Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Merry Christmas!

May your all your most amazing dreams come true this holiday season! I wish you all health, wealth, happiness and love.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Christmas Party at the Hotel Del Coronado

This year we were invited to a fabulous holiday dinner at the Hotel Del in Coronado. What fun! If you have never been and you are in the San Diego area - you must go to the Hotel Del on Coronado Island. It is a historic place and the shopping is very fun, the restaurants are great too. The town is so quaint it makes a great vacation place. We go there at least once a year but the holiday dinner was special.

The Del is always beautiful - but at holiday time it is to die for!

The Grand Ballroom where our dinner was. It over looked the ice skating rink outside below - where else can you walk on the beach and then ice skate?

The Christmas tree in the lobby is gorgeous! The lobby is beautiful too all that dark, rich wood.

Here we are all dolled up and ready to go - looks like a prom photo! Matt looks sooo handsome - don't cha think?
We had a wonderful time, the music was great, the food was wonderful too.
Happy Holidays!

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

The Season Has Arrived!

Ready or not - here we are – it’s holiday time. I know that as a merchant I am supposed to rush you into buying all your holiday goodies as fast as possible. Well, I have just never been that type of merchant. So I gently announce the arrival of the holiday season. I wish all of you a happy and joyous season!

We’ve tried to make things a little easier for you to find gifts that will fit your budget this season with the addition of our Gift Boutique categories. This year you will find Charming gifts at $20.00 & Under, Wonderful Gifts at $35.00 & Under and Sensational Gifts at $50.00 & Under.

De-stress your holiday season and shop Soul of the Rose, allow us to do the wrapping and shipping. This year we are offering free holiday shipping on ground orders through 12/17/08! We always hand write our gift cards and each package is sent along it’s way beautifully wrapped and with a special little gift tucked inside that includes fragrance samples, chocolates and loving thoughts. In addition you have the satisfaction of knowing that your purchase will include a donation to local, national and international charities. Now that is soulful!

The last day to ship with regular FED EX ground or home delivery so your gifts arrive before Thursday December 25th is December 17th – so there is plenty of time to select your gifts and let us take care of the wrap and ship.

Happy holidays to your and yours!

Friday, November 14, 2008

Lift and Separate

Ahhh, the promise of a new bra! I can not understand how we can send men to the Moon, see pictures direct from the planet Mars but we can not have a comfortable bra?

It is no secret that as a woman approaches a certain age the features of a good bra are not only comfort but technology nothing short of hydraulics are required as well. You might then also want to include attractiveness into the required features list too. For the lingerie must be more than utilitarian for me but not so far into the fashion realm so as to miss its intended purpose – Lift and Separate.

Most readers here may not remember the tag line “I dreamed I won a race in my Maidenform bra.” The word “race” was often substituted for some other miraculous fete you could accomplish while wearing said bra. The expectations from a new bra are always so great. Indeed it may be too much to ask or expect a good fit, function and looks. Sort of like the new administration in Washington DC – the expectation is just so high! As that old tag line comes to mind I realize this want of functionality and fashion has always been desired – just seldom delivered upon.

Through the years I have imagined becoming queen of my own country, a country where no bras or shoes would ever be allowed. They would be viewed as contraband and grounds for deportation. Hmm, we may end up being a country of muumuu wearing people in need of regular pedicures, but we would be living a comfortable life I am sure of it.

So I scurried home the other day with my lingerie purchases the usual black, white and beige bras – but something else slipped in the bag this time. A rare moment of excitement and risk – I bought a red bra! I have often thought I should have a leopard bra, after all it is beige and black so that is sort of basic – but red, how exciting is that? Well, it is for me. It makes me think of how Mammy felt when she wore the red taffeta petticoat that Rhett Butler brought her from Paris, slightly scandalous!

Friday, November 07, 2008

A New Dawn

I usually do not get political here. I try not to offend people. I try to stay neutral. I sell my little wares and make occasional comments on the changes in my life and family that I experience.

But I would be totally out of my mind if I did not recognize the significance of this week and the historical impact that we have brought about! I went from blog to blog checking on my friends to see if they were courageous enough to mention the election of the first black man to the presidency of the United States. Some mentioned it and some said nothing. After sitting it out, I sort of felt like I had been hiding in a corner. That is not me.

No matter whom you voted for, no matter how fearful you may be of change, “Change Has Come to America.” I see it as a new and wonderful day. I see this as a bright change for the positive. I think it is a defining moment for the United States to take a huge step forward in a truly progressive way. We have stepped into the global arena ready to get down to work and back to what makes this place wonderful.

This was a divisive election. People squared off, neighbors pitted against neighbors on my street. E-mail ambushes from both sides were a daily occurrence. I woke up on Wednesday exhausted by everything. As I mentioned to one friend I am more interested in what makes us similar and what we have in common as a people than what makes us different and makes us think of separating ourselves from other people or cultures.

So I have spoken up here and said my piece. I still don’t expect to get too political here in the future. But it was important for me to write about what I see as a great new dawn. (This photo is from sarah peter1 on flickr)

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

A Smashing Time Was Had By All...

Nina carved this pumpkin

Side table in the livingroom

Nina and her pals - Nina is the one in the glasses

Nina with her creepy uncle - seriously I had to keep him away from the young ladies he was just too creepy!

Nina made this head on a platter - cool

The Mad Scientist's Den

I made this tiny grave yard.

Me striking a pose just as the party was getting underway. We had fun!

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Is there something I am forgetting?

The house looks great, we have our costumes and the food is piling up on the counter tops. I am just contemplating last minute details for the Halloween party Nina will throw on Friday.

This year the living room is a mad scientist’s den, the formal dining room is a fortune teller’s parlor, half of the front yard is a grave yard and half is a pumpkin patch and the court yard entry is a witch’s lair. Is there anything we could be forgetting?
Oh! the menu – black pasta with vodka sauce, fettuccini made with orange roasted pepper pasta, green ghoulish salad, eyeball bruschetta, graveyard cake and pumpkin pie.

If I can find some meat pies it would be lovely as Nina is Mrs. Lovett from Sweeny Todd this year!

Friday, October 24, 2008

Channeling Sophie

You remember her… the Gift Giving Goddess of Soul of the Rose? Well, she is at it again with her recent Weekend in the Country. It seems she had a smashing time picnicking, taking in the local jazz in the park spectacular and staying over at a charming B&B. Lucky for her they allowed sweet Mr. Bingley her pooch! You must check out the latest installment of Sophie’s adventures.

We enjoyed a weekend in the country too! We packed up and went off to apple country in the local mountains for a little picnic and antique shopping. I wish I could tell you that the air was crisp with an autumn chill but you are all aware that we live in Southern California and frankly we were just grateful the hills were not on fire! But it was a beautiful day and the picnic was the best part.

While I was there I visited my two favorite shops – the best in town – they are owned by the same woman and her creativity is boundless! Check out Oakwood Creek and American Gardener - what fun!

Saturday, October 04, 2008

So Much Is New!

There are so many new goodies at Soul of the Rose I don’t know what to tell you about first. Perhaps I should just pick out a few things I love in our newest department.

We have a new Pampered Pet department in the Home Store! Everything there is unique and adorable. We’ve found an international pet furnishings design house that we fell in love with called Louisdog. We are so happy to bring you an assortment of their wonderful collection. We carry their unique pet houses, baskets, beds, carriers and even pet clothing! If you have a little furry loved one then you must check out the Louisdog lifestyle collection.We got to thinking that if pet funishings were a good idea then perhaps pet spa products would also be fun! We are so excited about Cain & Able our line of doggie day spa products. The spa line is comprised of all natural ingredients and fragrances. There are even gift sets for doggies! I tell you we have thought of everything!

But let me warn you that if you are a feline lover you may be disappointed as there really was not much fun in all this buying for the cats. We tried on cat costumes and clothing and found that our Trouble and Smudge could not be brought to wear clothing of any sort. We know from experience that they especially detest the entire idea of spa products or any ordeal that may be brought about by the use of them. Actually, aside from the pet beds and houses they were unimpressed with all of our hard work in building this new department. So be warned this is strictly doggie territory only!

Friday, September 12, 2008

Good to be back...

I am back and it is good to be home, even though we miss the Beej. I was glad that I went and saw where he is living and where he is going to school. It made me feel a little better about saying goodby. We found a Persian restaurant close by too! That was fortunate - he's got to have that. If he can not have Mom's cooking then at least he can run down there and get something once in a while.

Since I have been back I have set to work updating the boutique. We have added many items to the baby section and we hope to continue to expand there. I hope to be adding more fun and unusual gift items in the coming months before Christmas. I am really excited about some of the goodies coming in. We are trying all sorts of new things here so stay tuned and check out the site often.

Now down to work...

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

We are off to Florida…

Yes we are taking Bijan to school. Straight into hurricane season we go. They have real weather in Florida. This will be a test for Bijan who having been born and raised in California has not experienced real weather. I told him he had better learn how to hang on and drive in the rain.

Bijan is going to Full Sail an entertainment media collage. It sounds very fun – I would like to go! He will be majoring in Recording Arts. This is the first time he has lived away from us even though he will be 20 in October. This has not been an easy transition. I was not prepared for how I would feel. I always knew this was coming but it sure feels sad when it comes to pass. I am sure I will feel better when I see that he is set up there, when I see the school and that he is living in an apartment and not on the street. I have to be honest the things I think up sometimes are so strange and worrisome. I need to just simply let go. I need to just let him go and make his way. He will be fine. I have a lot of faith in him. Besides I have gone online and found the closest Whole Foods Market, the Doctors office, the nearest Hospital and a Persian Restaurant. I can see his place on Google Maps too! Yep, he’ll be fine, I just need to let go a little.

NOTE: If you place an order between 8/28/08 and 9/5/08 your order will ship on 9/8/08 as we are not in the office. I'll tell you all about Florida when I return!

Friday, August 15, 2008


Ok I know I am supposed to be selling wonderful gifts or at least talking about wonderful gifts but lately I have been preoccupied. Watched To Kill a Mockingbird last weekend and boy was he HOT!

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Soulful Giving

I am thrilled to announce that Soul of the Rose was able to write the first checks out to our national and international charities this month. We previously donated to our local charity following the first quarter. As I mentioned Soul of the Rose Gifts donates 10% of all sales to local, national and international charities. I began this tithing business model in 2008 and I am happy to report that all is going well. I am sending out a big thank you to all my customers who's purchases are helping to make a difference one gift at a time!

Friday, August 08, 2008

What girl dosn't need a flask?

Well, there may be some, but I find them to be a handy dandy tool to have on hand and they make great gifts! Ours flasks are handmade and each one is uniquely designed. They hold 6 oz of your favorite brew and they come in a black velveteen pouch. These are in limited quantities so if you like one you had better order it right away. They can be found at Soul of the Rose in the Interesting Accessories page.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Check Out The New Gift Boutique on Soul of the Rose Gifts

I have always wanted something unique in the way of making gift suggestions on our website gift boutique and I am happy to say I think I have found it. Do you remember the Seinfeld episodes in which Elaine worked for the J. Peterman catalog? Well, you could say our gift boutique is a little bit inspired by J. Peterman.

Meet Sophie, the gift giving heroine of Soul of the Rose. Sophie radiates charm, style and a certain joie de vivre. She is a social butterfly with a social conscience. Sophie, with her gift list in hand, clicks on Soul of the Rose to find perfect, unique gifts for her friends and usually a little something for herself. She feels good knowing that her purchases lend a hand to others in need, as Soul of the Rose donates 10% of their sales to charities. Sophie may be our fictitious benefactor but the gifts she gives are wonderfully real and can all be found here at Soul of the Rose.

I first had the idea of taking pictures of various scenes in life where Soul of the Rose product was a featured element but it was my pal Megan’s idea to create a fictitious character that actually attended these parties and functions. Once I got on to the idea it became a very fun project and you could say the fun never ends as we are already thinking of new outings for Sophie to attend. Please check out the Gift Boutique and check back every now and then to see what else Sophie is celebrating.

Friday, June 27, 2008

The Trouble With Photo Shoots...

I will be doing some photo shoots this weekend and next to update the site with new merchandise that is coming in. That is all very well and nice, but the photo above clearly illustrates the challenges I am routinely presented with. My kitty Trouble was aptly named. She must attend all business functions - especially photo shoots. She is compelled to attend the opening of all shipments to inspect packing materials and approve contents. She is lord and master of the computer when entering inventory and she is the gate keeper of the printer. Wish me luck.

Friday, June 13, 2008

I think it is 84 this year...

Isn't my Dad cute? He has always been a looker, sper healthy too. Some of my earliest memories are of him jumping rope in the kitchen in that dancing style like boxers. Back then he would sometimes get stopped by police when he was out jogging and they would ask what he was running from. When I was a kid he looked like Cary Grant to me and I was smitten!

Having an artist for a father growing up was different. At least it seemed different from what I saw in other families. Our house was always more exciting.

I remember he once painted Adam and Eve totally nude in our dining room. My mother absolutely rejected that and I can not remember if he just covered them with fig leaves or if he painted something else entirely over them. I'll have to ask about that. I do remember he painted a huge depiction of the sperm fertilizing an egg over his and my mothers bed in bright orange and yellow no less! It was actually very cool and abstract - perfect for the 70's. No other kids had anything like that in their homes.

We were always surrounded by great art. Original works from his friends, interesting sculptures, books, photography, I remember influence all around. I am not really able to paint, draw or sculpt but I have an enormous appreciation for all the arts. Everyone in our family has a passion for art in every form. I think we really owe that to him. On Father's Day this weekend he will also celebrate his 84th birthday! Right on Dad!

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

double indemnity innuendo

They just don't write dialog like this any more! Suppose I have to whack you over the knuckles???
You have got to love this!

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

Found Some Cool New Vintage Books

I went antique shopping with Miss Nina a week ago at the Circle in Orange. I found a little paradise for vintage books! I am building a little collection of vintage books. I am not any type of educated collector. I don't know a lot about the books I buy and they are not first editions or anything like that. I just like them. For me to adopt them they have to have a sweet or interesting look and some character. Some of these books can not be read because the binding is very fragile. I got Clotilde above and Sesame and Lilies below last week. I was drawn to the blue and gold. I think they look great together.

My Bookhouse The Latch Key has always been a favorite of mine. I have seen these around a bit and they usually have a cool illustration on the front, but few are in as good condition as mine.

You have got to love Em's Husband, come on look at this cover. Em is totally suspecting something!

My love in February was Chester Rand. First off, it caught my eye because it was red and the color of that little messenger uniform - it is just cool. This illustration has a whole feel that I love, sort of industrialist or something.

I have small displays of my vintage books all over the house. The three below look really good together at Thanksgiving time with warm browns, burgundy and gold tones. I pile them up here there and everywhere.

I like them spread around the living room on a side table.

I like them on the mantel with a sunny little tea cup.

I like them in this cool entertainment cubby in the family room.

One of my very favorites has to be the little blue book here - The Lives of Robbers and Murderers - it makes for wonderful Halloween decor!

Happy summer reading to you all...

Friday, May 23, 2008

"He Was Playing Real Good For Free"

Today I was listening to Pandora radio. My sister Cheryl got me onto this. I am sure some will laugh but I am new to it and I love it. I have created great radio stations that play just what I like and then extra songs that fit into the mix just sort of appear and play. Occasionally I have to veto one but for the most part I like what shows up. Just go to Pandora and put in an artist you like and the music starts, you can add artists and songs to it to fine tune what happens. I am always behind the times so most of you probably already do this. But for those like me - try it, its fun.

So, I was listening away and this great Joni Mitchell song that I love showed up and I thought about what an icon Joni Mitchell is. I have always admired her bravery in waltzing to her own tune. I mean her style has evolved so many times, so experimental, so out there making her own rules in an industry with no blueprint. Surely she held the door open for many.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

And now a message from our sponsor...

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Thursday, May 01, 2008

Food Porn

It may be the journey of weight loss that leads me to this point. But I am guilty of food fantasies. Yes, I seem to have collected a few food related blogs on my blog roster to the left side here.

I attribute this to the roller coaster ride of a year on Jenny Craig and then the complete repulsion of microwaveable chemical laden food that ensued shortly after that only to be followed by a personal quest to fill an insatiable desire for organic anything.

I have since rooted firmly in a safe place, ten pounds heavier, but still a safe place. I have found a comfortable personal diet that involves more fruit and veggies than I ever thought I would consume. I steer clear of most processed foods and condiments in favor of fresh whole foods prepared simply. I still have a glass of wine or two and I will never give up dark chocolate, I just watch how much I eat of that. Based on recent events, apparently I can no longer drink too much wine anyway for fear of sending the room spinning like Dorothy’s house just before it landed in Oz!

So I have taken up the guilty pleasure of living vicariously through food porn. Don’t be shocked I know there are others out there; I can’t be alone in this. It started innocently enough with Jen Jen at Milk & Cookies. What can I say, she is a wonderful photographer of her creations and she really knows how to give Martha a run for her money. Besides her seasons are opposite of ours as she is in Australia and I love that she is sipping hot chocolate during our blazing summers!

Then at about the same time I found Carol at Paris Breakfasts. I do get really hungry on this blog because Carol has an incurable desire for all things yummy and sweet from France coupled with dark cafe drinks. Her breakfasts and tea times have inspired her to paint the most serene and adorable water color art prints. Living in New York, she visits France frequently. There is so much longing here for Carol to return to Paris that I sometimes want to send her a ticket myself. Oh, we will have to survive on the great photos, watercolors and cute blog posts.

Cathy at Nobel Pig is somewhat of a new and wonderful find; it is a place for food, wine and humor. She is building a wine orchard and chronicles its progress, her family, decadent desserts, insightful wine wisdom and random thoughts on strange plastic surgery procedures, tragic love tales between liquor bottles and general musings. I tell myself I am there for the wine wisdom but I really like the great up close photos of things like grilled marshmallow - chocolate - banana sandwiches. She warns you to get your fat pants out!

I found a new favorite for a rich blend of food and travel when I stumbled upon Laura’s Paris Cooking Notebook. Laura travels Europe taking beautiful pictures of countryside, green markets and local merchants. Sprinkle in a few recipes for fresh wholesome fair and you have a world culinary adventure! Who can resist that type of temptation?

But I would be remiss if I did not mention the more down to earth blog called Almost Fit. I am new to this blog but I like it. In fact it is just what I have been looking for. In this diary a writer chronicles his quest to get fit through whole fresh foods rather than fad diets one day and one issue at a time. This is inspiring for me as it is just where I am now and I can relate.

I hope you enjoy these new additions to the blog roll.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Paging Dr. Kildare...

So I needed to go in for a little medical procedure – nothing serious. I’ve actually had this procedure done once before; it is like a dental/oral surgery thing. Since I have had this done I was thinking back on how painful the recovery was and I vaguely remember my husband had something to do with that. It seems there was some event that caused him to be rather late from the pharmacy with the pain medication. Then I began to think of the many times I have had various medical procedures done and how each time there was some complication with the care I had gotten at the hands of Matt.

To know my husband is to love him. He really is the nicest guy you will ever meet. So as I write this I really don’t believe that this could be his sort of twisted way of venting any remote hostilities toward me. I don’t think he has any – he’s a pretty easygoing fellow. But as I tally the events of pain killer misadventures and after medical care mishaps I do get to wonder. Maybe this is some secret death wish…. Who can really be that nice all the time anyway? Just for amusement I will list a few episodes here.

After the birth of our first baby my temperature rose to 105 – Matt had to finish his watermelon before going to the pharmacy to get medication. Matt really loves watermelon – I don’t think he knew how sick I was.

Pulled Intercostal Muscle: Since it was so early in the am Matt felt a heating pad would be best before taking me to the walk-in clinic. Once in the doctor’s office she asked if she was seeing me for the strange squiggly burn marks on my back or was there some other problem we had come about.

Bunion surgery: Matt really wanted to impress me with his new and improved medical attentiveness and pledged to take perfect care of his patient, except he did not read the label clearly and gave me twice the dose of pain killer and I passed out. I slept for a very long time.

First endodontic (oral surgery) procedure: The doctor warned Matt that when the anesthetic wore off the pain would be very intense so he was on his way to the pharmacy but ----- he chanced upon a Persian woman in the medical building that was not so fluent in English and she needed a ride home and was trying to get a taxi, Matt gave her a lift and then it took forever to get the prescription filled. That was super painful.

Torn Lumbar Muscle: Oh this is my favorite! First Matt proceeded to drag me down the hall by my leg and then he tried to push my knees to my chest insisting that I only needed some stretching. Then at the request of the nurse over the phone he tried to feed me some blueberry muffin so the paramedics could give me some Vicodin, but he found the muffin pretty tasty and ate ¾ of it himself and the rest ended up in my hair or up my nose!

This is the itchy and scratchy show at its most loveable! I know a sane person would schedule medical procedures when he is out of town but I love him. If I feel sick or under the weather it is him I seem to want to be with. Don’t ask me why. Don’t get me wrong he is not like Kathy Bates in Misery this is all just some sort of mishap, really it is. So when the doctor told me that I needed to have this little oral surgery thing I asked if I could get the pain killer prescription up front. I went to the market and got everything I would need. Matt called and told me not to worry that he would take good care of me. I said sure – why not?

UPDATE: I had the surgery and after 23 years of marriage I can honestly tell you – he is getting good! All went well.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Happy Birthday Mom!

Today would have been my Mother’s birthday! I think my favorite memories of my Mom are the times that I got to spend alone with her. With such a large family there was always a crowd, so many people and so many things going on that when I occasionally got the chance to be with just her it was always special.

I have sweet memories of sitting at the bar in the kitchen talking with her while she cooked on the night before Thanksgiving and Christmas. I really loved Saturdays after all her shopping and housework was done she sometimes liked to watch scary movies (always clutching her current book) we would sit together and get spooked watching these silly movies. I remember most weeknights my Mom would ask me how my day had gone and then she would listen to me tell her every minute detail of what had transpired in my day. This was no easy feat as I stuttered terribly when I was young. What a great Mom to endure that every night!

Sometimes parents teach their children lessons they never really set out to teach. My Mom was an inspiration to me. She taught me to be strong and courageous and she taught me the responsibility and importance of creating a life that I love to live. From one Mom to another – great job Mom!!

Happy Birthday Mom!

Friday, January 04, 2008

Soulful Giving...

With this New Year I am extremely excited about the changes at Soul of the Rose Gifts. We have decided to become a dedicated giving boutique! What that means is that we now tithe 10% of all our sales to charitable organizations! Soulful Giving is what we call it and it is now the foundation for our business.

We pledge to positively affect the lives of millions of people one gift after another as we serve our customers by providing wonderful gifts that keep on giving to people in need everyday, making a difference and creating an impact in the world.

This has been a dream of mine and I am so glad that I have been able to put this into action. The start of a new year is a perfect time to initiate this new business plan. Setting this up, I had a great time investigating various organizations as I want to benefit local, national and international organizations. I found a great site called Charity Navigator that proved to be invaluable for researching charities. You may want to check it out to find charitable organizations that speak to the causes that you and your family really want to support.

Make giving a way of life; it completes the cycle of abundance and creates more good in the world!

Happy New Year to All!