Desert Vibes

Desert Vibes

Hi you… I have been considering what to write about and while I actually have a list of topics, I’m lacking the passion/creativity to make them interesting. It’s not for any reason other than I’ve been focused on other things this week – all, I’m happy to say are exciting and wonderful – and will share one of them tomorrow on Insta!!! It’s just that it’s hard for me to switch gears creatively – to go from one headspace to another. Maybe that’s the way it is for everyone? Anyway, I recently finished reading “Big Magic” by Elizabeth Gilbert. It was extremely inspiring and I highly recommend it. The biggest take away, especially being a believer in “the universe” and those unbelievable coincidences that just ‘happen’ – is that not only do they happen with people and relationships, but they also happen with ideas. Her belief (and now mine too) is that creativity, great ideas and boundless ways to express them are floating around us at all times just waiting until they find a ready and willing host who will take the ball and run with it… If you already believe this to be true with people as I do, doesn’t it makes perfect sense that the same rules apply to ideas?  Something for you to ponder while I take you with me to the desert…



I don’t know why I have such a craving to go on a road trip to Joshua Tree and the Mojave Desert, but I do. I wonder if it’s because I have always lived on a coast and near mountains and/or the ocean. I can’t imagine not. As such, long flat savannas are a curious thing. And all those Dr. Seuss-ish plants. It’s been building for the past 6 months or so. There have been a few evenings where I have almost gone for it. Right then and there. Merely letting myself experience what being daring and free feels like for the first time in my entire life was half the thrill. That’s what being an empty nester for a few months will do to you – lol. You become the 20 year old self that you never were. This road trip is realistically not going to happen for a couple of months, but when it does, it will hopefully be something like this….

Driving through the Mojave Desert

Ghost house in the desert

Joshua Tree

Cinco de Mayo Party Ideas

Cinco de Mayo Party Ideas

If ever there was an excuse to throw a party it’s Cinco de Mayo. It’s casual, fun, comes with it’s own ready- made theme, and no one has a problem celebrating it. Plus, there are tacos! When Paperless Post asked me to collaborate with them, my first thought was to create a party around one of their gorgeous Cinco de Mayo invitations. I’ve used Paperless Post for all of my parties and events for many years, because the variety is vast and the designs are so beautiful. It’s also super user friendly to customize invitations to fit your own personal style.

I don’t know if I’ve ever shared this here, but before I went into interior design, I was an event planner. This was when my kiddos were little and we were living in Seattle. It was fun and a great creative outlet, but also a ton of work! I have so much admiration for those who have mastered that profession. One of the biggest lessons I learned about the success (or failure) of a party was how important it is to set the stage from the beginning – in other words – how the vibe is conveyed in the invitation makes a huge difference, So, let’s start with some invitations, shall we? I couldn’t narrow down the choices to just one, so I decided to include my top three favs:

Paperless Post - Cinco de Mayo invitation

Paperless Post - Cinco de Mayo invitation

Paperless Post - Cinco de Mayo invitation

The food and beverages served are also key to how much fun is had as well as how long friends stay. Fortunately, with this party, the menu is pretty easy – tacos! If you are having a big party, a taco truck is a great way to go. Another option if you don’t want to do the cooking, is to bring your own bowls and platters to your favorite Mexican restaurant to have them fill.

taco cart

Taco party

Mexican party idea - lime place cards

In the above photo, the limes are used as place cards, but I thought this would be such a cute idea to let guests know what each dish is and/or the spiciness of salsas, etc

Mini margaritas

Anything that comes in an individual container is always a winner.

Mexican cookie plate


Mexican wedding cake

Decorations, tabletop and general theme-y-ness, can be the most fun part, but too much of a good thing can easily turn into not a good thing quickly,

Cinco de Mayo table decorations

Succulent and cactus tablescape

I adore this tablescape! Potted succulents which can be kept after the party or perhaps were around the house already,individual brightly hued flowers scattered around and white pillar candles in glass jars that can be purchased from a craft store. This example has a lot going on, but can easily be scaled down to a few of each. For tablecloths – burlap is an inexpensive option.

paper pompom garland

Hung from trees or this great idea. So into pompoms right now.

DIY napkin rings made with tin pans

If you are a DIYer (I wish I was!) these napkin rings are made from tin pans you get at the supermarket. Holes poked with skewers.

Love the colors of these cans and the repurposing. Easy to get a few bunches of flowers from Trader Joe’s and you’re all set.

I hope that these ideas inspired you to host your own fiesta! Be sure to check out the assortment of other holiday and special event invites on Paperless Post!


Five of My Fitness Favorites You Will Love Too

Five of My Fitness Favorites You Will Love Too

Hi lovely. I hope these short winter days are going well for you.  While I don’t have much in the way of interesting news, I do have a pretty fun lineup of upcoming posts to share in the next few weeks (hint: Valentine’s Day and a fashion post)!

I’ve been contemplating something lately…Whether or not blogging is still relevant, interesting, valuable? I have been using Instagram quite a bit lately and really love that platform for the ease and speed to provide images with just a snippet of content. I’m wondering if social media platforms that allow for small, succinct bits of information are edging out the more meaty alternatives like blogs? Just thinkin…

Happy week to you!



I am a devout routine follower. A creature of habit. Life throws many curveballs, so I suppose having a few things remain constant provides me with balance and sense of calm. That said, there is only so much adherence before the benefits of structure, routine, sameness begin to create negative results – like not listening to our bodies, doing too much and getting an injury or getting bored and quitting or mindlessly coasting and letting poor eating/lifestyle habits creep in . Fitness goal setting and a commitment to regular exercise are built into my daily life. At the same time,  I try to be accepting of myself and circumstances when things don’t go as planned. This time of year I often need a shot in the arm so to speak to keep the motivation where I want it to be. Whether that be finding a new running route, or getting a new pair of sneakers, often a few little pick-me-ups help tremendously in getting through the last bit of winter. Here are some of my recent favs:

Leggings and bras from here. Once I started doing yoga several times per week, I shopped around looking for  leggings that could perform double duty with running. I prefer thinner fabric which narrows the selection significantly. I also love these (better for running) and these (better for yoga), but wanted to introduce you to a smaller brand that I highly recommend. I have both of these for over a year and adore.



Socks are the most boring part of the whole exercise attire thing, but they need not be! My daughter gave me a pair of socks from here for Christmas and I’ve been hooked ever since.


One of the frequent topics of conversation after an intense yoga class is where to find comfy apres yoga clothes that can be thrown on after class and will look decent for grabbing a coffee. I have found the treasure trove! I absolutely love the material – sort of stretchy – thus just perfect for your post savasana sore self. Get them here.

Another awesome after exercise (or anytime really) pick-me-up is this new found item. I have been a super fan of this company after I saw an ad for this on Instagram and it is has become my #1 favorite beauty item (Note to self:  do a beauty post). Anyway, this is a great little refresher that leaves you looking heathy and dewy. I have a couple on hand – one for my gym/yoga bag and another at home. You will love this.

Last but not least… Despite having a great bathtub, I rarely used it. A bath – while SO incredibly relaxing, was rarely considered. Then I read about epsom salts and their affect on sore muscles. Amazing! Did you know that the magnesium in epsom salts is also a natural mood lifter? Neither did I?! Double happiness! I have upped my bath game and just ordered these. I’m so excited to try them, and given the source, I can’t imagine they won’t be fab! Consider this to be your well deserved finish line!



Styling bookshelves 101

Styling bookshelves 101

Hi beautiful reader. How are you doing during this time of year? It can be hard and it can be wonderful, sometimes concurrently, right? Just be mindful to keep centered and take good care of your self (see last post if you need some help getting started). I am knee deep in a couple of interiors projects with install deadlines the first week of Jan. The other work related project, and I know I’ve been talking about it for awhile so bear with me because it’s really coming together in such a big beautiful way is… the online shop is almost ready!!! I am beyond excited to share these home decor and fashion collections with you, so please, follow along or subscribe so the minute the shop goes live, you will be of the first to know!!!

The kids are home for the holidays, which I LOVE. That said, I have found it helpful when they and their friends abscond back from college, that a few military practices come in really super handy. One that I like a lot is “One is none. Two is one.” This basically means that if I have only one of something, say for example, peanut butter, it’s as if I am already out of peanut butter the same day. So, always have like 2+ peanut butters so you don’t run out. Another favorite is “Time spent on reconnaissance is never wasted.” I really like that one. It’s particularly helpful when, weirdly, your chargers all disappear and everyone ‘swears’ they have no idea where they went. I’ve also found that writing checklists of what you mean by “clean” alleviates gray areas and makes for fewer conflicts.

Happy Holidays!

On my way to a holiday dinner party of girlfriends Top from 2 years ago from here, Black jeans from here. and ankle boots from here.



Bookshelf styling is an art unto itself. I find it to be one of the hardest things to do in the entire realm of interior design. Anyone else struggle with this too? Finding the right balance of stuff without it looking cluttered can be be challenging.

I’ve got a buit-in bookshelf that has been in need of attention…

FarmHouseUrban bookshelf styling

FarmHouseUrban white pitcher collection

FarmHouseUrban ceramic vase collection

FarmHouseUrban buddha + books

I decided to educate myself on how to improve it and have consolidated the findings to this list and added a few of my own two cents:

  1. Start with books. Duh! While this might seem obvious, it’s worth reiterating. I prefer hardcover books rather than paperback for the shelves I’m working on, but not opposed to displaying paperback. I’m contemplating taking the paper jackets off too…Books can and should be oriented horizontally and vertically to create visual interest. I’ve noticed on Pinterest and some popular home remodeling shows that faux books are used quite often for their color or size. I would suggest using real books over faux.Bookshelf Styling ideasBookshelf styling ideas
  2. Use large and tall items. Pretty self explanatory.bookshelf styling ideasbookshelf styling ideas
  3. In addition to framed photos, art can be used as a backdrop, leaned up against the back or hung on the bookcase frame.bookshelf styling ideasbookshelf styling ideas
  4. Framed family photos shouldn’t be lined up in a row. Scatter them around or have them made into one large piece. bookshelf styling ideasbookshelf styling ideas
  5. Lay out things that you love from around the house on a table or the floor near the shelves you’re working on- boxes, vases, bowls, baskets, objects of art and start moving things around. I read a good tip to not use anything smaller than an apple when styling bookshelves. Even if you only get a few shelves ‘just right’ you will now be thinking of your bookshelf when you are out and about and see something cool and wonder, “where would I put this?”.bookshelf styling ideasbookshelf styling ideas

More bookshelf and interior styling inspo, on my Pinterest page here.


A self-care gift guide for YOU & my favorite things of 2017

A self-care gift guide for YOU & my favorite things of 2017

Hello sweet you. It’s early Sunday morning as I type this. The sun is just coming up. Beautiful pink and sparkling. I hope wherever you are, you are enjoying it too.



A few years ago, when I was in the depths of an extremely bleak period in my life, I often received advise to ‘practice radical self care’. Huh? Not only did I not know what that meant, but even if I did, I had not the first clue how to go about actually doing it. So, I tried things, read a lot of books, researched online, took advice from those who had it figured out, and can now share with you from first hand experience some of the little things that worked for me. I promise they will reap big dividends in the caring for yourself department. If you are a newbie at the practice and/or in need of some TLC (as in EVERYONE), this ones for you!

  1. Do not underestimate the power of music to lift your spirits (except for sad love songs). I received these as a gift about a year ago and have used them practically every single day since. The clarity is profoundly better than the earbuds that come with your phone. Download a book and get transported, listen to your favorite playlist while hiking, running or walking and go even farther, or find some calming music and just relax. Source

2. There’s an expression “cold hands, warm heart”, so what does it mean if you always have cold feet? Not the preverbal sense btw 🙂 . It means you get yourself these socks! I’m not a slipper person, instead prefer to wear socks around the house. Thus I have tried many out and these are the bomb.


3.  I was at a pop-up market of locally made products several weeks ago in the city (SF) and there was a booth offering samples of teas – mostly wellness teas. I tried the Turmeric Tea as I have been reading so much lately about the incredible healing properties of turmeric. It was delicious and as an added bonus is a beautiful saffron color. These teas are on the pricier side, but remember, there is nothing as precious as your health. You will need a tea pot and diffuser as they are all loose leaf, but the ritual of making yourself a pot is part of the whole thing. A cup of this is my afternoon treat (with a cookie usually).


4. I learned about this product in the sauna at my gym several months ago. A women I would guess to be in her 70’s walked in with a big jar of it and started slathering it on. It was sort of a spectacle, so a few people asked her about it. She filled us all in about coconut oil and how much it has transformed her dry skin to supple and smooth. Well, before too long, we were all dipping into that jar which she kindly passed around and, seriously, I am not kidding, it’s miraculous. I am lotionaholic and this has made my skin so soft I don’t even use the others anymore. Now, one word of caution. Coconut oil is thick and in the jar is solidified. The minute it touches your skin it will turn to liquid form but it’s still very thick and oily! Do not put it on before you get dressed, because it won’t have time to properly work it’s magic. I recommend putting it on before bed. Oh, another thing after you are done massaging it in (it makes great massage oil too!) rub your hands on the ends of your hair.


5. Sometimes you just need an emotional vitamin to get you through the day, the moment. What I mean by that is an easily accessible, always reliable, consistently comforting place for your eyes, mind, heart and soul to go to for replenishment. I don’t remember how I stumbled upon this amazing person, but I sure am grateful to her beyond words for her sage and timely pearls of goodness. I follow her on instagram, but will take her class the next time I’m in nyc. In the meantime, her kind and uplifting posts on her feed are such a gift. I hope you follow her too. Find her here: #theclassbytt

6. “No thank you, I’ll pass on the chocolate today, I feel great without it!” said no one ever.  What self care gift guide would be complete without a little chocolate? None! Here’s my new fav. Straight up.


Love to you!

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