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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Easy Summer Entertaining With American Express

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Hi friends!  I’m excited to share today’s post with you- I’ve got the makings of a beautiful Mediterranean dinner party here to inspire your own backyard summer entertaining as these long hot days beg to be celebrated with friends and family!  I created a menu that keeps your oven off and kitchen labor to a minimum, but will still provide a delicious, memorable evening for your loved ones.  The trick- seasonal produce that’s fresh and beautiful, it’ll save you the trouble of hours of prep time!

Speaking of saving, Lou and I have been watching our spending in ways we never have before now that we’ve got a little one on the way and find ourselves all of a sudden facing things like preschool tuition (I swear I had no idea that was even a thing), saving for college and the general financial responsibility of providing for this little guy who will be joining us in the next few months. As we make these adjustments I’ll be finding ways to make every penny count- including using my Blue Cash Everyday card from American Express, which that offers a host of savings opportunities, including 3% cash back on groceries!  You can bet I’m happy for that 3% back when I’m shopping for summer soirees, PLUS the $250 I will earn back if I spend $1,000 in purchases on the Card within the first 3 months of Card Membership!  Click through to see all of the dishes and decor, with details on how to make everything below.  Hope you love, and happy entertaining!!!  xx- Sarah

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

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Greek yogurt, granola and Passion Fruit Drizzle

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Hi friends, happy Saturday!  As you may have seen here, we have a boatload of passion fruit coming from our vines right now and I’m looking for every way I can eat it.  Which led me to trying this recipe for passion fruit curd- a divine creation I swear!  I loved the recipe and the curd BUT it has a bit too heavy of a sugar load for my liking.  I decided to try to substitute the sugar with raw honey which causes less blood sugar spikes, has more nutritional properties and is always my preferred choice of sweetener.

The thing is, to keep all of the benefits of raw honey you have to abstain from heating it.  Which led me to modifying Martha’s recipe by heating the passion fruit juice and egg yolks but waiting until after I removed the mixture from the stovetop to add in the honey.  This proved to be delicious, but instead of a thick gelatinous curd I was left with a thick, delicious sauce.  If I understood more about the science of what happens in the curd making process this wouldn’t have come as a happy surprise, but since I’m fairly inexperienced in the art of cooking with sugar it was a total happy accident!!  I’ve been drizzling the passion fruit sauce on my greek yogurt parfaits, honey sweetened creme fraiche ice cream (I need to share my recipe for that soon too!), piles of stone fruit, and pretty much anything else that I find that could use a touch of sweetness (I’ve got plans for it to hit my fish tacos soon but I’m not sure if that is actually a good thing or a weird pregnancy thing).  All I know is it sounds questionably delicious to me so I have to try it!!!  Ok, have at it my friends, recipe after the jump!  xx- Sarah

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