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San Francisco Bound!

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Today, we are packed up and headed to San Francisco (where I definitely left my heart in September!)  We haven’t been back since we moved to Texas and we are SO excited to see dear friends there – and to visit some of our favorite haunts (read:  eat really good food and drink delicious lattes!)  I have two jewelry shows in two different cities on back-to-back days there, so I’m sure to be a busy gal, but I promise to blog about our trip as I’m able, so you’ll know all about some of our favorite hotspots for your next visit to Fog City.  One of the shows is a private home trunk show on Friday morning – if you’re interested in that, email us here.  The second is the Junior League of Palo Alto Home Tour show on Saturday.  For more information about that, click here.

See you soon, SF friends!

 

Girl Boy Girl

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Carmel-by-the-Sea has got to be one of my favorite towns in the world.  It is stunningly gorgeous.  The rocky coastline, the turquoise ocean lapping upon white sandy shores and the wind-shaped cypress trees all come together to form an intoxicating cocktail of beauty that I find incredibly relaxing.  And the town itself is quaint and adorable, but also filled with delicious little finds.  There are lovely antique shops, gorgeous home decor stores, galleries filled with amazing art and, of course, fabulous eats.  What there aren’t a lot of is clothing boutiques.  I’m pretty sure that’s because Sweet Pea has that market cornered.

Sweet Pea is that shop owner who makes you want to be friends with her.  She’s darling and friendly and has the most incredible memory.  A few years ago, when I was pregnant with my first, I walked into her store for the first time.  She complimented me on the jewelry I was wearing and I casually mentioned that I made it.  Five minutes later, I had the contents of my personal jewelry collection out of my travel jewelry pouch sprawled all across her counter and we were gabbing like old friends.  She was like a kid in a candy store picking things out and asking questions and I left her store after the whirlwind (and accidental!) jewelry showing with a large order to fill.  She has remembered me (and far more impressively, my kids!) ever since.  She always recognizes me immediately and makes me feel like I’ve walked into a friend’s home each time I walk into her beautifully curated boutique.  I’ve overheard her telling a customer that she remembers the pair of black pants they purchased there years ago and has a fantastic top to put with it.  I mean, come on!  Service like that is rare and I think that, along with her impeccable eye for fashion, is what makes Sweet Pea the fashion maven of Carmel.

GBG, which stands for Girl Boy Girl, is her signature store which is located on the corner of Mission and 7th.  Paloosh is the slightly younger sister store of GBG and is located at Ocean and Dolores.  Both carry gorgeous, unique clothes and are definitely worth stopping by.  You’re pretty much guaranteed not to be wearing the same thing as everyone else you know.  This isn’t the place to come looking for a “steal” on sale, but it IS the place to come find an investment piece that looks amazing on you and will last for many years to come, all with the help of their knowledgable sales staff.

GBG now has some pieces from our latest Fall collection as well, so if you’re in the area, be sure to pop in and take a look.  We’re in the front jewelry counter, right in the center!  When you’re in there, be sure and ask for Sweet Pea and don’t forget to say hello to her adorable pugs, Murray and Penelope.  Photos below to show you just how cute this spot is!

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 gorgeous fur vest in the front window

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beautiful jewelry cases

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more sparklies

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new necklaces from the Fall AMD collection!

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cozy sweaters

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another look at the Andrea Montgomery Designs in their lovely case!

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precious Murray – woof!

Carmel Valley Ranch: Part 2

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On our first morning during our visit to Carmel Valley Ranch we relaxed in our luxurious room (complete with a fireplace!) and enjoyed the enormous balcony overlooking the mountains and vineyards.  The hubs and I relaxed on the comfy chairs and watched the littles blow bubbles to their hearts’ content. It was such a nice, relaxing morning.

The food at Carmel Valley Ranch is outstanding.  We had breakfast, lunch and dinner at the resort over the course of our stay and all were delish.  And the restaurant is so kid friendly.  It was really nice to have a nice meal, but also have our littles be more than welcome there.  In fact, at one point, our oldest boy (who is just under three) started to get a bit fidgety and the next thing I knew, the hostess was bringing him a cool little magnet game to play with to entertain him.  I was amazed!  It was so kind of her and the Bean was thrilled.  The resort also has cozy fire pits throughout, which are perfect for the chilly California evenings.  And each evening, they bring out all the fixings for S’mores.  What a fun treat!  The littles LOVED that (and so did we!)

 

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The view from our balcony

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 The views here are stunning

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 Blowing bubbles

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 More bubble fun

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The Bean in his PJs with all of his bubble accoutrement

 

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 Views from the restaurant

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 Fireplace in the dining area

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 Everywhere you look is beautiful

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 The cool decor

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 Vines abound

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 Adult-only pool area


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 Veggies for the kiddos

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Delish appetizers

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 The Bean and his s’mores


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Fire pits by the adult pool

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Cabanas

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 Lovely lobby

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 The wine cellar

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 Such a cool design, right?

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Carmel Valley Ranch


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This weekend, during our Summer of Fun, we took a mini-vacation to Carmel Valley Ranch.  What an incredible place!  Seriously.  This place is absolutely amazing.  Set in the Santa Lucia mountains.  The resorts boasts amazing golf, gorgeous hiking trails, a vineyard, tennis, two beautiful pools, a splash pad for the littles, a bocce ball court, yoga and many activity options.  And that is to say nothing of the incredibly luxurious accomodations.  They are simply divine!  Nestled in the mountains, you absolutely cannot find a bad view in this place.  Lavender and vineyards abound, making this a wonderful place to relax…and play.  And did I mention the food?  Yum.

The pools are fantastic.  We loved that they have an adults-only pool and a kid-friendly one as well.  Its so nice being able to take the littles swimming without worrying that they are bugging someone who is there to relax.  The kids pool area has lunch and snacks and an eating area with plenty of high chairs (seriously, this place is so kid-friendly!)  There’s a hot tub, a splash pool with fountains that the kids can run in and a bocce ball court.  So fun!

 

 

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Beautiful lavender fields abound

 

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 The cozy fire pits

 

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 Fun swings encourage child-like relaxing

 

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The beautiful lobby

 

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The restaurant

 

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Deer are all around the property

 

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 Precious little guy!

 

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Towels at the kids’ pool

 

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Gorgeous mountain views

 

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 Loads of places to relax

 

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 Hot tub by the kids’ pool

 

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Bean enjoying the splash pad

 

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 Wild turkeys roam the ranch

 

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 Struttin’ around the ranch

 

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.  It was absolutely lovely!  We sat outside around the fire pits and had cocktails waiting for him to come and the kids had fun running around in the grass and were mesmerized later (for a few minutes, at least!) when he played.

After cocktail hour, we headed in to have dinner at Roy’s there at the inn for some Hawaiian-fusion cuisine.  It was absolutely delicious and the views were outstanding!  Another place I would highly recommend if you’re in the Carmel area.  It made for a magical evening and a fantastic way to celebrate Father’s Day!

 

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the famous Lone Cypress on our drive down 17-mile drive

 

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sitting areas overlooking the ocean at the Inn at Spanish Bay

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tables overlooking the golf course


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cozy fire pits – the perfect spot for a cocktail!


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fountain in the gardens

 

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 the famous bagpiper

 

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magical!


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view out the windows at Roy’s


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the really yummy local pinot noir we had!


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empty wine glass (told you it was yummy!)


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sunset over the water

Austin Fashion Week 2013

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Let’s face it, every time we hear about New York Fashion Week and Paris Fashion Week and see photos of all of the glitz and glamour of the runway, we get the teensiest bit jealous, right?  I mean, it does look fun to sit front row on the runway and watch such amazing artistry in fabric and design breeze by on the catwalk.  And the parties – they look like so much fun!  Back when I lived in Manhattan, I loved walking by Bryant Park during Fashion Week.  You could just feel the energy and the glimpses of gorgeous ensembles weren’t bad either!

New York, Paris and Milan aren’t the only cities serious about fashion, though.  Add Austin to that ever-growing list of towns that really value the art of the craft – and fashion is no exception.  This is the fifth year that Austin will hold an enviable Fashion Week and if you’ve never been, you really do owe it a second look.  You may remember that I participated in Austin Fashion Week as a featured designer back in 2011 and it was an absolute BLAST!  The city was buzzing with designers and lights and it was one fun party.  Being interviewed on Austin’s KEYE news was really fun, too!

Last year, I wasn’t able to participate as I was literally having a baby on the night of the main event (and yes, he is more than worth missing out for!)  This year’s lineup looks incredible and the show is boasting a new Spring date.  This year, Fashion Week takes place May 3rd to 11th.  Click for a list of the featured designers that will be showcased this year.  On the AFW website, you can see a list of all of the events, buy tickets, find more info about the featured designers and learn about the history of AFW and its founder (and my friend,) Matt Swinney.  Matt has done an incredible job of putting Austin on the global fashion map.

Austin is receiving more and more public attention these days and Austin Fashion Week is a fantastic example of why.  Texas has its own way of doing things and in this case, its a huge success!  Which event at Austin Fashion Week are YOU most excited about?

 

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Brooks Brothers

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Walking on Rodeo Drive today, we were drawn into Brooks Brothers by their lovely window displays featuring the new The Great Gatsby movie.  I’m so excited to see it and was not disappointed by the lovely 20’s era vignettes around the store.  What a gorgeous display!  I was so drawn in by the details on everything – including the chandelier that featured shades monogrammed with “JG” on them.  What amazing attention to detail!  I was inspired by the flapper dresses and dapper men’s designs.  I’ve always been inspired by the art deco style and the 1920’s in general.  The jewelry from that time period was nothing short of outstanding.  It was a time when hand-crafted jewelry was the norm and great style was something to which one aspired.  I had a zillion ideas for designs the moment I walked into this store.  I absolutely love it when that happens!

Eye candy below.  What’s your favorite feature?

 

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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!

A few photos from our walk are below.  It must be noted that when we walked past the Lanvin window display below, our two-year old said, “Look, mommy!  A penguin!!”  Too cute.)  What’s your favorite shop on Rodeo Drive?

 

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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.  For a moment, I thought I had been transported to Paris, except the size of the place is clearly American.  The entire place is so airy and gorgeous and the place is filled with the most beautiful light.  It lifted my spirits greatly just walking into this stunning space, and that was even before the incredible food came out.  The staff was super nice and was really accommodating since we had two little ones with us.  They brought out two high chairs for us and parked our stroller in their offices to get it out of our way.

The menu looked amazing.  It was one of those where you literally want to try every single thing on it, making it difficult to decide.  In the end, we went with yummy ricotta pancakes (which the kids loved!), the lobster hash with poached eggs on top (amazing!) and Greek yogurt with fresh fruit.  Every single bite was delightful!  And the lattes and champagne cocktail were amazing as well.  What a treat!

If you’re near L.A. and are looking for a brunch spot, I highly recommend that you try Bottega Louie.  I cannot wait to go back!  What are your favorite eats in Los Angeles?  Let me know in the comments below.  Meanwhile, here are a few photos from our visit to whet your appetite…

 

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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!

 

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