JUJU HAT GIVEAWAY WITH ST. FRANK

Hi my friends!  We’re busy nesting and being cozy for the holidays but I wanted to pop in with a fun giveaway to celebrate the season!  St. Frank, a store I love for their epic collection of home goods, is offering up one of these amazing Juju hats to a lucky reader!  As you may remember from this post, I have a small collection of them in our living room.  Nearly every person who visits comments on them and I love sharing the background on their origin (*see below for a blurb about them from the St. Frank website)!  I also adore that St. Frank is supporting low and middle income communities and their artisans while simultaneously helping preserve their crafts.  I have an obsession with textiles from other lands, so this makes me extremely happy!

*”The Juju hat is a symbol of prosperity and divinity in Bamileke culture. The Bamileke is an ethnic group from Cameroon’s west and northeast provinces. Birds, whose feathers are used to create this elaborate headdress, are sacred to the Bamileke because their power of flight allows them to soar to the heavens. Traditionally, the Juju hat was worn by members of the high Kuosi class during Bamileke rituals and festivities. The Kuosi consisted of prominent tribal leaders, affluent landowners, and celebrated warriors. The Juju hat was worn to perform an annual dance celebrating the kingdom’s prosperity.”  HOW INCREDIBLE IS THAT?!

Ok, I’ll get to it!  Here are the details:  Comment below with where you’d hang your very own Juju hat- I’d love some fresh ideas on where to display them!  In a week from today a random winner will be chosen and receive their pick of any in-stock Juju hat from the St. Frank website.  One entry per person please. Good luck everyone!

Please note that by entering the contest you agree to receive promotional emails from St. Frank.    

juju-hats-in-a-cozy-space-with-moroccan-blanketbedroom-with-juju-hat-on-the-wall

photos via

The Procrastinator’s Gift Guide

procrastinators_gift_guide

Hello my friends!  I’m only doing one gift guide this year and it’s for those of you, who like me, are wildly behind with shopping this holiday season!  Maybe, like me, you’re ALWAYS wildly behind during the holidays and have started to pride yourself on your ability to swoop in at the last minute and WIN AT GIFT GIVING AGAIN!  I know it’s not a competition, I don’t mean it like that.  But I do pride myself on my ability to find that just-perfect something for my loved ones at the final hour.  Maybe I just work best under pressure!  Or maybe I’m an actual procratinataholic.  It’s a tough call.

All of that is neither here nor there though my friends.  Today I’m going to let you in on my secret weapons to winning at the last minute gifts, in case you’re new to this last minute game: Amazon Prime and the American Express Blue Cash Everyday Card! That’s right.  Amazon Prime saves me with their two day shipping (everything above is available for Prime shipping!) and with the American Express Blue Cash Everyday Card I earn 10% back on my Amazon purchases.  The way I see it, I’m practically getting paid to find last minute gifts for my pals.  *This is highly delusional but give me a break, it’s the holidays for Christmas trees sake!*  Ok, now I’ll let you to it.  Hop on it my procrastinating cohorts, shop away!  xx- Sarah

Herbivore Botanicals Rose Hibiscus Hydrating Face Mist // Herbivore Botanicals Coconut Milk Bath Soak  //  Bose Noise Cancelling Headphones  // Cashmere Travel Set  // Kitchenaid Pour Over Coffee Brewer  //  Aroma Diffuser  //  Tom Dixon French Press  //  Enchanted Forest Coloring Book + Solabela Colored Pencil Set  // Way to Dinner Cookbook  // Jonathan Adler Pop Candle  //  Green & Black’s Chocolate Library Salt Collection  // Cassina Rosa Gourmet Salt

The post was produced in partnership with American Express.  Thank you for supporting our sponsors!

American Express and Amazon, Saving my LIFE!

Hi friends!  I’m now a little over a month deep in this new life as a mama and it’s mind boggling how much has changed!  My priorities have shifted and it feels like our lives now orbit around this tiny, incredible, sweet little human.  I feel infinitely more vulnerable to all of life’s ups and downs which is both exhilarating and terrifying. My heart now lives permanently attached to this little guy’s happiness and well being- and that alone sometimes nearly takes my breath away!  As you may have read here, we had a rocky start.  Things have improved but I’m still fighting the good fight to heal and have had a few bumps in the process.  Thank you all so very much for all of your sweet comments, kind notes and support!  I read every one of them and if it wasn’t so important for me to use the rare free moment I have for rest I would have responded to each of you with my love and gratitude!  You are all seriously the BEST!

As all parents know, these first months are exhausting!  We recently found ourselves awake at 3:30 am wondering what trick might help our little babe sleep through a particularly fussy phase (upright to help with reflex and out of our bed for a couple of hours so that we could actually get a little deep rest as well).  Within minutes we were on Amazon reading reviews and ordering the mama roo swing, which turned out to be a lifesaver when it arrived two days later!  THANK YOU AMAZON PRIME AND HELLO SLEEEEP!  Repeat this scenario with different needs 20 times and you have our life right now, in a nutshell.  We collected very few baby things in preparation with the reasoning that every baby is different and that they need so little in the beginning anyway.  It’s been wonderful because we don’t have anything that’s not being used- we’re ordering as we go (with free two day shipping it’s yet to be an issue)!  There’s a short list of items that I’d recommend for every baby, and I’m sharing it below.  But first and foremost I recommend signing up for Amazon Prime and the American Express Blue Cash Everyday card where new card members earn 10% back on Amazon purchases for the first 6 months.  Given our current ordering rate that’s a big deal!  HELLO SAVINGS!!!!!  They’re making me feel better about our middle of the night desperation purchases and the extra expenses that come with this new addition to the fam!  Click through to see my must-have short list and let me know what saved your life with a newborn- we are open to anything that will help make this sweet phase in life just a little easier.  xx- Sarah

This post was produced in partnership with American Express.  Thank you for your support of this site and our sponsors!

Click to read more

Brown Butter Cinnamon Apples And Whipped Cream

I’ve been on a single serving dessert kick ever since I snagged this KitchenAid® Artisan® Mini Mixer- finding ways to whip up easy, healthy and delicious treats has been a major goal of my pregnancy.  Which is what led me to an apple pie craving, which led me to this apple pie-ish incarnation, which leads me to sharing it with you because keeping it to myself would be practically criminal! 

Now that we’re in the throws of fall I am craving all of the apple everythings- and this little treat hits the nail on the head for me!  Warm, brown buttery cinnamon apples topped with fresh whipped cream, which is a breeze to whip up (HA!) in my mini mixer.   (An aside: why is it that everything mini is so much more fun?!  Case in point:  mini ponies, mini cupcakes, and mini golf!)

My friends, are you into brown butter?  I’m sort of new to it, but since I started making it it’s been a weekly addition.  The carmelly, nutty flavor is just the BEST!  And it’s so easy to make but also makes you feel like legitimate baker genius.  Win- WIN!   Add apples and cinnamon, top with fresh whipped cream and you’ve got yourself a simple treat that tastes far more decadent than it is! 

Seriously, thank you KitchenAid® for giving me an excuse to make small batches of whipped cream.  My pregnancy has been a million times better because of it.  Fresh whipped cream makes everything better, now that I think of it. 

And thank all of you for supporting KitchenAid®, whose partnership made this post possible.  Hope you love!  xx- Sarah

a_house_in_the_hills_all_kitchenaid-2 a_house_in_the_hills_all_kitchenaid-5 Click to read more

Mateo Mora – Our Birth Story

img_3146

Hello my friends, I’m sorry for the long absence!  You’ll understand why I’ve been gone for so long by the end of this, but for now- meet MATEO!  He was born October 17, 2016.  He’s the love of our lives.  Insert ALL OF THE CLICHES ABOUT PARENTHOOD HERE.  All of them.  They apply.  He’s the most darling baby ever, in my completely unbiased opinion.

I don’t know where to begin with his birth story, so I suppose I’ll start with what we had hoped, dreamed and planned for the birth of our son.  We knew from the beginning that we would attempt to have a home birth.  I’d been by my best friend’s side as she delivered her baby a little over two years ago and knew that I wanted a similar experience for our family.  We hired a midwife who we trust implicitly, borrowed a birth pool from a friend, and I started practicing Hypnobabies to prep myself for the experience.  In my preparation for birth I tried to let go of expectations as much as possible- I made peace with the idea that although a home birth was our ideal scenario, I trusted that Mateo would come into this world exactly as he intended.  I accepted the idea that I might have to deliver in a hospital in a variety of ways, depending on how things went.  I never would have imagined though what actually happened, which was close to my worst nightmare and nothing I could have prepared for.

Click to read more

Roasted Plum Ice Cream

a_house_in_the_hills_roasted_plum_ice_cream-6

Hello my friends!  The temperatures are dropping here in San Diego and I can feel the seasons shifting, although we’re certain to have at least a few more hot weeks before the year ends.  My neighbor says we’re in the midst of the battle between summer and fall, which I love.  For now I’m basking in the mild weather and thanking my lucky stars for a break in the sweltering.  I’m also squeezing in the last of the summer treats before I dive back into roasting winter squashes and simmering soups for hours over the stove.  I found some pink plums at the market the other day and decided they would be the perfect way to celebrate the change of season, so I roasted them with a nod to fall and then turned them into ice cream as a farewell to summer.  And oh me oh my, I’m so happy I did!  With a richness from roasting, the flavor of the plums is sweet but not overt; delicate but also somehow decadent.  Or maybe it was the dark chocolate and the toasted coconut (which I strongly recommend as a topping) that brought about the decadence.  Either way, this ice cream will not disappoint.  I hope you love!  xx- Sarah

a_house_in_the_hills_roasted_plum_ice_cream-5

Click to read more