Alfresco Dining Southern California Style

Jeff and I threw a lovely alfresco dinner party this weekend
for two other couples.
We have decided among  the six of us 
to host monthly  'Friends Dinner Parties'
at each other's homes. 
We all bring something to the table
which is such a lovely tradition as well.

Setting up for the dinner party
I realized  just how very long
it has been since
we have entertained just for friends
rather than family gathering events.

This fact made my heart happy
that we are truly moving on
into this new phase of 
Empty Nesters
which sometimes feels like going back to our 
pre children days
but with the richness of adding in  the immense love for our adult children.

After feeling so lost for so long
at the foreboding quietness in our family home
I  am feeling so much better  these days about this transition.

This Halloween passing out candy
at our house
 was the first time I could see families 
Trick or Treating together without a pang of sadness 
at what was for me.

I  write this to remind myself
we can move through the valleys of life
to beautiful new horizons.

But it takes focus
literally putting one foot in front of the other ...

Focusing on beauty and gratitude
each and every day.

When I first began my transition
years ago
when my oldest left for college
I wrote on a chalk board in my studio

Tiny steps + intention = success.

I had written it to encourage myself
about my new business ventures at the time.

But now I realize it is just as important 
during life transitions.

I'm the type of person who too often 
goes all in excessively
only to burn out or be disappointed quickly.

But over the years 
I have learned I do much better
giving myself 
Grace and Self Care
with gentle goals
of new directions.

I have taught myself to focus on
the joy and beauty of life
even in the midst of anxiety.

But it is taking the time to truly reflect on the
I have for my life
that has buoyed me out of depression so many times.

I realize these days
at my age
my time here is finite.

I choose to focus on the simple beauties
that are before me
creating joyful memories
as often as I can.

And to love to the very best of my ability.

As always my friends

I wish you love and joy
as you style your life

I am on a life mission to focus on the joy in my life


  1. Absolutely love all the details !

  2. Tamera your words are so filled with the growth and wisdom that comes with letting go. I'm so happy to follow along your journey--which I can relate to in so many ways--and see you blossom into a new stage of your life. I think your friendship dinners are a wonderful idea!

    1. Thank you so much Leslie!! That means so much to me, coming from your insightful, soulful self! xox

  3. tiny step + intention = wise words!

  4. All is beautiful, and your words even more special. You have such a talent with words, always so thoughtful, encouraging and inspirational.

  5. Beautiful !!! Your friends are lucky to have you! - I am finally enjoying my empty nest also! Just completed a deep purge of decor which my children loved! Such a joy to pass along tangible things that they can enjoy and I love to hear them say they think of me every time they see these items - think I might give them more! :-)

  6. It truly is so difficult letting our baby birds fly away. But as with everything else you do, you are handling it all with elegance and grace.

  7. you are my inspiration Tamera- I think you love your kids like I love mine and you give me hope! You also have GREAT taste and GREAT style! Thank you! Kathryn K

  8. Every word is so true and touched my very soul! This is the perfect way to transition into this new and wonderful stage in life. Great idea to hold this once a month (I only wish Par and I could be apart of it). I'm sure I could talk him into flying to SoCal once a month, don't you think?

  9. Wise, gentle, kind and beautiful. Always a joy to visit your blog.
    Have a lovely week x

  10. Tamara, I've just somehow stumbled across your wonderful blog...and oh how uplifting! I am at this same stage with twin daughters - who now have their own spouses/significant others, and live far away from me. It has been an interesting journey to learn to let go, and to enrich those friendships that hubby and I have. So grateful for having found your wise words and beautiful blog!!

  11. We do these friendship dinners as well, all taking turns to enjoy the cooking at the others' houses. It brings me such joy; the conversation, the laughter, and the camaraderie that happens as we all navigate life's choppy waters together. This new tradition will be so good for you, as you fill your 'empty nest' with other equally beautiful things. Wishing you joy and peace, sweet Tamera. xx