Thursday, November 29, 2012

Yes, it’s official. I survived my recent fashion show.


In case you were wondering, I didn’t fall off the face of the earth. I’ve actually been immersed in another world for the past few weeks, and I’m oh-so-happy to be back.


I forgot to mention it in my blog, but over the last month I’ve been rehearsing for Jesuit High School’s annual fashion show with my seventeen year old son Michael, and it feels like I’ve been in a virtual time warp.

This event is a huge Christmas themed fashion show with choreographed dance numbers and wonderful music, and it’s a major fundraiser for the school each year.


And the fashion models are none other than Senior boys and their Moms, along with Senior girls from the girl’s Catholic school.

Monday evening’s sell-out show was in front of an audience of seven hundred people at the Hyatt Regency Hotel in downtown Sacramento. And it was quite a success.


So this past weekend Michael and I were holed up in the Hyatt Hotel Ballroom getting ready for our three performances. Mind you. Most of these boys aren’t what you’d call theater guys, in fact they’re mostly the opposite and, truth be told, they’re really there for their Moms which makes it all the more special.

For several hours each day I hung out around the stage with all the other Moms waiting to be called for our simple short scene. The way it works is, a hired choreographer arranges Moms and boys in one big scene together, and the rest of the show is comprised of dance numbers involving the high school girls and guys together.

001 Neiman-Marcus-Holiday-2012-dustjacket attic

via dustjacketattic

But personally, I found one scene to be the perfect number for someone who doesn’t really like being under a glaring spotlight. I admit it, I’m not a comfortable performer. Although I was actually more relaxed this time compared to my dance with Patrick, which was faster and more stressful.


Patrick and me, in our dance scene two years ago.

And now that my modeling days are over, I realize I learned a few things along the way.

For instance, I learned that I have a deep-seated fear of falling on my a** in front of several hundred people. And that this fear seems to increase in direct proportion to the size of my high heels. Gulp.

So with visions of being the first model to ever go flying into the audience, I returned the gorgeous platform shoes I originally bought when I thought I would simply be walking down the stage gripping my son’s arm…



My Actual Dancing Shoes

and I went with this safer version. High but not too high. And much better for the sweetheart swing move.

Oh, and what about learning those dance steps? Well, that was another wonderful lesson I got about my decaying memory.  Yikes, I had no idea things had gotten so bad.


My only comfort is that it seemed to be a universal experience for all of us over-forty dancers. I actually got a glimpse of what life must be like when you’re feeling confused and being led around by younger, stronger arms, and it wasn’t pretty. And to rub salt into the wound, I still can hear eight counts echoing in my head


I learned that it’s actually possible to twirl in four inch platforms as I observed from watching my fellow high school models, whom I might add, looked absolutely adorable.


(Although they made me nervous going down the steps)


I learned that curls come in different sizes and that I prefer a more natural look…


and that someone named Lauren Conrad is famous for big soft curls which is the style of curl I received…


I learned that older women should be careful about wearing dark red lipstick...


I learned that when you’re confused and not sure what your next move is, all you have to do is flash a big smile and everyone smiles back.



And I learned that I will never be a Diva because I have this naughty sense of humor that makes me think of funny things at serious moments and prevents me from contemplating  curls and eyelashes for too long.

Oh, and one more thing. I learned that every woman loves a little white lie now and then.

Like when my sweet twenty four year old make up artist named Jena, looked surprised when she found out my age and blurted out, “Oh my God, you don’t have any wrinkles!”

(Yes I do)

But bless her little heart because that did feel good.

By the way, if you happen to be near the Roseville Galleria in Roseville, California, stop by the Nordstrom make-up counter and ask for Jena. Not only is she a master with her brushes and powders, but she’ll make you feel like the beautiful woman you are.


via pretty stuff

Well, that’s it. Now that it’s all over it seems like a fuzzy dream. The bright lights. The stage props. The backstage tension.

And those priceless moments on stage with Michael. I’ll share a photo when I get one, he looked so handsome.

In the meantime I’m off to catch a plane to Salt Lake City for a early Christmas party. I’ll be catching up on my blog reading and when I get back, I’m looking forward to finally pulling out those Christmas decorations.

See you all soon,




photos: via my Beatuy and Style Pinterest board

Thursday, November 22, 2012

tiny beautiful moments on Thanksgiving


Late last night while I was sitting in my office preparing to write this post I heard the sound of keys dangling in the door. Patrick’s English final had ended at 4 p.m that afternoon so he was supposed to be home anytime after eleven, and I immediately looked up from my computer.

The first words I heard were, “Hey Mom,” and then I saw Michael –not Patrick--toss his keys down and glide past the French doors toward the kitchen. He was home from his night out with friends, and when I saw him I couldn’t help but notice a rush of relief pass through my body.

Hmm... I wondered.

Does every mother who has a teenage boy driving on wet, rainy streets feel an amazing sense of contentment each time they come bumbling through the front door?


via bellamumma pinterest

Minutes later there was more noise. A thud against the door and then Stella was yelping and pawing the doorknob while it turned, and in walked Patrick with his own bellowing, “Hey Momma!”

I was already at the door ready with a big hug when I turned around and glimpsed Michael coming from around the corner.  I stood back and watched them both greet each other with a big bear hug and once again I felt the world slowing down around me. 

My twenty year old son and my seventeen year old son were both home and looking strong and healthy. And the sound of their deep voices had flooded my senses with sheer happiness.

My Thanksgiving was already perfect.

And the warm food and loud family conversations and typical chaos had not even happened yet.


I’ve been happily reminded that anything that goes ‘wrong’ today will only be the small stuff.


And I will focus on seeing the tiny, beautiful, meaningful moments

that matter.

Wishing you a day filled with gratitude. Thank you dear readers for being here.

Happy Thanksgiving!




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Monday, November 19, 2012

shades of purple and gold: my Thanksgiving table


I usually don’t set my table this early but I wanted to share this year’s color scheme with you. Just in case anyone out there still needs some ideas for their own table.

This year I chose shades of purple and gold as my accent colors because I found this great deal on dinner plates at Home Goods a few months back, and I’ve always wanted plates with a classic turkey design on them.


Since I host Thanksgiving every year I couldn’t resist the deal, four dinner plates for $12.99. Not bad huh? 

So this morning I tried to take a few pictures and give you a glimpse of how my Thanksgiving table will look. I realize that shades of purple aren’t for everyone, but it really looks pretty with the brown and gold tones throughout the table.


I decided to use my miniature pumpkins for flowers. In case you missed it, you can see how I did this HERE.


And these are simple flowers I bought at the grocery store. Thanks Kirsten, for your fresh cranberry idea, I love the way they pop out of the flowers.


I even added cranberries (on small skewers) to the flowers inside the pumpkins too.


Now I seriously think these little guys might be my favorite thing about this whole tablescape.


My cloth napkins are a deep purple and these look quite dramatic against the gold chargers. And remember these pumpkin place cards from my rustic Thanksgiving tablescape? I simply changed the rough twine to sparkly gold ribbon.

And I like the simplicity of the Kraft brown tags with this new ribbon, do you?


The dinner plates are on top of gold chargers that I already had. And those are my Mom’s stemware with the gold rims.


I used a cream colored tablecloth with a dark brown floral design on it. And almost all of my candlesticks are thrift store finds. I bought them for under $3.00 each.


A velvet ribbon is wrapped around the glass vase. And green moss is tucked into the small pumpkins.


I haven’t put water goblets on the table yet. But honestly, we’re pretty casual. Sometimes I’ll fill a bucket of ice with bottled waters and cold drinks. And I’ll skip the water glasses altogether. Less dishes to wash. Am I bad?


You can get an idea of how it will look in the evening.

I think there’s something magical that happens when candles are lit and fresh flowers are on the table. But let’s not forget that the very best part of any Thanksgiving table are the people who are sitting there.

It’s being together. It’s looking around the table and closing your eyes and saying a silent prayer that everyone is safe and sound.



Patrick will be driving hours to get home. And I know you’ve got family traveling too. Lets be outrageously grateful when they arrive safely.

Blessings to you all. And thanks so much for stopping by during such a busy time.



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Saturday, November 17, 2012

a sweet little pumpkin vase: how to


I’ve been wanting to try out this idea for awhile to share with my readers. I’ve seen these cute little pumpkin vases around but I never actually made one. Until now. And I’m happy to say it's really easy. And they’re so pretty too, in case you’re still looking for some Thanksgiving flower ideas.

These are the items I used:

  • miniature pumpkin
  • 2 oz mini cup
  • floral foam
  • flowers
  • marker and knife




Remember this is a close up shot so the pumpkin looks way bigger than it is.


This is what’s inside once you cut into it, just clean it out and test to see if the cup fits in.


Don’t forget to soak this foam for at least five minutes. You should always see the foam darken if it’s packed with water.



I’m using simple Mums here. The stems are nice and firm to push into the foam.


This pumpkin is around 4 inches in diameter and I used ten flowers. So you probably want to use inexpensive flowers that you can buy in mass.


Tell me if you try this, I’d love to hear how it goes.

I hope you’re having a nice weekend.



I’m linking up here:


Thursday, November 15, 2012

simple + rustic = a pretty Thanksgiving tablescape


Remember my wood pallet centerpiece I posted about HERE?  Well I decided to keep it center stage on my table so I could create a simple, pretty tablescape around it for Thanksgiving.

Only I won’t be using it. The truth is, I finally found some inexpensive plates with a classic turkey design so I’ll be changing my color scheme. You see, every year I use white plates for Thanksgiving so I’m excited about these new ones. Only this means that this lovely pumpkin-filled centerpiece will be moved to my kitchen island, and instead, I’ll have flowers in shades of pink and deep purple on this table. See? I told you I was changing my colors.

But that doesn’t stop me from having fun right now, with this table.

I’ve been seeing so much beautiful inspiration everywhere, I thought it would be fun to create two different looks for you because

  1. I love doing this and
  2. you might see an idea you can use (which would make me really happy).  



I think this is a pretty, country tablescape. The rustic wood centerpiece sets the tone.

I like wood and wicker together because it makes such a warm, cozy look so I brought out my Pier One placemats. But with all that brown, I needed a little feminine touch of white so I placed white doilies on each cloth napkin. I also set the table with mason jars to use as drinking glasses which continues the idea of using common items to achieve this look.

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I enjoy decorating my chandelier and if you remember, I decorated it with raffia to compliment the wood pallet centerpiece.


For the Thanksgiving dinner I thought it would be nice to embellish the raffia further so I went outside, clipped some real leaves off the tree and tied them with brown twine. What do you think? Simple and pretty.


Real miniature pumpkins go on each white dinner plate and I’ve tied brown Kraft tags to them.


It’s all pretty inexpensive stuff which is important these days.

A wood pallet. Raffia. Real leaves. Mason jars and now, miniature pumpkins. And did you know you can get the doilies at the Dollar Store or even at Joann’s Crafts Stores?


The wood pallet is filled with pumpkins of different sizes.


I positioned them inside the pallet and nestled the candlesticks in there too. Then I wound some bittersweet through the pumpkins for color. That’s it. I already had the green napkins and stemware.


I think the chandelier is my favorite. I like to see leaves dangling over my head.


Lately I’ve been noticing how much I like the miniature orange pumpkins. They make me smile. What are you noticing these days?



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