Baby Sales

I’ve got shopping for baby girl (sorry, Hank) on the brain and there are SO many sales not to miss right now:

Busy Bees– 50% off EVERYTHING with code: WINTER50

ella-ruched-bubble-pink-star_6ea4b0d3-cb13-42ce-9858-8c71ac950903_large

Marie- Chantal

bg3903q_front__45182-1478539187-1000-1000Neck & Neck– 60% off site wide

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Alex & Alexa– extra 10% off  all sale items

largeJacadi– 40-50% off

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Valentine’s Day Gift Guide

 

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{Embroidered Hearts Hooded Towels}

pink_and_peach_silk_ranunculus_roses_in_a_glass_pyramid_vase

{The Well Appointed House Silk Florals}

image_edb90993-4e3f-4611-a07a-44923a94dae3_grande{Nine Fair Custom Backgammon Board}

23020028030_19_1{Aerin Heart Frame}

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{Love You Forever Children’s Book}

fullsizerender{Hill House Home Mini Pillow}

molton-brown-pink-pepperpod-body-wash_2016_kbt034_xl

{Molton Brown Pink Pepperpod Body Wash}

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{Alexa Pulitzer Kissing Alligator Notecards}

warm-sleep-sack-pink-strip-coral_1024x1024{De Buci Baby Pink and White Sleep Sack}

uma_body_oil_1024x1024{UMA Body Oil}

malle_candle_large_large{Frederic Malle Tubereuse Candle}

Happy Menocal x Paperless Post

Who doesn’t love to collect beautiful stationary? I’ve been a long time admirer of the artist, Happy Menocal and was so excited to see her collaboration with Paperless Post. I can’t wait for my Orleans Family Crest stationary to arrive! Almost makes you want to go write some Thank You notes…;)
78cad9978bce4e4a636c80b9b9f2d0db74b85af2_1476851634Check out her beautiful collection of stationary and digital/ print invites here.

Glass Blowing Austin

When my mom and sister were in Austin together over Thanksgiving, they saw the most beautiful votives at Perla’s and tracked down the vendor: Glass Blowing Austin. Lucky for me, Santa brought me one for Christmas. I am absolutely in love with the aqua glass votive– it gives off the most beautiful glow that is just mesmerizing. If you’re in Austin, be sure to check them out or visit them online here.

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Rice DK Storage Boxes

Getting organized is probably one of your New Year’s resolutions. On the top of my list: deal with the overflow of toys from Christmas. Luckily, my friend sent over these darling toy storage bins from Rice DK–handmade with love in Madagascar. I am currently eyeing the CircusAirport and Aquarium boxes below. Finally, storage boxes you’ll want to show off!
bshou-3zcirc_rice_large_raffia_house_toy_baskets_-_circus_theme_large_1bshou-3zb13_rice_xlarge_raffia_house_toy_baskets_assorted_boys_houses_large_airport_1bshou-3zb13_rice_large_raffia_house_toy_baskets_assorted_boys_houses_medium_aquarium_1

Marye- Kelley

During my stay at home for the holidays, I’ve been picking up little knick knacks for my home in the cute little town of New Canaan, CT. At The Linen Shop, I came across the cutest wastebaskets, tissue box covers and mail holders by Marye- Kelley. Some favorites below:

lb1201{Sage and White Letter Box}

wb658_wedgewood_blue_floral_tin_wastepaper_basket{Wedgewood Blue Floral Wastebasket}

tb37

{Blue Waverly Tissue Box}

Neck & Neck

A friend recently introduced me to the chic European children’s line, Neck & Neck and I can’t get enough of this darling company. They’re currently having a 60% off sitewide sale. Perfect timing too since I just found out I’m having a GIRL in April! So many steals to be had…

screen-shot-2016-12-30-at-4-10-56-pm{Love this little jumper for my toddler}

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{I picked up this little Pink Knit Baby Girl Set}

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{A classic frilled collar bodysuit}

 

Fewer, Better

If you live in Chicago, NYC or SF it’s not too late to pick up one of my favorite gifts to give: the Cuyana leather travel case set. They offer live monogramming in-store (takes about 15 minutes). I’m a huge fan of the pebbled leather cases in stone, ecru, olive and blush.

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THE FEWER, BETTER EXPERIENCE

Each of our stores combines the service and instant gratification of a full store
with the intimacy and personalization of an atelier.

Early Closing For All Locations, 5PM:
Christmas Eve, 12/24
New Year’s Eve, 12/31

Holiday Closings For All Locations:
Christmas, 12/25

All- Natural Cowshed Products

Perhaps the most delightful part of staying at the Soho House New York is the bevy of Cowshed products in the shower and bathrrom. With over 20 products to choose from, I’m one happy fat cow camper. I’ve rounded up my favorites below just in time for any late Christmas shoppers out there!

Gorgeous Cow Blissful Shower Scrub

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Horny Cow Seductive Bath & Body Oil

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Grumpy Cow Uplifting Bath & Shower Gel

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Lippy Cow Natural Lip Balm

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Chamomile Refreshing Toner

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The Expectant Edit

Like many, I am not a fan of maternity clothes. The longer I can avoid them, the better (except maternity jeans/ pants!!). However, there comes a time when you just have to bite the bullet. A few tried-and-true favorites below.

Zara Oversized Sweater

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HATCH Collection The Bateau Striped Cotton Top

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T by Alexander Wang shirt (they are long and will last through your pregnancy and after.)

t-by-alexander-wang-classic-jersey-t-shirt

Kit and Ace Lilley Brushed Long Sleeve (my favorite right now)

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ASOS Crew Neck 2-Pack (size up)

1818590-asos-maternity-nabor-iz-2-dzhemperov-dlja-beremennyh-skidka-20

Ingrid and Isabel Active Legging

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James Jeans

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Paige Maternity Jeans

_13008655Storq Dress

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48 Hours in LA

Feeling rejuvenated and inspired after a Creative Retreat to Los Angeles. Sharing our itinerary below if you ever find yourself needing recommendations on where to stay or what to do:

STAY:

Palihouse Santa Monica

palihouse-santa-monica-bedroom

EAT:

Gjusta for brunch

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Grand Central Market for lunch

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Leona for dinner

LEONA, Nyesha Arrington

DRINK:

Ace Hotel Rooftop for Sunset Drinks

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Little Beach House Malibu

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DO: 

Bike Will Rogers State Beach to Venice

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Shop Brentwood Country Mart

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Hike Temescal Canyon Trail to Inspiration Point

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The Velvet Shoe

The Who What Wear shoes just dropped at Target and I’m loving the entire collection. And since I have issues and can’t spend $ on shoes (drives my friends bananas) I’m extra excited. Shop the collection here.

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Gift Guide: For Her

May Lindstrom ‘The Problem Solver’

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Veja Sneakers (I am asking for these)

emma-1924457-1475519059-640x0cMac Strobe Cream

screen-shot-2016-11-12-at-2-27-05-pmSLIP silk eye mask

838164_e1_pp

Small Victories by Julia Turshen Cookbook

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Peep’s Paper Products Custom Animal Stationary 

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Brush Essentials

screen-shot-2016-11-12-at-3-18-45-pmEtro Vicolo Fiori Eeau De Parfum Spray

nd-12525Ann Mashburn Sheila Beanie

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Maya Check Nightshirt

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Waterford Ring Holder

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Eve Lom Kiss Mix

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Kat Burki Micro Firming Wand

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Vince 3/4 Sleeve Cashmere Crew (on sale)

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Le Monde Beryl Velvet Flats

F. Martin Ramin/The Wall Street Journal, Styling by Anne Cardenas WSJ Magazine Shoes BerylGHD Professional Hairdryer (“you can absolutely suck at blowdrying your own hair and it’ll still come out soft and manageable with it”- Into the Gloss). OR this new one by Dyson.

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Herban Essentials Eucalyptus Towelettes to beat those winter colds.

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Classic Kule Shirt

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Jasmine & Will Monogrammed Pajama Set

screen-shot-2016-11-12-at-8-36-50-amTod’s Gosmmino Driving Loafers (or a less expensive version here

643860_e1_ppMisfit Fitness and Sleep Tracker in black and rose gold

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Hoxton Tote Bag

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D. Porthault Travel Trays

bluehearttraveltrayGlossier Milky Jelly Cleanser

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Mark D. Sikes Beautiful Book

61tcglizxjl-_sx404_bo1204203200_Morro Bay Dress

sc081-off_012Cuyana Leather Travel Case Set

5bfd6ee66fd0091ef8df7abbd9b741e4Amy Berry Gift Certificate for the dog lover (LOVE her dog beds)

dog_2x_c3a4ea85-381f-48d3-b639-176a9d2ec3c0_grande

 

 

 

 

Gift Guide: For Him

Cotton Poplin Pajama Set

a0924_wd4107

Bean Boots, 8″ Thinsulate 

okc087-iBloody Good- Killer Bloody Mary Mix

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Buck and Ball The Upland Jacket

screen-shot-2016-11-11-at-5-46-28-pmNative Union Night Cable

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Rhone running shorts

rhone-bullitt-shortsShinola Leather Wrapped iPhone Case

screen-shot-2016-11-11-at-5-39-53-pm

Sid Mashburn Down Sport Vest

screen-shot-2016-11-11-at-5-38-22-pmBob Dylan The Lyrics

9781451648768Sid Mashburn Spread Collar Sport Shirt

screen-shot-2016-11-11-at-5-43-40-pmBalega Hidden Contour Running Socks

8196-3368

 

Topo daypack

39a9031e0989c082b471f4cfd2193dc520a6a50e_1024x1024Aesop Post Shaving Lotion

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Sabah Shoes

5cdb5c9ec7ea29cca30dcb728f2693cd

Le Creuset Crepe Pan

312o5ejqsgl-_sx300_

Sleepy Jones Socks

george-repp-stripe-socks-feet-1Outdoor Voices Running Tee

3487311301-meringue-ea1e9d48Ghurka Travel Toiletry Kit

nmn3rm4_auJohn Muir Wilderness Essays

41pxz95epgl-_sx299_bo1204203200_

 

Gift Guide: For the Kids

Little People, Big Dreams: Coco Chanel

9781847807717

Y Glider Deluxe Scooter

a36fc7a62acd3d44e5be203481f18182Grosgrain Bows

screen-shot-2016-11-12-at-3-22-43-pm

 

Classic Yellow Raincoat (that I want in adult size!)

r4c-jye_1024x1024_81d18a80-1497-4c26-8c85-9cfdd0f258e9Waterproof Bath Books

bath-time-sandra-boynton-bath-book

Baby Pillow

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Andy Warhol Campbell Soup Crayons

andy-warhol-crayons-can-purple-additional-56e9a2a66e865-1500

Fold and Go Wooden Barn

88832da0-50bc-4165-9671-d526481ef91a-jpg-_cb293184704_Cleaning Set

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Sorel Snow Boots

 

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Debuci Baby Teddy Bear

teddy-bear-gingham-beige-01_1024x1024Green Toys Ferry Boat with Mini Cars Bath Toy

88bfbb9c-05b1-4904-b89e-5899a3712f4e_1-36bb5320bbae8db8c34fdb23cb0227ee

White Cradle for Micro Dolls

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STATE backpack (for every one purchased, one is hand-delivered to an American child in need)

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Minnow Swim Bathing Suit

static1-squarespaceOuch Sweetheart Bandaids

51sc4rltmel

Peppa Pig Train Set

50569040_alt01RH Baby Animal Slippers

rhbc_prod442518_e17812768_o

Thomas the the Tank Up and Down Roller Coaster (kids FREAK over this one)

233a-thomas-the-tank-engine-up-and-down-roller-coaster

Frog Umbrella

550274967_oSearsucker Duffle

screen-shot-2016-11-12-at-8-14-50-amThe London Car Set

large-1

 

 

 

Gift Guide: Stocking Stuffers

Yolke Eye Mask

h_30af0e11-d3dd-44d2-afdd-d89ddc1f80b8_grande

McEvoy Ranch Travel Hand Lotion

body_lotion_tube_lavender_140202Green Striped Boxers

screen-shot-2016-11-12-at-2-34-38-pm

The Yves Durif Brush

yvd-yd-02-main

Shinola Playing Cards

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Glossier Boy Brow

glossier-boy-brow

Beckett & Robb Pocket Square

1413586436_4Miss Mouth’s Messy Eater Stain Treater (seriously, life changing and non-toxic)

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SK-II Facial Treatment Masks

s1448463-main-zoomBull Sh*t Dice

kuh10027-131204-010-on

Givenchy Rouge Interdit Vinyl Color Enhancing Lipstick

19018

Barbour Gloves

barbour-leather-thins-glove

Rosewater Uplifting Spray

new-nourishing-rosewater-mist-600

HG Signature Votive Candle

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Hot Forged Steel Scissors

hot-forged-steel-scissors-box_large
Cocofloss Mint (truly the best)

31xl0asn1hlMario Badescu Drying Lotion

maba0067f_1_lMarcoliani Wool Dress Sock

screen-shot-2016-11-12-at-2-38-11-pmCane + Austin Miracle Pads

cane_hSoma Water Bottle

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Gift Guides…coming up!

Readers? Friends? Anyone still out there? I’ve decided to take a [permanent?] hiatus from blogging but couldn’t bear to go a holiday season without posting my gift guides. After all, how would my mom/ husband/Secret Santa know what to buy me??? I kid…

boxwoodwreathfinal4

Stayed tuned!

 

Baby Blankets

…the perfect newborn gift! Some favorites below:

Bella Bliss Applique Blanket

S010_colors_stack_large

Sofia Cashmere Baby Blanket

angel_detail_right_1_9f524bc4-7bd3-4217-8d6f-4db7056bbb37_1024x1024

Elliefunday Silly Rabbit

blog_Rabbit_Blanket_closeupDe Buci Baby Organic Waffle Knit Cotton Blanket with Lace

newborn-blanket-lifestyle_1024x1024Les Lutins

067cd3fbef29dbb558298258466d5565

 

Auggie Baby Blanket

cache_448_448_2_baby-quilt-voile-milly-2Baby Bespoke by Kathryn Beach

106_new_pink_large

 

 

 

 

 

 

Traveling with Kids

It doesn’t matter if you’ve traveled with your kid(s) one time or 50 times, it’s no easy feat. I’ve included some helpful articles and tips below that can hopefully appease any impending anxiety. And on that note, have a great long weekend and Godspeed to those traveling with children!

WSJ: A Parents’ Guide to Packing Light: Baby Gear for an Easier Vacation

Fathom Away: Take That Baby With You | 3 Sleek Essentials for Traveling Parents

MOTHER: Traveling With A Baby or Toddler? Read This.

Goop: Guilt-Free Apps to Keep Kids Entertained

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Some personal favorite travel accessories/hacks:

 

 

Veja Sneakers

A friend who has notoriously helped me with my shoe game (thanks, Mer) recently sent me a link to Veja sneakers. I immediately googled and came across a NY Times article titled, “Paris’s Favorite Sneaker Brand (That You Probably Haven’t Heard About)”. Marion Cotillard even named her three favorite brands for French Elle: Chanel, Dior and… Veja. Who knew? Move over, Supergas; there’s a new sneak on the street.

 

e05ea657-6194-44ce-8390-2bc7f322f061

Two Ingredient Pancakes

Anytime I hear “two ingredients”, I’m game; especially when it means I can get my toddler to eat eggs. A friend sent me this recipe and it’s been a game changer for our morning routine.

810Recipe below: Continue reading

Sabah x Nantucket

We’ve been long time fans of The Sabah Dealer (Hank was featured on their Instagram page here) and I was so excited to learn that we’ll be overlapping in ACK.sabah

Island agenda:

Friday, August 19 | 5-9pm
The Skinny Dip
23 Old South Wharf

Saturday, August 20 | Daytime
Look out for the loaded Sabah 4×4 cruising the beaches

Saturday, August 20 | 5-8pm
The Sabah Cottage
25 Orange Street

Sunday, August 21 | TBD
Stay tuned!

New to Nantucket

The last time I was in Nantucket, I was pregnant with Hank (aka a narcolept). I went from the beach chair to the couch to…my bed. This year I plan on taking full advantage of everything Nantucket has to offer. My rebound year. I’m especially looking forward to checking out what’s new on the Island:

Margaret Elizabeth Jewelry

BSP-MargaretElizabeth-Store-6.28.16-1043_1024x1024

Supta Yoga Nantucket

Nantucket-LBB-Meagan-Rohrer-Studio_largeNantucket Culinary Center

RM-Web-Whats-New-22-Federa-InteriorThe Skinny Dip

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And of course, my old faithfuls.

 

 

 

Le Specs

I picked up these fun sunglasses last week by Le Specs. A friend said it best, “they’re the brand you’ve been looking for but maybe haven’t found yet”. Le Specs’ designs are Parisian chic without the steep price tag. They offer both edgy and classic designs and feel incredibly well made (Solange Knowles, Miranda Kerr and Gigi Hadid are fans of the brand). Apparently, they’ve been around since the ’70s…have I been living under a rock?
SPL1602213

Shelter Co Warehouse Sale

I’ve been a long time fan of the San Francisco-based company, Shelter Co (see here). This Friday through Monday, they’re offloading hundreds of lounge furniture and soft good items including: brand new pillows and rugs just in from India. For great preview shots, follow along on Instagram.

large_shelter-supply-co-meriwether-canvas-tent-1

Details:

1251 Connecticut Street SF, CA

*
Friday: 3pm- 7pm
Sunday: 12pm- 5pm
Monday: 10am- 5pm

Esiphotography

A friend recently introduced me to Esi Seilern Aspang, a talented Madrid-based family photographer. I can’t get enough of her beautiful images; the settings are just beyond! If you don’t follow her on IG, you’re missing out.

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Eat, Drink, Nap

I can’t wait to get a hold of the new Eat, Drink, Nap | Bringing the House Home book: a guide on how to transport a slice of the Soho House into your home.

“In the 19 years since the first Soho House opened its doors, we’ve learned a bit about what works,” says founder, Nick Jones. “We know how to make people feel at home, how to cook food they love, how to make a room stylish but welcoming, how to throw a party, get the lighting right, mix a cocktail, design a bedroom and build an art collection. We’ve even learned how to grow our own, down at Babington House.”

They simply get it right every time. As I mentioned in my London guide, a visit to any location is a feast for the eyes.

spread-3 spread-2 beach style

Soothing Moisture Mask

I really wouldn’t know about having “too much sun” lately as SF experienced the coldest July in years (brrr) however, I’m planning ahead for our fam vacation to Nantucket. After a long day at the beach, Avene Soothing Moisture Mask is my go-to for curing dehydrated skin. The best part? It’s made for those lazy days when you don’t feel like putting in any effort. You can leave the mask on as an overnight moisturizer or wipe it off and rub in the extra residue. An added bonus: it won’t break the bank at $26/ bottle! AVE-C05139-main

HHH Robes

I’m all about that robe life + expanding my Hill House Home collection. Right now they’re offering 25% off robes with the code: crownsoldseparately. According to HHH it’s “The perfect robe. We spent months testing terrycloth to bring you the softest version imaginable so you can enjoy every minute of lounging in style.” Made in Italy.

ghhh-pairHillHouse_WillowRobe_navy_c223c379-5708-4801-ae79-e8a9d39f5196_2048x2048

24 hours: Carmel, CA

Back from a quick trip to Carmel where we celebrated my Father-in-law’s 60th birthday. Despite the short (and foggy) stay, it felt like a nice getaway from city life. Itinerary and photos below!

Stay: The Hideaway

Lunch: The Bench Restaurant

Happy Hour: Mission Ranch Inn

Dinner: Casanova

Post dinner: Rooftop at Vesuvio

imageimageimageimageimageimageimageimageimageimage

Summer Wedding Inspiration

It’s been a while since I shared a post on weddings and with only a month left of summer, I can’t help put share these gorgeous wedding photos from St. Barth. We’ve all probably seen this particular wedding via Vogue last summer but I came across a few more never-seen before photos on Pinterest. That dress!

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Nikon D3300

I’ve had a few people ask about my camera recently so thought I’d share since it’s now on SALE. The camera is fairly light and compact which is great for traveling. I’ve been so happy with the picture quality, especially when it comes to photographing kids– my new favorite pastime (see below). I also highly recommend purchasing this Nikon WU-1A Wireless Mobile Adapter. Game changer.

Z-d3300-beautyA few photos I’ve taken with my Nikon over the past couple of months (I guess it’s easy when your subjects are so cute):

DSC_0253 DSC_0267

imageimageDSC_0439imageimageDSC_0233

Brilliant Basics

I think I’ve had the same “it’s so hard to find good basics for kids” conversation with just about every mom friend. Either there’s a logo that ruins a tee or the quality is terrible. Enter: primary.com. The founders, who are both veterans of diapers.com, think shopping for kids clothes should be as easy as shopping for kids diapers. And they believe they shouldn’t be expensive. Personally they had me at “t-shirts without sayings” (and super soft pima cotton)…

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THE LEGGING

THE HENLEY

THE PETER PAN BABYSUIT

THE CLASSIC T-SHIRT

Summer Entertaining: Hester & Cook

Hester & Cook has been my go to for tabletop decor during the holidays (isn’t easy clean up paper products every party throwers dream?). Planning ahead for a family Lobster bake and can’t wait to put a few of these items to use!

Hester & Cook Lobster Paper Placemats

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Anchor Place Cards

anchor place cardsKraft Paper Runner

kraft paper runnerWhite Chalk Pen

white chalk pen

 

Nine Fair

It’s no secret that I am backgammon obsessed. Place a board and some good company in front of me and I’m set for hours. I recently came across a new company, Nine Fair, a bespoke backgammon company that specializes in handmade and hand-painted boards. There are even some customizable options which would make the perfect wedding gift. And, of course the Nantucket themed boards pull at my heart-strings…

board whale_prod_shot_grande board 22 ack_prod_shot_grandeFollow their Instagram account @nine_fair

Cacio e Pepe

Ever since I inhaled the Cacio e Pepe (translation: cheese and pepper) at Roscioli I’ve been dreaming of recreating this dish at home. Enter: The Hatchery–a group I can always count on for the best recipes with top-quality ingredients. The best part? Only 5 minutes of prep time. Simple AND delicious.

Cacio-e-PepeCacio-e-Pepe-3 Cacio-e-Pepe-4 Cacio-e-Pepe-5-683x1024

Ingredients

  • 1 Olivelle Pasta Rock
  • 6 oz. bucatini pasta
  • 3 Tbsp. unsalted butter, cubed, divided
  • 1 tsp. freshly cracked black pepper
  • 1/2 cup finely grated Pecorino Romano

Directions

  1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add Olivelle Pasta Rock, and boil for one minute. Remove the Pasta Rock and add pasta to the water. Stir occasionally, and drain when tender, reserving 3/4 cup pasta water.
  2. Melt 2 Tbsp. butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add pepper and cook until toasted (about 1 minute).
  3. Add 1/2 cup reserved pasta water to skillet and bring to a simmer. Add pasta and remaining butter, reducing heat to low. Add Pecorino Romano, stirring with tongs until melted. Removed pan from heat and toss until cheese melts, sauce coats the pasta, and pasta is al dente.* Transfer pasta to warm bowls and serve.

*Use reserved pasta water if pasta seems dry.
*Serves 2.

Travel Guide: Rome (eats)

I truly believe you can’t eat a bad meal in Rome. That being said, before leaving I found the end of the Internet really did my research to come up with the absolute best spots to eat.

Da Armando al Pantheon: My husband Snapchat messaged NYC Chef extraordinaire, Frank Prisinzano while in Rome asking where we should eat (“yo Franky, where should I bring my wife to eat in Rome? Bring your #A-game). Cringe. Frank actually responded with “Armando al Pantheon”. What a guy. Eat here.

Roscioli: Enjoy a long, leisurely lunch here and order the Cacio e Pepe and Carbonara. You will most definitely need a siesta after #carbicide. We absolutely loved our meal and especially loved the 15-month-old next to us who dined on ricotta cheese while sitting in a big wine bucket. No highchairs. Their pizzeria, Antico Forno, has some of the best Roman style pizza. Eat at room temperature.

Ristorante Nino: A very old school restaurant with a mix of chic international and local diners. It’s apparently Tom Cruises’ favorite restaurant, if you’re into that sort of thing. We had a great meal here on our first night.

Ristorante Piperno: located in the Jewish Ghetto, we dined here on our last night in Rome. The setting is beautiful and incredibly romantic (a couple got engaged a few tables away from us!). Order the Palle del Nonno aka Grandpa’s Balls. I was told it was one of those “don’t ask, just do” kind of things. Mouth-watering.

Da Enzo: authentic Roman food (locals considerate to be a secret gem). It’s not in the greatest part of town but it’s simple and unbelievably cheap!

Pizzeria La Montecarlo is a delicious sit down pizzeria with great pasta.
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Until next time, Italy! Thanks for following along.

Travel Guide: Rome (stay + see)

We watched Anthony Bourdain’s “The Layover: Rome” before leaving on our trip. While we weren’t overly impressed with the food stops on this particular episode, the biggest take away was Bourdain’s advice to: “Visit Rome slowly. You sit, you stroll, you take it slow and as it comes. You don’t go to see stuff, you let it slip up on you — one piazza, one fountain, one amazing structure at a time.” And, that is exactly what we did. It was the best-case scenario for such a short stay.

STAY:

Hotel Raphael: This sophisticated, ivy-covered hotel is located in our favorite neighborhood (and less than a 15-minute walk to the Trevi Fountain). Beautiful, quiet and quaint. Artists painting on the streets, old men playing chess outside of charming local coffee shops and beautiful storefronts around every corner. Book far in advance to get the best rates. While breakfast is included, skip it. Breakfast: quite possibly the only thing Europeans don’t do well!

Hotel de Russie: a friend put it perfectly, the hotel is “f*ck off beautiful”. We visited this hotel for a drink in the garden — a green oasis right in the center of Rome and only 5 minutes from the Spanish Steps.

SEE/ DO (besides the obvious choices):

Galleria Borghese: if you only have time to visit one art gallery in Rome, this is it. It’s been referred to as “the queen of all private art collections”. Also, the grounds are spectacular and worth a stroll.

Palazzo Doria Pamphilij: one of those places that popped up on us and totally worth a visit even if you skip the art.

Daniela’s Cooking School: specializing in Roman and Neapolitan dishes.

Every and any church: A hotel guest at Hotel Santa Caterina told us: “if you pass a church, go inside”. The best advice as well as a nice break from the intense July heat.

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Next up: Rome eats!

Travel Guide: Vietri sul Mare

A stop in Vietri sul Mare, famous for its majolica tiles, is obligatory on your journey home. The town is filled to the brim with brightly colored ceramic shops where you can buy one-of-a-kind plates, bowls, mugs, platters, vases, jugs…the list goes on. The majority of Hotel Santa Caterina’s rooms are decorated with ceramics from here (as well as the dinner plates from J.K. Place Capri which I went gaga for). We made out like bandits at Ceramic Artistica Solimene with a new set of plates, serving platters, fruit bowl, pasta bowls and Christmas gifts galore. The prices are out of this world affordable and they will custom design anything you wish. We can’t wait to put them to use and relive our precious time on the Amalfi Coast.

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Capri by Sea

We went back and forth on whether or not we should splurge on a private boat for the day and ultimately popped for it (thanks to a hotel guest who overheard us debating and interjected: “just work extra hard when you get home!”). It ended up being our favorite day in Italy. Worth every penny. Rocco, Captain of Kaipoe and Positano native, pulled up to our beach chairs at Hotel Santa Caterina and off we went. Our first stop was to the port of Capri where we wandered the streets and enjoyed Aperol Spritzes at J.K. Place Capri, a gorgeous hotel not to miss. Rocco then took us swimming to hidden grottos, opting to skip the touristy spots.  Our favorite grotto opened into a glowing green pool and through another tiny swimming a hole, a private beach filled with sea glass. Absolutely incredible. We anchored outside of La Fontelina Beach Club where the dingy came and picked us up for our 1pm lunch reservations. The people watching and crisp white wine on the terrace was the epitome of la dolce vita.

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image image DSC_0521image image image image image imageDSC_0544 imageimageDSC_0589Next up: Vietri sul Mare!

Travel Guide: Ravello

Everyone called it before I left…Ravello would be my favorite town on the Amalfi Coast. They were right. The expansive gardens, unbeatable views and quiet streets were a nice reprieve from bustling Amalfi. Only a 20 minute cab ride from our hotel, it was such a fun afternoon into evening adventure.

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Hotel Santa Caterina

Of all the hotels on the Amalfi coast, let me tell you why Hotel Santa Caterina is the place to stay. While there are amazing properties in Positano and Ravello, Hotel Santa Caterina the only luxe hotel with direct sea access. Meaning you can walk out of your room, hop into the glass elevator (holy views) and voila you have arrived at the incredible rock pool/ bathing area. No shuttle rides. No long walks. Even better? If you charter a private boat, the captain literally pulls up to your beach chair. You simply can’t beat that–especially if you’ve consumed too much limoncello the night before and need to clear the cobwebs with an early morning dip in the sea.

The staff is what makes this place so special. While very old-school formal, they have a way about them which makes this hotel the least pretentious place on the planet. Full of amazing characters from Pino: the restaurant the maître d’, always decked in a tuxedo, who affectionately teased me about my pine nut allergy (“Let me guess, Mrs. Halip–a pine nut cappuccino this morning?”) to Juicy: one of the fabulous owners decked in glitter one-pieces and over-sized gold sunglasses (the Italians really have a way of pulling anything off) and last but not least, Bruno: the hotel pianist with a slicked-back ponytail who kept the party going into the late hours (warning: his musical stylings coupled with the insane Mediterranean sunset may cause one to burst into happy tears).

Surrounded by lemon groves, terraced gardens, sophisticated decor and unbeatable views, this family-run hotel has my heart. I never wanted to leave and I can’t wait to return.

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