San Fran Designer to Know: Katie Raffetto

I have always known that my friend, Katie Raffetto, has been an uber talented designer and her recent spotlight on CasaSugar only confirms it more. Katie has a fresh California aesthetic, mixing traditional with modern so well. You can see her professional portfolio here, but seeing into her own San Fransico home is so much more fun. The full article and these images can be found over on CasaSugar

First off, how adorable is she with her bump and toddler, Annie? 

The entry to the apartment is organized and chic. 

Annie's nursery is fun, yet functional. I mean, this rocker? Dying. 

Katie's bedroom is the stuff dreams are made of. That headboard is unreal and mixed with the blue bedding is perfection. 

 The dining room has such a great mix of what you can only think are some of Katie's favorite finds. From antique markets to travels. 

Worship the lantern light fixture and farm house table. 

You can tell that Katie knows how to make a space livable for adults and kids. Chic storage, plenty of space to play on that table (actually 4 ikea tables put together), a comfy space for Mom to hang out with friends too. 

I mean, the cuteness. 

All of Katie's touches work so well together. And I love the appearance of a room full of things that the owner loves. 



Birthday Wish List

I get so greedy when I start putting these lists together. There are too many fun things out there to not want everything, but here are a few of my favorites right now that are on my birthday wish list. 

1. A delicate diamond necklace by Sarah Chloe $324
2. Ferragamo flats $450 (7.5)
3. A vintage American flag like this one for my staircase. 
4. Reilly sunglasses in Whiskey by Warby Parker $95
5. Pink French top (xs) and striped bottoms (s) from J. Crew (on sale!) $40
6. Comfy Joie pants $168 (s)
7. Two Fouta hand towels from Serena & Lily $18 
8. My favorite eye serum is running out by Kinerase $68
9. Laundry anorak on the Nordstrom sale $129 (s)
10. White slides from Birkenstock $80 (7.5)
11. A delicate Jacquie Aiche ring $110 (6)

I would be lucky to get any of these, and really I need nothing. But isn't that what birthdays are all about? What is on your wish list right now? 



LA Weekend

The weekend in LA was fantastic. Plenty of time off from being a Mom with insanely great food and even better friends makes for a perfect few days. Here is a little glimpse into what I did.  

Teas and shopping on Rodeo. Came across this adorable BCBG dress for 50% that I passed on, but now am kind of regretting. 

Read more after the break...


LA: What I Am Packing

I could not be more excited for a weekend away to LA. Though I have spent most of my life in the Midwest, my birthplace, my family, and many summers and holidays spent in Orange County means my heart has always been in California. It always feels like home when I am there and I am so excited to share that with one of my lifelong friends who has made it her new home. It is bound to be filled with too much wine, too much laughter, and just enough time away from the responsibilities of home. A bonus visit with some friends from college sweetens it even more. Here are a few things I am packing and the lack of wipes and bottles in my carry on is already making me really happy. 

1. A sunny yellow Parker dress to match the sunshine. 
2. My coral PS1 because it makes me happy. 
3. A new mix matched suit from J. Crew
4. My scuba skirt from J. Crew is actually floral (sold out), but the black is also fab. 
5. Obsessed with this hydrating styling creme. Great for air drying hair or a blow out. 
6. These Splendid slides have become my flip flop alternative and are so comfortable. 

Happy Weekend (a little early). 



In another episode of, "why did I not think of that?" let me introduce you to Hukkster.  This company is making your online shopping even more amazing. 

They cover hundreds of retailers and will notify you when something you want goes on sale. Almost all the stores that I usually am shopping on have it available. You can use it on your computer, like above. Or download the app to your phone/tablet. 

On your phone it works a bit like Tinder (not that I am on it, but so I have heard. ha) by giving you the option of swiping through retail options and seeing if you want to "Hukk" it or not. Which means that if you do Hukk it, then you will get a notification that your item goes on sale the minute it does. You can also search through your favorite sites right from the website or app and then "Hukk" it  from there. So let's say you are looking for a dress for a wedding, while you online shop for it you can Hukk the ones you like and be notified via email or a push notification if any of them go on sale. 

Kind of genius, right? It is a little hard to explain, so I would encourage you to download the free app and start playing. It is kind of addictive. As if online shopping could be any more so. 



Banh Mi Salad

A Banh Mi is traditionally a Vietnamese meatball sandwich served with pickled vegetables, spicy mayo, and plenty of cilantro, which I made here. The flavors are so delicious together and all the components come together like magic. I have made a burger version of this as well. And now in an effort to simplify things with less steps and cut the carbs (Paleo friendly too. No I am do not follow Paleo, but have plenty of readers that do) a bit, I made a salad version that makes a super easy week night dinner. The meatballs can be made in advance and popped in the oven. And while pork is by far the best way to make these meatballs, you could sub in any ground protein. My toddler and baby even loved it, I just left out the hot sauce from the meatballs and dressing and served on the side for the adults. 

Banh Mi Salad
serves 4
Imperfect Polish 2014

For meatballs: 

1 lb ground pork
1/4 cup chopped basil
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon fish sauce, in Asian food section
1 tablespoon hot chili sauce or sriracha (leave out if you do not like heat)
1 tablespoon sugar
2 teaspoons corn starch
1 teaspoon peppper
1 teaspoon salt 
1 tablespoon sesame oil

Combine all of the ingredients and mix gently until well combined. Form into golf ball sized meatballs and place on a rimmed baking sheet. (Can be made one day in advance, cover and refrigerate)

For the dressing: 

1/2 cup light mayonnaise
1/4 cup rice wine vinegar (use white if you need to)
2 green onions, finely chopped
1 tablespoon hot chili sauce or sriracha 

Whisk ingredients together. Season with salt and pepper to taste, add more heat if you like. Cover and chill until ready to use. Can be made day ahead. 

For salad: 
Chopped romaine
diced zucchini or cucumber
cut carrots

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Bake meatballs until cooked through, about 25 minutes. 

To serve, arrange veggies for salad on a plate and add meatballs. Dress with the spicy mayo to your liking or serve on the side for dipping. garnish with some fresh lime juice. 



Weekend Getaway

Even though I am not going on any type of trip this weekend, I got really inspired by this fantastic weekend bag to pack for one. 

This bag is from Barrington gifts (no not that Barrington) and you can customize with a fabric choice (there are many) and add a monogram. Love them. And at $275 it is a good price for the quality and size. How great would this be as a wedding present, too? 

So if I was going away this weekend, this is what I would pack. Would be perfect for a little coastal getaway or a quick B&B visit on the lake. 

1. An effortless white dress for dinner out. d.Ra $100
2. Black wedges that go with everything. Seychelles $95
3. So you do not have to bring a blow dryer. Bumble & Bumble Surf Spray $26
4.  J. Crew has a new mix and match tool for bikinis. Love this combo
5. A silky tank to wear for brunch. Tibi $160 
6. A breezy beach cover up that you can wear all day. ONE by Pink Stitch $84
7. A versatile bag that goes from tote to cross body. Foley & Corinna $139
8. The best denim shorts. Ever. J. Crew $79 (buy a size down)
9. Leather espadrilles for walks along the coastline. Mint & Rose $139
10. Because it is kind of the only make up you need on vacay. Nars the Multiple in Orgasm $39

Are you off to somewhere fun this weekend? I am next week and can't wait to share. 
Happy weekend. 


Time for Sunnies

Besides shoes and bags, there is nothing that a lady invests in more than her shades. They truly get more wear than almost everything in your closet and serve many purposes. Part protection from the sun, part protection from the public, we all like to hide behind them a little once in awhile. So they must look good

I have worn this pair of Chanel's so much and unfortunately they have suffered way too much abuse and it is time for a new pair. I am obsessed with them. 

They do not seem that special I am sure, but the shape is my favorite I have ever come across. If you have a favorite pair (I have plenty of others that never get used) you know how I feel. And to my great sadness, Chanel does not make this exact pair anymore. Lame. 

So I am on the hunt. I love over sized and black, but may stray into the navy or tortoise spectrum. They need to be large, but not too and have a bit of a D frame or cat eye going on. Here is what I found so far. 

(Hover over for info, click to view)

The Gucci pair are closest to what I have, but those tortoise Row's are kind of amazing. they sell out fast, so might need to make a decision. Which is hard since as I said, this is quite the investment. Any favorites? What pair do you wear that you can't live without? 



Brussels Sprout Salad

What a fantastic weekend. How was yours? The Fourth should always be on a Friday, it makes for the possibility to visit more people, laze around a bit, and the maximum opportunity for great food. We had friends over yesterday and opted to pick up some authentic barbecue from a local spot. But being me, something had to be homemade, so I made this simple Brussels sprout salad with crunchy toasted almonds, Parmesan, and a sweet/tart dressing. It was delicious and since most markets sell shredded Brussels sprouts now (by the lettuce), this will become another summer staple. 

Crunchy Brussels Sprout Salad with Toasted Almonds
Imperfect Polish 2014
serves 4 

1/4 cup of sliced or slivered almonds
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
1 tablespoon honey 
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 small shallot, minced
salt & pepper
1/4 cup of olive oil
1/4 cup of shaved or grated Parmesan cheese
1 bag of sliced Brussels Sprouts, or 24 Brussels Sprouts sliced thinly

Place a pan or skillet on the stove over medium high heat. Put almonds in the pan and toast (do not leave alone for too long, they burn easily!) flipping a few times. Remove from heat and put in a bowl to cool once just toasted on both sides. 

Whisk together the vinegar, honey, Dijon and shallot. Drizzle in the olive oil and continue to whisk until well combined. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Dressing should be tart, but sweet. 

(Almonds and dressing can be made in advance, even a couple days before, seal and store)

Place the Brussels sprouts, cooled almonds, and cheese in a large bowl. Dress the salad (to taste, there may be more than needed) with the vinaigrette and toss to coat well. Season with additional salt and pepper if needed. 

Serve and Enjoy! This holds up better than most salads since it will not wilt as quickly as lettuce. So perfect for company or to make slightly ahead for dinner time. 



Summer Wine Night

I am far from a wine expert, but there have been many glasses in my life. At this age, I know what I like and I also know when it is worth it to splurge on a bottle. Which is kind of all of the time. But, there are plenty of well priced wines that you can enjoy time and time again, here is a few of my current favorites that you can find at most markets and if you are lucky, Costco. 

Lunatic Red Wine: A smooth, very drinkable red even for those that do not like them too full bodied. 
Honig Sauvignon Blanc: I have actually been to this vineyard and was psyched to see it carried my local market. It has that bite that you would expect from a sauv, but goes down smooth. Great with summer salads. 
Miraval Rose: Picked this up at Costco and it was a great discovery. Bonus, Brad & Angelina are the owners. Makes it super fancy. ha
Decoy Zinfandel: Zinfandel (no white zin!) has seriously grown on me this summer. Full bodied, but still great on a hot day. 

I have also been looking for some wine glasses for the patio that do not look plastic, which then spiraled into this outdoor place setting. Now I want everything... 

1. Chic white beaded melamine plates from Pottery Barn $17
2. Modern bamboo tiered serving tray from Nordstrom $68
3. Gold flatware is such a fun statement. West Elm $29 per set
4. So I can relax on the patio with the kids and no worry about glass. World Market $13 for set of 4
5. Block print is on my radar right now and this tablecloth is gorg. Furbish $70
6. Pretty outdoor tumblers from World Market $4 for set of 2
7. This is such a cool take on the lantern. West Elm $29 (on sale)
8. Obsessed with this copper pitcher from West Elm $29

What wine is your fav find right now? Would love to hear. 


Shopping With the All American Girl

We all covet Jennifer Aniston in some ways (or all). Her style, her bod, her man, her friends, her real estate, her career, it is endless. But really she represents to us what an All American girl is. Nice (or at least we think she is), gorgeous (without trying), has a laid back approach to style and life, and doesn't seem to take anything too seriously (except causes of charity). Her style is so envied because it is so classic and has ease, which is harder to do than most think. I have pulled together three of her recent and much repeated looks so we can get inspired to be just like Jen this Summer. 

For the Beach

Jen always keeps it simple. Solid bikini and aviators

For the Weekend 

Distressed denim shorts, a classic striped tee, and the wedges she has worn everywhere.

For a Fancy Night Out 

Nothing looks cooler than a tailored blazer over a short metallic dress. Starburst earrings and some amazing strappy Jimmy Choos are the perfect accessories. 

The girl knows what she is doing and we love her for it. I hope this gives you some inspiration and some ideas for your next look. 



Preparing for the Fourth

How was your weekend? Ours was busy, but very fun. Loving Summer right now, even the sticky heat that I usually loathe. The season just brings people out to socialize more, kids are running around playing with water every day, and every evening is an excuse to relax and enjoy a glass of wine. The Fourth is clearly the height of this and we are starting to get ready, though I plan to keep things as low maintenance as possible. Looking forward to pure Americana with parades on Main Street, wine with friends, and plenty of burgers. 

Mary and I will be sporting our red, white, and blue....

1. Picked up this dress a few weeks ago at Scoop and love it. Flattering and oh so comfortable. The gauzy material is so light for hot days and can be dressed up or down. $110
2. I wish I was wearing these babies, but I already have a similar pair. Such a fab update on the summer bootie from Anthropologie. $148
3. This white floppy hat from Baby Gap has become a summer staple for the babe. Washes easily, too. $16
4. I have only bought the kids' pjs from Hanna Andersson, but this play dress seemed perfect for the fourth and on sale. $19
5. Mary finally fits in these little French leather sandals I bought a few months back. I worship them. J. Crew $45

This summer chopped salad with homemade buttermilk dressing is a great side for our barbecue. Plus, lots of finger food options for the kids before I toss it up. Going to pick up all the ingredients today. 

I need some more Americana in our house since it is so traditional and my new hunt (eBay seems to be a great resource) is for a vintage American flag to frame. They can look so chic in a simple frame and incorporated into a gallery wall or placed as a statement piece in a living room, like this lovely pad... 

Here is to the start of a short week! How are you preparing? 



Friendship in Your 30s

Someone shared (and then I followed) this article about Being a BFF in your 30s. BFF seems silly to use in our 30s, first off, but the article itself brought to light so many things that I have been thinking about lately. Whether you have kids, a demanding career, a relationship, a time consuming extended family, or any of the other thousand things that make your world go round, friendship gets trickier and trickier. 

The article points out that in your 20s you have nothing but time to hang out, spend quality time on the phone catching up, and generally feeling like you really are a BFF (oh how I miss all those boozy, lazy brunches). As time marches on and life begins to get complicated, that time once spent is missed and makes you feel like much less than the friend you once were. But what does emerge (and what is important to concentrate on) from less time spent connecting is the greater bond of having friends that are there no matter what. 

Even if you have not seen them in a few months, even if you have not been able to return their call as fast as you would like, even if you feel that you are in different stations in life, it does not matter. Because when you do get that time together or that phone call is placed at the perfect time or you text back and forth all night, it is just as that friendship always has been. Deep, genuine, and meaningful. 

Time is such a radical thing now and oh so precious. As are the friendships that we care so much about and will develop over the course of our lifetime. I would like to think that those in my life will always be whether it be seeing each other every week, every year, or every decade.  

Tomorrow I get to connect with friends that have been in my life for over two decades and though my time with them is always limited, it means everything to me when those moments happen. Though as women we tend to beat ourselves up about not doing enough in everything we do, sometimes it is nice to just relax and feel confident that you are a great friend no matter the amount of time you get to spend together. And you are the person that your friends support and want to hang out with. Preferably with a nice glass of wine. 

Happy weekend to all the girlfriends out there. Especially mine, who I cherish so much. 

PS: How much does that photo make you want to Shag this weekend? 


Shopbop Sale on Sale

Just as I was going online to look for summer dresses (for the 1 millionth time), I lucked out big time with Shopbop giving an extra 25% off all items already on sale. That is another quarter knocked off the posted price at check out (enter 25MORE as promo code). And the options are really great, in sizes besides xs and xl. Currently, these are all in my cart, need to make some decisions and narrow it down. 

These daytime options are great and make throwing something on for errands and barbecues easy. 

From Left: Splendid $72 / Mother $120 / Splendid $67 / Free People $48 / SoLow $41 
(prices reflect the additional 25% off)

And I love these options for summer weddings and nights out for drinks. 
 From Left: Parker $127 / Chalk Player $117 / Ella Moss $114 / Splendid $62 / David Lerner $96

There is a lot more to choose from. Skirts, rompers, shorts, denim, etc. Trying to keep myself in check, but hard to with so much to choose from. What are your favorites? 

Happy Shopping. 


Memphis Recap

We had the best weekend in Memphis. Though it was beyond steamy, the Southern charm of this city and it's people get me every time. 

We were there to throw my mother in law a birthday party. The flowers we ordered turned out gorgeous, from La Fleur. We also got some old school polaroids cameras to make a book for the birthday girl to remember the night. Things got interesting as the night went on, so fun. 

The food was done by Another Roadside Attraction and everything was delicious. we opted for a traditional barbeque spread with ribs, brisket, potato salad, and corn bread. We added some watermelon with feta and mint and Matt's uncle made the most unreal smoked salmon I have ever had (side note: I usually am not a fan). Apparently he made it in one of those Green Egg Grills. I am going to try and get the recipe to share. 

My Aunt's house is so gorgeous with Southern touches you would expect and some you do not. 

Hello hunting room. Apparently this is a pretty standard room for the Southern gentleman. I worship her front entrance with the arched doors and lantern with graphic wallpaper. And nothing made me happier then there pool area with copper bar. 

And of course there was a front porch we all hung out on, too.  

With this handsome guy. 

I posted what I brought on Friday, but here is what jewelry I opted for. Lucite bracelet from Alexis Bittar and my favorite vintage necklace. 

On Saturday we went with some other out of towners to the Peabody to see the ducks, which apparently is the event of the century given the crowd there. They have special ducks that parade into the elevator. I got to drink champagne while watching, which was the highlight. The hotel itself is gorgeous and the flowers there were unreal. Beautiful place for drinks or tea. 

After we had some time to kill before dinner and kit up a local dive, Bardog, with a juke box. We did not eat, but there is apparently a phenomenal chef there making really delicious updates on American classics. 

We had dinner in the private wine cave at McEwen's

It was so good. They had a large selection of Southern classics with modern twists, including tons of small plates for sharing. And let's not forget the warm biscuits on the table. The roasted mushroom salad with candied walnuts, blue cheese, and balsamic glaze was heaven. 

If you are ever in Memphis I also reccemoned Germantown Commissary for authentic barbecue, the Botanical Gardens are beautiful and apparently have a great outdoor park or kids, and of course Graceland. While it is not the best spot to visit, it is kind of something you have to do and the decor is worth seeing. Sun Studio is also great for music lovers. 

I hope you had a great weekend too! Any other spots in Memphis that are a must see? 


What I am Packing: Memphis

We are headed to Memphis this weekend without the babes (!) to celebrate my MIL's birthday. Matt's Southern family there is so fun and friendly, it is going to be great weekend. I hope to hit up some local spots as well so I can share next week. Any suggestions? It is going to be steamy there all weekend, so I am packing light. Here are the pieces I am squeezing into my carry on and hoping I do not sweat through them. 

1. The best white tee to wear with everything. J. Crew
2. The white tee and my favorite denim cut offs (J. Crew) will be perfect for walking around. 
3. My Claire Vivere goes with everything in my book. Easy to pack too. 
4. My new favorite sandals from Madewell
5. I love this graphic stripe skirt (Theory) to wear with the white tee for dinner. 
6. For the party, I will sport this Alice + Olivia. It is one of the most flattering dresses I own. 
7. I am rediscovering the amazingness of MAC Lip glass in Pink Poodle
8. Light and breezy dress for a trip to Graceland. These ASOSs skater dresses are the best. 
9. The heel that goes with everything. Stuart Weitzman 
10. My Jennifer Zeuner bracelet with the kids names on it to remember them while we are away.

Enjoy your weekend! 


Greek Grilled Chicken with Lemon Couscous

We are forever and always looking for interesting ways to eat chicken. Especially now that the little lady is venturing into that territory. This oldie but goodie was a delicious dinner and everything could be eaten by the entire family. (minus the peperoncini) This is best served al fresco with plenty of white wine. 

Greek Grilled Chicken with Lemon Couscous
serves 4

1 1/3 cup whole wheat couscous (in the rice section of the market)
2 cups chicken stock or water
salt and pepper
juice of one lemon
1 tablespoon dijon mustard
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1 teaspoon chopped fresh oregano
1 minced shallot or garlic clove
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 tomatoes, deseeded and diced
2 cucumbers, deseeded and diced
1/2 cup sliced peperoncini (optional)
1/2 cup crumbled feta
2 lbs. thinly sliced chicken breasts or 4 breasts pounded to 1/2 inch 

In a small sauce pan, bring the stock or water to boil. Place the couscous in a heat safe bowl and pour the stock over it. Cover tightly with plastic wrap and let sit for 5 minutes. Fluff with a fork, season with salt, pepper, and lemon juice to taste. Set aside in fridge or freezer to cool. (Can be made in advance)

Preheat grill or grill pan to medium-high heat.

In a large bowl, whisk together the mustard, vinegar, oregano, and shallot. Slowly add the oil while whisking until well combined.

Season chicken with salt and pepper. Grill on each side for a few minutes until cooked through.

Toss tomatoes, cucumbers, peperoncini, and feta in bowl with vinaigrette. To serve, place a mound of couscous on each plate, place chicken on top, then layer the tomato and cucumber salad.



Summer Line Up


I have such a love hate relationship with the sun. There is nothing better than its warm soft rays on bare skin in these summer months, but the lines in my face and the spots on my arms remind me of its ugly side. With not a lot of time each morning, I need easy products to moisturizer, cover and correct easily. Here is my morning routine. 

1. Splash face with cold water. I heard about this from Giada and she looks pretty damn good. 

2. I mix a couple of drops of Vitamin C serum with Kate Sommerville Serum Sunscreen and slather on. This is the lightest, non-greasy sunscreen I have tried. I add a little more Vitamin C because why not? (the Sommerville serum can be hard to find, this Super Goop option is a good one too)

3. Dab on a little Kinerase C8 Peptide Under Eye Treatment. This can be used day and night and seems to have tightened things up a bit. 

4. I squirt one pump of Make Up For Ever HD Foundation into a scoop of Algenist Regenerative Anti-Aging Moisturizer. It gives me just enough coverage to not have to wear anything else and keeps my skin moisturized all day without being oily. The Algenist was a great find I was talked into by a woman at Sephora, I am on my second pot which says a lot because of my product hoarding problem. 

If I am lucky, I have time for my 3 minute make up routine, but most days I skip that. Feeling a bit more confident in my skin these days since the hormonal acne has calmed down after babies and these products seem to actually be doing the work they claim to do. Shocking. ha 

What do you swear by in the summer? Would love to hear. 

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...