Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Wonderful Witchy Style 2014

 This week was the annual Wonderful Witchy Women With a Cause Charity Luncheon and Fundraiser at the San Jose Fairmont. It was the 9th year of this fun lunch and I just had to snap some of the hats and outfits on view. It's very much a fashion show and each year the witches (um, attendees), go over the top with some gorgeous and original creations. I especially love that it attracts women from all over the Bay Area and of all ages! It's a diverse group.

The founder and creator of Wonderful Witchy Women and the Bella Vista League is Cheryl Bailey. She started with friends using a small Halloween lunch as a way to raise funds for those in need in her own community. Over the years it has grown with almost 500 attendees this year! It's all due to Cheryl's dedication along with a super group of women who work tirelessly for months to make it happen. 

Last minute prep for the pretty tables at the Fairmont.

Lots of snapping pics at arrival!

Many cute variations on the witch theme...Leopard and Chanel!

So lovely!

Beautiful dresses, coats and shoes too.

It's all in the details!

Black lace is big this year and was a perfect accompaniment to a witch hat!

Fascinators were almost as popular as the hats and less cumbersome.

Friday, October 17, 2014

Thoughts on a Fall Weekend and a Great Home Book

It's finally feeling like a real fall here! I love fall weekends and there's a lot going on now. We are going to the take our boys to the first NASA open house ever this weekend. My husband got tickets long ago and they have been waiting for this. Some wonderful women including my friend Kim and many others will be running the Nike Marathon in San Francisco this weekend. Go Kimmy! So great they do that.

Mostly, I'm elated because we are actually getting WEATHER!!! I took this ground  pic accidentally today and check it out.. Leaves!! (I love my zebra Tom's too.)

Around these parts there has been no weather to speak of for a long, long while. Let me tell you it is possible to get sick of sandals and shorts. I want to wear some sweaters, scarves, and boots and not have the feeling I may be experiencing a hot flash or something!

Pumpkins have been put out...

I've got my witch hat ready..

We get out for a rare school night date. Jerry Seinfeld was in town and we didn't want to miss it. We are diehard Seinfeld fans and he didn't disappoint. We laughed for 2 hours straight! Hilarious observations on parenting and being married from Jerry.

 On other cool things, I just have to share this beautiful book I got in the mail. It's seriously the best eye candy and home inspiration I have seen in a while and it's not Pinterest. That's right, I don't need my readers to enjoy it. ;) Real paper here people!

The book is called The Well-Dressed Home. They recently had the author and designer, Annette Tatum as a guest tastemaker or whatever they call it on One King's Lane, and that's how I found the book. Don't buy it there though. They aren't shipping it until mid-November for some reason..They do have it hardcover on Amazon for around $14 though. You may want to visit Annette's beautiful site. She's based in Santa Monica and I love her taste.

This book helps you decide what your home style is. Thing is, I wanted to be them all..

Eco-Eclectic? Sounds like me....

 Though I really loved Casual Romantic!

But wait, I'm kind of Resort too!!

 Eclectic Modern?

  Eclectic Bohemian!! (Well, I just want to look like that.)

All joking aside though, it takes the visuals that appeal to you and helps you hone your style into a home that is uniquely you. Just a pleasure to read and I possibly have multiple personalities... Or I'm just scattered, as I have been told. Still, a terrific home decor book.

You can find it now on Amazon here.

I though it looked kind of nice on my blue desk.

I also have some of my favorite pics on the desk. Love this old sweet one of my guys.

The boys are growing so fast and much is happening...This fall especially with the high schooler. Being a junior means learning to drive, college visits, planning for tests, hard classes and the darn Homecoming or Coro (short for coronation) as it's called here. I had a friend post something on Facebook on how much stress it is for girls - the drama of dances, etc. She remarked the boys just have to ask and then worry about the Homecoming game score.

It isn't like that at all in my home. In fact, quite the opposite. I don't know if it's like this where you live, but here boys are expected to not only ask the girl they want, but to do it in a very dramatic and public fashion. At our school, it has been things like writing it on their chests, delivering flowers to class while asking, or in the middle of a football game or during lunch time in front of everyone!

 It's more than most husband's did to ask their wives' hands in marriage and is frankly a stupid and intimidating ritual. It scares the heck out of many boys who have a hard enough time getting the nerve up to just ask. Imagine also being the girl. What if you want to say no? How embarassing and harder in such a public forum. Frankly, I wish our school would do away with it. After trying this once as a Freshman, my son has just decided to opt out of the whole process. I'm not even addressing all the the stress about what group you are going to go with, where to have a fancy dinner, and also what parents are offering their beautiful and photo-worthy home to do the group photos at? It's enough to make a lot of kids run for cover. Isn't it hard enough being a teen in today's world? Is it crazy like this elsewhere? I'd just like to know!

In the middle schooler's world, there was school spirit day this week. 

Griffin and friend Abby are in the purple group this year. Three color groups compete for best spirit.
I believe he may be going with a slight purple tinge for a while.

There's a lot of great Halloween decorating around here. I love it. 
My friend Aimee had one of the cutest ideas. I love her bats....

These are made of felt and she stapled them to the house. Really cute.

 Aimee is one of the kindest people and in her hand is a darling baby kitten.
She fosters feral kittens who need to be with people and not in a shelter, so they make good pets.

This sweet baby is Tigger and he is alone. His brother didn't make it and Tigger himself had to have a toe taken off. He walks with a bowlegged walk, but is doing well thanks to her care. Two other friends I know also foster pets. It's such a nice thing to do. Is he not precious?

Wishing you all a lovely fall weekend and some sweater weather!


Tuesday, October 14, 2014

My Favorite Stops in Big Sur

I think Big Sur is one of my favorite spots in California, maybe the world, and with the warm fall weather California is having, I wanted to share some great spots to visit there.

These photos were from a late spring visit, but fall is a perfect time too. The weather tends to be even nicer than summer. This was a day trip, but we spent the night in nearby Carmel, which is just half hour or more drive to Big Sur depending on your destination. 

The drive is one of the best parts. It can be foggy in mornings, but most days it burns off by afternoon and can get very sunny and warm.

One happening spot on the way for breakfast or lunch is The Big Sur Bakery.

Charmingly housed in a cottage with an adjoining garden and a makeshift art gallery, it's worth a stop. They have fantastic cappuccinos and pastries and sell their own granola among other cute items.

Plants really seem to thrive here with the mix of fog and sun!

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

My First IPL and SkinSpirit Palo Alto

About three weeks ago I got to do something exciting for myself, that I've never done before, I got IPL (Intense Pulsed Light) treatment for my brown spots and rosacea. It all began when I was invited to have a consultation at a lovely skincare clinic and spa called SkinSpirit in Palo Alto.

Skin Spirit is a skincare clinic and spa founded and supervised by Stanford-trained, board certified plastic surgeon Dr. M. Dean Vistnes and his handpicked team of skincare professionals. Dr. Vistnes has a local private practice as well, but wanted to create a space that offers all the latest skin care technologies in a spa like environment.

I didn't know much about medical spas or SkinSpirit, but was intrigued. They invited me to come in for a visit and a personal consultation. I really enjoyed my chat with Cara Fonteyne, an R.N. and also a director there.

 To be honest, I am a complete newbie to all non-surgical cosmetic procedures. The closest I have gotten to anti-aging is my use of retin-A and sunscreen. I told Cara one thing I was considering was IPL, which I know is very effective on rosacea, my big issue, and also dark spots from sun exposure. She agreed that it was a good choice for someone just beginning to think about doing more for my skin in the way of aging. What I liked about my consult, was she explained in detail how it works. 

The IPL is done with a light generator, not a laser. It minimizes skin discolorations from sun damage and age spots on the face and chest. It also works on vascular problems like my rosacea, by reducing redness and blotchiness, all without harming the skin surface. Cara also told me what results to expect. I never felt persuaded or pressured to do more than that which was so nice.

I made an appointment with Cara to do my 45 minute IPL treatment about 2 weeks later.  I had recently had some sun on my face from kayaking the previous weekend, so just to be safe we postponed doing the procedure that day. She wanted to make sure I got the optimum result, and no recent burns or tans should be on the skin.

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Fall Wardrobes and Making Your Closet Like a Boutique

Lovely October is here and it's feeling little cooler here in Northern California!!  I have actually begun thinking about fall clothing and shopping.

I have a weakness for tweed jackets and distressed jeans and this combo at J.Crew got me excited! I bought both since they were my style and I know I'll wear them for years. Jacket is no longer online, but you can catch it in stores on sale now I believe.

These necklaces were lovely and on sale

I am also crazy about these these D'Orsay suede flats in this grey taupe.  I could see them going with almost everything and dressed up or down. I'm hoping to add them to my fall shoes this year.

However, I swore to not add a single thing until I went through the old closet. That means trying on pants, skirts, and everything again. Looking over what was worn or not in the past year, seeing what  could be revived, and also pitching what was just done. Ugh a lot of work, but so worth doing. This prevents you from buying the same things again you already have and helps you find what you may have forgotten about!

After purging and making a list of what I could add, I purposely rearranged the closet to seem more like a boutique.

First, you'll notice this closet TINY. It's not a big walk-in like most Californians have. When we moved closer to town, we gave up our big master bedroom for this older ranch home and now have a small master. This closer was nicely done with a organizer, so I made it work and downsized what I owned which was actually a good thing.

Now I try to treat it like a small jewel box and have all my prettiest things out where I can see them and wear them. I added a few photos, jewelry, some good smelling lavender sachets from France and even a fun rug. You can do the same and it will inspire you to keep the closet neater as well.

Monday, September 22, 2014

Hello Fall!

It's finally here! I am so excited for fall. After what seems like ages of so much warm weather, I am looking forward to cool nights, fires, soup, sweaters, boots, scarves and that goes with the loveliest season of all.

 So many gorgeous shades of fall!

I'm fluffing the house, getting it cozy, and rearranging with all my fall toned favorites.

Charleston Mag

I'm looking forward to many evenings of homemade soup!

Pumpkin Sage Soup! Recipe here.

A few new things to smarten up the wardrobe would be nice too.

And then there's the entertaining...So many good reasons to get together with friends!

Pear, walnut and ricotta crostini. Recipe here.

Curb appeal is big in autumn, so you've gotta get your gourds on people!

 Coats!!!! I love them soooo much!

Vintage Vogue. 

I think some chunky sweaters and a little leopard would be nice.

Branches, twigs !!

 Camel is my favorite color come fall.! Supergas sneakers similar to hers here. Finding a camel color coat seems a challenge this year, but I found this Anne Klein on sale and also this one, and also a shorter version by Kenneth Cole and I like the design and slim look of this Tommy Hilfiger version as well. All are on sale at Macy's right now until Sept. 30th I believe. I hope to add one this year to my wardrobe as I finally donated my own camel coat which had a decade at least on it. Always a classic that won't go out of style!

Wishing you a lovely first day of fall with some crunchy leaves, dappled sun and warm soup!

More fall inspiration on this post Why I Heart Autumn and on my Pinterest boards, I Love Fall and Fall & Winter Fashion.

Are you all as excited as I am? I think we may even get some rain this week. I know, actual weather!


Photos via Pinterest and sources noted above also.