Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Silver Bells and Silver Shells

This years' coffee table display was created using silver plated shells (I have had them for years!) pretty mercury glass balls, a sea glass ornament gift and accompanied by my fave pink and glitter murex shell ornaments.

The shells and aqua sea glass were mostly collected on our California Beaches (my pockets are always stuffed with something I have found...), our look was complete with a string of pearls and a treasured snow globe.

....And maybe a Tom and Jerry's yummy holiday cocktail!

Tom and I had our Christmas dinner last week before we headed up north to spend the holidays with our family in the Pacific Northwest. Tom was the master chef of a fabulously wonderful prime rib dinner, with goat cheese twice baked potatoes and delish Ina Garten roasted carrots. (Thanks Serena for my new cook book!)

Then we toasted the season with hot Tom and Jerry toddies in my grandmother's vintage gold rimmed cups.  I have packed and repacked these little darling cups more times than I can remember, but this is the first time I have ever actually used them.

Made me so happy, and I think it would have made her very happy too.

Tom and Jerry's:
There are a ton of recipes out there to whip these up, but we took a short-cut on ours and then added the whipped cream and cinnamon sticks to make them extra special. We recommend Sailor Jerry's Spiced Rum and Trader Vic's Tom and Jerry Mix - both were excellent and can be found easily.

Here's a few links to recipes if you'd like to make them without buying the mix:

All Recipes - Tom and Jerry Cocktails

Esquire Magazine - Tom and Jerry (has a fun little history lesson!)

Epicurious - Tom and Jerry

Have a wonderful Christmas Eve!

Friday, December 19, 2014

Friday Night Candy Cane Cocktails

These were so yummy - we might have even had two!  After all, we had to celebrate our hard work decorating the Christmas tree....

2 oz. Vodka
2 oz. Peppermint Schnapps
2 oz. Whipped Cream Vodka
Crushed Candy Canes for Glass Decorating
Candy Canes for Garnishment

Step 1: Crush Candy Canes and roll martini glass edges to decorate (can be a bit tricky!)
Step 2: Pour Vodka, Peppermint Schnapps, and Whipped Cream Vodka over ice into your martini shaker.  Shake well, and pour carefully into decorated martini glasses.
Step 3: Add Candy Canes 
Step 4: Enjoy with someone special!


Thursday, December 4, 2014

Snicker Doodles for Santa Claws

Trying something new this year for our Santa cookies. Snicker Doodle cookies loaded with white chocolate chips!  



1 Cup Margarine (2 sticks)
1 1/2 cup white sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp. vanilla
2 3/4 cups of flour
2 tsp. cream of tartar
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1 package white chocolate chips (or to your liking)

Cinnamon and Sugar Mixture for rolling cookies:
1/8 cup sugar
1/2 Tablespoon cinnamon

Preheat oven to 350 Degrees

1. Cream together margarine, sugar and eggs.  Add in vanilla, mix well
2. Mix dry ingredients together and then mix into margarine mixture
3. Fold in white chocolate chips
4. Put cookie dough into the fridge for at least 30 minutes to make the cookies easier to roll
5. Roll cookies into cinnamon and sugar mix and place on cookies sheet about 2 inches apart.
6. Bake for 10-11 minutes

7. Wait for Santa Claws! (Claus)


Crab Mixing Bowl

Seashell Pitcher from our Sea and Shore Collection:

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Tropical for Christmas

Over 31 years ago, I spent my first tropical Christmas in Hawaii. Was totally expecting it to be a really weird,bummer time, not like Christmas at all.  Needless to say, I was not a happy camper. (might have even been a little whiney). My first time away from the cold rainy Pacific Northwest and away from family during the holidays.

Where could we possibly find a Christmas tree in Hawaii?  We didn't even have ornaments! (or any money) A wreath? So weird to be wearing shorts and t-shirts.. what do you do when it's 80 degrees and sunshining in the winter?

Me and Dad snorkeling in Hanauma Bay 1983
Our  tree that year, turned out to be rather magical with a little help from my mom and dad. My grandma Johnnie had a Christmas tree farm in her back "40". Every year after my brother Jeff, and I were old enough, we spent our December weekends helping customers at her farm cut down their own Christmas trees.  Believe it or not, I got to be pretty handy down in the dirt with a tree saw! I can't even begin to count the weekends spent cold, muddy and soaked through after tramping around (sometimes for quite awhile) in between wet Douglas Fir, Noble Fir and Blue Spruce trees.  It was all worth it though, to hang out in the kitchen with my grandma telling stories and drinking hot chocolate. Oh, and we may have consumed some Christmas cookies too!

So, I digress...  My dad must have felt pretty sorry for me (I was a more than a little pathetic), and he and my mom came up with a plan to get a tree to me in Hawaii.  I have always loved the smell and the gorgeous colors of blue spruce trees. Dad went to grandma's and found a fatty, round one and cut it down. Somehow between all of them, (there might have been cocktails involved) they figured out how to squish it, wrap the bottom in wet paper towels and a plastic bag.  Then the whole thing went into a constructed lop-sided cardboard box.  With about 5 pounds of packing tape!

Took five or six days to get to us, but made it perfectly in one piece! My mom was so sweet, making a bunch of cute reindeer and Santa ornaments and sending them along too.

Have such wonderful memories of that first holiday in our home in Pearl City. We had a huge mango tree in our backyard,  fenced in from the sugar cane fields and surrounded by pretty pink oleanders with a beautiful dark pink blooming bougainvillea growing in our courtyard. Our neighbors even had big red blooming Poinsettias growing in their yard!

What to do when it's 80 degrees?  Go to the beach and go boogey boarding! Which is exactly what we did on Christmas Day in 1983.

Here are a few of my favorite tropical Christmas Tree ideas - 
what a fun way to celebrate life in the islands. (or pretend you are on a tropical vacation!)

Love this "reclaimed" from the sea tree from musician Jack Johnson, featured in Coastal Living last holiday - who needs a real tree? Just create one of your own!

Load up the shiny ornaments! Wouldn't it be fun to create a tropical tree in your outside living area? (from the Frontgate catalog)

 Lily Pulitzer, of course.  Something so fun about a total infusion of tropical, bright color!

One of my all-time favorite Christmas decor inspirations from Coastal Living Magazine.  I have had this image pinned on my bulletin board for 5 years... check out the palm fronts mixed with the blue, aqua and silver.  Love this tree!

More color infusion topped off with palm fronts from Better Homes and Gardens ( What an inviting, cozy room!

 Who says the tree has to be green? I really really want the ottoman... (also Coastal Living Magazine)

Maybe surfing after Christmas brunch? The purple and turquoise is such a great combo! (also Coastal Living) 

Looks like a fabulous party!  I want get invited -  (so sorry, do not know the source)

Hoping to get our tree this weekend...

Friday, November 14, 2014

Gourmet White Wine Steamed Clams


Impress your friends and family with your "gourmet-like" chef skills when creating these fabulously rich, yummy steamed clams.  So easy, so good, and pretty difficult to mess up. Perfect for a fall dinner party!


  • 1 stick of butter (1/2 cup)
  • 2 cups + Good dry white wine, like a Chardonnay or a Sauvignon Blanc.  This will make or break this meal - don't skimp! (or if you want to do 1/2 wine and 1/2 water that's okay too, just don't use bad wine)
  • 1/2 - 1 large chopped yellow onion 
  • 4-5 chopped fresh garlic cloves
  • 1 large fresh chopped-diced tomato  (can use canned)
  • 1/4-1/2 cup fresh chopped Italian Parsley
  • 1/2 - 3/4 cup chopped fresh basil
  • 1 cup prepared pasta sauce - a little spicy is better; try Arrabbiata or a really good Marinara with a few red pepper flakes
  • Ground Pepper to Taste
  • Kosher Salt to Taste
  • 2 lbs. fresh scrubbed Manila clams - the smaller the tastier!

Melt stick of butter in large stock pot.  Saute the onions and garlic until soft in the butter, then add the tomato. Continue stirring and sauteing together while adding the parsley and the basil.  Add the pasta sauce, salt, pepper and then the wine. 
Bring to a slow simmer, then gently add in the clams.  Adjust with more wine, pasta sauce or water if clams are not swimming free in the broth.
Continue simmering with the pot covered.  Cook until the clams are steamed open, should only take 5-10 minutes.  **Throw away any unopened clams**

Serve up in a deep bowl with broiled Parmesan cheese toasties for dipping,  and of course, 
a glass of your favorite white wine!  Don't forget to have a little fun with your table setting.  Go a little nautical with charts and linen,  mix and match dinnerware, or use your special seafood flatware. My driftwood centerpieces are simply "washed-up" rope that I found at the beach in Pesadero and a collection of interesting driftwood.  Found the lantern at some hideaway antique store in Pescadero, could not resist it! 

Cheers to cozy fall days!

Compass Rose Glassware 


Saturday, November 8, 2014

A Fall Coastal Picnic

There's still time for a fall picnic with your special someone before the crazy holiday season starts! It's one of our favorite things to do on a lazy weekend day.  Tom and I pack up our picnic basket, with linen napkins, wine glasses and then stop for local cheese and produce on the way to our destination.  Sometimes we never know where we will end up!

Oh - we do bring wine too! Or in this case, we had our picnic on the Concannon Winery picnic grounds and bought a wonderful cold bottle of Chardonnay.  Just the right pairing with our goat cheese and red-ripe tomatoes.  Yum.  (Sea Turtle Glassware)

Such a relaxing way to get caught up after a long hectic week...

Tips for a fall picnic:

1. Stemless Wine Glasses; you never know when you might be sitting on the grass or in the sand dunes...  I love my School of Fish and my new Moby ones!

These Starfish Etched Stemless Wine Tumblers are pretty cool too.

2. Cloth Napkins, or a small tablecloth (not too precious!)  - much better than throwing more things away.  I put mine in the washing machine when I get home, and then repack them in our picnic basket for the next time.  These new red coral linen napkins are super durable and super easy to wash and dry. (Trust me - I have washed mine many times!)

3. Ice Packs for the picnic basket.

4. A great cheese board and spreading knife to keep in your basket. We keep a small paring knife in our basket too.  We love our sea turtle!

5. Make it simple. Grab whatever fruit and veggies are in season, a fresh loaf of baked bread and your favorite cheese.

I am hoping that we are having a picnic somewhere in Paris; in a garden or along the Seine.... keeping my fingers crossed that it's not raining!

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Get the Look - French Seaside Style!

We're off on a jet plane today, leaving San Francisco and headed to the City of Lights, Paris.   Tom and I have known about this for quite awhile, and have planned for months to make this all happen - can't believe we are actually leaving this afternoon!

What to do! Am overwhelmed with all of the culture, museums, cafes, wine and window shopping, and maybe a little more shopping...

Have been scanning Pinterest and have had my trusty French Seaside Style book open for inspiration for treasures that I might have to bring home in my suitcase....linens, handbags, perfume, travel posters - possiblities are endless.  Hmmm... maybe I had better unpack some stuff out of my suitcase so that I have more space! Or maybe I could just pick up another suitcase?

Enjoy my eye-candy collection! All sources for blogs and photography can be found on my Pinterest Board, "Get the Look - French Seaside Style"

We are going with guidebooks, maps, and pages of notes and lots of tips from friends. (also several pairs of comfy shoes!)  Hope that a week will at least give us a little taste of what there is to experience in Paris!  Can't wait to discover the bookstalls, the art and the myriad of flea markets throughout the city.   Promise to take lots of pics to share when we get back!

P.S. We're having a sale while Tom and I are traveling - take advantage of Free Shipping!  
Coupon Code = Paris

Friday, October 31, 2014

7 Ideas for A Coastal Fall Entry Way

Now that we've moved to the beach and have a "real" front door again, it's been fun to scour Pinterest for ideas to create a welcoming front door, and foyer area again.

Here' my collection of fall entry inspiration plus a sneak preview of what our porch is starting to look like....

From Better Homes and Gardens - because an Autumn front porch doesn't always have to have only traditional fall colors.  LOVE the fall foliage in bright purples and deep greens..

So pretty!  Fill a basket with fall leaves and tuck in a starfish, simple idea - I could probably even pull this look off.  Now to find a basket.... (both images from

For those of us (me) that did not have time to carve their pumpkins, this looks like a great idea from Southern Living Magazine.   Simply hollow out a space for hurricanes and fill with a candle.  Might try this with "flameless" candles at our house...

From; fabulous mix of colors for the beach!  My fave of course, turquoise and tangerine. Fill tin buckets and baskets with fall elements and mix in some pretty shells - voila'!

From - the fall art gallery wall is so cool! Can just imagine these frames filled with pictures of our family mixed in with the leaves and I would also add pics of beach-washed shells.

From - cool idea for our non-traditional fall location!  We don't really have the "normal" kind of fall leaves here, maybe this kind of green leafy wreath would be perfect!  I do have sea urchin shells and lots of starfish that I could add.... hmm.

Gosh, I wish our porch was large enough to add chairs!   One of my all time favorite homes from New England Home Magazine.

I wish...... from Inspired Room

Really bad lighting, but you get the idea of where I am starting...


Hopefully it will stop raining before the trick or treaters get here!  

P.S. Yes, the rug can be found on our site - LOVE these colors for fall!  

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