Tuesday, January 20, 2015

A Winter Escape to Napa and the New Senza Hotel

Have that after the holidays blahs? Need a little getaway to look forward to?  It may not have crossed your mind right now, but its's a perfect and slightly quieter time to visit the gorgeous Napa Valley. The weather is mild, mostly sunny and the slower pace during the winter months makes it a sweet  escape for a bit of relaxation, pampering and sun.

I was invited to visit the beautiful new Senza Hotel that opened last fall in Napa. Our Christmas break was an unusual time for us to go to wine country, but it couldn't have been better. I loved it.  This was the scene above on a Friday at Domain Carneros, a super spot to sip bubbly and take in the views, and appreciate being a Californian in winter! It was a quick stop on our way to check out Senza and also visit another favorite, Merryvale Winery in Saint Helena. 

Thursday, January 15, 2015

The Dailey Cycle at Willow Glen's New Dailey Method

If you are like me, the holidays were tough on the old figure. I don't even want to think of all the indulgences -the cocktails, bubbly, cookies, chocolate, cheeses, decadent meals and the list goes on. That plus the craziness of the season and the cold weather meant my workouts were sporadic at best. Let's just say the combo results are not pretty!!

Like everyone else, I plan to begin this year fresh and besides eating well, finding a workout I actually want to do is on my list. Fortunately, near the end of December I got the fun opportunity to try something totally new for me, Dailey Cycle, a combination of spin and core workout. Dailey Cycle is a class at Willow Glen's new The Dailey Method studio which just opened in time for the New Year!

I was able to host a class of some readers, friends, and friends of friends who were interested in trying out this new class. As busy as I was at Christmas, I committed right away because I knew this was something I needed. People have been raving about these new spin and core classes and I didn't know if I would feel the same. Hosting this pushed me out of out of my comfort zone, and a few others who joined us as well. (Not naming anyone!! ;)

Sunday, January 11, 2015

Golden Globes Red Carpet Recap 2015

What a fun show. Loved Tina and Amy. They were hilarious. The best bit in my opinion was the 'Who would you rather?' with male actors!! Watch this if you missed it. I cannot stop cracking up. They also gave it to Cosby pretty good. The Margaret Cho bit was sort of lame. I was thrilled Boyhood won. I thought it was the best film I saw last year. Fantastic cast too.

 Tina and Amy's dresses were not special. There were a lot of colorful looks tonight, less of the flesh tones of last year, and no one look seemed to dominate. Personally, I liked the ladies who stepped out of the safety circle and did pants or new shapes. 

Some of the best in my opinion....

Emma Stone in Lanvin

So chic.

Sunday, January 4, 2015

This Year Change Your Thinking...

I got away the last week to Tahoe and Napa. (My friend took this pic of our feet on a snowy beach.) It was good to be away if only for a short time.

After the craziness of this fast Christmas season, I finally am taking a few minutes to reflect, take a darn breath and think about the coming year...

First, I got myself a datebook.  I still love having a paper one, if only to have a document of the year gone by. I think it's fun to stash pretty notes and keepsakes in it as I go too. I do have a calendar on my phone, but it's comforting to have something to look at on paper of the upcoming month/week.

The house is cleared and my mind is too. After the usual holiday indulgences, I need to start fresh....

One thing I do not do is get into the whole resolution madness. Like a diet, or any new 'plan,' it's just so easy to fail and then go down a negative route. Plus I don't really believe extreme changes to your diet are good for the body.

It's still winter and you should be kind to yourself, change as you go by making healthy habits that become part of your life. Those are easier and slower to implement, but will ultimately stick.

 Instead of dieting, eat more veggies and greens, lessen sugars, and indulgences like breads and cheeses. Try to cook at home. Basically trying to eat cleaner and being more active are all good things though less radical, but easier done and can make you feel better each day of the new year! Smart choices, not radical changes will make you succeed with this.

Go slow, finish the books you didn't have time to, watch the birds, take walks and hikes, daydream, indulge in a few naps by the fire and enjoy this part of winter! Ease yourself into 2015 and take stock, be grateful, look at the big picture, and try to live in the moment.

That is what I hope I can do for the New Year!


 (Disclaimer: this plan may not help you lose 10 pounds in January. ;) Love yourself and be healthy. Quick results aren't as good as long term ones!)

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

New Years Inspiration!


Boy the year went fast didn't it? Is that what you start saying the older you get? Tonight we are going to be with a few old and dear friends for a low key, but fun get-together.  I haven't hosted NYE in a while, but I saved some of these favorites for inspiration....

I love a silver or any big bowl with champagne bottles and ice. 
This is chic with the black and branches!

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Happy Christmas Everyone!

I've been going as fast as I can this week. Got almost everything done except for a few little bits.

Here's a little of the simpler variation I did on decorating this year.

I loved this herringbone ribbon so added that to the front room where we have white brown and some black. My bells from last year are mixed with my usual hodge podge and cuttings from outdoors.

 Loved the trees in these wooden pots from Trader Joes this year. I bought one for this room.

Two more in my powder room.

I stole this idea from my friend Leasa and added some festive bits to the soap dish.

These vases now have the Starry String Lights from Restoration Hardware wound to the branches.

I also used the timed Restoration lights on the living room mantel. 
(These are on sale right now and work great in summer around umbrellas!)

I wanted to keep it light and bright in that room which is darker.

Friday, December 19, 2014

Christmas Traditions & Simplifying Gift Giving

I'm still here! Sorry for the lapse in blogging. Life happened and I was trying to keep up with things like school cello concerts, making Boy Scout wreaths, helping my grandma, getting the house decorated, shopping not to mention some fun holiday gatherings I've been lucky to be a part of. 

My cards got messed up this year in the printing, took forever to get fixed and just now got to me. When I will get those out is anyone guess... This week I also fit in a new kind of spin class -The Dailey Cycle that is opening soon in the Willow Glen area of San Jose. I'll write more about that fun experience in the next week or so.

 Speaking of Willow Glen, I love it this time of year, with it's trees and festive neighborhoods!

We took a night last week to do a special family dinner out in Willow Glen and see the lights. Willow Glen is one of the most charming areas to me as the streets still resemble the era they were built in, and they take pride in preserving the home size and neighborhoods as they originally were. It's a delight to drive through during the holidays since many streets choose a theme for their Christmas lights. This year we saw candy canes, arches, icicles, and snowflakes as street themes! It has become a tradition to have dinner there and then drive through with the Christmas tunes playing.

Love the big trees and how about those snowflakes? Sorry hard to photograph well!

You can see people go all out...