Late July Edition!
I sort of skipped what was suppose to be a monthly post of my favorite things last month (June).  This month has been so filled up with summer get togethers, trips out of town and whatnot that…well…I’m just getting to it now. But here it is! My July favorite things!
1.  San Pellegrino Aranciata
Found these on a trip to Costco just before Summer really got going.  They’re yummy, look oh so cute sitting in a tub of ice during a bbq, and they’re a nice alternative to soda. BIG, big fan of these!
2.  Santa Barbara Design Umbrellas 
I want all of them, every color, every style…I LOVE THEM!  They aren’t cheap, but man are they a lot of style for your patio.  A simple outdoor set would become WOW with one of these over it!
3.  Rikshaw Designs
I first learned about Rikshaw Designs from Alex over at the Rustic Rooster blog. I was hooked…instantly!  Catherine Fitzsimmons designs are right up my alley, bohemian, colorful, casual and beachy.  It’s no secret (well maybe it was on here!) that the other half and I are all for having another baby right now.  Guess what I’m putting in the baby’s room? Yeah, you guess it…this stuff!  But until then I am happily living in my cute kurtas…I just ordered two!
via Guidespot.com
via Coochicoos.com
 
4.  Felix Doolittle Stationery
I finally started using my cute Felix Doolittle return address labels this past month.  I can’t believe I had forgotten about them!  As per my usual, I got them, left them in a drawer I never hardly open and thus forgot about.  Our address labels feature a cute black labrador chewing on a ball…VERY our dog Zipper!  Ball crazy doesn’t even begin to explain how in love with tennis balls our creature is.  She’s insane.
In any case, the artwork is absolutely stunning!  Each drawing is so good you wish you had a full sized version to put on your wall.  They really are that spectacular.  I used them on a few thank you notes I sent out this past month and people actually called and/or emailed me to ask where I had gotten my labels! Seriously.
I also picked up bookplates for my little one featuring a monkey holding onto a LARGE baby bottle of milk.  We called Ellie “milk monkey” when she was born because she was such an avid eater.  That girl loved her milk!
 via Martha Stewart

5.  Grilled Steak and Summer Vegetable Salad- From Everyday Food
I’ve subscribed to Everyday Food since day 1 of the publication.  It is my go to for quick, delicious, easy food.  The mag really is a life saver.  They come up with week long menus which include a whole shopping list with everything you will need to make the food.  Very convenient!  This past month featured this meal which I thought may be a little ho-hum.  But we’ve been trying to eat light around here lately and this fit the bill.  I will tell you…HO-HUM it is NOT!  I’m a big fan of all sorts of veggies, so getting me to eat them is not normally an issue.  The hubby however…can be a bit picky.  He’s not super into squash, zucchini or eggplant. This dish had all three..BUT HE ATE IT!!!!!  AND, he loved it! It also looks super pretty when you plate all the veggies and steak together.  It’s a really nice presentation.
Grilled Steak and Summer Vegetable Salad
Serves 4
Time: 45 minutes
Try grilled bruschetta with this supper: Brush thick slices of crusty bread with olive oil, then grill until toasted on both sides.  Flank steak can be used in place of hanger.
  • 1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for grilling
  • 2 springs of rosemary
  • 5 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • 1 1/4 lbs. hanger steak
  • coarse salt and ground pepper
  • 1 medium eggplant, cut into 3/4 inch slices
  • 1 zucchini, cut into 1/4 inch thick slices
  • 1 yellow squash, cut into 1/4 inch thick slices
  • 1/2 lb. cherry tomatoes on the vine, or plum tomatoes halved
  • 1 bunch of scallions
  • 1 sweet bell pepper (any color) cut into sixths, seeds and stems removed.
  • 2 Tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons honey
1. Heat a grill to medium-high.  Clean and lightly oil hot grill.  In a small oven proof pot combine oil, rosemary, and garlic and place on grill.  Cook until oil begins to bubble, 2 minutes.  Remove herb oil from heat and set aside 3 tablespoons in a small bowl.
2.  Brush steak with herb oil, season with salt and pepper, and grill, turning occasionally, about 10 minutes per side for medium-rare (move steak to a cooler part of grill if it begins to over brown).  Transfer to a cutting board and tent with foil.  Let rest 10 minutes before slicing thinly against the grain.
3.  In batches, brush vegetables with herb oil, season with salt and pepper, and grill, turning occasionally, until tomato skins are split and vegetables are tender, 3 to 5 minutes total.  Transfer to a serving platter, along with sliced steak.  Add vinegar and honey to reserved oil and whisk together.  Season to taste with salt and pepper, then drizzle dressing over steak and vegetables.
“5th Avenue” at Art Brokerage.com
Locomotive #4 via hometown-pasadena.com
6. Ray Turner
I discovered Ray Turner when I was about 18 years old in a downtown Fullerton art gallery (which has since moved locations), Sarah Bain Gallery .  I was immediately hooked on Turner’s style.  The exhibition was on a series of chefs in a kitchen.  They were stunning…and NOT expensive at the time. Now of course paintings that were once in the hundreds are in the tens of thousands.  No, I won’t be acquiring one soon. sad.  But I recently decided to check out some of his new works and as usual I was not disappointed. One day..maybe…I’ll get one of those chef paintings.
Ok, that’s my late July edition of “A few of my favorite things“! Hope you enjoyed!

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July 27, 2010

Sweet estate sale finds!

by Shelly

Just wanted to share some goodies I picked up at an estate sale in my neighborhood recently.  I got there just about 30 minutes into the first day of the sale and it was OUT OF CONTROL!! People were packed inside the house and there were all ready piles set aside of things people wanted to buy. It was good…real good!
A pretty little handpainted Japanese vase circa pre WWII! 
A cute little ruffle edge bowl and saucer for jam on our breakfast table.
A pair of Gorham circa 1920s candlesticks…just perfect for our holiday table! AND these come apart and can be made to hold just a separate candle stick each or made shorter. Pretty nifty!
Neat old apple baskets. Really not sure what I’m going to do with these yet. But they were only $3! And one of them has a cool lid to it. Any ideas what to do with these???
Small, creamy milk glass vases just perfect for fresh picked flowers from our garden!
And speaking of milk glass…a cute medium size bowl for fruit and a sugar and creamer set!  LOVE!
I fell in love with these old rusty hooks. I’m thinking of using them to hang my aprons on.
Oh, and last but not least…the early 1920s butter churn. For $15 I couldn’t resist. It was just too cool. I’m thinking of using it in a clients’ house. Such a cool conversation piece in the right room.
Well, I think I did a pretty good job at one estate sale. I love all the milk glass and plan on using it when we entertain.  The husband would rather I set up an etsy shop and start selling my finds, but I’m still debating that one. Thanks for stopping by!

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July 27, 2010

off to the library…

by Shelly

Last week the little girl and I headed to the Huntington Library in San Marino for a playdate with one of my oldest friends and her little one Declan.  The Huntington was one of my favorite places to go in my teen years actually.  I’ve always been very into art (I have a degree in Art History) and I grew up with a family of passionate gardeners (I’ve also become one).  The Library not only has a collection of rare books and manuscripts, but also an art collection and botanical gardens.  It’s a wonderful place to go for a date with your love, but take your kids to for a little something different.
Declan exploring the lily pond.
Stunning.
 The lotus flowers were all in bloom! So pretty in person!
It’s difficult to see, but there is a giant spiral cut into the grass that the kids had a blast exploring. There’s my little Ellie running towards me.  The Library is seen peeking through the trees.
There are lots of sculptures scattered throughout the gardens.
Pretty trails that lead to other gardens with a new theme.
The kids loved the “little trees” all lined up in the Japanese garden.
The best part for the kids was definitely the childrens’ garden. Little doors for little ones were fun!
As much as I harped on Ellie NOT to drink the water.. Well you can see that didn’t really work out.
Plenty of places to play jungle! 
The perfect end to a perfect day trip/play date! CUPCAKES!
Yep..she’s a happy camper!

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An old friend of mine that I have known since I was in second grade has been working on a fabulous photography project.  She’s a surfer girl, photographer, wife and a mom to two little cute girls. Her project entails following women of all ages who surf and photographing them in the spot that inspires them the most. I want to share one of her pics with you. They are SO beautiful and I want to frame all of them for my office as inspiration to get out in the water more! Yes, I surf too! Take a look.

To see more of Wendi’s work go HERE!

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July 23, 2010

Dining Room E-Design

by Shelly

I’ve been continuing work with an e-design client in Massachusetts the past month or so. It has been a fun process as well as a total learning experience for me! Working online and over the phone ONLY, makes it definitely a challenging endeavor!
The client likes traditional furnishings, but with a more funky contemporary twist. Although she sent me lots of inspiration pics with ultra modern lighting and furnishings, we were not able to go AS modern because she has a inherited, super traditional mahogany dining set. Here is what we came up with….


The room will have an updated, younger feel to it with the sleek new chandelier, the eye catching large convex mirror and the glass accents and lamps. Her current dining set has eight all wood chairs, so to break up some of those legs we are putting two upholstered wingback dining chairs at the heads of the table. The dark navy fabric brings out the navy in the existing Bettina fabric that is already on the window panels and the dining chair seats.

The existing fabric really gives the room a lovely garden..but funky feel to the room. To play up that element a little more some fun topiaries are to be added to the dining room table, as well as two sleek, modern hurricane holders. The table will sparkle during dinners in the evening.
A skirted console will replace a mahogany buffet that is just a bit to small for the wall it is currently on. Also, adding more fabric to the room will soften the lines going on with the table and chairs.  The console will not only be made larger to serve as a nice buffet area during dinners, but also under the skirt lots of entertaining dishes, glasses and serving pieces can be hidden away.  The two gorgeous blown glass lamps will rest atop the console on either side of her existing cut crystal decanters she currently has. The beautiful gilded gold convex mirror will go over the console wall.
I can’t wait to see the room once everything is in! I think it’s going to be just the place my client was looking for…inviting, warm, traditional but updated, and just enough glitz to impress guests.
If you are interested in e-design packages please contact me here!  I work with all budgets and projects…big or small.
Have a fabulous weekend everyone!!!


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