Thursday, November 13, 2008

Fall in the city = great weather for lots of lovely activities, like SF Magazine's FallFest (already passed for this year)

Lots of other stuff still coming up. And if you need to get out of the city, this is suppposed to be one of the best times to go to Napa or Sonoma (no crowds, cheaper rooms, great weather)

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Let there be Light!

The fact that it is now dark every day when I leave my office makes me think of.. well.. LIGHT!

A few weeks ago on Top Design (I think you are lame for wimping out, Andrea Schroder) the 'pop' challenge was to design a room around an oversized chandelier. I loved this concept, because so many times light is brought into a space as a necessity or afterthought. Inspired by the whole 'lighting' idea, I decided to make it a central theme for our wedding next fall. The reception will have hundreds of candles and tealights, and a few huge silver candelabra centerpieces. I am also trying to find some vintage chandeliers to put on some of the tables...
Our "Save the Date" cards included a small chandelier stamp, and... I don't want to give anything away... but I'll just say that the invitations very much carry this theme through, including images of swinging paper lanterns for the Friday night BBQ before the wedding (Ifound my inspiration here)

A few days ago I ordered this chandelier print scarf from PrettyRaccoon's store on Etsy (my new favorite place to shop). All of my long scarves are so bulky and a lot of the long, thin scarves I've found in stores are just not soft at all (I'm looking at you, Gap and JCrew) But this one is made out of the same material as the super snuggly American Apparel shirt that I live in, so I can't wait to bundle up in it!
I'm a little confused why she looks so forlorn - maybe that is just her "model" face. Anyhow, I think I'll look happier, maybe even smile, when I'm wearing it!

The last 2 items for today come from a site called "Charles & Marie". The first is a "gorgeous crystal chandelier encapsulated completely in industrial rubber- creating an apparition of its former self." The coolest part of this design is the option (& temptation?) to peel back the rubber to reveal the crystal underneath. I wish this would have been included in the Top Design chandelier challenge. I love the use of the white rubber - turning transparent into opaque, the chandelier becomes a 3-D silhouette, while still managing to have a 'glow' to it. Cheers to Tobias Wong for his imaginative and beautiful design.

Last, I love this all-wax candle and candlestick by FrederiksonStallard (Candle#1)
"Merging the support and the candle into one piece of wax just stresses the object's temporary nature even more. In doing so it puts the poetics of use against the mere adornment of an opulent artifact." I like this as a converstation piece for a dinner party table because it is subtle, exquisitely practical, and quite clever.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008


I love these flats, but it was the name, and then description, that really caught my eye: Sea & Fog Flats: Chartreuse knots are buoyed atop pools of navy satin - A perfect example why online and catalogs are so great for creating a dialogue around your product - If you want them, they are here for the taking.

Boots that you can wear to the office AND actually walk to work in (1.5 m for me) are hard to come by. Last year, after MUCH searching, I found these boots and they fit the bill perfectly- I think I'll get them in black this year... I hate that they are called "Intyce" (??) but seriously, it took me MONTHS to a pair of boots I liked - does any one else have a hard time w/ this or is it just me?

Monday, November 10, 2008

ETSY fall picks

I think I am going to get all of my Christmas gifts on Etsy this year. Among the editor's picks for fall, they offer:
Aubergine Honesty silk-lined clutch bag

The print definitely says "Fall," and the pretty pink lining sweetens it up a bit. I really like that they choose to use a soft pink lining - I would have probably chosen a deep purple to match the print on the front, but the pink is much better!

Most of the merchandise on etsy is photographed and displayed so thoughtfully;
you can tell these people are artists in every sense of the word.

I found this adorable brooch on Melissa Beal's etsy page She also makes this in green and brown, but the Yellow Autumn Leaf is the best of the bunch.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Baby It's Cold Outside

Marin Outdoor Living dubs their moveable fireplace "EcoSmart Fire." This product is sustainable (runs on clean burning denatured alcohol) and is perfect for city apartments that need some warming up..On their page MOL shows a few incarnations of the concept, but the white frame seems to be the most popular.
They hit the nail on the head with this one - modern AND cozy, stylish AND pratical.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Too Cute Cowgirl

Saw these in a store in Noe Valley that also sells - what else - onesies. They are soooo soft and cozy!

Friday, November 7, 2008

It's the Journey, not the Destination

OK, that title is a little dramatic, but I do think Fall is a great time to enjoy some slow cooking soups and deserts - even if they don't always look like they could grace the pages of Martha Stewart Living. Also, since it gets dark out so early, you have the perfect excuse to light the candles and open the wine when you start cooking -- no need to wait for dinner!

How I see it: Summer cooking = grilling out lots of fresh meats and vegtables;

Winter cooking = a mad rush to the finish line;

but Fall cooking = hearty herbs and spices that fill the house up with yummy smells while they simmer. Make time to enjoy time in the kitchen...

In the summer, there is no way I would be able to stay in the house long enough to make something like this:

but it seems like a perfectly acceptable fall activity to me (even if you use canned!)

Last night I tried out a butternut squash soup recipe and I was going to post the pictures and recipe here. It turned out... not so hot... so instead I'll post my all time favorite soup to make. (It makes your house smell DELICIOUS!)

Jones's -low fat- Tomato Basil Soup (nutritional info below)

8 medium plum tomatoes (can substitute 1 16-oz. can tomatoes)
• 1 medium onion, chopped
• 4 cloves garlic, crushed
• 2 pinches of ground red pepper
• 1 tablespoon chopped fresh basil (or substitute 1 teaspoon dried)
• 2 cups fat free skim milk
• salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste

In a large pot of boiling water, blanch the ripe tomatoes for 10 seconds. Transfer to colander. Cool to touch. Peel off skin and cut the tomatoes in half, remove seeds and chop. In a medium non stick sauce pan sprayed with cooking oil spray, sauté onions over medium high heat for 4 minutes or until translucent, stirring constantly. If need add a little water, wine or broth. Add garlic and cook one more minute. Add the tomatoes. Cook uncovered over medium heat for 20 minutes. (Decrease time to 10 minute for canned tomatoes)

Spoon 3/4 of mixture into blender or food processor and puree until smooth.

Return puree to saucepan. Add red pepper, basil and milk to soup. Heat until hot but do not boil, stirring frequently. Season with salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste. Serve immediately.
Per Serving: 215 Calories2g Fat (8% calories from fat)11g Protein28g Carbohydrate5g Dietary Fiber4mg Cholesterol173mg Sodium