Friday, May 26, 2017

Celebrating 100 Years - My Grandma Jody

May 24 was the 100th birthday of my precious grandma Jody! After a week of celebrating with family and friends, she's about over it, but I am still thrilled that she made it to this milestone. Everyone always asks about her, so I thought I'd share some pictures here and also a little bit about her long life.

It still amazes me that she was born when most people still used horse and buggy. She has seen so much- the beginning all modern innovations happened during her lifetime- the car, the phone, television, radio, refrigeration, the computer and much more. She remembers them all. She even has recollections of sitting on her front porch when they heard Lindbergh crossed the Atlantic from New York to Paris in 1927!

Josephine Mary Eaton Fleming was born in Walla Walla, Washington in 1917. Her childhood was spent in Milton-Freewater, Oregon, where her father was a cement contractor and built the town pool, where she learned her love of swimming. Sadly, the depression hit and the cement jobs went away. To make ends meet, her father Cody and mother Edith joined other family members as migrant fruit packers all up and down the West Coast. They would travel from Washington where they'd pack apples and pears, to the Bay Area with it's abundant apricots, down to the Inland Empire, where they'd pack iceberg lettuce. Grandmother went to high schools in Oregon, San Jose and El Centro, California. It was a hard life, though quite lucrative for the depression. They only owned what could fit in a car and rented the same homes each year as they traveled the fruit circuit. 

 Grandma's yearbook. She's the middle left and in the group photo, third row down, second from right.

One stabilizing factor and bright light in her life was her own grandmother, Mary Eaton, her father's mother. She lived on Lake Chelan, Washington and doted on Josie, as she like to call her. She attended some high school in Lake Chelan and spent many hours swimming on the lake, sneaking into boat houses, and learning to sew from her grandmother. 

She also learned a lifetime of good eating habits from her grandmother as her grandfather was a diabetic who was diagnosed before insulin was invented. Healthy foods and grains were something she used even back then to keep her husband healthy. They grew their own vegetables, canned and ate from the giant sauerkraut barrel that was in the yard.  Her grandma would put a hot water bottle in her bed on nights when it was cold, and she treated her to little things like her favorite jars of Pimento Cheese spread, when no money was to be had for extras like that.

Grandma right with her mother Edith and my dad, Ray. Isn't this coat chic?

One of my favorite photos of my grandparents on a swing in the 1940s.

Grandma married my grandfather Ray in 1937, when she was 20, the same year the Golden Gate Bridge opened. He like so many in this area, was in the fruit business, having his own market stand and was later in sales in the orange juice industry which brought them to Fullerton in Southern California. They lived for a time in a cute Spanish Mediterranean home where my dad, Ray Jr, remembers going to school barefoot on warm days (no one made sandals for children in the early 1940s), and watching Disneyland get built in nearby Anaheim. They moved back to San Jose just before it opened and he never got to go.

I love my Grandma and Aunt Wendy's Easter bonnets here around 1950.

A family road trip to Yellowstone around 1955-56. Grandmother always wore dresses and never wore pants until the mid 1970s. I remember the exact day she came over in a pantsuit. It was a big deal!

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Spring Break in Scottsdale!

After a cold and wet winter, we planned this year's family spring break to somewhere warm and sunny- Arizona! Scottsdale has been our choice for a few breaks as it's just under two hours by plane from San Jose Airport. This year the boy's school breaks coincided with Max's 50th birthday, so it worked out perfectly as a little treat for him too.

The highlight of our Scottsdale trips have always been the hikes as we love the beauty of blooming cactus and desert flowers. This time we chose to stay at The Four Seasons at Troon North as it's right at the base of the mountains and close to one of our favorite hikes, McDowell Preserve.  Nestled between beautiful hills with the the most amazing plants and flowers, the resort feels like a sanctuary and the hummingbirds and wild baby bunnies add to the feeling.

Something about being in the Sonoran desert was peaceful and super relaxing and what we all needed- the kids time away from school, to just chill and for all of us to be together a bit. 

I could not take enough pictures each morning and evening of the flowers and views.

The adobe style architecture was cool too.

As with any Four Seasons, details and service are their strong points and everything at this resort was lovely. 

Our Casita room was spacious enough for the four of us with a fireplace, a deck with pretty views of the mountains and a spacious bathroom. What I especially dig at The Four Seasons are the huge closets where you can pile in everyone's luggage and unpack on the open shelves. So nice not to trip over your things (and giant teenage boy shoes.)

Loved our deck for morning coffee and bird-watching.

Thursday, April 27, 2017

My Spring Favorites From Nordstrom

Nordstrom has been sending me many updates about their spring and summer essentials. There are so many cute new things it's easy to want everything. Fortunately, I just did a major spring cleaning and that included my closet. I donated and sold back 7 bags of clothes and shoes. In that process I did a good survey of what I really need for spring and summer and do not want to add anything unless it is something that is missing or needed replacing. I love the streamline and less cluttered feel of my closet and want it to stay that way!

 Looking at all the lovely offerings from Nordstrom this spring, I found some pieces that will update my warm weather clothes I already own like white jeans, striped pull-overs, my Stan Smith Sneakers, nicer T-shirts, floaty tops and leather sandals. 

Here's what I think are some of the prettiest offering from the Nordstrom Spring looks and what I am considering adding to get me through spring and summer...

I love a little fringe and this Vince Camuto Ulla Woven Tote and it's 40% off now.

On my last trip into Nordstrom, next to the tote was this another fringetastic option..

I tried on these Michael Kors Shaw Espadrilles  and they were super comfy.  They come in a denim color too. The perfect shoe to run out the door in and light enough to pack for travel. 

Another option in the espadrille department that I like are these Tory Burch leather trimmed ones. Just a very cute design. Love these with white jeans.

Gentle Souls 'Break My Heart' sandals have been on my radar for a while and now that I have a summer trip to Italy planned, I am going to splurge on these. I need a comfy sandal that has a good soul and these are top rated for comfort as well as style. I plan to pack just these, some cute sneakers and a pair of flip flops for the few weeks I am gone. Hoping these could transition from day to evening.

This Hinge cotton and linen bomber jacket is a nice lightweight jacket for warmer weather. An update on the jean jacket perhaps.

I also have been noticing a lot of these floaty jackets  which  are also very flattering as a layering piece over a longer tank or top. This utility jacket in a model material would be nice for warm weather travel too. I like the khaki color for summer.

Monday, April 17, 2017

Magnolia Home Hits Pier 1

This morning I got a chance to grab a quick coffee with friends when our tennis was rained out and after we checked out the new Magnolia Home Collection at Pier 1. 

Right now it consists of only pillows and rugs. The nicest ones are authentic Turkish textiles and though rough textured, quite pretty. The pillows have foam inserts, but have a zipper so you could change them out with down inserts, which I would do. There are also some synthetic rugs as well.

My favorite thing was this Zander pillow in pink & ivory.

This Chantilly Blush Rug is pretty for an entry or bath.

 I think the Charis and Fae pillows (below) would be a perfect pair.

Can you not see Joanna fluffing these up on some darling banquette?  I am addicted as everyone else is to Fixer Upper. Even though they have a certain look, I am newly enchanted with each show and home they do. I also never get sick of cute Chip and his antics and I like seeing what Joanna wears each week.
The Mikey Rug was cool in this teal. I kind of want this for my son's bathroom.

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Tory Burch Makes Tennis Classics Chic

I have always loved classic tennis style, especially the looks of the 1970s and 80s that I grew up with. I did a few homages to that look in this blog and another post. Tennis whites always look good to me and who doesn't covet a good tennis sweater? Even if you don't play, it's cool to sport that look.

Tory Burch has nailed this tennis sportif so well in her new Tory Sport line. I am thrilled at how great she made all my favorites - terry cloth, kelly green, pleats, track suit jackets, and stripes on white look. I pretty much want everything, especially a classic pleated white skirt, the ruffled shoes and a terry cloth jogging jacket in green. Right now I'm scheming up ways to get the whole collection, (if only) and justifying it by planning on wearing these darling pieces as part of my everyday look. They are just what I want to wear everyday this summer!

One nice thing is these clothes are made with stretch, moisture wicking and cooling fabrics, so while they look old school, they clearly are not made of the same stiff fabrics their predecessors were. I like the not too tight look of so many of these pieces.

The Tory Sport Instagram account is fun to follow as she posts images that inspired many of these looks like this classic Farrah Fawcett snap.  I loved everything about her sporty style.

The Tory Sport Pro Shop page also has great little tips, recipes and playlists.

Have a look at a few of what I think are the best from the tennis collection-

These ruffled sneakers are TDF!

Thursday, March 23, 2017

My Entry Redo for Project Design

The day is here and I'm revealing what I did for the Project Design challenge. I loved my entry, but knew it needed some color to give it a little oomph and I went with yellow. See my before pics on my previous post. I feel like yellow is such a California color and being blonde I love it in my wardrobe, so why not in the home? My entry feels even more me now.

I also chose a yellow since our entry is small and quite dark. There is no light source really and as much as I contemplated doing a grey or navy wall, I felt a green or yellow would brighten it and also complement my mix of botanical and bird prints I have collected over the years. I never realized how many bird prints we had until I decided to try a gallery wall in here.  The vintage Garden Society sign goes with it all as does the C'est LaVie on glass, a sweet gift from a friend.

The entryway is small, but painting just the one wall, made it seem much larger. The gallery wall was something I just did by accident and it kind of grew organically. I'd try a few, move them around and try others until it really filled the space and made it appear much taller, wider and a lot better than it just a single print could ever do.

I wasn't sure it would work with my little row of hooks left on the wall, but I think it worked out nicely and I like using the hooks to hang other cool seasonal bags and things. We also have a mudroom/pantry situation and enter the house through there most times so these hooks are really for guests.

The best way to do this is to start with one large picture and then work around that until it feels right. It is okay to have your prints a bit off center from each other here and there. Having it all too symmetrical and perfect though lacks the gallery feel and fun of it. You may have a few holes from moving nails around, but I find I can usually cover that with strategic hanging of things. You could also lay them out on a floor first or tack up papers in the same size as the items you are hanging. I usually don't have the patience for that though!

Our entry is small, narrow and has zero architectural interest. It's amazing how much bigger it looks filled up horizontally and vertically. Way more impressive. Like lipstick on a pig you know?

The color I went with was Mulholland Yellow by Benjamin Moore. Okay I have to be honest as I was a bit suckered in by the name. I've always wanted to live in the Hollywood Hills. :D

I wanted a yellow that had some depth to it, not a buttercup color nor too lemon chiffonish, with a bit of green and black to it and this fit the bill. Once on the wall though I wasn't so sure. However, it dried down to something that worked just right with all the greens in my pictures, so I decided to keep the same prints and add in some gold with a leafy print.

The layout of my art isn't right yet, as I was a bit rushed yesterday with appointments and a school concert. I will probably move them around still, but I had to keep the leaf print on the lower left where it is to cover an awkward outlet. I might also add in a small vintage oval gold mirror I have.

The great thing about these collected walls is you can change as you feel like it and I personally love to change things up frequently, though it drives my family bananas.

I was lucky to have this beautiful Trina Turk linen pillow I had yet to find a perfect spot for which had yellows and grey. I think the combination of yellows and golds plus the grey tones of the pillow and rug compliment each other. The black in the frames, hooks and prints ground it all. I threw my Golden State tote and a scarf and army jacket on the hooks for more of those colors. A little more fiddling with it all and I will have it just right.

A special thanks to Cindy Hattersley of Rough Luxe Lifestyle and Mary Ann of Classic Casual Home who were the hosts. I was glad to be asked to join this as it proved to me what a little paint and a effort can do to make your home more updated and chic in a few days, or in my case two! 

I can't wait to see what the others in this challenge did to their entryways. For more inspiration you can visit these lovely blogs:

Thanks so much for playing along with us.