It's a State of Mind

Sunset Celebration Weekend 2013- Demos, Displays and Dreamy-Backyards

This is the 2nd edition covering the Sunset Magazine Celebration Weekend that is focused on the wonderful demonstrations, displays and dreamy backyards and gardens that were on view at the event.

Like my blog posts, this event is packed full with things to see- If you plan to attend next year, here is my advice:  take your time and use the 2 days to go through all the activities and attractions this event has to offer – it’s worth it!


The first display that we “saw” was a cooking display that was located very close to the festival gate. Top Chef star Fabio Viviani was cooking up a storm at the GE Monogram Stage.

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There were so many people there, we tried to peek and found a good spot to watch but ended up leaving in search of less crowded activities. I later learned that he made Fresh Egg Pasta and his signature Lazy Meatballs, not surprising as he owns numerous Italian restaurants.

cookling demo 2


garden stage 1

The Garden Stage had many activities planned but when we visited, it seemed a little unexciting for us…

garden stage 2

We moved on to browse the vendor stalls that were set-up in the surrounding area….


This living wall of succulents was amazing.

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Succulents are such low-maintenance plants that there are many opportunities to use them creatively in your homes and gardens.

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This wonderful display showcased the variety of services and products provided by Habitat Design. All of the plants, gravel and paving stones are from their store.  This was a great display and the scarecrow-like Apple tree on the right seemed very unique.

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There was a wide variety of vendors and summery goods being offered…

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These beautiful baskets and other woven items were very popular accessories; most popular were the paper parasols which were perfect defenders against the glaring hot sun!

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Lucero Olive Oil had a stall selling their yummy oils and vinegars….

lucero oil

This Northern California Family-run business has a large collection of Italian-style products made here in California including mustard, tapenades and flavored balsamics…

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Be A Gourmet distribute Gourmet Blends Vinegar and Olive Oils. Their sales representatives are always very friendly and create delicious flavor combinations using the different oils and vinegars they sell- (I’ve seen them at numerous events in the Bay Area and always make a snack stop there!)

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Their Meyer Lemon Olive Oil and Raspberry Balsamic Vinegar can definitely both be considered California Deliciouses!

avocado man

This guy was walking around all day- he is a representative for the Morro Bay Tourism Bureau but I think he was much better at entertaining the little kids that were running buckwild.

central coast

The Central Coast Tourism Board made the extra effort to bring some California Poppies to brighten up their stand. As you can see in the background, other Tourism stands (Ukiah, Humboldt and MANY others) brought their own adult refreshments for them to enjoy and to coax visitors over to their stands.


The Gilroy folks were very friendly! I entered to win their gift basket- mainly because I fell in love with their Garlic mascot. They gave us some complimentary garlic which we have since used and it definitely had a stronger and overall better flavor than our usual grocery store variety. So excited to go visit them all at the Garlic Festival on July 27th!

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I loved this vintage car display! The car in the front is an original 1954 Menlo Park Police Car- The paint job was immaculate! car display 1

All of the car’s details had been amazingly restored and cared for- there was even a vintage-looking pair of aviators on the dashboard which may or may not have been from the 1950′s as well. Either way, I really enjoyed checking out this old classic up-close.

table giveaway

This beautiful table setting was up for grabs for a lucky Sunset Magazine fan…

table arrangement

With the mossy succulent pots and big, bright sunflowers- this was a truly outstanding table setting and piece of art.

garden demo

And here come the dreamy backyards and garden plants…

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This beautiful patio and outdoor seating display was provided by McKenna Landscaping - I found it very inspirational and aspirational. I especially loved the contrast between the citrus color scheme of the fabrics and the raw textures of wood and stone.

chicken garden

The Chicken Garden offers a great design solution for those who want to have chickens in their backyard!

gadren view

Beautiful multi-color flower display…


These tall artichoke flowers were everywhere….Not surprising as the peak of artichoke season just passed and it’s a vegetable/flower/thistle that California is renowned for.


This was the first time I had seen them on the stem and I found them absolutely fascinating!

garden one

A selection of the interesting plants and herbs they had on display…

garden 4

Manageable sized pots for a home garden…

garden 3

Delicious sounding Persian Cucumbers…

garden 2


tree basil




garden 1

This reminded me of one of our favorite wine producers, Jellybean- their Merlot is made with Blueberries. You can find it in our Jellybean Wine and Sweet Gift Basket.

vertical gardening

I loved this display by Plantasy!  It was practical, do-able and very aesthetically pleasing. I love the appropriation of plants into decorative objects.

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This last shot was taken looking up from the pathway towards the restrooms and it just highlights how every spot at Sunset Magazine HQ was simply breathtaking.

Just being at Sunset Magazine HQ instilled a happiness and calmness in me, and everyone it seemed. What a beautiful place to work. I am so happy that we are allowed to live a day in the life at Sunset Magazine and I am counting down the days until the next Celebration Weekend!


Travel Time-
2 hours from Sacramento
Under 1 hour from San Francisco
6 hours from Los Angeles

Sunset Publishing Corporation
80 Willow Road
Menlo Park, CA 94025


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