Saturday, October 13, 2012

Paradiso Per Due is moving!!!

Hello new followers!! I'm so glad to have you- Please note that Paradiso Per Due is now Cheer up, Old Bean! and I will no longer be doing Paradiso Per Due. Please click the link for Cheer up, Old Bean! to get the latest posts!
Thank you

Friday, September 28, 2012

Pardiso Per Due is MOVING!!

Hello dear friends and followers. Paradiso Per Due is now officially Cheer up, Old Bean!
Please head on over to the new blog to subscribe, follow on Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest- follow by Email if that's your thing- but make this journey with me!!

it's where it's at!!!

Monday, September 17, 2012

A Floating Vegas

This post can now be viewed in it's entirety at:
Please head on over there to view it!

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Monday, August 27, 2012

Day Trip- Parkfield, Earthquake Central!

A few weeks ago my husband and I decided to take a long day trip. You see, we've just purchased a new vehicle- my old car was with me for 13 years, good years that it was kind to me. But alas like all good things of the mechanical nature it got old, it started to get expensive and it was no longer reliable.
At first we were going to take a long weekend and put some miles on it, but at the last minute- well, who am I kidding really it was my procrastination if I'm honest- we decided on a day trip instead. 

Where does one go when one has endless possibilities?!

If one is a giant nerd, then one heads to Parkfield, California. Population: 18.

Why Parkfield? Well a number of reasons really, but the San Andreas Fault was the main reason. We were actually heading to the Mission in Soledad, which is also ultra nerdy of us. As we stopped to get gas in San Miguel (which incidentally also has an amazing Mission) we decided a detour was needed- we were after adventure after all!! We headed out to Parkfield on winding, lonely country roads enjoying the scenery and the very strange weather we were having. 

Our little corner of California does not usually get humid summer weather- we get dry extreme heat or temperate seaside breezes depending on where you are in the County. Well this particular day it was overcast, humid and ready to drizzle. Oh, and did I mention the lightening? Not the sheet lightening we get on very rare occasions but the mythical bolt lightening. The kind of lightening that sets fire to dry, parched trees and hills. The kind that scares the daylights out of landowners the dry world over!

This is where Cal Fire comes into on our little adventure. A Cal Fire truck could be found just about every 10 miles or so just watching and waiting. I felt a bit better about the fact that we were driving right into the funnel cloud, knowing that if the lightening did start a fire, help was just a car horn away!

So with this dramatic scene before us we crossed the tectonic plates that make Parkfield famous (or at least well known- okay, maybe only with nerds!) And let me tell you, it's a crazy feeling to know that you are crossing the very things that created mountains!!

And after our amazingly long but beautiful drive from Parkfield, to Indian Valley Road, onto Peach Tree Road and finally to Hwy 198 we rejoined the world- the busy freeway, the shopping centers and people!

Before long we left all of that behind and found ourselves once again surrounded by fields, mountains and the occasional cow. Arriving at Mission Soledad- Our Lady of Sorrows- we unpacked our lunch and ate surrounded by grape vines, olive trees, high mountains and history. 

What a day!!

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Car Talk- Say it ain't so boys!

I have a thing about weekend radio shows on NPR- maybe it's because I never get to listen to them live because I work Saturdays or it's leftover from childhood and I feel nostalgic. My parents listened to these programs (probably still do!) and I can remember them playing in the background as we ate our breakfast on Saturday mornings. So imagine my dismay when I heard that one of those shows is about to go kaput (or at least no longer be new episodes)! Shock, horror, trembly chin!!

This brings me to today's topic: Car Talk. And more specifically the retirement of Click and Clack, the Tappet Brothers (brothers Tom and Ray Magliozzi). When I heard this I sniffled and wiped away a tear (after I closed my dropped jaw)- they were a staple of my childhood and once the podcast was released in 2007, a staple of my adulthood too. Who would have thought a radio program about cars and car repair would be so very entertaining?! But it's fantastic- did I mention the brothers are funny- not a show goes by that I don't chuckle or even guffaw out loud! What's even better is these guys are MIT graduates- I love how seriously unexpected that is!

CAR TALK. Ray and Tom Magliozzi at their finest 

So while the show will go on in "repurposed" repeats there will be no more originals- though I guess after 35 years (25 of which as regulars on the national level of NPR broadcasting) they deserve to retire and rest on their laurels. In their own words, "...thank you for giving us far more of your time than we ever deserved. We love you. And know that starting this fall, for the first time, we’ll be able to sit at home, laughing at Car Talk along with you guys on Saturday mornings." -Ray Magliozzi. (Love it!!)

So I wish them a fond farewell and will cherish every episode until October when they do their final sign off of "Don't drive like my brother. "... "And don't drive like my brother."

sniffle, gulp, sigh... it's an end of an era!!

**All I've got to say is, Wait Wait... Don't Tell Me! you'd better hang in there or I might just have a breakdown!

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Nesting Isn't Just For Birds

When I was in Jr. High/High School I had a bunch of pen pals from foreign countries- some of whom I'm still in contact with (big shout out to Julie Partington and Catherine Laing!)  One of my pen pals, Elena was from Russia, and and I don't mean the generic catch all "Russia" I mean Russia proper. I had to learn to write her name and address in Cyrillic (which was actually way fun!) and load those envelopes with stamps galore! She coveted American Levi's jeans and I coveted traditional Russian matryoshka or nesting dolls. So... we traded! :)

The day that box arrived was glorious! I sent off some Levi's from Mervyns and in return I got a piece of history and culture!

Elena sent me what's called the Semenov Matryoshka after the town in which they originated.
I've looked after those dolls for many years, sometimes taking them down off of their shelf and just taking a moment to uncap each doll to find the secret hiding within! There is just something so special and awe inspiring about a handcrafted piece of art! Knowing these dolls are steeped in history makes them just that much more special! The colors are traditional (red, yellow and green), the way the flowers are painted on the apron are specific (asymmetrical and off to the right) and the dress of the maiden- the sarafan- a celebration of the peasant "little matron".  Whew, history nerd alert!!

Fast forward MANY years and once again my eyes light up.... for what should I see?- a super fun interpretation of those nesting dolls just waiting to be strategically and lovingly placed in my house!!

Enter Thomaspaul, purveyor of all things whimsical of the pillow variety!

I just love them! I can't help but smile each time I walk passed my own bed! So thank you Elena, wherever you are, for starting me on my little love affair with the humble Matryoshka doll!!

my next Thomaspaul obsession?!

I would redecorate my whole house just to make this pillow work!! Too bad that this adorableness comes at such a high price....sigh.....
Oh dirigible, why did you go out of fashion?

Victorian dirigibles in all their glory.

 But I digress... that's a whole 'nother post folks.....

Friday, July 20, 2012

Romantic Crown Braid- Tutorial

Romantic Crown Braid Tutorial- a collaboration with SLOmygosh

So those of you that follow my blog posts will be familiar with the name SLOmygosh, as I am constantly referencing this fantastic blog in my posts! Coral, the brains behind the blog is an amazing photographer so when she had the insanely awesome idea of doing a collaboration I jumped at the chance! (I couldn't pass up the chance to work with her as a photographer but also it was just a great opportunity to finally meet her and hang out for a little bit!)

We took a little time to get it together, coordinate schedules (I mean, my model has 3, yes 3 jobs!!) and finally zero in on a location. I'm tremendously grateful that Coral found an alternate location to my original idea of a somewhat dirty, yet easily accessible alley! Whew, that could have been interesting!

So a gigantic thank you to Ambiance for allowing us to take over their upstairs and create some romantic hair heaven amongst their gorgeous home decor! And another equally gigantic thank you to Coral, who's pretty much my favorite person right now!

Without further ado...
Let's create some braided goodness people!

What you'll need:

A comb
bobby pins
2 clear elastic bands
some sort of styling product such as pomade or paste if your hair is short or heavily layered

Andi before. :)

 Comb the hair and part it on the side. You choose how deep you want the side part to go. 

Create a diagonal part  using a comb, ending the part just below the ear on the opposite side.

Begin an inverse braid. This is an upside down french braid. Taking the hair under instead of over allows the braid to "stand up" on the head. If this is too difficult, do a traditional french braid in it's place. 

Taking hair only from the crown to incorporate into the braid continue the braid all the way down.

 Secure braid with a clear elastic band.

Do the same thing on the opposite side.

Once braids are finished and secure, gently tug them apart, creating separation and a larger, more imperfect braid. You can be subtle about this or you can go big and really pull the braids apart.

Pull braid around the back of the head just above the nape and secure with bobby pins above the ear.

Take the braid from the opposite side and cross over to the original side, securing with bobby pins as you go. Remember to tuck in the loose ends of the tail of the braid!

Spray with hairspray to keep in place.

 And voila! You're done!
(How cute is Andi?!)
And also I'd be remiss if I didn't extend a major thank you to my model, Andi Modugno- a very busy lady indeed! Thanks Andi!

All photos taken by: Coral Kessler.
Andi's shirt, jean jacket (both Free People) and necklace provided by Ambiance in San Luis Obispo. My bracelets by Heather Gardner were also provided by Ambiance. Butter London nail polish available for purchase at Ambiance.

737 Higuera Street
San Luis Obispo, Ca

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Ambiance on Instagram: Ambianceslo

Saturday, July 14, 2012

My Word! A Half Hour of Amazingness!

My Word!

I love this show. I find myself laughing out loud more often than not even when I don't know what they're talking about. If you're not familiar with it, and let's face it- I'm probably the only nerd out there  who is familiar with it- it's a BBC radio program that first aired in 1956 and ended in 1990. Until recently our local Public Radio station KCBX aired it on Tuesday nights at 6:30 (Where, oh where did it go, KCBX?!). I made sure to tune in every Tuesday that I could, oftentimes sitting in my car in the garage when I got home just to hear the last 10 minutes (the best part!) or inventing a trip to the grocery store so I could listen to it on the way there.  Basically 90% of the time I didn't know what they were talking about, but the banter is just so funny you don't have have to know what they are talking about to laugh!

Basically this is a literary word game for smarty pants who know a lot about a lot! It's depressing to think of how much people used to know about literature, vocabulary and phrases that are so obscure today that I doubt many people beyond English professors would know. A half hour of My Word! was like a funny college lecture with upper crust English accents. For just a little while after listening I would feel a wee bit smarter.

The real reason to sit through the first 20 minutes (which is entertaining in itself) is to get to the last 10 minutes where regular panelists Frank Muir and Denis Norden take literary quotes and create a story and a clever twist on the words of the quote. I also adore Frank Muir's lisp which is insanely charming when mixed with his dignified english accent and when Denis Norden slips into the cockney accent which doesn't sound remotely like his everyday voice you can't help but smile. While I listen to their amiable stories I can't help but wish these charismatic men were my grandfathers.

Here's an excerpt of this treasure of a radio program:

My Word, you're just the cat's meow.

and as an extra special treat..... here's an example of Frank's adorable lisp!

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Shoes- Need I Say More?

In a perfect world I would have every pair of shoes that I drool over. This not being a perfect world, I don't. So if anyone wants to gift me a pair of shoes for say, National Hammock Day (July 22) or National Left- Handers Day (August 13) hey- my mom's a lefty, that counts right?!) or even National Marshmallow Toasting Day (August 30)- nothing goes better with s'mores like a new pair of shoes!), have at it!  Here's what I 'm currently drooling over:

I know these look crazy but they are sooo adorable on!!

From JCrew:


The Piece De Resistance!!

The "I would give my right arm for these" shoe:
from Anthropologie:

These would go nicely with a hammock, don't you think?

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Terrarium- Part Deux

So I really wanted to re-create the terrarium in Making It Lovely DIY Terrarium post. I knew that I wasn't going to be able to be exact with it, as I didn't know exactly what plants were used, but I wanted to get close. Fortunately Nicole Balch, the lovely lady behind Making It Lovely blog, included a link to the tall glass jar that she used. Unfortunately that tall glass jar is now no longer available, so I can not provide that link, but I can provide you with a link to their other terrarium containers: HERE

Lucky for me, I was able to get that glass container before it was sold out. It arrived in a HUGE box!! The box was so big that when I broke it down to bring to a co-worker who was moving it wouldn't fit anywhere in my car- not the trunk, not the backseat, not even with the sunroof open!

So here's what I've been basically calling the Terrarium Of My Dreams! For a tutorial on terrariums see:  HERE and HERE

Irish Moss, a pink geode, some yellow gemstones, river rock and my secret  surprise: fake flowers. I didn't want to use real ones because I couldn't find any that would work at my local nursery. We'll see how the fake ones work- see if they mold or mildew. fingers crossed!

it gets it's own table!

Because this is a lidded terrarium, it's a little different from the ones I've already done. I'm really hoping that the plants I used do well in the humid environment inside the jar. It's been fascinating watching the condensation form and then clear as the day goes on. I periodically take the lid off and let it air out, per instructions. So far so good! I just love this little mini world!

Update:   Good news my friends!!!!! The tall glass jar from west elm  is back in stock and on sale!!!

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Hula Hoop, Do You Really Want To Hurt Me?

Cue Culture Club.

Imagine Boy George sadly crooning, "Do you really want to hurt me... do you really want to make me cry?" That, my friends is what I hear every time the hula hoop clatters to the ground at my feet!

I was a master hula hooper (is that a word?!) as a child, so naturally I assumed it was like riding a bicycle! Wrong!! So very wrong! Oh and did I mention these new fan-dangled (again, is that a word?!) fancy pants hula hoops are weighted? Yeah...

I owe this new purchase to my friend Brenna, a friend for many years, and then some. She mentioned that she wanted one and I latched on! I'd been thinking about it for a few years, I have a few acquaintances that hoop, but I've been waiting for someone I see on the reg to get one!

Enter Brenna... and lovely lady, I'm not sure whether to hug you or bill you for my Advil!

Who knew such a staple of childhood would be so HARD?!

ahhh... sigh, finally- I got it!!!! And in the words of my dear friend Brenna: "I hooped for ten seconds! I squealed like a little girl." Me too my friend, me too!

I purchased my hoop from Canyon Hoops:

Canyon Hoops