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The Boonville Hotel ~ Anderson Valley, CA

The Boonville Hotel is an unexpected jewel of simple luxury in the tiny town of Boonville in Anderson Valley, CA.  The 15 room modern roadhouse in the middle of wine country is beautifully and simply decorated without clutter and fussiness.   To quote from their mission, “our luxuries are the light, the space, the landscape. amenities are thoughtfully selected with an eye on natural materials and ingredients, ecological impact, and the pleasure they provide.” The surrounding gardens envelop the property in the most inviting and soothing way and are the perfect place to read a book, enjoy a glass of wine from the local vineyards.

Upon our arrival we were graciously greeted by the house operator despite the late hour and were shown to our room for the night in the main house.  Our space was a respectable size with a small sink in the room and giant tub in the bathroom.  The incredibly comfortable queen size bed was drowned in soft, fresh linens and provided a solid night of sleep.   Don’t be shocked that the rooms are without TVs, phones, and there is no guarantee for a strong internet connection, it is the peaceful pace of life and tranquility they offer.

We dined and devoured our dinner at table 128, their fabulous on site restaurant that serves a prix fixe menu family style with a farm to table philosophy.   It is no wonder that we cleaned our plates considering the chef, Johnny Schmitt was one of the former owners of the famous French Laundry.  The next morning we woke to a beautiful complimentary breakfast spread for guests of the hotel of hot coffee, yogurt, granola, and locally made jam the next morning that was simple and equally as mouth-watering, in the same space.

We perused the local shops and cafes up the main drag and couldn’t help, but fall in love with the entire town and the country pace and quality of life.  Without a doubt we will be back to enjoy all that Anderson Valley and the Boonville Hotel have to offer.

 

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The First Negative Carbon Automobile

SAIC’s Yez concept car is the first vehicle, concept or otherwise, that’s ever been created to have a negative carbon footprint.  Yes you heard that correctly, it removes more pollution than it creates.

Stella’s Shorts ~ Spring 2012

I am in love with these Stella McCartney shorts.  The color blocking is fabulous and all the rage this season.  I can just visualize it with an amazing wedge, a lightweight tee  or loose button-up.  All I need now is for the sun to come out here in Seattle to complete the look.  While the price is definitely on the expensive side of the for shorts, priced at $825, they are adorable, we love the ecofriendly Stella McCartney, and if you can afford them then go for it.  Of course, only after you’ve made large donations to several charities.

Harvest Vine ~ Seattle, WA

We are still dreaming of our meal last night at Harvest Vine.  I don’t even know where to begin to describe the incredible dinner we had.  This little jewel of a restaurant is located inbetween downtown Seattle and Lake Washington in an area of town called, Madison Park.

We started with the Remolachas, finely slivered red & golden beets, olive oil, sherry vinegar, garlic and then the cured tuna with caviar that were both delicate and divine.  For our entrees we had the most tender octopus served with a pocha bean puree and the Calamares that consisted of sautéed squid with fideo pasta in squid ink sauce & alioli.  They were both so delicious that we could not decide which one was better.

Harvest Vine does not only source local ingredients to create their fabulous and unique dishes, they are philanthropists in our community and abroad.  They support fundraising for groups like Green Plate Special, an independent garden-to-table pilot program, designed for at-risk youth and Bakesale For Japan which was organized shortly after the devastating earthquake suffered there.  We obviously recommend and appreciate  this delicious little gem and will be back soon to fill our stomachs and support their causes.

Organic Nation Spirits

We got the inside scoop last night that the adored spirit company, Organic Nation is expanding beyond its Oregon borders and heading to Washington.  Organic Nation is  first certified organic artisan micro-distillery of vodka and gin in the Pacific Northwest.  This purveyor of pure spirits isn’t just organic, they were the recent recipient of the prestigious Gold Seal at the annual Good Food Awards in San Francisco.  As luck would have it, the change in the Washington State liquor laws will allow us to see their fabulous beverages conveniently being sold at your local Whole Foods Market.

Diane Paulson, Organic Nation’s Founder sums up her amazing products beautifully in this quote.  “Our spirits are the product of a pristine wilderness watershed, local grains and botanicals grown in some of the richest soil on Earth, and a heartfelt intention to create cocktails that are as good for the earth as they are in the glass.”

Don’t forget to contact your neighborhood Whole Foods Market to ensure they will be stocking up on their Organic Nation.  As Diane would say, “enjoy and sip responsibly, sip local, sip organic”!

iPad Chic ~ Grove

Now that everyone has purchased the long-awaited iPad 3, be sure you deck it out in this sleek sustainable case by Grove.  The beautiful bamboo and wool felt case is meticulously constructed by artisans here in the USA.  The wood combines with the sturdy single-panel felt cover that serves as a screen protector.  The case’s integrated magnets bind the handmade bamboo shell for a very smooth feel.  Grove’s Wool Felt case is compatible for both the iPad 2 and 3.  Get yours before April 1st and you can secure it at $119, instead of the normal $139 price tag. 

 
 

Morning Treat ~ Mighty-O Donuts

I picked up these amazing locally made donuts from Mighty-O for a morning meeting at our office.  I tend to avoid donuts for the often negative stereotype, the lbs. it can add to my body, and just because I just don’t have much of a sweet tooth.  Oh my, how I have been wrong.  Might-O’s, delicious “O”s are not only made with organic ingredients, but they contain no chemical preservatives, no hydrogenated oils ( trans fat), no coloring or artificial flavors, and no animal derived ingredients, which make them cholesterol free.  Their donuts are not greasy or too overly sweet  and go perfect with a hot cup of organic coffee.  I am not saying these are “healthy,” but if you are craving a donut you must have a Mighty-O.  Make it easy on yourself and order ahead of time for your next breakfast meeting.

 Price is $16 for a dozen.

 

Tips to Keep Your Face Looking Young

If you want your face to keep its youthful appearance here are a few tips from our fountain. 

  • Don’t chew gum, choose a mint instead.  The motion of chewing gum causes your jaw muscles to enlarge besides looking tacky.
  • Consume lots of water to keep your skin and body nourished.
  • Avoid drinking from a straw, the puckering causes wrinkles around your mouth.  The same wrinkles caused from smoking a cigarette, obviously a bigger no-no.
  • Sleep on your back so you are not smooshing your face every night for 7 to 8 hours.
  • Wash your face every night, even if it is just with a facial wipe to remove oil and dirt from your skin.
  • Sunblock, enough said.
  • Remember, You Are What You Eat, a healthy diet keeps your skin healthy and looking great.

Wishing Lanterns

We love the idea of lighting up the night sky at a party with these Wishing Lanterns.  The sky candles come in white or an assortment of colors and are perfect for any outdoor celebration.  When the fuel cell inside the lantern is lit, the heat causes the lanterns to rise into the air for up to 20 minutes and up to a mile in the air. When the fuel cell runs out, the flame is extinguishes and the lantern falls back to the ground.  The best part is that the sky lanterns are made with biodegradable materials, so you don’t have to worry about the waste it leaves behind, unlike balloons. 

 

Price $59 for 10 Wishing Lanterns

H&M on the Red Carpet

H&M is launching a glamour collection as part of its Conscious initiative.   All of the red-carpet looks are made from more sustainable materials such as organic cotton, recycled polyester, and hemp.  We are excited that this collection aims to showcase what is now possible in greener fashion, with outfits in an array of different styles reflecting the possibilities of today’s red carpet fashion.

H&M’s new collection has already been seen on the red carpet. Amanda Seyfried wore the blue tuxedo blazer and shorts at a London premiere, while Oscar nominee Viola Davis has been seen in the hot-pink sleeveless top and skirt.  Pieces of this green and glamorous line  will be available in selected H&M stores when the Exclusive Conscious collection is launched.