My Favorite Summer Salad

Last Summer, I had a bottle of Cilantro dressing from Trader Joe's, and wanted to enjoy some fresh corn. I was feeling creative, so I decided to make up a smoky grill flavored salad that was still crisp and refreshing. My experiments don't work very often, but since I made this it's been a favorite! 

Grilled Corn and Romaine Salad with Cilantro Dressing | DesignComb

This year, I decided to take things a little further, and make a dairy free home made version of the dressing. I hope you enjoy it as much as I do!

Creamy Dairy Free Cilantro Dressing | DesignComb
Grilled corn salad with dairy-free cilantro dressing | DesignComb

WHAT YOU NEED (serving size: 2)

Dairy Free Cilantro Dressing

  • 1 Avocado
  • 1 Lime (juiced)
  • 1 Garlic clove
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 TBS Apple Cider Vinegar
  • 2 cups fresh cilantro
  • salt to taste
  • optional: 1 Jalapeño if you like some heat

Salad Ingredients

  • 2 heads of Romaine
  • 1 lime
  • 2 pieces of corn on the cob
  • 1 Avocado
  • 1 TBS Coconut oil
  • Fresh black pepper (optional)


I recommend making the dressing first so that it can get cold in the fridge while you make the rest of the salad. Simply throw all of the ingredients into a blender until smooth!

For the salad, start by slicing your corn off the cob. Heat up an iron skillet or grill pan with coconut oil. Cook on medium-high until the corn starts to blacken (this gives the salad an amazing smoky flavor). Squeeze the juice of one lime into the corn mixture as it's cooking. I like to leave the lime in there as it cooks - it smells amazing.

Wash and rip up up your romaine while the corn is cooking. Toss with the dressing, as heavy or light as you like. Scoop a few big spoonfuls of corn into the center of the dish. Top with a few slices of avocado and some fresh black pepper.

Weekend Reads

I hope you had an amazing week! It's been a productive but exhausting one for me with a lot of changes coming along. One of which is this new column, Weekend Reads. My husband Rich is always sending me really interesting links, and I thought it would be fun to do a roundup of my favorites at the end of each week! So here we go...

Hand Lettered Envelope from Erik Marinovich's Skillshare class | DesignComb

A ring that vibrates when important people are calling... I might need to get this. I'm the one that everyone makes fun of but is also legitimately annoyed of, because I never answer my phone. Whoops.

"For every one household that collects art there are 37 with the same average income who don't..." Check out this article about how art will be for everyone in the future the way that music is today. Rich and I collect art, and even as artists/ designers it can be intimidating and overwhelming. I love the idea of a future that involves more accessible art.

I guess we're all set living in NYC, because 20 minutes of walking makes your brain significantly more active and releases endorphins. I see this happening with us a lot - we come up with our best ideas walking from place to place.

We recently got a subscription to Skillshare, and I've been soaking it up. I'm looking forward to taking this class on hand lettering envelopes. I think it'll be fun to send out to friends!

Speaking of Skillshare, I'm also currently in the middle of a productivity class since I find myself spending more time thinking about all of the things I need to get done than actually doing them. I'm using todoist to write down any to do item that comes to mind, and I'm planning on getting one of these bad boys to plan out my months (and keep it in front of my face so I don't forget).

Have a great weekend!

Decorating Tips & Tricks

Redecorating is always fun, and something I like to do about once a year to keep things feeling fresh. It can seem incredibly overwhelming to decorate your space (especially from scratch), but here are some tips and tricks that I've learned along the way.  

Redecorating | DesignComb

Create a Pinterest board

This may seem obvious, but collecting pictures of spaces you love slowly over time allows you to pick up on certain patterns in your interests that you may not have recognized before. (before Pinterest I did this by gluing magazine clippings into a sketch book)

Looking through my home board, I realized I clearly have a thing for mid century style, especially in white spaces. This board becomes a visual representation of your style and can answer your own questions along the way. For example, when I was working on redoing my bedroom I was wondering, "What should I do for window coverings?". I looked through my board and noticed almost none of my pins have curtains. It's almost always just simple blinds. Ok then! Blinds it is! I know that you'll find patterns like this too.

Redecorating | DesignComb

Shop Flea Markets

Now that you have your board or sketchbook full of styles that you love, a great place to score some unique pieces is a flea market. If you live in the San Francisco bay area, I highly recommend the Alameda Flea Market. As for east coasters, I've been doing some research and am planning on visiting the Brimfield Antique Show soon. I've heard it's the best!

Redecorating | DesignComb

Give it Some Time

If you go out looking for something and need it that very moment, it never seems to turn up. Keep a list of things you would love to have (side tables, lamps, brass animals for your bookshelf etc), and let those items turn up as you explore flea markets, furniture stores, tag sales etc... You will find it when you least expect it! Can you imagine how happy your home will make you if you only purchase pieces that you truly love? Make sure an item is your best friend before you bring it home.

Redecorating | DesignComb

And until then...

It's not fun living in a space that feels incomplete while you wait to find all of these treasures. The quickest trick for making a home feel more complete is to fill it up with plants! Lots and lots of plants. A couple of my favorites are the Fiddle Fig Leaf tree, and Euphorbia Trigona (my favorite tall cactus plant!)

Have you seen?

I keep coming across more and more awesome designers and small boutiques (both online and off). One I can't get enough of lately is They describe their designers as those "that love to play with color, print and fresh contrast." The entire store is also either USA made or fair trade. Not to mention, this store couldn't be any more beautifully curated.

They have a lovely variety of clothing, accessories, and home goods. Honestly, I'll take it all... but especially this bag. Beautiful!

1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5

Now this is flavored water...

Since my parents moved to a lake in Connecticut five years ago, I've been dreaming of a Summer that involves relaxing days on their dock, along with boat rides... and oh yea, SUN (something I haven't gotten in years). So to say that this Summer has been a long time coming is an understatement. Although I've visited them many times since they moved, I've never actually been there during warm weather where I didn't have a flight to catch or someplace to be.

This weekend we will be celebrating the 4th at the lake and I can't wait. In anticipation, I thought it would be fun to come up with a refreshing Summery drink. I've been drinking a lot of flavored waters lately (mint + lemon + cucumber mostly), but I was thinking we could take this whole flavored water thing to a new level.

Enter Watermelon Lime Chia Water... this is what you drink when it's Summer and you're thirsty but also kind of want a fresh snack/ dessert. Seriously, it's all of those things. Nom nom. I also love how the chia seeds look almost like watermelon seeds!

Whatever it is you're doing for the 4th, I hope you get to spend it surrounded by your favorite people in one of your favorite places. Enjoy, and let me know if you try this recipe!


  • 1 small watermelon
  • 4 limes (5 if you want a garnish)
  • 1 tbsp stevia
  • 1/4 cup chia seeds
  • 6 cups water


Scoop out half of the watermelon, add half of the water into a blender and blend until smooth. Next, add the juice of two limes and 1/2 TBS stevia. Pour this mixture into a pitcher and then blend the second half. I recommend blending half at a time so that your blender doesn't get too full!

Once all of your watermelon, lime, water, & stevia is blended and in your pitcher, add 1/4 cup chia seeds and stir in. Put the pitcher in the refrigerator for an hour or so to let it chill and let the chia seeds expand. It will also give it time for the bubbles to settle after the blending process. Garnish your glasses with a slice of lime, and serve.

Feeling 90's

For whatever reason, I keep getting this urge to tie a shirt around my waist. There's something so perfectly 90's about the look.

I'm still re-learning what it means to dress for Summer (after so many foggy SF Summers), but one thing I know for sure is that it should be easy. This dress is exactly that - it doesn't even have a tag to itch me which makes me very, very happy.

I wore it out to explore our new neighborhood in Brooklyn, and ended up getting drinks at Donna. The bar just reopened after a fire, the interior of which reminded me of Greece and immediately transported me into vacation mode. I love that New York has the ability to transport you like that.

Dress: M.Renac/o Shop Adorn  |  Shirt: Madewell (similar here)  |  Sunglasses: Super  |  Sandals: Kate Spade Saturday

Here's to more delicious cocktails and comfy dresses this Summer. If you live in New York (or know it well), I would love more recommendations of places to explore!

Circle Shelf DIY

Have you seen this shelf? I immediately fell in love with it when I saw it, and fell even more in love when I saw it styled in Bri's bedroom. The only thing I wasn't sure about was spending $219 on it. I figured I could make it for a lot less...

And I did! It was a pretty simple project, you just need a few tools handy. Here's what you'll need to make one for yourself:

  • 1 Cheese box lid (like this one) I like the look of the vintage ones!
  • (1) 3' piece of leather cord 
  • (1) piece of 2" lattice from your local hardware store (you'll be cutting this into the three shelves)
  • (1) 1" wooden dowel (cut to be 2" long)
  • (12) brad nails
  • measuring tape
  • a drill
  • a hammer
  • a saw (we used a chop saw, but any type of saw that cuts wood would work)

Every cheese box lid will have slightly different measurements, so first measure the length and depth of your lattice to make sure that it will be a good fit. We had to shave off some width to make our shelves flush. To get the outer angles right, we started with the center shelf and traced with a pencil the angle at which the shelf would meet the outer lid.

Once your shelves are measured and cut, you can begin nailing them in. We have two small brads on either side of each shelf to hold it in place. For the finishing touches, drill in two holes for your leather cord. We drilled them in about two inches above our top shelf. We simply threaded the cord through the holes and added a couple snug knots to hold it in place.

While your drill is out, drill into your wooden dowel (about 3/4 of the way). The dowel will then serve as a way to hide the nail that you hang the shelf with to get a really clean look.

Collect some small stones, air plants, or glass to display on your shelf. I've been hunting around at flea markets for some small treasures to display.