Tuesday, August 16, 2011


Hi guys, so one of the things I managed to do last weekend was throw out my back. Seems to be a bit of that going around--I know Quintessence has been nursing a bad back, too. Blogger Back-- is that a thing??

Anyway, I'm sorry to say I think I'll have to take a few days off to mend.  I'll miss the chatter, but look forward being back soon! XO

Monday, August 15, 2011

Blues for Summer

Here we are, Monday again. Is it just me, or is summer flying by? It shocked me to notice that our hydrangeas are starting to antique already. The white ones have gone almost crimson, the blues are starting to take on a mellow faded greenish tinge, like tarnished and weathered copper.

I guess it is mid-August, but it seems like summer is winding down too fast. I'm reminding myself to relish every possible moment of longer warmer days before fall rolls in.

So I went out with my garden shears and picked the brightest, bluest hydrangeas I could find, the ones that hadn't started to fade. I grabbed a few new green blossoms, just tinged with the slightest red, arranged them in my favorite blue and white container so that I can enjoy a little summer while I get ready for work each morning.

 Michelle Rago Weddings

I was inspired by these stunning masterpieces from Michelle Rago. Aren't they amazing?
  Michelle Rago Weddings

And I let my own blooms inspire a quick little sketch that will remind me of summer long after the flowers are gone.

How do you plan to savor the last days of summer?

 The Sartorialist

By wearing favorite things in your closet that just won't transition into fall?

  The Coveteur

By taking your coffee outside on the porch in the morning? 

  British Homes & Gardens

By sneaking outside to relax in the afternoon?

 British Homes & Gardens

 Or dining in the garden as the light begins to fade at day's end?

House Beautiful via Oliveaux 

Here's to the last days of summer-- and here's hoping that yours are beautiful, with the only summer blues...

 Southern Accents

... the ones you find in your garden! 

Thursday, August 11, 2011

There's something about Billy

I'm a very loyal girl. Oh, I flirt. With Oscar and the rest. But mostly I'm faithful. I only have eyes for Mr. H. Except in the summer months. The days grow longer. And warmer. And I start getting restless. Nothing can satisfy me...

Except for Billy's

It's true, I don't really know much about Billy. Except that his tomatoes are pretty much the best. Ever.

And Billy is a complex guy. There's more to him than just tomatoes. Arugula. Peaches. He's does incredible things. To a Goat Cheese and Cherry Tomato Flan.

Last night my friend Pam and I had a long overdue date with Billy at one of our favorite haunts, the Boat Street Café.

Billy is much loved all over Seattle. His tomatoes and organic produce--grown on a farm in Tonasket, Washington--are a rite of summer. And if you happen to miss them at the Farmer's Markets, you can always depend on Boat Street to have Billy's on the menu.

And from the Lillet Martini...

To the first bite of pâté...

To the last bite of peaches, cream and cornmeal biscuit, it was the perfect summer meal.

What could be better on a summer evening than a little girl talk in such a happy setting? With so much fantastic food? (Sorry to leave you at home with pasta salad, Mr. H!)

But Billy, I don't think I'm done with you yet. I'll be looking for you in Ballard this weekend...

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

All You Need Is Love

I don't think I've mentioned that I've been knee deep in weddings at work. It's fun! Like planning my own again. But without the bills this time!

And I get to spend a lot of time looking through wedding photos....which can be bad because it's easy to get sucked in and spend the whole day looking at wedding photos!

Anyway... I'm especially charmed by the photography of Stephanie Williams.  She's got a knack for capturing the little details of the day that make it unique and special. Like these lovely "love" shoes. 

All photos by Stephanie Williamson

Adorable! Makes me wish I could do it all over again -- although I don't think I could ever talk Mr. H. into wearing pink and green argyle socks. 

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Happy Place #2: Café de Flore

Sometimes, if I'm feeling a little world-weary or blue, I close my eyes and imagine that I'm making my way up the Rue de Tournon. Just after it turns into the Rue de Seine, I take a left, wander a few more blocks until I find myself in front of the Café de Flore.

 My illustration

I wedge myself between the tables scattered across the sidewalk and into a pink and green ratan chair.

I signal the waiter and order café cremé or champagne....

And watch the world go by...

Day or night... Coffee or bubbles...

A dish of olives or a plate of oeuffs brouillés mixed, jambon et fromage....

With a dear friend or a friendly book...

In real life or just my memory and imagination...it's always one of my happiest of places.

And it's nice to know that even if I couldn't get there today, it will open it's doors again tomorrow. 

All photos from the Café de Flore

Want to meet me there?

Monday, August 8, 2011

Summer Reading: The Rules of Civility

Hi all, how was the weekend? Ours was full and fun, but I still managed to steal away for a moment here and there to finish my latest favorite book -- The Rules of Civility, by Armor Towles.

Following it's plucky heroine, Katey Kontent, up and down the streets of 1938 New York--from the 21 Club, to Bendels, to the King Cole bar and a few seedy dives in between--is the perfect way to get away from it all -- even if you don't go any farther than your own backyard.

I found myself devouring it like I would a favorite box of sweets, unable to stop gobbling through the pages -- until I found myself almost finished so then tried to slowly savor them one by one-- and I still ate it up far too fast.

Photos from British Homes and Gardens 

I thought about starting something new, but found I wasn't quite ready to leave Katey and her pals behind. So I flipped back to page one to renew our acquaintance.

Is there anything more delicious that a great summer read? What's been your favorite book of the summer?


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