Homemade Pizza Party Giveaway

gourmet pizza party  There is something about the winter months that makes me want Pizza for dinner even more than I usually do, which lets face it, is a lot. Who doesn’t like Pizza? It’s a comforting circle of cheesy bread love, plus the topping options are endless. One step better than going out for your favorite slice is inviting a few friends over for some homemade pizza and last week I turned your average pizza night up a notch to do just that. I teamed up with Ecco Domani to share my take on a homemade pizza party, it’s a little bit fancy and a little bit casual, and the best part is that you can win a slew of goodies to create a memorable pizza night of your own.

thegreatromancephoto-sarahsherman-eccodomani-98thegreatromancephoto-sarahsherman-eccodomani-40thegreatromancephoto-sarahsherman-eccodomani-158thegreatromancephoto-sarahsherman-eccodomani-57thegreatromancephoto-sarahsherman-eccodomani-106In all things I like to strike a balance… high and low, vintage and new, casual and fancy… etc. etc. The trick to finding sweet spot when it comes to aesthetics is all about finding a good balance. A pizza party is an easy casual party to throw, but add in a few elevated elements like homemade pizza, cloth napkins, tasty wine and a beautiful place setting and you’ve got yourself a special evening without too much fuss.

To make things easy we set up a pizza buffet on the dining table where guests can help themselves. Along next to the pizzas I laid out glasses and a bottle of wine in a chiller as well as a large salad bowl. To make it a pretty presentation, I laid out some eucalyptus as a runner and set the pizza’s up at varying heights using a pizza stone and a cake plate.

thegreatromancephoto-sarahsherman-eccodomani-155thegreatromancephoto-sarahsherman-eccodomani-5thegreatromancephoto-sarahsherman-eccodomani-29sss-pizza-party2I set up cheese plates around the kitchen and living room for people to nibble on and place settings around a large coffee table to carry on the mix of casual/fancy and to create an intimate vibe. I am pretty sure someone has to have proven that you can’t hold on to pretension while sitting on the floor.

sss-pizza-party5 thegreatromancephoto-sarahsherman-eccodomani-1I used woven chargers (you might remember them from my DIY headboard. I told you I’d re-use them), ceramic plates, gold flatware, striped napkins and a little bunch of eucalyptus and a thistle to top it off. And now onto the pizza!

sss-pizza-party3fennel-salami-pizzaI made two kinds of pizza, one savory sausage and one vegetarian that is a little sweet and a little spicy and both start with a homemade crust.

pizza-makingthegreatromancephoto-sarahsherman-eccodomani-139sss-pizza-party4 I have two local restaurants nearby that make incredible gourmet pies and I created two pizza’s inspired by my favorites from each place. Find my full recipes for the Fig-Pear Pizza with Arugula (above) and a Fennel Salami Ricotta Pizza on EccoDomani.com (here and here)

Which brings us to giveaway time!

pizza-party-giveawayI hand pick these pizza perfect items to give away to one lucky reader ($500 retail value). To enter head to my instagram or Ecco Domani’s, find an image from this post that is labeled #EccoDomaniContest and comment how you’d upgrade your pizza party. See more details and terms on the contest here.

Happy Pizza Partying.

Included in the giveaway is:

1 Pizza stone // 4 Plates // Pizza Cutter // Pizza Server // Pizza Flour // 4 Blush Linen Napkins // Apron // Bees Knees Spicy Honey // Six wine glasses

Additional Sources from my party:
Plates // Napkins // Chargers // Flatware // Glasses // Coffee Table // Pillows // Rug // Dining Table // Chandelier // Serving Boards // My Dress

Images by The Great Romance Photography

This Post was done in collaboration with Ecco Domani Wine. Thank you for supporting our sponsors.

a-frame kitchen progress + hardware round-up

kitchen-progress3 I’ve got some A-frame progress you guys(!), some very construction dust filled progress, but we are one step closer to a finished kitchen, so I will take it. If you’ve been following along, you already know that we went with Ikea cabinet bases but then chose Semi-handmade doors and drawer fronts for our A-frame kitchen. I love their DIY options (which we also used in our LA kitchen) because they come unfinished and ready for paint which means you get to pick any color your hearts desire. I painted ours months ago now, but we finally got them in! Well, at least the bottom ones. But yay green! You can read about my color choice and the painting process here. And now it is time to choose the hardware…best wood, brass, leather, concrete cabinet pulls knobs My original idea for the door hardware was to cut holes in the doors with my drill press to use as finger pulls but with a million other things on my to-do list, I completely forgot! Since the panels are already painted, and in Palm Springs, I am not about to bring them back to my workshop here, and I don’t trust a hand drill for a job like that, so on to plan B we go. I started searching for some more unique hardware options than my go to brass pulls and pulled together (no pun intended) my favorites from wood, to leather, to concrete.

I am loving wood hardware lately but with the wood countertops, I’m thinking leather or concrete might be the way to go.


Stealth // Meacham // Mid-Century Modern // Reedsport // Kaboom // Half Moon Rounds

Leather Loop // Salamanca Knob // Kennaston Pull // Leather Recessed // Multi Leather Pulls // Leather Bin Pull // Leather Pull // Leather Drawer Pull // XL Leather Pulls

Concrete Knobs // Betty Concrete // Cement Disk // Yoko Knobs // Cement Pillars // The Bunker 


kitchen-progressOh and it feels so good to have our appliances in and I delight in a thing called an undercounter fridge. You might remember we did the same thing with our cabin in Michigan and I didn’t miss having a full sized fridge once. Being a vacation home, we aren’t stock piling away groceries for the long haul, so by moving it to below the counter it frees up much needed visual space and adds more work surface area. My other favorite thing about this fridge is that we went with a “panel ready” option, so we had Semi-Handmade make a door front to match the rest of the cabinets and it blends in seamlessly (err, it will be seamless once we level the fridge that is, right now the unit is a bit crooked and covered with dust, but do you see how good it will be, do you see?! If you squint and imagine it all clean it helps, I swear by it).

kitchen-progress2 We still have quite a list of things to do, more painting, lights, skim coating the far wall, figuring out doors for the spice cabinet, toe kicks etc, but I couldn’t wait to share how it is looking with the base cabinets in and the floating shelf up! I also couldn’t help but take a look back at the before photo to see how far we’ve come.

kitchen-BEFORESlowly but surely we are bringing this dark and dated gem of a place into this century. Now if only we could stop running into silly problems that keep eating up our budget like new roofs, and septic systems and such. Septic schmeptic, I want my leather sling chairs!

Catch up on all the A-frame progress here.

Additional Sources:
Tile by Fireclay Tile (2×6 in Calcite) // Faucet from Homary // Cabinet doors and drawer fronts by Semi-Handmade (DIY slab style) // Range and self circulating range hood by Ikea // Countertops from Ikea  // Floating Shelf from Semi-Handmade // Sink from Ikea  //

Trullbrook Residence Master Bath

It may seem I am bathroom crazy over here at the moment but we have three more bathrooms to talk about on the Trullbrook project and this one is hands down my favorite! The master bath. It has a neutral color palette but is far from boring with special touches and every detail considered. But before we get to the design… here’s the before photos (a special mention to the dark brown carpeting because you know I love a carpeted bathroom. ew).

before-master-bathroombefore-master-bathroom2before-master-bathroom4before-master-bathroom3You might be wondering how all these different angles could possibly be in one bathroom and the answer is, it is actually three different tiny little rooms that make up one full bathroom. The result is a lot of wasted space, a weird flow and confined quarters that feel more like a powder room than a master bath. Here is the current floorplan to give you a better idea of what we were looking at when they first purchased the home.

Master-bath-floorplan-beforeAnd the plan…

Master-bath-floorplan-afterBy tearing out a lot of walls, moving everything around, and adding some large windows we were able to create a spacious master worthy of its’ name.

My biggest struggle with this space was the one thing the homeowner said was a must have and that was a giant drop-in oval tub. When I think of a built-in oval tub, the 80’s immediately come to mind. We joked that she was going to have a swan faucet to match, but the girl likes her baths and no matter how hard I tried to convince her to get a freestanding, she wasn’t having it. And I get it, the heart wants what the heart wants and who am I to try and deprive someone of something they feel so passionate about? So off I was to design around it and make sure the space looks like this decade and not too Dynasty. But really, as far as drop-in oval tubs go, it is actually a great one with clean lines and, so far, it is all shaping up very nicely.


bathroom-5-640 sarahshermansamuel-bathroomRecognize the bathrooms? It’s always nice to dive into a client’s pinterest board and see my own designs as some of their favorite spaces. Now the trick was to get a similar vibe but in a new unique way. (see the original posts here, and here)

And a couple other inspiration bathrooms that were on her board that I loved…

scarsdale-home-by-tamara-magel-photo-by-rikki-snyder-5main.original.640x0cI mean, that shower… I die!

Top bathroom by Tamaraa Magel // Second bathroom by Maggie Pierson

A soft palette, round shapes, simple tile in interesting patterns, some sort of terra cotta, gold fixtures, storage in the vanity, a built-in makeup vanity and a unique marble slab were a few other items on the want list that I was definitely on board with. And here is a peek into the selects for the finishes.

trullbrook-client-bathroom-finishesWe did a basket weave pattern on the walls, finding the right size tile for this pattern turned out to be a much harder search than I had initially thought. Finally we found it here and bonus it is SUPER affordable. I found the x + o terra cotta tiles glazed in white and fell in love. No two are the same, the glaze is slightly transparent in places so the terra cotta color can show through, giving it color variation and the best kind of textural quality that can only come from something handmade. More on the board are a simple chandelier for over the bath, oval vessel sinks, and that oval tub for two.

Once we landed on the floor and wall tile it was time to go slab shopping. We found quite a few contenders but landed on the gorgeous warm taupey colored vein marble. Quick tip when you are slab shopping…

slab-shoppingslab-shopping2Take your tile with you as well as any wood finish swatches etc that will be next to it, so you can see how they all work together. That might be a no brainer for some but the real tip is when you are holding the tile next to slab (and this goes for testing paint swatches and looking at wallpapers etc) make sure to hold the tile on the same plane that it will actually be installed. The two photos above are the exact same slab, holding the exact same tiles. See how in one photo the tile looks light and brighter than the slab and in the second it is darker? It’s all about how the light hits it and if your tile is going on the floor and your slab will run perpendicular to it, hold the tile next to it that way. It’s best to assess the color on the actual plane the surfaces will sit. This is the same reason you want to hold paint swatches up to a wall instead of going over them lying flat on a table.

Next up was designing a custom nearly 9 foot vanity to go with the slab.

vanity-drawingHis and her sinks and cabinets are connected making one long countertop to incorporate a place for a stool/makeup vanity in the center. Jaimi used to own a beauty company so she has quite a collection of product and wanted loads of drawers to accommodate. I designed the cabinets to look like three doors and three drawers on each, to give it a clean modern look but the two cabinets that flank the opening in the center actually house a million little drawers. Ok not a million but the right one has 9 little drawers for small items like make-up, serums, brushes, etc and the one on the left has two more small and two big drawers, all hidden behind the door.

And finally here is a rough idea of how it will all come together.

master-final-vanityIt’s pattern mixing and it’s most subtle and finest (see my tips on tile pairings/pattern mixing here) and, I know I say this every single time, but I really can’t wait to see it all come to life.

See all the posts on the Trullbrook Residence here.

real talk, real moms favorite books


The real mom series is hitting the books today! You might remember I shared my carefully edited list of favorite books a while back. And if you don’t make sure to head to the post RIGHT HERE to see my all time top children’s books that Archie and I both narrowed down to. I am not exaggerating when I say we have probably 100 at home and he consistently continues to go back to the one’s I listed on that post. I haven’t even gotten sick of them yet either so you know there are good! Since that post, we have continued to collect new reading material and below I have listed the ones that have made the cut and can be added to our favorite list.


You might recognize a few of the same authors & illustrators from the original list, they totally get it.

The Littlest Family’s Big Day // A Greyhound A Groundhog // We Found a Hat // Iggy Peck Architect // An Awesome Book of Love // You Will Be My Friend

Don’t forget to check out my full list here. 

And see what the other mama’s are reading by clicking on the links below:
 Jen // Emily || Alex || Catherine || Leah || Caitlin || Erin

Image by Katherine Rose

date night downtown

fur and lace // sarah sherman samuelOne of our resolutions this year is to have more date-nights. We have been epically failing (only going on about 4 total in the almost 2 years of Archer’s life) and it has taken its toll from time to time. Before Archie we were positive we would be one of the couples to take regular nights out together and make our relationship a priority but unfortunately it hasn’t been the case.

Neither of us are planners, we like to be spontaneous and nights out, pre-baby, were a big part of our week. However, with a child at home it isn’t as easy as saying, hey let’s go out to eat tonight and catch a movie. You have to find a sitter and those sitters like to have more than an hours notice. Go figure. With that said, this year our plan is to have a standing date night where we have scheduled a sitter to come one evening, every other week, so we have the plan in place and then we can be somewhat spontaneous with the what and the where.

fur and lace // sarah sherman samuelfur and lace // sarah sherman samuel fur and lace // sarah sherman samuelfur and lace // sarah sherman samuelfur and lace // sarah sherman samuelfur and lace // sarah sherman samuelOn our first night out, we went downtown, visited the Broad and then got dinner at Redbird. It was nice to mix up the routine, get out of the house together, and take in some of the beautiful things Los Angeles has to offer. Redbird has to be one of my favorite interiors (take a peek here). Wish us luck to keep this on the regular!

The sheer lace top from Zara couldn’t be better for a date night. A faux fur coat and black distressed denim with a simple black pump make sure the top is the star of the outfit and I layered on all my favorite rings to make myself feel a little fancy.

Shop the Post:
Lace Top from Zara // Jeans from Asos // Faux Fur Jacket (old) find similar here and here // Bracelet by Brandy Pham // Rings By L Frank Jewelry

Images by Heather Kincaid 

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