Saturday Quote

Don't just be good to others
Be good to yourself too.

Wishing you some time for self care this weekend!

Another Magical Laguna Beach Afternoon.

It was my favorite Saturday of the month once again!
An afternoon at 
I say it each time
but this culinary class was my most favorite ever!

That's because there is the most amazing collaboration 
going on now 
The French Basketeer 
Q Street
The  most magical pairing ever!

Mary of Q Street 
is a true artist
whose medium is florals and vignettes
with a specialty in doing  new and fresh every time.
I was looking forward all month to see what she what
art installation in the form of a table setting she was going to do.
I had high expectations
 I was still blown away!

It was her luxurious use of grapevine that took my breath away!
From meandering all through the tablescape
to being strung through the logia chandelier.

The colors and textures played perfectly together
creating the perfect balance of luxurious simplicity.

The table was set with  
Astier de Villatte
French ceramics
which you will soon be able to order from Mary.
I had to sit down 
truly experience the artistry of composition that is 
the signature of Q Street's work.
(If you want to see more of Mary's work she is qstreetqvale  on Instagram).

Mary wove her signature grey grograin ribbon throughout the tablescape.

Even the eggs that The French Basketeer's
are an art worthy capture.

Hailing from three of Andrea's favorite ranches
we were told to pick out three eggs
for an omllette we could customize
then Andrea showed us the insiders secrets
to cooking it perfectly.
She is truly a master
I must say good eggs make an amazing difference.

Oh just look at the truly artisan  bread that was there!

not only had their bread to be tasted and purchased
but  the owner as well.

I must say I was amazed by Jonnie
who is a gorgeous Laguna native
with an iconic boho style
an infection passion for the artistry she literally 
brings to the table.

I was able to purchase a gorgeous loaf …
but I just couldn't cut into this beauty!

Deserts abounded as per usual!
Always presented with such French flair!

This time Andrea even had wares to sell as well!
She knows as much as I absolutely adore her classes
the likelihood of me really cooking at home are slim.
That's why I was so excited to buy 
some of her syrups and vinegars.
I was missed out on the homemade lemon curd.
Next time I will be more on top of my shopping game!

I  was able to buy some of Q Street's organic roses and grapevine
ensuring I could bring home some of the magic of the afternoon.

Waking up the next day to these beauties
had me reliving the magical gathering once again ...

And has me knowing I just have to plant some grape vines 
for the foliage alone!
At almost a week out in water
they are still as fresh as the day they were cut
from Mary's mother's vine.
Yep …
that magical afternoon
had the most amazing story.

I still don't know if my words and pictures
can do this afternoon justice.
Every since I was young
 first heard of the gathering of artists
during the French Impressionists era
I have dreamt of being able to enter a gathering 
of artistic souls.
I finally got my wish.
Andrea is a master at many things.
But I believe her biggest gift
is in the gathering of artistic souls
 the connections that come of it.

Thank you French Basketeer
for yet another magical and memorable Laguna Beach afternoon.

As always my friends

I wish you love and joy
as you style your life

linking with

A Well Styled Life

Stella Carakasi and Sunset at the Beach

I was recently introduced to 
by none other than than my  gorgeous friend Adrienne of 

I knew when I picked my pieces
they would work wonderfully into my SoCal wardrobe
I couldn't wait to wear them to the beach for cocktails
for our Friday date night.

I have been looking for quite some time now
for a white skirt that could be both
dressy and sporty.
One that I could dress up with heels
still be able to dress down with sandals
even just take out for a walk on the beach.
I have found the answer to all of the above in the
Stella Carakasi
New Wave Skirt!

I knew soon as I saw the
Take Note Vest
it would be my top pick for sure!
It's a tunic length vest with not only a hood
but pockets as well!

This is one piece that will be getting
so much wear this summer
in my wardrobe!
It's the perfect balance of sporty glam for me!
I will be wearing this vest with everything from
shorts and jeans to my cropped ankle pants!

I am so excited to announce
I have been invited by gorgeous Adrienne
to walk in her fashion show event!

Adora Bags
(I posted about these fabulous bags HERE)
 has designed a brand new bag
in a most luscious shade of yellow!

To help celebrate Adrienne's new bag
the Stella Carakasi design that inspired Adrienne's color choice
is having a fashion show at their Berkley Headquarters
Friday May 1st!

You can find all the exciting details on Adrienne's
The Rich Life On A Budget!

I can't wait to go and support my gorgeous friend
the exciting collaboration of these
three stylish brands!

As always my friends

I wish you love and joy
as you style your life

Deborah Montgomery!
You are the lucky winner of last weeks
bracelet giveaway!

Saturday Quotes


Here's to learning to believe in ourselves!

LA Art District

I needed to make a run to LA 
for some design supplies on Sunday.
So as per our usual Jeff and I decided to go explore
a new to us area of the Art District.
It was the perfect outing for my new splurge
Celine sunglasses!

I also thought my new shirt 
by Fanny and Advanced Style
would be a fun piece to style an outfit around
for our little exploration in the Art District.
I was quite delighted how engaging the shirt
always ends up to be
with young and old alike!

We discovered the sweetest little coffee/cafe venue.
Both buildings had been built on a curve 
creating a most wonderful courtyard.

With great care being taken to protect 
a tiny mural.

The block on Industrial Road
even had an urban  herb garden done
by another little cafe.

In the Art District there is a lot of redevelopment
still underway 
so one block might be absolutely charming
another not so much at all.

The largest redevelopment on the block
is the old 
National Biscuit Company (Nabisco)
which has been turned into some fabulous lofts
with the notable
Church and State restaurant on the ground floor.

We came to the area in search of 
The Little Bear Cafe
for brunch.

My husband was compelled to try one of their 
signature hand crafted cocktails
the Naturalist
One must have a strong appreciation of rosemary to enjoy!

Across the street from Little Bear is a most charming 
upscale market with  enviably large cheese and meat departments.

Outside tables await customers of their
on site barbecuing.

Even the market has murals.
For those of you in SoCal
looking for fabulous walls
LA's Art District
has them in a myriad of colors and designs!

Even though it an advertisement
this is the mural  that resonates most with me!

As always my friends

I wish you love and joy 
as you style your life

A Pit Bull Miricle

Some moments are so easy for me to write about.
Others that are still so green in my heart
not so much.
This one has taken me over six weeks to live with and mull over.

Actually that's not true.
This one was so big
even I had to file it away
until I felt not only was my heart safe with it
but I could share honestly.
That I could sort out the moments of the afternoon succinctly from
the past or the future.

It began like a regular recent day.
Me making breakfast for my youngest son who is in college
 works a shift at Ups that starts at 3:00 in the morning.
He had recently been in contact with my estranged older son.

Text messages about an abandoned dog were coming in from him.

My younger son has always wanted a dog.
I have always had a big fear of dogs.
One of those old mental tapes that I haven't updated since I was a five year old
bitten by a dog.

I knew hopes of adopting this dog were going to be introduced.
I  stood firm with my no.
But I understood my youngest's desire to go look.
"But your'e not bringing him home"
floated in the air before 
bye, Love you followed him to his car.

Those of you who follow my blog
know of my intense heartache over my older son's 
decision to estrange himself from our family.
I have written several times of my anguish.
So I have been  ever so relieved recently at the reengagement of the brothers.

On my way out to buy a birthday present for my daughter's  fiancĂ©
I got a call form the younger
about how wonderful the large dog really was.
I had been expecting that.
But what I wasn't at all prepared for 
was that the elder son
was wiling to help bring the dog home.

I remember going almost numb at the idea.
Something I had dreamt of for almost a year and a half.
I was afraid to breathe
that maybe this was a dream.

Nothing like getting over a lifetime of dog fears
with the too good to be true promise of seeing an estranged child.
I calmly said that was fine.
I was going to run errands
so I would't be home when they arrived
but they were more than welcome to make themselves at home
dog included
 until my return.

It was such a strange feeling
being so close to getting something I had prayed so hard for almost two years
still going about my tasks.

I think it was disbelief it could really be happening
that I was going to be able to see a son whose absence from my life
had been almost as hard as the death of my sister.
I felt that afternoon
that everything I did had to be in order.
As if I skipped something from my all ready to do list
I would jinx what could be.

I  went into hostess mode 
 stopped for snacks on my way home.

I even wondered if I could handle the seeing him properly.
When  relationships have been that strained
I was so fearful of doing or saying the wrong thing.
I even thought of having a good friend come over
as my husband was out of town.

But I decided to trust my intention of love
just go in.

Walking in
there my son was
in the backyard he grew up in.
It seem so normal and surreal all in the same moment.
I looked to the left and saw one of the largest dogs I have ever seen in my life,

A great big  pit bull.

A dog that imbued all of my dog fears to the nth degree.

But I had absolutely no fear.
All I saw was an animal that had gotten my son home.
I saw what was to me a miracle dog.

Pleasantries were exchanged

I felt afraid to breath.
Afraid if I did
the moment would disappear.

I had a feeling for the first time in my life
that I just wanted to slow down time.
Even make it stop for a few moments if I could.
A feeling of utter contentedness
of just being in the moment.
I don't know if ever in my life I have ever been so present.

I was just so very happy to see my son.
That he was actually here.

The pit bull had given my son an opportunity to come home.
Given us all something else to focus on.
An ability to be in the moment
without the bearing the whole weight of two Christmas's he had missed with us.
We were just here now.
Marveling at the glorious creature playing in our backyard.

During my son's visit I was able to
 hug him 
so tight 
for so long.
I was able to tell him
his being there was 
answered prayers.

I got to tell him I was proud of his ability to be on his own.
I was able to let him know how very much I loved him.
He was right there with me.
I got to let him know all the love that was in my heart.
That I was proud of him for coming home to visit.
I got to sit next to him on our couch.

I was even euphoric enough to make plans for his return to visit 
the name my boys gave to what I will always think of as 
the miracle dog.

Most of me knew at the time
the likely hood of us being able to keep such dog was a stretch.
But I didn't want reality 
to spoil moments that I had dreamt of.
I just wanted the moments
if even briefly
the promise
the dream of our family being reunited once again.
I wanted the now
I wanted the future.
I could feel the yearning in my soul
for a happily ever after.
I wanted the past situations to be erased
I wanted the perfect storybook ending 
I wanted …
I could feel myself wanting so much.
I could feel myself leaving the present in wanting more
And as I felt this happening …
I could feel my son closing down.
I knew my wanting more of him
was shutting down
the moments of authentic love in the now.
As I said goodbye that night
I knew if would be a long while until I saw him again.

But I kept a pit bull in our house for five days
in a desperate hope of the heart that I could make it work
to be able to hold on to the only tie I had to a son I loved desperately.

In the end reality prevailed
the dog had to move on to new permanent owners
but along the way 
I fell in love with Chop
 finally I understood what I never had before
that when a dog comes into your heart
it's a real love.

I haven't seen my oldest son since that afternoon.

But six weeks later I know that our time together
was an authentic exchange of love.
Things might not to be where I would want them to be
but nobody can take away
the time
that a pit bull brought my boy back
if only for an afternoon.

And I know
that miracles really do happen.

As always my friends

I wish you love and joy
as you style your life