Some news…

photoI’m excited to share the news that we’re expecting a baby in January! I’m notoriously terrible when it comes to surprises but we’ve decided to keep it old school and not find out the sex. My four-year-old niece recently put her ear to my belly and exclaimed wide-eyed that “the baby’s name is Victor and he’s crying like crazy.” Hmm? Let’s see if we have a little psychic on our hands…minus the crying bit, please.

So far I’m feeling great and have had an incredibly smooth pregnancy. People always ask about cravings. Honestly, I’m craving the same things as the day I began eating solid foods: mac n cheese, bagels, Haribo gummy bears…nothing new here! Except tighter pants errr, tighter everything. We are so beyond excited, a little terrified, and can’t wait to meet our little one come early 2015.

Now we’re off to Nantucket for some R&R with my family. It’s crazy to think that at this time next year we’ll be jetting off with a six-month-old in tow! But let’s not get ahead of ourselves…

DSC_0387DSC_0408DSC_0383 - Version 2

 [Many thanks to my sweet co-worker, Alyssa, for the drawing
and to my sis, Jenny J, for the pics!]

My Nantucket To- Do List

Vacation anticipation: I have it BAD. I’m headed East tomorrow for Nantucket and I’ve compiled my ultimate (and a tad aggressive) to-do list:





  • Nobadeer Beach (for the airplane enthusiasts- DAD!- in your life)
  • Ladies Beach
  • Steps Beach
  • Cisco Beach (for the big waves)

* See my guide to Nantucket beaches here.

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A Sailor’s Delight

Yesterday my company treated us to an afternoon aboard Schooner Eros–a 100+ foot sailboat with some pretty impressive history:

Schooner EROS is a classic beauty built in England 1939 for the daughter and son-in-law of a British Lord. She was very soon commandeered by the Royal Navy to participate in the famous evacuation at Dunkirk. After the war she became the private yacht of the first man internationally known as a billionaire, Stavros Niarchos, and she became well-known in the Mediterranean yachting community.

We all remember Stavros Niarchos (yes?). The sun came out and the wind was blowing; it was a perfect day.

photo (1) photo 2 (1) photo 1 (1) photo 3 (1)And how fitting that The Edit’s Nautical Issue was just released? Shop the magazine here.





The Perfect NY Strip Steak

Born and raised in Manhattan, Michael brings another yummy post to Come to Coco (see his Bloody Mary recipe here). 

If you’re anything like me, you love steak. Nothing beats a great steak dinner and nothing beats a great steak restaurant. Growing up in New York City, I had two favorites, Peter Luger and the Palm.

Peter Luger is a classic, located in Brooklyn it’s been named New York City’s best steakhouse for 30 years in a row by Zagat Survey. They serve porterhouse cuts for 2 or 4 (people) which are pre-sliced and served on sizzling plates which are placed on an upside down coffee cup coaster so the plate is inclined allowing the fat to run down the plate enabling the servers to “add a little shine” onto the steak. The steaks are so good that they don’t need their famous steak sauce but you can put the sauce on just about everything else from Tomato and Onion (chopped) salad to Bacon Slices to Shrimp Cocktail. It’s truly a great experience.  The bone in the porterhouse steak splits two types of meat, a NY Strip Steak and a tenderloin filet (Filet). At Peter Luger both sides of the steak or terrific, but if I had to choose one over the other I would choose the NY Strip 100% of the time.

Peter LugersMy other favorite was the Palm. The original located on 837 2nd Avenue in Manhattan. Before there was a Palm in every town, this set the standard for Italian themed steak houses that served think New York Strip Steaks. There now seems to be a Palm in every major city and the quality can be hit or miss, but the original Palm located on the west side of 2nd Avenue (Palm Too is located on the east side) consistently delivers.


Today there are hundreds if not thousands of steak restaurants with new, trendy ones popping up in every major city each week. They’re all good, they all serve quality meat and most of them have a wonderful, lively atmosphere.

The only problem is the price. A steak at a top steak house can exceed $50. Add appetizers, sides, booze, wine and you’re easily looking at a meal that can run well north of $100 per person. I admit, it’s something that I’m ok splurging on from time to time. However, I think I can match the quality of a top NY Strip Steak (my favorite cut) at home and can do it for a fraction of the price.

What You Need

Steak 1

  • Grill
  • NY Strip Steak – Prime is preferred but a good Choice Cut is OK. Costco sells Prime for less than what Whole Foods sells Choice so I generally buy from Costco (my favorite store). I do not encourage buying supermarket pre-packaged steaks. They tend to be tougher, thinner and just not as good. Whole Foods and Costco are both good choices. If you do not have one in your area, see if your supermarket butcher will cut you a nice thick cut of about 1 ¼ inches.
  • Unsalted Butter
  • Corn Oil
  • Thick Salt – If you can find or order Maldon Sea Salt Flakes, it is preferred. If not, Kosher Salt works fine
  • Pepper – Cracked not ground


  • Remove your steaks from the refrigerator and let them sit at room temperature for 1-2 hours
  • Heat your grill to maximum heat. I don’t care if you’re cooking one steak, turn every burner on high and let it sit for 15-20 minutes. You want it as hot as it can possibly get.
  • Melt 4 oz of non-salted butter for every steak you are going to cook
  • When melted add about 2 oz of Corn Oil to the melted butter for every steak you are going to cook.
  • About 5 minutes before you are going to place the steaks on the grill pour the butter/oil mixture into a deep dish.
  • Place each steak into the butter/oil mixture and let it rest for a few seconds and then flip so both sides are coated
  • Remove steaks and place on a rack. Racks work best, but a cutting board or plate also work
  • Sprinkle the salt all over the steak to make a nice coating. You want salt flakes to cover the entire steak. Next add the cracked pepper, again have it coat the entire steak
  • Flip the steak and repeat the salt/pepper process
  • Add your steak to the scorching hot grill. You may get minor flare ups, this is ok. If it is a major flare up, remove the steak to a cooler part of the grill (upper rack) and then replace
  • If you like your steak rare (like I do) you should cook the steak for about 1 minute and then rotate for another minute (thus creating an even char). After two minutes, flip the steak and repeat. If you grill is hot enough and there is a good fire. You’re steaks will be done after 2 minutes a side. If you like it more cooked, add a minute or two to each side. If you like it well done, you shouldn’t be spending money on quality steaks.
  • After you remove from the grill let the steaks rest on a cutting board or plate untouched for 5-10 minutes
  • After that time, cut in and enjoy!

Summer BBQ Menu Planning

Strawberry Lychee Punch


  • 3 small strawberries, hulled
  • 1/4 ounce Simple Syrup
  • 1 canned lychee plus 1/4 ounce syrup
  • 2 ounces light rum
  • 1/2 ounce fresh lime juice
  • Ice


  1. In a cocktail shaker, muddle the strawberries, Simple Syrup, lychee and lychee syrup.
  2. Add the rum, lime juice and ice, shake well and pour into a red wine glass.

Full recipe here

Watermelon Caprese Salad


  • 1 pint cherry tomatoes, larger ones halved
  • About 2 cups of watermelon cut into 3/4-inch cubes
  • 8 ounces bocconcini, halved
  • 8-10 large basil leaves
  • 3/4-1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar, or to taste
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, or to taste


  1. Add the tomatoes, watermelon, bocconcini, and basil to a large mixing bowl.
  2. Sprinkle with salt, drizzle with oil and vinegar, and gently toss to coat.
  3. Season to taste.

Full recipe here

Elote Grilled Mexican Corn


  • 6 ears of corn, shucked and fibers removed
  • 1 tbsp mayonaise
  • 2 tbsp sour cream
  • 1/2 cup shredded parmesan cheese (or you can use a Mexican cheese called Cotija)
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/8 tsp black pepper
  • 1/4 cup cilantro, chopped
  • 1 lime, cut into 6 wedges


  1. Heat grill over medium heat and spray rack with non-stick cooking spray.
  2. Grill corn, turning frequently (so they don’t burn), until the corn is slightly browned and heated through. (about 8-10 minutes)
  3. Meanwhile combine the mayo and sour cream in a small bowl and whisk until smooth.
  4. In another small bowl combine the chili powder, salt and pepper.
  5. Slater the hot grilled corn with mayo/sour cream mixture (use a pastry brush to brush it on), then sprinkle with the chili powder mixture. Coat in the parmesan cheese, and sprinkle with the chopped cilantro.
  6. Serve with a lime wedge.

Full recipe here

Lipton Classic Onion Dip


^ Judge away but who doesn’t love this classic? Talk about a trip down memory lane. Serve it with some ruffle potato chips, obv.


  1. 1 envelope Lipton® Recipe Secrets® Onion Soup Mix
  2. 1 container (16 oz.) sour cream

Ina Garten Sliders with Gruyere, Arugula, Tomato and Onion


2 pounds premium ground beef (80 percent lean and 20 percent fat)
1 tablespoon good Dijon mustard
3 tablespoons good olive oil, plus extra for brushing the grill
1 teaspoon chopped thyme leaves
3 teaspoons chopped garlic
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
6 ounces grated Gruyere
12 small Brioche buns
4 ounces baby arugula
3 medium tomatoes, sliced in 1/8-inch-thick rounds
2 small red onions, sliced in 1/8-inch-thick rounds
Ketchup, for serving


  1. Build a charcoal fire or heat a gas grill.
  2. Place the ground beef in a large bowl and add the mustard, olive oil, thyme, garlic, salt, and pepper. Mix gently with a fork to combine, taking care not to compress the ingredients. Shape the meat into 12 (2-inch) patties of equal size and thickness.
  3. When the grill is medium-hot, brush the grill grate with oil to keep the sliders from sticking. Place the sliders on the grill and cook for 4 minutes. Turn the sliders over with a spatula and cook for another 4 to 6 minutes, until medium-rare, or cook longer if you prefer the sliders more well done. For the last 2 minutes of cooking time, place 1/2-ounce Gruyere on the top of each burger and close the grill lid. Remove the sliders to a platter and cover with foil.
  4. Slice the buns in half crosswise and toast the halves cut side down on the grill.
  5. Divide the baby arugula among the 12 bottom buns, top each with a slider, and finish with a slice of tomato and red onion. Cover with the top of the bun and serve hot with ketchup.

Full recipe here

Frozen Chocolate-Dipped Bananas


  • Up to 6 ripe bananas
  • Popsicle sticks
  • 4 ounces heavy cream
  • 8 ounces dark chocolate


1. Peel the bananas, slice them in half crosswise, and insert a popsicle stick into the center of each half. Arrange the bananas on a cookie sheet lined with wax paper and place them in the freezer to chill.

2. Chop the dark chocolate into a large, shallow bowl. In a small pot, combine the heavy cream with 1 teaspoon of ground cinnamon and bring to a simmer. Pour the hot cream mixture over the dark chocolate and let it sit for one minute before whisking vigorously into a ganache.

3. Take your bananas out of the freezer and coat them in the ganache. Cover each banana in peanuts by dipping and pressing. Set the banana back on the wax paper-lined and freeze for two hours.

Full recipe here

Party Pants

Currently on the hunt for slouchy, cool, loose-fitting pants (what I refer to as “party pants”–don’t ask). Throw on a blazer and heels for work or sneaks for weekend wear.

Loft Chambray Slouchy Ankle Pants

img-thing-1J.Crew Drawstring Pant in Cove Floral:


J. Crew Drapey Beach Pant:


Zara Loose Fit Trousers:


Zara Printed Pajama Style Trousers:



Kate Spade Hutton Tropical Lounge Pant:


Joie Talina B Pant:

m_talinab_silk_pant_1754p1004b_caviar_front Joie Farina Pant:


 THML Printed Soft Pant:

cn7508723Joie Theron B Silk Pants:

cn7717401Rebecca Taylor Indian Floral Print Pants:

8542827_fpxSplendid Athletic Woven Pant:


Wedding Wednesday Spotlight

I’ve been trying to get my hands on Julie and Will’s wedding photos for months and when I finally got a little preview they took my breath away…

5a0f7f7e7de7c92f1aba74c3c501ed82 6a91f04b3a6e32058feddb658e2e6cff3c. brideandbouquet 9a5658fe9327f3640ed8e2dbc16a01675. groomsmen5d f139a8beb3513c7bdda2ce24b2f0323eeric kelley-3367 escortedfavorseric kelley-3528a11b1c.brideandgroom f7c950c1d701dc2c87ab53b1267d4f1f 21e5dc6533d621cf89f26f6d3cd591d25fdc582c56c4026697b68ab469259b1eeric kelley-3351b.brideandgroom22d2fdesserttableAbout the bride’s Kinsley James dress:

Julia holds a special place in our hearts here at Kinsley James!  We met Julia on our opening day; she was one of our first appointments and became the first Kinsley James bride!  All the stars were aligned for Julia, for us, and for the designer, Tara LaTour, who Julia connected with instantly. Tara’s inspiration for the collection was “Where the Wild Things Are” which Julia loved since she is an aspiring children’s books author!  We were so excited to help Julia find the perfect gown. She decided on a custom ‘Tay’ by Tara Latour wedding gown, and worked closely with us and the designer throughout the process to make sure that every detail fulfilled her vision. Her gown fit perfectly, and she looked absolutely beautiful on her wedding day. She was a pleasure to work with and became a great friend to all of us here at Kinsley James!

Healthy. Wholesome. Sound.

Follain– my favorite beauty shop in Boston (and Nantucket as of this summer) celebrated their first birthday by launching an e-commerce site, making this West Coast resident VERY happy. Tara, my friend and founder of Follain, was the first person to really get me thinking about the importance of an all-natural, organic skin regimen.


Follain–Gaelic for ‘healthy, wholesome, and sound’–features a thoughtfully curated portfolio of skincare, hair care, and cosmetic products from over 30 U.S. brands. Follain carries the highest-performing healthy beauty products available. No one should have to sacrifice their health and values for beauty.

What’s in my basket:

1. Shamanuti Activated Charcoal Cleaner

2. Baudelaire Dry Brush

3. Ilia Balmy Nights Exfoliator

4. RMS Living Moisturizer

5. Captain Blankenship Mermaid Sea Salt Hair Spray

And lastly, some Thursday food for thought:


Socks that don’t stink

Confession: I like to sleep in socks. Before you knock this not-so-sexy sleeping habit, apparently Sofia Vergara does too. To quote her, “I sleep in pretty socks, not like dirty socks”. Amen, sister! Luckily, my husband’s sock drawer is within arms distance of my side of the bed and much to his displeasure, I always go for the softest, prettiest pair.

And there’s more good news. My friend is launching his new sock line, Heath Paine which “weaves intelligent materials with boldness that stands out from the boardroom to the bar” [and bed?]The socks are all natural, American made, and fashionable just like the two founders.

Check out their Kickstarter page and video to back the project and learn more. Trust me, the world needs more socks (as evidenced by my neighborhood laundromat, “The Missing Sock”).



Check out my friend Alexandra’s hilarious interview with the dynamic duo behind Heath Paine here.


Honeymooning in Italy

A big thanks to Charlotte and Steve for sharing their amazing Italian honeymoon! They ate and drank their way through Florence, Tuscany & the Amalfi Coast (my kind of trip). Their pictures are nothing short of spectacular and if you’re like me, you’ll be indulging in a big old plate of pasta after reading this.




  • Grand Hotel Villa Cora:  it’s perched up on the hill right behind the Boboli gardens. We really liked it. Beautiful property (it is an old villa that has been converted into a hotel) with a nice pool area and great rooms with a lot of character.  A lot of the rooms have nice balconies with excellent views of the city. It is about a 5 minute cab ride to downtown or a 15-20 minute walk so the location is pretty convenient. 


  • Cantinetta Antinori
  • La Giostra
  • Lunch at Harry’s- where the Bellini was created.
  • Il Parione- This was our favorite restaurant. A local spot with amazing food. Try the truffle pasta. They are also known for their steak.


  • Galleria Accademia and Uffizi
  • Roofdeck bar in the Continentale hotel near the Ponte Vecchio – This is the best rooftop bar in Florence I’ve been too but it’s not well marked.  LUCKILY, it’s about 15 feet from the Ponte Vechhio bridge so it is totally findable. When you arrive, you’re going to think ‘this is an all-white apartment building, not a hotel/bar’ as there are no bar signs and no one downstairs. Just trust me… get on the elevator and hit the top floor bottom. The perfect place for pre-dinner drinks with gorgeous views to watch the sunset over the river. 



  • Castiglion del Boscothis was one of our favorite hotels and we’ll definitely go back! It was perched in the hills of Montalcino – remote but only a 20 minute drive from the little town of Montalcino. They have a few great restaurants on the property itself. We spent 4 nights at this hotel and just explored the little Tuscan towns by day – we went to Montalcino, Montepulciano, Pienza and Siena. These are all beautiful quaint towns with lovely streets and cute local shops. 


  • Wine tasting. Tuscany produces some great ones (all from the Sangiovese grape) that are actually pretty affordable when you get them over there. I would suggest trying Brunello di Montalcinos, Chiantis (Classico or Rufina), and Montepulcianos. We also found their version of Pinot Noir, which they call Pinot Nero, to be pretty good. The younger and less pricey version of Brunellos are called Rossi di Montalcino, very good as well and a bit lighter/brighter than the Brunellos.


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The Amalfi Coast




  • Le Sirenuse: A standout restaurant- very expensive, but worth it. Go early for a drink to enjoy the views. 
  • La Tagliata: This one, unlike the Sirenuse, is really casual but a really fun experience. It’s a great family run place way up on the mountain.  They have live music one night a week so check with your hotel (they have a shuttle that picks guests up at their hotels) and try and book that night.
  • Note: The restaurants down by the beach are all fun but not outstanding food-wise. You are paying more for the ambiance and the view. Probably best of the bunch is Chez Black * fun fact – owned by an Italian movie star.


  • Cruise the coast by sea: Steve and I rented a private power boat for about 300 euros and cruised down the coast. You can stop and go swimming in some of the coves that are inaccessible except by boat, eat lunch and enjoy the views. You can also just hop on the ferry which is approx. 15 euro per person and see the coast that way – a much better option than a bus or a car service which is super expensive and also takes much longer on the small roads.



  • Visit the town: Beautiful town perched up on the mountain above the town of Amalfi. You can take a bus or taxi up from Amalfi. It’s a pretty scary drive but really cool. The town is just stunning, and quieter than the other Amalfi towns.



  • Hotel Punta Tragara: Is just heaven. If we had to do it all over again we would spend more time here and probably one less night in Positano. The hotel had a great pool and views. We  really enjoyed strolling around the town, window shopping, eating gelato and drinking lots of wine.


  • Head over to AnaCapri and take the chair lift up, the views from the top are great.



We’re off to Cape Cod today to celebrate Charlotte and Scott’s wedding!


Charlotte is the co-founder of the San Francisco-based wooden card company, b-spired, offering a fresh take on greeting cards (and we all know by obsession with greeting cards). Her taste is impeccable and I can’t wait to see her on her big day. Stay tuned for more on Cape Cod and their nuptials. A big congrats to the happy couple!

10448873_650554631687265_975843537_n slideshow_6-1image-21 image-41


Move over Hanky Pankys

Bear with me, boys…

I’ve never really been a fan of Hanky Panky thongs. I still own a ton but am always on the hunt for something better. Enter: ThirdLove’s Lace Thong (one size fits all and way cheaper). They are incredibly comfortable, stretchy, and available in a variety of cute colors.


10448960_1531733400388201_1328398442_aI’ll be ordering some customize-sized bras from ThirdLove as well. Friends have raved about the fit. The company also offers half sizes–perfect for women who have always been between cup sizes. Genius, right? Here’s more on how the app and sizing technology works:

Simply download the app, take two photos wearing a tight-fitting tank, and we’ll determine your perfect bra size.

How does it work? The ThirdLove app transforms your smartphone into a virtual measuring tape. Our computer vision and image recognition algorithms determine the size of your body in relation to your smartphone to calculate your measurements.


Space.NK Summer Sale

One of my favorite beauty destinations, London-based Space.NK.apothecary is officially launching their big summer sale tomorrow. However, guests can gain early access online today and find products up to 50% off. I was recently introduced to the line, African Botanics, and it’s quickly become a favorite.


US300023512_AFRICANMarula Stretchmark Botanical Body Balm- great for pregnant and post-baby mamas!
{From $55 to $27}

US300023504_AFRICANMarula Firming Body Balm- this non-greasy formula improves skin elasticity.
{From $55 to $27}

US300023508_AFRICANMarula Botanical Body Hydrator- too much sun? Slather this on.
{From $55 to $27}

US300024246_AFRICANThe Marula Ritual- just the starter kit you need for dry summer skin.
{From $75 to $37}

Stay tuned for more great brands going on sale tomorrow!


East Coast bound

Packing list: cape cod
Since moving to San Francisco, I’ve become a pro at taking cross-country flights to visit family and friends. No matter if I’m traveling for a week or a quick weekend, I’ll only take a carry-on bag (a perk of having three sisters & their closets at my disposal). We’ve been looking forward to celebrating our friends’ wedding in the Cape for months and it’s finally here! Yes, I am already packed:

Happy Summer

Tomorrow marks the first day of summer. I’ve lived in San Francisco for four years and I don’t think I’ll ever get used to the “summers” here. I’m not being a baby…do you follow @karlthefog on Instagram? I have a few trips planned back East but until then I’ll be dreaming of summer cookouts, (warm) beaches, lobster rolls, (good) bagels, (warm) boat rides, Dunkin Donuts iced coff…I think seasonal depression has already kicked in? [For the record, it's an incredibly beautiful day today.] Have a great weekend everyone! Hammock-on-beach-Oberto-Gili-Courtesy-of-Ralph-Lauren-Corporation-810x1024one-pot-clambake-2-646a8be39d89850d4d45ae438f59ad2ed4ebeb4ecc11de7abda5f6a1ba4e38213b869b1001717fcd74cc6326305b1451c91 5a1e2c1ea154f3f4b04faf0ae06013dadae39a4ec0a5ab4fdf5323b4c0e53d45687aef4087a89a9aa92334c028d3eea75f3a1da0d1ad5af519d4e2a6806c6c1ef62ff6bedb07a7eac5afe055d1176e3a559a7debce76431434f825d73d4b1c9fa3e22b01485c2c94efd1871712e6e6e24dcf5d914c3a23f635943e7029dc2091d8bb5a35057473b612c9f088633752000d7b7c8be544a9721b86b594d5087850

All in the details

Wedding season is officially here! We’re looking forward to celebrating with friends this summer on both coasts and in the meantime, here’s a few images from the talented Glen Allsop who shot our wedding almost two years ago. And some helpful links for wedding attendees: a wedding gift guide and ideas for going off-registry here and here.

Courtney Jermain & John Halip Courtney Jermain & John Halip Courtney Jermain & John Halip Courtney Jermain & John Halip Courtney Jermain & John HalipCourtney Jermain & John HalipCourtney Jermain & John Halipfddaf90396400479efce6dc828dbcf71

Courtney Jermain & John HalipCourtney Jermain & John HalipCourtney Jermain & John Halip

Courtney Jermain & John Halip Courtney Jermain & John Halip Courtney Jermain & John Halip Courtney Jermain & John HalipCourtney Jermain & John HalipCourtney Jermain & John Halip

Courtney Jermain & John Halip

Courtney Jermain & John HalipCourtney Jermain & John Halip

Courtney Jermain & John HalipCourtney Jermain & John HalipCourtney Jermain & John HalipCourtney Jermain & John HalipCourtney Jermain & John Halip

Courtney Jermain & John Halip Courtney Jermain & John Halip

Courtney Jermain & John Halip Courtney Jermain & John HalipPlanning a wedding? Follow my Pinterest wedding boards here and here.

Baby soft skin

Ever since my Meyer Lemon Sage deep tissue massage at The Spa at Hotel Healdsburg, I’ve been determined to replicate the super soft skin I experienced post-massage. The lotion used consisted of locally produced and fragrant essential oils of Meyer Lemon (my favorite) and sage that were combined in a whipped souffle cream.

photo pgal-81851-1277766368-612x355-full

Some body butters I’m currently eyeing…korres-discover-korres-body-butter-trio-d-20130919121239603~289312

{Korres Body Butter}s1571207-main-Lhero

{Caudalie Vine Body Butter}


{L’Occitane Creme Ultra Riche Corps}

UK400006400_LIFE{Life Float Away Body Souffle}41xFVo+f4WL

{Jose Marin Whipped Argan Oil}

ETF_Body_Butter_zoom_1_1024x1024{Earth tu Face Body Butter}

s1217744-main-hero{First Aid Beauty Ultra Repair Cream}


{Kat Burki Body Butter}

Travel: South Africa

It’s been a while since I featured a friend’s trip abroad. Ana & Alex (remember their trip to the Maldives?) provided me with the just the inspiration from their recent holiday in South Africa.


STAY: River Lodge: Lion Sands, Sabi Sand

10333274_929438345979_7917496505119781265_o1497978_929438380909_523649904163531709_o 10317665_929439094479_5350502258152088576_o10348904_929438984699_4099851646202176450_oThey spent one night in the Kingstown Treehouse:

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Cape Town

STAY: Ellerman House

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Wine Country 

STAY: Delaire Graff Estate or La Petite Ferme

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2014 Summer Swimwear

Why not continue the beach-themed posts?Bathing suits 2014
1. Malia Mills: Dying to get my hands on one of these bathing suits: cut and sewn in America (and there’s something for every body type).  SF locals: check out MM at Marin Country Mart where they’ll give you a one-on-one fit session.
2. Eres: While these suits seriously pricey, they’ll last forever. I’m loving this coral one-piece.
3. Solid & Striped: I love this dark navy bikini and olive striped.
4. I’m a big fan of this J.Crew ocean- hued print and Emerson Fry blue and white bikini.
5. L * Space bikinis never fail and I love this “rock the boat” print. It’s reversible too.
6. A twist on a classic black one-piece by Rachel Pally. And if you’re a size 4: a winner.
7. This Fisico- Cristina Ferrari bikini is super flattering and on sale.
8. Melissa Odabash makes the best bikinis and kaftans.
9. In need of a sporty/ athletic suit? Try this Tomas Maier bikini.
10. Let’s be honest we’ve all stalked the photos of Jessica Alba frolicking in this Basta Surf bikini.

2014 Summer Beach Reads

With summer vacations on the horizon, it’s time to start thinking about your summer reading list. Here are a few top contenders on mine:

One Plus One: One single mom. One chaotic family. One quirky stranger. One irresistible love story from the New York Times bestselling author of Me Before You. You’ll laugh, you’ll weep, and when you flip the last page, you’ll want to start all over again.81ZultmqXDL._SL1500_

The Rosie Project : Arrestingly endearing and entirely unconventional, Graeme Simsion’s distinctive debut will resonate with anyone who has ever tenaciously gone after life or love in the face of great challenges. The Rosie Project is a rare find: a book that restores our optimism in the power of human connection.

9781476729084_custom-c00c1c6226f0b73f83d2c1738f4ac7b1334b6ee9-s6-c30The Vacationers: An irresistible, deftly observed novel about the secrets, joys, and jealousies that rise to the surface over the course of an American family’s two-week stay in Mallorca.


I Am Pilgrim: This astonishing debut espionage thriller depicts the collision course between two geniuses, one a tortured hero and one a determined terrorist, in a breakneck story reminiscent of John le Carré and Robert Ludlum at their finest.


We Were LiarsWe Were Liars is a modern, sophisticated suspense novel from New York Times bestselling author, National Book Award finalist, and Printz Award honoree E. Lockhart. Read it. And if anyone asks you how it ends, just LIE.we-were-liars1Where’d You Go, Bernadette: Bernadette Fox is notorious. To her Microsoft-guru husband, she’s a fearlessly opinionated partner; to fellow private-school mothers in Seattle, she’s a disgrace; to design mavens, she’s a revolutionary architect, and to 15-year-old Bee, she is a best friend and, simply, Mom. Then Bernadette disappears. To find her mother, Bee compiles email messages, official documents, secret correspondence–creating a compulsively readable and touching novel about misplaced genius and a mother and daughter’s role in an absurd world.


Remember Me Like This: A gripping novel with the pace of a thriller but the nuanced characterization and deep empathy of some of the literary canon’s most beloved novels, Remember Me Like This introduces Bret Anthony Johnston as one of the most gifted storytellers writing today. With his sophisticated and emotionally taut plot and his shimmering prose, Johnston reveals that only in caring for one another can we save ourselves.
bw-charles05071398892985American Romantic: Harry Sanders is a young foreign service officer in 1960s Indochina when a dangerous and clandestine meeting with insurgents—ending in quiet disaster—and a brief but passionate encounter with Sieglinde, a young German woman, alter the course of his life.
9780544196377I Am Having So Much Fun Here Without You: In this reverse love story set in Paris and London, which Glamour hailed as one of the “10 Best Books to Add to Your Summer Reading List Right This Second,” a failed monogamist attempts to woo his wife back and to answer the question: Is it really possible to fall back in love with your spouse?Courtney-MaumI-Am-Having-So-Much-Fun-Here-Without-YouThe Truth About the Harry Quebert Affair: The publishing phenomenon topping bestseller lists around the world, with sales of more than two million copies in Europe and rights sold in more than forty countries, The Truth About the Harry Quebert Affair is a fast-paced, tightly plotted, cinematic literary thriller, and an ingenious book within a book, by a dazzling young writer. bw-books0519

Monday Musings: Georgia Peaches


Peach season is among us (mid-May to mid-August) and we all know that the best peaches grow in Georgia. A colleague recently told me about the The Peach Truck which delivers farm-fresh peaches nationwide, making this Cali girl very happy. What a sweet gift idea, too. Order your box of 13 fresh Georgia peaches online. And here are 61 fresh summer peach recipes to inspire.

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24 hours in Carmel

I often refer to Carmel as my ‘happy place’. There’s something refreshing about the food, shopping, beaches, and overall feel of the area. The drive from Santa Barbara to Carmel was the longest stretch of our 5-day road trip. And at times, the scariest. Pacific Coast Highway is no joke and thankfully, I was never behind the wheel. In fact, I was banned from driving once everyone saw my parallel parking skills (or lack thereof). Backseat passenger for life!
Taking it all in...nothing to see here!

Just minding my own business…nothing to see here!

 No matter how many times you drive through Big Sur or Pebble Beach, the scenery never gets old.
Breakfast: Carmel Belle
Lunch: The Bench. It’s pricey but the views make it worth every penny. I’m usually not a dessert person, especially at lunch, but the Wood-Roasted Strawberries with Crumble Topping, Balsamic Glaze and Cheesecake Ice Cream was to die for.
Dinner: La Bicyclette. This restaurant has become a Carmel staple for us.
Cypress Inn. We love staying at this charming and cozy Inn (if you aren’t a dog lover, this isn’t the place for you).
Elizabeth W (remember this post?), Paloosh, Girl Boy Girl, Cottage of Sweets: there’s nothing better than perusing the shops around the quaint little town of Carmel-by-the-Sea.
17-Mile Drive
Big Sur. Grab a drink at Post Ranch Inn- be sure to take note of their dress code. Or for something more casual like a burger and a beer, head to Nepenthe Restaurant for the incredible views.

24 hours in Santa Barbara

My husband and I took a day trip to Santa Barbara on Valentine’s Day in 2010. We planned on “winging it” and ended up wandering aimlessly and ultimately posting up at a tasting room in town. To be honest, we didn’t leave with the best impression. So I was wary when we headed to SB after a night in LA. As it turns out, Santa Barbara is a true gem. Scroll down to read about our adventures and recommendations. DSC_0433

Breakfast: Four Seasons The Biltmore. Enjoy Sunday Brunch on the Bella Vista terrace.
Lunch: Brophy Bros. A great spot to enjoy some seafood along the harbor.
Dinner: Stonehouse at San Ysidro Ranch. This was the best dining experience I’ve had in years. Seeing Conan O’Brian wasn’t too shabby either.

Canary (in town). We stayed here and loved our over-sized room and beachy decor.
Four Seasons The Biltmore (on the beach). The beach club is only accessible to guests and the pool looked so dreamy.
State Street. This bustling street has something for everyone.
Montecito Country Mart (clearly I’m a fan of Jim Rosenfield’s country marts!)
Spa treatment at Ojai Valley Inn & Spa

The road to the Cup: NY vs. LA

I haven’t been this excited for a Stanley Cup match-up in years. New York vs. Los Angeles. A battle of the coasts. Does it get any better?

My love affair with ice hockey began in the 90s when my dad would take us to MSG to watch the New York Rangers play. Anyone would have fallen in love with the sport. The Rangers were a cup-winning team with Mark Messier, Wayne Gretzky, Brian Leetch, Mike Richter and Adam Graves (first childhood crush). We have the best memories.

The most awk fans alive. Let's party like it's 199...4!

The most awk fans alive. Let’s party like it’s 199…4!

Since college graduation, we’ve been all over the map. We were die-hard Capitals fan when we lived in DC. My sisters and I were on an ESPN Caps commercial, see below.

Warning: the beers are lethal at the Verizon Center. You could end up fracturing your foot (yes, that happened). Cheers to double chins!

Warning: the beers are lethal at the Verizon Center. You could end up fracturing your foot (yes, that happened). Cheers to double chins!

As an LA resident, I cheered on the Kings (solely because of our friend Jonathan Quick who is easily the best goaltender in the league). I’m a fan of the Chicago Blackhawks and at times the Detroit Red Wings (happy, John?). I think I’m what one would call a fair-weathered fan?

My husband is so mature at hockey games.

My husband is so mature at hockey games.

Two things have remained steadfast though. My dislike for the  Pittsburgh Penguins. And The Sharks? No way, Jose (get it?).

My dad is also so mature...such a pissah!

My dad is also so mature…such a pissah!

And now I’m left to choose between the Rangers and the Kings. After a quick (no pun intended) debate at home, I’ve decided to honor my roots. For the next couple weeks, we’re New York fans rooting for blue. It’s been a long time since they’ve brought the cup home. Side note: it will also make signing onto Facebook more tolerable as my newsfeed is bombarded with East Coast friends professing their love for the best city in the world! The best hockey team in the world! The best fans! ;)


Well played, New York.

Let’s go Rangers!! I think?
When George and Barbara Bush slippers were all the rage...

When George and Barbara Bush slippers were all the rage…


24 hours in Los Angeles

We departed San Diego around 9:30am and made our way up to Los Angeles, stopping in Laguna Beach and Santa Monica. We lunched at Zinc Cafe & Market in Laguna, window shopped, and checked out the beach. In Santa Monica, we had a drink at Shutters on the Beach, checked out the new Palihouse, and browsed boutiques on Montana Avenue. If you have time, stop by Abbot Kinney which is one of my favorite areas in LA.


Breakfast: Toast. Always. Celeb sighting: Mark Wahlberg.
Lunch: Joan’s on Third. I replicated their butterleaf lettuce salad with french feta, dried cranberries & Joan’s vinaigrette at my wedding. Celeb sighting: 0
Dinner: Laurel Hardware. LA is a funny place. When I lived there four years ago, Cecconi’s was the hot spot but we were quickly informed at the pool that “only old people go there now”. So we checked out Laurel Hardware instead. Word to the wise: make a reservation and request the outdoor patio. We waited 2.5 hours. Celeb sighting: My uncle Tom, the yogi master, who was bombarded by students so excited to see him out.

SLS Beverly Hills. The people They offer complimentary transportation (in baller vehicles) to take you anywhere you want to go.

Milk Boutique
Robertson Boulevard: Madison, REISS, Intermix, Alice & Olivia, Nanette Lepore, Vince. Celeb sighting: Josh Groban and his cute puppy (little did he know I was stalking his Instagram account from the table next to his).
Brentwood Country Mart: Sugar Paper, Calypso, Velvet, Unionmade, Space.NK, Roberta Roller Rabbit, Malia Mills.

Walk Zuma Beach and have a drink at Nobu in Malibu. Celeb sighting: Cuba Gooding Jr.
Take a yoga class with my uncle, Tom Jermain, at YogaWorks in West Hollywood. He’s a hoot!

24 hours in San Diego

Last Thursday I flew to San Diego for a five-day road trip with friends. On the itinerary: two nights in San Diego and one night stays in Los Angeles, Santa Barbara, and Carmel with stops at Laguna Beach, Santa Monica, and Big Sur. We rented a 4-door Jeep Wrangler through Avis (highly recommend) and had ourselves a grand old time. Over the next few days I’ll be sharing our recommendations on how to make the most of your time in each of the four cities. First stop: San Diego!

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Breakfast: The Cottage. Dine out on the patio and enjoy the farm-fresh eggs.
Lunch: Cody’s La Jolla. A charming Southern California restaurant with succulents, views of the ocean, and delicious food.
Dinner: George’s at the Cove. Go for the incredible view and sunset (sit outside on the ocean terrace). The sticky toffee Pudding Cake was delicious.

La Valencia Hotel: Located in the heart of La Jolla, this hotel evokes old-world-charm with Spanish mosaics and Mediterranean influenced architecture.

Cedros Avenue Design District in Solana Beach. We enjoyed a leisurely shopping excursion down Cedros Ave. making stops at my favorite home decor shops: Bixby & Ball, SoLo, and Wax and Whimsy for novelty items. PS: The Benefit in La Jolla has a blowout bar…first one I’ve come across!

Visit La Jolla Cove and veg out (take advantage of the hotel pool).


Sugar Paper

I’ve collected greeting cards and stationary for as long as I can remember–something I definitely inherited from my mom who has shelves stocked with cute thank you notes, birthday cards, Valentine’s Day cards (you name it). I even made Pinterest board dedicated to ‘Invitations, Cards + Stationary‘, fueling my obsession.

I first came across Sugar Paper stationary when I visited the Bespoke Home in Palo Alto and fell in love with all of the letterpress options. I made a mental note to look into the company and it was a happy accident when I stumbled upon Sugar Paper’s stationary shop this past weekend at Brentwood Country Mart. I walked away with some beautifully crafted greeting cards and still can’t get their customized stationary off my mind…

Sugar Paper productimage-picture-elephant-hello-note-set-1592 productimage-picture-sassy-note-set-1259 productimage-picture-birthday-boy-crown-card-785 productimage-picture-baby-giraffe-card-1029 productimage-picture-saloon-father-s-day-card-1201Customized Stationary and Business Cards:

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I’ve learned



I’ve learned that no matter what happens, or how bad it seems today,
life does go on, and it will be better tomorrow.

I’ve learned that you can tell a lot about a person by the way he/she handles these three things:
a rainy day, lost luggage, and tangled Christmas tree lights.

I’ve learned that regardless of your relationship with your parents,
you’ll miss them when they’re gone from your life.

I’ve learned that making a ‘living’ is not the same thing as ‘making a life’.

I’ve learned that life sometimes gives you a second chance.

I’ve learned that you shouldn’t go through life with a catcher’s mitt on both hands;
you need to be able to throw some things back.

I’ve learned that whenever I decide something with an open heart,
I usually make the right decision.

I’ve learned that even when I have pains,
I don’t have to be one.

I’ve learned that every day you should reach out and touch someone.
People love a warm hug, or just a f riendly pat on the back.

I’ve learned that I still have a lot to learn.

I’ve learned that people will forget what you said,
people will forget what you did,
but people will never forget how you made them feel.

JAMCOURT does Cali

Greetings from San Diego! I’m here with one of my best friends from New York (we were college roommates and nicknamed ‘JAMCOURT’). For the next few days we’ll be cruising up the Pacific Coast Highway with some other great friends along the way, ending in San Francisco. I’m so excited to have her on the West Coast for over a week!


In the meantime, follow our travels on Instagram @cometococo.

Spring Cleaning :: My Medicine Cabinet

I’ll never forget when my cousin came to visit me in San Francisco for the first time years ago. After touring her through our apartment, she entered the bathroom and quipped: “Court, no wonder you’re always broke.” It’s true. I’m a product junkie through and through (as evidenced here and here). Just when I say to myself, ‘Okay, Court you’re good on the product front’, I’ll read about a new, innovative eye cream…

I’m happy with my products but I’m sure that will all change when I visit Follain’s new Nantucket shop in July!

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My daily regimen in order of use:

Cleanser: Malin + Goetz Grapefruit Cleanser. I use a dime size amount of this cleanser 2x/day with my Clarisonic brush 1x/day.

Toner: Mario Badescu Facial Spray with Aloe, Herbs and Rosewater. I’ve been using this facial spray for a decade now and it will always remain a staple in my medicine cabinet.

Serum: Tata Harper Rejuvenating Serum for the anti-aging qualities. It’s the perfect prep before applying moisturizer.

Eye Cream: Darphin Wrinkle Corrective Eye Contour Cream. My sister and I purchased this during a bout with the Sunday scaries and it’s turned out to be a great buy (phew).

Moisturizer: Natura Bisse The Cure: It’s a balm-like tinted moisturizer that I’ve been reading about for years and finally popped for it. I’ve only been using it for about a week so stay tuned.

2x / week I alternate between a mask and peel to get rid of dead skin cells (remember the cleaner your skin, the more effectively your products can penetrate the layers):

Peel: Rodical Super Acids X-treme Acid Rush Peel 

Mask/ exfoliator: 100% Pure Brightening Scrub and Mask

Gift Guide: For the Graduate

My not-so-little brother graduates from high school this month which just blows my mind (re-cap on when he was born here). He would not appreciate any of the below so I’ll wait to buy him something until he graduates from college. Sorry, Nick #lovesya.

1. Congratulations, by the way: Some Thoughts on Kindness (everyone remembers this convocation speech)



2. A handsome watch.

For him: Shinola


For her: Daniel Wellington


3. The Art of the Handwritten Note with Personalized Stationary  (I’m a fan of Crane)

4. Custom bracelet with the graduate’s high school or college coordinates from Coordinates Collection

5. Smythson Cufflink Box (that hopefully he will appreciate one day)

6. Silver-Plated Engravable Frame

7. Mulholland Six Ounce Captive Top Flask

9. The Uptown Cosmetic Bag

10. A Herend Figurine (a classic collectors’ item)


A San Francisco Office Tour

One of the best things about living in SF has been learning about all the fascinating projects my friends get to work on here. And, along those lines seeing where they work. I took a tour of my friend’s waterfront office located in the Dogpatch and it was one of the coolest and more forward thinking setups I’ve seen in a while (completely ecofabulous with lots of Cradle To Cradle products and Fireclay Tile).

Station A, the newly formed innovation arm of NRG energy, is disrupting the traditional energy marketing through micro-CHP and local, distributed energy generation. They wanted to build a new office that highlights their small-scale energy approach on the site of their huge, decommissioned power plant in San Francisco. – via Vital Inc.

Gone are the days of cubicles, fluorescent lights and standard office furniture. They even had New York bagels in the freezer. I mean…when can I move in?

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And here’s what every office trash room should look like. Waste not!



Weekend Notes

Despite the fact that I spent the majority of the weekend working, I managed to sneak in some fun activities along the way.

1. FOUND: the best dessert in San Francisco. Friends and co-workers have been telling me to check out 1760 in my neighborhood for weeks. John and I finally dined there on Friday night. Highly recommend!

{warm banana bread‘chunky monkey’ ice cream. peanut butter crunch} 

photo2. It’s peony season! You bet I went crazy at The Bud Stop.


{A congratulations bouquet for my friend and her new baby. Check out the little two-week-old munchkin below!}


3. On Saturday night we took a cooking class at Sur La Table on Union Street. My friend Molly found a killer deal on the “French Favorites at Home” class. Oui, oui!

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{Bittersweet Chocolate Crème Brûlée}

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{Anytime you take a class at Sur La Table, you receive 10% off anything in the store. I finally got my hands on this Mosser Jadeite Cake Stand. And how cute are those floral placemats?}

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5. The new Nike store is open for business on Union Street. Maybe it’s finally time to get some new sneaks–I’ve had my eye on these black ones.

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6. I successfully managed to avoid another year of Bay to Breakers (I hate crowds and costumes). My sister and her friend made a cute Tinkerbell/ Peter Pan duo though.

{How you feelin today, ladies?}


10 hangover cures for Bay to Breakers participants (#1 makes me lol: don’t get your hopes up). Happy Monday! Womp, womp.


Tea time

My sister realized on Sunday afternoon that it was our last chance to see the Georgia O’Keeffe Lake George exhibit which we’ve been meaning to check out since February. Procrastinators. We quickly jumped in her mini coop and made it to Golden Gate Park thanks to my driving skills (I’ve watched The Italian Job one too many times). Unfortunately, the exhibit was sold out so we made our way over to the Japanese Tea Garden. Goodbye Sunday Scaries!

DSC_0420 DSC_0422DSC_0424 DSC_0431 DSC_0435 DSC_0438 DSC_0445DSC_0453And this cat below made missing the exhibit okay in my book. Yes, he was for realz.


While we didn’t enjoy any refreshments in the Tea House, it got me very excited to visit Peter Luong’s newly opened Song Tea & Ceramics shop in Pacific Heights. Click below to see some images of his new space:

Continue reading

Healdsburg: A day trip

It was Spring allocation weekend at Williams Selyem winery (arguably one of John’s favorite days of the year) so we made our way to Healdsburg to pickup the goods. We spent time exploring the property and then made our way to SHED for a late lunch. It was a beautiful day and great to see Napa looking so lush again.

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Game Changer: Klorane dry shampoo

When I read about Alex’s morning routine a few months back, I could relate to her hair struggles:

I shower everyday. I have to wash my hair. There are only about 2 days out of the year when the hair gods look down upon me and say, “Go forth Alex. Your hair won’t be greasy today.”

I’ve heard it from every hair dresser and colorist: “Courtney, stop washing your hair everyday”. I know, I knowwww. I’ve tried to “train” my hair. I thought I tried every dry shampoo on the market. Nothing worked. Then I heard about about Klorane Gentle Dry Shampoo with Oat Milk at Cooper Alley. I was skeptical but decided to give it a try.



It sprays out a white formula which instantly absorbs dirt and oil while pumping hair with volume. I’ve gone two days (some kind of record for me) without washing my hair and even received a compliment at work. Should I be this happy about having dirty hair? Even my sister who has much thicker hair loves it. I’m telling you, it’s a game changer.

You can find it online here.

Summer Makeup

Summer Makeup

Following up on Tuesday’s post about summer skin, above are my top picks for summer makeup. These products will help you achieve a natural, less is more look. For a night out, apply Koh Gen Do Aqua Foundation all over your face followed by dusting Chantecaille Loose Powder along your T-zone. For day, use a tinted moisturizer followed by Chantecaille Protection Naturelle. This great mineral powder absorbs excess oil without drying out your skin. I was recently introduced to the line ‘By Terry’ and love the Touch- Expert Advanced corrective concealer for tired eyes. Makeup artists swear by Cle de Peau Beaute Concealer for blemishes and imperfections. You should definitely add RMS Living Luminizer to your makeup arsenal (Giselle swears by this highlighter); I swipe a little on my eyelids and cheekbones. For lashes, Giorgio Armani Eyes to Kill Mascara and Maybelline Full ‘N Soft Mascara are two of my favorite mascaras right now. For cheeks, Nars Blush in Douceur goes on sheer without any sparkle and YSL Creme de Blush in Velvety Peach is great for a dewy look. If you’re a lipstick fan, Ilia ‘Perfect Day’ is great for brunettes and Ilia ‘Jump’ is great for fair-skinned blondes (thanks to the blue undertones). I also love Tarte LipSurgence –a hybrid between a stain and balm that will last all day.

I also just picked up this new Stanley & Sons Denim Pouch to hold all the goods! I liked the notion of having a masculine cosmetic bag:






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