Monet: the late years is on exhibit at the de Young Museum in San Francisco now through May 27. Even if you’ve seen his work many times before, I recommend going. It just never gets old!




I’ve had this easy jam recipe on repeat lately. It’s jam-packed (had to!) with nutrients and a great addition to your morning toast, oatmeal or yogurt. It’s even delicious on ice cream for dessert. I’ve started giving it to Henry, too, and he loves it. Win for the whole family! This homemade version is far better than store-bought, despite having no added sugar. You can also try blueberries, blackberries or strawberries in addition to or instead of the raspberries.

Ingredients:
3 cups fresh or frozen berries
juice of 1/2 an orange + some zest
1 teaspoon vanilla (I love this alcohol free powder)
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
3 tablespoons chia seeds
*optional 1-2 tablespoons of honey or maple syrup

Directions:
Warm the berries in a saucepan over medium heat with a splash of water. Mash the berries as they begin to heat up, until they are fully softened and juicy. Let simmer for 15 minutes until the berries have thickened. Add orange juice and zest. If this mixture still isn’t sweet enough for you, add honey or maple syrup and stir. Remove from heat and add vanilla, cinnamon and chia seeds. Stir until completely combined. Let rest for about 30 minutes– the jam will start to thicken as the chia seeds absorb liquid.

Once cooled, store in an airtight container and keep in the fridge for up to one week.

Enjoy!






Happy Valentine’s Day! I thought I’d resurface this photoshoot from a few years ago in honor of the holiday. I helped put this beautiful Valentine’s Day celebration together with my friends and talented creatives Park & GroveJoel Serrato & Flowerwild.  I had a specific role in the paper: calligraphed place cards, tags monogram & menus (that I also letterpressed).  Park & Grove creatively executed the design & production, Flowerwild brought in absolutely stunning florals, and Joel Serrato captured the event beautifully on film. You can see our feature on Style Me Pretty here!


Landscape designer Libby Russell’s Somerset valley garden via House & Garden UK


Here are a few articles I’ve come across and enjoyed recently. I hope you find them equally as delightful. Happy Monday!
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Landscape designer Libby Russell is really making me want to move to Somerset! Her garden is straight out of a fairytale.

A look back at famous Kennedy brides (the ever so classic and understated Carolyn Bessette wins time after time).

A laid-back and very chic California wedding.

Blackberry Farm has been on my list for quite some time, and now I have Blackberry Mountain to add to it.

When we lived in London, my husband was lucky enough to get invited to the Henley Regatta– as we approach spring, here are some fun facts about it.

A super charming rebuild by the insanely talented Mark D. Sikes has me wanting to redecorate my entire home.

Making these vegan banana pancakes ASAP.


 

Cheese boards have been quite the craze recently, but I think they’re a classic addition to any party. Here are some of my tips and tricks for making a delicious (and beautiful!) cheese board.

1. Buy soft and hard cheeses
Make sure to get a selection of soft and hard cheeses so that the board has variation. Some of my favorites include: Saint Andre, Toscana Black Pepper, Mt Tam, Aged Gouda, Port Salut, Goat Cheese with Honey, and Humbolt Fog.

2. Cut as much as you can
One of the great things about a cheese board is that it’s easy to grab a bite size piece quickly. Try to cut the cheeses into pieces as much as possible so that this is doable. You will need to keep some of the soft cheeses as is (a log of goat cheese, for example).

3. Color, color, color!
I’m normally not into much color, but this is essential when it comes to a beautiful cheese board. Depending on the time of year, I like to add pomegranates, whole oranges with leaves, grapes, figs, dried orange slices, strawberries, the list goes on…

4. Mix in fruits, nuts and olives
This one goes without saying! Try to mix in delicious fruits to both pair with your cheeses and to eat on their own. I often will slice up a pear or a green apple, or cut figs in half so that guests can create their own bites with different cheeses. Don’t forget to have small piles or containers of nuts (I love marcona almonds) and olives.

5. Add some toppings
This one isn’t a necessity, but it’s nice to have some small containers of a relish, jam, or honey to spread onto your bite of choice.

6. Keep the bread on the side
You’ll see in my photo that I don’t have a ton of crackers shown. This is because it would have taken too much room on the board! Just don’t forget to not skimp on various crackers and sliced bread so that there are a lot of options for your guests.

Cheers! xx

Merry Christmas to you and yours… xx

 

’tis the season for saltine cracker toffee! My family has been making this every holiday season since before I can remember. It’s always a hit and it’s so, so simple to make!

Recipe

saltine crackers
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter
1 bag dark chocolate chips
sea salt

Heat oven to 400 degrees.  Line a cookie sheet with foil, and then line saltine crackers over the entire cookie sheet.  Melt butter and brown sugar together over medium heat and stir until it boils.  Let boil for 3 minutes, and then pour mixture over the saltine crackers.  Bake for 5 minutes.  Let cool for 3 minutes and then pour chocolate chips over the crackers and toffee.  Let sit for a minute or so, and then start spreading the chocolate lightly with the back of a spoon.  The chocolate should start to melt and become easy to spread.  Once chocolate is spread smoothly, top with sea salt (and/or crushed peppermint candies – anything goes here!). Cool in refrigerator for about 2 hours. Once hardened, peel off the tin foil from the bottom and cut into pieces.  I recommend keeping these in the freezer until you are going to serve them.

Merry Christmas!

 

My husband and I lived in London for 6 months in 2017 and it was one of the best times of our lives. I’ve been thinking about a trip back ever since we returned! I have countless lists here and there of things we did and places we ate… now I finally have some of our favorite spots in one place. Here you will find some of my top London picks! Hopefully these inspire you to get out and explore the city on your own.

 

 

E A T  &  D R I N K

Daylesford Organic: a perfect stop for a casual breakfast, lunch or afternoon tea. There are a few locations throughout London and the food is fresh and delicious. Take some bites and groceries to-go, or sit and eat in the restaurant.
Afternoon Tea at Fortnum & Mason: a wonderful afternoon tea experience! With a rich history and a store you definitely will want to shop through, I’d recommend booking your afternoon tea at Fortnums. (Other spots for tea: The Ritz, Sketch, Claridges, The Wolseley, Dorchester, Lanesborough)
The Connaught Bar: a ritzy bar in the ultra-stylish Connaught Hotel in Mayfair. The drinks and décor won’t disappoint. Be sure to order a martini which will be made to your liking table-side on the martini trolley. One gin with ginger and grapefruit, please!
The Shed: one of the most delicious meals I’ve had in a long time. Beyond fresh and chuck full of seasonal flavor. This is a must try in Notting Hill.
Dishoom: this is also one of the most delicious meals I’ve had in a long time. A fun Bombay-style stop for Indian street food. Even if you don’t like Indian food, I’m still fairly certain you’ll love Dishoom both for it’s food and vintage décor.
Barrafina: a delicious diner style Spanish tapas bar. They don’t take reservations, but you can have a cocktail while you wait and the line moved fairly quickly.
Scarfes Bar at Rosewood London: a really, really beautiful hotel that you should consider staying at! But, even if you don’t stay over night, you will definitely need to stop into their Scarfes Bar. It’s gentleman’s club-esque, complete with a fireplace, cozy armchairs, live music, beautiful woodwork, and even better cocktails. We went there for a few drinks and snacks before dinner at…
The Barbary: a cozy spot in the popular Neil’s yard in Covent Garden for an absolutely delicious Berber-style meal. We waited almost 2 hours, and you will too unless you show up at 5. But, I promise it’s worth it, especially considering you can wait inside the lively little spot with a drink in hand.
Duke’s Bar: a famous, classic London bar – go for a martini!
Yauatcha Soho: absolutely delicious dim sum
The Churchill Arms: you’ve definitely seen this Notting Hill pub on instagram. Flower-decked and filled with Churchill memorabilia. Stop for a pint!
Granger & Co: The best fluffy ricotta hotcakes ever! An excellent spot for brunch, lunch or dinner. This is a classic in Notting Hill.
Chiltern Firehouse: Super hot spot for dinner and drinks. If you can’t get a resy, just try to sit in the bar.
Ottolenghi: I visited the one on Motcomb Street in Belgravia – a delicious deli that is perfect for a takeaway lunch.
Borough Market: one of the oldest and largest food markets in London – browse 100+ food stalls and grab a delicious lunch!
Grenadier: one of my favorite local pubs if you find yourself in Belgravia and in need of a pint.
Bernardi’s: we stumbled upon this Italian kitchen and are so glad we decided to stop in. We sat at the bar, sipped on cocktails and had a delicious meal. They have some outdoor seating for when the weather is nice.
The Ivy Chelsea Garden: you’ve likely seen the front door of this spot on Instagram. It’s facade is filled with flowers and the interiors do not disappoint. Food is tasty! I loved this spot for lunch in the spring.

 

 

 

S E E

V&A Museum
Fortnum & Mason
Tate Modern
National Gallery
The Wallace Collection
Churchill War Rooms
Harrods
Selfridges
Liberty London
Kensington Palace // Hyde Park // Kensington Palace Gardens (the Princess Diana Memorial Garden is beautiful)
Buckingham Palace / St. James’ Park
Elizabeth Tower
Westminster Abbey
Regents Park
Neighborhoods to wander: Kensington // South Kensington // Belgravia // Notting Hill // Marylebone // Chelsea // Mayfair // Soho // Primrose Hill 

M E W S

aka the most charming streets in London! Originally these streets served as service lanes providing back entrances to the mansions and stables for horses– with carriage houses below and living quarters above. Today these cobblestone streets are lined with some of the cutest houses in London. Here are some of my favorites:

Kynance Mews
St Lukes Mews
Holland Park Mews
Bathurst Mews
Sussex Mews West
Queens Gate Mews

 


S T A Y

splurge: The Lanesborough, The Cannaught, Rosewood London, The Berkeley
The Egerton House Hotel (boutique hotel and I really love the location)
Charlotte Street Hotel
Airbnb
onefinestay

 

S T O P S  &  S H O P S

Daunt Books: I visited their shop on Marylebone High Street and I felt like I was taken back in time a bit (this happened often… oh London, you’re so charming!) Pick up a few good reads for your vacation and flight home.
Soane Britain: I walked through this charming showroom off Sloane Square and couldn’t help but daydream up a deliciously English home for myself. Every piece is made in Britain and it’s beyond lovely. If you’re into interiors, this shop is for you.
Wild at Heart: Just down from Daylesford in Sloane Square, you’ll find this beautiful flower shop. A London favorite and a must visit! They also have locations in Notting Hill and outside Liberty London.
Peggy Porschen Cakes: An incredibly chic and delicious bakeshop located near Sloane Square. It’s almost Valentine’s Day, so this shop is decorated quite perfectly for the occasion. I’ll be taking the husband back to help me sample some more sweet treats.
Liberty London: Likely already on your list, this department store is a must visit for those interested in fashion. Among beautiful clothes and accessories, there’s a cute cafe and stationery shop inside, and a charming flower shop (another Wild at Heart location) out front.
La Stupenderia: Next door to a yummy cheese shop, you’ll find a beautiful children’s store. Stop in for a classic outfit for your little one.
Rachel Riley: Another favorite when it comes to children’s clothing. She makes the most darling dresses for little girls!
Pepa & Company: Aaaand… another favorite when it comes to children’s clothing! Stop in for traditional pieces worn by the Royal Family.
VV Rouleaux:
I will always find the local fine ribbon store! I’m a sucker for ribbons and this store has quite the collection.
The Parent Trap House: Ok, agreed, this one is touristy of me. But I’m such a genuine fan that it really would have been a shame if I didn’t pay Annie’s home a visit. Plus, the neighborhood is beyond lovely. 23 Egerton Terrace.
Peacocks in Holland Park: I recommend taking a stroll through Holland Park. Although just off the busy Kensington High Street, the park is incredibly peaceful. Plus, you’ll likely run into some beautiful peacocks!
John Lobb Bootmaker: on St. James’s street, this family run shop has been hand making bespoke boots since 1866. In 1863, John Lobb apparently sent a pair of boots to the Prince of Wales who was so impressed by the quality of the workmanship that he appointed him his personal supplier. He then opened his London shop in 1866 and it’s still there today, supplying bespoke hand made shoes to people all over the world. They hold two Royal Warrants to HRH The Duke of Edinburgh and HRH The Prince of Wales. It’s a classic and a must-see!
James Smith & Sons: the most enchanting shop chuck full of classic umbrellas and walking sticks that has been in London since 1830. This is one of my favorite places I’ve gone while in London and you really must stop in. The umbrellas are made in their shop below the storefront, which is largely unaltered since they opened. I left with a black watch tartan that I’m excited to keep for years to come! (Side note: It rains, like, every day in London. But it doesn’t ever really rain to the point where you need an umbrella. That’s beside the point though, you should still go buy yourself a classic umbrella from this shop!)
Mount Street Printers: this one might just be for this paper romantic over here. But, if fine stationery is also your thing, it’s worth stopping into this classic printery. They also have a Royal Warrant and have been printing on beautiful Mount Street for over 35 years. They mostly do bespoke orders, but also have some cards and stationery on the shelves that you can take with you. If you stop in, tell them I sent you!
Harrods & Selfridges: likely already on your list… these are department stores you can’t miss!

 

 

 

‘Tis the season for persimmons and pomegranate seeds! I love these fruits this time of year, not only for their flavor but also because they add such vibrant color to salads. This salad is hearty, colorful and delicious. A perfect lunch on it’s own, or make as a side salad with your holiday dinner.

Ingredients:
green leaf lettuce
arugula
pomegranate seeds
persimmons
toasted almonds
avocado
crispy quinoa
balsamic dressing

To make the crispy quinoa, prepare quinoa as you normally would on the stovetop. Refrigerate overnight so the quinoa gets dry enough to crisp up. Place a thin layer on a baking sheet, spray lightly with olive oil and add a dash of salt and pepper. Bake at 400 degrees until quinoa gets crispy.