Thought these calendars were the perfect way to start the new year. Here's to a year filled with much laughter, joy of living each day and month, good friends and style..the creator of this clever calendar is giving them as party favors on New Years Eve! Brilliant!
As we take some time off this week and spend some real quality time together as a family, I keep thinking and connecting with what an amazing year 2008 has been. In the midst of it all, I realize I spend a lot of time thinking about work stuff-the challenges of a start up,all the things I want to do better/differently, juggling everything at work and at home, and the lack of real quality time with my Dad and brother and his family. Then, over the last few days, I am struck at different times by some other thoughts. Thinking about everything we have, and all that we have done this year. Challenges, learnings, allowing myself to make my husband and our family the center of my life, building friendships and community, reaching out more to my Dad and Brother, reconnecting with old friends, trying to speak more from the heart, judging myself less, trying new things. It has been an amazing year.As I watched the kids over the last week, and stepped back and looked at who we are as a family and how we were living, I was incredibly proud of who and where we all are..
-Our first year of marriage and as a family of five. -Started working on expanding our family, went through fertility treatments and IVF ( laughed and cried a bit along the way and was amazed by the bonding that occured as we shared our story.) -Learned a lot about the balance between work and family and true parternship in life. -Actively participated with the kids, their teachers and friends at school. -Continue to build our business, expand the team, opened 4 more stores, sold 80 wholesale accounts including Barneys!! -Learned a ton about what we could do better and how to stay focused..Raised money for our third and fourth year of operations. -Reconnected with some old friends, made some great new ones..grounded in real and authentic values. -Embraced 2008...facebook, blogs, flickr, twitter and truly found some old and new friends along the way. -Discovered the blog world,sources of inspiration and creativity and some new friends. -Fell in love with Etsy, and the talented folks that share their talents with the world. -Gave voice more often to what was in my mind and heart..and started understanding family dynamics. -Started the search for my birth parents.
As we start a New Year, one simple thought for me and for all of us to live by.
First seen in an ad, this Etsy seller, Hijirik Studio on SF Girl by the Bay ( a weekly read ) I ordered this for a friend in Black and White, framed it and gave as a simple gift. After I got the first one, ordered 4 more, 3 as gifts and one for us...as a simple reminder everyday.
Although New Year's Eve is often a time of resolutions ( this year we have something else planned...stay tuned..) for a few years I have tried to take the week between Christmas and New Years as a time with family and friends and a time to recharge. Since so many others are off, I don't feel the worry of being out of touch from the office, and work to dos. Of course things go through my mind, but I try and push them away and am always amazed at how much more thougthful, focused and motivated I then am when I get back to work. This year, for many reasons, no vacation, but time at home with the kids-day trips and adventures and some real down time.
This is often the time that I think back on how I am living, spending time, with whom, and taking care of self and family. A time to get some perspective.
Saw this ages ago ( and I am sorry to say, I don't remember where ) captured beautifully, in words and form a lovely way to live.. Enjoy and Live what you Love.
Our dear friend Abbie from Passing-Notes came by ysday to wish us Happy Holidays and bring us an amazing treat from Sketch in Berkley. I had to share because not only do I know from past experience how fab the goodies will be, but as always the packaging and the design of the gift ( which she of course did !! ) is spectacular.
How ironic as well as we were planning our holiday menu for 14 on Christmas Day, that I had planned to make delicious salty almond sundaes with hot fudge ( or crushed candy canes and hot fudge ) for the kids ( and a few of us grownups! )
Now I must figure out as well who to gift these too...perfect for a little hostess gift or around valentines day for your little sweeties!
Catching up late yesterday on some blogs, was thrilled when I read Design Mom and she had not only a great holiday idea for gift giving, but also was suggesting that Santa head over to our on line sale and shop. ( Seriously, the prices are crazy !! )
So back to the idea...Gabrielle and her husband have a few simple ideas for gifts for the gifts for the kids; something to read, something to wear and something to play. At Black Eiffel this morning ( another regular read! ) the idea was lovely...Something for each in your family as follows; Want, Need, Wear, Read....
We shall now adopted these wonderful ideas as well!!
PS. Since I am clearly weaving a bit of promotion into todays post, want to also mention that we started our Semi Annual 50% off sale today in our 7 stores...Since EVERYONE is in need of spending a bit less this season, we thought it best to start a bit earlier then planned. Truly, these are some great deals....
Image and original post from Dandee a new blog to read!
I dont think I have actually ever posted or written about a movie before, but even though we saw Slumdog Millionaire 2 weeks ago, I can't seem to get it out of my mind. First, I must admit, I adore India as a country, a people and for the landscape, style practice of living. I had the opportunity to travel to India twice, and can not believe I did not make a trip to this glorious country happen...I think at the time the idea of going for only a few days for work was just not enough. Now, I think about the opportunity to go for 2 weeks or more and hope that I can make that happen at some point!
This movie though touched me in so many ways...The hope, the heartbreak, the failure to become a victim of circumstance, the reality of what was, and the development of what has become in this country and finally the love that helps to overcome it all. Everything about the story, the film and the characters touched me. At this time as well, the truth of what matters most came shining through. With love in our heart, we really don't need much else at all.
I was so excited when Joslyn from Simply Lovely and I firsted connected via her blog. I adore her sensibility, style and approach to life! When she asked me to be one of her featured bloggers this week, I was thrilled.
I continue to be amazed by the world online, the creativity, talent, intellegience, kindness and how on a daily basis ( or when ever I have a moment to have a look ) the inspiration that others most of whom I have never met bring a sense of enjoyment to my day.
Have been a bit remiss in blogging recently, and while I have a list of good reasons I miss it..knowing as I write, it gives me far more then the time it actually takes.
So as always, a huge thank you to Joslyn for welcoming me into her world in so many ways.
Ok, continuing the theme of the perfect Bike for Christmas. The Olympia Shopper Donna.
Making our way out of the city, this is the perfect bike for the country. Anyone would feel stylish and young cycling through town. This is the bike I love to take into town, the farmers market, and think it would make the perfect present!
Mine is british racing green...It is not so easy to track down, but trust me, it is worth it!
This is the sweetest image...As you know, love shingled houses and white fences ( the vintage VW is pretty sweet too ) The simple wreaths and garland are all that is needed to dress up the outside of any home..
Todays the day we decorate...Bulbs are coming up, tree is coming in soon and the simple silver ornaments make their way into bowls. Candy Canes on glass Jars, some Poinettas next weekend and the christmas gift list begins to unfold later tonight....
We are having our first ever, on line BLOW OUT sale.....About a year and a half ago, we launched our first store, and while we LOVE the way the stores, the overall brand concept and the product , our pricing is too high!! Initially we were only making a few pieces for each of our stores, so our production costs were quite high.
Which takes us to where we are now. Lowering prices significantly for Spring, and putting some of our other products on sale to make way for the new. Since we have only 7 stores, and have gotten some great national press-Cookie Magazine, Daily Candy, Parenting Magazine we thought the smartest thing to do was to have an on-line sale with some GREAT prices. ( Think $5.00-35.00 )
Now is the time to shop....Liberty Print ( the real deal ) dresses for baby, a stack of bloomers....Great Fleece Sweatshirts for boys. Presents for the holidays, or clothes the kids can grow into!
Check it out and PLEASE help spread the word-the deals really are too good to pass up.
A few years ago, Scott got me a fantastic bike for Christmas. Moving to the Bay Area, and wanting to take up cycling it was the perfect gift. We are planning to get our youngest a bike for Christmas, and I could not help but think of putting a giant bow on it and placing it under the tree.
There are a few perfect bikes that come to mind...Here goes the first.
From Muji, the perfect city bike..Cycling around town, this would be a great way to get to and from the office, carrying the days wares in the basket. This one is only available from the NY store.
Found these blocks years ago at Muji in Hong Kong and as we were thinking about perfect toys for the store, I started looking for these again. The folks at Muji have created a stylish and fun sets of blocks for kids AND they look good when they are in any room in the house. These are also so great for an architect or world traveler!
For fourteen dollars, you can easily pick up all of the cities. I love New York and Paris.
They also just came out with country version and suburbia.
Love this tote and gift bags from Eco-Works on Etsy....The tote is simple and elegant, and the gift bags perfect for a few different people on my list...(Teachers presents are always in need of some special packaging)
I've decided it would be fun to get into the holiday spirit this year by posting about great gifts to give, outings, giving , traditions and generally wonderful ways to celebrate the holiday season.
My first post, something that has been on my must give gift list for ages. ( and I admit, the idea of getting one of these or a subscription is pure joy! ) Books from Persephone Books in England are a delightful gift for the holidays or any time of year.
Persephone prints mainly neglected fiction and non-fiction by women, for women and about women. The books are a joy to read ( think Miss Pettigrew lives for a day ) and beautiful to look at...Love the idea of a stack OR giving a subscription for a book a month. Imagine that little delight in your mailbox each month!
The sell primarily through mail order, and the books come wrapped beautifully..Or, if you find your self in London, stop by the shop!
INGREDIENTS 5 applewood-smoked bacon slices 1 1/2 cups chopped onion 12 oz peeled whole baby carrots (about 2 1/2 cups) 1 8-ounce package trimmed haricots verts or other slender green beans, halved crosswise 4 teaspoons chopped fresh marjoram 1 3/4 cups low-salt chicken broth 2/3 cup plus 1 tablespoon crème fraîche 3 cups coarsely shredded chicken from 1 small purchased roasted chicken (skin removed) 1 sheet frozen puff pastry (half of 17.3-ounce package), thawed PREPARATION Preheat oven to 450°F. Cook bacon in heavy large skillet over medium heat until crisp. Drain on paper towels. Chop bacon. Add onion to drippings in skillet; sauté until tender and golden, about 8 minutes. Add next 3 ingredients; stir 1 minute. Add broth; bring to boil over high heat. Reduce heat to medium-high and boil until vegetables are almost tender and some liquid is reduced, about 8 minutes. Stir in 2/3 cup crème fraîche, chicken, and bacon. Bring to simmer. Season with pepper. Divide among four 2-cup soufflé dishes. Unfold puff pastry onto work surface; roll out to 12-inch square. Cut into 4 equal squares. Top filling in soufflé dishes with pastry; fold edges down onto rims of dish. Brush top of crusts (not edges) with remaining 1 tablespoon crème fraîche. Cut small X in center of crusts; pierce all over with fork. Bake until crusts are golden brown and filling is heated through, about 22 minutes. TEST-KITCHEN TIP You can also make one large pot pie. Place the filling in a 9-inch-diameter deep-dish pie dish. Set the 12-inch pastry square over the filling, then fold down the edges onto the rim. Baking time will still be about 22 minutes.
Ok, we all know how hard it is to find a good hair salon and after moving from NY and LA, I admit, I am a bit spoiled.
Then, in C magazine last month I saw that Christopher Downs had moved from NY and opened this chic spot in Tiburon. ( He used to cut Christy Turlington and Nicole Kidman to name a few ) Called yesterday to make an appointment...and thrilled that there is a place in the hood with a great team and chic style. Not sure I am going to want to get out of one of those great looking wicker chairs when they call my name!!
No website, it is located at 90 Main Street in Tiburon. The number is 415 435 0111.
Our dear friend Abbie of Passing Notes is one of the kindest, smartest, most talented people I know. I was looking at some of her work the other day, and could not help think that in a few years, would love to plan an anniversary party ( we were married in October ) gather our family and friends together again and have her create some of her stunning invitations and treasures..
Not sure where the months are going, last weekend was ours to embrace Fall.
We had wanted to go apple picking for a few weeks, and last week, it all just fell into place..
It was one of those weekends that was just perfect...Saturday morning at the farmers market and then off to spend the day with our close friends. We drove up the coast ( highway 1 ) which is pretty spectacular any time of year, and then, off to apple picking with the kids. The kids were so excited and had so much fun it was crazy to see. Spending the day with their little friend Mr. D, is always a blast and today was no different..Running around in the orchard, picking and piling up bags of apples..Next up, my fun loving husband put our oldest in the wheelbarrow and after some individual rides, a new game was invented. Somehow, our amazing friend Jo, who I am always going on about, captured all of these moments on film.
Her husband was the best sport ever as the group wheelbarrow rides began ( and I might add, as someone who cycles about 30 miles a day, the only one truly qualified for the job )
A little picnic and some performances by the kids as the sun began to fall, and then after to dinner at a local spot for some delicious dinner and pie. ( If you make your way to Pescadero, check out Duartes, it is worth the trip )
Inspired by the pies from the night before, and wanting to spend Sunday morning in the kitchen ( and our PJ's ) we baked up some truly delicious apple pie ( thank you t. )
Can't wait to see what this fall weekend brings....Enjoy yours!
Love the fall season....there are so many ways to welcome and connect with each season, and as I get older and perhaps think more through the eyes of our kids, I find myself thinking more about the simple and fun ways to enjoy each day and time of year.
Our daughter whose enthusiasm for life, learning and doing is quite contagious had asked me to teach her to knit a few months ago after she found a pile of yarn and some knitting needles. Inspired by an article I had ready about the simplicity of creating something, and a woman who decided to make and master only scarves, I first picked up some supplies with a friend and we taught ourselves some basic stitches.
Months ago, as we were going to spend the day with Scott's parents, her interest in learning the craft was sparked again. Seeing she and her grandmother knitting on the couch was truly a moment. She was excited to learn, as one of her close friends and one of her cousins both have mastered basic knitting!
So now, as we get ready to spend more time indoors, thinking it is the perfect time to sign she and a friend up for a kids knitting class...Yesterday found the perfect place, and signed her up!
Can't wait to see what she makes....Think I shall brush up on my knitting skills too and perhaps expand to scarves and blankets...
Thanks to Holly from Decor 8, was introduced to Catherine from Rikshaw Designs and her amazing baby bedding...
Truly, I have never seen anything so hip, sophisticated and stylish for babies...available on line on her website, some fabulous boutiques and soon to be available at some of our stores!
So after reading the post on Decor 8 a few weeks ago, thanks to the internet, I reached out to Catherine and asked about her products and the possibility of carrying them in our stores. Come to find out, she too lives in the Bay Area and just launched her line this summer.
As fate would have it, she used the SAME photographer ( more on that later ) that we had recently met with and had been in our stores and loved them...
A few emails back and forth ( and this charming picture of a baby wearing our shirt and bloomers !! ) and we finally got together.
Next up a trunk show in our Corte Madera store...and as she starts to launch her business, the sharing of ideas and learnings that we have both had.
I am always thrilled to meet someone new and am constantly amazed at the power of this on line community...
We have been working like crazy and have had a lot of exciting personal stuff going on...Needless to say, we are in total need of a little get away. The month of October, is also a month of celebrations...My fabulous husband is turning 40, we are celebrating our first year wedding anniversary.
At first, based on this crazy economy and are being in start up mode ( translation, basically earning no money ) we were wrestling with what and how to celebrate. The staycations of the summer were great, but thinking that the above milestones called for something a bit more special and I might add, he surprised me with a trip to my favorite hotel, San Ysidro Ranch back in March...
So after a little research, stumbled on the PERFECT place....and posting so any of you who are trying to be a bit thrifty right now, know that it is possible to plan some little getaways without breaking the bank. It just takes a little research.
So off we go to Bernardus Lodge in Carmel...there is a fantastic, book it now rate on the internet that was litterally 50% off their normal rates...A spectacular lodge and vineyard in Carmel, from which to explore the area, hike in Big Sur, Lunch at the Post Ranch Inn and Kayak in Monterey Bay.
Having a little fall love fest with my adopted city of San Francisco. Over the last few weeks, I have been amazingly fortunate to have reconnected with some old friends, and our meeting spots have been some SF treasures that are somewhat new to me.
After living in SF, back in 1989 and missing New York desperately, I moved back to the City. Working for a SF based company for the next 14 years, I was back and forth to SF a few times a month, but never quite got the city. Now, almost 20 years later, I am officially living in the Bay Area and here to stay. Married, with 3 stepchildren and a business we started a few years ago, SF is my newly adopted city.
This time around ( for so many reasons...) I am loving so many people, places and things. I find myself reconnecting with old friends, enjoying adventures in and around the city, and really connecting with a few people that I could really imagine having lasting friendships with.
Yesterday afternoon, I met an old friend for coffee at a fantastic little spot, that likely every SF native knows about...Tartine Bakery is absolutely devine...Every cookie, pudding, baked good, almond croissant and afternoon snack is both delightful to look at, and amazingly good.
If you can not make it there...Check out their fantastic cookbook. The photos will inspire you to start baking..And, I might add, what a wonderful way to spend a Sunday morning.
We have had so much going on at home, at work and some exciting personal news that has kept us busy and off the computers...
One of the things we have been working on is a total site redesign and a really exciting new on line concept for our brand. Our dear Abbie, from passing notes is working on it with my husband. Trust me, I've seen some of it, and it looks great. Getting ready for an end of year, early January launch. We are planning to partner with some interesting people, and would love ANYONE who is interested in participating in our efforts to let me know. More details to follow so you know what you are actually in for.
In the meantime, Thrilled that our Fall update to our existing site is FINALLY up...Just a small Fall update. PLEASE let me know what you think about anything so we can improve.
Amy Williams is a 41 year old Daughter, Wife and Mother. She has three amazing stepchildren and newborn twin girls. She and her husband created and co-founded Peek Aren't You Curious , a store for children and parents to experience the joys of childhood and parenting.
Discourse & Design is where she gets to share her finds in style, photography, cooking, life and travel.
Please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org