Monday, September 22, 2014

Hello Fall!

It's finally here! I am so excited for fall. After what seems like ages of so much warm weather, I am looking forward to cool nights, fires, soup, sweaters, boots, scarves and that goes with the loveliest season of all.

 So many gorgeous shades of fall!

I'm fluffing the house, getting it cozy, and rearranging with all my fall toned favorites.

Charleston Mag

I'm looking forward to many evenings of homemade soup!

Pumpkin Sage Soup! Recipe here.

A few new things to smarten up the wardrobe would be nice too.

And then there's the entertaining...So many good reasons to get together with friends!

Pear, walnut and ricotta crostini. Recipe here.

Curb appeal is big in autumn, so you've gotta get your gourds on people!

 Coats!!!! I love them soooo much!

Vintage Vogue. 

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Life and Some Lovely Local Finds

Oh September. It's beautiful and my favorite month of all. It's also my birthday month so that helps! :D Any Virgos out there? Being a Virgo I appreciate the return to school, schedules, getting things orderly again after summer's chaos. Yet in the last couple weeks I've been taking time to smell the flowers (gardenias today!) and enjoy doing what I like best. Sitting at the computer has been hard to do.

Some reading and cappuccinos have been consumed.

 What I want to do now is to get my house in order, fluffing, purging and rethinking just about every room.  The impending change of season is energizing to me!

I've been a sloth this summer, ate way too many popsicles, and need to get my house and self in order. I am slowly getting back on track. Do you go through high energy cycles and lazy ones?  I think it could possibly be a healthy thing and one is refocused and renewed.

On that note, some fun activities also came up in the last week. In other words, more excuses not to write. I thought I'd share some cool local places with you.

On my birthday my husband surprised me and took me up to Palo Alto to check out the cute and funky Chocolate Garage! He works with a few foodies who are always scoping out the next cool thing and this was it.

The Chocolate Garage is an interesting spot. Lovely idea by a woman, Sunita who wants to change how chocolate is bought. I love that she wants to educate us more about the chocolate trade. More about her and that on their site.

 I'm sorry. but just seeing these photos makes me want a bar!

It's open on Saturday mornings until 1:00 p.m. and Wednesday nights. All the chocolate is what they call, 'happy' because it's chosen by fair trade, farming standards, and conditions for workers. Bars are sampled -about six a day, and you can try milks, salted, darks and nothing tasted remotely the same. Very fun!

A Hawaiian Bar that was very creamy and good.

I also got to my favorite cafe in Los Gatos, The Purple Onion. This little corner destination has the best spot in Los Gatos, nestled at the base of the beginning to the Jones Trail, a favorite of hikers, walkers, bikers and runners. It's always buzzing with folks right off the trail and has excellent food. There's a view of the foothills and a cute outdoor seating spot too.

They are open for breakfast and lunch. I indulged in a mocha here. They make amazing mochas that are not too sweet with decadent chocolate. (Hmm, I'm onto chocolate again.) A great motivation for the end of a hike, especially for people like me who aren't particularly motivated!

A foggy view of the hills above Los Gatos from the cafe and their walled garden below.

Last Friday I was kindly invited to have a picnic and wine taste with friends at Savannah-Chanelle Winery in nearby Saratoga. Dreamy location and seriously excellent wine. They specialize in reds, but also have a Rose, a bright Chardonnay that I loved and an Estate Zinfandel that is pretty fantastic.

 Some of the Chardonnay grapes that were just harvested. Cute aren't they?

Thanks to our severely warm weather in California, it's a stellar year for many vintners and the grapes were ready to be harvested big time. Check out these babies below... I admit we sampled a few after the picnic and they were quite yummy. These are their Zinfandel vines planted in 1910 and some of the oldest in California.

Are they not gorgeous? Love the frosted look.

My neighbor who is a winery owner and wine maker in Calistoga said this year all the grapes were all ready within 6 days this year. Crazy.

I love Savannah-Chanelle's location. You drive through redwoods and emerge on a knoll with panoramic views of the foothills. Their wines are mostly sold on site and their picnic spots have bucolic views. We brought cheese and crackers and if you'd like to picnic you need to buy a bottle of wine. They have a connection with the Picnic Guild who will set up and cater a picnic for you there as well. Fun idea! Click on the picnic link on the SC website. Lucky for us, my friend is a member and we were her guests. The members have a lot of perks including live music on weekends and many member events to attend. This is a quintessential Northern California spot with a lot of history. Such a treat to spend a few hours there.

Lastly, I forgot to add if you are in Palo Alto, not so far from the Chocolate Garage, check out Lyfe Kitchen. This is one of my favorite stops for fresh, locally sourced and delicious food! There are seven Lyfe Kitchens in the U.S. and just one so far in Northern California.

 There is a vegan menu, gluten free and also a menu for those who can eat it all. My favorites are the salmon, the wraps, hummus, soups and I'm addicted to the cucumber-mint water in this photo. Some nice outdoor seating too. I just hope they expand because this is the kind of chain we need more of!

Okay I admit it, I've been doing a lot of eating and drinking lately!

Back to the grind and veggie sticks!


p.s. This post I did two years ago really evokes a September  mood I think.

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Nor Cal Girl Trina Turk's Fall Collection!

Trina Turk is a native Californian known widely for her resort clothes with retro inspired vibe and colors. I've always loved her bold prints and beach wear that recalled cool items my mom wore in the early 1970s. So it was interesting to discover Trina Turk  grew up in a tract house in San Jose in the 1960s and 70s just as I did! There were loads of mid-century homes amid orchards then. We embraced the avocado greens, the burnt oranges, cornflower yellows and all that...Not to mention macrame owls! I really get where her inspiration comes from having lived that era out in Northern California.  I am drawn to her vibrant designs and 60s inspired bold prints.

 After seeing some fun things Trina Turk had at the Bank of the West tennis tournament pop-up, I  thought I'd like to see more of their new handbags, fall line and the home decor too. I honestly didn't know she had clothes beyond resort wear!

 Some of the goodies at the pop-up store. The candles smell heavenly and we were digging the ice buckets!

 The Trina Turk brand has been growing with the introduction of handbags and workout clothing as well as the Mr Turk line for men. Recently a few friends and I made the trip up to check out the new fall collection at the Trina boutique in the cute town of Burlingame.

Well we loved the store with it's ocean wave inspired ceiling and wood paneling. I highly recommend a trip up to darling Burlingame if you haven't been. Many little bistros and bakeries to grab lunch and wonderful shops.

The new handbag collection has great little details and are well priced too.

Right away, my friend Jeanne and I loved this Joelle dress and this collection in navy with geometrics and cutouts.

Beautifully made pieces! They really were perfect for transitioning into fall. This dress is called Savannah Lace.

This lovely dress was worn by Dana one of the sales women there. It's even cuter on.

I loved this boutique because of the wonderfully curated collection. Pieces from one group mix seamlessly with other groupings and its easy to get several unique looks with just a few different items.

Being the flower junkie I am, I of course fell hard for this Mara top look with grey and violets.

The fabric is a combination of suiting material running down the side of the trousers and the floral.

 There are coordinating pants or a full skirt as well as a dress in this print.

I am still considering this. Even just the pants would be fabulous to mix up with my wardrobe.

I actually came in to try this graphic look that caught my eye at the pop-up shop.

I loved the print, but think I would break it up instead of wearing both matching pieces.

All the fitted skirts I tried are so well crafted they really do flatter. One of the pull on fitted versions like this Ashby skirt above, could be really great for fall with a boxy sweater don't you think?

Then Jeanne and I found this dress that felt like butter and looked great on everyone...

This Harley dress is something I'd just like to have in my wardrobe. It's chic and you can dress it up or down. The combo of the fitted bottom and drapey top flatters and feels amazing on. How often can you say that about a dress? Adding mules or a bootie looks modern and I tried these cut-out mules which would look good with so much.

Oh gosh the shoes and bags !!!  The Sunset Soiree clutch with the wooden clasp above was seriously a collector piece. We also fell for the cut out Laguna mules in tan suede as well as the black I tried.

Color-blocked zip around wallets would be fun to use as a clutch purse.

They have some very lovely jewelry at the boutique as well.


I even wanted to take the salmon grasscloth wallpaper, pillows and rug home from the fitting room!

Then there was the home collection. The pillows and straw totes were so pretty.

In the end I chose something I never thought I'd buy with all the fabulous colors here ...a black sundress!

The cutouts on the hem and collar were darling and this Morena dress was so flattering....I knew I'd wear it for a long time and I needed a black summer dress.

Some of the collar details closer.

I wore my new dress to a wedding at a California vineyard about two weeks ago. It was a very hot day and it never wrinkled. It's fully lined and skims over the body. I think this would be an ideal packing piece for a warm holiday trip as well. It's also made in California as are most of the Trina Turk clothes! Love that. The quality of her clothing line is excellent.

To see more of her California homes and decorating style check out Elle Decor's Instagram Home Tour of Trina's Palm Springs home...

There's lots of fun California inspiration if you follow her Instagram account. Let me just say the Mr Turk Instagram account is um well, pretty fab too...You have to see for yourself. :D

You can also see her gorgeous mid-century Los Angeles home below, in this Elle Decor post.

Trina and her husband Jonathan Skow have been longtime collectors of vintage and she displays many of her treasures in her homes.

I also am crazy for her fabric collection for Schumacher...

 How fabulous to have a chair in one of these or more or even accent pillows? Love!

Some of the best looks from her fall collection..

If you can't get to Trina Turk near you you can visit the Trina Turk site to find the fall collection, new handbags and more!

Wonderful getting to know more about this Northern California girl! I'm hoping to add more of her lovely California made gems to my closet soon.


Photos NorthernCalStyle and Trina Turk photo and collection via Pinterest.