Friday, June 29, 2012

I'm Mad About ...

                           Source: via People on Pinterest

                         Source: via People on Pinterest

  • Well, it looks like I'm going to have to see People Like Us, since it features "LA as the fifth character in the movie." Knowing how I am, though, I'll catch it on Netflix in five years, after the DVD has been sitting on my kitchen counter for six months. Ha! Still, I love movies about the "real" LA (A Single Man comes to mind). Oh, and Chris Pine. Yes.
  • Have you jumped on the colored jeans trend yet? I want to (mint green skinny jeans, please!) but haven't been able to find the right pair. Picky much?
  • Tips on decorating for and with dogs (but I can do without the pooping pooch lamp!).
  • For those times when a thumbs-up or thumbs-down just isn't enough, there's ReadrBoard. WTF? ;-)
Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

A Cabin in the Woods

There's nothing like a little mountain getaway to help you recharge your batteries. I was invited recently for a girls' weekend at a friend's cabin in the Giant Sequoia National Monument area.

We didn't do much—a little hiking, some bird/squirrel watching, and lots of eating was about it.

Folks were fishing, but I don't think they were getting many bites:

The stone-clad lodge has an ice cream parlor:

And, of course, the neighbors came to visit:

Makes me wish we had a cabin of our own.

This would do quite nicely:
                                                                        Source: via sunglasshut on Pinterest

Actually, I'd prefer something a bit more manageable.  Who wants to spend all that time taking care of a big house when you're on vacay?

Something simple, like these tent cabins, would suit me just me just fine:
Metropolitan Home
 And look how lovely it is inside:
Metropolitan Home
So what do you prefer—a cozy little mountain retreat or a luxurious lakeside getaway?

Monday, June 25, 2012

Dream House in the Hills

I know it's been around for a while, but I just ran across this gorgeous Hollywood Hills home via coco+kelley, and I'm officially obsessed.

                                                                            Source: via Beth on Pinterest

From the neutral color palette punctuated with shots of bold color to the big windows that let in all the glorious LA sunshine, this home has me written all over it. And then there's the location. It's no secret that I covet a house in the hills.

                                                                      Source: via Jacquie on Pinterest

Every detail is perfect.
                                                                                Source: via Beth on Pinterest

The place is owned by Hollywood insider Jacqui Getty. See more pictures at C magazine—but have a tissue ready, because it's drool-worthy!

Friday, June 22, 2012

I'm Mad About ...

Happy Friday!

Last week I went I went a little overboard at the farmers market. It was so hot (108!) hardly anyone was there, so the stands were offering fill a bag for $5. How could I resist?
Since Erik doesn't care for fresh fruit and I couldn't eat it all myself before it went it bad, I used some to make a fruit crumble (using this recipe, more or less) for my book group:

It was quite a hit, so I'm making another one to take up to my friend's cabin for a girls' weekend. Can't wait!

To get you in the mood for a fun weekend, here are some things that caught my eye this week:

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Shopping for Summer

Since I shared my summer to-do list the other day, I thought it might be fun to round up a few items I'll need to get things done.
Clockwise from upper left: Dolly gingham maillot, Anthropologie; wicker picnic basket, Williams-Sonoma; Weber Smoky Joe, Target; O'Brien women's neoprene life vest, Dick's; The Waffle, Hollywood; Cuisinart 1.5-quart automatic ice cream maker, Amazon.
In the interest of full disclosure, I already own all of these items, or reasonable facsimiles. But I have to say, my swimsuit isn't nearly that cute!

What are you planning to buy for summer fun?

Monday, June 18, 2012

Summer Checklist

There's always so much I want to do each summer, but usually when the season's over, I realize that I haven't done most of what I wanted to do. Being a list maker, I find if I write down what I want to accomplish, I'm more likely to get it done.

So, since the season officially starts this week, here's my summer to-do list:
Carrot cake ice cream
By Joy [CC-BY-2.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons
  • Make ice cream
  • Go out on our boat
  • Have a picnic
  • Barbecue (or, as they apparently say in the Midwest, grill out)
  • Start a brunch tradition
  • Spend a day exploring an unfamiliar neighborhood in LA
  • Visit an amusement park*
  • See a concert at the Hollywood Bowl
  • Make a fruit crumble
  • Go for bike rides 
  • Go to a baseball game
  • Go to the coast
  • Go to a flea market 
Notice how many of those involve food? I'll have to be sure to go for lots of bike rides!

What are some things you hope to do this summer?

* Back when I was in school, I worked at an amusement park. I live about a hour from it, but haven't been there in years.

Friday, June 15, 2012

I'm Mad About ...

Good morning! I don't know about you, but I'm so ready for the weekend. We don't have anything special planned, but I hope to get in a bike ride and a trip to the farmers market. And as part of my Summer Cocktail Series, I plan to make a Cosmo. I've had plenty of those, so I know what it should taste like!

Last week, I made a Tom Collins. It was strong! Are they supposed to be so strong? It was good, though:

Aren't those the cutest glasses? I've had them forever but hardly get to use them since we really don't drink much.

Anyway, I came across lots of interesting, juicy stuff this week. Enjoy!
  • Suffering from Mad Men withdrawal? Me too. This might help.
  • Domino is now available in digital versions for the Nook, Android and iPad.
  • Interesting dust-up from the pages of Lucky. Are you bothered by the idea of a magazine making up a quote? I am, but I'm also not surprised.
  • Are you "Overdressed"? As much as I want to buy quality goods, I can't resist a cheap chic deal.
  • Speaking of clothes, I just discovered this LA-based retailer that lets shoppers donate 5% of the purchase price to the charity of their choice. Pretty cool. And the clothes are cute!
Happy Father's Day!

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Bag Lady

I want to share some cute bags my talented friend Jana made:

She has a real eye for mixing patterns and colors, and all her bags have fun linings. Check out her blog and you'll see what I mean.

The cross-body bag (in my signature blue!) will be great for walking the dogs, and the zipper bag (honoring one of my favorite cities) is just the right size to slip into my purse.

Monday, June 11, 2012

Stamp Act

I went up to the Bay Area recently to visit my friend Jana, and as usual, we went shopping. This time we hit a new store: Paper Source. I've visited the chain's website, but this was my first time in a brick-and-mortar store. It won't be my last!

It's fun and beautiful and inspiring, with gorgeous paper, chic cards, gifts, and rubber stamps. A whole wall of rubber stamps.

I've mentioned that I'm not much of DIYer or very crafty, but the stamps were full of so many possibilities, I couldn't resist. From flowers to animals to hearts and shoes—you name it, it was there. After scrutinizing each and every stamp for what seemed like an hour and watching a demo of the embossing tool by a friendly saleswoman, I settled on these three stamps, along with some ink and a cute bag to store it all in:

Cute, right?

I've started playing with them a bit. I made some labels for the jars in the pantry. And Paper Source has some great how-tos on its website. I just need to stock up on some card stock, and I'll be set!

Friday, June 8, 2012

I'm Mad About ...

Good morning. Let's get right to it:

  • There's so much great music out right now. I discovered San Francisco-based Nicki Bluhm the other day. Her voice is perfect for her country rock style. Have a listen and let me know what you think.
  • June is Adopt a Cat Month. Come on, you know you want to!
  • Looking for affordable art in LA? Check out the Tappan Collective pop-up Saturday at the Jeffries Building, 117 Winston St., at Werdin Place.
  • I love this sneak peek at the upcoming Cupcakes and Cashmere book. Emily's blog is so inspiring and beautiful. I can't wait for the book to come out.
Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Weekend Getaway: Morro Bay

It gets hot here in the summer. Really effing hot. To cool off, locals like to head to the coast. When I was single, I usually went to Pismo Beach, which seems to be the favorite destination. It's always hopping, with crowded streets and busy restaurants. But my husband's family always vacationed in the much more low-key Morro Bay, so that's become our go-to spot (although we still venture over to Pismo once in a while).

The main attraction of Morro Bay (besides the ocean and cooler weather) is 581-foot-tall Morro Rock:

Although it looks like it's sitting in the middle of the ocean, you can drive over there and walk around on the surrounding beach. It's also a reserve for peregrine falcons, and you know I can't resist the animals!

Morro Bay is dog-friendly, and people can bring their pets into stores. Dogs are welcome to join their humans for meal at restaurants with outdoor seating, and there's plenty of that. We've taken our little ones to Rose's Landing a number of times. They're always welcoming and friendly, and I love the fish n' chips. Plus it has a great view of the water and the rock. Dorn's is another good place for seafood and views. For coffee, we go to Top Dog Coffee (oddly, I don't think we've ever brought our dogs there!).

Shops line the Embarcadero. My favorite is Fiona Bleu gallery for well-priced jewelry and Jonathan Adler home goods. Of course, Erik likes to check out the guitars and amps at Central Coast Music.

We haven't gone whale watching in Morro Bay, but we did take a glass-bottom boat tour. You don't need to get on the water to see the sea lions, though—they come right up to the docks, honking and stinking and looking for food around the fishing boats.

Usually we go for the day, but sometimes we make a weekend of it and stay at the La Serena Inn, which we hope to do this summer. It's  a couple of blocks from the beach, but rooms on the top floor have unobstructed views of the rock. (And apparently now it's pet-friendly, though I doubt we'll be taking three dogs to the coast anytime soon.)

Where do you go to cool off?

Monday, June 4, 2012

Summer Cocktail Series: Mint Julep

I'm not a big drinker, but when the weather warms up, I usually crave something sweet and fruity. Sangria is my summer drink of choice, but it's not something that can be made on the spur of the moment.

So I thought it would be fun to try making a different cocktail every week and record the results. First up, a mint julep following this recipe. I had all the ingredients, and it seemed simple enough. And it looks good, doesn't it:

I'd never actually had a mint julep, so I don't have anything to compare it with. The recipe seemed a bit strong, so I used a little more simple syrup and a little less whiskey. Erik doesn't care for whiskey, but he's a trooper so he gave it a try. He really liked it, giving it four out of five stars! I rated it a 3.5, only because it wasn't very minty. Next time I'll try steeping the mint in the simple syrup while it's warm.

All in all, though, it was a good effort. Next up: a Tom Collins.

Friday, June 1, 2012

I'm Mad About ...

Good morning! I'm off to the Bay Area this weekend. Here are some things I'll be thinking about on the long drive up there:
Diamond Jubilee display from Jersey
By Andrewrabbott (Own work) [CC-BY-SA-3.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons

Have a great weekend!