‘Tis the season for some serious cooking, but thankfully for us novices, help has arrived just in time.

new cookbook, cook beautiful on apartment 34

I’ve been counting down the days for Cook Beautiful, the long awaited cookbook from blogger extraordinaire Athena Calderone, to arrive and it’s just as stunning as I hoped. If you don’t know Athena, you must explore her site EyeSwoon immediately. An interior designer, entertaining expert and all around savant at living your best life, I’ve long wanted to tuck myself into Athena’s world. After years of long distance admiration, we finally had the pleasure of meeting at my farewell to summer dinner in New York last month. My favorite thing about Athena is the ease she brings to her swoon-worthy style. Cook Beautiful marries her love of amazing recipes with all the tips and tricks you need to bring friends and family around a meal that is as gorgeous as it is delicious. Athena has even curated seasonal playlists for each section of the book!

I know I’m going to turn to Cook Beautiful for months to come – that’s why I’m so excited to co-host Athena’s book signing event at Williams-Sonoma next week and you’re invited! There will be a cooking demonstration, delicious bites, good drinks and knowing Athena – a stunning party. I do hope you’ll join us. You can purchase tickets for the event right here.

new cookbook, cook beautiful on apartment 34new cookbook, cook beautiful on apartment 34

For those of you not in San Francisco next week, I did happen to snag a recipe from Cook Beautiful to whet your appetite. Who can resist a classic pasta dish?!

new cookbook, cook beautiful on apartment 34

RECIPE: Orecchiette With Kale, Fennel, & Sausage
Serves 4


¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
1½ lb. ground pork sausage, removed from their casings (half-and-half mix of sweet and spicy)
4 cloves garlic, smashedand chopped
1 shallot, thinly sliced
1 tsp red pepper flakes (optional)
1 fennel bulb, cored, quartered, and thinly sliced
½ tsp kosher salt, plus more for seasoning
2/3 cup chicken stock
1 bunch lacinato kale, ribs removed and roughly chopped
1 lb. dried orecchiette pasta
Grated Parmiggiano-Reggiano cheese, for serving
Freshly cracked pepper, for serving

1. In a large skillet, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Add the sausage and cook, stirring and breaking up the meat, until it’s browned on all sides, 7 to 10 minutes. Remove the sausage with a slotted spoon and transfer it to a plate.

2. Add the garlic to the same skillet and sauté for 2 minutes, until light golden. Add the shallot and cook for 2 minutes more. Add the red pepper flakes, if using, and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add the fennel and salt and sauté until the fennel has softened, 3 to 5 minutes. Add the stock and cook a few minutes more.

3. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the kale to the boiling water and blanch it for 2 to 3 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, remove the kale and add it to the skillet, along with the sausage. Return the water to a boil and add the pasta. Cook according to package directions until al dente.

4. Drain the pasta into a colander, making sure to reserve 1 cup of the cooking water. Add the pasta to the skillet and cook it with the sausage and kale over low heat for 1 to 2 minutes. If the pasta is dry, moisten it with the reserved pasta water, adding ¼ cup at a time. Check and adjust the seasoning.

5. Finish the pasta with grated cheese and freshly cracked pepper. Serve immediately.

I do hope to see you at Williams-Sonoma next week!

Recipes excerpted from Cook Beautiful by Athena Calderone, published by ABRAMS c 2017. Photographed by Johnny Miller.

Have you ever scrolled through social media looking for inspiration and come away feeling less than great? You’re not alone. Thanks to Instagram (let’s just call a spade a spade), we’ve been programmed to think we can only share the perfect. Even when divulging something deeply personal, a self-effacing caption must be accompanied by an eye-popping pic. Now, there have been a few movements to lift the veil here and there. #IWokeUpLikeThis and #NoMakeup have offered a nod to more realism in the land of social media. But that sentiment is particularly rare in the world of interiors. When it comes to our homes, it seems only the picture perfect need apply. And while the intention might be to offer inspiration through beauty, the edited version of life can leave you feeling not so great about your own.

So when Kyla, of House of Hipsters, suggested a group of  bloggers (myself included obvi) offer peeks inside our homes sans props, sans professional photography, sans hours of styling or waiting for the perfect light, I thought – yeah, let’s do it! Even though I pride myself on offering you aspiration and inspiration on the daily, I thought you ought to know that I’m often scrambling to live up to my own inspirational standard. Now, when Kyla suggested we share this less than perfect home tour she said, “offer your usual pretty pictures, just maybe with a toy on the floor or a less than perfectly made bed.” Well, I’m taking things a step further. Welcome to the biggest, dirtiest, most revealing sneak peek of my house to date.

no makeup home tour on apartment 34

in this pic: west elm tripod floor lamp // cisco home sofa // random jar of diaper cream on the ottoman

no makeup home tour on apartment 34

 in this shelfie: my kinfolk magazine collection, baby pictures, pretty gerhard vases and a tray full of mini bubbles & animal stamps

no makeup home tour on apartment 34
currently in my living room: eames lounge chair // cisco home sofa // tufted ottoman (I’m selling if you want it) // arne norell safari chair // safari daybed

You haven’t seen a renovation update around here in quite some time, because as it turns out I’m a regular person! I don’t have unlimited funds, nor a magic wand. I’m juggling work and kids (and ideally friends and family and working out and a marriage but some of those things typically fall by the wayside). And renovating and decorating your dream home is actually really difficult. So while I wish my house looked like this or this or this all the time, it most often looks like what you see above and below. A constant work in progress. For example, my living room (above) continues to sit in a holding pattern as I design my dream fireplaces, deal with odd room dimensions and hold out to be able to afford my dream light fixture, among other things.

no makeup home tour on apartment 34

spoiler alert – we created an open concept living room and kitchen which I love. You can see everything, which I also love, including all the stuff I wish I could hide, which I hate. You know, usual things you see in a house like your vacuum filter on your kitchen counter; a balloon left over from a birthday party that happened six months ago; a massive pile of who knows what on the dining room table and toddler toys virtually everywhere.

no makeup home tour on apartment 34

the occasional moment of zen

no makeup home tour on apartment 34

when the toddler toys break free from their confines. My fantasy version of our media room is here. I usually achieve that version for about an hour before going to bed on Sunday nights.

no makeup home tour on apartment 34

a typical saturday afternoon

no makeup home tour on apartment 34

the rare occasion when there isn’t a pile of laundry on my bedroom floor // bedding via parachute // table lamp // bed

So there you have it. While I attempt to have my sh*** together everyday, I often fall short. But I will not beat myself up about it and neither should you. Because our homes are not still lives. They don’t come with a prepackaged set of filters. While I love when I achieve the picture perfect moment, it’s like trying to hold onto air. It just slips through your fingers. Turns out, life happens in the mess.

Peek into the real lives of some of your fave bloggers with this amazing No Makeup Home Tour series below

jojotastic | anne sage | bre purposed | the diy playbook | house of brinson | francois et moi | oscar bravo home | simple stylings | bigger than the three of us | house of hipsters

no make up home tour on apartment 34



Apartment 34 on Instagram

Happy Monday friends. I hope you all had wonderful weekends. Like I mentioned last week, I’m doing my best to kick my wardrobe back in gear this fall, so I spend most of my Sunday evenings scrolling for the week’s outfit inspiration. This week, denim popped to the top of my search (surprise, surprise). But the season’s it jean feels like multiple flashes from fashion trends past – in a good way. I’m dating myself, but this vibe is a mix of Clueless meets My So Called Life and I kinda love it.

fall's It jean on apartment 34fall's It jean on apartment 34

After what feels like years spent in nothing but dark, skinny jeans, cropped, straight legged, and preferably high waisted feels fresh and new. The easy fit appeals to the tomboy in me (but be prepared – with no stretch, you have to find a pair that fits well!). And the light wash gives me all the 90’s retro feels. There are a lot of good footwear options for this look, but they’re particularly good for showing off the best fall ankle boot you can find.

fall's It jean on apartment 34fall's It jean on apartment 34fall's It jean on apartment 34fall's It jean on apartment 34

What do you think? Are you as into these jeans as I am?



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Now that we’re coming up on mid-October, I’ve dropped all things summer like a hot potato and have fully embraced the new season. Except pumpkins. I’m still refusing all pumpkin related items – but I know I’m in the minority on that one. However, I am loving a mix of warm woods, creamy whites, black accents and a touch of metallic or two.

the fall edit on apartment 34 the fall edit on apartment 34the fall edit on apartment 34the fall edit on apartment 34the fall edit on apartment 34the fall edit on apartment 34the fall edit on apartment 34

shop the post: striped rug // table lamp // metallic boot // camel coat // shoulder bag // tea kettle // side chair

While this color palette is certainly a classic, when applied to modern pieces with crisp silhouettes it feels fresh and new. Like that stunning table lamp?! You won’t see something like that gorgeous marble shade every day. Or that yummy leather side chair with black metal legs. It’s equal parts comfortable and sophisticated. Definitely what I’m craving right now.

But surprisingly, I’ve also been drawn to a touch or two of green. Specifically, a mellow, subtle mossy green like this gorgeous shoulder bag. The color is natural and earthy, but a piece with crisp clean lines keeps it from feeling hippy-dippy. That bag would look gorgeous with that timeless camel coat and some good boots.

When you’re working with this neutral palette, it’s all about layering on a mix of textures. Leather, wool, brass, cashmere, rattan. Mix and match to your heart’s content.nThat’s where you’ll find that cozy fall sweet spot.

What say you? Are you feeling the fall vibes from this collection?


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When you’re working with tight spaces, you gotta make evert inch count. A perfect, often overlooked spot? Under the stairs! When we were living in our first San Francisco loft and its cozy 700 sq feet, our under the stair space was used for our pups (if you want to see how you can evolve your style in 5 years look at this – oy). But our under-the-stairs space was the perfect little doggie bedroom. But you can get incredibly creative and make an oft forgotten spot super usable and super gorgeous. Check out the examples below for proof.

How to Make the Most of Every Corner on apartment 34

How about an impromptu art gallery and a little wall mounted storage? It’s the perfect place to tuck away treasures that make you smile every time you walk by.

How to Make the Most of Every Corner on apartment 34

I love everything about this sophisticated use of under the stairs space. An oversized piece of a art, a beautiful side chair and low coffee table makes a perfect little space to hide away along with a perfect vignette to enjoy as your pass.

How to Make the Most of Every Corner on apartment 34

Tucking a cozy seat under the stairwell is a great spot to curl up with a good book.

How to Make the Most of Every Corner on apartment 34

How about a mini home office? If you pick some eye candy like that vintage desk and classic chair and can can keep your piles in check, it’s the perfect place to get work done. It could almost feel like you’re in an entirely separate room.

How to Make the Most of Every Corner on apartment 34

To optimize space, try a little custom stair-stepped shelving. The closed storage is a genius move for everyone with kids (or something to hide!).

How to Make the Most of Every Corner on apartment 34

Why not use your under the stair space for a mini garden? This shelving unit is just genius. Sliding brass shelves let your plants grow to their hearts’ content.

Any other creative ways you’ve used seemingly unusable space? I’m always looking for more good looking solutions.

For all our most creative design ideas, CLICK HERE.

images 1 // 2  // 3 // 4 // 5 kelli murray // 6 design chaser

Today’s post is equal parts fashion inspiration and personal style journey. For years around here, at the start of each week, I talked about Monday Workwear. It was the perfect way to shake off the work week doldrums – I used to love getting excited about getting dressed. Then came the 10 months where I couldn’t fit into anything in my closet. And the two and half years it’s taken me to get back into everything in my closet, but now I’m too tired half the time to actually change after my morning workout. But this fall, I’ve felt a shift. I actually want to break back into my wardrobe again and my timing couldn’t be better, as it appears one of my old staples – blazers – are coming on hard this season. So without further ado, I give you some Monday workwear inspiration – even if your only job is to make it through today.

updated way to wear blazers on apartment 34

Proof that all things come back around, since I’m pretty sure I saw this blazer on an episode of Designing Women (anyone with me?), but I’m digging the vibe of those puffy sleeves right now.

updated way to wear blazers on apartment 34

This look is definitely my style. Loads of layers (love it buttoned up to the neck), a heavy menswear touch and some mighty mom jeans. I gotta say, this is my jam right now.

updated way to wear blazers on apartment 34

I’ve never met a giant pant I didn’t like. Realize it’s not the friendliest silhouette, but if you feel like you can pull them off, seriously try them sometime – it’s so fun.

updated way to wear blazers on apartment 34

The oversized sleeve detail on this look (which I actually rocked pre-pregnancy in this post), combined with the cropped pant and beanie make a matching blazer and pants feel anything but up tight. Seems like it’s high time to give the style another go.

updated way to wear blazers on apartment 34

Does this look remind anyone else of Angela from My So Called Life?? And yet, I really want to add that blazer to my collection.

updated way to wear blazers on apartment 34

Who says you need to head to an office to rock a suit? Maybe I’ll just feel really polished during my morning coffee run.

What’s the saying? Dress for the job you want? Well, today, I’d like the job of badass, thanks.

For the entire Monday Workwear archive, CLICK HERE.

images via zara

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