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Be Our Guests…

“Be grateful for whoever comes, because each has been sent as a guide from beyond.” Rumi

We had a pretty exciting weekend in Paso Robles. This was Wine Festival weekend, and people from all over the United States come to join our party. Some of our friends came into town from Barrel 33 . Alayna and Manny are the owners of Barrel 33, and they happen to sell our Graffino Wines. The two of them were looking for reservations for a place to stay, but since this is a popular weekend places were booked.

I suggested our little house, but prefaced it with the fact that I had not got the connection for dish tv, and I didn’t even have toiletries in the house yet. Well, since we have an inn and villa here at San Marcos Creek, I could grab toiletries to take to the house for them. I had them follow me to the house, since it is a little tricky to get to the house.

Once there, they could get comfortable and they would have a place for the dogs to run and play. Later in the afternoon, I forgot that our coffee maker stopped working, and I confiscated the coffee maker from our little house. UGH! They had no coffee pot! I texted Alayna to tell her I would drop off the coffee pot, and find some filters for it. I dropped off the coffee pot at the door, and had to find some filters. Later, I found a few filters, so I took them to the door, and stuffed them in the box, along with the scoop. Just as I was about to leave, they pulled up at the house.

The next morning Alayna texted me, and told me that they enjoyed staying at the house. I couldn’t have selected better guests…they did everything you would hope that your relatives would do…everything was super clean, they put laundry in the washer, and made the bed.

When my daughter and I went down to the house to put the laundry in the dryer, she said “I miss them already.” These are the guests that every vacation property owner dreams of, I am just sorry that the house wasn’t 100% finished for them.

The next time you head up to Big Bear, please go in and tell them we said hello. They are the beautiful couple probably working their tails off. 😉

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Collections and Obsessions, Design, Fountain of Youth, Galleria, Happiness Project, Museum Monday, Winery

Vintage Poster From Capri

“A woman’s perfume tells more about her than her handwriting.” Christian Dior

 

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This is a vintage poster from 1952. The perfume was put on the market in 1948 after the Monastery was given permission by the Pope Pius XII to recreate the perfume. The secret ingredients were given to a chemist from Turin. He created the smallest laboratory int e world and called “Carthusia, i.e. Certosa.

The ledgend is that Queen Giovanna D’Angio was set to arrive at the Carthusian Monastery of St. Giacomo , and preparations need to be made for her. Since she was the donor of the land for the Monastery. The monastery was built in 1371, and is one of the oldest surviving historical buildings on Capri. In 1380 the Queen was visiting, so the father prior went sought out the most beautiful flowers he could find for her room. The water was not changed for three days, he noticed the water had an aroma that was heavenly. He immediately took the water to the father alchemist who then traced the origin of the sent back to “Garofilum silvestre caprese” The water was the first perfume of Capri.

The tradition continues to this day, and the perfume is made in limited production. I can tell you from personal experience the perfume smells like a warm summer day, with the breeze gently propelling essence of a mixture of bouquets of flowers. The temperature about 75, and the sun just kissing your face in an almost seductive manner. Yep, it’s that good!

When I purchased the poster, a poster expert was giving a lecture. She asked us what the poster reminds us of…any logo? She told us that this was the inspiration for the Starbucks logo. We added the poster to our lounge area at San Marcos Creek Winery and Inn to generate conversation, and also because we love all things Italian. It’s an interesting poster for sure, and I have no idea how many of these floated around United States in the 1950’s because it seems a little too risqué for the 50’s in the States. What do you think? I absolutely love the colors, and believe it looks pretty modern. I would love to know what your thoughts are.

 

 

 

Happiness Project

Terreni D’ Oro

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We have a logo for our estate farm, and I am almost done with the vacation rental. Here are some sneak peeks at our little house, and latest vacation rental.

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The patio, this is the view from the balcony in the master suit.

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A view from the balcony of the master suit.

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In the kitchen.

More views of the enormous kitchen.

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One of my favorite views of the kitchen. The picnic basket will be filled with goodies for the families that visit. My daughter and I painstakingly chose each one of the cookie jars.

A few view of the living room.

Two of the bedrooms.

I promise I’ll show more views of the whole house next week, and more of it is wrapped up and ready to showcase.

bounty, country, Cucina, farming, food, Fountain of Youth, Galleria, Happiness Project, Morelli Family Sunday, Museum Monday

Everyday Art

“I like to convey the idea that art is important in everyday life.” Georgia O’ Keeffe

Since the day I had our children, I have tried to live my life as though every aspect of every moment is a gift. When we linger long enough to appreciate a moment in time, it can become a work of art.

Just yesterday, I spent most of the day reading, and spending parts of the day with everyone. It was fabulous! It was also very restful, I didn’t even look at my email. Remember when email was fun? Now, it is work, and I really wanted and needed a day to disengage with the rest of the world.

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My daughter made me perfect eggs, biscuits, and bacon. I love my eggs with plenty of pepper, and the biscuits pipping hot from the oven. The eggs were over medium with no hint of the whites of the eggs runny. Coffee was hot, with one sugar, and just enough milk for a hint of color. If it is black, that’s fine too, but I prefer a hint of cream.

My husband wen to the hardware store to buy me some flowers. I do enjoy flowers, but they are not necessary. I appreciated that he took the time to go and buy them for me. IMG_0813

I enjoyed a cup of tea, while I read my books in the family room. Oh, it was so delightful! IMG_0814

While I spent most of my day reading and visiting chatting. My husband washed my car. I hate washing cars, but love it when my car is beautiful and clean. He even took the time to blow it dry with the leaf blower. IMG_0815

When it came around to dinner time, we had a couple of wines. With our appetizer, we had IMG_0820

A crisp clean wine with hints of lemon zest, and green apple. Just enough acidity to have you longing for more. Delicious! IMG_0821

To accompany our dinner we had Four Brix 2015 Grenache Rose”. It paired very well with our pork lion wrapped in bacon, and rolled in herbs and delicate spices, spring veggies, and Milanese risotto, and croissants.

Citrus blossoms on the nose, clean and refreshing, medium on the acidity, with a delicate finish. One glass was not enough.

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My Mothers Day was yet another day that was so delightful from the moment I woke, to when I retired for the evening. My children and loving husband gave me a perfect day!

Happiness Project

Where’s the Time Gone?

 

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Sophie and Muffasa 

So much has transpired since my last post. Sophie (our Cane Corso), continues to grow, and she still loves the cats, but Muffasa is her favorite cat.

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Sisters

I enjoy living in the moment, and one day when I went to pick up my mail these two sisters were working at knitting. I ask them if it was ok to snap their photo. I just love the juxtaposition of their habits and the wall behind them. Plus, they are just so happy!

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Baby goats

We had some baby goats on the farm (Terreni D’ Oro).

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KRUSH radio

Roberto and I were on The Krush 92.5. We were talking about our wine and our new label. Actually, Roberto did most of the talking that day.

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Napa

I was in Napa for a wine blogging conference. It was a cloudy day in the beginning, but super pleasant right about noon.

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Wine Symposium

Demetra and I went to Wine Speak in Paso.  We listened to several Master Sommeliers, and saw many people that are local favorites.

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Cookie Baking in the Villa

We started hosting cooking classes in the villa. This photo was from our cookie baking class. Of course we had a few glasses of wine while we learned to bake cookies. LOL

I went to Vegas, and passed my WSET II class.

We had more goats.

I have also been busy renovating and then decorating our farm house at Terreni D Oro. This will be an additional place our club members can stay when they come to Paso Robles.

 

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Happy Birthday Demetra

Demetra had her birthday, so we wanted to make it special for her.

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1st Artisanal Market Sunday

Last month we had our very first Artisanal Market Sunday. We plan to hold one every month. So, mark your calendars for the third Sunday of the month from 12 to 3.

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Chicks

We got some chicks. Once I post more about the chicks, I’ll have to tell you the story of our first 100 chickens. This time we have learned our lesson.

Happiness Project

I Missed This…

We are a species that needs and wants to understand who we are. Sheep lice do not seem to share this longing, which is why they write to little. Anne Lamott

What have I been doing with my time?

I’ve been all over the place these last few months, and just haven’t taken the time to sit down and write. I was at the IFBC17, which was such a blast. The food was good, and meeting the people that make up all those food blogs out there was amazing. I’ll post more on this soon.

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As soon as I got home, I mean the very day I got home…my mom arrived in Paso, and my cousin from Indy. I met my cousin at the winery, and my daughter was kind enough to pick up grandma from the airport. We all met at Barns and Noble and then went out to eat lunch.

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A highlight was staying in my own inn, and having my mom and cousin stay there too. I like to get up early, and get started, but since I had guests, I had to wait for them to get ready before we got on the road. My goal was to get to 4 Missions in 3 days. We made it to 4, but one was closed…so I am going to count it, since I had to drive 25 miles to the destination.

After they left we had harvest, but harvesting the grapes was weird this year. We had a cold spell, and the brix count was not high enough to pick. We had day after day that the Brix count had stalled, and we were not the only ones in the area. All the sudden it got warm, and everyone had to pick at the same time. We finally got all the grapes we could get, but the Nebbiolo was still out there in the field. We love our Nebbiolo, so we couldn’t just abandon the effort. All the tasting room staff, myself and my husband got out in the field and picked the fruit ourselves.

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smc vineyard

Yesterday, I just returned from Santa Rosa where Demetra and I spent the 5 days. We socialized, we laughed, we ate, and we drank copious amounts of wine. We met some really great people, and I am excited to tell you some great stories in the coming days.

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country, farming, food, Galleria, Happiness Project, organic, San Luis Obispo Sites, Wine Wednesday, Winery

Thomas Hill Organics

We have a wonderful restaurant here in Paso, Thomas Hill Organics. I was recently invited to a private pairing. Wines from four different wineries were paired with food that the chef made. Each one of us also had the opportunity to talk to the journalist that were visiting the area. The other wineries had their wine makers there, and I was the only one that was an owner. Everyone was so engaging and it was an excellent atmosphere for the journalist and all of us. The seating arrangement was intimate, and the exchange wasn’t just about us, but about the pairing of the food. How food changes the taste of the wine, and how all the different aspects of the dish change the taste of the wine. I was the first one there, so here is what the seating arrangement looked like before everyone got there…

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Our first course was paired with an Albarino. It truly is a seafood lover wine. IMG_0304.jpg

Salmon, jalapeno peppers, olive, tomatoes, and wafer slice of watermelon. It was so delicious!

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This was paired with our Zinfandel. This is a prime cut of grass fed beef, topped with a clove of garlic. Polenta is the side dish for this course. I usually don’t eat beef, but I was surprised how well it paired with the Zin.

country, Cucina, Design, farming, food, Fountain of Youth, Galleria, Happiness Project, Morelli Family Sunday, Museum Monday, Photography, San Luis Sunday

In A Pinch…

“Anyone who gives you a cinnamon roll fresh out of the oven is a friend for life.” Daniel Handler

I was sitting down my husband having a hot cup of coffee, steam was still rising from the top of my mug that says “Greatest Mom”, and then I remembered…I told the kids I would make some fresh, hot, cinnamon rolls. Well, luckily, I purchased some Pillsbury Cinnamon Rolls from the grocery store the other day.

I leaped out of my French Country chair with the woven sea grass, and took a few splinters in my rear for getting up so fast. I ran across the cold tile with my bare feet to the fridge. Ahhh, a life saver, in tube form…the cinnamon rolls, just needed to be popped open, and put in a cast iron skillet, ya know, for a home made look. LOL!

I pop them in the oven that is 400 degrees, and mix about 4 teaspoons of cinnamon to 4 teaspoons of “sugar in the raw”, and add that to the top. Not everyone in the family likes the frosting that comes with the Pillsbury tube. They came out of the oven perfectly fluffy, and invigorating the whole house with the smell of cinnamon. The look of them in the cast iron skillet is such a bonus.

Yes, the kids were happy, and so was my husband.

Fountain of Youth, Galleria, Happiness Project, Photography, Therapy Thursday, Throwback Thursday

Another Graduate…

“The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams.” Elenor Roosevelt

Just a few weeks ago, my daughter ask me to send her several options of baby photos for the year book. The year book that will be her final year book as a child. As I sat at my desk with the several photo albums, I just cried. My baby is almost an adult. She will be off to college next year.

She was such a beautiful little baby too…

All these years of watching my beautiful baby become her own person. I will never forget when she was told by the dentist that she had to have braces. She said “I like the way I look, the gap in my teeth make me, me. I don’t understand why I have to adapt to what society considers beautiful.” Oh, wow, I had to dig deep to find a damn good explanation for braces.

She also was so brave to just be herself. She has never needed approval from her friends, and I always commended her for being Sabrina. Through the years she was often the friend of the newest kids in the class. She knows that her family is with her on her journey whatever it is she decides to do, we know that she will do it unequivocally her way! I love my gown up baby, and having her in our lives has been a blessing. I love the times we have spent together over the years in the Lexus talking, coming and going to volleyball games, French, cooking classes, art classes, horse backing riding, learning to drive, and picking up new animals for the farm. Every moment is special with her!