Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Tag Sale, Continued!

6. Soda Blu Cropped Pants - Medium - $35
Black chino style pants with a trim cut leg. Button detail on the back and flat pockets in front. Great condition. More photos here.

7. Theory Linen Shorts - 6 - $35
Beautiful shorts that hit right below the knee. Great for work in the summer paired with pumps and a collared shirt. Slit pockets. Small spot on the back of the right leg, but otherwise good condition. More photos here.

8. Jigsaw Wide Leg Trousers - 10 - $45
Lovely trousers in a soft, heavy black cotton material. The legs are wide, but not super wide. Slit pockets. Perfect condition. More photos here.

9. Isaac Mizrahi Red Patent Pumps - 6 1/2 - $35
These hotties are mine. I love them but they're a little too small for my feet (I'm between a 6 1/2 and a 7) and I only wore them twice. With original box. More photos here.

Email me if you want more details!

Tag Sale!

I'm using my week off between jobs to get organized at home. I've cleaned out two closets and our desk already. Time to finally get around to selling the stack of clothes Amber gave me earlier this year. Before I list things on eBay, I wanted to give you first dibs. Email me if you want something. First person to claim it, gets it! We'll work out the shipping and PayPal by email:

1. Theory Modal Sweater - Small - $20
This sheer sweater is oversized and light. Perfect thing to wear over a white tank top for brunch at the beach. There's a small spot by the collar that a dry cleaner can probably fix. More photos.

2. Theory Lilac Safari Blouse - Medium - $25
Sheer camp-style shirt in a light 100% cotton fabric. I love taking these types of shirts for weekend trips, no ironing required to look stylish. Some sweat discoloration at the sleeves. More photos here.

3. Trina Turk Pinstripe Suit - 6 - $50
Lovely brown and pink pinstripe wool suit from Trina Turk. Blazer with slightly puffed shoulders, hidden buttons and purple satin lining. Trousers with flat front pockets. Some wear, but in good condition overall. More photos.

4. Lululemon Workout Tee - 6 - $15
A great little top for running or tennis. Small pocket on the side for keys and reflector logo on the back. Perfect condition. More photos here.

5. Burberry Argyle Sweater - M - $30
Lime and aqua argyle sweater with aqua sleeves. Small spot on front and sweat discoloration at the sleeves. A good drycleaner might be able to fix both. More photos here.

Monday, June 29, 2009

All About the Job Hunt

This last month was a real whirlwind. Change, especially career change, has a way of just uprooting your life entirely. A few of you have asked for details about the job change. Here are some notes:

I was fortunate to have a fairly easy time with the job search - surprising in this economy. The whole process took about four weeks. I polished up my resume with the help of some friends, networked, and found a few listings on Craigslist. Out of a dozen or so serious applications, I found four good leads. A couple rounds of interviews, some tough choices...I landed what I think is going to be an amazing new career.

It all sounds so simple, but I certainly had a greek chorus of stress and fear on hand. Luckily, at this point in my career I know that I'm very good at what I do. That certainty was so, so helpful.

I'm taking a leap. Leaving behind the personal finance industry where I had become very comfortable and established for the past near-decade. Joining the booming electronic health records industry. Something entirely new. I'm excited!

“Always, always, always, always, always do what you are afraid to do… Do the thing you fear and the death of fear is certain… Do the thing and you will have the power.” - Ralph Waldo Emerson

Weekend Round-Up: Ride the Rails

I had a lovely time on the train! I boarded the Coast Starlight first thing Friday morning and rode down to San Luis Obispo. I did wear tweed ;) Just a mini skirt with black tights, though. I enjoyed a coffee along with a cheese plate in the observation car:

It was so nice to be able to just read and relax on the trip. Trains are so quiet! None of that loud buzzing you get on planes or chitchat on buses. Just solitude and scenery. The train passed through the back roads of Salinas and then over a series of tunnels from Paso Robles to arrive 10 minutes early at 3:30.

My parents picked me up at the station and we ran some errands. We selected an assortment of deli salads from a fancy market to have for my mother's birthday dinner. Visited with a cute black lab puppy down the street. Had a quiet evening at home.

The next morning, I ran through the Saturday routine with my parents: farmer's market, breakfast at Budget Cafe and Scolari's Market. Back at home in time to change for my friend's baby shower and drive to Grover Beach. It was great to see old friends and the shower hostess provided us with delicious food.

Back at home in the afternoon, a light dinner with my parents and then to the movies downtown. We saw Up - very sad, funny and good. Frozen yogurt and back home.

The next morning, I lounged about reading the Sunday Times until driving to town for brunch with friends at Big Sky. We had a leisurely time munching on the cafe's famous sweet potato fries and beignets.

Before I knew it, it was time to catch the train home. One small hitch: I didn't realize that the kiosk had printed both my tickets when I boarded and threw the return ticket away over the course of the weekend (I thought it was like an airplane where you check in each way). They wouldn't replace it, so I had to dash to buy a new ticket and run down the tracks to make the train. Fortunately, the ticket is only $28. But, still frustrating.

On this train, I had practically the whole coach car to myself and Barack Obama's Dreams from my Father to keep me occupied.

A cold beer in the observation car outside of King City. A cup of soup in Salinas. Fog in the marshes and then sunset as we passed the salt ponds outside of San Jose.

Rob picked me up from the station at 9:30. We caught up on each other's weekends while airing out the apartment after a hot day in the city. To bed at 10:30.

What to Wear: Working in Scotland

More catching up on the What to Wear queue this week! Andrea has a fun summer ahead:
First off, I just wanted to say how much I love your blog. You give me so much inspiration in fashion, decorating, and life! I'm hoping you can give me just a little more inspiration.

I'm working on my MBA in Monterey and will be spending this summer as an intern working at the corporate headquarters of my family's dairy busin
ess in Scotland. Since graduate school translates to a life of jeans and sweaters, I'm not really prepared for dressing in the corporate world yet.

Add to that the eating habits of a graduate student who found herself on the wrong end of a breakup and I've found myself down to a size six, which I've never been in my life. Needless to say, my wardrobe is a clean slate and I'd like to start rebuilding it with more grown-up clothes.

Luckily, Scotland and Monterey have similar weather so I won't have to worry about buying for separate climates. The only hitch comes from the weight restriction for my luggage and the size of bank account.
I'd love a few ideas to help me dress for the corporate world that aren't too stuffy, but don't peg me for the underdressed American either.

It'd be even better if some of the pieces could do double duty for sightseeing around the UK. I already have a few pieces that I know are coming with me: a pair of black Editor Pants from Express, brown pants, a couple short sleeved coats/blazers in black and white, and
this skirt in black from Forever 21. I know I'm going to be taking advantage of the dropping exchange rate while I'm there and buying a few choice British pieces, but I just wanted some advice on what to start off my trip with and go from there.
Oh, lordy. I have to be restrained from sending Andrea to Scotland decked entirely in corduroy, plaid and wool. Remember, she needs an outfit, not an (awesome!) costume.

Pants - Her own pair of black trousers.
Sweater - A pretty colored short sleeve sweater on sale at Gap.
Jacket - A linen (summer's tweed) piece on sale from J.Crew.
Brooch - Scottish thistle.
Pumps - A little tailored detail and an ankle strap, these are too cute.
Bag - Not super practical, but I love it.
Earrings - Silver knots.

Switch in a pair of matchstick jeans and comfy flats and this outfit works for sightseeing adventures too.

Friday, June 26, 2009

What to Wear: Patagonia Dress

More What to Wear catch-up, I still have over a dozen requests in the queue. Kariane has the right dress, but the wrong weather. She needs layers to go with a new favorite:
I just started reading your blog via Oh Happy Day and love your posts. Your What to Wear posts make me wonder if you could help me with a dress I recent bought. I have the Bandha Dress from Patagonia in the morel color. It’s like a plumy purple.

Here’s the part I need help with. I can’t find accessories for it that I like. I live in Alaska, so I need to have a sweater for the summer time. I was thinking like a short-sleeve sweater, maybe gray… I just can’t find any I like. The twisted neckline always looks too busy under a sweater or a jean jacket…

Also shoes… Being from Southern California originally, I am HUGE believer in flip flops. But I also like the idea of dressing things up a little bit. I am a stay at home mom of a four year old and a two year old and I’ve really been feeling the lack of fashion in my daily wardrobe (jeans, t-shirt, long underwear, you know, disposable clothes that are great for getting through a day with messy small people).

So I thought I’d have a cuter, hipper option with shoes for this dress. I don’t like all the flat out there right now. I like the wedge-y sandals but don’t want to go too crazy or the other end of the spectrum, looking like I’m on my way to a game of mahjong. Any ideas would be welcome. There aren’t a lot of shopping options up here and I feel like I have hit every online retailer I can think of.
The high waisted, flowy cut of this dress doesn't make layering easy. Here are two ways to work with the dress:

Dress - Well reviewed cotton jersey dress from Patagonia.
Tee - Try a long sleeved tee under the dress. Gray, ivory or white are all easy matches.
Shoes - The length of the dress looks a little tricky. Depending on how tall you are, you might want to have it hemmed up a few inches. Flip flops would be great, or these black wedge sandals that give you a bit of height.
Sunglasses - A basic black pair.

Jacket - A ruffled linen jacket. The trick here is to find something cropped close to your frame and belted to give structure over the dress. A loose jacket or sweater will just make the whole thing frumpy.
Sandals - A grown up pair of sandals for date night.
Earrings - On sale from Anthropologie.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

What to Wear: New HR Job

Maggie put in a rush order. She has a new job that's more formal than our last request:
My name is Maggie, and I'm 24 years old. I just graduated college (literally...like, two weeks ago) with a double-degree in English and Communication. I've been offered a job with a national company as a human resources consultant. I'm floored! It's going to be an excellent opportunity to gain experience and grow within an organization. Not to mention a nice increase in salary. There's just one problem: I have no clue how to dress.

The dress code in the employee handbook is pretty non-specific: "neat and professional", with "suits, pant suits, dresses, skirts, or vest with dress slacks that match." I asked more specific questions when they extended to offer to me, and the only thing my future boss addressed specifically is that she would like for me to wear a blazer more often than not, in order to look more put-together in the event that I need to meet with current or perspective clients.

Other than that, I'm just stuck. I love clothing, fashion, and shopping. Maybe I'm getting hung up on the in-bewtweeness of it all? In general, I don't have much trouble with things like this but my work experience has been in either a really formal business environment (a bank with a very strict dress code...yeah, that didn't work out so well) or a non-profit, where I am currently employed. Just to give you a frame of reference: today I wore Reef flip-flops and a sundress. That's all well and good for my current station in life, but I would really love for people to take me seriously in this new (and foreign) environment. Dress for the job you want, right?

I am 5'4, with a 29 inch waist (generally I wear a size 8 in pants and a medium in shirts) and wear a 38 C bra. I don't really have any obvious hips to speak of, nor a defined waist (in fact, if some your brilliant ideas could solve this, I would be forever in your debt and will promptly send some awesome cream cheese brownies your way). I also have broad shoulders which are probably worse in my mind than they are in reality, but I'm fairly self-conscious about them.

I have chin-length hair that is dark brown, and sometimes has neon magenta in it when I'm feeling sassy.
My skin is a medium olive color and one of my eyes is chocolate brown, the other bright blue (weird, I know...but a good conversation starter for sure). I am not afraid to take risks, stand out, or wear color.

I personally feel that I look better in jewel tones but I trust your judgment more than mine (although I have it on good authority that certain shades of yellow make me look like I have some strange tropical fever).
I'm down with skirts, dresses, trousers, suits, black garbage bags...you name it. I am not opposed to spending money on investment pieces, and I already have one very nice black suit, several pencil skirts, a few button-down blouses, and a lovely pair of black pointy-toe pumps that I just purchased. I would love to add another suit to my collection as well as the aforementioned blazers, but also some things that set me apart from my co-workers in a good way. I don't mind being different as long as people still respect me and I can respect myself.
"Creative conservative" is a good place to start. Play it a little safe but use color and accessories to give a hint of your inner wild child.

Blazer - I live in blazers, like most people in this foggy city. This is a basic two button navy suit suiting jacket from J.Crew. In fall, be sure to stock up on a wider variety of tweed, velvet, etc blazers in fun colors.
Blouse - A bright and fun blouse from Club Monaco. Ditching the blazer for lunch or cocktails after work will give you a younger look. The blouse has elbow-length sleeves (great for minimizing your shoulders), a blousy fit (young and feminine) and a belted waist (helps give you some curves).
Skirt - Another light pencil skirt, this time in khaki.
Pumps - Green and ivory pumps, so cute.
Necklace - Green glass beads from Forever21.
Bag - A light colored satchel

Bonus, Dress! - This cut of dress, with draping, a defined waist & straight cut sleeves, should be a great match with your shape. Pair it with a cardigan on colder days and toss in a pair of soft red pumps.

What to Wear: Summer Design Job Interviews

Oh, job interviews. Stress, excitement and fashion all rolled into one. I just so happen to have a lot of recent experience with this particular vein of dressing and a backed up queue of What to Wear requests. Let's catch up! Here is Miranda's request:
I have a bit of a tall order for you. I am finishing my design degree and will be going on interviews and visiting agencies. I have absolutely no idea what to wear. The outfit du jour at most design firms seems to be jeans and designer t-shirts, but that is too informal for a job interview, I think. However, I feel out-of-place wearing a power suit when the interviewer is sporting sneakers. Can you give me some ideas about what to wear to interviews in a more trendy, casual and design-oriented work atmosphere?

I am in my late twenties, so I definitely want to dress a little more sophisticated than the typical college student. I am 5’10” so I have to buy all my trousers in long or tall lengths, and I don’t like to wear bulky or fussy things. I prefer heels to flats if they are comfortable enough to wear all day. I live in the upper Midwest where we have temperature swings of 120 degrees throughout the year so I am looking for some investment pieces that I can wear from season to season. Finally, it’s possible that I could meet with the same people a number of times, so if I could have some mix/match options, that would be great.

I love every outfit you’ve put together on WTW, so I would really appreciate your expertise!
Unless you're interviewing with an investment bank or law firm (and maybe even then) a full matching suit isn't really the right choice for a job interview. Instead, look for classic cuts in fun mix and match pieces. Here's a version for summer:

Blouse - This one is a splurge, but such a lovely splurge. It's a knock-out. You might be able to find something similar at Zara for less.
Skirt - A white or light gray pencil skirt is surprisingly flexible. I have one that I wear with button down tucked in shirts in summer. And with darker sweaters and tights in winter. This one is under $30.
Blazer - Blazers are great for interviews because they're structured but can be easily tossed if the interview is more casual. This one is on sale from Anthropologie for $40. I leaned heavily on a favorite velvet blazer from J.Crew in papaya during my interviews.
Pumps - Basic black pumps on sale from J.Crew.
Earrings - A dash of orange, because you're a designer understand get things like complimentary colors.
Bracelet - A graduation present?
Bag - A serious handbag on sale from Kenneth Cole.

For other interviews, rinse and repeat with a few of your favorite pieces. A pair of trousers with a top and belted sweater. Or a wrap dress with a cardigan. I tend to pick clothes that are bright/basic and focus on memorable accessories that tie it all together. The most important thing is to feel comfortable and confident. Good luck with your hunt!

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Wedding Wednesday: Invitation Preview

The bunting liners look nice with the white envelopes for the save the dates. But, when combined with the navy invitation envelopes, the design really shines. I'll work on printing the invitations in the next few weeks.

Wedding Wednesday: Save the Dates

Save the date cards are done! I worked with Jean and Trent over the past few weeks to create designs that matched their "farm fiesta" theme. The cards are scalloped 4 bar from Paper Source. I used Jura for the navy fonts and made the picado design based on a scan of a flag we bought on Valencia Street.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

To Do: Embroidery

I've working on a lot of embroidery lately. Plenty of projects between Jean's trousseau and a wave of upcoming babies.

These three onesies are for the soon-to-be baby boy of one of my oldest friends.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Weekend Round-Up: Crafty

This weekend I learned that crafts not only stimulate your creativity, but can also work out your abs. I've practically earned a six pack after spending two days Gocco-printing.

Rob left early Saturday morning for a day-long mountain bike ride. I walked around the neighborhood running errands and prepping the my sister's save-the-date designs for screenprinting (making carbon copies at the grocery store). I grabbed breakfast of coffee and a ham croissant.

Back at home, I went to work on printing. First, all the fronts of the cards with the date and details.

A quick break for lunch and a bath while the cards dried. Then a second round through the Gocco to print the papel picado design on the back. I kept Jean and Trent posted on my progress with emailed photos through the day!

Rob returned from his ride at six - he had quite a day, including riding with the owner of a major bike company and getting a flat tire. We walked around the neighborhood a bit and ended up getting sandwiches for dinner at Ike's Place. So good! No wonder there's always a crowd there - try the Hot Momma Huda. I embroidered some onesies for the baby shower next weekend after dinner.

We slept in the next morning. I found myself surprisingly sore from the five hour printing session on Saturday. On the tandem for a quick breakfast ride to Velo Rouge Cafe. Around Golden Gate park, to the beach, the produce market and back home. Rob took off after lunch to volunteer with the Bike Coalition.

Back to the invitations! I sent Jean and Trent some pencil sketches for the envelope liners. We decided on a small flag bunting design and I got to work in PhotoShop. The final design came out so well in two tones of blue ink.

Rob came home at four to find me only 30 into my run of 200 sheets. He jumped in to help and we finished at six. Half the apartment was covered with drying sheets of paper by the time we were done. After dinner, we went to work finishing the envelopes. I cut the liners and Rob glued them in, he's a great helper!

Check in on Wedding Wednesday to see the finished product up-close!

Friday, June 19, 2009

To Do: Hibiscus Tea

Cold hibiscus or mint tea is always great to have on hand for lazy days at home in the summer. These capped bottles from Ikea are just the thing for brewing in the fridge and a set of silver spoon straws adds to the fun.

Not only is hibiscus tea delicious, but it is also thought to help lower your cholesterol and blood pressure and has lots of vitamin C. I've got a weekend full of gocco-printing and iced tea-drinking ahead!

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Sick Day

This job change stress finally caught up with me. I'm under the weather today. Back tomorrow.

Photo from tea_austen

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

To Do: Ride the Train

I get a tiny bit of time off between jobs and it coordinates with a friend's baby shower down south. So I've booked a ticket on the Coast Starlight.

In my mind, this is going to be amazing. A dining car with white tablecloths, atrium observation car, plenty of time to read and relax. I might just wear a tweed suit. Ah, rail travel.

I'm putting the very real chance for catastrophic delays - with which I have had personal experience - out of my mind. (Note to Amtrak's PR team: I'll gladly tell you exactly when I'll be riding if you'd like to pull some strings in my favor.)

Have you traveled by train recently?

Wedding Wednesday: Paintings

Jean's wedding is moving ahead at full speed. I'm finishing the save the date gocco designs this week and shipping them out early next week. You'll get a sneak peak at the final product!

In the meantime, the paintings from our wedding are in the works. If you recall, we commissioned the very talented Paul Ferney to make a group of small works inspired by our wedding. I can't wait to see the final product!

I've been doing a bit of poking around in on other wedding art. This is Agnes Doggett as a Bride. Chagall's Bride with a Fan and Modigliani's Bride and Groom count too. On Etsy, take a peek at WeatherGirlShop, MariaMaria and DanaGils.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Sale Alert: Bloomingdale's

I'm a sucker for a great sale. The ladies at Bunnyshop posted that Bloomingdale's is having a promotion for 40% off $500+ or 25% off $250 to $499 through June 18th. And that includes items that are already on sale along with free shipping. I'm in the process of changing jobs (stressful! exciting!) and needed new clothes anyway.

So I picked up this adorable navy belted dress, this dress in blue which will hopefully be slightly less vampy on my less curvy figure and these black jeans I've been coveting since December.

Music: Jessica Fichot

Jessica Fichot was the opening act at Mountain Play last weekend. She was very popular with the crowd, playing accordion and miniature piano while singing in French, Chinese, Spanish and English. All while wearing a cute green dress and sneakers.

Apologies, this random Russian(?)-titled clip from a club in Shanghai was the best I could find of her and her band in action. But you can listen to five songs on her MySpace page or buy her new album on Amazon. Just the right thing to go with my cafe au lait on this foggy morning.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Weekend Round-Up: City Lights

What a great weekend! Just the right mix of doing a lot and doing nothing.

On Friday, Rob and I had plans to go to the gym but blew them off at the last minute for two events with coworkers. The first, Timbuk2's 20th anniversary warehouse party. The messenger bag company opened up their production facility to a hosted DJ, free drinks, jello shots, photo booth, free food and custom button-making.

Fun! From there, we rode our bike down to North Beach to a memorial service for analog TV (switched off at midnight last Friday). Philo T. Farnsworth invented TV in a workshop on Green Street in 1927. The Green Street Mortuary Band played taps, people made speeches about the history of television, Philo's grandson made an appearance and we listened to 30 seconds of broadcast static for the last time.

The event sponsored a round of drinks at Pier 23 after the service. We sat out on the pier watching the sunset and toasting the end of analog. Back home at dusk, the city is so lovely by bike at that hour.

Up early the next morning to prepare for Mountain Play. Quick packing and grocery shopping before we picked up Matt and Amber (due with twins this summer) and headed to the top of Mount Tam. We got there before 10am and grabbed fantastic seats. Our early arrival gave us time for several different rounds of picnics.

The show started at 1:00, a great production of Man from La Mancha. Surprisingly touching!

Back home at 4:00. Rob and I spent the rest of the afternoon lounging about watching old episodes of the Colbert Report. According to Rob, I made the world's best pork chops, applesauce, corn and nectarine cobbler for dinner.

The next morning, we slept in a bit and had a great breakfast of french toast with fruit cobbler on top. We dashed out of the house at 9:30 for an impromptu trip to the Academy of Sciences. They have a special members-only planetarium show at 10:30. Nice show and a great chance to visit some of our favorite exhibits (aquarium beneath the rainforest, leafy seadragons and penguins) before it became too crowded. We had a nice light lunch of steamed buns and spring rolls in the cafeteria. On the way home, we stopped at the rose garden in Golden Gate park and my favorite produce market on Divisadero.

Rest and chores at home for a few hours. Rob and I took the bike out one more time for a quick shopping trip downtown. We treated ourselves to cream puffs from Beard Papa in Yerba Buena park before coming back.

Margaret came up for dinner after work. Coq au vin with mushrooms, blue potatoes and green salad around a candlelit table. A bit of embroidery work before bed.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Beach Week: Inspired by Moss Beach

Here's what I actually had at the beach:
  1. Bikini - I adore my new bikini from Boden. Flattering, frenchie and comfortable
  2. Oatmeal - We shared a nice breakfast of this oatmeal topped with spiced apples, pears and cranberries.
  3. Sweatshirt - I have last year's version of this upgraded hoodie from J.Crew.
  4. Port - A nice sweet glass in the evenings.
  5. Magazine - New Yorkers are best when bogged down with sand.
  6. Tacos - From the local taqueria. Try the al pastor!
  7. Artichokes - Yum. Giant ones I found at the store for $1 each.
  8. Puzzle - We did a 750 piece puzzle of St. Louis.
  9. Pashmina - A black pashmina works as an easy layering piece.

Beach Week: Beach House #4

Let's conclude Beach Week with the house that my family rented in Moss Beach. Right off a private beach with a big deck, hot tub, wood burning stove and gourmet kitchen. Here's the rental listing and here's the real estate listing.

It was just right for the six of us and within walking distance of a great Mexican place.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Beach Week: Inspired by Seal Beach

Our fancy imaginary beach house today is well matched to a few elegant items:
  1. Bathing Suit - Love this sleek gray suit with leaf detail at the neck.
  2. Stationary - Classic Crane's notes with a sailboat design. I had a set of these in ivory once.
  3. Tunic - In crisp white from Steven Alan.
  4. Lamp - Crystal teardrop base with a silk shade.
  5. Book - Sense and Sensibility's coastal setting is just right for beach reading.
  6. Dutch Oven - In copper, an elegant way to roast mussels.
  7. Chair - Directors chairs should make a comeback.
  8. Necklace - A Babylonian piece in lapis from The Met.
  9. Sofa - In elegant light blue from Anthropologie.
When I win the lottery and buy this home, you're all invited over for crab around my mid-century teak table lit with glass oil lamps.

Beach Week: Beach House #3

Our third beach house this week is also the fanciest. This little gem is set right on Seal Beach. Note: the pane windows, shingles, cypress tree and rope fence.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Beach Week: Inspired by Pigeon Point Lighthouse

Life at our imaginary lighthouse beach home is nautical, wordly and relaxed:
  1. Bikini - A dash of hippie flair in green and white ikat.
  2. Ship - It is a lighthouse with a long nautical history, after all.
  3. Tunic - In beaded yellow from Bluefly.
  4. Bracelet - Leather and a hamsa charm.
  5. Book - Virginia Woolf's To the Lighthouse.
  6. Sunglasses - Aviators from Macy's.
  7. Adirondack Chair - For watching the sunset.
  8. Potted Succulents - To replicate the ice plant fields.
  9. Plates - Picnic-ready melamine plates painted with fun birds.
Pretzels, a little hummus and a glass of Bonny Doon wine...perfect!

Beach Week: Beach House #2

Today's beach house is farther down on the coast from yesterday's. Pigeon Point Lighthouse has been converted into a hostel but still operates for the Coast Guard, protecting ships from the rocky coast. It is surrounded on both sides by small farms.

You can stay there anytime for $23/night, but remember to book your time in the ocean-front hot tub early.

Tuesday, June 09, 2009

Beach Week: Inspired by The Guadeloupe

And a few goodies to go with our Guadeloupe beach house:
  1. Bikini - If we can afford this imaginary beach house, we can also likely afford a $300 Prada bikini, on sale.
  2. Books - Lots of Steinbeck.
  3. Sweater - A cardigan to wear with your best bikini.
  4. Candle - Williams-Sonoma olive oil candle.
  5. Tea Pot - In swirled copper.
  6. Plates - Mottahedeh tin picnic plates in Turkish Garden.
  7. Coverlets - In the colors of beach glass.
  8. Pillow - Embroidered loveliness on sale at Anthropologie.
  9. Tea Cup & Saucer - Tiffany's Sea Urchin pattern has just the right amount of whimsy for a cup of hot lavender earl gray after a windy beach walk.
What would you take to today's beach house pick?

Beach Week: Beach House #1

Our first beach house of the week: The Guadeloupe! This adorable little 1911 casa is in Moss Beach, two blocks up from the coast.

Please note: the beach stone wall, love in the mist blooming on the path, the stained glass door, tea roses on the archway and a granny unit above the garage.

Monday, June 08, 2009

Weekend Round-Up: Saddle Sore

Rob and I seem to be kicking off the summer by spending a lot of time down in Half Moon Bay. We biked to Point Montara lighthouse, spent a short week with the family at Moss Beach and this weekend rode down to Pescadero.

If only all these lovely rough beaches and wildflower covered bluffs were a little bit closer. The bike ride south and back this weekend ended up being 130 miles total...whew.

On Saturday morning, a cyclist friend went with us from the city, around the reservoir in San Mateo to the top of the road connecting to Half Moon Bay.

Once we reached the coast, we had another 20 miles south along the water to the Pigeon Point Light Station. Rob and I stopped at a cute British pub for lunch along the way. Finally, after six hours on the road, we spotted the Light Station!

We checked in to our room, took hot showers and then grabbed two seats on the bluff to watch the sun set for a few hours.

Margaret and friends arrived a few minutes after the sun went down with provisions (not many grocery stores in the middle of nowhere). We used the shared kitchen in our cabin to cook up a roast chicken, rosemary red potatoes, asparagus and biscuits. I forgot to take photos, but it was delicious! After dinner, we walked out to the water - sparkling under a full moon!

It was tough to get out of bed the next morning after all those miles on the bike. We managed with a little coffee and started back along the ocean. We chose a different route for our return, up through the mountains to La Honda.

We passed a bike race going the other direction. Our tandem and trailer combination gained us a lot of support and thumbs up from the other riders. In La Honda, we had lunch in a little British place called Sullivan's. The restaurant had invited a local old-timer to tell stories of the town's early days.

After lunch, more biking up forest hills. We ended up climbing from sea level to around 2,500 feet. Brutal. Back down the 92 and along the reservoir. We stopped to refill water bottles along the lake and ran into another tandem-riding couple. They gave us all sorts of tips for the upcoming tour down to SLO.

The last 20 miles home were tough. We were running out of steam in a big way after doing over 100 miles in two days. Reaching Ocean Beach was such a great feeling!

We pedaled through the city and back home. A huge amount of Chinese food for dinner and hot baths. Moving is going to be tough for the next few days. You can see all our photos from Pigeon Point here.

Beach week on the blog kicks off tomorrow!

Friday, June 05, 2009

Recipe: Insalata Caprese

Cooking on vacation is so pleasant. None of the rush that comes with everyday cooking after work. This classic, light salad is just right as part of a lunch spent watching whales and pelicans migrate.

Insalata Caprese
Two of the best tomatoes
Fresh mozzarella (the kind packaged in water)
Fresh basil
Olive oil
1 clove of fresh garlic
Onion salt

Pour two teaspoons of olive oil on your plate. Cut the garlic clove in half and rub both pieces vigorously in the oil. Layer your sliced tomatoes and cheese on top of your garlicky oil. Sprinkle with an ample amount of onion salt and pepper. Top with fresh strips of basil and enjoy!

Thursday, June 04, 2009

Beach Week

We returned from Moss Beach late last night. What a perfect little break. Reading, soaking in the hot tub, walks, guacamole, hermit crabs, al pastor, whales, bowling, artichokes, puzzles...all the good things that come with a Northern California beach trip.

I've barely returned and already have plans to go to LA tomorrow and then back to Half Moon Bay this weekend. Posting will be light but expect a special series all about beach vacations next week.