Thursday, August 30, 2012

Favorite Places in Santa Maria

Who's ready for the long weekend? I certainly am.  We're heading up to my family's hometown in the quiet and serene town of Santa Maria.  It's funny how growing up in a small town, you overlook and under appreciate the small characteristics it has to offer.  Parking is easy (and free), no traffic, and the people are humble and unpretentious.  Back when I was a teenager, all I yearned for was breaking out of this small town and moving to a life in a big metropolitan city.  Now as I get older, slower, and unadventurous in my young thirties, it's kind of nice to retreat back to home.

These are my most favorite places to go to in the area:

Cambria Wine Tasting Room is my go-to winery.   This isn't right in the mix of the popular Santa Ynez wineries, but it's well worth the short drive.  It doesn't get too busy, and they are known for their Pinot Noir and Chardonnay.

Rent an outdoor hot tub at the Sycamore Mineral Springs. You can be out doors in the peaceful and serene hills of Avila Beach while soaking your body in mineral water and drinking a cold brew or glass of wine.

For a hearty steak and potato meal, the best place is Jocko's Steakhouse and you can't leave the area with out a meal from Chef Rick's Far Western.  On any given Saturday, you can drive down Broadway Street in Santa Maria and pick up some Santa Maria style BBQ

There are no nearby Saks or Barneys, but Coverings in San Luis Obispo has great contemporary apparel and accessories.  I have seen this boutique grow from a small size closet to a full concept with five full shoppable sections over the last decade.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Friendship Bracelet Party Favors

I was lucky enough to be in charge of the party favors for my cousin's grey and yellow themed bridal shower that happened last Saturday.  (I thrive off of little party projects!) The bride-to-be is one that can be described as practical, a lover of do-it-yourself crafts, and a good friend to many.  So after wracking my brain for the perfect and more personalized favor that was "her", I created DIY friendship bracelet kits.  The results turned out to be really fun, colorful and easy to do!

The supplies that I used can be found here:

I had the most fun picking out the various color combinations for the bracelets...

I then tied the thread combinations onto some colored card stock and backed it with the folded instructions.  I completed the favor with a tag that said "Their lives would knot be the same with out your friendship"....

Monday, August 27, 2012

Happy Birthday to the Hubs

I want to take this day to wish the unspoken hero in my life, the Hubs, a very Happy Birthday.

A huge cheers to the man who....
Questions if he should've gone pro tennis
Changes every code brown diaper
Can't sit indian style
Is competitive in everything he does
Has a serious case of OCD - (but because of this, our home is a lot safer)
Can dance

But most of all...

Does everything to make his wife happy
Sacrifices everything to make his kids smile
Always makes himself the last priority

On this day - you are our #1. Happy Birthday!

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Snaps: Pint Size Kids

I was snap happy this week, so it was hard to narrow my photo choices into one collage.  So I'll keep the focus on a fun place for this post.  After hearing the raves and ahhhs of Pint Size Kids, an early learning center for young kids, I finally took the boys for a visit.  Oh my, I (we) fell in love.  The philosophy of this place is teaching kids through pretend play.  And there is a play space that features a grocery store, medical center and workshop, streets to encourage imaginative play.  We were lucky because the place was empty, which was not typical, so the boys ended up playing here for hours upon hours touching every toy and wrecking every nook and cranny in this place!

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Happy Weekend

This is the last free weekend before the start of football season.  Do you have any favorite teams?  So before I transition into tomboy mode, put on my cardinal USC gear, crack open a beer and watch College Game Day, I'm basking in the California sun this weekend...and maybe throw in some shopping. I hope you have a happy weekend!

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

First Haircut

I've anxiously anticipated the first haircut for both of my boys. To me, cutting their hair marked the milestone from baby to toddler, so I waited and prolonged as much as possible before snipping their baby hair. I didn't go to extreme lengths like waiting six years before cutting their hair like Kate Hudson with her son Ryder, but waited until both were at least 1 year of age.  So here I share a big milestone for both myself and Lil Tyty, a cut we both did not enjoy.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Shoe Crushes: Loafers

A close second to ankle booties, loafers are on my must-have list for the upcoming fall season.  There are so many options too.  While I'd be OK with wearing a more basic, watered down loafer to complete my preppy look (ala sailing in Nantucket), there are many fancy options that elevate this trend.   I'm especially fond of the gold cap toe pairs below.

Animal: J Crew / Top Shop
Metal Toe: Dolce Vita / Sam Edelman
Tassles:  Aquazurra / Chloe
Spikes:  Christian Louboutin / Sam Edelman 

Monday, August 20, 2012

Bottega Louie

Bottega Louie is a restaurant hotspot for the hip downtown crowd.  During the work week, you'll hobnob with the nearby corporate executives as well as the local fashion crowd.  And even on the weekend, LA's hippest swarm to this destination, waiting up to two hours to dine for brunch and dinner (no reservations are taken).  The portobello french fries are a must and the cocktails are savory. Dining can be a little loud between the acoustics of the high vaulted ceilings and the marble floors, but it's definitely worth the experience.  Especially when you try the desserts at the patisserie.  It's a crime if you don't indulge in a dessert while dining at Bottega Louie! It can be a tough choice between the creme brûlée and the tiramasu, but definitely don't leave home without an assortment of macaroons.   

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Weekend Snaps

I was in and out of Vegas for my cousin's bridal shower over the weekend.  It was great to hang out with all of the important ladies in my life sans men - no boyfriends, husbands or babies!! The mood was mellow and the color theme in yellow.  And while the bride was gifted with amazing gifts to prepare her for her upcoming marriage, we were entertained by the one test my cousin was not prepared for...'How well do you know the Groom'.  It's a running joke that Joy is the smartest and brightest one in the family.  She rarely had to study for tests and quizzes, and the answers came naturally to her.  However, this was the one test that she did not come prepared for.  While we don't doubt the love between Joy and her fiancé, this was one of those rare occasions that come far and few between.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Project Decorate

I have focused this week on project home decorate.  It's been a daunting task that I have prolonged starting, but I finally started taking baby steps with small tasks here and there.  I tend to get intimated by home decorating because 1) my lack of experience 2) it feels like a big commitment.  Sacrificing walls with nail holes or painting trims can get a little personal. Let alone the financial dent that starts to add up two pillows and nine picture enlargements later.  Anyway, I am excited with my progress so far and can't wait to share with you shortly.  

*could not find these photo sources for the life of me!

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

End of Summer Dressings

I'm eager and ready to transition into my favorite season of the year...FALL! The wool sweaters and boots, the autumn landscape colors and college football games are nearing the corner.  I'm also salivating over a couple of leather jackets and leggings. But since it has been hotter than Hades in LA, I have had to stick with half and half looks - half summer half fall.  Between mixing outfits with ankle booties and cut off denim shorts with jackets, I'm easing into my seasonal looks.  

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Pink, Glitter and Gold Party

This post may be off point for my little lifestyle mommy blog, but I couldn't resist sharing this fantastic pink and gold bridal shower that was featured on Wedding Chicks.  I was trolling through the internet to get inspired for bridal shower ideas for my cousin and came across this ultra glamorous fete.  So many cute party details that can be used as inspiration for parties beyond a bridal shower.  The chevron cake, the hanging tassels, and how adorable is that idea of the photos hanging from the balloons?  I may have to pocket this for a future special birthday.

Photo source via Wedding Chicks

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Weekend Snapshots

Despite the sizzling triple digit temperatures this weekend, we indulged in a lot of eating, drinking and outdoor fun.  We kicked off the weekend with Happy Hour drinks and noshes at the nearby gastropub the Local Peasant.  Saturday called for an afternoon swim in the pool and ended with an intimate family dinner with friends.  The drinks poured on through out Sunday with a leisurely picnic at the park, where we toasted a girlfriend who survived 7 whole weeks watching her 2 young boys solo while her husband was across the country for work.  She rightfully deserves a medal of honor!  Hope you all stay cool this week. I will be prepping for a busy week with some DIY projects.

Friday, August 10, 2012

My Attempt to Cleanse

After nearly four years of either being pregnant or nursing, and loading my body full of fatty, fried foods and complex carbs, I decided to try and cleanse my gluttonous past with a Pressed Juicery detox.  The Hubs had very little confidence that I could survive a 3 day cleanse, so in taking baby steps, I tried out the 1 day bit: 5 juices, 1 almond milk, with chlorophyl and aloe vera in between. The idea and intention seemed attainable at the time. However, I failed. Hard.

The first hours were great.  I took down the greens and roots juices like a champ and was happily surprised by the taste of the juices. Mind over matter, I could do this. Then the 7th hour and 4th bottle of straight liquid consumption came along and I began to feel waterlogged and drowning in juice.  I hate to compare this experience synonymously to Century Club, but it's the best way to describe it.  At hour 11, I hit the point of "hangry" (hungry + angry) and the headache started to kick in.  By no means am I exaggerating when I say that I felt like my brains were trying to explode out of my hair...and some would say this indicates that the detox is working. But the excruciating pain forced me to throw in the towel.  Keeled over on the couch in almost tears, I graciously forfeited and accepted small morsels of food.  Juicing is not in my set of cards.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Retail Therapy: Preschool Shopping

We are less than a month out from Big D's first day of preschool and there are mixed feelings of anxiety with a small hint of excitement.  However, he obviously feels differently since he shooed me away this morning as I left him in transition class. As I walked away, a pang of emotion hit me knowing he didn't need me to be with him. Looming and watching over his shoulder.  Eyeing his every move.  He showed me he was independent and can hang with his fellow classmates and teachers on his own.  Eventually I'll grow to accept his new found independence, but in the meantime, my coping mechanism to get me through these lulls...retail therapy.  


Fashion Library in Progress

One of my first posts of this blog I mentioned that I was striving for a fraction of Tamara Mellon's to-die-for shoe closet and coffee table book collection. Since then, I have started a small fashion library with some of fashion's most respected icons, and along with that, maintained a steady growth of designer shoes.  

In an effort to build my library, the Bestie and I made an agreement to gift each other with awesome books for every special occasion.  Rather than wracking our brains and splurging on each other for the perfect gift (we share an expensive taste of Barneys NY, Coco Chanel, and Parisian Handbags), we came up with this cost effective solution of gifting.  Especially nowadays with our small pocket budgets invested in diapers and hers toward grad school.

For her upcoming birthday, these are what I had in mind for her...

Image via here

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Littles' Snapshots

There was a lot to do this weekend.  Drinks, birthday parties, and play dates - and my first visit to the Abbey!  However, I don't have any great photos to show for it (which is probably for the better).  In the meantime, I kick this week off with a peek into my littles' lifestyle and what makes them tick.  A room full of books, cars and laughter.  It's a boys world with lots of energy and color in between.  

Vanity Fair 2012 Best Dressed List

Vanity Fair released their honorable 2012 Best Dressed list last week.  Who topped the list for the 2nd consecutive year?  None other than London's sweetheart, Princess Kate.  I love her but also envy her for her incredible sense of style and perfectly manicured hair.  But what I appreciate most about the Duchess is that she mixes her wardrobe with labels from affordable brands such as Zara and Topshop to London's finest couture Alexandar McQueen and Jenny Packham.  

Many other notable celebrities, athletes, socialites and high fashion figures topped the list for the upcoming September issue. Stella McCartney, Jessica Chastain and Diane Kruger, to name a few of my favorites. Colin and Livia Firth as well as Lauren and Andres Santo Domingo were nodded as VF's best dressed couples.  Last but certainly not least, I can't forget to highlight our favorite men - Tom Brady and Jay-Z.

All photos from Vanity

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Happy Friday!

Aside from packing in a heavy work load by day, the nights have been busy this week with exciting side projects and staying tuned in with the Olympic games.  The pace doesn't look to slow down as I head into the weekend.  Friday will kick off with a girls' happy hour at Cecconi's, and Saturday has a birthday and play date lined up.  Looks like Sunday will be my day of rest!!  

Hope you have a beautiful weekend. 

Photo source here

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