It’s time for weekend meander.. with my pals Elizabeth and Juliet! On this post, a book all about finding French Joie, a chic woven tote, rattan hurricanes and the cutest inexpensive sandals you need for summer.
How was your week? We have had some really lovely weather. I’ve been paddling around barefoot in the yard and putting in some new plants and flowers. I feel positively euphoric after this long dark winter. I finally got some pretty plants for the front porch and I asked Instagram pals what survives hot weather… This spot get so much heat in the afternoon. Thanks to everyone’s suggestions, I ended up with these fabulous geraniums that were at my local OSH.
I was advised to try marigolds, succulents, dianthus, lobelia, sunpatiens, and lavender. Our garden center had such slim pickings though geraniums were all I could find. They were huge and lovely, so I hope they will survive. I also put in some kangaroo paws and another hummingbird favorites like yarrow in a few pots on the porch. I love seeing the porch with flowers and birds!
Guys, I have to be totally honest, my beautiful California native front yard was looking like an abandoned lot after all the rains. We do NOT use poisons or weed killers, so it was quite the train wreck. I found a wonderful garden guy who is helping me and Max maintain it, but it’s been a rough patch. It’s finally looking a bit normal, but it’s been a battle. I had no idea al this rain could wreak havoc.
Next week I will start my tomatoes in the garden, so if you were waiting for the right time, my gardener dad says next week we should be good one to begin digging for us garden peeps here in California! So start getting your beds ready.
What is it about the French? All I have to do is read a few paragraphs about how they live and I can feel my blood pressure lower.
Last week I ordered the new book Joie, by Ajiri Aki. I follow her Instagram and was reading a bit about the book on Vogue. I clicked over to read the book sample and was hooked. It’s a lovely book, filled with little encouragements to take some cues from the French and live a less fraught, less hurried life with the goal of finding the ‘joie’ in all the little things.
Ajiri is so fun and relatable. She’s an American of Nigerian descent who grew up in Texas, and spent time in New York before landing in Paris where she married a German and is raising her darling kids. Many things in this book remind us to slow down and stop rushing through life! This book also made me laugh. I loved her story of getting baguettes for the French parents at the super marche instead of a bakery (to their horror), and also wondering why people had so much time to hang out and socialize, when there was work to do. So American!
My takeaway from this book is to stop stressing about everything. Take more time for loafing and smelling the flowers. It’s good for the soul. We have no chill here. The tips on beauty.. the French love themselves as they are.. wrinkles and flaws included.. We need to wear less makeup, let hair dry naturally, dress to appreciate the bodies we have and feel good in our own skin! We Americans try too hard and it shows. Frankly, I’m ready to try try the French method. Check back if I start looking like a street person in a few months… just kidding! Let’s all try and be more French shall we?
This book would be a lovely gift for Mother’s Day or a friend. You can buy it here and follow Ajiri here on Instagram and where she sells her French tabletop treasures at Madame de la Maison. She will be in the Bay Area next weekend signing books- in Oakland at Sweet July and at SF’s Hudson Grace, if you’d like to meet her. More on that here.
Speaking of France…. Max and I are going to try and throw together a trip in early summer there. We had a trip planned last fall, but Max and his entire team was laid off where he worked and we were sort of unsure about going as he had to interview for other positions. He began a new job in January and we are hoping to do the trip we had planned to Paris and Loire Valley…
I am mentioning because I am wondering if anyone has recommendations for towns or hotels they like in those spots? We stayed in an apartment in Paris years ago, but have not been to the Loire region! You guys always know the best places and have great tips, so thank you for anything you have!
On my radar
I was inspired by the Joie book and went and bought myself some flowers for the week and this little yellow bunch ( sorry I don’t know name) for $5.99 from Trader Joes of course, made me feel so happy and still are each time I walk into my office!
I have had the hurricane I used as a vase here for a long time. The closest I could find that was a decent price was this at Wayfair. It would be pretty with a candle in it when not being used as a vase, or even as a utensils and spoon holder on a kitchen counter.
Jeffery Campbell makes fun shoes and his take on the Gucci sandal in rubber is really cute for $44 and in four colors, I can’t decide which to get! It’s the perfect little shoe to tuck in a bag for a getaway, for poolside, or with a pretty pedicure and white jeans…without the Gucci price. Anthro has all four colors. Shop all his cool shoes here.
I was at the mall last weekend and saw this uber cute tote. I thought it was a Valentino with it’s puckered look, but it’s actually an AllSaints and I love the two tones and that it has both shoulder straps and handles. This might be my new go to bag for the warmer months. More color variations here.
I know I shared this H&M dress last week and I was excited to already get to wear it. I had it on all day Friday and it’s super comfy. It may be my favorite little day dress in the closet right now. I am going to order a black or pink version before it sells out..like the blue stripe has already. I bought a Medium and I am 5’4 and 138 pounds. The sewing and material are very nice and the sleeves make this a more expensive looking piece, but what a great grab and go everyday dress!
Keep Tahoe Blue- the history behind it
Max forwarded me this terrific article on the history of the Keep Tahoe Blue stickers and the foundation and history behind it. Did you know back in the 50’s they proposed a high speed freeway ringing the lake, housing for 500,000, and a bridge over Emerald Bay? Once they realized the clarity of our mountain lake was vulnerable – science and those in the community got together. What they have built and protected is impressive. Read the fascinating history here.. and you can follow @KeepTahoeBlue .
Japan Travel & Packing
If you missed it, I had fun this week sharing a guest post on travel to Japan, by my dear friend Jeanne Chan, who just came back. She has been there before and knows what to pack, where to go and shop, and most important, some of the tricks and tips for travel there.
Did you know that Japan really has no public trash cans and that you have to bring your own towel or hanky for the bathrooms? So many interesting things.. Read Jeanne’s travelogue and good travel tips here.
And if you have a getaway to Mexico don’t miss Juliet’s post last week on what to pack here!
On last weekend’s post, I shared thoughts on Earth Day, a new Ethos stores, the perfect spring and summer sandal, an empowering book, a charming San Diego beach house, and thoughts on the Brooke Shield’s documentary.
Have a beautiful weekend,
Please visit my pals Elizabeth and Juliet’s blogs..
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