Thursday, July 24, 2014

My First Blogher Conference!

Today I'm off to my first conference, and first ever real blogging business event.

One of my outfits I'm packing. (I was trying for the business/blogger chic if that's possible!)

I'm kind of excited!!!

I wasn't sure about attending at first, but after reading all about the networking events and great speakers like The Blogess and Arianna Huffington, not to mention some of my best blogger buds going, I decided to go for it.

The Blogher '14 Conference is in my hometown of San Jose, another reason I couldn't refuse. I'm about 15 minutes away from the conference, but decided to stay downtown, to get the full experience of this and so I can stay up late pow-wowing about bloggy stuff.

 Downtown San Jose is fun with many lovely restaurants and fun spots. I got a great deal at The Fairmont which is gorgeous and I highly recommend if you are in the area. The rooftop pool is very pretty and the hotel bar and restaurants are excellent. I haven't been back for an overnight though since my wedding 18 years ago, so I'll let you know how it is.

The thing is, I don't really make any money from blogging, (well not enough to speak of anyway), so in my mind I had to justify the cost of it all. After a lot of thought, I realized I needed to invest in myself and what I do. Isn't it hard for us women to do that sometimes? We don't think we deserve it. Well, I've invested in a few people around here for a long time, so I think it's my time! I'm lucky my husband gets it and agrees.

This conference is a chance to improve my knowledge of blogging, writing, networking, and generally get a fresh perspective on everything. I think everyone can use a refresher course once in a while. Also, just being with friends for an extended time is just good for the soul. I know we'll have so much to yak about, but also some others are connecting up with us and I cannot wait to meet them and other bloggers!

Wish me luck and I may (will) be sharing anything interesting on Instagram!


P.S. After a few requests about my shoe I packed which are no longer available, (which I also forgot to put in the suitcase, but of course photographed. SO dumb!), I found this grey Ivanka Trump pair.  They are currently on sale the Nordstrom Anniversary Event, similar, and even cuter with the higher top and scallop detail and in a luxe suede...

They can be found here. I think the price goes up August 4th.

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Tori Richard -An Original Hawaiian Design House

 Cheryl Tiegs in a Helmut Newton shoot in Hawaii in a Tori Richard dress 1973.

I don't know about you, but when I'm traveling I've got my radar up for locally made goods to discover and hopefully bring back as a remembrance of my trip.

One of my finds on this getaway to the Big Island was Tori Richard, a longtime Hawaiian fashion company. They have been creating Hawaiian inspired dresses and men's Hawaiian shirts for almost 60 years. One evening we went for dinner at one of the original Roy's, and I spotted this cute Tori Richard shop next door and popped in just to see what it was all about.

(Roys! Do not miss this in Hawaii!)

 I am now obsessed with the quality and quantity of their unique prints and chic designs. I'm a print lover and I was in heaven. Tori Richard actually has their own in-house art and design team that creates around 400 prints annually. Amazing. There is over 20,000 prints in their archives and they often reintroduce some of their vintage ones. I would venture to say they are the Hawaiian version of Liberty!!

 The business is still family owned and run and based in Honolulu, though they have been refreshing their brand image and opening more retail posts on the islands.

At this shop, which is new to The King's Shops on the Big Island, they showed me even more cute things and I was whisked off to the fitting room. The dressing rooms had vintage Tori Richard ads from Nordstrom and other stores...


Though the prints brought me in, the soft fabrics and flattering shapes sold me. 

The hard choices ranged from darling strapless rompers that are extremely flattering to maxi dresses, sheaths, tunics, scalopped shorts, coverups and fun Ts.

 This surf side jumpsuit is super flattering and feels like butter.

 In the end, I went home with two print dresses I knew I'd wear tons. 

In front of the glamorous elevator, in my Jungle Love Alyssa Dress. Don't you love that name? I'm crazy for the great leaf pattern.

This dress skims over you with a drawstring waist and I think is perfect for warm summer days, running errands and could be a great cover-up too. I kind of wish I bought more than one. It just make looking pulled together simple on a hot day.

On the way out to dinner in Hawaii, (I got way too much sun) I'm wearing my other purchase, a Sakura Kristina dress.

It's a mock wrap dress with lantern sleeves. This print is fun. You can dress it up like here, paired it with my Ivanka Trumps flats sandals and my woven clutch from J.Crew. I've also dressed it down other times with brown beads and sandals. Super comfortable. 

These dresses are a poly blend and do not wrinkle so they are perfect for travel!

Doing some digging around about this brand, I uncovered loads of vintage dealers selling the original dresses from the 60's, 70's and even the 1950s.

I found this 1950s one in amazing condition on Etsy.

 This adorable Tori Richard is from the 1960s. Also on Etsy.

The company's story through the decades is told on their site and about the name Tori Richard, (taken from the founder's kid's names), and how the business began when the creator Mort Feldman came to Hawaii to retire. It has evolved over the years from strictly women's resort wear, to men's Hawaiian shirts for a while, and is now back to producing both and newly relaunched. 

The men's shirts are amazing. They have their own proprietary cottons and some have a modern close to the body fit...

This is not your father's Hawaiian shirt!

Their model of choice wasn't too shabby either!

The company also did the shirts for George Clooney in the Hawaiian drama, The Descendants as well as for the Hawaii Five-0 shows past and present. Founder Mort also lobbied the Hawaii legislature to begin Aloha Fridays back in the 60's, to convince Hawaiians to adopt Aloha Attire as the official state dress which was a precursor to casual Fridays!

The men's collection is sold in the mainland at Nordstrom. The women's collection and mens's available throughout their site still and in their retail stores in the Hawaiian Islands, and select boutiques.

The vintage looks recall when my grandparents traveled to Honolulu in the early 70s. My grandmother had some long Hawaiian dresses. They may have even been Tori Richard, and I'm wondering if she still has them now.

I have kept the Hawaiian dress she brought me on that trip, and the matching Hawaiian shirt for my little brother. My boys wore the shirt on special occasions when they were small.
 I am hoping one day to have a grandaughter who can wear the dress!!

Travel to Hawaii really took off in the 1970s. In California many wore Hawaiian inspired shirts, puka shells and T-shirts in those days.

I made made my kids watch the Brady Bunch episode from that time on our last night in Hawaii. 
It was so cheesy and retro I loved it.

Fun seeing the 70's resort wear. Oh my God look at Mike's shorts!!! 
I think my dad had some like that.

This center dress, on Marcia, looks a lot like a Tori Richard. I'm sure some of the dresses were.

Does anyone remember having these big floral maxi dresses? I do and I wore my hair in a bun with mine! I think I was 7 or something.

I think it could be cool to collect vintage Tori Richard dresses and even the shirts for my guys. Their beautiful fabrics are like art. It's wonderful to have something unique and that you may be able to pass down one day to your kids.

Do you have any Hawaiian fashions or Tori Richard pieces?

Maybe it's being in the islands, but I think wearing their clothes makes life a little more fun!

So do Hawaiian shirts!

Happy weekend! Get your Aloha on people!

photos NorthernCalStyle and also Pinterest and Tori Richard.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Summertime and Seizing the Moment

Summer is such a sweet word filled with so much happiness especially for kids. Each year that passes I feel the very precious and fleeting nature of it even more keenly. Kids are changing, growing and becoming bean poles. No matter how much they tower over me, they still just want to get their fill of  popsicles, pools, staying up late, running around town on bikes, camping and all those quintessential summer rites. 

 When I returned from my vacation, I learned my close friend is battling a serious illness and she hasn't left my mind hardly at all. She's a happy and joyous person who knows how to enjoy life and I am hoping she will soon be better. 

I am feeling very much aware that it's important to live in the moment. 

There is no perfect time to do something and later often means never.

 Life is precious and summer especially short.
 I wonder how many lazy summers do we have left for my kids to just chill?

Already my oldest is doing an short internship with my husband's start-up. 

Jackson's first day of his internship. Don't you love how they are both wearing flip-flops?
The Silicon Valley summer work uniform here.

Pretty soon they will be scrambling for more summer experiences, camp jobs and volunteer hours.

 I am trying to be a 'yes' mom more so than usual this summer.

 We made this collage of Griffin's visit to Santa Cruz earlier this year.

Lemonade stand? Sure!

Late night frozen yogurt? Let's do it!

Planet of the Apes? (Hey that one is major mom points if you ask me!)

Water fights, nighttime swims, sleepovers and camping on the lawn? Yes!

S'mores on the BBQ! Making ice cream!

More time for our favorite pets...

They so appreciate it!

Time for books! I'm reading as much as I can now!

A getaway with my husband before school starts is on my list too.

Some other ideas for savoring summer...

Afternoon ice tea with friends. My pal Kim is always good about impromptu tea chats on her porch.

 Look at what my succulent gave us this week! 

I am taking time to see all that's blooming and enjoying the garden bounty and beyond.

Happy hour with your neighbors on Summer Fridays.

Movie nights on the driveway. (You can sometimes do this in conjunction with the happy hour.)

Game nights- we are talking board games here people- old school Monopoly and all that. (My kids love this and no one misses television when we get in the habit.)

Late night tennis when it's cool and the courts are open!

Summer Camp for you! ( I am doing this!! At least I am calling it such. While my youngest is away at Scout Camp, I signed up for a Blogher Convention nearby and am meeting some friends and hope to make more friends and learn a few new things.)

Yesterday, Grif and his friend Nicholas and his little sister had a lemonade stand in the park.

They had been wanting to do this for a long while.

I had saved an old copy of Martha Stewart for lemonade stand ideas.

Grif used it to make some cute goodies to sell.

The day before they actually squeezed lemons from Nicholas and Lauren's yard.

It's was a pretty serious set-up and Nicholas was muddling raspberries and rosemary!

Gee maybe I should use them as bartenders!!  ;D

Anyhow, would you believe they got only 1 customer?

We got some very un-California like, crazy gale force winds for a few hours and even a light sprinkle.

Just enough to clear out the park!!

I've never seen the park empty, ever! It was crazy.

Still they enjoyed eating all the profits...Sugar intake was likely at a record.
I let them enjoy.
We will make it happen on another day.

Is there anything that means summer to you?

How do you live in the moment?

It's something I am working on.

Any tips?


Thursday, July 10, 2014

I Heart Hawaiian Gardens

 I'm working on my Big Island of Hawaii travel posts..

One thing that I brought back with me was a newfound love of tropical plants, especially the palms.

Who knew there were so many varieties?

I don't know why I didn't notice on previous trips, but it may have something to do with chasing small boys and all that. 

This was such a nice relaxing and long trip I really soaked up all the beauty of the islands..

I took copious pics of the fabulous palms and plants of Hawaii..

Our sunrise view of the many palms blowing in the wind.

I love all the many shapes...


and colors.

So many flowering trees!!! 

Flowers that grow on beaches!

Tropical forests next to lava fields.

Gorgeous flowers spring right out of the lava cracks!

These reminded me of that Beverly Hills Hotel Martinique wallpaper.

Love it!

Check out these Charlotte Olympia sandals. Impractical, but soooo fun!!!

We thought these were Dr Suess-like.

Sugar cane!

A macadamia nut tree.

A monstrous bloom of Little Shop of Horrors proportion, but you can't tell from this photo.

 (This particular variety of fern makes good head :)

A very ocean like fern!

Palm trees can sway an amazing amount when it's windy. They are extremely flexible!

The variations of color on these leaves was gorgeous.

More prehistoric-sized leaves.

Bread fruit! 
Did you know this is the plant HMS The Bounty sailed to Tahiti to collect?
This very starchy plant has a storied past and today has been found to have 3 compounds in it that are more effective against mosquitos than DEET? 

 Pretty heart shaped leaves were everywhere at our hotel.

Love the little baby pineapples!

A glamorous pic from a hike in the very wet and steamy volcano forest at Mount Kilauea.

Some charming old Hawaiian style homes on the Hilo side of The Big Island of Hawaii.

These amazing beauty of so many plants had me visualizing landscaping with palms and tropical trees, flowers and painting our California ranch house a bright white!

The new C Home Magazine gave me even more inspiration to do this.
Loved Jessica de Ruiter's Southern California home. 

More lovely photos can be found on Habitually Chic.

Creeping fig looks so tropical on her wall.
I would love a banana tree at my entrance and other palms.

Then, my gardener dad pointed out that we have a huge sequoia growing smack in the center of the front yard, which isn't going anywhere soon and may outlast even us.

I guess we are kind of locked in with that Nor Cal look. :/

Darn reality checks! 

In the meantime, I'll stick to my native plants I guess and dream of a Hawaiian holiday home.

Anyone else have a Hawaiian inspired garden? I can still smell the fragrant sweet smell of the island!

Next on the blog, more details of the Mauna Lani where we stayed and all I love about my favorite island, The Big Island of Hawaii!