Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Champagne & Cheese

Who knew you could pair cheese with champagne?...ummm my dear friend Chef and Winemaker Gia Passalacqua, she's legit. Gia was written up in the December issue of Wine Enthusiast Magazine, A California Holiday Feast - Wine Enthusiast Magazine - Web 2010,  because of her mad skills in the kitchen and her wine-making expertise. Lucky for you, she's sharing the love. Below Gia has listed out her choices for Sparklings (Proseccos, a wonderful substitute for champagne, they're dry and sweeter to the palette. I love Proseccos!) and the perfect cheese to pair with it.

Gia's Bubbly Suggestions:
  • Ruggeri Proseccos, a brut, which will be fairly dry to dry
  • Nino Franco "Rustico" Prosecco Brut
  • Spanish Cava, a sparkling, its easy to drink and gaining in popularity

 Gia's Choice for Cheeses:
  • Cave aged Gruyere
  • Truffle Cheeses, Truffle Tremor
  • Triple Creme Cheses, Mt. Tam
  • Stinky Washed Rind, Red Hawk or Epoisse
  • Beautiful Fiscalini Cheddar, 24 Months if possible

Gia, thank you thank you thank you. The world has so much to learn from your wealth of knowledge in food and wine but also how to live a loving, generous, beautiful life.

If you would like to get a bottle of Gia's amazing 100 year old vine zinfindel go to www.dancingladywines.com. (2007 scored 91 in wine spectator) I have to say it is my favorite wine of all times, each vintage different yet so beautiful.

Happy New Years folks, enjoy the bubbly and cheese!


Monday, December 27, 2010

Merry Christmas

I love Christmas. I love red and green. I love all the warm fuzzy feelings you get from the season. I hope your holiday was blessed, bright and full of laughter. Enjoy the segment.

Merry Christmas!

Sunday, November 28, 2010

I'm so thankful...

I sit here as one thankful woman. I have clean water, a family who are alive and love me,  and friends that are beyond amazing, they are heaven sent. I also had the best turkey dinner ever...from dressing, squash casserole, broccoli salad to apple pie, sweet potato & pecan casserole, and homemade yeast rolls. I'm still full.

But one of my favorite things is creating a festive atmosphere to enjoy this holiday full of thanks...ck out my latest segment on Fox for festive ideas.

P.s. My Christmas tree is already up...yes it is.
Happy of all happy thanksgiving to you.


Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Hog's Island to the Rescue

this logo is where its at
My good friend Gia decided to take me to Hogs Island for a leisure afternoon away from the berg (healdsburg, ca). Hog's Island is pretty much a shack, picnic tables, and glorified outhouses where guests can get a cafeteria tray of oysters to shuck while enjoying a bottle of bubbles and good company. Its a must on a visit to this area!

i heart picnics
I enjoyed a plethora of small oysters smothered in hot sauce, lemon & hogwash. What is hogwash? its amazingness in every bite of oyster.
fresh from the bay
Oh you mean whats in it, well, its a little bit of season rice vinegar and regular, with a couple jalapenos, a shallot & a healthy amount of cilantro...i will forever have my oysters with that and my favorite bottle of white, a kermit lynch sancerre. Its crisp and clean with all kinds of love in each bottle. If life couldn't get better, Hog's Island is smack dab next to Tomelas bay (why yes it is the breeding ground of Jaws/Great Whites...yikes!) where the view encaptures you into a world set far far away, in a land of scrumptious bites & snuggley weather.

Learn how to shuck these bad boys here. And if you can't get down to Tomales bay no fret they have one at the Ferry Bldg in San Francisco.

San Francisco location
Get 'er done cause thats how its done.


Tuesday, September 28, 2010

another day in the life of a bridesmaid.

I'm not sure how many weddings you've been in but my count is officially in the double digits; each one unique, each one beautiful. Here is my latest wedding, andy & kateigh williams.

the bride & groom

the bridesmaid dress

the bridesmaid bouquet-a floral halo

flat gladiator sandles

MOH duty-recreate ceremony backdrop of ribbons

So when the long awaited day comes for me to get married I think my bridesmaids will wear variations from twobirds bridesmaid.

i like the subtle difference between the maid of honor & bridesmaids' dresses.

pick a color any color

Love is in the air...


Monday, August 30, 2010

my first haircut

I woke up yesterday inspired to cut and color hair. So I volunteered my sweet and easy to persuade sister into being my first victim.

I found this great website http://www.scissorboy.com/ that gives you instruction video on hair, from colors & cuts to managing your own salon. I was sucked in for about 2 hours and decided to go to Sally's to purchase an all over color & highlight color for my sister.
stacey's all over color

stacey's highlight color

I began this little adventure by highlighting stacey's hair and folding in foil strips, kind of messy but i started to get the hang of it by the last 2 foils. Then while hair was processing I put the all over color on and let it do its thing.

Hair done and now for the cut. I put all my skills I learned from scissorboy.com to use.
And now for the unveiling of my first hair masterpiece....

Side view of stacey cut, color, & style I did...there cou... on Twitpic

My sister is so beautiful inside and out, through and through. I hope she likes it, cause I can't fuse her hair back...yet! i LOVE you stacey!

You never know what you can do unless you try...go try.


Thursday, August 26, 2010

beauty is in the eye of the beholder...

There's an age old saying that "beauty is in the eye of the beholder"... but what if you're your own beholder? I think sometimes when we look at ourselves in a mirror we see things that maybe we didn't ever think was wrong until we compare. comparison kills joy.

I know that I've struggled to see my bodily differences as being beautiful and unique but instead I see them as uniquely flawed. I look in the mirror and compare my flaws as failures to the successes of the "beautiful people" in media or in my own personal circle. I find that when my inner self is strong and I keep God's perspective of His creation (me) as my focus, the weight of my flaws slip away until the dark pit where it belongs.

My good friend caitlin crosby has spent years fighting against the media's skewed eyed view of beauty; so much so she made her debut album all about loving your flawz. It is full of talent, fight, love of people and true beauty. Go get your copy of FLAWZ HERE. I love, love love it!

We're all created different, beautiful in our on unique way. I think when we can embrace our specific and wonderful differences we will find freedom. I love the lyrics from Caitlin's song Freedom.

No, don't put me in a box.
I'm not just like a puzzle piece
I might not fit, I will not bend
No, I'm not the color red
I'm not the girl next door
I clinch my fists, I might stay home instead
Sick and tired of making faces
Nothing more than second places
I'm coming 'round the bend
But I am crawling slowly
When everyone around is rising
Raise your glass to compromising
Tell me now is this what we call freedom
This is freedom, this is freedom
So give me freedom
Give me freedom

Oh freedom, how i love thee.

More love from Caitlin. She has started a site called http://www.loveyourflawz.com/ where you can post yourself in a pic holding a sign saying how you love your freckles, gray hair, or even your cellulite! Its about embracing you for you. Go celebrate you and post a pic!

Lastly, Caitlin's song "Imperfect is the New Perfect" is so true and relevant, we need to hold on to that and make it our mantra. Here is a glimpse of its awesomeness...

Just dry your eyes, you're beautiful
I understand, it's logical
'Cause these images are everywhere
They're make believe, so don't compare
I will not compare
We're every shape and size
You know we're just perfect, just perfect
We love our hips, our thighs
Because they're just perfect, just perfect
I don't fit the mold, I am real
I'm too colorful to conceal
Imperfect is the new perfect
Imperfect is the new perfect

The line "They're make believe so don't compare" makes me want to put this video on our mental stereo and press repeat. Take a look below what I'm talking about...

Wow! Can you even believe!? Gotta love the exposure of truth...things are not what they seem to be.

Its time for us to enhance what we have been given, not destroy it with our mental torture and media driven disillusions. Embrace what we have, give it a beautiful name, You.

Concern your heart with what matters, the inner you. Because when you beautify your inner self your countenance will radiate brighter than any outer thing good or bad you might possess.

Do what ever you can to break free, get healed, be whole...fight for it, its worth it! I'm on the journey with you, better yet God is, you're never alone.

You are beautiful, I just know it!


my favorite magazine




they're great alternatives but they are no domino

research, research, research... find a magazine that you love & get inspired!


pretty things, make girls feel pretty.

do i even have to say anything?...

....but i will say this....

pretty moms make pretty girls.

go get pretty ladies...it does a woman good.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

el bano de lochbaum

i started this room finding this amazing mirror at my favorite thrift store in houston
the guild shop
i choose a great rich brown color. less brown-sherwin williams

i built thin shelves and created an art piece with nick knacks
my first curtains (french pleats), recycled commercial mirror that came with house, made a bench from an old piano bench & two small pillows to throw on it.
why should the toilet area go neglected? built thin shelves to house "reading material" and candles.
homemade jewelry holder. old picture w/ great frame, lay cork over picture wrap with your choice material and heavy staple material to picture.

do things afraid or in uncertainty.

ps. i apologize for the poor picture quality, i only had my camera phone on me.

what?! summer is over already...

who likes to party? we like to party.
whos we? everybody.

Watch HERE as I guide you through on my Great Day Houston with Debra Duncan segment; how to throw an end of the summer party!

Let’s Go Crazy Kid’s Party

1. Bring back the classics.

Activities: Three legged race, potato sack, limbo, water balloon toss, and winners get a crown or an over-sized lollypop
Drive in classic: create an outdoor theater to end the night watching kid classic flicks. The Parent Trap, Ferris Buller’s Day Off, Indiana Jones, etc. While kids are sprawled on blankets on the grass, hand out bags of popcorn. Take home gifts are fun pinwheels or water balloon kits.

2. Bag it or Box it

Food: get old shoeboxes/ or bags and have them supplied with premade meals with napkins and treats. Can include corn dog, corn, fruit kabobs, etc. and Cotton Candy all wrapped up.
Water station: blow a whistle and say, “Water break!”

3. Say Cheese

Pictures: Create a photo booth. Have kids throughout the day take pictures with friends. Have a trunk full of props, hats and costumes. If you have instant photo printers you can have kids take home pictures as their take away gift. If not, you can have your child bring photos to school which will be a great way to engage with classmates.

Take it Easy: A Light Night in White

1. Keep it simple

You can use curtains, sheets, or painter’s cloth as table linens. Stay with neutral/white as your constant color then add just one color as your wow factor. Let summer fruit be your color inspiration: lemons, watermelon, cherries, grass. Use what you got! Bring your lamps outside for lighting, use your lampshades with candles to create soft lighting. Have easy food that is simple and light so that guest can mingle without having to balance a plate.

2. Create talk

Frame a Map and have guest pin where they traveled with one color and where they hope to travel next summer. Encourage guest to talk about travels.

3. Kick back & relax

Blow up an air mattress and put white sheets and pillows for people to lounge on. Have an old classic film for people to watch and enjoy. Have a wine bar where people can pour themselves (maybe ask guest to bring favorite new summer wine they experienced this year) or have a pitcher of an already made beverage: mojitos or lemondrops—“Just Add Vodka and Shake” bar. It’s good to get people interacting with things. For dessert, a twist on a favorite summer treat-white chocolate ‘smores bar/station near a fire pit.

***Maybe hire a college kid or someone you know that takes decent pictures to go around taking pictures for an hour. An extra 60 bucks is worth it!

whoooaaaaa...party in the u.s.a.