Tuesday, January 31, 2012


Well you all know by now how much this girl makes me happy!
This post is a tad late, but I wanted to share the fun Happy "insert here" signs I made for Christmas this year with out spoiling my gift to my first reader, my mama!

My mother was BEYOND excited to receive the Happy Birthday sign I made her for Christmas this year... And yes, a birthday sign for Christmas.
After all it is Jesus' birthday, right?

EVERY birthday of my entire life living under my parents roof my Mom would decorate the dining room top to bottom in birthday signs.
Hers were sometimes hand-drawn, recycled front the year before, and that shiny plastic one made it a good 15 years or so before it was retired.

Last year on my Mom's birthday when I went digging in the linen drawers in the dining room, I noticed the "Happy" was no longer connected to the "Birthda" and the "y" was missing...

Bingo! Gift idea!

This year I made one for my Mom, one for BRS' sister since she has twin boys born in January, and I made one for myself. 
These are so simple to make and actually a lot of fun. I got my girlfriends to join along and we experimented with different shaped and sized letters. 

New Years Eve I decided last minute to whip up a "2012" to add to the "Happy" which was such a nice touch to our evening decor!

All you need is:
(I bought 1/2 yds of about 12 colours)
-Hot glue gun
-Sharp scissors

Next girls ski trip to Tahoe I am going to make:
-Duplicate numbers 0-9
-th, rd, nd, & st
-St. Patrick's
-4th of July

You can get creative, add buttons, fun ribbon, glitter if you like!
For the letters, it's best to free hand them, since it's home made any way.

Why not have it up every holiday and special occasion? 
It sets the mood and gets everyone in the spirit!
Plus it's reusable... no throwing it away every year.

Hope you try this, you'll have them forever and can keep adding as the years go by! 

Happy Crafting!

Warning, it can get messy!

Oh and wine helps too!

Friday, January 27, 2012

My Sweet Peas

I am insanely obsessed with my pups, always have and always will. 
I am excited to get off at 5PM and rush home every day to open our front door and have their sweet wet noses greet me with love. 
Their love is endless and so unconditional. 
They know my moods and I have theirs down too.
Shelby eats too fast and Logan jumps too much.
They're not perfect to most, but they are to me.
BRS and I have been discussing how to incorporate them in our wedding day.
An extra flower girl and best man? I mean Logan is man's best friend.
Dirt paw prints on my wedding gown though... I think not.
Shelby Rose, Yellow Labrador Retreiver
Logan Von, American Foxhound

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Wedding Wednesday: Sneak Peek!

My wedding dress fabric!
It's actually an off-white but for some reason this image looks very beige-y, not sure why.
My dress: think stripey, capped sleeves, off-white, raw silk... 
That's all for now!

Considering having your wedding dress custom made?

Hint: Buy fabric made for drapery and save a fortune!

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

My Golden Child

My future daughter is going to shine baby shine!
Mom's will have to bust out their biggest Chanel's to not be blinded by my golden girl front styling it down the slide.
J.Crew... our love affair started to dwindle a bit when you started getting a tad too trendy and modern for my taste, but I believe you are slowly redeeming yourself. Why not try and sew some grown up clothes in the style of your girls section? Some of my faves from the accessory department:
My Golden Child

Monday, January 23, 2012

My Version of Heaven in a Bowl

Funday Sunday is over and this household is still in mourning. After the 49ers terrible fall against the Giants AND BRS losing his fantasy football playoffs, it was time to cheer the biggest sports fan up. 

What do I know best? FOOD. 

While BRS worked out, I "whipped up" My Version of Heaven in a Bowl. No lie, I keep these ingredients on-hand in my freezer and pantry to get us through these cold and in this case rainy days. And for those budget conscious cooks like myself, this recipe can be kept light on the pocketbook.

I would say this averages out to about $15.00 if you grow your own tomatoes, rosemary, and already have your spices, olive oil, etc. on-hand like I do. Buy fish that is in season or frozen (always wild, of course!).
So, here you have it, I demand you to make it this week and send me a thank you note on your best stationary:
My Version of Heaven in a Bowl: a.k.a. Cioppino 
3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
2 medium yellow onions
2 celery stalks (leaves included)
4 cloves of garlic
Small hand-full of fresh chopped rosemary
Nickel sized amount of Crushed red pepper
2-4 cups seafood blend (ie: Trader Joe's: scallops, shrimp and calamari rings)
1 can (6.5oz) minced clams
2 filets of halibut or any other available white fish cut in medium sized chunks - frozen is totes fine
*Note: cod is usually the most affordable year round in California
1 bottle (8oz) of clam juice
4 large chopped tomatoes or 1 can (32oz) can of diced tomatoes if not available
*Note: try to remember to chop and freeze tomatoes with their juices in the Summer months (especially at the end of the season when super plump and juicy!) in freezer bags.
Spices: dime size of thyme, quarter size of sage, quarter size of oregano, parsley, dime size of marjoram, etc. (As usual I wing it and toss them all in:)
*Sorry I am incapable of measuring as this is how my Dad and Mimi taught me...
*Note: All ingredients organic if available of course!

1. Sauté onions, garlic, celery, and rosemary in olive oil in your preferred stew pot or Dutch oven for about five minutes
2. Add clam juice (and clam juice separated from the can of clams too), the tomatoes with their juices, and your chosen medley of spices and bring it to a medium boil (in my experience never bring anything to a "roaring boil" regardless that it's as cool as it may sound, unless a recipe requires it!)
3. Simmer for 15 minutes
4. Add frozen seafood first then a minute or two later add the non frozen seafood (don't forget those clams) and cook for another 4-5 minutes until they are translucent
5. Serve and enjoy the goodness!

*I would say this recipe yields about 6 servings but with BRS factored in it is enough for him, myself and enough for two more lunches for me! If you serve with bread an a nice salad then this could easily serve 8.

I try and avoid white breads like the plague in this house, but Heaven in a Bowl mandates eating this with a beautiful and crusty loaf of sourdough, after all we are in the San Francisco Bay Area, but French bread is great too!

Bon Appetit!


Sunday, January 22, 2012

Top o' the Morning To Ya!

You can see what I'm up to this cool Winter morning, Happy Funday Sunday!

Go 49ers!!!

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Thank you MNS for sending me this, however I will pretend you aren't thinking this is me.

Walking Immunity

Hurray! It's Thursday!
This has been a wicked cold, thank goodness there haven't been too many chills or sweats involved like others have had. It has been one week since I started to sneeze and I am feeling WAY better. 

CJN works in this FABULOUS medical office, One Medical and says that she has seen this in her office like clockwork.
They have a blog I love to catch up on here and there that I find very helpful.
  HERE is a link to their 5-Drug Free Ways to Beat a Cold.
I haven't taken any medicine at all in almost a year.
I'm hoping this will just go away on its own! 

In addition to my daily supplements/oil I have been taking that Wellness Optimizer and drinking a TON of Traditional Medicine's Lemon Echinacea Throat Coat Tea sold HERE.
I LOVE this tea, I used to drink their other Throat Coat tea but it tasted like licorice, which isn't revolting to me when sick.

My other two saving graces have been pouring a half of cap full of hydrogen peroxide into my ear canal for 5-10 minutes on each side.
I'm telling you it works but it chills you to your bones.
I wish I had thought to do this on day one but totally forgot.
If you get sick, do it!

The other saving grace is making my own ginger tea.
Something about ginger makes me feel like my insides are being cleaned!
It soothes my throat for sure, but ginger has been known to boost the immune system.
Also, when ever my throat feels super dry and I am in too big of a rush for tea, I have been eating a teaspoon of local honey to soothe it.
It coats it quick and it lasts.

I've basically been treating my body like a temple this past week, attempting to make it impossible for any virus to thrive in.
At least I'm hoping!
Good grief if I treated my body like this 365 days a year I'd be walking immunity!

Anyway, enough blabbing about this darn cold, hope everyone is happy and healthy!

Would love to hear more natural remedies if you have one?


Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Wedding Wednesday: My Lovelies

I am one lucky lady to have these eight (of nine) girls walk down the aisle with me. To say I have the best friends is quite the understatement. 

We have been through thick and thin together and I cherish every moment we have shared growing up. My maid of honor, CJN (lavender and black frock) I have know for almost 24 years! 

The gals will all be wearing their choice but in navy and with gold shoes, I can't wait to see what they all look like together!

The next few months are going to get pretty crazy with the 1,001 things on my To-Do list, thanks The Knot for giving me major anxiety every time I log in and the countdown seems to have skipped weeks at a time.

This week in wedding life we:
-locked in the bridesmaid dresses
-I stocked up on more ribbon 
-attended our food tasting... YUM!
-set our hors d'oeuvres dinner and wine selections
-selected our wedding invitation (secret, sorry!)
-re-re-re-reviewed our insane guest list (300, wow!)

View my last wedding inspiration board post here.

Thanks girls for such a great day!


Tuesday, January 17, 2012

And...We're Back!

Not me, I'm still sounding like a pubescent teenage boy...
The Draper's are back, Mad Men, that is!
Mine and BRS' Mad Men characters, try it out HERE if you haven't already!

I cannot wait! I can't believe it's been what, two years since the end of season four? Ridiculous!
This calls for a Mad Men premier party, don't you say?
Dress in your snazziest Mad Men attire like your favorite lady or gent...

Shall I do as Betty would do and wear something along the lines of..
Or shall I do a little Joansie?
Or Miss Trudy fancy pants?

Stay tuned for a glimpse into our Mad Men soiree!


And...We're Back

Monday, January 16, 2012

And... It Didn't Work

So downing all of those supplements this past weekend didn't work. I've been elbows deep in snotty hankies so please excuse the lack of my brain making its presence these past few days. 

 Hope everyone had a fabulous weekend. 


Saturday, January 14, 2012


This is how I spent my Saturday morning and I couldn't ask for anything better.

Dad, dog and ducks. Perfect.

Which means I made it through another Friday the 13th with out falling off a cliff, losing my front tooth, or peeing my pants, woohoo! Go me!

Now, nap time in between trying to watch the 49er game, go Niners!!!!!

Happy Saturday!


Merced National Wildlife Refuge, California:
More HERE!

Friday, January 13, 2012

Not Fair. Not.At.All

That's it. I throw in the towel! 
I eat SO healthy, I exercise, I take multi-vitamins, cod liver oil, vitamin D, a probiotic and drink tea and water like it's going to run out... 
And I'm sick.
It's not fair. 
I just bought a bottle of Jarrow Forumlas 'Wellness Optimizer' and took three. I'll take three more around 4pm then three more before bed. 
Maybe this is the new wonder drug, I'll review it Monday if I am still alive.
How is this possible?
Sneezing all day yesterday and now today my nose is stuffed up.
I blame BRS, and those nasty germs he brings home. And now I am going to be treated like I have the plaque, it's not fair. Tomorrow I leave at 1am to go duck hunting too, this should be interesting.
All you healthy people who have been able to dodge these colds, don't talk to me. I am pissed.
Okay, done venting. How's that for a blog post.
(very raged beauty?)

Days like this I need all the luck I can get, how cute is this?:
Available HERE

Happy Friday the 13th... 
Am I even allowed to say that? 
I'm the superstitious kind, not the find it lucky kind...

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Contemporary Design


(Photos: Mojito Image | Fermob Retail | Fermob Trade - Contact Me

With patio furniture orders bombarding my desk as Spring is right around the corner (or as it feels like it is here in the SF Bay Area right now) I can't help but admire all of the beautiful contemporary architectural designs out there.
I am a huge traditionalist at heart, but this doesn't mean I do not admire contemporary art and design.
 If anything, I love contemporary art mixed in with traditional design more than anything.
Always have, always will!

This first photo below is a high end construction company we work with quite a bit.
The architect did a phenomenal job incorporating the outdoors with the indoors.
On an estate like this, privacy is of course no issue.
I just love the Fermob line, check out these colourful pieces that comes in these scrumptious colours!

How fun would it be to snatch a number of these chairs in multiple colours?
Yes, please!
And everyone needs a bar cart right?
Must have my mojito on warm Spring evenings... 
(Fermob Colours: HERE)
(Photo: Jay Corder, AIA)
I love seeing designers incorporate the different elements in their designs.
A perfect grounds to me would have a fireplace, flowing water, green grass to play on, climbing ivy, multiple coloured succulents, trees as tall as my home, fruit trees lining a vegetable garden... you get the picture.
Me and Rothko, just hangin' (SFMOMA)
Rothko at The Met (iPhone photo - lack luster)

Monday, January 9, 2012

Taming the Tata's

My best friends come in all shapes and sizes, so when I braved the almighty question about what holds their girls up best, they were quite forthcoming!
What are girlfriends for anyway? 

My question to them: What is your best or favorite bra of all time? Why? 

Their fabulous answers:

“Best Sports Bra”: The Tata Tamer by Lululemon
“No under-wire, not ultra-compressing, wide straps, cool colors. COMFORTABLE”
Size: 34D or 34C 

“Sexy-Time/Girlie/Fun Bra”: Betsey Johnson
“The colors are a ton of fun and they are sexy time bras (lace, plus padding) and come in all sorts of sizes” and “they have 30DD and 32D”

Best/Favorite Sports Bra: Target's Champion Bra
“Love the colors and gives good support”
Size: Small

Best t-shirt Bra: Maidenform's Ultimate Push-Up Bra 
"Doesn't the style name say it all? Since this is anonymous let's get real: PUSH-UP. I need it, there it is. Instant B to D in seconds flat. Looks great under a white t-shirt, you can't see anything but my two lovelies nice and perky. Oh and did I mention they sell them at T.J.Maxx, brilliant?!"
Size: 34C

Everyday/blouse Bra: Freya or Chantelle 
“They are not too thick (no nipple show through) and can be worn under anything” and “they have all sorts of sizes (including 30E!)” 

Best Bra of All Time: Victoria Secret (my sexy bra - lace and silky material)
"Why: comfy, cute and makes my boobs look good. lol"
Size: 34D or 36C

Best All Around Bra: Victoria's Secret Demi Bra: 
"Gives great cleavage when wearing a cute top, makes me feel special and sexy and it's comfy for everyday. Also comes in fun colors too, mine is hot pink!"
Size: 36C

Best Everyday Bra: Victoria's Secret Very Sexy
"Why? It is cute and has a little bit of padding (but not too much!) to help out the sistas with the tiny tatas. Can wear it every day but it is also cute enough for those random one night stands! I mean....whatever, I'm proud. It comes in a million different colors, even nude so you can wear it to work under white shirts."
Size: 34 B

Best Sports Bra: Old Navy Padded Sports Bra 
"Why? First off, yes it says it is padded but it is very thin lining. Kind of like what lines your bikini so your nips don't show. They are flattering to smaller chested women AND THEY ARE ONLY 13 DOLLARS. I always feel supported whether it is low movement like bikram yoga or high intensity like zumba or kickboxing!"
Size: Small or medium. 

But Best of All, My Favorite Answer:
“How's this for an answer: I have no idea what my size is, but Victoria's Secret doesn't make them big enough. I have tried on at least 50 different bras in the past month at two different Nordstroms and couldn't find a single one that fit. Even the sales girls we're baffled. I currently wear a super old bra that doesn't fit and the strap is going to break any minute… I hear there's a bra whisperer in SF. I'm going to see her, wanna come?”

I was pretty surprised to find out Victoria's Secret seemed to be the general consensus, but then again, everyone's bodies are very different, hence this post.
For years I thought Victoria's Secrets quality was far from superior, or maybe that was me hating the fact they used MY name for a bra company when I was an A cup for must of high school?
May have to give them another chance!

For those of you in need of some extra help in this department, THIS amazing website offers the biggest selection I have ever seen!

Here’s the site and link in case: 
Bare Necessities

Hope this helps? 


A Tangled Mess(astrophy)

My jewelry box, or lack there of (hence this post), is an utter disaster.
I've been desperately trying to find a simple yet chic solution to my birds nest of jewels in my lingerie drawer.
And now, for here on I will refer to my jewelry as jewels, as this is what a lady shall do.

For starters I think my main problem is that jewels do NOT belong in your lingerie drawer, nor do they belong in the junk drawer, the bottom of a gym bag, or on the coffee table.
 This is the main reason why I own about six single pearl studs in all different sizes (sad face).
My jewels are here there and everywhere as am I, imagine that. 

The problem is, if things (like my clothes) are not laid out and ready to go, I am a mess.
I wore a uniform my entire life, so don't judge.
The only decisions I ever made were: white or navy ribbons on my French braids?
So, when one opens a drawer to grab her jewels, would one be inclined to accessorize from that mess? Nope, no way. I know I have cute items, but how the heck am I supposed to roll out of the house chic in twenty minutes flat if this is what I'm working with?

That lovely shot above is of my disaster and this is honestly a good day.
Shouldn't I be more put together then that?
And if I don't get my act together fast, I may risk never getting jewels again from the Mister.
He doesn't fancy jewels at all, in fact he hates it all except for my pearl studs I wear every day and the rock he placed on my left finger...

And then there was Pinterest.
I have spent exactly two hours and twenty-seven minutes researching jewel organization... and look what goodies I found! I wonder if my contractor can whip me up a built in like below?

Additional ideas and inspirations are welcome, I beg of you!

Organized, yet in a sock drawer. I can do that!
(Photo: HERE)

You're kidding me, right?
(Photo: HERE)

Let's get real, this is great but this would last me one day.
(Photo: HERE)

What a great idea to use old saucers or little chipped gems in my cupboard!

Great idea, but I'm not one for plastic...
(Photo: HERE)

This could be great on a closet wall?
(Photo: HERE)

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Sweet Sunsets

Today was the most beautiful day ever, and apparently a record breaker coming in around 70 degrees.
Warm days and evenings like these create the most beautiful sunsets. 
Here are a few photos taken by my cousins and and here there and everywhere, they are downright beautiful:

Los Angeles, California
North Lake Tahoe, Nevada
San Franscisco Bay Area
Cozumel, Mexico
Santa Terese - Costa Rica
Bentonville, Arkansas
Princeville, Kauai, Hawaii
Playa Grande, Costa Rica
"The Farm" - Bentonville, Arkansas
Manhattan Beach, California
Manhattan Beach, California
Branson, Missouri
San Franscisco Bay Area
Lake Tahoe, Nevada