Monday, February 23, 2015

Oscars 2015 Red Carpet Chat

 I'm dedicating this post to my mom today. I'm missing my dear mama this morning very much. We would always go over all the Oscar dresses together the next day. Mom always knew what looked classic and beautiful. I'm thankful for her impeccable taste and all the years we watched together. My dad and I both agreed mom would have loved Jennifer Hudson's simple chic dress the most. 

Jennifer Hudson really was perfection in the is simply elegant Romona Keveza.

This was a different Oscars. Neil Patrick Harris did a fine job, but wasn't particularly funny. It was a more serious show as many of the nominated films gave attention to causes like Alzheimer's, ALS, civil rights and unsung and maligned heroes like Alan Turing. I was hoeing Boyhood would win and was surprised about Birdman. I also loved Wild and The Imitation Game. Wish I saw Selma and a few of the others.. Still hoping too.

 On the red carpet Reese Witherspoon started a little movement to get interviewers to ask some 'real' questions about actor's films and their careers instead of just who they were wearing.

Reese's Instagram she used to start this.

Lena Dunham joined in with this Tweet as did many others. 

 I agree as it's all about promoting designers and I'd much rather know about the person and their journey to this point. Reese's #ASKHERMORE  produced better interviews on the carpet though to be honest they are always phony and a bit gushy to me. I still miss Joan Rivers!!

Highlights of the show were the musical numbers- Gaga's tribute to The Sound of Music, and Common and John Legend's wonderful performance of 'Glory' from Selma. The rest was a little dry.

Here's my own picks for best looks this year....

Naomi Watt's look reminded me of Jean Harlow and was chic and fun.

Saturday, February 21, 2015

San Francisco on Foot-The Filbert Steps to Chinatown

A few weeks back we took the family to San Francisco for the day to explore, wander and get outside and enjoy the unusually warm winter weather. We do this kind of day trip fairly frequently. We research a few restaurants or neighborhoods to check out before and then make a day of it.

We made a plan to do the famous Filbert Steps to Telegraph Hill and North Beach. When you drive into the wharf and Embarcadero Area you are greeted by amazing view of the Bay Bridge!

If you park by Levi's plaza where Filbert Street ends you can get to the base, which seems daunting from the ground.

It's around 400-500 steps and once you get past this first part, it rises straight up through gardens and neighborhoods and literally right to people's front doors. The steps are lined with quirky homes with amazing views of the bay. The steps were originally built for fishermen to be able to walk from their jobs on the docks to their homes in North Beach.

My boys obliged me with a quick photo at this one point, Napier Lane which breaks off and you can see more gardens and homes. The steps are also where the famous parrots of Telegraph Hill live if you can spy a green bird amongst all the fauna here.

Saturday, February 14, 2015

Remembering Mom on Valentine's

I didn't ever want to write this post, but somehow today seemed like the right time to share about my dear mom. My mom passed away unexpectedly last week. It's something I never, ever thought I could live through. As horrible as it is, I am trying my best to remember all the special that was in my mom and all the precious things she passed on to me. One of them was a love of Valentine's Day. Mom was a rare Leap Year baby, born February 29, and February was one of her favorite months. Valentine's Day was always something special at our house. It wasn't just for mom and dad. We kids always got a special little package at the breakfast table. Some years it was pretty pink socks and $5, other times a tiny box of See's candies and a small book, always with a beautiful Valentine card. Mom made us feel special and loved and I guess that was the greatest gift from my mom.  It's a joy to do the same traditions for my family and I hadn't thought about it much until now.

Mom's favorite photo on my wedding day.

It's the same with my dear friend Wendy who died the day after my mom. Wendy isn't here, but she will never be gone. Her generous and loving way with her friends and everyone she knew stays with me, reminds me to welcoming, inviting and enjoy life as she did.

Wendy and I. She still tried to have fun at a Halloween.
The best things we get from those who love us are the ones we can't see, but will always be there. The things they did, and how they made us feel. Those will live inside of us and can never be gone and I am so grateful for it. My mom made life sweet for us and because of her, I can do the same and always feel loved even in this very sad time.

Wishing you all feel the love today.


Monday, February 2, 2015

California Blooms- Boutique Roses Grown in California!

Writing a blog you get offers to do collaborations all the time. Mostly I decline because anything here I have to truly believe in and it has to be the right fit. Once in a while though, something really ticks all the boxes for myself and for the blog. California Blooms is one of those companies. Not only am I glad to share about them, but I'm excited too!

California Blooms is a grower of boutique roses on the Central Coast of California. The roses are grown in an eco-friendly environment using hydroponics and methods passed down a family for seven generations. By growing in small amounts, this family has developed some of the finest roses available and also the longest lasting.

Most roses in the market today come from South America. I love that California Blooms are grown in California and by green growing methods; two things that I like to promote on this blog.  They offered to send me roses to see for myself how long they last and their quality.

Roses ordered are hand cut, watered overnight, and actually delivered within 24 hours to your door!

Monday morning last week I found these on my doorstep..

Love when that happens!

Friday, January 30, 2015

Friday Fun, French Stuff and Fluff...

 I have to thank all of you for the kind comments on the last post. I also got some private notes too. You all are wonderful, thoughtful and the nicest readers. I am grateful for all the good wishes for my friend and family and love and wisdom you sent my way.

This week was brightened up considerably yesterday when I attended a French Food Camp I signed up for a few months back. I was glad to have the chance to get away for the day and do something frivolous and fun like this. One of the best parts of having a blog is meeting some extraordinary people I never would otherwise. Elizabeth Kirkpatrick, aka the Contessa and Andrea, The French Basketeer are two such women.

Monday, January 26, 2015

Right Now..

So this post was supposed to be things I'm loving in January. You know what? I have to be real and say I'm hating January. I try to share things that are mostly uplifting here.Today I just can't. One of my best friends is struggling through her last days on this planet. It's unbelievable to me that someone so full of life, love and fun could be taken down so fast by cancer. I hate that word. Hate.

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.