Design & Technology: HP Spectre

HP - REINVENTED OBSESSIONAs many of you know, I care about aesthetics in just about everything! Before I buy anything, I go through the process of deciding if it’s good for me in both form and function. Many things fail the test and I move on or wait for a better product. This mindset can make decisions difficult when it comes to technology.

HP - REINVENTED OBSESSIONHP - REINVENTED OBSESSIONLuckily the HP Spectre laptop came along. You may remember it briefly from this post – well the day came where I finally had a chance to see it in person. When I opened the box I nearly gasped – the beauty of this computer had me speechless. The mix of sleek black with just a touch of copper was a total win in my book. As I took it out of the box I wondered if it would function as well as I hoped. I turned it on and the high definition screen was so clear it felt as if I could step right into the image. And the laptop is light – only 2.45 pounds, so I can take it with me when I travel and not break my back!

HP - REINVENTED OBSESSION HP - REINVENTED OBSESSIONHP - REINVENTED OBSESSIONEach time I open it and the copper keys light up, I dance a little jig at the beauty of this laptop. The magic was finding form and function in the same computer. It’s a match made in heaven.

As someone who makes a portion of my living by writing, it’s a necessity to have a computer that I can bring on an airplane, to a coffee shop, and also fit it into the color palate at home. This is the tool I need to get my job done. I could hardly wait for the chance to share it with you.

This post is a partnership with HP Spectre. All opinions are my own. Thanks for supporting sponsored posts that keep Sacramento Street doors open.

Photos by Claire Giffen

Workspace: Elsie Green

Workspace - Elsie GreenAs a designer and stylist, I’m always looking for unique pieces when I have a photo shoot on the horizon. And if I want items that stand out that are authentic and unique, I head directly to Elsie Green in Concord.

It’s a family owned business – the owners are the nicest and most talented couple you’ll ever meet. They go to Europe and Morocco several times a year and come back with a well-curated warehouse full of vintage treasures that will leave you spellbound. I have countless items in my own home – cutting boards, vintage china, my living room chairs, placemats, linens – the list is endless!

The newest addition to Elsie Green is their design studio. I walked in and was speechless with the transformation. Again, it’s a stunning example of the magic Laurie and her husband can accomplish! 

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If you haven’t made a trip out to Elsie Green – it’s a must. But don’t worry if you can’t visit the store in person they have a wonderful online shop and are at the Alameda Flea Market every month. Seeing their studio come to life has given me so much inspiration for my own. 

Elsie Green
2954 Treat Blvd, Suite C
Concord, CA 94518
Ph: 925 323 5311

A huge thank you to the Elsie Green team for opening up their space for all of you to see!

Photos by Caitlin Flemming

On the Menu: Summer Peach Muffins

Peach Coconut & Banana Muffins

Stone fruit season is probably one of my favorite times of year – the farmers market is bursting with goodies. A few weeks ago the lovely Maia McDonald of Bitte Shop posted a photo of these delicious Peach Coconut Banana Muffins. They looked heavenly. I had been searching for a recipe to make with all of the delicious peaches I was bringing home each Sunday. This one is a hit in our house. Maia was sweet enough to share her recipe and photos with all of us. I hope you enjoy this one – it’s not to be missed before peaches are gone. Enjoy!

Peach Coconut & Banana Muffins

Peach Muffins


  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 cup oats – old fashioned or quick cooking
  • ¾ cup sugar
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1½ cups low fat yogurt (plain, peach or vanilla)
  • ⅓ cup vegetable oil
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla
  • 1 cup diced peaches (thawed if frozen)
  • 2 tablespoons granola or toasted nuts for topping


  1. Pre-heat oven to 350 degree and grease a muffin pan.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together dry ingredients: flour, oats, sugar, baking powder, ginger, baking soda and salt.
  3. In a stand mixer or separate medium bowl, whisk together wet ingredients: yogurt, oil, eggs and vanilla.
  4. Slowly add the wet mixture to the dry mixture and stir until combined. Fold in the peaches and divide evenly into muffin cups.
  5. Bake for 35 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean.

Maia is sharing her other favorite – Zucchini Muffins over on Apartment 34 today! Be sure to check out our past On the Menu recipes for more inspiration in the kitchen.

Recipe and photos by Maia McDonald

An Effortless Epic Summer Dinner

American Express Summer Dinner Entertaining when you have a toddler can sometimes present a challenge. What my husband and I have learned is that it’s best to have guests arrive once Jackson is asleep. I can still prepare for the dinner and have the dining room prepped over the course of the day. Before I even start prepping my house for guests – I do a quick cleaning job and then to make it smell inviting I use this go-to recipe from Buzzfeed here.

American Express Summer DinnerAmerican Express Summer Dinner

I also try to buy everything I need for the meal the day before entertaining. I like taking a morning to go to the flower market early and then hit the supermarket just as it opens. The grocery store is quiet and nearly empty and before you know it, I’m finished shopping for dinner. I love the ease of using my #BlueCashEveryday American Express card. It’s great knowing I get 3% back at all U.S. grocery stores. This adds up quickly in our household!

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Here are my five tips for creating an effortless epic summer dinner in:

  1. Consider buying some items already prepared. At this dinner, I purchased a roasted corn salad and then mixed it with arugula and feta cheese. It was prepared in no time at all and was budget friendly! As always, I used my #BlueCashEveryday card to make my money work even harder for me.
  2. Always try to have fresh flowers or cutting from your garden. Especially in the summer months, even when you are entertaining inside, it’s nice to have a bit of the outdoors in your home. I love mixing flowers I bought with a few vines of clematis from the garden.
  3. Candles create an intimate atmosphere that shows you are thinking about the finishing touches for your guests to feel special. I usually stick to white candles, but this time I decided to go with a light gray that would coordinate with the flowers.
  4. Cloth napkins are a must. If you don’t have any, consider buying inexpensive fabric and making a set to use everyday or when guests are visiting.
  5. To make your guests comfortable while they dine, consider adding pillows to the chairs. This creates a cozy atmosphere and your guests will be so comfortable!

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American Express Summer Dinner 9Most of all, try to make the effort to have friends dine with you. Entertaining can seem daunting, but if you just set out to complete it step-by-step, it really isn’t that difficult. I hope all of you enjoy the last days of summer to the fullest and let’s make a toast to our friends and loved ones!

This post is a partnership with American Express Blue Cash Everyday. All opinions are my own. Thanks for supporting sponsored posts that keep Sacramento Street doors open.

Photos by Delbarr Moradi

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