Droppin’ A Bomb…

Hi, my name is Erin and I have an addiction to coats. While I apply discriminating tastes to my selections, it’s rare I meet a coat I don’t love! All shapes, sizes, colors and textures have made their way into my admittedly overflowing coat closet. But I just can’t help myself! That’s why when I recently came across this super cozy ribbed knit Bomber Jacket, I was immediately sold. There’s something so great about tossing on a comfy oversized jacket this time of year – it’s the perfect way to add an exclamation point to a weekend casual look.

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This sweet little number is super thick so it’s heavy enough for those first cold days of the season. And it can even be personalized! While I’m not one to rock a monogram very often, I love the preppy touch it adds to this sweater-like zip up. But there’s something extra special about why I decided I needed this particular coat this season.

My dears, I have something else to admit…I’ve been keeping a little something from you….

Apartment34_HatchCollection5Apartment34_bumprevealHatchwhat i’m wearing: Hatch Collection Bomber Jacket // Hatch Collection Tuxedo Legging / Amour Vert striped tee // JCrew necklace // Freda Salvador oxford

That’s right! The pregnancy bug that’s been sweeping blog-land of late has made its way to Apartment 34! We’re pretty tickled to announce that we’re expecting our first little one in March of next year. Needless to say, it’s been quite a crazy fall and things are only going to get even more interesting from here – now we’ve got to fit a newborn into our dear little loft –  and we couldn’t be happier!

While we certainly won’t be inundating you with baby-focused posts {unless you really want ‘em?!}, I do plan to pop in with some bump style ideas. I’m now at the point where the closet is getting trickier by the day – but thankfully lines like Hatch Collection are going to make styling my new curves rather fun! I also thought you might like to see a little future nursery decor inspiration {it’s gonna be quite a while before our house is actually inhabitable so we’re going to have to get crazy creative!} and if you don’t mind, I might post the occasional expectant-woman cries for advice! Who knew there was so much you needed to know and how this all brings up issues you’ve never considered before?!

For now, we’re beyond pleased to report that everyone, including baby is doing incredibly well and we’re excitedly anticipating the next phase of what has turned into quite the journey. I hope you’re excited for it too.

Thanks for all the love and support over the years. I have a feeling I’m going to need it more than ever now! Ha!!

original photography for apartment 34 by aubrie pick // bomber jacket and leggings c/o Hatch Collection 

Add Sparkle to Your Holiday Season with This Timeless Cuff

If there is ONE style rule we strongly encourage, it is that every woman should have a small collection of fine jewelry. Starting with a bracelet {since rings are a bit more personal and earrings get lost under pretty locks!}, these pieces should be special, crafted with precision and care, and be so simple and everlasting that she never wants to nor has to take it off.

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That’s exactly where Vrai and Oro comes in. A newly launched jewelry line run by two beautiful business savvy ladies, has found a way to offer fine jewelry that will last a lifetime, but doesn’t cost the arm you plan to wear it on! Vrai and Oro has eliminated the markups, bringing delicate pieces made of the highest quality materials {read gold & diamonds!} that can be worn everyday. So when we got the opportunity to dream up the most exquisite piece in our holiday boutique with a company we already own pieces from {and whom we’ve gushed over all year long!}, we took the chance to truly came up with something that we ourselves, would never, ever take off! And here she is:

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This amazing cuff is solid 14k yellow gold. That’s right, solid gold, people. This price for solid gold is unheard of! We really wanted a cuff that wouldn’t get in the way, so it’s nice and thin and hugs around the wrist just right. The tapered ends give it that slightly edgy touch while still staying true to its classic roots. And because we wanted to make you feel extra special while wearing it, we added two brilliant cut .03ct diamonds on either end. Just the right amount of subtle holiday sparkle!

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We are ob-sessed with this cuff. We worked with Vrai and Oro to get it just perfect- going through a couple of different steps of brainstorming and revision- really making the final piece not only beautiful, but timeless. We hope some of you lucky ladies will be able to don this truly remarkable gift on your wrist this holiday season! We’d love to see that it’s made someone’s smile a little brighter!

Remember, it’s an exclusive piece available in our shop here and only through the holidays! So we say, this Christmas treat yourself to something extra special. Or better yet, send the link to your husband/boyfriend/lover and remind him or her that EVERY woman deserves a little something sparkly to help ring in the new year!

images c/o Vrai and Oro // image 3 original photography for apartment 34 by Aubrie Pick 

Thanksgiving Tips from a Major Pro

Somehow Thanksgiving is already next week, and if like me, you’re hosting, you might be approaching panic mode. Well it’s not time to totally freak out – yet! Instead of sharing a tabletop idea with you this year {because last year’s table still might be our favorite post of all time!} we decided to tap one of our favorite experts for her ultimate Save Thanksgiving Day tips: Camille Styles!

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Camille’s debut book, Camille Styles Entertaining is all about inspiring readers through the seasons with ideas for life’s big celebrations, as well as showing them how to infuse beauty into their daily lives through the food they make, the rooms they design and the outfits they wear. It’s packed with simple details and creative shortcuts that make everyday moments feel special (with 75 simple + seasonal recipes woven throughout.) As soon as my copy landed in the mailbox, I was immediately taking notes. I love her little creative ideas and DIYS {like keepsake what I’m thankful for cards!} that take Thanksgiving to a beautifully personal level.

I asked Camille if she’d share a few of her top tips with us. I’m thankful she didn’t disappoint!

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My husband and I have been hosting Thanksgiving for both sides of our family since the first year we got married. Though we’ve had our share of hiccups (from faulty plumbing to a fried turkey that burnt to a crisp), each year gets a little more seamless, and yes, delicious. If you’ll be taking on hosting duties this year, never fear: I’ve made all the mistakes first, so that you don’t have to. Here are my favorite ways to honor tradition, put a fresh twist on the big meal, and avoid any disasters in the process.

1. Rethink your furniture arrangement to create more space. So your 4-person kitchen table won’t fit all the friends and family you’d like to seat for the feast? Consider moving the dining table into the living room, and extending it with folding tables that you can line up end-to-end and cover with a pretty autumnal tablecloth. It’ll make the dining table the unexpected focal point of the room, plus open up all kinds of space you didn’t know you had.

2. Try out a new color palette. For this year’s table design, I’m using a palette of indigo, earthy wood, organic greens and white, in lieu of the more expected autumnal oranges and browns. Then, to create a unified design, I’ll use table linens, dishes, serving pieces and flowers that fit into those color families. Sticking within a limited palette is the quickest way to make a major visual impact while keeping the details simple!

3. Think beyond the floral centerpiece. In the fall, I love to forage for beautiful leaves and interesting berries or acorns to incorporate into a centerpiece. Pomegranates, winter squash and pears also make unexpected additions to the table and are a modern spin on the iconic image of an abundant cornucopia.

4. Include a couple of menu items that can be served at room temperature. That way, you’re not scrambling to get every single item out on the buffet at once. I’ll make an appetizer like a cheese and meat board that can sit out unattended for a couple of hours during cocktails. Sides like a brussels sprouts salad and cranberry sauce are delicious at room temperature, so you can set those out first while you slice the turkey and keep the sweet potatoes warm in the oven.

5. Don’t strive for perfection. Hosting Thanksgiving does not require Martha-like perfectionism. This is a holiday that’s about counting our blessings, so ditch the pressure, stress, and unrealistic expectations and instead embrace an attitude that puts the focus back on having fun and creating great memories with the people you care about. Remember, your guests don’t want to be impressed – they want to be welcomed into a warm and inviting atmosphere to eat delicious food and savor great conversation!

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We have so much to be thankful for, and a Thanksgiving dinner surrounded by family, friends and a bountiful feast will be the perfect way to count our blessings from the past year as we savor the present, deliciously.

And thankfully, Camille also gave us a super easy, but totally delicious appetizer idea for when that turkey inevitably needs another hour!

FIGS BLUE CHEESE AND POMEGRANATE SEEDS ON ENDIVE LEAVES

FIGS, BLUE CHEESE AND POMEGRANATE SEEDS ON ENDIVE LEAVES

From Camille: When I worked in catering, one of our most popular hors d’oeuvres was a luscious port wine–soaked cherry and blue cheese combo tucked into an endive leaf like a little boat. This is my autumnal version featuring figs and pomegranate for the most gorgeous color and a touch of exotic flavor. So many of my friends eat gluten-free diets these days, so this is a nice way to serve them a great blue cheese that doesn’t require crackers or bread. You can make these up to an hour before the party, and the hearty leaves will hold up as they sit.

INGREDIENTS
5 fresh figs, each cut into 4 wedges
½ cup balsamic vinegar
2 heads Belgian endive, leaves separated (smallest leaves reserved for another
use)
2 ounces blue cheese (Stilton, Cambozola, or any creamy blue cheese), at room
temperature and crumbled
¼ cup Candied Pecans (see sidebar), finely chopped
¼ cup pomegranate seeds
¼ cup honey

SERVES 8
Put the fig wedges in a small bowl and cover with the balsamic vinegar. Set aside
and let macerate for at least 30 minutes (and up to overnight, in the fridge).
To assemble, lay out the endive leaves on a platter. Use a small spoon to scoop
about ½ teaspoon of blue cheese into each leaf. Top each with a fig wedge, sprinkle
with pecans and a couple pomegranate seeds, drizzle with honey, and serve.

CANDIED PECANS
½ cup pecan halves
½ cup sugar, plus more for sprinkling
Kosher salt
Preheat the oven to 400˚F. In a small saucepan, combine the pecans, sugar, and
1 cup water; bring to a boil, and stir continuously until the sugar dissolves. Cook over
medium heat for 5 minutes, stirring constantly. Use a slotted spoon to transfer the
pecans to a baking sheet. Sprinkle with a bit of sugar and kosher salt, then bake for 8
minutes, or until the nuts are lightly caramelized. Let cool, then serve or store in an
airtight container for up to 1 week.

PS: I’ll be co-hosting Camille’s San Francisco book signing party with Caitlin Flemming on Thursday – we do hope you’ll drop by! Details HERE.

images by buff strickland courtesy of camille styles