Life & Family

More Fun in the Wine Country (Mother’s Day, Part Two)

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Last week, I gave you all the details on our fun picnic in the wine country for Mother’s Day.  Today, I want to fill you in on the rest of our fabulously relaxing and fun day!

After our picnic at Rombauer, we drove over to Paraduxx, which is an adorable little winery on the Silverado Trail.  It is owned by the same couple that started Duckhorn Vineyards. Paraduxx has some really good wines and a really gorgeous outdoor backyard space in which to drink them.  They have several “living room” like stations with outdoor couches and coffee tables set up next to the vineyards and also some fun little tables on a porch and some grassy areas for letting the kids run.   (more…)

A Picnic in the Wine Country (Mother’s Day, Part I)

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One major perk of living in the Bay Area is that we can easily hop in the car and head to a really cool destination for the day.  When we return, it always feels like we’ve had a little mini vacation and it’s always so refreshing to get out of the city for a bit.  Sunday was one of those days…

This morning, we made some lattes at home and then piled in the car and drove up to the wine country.  It was cool but sunny in the city, but as we drove across the bridge, we could see “Karl” the fog rolling in.  We couldn’t even see the water, much less the iconic orange towers as we drove across the bridge, which is always such a crazy feeling (and our two year old was baffled and kept asking us where the bridge had gone – try explaining that!)  Just on the other side of the bridge, though, it was hot and sunny (another reason to get of the city once in a while!)  We drove up to St. Helena, which is one of our favorite little towns and went into Dean and Deluca to do our shopping. (more…)

Rodeo Drive

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This afternoon, we spent some time walking up and down Rodeo Drive on a lovely, sunshine-filled day.  I was absolutely overwhelmed by the architecture and the design and the window displays.  It was literally almost too much to take in.  The beautiful flowers and the interesting buildings and materials used and of course, the goods.  We didn’t even walk into too many stores, since we had the two littles with us, but it was still a lot to take in and was such a nice outing! (more…)

Bottega Louie

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This past weekend, we packed up the littles and drove down to the City of Angels.  Hubs had a work conference there and the boys and I were all to happy to tag along to a warm and sunny location like LA!  I emailed a few friends in the area for recommendations on what we should do while we were there and Michaela, who I “met” when she featured my jewelry designs on her gorgeous blog, came through with an excellent brunch suggestion that I felt obliged to share with you.  It’s just too good to keep to myself.

Bottega Louie is simply adorable.  Not only is this spot darling, it is equally delicious.  The market part of the restaurant reminds me of Laduree in Paris (a VERY favorite spot of mine!) and not only because of the stunningly beautiful macarons.  There were lots of fun treats there that would make lovely hostess or birthday gifts or a delicious little bon bon for yourself.   (more…)

The City of Angels

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The car is loaded up with kids and all of their gear (not a small feat!) and the venti lattes are in the cup holders…We are off today to the City of Angels!  We are braving a 6-hour road trip with two littles who are two and under (REALLY not a small feat!) and couldn’t be more excited for some warmth and sunshine and a lovely change of scenery.  Hubs has a conference down there and was sweet enough to want to bring us along.  We’ve got a jam-packed weekend plan and promise to keep you updated on all of our adventures.  L.A., here we come!

Custom Blue Sapphire Cross

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When a friend of mine from junior high emailed me a request for custom jewelry work, my first thought was, “How sweet of her to think of me and how fun that Facebook keeps people connected who might otherwise have no idea what someone they went to school with 20 years ago is currently doing!”  I know that there’s a lot of debate about how Facebook takes away the personal nature of face-to-face relationships, but I really think that when used in the right context, it’s pretty cool for keeping people connected in a world where we can feel pretty disjointed for myriad reasons.  But, I digress… (more…)

Language of the Heart

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You know that feeling when a musician sings words that your heart wasn’t even aware that it felt?  When an artist is able to capture something that you thought might be too big or deep to even put into words and yet they do and they sing it and suddenly it is like a tuning fork is resonating deep within your soul, vibrating to this truth that you didn’t even realize you had been aching to express?

I’m sure you have.  I think it is one of those things that is universally true for everyone at some time in their lives.  It is an amazing thing and one that awakes your soul in its depths.  By far, the artist who has most often created that experience for me is David Wilcox.  He is, hands down, my favorite artist, both as a craftsman of words and a player of  guitar. (more…)

Totally

I love Some E-cards.  Seriously, they crack me up on a regular basis.  I cannot tell you how many times I laugh at one that someone has posted on Facebook and am amazed that someone else is apparently living the same life I am.

Today was one of those days…

 

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A Trip to Pacifica

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Today, we drove down to Pacifica with the intention of having a BBQ picnic on the beach.  Our friend Dave Lomas has been telling us about a great BBQ place on the side of the highway down there where he goes after surfing.  Since we LOVE BBQ, we’ve been wanting to check it out.  Unfortunately, they close once they’ve sold all of the meat they’ve made that day and we missed the boat today!  We got there around 4pm, but alas, they were closing the doors as we drove up.  Sad! (more…)

A Family Tradition

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My husband’s father turned 21 while living in California. That’s always the excuse that my husband gives for how his Dad became a wine collector and why he knows so much about wine. He quickly follows up with the fact that his first job out of grad school was in Germany, so he had a lot of opportunity for getting to know small producers – and for importing for his friends.

I love wine tasting with my father-in-law and we’ve been fortunate enough to do quite a bit of it. Since we live in San Francisco, it is pretty easy to take a quick trip to the Wine Country when they visit. His knowledge is vast and he has a pretty large cellar himself. (So large, in fact, that my husband swore he would never help him to move it again after a particularly exhausting weekend doing so!)

One of my favorite traditions that my husband’s parents started was a wine collection for each of their children. Over the years, they collected wine from the birth year of their two children and when they turned twenty-one, they gifted the wine to them. How fun is that?! Each of them has a pretty large selection of various wines and ports from the year they were born. I’ve been fortunate to enjoy a few of those bottles myself and some of them are incredible! Hubs and I love to drink one of the bottles from his collection on his birthday each year. It’s our own little special treat.

Since we have both enjoyed this special tradition, we have decided to continue it for our own children. Of course, you have to pick a varietal that will age well and in some cases, you’re just making an educated guess on what will be good, especially if you purchase futures in hopes of a good deal. So far, it’s been really fun to do, though, and I love thinking about how my boys will enjoy these wines for years to come.

What do you think of this fun tradition? Is it something you would do with your kids? What’s your favorite family tradition that spans the generations – or one you’re hoping to cultivate with your own children?