Life & Family

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…)

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…)