Friday, March 30, 2012

Beach House Friday - The Cliff House

Okay, so it's not really a "house" it's a historic landmark restaurant in San Francisco.  Full of romance and stories, it's perched on the point just at the entrance to San Francisco Bay.   The Cliff House also means romance and many good memories for Tom and I....

It's one of my  favorite places to sit, watch the rain wine and ocean winter storms.

Which is exactly what we did last Saturday afternoon. With hot toddies.... hot chocolate with whipped cream and Bailey Irish Cream and Frangelico for me and coffee with Bourbon for Tom.  Yum!    

Had to pinch myself - how lucky am I, to sit with a wonderful boyfriend and just enjoy an afternoon of Pacific Ocean storm from the warm and cozy Sutro Bistro Bar at the Cliff House.   Love the entire wall of windows!

Enjoy our view!

Have a great weekend everyone!  Don't forget to enter our give a way for Tresor Le Mer's gorgeous art - winner drawn on Monday, April 2.

Monday, March 26, 2012

Spring Beach Art Giveaway!

We are so excited to host a special giveaway for our artist Rachele of Tresor Le Mer!  She's created  some new fabulous sea life art pieces for this spring and this 11 x 14 framed Double Black Sea Fan is one of them - I love it.   The mix of the black sea fans and the 3 tiny starfish is just so elegant.

Rachele lives near the beach in Southern California, where these images were taken, and where she finds her inspiration.  Lucky girl!
(Read her complete story here)

Rachele personally hand-crafts each  unique coastal shell art piece with love and care.  She integrates sea fans, sand dollars, starfish and other sea life with hand painted frames to create beautiful art that brings a beachy feel to any home.  Rachele is thrilled that she has this opportunity to share her love for the beach through her art with people all over the world - her work now hangs in homes from Malibu, California to Spain.  

These Double Black and Starfish 11 x 14 framed art pieces will be listed on the Caron's Beach House site for $199.00,  and will also include your choice of frame finish.  Tresor Le Mer has so graciously offered one of these pieces to the winner of our Spring Giveaway!   

Giveaway Ends midnight Sunday April 1st - winner will be drawn next Monday, April 2nd.  Enter today for your chance to win!

Here's the rules:
1. Leave a comment on our blog, tell us about your beach inspiration!

2. Become a new "liker" on our Facebook page - and let us know by leaving a comment that you are a new fan.

3. Become a new follower on Twitter.

3. Share our Spring Giveaway on Twitter, Facebook, or Pinterest - don't forget to let us know!

4. Sign up for our Newsletter (P.S. receive an instant FREE shipping coupon after signing up!)

Good Luck! Have a fabulous spring Monday.

More of Rachele's new pieces!

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Steamed Salmon with Lemon Rice

Friday night dates at home are my favorite!  This week has been pretty tough, Tom is swamped at work (he works for Wells Fargo in their mortgage division), and I am swamped at Caron's. I have been  furiously adding new products from Currey & Co., Arteriors Home, more lamps from Regina Andrew Design, a new line of cute seafood tableware accessories and even a completely brand new pillow line.  On top of of all that, both of us have been so sick with terrible colds.

Not fun, and not very romantic.

By the time Friday night rolled around it was more than time for cocktails and a salmon gourmet feast.  I have had this recipe for "Salmon Cooked in Parchment", pinned up on my office bulletin board for a few weeks just waiting for the right Friday night date.  Carefully torn from the pages of House Beautiful...  

It's pretty easy to do, and extremely scrumptious!  Just follow the steps carefully for the lemon rice, and keep in mind that this meal will easily serve 4 or more people.  I have been a mom for most of my adult life, and I just can't seem to get the hang of cooking for 2 people.  Consequently, we have a lot of left overs!

For the Salmon:
1 lb. whole salmon filet pin bones removed, skin intact (make sure that you have really good salmon!)
1+ T. extra-virgin olive oil
3 generous pinches coarse kosher salt
6 full grinds of a pepper mill
Rosemary Sprigs (this is my addition)
1 sheet parchment paper - brown in not recommended

1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees
2. Lay a sheet parchment on a baking sheet, place the salmon filet skin-side down in the center
3. Thoroughly coat the filet and an inch or so of the surrounding parchment with the olive oil, creating a slick and glossy surface.
4. Evenly season the filet with salt and pepper and optional rosemary
5. Form an envelope with the salmon tucked inside the parchment by bringing together the edges and forming a tight crease, and tucking the folded ends of the paper neatly under the fish.   Your salmon will steam quite nicely!
6. Place the salmon in the middle rack of the preheated oven and cook for exactly 10 minutes.  Remove and check the salmon's color by peeking carefully inside the parchment without fully opening it.  It should be pale pink and opaque at the edges with a broad swath of still pink-orange flesh down the center.
7. Return to the oven for about 5 more minutes or until the translucent swath has narrowed to a 1/2 inch stripe.   Be careful to not over cook it!
8. Remove the salmon from the oven, and release the steam to prevent further cooking.
9. Voila'!

For the Creamy Lemon Rice:
2 cups chicken broth
4 large egg yolks
1/2 cup fresh-squeezed lemon juice
1/2 frozen peas
1 bunch of green onions sliced to 1/2 cup
2 - 2/12 cups cooked rice
salt and pepper to taste

1. Bring the chicken broth to a simmer on the stove top in a stainless steel pot and keep it simmering as you  prepare the other ingredients. It will slightly reduce.
2. In a glass bowl, whisk the egg yolks, then add the lemon juice until well blended.
3. Add a ladle scoop of hot stock to the egg-lemon mixture and whisk thoroughly.
4. While whisking, slowly add the hot egg-lemon mixture into the simmering chicken broth.  Stir or whisk over medium high heat while the liquid thickens and changes color to pale yellow.  Add the peas and green onions.  
5. Stir gently until peas are warmed through then add the cooked rice.  Stir thoroughly, then turn off the heat and let rest, covered for a minute of two.

Serve with your salmon!

Don't forget a good bottle of wine - we had Wente last night..... so good!

Have a great weekend everyone, we're off to have lunch at the Cliff House in San Francisco and do a little rain and storm watching from their towering windows.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Spring on the California Coast

We are so lucky!  Flowers start blooming here in Northern California early in February and I usually have my camera in my pocket.  

Sending you all a bouquet - Happy Spring!

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Vintage Swimming Girls

How do I explain my love affair with vintage diving girls and vintage swim suits?  Sounds a little weird, I know...

The first time I ever spotted these vintage swimmers from America Retold,  I knew I was a goner.  I think I bought 40 of these candle holders in every color and shape imaginable, for our first store in Poulsbo.  These black, white and red ones gracing my office bookshelf might be the only ones I have left...

And then there were these girls, we could not keep enough of them in stock for our store customers or our online customers.   (photo taken on my old deck in Manchester, WA)

I think you can still find these bathing beauty girls online and locally (if you live near the beach) I spotted them a few months ago in the Cliff House Sutro Bar in San Francisco.

Just a few more of my favorite vintage bathing beauty finds - 
most spotted at the Alameda Flea Market, my go-to for inspiration!

 Framed image spotted at the Cliff House, former Sutro Baths competition swimming venue in the 20's-30's. The entire restaurant is covered in these fun images!  I snapped this one a few months ago when we took Tom's mom out to dinner there.

 1920's California Girls  (online for less than a day!)

French Flea Market Umbrella - LOVE!

Kicking myself for not buying this photo!

I did buy the Jantzen ad!  Could not resist it - and now it takes up a big corner on my messy office bulletin board, along with the vintage Chris Craft ad.

Now to give you some ideas for using vintage swimming suits and vintage swimming girls in your beach house!   Spotted at Houzz and on Pinterest earlier this week:
From Beach Vintage - I first spotted this cool idea at Completely-Coastal months ago, and kept it for future reference.  How simple, but such a great mix of modern and vintage!  Why did I give away my favorite red and white striped bathing suit????

Check out this cool framed vintage bathing suit mixed with a framed black sea fan, bright lime greens and MORE zebra stripes.  From Kate Jackson Designs.  

Or how about this bright aqua green and turquoise living room? I am simply nuts about all of the bright happy colors, and that The diving girl pillow caught my eye right away!

Where can you find your very own vintage bathing girls?  

 Ebay has quite a few different options for prints and bathing suits.

Found quite a few of these vintage bathing girls at, and also on or you can go Google search using the terms "Dr. Livingstone - bathing beauties" and some other ideas will come up too.

Or there is lots of fun stuff at Etsy! Like all of the prints at Vintage Beach shop 

Or there's always Caron's Beach House.....

Diving Girl Art (PS these are customizable too!)

 Get creative and have this fun art piece custom designed for your beach home by changing a few of the phrases!  Aqua Diving Girl

New Bathing Suit Pillow - way too cute, and double side, check it out!

See, I told you I have a little bit of an obsession. Have a great weekend everyone!  

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

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