It happens without warning. You go from counting down the days until school starts, doing a happy dance the minute you step into the quiet house after dropping your children off and attending the Parent Breakfast (which, sadly, I have missed due to scheduling conflicts for the past 5-6 years or more) to stepping into the quiet house, plopping down on the sofa that so recently had piles of kids on it and wishing for just a few more days of summer. There's no gradual progression. No transitional period. So begins Lily's senior year of high school…Where did the time go?
The one silver lining with back-to-school week is catching up with friends over coffee. It's nice to think that this tradition can (and will) continue, even after the kids have left the nest. It got me thinking about coffee shops, having coffee with friends at home and all that goes with both… Here are some of my inspirations.
Playing Dorothy Moore’s Misty Blue on Sunday night
I've been listening to a new Pandora station lately – Lauryn Hill Radio. It gets confusing, sorting out all of the music choices out there – Spotify, Pandora, Soundcloud, etc. I don't really get what makes one better than the other or how they differ, so I just stick to the one I know. The music on Lauryn Hill Radio is a mix of present day artists as well as oldies, but it's all Rhythm & Blues. I heard "Misty Blue" by Dorothy Moore for the first time tonight. What a beautiful song. I'm a sucker for soulful ballads that stir emotions…But then again, it's Sunday night, so maybe that's why….
Oh, it's been such a long, long time
Looks like I can get you off my mind
Oh, but I can't
Just the thought of you,
Turns my whole world
A misty blue.
That it does.
Right after I heard this song tonight, I watched a show on Netflix and it played during the credits… I love coincidences.
A flower exchange party and recipe for deconstructed Nicosia salad with salmon
Several weeks ago I had a group of girlfriends over for lunch. The common thread that binds us is that we met through our kids and all live in the same neighborhood. There were 10 of us which is a great size for full table conversations as well as multiple smaller ones. I had the same group of lovelies over for a cookie exchange at Christmas, which was a big hit – the amount of wine consumed had absolutely nothing to do with it. because who doesn't like cookies? So, I wanted to do a summer version and came up with a flower exchange theme. Everyone brought about a dozen stems of their choosing and at the end of the party everyone took home a gorgeous mixed bouquet.
The plan was to eat outside, but it was cold and started sprinkling that morning, so I brought everything inside at the last minute, thus no table pics.
For lunch, I made a deconstructed nicoise salad meaning all of the ingredients were singled out and people could take what they wanted.
I used salmon instead of tuna and had the most serendipitous discovery that morning. I was planning on baking the salmon, but I happened to notice a never opened box of parchment baking bags in a drawer with a picture of salmon filets on it. I decided to try it out and followed the recipe in the box: Preheat oven to 400 degrees, put the salmon in the bag (I put 3 pieces in each bag) with some lemon, dill and a tsp of water. Bake for 10 minutes and open the bag gently to release steam. Omg – foolproof! You can get the bags here.
I also made this ricotta and roasted tomato galette from the Macrina Bakery cookbook. You can get the cookbook here.
There were a few extra flowers left over after everyone left. Lucky Lily and me!
Hi you. I'll let the photos do the talking. I've missed you.
The Rihanna Concert was amazing.
My sweet Lily and her prom date Will. It was drama free I'm happy to report.
My Mother's Day gifts.
They know me so well.
Bonus gift – Luke was home for a week over Mother's Day!
I was in New York recently for a work meeting and attended the ICFF trade show which coincided with Design Week. It was fantastic. Here are some of my favorite new discoveries. Please leave a comment below if you would like the vendor information on a particular piece and I'll reply in the comments. Thank you 🙂
It's hard to see, but this lighting company offers several unusual finishes (like rust – real rust) and the option to use multiple in one fixture which I thought was really cool.
These outdoor, fully weatherproof chairs are the bomb! Beach house owners – these are for you!
From the same company – these beanbag benches for around a fire pit are also great.
I really, really like that sconce on the left… Great design. All the pieces from this French lighting company are terrific.
This floating bathroom vanity is sleek and modern with no pulls, open cabinetry and a sink + countertop made of one piece. At the same time, the wood frame keeps it from being austere and cold. Stunning.
If you can take your eyes away from the faucet, notice the drain. It's on the outer edge of the sink bottom.
This is colored moss. Hear me out. This is not like the fake flowers of yesteryear. It's not meant to look real and living. The first thing I thought of when I saw it, is how cool a giant logo on an office wall would look. The moss can be made into any shape, pattern, and color way you can think of. Like a big crayon box for adults.
Hi you. As I type, I'm looking out at such a beautiful view! The window I am facing looks out at Marin County's majestic mountain – Mt. Tamalpais. If I squint and tilt my head I can block out the houses and pretend I'm away from civilization. I like the sound of that and am always inspired by women who venture off to find solitude or even travel to far away places all alone and call it an adventure. The reality is, I am just not wired up that way. I've tried – sort of – and perhaps shouldn't admit this publicly, but I really do prefer company. Not sure where I was going with this… 🙂 I actually thought I would post about creativity and inspiration. Then I got daydreaming…
So, if one day I get bitten by the solo adventure bug, it might look something like this…
A charming little shingled beach cottage in a quaint coastal town.
Covered in flowers.
With comfy furniture to read in and listen to the fire crackle. *Note to self: learn how to make a fire.
Not exactly the sexiest of titles, but bear with me. I know you're probably all 'kale this, kale that' and I was too until I recently made this salad because we were out of kale. Yes, spinach is to kale what Tab is to Diet Coke, but I anticipate a comeback. It's time to revisit the 80's my friends.
During my recent cabin in the woods vacay (read about it here), it was lunchtime and the thought of driving into town was not happening. We had a few things in the fridge, but what to make was the question? Well! Let me just say that whoever came up with the expression "necessity is the mother of invention" sure got that right!
This salad was so good, there was much 'mmm-ing' and 'are you going to finish yours?' that I decided I needed to recreate it outside of the cabin environment to see if it really is that good. It is. Salty, slightly sweet, savory, creamy and crunchy – all around outstanding.
Feta Cheese ( I cut a few thick slices from the block then crumbled it)
Shredded Chicken (we had some left over rotisserie chicken, so I used less salt in the dressing since they are high in sodium)
Salt & Pepper
The dressing is 4 parts oil to 1 part vinegar and S & P to taste. Toss the whole jam together based on how much of each thing you like and voila!
So, I started this post thinking I had taken more photos… Very lame food post in that there is no after photo, but hopefully I've enticed you to give it a whirl. In your salad spinner.
Hi, and welcome! I’m so glad you landed here and I hope you find this to be a place you visit often.
I started this blog in 2008 as a way to chronicle the remodeling of our nondescript Northern California house into our dream home. While that did happen, so did a lot of other things - life and all the messy, glorious, complicated, wonderful things that go with it. As such, in early 2017 I decided to change the focus from the house itself to the life that happens inside.
My wish is that this blog provides beautiful inspiration, creative ideas, connections to other like-minded folks, as well as stylish products for your home, to wear and to give.