Wednesday, December 8, 2010

happy holidays

Luc, Olivia and Allan all went to the Sawdust Festival last weekend. A charming event that truly captures the real essence of Laguna Beach. There are booths where artists peddle their wares, food and Christmas scenes everywhere. I had a pity-fest since I was working away and only have this joyful photo to play from.

The irony was that I told my sister, probably as this photo was taken, that I did not have the time for Christmas cards this year. She thought that was a shame. Allan and family came home, he showed me this image from his camera phone, I think we may have a card...

baby food

I am typing with one hand because Master Luc is bouncing on my knee. So, please excuse any typos or that this post is not quite "poetic." Since my last entry I wrote a book, thus my excuse for being absent. A lot has happened in this period. Luc is onto solids though, as my father pointed out from this picture, he wondered if Luc is getting any food at all.

Due to the extraordinary deadline pressure I have been a bit cranky, which my friends and family graciously tolerated, as every free moment was devoted to the book and not holiday activities.

Oh, Luc is saying something right now. It's a combination between "da, a da and blah." Whatever the word, it means something in his little world right now. The milestones in his life are coming at us in rapid speed. It is true, they grow up fast.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

few easy pieces

To turn on the heat indoors decorate with printed boxes, a straw hat, flowers that fit another season and a sweet drawing from Olivia's younger years. Thus combining the natural, handmade and a hometown souvenir to show a personalized look.

tra la la lala

Part of the Laguna Beach look is Lala. Kerry Cassill's store that offers the softest Indian print clothes is the next best thing to wearing nothing. The patterns are cheerful while they fit in with every season. She also offers the best of warm faraway places such as straw bags, hats, beach mats, umbrellas and sundresses that moms and daughters will fight over. The look reminds of summer, keg parties and stepping out of the boundaries of a bonfire party for a swim in the ocean.

if i have this correctly

Could I be mistaken? The date says November 4th but the temperature reads 86 degrees. (Please see time of post: 7:53 p.m.) Referring back to my East Coast upbringing, a day so hot a water bottle left in your car is like sipping tea on your return from the market is unheard of.

It's in my DNA to crave chunky sweaters, boots and warm, homemade soups on November 4th, not soft nightgowns and falling asleep to the sound of a whirring fan. I suppose we will have to make the most of it and have a beach day tomorrow.

Monday, November 1, 2010

till next year

Last night the siblings trick-or-treated in North Laguna, eschewing the raucous Oak Street territory for a saner experience. While Olivia loaded on candy, I took the opportunity to peek inside homes that are open this one evening a year, finding some great places to profile for the magazines.

queen bee

Olivia even won a prize, cutest bee, though if her brother made it till the end of the fair perhaps their colloborative costume would have garnered another win.

what to bee on Halloween

Forget an evening of trick-or-treating, Luc and Olivia spent the weekend celebrating. Friday afternoon it launched off with Boo Blast at Olivia's school, her last year of elementary school. The duo went as bees, though different in style, their costumes match their ages.

Friday, October 15, 2010

sweet spot

Don't let the pink color fool you, these cookies actually taste quite good, with a strong dose of holiday spice.

fashion plates

Desserts are an easy way to brighten the eye. Truffles are mini art pieces.

can't wait till the holidays are over

Three holiday magazines are nearly completed--and I do not mean Halloween. The peculiar thing about working on monthly publications is it can really make you out of sorts, like living in the Southern Hemisphere for a year when you are from the North.

We are wrapping up the December holiday issue of Yum, and just when you think you've completed your tasks another one falls on your plate--literally. I have made and created recipes from such foods as spiced cheese balls to Cornish game hen. I do appreciate the simplicity in easy edibles like these melon balls wrapped in prosciutto. Scooping the melons recalls my days in Home Ec. (Shhh, Home Economics was the worst grade I received that semester).

back to reality

Perhaps this weekend won't be spent attending to work deadlines, and I can actually spend some time with Luc and the family in the pool. (Though not as hot as the other week, this is Laguna).

Luc had his first foray into the pool a few weeks ago, and he took to the water the way one would expect of a baby born within the parallels of SoCal. He is all business with his kick, kicks and paddles. He even plunges his head in the water despite our precautions.

Thursday, September 30, 2010

extending your shelf life

What I find most beautiful in this display is not what the picture reveals. These shelves are a result of a series of negotiations. How do we create more space in our home? Whose treasured belongings deserve more attention? This is a household headed by two passionate people who share a love for beautiful things, beach life, decor--all of which is reflected on three new shelfs.

a forgotten microscope found

As the summer is now catalogued into highlighted events, one family will always come to mind. A couple with two children rented Ebb Tide for a week. We once lived in Ebb Tide, and many of our "artifacts" were stashed away in storage unseen to the eye. Though never underestimate the curiosity of young children. Within five minutes of their arrival, one of the children unearthed this microscope, which belonged to one of Allan's relations--a doctor who did extraordinary things like discover cures for various diseases, perhaps with this very microscope. Luckily we retrieved the piece before it would become just another play thing, tormented by finger paint or slimed with crittery things found at the beach.

getting new glasses

For months I thought about the shelves we had built in Low Tide. When you have cottages filled with every imaginable artifact (Life magazines from the 1970s as example), which do you choose for coveted real estate on these pristine shelfs? The task clouds the head, like choosing one item from a diner menu.

Allan's years of collecting sea glass, enough to replenish a brewery's monthly supply, deserves its own mention. I was daunted by this sea glass, the topic of many heated conversations. Though Olivia and I took the motley jars of mixed up glass and color coded them. Each color was assigned its own glass jar. It was like combing tangles out of knotted hair. Suddenly the individual jars of glass looked gorgeous, worthy of that shelf space.

Sunday, September 19, 2010


Is Luc channeling his namesake Luke Skywalker?


Or perhaps Muhammad Ali?


In fact Luc needed a good cleaning. We wrapped him up in his yummy new bathrobe, a gift from Auntie Janet, and had a quick shower. The baby tub was just too much of a production today. He becomes as slippery as a pond rock. I love when his hair gets slicked back, which I lather to cleanliness. He smells so clean. That clean baby smell.

if degas had a camera phone

Olivia began dance classes this week. Hip Hop and ballet. She attends these classes at the new senior center in town. Its sustainable style with an ode to California craftsman is spacious and modern. It even smells new. However "senior" is a misnomer as it offers hundreds of programs for everyone. If I had a whim to learn bridge, this is where I would go.

It was such a thrill to see Olivia at ballet class. It appeared that the summer seeped into her and helped her grow into this young lady. She was so excited to wear her new leotard and tights. To have her hair arranged in a high bun. While I watched her and a half dozen little ballerinas through the glass you can see them from young girls into young ladies.

Friday, September 17, 2010

super dome

Not just a dependable element in cartoon sketches, the silver dome was a valued addition to our landscape.

carrying on

The photographer commented on the light. The food stylist made course after course, an entire holiday meal in hours that would take an accomplished cook days.

We also had an unexpected visitor, Janet Solomon (of French Blue and Co. notoriety) came by to meet Luc and stumbled upon our affair. Janet makes me giggle. She is the kind of friend who makes me want to quit my job. I'd be one of those ladies who plays with friends and does things like have lunch at outdoor bistros and assist one another in decorating dilemmas.

going green

It's easy to be green when it looks this good.

flowers defined

The floral centerpiece was created by Teresa Sabankaya of The Boony Doon Garden Company, and each flower has a meaning. Power, love, family--the makings of a scandal or a great looking table setting.

before the food arrived

We tinkered with place settings.

ready, set

In High Tide we created an atmosphere to evoke past times with Kathleen's pieces.

centuries ago...

There were special vessels intended for oysters with little pockets hidden within its ornate base to mask spreading knives. Crystal, silver, fine linens were not registry items that were used twice a year. Today I played with such pieces, thanks to my friend Kathleen of Melange Antiques and her adorable niece (a floral designer). They arrived first thing in the morning with baskets of deliveries.

Back to that food magazine that has taken my life (Yum, Food & Fun), I spent another day creating stories for future issues. This is what happened...