Thursday, May 23, 2013

What's in My Beach Bag? Surf Spray!

Why do I have short hair? Because I am always at the beach, and I would rather spend what free time that I do
have,  playing in the sand, and not in front of the mirror. Besides my hair is always in my eyes - pretty difficult to look for sea glass or shells when my bangs are blowing in the way!

I have been spoiled for years by my friend James, owner of Sugar Daddy's Salon in Port Orchard, Washington. It is so bad, that I wait patiently until I go home to Seattle to have my hair cut and styled 4 times a year... I am such a baby. I haven't really tried very hard to find the right stylist here in California!

The last time I was home, James found me a new miracle hair care styling product so that I can actually "look" like I have just been at the beach - every day!  And it works great for days when I do go to the beach for that messy-styled look,  keeping my hair where it's supposed to go in the wind and salt air.

In my beach bag - Surf Spray from Bumble and Bumble!

I just spray it in my hair either when it's dry and needs a little extra "oomph", or when it's still damp and I am in a hurry running out the door. (always!)

Here's James' advice for how to get a great beachgirl look - 

5 Easy Steps to Beachy Babeness!
(image courtesy of Bumble and Bumble)

1.  Shampoo with BB Surf Foam Wash and condition with BB Surf Creme Rinse (rinse out immediately for the maximum sea-feel)
2. Towel dry and apply BB Surf Spray to the roots and ends
3. Scrunch a small amount of BB Grooming Creme to the ends
4. Twist hair away from face and blow dry
5. Finish with a misting of BB Surf Spray or polish the look with some outer barrel curls using your curling iron, and run hands gently through your hair to break up the curls

To get your very own Surf look - it's so easy to order online from Sugar Daddy's Salon,  Just look for the "Shop Bumble and Bumble" button located conveniently on the right hand side of their home page - then simply search for "Surf" and all of the products will come right up on B & B's site.

This is way more fun than spending more time trying to get gorgeous!

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Our View from Nepenthe - Magic on the Big Sur

Tom and I spent a beautiful March weekend on the Central Coast at the Cayucous Sea Glass Festival and decided to drive home on Hwy 1. What we did not expect was the crazy spring weather,  or the stress of driving on the edge of the continent in a cloud bank.  Sharp hairpin turns, no guard rail, lots of road construction and rock slides; yep, it was more than a little bit scary. After driving for many miles in peasoup thick fog along the windy, steep rocky coastline of Hwy 1 we were ready to get out of the mini-cooper. (quickly)

So when we finally arrived in Big Sur, we just wanted out of the car. Did not care where we stopped. Since it was my turn at the wheel,  I decided to turn into the driveway of the first restaurant sign we saw.  

Oh mi... sometimes an simple bend in the road leads to a magical place... Nepenthe.  Driving up into the clouds was worth it for this view above the sea.  The California fruit and cheese platter with a glass of Central Coast Pinot Noir was not too bad either.

We are headed back next weekend!  Can't wait.

P.S.  I could not resist buying their cookbook in their gift shop - a history of Nepenthe, sprinkled with some fabulous family recipes.  

My Nepenthe, by Romney Steele - can also be found online at Liberty Bay Books.

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Photo Shoot at Pigeon Point Lighthouse

Alex at Half Moon Bay
A few weeks ago, my son Alex came out to stay for a few days of beach adventures along our Northern California coast.  Including a sunny (but very windy!) afternoon photo shoot at Pigeon Point Lighthouse, just a tiny bit south of Pescadero and north of Santa Cruz.  He's a pretty darn good photo-website assistant!

Here he is helping me find purple sea urchins for my "Sea Urchin Fascination" post...

Alex and I stuffed the mini-cooper with piles of our new tangerine orange and deep navy blue sea pillows. Not sure how we got them all in there! (greatest car EVER)  Packed up our ham and cheese sandwiches in our beach picnic backpack and we were off, down Coastal Hwy 1.

Pigeon Point is one of my favorite spots on our coast - I could go there every single day and see something different; pelicans, sea gulls, sea lions and of course, chubby harbor seals soaking up the sun.

Just a week before Alex arrived, Tom and I were out on a Sunday drive to Santa Cruz, we stopped here for
a quick lunch break.  SO lucky that day -  we were treated to a display of water spouts, breaching whales, and tails from spring grey whale migration!  Moms and babies traveling very close to shore on their way north to Alaska  for the summer.  Unfortunately, the water was so wild that day that it was impossible to get any good images to share.

At the Las Vegas market in January, we discovered a bright summer collection of pillows from a small manufacturer in the Midwest. I like supporting American made products, and I really liked the care and attention to detail that the owners have put into selecting fabrics and creating the finished pillows.  Bonus - they are affordable at $56-$68.00, depending on the design and size of the pillow.  Many other pillow companies that we looked at put the retail price of similar pillows beyond $90.00 +.   Our online coastal home decor store is the first website that this family-owned company has worked with.  I am very excited about our new partnership.

There is a wonderful circle of benches at the Lighthouse park overlooking Prisoner Rocks -  a perfect spot out of the wind to take the photos.   

For a complete selection and pricing check  "Caron's Collection - Coastal Pillows".  We hope you like them too!

Have a great Tuesday.  Thanks so much for stopping by.

Monday, May 6, 2013

A Visit to East Egg

Cannot wait to see The Great Gatsby on the big screen this week! 
The Party - Jay and Daisy (images from The Great Gatsby, Warner Bros)

In anticipation, I decided to spend some quality time with F. Scott Fitzgerald this weekend by re-reading the  story before seeing the movie. Tom poured me a lovely glass of 2010 Ladera Cabernet and I began reading this American classic on Saturday night on my deck.  Highly recommend!   F. Scott Fitzgerald makes every single word in this story full of meaning and count for something on the pages of this short novel published in 1925.

The words  (lyrics) are still reverberating in my brain on Monday morning.  This particular passage on page 6, just grabbed my imagination and senses!  Can't you just see the sun setting into the bay, showering golden magical light across manicured, lushly scented gardens as Nick drove up to Tom and Daisy's house?

"And so it happened that on a warm windy evening I drove over to East Egg to see two old friends whom I scarcely knew at all.  Their house was even more elaborate than I expected, a cheerful red-and-white Georgian Colonial mansion, overlooking the bay. The lawn started at the beach and ran toward the front door for a quarter of a mile, jumping over sun-dials and brick walks and burning gardens - finally when it reached the house drifting up the side in bright vines as though from the momentum of its run.  The front was broken by a line of French windows, glowing now with reflected gold and wide open to the warm windy afternoon, and Tom Buchanan in riding clothes was standing with his legs apart on the front porch."

East Egg From The Great Gatsby Movie - image from Warner Bros.

See you at the Movies!

Saturday, May 4, 2013

In Search of the Perfect Sangria

We have had a spell this week of really hot weather in the Bay Area - perfect weather for a refreshing, cold fruity sangria cocktail!   Last night we tried a new restaurant in Redwood City, Quinto Sol on the town square. They serve a really interesting red wine based sangria. Full of fruit flavor, but unlike many other sangrias that we've tried, there were no floating fruit pieces in our cocktail glasses.  

Got me to thinking about Cinco de Mayo and trying a new recipe for tomorrow night.  Here are a few ideas that we've been collecting on our "Cocktails, Anyone?" Pinterest board! 

Mint-Melon Sangria from Martha Stewart (looks so yummy!)
1/2 honeydew melon
1 pound seedless watermelon, peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces
1 pound cantaloupe, peeled, seeded, and thinly sliced
1 cup fresh mint leaves
1 bottle (750 ml) dry white wine, such as Sauvignon Blanc
1 liter chilled ginger ale
IceStir to combine first 5  ingredients and refrigerate 1 hour (or up to overnight). To serve, add ginger ale and ice.I have mint in the frig, may this will be the one!

From BevMo's Mixologist! Sunset Sangria
Sunset Sangria
2 DOLE Blueberry Frozen Fruit Single-Serve Cup
2 DOLE Pineapple Frozen Fruit Single-Serve Cup
2 DOLE Strawberry Frozen Fruit Single-Serve Cup
14 ounces chilled Pink Rose'
2 ounces Hiram Walker Pink Grapefruit Schnapps
2 ounces Clear Creek Brandy Pear
Yields 8-12 servings
For larger parties use 1 bottle of wine, and a cup each of the grapefruit schnapps and brandy.

Directions: Place each DOLE frozen fruit cup into a large pitcher. Add the chilled rosé, grapefruit schnapps, and brandy. Mix well and serve, or chill for up to 24 hours.  Looks super easy and super yum! 

From the Edible Perspective (gorgeous food blog!)  Head on over to the blog to get the Citrus Sangria recipe and directions - love the canning jars used for cocktail glasses and the blood red oranges.

Red Wine Sangira from Beach House in the City

1 bottle of red wine (cab, merlot, zin, shiraz)
1 lemon cut into wedges
1 orange cut into wedges
1 lime cut into wedges
2 Tablespoons of sugar
splash of orange juice
2 shots of gin or triple sec (optional)
1 cup of raspberries or strawberries (may be frozen)
1 small can of diced pineapples with juice
4 cups of ginger ale

Mix wine with squeezed citrus wedges, pineapple, sugar, orange juice and gin.  Chill overnight.  Add ginger ale, berries and ice just before serving.

And this last one is from Martha Stewart... Dang, she always has good ideas!

Prosecco Sangria - love the sparkly fun in this one! Now to just find some peaches and nectarines....might have to wait until later this summer.

1 peach
1 nectarine
3 apricots
5 ounces peach brandy
1 bottle (750 ml) chilled Prosecco 
1 cup peach nectar
superfine sugar (optional)

In a pitcher, combine peach, nectarine, and apricots, all pitted and cut into wedges. Stir in peach brandy; let sit at least 1 hour. Stir in Prosecco and peach nectar. Add superfine sugar, if desired. Serve chilled.

Don't forget the pretty glassware!

Mix up a pretty Sangria in a fun Dolphin Etched Pitcher!

And then serve in the matching stemless Dolphin tumblers - perfect for beach living!

Palm Trees are always a fun design for a tropical treat!  Love these Balloon Wine Glasses for Sangria

Customized Glassware is always fun too - and a great present!  Add a beach house name, a yacht name, wedding date, etc., these custom Pineapple glasses will be a welcoming idea!

Have a great weekend everyone!

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Trend Alert: Design with Nautical Rope - Update!

As promised in our February Rope Design Trend post, we have now added many of the items that we "spied" at the Las Vegas Market Show earlier this year!  For even more rope-themed home decor check our site; just add "rope" in our handy search bar, and over 130 items will pop up!

Here are a few of my faves!

Wish I had a spot for this rope-wrapped Saturn Chandelier at our house!
Rope 14" Buoy Lantern - great polished nickel details!

This nautical lantern with the anchor details was one of my favorite finds at the market!  Just imagine large white candles and a sprinkling of white sea shells around them inside this lantern....  I might have to keep one for myself.
Very excited about this tall Burke Candle Holder in particular.  I like the idea of being able to add your own sea glass, rocks or seashells in the hurricane underneath the pillar holder. Coastal candle accents like these are so versatile - simply change out the details to fit with the season!    

Keep your fingers crossed, it appears that HGTV Magazine will be featuring our fun rope wrapped hurricane in a later summer issue!  We were contacted by the magazine last week, requesting additional information and two hurricanes for a photo shoot.  Needless to say, I have more than just my fingers crossed! 

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

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