Monday, May 31, 2010

What We Do For Our Four-Legged Friends...

Or... what we make them do for us!

Yesterday was my dog Vito's 10th birthday. Getting into the spirit, I decided to have a party with doggies and adults. For some reason Vito loves Bichons and Havenese, so his close friends were there to celebrate. My friend Lisa generously donated her house for the festivities!

Forgive Vito's bad behavior...

$27 (yes, $27) for an organic dog birthday cake from a dog bakery. Hope they enjoyed it!

little treats for the guests

"Oh, please take these silly hats off of us!"

"Are you kidding me?" -Buster

Speaking of dog parties...I had to share this cute "dessert party" that Kristy of Posh Pixels Design Studio created for her new adopted puppy, Ozzy.

The theme was “Meet the Puppy,” to introduce Ozzy to her family & friends. There was "doggy" food and "people" food.

So beautifully done...

Biscuits & rawhides for the puppies, candy & treats for the humans...

How creative is this?

For the humans...

For the dogs...

Love that party! So talented!

Are we silly? Yes. We love our animals so why not spoil them? They give us so much joy and unconditional love!

photo credits: Posh Pixels Design Studio & my own

Friday, May 28, 2010

Pin it Forward: What Home Means to Me

I'm thrilled to be a part of Pin-it-Forward, a blogger mashup organized by Victoria of sfgirlbybay and Pinterest, a visual bookmarking site. The theme is "what home means to you," and over the course of several weeks, 300 bloggers will share their photos and passions of "home." It's so much fun!

So, here I go...What does home mean to me?

You may have already figured out that I live in San Francisco since I talk about it so much. Born and raised here, with roots going back to the 19th century. I love the open feeling of living near an ocean and bay, and breathing the fresh dewy air. Even with the dreary fog that encompasses this City much of the year, San Francisco is home.

Ahhh...comfort. Nothing cries "home" more than snuggling into bed enveloped by a down comforter with my little poodle Vito as my pillow. Home is a place of solace...a place that we can escape the outside world and surround ourselves with comfort.

Family heirlooms and antique finds reflect my passions and the past. Being surrounded by these special objects brings a uniqueness to my surroundings and puts a smile on my face.

I don't like to get too serious about decorating. I love a home filled with the unexpected. Nothing too staged, and reflecting the owner's personality. An eclectic mix of pieces from different eras and touches of whimsy always makes for an interesting space. What awaits me when I turn the corner? I never know!

Guilty as charged. Guilty of stashes of candy in drawers & cabinets. Not too much, but just enough to be able to pull out that licorice when I'm in the mood. Total comfort. Stashes of wonderfully scented candles and magazines to devour. Nirvana!

I'm crazy over small touches of glitz that bring me back to a bygone era. And I love mirrors! They make a small house seem larger, and the reflections they create are magical.

Home is my retreat. Husband, dog, family and friends. It's my favorite place to be!

my Pinterest page

Many thanks to Victoria at sfgirlbybay and the group at Pinterest for the opportunity to participate in this fun event, and for enabling my new Pinterest addiction. Just what I needed...another fun thing to take me away from my work. Actually it's a wonderful source to "bookmark" your favorite photos while browsing the web!

To follow the other boards I've created, hop on over to my Pinterest page. You can also check out other bloggers participating in the "Pin it Forward" by viewing the full schedule here.

And now... I'm passing the baton to, so be sure to check out her post on Monday.

Happy Weekend Everyone!

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Maison Bouche Giveaway!

Yesterday I posted about the delightful new Spring line of Maison Bouche chocolates.

Maison Bouche is generously offering our readers this scrumptious gift set for a giveaway-- 9 chocolate bars in Noir (dark) or Lait (Light), tied with green satin ribbon and presented in an exquisite aqua colored box! You can select from four collections; Botanicals, Le Fleurs, Couture or Marriage a la Mode.
  • To enter the giveaway, take a look at the Maison Bouche online shop {here}, browse through your favorite confections, and leave a comment below on this blog.
  • Deadline to enter the giveaway is June 2nd. One winner will be randomly selected and contacted by e-mail after Tuesday, June 2nd. If you do not have a blog or contact e-mail on your blog, please include it with your comment for notification. Open to all readers!
Good Luck/ Bonne Chance!

Monday, May 24, 2010

The Most Beautiful Chocolat.

You may remember an earlier post of mine raving about one of my favorite chocolatiers, Diane of Maison Bouche. Was I excited to see their new Spring line of chocolats! Divine!

Maison Bouche (literally translated as "house of the mouth") is named after the sumptuous kitchens at Versailles, and based here in the Bay Area. Maison Bouche's packaging is as divine as the scrumptious taste of their confections.

I asked Diane what inspired her for her new lines, and here's what she had to say...

"For 'Les Fleurs,' I've always admired Grandville, who was a celebrated artist of 19th century France. His "Court of Flora or Les Fleurs Animées" shows flowers personified. The collection is redolent of the spirit of French Romanticism."

"For 'Botanicals,' I wanted a spring collection with beautiful floral images. I found them in 19th century hand-painted Botanical prints. I'm constantly amazed at how wonderful flowers are and this is a homage to their loveliness."

"For 'Couture et Confections,' I love love love the fashions of 18th century France - the tall wigs, the attention to detail people put into their attire, the richness of the fabrics, the colors. It was so wonderful!"

"For 'Marriage a la Mode,' I wanted to recreate the lavishness of early 19th Century Royal weddings with the tiered cake, precious jewels given to the bride from all over Europe, the ornate invitation, the beautiful clothing and the fairy tale feeling surrounding it all. These items would have been printed for the world to see. But I also wanted the Collection to appeal to couples getting married today, because we still carry on the same traditions."

Beautiful, aren't they? With Lait and Noir chocolats and numerous flavors, the Maison Bouche bars and confections are available online and at these retailers.

BUT WAIT... there's more!!!

Stay tuned for a Maison Bouche giveaway tomorrow.....

photos: Maison Bouche

Friday, May 21, 2010

Nesting Newbies-- A Great Way to Start Off Your Weekend!

Have you seen Nesting Newbies online magazine yet? The Spring/Summer issue is out and we're humbled to be a part of it!

Paris Hotel Boutique decoupage trays featured on page 176-177

Nesting Newbies online site blends a traditional magazine format with online videos and blogs. It features content for those who are new to nesting, and includes great tips on cooking, entertaining and decorating. AND, you don't have to be a "Newbie" to enjoy it!

Now don't get me wrong, there is nothing like holding a magazine in your hands, but this is so easy to navigate, the colors are striking and the format is great.

great recipes and cooking tips

I'm also excited to be included among some of my blogger pals such as Megan from Beach Bungalow 8, Crystal from Plush Palate, Karen from Alkemie, Jenn from the Department of the Interior. I know I've left some out!

Hopefully you have a relaxing weekend planned! If you have a moment sit back, get comfy, and take a peek at Nesting Newbies here!


The Pickled Hutch Grand Reopening Party!

Yesterday was the grand reopening party of one of my favorite Bay Area haunts, The Pickled Hutch. Owner Lisa Wilson and her loyal sidekick Alfie pulled out all the stops with everything from yummy hors d' oeuvres to Cosmopolitans. May I add--it was a "Sex in the City" theme, so many attendees pulled out the glam!

Lisa and Alfie (Alfie's decked out with his felt-made 'Sex and the City' ribbon)

The Pickled Hutch is located in the quaint coastside town of Pacifica, California. About 10 miles from San Francisco. Lisa's 1,200 square foot space is filled with everything from lovely vintage decor to gift items.

This bright and cheery shop has treasures at every turn. Muted blue and grey tones reflect the color of the nearby ocean.

Pops of color and natural elements such as seashells, coral, rocks and quartz are paired with accessories and furniture to create a beautiful statement.

"The displays themselves tell a romantic story, leading you down a path of a gentler and certainly more lovely time....refreshing personal memories along the way."

Love this vintage ship oil painting...

Even doggies made an appearance at this grand re-opening, such as these two beautiful Standard Poodles with their fancy attire...

Oh, and here's Alfie again. He is always smiling...I just can't keep my camera off of him!

Such eclectic variety at the Pickled Hutch, such as dealer Peter's booth...

hidden treasures everywhere...

masculine touches such as this old cabinet filled with unique finds...

Lisa and her friend Bill who was the sweet bartender...

Cabinets of vintage and repurposed vintage jewelry such as these bracelets by Debby Anderson of Romancing the Bling were quite popular among the guests...

A unique pendant by Debby...

Fun was had by all!

After the party, I drove down the block to catch a glimpse of the ocean before sundown.

And look at this cute pink cafe!

BIG CONGRATS to my friend Lisa, and Vito's best friend Alfie for your beautiful new shop!

If you're in the Bay Area, be sure and visit The Pickled Hutch. You can make a wonderful day of it. Take a drive along the coast, dine on some yummy seafood and sourdough bread at one of the quaint beachside restaurants, and do some antiquing!

The Pickled Hutch
2021 Palmetto Ave
Pacifica, CA 94044
(650) 359-2000

Oh...and if you can't visit in coming real soon!