Monday, September 30, 2013

Introducing In2Green! Luxury Eco Throws for the Coast

A Favorite Eco Luxury Home
Furnishings Manufacturer - 
Perfect for the Beach!
      
Meet the team of talented 
designers and creators behind
In2Green!  We sent Lori and Stef 
a list of questions to show how
In2Green was created and 
why we at Caron's Beach House 
love their coastal home products. 
Not only are their throws beautiful,
soft, cozy and uniquely coastal 
designed, but they also follow
our mantra of trying to find home 
decor items created with a slant 
towards sustainability made in America.

1.  How were you inspired to create your company, In2green?  
We were inspired to create beautiful products that were modern in design, sustainable and made in the US.

      2.  How did you start In2green?  
       I (Lori Slater) had a striving design business and then partnered with my friend, Stefanie Zeldin Sigal who has a background in sustainability. We realized that there was a gap in the market for sustainable home furnishings, so a new idea was born!

Our thread literally begins with a single thread - two friends with textile, design, and retail background wanting to make something beautiful and high quality out of recycled materials.
             
Today, In2green continues to prove that up-cycling is indeed possible in the USA. True to our roots, In2green is made up of a talented team of extremely dedicated women who bring the best ideas to the studio every day. 

The craftsmanship of our products is in great part due to the dedication of several remarkable graphic artists, hustling sales reps, and USA based family-run textile mills.  We could not have come this far with out them!

     3.  Why “eco-green”?
Why not? Why would any manufacturer today not try their absolute best to bring products to the market place that are sustainable in material and in the production process.

The Future of Up-Cycling: in2green is charting a new course for modern home and knit accessories. Thanks to a team of local creative designers, in2green has become a brand leader, creating modern sustainable products and luxury textiles. Highly committed in both style and mission, in2green products minimize environmental impact, promote green jobs and spur "American-made" manufacturing opportunities.
4.  What do you feel is your biggest influence on 
your own design ideas?  
I want to sell products that are modern and products 
that I would want to have in my own home.

5.   Do you have a design or artist's mentor, someone that has inspired you to push your boundaries?  If you do, who is/was it and why?  
We work with several local designers to collaborate 
on our designs.

6.   What do you think is your true "uniqueness" with your products?  What sets you apart from other home decor companies?  
All of our products are manufactured with a blend of recycled cotton yarns and knit in the USA. Our designs are unique and modern.

7.  What is "recycled" cotton?
      Commonly referred to as "post industrial" or "pre-consumer" material, cotton fabrics for example can be salvaged from weaving operations, t-shirt and underwear factories, or even from excess unsold items. These are new materials (already dyed and washed), in perfect form to be re-fiberized or mechanically shredded and recycled back into new fibers and yarns.

Imagine you are the fabric surrounding a 100% blue cotton t-shirt.  Ideally, you will not be  carted to a dumpster, but instead carefully scooped up and sorted by color - eventually spun back into a usable blue yarn. The great advantage is that no new cotton had to be processed, irrigated or even dyed - an enormous saving to the planet. 

      8.   Does your company participate in any fun green activities in your community?  We have participated in the green festival in NYC & DC.

   9.  Describe your perfect day at the beach…. (surfing, beachcombing, reading, etc.)  My perfect day at the beach is sitting under an umbrella at 3:00, with a slight wind blowing and a great novel in hand.  My family beside me.

     (Check out Jill, their marketing director at the beach with one of their beautiful throws!)

     10. What would you like to try next? 
  Yoga









From the In2Green Blog:


If you live near a lake or the ocean, chances are that you have often seen trails of garbage, left by humans, enjoying the beach.  Imagine a world where all waste could be turned into beautiful textiles that would enhance your home. 

In2green eco knit throws capture this spirit. Crafted from a blend of recycled cotton, these throws are made from the cutting scraps of t-shirts that have been refiberized and up-cycled into new luxury yarns. Designed with modern, playful seaside graphics, these throws and pillows will not only spruce up your d├ęcor, but will also keep you cozy and warm on those chilly nights at your lake or summer home.

We totally agree!






All of these throws can be found online at Caron's Beach House.

Friday, September 27, 2013

Magic on Monterey Bay with Humpback Whales

The Velocity from Stagnaros
Last Sunday, we packed up a picnic lunch and headed to Santa Cruz for a whale watching trip aboard the Velocity, run by Stagnaro Charters. Honestly, I was so excited, I am sure that I was driving Tom crazy. Didn't seem like we drive to Santa Cruz fast enough to get on board the boat!   I was nervous that we wouldn't even get to leave the dock as everything on Hwy 1 and in Santa Cruz was totally socked in with thick late summer fog.


Then before we knew it,  we were on board and off in the open waters of the Pacific Ocean.


Quick stop at the Santa Cruz one mile marker to visit with a few sea lions - even a rare stellar seal!  They were so funny to watch. All around the marker were other seals and sea lions trying to get up on the buoy, but the biggest ones were growling and scaring the other ones off.

Then, our captain and crew spotted them.  Oh my, I get goosebumps just reliving those few hours with these majestic animals! 



Monterey-Santa Cruz Bay is rumored to have over 100 humpback whales visiting right now.  Literally, our boat was surrounded by them! Some were so close, we could smell their bad "fishy" breath as they breached and blew out their blowholes and then swam within feet of the boat; flipped their barnacle-adorned tails and dove underneath.   I would suspect showing off just a little...




The humpbacks were gorging themselves on an abundance of anchovies, and then the seals and pelicans would jump and dive all over the leftovers!  I don't think that I ever seen that many seals and sea lions in one place - jumping, frolicking and "barking" with joy.  (not sure if you see them in this image - but I hope so!)

I want to go back this weekend...


Hope you enjoyed a few of the pics, unfortunately my "regular" Canon camera memory card went on the fritz and I lost all of the images on my "real" camera so these are from my iphone.  Not the greatest, but wanted to have something to chronicle our trip.  

If you ever get a chance to go whale watching, GO!  
A few things to note:

1. The boat is rockin' and rollin' on the open ocean - so make sure wear the right kind of shoes to be able to stand steady and not slide on the deck.
2. Bring an extra sweater, sweatshirt or jacket.  Even if there is sun on shore, there is wind, and mist on the ocean,
3. Picnic lunch is difficult to eat on board when you are being tossed in the waves - might consider eating before or after!  Stagnaro's does have a small galley on board to buy lunch, but still difficult to eat without making a mess.
4. Bring extra batteries and memory card for camera.  Kicking myself for this failure...

Have a great weekend!








Tuesday, September 24, 2013

New Jersey Shore Beach Cottage Love

Susan Fairgrieve, my lovely artistic friend in Atlantic Heights, New Jersey sent me these gorgeous photos of her newly redone living room - complete with our Sea Star Blue Area Rug.   I think her beach cottage room turned out fabulous, and I am so excited that we could be part of it!


With coastal Monmouth County being her home, Susan spends her leisure time on or near the water. She embraces her love for the ocean and the beauty of nature in her surrounding environment.  I love how she's captured that passion with sea-washed home accessories in carefully curated in aqua, white, and sand tones.  Wicker,  a stack of favorite books and natural sea shell accessories always speak "beach" to me too.  

Check out her driftwood tree on the mantel - pretty darn cool! You can find one for your beach cottage on her new etsy site: The Coastal Collection



"Loving our new starfish area rug from Caron's Beach House! Thank you Caron, it works perfectly with our coastal decor!"  - Susan Fairgrieve

For more about Susan and her stunning photography - make sure to visit her Etsy Site, the Coastal Collection,  or her full website, TheCoastalCollections.com.







Friday, September 20, 2013

Point Arena Light Station

It was destined. We read all about the Point Arena Lighthouse in Sunset Magazine, Coastal Living Magazine, and even in our AAA travel guide this summer; where to stay, what to do, how to get there.  How could I not resist trying to get a room at the lighthouse?

So I called on Monday. There was only one cottage left; the Keeper's Cottage - made for 2 people! Could not believe my luck for Labor Day weekend! Without hesitation, I gave the lighthouse association my credit card on the phone. Then started making a list; got out the maps, our folding chairs, and our suitcases.

We left early on Saturday morning and headed north on Hwy 101 to Santa Rosa, exiting at the River Road, and following the Russian River all the way through to the coast at Jenner on Hwy 1. From Jenner, we began our long and winding road to Point Arena.



Stop for coffee and brownie outside of Sea Ranch
Wow - I think I must have hurt my neck by turning and looking out the window while hanging on around the steep curves.  The natural beauty of the Pacific Ocean and the California coastline absolutely took my breath away around every bend.  Almost blinding in its' glory.

The fog drifted in, then drifted out again all along our route. By the time we arrived at the lighthouse in the late afternoon we were pretty socked in.  Not cold - just super foggy.



Very romantic!  We checked in, unloaded the mini and Tom started up the wood stove. (boys + fire - you know the drill....)


 A few things to note about our cottage:

1. HUGE kitchen loaded with everything that you need to stay for a few days (minus the food) including wine glasses + even a small bottle of wine and locally made sea shell shaped chocolates.

2. There are a few local restaurants for dinner, breakfast etc., in Point Arena. We opted for cooking at the cottage - kind of fun, almost like camping!  I did pack a few items as grocery stores are a little hard to come by, especially when it gets later in the evening. There is a fairly large general store/hardware/grocery store about 4 miles away in Manchester - we picked up the rest of what we needed there.

3. There is not maid service during the duration of your stay.  That was fine with us, actually made it more private and romantic.

4.  Because the cottages sit in the middle of the Point, there are views out both sides - pretty darn awesome!   Just steps away from the cliffs on either side.  We spent a lot of time in our lawn chairs in the back of the cottage overlooking the views, enjoying books, sunshine and local wine that we picked up in Mendocino.

5.  The cottages come equipped with books, board games and travel guides. There is a TV - but we didn't watch anything, way too cool to simply listen to music and look out the windows.

6.  Perfectly cozy and inviting!

Have to share a few images from our sunset walk... 

(excuse my mini-love, can't help it!)



It's so funny, but when you actually get away from white-busy noise of the city (or suburbia!) the sound of only the ocean, seabirds, and the occasional bark of a sea lion,  brings everything back into focus for me.  Let's not even get started on the "light pollution"!

Point Arena is the farthest Western Point on the California Coast - it's sort of an unreal feeling to be out there.  The first night we were there, Tom woke me up at 1:00 AM.  At first I was a little grouchy - but then we went outside... oh mi.  We spent about 30 minutes in our pj's, sitting in damp chairs just watching the stars; the big dipper, the North Star, Orion, the Milky Way - I can't even begin to describe the overwhelming beauty and how those stars, plus the gentle ocean noise simply grabbed my soul.  The only other light in the night, was the constant beacon of the lighthouse. Incredible.

We actually set our alarm to do the very same thing the next night!


Point Arena is one of the few lighthouses on the West Coast where you can actually walk all the way to the top.  (Yaquina Head in Oregon is another) It is also the tallest at 115 feet.  You don't have to stay at the cottages to take the guided tour to the top, it will just cost you $7.50. Getting the tour is part of the package price when you stay at the Point Arena Lighthouse cottages.

We made sure to go to the top - lots of winding stairs like a big spring! (Tom thinks he is so funny...he is cute!)

And then when you get to the top this is what you see... 22 miles out to the horizon.  




We'll be back.  Wish we could go again next weekend...







P.S. If you'd like to go  - check out the Point Arena Lighthouse website!



















Thursday, September 19, 2013

Smoked Salmon and Lemon Pepper Pappardelle Pasta with Pesto

Allison, my lovely redheaded daughter, and I were doing a little shopping last week in Seattle at the
large downtown Goodwill on Denny Way.  We were cracking each other up singing Mackelmore and Ryan Lewis' song "Thrift Shop", while scooping up some treasures...

I admit it; I have a "dish" addiction. Spotted these, and just had to have them. Fun little pasta dishes with seafood motif - perfect for a recipe that I have been saving for an easy weeknight dinner.

Truly, I am all about making recipes that are really good, but adding a few short cuts - like prepared pesto. My kitchen is too tiny to include a food processor to make homemade pesto, consequently I do rely on Trader Joe's little jar of deliciousness to make some fabulous dinners.

This smoked salmon pasta was a winner!

Ingredients:

  • 8 oz. lemon-pepper pappardelle pasta (Trader Joe's - but could also use plain pappardelle pasta)
  • 1 cup frozen petite peas
  • 8-10 oz. smoked salmon - flaked into small pieces
  • 3/4 cup heavy cream
  • 3 oz. whipped cream cheese
  • 1/2 cup prepared pesto 
  • 2 tsp. lemon zest
  • 1 T. fresh squeezed lemon juice
  • salt and pepper
Preparation:
1. Cook pasta in boiling salted water according to package directions.  During the last minute of cooking, add peas; drain.

2. Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat, add cream. Simmer 3 minutes or until cream is slightly thickened.  Reduce heat to medium-low and add cream cheese and pesto, whisking until smooth.  Stir in pasta and peas; cook 1 minute tossing all together until the pasta is completely coated with the pesto sauce.  Remove from heat, gently stir in salmon, lemon zest, lemon juice.  Add salt and pepper to taste.  

3. Dish into pasta bowls - finish with a pinch of sea salt for extra yumminess!  Serve with a fresh salad and a great glass of wine to have an easy weeknight celebration. 


The lemon pepper pasta just gives this an extra special lemony taste - perfect compliment to salmon.  Enjoy!


In case you are wondering about the Fish Flatware - Here's click here for more info.




*Recipe adapted from Coastal Living Magazine

P.S. The Thrift Shop Song! 












Thursday, September 12, 2013

The Sailing Life

In San Francisco for the past year, so many of the events in the city have all been "maritime" related; it has certainly been an exciting time for San Francisco to host the America's Cup races! Frankly, I know nothing about the sport, but we have sure enjoyed all of the build up to the final races this past week.  I think that there are still 3 to go before a winner is announced, but it looks like New Zealand might be in the lead over the U.S. Team...

**UPDATE - Team Oracle won, greatest comeback story in Sports!

Not sure exactly where I found this image, but thought it was incredibly romantic in its' portrayal of John and Jacquie Kennedy enjoying the sailing life - also watching the America's Cup races!  Can you see the charts near Jacquie? The harbor packed with sailboats and spectators? Not to mention her iconic, fabulous style!  You can almost smell the salt air, feel the excitement of the race and feel the sea breeze.

I am not usually one to be drawn to the images of "Camelot", but this one just grabbed me, and I had to share.

 

“All of us have in our veins the exact same percentage of salt in our blood that exists in the ocean, and, therefore, we have salt in our blood, in our sweat, in our tears. We are tied to the ocean. And when we go back to the sea - whether it is to sail or to watch it - we are going back from whence we came.” 
― John F. Kennedy





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