Thursday, March 31, 2011

How to Tie a Bow Tie

Do you know how to tie a bow tie? My husband always does his own but now as my own boys grow into bow tie age and affiity I actually need to know how to do it myself. I can tie a regular tie and I can tie a stock tie but somehow the bow tie has defeated me in the past. I'd rather die than let my darling boys wear clip on ties so I went in search of instruction. I found the instructions below on the blog Social Primer. Click here to visit. Now I am all set for Easter!

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Happy Birthday Grandma!

I told you we had a busy weekend. Well the first festivity was Saturday night for my mother in law's 85 birthday. Hubby and I come very very different families. My parents were high school sweethearts who got married and have me when they were 19. Yes, they are still together. I am the oldest and there is just my sister and I. My parents turned 60 last year. Hubby is th eyoungest child of 9 and his parents were older when they started because his father was serving in World War 2. Hubby is 4 years older than I and his oldest brother is 2 years younger than my father. My grandmother just turned 89 in Feburary. On my side, my kdis are the oldest and there are my three and my sisters 2. On Hubby's side, my kids are the youngest, numbers 16, 17 and 18. The oldest grand daughter is married with a baby. It's a little confusing. But my mother in law is great! She is leaving on April 4th for a 2 mission week trip to a boys school in Peru. A bunch of us went out to dinner to celebrate. Hubby and I at the house after for cake!
My three and other cousins helping to blow out the candles!
CMB and OPB singing to Grandma!
My three at the restuarant! That was Saturday night, we also had a fun time on Sunday, stay tunned!

Monday, March 28, 2011

Maybe this time it's spring!

Finally it has stoppped raining here in Northern California and it kinda, sorta, maybe feels like spring outside. About time too! I get that we need rain here. True, once it stops raining here it won't rain again until November or December, but this year I cry "uncle", it's rained enough. I'm ready for spring! To plant some new plants and sit outside! To watch all the little league games that have been rained out! To go for long bike rides! Fingers crossed that spring might actually be here! On a related note. We had a very fun, busy weekend and I have some cute pictures to post but ran out of time last night to download them so it will have to wait until tomorrow!

Thursday, March 24, 2011

The Wadrobe Workhorse aka The White Shirt

There is no piece more valuable in a wardrobe than a great white shirt. I have several, inlcuding the great shirt from Banana Republic pictured above. I bought it to replace my beloved J Crew Victoria blouse which died from a close encounter with a ketchup/mustard/hot dog/10 year old boy. But back to white shirts. I love them. Short sleeved, long sleeved, french cuffed, ruffled front you name it. At one time my sister tried to stage an intervention to keep my from buying anymore. But really, how could you have to many? They work with everything from jeans to a suit at a moments notice and always look polished. I love jeans, a white shirt and cowboy boots as much as I love a white shirt under my perfect navy pinstriped suit. For spring I am tucking a crisp white short sleeved blouse into a slightly longer a-line skirt with a wide braided belt. That is, I will be doing so if it ever stops raining here in Northern California.

One of the most important things about a white shirt is it's pristineness. Chuck them when they yellow around the collar and under the arms. I am going to share my secret for keeping mine whiter than white. I learned this trick in a vain attempt to keep white baseball pants on 2 boys white for more than one wearing. Soak the shirts in a mix of oxy-clean and water at a 1 to 1 ratio over night ( really a couple of hours is fine. I just tend to forget and leave them over night. Then wash the shirts in the washer with other whites and throw some oxy-clean in the wash cycle too. Stubborn stains can be whipped out by making a thick paste of oxyclean and water, spreading it on the stain and putting in the sun for a few hours. The above also works great on white jeans. I don't dry clean or use bleach on my whites as I think it makes them yellowish and dingey.

As far as good shirts, I am partial to the Banana Republic no-iron sateen ones. I also like the J Crew Kelly shirt although I find it a bit tight in the arms. Brooks Brothers and Thomas Pink make great ones too. What do you think about white shirts? Any favorites? Any tricks for keeping them whiter than white?

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Saying Goodbye to a Legend

"I feel very adventurous. There are so many doors to be opened, and I'm not afraid to look behind them." -Elizabeth Taylor

It's hard to say goodbye to a legend like Elizabeth Taylor. She was an amazing actor and an amazing beauty but most importantly, she was herself.
With Spencer Tracey in "Father of the Bride". I am also a huge Spencer Tracey fan. Love this movie! Might have to watch it this weekend.
Cat on a Hot Tin Roof. I named the kitten I got when I moved to my first appartment after college in a new town to go to law school Maggie the Cat.

Cleopatra, need I say more. A definining movie momement. Love Richard Burton in this too! It really feels like the end of an era, the passing of one of the last true Hollywood legends.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Me from A to Z

I've seen a lot of these "Me from A to Z" posts lately so I thought I'd join the fun! This may be more about me than you are interested in knowing but, here it goes.

A. Age: 40

B. Bed size: King

C. Chore you dislike: cleaning the bathroom

D. Dogs: not right now, my beloved standarf poodle, Java, died 2 years ago

E. Essential start to your day: Coffee, coffee, and more coffee

F. Favorite color: navy blue and pink

G. Gold or silver: gold

H. Height: 5'8”

I. Instruments you play(ed): none, I'm totally tone deaf, can't sing either.

J. Job title: Attorney and Mom.

K. Kids: 3, boys aged 10 and boy/girl twins, age 7

L. Live: San Mateo, CA, near SF

M. Mom’s name: Mindi

N. Nicknames: the regulator (I've very organized)

O. Overnight hospital stays: twice for shoulder surery, twince for childbirth and 1 2 week long stay when appendicitis while 20 weeks prepgant with twice caused premature contractions. That stay was followed by another 4 weeks on bed rest.

P. Pet peeves: people who chew with their mouths open.

Q. Quote from a movie: “Go Ahead, make my day" - Clint Eastwood

R. Righty or lefty: Right

S. Siblings: 1 younger sister

T. Time you wake up: 5:30.

U. Underwear: uhm, yes?

V. Vegetables you don’t like: brussel sprouts

W.What makes you run late: nothing, I hate being late

X. X-rays you’ve had: teeth, shoulders, wrist, knees.

Y. Yummy food you make: coffee cake and lemon blueberry muffins

Z. Zoo animal favorites: elephant

So that's me. A to Z!

Monday, March 21, 2011

A Tierney

Have your heard of A Tierny? Visited thier web site? They have some great stuff! I have a fabulous cuff from them thta have the frog prince on in in a cute pink flowers and green lilly pad design. I also have one of their "preppy pendants" in a red and navy lobster which I love to death with a navy tee and white jeans in the summer. Below are a few of my current favorites.

Love the grosgrain striped watch bands. Perfect for summer weekends when that stuffy workday watch won't do!
The Starfish bangles. Perfect with white jeans!

Another great summer treat, the sea life bauble bracelet. Love this!

I confess that I am not a huge headband lover. They tend ot make my head hurt and I've never been able to make them work with glasses. But I think these are totally darling!
What do you think? If you want to check out A Tireney just click on the link!

Friday, March 18, 2011

Mission Accomplished!

I love summer. It's just about myfavorite time of year. Warmer weather, cuter clothes (come on, it's totally true) bright pink pedicures, parties, you name it. Summer wins hands down. There is just one aspect of summer I dread every year. One you have to confront long before the wonderful summer season actually arrives. Those of you with school aged kids know what I mean. The dreaded SUMMER CAMP. I really loath summer camp sign up time. The times, locations, and don't get me started on the cost. It takes me several days to sort through who wants to do what when and where, But frankly, especially if you are a working parent, camps are an inveitable part of summer. None of my kids, except AGB are old enough for sleep away camp and AGB firmly declined the suggestion. Instead, he is going to do a mix of his favorite baseball camp, flagg football, soccer and 2 weeks of a regular, old fashion day camp. He will also work with his tutor weekly. CMB would go to sleep away camp in a heart beat but she isn't old enough. Instead she is going to do 2 weeks of tennis, 2 weeks of horse camp and 2 weeks of full day girl scout camp that invovles a single overnight. OPB is my brainy kid who is not particuarly interested in sports. He's going to do two weeks of basic day camp with his brother, a week of "awesome enginering", a week of "spy academy" and a week of something called "hover craft" where they will build one. He also must learn to swim this summer. See what I mean about a daunting task? Fortuntely most of this takes place through our local parks and rec department so it's pretty reasonably priced. Do you send your kids to camp? If so where?

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Happy Saint Patricks Day!

Happy Saint Patrick's Day to everyone! Hope your day is fun and no pesky leprauchans play tricks on you!

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

The Cement Boat

This was a favorite spot of mine growing up. We spent summer vactions on the beach in the Rio Del Mar area in Northern California and my parents live near there now. The biggest land mark there was "The Cement Boat" I remember asking my parents about it. Who would think that was a good idea? Well, apparently it wasn't. It is actually know as Th Palo Alto and was built in the Oakland ship yard in 1918 as a aprt of the World War 1 effort. She never saw action but has a casino and dance hall until the depression. It's been moored/sunk at the Sea Cliff pier as long as I can remember. As a child you used to be able to walk out on it and the fishing was great from that end. Now, it's not very safe and you can't go out on the boat, only view it from the end of the pier. We took my kids out of the pier at Christmas and they asked me the same questions I asked my folks. Who would make a boat out of cement?

Monday, March 14, 2011

The Boys of Baseball

My oldest son (he's 10) is a total baseball nut. He plays constantly and really loves it. This year he is on a higher level team for his age which is intense but he love it. The coach is awesome and he's got some great friends. These are the "boys of baseball". My son is the one on the left. He and his other buddies had all played in an 8:30 game (we won). Then I was the board member on duty at the ball park from 11 to 3 so they hung around and played an odd mix of pickle and dodge ball with their gloves and a wiffle ball for most of that time. The weather was nice and it was great to see them having so much fun together. I'm a huge fan of the role of sports in the course of a childs life. In addition to being outside and physical, the self esteem and pride has in himself is amazing and especially valuable since he struggles in school.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Ode to the Navy Blazer

Is there any article of clothing so essential as a navy blazer? It works so well in so many situtations, dressy or casual, male or female. The blazer comes in many different varieties but the most classsic are clearly Brooks Brothers or J Crew, although Lands End is nice. On Christmas Eve my husband and son were identical in their Brooks Brothers navy blazer, khaki trousers and plaid ties. So cute!

Brooks Brothers boys balzer. This is actually the one I have. I wear a size 16 boys and it is darling. I have a blackwatch plaid one too.
Brooks Brothers women's blazer. What can you say? it's a classic.

J Crew school boy blazer. I have this one in gray as well. A great piece. Do you own a navy blazer? How do you wear it?

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Longing for Spring and Lilly

It's almost spring! At least that's what I keep telling myself, despite the fact I am wearing a black cashmere turtleneck, gray wool skirt, black tights and boot and it's raining. I prefer to think of warmer weather, bright colors and outside fun! I love these images from the Lilly Pulitzer spring catalogue. That's what I like best about Lilly, it just makes me smile. Everything is better in pink!

I love this floral print wall paper. Adore the murfee pring and clutch too! I wish Lilly would make wallpaper although I don't think my husband would go for the pink floral paper.
Totally love this dress and it comes in pink too! It's on my short list for the twins First Communion which is in early May. I would be great for Easter too!

Love this dress too! Another great wall paper too!

This one is pretty too but might be a tad short for me. The flamingos in the paper behind her are darling!

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

I'm just a girl who can't say no.

It's my own fault. I admit it. It's likely one part working mom guilt and 2 parts desire to be involved in my kids life. Little League season began last weekend. I have 2 boys on 2 different teams who play on differnt fields. Did I mention I am the secretary on the Little League board? It's also Girl Scout Cookie time and I'm leading this months brownie meeting! Sometimes I admit I do think it would be easier if all my kids were the same gender. Adding to the pile is that it is time for our elementary schools spring fundraiser which is a walk-a-thon and a carnival. Guess who is the carnival chair? Yep, that's right. On top of that goes the school's fall fund raiser for which I am the volunteer coordinator (that's not till September). I've been approached to be on a committee that is putting on a horse show for a non-profit group. It's very prestigious and I've always wanted to be asked to be on this committee yet I am wondering if i am out of my mind to consider it.

Monday, March 7, 2011

Take me out to the ball park!

This Saturday was the opening day for out little league. Baseball is one of my favorite parts of spring. Both my boys are playing this year and I am board secretary so we spend a lot of time at the ball park. We had a great day which was kind of suprising as it had been raining earlier in the week but everything we went well and my oldest son, AGB and his team won their first game. OPB, my younger son, was supposed to play Sunday but that did rain out. Batter up! It's time to play ball!

C, N and AGB really to have at it!
League president making his welcome speech.

Welcome to Little League!

The fire truck comes every year and uses the big ladder to run up the flag.

Brothers in baseball. OPB on the Braves and AGB on the Aces!

Friday, March 4, 2011

Lilly Loves the Junior League

How awesome is this? Lilly Pulitzer has created a Murfee scarf in coordination with the Junior League? The Lilly website ays this about the scarf:

"Murfee Scarf Junior League
Lilly loves the Junior League® and we are thrilled to partner with women building better communities! Junior League® is a registered trademark of the Association of Junior Leagues International, Inc. For more information please visit Luxurious printed pashmina in a lightweight silk/cashmere blend"
I just love it. I was a member of the Junior League in the Palo Alto/Mid Peninsula Chapter here in Norther California for more than 10 years and am still a sustainer. It was a wonderful time and I learned so much and made such great friends.
I do love the print on this murfee. I don't have one yet and am serriously thinking that this one will be mine! What do you think?

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Rainy Day Pick Me Up

It's raining here again in Northern California for what seems like the millionth time this year. I know, I know, compared to the folks on the East Coast or in the Pacific Northwest this isn't anything to complain about. Besides, we need the rain. Still, I'm tired of it and ready for spring. So I reached into the back of my bathroom cupboard and brought out Beach! I love Bobbi Brown's Beach fragrence. The website describes it as " Designed with a lightly intoxicating blend of sand jasmine, sea spray, and mandarin". To me it seems like summer. One whiff and I am sitting on the sand at the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk eating a corndog and frozen lemonade. It smells like the ocean and copertone suntan oil to me. I rarely wear it during the week or in the winter. It's a summertime, weekend, vacation kind of fragence to me. Still, on this wet day in early March, it's a promise of the season to come!

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

One of my Favorite Places

One of my favorite places is Victoria, British Columbia. Hubby and I went there on our honeymoon, again on our 1oth anniversary and again at 15. It's a beautiful place. You take a plane to Vancouver and then a ferry to Victoria. We rented a car once and once just took local buses and cabs. Because it is a sea level city it has a climate similar to the one we have here in San Francisco. It's also an easy trip for those of us here in the west but well worth it if you live elsewhere too!

Buchart Gardens is the highlight of the trip everytime for me. I insist we got back each time and always find something new to marval at. It's also a great place to have a romantic picnic!

The crown of the city is the Emperess Hotel. We love to stay here. The whole place has a sense of charm and makes you feel like you have steped into a different place in time. Also, the tea served here is not to be missed. They have their own special blend which hubby gifts me with on other anniveraries! We have mostly been here in the summer months as our anniversary is in August but it is beautiful in fall as well. Really, it is a wonderful place to visit!