Monday, October 31, 2011

Pumpkins Part III

Still loving the mini pumpkins... the glass bird patch

...atop the pearls

or just on a colorful plate.

Now I'm starting to think I should have put some outdoors, except I was too focused on my indoor pumpkins. There's always next year!


Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Pumpkin Style

So I took the little white pumpkin and...

...paired it with a flower and velvet leaf on a glittered pedestal. 

Since it looks like a Cinderella pumpkin, I thought it only appropriate to place it among some jewels.

How about combining holidays? It's a little bit Christmas, a little bit autumn.

This just calls our for a little fairy sitting on the green petals, don't you think?

Resting among the jewels. 

 Yes, mini pumpkins are just the best.


Sunday, October 23, 2011

It's Pumpkin Time

Have you gotten your pumpkins yet?

Each year, we purchase three mini-pumpkins. This year, I was quite delighted to find this little white one with the curly stem piece. Reminds me of Cinderella and her pumpkin coach, don't you think?


Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Out With the Old...

De-clutter  Organize  Simplify

That's what I'm up to.

The going is slow, but I'm seeing little pieces of progress. My garage is filling up as I remove clothes, shoes, topiaries, art supplies and storage units from the house. I made another run to the library to donate more books a few days ago and have several empty shelves now.

Yesterday I called the Salvation Army to come and do a pick-up. Today I called them back and added even more items to the pick-up. Next week I'll be donating some art supplies to a local organization. Can't wait to gain the space back in my garage and my house. 

My intent is to continue this project throughout my whole house. Right now, I'm highly motivated. I hope I don't lose that feeling!


Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Tick Tock


Collecting clocks won't help me gain more time, but it's a great garage sale find, don't you think?


Sunday, October 9, 2011

Getting Organized Step by Step

Last weekend, I had a garage sale to clear out  a lot of my stash. Now, I can see much of the things I love better as there is less clutter (although I really liked that clutter!). I didn't think I'd be able to let go of any of my ribbon, but once I pulled out the first drawer and began, I was able to let go of some of it. However, all my very best favorite ribbons remain although I could certainly downsize by half again.

My little velvet bookmarks are dangling free.

And the glittery ornaments are calling to me. Does this look like a Christmas ornament? Well, I'll let you in on my secret. It certainly is and it's not the only Christmas ornament that adorns my home. Why wait until December? If it brings you joy, then it should be out where you can see it.

My favorite Somerset magazines have all traveled back to a space where they are orderly and easily accessible. 

A happy space = a happy home. 

Oh, I'm not done yet. No, I have a long ways to go and as I sit here, I am surrounded by paper calling me to straighten and file it. 

But it's a start. 

Now, I just need to maintain my motivation and keep at it. How on earth did I accumulate so much? I am definitely turning over a new leaf. Next step: call Goodwill tomorrow!


Steve Jobs, You'll Be Missed

I really hadn't planned on writing about the passing of Steve Jobs. So much has already been said. However, all week I've been finding myself tearing up as I read or see another item about it. It happened again yesterday when I just happened to pass by the Apple store on my way to Macy's at the mall. As I approached, I noticed a small crowd outside of the store. It took me a moment, but then I realized there was a memorial to Steve in the front and people were stopping to read the messages or just take it all in.

I'm not sure every Apple store looks like this, but I imagine most do. The front windows were covered with Post It notes with messages. Flowers, apples, photos and product boxes were also left in memorial. Once again, I felt myself moved by what I saw. Living and working here in Silicon Valley, I've been reminded of my own experiences with Apple products and it just feels more personal. How many times have I driven by Apple headquarters when I worked in the valley? And so, here is my reflection on what Apple has meant to me.

I should start by saying that I first had a pc clone back in the day when they came out. If you remember DOS, you're dating yourself! Oh, those first computers were both wonderful and cumbersome. But sometime during the 80's, I went to work for a software company.  As a product manager of software, I at one time had a Commodore, Apple IIGS, PC and Mac on my desk. No, I wasn't and am not a computer geek, I just had to manage product for all those platforms. I managed some great creative products for the Apple IIGS and Mac and participated in industry trade shows with them. Apple computers just seemed so much easier to use than the others and there really was something magical about Apple, even then. 

The computer I used for all my work was the original Macintosh. How I loved that little computer! It was so intuitive and easy to use. Amazing! Fun! Cute! I actually fell in love with that computer; so much so, that I acquired one myself. But alas, I moved on from that company and was forced back into the pc environment. Macs got bigger and more expensive and in the ensuing years, I really didn't have a need for its unique uses, so I found myself back with a pc. All the while, always admiring the Macs, touting their praises whenever I could and wishing I owned one. 

About 10 years ago, I was with some co-workers at Stanford Shopping Center when we noticed Steve Jobs dining in a restaurant with another man. Even then, it was like spotting a rock star. Truly, the Silicon Valley equivalent of a Hollywood siting!

And so two years ago, when it was time to get my sister her own computer, I wanted the easiest one for her. We got her a MacBook which she is very happy with. At the same time, I finally gave up my cheap phone and acquired the iPhone. We both became Apple fanatics once again. Soon after, I decided to give up my Dell pc for an iMac. Hallelujah! Hello, big beautiful screen! This was quickly followed by an iPod and iPad. Now, even our cat Gracie uses the iPad and is an Apple devotee (you can read/see more about that here)!

I am so happy that I've gone back to Apple products. The company has been amazing in how far they've come and how they've changed the lives of so many. I know they'll continue to do great things but I can't help but feel incredibly sad for the man who passed so young and was the shining star of Apple. I'm sad for him, his family, his employees and for all of us who no longer have this man in our lives. 

So here's to you, Steve Jobs, a man of vision who has touched so many.


Thursday, October 6, 2011

I'll Take Tea

What is more delightful than having a luncheon at a tea parlour?

It's the ultimate in girly. And I love girly.

We had tiny tea sandwiches. Tomato and cheddar. Turkey and cranberry. Cucumber and cream cheese.

Lavender white chocolate scones with the best condiments.

Spiced cream, lemon curd and strawberry marmalade. 

A fruit salad of oranges and strawberries.

Petite desserts of tiny apple and chocolate raspberry tartlets.

And a little happy birthday message on the almond cake plus creme brulee.

Oh so lovely place settings.

And a fabulous collection of faux desserts and tea items calling from the gift space.

Yes, a tea parlour is the perfect place to share a birthday lunch. I lucked out that she chose my favorite birthday spot for her birthday. See you in February, Sweetea's.


Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Happy Birthday to the Kitty

It was actually two birthdays last Monday...

Yes, T had a big birthday this year.

And we enjoyed fabulous pink velvet cupcakes from the teacake bake shop.

What are pink velvet cupcakes? According to the gal at the bakery, they are just like red velvet except they have more cocoa. Yum! Our friend, Patti, brought over these delicious cakes. But that's not all.

She also made a stop at Starbucks to purchase this teeny tiny cupcake for the other birthday girl. And who might that be?

Well, Miss Gracie of course! My Grace turned six years old on Monday and she got her favorite dessert too. Gracie just loves cupcake frosting. Hers was carrot cake with cream cheese frosting which she enjoyed while we wished her a happy sixth birthday. 

A while later, I served a special birthday dinner for my sister, setting three place settings for the three of us. Gracie jumped up onto the fourth chair and joined us for the entire dinner.  She didn't have any pasta though, that was just for the people. Happy Birthday, Gracie girl!