Summer Time!

swing

I don’t mind admitting that I have a mild case of self-diagnosed OCD.   What event planner doesn’t suffer triumph from this right?  I’m detail oriented, organized and can’t get through life without a checklist, usually color-coded.   So since it was officially the first day of summer last Friday, I thought it was only appropriate to compile a list of all of my summer “to-dos.”

  1. Go camping in the Redwoods
  2. Master the skill of BBQing and make these and these
  3. Rent bikes and go for a ride along the coast
  4. Get in the habit of reading one book a month
  5. Hang twinkle lights in our patio and eat outside every chance we get
  6. Try out different workout classes to see what’s right for me.  I’m most interested in spinning and boxing so far, but the list is endless.  I even own a pair of these.
  7. Truly make yoga a part of my life. I feel so great when I practice; I’m not sure why I haven’t made it a daily habit.
  8. Re-institute Sunday day trips
  9. Host a picnic in the park with friends following a few games of bocce
  10. Visit at least three wineries in beautiful Northern Cali. Wine country, starting with this one

And the bonus to do….

11.   Learn to slow down, smell the roses and enjoy the scenery.

photo via Clement Demarquet

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Summer Solstice and Weekend Plans

Summer_solstice_stonehengeHappy First day of Summer!  I hope you all have amazing plans this weekend filled with lots of outdoor activities!  Which reminds me, Brent and I REALLY need to get a BBQ.  He cleaned our back porch and we now have room.  Hooray!

This weekend we don’t have too many set plans other than a dinner with friends at Piperade tomorrow night.  We might also try and get some pool time and drink a few of these in honor of the solstice.  A Sunday day trip over to Santa Cruz for a hike on the beach might be in order as well. This one looks fun and we can take Daisy!

Here are some other fun things happening around the Bay:

I swear we will make it to next year’s Sierra Nevada Music Festival.  I’ve been wanting to go FOREVER!

If you’re in the East Bay and in need of a little culture, check out the 10th Annual Berkeley World Music Festival.

Film of the Month:  Where the Wild Things Are at the Disney Museum.  And while you are there, you should check out the Down the Rabbit Hole exhibit.

Brent misses surfing in Florida and down in the (tad-bit) warmer So. Cal waters.  It might be too cold up here, but we can watch from the shore at the 19th Annual Surf City Classic in Santa Cruz

Last week I mentioned the SF Jazz Festival and now Stanford is kicking off their season with Herbie Hancock.

And here’s whats happening around the World:

Countries around the world are celebrating the Summer Solstice.  This morning, There was a particularly large celebration happening at Stonehenge.

Have a wonderful weekend!

photo courtesy of Bugbog

On the Hunt: Cookbooks

I recently created a pretty detailed budget for myself. The first month,  I spent as I normally do just to see where the money was going. I was completely SHOCKED to see how much money goes toward food.  Every morning, I’d find myself walking down to the cafe in my building at work, and usually back down for lunch as well, and then depending on how tired we were after work, we’d choose to either cook something at home or go out.  After seeing how much money we were spending, we decided to change our ways.  Don’t get me wrong, we LOVE to go out, but we’d rather save our money for a nice evening at a restaurant we will truly enjoy or have been dying to try.

So now that we are faced with this new challenge, I’ve been hunting blogs and websites far and wide for some of the best cookbooks out there.  I of course have my friends Ina, Giada and Nitza that I typically turn to, but am always on the hunt for some new ideas.  (And as a side note, yes, the Nitza Villapol cookbook is really $158 new. You can thank the Cuban government.)

Here are a few new ones I’ve been thinking of checking out!

One Pan Two PlatesOne Pan, Two Plates: More than 70 Complete Weeknight Meals for Two, by Carla Snyder

just square cover.inddAd Hoc at Home, by Thomas Keller

plenty-cookbookPlenty: Vibrant  Recipes from London’s Ottolenghi, by Yotam Ottolenghi

 

What are some of the must-have cookbooks in your kitchen?

Music Festivals and Weekend Plans

bonnaroo

So sorry for the late post today everyone! It’s been one of those days.  So what’s everyone up to this weekend?

Tomorrow, I’ll be having brunch in the cute town of Burlingame with a couple of my girlfriends.  It’ll be nice to sit back, catch up and have a couple of mimosas. On Sunday, I’ll be working Commencement for Stanford University.  Have I mentioned I work for Stanford?  Seriously, it’s the best job ever.   I’m excited to see all those bright-eyed students accepting their diplomas ready to take on the world.

Happy Father’s Day to all those wonderful dads out there!

If you’re looking for something fun to do, or perhaps somewhere to take dear ol’ dad,  there’s lots going on in the bay this weekend.

We’re a few days into the SF Jazz Festival, but you have until the 23rd of this month to check it out.

If you’re out in the East Bay, be sure to check out the Martinez BBQ festival.  We hunt down BBQ every chance we get in our house.

The 2013 Sonoma County Hot Air Balloon Classic is on Sunday. You have to be up pretty early, but I hear it’s quite the spectacle.

The 59th Annual North Beach Festival is this Sunday.  I love street festivals, so we might try and make it up here after Commencement.

We hardly pass up a free music festival, especially when in a great location like Stern Grove.  Don’t worry if you can’t make it this Sunday, it’ll be happening all summer long.

And finally, Summer always equals fun movie nights in the park.  I’m happy to see that also happens in Dolores Park.  This week’s pick is Indiana Jones.

And around the world:

Three major music festivals are happening this weekend!  If you find yourself in this corner of the world, or perhaps getting an early start on fun plans for next summer, make sure to check these out.

Sonar – Barcelona

Bonnaroo Tennessee   (photo via Wired)

Download Fest – England

p.s.  My friend, Emily just told me that there will be free beer (for dads) at Steins in Mountain View for Father’s Day.  Brent and I will be drinking one for our dad’s there!

Travel Bug

Last night, Brent and I had dinner with our friends at Figo in Palo Alto.  Isn’t the name of the restaurant fun to say?  It makes me want to throw my hands up and say Figo with a thick accent like how a little old Italian man would say it.

Over some La Fin du Monde beers and a Bulleit Old Fashioned (which our server called the mullet) we started discussing and dreaming about upcoming travel plans.  I have had the travel itch for a while now, since it’s been several years since I’ve been out of the country.  My last trip was to Costa Rica and that was almost 7 years ago! And confession: Brent has NEVER been out of the country (except to TJ which really doesn’t count).

So now comes the fun part: Where do we go?  Should we do a European vacation(we’re thinking starting in Amsterdam, then traveling to Belgium, Germany and ending in Prague) or perhaps take a trip to Southeast Asia and go to Thailand and Indonesia?  How about staying a little closer to home and going to Vancouver or taking an Alaskan cruise?  And then again there’s always my favorite place in the world, Paris!

Where do you think would be the best place to visit for someone new to traveling?

Here are a few photos of the beautiful world we live in that are at the top of my list.

Thailand Belgium  Italy

From top to bottom (Ko Thao, Thaliand via ThatBohemianGirl), a tree tunnel in Belgium, Lake Sauris, Fruili, Italy)

Closet Cleanup!

This past Sunday started off as a very lazy day at our place. That is until I brewed up some Cafe Bustelo..or as I lovingly call it, Cuban crack. I grew up watching my grandma brew this in her kitchen and it’s become a staple in mine. As you can imagine, I had a super high energy following my couple of cups, so I was looking for a daytime project. What better than a little spring summer cleaning!

As I do a couple of times a year, I took practically everything out of my closet and drawers for some refolding and a little purging. A few bags to the Goodwill later, my closet is feeling much lighter and ready for some pretty new pieces. Cue Pinterest!

My closet is small, but like this post about our patio, it’s definitely an upgrade from what we had down in LA. It’s funny how a little organization can not only make everything look better, but it just creates so much more room. Here are a couple of space savers that also helps in presenting your things in a beautiful way.

pretty dainty things

Bag Storage

The organizer not only helps to see what you have and make your dainty things look beautiful, but also keeps the lace out of danger of the hooks! (photo via Marcus Design Inc.)

This handbag cabinet, made easy by just removing the doors off any cabinet, is wonderful for organizing purses by size and seeing what you have. (photo via Lucky Magazine)

And just for fun, here are a few of my dream closets.
black closetwhite closetSATC ClosetNo closet post is complete without a little Carrie Bradshaw action.  I would die and go to heaven for this his and her closet.

Closet images in order from top down.  (Photos via Shelter Interior Design, Tumblr, Sweet Things Blog)

Top 5 Event Ideas of the Week

This post is all about tablescapes and enhancing themes with small touches.   I love ALL of these ideas because they are able to take you out of reality and into the world the event is trying to create…without going overboard.

Event Ideas - 6-111) These glass terrariums seem so perfect for an event in a botanical garden.  It reminds the guests of where they are in a beautiful, yet subtle way. (photo via Tumblr)

2) I love the centerpieces on this table.  It is so out of the box yet simple in that they are just over-sized leaves.  It would be perfect for an event in a tropical location.

3) These hot air balloons are adorable. If someone loves these balloons in the sky or was perhaps proposed to in one, this would be a way to tie it in beautifully.  (photo via WedLuxe)

4)  We all know blue and orange compliment each other, but I think it looks extra amazing in that they’ve mixed these two patterns as well.  Don’t be afraid to play around with colors, textures and patterns. (photo via Style Me Pretty)

5)  LOVE LOVE LOVE these animal place card holders.  If I ever had the chance to plan a gala for a zoo, I would hunt these down like there is no tomorrow. (photo via Style Me Pretty)