Stars & Stripes

Stars & Stripes

Hi to you. Summertime is here. It’s never the same, summer, that is… While the routine of the school year is so predictable, summer is always different. It’s not only the transition, but no two days, two weeks or two summers are alike, so it can sometimes be difficult (for me at least) to get a handle on everything. For example, we’re either completely out of food the day after I do a huge grocery shop, or I’m throwing stuff out because no one happened to be around for a few days and neglected to tell me. My Type A tendencies are being challenged, which is probably a good thing! I’m sure there’s some great lesson in the unpredictability  I’m putting my yoga and meditation practices to the test, just breathing through each day and letting it all ‘just be’…. When that doesn’t work, I’ve also got some military style strategies for staying sane that I may share in a subsequent post. 🙂 All that said, this summer is shaping up to be one of the most calm, joyful and all around blissful summers I’ve had in a long, long time. Happy Fourth!

xo

s

Blue and white turkish hand towels

July 4th watermelon kabobs

Sparklers

Red and white striped shirt

I’m headed up North this week… can’t wait. I have such a case of wanderlust…. See you next time from the road 🙂

 

 

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Fashion Edit: My hi lo favorites

Fashion Edit: My hi lo favorites

Hi. Sigh. This is the last week of high school for Lily. She graduates tomorrow. In a way it’s a bigger deal than when her brother graduated three years ago….It marks a significant change in my mothering life as I’ve known it for the past 22 years. I cried everyday for six months prior to Luke graduating and everyday after that until he left for college. With Lily, I have a different reaction, but not one bit less emotionally charged. Has this happened to you? Different reactions for each child? This time, I’m filled with excitement as I watch her take this leap, the baby that never left my hip, who never stopped crying when she had a babysitter, who still likes to hang out with me…occassionally 🙂 I have exponential admiration, respect and straight up awe for this girl for so many reasons. My little peanut is ready to leave the nest and soar and I will be cheering her on every step of the way. I hope I prepared her enough. 

xo

s

When I’m asked where I purchased a piece of clothing or where I shop, most people are surprised when I say I buy the majority of my clothes online. Sure it’s safer and  more fun to try things on in person, go with a friend, etc. But online shopping is not only getting more convenient with accurate sizing guides, and free shipping and returns, but the fun factor has been and continues to be upped with inspiring editorials, amazing packaging and speedy delivery. I have a few go-to’s when I’m in need of something or just want to satisfy that itch. The two on the top of my list currently are both extremely fashion forward, but at opposite ends of the price point range. Here they are with my picks for the season:

  1. Zara – This is my happy place. They have so much fun with fashion, t’s infectious. The inventory is vast and is constantly changing (as I was putting this post together, they kept adding more things, which made me keep changing my picks) and the prices are very reasonable. This is where I shop when I want to try out a trend but don’t want to make a big commitment.

1. Dress 2. Sandals 3. Bag

1. Jacket 2. Jumper 3. Shoes

1. Top 2. Skirt 3. Shoes

 2. Matches Fashion – I’ve been a fan of this British online shop for years, so when they recently started offering free shipping and easy returns, I was a goner. There is one thing, however that makes MatchesFashion standout as the BEST shopping experience ever…. Their packaging. It’s unlike anything I have every seen. Marbled paper covered boxes with a magnetic closure. Inside, each item is meticulously wrapped in layers of tissue paper and sealed with a beautiful sticker. Even the invoice is enclosed in a matching envelope.

1.Dress 2. Shoes 3. Bag

1. Jacket 2. Jumper 3. Shoes

1. Shoes 2. Top 3. Skirt

 

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The Summer of Love

The Summer of Love

Hello sweet reader. For those in the US, I hope this past Memorial Day weekend slash kick-off to summer slash official start to white-jeans-season was wonderful. Mine was super fun and productive. I washed the outdoor furniture and got new pillows. Then I ordered a badminton set and wait for it…. a corn hole game! (why is there not a better name?) It’s potentially my last summer with both kids in the house so instead of getting the inflatable pool and bubble blowing kits of so many summers gone by, I found some more age appropriate summer games that will (hopefully) keep them and their friends hanging out here as much as possible. The highlight of the weekend, however – attending Bottlerock – an outdoor music festival in Napa.:))

xo

s

 

 

 

Another fun thing I did this past week was to attend the “Summer of Love” exhibit at the de Young Museum in San Francisco. It’s an homage to the historic social phenomenon that happened in the Haight Ashbury neighborhood 50 years ago when approximately 100,000 people (aka hippies) converged in this part of the city and basically camped out for the summer. As someone who is approximately this age, and was raised in an extremely flowerchild-like household, I was super stoked for the exhibit and to take in all the fashion, music, art and groovy vibes, man. Ya dig? Ok, I’ll stop.

As I’ve said here before, if there’s one era that I relate to fashion-wise, it’s the late 60’s, early 70’s. While trends come and go, I stay pretty true to the same look – bohemian prepster. So, as I share photos from the exhibit that caught my eye, I will add a few other images from this time period that inspire me. I hope they do for you as well.

Vintage band posters from The Fillmore

There is an entire room with these posters from the floor to the ceiling. The style of typeface, colors and use of negative space creates a sense of movement. Supposedly, you can only read them if you’re on LSD. The legendary music venue – The Fillmore – gives a poster to all concert goers dating back to it’s first days. The creators of these posters from The Fillmore and other SF venues are these guys:

The “big Five” San Francisco poster artists Lto R Alton Kelly, Victor moscosso, Rick Griffin, Wes Wilson, Stanley Mouse.

I would wear either of the two outfits above today.

I think my Mom had the dress on the right. Or maybe it was the same pattern as the wallpaper in our kitchen… Yes, we did have rust colored paisley wallpaper in our kitchen.

George Harrison and Patti Hansen

This is George Harrison and Patti Hansen. The shoes,,,,

The detail of the hand stitching on these patchwork jeans is amazing – not extremely intricate but, delicate, whimsical and artistic.

This unbelievable work of art is a crocheted wedding dress.

This photo from a 1960’s Vogue would also make an incredible wedding dress,

For information about the Summer of Love exhibit click here.

For more of my boho inspirations click here.

For more of my fashion inspirations click here.

I hope you enjoyed this post. It was fun to put together… here’s to a summer of love!

 

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My Favorite Style Icons and a New Book

My Favorite Style Icons and a New Book

Well howdy dreamers. What can I tell you? For one thing, I just ate way too much chocolate — even for me.  It’s my one actuallyI have a huge problem and probably need an anon but admitting it is the first step, right? guilty pleasure so its all good. Other than that juicy tidbit, life has been in a blissful holding pattern for the past few weeks. Oh – here’s something – I stepped back into doing residential interior design for a project I couldn’t refuse… It’s in Cabo. On the beach. I know – check myself.  I got to fly down to Mexico and stay at the property for a night. I dressed the part. I conjured a female Pablo Escobar-ish look which was way out of place among the college Spring Breakers and honeymooner couples on the plane. It also could have been that I was the only one traveling solo to Mexico. Or the tube of floorplans sticking out of my purse.

Sources: dressshoes, bag

Happy Weekend!

xo

s

For most of my life I have had style icons. Women who I think epitomize an effortless, classic and timeless style while staying current and slightly edgy. I have several – see them here, but my numero uno, all-time favorite is Ali MacGraw.

Ali MacGraw

Ali MacGraw in a beanie at the Academy Awards

She wore a beanie to the Academy Awards – no words.

Ali MacGraw

Photo by REX USA (94679c)
ALI MacGRAW – 1971

Ali MacGraw

My favorite of her former beaus is Steve McQueen, so I started pinning photos of him too. What a couple.

Ali MacGraw and Steve McQueen

Ali MacGraw and Steve McQueen

So, I was beyond excited to receive the book “McQueen’s Motorcycles – Racing and Riding with the King of Cool” by Matt Stone from the publisher. Cool personified. If you have a motorcycle lover in your life, this book would make an excellent gift.

 

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A cool jacket for cool weather and a special offer for you!

A cool jacket for cool weather and a special offer for you!

Hello loves. Besides the crazy weather we all have experienced this week, it’s been relatively quiet around here, which is nice. I’ve been on an organizing and purging spree. I cleaned out my garage (partly) then my closet and ended up with three huge bags of clothes to take to the consignment store, which are now in the garage :). It always feels so good to de-clutter. The highlight at the end of the week – an absolutely fantastic weekend spent in Carmel Valley at this heavenly place.

xo,

Serena

I find that layering is the way to go when it comes to cold weather and in-between-season temperature fluctuations. Even though I live in California, I’m pretty much always cold and when I go someplace really cold I look like the Michelin Tire guy because my parkas are all so huge and bulky. Enter my Seattle friend Elizabeth Roberts… I’m so excited to share this with you all… who has designed the most fun and stylish jackets!  Elizabeth very generously sent me the stunner below which I absolutely LOVE! I’m playing around with styling it from the perfect apres yoga outerwear (this morning) to a casual girls night out (tonight). In the meantime, here are photos of the jacket from Elizabeth’s incredible lookbook. She has also graciously offered my readers 20% off of any product with the Promo Code:  SERENA20. 

Enter her site here.

lightweight chic puffer - aubergine

Layering leather jacket over light puffer

Layers don’t have to mean only sweaters. This leather jacket over lightweight jacket look is so super cool.

What to wear over workout clothes and look chic

Jacket to wear from gym to errands

 

 

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A New Shoe Discovery: Flats

Hello loves and happy new week to you!  I’m thrilled to report that Lily and I survived our ski adventure! Yes, completely injury free! After just one lesson, Lily was up and skiing, which is excellent because she has just made her decision to attend the University of Denver in the fall, so skiing will probably be a big part of her future. Tahoe experienced record amounts of snow this year even before the gigantic storm that took place while we were there. Fortunately we were still able to ski everyday except for one, when the lifts were closed due to high winds. These are from the day after the storm… 

Squaw skiing

Alpine Meadows

Skiing on powder

Have a wonderful week!

xo

serena

 

 

 

 

So, how do you feel about flats? I recently had a conversation at the gym with a woman around my same age (very late forties/early fifties) who told me she thought flats made women look matronly and aged us beyond our years. As I listened to her share her perspective, I reflected to myself that not only had I never thought that, but I actually think flats can be very flattering (no pun intended). I try to steer away from absolutes regarding fashion (or anything else for that matter), but I really don’t buy into to the school of thought that dictates that a woman should dress according to her age, or that age should factor into our clothing decisions. The way we take care of ourselves, our genetic composition, body type, lifestyle and other factors all affect our clothing decisions and what does or does not look appropriate.

When I got home I looked at the shoes in my closet and realized I actually had not worn flats (other than sandals, sneakers and boots) for some time. Why was that? Because the flats I have – mostly ballerina’s, while timeless and classic, just don’t inspire me. So I went on a little online retail excursion and discovered that there are some fabulous new styles -in particular:  pointy toe and strappy –  both of which I find extremely flattering AND dare I say it – sexy.

Valentino flats

Alexa Chung in flats

Incidentally, I think that all of the above looks can be worn by women my age. If the skirt length feels to short, a slightly longer silhouette would work or adding tights. The ripped jeans can be replaced with non-ripped (personally I don’t wear ripped jeans because they always rip more and then the shape gets distorted). Anyway, after trolling around my favorite online shops, I narrowed down my favorites to these (the pair I chose are the last photo).

From here

From here

From here

From here

From here

I’ll share photos, when they arrive…

 

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