Monday, December 31, 2012

Happy New Year from Caron's Beach House

Happy New Year!

We had a lot of adventures this past year, and am a little sorry to see 2012 go.  Looking forward to more adventures at the beach this year - and a brand new website (stay tuned!).  Wishing all of you a very Happy New Year - make sure to take a little time to relax and enjoy a walk at the beach.

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Nautical Inspired Christmas Wrapping!

This gold-glitter and nautical chart idea all started when I spotted this image at Coastal Living magazine last year.  I thought it might be fun to wrap our packages in charts from our local Bay Area.

Tom thought I was nuts.  The sales people at West Marine thought I was nuts; especially while searching through the charts one Sunday morning, I mentioned that I was looking for just the right nautical chart to cut up and use for Christmas wrapping.  I think they thought it was almost sacrilegious to deface a chart!    (P.S.  I did try to find one at Goodwill or the Salvation Army before opting for a brand-new one, but had NO luck in my search)

Step One:  Pretty Gold Glitter Wrapping Paper

Step Two:  Nautical Charts
Be careful, measure and position your packages to get the best effect

Step Three: Add the Ribbon and the Ornaments
Since I have so many sparkle shells (sort of embarrassing at how many I have!), I opted to use these pretties instead of a plain ornament.

And the finished packages! 

Ta Da!

Friday, December 14, 2012

No Words

I had a million projects to finish and start today for the holidays, but then the incident in Connecticut popped up on my television screen this morning.   Those projects just flew right out the window, and somehow things can just wait today...

My friend Wanda Horton said it best in the words from singer-songwriter Sarah McLachlan;

“You're in the arms of the Angels; may you find some comfort here.”

There are simply no words to express this heartbreak.

Friday, December 7, 2012

Red Coral Christmas Table

Creating a festive Christmas table does not always involve using "traditional" holiday elements - especially when you want to add a touch of coastal living to your style.

  How about using "classic" holidays color tones; red, green, silver and sparkles,  just mix it up by using those same colors in seashell and beach themes.  

Voila'!  You have now created a whole new look using elements that you may already have; glitter shell ornaments, seashells, silvered seashells and beach etched glassware, and coastal themed table linens.  I use these pretty red coral ones for summer and for Christmas!  My centerpiece was simply put together with coral candles that I have had for several years, my ever-expanding shell and sea glass collection, and a few small silvered ornaments.

I think it all turned out rather festive!  Have a wonderful weekend, we are headed down the coast tomorrow to explore the holiday decorations and 
maybe have a romantic lunch in 
Carmel By The Sea. Hoping that we are able to capture some good images to share!

P.S.  Here are a few of the beach table scape items that I used!

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

A Beautiful Simple Coastal Holiday Table

via  My Home Ideas
This is such a great look!  How to create?

  • white finger starfish - I would even hang them mixed at different lengths with the silver ornaments from the chandelier.
  • silver ornaments (Check Ikea or Target for pretty inexpensive choices!)
  • Red Velvet ribbon
  • Fresh greens - probably from your backyard
  • White plates layered
  • pretty glassware - again, does NOT have to be expensive!  World Market and Ikea are great choices to find some wonderful simple, classic pieces.  My favorite Pinot Noir glasses came from World Market - $4.99/each
  • White table linens, with simple silver ties.  Silvered wire ribbon would work too, no need to buy special napkin rings.  (I always have tons of pretty ribbon left over from wrapping Christmas gifts) 
  • Look in other areas of your home for simple, but interesting decor pieces that you would not normally consider for your table.  For example - the driftwood grey birds and the candlesticks used on this table were probably in the living room.  Love the cute ribbon that the birds are sporting! 
  • Invite your friends and family over for a party!
See what I mean?  An easy idea that you can probably create for a Beachy Christmas table with many items you probably already have in your cabinets - just need to look around and get your "creativity" on! 

Have a great Wednesday!

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Oyster Holiday Stuffing Inspired at Hog Island Oyster Farm

As promised - the Oyster Stuffing experiment. Of course, I changed a few things, but kept the essentials the same. Adapted from Hog Island's Recipes.

  • 1/2 lb. Italian or French Bread cut into cubes (6 cups)
  • 1/2 lb. Corn Bread cut into cubes (6 cups)
  • 1/2 lb. sliced bacon cut into 1/2 inch pieces - make sure to use good thick sliced bacon!
  • 2-3 tablespoons of olive oil
  • 2 medium yellow onions
  • 1 1/2 cups chopped celery
  • 3 T. chopped fresh thyme or 1 T. dried thyme, crumbled 
  • 1 T. finely chopped sage or 2 tsp. dried sage, crumbled
  • 1 T. minced fresh garlic
  • 1/2 tsp. salt (sea salt would be best)
  • 1/4 tsp. fresh ground black pepper
  • 2/3 cup finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 1/2 (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted
  • 18 oysters, shucked, drained and chopped (should equal 3/4 -1 cup)
  • 2 1/4 cups turkey giblet stock or low sodium chicken broth 
1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.

2. Toast bread cubes in 2 shallow baking pans until golden brown. Cool bread in pans then transfer to large mixing bowl.

3. While bread cubes are toasting, cook bacon in heavy skillet over moderate heat, stirring occasionally until crisp.  About 10 minutes.  Transfer to paper towels to drain, keep fat in skillet.

4. If bacon renders less than 1/4 cup fat, add enough olive oil to skillet to total 1/4 cup fat.  Add onions, celery, thyme, sage, garlic, salt and pepper to fat in skillet over moderate heat stirring until softened; 8-10 minutes should do it.  Mix into bowl with bread cubes, then stir in bacon, parsley, melted butter and oysters.  Drizzle with stock then season with more salt and pepper if desired.  Toss well to combine everything.

5. Transfer to a buttered 3-4 quart shallow baking dish.  Bake uncovered in middle of oven for 30 minutes.  Then uncover and bake for about 30 minutes more until browned.

Tom loved this stuffing!   For just the two of us, I was able to cut the recipe in half very easily.  And yes, I did eat a whole serving...

P.S. The Fish Flatware is available - I am always looking for ways to use my set!

Monday, December 3, 2012

Caron's Beach House and Monday Hiccups

Just a quick note to let everyone know that our server is currently experiencing some technical difficulties!  If you are trying to shop or check the status of your orders, please e-mail us at and we will assist you.

We are so sorry - the technicians are on the quest to have it fixed as soon as possible!

Friday, November 30, 2012

Oyster Gathering at Hog Island

Remember the oyster shell wreath that I showed you last week?  I took the pictures on our "school skip" day adventure to Hog Island Oyster Farm on Tomales Bay... Here's the rest of the story! (part of it anyway)

So, as you probably have read on the blog before, I am not an oyster fan.  But, I do like my boyfriend very much,  and he is an oyster connoisseur, so I will do whatever I can to totally support his gourmet habit. (As habits go, it's pretty harmless!)

It all started when I spotted a recipe for Thanksgiving oyster dressing on Facebook, posted by Hog Island.  It looked pretty good, and there was even a slight possibility that I might eat it. So off we went to Marin County on the Wednesday before Thanksgiving to find some oysters!  Don't have to ask me twice to go for a drive on Hwy 1 around Tomales Bay.  Big bonus - it was an absolutely stunning fall day on our California Coast!

(Have I told you lately how much I LOVE my new Mini Cooper with its' sunroof???)

Oysters to go!

Look at this - a line of people that had the same idea as us!

Oh mi - so many to choose from! Which ones are coming home?  Dang it - no more Kumamotos!

Big decisions like these call for a glass of local Marin County Pinot Gris from the Hog Island Boat Bar! And maybe a few fresh oysters to sample in their picnic area before choosing which ones are coming home with Tom...

Seriously, how can you beat a day in November like this?

I just love these rustic-rusty oyster baskets!  

Now for the oysters!

Can you see the BIG smile on Tom's face?  Happy Happy Camper!

Hmm.... skipping school the day before Thanksgiving might have become a new tradition.  I will post the recipe in the next few days - we did make it, and I did have a few bites.  Have a great weekend!

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Coastal Winter White Holidays

I think this is such a beautiful picturesque idea for a magical coastal Christmas holiday.  Of course, I  have only experienced snow at Christmas only a few times in my life.  After having lived most of my life in the Pacific Northwest, and now in San Francisco, Christmas time usually means rain and fog!

Love the idea though...

(Image source:

If you are lucky enough to live on the coast where's there's snow for the holidays, I have serious White Christmas envy!

Relax and Live at the Beach Every Day of the Year!

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