Mount Diablo

January 23, 2010

I love Mount Diablo.  The other day James and I foolishly sped off on the motorcycle in the freezing cold weather to make a little trip up there.  But it was definitely worth it.  Although it was pretty foggy, it was still such a majestic place to be.  The colors in the scenery and the rolling landscape are truly beautiful!

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High Tea

January 14, 2010

Tea parties never go out of style.  I invited my grandma over for tea today to share in some delicious snacks, soothing tea and good conversation.  I love hearing about her past in retail, owning a store, and being a buyer . . and we never get bored talking about fashion!  It was so much fun!

Homemade lemon scones by me (another one of my baking escapades) and Sarah’s infamous lemon curd – boy, is it tasty!

Tea sandwiches! Yum!

What a fantastic day with a fantastic friend!

Good Design

January 11, 2010

My sister Sarah has always told me that my bookshelves are full of “coffee table books”.  While I do own books that are chock full of words (believe it or not), I seem to be drawn to those that are colorful, full of graphics, and endless hours of inspiration.  I am a different sort of bibliophile.  I would much rather prefer to look at a Mies van der Rohe chair, than I would to read Jane Austen.  I always judge books by their covers and I just can’t seem to move past my fascination for what you might call beautiful picture books.  The following books are three of my all time favorite design books.

1.  The Nest Home Design Handbook by Carley Roney – This book is fantastic!  When I first bought it, I sat down and read it straight from cover to cover!  My favorite things about this book?  In the back of the book there is a DIY mini floor plan you can play around with to get some ideas.  You can cut out the shapes of furniture and move them around until you find a configuration that suits you, without the hassle of actually having to push around bulky furniture.  Not feeling creative?  There are also several examples of both living room and kitchen layouts, as well as extensive examples of all different kinds of chairs, tables, sofas, et cetera.

2.  Domino : The Book of Decorating by Caponigro, Costello, Needleman – I recently purchased this book from Barnes & Nobles and I am so happy I did!  This is one of those books where you just want to sit down and read it for hours.  The photographs are beautiful and some of the ideas are purely ingenious!  I showed this book to my sister-in-law Leslie and my brother Aaron because they are in the works of creating a home and I immediately saw the gears begin to turn.  There is something that can be taken away from every photograph in here.  Truly good design.

3.  Apartment Therapy by Maxwell Gillingham Ryan – This was the first interior design book I had ever purchased.  Although I am not currently and have never lived in an apartment, this book is invaluable.  When all else fails, this book is a place to come back to for sheer inspiration.  The examples are all real homes and the creativity in design and manipulation of space makes this definitely worth purchasing.  You won’t regret it!

Although I am not an avid reader, there is something to be said for this class of books.  To me, anything that inspires creativity is a worthy investment.  I hope you find inspiration in these as well.

Christmas

January 8, 2010

Christmas is always a big ordeal in my family.  This year was exceptionally good considering some difficult circumstances that took place several days before (more on that later).  Things were crazy, noisy, sometimes inappropriate and altogether funny.  Here’s a little peak into why I love my family so much.

Sarah bought Boylan’s for everybody from the market on Estudillo.  Yum!  Their Rootbeer & Lemon flavors are supreme, though Sarah swears by their Birch Beer.

Last year my dad discovered the Christmas markets in Germany and he came home armed with about fifteen mugs for the traditional glüh-wine beverage they make in Germany for the holidays.  This year he came back with more & James tried out the newest addition – the boot mug!

The highlight of this Christmas Eve were the glow sticks everybody got in their stockings.  We all made unique creations and Jesse took a family photo of all of us.  Here are some photographs I took.

This picture of Jesse, Sarah and James is by far my favorite!

Aaron (with food in his mouth?) & Leslie.

Liz & Jesse.