Thursday, February 26, 2009

Honeymoon in My Hometown: San Francisco

I love the idea of this post. I have lived all over the West Coast, and both Mr. PT and I love San Francisco with all our hearts. One could say it's in our blood, both of our parents honeymooned in San Francisco in the 1960s! They even bought the same souvenirs.

Please bare with me, I love this Golden City, so buckle your seat belts and come hungry here's an insiders guide to SF:

First up, where to stay: I am totally biased, but my number one recommendation would be Hotel Vitale. The lavender scented hallways and free yoga in the morning are sure to make you feel miles away from everything. Check out their website- they have discounts for locals (starting under $200) and AAA members. If the Vitale is going to break your bank- check out any of the other Joie de Vivre Hotels. Chip Conley, the owner, really knows what he is doing- from chic to budget friendly. All of his hotels are a great bet- and they are Green, bonus!

So once you have checked into your Hotel, I'd recommend a quick Happy Hour cocktail. If you want the best view in town, pop over to Epic Roasthouse. They just launched a HH menu of: $5 cocktails and wine, $2 bottled beers, and bites for $3-$5. Seriously, amazing prices!

If it's baseball season, you have to catch a game at AT&T park. While I am a Dodger fan through and through, Giants Stadium is pretty great! Just remember to bring layers, it can get mighty chilly- even in the summer.

If it's not baseball season, and it's a night out on the town that you are looking for: I'd head over to Coco500 for some amazing fried green beans and a night cap at District.

After a fantastic night sleep and maybe even some morning yoga at Vitale, head directly to the San Francisco Ferry Building for the Saturday morning Farmers Market. This is my all time absolute favorite thing to do in San Francisco!!

Start off right with some coffee from Blue Bottle Coffee (AMAZING STUFF) and head directly to the Downtown Creamery stand (usually in the back) for a taste of delicious goodness. Then wonder around tasting everything you can. If you are a cheese type of person- you MUST get the three cheese sampler (~$20) from Cowgirl Creamery inside, a loaf of bread ($2-5) from Acme Bakery, a cupcake from Miette and some seasonal fruit for a picnic lunch later.

After you are done exploring, jump in a cab and go to Golden Gate Park. If you can handle the crowds, go to the brand spankin new, CA Academy of Arts and Sciences. Mr. Peep and I haven't even had a chance to yet, but I am dying to check it out. It has a living roof and (I've heard) a cool Octopus Exhibit. If you aren't museum'd out at the end, go next door to the de Young Museum . The view from the tower is breath taking!!

You could also continue to explore Golden Gate Park by walking to the Japanese Tea Gardens or the Conservancy of Flowers. Let me know if you explore enough to find the Bison!

At this point you'll probably be hungry, I have three options for ya: eat your picnic lunch, check out the Moss Room at the museum, or jump in a cab out to Ocean Beach and grab something to eat at Beach Chalet. This place has a fantastic view of the Pacific (and a great brunch). But don't eat too much- I have some fabulous dinner options coming up.

If you are still in Golden Gate Park and are feeling your inner Hippy- go walk around Haight Street. People watching galore and lots of fun, funky shops. Even your man will have fun checking out Amoeba Records. And you must drag your Hubby into Ambiance to find the perfect flirty dress for your evening out.

If you are out at Beach Chalet, take a nature detour and walk on the beach or head just a bit farther North to Lands End or Baker Beach for some ridiculous views.

At this point, you need to save your energy for a night out on the town. I'd head back to the hotel, take a nap and freashin up. Are you ready for dinner suggestion overload?

For a more casual evening with some music check out:

Best Pizza in town (although Pengy will disagree): Little Star Pizza. It may be a wait, but it is SO SO worth it. From there, you can easily walk to numerous bars or check out a show at the Independent or the famous Filmore.

For romance:

Go to Luella on Russian Hill, and then walk down to Polk Street for a few drinks at Amelie or Bar Johnny's.

Or for the Italian lovers, go to Panta Rei in North Beach and then go to Tosca's for an Irish Coffee. You may even run into Oscar Winner Sean Pean. City Books is also near by.

For the big spenders:
Slanted Door is fantastic Asian Fusion. Or if you really want to empty your wallet, book the hardest reservation in town: Gary Dankos.

For the Hipsters:
Go down to the Mission and go to Delfina, Dosa or Limon. And then bar hop to the first available bar. Check out Little Bao Bob's for some funky dancing that will give you a peak into the local flavor.

After all that, your head is going to really love the fluffy pillows at the Vitale.

Sunday morning. Feeling refreshed and hopefully not hung over, nothing is better than a walk or a little ferry ride. Two suggestions: 1. Head back over to the Ferry Building and jump on the next Ferry to Sausalito. While Sausalito itself is a little touristy, the ferry ride will get you out on the gorgeous SF Bay and provide some fantastic views of the Golden Gate. For only $8 each way, it is so worth the money!


2. Head over to Crissy Field and the Golden Gate Bridge.

You'll most likely spot Huck and I running around Crissy Field. Make sure you bring a jacket for the mile long walk across the Golden Gate. It's windy, but beyond beautiful.

After your adventure, you will surely be hungry again (if not, suck it up, there are too many great restaurants that I don't want you to miss). Head over to China Town and get some Dim Sum at City View or some Chinese from House of Nan King.

If you need some down time- go see a flick at the new Sundance Kabuki Cinema. Or if you have a patient Hubby, go shopping down on Union Street or Filmore.

And if after all that you are still hungry. Go eat at the Americano at Hotel Vitale.

There you have it. Are you exhausted? I am. And this is just the tip of the ice burg.

Up next, a wine country weekend getaway.

All pictures by Mama Peep- isn't she fantastic?

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Toasting the Peeps: The Ultimate DIY

Many people wonder how Mr. Peep got into the olive oil industry, and the truth is he has only been making olive oil for about a year and a half. Before that he spent almost ten years in the wine industry. In fact, when we first started dating Mr. Peep worked for a small winery in Napa Valley running their sparkling wine program. (Do you see where this is going?)

He's been in the wine industry for so long we have quite the collection of wine. Here's a portion of it.

This is in our guest bedroom. We wanted to make sure our guests don't get thirsty in the middle of the night! The floor slopes, so we had to lay the wine rack on it's side. In total we have about 12 to 15 cases of wine stored in our little apartment.

Needless to say, Mr. Peep has been very concerned from Day 1 about the wine that we are going serve at the wedding. We found out recently that we'd be able to bring in our own wine in for the cocktail hour! Whoo hoo.

So, in the ultimate DIY, we will be serving sparkling wine and red wine personally made by Mr. Peep. Here's just a sampling of the sparking wine that we may serve:

I can't imagine a better reason to raid our stash of wine. And I seriously can't wait for our first toast!

Has your job provided a DIY? What is your ultimate DIY?

Monday, February 23, 2009

I might just have to go barefoot

Seriously. My first dress fitting is in less than two weeks, and I still don't have a viable pair of shoes to wear. And it's not from lack of research or shoe purchases. I have officially bought FIVE pairs of shoes for the big event- and I have returned four of them.

I showed you the first pair, which I actually bought for 32 bucks!!

I loved them, but then I tried them on with my dress. They are just too clunky looking.

The next few I bought barely made it out of the package before they were returned:
These showed up damaged. And were just too high.


I knew these were the wrong green, but I bought them anyway.


These too showed up damaged, yet I still tried them on with the dress and they actually looked the best. They are on their way back to as we speak (thank goodness for free returns).


And I can't find a picture of the last pair. They are from Nordstroms- olive green-ish with a bow. Also the wrong color and too high a heel. They were returned within 48 hours.

So here I am five pairs of shoes later and still nothing that works, I have found a few contenders, but I seriously need the hives help and opinion.

In my dreams I am wearing a 1. satin, 2. green or pink (or ivory in a pinch), 3. strappy, 4. 2-2.75 inch heal, and 5. not too expensive pair of shoes (meaning ideally under $100 bucks). These five qualities seem next to impossible to find.

So I present you with my top contenders- none of them hit all five quailites. Please help a girl and and tell me which one I should wear, or at least buy and try on. And if you have a better suggestion- PLEASE let me know. I just don't really want to be barefoot!!

Insert poll here!!

Contender 1. Mr. Peep's choice. He calls the shoe "Pink and Little Pink"


Contender 2. I'd get these either in white and dye them or brown. But I have to say, I am worried about dying shoes- I mean, where does a girl even go to do that?


Contender 3. These are just some sweet looking shoes.


Contender 4. I found these on J. Crew this morning and they are totally on sale. I am not sure if the ivory will match. Does any one know if these are dyable if they don't? I think these might be the safest bet, but they are on final sale, no returns!!

And finally, Contender 5. I love, love, love these sweet little shoes. They fit everything except the budget. Should I just take the plunge and buy them?? Sorry, I could only figure out how to save the small picture!!


Oh, and Contender 6. I have the perfect shoe for you, and I will comment below.

Thanks ladies. I can't wait to hear your opinions!!

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Kicking off the Dance Party

Mr. Peep is a total music person. On our first two dates, other than bringing me flowers and sparkling wine, he burned me two mixed CDs, and I only knew one song from both CDs. Now these songs are burned into my brain from listening to Mr. Peep's music practically non-stop for the last three years. He introduced me to folks like Gomez, the Arcade Fire, Spoon, Silversun Pickups and the list goes on.

While we have a couple songs that are our songs, neither of them are first dance material. The first song is My Doorbell from the White Stripes. But it is so not first dance material. The other song is almost a contender, I love it, but you can't really dance to it (we tried, and failed): See the World by Gomez

We talked about what we would dance too for months- then we got in a bit of a skirmish over it. So I decided to drop the subject for a few months and gift Mr. Peep a mixed CD full of first dance contenders for our third date-a-versary.* It seemed so appropriate.

Yet were would I find all these fabulous songs? The Weddingbee Wiki for this topic is pretty great, but I knew we needed something different. I'd be more than happy to dance to something classic, but Mr. Peep didn't seem into it. So I went where any novice music lover should go for great inspiration: Pandora!! It's genius. You type in one song you like and then they create a station for you based on that song. You can even make mixed stations with multiple songs you like.

For the last few months, I have donned my headphones at work and bookmarked all the songs I thought might make the first dance cut. I compiled all the songs about a week ago, and I had over 25 songs! Fantastic. I used a handy dandy gift card from iTunes and create two CDs for Mr. Peep. I presented them to him first thing on our anniversary. He ran (well sauntered is more like it) over to the stereo and put the first one in as we were getting ready for work.

The first contender was a Jack Johnson song. Mr. Peep heard this song and said right away that this should be the song we dance to. I love it, but he still had a lot more tracks to go. Sorry, the song doesn't start until 17 seconds in:

I had to head out the door for work, so I left Mr. Peep to listen to the rest of the music. I eagerly called him when I got to work and asked what song he liked. He asked me about the first song on the second CD. Since I didn't have the list memorized, I told him to look up the iTunes account. He said he started to cry when he first heard it (don't tell him I told you) - I knew that second that this would be our song. I have been humming it for months and I love it. He told me later that he thinks she is saying Jeremy (his name) in the video, so it's even more appropriate than I first thought. It's not really a video, but the song:

So there ya have it!! The Peep's first dance song! It's new, different and totally perfect.

Since I think I made a pretty great list of potential first dance songs, here's the playlist. Some are classics, some aren't and some are classics with a twist. And so sorry if these are just not your style.

Into The Mystic, Van Morrison
Wonderful Remark,Van Morrison (our third choice!)
Days Like This, Van Morrison (obviously I like Van Morrison)
1 2 3 4, Feist (this song is just so fun)
Can't Take My Eyes Off Of You - Lauryn Hill
Little Romance - Ingrid Michaelson (this didn't actually make the CD since I would have had to buy the whole album, but I love it just the same)
You Really Got A Hold On Me, She & Him (thank you Weddingbee for introducing She & Him)
Fly Me To The Moon, Frank Sinatra (these next few are classically perfect)
Come Away With Me, Norah Jones
You Make Me Feel So Young, Frank Sinatra
I Wish You Love, Tony DeSare LinkMoondance, Michael Buble
La Vie En Rose, Louis Armstrong (this song always reminds me of the movie French Kiss)
Falling Slowly, Glen Hansard & Marketta Irglova (you MUST see this movie, love it!)
Forever, Ben Harper (there really couldn't be a more perfect love song than this!)
In Your Eyes (Acoustic), Sara Bareilles (as an 80's fan, I love this version)
New Soul, Yael Naim
Supposed To Be, Jack Johnson
Songbird, Eva Cassidy (inspired by Mrs. Cookie and Love Actually)
The Way I Am, Ingrid Michaelson (love this song, and so do other bees)
1963, Rachael Yamagata (not really wedding-esque, but a great song)
Maybe I'm Amazed, Jem
You Are The Only One I Love, Jaymay

Hope you enjoy! So, are you going with an old stand by, or something new and different?

*Decidedly the last time we'd celebrate our date-a-versary since we'll have an even better anniversary to celebrate next year!

Friday, February 20, 2009

Someting Borrowed and Blue

Even though I am planning on wearing my Mom's veil and my Grandmother's brooch, I still have a couple more Something Old's to add to the mix. The good news: they also fall under Something Borrowed and Something Blue.

Up first, my Something Borrowed. Last time Mama Peep was up visiting, she handed me a handkerchief. It was her Mother's and it's delicate and matches the wedding colors perfectly!!

Up next, is my old and blue.

A few months before I graduated college my Mom called and said that my sister wanted my Grandmother's amethyst ring. I remembered the ring, but knew that it meant more to her than to me. To make it fair, my mom mentioned that I could have a blue ring with some funky pearls on it. I totally forgot about the conversation. Come graduation day, I was surprised with the most beautiful blue ring I had ever seen. My mom had the ring cleaned and the pearls removed; no one knew how gorgeous the ring really was. For five years, I wore the ring everyday on my left middle finger- I stopped wearing it when I got my engagement ring. But I knew when I took it off that I had to wear it on my wedding day.

And because I am apparently obsessed with taking pictures of rings. Here's my something blue, my Grandmother's Aquamarine ring:

I am so excited that I will have something to wear from both my Grandmothers, who are no longer with us, on our big day.

So have you figured out your something old, blue, borrowed, and new?

Paper Source and Lovely Details Event

Just sending a friendly reminder email about this weekend's paper source event that Mrs. Cherry Blossom blogged about. I'll be at the Chestnut store in San Francisco around Noon tomorrow. Would love to meet up with any other Bay Area Bees?

For more information check out the Paper Source Website.
There is also another event this weekend in San Francisco on Sunday. My florist- Huckleberry Karen Designs is hosting it, and my photographer: Blueberry Photography, and many others will be there. It's also a free event at Fort Mason. If you go, you may spot a former bee- humm, guest who?

Anyway, happy weekend!

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Numbering the Tables

I am super excited for this post. First of all, this is only my second successful DIY project, and let me just say, I loved how it all turned out. Now that I have that out of my system, onwards to table numbering.

I took my inspiration for where else but Weddingbee. I like to think that they are a cross between Mrs. Tiramisu, Mrs. Canary and Miss Lemonade's table numbers.

Specifically, I wanted to use our engagement pictures, so I went to Michael's and bought 8 of their cheapest frames (two of which are a different style, but I ok with that).

I was really looking for some large brown number stickers, but I couldn't find any. So I did the next best thing- I bought the best number stickers I could find and a little bottle of brown paint and a small paint brush:

I then painted the numbers that I wanted to use. And thankfully the paint I bought worked perfectly. Sorry for the blurry picture, but I wanted to give you an action shot. I think this is number 2:

I then disassembled the frames and took them out back to spray paint them with some left over green spray paint. I highly suggest that if you are going to do this, spray paint the back of the frame first. It just makes it easier! Let the back completely dry and then flip it over and do it again.

Once the numbers and the frames were dry, and after I had cleaned the glass on the frames, I put the stickers on the frame and added the eight best engagement pictures. And tada, here they are, (sorry for the flash on all these pics) one through four:

And five through eight:

Here's an up close of Five:

What do you think?

Total cost: under $30 bucks. $2.99 per frame and around five dollars for the numbers and paint.

I have to toot my own horn, I love them! What DIY have you done that you are really proud of?

A Sparkling Valentine's Day

Remember when I posted about about having to take my ring to the jeweler's to get one of the prongs fixed?

Well, our initial plan was to get our wedding rings at the same place that he got my engagement ring in LA-- mainly, so we could use the friends and family discount. We even tried on rings about a year ago, and I just figured we'd be back to LA before the wedding. Yet, we have no plans to go down there between now and the wedding.

So, since we were in a jewelry store and we needed jewelry, I took it as an opportunity to coerce Mr. Peep to check out rings.

Now I don't know about your Mister, but Mr. PT has never worn jewelry, so watching him try to pick out his very first piece of jewelry was very amusing. He kept trying to yank the ring off his finger and claim it was stuck. I kept having to tell him to calm down and to slowly wiggle the ring off. Once he calmed down, the process was much smoother. After trying on six or so rings, he picked out a perfectly modern ring in white gold. Of course, it was the heaviest ring EVER. Even the jeweler commented that he couldn't have picked out a heavier ring.

When looking for my ring, I knew I wanted something that match the pave setting on the side of my ring. The problem was- the pave diamonds only go to about 3/4 of the way around the band. Fortunately, the jeweler suggested a custom ring- with pave diamonds that would line up with my engagement ring perfectly. Since they had to keep my ring to fix it, it felt like the custom ring was meant to be.

While we loved the rings, we spent a few days thinking about it. The prices were good, but we both just had a hard time pulling the trigger. Thankfully, Mr. Peep realized we were being ridiculous and ordered the rings.

About a week later we got a call saying they were ready! Just in time to pick them up on Valentine's Day!! And of course, like any good Bee, I took pictures using the flowers Mr. Peep got me for Valentine's Day as a prop:

I had to get my engagement ring in on the action:

And finally, here is a classic picture of the three rings stacked together.

The best part- they were cheaper than the price he had originally quoted us. This seemed like a wedding first. And since it was Valentine's Day, Mr. Peep let me wear the ring for the rest of the day!! Isn't he great?

Both rings are now in their little boxes in the night stand by our bed, so while Mr. Peep is getting ready for bed I can secretly look at them!

Anyone else have their rings custom made? Or get a great deal on your rings?

Friday, February 13, 2009

Eco-friendly Valentine's Day

Alright, I realize I should have posted this last week, but for all of you Valentine's Day procrastinators, here are some Eco-friendly options.

First, I know that roses are the traditional Valentine's day flower. But they are totally out of season. Instead, ask your beau for some anemones, daffodils, and in some areas tulips, they are a cheerful way to celebrate in Season Flowers. I highly recommend checking out California Organic Flowers.

Yet if you have your heart set on roses, check out Organic Bouquet. They grow most of their flowers in South America, but they are a social responsible business, and I believe, they purchase carbon offsets to make up for the flight to Northern America. Plus, you can still order from them today to get flowers tomorrow!! These majestic roses are gorgeous!

If you aren't a flower person, chocolate may be your answer. Mr. Peep and I are personal fans of Green and Black Organic Chocolate!! And D'Orsay- it looks like they sell in the UK! The website even gives options for wine and chocolate parings. Can we say yum!

Speaking of wine, here's a pretty great list of Biodynamic Wines. I very highly recommend Unti, Quivera and Preston. And you can most likely find Benziger at your local grocery store.

Finally, if you want something a bit more romantic, make sure you light up your night using soy based candles to get you in the mood. Or if spicy is more you speed, this toy is re-chargeable and made with safe silcone and metal and this one is eco-friendly. You can even recycle your old toy!!

Just thought I'd give you some eco-friendly options to spice up your V-day!!

What are you up to tomorrow?

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Oh, Diane!!

For the last few weeks, I have spent a ridiculous amount of time looking for the perfect Rehearsal Dinner dress. I wasn't looking for that perfect white mini Rehearsal Dinner dress, but a dress that looked phenomenal- and that looked like me. I've been to all the usual suspects- Anthro, J. Crew, BCBG, Nordstroms, Macy's, and Bloomingdales- I've even been to multiple locations of each to see if they have different merchandise. And yesterday I finally found the perfect dress.

I've had issues with dresses for years. I even spent a few years skipping the dress thing all together and wearing skirts with a cute top instead. Last summer I faced my worst fear, I needed a dress for the FIVE upcoming weddings I was scheduled to attend.

I forced Mr. PT to go dress shopping with me. I tired on one dress, and he fell head over heals for it! Then I looked at the label and the price tag- it was Diane von Furstenberg and more than I had ever paid for a dress in my life. What was a girl to do?

I couldn't ignore Mr. Peep's reaction. The dress was simple and fit perfectly. I took the plunge and bought the dress. And true to my word, I wore it to all five weddings! It was a major hit. Here I am at wedding number four, cheering on the Bride and Groom:

Ever since the day I bought that dress, I have fallen in love with all things Diane. It's like a curse. I see a dress I like and it's a DVF!!

Yesterday I had the goal of going to one last shop to look for the dress. I tried on over twenty dresses- either they were frumpy or showed wayy to much cleavage. And of course the only one I loved happened to be a Diane. Oh Diane- how much do I love you. You are so simple, but you fit a women's body like no buddies business. If only I could afford you!

Then I remembered that I had a sizable Nordstrom's gift card. While I hadn't seen the dress at Nordstrom, I went in and asked the sales women if they sold it. She looked it up online- and low and behold- they had it, and they'd ship it to me for free!

So I put down my gift card and my credit card and I bought a ridiculously expensive dress. It should be here in five to seven days, and even Mr. Peep is anxious to see the dress.

It's as simple as it gets, but to me, it's worth it. Her name is Peyton; I bought her in Black; and I love her:


For the first time in my life, I can say I am a proud owner of a the perfect little black dress! Anyone else agonize over finding a Rehearsal Dinner dress? Anyone else wearing a LBD the night before the wedding?

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Inspiration and Invitations: Home Town Style

So I have mentioned the Reception that my parents are hosting in my home town, but Mama Peep and I are just now starting to plan it.

When Mama Peep said that they wanted to throw a home town reception, I knew immediately where she wanted to host it. Way before Mr. Peep and I were engaged, whenever we went to my parents house we would always conveniently end up hiking around the Interpretive Center. I even have photo proof- Christmas 2006:

Poppy Peep even started to drop very obvious hints, "you know they host weddings and parties here!! But they book out two years in advance!"

Surprise, surprise, in January of 2008, Mama Peep called and said they had booked the Interpretive Center for our Home Town Reception to be held in July 2009. Here's a picture of the center itself:

Those windows are sliding glass doors and just behind them is the reception room. Those folks are checking out this view of the light house:

And for all you South Bay LA Brides that are still looking for a venue, here's a shot of a wedding. This place is affordable, and it has a ridiculously fantastic view.*


So now that you have seen the venue, let's talk about inspiration and invitations. The room itself is navy and blue and we want the overall feel to be beach casual. Last week I hopped over to Style Me Pretty and found some navy inspiration boards, and then I went to Wedding Paper Divas to find some matching invites. I put all of it in a nice little power point presentation and sent it to Mama Peep to get her input.

This one is classic, clean and keeps with the beach theme. But it might be just a bit too formal. Mama Peep saw this and asked if we needed to get a vespa?

This invitation would go perfectly with it:

I saw this and immediately thought it exuded casual home town party. I even tried to find the white dress in the picture, but no luck.

Here's my idea of a matching invite for this board:

And I have been swooning over lime green and navy together for ages- totally fun, hip and modern.

I think the colors in this invite go perfectly with this board:

And I think this invite captures the casual atmosphere of the party well:

In the end, I think we are going to do a bit more of a combo of one and three, blues and lime green. But we are going to focus more on the casual beach theme. I'm digging this inspiration board:

And Mama Peep thought these invites truly evoked the setting of the event and the causal nature:

Other than the inspiration and the invites, I am pretty much giving Mama Peep free rein in the event itself. Now I just have to figure out what I am going to wear???

Anyone else having a home town reception after the wedding? What's your inspiration?

*Just in case you don't want to go down the street and pay 10 times as much at Trump's Golf Course.