Thursday, July 21, 2016

Staying Stylish and Cool at Bank of The West's Ladies Day

Just a quick post to share all the stylish ladies I saw today at the annual Bank of the West Classic Ladies Day. This lunch is held on two days and includes lunch, meeting one of the players, a raffle for prizes, swag bags and most importantly tennis! Many of the attendees are from tennis clubs far and wide that organize this and gather tables. Today we saw two matches and the weather was wonderful for July.

Monday, July 11, 2016

Wimbledon Chat 2016 and Fashions from The Royal Box

It's that time again tennis loving friends, grab your Pimm's Cup and let's chat about all things Wimbledon.

 I was thrilled to bits to see Andy Murray win and wow was he in top form. He so deserved it. Murray made virtually no mistakes in the final and there was almost nothing he couldn't return against the powerful Raonic, including a 146 mile and hour serve.

Andy is one of the most under-rated players and does not depend on his serve, but likes to hack away out there. He is so humble and normal you can't help but root for him. I'd like to see him get to world number one some day and it looks as if he's really on track to get there.

I think we may be on the cusp of a major shakeup in the hierarchy of tennis. Federer may be on his last years or so to win another after dominating for so long. I'm not sure if that's the case with Serena, who seems still so strong. Hers is a game that is overwhelmingly powered by her serve, strength and stamina.

Yet, Serena had yet to win a Grand Slam tournament this year after winning last years's Wimbledon. This was her 22nd Grand Slam win. Women however, have shown they can hang in for longer time than most men in tennis as in the case of Navratilova (with nine Wimbledon wins), Steffi Graff, Chris Evert and others.

Friday, July 8, 2016

Our Two Days in Munich

I wanted to share our twelve day family trip to Europe we did in early June. This was partly a trip for the our son Jackson, who just graduated from high school and also to retrace a trip my husband Max did at the same age more than 30 years ago.

We began in Munich where we checked in for two nights at the beautiful Charles Hotel. This gem was a great place to get our bearings, relax and see some of Munich before moving onto Salzburg, Lucerne and then London. We used our United miles and so were able to fly free. We stayed in hotels this time as we had more stops and only just planned this in early May. It actually worked out great. We had some adjoining rooms with our boys and a rooftop apartment at another. We took trains between all the cities except we flew from Zurich, Switzerland to London to save a travel day. 

The Charles is located in a perfect spot overlooking the botanical gardens and just a ten minute walk to the Marienplatz, and the old city center. It has a charming front courtyard where we checked in and had some cappuccinos which they served with a little dish of chocolates. Welcome to Germany!

I think I'm half asleep here!

In this pretty patio you can have lunch or just a drink and watch the bikes go by on the quiet little street that circles the park.

Monday, June 27, 2016

Getting Back in the Summer Mindset

Hi friends I'm back. We were away on a European adventure and before that both my sons graduated - one from high school and the other from middle school.  Leading up to that I was consumed with the year end celebrations and also preparing for the trip which we insanely planned just three days after the graduations! To say I lost my mind a bit would not be an understatement. I couldn't even think about my blog and when we returned from our holiday I was in a jet-lag and laundry induced haze. I'm just coming out of it and I plan to share about the trip and more summer-themed posts.

I just LOVE summer and the summer way of thinking. I relish the time to recharge, relax, read books, reorganize, de-clutter, and take stock and sometimes just do nothing, but watch the hummingbirds in my yard with a cup of tea. Best of all, are the days that unfold with no plans. Maybe we'll get frozen yogurt or do a craft or bike to lunch. The rest of summer we will take a few road trips, do an annual camping trip to the Sierras with the whole family and then get our oldest ready to go to college, which will be a big adjustment for us all. I just can't wrap my head around it yet.

Most of all I look forward to the things that make summer seem like a little vacation each day-swimming, popsicles, bike rides, fruit from everyone's yards, growing my own tomatoes (which are almost ripe!), lots of alfresco dinners, happy hours with friends, family movie and game nights with the boys and reading as many books as I can happily squeeze in.

Saturday, May 28, 2016

A Few Favorites from Nordstrom Sale for Travel

Happy weekend it's Memorial Day here in America and officially summer's kickoff. I've been just completely consumed with graduations and trip planning,  so I've done some shopping this week in preparation for graduation ceremonies and travel. I stopped in Nordstrom briefly yesterday and forgot the Half-Yearly is on. It's a good time to get those bits needed for summer. Loads of pretty dresses and sandals on sale. I always like getting a few new things for a trip and summer, so this sale always happens at just the right time.

 The Clinique Gift is out as usual and just in time for a trip with it's bag and small sizes. I also found this super lightweight  tote . To me this is perfect carry-on for my trip to Europe as it weighs virtually nothing, can take some abuse and its big! Really big. Big enough for another bag, books, magazines etc.

 I also got this black laser cut tote that can fold up in it and when I get to my destination, will become my day to day bag, big enough for shopping, etc, but not as huge as the carry-on. 

Both great prices right now and I don't need to sacrifice any of my leather bags which take a beating on these kinds of trips by being overstuffed, dragged through customs and security, nasty bathrooms and more.

  I appreciate that they're vegan and look as nice as leather. I'm also thinking of getting this cute white fatigue jacket for the trip as well. I know it's cool in Europe in June and this with a scarf this will be just right and light to pack.

Planning for or shopping for any trips?

Other nice ideas for travel this knit blazer , these super cute black flat sandals , and another great buy is this blue Burberry trench. I bought mine 6 years ago at this sale. I always keep my eye out for cool ones and this is a particularly cute one with oversize buttons and cool shape. 

If you have a fun occasion coming soon check out the sale the dresses. I particularly love this long sleeved shift and this mod shape and this twist back shift is easy for warm evenings.

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

The Duchess of Cambridge's First Vogue Cover & More

After all the nonsense this week that was the American Vogue's Met Gala, British Vogue was a breath of fresh air with it's wonderful 100th Anniversary Issue with Kate Middleton, aka the Duchess of Cambridge, as cover girl.

So refreshing to see the lovely young mom Kate in British Vogue. So far they have only released a few photos, but they were shot in the countryside in Norfolk near her and William's home. Two of the portraits will be part of an exhibition celebrating Vogue's 100 years at the National Portrait Gallery in London.
I love the natural looks of these photos. She's wearing a Burberry suede coat on the cover. This top is a Petite Bateau T worn with Burberry navy pants. I think she's a terrific role model for young women. She had class.

The Duchess is also a keen photographer and has taken most all the photos that have been released of her children. I love the latest for little Princess Charlotte's birthday on May 1st...

What a doll!

British Vogue also has another milestone in this issue. They feature Bo Gilbert the first 100 year-old model in Vogue. I can't wait to show my grandmother this who is 99 in a few weeks..

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Home Remodeling, Graduating Kids and Life!

Hello  I've been meaning to write a little more about life and some thoughts about decorating. I'm kind of emptying the contents of my head here, so I understand if you click away early.

Things are always busy in the springtime, but this year exceptionally so as both my boys are graduating -one from 8th grade and the oldest from high school. I can hardly believe it, but yesterday caps and gowns were handed out and it really hit home for me. I'm not sure I'm ready for this next stage!

Life has been a whirlwind as my dad and I finally got my grandmother's home sold after a year of cleaning it out. Amazingly it sold within a week thanks to the talents of my dear friend Gail and her husband Stephen who managed to turn it into something unbelievably pretty with just paint, carpets, refreshing the details and staging.

Gail has an eye for this and it's part of her service when selling a house. Honestly, I couldn't be more shocked it turned out as well as it did. It was a huge burden off my dad and I as we got multiple offers and a lot more than asking which helps as it will fund my grandmother's care. Our next step is to find grandma a place to call her own that has more services and meals. At age 98 she was still doing everything for herself and has finally agreed to more help so she can enjoy life and we don't have to worry she'll fall or leave the stove on.

My darling grandma Jody.

My 8th grader Griffin is excited to be heading to high school. How that can be happening already I do not know. Our oldest, Jackson hoped to go to college in Northern Cal and as the schools here are seriously impacted, it's been a challenge. Everyone from this area has fantastic grades and accolades, so no matter what he's done, it seems not enough for California schools. He's gotten into some he's not sure about and the ones he loves he is on a waitlist for. We are still not sure what he will chose. Making sure to pay and sign up for grad night, senior ball, graduation tickets, 8th grade dance, Great America trips, rent tuxedos, making a senior memory board and visiting more colleges has consumed all my brain capacity. I just pray I don't drop the ball on something. I've got both a paper and electronic calendar in case and am sometimes scared to look at it in the morning!

Hard to believe these are my babies.

Besides all this I am finally getting rolling on revamping our home and garden. You know that feeling that your home isn't living up to it's potential? We've been here over five years and though we adore our house, it needs some updates. I've really been in holding pattern on this as we carefully considered how much we want to spend. With college coming for both boys pretty fast we want to make good decisions, but we also know this is the time to do it if we are ever going to. I think your home is your nest and it's always worth working on. It should be your sanctuary.

One of the issues is the house needs a better flow between the kitchen and dining. A wall needs to be taken out or partially removed.

 This is the wall that has to go..

My kitchen in it's natural state!