Thursday, May 31, 2012

What’s your personal style for summer?


Hello friends. It’s been awhile since I did a post on style and since there was so much interest in my fashion confession post, I thought I would raise the topic again. I know very little about the fashion industry.


But I do know what I like to wear and what I feel comfortable in, and I think that’s what personal style is all about. Don’t you? Right now I’m organizing my clothes for our upcoming trip to Maui next week, and of course, I’m taking white pants.


White pants are the perfect blank slate, you can wear them with anything. Personally, I think navy blue and white look so classic and fresh when paired with white. And I just bought a sleeveless polka dot blouse too. Black and white, of course.


I’m a fan of this skinny tangerine colored belt and the leopard flats.


And what a great reminder about color combinations. This yellow blazer and grey t-shirt compliment each other perfectly, and I love that necklace.


I would feel so comfortable wearing this outfit.


This belt looks similar to the one I just bought for our trip. It goes with everything, don’t you think?


Do you like white blazers?  I would wear this outfit anywhere…


As I get older I’m discovering shoes. I know. What rock have I been under? But I’m loving pumps like these for their statement…


and jolt of dramatic color…


but I think that nothing looks better with a white blazer than the color of silver. Sigh, it’ so chic.


And let’s not forget about open-toed shoes. Have you bought any for this summer? Aren’t these wonderful?


But I think these are my favorite.


Only orange looks so great in the summer…

During the warm months of summer, I wear colors that I wouldn’t typically wear. There’s a few bright, bold colors that actually feel comfortable in the heat.


Hot pink is one color that I seem to wear consistently.




Only I don’t think I’ve ever worn red pants, have you?

And here’s a few summer dresses.



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They’re each so very different…which dress fits your own personal style?

There’s something about each of these photos that I love. Well, what do you think?

Are we fashion sisters? Do we have similar tastes in summer clothes? I would love to hear your views, please drop me a line and share your opinions.

And did you notice how I left out the entire subject of bathing suits? Sorry, but I’m not ready for that discussion yet.

I need a few cocktails first.




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Tuesday, May 29, 2012

extraordinary kindness from a stranger


Someplace on a sandy walkway in Pismo Beach, California, there was a woman who spotted something distinct and shiny on the ground. Funny thing is, she was jogging and might easily have dismissed this speck of color and kept moving. She might have focused instead, on the soft pounding of her feet that echoed in her eardrums, or been distracted by the ocean air that rushed past her face in cool, salty waves.


But she didn’t keep going.

Instead, this curious stranger stopped jogging, picked up the object and discovered my son’s face on the front of a California driver’s license.

Of course when she held this plastic object in her hands, she knew nothing about the owner, who happened to be my son, Patrick.

She had never known that his wallet had been stolen out of his back pack while he was studying for his finals at a local coffee shop in San Luis Obispo, California.

Nor did she realize that this culprit had immediately emptied Patrick’s bank account using his ATM and driver’s license and spent his money before Patrick realized what had occurred, leaving him completely broke.

In fact, as she went searching for a stamp and began carefully copying my son’s name and address onto an envelope, she had no way of knowing about his bout of bad luck that included a broken phone, stolen cash, identity theft and his toughest exams yet to come.

She never heard our late-night phone call, between a mom and a dad and a tired kid. And the heavy sound of discouragement that we heard in his voice.


None of these facts were necessary to this mysterious stranger. Because two days later, and three hundred miles away from this beach, I walked to my mailbox.


Where I discovered this letter addressed to my son.

Which is extraordinary, if you stop and think about it. Not only was the license returned, but it came accompanied by words that were astonishing for their sheer kindness.

“Hope you weren’t too worried…”

“I’m happy I found it and could get it back to you!”


Who is this person, this stranger from miles away who would make time in her bustling day to pen a handwritten note to some random, unknown face?

Because the simple act of giving without ANY expectation of something in return is a powerful act that deserves a pause. Especially when it’s an act that requires a disruption in our day and the inconvenient gathering of items, with a trip to a mailbox.

And what about her note. Would you have taken the extra time to include this? 

Would I?  I’m not sure. Depending on the sheer busyness of my day, it might strike me as quite enough to simply get the license into the mailbox.



Which brings me to this point. You can call me corny. But I believe that acts such as Margie’s never go unseen, no matter how quiet and small the circumstance. And I like to imagine that like the delicate ripples of air that begin from the fluttering of a butterfly’s wings, kindness spreads in ways that we cannot possibly see or understand.

We each have the power to spread kindness.

So today’s post is being written for a thoughtful woman named Margie.

wherever she may be…



… may these words be a mere beginning of the ripples of positive feeling that come her way…


Today I am humbled by this question.

When was the last time I did something kind for a stranger?





Sunday, May 27, 2012

my Master bedroom …an update


Hi everyone, remember my latest Home Goods store purchase? I bought this print and promised that I would show you where I put it. Well, it’s Memorial weekend and while most folks are merrily splashing in the water somewhere, I’ve been hard at work in our Master bedroom.


I snapped some photos of my latest gallery wall project, now that I added my Love Is Why We Are Here print. I like to collect old oil paintings and funky prints and just mix them all together.


I love my mysterious, elegant girl with her beloved dog.


And I’m absolutely smitten with the variations of green in this old painting.

The next step (I really need to do this) is to level all my frames and add a piece of tape underneath to hold the pictures in place. But of course, I’m too impatient to show you what I’ve been working on, so please pretend that all the artwork looks tidy and straight.

DSC_0133 copyAre you shocked by the color of my Master bedroom? We’ve had this color for years, and so far I’m not tired of it…

The painter actually tried to talk me into a lighter paint color, but as you can see by this photo taken from our entrance, the room had so much gaping space above us that I wanted to make the room feel cozier and more intimate. So I used color. It’s the only room in the house with dark walls because the older I get, the more I love variations of white and cream on my walls.


Right above our bed we hung a rustic wooden architectural piece that I found in an antique store. It’s hard to see the detail from this angle but here’s a closer shot.


Isn’t it pretty? I wish I knew where it came from…


I kept the ceiling a creamy white color, although it does emphasize the harsh angles of this room which I’m not a fan of, but I was really afraid to paint the ceilings.


These are the French doors that lead outside. And this top window is the shape that I truly dislike (should I say hate?).  I snapped this picture in the late afternoon and you can see how the wall color changes during the day…


A funky chalk drawing we had done in Long Beach, California years ago is framed in a formal gilt frame.

DSC_0136 copy

Here’s another Home Goods purchase. I got it for all our books that accumulate around our bedroom. I love the faux bamboo shelves and I snapped it up when I saw it in the store.

DSC_0157Even though I love white bedding, our puppy Stella likes to sleep on our bed at night so this is the rumpled duvet that is actually on our bed while we sleep. Here’s a shot in the morning. It’s a soft Ralph Lauren fabric…isn’t Stella spoiled?


And before I go, here’s a photo of the master bath with our claw foot tub. I saw this lighting while I was getting out of the shower and I actually ran and got my camera. I think it looks rather pretty and ethereal…And yes, I got brave and decided to bring the chocolate brown color in here too, after I saw a Pottery Barn catalog with a similar look. What do you think?

Tell me about your bedroom What paint color do you have? I would love to hear, and if you want to see other bedrooms for some inspiration, you really should check out my Pinterest Bedrooms board. I’ve been collecting some really gorgeous photos there.

Here’s the link. 

In the meantime, I hope you’re all having a wonderful weekend. We just had sushi and saw the Avengers movie last night.

More later,




Thursday, May 24, 2012

decorating with words…

words are powerful

There is no doubt about it.

Words are incredibly powerful; they can inspire us with lofty ideals and motivate us to change our ways.  Words possess the sheer strength to lift us out of our doldrums and to shape our opinions, and when carefully selected, there are meditative words that can even transform our spiritual lives.

2 by sharyn cairns, stylist indianna foord for country styleau-dustjacketatticsharyn cairns; dustjacketattic.blogspot

Is it any surprise that typography has become such a trendy feature in home decorating today?

Personally, I love the look of printed words, letters and numbers when they’re used as art, but I also believe that when it comes to phases and quotes it’s good to be selective. After all, these are the words you’ll be seeing each day and for better or worse, these words will create an ambiance in your home (and in your head), so the message should be a positive one.


I recently found this black and white image in our local Home Goods store. The first thing I did was to pull it out into the store aisle where I stared at it for several minutes. I finally decided it was the kind of typography that I could live with everyday because the more I stared at it, the more I liked the simple, “feel-good” message. So tomorrow I’ll hang it in our master bedroom along with some other prints, and I’ll share the finished wall with you when it’s done.

In the meantime here are some examples that might inspire you to add beautiful looking words or letters to your home.








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Which one was your personal favorite?

And before you leave, here’s the latest quote that I’m quite fond of… just for YOU.


Think about it for a minute.

Do you like it?…




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