travel

Secrets from a Sommelier

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You know those friends that you bond intensely with over a major milestone in your life?  The ones that become fast, but also deep, friendships because you go through something together that absolutely bonds you for life?  For me, the friends that I met through our playgroup (organized by GGMG here in San Francisco) were just like that.  We bonded over having our first babies together and I think because most of us are raising them far away from family, that bond is intensified even more.  Amy is one of the moms from our playgroup and she and I were friends from day one.  Amy is the kind of friend that will literally bend over backward for you in your time of need.  She will stay up all night working on something for you, answer your phone calls at any time of night and generally has your back, no matter what you need.  She’s a fantastic mom, an organized person…oh, and a sommelier. (more…)

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. (more…)

The Summer of Fun

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My dear husband has been working his tail off for many, many, many years.  We’ve got a small break in between this and more hard work to come and so we are taking a little bit of a sabbatical between jobs.  Two whole months of family time.  I couldn’t BE more excited.  As we’ve been planning for this time (there’s so much to do and so much lost time to make up for!) we have lovingly dubbed it “The Summer of Fun.”  We may or may not even have a calendar of upcoming events for the Summer of Fun.  (Hey, if you don’t plan, there’s no way to get it all done!)  We’ve got a lot on our San Francisco “bucket list” and we’re going to do our best to knock out as many of them as we can. (more…)

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. (more…)

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. (more…)

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…)

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…)

Austin Fashion Week 2013

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! (more…)