This week’s wanderlust… Venice Beach

by parenture on June 12, 2012

Ten years ago, this week, I celebrated my birthday in Venice Beach.

If I went back now, this is where I’d stay. According to Travelocity Senior Editor, Courtney Scott, who tipped me off to this place: “An eye for creativity meets a passion for sustainability at the husband-and-wife-owned Venice Beach Eco-Cottages. Just a 10-minute walk from the Venice Beach boardwalk, each of the three cottages incorporate reclaimed objects into the design and functionally of the space, making for a one-of-a-kind, 100% eco-friendly stay.”

Sounds like a pretty awesome summer escape to me.

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Friday Field Notes

by parenture on June 8, 2012

 I love June–with its warm weather and end-of-school vibe. Plus, the fact that it’s my birthday month gives me an extra excuse to eat ice cream and cake. What’s not to like about that?! In other June news, I started a new full-time job this week. So, needless to say, you’re likely to find less frequent posts here. For now, a few things I jotted down this week:

- I’d like to have the full color spectrum of these Moleskin Volant notebooks, all lined up on my white desk, but so far I just have the pink/rose set.

- I’m using one for work notes, and the other to keep track of my daughter’s meals; one of my summer goals is to make weekly (or maybe even monthly) meal plans like this. I also want to try to cook at least one new recipe each week, so I’ve been looking around here and here.

- Speaking of food, I had an incredibly delicious dinner with my mom and sister at Pure Food and Wine in Gramercy last weekend (insider tip: ask for a table in the garden/backyard). Inspired, I made these vegan bean burgers at home and they were delicious!

- If you’re looking for stylish pens, paper, and notebooks (plus some great Japanese gifts for kids), check out the downstairs section of Kinokuniya Bookstore in midtown–not far from my new office.

- In travel-related notes, one of my favorite blogs, Hither&Thither, posted a wonderful piece on the Jalousie Plantation in St. Lucia, where we stayed in December 2011, and included a link to my NYMag.com article on St. Lucia; super flattering! Where are you going for your next vacation?

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A room (or a corner) of one’s own

by parenture on June 5, 2012

City living has many perks, but space isn’t one of them. During the past couple of years, I’ve worked at a variety of locations including my kitchen table, local coffee shops, and the BWS. Now the time has come for a more official home office. So I’m carving out a work space in the corner of my bedroom. Here’s what I’ve bought so far: the Micke desk from Ikea ($69!) and the AG management chair from Advanced Interior Designs ($219). What do you think? Any great ideas for a printer stand? Lighting? Art work? Organizational tools for inside my drawers?

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Chalk for grown-ups

by parenture on May 31, 2012

Chalkboard Tablet and Stand: Reclaimed wood and leather.
What’s not to like about this chalkboard tablet handmade from reclaimed wood? Wouldn’t it be great for quick to-do lists on your desk? And while we’re talking about work space organization, check out this desk caddy (below) from the same Etsy shop, Peg and Awl? It comes in small, medium, and large sizes, and it can be personalized.
Desk caddy: The Original, rustic, reclaimed wood, Large.

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This week’s wanderlust… Nantucket

by parenture on May 30, 2012

The Nantucket Hotel & Resort: The Nantucket is a new hotel that will be opening this sumer on the Island.I’m keeping an eye on the newly refurbished Nantucket Hotel + Resort, slated to reopen sometime this summer. Owned by Mark and Gwenn Snider, who also own the Winnetu Oceanside Resort on Martha’s Vineyard, this place is aiming to be at once classy and family friendly. Ambitious. I’m anxious to see some new photos, but in the meantime take a look at this video.

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A breath of fresh air

by parenture on May 29, 2012

Strolling along this lakeside deck sure was a nice change from the city sidewalks. We spent the weekend with friends in Saratoga Springs and it really felt like a breath of fresh air. I love being on the water. What did you do? Did you happen to see this obituary about Wesley Brown, the first black naval graduate from Annapolis? Reading about his life, especially over Memorial Day weekend, I felt so grateful for all the brave people who serve in our military, working to defend our country’s ideals.

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Friday Field Notes

by parenture on May 25, 2012

Loblolly Pine on Light Green Pocket Size Moleskine Journal Notebook Are you traveling over the long weekend? Where to? Either way, are you at least making your way to a Memorial Day weekend barbecue like I hope to do? Whatever you do, have a great time. In other notes, here are a few things I’ve come across this week:

- This campy pine journal (above) from Subtle Arts on Etsy just makes me want to hole up in a woodsy cabin for a few days.
- I somehow lost my summer straw hat, so I’m looking for a new one. I like this one–in natural or black?
- Check out these cool new ZigZag city guides for kids (which I found via Daily Candy).
- Did you know that all of your photos on Kodak Gallery’s website will move to Shutterfly on July 2, 2012? I just made an archival DVD, just to be safe.
- Please read this New York Times story about champion midwife Ina May Gaskin. I hate the article’s title, “Mommy Wars: The Prequel” (ugh), but I love what the writer has to say. Like the author, I read both of Ina May Gaskin’s books. Like the author, my daughter arrived via a c-section (in my case, for a breech position and low amniotic fluid). And like the author, I don’t think I’d travel to the Farm, but the facts and philosophies behind home births resonate with me. I’d love to know your thoughts.

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Host your own supper club

by parenture on May 24, 2012

Cooking Tour
I wish I had a house (or backyard) big enough to host a dinner party for 13-15 of my closest friends because the husband-wife team behind Colectivo Felix is coming to town. I first ate one of their innovative meals when it was served to me at their own home in Buenos Aires several years ago, and the prices look like they’ve gone up since then, but I’d wager that every bite is worth it. This summer and fall, they’ll be cooking their way through San Diego, LA, San Francisco, and NYC. If you have enough room to host a meal, will you invite me? Or at least send me pictures?!

Photos courtesy of Colectivo Felix

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This week’s wanderlust… Salt Water Farm

by parenture on May 24, 2012

This place, the Salt Water Farm, in Maine makes my mouth water. Don’t the summer cooking workshops look tempting? Or just a Sunday supper? Yum. Read more in this article from AFAR.

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Just back from… Healdsburg, CA

by parenture on May 23, 2012

When my best friend moved to Healdsburg, CA, I was pretty bummed she’d be so far away. Truthfully, I kind of wanted to hate the place–just so I could tell her to leave, immediately, and come back to live near me on the East Coast. Only, here’s the thing: As far as I can tell from my visit there this past weekend, Sonoma County is a nearly impossible place to hate.

My husband and I just got back from three days in and around Healdsburg, where we went to celebrate my best friend’s marriage to a terrific guy (who also happens to be the sous chef at the highly acclaimed restaurant, Cyrus). The lush green area where they live is full of rolling hills, dirt paths, grassy fields, rivers, lakes, small vineyards and wineries, cute boutiques (like M Clothing and One World), local art galleries, great yoga studios, and amazing restaurants. Here are a few highlights from our quick trip:

H2Hotel: We spent our first night in town at this popular new boutique hotel set in the heart of Healdsburg, right across from the plaza. The lobby and restaurant area were cool and cozy. The service was personable and efficient. We especially loved our large room (#314), which featured a super comfy king-size bed, a small balcony, an office area with a modern desk and chair, a flat-screen TV, and a chic white bathroom–complete with toiletries including make-up removing pads (which is something I always forget but need). The free rental bikes and delicious continental breakfast were awesome perks. If I went back, I’d definitely book a room here again.

Dry Creek Inn: We stayed at this local Best Western Friday and Saturday nights. While the room itself was nothing to get excited about, we liked the pool area and the fire pit, which would have been a great place to roast s’mores if we had been back before 11pm when it closes for the night.

Yoga on Center: This is the studio where my best friend regularly takes yoga classes. On the Saturday morning I was there, another friend rented out the space to teach a private class just for the bride and her friends. Pretty amazing.

Medlock Ames: While I was doing yoga with the ladies (and then getting our nails done and having lunch), my husband went to this vineyard and raved about the wines–not to mention the accompanying local food they served with a tasting. I’d love to check it out the next time we’re in town.

Hudson Winery: This was the site of my friend’s rehearsal dinner and the wines were wonderful–smooth and crisp. I especially liked the rose and chardonnay.

Vine Hill House: Here’s where we celebrated my friend’s marriage on Saturday night and it was, without a doubt, one of the best places I’ve ever been for a wedding. Really and truly. The food, catered by Feast, was delicious. And I can’t wait to see the photographs, taken by Paul Miller; I’m sure they’re going to be beautiful.

Singletree Cafe: We stopped here for breakfast on our way to the SFO airport and my vegetarian omelet was fresh and tasty, in true California style. Plus, the service was fast and friendly–just like a good diner should be. For more, see the review in Travel+Leisure.

Have you been to Sonoma? Got anything to add?

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Beautiful bento boxes

by parenture on May 21, 2012

Hope you had a wonderful weekend. We had so much fun celebrating our friends’ wedding in California. Check back tomorrow for a post on our trip.

In the meantime, the gorgeous weather out West got me thinking about picnics. And since summer’s almost here in New York, I want to be ready to take our meals to go. For the past year or so (really), I’ve been searching for a great bento box, and I finally found one I love. Aren’t these Takenaka bento boxes from Harabu House great? I want one for myself (silver or yellow) and one for my daughter (blue or beige). What color do you like best? What else do you use for eating away from home?

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