Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Fun & Delectables in L.A.

My friend Michele came to Cali for work and invited me to visit with her in Anaheim. I drove up on Saturday and we decided to head to L.A. that afternoon and do a little walking/talking/shopping/eating. Went to Kitson - fun, young, colorful, and crazily expensive for what it was. $145 tee shirts. Nah, but thanks anyway. They also had wonderful candles and potions, but nothing I couldn't live without. No one really seemed to be buying. Further down Robertson Blvd. we walked past Les Habitudes and their window display was so beautiful. Of course, this more shows what was happening across the street v. the window, but you can kinda see the dresses. The web site unfortunately doesn't have the unique styles that were in the window. These almost looked antique-y.

Parched from having my mouth hang open at the loveliness of these dresses...we decided to get a little refreshment. I noticed some umbrellas farther down the block, so we headed that way. The place looked darling, very French, and there were plenty of tables...and when I turned to look at the menu outside I saw we were at The Ivy. Fun! This is the room we sat in:

The interior was incredible, service was great, food was extremely good. I had a Pimm's No. 1 cup - which is made with gin. With every sip, you get a huge sniff of mint. As you can see, the sprig in this glass was nice and healthy and full. Truly delicious, if you've never had one, have one! Michele was Twittering our location as I pondered my drink. :o)

The Ivy is fairly unassuming from the outside with the white picket fence, but once you get inside it's decorated so beautifully in that perfect country French way with fabrics and flowers and linen and worn wood tables and hand-painted pottery dishes. The fireplace mantles were all laden with flowers in pretty vases.

This row of lovely pillows was next to me on the bench I was sitting on, and the beautiful garden bouquet was on our table:

I had a shrimp, mango, and avocado salad, and Michele had chicken meatloaf! I have never seen that on a menu. It was the lightest consistency, more like a souffle. She loved it! And for dessert -- coffee and just one chocolate chip cookie each. They had an assortment of cookies, etc. that you could order for a cajillion dollars, but I asked if I could just have ONE and they were happy to accommodate.

Sunday's antique excursion will be my next post. Need to get something other than blog updates done today!!!

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Typewriter Love

Love this picture of my buddy DeDe, who lives in Tallahassee (where I lived for 10 years after going to FSU). Here she is using her Dad's Hermes 2000. Way cool.

This picture made me drag out my Dad's Smith Corona Deville Deluxe. I have literally a full box of letters that he typed me on this machine. This is an image I pinched from the Interweb to show you, but mine looks 'zactly like it. It even has the perfect case, manual, and little receipt for its purchase taped to the inside of the case. I feel so blessed to have it. Typing on it, knowing my Dad typed on it so many times gives me that feeling of connection to him. I've been missing family a lot lately - my mom passed away when I was 24; my Dad, four years ago; and my step mother, just over a year ago. Only a few of us left... Life is a gift and every day is another opportunity to cherish what we have and be grateful!

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Sunday Wandering

On Sunday, I did some exploring in La Jolla. I have two favorite haunts that are next door to each other: Pannikin for coffee, and D.G. Wills for books. Every St. Patty's day D.G. Wills hosts a little gathering with Irish poetry reading and, of course, beer. Very cool. They've had quite a few famous writers do readings there (if you click on the link, you can see some photos of past events). The store is so classic and cozy and the selection is wonderful.

I hit two other faves, just up the street -- Warwicks for stationery/books/office supplies and Burns Drug Store for every obscrure European bath product you could want, like: Fa and Kneipp.

I also happened into two really great antique stores that were like browsing a nice, big, clean estate sale full of things you want. I ended up getting this pitcher, which I really love -- it's Chinese, but not 'made in China' Chinese. I don't think it's very old; the fellow at the store said it's "of a certain age." Ha. I thought that was very diplomatic. It's in the living room now, so I walk past it a million times a day and it catches my eye over and over. I love it!!!!

I also got this great Ralph Lauren king size duvet with a great tiny red and white stripe. It was in a stack of quilts. It's a good time to gets deals on things. Store owners, especially little specialty shops, are very slow, so they are offering their rock bottom price. I (heart) this duvet!

This is an entryway to an antique shop that was closed. So pretty and shady. I was in the quieter, less-commercial part of La Jolla. Lots of nooks and crannies along the street:

And, the Cow Parade exhibit is here. Here are a few I saw . . . The Cow Parade is the largest, most successful public art event in the world. Since 1999, it's been in over 50 cities worldwide, including New York, Tokyo, and Paris. It has raised over $20 million for charitable organizations through the auction of the cows, which takes place at the conclusion of each event. Moooo!

Friday, April 17, 2009

Out on the Bay

I was all slated to have lunch w/ a friend earlier this week, but instead she suggested a boat ride on the harbor. Her parents are from New Zealand, and they keep a boat (I think a 60' boat is called a yacht) here in San Diego. It was a blustery day and my first reaction was to say no, because I really wanted to have lunch. But, in my quest to say YES more, I went and it was really fun. The views from the water were beautiful. As we cruised out, Holli and I sat out front in the wind. It was pretty chilly, but it totally perked me up. I had been kind of sleepy that morning. Well, having the cold, sea air in your face erases the sleepies!!!

A few pictures as we walked out to the boat:

I loved the flags on this boat:

A few of the sights out on the water:

The helm on the boat:

The skyline of San Diego from out on the water:

As we were leaving, I noticed a long wall of pictures of sailors in the yacht club, who I guess were members there at one time. Neat, Hemingway-esque photos...

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Easter Moments

Easter day was a lot of fun, full of family and food. The day before, Saylor received her blog giveaway prize from Stephanie at Crafty Lolly, so she had her Easter outfit all ready. The bandanna turned out so beautifully, and even had her initial on it, which Stephanie said stood for "special" as well as Saylor. Cute. It snaps under her chin. I picked out the fabric - which you can do when you buy a bandy from Stephanie here at her Etsy shop.

We had Easter at my belle mere's, as per usual. Before the kids arrived (Candace's daughters, Alexa and Chloe), Kyle and Danny hid the eggs around the yard.

Then...just before the hunt, the Easter bunny showed up, a.k.a. Fred (James' brother) in the bunny suit. Every year, one of the brothers dons the suit and makes an appearance for whatever children are there. This year, little Chloe was not so thrilled and there were tears. Some children are not so keen on 6 foot tall storybook figures coming to life and walking up to them! But Alexa was all smiles.

Even Saylor hunted for eggs. Ha! Seriously, she wasn't back there, ahem, for any other reason but to snork around hunting eggs!

There was no shortage of sweets either, and the table was set with plenty o' goodies. The center "lamb" was a yummy pound cake (surrounded by petit fores). The two on the left are carrot cakes, compliments of me, and, um, Trader Joe's. There were lemon tartlets and an explosion of French-ness (there in front) - from French Gourmet bakery - it was covered in profiteroles, cookies, strawberries, and other delicacies. Yowza! It was a layer of pastry at the bottom, then custard, then whipped cream, thennnnnnnn all the goodies on top. OMG! As a bit of a funny, I piled some bright pink Peeps on a plate at the back - for more color. No one had one. Ha! I wonder why? Could it be because they're radioactive!

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Oh My Goodness, Mr. Darcy

Is everyone watching Lost in Austen? It's so good! And I just loved this scene. It's a tad wide on the page, but good for viewing! Enjoy!

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Easter Elfin Girls

Wishing everyone a wonderful day, from these glittery bunny girls. These chickees were part of the free printable Easter Egg Elfin Loves - a giveaway created by Miss Vanessa Valencia - oh what a beautiful world she lives in! They are actually egg wrappers, but I cut the wrappers off and used them to embellish the sticks they are on, and then just added a pink, string bow and some glitter!

Toodles, all! And I will have pictures soon to share of Easter brunch with the family!

Easter Hugs!
~ Robin

Friday, April 10, 2009

Happy Bunny Day

I had brunch with my in-laws this week, and it's always a special little event. The table is set, and we sit and enjoy our snack (this time brioche w/orange marmalade and cinnamon rolls!) with good coffee and conversation. I love going over there. I step through the door, and it's pretty much instant peace.

Mary's pretty daff-o-dillies:

Sometimes when I visit, we work in a little walk over to French Gourmet, just around the corner. On this trip, their pastry case was overflowing with beautiful Easter-themed delicacies. We ordered some pettifores for Sunday.

Right by the front door, as you walk in, you'll find Mary's latest Ikebana creation. This is such a pretty one - so filled with emotion. When I looked at it, I saw Rumer in it. Rumer (named after Rumer Godden) was my in-laws little Lakeland terrier who just passed away almost two weeks ago.

Thursday, April 09, 2009

It's the Little Things

It's easy to feel frustrated sometimes with certain things that might bug you about your mate. Of course, who among us is perfect enough to sit in total judgment? Really, no one. Found this today, and just loved it.

Wednesday, April 08, 2009

Vanilla Hot Chocolate

Just finished editing a technology brief for le day job - yay! - and realized it was tea time. Four o'clock, right? Today's concoction -- vanilla hot chocolate. I used a Trader Joe's cocoa powder, milk, a little cane sugar (because the chocolate isn't sweetened), and the tiniest drop of vanilla. Yum! Not pictured are the chocolate marshmallows that were a gift from my niece. I've since drank the cocoa mix that came with them. And I'm not really a choco-holic, as in the solid stuff, but drinking it is another story.

In other news, we planted tomato plants last evening. Two kinds: the Japanese hybrid called Momotaro (Tough Boy), and then some Early Girl. Sounds like they make a good couple, the tough boy and the early girl.

Tuesday, April 07, 2009

Yummy Fresh Brewed Japanese Coffee

Hubs and I had lunch at Mitsuwa the other day and after lunch we always go through the aisles to do a little shopping. I got some green tea, and then we both started wondering what Japanese coffee there might be. We did find quite a bit, and got this brand: Drip-On! They're headquartered in Nishi-Shimbashi, Minato-ku,Tokyo (also where Honda, Mitsubishi, NEC, Sony, and Toshiba have headquarters - so quite the center of commerce). And, it is the BEST coffee, which you brew by the cup. Yesterday, we tried it for the first time and I'm a convert! It's so rich and good. It rivals Starbucks for sure, and so easy. However, not the cheapest. Six cups will set you back $3.99. Oh well, you can't have it all.

Monday, April 06, 2009

Who Knew? Jemm Knew.

In my haste to make-it-all-better in my head thinking ANOTHER snail was living in the terrarium already, since Snodgrass' demise, I assumed that this little slither-dude was just that! But, the discerning eye of Miss Jemm of Jemm in the Flint Hills saw otherwise. She left the slightest hint in her comment, saying: Robin, that may or may not be... a slug. When I read her comment, it didn't immediately register. Not a slug! Not sure how it didn't register, but my brain makes incorrect associations sometimes, like when I heard a radio snippet one day. I heard the words "ten thousand feet in the air" and my first thought was of 5,000 people with their feet in the air -- not a span of vertical distance. But I digress. I do think Miss Jemm is right. We may have a little slug-ling. A slug, who, by the way, is once again noshing on carrot as I type this! I should be a pre-school science teacher. James adds from the other room as I post this: call him Simon the slug!

Perhaps I should stop waiting for the new inhabitant to grow a shell...ha.

Only Best Intentions

I guess I should have thought about a few things before deciding to keep a snail in a terrarium - a snail that was living just fine at the nursery which is an entirely different habitat. And now, I must report that little Snodgrass is no longer with us. I found him on Sunday, expired. Assuming he was not an elderly snail, I'm not sure why he died. I have thought of a few other sad reasons which make me feel not so good, so I won't burden you with my sad snail thoughts. Boy, I get attached to things! In his stead, however, he has left Snailma: a tiny, shell-less version of himself. His/her offspring? Maybe. Was also in the gooshy chunk o' baby tears that I got from the nursery, and previously microscopic until now? Maybe. I did more reading after finding our little Snodgrass, and in addition to the leaves, etc. that they will eat, they also eat carrots. This morning, I noticed the above picture happening. I put the carrot in last night. I'm thinking as soon as Snailma grows a shell, she perhaps should be relocated back to the nursery. I think the delicate balance inside this terrarium may be too hard to maintain. And I don't like lording over any life, even ones this small.

Thursday, April 02, 2009

Today in Snail News...Snodgrass Gets a Pool

Okay, it's clear that business isn't what it was last year, as evidenced by my fixation with the goin's on inside the terrarium. So, talking to my mother-in-law a few days ago ABOUT THE TERRARIUM, she says, "Does he have any water?" Yikes, does he? I thought the general musky, moistness of his naturally-induced ecosystem was enough. So, today, I re-found this tiny ceramic cup that I dug up in the yard one day on Union Street (J.'s grand dad's house that we lived in for a few years before moving here). Apparently, the tiny cup was Mary's when she was a little girl, and I found it while gardening. So, in goes the cup, and someone with a shell on his back seems to like it as he is all slithery curiousness with antennae up!