I’ve been obsessed with making my own sugar scrubs ever since I made that great peppermint sugar scrub last Christmas. Scrubs have become one of my favorite thing to gift to girlfriends for birthdays, as party favors etc. So cheap and easy to make and ladies love it – and I always make extra for myself while I am at it 😉

Today I wanted to share my latest sugar scrub addiction: rose + coconut!

Rosewater always brings tons of sweet memories. When I was little my grandma kept a bottle of rosewater in her bathroom. It was the prettiest deep blue bottle with a picture of pink roses on it, and she used the rosewater as her perfume. She was the kindest of women, and making anything with rosewater – like these rosewater cupcakes I made for Madeline’s birthday – brings a smile to my face.

In any case, back to this scrub: it has become my favorite. While I liked the peppermint one, I find the combination of rose and coconut super relaxing. It smells SO delicious that you’ll want to eat that scrubs- and technically you could, since it’s made with all eatable ingredients! Find my recipe below.

What you need

yields about 12oz/350g

1 cup 1/2 of sugar – or about 300 grams
1/3 cup of virgin coconut oil, melted– or about 8 cl
3 teaspoons of rosewater (you can always add a bit more if you prefer a stronger rose smell)
the petals of one rose (about 12 petals, more or less)

What you do

Easy! Put all of the ingredients in a blender and blend together until the rose petals are broken up into smaller pieces and the sugar is all wet – you might need to use a spatula to finish mixing a bit. Transfer the scrub into a jar. If you want to decorate you jars like me, find some pictures of roses (in magazines/catalogues or just print some off the internet), cut and glue on the container with mod podge/white glue. You could also add a little gift tag, ribbon or print a label if giving to a friend.

Tip: make sure to use a container with a wide mouth (like a small mason jar for example). I made the mistake of using these milk bottles for the pictures – while the bottles look very pretty, it’s was a bit too hard to get the scrub out of the bottles as it is more of a wet one.

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Hi friends! We made it to France alive. Alive being the key word here. Ha. I was afraid of the flight with 3 girls, but it was actually a breeze. I was going to scream victory….until I realized that the hardest part of this trip is actually to deal with 3 jet-lagged little girls on top of my own tiredness. We’re getting there, but man…..fun times!

Today I wanted to share a round 2 of books I’ve been enjoying lately – see round 1 here.  No novel this time because as you can imagine, I haven’t quite had the time for any Tolstoy lately 😉 But here are some great books for a little sumer fun!

Decorate with flowers: there is nothing that puts a smile on my face like fresh cut flowers in my home (PS: where do you stand in the great flower debate?), but I don’t always know how to make the most of the pretty blooms I pick up at Trader Joe’s. I’ve always been a big fan of Leslie Shewering’s work with colors and flowers, so when I heard she was working on a book  with Holly from Decor8 on the topic I knew I’d have it in my library. The book is really inspiring – it is filed with great tips, gorgeous photography  & typography, the prettiest moodboards and some fun DIYs to make your own pretty vases to display flowers in your home. And the best thing is you don’t have to be an expert in flowers to start applying all of the tips in this book around your home with what you already have!

POPS!: The lovely woman running Madeline’s day care (hi Bari if you read this!) does something pretty genius: at the end of each day, she sits all of the kids around her little table for story time and gives them popsicles (usually made with yogurt or juice)  to eat. Such a simple and brilliant idea – I mean, don’t you wish your work did the same thing, a popsicle before you wrap up your day? Pretty sure it would make some happy employees everywhere! Anyway, the point here, pops have become a thing in our home, and when I saw this book a few weeks ago at Paper Source I had to get it. It has some super fun options for kids and adults!  Do I see a popsicle birthday party in the near future? 😉  These are not your classic type of pops  but if you like exploring with difference flavors then it is for you! You’ll also learn how to make popsicles in various shapes  and using different kinds of molds etc.

Braids, buns and twists:  I always save tons of hair tutorials in my board on Pinterest, but I have to admit that I have never really used any of them. Why? Because, when I am doing my hair in the bathroom in the morning rush while eating a piece of toast, I just don’t have time to run back to my computer to find that tutorial I pinned weeks before. I LOVE having it in the bathroom next to all my pins – it’s really helped me get more creative with my hair since it’s right there.  It has TONS of tutorials – the girls have been eyeing those pretty Anna and Elsa-like braids 😉 Quite frankly, some of the pictures could be prettier but that’s just me being picky :) The instructions are well-detailed and super clear. I’ve tried a few looks from the book already to get my mane up during the hotter summer days, and was super happy with the results. A great buy!

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L: Home via Hus o Hem| R: Spicy grapefruit margarita via The Life Styled.

hi friends! I am on my way to France with the girls – flying alone with all 3 girls, wish me luck! Today I wanted to share this sweet place from Sweden. The owners of this lovely home are from Iceland and I love the rustic feel that they managed to bring to the place without it being too overwhelming – it’s got a lot of that scandinavian white to break it up a bit. Oh, and can we talk about that gorgeous orange wall? I probably would have never dared that color, but I love how it contrasts with the the wood and rustic furniture. And with that, I’ll have a yummy spicy grapefruit margarita while I stare at that pretty orange wall and sit in that pretty leather chair.

Cheers, and I’ll see you guys on the other side of the Atlantic!

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What are some of the things that define you as a family? I mean, what are the things that you always do together? Maybe it’s hiking or or going to brunch on Saturdays? Maybe it is singing out loud in the car or going to Church on Sundays? For us, picnics are one of those things. I have a picnic bag at home filled with the essentials, always ready the next  adventure. The best thing about picnics is you can make them as fancy or as simple as you’d like, and you can set up a picnic blanket wherever you’d like. You can have a million dollar view without paying a dime for it.

My uber-talented photographer friend Alicia came out from New York to visit us mid-June, and I asked her if she would mind coming with us on one of our little picnics and snapping pictures of our family of 5 – a rare treat since I am usually always behind the lens! So I filled our picnic basket with the beautiful picnic throw and enamel plates that my friends at West Elm sent me for the occasion, a yummi citrus and ginger cake (I’ll share the recipe soon!), some sodas and books to read with the girls…and off we went!

We went to the “kite park” – beautiful open spaces right by the Berkeley marina overlooking San Francisco and the Golden gate bridge. We call it the Kite park because it is always very windy and tons of people come here to fly kites – there is even a kite festival there every summer and I can’t wait to check it out. It’s our special spot. We often come here on Sunday evenings to have a picnic and fly our kites. Sadly, there was barely any wind the day we took the pictures! Madeline was so sad she couldn’t fly the new kite we made together from leftover wallpaper :) But that little girl is determined, and so, we HAD to try anyway!

Since my photographer friend Alicia is originally from Sweden, we also made a couple of flower crowns that turned this picnic into a little mid-summer celebration. And I told the girls that when they wore their flower crown, fairies would come  out of hiding to see them – but that they had to look very carefully to see them since fairies are so fast. Obviously  😉 They were mesmerized and I had so much fun watching them try to spot fairies. Childhood memories in the making.

And as we ate the cake, we watched the sun set over the Golden Gate bridge. I mean, moments like these are just pure perfection. I know that often we dream of an amazing vacation on a faraway island with a pool overlooking the sea. But this, really my friends, this is the real deal. Life really doesn’t get any better than this – a pretty picnic blanket and little girls chasing fairies.

See more pictures of our picnic shoot featured on the West Elm blog here!

Credits: Photography by Alicia Swedenborg. Picnic throw and white enamel plates sent to me for this shoot by West Elm, who offered to partner with me to make our family pictures even more special :)
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Are you guys in vacation mode already? I have a to do list that seems to be multiplying and have a lot do to before we leave for France on Monday, but I just couldn’t care less. All I want to do is eat ice cream, rest on a blanket in the shade of a tree with my girls, hear them laughing as they play in the water. And did I mention eat ice cream? A totally unproductive kinda-summer, some would say. But I would argue just the opposite 😉 Happy Wednesday, friends!

Sources: 1. DIY colorblock food dome by Sugar & Cloth. | 2. Beach radioat Anthropologie | 3. knitted ‘gingham’ Uimi blankets | 4. Citrus curds – lemon, pink grapefruit and blood orange |5. DIY string lights  by a Subtle Revelry |6. Cheese plates via Babsouk

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Letters to my future self letter book by Chronicle books.

Friends – so sorry I’ve been MIA! It’s been a whirlwind here. Hubby got some big (good) news at work, and we’ve been trying to wrap our heads around it all. Our green card process is also finally moving forward – which means tons of paperwork to fill out right now-, and on top of that we’re leaving for Europe in a week. I am traveling to Europe alone with the three girls to get there and trying not to freak out about it! Between all of these things and trying to find a new balance with three kids, this blog has taken a hit, and I am so sorry I haven’t been around more!

Today I wanted to share a little something hubby and I have been doing this week – write letters to our future selves. For Father’s day I was looking for a little present, something simple to give to hubby, and found these “Letters to my future self” by Chronicle Books. I loved the idea right away, and figured I’d pick one up for hubby and I to do together. These have been such amazing conversation starters for us. Like I said, a lot is going on right now in our life, and it will be so great to open letter twenty or thirty years from now and read about all of the things that were going on in our life in 2014, our thoughts, our hopes, our dreams. There are 10 different letters in this little book of letters with different themes – I don’t think I will write them all, but my favorites/the ones I intend on writing are: “A pep talk to the future me“, “Where I want to go” (major wanderlust here!!!), “This is a letter about my love“, “It was an extraordinary day…” and “a promise to myself“. I am sure that as I write these letters tons of thoughts will come up, and I’ll try to share some of these thoughts with you.

Have you ever written a letter to your future self? How was the experience for you? If you haven’t done it…would you? How old do you think I should be before opening the letters?

PS: Also, do you have a bucket list?

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Hi! This is Erin from Apartment 34 for Audrey’s last guest post during her maternity leave. It’s rare I talk about baby things not having any of my own yet but when Audrey asked me to guest post while she’s out with darling Freia,  I thought I’d poke around to see what’s been going on for the wee ones these days. And I’m glad I did because I discovered a collection I might start buying now! How good would you feel if the money spent towards making your kid look cute went to an even better cause?! Now you can find out!

Twenty-two high end designers including Prada, Chloe, Celine Vera Wang, Victoria Beckham, Alexander McQueen and Isabel Marant {basically the most A-list designers, ever!} have teamed up with Shopbop and Born Free for a baby and kids line where 100% of the proceeds are going towards ending HIV transmission between mother and child. We’re all for shopping for a cause so naturally we’ll take a moment to break our baby silence with a stunning nursery and cute clothes that would obviously look beyond gorge hanging in the closet!

We love, love the message behind this line and are super excited to share it with all you mamas, mama-to-be’s, and aunties. Even if you’re that one friend out of your whole entire group who doesn’t have a child yet {raises hand!}, you’ll definitely want to keep this collection on your radar for when that inevitable “damn-it-another-one-of-my-friends-is-having-a-baby-before-me,” baby shower moment!

>1 Ivanka Trump Toddler Kurta + Bloomers

>2 Alexander McQueen Baby Blanket

>3 Prada Child’s Pleated Skirt

>4 Lemlem Child’s Patio Dress

>5 DKNY Child’s Dress

Btw, while sourcing nurseries, we came across THE cutest little boy of all time, Carter from Babiekins!

images via The Brick House, photography by Laure Joliet 

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People often say “less is more” – but in the case of this growing little family, more is definitely more.

It is more work. More tiredness. More juggling. It’s life on steroids. But really, what it really is, it’s more love. I am not going all hormone-emotional on you, friends. I am also not trying to sell you this “big family” idea. It’s just that my heart has been feeling SO full since Freia was born, it feels like it’s gonna explode any minute now. And not like it wasn’t already filled with love before she arrived….it’s crazy, that capacity that we have to love and to love even more, beyond what we thought was possible.

I still can’t really believe we are a family of 5, but it is every bit real. The laundry pilling up and the three car seats in the back of our car are the very proof of that reality 😉  I have three little girls….how lucky I am to be able to write these words….A couple weeks ago for Father’s day we had our first little escape as a family of 5 – drove south of the Bay to Mount Diablo. It was totally unplanned, we left on a whim, hit the road and made up our day as it went.

We stopped when being in the car was too much. We picked flowers. We sat in the shade of a tree and ate cupcakes. We stopped to look at the horses – oh the sparkles in the girls’ eyes. Take that, shake it up with a couple meltdowns and spilled drinks at lunch, and you’ll get the kind of perfectly imperfect day that we love so much.

It’s not always  perfect and it’s not always easy. We’re all tired, and we’re still trying to figure out how to deal with all that “more”. But we’re a team and we’re going to figure this out together. And when I see the girls loving on their sister the way they do, I forget about all that extra tiredness and juggling and the tantrums – all I can see is  the oh-so happy days ahead of us.

Have a lovely weekend, friends!

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Baby Freia arrived on May 9th, so while I take some time to rest and bond with my little girl, an amazing group of blogger friends is helping “fill in the gaps”. Enjoy their amazing posts!

Hello! This is Nomita from Ebabee Likes. When Audrey asked me to do a guest post for her while she went on maternity leave, I knew exactly what I wanted to do. Since she’s busy welcoming her new baby in to the world, I thought it would be fun to put together a nursery inspiration board.

I went for shades of blue because blue is such a calming colour that works equally well for a baby boy or girl. I’ve also included hints of grey as not only does it work really well with blue but it’s a colour I would love to see used more often in a nursery. Grey can be paired with almost any colour out there so it’s easy to use in a more minimal nursery like this one or even in a bright, colourful one.

Here’s the selection:

1. Mountains wallpaper | 2. DIY Bear head |3. Party animal poster |4. Vintage chair |5. Stars garland |6. Dotty storage baskets |7. Striped rattle toy |8. Raindrop in boots cushion |9. Butterflies bed linen

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One of my favorite thing about living in California is all the citrus. I. CAN’T. GET. ENOUGH. Growing up in France surrounded by apple and cherry trees, I had never even seen a real citrus tree until I moved to Arizona for college. I was hooked instantly. Nothing like the sight of bright yellow in a tree to cheer me right up – oh, and the blossoms, that smell….it’s like a drug!

Today I wanted to share a little favorite recipe of mine, a perfect little lemon curd (the best you’ll ever have I swear!), and a couple more fun twist on that – a grapefruit curd and a blood orange curd.

Lemon curd is such a great classic – if you’ve never tried making it you should, it is SO easy and SO delicious….and it doesn’t take more than 15 minutes to make! My FAVORITE breakfast of all time: greek yogurt topped with a bit of lemon curd and some ginger (or berry. Or chocolate!) granola from Trader Joe’s. Heaven in a bowl. I dare you to try it and not like it! And now that I have blood orange and grapefruit curds at home, I can mix it up some more – they are just as delicious! You can also try them with ricotta pancakes, or fill a cake with them or use them as a base to make ice cream. Yum!

Simple lemon curd (make about 1 cup)

  • 1 whole egg
  • 3 egg yolks
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • zest of 2 lemons
  • 4 tablespoons butter, cut into small cubes
In a small saucepan whisk egg yolk and egg until combined. As you whisk add sugar, lemon juice and lemon zest, and keep whisking until everything looks smooth – one minute or so. Place the saucepan over medium heat and whisk constantly. When the custard thickens and coats the back of a wooden spoon, it is ready – that should take about 8-10 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat, and slowly stir in the butter, one cube at a time. Strain the curd into a bowl/jar, cover up with plastic wrap and chill in the fridge for at least an hour.

Pink grapefruit curd (make about 1 cup)

  • 1 whole egg
  • 3 egg yolks
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup fresh pink grapefruit juice
  • 2 tbps lemon juice
  • zest of 1 medium grapefruit
  • 4 tablespoons butter, cut into small cubes
Follow same directions as lemon curd recipe – only difference is that you add the lemon juice as the same time as the grapefruit juice.
Blood orange curd (make about 1 cup)
  • 1 whole egg
  • 3 egg yolks
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup fresh blood orange juice
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • zest of 2 blood oranges
  • 4 tablespoons butter, cut into small cubes
Follow same directions as lemon curd recipe – only difference is that you add the lemon juice at the same time as the blood orange juice.

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