Saturday, December 31, 2011

Happy New Year!

As the clock ticks down on 2011 and we prepare to welcome 2012, I have only a few random thoughts. First off I am taking down all the Christmas decorations and giving the house a tip top cleaning. I always do this. I like to start a new year on the right foot. Tonight we are staying in with the kids. Yesterday we picked out a new movie to watch (Kung Fu Panda 2). We'll have a nice dinner and watch the ball drop in NYC at 9 our time. We call that celebrating "New York New Years". Hubby and I may stay up till our time New Years but no guarantee! I have to say I am not sorry to see the end of 2011. It has not been my favorite. I'm hoping for better things in 2012! Wishing you and yours a safe New Years Eve and a fabulous 2012!

Christmas Recap Part 2

Christmas Eve and Christmas Day were spent at my parents house. We do this every other year. It's both fun and stressful. I do love to see the cousins open their presents together.

Niece E opening her presents. All she wanted Santa to bring her was a snow hat. Looks like she got her wish.

My youngest son, OPB. His great grandmother gave him this funny wolf hat she got on a trip to Alaska and it was a huge hit. He is a wolf scout this year in cub scouts so he loved it!

Daughter CMB wanted roller blades and Santa obliged. She was totally excited.

All three of my kids dressed up for Christmas Eve. Love the bow tie on OPB?

CMB by the tree on Christmas Eve. She's getting to be such a big girl. It's hard to believe she is only 8!

Friday, December 30, 2011

Christmas Recap Part 1

The Christmas festivities commenced for us this year on 12/23. We alternate where we spend the holidays. One year we spend Thanksgiving at my folks and Christmas at home and then reverse the following year. This was a year to be at my folks. On the night of the 23rd some friends of theirs had a caroling party. The host is a former concert pianist and has an amazing voice. It was really fun.

My niece, E who loves to sing and looks quite at home on the piano.

CMB singing her heat out!

MMB and CMB. People think we look a lot alike but I don't really see it. Plue she's pretty blond.

CMB up close. It was a really fun night and a great way to start the Christmas festivities!

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Quick Thoughts for 2012

I promise to do a series of Christmas recap posts but have yet to manage to get all my pictures out of my camera. However, as we approach a new year, thoughts always turn to resolutions. I really loved this article entitled..."30 Things To Stop Doing To Yourself" You Can Read It Here!

It really spoke to me. Especially numbers 5 and 6. But it was number 25 that really grabed me. Number 25 is "stop pretending everything is fine when it is not" I am the queen of this.

I am going to print the article out and post it on my cube wall to remind me. I'm sure I have other resolutions but this list is a pretty good start!

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Happy Holidays

Add ImageToday is my last day at work before the holidays and likely my last post too. Tomorrow we will head down to my parents and I won't have access to my computer till the middle of the following week. I'm looking forward to the time away from work and relaxing. Hoping everyone has a safe and happy holiday!

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Belle of the Ball

One of my favorite parties of the year is the Los Altos Hound Hunt Ball. It's always the Saturday before Christmas and held at the Menlo Country Club which is a gorgeous club and the food is terrific. One of the most fun things about a Hunt Ball is that it is "white tie, scarlet if convient." That means long dresses and even more fun, the gentlemen of the hunt who are awarded colors wear scarlet tails with their white tie. It's so festive and fun!

LAH Huntsman MC, Master of the Hunt (and my dad) KB, Master Emeritis AS and Master of
Hunt JG. My brother-in-law D, sister JAO, Hubby and me!

Hubby and I. I totally love this dress and most excitingly, I last wore it the year before I had AGB which was 11 years ago. Love that it still fits! It was a really fun night and a great kick off to the week before Christmas.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

A Favorite Holiday Tradition

I had another favorite holiday tradition to share, The Nutcracker. Every year since I was 10 I have gone with my parents and sister to see the Nutcracker at San Francisco's War Memorial Opera House. The San Francisco Ballet was the first ballet company in the United States to perform the Nutcracker and they are justifiably proud of their production. The past 4 years we have taken my daughter, CMB and the last 2 years my sisters son T. Neither of my boys attend because they just aren't interested and getting dressed up does not appeal to them. I take a day off from work, we get all dressed up and go out to lunch first. It's my favorite part of th eholidays!

The San Francisco production of the Nutcracker is a little different. First the Nutcracker has a slightly different and distinctive look as you can see above. Second, at the end, before the grand pas deux that is more traditionally danced between the Sugar Plum Fairy and her Cavilier, the Sugar Plum Fairy turns Clara into a grow woman (by magic) and the grand pas deux is danced between the grown Clara and the Nutcracker Prince. This has 2 different results. First, their is no Rose Queen, the Sugar Plum Fairy dances that solo and second, there is no Sugar Plum Cavilier. It was a little odd the first time I saw it but now it makes sense.

Here are CMB and her cousin T after lunch before the performance. I have more pictures of the kids and family but haven't had a chance to get them out of my camera. Truely it is a special day and one both CMB and I look forward to all year. We buy a special ornament for the tree each year and then when we decorate the tree the following year can remember the good times. Do you go see the Nutcracker?

Monday, December 12, 2011

On my wish list!

I have been on the hunt for a new scent. I love Bobbi Brown Beach and wear it all summer long. But summer is over and I just used that last of my fresh lemon sugar which I like but don't love. I wanted something a bit more grown up. Something that says, "Why yes, here I am" if that makes any sense. I think I may have found it in Brooks Brothers new scent called Madison.

The Brooks Brothers web site describes it as follows:

"Introducing Brooks Brothers Madison for her, a new style of signature fragrance that captures the essence of the feminine, flirty and glamorous. Madison is filled with dramatic notes of night-blooming jasmine, pink peony and purple rose maroc against a sensual background of deep Tuscan leather and spicy pink saffron. Includes a crystal pave fleece charm attached with 40" silk cord which is removable and can be worn as a jewelry piece"

I will have to stop in on my way home some night this week and check it out. Meanwhile, I've put it on my Christmas list. Santa, are you listening?

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Creating Holiday Traditions

Everyone has their treasured holiday traditions. Did you ever wonder how they got started? In our case, it usually starts with a one off experience that is so fun, it must be repeated and pretty soon it isn't Christmas without it. In our family we have a tradition about cutting down our tree. We live in the SF Bay area. For years, we have gone over to Half Moon Bay to cut down our tree. Three years ago, the weather was so nice, we went down to the water and had lunch. This time of year coincides with crab season, so we bought some crabs for dinner (YUM!). Suddenly it was tradition. Some years it is wet and some years fine. This year all the kids are old enough to enjoy the crab, clam chowder and calamari. In such small ways, traditions are born.

AGB holds up the treasure. Crabs for dinner!

It's nice to have AGB old enough to help secure the tree to the car. Having it fall off is my re-occurring nightmare!

Dad cuts it down although everyone wants a turn withthe saw!

A rare moment of fmaily togetherness, no fights on Christmas tree day!

MMB, I always get the final say on the tree!

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Another Wardrobe Staple, The Camel Coat

A while back I did a post about one of my favorite wardrobe staple, a black cashmere tee. Well I have another one to mention, the camel coat. Mine is a cashmere, single breasted one the hits below the knee. I bought it at an end of the season sale, almost 10 years ago when I was preggo with AGB. Then it hung unworn in my closet for almost 8 years while I was a stay at home parent struggling with baby spit up and toddler mess. At the start of this last current cold season I noticed that my last years coat looked a little tired and unearthed this brand new coat from the recesses of my hall closet. It is still perfect and given it's absolute timelessness, still looks perfectly stylish. Wearing it today with my tartan perfect shirt, black cashmere tee, bronze ocher J crew pencil skirt and black boots I feel just like Dan Ackroyds preppy girl friend from Trading Places!

Monday, December 5, 2011

Thoughts on the Flair Skirt

J Crew branched out from their fabulous pencil skirts this year and gave us the flaire skirt. I was totally seduced by the rose print. Then I canved and bought navy.

However, I have to wonder about the camel and henna. J Crew is offering 25% off and free shipping on any amount today and I was thinking about grabbing another color. The issue of whether I need another skirt aside, I'm concerned that, unlike the pencil, this shape and the buttons will look dated next winter. The material and workmanship are top class on this skirt and it has the capability to be a wardrobe staple for many years. What do you think? Is this a shape that will stand the test of time? Or will I pull it out next year and think, "so 2011?"

Friday, December 2, 2011

Need a Little Christmas!

In spite of my great list of ways to avoid letting the "Grinch" down the chimney yesterday, he is still lurking around so I am courting "Holiday Cheer" with great determination. This picture from J Crew years back is one of my long time favorites. I have this great coat in red and love it. I'm going to pop into Starbucks for a peppermint mocha on my way home and cuddle up with my kids to watch Rudolph tonight. Tomorrow we are going get our tree and deck our halls! Then I will really be ready to throw out Mr. Grinch

Thursday, December 1, 2011

When the Grinch Comes Calling

As the clock clicks over to December, I find myself feeling somewhat Grinchy. The holidays can be a very stressful time and I always feel the pressure to create the perfect holiday moment. The best tree, just right presents, fabulously fun parties and terrific treats all need to be part of the mix and I find myself feeling overwhellmed and cranky. So how to keep the Grinch at bay?

First, I try to remind myself that I don't have to be perfect. The excitement of the season is really enough for my kids. Just being me is good enough. Second, I try and enjoy what I can. I work full time and am not the one home baking cookies (which is likely a good thing since I am

a terrible cook) but I can sit down after dinner with a cookie and hot choclate and hear about the mess they made with Dad. I can walk around the city at lunch and admire the tree in Union Square and the skaters at the Embarcadero. Third, I really do try and work out. It's horribly hard to get up in the cold and dark to do this before work, but it does make a difference.

Saturday we will go and get our tree and dress up our house for the season. Hopefully, the Grinch wont come bother us! Do you have any secrets for when the Grinch comes calling? If so please share!