May 24, 2010

B&B's, yes please!

Sorry, friends!  I know it's been a while since I've last posted.  But it's for good reason!  We were on vacation.  Bryson and I just got back from a coastal and wine country adventure in California.  Though every place we visited along Route 1 from LA to Napa was beautiful, interesting and amazing in its own right, I had to take a minute and share some pictures of what I think might quite possibly be the most adorable bed and breakfast I've ever seen: The Cass House Inn in Cayucos, California.

We've always said that our goal is to retire together at 50 and open our own B&B in a quaint little town and invite all our friends to come stay with us.  We would renovate it, decorate it, and Bryson would run the restaurant while I managed the "front of the house" ensuring each guest was pampered to perfection.  Well, that's essentially what Grace and Jensen Lorenzen did.  They are recently married, very gracious, and have the B&B thing down to a science.  I think you'll agree from these pictures that this place is charming in every sense of the word.

The beautiful grounds and gardens, where they grew a lot of the veggies they served in the restaurant:


Our cozy room and porch... I really could have moved in!

And one of the best parts, The Brown Butter Baking Company right next door which makes these delicious butter cookies with sprinkled sea salt on top!

If you ever find yourself driving from LA to San Francisco and are looking for a place to stay in between, definitely check out this little gem.  You'll be happy you did!  And did I mention that dinner and breakfast were two of the best meals we had the entire week?  Delish!

May 4, 2010

Melamine Mania

Not sure about all of you, but I've been suffering from a major case of spring fever.  The only thing I want to do is tiptoe through the tulips and lose track of time with a good book in the hammock. 

With this unyielding desire to be outdoors inevitably comes thoughts of summer barbecues, citronella candles, paper lanterns, and dining al fresco.  And this year, I'm determined to buy myself an practical, affordable and stylish set of melamine dinnerware.  I love how lightweight and durable they are, and there are so many adorable patterns and styles to choose from.  I need your help deciding!  Let me know what to choose.  I love them all!

Just a few of our fabulous options:

World Market - Two Tone Cane $3.99 a dinner plate

West Elm - Black and White $15 for a set of four dinner plates
Le Cedeaux - Fiorella $189 for a 16 piece set

 Le Cadeaux - Limon $189 for a 16 piece set 

 Le Cadeaux - Madrid $189 for a 16 piece set 

 Williams-Sonoma - Marsielle $53 for a set of 4 dinner plates


Crate and Barrel - Dots $9.95 a dinner plate

Working Class Studio - Tile Pattern $40 for a set of four dinner plates

I also found this super chic website called Monkey See Boutique that creates personalized melamine platters like this one which would make the perfect hostess or thank you gift:

Another website, La Plates, also allows you to customize and monogram plates in a variety of patterns and colors.  Wouldn't a set of 6 make an truly unique wedding gift that you know the couple would actually use each summer?? So cute!

La Plates - Bamboo $22 a dinner plate

Seriously, with prices and options like this, I might just have to mix and match several sets!  And when I do, let the deck dining and mojito sipping begin!