Monday, February 28, 2011

Weekend Movie Night

One of the things we try to do as a family is have a "movie night". Dring the winter we build a fire and my husband makes his special kettle corn. Usually this is a Saturday night and it's a "Mommy's Pick". That means I get to choose. I don't know if it's just my kids but I do find that my little guys are resistant to something new. New movie, books, games, foods. Usually once tried, they are loved but it takes some nudging. I try and pick movies that will appeal to both side of the house. It's not easy to please a 10 year old boy, a 7 year old boy and a 7 year old girl as well as my husband. Some past picks that were sucessful included The Princess Bride, and Hook. This past weekend we watched Secretariat. It was a bet to appeal to my daughter who loves horses. It went over pretty well. I certainly loved it as did my daughter but there was no sword fighting so the boys liked it a little less. All in all it was a sucess. Do you do family movie nights? Game nights?

Friday, February 25, 2011

Will it or Won't it?

It's quite a breathless moment. We actually have record lows and snowinour forcast. Now I know to all you East Coast folks this is nothing new. You are all going, yeah? SO what? But this is San Francisco. It hasn't snowed here for something like 25 years. It oured rain last night and it's chilly but quite frankly, out my window it is sunny and windy, just like almost any other day. Supposedly, if all the right things combine tonight we might get snow and some flurries tomorrow morning. My bet? It will rain but not snow, at least where I live. In the hills, yes snow will happen. Makes me really glad that both my boys have picture day for Little League tomorrow starting at 8:30!

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

What I'd Rather be Doing

I've posted several times about my job and my struggles with becoming a working mother instead of a stay at home mom. It's not that I don't like my job or appreciate that it has enabled me to help support my family during a very difficult time while my husband's business was growing. But, if I could chose, I would love to be the fund raising director of a non profit organization. I did a ton of fundraising for the Junior League when I was an active member and even served on the Board in that capacity and that's what I do for the PTA. I've even got one picked out, Filoli Gardens in Woodside, CA. It has an amazing history

"Filoli was built for Mr. and Mrs. William Bowers Bourn, prominent San Franciscans whose chief source of wealth was the Empire Mine, a hard-rock gold mine in Grass Valley, California. He arrived at the unusual name Filoli by combining the first two letters from the key words of his credo: “Fight for a just cause; Love your fellow man; Live a good life.”

Mr. Bourn chose longtime friend and prominent San Francisco architect Willis Polk as principal designer for the House. Polk had previously designed the Bourns' cottage in Grass Valley as well as their home on Webster Street in San Francisco. An inventive architect, Polk frequently combined several styles in a single building, an eclecticism clearly evident in his design for Filoli.
Construction of Filoli began in 1915 and the Bourns moved into the House in 1917. Bruce Porter, a talented painter, sculptor, muralist, landscape designer and art critic was enlisted to help the Bourns plan the layout of the extensive formal garden that was built between 1917 and 1929. Both Mr. and Mrs. Bourn died in 1936.

The estate was purchased in 1937 by Mr. and Mrs. William P. Roth, who owned the Matson Navigation Company. Under the Roths' supervision the property was maintained and the formal garden gained worldwide recognition. Mrs. Roth made Filoli her home until 1975 when she donated 125 acres, which included the House and formal garden, to the National Trust for Historic Preservation for the enjoyment and inspiration of future generations. The remaining acreage was given to Filoli Center.

A prime example of the California eclectic style, Filoli provides an inspiring vision of a new Eden, with bountiful land, plentiful resources and an emphasis on self-sufficiency. Built more than sixty years after the California Gold Rush that inspired massive migration to Northern California, and ten years after the devastating 1906 earthquake and fire in San Francisco, Filoli represented a desire to create a magnificent and enduring country estate.

Now operated by Filoli Center, the 654-acre estate is a California State Historic Landmark and listed on the National Registry of Historic Places. This outstanding showcase of early twentieth-century architecture and garden design can be enjoyed by the public during much of the year"

About a year before I went back to being a lawyer I interviewed there for a great job that would have been amazing. However, my youngest had just been diagnosed as being border line austistic and I was spending a ton of time working with him. I had to turn down what they offered me because it was going to cost more in childcare then I was going to make which frankly wasn't going to work. I still regret it however. Wouldn't this have been an amazing place to work? Way better than my downtown SF office.

The sunken garden and clock tower.

The front of the house. The wisteria here is unbelieveable!

The back of the house. Look at those hydrangeas! During the summer they do live jazz concerts on the lawn. Really amazing. Sigh.


Tuesday, February 22, 2011

In the Navy!

I love navy blue and white. I've often posted about the importance of having a color scheme. Mine happens to be navy and white. I also do black and white, especially in the winter. I add a third color as an accent. In the winter it's usually gray or red and in the summer it is always pink or green. I might get nuts and throw yellow around too but not as much. Truely though, is any colro combination as perfect as navy blue and white? I am loveing the dress below from Kate Spade and have dropped many hints at home that it woul make my brithday complete. But in any combination, navy and white is crisp and pulled together. I can pack for a weekend, in all navy and white with my chosen accent color whether I am going to the beach, to a party in the city or hanging out at the little league field. It makes getting dressed in a hurry easy and simple as well as cutting down on random purchases that don't go with anything in my closet. Sort of like grown up granimals. I know I am showing my age on that one but I thought it was the best concept. I guess I still do.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Brooks Brothers Does Fall

Ok, I know that it is February and not fall. I know that Spring is coming and then summer before we get to fall but The Preppy Princess email post this morning contained the most amazing shots from the upcoming Brooks Brothers fall collection. You can also see these shots in Woman's Wear Daily. I love these things. Especially the striped shirt with the rep tie placket and cuff under the navy sweater in the last picture. I also love the bow tie neck blouse in the second picture with the checked blazer. I have a hacking jacket in just that print so you might be seeing it in locations other than the hunt field. These clothes are amazing, classic and since they are Brooks Brothers, you know they are built to last. I hate to say it but I suspect that they will be getting my fall clothing dollar, not J crew. It's cold and wet here today which may be why I am swooning over these shots as opposed to summer ones but they are terrific. Do you agree?

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Lands End Love!

I love Lands End. I personally love the new Canvas line and have always loved the totes. My current and most special love is for their girls clothes. My daughter, CMB, is 7 and in the second grade. She is very tall, blond and pretty. Ok, I'm biased but she's a pretty girl. Anyway, I find it a challenge to find cute girls clothes that are also age appropriate. I think children shuld look like children. She's outgrown the smocked dress age and it's been a struggle. She's also a bit of a tomboy and doesn't like tights or skirts. Enter the Lands End Knit Kit. CMB has been living in the play dress and tunics with leggings all winter. Today they are having a "Knit Kit" promo where all the pieces are 25% off. I bought the aborable dress and leggings below, another dress in navy and white stripes, 2 cute ruffled tees (one in the purple/white stripe combo and one in navy/white stripe) a cardigan and the capri leggings in navy and white. The best part is shipping was free and it all came to right at $100! I know a lady never talk about price but that's a great deal on clothes I know will cover her decently and last till fall. And if by some miracle they don't, I know Lands End will replace them without hassling me. Since she has outgrown absolutely everything from last summer these will be a good start. I've very fond of chosing a color scheme and having everything go together. This summer It looks like lilac, navy and white for CMB. I'll pick up some shorts in navy, white and purple as well as a few other tanks and tees and she will be all set. Of course Lands End is also a great place for boys. It's on of the few places I can buy clothes for my oldest, AGB, that he doesn't totally destroy before passing them to his younger brother. What do you think? Do you shop at Lands End?

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Big Boot, Little Boot

I've posted before about my love for my green Hunter boots. We had so much rain here in December and January that they got a ton of use. And I am wearing them again today as winter returns to us here in the Bay area. What I didn't know was out there were these little Hunter boots I bought on ebay for my daughter. The Hunter logo on hers is reflective so I didn't get a good picture but they are perfect for her since she decreed at big second graders didn't wear cutsy patterned rain boots.

Little Boots, Big Boots,
CMB in her Hunters. They won't still fit next year but you can bet I will be on the lookout for the next size up!

Monday, February 14, 2011

Happy Valentines Day!

Wishing everyone out there a very Happy Valentines Day! We don't have any special plans. I do love these candy hearts though. I bought a bunch for desert tonight with the kids. Have a great day and remember to give some special love to the most important person, yourself!

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Passing the Torch!

In my family it is my husband who is the primary cook. I can cook, and do but not like he can. he's a trained chef and owns a food business so I guess that's no surpise. Here he is teaching my oldest son, AGB, the finer points of frying. They are making homemade french fries, potatoe chips and onion rings to go with the steak on the grill behind them. And I wonder why I can't lose those last 5 pounds!

Friday, February 11, 2011

What I'm Reading

I love to read. It's one of my greatest pleasures. I am currently reading "a Thousand Days" by Arthur Schlesinger. It is an account of the Kenndey administration from someone who was actually there. Like many of us out in the preppy blog land, I am fascinated by JFK and the endless what might have been. I am a total history geek too. I doubled majored in history and philosphy at college which should leave you no doubt as to why I went to law school. Not a lot of jobs out there for someone in that field. Anyway, back to the book and out endless fascination with the Kennedys. I think it has to do with promise denied. What could he have done? We will never know. What really set JFK apart from other politicans before, or after, was to me his intellect. He too was an avid reader and always wante to know why. I sometimes feel that quality if lost in todays world of twets, facebook posts and cable television. It is much easier to fire back via email than present a rational reasonable arguement in person. Again, I am not taking polticial sides nor am I seeking to offend. I see this on both side of the spectrum. The acedemic, the intellectual is looked down on. This is a shame. More education is always better. Learning something new is always good. Different is not wong or bad, it's just different. I think Kennedy knew that and I strive to instill that in my kids. It's a very good book and well worth a read. Enjoy!

A Great Giveaway!

The lovely EAS at "Let the Tide Pull Your Dreams A Shore" (click here to visit http:// is having a giveaway to celebrate reaching 500 followeres. Congrats! She is giving away a $50 gift card to CNS Stores. I love these Tevis tumblers. Perfect for summer and they won't break when the kdis drop them outside, which they will! So head over and check out EAS and her terrific blog!

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Preps in the West

It's a little different being preppy out here in California. I specifically live in Northern California. I think if you live in Southern California, specifically LA, it might be even harder, although the weather is warmer. Anyway, what's different for us out here? First off preppy isn't a western tradition. Those original wagon train travelers didn't come with their sperry topsiders! Neither did those prospectors. I think the West has always had a different feel than the East Coast (and I've lived both places) It's more of a swing by the seat of your pants, doing it your own way kind of mood. This goes for our politics too.

Second, the iconic prep schools that turn out preppies are all back East. Ok, there are some here, but not the ones that truely matter.

Third, stylewise it is way more casual. This is Silicon Valley territory. The guy next to you in ripped sweats who hasn't shaved in a month is probably CEO of the next hot thing. People just don't dress up. It's almost like it is a stigma. I used to get get tons of comments about "how dressed up" I am because I was wearing a button down with a sweater and driving mocs at drop off in the mornings at school instead of sweats or workout clothes. Now of course I go from drop off to the office so that's different. I like to look put together, sue me.

It's really hard to pin down what's different but I think the biggest thing is the absence of the tradition. Sure, every third person out here is orginally from somewhere else (one of my best friends is a Chicago born Middlebury grad) which is where those of us who are the native preps find our soul mates.

I personally am a native Californian who went ot college in Connecticut. Even before my college days I was a total prep. My sister says I am just "so traditional" like thats a bad thing. I take it as a compliment. It's just the way I am and the way I am raising my kids. Manners matter and I think to many people forget that in so many ways these days. The world would be a better place if there were more preppies, don't you think?

Monday, February 7, 2011

Race Day

CMB and a huge jump. Almost taller than she is and certainly taller than the pony!

CMB on Baxter, MMB on JJ, and JAO on Guiness

This past weekend we took my daughter, CMB to a pace meet. The course where this event was held is terrific because it has jumps from the jump as big as CMB above to tiny logs about 18 inches high. CMB is just learning to jump and her pony is very small as you can see so those smaller jumps are perfect. In addition, my sister wanted to school that big black gelding as he had a crash last season and lost some confidence. We are having terrific weather here in Nothern California and so it was a great day. The pony was very good and so was the black horse. Sadly, CMB is rapidly outgrowing this adorable pony. She is ready to move on and jump a little higher though so we are considering all options.

Friday, February 4, 2011

Stop and Smell The Rosemary

I love Junior League cookbooks. In fact I collect them and have several that were my mothers. My all time favorite is the Stop and Smell the Rosemary cookbook from the Junior League of Houston. It won first prize in the McIlhenny community cookbook competition for 1996. (McIlhenny are the folks from Louisiana who bring you Tabasco sauce.) Dishes are classy and simple which is a plus for me because I really can only cook if I follow the receipe. Most are familiar, but with a twist that works and makes it seem like you spent way more time on it than you did. Hide the book and someone may consider you a genius. In my circle of friends, mostly current and former leaguers, certain receipes are clearly identifiable! It's hard to go wrong with Ginger Shrimp Toast, any of the fine roasts and stews, or desserts like Pecan Chocolate Chunk Brownies. The Herb Roasted chicken is terrific as is the apple and blue cheese dip. I am making that for a dinner party next week so I will post the receipe as well.
Sadly, my own Junior League which is Palo Alto Mid Peninsula here in California has a cookbook that is out of print and not terribly exciting. I own both volumes of Private Collection as it is called but aside from some of the soups, I don't use it often. I tried a couple of times to get a enw cookbook off the ground when I was on Project Development and once on the board as Fundrasing VP. No one was excited. I'm a sustainer now (after 10 active years) but there is nothing quite like the Junior League.

Thursday, February 3, 2011


Chantecaille is a luxury cosmetic brand avialable at Neiman Marcus. Once apon a time in my former life (read as before kids) I pretty much used their cosmetics and skin care exclusively. It is made in Switzerland and very pure. It is largely unscented and what is scented smells divine. The colors of their eye shadows are jusr glorious. They make you want to own them just o look at them. In the past they have also had pallettes that benefit a cause. I believe the current on is tigers. In my life now I just don't always have the spare cash to use their products exclusively but there is one product I can't give up. The Super Lip Sheer. It is described as haveing "The sheerness of a gloss and the convenience of a lipstick.• Sheer, glossy color with Vitamin E emollient protection" I really have to concur. The color I like best is called Maia. In the tube it is a scary bright pink but it goes one so sheer and gives just that perfect brightening touch of fresh pink. I wear it almost everyday and have gone through several tubes. To explore the world of Chantecaille just vist

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

In Like Flynn

The lovely Tabitha over at Bourbon and Pearls featured the Flynn skirt in this post http://

All I can say is oh my goodness sakes but I must have one. This skirt is totally me, I especially love the navy one with the pink blouse above. I'm also loveing the short hair cut on the model. I go back and forth with my own hair. I've been growing it out fora while but this could inspire me right back into the stylists chair! What do you think? Are you in like Flynn!

To find where you can pre-order this amazing item you can visit They also have an In Like Flynn waiting list where you can sign up to be notified when it comes in. There is a retailer here in San Francisco and you can be I will be calling them this morning!