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.

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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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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.

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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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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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{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.

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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…

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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!

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Scenes from Sonoma

Sometimes a quick trip out of the city is all you need to hit the reset button. Scroll below to see our Healdsburg recommendations (thanks, Mrs. Kirley!).

mayacamaphotophoto 3 photo 2 firepit photowine caveHealdsburg Recommendations:

 

 

Storq Maternity

I’ve been living in my black dress ever since I received my package from Storq. From my little experience in maternity dressing, I’ve quickly learned that it’s all about the material (soft, seamless and tagless clothing items work best). And this dress fits the bill. Storq just announced that their “Better Basics” line just received an upgrade– a good thing just got a whole lot better.

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The lowdown:

  • New Lenzing Modal and spandex blend. Equally as soft as before but about 50% heavier for a more luxe feel.
  • Fine tuned fits and expanded size range that spans Petite through Size 14.
  • Now produced in a Fair Labor Association compliant factory in sunny Los Angeles, CA. They consciously consume less and recycle more.
  • Free shipping on all bundles.

 

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:

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  • 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.

Five SF Bars to Try This Weekend

It’s always fun to switch up your routine. Below are five new-ish SF bars to check out this weekend if you haven’t already. All were named the Best New Bars: 100 bars across America by Food & Wine. Cheers to a great weekend!

  1. ABV (3174 16th St near Guerrero)

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You’ll find those behind the long bar made out of a 100-year-old elm tree. Let’s see, there’s a highball section. A wall of mezcals. Plenty of scotch. And it’s probably in your best interest to consider the Land’s End with Jamaican rum, lemon and raspberry gum. If only because what the hell is raspberry gum…

  1. Coqueta’s Bar 5 (Pier 5, Embarcadero Drive)

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Take in those exposed wooden beams and bull hides and warehouse windows looking out onto the bay. Nod your approval and start ordering liquid-nitrogen sangrias and Galleons (gin, acorn-apricot tonic, Spanish bitters…). But then there’s that bar. It used to be a patio when this place was Lafitte. Now it’s just a great place to see what the Bay Bridge is up to and ply your trade over braised oxtail paella and 180 bottles of wine.

  1. Dirty Habit in the Hotel Palomar (12 4th St near Market)

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If you’re grabbing drinks with clients, come here. If you need a little something before shopping in Union Square, come here. If you want some sunlight that doesn’t blow your hair straight back, come here. If you… well, okay, we’ll just assume you’re coming here. If you and a date are still feeling a slight chill, say “Get Me a Juice Box” to your waiter. It’s a thermos full of hot toddy, arriving in a lunch box with a PBR and enough housemade bar nuts to share.

  1. Trick Dog (3010 20th St at Florida St)

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Sit. Look around. What you’ll see is a dizzying array of bright colors—the yellow ceiling, the blue bar, the pink floor… the rainbow-like splendor of the drinks list. About that last one: the cocktails here are arranged by Pantone color. So when you want to order the olive-oil-infused-gin/Chartreuse Alligator Alley, you’ll look for green; for the beet juice/bourbon Pantone 7621, look for red. (For a martini, just ask for a martini.) It’s like picking out paint in a hardware store, but boozier.

  1. Trou Normand (140 New Montgomery St at Natoma)

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Sidle into your tufted banquette by the big windows. Note the twinkle of a fork. Great, now that atmosphere has been established, you can get to it. The name refers to the French tradition of a brandy shot between courses. No reason to buck tradition here.  And if you still want to linger even after all that, the bar beckons with Algonquins (bourbon, lemon, pineapple gum, vermouth).

* Bar write-ups via UrbanDaddy

Fall Nails

I took a hiatus over the summer from painting my nails (Mom, I hope you’re proud). But now that Fall is upon us, I’ve been craving inky blues, deep chocolate, and mahogany hues.

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OPI- Tell Me About William

Essie- Partner in Crime

Butter London (currently on my nails)- Come To Bed Red

Essie (currently on my toes)- Style Cartel

Essie- Fall in Line

OPI- Skating on Thin Iceland

OPI- Viking in Vinter Vonderland

Butter London- Royal Navy

Favorite San Francisco Nail Salons:

For Butter London polish: Beauty Company SF
For OPI & Essie polish: Joy Joy Nails

(and…my favorite nail salons in Greenwich, CT)

The Best Salads in the Bay Area

My Doctor told me to cut back on the carbs and increase my greens at my last appointment (yeahhhh…) so I’ve been on the hunt for delicious salads because there’s nothing worse than a bland/ I’d rather be eating mac n’ cheese salad experience.

Ragazza: The Kale Salad (Lacinato Kale w/ carrots, farro, avocado, radish & green goddess dressing). SO good you almost don’t even need to order pizza. Almost.

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Insalata’s: Syrian Chicken Fattoush Salad. A Marin favorite that I finally made the trek over the bridge to try. The fresh mint herbs and lemon dressing made for an incredibly flavorful and delicious salad.

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Blue Barn: The Tostada Salad (romaine, chicory chop, toasted corn, black beans, cherry tomatoes, jicama, scallions, herbs, pumpkin seeds, tortilla strips, white cheddar & chipotle-agave vinaigrette. Add avocado.)

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Marengo on Union: A whiskey bar with good salads? YES. The Spinach Salad (Laura Chenel Goat Cheese, Strawberries, Candied Pecans, Orange Balsamic Vinaigrette) or the Jerk Chicken Salad (Jerk Marinated Chicken Breast, Tortilla Strips, Feta Cheese, Tomatoes, Feta & Sesame Ginger Dressing). Good luck trying not to order the Fricles (fried pickles) or queso.

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Comforts: Another Marin favorite. Order the Comforts’ Signature Chinese Chicken Salad (shredded romaine & iceberg, roasted & chilled Mary’s chicken breast, toasted almonds, sesame seeds, green onions, flash-fried rice noodles, sweet sesame rice vinaigrette).

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The Plant: The Dino Kale Salad (dino kale, arugula, red quinoa, cherry tomatoes, avocado, carrots, cucumbers, toasted almonds, lemon cumin vinaigrette). One of the few restaurants that gets a kale salad right. The kale isn’t bitter and is dressed well in advance.

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ROAM: Farmer’s Market Salad (add the trio of mini veggie patties on a skewer).

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Evolution: Lisa’s Lentils, Brown Rice & Kale (roasted red peppers, grilled zucchini, julienned carrots, feta, fresh herbs, lemon tahini sauce). Be sure to also try the all day scrambles and apple berry chia smoothie.

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Rustic Bakery: You can’t go wrong with any of these salads. Asian Chicken Salad (sliced romaine and savoy cabbage with mint, cilantro, scallions, roasted chicken, sesame seeds and ground peanuts, with lime and peanut dressing) OR the Spring Salad (mixed baby lettuces, toasted walnuts, sliced apples, chives and Point Reyes blue cheese served with champagne vinaigrette).

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And…some delicious salads to make at home.

Friday Links

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Thirteen years later…the faces of 9/11

The Napa vs. Sonoma face-off continues

Why walking is good for you

Getting excited for my trip home

Pancake Art- lucky kid!

The Fashion Bloggers’ Guide to London

Beautiful wrapping with Indigo Hues

Top 24 Sights on California’s Lost Coast

Best Apple Picking in the Bay Area

The scariest house ever

Intrigued by this face mask

Sir and Star

Ever since this article was published, dining at Sir and Star has been at the top of my list. And it did not disappoint. John and I both agreed that it was the best meal we’ve ever had in the Bay Area. I was basically in tears over how good everything tasted. Truly.

SIR AND STAR
AT THE OLEMA

JUST FAR ENOUGH AWAY 
SINCE 1876

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The makings of our feast:

Dinner Rolls and Butter
Sweetened a Bit with Wild West Marin Honey

A Soup of Local Charred Leeks
Encircling Potato Salsa

Tempura of Squash Blossoms
Over a Salad of Jesse’s Toybox Tomatoes
Dappled with Baked Local Goat’s Milk Cheese

King Salmon Plucked From the Pacific
And Clams Culled From the Estero
Opened with Red Wine
Alongside Our Bacon and Annabelle’s Shelling Beans

Flat Iron Steak of Beef
Last Seen Grazing on Local Grasses
Now in the Embrace of Warren’s Onions and Young Carrots
Served with Bearnaise of Wild Stinging Nettles

Soft Serve Ice Cream Milked from the Cow That Day
Drizzled with Olive Oil and Sea Salt

Whale Watching in Point Reyes

I’ve asked for a pair of binoculars for the past three Christmases and no one seems to take me seriously. Call me whale obsessed. It’s prime whale watching season out here and while another trip to the Farallon Islands may be a little too aggressive in my current pregnant state, watching from Point Reyes this past weekend seemed like a good backup plan.

Jutting 16 kilometers (10 miles) into the Pacific Ocean, the headlands of the Point Reyes Peninsula offer one of the finest spots to view the gray whale. The areas around Chimney Rock and the Lighthouse offer some of the best whale watching spots in the park.

Saturday was beautiful so we drove out to North Beach at Point Reyes Beach to test our luck. While we didn’t spot any whales (if only I had my binoculars!), my husband looked on the bright side: “who needs whales when we got you here, babe?”
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West Marin

We planned a little getaway this past weekend to Inverness and Point Reyes. It was exactly what the Doctor ordered: good food, weather, and plenty of outdoor activities. Some snaps from our quick jaunt West:

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Nursery Planning: gender neutral

Nursery
We’re taking our friend’s advice and trying to get the nursery in shape before my 3rd trimester begins. Since we aren’t finding out the sex of the baby, we have to keep the room neutral (twist my arm!). Some nurseries and accents currently inspiring me:
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The Animal Print Shop
9bbc4dd709cde2c920e646384590d593f6b30fd3f12ee781018f0fd69f99383bPS: In other very important news, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are expecting their 2nd child (way to take the spotlight, Kate). Time to throw another royal tea party!

A golden time

Leave it to our good friends Sally & Bryce to find the perfect little spot in the woods (Dracena Park in Piedmont to be exact) to celebrate their son’s golden birthday. He turned one on Sept. 1. On the menu: sangria, watermelon slices, a cheese + charcuterie plate and best of all, homemade banana bread cake with cream cheese frosting. It’s a toss up between who devoured their piece the quickest: the pregnant woman or birthday boy.

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