Meet Le Bebe!

Processed with VSCOcam with a2 presetWell friends, it’s official. I’m now a lady with a baby! We welcomed Carter Joseph – all 22in, 8.2lbs of him last week. He arrived fashionably late – obviously already taking after me – and we could be happier/more exhausted! The old cliche is just so true – your life changes in an instant. You think you know, you think you’ve been warned – but wow. It’s like stepping onto the dark side of the moon – so much uncharted territory. And I’ve only just begun to soak it all in. But while I’m neck deep in week-old baby snuggles and trying to remember my own name, you will not be left high and dry. You can keep tabs on Instagram and of course there is major power Pinning happening – just at 3AM {how did moms survive before iPhones??}. Then there’s the renovation on the house picking up – Tumblr is my inspiration destination for that and now that I’m finding new ideas at all hours of day and night – who knows what good stuff might find it’s way here.

For now, I’m going to spending a lot of time staring at tiny baby fingers and toes {yes there were 10 of each} so these links should keep you occupied for awhile!

> We’re taking major bedside styling notes from one of our top pins of the week. {And if you’re curious as to where to find that lamp, we’ve got your covered!}

> Wondering what on earth we’re going to do with that kitchen in the new place? So am I! But in the meantime, we’ve been gathering some major inspo from these gawgous kitchen trends.

> Meanwhile, over in fashion-land, we’ve been fixated by these ways to wear denim this season {HELLO quilted denim bomber jacket}!

> This Parisian apartment is giving us severe cases of interior envy and wanderlust…

> Lusting big time over Victoria’s roundup of New and Noteworthy things happening in the design world this spring.

> Oohhing and ahhhing over Cuyana’s spring collection. Pastels FTW!

> We’ve become hoarders when it comes to spring fashion pins over on Pinterest. Especially loving any look along the lines of this.

> This post further validated our belief that beauty does NOT have to be at the sacrifice of comfort.

> It’s no secret that we love weekend getaways to Palm Springs, but this Local’s Guide has us jonesing to get back STAT.

> We can’t get enough of Alison Canyne’s impeccably stylish NYC townhouse and her curated sale over on One Kings Lane.

xo,

Erin

Tasty Thursday: {The Best Mexican Brunch in The Bay}

It’s no secret that there are two things we love in this world; Mexican food and a yummy Saturday brunch! But how often do they go hand in hand?? Mexican restaurants don’t tend to be everyone’s go-to brunch spot, but we say they should! In fact we’ve kinda made it our mission to criss cross the Bay looking for the best hidden gems {especially during the height of my Mexican food pregnancy cravings}. That’s why we were stoked to learn about Taste Buds, a cool new YouTube show presented by Ford. To help celebrate the show’s launch, we’re working with Ford and Taste Buds to share one of our favorite Bay Area discoveries!

Dona Tomas, one of Oakland’s hottest Mexican joints, will convince you Mexican is the perfect brunch food. From its sunny outdoor patio, to the best chilaquiles verdes you’ve ever tasted, to tequila for breakfast {why not???} – move over mimosas and dime-a-dozen eggs benedict, the menu at Dona Tomas won our hearts {and our bellies!} over!

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Before we chat chilaquiles – seriously, they’re life changing – let’s walk through Dona Tomas’ sophisticatedly decorated dining area. Set smack dab in the middle of Oakland’s poppin’ Temescal neighborhood, the space features dark stained wood tables, authentic tapestries on the walls and wrought-iron candlestick sconces  – all instantly transporting you to a chic Mexican villa! Nothing is over the top or too loud. It’s exactly the way we’d decorate our own Mexican vacation home {if we had one!}. In fact, we’ll take those wooden guacamole bowls with us right now!

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The carefully curated decor still features colorful moments – think old-timey photos antique posters, jumbo grass pendants and colorful floral tablecloths on the outdoor patio will totally get you excited for what’s ahead: a gorgeously fun Mexican feast!

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Now let’s talk about these chilaquiles! For those of you who don’t know, they are crisped up tortilla chips doused in tomatillo salsa and sprinkled with fluffy egg, chunks of queso fresco, crema and avocado on top! We ordered a lot on the Donna Thomas menu {because how could you not? it was so hard to decide!} and these were everyone’s fave and a must-try!

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Coming in a close second were the juicy Huevos Rancheros with two fried eggs, black beans and pickled carrots. But then there were the Mole Enchiladas – a chocolate, almonds, peanut and chile recipe straight from Oaxaca! And the Carnitas Tacos and the Chile Rellenos – poblano chiles stuffed with yams and walnut cream sauce. Ok, it was pretty impossible to pick a fave. Seriously, talk about a culinary overload. Each dish is elevated with organic and locally sourced ingredients and tastes as fresh and delicious as they look!

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Oh and let’s not forget the cocktails or “cocteles” in Spanish! If hibiscus infused Flor de Caña Rum, lemon, grapefruit syrup with sparkling wine doesn’t whet your appetite, the habañero infused Vida mezcal, agave & lime, muddled cilantro, fresh cucumber & celery Celerito definitely will! In fact, we’ll be back to taste test the evening cocktail menu in Dona Tomas’ separate crimson red bar room! Oh and don’t forget to top off your brunch with crunchy on the outside and gooey in the inside churros and coffee! Yummm.

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Whether you’re tired of the same ole’ long lines, looking for a fun new spot to spend your Saturday morning or are in need of a weekend hangover cure stat, check out Dona Tomas in Oakland. It will not disappoint. It’s the perfect place to enjoy a warm day, drink margaritas at 10 a.m. and explore a buzzing East Bay neighborhood!

You can also check out the episode of the Taste Buds featuring SO many of my favorite San Francisco hot spots, not to mention my girl Erica Chan of HonsestlyWTF fame, below!

Now, who’s hungry??

original photography for apartment 34 by aubrie pick 

This post is sponsored by Ford. All thoughts and opinions are 100% our own. Thanks for supporting partnerships that help keep Apartment 34’s doors open!

An Organic Take on Skincare


It’s official. I think getting away to enjoy a spa day is going to be a foreign concept for awhile! I’ve entered newborn land. Between feedings and diaper changes, laundry and oh yea, remembering to bathe myself, it looks like I’ll have to wait a month or two until things feel normal and I can schedule some peronsal pampering time. That said, I am making a point to carve out a few quick and easy at-home spa-like moments {thank gawd for grandmas!}. You’ve got to keep your sanity somehow! With just 20 minutes once a week and some yummy organic skincare products, I can give my face that nice “I just had a facial” glow and I feel much more human! It’s these little rituals that can make the trials of daily life a little easier to handle – even when a newborn isn’t involved. Oh and spending some me-time in an insanely gorgeous bathroom doesn’t hurt either!

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Currently, I’m experimenting with Target’s first all-natural skin care line SW Basics. I love that each product includes less than five ingredients {and they’re all organic!} meaning higher-potency and less chance of any additives irritating my skin. For the past year I’ve been trying to switch out all of my beauty products to an organic option {especially once I found out I was pregnant} and this line makes it super affordable to do that. Yay!

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When I’m craving a healthy skin boost, I first steam bath my face to open up my pores. Simply simmer a pot of water, take it off the stove, and put your face above it with a towel draped over your head, making a tent to trap the steam in. Do this for about five minutes and then wash your face and neck. I’ve fallen in love with rosewater over the years and this rosewater and tea tree oil cleanser is so gentle and hydrating.

Next, I exfoliate to get rid of any dry skin and to really give my face a deep clean. This organic oat flour, almond flour and sea salt exfoliant is rich in vitamin E and just what my sleep-deprived skin needs! You can also use it as a mask just by adding organic plain yogurt or honey to the dry mixture – extra bliss time. I do both: exfoliate, then mask and it’s such a treat for the skin!

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After the mask dries {about 10 minutes}, I rinse with cold water {important to close your nice and clean pores back up!} and smooth on toner. It’s a step I usually skip in my daily regimen so it’s nice to give my skin extra treatment. You could also try using SW Basic’s raw apple cider vinegar and witch hazel toner to balance out the pH levels.

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Oh, but my favorite thing of all is body scrub! This SW Basics Body Scrub is the real deal. Use it everywhere from your neck to your elbows and it will leave your skin silky soft and smelling delicious! Seriously, this scrub smells so much like dessert, I want to eat it. Thing is, with only three ingredients in it: organic sugar, coconut oil and shredded coconut, you literally COULD eat it!

I can’t tell you how much the right products can change the health of your skin. Plus, knowing that you aren’t putting any crazy chemicals on or in your body just makes you feel good, ya know? I highly recommend stealing that all-too-critical me time once a week. You deserve to indulge in a little beauty pick me up. It makes the world of a difference for your skin and your mental health. I’m thinking maybe I should try to do this twice a week!

original photography for apartment 34 by Charles Redding // art direction by erin hiemstra

This post is brought to you by Target Style. Shop the new Beauty collection in stores and online. All thoughts and opinions are our own. Thank you for supporting posts that keep Apartment 34’s doors open.