Black + white + beach

We’re just back from a visit to the beach with my dad, sisters, and their entourage of cute kids. It made me laugh to notice all the black and white stripes in our family beach adventures. We’re consistent in our devotion.

This surf shop — complete with chandelier — rekindled my desire to decorate with surfboards.

Sunset, Carlsbad — yep, my beach towel is black and white striped.

My sister’s beach bag, from Crate & Barrel:

Other sister’s skirt, which she sewed herself:

The shop we were in — Bliss Home, Corona del Mar —  was torture. This seashell anchor was my favorite find. Ahoy, matey.

Babies, striped blankies, puppies:


Black and white striped hair? (I love my sisters)


And a new shirt from Forever 21 that Heidi (dark haired sister) and I both brought home from our sister shopping trip. $20. Awesome.

P.S. Remember when I decorated my former apartment in homage to the beach? Black and white stripes for days. See it here.


By |2012-08-27T07:49:31-07:00August 27th, 2012|Style|1 Comment

Travel guide: San Diego

Our annual family vacation to San Diego is approaching, and the yearly migration of Arizonans to our adopted city has begun.

I’m republishing my travel guide below, with a few additions: you musn’t miss Tartine on Coronado, the Hillcrest farmer’s market on Sundays, and this year, we plan to try the new Legoland Water Park.

Also: do a girl a favor — what are your favorite SD/SoCal spots?

In San Diego’s Little Italy, there’s a place called Extraordinary Desserts, and it is that indeed. My favorite new place. Ty and I scoped out the best thing right away: chocolate shortbread, which crumbles like a buttery sandcastle in your mouth. We went three times. We fought – literally argued– over the crumbs. I had to hide my half under the bed to keep it from him. Brat.

You can have lunch there and buy candles, cookbooks, necklaces and cookie dough. Also: cool  design.

The best tacos (and we tried a LOT of tacos) are at Taco Surf in Pacific Beach. I liked the carnitas best, and am coveting their black and white striped surfboard for my house.

Up the 101 in Carlsbad,  the pick-your-own strawberry fields are open. The berries taste RED, happily ripening by the sea.














As we passed these each day, my dad sang “Strawberry Fields Forever.”

Also: Can you believe I found a store filled with nothing but nautical antiques? It was the universe’s gift to me. Maidhof Brothers Nautical Antiques is right off I-5 just north of downtown.














The best things to buy, I think, are the vintage sea charts, which start at $9,  and killingly cool blueprints, which start at $35.

U.S.S. Arizona, anyone?

The Cedros Design District in Solana Beach is a fun boutique walk featuring a GENIUS shop I wish we had here: Solo Cedros. It’s a sprawling warehouse filled with a dozen boutiques that sell vintage and new furnishings and home accessories. This is where all the good antiques have gone. I am still mourning the price of a set of vintage silver-rimmed glasses. And isn’t this Union Jack tapestry cool?

Also in Solana, but on the 101, Bon Bon has cool vintage lamps and fun subway-inspired pillows(and there’s a great clothing boutique next door with my favorite Yoana Baraschi dresses.)

In nearby downtown Encintas, you’ll find linen and home decor bliss at Gardenology.














Further south, Ocean Beach’s Newport Avenue is an antique and boutique hotspot.














Newport Ave.’s best shop is Vignettes. Picture Marie Antoinette, wearing rhinestones, on the beach.

Things to do: surf a real wave a la Tyson, my hunky surfer boyfriend.

Or surf the fake waves in Mission Beach, featuring Jason: my sister Heidi’s hunky surfer husband and the nicest man on the planet.

My family likes to kayak the La Jolla caves. The guides at Hike Bike Kayak are actual marine biologists.

While they did that, I wandered around Coronado and admired the scenery. Favorite places on the Island: Tartine for breakfast, and don’t forget to rent a bike and take a spin around.

Happy flowers:














The views from Mark and Angela’s Coronado hideaway (thank you, thank you, thank you, darlings):

Cute pudgy nieces in bikinis:

Cute, sassy nieces posing by the Hotel Del, and Taybug, happy in the sand. (Note the texting teenager. I saw a LOT of this.)















And finally, Tyson and I found ourselves on the Hotel Del’s patio, admiring the silence most of all. (Hee.)









By |2011-06-13T13:28:33-07:00June 13th, 2011|Travel|0 Comments

I can’t stop

I finally took the plunge. (Nautical puns to be employed copiously. Prepare yourselves, mates.) My mother came over and we gave my condo the seashore style I’ve been craving for months. (My mother: the genius decorator of all time, and I’m so lucky to have her.)

I’m not finished yet — there are pillows to make (Kapri? Can I enlist you?), prints to frame and a scuba tank to pick up in California — but here’s a sneak peek. (Oh, how we love a bell jar.)

It’s my ode to reading on the beach. And it’s about six inches tall. Closer:

Where I got it:

Starfishthe seashell store, Seal Beach, Calif. Flag: made it with Ikea fabric, Fabri-tac glue, pinking shears, and a barbecue skewer. Black and white shells: Shauna brought them to me from a beach in Australia where all the shells matched my house. Book: Antique French Prayer Book from Pages, Cave Creek, a lovely store that I’m writing about this week. Magnifying Glass: Dave Eggers’ pirate store, 826 Valencia,  in San Francisco.  Dome: Pottery Barn. Sand: Sugar in the Raw.

I’ll show you just a bit more:

Also, this is on its way to me, $15 (comes in yellow, green, red, and blue, too).

And here are a few more lovelies I’ve spied with my seaglass:

Housewares from Alice Supply Co, in the $20-$40 range.



















Rope Mirror, $125

Rope tray, $265

Seagrass cube, $72, which I actually might order.

And something to take to the actual beach from Tory Burch, $195. It’s actually so much cuter in the yellow.

By |2010-06-17T12:15:40-07:00June 17th, 2010|DIY + Projects|0 Comments


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