Thursday, August 31, 2006

What to wear: Grey jeans?

I was firmly planted in the "anti-grey jeans" category until seeing this pair in the La Redoute catalog last night. Riding the bus through the mission has made me pretty opposed to the incredibly unflattering, skinny, saggy bum variety of grey jeans like these. But this pair could be cute, right?

This is an overall cute outfit, maybe that is what is skewing my opinion? I really like that bag she's carrying and the sweater/shirt combo is nice. Plus, the jeans are only $34, hardly a massive investment risk.

It's time to put it up for a vote. What do you think about grey jeans? Hot or not?

Crafty: Decorating with contact paper

There are so many things you can do with contact paper! One my favorites is using it to create custom "window decals" for holidays and parties. I think I originally got the idea from Martha's Halloween ghost patterns?

I think I'll use contact paper to make a big "LAC" in a serif font for the ladies activity club anniversary party. Maybe one for the living room window and one for the front door? You can also use contact paper to 'frame" or decorate your bathroom mirror for your guests.

Start by drawing your pattern on the back of the paper before cutting it out. Remember to keep the final placement in mind so it doesn't come out backwards. Then just peel and stick. When the party is over, it can be pulled right off without damage.

Coveted: Laura Dress

I love the cut of this Tocca dress...the cap sleeves...the high waist...the hemline...it's all perfect! I am not as in love with the tweed and peacock feather corsage pinned to it, but that could easily be switched out with a few vintage broaches.

I am really enamored with this dress and heartily wish it wasn't $374. Hey, I need something to wear to that wedding in December, right?

PS: It's machine washable! Lovely!

Sale Alert: Custom Blinds

I got a great deal on a custom roman shade from this company last night. Our living room window is a bizarre size (77.5 x 58.75) and it was looking like we were going to have to fork out over $450 for one roman shade. Our price was much, much less through this site.

If you are in the market for custom blinds or shades, check SelectBlinds.com out today. They have a 20% off sale that ends tonight.

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Things I do not love today: Shorts

I have an appointment with an orthopedist next week for my hip injury. Having to go to the doctor is bad enough, but being asked to wear shorts for your appointment is just terrible.

I hate wearing shorts and don't own a single pair. The shorts I used for my physical therapy appointments last winter were borrowed from Jean and promptly given back. When you have pale skinny legs, shorts look absolutely ridiculous.

I'll have to go shorts shopping this weekend. Maybe I can find a pair that will look halfway decent. That, combined with a lot of self-tanner and I might not die of embarrassment right there in the lobby.

Coveted: Cana Garden Dinnerware

Jean's birthday is coming up at the end of November. I highly recommend that she requests nothing more than a big set of this Oscar de la Renta china. She's a big plant lover and I think she would like the "Costa Rican" flair of these designs.

Maybe not the full set, but I could definitely see her mixing and matching the dinner plate, salad plate and bowl with some other green dishes. This bright green set from Target might be a good match or this darker green set.

Frozen Belinis!

Rob and I went out to dinner with a few co-workers and a visitor from Atlanta last night. We started with an okay dinner at Woodhouse Fish Company and then walked down to Mecca for dessert.

I ordered a frozen bellini: champagne, peaches and vodka. By the time I started my second one I had a terrible case of the hiccups. I always get hiccups when I drink. What a terrible cliche! It's like something out of a bad movie from the 60's. What's next, pink elephants?

Anyways, I woke up last night feeling pretty queasy. I rarely drink these days and two bellinis are enough to give me a slight hangover this morning. But, oh they were so tasty! I highly recommend you order one (just one) if you ever go to this elegant bar.

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Essential kitchen tool: Bean slicer

My oldest brother gave this genius kitchen tool to my parents for Christmas a few years ago. Not known for his excellent gifting skills (he gave me a kitten when I was three...and when we were living in a tiny house with a newborn baby sister), this was a shockingly good find.

This little $5 tool makes preparing green beans a snap. Just break off the ends, feed them through the slicer and you'll have a bowl of french-style beans ready in minutes. Lightly steam them and toss in some salt and pepper for a dish that will appeal to even stubborn carnivores. The end result comes out crisp and tasty. I've gotten so spoiled by this that I now refuse to eat green beans any other way.

Book Report: Running with Scissors

A unique combination of funny and disturbing, this book makes for a pretty satisfying summer read. Running with Scissors is a memoir of Augusten Burroughs dysfunctional childhood. After his poet mother loses her mind, she turns him over to live with her psychiatrist and his bizarre family. Think "David Sedaris" but with much worse stories to tell.

I just saw that the book is being made into a movie with Annette Benning and Gwyneth Patrol. Looks pretty good but I can't imagine that they would be able to use half the material and still get an R rating.

Coveted: Estate diamond earrings

It is dangerous working next to an auction house. You get to watch as truckloads of gorgeous antiques are unloaded and then posted for sale. Sometimes it seems like all the riches in San Francisco are just one paddle away next door. The estate jewelry sales every few months are my favorite.

There are so many gorgeous pieces in the next sale on September 19th. I especially love these drop earrings that are expected to go for about $1,500. So lovely!

Things I love today: Grey sued wedges

I am midly obsessed with grey suede shoes, especially for this fall. Imagine this pair from Urban Outfitters with some thick opaque tights, a pencil skirt and a chunky sweater!

Not quite convinced? Check out this dramatic photo of the shoes from the back! Ooo la la!

Monday, August 28, 2006

Things I love today: Winter weddings

I just found out that my best friend from junior high school, Elizabeth, is getting married on December 22! I think winter weddings are so romantic!

Decorating with pine boughs...twinkling lights...warm fireplaces...festive guests...snow! Okay, there is no snow along the coast of California, but you can always pretend. They are getting married at the Cypress Ridge Pavilion in Arroyo Grande. It looks like a perfect spot for a cozy reception!

Painting: Match this color!

I've decided to hang the giant gold mirror in the front hallway of my apartment. To tone the gold down and make the entrance more interesting, I thought I would paint the wall behind it.

While I love using bright colors, I think it would be too much with all the gold. Ideally, I want to find a paint color that matches the "putty" color of my Room and Board sofa. Any ideas? Sherwin-William's Spalding Grey seems pretty close.

Weekend Round-Up: Cakes and crafts

My girly weekend was a big success! On Friday night, I went to the store to buy supplies for my baking adventure. Full disclosure: I was standing in front of the flour section at Safeway for about ten minutes before deciding to be a big wussie and use spice cake mix instead! I still made everything else from scratch, including the cream cheese frosting. I had never made frosting from scratch before so this was an adventure! As soon as I finished taking pictures of the final results, I cut myself a huge slice. Sooo good!

Nicole came over from Napa on Saturday for a visit. We first stopped by Flax to pick out a wedding album. I decided on a lovely white silk album with a shell closure for Paul and Celeste. We dropped our packages at home and took the n-train up to Parnassus for Feria Urbana. I picked out some cute things, we visited City Shoes and had a big lunch at a burger place. I forced a big slice of cake on Nicole when we returned home and she retaliated by forcing me to look up old high school classmates on MySpace. After resting for a while we walked down to Valencia Street and did a little hipster shopping. Nicole left for home around 9pm after a sushi dinner.

I spent all Sunday morning in bed with the New York Times and a latte. What luxury! Did anyone else think that the new perfume column, Scent Strip, would include scratch and sniff? Or was that my own personal delusion? Trent called at 11:00 to invite me to lunch with his parents. We walked to the library together and had a lovely lunch at a sushi place on Church Street. Tea and cake (of course!) at my apartment before his parents went back to helping him clean the apartment.

Rob came home from Yosemite around five on Sunday and we spent the evening at home eating salad (and cake!) and putting together the wedding album. Trent came over after dinner for one last visit. He's leaving on the midnight plane to North Carolina tonight! How sad! It's the end of an era for us here in San Francisco! How was your weekend?

Friday, August 25, 2006

Let's go bake a cake

My big Friday plans for tonight are to buy a wedding album at Flax, watch an old movie and bake a cake. This recipe for a spice cake (my favorite) with blackberries and cream cheese frosting (really my favorite) sounds delicious!

There is something so fun about making a layer cake from scratch. Cake mix is for wussies! I wonder if health-nut Nicole will have a slice when she comes to visit this weekend?

Sale Alert: Two amazing sales in September

Save your pennies and mark your calendars! There are two fabulous sales coming up on the weekend of September 22nd in San Francisco:

The first is my all-time, favorite, best ever sale: The Macy's Passport Event. Donate $10 to AIDS research and you get a pass for 10-20% everything in the store. It includes designer jeans, handbags, housewares, shoes and further discounts on items that are already on sale. Only cosmetics, kate spade and coach are excluded. I went with Jean last year and bought pillows, jeans, jewelry, towels, etc. Plus, you can shop a few days before the sale starts using the pass and leaving your items there for pick-up over the weekend.

The second sale that weekend is at my favorite shop, The Ribbonerie. Visit their store on 15th and Portrero for discounts on gorgeous ribbons, vintage jewelry, antique linens and more. I believe the sale runs from the 20th through the 22nd. If you haven't been to this store before, this will be the weekend to go.

Coveted: Burberry lace coat

The latest edition of Vogue is so chock full with amazing designs that am I considering the possibility of selling my soul and marrying a Greek shipping heir! My absolute favorite so far is this lace coat from Burberry's Prorsum collection. You can see it on the runway here, scroll down to #65.

I found it on sale at Net-A-Porter for a bargain $4,435. If it was only a few thousand less, I would really be tempted!

There are a few vintage options online that are vaguely similar, but nothing comes very close. It would be great to have a tailor make one from scratch, preferably in China where it wouldn't cost you four months of rent.

Recipe: Easy mushroom pasta

Rob's is off hiking Half Dome today and will be gone the rest of the weekend. With all this time alone at home, it is time to try out some new recipes!

My favorite thing to cook when I am eating alone is what I call "cheesy pasta." The recipe is never the same but always involves butter, garlic and plenty of Parmesan. Last night I made a delicious version with mushrooms based off this recipe in Gourmet. Here's the instructions for one serving:

One cup sliced brown mushrooms
One finely chopped clove of garlic
Two tablespoons of unsalted butter
Two drops of white truffle olive oil
Dash of lemon or lime zest
Salt and pepper
Parmesan cheese to taste
Two handfuls of radiatori pasta

Start boiling the pasta. Brown the butter in a skillet before adding mushrooms, garlic, zest, salt and pepper. Saute the mushrooms until just cooked and take off heat. Drain cooked pasta and toss in pan with mushrooms and an extra pat of butter. Cook together until the pasta is has soaked up a lot of the mushroom sauces. Top with an ample serving of Parmesan cheese before eating.

I'm drooling now just thinking about how good it was! I love truffles and would readily eat cardboard if it was cooked in truffle oil! You can, of course, use any kind of pasta for this recipe. I used radiatori because it reminds me of mushroom gills. Here's a photo of the final results.

PS: I know, I can hear my mother saying "this has no redeeming nutritional value." It's delicious because it is made entirely of butter and cheese. I normally eat organic salads and non-fat milk all the time, really.

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Things I love today: Henry Road

Is it possible to have too many linens? I don't think so. That is why I am coveting this pink and green tablecloth from textile shop, Henry Road. I also love this set of three tea towels, printed with "coffee," "tea," and "me."

These designs are created by Paula Smail. She grew up in South Africa and the African influence is easy to see in her bold patterns and bright color combinations.

What to wear: Chartreuse

The colors for fall this year are so vibrant. I bought a tomato red sweater, a plum t-shirt and a chartreuse t-shirt on my shopping trip with Nicole last weekend. But how exactly do you wear these shades? I wore the tomato sweater with a navy skirt earlier this week. Today's challenge was to boldly go chartreuse!
  • Chartreuse t-shirt - On sale for only $9 from Club Monaco. Buying it was easy, convincing myself to wear it with my pale, freckley skin was a bit harder.
  • White pants - I have been wearing these favorite white pants (from Express I think?) all summer!
  • Brown cardigan - Essential for toning down the chartreuse. Mine is a bit chunkier and has an asymmetrical zipper.
  • Tan shoes - I should really buy these shoes from Delias. I have been using them in "What to Wear's" for months.
  • Wood earrings - Mine are similar but round and in dark brass.
  • Handbag - A dark leather tote like this is a must-have for fall.
This came out pretty well! It's a great outfit for transitioning from summer clothes to fall colors.

Crafty: Two craft fairs this weekend

This is apparently the weekend for craft fairs in San Francisco. Feria Urbana is having a craft sale on Saturday from 12-5 at the Canvas Gallery. Feria Urbana shows are always full of really amazing jewelry and other art at great prices. Plus, it is always fun to take the N-train over to Parnassus.

And Sunday is the Cupcakes and Crafts sale. This sale is featuring locally made soaps, candles, jewelry, note cards, desserts and more.

Bunco!

Last night's LAC party was so fun! Stacey taught us all how to play bunco at her cute apartment off Portrero Blvd. This photo is of Rebecca and Jordan showing off their final scores. Jordan won the game and had the most buncos!

Bunco is an easy dice game for a party of four or eight people. Forget all this poker nonsense, we should all be playing bunco instead! It's a perfect choice for getting to know people at a party since you change seats and partners each round.

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Things I love today: Plaid pencil skirt

This Stoosh Pencil Skirt from Nordstrom's BP department has a perfect, curve-complimenting cut. Designed for teens, but perfect for the office. And at only $38 it is certainly a good buy for fall.

I'm wearing mine today with a black wrap shirt and a headband for an outfit that is more than little vintage. I'm confined to flat shoes today because of an injury, but it would look even better with a stylish pair of pumps!

Coveted: Prismacolor marker set

Looking at this photo makes me salivate a bit! I've always had a soft spot in my wallet for art supplies. One trip to the art store and I convince myself I simply have to stock up on pastels, colored pencils, etc.

This set of markers is the holy grail of art supplies. 140 duel tip colors in a display case for $279.95! I've coveted them since owning my first Pentel 12 set in elementary school. I wish I could find some way to justify their purchase for work or for some craft project. For now, I'll just keep on drooling!

Things I love today: Pencil party favors

I'm putting in all my online orders this week in preparation for the LAC anniversary party in September!

Last night, I ordered a box of white custom printed pencils to give out as party favors. These white pencils will be printed with "San Francisco Ladies Activity Club" in light green ink. I figured I would tie them into bundles of ten wrapped with light green ribbon and put them in a vase by the door for guests to take on their way out.

The whole order of 250 pencils was only $50 from Inkhead.com! I think it will make for a stylish gift and a great way to publicize the club!

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Rob is an incredible photographer!

I picked up to the photos from the Yosemite wedding tonight. Wow! Rob did an amazing job! Each picture really captures the gorgeous scenery and the love that Paul and Celeste have for each other. If I was the bride, I would have cried looking at every photo!

Rob shot the whole thing in medium format black and white film. He's so good at being inconspicuous with his huge camera, there are a lot of photos that I had no idea he was taking. From the photos it looks like they spent months, not days, planning their wedding.

Click here and here to see two more of my favorite photos from the series. Enjoy!

Things I love today: Sweet lemon soap

This shea butter soap smells so lovely! Nicole helped me pick it out at L'Occitane downtown last Sunday. I haven't used it yet, because I still have some Almond Shower Oil to finish first. I hope that it will help me combat my super dry skin.

In the meantime, the soap has been sitting on the coffee table making the whole living room smell nice.

Party Recipe: LAC Anniversary

Now that the August Ladies Activity Club party is settled (we're playing bunco at Stacey's house on Wednesday), I can focus on planning the next party. I am hosting the club's first anniversary party at my house in September. I can't believe the club has already been together for a year!

I just ordered a set of wood picture frames and paint for our activity. I thought I would print up a bunch of photos from past events for people to put in the frames if they want. It would also be fun to dig up vintage women's club photos online and print some of those up too.

Along with painting activity, I thought a green and white color scheme would be festive. I love these lanterns from plum party, but they are a bit pricey at $6.50 each. These green carryout boxes are very tempting too! It might be easier to just buy plain white ones and decorate them with green ribbon though. What should I put inside?

For food, I am thinking about "lady like" finger food. Petite fours, tea sandwiches, etc. I am so excited for this party! Please share any ideas or suggestions you have in the comments section below!

Happy Radiatory Day!

It's officially fall in San Francisco! With the recent biting cold weather, our apartment building's boiler was turned on last night for the first time in months. I immediately opened up all the radiators in our apartment and savored the the clanging, whistling warmth.

Of course, this is really just "fall.1," the first flash of cold that comes before things heat up in September. Fall.2 comes in October. I'm already getting far ahead of myself and thinking about Halloween, my birthday and Christmas. Fall is my favorite time of year!

Monday, August 21, 2006

Book Report: The Bowl is Already Broken

I took this book to New York with me and am almost finished with it. The Bowl is Already Broken is centered around the staff of the Asian Art Museum and deals with pregnancy, terrorism, families, politics, religion and poetry. It investigates emotions without being corny and is smart without being preachy.

It's the kind of book where you wonder what is happening to the characters when you are not reading it. I think I will kind of miss Promise, Joseph, Leo and Arthur when I finish the book tonight.

What are you reading? I need to put in some new requests with the library!

Weekend Round-Up: Friends!

After getting a lot of sleep on Friday night, I was starting to recover from my trip to New York and was feeling a bit less jet lagged. Which was good, because I had a lot planned for my weekend!

I met up with Trent on Saturday morning at 9:30 to help with his everything-must-go-we're-moving-to-North-Carolina stoop sale. Rob had left earlier that morning for a trip to see some friends in Tahoe. I had never participated in a garage sale before so I didn't know what to expect. We carried everything from his almost empty apartment down to the street and proceeded to wait....and wait. I guess garage sales in the city rely mostly on random foot traffic and impulse purchases! It was a freezing cold day in the city and it took a while to sell everything. By 1:30, we had made over $200 and passed on most of Jean and Trent's belongings including their mattress.

I went home and took a long, long shower to warm up and got dressed to meet Margaret in San Jose for a Shakira concert! I took Caltrain from the city with a girl named Nicole who was friends with the crowd Margaret drove up with from San Luis Obispo. They met us in the "waiting" room of the train station and we had dinner at Sonoma Chicken Coop. At 7:00, we went into the HP Pavillion for the show. Honestly, I have never in my life seen so many pregnant women at a concert! I was so excited to see Wyclef as the opening act, and I was pretty much his only fan in a sea of Colombians. Shakira was really fun and I had a great time even though I didn't know 95% of her songs. Margaret and I caught a ride back to the city, falling asleep along the way and went to bed at 1:00.

Margaret and I both woke up around 8:30 the next morning. We were meeting her friends later for breakfast, but they were slower to get ready. Being the excellent hostess that I am, I made Margaret run errands with me! We went to Safeway, Blockbuster and the library before picking out some flowers to try making French style arrangements. I think the inspiration was from Domino magazine? Using thistles and white blossoms, we created two bouquets tied with ribbon to put in the tall vases I inherited from Jean and Trent. Here's a photo of the final results and here is a close up of one of the bouquets.

Margaret and I met her friends at the Bagdad Cafe for a quick breakfast. I saw them off and immediately headed downtown to meet Nicole for some shopping. Brave Nicole took Bart to the city for the first time! We shopped to fatigue, had lunch in the Macy's basement and shopped some more. Poor Nicole took Bart home loaded with a King sized comforter and three big bags! Rob and I spent the rest of the night relaxing and reading.

Things I love today: Franny Sweater

I did some much needed fall shopping yesterday with my friend Nicole. One of my favorite purchases for the day was this wool sweater from Anthropologie in tomato red. They only have the sweater in black and oatmeal online. It's much more attractive in person! (And if you haven't been to the dressing room at the Anthropologie on Market Street before, it is worth checking out. Really well designed).

I love the sweater even more now that I know it is called "Franny." My middle name is Frances and my mother went by "Franny" as a girl. My dad even named his favorite sailboat "Franny D" after my mother! I can't wait to wear it with a pencil skirt and a pair of leather boots. Hooray for fall!

I love New York

Whew...I feel like I have been to the moon and back over these last five days! Two five and a half hour flights in three days left me with the worst case of jet lag I've ever experienced. But the part in between the flights was lovely.

The Royalton bumped me up to a "junior suite," which in New York translates to "normal sized hotel room." The best part of this upgrade was the five foot wide round bathtub. This hotel was so fun! Everything was designed to be just like a cruise ship: narrow hallways, rivets and built in teak cabinets! Click here to see a photo of my room.

After my day of business, we walked over for dinner at Daniel (I spent my entire New York trip in a loop between 44th and 65th streets on the east side!). This restaurant was chock full of New York's richest, at least those who weren't in Martha's Vineyard. Gigantic floral arrangements! Excellent French service! 10 courses! It was an experience! Although, by the time we got to the cheese course I was pretty much ready to never even look at food again. And that was followed by no less than four dessert courses. Uggg.

Although New York is cleaner, has less homeless people and dresses better, I am still a die hard San Francisco girl! After I recovered from the trip, I managed to have a very busy weekend. I'll give you a full report on those adventures (garage sales, concerts, flower arranging and more) in a bit.

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Steve and Beth

Howdy ladies (and howdy gawking gents),

Since Emily is off the grid, I thought I would share a photo from a wedding shoot a few weeks ago.

Cheers,
Rob

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Things I love today: Emerald ring

Jennifer Kellogg is a designer whose work plays with the concept of jewelry. Most of her cheeky trompe l'oeil work involves necklaces that made of "diamonds." I like this collection, but it is really more interesting than beautiful. Very MOMA jewelry collection.

The emerald series is different. Using silver and enamel, this collection is lovely. I particularly like the emerald ring pictured here. It's smart, stylish and only $90. Not available online, but you can email or try Bulo on Hayes.

Sale alert: Silver frame

Pottery Barn is having a great sale (thanks for the tip Trent!). These folding silver frames are a favorite pick. I have a tiny silver frame that holds four photos on my desk at work, this one would be even better. I am tempted to buy two; one for myself and one to put in the "gift closet" for present-related emergencies.

I also like the terrarium vase and this quilt. It's a good sale. Nicole, you should check out the bedding for your new house.

Restoration: Antique mirror

Thanks to a whole bunch of help from Trent, my gold antique mirror is back together and ready to be hung up! Rob and Trent painted it last night (this photos is of the mirror drying, the mirror part is masked in the middle). We didn't end up using the PoYo Putty at all, just glue and wood putty to put back together the side that was broken.

Now I just have to choose a place to hang it in the apartment! It's about five feet tall and three feet wide. That is a whole lot of mirror!

What to wear: Flying to New York

I leave for New York tomorrow morning. I always try to dress up a bit for plane trips. Even with all the new travel restrictions, there is still something fun about flying. This outfit blends together my travel favorites with a few dream items:
  • Black Turtleneck - Perfect for staying warm on cold planes and for blending in with New Yorkers when I arrive. This is cashmere for $93.
  • White Pants - Comfortable as jeans but more stylish. $89.
  • Jean Jacket - It can get really cold on those planes. This denim jacket can be used as a pillow without wrinkling. $36.
  • Flat Shoes - Easy to remove for x-rays and comfy for hauling around the terminals.
  • Prada Portfolio - My presentations demand to travel in style. Ha! Yeah right, I am really taking my beat up Kenneth Cole bag. $704.
  • Hermes Scarf - This scarf design includes the names of countries around the world and their distance from Paris. How much more appropriate can you get? $256.
  • Watch - To keep track of my schedule.
  • New Yorker - A must have on any sort of trip.
  • Rosebud Salve - I was so worried when lipsticks were originally banned, I can't fly without this stuff. Great for keeping your lips protected against dry plane air. $5.
I'll be in New York Wednesday through Friday. Don't expect many posts while I am away, a laptop is not one of my must-have travel items. (Nicole, want to be a guest blogger again?)

Monday, August 14, 2006

Cute overload

These baby raccoons were playing in the eaves of the Ahwahnee Hotel when we walked out from breakfast. Isn't that a perfect plot for a children's book series! Can you imagine all the fun they'd have at the five star hotel? Stealing smoked salmon from the buffet, swimming in the pool, sleeping nestled in the flower arrangements!

I don't normally like raccoons, having grown up in Southern California surrounded by the garbage eating variety that are huge and vicious, but these little guys were adorable.

Shopping challenge: Wall lamp shades

Jean is settling in to North Carolina and starting to work on her house. Which for Jean, means mostly painting a lot of things bright green ;) She asked this morning for some help finding a way to brighten up the wall lamps in her living room. As you can see in this photo, they currently have small, dark shades.

She could replace the lamp hardware along with the shades. I know that Trent is handy around the house, but they are renters and shouldn't invest that much money. If she chooses to go that route, these mission style sconces are nice.

Or she could replace the lampshade for a quick and inexpensive fix. I would go with a brighter shade that is a little bit oversized.

Option 1: This is a wicker shade for $30.








Option 2: A very traditional and pretty shade for $10.








Option 3: I like the blend of this modern shade for $14 with the traditional lamp.








Option 4:
This last one is my favorite. I know coral is very "last season" but this $10 shade is adorable and would match the red paint and brick of her new house.








Which is your favorite lampshade option? Vote in the comments section below!

Paul and Celeste get married!

What a wild weekend! Everything went just perfectly and all our extra help made the wedding really special. You can see all the photos online here.












Rob and I picked up the flowers at 4:30 on Friday and loaded up the Miata. We blasted the air conditioning the whole way to keep the bouquet as fresh as possible. At 10:30, we put down our sleeping bags at a small campsite off the 120. Between the crickets, bright moon and meteor shower, it was hard to sleep without a tent!










The alarm woke us up at 4:15 am the next morning...yikes. We packed up the car and drove an hour and half to the wedding site. The sun was just rising when we reached Glacier Point. Only a few hikers and a couple hangliders were out this early. The bride and groom and ken and his girlfriend Anja arrived a few minutes later and we carried everything down to the granite amphitheater. Rob helped scatter rose petals while Anja set up the video camera.










The ceremony was just gorgeous. Yosemite Valley was looking magnificent in the background, Ken was an excellent official and Paul and Celeste could not have been happier. Celeste cleverly wrote her vows on a ribbon which she then tied on to Paul. Anja and I tossed rose petals at the newlyweds when the ceremony ended.










Rob took some portraits of the new Mr. and Mrs. Lopez and we watched as they cut the cake. We all toasted the happy couple and Paul and Celeste thanked us for helping make their wedding so special. We also watched a hanglider jump off the cliff and fly across Yosemite Valley. It was much more dramatic than releasing doves and choked us all up a bit. It was about 8:30 now and time to drive down to Yosemite Valley for their breakfast reception at the Ahwahnee Hotel. Everyone made an appropriately big fuss over the bride and groom!










We spent the rest of the day relaxing by the river, rock climbing and having a pizza feast. Ken, Anja, Rob and I camped in the valley that night and climbed some more the next day before heading home. You can click here to see all the photos from our Yosemite weekend.

I am really glad that we decided to pitch in and make Paul and Celeste's wedding so wonderful. It's easy to brush off these wedding traditions, but they really do add something special. Hooray for being bossy!

Friday, August 11, 2006

Urban Girl almanac

It's been another busy week here in San Francisco. Between planning this weekends wedding and getting ready for New York next week, I've been swamped. Here's some of the lessons I learned:
  • The people at Church Street Flowers are nice.
  • The rental shoes at the rock climbing gym are disgusting!
  • Interior decorating with Photoshop is a lot of fun.
  • Don't go to Ross on Tuesday. It's senior discount day.
  • I heart South Pacific in Concert. Jason Danieley is cute...Reba McEntire is way adorable.
  • A great kickball strategy is to have three bunters load the bases and then have a former college football kicker your team has recruited bring everyone home. Woo hoo! 15 to 2 victory!
  • Enchanted by giant sale boxes of grapes and blueberries at Safeway but leaving town for the weekend? Toss them in the freezer.
  • Champagne saucers: superior to champagne flutes.
Have a great weekend!