Friday, January 12, 2018

At the Close of a Year

Over the course of December, every year, I tend to loose sight of my intended presence here. Which is mostly always a decent thing to embrace I'd say? To disconnect during a season that demands so much. The kind of break I plan on making tradition from here on out to give myself fully to the last folds of a season's end, carving time to exist in real time, regroup, reorganize and reimagine what I want to bring to this space in light of a new year. Exactly what I've been doing over the past few weeks as I await a new site that will replace this blog. I've been narrowing down tone and intentions I hope will best ground it. Figuring out how to make it slightly more structured and polished so that it can grow a bit with just enough sophistication only to complement the aspects I've long enjoyed and admired most about blogging in general. Which basically means there will be much of the same (a good thing, right?) in regards to: humor, home life, overheard posts, weekend adventures, every day musings, frivolous dwellings as well as the introduction of a few new series dedicated to regular book and film reviews, local points of interest, culture and political spouts, second hand hunting, style, and loads and loads of things devoted to the plight of home renovation because it's such a major part of our life right now and I am determined to shed light on how and where we find the means to do it all cheaply, on our own, under tight time frames and slight budget. So all the emails and questions I'm getting pertaining to the topic - please know they're coming, that I've been working to document both the demo and progression we've made thus far and even though I've got some catching up to do, I'm really excited to share with you where we're headed and how we're getting there -minus contractors and mass cash - to hopefully aid anyone else entrenched in the same endeavor as way of guided inspiration to hang onto along the way. Stay tuned. Things are messy but we're determined.

I also wanted to thank you all for the kind complements, advice and suggestions tossed my way in the post last month asking for your help. It was much appreciated and hugely beneficial to crafting a new site. As of now we're just a couple weeks away from it landing it so fingers crossed the transfer goes smooth. Seven years of blogging is like boxes and boxes of old goods needed to be sorted and put away.

As for new year sentiments - my thoughts are still muddled. The month of January can be heavy and usually I just sit back and ride it out. Bleak and slow, awash with old year reflections wanting to mingle with the new year potentials.

I consider the months past and what I've learned, tasted, seen, heard, accepted, embraced, rejected, neglected, feared, fathomed and faced, and I am tossed with equal parts pride and sorrow. For what I've gained and what I've lost. The gleam of these our first summer memories in a new place - unlocking the door to the house we dreamed about for so long. In a city we've pined for since we were young too. Sleeping on mattresses all summer long on the floor, surfing till their limbs gave up their skin turned brown and their hair light, naked Hayes collecting sticks and chasing birds, as months went on welcoming new kids into our crew, piling in and making themselves at ease amidst the the evolving chaos construction brings. Busting walls, picking up trash, soaking up the florescent sun sets from the harbor, the lake house in July and the cool bliss of that pretty ocean cottage breeze in Tomales Bay where we devoured oysters and sat in a steamed hot tub all day. Road trips with friends, tacos on the sand, Leon in New York! Heat waves, birthday parties, late night delirious laughter, and all the other lucky stuff attached to the plain fact of good health and new beginnings.

All of that weighed by the pains of grief that are sometimes almost impossible to escape in the span of twelve months. Losing the child hood friend we loved dearly. The one who made me laugh the most. Bright, weird, unmatched. The kind of person who's special magic gave reason for his demons. The last text he sent lingering on my phone all these weeks later. One that went unanswered. A fact that still breaks me every time I dare scroll past it.

As well as the expected let downs, and arguments, the lost causes, and dark days we all come to accept as part of our path. And the first heart ache at this house - one that I anticipated from the start, knowing that as much joy as we found in moving here, no home comes without it's own chapter inscribed in heartbreak. I wondered briefly, as is my nature, what the first one might look like the month we moved in.

The day after Arlo's 12th birthday showed me. Cleo on the edge of that curb across the way, on the rush of our school drop off, where my failed attempt to grab her before a car came rushing down the street played out in the absolute most devastating fashion. The vision of it clouding my heart the whole holiday season. One I still can't help but replay again and again because the fact of two ill fated seconds takes time to talk your brain away from at the end of the night. I miss her daily. And recounting all the ways she became my best friend in the five months she was ours only shatters me all over again.

So for now, in solemn gratitude I welcome this new year. Signing off with my last post until the new site takes it's place. Where I hope to see you all again. Along for the next chapter, the highs and lows, in good times and bad.

Thanks for reading.

Love Always,

Thursday, December 14, 2017

Around Here

Bits & pieces of Holiday unfolding amidst construction disarray.

The everyday plight of the pile

4$ yard sale sculpture 

A temporary room situation

A most generous Lego delivery 

Lego aftermath 

Hardware store holiday decor 

Rooftop view on a Friday 

Paper angels 

Apple after a nap

3:00 on a Tuesday when clouds were here and sweaters worn

Rooftop view 2, dusk.

Saturday, December 9, 2017

What's in a Blog?

When I first started this blog I didn't think too much about "audience" or catering to one anyway, I never imagined a blog could bring me money, or "sponsors," or serve as anything other than a decent place to write about things that interested me, as well as keep a chronological documentation of family photos and experiences as a stay at home mom yearning for some kind of creative outlet. A much needed break from the daily grind of a draining (sometimes isolating) routine I was immersed in at the time when I wasn't really leaving the house much with three kids under 4. What I found in addition to an outlet was new (quality) means of connection. Quite frankly the biggest perk of all. Creating a space that made not only me, but others reading along, feel not so alone.

Since those days, nearly 7 years now, the internet has changed drastically. I think we can all agree. Instagram birthed "influencers" and suddenly photos and brief captioning started to eclipse long winded blog posts altogether. Sponsored content dominated the subjects and everything became very polished and way more "professional." More and more people stopped reading or visiting blogs they had loved for ages altogether because IG was easy, equally inspiring, and just so darn pretty to scroll through all hours of every day. I know I was guilty of the same up until recently when the grand allure of Instagram started to wane and I found myself craving more some kind of depth, in narrative, unfiltered insight, and old school blogging in general. Or whatever existed before these perfectly colored curated boxes appeared and kicked everything else to the sidelines.

In that, my dedication to this site remains unwavering. I may not post as much as I'd like, or invest as much time as it deserves, but I'm here. For better or for worse, I am and hope to always be a blogging die hard. And because I've never asked outright, why you guys read here or what you find appealing, or fun, or irritating, I'm opening up the discussion now. Asking as a favor some feedback from anyone who cares to contribute, readers I adore, who might tell me what it is you like or want or seek out in blogs these days. I'm in the midst of redoing this whole site (to debut after the new year) - as surely some of you must have noticed I'm one of the last on this generic blogspot domain so the switch if long overdo. A site I'm comfortable with but craving change.

This new site that will include much of the same stuff I've always shared but I'm hoping to expand a lot more on lifestyle. Things like vacation guides, movie reviews, thoughts on politics and pop culture that I love so dearly but tend to forsake here because it simply doesn't fit the narrative. What I want to know is your feelings on such things. Any advice, suggestion, examples, critiques - I'm open and grateful for them in helping narrow down or fine tune what exactly I'm wanting to include in constructing this new forum. One I hope will cary the same heart and transparency as always. But spring a little braver, a bit smarter, and a whole lot bolder.

Much love,

Friday, December 8, 2017

Scenes From A Weekend / Let it Snow

The Four Season's Let it Snow event is the kind of holiday experience I imagine we all dream about as kids. Being holed up in a big fancy hotel glistening with garland and full of suited smiling faces greeting us at every turn, grand trees decked out in the lobby, train rides, s'more roasting stations, cookie making booths, hot chocolate on demand, terry cloth bath robes tossed off at the foot of the pool, carols sung live while faux snow falls and Santa sits in the white glow of a makeshift house waiting for you to drop in.

At my age it feels extra special and festive in a nostalgic way - like stepping into a Christmas dreamland in a John Hughes film. A treat we are so grateful to have experienced two years in a row now. Especially appreciated though in midst of this whole renovation we're currently invested in, getting by with minimal furniture, no working tub, and non stop dust and overall disarray. Circumstances that make settling into a plus hotel suite with big screen TVs, jetted hot tubs and enormous beds find magic all it's own.

Thank you, Four Seasons Westlake, for having us again. For kicking off our season spirit in the most delightfully beautiful way.

Let it Snow info here

Friday, December 1, 2017

Holiday Gift Guide / Her

A brief gift guide for the special lady in your life.
Made up of a few things I own and love, or hope to one day down the line.

From Left:

Block Shop: scarf

Simple Fare: A Guide to Everyday Cooking and Eating Cookbook

Midland: Dotted Vase

Pete Souza's: Obama an Intimate Portrait

Midland Shop: Moon Bronze Coaster Set

Gjusta Goods: Pink Linen Napkin Set

Deiji Studios: Linen Bathrobe

Mixed Business: Simple Trench

Birkenstock: Boston Style Slip ons

Cindy Sherman: Imitation of Life

Gjusta Goods: Waffle Towel

General Store: The Joy of Sex

Datter Industries: Nude Print

Daughter of the Land: Balancing Oil

Tree Fairfax: Half Moon Waist Body Bag

Odette Arm Cuff

Odette Hair Clip (center)

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Scenes From a Weekend / On The Arroyo

If only all shopping experiences were so pleasant.

On The Arroyo, a pre holiday Bazaar I co hosted with my friend Elizabeth happened earlier this month thanks to her dedication to heading such beautiful events. Events that now have a permanent home thanks to their beautiful new space recently opened in Highland Park

The day consisted of a kid run bake sale, a raffle for local charity, tin type photo booth, live blue grass music and plenty of quality artisan goods sold by some seriously incredible women. Many of whom I am lucky enough to count as my best friends.

Thank you to all who came out and supported this event. It was so great to finally meet so many familiar faces and hug the ones I've long admired from behind that little screen.