Hi to you… I hope this week has been a good one. Mother’s Day is this Sunday, so I’d like to wish all of the mother’s out there a very happy day. When my kids were little, I used to say that my greatest wish on Mother’s Day was to spend it not having to change diapers, load or unload anything, or be beholden to any sort of schedule. No gifts please. No dinner or brunch reservations thank you. Just one day void of responsibility. Now that the kids are older, I still don’t want gifts, just their time, Hearing them tell stories about their lives, what they listen to, read, watch, find interesting and are passionate about. It’s ever-changing at their ages. That’s all I want for Mother’s Day.
Recently, I spent a day in Palo Alto and realized how fun it can be to put on visitor glasses in an area close to home. The drive from Marin County (where I live) to Silicon Valley is about an hour or more on a lite traffic day, and hours if there’s a problem. So, usually when I need to go down there for a short amount of time it’s sort of a major hassle. When the situation presented itself that I would have an entire day in Palo Alto with no set schedule, I decided to embrace it. Here’s what I did, all of which I recommend:
I started the morning here. First, let me say that I’m not a coffee drinker. I’ve been a tea drinker for the past 15 years or so, mostly because it’s not good for my skin and it jacks me up waaay too much. That said, I have heard such rave reviews from so many coffee aficionado friends, that I had to give it a try. They make each cup of brewed coffee (no frothy drinks) individually. Asking what roast level, intensity, etc you prefer. It was kind of exciting. Like wizards making tinctures only its baristas making coffee.There are locations all over the Bay Area and a couple in DC. I highly recommend trying their coffee. It was outstanding. Now I’m good for another 15 years.
Next I went on a run around the Stanford dish. What is the Stanford dish? Find out here. So, I have mixed reviews on running this because it’s 75% up hill then, of course, down hill and the grade is pretty steep in places. If you like that much variation in a 5ish mile run, then you will enjoy it. On the positive side, the views are amazing! The other issue I had was the wild life. I saw them from a long way away and assumed they’d move over.
They did not.
I had to run all the way out in the field around them, then I got scared one was a bull.
Next, I had a few hours of work and sometimes Starbucks just doesn’t cut it (no offense Starbuck’s! Actually, that’s where I’m writing this now :)). But being in the heart of Silicon Valley, I knew there had to be someplace out of the box and incubator-ish, And, there sure was. This place.
From the street, you walk through a courtyard which is has work station seating if you like to do your work outside.
Inside, there is a nice coffee and snack bar. And this cool floor!
And this mural!
And this is the work space. There is a small hourly fee for using this part of the space which is where I was. There is ample public space to work too (no fee) in the coffee shop area.
For lunch, I wanted to go someplace within walking distance so I could go back above work space to work after. So I met a friend for a quick salad here.
After I finished working, I took a walk down the street to look at a gift idea I had in mind for Luke at this toy store for Millenials. He’s got an internship this summer in South San Francisco and the company provides bus transportation to and from for it’s Marin employees. It’s about 3/4 of a mile from our house to the bus and we have more people than cars, soooo I’m anticipating the potential situation and had the idea to get Luke this…
These are electric skateboards. I thought it was a brilliant idea at the time, as Luke rides his regular skateboard all around his college campus and SF when he’s home. NOT happening! These things go 25+ mph. I think a bike is in order.
While I didn’t stay in Palo Alto for dinner on this particular day, I do have a place that I love, I went several years ago and have wanted to go back. It’s the sister restaurant of Kokkari in San Francisco which is one of my all-time favorite places especially if you are looking for a romantic place with delicious Greek cuisine and sharable dishes. The Palo Alto location – equally delicious and romantic – you can find here.
That’s it for my tips – if you have any Palo Alto favorites to add, please leave them in the comments so everyone can see them!
I’m excited to share with you, my sweet readers, a new professional venture I embarked upon almost one year ago… I’ve taken a slight departure from my residential and hospitality interior design focus to develop and execute creative direction for several start-up and interior + lifestyle brands. I fell into the first position by happy accident (well, there really are no accidents as everything happens for a reason – I am a firm believer in that!) and one position led to the next and so on. The FarmHouseUrban brand, however is still ever present! I temporarily turned off access to my online store www.shopfarmhouseurban.com, but it will be back in the New Year and better than ever along with other exciting happenings!
I was recently approached by the exquisite home furnishings company – Europe 2 You to partner on a project for the launch of their new e-commerce site – EtuHome. For those not familiar, Europe 2 You is a wholesale-only maker of gorgeous vintage inspired products for the home. EtuHome is the new retail branch of their company – making their products accessible to absolutely everyone!
For this project I was sent several of EtuHome‘s top-selling pieces and my assignment was to style them in my personal aesthetic. Here’s what I came up with:
I pulled some things from around the house – linens, ceramic pitchers, vintage hotel silver, galvanized containers, votives and a box of acorns I just got from here, Then I went to the fridge and took out all the fruits and veggies that were still good! Last, I cut some stems from the garden.
The piece above is the Spanish Olive Tray which comes in three sizes. I adore this piece! Part cutting board, part serving piece, it adds a unique twist to both. As such, there are endless ways to use it. The most practical and easy – leaning on your kitchen backsplash! I have been noticing the trend of using individual-size wood pieces as serving trays, so that was my inspiration and styled mine as a coffee tray.
Next is the Bordeaux Bistro Tray which measures 20″ in diameter. The galvanized edge is 4″ high. Many of us have upholstered ottomans which are risky to set beverages on. This tray is the answer! It provides a stylish receptacle for stacking your magazines or weekly newspapers too.
Above and below is the Bianca Cake Stand (short). I used the sepia filter just because 🙂 but below is the unfiltered version. I have a cake stand collection, but none are made of wood, so this is a fun addition. Now thinking of what kind of cake to make for it…. any ideas?
The below two photos show the versatile Baguette Board. I tried to style the pieces in ways that offer an alternative to the suggested use. I played around with this piece more than any of the others and found so many places that it just looked great – including across my bathtub holding soap and a sponge. I wouldn’t suggest that it be used that way if water was in the tub as it might damage the integrity of the wood and finish. That said, when not in use or set on a table or counter holding just about anything – it will look amazing!
The next three photos are of the Bordeaux Wine Barrel Lazy Susan. This is a fun piece and frankly a must-have if you’ve got a large round or square table. It should come with a warning to parents of teenagers and their friends who wouldn’t stop spinning it young children – not to put breakables or spillables on it in their presence.
Last but certainly not least, is the Balon Cloche. This piece is truly stunning – even on its own. Trimmed in tin, the shape and size sets it apart from anything else I’ve seen.
There are many many more gorgeous pieces on EtuHome’s online shop. I highly encourage you to pop over for a browse – you won’t be disappointed!
With September comes fashion – September Vogue, runway shows and colder weather all contribute to our desire to think about our wardrobe. My favorite pieces this month ranged from classic to edgy and everything in between. Trying to find a common thread made me realize there is no longer ‘a look’ for that season. It’s become a pupu platter of options – colors, hem lengths, etc that allow us the pleasure of picking and choosing whatever we like.
I thought Marc Jacobs’ collection was fantastic and filled with inspiration. While haute couture is not in my budget, nor could this look work in my world, there are some major take aways to be had — the high neck lace blouse, a blazer and high waisted pants, and those silver jeans….
On the flip side, another of my favorites is the neutral palette by Bottega Veneta. Layers of tone on tone with texture and drape doing the talking.
For Fall, the trends that I’m drawn to and will be incorperating into my wardrobe are:
1. Combat boots & stacked heels.
2. Merlot & red
3. Shorter skirt length
4. Military & camo
Here are some looks that incorporate the trends above and I’ll be working into my own closet….
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.
Hi. I was working on this post when the horrendous situation in Orlando happened… the resounding message that rose from this act of hate is that love is love is love. If I had one super power it would be for every person on the planet to find their soul mate, be together forever in glorious heart pounding love and overcome any and all judgement or adversity. We all deserve that love. There is no other reason we are here. It's our birthright.
After this second spring bloom of the all white roses planted along my entry, one little bush has produced it's second consecutive crop of mostly white flowers with the slighted pink blush color on just a few petals… A sweet unexpected gift from mother nature 🙂
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.