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Life & Family | Andrea Montgomery Designs | Page 9

Life & Family

French Blue

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In the heart of St. Helena on the quaint little Main Street lies one of the cutest restaurants I’ve ever visited.  We discovered it nearly a year ago, just after it opened, and French Blue has quickly become a favorite spot of ours.  The ambiance is serene and inviting, the tables (and banquets!) are beyond comfortable, the space is cozy, complete with a fireplace, and the staff is incredibly friendly.  They are always so kind to us even as we traipse in with two kids aged two and under.  The maitre d’ is the nicest man and always offers to take our kids for a few moments and show them the kitchen and walk them around the restaurant to give us “a quick twenty minute date” (in his words.)  I mean, are you kidding me?  What a treasure this man is! (And our kiddos love him…well, that and parading around the restaurant with patrons fawning all over them!)  When we walk in, several of the staff recognize us and come to say hello.  That is more a testament to how sweet they are than to how often we frequent the place.  We have taken several friends (and their little ones!) to the restaurant and every one of them has told us that it will now be a regular spot for them.  It’s that good – and that cute. (more…)

From Marsh to Market

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Do you have one of those impossibly chic friends?  You know the one I’m talking about.  Every time you see her, she looks incredibly well put together, but amazingly with almost no effort at all?  She just exudes that Parisian chic that we all drool over – she radiates effortless elegance.  She’s the girl that you’d love to hate if she weren’t so sweet.  Well, I have a few of those friends and one of them is Alexandra Knight.  We were introduced by a mutual friend (who, incidentally, is also darling and also someone you need to know!) and hit it off right away.  We had an immediate connection as female entrepreneurs and not only because I was, of course, drooling over her luxury handbags. They. Are. Exquisite! (more…)

Inn at Spanish Bay

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For Father’s Day, we drove down to Pebble Beach with my brother and sister-in-law who were in town visiting us before heading down to Carmel for a little vacation.  Pebble Beach was my father’s favorite spot, so it was really special to spend Father’s Day there with my brother and with my precious husband who is an amazing father to our two boys.  I am blessed, indeed.

We’ve been to Carmel a number of times, but had yet to hear the famous bagpiper at the Inn at Spanish Bay.  We finally made it there on this trip.  It was absolutely surreal and I highly recommend it if you’re in the area.  The bagpiper starts playing around 5.30pm on the 1st hole on the golf course to put the golf course to sleep, in Scottish tradition.  Then, he slowly walks towards the lodge, ending up there around 6pm and playing for around 30 minutes with a set that includes Amazing Grace. (more…)

Because Justice Matters

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Today, I’d like to introduce you to my friend Ruthie.  I’ll start by telling you how I met Ruthie about three years ago.  (*Disclaimer:  This is a rather long post, but it’s an important topic, so I wanted to do it justice – no pun intended.)

I guess, technically, I met Ruthie before this encounter, since we attended the same then small (now rather large, by SF standards) church, Reality SF.  I know that we had talked, since we both had young children (mine was a newborn, hers was a year older) but we hadn’t really connected on that deeper level yet.  One night, we were out to celebrate a mutual friend’s birthday at Cafe Divine in North Beach.  Ruthie and I were seated next to one another and I casually asked her what she did (work-wise.)  I was in no way prepared for the answer that I got that night. (more…)

Living in a Vacation Spot

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This is not an uncommon occurrence in my life right now…

This morning, I was driving downtown for a hair appointment.  Sidenote:  I absolutely LOVE hair day, don’t you?  It’s one of my very favorite days.  Someone washes your hair while giving you a scalp massage. (Melt!)  Then, they style it and as you leave, you just feel far more put together than you did when you went in.  As a mom of little ones, I appreciate this ritual even more than I did before I had kids, because it is a precious few hours where I get to fully focus on myself and I come out looking halfway decent.  In the midst of a life usually spent with hair in a ponytail (that may or may not have dried avocado/oatmeal/spit up in it) this is a serious treat.  Okay, now back to my point… (more…)

Failla Winery

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This weekend, we drove up from the city to the Wine Country with some dear friends. Their son Riley is the same age as our oldest and the boys are good friends, which means they are thrilled to play together while we adults taste wine. The kids get sunshine, fresh air and space to run around and we get to taste yummy vino – everyone wins!

Today, we started off our morning at Failla. Hubs and I hadn’t yet heard of this winery, but we are so thankful that our friends clued us in. It is fantastic! The tastings are (more…)

Friends You Need to Know

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At the first parent-teacher conference of the year, my second grade teacher, Mrs. Hopkins, sat my mother down.  She looked thoughtfully at the papers on her desk and then looked my mother straight in the eye (she was an straight-shooter, this one) and very slowly said, “Andrea is an extremely social child.”  My mother looked right back at her, smiled and said, “Tell me something I don’t know.”  So, apparently, I’ve been this way for as long as anyone can remember.

I always kind of thought it was a family joke, since all kids are pretty friendly, but now that I have my own children and my first seems to have a personality that is eerily similar to mine, I have a new understanding of what they were saying.   (more…)

Happy Memorial Day!

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We want to wish you a very happy Memorial Day weekend.  I am enjoying some family and friends time in the sun and doing my best to relax and live in this gift of a moment.  I hope that you are able to do the same.  Wanted to share a few images from our fun weekend below!

Far more importantly, I’d like to take this opportunity to give a HUGE shout of thanks for those men and women who have fought for our freedom and provide for the security and liberty that we enjoy each and every day.  Many have paid the ultimate price for us to enjoy those luxuries and we are forever grateful for their sacrifice.  As the daughter of a Navy man and the proud aunt of a soldier who served three tours in Iraq, the cost of their service is not lost on me.  I am all too aware of the intense commitment they have made and am all the more grateful for their gift because of it. (more…)

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…)