Friday, May 31, 2013

School Daze Screeches to a Halt..

Grif and buddies Nicolas and Liam in colonial garb.

Its almost the last week of school... This week just about put me over the edge. As my friend Kim said, weeks like these, you wake up hyperventilating. Really. Why does it all have to get crammed in at the last minute?

Boot Camp

Last week it was School Picnic and Boot Camp, Open House Night, Colonial Days and a Fifth Grade Music Concert that we failed to get the notice about... Yes, he survived. All for the fifth grader these activities. I forgot to add Bike Safety Night too, and that the big state report was due along with treats to share state related to class..We had Maine so it was blueberries in dixie cups for 30. He remembered about that 9:00 p.m. the night before of course.

Grif and classmate Seraphina on way to school for Colonial Days. Our Jack Sparrow Halloween jacket has served us well!

This week it started with a class water gun party that they earned. He had to bring treats to share and a water squirter (of course none of ours are to be found and new had to be bought),  electronic gadgets could be brought to class and a change of clothing for those going to after school rehearsal for the Beatles chorus.. Yes, they planned the upper grades chorus show for this week. Not sure who made that decision...

Goofing around at the chorus concert with neighbor and friend Abby.
Usually its been a few weeks earlier. Sorry, but even the Beatles can't revive the checked out kids.. Chorus practices this week after school until 6 and shows Thursday and Friday. Big book report due today. Tuesday night was a special Scouts meeting and Wednesday night was the big picnic and music show for incoming fifth graders at the middle school.. We dragged over to that to catch a few tunes after the chorus rehearsal.. Almost forgot Tuesday was dress like another era day and at 7:45 that morning we were trying to recreate Richey Cunningham here...

Now we just have to get through next week's trip on Monday to mini-golf and water-slides, Tuesday is something-forget now. Wednesday is the picnic for all graduating fifth graders at the park, and finally graduation. Whew. I made it   Oops, we made it through. He is our last one at elementary. I dearly love our school, but I have been there for 11 years with the two boys. I think I'm ready for middle school and less parent involvement! Oh wait piano recital on Sunday after..

Notice I haven't mentioned the ninth grader? The first year of high school is just about over and like everyone said it flew, literally whipped by. I'm starting to believe what they say about high school going really fast and it makes me a bit sad. He has already checked out. Seriously. After starting so enthused. things are falling between the cracks worryingly. I have heard this is a ninth grade boy thing and that they are done and burnt out by this time. I hope that is it..On a bright note he did bring home a gorgeous table crafted in wood shop class.

I'm working on getting a few things lined up for them for Summer. It's a fine balance to get them doing some fun activities, but letting them chill and enjoy the pleasures of Summer. My best memories are lazying about swimming pools, riding bikes with my pals around the neighborhood, popsicles and lemonade stands and Lake Tahoe.  I don't want them to miss just being kids and the feeling of no schedule. That only happens for a short part of their lives.. With that attitude they would say we may not be Stanford material, but I think we are okay with that. I'd rather have happy kids than perfect kids....

On that note, here's the best thing I read this week. A blog some friends shared on Facebook. This mom gets real about the end of the school year and I just want to hug her.. Read this is you need a smile and some perspective!

Have a good weekend and if you are a parent you are almost there!!



Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Sweaters and Shorts

This time of the year, I'm ready for shorts and dresses. However, the weather can be flaky and days can fluctuate from warm to rainy and cool like we had this weekend in Northern California. The perfect solution is sweaters with shorts. I personally love this look.

I'm not talking the tacky cut-offs with raggedy edges and pockets sticking out -So Britney Spears ladies! Class up your shorts wardrobe and find some that are neither too short nor too tight. You don't want them so long either..In fact a shorter length can sometimes hit at a more flattering spot on the leg than a longer short can, so try on many..


Loving the cable knit and penny loafers. Something about a sweater is just so cozy and yet the addition of shorts say Summer. It's very East Coast where Summers in Maine and those regions can be very cool.


I'm not a huge Taylor Swift fan, but she looks very cute with these flats, little bag and sweater.

This Chanel sweater jacket looks great paired with relaxed shorts and perfect for a night out on Gwyneth Paltrow.

Kate Moss is known for wearing her cut-offs, but looks lovely in these classier shorts and cardigan.

My personal rule with shorts is always wear flats or a very low heel. There's something about high heels and shorts that I find tacky. Pretty flat sandals or ballets are perfect.  (Being over 40, I am careful where I wear shorts. I wear them at the park, beach, shopping and running about. Otherwise, I default to skirts, especially when traveling.)

I love a V-neck boyfriend or slouchier sweater paired with shorts, long necklaces and flats for day and jeweled T-strap flat sandals for night. In fact some of the best sweaters are probably in your husband's closet right now! If not, J Crew has some great ones here and here and here. I've even bought them in the guys departments in smaller sizes as well.

Olivia Palermo (above and below), is the shorts queen and wears them with everything.

With a sweater and your shorts you can stay cozy, but still keep your Spring mindset!! 

What do you think? Do you have any opinions on shorts? Do you think they look okay on woman over 40? Tell me what you think!

Have a great week!


Images via Pinterest, NYFW, J Crew.

Saturday, May 18, 2013

California Stuff

I have a few things in my back pocket I've been keeping to share with you readers and thought I'd put them all here in one post. These are some fun things for those who love California.

 Sorry I've been away too long. It's that nutty time of the year again and I can hardly catch my breath with all the end of school activities.

This is short and fun and I'll be back soon with a few new posts I'm working on in the middle of the night  : / and whenever possible!

In the meantime, I didn't want you to think I had forgotten you all so enjoy...

Love this Facebook page which posts gorgeous photos of California each day. ( Top photo also from We Love California.) If you are on Facebook and like their page you'll get their daily photos.

We Love California

I caught this Vogue, Live Like A Local feature this week written by Bay Area native Sally Singer. She details her favorite shops and restaurants in San Francisco, Berkley and Oakland.


Digging this California T from this Etsy shop. They also have other states as well.

Etsy also has a lot of California necklaces that I would love to have especially this delicate one:


Kind of fun to have the Bay Area pendant, but how cute is the Disney one? Would also be darling on a charm bracelet, non?


How about this original vintage look letterpress print? The same tones as my Mom's day post. It could  be cute in a pool bath or where you want a pop of fun color and whimsy.


I think a California pillow would be a fun gift or souvenir. This Trina Turk one is in my favorite colors right now.

Trina Turk

I couldn't resist adding this! For our furry buds... I think I'd like to order the cat as well. :)
(As if you could get a good mug shot of your pet for this, right?)

Pet ID Tag here

I leave you this...

Click on the almost x shape to the right of the HD to see in full screen which you must! I can't stop watching this. I feel so peaceful. This video was made by Andrew Julian and he has a Facebook page with his other videos of Paris and more. What a talented guy.

Hope you all have a lovely sunny weekend!


Thursday, May 9, 2013

Stuff I Like and Mother's Day Gift Ideas!

Still shopping for Mother's Day?  I had a chance to get out and browse  a bit this week and found lots to love. If you're still needing ideas here's a few things that would put a little pop into any mom's wardrobe. I'd be thrilled with any of these.  Hint, hint. ;D

 I might think about a semi-regular post with good finds... This was so fun!

Here's a few finds for mom in the mint and citrus tones that I'm loving for Spring and Summer..

From top left clockwise.. Click on names to get to the site..

1. I can't say how much I love this little key fob/wallet in mint and tan from J.Crew. I want this for my beach bag.

2. This Stella McCartney scarf is a splurge, but the fabric is so gorgeous. I'd never take it off.

3. I'm thinking this J.Crew link bracelet would be chic with whites and has a luxe look to it.

4. Okay how clever is this Kate Spade popsicle coin purse? Perfect for a bike to the ice cream store!

5. I love Tory Burch flip flops and may finally replace my 3 year old ones with this new floral style. I think these are the best $50 upgrade to your Summer wardrobe.

6. The colors of this Cole Haan shopper tote are so pretty and would be super for Summer days at the beach or for travel.

Don't forget all the special moms in your life! Sometimes just a call, a card or being together is the best gift of all.

Wishing all you moms out there a wonderful weekend!


The Bride's Cafe

Monday, May 6, 2013

Getaways - The Clement Monterey and Pebble Beach

Just getting my post out about our trip to beautiful Monterey a few weeks ago. Last getaway we were down here, but stayed in Carmel Valley. This trip we had our kids off for Spring Break and chose to stay in Monterey, right next to the ocean. It's such a fun place for families and a gorgeous part of the world.

Looking down on Cannery Row from our room. 

We stayed at The Clement, an Intercontinental Hotel, which was recently built and is right on Cannery Row. It's location cannot be beat. We were about ten steps from the world famous Monterey Bay Aquarium.  Right on the Cannery Row, you are on the waterfront as well as a great path that you can walk or bike all the way to Pacific Grove. 

We visited the aquarium earlier this year so this time we opted to go to Carmel and fool around a bit before an early check in to our hotel. My guys always have to stop at the Cottage of Sweets and we also love The Carmel Roasting Company. 

Personally my two favorite shops are The Carmel Bay Company which is filled with unique housewares, books, rugs, prints and things I never see anywhere else. I bought a French mustard jar this time. I'm also crazy about this cute shop, Jane Austen at Home which feels like a little English parlor with antiques and bits any Anglophile would adore.

After a stop for coffee and sweets, we took a walk on Carmel Beach, which is one of the most lovely  beaches in California and has some supreme dog watching. They love their dogs here and the variety of hounds seen is always fun. Good people watching as well... This is a fantastic spot for a sunset picnic too.

 A shot of Carmel Beach. Looking right you can see Pebble Beach and the lodge in the distance.

We were here in late April and let me tell you, everything colorful was in bloom. I don't think there is a more gorgeous time to visit. However, Monterey Bay is just amazing anytime of year.

Some snaps from the beautiful Clement . I was in love with the flowers, the rooms and the sea urchin light fixtures...

 This hotel had service as well as style. Everyone made you feel so welcome. We checked in early and stretched out a bit in the pretty and spacious room. I liked the fireplace for chilly nights, it had a desk or vanity to work on and my favorite thing was the chair and ottoman by the window.

 I snuck in a bit of reading here with the fire on while the boys went to the pool with my husband. They have a rooftop pool and jacuzzi which was perfect. Monterey is cool a lot of the year, but the pools were warm. There is a pretty spa as well as a workout room overlooking the pool. If you have smaller ones and want a night out, there is a kid's activity club with a large climbing wall.

My son on his way back from the pool looking out over Cannery Row from The Clement's bridge. I appreciated all the details like little lights that look like portholes and ocean themed design throughout.

While the boys hung out, my husband and I went downstairs to the bar for happy hour and listened to the live guitar music. You can take your cocktails outside and sit on one of the patios overlooking the bay. I loved how kayakers paddled by and sea otters were floating and relaxing in the kelp maybe 30 feet from the deck.

 The next morning we had an ocean view breakfast watched the otters while eating. Excellent breakfast.  I had the yogurt, California fruits and granola.

After checking out, we wandered along the coast all the way to Pacific Grove. This is one of the best parts of the Monterey coast. Once you hit Pacific Grove, you are bordering the Del Monte Forest with it's cypress trees and little deers wandering about. We stopped at one of my favorite beaches at the end of the path, Asilomar. There is a wooden path starting here that follows along the Spanish Bay golf links.  The sand is so white and soft and this beach has wonderful tide pools. Also lots of surfers out here. We flew a kite and meandered on the trail.

If you have the time, go a little further past Asilomar beach and you will hit the entrance gates for the famous 17 Mile Drive. You pay a toll to get in, but it's worth it to stop at these beaches which have lots of picnic spots for lunch. You can view the sea lions along here and this time of the year are just birthing their babies, so there are shelters in place.

The drive includes a fantastic view of the Pebble Beach golf course and others and you'll see some unbelievable homes. There is the famous lone cypress tree along here and myriad photo stops. Right when you start the drive, you can catch The Inn at Spanish Bay on your right. There's a fun place to have a drink here overlooking the golf links by fire pits. You can also have dinner at Roys there and if you are there at sunset, hear the bagpipers play.

 Coming back here and seeing the Pebble Beach Pro-Am in February one year is on my bucket list for sure.

One of the beaches along the drive and the famous cypress tree below.

So many gorgeous homes to spy on this drive.

This time we opted to stop at Pebble Beach Resort near the end of the drive, and grab a bite. You should not miss a walk into the lodge. The view is legendary. You can have lunch at a few spots here including the clubby Tap Room.

The Lodge at Pebble Beach

 We had lunch at a new restaurant here called The Bench. First of all, the design of this place...swoon!

The Bench at Pebble Beach

 I was in love with the white marble, white tiles, open pantry, navy banquettes, and a glass roof. This could be my dream kitchen!

If that wasn't enough, they had me at ice tea. Look how mine came...

I'm a sucker for these kind of details. Did I mention the waiter's chic bow-ties? You can choose to sit outside on some very comfy couches as well, over looking the bay. We had wood-fired pizzas, caprese salad, potato leek soup - all delicious. I do think The Bench was reasonable for a fancy resort and I'd venture to say that you could probably eat for the same price as buying sandwiches at the Pebble Beach Deli and Market, also on resort property.

 I thought the name was strange, but my oldest read the menu (apparently while I was covertly sneaking photos) and told me later there once was a bench where the current restaurant is and that was where the  deal was made to buy the Pebble Beach resorts back from foreign owners. (Gee, I think I'm shocked when they actually read the menu!)

Another view from the main lobby...

 You know if you are on the drive it's really worth a stop here. Even if you can't afford to check in, the lodge alone is worth a visit to see the history here and the views! There are also some terrific shops in a small outdoor shopping arcade.

Of course there are many wonderful golf courses and if you cannot swing Pebble Beach there is Pacific Grove, Poppy Hills, Spyglass, Cypress Point and Spanish Bay! They are all fabulous and front the same ocean and forest area.

I've only touched on a bit of Carmel and Monterey. There is even more to see and do. Next getaway posts, I'm going to share some other favorites including wineries, more shops and restaurants, and the Big Sur area as well.

Thanks so much for reading!