Monday, December 24, 2012

My So-Called Instagram Life (Christmas Eve Edition)

Happy Christmas Eve, everyone!  I hope you are having a lovely day, filled with fun, food, friends and family.  I have some baking to do, plus a tiny bit of last minute shopping.  The last couple of weeks of work have been crazy busy, and I am looking forward to having some time off to relax and unwind. Maybe I will even catch up on a few projects around the house (when I say projects, that may or may not include catching up on a giant stack of unread magazines).  

I didn't get a chance to do all of the holiday posts I had wanted to, so here is a quick wrap up of what we have been up to.

Rudolph and the Bumble in my front yard.

We loved the Bumble so much, we had to get another one.  This one is putting a star on the tree (if you are a fan of the Rudolph movie, this makes perfect sense).  

Our tree.  I think we finally got the lights just right this year.

Target put all of the Neiman Marcus collaboration items on sale for 50% off.  These ornaments are beautiful in person, very detailed and of a nice, substantial weight.  At $25 for the set, I cannot recommend them enough.  They would also make a fantastic hostess gift.

A sea horse ornament I picked up at a shop in Golden Gate Park.

The Golden Gate Bridge ornament I had talked about in an earlier post went on sale for $5 and free shipping.  It is now on my tree.

I received these beautifully wrapped gifts from a friend, and all of a sudden I felt that all of the gifts I had been wrapping were completely inadequate.  The leg lamp ornament adornment is the best thing ever (if you haven't seen A Christmas Story, please do yourself a favor and watch it).

So, I took a stab at making bows by hand.  This was my second try.  Not too shabby.

The pups hanging out around the tree.

We may have gone a little bit overboard when we were picking out stocking stuffers for the pups this year.  

I think we were just excited because we got them each their own personalized stocking.  

A few of my favorite holiday nutcrackers.

Petunia, letting me know how she really feels about sporting the antlers.

Happy holidays!  I wish you peace.

Monday, December 17, 2012

Dear Santa; A Wishlist

One of my favorite parts of Christmas is putting together my wishlist.  Of course, I love spending time with family and friends, and the important part is being together.  But right after that, I love the whole giving and receiving aspect of the holidays.  It is fun to shop for loved ones.  I love the thrill of the hunt, of trying to pick out that perfect something for all of your special someones.  

I had fun putting my wishlist together.  This year, I am really into rose gold and Pandora, which are completely new loves for me.  Does anyone have a Pandora collection?  I am also really interested new books by Pippa Middleton and Lauren Conrad.  Of course, some old favorites representing my alma mater and involving owls and elephants made it on to the list.  Maybe a few of these will appear under my tree (are you reading this husband?).

What about you? Do you put a list together every year, or do like to have people to wing it?  What are you asking Santa for?

Dear Santa: A Wishlist

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Christmas Decor I Covet & A Giveaway

If you stop by here regularly, you know how much I love to decorate for the holidays. Here are a few gems I have saved in my favorites.

I live in the Bay Area and have a fondness for all things related to it.  This Golden Gate Bridge ornament would add some pretty sparkle to my tree.

Golden Gate Bridge Glass Ornament  $8.50
My husband loves cardinals.  It would make a nice surprise for him.

Cardinal Bird Tree Topper  $39.50
How cute and festive are these unique shot glasses?

Deer and Moose Shot Glasses  $19.95

I have mentioned before that despite my love for all things Christmas, I am actually Jewish.  This is the coolest menorah I have ever seen.  

Jonathan Adler Menorah, Dachshund  $96
This snowglobe is just so unusual and kind of haunting.  

Mason Jar Snowglobe, Pinecone   $40
Of course, I NEED the pug ornament (but I would happily take them all).  

Glass Dog Ornament  $12.59

Everything about these screams for a place on my mantle.  
Porcelain Penguin Family  $8- 24

Speaking of holiday decor that I covet, have you entered my giveaway for a hand blown glass ornament by Avolie Glass?  Entering is easy.  

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Giveaway: Hand Blown Glass Ornament by Avolie Glass

*Sorry about my technical difficulty.  The giveaway is now open.

 I have known Demi, one half of Avolie Glass, for a few years now.  When she first showed me their hand blown glass creations, I wanted two of everything I saw (and that is NOT an exaggeration).  In fact, they created all of the earrings my bridesmaids wore in my wedding.  I also have a few of their other pieces, including a beautiful lampwork necklace and a glass pumpkin.  Just recently, their work was featured on Giada at Home.  I could not be more excited for them.  These two work hard, and really deserve all of the success that is coming their way.  

When Demi mentioned doing a giveaway on my blog, I got excited. Their work is incredible, and I was happy for the chance to share it with you.  I choose this particular ornament because I felt it was a very versatile piece and would look beautiful on any tree.  Check out their Etsy site to see their other creations, including bowls, vases, and sculptures.  You might even find yourself inspired to do a little holiday shopping.  They are also throwing in a discount for my readers!

Here is a little bit more about the artists, taken from their website.  Avolie Glass is a man and woman team, based in the San Francisco Bay Area. They are both glass artists in their own right, exhibiting their sculptural work at places such as the The Oakland Museum of California, National Liberty Museum, San Jose City Hall, and the San Francisco Museum of Craft + Design.  They also share a personal relationship, and after years of creating their individual work, found themselves wanting a separate outlet for their whimsical side.  Soon the idea of working as a team to reinterpret the classics in functional glass art emerged. 

if you are a local buyer and  would like to make an appointment to see work at their studio for purchase, you can email them at

In addition to the giveaway, Avolie Glass is generously offering all Popcorn, Pugs & Peonies readers a discount in their Etsy shop with code GIFT15 at checkout for 15% off.  You can also mention this code via email for 15% off as well.  This offer is good through the duration of this giveaway.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

The fine print:  This giveaway is open to residents of the USA only.  This giveaway ends at midnight on Monday December 17th.  Please be sure to leave a contact method in your comment so we can collect your information if you win.  The winner of this giveaway will win the white ornament shown above.  To purchase another color, please visit their Etsy site or contact them an email.

Monday, December 10, 2012

A Tale of Two Puppies

Last year, my dogs received belated Christmas gifts from some beloved friends.  I was excited to unpack them this year and have the dogs do a little modeling for me.  I admit, putting antlers with fake ears on the girls was hilarious.  We also received a set for Meatball, but as often happens, people grossly underestimate how large his head is, and they were too small.  

(Un)Fortunately for Harriet and Petunia, theirs fit like a glove. In our house, it was the best of times, it was the worst of times.  It think it is safe to say that they were kind of humiliated (but reluctantly good sports about it).   Petunia got me back the next day by ingesting an entire box of  dog biscuits.  It made for a really long night.

Will you hurry up and take the picture already, Ma?

You aren't going to post this on your blog, are you?

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Happier At Home

Earlier this year, I read The Happiness Project, and I absolutely loved it.  I am such a big fan that I subscribed to Gretchen Rubin's Facebook page and her newsletter.  So when she announced that she was releasing a follow up called Happier at Home, I was all over it.  I might have even marked the release date on my calendar (in a completely non-obsessive way, of course).  

If you enjoyed the first book, you will find that this one is written in the same vein.  One day, author Gretchen Rubin realized that she was feeling homesick in her own home.  She did some soul searching and came up with 9 months worth of resolutions that were geared towards making her home a safe place full of comfort and warmth.  She spent the school year tackling topics such as family, interior design, and possessions.  One chapter she tackled that hit especially close to home for me involved wanting to appreciate the now.  To be present and savor every minute, because one day today will be the good old days.  I often find myself thinking about this very thing, so I really appreciated her resolutions around this.  

Although I did really enjoy this book, it didn't quite capture the magic of the first for me.  I would give it a solid 4 our of 5 stars, and definitely recommend it to anyone who was a fan of the first book.  However, if you only read one of them, the first is definitely the way to go.

Next up, The Perks of Being a Wallflower.  I wanted a nice quick read before I tackle Gone Girl.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Hog Island Oyster Co.

When my cousin was in town, we decided to eat at the Hog Island Oyster Co.  She is a huge fan oysters, and doesn't get fresh ones where she lives.  The line was long, but it moved quickly. 

 The menu was simple.  

There are several different offerings of oysters and oyster dishes.  We decided on Oysters Casino (butter, Spanish paprika, bacon, shallots, and thyme) and Harisa (piquillo peppers, calabrian chili, cumin, coriander  and garlic).  

We also got a raw oyster mix from the bar.  They seriously melted in our mouths.   

Husband is not a big raw oyster fan.  There was also a grilled cheese sandwich on the menu which was the most decadent I have ever tasted.  It was made with Mezzo secco, Gruyere, and formage blanc.  It was so rich, the three of us ended up sharing it.  

This place is absolutely incredible.  It does get busy, and they do not accept reservations.  If you are an oyster fan (or a grilled cheese fan for that matter) and are in San Francisco, you must check this place out.  You will not be disappointed.

I am on the left

P.S. They also have a nearby farm in Tomales Bay where you can eat oysters fresh from the water.  I really hope to visit one day.  

I'm Erin

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Hi, I'm Erin. I am living back on the east coast after 15 years out west. Currently readjusting to humidity and mosquitos. I love to take pictures and read fashion magazines.... and to talk about nothing in particular (ok, and my dogs).

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