Monday, April 28, 2014

Maui Maternity Photo Shoot at 32 Weeks

While we were in Maui, Dr. S and I took advantage of the gorgeous surroundings and took some maternity shots.  Thank you to the talented Kristy Copperfield for these beautiful photos!  Her newborn shots are amaaazing too - you should check out her website.

These photos were taken at the breathtakingly magical Honolua Bay Rainforest near Kapalua, Maui.  Just off the main highway, we were instantly transported to a magical fairyland with twisted vines hanging from a lush canopy of trees.  We swore we would run into a tribe of wood nymphs, but all we found were a good number of hungry mosquitoes.  Turns out that this rainforest is the path to a beautiful snorkeling spot, so next time we're in Maui we are definitely checking it out! 

Dress: Free People San Jose Maxi Dress (short version here).  Necklace: J.Crew (similar here).  Necklace as headband: J.Crew. 

Thursday, April 24, 2014

LA Getaway

This past weekend, I headed down to LA for one last "girls' weekend" with Sarah, since her baby bear is due any day now.  We grabbed brunch at one of my favorite westside spots, Amandine Cafe, and then spent the afternoon shopping and lounging around.  Even though Mr. J and I are pretty settled up in the Bay Area, there's still something about LA that feels like home.  Fortunately, it's just a quick flight and an easy weekend getaway.

While we've been enjoying a beautiful spring, it's still not quite shorts weather up here in NorCal.  And my legs are still covered in scars from the battle I lost to the mosquitos on the Road to Hana in Maui, but I just couldn't resist breaking out this colorful pair for the warm LA sun.  I can't wait to pair these with a (modest) crop top this summer.

Lace top: Zara. Printed shorts: Zara. Sandals: J. Crew (old). Sunglasses: Fendi. 
Mint studded satchel: Rebecca Minkoff 'Blake' (old).

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Babymoon in Maui Part 2 at 32 Weeks


Here are just a couple quick shots before dinner at Mama's Fish House, an upscale, delicious albeit pricey restaurant along the northern shore of Maui.  I wore another non-maternity dress, as they are often more fun style-wise than some of the maternity options.  As I've mentioned earlier, one of the keys to finding a non-maternity dress when pregnant is to find one with an empire waist.  This one had a pre-defined elastic-y waistband, which was an added bonus for my growing belly.  

One of the perks of leaving California for the babymoon?  Foie gras, of course!  I've missed it dearly since it was outlawed in 2012.  And yes, I know why it was outlawed...but it's  Topped with caramelized onions and an unagi glaze, our foie gras sushi at Sansei in Kapalua (there are also outposts of the store on the Big Island and Oahu) was by far our favorite dish on the trip.  We were tempted to go there twice, but it's rare for us to revisit restaurants while on vacation. 

The super refreshing and aptly named coconut mint refresher, virgin of course!  
Also recommend the Kuau Chocolate Pie - perfect if you love Twix bars (and I do!). 

Mama's Fish House sits on its own beach, providing great sunset views.

Drool-worthy foie gras sushi at Sansei.
Preview prior to maternity photo shoot, coming up!

Empire waist hi-low dress: 5/48 (another cute and inexpensive option here).  White cardigan: Anthropologie (old).  Bracelets: Vita Fede and Madewell.  Silver flip flops: TKees. 

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Lemon Ricotta Cookies

I have always been obsessed with lemons.  When the dessert menu gets passed out at restaurants, I typically glaze over the chocolate offerings and am instantly eyeing the lemon based desserts.  These lemon ricotta cookies (recipe from Giada De Laurentiis) perfectly satisfy my desire for lemony goodness.  Without the glaze, they're a bit eh.  But add the lemon zest glaze on top, and these soft, cake-like cookies are instantly elevated to their full lemon glory. 



Lemon Ricotta Cookies
(recipe from here

2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 stick unsalted butter, softened
2 cups sugar
2 eggs
1 (15-ounce) container whole milk ricotta cheese
3 tablespoons lemon juice
1 lemon, zested
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
3 tablespoons lemon juice
1 lemon, zested


Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.  In a medium bowl combine the flour, baking powder, and salt and then set aside.  In a large bowl using an electric mixer, beat the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add the eggs, 1 at a time, beating until incorporated. Add the ricotta cheese, lemon juice, and lemon zest. Beat to combine. Stir in the dry ingredients.

Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper (or a silicone mat). Spoon the dough (about 2 tablespoons for each cookie) onto the baking sheets. Bake for 15 minutes, until slightly golden at the edges. Remove from the oven and let the cookies rest on the baking sheet for 20 minutes.


Combine the powdered sugar, lemon juice, and lemon zest in a small bowl and stir until smooth. Spoon about 1/2-teaspoon onto each cookie and use the back of the spoon to gently spread. Let the glaze harden for about 2 hours.  Cookies can be stored in an air-tight container.

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Babymoon in Maui at 32 Weeks

At 32 weeks pregnant, I spent a quick 4 days on the beautiful island of Maui as our last vacation before the arrival of our baby girl.  Dr. S and I would have loved to spend a full week there, but our work schedules wouldn't quite allow for it.  Normally our vacations are much more action-packed, and had we ventured to Maui minus the large baby bump, we would have been hiking to waterfalls along the road to Hana and trekking up Haleakala.  This time around, we spent our time relaxing by the beach and pool, soaking in the sun and delicious food.

I wore this dress to a sunset dinner at Merriman's in Kapalua, in the northwest part of the island.  When shopping for maxi dresses while pregnant, I've found that empire waist styles are the most flattering, as they are tightest at the slimmest part of your body.  This non-maternity dress was loose flowing without a defined waistline, so I simply added a braided belt to create my own empire waist.  Braided belts allow you to widen the width as your belly grows, and I can wear it post-pregnancy just as easily.

I'm enjoying my virgin mojito at Merriman's.  Dr. S' mai tai was awesome as well (so he says!).  We highly recommend the macadamia nut crusted monchong (a local white fish), pan roasted diver scallops, and the crunchy Waialua molten chocolate purse.

Floral print maxi dress: Clover Canyon (similar here).  Belt: Anthropologie 'Dual Braid Belt.'  Assorted bracelets: Madewell, Vita Fede 'Gold Mini Titan Bracelet', and gifts from Mom.  Silver flip flops: Tkees.

Sunday, April 6, 2014

DIY Heart Garland

When decorating for a party, I often find myself overwhelmed by all the beautiful, adorable options out there on Pinterest and Etsy.  Unfortunately, some of the choices out there are just too complicated for a busy, working, soon-to-be-mom.  I found these heart garlands on Etsy and thought that perhaps I could DIY them without too much headache, and I was right!  

I made a combination of single color hearts and some with varying patterns.  The hearts look best with double sided paper, and you could even use newsprint or magazines.  I used printed and solid cardstock from Michael's for the most part.  These would also hold perfectly with a thinner weight paper as sometimes it was difficult stapling the thicker cardstock together.  Aren't they cute?

For each heart, cut two strips of colored paper that are 6", 8", 10" long and all 1" wide.  Cut a single 5" piece of paper that will act as the middle of the heart, connecting the heart to the hanging string.  Punch a hole near the top of this 5" long piece.  Arrange the pieces as shown above.

Stack the pieces of paper together, and curl down the outer three pieces on both sides to form each side of the heart.

Staple the bottom.

Now you have a complete heart!

Here are all the hearts I made.  Then you just string them together to make a simple garland!

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Day Off in the City

I had an unexpected day off of work this past Monday, so I seized the opportunity to head up to the city and spend the day with my favorite SF photographer and shopping partner-in-crime Vero.  We hit the shops of Union Square and finished off our day with a late lunch at Hakkasan.  I absolutely love the city and Mr. J and I try to make it up whenever we have a free weekend.  This was the first time I was able to enjoy the city on a week day without the usual weekend crowds.  All in all, it was the perfect day off despite the pouring rain.  Fortunately, we were able to snap a few outfit pics before the torrential downpour.

This look was thrown together in a hurry.  I originally wanted to look fabulous for my big city outing but the cleaning ladies came 3 hours early, while I was still in the shower!  Knowing there was rain in the forecast and that the city is always 5-10 degrees colder than the peninsula, I grabbed the first items in my pile of jeans and sweaters, threw them on, and scrambled out the door.  The outfit kept me warm and dry, and was easy to slip on and off - essential for my many trips to the fitting rooms.  And I fell in love with my bag even more - its crossbody feature gave me two free hands to browse the racks and beautiful shoe displays. 

Leather jacket: Muubaa 'Tehmi'(last seen here). Sparkle open knit sweater: Ann Taylor.  
Leopard print skinny jeans: Current/Elliott 'The Stiletto' (last seen on Sarah here). 
Black ankle boots: Jeffrey Campbell 'Everly'. Bag: Fendi Petit 2Jours
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