Sunday, January 25, 2015

Travelogue: Hearst Castle

Both the Brian and I had a long weekend recently so we took advantage and went on a small road trip. Hearst Castle is about 3-4 hrs away from the Bay Area and a perfect stop for us as we made our way down the California Coast.

We did the Grand Rooms Tour where had a chance to view the social rooms, including the Assembly room, the Dining area and the Billiards room. There are more tours you can do but we were a bit short on time. They also have night tours and I'd love to do that next time we swing by.

After the tour, we had a chance to walk around outside and experience the gardens and grounds. Let's just say that Hearst sure knew how to throw a party! The pools were stunning, even if the Neptune Pool was under construction.

I loved the details he put into building this house, including the tile work on the stairs, the handrails and the walls. There were so many great details everywhere and I could have spent all day just walking around. Absolutely stunning and we'll definitely be back for another tour.

Couple of tips for a successful trip:
  • Get your tickets early! They sell out fast and you'll definitely want to see the castle.
  • If you have a chance, make sure to view the movie (included in the price of your ticket) before you get on the bus. The movie is a nice overview of the castle and Hearst.  
  • Download the Hearst Castle app before you get there. It's pretty large but there are some useful tips that pop up as you walk around the grounds.
  • Bring water! You are not allowed to have food or gum while on the premise but you can bring water. It's useful to have as you walk around. 

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Stitch Fix Summer Box

It's been awhile since I've blogged our Stitch Fix boxes. With the summer rolling around, there's a lot of fun colors and patterns in our boxes this time. For the most part, I've noticed that we've started to like our own boxes more and they're starting to differ and really based on our own personal styles.
(Prior boxes blogged here: Box 1Box 2Box 3, Box 4

Laura's Box
(1) Chase Chevron Print Swing Skirt from Gilli and (2) Connie Stud Button Racerback Tank from Collective Concepts
The skirt was super fun and the tank (while simple) fit pretty well. It was a lovely color and worked with both pants and skirts.

(3) Rochelle Abstract Print Soft Short from Tart
Super fun colors and really soft shorts. Great for the summer.

(4) Violette Embroidered Detail Dress from Ark n Co
Super cute but it felt a little short for us. Note that both of us have long torsos so that might be part of the issue.

(5) Astor Ruffle Front Tank from 41Hawthorn
A lovely color and the main thing was just the front ruffle felt like it was too much for us.

Laurie's Box
(1) Casey Lace and Stripe Sheer Tank from Mystree
Super pretty and delicate.

(2) Prylin Printed Detailed Blouse from Daniel Rainn
I felt like it looked like scrubs on me but it worked better on Laurie.

(3) Cathleen Split-Neck Tulip-Sleeve Blouse from 19 Cooper
Fun color and the tulip sleeve was pretty.

(4) Dafne Chevron Maxi Dress from Market and Spruce
This was fun - something that would work for a night out or just a grocery store run.

My Box
(1) Milly Abstract Print Gathered Sleeveless Top from Lily
Fun pattern and very bright.

(2) Petunia Striped Slub Knit Shirt from Splendid
This was nice but I felt like it was more something I'd buy for a day at the beach.

(3) Boregard Wavy Chevron Front Pocket Blouse from Collective Concepts
Fun pattern and works well with jeans or colored pants.

(4) Liam Layered Crocheted-Front Tank Top from C. Luce
A nice lace top that would work well under a cardigan.

(5) Ritta Striped Twist Front Dress from Skies are Blue
This doesn't work for people with boobs but for those less well endowed, it's pretty cute.

Hope you enjoyed a little look into our Stitch Fix boxes!
 (Prior boxes blogged here: Box 1Box 2Box 3Box 4

Monday, August 19, 2013

Brunch: Plow

We're a brunch-loving couple. Back in Pittsburgh, we went to Pamela's religiously. We're on a mission to find our "Pamela's" in the Bay Area. We have searched high and low and we're still not content. I thought it was time to start blogging our little mission and if you have any recommendations for this area, do share.

We love brunch so much that the hubs doesn't complain when I ask him to drive up to the city and wait in the fog for an hour to finally get a taste of plow.

We've joked before that it seems like they have chickens in the back laying the eggs before the cook them. Their food just oozes with freshness. Every time I go there, despite wanting to try new things, I can't get over their crispy potatoes (totally worth the extra workouts required) and the lemon ricotta pancakes. They are so awesome that I tried making them at home with no success. After a few attempts to mimic the pancakes at home, I've held up the white flag and so now we just head up to the city when I have a craving.

While tasty, it's just a bit far to make this our place. And the brunch mission continues...

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Stitch Fix Review: Deja Vu Boxes

We did another Stitch Fix round. This time due to some birthdays, we opted to have our fix a little earlier than we had in the past. I realize this blog has become quite Stitch Fix heavy - but who doesn't like a little shopping ever so often? Fear not though, there will be other non-clothing related posts as well shortly. :)

This round was a set of boxes that looked eerily familiar as a number of items were in multiple boxes and one of the items was in someone else's box the prior round. I will warn you, dear reader, that this is not a short post -- there are a number of items given that we had 4 boxes to go through! Whee!   (Prior boxes blogged here: Box 1Box 2, Box 3

So let's get started, shall we?

My Box 
(1) Donelle Lurex Floral Pattern Dress from Mystree
I loved the subtle pattern of the flowers and the subtle shine that came from the stitching. It's a fun twist on the LBD (Little Black Dress) and easily customized with a belt.

(2) Noel Crochet Detail Sheer Sleeveless Top from Conceptual Concepts
I'm loving the romantic, ever so subtly boho, look these days. I was a bit worried the pink wouldn't work for my complexion but it looks fine in the pics. Most likely thanks to the CA sun for that subtle tan I've worked up.

(3) Ivy Zig-Zag Print Tab-Sleeve Blouse from 41Hawthorn
The fit, not bad. The pattern was adorable. The color combo of the blue and black was a wee bit too much for me.

(4) Olive Fit and Flare Pointe Dress from Black Swan
The ballerina dress that was in my box, Laurie's box and Laura's box (in red). For me, it hit really high up and with my tall torso, it didn't cut it. Below are some of our best ballerina poses for your enjoyment.

(5) Layered Gold Leaf Necklace
No picture - I liked the gold part but I was not a fan of the rest. It felt a bit cheap to me. I did contemplate just removing the rest of the sections and only keeping the gold bit. 

Coleen's Box
(1) Bryce Pin-Tuck Short Sleeve Blouse from Under Skies
We all felt it was an interesting color but nothing special enough to keep it.

(2) Jay Houndstooth Printed Skirt from Lasome
This worked really well for Laurie. We have a number of outfits that we created with this skirt. :)

(3) Filbert 3/4 Sleeve Popover Blouse from 41 Hawthorn
The sleeves were interesting. It's not a bad basic black blouse if you needed one. However, none of us were in love with it. I think the fit is better than some of the other blouses we've tried.

(4) Hanneli Polka Dot Swing Skirt from Peppermint and (5) Two Strand Glitter Gems Necklace from 41Hawthorn
Both Laura and I are wearing the skirt and I have the necklace on as well. Super fun and cutesy although I felt like a sailor girl (hence the weird pose).

Laura's Box
(1) Eleanor Contrast Piping Peplum Top from Under Skies
I'm not sure where a peplum shirt is supposed to hit but it didn't hit any of us in the right spot. Both Laura and I have relatively longer torsos for our height and this showed off the tummy a bit. 

(2) Esten Button-Up Sleeveless Blouse from Collective Concepts
Pretty and cute but nothing too special. If you recall, Coleen had this in her box in the last round but in green.

(3) Art Deco Gems Necklace from 41Hawthorn 

(4) Sophia Skinny Jeans from Kensie Jeans
Laura's wearing the jeans in a number of the pics above but as with the last set of jeans, they were too long.

(5) Olive Fit and Flare Pointe Dress from Black Swan 
(Deja vu - see above)

Laura's Box
(1) Two Strand Bubble Necklace from 41Hawthorn 
Very pink. Very neon. 'Nuff said.

(2) Huntly Cat Print Collared Tank from Pink Martini
Who doesn't love a good cat print? Especially for a cat owner, this is the perfect shirt!

(3) Katana Mini Dot Crew Neck Sweater from Tulle
A little short for those with long torsos (darn them torsos!) But super adorable on Laurie (and super adorable with the houndstooth skirt).

(4) Donelle Lurex Floral Pattern Dress from Mystree
(Deja vu - see above)

(5) Olive Fit and Flare Pointe Dress from Black Swan 
(Deja vu - see above)

So what did we keep?
Me: Floral pattern dress and crochet sheer top
Laurie: Cat print shirt, Mini Dot Sweater and Houndstooth Skirt
Coleen: Nada
Laura: Zilch

Hope you guys enjoyed a little look into our Stitch Fix boxes!  (Prior boxes blogged here: Box 1Box 2Box 3

Thursday, August 01, 2013

All in the name of science

Both my husband and I are really just kids who never grew up. Invite us to a science museum and we are in -  any day, any time! So when we had a chance to check out the Exploratorium in SF together, we jumped in. No hesitation.

Science is fun - and hard work...

And we're willing to be just a little crazy in the name of science. (Yes, because otherwise we're perfectly normal and don't do anything that's too cray cray ;-).

And science also confirmed that I am a speech goat. Not that I didn't know I was a goat, but the spectogram (a machine to show the spectrum of frequencies in sound in a visual way) made it all the more obvious to my husband why speech recognition software has a rough time with my voice.

Ah yes, science explains so many things.

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Stitch Fix Review 3.14

It's time for another Stitch Fix box! :) This time we're calling it box 3.14 (or pi) since it's my 4th box, Laurie's 3rd box and Coleen's first. What does that give you? Pi! Hardee har har! I crack myself up with my brilliance sometimes. (Prior boxes blogged here: Box 1Box 2

So let's take a look at the boxes because I know that's why you're here and what ya'll really want to see!

Laurie's Box

(1) Maxwell Ladder Stitch Silk Blouse from Daniel Rainn
We're apparently not fans of the flowy blouses. I think they look love one some people but we're not confident in them. The necklace I'm wearing actually comes from Coleen's box and works really well with this blouse.

(2) Bilson Silk Pleat Tab-Sleeve Blouse from 41Hawthorn
This one was even bigger and longer than the other one. I think the length didn't help it.

(3) Krietta Mix Striped Maxi Dress from Kensie
Maxi dresses are so comfy and this one has a fun touch at the bottom to make it unique. Super adorable!

(4) Art Deco Square Jeweled Necklace from Baublebar
Love this look!

(5) Johnny Skinny Jeans from Kensie Jeans
Too small for Laurie. Fit me but way too long - no one needs pics of that! :)

Coleen's Box

(1) Esten Button-Up Sleeveless Blouse from Collective Concepts
Super simple but quite a lovely color.

(2) Karenna Flutter Detail Dress from Lilla P
Definitely needed the belt and adding a cardi really makes the dress pop.

(3) Kristy Striped Fine Gauge Sweater from Renee C
This is sooo not the right color for me. But cute style.

(4) Sophia Skinny Jeans from Kensie Jeans
Way too long for the shorties in the group...

(5) Leaf Charms Long Necklace from 41Hawthron
I thought it was adorable! (See the first picture of this blog post where I'm wearing it) I don't normally wear long necklaces or I could have kept it myself. :)

My Box
I'm going to admit I was a little disappointed in my box this time. It really was outside my comfort level. The last two boxes were much more my style (even with the pieces I sent back).

(1) Kennedy Ikat Tunic Dress
Way too much pattern and it hits me really high up. You can tell on Coleen it hit at a much more appropriate spot. Laurie just wore it with a pair of leggings to keep this blog PG.

(2) Sheila Beaded Collar Detail Dress from Mystree
Love at first sight. Coleen and Laurie called this the "Belinda" dress.

(3) Shanna Draped Printed Dress
I don't have the boobs to pull this off -- damn genetics. It drapes a little funny on me. I loved how it looked on Coleen. I didn't think it was that bad on me until I saw it on her.

(4) Stacy Tabsleeve Floral Print Dress
I'll admit... I called this the "Grandma" dress. Perhaps the better description is "Prairie Girl" dress. The lace detail (the only part I liked) was on the back and not something you'd notice. In addition, I felt like you had to add a cardi or it wouldn't work (but that would hide the lace).

(5) Art Deco Tube Multi Beaded Necklace
Blech. Not my cup of tea.

So what did we keep?
Laurie: It's a surprise. Cos that's how she rolls.
Coleen: On the fence with the maxi dress. I also think she should keep the blue flutter detail dress but we'll see..
Belinda: Shelia Beaded Collar Dress

If you haven't tried Stitch Fix out, give it a shot! And finding 2 other friends to do it with you means triple the fun!

(Prior boxes blogged here: Box 1Box 2