GOOD EATS: Girls Who Grill, Easy Grilling Recipes & Tips

Girls Who Grill on The Sweet Escape

So full disclosure, I haven’t always loved grilling. I LOVE eating delicious grilled food and a BBQ doesn’t intimate me but I usually try and pass it off to one of the males that I invite over as a guest. I know, I’m horrible but they usually don’t seem to mind.

After chatting with some girlfriends (while the guys were grilling) I realized that so many of my gal pals were intimated or clueless when it came to the grill. That’s when I decided that we were all going to man-up and get grilling. I hosted an intimate ladies-only casual BBQ and put together a menu that was completely prepared on the grill. We all took turns grilling and ‘ohh’ing and ‘ahh’ing at each other’s stellar grilling skills. By the end of the evening I considered us all Grill Masters. Let me introduce you to the team:

Girls Who Grill on The Sweet Escape Girls Who Grill on The Sweet Escape Girls Who Grill on The Sweet Escape Girls Who Grill on The Sweet Escape

And there was also Marcy, who’s lovely backyard we were in who was a little camera shy.

Girls Who Grill on The Sweet Escape

I stuck with a simple menu of easy grilling recipes perfect for a rookie. I’m happy to say it was all delicious and no one burned their eyebrows off. Good food was eaten, grill tips were exchanged, and the gossip and wine were flowing. Our wine of choice for the eve was my favourite Vintner’s Reserve Chardonnay by Kendall-Jackson. I think I’ve converted all my friends into lovers, you should try it!

Here was our menu. Click on the image to take you to the recipe over on the Kendall-Jackson blog .

Grilled Shrimp & Garlic Bread with Basil Infused Dipping Sauce

Girls Who Grill on The Sweet Escape

Girls Who Grill on The Sweet Escape

Grilled Porkchops

grill-10Colourful Vegetable Kababs

Girls Who Grill Vegtable Kababs on The Sweet EscapeWarm Grilled Potato Salad

Girls Who Grill Warm Potato Salad on The Sweet Escape…and for dessert

Grilled Peaches with Vanilla Ice-Cream

Girls Who Grill - Grilled Peaches on The Sweet EscapeWhen we were done, we sat back and admired our delish grilled dishes. Pretty damn good for a bunch of bra-wearing rookies! If you’re feeling like getting a little more friendly with your grill, visit the Kendall Jackson Blog to see some simple grilling tips I put together. You’ll be flipping homemade burgers before you know it.

Girls Who Grill on The Sweet Escape Girls Who Grill on The Sweet Escape Girls Who Grill on The Sweet EscapeHere’s the Girl Grill Team signing off just before digging in. I unfortunately forgot my selfie stick (gasp!) so I’m behind the camera but I caught Marcy. Happy grilling ladies!



FREEBIES: 11 Colorful Free Printable Posters for Your Space

Are you always looking to change up your art or just looking for some pops of color in your space? I pulled together 11 of my favorite FREE printable posters that I found on the interweb. There’s some designers out there that don’t want you live a lonely artless and beige life so they generously offered some of their creations for you to print and display, all just for the cost of a print at your local or home printer. I suggest printing on a card stock to get the best quality. They’re super cute and the price is right, right?

Head over to Apartment Therapy to read the full post and find out where you can download all these goodies.


Living room makeover new rug

In typical Melissa style, I’m taking my sweet (no pun intended) time making my living room makeover happen. This isn’t going to be as dramatic as my kitchen makeover, but more of a refresh with some new pieces and new art to shake things up. I’m happy to say that things are happening with the delivery of my new rug from Loloi. I looooovvve it. I first discovered Loloi Rugs by following one of my decor favorites, Justina Blakeney. She’s featured their great rugs many times and she has amazing taste so checking them out was a no brainer. Sure enough I found one I loved.

First, here’s my old rug. There’s nothing wrong with it but I decided with a bold turquoise kitchen close by that I would tone down the color a bit. I know, so unlike me but don’t worry I’ll make up for it in other colorful ways.

loloi-rug-before(By the way – this wool Pottery Barn rug is in excellent condition and for sale, email me if you’re interested) 

And here is my new Loloi rug from their Adler Collection. It definitely has that Moroccan vibe but I like how it’s an irregular pattern and not too shaggy.

Living room makeover Loloi Adler rug

The grey lines are a different texture that creates a raised pattern which is interesting. Loloi has an award winning reputation for original design and quality so you know their 100% wool handcrafted pieces from India are a decor investment.

Living room makeover Loloi Adler rug

Isn’t she pretty? I feel like it’s my grown-up rug. After so many years with such a bold color anchoring the living room area it’s kinda refreshing to take a break with something more neutral but still interesting. You know what else made me feel more grown-up? Using an rug pad! Don’t underestimate the power of a good rug pad people. I was lucking enough to try this eco-friendly and affordable one from RugPadUSA and I’m really happy with it. Not only does it give you that extra cushion in your step but it also helps to extend the life of your rug.

loloi-rug-5Have I got you dreaming about a new rug yet? It’s a huge piece in your space and makes a big impact so take your time choosing something you really love. Here’s a full-size look at my Adler Collection rug and some more of my favorite Loloi rugs. Happy shopping!

Living room makeover Loloi Rug RoundupSHOP LOLOI RUGS:


DIY: Lace String Lights

DIY Lace String LightsIf you follow along on Instagram or Facebook (please do!) you would’ve seen that I had the extreme pleasure of staying at heaven on earth for a fews day, also known as The Knowlton’s amazing Treehouse Retreat. You can visit these posts from last Summer to see it in all it’s glory.

Boho Hammock and Treehouse RetreatI went with my BFF Emily whom you probably know by now because I’m always talking about her great shop Hello Yellow or Handmade Harvest Craft Show which she puts on twice a year. So as you can imagine between her and I there was some serious craft nerdiness planned for our little retreat. We each brought our own craft project to do while we were there. She made this totally awesome weaving, which I’m 100000% going to try myself and I made these adorable lace string lights.

DIY Lace String Lights - The Sweet Escape

This is another great example of how you can repurpose those pretty but dated things you find at the trift store or that you grandma gave you but you have no idea what to do with.

So we made ourselves comfortable, poured some of my favourite Kendall-Jackson Chardonnay and this became our designated craft zone in the woods. Doesn’t get much better than that. Wine and crafting go together like s’mores & campfires.


Head over to the Kendall-Jackson Blog to find the full tutorial for these DIY lace string lights and enjoy!

If you liked this post, visit our Project Gallery for more DIY projects to try.

DECOR: Under the Sea Outdoor Tablescape

Under the Sea Outdoor Dinner Party Tablescape

Wow, by the look of my most recent posts, it sure looks like I’ve been partying it up on the rooftop patio this summer. Well it’s partially true although you’re not seeing all the rainy days in between the rooftop shindigs. Summer is super short here so I like to take advantage when it’s nice. My favorite part about hosting is setting the table. I don’t like to go too over the top with themes but I couldn’t help myself when I saw this fun outdoor sea life dinnerware set from Pottery Barn recently. I decided it would be the perfect reason to create an Under the Sea outdoor tablescape theme for my next rooftop dinner party.  I used some subtle decor elements to create the theme and of course had to throw in DIY project (or two) for something extra special.

Under the Sea Outdoor Dinner Party Tablescape / The Sweet Escape

As I mentioned, it all started with this great set of 4 dishes. I just love the sea life illustrations – they’re sophisticated yet still fun & whimsical. When it comes to a sea theme, it’s easy to just make everything blue which would look fabulous but I decided to mix it up a bit for this setting with some contrasting colors, natural elements, interesting florals along with some various shades of green and blue.

Under the Sea Outdoor Dinner Party Tablescape / The Sweet Escape

I’m not a huge fan of tableclothes but I love how a table runner can add some color and pull a table setting together. The first thing I did to create an under the sea tablescape theme was make this really easy dyed table runner. There’s something about dyed fabric that is so sea-like and it’s so quick and easy (stay tuned for the upcoming DIY tutorial). Once you have the dye out it’s hard not to get a little carried away so I also made some ocean-like streamers for the chairs which add the perfect unexpected element of whimsy.

Keep reading for lots more pics of this under the sea outdoor tablescape…

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