Dream Hotel

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My jaw hit the floor when I stumbled upon the Casa Cook Hotel- and I haven’t been able to recover since.  WHAT AN ABSOLUTE DREAM!!!  I’m starting a savings account just for this place because if I don’t stay there at some point I’ll have serious life regrets.  What a stunning combination of modern and bohemian, filled wtih textures and simplicity- it’s a place where I feel like my mind could BREATHE, if that makes sense?  Ugh.  Some places are just too good.  This is one of them.  Definitely take a minute to scroll through the rest of the photos.  It’s bananas.  xx- Sarah

Interior Styling by Annabell Kutucu and Michael Schickinger , photography by George Roske

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Grilled Shrimp Tacos

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I’m on a taco kick lately- like for the past ten years.  HA!  But seriously they’re my go-to when I want something delicious, quick and easy.  They’re like reruns of The Office- they’ll always please and never ask anything of me.  Today’s incarnation are grilled shrimp piled with crisp red cabbage, cilantro, jalapeno, lime crema and cotija cheese.  Simple, satisfying, healthy and perfect for al fresco summer dining.  I know you’ll love them!  xx- Sarah

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Our Baby Shower

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Hi friends!  As I mentioned last week, Saturday was our baby shower and I swear I’m still glowing from the magic of it!  I wish I had taken a million photos but it just didn’t happen (Lou and I were both so swept up in the moment that we completely forgot and these are pretty much all we have…lesson learned about hiring photographers for these sorts of things from now on, we clearly can’t be in charge of the photo taking at our own parties!)  Our dear friend Farra transformed our backyard into another, far more beautiful world and dreamed up the perfect details to celebrate our baby on the way!  The food was incredible- a cheeseboard the length of our table covered with charcuterie, massive hunks of the best cheese, papaya, figs, dates, marcona almonds, and so many more tasty little things was just the beginning!  We had multiple courses, and more food than I’ve ever seen at a shower- each bite ore tasty than the last!  Juan served up watermelon agua fresca and grapefruit cocktails and mocktails, and Jill filled every corner nook and cranny with beautiful florals/dangling cactus/bougainvillea.  Aren’t the cactus amazing?!  I wish they could live there forever.  In keeping with the theme Tina handpainted the blocks you see above and on the reverse of every side is a cactus in a plant pot- all taken from this blog post!  She also hand lettered a Shel Silverstein poem on a piece of grey suede that you’ll see further down in the post- it’s just adorable!

Farra insisted on it being a surprise and so I left the house when they began setting up and didn’t see everything until it was fully complete- and when she brought me out to see I was so overwhelmed with how beautiful it was and how much it meant to us that our friends had worked so hard to pull this together that I just cried for ten minutes.  I could barely speak.  I’m crying just typing this.  It was honestly one of the sweetest things anyone has ever done for our family and I’m just overwhelmed with gratitude.  Having everyone gather around us to celebrate this special time in our lives and this sweet babe on the way was just the BEST!  I wish we could do it again and again.  It was one of those parties where as people leave you’re like WAIT!!!!! ARE YOU SURE YOU HAVE TO GO?!?!  I didn’t want it to ever end.  A handful of photos below… and the memories in my brain forever.  xx- Sarah

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Doing it Right: Commune Design X West Elm

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I love seeing mass retailers team up with designers/makers/artisans and this may very well be my favorite partnership yet!  I first discovered Commune Design after a trip to the Ace Hotel in Palm Springs right after they opened (this was a magical time because word hadn’t gotten out about the hotel yet, so it was quiet, pristine and quite the different experience from what it’s become!)  I asked about the design immediately because it was so incredible, and have been a fan of theirs ever since that introduction.  I would put every single one (and all of the above) into my home in a hot second!  The design is simple, modern and beautifully executed.  Well done Commune and West Elm, well done indeed!  Shop the entire collection here.

Shop the above: Wooden Fruit Bowls, tapestry diptych, leather sling chair,  Temoayan Pillow cover (charcoal, ivory), low cushion ottoman,  marble topped coffee table, terra cotta planter, tufted ottoman, square shape pillow cover (also available in circle)

Passionfruit Margarita

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I promise I will get off my passion fruit kick soon, but our vines are seriously overflowing and I’m finding every way I can to use them up!  Which is not a terrible fate as they’re the most delicious thing to come out of summer.  I think I love them more because to use them in recipes requires some work- cutting them open, spooing their juicy contents into a colander, pressing the flesh through the colander over and over again until just the seeds are left- it’s laborious to be sure!  But when I’m left with a mason jar full of the best tasting juice on the planet I feel a sense of accomplishment that can barely be matched these days.  Maybe I’ll feel the same when I give birth.  HA!  In all seriousness though, the effort is worth it because the juice is so tropical and lovely that I immediately forget my swollen feet and aching back and am transported to a tropical world where my only problems could possibly be which beach to go to or which bikini to wear (for the record I can’t wear any of my bikinis because my belly/boobs swallow them whole).  I’ve been drinking these margaritas without the tequila because I’m mom of the year, but Lou and my neighbors have been enjoying them as they’re meant to be and the consensus is this: LIFE CHANGING!  Which means that next time you’re at the the farmer’s market/grocery store and you see a heaping pile of passion fruit- buy them all.  Buy them, juice them, and for the love of all things summer turn that juice into tropical margaritas.  You’ll thank me I promise!!!  xx- Sarah

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28 Weeks Pregnancy Update

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Hi friends!  It’s been a bit since I’ve showed my belly around here, so I figured it’s time to pop in with an update!  I’m officially in my third trimester (hip hip!) and the realness of our new family member is definitely setting in.  I can’t wait to meet him!!!  It’s amazing feeling his movements, wondering what he’ll look like, what his personality will be like, WHO he is and who he will become!  It’s a magical time in that way, there is so much anticipation and excitement.  There’s so much goodness to look forward to, sometimes I wish time would just fly by!  But then I try to remind myself of the sweetness that is in this time, and to just stay present and enjoy it.  Inner battles commence.

I have friends who LOVE being pregnant, and I envy them.  And I have friends who truly suffer through pregnancy, and I feel lucky that I’m not in the same boat.  I think I’m somewhere in the middle.  I was so exhausted for the first 5 months of my pregnancy, but for some reason I didn’t even realize that I was extra tired from the pregnancy, it just felt like my new (non-functional) normal.  It wasn’t until the fog started to lift that I even realized I’d been in one.  I also had a difficult time with my digestion, but that eventually sorted itself out with the help of the GAPS diet and more so my letting go of needing to eat perfectly for the baby (I think the stress of trying to eat perfectly was actually causing my digestion to go off kilter, which is a reminder of how powerful our minds can be!)

For the past couple of months I’ve had my energy back but a slew of other pregnancy side effects- allergies and leg cramps being the worst of them.  Those are the worst because they keep me from sleeping through the night and have caused more bouts of insomnia than I’d care to think about, but in the big scheme of things I know it’s not even that bad.  Women are my heroes for what we go through to keep humanity going!

It’s been an adjustment gaining weight and watching my body transform into one I barely recognize.  There’s nothing that can prepare you for it.  I feel enormous and since most days I can’t be bothered to put makeup on or do my hair, I feel frumpy on top of it.  But Lou tells me how beautiful he thinks I look and I try my hardest to see myself through his eyes.  I managed to do both hair and makeup for these photos, just for the record (VICTORY!)   I realized in doing so how much better I felt about myself so I’m going to make my best effort to get myself together a bit more often.  I see photos of glamorous pregnant women all over the media and I wonder if I’m missing something.  It feels hard enough to take care of everything I need to (work, exercise, eating right, maintaining relationships, midwife appointments, getting much needed rest, etc), adding a glamour routine into the mix doesn’t seem possible.  Pregnant mamas that appear to be doing it all,  HOW???!?  Tell me your secrets!!!  I suppose this is a precursor for what’s to come once baby boy arrives and I start feeling like other moms have it more together than I do, which I imagine is a common feeling in this world where social media gives us these peeks into each other’s lives.  There are so many moms I admire who seem to be juggling everything so well, I wonder if I will be able to do it too?

More random pregnancy musings and details below, if you’re interested!  xx- Sarah

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