Friday, July 17, 2009

Alice Q. Style has Moved/Merged!

After a redesign, I've merged the style posts together with food on my other blog - Alice Q. Foodie

Come on over and check it out!

Monday, May 4, 2009

Nate and Sarah's Kitchen

Nate and Sarah's Kitchen
Don't you just want a bite of that cupcake? This kitchen belongs to the friends whose 40th Birthday we were in San Francisco to celebrate this weekend. Nate did the painting himself, as well as a couple of other great pieces that hang in their house. (I've tried to commission one, but so far no dice.) I also love the espresso machine - and the cups sitting next to the stove, which are porcelain but made to look like crumpled paper. Nate and Sarah have great style, no doubt about it.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

It's just so sad.

Domino Favorites Collage

The more I read about Domino going under, the more it bums me out. There's actually an article in today's NY Times about the whole outcry over it. I think this last quote from Cynthia Kling, one of the contributing editors, is especially prescient.

“It’s like that scene in ‘Dinner at Eight,’ ” she said, shrugging parka-clad shoulders, “the part when the husband comes home and tells his wife he’s lost his job. And she says something like, ‘Darling, that’s fabulous! All the best people are losing their jobs.’ ”

It can't be easy - I wish them all the very best of luck.

Collage photos from Domino's archives - house tours of Jenna Lyons, Ione Skye, Carolina Herrera Jr. and the slideshow on improvements for renters.

1962 Barbie Dream House

I came across this on eBay the other day, and can't get over how freaking cute it is. This is the original Barbie Dream House - the first one they ever came out with. I don't know about you, but I would have died for one of those Barbie Townhouses in the early 70's - the one with the elevator? My parents got me the Barbie Country House (which is also on eBay) instead one year for Christmas, and I think I probably should have had therapy over the disappointment.
The whole thing is cardboard, so complete ones in good shape are pretty rare. Still, these only cost about $30.
I want my front door to look like that!
Doesn't this look like a Domino spread? *sniffle!* Check out the open top record player. We had one of those - and there are record albums with real titles, and books, and little cardboard pillows. All of the furniture is folded and put together.
here's a longer view - Love the pink interior of Barbie's closet - and that picture on the wall.
Here's a closer look. Cool huh?

Looking for more info, I ran across this great little essay on the subject of the early Dream House - check it out.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

P.S. I Love You - Part II

Lemons at the Parker
Ah, the Parker. It seems to be a loaded question when you ask people what they think of it. Regardless of how they feel about the decor (which I love, personally) or the service (come on, what guy would want to wear those hot pink pants?) I have never had a bad breakfast in their dining room (as we discussed earlier) and I think virtually anyone would have to agree that the grounds are absolutely gorgeous.
The Parker Palm Springs - outdoor lobby area
By some sort of landscaping miracle, they are both lush and drought tolerant - with lots of meandering pathways, citrus trees dripping with fruit, and plenty of shady spots, fountains and grassy bits to ameliorate the heat.
Gardens at the Parker Palm Springs
Gardens at the Parker Palm Springs
After wandering for a little while among the pampas grasses, you come to a cute little "Lemonade Bar" serving lemonade, of course, and other "beverages" too.
Gardens at the Parker
The Lemonade Stand (aka bar) at the Parker
A shaded lane between two petanque courts shelters a row of tables and chairs, and just beyond another hedge lies one of the two swimming pools on the grounds.
Gardens at the Parker Palm Springs
Second pool area at the Parker
The sensibility of the Parker is sort of Morocco meets the beach - having a weakness for whimsy myself, I dig the oversized chess set and the peaked umbrellas, though someone with less tolerance for this sort of thing might not...
Chess set at the Parker
I also love their huge bougainvilleas that climb up the outside walls of the rooms overlooking the other pool - closer to the center of the complex.
Pool at the Parker Palm Springs
And the vast swaths of grass punctuated by some Moroccan lawn furniture and an ancient olive tree remind me of the even-more-whimsical Delano in Miami Beach.
Gardens at the Parker Palm Springs
Since their rates are a little higher than some of the other places in town (around $300 per night) I haven't stayed there yet, but I could definitely be talked into it, despite what some have said. Maybe a girl's weekend this Spring? Who's in?
More photos can be viewed in this set.

Domino Falls...


Ok, it's not funny - but I couldn't resist. The latest victim of the economy, Domino is shuttering after only three years, publishing their last issue in March. More details here and here. It was one of my favorite magazines and I really don't know what will replace it. I have been hearing rumors that ad revenues are down at another of my very favorite magazines, and I am desperately hoping it won't meet the same fate!

(The other post about Palm Springs is still coming, I just haven't had a chance to get it up yet!)

Sunday, January 18, 2009

P.S. I Love You - Part I

Casita at the Viceroy Palm Springs
Last week, good girlfriend Susan and I took a little trip to Palm Springs, to take in the desert scenery, do a little shopping and get some sun. We stayed at the Viceroy, which did not disappoint, though if I had it to do over again I'd definitely get one of their villas - just steps away from the spa with their own pool. We got there in the late afternoon and I had to go to Indio for work in the morning, so I didn't get any poolside time - but that seemed like an ideal place to spend it.
Doughnuts at Norma's at the Parker Palm Springs
When I was done with my work we stopped by the Parker for a late breakfast, which was fabulous albeit pricey - as it always is - and on the way back down Palm Canyon to the freeway, we took in a few of the vintage stores. The Norma's Doughnuts - pictured above, were amazing.
a La Mod on Palm Canyon Drive
Sadly most of the shops were closed since it was a Tuesday - the one day of the week that many of them seemed to shut down - but we were able to check out A la Mod, a great consignment shop right there on the main drag, and the Trina Turk store.
Trina Turk has a "residential" store there, with pillows, furniture and other items covered in her signature prints. I bought some cool velveteen pillows with a groovy butterfly design and Susan bought some placemats, a vase and a bowl. They have some fun vintage items sprinkled in among the new goods.
Killer vintage Saarinen tulip table and stools at a  La Mod on Palm Canyon
We also really enjoyed a La Mod - just down the street - I was especially captivated by this original Saarinen tulip table with six matching stools. It was in near mint condition and priced around $5000. I bought a couple of flowerpots, and eyeballed a set of wrought iron fireplace tools. Generally their prices and selection were the best of what we found.

We're still planning to go back and check out the main Antique Mall and a few of the other shops we missed on North Palm Canyon - if you're in town stop by the Viceroy and ask the front desk for their list of shops, it includes all the good ones!

next up - Part II, the gardens and decor at the Parker.

Monday, January 12, 2009

On the Red Carpet



I just think these women deserve a little round of applause for rocking some seriously stylish and original outfits on the red carpet last night. The whole prom dress/ball gown/grecian goddess thing is getting kind of old, and it's nice to see celebrities let their personalities show on the runway - without resorting to swan outfits or backwards tuxedos (sorry Celine.) I especially love Maggie Gyllenhaal's dress. It suits her perfectly, and no one else could carry it off like she does.

Hey ladies!


Have you heard? Apparently, the mustache is back in style! If only the rest of them rocked it as well as Clooney does...

And by the way, if you thought Burt Reynolds looked hot with his mustache (somebody must, he was a sex symbol, right?) take a look at him without it. Rawwr!


Images from various sources on the interwebs, including the NY Times,, and

Friday, December 26, 2008

Happy Holidays!

Gift baskets for co-workers.
Hope you are having a relaxing holiday week and Happy New Year!

I made these gift baskets for co-workers last week with wooden baskets from the Container Store, tangerines from our tree, and little bags of miniature cookies and peppermint bark. The peppermint bark was especially good - the recipe is Molly's from Orangette. The tags are from every jot and tittle.

Cheers - See you next week!

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Kid Stuff

While I don't have kids myself, I'm always trying to find cool and useful gifts for friends who do, so I don't think I'm quite the last person to hear about this site, though I might be. It's called Giggle and from now on, it will be my go to for kid-centric gifts. All of these items are available on Giggle - along with what appears to be the full line from Dwell. (I just love that transportation print!)

Clockwise from top left:
step stool - $90.00
baby book - $70.00
big pencils - $9.00
butterfly plate - $12.00
dollhouse - $125.00
French terry dress - $34.99
Elephant mobile - $30.00
red t-strap shoes - $38.00
palette plate - $30.00

All photos via

New L.A.M.B. Shoes

My visits to the Nordstrom Rack are pretty few and far between - but on my two most recent trips I have to admit I've gotten pretty lucky. Last time I lucked into a Tory Burch treasure trove, and bought a tunic that I've worn almost literally to death. I always go around the holidays to pick up ties and other "guy gifts" for my dad and husband, and today I couldn't resist checking out the shoe section. Lo and behold I found these L.A.M.B. Davin pumps, regularly priced around $300, for about 50% off. The best part was when I walked up to the register, they were even $50. less than they were marked. Don't you love it when that happens??

great gift tags and more



I love these printed paper tags and labels from the Etsy shop every jot and tittle I even custom ordered some of these little red number tags (up to 50) to hand out for our gift exchange at our Pozole Party this year!

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Rhodia Notebooks

Does anyone else remember when you could get those Five Star notebooks with the thick paper and nice sharp lines? I'm not fastidious about most things, but I like a good notebook, and I haven't been able to find one of those in about ten years. Since that time I've mostly switched to the computer, but for the occasional list or note, I really like these Rhodia notebooks. Made in France, they're a little more expensive than the norm and not super easy to find (locally they carry them at Warwicks in La Jolla) but they can easily be ordered online. I first discovered them via the shop at Francis Ford Coppola's winery where he sells his favorite things. (I also discovered Amedei chocolate at the same time - that Francis has good taste as it turns out.)
Just the other day while browsing for xmas gifts online, I noticed that Vickerey carries a huge selection - maybe even the full line. I especially like this box, with four notebooks of different sizes and two pencils, all for $16.00. If you've got a design geek, list fanatic or doodler on your gift list, this may be just the thing!

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

That Winter Glow

summer glow moisturizer

If you're like me, you're getting pretty ghostly pale about this time of year. Even the little bit of color I had from walking the dogs or sitting around in the back yard has vanished - leaving me feeling a little pasty. Self tanner can be a little labor intensive, not to mention smelly, but this product goes on easy (just like an ordinary moisturizer) and gives just a little tiny bit of glow that lasts a day or two before it needs to be reapplied. It's low maintenance, low commitment, inexpensive, it won't turn you orange, it smells GOOD, and it even has SPF 20 in it should you happen to need it. This time of year, you probably won't - but it's still good to know it's there!

Available here and at better drugstores everywhere.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Whitney's New Show and Fashion Line

Those of you who care about these things probably already know that Whitney Port is getting her own show on MTV starting at the end of the month, called "The City."* The Hills spinoff will focus on Whitney's move to NYC for a new job at Diane Von Furstenberg and a new boyfriend who appears to be a ringer for Justin Bobby - in looks at least - hopefully not in personality. I will watch because I like Whitney and I like DVF, and I'm always curious about what the kids are doing these days - but I have to say, I'm a little puzzled by what she's wearing and designing right now. Here are some of the designs from her new collection, Whitney Eve:
I'm all for irony in fashion and I know the 80's are back - but for me these fabrics are a little too Golden Girls. I'm just not digging it. Here she is in a couple of recent outfits:
I'm not going to pretend to be the Fug Girls and break these down for you, but if I did I don't think I'd know where to start. On the other hand. I LOVE this...
The shoes are especially fetching. At least she's taking some chances though, right? Lauren Conrad also has a fashion line, and out of the entire collection of simple jersey dresses, I saw only one that I would consider smashing - and that may have more to do with the model's body than the dress itself. Still, I love the slight grecian flair, and the deep indigo blue color. I also can't help but notice though that the model is obviously intended to look like Lauren. A little weird, no?
lauren blue dress.
* Brody Jenner also has his own new show coming out called "Bromance" - something like Paris Hilton's My New BFF, but for dudes - to replace Spencer Pratt's vacancy in his "entourage." Not so sure about that one...

Friday, December 5, 2008

Getting in the Spirit

For the past few years, I've been quite the grinch about Christmas. The decorations have seemed like a hassle, and the baking a chore - but this year is different. We're throwing two parties, and I have a looong list of cookies to try. I'm shopping to be sure (mostly online) but I'm mostly thinking more about things to make and do to enjoy the holiday that don't involve parting with large sums of money.

A few ideas:

Pop some popcorn and whip up a batch of hot chocolate, and catch one (or more) of these holiday classics on TV! (Props to Pittsy for putting this together!)

Check out the free and ever popular December Nights tonight and tomorrow in Balboa Park, or just stroll around the park on your own one evening and enjoy the holiday lights.

Open a bottle of good champagne just for two (or even one) - Piper Sonoma is a favorite budget find at around 12 bucks a bottle - and even a bottle of Veuve can be bought for $30-40 around the holidays. Our "house brand" is Taittinger Domaine Carneros - which is around $25-30. a bottle.

Throw a smaller dinner party, or just do cocktails or tea instead of a big blowout celebration. Casual is always ok - especially in this economy.

Make or bake gifts instead of buying - I'm doing cookies and candies and wrapping them in packaging from Sugarcraft and Papertrey. If you're not a cook, try chocolates from Eclipse, a bag of biscotti from Bread and Cie, or a jar of Jackie's Jams from the Farmers Market.

Speaking of the Farmers Market, I had great luck Christmas shopping at the Hillcrest Market last year (Sundays in the DMV parking lot from 9-1.) I found an amazing hand blown glass artisan, paper books and photo albums, handmade market baskets and tooled leather goods. Another great local source for handmade items is the Spanish Village Art Center in Balboa Park, a little colony of working studios and boutiques you can stroll amongst and browse. There's a pottery shop and sometimes a glass blower - I haven't been in a while, so it might be time to check it out again.

Enjoy the weekend!

photo via Sycamore Press on Etsy - one of three designs I ordered for our holiday cards this year!