Monthly Archives: February 2011

{Favorite Finds} Sasaki Beach Totes

Heavenly Hawaiian Beach Tote by Sasaki

Today’s favorite find is going to be a HOT beach item this year!

Our friends at Cottage Coastal Store have just added Sasaki Beach Totes to their fabulous line of coastal cottage wares.  The bags are designed and created on the Big Island of Hawaii by Barb Sasaki.

Owner, Kimberly Root explains, “We first spotted Barb’s bags during our time on the Big Island. They are sold throughout Hawaii in a variety of boutiques and we are so thrilled to be representing her work here at Cottage Coastal.”

Each beach tote is made from a burlap Kona coffee bag. A beautiful fabric accent is on the exterior bottom and interior. A magnetic snap closure keeps your beach items secure.

We have our favorite all picked out…

Which Sasaki Beach Tote do you like best???

Kona Peaberry . . .

Kona Peaberry Beach Tote by Sasaki

Kona Cloud . . .

Kona Cloud Beach Tote by Sasaki

Hula Daddy . . .

Hula Daddy Beach Tote

and last, but not least, how about the Heavenly Hawaiian?

Heavenly Hawaiian Beach Tote by Sasaki

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{Weekend Poem} Happy Dog at the Beach

Beach dog


I’m a happy dog at the beach
If I had the power of speech
I would tell you all
To throw my ball
I’m a happy dog at the beach
I’m a happy dog at the beach
There are no new tricks you can teach

I’m bouncy and glad
And my tail wags like mad
I’m a happy dog at the beach
I’m a happy dog at the beach

My joy is always in reach

Whatever the talk

It’s the best place to walk

I’m a happy dog at the beach

I’m a happy dog at the beach

As I hear the seagulls screech

I chase and I bark

Long into the dark

I’m a happy dog at the beach

I’m a happy dog at the beach

And I don’t want to start to preach

But if you ask me

The best thing to see

Is a happy dog at the beach 
Happy Weekend, friends!

The Beauty of Flamingos

We often think of flamingos as funny pink birds which turn home decor items into whimsical tropical treasures…

Flamingos are actually gregarious wading birds – – six flamingo species are recognized by most sources.

It is well known that Flamingos often stand on one leg, the other tucked beneath the body. Apparently the reason for this behavior is not fully understood. Some suggest that the flamingo, like some other animals, has the ability to have half of its body go into a state of sleep, and when one side is rested, the flamingo will swap legs and then let the other half sleep, but this has not been proven. We don’t know why either, but still think they are a very unique and beautiful part of coastal wildlife.

This American Flamingo is well adapted to bottom scooping

Greater Flamingos at Pocharam lake, Andhra Pradesh, India.

“These famous pink birds can be found in warm, watery regions on many continents. They favor environments like estuaries and saline or alkaline lakes. Considering their appearance, flamingos are surprisingly fluid swimmers, but really thrive on the extensive mud flats where they breed and feed.” – National Geographic

A vibrant pink Greater Flamingo is found throughout the world in warm, waterside regions.
Andean Flamingos in the Laguna Colorada, Bolivia.

“Young flamingos hatch with grey plumage, but adults range from light pink to bright red due to aqueous bacteria and beta carotene obtained from their food supply. A well-fed, healthy flamingo is more vibrantly coloured and thus a more desirable mate; a white or pale flamingo, however, is usually unhealthy or malnourished. Captive flamingos are a notable exception; many turn a pale pink as they are not fed carotene at levels comparable to the wild. This is changing as more zoos begin to add prawns and other supplements to the diets of their flamingos.” – Wikipedia

American Flamingo and baby

 A bird-shaped formation of flamingos pops in bright pink from the muddy waters of a placid lagoon in Mexico’s Yucatán Peninsula, along the coast of the Gulf of Mexico.

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{Beach House Tour} Michael Bay’s Miami Beach Makeover

Blockbuster film director Michael Bay (Transformers, Armageddon, Bad Boys) has created a very delicious seaside retreat in Miami Beach.

The famous director’s 17,000 square foot home was created by architect Chad Oppenheim, and interior designer, Lynda Murray. It is perched on the Intracoastal Waterway and most would think “too big!” when taking a peek inside. 

Elle Decor let us take such a peek inside this “anything but ordinary” beach estate. 


Modern, clean lines can be found throughout the home’s living areas. A very unique cascading waterfall streams down a wall of stacked stones in the main room.

Every estate must have it’s own bar, doesn’t it? This one features brass hanging lanterns, modern barstools and African accents.

You’ll only find the best in this modern beach kitchen! Carved limestone tiles, oak paneling and Sub-Zero refrigerator and wine cooler complete the ensemble.

In the master bedroom you’ll find a beautiful back lit wall of onyx; which partially conceals the bath. The bedroom walls are paneled in oak and the custom-made bed features a leather headboard and fine linens by Frette.

The master bathroom showcases ebony counter tops and simple modern fixtures.

The master bath is sheathed in etched-stone tiles and a cast-concrete tub which was designed by Lynda Murray. Modern shower fittings match the simplicity of the master sink area.

The pool area overlooks the Intracoastal Waterway and Sunset Islands. The pool surround is paved with coral stone, which we love!

View the entire photo gallery online >> This article was featured in the September 2010 issue of Elle Decor.

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{Beach Decor} Daisies & a Starfish

Daisies for the beach cottage

As we await the next winter blast out of the Gulf of Alaska, we decided to decorate our beach cottage‘s dining table for Spring.

Liz and I are both huge lovers of daisies. Liz has loved them since she was a little girl; however I was always a HUGE fan of roses. As we age, we naturally change…roses are showy, fragrant, elegant flowers which represented my life as a business woman living in the city.

Daisies are simple, happy flowers which just speak to my heart as a simple beach bum in her mid-forties. Don’t get me wrong, I still love roses (and all flowers for that matter)! Daisies also combine lovingly with seashells.

David and I celebrated our 27th wedding anniversary last weekend and he actually remembered that I love daisies so brought home a simple bouquet of daisies and carnations (another favorite) as a surprise. Not one to just throw flowers into a vase; I separated them into three vases to make more of a display.

A bit of springtime for our beach cottage’s dining table…daisies, crystal, seashells & starfish.

Old glass candle jars made the perfect beach cottage vases and my favorite cobalt blue vase holds the carnations and clippings of camellia branches from our garden.

Daisies are such a friendly flower!

A few of my favorite crystal candle holders reflect the outdoor sun to add glimmer to the dreary winter days.

Our cobalt blue vase sits in a clear dish filled with seashells…

For a charming beach cottage effect…recycle your old jars into vases.

Of course, we had to have some seashells and a starfish to finish off our springtime table display.

Beautiful green leaves from our camellia add height to our display.

Sunshine reflects off our clear glass & crystal accents for a cheerful effect.

A sugar starfish takes center stage!!

Have you added some Spring touches to your beach cottage yet?

The Lettered Cottage

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{Fashion Trends} Retro-Chic Sunglasses

cheap sunglasses Believe it or not, the sun is coming and it’s time to see what the up and coming Sunglass Trend is for this year’s beach season.

You know the old saying, “Whatever’s old is new again?” well this states perfectly the 2011 sunglass trends…retro-chic sunglasses are back according to

Some of our favorite styles are listed below. What’s your favorite style?

“The following retro-chic sunglasses will provide you with big ticket details to complement your A-list beach apparel.”

Cat Eye Sunglasses
Cat eye sunglasses first became popular in the 50’s and 60’s, and are expected to make a major comeback in 2011. This design is an especially appealing style for those with square- or heart-shaped faces. In addition to the classic cat eye styles, you can also expect to find modern variations on this theme next year, including monochrome and printed alternatives. 

John Lennon Sunglasses


Also known as “Lennon specs,” this Beatles-inspired style of sunglasses epitomizes simplicity and minimalism. This design is already making a comeback, and is expected to be back in the fashion spreads in full force by the summer of 2011. This style features an eye-catching design that can go well with a wide variety of outfits, from a breezy summer dress to a sophisticated business suit.

John Lennon

The lenses of the Lennon specs are circular and are positioned relatively close to each other, a style that looks particularly good on people with diamond- or oval-shaped faces. Men and women who are looking to soften the sharp angles or edges of their face should try a pair of John Lennon sunglasses.  

Retro Sunglasses
Retro sunglasses are part of a broad category that encompasses dozens of fascinating shades and designs – so many that you should have no problem finding a retro design that compliments your facial shape no matter what it is. Included in this category are over-sized glasses as well as punk-framed ones which will take you back to the psychedelic eras of the 60’s and the 70’s.
Not sure which style for your face shape? >> Sunglasses for Face Shapes

Don’t forget to get the rest of your beach essentials packed too >> Get Your Beach Bags Packed