Inspiration

Which Lovely?

Screenshot 2015-07-13 00.18.13

If you know me well, you know that I adore my Day Designer. (Even if you don’t know me well, you may have read about it here on the blog!) Whitney English and her Day Designer have been keeping me organized, in lovely fashion, for the past year. Alas, my current book is nearing the end of its calendar life, but fret not, as there are new (and improved!) editions available for this next one.

On the upside, the new covers are gorgeous! On the downside, the new covers are so gorgeous, that I’m having a hard time choosing one. The August editions launch tomorrow and these sweet lovelies tend to sell out quickly, so there’s no time to delay in my usual “analysis paralysis”, so I’m turning to you all for advice. Which one should I purchase, friends? It’s a year-long commitment, so I’m going to need your help!

The three cover options are below. (And all images on this post are courtesy of the Day Designer website – aren’t they beautiful?) Which one would you pick? And which would you recommend for me?

DD-2-e1436377060507

DD-3-e1436377161565

DD-11-e1436377210938

Share+

Tasting at Ovid

Blog-8790

Living in San Francisco spoils you in many ways. Beautiful views at every glance, incredible food, abundant culture and proximity to fabulous vacation spots abound. One such spot is, of course, the wine country.

When we lived in SF, we could be in Sonoma in 45 minutes and Napa just a smidgen longer and we took advantage of that. . .a lot! When driving up for the day was as common as it was for us, we didn’t have to choose our vineyard visits and tastings very carefully – after all, we knew we could drive up again next weekend!

Now that we are back in Texas (and seriously missing those wine country visits!) we were so thrilled to take a trip back to Napa for a visit. Our friend turned 40 this year and his adorable wife planned the most incredible party for him at their ranch in the wine country. It was an absolute blast! (But I digress…)

Hubs and I decided to head up a few days early (our first trip sans kids – yikes!) and do a little wine tasting – and getting to know one another again. It’s amazing how much talking with one another we got done when we weren’t being interrupted by little voices the whole time! As you know, hubs is a major wine guy, so he planned all of the tastings. He loves research and during his reading, he asked me if there were any places that I wanted to visit. Well, hubs may be the wine guy, but I have a dear friend who is a sommelier (which is not an easily-earned title, let me tell you!)  See? I have connections, too! So, I emailed my friend Amy who recently founded the Bay Area Wine Company who gave me a few “not to be missed” tasting ideas, one of which was Ovid. Hubs was ecstatic, as that was one of the wineries on his list, so a phone call later, we were booked!

Ovid sits on Pritchard Hill and let me tell you, I wasn’t prepared for the fabulousness of this wine tasting experience. The surrounding beauty, the gorgeous facilities, the incredible wines and the lengthy two-on-one chat with our friendly hostess, Janet, a managing partner at the winery, were absolutely unparalleled. We had some great tasting experiences on our trip, but this was probably our very favorite.

Ovid makes only three wines and doesn’t even make each of those every single year. They create as the harvest allows and are committed to only using the best of the best in their wines, which means that some years, a particular wine doesn’t get made. Ovid grows four Bordeaux varietals:  Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Merlot and Petit Verdot and farms them all organically. Varying proportions of each are used in their blends. You can read more about their wines on their lovely website here.

If you’re near Napa or planning a trip there soon, I highly recommend giving Ovid a call to see if they can fit you in. There is a waiting list for their wines, but we were able to purchase a few at our tasting on their beautiful property on Pritchard Hill. I’m positive that your palate will thank you!

For now, take a “mini tour” through our photos below. As you can see, they are committed to making each visitor feel special and literally set out the silver and crystal for us. We enjoyed such a nice, long chat with Janet and truly felt like we left as friends, having talked about wine, the changes in the California landscape, raising children and just about everything else in between! Did I mention that they sent us a handwritten thank you note after our visit? Astounding attention to detail, my friends. THAT is what great products are made from!

 

Blog-8788

When you first walk in, you’ll notice that your name is written on the Ovid chalkboard.
They’ve been expecting you and you’re an honored guest!

 

Blog-8747

So much so, that THIS is your lovely place setting.

Blog-8748

No attention to detail has been left to chance

 

Blog-8750

It is like a friend set the table beautifully, just for you.

 

Blog-8751

Sweet details

 

Blog-8760

Delicious bites!

 

Blog-8759

Thoughtful details.

Blog-8762

A lovely living-room-like setting for a tasting!

 

Blog-8753

(PS. I fell in LOVE with this glassware!)

 

Blog-8785

How lovely is THIS piece of furniture?

Blog-8787

Beautiful and meaningful – I wanted to open each one of these!

Blog-8764

A fire pit on the balcony

Blog-8765

Stunning views from the tasting room

Blog-8766

You can see so much of Napa Valley from up here!

Blog-8768

Lovely

Blog-8774

Blog-8775

The valley

Blog-8780

Pretty sure I could sit here for hours and never tire of it!

Blog-8794

Ovid Vineyards…a must-visit!

The Carneros Inn

Blog-9072

 

The moment we pulled in to the Carneros Inn, I felt all of the stress of home melt away. This is our very first trip away from our three small children (yikes and yay at the same time!) and I’ve been a little worried about it. Oh, but the quiet drive up to the wine country with my husband reassured me that we had done the right thing in coming here. And then seeing our accommodations at the Carneros Inn confirmed it once again. This place is a mini-paradise, y’all! I cannot recommend it more highly.

The soft muted orange and grey colors everywhere contrast beautifully with the green and every amenity imaginable is here. There’s a gorgeous gift shop, a fabulous spa area, super comfortable suites with clean design, comfy beds, luxurious bathrobes, gorgeous bathrooms with a huge tub and a waterfall shower and an ADORABLE outdoor patio complete with relaxing loungers and heat lamps. I seriously want to live here. . .

 

Blog-9068

I love the aesthetic of this place!

 

Blog-9055

Gorgeous vistas await at every glance.

 

Blog-9056

Y’all, I even love the font! (Is that weird?!)

 

Blog-9063

How fabulous is the contrast of grey, soft orange and white here? Jewelry design ideas abound!

 

Blog-9064

Adorable vignettes beckon you to sit and rest awhile everywhere you look

Blog-9066
I mean… (right?!)

CultureMap Instagram Takeover

takeover-pic

As one of the featured designers at the recent Culture Map Holiday Pop Up Shop on Sunday at Silver Street Studios, I was asked to do an Instagram Takeover of their account for a day.  It was my first takeover and it was so much fun!  In case you missed the posts, I wanted to share them here – with links to make it easier on you to find just what you’re looking for!

(more…)

Hello, lovely!

Blog-9224-2
Form follows function – that has been misunderstood.
Form and function should be one, joined in a spiritual union.- Frank Lloyd Wright

I like things to be organized (though I don’t particularly like to do the organizing!) I also like things to be beautiful. When those two features merge into one item, joy ensues. I recently found the Day Designer, a beautiful labor of love from the talented Whitney English. Spurred on by her own frustration with planner products and entrepreneur organization challenges, Whitney set out to make something better. After loads of research about productivity and branding, the Day Designer was born.

I have to admit that the beauty side of this planner is a major draw for me. I’m far more likely to sit down and plan out my week/month when the process is lovely and fun. This planner has luxuriously thick, beautiful paper, a shiny spiral binding and beautiful gold metal corner details and a fun black and white stripe pattern that makes it ultra-chic. I love seeing it sitting on my desk and look forward to writing in it and planning with intention, which is a half the battle for me. The day pages just make sense. With an hourly agenda, a to do list, top three to do prompts, notes, a section for gratitude and an inspirational quote for the day, the page helps you organize your top priorities and visualize those alongside your schedule and longer priorities list. Having written things down this way for a month or so now, I realize that my to do lists are WAY too long (read: unrealistic) and I love being able to write them down on future dates and put them out of my sight and mind until the appropriate day so that I can better focus on what I need to be doing today.

Not sure the Day Designer’s page style is for you? Whitney is kind enough to offer a free download for you to try it out before investing in one. (Now, that’s a woman who is confident in her product.) I’m really loving mine – and the private Facebook group that you’re invited to when you own one, in which people post myriad ideas for better organization and using your Day Designer in the best way possible for keeping overwhelm at bay in your own life. So, hop on over to Whitney’s site and take a look around. My guess is that you’ll love her sophisticated, gorgeous (and don’t forget functional!) products as much as I do.

Blog-9238-2

Blog-9240-2

Grab yours here…

An Answered Prayer

Brothers

I literally have chills on my arms and tears in my eyes as I write this blog post. A family is finally united. What a blessing. What a journey. What an answer to prayer! Our friends who have so patiently waited for a year and a half for their boy finally have him in their arms right here in the U.S.A. (For the background on this situation, please read my original post here.)

At times on the journey, especially in the past nine months, doubt seemed to be stronger than hope.  Darkness seemed to be hiding the light.  Pessimism reared its ugly head and threatened to snuff out trust.  (Really, isn’t every good work of literature set up that way?)  Deep down in my heart, I know that the Lord is in control and that He can be trusted, but my momma’s heart just broke for a friend who couldn’t hold her baby boy and have her family all together at home.   (more…)

Pantone Colors + Your Wardrobe


Yesterday, I wrote about the Pantone “Color of the Year” for 2014…the lovely radiant orchid.  Pantone has also release in its Fashion Color Report for Spring nine other colors in the palette that they have seen designers using for their Spring collections.  I really love the colors and am hoping to incorporate some more of these bright, breezy colors into my Spring wardrobe in a few pieces. (more…)

Radiant Orchid

orchid-pantone
You’ve probably heard by now that the “Color of the Year” for 2014 according to Pantone, is Radiant Orchid.  A lovely shade of purple with fuchsia and pink undertones, I absolutely LOVE the color…except that I don’t actually own anything in it (unless you count an actual orchid, and if you do, then SCORE!)  I adore orchids, don’t you? They’re so stately and add such a lovely pop of color (or an elegant stark white) to a room.  And unlike cut flowers, they last for SO long!  I’ve even been successful in getting them to re-bloom, which I thought was always a bit of a wives’ tale, but if you’re patient with them, they will bloom again for you.  And they have such incredibly unique shapes and color markings.  Truly gorgeous.  But, I digress. (more…)

Holiday Cards and the Custom Experience

Stanton Card2

IT’S FALL Y’ALL!

That saying always cracks me up.  Perhaps because it’s in part cheesy, perhaps a little cheeky.  I mean, can’t you just hear it rolling off the tongues of every stereotypical, big hair, big drawl southern Texas lady? Or perhaps its just because it adds a little humor into a season that often proves stressful.  If you are anything like me, Fall is blindingly busy.  (I think we can now say that about every season.)  But Fall tends to accelerate at a pace that seems faster than any other…most likely due to the fact that you now see Halloween and Christmas catalogues arriving by mail in summer, and holiday lights going up in September.  Each season that arrives seems to focus on the next season.  It becomes increasingly important for us, and for our families, to try and slow down. (more…)