Friday, November 30, 2007

happy friday!

r e l a x & enjoy your weekend!

persimmons {defined}

Do persimmons make you pucker? Maybe you're eating the wrong kind! My whole life I've thought persimmons were pretty & festive, but to eat, no thanks, too tart and filmy. Now there's a basket in my office filled to the brim with the pretty orange fruits, and suprise, they taste like a sweet orange apple. So, here's the breakdown of the varieties; Fuyu, these are apple shaped & sweet. Hachiya, these are acorn shaped and used for baking. This recipe for Persimmons & Pine Nut Bread (shown above) would be a treat with a cup of tea.

free pattern {pin cushions}

Heather Bailey (fabric designer extraordinaire) is offering up her adorable little patchwork pin cushion pattern for a limited time - how cute are these for stocking stuffers or for friends?

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Denyse Schmidt Quilts

If you've never heard of Denyse Schmidt, gather round, her quilts are works of art. She has 3 collections, Couture ($$$), Works ($$) and Denyse Schmidt for Sarita Handa ($!), making it simple for anyone to own one of her beautiful designs. These are heirloom pieces. I read an interview with her last month where she talked about her start, and the evolution of her company, it's very impressive. She started as a graphic designer who "liked to make things". Insipring, indeed!

pretty holiday wreaths

This year I started to notice wreaths, mostly because I had a Harvest Party last month and was very Fall-inspired. There are so many pretty ones to choose from, it's such a nice to idea to get into the holiday spirit. I love to see mine, made of pure dried rosebuds, each time I come home. Pretty little things did a lovely post on wreaths!

- from Martha, and a DIY

Pomegranate Wreath - Williams Sonoma

Pinecone Wreath
- Real Simple

Seashell Wreath - Smith & Hawken for Target

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

personalized cookbooks

This idea is just plain fab-u-lous! TasteBook helps you create a cookbook made up of recipes found online (Epicurious, Food network, etc.) or add your own recipes and pictures. There are so many possibilities with this; holiday recipes, brunch recipes, decadent deserts, each one a different theme. I'd love to make one with my friends, all of our tried & true recipes under one pretty cover, this would make an awesome gift.

Monday, November 26, 2007

holiday wrapping

Last weekend was the first real shopping frenzy of the season. People were a bit pushy, traffic was awful and parking spots hard to come by (each of these things are ok, as long as a Starbucks is within close range). It all got me thinking about my holiday wrapping for the season - I usually like to pick one, maybe two and go crazy with it.
Here's some pretties I've found so far. Check out the bottom row - personalized wrapping paper! So clever.

top row: The Paper Studio

middle row: Luxe Paperie

bottom row: The Stationary Studio

wanted: leather chair, clean lines

I really want a new chair, the one I have is an old Restoration Hardware relic with big rolled arms and a tattered slipcover. It matches nothing in my home. We've been shopping and this is the one we love, but the price is pretty high. I'm loving the leather - everything is easily wiped off without a trace.

mmm brunch!

On Sunday we had a delicious brunch at Sara & Kirill's new beautiful home. In the past, Sara has been known for her photo-rific cards, posters, swirly handwriting and overall good memory keeping. As for food, the occasional Jiffy cornbread or Duncan Hines yellow cake (all good) were specialties. But now, she's raised the bar, she cooked a yummy fritata with peppers, potatoes and black beans, a super moist and delicious coffee cake and grilled sausages. Thank you again for a wonderful brunch!

the hills were alive {and we sang it!}

On Saturday we surprised Rosalie on her 34th birthday and took her to the Sound of Music sing-a-long at the Castro Theatre in SF. It was fabulous. She's been a huge fan of this movie since we were little tots and I had no idea why, I don't think I ever made it through the entire movie, who knew it had a cult following?

The sing-a-long was totally interactive and people came in costume, dressed as one of the Von Trapp's, or the best costume was "far" (a long, long way to run). There was a line down the block, everyone from entire familes, groups of friends and couples - this was a hot ticket! We checked the schedule and Grease is next...belting out songs with John Travolta on a Saturday afternoon might be kind of fun, that or A Very Merry Disco Christmas.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

happy birthday, dad

Today my dad turns 60, and while he's off frolicking on the island of Bon Air to celebrate, I'm celebrating the gifts he's given to me.

I've inherited some pretty obvious traits from my dad; his dark hair and
olive skin, his gift of gab, his ability to tell a blah story in an overly
zealous tone, his love for travel in the tropics, but most of all, his
undeniable zest for life.

My dad has taught me, not in so many words but in actions, that love is in life's little details; the warm egg muffin waiting for me after 2 hours of morning traffic, teaching Ruby her numbers each week, and baking a big spanikopita when things feel bleak.

My dad teaches me to love life and to do the right thing, and I'll pass this on to my daughter. Thank you, dad.

Happy Birthday

Saturday, November 24, 2007

dining al fresco

Even though there's a crisp Fall chill in the air, these al
fresco dining areas still look so inviting. Each one is so minimal, and
the scenery seems to be the center of focus instead of the furniture or
tableware. Can't you just imagine a bowl of fresh pasta with tomatoes
& basil and a nice bottle of chardonnay on the table now??
All images from Marie Claire Maison.

Friday, November 23, 2007


I'm officially hooked on this new Fall show, Dirty Sexy Money, about a high society family and all the inner-workings, I just love it. Great actors, too - Peter Krause (from Six Feet Under fame), Donald Sutherland, and lots more. Set your Tivo's!

'twas a turkey day feast!

Last night was such a feast, and so wonderful to share it with our families & friends. Ruby & I got pretty crafty with the table settings, she found the leaves and twigs and we got to work putting them all together. I used burlap as table cloths, which looked kind of rustic against my fancy dishes. All in all, a very tasty evening and so glad we have a day of rest ahead of us!

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

weddings {au natural}

If I did it all over again, this looks just about right, would you just look at those nesting succulents?! Love the lush greenery and overall "enchanted-ness" of it all.

Images via The Bloom Room.

100 reasons to be thankful

Just in case you got all caught up in the cooking, decorating & shopping frenzy of the season, here are a few things to be thankful for (courtesy of Blueprint). My favorites are #9 (the Roomba), #23 (the combination of tomato soup & grilled cheese sandos), and #29 (drink umbrellas to brighten a bad day).

Turkey Day recipes {still looking?}

Here's a few ideas you may want to add to your Thanksgiving menu. The butternut squash lasagna is tried & true, I made it last year and people actually requested it this year. The cranberry tart (from Design Crush) looks pretty decadent!

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Eames Lounger

I heart this chair! It's pretty modern for my taste, but I'd soften it up with some floofy Anthropologie pillow for sure. It looks so darn comfortable, though, and that wood grain just makes it. Don't you just want to grab the latest issue of Lucky and sit for a while?

pie for the road?

My dad is a huge pie fan, in fact, when he gives directions, it's usually based around where to stop for pie along the way. Now this, this is the best idea for Thanksgiving! Who wants to shuffle around in the Tupperware drawer after a big turkey dinner to send guests home with leftover pie? The host shouldn't have all the fun the next morning (pie & coffee is so decadant!), we must share the wealth. If I only had another week to plan this dinner - these adorable pie packages would be top on this list of crafty projects for sure.

turkey day tabletop {ideas}

I'm hosting Thanksgiving this year for our family & friends, so I'm scouring the blogs & website to find some tabletop inspiration. I'd like to buy burlap and make a runner or place mats, but this will take time...and that will be hard to come by 2 days before the big feast...
These ideas are from Martha.

{the annual} boot quandry

I go through this every year, so hopefully this year I will actually make up my mind and pick out a great pair of boots. I've been longing to wear a skirt with boots and may even try a wrap dress also. Here's what I've narrowed it down to (all from Piper Lime), but I'm leaning towards the middle pair. Does anyone have a great boot that they just adore?

Monday, November 19, 2007

m e x i c o

Just returned last night, and I can't seem to get that super-seventies James Taylor song "Mexico" out of my head, you know the one, "...ohhhh, Mex-i-co...", yeah that's the one. What a fabulous adventure we had - some of the highlights being our rad house we rented (the ultimatecasita ), our amazing chef Alicia and her husband Don (they really made our trip special), daily trips to the beach for surfing and sunshine, papaya margaritas, and watching the stars from the rooftop with our great friends Bryan & Jenny. The town is so charming, old brick buildings covered in vines and bougainvillea, and each topped with a saint for protection - Todos Santos means "all saints".

If you do plan a trip to Todos Santos, and would like a private chef who is SO reasonably priced, I highly recommend contacting Alicia (email me for her info). She owns Cafe D'licia, a sweet little cafe set in a tropical paradise of banana palms and bamboo. Sign are very unassuming in this town, so you'd miss it if you blinked, but the town is small
and anyone will tell you it's the best. Her specialties include homemade mango cinnamon bread, shrimp chile rellenos, blue corn tamales, and salsa fresca from heaven...just to name but a few of the meals we dined on. She came right to our home, became one with the kitchen and worked her magic every night. Such a blessing when you have kids, no joke. Sound good? What are you waiting for - book your trip!

Saturday, November 10, 2007

adios! {back in a week}

I'm off to Todos Santos, back in a week with lots of fiesta-inspired posts. See you then! (this is the house we rented!)

Holiday Dress Options {part2}

So many choices...and still so much time! Available at Nordstrom, Anthropologie & Dillard's. Happy pre-holiday shopping!

Friday, November 9, 2007

pumpkin+cream cheese=goodness

Yes, these bars are a bit decadent - but not for Thanksgiving! I have to make these. Recipe from Sunset magazine.

time to ponder

window shopping {in Paris!}

My friend Lyla is in Paris this very moment and just sent me this via her phone...if I close my eyes and click my heels together a few times, I'll pretend I'm window shopping with her. Look at all those pretties!

Thursday, November 8, 2007

currently rocking my world {books}

These all look great. All available on Amazon, happy shopping!

fresh scents

I'm not a huge perfume gal, in fact, I stick to oils mostly - Tuberose
and Cucumber being my go-to scents. The heavy alcohol smell of those
fancy department store perfumes has always made me a little queasy (and
sneezy at that!). Dave bought me Pacifica in Tahitian Gardenia, and I love it - no alcohol because it's all natural grains. I also told 2 of my
best friends I would buy these for their birthdays' and now I can't remember which scent they liked (ahem...R? S? a little help here?). And of course that beautiful packaging, can't get enough of that!

elegant spoon rest

I've been using a chipped piece of Italian pottery as a spoon rest since my first apartment way back when. These, handmade from Simon Pearce, look a bit nicer...who knew a spoon rest could be so pretty?

fancy cupcake papers

I came accross these fancy cupcake papers on the something old, something new blog - they're not expensive and would be so pretty for a baby or bridal shower.

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

coffee filter flowers {genious}

I spent my lunch with Susannah today at Anthropologie. We ooohed, we ahhhhed, we gazed at the beauty (and the price tags). And then we see this display, which looks like giant white poufs sewn together with different color yarns. Next, the "ah-hah!" moment sets in - they're coffee filters! This is when we both realize the truth, that Anthro really is too cool for school. Do they sit around a board table and dream up ideas like this? How does it all happen, and who is sewing the coffee filter poufs together? I guess we'll never know, but I do know this - it's pure genius. I love art.

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

ceramic wonders

My friend Alex sent me the link to Diana Fayt this morning, and wouldn't you know it, it's the same ceramic artist that I fell in LOVE with in Ashland last month. Her pieces are just beautiful, warm colors and etchings, each a unique piece in itself. I want one SO bad (I'm adding this to my wish list!).

Monday, November 5, 2007

Going to Todos Santos

On Sunday we're headed to Todos Santos (a quaint town on the west coast of Baja) for a week of relaxation, sunshine, margaritas, fish tacos, surf and time with our friends & family. If anyone has tips, please send them my way!

cuddle up & get comfy

Today I'm wearing my new Lily McNeal sweater - complete with dolman sleeves and some luxurious cashmere blend. If you've never heard of Lily McNeal, her knitwear is pure decadence. The styles are simple, wearable pieces, but somehow make me feel like a princess when I wear them. A few months back, when our car was broken into, they took my L.M sweater, and everything else was just a blur...
This is one of my favorites, a must in my book!

Friday, November 2, 2007

thanks, House & Garden!

I'm blushing, really I am! My blog , plus several others, was featured on the House & Garden website in the "Design We Love" section. It features the post I wrote on Gwyneth Paltrow's dreamy summer home in Long Island. I'm flattered times a million - it still amazes me that people read my day to day rambles, rants & raves, so thank you readers!

lakeside retreat

Chances are, if I ever own a second home it will be at the beach...BUT this home in Lake Copake, NY is pretty spectacular. Fairly modern, without looking hard and cold, this home is livable (and kid friendly to boot!). With clear views of the Catskill mountains and their "anti-extravagance" decor, this is a retreat I could cuddle up in. Look at all the pics in the new Domino.

Thursday, November 1, 2007

yummy tablecloth

The graphics, the colors, this tablecloth is so pretty. I collected vintage tablecloths for so long, and now modern patterns like these are catching my eye. I love the overlay and whole set up of the linens, very inspiring indeed! Check it out, this entire site had me drooling.