24 June 2015

en vacance américain

"Vacation" is derived from the word "to vacate"... and that's just what we did over the long Fathers' Day Weekend. We left the traffic, hustle and bustle of our little Silicon Valley boomtown, Redwood City, and headed for the mountains. There we found ourselves in a peaceful little lake cabin built in 1912 on the west shore of Lake Tahoe. I can almost imagine a little "Ken Fulk" effect in this beautifully decorated tiny little homestead, can't you?

Can you hear the collective exhales as we settled in and explored our little corner of the world? After walking the beaches, the trails and wading in the streams, we made a leisurely dinner of BBQ tri-tip, wild caught salmon and chocolate cake...delicious, and what could be more American? That night...the shortest night of the year on the Summer Solstice...we headed up the nearest mountaintop to help Chris set up his camera to catch a great shot of the Milky Way! 

It was freezing up there...you can see we are all wearing jackets and scarves. We waited until 10:45 pm...then Chris got a beautiful shot! Don't miss it at the end of my post!

If you haven't discovered it yet, and if you LOVE the night sky as much as I do, you MUST download the amazing app Sky Guide. We even watched as the International Space Station made its way across the sky. Without Sky Guide we would never identified it. It will also give you more information that you can imagine about every single star, constellation, planet, satellite, comets and Deep Sky...all in real time and place. The app actually shows the satellites moving. For $1.99 it is amazing to hold the entire cosmos in the palm of your hand!

this says it all!

heading out just before dark

can you say cozy and extremely comfortable?

 vintage items from 1912, except the gramophone, which will
amplify your tunes from your tablet or iPhone

deer head notwithstanding, I love this stone hearth and mantel with built in
stone slab shelves (I know, in 1912 they shot deer for fun)

happy Lisa chatting away!

our little former ice house!

happy in the kitchen, we made bacon-wrapped corn muffins
to simply die for! recipe on Pinterest

chillin' on the front porch!

a pier on Lake Tahoe's crystal blue waters

this is an amazing home nearby, complete with two rooftop gardens!!

Nicky in vacay mode hopped up on the sofa!

Lisa's early morning rescue of Scooter!

trees decorated by nature (that's moss of course)!

the trusty Subaru took us to the top of the mountain nearby...that's the 
last light of the day on the far cliffs!

Lake Tahoe from far above just after sunset

we are freezing, scrambling around getting Chris's camera gear all set
up with me checking Sky Guide every two minutes to see just what
is where in the sky at all times!

Chris Golson shot at 10:30 pm, Nikon D810, 36 mega pix, at 64 iso, 16 seconds, 28 mm at f2.8

In Chris's amazing photo of the night sky, he captured the Milky Way, which we could not see with the naked eye. If you look closely, he also captured many objects that are moving over the sixteen seconds exposure...especially the large satellite with the blinking red light. 

So he had a very happy Father's Day!! Hope your weekend was great too!

23 April 2015

{ Little Apricots & Lavender Cakes }

Now that spring is (nearly) here, can summer picnics be far behind? Elizabeth Bard thinks it is perfect timing to search out lavender and apricots, combine with almonds and make these picnic-worthy financiers for your first picnic du saison!  Here is an excerpt from her new book, Picnic in Provence. Enticing and romantic all at the same time, non, cherie?

05 April 2015

Rites of Springtime!

this year we dyed brown eggs...aren't they pretty!

their colors are rich and warm on the white table...

we also have a birthday to celebrate today...and the rooster looks
like he had something to do with all those eggs, right?!

the chocolate cake/white frosting wish fulfilled...and my first
peonies from the garden to garnish!

if springtime is about fertility, we've got that covered with
those amazing acanthus stems lol!

04 April 2015

Our Sea Never Looks Like This!!

We went over to the sea Friday for a romp on the beach with Nicky the pup. We followed this with lunch at the Miramar Beach House that we love because Nicky is always welcome and the fish tacos are to die for!

We visit here almost every week... and our little patch of the Pacific Ocean never looks all turquoise and aqua like it did on Friday! It's usually a dark greenish-blueish-brownish slightly murky ocean, but this time the sea had turned the most gorgeous shade of turquoise! Our jaws dropped and immediately I pulled out my iPhone to try and capture the color for my blog. As you probably know, that is a challenge with an iPhone, but here are my pictures from this beautiful, gorgeous, sunny-chilly afternoon at one of our favorite spots on God's green earth!

who would not love to live in this little turquoise seaside house in Half Moon Bay??

I think the ocean is getting ready for Easter with its stunning turquoise color

wanna follow this little pathway to see what's on the other side??..come on!

this is a ocean color we never see here!

these two ladies had set up lunch and were now playing cards under
the enormous coastal cypress...they were there for hours!

the little turquoise house from another angle..so charming! Easter lilies blooming in front!

what drought??  this is what Californians plant when water's scarce as hens' teeth...a
beautiful drought-tolerant garden by the sea... just in time for 

25 March 2015

5 Great Reasons to Come to Provence With Me in the Fall!

If you love all things Provençal, and love design, and are dreaming of warm days in the South of France...you must come with us to Provence in the Fall! This is exactly the time of year to plan a delicious trip for yourself...our Tour is the perfect solo traveler experience...Or bring your sister, daughter or best friends...we have great accommodations for small groups to be together. Experience my luxurious Chic Provence Design Tour Fall 2015!! 

Is Provence on your bucket list?

Here are five great reasons why NOW is the perfect time to sign up 
for our fall Chic Provence Design Tour:


Your registration fee includes absolutely everything* from the moment we pick you up at the train station in Avignon until we drop you off a week later to bid you adieu! (*except of course your personal shopping and quick lunches out at the markets).


You'll explore Provence in the company of like-minded souls who love design, brocantes, flea markets, French clothing and linens, antiques, vintage finds...and you will have all the time you want to roam and shop these markets to your heart's content, with expert guidance for buying and shipping your treasures home.


You'll spend a week in luxurious accommodations... a stunning 250 year old restored farmhouse, 10,000 square feet of splendor with two full professional kitchens, several dining areas, gorgeous grounds and courtyard, pool, eight stunning ensuite bedrooms, and completely decorated in chic Provencal style.


You'll enjoy incredible culinary delights at the hands of our wonderful chef, who uses the freshest local and organic products to create delicious aperitifs and dinners for us every night, with incredible wine pairings using local wines.


Your dollar is at an historical high against the euro...today the dollar is at .93 euro!...that means I can slash costs for your registration and you can secure euros now for your shopping pleasures in Provence in the fall!

I hope I'll see you in Provence in the Fall! There will be no better time to
see this gorgeous part of the world, no better companions!
Get your friends together and have an unforgettable getaway in 
Provence with like-minded souls. We can arrange
massage, yoga and spa treatments if you like.

to see what happy guests have to say about 
our Chic Provence Design Tour! 

email me for more information and registration
If you register and pay in full by April 1, 2015,
you will receive a full 10% off the published rate!


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