Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Home Glamour -The Elements of Style Book

Now that the kids are back in school I finally have some bigger chunks of time to actually work on things I've been meaning to get to. One of them is the house. Seems I always have plans to paint, update and purge things we really don't need anymore. In short, a lot to do! One thing that never fails to gets me inspired is home books and my latest favorite is this beauty...

Elements of Style- Designing A Home & A Life, by Erin Gates is filled with pretty photos and ideas that will get you motivated to brighten and modernize. I don't know about you, but now that I am finally have a chance to step back and look at the house, I realize there is so much we don't need and a lot of pieces we have just taken on from family, and also dragged with us from other homes. Some things that worked great in our other home never really worked here, but we kept anyway. I added a few new things when we moved here 5 years ago, then we went through our start-up years and we didn't do much else after that. Now that we once again are to add some home upgrades, I want to  focus on getting our home the way I really would like it. Up to it's potential is how I like to think of it...

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

I Am Woman Still Rocks My World- Women's Equality Day!

It's National Women's Equality Day which marks the day the 19th amendment was finally ratified in 1920, giving women the vote. So much suffering was endured by so many women to get us this right. Today, actually more women vote than men do, but we still have a long way to go for equal representation in congress, the senate and the supreme court.  Women hold just 20-25% of elected offices in the United States.

Monday, August 24, 2015

Living Gracefully

Today was a memorial for my 93 year old neighbor Grace who embodied her name in so many ways. The service at Mission Santa Clara was a tribute to a woman who spent much of her life giving of herself. 

She was like another grandma to my kids and I. She knew all the children in our little court and  remembered their birthdays with little cards with checks and a sweet note. On Halloween each neighborhood child got a brand new $2 bill she ordered from the mint! I loved to chat with her when I caught her running out to lunches or meetings for her beloved Catala Club, Art Docents, or Red Hat Society or visiting her dear sister. We liked to deliver her little bouquets from our yard and Christmas cookies and she sent us the kindest note throughout the year. 

What amazed me about Grace like others of her generation, was her positive outlook and gracious way with people. Ladies of her times made an effort to show up, give of their time, make others feel good, and always had a kind word, despite personal struggles and adversity. They put their families and friends before themselves and worked tirelessly to do for others less fortunate. I am inspired by Grace who lived with many illnesses in her later years, yet soldiered on never missing a commitment and nary a complaint. When I think of people I admire most it's these women who lived through wars, depressions, illnesses, and family losses, yet always made the best of things.

Friday, August 21, 2015

Scone Home

It's back to the old grind for those of us with school kids. We are trying to ease back in slowly.   Reentry is always tough, but we have made it to Thursday and I even had the energy to get some fresh strawberry scones out this morning. We have a senior (can hardly believe it) and an 8th grader now. Wish I could slow time though.

 I'm not really a morning person, so I have to work against my natural inclination to make a cappuccino and sit like zombie with the newspaper. I don't like cooking in the morning. After zoning out for a bit, I usually start checking on my guys who always oversleep their alarms and yell they better hop in the shower quick! These scones are good for to grabbing on the way out the door which we already needed a few mornings this first week of classes.

Thursday, August 13, 2015

How To Raise An Adult: The Parenting Book We All Need

I just finished this book and I found a few weeks ago at my favorite bookstore Keplers. I couldn't wait to share it here and it's the perfect timing for it.

 It's back-to-school time and for so many kids and parents it's back to stress, strain and pressure that accompanies life in the overachieving Bay Area and many other parts of the country. Do you want to raise kids that will get into Stanford or kids that are happy? Most of us would say happy, but are we walking the walk? With a college entrance system that is horribly broken, high schoolers jumping in front of trains, and parents who spend their days cultivating perfect people, we need to all take a step back. Thankfully some reason and common sense has entered the fray in the form of this brilliant book:

Friday, August 7, 2015

Gone Camping or Glamping...Pinecrest Lake Resort

I've been away friends...doing the camping thing. Some might call it glamping as I got to sleep on a cot and there was a spot to buy fantastic latte's in the morning. Yay! That said it was still dirty. You should see the laundry, but it was worth the beauty and communing with nature.

Books were read and hammocks were chilled in.

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Stylish Summer Entertaining for the Slacker Hostess

 An alfresco breakfast earlier this summer.

 One of the things I love most about summer is how the indoor-outdoor living lends itself so well to more casual and easy entertaining. I find it easier than ever to have people over as there is less anxiety of how everyone will fit in the house, (and how the house looks!)

I'd consider myself a slacker hostess and that's why I rarely entertain outside of summer. It just seems a lot of work, the planning, the food, but in contrast, summer gatherings are no-brainer. Barbecues practically cook themselves once you've got your system down. I do the set-up and sides, my hubs does the grilling and drinks, we both clean-up and he mainly does the dishes. It works like a well-oiled machine once you've done it enough and feels easy. Just add a few stylish serving bits to good simple food and you actually might look like you know what your doing! They don't have to know this is all you can cook. ;)