Potato, Leek and Fennel Soup

I’m a work in progress in the kitchen so when I come across easy recipes like this (thanks to a coworker), I have to give it a go. This recipe only requires 5 ingredients: olive oil, leeks, fennel, vegetable broth and russet potatoes. I doubled the amount below to get multiple meals out of the batch. It’s fantastic served hot with sriracha and crusty bread.

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Serves 6

  • 1 Tbs. olive oil
  • 2 leeks, white and pale green parts sliced (about 2 cups)
  • 2 medium fennel bulbs, sliced, and fronds reserved for garnish (about 2 cups)
  • 6 cups low-sodium vegetable broth
  • 1 lb. russet potatoes, peeled and cut into ½-inch pieces (about 2 cups)
  1. Heat oil in large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add leeks and fennel, and cook 7 minutes, or until softened, stirring often.
  1. Add broth and potatoes, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium low. Simmer 25 minutes, or until potatoes are very tender.
  1. Purée soup in batches in food processor (I used a hand emulsifier). Return to pot. Season with salt and pepper.
  1. Ladle soup into bowls, garnish with fennel fronds, and serve.

December Beauty Picks for her

Bath/ Body

EO Eucalyptus & Arnica Bubble Bath: An accidental gift from a friend (she bought it for her sister but left it at my apartment. Sorry, Sarah.) It’s great for my third trimester aches and pains.12oz_bubble_bath_euc_arn_mdBelly Bombe: Stretch mark prevention aside, this stuff is great for feeling super moisturized and itch- free.Screen Shot 2014-12-06 at 8.04.09 AM

Hair

Kerastase Initialiste: I’ll admit I’m a sucker for when my hair stylist tells me I need to try a new “fab” product. Anything to help my fine/ limp hair. I’ve been using this scalp treatment for about three months and people have commented that my hair looks THICK (say what?!) and shiny.

Initialiste Pack 1Face

Sunday Riley Ceramic Slip: I’ve been using Cetaphil lately but wanted to try something to help even out my skin tone. This face wash has been on my radar since my trip to Space.NK.

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First Aid Beauty Ultra Repair Liquid Recovery: I’m a big fan of this brand and the price tags so I decided to give this serum a go. I use it at night to help combat dry skin.

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Next on my list? Dying to try these Glossier products!

 

 

 

baby clothing favorites

Screen Shot 2014-12-15 at 10.44.26 AM{I received this beautiful baby blanket at my shower
and now am obsessed with this London brand}
kate quinn organics{I’m a big fan of Kate Quinn’s onesies & gowns.
Can’t wait to put my little one in this getup}Screen Shot 2014-12-15 at 10.29.08 AM{Egyptian Organic Cotton.
Can’t get enough of these bodysuits}
c600x477{Definitely my favorite brand. I’ll be bringing my baby home
from the hospital in one of their little numbers}
Screen Shot 2014-12-15 at 10.39.12 AM{I came across this brand in Nantucket
and love the incredibly soft baby outfits & preppy prints}

The Crispy Egg

Frank Prisinzano of NYC is somewhat of a legend in our household. If you don’t follow his mouth-watering Instagram account, you’re missing out. His obsession (and rants) about the crispy egg is contagious and we’ve almost perfected it over here. A simple sunny-side up egg? Fuhgeddaboudit.

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The ‘Cripsy Egg’ Method:

  • You don’t need a non-stick pan
  • The key is to start the egg out in smoking hot olive oil so you can achieve the crust on the bottom
  • Lower the heat down so the egg goes nice and slowly until all the white sets on top while the yolk still remains runny
  • The eggs should almost explode in the hot oil, the white should soufflé around the yolk and the bottom should form a crispy crust hard enough that you can remove the egg from a normal pan with a fish spatula with just a little scraping and shimmying
  • You should eat it immediately, “like a steak,” with lot of sea salt, pepper flakes, herbs and spices

(And here’s a little video)

Medicine Cabinet Picks for him

Men rarely admit it but they love beauty products every now and again. Who doesn’t? And now is the time to sneak some goodies into their stockings or under the tree.

Blacked out electric toothbrush.

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Musgo Real Aftershave: The Portuguese classic for over a century — with aloe, witch hazel and echinacea to soothe, tone, and protect just-shaved skin.

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Kiehl’s Facial Fuel Eye De-Puffer: GOOD MORNING.

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Kent Dressing Comb: this particular comb is better for thicker hair.

kent-175mm-dressing-comb-coarsefineNo Crack Hand Cream: for the manly man.

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J.R. Watkins Pain Relieving Liniment: this company has been around since 1868 and is all-natural.

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Baxter of California Shower Kit: this brand is a favorite in my household.

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Children’s Books

We’re all familiar with the classics (100 Great Children’s Books list here) but sometimes it’s nice to shake it up a little. Here are some fun, new-ish books I’ve come across over the past few months:

1. Julia, Child

Screen Shot 2014-12-10 at 6.26.02 AM2. The Pigeon Needs a Bath!

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4. The Lion and The Bird

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5. Ah-ha to Zig Zag 

Screen Shot 2014-12-10 at 6.33.00 AMScreen Shot 2014-12-10 at 6.34.34 AMClick to read more: Continue reading

Gift Guide for the mamas- to- be

1. Belly Bombe: I’m addicted to this belly oil!

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2. Ingrid & Isabel Seamless Maternity Leggings: I just bought my second pair.

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3. The perfect blanket for cozying up on the couch (and perfect for tummy time later on too!)

9681_chambray_l4. Elizabeth W Eye Pillow so mom-to-be can be extra comfortable while listening to Serial

78315b5. A bathrobe she can enjoy now and bring to the hospital.

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6. Aromatic Bedtime Treatment (pregnancy safe!). 15% off today with code: FF2014

5ml_armaticbedtime7. A Prenatal Massage

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8. Holztiger Wooden Animals for the nursery (I just picked up this one).

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9. Storq Leggings: The first thing I change into when I get home from work.

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10. A diaper bag/ tote

2-0-011. Chic slip on sneakers (for when it becomes hard to tie her shoes…)

spe-1412_flint_side_512. DryBar Gift Certificate for those days when she needs a little pick-me-up:

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13. Earth Mama Tea (Organic Morning Wellness, Organic Heartburn Tea, Organic Peaceful Mama Tea, Organic Third Trimester Tea). A great stocking stuffer.

B10-171-04_mama_to_be_sampler_front_view_white14. Full Body Pillow

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Holiday Gift Guides: a roundup

20 days until Christmas– happy shopping! 

Gift Guide for MOM
Gift Guide for DAD
Gift Guide for HER
Gift Guide for HIM
Stocking Stuffers Gift Guide
Aha Life Holiday Gift Guide
Goop Gift Guide
Ann and Sid Mashburn’s Gift Guide
To & From Magazine Gift Guide
Editors of Martha Stewart Gift Guide
Unionmade Gift Guide
Shopbop Holiday Gift Guide
Tomboy Style Gift Guides
J.Crew Holiday Gift Guide
Sacramento Street Gift Guides
Neiman Marcus Fantasy Christmas Book 2014

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{wrapping by Simone LeBlanc}

 

Pssst….

Make the men in your life happy this Christmas and stop by the Taylor Stitch Warehouse sale this Saturday, 12/6 in the Dogpatch. According to their recent Instagram post they’ll be “damn near giving stuff away”.

Deets below:

Address: 949 Illinois Street
Starts at 9am!

taylor stitchWhat I’m eyeing:

5 Startups to Spruce Up Your Home

1. Homepolish

They skip the commissions and product markups and charge a flat hourly fee. Whether you need a little space editing or someone to take care of everything, Homepolish has you covered. Life is better when you love where you live and work so it’s time to create your dream space.

Homepolish

2. Uprise Art

The founder Tze Chun saw a gap in the market for people who wanted to own beautiful art but found the process of buying it intimidating or confusing. It’s built around an “invest-to-own” model, in which young collectors can take artwork home and invest $50 a month toward owning the piece. Chun is trying to make living with beautiful art more accessible to everyone.

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3. Framebridge

They founded this business so souvenir posters, antique maps, beach trip Instagrams, diplomas, baby announcements, flea market art, and anything that’s special to you could be easily custom framed, shipped, and enjoyed. They have a curated product selection and clear pricing with no surprise fees. They’ve included all of the typical frame shop quality upsell items—UV-protective glazing, acid-free materials and matting—in our base price. They provide the packaging for your art to be shipped to us and an easy way to upload digital files. And, of course, all shipping is free!

framebridge

4. Tuft & Needle

Tuft & Needle has disrupted a tired mattress marketplace. The founders wrote down all the things they hated about their mattress-buying experience. Then they tore apart actual mattresses and called suppliers to gather information about manufacturing costs and processes. What they learned was that Marino’s $3,000 mattress cost only about $300 to manufacture, including materials and labor. In general, they found, big-brand mattresses are marked up five to 10 times.They thought there were too many zeros in a mattress too. You should be able to get the best materials available. First class service shouldn’t be reserved for a private club. You should be able to try it out for a full month while wearing your pajamas. It should be made in America and shipped right to your door at no extra cost.

tuft & needle

5. Luna Sleep

Get smart about sleep with a smart mattress pad (launching soon). The team of entrepreneurs believe that better sleep leads to a better life. It is time for everyone to realize that a well-rounded life doesn’t stop at eating organic and exercising, but rather that it should go with us all the way into bed. We spend one third of our life in bed. It’s time to get smart about it.

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Town Cutler: a SF knife shop

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My sister and I always joke that my husband develops a new obsession every 3-6 months. About 6 months ago? Pappy Van Winkle whiskey. Right now? Kitchen knives. He’s obsessed with building a solid knife collection. Enter: Town Cutler. This little shop located at 1005 Bush Street (at Jones) in San Francisco’s Nob Hill neighborhood is the Bay Area’s premier purveyor of professional-quality knives and sharpening services.

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Travel: Sedona

ASK five people to sum up Sedona, and you’ll probably get five wildly different responses. Art lovers exclaim over the galleries specializing in Southwestern tableaus. Shopaholics rave about boutiques selling Western duds and American Indian jewelry. Pessimists rue the rash of T-shirt shops, while enlightenment-seekers wax spiritual about its “vortexes.” And outdoor enthusiasts rhapsodize about hiking among red rock spires and ancient Indian ruins. All of this is great news for visitors, who can sample it all — even a U.F.O.-viewing site — in a quirky city that some call the most beautiful place in the United States.- The New York Times

My friend Meghan shares her trip to Sedona and recommendations for traveling with a big group below:

Sedona 8 Sedona 1 Sedona 2 Sedona 3FullSizeRender (13)Sedona 4 sedona 6 Sedona 5 Sedona 9Sedona 7FullSizeRender (14)Sedona recommendations from MMM:

 

Black Friday

While shopping on Black Friday would make all my worst nightmares come true, there are a few online deals worth noting (see below). Hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving!

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  • Helmut Lang- 40% off blackout sale
  • Theory- 40% off
  • Calypso St Barth- additional 50% off already reduced sale styles + 30% off full price styles with code: PINK30
  • Joie- 25% off with code: THANKS
  • Cosabella- 40% off with code: BLACKFRIDAY40
  • Equipment- 25% off with code: THANKS
  • Vince- additional 25% off select women sale styles with code: LAYERUP
  • Trina Turk- 30% off everything
  • Pinhole Press- 25% off all products

 

The Holiday Home

Holiday decor
Holiday decor inspiration:

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Gift Guide for HIM

Norse x Hestra Svante Gloves

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Smathers & Branson Gaucho Flask

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Ralph Lauren Cashmere Cable-Knit Sweater

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Click below for more gift ideas!

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Gift Guide for HER

Clare V Monogrammed Tassel Key Chain

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Mini Polaroid Camera

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Daniel Wellington Rose Gold Watch

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Byredo Eau de Parfumnd.3575

 

Click below for more gift ideas:

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Gift Guide for DAD

Font Loading Toolbox

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Scully & Scully Petitpoint Coaster Set

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Norse Projects Birnir Sweater

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More ideas for Dad below:

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Gift Guide for MOM

Bone Inlay Picture Frame

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Ann Mashburn Apron

Screen Shot 2014-11-08 at 9.02.09 AMHudson Grace Montecito Candle

HG-Original-CandleMore ideas for Mom below:

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Stocking Stuffers

80 Acres Olive Oil Salt Scrub

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Jen Pearson Apothecary Matches

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Pearl Ice Cooling Eye Mask

Screen Shot 2014-11-15 at 9.53.11 AMIl Bisonte 2 Piece Key Ring

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Click below to scroll for more gift ideas:

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West Coast Baby Shower

Screen Shot 2014-11-10 at 7.22.57 AMMy friend Molly and sister hosted my West Coast shower last weekend leaving me feeling spoiled and so full of love. The weather was warm and the laid-back poolside vibe in Marin made for the perfect day. I recieved tons of great pointers from the cute “advice for the new mommy” cards they had guests fill out and I thought I’d share these two:

  • “The baby can fit into your life, or you can fit into your baby’s life– I would suggest the baby fits into yours!”
  • “Sleep whenever you can! Take one night escapes whenever possible. Be kind to yourself, kids won’t always remember.”
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Bluxome Street Winery: Engagement Party

In keeping with the spirit of yesterday’s post, I’m always on the hunt for fun and interesting venues to host events. My friends recently held their engagement party at Bluxome Street Winery in San Francisco. A winery/ tasting room in the heart of the city? Yes, please. There’s a cozy bar and tasting room near the entrance which is perfect for mingling during cocktail hour. And the masonry warehouse with its high bays, stainless steel tanks and stacks of oak barrels lends itself to a beautiful dining venue.

The couple lives in San Francisco but were getting hitched on the East Coast so they chose the perfect venue to showcase the bride’s roots. They worked with the boutique catering company, Jessica Lasky Fine Catering who specializes in local, seasonal, California cooking with an accent towards the Mediterranean. For an extra charge, they will even coordinate your entire event. The food was delicious!

From the bride-to-be on the florals:

The key to creative florals is to mix color, texture, and movement. Third generation San Francisco florist, Natalie Bowen and her amazing team know how to create modern and innovative floral designs through unique combinations. For my engagement party, Natalie integrated billy balls and kumquats into the flower arrangements for a colorful and fun play of color and texture. A single billy ball was placed on top of b-spired custom Kraft paper menu cards  for a pop of yellow.

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See more photos below from their beautiful night:

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Top party vendors in the Bay Area

Over the past 4.5 years of living in San Francisco, some part of my job has required me to throw events (and lots of them). I now know a thing or two about what it takes to throw a good party…good vendors!

The top vendors in the Bay Area for throwing a party:

1. Invitations/ Decor: Paper Source or Fantastico

2. Flowers: Natalie Bowen Designs, The Bud Stop or SF Flower Mart (for DIY)

3. Balloons: The Balloon Lady

4. Custom Cakes: Susie Cakes

5. Custom Cookies: Sugar Mama

6. Wine: PlumpJack Wine & Spirits

7. Catering to go: Comforts Cafe or The Little Chihuahua

8. Private Food Trucks: Off the Grid

9. Photographer: Josh Gruetzmacher 

10. Linen/ Misc. rentals: Hartmann Studios

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FOGcast

These cooler temps have me itching to cross the Golden Gate Bridge and explore. Unfortunately, I’m on lockdown from my Doc for the next few weeks so looking at pics from a hike a few months back will have to suffice for now. I still can’t decide if it’s better hiking Tennessee Valley on foggy or sunny days. There is something so picturesque about the fog rolling in over the hills though…

tenn11Click below for more photos:

 

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Holiday Scented Candles

If I could have it my way, I’d burn holiday scented candles all year long. There’s something so comforting about the festive scents that help set the mood of the holidays and make the home so happyI think it’s kosher to start burning these the day after Thanksgiving (which is only weeks away!) so it’s time to stock up. My favorite holiday candles below:

233901442{Diptyque Resine}

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J. Crew November Picks

How many times have you heard, “I can’t believe it’s November” over the past few days? A valid statement, indeed. My Sunday morning consisted of cozying up with a cup of coffee and flipping through the new J.Crew catalog which left me wanting everything…

3c652b6b4e2c74ec2063d2266d468330{chunky turtleneck sweater}519a697c7ef663c4e857307fe5cfb104

{endless shirt}

27ec6ebde8a16195f230ef7d34ae7e73{pastel drop-waist coat}
3e8bb227535d7e0edf97f6733e06def1{chateau parka}

5160ba6e27808f6afcc7cfbb1c86fa3e{buffalo shirt jacket}

8c5dd32f4956a44121e5c202f8386744{stadium- cloth top coat}

ddd069380479bab31ae12c1e1d781a70{cocoon coat}

Marine Layer Ski Tahoe Party

Stop by the Workshop tonight from 6-9pm where Marine Layer will be hosting a “Pray for Snow” sweater sale and ski Tahoe party. They’ll be hanging out with TREW and Liftopia with lots of free booze, awesome ski gear and lift deals for all. I’m going to get a head start on my Christmas shopping and for some much needed comfy sweats.

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Wedding Wednesday: The Kirley’s

The professional photos are IN from #meetthekirleys! I blogged about their amazing wedding before (see here) and here are some more photos to enjoy. Happy Wednesday!

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Closet Refresh (for him)

An incredibly soft/ handsome sweater: Sid Mashburn Half- Zip Sweater

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Shirt: Ernest Alexander Willem Button Down Shirt 

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Boxers: J.Crew Inverness Tartan Boxers

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Pants: The Bedford Cord

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OR

Taylor Stitch Pine Vinter’s Chore Pant

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Jacket: Filson Stryker

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Click below to keep reading:

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Perfect Your Salad Game

Story of my life: wait in line at Mixt Greens > chat with coworkers > get called to counter > blackout/ panic over what to order. 5 times out of 10, I’m unhappy and experience intense order envy. Thankfully, a coworker recently sent me this “perfect your salad game” chart which lays out the science behind crafting a tasty, healthful salad. They’ve even included dressing recommendations…hallelujah. And in case you missed it, here are my favorite salad spots in the Bay Area.

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Arizona Activities

For those who get antsy “just” sitting by the pool, there are a wide range of activities to enjoy including: scenic hiking, horseback riding, hot air ballooning, golf, spa and more. [For the record my activities included: spa > dip in pool > a frozen mocktail > repeat. It was glorious.]

014015 016 photo 3 (3)017 Click to see a few last photos from our trip:
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Dining in the Desert

Friday night: Mexican fiesta in the Fountain Terrace with leather branding activities for the kids (yes, I overstayed my welcome making leather keychains).

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Family Reunion: AZ edition

Every seven years my mom’s family gets together for a big family reunion. I’m talking 290 family members under one roof. I’m laughing to myself because on my trip to Arizona I noticed the back of my book reads: “This is a beautiful novel about men- their lust and rage and sweetness. Read it – or take it as a gift- when you next go on a dreaded family holiday.”

Truth be told, no one was dreading this family holiday. I can’t remember the last time I was that excited for a trip. The reunion was set for a weekend high in the Arizona desert at the Four Seasons Scottsdale Resort.

Nestled in the foothills of Pinnacle Peak — among towering, multi-armed cacti — the adobe casitas of the Four Seasons Resort Scottsdale embody the desert’s magic and provide a lush backdrop for your family’s rest and relaxation.

Stay tuned for more on the reunion over the next few days. In the meantime, below are some pictures from our hotel stay:

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San Francisco’s Pasta Game

I must have been Italian in another life because I could happily eat pasta for every meal of the day. So you can understand my excitement when I heard that today is National Pasta Day. Yes, a free pass for everyone to indulge/ shovel/ inhale carbs on carbs on carbs tonight. Best Friday ev (said the pregnant woman).

My favorite pasta spots in SF:

1. Flour + Water: always opt for the pasta tasting menu.

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2. A16: The maccaronara ragu napoletana with house-made ricotta salata is to die for.

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3. Piccino: Owners Margherita Stewart Sagan and Sheryl Rogat started Piccino in the Dogpatch, with recipes passed down through generations from Sagan’s mother.

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4. Original Joes: I’m a big fan of the spaghetti and meatballs. Comfort food at its best.

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5. Emmy’s Spaghetti Shack. So good, it got its own blog post.

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6. Ristorante Milano: My husband, sister and I stumbled upon this little gem a few weeks ago in our neighborhood. It doesn’t look like much from the outside but the gnocchi is on point.

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7. Cotogna: One of my favorite restaurants in the city. The pasta changes weekly and you can’t go wrong.

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8. Sotto Mare- the seafood pasta is a must.

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* On my list to try: Farina and Acquerello

Best Pastas to take home: 

1. The Pasta Shop: my first stop at the Ferry Building Farmer’s Market on Saturday mornings. Last week we tried the Sweet Onion & Red Chard ravioli which was amazing.

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2. Lucca Deli: the cheese tortellini has become a Sunday night staple in our household. They also have delicious raviolis.

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* If you love pasta as much as I do, you must follow Frank Prisinzano from NYC on Instagram. Mouth-watering.

 

La Matera

After a trip to Argentina two brothers started La Matera, a luxury leather accessories company inspired by the Argentine Countryside and perfected by American craftsmanship.

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Gentlemen, if you haven’t heard of this company do your wardrobe a favor and purchase one of these belts. My husband (who I must say has an eye for belts) currently owns two styles. I’ve seen first hand how they add a rugged sophistication to his wardrobe whether he’s hitting the links, rocking a Canadian tuxedo or lounging in casual weekend wear. The designs are beautifully crafted and I’m a big fan of the Navajo prints. And frankly, it’s a welcomed new look from the preppy needlepoint belts I’ve grown up with.Bariloche_3_1024x1024

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corbina_still_life_vineyardAnd you bet I noticed Prince William’s belt when they introduced baby George to the world;)

Prince William Belt

M + A wedding paper

Every so often you receive a wedding invite that makes you stop in your tracks. This was the case when we received Matt & Amanda’s invite. It still sits on my desk and I can’t tell you how many friends have commented or inquired about the designer. Juliet Grace hand-designed the New Hampshire wedding invites, programs, menus and place cards which fit the feel of the wedding and the couple so perfectly. Check out her beautiful designs below:

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Recognize the pup on the invite?

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Wallpaper Inspo

I would have loved to add a wallpaper accent wall to our nursery. Unfortunately, we’re renters so financially it didn’t make sense. So, if you’re in the market for wallpaper (lucky you) below are a few I’ve been eyeing.

1. Mini Moderns. Feathers in Chalkhill Blue

mattchalkhill2. Brunschwig & Fils

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3. Prestwould Salon Side Wallpaper, Tarragons on Ivory

SCLMNDREWallpaperPrestwouldTarragonIvory4. Rifle & Co Wallpaper. This pineapple wallpaper would be fun for a bathroom.

pineapple-ebony-wallpaper-035. Serena & Lily. Herringbone Wallpaper in Fog was my top contender for the nursery. Doesn’t it feel so calming?

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6. Swag Paper. Ikat print.

19cf3da8adfdf0654d4476b831cfa2ff7. de Gournay. ‘Earlham’ design in standard design colours on Emerald Green dyed silk

201407_17_large8. Thibaut – my Mom used this brand in our homes growing up.

c7c764969edf1bef73a87fd95a035c85guadeloupe-floral-wallpaper-blue-thibaut-wallpaper-light-blue-floral-guadeloupe-thibautWinslow+Plaid+wallpaper+-+Menswear+Resource+-+Thibaut+-+high9. Farrow & Ball – the paint company we’re using for the nursery

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10. Persian Garden by Osborn & Little

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11. Stripe love with Sydney Harbour

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12. Lobster print by Abnormals Anonymous 

b3ebb98122870d2e370750e32f7ed2b213. Schumacher. Asara Flower in Water Blue.

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12. The original motif from the Beverly Hills Hotel

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Arizona Musings

We’re off to Arizona today which marks my last flight before the baby arrives…k, still processing that last statement over here. Stay tuned for more on our trip next week. Have a great long weekend!

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tumblr_nbenmrMFhx1qdwltyo1_500tumblr_mpaazpxmjo1qb5gv4o1_500tumblr_m838wzHN7C1rbzhq1o1_500tumblr_nblprzP2qN1rjp8a3o1_500tumblr_mzsh3aXH061si4gueo1_500tumblr_n3a2dwJ7mz1rionq1o1_500aaf3005285c9759148bb8b16958ae55atumblr_lp022taEsP1qm65y1o1_500tumblr_mkclet2vM91qj0afdo1_50080154dee89531e4719f29a61eb0fdf30{images via La Matera}

48 hours in Greenwich, CT

A guide to dining out

Posting about my shower in Greenwich, CT yesterday got me thinking about all the food (pretty much the only thing on my mind) I miss from back home. If you ever find yourself in this lovely NYC suburb, here’s where you should eat:

DAY ONE: 

Breakfast
Versailles- order the quiche or omelette du jour. Those escargots look pretty tasty too.

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Lunch
Aux Delices- the food is so incredibly flavorful and fresh here (especially the salads). Also, it’s the only place in the US where I’ll order chicken which is saying a lot. I really hate chicken.

EO_Aux_Delices_Westport_CT_2

Dinner
– Homestead Inn- for a truly memorable night out or special occasion. The Chef, Thomas Henkelmann, is a recipient of the coveted titles: Relais & Châteaux— Grand Chef, Tradition et Qualite — Les Grandes Tables du Monde and Extraordinary (4 star) by the New York Times. Chef Henkelmann offers contemporary French cuisine, seasonal specialties and the signatures dishes for which he has become famous. Classic French training, a German background and time spent in France, Germany and Switzerland’s finest 3 star Michelin restaurants, inspire his menu for fine dining in Greenwich.

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 DAY TWO:

Breakfast
– Rinaldi’s Country Deli: pick up some delicious bacon, egg and cheeses on a roll and enjoy at Tod’s Point beach in Old Greenwich.

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Lunch
Meli Melo- my love for this restaurant runs deep. I’m pretty sure from age 10- 18, I ate here at least 1x a week. And now, it’s always on my must-visit when home. Try any of the fresh squeezed juices, soups, Spring or Parma savory crepes, Beet Salad, Nutella & Banana sorbet, dessert crepes–you really can’t go wrong.

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Dinner
L’Scale- beautiful dining room with equally beautiful views of the Sound.

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OTHER TOP CONTENDERS: 
Best Bagel: Upper Crust
Best Sandwich/ Sub: Alpen Pantry
Best Hangover Food: Chicken Joe’s or Garden Catering
Best Steakhouse: Gabrieles
Best Italian: Terra
Best Seafood: Elm Street Oyster House or Mediterraneo
Best Modern American Cuisine: Rebeccas
Best Sushi: Kira Sushi
Best Pizza: Pizza Post (or the salad pizza from Glenville Pizza)
Best Afternoon tea/ coffee: The Drawing Room
Best Ice Cream: Gofers

 

 

 

Showering Baby H

I took a strong anti-baby shower stance when I became pregnant. I didn’t want one (a shower that is). Why would I want to waste peoples Saturdays or Sundays? Who wants to go to a baby shower? Baby games? PLEASE NO. When I finally realized that I didn’t have a choice in the matter (hindsight, extremely grateful) my baby shower was planned to take place in September in Connecticut; before I was too big and uncomfortable to make the cross-country trek. Looking back, I learned a number of things: 1) baby showers are actually loads of fun (at least for the expectant mother-to-be); 2) there’s no better feeling in the world than seeing your friends and family so excited for your little one to arrive and 3) having a baby is expensive so you need all the help you can get. I’m pretty sure I was smiling the entire trip back to San Francisco and couldn’t have asked for a better day. So many thanks to my loved ones! Some photos below if you’d like to see:

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DSC_2604DSC_2614photoDSC_2611DSC_2619baby h bookphotophotophoto 2

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Setting: Belle Haven Club
Cake: Sweet Lisa’s
Flowers: Flowers & Flowers in Darien, CT
Gender Prediction Cards: Etsy (apparently I’m having a girl)
Baby H book: Splurge in Greenwich, CT
Boobie card: Gravel & Gold 
Wrap dress: Diane Von Furstenberg

Fall Beauty with Benefit

Fall Beauty with Benefit

With a new season comes a new beauty routine (I’m pretending that it is actually Fall here in San Francisco, despite the heat). Benefit is my go-to spot for eyelash tinting and brow waxing. Each time I visit I swear I will.not.buy.anymore.products. Never happens. I left last weekend with some new goodies that are too good not to share. Here’s what’s new in my makeup bag for Fall:

  1. High Brow- an old product that I used years ago and forgot what a difference it makes to the entire eye area. I line it under my brows for a lifted look.
  2. Gimme Brow- how have I been living without this product? Complete your look with full and defined brows.
  3. Benefit Foundation Brush- the bristles are so soft and makes foundation or tinted moisturizer go on flawlessly.
  4. Benefit Big Easy- provides great coverage with a natural finish. It has a liquid-to-powder finish and takes care of your SPF needs.
  5. Benefit Dallas- hands down, my favorite new purchase. Every time I wear it someone will say that I have the “pregnancy glow”. Little do they know…

Weekend Snaps

A low-key weekend in the city spent doing what I do best these days: eating, watching movies & escaping the heat.

{BBQ from 4505 Meats}photo 2 (38) photo 1 (39) mac n cheese

{views of city & sister dip in the Bay}

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bay

{blooms & bump at Cheese Plus}

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{kouign amann, chocolate banana croissant and a pear ginger scone
from b. patisserie}

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{sampling Farrow & Ball paint colors for the nursery}

farrow & ball 2{apple, berry, chia smoothie & Melodie’s avocado, kale & corn salad from Evolution}

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Autumnal Tablescapes

This heat wave we’re currently experiencing in SF is bananas. For the first time in my life I’m running HOT and I officially take back all the times I’ve complained on this blog about the fog and cooler temps. Come (back) to Coco!! Let’s hope that we’ll be able to enjoy cozy dinners, chunky knits and crisp air sometime soon! Some autumnal tablescapes making me crave Fall weather even more:

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Heat embossing with rubber stamps

I’ve never been a DIY girl. I leave that to the pros on Etsy or my talented friends and family. Although, with all my recent downtime I decided to get crafty with stationary (obviously). So, I went to Paper Source and got a quick lesson on heat embossing with rubber stamps. Everyone likes to receive a homemade card every now and again, right?

What you’ll need: Embossing Heat Tool, Embossing Powder (comes in a variety of colors), Funnel Tray, Watermark Stamp Pad, Alphabet Rubber Stamps, and a Prima Press Stamp Holder.

photo 2 (34) 1. Arrange your alphabet stamps on the stamp press (here you can use any old stamp if you’d rather work with a design).

photo 1 (35)2. Ink your rubber stamps using the clear stamp pad (really get in there).

photo 4 (20)3. Place your paper or envelope in the funnel tray and sprinkle the embossing powder over the wet ink.

photo 2 (33)photo 3 (24) 4. Shake off any excess embossing powder (it helps to flick the stationary or envelope).

emboss powder5. Using the heat embossing tool, move slowly across your stamp design melting the embossing powder. Caution: the heat embossing tool gets REALLY hot.

heat tool6. And voila! A raised, glossy stamp impression…just like the pros. Kinda.

photo 3 (26)

It’s Football Season – Let’s Grill Some Wings!!

In honor of all you football fans out there, Chef Michael (see Bloody Mary recipe here and the perfect NY Strip Steak here) has once again whipped up an amazing recipe…Buffalo Chicken Wings. Because football & wings go hand-in-hand, right? But first a forward by moi:

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It’s official: I’m missing the football gene. I want to care. I try to care. The sport just isn’t for me. Apologies to my Snapchat friends who receive countless “h8 football” snaps like the one below on Sundays, Mondays and Thursdays (SERIOUSLY WHY SO MANY DAYS, NFL???).

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Alas, football will always be in my life. My husband loves the sport and I need to respect that (although, if he tries to put a Michigan jersey on our unborn child on the day he/she is born, I will lose my sh*t). Even my parents probably wish I turned out differently…

photo (23)

I guess you can’t win ‘em all. And now that’s off my chest…Chef Mikey’s recipe without further ado:

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Happy football season! While I am sad to see summer come to an end, my next 20 or so weekends will be filled with football, wings and beer so it’s not all bad.

Nothing makes me happier than spending a Sunday in a sports bar following my favorite team, the NY Giants (NFL) and Second City (Fantasy) while drinking beer and chowing on Buffalo Wings. This was a nearly weekly occurrence before I had kids and has happened almost never since then.

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Not to worry…..With some research as well as trial and error I have come up with an amazing grilled Buffalo Wings recipe. Coupled with some beer and NFL Sunday Ticket, I can almost replicate the experience.

First a quick note about chicken wings. A chicken wing consists of three parts: the “drumette”, shaped like a small drumstick, the “middle flat”, consisting of two bones, and the tip which is usually discarded. Traditionally bars and restaurants cut the drumette from the middle flat and serve them separately (an order of a dozen wings usually consist of 6 of each).

Prepackaged, fresh chicken wings bought at a super market are usually not cut meaning you’ll need a good pair of sheers to snip the tip and cut the drumette from the middle flat. This may be a bit awkward at first, but you’ll quickly get the hang of it. You can also buy frozen pre-cut wings at many stores including the 10lb bag at Costco (my favorite store).

Here is what you will need to make about 3lbs of wings

  • Chicken Wings (most supermarket packages are around 3lbs)
  • Franks RedHot Original Cayenne Pepper Sauce
  • Franks RedHot Medium Buffalo Wing Sauce
  • Buttermilk
  • Garlic Powder
  • Cayenne Pepper
  • Blue Cheese and/or Ranch Dressing
  • Carrots and Celery Sticks

Directions

  • First cut the wings, we’ve already discussed this above, if you bought them pre-packaged move on to the next step
  • Mix together 1 cup of Franks Cayenne Pepper Sauce with 1/2 cup of Buttermilk
  • Add 1 tsp of garlic powder
  • If you like your wings extra hot (spicy) add about ½ tsp of cayenne pepper. If you like them atomic add more, if you like them medium do not add any
  • Put the wings into a large Ziploc bag (you may need two) and add the mixture of hot sauce and buttermilk
  • Place the bags with the wings and sauce in the refrigerator for no less than 1 hour (you can even do this overnight)
  • Turn the grill on medium-high (you want it hot so the chicken get a nice char)
  • Spray the grates with some sort of cooking oil so the chicken doesn’t stick
  • Add the chicken to the grate and close the lid – Flip after about 10 minutes and then again after another 10. The chicken should be on the grill for about 25 minutes.
  • Take the chicken off the grill and put them in a large metal bowl
  • Next pour some of the Frank’s Buffalo Wing Sauce onto the wings and toss (start with a little, and add more if necessary)
  • Transfer to serving plate and serve immediately with some Blue Cheese and/or Ranch Dressing and the carrot and celery sticks
  • Crack open a beer, turn on the game and enjoy!

I know traditionalists will say that you can make your own wing sauce by using the cayenne pepper and some butter, but why bother. Sometimes it’s just easier and better to use store-bought! I hope you all have a great fall watching football and rooting on your favorite team, even if it’s a fake fantasy team!

photo 2 (1) photo 3 (3)

 

 

 

Travel: Tulum

Oh what I would do for a little beach getaway right about now. Below my cousin shares her amazing trip to Tulum, Mexico:

Tulum 1 Tulum 25Tulum 3 Tulum 4 Tulum 5 Tulum 6 Tulum 9 Tulum 10 Tulum 11 Tulum 12 Tulum 13 Tulum 14 Tulum 17 Tulum 18 Tulum 19 Tulum 21 Tulum 26 Tulum 27 Tulum 29 Tulum 30 Tulum 31 Tulum 32 Tulum 33 Tulum 34 Tulum 35 Tulum 38 Tulum 39

  • Travel
    • Arrange for a shuttle or private car from Cancun to Tulum, it is a lifesaver and the company is wonderful. Tucan Kin: tucankin@gmail.com
  • Essentials
    • Bug spray! I cannot stress this enough! Lather up!
    • Flash light! There are no street lights or lights on the beaches because of the turtles.
  • Hotels
    • Coqui Coqui: 1st choice
    • Coco Tulum: 2nd choice, but stay in one of the private towers
  • Restaurants
    • HARTWOOD: AMAZING. Must go… a few times. It opens at 7pm, get there 15 mins because the wait is usually long.
    • CASA BANANA: Outstanding Italian food.
    • EL TABANO: Beach Road Tulum, Boca Paila KM. 7; gourmet Mexican food, mexcal margaritas, secret fish tacos, tortilla soup, stuffed ancho pepper.
    • POSADA MAGRITA: Tulum Quintana Roo. One of the best in Tulum. Fresh pasta, great seafood, delicious breakfast (Eggs in a hole).
    • CASA JAGUAR: Carretera Tulum Bocapaila; HOT spot, cool out door vibe. Great breakfast, get avocado toast and fresh juice.
    • MATEO’s MEXICAN GRILL: Zona Hotelera Tulum; Fish Tacos, go early it gets packed.
    • JUANITA DIAVOLA: Wood oven pizza, great breakfast (at Coco Tulum Hotel).
    • PURA CORAZON: Carretera a Boca Paila Km 7, Tulum beach zone. Try the eggs ahau or squid.
    • ZIGGY’s: Road Tulum-Boca Paila; breakfast on the beach.
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