Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Weekly Wardrobe

Another week of outfits, at your service!  5 work outfits and a few different weekend outfits is usually all I wear in one week, and here they are just like that!  I am so happy that some of my 'detail' pictures are turning out well, because "It's all in the details" is one of my style mantras, and the accessories in my outfit posts (such as seen below) have never really shown up before last week.  I know many of you readers are beginning to dress for Fall, but my area of the country is still very much experiencing summer temperatures.  I honestly am ready for Fall weather, but in the meantime the sweaters and blazers I wear to stay warm enough in air conditioning are my little reminders that Fall is indeed on its way.

Hope you are having a great week, and hope that these outfits help provide some wardrobe inspiration for you!

- Above photo -
Occasion: work
Dress: BCBG
Blazer: BR
Heels: Kristin Davis
Jewelry: BR, The Rack (necklaces), Citizen (watch), Tiffany, LOFT, ON, Khol's (bracelets)

- Above photo -
Occasion: work
Blouse: BR
Skirt: The Limited
Belt and Heels: Nine West
Jewelry: BR. Khol's (necklaces), Citizen (watch) Tiffany, The Limited, LOFT (bracelets)

- Above Photo -
Occasion: work
Shirt: Express (old)
Dress (work as skirt): Allen B.
Wedges: Nine West
Jewelry: Reaction (necklaces), Anne Klein (watch), BR (bracelets)

- Above photo -
Occasion: casual day at work
Top: American Eagle
Skirt: BR (old)
Belt: ON
Sandals: LC Lauren Conrad
Jewelry: ON, F21 (bracelets), Paul Frank (watch)

- Above photo -
Occasion: work
Dress; Calvin Klein
Wrap: TJ Maxx
Belt: ON
Heels: Nine West
Jewelry: Reaction (necklaces), BR, The Limited (bracelets)

- Above photo -
Occasion: happy hour
Shirt: Living Doll
Jeans: BR
Belt: Target
Shoes: Ross (really old)
Jewelry: F21 (bracelet), Reaction (ring), vintage, The Limited (necklaces)

- Above photo -
Occasion: Date night
Dress: Ross
Belt: ON
Clutch: Nine West
Sandals: LC Lauren Conrad
Bracelets: Khol's, ON, BR

- Above photo -
Occasion: church
Dress: Khol's
Sweater: Nine West
Belt: Betsey Johnson
Heels: Simply Vera Wang
Earrings and Rings: Claire's

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

House Guests

< One of my favorite rooms in our house- a guest bedroom >

Over the weekend my husband and I enjoyed the company of some special friends who stayed overnight at our place.  While I love a super clean house, I do not always have time to make everything perfectly clean.  However, I know that some small details in decorating and supplying needed items can make all the difference, so this is what I enjoy excelling at.  A little extra time focusing on small amenities is what can make the difference between a needy guest and one that is entirely comfortable in your home.  Hopefully all of these little touches described in this post make our guest room one of the best places to stay- that's always my goal. You can read more about the two guest rooms currently in our home herehere, and here.  Tell me, what do you like providing for guests that stay over in your home?

< A makeshift bookshelf holds magazines for reading material and stands next to a coat rack that makes for a handy hanging center >

 < A freshly re-potted plant spruces up an otherwise bare corner space >

 < Sheets are clean, pillow are fluffed! >

< Carrying on the Paris theme of this room with decorations on a bedside table >

< Other bedside items: a table lamp for reading, a clock radio, and a bedside carafe with coasters >

 < A small hook hidden on the wall for guests' keys or other dangling items >

< A new special hand soap, toiletry supplies, and a small bowl for stashing jewelry >

< Clean towels and a delicious smelling bath soap! >

Monday, August 29, 2011

Wonders from the Weekend

< Colorful lights at a local fountain always provide a great show! >

Well, here we are back in the real world today- Happy Monday, everyone!  This last weekend of August was a wonderful one, and I can hardly believe that the end of August is already upon us.  The days this past weekend were spent outside enjoying the warm summer weather that still surrounds us, that the evenings were spent celebrating with fun friends, the good people in my alumni chapter, and of course, my great man.  I will miss this weekend, but plan to enjoy these last few days of August although they will be busy ones.  The good news?  Only one more week until Labor Day weekend!  Can't wait!

< A strawberry mojito enjoyed on a summertime date >

 < Afternoon on the lake, noticing how the water has dropped and hoping it won't be the last time on the lake this year! >

< Delicious Icing on the Cupcake cupcakes from an awesome friend >

< Lazy weekend afternoon drive- spotted this house and fell in love! >

Friday, August 26, 2011

Obsessed: Sophisticated Sanctuary

TGIF!  This has been quite a busy week and I am so glad that the weekend is just around the corner.  I love my house and my closet, but one thing I dream about all the time is an insanely luxurious dressing room with a closet that could store shoes for days.  (You can read more about my closet organization inspiration here and here.)  Well, I think I have found the model for just such a dream space.  Enter the genius of designer Antonio Martins, who created a beautifully lavish dressing area, sitting room, and conservatory in the historic San Francisco home of Dr. Elisa Stephens.  Check out the mirrored closet doors!  The view!  The glamourous dressing area!  Needless to say, I am obsessed with this space!  Time to start saving for mirrored closet doors...  Hope you have some fun and relaxing times planned for this weekend.  Make it a great one!

(All photos via Traditional Home)

Thursday, August 25, 2011


< A lovely afternoon snack >

Yesterday afternoon, as I was about to enjoy in a midday pick-me-up apple, I read the news of Steve Jobs' resignation from Apple.  While I am certainly not the greatest techie out there, I know that my Mac has really helped me love a computer more, keep my photos organized, and made creating this blog that much easier.  And while I am not currently and iPhone of iPad owner, I have definitely been leaning in that direction as of late.  So for what its worth, thank you Mr. Jobs for creating new and awesome dynamics for our world.

The news of this resignation also prompted me to recall my college graduation day, as I missed the speech Steve Jobs delivered at Stanford Commencement where some of my friends were graduating from because I myself was listening to the Commencement speaker at my Santa Clara University graduation ceremony.  Yesterday, in once again looking up Mr. Jobs' Commencement address to the Stanford graduates, I realized that I still am still as touched and inspired by his words today as I was several years ago when he first presented these words.  In honor of Steve Jobs' and the encouragement he has provided to us all, I am happy to share the text of his Commencement address to the Stanford graduating class of 2005:

'You've got to find what you love,' Jobs says

This is a prepared text of the Commencement address delivered by Steve Jobs, CEO of Apple Computer and of Pixar Animation Studios, on June 12, 2005.
I am honored to be with you today at your commencement from one of the finest universities in the world. I never graduated from college. Truth be told, this is the closest I've ever gotten to a college graduation. Today I want to tell you three stories from my life. That's it. No big deal. Just three stories.
The first story is about connecting the dots.
I dropped out of Reed College after the first 6 months, but then stayed around as a drop-in for another 18 months or so before I really quit. So why did I drop out?
It started before I was born. My biological mother was a young, unwed college graduate student, and she decided to put me up for adoption. She felt very strongly that I should be adopted by college graduates, so everything was all set for me to be adopted at birth by a lawyer and his wife. Except that when I popped out they decided at the last minute that they really wanted a girl. So my parents, who were on a waiting list, got a call in the middle of the night asking: "We have an unexpected baby boy; do you want him?" They said: "Of course." My biological mother later found out that my mother had never graduated from college and that my father had never graduated from high school. She refused to sign the final adoption papers. She only relented a few months later when my parents promised that I would someday go to college.
And 17 years later I did go to college. But I naively chose a college that was almost as expensive as Stanford, and all of my working-class parents' savings were being spent on my college tuition. After six months, I couldn't see the value in it. I had no idea what I wanted to do with my life and no idea how college was going to help me figure it out. And here I was spending all of the money my parents had saved their entire life. So I decided to drop out and trust that it would all work out OK. It was pretty scary at the time, but looking back it was one of the best decisions I ever made. The minute I dropped out I could stop taking the required classes that didn't interest me, and begin dropping in on the ones that looked interesting.
It wasn't all romantic. I didn't have a dorm room, so I slept on the floor in friends' rooms, I returned coke bottles for the 5¢ deposits to buy food with, and I would walk the 7 miles across town every Sunday night to get one good meal a week at the Hare Krishna temple. I loved it. And much of what I stumbled into by following my curiosity and intuition turned out to be priceless later on. Let me give you one example:
Reed College at that time offered perhaps the best calligraphy instruction in the country. Throughout the campus every poster, every label on every drawer, was beautifully hand calligraphed. Because I had dropped out and didn't have to take the normal classes, I decided to take a calligraphy class to learn how to do this. I learned about serif and san serif typefaces, about varying the amount of space between different letter combinations, about what makes great typography great. It was beautiful, historical, artistically subtle in a way that science can't capture, and I found it fascinating.
None of this had even a hope of any practical application in my life. But ten years later, when we were designing the first Macintosh computer, it all came back to me. And we designed it all into the Mac. It was the first computer with beautiful typography. If I had never dropped in on that single course in college, the Mac would have never had multiple typefaces or proportionally spaced fonts. And since Windows just copied the Mac, it's likely that no personal computer would have them. If I had never dropped out, I would have never dropped in on this calligraphy class, and personal computers might not have the wonderful typography that they do. Of course it was impossible to connect the dots looking forward when I was in college. But it was very, very clear looking backwards ten years later.
Again, you can't connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backwards. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future. You have to trust in something — your gut, destiny, life, karma, whatever. This approach has never let me down, and it has made all the difference in my life.
My second story is about love and loss.
I was lucky — I found what I loved to do early in life. Woz and I started Apple in my parents garage when I was 20. We worked hard, and in 10 years Apple had grown from just the two of us in a garage into a $2 billion company with over 4000 employees. We had just released our finest creation — the Macintosh — a year earlier, and I had just turned 30. And then I got fired. How can you get fired from a company you started? Well, as Apple grew we hired someone who I thought was very talented to run the company with me, and for the first year or so things went well. But then our visions of the future began to diverge and eventually we had a falling out. When we did, our Board of Directors sided with him. So at 30 I was out. And very publicly out. What had been the focus of my entire adult life was gone, and it was devastating.
I really didn't know what to do for a few months. I felt that I had let the previous generation of entrepreneurs down - that I had dropped the baton as it was being passed to me. I met with David Packard and Bob Noyce and tried to apologize for screwing up so badly. I was a very public failure, and I even thought about running away from the valley. But something slowly began to dawn on me — I still loved what I did. The turn of events at Apple had not changed that one bit. I had been rejected, but I was still in love. And so I decided to start over.
I didn't see it then, but it turned out that getting fired from Apple was the best thing that could have ever happened to me. The heaviness of being successful was replaced by the lightness of being a beginner again, less sure about everything. It freed me to enter one of the most creative periods of my life.
During the next five years, I started a company named NeXT, another company named Pixar, and fell in love with an amazing woman who would become my wife. Pixar went on to create the worlds first computer animated feature film, Toy Story, and is now the most successful animation studio in the world. In a remarkable turn of events, Apple bought NeXT, I returned to Apple, and the technology we developed at NeXT is at the heart of Apple's current renaissance. And Laurene and I have a wonderful family together.
I'm pretty sure none of this would have happened if I hadn't been fired from Apple. It was awful tasting medicine, but I guess the patient needed it. Sometimes life hits you in the head with a brick. Don't lose faith. I'm convinced that the only thing that kept me going was that I loved what I did. You've got to find what you love. And that is as true for your work as it is for your lovers. Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven't found it yet, keep looking. Don't settle. As with all matters of the heart, you'll know when you find it. And, like any great relationship, it just gets better and better as the years roll on. So keep looking until you find it. Don't settle.
My third story is about death.
When I was 17, I read a quote that went something like: "If you live each day as if it was your last, someday you'll most certainly be right." It made an impression on me, and since then, for the past 33 years, I have looked in the mirror every morning and asked myself: "If today were the last day of my life, would I want to do what I am about to do today?" And whenever the answer has been "No" for too many days in a row, I know I need to change something.
Remembering that I'll be dead soon is the most important tool I've ever encountered to help me make the big choices in life. Because almost everything — all external expectations, all pride, all fear of embarrassment or failure - these things just fall away in the face of death, leaving only what is truly important. Remembering that you are going to die is the best way I know to avoid the trap of thinking you have something to lose. You are already naked. There is no reason not to follow your heart.
About a year ago I was diagnosed with cancer. I had a scan at 7:30 in the morning, and it clearly showed a tumor on my pancreas. I didn't even know what a pancreas was. The doctors told me this was almost certainly a type of cancer that is incurable, and that I should expect to live no longer than three to six months. My doctor advised me to go home and get my affairs in order, which is doctor's code for prepare to die. It means to try to tell your kids everything you thought you'd have the next 10 years to tell them in just a few months. It means to make sure everything is buttoned up so that it will be as easy as possible for your family. It means to say your goodbyes.
I lived with that diagnosis all day. Later that evening I had a biopsy, where they stuck an endoscope down my throat, through my stomach and into my intestines, put a needle into my pancreas and got a few cells from the tumor. I was sedated, but my wife, who was there, told me that when they viewed the cells under a microscope the doctors started crying because it turned out to be a very rare form of pancreatic cancer that is curable with surgery. I had the surgery and I'm fine now.
This was the closest I've been to facing death, and I hope it's the closest I get for a few more decades. Having lived through it, I can now say this to you with a bit more certainty than when death was a useful but purely intellectual concept:
No one wants to die. Even people who want to go to heaven don't want to die to get there. And yet death is the destination we all share. No one has ever escaped it. And that is as it should be, because Death is very likely the single best invention of Life. It is Life's change agent. It clears out the old to make way for the new. Right now the new is you, but someday not too long from now, you will gradually become the old and be cleared away. Sorry to be so dramatic, but it is quite true.
Your time is limited, so don't waste it living someone else's life. Don't be trapped by dogma — which is living with the results of other people's thinking. Don't let the noise of others' opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.
When I was young, there was an amazing publication called The Whole Earth Catalog, which was one of the bibles of my generation. It was created by a fellow named Stewart Brand not far from here in Menlo Park, and he brought it to life with his poetic touch. This was in the late 1960's, before personal computers and desktop publishing, so it was all made with typewriters, scissors, and polaroid cameras. It was sort of like Google in paperback form, 35 years before Google came along: it was idealistic, and overflowing with neat tools and great notions.
Stewart and his team put out several issues of The Whole Earth Catalog, and then when it had run its course, they put out a final issue. It was the mid-1970s, and I was your age. On the back cover of their final issue was a photograph of an early morning country road, the kind you might find yourself hitchhiking on if you were so adventurous. Beneath it were the words: "Stay Hungry. Stay Foolish." It was their farewell message as they signed off. Stay Hungry. Stay Foolish. And I have always wished that for myself. And now, as you graduate to begin anew, I wish that for you.
Stay Hungry. Stay Foolish.
Thank you all very much.

(Text of above speech via

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Daily Dressing

Happy hump day!  I am so happy to share all of these outfits with you today, as a propane tank fire near my home yesterday had me slightly worried that my closet might be consumed in flames.  However, if the fire would have spread, that would have been the least of my worries- things are just things, and people are what matter most.  I am so very thankful for all of the fire fighters, police and CHP officers, and other emergency personnel that are working hard to ensure that our community is safe. May God bless them all!  In the meantime, life goes on... picking out my outfits for this week reminded me so much of that back-to-school feeling from my younger years.  The joy I always experienced in planning my outfits for the first week back on campus has stayed with me through the years, as I still love planning what to wear ahead of time.  I think pre-determining outfits is one of the best time savers out there for men and women alike.  Believe me, my husband loves it when I have outfits planned and do not have to change nine-thousand-and-seventy-three times before we head out the door!  As I am sure you can tell by these pictures, it is still very much summer weather in my neck of the woods- and it is not just hot because of yesterday's fire!  Beating the heat in skirts and dresses is still my MO for summer weather wear.

Hope you have a wonderful Wednesday!

- Above photo -
Occasion: work
Sweater top and skirt: BR
Shoes: Nine West
Purse: Guess
Jewelry: BR (necklace and earrings), Paul Frank (watch) Tiffany, ON, The Limited, Kohl's (bracelets)

- Above photo -
Dress (worn as skirt) and top: The Limited
Belt: ON
Shoes: Nine west
Jewelry: Citizen (watch), Tiffany, BR, ON

- Above photo -
Occasion: work
Belt: BR
Shoes: BCBG
Purse: Liz Claiborne (as seen here)
Jewelry: Anne Klein (watch), Kenneth Cole (necklaces), BR (earrings)

- Above photo -
Occasion: business meetings
Dress: Anthropologie
Navy Blazer: BR (last seen here)
Belt: ON
Heels: Nine West
Jewelry: Anne Klein (watch), BR, TJ Maxx, ON, gift from India (green bracelet)

- Above photo -
Occasion: casual Friday
Dress; Simply Vera Wang
Belt: Anthropologie
Sandals: Kristin Davis
Jewelry: Kenneth Cole (watch), Kohl's, vintage (wood bangle)

- Above photo -
Occasion: casual dinner out
Tunic: NY & Co
Jeans: BR
Clogs: Simply Vera Wang
Bag: H&M (as seen here)
Jewelry: Lucky Brand, F21, Target

- Above photo -
Occasion: pool time
Swimsuit: BR outlet
Dress: Ross
Wedges: ON
Fedora: Target

- Above photo -
Occasion: community organization dinner
Dress; BCBG
Heels: TJ Maxx
Clutch: Chinese Laundry
Jewelry: Ross, vintage (necklaces), Citizen (watch), BR, ON

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Drawer Revamp

< The finished product >

One of the greatest feelings in life is accomplishing a small organizational project and becoming overjoyed at the result.  As I opened a drawer in my bathroom the other day to locate a bottle of nail polish, I realized that the time had come to restore order to this poorly neglected drawer.  Fishing through mounds of polishes is no way to start off on the right foot for a pedicure!  So, out went a few old nail lacquers, in came a plastic tub just the right size for the desired purpose, and some random cosmetic bags were put to use in order to provide more organization and aesthetic pleasure.  No longer will I open this drawer and waste precious time locating its contents.  Hooray for one more organized drawer in our house!

< Before: a drawer that was cluttered and lacking maximized potential >

< Before: a muddled jumble of polishes in an unsuitable bag >

 < After: arranged loosely by color, all bottles stand upright and fit perfectly in this container >

< Before (left): an old beat-up carton; After (right): a mason jar beautifies this bath salt >

< After: an organized drawer I will now be delighted to open! >

< Supplies that were easily found in the re-organized drawer >

Monday, August 22, 2011

Wonders from the Weekend

< Lantana (that I thought wouldn't make it!) blooming in the backyard >

Happy Monday!  There went another weekend that flew by out of sight.  Activities like barbecues, boating, enjoying time with great friends, a little project accomplishment, and some relaxing time made for a perfect summer weekend.  I am approaching this week with much thankfulness in my heart for all of the loving friends and family I have in my life.  I will definitely enjoy being home for most of this week, because for the previous weeks of this month, I have been on the road and away from home more often than I have been at home!  But I guess time flies when you are having fun, right?  Whatever your schedule is between now and next weekend, I hope the week is wonderful for you!

< Dreaming up fall outfits  >

< Sunshine, an almost empty lake, and great friends made for an epic day on the water! >

< Place setting preparations for a last minute barbecue at our place >

 < Wondering why the lake was so empty... when all of these boats were obviously out over the weekend >

< Soaking up the sun and absorbing this September issue >