Archive for July, 2009

Back to School Cool

Fleurville Lunch Paks and Lunch BuddiesIt doesn’t seem possible that it’s already time to consider school books and backpacks again. But alas, for some of us it is. So why not start this fall session off right and pick up a snazzy new Fleurville Lunch Buddie or Lunch Pak? One less thing on your list to do! Fleurville products are as durable as always and still winning over hearts of celebs and their tots with their youthful urban chic patterns and functionality. As we have come to expect from this dependable line, this year’s fall designs are fresh and inviting with a bit of a fun twist. Grade school boys can enjoy a camo or skeleton pattern, whereas the girls get a cheery stripe. Little ones just starting their school careers will find the Lunch Pak’s backpack capabilities to be user friendly and just their size. Boys this age can show some international flair with a soccer inspired flag motif or camo pattern, and the girls can enjoy stripes or a groovy floral. Our futures have never looked so bright!

Artisan Spotlight – A Gem of Summer

As an inspired artisan, Rachel of Adeline a Mare shares a few words with us regarding the visions and influences of her work.

“I have always from a very young age had an eye for all things beautiful and feminine. My grandmother taught me how to sew and crochet as a child, in school I was always drawn to art and photography. I guess jewelry was just a natural progression, and came somewhat easy for me.

Inspiring Rachel’s creative process:

I love to sit at my worktable with all of my gemstones spread out in front of me, and I just play with different color combinations and textures….faceted stones with smooth, and golden wire wrapped coils, with pops of silver. Living in Hawaii I am always surrounded with vibrant colors, as well as a very unique hippie/chic/European vibe here on the north shore of Maui. My favorite color to work with, of course, is that beautiful aqua blue of the ocean, ahh…”

Enjoy Rachel’s quality collection and be the gem of your summer gathering all year round.
View all items by this artisan.

A Classic, Improved Upon

Ruched bedding from Pine Cone Hill

There is no denying the draw of Pine Cone Hill. Subtle yet alluring patterns mixed with basic yet popular colors and the dependable quality that we all desire in a bedding line. But somehow this line manages to improve upon itself time and time again with fresh new products. The shining star of the latest additions being the Ruched Sheeting, Shams, and Duvets. Both a solid foundation for a bedding set, or added to a busier pattern in order to tone it down – the Ruched Bedding will work with almost everything. The Platinum, Chocolate, Mist, and Pink color options coordinate beautifully with the tremendously popular Genevieve line that has now added Platinum to its repertoire as well.

Heading in a new yet familiar direction is the Lulu. A bright inviting pattern of aquas, yellows and corals that incorporates florals with the Kiawah pattern. Already a big seller, this line decidedly feminine in a not-so-serious way – full of life and cheer. And not so surprisingly, would pair smashingly well with the Mist Ruched Shams and Sheets. The possibilities are endless.

Shutters on the Beach

Shutters on the Beach

Perfectly located steps off the sand in Santa Monica lies Shutters on the Beach, a posh boutique seaside resort known for its luxurious guest rooms and 1920’s Cape Cod inspired decor. Beach Cottage style furnishings and a gracious staff make this quaint hotel feel more like a warm, inviting upscale home rather than a stuffy hotel. If you are in the area, stop in for a farmers’ market-fresh casual fare in one of the two restaurants on the property. Superb ocean views and breezes create a delightful dining experience. We have selected a simple Mediterranean salad that takes advantage of the fresh ingredients available during the warm summer months from Shutters The Summertime Anytime Cookbook. The addition of a little protein (Shutters uses lamb loin, but grilled steak or fish would also marry well) makes this colorful salad hearty enough for a meal. Add a little crusty bread and enjoy an evening dining outside.

Sliced Mediterranean Lamb Loin Salad

Serves 4
Submitted by Tiffany Harris

  • 2 teaspoons grapeseed oil
  • 1 pound boneless lamb loin
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 cups mixed baby greens
  • 1 English cucumber, peeled and diced
  • 3 medium heirloom tomatoes, cut into wedges
  • 1/2 red onion, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 cup pitted kalamata or nicoise olives, halved
  • Red Wine Vinaigrette (below)
  • 8 ounces feta cheese, crumbled

1. Heat a medium skillet over high heat until very hot. Add the grapeseed oil and swirl to coat bottom. Season the lamb loin generously with salt and pepper and add it to the pan. Sear the lamb until well browned on all sides and medium rare inside, about 8 to 10 minutes. Transfer to a cutting board, cover loosely with foil, and let rest for 10 minutes before slicing thinly.

2. In a large bowl, toss the greens, cucumber, tomato wedges, onion, and olives with about 1/3 cup of the vinaigrette (or more to taste). Arrange a mound of salad on each serving plate and top with slices of lamb. Sprinkle with feta cheese.

Red Wine Vinaigrette

  • 1 medium shallot, finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons sherry vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 3/4 cup grapeseed oil

In a medium bowl, whisk together the shallot, red wine and sherry vinegars, mustard, salt, and pepper. Whisk in the oil in a slow stream to emulsify. Adjust the seasoning to taste. Store refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 1 week.

Where the forest meets the sea


Ah, summer weddings. What a joy they can be to observe and partake in. In these summer months often times a beach or coastal theme is featured, and part of the fun comes in seeing how each bride and groom interpret it and make it their own. Our hosts and dear friends carefully selected Marconi State Park in Northern California as their wedding venue due to its beauty and seclusion. The grounds are pristine and from almost every angle visitors have a view of the forest flowing into the bay. Our travels up the California Coast to the Park were littered with hawk, horse, cow and wildflower sightings. A perfect road trip for kids and families. Although the highlight of our wildlife encounters came on the grounds of the Park when we spotted two fellow early risers – wild jackrabbits.

inspiration-wedding1Having the artistic flair that our bride and groom do, the peaceful setting was jazzed up with beachy vintage inspired touches. All boutonnieres and corsages were handmade by the bride herself with feathers and bits of lace straight from France. The ring bearer carried a large conch shell stuffed with rose petals and adorned with silk and antique brass baubles. And “The Dress” was a sight to behold with its handmade corset top and layers of gathered silk in the skirt. Natural elements such as shells, sea glass, paper lanterns, and even driftwood were incorporated at every turn, yet each event space felt fresh and uncluttered. And as the bride and groom exchanged their vows amongst the enormous redwoods, a soft breeze brought the peace of the sea gently washing over us. It was a memory to treasure and a beautiful way to start a union.

Marconi State Park lies just 7 miles north of Point Reyes Station in the quiet city of Marshall, California on the east side of Tomales Bay. The rural countryside of West Marin County is adorned with colorful wild flowers, fragrant forests and sunny beaches.

Day of the Dog


Being a fan of both simplicity and functionality when it comes to rugs, Dash and Albert would seem an obvious choice. But their impressive nature really lies in the pairing of colors and ability to translate them in to every room in the house. The latest introductions to the line are no exception. The Marina Stripe, Pond Stripe, Miles Duck Egg and St. John’s Indoor/Outdoor Rugs use subtle basic colors that work with all decor and are spiced up with unexpected hues like lime greens and aqua blues. And of course, the durable nature of these hybrid rugs make them ideal for letting the same patterns flow out your doors and onto your patio. It’s like adding a room onto your house!

Thinking outside the box is definitely Dash and Albert’s forte. Who would think pink for a living room rug? But the cheery stripes of the Port Stripe and Taffy Rugs work to freshen up the space and pique your interest. The unexpected color choices help to break up any overwhelming amounts of dark wood in your furniture. And no need to forgo ease of care and affordability with this line – Dash and Albert has it all.