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!

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Beachy Gift Wrap Ideas

So thrilled to show you all some of Cheryl's great ideas for beachy Christmas wrapping!  If you haven't stopped by her blog "beachcombing" - make sure that you take a trip over and visit her world on the beach in Australia! 

Thank you Cheryl for being our guest blogger for the day - 

beachy wrapping ideas

after a trip to my local already busy shopping centre in the heat this week i'm not looking forward to the christmas shopping madness. i'm thinking online shopping might be the way to go this year to avoid crazy carparks & crowds. don't you find it funny at christmas time when you hear music playing in shops about joy and peace when everyone looks completely frazzled?

this week i put together some wrapping ideas for a relaxed, coastal christmas. the decorating part of christmas is one of my favourite things about it. i like to keep it simple and in keeping with the rest of our place. 
the gift tags are available in my shop here.  

christmas at our place this year will be mostly white, natural with a touch of aqua

still getting lots of use from an old atlas, the pages are great for wrapping. 

i found a similar idea on pinterest. wrap a piece of hessian / burlap around the parcel and secure with tape at the back. tie bundles of burlap, braid and ribbon in white and natural colours together with string, then cut into it to make it more shabby, tie a starfish to the top.

little boxes from craft shops tied up with string ,good for small presents, especially when they're this colour ;)

here i wrapped linen, burlap, white braid around the parcel and taped them at the back. 

a white plate & a candle surrounded with shells 

i use these hand stamped hibiscus gift tags all year round

i love simple brown paper wrapping. i stamped this one with white hibiscus & added white ribbon and a shell.

map wrapping with small nautical tags, i stamped with white anchors.

 let's make this holiday season happy, relaxed & stress free!


Friday, November 23, 2012

A Festive Oyster Wreath

Hog Island Picnic Area
We've started a new tradition this year, skipping school for a few hours on Thanksgiving Eve.  It's the first Thanksgiving that we have ever had without our families, and I have been feeling more than a little discombobulated without the kids. Bless Tom's heart, he made the plan and I just got in the car.

Waking up early,  we did a ton of work in our pj's so that we could spend the afternoon on Wednesday enjoying a beautiful drive up the Marin-Sonoma coast to Hog Island Oyster Farm on Tomales Bay.

Just had to show you these gorgeous fall-holiday wreaths that we spotted on the front porch at
Hog Island Oysters.

Goodness knows that they have plenty of oyster shells to complete these creations.  Hmmmm.... maybe I had better save a few from Tom's oysters?

For a closer look;  I LOVE all of the natural local California coastal elements in these wreaths.  
So pretty!

What could be better than the sunroof open on a late November day and the Christmas music playing on our speakers in the Mini?  Still pinching myself that I actually get to live here...

(more about Hog Island tomorrow)

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

A Traditional Nautical Christmas

via Coastal Living Magazine
One year I will finally have collected enough "nautical" style ornaments to have a complete Christmas tree to show off. In the meantime, I've been collecting some traditional nautical themed trees and holiday ideas to share with all of you!

I think one of the best parts of decorating your holidays with buoys, lighthouses, oars and a dash of navy blues combined with deep crimson reds, is that many of these items you probably already have in your home.  Throw in a little creative rearranging and there you have it - a beautiful nautical seaside holiday!

For example, don't you think this room looks festive?  Simple red pillows tossed on a navy blue and white chair with traditional seaside themes,  and a navy blue and white life ring wreath  - all of which do not scream "Christmas", but mixed together with the elements of sailboats and ship's helm ornaments then highlighted with blue and white striped ribbon on the tree -  it's perfect.

Here's a few more ideas for inspiration!
via Coastal Living Magazine
Signal flag pillows, bright red, white and blue striped cushions, finished off with color matching stockings and a nautical tree.  How fun!  Especially if you are lucky enough to have a cool poolhouse.  (check out the awesome porthole door windows too!)

via Coastal Living

A different angle of the room highlighted above.  Just love this look with the deep reds on the tiny trees centerpieces and the classic beach house striped rug.  Again, this is an easy look to recreate, if you already have a traditional nautical theme in your home.

How adorable is this tree?  Signal flags and simple white starfish garlands winding their way around the tree; covered in tiny sailboat, lighthouse and buoy ornaments.  Finished off with playful model sailboats and darling vintage sand buckets.  LOVE.

Cute light house tree from The Yellow Cape Cod

See what I mean?  Just add cute red and white striped stockings, red throw pillows, fresh greenery and move the model sailing ship to the coffee table and voila' - a nautical Christmas!  I think the rustic sign in red and white adds a very special touch.  Here's an idea; do a little antiquing to find a beach sign in that is particular to your area and add that unique local touch to your room.  

Oh boy - now I really want my own nautical tree!  
Step one: buy a bigger house. 
Step two: convince Tom that we NEED more than one Christmas tree.

Here are a few ideas from Caron's for nautical decor that might work all year - and at the holidays!

Colorful Lanterns - we have them in several different shades!  For the holidays, fill with candles, white seashells and a few sparkling ornaments, then change out for summer with sand and sea glass.   Super fun way to create an original piece of home decor for your home.

Red or White Oars!

And of course -  you need a Sailing Fleet! 

Have fun planning your nautical holidays!

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