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El Caminante Bar and Bungalows.

There is a sweet new boutique hotel 
tucked into the hillside in Dana Point
across from Capistrano Beach!

' Effortless Beachside Luxury '
Al Fresco dining.
All done with timeless Spanish Design!

The best part of this 'new hotel'
is it has been completely reimagined 
from it's former self as a homely motel 
that was so rundown it was number 8 as worst motels in America!

On the block to be torn down and property sold
a citizen's group talked the city council to selling it
to be updated and reimagined!

And updated and reimagined it has been!
With no attention to detail overlooked!

They had to keep the same footprint as the original motel
but from there everything was taken down to the studs!

Being an original motel
car parking is in the back
with the cutest dutch door entry!

By modern American standards
the rooms are quite small size wise
but jam packed with aesthetics and comfort!

If you are a fan of Spanish tile
you are going to adore these bathrooms!

There is another sweet Dutch door in the front
that leads to the private courtyard
when you stay on the first floor!

The courtyard has as much square footage 
as the room itself!
Complete with a couch and chairs
made in Mexico.

A gas burning outside fireplace means chilly sunsets can still be warm and cozy!

It's the utilitarian aesthetic details
like the amazing tile throughout the property 
that has my designer heart beating fast!

The second floor rooms have  unobstructed views of the ocean
but without the private courtyard.
I would recommend a bottom floor for the added space
the second floor if you want the better view
with no one walking above you.

The drawback of the property is that it's located across 
busy Pacific Coast Highway.
But the prices to stay are also reflective of the location
offering a gorgeous room at a fraction of other mediocre rooms in the area.

My favorite part of 
is the alfresco dining and drinks!
With just a limited menu right now
you can sit either on the front patio with views of the ocean
in the cozy back patio that is nestled into the hillside.

Still to come is their rooftop patio which will sit above the carport
and will offer truly spectacular sunset views!

On property there will also be an Airstream
which will serve morning coffees!

We enjoyed bites and drinks on the front patio.

The food and drink prices were excellent considering the outstanding aesthetics.

A glitch might be finding a parking place for the bar as the hotel has limited parking for guests.
There is ample public parking across the street complete with a pedestrian bridge.
But be forewarned there is no sidewalk currently in front of the property.
( I think that's a question for the city)

I definitely don't think the parking situation is a deal breaker
only mention it to take into account.

is a wonderful  uplifting addition to Dana Point area
I for one can't wait to return!

As always my friends

I wish you love and joy
as you style your life

Summer Backyard Entertaining

Backyard Entertaining
is always one of my favorite ways to entertain!

There is a feeling of comfort and casualness.

Jeff and I spend a lot of time on our yard and gardens
so it always feels like sharing love when we have people over.

And of course not only do I love to pull a theme into the mix
I always love styling an outfit to accompany my theme!

For one of our recent family parties
my darling daughter
came up with doing a party around this fresh colorful branding!

Blue and white stripes with a dose of orange citrus
I was all in
especially since i always summer decorate with blue and white.

Ellis did the cutest invites!
Even though it was a small party
I just love having
a graphic that  incorporates the party theme!

The table was fresh and simple.
I have small potted ferns running down our large farm table this summer.

The placemats and plastic dishes are recently from Target.
A clementine was my dash of orange atop a beautifully ironed napkin.
I have always used cloth napkins
but have only recently loved them even more ironed.
When I iron them these days
it feels like a beautiful ritual of investing in upcoming fun.

My party theme in a tablescape.

I loved my outfit
which is always
 one of my top entertaining tips
Love what you wear!
Feeling good about yourself and what you are wearing gives you so much more energy 
to love on your guests!

I accented my pinstripe maxi with an oversized floral brooch.
I added one of my floral headband to my hat!
A tip I highly recommend!
It can transform one beloved hat into so many!

Elis made the most delightful charcuterie board!

I brought all of my inflatables!
I started with a pool and some beach balls last year
and have continued to collect!

How fabulous is this arch with reusable balloons
the oversized beachballs!

I also have gotten party theme colored beach balls from Amazon.

We live in a small house 
with a small yard
so being able to inflate party fun is just the best!
Plus not having them out all the time 
makes them fresh and fun when they do come out to play!

 How about some inflatable sharks for bowling!
Also Target!

My favorite part of the collected inflatables 
seeing our grand children plays with them!

I had them all set out one way
but they saw them an entirely new way.
They gathered  all of the balls and sharks into the pool
made a ball pit!
Just genius!

I would have liked to have said it was my genius idea
but I do believe in giving credit where do!
I am always in awe of watching our grand children's creative play!

One last fun and fast party decoration
that is also easy to store
is using banners
like these fiesta inspired beauties from Amazon.

And we all know entertaining is all about
savoring and enjoying those we love!

As always my friends

I wish you love and joy
as you style your life

Crown Yourself This Mother's Day

I always thought she had more power over me
than  she actually did.

Now I miss her 
no more than on 
Mother's Day
wishing I could have overcome 
my fear of  my Mother's judgement.

So easy to say
now that she has been gone so long.

I always thought one day
things would work themselves out
we would have the 
storybook loving mother daughter relationship
that I had always yearned.
We had a nice relationship
but I always wanted more
but I was not courageous about saying so.

I don't even know if my expectations were realistic.
Maybe sometimes we want things from others 
that  they never had to give.
Maybe we internalize TV and movie  versions of 
perfect mother daughter relationships.

I grew up with a younger sister with not only down syndrome
but  a life threatening heart condition as well.
So many  of my younger years were spent  with what felt like months at a time
in hospital waiting rooms
by myself.
While my parents were with my sister.
We were all hoping and praying  she would survive pneumonia 
year after year.

My parents were brave and tireless taking care of my sister
during a time it was recommended for parents
to institutionalize babies with down syndrome.

Because of the years of ongoing trauma for all of us
I was literally told by my parents
"we don 't have time for your nonsense"
meaning ever talking about my feelings.

They really didn't  have time
but as a young child with no  life context
it made me feel like I had to be perfect.

I always felt guilty to have more than others
because I felt bad that I had more than my sister.
I didn't really.  

We all come from the framework of our past.
We all come from imperfect parents
( including for sure my own children)

I so wish my parents were still here
so I could learn more about 
the traumas they overcame.
It wasn't until my mother's funeral
that I learned her harsh upbringing.

I only mention my history
to put in context why
I believe so strongly in
Crowning Ourselves

I believe 
it's is up to us to 
fill our own cup.

I believe it is our own responsibility to
 Self Validate.
Self Care

We all deserve to be happy and feel good about ourselves.
We all matter
we should especially  matter to ourselves.

It took me a long time to realize this.

I felt I was forever tying to fill 
a hole in my heart.
Often it was food or wine or buying.
Often expecting people in my life
to be able to fill the endless hole.

And there were years I felt people could.
Those first breathlessly happy years with Jeff
where new love was intoxicating

There were years with young children
that my heart once again felt overflowing

But unrealistic expectation began  to appear
that others were meant to keep the hole filled.

Now I firmly believe
 feeling whole
filling our own heart
must start from within ones own self.

It's a decision I  made to myself
that I matter.
To see  myself with eyes of love.

And since  I matter 
it's up to me
to take care of me.

And it's incredibly freeing to do so.
There is much more control and peace in accepting
Self Responsibility and Self Care

Now I am old enough to know
we are all trying the very best we can
on  our own personal journeys 
that is our life.
And sometimes we have no idea
what others are experiencing internally.

I am responsible for my own emotions

I will be
Crowning Myself

Mother's Day

I will create ways
both literally and figuratively
Crown Myself.
I will end every day going over
what I did well

I will take up room.

I will be the lead in my own story.

I will celebrate my life
by finding joy and beauty everyday!

Because I know for a fact
life is so much sweeter
when we 
love others from a full cup.

One of the gifts of taking good care of myself
is that I have so much more to give.
The better I love myself
the better I am able to love others.

So that is why I choose daily to
Crown Myself.

This is neither a sad story
a blame mommy story.
I have nothing but the upmost respect and love of my mother.

It's actually a story for me
for anyone else it might help as a reminder.

Which makes it  merely a story
in which I recognize
that so many times what we yearn 
to receive from from others
is actually something 
We need to give to ourselves.

To truly love ourselves
mistakes, flaws and fabulousness
all rolled together
into what makes us
uniquely us.

That's what
Crown Yourself
means to me.
And why I continue to hold the concept
near and dear to my heart,

Happy Mother's Day
my friends.
May you
 Crown Yourself 
today and every day

As always my friends

I wish you love and joy
as you style your life