Category: Life & Home

Sailing the Summer Seas

Did you spend your July 4th on the water? I have memories of boating on pontoons and motor boats on the lake in Minnesota. Lake life is a beloved summer tradition in the state, after all. But until recently, I’d never been on a sailboat.

When I got invited to go sailing in the Bay Area, I was reluctant to go at first. Mostly this was because my dad told me what a bone-chillingly cold experience sailing the Bay can be. Luckily I had an experienced racing crew to take me and I was able to borrow a windbreaker, waterproof overalls, and dinghy shoes (a type of soft rubber boot). I added a flamingo print scarf and lots of layers so I wasn’t cold at all my first time sailing. Just to prove that it happened, here’s all my gear. Not my finest outfit of the day, but sometimes practicality is called for.

first time sailingThe race was intense because boats can come within feet of each other on the course. I wasn’t prepared for how the boat tipped precariously while turning. But the crew assured me that the vessel’s heavy bottom kept it from capsizing, unlike a dinghy we saw overturned completely (everyone was okay).

Sailing at sunset past the Bay Bridge, I felt connected to nature in a whole new way. We were free, gliding on wind and water with the seagulls into the dusk. Sailing is very much a here-and-now experience. There’s no checking your phone or dwelling on the past or future–there’s only time to focus on working with your teammates on what needs to be done right now.

When we docked back in Redwood City (pictured above), there was a great sense of camaraderie between all the teams as they shared sailing stories over dinner at the yacht club. I was glad I experienced something new, and grateful to the kindness of the boat crew for taking me in for my first time sailing. Having resources to help you on new boating adventures makes all the difference! Here are some enjoyable links for beginning to advanced boaters:

Discover Boating Resources

Helpful boating videos, including how to tie knots and boating communication basics.

Kids can learn skills for a lifetime of boating. Just pop in your zip code to find youth program resources in your area.

Find boating opportunities near you.

Take a fun and interactive questionnaire to discover a watercraft right for your lifestyle and budget.

(And read more about my San Francisco discoveries here.)

first time sailing

10 Travel Themed Mother’s Day Gifts

Travel themed mother's day giftsThis post includes affiliate links, from which I receive a tiny paper doll-sized commission if readers follow through with a purchase.

Whether she is an avid world traveler or a homebody with big dreams, travel-themed gifts are a fun way to show the mom in your life that she means the world to you.

If you can’t give her a trip to her favorite destination, get her something that reminds her of it! She’ll be reminded of a special place and a special person (you!) so it’s a win all around. On the other hand, if you ARE gifting plane tickets or a promise to drive to your favorite seaside getaway this summer, choose an adorable destination-inspired gift to help you announce the big surprise. Either way, these travel themed mother’s day gifts are fun to give and receive!

1. Airmail Jewelry Organizer

travel themed mothers day giftsAirmail is an ultra adorable travel-themed touch. I still fondly remember and miss my Kate Spade airmail iPhone 4 case from 2012! For home or travel, jewelry organizers are always a useful gift.

2. Paris Skirt

Fair is World's Fair SkirtBonjour,¬†mom’s new favorite skirt! Enchant√©. With a view of the Eiffel tower and Sacre Coeur on the skyline, this skirt is practically like taking a trip to Paris. Add macarons for the perfect present pairing.

3. Hot Air Balloons Weekend Bag

Keepsake on the Sunny Side Weekend BagRemind her of Albuquerque’s International Balloon Fiesta with a cute bag that will come in useful for weekends in the southwest or really anywhere.

4. Artsy Wallet

travel themed mother's day giftsKeep all travel receipts and documents organized in a pretty wallet. The motifs on this remind me of hand painted Mexican pottery.

5. Tropical Beach Tote

Travel themed mother's day giftsYou can’t go wrong with pink and palm trees, especially if mom loves L.A. or Palm Beach!

6. Camera Necklace

And That's a Snap! NecklaceNow she can play tourist whenever she feels like it, with a cute camera around her neck. I have a camera charm necklace of my own and it’s one of my favorites–a great conversation starter.

7. Map Necklace

No Place Like Roam NecklaceFor the globe trotter, this gorgeous statement necklace brings the freedom of the open road to any outfit mom wants to wear. Bonus, you can borrow it from her when she’s not wearing it.

8. London Earrings

Here to Cheerio You Up Earring SetFor the London lover, these earrings are fit for Queen Mom. Serve her a Mother’s Day tea to go with it!

9. Juicy Stationary

The Moment of Fruit Notecard SetAs charming as postcards from a tropical vacation, these note cards are reminiscent of family picnics, summer vacations and Hawaiian getaways.

10. Be Adventurous

Ready, Frame, Admire! Wall Decor in AdventureFrom the Rockies to the Alps, this rustic framed print reminds us that there are always new horizons to explore.

Happy Mother’s Day!

Trending Paint Colors 2016

Trending Paint Colors 2016Dark is the New Neutral

Inspired by fashion runways, dark colors are now making their way to home decor for the top trending paint colors 2016. “Confident dark colors have re-emerged on fashion runways after years of gray and brown dominating, says Nautica At Home VP of Merchandising Vivien Sylvester. These trending colors have now translated into home decor in a smart and stylized fashion.”

When Nautica announced the top trending paint colors 2016, they were unexpected colors that encourage stepping out of the comfort zone, daring consumers to be bold in selecting color.

These dark colors can add instant glamour to your surroundings. For a modern look, pair your new deep hues with metallic furnishings.

Top Trending Paint Colors 2016

Specifically, what does “dark” mean? Deep navy, gray, brown and even black are all on Nautica at Home’s recommended list. Just don’t forget to mix in some ivory and cream to offset those deep hues. The depth created by pairing dark colors with whites, grays and golds makes for crisp contrasts. Sounds lush!

A few months ago I worked with Nautica At Home on a painting project that featured a bright aqua blue. I’m gonna need to get used to the idea of dark hues before I’m brave enough to try this new trend. Do you have any dark colors in your decor? What do you think of them?

Last Minute Gifts They’ll Love

Can’t-Go-Wrong Gift Guide

These are some of my favorite last minute gifts this season. Get everyone checked off your list with last minute gifts they’ll love. How do I know they’ll love ’em? Cause they’re classy and classic and come on, wouldn’t you totally want them yourself?

1. Vintage-Style French Lavender Soap Tins

Last minute gifts they'll loveI saw these soap tins at World Market and fell in love. They’re oh-so-cute in person, with the classy old-fashioned charm of Art Nouveau advertisements. Perfect for hostess gifts and stocking stuffers, these gifts combine useful soap with use-again packaging.

2. Illustrated Classics

For the bookworm, Barnes and Noble has a line of illustrated, leather-bound classic books. Target also has a hardcover line of classics (shown here). They’re affordably priced and bound to be cherished long after the flimsy paperbacks have been set aside. Perfect for adults and kids of all ages.

3. Hand Painted Gift Box

Last minute gifts they'll loveIf you prefer to go the DIY route, craft stores sell wooden boxes and acrylic paint. Create a custom keepsake for someone special with just a coat of paint or two. After repainting a side table last week, this little box was easy! Inside you can slip a gift card or some candy. This makes a good gift for sorority sisters as it makes a great pin box.

What are you going to do for last-minute gifts this year?

Side Table Refresh

Repaint Furniture for a New Look

Have you seen my room makeover before and after? Showing the before and after photos was so much fun I had to make a separate post for this little side table that I repainted as part of the project:

Repaint Furniture: side table before and afterI’ve had this table for about eight years. I got it on the curb where someone had left it for trash. I stack magazine and catalogs in the open space so it’s been a useful item despite its worn whitewashed finish.

Using leftover Nautica paint from the room redo, I hand painted the table Arctic Tern (it’s a grayed white) with Flipper Jade accents. This interior accent color is my favorite part:

Repaint furniture for a new lookThis project was ridiculously easy. I did two coats of paint, letting it dry one day in between, and it was done! The leftover paint gave this previously sad little piece of furniture a new life as a crisp, polished room accent. If you’re looking for a way to spruce up a piece of furniture quickly, all it takes is a fresh coat of paint. It’s like getting a whole new piece of furniture without the cost!

Love this doily rug? This one has since sold out, but you can get a similar doily rug from Anthropologie in two different sizes and it is so cute.

And if you haven’t entered my giveaway to Menards, check it out before it closes! You could win $100 to repaint furniture of your own.