Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Take Care Of Yourself...

What a great day I had yesterday, made even more fun by all the sweet messages left through your comments on this blog, tweets and well wishes on Facebook! Oh, and even a few calls! Thank you! What more could a girl ask for?

Then, while enjoying a bit of pampering on my big day, one absolute truth that I kept thinking about was how this birthday would have proven to be a very challenging day...if a lot of work hadn't occurred over the past year. I'll go into this in more detail at some point, but essentially this past year I realized I had to get real with how I was taking care of myself and what I hoped for myself, if I wanted to enter this next decade feeling great about the future. So I got to work.

Why is it as women, mothers and wives in particular, we often find ourselves putting everyone else first? Sometimes when things are stretched thin, it seems like the only option.

But if we don't take care of ourselves first, how well can we really take care of the others that depend on us?

What that "taking care of" adds up to is different for each of us. But the important thing is we identify it, and then do our best to give it to ourselves.

Sometimes it is the small stuff, like getting a pedicure, taking the time to catch up with a friend, or having silly girl time with a daughter. Sometimes it is the bigger stuff that requires more time and effort.

But the important thing is to identify exactly what it is we need to do for ourselves, to allow us to take the best care of ourselves. Only then will we have the right energy and attitude to take care of those around us. Not easy to be sure...but pretty key to it all.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

It Arrived & Guess What? It's Not A Bad Thing!

Yes, today it arrived: my 50th birthday. 
Can't say I mind...

And why would I? Spending it at a place like this! 

Indian Springs in Calistoga. I spent my 35th here, so figured it was about time I come back!

A mud bath, massage, bike ride, pool time and dinner are on the agenda. 
A pretty good way to start off a new decade...

Monday, June 27, 2011

Road Trip: Part 2

We've been busy taking in all our favorite San Francisco sights and activities over the last few I'll keep the words brief, but share a ton of pictures!

Picking up where I left off in Friday's post...
Towards the end of the walk in Crissy Field is the Warming Hut, a perfect spot to grab a bite to eat!

Then continuing past the Warming Hut, the walk ends at Fort Point at the base of the Golden Gate Bridge. On the return, some of the best views to be found in the entire city can be enjoyed if taking a detour up a winding path.

Once leaving Crissy Field, crossing over Lombard street sits the Palace of Fine Arts.

And on the way back towards downtown, we just had to walk and then drive down the most crooked street in the world, at the other end of Lombard. It amazes me people live off this street, with constant traffic I can't image what it must be like getting in and out of their garages.

{Then it was back to the hotel for more swimming!}

The next day we ventured to Alcatraz. 
A lack of planning ahead left us with no tickets, with the following four days completely sold out. But we were told if we got in line at the crack of dawn there would be a chance of getting four of the small number of extra tickets set aside each day. That meant a wake  up call of 5:30, arriving in line at 6:15. It worked. At nine we were boarding the boat to the island and Max was thrilled!! 

The island holds many interests besides the prison, including beautiful flowers, a garden and striking old structures.

And then the tour itself is fascinating, particularly due to the wonderfully informative and entertaining audio tour. Max said it was the best part of the trip, bar none, and the trip wasn't even over!

Afterwards we hit the first neighborhood we lived in, Cow Hollow, and visited our old spot for frozen yogurt, the best I've ever had. On the corner of Fillmore and Union if you should ever visit. I got the medium and could have eaten a large to be sure!

And if you are hungry for a lovely lunch, stop at Roses! One block further down Fillmore.
Afterwards, a mani and pedi will set you back only $20 at this spot, another old favorite.

{And then it was back to the hotel for more swimming!}

The next morning it was off to Noe Valley, the second place we lived in San Francisco, filling up at a favorite breakfast spot, Savor. Delicious! Then we toured the stores on 24th before walking around the corner to Jersey Street to walk past our old house. I just LOVED living here, with everything within steps. No need to get in the car for days...

Then more sightseeing and a stop by Broadway and Lyon, at an entrance to the Presido. The steps down the hill, past stunning homes, is a wonderful spot to see another fabulous view of the city and bay beyond, while also getting a little exercise.

{Then it was back to the hotel for more swimming...}

Later, before meeting friends for dinner, we stopped in for a quick visit at Britex Fabrics and were surprised to see many familiar faces still working here...

...and a final stop at the Museum Store. This is where I first came across Todd Parr books. Our copies were read over and over and over again when the kids were young!

With a couple more days left in the trip, I'm sure there will be a bit more to share soon...between all the swimming, that is.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Road Trip: Portland to San Francisco

I thought about a lot of locations I'd like to be when celebrating my BIG birthday next week, but when the city of San Francisco was mentioned it just clicked. Of course, I adored living there, that is where I want to go!

So we hit the road at the crack of dawn, six o'clock to be exact, and started the drive south.

Ah, thank goodness for electronics!

And thick books.

But then an hour and a half into the drive, way too soon, Max began the classic, "are we there yet?" 
Seriously?! Not even close. 
And continued with:
"This is soooooooo boring. This is terrible. This is going to last forever. 
How many more hours? How many more minutes?" 

Such drama. I just had to laugh {to myself, silently, of course!} It is really not that bad.

The promise of ice cream and time on yet another electronic quieted him a bit, for awhile. 
{This drive saw so much less complaining when Max was a baby and would just sleep!}

But we finally arrived, through the tunnel...

...over the bridge...

...into the city.

After checking into the hotel, we fit in a swim before heading out for a delicious dinner near our old apartment, wandering around the neighborhood. After finding the impossible parking spot, that is!

Then first stop the next day...

...Crissy Field. One of my absolute favorite places on earth! Seriously.

Then we hit another favorite, a great place to grab a bite to eat. 
{hey, Isabella, smile!}

Details on this and all my other favorite San Francisco stops next week!

Enjoy your weekend! You know I will be! 

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Before The Berries Are Gone...

Tomorrow I'll have some photos to share of the start of our road trip, but in the meantime, how about some inspiration to get busy in the kitchen?

Burlap and Basil

Just in time, before the berries are gone, why not cook up some delicious jam! It's a fun activity for the whole family, especially if you are lucky enough to live near a farm and can add picking your own berries to the mix. If not, just grab a flat of ripe berries at your nearest store. And then afterwards, Christi from the blog Burlap & Basil has some great recipes to get you started, just click here!

And even better? Bake a loaf of bread while you're at it and see how fast it all disappears...

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Road Trip!

What is one of the best summer traditions? Well a road trip, of course!

So in keeping with tradition, we are headed out on a road trip to celebrate my upcoming birthday.
I'll keep you posted on where we go and what we see over the next few days...

I'm just so excited! Janell

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

A Quick Change for Summer!

Okay, I'll admit it. I've always thought the idea of seasonal change in one's decor was a bit least for me. Aren't I busy enough already, without the additional pressure of seasonal adjustments?

Then a week ago, while scouring the house for unused items to sell at our neighborhood garage sale, I did a quick switch of the pillows sitting on the settee in the master bedroom. Doing this then gave me the idea to change out the canvas sitting above it. A five minute update that results in a brighter look more appropriate for the summer months!



Yep. I think my thinking just changed! As long as it doesn't require a ridiculous amount of time and I have the items on hand, a small switch out with the season is something I'll be embracing a bit more!

Monday, June 20, 2011

High vs. Low: Which Would You Pick?

Last Friday I posted this bath was done, for now...

{ HIGH }

...until I decide whether or not to splurge on this Eric Cohler light fixture!

{ LOW }

Then a reader sent me a link to a similar fixture on sale at One King's Lane.
At a fraction of the price, what would you do?

Spring for the High, or Embrace the Low?

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Would You Paint A Door This Color?

Most of you probably already know, but I recently launched the House of Fifty Blog, with a great lineup of contributors sharing all kinds of fun stuff. One of my favorite posts this week was written by Molly, of the Nesting Game, featuring painted doors. With my tendency to paint about anything that I encounter, I'm ready to grab a brush and start painting a door or two myself! How about you, would you paint your doors...and would you consider turquoise?! Read on...
Just like the ceiling is the "fifth wall" in your room, another blank canvas in every room are the doors. Now, when I moved into my house, every ceiling and wall was painted the most uninspired shade of yellow known to man. So we painted the ceilings white with a vengeance and are quite satisfied with leaving them that way until we recover from the jaundice. But doors are another story!

Of course, a bright painted door on the outside is a wonderful way to show personality and extend a big warm welcome. But inside the home, they can really be a needed pop of color. A mini-accent wall, if you think about it. We painted the inside of our front door turquoise after being inspired by all the wonderful painted blue doors during a trip to Paris. I think many of us know that turquoise was Pantone's Color of the Year in 2010, so it's clearly popular. But what I was really inspired by was just how versatile the color is! My first thought immediately goes to coastal and tropical, like this:

But, there are many more gorgeous color combinations that I would not necessarily think of right off the bat. For example, in this home, turquoise goes elegantly with frilly, gold antique pieces and an oriental rug contrasted with modern architecture.

Domino Magazine

Or how about this turquoise door with the amazing warm mosaic floor and stained glass.

I cannot get enough of this AMAZING red floral vine-covered wall with the pop of turquoise. Red and turquoise is a very popular wedding color combo these days. Can you imagine the fantastic wedding photos you could get if this were your backdrop?

Image found via Inspire Bohemia

This is a subtler way to do it, with the turquoise door against the alabaster walls. Again, red is the accent color of choice, seen in the pillow and the cane chairs.

Designer Windsor Smith featured in C Magazine found via House of Turquoise

Staying neutral, here's turquoise against your favorite "new-tral" and mine, gray. The lime green is a playful accent color. A few more plants wouldn't hurt.

And again, a gray wall with thick, luscious white trim. But what struck me in this photo (besides the sweet pups) was how awesomely the deep green foliage plays with turquoise. So unexpected!

One Kings Lane

Okay, this color, which I am calling navyblack, is my new obsession. With white accessories and a room filled with natural light, this is sharp, sharp, sharp. The turquoise works here on so many levels. Note the blue and white china on the top shelf, more of that in a second, and the fifth wall is painted here too.

Image found via Design Stiles

Here is designer Mary McDonald with more traditional navy and chinese porcelain. But what's that I spy in the background? A turquoise door! Keeping the main colors all in the blue family is very calming, but the turquoise accent really brings in a contemporary touch.

And, what would a post be without a little shameless self-promotion? Here is our front door, against walls of a mint green. It was an impulse touch---and I wasn't convinced at first---but every time I walk by it, it makes me smile. My Mother, never afraid to hold back her opinion, said it looks like the 1950s! I guess she was not up for living the decade a second time around. What's old is new again...

Thanks to House of Fifty for inviting me back to guest post again! How fun is this?