Happy New Year!

Happy New Year to you (somewhat belatedly, thanks to a temporary technological snafu)!  I hope you and your loved ones enjoyed your holidays.

We ended 2016 with a bang: hosting a NYE dinner party for some of our closest friends.  it's a tradition among my girlfriends that dates back to approximately 2007, when we couldn't really afford to go out on NYE and decided to make our own fun via potluck and cheap wine instead!  We've added friends (and courses, and pairings) over the years, but what stays the same is a relaxed good time with people we love, someone(s) staying over on an air mattress, and a bunch of hungover people in sweatpants eating whatever my husband can find in the fridge to fry the next day.

I'm starting 2017 on a great note both personally and professionally with some wonderful clients coming on board, interior design for our upstairs rooms really coming together, and major construction for our basement well underway.  Plus, the ski season is off to a great start (quoth the avalanche report: "snowfall now being measured in feet across the forecast area") and we have a couple of fun trips planned.  

At the same time, outside my bubble 2017 threatens to upset current stability where it exists and intensify problems that already plague our world.  The human rights of each person on this planet - regardless of race, gender, sexuality, citizenship status, religion, or any other identity that can divide us - are extremely important to me and I intend to use that principle to guide me in thoughtful action this year.  

I hope 2017 is getting off to a great start for you, and would love to hear about your dreams and goals for this year!


Weekly Peek

We were sure Super Bowl City spelled impending doom... Photo courtesy of 7x7.com


So, there was this little thing called the Super Bowl that came to San Francisco recently.  I, like many locals, was generally grumpy about the whole thing, and not particularly excited about the hordes of revelers and accompanying traffic that would invade the city.  However, I have to admit that as I meandered my way through Super Bowl City last Friday to meet some girlfriends for lunch (near Embarcadero BART is our easiest mutual meeting point), I kind of got caught up in the excitement of it all.  I hope everyone who came to our fair city had a great time and took some of the San Francisco free spirit home with them when they left!

Photo courtesy of dispatch.com


Plus, you guys, there was a live Puppy Bowl stadium set up outside the Ferry Building!  I think I managed to stop by three times: both before and after said girls' lunch, and then again when I dragged my husband downtown the following day.  There's seriously nothing better than puppies to perk you up, especially since the volunteers would periodically pick them up and take them around to the crowd for pets and love.  There were tons of people all smooshed up close watching the puppies, and no pushing or shoving at all because everyone was literally in the enthrall of puppy magic!

Admittedly crappy cell phone pic, but look how close we were!

Nostalgia Trip

Friends of ours invited us to a Dave Matthews Band concert last Thursday.  Now, I had never been to a DMB concert before, but the Live at Red Rocks album was the soundtrack of my high school years.  Of course we had to go!  The venue was pretty small so even though we found a spot to stand at the back, we had a pretty great view of Dave and the band.  The man looks like he has not aged at all and is an amazing live performer.  

Photo courtesy of cooksillustrated.com

Party Go-to

We usually don't do anything major for the Super Bowl itself, but friends invited us over for a casual afternoon at their house with another couple and their kids.  There were 3 little ones total, which kept our attention even when the Super Bowl itself was a bit of a snooze.  The hostess had all the food covered, so I brought a batch of classic sugar cookies from the Cooks Illustrated The New Best Recipe cookbook.  The book was given to us for our wedding by one of my beloved high school teachers (thank you Mr. and Mrs. Meyer!) and every single thing I've tried from it has been excellent.  This particular recipe is a no-fail: there are no special skills required, they take about half an hour start to finish, and if you ever bake you likely already have all the ingredients in your kitchen.  

No-Nonsense Tip for Holiday Entertaining

Organization can get real, and on that note I just had to share this excellent tip from Joanna Goddard: The #1 Item You Need For Houseguests

You’ll find the bathrooms in my house fully prepared with this set from Restoration Hardware.  Attractive and always at the ready!

Which reminds me... we're having our annual holiday party this weekend, and part of the preparation is making sure our guest bathroom is fully stocked.  The essentials?

I joked with my husband before we were married that I’d know we’d “made it” when we started buying fancy hand soap from Williams Sonoma instead of the grocery store brand.   I picked this soft green scent since it’s subtle and unisex.

Everyone needs to blow their nose now and again, but there’s no need to look at a basic Kleenex box.  I use this Pottery Barn cover because it’s attractive and also easy to clean – a must in bathroom situations.

I always light a candle before guests start arriving so no one has to fiddle with matches when there’s a line for the bathroom.  I’m seriously persnickety about scented candles – I find most of them too strong or cloying – but I found this one at the Jonathan Adler store in my neighborhood and love the mild scent and simple, clean look.

My mother in law gave us cute monogrammed holiday towels last year that I love to display, but they’re not great at actually drying off your hands so I always hang fresh hand towels as well.

And of course – there’s never such a thing as too much TP.  Words to live by.