Thursday, April 30, 2009

Michelle's, Seven Songs for Seven Days....

Dawna and I have been Best Friends since we were about six, growing up in Marin County.  We practically lived together on her at her Mom's Houseboat in Sausalito Ca.  Ever since those days, she's bugged me to be the DJ.  Even though we were pulling 8 track cassettes out of Hello Kitty purses, back in then, some things never change.  Now I live in Seattle with husband and three girls...She has asked me to be a Guest Blogger on her adorable new site and I couldn't resist.  I'll be posting a different, themed music mix every week and I hope you all enjoy the them as much as I do.

The first of the Seven Songs for Seven Days Series is titled:

 A day at the beach, cooking with your kids or reading a favorite mag. These tunes will warm your heart.

Ben Taylor-Nothing I Can Do-If you're not familiar, Ben Taylor is the son of James Taylor and Carly Simon.  This guy is super talented (I wonder where he gets that from?), .  His music seems like a direct extension of what his Father has sang for years and what I grew up on.  Ben Taylor does have a little huskier voice and you will feel the Jazz and R&B influence in his tone.  It's almost as if he picked up where James left it, except with a modern edge that I love.  Hope you do as well....
The Derek Trucks Band-Back Where I Started-Derek Trucks is the Grammy Award Nominated American Guitarists, who first attracted attention as a 12 year old prodigy.  At that ripe age, he sat in with the likes of Buddy Guy and The Allman Brothers.  At 15, he founded The Derek Trucks Band with his own brand of Rootsy Blues and Slide Guitar.  In 1999, he met and married Blues Singer, Susan Tedeschi.  Trucks and Tedeschi have merged their respective bands on occasion, billed as the "Soul Stew Revival".  Back Where I Started, reminds of a Bonnie Rait kind of tune that really moves the soul....
G-Love-Sunshine-Check out this Dylan-esque guitar/harmonica guy.  G-Love (Garrett Dutton III), is the Philadelphia born son of a wealthy banking lawyer who credits not only Dylan, but Ron-DMC and The Beastie Boys, as his inspiration.  He has toured with Jack Johnson for several years and the two feature each other songs on one and others albums.  Ramble On with the tune Sunshine and "Every Lil' Thing Gonna Be Ahwright".
Ryan Adams-Answering Bells-This American Alt-Country Singer-Songwriter, is the husband of Singer, Mandy Moore.  Abandoned as a small child he began taking his Bluesy Brand of music to the streets of North Carolina, where he developed and pretty big audience in a very short time.  His influences include Willie Neslon, Toots & the Maytalls, The Wallflowers and Counting Crows.  Answering Bells sounds like it could be off of an old album from The Band to me.  Enjoy...
Jack Johnson-Girl I Wanna Lay You Down-Nothing much needs to said about Jack Johnson that we don't already know, except that I really love this particular tune.
The Beautiful Girls-La Mar (The Ocean)-This Aussie band plays a great variety Roots Music and has been compared to Ben Harper, Jack Johnson and even The Police.  I thought this track, La Mar (The Ocean) was entirely relevant to this mellow mix....
Donavan Frankenreiter-Our Love-To complete this mix, it would only make sense to add another Jack Johnson Buddy.  Donavan grew up in San Clemente, surfing at Trestle and rockin' out at keg parties.  At 18 he made the trek to the North Shore of Oahu and rented a room from Jack Johnson's parents.  Since then, the two of them have been playing and touring together.  Our Love is a keeper and sure to be a favorite on your ipod, all summer long...


These irresistible lion baby booties are made by Blabla. Made from all natural fibers and so soft and cozy. This makes for a sweet baby gift. 

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

the dawnalog...

Catch of the Day.... 

 I'm still trying to figure who is the catch of the day, my husband, West or the fish.

For me, it's a trifecta!  Michael and West walked to the end of the street and threw some lines out last week and what do you know, Westie got his very first fish.  I'm not sure if he was as excited as Michael, but I had tears in my eyes.

With all the craziness that goes on in all of our lives, especially these tough times that we live in, it's the moments like these that make me just stop....  Does all that crap really matter?  

The days when I feel like my head is gonna explode because the house is dirty or my to-do list is as long as my arm or the bills are piling up.  That's when I need to stop and think about what's really important in life.  This is one of those moments...

There are a lot of people out there who loosing their jobs, their 401k's and their houses.  When I look at this picture of my dudes, I realize that I really don't have it that bad.  The problems are here today and probably won't be gone tomorrow or anytime soon. 

So, I guess the message is that we all need to stop, slow down and appreciate ever little sweet moment like this one.

Gone Fishing....


This may be hard to believe, but my 11 year old (aspiring designer) daughter, Lily makes these adorable broaches/hair diddies....  They're made out of vintage zippers in funky colors that we collect from Ebay.  Lily uses them to spruce up a bag or purse and really likes to make them for her friends as gifts.


OK, this recipe comes from Heidi Swanson, chef, cookbook writer, photographer and food blogger extraordinaire'...  Oh, she is also a amazing professional photographer and lives in Neo Valley-San Francisco.  Every recipe on the 101 Cookbooks site is off the charts!  Healthy, fresh, beautiful cuisine for the soul with a touch of a sweet tooth....  My kinda girl.


These photos are a bit small, but this guy has a great web-site,  Thomas Paul
Hang these super cute and affordable melamine plates as artwork.  I have a set five that I bought from my favorite Design Studio, D.Kruze on Lido Isle in Newport Beach.  l love them and keep adding to my collection....

Monday, April 27, 2009


Ok Dreemies...  This is a new weekly post that I'm calling DREEMIe Dads.  I want to post a new DREAMIe Dad every week and need to get you Dreemies to send your own photo of the  dreamy dad candidate of the week.  Send it in an email to, with a couple of sentences on why he should be the DREEMIe Dad of the week.

For this week, it's Gary Blower (GarDog...).  His wife, Kerry Blower writes:

"Can you say Dreeeemie....  Not only is my husband the hottest, he is the kindest.  He makes me feel so loved and cared for and has a heart of Gold!  Gary is the best Dad to our three wonderful children and truly one of a kind.."



Sunday, April 26, 2009


This folk art advertisement was created by my daughter McKenzie, in an impromptu effort to help sell my shell crowns at a local flea market...  I love it!


I pulled this one of the archives because every time I think about it, I smile...  This was my daughter McKenzie's 5th birthday party in Stinson Beach, CA.  My mom bought all the attendees their own Snow White dresses online.  What could be better than a Snow White Birthday Party?

Country Home Magazine ended up doing a little story on it and we ended up with memories for a lifetime.


My friend Michelle just turned me on to this yummy little timer.


I made this 5x5 Shell Album for a gift and I got all the supplies at Michaels Art Supply Store for under $6. bucks. Album, gold frame and a small bag of shells. SO EASY and CUTE!


OMG...check out these cupcakes for your little Robot.      


My sweet 11 year old daughter Lily wants to make this paper bird nest box for me for Mother's Day. So cute... we found this idea on this website called Kitschy Digitals Blog you can find it under my Fun Favs. It is a scrapbook site but they have some great ideas. Have fun!!



All right, these bitches really are my heroes.  I'm not saying that I agree 100% with everything in this book, but it has been a great foundation that really kicked this bitches ass to start eating right.  Highly recommended!

Saturday, April 25, 2009


Well, all the trendy design boutiques throughout the country, like to think they're the only ones who own this wholesale resource, but nope...  Sorry, this ones out of the bag as well.  Oly Studio in Berkeley, CA is probably the most creative mass market design house in the country.  Just about everything is made overseas, but with an amazing style consciousness and integrity.

Go to Oly or click on Oly Studio in my Style Favs...  Hurry up!


This little thumbnail photo of the Rolling Greens Nursery Barn, does it no justice.  This is one of the top retail nurseries in California and the plants they sell are just the beginning.  There are acres and acres of greenhouses, plant racks, potting sheds and full scale interior design showrooms in this Culver City institution.  It doesn't matter what your budget, you'll always walk out of there with a smile on your face.


Organic produce in Southern california just doesn't get any better than this...  Chino Farms in Rancho Sante Fe grows all of there own fresh veggies and some fruit and it's well worth a trip off the beaten trail.

The roadside Vegetable Shop is in a class by itself and attracts World Class Chefs from as far away as Santa Barbara, who make the trek once or twice a week.  Why?  Because it's the best there is.

There's no website, but you can get the info from Food Favs.


Ok, this Jersey Girl has created an Empire out of tin buckets, paper and glue... it's called 
The Macbeth Collection Some of the top designers in the country, including Rachel Ashwell of Shabby Chic fame use her forms.

I have her buckets in my baby room, lunch boxes in the pantry and trays of all shapes, sizes and designs throughout the house. I love her!!!


All right...  I had to think a while about letting this source out of the hat, but here it goes. 
 The French General in LA will blow your Freaking Mind!  This woman probably has one of the most diverse collections of Vintage French Curiosities in the US.  And it's all for sale....

Here is a little sampling of an adorable Vintage Bracelet Kit of hers.  Her website goes on and on and will keep you wrapped up for a while, so get ready a get a cup of hot tea before you click on French General. 


I Love, Love, Love Pom Pom's! So Dreamy...!! They make any party or room decor magical. Great for Baby shower's, Weddings and even outside. I found her on Etsy


This is a backyard design project from Mollywood Garden Design.  The house is super cute and right up the street from our house.  The all woman design firm has really created a niche here in the OC.


If you've never been, GO!  Stinson Beach is one of the most magical places in California if not the earth.  It's an hours drive up Hwy 1 from San Francisco and an amazing family getaway.  Check this article in the NY Times:


This a vignette from an amazing new design shop in LA called Nickey-Kehoe.  It's owned by this super cute young couple (Todd Nickey and Amy Kehoe) who have a real knack for mixing classic french furniture pieces with found objects.  They've kind of become the new designers for the stars in Hollywood.  


This guy kills me...


Uh, Yah....  This is food for my eyes.  Tom Collichio really is the sexiest man alive.  Any guy who looks this damn good and can cook like he does...  Ouch!

Check out his Craft Restaurant website in my Food Favs.


This is the coolest little Fish Eye Camera available at Urban Outfitters for about $53 bucks...


Mckenzie, Lily and West at Mission San Juan Capistrano 2007
Westie Smiles


I started creating shell art some time ago and really love it...  We live a stones throw from the beach, so I get to collect all of the shells myself.

This is one my favorite pieces, the shell crown that we planted with little succulents.


Ok, My husband fancies himself a bit of a food writer and although I hate to admit it, his column on MSNBC's is petty good.

This is one of my personal favorites on the Muffeletta Sandwich:

A Whole Lotta Muffuletta....100 Years of Sandwich Perfction

The Muffuletta-King of all sandwiches


This truly is the KING of ALL SANDWICHES..

Some may disagree, but I will argue this to the end, the Muffuletta is in a sandwich world of it's own. Oh yah, I'll put this baby head to head with your Philly Cheese Steak, your wimpy little Pannini or even it's neighbor and close relative,the Louisiana PoBoy...

It is a sacred delicacy that stands on the proverbial sandwich podium and looks down on all the other pathetic little lunchtime snacks. Helloooo Mr. Meatball Hero, Hi there Senor Torta, What's Shakin' Mr. Italian Sub .... Nice to see you all down there there in the bottom of the deli case, WHERE YOU BELONG!!!!!


You can trace the Muffuletta (pronounced "muff-uh-LOT-uh."), back to 1906 when Salvatore Lupo, the Sicilian owner of Central Grocery in New Orleans first created this masterpiece. He referred to it as the Muffuletta because that is the actual name of the crusty Italian loaf of bread that it's made with.

OK, for those of you unfortunate souls who are not familiar, here is the Muffaletta Magic in a nutshell..

A round loaf of crusty Italian bread, sliced horizontally and hollowed out. Both top and bottom of the bread covered generously with a marinated olive spread. A tepenade of sorts, made with an array of pickled olives, roasted peppers and lots of garlic. This is the key element to the entire thing.

Then, the layering begins.... You start by building up the layers of charcuterie including thinly sliced ham, mortadella, salami, provolone, pressing down each layer in a tightly compacted stack of yummi-ness.

The secret is what comes next. The entire stuffed loaf must then be wrapped tightly in plastic or cheese cloth and refrigerated over night. What happens is an amalgamation like you could never imagine. All of the pickled and smoked ingredients inside this wonderful loaf, come together and become a sum greater than it's parts. The only way to cut it is just like a pie.....

Well, Salvatore Lupo is long gone, but the legend of the Muffaletta lives on. The Central Grocery still serves it up, just it has for over 100 years. In fact, the entire city of New Orleans has embraced it as their Official Sandwich for many years. You can find all sorts of variations around town and many of them even rival the Original.

In my house, we save the Muffaletta for those special occasions. 4th of July, Superbowl, Easter Week. I always make at least three at a time and reluctantly give a wedge or two away to those lucky recipients who I know will appreciate the true beauty of this round mound of sandwich-ness.

So if you are ever in The Big Easy, you will know where to find the Muffaletta. If my description of it sounded to good to wait for, here is a great Italian twist on the original that I know you will enjoy.

Grazia Signor Lupo for the blessing us all with your creation and Happy Birthday Mr. Muffuletta....

I love you!!




In a large bowl, whisk the vinegar, garlic and oregano to blend. Gradually whisk in the green and kalamata olives and roasted peppers. Season the vinaigrette with salt and pepper.

Using a serrated knife, slice off the top inch of the bread loaf. Hollow out the bottom and top halves of the loaf. Spread some of the vinaigrette on the bread bottom. layer the meats and cheese in the bottom half. Top with Onion, then arugula. Spread the remaining vinaigrette on the cut side of the top, then replace the bread top.

The sandwich should be made a day ahead. Wrap with plastic wrap and refrigerate.

Cut into wedges and serve.