Balboa Cafe’s GM, Lisa Leventhal, Shares her Five Faves in the Marina

Lisa Leventhal, General Manager at Balboa Cafe San Francisco, will celebrate her one-year anniversary with the restaurant on November 1st. Originally from Florida, Lisa loves San Francisco and all it has to offer. When she isn’t holding court at the Balboa, you can find her stand-up-paddle boarding or hanging out at her favorite spots in the Marina. Here are her five neighborhood faves:

1. Rapha Cycle Club San Francisco  - corner of Fillmore & Fibert

Rapha merges fine cycling wearables, books, and accessories with a neighborhood coffee culture. Cyclists and  locals unite to drink exceptional Four Barrel coffee and nosh on delectable pastries only a cyclist can burn off in a day.  Lisa works long hours on her feet, so strong coffee is a necessity and mingling with the locals makes for a fun break in the day.

2. BodyRok – 2128 Lombard St, San Francisco


Lisa loves BodyRok as a workout because of the versatility it provides, whether you want to cycle, sculpt or even do both in one session. BodyRok Is a fresh approach to fitness, combining core focused strength training and cardio in an upbeat small group environment. The classes pack a lot of punch in just 45 minutes, which is perfect, when you’re working 12+ hours in a day and need to keep up with the energy of a popular neighborhood bar and restaurant that never rests.
3. Causwells – 2346 Chestnut St.

As much as Lisa loves the Balboa Cafe, when she just cannot look at another Balboa Burger, she heads out to her favorite local spot, Causwells. The menu features classic American favorites, as well as European-influenced fare with a seasonal twists. It’s a great place to grab a drink with friends and share plates. Lisa loves the Grilled Octopus with Garbanzos and the housemade ricotta.

  1. Blo –  2167 Union Street


Dry bars are a lifesaver for any working girl who wants to get a fabulous blow out that will last days. Blo is Lisa’s favorite blow dry bar, located just steps from the Balboa on Union St. Drop in before your shift or before a night on the town for a quick and affordable catwalk-quaility blow out. Reservations are recommended.

 

5. Paper Source – 2061 Chestnut Street


It is nearly impossible to leave Paper Source without purchasing something, whether it’s something you need or something you absolutely don’t need, but HAVE to have. From books to kitschy cards and crafts, Paper Source has it all and then some. Lisa likes the fact that she can run down to grab a quick birthday card for a regular or a staff member on the fly or that spontaneous gift she didn’t know she needed for that person she just met.

So there you have it, Lisa’s Five Fave, but there is more. To find out about her other go-to spots in the neighborhood and beyond, you’ll have to come visit her at the Balboa Cafe. Cheers!

The New Staples: Updated Classics You Need Now

Your wardrobe is like your tool box for fashion. You have the crisp white button down, the clean black pant, the classic pea coat, those everyday diamond earrings and those great leather booties – just to name a few essentials. These classics pieces are timeless, because you can wear them season after season and often throughout the year, depending on where you live. They’ve become tried and true styles you can pair with pieces you already own and become your go-to fashions you can always count on for the perfect outfit in a flash.

Fashion is always evolving, and the best part about it evolving, is seeing designers updating the most essential pieces in a way that make us remember why they’re classic, and shines a whole new light on what makes them special. We’ve highlighted a handful of styles with an updated feel to elevate your wardrobe in a new, fresh way.

 

1. Black pant – the ultimate staple. Opt for this updated version of the black pant for a trouser fit, without the formal feel. (Pictured: J Brand skinny pant)

2. Stud earrings – these long minimal stud earrings are an edgy way to dress up your stud earrings and the hammered look gives them a textured dimension as you move. (Pictured: Gorjana pressed Taner studs)

3. Pop of color dress – not your little black dress, is the perfect go-to dress. The color makes for an outfit all on it’s own. Strategically ruched and the right amount of stretch. (Pictured: DVF Bevin ceramic ruched sheath dress)

4. Booties with detail – a classic black suede bootie with a dressed up heel. Chunky heel for wearability and gold detail when you want to add a pop of lux so you can wear day to night. (Pictured: Tory Burch Regina bootie)

5. Coat – a cozy overcoat feel, with a sweater fit. Drapey cut and contrast piping adds updated details to this classic style coat. (Pictured: Tart Collections Bain coat)

6. White blouse – this flowy shape can be tucked in or out for a dressed up or down look and comfortable enough to wear all day long. Pair with denim for the weekend or your favorite pencil skirt for the work week. (Pictured: Velvet Rosie blouse)

Hilary Newsom: What Breast Cancer Awareness Means to Me

The PlumpJack Group is part of a variety of philanthropic causes – we proudly continue to give to communities in need and those less fortunate. Much of our philanthropic contributions are driven by our President Hilary Newsom’s passion in raising awareness around cancer prevention and education. Our annual PlumpJack/LINK golf tournament, in honor of Hilary’s mother Tessa Newsom, benefits the Cancer Prevention Institute of California (CPIC) and has raised more than $3 million dollars.

How has your life been affected by breast cancer on a personal level?
I lost my mom, who was my best friend, to breast cancer. This was after loosing several other beloved family members to other types of cancers. I was devastated and promised my mother she would never be forgotten.

How are you involved with Breast Cancer Awareness month?
For me, there is no real breast cancer awareness month, it is ongoing, everyday that I want to bring awareness to this terrible disease. I am grateful; however, I think it’s important that there is a month that highlights awareness and the importance of raising funds and looking after your breast health.

What do you believe to be your greatest accomplishment, in your efforts to raise awareness for breast cancer?
I hope that I am just getting started. I am very proud of the PlumpJack/LINK Golf Classic that my husband Geoff Callan and I started more than 15 years ago. The continued success of the event is owed entirely to our friends, family and co-workers who make it possible every year. We have raised more than $3.3 million dollars for the Cancer Prevention Institute of California (CPIC), where I have held a board seat for the last 16 years.

What is your favorite philanthropic effort that PlumpJack supports?
The Golf Tournament stands out because it is such a big undertaking; however, our organization is giving back to the community throughout the year, for which I am grateful.

What, in your mind, contributes to your success in fundraising?
Three words, generosity of friends!

What do you see as your main obstacles in fulfilling your mission? 

There are so many important and wonderful causes out there. I am passionate about many, but I try and stay true to my commitment to the select few I have identified as making a huge impact on people’s lives. I don’t expect everyone to have the same passions as me, but of course I like to encourage them to…

What philanthropic organizations do you admire for their work?
Anyone willing to give their time to making the world a better place is someone that I admire. There are too many to name, but it starts with the lemonade stand on the corner of your street, teaching the next generation that earning money to share with others can change the course of someone’s life. Wow, how empowering is that!

Favorite Fall Staples

Fall is officially here. Cooler days (for the exception of this weekend here in Napa – 90’s? Really??) are to come and a warmer wardrobe is to be worn. I always love seeing what fun touches designers put on fall staples that will make me feel the need to run out and buy the latest updated peacoat (a hi-lo hem you say?) or new cable knit sweater (what’s that? A new shade of grey?). So as soon as we saw textured sweaters, peplum coats and heavenly cashmere scarves when we bought for fall this past February, we knew we already had chic cold weather essentials to look forward to.

Here are some of our favorite fall staples:

1. Ted Baker Vickiye cape – two words: instant chic.

2. Theodora and Callum scarf – warm color palette for a fun fall print.

3. Ted Baker Bracti peplum coat –  feminine take on the winter coat.

4. Calypso cashmere scarf – the item you’ll reach for all season long.

5. Tory Burch Maxeen sweater coat – a cozy, casual option if you don’t want to fully commit to wearing a coat

6. Skull Cashmere fingerless gloves – when your fingers are cold, but you still have to answer emails on the go.

7. 360 Sweater oversize cowl neck sweater – the epitome of cozy; throw on with skinny denim and boots and you’ve found your fall go-to outfit.

Conversations with Hilary: Barbara Callan, Mother-In-Law & Notable Real Estate Professional

This month I dedicate my Conversations to all of the survivors, fighters and people whose’s loved ones are battling and beating Breast Cancer. Having lost my mom just over ten years ago to breast cancer, awareness is on my mind throughout the year, however, I am grateful there is a month where Breast Cancer gets dedicated focus. My extraordinary mother in law, Barbara Callan, a 27 year breast cancer survivor is an inspiration to me and my family. Not only is she an incredible mother in law, a magnificent grandmother, but she also the #1 producer at McGuire Real Estate for 10 consecutive years and her and her son Robert Callan are the  number 1 team at McGuire in San Francisco. I am honored to feature her this month

1. What do you believe to be your greatest accomplishment?
My greatest accomplishment is raising (with my husband) three wonderful children who are also amazing human beings. I am so proud of them and love that they are so close and supportive of each other.

2. Do you have a prized possession?
I have some wonderful possessions including gifts, art, family momentos from loved ones, including a wonderful collection of family photos. However, I can’t think of any one material thing that would be a “prized possession.” My prized possession would have to be my memories.

3. What qualities do you think others love about you?
I think they would think I was a very positive person, intuitive and very loyal and giving… and fun to be with! But who knows? I guess I will have to ask them…What do you think Hilary?

4. If you could do anything other than what you currently do, what would it be?
I probably would write about real estate and mentor new people in the business. Real estate is in “my blood.”   It would be hard to give it up. I could write a book with my daughter on beautifully designed homes in San Francisco and use samples of many of the wonderful homes she has designed. I can also write a book on architecture or a book titled “The Art of Negotiation” and/or “Navigating the Deal.”

5. What do you like most about what you do for a living/career?
I have a great passion for my work. My clients drive my success, they know I am always there for them. It is fulfilling and edifying to work with such wonderful people. A great joy for me is to work with my son and business partner Robert. He is a phenomenal seasoned agent and it gives me great gratification to see and learn from his success.

6. What’s the first thing you do when you wake up?
I put my feet on the ground and say a little prayer “thank you God for a wonderful new day and all that I have received.” Then I have a cup of coffee!

7. What’s your favorite thing to do on a Friday night?
This time of year my husband and I like to go to our granddaughter’s Friday night volleyball games. She is competitive and has a great overhand serve.  It is so much fun to watch her play. They are such a wonderful group of girls. It is so wonderful to see the team spirit and camaraderie.  Other than that, if we are not attending a family or charity event, we would enjoy a nice quiet dinner or a movie with a hot dog and popcorn.

8. What were you passionate about in your younger years growing up?
When I was a child I was passionate about having fun! I could never understand why my parents didn’t want to go out and play every day!

9.What are you passionate about now?
I am passionate about my spectacular grandchildren. They enrich my life and bring me great joy.

10. What’s your favorite season and why?
I love all the seasons but I guess if I had to pick one it would be springtime. Easter is a wonderful holiday and the land comes alive with new spring foliage and colors. Not to mention it is a great season for Real Estate!

11. If you were a cocktail or a drink what would it be?
In honor of my golfing family it would have to be a non-alcoholic Arnold Palmer.

12. What’s the #1 most played song on your iPod?
My fabulously creative son Geoff has programmed all of my favorite songs on my IPOD. They range from Bobby McFerrin’s Don’t Worry be Happy, to Tony Bennett, The Beatles, Frank Sinatra, Bono, Train and Alicia Keys. I just listen to what comes up first.

13. If you could have lunch with anyone, living or dead, who would it be?
It would be with my dad.

14. If your life was made into a movie, what would it be called?
Glorious Adventure…or maybe Glorious Journey.

15. Do you have any regrets?
No         

16. Define Freedom.
Freedom to me means the ability to pursue ones dreams and happiness.

17. What are your personal core values?
My faith is very important to me. Other core values that are extremely important is loyalty, integrity and honesty. My philosophy in life is always to be kind and to be grateful.

Conversations with Hilary: Donna Randall, CEO of the Cancer Prevention Institute of California

For Breast Cancer Awareness month, I sat down with newly appointed Chief Executive Officer of the Cancer Prevention Institute of California, Donna Randall. This past July she began her new role with CPIC, an organization PlumpJack has supported for the past 15 years, through our annual Golf Tournament, which has raised nearly $3 million for Cancer Research.

As former Chancellor of Michigan’s Albion College, she brings fundraising, national advocacy and financial expertise to the Bay Area Nonprofit. Dr. Randall was the first woman to serve as president of the college in its 178-year history and  has served as a board member of more than 15 corporate, community and policy organizations.

Having been a board member of the CPIC for the past 15 years I look forward to seeing Donna shape and guide the future of CPIC. In her role as CEO, she will work to advance CPIC’s mission of large-scale impact on cancer prevention.

1. What do you believe to be your greatest accomplishment?
I think my greatest accomplishment is having raised a daughter with my husband, Paul. Kate is now 26 years old and is a bright, thoughtful, and kind person.

2. Do you have a prized possession?
It is a wind-up toy collection! For over 40 years, I have collected wind-up toys and probably have 300 to 400 toys. I suppose I should count them one day. The collection is fun because each toy is unique (from kangaroos that flip backwards to colorful plates of sushi that spin around). The collection never fails to amuse people…all the way from three-year old’s to ninety year old’s.

3. What qualities do you think others love about you?
I am a down-to-earth person who sees humor in most situations and who doesn’t take herself too seriously.

4. If you could do anything other than what you currently do, what would it be?
I would probably be a tour director. I have always been fascinated by different cultures and customs and enjoy travel. As a child and adult, I have lived in many different states, as well as in France, Ireland and Canada. As a tour director, I would be able to help people experience the beauty of new lands and deepen their understanding of those people who live there.

5. What do you like most about what you do for a living/career?
I am passionate about the mission of The Cancer Prevention Institute of California. Cancer will impact one in two of us during our lifetime. Our research scientists are working hard to find out who gets cancer, why, and what can we do to prevent it. While we are making good progress, there is so much more work to be done to prevent this devastating disease.

6. What’s the first thing you do when you wake up?
I have a cup of coffee and read the New York Times. The smell and warmth of coffee helps me wake up, and the newspaper gives me a glimpse into the lives of others around the world and anchors my day.

7. What’s your favorite thing to do on a Friday night?
I love to watch foreign films, especially French films. As an undergraduate, I gained fluency in French and was able to do a semester abroad in Lyon, France, as well as work for a French artist during one summer in Paris. While I no longer have fluency in French, watching French films brings back great memories!

8. What were you passionate about in your younger years growing up?
Right out of college, I worked as a white-collar crime analyst for the Iowa Bureau of Criminal Investigation. I was fascinated by the motivation of white-collar criminals. This passion led me to go to graduate school in sociology to study this form of deviance and later, as a business faculty member, to research white-collar crime.

9. What are you passionate about now?
Helping to prevent cancer. Over my lifetime, many members of my family, as many other families in the nation, have been touched by cancer. I saw the impact of cancer on their lives and on those who cared about them. I want to help create a world without cancer.

10. What’s your favorite season and why?
Definitely summer! I love the warmth of the season and the pace that comes with summer. While I like being outdoors, especially in California, I would be remiss in my job if I did not remind others that sun screen is a necessity.

11. If you were a cocktail or a drink what would it be?
Commonwealth Cocktail. This is a drink that was created just this year in celebration of the nations and territories competing in the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow. The cocktail is billed as one of the most complicated as it has 71 ingredients, one from each nation that competed in the games. I like to think that I have taken a piece of every place that I have lived and every person that I’ve known and this amalgamation has created who I am today.

12. If you could have lunch with anyone, living or dead, who would it be?
Vincent Van Gogh. I am intrigued by his art, his mind and his life. I am in awe of his talent and, especially, his exquisite use of color.

13. Do you have any regrets?
I wish I learned more languages when I was younger. I learned to speak French, but I never ventured to learn other languages. Being able to speak a language opens up a door into another world. Through language one can understand more fully the culture, history, art, and customs of a people. I am tempted these days to try my hand at learning Spanish.

14. Define Freedom.
For me, freedom is most importantly the right not to live under oppressive, undemocratic forms of government.

15. What are your personal core values?
I believe in kindness and honesty in how we treat each other and an acceptance of our own limitations. I believe that each of us is here on earth to make the world a better place.

Spring 2015: Here in A New York Minute

A view  from the Empire State Building

A view from the Empire State Building

We just got back from New York to buy for spring. While we arrived just after fashion week, style remained in the city and spring trends were the talk of the town. It was in the 70’s and sunny, so the timing was parallel to what’s on trend for spring. Think resort focused prints rich in botanical, fruit, bird and bold floral prints. Designer color palettes included pastels and brights. Denim trends offered small ‘knicks’ vs. distressed details, skinny slouchy fits and cool washed boyfriend cuts. Feminine inspired moto-jackets and printed jogger pants are a just a few fun trends that will also be present in spring and that pair great with classic pieces you already own.

Some snaps from our NY fashion market we attend: Coterie

Some snaps from our NY fashion market we attend: Coterie

Tory Burch looked fantastic, as always – comprised of raffia tweed, updated gingham prints, color-blocking and fringe details. Earth tones mixed with brights made for a fun spring color palette to appeal to bold and understated styles. Check out her spring runway show for the complete collections of looks, here.

Our Tory Burch ready to wear rep, Alexis & myself and some of the Tory Burch spring collection.

Our Tory Burch ready to wear rep, Alexis & myself; along with some of the Tory Burch spring collection.

“We thought about construction and engineered patterns…textured knits paired with their digital-print counterparts.”

- Tory Burch

Hilary and I, with a few Tory Burch spring runway looks.

Conversations with Hilary: Zem Joaquin of Ecofabulous

zem-global-green
I am continually impressed with my friend Zem and her entrepreneurial spirit and passion when it comes to the environment. She is a true champion of the eco-lifestyle. She is the Founder of Ecofabulous.com which is a great resource, and she is involved in so many innovative and inspiring organizations, like Global Green USA and the Cradle to Cradle Product Innovation Institute. In this Conversations with Hilary she reveals so much about herself and her passions – enjoy.

What do you believe to be your greatest accomplishment?
My greatest accomplishment is discerning that my kids’ asthma was caused by environmental factors and then eradicating it, which led to my very unplanned career.
IMG_0436
Do you have a prized possession? What?

I love my Tesla. It isn’t the high tech gadgetry or the luxurious interior, it is the immense joy I get zooming past gas stations, knowing I’ll never have to stop at one again.

What do you love about yourself? What do you think others love about you?
I love that I’m led by passion. I think that my friends like my zest for life and my deep loyalty, especially when the cards are down.

If you could be anything other than what you currently are, what would it be?
A doctor.

What’s the first thing you do when you wake up?
I make breakfast and pack lunch for my kids.

What’s your favorite thing to do on a Friday night?
Go over to Gina Pell’s house. Her husband Dave makes us dinner while we compare notes on the week and catch up on projects like her new emoji app LOLy.

What do you like most about what you do for a living/career?
It allows me to work with people I greatly admire and to do everything I love. I deeply enjoy writing but not when I am required to do so. My career allows me to design spaces that are healthy and inspiring, yet I still get to celebrate products and brands I am enamored with. It allows me to travel (sometimes too much) and keeps me on the cutting edge of science. What’s not to love?

What were you passionate about when you were young?
As a kid I was always passionate about nature and animals. Growing up on a commune, I was surrounded by creatures and I felt the need to protect them. As a teenager I was distracted by clubbing but passionate about entrepreneurship, starting my first business while still in high school. I was also always passionate about traveling and getting to know other cultures. In my twenties I traveled all over the world, living in London, Paris and Italy. That is when I became determined to do my part to make the world a better place.

What are you passionate about now?
Protecting the environment.
Excellent design.
Cradle to Cradle thinking.
Iceland.
My daughter’s riding.
My son’s scientific exploration.
Writing and performing raps with my amazing husband.
TED.
Art.
Architecture.
Global Green’s Gorgeous & Green event that I will chair on October 10th for the 10th year!

skvisiWhat’s your favorite season? Why?
Summer. I love being warm and being outside, hiking, diving, rafting, kayaking, riding horses, fishing, drinking Campari and soda with friends on a porch.

If you were a cocktail or drink, what would it be?
I’d probably be an organic tequila and soda. Fun (sometimes too much fun), effervescent, reliable, resilient, well-traveled but light on the planet.

If you were stranded on a desert island, what 3 items would you want to have with you?
Flint, blankets and fishing gear… I’ve never missed a season of Survivor.

If you could be invisible for a day, what would you do?
I’d go hang out behind the scenes of the White House to see what’s really going on.

What’s the #1 most played song on your iPod?
Landslide

If you could have lunch with anyone, living or dead, who would it be?

Dean Kamen and Bill McDonough. Dean is the greatest living inventor (along with Elon Musk) and Bill is the most inspirational environmental designer. Together they can redesign the world beautifully.

If your life was made into a movie, what would it be called?
Ecofabulous, of course.

Do you have any regrets?
I try not to, but I probably would have spent even more time with my beloved grandmothers.

Define Freedom.
Being able to choose what you do for a living, for fun and for the world.

What are your personal core values?
Spread joy, be compassionate and respect all species and the planet. Show up! I live by this Bill McDonough quote: “We need to love all children of all species for all time.”

8th Annual Pre-Oscar Party with Maggie GraceYou can follow Zem on Twitter @zem

In The Navy

Ahh yes, the classic color we ease into after we exhaust our ever evolving black wardrobe. Navy is one of those classic colors that pairs with almost everything and looks good on just about everybody. If you are brave enough to expand your wardrobe color palette, navy is the perfect color to segway from black to a slew of other fun colors. From a classic navy Diane von Furstenberg wrap dress to a navy and white stripe St. James top, it’s a color that is here to stay and one that designers almost always offer in one piece or another, every season.

With some amazing fall collections hitting the racks, I can’t help but notice navy pieces sprinkled in with medium greys, burnt oranges, berry hues and olive greens.

Our favorite navy pieces for fall:

 

 

 

PlumpJack’s Hilary Newsom Responds to Napa Earthquake

10616005_10152391616433985_5364685565036594193_n

PlumpJack Winery team working hard post-quake

As you know, the Napa Valley was struck by a 6.0 earthquake early Sunday morning. While people throughout the Bay Area experienced the tremors, it was Southern Napa and surrounding areas that were hit the hardest. Despite the significant damage that was done, and the injuries that occurred, the Napa Valley is filled with strong, hard working individuals that came together and worked tirelessly minutes after the quake to make sure their neighbors and community were safe.

I am grateful and proud of our Napa-based PlumpJack Group team from all four of our properties: The Carneros Inn, Odette Estate, PlumpJack Winery and CADE Estate Winery. Everyone worked together to get our businesses open so we could quickly go back to doing what we do best at PlumpJack – providing exceptional hospitality and continuing to make some of the best wine in California.

Additionally, thanks to the incredibly quick response of CalTrans, the roads are all accessible, and traffic was at a minimum all day Sunday and on Monday when I was driving to check on our properties.
TCI poolWe are tremendously grateful that our businesses were so lucky to survive any real damage. Residents of the Napa Valley are a very close knit community and we are heartbroken for our friends and neighbors who have not been so lucky. We encourage you to show your support for Napa by paying a visit to those businesses who have worked hard to open their doors this week. Go to Visit Napa Valley for a list of all the Napa Valley businesses that are open and welcoming guests. Each and every one of Napa’s residents and businesses are in our thoughts and prayers, and we hope to help them in any way we can in the coming days and weeks.

Thank you,
Hilary Newsom, President
PlumpJack Group