Motivational Monday: Holiday Cheer …

Edna Ferber Quote

I was talking with a few friends and they all agree that for some reason Christmas this year just does not “feel” typical.  It’s like putting on your favorite cashmere sweater only to find out that it’s too small, itchy & uncomfortable.  Something seems to be off and I am determined to figure out what it is.  This week, I have given myself a mandate – find your joy.  Find your bliss.  Find your inner Santa.

Whether it’s with families and friends or at the bottom of a mug of spiked egg nog, the mission is simple – get out of my head and get into the season.  I need the “holiday magic” – it’s better than any anti-depressant.  I am in desperate need of some “Christmas Prozac”.  So I am putting on my PJs, cranking up the holiday tunes and immersing myself in babies, baking and boozing. I figure one of the three should make this Scrooge McGrinch smile…..

[photo credit:  aubrie pick]

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Motivational Monday: Giving Back ….

Port of Oakland - edited

The above pic is Oakland.  It’s where I live.  Here is a little story on how I came to be an “East Bayer”.  You see buying real estate in the Bay Area is sorta like buying Berkshire Hathaway stocks – you spend alot to get very little but what you do own is worth its weight in gold.  Simply put, even with the combined incomes of me and The Partner, we could not afford to live in San Francisco.   So we expanded our search to include the “East Bay” which pretty much means Berkeley, Oakland and Emeryville (sorry Richmond).  Eventually, we found ourselves in Oakland and purchased a fantastic 3-story loft in 2008.  While I went to the East  Bay, kicking and screaming I quickly came to be one of its biggest proponents …. or so I thought.

Melissa Davis, owner of Ruby Press PR, has me beat.  Not only is she a long time resident of Oakland (since 2003) she even moved the headquarters of her business to a historic building in downtown Oakland.  Her roots run deep on this side of the bay and it’s one of the reasons she is upping the ante by publishing a book all about Oakland aptly named This is Oakland…..

This Is Oakland

A photo-driven guide book to the city that explores all the wonderful nooks and crannies of one of the most underrated cities in America.  Well actually I take that last part of the sentence back since last year, The New York Times published a list called “The 45 Places to Go in 2012″ and Oakland ranked #5.  Did I mention that the city I call home fell nicely between London and Tokyo. And oh Oakland was the highest ranking city in North America: higher than New York City, Los Angeles or San Francisco. Booyah!

Enough with the bragging but in This is Oakland, Melissa explores all the wonderful businesses and people who make Oakland so special and unique.  With stunning photography by Kristen Loken, you get the sense of life and vitality of a city that at one time was on the brink…..

Miss Ollie


But all this awesomeness comes at a price.  To help fund the publishing of the book, Melissa has started a Kickstarter campaign.  During this time of giving, I ask that you look at her video and think about donating to her fund.  She has some amazing gifts for those who donate and honestly, many exceed the cost of the donation!  So open up your hearts (and your wallets) and help Melissa and myself celebrate the city we both call home!

[photo credit: port of oakland authority//kristen loken]

Check me out on PinterestTwitter and Insta.gram for more musings on design, food and just plain randomness. You can also find me at my online shop for Joy & Revelry.

Motivational Monday: Holidays…

Shaw Holiday Quote

It’s the beginning of December and I can feel the “bah hum bugs” starting to erupt.  One of the things about being the occasional stylist is that I find myself more often than not thinking about holidays several weeks if not months before they actually start.  Christmas planning started in September and decorating commenced in October in tandem with Halloween and Thanksgiving.  The poor kids that visited my house on Halloween were confused as they saw a house with split personalities – garland on the staircase, pumpkins on the stoop and a horn-of-plenty on the kitchen island.  It all read like a case of Hoarders: Holiday Edition and I am positive I may be the source of one child’s “decor PTSD”.

It all came to a head during Thanksgiving when I found myself in a post- turkey haze thinking about Valentine’s  Day decorations.  WHAT?!?  I am in a perpetual state of “holidaze” and it needs to stop for my creativity and sanity!  So I am front loading the blog up with some amazing posts on food, decorating, holiday gifts and some very special libation made exclusively for me by two fantastic mixologists (check by tomorrow).  In addition, I have a special holiday fashion feature I will be sharing to ensure that the man in your life stays on your nice list this year!

I am pushing hard to ensure that when Christmas does roll around, I will be all set and ready to kick-back and relax.  And that is what I wish for each of you this season, the opportunity to sit back and relax!  Cheers…..

[photo credit: courtney lake]

Check me out on PinterestTwitter and Insta.gram for more musings on design, food and just plain randomness. You can also find me at my online shop for Joy & Revelry.