Thursday, February 20, 2014

Classic Restaurants {The Smoke House}

Last week I took my family out for a celebratory dinner at the classic restaurant The Smoke House in Toluca Lake. 
As a teenager, we would go there for fancy dates and special occasions. 

Isn't it awesome that some things never change?
Same red leather booths.

And like the sign says, fine dining since 1947.  It's true!
The filets and the prime rib were as good as always,
but the star of the show at the Smoke House is the garlic cheese bread.  I remember it was about the best thing I'd ever tasted.  My kids love it too.

It's located at 4420 Lakeside Drive in the city of Burbank, right down the street from Lakeside Country Club and right across the street from Warner Brothers Studios.


Our special occasion was to celebrate my son (the musician, song-writer, performer, all around music genius) getting his first big success in the very difficult music industry.  He sold a song he wrote and recorded to ABC for the show Marvels Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.  It's pretty damn exciting.
I'm so proud of him.  He's been working hard in the business for very little money for over six years.  But this first taste of significant success makes it all worth it.  Good things are coming for him.
 I got him a two pound box of his favorite chocolate butter creams from See's and this awesome card.

Yeah, he really does rock.

Hope you're having a great week.

As always, thanks for stopping by.




Friday, February 14, 2014

Winter Weekend {So Cal Style}

Last weekend my sister and I went on a little road trip down south.  We stopped at Roger's Gardens in Newport Beach.  I have read a lot about it and seen blogposts, but never experienced it in person.  It did not disappoint.  The weather was beautiful and there were amazing flowers everywhere.
  What could be better?

We cruised around Balboa Island, did some shopping at Fashion Island and then spent the night at my favorite hotel down that way, the Hyatt Regency.  The next day, we woke up to cloudy skies, and after breakfast we stopped at the historic Crystal Cove. 

After a nice walk down the beach, we arrived at the cluster of old cottages where people have been camping for the summer since the early 1900s.  

The history of this place is pretty fascinating.  If you google, you can read more if you're interested.

As we continued south to San Clemente, the sun came out and it turned into a beautiful Southern California winter day.

I mean seriously, how lucky are we to live in So Cal?
I wouldn't trade it for anything.

And here is the view from my friend Judy's balcony, right by the San Clemente pier.  I don't think I'd ever leave the balcony.  Can you imagine the sunsets?

We continued on south stopping in Laguna Beach, Del Mar and Rancho Santa Fe where I had a work meeting on Monday morning.  Unfortunately I did not play golf that day, but it was a beautiful course at the Santaluz Club.


We did a fair amount of shopping and I came home with a new pillow sham from Restoration Hardware, some cute black and white cocktail napkins, a couple of amber bottles and a cute little gold nut dish.

It was a pretty good weekend.   Let's hope this one can hold up as well.  It's three days long and going to be warm, so it's already got that goin' for it.

Wishing you a good one!

As always, thanks for visiting.




Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Bookcases {In My Case, Less Styling More Books}

So tricky, yet so pleasant (when done right).
My bookcases are less stylish and more workhorse.  While I love a beautifully styled bookcase, in my small condo, I don't have the luxury of having a lot pretty stuff on them. 
I need them to store my BOOKS. 

I got the idea to use two Ikea Expedits from Meg Lonergan's four stacked units in the photo below.  I'm sure everyone has seen this by's been around for awhile and in many publications.

So brilliant.  I mean really, that's a LOT of books.  And I think they look fantastic!
I don't have nearly as many books, but I wanted them all in these units.  As you know, I'm not a fan of clutter, so I needed this space to look clean and organized. 
I started with all of the white-ish books in the top two center cubbies.

Then all of the black books in the bottom, just above the two baskets (which are great for storage). 

I placed the colorful books together in sections of reds, blues and greens.
All of the children's books are in the bottom cubbies
(where there will soon be tiny ones who can reach them :)   

These are all books that I used to read to my kids.  They're all tattered and loved up, like childrens' books should be :)

I still have books stacked throughout my place and some of the decorative stuff will probably have to go soon since I keep getting more books.  But for now everything fits pretty well in these two units.

Can't believe it's Wednesday already.  This week is flying!

As always, thanks for visiting.