Archive for the ‘wine’ Category

last second holiday gift ideas for every kind of friend

In friendship, gift giving, holidays, wine on December 23, 2011 at 9:46 pm

Time is running out…Christmas is like – now! Don’t show up to another holiday party or meet up with friends/family empty handed! Here are four gift ideas that should cover your entire group of amigos or familia annnnnd they are really nice and easy!

For the intellectMoleskine notebook: These are my absolute favorite, it’s a smart, classic, quality notebook that anyone would appreciate.  I love the versions with the graphics paper – tres chic! To personalize, write a thoughtful note in the front inside cover!

For the foodie – What I’ve found is that most foodies moonlight as chef’s and are often itching for opportunities to cook for their friends. Gift an adorable apron so that he/she can look legit when flipping, sauteing and tasting in the kitchen!

For the fashionista – A magazine subscription to elle for a lady and Details for a dude. Both are the perfect balance of ready to wear and high fashion,  just like your friend or family member.

For the host/hostessMonogrammed notecards: Super useful, personal and all around perfect. A simple notecard with the persons first or last initial is just darling and it’s a practical gift they will be dying to put to use. Love. Love. Love.

 Merry, merry Christmas! I hope it’s a great one for you and yours.




In friendship, Good Eats, wine on March 19, 2011 at 4:49 pm

A few weeks ago I was fortunate enough to spend time with my dear friend S.M.  We usually meet up weekly over coffee, in the gym, or even at a restaurant we’ve been dying to try. This particular week we met up at my place for a long night of girlfriend time.

It was nothing short of lovely.   We just enjoyed talking, laughing and even silence at times.

When was the last time you did this with a friend? Think of someone you haven’t spent time with in awhile, call them up, chill a bottle of wine, put on your leggings and just be.

impromptu and loving it

In budget, for the home, friendship, Good Eats, wine on February 4, 2011 at 3:46 pm

It all started with an impromptu trip to HomeGoods…

I ended up running across about 20 of the most perfect pieces for my anthro-house…which has now taken a turn towards a JA (Jonathan Adler) house. I finally realized that I love the most bold, interesting and eye-catching decor – but with moderation. Adler tends to go all or nothing in his designing – which I totally respect and appreciate, but I’m still a fan for the way my home is designed in neutral colors, chocolate browns, dark hardwood floors, and other than our yam colored dining room the walls are pretty warm and earthy too!

I picked up the two wooden acorns- the taller one in a bright white and the smaller one in a lime green, and repurposed my typical ikea lamp (which now doesn’t look so typical)  and was amazed how that little area alone has added the greatest pop of color/flair to our otherwise bland fireplace. In addition, I took the driftwood that usually sits at the base of the fireplace and moved it into the red ceramic vase (also bought at HomeGoods) for a really modern and eclectic look that I LOVE! To complete this I would love to find a funky white mirror to hang and I may or may not already have my eye on a bright rug from Urban Outfitters.

I got so many cool pieces at HomeGoods it was insane! I found two incredible carved dragon bookends, one in red orange and the other in teal  (sounds crazy – looks great) a bronze elephant, a huge snakeskin round white tray bowl perfect for holding the growing collection of coffee table books and next to it I placed a really neat lacquered red box which has made a gorgeous…remote control holder!  OK so as if HomeGoods wasn’t enough I made my way to World Market – I got new kitchen chairs. I saw them, I loved them, I bought them, and I’m so excited to keep them for a long, long time!  In the dining room I shortened our gathering table to a four top, added the large metal fork & spoon set (found at HomeGoods) and repurposed the Number print from my bedroom for a cleaner more modern look!

So I was looking around and loving the place so much I had to show someone! So I decided to invite my cousins TP and LP over for an impromptu light luncheon!  I only used grocery items I had in the house so here’s how it went!

I put together a simple setting…short glass, wine glass, single fork, plate and  a bright napkin from ikea…

I wanted to create a salad that would be super healthy but really filling, so I chopped and roasted a yellow sweet potato for an hour, thinly sliced an apple, added crumbled blue cheese, arugula and tossed it in olive oil and lemon juice…DELISH!

I accompanied the salad with my version of a flatbread…this was UNBELIEVABLY easy to make! I made a Bisquick pizza dough, brushed it with olive oil, shredded an aged cheddar/gruyere cheese, chopped red pepper, sliced tomatoes, sprinkled it with oregano, sea salt and cracked black pepper. Baked for 15 minutes and voila! SO GOOD!

We sipped on fresh water with lemon, and a surprisingly great bottle (and well paired if I do say so myself) of California pinot grigio called the Naked Grape…you know me – this bottle couldn’t have been more than $6 which means… this was a good get!

Ended the lunch with lots of laughs, story telling and my personal favorite: donuts!

I couldn’t have asked for a more lovely impromptu day.


All photos courtesy of Becky Reams Photography =)

don’t call it a comeback

In fashion, for the home, friendship, inspiration, Los Angeles, wine on September 14, 2010 at 12:32 pm

Remember that LL Cool J song that goes: don’t call it a comeback! I’ve been here for years…” That’s completely how I’m feeling right now because it seems like forever since I’ve posted…but here I am! And for those of you have been asking I am absolutely flattered that you are interested/keeping up. Thank you.

So! Here’s what’s been on my radar, stuff I can’t get enough of, stuff I hope will take you to certain moments in your life, and as always…stuff to encourage smiling.

Fresh White Linens on a Sunday Morningwhat is about tide-scented white sheets, a big comfy cream comforter and pillows I can’t help but get lost in – that make me want to peel back the pages of an old New Yorker, keep the box of Honey Nut Cheerios and Soy Milk by my bed and let Pandora churn out some goooooood jazz??

Watching My Roomie at Work…On my list of people who continue to absolutely amaze me – this lady ranks high. Here she is making magic with a polaroid camera annnnd check out the corner of the photo: she made this DELICIOUS bundt cake from scratch-ola!

Finding Things I thought Were Lost Forever…I’ve always wanted a really cool kangolsamuel L jackson style.  And then for Christmas last year A.P hooked me up with a classic black one. In the midst of moving my kangol goes missing. Gone. Can’t find it anywhere…until this past week when I did an intense cleaning session and voila! Hello Dolly!

On Repeat…omg these songs are on repeat day and night…I’m bringing ear phones to work this week so that my coworker doesn’t have to listen to the same four songs for another week straight.  And while I know playing songs on repeat is so obnoxious for the people around you – goodness! These are taking me to such familiar and wonderful and groovy places. I’m not stopping.

–  Michael Buble’s, Georgia on my mind

– Stevie Wonder, All I Do

– Phoenix, If I Ever Feel Better

– Ahmad Jamal, Pittsburgh

Surprise Notes From Friends…I came home one day to this note on my bed – geez! Thoughtfulness and “just because” kindness is a lost art and I’m so grateful for the wonderfully thoughtful/kind people around me.

Views of the BeachI am 100% guilty of taking my close proximity to the ocean for granted – This has to change pronto because I know when I’m living in an urban jungle somewhere, and the closest thing to the beach is my bathtub, I’m going to regret not spending more time on the strand.

My first 5- Course Meal with Wine Pairing at a Chef’s Table...need I say more?? Scallops, lamb, delightful wines swishing around in my mouth ever so perfectly, chocolate cake with vanilla gelato, olive bread, etc… oh and more sighs of satisfaction than one can imagine.  I could get used to this.

~ j.ayers