January 21, 2015

Caitlin and Cyrous' Wedding Venue and Church

 The venue was built in 1912, so it has a lot of beautiful old touches to it.

 The Persian ceremony will be in this room, and this will be the back drop!
 The chandeliers are so gorgeous in this venue!

 The far whitish tall doors slide open and there is another room with a fireplace. You can see it in the photo farther up.
 Back side of the venue. What a view!

The Catholic ceremony will be here. It's such a beautiful spot and so serene.

Today I went to look at the venue again with Cryous' mom, so we could start to get some ideas for decorating. These are a handful of the pictures  I took, as well as some of the church. We are so lucky that the church is about a mile or so away from the venue. We secured our photographer, which we are so happy to have found. Go check out their( website) and watch their (video)! We can't wait to work with them.   We are super excited to go dress shopping in a couple of weeks! Caitlin found her cute wedding shoes the other day, so things are slowly but surely coming together. We are having Persian food at the wedding, and we did a food tasting this past Sunday. We now have to check out a couple of other places before we decide on a vendor. Next up is the cake and the flowers.
Caitlin and I have been sending messages back and forth with a lot  of ideas that we have been putting  up on the Pinterest boards, which has been a lot of fun, but at times overwhelming with all the cool possibilities that you can do.
This month is almost already done, and that is how I think this whole year is going to go! Or am I just getting old and time seems to be slipping like sand through my fingers? I don't know, but before we know it it will be June and then only months away till the big day! We are trying to enjoy every minute of the planning.

On another note, after a long hiatus from my shop, I have started on some really cute new pieces that I'm excited about. I'll share very soon. I sold one of my favorite little tops last week and now I have to make another one or two.  I never got around to finishing the little mice! I can see now that I'm not a toy maker and don't find it as exciting as making clothing! hahaha. Oh well, I'll complete them sometime soon and throw them in there.

We have had no rain since December, and it is starting to look like early spring outside, which is scary and annoying to me. This weekend it will be in the 70's again! I like to visit blog friends that have snow and real winter, and wistfully look at all the beautiful images of a true season.
Well guys, I'm off to complete the project I started on for the shop. Sorry I let the blog get a few cobwebs on it!

December 31, 2014

Highlights of 2014

Started out 2014 with Nicole having to move. For a couple weeks towards the end of January, I kept her company via Skype nearly everyday, as she packed her flat up. It was quite a trying time for her but she is in a nicer part of the city now, and enjoying the neighborhood much better!
March was this little ladies 24th birthday! We celebrated in San Francisco with dinner at Kokkari, a really yummy Greek restaurant.
End of March beginning of April, we found out that we had to move! It was quite a scramble, as the owners of our last place decided at the last minute to sell the house and  only gave us a month to look! Not an easy thing in the Bay Area. Luckily the property management that we were under had a house coming up....................
So, this is now our new home. It has taken quite a bit to settle in I would have to say. We share the back yard area with a tenant in the in law unit out back. It was a bit topsy turvy there for a bit, as we both had to adjust to the living situation. That is all I will say about that! hahaha

My darling niece Natalia graduated from high school in June
In July, I decided to tag along with David on his business trip to England and Germany. I would have to say this was a major highlight of the year! We got to spend time with Nicole and meet her new boyfriend Ehsan.
We attended this lovely couples wedding in Munich. The time we spent with this special couple on their wedding day, will always be such a beautiful memory. I would have to say that I fell in love with Germany on this trip.
I mean, really......look at all the beauty here! Hopefully we will be seeing these two State side this year.
September we got back on  a plane and visited with my dad and stepmom in Pennsylvania. It was such a nice visit, and we got to see some really beautiful towns, visit some great museums and eat way too much hahaha.
October was such a lovely month here in California. The yard we have yielded so much fruit treasures, and it was a lot of fun cooking with them and just eating all the citrus right off the tree whenever we wanted, and still continue to! 
The best surprise and truly the highlight of the year, was the engagement of Caitlin and Cyrous! We are now in the throws of planning the wedding and having fun getting inspiration on Pinterest, and coming up with colors and ideas. I'll share more as things progress. We have the venue and the church  secured so far. We all loved the venue right off the bat and we were lucky to secure an October date!
Thanksgiving this year was so nice. We invited some expats from Germany for dinner, and they really enjoyed the Thanksgiving food. It was their first time eating our traditional feast food. 

Which brings us to the end of the year! I'm always full of refection as I'm sure many of you are as well. Hoping that the year ahead is a good one for all. I had to end with a picture of the cape, because I had so much fun this year making so many, and then getting some really, really sweet reviews on my Etsy from my customers!
Tonight we are having some friends over to celebrate the new year. So, I need to close now and finish up the food.
Happy 2015 to everyone who reads this! May it bring good health and wonderful blessings your way!

December 29, 2014

Christmas Sweet Christmas

Funny how when you are a kid it's all about Santa and presents. As you age it's more about the little things during the holidays that make you happy. For me it's cooking for loved ones, going to midnight mass, and just spending time with the family. We had such a nice and laid back Christmas eve and Christmas day. We cooked and baked a lot on Christmas eve, then had a simple dinner of Italian Wedding soup, before we jumped in the car on a frosty night to midnight mass. We were all so tired on Christmas morning, that we slept in till close to 10 am! It's funny to look at Instagram during the day, and  see other families that are far into the day's celebration, and we were just eating brunch and opening gifts! We always eat Christmas dinner much later too, so the day seems slower paced and goes later into the evening for us.
For dinner this year we had confit de canard, with French green beans and cast iron roasted potatoes. I loved making those potatoes! The pinterest recipe was a Martha one, and it had bacon. I left out the bacon because of the duck. I made a nice little salad with striped beets, arugula, fennel, and hazelnuts. I have made confit de canard before, but this year I opted to buy some that were already done, to make my life more easy. I got them from here.  For dessert, I strayed away from the Buche de Noel that I usually get from Whole Foods. It tends to be a bit too big for our family, and lingers around for too long. This year I made a gingerbread cake instead. We really liked it for its peppery, spicy flavors. It had half a cup of fresh minced ginger!  I topped it with fresh whipped cream.
Usually around this time, I get a bit sad that it's all over, but this year I didn't. It isn't because I wanted it all to end, but more so that it was a nice time and it felt complete. I'm looking forward to the new year.  Planning a wedding, and I just found out my niece is having her first baby, along with her sister welcoming her second in the spring. Lots of beautiful moments to look forward to.  
I've got some cleaning up to do, as we will have some friends coming over for New Year's Eve.
Hope everyone had a beautiful Christmas and a wonderful new year ahead!!!

Oh, forgot to mention, that in the second to the last picture, you can see the new picture ledges that we put up this past Sunday. That wall has been blank far too long! It feels so much more cozy in this room now. My little birdie Riki, isn't so sure he likes that clock above his cage though hahaha!

December 19, 2014

Oh December, You Are Lovely!

Today was spent cleaning up the place and enjoying the calm before the rush towards Christmas. I have Christmas music playing all day long on Pandora to get me in the mood, and to keep little Riki bird happy. He tends to go silent and looks a bit down if music isn't playing. So far he seems to like "Hipster Christmas" station, and especially loves Zooey Deschanel's voice hahah.
I went outside for a bit when it stopped raining to check out the progression of winter coming and changing the yard. I love taking photos of all the trees and yard, then seeing the change through photos. What was lush and dense in the summer, has now given way to a different color palate and stark branches. The grapevine is gnarly and void of any leaves, the persimmon tree is doing its thing that I love....natural Christmas ornaments out in the yard. Lots of birds chirping. Probably happy to finally see rain and singing for joy. In the morning I love seeing the humming birds drinking the nectar from the lemon tree blossoms near the window, and today I was lucky enough to see one perched high above on the naked branches. It came and went several times, and I was able to get him in flight, but just barely!
Monday we went to see my friend Christine in a Christmas music concert. Oh my goodness it was beautiful, and my friend is so talented with her violin! We loved the whole concert, and will certainly make a point of going next year as well.
Can't wait for the kids to be done with finals this week, because I'll have my little elf here to help with some last minute baking and merry making.
I had hoped today to look at some recipes for Christmas dinner, but I had to clean the oven after my pie mess :( Yuck! It took forever to clean, since I don't have a self cleaning oven. The oven cleaner didn't make too big of a dent, so I had to take out my trusty razor blade scraper. After an hour or so it was finally clean, but now I'm wiped out and just want to rest!
I need to wrap three more gifts and I'm done and ready for some fun. How about you?
I'll pop in again and maybe do a year retrospective. I haven't decided if I want to or not, but I know I'll do at least one more post before the new year.

Happy Holidays, Merry Christmas!