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!

Thursday, April 14, 2016

White Jeans for the Transitional Wardrobe

I kind of love this time of year. One day it's cloudy and drizzly, and the next sunny and beautiful. I try to grab a few minutes outside and soak in some vitamin D when it's warm. The next day it's chilly and I'm by the fire with tea and a big sweater knowing the cool days are numbered.

The only wardrobe item that works consistently this time of year is white jeans. They are springlike, yet still warm. They feel fresher than blue jeans right now, which I'm about done with.  Aerin Lauder's  look above is exactly how I want to dress. I love her off-handed style and the addition of the wintery leather jacket here. Another great look is a big sweater in a light beige or a heathered grey tone with white jeans. It's all about adding a winter staple with the jeans to make it transcend the seasons.

White jeans, as a rule, do not look great super tight on most people. With the skinny jean trend still hanging on, it can be difficult to find a pair that flatters. You want your white jeans to fit, but not grab the thighs. The best look can be found with a thicker material jean, so look for pairs without super thin fabric. I prefer mine straight legged and barely clinging to the leg. I often buy them a size up. Full length or right above the ankle is the most flattering.

I like all the ways these white jeans are styled here, mainly with solids like camel, navy and black. White jeans should be a wardrobe staple and classic you can keep in rotation once you find the right pair. The French wear them all year and they can look especially great with flat sandals and a stylish sneaker or even an ankle boot.

My favorite pair I own are these Paige Verdugo white jeans. The fit is slim, but not tight and I bought a size up. They are ankle length, but at 5'4 they are full-length for me. I also love Frame denim which fits like a dream and this white Frame version is classic, not too skinny and is again longer than shown. I'm also eyeing this pair by Goldsign, and these relaxed Kick jeans by Current/Elliott with raw cuffs, which is more trendy, but cute!

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Meeting Jewelry Designer Ippolita at Neimans!

Today my dear friend Jeanne Chan is guest writing a post for me. Some of you may recognize Jeanne from the blog and she recently had the opportunity to lunch with Ippolita Rostagno at the Stanford Neiman Marcus. Ippolita creates gorgeous jewelry that has a cult following, especially in the Bay Area. Jeanne has been a longtime customer and was personally invited to meet her and see her latest collection. She graciously agreed to write about this cool event for us...Photos and text by Jeanne..

“Neiman Marcus invites you to meet jewelry designer IPPOLITA for a private luncheon…” Wow sign me up!  I did not need to think twice when I received this invitation in the mail.
In an intimate setting at the Stanford Neiman Marcus, two tables were beautifully set with champagne, filet mignon salad and beautiful chocolate desserts.  We enjoyed hearing Ippolita talk about her background and her dedication to learning everything about how to create her beautiful jewelry.  She is hands-on with her craft.  Building on her education in sculpture, she went on to study metals, melted and poured into body sculpted wax molds that became bangles and links for her necklaces.  Ippolita traveled to Thailand to study with master stone-cutters so she could incorporate gemstones in her designs. I so admire her commitment to learning her craft and creating her unique, timeless and beautiful designs.

Jeanne second from left with Ippolita.
Jewelry designer Ippolita Rostagno was born and raised in the hills above Florence, Italy.  She is the daughter of an American artist mother and an Italian father who spent her childhood surrounded by Renaissance art and architecture, seeing first hand the meaning of true craftsmanship. Earning her Baccalaureate in sculpture from the Istituto D’Arte in Florence, Ippolita’s commitment to the craftsmanship of design pieces is reflected in her stunning jewelry pieces.