Drinks on Me!

One of the many things I love about living in San Francisco is its short distance to wine country. In the summer, I like to don my summeriest of dresses and go wine tasting with my husband.

(I actually like to go wine tasting all year ’round, but, alas, I can’t always do it in my summeriest of dresses.)

Photo by Pat Zimmerman.

Photo by Pat Zimmerman.

I have to admit that I’ve worn this particular dress (which the writers at ModCloth aptly named the “Drinks on Me Dress”) a few times in wine country. With its classic cut and kitschy wine & cocktail glass print, it just begs to be worn wine tasting!

Photo by Pat Zimmerman.

Photo by Pat Zimmerman.

For this trip, we went to Healdsburg. We stopped first at Dry Creek Vineyard and Passalacqua Winery (where these photos were taken – they’re across the street from each other), then headed to Rodney Strong. Rodney Strong, in particular, is worth the visit for its reds, but I also enjoyed the whites at Dry Creek and the sangiovese at Passalacqua. And as you can see below, Dry Creek had a lovely garden that I rather fancied!

Amidst the flowers at Dry Creek Vineyard. Photo by Pat Zimmerman.

Amidst the flowers at Dry Creek Vineyard. Photo by Pat Zimmerman.

Enjoying the sun. Photo by Pat Zimmerman.

Enjoying the sun. Photo by Pat Zimmerman.

Where do you go for summer weekend getaways?

Dress: Drinks on Me Dress, Bettie Page via ModCloth
Belt: Calderon, thrifted
Bracelet: from a street vendor
Shoes: Hot for Hemlock Heel in Crimson, Chelsea Crew via ModCloth
Purse: Cole Haan Valise Archer leather satchel via Rue La La

[All photos by Pat Zimmerman]

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A Birthday in Style! With Florals and Wine

Did you know that June is the best month ever? Lovely weather, tons of flowers in bloom, summer fruits and vegetables are making their way to market . . .

. . . AND it just so happens to be my birthday month!

For my birthday this past Sunday, Pat took me wine tasting in Napa Valley (before we headed out to dinner in the evening). It was a warm, sunny, absolutely gorgeous day, and I was in the mood for bright florals.

Photo by Pat Zimmerman.

Photo by Pat Zimmerman.

I was also excited to wear my new art deco era bracelet. It was a birthday gift from Pat that he had given me a couple of days early because he was so excited about it. And with good reason – I adore it!

Art deco era silver bracelet featuring summer flowers, corn, and wheat.

Art deco era silver bracelet featuring summer flowers, corn, and wheat.

The dress is one I got a couple of years ago from ModCloth. It’s always struck me something that should be worn to a birthday party, if not a wedding! I paired it with a lightweight cardigan from Banana Republic (also from a couple of years ago), dark green Miz Mooz t-straps, and a camel-colored Anne Klein handbag.

All dolled up in bright florals for my birthday. Photo by Pat Zimmerman.

All dolled up in bright florals for my birthday. Photo by Pat Zimmerman.

As far as the wine tasting went, we actually ended up spending almost 3 hours at Hall, one of our favorite wineries (and where these photos were taken). The wine was excellent and we were able to sit outside and savor each tasting. I definitely enjoyed that slow, easy pace more than rushing around from winery to winery.

It was a very happy day!

All dolled up in bright florals for my birthday. Photo by Pat Zimmerman.

All dolled up in bright florals for my birthday. Photo by Pat Zimmerman.

Dress: Save the Date Dress via ModCloth
Purse: Anne Klein
Bracelet: vintage art deco silver bracelet (birthday gift from my husband!)
Cardigan: Banana Republic
Shoes: Green Tea-Strap Heel, Miz Mooz via ModCloth

[Bracelet photo by me. Other photos by Pat Zimmerman (as noted).]

Hoover’s Beef Palace: The Best Darn Breakfast in California

Earlier I blogged about my trip south to San Luis Obispo for wine tasting with Threadless peeps. My husband, Pat, and I had driven down for a brief weekend trip — on Sunday we drove back up to San Francisco. And since it was a Sunday, we decided we should get brunch on the way back home. We ended up at a place just off 101, in Templeton, called Hoover’s Beef Palace.

Presenting Hoover's Beef Palace! (Photo by Pat Zimmerman.)

Presenting Hoover’s Beef Palace! (Photo by Pat Zimmerman.)

Now, the place is called a “Beef Palace” – but it only serves breakfast and lunch. So you better believe breakfast there is hardcore. And AMAZING.

Pat ordered the green chile omelet, and added sausage to it. What he hadn’t realized was that the green chile already had shredded pork in it — and it was awesome. Savory, hearty, and absolutely delicious (I know, because I stole a bite or two)! The home fries that came with it were perfectly cooked — tender with crispy edges.

Hoover's green chile omelet

Hoover’s Green Chile Omelet

I ordered the corned beef hash with eggs over medium and a biscuit with gravy. Everything was scrumptious – the corned beef hash was tender and flavorful, the eggs were beautifully cooked with runny yolks but fried whites, and the gravy was rich and meaty. I love biscuits and gravy, but too often it tastes just like a whole bunch of flour with a little broth & some sausage thrown it. This one was creamy and tasted like it had been made with meat drippings. My mouth is watering just thinking about it!

Hoover's corned beef hash and biscuit with gravy

Hoover’s corned beef hash and biscuit with gravy

The food alone is worth the detour to Hoover’s if you’re in the area. But I enjoyed the atmosphere — not just for the cattle brands on the wall, but also for what I can only describe as a ranch-does-diner feel. And I also loved the fact that most of the clientele clearly knew the staff, and vice versa. So there may be a few random passers-by coming through (like my husband and me), but this is a local favorite.

And I only wish I lived a bit closer! I’m not kidding when I say it was the best breakfast I’ve had in California. It definitely ranks among my fave breakfasts ever.

What can I say? Hoover's is the best! (Photo by Pat Zimmerman.)

What can I say? Hoover’s is the best! (Photo by Pat Zimmerman.)

Hoover’s Beef Palace Restaurant
401 N Main St
Templeton, CA 93465
(805) 434-2114

What I wore:
Dress: Blogging Molly Dress, Effie’s Heart via ModCloth
Cardigan: Trusted Essential Cardigan via ModCloth
Belt: Calderon, thrifted
Shoes: Hot for Hemlock Heel in Crimson, Chelsea Crew via ModCloth
Tights: Hue
Sunglasses: Kate Spade

Classically Styled

I’ve been living in San Francisco for almost 2 years now, but I’m still struck by the beauty of this city. Sometimes it’s nice to just wander around, taking in the sights.

That’s what Pat and I did one sunny Sunday. First we brunched at Sweet Maple, a restaurant I just had to try after reading pancakeSTACKER’s blog post about it. (I agree with Chandamheer: Sweet Maple is super yummy!) And then we headed in the direction of the Palace of Fine Arts to take in the sights.

It was a gorgeous day, but also a bit windy and chilly. So like a good San Franciscan, I wore layers. In the shade, I definitely needed my fuchsia wool coat (a gift from my friend Lisa).

Outside a house near the Palace of Fine Arts. Imagine living there! (Photo by Pat Zimmerman.)

Outside a house near the Palace of Fine Arts. Imagine living there! (Photo by Pat Zimmerman.)

But in the sun, I was able to get by with just my cardigan – for a photo or two, at least. :)

I was wearing my Bettie Page skirt — a great skirt for windy, chilly days because it’s long and heavy enough to avoid pulling a Marilyn. (And it also has hidden pockets – which instantly makes any skirt a gazillion times more awesome.) I love its retro 1950s style – especially when paired with these Seychelles heels.

Photo by Pat Zimmerman.

Photo by Pat Zimmerman.

Pat and I had a lovely time walking around the Palace — and taking photos!

Pat at the Palace of Fine Arts

Pat at the Palace of Fine Arts

There were many arches and columns. It was most tranquil.

There were many arches and columns. It was most tranquil.

Sitting on a bend dedicated to The Honorable Willie L. Brown, Jr. Photo by Pat Zimmerman.

Sitting on a bench dedicated to The Honorable Willie L. Brown, Jr. Photo by Pat Zimmerman.

In addition to the beautiful architecture, there is quite a lot of wildlife at the Palace of Fine Arts. Among the ducks and seagulls, I caught this heron that had been fishing. Turns out there are crawdads in the waters, too!

A heron with its catch - crawdads for lunch!

A heron with its catch - crawdads for lunch!

It was a beautiful day in one of the most gorgeous areas of San Francisco. A perfect way to spend a sunny Sunday!

View of the Palace of Fine Arts

View of the Palace of Fine Arts

Coat: Via (gifted)
Skirt: B. Jones Style Skirt, Bettie Page via ModCloth
Cardigan: Trusted Essential Cardigan via ModCloth
Shirt: Banana Republic
Shoes: Veronica Heel, Seychelles via ModCloth
Purse: Cole Haan Valise Archer leather satchel via Rue La La

Is It Spring Yet? Part II

We’ve had a few warm, sunny days, bringing out lots of bright colors and spring fashion (see the outfits in my last Seen Style post). Here was my nod to warmer days:

Photo by Jenn

Photo by Jenn

I wore my Eva Franco “Sunday Diving Skirt”, which I love for its colors and fun art-deco-style beach print. (So maybe it’s more summery than spring – or consider it an homage to spring break!)

Sunday Diving Skirt, Eva Franco via ModCloth. Photo by Jenn.

Sunday Diving Skirt, Eva Franco via ModCloth. Photo by Jenn.

Check out the details on this skirt - love the illustration!

Check out the details on this skirt - love the illustration!

I paired the skirt with rich browns and cool blues – topped off with large shades.

Photo by Jenn

Photo by Jenn

And when I was walking with Jenn I happened to look up and see this shot. The bright light, yellow building, and palm fronds captured the sunniness of the day – but you can see bare, wintry branches in the background.

With Jenn - caught in a reflection

With Jenn - caught in a reflection

Spring is coming, but I guess it’s not quite here yet!

Skirt: Sunday Diving Skirt, Eva Franco via ModCloth
Cardigan: Charter School Cardigan in Computer Science via ModCloth
Shirt: Banana Republic
Shoes: Suede and Swing Heel, Chelsea Crew via ModCloth
Sunglasses: Day of Driving Sunglasses via ModCloth
Earrings: Magicicada Earrings, Erica Weiner via ModCloth
Bracelet: Victorian mourning bracelet
Purse: Aerosoles

Spring Beauty at Neiman Marcus

Neiman Marcus hosted a blogger event at their Rotunda Restaurant to introduce a few of their newest beauty products. Of course, some of the loveliest bloggers in San Francisco attended!

SF Style Bloggers at Neiman Marcus

SF Style Bloggers at Neiman Marcus

Everyone loves polka dots!

Eli of Thrift Eye and Jes of Ryzenberg On

Eli of Thrift Eye and Jes of Ryzenberg On

Punam of Nothing Broken being photographed by Chandamheer of Pancake Stacker

Punam of Nothing Broken being photographed by Chandamheer of Pancake Stacker

Love the bold yellows and reds here:

Eli of Thrift Eye with Whitney and Brittany of Britt and Whit

Eli of Thrift Eye with Whitney and Brittany of Britt and Whit

And what I wore? Stripes (a fave) on a 1940s-inspired dress by Stop Staring!, an exclusive Be the Buyer pick at ModCloth. Plus some yellow and fuchsia accessories because I can’t stay away from color. :)

Sweet on Stripes by Stop Staring!, via ModCloth. Photo by Eli of Thrift Eye.

Sweet on Stripes by Stop Staring!, via ModCloth. Photo by Eli of Thrift Eye.

There were some delish drinks and tasty treats to enjoy while we heard about the newest offerings from Creed, Clinica Ivo Pitanguy, Fresh, and Tom Ford Beauty.

Had to take a photo of this tongue-in-cheek sign next to the buffalo chicken bites:

Buffalo Chicken Bites. Allergy Alert: Calories

Buffalo Chicken Bites. Allergy Alert: Calories

After the event, we left with goodie bags filled with beauty products to try at home:

Neiman Marcus Beauty Goodie Bag

Neiman Marcus Beauty Goodie Bag

My personal fave? Tom Ford’s Neroli Portofino Eau de Parfum. It’s a lighter, crisper scent than I usually go for (normally I’m one for spicy, woodsy scents), but I enjoy how it evokes a fresh spring day. The top note smells like fresh honeysuckle blossoms, right off the vine. As a kid (and, who am I kidding, even now), I picked honeysuckle blossoms to taste their nectar. They always struck me as magical flowers, and I guess I’ve fallen for Neroli Portofino because the scent carries some of that magic.

And who doesn’t love a little magic?

Dress: Sweet on Stripes Dress, Stop Staring! via ModCloth
Earrings: vintage
Purse: Longchamp Planètes Tote Bag
Shoes: The Chosen Fuchsia Heel, Chelsea Crew via ModCloth

A Lovely Valentine’s

This morning I was greeted with a sweet start to Valentine’s Day. My husband, Pat, made me a cappuccino — with a heart.

Cappuccino, with love

Cappuccino, with love

After work, I came home to some lovely roses, and Pat and I had cocktails. I whipped up a new cocktail recipe that was absolutely delicious — if I do say so myself. :) I’ve decided to call it the Briar Rose.

The Briar Rose, a cocktail by kate à la mode

The Briar Rose, a cocktail by kate à la mode

Briar Rose
2 tbsp honey syrup
1 tsp berry jam
2 oz vodka
3/4 oz crème de cassis
1/2 oz rose-water
1 oz fresh squeezed lemon juice

To make the honey syrup, mix 1 part honey with 1 part hot water; stir until blended.
Mix berry jam into honey syrup until smooth (if necessary, heat briefly — about 10 seconds in the microwave).
Pour all ingredients into a shaker with ice. Shake thoroughly and strain into an Old Fashioned glass filled with ice.

After cocktails, we headed out to Fringale for dinner, where we had a scrumptious dinner.

And the best part? I got to take some balloons home!

Les ballons. Photo by Pat Zimmerman.

Les ballons. Photo by Pat Zimmerman.

Okay, maybe not the best part — the food was awfully good — but certainly a fun way to wrap up the evening. I asked the waiter if I could take a balloon home, and he gave me a whole bunch. Win!

Photo by Pat Zimmerman.

Photo by Pat Zimmerman.

I hope you had a lovely Valentine’s too!

Dress: Most Memorable Dress, Stop Staring via ModCloth
Shoes: Hot for Hemlock Heel in Crimson, Chelsea Crew via ModCloth
Coat: Burberry
Purse: Cole Haan