Thursday, June 27, 2013

Flea Market Find: Under The Sea!

There is an amazing little antique store down the street from my house.  One of my favorite ways to wile away an afternoon is to walk the few blocks and wind my way through the different booths.  I never know what I'm going to find, but I always find something!  It's a little dream of mine to have a booth there - I'd love to fill it up with all my favorite little trinkets: candlesticks, vintage barware, amazing table lamps, unique jewelry...

One of my last trips through, I found these cute little fish dishes.  They were piled up on a shelf that was completely overflowing with odds, ends, junk, and treasures.  I've probably walked past them a hundred times, but something about this last time made me notice them.  I decided to spruce 'em up with a little spray paint I have laying around the garage...silver, grey, peacock, and cream.  Totally beachy and over the top - but that's why I like them!

They'd make an adorable hostess gift.  And can be used in so many ways! Soap dish, jewelry catcher, candle holder in the guest room...the list goes on.  Whimsical and a little goofy...I love them!

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Words of Wisdom for Every Woman...

I saw this article on Huffington Post last week and loved every word of it.  See for yourself.

My dearest daughter,

Celebrating your 28th birthday has made me reflect and want to share some well-earned wisdom with you. You know, the kind of stuff I wish someone had told me when I was your age? Yes, I know you didn't ask, but we both know that has never stopped me before.

First up, turning 28 is NOT approaching mid-life. Your young years are far from over, and, no, you're not "old." But you're right, time does goes by way too quickly. Best to make the most of it each step along the way.

As you grow older, I hope you will live your life with the spunk and audacity you were born with. Those gifts were bestowed upon you by a higher power. Use them every chance you get and never let them stray too far away from you.

Try not to criticize yourself, second guess your feelings, doubt your abilities or be too hard on yourself when you think you've failed. The world does all those things for you and it is your job to stand up to it, not give in to it.

Know that failing is a required curriculum to life. Without it, it is doubtful that you will ever truly succeed. Don't be afraid of it. You don't have to like it, you just have to get good at it. Failure is success turned inside out.

Take chances. Be bold. Be silly. It's okay. Living in the box has never been where the magic happens. Align yourself with the unordinary, the risky and the spectacular. It's where you were born to be.

Friends will come and go, but the good ones stick. Value them. And while your husband and family will always come first, never lose sight of those friends that have seen you through some of life's rough spots. You will need them again, and they, you.

Try hard not to worry so much. It causes wrinkles, stomach aches, paranoia and the worries seldom materialize. And stay off of WebMD. No good has ever come from general Internet diagnosis.

From time to time, you may become self-conscious of your body. Don't. Your figure will never be finer, your hair will never be fuller, your skin will never be as refined and you will never have as much energy as you do now. Appreciate it.

Life doesn't end when you become a parent. You know I can't wait for the little bundle(s) of joy to come into your life, but there is no hurry. I will admit that life as you know it will never be the same. But the secret is, the ties you are afraid of binding you, will in fact set you sailing into a world of wonder and perpetual love. Trust me on this one.

As a wife, you are going to make mistakes. You may at times be judgmental, critical, temperamental and perhaps a tad dramatic. It's not just you. It's how we are hard wired. But know that once spoken, harsh words can never be taken back. I hope you forgive freely, hug strongly, cry often and let the little things go. They are almost all little things.

There will be times that you find yourself impatient or angry with your mother. It's more natural than you might imagine. But please understand that she is doing the best she can and she is doing it for all the right reasons... for love of you. At times, I know we can be exasperating. But there will never be anyone that walks this Earth that loves you like your mother. Respect it. It will one day be you.

Make time to spend with your family. We would like to think that our family is forever. But it's not. We grow old, we get sick and we die. It's the natural course of things. We are just visitors here. Make sure that you don't pass up too many offers to spend time with them, to laugh, joke, eat, drink and make memories. You will treasure those memories, and one day they will be all that is left.

Know that being strong doesn't always mean not crying. I fear that in my zeal to be strong for you as you were growing up, I didn't allow you to see the tears, the heartache and the disappointments. Shame on me. They are all a part of life, and you will not be able to avoid them, no matter how hard you try. But never, ever confuse tears with weakness. They will cleanse you of your hurt, and your heart will follow.

Be kind with your thoughts, gentle with your words, generous with your actions and forgiving with those who love you and fall short from time to time. None of us is perfect and more attention and gratitude should be given for the trying.

Life is hard. Love makes all things bearable. You will endure the hard knocks so much easier with someone who loves you by your side. Return the favor.

Complain less, be grateful more.

When you start your family and think that you have gotten in over your head, when you think you will never be able to be the perfect mom you envision yourself being, stop and breathe. There is no such thing as a perfect mom. You and that wonderful husband of yours will find your way. Lay your fears at the doorstep of your love.

Nothing worth having is easy to get. Everything has a price. Think about what you will have to pay for something before you act. Half the time, the acquisition is worth far less than the price paid.

Never confuse ego with confidence.

In the days that you do grow old, I hope you will realize that it is a privilege not offered to everyone. I wouldn't look down my nose at it. When the time comes, believe me, you will be happy to be there.

As for me, my darling daughter, I have loved you with the breathe of me since the moment you were born. Being your mother hasn't always been easy, but it has always been good. These days I am more of a spectator than a player in your day-to-day life. It's as it should be. I'm grateful that we are wonderful friends and companions of the best sort. I will always be, no matter what, your biggest fan. And I am here should you ever need me for anything. It is my life-long vocation.

Before I end my euphony of wisdom, let me say thank you. For so much. For your loyalty, your choices, your sweetness, kindness, compassion and humor. For trying even when you didn't think you could make it. For making me proud every single day that you live.

I know that you're not perfect. None of us are. But truth be told, to me, you are pretty damn close.


Tuesday, June 25, 2013

High Tea in Hermosa Beach

A few weeks ago I had a serious yen to head back to London for high tea.  Maybe it's all the royal baby fever, maybe its the bouts of June Gloom we have going on here in LA...either way, I was craving the comfort of remembering a fantastic vacation and the serenity that a little afternoon tea brings to an otherwise typical day.  And a trip all the way back to London feels a little extreme :>)

So instead I decided to "re-create" high tea right here in Hermosa Beach!  Well, its our Southern California-ized version.  

Here's what you need:

**Vintage Tea Cups** 
Collected over the years at various antique stores, flea markets, Gramma and Pop Pop's house!

**Tea spoons**
I absolutely adore these gold plated sets from West Elm..super fun, super fancy, completely unexpected

**Tea and Teapot**
I used the loose leaf Earl Gray tea I purchased from the Tower of London.

**Pretty Tray to hold all the goodies**
In London, it's very typical to drink your tea with a little cream and sugar.

The high teas we experienced in London came with all sorts of delicious snacks: Biscuits with jam, scones, little cucumber sandwiches.  For our So Cal version I served this simple Tuscan Salad I shared with y'all a few weeks ago.  See recipe here.

I always find the ritual of making tea to be very soothing and inspiring.  And adding a few easy details (like using vintage teacups and fancy flatware) makes it a fun, festive way to honor a vacation and celebrate summer time.

Cheers to you!

Friday, June 21, 2013

HGTV Design Star!

You know those events in your life that you have to keep mum about? Especially mum since you signed a confidentiality agreement to keep mum about it?

That's been me for the past 5 months.  At the beginning of this year I began working on a TV show - the 8th season of HGTV Design Star!  I was hired as an Associate Producer, which I admit, is slightly shocking considering I've never before worked in television production.  This position, however, had to do with design, interiors, and styling - which I do so love :)

This year Design Star is partnering up with the amazing One Kings Lane.  Each episode features a One Kings Lane "pop up boutique" - sort of a "bluefly accessory wall" for the designers if you will.  The contestants are allowed to "shop" the OKL boutique for any last minute accessories or furniture they need to finish off their designs.  My job was essentially everything One Kings Lane.  From the set design, to item curating, to styling the was wild.  It was crazy.  It was challenging.  It was amazing!

And this is pretty cool to see:

The episode 1 boutique was set up in an old warehouse.  I layered in rugs and pillows and designed shelving units to help hide the not as attractive parts of the space:

There was literally over 1,000 pieces of furniture, home decor, lighting, pillows, throws, you name it - we had it to choose from.  I had an amazing team working with me...imagine loading and unloading trucks multiple times a day for 8 weeks.  It was an intense job! But we had tons of fun and creating these spaces was an incredible experience!

So be sure to tune into HGTV Star on Sunday nights! This weeks episode features....

Yup.  Kacey and Rossi :>)

You can catch the previous 2 episodes here.