Hope you all are enjoying the frosty weather or the last bits of summer depending on where you live!

 

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Maple chocolate banana bread

 

Maple chocolate banana bread

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Maple chocolate banana bread

Print Recipe
Maple chocolate banana bread
A moist, decadent, chocolaty twist on the traditional, made with whole wheat flour and no refined sugar!
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 60 minutes
Servings
loaf
Ingredients
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 60 minutes
Servings
loaf
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. Pre-heat oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit and grease a bread pan (I use a paper towel with coconut oil on it).
  2. Mash banana with other wet ingredients until mostly smooth. Mix dry ingredients together. Add dry to wet ingredients and stir until just combined.
  3. Pour into bread pan and bake for approximately 60 minutes until toothpick comes out clean. Allow loaf to cool before removing from pan.
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Items, ideas & inspiration: No. 10

no-10

TV SHOW: The Night Of. This eight-part crime drama  is our new fall obsession. I love having a show to watch that you look forward to and that you can totally loose yourself in, and The Night Of definitely fits the bill. Zach had been wanting to watch this for a while because he was a huge fan on The Wire, which one of the show’s co-creators wrote for, and we finally had a chance to start it this past weekend. A basic synopsis is a nerdy University student (Naz) spends a night partying with a mysterious women he just met, passes out, and awakes to find she was brutally murdered. He’s charged with the crime and the rest of the series focuses on the case against him, his time in jail awaiting trial, and his Pakistani-American family as they try to navigate the complexities of the justice system. I seriously can’t wait to watch a few episodes this weekend in my pjs with some popcorn!

RECIPE: Chai Spiced Toast with Apple Butter and Ricotta. I was perusing Chalkboard Magazine the other day for some healthy snack inspo and this is definitely a must-try. I have an abundance of apples right now from my back yard apple tree (seriously if anyone wants some come on over) and I think some home made apple butter might be in order so I can give this a try.

*Chai spiced toast with apple butter and ricotta via Chalkboard Magazine*
*Chai spiced toast with apple butter and ricotta via Chalkboard Magazine*

BOOK: Monterey Bay. I just downloaded this book and am really excited to delve in. It’s a coming of age story set in 1950’s Monterey Bay. This book is a mix of history and fiction, something I tend to gravitate to when choosing a novel, and it even features the Cannery Row made famous by John Steinbeck, who appears as a character as well. All I need is a cup of tea and a blanket (and for Emmylou to take a nap…) and I’ll be ready to get lost in this one!

READS: How it’s done: Three ways to style white jeans

Say hello to hygge: The Danish secret to happiness
This is seriously how I’m living my life from here on out

Are you lonely, Mama?
There are certainly days I can relate to this…

An indulgent breakfast tasting menu
A multi-course brunch you say? Please, tell me more…

10 healthy school lunch ideas from Chalkboard Magazine

Brunch-flavored candy corn is the new Fall treat
Is this heaven??

I suck at being a friend right now
And other days… I can totally relate to this

Imagining a world without Star Trek
*Hint – Our lives would be very different

The best classic Italian wines
Because… Friday…

*How to style white jeans via J.Crew*
*How to style white jeans via J.Crew*

SHOPPING: It’s September so here are all of the scarves and sweaters (and booties) I want: This amazing Ivory off-the-shoulder, this grey open-front cardigan because you can never have enough grey open front cardigans, this front wrap pullover for lazy fall weekends, this split-back pull over in a really pretty pink, and this chunky sweater with shoulder cut outs for extra chilly days. I’m obsessed with these open toes booties in grey, I like these in black for a classic, go with anything option, and these studded fringe booties are on major sale. I love this classic cashmere scarf and this infinity scarf in a deep red is very festive.

Spaghetti with lemon chilli prawns

Spaghetti with lemon chilli prawns

Pasta is the best. It’s inexpensive, easy to make, totally customizable and always a crowd pleaser. I grew up eating pasta often, specifically spaghetti, because my grandfather is Italian. He even used to make his own pasta – something I have no desire to do because let me tell you, it was a process, but it’s pretty cool if you have the inclination.

I also tend to think of pasta as the perfect, quick week-night dinner when you’re so over stir-fry. I always have a package in the the pantry ready to go when I’m in a pinch. Add some fresh herbs, a bit of olive oil or butter, some garlic and some chicken or prawns and you’ve got a simple yet satisfying meal that’s ready in under 30 minutes! Confession – I usually serve pasta with baguette or some crusty sourdough, but this time I went the more healthy route with a simple mixed green salad. I was very proud of myself. I said no to bread.

This pasta has simple flavours, but the chilli prawns really ‘spice’ things up a bit… hehe.. The recipe calls for one cup of parmesan, which seems like a lot, but in my option totally necessary because cheese is also the best. And I ate it with salad so….

I hope you enjoy!

Spaghetti with lemon chilli prawns

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Spaghetti with lemon chilli prawns

Spaghetti with lemon chilli prawns

Spaghetti with lemon chilli prawns

 

 

Print Recipe
Spaghetti with lemon chilli prawns
A simple pasta dish with butter, parsley, parmesan and lemon chilli prawns for a spicy kick.
Courses Main Dish
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Servings
people
Ingredients
Courses Main Dish
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Servings
people
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. Melt butter in a pan over medium heat. Stir in garlic and cook until softened (2-3minutes). De-shell prawns and add to pan along with chilli flakes. Cook until prawns are no longer translucent. Add lemon juice and parsley.
  2. While prawns are cooking, heat large pot of salted water and cook pasta according to instructions on package.
  3. Drain pasta and toss with prawns in the pan with the butter, lemon and parsley. Add a bit of salt and pepper and serve with parmesan.
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Burgundy sweater – 70’s vibe

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{sweater / cami / jeans / bag / loafers / earrings}

Fall is in the air! It has come on fast here in Calgary. It seemed like the second it turned September 1, the leaves started falling and the temperature dropped. Needless to say, we are pretty excited over here about the changing of the seasons. We did a quick overnight trip to Drumheller this weekend to take Emmylou to the dinosaur museum and the weather was perfect. Warm enough during the day to make walking around really enjoyable, and cooler in the evening for a cozy night in at the hotel. We did have an amazing dinner of mussels, smoked salmon flatbread and steak on the patio of this really cute restaurant in Drumheller – but sweaters were definitely needed!

To get even more into the fall spirit, Emmylou and I are planning to do some baking today – a banana bread for sure and maybe an apple tart with apples from the tree out back. Last year they weren’t ready until the end of September, but I’ve noticed them start to fall already so we want to start using them up!

I’m loving this burgundy Free People sweater. The bell sleeves are so fun and give the look a 70’s vibe (which is probably my spirit decade). I found these cute brown loafers and small brown bag at H&M. I also picked up some matte gold earrings to top off the look, although you can’t really see them in the pics. I haven’t warn a lot of burgundy in the past, but I might have to re-think this because it’s a great colour for fall, and compliments my pasty skin quite well 🙂 .

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Sweater

Summer watermelon, feta and mint salad

Summer watermelon, feta and mint salad

Watermelon is one of my top ten favourite things about summer. Seriously, it practically tastes like candy, is super fun to eat, and I even remember reading somewhere that it is really good for your skin for some reason that I can’t actually remember and am too lazy to Google… Yay for watermelon! But, what’s even better than watermelon? Watermelon with cheese of course. Sure, it sounds super strange, but the flavours work really well together and by combining them you make a salad, which is totally acceptable to eat for a meal – and next thing you know, you’re eating watermelon for dinner with a nice crisp glass of white wine!  It doesn’t get much better, or much more summery then that.

I’m about to do a complete 180 with my cooking because August is drawing to a close and September is fast approaching. I’ve been dreaming about experimenting with flourless pumpkin squares and other autumn flavours – but first I had to get one last watermelon salad in for the season. I used mint as the herb for this salad, but my Mother-in-Law mentioned that she’s had it with fresh basil which also sounds intriguing. I’ve also heard of people adding thinly sliced red onion which could be delicious if that’s your cup of tea.

I served this salad with a fresh baguette from my favourite bakery here in Calgary and it was a perfect late-summer dinner – easy to make, tasty to eat, and even some leftovers to take for lunch the next day. I hope you enjoy!

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Watermelon feta salad

Watermelon feta salad

Watermelon feta salad

Watermelon feta salad

Print Recipe
Summer watermelon, feta and mint salad
A minimal effort, big taste salad for warm summer evenings. Enjoy with fresh baguette and a crisp glass of white!
Prep Time 20
Servings
Ingredients
Prep Time 20
Servings
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. Add chopped watermelon to a large bowl. In a small bowl, whisk oil, lime juice, salt, pepper together. Toss watermelon with dressing, feta and chopped mint leaves. Serve cold.
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