Puttin' on the Ritz

Well, not quite “high hats and narrow collars” as they say, but I’m trying to step up my summer game with the time we have left. That means, more dinners at home under soft candlelight, evening swims at the beach with my husband, and early wake-ups to squeeze the juice out of each day.

I’ve just returned from the west coast and with September on the horizon, it’s time to relish in the time we have left. I’m looking forward to sharing more glimpses behind the C&C curtain in the coming weeks. Our August C&C COMMUNIQUÉ was indeed well received and I look forward to our September COMMUNIQUÉ (sign-up here!).

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Pictured above:   Dahlias from Robin Hallow Farm - see  here .  Wicker Placecard Holders from Mark D. Sikes’ new collection with Irwin Ribera - see  here .  Bespoke hand-painted watercolor place cards by Ashley D. Studio -  see here .   Newly acquired hand-painted German Majolica plates - see  here .  Aerin Lauder x Williams Sonoma rattan glassware - see  here .

Pictured above:

Dahlias from Robin Hallow Farm - see here.

Wicker Placecard Holders from Mark D. Sikes’ new collection with Irwin Ribera - see here.

Bespoke hand-painted watercolor place cards by Ashley D. Studio - see here.

Newly acquired hand-painted German Majolica plates - see here.

Aerin Lauder x Williams Sonoma rattan glassware - see here.

It's All Happening

The C&C summer is in full swing. While it’s very much been full throttle in and out of the office (I thrive on chaos!), there have also been necessary moments for pause along the way. We’ve buttoned up several initiatives that will soon advance to new phases and scopes of work. New endeavors are on the horizon for fall & winter. It’s all happening at every angle! Yet, each milestone is a moment for reflection and celebration. They are also opportunities to re-energize creatively. I’m doing my best to do just that. I’m trying to harness my inner book worm by reading Bunny Mellon: The Life of an American Style Legend (am I the last person to read this book?!), carve out time to visit my favorite farm stands and putter around in the garden.

So while I do my darnedest to take a breath and let the good times roll both professionally and personally, I invite you to join me. Life is short, summer is delicious…make it #candcapproved.

Here’s to creativity and squeezing the juice out of summer!

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Step by Step

It seems every time we drive up north to our little country abode, I’m schlepping some sort of box, bag, lamp or item that has an intended purpose in our home away from home. This weekend we’re bringing our wicker furniture we’ve spray painted dark green for the porch, in addition to some carpet and wallcovering samples. Our renovation for the most part, has been a DIY (thanks to my handy Hubby), and as much as the process continues to drag on, it’s been nice to go at it bit by bit to ensure each decision has been thoughtfully considered.

In the box:  Soane’s “Scrolling Fern”  for the masterbath and a few natural fibers for the living room, stairs and bedrooms.

In the box: Soane’s “Scrolling Fern” for the masterbath and a few natural fibers for the living room, stairs and bedrooms.

Distractions

Summer is heating up and with it has come a great deal of exciting client endeavors which I’m particularly excited about. However, one of the challenges with running your own business is finding the “off” button from time to time. Professionally, I’ve been programmed to always be “on” for as long as I can remember, which I know has taken a toll on my mental (and physical!) health. (Even years later, I still have visions of the red light flashing under my pillowcase from my Blackberry - yes, Blackberry, while my then boss was in Asia). And while my work will always be one of my biggest priorities, I am also trying to find that switch and create distractions that will help enforce this philosophy. For me, that distraction is the garden. Scheming up summer parties, tending to my herbs, and experimenting with my new crop of nasturtiums that will make for fun party garnishes.

Nasturtiums frozen for summer cocktails! A little snippet from a garden party last season…

Nasturtiums frozen for summer cocktails! A little snippet from a garden party last season…

Le Sirenuse Miami

It was such a treat to explore Miami’s Four Seasons Hotel at The Surf Club. It opened in 1930 and today, oozes with such a distinct spirit and legendary style - hollywood glamour meets chic old Florida. It’s as if you could see Sophia Loren dazzling in her diamonds in a booth next to you while the DJ spins Frank Sinatra nearby and the dim table lighting visually seduces. The highlight, was The Champagne Bar, where I had the most delectable cocktail. I had ordered the “Sole” with Grappa, Mezcal (a favorite), bitters, lemon juice, tomato shrub, Yellow Chartreuse and soda. The taste was extraordinary, inventive but delicate and the presentation of course, a true medal of honor for Valentino, the bar’s infamous mixologist. I highly recommend a visit.

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le sirenuse miami champagne bar

Perfectly Petit

My last meal in San Francisco, after a week on the west coast, was at Petit Crenn. It was a lovely way to round out a wonderful time spent mostly with my dear friend, one whom I had lived in San Francisco with for four years. We had visited Petit Crenn previously, and I especially loved the sentiment of returning, years later as our lives have grow respectively since our shared adventure as room mates.

We saddled up at the bar with a glass of wine, which in my opinion is the best seat in the house, as you’re front and center with the chefs preparing the meals. You truly capture insight into the kitchen process, the sacredness of the ingredients, and the true essence of the whole scene…one that fascinates me and makes the experience of dining that much more enjoyable.

We both had the Mt. Lassen Trout, brilliantly and seductively roasted over a wood-fired grill, served with roasted beets, spring onion and walnut. The menu is always sensational, which can make the selection process challenging (in a good way!).

I highly recommend this little gem in Hayes Valley. To see more, visit SF EATER or find the celebratory chef Dominique Crenn on Netfix’s Chef’s Table.

Image via SF Eater, no copyright infringement is intended.

Image via SF Eater, no copyright infringement is intended.

West Coast Magic

I’m working from the west coast this week, staying with my incredibly dear friend, in her Napa home. Having lived in San Francisco for four years, I always love returning and reconnecting with the electric energy out here. I feel it the moment I touch down at SFO. It’s hard to bottle up and describe, but it’s an energy that truly touches my soul and mind. It feels like medicine in a way. It stretches my brain and imagination in such a refreshing manner. I miss being so close to the celebratory innovation out here - whether it’s tech, design, food or wine, and am so grateful to get little taste of it this week!

One of my favorite places in Napa Valley is the little stretch of Yountville where Thomas Keller has undoubtedly made his mark. Washington Street is practically a shrine to Keller, flooded with his sought after restaurants, The French Laundry, Bouchon Bistro, Bouchon Bakery, Ad Hoc, the French Laundry Garden and now, with his latest endeavor, La Calenda. Just a skip away, is the newly opened Restoration Hardware Yountville, a series of buildings that were designed to integrate food, wine, design and art. As my friends and I were discussing, we didn’t want to like it (for a few reasons some might understand)….but we do. Very much.

As part of this new experience, the restaurant reimagined Ma(i)sonry, one of my favorite old spots which combined art & wine within the grounds of a historic stone building. Now, the building plays host to a wine vault with all the Restoration trimmings, and, something I’m particularly excited about…a coffee shop.

We enjoyed a lovely brunch at the RH Restaurant, surrounded by 100 year-old olive trees, glittering chandeliers, roaring fires and the sound of water trickling from stone fountains. Below are some snapshots from our morning however I do suggest viewing on their website for the visuals to really do their justice.

P.S. How about that seductive La Marzocco espresso machine in brass & graphite?! SWOON.

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Summertime Splendor...

I set my coffee down this morning by the stack of straw hats that adorn a console in our upstairs hall. It had me desperately yearn for that simple summer splendor. I am craving the elegant ease that ensues, especially here in Newport… afternoon swims in the sea, bare feet in the garden, salty hair, white ensembles all day and evening… why is summer just so SENSATIONAL? Thank you, Marella Agnelli for inspiring me with this photograph taken of her (and Princess Pignatelli) in the port of Beaulieu-sur-Mer on the Cote d’Azur. Black & white photography often evokes more of a “mood” for me than any colors of the rainbow could…Now, let’s press fast-forward to summer…

(Photograph by Henry Clarke via Condé Nast via Getty Images).

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Settling In...

I’m loving our new petite office digs in Newport. There are still odds and ends that need addressing, but I’m taking my time hanging art and perfecting little details while growing into the space. Tomorrow, I’m headed to the Floral Reserve for a celebratory flower shop. I’ll be sharing much more in the coming weeks…

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