childrens’ Valentine’s Day cards


Happy (almost) Valentine’s Day from Coco and Elle!!!

This year I’m giving a special Valentine’s Day shout out to all the ladies in my life-girlfriends, MFFs (mom friends forever), sisters-in-law, mothers-in-law, mentors, future golden girls, godmothers and of course my mom. The power of women gathering, sharing, laughing, crying is one of the most important forces in my life and I couldn’t let this week of love go by without giving it proper acknowledgement. I’ve always had strong relationships with women, whether they be childhood friends or special co-workers. Each one has shaped me in some way and brought me to the place I stand today, and I’m loving the view. The icing on this cake is that I’ve been given the opportunity to share this phenomenon with my two girls. The other day Elle was talking about a team at school. Since she’s not in sports I was confused. She was listing names of her friends and when I asked what team she was talking about she said, “You know like you have your team.” Then she listed half a dozen of my best girlfriends’ names. I just about fell off my chair and had to keep my heart from bursting out of my chest. So many lessons I teach the girls have to be hammered into their head over and over again until the sound of my voice makes me cringe. But the lesson of friendship and sisterhood they got from example, seen in the play dates with MFFs, pool days with longtime friends and girls’ trips with my mom and godmother. Besides getting Elle to stop sucking her thumb I think this might be my crowning achievement as a parent. I might have peaked here. But that’s ok. If the girls get support like I get from the women in their life, especially their girlfriends, they’ll have plenty of ears to bend about all the other ways I’ll screw them up-ha! Happy Valentine’s Day everyone, hope you’re feeling the love!

Like my children’s’ Valentine Day cards this year? You can download them here . I printed mine out on card stock and punched a hole in the corner. Attach to a goodie bag with cute V-day ribbon and you’re good to go.

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Meet the greatest score of my life…these new boots. FROM TARGET!!!! So far they’ve been mistaken for Vince Camuto, Frye and Steve Madden.  Mother jeans, Target boots, Zara wrap (similar) and purse (similar).

The little town of Summerland, about 15 minutes south on the 101 from Santa Barbara, is one of those California gems that reminds me why my property taxes are so high. Last weekend my mom and I headed up for a perfect 24 hours to celebrate the marriage of this awesome couple. Saturday was hot enough to wear a tank top and then Sunday was cozy with clouds and even rainfall-FINALLY! That didn’t stop us from taking a bike ride down the beach and around the zoo, where you can hear the lions and see the giraffes from the path. Of course no trip with Mom is complete without a little shopping, so after breakfast at Summerland Beach Cafe we headed across the street to Botanik, to soak up the sun, succulents and beachy home decor. It is so special to have this escape only an hour from where I live, it makes for the perfect mini-holiday. Even if just for the day, take the kids and the pups (the restaurant is very dog friendly as is the whole town) and go for even a few hours. You’ll feel recharged and you’ll leave wanting more.


I’m not really an antique-y person, but even I can fall for the charm of this barn-style mecca.


Succulents just never get old for me.


Made this little mirror a memento from the trip and took it home with me.


So copying this idea of planting shells.


Santa Barbara roofs, awwwwww

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Merry F***in Christmas


Thank you Mary for this ornament and all your hard work.

Listen, Christmas can be a pain in the ass and sometimes seem ridiculous. As I type this, Elle is upstairs in the middle of a tantrum and I just yelled at her so hard my head hurts. Ho, ho, ho! I’ve been fighting the flu for two days and suffering from the exhaustion everyone faces during this time of year and I guess my fuse is a little shorter than usual. Awwww, the holidays. That said, I still think it is all worth it. There have been moments this holiday season I would have done twice the work I did to get a hold of. Seeing your kids happy is like a drug and we all do these crazy things just to get more of it. It’s a big reason why I do this blog. If I didn’t get this down right when it happens it would all fade away with the bottles, diapers, long nights, training pants, thumb-sucking and lost teeth. Looking at these pictures reminds me that out of the sludge that can be parenthood, there is joy. So much joy. The trick is remembering the joys as much as the pains, more than actually. That’s what this is, a reminder. So now that I’ve vented I’m going to go upstairs, take some Advil and make up with Elle. A nap wouldn’t kill me either. Whatever you celebrate, whatever you believe, whoever you are I hope you and yours are safe and full of love and life this holiday season. So thanks for listening and Merry Christmas-xo. PS-the site looks like crap, I know. Something weird happening with my theme and my designer is on holiday as she should be. Deal with it:)


The madness begins!



Cute by cute by cute.


It can all be a little overwhelming.


When I opened this platter my dad made me there were serious waterworks.


Sweet customized mama necklace from a new favorite, Fig and Ginger. Thanks cuz.


Breaking bread with this recipe for Christmas breakfast.

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kids holiday party ideas


You know that hideous Santa experience you see in the malls every year. Kids crying, moms trying, lines growing. Well, never again! This year we got our Santa fix with the girls and my niece at The Malibu Country Mart and I am a full convert. I also think this would be a great idea for a kids holiday party. We got there at noon, waited five minutes to meet the big man for a quick (free!) photo, then embarked on some cookie making, playground warfare and lunch. It felt like the sunniest day of the year and the easy crowds and gorgeous views really made me get in the holiday spirit. The girls were both in their new plaid dresses from H&M and I was in my uniform these days, bell bottoms from Free People and an Old Navy plaid. We’ll be off to Mammoth this weekend, so we’ll miss the next event hosted by the folks at The Malibu Country Mart but I highly recommend taking the kiddos to check it out. It’s a visit from Santa’s reindeer. Yeah, real reindeer-get you some! Ho, ho, ho!



Very serious cookie making.


Very serious sand castle making.


Playground chic.

Toms sunnies, Sam Edelman booties


Waiting for the big guy and the face off.


Mission accomplished. Well sort of. Elle’s never been a fan of the jolly one.


She opted for a sandbox glamour shot instead.






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Malibu Country Mart


Cookie jar illustration on flickr

Tomorrow I’m taking the girls on a mini field trip to one of my favorite places in LA, The Malibu Country Mart. We’re going to visit with a special guest (hint, hint-he drives a sleigh) and decorate some cookies, which is one of the girls favorite things to do. When I told Elle about it she said, “Done” before I could finish saying decorating. If you’re looking to entertain the kiddos come join us for some holiday cheer and if you’re still crossing names off your list come for the fantastic shopping. Planet Blue, Madison and Kitson are just a few of my favorite shops there and I can’t wait to get my taco fix at Howdy’s. Hope to see you there. Happy Friday!

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pomegranate martinis


We kicked the holiday season off this weekend with a pre-party where I served these pomegranate martinis and they were such a hit I had to share. This was the first specialty cocktail I’ve ever made, and it was so easy and fun I think this might be the first of many. Only part I thought would be tricky was making the simple syrup, which is just sugar dissolved in equal parts water (see tips below). It was so easy I ended up making extra to keep for future spirit endeavors. Bit of advice, the recipe serves four, so I doubled it for my dozen guests and still had to make a second batch. Don’t worry, we Ubered. Cheers!


What you’ll need.

Before you start, chill your martini glasses in the freezer.

(Love my martini shaker Jamers)


Don’t skimp on the fresh lime juice, it makes all the difference.


Pour all ingredients into a pitcher or martini shaker.


Ice it up, shake extra hard for ice chips.

Cut limes




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obsessed with…merchant + thread


I admit, my job does have a serious occupational hazard, buying clothes! But hey, it’s a work expense right!?! With access to so many good shops and style resources it’s hard not to cave and grab something from the rack for myself. While shooting for Merchant + Thread the other day, I had to try on this fantastic indigo jacket. Merchant + Thread is an online shopping site curated by Kathy Ha’o, a fellow So Cal native, globe-trotter and style obsessed mama. Her finds range from brand name deals to one of a kind pieces from her travels. These beautiful bags are a favorite from a recent Thailand haul. Kathy’s sense of bohemian style and surfer chic look are what make M+T such a gem. With beautiful photos (check out the rad behind the scenes shot she took below) and simple stories about style as a personal expression, M+T has become a daily read and shopping site for me. Hope you enjoy it too. Happy hunting.



Special thanks to my partner-in-style Marisa for letting me play dress up with her, so early in the morning.




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Happy Thanksgiving 2013


This will be my third time hosting our family Thanksgiving and now that there is more space for us all in the new house, I feel like the torch has officially been passed. I step into some very big footsteps, as my mom’s Thanksgivings are that of legend. But with the help of all her beautiful decorations and a few secret recipes, I think I’ve started to find my footing. Here are my favorite tips for hosting a happy and stress-free Thanksgiving. I hope they help you get through the day, and if nothing else make you smile. I’m thankful for all of you and this pretty little spot of mine on the internet. Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours.


Whether it’s a pint of ice cream or a labor intensive mashed potatoes, you’ve got to delegate. Even the non-cooks can shop, and even if they’re picking up the smallest thing, every little bit helps. I always make sure to get to them early so they don’t have to stress and they’re always happy to do it. Helping out makes everyone feel like they’re a bigger part of the process.


Make the favorites, put out a few decorations and do what you can, not what you feel like you should do to impress. It’s about being with family, and it’s not as enjoyable to be together if the host is stressing the over-complicated. As Mike always says, “K.I.S.S.-keep it simple stupid”. Or in my case “sweetheart”.


Photo found on Pinterest

This one I learned the hard way. With all the cooking, cleaning and organizing that goes along with this holiday it’s easier to pull a Bardot-type updo versus the long wavy locks I usually like on a festive occasion. Spice it up with an autumn flower in your hair or some nice long earrings, but keep it tidy. You’ll be happy it’s out of your way and not in the gravy.


At some point in the day or night, get out of the kitchen and step outside. Take a deep breath of fresh air and be thankful for it. Have your guests join you or use it as a moment to get away.


Photo found on Pinterest

Even if they’re not that artistic, make sure to document the gathering. It’s hard to get all of the family together under the same roof, so take advantage and say “Turkey!”

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birthday happiness 2013


Happy rocks I found in Santa Barbara last year.

I’ve been really interested in happiness lately. It started with some soul-searching I embarked on a few months ago, then it got kicked into full gear after a friend recommended two really intriguing documentaries, Happy and I Am. I want to know what happiness is, where it comes from, how to get it, how to keep it and how to pass it on to my girls. These films helped me answer those questions in theory, now it’s my job to put it into practice. Today, I’m doing just that. I turn 37 today and I’m making the whole day about being happy. So I’m doing what I love, laying in bed with Jack, enjoying a hot cup of tea and a new book. In between birthday texts and James Taylor radio, I am also blogging, Pinning and catching up on Nashville. Rounding the day off with a long overdue game of tennis with the hubs and then beers and tacos. Counting my blessings, ignoring misgivings and planning some giving-back endeavors for the upcoming holiday season. I am happy. I hope you are too.

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Halloween 2013

Halloween Costumes 2013

From The Little Mermaid-me as Ursula, Elle as Ariel and Coco as “Ariel’s sister”-typical.

It’s been longer than I want to admit since I’ve posted and although you’ve gone on with your lives, I’ve missed you terribly and much of my forward blogging motion has been stunted by guilt. Jumping back in after this long is a little daunting. Especially with this on-the-fly post which is really just a “Hi, I hope we’re still friends.” OK, moving on-what have I been doing? Well, I moved!!!! Into an absolute gem of a place that has made my family so happy and made my blood pressure lower thanks to bright light, a beautiful view and a proper office. I used and can’t really say enough good stuff about them. They cut my packing/unpacking time in half, actually made it kind of fun, and shrank my carbon footprint with no cardboard to dispose of. Even the tags and ties are eco-friendly, beyond clever. I’ve been working with a great band (American Authors), seeing lots of music (Imagine Dragons, Vampire Weekend, Empire of the Sun, Walk the Moon, Fun., The Mowgli’s) and I finally finished my professional web site. There’s been shopping, pretty much everything at Zara is amazing right now, and lots of reflection and personal growth. More visuals and proper posts to come, but for now-thanks for not dumping me. Oh and how rude of me, HOW ARE YOU!?!?! What have you been up to? I’d love to know. Hoping your Halloween hangover isn’t too brutal. xo

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