You guys, it really is true what they say: people in Southern California are complete babies when it comes to cold weather. (I actually have no idea if “they” say that, but they should.) This year we’ve had more winter-ish weather than I can remember in years past, and it looks like we’ve got a bunch of chilly (and even, gasp, rainy) days ahead. Eric cannot stop talking about spring, and me? I just keep finding more faux fur to love.
I snagged this little vest on major sale during cabi Scoop back in January, and I just love the colors. It was only available about 2 to 3 sizes bigger than I’d normally buy from cabi, but the sides of the vest are woven fabric so I knew it would be an easy fix for a tailor. This vest is sadly no longer available, but I did find a couple of brand new options on ebay and am linking a few similar styles below.
Annnnd surprise, surprise – that pair of black skinnies again. I know I’m pretty much a broken record about this, but if you like high rise denim and have not tried Madewell’s high rise skinnies yet, you are seriously missing out. They come in 9 and 10 inch rises in a million washes and are available in regular, petite, long, curvy, and maternity versions because sometimes it’s nice to have ALL of the options, right?
Happy Friday, friends! It’s been a long (LONG) time coming, but today I’m finally sharing a full look and some before and after photos from our kitchen remodel. I shared a little more about our house, the process, and the outside before and after in this post last year, and I planned on sharing some B&A photos of the inside sooner than now. But, you know, life gets crazy, photos never get taken, and at the end of the day, I really wanted to live in our kitchen for a while before sharing the details and what we love about it with you guys. Over the last year and a half or so, we have definitely entertained in this home. Like, a lot. We love having people over, cooking up way too much food, and sharing lots of wine between friends. And this space has been exactly what we hoped for.
Originally, the house was super divided, walls between every room, just how they liked it in the 60’s apparently. We knocked down the walls between the kitchen, living room, and dining room, relocated the dining room by way of an addition, and vaulted the ceiling. I’ve had lots of questions from you gals about the cost of doing all of the wall removal and ceiling vaulting, and the answer is pretty tough. Every house is different, and if you’re thinking of doing something similar, your first step is talking to an engineer. (And as a rule of thumb, it’s always best to add on 20% to any final cost, just for safety.) The wall between our kitchen and living room was load-bearing, so we kept a little part of it (what’s behind the oven and coffee station) and then added a huge beam across the entire living area to support the house. (In the first photo at the top, you can see the wooden beam running across the ceiling. It was originally covered in drywall and painted white, but we eventually added wood panels to the outside and stained it for a bit of contrast.)
The kitchen design itself was a little tricky because it was a long, seemingly narrow space, and with an open concept, you lose a good bit of storage with the lack of upper cabinets. After it was all said and done though, the kitchen is wider than we originally thought it would be, and we have a ton of storage with the lower cabinets, huge drawers, and end nook of lowers and uppers. We love bright lighting (as you can also tell from the outside of the house here), so we have a ton of can (recessed) or down lights throughout the house. They’re all LED and super-efficient – running every single light in our house takes less energy than an old-school plasma TV. Light fixtures were added in most rooms because we wanted the look, not because we needed the extra light. (And that is something I would suggest to anyone doing a remodel – add more can or recessed lights in the ceiling than you even think you need. It makes a world of difference.)
Overall we love how everything turned out, and through sharing a few photos on Instagram (you can follow this hashtag for more) over the last year or so, I’ve gotten a ton of questions from you guys. And I totally get it! There are so many questions, so many unknowns! And personally, looking at our remodel on paper plans made no sense to me. Like, how is this really going to look? So below I’m recapping some of our favorite features and decisions that we made. Hopefully this answers a few, but please feel free to send over any additional questions. I’m happy to answer anything I can!
Cabinets – Of all the questions I get from people looking to redo their kitchen, the most popular question is probably about the cabinets, and for good reason! They’re expensive, and if you’ve never looked into kitchen cabinets before, then who in the world knows where to start? There are tons of prefab versions available, but we ended up going with custom cabinetry (from Serna Cabinets) because it allowed us total freedom with our kitchen design, much deeper countertops than the standard, and the option to panel our appliances – which is why our fridge, dishwasher and ice maker blend in with the cabinets. I also love the smaller touches that custom cabinetry allowed for – what could have been a wasted space is now our pull-out spice rack; the cabinet full of pots and pans features pull-out drawers inside; and our storage pantry has electrical outlets for charging a little vacuum and other small appliances.
Countertops – I’m not a huge Pinterest person, but in all my scrolls down Pinterest-Inspo lane, white marble countertops were the one constant. I knew I wanted white marble, but oh man, I was not prepared for the mountains of unsolicited advice. The coffee stains! The red wine! So we checked out other stones that were supposed to have the same look with more durability, but no matter what the HGTV shows tell you, the look is not the same. We saw some beautiful quartz slabs, but in my opinion, they looked nothing like real Calacatta or Carrara marble. Sometimes you just can’t manufacture something to look like the real thing. So we went with Calacatta marble slabs, and a year and a half or so in, they definitely show some lived-in wear. There’s not one coffee or red wine stain to be found though. The real culprit here is actually water stains and rings and SO much citrus (the worst for marble). Stains and all, we’re still happy with the marble decision for this kitchen because we love the look and don’t really mind that it feels lived in. But if I were designing another kitchen in the future, I might warm up to the darker / smoky grey quartz idea. Who knows. (Also, a marble slab is about an inch or less thick – 3/4 of an inch usually. To get a thicker countertop look like we have, ask your installer to “apron” the sides – they matched the marble perfectly at the edge and made a 2″ mitered apron.)
Appliances – Here’s a non-shocker for you: kitchen appliances are expensive. Like, really expensive. But when it came down to it, we felt like we had spent the time and money creating our dream kitchen and entertaining space, and we wanted nice appliances to finish it off. We went with a full Thermador package – fridge, gas range and pop-up downdraft (vent), oven (with 100 functions), drawer-style microwave, dishwasher, and wine fridge – and we couldn’t be happier. We paneled the fridge and dishwasher and love the sleek look blended in with the other stainless appliances. Given the chance to choose again, we’d definitely make the same choice and go with Thermador again.
Undercounter Ice Maker – After spending a few years constantly changing out ice trays in our Newport Beach rental house, ice had become like a luxurious hot commodity for parties and sometimes just everyday life. (WHO FORGOT TO FILL THE TRAYS AGAIN?!) A separate ice maker was on our list of kitchen musts, and it’s something that we use multiple times every single day. (In the photo above that shows our fridge, it’s hiding two cabinets over – you can see the little vent below it.)
Farmhouse Sink – Tune into a little marathon of Fixer Upper, and you’ll hear the words “farmhouse sink” in every single episode. Trendy or not, sweet Jesus I hope they never go out of style because having a big, undivided sink is just so functional. Washing or soaking large pots and pans is a breeze, and having the extra space is just plain nice. I also LOVE the Kohler faucet with a couple of different spray options that we chose. Which brings me to my next…
Filtered Hot and Cold Water Dispenser – You know that whole “drink more water” thing I’m always talking about? Well if there’s anything that’s helping me out with that, it’s this. We installed a filtered water dispenser that matched our main faucet and an “insta-hot” to make hot tea or other hot beverages instantly. (Seriously, piping hot water comes out within a second. It’s magic.) It’s one of my favorite features in the kitchen, and I think the second faucet (really similar to this one) is actually a really sleek addition. My only regret is not adding one in our master bathroom as well. (All of our kitchen and bathroom plumbing fixtures are Kohler, and we’ve been really pleased with the easy maintenance and overall durability – fingerprints and everyday smudges just wipe right off.)
Wine Fridge – Well…hello. A wine fridge is definitely NOT an essential in a kitchen, but I definitely wouldn’t create a future kitchen without one. It’s obviously great for keeping red and white wine chilled and out of the way, but it’s also been so great for entertaining. When guests bring over wine, throw it in the wine fridge instead of taking up valuable real estate in the main fridge. Ours was part of our Thermador appliance package.
Bar Height Island – One thing we knew we wanted from the beginning was a big island, and I don’t really know if ours would be considered an island or peninsula, but let’s just go with it. We went with a taller, “bar height” counter because it’s the main gathering place in the kitchen where people tend to hang around, and Eric and I are both on the taller side. For shorter guests, it’s a little on the tall side, but we still have no regrets with that decision. We also chose to waterfall the marble top down to the floor, and it’s definitely become a focal point of the kitchen.
White subway tile – Originally, we didn’t have a backsplash because we kind of needed to figure out what we really wanted to do. We ended up going full-height with white subway tile on the entire wall behind the sink and slim wall behind the coffee station and also behind the stove, and it finished the space for us so perfectly.
French doors – If you scroll below to the “before” photos, you’ll see that we had a window above the original sink and one in what used to be the dining room. We replaced and rearranged all of the outdated windows in the house (not a decade too soon), and in the new kitchen, we went with French doors to access the backyard. When the weather is nice (which is most times in Southern California), we keep one door open all day long so the dogs can come and go (slash run like banshees) as they please. It’s been great for the dogs but also for airflow in the house in the summer months, and we love how they seamlessly tie in with the windows.
And now for a little walk down (bad) memory lane. Scroll below for a couple of photos of the “before” of this space. Admittedly, I’m kicking myself for not taking more photos of what it all looked like before. (What can I say, at the time, it didn’t feel like something I’d want to remember.) But if you’re doing a remodel of your own, take photos, take your time in the planning phase, and buckle up for what is going to be one crazy ride. Have a great weekend, guys!
I’m not trying to kill my cold weather based readers or anything, but this weekend in SoCal we basically got a little taste of spring. Saturday was 82 degrees in Huntington Beach, and I had to double-check my phone to make sure it was still January. I legit thought I had time traveled or something, but nope. Still January. While I have no complaints about a little sunshine and warm weather, I was thinking for a minute that MAYBE I overdid it on the faux fur purchases for this year. But then I saw a low of 52 for later this week and thought, nahh, I’m good. (SoCal reasoning, you know?)
Also, I really can’t regret these two faux fur jackets because they are just so cozy and lovely and warm. The two-toned purple and black bomber (that comes in two additional colors and a plus-sized version) was just too fun to pass up. It’s plush and luxe and has the best hood for those ultra chilly days. And the grey and taupe one is a bit sleeker (slimmer) with a super soft knit lining. I scored it as a little souvenir from Jackson Hole, but you can skip the trip and Amazon Prime one right to your door. You really can’t go wrong with either, and they’re both under $100.
And then there’s the rest of the look – the jeans, easy black tee, and comfy metallic sneakers – that I just so happen to be wearing as I type this. It’s come to my attention lately that I definitely have a “uniform” these days, and for good reason. These jeans have become my ultimate go-to pair. They’re high-waisted, comfortable, and hold me in perfectly, and by now, I’ve worn them on the blog about 100 times. If you are looking for a good pair, I can’t recommend these more.
I’ve got an arsenal of black tees these days – short sleeves, long sleeves, and everything in between. Doing laundry lately looks like lots and lots of the same thing, and I’m not mad about it. I like super soft, slightly thicker fabric and a longer length and recently found these for under $15 that are SO good. (I bought 3 of them – no regrets.) And these sneakers are seriously the best. I bought them in camo a few months ago and wore them so much I decided I needed a second color. (I blame Amazon Prime for that one.) . It’s legit the everyday uniform that keeps on giving, and it just works for me.
I get so many questions from readers and friends about the pieces that every closet needs, and I think I’ve decided on this: find what really works for you, something you feel comfortable and confident in (without looking like a slob kabob), and embrace it. Currently, I’m loving that jeans, black tee, and sneakers life (with a fun faux fur every now and then) and invest in pieces like a handbag or piece of jewelry that I’ll have for years and years. (And then I keep said investment pieces away from the wild puppies around here because my mama didn’t raise a fool.)
What are the pieces that you’d consider part of your “uniform” right now?
This year we once again found ourselves in the penthouse at the White Buffalo Club. (I highlighted that in this post, and while it sounds and is way bougie, it’s so ideal and actually affordable for a group.) When people ask why we love Jackson so much, it’s really hard to pin it down. This trip, we roamed, we listened to live music, some skied or snowboarded, I once again met up with Erin to snap a few photos, we ate ALL the food, and mostly, had all the laughs. Below are a few tried and true favorites and a couple of new spots that we loved.
Breakfast at Persephone Bakery – The last couple of times that we visited Jackson, we picked up a few delicious pastries from Persephone, but this time, Erin suggested trying the full-on breakfast menu there after we shot a few photos around town. And OH MAN. It’s pretty much a full menu of everything I want to eat for breakfast. I was seriously tempted by the bread pudding French toast, thought hard about the shakshuka, and eventually landed on the Scone Skillet (a gussied-up version of biscuits and gravy) and had no regrets.
Dinner at The Silver Dollar Bar at The Wort Hotel – During our first full day, most members of our group were snowboarding, so when it came time for dinner, we were all pretty beat. (We even had tickets for a concert in Teton Village that night that we opted to skip.) So we picked an old favorite that we stop in once (or several times) every time we visit Jackson. The Silver Dollar Bar is a comfy spot with live music, friendly staff, and hearty food to keep you warm, and we always eat in the bar where it’s casual and cozy. I usually go for the chili, but a friend ordered the beef pot pie which was the table favorite.
Breakfast at Cafe Genevieve – Be still my Southern heart, Cafe Genevieve was just as good as I remembered. It’s seriously the coziest little cafe that feels like you’re in someone’s home, and the menu is packed full of things I want to order. This time we slept in a bit so I was feeling more of a lunch mood. The grilled cheese and tomato soup did not disappoint, and neither did the bloody Mary complete with candied bacon. YUM!
Beer flights at Snake River Brewing – With full bellies and a few free days ahead of us, we set out to explore, and what do you know, after a swing through Town Square, I led our group right over to Snake River Brewing. I remembered that when we visited the year before, there was a wood-burning fire so that we could warm up while having a local brew. This year, the fireplace was empty, but the $15 beer flights (and a giant soft pretzel for me) kept our group happy for a while.
Lunch or afternoon snacks at Bin 22 – This favorite little wine market is only about a block or two from The White Buffalo Club, so obviously we found ourselves back at the Bin…several times. Grab a bottle of wine for the road, or sit down and stay a while with meats, cheeses, and small plates. Eric fell in love with the oxtail soup here this trip, made everyone go back the next day to try it, and has been raving about it ever since. I can’t really speak on the oxtail soup (I didn’t try it, sorry!), but I was super jazzed on the housemade meatball.
Dinner at The Blue Lion – This one was a new one for us. It came highly recommended and is located literally about 10 steps from our door at the White Buffalo Club, so it was a no-brainer for dinner one night. It’s a dinner-only spot situated in an old house and has live acoustic guitar music most nights – basically, it’s cute AF. Most of our group had the lamb or the elk and enjoyed it, and I loved the trout amandine. We would definitely go back here on future trips.
Brunch at The Bird – Bird, bird, bird…Bird is the word. Eric and I LOVED stopping into The Bird over the summer, and on this trip, it was a collective group favorite again. We Ubered over to The Bird (it’s a bit out of town) and ended up spending more than a couple of hours watching the snow, catching a couple of games, mimosa-ing, and (duh) eating the dank ass food. For me, the burgers are where it’s at, and with a ton of options to choose from, I’m going with the American cheese, grilled onion, and fried egg covered Slue. Don’t judge me. And once you’re fat, full, and happy, hop in their shuttle for a free ride home.
Sleigh ride through the National Elk Reserve – Jackson is home to a huge National Elk Reserve, and the last time that I ventured into it, we were a little too early for the elk. For this trip, though, we were right on time, so we took a horse-drawn sleigh through the reserve. The whole tour took about an hour, and while it was admittedly a little uneventful at times, we did get to see some pretty big elk up close and personal which made it totally worth the $25 (per person) we spent. Also a side note: bundle up because it’s COLD in the winter.
Drinks and chili at the Rustic Inn – After the sleigh ride we headed across the street to the Rustic for a drink before dinner and mostly to thaw out. The bar slash restaurant area is tiny but so cozy, and the staff that we met was super friendly. The whole inn (resort really) is situated creekside and boasts some pretty sweet creekside rooms and cabins. Eric and I hadn’t even heard about this place before, but we’ve decided we definitely want to try and stay here on a future trip.
Apps at Snake River Grill – I’ve chatted about this place in my previous two Jackson recaps, but good God, Eric and I love Snake River Grill. The main courses are seriously dee-lish, but this time around we stacked up the apps and went IN on the small plates. The steak tartare pizza is Eric’s go-to, and the lobster spring rolls and truffle tagliatelle pasta are new faves of mine.
Drinks and snacks at Roadhouse Brewing Co. – This is a newer spot right on the Town Square that we stopped into before heading to the airport, and the beers that I tried were GOOD. I loved that we could create our own flight of locally-brewed beers, but I will admit that the service here was…bananas…in a bad way. (To be fair, they were brand new, so we’ll give them the benefit of the doubt on that one.)
Happy Friday, friends! Today I’m so excited to recap our recent summer trip to Jackson, Wyoming. (You can check out the first half of the trip here.) Eric and I visited Jackson Hole back in December with a couple of friends and absolutely fell in love with the town. We had a blast in the winter but knew we wanted to see Jackson in the summer…and spring and fall.
And so we went. This time it was just the two of us, and we got to town with no real plans, no reservations, and no speed but slow. It was warm out, so the days were perfect for roaming around town, moseying into local shops, swinging through Grand Teton National Park, and grabbing a magazine to read outside in the town square. By nighttime, we were nursing our second or third food coma of the day and having zero regrets about it.
People have asked which season we preferred there, and it’s really hard to say. It’s just two entirely opposite ends of the spectrum, but we loved both. During the summer, there are definitely A LOT more people in Jackson, but it didn’t stop us from getting into anywhere we wanted to go. A pro of the summer though is definitely ease of moving around. When you don’t have to bundle up in ALL of the layers, walking a few blocks here, there, and everywhere seems like no big deal.
And so, here goes – a few favorite spots that we hit this time around. And we will definitely be back in any season – so let me know if we’ve missed any of your favorites in town!
Hotel Jackson– Y’all, I really cannot say enough good things about this hotel. I can’t decide what I loved most – the cozy room, the prime location, the beyond-friendly staff, or the restaurant. The room was pretty perfect for us – nothing crazy big, but nice and new with an in-room Nespresso machine and L’Occitane goodies in the shower. The location really can’t be beat either. It’s right in town so you can walk to pretty much everything, but it’s about a block or so off of the main street so it’s really quiet. The valet, doormen, and front desk staff were super friendly and helpful, and a bartender there introduced me to Bear Root Bitters, a new favorite of mine. (Highly recommend a few drops of the Habanero Ginger for spicy margaritas.) The restaurant and outside bar were both great, and I’m recapping those below.
Happy Hour at Bin 22 – This place is the cutest little combination of a small restaurant and bar with a market full of great beer and wines. We stopped in during our last trip just to grab a couple of bottles of wine, but this time we stumbled upon their happy hour at the bar. Glasses were around $5 (I think), and I got to try a couple of new-to-me wines that I loved.
Dinner at Snake River Grill– When we visited in December, we regretted not having dinner at Snake River Grill, so this time we made up for it by eating here twice. I’m pretty sure their Steak Tartare Pizza is one of Eric’s favorite meals of life, and we had a crispy fish taco appetizer special that really rocked my socks. This place is seriously delicious, and whether you go with steak, fish, or anything else on the menu, you really can’t go wrong.
Drinks at Smokin’ Iron at Hotel Jackson – The back patio bar at Hotel Jackson is serving up live music, super comfy adirondack seating, and SO MANY flights. Flights of beer, mimosas, bloody Mary’s, margaritas or sangria – pick your poison and then choose your flavors. Eric says I’m a sucker for miniature things, and he’s right because I totally love this concept.
Brunch at The Bird– We met a local (who BTW has this awesome company – seriously yummy bars) during happy hour at Bin 22 who suggested we check out brunch at The Bird. And he was so, so right. The burgers were delicious and served on English muffins, which may sound a little odd, but it totally works for brunch. Overall, the cabin-meets-bar atmosphere was super fun, the deck is dog-friendly, and the mimosas just keep flowing. The Bird is a few minutes out of town, but there’s a shuttle van that will pick you up and then bring you back to town afterwards.
Snake River Sporting Club– The last time we were in Jackson, we met a local couple at dinner one night and have kept in touch ever since. For this trip, they asked if we’d like to do pool time and dinner at Snake River Sporting Club, and after looking into it, we knew we’d be crazy to pass up the offer. Y’all, this place is something to see. The food was delicious, we had the entire patio deck to ourselves, and the views from both dinner and the drive in were incredible. It’s members-only, but if you happen to know someone in town who’s a member, ask them, beg them, force them to take you here. It’s bananas.
Sloshies at Creekside Market & Deli – Those same friends introduced us to Sloshies, and our lives may never be the same. They’re only sold during the summer months (hence why we never heard about them during our frigid December trip) and consist of fresh-squeezed juice and vodka that’s been swirling around in a slushie machine for hours. They’re like a frozen greyhound and are basically what summertime cocktail dreams are made of. I’m told there are a few places around that sell them, but we got ours (on multiple occasions, including on the way to the airport) from Creekside Market.
Lunch or Dinner at FIGS at Hotel Jackson – Lebanese food may not come to mind first when you think of restaurants in Jackson, but I’m telling you, this lunch was bomb. It’s located in the lobby of Hotel Jackson, so Eric and I grabbed one last feast here before heading home. The falafel sliders, kofta kabobs, and spicy hummus with homemade pita bread did not disappoint, and I legit thought about shoving the rest of the pitas in my bag for the plane ride home. I don’t eat Lebanese food often, but this is definitely the best that I’ve had.
Summertime may be winding down for some (sorry, kiddos heading back to school, but hey, high fives to their mamas), but there’s no end in sight to the beach days around here. We’re kicking into that late summer heat, and I’ve got nothing but the ocean (or any near body of water, really) on my mind.
I’ve chatted about Magicsuit before, and today I’ve got another favorite swimsuit from the brand. Sucks you in, holds the girls up, and I’m pretty obsessed with this floral print. Unfortunately, you’ll have to wait a bit for this print (next spring), but you can find the same suit in black here.
Throw it on, grab your favorite breezy coverup, and sit outside on your new patio furniture with a warm laptop. Just me? Probably. But I don’t care, here’s to living up the rest of summer, friends!
Well, it only took me about three weeks, but I’m finally sharing my brief little travel guide for Coeur d’Alene, Idaho. If you’ve been following along on Instagram, you probably noticed a few snaps from Idaho and Wyoming earlier this month. Eric sent me an email from work earlier in June with one quick question, Want to take a trip to Coeur d’Alene or Jackson Hole after the 4th? I responded with, Is this a trick question?
As a general rule, we never like to travel much during the summer when school is out because if we wait a bit, the crowds are much more manageable. But Eric knew that he’d have a couple of quiet days at work around the 4th, and before he could change his mind or have a meeting pop up, I started booking. Our original plan was to fly into Spokane, spend a couple of nights in Coeur d’Alene, and then drive to Jackson Hole (you can see my winter guide to Jackson here), stopping somewhere in between for a night.
But since it was the middle of summer, rental cars were few and pricey for the areas we wanted. Really pricey. For just a bit more, we could put a checkmark on a big bucket list item for Eric, so we flew from Coeur d’Alene to Jackson on a small Cessna plane. (You can see a photo of the plane below.) I was terrified, but in the end, it was such a cool experience. We’ll get to the second half of the trip in a later post, but for now, here’s a little recap of what we did, saw, and ate in Couer d’Alene.
The Coeur d’Alene Resort Spa – For our first night, we booked a Dine, Spa, and Stay package that included a $100 restaurant credit and a spa treatment. I got to kick off the trip with a massage, and it did not disappoint. The spa at the resort is beautiful and so cozy with a full view of the lake. I’m normally a facial-loving girl, but I got a Swedish massage and loved every minute.
Dinner at Beverly’s – Beverly’s is located on the 7th floor of the resort with the most beautiful floor-to-ceiling views of the lake, and the food was incredible. We had the seafood tower (photo below) and filets while watching the sunset over the lake. It was seriously a “pinch me, this is so pretty” dinner that I’d like to repeat again and again. After dinner, you can step into the bar inside of Beverly’s for live music.
Breakfast at Honey Eatery & Social Club – On our first morning in Coeur d’Alene, we were up early hunting for breakfast, and we learned that maybe the downtown area just doesn’t DO early. (I myself usually do not DO early, so no judgement here.) It’s a sleepy town on weekend mornings for sure, and lots of places were still closed. We stumbled upon Honey, a cozy little brand new spot with what seems to be a Southern flair, and oh man it was good. I wanted just about everything on the menu, but we went with the Chorizo Deviled Eggs, a Cast Iron Pancake, and a side of the Wild Rice Grits. And then it took all my energy not to head right back to the resort and crawl back in bed – it’s a breakfast spot worth visiting, 100%.
Burgers from Hudson’s Hamburgers – After breakfast, we roamed around town a bit, popping into small shops, walking around parts of the lake, and exploring some of the side streets. We noticed a tiny little burger place with a line out of the door and so many people crowding around. We had seen similar lines the previous day, so obviously we had to know what all the fuss was about. And it was worth the fuss. It’s a tiny little diner-esque place with only a few (taken) seats, so we took ours to go. The burgers are pretty simple – high quality meat, cheese, house-made ketchup and mustard with a little tang to it, and pickles. No lettuce, no onions, no tomato, no fries, no need. No credit cards either, so make sure you have cash – about $3 for a cheeseburger. A couple of days after the trip was over, I told Eric I could REALLY go for a Hudson’s burger, and he definitely agreed. (And to be honest, I could go for one right now.)
Lakeside Infinity Pool– So the pool at Coeur d’Alene Resort is beautiful. It’s an infinity pool on the edge of the lake, and they have an amazing water taxi waiting to shuttle you there. Grab a beer for the ride from the little dockside bar before you go. Unfortunately though, the pool is one of our only complaints about the resort. Like I said, it’s beautiful, but it’s pretty small. And since we were there in the middle of summer, it was full of kids. While we’re certainly not anti-kids, it’s always nice when a resort has a separate pool for families so that while you have your cocktail in the infinity pool overlooking the lake, you’re not being targeted by the nearest cannonball. That said, this would probably be solved if you went when kids are back in school. (And also, some of the little goggle-wearing kiddos were pretty cute.)
Lake Boat Cruise– Admittedly, Eric was a little anti on this one at the beginning, but I really wanted to cruise around the lake and check out the homes and cabins from the water. #Stalker, sorry. But I’d say it was worth it, and Eric now agrees. There are two levels of seating and a full bar on board, but definitely get to the boat early if you want a seat up top or a drink without waiting in an extremely slow-moving line.
Snacks or Apps at Whispers – If there’s one thing that Eric does on vacation, it’s EAT, so when we stopped by Whispers for a glass of wine before dinner, I should’ve known there would also be food involved. We (and by we, I mean he) ordered the Hummus Sampler and the Cougar Gold Melting Pot, a cheesy artichoke and onion dip, and both were delicious. We also sat outside on the deck and met a couple who let Eric and I pet their dog for probably longer than socially acceptable. So that was also a win.
Dinner at The Cedars Floating Restaurant – This place is also owned by the resort, but it’s off property so they provide a shuttle to get you there. (Side note, the shuttle drivers for the resort are awesome. They can tell you everything you want to know about Coeur d’Alene…and answer Eric’s 100 questions too.) But, back to Cedars, it was so good. We shared a local trout appetizer, had more king crab legs, and made a round or two by the salad bar. (The salad bar there is seriously legit.)
As the home decorating process rolls on, it’s hit me recently that things are FINALLY coming together around here. If you saw this before and after post, then you know that Eric and I took on a major home remodel last year, and now that the construction is all done, I’ve been on a mission to get every room furnished and decorated. And well, it’s certainly been easier said than done.
During the months of construction, the house was a complete disaster. All of our furniture was in a POD in our driveway, our kitchen and brand new wedding gifts were all packed away, and my closet was inaccessible, sealed up with plastic. (When our one month rental unit turned into five months, I was REALLY bummed about that closet situation. But, I digress.) I couldn’t wait to get back into our house and start the decorating process from scratch.
Once we were all moved back into the house, we ordered rugs, a few new pieces of furniture, and new bedding. And then, we got tired. We needed a break and just didn’t care to get anything hung on the walls for a while. Plus, somewhere a few months later, I turned my sights to the master bedroom and living room in Palm Springs which somehow just came a bit easier.
But lately I’ve been on a roll with getting rooms finished up around here and recently restyled this little nook in our kitchen that makes me so happy. These glass-front cabinets used to house all of our clear wine and cocktail glasses, and it was so boring it drove me nuts. (You can see a peek at the before here.) With the white counters, cabinets, and walls, this cabinet was begging for a little color, and I wanted to pull in some of the blue from the rug in our kitchen.
I had my eye on a few things at Anthropologie (my FAVORITE site for dishes and glassware) and decided to pull the trigger during their annual sale a few weeks ago. My mom was in town to help a sister out with the styling, and I really love the way it turned out. I look at this little corner every morning while I’m pouring my coffee, and it’s got me motivated to tackle the next project: styling the glass cabinets by our fireplace. I’d like to say those are coming soon, but let’s be honest. We shall see.
Quick question, friends – when’s the last time you found a really cute skort? Admittedly, it’s been a LONG time since I’ve come across the skirt-short combo that I wore nonstop as a kid, but after reentering the skort world recently with this cabi version, I’m wondering why in the world these ever went away. I mean, I know they’re actually the perfect option for kiddos running around on a playground, but what’s wrong with offering a little breeze protection to the grown up kiddos running errands?
Blame it on the more than breezy weather we’ve had around here lately (seriously, where are you, summer??), but I’m thinking that my wardrobe needs a couple more fake skirts and this one or this little pretty just might be next. Just add a simple tee or tank, comfy wedges or sandals, and the denim trench that you wore to death a few years ago and have recently rediscovered.
And now I’m off for some San Diego exploring. I’m here for the week with my mom and godmother and am wondering WHY it has to be so chilly and windy this week. Also wondering why I only brought one pair of jeans and lots of dresses that are now useless. Will I ever learn how to pack for this fickle SoCal weather? Maybe not, but it’s always a good excuse for some shopping, right? Hope everyone has a great week ahead!
It’s been one whole week since I was taking in the sights, twirling in the flower fields, and eating ALL the food in La Jolla, and I’m already wondering how soon is too soon to go back? I’ve wanted to check out La Jolla for the longest, so when Kathleen and I got the chance to skip town for a couple of days last week and post up at the Hyatt Regency La Jolla at Aventine, it was a real no-brainer.
I love a good Hyatt (like this one in Huntington Beach), and this one in La Jolla was definitely no different. The people were all so nice and accommodating, and our room was seriously perfect. We ended up getting a suite with an extra adjoining room, so we had our own space but also a little common living room area for computer and wine time at night. We also each had our own bathroom which is so great for spreading out ALL of the hair and makeup things. (If only we could have rooms like this at New York Fashion Week!) We had access to the Club Lounge for all the snacks and coffees and an honor wine bar in the evenings. (Winner, winner!) The hotel also offers a junior sized Olympic pool, a gym, and a coffee bar that kept those almond milk lattes flowing. Overall, we had an amazing couple of days in La Jolla, and if you’re headed to the area soon, here are a couple of things not to miss.
What We Did:
Sightseeing at the Cove – The Cove is the area along the coast of La Jolla and 100% needs to be on your list. It’s where you can get views like this, beach hangs like this, and a front row seat to watch SO many sea lions sunning themselves on the sand. There are also a bunch of restaurants in the area, but we unfortunately didn’t have enough time to try any of them. (We got tons of suggestions about Puesto though, so if you go, it’s probably worth a try.)
Sunny Jim Sea Cave – There’s a little place called The Cave Store, and for $5 you can access a tunnel of stairs inside the store that leads down to Sunny Jim Sea Cave. Once you’re down there, you can’t really go far, but it’s still pretty cool to see the cave up close and think about how crazy it must have been building that tunnel. (Photos in the cave were really hard to capture, so unfortunately I don’t have any.) We were hoping for a repeat of the time that a curious little sea lion climbed the steps and roamed around the Cave Store, but for $5, we felt like it was still worth checking out.
Murals of La Jolla – If you paint it, the bloggers will come. Downtown La Jolla is all about a little outdoor art, and I, for one, am here for it. Kathleen looked up a few walls before our visit, and this one was calling our names. It was just about a 10-15 minute drive from the Hyatt, and the shop owners nearby didn’t seem to mind that we were trying to park it there for a little while. Hashtag, doin’ it for the ‘gram.
The Flower Fields at Carlsbad – The Flower Fields were on our way home, so we figured we might as well stop. And we were so glad that we did. I had heard great things, but once you see them in person, it really is pretty impressive. Rows and rows and rows of the prettiest flowers, all organized by color. Red, pink, white, yellow, orange, and then some areas of mixed colors – it was seriously something to see. (And for the record, still kicking myself for not trying out the strawberry Dole Whip stand.)
What We Ate:
Breakfast at Barcino Grill – This is the breakfast grill at the Hyatt, and, y’all, it’s so freaking good. We skipped the buffet option and ordered off of the menu which I think is definitely the way to go. On the first day we split the breakfast sandwich (with bacon jam on a pretzel roll, yasssss) and SoCal scramble bowl and loved both so much that we ordered them again via room service on day two. (And added on an oatmeal, for good measure.)
Lunch at Cafe Japengo – This sushi spot is technically part of the Hyatt, but it’s actually located right across the street. And it was delish. We thought we might have a light sushi lunch before hitting the beach, but then “a couple of rolls” turned into SO much sushi, truffle fries, pork belly bun sliders, a little wine, and one large food coma. And it was all worth it – now if only we could get a Cafe Japengo in Orange County. (Seriously though – please?)
Happy hour and dinner at DRIFT eat + drink – We had dinner reservations here (inside the Hyatt) for 7:00 but thought we’d pop down earlier for a glass of wine. Well, turns out we were just in time for happy hour. As, you know, journalists, we just had to check out the happy hour, and it was a good one. There was a special on carafes of wine, so…journalism. We capped it off with the nachos and butternut squash dip, pushed our dinner back to 8:30, and headed back to the room before showing up for round two – salads. (And more wine, desert, and coffee, if I’m being completely honest.) The food was delicious, the staff was super friendly, the space was so pretty, and that tile floor was shoefie ready.
Dinner at the Red O La Jolla – The Red O is a favorite of mine in Newport Beach, so when I saw that their newest location in La Jolla was just about a mile from the Hyatt, we had to check it out. True to form, the new location is beautiful, and the food was worth talking about days later. While I love their steak and fish options, I switched things up this time with the Mariscos Chile Relleno and holy dankness. I couldn’t switch things up in the margarita department though because the Alacran has my heart. (If you like SPICY margaritas, this one is the jam.) We left FED. So full that we actually skipped the Uber ride home and walked the mile back to the hotel instead. Needed, and so worth it.
Brought to you by Hyatt Regency La Jolla, but all opinions are my own.