As a child this salad would have been my worst nightmare! Disliked eggs, blue cheese, and pretty much anything green. Now as an adult, the Cobb salad has been one of my favorites. Here is my go-to when I need an easy salad to whip up. Typically I make this salad when we have some leftovers in the fridge that we need to get rid of. This is inspired by a salad I like to grab from Rustic Bakery here in Tiburon. 

  1. Romaine: We use this salad spinner to make washing quick and easy
  2. Hard Boiled Eggs: Easiest way is to add one inch of cold water over eggs with a splash of white vinegar, bring to boil, cover, take off the heat, and let sit for 12 minutes. Use a slatted spoon to transfer into a bowl with a few ice cubes and then peel. 
  3. Bacon: I like to cook it up for breakfast a few days before, make a little extra, cut pieces up, then take out when I go to make this salad.
  4. Shredded Chicken: I make batches of shredded chicken often in my Instant Pot and then store it in the fridge for a while.
  5. Crumbled Blue Cheese
  6. Cherry tomatoes sliced: Jumped the gun on taking this shot. Didn't get the tomatoes in!
  7. Dressing: 2/3 cup Olive Oil, 1/3 cup red wine, 1 tablespoon dijon mustard, salt & pepper to taste.


New house: Phase 1 Projects

We are so thrilled (and blessed) to have purchased our first home! Leaving Tiburon will not be easy - we practically wake up in paradise daily - but the idea of setting roots in our own place is very exciting! After months of trying to purchase in another area of the East Bay - we are heading back to our hometown of Walnut Creek, California. This market is crazy and we kept losing out on several offers so we decided to switch up where we were putting our offers in - and it worked. We were both raised in Walnut Creek (met in the halls of intermediate school) and loved growing up in this town. It was a smaller town then -we didn't have a Neiman's - but it's still a very charming place to call home and we are grateful.

Our 1400 square foot ranch style home was built in the 1960's and needs a lot of work. We have so many plans for it- but like everybody- budget constraints will keep us from doing all of our projects at once. Keeping things organized- we have set out a timeline of projects we will conquer and over x amount of time (of course things will get shifted around - new things added - projects removed - but having a plan in place is key).

Thankfully my dad is a contractor (slash- already screening my calls -ha) and is generously offering to give advice and help us on some key projects (thanks Dad! and Sorry in advance!). I'd love to document our process on the blog for a diary of each project along the journey to making this house our home. Plus- I love a good before and after!

I should preface these posts by saying I am by no means an interior designer, a decorator, or an expert in this scope of work - so this should be a very interesting process for you all to judge. My only experience is growing up in a house with a contractor- life experience (constantly decorating on my own- my sister and I use to re-arrange our furniture on a weekly basis)- a few interior design classes- retail gigs in the home furnishing world- and a corporate job at Restoration Hardware where part of my job was helping people reselect items/offer minimal design advice in the Contract Department (Hotels, Restaurants, Office Buildings, etc.). I expect some mistakes to be made (hoping for not many) and lessons learned!

Without further ado... here are some before photos to give you an idea of what we are working with. This house is a big blank canvas (yay!) and my mind is racing with soooo many ideas- but I have to keep organized in this moment and stay focused on only these first phase projects. Unfortunately-  I don't live in Waco, TX - so this is going to take a while :)

Lastly, we have not spent much time in this place/moved in yet so we expect many more tiny projects to make their way into the first phase!

The first photograph is from google maps - and the second is from the listing. They had just put a fresh coat of paint up.

Keeping budget in mind through all of these projects, our only exterior projects in the short term will be to: 

1. Remove the large shrub 
2. Paint the shutters 
3. Paint the door
4. Replace the roof :(
5. Add a few plants/flowers

Next up is what I'm calling the family room or "fireplace room". You walk through the entry and immediately to your right is the kitchen- but if you walk forward and to the right you end up in this room:

Phase 1 of this room will be to: 

1. Tear out the carpet and reveal the hardwood below (fingers crossed it's salvageable- we will know soon) 
2. Paint the walls and baseboards
3. Paint the fireplace and sand down the mantle/stain to lighter
4. Remove double doors
5. Remove shutters (far right second photo)
6. Remove drapery rods

Walking through the double doors- you end up in what I'm calling the "dining room" for now. 

Phase 1 of this room:

1. Paint the walls
2. Paint the ceiling/kitchen ceiling
3. Remove the double doors
4. This floor does NOT have hardwood underneath so we will be tackling this project on our own with guidance from my dad. This will be a very inexpensive option as Phase 2 of this room will be that the wall separating the family room to the kitchen will be torn out.
5. Lighting swapped out with something inexpensive (temporarily) until we gut the kitchen
6. Remove the rod

Next up is the kitchen: 

Phase 1: 

1. Paint the ceiling
2. Paint the cabinets
3. Paint the tiny pantry closet
4. Paint the small area of baseboards by door

That's all for the immediate moment on the kitchen because it will be eventually gutted. Knowing myself - I'l wake up one day and start DIY-ing the ish out of this room despite it's eventual demise. 

Bedrooms are next. They all look about the same other than the closets. This is the Master. Through the left door is a small walk in and the right door is the Master Bath. 

Phase 1: 

1. Paint the doors/casings and baseboards - keeping this wall color for now 
2. Tear up the carpet and refinish hardwood floors 

The Master Bath. Across from the vanity is a tiny shower and to the left of that is a tiny linen closet.

This entire bath has to be gutted next year so anything we do is just to freshen it up in the meantime: 

Phase 1: 

1. Remove wallpaper
2. Remove Medicine Cabinet and towel holder
3. Paint Walls
4. Paint Vanity 

The Hallway bath has to be gutted as well: 

1. Remove towel bars
2. Paint walls
3. Paint vanity 

Again-  this entire bath will be gutted next year so we will not do much other than paint.

The backyard: 

The best part of the place is the large flat backyard. We looked at a lot of places with minimal yard so we are stoked to have this much space. We think of something new every single day for this yard! We have very big plans - but for now - nothing is happening here for a long time. We will do some very small inexpensive things but these aren't even built into phase 1 projects yet.

The other very unsexy phases of this project that you can't see but have to be done: 

Phase 1: 
1. Roof replacement (you can see it but it's not sexy)
2. Drainage
3. Small foundation work

Phase 2: 
4. Plumbing
5. Duct Work

We have our work cut out for us! Excited - scared - and overwhelmed all at once but looking forward to moving forward. Will check back in as we complete some of these smaller projects. 

We move in at the end of the month... wish us luck!

Greece Flat Sandal

Popping in real quick to mention these new sandals I purchased recently. They are the Greece Flat by Steve Madden and they are beyond comfortable, cute, and go with everything. I've been wearing them all day and they seriously feel like butter on my feet. I highly recommend them as a spring-summer sandal!

dress | sandals | jacket (33% off right now!)

They come in several colors, too: 

find them here!

Favorite Newborn Baby Sleep Items

One of the top questions I get amongst friends and family is what my favorite baby items are. I thought it's about time I finally get some posts up with what got me through those first sleepy months with baby.

One thing I will say is we have never had a good sleeper. Sloan was tongue tied unbeknownst to us for the first three months of his life which caused him to wake up every hour to two hours to feed because he wasn't able to get enough milk due to his latch (that's an entire separate post that I'd love to get up to help other Mom's out there - unfortunately doctors did not catch it!). By the time it came to getting him on more of a schedule, he had already been so used to waking up all night to eat, that we think he just never really got the hang of sleeping. 

Below are items that we loved and I will also add items that we wish we would have had. Most of our favorite items were inspired by Harvey Karp's, The Happiest Baby on the Block, which we highly recommend to all new parents. 

Disclaimer: every baby is different and sometimes it's a matter of trying everything you can to figure out what works for them (and you). Always remember that Amazon Prime at 3AM is your best friend!

12  |  3  |  456  |  7  |  8 9  |  1011 

1. Swaddle Blankets: Sloan loved to be swaddled. The tighter the better. We would swaddle him as if he were in a straight jacket whenever he was fussy or when we were putting him down for bed. We loved these blankets for during the day swaddles. 

2. Battery Operated Candle: For the middle of the night feedings, we loved having the soft light to see instead of turning on an actual light in our room. I also brought this in my hospital bag and it was awesome to have when nurses come in and out all night (I'll do a post on my hospital bag soon). 

3. Miracle Blanket Swaddle: This blanket allows you to get a really tight swaddle on baby. It's great if you have a squirmy little baby and they can get out of a regular swaddle blanket easy. Easy to use in the middle of the night for changes and feeds too. I've heard this swaddle is amazing as well. 

4.  Owlet / Snuza Alarm : Unfortunately I'm an anxious mom so this alarm helped me feel better about putting Sloan down. Today I'd recommend getting the Owlet (it wasn't available when we had Sloan). There is a lot of controversy over using any type of monitor on baby (people say it does the opposite of creating ease and makes parents more anxious) but I'm all for them. 

5. Nuna Sena Mini Crib: We used this crib when traveling, but we also used it for the first three months. We put a bassinet inside of it and kept it near our bed. 

6. Vornado Fan/Heater: This climate control fan/heater has really been great over the past few years. You can set it to 68-69 and it keeps the room at a perfect temperature for baby. 

7. White Noise Machine: Harvey Karp is a big white noise guy, he says it mimics the inside of a mother's womb and keeps baby happy during the "4th trimester" so we added this white noise machine to our list. Sloan seemed to really like it which is why we own several. We take them on vacation, his daycare had one, etc. They are great for adults too!

8. Baby shusher: Again, Harvey Karp talks in his book about shushing babies and how it immediately calms them down. We bought this for when we couldn't shush anymore. It worked really well to snap Sloan out of a crying fit. We would bring it out and about too, just hung it from his carseat. 

9. Fitness Ball: This ball was our best friend. Sloan had a stage where he cried every single day from 4:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. and bouncing him on this ball was the only thing that kept him quiet. We used this to bounce him to sleep a lot of nights too. It worked very well for us. Highly recommend for fussy babies. 

10.  Baby monitor: A friend recommended this monitor and we are so glad she did. It has insanely good reviews on Amazon too! The range is incredible. I hear people also love the Nest which allows you to log in from your phone to check on baby. 

11. Moses Basket: We used this inside of our Nuna Crib at night, and for around the house during the day. It's so portable (and cute!) that we ended up taking it on trips too. Here's an option on Amazon as well: Moses Basket

* Rock N Play: One last item that I don't recommend you keep your baby in for sleeping long periods of time, but is great for the living room as a swing/nap station during the day is the Rock N Play. Sloan never liked the swinging functionality, but he did sleep in it well. It's also nice if your baby has acid reflux because it keeps them at a bit of an incline. 

Lastly, here are the items I would consider getting if I had a second child: 


1. Halo Bassinet: Reaching in and out of the portable crib all night long was not great on my back. It would have been so nice to just swing a bassinet to the edge of the bed to nurse and swing it back over. 

2. DockATot: I've heard that people really like this lounger. I think all of these items do get redundant (how many items do you really need to place the baby in/sleep in) but moms swear by it so perhaps I'd give it a try or at least borrow one. 

3. Boppy Lounger: This lounger is extremely portable and you can place it anywhere to keep baby put. I didn't have something that allowed the baby to see out as much as it could from something like this, the Rock N Play keeps the baby positioned lower as does the bassinet. 

AND, since I'm such a fan of Harvey Karp, I'd add getting the Snoo Smart Sleeper to my wish list. It's extremely expensive but I can only imagine it works wonders since he is such an expert in this category! 

Hope this helps some of you out there! I plan to do several more posts of my baby items soon. Also, feel free to leave your favorites in the comments! We all need as much help as we can get in this department :)