Thursday, January 30, 2014

Girl Crush of the Week: Julia Ryan

No, I did not choose today's Girl Crush of the Week because she has the same name as me, although, it is an unspoken rule that everyone named Julia is awesome. No, I chose her because, name aside, she really IS AWESOME. Julia Ryan of is fabulous, stylish, talented and a wonderful mom of two adorable tots.

Just look at these cuties!!

Julia's blog,, chronicles her quest for a beautiful life and includes posts on interior design, style, food and photography. I absolutely love getting lost in her blog every day- whether it be engrossing myself in her latest home project or checking out a new recipe! As you can tell, I just adore Julia and think you will to. Please get to know her a little more as today's Girl Crush of the Week!

  • Style icon(s)?  Olivia Palermo and Gwyneth Paltrow. I love their classic and effortless chic looks.  Lady-like but not trying too hard.  Their look exudes confidence and a well-traveled aura.
  • Favorite reads? Historical fiction. I love reading about the Tudors and past aristocracy. Their drama and lives fascinates me. I'm also a sucker for a good pop-culture trilogy.

  • Favorite perfume? I honestly don't wear perfume. I have really sensitive skin so it's just a must for me. Trish McEvoy Blueberry Vanilla is my favorite scent when I do want to step it up a notch.
  • Interior design philosophy? Classic with an updated twist. I like collected and livable spaces that don't feel too new or too overdone. I like to see interest added with texture and layers and pattern rather than too much color. I crave a calm retreat over a busy explosion of what's in-style. 

  • Personal style philosophy? Very similar to my design aesthetic, I prefer simple classic lines that allow the person to shine through. Comfort and liveablitly are imperative. I want to wear my clothes not have them wear me. Skinny jeans and flats are my uniform. I like a classic pair of pointed toe pumps to dress it up for date night. And of course, leopard. That's a staple.

  • Must-have beauty product? Laura Mercier Tinted Moisturizer. I love a good clean face that's not too heavily made up. Laura Mercier gives you that creamy glowing complexion we all crave.

  • Secret addiction? Hairspray. It's a secret weapon. I honestly can't remember the last day that I didn't spray my hair at least twice. I'm a fan of a casual pony-tail or top-knot which requires teasing and spray to give it some oomph. And it works wonders on the frizz and fly-aways we constantly battle in the South. I also love a good messy wave which needs some hair spray to stay in place. See? You always need it.
  • Motto/quote to live by? "Create a life that feels good on the inside not just one that looks good on the outside."

  • Favorite drink? That's easy. Champagne! It makes even the ordinary feel like a special occasion.


  • My bracelet stack isn't complete without... I actually don't wear bracelets.  Or earrings for that matter.  I've been in baby-mama mode for several years now and they just get in the way.  I'm a big fan of a good statement necklace or scarf though.

What do you know, it's another awesome Julia!

  • I get my sweat on by... Time to get real, I don't work out.  I've never been a fan of organized exercise. Shame on me. At this stage I get plenty of cardio and muscle toning from carrying around and chasing after my two year old and three year old. I'm pretty intrigued by the current barre craze lately.

Isn't she just the best? Follow her daily adventures here!

Xo J

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

The Fremont Diner

Remember our engagement photos at The Fremont Diner? Well, we didn't actually get a chance to eat there that day (except for the shake) but the menu looked so freaking good we knew we'd have to make a return visit. Over a year later, we finally got our chance.

Hot Pink Pashmina, H&M Sweater (similar), Target Aviators,
Abercrombie Denim (word to the wise, go up 2 sizes from your regular size),
Dorothy Perkins Booties

As you all know, over MLK Jr weekend, TC and I headed to Napa for the weekend. On our way home, we decided to stop at The Fremont Diner for brunch. We split biscuits and then I had French Toast and TC had the Hangtown Fry. Just what the doctor ordered after a weekend of wine tasting :)

COMING SOON: A full list of my favorite wineries and restaurants in Napa/Sonoma.

Xo J

Monday, January 27, 2014

Birthday Boots

Don't all birthday gifts come wrapped in snuggies?

If you follow me on Instagram, then you know that my husband hit it out of the park with my birthday present this year. For the big 3-0, he got me my first pair of Christian Louboutin shoes- boots to be exact. To say I was excited was an understatement. I immediately threw those boots on and didn't take them off all weekend! 

The big reveal.

I love how versatile these boots are. Perfect for fun going out nights or winter brunches. Of course, I rocked them to my birthday brunch in my favorite all-black combo- a blouse and skinny jeans. I'm looking forward to rocking them non-stop with all different looks this winter :)

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Birthday Weekend

My original plan was to do a post on Grammy's style today, but since, well, no one, except Taylor Swift and Chrissy Teigen brought it this year, I decided to switch things up and post on something far more exciting- MY BIRTHDAY!

Stopping by my favorite flower shop for a bouquet.

This past weekend was my 30th birthday. I know- THE BIG 3-0! What an exciting birthday. I know that some may freak out over this milestone, but I thought it was great! I mean, when I think back to the type of person I wanted to be and the kind of life I wanted to have at 30, I would say that I am pretty darn close! I have a great husband, family and friends, live in a great city- life is pretty good! So what did we do to celebrate?

Well, as you know, last weekend we went wine tasting. This weekend, on Saturday, we went to the farmer's market at the ferry building (I can't believe it's taken me over 4 years to go!), did some shopping, went out to dinner at one of my favorite restaurants. 

Taking my ASOS dress and birthday boots (more on that later) for a spin.

Happy guy with his oysters at Cafe des Amis.

A wonderful surprise running into Meredith! Remember her as one of my Girl Crushes?!

On Sunday, my actual birthday, we went to brunch (sat outside!!), headed to Hayes Valley for macaroons, picked up some of my favorite flowers, and then my husband made me dinner. Pretty wonderful birthday weekend!

My in-laws know me all-to-well: salt and workout tanks!
Brunch OUTSIDE (hello January in SF) at Presidio Social Club.

My favorite macarons in SF. Yes, we bought a 12-pack and TC had 2!

Delicious pastries.

It was a wonderful weekend and I can't help but thank TC for that. Next up- celebrating with my friends next weekend! SO FUN!

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Girl Crush(es) of the Week: Shannon and Allison of Itsy Bitsy Indulgences

Just like with Marissa, I came across today's Girl Crush(es) of the Week on Instagram. Now, I realize that may sound like I troll around, picking up chicks on Instagram, but I swear that's not the case. I courted these ladies for several months, following, liking and commenting, until I asked them to be girl crushes. Who are these ladies worthy of such attention? Why they're Shannon and Allison, two sisters who run the blog, Itsy Bitsy Induglences. They write about all aspects of their lives from food to fitness to fashion and believe that life should be lived and enjoyed in balance. Please join me today in getting to know them a little better!

Style icons? 
  • Shannon: Olivia Palermo, she strikes a perfect balance between classic and feminine. Whether it's the red carpet or walking down the street, she always looks perfectly polished.  
  • Allison: Blake Lively, Kristin Cavallari, Lauren Conrad 

Favorite reads? 
  • Shannon: My favorite classic is hands down Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte. My more recent favorite would have to be Gone Girl. I also love Shape, Women's Health, and In Style. 
  • Allison: Fitness Magazine and war novels.

Favorite perfume? 

Interior design philosophy?
  • Shannon: I like a modern monochromatic look with splashes of color in my accent pieces. I also love to throw in a few 70's accents... gold rimmed pieces, deco and chevron prints here and there. 
  • Allison: I love a combination of modern and rustic- think big white kitchen with a big island in the middle... white cabinets, modern appliances, dark wood flooring, it's limitless!! 

Personal style philosophy? 
  • Shannon: Be yourself. Wear what works for your body. Confidence is the best way to rock any outfit. It really love the balance between classic pieces with feminine accessories. 
  • Allison: Be you- if you like it, wear it! 
Must-have beauty product?
  • Shannon: My Sephora instant de-puffing eye roller and Chanel Vitalumiere aqua foundation (it's super light and hydrating)! 
  • Allison: Kiehl's Ultra Facial Cream and Chanel mascara.

Secret addiction?
  • Shannon: It's not really a secret that I LOVE Frozen Yogurt and Champagne.
  • Allison: Anything soft! I have poor self-control when I'm presented with blankets, soft sweaters, slippers, sweatshirts, etc... I just love to be cozy! And cheese... there's no better comfort food! 

Motto/quote to live by?
  • Shannon: "It's all been done but not by you." 
  • Allison: "Happy girls are the prettiest." Audrey Hepburn. If you make choices and are doing things to make yourself happy, that translates to others!

Favorite drink?
  • Shannon: Iced Tea and Champagne Cocktails.
  • Allison: Fresh squeezed orange juice and a Mai Tai (another secret addiction is anything Hawaiian).

My bracelet stack isn't complete without...
  • Shannon: A charcoal gray druzy bracelet given to me recently by one of my oldest friends for my birthday.
  • Allison: Always a watch, and a new J Crew black calf-hair bracelet (I told you I love soft things!)

I get my sweat on by... 
  • Shannon: Running and Spin... I also love a great yoga sculpt.
  • Allison: High Intensity Interval Training... intense circuits that incorporate cardio bursts with strength training.

Aren't they such cool gals?! Follow them via the following channels:

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

New Salad Recipes to Try

In the past, one of the main reasons why I've had trouble sticking with my healthy eating habits is boredom/lack of options. I was so bored eating the same salad every night. Now, thanks to the internet, there are so many delicious options out there! I wanted to share some new (to me) salad recipes that we've tried recently. 

Kale Caesar Salad with Crispy Chickpeas
  • Used only 1/4 cup mayo and 1 tbsp olive oil in dressing
  • Replaced olive oil with cooking spray when roasting chickpeas
Rating = 9/10

  • I needed more dressing so adjusted the dressing by 1.5
  • Nixed the nuts

Rating = 8/10

  • I cut the cabbage and carrot amounts in half bc holy cow that was a lot for just two people
  • I nixed the avocado
  • I used regular sesame seeds instead of black - I know, the shame!

Rating = 7/10

Kale and Shaved Brussels Sprouts Salad
  • I only used 1 head of kale and that made enough for leftovers
  • Nixed the nuts
  • Used shaved parmesan instead of pecorino
Rating = 9/10

  • I have not tried this one yet but DANG IT LOOKS GOOD!

If you have clicked through all of the recipes, you'll notice that three out of the four are from Natalie at Designer Bags and Dirty Diapers. If you are not following her already, you should start! She has THE BEST recipes, many of which are now staples in our home.

Xo J