Wednesday, March 31, 2010


Please join me and several of my fellow bloggers in supporting Feeding America, a non profit hunger relief organization dedicated to helping provide food for fellow Americans in need. You can also directly support your local food bank to accomplish the same good.

More and more people in our country are going hungry because they have lost their jobs, their benefits have ended, they can’t find a job and have no place left to turn but to their local food bank. But the nation’s food banks are stretched to the limit because of the increased number of people needing their services.

You might think that none of your friends are going hungry, but I read a comment on a piece NPR did about a photography exhibit about hunger in America, and think it could apply to any one of us:
…a dear friend and community member crossed over. At his one year crossing remembrance, stories began to come out and I realized with great sorrow, our friend went hungry. I feel sad when I think of it, that our dear friend who gave so much and was so generous in spirit and friendship was hungry and we never knew that. How did we not make it our business to know how it was with him we loved so?
Please make a donation to Feeding America, or your local food bank, and count yourself as one of the lucky ones if you’re not going to bed hungry every night. Feeding America has set up a special URL for April Food Day so they can see how much we’ve donated.

If you’re a blogger, tweeter, facebooker or have an e-mail list, please share this address. Let me know if you’ve posted about April Food Day, and we will add you to the list of participants on the April Food Day site.

Thank you very much
Meg Fairfax

Tablescape Thursdays-San Francisco

Happy Tablescape Thursdays! For more creative and unique table settings, click on the above Tablescape Thursday logo, or visit Susan with Between Naps On The Porch.

This table setting is in the San Francisco apartment we are currently occupying for the duration of Dan's twin sisters hospitalization at UCSF Medical Center. I managed to set a table during the Little American's afternoon nap time.

It's a 2 bedroom 2 bathroom condominium located on the corner of Baker and Haight Street directly across from Buena Vista Park.

I would describe the condominium's design as "contemporary Scandinavian minimalism". Surprisingly, although its far from my personal style preference, I really like the apartment and find it a refreshing change from my usual layered surrounding.

As for the table, I created a table setting that I thought was a good representation of the condo owner's lifestyle. The homeowners are a couple originally from Eastern Europe. They currently own a floral business called In Water with 2 locations in the city.

Although the apartment provided plates, I didn't think the pattern reflected the overall style of the space.

So, while out grocery shopping at a Safeway Supermarket,I jumped over to Ross which was 3 doors down to see if I could possibly find dinner plates that might make a better fit with the apartment's decor.

I found these earthenware dinner and salad plates for four for $12.00 total.

A close up of the pattern. The fork trays are actually the apartment's sushi plates. When I saw the plates at Ross, I immediately remembered the trays back at the apartment having a similar color which I thought would be a very complementary fit. It turned out well. The plates pulled out the same green in the trays.

Because this was somewhat an impromptu arrangement, there were no cloth table linens available. My only option for napkins was a roll of Brawny. The quicker picker upper. I thought the table looked fine without it.

I took the fresh Wheat grass I purchased for energy drinks and some votive candles and embellished the apartments oblong basket for the table centerpiece. I thought it also reflected the couple's zen like style.

Thank you for stopping by.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010


Oceania Cruises, headquartered in Miami, Florida and owned by Prestige Cruise Holdings, is considered by many cruise travel experts to be one of the world class leaders with luxurious and upscale ships on the waters offering sumptuous accommodations,cuisine and white glove service that you expect in 4 and 5 star hotels.
In 2011, the cruise line will launch its latest ship, the Marina. The ship's look will be contemporary as opposed to its sister ships that boast a traditional style. The Marina will offer a luxurious and elegant design showcasing contemporary style at its finest.

The Owners Suites

2000 sq. ft.

Suite entrance

The 3 Owners Suite, which are the largest private spaces offered, were decorated by Tocar Interior Designs and furnished with the Ralph Lauren Home collection.

Main Living Area

Master Bedroom

Master Bath

One of my favorite blogs, The Meade Design Group interviewed Tocar's principal designers Susan Bednar Long and Christina Sullivan in August 2009. The firm's portfolio is very impressive.

Vista Suites

1200 sq. ft.

Currently, Oceania is in discussions with American further designer Dakota Jackson to redesign the Vista and Oceania suites. Personally, I love the current proposed look of these suites. I think they maintain an overall contemporary look but with modern interpretations on the classic style pieces in the room which adds warmth.

Oceania Suites

1000 sq. ft.

However, I'm confident Jackson will take it to another level with his ingenious eye for making fabulous interiors that make anyone feel as though its their personal space.

Penthouse Suites

420 sq. ft.

I contacted Oceania seeking information about the designs of the Penthouse Suites,Verandas and other staterooms as well as the ship's public areas.


282 sq. ft.

Gary Gerbino, Vice President of Lou Hammond & Associates, Oceania's public relations firm, graciously responded by informing me that the look of the other accommodations and public areas were conceived by Y&S of Oslo- the foremost naval architects and ship design firms in the world. The lead designer is Gunnar Aaserud.

Ocean view Staterooms

242 sq. ft.

Inside Stateroom

174 sq. ft.

Public Areas

Lalique Grand Staircase

The first Inaugural sail is scheduled for January 22, 2011 from Barcelona, Spain to Miami, Florida.

Martini Lounge

Currently, the ocean liner is offering a terrific 2 for the price of 1 promotion which includes round trip coach(business class upgrade available for $3,000.00 per person) airfare from several international gateways.

Main Dining Room

We are booked for the Sands Of Time itinerary in the Fall of 2011. The 12 day course wraps through the Mediterranean from Istanbul to Athens.
Our plan is to invite Dan's parents along in celebration of their 50 year wedding anniversary.

Wellness Spa

Pool Deck

Visit Oceania Cruises for more information about the Marina and the cruise lines other great ships and destinations.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Trompe l'oeils By Timna Woollard

This past Wednesday night I found an old 1990 film favorite titled "Where The Heart Is" with a celebrity cast that included Dabney Coleman,Uma Thurman and Joanna Cassidy. The story is about Stewart McBain (Coleman) a real-estate mogul who spends his living blowing up old buildings to make room to erect new buildings. However, what blew me away wasn't so much the story. It was the trompe l'oeil works created by artist Timna Woollard that were featured in the film as the works of Suzy Amis who played Chloe, McBain's daughter, an artist commissioned to create a calendar for an insurance company. For her canvas, she used walls in different rooms of the family's home to replicate classic works of art but that included real people who were members of her family. To see this on the big screen was breath taking. Below are the images for each month featured in the movie. If you're a big fan of trompe l'oeil, I think you'll enjoy this movie just for the art work.

Month Of January

Month Of February

Month Of March

Month Of April

Month Of May

Month Of June

Month Of July

Month Of August

Month Of September

Month Of October

Month Of November

Month Of December

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Thoughts & Prayers For The Little American's Aunt Dana

Greetings fellow bloggers,

Sorry for the long absence. Since returning from our Paris trip in January, our family has been quite busy getting back into the real world. Dan had to immediately start prepping for a big trial that was weeks away. Meanwhile, I was busy getting little Daniel back on our daily home and activity routine while at the same time coordinating my family's upcoming reunion in July as well as working on a 501c for a non-profit cultural outreach organization I started back in 1999.

(Dana Haley)

However, all of this activity was stopped abruptly by a tragedy that has literally shaken our family's foundation.
On March 8, 2010, my partner's twin sister, Dana, suffered a ruptured brain aneurysm and was rushed to her local trauma center in Reno, Nevada. In a coma, she was put on life support. The following day she was transported via a medi-vac flight to UCSF Medical Center in San Francisco for an emergency operation that evening.
She is still in critical condition in the Neuro-Intensive Care Unit. Since her surgery Dana has undergone 3 angiograms so far due to vaso spasms.

(Dana with parents on her wedding day)

(Dana with her husband Steve)

(Here are the Twins posing in front the identical vehicles they bought without consulting one another.)

I hope to start blogging regularly again soon in an effort to regain some sense of normalcy despite this very troubling situation. Please keep Dana in your thoughts and prayers. She has survived a lot so far and I know the power of prayer and positive thinking has helped and she will come back to us.