what to wear to a holiday brunch

My friends at Eshakti sent me this darling dress to see how I would style it for the holidays.  With our mild temps here in Southern California it wasn't that hard.  I knew I could put a little cardigan on and be good but then I asked myself what would Ralph do?  I think maybe he'd tell me to put on my old RRL plaid workshirt and tie it at the waist.

So I did.

Right now Eshakti is having a site-wide sale with up to 70% off.  Plus if you are new to the site you get a $35 sign up discount.  They have that great tailoring service that is only $7.50 to customize all their dresses.  So maybe pop over and take a peek.  I adore this one too.

I'd also like to thank everyone for all the well wishes for me getting over the flu.  It kinda threw me for a loop right before Christmas but everything worked out well.  I haven't been really sick (except for allergies in the spring) for over 8 years straight so I'm not complaining.  Well maybe a little.

See you soon for my very favorite time of year...January 1st!



in bed

3 days before Christmas I'm in bed with the flu.  I missed a beautiful day of lunch and the ballet and instead spent it on the bathroom floor.  Today I'm feeling somewhat human again.

One of my very favorite websites I read had a new posting today. They don't post often so it's like a little present.  If you are anything like me you will like the entire site.  Read here.

Also, Ellie has a new post up today (yay).  It's her love story, read it here.

Donna has been writing little stories on the twelve days of Christmas which are so charming.
Read here.

That's all.  Hope you are not sick.  See you soon. x


how to make a nature box

This is that gift I told you I was making.  Look, I'm no good at crafts but this was easy.  You could use an old cigar box if you had to but I wanted it to be a little fancier.  I got the idea when I saw my grandaughter picking up little rocks and a chicken feather when we were at Farm Sanctuary. That reminded me of what my boys used to do and to be honest I still do it.  So I thought I'll make her a pretty little place to keep her collection.

I found this box at an estate sale for $3.

The top was a little marred so I bought a sheet of bird paper from a local gift shop.

This would be perfect and was only $4.

I used the lid as a template to cut the paper to size and then tore around the edges because I read that the glue would adhere better.  Then I diluted some regular white glue with a little water and brushed it on.

I placed the paper on top and smoothed out any bumps.  When it was dry I put a couple of coats of paste wax on it.  I'm sure you could varnish it too. I put a small magnifying glass, a little notebook and a sea shell that her dad picked up and saved when he was around her age to help get her collection going. She's a very contemplative little girl so I'm thinking she is going to like this.  :)


another estate sale

This weekend we took off early in the morning and drove out to Palm Springs to go to another estate sale.  You never really know what to expect at these things.  Some look good on paper and turn out awful and vice versa.  But I was hopeful and a drive to Palm Springs is always good anyway, so off we went.  The lady that lived here was a clothing designer and bought the house from Errol Flynn in 1963.  Turns out the house was very cool and her closets even cooler.  There were more clothes here than in any other estate sale I've ever been too.  The closets were bursting with 3 generations of clothing.  Everything was Dior, Saks, I. Magnin, Bill Blass, Oleg Cassini, Balenciaga, Galanos.  Not a Target label in sight. There were over 150 pair of designer shoes. Thank goodness she was one size smaller than me because otherwise I may have gone crazy.  On top of all this there were her own designs. Adelaar was one of the largest sportswear companies in America during the 60's and 70's. There were literally hundreds of her blouses here. Brace yourself and let's take a gander...

This rack. That silver mink trimmed concoction is a dress not a coat.  Weighed a ton. How about the British flag evening gown.  So crazy, so good.

This is one of her Adelaar blouses, they were $5 each.  I couldn't resist this RL looking fall blouse. Will be perfect with my herringbone jacket and a pair of jeans.  

Excuse this poor photo but I had to try it on as soon as we got home.  My birthday present.  It took quite a bit of nail biting and back and forth to get the price down to $50 but I did it.  It's a 1960's 100% silk maxi in perfect condition. Maybe never even worn, as the tag was still on it.

The belt!

Ok, so the rest of the house was very good too.  You can't see the view through these windows but this is what it looks like...

Another home, another well-lived life.  As I've said before, estate sales used to make me sad but now I look at them as a tribute to the person and inspiration for my own life.  Use your best stuff!  This home is def a tribute to one really well-lived life.  Bravo.

Also, this little guy kept begging me to take him home, so I did.  x


friday night

Don't laugh but this is our tree.  It's actually a limb cut off an evergreen in our garden.  I'm telling you we are pulling out all the stops around here.

It's been a sort of busy day with work and this rain slows everything down, rain really throws us. The garden is loving every drop though.  We are about to watch This Property's Condemned with Robert Redford and Natalie Wood.  And we will both probably fall asleep before it is over.   x 



You know what I know about heavily beaded and sequined tops?  Nothing.  But since I purchased this vintage top the other day for $20, I'm learning.  I do know that it was a steal.  It weighs about 5 lbs and there isn't a sequin or bead missing.  I can't imagine what a new top like this would cost today but my guess would be in the hundreds.

The color is spectacular and it's lined in the silkiest fabric.  I don't know if it is silk but it feels like it. Between the lining, beading and sequins I'm not sure how to care for something this delicate but I will find out.  Also, what do I wear it with?

The only thing I could think of was jeans.  I know how boring but besides black pants it's all I've got. Gimme some time and I'll think of something else.  Meanwhile, my kid present has come out so good.  I'm so thrilled with it, probably way more than my poor granddaughter will be when she gets it. But it's nice to be excited about making/giving a present.  I think that's the key for me to enjoying these holidays, to look at them through a child's eye.

I also am looking for a dress to wear to a swanky NYE party that we've been invited to. So stayed tuned for some more mediocrity coming your way soon. x


have some decorum

Ok, so yesterday afternoon I get an email from Melanie, a friend I met through this blog.  She tells me about this blog called Have Some Decorum and that I must read it.  So I did.  I started with her about page and was sucked in immediately and then went on to read her hilarious post about tinsel. The next thing you know 4 hours have passed and I've just about read her whole blog. To say Ellie is an inspiration is like saying the Sistine Chapel is just okay.  Seriously, I cannot believe that people exist in this world that have the kind of spirit and humor that she has.  She is beautiful beyond description and when I clicked on her blog this morning (after dreaming about her all night) and saw Ellie's post today, well I just cried.  Please, please, I beg of you, and I never beg really, to click over and read and pray.  Pray hard please for this person I just met virtually yesterday.  Stephen Andrew, I think you will particularly love Ellie.  I don't know why but I just think you will.  You all will I know. If you would be so kind, please leave her a comment, sending love.  If you are not in the Christmas spirit or if you think you have it bad, maybe have an illness or job loss or divorce or death recently, please read and it will put everything in perspective.
Thank You.  x



A lot of old stuff

This is what I wore this morning to do a little estate sale shopping.  I have 2 things on my list and I'm hoping to find them soon.  It's a gift for a child and if it works out I'll share it with you.

After the wedding I tore apart the sofa and chairs and washed all the slipcovers.  My motto is to never deep clean before a party.  Wait til it's over and then have at it.

We put these blankets down at night when we settle in to read.  Saves from having to do the above only once a year.

Channeling M with my chair placement.

Omg, the sweetness.

We went to Farm Sanctuary this weekend and what a treat it was.  They care for abused farm animals and their commitment to saving animals from a cruel and torturous death is so inspiring. Please click on the link and if you feel inspired to donate a little something towards these gentle animals and the people who care for them. :)

This rose fell out of B's bouquet and I found it in the garden 4 days after the wedding.  When I took this photo a day ago it was almost 3 weeks old.  Trader Joe's flowers may be inexpensive but they are not cheap.

The End.


this just in

If you are sick of wedding posts then click away but if you aren't and would like a little Black Friday distraction you may want to watch this sweet movie .  Alex and B's friend Dayten (he's the guy right behind B) made it as a gift to them. I hope you enjoy it as much as I do. It is super sweet for sure.  I hope you all had a lovely Thanksgiving.

dialing it back

Thank you all so much for the beautiful comments you left on all my wedding posts.  I am so grateful to have readers that are so into details.  Not a single thing went unnoticed by you.  You are wonderful, wonderful friends.

So now that the wedding has come and gone in a split second it's on to the holidays right?  The last couple of days I've found myself getting angry while driving because the traffic has been so ridiculous.  It's not even Thanksgiving and the shopping centers are packed and it seems as if the worst drivers in the world are on the loose.  The Canadians have it right putting Thanksgiving in early October.  It's all just too much.

So in an effort to dial it way back I'm swearing off any and all retail centers for the holidays.   I will go to the market and will make a trip to the yarn store but that is it.  I don't know of any other way to avoid the crowds and the marketing b.s.  I think my family will be okay with knit scarves for Christmas. They are all grown and really need nothing so a handmade present will be nice.  Anything home baked is good too.

The image I chose for this post really says it all to me.  What else is needed?  A little food, a few friends or family and you are set.  I really think pulling off a wedding for 100 people in just 2 weeks really put things into perspective for me.  How much hype is put into the planning of things?  How much hype is put into making things perfect.  I've fallen for it for years myself.  I'm ready for a change, are you?


biker wedding chic

Well a lot of you are interested in just what all these bikers wore to the wedding.  I know I couldn't wait to see either. Like I said in my previous post, they were the most gracious group with impeccable manners.  I loved seeing what they wore and how they wore it.  Before we get to them though, lets first look at the bride and groom.

B was stunning in her 1940's crochet chemise.  They purchased the dress at Raggedy Threads in downtown Los Angeles.  this is her facebook page in case you can't make it into LA.  Jaimie is a lovely person and I spent some time talking vintage fashion with her at the wedding.  B's beautiful sister Bre did her makeup and hair and isn't it gorgeous?  I mean B always looks great but when she walked down the aisle I was like...wow.

Alex wore a suit from a company called Western River in Japan.  Believe it or not, vintage Harley Davidson's are incredibly popular there and they love Alex.  A and B have done several magazine shoots for their company and they sent Alex this suit as a gift.  He wore it with a RRL white shirt and this J.Crew bow tie and these J. Crew Ludlow Wingtips.

Here's the rest of the gang...

And I was worried about wearing black...

All photos courtesy of BEN
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