Monday, November 29, 2010

Yosemite Turkey Day Trek

In a moment of what I'd now like to refer to as brief insanity, I agreed to spend our Thanksgiving weekend camped out at Yosemite. We spent last Thanksgiving camping in Big Sur and although it was chilly and rained a bit, we have great memories with the kids from that trip. This year, the kids were spending Thanksgiving with their dad. So a romantic weekend in a tent sounded harmless and fun.  A great time to get away, connect with nature and each other, get in a few hikes and come home rested and rejuvenated.

The sign of snow on the side of the road and the required chains warning should have been my first clue. Lets keep in mind that I am a born-and-raised California girl. And although I spent a few seasons living in Lake Tahoe, I certainly didn't spend my days and nights seeking out the cold. A long (almost 10 hour) drive later and we arrived at Camp 4. There was snow. Everywhere. Carl could not have been more thrilled. I, on the other hand, was in total shock that we were actually planning to sleep in this stuff. There was only one site left that was shoveled out (yes, there were actually other people with the same crazy idea!!) so we picked our spot and set up camp. At 1. In. The. Morning. Setting up went fairly quickly and as soon as I regained the feeling in my toes and put on my layers - one pair of silk long john, flannel pj pants, two pairs of wool socks, a thermal shirt, a fleece, a hooded sweatshirt and an earflap cap - we climbed into our ONE sleeping bag and snoozed away.

Waking up was beautiful. The sights of Yosemite are breathtaking. And even though it was still freezing-buns cold and there were trails of yellow snow from our neighboring campsite, I was still excited to get in a great hike. Just as soon as we both climbed back in the tent, in our jackets, for another hour of sleep. Or two.

A belated campsite breakfast and we were ready to trek up Yosemite Falls. 3.5 miles in the snow. It was beautiful and sketchy, but well worth the view.

Lets keep in mind that this picture was taken 30 seconds after Carl stated that it looked like things were flattening out. Riiiiight.

And this is after the trail where other people had hiked ended and Carl decided that we should make our own tracks. In thigh-high snow.

That road came to an abrupt end when we could no longer tell what was rock and what was snow that would give way to nothing underneath.

Unfortunately, our trek back down the falls wasn't nearly as pleasant. Melting snow turned to ice as soon as the sun started its ascent down the sky.

Carl was certain to keep a weapon on hand in the event that we met with any bears or mountain lions.

Promises of a hot shower soon turned to tears when the showers we did find were closed for the winter. We took shelter in the laundry room where we quickly changed into dry clothes under the watchful eye of a bat that kept swooping closer to us. Believe it or not, I could've cared less about the shower and was far more interested in what awaited at the Lodge. Thanksgiving dinner. A well-earned turkey dinner. We waited in line for what seemed like an eternity. I threatened to swipe a cornbread muffin to nosh while we waited in line. I thought it was my imagination and hunger that made it seem as though the line wasn't moving. In fact, it wasn't. There were about 20-30 people actually waiting, WAITING, for stuffing. As soon as the man called out, "anyone who doesn't want stuffing line up here!" I bolted. Carl actually gave me a look as if to say, "but I really want stuffing", but I'm pretty sure I shot daggers at him so that cleared up that pretty quickly. I was literally shaking from exhaustion, cold and hunger by the time we sat down to eat. I almost lost both my milk and my chocolate mousse from shaking and trying to walk with my warped food tray.

Leaving the warmth of the Lodge was a pretty difficult task, but my aching body needed to be in a horizontal position. I fantasized about the great night of sleep ahead (how wrong I would be, more on that later!). We capped off the evening with a warm mug of Tuaca and apple cider, packed our goodies away in the Bear Box and tucked into our one sleeping bag. Yes, one sleeping bag. I was feeling very thankful for that one sleeping bag at the end of my Thanksgiving.

The rest of the trip for tomorrow's post.

How was your holiday?



Friday, November 19, 2010

fancy friday

So, it would appear that the weeks are slipping past me and the only posts I can manage are about what other people blogged about this week.

So be it.

Here's what I fancied this week:

Hilda's book clocks are pretty high on the GOTTA HAVE list right now. Go visit for her awesome book clocks, stay for her breathtaking photography.

Maria over at Lulu Letty looked so incredibly fantastic in her 70's nod, that I had to scoot on over to asos and pick up that cape pronto. I went for the camel version, though.

Hot chocolate on a stick?  Done and done.

The H&M Spring 2011 Lookbook is all kinds of pretty. Part Halson, part day-glo Mad Men - I'm smitten!!

Liberty London and Apple team up to make some awesome laptop bags and sleeves. I'm feeling the sleek embossed leather versions.

This shot from a mountain cabin in Kvitfjell, Norway has me eagerly anticipating our holiday trip. We'll spend some time at a friend's cabin in Norefjell, and I just can't wait to see Norway in the winter!!

This weekend we're looking forward to spending some time cozied up inside since the forecast is calling for 4 days of RAIN! We get to spend Saturday eating, drinking and nodding out in a turkey-haze thanks to Friendsgiving. Sunday will be reserved for recovery and recovering. I'm assisting a friend with a little re-upholstery project and I can't wait for a craft day!

What's your favorite rainy-day activity?



Friday, November 12, 2010

fancy friday

So, um, oops. Its Friday. As in, I didn't post all week, had a million ideas rolling around in this head of mine, the days rushed by and nows its Friday. A rather hectic week indeed with the kiddos being out of school on Veteran's Day, my office moving to a new office upstairs, a friend's fabulous new job and us prepping to start P90X (YIKES!!!!!!!) this Sunday.

So here I am, on Friday, rounding up my favorite "fancies" of the week. First. Post. Of. The. Week.

Sad. But I just have to chalk it up to life being, well, life. Pinky swears that next week will be more fun around here!

I may have not been posting, but I've been doing some reading. Does anyone else's Google Reader constantly say 1000+? I just cannot seem to catch up on all the wonderfulness that's out there in bloggy world. I did, however, manage to round up some things I fancied this week:

Check out this super cool Venice surf-pad, which has me dreaming of outdoor showers. We had one across the street from our little house in Laguna Beach when I was a baby.

Everything Vanilla Sugar whips up is mouth-watering, I-need-it-right-now delicious. I've got a can of Organic Pumpkin just waiting to make these fancy pop tarts.

Bromeliad posted an awesome DIY knotted necklace from the fabulous ladies at

A beautiful and inspiring little roundup about branch centerpieces has me almost wishing I was cooking a Thanksgiving meal this year. Almost! Instead, we'll be taking in the beauty of Yosemite.

I've recently become obsessed with The Brick House and every fabulous thing in that house. Here's a fun terrarium DIY for anyone itching to get in on the trend. I've done one myself, but I'm totally in love with the cool succulent version!

I've been dying to find a cape ever since last fall when I stumbled across a fabulous one that was unfortunately too big. Seeing Julie nail this cape and plaid look has re-invigorated my craving.

Mr and Mrs Globe Trot have me seeing green with envy. Their photographs are breathtaking and their story is totally inspiring.

Miss Modish's new kitty photo Friday has me missing having a kitty in the house. Babe, are you reading this???

ps - here's some fun little press snips from our gig as Dream Angels for the Dream Foundations benefit last Saturday. We got to pose with David Archuleta and Andrew Firestone and his gorgeous wife. We saw Dan Akroyd, Rob Lowe, Bill Paxton, Priscilla Presley,  Kimberly Locke, and David Crosby. It was so fun to be a part of something so amazing.

I hope everyone has a fantastic weekend planned. I'm working. And attending a baby shower. For which I need to whip up some sort of fantastic homemade gift.

What are your plans?



Friday, November 5, 2010

fancy friday

Happy Friday everyone! 

It was a long post-Halloween week and I'm so happy the weekend is here!

I'm super excited to get in some down time tomorrow visiting our Farmer's Market, crafting and volunteering as a Dream Angel at the Dream Foundation's Celebration of Dreams. The kiddos and I get to attend the My Pretty Fashion show on Sunday and tonight Carl and I are super excited to attend this amazing show

For today's Fancy Friday, here's some things I loved on the www this week:

Dan over at Manhattan Nest nails yet another awesome DIY

Luvinthemommyhood posted an amazing cardigan tutorial that I can't wait to make

Totally crushing on Jen's organized and modern desk space at A Merry Mishap

My chair love is no secret. I picked up this awesome calendar as a constant reminder of how much I love everything Eames. 

This pug's dress-up as Anna Wintour is too hysterical. 

In love with everything they come up with over at Weekday Carnival, but especially these awesome notebooks!

The cutest braided crown tutorial from the sisters over at mucho mucho bueno bueno

It took me a few tries, but I finally got my hands to do what my head was telling them - here's a peek of me this morning before I jumped on my bike and headed to work!

What are your plans for the weekend? 



Thursday, November 4, 2010

a david stark christmas

There was a lot of internet/blog buzz about the new West Elm holiday collection when it debuted last month. I personally prefer a much more "collected and curated" look for my holidays, but there are quite a few things over there right now that have caught my eye - and some pieces that have enough power to stay up long after the New Year has rung its bells.

Some things I'm loving over there right now

of course I'm a sucker for hearts. Ok, a really, really big sucker. But I'm actually very smitten with this marble diamond. Free shipping and the proceeds go to St. Jude. 

These origami ornaments would look at home on a tree, a mantel or your window. And I'm thinking they would spruce up a wreath or garland and look sweet year-round

So, I'm also kind of a sucker for mushroom decor, which is why these babies caught my eye. Cute as they are, I'm thinking DIY is the route to go. 

These sweet little birds can perch at my place any day. 

I'd love to pop one of these banks in the kids' room. 

And while we're looking at that fantastic clock...I suppose I should mention how much I love it!

It feels a little silly to be thinking about holiday decorations in the midst of our 90 degree heat wave, but that's what the holidays in California are all about! Our weather has an identity crisis. 

What's your holiday decorating style? 



Tuesday, November 2, 2010


Halloween definitely has to be one of my favorite holidays. My mom always made our costumes as a kid and I have continued that tradition throughout my teens/young adulthood and now as a mama. I think its so much more fun and special to source or make your own costume than to just go with a packaged one. Its all about getting creative, which I love!!

Our Halloween weekend was mighty hectic. Both kids had parties at school on Friday, we had an office Mad Men party and then we hosted a spooky kid-friendly cocktail party at our house. Bleeding heart martinis, shrunken head cider, blood soup with eyeballs and bat wings were all on the menu!

They performed a sweet little poem at Harper's school. I'm loving her one Tink slipper and one sparkly shoe. She's such a silly girl!

Lunch at Sutter's school, plus craft time in the classroom. He was the cutest little muscle man at school on Friday. His real costume wasn't exactly ready for the class.

Saturday was a whirlwind of last minute costume assembly for Carl (who became Magnum PI) and getting the last of my own things for my transformation into Lady Gaga along with about 7 other of my girlfriends who were different versions of the Gagaloo. It was a pretty insane gaggle of Gagas we had running around an adult party at the rooftop party of the Canary Hotel.

This photo is missing the drop-dead sexy red-hooded Gaga in our clan, so I have to include an additional shot of Alison looking fabulous as Lady G.

Sunday was the final stretch as I finished up the kids costumes, did a major cleanup of our house and then discovered that our garage had leaked in the rain and a bunch of my books were ruined :(

But nothing can stop the force that is Halloween

This is Harper doing what she called the Pippi-stand.  And Sutter, as Atreyu from the Neverending Story could not have his chest puffed up more. The blood was even his idea. Those kids crack me up!

Trick-or-treating was an insane adventure. A pirate house that looked like the Pirates of the Caribbean ride at Disneyland, another Pippi and an awesome zombie bride made for a pretty fun evening.

When we got home, the kids got set to sorting out their candy, cleaned up and crashed out hard at bedtime.

It was quite the whirlwind weekend. I'm kind of glad to get back to life as usual, but secretly I'm already planning for next year!!

How was your Halloween??