back to school

It’s official- I have a kindergartener! It’s a big deal when your first born starts REAL school. My little Hadley though, has been ready. She LOVES school.

Now, I got to skip out on the back to school shopping for the most part, because she wears uniforms- BUT that doesn’t mean I missed out on grabbing some good stuff during all the sales. Here’s some of my favs:

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I also created this little template and attached two bracelets to it to give to her on the first day of school. Download the template here: bracelet-1st day of school : so you can use it if you’d like! My daughter loved the surprise on her first day.

And- we spent the weekend before baking and freezing a bunch of zucchinis muffins for quick breakfasts on the go – because let’s face it- I’m just not used to having to function this early yet! Also, a big batch of protein balls to get Beckam and me through the day, as well as a healthy dessert treat in Hadley’s lunch.

hope everyone is having a great back-to-school!



father’s day gift guide: new dad


Father’s Day is less than 2 weeks away, and it’s a big one for our little family because it’s my hubby’s first!  I won’t tell exactly what I got him yet just yet (in case he reads this), but here are some of my top picks!

Tree and Acorn outfit set.  The acorn doesn’t fall far from the tree!  I love this outfit set because the colors are neutral and each design is cute on its own.

Classic Messenger Bag.  My guy already has a murse aka european carryall that he totes around fairly regularly, and Father’s Day is a solid excuse to get him an upgrade.  And a couple weeks ago I turned his murse into a ‘daddy tote’ with the ToteSavvy– because why should moms have all the fun toting around a heavy diaper bag? 😉

I Heart Daddy pacifiers.  We’ve got both the ‘Mommy’ and ‘Daddy’ editions of these pacifiers and they definitely warm your heart.

Digital photo frame.  A digital frame for the office cubical is a great way for a new dad to show off all of the pics ya’ll have been taking.  There are sooo many options these days too– digital frames come in a wide variety of sizes and prices.

ToteSavvy.  I bought two of the full size ToteSavvy, one for myself and one for the hubs.  It turns any bag into a diaper bag.  I got one for my guy’s messenger bag and it’s perfect!

Papa Bear mug.  We live in California, so we see this bear silhouette all over the place – but the ‘papa bear‘ makes it absolutely adorable.

Father’s Day Gift onesie.  What better way to subtly remind him that you did all the work for 9+ months?  LOL

Baby Daddy tee.  Who’s your baby daddy?  This guy.

Urban Shoulder Bag.  Another take on the messenger bag for the urban hip and sporty guys.

Personalized book.  A fun book to add to the bedtime story rotation.


Wishing all the new dads a very special first Father’s Day – especially this guy… 🙂

Mother’s Day & Deals!

Happy Mother’s Day! I hope everyone is having a wonderful weekend and a special day with the people they love! Whether it be friends, family, or by yourself – if that’s what makes you happy 😉 If you need another pick me up- I’ve linked below, some of our favorite shops who are having amazing sales this weekend!

We don’t usually get very personal here on the blog, but it just wouldn’t be Mother’s Day without us giving a little shout out to our Mom:

To the lady that taught us it’s ok to dream big, to leave the messy house for a fun adventure instead, don’t be afraid, try something new, that pizza is healthy- it has vegetables, coke can be a breakfast drink…and snack, mid snack, lunch, pre dinner, and dinner drink- but only if you drink it from a wine glass, you can run your first marathon in your 60’s, and to always be down for a good time- We say, thank you and we love you. Happy Mother’s Day.

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Jcrew 25% off your total purchase! and 30% off sale! code: SHOPNOW

LOFT 40% off site wide! code: FORYOU

Anthropologie 20% off site wide! code: WOWMOM

Gap 40% off everything! code: MOM

Revolucion 20% site wide! code: LOVEMOM

Pinkblush 20% off sitewide! code: WOWMOM {see Ashley’s posts here and here about their robes!}

and of course, our favorite shop,

Juniper Lemons 30% site wide INCLUDING SALE! NOW through MONDAY!


happy Mother’s Day, and happy shopping!



getting ready for baby

Having a baby and overwhelmed by registry checklists and recommended products?  We were.  What do we really need?  And what gets used most?  After grilling friends and family with little ones, here are some of the items we determined were key.


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Car Seat.  This is a must apparently just to get your new baby out of the hospital.  Rumor has it the hospital will hold the kiddo hostage unless you have a car seat installed and ready to go.  We went with the Uppababy Mesa because it easily clicks into the stroller base that we chose.  We originally like the gray (aka “Pascal”), but ultimately chose the black (aka “Jake”) thinking it would stay cleaner looking longer.

Stroller.  So many options in so many price ranges.  Ultimately we chose the Uppababy Vista in part on the recommendation of a friend.  Most important to us though was that the Vista comes with a bassinet in addition to a toddler seat; and the car seat, toddler seat, and bassinet all click on and off the base easily, without need for additional attachments.

Glider.  It sounds like a glider, rocking chair, or some uber comfy seat is a must for all the baby snuggling and feedings that are going to be going on.  The price range for comfy seating is huge.  We opted for the Delta ‘Emma’ Glider in Flax for its reasonable cost, relatively compact size, overall comfiness, and neutral color.

Diaper Genie.  Our polling was split on the necessity of a dedicated diaper pail, but for less than $30 we went ahead and got a diaper genie.  Better safe than smelly.

Crib.  Not an immediate need, but at some point the baby should have a legit bed.  We liked the convertible cribs that transform into toddler beds.  We picked up the Delta ‘Fancy’ Convertible Crib from Buy Buy Baby using one of their promotional 20% off coupons.  Lots of retailers (like Buy Buy Baby and Albee Baby) regularly send out “20% off single item” coupons that are perfect for larger purchases like nursery furniture.  Don’t forget to add a mattress, mattress protector, and sheets!

Dresser with Changing Top.  Multi-tasking furniture is the best.  The changing top is removable, so when no longer needed you still have a nice little dresser.  The Delta ‘Emerson’ Dresser was the right size, reasonably priced, and matched well with the crib we picked.  Don’t forget to add the changing pad and a changing pad cover.  Done.

Blankets.  Multi-purpose blankets for swaddling, receiving, and comforting.  We were told we’d need several of these.

Bassinet Stand/Hamper.  Okay, so this one isn’t a ‘must’ at all, and it is arguably over-priced for what it is… but I wanted it.  Part of the Uppababy line, it is a stand for the bassinet (that is part of the Vista stroller)… but then – when you no longer need a bassinet –  use the hamper insert for laundry!

Plush Toy.  You will need at least a couple of cute and soft stuffed animals because they’re adorable.  There are so many to choose from!  I picked ones that made me smile and were in calming colors.

Happy shopping!


tree farm

With Thanksgiving behind us, it’s time to decorate for Christmas!  First stop – find the perfect tree.  This year we made a day of it and drove down to Rancho Siempre Verde to choose and cut our tree.  Then before heading back we stopped at Pie Ranch for some festive provisions and topped the day off with a late lunch at Sam’s Chowderhouse.

If you live in or around the San Francisco Bay Area, I highly recommend this little day trip!  And if you’re not in the Bay Area, have a google and find a tree farm near you.  Get outdoors and smell the fresh pine!

Rancho Siempre Verde is about an hour drive south of San Francisco.  Having researched several tree farms online (here’s a good summary of local tree farms), I chose RSV because for what it lacked in kitsch it more than made up for in beautiful surroundings, tree swings, and marshmallow roasting.  And it didn’t hurt that there’s a pie shop right next door.

wearing: dasher top, ruche long sleeve tee, hat, scarf, hunter travel boots

There are several tree swings scattered around the property that are just as much fun for adults as they are for kids.  And if you don’t feel like cutting your own tree there’s a selection of pre-cut ones ready to go.

We opted to cut our own of course.  I gave sawing a go, but called in Pavel to finish the job.  Once cut you can either haul it yourself to the baling station, or have one of the workers give you a tractor pulled hay ride to pick it up and haul it back.  (TIP:  Trees look smaller out in the wild than they do in your house… found that out when we got home.)


There are also wreaths for sale, or you can opt to make your own!  Making a wreath from scratch was a first for me, and like it or not – I’m pretty proud of it!

There is an bonfire going for marshmallow roasting, and feel free to bring your own sausages to roast too!  And mind the sign warning that unattended children will be given an espresso an a puppy.

Next door to the tree farm is Pie Ranch where we picked up a fresh baked apple pie, an mini honey nut oat pie, and some shortbread cookes.  Hey, it’s the holidays!  They also have a variety of fresh produce, pickled vegetables, and preserves.

Sam’s Chowder House is one of our favorite spots.  It happened to be raining by the time we got there, but on fair weather days it’s nice to sit outside by one of the firepits and dine while overlooking the ocean.  And they have s’more kits if you feel like making your own dessert!

Though the rain kept us inside at Sam’s this trip, it gave us a beautiful rainbow on the drive home.


The scenic route.  All 3 of these places are located on Cabrillo Highway aka Highway 1 and the drive has some terrific views of the Pacific Ocean.  There are also tons of produce stands and wine tastings along the way – so take your time and make a day of it!

Happy Holidays!

pumpkins pumpkins pumpkins

Like many festive folks, you may have visited a pumpkin patch or two in October.  We did!  And now that Halloween has passed we’re wondering.. what should we do with all those pumpkins?!  Read on for decorating ideas and some recipes!  But first, where’d those pumpkins come from?

Ash’s pumpkin patch visit 

I checked out the Great Peter Pumpkin Patch on one of the rainiest weekends Nor Cal has seen in a while.  And, yes! – that’s the ‘jane trench‘ I’m wearing along with the ‘everyday leggings’ (coming soon!), ‘ruche long sleeve tee‘, and Hunter ‘Tour’ packable rain boots (previously mentioned here).

Aj’s pumpkin patch visit

My visit was more of kid-centered visit. We went to a darling pumpkin patch farm with animals, pumpkins, and a real corn maze – Hall’s Pumpkin Farm & Corn Maze. The littles loved being able to just pick grass and feed the animals – as well as running around like crazy trying to find our way out of the corn maze! Do you see those cute boots I was wearing!? Those are coming to the store SOON!! And that perfect green color tee I’m sporting? Yep, our ‘premium tee- evergreen‘. Kiddo’s outfits are from here and here. The husband’s? Ya, I didn’t think you asked. *eyeroll* he did not dress cute for the occasion.


Now, what we’re doing with all those pumpkins…

Decorating ideas


Pumpkins fit the season through Thanksgiving (at least the ones that weren’t carved up), so let them hang out!  Put them on the front porch, use some in a table centerpiece, paint them white and gold for a more contemporary/modern feel – so many options!  Here is some inspiration that we found –

White pumpkins from Livingly;  gold confetti pumpkins also from Livingly; and a beautiful pumpkin centerpiece from the Stone Gable blog.


Nothing says fall like pumpkin flavored EVERYTHING. Here is one of our favorites:

Pumpkin Double Layer Cheesecake Bars


  • 1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs
  • 1/2 cup melted butter
  • 2-5 tbsp (to taste) white sugar


  • 4 packages, 8oz each, cream cheese- room temperature
  • 1 1/2 cups white sugar
  • 4 eggs- room temperature
  • 1 8oz can of canned pumpkin
  • 2 tsp pumpkin pie spice

Homemade whipped cream

  • whipping cream
  • sugar
  • vanilla


Preheat oven to 300 degrees F. Line a 9×13″ baking pan with parchment paper- leaving a little over hanging on the sides.

In a bowl, combine the graham cracker crumbs, melted butter, and sugar. Mix to combine- Then press the crumb mixture on the bottom of the prepared baking pan. You can use the bottom of a cup to really press down on the crust to make sure it’s pressed firmly together.

In a mixing bowl, combine the cream cheese and sugar. Beat with a paddle attachment until light, fluffy, and smooth. You don’t want any lumps! This is why it is key for everything to be at room temperature.

Beat in the eggs, one at a time- until blended. Spoon half of this mixture over the crust and spread evenly. To the remaining mixture add the canned pumpkin and pumpkin pie spice. Use a wire whisk to stir until smooth. Then, carefully spoon this over the other layer in the pan.

Bake the cheesecake in the oven for 50 minutes. Then- just turn the oven off and leave the door slightly ajar so that the cheesecake can slowly cool down- about 1 hour, maybe more.

Refrigerate for at least 3 hours before cutting into bars! A little tip- run your knife under warm water and dry it off between cuts so you get smooth, clean cut bars! Top with homemade whipped cream (or store bought!) and sprinkle on some pumpkin pie spice for a festive touch. Then- try not to eat them all before you share with others. You’ve been warned.



Ash & Aj