We’ve Got A Crush On…

There are things that we crush on and then there are things that we CRUSH on. To meet the criteria of a hard core crush an image {or idea!} has to really stop us in our tracks. Similar to the way our real life crush, Matthew McConaug-hottie, would stop us in our tracks if we say…perhaps strolled right past him on the street.

First, there would be the “moment of denial” – is this really happening? no, this is too good to be true. Followed immediately by the “moment of holy shit” – this is real life. people can’t just make this type of thing up! Then there’s the “moment of this is ah-mazing!” and now we can die happy after witnessing his golden locks and tanned skin just feet away. That thought process did in fact happen when we laid eyes on these capital-letter-CRUSH-worthy images! Just in a slightly less starstruck, but still equally obsessive way. This month…

We’ve got a crush on salmon-pink eyeshadow and sherbet pink shearling…

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On charcuterie plates turned into charcuterie bowls complete with mini potatoes…

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On black and white gallery walls mounted on a slightly higher horizon line…

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On healthy desserts served with gold spoons {obvi!} like this Raw Oat Blueberry Pie…

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On pink sequined pencil skirts paired with chambray shirts…

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On wire statement stools around the table…

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And on the next stop on our Wanderlust List: this stunning canyon in the Sierra Nevadas!

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Which one of our crushes makes your heart flutter as much as it does ours? Obviously, it has to be that pink eye makeup from J Moon, right?! Or is it that blueberry pie? Seriously, get in mah belly! Maybe it’s those stunning Seven Tea Cup waterfalls because you never knew they existed before today and now they’re like, one of the coolest natural wonders you’ve ever seen?? Does anyone else know how to get to Johnsondale, CA?!

Whichever crush your heart chooses as it’s fave, just know, McConaug-hottie is off the table! He’s taken.

By us, obbvvvvviously. Happy March! PS: For our previous Crush Worthy moments CLICK HERE. And for our Top 10 Spring Must-Haves CLICK HERE!!

image 1 via J Moon // 2 via Canelle et Vanille // 3 via Nomad // 4 via Food Bandits // 5 via Stockholm Streetstyle // 6 via House Doctor // 7 via

A Surprise Shower for A Chic Mama-To-Be

Pulling off a surprise party is no easy feat – especially, when it comes to rigging surprises for a “highly likely to have a hormonal break down” pregnant woman- let’s just throw that out there now! So when throwing a surprise shower, the key is to keep things simple. But just because the event is kept casual doesn’t mean style has to be compromised. Case in point, a cute and totally chic gender-neutral surprise baby shower for Erin and the little Apartment 34 bun in the oven!

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Erin wasn’t looking for anything over-the-top when it came to the production of her baby shower. {Yes, sometimes these things can be a total production!}. In fact, Erin mentioned something about “being happy with a pizza party in the loft.” As sweet as that comment was, we all knew that wasn’t happening. It’s safe to say, I’ve known Erin long enough to know THAT comment must be the hormones talking! To her point, while the overall idea of a shower isn’t about cute quiches or perfectly wrapped tea sandwiches, I do think every woman deserves a little showering- especially after growing a baby inside of their belly! With Erin’s refreshing request in mind to do something as far away from a “typical baby shower” as possible, we kept things casual, relaxed, but still styled with the hope it could be a party where everyone enjoyed themselves!

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what I’m wearing: Lou & Grey jumpsuit,  Zara sandals similar, Brahmin clutch, JCrew necklace

Instead of throwing the party at someone’s house – forcing them to clean all week long and set up enough chairs in the living room – we found the most perfect alternative, EVER. As far away from traditional as possible, we threw the shower in a flower studio! That’s right a flower studio. Of course, it isn’t any ol’ flower shop! Ampersand is a quaint little “store front.” It’s actually a converted garage – complete with turquoise barn doors – in the heart of San Francisco’s Mission district. It really is the cutest thing you ever did see. Walls are lined with blooms and greens, vintage vessels and quirky moments which meant we could let the pretty flowers and intimate space be most of the decor! Score!!

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However, we did want to bring something in for baby. So we had My Trick Pony print a banner with the quote “Dream Big, Little One” – it was the only decor we hung on the walls and it made such an impact. It was totally our “Instagram moment” and we loved the idea of Erin being able to take it home and hang it in the baby’s room!

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For the food, we kept the display very pretty and totally practical. Erin has been craving Mexican food her entire pregnancy so we thought, why not give the woman what she wants, dammit?! We set up a taco and churro bar with food from local restaurant, Xolo. Churros, coffee and mimosas were perfect for our brunch menu and the heartier tacos were completely gone once lunch time rolled around – wen people were craving some real food!!

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We picked up our cakes from Miette – the Vanilla Tomboys are always a fan favorite. The double chocolate layer cake with vanilla buttercream is not only gorgeous, but soooo moist and delicious. And since we wanted guests to part with a little something sweet, we also grabbed the cutest mini, yellow meringues from Miette, packaged to perfection, for people to take home and enjoy with their coffee the next morning! We did have to taste test them of course.

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Tips for the Bustling Baby Shower Hostess

> Think Outside The Box: Shake things up a bit and host a party in a beautiful store front. Go around town and inquire if your local coffee shop, floral shop, or even a cutely curated party or baby store might be open to you using their space. Better yet, if you’re in San Francisco, just stop by Ampersand. Stepping outside of someone’s home or backyard makes decorating a breeze!

> Fun Food Options: Not everyone is a Martha Stewart at heart. So what, you didn’t have the energy to whip dozens of cupcakes or a smorgasbord of food. What is the mama-to-be’s fave restaurant? Never feel embarrassed to order in food and make it your own. For example, we ordered the churros, but cut them up into small pieces and made a salted caramel sauce and chocolate sauce for dipping. We bought Mexican hot chocolate and encouraged guests to pour some in their coffee for a yummy twist on a mocha!

> Secret Weapon: Ask guests for help! People are always willing to be more hands-on in the festivities to take some work load and stress off the host. Embrace it. Think food signs, cake stands, bringing silverware, games, small DIY decor items. A host shouldn’t have to feel like they have to be in charge of it all- renting chairs, buying platters that’ll serve 24, organizing cute and meaningful activities for guests – those are all simple ways people can pitch in!

From Erin: I couldn’t have been happier with my sweet surprise shower. It focused on all the things I care about the most; good food, a charming setting and time well spent with dear friends! Keeping the festivities intimate allowed me to be able to talk to everyone and not feel overwelmed. I also loved that every guest could sit back, relax and simply enjoy a festive Sunday brunch. Per my request, no “shower games” were played, but everyone wrote sweet well-wishes on little notecards that I got to share with the hubby back at home. And I loved the guess-the-due-date calendar – it now hangs on our fridge as we mark our countdown to the little one’s arrival. It’s such a darling keepsake.

As a woman still trying to wrap her head this whole I’m going to have a baby business, this shower was the perfect reflection of who I am, and a truly meaningful way to celebrate the amazing journey to come. I know I’m going to need to rely on every single person who was in that room. I can’t thank Bianca and everyone who had a hand creating such a lovely event enough. I can’t believe we’ve got less than four weeks to go! Apartment 34 baby-watch is officially on!!

To look back at the rest of my bump updates, CLICK HERE. I’m also banking all of my baby must-haves HERE.

original photography for apartment 34 by ashley batz // cakes by miette cakes // florals by ampersand // food by Xolo // banner by my tricky pony 

Love Series {1}: Dating + Irrational Deal Breakers

We aren’t going to lie, we’re a little sad that our Wedding Week is coming to a close. From dreaming up fantasy fashion editorials to making our floral wishes a reality, we’ve had a blast diving into all things bridal! But to end all of this wedding talk, we thought it’d be nice to shake things up a bit and launch a brand new column: on love, sex, dating, marriage and relationships!

That’s right, we want to start talking about the “untalked about” {not a word, we know!} in an honest and exciting way. Thankfully, the talented Megan McCarty {you may have spotted her piece in the new Rue Magazine!}  is on a quest to discuss everything gushy, mushy, terrifying and hillariously real about this thing called “love”, and she’s willing to help us dive into topics never before talked about on Apartment 34. We hope you’ll find something that you’ve been dying to talk about with your bestie or recognize the silver lining in your current situation that’ll make you laugh, whether you’re newly single, happily married or proudly “bed surfing.” So let’s chat dating and those annoying, totally irrational, deal breakers! Megan, take it away…

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Dating these days is rough. Think Tinder, think noncommittals {wait, maybe that’s me}, think your ex’s Instagram account just waiting for you to stalk it. So let’s laugh our way through this rough landscape that is dating and that “L” word I sometimes stutter over – and the often blurry line between the two – in this new, exciting series, shall we?

Though yes, I’m writing a love column, I’m admittedly no expert on the topic. For as much as I do know about dating, there’s just as much I don’t – hence why I’m writing this alone, in my yoga pants, unwashed hair piled atop my head, obsessively wondering if the new guy I’m dating {or are we? we haven’t discussed it yet!} has lost interest. Here’s what I do know: reveal empathy early; be straightforward about your wants and needs; and show kindness to yourself, as sometimes there’s a lag time between what your head knows and heart feels. Here’s what I don’t know: nearly everything else.

There’s one thing I’m newly adamant about though, and that’s when to listen to those magical, mystical feelings in my belly that tell me whether or not a relationship is right for me. Deal breakers. How petty, I tell myself, in regards to most of them. So he doesn’t know how to pick out a bottle of wine for dinner; who cares? But with each passing year and each passing date, I realize deal breakers stem from missing a more substantial quality I crave in a partner. Take the case of picking a wine. It shows confidence and ability to roll-with-the-tipsy-punches when the Sancerre is a little too acidic for our tastes. My deal breakers aren’t because I’m in any sort of Darwinian rush to weed out the duds who won’t father my future children {although, that’s a perfectly rational reason}, but because I’m a grown woman, dammit!

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Let’s rewind a few months, when I found myself in the company of a genuinely nice guy. He checked all the Mom-approved boxes: kind, educated, employed, easily amused by my jokes. We’d occasionally go out to dinner or see an art exhibit, but it never went much further than that. There were no sleepovers, no meeting of friends, no talks about the future – because those aforementioned magical, mystical feelings were telling me something was off. And suddenly, one otherwise forgettable weeknight that we decided to go dancing, I uncovered every irrational deal breaker so I could to tell myself: no more.

The way he futzed with the heat settings in my car. Irrational deal breaker #1. The way he continued to do so after I asked him to stop. Irrational deal breaker #2. The way he used childish words in the place of swear words. The way he couldn’t make up his mind about where to park. The way he carelessly elbowed people on the dance floor. These were all the straws that broke the dating camel’s back.

Ultimately it wasn’t about his grabby hands blasting my heat too high. {Though really, don’t do that.} My absurdly strong reactions to every little thing he did was simply my subconscious poking at me, saying this relationship wasn’t right and that I needed to be the grown up I keep telling myself I am and end it. Breakups, at least in my heart-on-sleeve experience, aren’t graceful or gratifying, but they are easier when you listen to your instincts early on, before feelings and Thanksgiving dinners and weekends away together just complicate things further.

Irrational deal breakers are just the beginning in this love series. There’s how to keep your chin up through a bad breakup, for instance. Or the ins and outs of dating in a world where we can check up on our ex’s – pick a social site, any social site – at any vulnerable moment.

And, like Salt-N-Pepa said, let’s talk about sex, ba-by! So follow along. We have a lot to talk about. xo – Megan

We’d love for this series to be a conversation. Spill. What things drive you NUTS about your current fling. We’re also dying to know what girl talk you want to dive into with this series…

original photography + art for apartment 34 by athena pelton // quote by bianca sotelo