Leos Oyster Bar


all photographs taken by Ashley Urban When I stepped through the imposing black and gold doors at Leos Oyster Bar, I couldn’t help but smile at tropical wall paper,  mother of pearl chandeliers, a long pink onyx bar with an oyster container at the end and a neat row of tables set before pleated banquets.

Fish Tales from New Zealand


My first day in the north island of New Zealand, we helicoptered from Poronui, a 16,000 acre fishing lodge where we were staying, to a remote river of volcanic origins.  I was told it was populated by good size rainbow trout. (My best buddy Noodle, who jumped on the helicopter every morning eager to hit

Here’s to Sunday Night Pasta!


  As most of my readers know by now, Eric has made it a long-standing tradition to cook Sunday dinners for family and friends. Please check back to my first recipe, which was posted on May 8, 2015. Those who’ve been fortunate enough to partake in one of his meals, know how much thought and

Bold Strokes and Artful Wear


All photographs were taken by Ashley Urban What better way to pay homage to Jean-Michel Basquiat, the late Neo-Expressionist and downtown-cool artist than to wear one of his art works – this time in the form of a printed A-line Dress, from the 17 piece capsule collection, by Alice and Olivia’s designer Stacey Bendet.  Some

Inside Averell’s Bedroom Makeover


  I find that as my children get older it’s harder to surprise them. That’s why I was so excited to redo my daughter Averell’s bedroom in anticipation of her coming home from London for the holidays. I couldn’t wait to see the surprise on her face when she walked into her old room again.

About Face:The Benefits of Silk Pillowcases


  My sleeping beauties Mallory and Averell on Christmas Eve 1995.  I always regret not sending it out as a Christmas card that year. Here’s to second chances! True Confession: I Love to Sleep! Eric is convinced that I’m going to live a very, very long time, because of the hours that I spend asleep

Baby, It’s Cold Outside…


One of my family’s New Year’s Day traditions is to take a walk together on Chrissy field. Located in San Francisco’s Presidio, it’s the perfect place to take in some of the iconic sights associated with this City by the Bay. From there, you get a bang up view of the Golden Gate Bridge, Alcatraz,

The Busy Trap


“Life is what happens when you are busy making plans.” John Lennon We all get busy, especially around the holidays. We all have times when we glance at our calendar and wonder: “How am I going to get all of this done?” and then “How did I get myself so overcommitted in the first place?”

All I want for Christmas…


Just in case any of you out there are wondering what to get me this Christmas…here is my 2016 list. Sending you thanks in advance! This glamping tent would be perfect for my back yard in San Francisco! amazon.com Did you know that Anna Karenina met her Vronsky at a train station and that Tolstoy

An Ode to Poached Pears


Ahhh, Thanksgiving dinner… The moment after all the buying, preparation and time spent rooted in the kitchen, the dinner is finally served to much exclaim.Of course “the proof of the pudding is in the eating”. The time when silence falls over the table, and family and guests savor with gusto the bounty of food, on

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