What I Wore …To A Most Magical Party

My new vintage kimono made it out again this weekend ...

I finally got to wear it styled for the party it was purchased for!

My kimono's first outing was here
where I styled it for a more casual night out.

But this time out 
I pulled out all of my style stops
I was lucky enough to be invited at another of the 
legendary parties
at her Laguna Beach home.

It was an evening 
I have been waiting for with great anticipation!

My Trina Turk
Palm Springs sandals
paired perfectly with the kimono.

I finished the look off with a turban and  shell earrings I designed.

Underneath I wore my silk paired skirts
with a my vintage YSL lace blouse.
My corded belt kept the kimono wrapped in place.

And then  it was off to the beautiful Laguna Beach
 the stunning historical residence of the 
whose parties are legendary
 not only for  her 
artistic and sumptuous entertaining skills
but even more so 
for her masterful  gathering of fascinating guests  for her parties!

Magic is always in the air at Andrea's parties …
You can feel it wafting through
the truly romantic space.
It is what party dreams are made of!

Sitting down to a lavishly set table on the veranda 
with the most marvelous food being passed
while getting lost in fascinating conversations
with her  most marvelous guests
is a true gift to my soul.

Andrea's attention to detail
sublime entertaining artistry
makes attending her parties 
an honor
 an always magical memory.

Thank you Jennifer
for this picture!
My handsome husband/photographer
doesn't make it in front of the camera often enough :))

The evening was also had  a fabulous gathering of wonderful bloggers as well.

Some now dear blogging  friends I had already met like
the always glamorous Contessa of
 The Vintage Henhouse
the ever stylish Jennifer of
A Well Styled Life.

Cristina of
Griege Design
 was also attending.
Her interiors are always a favorite of mine.
Especially what she accomplished in her amazing  Southern California  backyard!

Therese of
La Lofina Lifestyle
was also there
 I was only sorry I didn't get to spend more time with her
as she is ever so warm and engaging!
I just know our paths will soon cross again!

Kathy of
had stories about collecting in Paris
for her A list clients
I could have listened to all night!

Oh it was such a wonderful night …
with everyone attending
blogger or not
such a joy to spend time with!

thank you once again for such a magical evening!
Your generosity knows no bounds
my forever  inspiring friend!

PS … Now I can't wait for spring :))

As always my friends

I wish you love and joy
as you style your life

linking up with
Visible Monday
Monday Mingle

French Basketeers - Fall Foods French Style

I had the privilege this weekend of 
attending Andrea of the 
French Basketeer's
 fall cooking class.

I have enjoyed each of Andrea's 
seasonal cooking classes
fall has definitely been my favorite!
Most likely because it is one of my favorite
SoCal seasons.

My biggest surprise in the fall class
was learning I could be cooking with all of the gorgeous
pumpkins and squash
I have only been using for
 styling decor 
up until now!

A phenomenal 
Butternut Squash Crostini
was made.
One so fabulous 
I have already made it for my family
along with the rest of
Andrea's perfect fall menu!

During class I make sure to take detailed notes
because Andrea truly knows where 
to find the best of everything ingredient and utensil wise
whether it be in her beloved France or here locally stateside.

Perfect food pairings are always demonstrated …

as well as learning new to me
cooking techniques.

But it is always Andrea's food styling tricks
that get my styling heart a fluttering!

My favorite
her use of a hallowed out Fairytale Pumpkin
turned soup tureen!

Her tip on notching out the lid
made the perfect space for the ladle
for dramatic at table service ...

for her incredible Provencal Pumpkin Soup!

Many different pumpkins were tasted and tested
I was smitten with their
always stylish and useful presence!

As much as I love learning about stylish seasonal cooking
my favorite part of
the French Basketeer's Cooking Classes
is always sharing  the resulting meal
with such fabulous women!

Andrea is a masterful gatherer of people
 I believe that has resulted
in the most amazing women
coming to her monthly classes!

I look forward each month
to spending time with Andrea in her kitchen
as well as meeting new women
 reconnecting with other 
class returnes like myself!

You can also always 
count on the absolute most wonderful deserts
after all
it is a French cooking class!

I left the class 
with a warm heart
for the women there
as well as the desire to cook for my family and friends this season!

Thank you Andrea for sharing you gifts
of style and taste!

I can't wait for next month's holiday class!
Sure to be another highlight of my month!

As always my friends

I wish you love and joy
as you style your life

linking up with
Savvy Southern Style

Hello Monday … Hello Gratitude

Hello Monday
Hello Gratitude.

I have put into practice most all of my 
self care tips
that I wrote about HERE 
 this week.

They can never be a perfect solve
but they have done wonders
towards seeing the beauty in each day.

Red lipstick …
definitely helps!

As do sparkly accessories!

For me dressing in clothes I love
is always self care manifested.

As is getting outside with a view
to keep things in perspective!

I was very grateful
we got to visit my darling daughter and Elliot
in La Jolla for dinner last week.

You can see some of their fabulous
engagement photos on Ellis's blog HERE.

We were able to see what a marvelous job
Ellis did setting up their new home.
My heart was happy to see her new home was beautify and cozyl.

But driving away at night …
was still bittersweet.

Life is moving on …
in all directions
whether I want it to or not.

I am so surprised
that I feel like I am dragging my feet as hard as I am 
with embracing this change with joy …

After all this is what I have been preparing her for 
for the last 22 years,
To leave home 
 be loved and loving
with a successful life.

Maybe it's just how final it all seems
with all of my children
truly moving on
with their very own lives.

I am truly grateful though …
that they are able to.

Maybe I just miss the definiteness of purpose
I had every day
raising them.

Always knowing 
what was most important each day …
without a doubt.

I know it is my time now …
to find my next phase of purpose.

I was lucky enough this week 
to attend another one of 
The French Basketeer's
cooking classes.
It was all about fall foods this month.

Andrea's classes are so much more 
than just cooking.
So much more
I will be sharing about them later this week.

I am preparing this week
for visits from old friends
looking forward to seeing 
some new friends as well.

Turning outward …
towards friends
refusing to be consumed
by my own feelings
is a daily process for me.

I feel very blessed in life
to know so many fabulous women.

I am also most grateful to have spent a lovely weekend
with my husband.

We are at that stage of life and parenting
that I couldn't be more grateful
that we made it through some really tough times
still have each other.

As our house has emptied out
it is true
kids move on and out
 you are once again
left alone together.

I am most grateful to have picked so well
twenty eight years ago.
Heres to another twenty eight 
beautiful new roads to travel together!

As always my friends

I wish you love and joy
as you style your life

linking up with

Self Care During Difficult Times … My Top Tips

As a highly sensitive empath
 when I get  really sad
I tend to feel devastated.
But theses days
one of the many gifts of aging 
is that I now know better how to 
care for myself during these times
which also means I can bounce back quicker.

Here are my top tips for
 self care during difficult times.

Give Yourself Grace - During difficult times I put parenthesis on my life.  That is to say, I don't expect myself to perform on my usual level and I definitely don't make any of life's big decisions.  I know that self kindness is paramount.  So is a gentle  internal voice that is soothing and nurturing.  I have realized that during difficult times. if I use the same love and guidance, that I   would offer my own children, during challenging times … I too, become calmer and feel safer … and realize … I won't always feel like this.

Don't Overindulge - I must admit this one took me some time to realize.  Often, when we have a searing hole in our heart … it's easy to believe that the pain can be eased by something form outside of ourselves … whether it be food or drink … or buying something extravagant  to ease the pain.  Trust me … other than a momentary ease … none of it works!  In fact true overindulgence makes things so much worse … because then self recrimination and self loathing are kicked into what was originally just sadness and grief. 

Buy Yourself Flowers - Even if money is tight and you can only afford one flower … buy one.  Flowers will remind you … that you are worth investing in.  They will remind you there is still beauty in the world. And most of all, they will remind you … that just like flowers don't last forever … neither will this pain.

Get Organized - For me, getting my house in order (literally) … translates to a feeling  of getting my life in order … of feeling like I still have control of aspects of my life.  I have only recently realized, every time one of my children left the nest … I had spent much time  before hand purging belongings, cutting back my gardens … in preparation for life's newest transitions. Even a small step like cleaning out a drawer … can feel empowering … between the purging and the created order … in what otherwise feels chaotic.

Go Outside - Nature has great healing properties and offers an opportunity to connect with a higher power. . I have a favorite beach that I walk … where I feel truly connected  and realize there is more to life than what I can see at the moment. Sometimes it just  it feels good to know that I can still put one foot in front of the other … in the midst of natural beauty.

Wear Red Lipstick - or whatever your version of this is.  It can be  remarkable sometimes … if we dress our selves better … even during hard times … there comes with this a feeling of control … that we can still have effect upon our life and surroundings. 

Meet Up With Friends - I don't think we are meant to do life on our own … but  this one took me time to realize it's importance.  I have been the sort in the past to almost go underground in avoiding friends when I am feeling broken.  But I now realize how unhealthy that is … especially during hard times.  For me choosing not to see friends …only amplified the sadness by loneliness.  Life is hard on us all at times … it takes true friends to navigate the  troubled waters with,

Make A Gratitude List - I have an obsessive mind by nature … so when I am feeling devastated it is imperative for me to make gratitude lists … so as not to over connect with the present painful situation.  I try to normally make a weekly list, but when I am hurting … I make daily lists  …and boy does it ever help!  It takes my mind out of the darkness … it calms me, as I realize …'peaks and valleys my dear' … and 'it won't always be like this'.  It reminds me once again … there is so much beauty in the world.

Do Good For Others - I have saved my best tip for last!  This one has never ever failed to ease the pain … and make me feel better … even in my darkest days.  It is almost a dark spell breaker.  Just the sheer thought process of … even though I know I  am in pain …  'What can I do today … to help someone else '… is a reminder … we are all connected … and sometimes it is with a broken heart … we can hear the needs of others more clearly.

Doing good for others doesn't even have to be a big gesture … it can be as simple as smiling at someone, going out of your way to offer a sincere loving compliment.  Leaving a kind comment on any of the many social media platforms.  Letting friends know you care. Sending out a card in the mail Leaving flowers on the doorstep of someone you know can use some cheer in their life.

 We are all connected  in this life… and kindness not only for others, but ourselves as well ... really does matter … in good times … and especially in bad.

As always my friends

I wish you love and joy
as you style your life