Tuesday, November 29, 2011

The Trees Must be Cold in Seattle...

Just kidding!  Well, kinda kidding...

I flew up to Seattle last week to spend Thanksgiving with my kids, it was cold, and wet, and damp, and windy.... (can you hear me whining?)  In spite of the not-so-great weather, I had a wonderful  time hanging out with them.

Allison, my daughter,  is living quite the urban-girl life in downtown just upstairs from the Uwajimaya "Emporium" store, (Fabulous place to visit!)  in the International District.

We ate at fun new restaurants, went to the movies, walked all over downtown Seattle to window shop, and down to the waterfront.  After a day of exploring in the heart of downtown for black Friday and picking up some fun gifts for Tom at the Pike Place market, Allison and I took a short side trip through Occidental Park in Pioneer Square on our way home.

The trees and the light poles were wearing brightly knit striped sweaters!

(Allison is in the picture, tweeting out the sweater tree pics too!)

From the Seattle PI blog:  "The Alliance for Pioneer Square and Center City Parks have teamed up with artist Suzanne Tidwell to re-decorate the park and mall for the holidays."

Personally, I think this was just simply fabulous.  What a great way to end our day,  stumbling upon these bright shots of color on a gray, damp afternoon.

Love this shot of the historic Smith Tower, next to the Columbia Tower, just at the beginnings of twilight. 

 Maybe Seattle isn't so gray after all.....

For some more information and details about this art project, check the Pioneer Square.org website!  

Friday, November 25, 2011

Friday Beach House Photo - Christmas at the Coast #1

I am spending the day in Seattle with my daughter, and surprise, surprise the sun is actually shining!  There has been a steady downpour for most of the time that I have been here.  We are skipping the whole Black Friday thing, but are headed into downtown Seattle via the lightrail to do a little window shopping at some of my favorite haunts... Anthropoligie, Sur La Table, Watson Kennedy, Pike Place Market, Urban Outfitters.... will post the pics on my Facebook page if we see something that Allison thinks is Facebook worthy!

On my list: new oyster glove for Tom, maybe even a special salmon tool that he has been requesting, snarky t-shirts for Alex, Fran's salted caramels for me, (hey, maybe they're on sale!) ... cute things for Allison apartment.

Enjoyed spending the last few days with my kids, hanging out, stuffing ourselves silly with Thanksgiving, and watching a lot of bad movies. Needless to say it's been good to be a little off-the-grid. Mainly because I didn't bring my own computer. And then, just before the big "black Friday" the Caron's website crashed big-time yesterday.   All fixed now, but was a little panic yesterday.

Also because I am computer challenged this week, it's a little difficult to do my usual Beach House Friday posts.  So, am simply posting a couple of my photos that I have been collecting at Pinterest.

Have a great weekend, hope you are enjoying friends and family and are not getting trampled at the mall!

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Thanksgiving and Technical Difficulties

Posting a very quick note before I start on the turkey and stuffing.... I have many many things to be thankful for, including technology. Which most of the time works great, unfortunately this morning, it's not working great. Our website, Caronsbeachhouse.com is completely inaccessible to the world wide web. Should be fixed soon! Wishing all of our blog readers and blogging friends a wonderful holiday weekend! Think I see a break in the clouds here in Seattle, so maybe Allison and I will just go for a walk...

Friday, November 18, 2011

Beach House Inspiration #8 - A Nautical Bar

Last week, I found this image on Pinterest from Highstreetmarket.blogspot.com.   Am in love with this vignette!  Dark deep indigo wall, vintage nautical oil painting, bamboo folding bar table, and an assortment of beautiful barware.  I simply love the how the gold painted frame just stands attention against the rich blue, don't you?

I might even be able to pull this look off in our tiny apartment.  (poor Tom, he will come home one day, and I will have painted our dining room indigo blue!)

Get the look!

Spotted at Lamps Plus - from Arteriors Home. "Antiqued Brass Side Table"  Of course I like this one, I like everything from Arteriors Home! t's a little pricey for my little apartment, but I LOVE the idea of the bamboo look and the glass shelves

Ideally, I think I want a vintage bamboo butler tray table.  You know something like this one from that dangerous website, 1stdibs.com .  I could spend all day drooling scrolling through their vintage furniture listings!

Or maybe this vintage dark bamboo idea? (discovered at Houzz.com)

Then I would need an interesting nautical, coastal lamp....maybe like this "Regatta" style?

or a simple clear glass and a pretty white linen shade?  Love this pretty Oscar lamp from Currey & Co. with its' recycled glass base and brass accents - perfect for nautical styling!

(Both of these lamps can be found on the Caron's Beach House website)

And now for a vintage nautical oil painting.  There are two places that I would look first.

1. My friends at Cuttysark in Pioneer Square in Seattle.

2. The Alameda Flea Market is LOADED with vintage nautical paintings and prints.

Here's also just one image that I caught at the Alameda Flea Market last spring.   Any vintage or thrift shop might turn up a real find too!

And now, to choose the cocktail glasses.

 I have a thing about vintage glassware.  It's kind of a problem....  bought these etched sailing ship glasses over a year ago at the Alameda Flea Market, and just can't bring myself to part with them.  Hmmmm... maybe that means that they need to go on my new bar?

Or, new nautical style cocktail glasses are always an option!

Like these classy cocktail and wine glasses from Rolf Glass with etched compass rose designs. (love!)

Or this etched sailboat collection, also from Rolf Glass?   (love too!)

P.S. Yes, you can find the glasses on our site!

Maybe one final touch to complete your nautical bar - a cocktail napkin box!

Have a great weekend everyone!  I have promised Tom a day-trip up to Tomales Bay, or maybe even Bodega Bay for oysters.  We'll probably go to Nick's, in Marshall and sit at their oyster bar, staring out over the view.  Tom will get fresh oysters, I will get the crab bisque.  Yum.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

November Beach Walks - An Afternoon at Cowell Ranch

Hope you all are having a wonderful weekend - I caught these stunning views last week on a late afternoon beach walk at Half Moon Bay, thought you might enjoy!

New trail discovered between Cowell Ranch and Purisima Farms, gorgeous views from the cliff walk.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Beach House Inspiration Friday #7 - Indigo Blues

To be honest, this is my dream one day.... to have with a nautical chart covering one accent wall in my house.  I found this inspiration photo at House Beautiful almost a year ago, and am still in love with the idea.  Not only does the chart wall scream "nautical" and "sea",  but I am crazy about the dark indigo wall.  

Indigo is rich, dark, cozy, enveloping, I need this color in my next house.  Blues can be fresh,clean and almost a "cool" color, indigo says something else entirely.


Get the look with these accessories!

Etsy has lots of vinyl wall decals that would work until you could actually sketch out your chart - great ideas.
This compass rose is from Empire Studios on Etsy.,  I want this one, as I cannot draw and could probably figure out how to get this up straight!

Like the idea of a dark based lamp,  linen shade with a botanical appliqued sea creature.  Sort of traditional with a twist!

Or maybe the idea of a simple clean lines of this Regatta Lamp?   Classic nautical style with dark blue piping and rope-like accents.....

And of course you  must have the right luxury pillows....velvet, linen, down-filled

My room would need a throw to complete the look.   I like to be a little cozy with my glass of wine and a favorite juicy romance novel!

Have a wonderful Veteran's weekend everyone!  Please thank them for all of their service to our country and for not only their sacrifices, but for their families.

Think about supporting a Veteran's Family Organization this weekend, I know that Tom and I will be discussing it. A simple Google search will bring up a variety of options.  It's such an important mission to our First Lady, Michelle Obama. 

Here's one to start with  - United We Serve

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Coastal Fall Holiday Ideas - Use the Good Glasses

Before you know it, Thanksgiving will be here.  This really is the best holiday. (and is my favorite!)  Get out the best serving pieces, polish the silverware, now where did I put my white linen tablecloth??

I usually begin my planning with paging through stacks of saved magazines, and pulling out my well-loved cookbooks to find a a few new recipes to use as  "experiments" on my family and friends.   Lately my I find myself using my Ipad in the kitchen too.   No one seems to complain about what's on the menu, in fact we don't normally have too many left overs....

This year, I am starting a little early because I still really don't know where I will be on Thanksgiving... San Francisco or Seattle?  

One thing that I do know is that we will be using the good glasses.  And, we are going to be whipping up some new fantastic Thanksgiving cocktails!  Get your blender ready.....

(Our new Sea Grass etched collection - love them!)

Pumpkin Pie Cocktails
I found this recipe on Rumshop Ryan. Leave it to Ryan to have good cocktail ideas!  I added a few twists, and spent the afternoon whipping up this yummy concoction up in in our "Caron's" kitchen .

*1 oz. Rum
* 3/4 oz. canned pumpkin pie filling
*1/2 oz. Kahlu'a
*2 oz. cold milk
cup of ice
dash of cinnamon. 
dash of nutmeg
crumbled graham crackers and sugar

Mix all ingredients in blender with ice and blend until frothy.  Rim your glasses with the crushed graham crackers and sugar, then pour your drinks in.  Garnish with cinnamon sticks and toast!   Yum...

Oh, what is Tom going to think when he gets home?

Tom:  "Caron, what did you do all day?  The kitchen is a mess!"
Me:  "Made pumpkin pie cocktails - you know how important it is to be an "authentic" blog writer.  Honest, I even saved one for you!"

Do you think he will believe me?

Here's a few more that I found  that might be fun to try out on the kids!  (Don't worry, I am not corrupting them,  they're 26 and 23)

Pear and Rosemary Cocktails
Discovered at Martha Stewart, so of course, there's a few tricky steps in this.  But, they sounds delish!  After I get done writing this blog post, I think I will start "infusing" my vodka with pears....

6-10 Seckel Pears
4 cups vodka
1 cup sugar
12 sprigs fresh rosemary + extra for garnish
1 1/2 cups (12 oz.) pear nectar
4 cups sparkling water

1. Put enough pears into a 48-ounce glass jar to fill.  Add vodka. Seal jar, and let stand at room temperature 2 weeks (or up to 2 months)

2. Heat sugar and 1 cup water in medium saucepan over medium-high heat, stirring until sugar has dissolved.  Add rosemary; remove from heat.  Let stand 30 minutes.  Discard rosemary.  Let cool completely. Syrup can be refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 1 month.

3. Fill cocktail glasses halfway up with ice.  Add 4 tablespoons of the infused vodka, 2 tablespoons of rosemary syrup, and 3 tablespoons of pear nectar to each.  Top with 1/2 cup sparkling water.  Serve garnished with rosemary springs.

Cannot wait to try this one!

Holiday Mojito (my mouth is watering reading this recipe!)
Discovered at Coastal Living, could work for Christmas, but since it's loaded with marinated cranberries, I think it would be perfect for a Thanksgiving party.
-Recipe makes 1 cocktail

Lime Wedges
Superfine Sugar
Marinated Cranberries *
3 lime wedges
3 orange wedges
3 fresh mint leaves
1 1/2 oz. rum
1 oz. orange bitters
1 oz. cranberry juice
1 oz. orange juice
1 oz. mint syrup**
cracked ice
Club Soda

*To make cranberries - soak for fresh cranberries in orange flavored rum for 2 days, up to 2 weeks
**Mint Syrup
-1 cup water
-1 cup sugar
-1 1/2 cups fresh mint
Combine water, sugar, and fresh mint in a saucepan over medium-high heat.  Bring to a boil, stirring until sugar dissolves.  Remove from heat, and let stand 30 minutes.  Strain and chill until ready to use.

Rub a lime wedge around rim of glass, and dip in superfine sugar.  Place 3 rounded teaspoonfuls of marinated cranberries in the glass; muddle until berries are crushed.  Add the lime wedges, orange wedges, and mint leaves; muddle.  Stir in rum, orange bitters, cranberry juice, orange juice, and mint syrup.  Add cracked ice, and top with club soda.  Serve on a beautiful serving tray to your guests!

Don't you think these drinks would look so festive in our etched starfish glasses,

or maybe the new school of fish glasses?

What's on your agenda for Thanksgiving?  Do you have a special recipe that you'd like to share? You are all invited over to my house (if I am here) we'll get out the blender and make a mess in my kitchen!

Monday, November 7, 2011

Beach Decor for Fall Tip - Candlelight

We are pretty lucky to live right on the edge of so many wine regions here in Northern California; Napa, Livermore, Sonoma, Dry Creek Valley, Russian River Valley, Mendocino (on my birthday list!), Monterey Bay County, Los Gatos (in the Santa Cruz foothills) and the Sonoma Coast.

Needless to say, we have spent some time doing a little wine country exploring. (wine barrels at Concannon during their Fall 2010 Release Party)

Two things that our friends want to do when they come to the Bay Area; go to the beach, and go wine tasting. 

(picture taken at Gourmet Au Bay in Bodega Bay on the Sonoma Coast) 

Here we are with Suzanne and Cami on our whirlwind tour of Ladera Winery on Howell Mountain in Napa this past April.  It's one of our absolute favorite places to take our friends.

Fabulous day - we even got to see Robert Redford!!!  

Our family likes to go too!  (At Concannon with my kids, Allison and Alex, last November for Thanksgiving.)

We don't mind.  In fact, we have joined more than one wine club and have become pretty good tour guides!  It's been great fun, and we've created some wonderful memories with friends when they've come to visit.  

Now, what to do with all of the corks that I have saved?  I can't bear to simply throw them out, most of them have designs from the wineries, and for me it's a way to keep those memories of fun times with friends and family,  or romantic occasions with Tom....

Ah ha!  Saw a cool idea on Pinterest - using the corks in a candle hurricane vase, and thought I could probably recreate it with a coastal twist, adding sea glass and a few shells.  

Ingredients: (pretty darn simple!)
*1 large glass vase
*1 small glass vase (I used a skinny jar - recycled!)
assortment of wine corks
*sea glass - I kept mine to green, amber and white for fall 
*small seashells

Simply place the smaller glass vase inside of the larger glass vase 
and start layering with the corks and the sea glass.


So easy, even I could do this project!

We'll be linking over at Boogieboard Cottage today!