On this weekend’s post a little Valentine decor, inspiration from Princess Diana for transitional dressing, Jennifer Aniston’s favorite salad, books, a show and more..
Can you believe we are in February already? Wow and February usually flies by. This week was busy!
Thanks for everyone who sent good thoughts to my dad he is mostly all healed from his surgery and looking great. His vision is much better he says already! So worth doing and minimal pain and just a little bruising. Thanks everyone for the kind notes. I am so relieved this is over and it went well!
This week I also collaborated with some talented bloggers and we shared Valentine ideas on Thursday. You can read that post here if you missed it with links to all the others great ideas!
I did a tiny zhush up of the entry for February and moved my wool garland I used for the Valentine dinner here from the chandelier. I also added this little heart pillow… Rug from World Market. Similar pillows here and here. Sort of minimal, but still fun.
I said I would report back after finishing Harry’s memoir on our Live and this is my book report on Spare. I finished the full 15+ hours of listening. I really just wanted him to reunite with his family and be happy and I was concerned this book would make that impossible.
After hearing from others about how good the audio book was I dove in. I know he had help with it and it was beautifully written. I think the tabloids shared only the sensational bits.
I have been a royal fan all my life, but now I find myself hugely conflicted. I encourage everyone to read this and decide for themselves. I especially liked hearing it read by Harry. Some parts literally broke my heart and others are so happy and beautiful.
Harry comes off as a typical youngest boy and as mom of sons, my heart really went out to him. My feeling is he’s been alone in this world since going to Eton at 12 and his father may love him, but is very self absorbed and unable to show it. His loss of his mother left him without anyone ever filling that loving role.
My take away, is we don’t really know the truth about the royals except what we are told in the news. Like many things in this world, the monarchy needs change.. Their collaboration with the tabloids is something they must stop. People need to stop their dedication to these toxic papers as well. It also makes me reexamine my own part in consuming those kinds of articles and websites like The Daily Mail and others.
I found myself sitting listening to the last paragraphs in my car and crying. It shouldn’t be this way. I hope this book helps Harry and William create a better way to live and to someday and be close. I know their mother would want that.
Elizabeth Holmes, who I follow on her So Many Thoughts Instagram and writer of HRH, a former WSJ journalist has a Substack all about the royals and I found it to be an excellent companion to listening and navigating Harry’s book. She’s brilliant and fair and I appreciate her forum.
Harry’s Mama- Princess Diana Style
I shared this photo this week of Diana. I love finding inspiration and often something will cross my radar a bit before I see it’s a thing, a look, a possibility. This rare photo of Diana, before she was Princess- in her Laura Ashley skirt, pie crust ruffle blouse and puffer vest is my latest obsession and I think the perfect transitional outfit.
This time of year when we are still cold, but tired of sweaters and layers, this look is fresh. We can mix winter and spring together. What makes this cool is that they are opposite types of garments- sporty puffers with feminine pieces. Look in the closet and pull out those feminine blouses, anything with flowers or ruffles and pair them with a puffer jacket- or vest. Experiment with the proportions and see what works..Sneakers would be perfect with this look too.
If you need a few pieces, here’s a few I found to consider. Click in photos for links…
A Northern Cal Style Spotify Playlist
I am almost hesitant to share this, but I finally made a Spotify play list with the songs I have used on Reels and on Stories on Instagram. I have had requests for a list of songs-so I finally took some time and did it.
I made this list the more upbeat songs and will later make another with the more moody tunes I have used. If you are on Spotify you can find it here! Let me know what you think..I know everyone’s musical tastes are different. I follow so many playlists. That is what I love about Spotify.
Jennifer Aniston’s Lunch Salad
Since I made the pasta salad for my Valentine’s post earlier in the week, I’ve been loving having a salad in the fridge to for a fast lunch and to add to dinners. Another salad came to my attention yesterday, this dish Jennifer Aniston made for her co-workers most lunches during the Friend’s era.
She recreated it a while back and there is a version of it on the cute site, Food by Maria, which changes it slightly with orzo. Love all the healthy ingredients. Easy to see why they had it for lunch for ten years! I also like the idea of making this on a Sunday and having it on hand to enjoy all week! Would also be a great ladies lunch idea, or a side dish for a dinner.
This fantastic story first aired two years ago, but I missed it, and you may have also. . Elizabeth Smith Friedman is the American hero you likely never heard of. She was a codebreaker and broke the German Enigma machine on her own and developed methods that we still use today.
Sadly credit for her work was taken by J Edgar Hoover and she kept silent as she vowed to and only recently, when top secret files were unclassified, was her work and all she did revealed. Watch the whole complete show here and more of her truly fascinating life.
There is also a book that the show is based on…’The Woman Who Smashed Codes: A True Story of Love, Spies, and The Unlikely Heroine Who Outwitted America’s Enemies’. I read the free sample and I was hooked. Just added it to my bedside pile.
Houses of the week
Finally a few more homes are coming on the market and I kind of fell in love with this charming Carmel cottage with pretty gardens and just a walk to the beach. It would be the perfect weekend getaway if I only had 4 million..
If you want to see a truly ‘California redwood’ house check out this place also in Carmel. It takes living among the giants to a new level. I do like the attached guesthouse. It very much reminds me of Humboldt County where Max grew up. They’ve made some pretty design decisions on the kitchen and master bath that work with this woodsy house.. not my style, but I still appreciate it and it’s setting among the Redwoods.
If you missed last week’s post I shared spring colors that are trending in home and fashion, white jeans to add a lift to your winter staples, skin cleansers you might need and more.
I’ll be back on Tuesday with Cindy for our monthly Signature Style.. Can you guess what we are chatting about? I am working on it now..Make sure to subscribe below if you don’t want to miss those posts.
Thanks so much for stopping by!
Please visit my pals Elizabeth and Juliet’s lovely blogs..
MAKE MINE A SPRITZER
PINECONES AND ACORNS
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Mary Ann Pickett says
Thanks for the review of Spare. I haven’t read it yet.
The salad looks great. And thanks for the new show recommendation!!8
Thanks Mary Ann. I think the audiobook is the best way to take in this book. Enjoyed it on may daily walks and things.
Good morning Kim,
So much goodness! I love the houses! House hunting/peeping is always fun.
Your Valentine/Galentine table is beautiful! As are all of the other ideas from the group, so many talented ladies in one spot! And your front hall looks classic and cheerful, it is amazing what a pillow and garland can do to change the look.
Happy to hear your dad is doing and feeling better. Even more grateful that you are just down the road and able to help him.
I’ve not read the Spare, I am conflicted about the whole thing and feel as if we are only getting one side. William/Kate, Charles/Camilla, and The Queen/Phillip are never going to tell their side. I am happy Harry is living his life on his terms and hope he and his little family are happy. I do feel like he has a long way to healing his relationship with William/Kate and the children and that is incredibly sad. After all, it isn’t Williams fault that he was the first born.
The salad looks easy and delicious!
I have watched the Codebreaker but have not read the book, I now have that on my list!
Thank you for sharing your little corner of the world Kim, it is always a treat to see your finds and post!
Have a wonderful day! xo
Thanks so much Elizabeth. Valentines is fun. I think it comes at such a good time of year… We need the little lift after the holidays and before spring.
Yes you are right, the royals only tell their side via what they ‘tell’ or want the palace press to know. I commend him for being honest, but of course they don’t want that. From this book, it appears William has also been thrown to the dogs a lot by his dad and wife, which makes me so sad. Both boys have had a rough start and even though William is the heir he clearly has so many issues and pain too. Well, reading this was eye opening to what we think is a perfect life.. farthest from it. I most want it all to be healed. Change will need to happen.
I am excited for that Codebreaker too.
Hope you have a great weekend!
Linda Salazar says
Glad that your dad’s surgery went well! I’m sure it made such a difference. My brother-in-law had the surgery awhile back, I know it’s fairly common. My mom was diagnosed with macular degeneration at 67 and it scares me since genetics can play a part. I am doing everything I can to prevent it with diet, exercise and supplements and thank goodness am not a smoker. The optometrist took images of my retina last week and they looked good so far but my dark adaption test I took a year ago I didn’t do so great. I have another one scheduled in a month.
I did watch Harry’s interview on 60 minutes a few weeks ago. I have some interest in the Royal family but don’t get too caught up in it or celebrities in general. A woman was behind me in line at the grocery store recently. She grabbed a gossip magazine with Brad Pitt on the cover and started going on and on about his divorce from Angelina and current love life, for over 5 minutes. Blah, blah, blah. I thought wow, you really need to get a life!! And your poor husband! 🤣
Linda, I hear so many people’s parents have macular degeneration. It is frightening. You are so good to stay up on things and take good care of your eyes. I forget diet is so important too! I missed the Harry 60 Minutes, but did see him on Cobert. I am not too into celebs either.. People do get really into their lives. I thought it would be fun to listen to my first audible book with this one Harry read. I am hooked. Going to do more books that way!
Hope you have a good weekend! xx
What a great post! Love the book reviews…mixed feelings on Spare but I do think if he wants to share his story, that’s his prerogative. I do love a WWII story so that is on my TBR list. The salad looks yummy except for the feta. I am from Wisconsin where cow’s milk is king and just can’t quite acquire a taste for feta. I can “taste the goat” … hahaha. I am dreaming of the Carmel house too. What a great example of California decor. We do live in a special state, don’t we?
Holly, I love any stories about WWII also. I think you can switch out that feta! My hubs does not like it either, so I rarely include it in things. he says the same as you do about the taste. I didn’t know you were from Wisconsin? My mom was too and most of my family is still there. I thinker’s a special place.
Isn’t that house lovely? We are so lucky as Californians! xx
I love that you included Double’s The Captain of Her Heart in your Spotify playlist. I loved that song back in the day, and the entire album is quite good and worth a listen.
Thanks Jennifer! Isn’t it a great song? I have to give that album a listen. Thank you so much for the recommendation!
I’m not on Spotify, looks good what you did .
I hope to start reading Spare next week. Harry’s life has not been easy. To be without your mother at such a young and tender age is so deeply traumatic. To be thrown into the public and having to put on that stiff upper lip of showing no emotions had got to be extremely painful. It’s so easy to sit back and judge. I hope he has found peace, love, and contentment with Megan and his children. You just want the best for them as a family.
Interesting story . . . my signature fragrance is Boucheron. I have worn this since 1982 or so.
It’s s strong fragrance, use only a couple sprays. I found out years later that is was Princess Diana’s signature fragrance too. She will always be one of my most admired ladies. Such a good kind heart, her life was not easy, you just wanted her life to be joyful.
The Valentine entrance way looks festive spells love. You nailed it. The ladies will be thrilled.
Yay next Tuesday just maybe you and Cindy will be doing some Valentine dresses, tops, etc. .
Glad “dear dad” has healed so well and his vision is better. I bet the surgery makes his eyes feel so much better and maybe the lift has a youthful touch too. The droopy eyelids always makes you tired. I have those eyelids too, you just want to close your eyes because of it.
Sent “the Contessa” a note, oh my goodness I never realized she was so sick and in the hospital.
I know she is home now with her Italian and fur kids. 💗 the mew mew photo all snuggled into her was my favorite. So sweet.
I hope you’ll let me know what your thoughts are on Spare. I think losing his mom at the young age, and having a dad who was pretty self absorbed and not a warm person was very hard. People don’t seem to care. They think position is everything. Not true, being loved is everything. You can just feel how much Harry was wishing for that in this book. A hug from anyone made his day as they were so far and few and never from his family…I can’t imagine never being hugged from my father or grandmother.. I am so happy he found someone and I wish the same.
Wow I did not know Boucheron was her fragrance! That is a pretty one. I remember we used to sell it when I was a Nordstrom. Diana was such a good person and I think that is why I want the best for her sons. You know we watched the whole fairy tale and to see one of them so struggling is heartbreaking.
Thanks about dad. It is really making a difference! Thanks so much for the note for Contessa. Did you read her latest? She has been through a lot. So happy she has her paw patrol taking care of her.
I am loving this post so much, Kim! Your Valentines tablecloth is so pretty! I am not feeling super sympathetic towards Harry and Meghan. Maybe I would feel otherwise if I read/listened to the book. (I too love to listen to memoirs when they are narrated by the author.) I am definitely going to make Jennifer Aniston’s salad. And I already wrote you that I am so loving the Princess Diana outfit vibes. I love that light blue puffer, blue tiered skirt, and the blue floral blouse. Wondering if I am too old to pull this look off, though. 70’s style is by far my favorite! I am totally crushing on fairisle sweaters these days! And the Codebreaker book and series (or is it a movie?) sound right up my alley. Great post!
Hi Molly, This book was much more than I expected and I think you would enjoy the audio book especially. It’s a good way to decide yourself what you think.
I love this look and yes both pieces!! I bet this would be so god on you. Plus it’s sort of Maine if you ask me. It has preppy vibes to it. I bought a Fair Isle sweater this year. Love them too. Very Princess Di vibes with those too.
La Contessa says
Read the book Molly!!!
You will get a whole NEw PERSPECTIVE!!
While I enjoyed your post, I must strongly disagree with your interpretation of Spare, and Prince Harry. In my view, and having read the book, he is an entitled piece of $$$. Was given everything, appreciates nothing, my tears are for the people of Britain.
Thanks Ellen for your comment. Funny after listening for 15 hours I didn’t feel that way at all. I have to say when someone is given ‘everything’ as you state, you may be referring to wealth and privilege, but that doesn’t mean love. I believe that is what he was missing after his mother died and sadly he did not get that elsewhere until his wife came on the scene. It feels very much like a lot of people believe money and position are all one needs and to wish for anything else in life, such as love or connection, as in Harry’s case, you must be an ungrateful whiner. I perceived a lost soul who wants connection badly with his father and brother and feel adrift and inadequate, and has since childhood.
La Contessa says
Read the book!!!!
He was given very little he shopped at TJ MAXX and loved their SALES!
Daddy paid for his suits but nothing else!
Don’t believe everything you READ!
So many lies and slammed doors!
For years he thought his Mother was in hiding!He never had closure!
He was never hugged by his PA!
He never cried after the death as he didNOT want to believe it!
No one sat him down to really talk about it!
Thank you Elizabeth.. Hard to summarize all I took in from 15 hours of listening, but you hit a lot of points. Those are the things that stand out to me.. He truly was left to his own from such a young age and definitely lacked a loving family. It hard to even believe.
He basically has been living his life with extreme anxiety and panic attacks all the time. No one even mentions that. He’s had some real struggles.
Martha Foss says
I was just listening to a podcast episode, reviewing Spare, so I know I need to get it and read it. Since Bob broke his hip and we can’t do our adventure cruise to Anarctica – we signed up for a much tamer cruise , starting in San Diego, down the coast of Mexico , through the Panama Canal., Colombia the Caribbea then finally to Fort Lauderdale. Because of Bob’s hip situation, we will be probably doing a lot more sitting around the normal, so I am definitely want to take some good books. Thank you for the suggestion.! Your entry and your table look gorgeous! I just sent off my Valentine’s Day presents to my grandkids, besides decorating my entry hall table, not much else gets done!!
Hi Martha, I’m so sorry about your Alaska cruise being cancelled. I hope the other one is wonderful. It sounds fun too. Yes I mama going to start on the Codebreaker and just got a few others. I have to say listening to Harry I got through a lot more than normal and I think having him tell his own story in his words feels authentic.
Thank you about the table! I have to send a care package off too!
La Contessa says
I’m almost finished with SPARE I’ll probably finish today. It’s a really good read and I highly recommend it but what I have learned and have KNOWN YOU cannot believe everything you read and the British tabloids lie make up stories which I didn’t know and it’s a very, very sad situation, and what this man has been through as a child and now with his wife and children it’s UNBELIEVEABLE!, his army training, I didn’t realize was so extensive and to have had a kidnap attack on his head twice and for him to have heard over the radio they were hunting. Red fox is horrifying!
Elizabeth, Agree totally. Thank you for weighing in here. Good to hear another who has read the book. It’s insane to me how much the tabloids are followed and validated in the UK. They are same quality as The National Enquirer and yet people believe them and buy them- in a very educated nation. I don’t get it. Murdoch and his cronies and those who do this are truly evil. It’s a terrible situation.
Yes Harry was targeted so many times to kill, no one even talks about..The huge danger and the amount of time served and training he did. They pass that off as nothing. Hate seems to fill people. I encourage them to read this whole book. xo
You had me at Jennifer Aniston! I’ve heard about her salad and love having the recipe. Speaking of things I love, Princess Diana’s style … all of its evolution. Her early years on the world scene really influenced me and have stuck with me. Those floral skirts, ruffled collars, flats and the addition of country-life elements like puffer vests. Maybe we can pool our millions (ha! and buy that gorgeous house in Carmel! Looking forward to your signature style post … always do! xo
The salad looked so good to me. I still think Diana’s style was iconic and we will always think of her in those looks! I love the idea of modernizing them for today. xx
Annie Diamond says
I love this post. Your review of Spare has me thinking I will listen to it! I’m sure I’ll be crying at the end too! I loved Diana’s style. I can totally see you in an oversized puffy vest, ruffle blouse, and floral skirt with sneakers.
I just downloaded your playlist….so many of my favorite songs on one playlist! Love it! My fave is San Francisco Street.
Annie, I so enjoyed listening to him and think you would find it fascinating too… I loves Diana’s style too!
Annie I got that wonderful SF Street song from you I think! xo