Wednesday, December 19, 2007
Even if you've seen the movie—no, especially if you have seen the movie, read this book. I reread it every couple of years. The first time I read it I laughed so hard that Matt asked me to put it away and go to sleep because I was keeping him up. A great story.
Okay, I am going to have to warn you, this blog could get heavy into the home improvement realm after the holidays as Matt and I are considering making some renovations. So, I am starting to get a little preoccupied with home furnishings. This bubble fiesta floor cloth by Liora Manne could make an appearance in a kitchen near me soon. I still can't believe its only $50.
There is this sweet little bistro here in Sacramento called Fran's Cafe that does a monthly Dinner and a Movie event: a set menu meal and a DVD in a fun, relaxed atmosphere. Over the summer Matt and I tried it out. We saw one of my absolute favorite films, Notorious. The menu included spaghetti, garlic bread and salad which I thought was an interesting choice for a movie set in Rio de Janeiro, but anyway it was so fun! If you don't have a restaurant near you that offers something like this, try it at home with friends. It's a hoot.
Don't you love this poster? And that key, so ominous. Make sure to see this flick if you haven't.
Ice skating just says "holidays" to me. Jackson and I took ice skating lessons a few weeks ago and we had so much fun. It's a great low- or no-cost way to spend time with friends and family. I am hoping my boys can learn so that some day soon we can spend a day skating at the Rockefeller Center rink under it's grand tree. What memories that will make(: I can't wait.
I am not big on cologne, but I adore the line of fragrances available from Jo Malone, the London-based perfumer. All of her scents are designed to be worn alone or you can layer them for a more personal statement. Her products include everything from Nectarine Blossom + Honey to French Lime Blossom. If you aren't sure what might work best for you her website has live fragrance stylists available from 10 am to 8 pm EST. Plus the site is offering free standard shipping now until Christmas.
This campaign really impressed me. I love that for a donation of $10 you can potentially save a child's life. Here's a little about what they do:
Nothing But Nets is a grassroots campaign to save lives by preventing malaria, a leading killer of children in Africa. While the UN Foundation has been working with the UN to fight malaria for years, it was a column that Rick Reilly wrote about malaria in Sports Illustrated, challenging each of his readers to donate at least $10 for the purchase of an anti-malaria bed nets -- and the incredible response from thousands of Americans across the country -- that led to the creation the Nothing But Nets campaign.
Tuesday, December 18, 2007
Everyone I know thinks that I am crazy for loving this lamp. It actually has a brass base which is hard to see in the photo. I was lucky enough to inherit it from my good friend Laura's parents. It was in their living room while we were growing up and I was always drawn to it. Everyone else hated it. Matt hates it and my friends tease me about it, but I have been vindicated! With the recent craze over mid-century modern lamps like this one are highly sought after. Some are going for $250 and up on sites like eBay. I am not exactly sure of the authenticity of my lamp, but many were made by the Laurel Lamp Company and it is sometimes called the Laurel Lamp. And you know what else? Mary Richards had one in her cool 70s bachelorette pad, so there!
Tuesday, December 11, 2007
I was lucky enough to get a tube of Lash Stylist for free when I bought one of Maybelline's eyeshadow collections. I was so surprised at how much I liked it. I have tried lots of mascaras, even the pricey ones from Clinique and Lancome, and so far this is the best I've come across. The cool wand keeps the mascara from building up and causing lumps and you can get to the tiniest of lashes with it. Magic!
So I have never been a fan of wallpaper...until now. These are the two I am considering for above the chair rail in my new office: Kenzan by Romo Fabrics and Herrick by Osborne & Little. What do you think? Do you have a favorite?
Photos courtesy of the manufacturers' websites.
Saturday, December 8, 2007
Auntie Mame is one of my all-time favorite movies. Rosalind Russell is such a kick—a woman to admire with a fantastic spirit. Here a quick synopsis courtesy of Moviefone:
This 1958 film version permits Rosalind Russell to recreate her stage role as Mame Dennis, the flamboyant, devil-may-care aunt of young, impressionable Patrick Dennis. Left in Mame's care when his millionaire father drops dead, young Patrick (Jan Handzlik) is quickly indoctrinated into his aunt's philosophy that "Life is a banquet--and some poor suckers are starving to death." Social-climbing executor Dwight Babcock (Fred Clark) does his best to raise Patrick as a stuffy American aristocrat, but Mame battles Babcock to allow the boy to be as free-spirited as she is.
Friday, December 7, 2007
Olema Druids Hall is a wonderful inn located in the town of Olema, about an hour's drive from San Francisco. The Hall was constructed in 1885 and used for many years as a meeting hall and community center. In 1950 the building was sold to the current owner's family and was used primarily as a rustic retreat. The structure was converted to a full-time family home in the 1970s. The family has since done major renovations and turned the Hall into a peaceful hotel.
Matt and I stayed here just before Owen was born, about two years ago, and it instantly became my favorite getaway. Of course it doesn't hurt that it's 10 minutes from my favorite place on earth, Point Reyes National Seashore!
Wednesday, December 5, 2007
As the mother of two young boys, I have read tons of bedtime stories. And let's face it, Dora leaves a little to be desired. This book is my favorite by the talented illustrator and writer Maira Kalman. She is a fascinating woman with a gift for capturing the essence of people which is what she does in her fabulous children's book Next Stop Grand Central. And you don't have to be a kid or have one to get a kick out of it.
All of Mrs. Meyer's products are exceptional, but my favorite item is the Lemon Verbena Candle. It reminds me of New York City, which for some of you may not be a ringing endorsement. I was introduced to this lovely candle during the AIGA conference in NYC a few year's ago. I was lucky enough to hear a presentation given by the company's founder—an amazing woman. After the break, each of the attendees had one of these candles on their chair. I took mine back to my hotel room and lit it and instantly fell in love. Plus, the cute working glass container can be recycled or reused as a vase or for another candle.
...says Mr. Osato in James Bond's You Only Live Twice...wise man.
Anyone who knows me, knows that I love champagne, better known as sparkling wine in California, and cava in Spain. My favorite is Cristalino Cava Brut— it's a sparkling wine from Spain, made from the grape varietals Macabeo (50%), Parellada (35%) and Xarello (15%). Produced by Jaume Serra, this lovely sparkler offers a fine alternative to Champagne at less than half the price. I usually get it on sale as Cost Plus World Market for $5.99. It is the best, forget the rest!
Here are some notes: Cristalino Cava Brut has a bright green-gold color and shows fine bubbles. It has a pleasant nose of green apples, peaches, toast, flowers, cinnamon and herbs. Crisp and bright, dry with medium-full body, this sparkler offers rich flavors of apples, figs, lemon, roasted almonds and pie crust. It is fruit-forward and balanced, with a clean, lemony finish.
Monday, December 3, 2007
It is Christmastime after all! Matt and I have been attending the San Francisco Ballet's production of The Nutcracker since we were dating, about 20 years now. It has been a holiday tradition. And this year it takes on a whole new meaning—it's Jackson first time! We have tickets for the matinee performance on the 26th (Boxing Day) and we will be dining at the Fairmont Hotel's Tonga Room—a new tradition.
Sunday, December 2, 2007
These cowgals make amazing cheese! My fav is Mt. Tam named after Mt. Tamalpais near San Francisco. It's a smooth, creamy, elegant, triple-cream made with tasty organic milk from the Straus Family Dairy (another West Marin fav). Mt. Tam is firm, yet buttery with a mellow, earthy flavor reminiscent of white mushrooms. It won 1st Prize in the soft-ripened category at this year’s American Cheese Society competition. Try it, you wont be sorry!
As an added bonus, if you give a gift of one of their hand-picked collections or a cheese-of-the-month subscription proceeds support a number of sustainable agriculture organizations including the Marin Agricultural Land Trust, a group whose goal is to preserve West Marin area ranches and family farms. And, of yeah, Matt happens to be the stewardship director there. Yay!
cowgirlcreamery.com or 866.433.7834
Most of you have already heard of etsy.com but for those of you who haven't had the pleasure, let me tell you, you are missing out. The website is dedicated to seller's of handmade goods. Some of the designers are amazing and I have found most of the prices to be very reasonable, especially since so many of the items are one of a kind and truly pieces of art. Matt and I have made the pledge to try and stay away from the mall this holiday in an effort to find special things for our loved ones and etsy.com is the perfect place to start. Some of my favs are Curly Girl Glass and Doodlebug Finery: Luxuries for Little Ones. That's their stuff above. Enjoy!
So Oprah has her list of favorite things (see oprah.com) and frankly this year they seemed pretty lame. Not because a lot of them weren't pricey, but because they didn't seem that unique. I can't promise that all of my favs are going to be unique either, but I am going to take a whack at a list. Each day I'll add something new. I hope you'll check it out! Happy Holidays everybody!!(: