Friday, April 24, 2015

'Eating Rome' a Fantastic Trip Through the Eternal City

Life has been crazy busy, more than I can even share in one post, but this week I had to make time for a book I promised I would review. I began this lovely book on vacation and finished this week. It was a wonderful escape, engrossing and transporting which I really need right now.

The book is Eating Rome by Elizabeth Minchilli, and it's a memoir/cookbook/guidebook to Rome. I knew of Elizabeth through her beautiful blog so I immediately accepted the offer to read and share this book. I have been to Italy and Rome was undeniably my favorite. Something about walking among the ruins, the vespas, fountains and beautiful Italians- the whole mix is so glamorous and magical. Given a chance to relive it just a little sounded fun and it was!

 Elizabeth, an American, grew up much like myself in the 60s and 70s, but in Saint Louis. She came home from camp in 1972, to find her parents planning to move the family to Italy. Thus began a unique adventure and a lifelong passion for Italy. After her family moved back home to states, she later did graduate studies in Florence and eventually fell in love with an Italian and moved to Rome where she lives today. There she and raised two daughters, and began her blog of Italian life and food.

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Gardening as a Workout

We just got back from a little getaway. So much to catch up on like laundry, but yesterday morning I spent four hours working in my yard. After seeing the gorgeous gardens all over Santa Barbara I was motivated to get back there and clear things out. I could have worked out, but this was far better than a workout. I challenge anyone to give up working out one day a week and do a few hours in the yard. It's a fantastic workout for the legs, back, arms and core. Seriously.

We used to have a 'gardener.' I use that term lightly as these gentlemen were more what I call, the mow and blow guys. It was questionable what they actually did besides make a lot of noise and blow dirt around. I saw then occasionally clip things. Yes they mowed. Occasionally they would hack something to nothing to my horror, usually one of my favorite plants. I was nice to these guys who had a limited grasp of English, but no horticultural skills at all. They also insisted on spraying weed killer in my yard, which I repeatedly asked them not to. I love having frogs, lizards and all the good things a yard needs and those poisons hurt birds too. Finally one day I returned home and they had hacked away a very old vine I loved. That was it. I finally said goodbye to them.

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

California Girl Carolyn Murphy's Style

I've admired Carolyn Murphy's homes, personal style, and green living ethic for a long time. 

This home was featured in old House & Garden. I really miss that magazine.

This single mom gardens and has her own chickens too. 


Another home she had was featured in Vogue a few years back...

Saturday, April 4, 2015

Happy Easter!

Happy Easter, Passover and spring break. I love this whole spring break thing for the chance to take a breather, live in the moment and see all the beauty blossoming around us. I'm hoping that means some quality time with my kids and family this week. Just being together without having much to do is a gift. That means more time for games, movies, cooking and well, hanging out. I think I love that best of all.

Have some fun!


Friday, March 27, 2015

Think Pink! Friday Edition!

I've had a lot of energy the past few days and it's been hard to sit on the computer. I feel the need to be busy with a project or something. When I get that itch, and I'm not sure what to do, I head to the closet. It's always very calming to declutter and purge and take stock.  I noticed I have added a lot of pink to the closet in the past year, in shoes and in clothing. Pink makes me happy and well why not have it in the house as well? 

Pink seems unconventional outside of a girl's room, but it's gaining wider acceptance throughout the home as it's cozy, happy and flattering. It also is a terrific foil to so many other colors such as golds, grays and tans which it punches up. In combination with peach, red and other warm tones it's got pizazz.

I've collected some of these great pink images for a while and have been thinking of adding pink in some part of the home. Maybe my bedroom with gold, (if the Max can stand it,) or possibly even outdoors in pillows and umbrellas. Here's some pink to think on...

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

My Makeover at Halo- A Blow Dry Bar

 I'm ready for a change when spring arrives. You know I feel so done with winter and all that. So when I got an opportunity to have a makeover at the new, Halo-A Blow Dry Bar, I jumped at the chance! Last week I headed over to the bright and chic Los Altos location.

  Even better, my friend Adrienne Shubin, blogess of The Rich Life(on a budget), did it with me!

We both needed to get pretty for an evening event so it was a perfect timing.

Adrienne said let's be brave and do before shots so here you have us!
(Notice I'm not blowing this one up.)

First we had our hair washed with some beautifully scented shampoo.  I like that they use very high-end hair products like Renee Furterer, Oribe, and Seven. (I do think good hair products make a difference!)

My stylist Rocio starting on my blow-out. My hair never felt over-dried or pulled-just relaxing and she was extremely gentle. 

Monday, March 23, 2015

Teal Tones & Spring Inspiration

Hello! Hope you all had a happy weekend. We have apparently moved in summer here in California and spring just got bypassed. I had a very exciting last week (coming next), so I spent some down time this weekend working on my home. I noticed I've gotten this thing where I keep adding teal or yellow pieces and they look quite good together. Bright and cheering you know?

Succulents cannot be beat for houseplants. They pretty much grow themselves.

I have had browns and neutrals in my family room so added a few pillows... 

Seemed to do the job of brightening things for spring (or SUMMER as it seems.)

I moved them from the living room below, where there are pops of teal, and neutrals.

Also a few cellos hanging around.. My son!

I love this heart pillow I got a while back. This yellow leopard I found a TJ Maxx.