Inspired by my friend’s gorgeous Thanksgiving table setting, I hope to recreate this for an upcoming holiday fete.
Have a wonderful holiday! And remember, just put the f*cking turkey in the oven…gobble gobble.
San Francisco-based Heath Ceramics is hosting their Annual sale November 20-23rd (20% off all in-store purchases). A visit to their showroom and factory is a must– sale aside. Dwell Magazine said it best:
People build a relationship with these products that have a simple purpose. Heath is like a farmers’ market for ceramics on the small scale of an artisan bakery–it’s as if pieces come out of kiln and go right into the hands of the customer. The whole process is very transparent.
How cute (and easy) are these turkey place card cookies for Thanksgiving? We’re having a potluck dinner and since I’m a terrible cook I know what I’ll be ordering from Sugar Mama Cookies:
Some of my favorite West Coast Craft vendors from this past June.
Halloween takes on a whole new meaning when you become a parent. It quickly jumped from my least favorite holiday to my absolute favorite, thanks to this little Bay Area shark. Hope everyone had a Happy Halloween!
I know what you’re thinking…a footwear post by someone who has zero shoe game (remember this post?). Well, I’ve consulted my cousin who is the sneaker queen and below is a round-up of chic sneaks to kick it in this Fall.
I love the mixing and matching of home furnishings from Les Indiennes. Based in Tuscon, Arizona, Les Indiennes produces textiles using the ancient art of kalamkari, an extremely complex printing method. The best part?
We are particularly proud of the fact that Les Indiennes never set out to industrialize or to change the way things are done in India. The production of our fabric uses no electricity, does not cause pollution nor does it disrupt the traditional lifestyle of the village where it is made. Les Indiennes provides fair trade employment for over 50 families, raising the standard of living for the entire community, and all the while leaving no environmental or social footprint.
For a list of retailers, click here.
Since the Farmhouse Inn’s latest renovation, they’ve been racking in the accolades (2015 Best 100 Hotels in the World (#8), 2015 Best Inns in the U.S. (#2), 2015 Best Wine Country/ Hotel Resort by Travel & Leisure…). So, when you receive an ‘End of Fall Spur Special’ alert, you book a stay. Today through November 3rd, the Farmhouse Inn is offering rooms for $395/night…truly a steal for one of the best hotels in the Valley.
Call or email to book:
707.887.3300 | firstname.lastname@example.org
Note: you must mention this special when you call to book.
More ideas for your Russian River getaway here.
I’m so excited to have a new blogging buddy…welcome to the blogosphere, Where’s Mer! Why I’ll be tuning into Where’s Mer daily (and truly, it has nothing to do with that fact that she’s one of my oldest + dearest friends):
- She does her homework and puts things to the test. Ie- she’d never share a cream she didn’t try or a soup recipe she didn’t love.
- An authentic voice. I mean, have you read this post?
- A clean aesthetic. Her manifesto? Less is more. And well, that’s just music to my ears.
- Passion. She didn’t start this blog on a random whim and never does anything half-heartedly. You can expect highly curated content.
So…hop to it! Happy reading
Pumpkin Picking. This post made me laugh x a million. Is it all about the photo opp? Who cares, I say. Seeing Hank and his friend George literally made me melt
after all, it was 100 degrees. With so many great pumpkin patches in the Bay Area (like Arata’s Farm in Half Moon Bay and Post Street Farm in Santa Cruz) you really can’t go wrong. We made the beautiful trek to Nicasio Valley Organic Pumpkin Patch, hijacked someone’s wheelbarrow, took a hayride, rode some ponies and had ourselves a grand old-time. Some pictures of my little punkins below:
Until next year…
In an Instagram lull? In need of some new accounts to follow? Check out these five accounts below:
- Linnea Telijas- Puranen : a graphic designer and illustrator based in Stockholm, Sweden, mainly working with creating visual identities, illustrations, posters, books, brochures and websites.
2. Stone Fox Bride: her “New Day!” posts bring me great joy each morning.
3. The New Potato: The world through the lens of food.
4. Glen Allsop: Photographer extraordinaire.
5. Erika Bearman: the former “Oscar PR Girl”. Her unborn baby girl’s closet…
Attn: Northern California Spa Lovers!!
The New Meadowood Spa opens on November 2nd and I’m cursing the fact that my anniversary has come and gone and my birthday isn’t until February. The new $60-million dollar renovation project looks incredible thanks to Backen, Gillam & Kroeger and interior designer, Leslie Hemmings.
The style of architecture reflects and respects the landscape: simple, rustic-modern structures with a strong connection to beyond the building itself, with natural elements flowing throughout. The color palette includes warm greys and browns, deep muted olive green, rustic black and natural flax textured linen. The new Spa offers a unique, all-suite concept, creating an elevated spa experience and giving guests a true sense of retreat and privacy. There are two relaxation gardens, one for women and one for men. Each features sitting areas, steam room and sauna and mineral soaking pool.
Read the full release here.
From the day we brought Hank home from the hospital, we’ve used our Rikshaw Design play blanket every single day. That’s 9 months of spit up, drool and…well, I think it’s time for a new one. Today ONLY Rikshaw is offering 50% off their Nautical Play Blankets (in seahorse pink and seahorse blue). Such a steal!
Click here to purchase.
PJ’s are just about the cutest thing ever in my book. I believe in splurging on a few pairs that are made to last (read: my washing machine can’t decipher between a ‘normal’ and ‘gentle’ cycle). I recently discovered Petite Plume–luxury pajamas for children and can’t get enough. They’d make a great gift and are wonderful for a special occasion. I purchased this monogrammed pair for Hank’s first Christmas (20% off this week with the code: WELCOME1).
A roundup of my favorite kids’ PJs featuring my one + only:
Also on my wish list:
Good old Trish. I forgot how much I love this brand until a recent trip to Neimans
for popovers with strawberry butter. I like to keep my makeup routine pretty straightforward and below are three no-fail products to instantly make you look fresh-faced:
- If this mascara is LSD’s favorite then I’m game too. High Volume Mascara: Luminous Pearls Collection.
- A co-worker lent me her lipstick in Vibrant 30 and I think I finally found my go-to shade.
- A girlfriend of mine (who is also a new mom) texted me the other day, “that moment you realize that’s not mascara under your eyes, just dark, dark circles from no sleep”. Well, here’s a solution: fill in the inner corner of the eye for added brightness with this pencil. Fake it ’til you make it, ladies. Or until your babies start sleeping…
I can only imagine the feeling of buying your first home. My girlfriend just moved into her own digs and said she still wakes up pinching herself. Naturally, I’ve been thinking about a nice housewarming gift. I came across these custom watercolor home portraits by My Sweet Rose and thought it would make such a lovely gift for a family member or friend. Who wouldn’t want a beautiful print of thier new home–something that would surely be treasured for years to come. Gift certificates are also available (especially handy when you are separated by 2,000+ miles!).
While we’re on the subject of greeting cards…have you seen Old Tom Foolery’s work? The husband and wife team pride themselves on creating unsappy (husband had a hard time finding funny cards when woo-ing his now wife) and uncrappy (high- quality / letterpress) cards. I can’t get enough of their Headline Collection…hilarious!
I shop local whenever possible. When I saw that a letterpress studio opened in my neighborhood, I knew I’d enlist them to make Hank’s birth announcements. Kristin, the founder, designer and printer, was amazing to work with and totally understood my vision. The best part? You can actually feel the difference of handcrafted artisanal letterpress paper. Her adorable shop is open Wednesdays- Fridays & Saturdays, located in Russian Hill. I also bought these cards for my baby shower thank-you notes. Highly recommend!
Written by: Meryl
I LOVE the fall. I love the clothing, the weather, the food… it is the time of year when everything is at it’s best and most colorful. Fall has a magical quality about it, despite the natural world’s slow- and beautiful- preparation for winter hibernation, most feel like it is a time of new beginnings and a fresh start (thank you, school calendar!). More than any other season Fall inspires me to set goals to learn something new, pick up a new hobby to get through the long winter months, dig into a good book, and of course spruce up my wardrobe. Here are my top fall picks:
Health and Wellness:
Since I am relegated to crutches for the next two months I have to focus my health and wellness efforts internally. Despite my super hardcore PT seshes in the pool (yeah those are two pound weights- look out!) I am left feeling like I could do more. I have been drinking a ton of green smoothies and getting lots of rest while reading up on some more unconventional wellness techniques. My favorite that I have come across is LA based Moon Juice. At first this appears to be just another SoCal fresh pressed juicery but upon deeper inspection you will find that the etherial founder Amanda Chantal Bacon has much more in store. Moon Juice offers a wide variety strange and intriguing sounding tonics, milks, powders, and dusts. WTF is Vanilla Mushroom Protein? Maca? Pearl Dust? I don’t know but their descriptions, recipes, and mission (and beautiful packaging) have me very intrigued. Thankfully I am going to be in LA in a few weeks and have made sure to put Moon Juice on my agenda so I can dig a bit deeper and see what I find. Rest assured I will not leave that shop empty handed!
Whenever I tell someone that I am moving to Chicago I get a pretty standard response. “Oh you will love it! Except, those winters… yeah they are tough” As a result, I have been on the hunt for the perfect winter coat to help guard against the elements this year. Here are a few of my two favs:
Mackage Villa Hooded Lux Down Jacket– For those unbearably cold days.
Cuyana Wool Coat– when you want to stay warm and feel chic.
A new fragrance always makes me feel like I have a new lease on life. Depending on the scent it can transform me into feeling like a fresh faced beauty out for an evening stroll to someone that lives in cashmere sweaters and always has fresh flowers in her house.
Being a fan of floral scents I recently tested out Hermes Gardenia Perfume and it was lovely. I am definitely adding it to my list of fragrances I want to buy for the fall.
I am really getting into this old school denim trend and although I think it will be difficult to find the perfect pair I am willing to try! Redone denim has a pretty impressive selection and an inspirational instagram account that may convince any doubters that those faded jeans of yesteryear could ever look good again.
Like coats I have been doing some pretty intense boot research for this upcoming winter. I am deliberating between the classic american bean boot with some extra warmth built in and the stylish but functional dubarry boots from across the pond. And if the winter turns out not to be that bad maybe I will try and catch these beauties on sale later in the season :)
It would not be a Come to Coco post without a product wishlist (emphasis on the wishlist portion of this post) so here goes my latest:
As far as a new hobby for the fall I am thinking I will enlist my pal Kristin to learn me in the ways of ceramics when I am in LA for a visit- she makes beautiful stuff! And I have been dying to curl up by the fire with a cup of hot coco and dig into this book and then this one!
Happy Fall Everyone and have an awesome weekend!!
Written by: Meryl
Nothing warms the soul when the weather is starting to cool quite like a good fall soup. Soup is also a great way to get more veggies in your diet (something I am always striving to do). Since the purchase of my Vitamix I have become a veritable soup factory and although I have yet to generate any recipes of my own I have found a few that have become all time favorites. Hope you enjoy:
- Goop’s Roasted Kabocha Squash Soup: I recently made this with my mom while down in Charleston. Whole Foods did not have Kabocha squash but they recommended Kuri Squash as an alternative. I had never had either so I was excited to try whatever they had on hand. I was completely blown away by the flavor of the Kuri Squash. It was creamy, buttery, earthy, and the slightest bit sweet. We added a little bit of coconut butter to the recipe to ramp up the sweetness a bit and it was wonderful. It is safe to say this is both of our new favorite soup and I will be making it many times this fall season.
- Hemsley + Hemsley’s Chilled Asparagus and Almond Soup: It is a kinda a 1990’s spice but I am absolutely in love tarragon (anyone have a good tarragon chicken salad recipe they can send my way?!). Some complain of it’s liquorish flavor (I am looking at you Geoff…) but I adore it and always add extra to this delicious soup. I am not a huge fan of cold soups- especially in the fall- so I always eat this heated up. Definitely do not forget the garnishes on this one- it keeps the soup lively in flavor and colorful in aesthetic.
- Tyler Florence’s Roasted Tomato Soup: The perfect accompaniment to a grilled cheese is a great Tomato Soup. I love this one because it is simple and allows for all kinds of tomatoes. To really make the flavors shine in this soup I add a few healthy dashes of roasted red pepper flakes. The end of summer/beginning of fall is the peak time for tomatoes and really the only time I like to buy them at the supermarket so get em while the getting’s good!
- Tom Kha Gai: My dad loves to refer to me as “Messy Mer” when I am in the kitchen because I am often making recipes that require a lot of ingredients and I have never made before which leads to varying levels of chaos. This so called chaos often has me calling in for the backup of my two favorite Sous Chef’s my brother Kyle and my husband Geoff. Because I am staying with my parents down in Charleston this month while I recover from hip surgery and they are taking such great care of me I have decided to spare my dad my first attempt at my new favorite thai soup. Inspired by a dinner with my co-workers down in Austin at the amazing restaurant Sway I am dying to try and recreate the sweet and spicy concoction they have on their menu. Here’s to hoping this recipe will produce something akin to what I had at Sway and rest assured this will be the first soup I make when I am back in Chicago in October- get ready Sous Geoff ;)
Written by: Meryl
It’s hard to believe but in the last two years I have moved four times (ugh). We moved from Colorado back to the east coast in the fall of 2013, stayed for a few months in CT (with some
friends parents), a year in Brooklyn, moved back out to an apartment in the burbs for about 7 months, and now we live in Chicago! What this has meant is that despite a short stint at my parents house in two years I have attempted to decorate 3 apartments. As we “matured” and we have moved away from hand me down furniture and Ikea dominated design I have found that it is challenging to strike the fine balance in a home where things are still affordable but look styled and complete. One of the best ways I have found to combat this issue is through using art. When I first started to think about what to put on our walls I was totally overwhelmed, should I invest in a really great piece that makes a statement? Do I have a few grand lying around to just do that? Sadly, no. So I was forced to get creative. Here are the tricks I have picked up to find (and frame!) great art in my home for a fair price and a sophisticated style that you don’t mind rotating out if your taste or design of your home changes!
- Consignment Shops: Home Consignment shops have some of the most affordable classic art there is. Looking for a hunting scene for your husband’s office? They will have it. Want some coral/botanical prints for your bathroom- guaranteed to be there. The additional upside to buying this style of art at consignment shops vs flipping through botanical prints at the flea market is that they are already framed, and usually with a custom frame job. I have two go to places in CT: Consign It and United Housewreckers and am really looking forward to discovering some new hidden gems in Chicago.
- Independent Custom Stationery Companies: I know this sounds crazy but so many of these talented stationery/invitation designers are beautiful illustrators and artists to boot! I recently discovered Our Heiday and bought three of Patricia Shen’s houseplant prints for our bedroom. I framed them with a simple white frame and am in love with the triptych we now have over our bed! My dear friend Lana Effron of Lana’s Shop who is also a successful stationery and invitation designer (who has been featured in Martha Stewart Weddings and many other venerable sites for her impressive and beautiful creations) also has a painting section you can order prints from or draw inspiration for a custom print from Lana herself!
- West Elm: No, I am not suggesting that you buy one of the run of the mill prints that they offer at West Elm but I am suggested you check out the artists behind some of their featured art. Many of them are doing a lot of cool stuff like Jenny Kiker of Living Pattern.
- Homemade Art: Yes, it is true- the girl who cannot paint her own nails has paintings of her own creation hanging in her apartment. With a glass of wine and a little inspiration from the latest trends in botanics or colors you can easily watercolor your way into an AI Freeman frame and call it art! It is a great way to get the exact colors you want to pull from your space onto your walls. See pics below but don’t judge too harshly- as I mentioned there was wine involved…
- It’s all about the framing: Whenever I am traveling I always seem to come home with at least one print or photo that is worth framing. Typically I would wait until it was a special occasion and get it custom framed at the tune of around $300. This can be a great way to go about it and make sure you have the exact right look. However it is pricy and there are other options. AI Friedman has by far the largest selection of frame sizes and styles in a physical store, they also have a variety of pre-cut mats so you can create a more custom look. I am also obsessed with Framebridge– a new startup that will custom frame any of your favorite frameables for $39-149 depending on size.
Once I got started I found there are endless ways to find beautiful images to hang on your walls. I would love to hear how you have perfected your latest gallery wall or reading nook!
Everytime I start to tell this story at a dinner party or over coffee with friends I start with a bunch of qualifiers, “I know it sounds crazy”, “I don’t really believe in this stuff”, “I was really just needing an outlet” but in all honesty Reiki has been one of the coolest things I have done in the last year.
I was initially attracted to it because I love to try new things; I started drinking kombucha in 2007 (and never stopped, sorry wallet), I have done the master cleanse a few times despite how insane it is (not totally convinced it is healthy either), I went to acupuncture for the first time without any ailment in mind- just to check it out… anyway you get the idea. So when my
friend hairdresser, Dena suggested that I go to her Reikist to sort out some unresolved stress with my job and life I was intrigued. Dena spoke of her Reikist, Ani’s almost clairvoyant nature and how she has really helped her understand herself better on her journey to becoming her best self.
For the remainder of the week, you can find her right here on Come to Coco. Whenever I need a good book recommendation, a recipe, an interesting bottle of vino, new bedding or face cream…Mer is my go-to gal pal. Last November, Meryl wrote a guest post titled, Winter Skin Regimen and ever since I’ve received many requests to have her post more. So all you Meryl lovers, rejoice! I can’t wait to share all she has in store.
I always get a kick out of Joanna’s, of A Cup of Jo, conversations with her son (see here). My sister was cleaning out boxes and came across some of my sibling’s homework assignments — honestly, where do kids come up with this stuff? Some great Monday afternoon reading material right here:
I like bread. It is good.
It’s all I eat everywhere.
If I am I’m at a restaurant I would order bread first.
If I was on an Island and I could have one food it would be bread!!
(editor’s note: we are definitely related.)
Mom, I remember when you used to give me baths in the sink.
It was fun!! And a little weird.
Now I’m way too big for the sink.
I would get stuck.
Clearly the best speller in the family.
“I would use my crystal ball to find out how my life is going to be in the future. I would find out if a boy like me and if so, who. And ask all my questions I wanted to ask then I would sell it for thousand millions and then spend the money for shopping.” [insert dollar sign eyes here].
My cousin Erin’s little boy wrote this gem. I. JUST.CAN’T.:
“Wawawa” I cried.
Ma passed away, I wailed.
We have to put an ad in the paper.
We’ll get a new one.
He was also deeply affected by Deflategate.
Clearly I’m in need of an afternoon pick-me-up. How exquisite are these cakes by Tome Coffee Shop in Queensland? Surely Marie Antoinette would approve.
Today marks four months back to work since baby Hank arrived. Someone once told me that you really don’t start feeling like yourself until six months back on the job. So, that means by Halloween I can maybe get past two pages of a book without face-planting into my pillow. Here’s to hoping. Some books that have sparked my interest of late:
Today is Rikshaw Design’s Annual Sample Sale over in San Anselmo — last year I picked up so many cute baby/ nursery items. If you are in the Bay Area, don’t miss out.
Location: 243 Sir Francis Drake Blvd | San Anselmo
I’m always on the hunt for fun playing cards (move over, Backgammon– Double Solitaire is currently my game of choice). Enter: Peep’s Paper Products. All playing cards are imagined, drawn, designed and crafted by my talented friend, Lou Skayhan. Currently selling Chesapeake Bay and San Francisco decks, these cards feature whimsical illustrations of well known landmarks in each location. Is it too early to start thinking about stocking stuffers? Stay tuned for more destinations coming soon!
There’s way more to Napa Valley than wine tastings and romance; in fact, it’s pretty kid-friendly. When the fog sets in during SF summers, we love to escape to wine country for some warmth. Fun ways to ‘disrupt the Valley’ with kids:
The Carneros Inn: Otto’s Children’s Pool complete with a ‘Snack Shack’
Calistoga Ranch: a family pool recently opened on property
Sterling Vineyards: Grape Juice Tasting for Kids
Robert Sinskey: Feed the koi fish
Eat (great restaurants WITH a kids’ menu):
I’m a sucker for good marketing. I’m pretty sure I was sold on swim classes at La Petite Baleen based on the logo alone. Then once the instructor strapped swim goggles and a baby inner tube around Hank, it was game over. Many thanks to my little bro for 1) not making me put on a swimsuit and 2) for enthusiastically jumping in with all the other new moms. Uncle of the year.
After sending the above photo to our family chat, these are the responses I received:
Husband: “How was he relative to the other kids?”
Sister 1: “The next Michael Phelps.”
Father: “Look at the size of his hands. What an athlete.”
Sister 2: “He’s so brave, he doesn’t even look scared!”
Bunch of psychos. Some pics below of my little fishy:
Monday’s post got me thinking about how much I want a dog. Which lead me to think about what I’d name my dog. Which reminded me how hard it was naming a human. Which got me stressed about what I’d name my dog. I digress…
Naming a dog is difficult. And critical. The name you choose will most likely be your children(s) password for the rest of eternity.* The New York Times even posted an article titled, “The Art of Naming a Dog“.
We grew up owning labs but when I was in college, my parents threw us a curveball** and bought a miniature teacup Yorkie from Texas. All five kids in my family have strong personalities and everyone had their own opinion of what the dog should be named. There were fights after fights. Our poor girl was nameless for weeks until one fateful Friday.
Her name is Beanie. Why, you ask? I’ll let my Mom explain:
At Nick’s little league game I was sitting on the sideline with all the other mothers. I had Beanie on my lap and was feeding her vitamins with a syringe [WTF?!]. A line drive beaned her on the head and she was thrown from my lap. Picked her up…she was limp and her tongue hanging out. Of course, I burst into tears. A father drove me to the vet and the Doctor said she wouldn’t make it….14 years later, she’s still going strong.
If you were able to read past the “feeding her vitamins with a syringe” line then you’ll understand where her name came from….
The odds of Beanie getting hit in the head by a rogue baseball were 1 in a million. Literally. She weighed one pound and my mom claims that if she had put her on home plate and given each boys 10 balls to try and hit her no one would have come close.
To any passerby, the name Beanie may sound trite but once you hear the story, we were clearly only left with one choice. It’s like they say in baseball, life begins when the season starts.
*I changed my passwords before posting this. RIP CHESS DOG.
** See what I did there?
I realize my posts are all over the map. You see, sometimes I receive requests from
friends readers on topics they’d like me to blog about. Hence, the random post on dog accessories today. I’m not a dog owner but my ability to scour the Internet when I should be sleeping has prepared me well for the day I bring home a sweet pup.
It’s light, versatile and great for navigating tight urban spaces or conquering rugged beach terrain
Since Hank’s birth my skin care routine has gone by the wayside. Time and sleep are precious and I couldn’t be bothered to spend more than a few minutes each day and night on my skin. I took a good hard look in the mirror yesterday
dropped a few f bombs and decided to book it to Sephora.
On my way to the checkout counter, I passed a section of Tony Moly face sheet masks. Two individually wrapped masks for $7.50. A steal. I decided on the Lemon Brightening mask.
I wasn’t expecting much based on the price alone but the effects were immediate. The best part of the mask? It’s great for lazy Sundays: simply lay the sheet-style mask soaked in the treatment serum over your face, relax/ stalk Instagram for 20-30 minutes and peel it off. Voila! You don’t have to wash your face after.
Try it out, if only for the scary looking selfie.
When Hank was born my Aunt sent him the sweetest collection of about 15-20 children’s books with his name (Henry/ Hank) in the title. Not only did this help me build his book collection but I’m certain that one day he will love reading about a superhero named Hank! The next time your friend/ sister/ co-worker has a baby, try it out (unless an unusual name is in play #yolo).