Category Archives: Santa Barbara

Baby Got Brass

There we were, The Old Man and I, minding our own business, abiding by our recently implemented austerity measures in a local thrift store, when suddenly this happens:

It reminded me of that one time a toilet seat and the eighties adopted their cousin, this seat cushion.

BUT.  Somehow I was drawn to this chair.  I felt compelled to know more about this chair – to learn her story – to know what went wrong… and I found that underneath it all,  she had a heart of brass.

And the body of a hottie.

Is it inappropriate to discuss lady-boners in a blog?  Let’s assume it is, and move on.

To find out who was responsible for this amazingness, I inspected my new infatuation and discovered:

SHE’S ITALIAN!  ONE MILLION EXTRA POINTS!

Upon a google, I found that a set of 4 vintage Cidue chairs on a European website sold for 500 euros!!!  (Roughly 1000 dollars.)  I buy for 20 dollars per chair?!?!

ONE TRILLION EXTRA POINTS!

Problem:  The Old Man was completely unimpressed.  Disgusted.  Distraught by my enthusiasm.  Unconvinced that I was in fact not joking.

But, as you might have already guessed, the poor bastard despite himself and his better judgement eventually said, “I cannot believe this.”  And we left that store a few chairs richer.

For at least two days, he eyed the one chair suspiciously, muttering curses under his breath at it.  Only one chair had been allowed upstairs.  But slowly, slowly, he has relented.  Three chairs now live in the apartment.  The Old Man still glares at them if they step out of line, but he now admits that he hates them only a little.

File this under “Awesome Sauce”.

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Indulgences!

Yesterday was an exceptionally indulgent day.

It started off on an excellent note since both The Old Man and I had the day off from work and got to spend the morning playing music together, with our cat Nancy providing the cuddles.  Apparently, she enjoys the sound of the harmonium and front row seating.

After filling up on musical togetherness and kitty lovings, we decided to drive up to Santa Ynez to pick up The OM’s mom’s wine order… which – since she generously added us to her membership at Gainey Vineyard – had the added benefit of allowing us a free wine tasting.  Not a bad deal.

Not a bad deal at all.

After that, my delightful neighbor and artist-friend EmmieBean invited myself and our other two neighbor ladies to an event at a nearby salon celebrating the one year birthday of a local blog called LOVEmikana.  (I highly recommend visiting the LOVEmikana blog if you live in or plan on visiting Santa Barbara.  The ladies of LOVE can always be counted on for the best current tips on where to go and what to do around town.)  The salon that hosted the event is a gem of a place on upper State Street called Salon U wherein we were delighted to get to sample delicious eats, ogle gorgeous accessories from Stella and Dot, and best of all receive free hair and makeup demos.  See below for awesome braid event happening on my head.

The final indulgence of the day:  seeing The Hunger Games premiere at midnight.  SO GOOD!

So many indulgences!  On a weekday!  Such an unexpected delightful pearl of a day… thank you for allowing me the extra indulgence of getting to write about it.

If you’ve got an indulgence you are planning on treating yourself to, I would love to hear about it!  Please feel free to leave a comment decadent with details.  I’d love to know!

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The Oscars!

As a life-long appreciator of cinema, clothing, and reasons to drink with friends, I always look forward to the Oscars.  This year, The Old Man and I opted to celebrate Hollywood’s Annual Horn-Tootin’ by attending the Oscar party thrown by [my favorite independently-owned shopping haven] The Closet.  The lovely ladies of The Closet who are all incredibly nice, hilarious, and adorable goddesses of fashion, had a pre-Oscars champagne and cupcake event in-store.  Shoppers were encouraged to fill out Oscar ballots and reconvene at a nearby restaurant / bar to watch the red carpet arrival and award show.  Prizes for most accurate ballots and best-dressed were to be awarded at the end of the night.

I am proud to announce that I won!
Everything!
Because I was the only [non-employee] attendee!
HORRAY FOR ABSOLUTE VICTORY BY DEFAULT!

Actually, I won almost everything.  Because another group of three Oscar-watchers sat near us and joined in on the ballot action.  And totally kicked my ass.  Luckily, there was only one woman in their group, so she was the only eligible contestant and walked away with one of the three gift certificates.  I made off with two.  BOOM:  $30 shopping sprizzle.  Also, I should make clear that I was the only female attendee.  The Old Man was also present.  Surrounded by five of us designer-dress-drooling-oogling dames.  He wins the prize for best husband in a supporting role.

I had so much fun.  And I am very much looking forward to The Closet’s next cinematic event… WATCHING THE TITANIC IN 3-D on April 4th!!!  Anyone reading this blog should plan on coming along.  The girls are seriously so cool, and how can you not want to re-see TITANIC?!  That was Leo at his beautifullest.  I will keep you posted on news for this event, or you can become a fan of The Closet on Facebook and keep up to date that way.  https://www.facebook.com/theclosettradingco

And since I am a blogger who wants to learn new and exciting blogger skills, I took this opportunity to get to know my Photoshop.  Look what I made!

It’s my first attempt at anything Photoshop, and I know it’s pretty rough, but damn it feels good to be a Photoshop-literate gansta.

The above collage represents a few of the notable dresses by notable designers on notable ladies at the Oscars / after parties.  Honorable mention goes to Viola Davis in Vera Wang.

And Kristen Wiig in J. Mendel

And Octavia Spencer in Tadashi

Horray for new skills!  Photoshopping stuff It takes so much time!  Why are there fingers growing out of Berenice Bejo’s hip?!  The type is too little!  So much more to learn!

(All photos originally from style.com.)

Persuasion for Asian (Holidays)

I am a perplexed and a little disappointed with Santa Barbara’s non-celebration of the Lunar New Year.  We do Solstice Parades, two Christmas Parades, Veteran’s Day Parades, Gay Pride Parades, Fiesta Parades, Fourth of July Parades… but no Lunar New Year Parade?  How is it that we can go ALL OUT for Summer Solstice and even make up our own week-long holiday, yet completely neglect Lunar New Year?

In no way do I mean to imply that Santa Barbara does not hold enough parades.  As you can see, we have parades coming out of our ears.  Neither am I implying that we should have fewer parades.  Parades are great.  BUT.  I am saying that to more than a billion people world-wide, the Lunar New Year is the most important holiday of the year, and our city doesn’t show a blip of interest.  What’s more, according to the plaque which hangs at the former site of Jimmy’s Oriental Restaurant, the two blocks of Canon Perdido between State and Santa Barbara Streets used to be home to our own thriving (albeit teensy) China Town!  And in the 1800’s, Chinese accounted for ten percent of this town’s population!  Not to mention whatever Indian, Vietnamese, Korean, Japanese, and all other types of Asiankind have called this town home.

Come on, Santa Barbara!  Represent!

I propose a take over!  I am hereby making it my goal to make this happen in Santa Barbara.  Admittedly, I have not-a-whole-lot of experience in the implementing new municipal traditions department, but I envision a parade with a full 20+ person manned dragon dance, fireworks, wishing tree, red envelopes, red lanterns on State Street, fortune cookies for all and lots and lots of Chinese food!

LIKE THIS!

I myself am not Asian.  (Although, in high school I nearly convinced a group of friends that I was a quarter Asian since I am half Spanish, and Filipinos are half Spanish.  It’s simple logic!)  But I do celebrate Lunar New Year.  For the past three years, I have diligently (let’s be honest: superstitiously) cleaned our apartment as thoroughly as possible in the weeks leading up to the day.  I’m talkin’ scrub the walls, the fridge, the cabinets – get rid of old clothes – steam-clean the couch – wash the outsides of the windows – vacuum under the bed CLEAN.  I purposefully do not take out the trash or sweep for the week following so as not to sweep away the good luck brought on by the new year.  I wear red on New Year’s Day.  I make sure to have mandarins and fresh flowers in the house.  And this year, I gave The Old Man a red envelope with a bright and shiny hundred dollar bill.  All in the name of good luck.  This is nourishment to my superstitious Sagittarius soul.  Where I picked this tradition up from, who the eff knows.  But I did.  And it stuck.  And I LOVE IT!  And I think other people will love it to!

Lunar New Year balloons in New York City

Lunar New Year balloons in NYC

Let’s all carry balloons!

Pretty!

And dance with gilded skirts!

It is possible that I am drunk on the loveliness of this holiday and am making it up that I will actually follow through and institute a citywide celebration and parade.  I have been known to soar to great heights on the wings of brilliant ideas held up on the breeze enthusiasm and gusto, only to glide softly down to earth to completely and unceremoniously abandon my terror bird fantasies for no other reason than “shrug”.  But as of today, whether I am BSing or not, I hereby declare that Santa Barbara SHALL have an annual Lunar New Year celebration!  Who’s with me?!

So let it be written.  So let it be done.
(Name the source of this quote!  Comment on this post with the answer and you shall be awarded one hundred extra credit points in heaven.  Better yet, comment with an enthusiastic comment of support for two hundred!)

PS.  I thought I should mention that The Old Man bet $10 of his New Year’s $100 in a penny slot machine in Deadwood, South Dakota today and BAM!  Made $54.  Yeehaw for super superstitions!

*All images in this post are licensed under The Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Share Alike License and can be found at http://commons.wikimedia.org.  Click on images to link to original.

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Plum Good!

I seem to remember the number of local, one-of-a-kind, make-a-person’s-spending-will-power-melt-away type stores being super abundant in our little city of Santa Barbara.  Perhaps I remember incorrectly.  Or perhaps it only seemed flush with bountiful local art in comparison to the creatively dry desert village from whence I emerged which was almost completely devoid of and discouraging toward anything creative or beautiful or different.  (Does this bitterness make my butt look big?)  Whatever the case may be, I am newly enamored with such a store on State Street called Plum Goods.  Because it is!  (Plum good.)  Standing tall and proud next to monstrosities such as H&M, Forever 21, and Marshalls, the stout and courageous locally owned little-boutique-that-could will be celebrating its first birthday later on this month.  Among its many offerings, one can find tastefully curated locally made housewares (vases, crockery, plates, glasses), baby clothing, paper goods (notebooks, cards), furniture, jewelry, and other such covetable items.  And all of it is reasonably priced!  See photo below for address and website info:

I popped in there today for the first time while running an errand for work (… doing field research?) and picked up this darling driftwood vase for my dear friend Alexandra.  It was surprisingly difficult to photograph.  Likely because I am not a real photographer and only an iPhone photographer.  Also because I was in a hurry to get to Alexandra’s party.  But here it is nonetheless, on my patio floor, in Instagram glory.  $21!  Local!  Handmade!  Adorable!

 

If you can’t tell – this is two delicate glass globe vases affixed securely (but discreetly) to a piece of locally gathered driftwood.  They had other versions of this globe vase concept which employed smooth stones instead of driftwood.  If ONLY my guilty conscience hadn’t shooed me out of there, perhaps I would have gotten more pictures… or at least another shot of the vases to do them some justice.  I promise a better blog post on Plum Goods with better pictures of the things that they sell.  But for now, I hope that this tidbit will suffice to pique your curiosity if you happen to find yourself on State Street looking for something unique, sweet, edgy, or generally great.