Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Deep Roar of the Ocean

"The deep roar of the ocean. The break of waves on farther shores that thought can find.  The silent thunders of the deep." 
-Doug Adams, The Ultimate Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy

Not sure why, but this just grabbed my attention this morning while scrolling through Facebook.  The silly thing is, it was on a Coastal Living Magazine "View of the Day" post, and it was showing a peaceful, sunny setting on Bainbridge Island facing the Puget Sound with Mount Rainier in the background.  The quote and the picture didn't really seem to match?

Here's what I think of when I think of the "deep roar of the ocean"

The stormy days spent walking the beach are my best.  Usually there's no one else on the beach but me, I can happily let the wind whip my skin, and fill my pockets with sea treasures.  Breathe.

The sound of the waves just seem to reach into every part of me, and all of my disjointed thoughts and feelings wash right back out to sea.  

Am definitely re-reading the Ultimate Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy.... I must have missed something the first time around.  Have a great Wednesday.

P.S.  Yes, the pictures are all mine. And - there isn't any photo shop touches, simply what showed up on my camera.

Friday, February 24, 2012

Friday - A Cocktail Bar and a Nautical Wall

Don't know about the rest of you, but I am so glad that this week is over.   I am now patiently waiting for my phone to ring, and hoping that it's Tom to let me know that he is on his way to pick me up.  Then we are headed to Moss Bay Distillery for a Friday afternoon of fancy cocktails and sea food sliders on their deck to watch the sun sink into the Pacific.

One more thought on nautical charts - spotted this idea at Pottery Barn.  What do you think?  

The chart wall art is a 8'h x 5"w decal! 

How much fun would this little cocktail corner be? A bar cabinet - doesn't have to be expensive or even very large, could serve many purposes.  I like the look of this painted black one with the chart, a beautiful antique wooden one would also be amazing.... 

Then all you would need (besides the party!) is great cocktail glasses...

fabulous bar tools,  a supply of fancy liquor, 

and fun cocktail linens

Add some hooks, or better yet, boat cleats - and you will be set!  

Don't get me started, I could think of a thousand ways to use this idea....

Ever since I have been in outside sales or self-employed, I try to allow myself Friday afternoons off - doesn't always work out, but I try.  Have a great weekend everyone!

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Treasured Beach Memories

My friend Karen Gerstenberger is an absolute joy and treasure!  I asked her if she'd like write a guest blog post about her beach memories on the Kitsap Peninsula.  I think you all will enjoy her beach treasured memories too! 

 Karen and her family have had quite the journey over the past several years, and I just want to congratulate her on the publishing of her new book - "Because of Katie".   It is more than a stellar accomplishment,  I think that her story can help many other families that have faced, or are facing childhood cancer.

Thank you, Caron for inviting me to write a guest posting – I’m delighted to have the opportunity to share this photo of you and Tom and a group of friends at our house from a couple of summers ago. It’s not often that we get to see you here up in Poulsbo, and it was a treat to have you join us.

 Our little town misses Caron’s brick-and-mortar store, but we’re glad she is here online so that everyone can have the pleasure of shopping with her!

One of the passions which Caron & I have in common is beach walking and beach combing (not to mention seafood). To understand the importance of time spent at the beach in my family’s culture, consider this: my parents built a rustic place on the beach before they could even afford to purchase a home. When newly-married, they rented a tiny apartment in Seattle, and took the ferry to an island on the weekends to build their cabin. The fact that neither of them knew how to build anything was not even a deterrent! We three children grew up spending weekends and summers at the cabin. It was my favorite place in the world.

I have loved the beach as long as I can remember, and this love has never left me – in fact, it is what motivated me to live where I do.  I wanted to share this love with my own children, and fortunately, my husband agreed.  This is a photo of me as a child, walking the beach on Bainbridge Island.

 Here is my family with my parents on our beach - they now live on the original cabin’s site, in a less-rustic home.

This is us, vacationing in Canada.This pastime of walking on the beach and looking for treasures led to the making of a special feature in the guest bath in our home.

When the house was being built, I asked the stone masons to help me make a countertop out of the collection of beach glass and pottery which the children and I had found together. They were kind enough to teach me what to do, and shared their tools and materials with me.

While they laid tile and stone in other parts of the house, I made this countertop. The stonemasons were uneasy about the fact that it is not level; it’s bumpy, but that is part of its charm. It has cup-handles, cut glass, marbles, insulators and much more in it. They set the seashell sink into it for us (I had wanted a glass sink, but our budget wouldn’t allow it – instead, I found this on close-out at a hardware store).

The beach-glass countertop is one of the favorite features in our house among our guests – they love to run their hands over the surface, looking carefully at each piece of glass and pottery. I never get tired of it, and I always enjoy seeing people’s reaction to it.  It contains memories of many hours of joy, walking the beach with my husband and children. That makes it extra-meaningful to me, especially now that our son is away at college most of the year, and our daughter, Katie, passed away several years ago.

This brings me to another reason for my posting:  I wanted to share some good news with you. I’ve just published a book about Katie and our journey with her through childhood cancer. It’s our family’s true story, and it includes helpful information and resources for anyone who encounters a medical crisis, or who knows someone going through such a crisis. It is for friends, family members, medical professionals and anyone who has been touched by concern for someone facing a life-changing event.

“Because of Katie” is available on amazon, at createspace and through Liberty Bay Books or your local bookstore. For those of you who are local, (Washington State, Kitsap Peninsula) there will be a book-signing party hosted by Liberty Bay Books at The Loft at Latitude 47.7 on Friday, March 2nd at 6:30 P.M.

If you’re not sure whether this book is for you, please go to the amazon page and read the reviews of the book, written by people who have read it. I hope that it will bless you or someone you know!

For more about Karen  and her continuring work with Seattle Children's Hospital - stop by her blog GBerger -

Monday, February 20, 2012

Love Affair with my Sperry Topsider Boots

I know, kind of silly.  Here I sit, having been a beach comber girl all of my life, and I have not owned a pair of rubber beach boots - EVER.  Until a month ago.

I first saw these in November when I was in Seattle shopping with my daughter in downtown for Black Friday. Really against my shopping credo - not my favorite day for shopping, I don't care what the "deals" are.  Honestly, we just went down to Westlake Center and Pike Place Market to do a little people watching, have some lunch and maybe shop for some special seafood gourmet tools at Sur la table.  Tom had put some kind of fancy salmon-boner tool thing on his Christmas list... (more on that "thing" later!)

It wasn't our fault that we just had to walk by Nordstrom's Rack, and well, we didn't want to pass up a good sale, did we?    Here's the funny thing - I had flown up on Alaskan Airlines, and had not checked a bag, so wasn't sure how I was going to get them home, so I didn't buy them. (I did take a picture though, so that I could remember what they looked like)

Then about a month ago, I was desperate for a new pair of tennis shoes - and there they were. The Sperry Topsider boots that I had been craving - just waiting for me to take them home from our local Nordstrom Rack!  And they were on sale - only $29.95!

Now look at what I can do with my new boots - I can actually climb all over the rocks and get some awesome tidepool photos.  Very excited - feel like a little kid when I can splash all over the place and not worry about getting my feet soaked. Or worry about sliding off of the rocks - much bigger danger for me, as I am a total klutz.

Here's a few of my other favorite Sperry boots - what do you think?

Blue and White Stripes - totally nautical! (looks like these might be on sale too - $49.99)

Grey and Black Cheetah print - for more than just the beach!

Pretty in Pink - Kingbird Rainboot $51.99

Love these bright orange ones!  Nordstrom Rack has several colors, magenta, green, orange, purple -

(Here's a link to the Sperry page at the Rack - Sperry Topsiders)

Do you have a pair of rubber rain boots?  There are so many pretty ones available!

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Easy Delish Lemon Garlic Shrimp

I will happily admit it - I am a Pinterest addict.  I found this absolute fabulous shrimp recipe from Cinnamon Girl Recipes, while scrolling through looking for ideas to add to my Coastal Cooking board.  It was the luscious big shrimp that caught my eye!
(photo credit to Cinnamon Girl Recipes)

Step #1 - good Shrimp!  We are so lucky to be 1surrounded by local fish markets here in the Bay Area - so I made a fast trip down to our favorite fish market in Half Moon Bay to grab some prawns.

I used Cinnamon Girl's Recipe with a few twists - turned out DELISH!  Tom and I were oohing, and ahhing throughout our dinner - maybe it was the wonderful bottle of Pagemill 2010 Chardonnay...


  •  1/3 cup olive oil
  • 1 lemon, zested then half cut into thin slices and other half into wedges
  • 3-4 fresh thyme springs, leaves removed
  • sea or kosher salt and fresh black pepper
  • linguine pasta (I like fatter pasta with this kind of sauce)
  • 2 Tablespoons butter - NOT margarine
  • 1 pound fresh shrimp, medium-sized, de-veined with tails off
  • 1-2 cups of broccoli
  • 3/4 cup sliced red pepper
  • 5 cloves of garlic minced  
1.  Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  In a glass 9 x 13 baking dish, combine olive oil, lemon zest and thyme. Olive oil should liberally cover the bottom of the pan, if it doesn't drizzle more in.  Season with salt and pepper.  Place in oven for 10-12 minutes, checking every few minutes - if it looks like it is getting too brown, remove and proceed to the next step.

2. Meanwhile, cook pasta. Drain and toss with a pat of butter or olive oil.

3. Remove pan from oven, add butter and swirl to melt.  Add shrimp, broccoli, red peppers, garlic and the lemon slices.  Don't squeeze the lemon slices - just add to the shrimp roasting mixture.   Bake for 8-10 minutes or until prawns turn pink - check often, there is nothing worse than overdone prawns!  

4. Remove roasted lemon-garlic shrimp mixture from the oven and dump into the pasta.  Stir completely into the pasta, over low heat for just a few minutes with a few squeezes of fresh lemon and a dash more of olive oil.  

5.  Serve in your best pasta bowls with a really good french bread and a special white wine!  No need for a salad if you've roasted the veggies with the shrimp.

Voila' - super easy, and super yummy.    (P.S. These are my favorite pasta plates - vintage Vietri scooped up at a thrift shop for $5.00 each!)

In fact, this was so incredibly rich and delicious, we ate it all before I remembered to take any pictures for you.  oops....   

Today is our anniversary, and we will be heading into the city to have dinner at Scoma's, at Fisherman's Wharf.   Will bring my camera and see if I can capture any cool shots of San Francisco tonight.  Can't wait! I might even get out of my jeans and wear a dress for that cute boyfriend of mine....

Have a great Thursday everyone!  If you click on the link above "Current Newsletter" - there's a FREE shipping coupon code for President's Day weekend.

New 18" x 25" over sized nautical napkins on our site! 

Or these cute red-rock shrimp napkins would be cute to use too!  Also generously over sized, and eco-friendly.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Ocean Beach Sand Pipers

Last Sunday, I was craving a beach walk. Thank goodness Tom has the ability to recognize that wild crazy look in my eyes..... he poured coffee into travel mugs and pointed the car toward Ocean Beach.

It was a perfect morning.  Sand glistening in the morning sun,  incredible sea blue surf and frothy white waves.

...And sand pipers galore.

Good thing that I was wearing my new spring Sperry Topsiders rubber boots.   I could actually wade in the water to take these photos.   Look how close the birds let me get!

Love the reflection...

This one was my favorite!

Here's a few ideas to bring some sea birds home!

Monday, February 13, 2012

Modern Nautical - How to Decorate with Maps!

So exited to introduce my guest blogger, and friend Shayne from Sugarfly to you!  As you all know, I have not one "crafty" bone in my body - wish I did, but I certainly admire my friends that can be so creative -  I think you will all really enjoy her post about decorating with nautical maps and charts.


Our summer cabin on Hood Canal has been in the family since the 60's.  Four generations have called this beautiful place home, for over 50 summers!  Inside there is an old pine tongue and groove staircase, and the top of the stairs for years, there was a big map of the Puget Sound held up by thumbtacks.  I remember as a kid, standing in front of this map for hours.  It was just so interesting to me to see exactly where we were on a map in relation to our house, the neighboring towns, and just how it all came together around the water.

I remember thinking ... "Wow, if you just travel down around this corner, you would be here.... and if you just cut across the water, you would be here... "  So many kids stood around pointing at that map, that a hole was eventually worn in the spot where our cabin was from messy little fingers pointing out to their friends exactly which spot we were standing on.  Finally, one of my aunts had enough good sense to take the map down and have it laminated, so it could be enjoyed for years to come.  It now sits like a giant placemat in the middle of our cabin kitchen table, so that future generations can explore it, and point to it without fear of it being damaged.

I am still fascinated by maps, and wanted to do something similar in my house for the kids, but wasn't sure how.  I also love themed rooms, especially when it comes to kids bedrooms.  Not over the top themes, where everything is all "matchy - matchy" but I love it when a kids room has a vibe that fits the child's personality.  I recently helped my daughter redo her room to a slightly Hawaiian theme, bringing in turquoise and coral, a couple of hula pictures and some Pottery Barn Tiki bedding.  My middle son has a surf theme going,  lots of faded red, blue and green, with some beach grass around the windows, a fish tank and some surf boards.

For my youngest son, I started thinking more nautical.  I used to think that nautical meant old buoys, barnacles, and fishing nets, with anchors and sea captain figurines and steered clear of anything nautical in my decorating.  The last few years, I have seen nautical themes in kids' rooms, in many catalogs done in such a classy way, it has completely changed my mind.  Tons of bead board, crisp white trim, an oar on a wall, navy and brown, some wood accents, a soft sea grass rug, a modern fisherman reading lamp... this was the kind of nautical that I was going for, and I knew that this would be the right place to bring in a great map.

I purchased some great wallpaper from Ralph Lauren, then decided not to use it, as I really wanted to do something personalized, where my son could grow up with his own map of where we were; marked with "home" and "cabin" and all of the places in between.  I decided to make my own map, based on the map from our cabin, I painted in the traditional map colors of sea blue and yellow on a giant canvas.

Here's what you need to recreate a map of your own area!
  • 1 large canvas (Can be found at Michaels - often at 50% off!)
  • A pencil for sketching
  • yellow craft paint
  • blue craft paint
  • brown sharpie pen
  • paint brushes
  • A great map of your area to use as a guide (I referenced a map off of the internet)
Find a map of your area, or an area that is special to your family - maybe somewhere that your family likes to vacation.  Lay your canvas out in front of you, and start sketching.  It's a little tricky to do in a much larger scale, so make sure you have a good eraser!  Don't worry if you have a bunch of erased lines all over, you will be painting over it!  

Once you have your map sketched, paint all of the water areas blue, and the land areas yellow.  Where the blue and yellow come trace with a dark brown Sharpie pen.  Use your Sharpie, and add in the towns, the waterways, bays, whatever you find important.  I added a few fun things; a water skier, a shrimp, ferry boats - just to make it a little more interesting. 
Pretty easy as far as projects go, and it only takes a couple of hours.    My sister-in-law made some smaller ones for her bathroom, they can can be done on any size canvas to fit any space.

I have since cut out many ideas of how to decorate with maps. Pottery Barn Kids did a room entirely covered in old maps, overlapping as wallpaper.  Here are a few more of my favorite map ideas!

Nautical is back in a big way, and incorporating maps has never been easier.  So next time you're at an antique store, grab a vintage map and get creative!

Thanks so much Shayne!  Love your creative ideas, and so easy to adapt a really neat piece of art to reflect your own coastal area.

Make sure to visit Shayne's new blog - Sugarfly, where Shayne gives you a little glimpse into her wonderful family life beside Miller bay in Washington State.   Writing about her house last spring was one of my favorite posts - "Fabulous Family Home on Miller Bay" , make sure to check out her cute "cottage-like" beach house! 

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