Shopping in Chicago …

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I have been away for a while,  but I am back in time for some summer fun. Just got back from Chicago and it stormed the entire time we were there. But I  had a great time shopping at Lincoln Square. The shops there in that part of town are truly unique.  The Merz apothecary shop had more herbs, and herbal remedies than I have  ever seen in one place. I walked out with some coconut oil, they say its great for your skin and hair . This shop was established in 1875.  Being the hat person I am I had to stop and get that cute beige hat with the black ribbon. A great buy and the perfect hat for the beach.  I always stop at Pot Bellys when I am in Chicago and have a wreck sandwich with an ice tea. This sandwich shop is so homely. This large sandwich chain started out as an antique store and the owners decided to make some sandwiches for the customers. Now it’s one of  Chicago’s largest sandwich shop ! Chicago was a great place to visit but  I am so glad to get back to sunny California !

Hope everyone is having a great summer !

A Cottage by the Lake

A cottage by the lake in Big Bear, California. What a perfect place to relax and enjoy the cool air, beautiful trees and everything right within walking distance. The beach is where we usually go but this time we decided to get a cottage by the lake. We got up early every morning and hiked down to the lake , and then we rented paddle boats and boy did we get our exercise trying to get from point A to point B which was impossible, with a four-year old steering. Next we tried to kayak, finally we rented a beautiful motor boat and had a wonderful dinner on board.  Darrill and Leo played minture golf while I had lunch at a Tea house. At night we walked out under the stars and told storys in the woods. A magical place.

I would like to come back next year and bring our bikes , There is going to be a  bike race called “Tour_de_Big_Bear. “, August 4th at the Village 7am to 4pm. Cycling enthusiasts will enjoy some of the same roads as Stage #6 of the 2010 and 2012  amgen-tour-of-california.  Whether you select the 25, 50, 70 or new 100 mile stages, you will be treated to some of the most spectacular cycling scenery in Southern California.

Next post beautiful  San Diego, Have a great weekend !

 Last summer it was newport-beach-cottage.

An Easter Tea….

Today was a perfect day to dine Alfresco..

My Tea Table…(thrift store teacups, plates and silver spoons, White teapot World Market)

My flower center piece…(I made from a thrift store basket)

Our  table setting…(Yes from a local thrift store entire setting for 8 $20.00)

(Cupcake stand Target )

(Hats nine west from Ross)

A simply perfect Easter Tea…


Baked Ham

Green Apple Quiche

Bacon Quiche

Fruit Salad

Scrambled Eggs

Passion Fruit Ice Tea

Orange Juice

Hot Chai Tea

Carrot Cake

Sour Fruit Jelly Beans

Hope you have a wonderful Easter..

xoxo Cheryl

Review of 2011 by wordpress…

The concert hall at the Syndey Opera House holds 2,700 people.  This blog was viewed about 16,000 times in 2011.  If it were a concert at Sydney Opera House, it would take about 6 sold-out performances for that many people to see it.

In 2011, there were 132 new posts, growing the total archive of this blog to 281 posts. There were 1148 pictures uploaded, taking up a total of 2gb. That’s about 3 pictures per day.

The busiest day of the year was June 21st with 307 views.

The most popular post that day was Venice Beach shopping…”The Bountiful”.

Thank-you wordpress, and a big  thank-you to all of you who have stopped by to visit my blog. I have had some request for more pictures of Costal Beach shopping and alfresco dinning at cafes.  I will be heading to the local beaches a lot in 2012, to post my latest finds so please join me and have a wonderful 2012 !                                                         

xoxo Cheryl

Christmas Tea Time….

The table is set and it’s Christmas tea time…

Al fresco tea table setting and…

A Whimsical Christmas Tea table by Cheryl  …

Every tea cup has a tag with the guest name…

A snowflake cupcake by Dora…

and she made these beautiful little Christmas jewels cupcakes that were so divine.

The girls loved my big stock pot of Sassafras herbal tea with cloves.

Barbara demonstrated wonderful recipes from The Pampered Chef…you can find her website here

and Brianna lovely Frills were such the hit, I had to buy theses beautiful tiles for my Christmas table.

We handled out some beautiful tea gifts from Maria’s Antiques while the women ate Dora’s wonderful cupcakes .

A special thanks to Dora, Barbara and  Brianna for making this a relaxing and magical Christmas tea event…hope to see everyone next year.

Next post my wine Christmas table, and how to have a kitchen tea.

I am sharing this post with -cottage-good-life-weds.

The Barn House

(photo by Faded-prairie )

Have you heard of the Barn House ? I  came aross this picture from Pinerest and I knew this is a setting I would love for a shower , a wedding or a Whimsical Christmas tea that I am having in December. Love these guys, talk about talent . Visit the Boys of barnhouse , you will be delighted !

Have a great weekend

xoxo Cheryl

Feels like a fall day…

It was a long weekend and I am still recuperating from our Mystery dinner. When I woke up  it was the perfect fall day , just a little rainy with white puffy clouds in a gray blue sky.  I went to my favorite cafe to have an ice tea  and a  croissant sandwich … to just  relax and enjoy the cool crisp October day…

I picked up this book on Coffee….decovering exploring  and enjoying. I was thinking I would create some coffee gift baskets this year , complete with fresh ground coffee a french press and some baked goods . Who wouldn’t love that ? I have been on a French press buying spree lately and found a few at the local thrift stores. Seem a lot of people don’t know how to use them so they throw them out. I am one such person guilty of such a crime, as I was given one as a present and I thought what is this for and  I gave it away. Oh well live and learn.

I really enjoyed looking at all the beautiful photographs of cups of coffee and reading about the fact that a French  press  is the prefered method of rich robust coffee . And of course I knew that ! After all  I have about four of them now,  as I like to use one for decaf and one for regular and one for espresso, and my guests are always so impressed !

With all theses beautiful photos of coffee, I had to run into the cafe and have a  warm cup of coffee for  myself…

   Whats your favorite season ? Do you own a French press ? I think my next post will be on how to make a great cup of coffee from a  french press.

Hope your  enjoying  this beautiful fall season..

xoxo Cheryl

Haunted Hollywood like a local

A weekend with  Kim in W. hollywood , I always feel like a local when we go out together in her town . This evening we dined alfresco on her patio  then headed to the silent movie house to see a 60’s french movie. I heard this place was haunted and the whole experience sounded  groovy…..

everything you see here is from Fresh and Easy, we both love to shop there and their pizzas are so fresh !

On to the movie house…611 N. Fairfax Avenue, L.A. We found this information on top 10 haunted placed in Hollywood.

One of the most gruesome histories of any movie theater, the Silent Movie Theatre has forever cemented its status in haunted Hollywood. Legends include ghosts in the projection rooms, blood-splattered carpet from machine-gun murders and a constant haunting by two former owners. Talk about scary movies….

Kim’s phone rang and I jumped…I had a very uneasy feeling and I could feel the ghosts here, Kim just laughed at me and said I was crazy.

How creepy were these  pictures of the silent movie stars who headline here, a lot of them had short careers.

I love this old movie house it was cool and creepy. It was very causal and I felt like I was at some friends house relaxing on sofas and having desert and coffee. The movie was well different and I enjoyed the whole evening. Information below from theatres/SilentMovie.

Silent Movie began in with personal film collection of Mr. John Hampton, who
opened the small theatre 1942, when silent movies had already been passed for 15
years. He hoped the forgotten comedies would bring a smile to those suffering in
the depths of the Great Depression.

struck the Silent Movie Showcase on January 17, 1997, when the owner of the
theater, Laurence Austin, was shot and killed during an apparent robbery
attempt. Police later arrested his longtime business partner for hiring the
gunman to kill Austin, so that he could gain the inheritance.

In June
announced that he was
selling the theatre to new owners: two young brothers, Sammy & Dan Harkham
(age 26 & 24) and Hadrian beloved. They have turned the small theatre into a
revival house, featuring an eclectic mix of relatively recent movies with
sound. However, they do still show silent movies (with live music) once a week.
However, unlike Lustman, who tended to stick with the classics (like Charlie
Chaplin), the Harkham’s hope to show lesser-known silent films. 

A great place to go to for the month of October….but only if you believe in ghosts !

Alfresco family dinner to go…

We decided to have our family dinner at Brandon’s house this year .  So I began  with a trip to the farmers market with my big straw bag for some fresh veggies and herbs.

I had to get some green onions, cilanthro

and most important basil and eggplant for my spaghetti sauce.

I love the smell of fresh basil. I use can whole tomatoes, sea salt, basil, garlic, eggplant, fresh ground round   for my sauce. I made the sauce early so the herbs blend throughly and brought everything over to Brandon’s house and set up on his back patio. The menu , spaghetti, bruschetta, fresh basil salad, wine, ice tea, double choc. cake with choc frosting with Trader Joe’s vanilla ice cream and choc cupcakes with cream cheese frosting.

 We have a new addition to the family and his name is Sam, the kids had a great time playing with him but Leo was upset when Sam jump on him. Finally we told Leo to stop running and tell Sam stop and to  sit.

I like to have the  dress white as this being the end of summer dinner.   Tanya looked so fresh in her white shirt and jeans.

and so did Melissa (right) and her mom (left). Everyone looked like they were having a nice time !

…but  us girls were having too much fun posing for pictures !

 Happy 23rd  Birthday  Justin !

And Happy  Birthday Melissa !!

Hope the magic of this evening stays with you both the whole year till next year at our end of summer family dinner !

We almost  made our list for the “Ten things we wanted to do for the summer’ except for ” #4 Have a tennis tournament at night. (everyone plays), oh well we’ll try ten for ten next year, hope everyone had a wonderful summer. Now it’s time to start  planning for  our annual Mystery Dinner next month !