Thursday, July 31


my baby is walking! somehow my little baby girl has started walking and i am very excited about this achievement. i am also a bit scared because now i have two mobile children! this new freedom allows ryan to explore all new spaces in our house and she gets there pretty quickly. for example, i was getting dinner ready the other night and i turned around to find ryan standing on a chair at the table with a fork in hand!
have a wonderful weekend. i am going to be photographing a wedding at villa montalvo tomorrow. yipee!
** friday favorites**
this week is all about weddings. we are right in the middle of wedding season and i love it. i thought i would share a few websites that have caught my eye. enjoy!
once wed is a wonderful resource for new and used wedding gowns. many seem to be dresses that a bride purchased early on in the wedding planning and then changed her mind. sounds a bit nutty to me but i guess it happens. some of the dresses have been worn once.

vintageous has fabulous vintage dresses and it is fun to view all the items on the site. if you are on a budget, this could be a great find. this dress would be sweet for a garden wedding.

i am such a font addict and crystal kluge's work is definitely my style. you can even purchase her fonts! kraft paper is definitely one of my favorites so this invitation caught my eye.

yes, i confess, i am in love with paper lanterns. i can't help it! there is something so cheery about them. rebecca thuss has a website full of inspiration and ideas.

fete is a party planning company based in new york. many of the weddings seem like really big and expensive affairs although this one appeals to me. i like the chalkboard seating chart and paper lanterns.

rosenow floral design has a website full of lovely flower arrangements and you can even browse by color.


what a cutie pie!

Monday, July 28

wine tasting

we had such a lovely weekend and it flew by so quickly.
the wine tasting party went really well although i definitely can not drink as much as i used to in the old days. we tried five white wines and five red wines. we tried to go light on the food but you can't drink a lot on an empty stomach so we served appetizers and a light dinner. by the time the red wine rolled around, it was hard to tell the difference! the white favorite was pazo serantellos albariƱo (purchased at whole foods) and the red favorite was rodney strong cabernet.
on sunday we headed over the hill to santa cruz to visit the santa cruz beach boardwalk. this place is fascinating especially if you enjoy people watching! the kids had so much fun and we enjoyed the rides as well as an acrobatics show on the beach. you can see by the two pictures below that it went from foggy and freezing to hot and sunny within five minutes. the place was a bit crowded for my taste but i can't complain because both of my kids had smiles on their faces the whole time. the santa cruz beach boardwalk can appear run-down, cheesy and dirty yet when you see it through the eyes of a child it is truly magical.

Thursday, July 24


we are having a small wine tasting party this weekend - chardonnay and cabernet. each couple will bring one bottle of each and we do a blind tasting to see which one is the most popular. bottles must be under $25 so we can afford to buy the wine if we like it! come back next week to hear about the winning bottles.
we had a similar wine tasting party for our wedding. our friends invited the bridal party to a wine tasting dinner party. the favorites from the night became the wine we used for our wedding.
have a super duper weekend!
**friday favorites**
this week i am focusing on travel. just imagine that you have $10,000 which must be spent on a lavish vacation. which destination would you choose?
if you ever feel like you need to get away from it all, check out jewett street. this is a home exchange website and you can take a trip around the world by looking at all the home exchange options. the picture below is for a house in new zealand.
belize anyone? cayo espanto is a resort on a private island. i wouldn't mind staying in this room.
this place is as amazing as it looks. petit st. vincent was where we went for our honeymoon and it was out of this world. i highly recommend it for anyone looking for vacation that takes you away from it all - no tv, no internet, no phones. you communicate with a flag outside your bungalow - a red flag means that you would like to be left alone and a yellow flag means that you have a request. we were there for seven days and it was wonderful.
la cartuja guesthouse is an amazing place in spain where we stayed on our visit in 2003. the history is amazing and you feel as though you are stepping back in time as you walk around the grounds. originally built as a mosque in the 8th century, la cartuja has served as a hunting lodge and monastery. the property is currently a guesthouse as well as a home for artists.
if you are looking for a charming hotel, historic manor house or romantic country inn in spain, italy, france, morocco or portugal then you must visit or, just stop by the site to drool at all of the amazing places you could stay if you won the lottery. you can search by budget, environment and 'special ingredients' such as sporty and fun, secluded, trendy, romantic, historic, great for kids and fine cuisine. we used this site to pick a few unique places to stay when we went to spain. a night or two at a budget hotel would balance out a splurge at a really unique spot from secret places. this was before the american dollar went nuts so europe was actually affordable.
the hosteria ayala berganza is a historic 15th century building in segovia.
or, perhaps would you prefer to stay in an 18th century castle in val de la loire, france?


sam and i stopped at this field of sunflowers this morning on the way to his summer camp. this property used to be a pumpkin patch in the fall, a produce stand in the summer and a christmas tree lot in the winter. soon it will become a bunch of condos. the bay area has changed dramatically since i was a little girl. many orchards have turned into houses and it is sad to see another one go. many people fought for this spot but i guess the people who owned it could not afford to keep the land. for now, we will enjoy the sunflowers and the memories of pumpkin patches.
i am always on the lookout for new photo spots and i think i may have found one! this little piece of wilderness was found in the middle of a residential area of palo alto.
i have been taking pictures for the annual chamber of commerce directory for los altos and los altos hills. i asked the mayor of los altos to go into an apricot orchard for a portrait and i don't think she was too pleased.
so in between photographing sunflowers, the mayor of los altos and searching for new photo spots, ryan has been a non-stop energizer bunny. she is learning how to walk and is climbing on everything! our home has become a jungle gym for ryan. the days of leaving her alone in a room are officially over!

Friday, July 18

lilly & bill

lilly and bill's wedding was really special because the bride and groom are so sweet, kind and absolutely in love. sand rock farm was a perfect setting for their wedding and it was obvious that friends and family had a great time throughout the entire day. here are a few of my favorites. enjoy!

Thursday, July 17


happy friday!
i feel like a brand new woman because i got my hair cut and colored yesterday. thank you to shannon m. at the james craig salon. she did such a super job...if i may say so myself!
i am looking forward to a fun weekend. tonight some of my friends are coming over for dinner. i might go to the sunset idea house on saturday and we are going to try and go to an outdoor concert on sunday at hidden villa. i just love summer!
i am finishing up a post about lilly and bill's wedding so come back later today for more!
have a fantastic weekend!
**friday favorites**
elizabeth soule has created the most adorable photographs using little animal figurines. i saw her photos on flcker a few months back so i was so thrilled to see her at the renegade fair. i bought the giraffe print (shown below) as well as a few cards with different photos.
sara paloma's vases are absolutely stunning. there is something so elegant and peaceful about her work. unfortunately the vases are out of my budget but it doesn't hurt to look, right? even if i could afford the vases, i would be so paranoid of knocking one over that i would want to super glue them to my fireplace mantle. plus, i do live in earthquake country!
i must confess that i am bit of a paper addict. i love cards, wrapping paper, invitations, envelopes. i was one of those kids that would get super excited about going back to school shopping because i loved all of the pens, paper, notepads, etc. so, i was in heaven at the renegade a kid in a candy store! i picked up a set of these lovely cards from satsuma press. it was a tough decision because she has so many beautiful designs.
the renegade fair was full of super talented jewelry designers. i found a pair that i really liked from orange slice. my every day earrings are small post earrings from my grandmother so it was fun to go out with big hoops!
petit collage creates these beautiful pieces for children. the alphabet poster is so sweet. i love the color combination!
each collage is made with vintage paper on maple plywood. the colors are so cheerful!

Wednesday, July 16

lucky girl

i just about peed in my pants today because a few of my photographs ended up on two of my most favorite wedding planning blogs. how is that possible that both posted about me on the same day?? i am so absolutely and completely flattered!
thank you so much to meg at a practical wedding and emily at emilystyle. as a photographer, i enjoy reading about the other side of the story. i love seeing all of the new ideas that people have invented. the process of wedding planning is so amazing. if you think about it, a wedding is the biggest party most people will ever plan yet the people planning the party are the guests of honor!
thank you emily!
thank you meg!

Sunday, July 13


what a fun weekend! the renegade craft fair was amazing - it felt like shopping at etsy but with the added benefit of meeting the creative people behind the products. paula and i had so much fun and we picked up some fabulous items. i will definitely share some of my favorites in the next few days.
i am still working my way through the wedding from sand rock farm and i can't wait to get it all together and ready for lilly and bill. there are so many images that i am so excited to share with them. here is another one that i really like. more coming soon.
have a great week!

Thursday, July 10


i am so proud of our little garden. we get a lot of sun in the sideyard so it was the perfect place to put in a few boxes. sunset magazine had directions for putting the garden boxes together as well as a list of materials. this year we planted tomatoes, pumpkins, cilantro, carrots, basil, broccoli, arugula, lettuce, corn, zucchini and chives. the strawberries are a repeat from last year and sam loves to go out every afternoon and pick a few to eat.

have a wonderful weekend!
**friday favorites**
kiva is an amazing organization which enables every day people to loan money to an entrepreneur in the developing world. each entrepreneur has a description about the business he/she runs, the amount of the loan requested as well as the location. you can search by geographical region, gender, type of business as well as loan amount. a little bit can go a long way!
this blog shows photographs of little dolls left around london. the blog is described as "little handpainted people, left in london to fend for themselves". how fun to find one of the scenes!
(found via black*eiffel) 101 cookbooks chronicles a cookbook collection, one recipe at a time. heidi swanson has picked amazing recipes with a variety of ingredients and she will give you honest feedback on her experience. i have spent a lot of time sifting through all of the recipes. you can search by ingredient or type of dish (appetizer, dessert, vegetarian, etc.). you can also find lists of favorite food sites and favorite cookbooks. so many possibilities, not enough time!
sheri giblin has created a beautiful photo essay about summer and i love all of her images. summer is definitely my favorite season. go to her site and check it out for some perfect visions of summer!

who knew that gummi bears could be so versatile? this chandelier was created by yaya chou and a ton of gummi bears. her work 'combines humor and commentary on modern lifestyle'. very interesting...and yummy! do you think the gummi bears melt from the lightbulb?


i am confused. did i just see a 'back to school' ad? we just celebrated the 4th of JULY a few days ago. JULY! hello? what is going on?
one of the things i absolutely love about having children is how they live in the moment. no worries about tomorrow or next week. so, when i find myself wanting to talk about the upcoming weekend plans or a vacation that is weeks away, i stop myself and remember that we should be enjoying today. i am really making an effort to focus on what is happening right now.
why are we so focused on the next thing...the next holiday? the next vacation? the next weekend? maybe someone wants us to start buying things for the next event?
any thoughts?

Wednesday, July 9

renegade craft fair

i am so absolutely excited about attending the renegade craft fair this weekend. plus, paula and i are going to carpool which is going to make the trip even more fun. one quick word about paula - this girl is so talented! i have tried to convince her to start her own business because she knits, sews, designs, bakes....basically the girl can do anything!
come back next week for details about the fair as well as some of my favorite finds.

Sunday, July 6

7 years

jerry and i celebrated our seven year anniversary this weekend. it is hard to believe that seven years have gone by yet a lot has happened since our wedding including five moves, two children, one new car, many new friends and a ton of good times. life is good.
this was my year to make the anniversary plans and i chose cavallo point. i was intrigued by the location as well as the historical significance of the buildings. let's just say that we were not disappointed.

we started our visit by going to the spa and we each got a massage to start off our kids-free time with a good dose of relaxation.
our room had a stunning view of the golden gate bridge and although i wanted to stay in one of the historic rooms, the view of the bridge was much nicer from the hill with the new rooms. the picture below shows the view from our room - stunning!
the restaurant, murray circle, was another wonderful part of our visit - the food was delicious and the atmosphere is really nice. i wish we had arrived a bit early so we could sit on the rocking chairs on the front deck to enjoy the view with a glass of wine. maybe next time?
we were so lucky to have clear skies on saturday because the fog rolled in at night (i was wondering why they had ear plugs in the room but this became quite clear once the fog came in - warning, you may want to keep them close to the bed!). after walking around the grounds a bit on sunday morning, we headed back to the city. we stopped in our old neighborhood and walked around the fillmore street jazz festival. then we drove over to hayes valley for a little bit of lunch at frjtz fries and some treats at miette. i held back at miette and only bought a few things although if candy were fat free, i would have bought one of everything!
all in all, i would give our anniversary outing a five out of five. thank you to my husband for making it all possible. i appreciate his friendship, support and guidance - i know that he puts up with my craziness and i would not be here (or sane) without him.