I love reading blogs. They’re such a fun way to connect with other people and learn about new things. They can be educational, hilarious or just plain fun. And often, they’re just so lovely, too! Pure inspiration.
It used to be that to keep up with blogs, you had to either bookmark them and remember to check the bookmarks to keep up to date. It’s safe to say that doesn’t work for me – I have a hard time remembering far more critical things on my to do list. Another option was signing up for email updates every time a blog you like is updated. (more…)
For four years now, every time we drive to the wine country, as we are cruising down 12 on our way to Sonoma or Napa, I point out the grand chateau that sits prominently on the side of the road. I always marvel at the architecture of it and tell hubs that we need to stop there “sometime soon.” He always agrees. Yet, we’re usually headed somewhere specific and by the time we are driving back by it on the way home, either we are tired or the kids are asleep in the car. . . or both.
Recently, however, we made a point to stop in and we are SO glad that we did. What a neat spot! The chateau is the home of Domaine Carneros Winery, which is owned by the Taittinger family. It’s not the small, offbeat vineyard that we usually love visiting or a quaint family-run one that feels like you’ve been to a friend’s home, but it is still a really great visit, nonetheless. (more…)
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…)
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…)
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…)
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…)
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…)
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…)
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…)
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…)