In San Diego…with limited wi-fi so here are a few pics from our fun filled tourista days.
Paul waiting to board the Midway Aircraft Carrier-similar to the carrier he served on during Vietnam. So nostagic for him! Great dinner in Little Italy!Margaritas before noon in Old TownIncredible Mariachi succulent displayMom, teens and 4wk old baby-giraffes at the San Diego ZooSunset at the Marina where we stayed in Chula Vista
Great time with great friends, Andy and Lori!
Mary Sherwood Lifestyles
Working with you to create and enhance your lifestyle!
Paul and I just returned from five days in Santa Monica visiting Jake and Elif taking in all the beautiful weather and surroundings.
Our first outing is always a walk through the neighborhood to brush off the road weariness. The streets are lined with a mix of old and new homes. I always enjoy the small front gardens and plantings. We stumbled across this amazing sidewalk garden. It is full of succulents, annuals and a comfortable spot to sit and reflect. An unexpected thing like this is what makes me love California. The plague on the tree is a quote from Ralph Waldo Emerson, “Peace cannot be achieved through violence. It can only be attained through understanding.” How fitting for today’s turbulent times.
The next day, we walked to the beach at the Santa Monica Pier where there is a sign that says this is the original location of Muscle Beach. Love the broad wide beach, great bike path and fun people watching.
On Saturday we boarded the new Expo Light Rail in Santa Monica to travel into downtown LA. What a wonderful transportation addition. An upbeat train station, colorful train cars and easy travel to LA was a real pleasure.
Our train travel took us to the California Science Center to see the Endeavor Space Shuttle exhibit. It is a very interesting and informative display about the space shuttle’s history. The Endeavor completed 25 missions from 1992 – 2011. It was originally constructed outside of LA and was brought back to its permanent location through a parade through the streets of LA in 2012. This is an exhibit well worth a visit.
Jake and Elif have been raving about this new ice cream parlor in an eclectic Venice shopping district called Abbot Kinney. We strategically scheduled our visit to make sure we had plenty of room to enjoy this wonderful creamery. The Salt end Straw far exceeded our expectations. Out of many different combinations I chose the Slumptown Coffee with Comparte Lovenuts ice cream. OMG! Click here to learn more about the Salt and Straw.
What a great weekend! We visited so many of our favorite spots and explored many new ones. We cooked several dinners from Green Chef (organic Food Delivery), watched movies and walked many steps. Perfect long weekend with bright blue skies and 75 degree temps! Thanks Jake and Elif for a great time!
I think this may have to be my new ride for our next beach visit. What do you think?
As many us of travel through the summer feel free to comment and share some of your favorite journeys.
Wishing everyone sunny blue skies!
Mary Sherwood Lifestyles
From our first visit to Oro Valley (our new town) I was amazed at the magnitude of public art displays. It has been a true joy to see various artistic expressions in unexpected places i.e. the parking lots at Ace Hardware, Safeway and Home Depot and roadways throughout the area. Here is a brief description of the program which has placed such a high value on community art:
“In 1997, the town established a 1% Public Art Program which requires that commercial developers set aside one percent of a projects total budget for the creation of public art. By passing the public art mandate, Oro Valley signaled an ongoing commitment to create beautiful surroundings that enhance the quality of life for all who live, work and play in the town.” (Quotation from Oro Valley website).
Each day I observe and discover more ways this program enriches our lives. Here are examples of installations in our neighborhood. My favorite is the “Tree of Knowledge” at the Oro Valley Library.Look closely between the tree roots in the book below the tree to find these words of wisdom:
The more you read, the more you know
The more you know, the more you grow
The smarter you grow, the stronger your voice
When speaking your mind or making your choice!
“Reading the News” Sculpture
“Swinging Sis” sculpture
“Girl stopping traffic” sculpture.
Highway privacy wall.
Sculptural family of Javelinas, boar- like native animals
Fitness man sculpture at Sun City Oro Valley.
Performing artists sculpture at Sun City Oro Valley.
There are many more and I will share as I have an opportunity to photograph them. What a wonderful community incentive program! Thank you town of Oro Valley!
Do you have a favorite? Let me hear from you!
All the best!
Working with you to create your lifestyle!
Mary Sherwood Lifestyles
This year we travel to “Santa” Monica for our Christmas celebrations. It is one of the few times the immediate Sherwood family is all together. 🙂 This year we will have the joy of Paul’s sister and husband joining us right after Christmas day.
Here is the family picture from last Christmas at the lake house. I remember this fun time and insisting on the group shot despite objections of “Oh Mom!”
We are driving to Santa Monica this year. Close enough not need an airplane ticket. 🙂 I believe our son Jake has a Christmas photo in mind involving two JCW Mini-Coopers. You’ll just have to wait to see that one.
On another note, my friend, Lori, and I took the hotel crawl to see holiday decorations, particularly two life-size gingerbread houses. My favorite GB house was at the Hilton El Conquistador in Tucson to benefit juvenile Diabetes.
This life-size Gingerbread House at Hilton El Conquistador Tucson AZ is truly a labor of love and work of art!
It is all in the details with the embellishments of this life-size gingerbread house!
The walls were all made of gingerbread by the resort’s bakers. It took them 3 weeks to do all the baking. The decorative details are amazing.
Here is a “little” life-size gingerbread house trivia:
- 420 lbs. of flour
- 420 eggs
- 12 gallons of molasses & honey
- 120 lbs. of egg whites
- 550 lbs. of powdered sugar
- 718 lbs. of sugar
- 2.317 gum crops
- 120 lollipops
- 600 candy cane
- 15 lbs. of sprinkles
Wishing everyone a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year! Be safe in your travels and enjoy all your family and friends!
Love to all!
Note: This is the last post until after the New Year! Look forward to a re-cap of our holiday on January 6th.
A Stay-cation is taking the time off for some R&R, but staying close to home to save a little cash. This is a great idea, just as long as you actually rest instead of catching up on your to-do list. I just read a great post on Houzz about ways to get the most out of your stay-cation. It really hits home because here on Lake Gaston, we have the opportunity to enjoy many benefits of the stay-cation just about anytime! Here’s the link to the full post on Houzz: Simple Pleasures: 25 Ways to Make the Most of Your Staycation. Below is just a sampling of my favorites from their list, showing how you can take some of this list and apply it everyday on Lake Gaston!
1. Savor the Outdoors: This is a no brainer! Enjoy the view, sit outside with your morning cup of coffee, and be thankful for all that is around you.
2. Host a Movie Night Outdoors: This can be done simply with a portable DVD player or a tablet. Or with a bit of creativity, you can engineer a temporary movie screen with a white sheet or tarp and a digital projector. Relive the days of Drive-In Movies. (This is something Ryan and I love to do a couple times a month. We just watched “Underdog” under the stars this past weekend!)
5. Enjoy a Massage: There are some amazing resources around the lake to enjoy some “me time.” My personal favorite is Healing Kneads. You can do as little as a relaxing pedicure, or you can go all out for a full day of pampering with a massage, facial, pedicure… the works!
6. Sign Up for a One Day Class: Here at MSLL, we offer cooking classes a couple times a month on a variety of different topics. If they don’t fit your schedule, we can do a private class for you and some friends. Chef Yvonne Hoffman of Y Cook? is very talented in a variety of different cuisines to suit your tastes. We are also hosting a skin-care beauty event with Patty Bunch (Make-up Artist to the Stars) in a couple weeks. Check it out here! There are also fun seminars at many of our special events, so just let us know what you’re interested in and we can see what we can do!
14. Have the Post Office Hold Your Mail: It seems like a simple idea, but go through the prep of a true vacation even though you’re staying around. By eliminating the everyday distractions and chores, you will feel more free to relax and enjoy your time.
15. Hire a House Cleaning Service: This is a must! Use your time off to really relax. Get out of the house for a few hours (maybe during your spa time) and come home to a clean house you don’t have to worry about. Someone else has done the dirty work! One of our favorites is Angel Watson of Angel’s Professional Cleaning. She does a wonderful job and is very courteous.
20. Bring Home Fresh Flowers: Another subtle touch that can made a big difference. There are many sources for this as well. We have been working with Pam Ballew of Petals by Pam. She brings us fresh cut flowers on Friday mornings, and they stay fresh for days!
25. Take Pictures! It may seem silly, but if you’re having a great time, you should capture the moment!
How have you made your time special so far? We’d love to hear about your adventures in the comments below!
I hope you had an amazing 4th and hope you can continue to enjoy your summer on beautiful Lake Gaston!
Thanks! ~ Autumn
Mary Sherwood Lake Living -Working with you to create your lifestyle on Lake Gaston and Beyond!
We’re back from the 2014 IBS/KBIS/IWCE (International Builders’ Show/Kitchen and Bath Industry Show/International Window Coverings Expo) in Las Vegas. By combining these shows, we were very pleased to see so many dealers and attendees this year. Here are just a few of our favorite products and kitchen design ideas.
Freedom Induction Cooktop by Thermador and Benchmark FlexInduction Cooktop by Bosch
Brand new options for induction cooking with limitless options for the size and shape of your cooking vessels. You no longer have to use a round pot the size of the designated circle on your cooking surface. These cooktops give you the option to adjust the surface for your needs. For example, you could use a griddle that could be evenly heated or divided into two separate zones.
New advances and application for LED lighting
LED Lighting has continued to advance with new design applications. Interior cabinet lighting options have expanded to illuminate every dark corner in your home. Beyond strips of light for undercabinet use, you can envision these same strips as decorative accent light all over your space.
QMotion – motorized drapery rod that is silent
This revolutionary new drapery rod changes everything we new about motorized window treatments. The leading drapery ring of each panel rides along a groove which pulls the drapery open and closed as it rotates. The motor and batteries are concealed inside the rod itself. Plus, it is completely silent! This is amazingly functional and beautiful!
Fun in Las Vegas We also had a lot of fun after the shows. We attended a high energy performance of “Recycled Percussion”, complete with a random cookie break (YUM!). We experienced the unique and elaborate characters at “Divas”. We also toured the Bellagio’s Foyer with Chihuly Glass Ceiling and Courtyard with Chinese New Year theme garden.
Here is a sampling of the Fountains outside the Bellagio:
Mary Sherwood Lake Living – Working with you to create your lifestyle at Lake Gaston and Beyond!
I just returned from a wonderful week in Santa Monica, CA visiting our son Jake and his wife, Elif. Little did I know the weekend would become a design adventure. Knowing that Paul and Jake had plenty to do with two motorcycles handy, the girls set off to visit the 2013 Pasadena Showcase House of Design.
The setting of this year’s event was a beautiful estate built-in 1941 in Arcadia, CA. The show house was gracefully restored with modern amenities and conveniences with attention to details that reflected the period.
The photographs shown here were all taken from the Showcase guide. The design firms for each area are noted on the pictures. There were so many special spaces and so many wonderful details. I selected the following to point out design tips that could be recreated in any setting.
The walls of the beautiful vaulted front entry stairwell were covered with winter wheat colored fabric that provided an understated neutral palette to lead the way to the incredible rooms to come. The glass chandelier was amazing!
Design tip: The details of the stairway runner. It was bound in leather and tacked down with larger upholstery nail heads. The nail heads do not show in this photo. This look could easily be re-created by binding the runner in a wide fabric binding and adding the nail heads.
From the designer’s perspective the powder room was designed to recall your first jewelry box full of wonder and magic. It was wonderfully executed with the stone chevron detail of the mirror, the gold accents and the skirted vanity.
Design tip: The chevron detail could be recreated with the use of fabric or paint. The tailored skirt detail could be applied to any countertop surface to create a feel of elegance.
The owners requested the space be expanded to incorporate the bar with lighted green glass details that was installed in 2000 Designer Showcase. A wall was removed and left two different ceiling heights.
In order to draw attention away from this the ceiling was embellished with intricate patterned molding, textured wallpaper and dramatic lighting.
Design tip: Don’t forget the ceiling. It does not have to be this elaborate. You can achieve an amazing effect by adding some well design molding detail, texture with paint or paper and/or the right lighting… remember attention to details.
Soft, serene color palettes were used throughout the house. Here in the master bedroom soft blues and gold set the mood.
Design tip: Find the right color that appeals to you and create a master space that allows for restful, blissful sleep.
Teenage Daughter’s Room
What teenage girl would not die for a room like this? There were feminine touches everywhere with varying shades of lavender and wonderful details.
Design tip: The existing bookcases flanking the sides of the bed were turned into creative niches to hold accessories, trinkets and baubles of any teen’s fancy. This could be applied to any bookcase by designing a plan to convert the bookcase interior with shelving boards.
This guest room was designed to incorporate the eves and slopes of the ceiling. Many built-ins provided ample storage and some hidden details.
Design tip: The TV was recessed in the wall and hidden by a hinged piece of art. The small TV was mounted in the recessed area on a swivel-tilt wall mount so it could be positioned to suit the guest’s viewing needs.
Guest Reading Suite
This space was originally the servant’s quarters. It has been transformed into a space to work, converse, relax and sleep. The textured wall, molding details, fabrics and accessories set the tone.
Design tip: A queen size bed was turned horizontal and tuck up against the wall to create a lavish day bed. This could be done with a twin or double bed as well. It definitely achieved the designer’s goal of a multi use relaxing space.
There were many lavish baths throughout the house but this smaller scale space contained some wonderful details. The blue painted cabinet with slab inset doors and simple but interesting hardware blends seamlessly with the white marble countertop and adjacent shower wall. I love how the glass shower wall just seems to float on the white wall. The tile details were very subtle but tied the entire space together.
Design tip: Simple details like the door pulls can add so much. The tile border place high and low is a great placement and creates a feeling of more height in the shower. Think about creative ways to use an interesting tile accent in a different way.
This room included the use of lots of different textures… on the wall, bed and floor. I love this mingle of tactile fabrics to make you want to reach out and touch every detail. The very tall headboard was a little over scaled for the space but the reading nook was very creative.
Design tip: The reading nook was formerly a closet. What a great adaptation of a small space. You may not have an extra closet to give up but think outside the box when confronted with a use for a small difficult space.
What an amazing makeover of the original three car garage! The guys from the firm Garage Envy incorporated so many interesting details into this space. This is certainly not your usual “man cave”.
Design tip: You may not have that three care garage space to work with but garage organization can be done in many ways. Take cues from the pros by including storage, entertainment, border floor detail, lighting and seating in your garage makeover.
Our outing to the Designer Showcase was so worth while. It is something I don’t always take time to do. Throughout this country there are so many talented designers with thousands of creative ideas. They invest their time and talents to create beautiful show house spaces. After writing this blog I will always take a closer look at the details. The things that can really make the difference in the overall design. We all can take away a piece of some of these fabulous show house rooms by taking in the details and recreating them in your home.
For more information about the Pasadena Showcase House of Design events: http://www.pasadenashowcase.org/#
Mary Sherwood Lake Living – working with you to create your lifestyle!
Memorial Day Weekend is fast approaching, along with many occasions to welcome house guests. Are you ready? Here are tips to make your guest room a welcome retreat. And they’re easy – some can be done in advance and some can be done in a pinch.
Pillows and Blankets – This may seem like a no-brainer, but be sure to have plenty of blankets of different weights. You never know how cold or hot your guest may be, so give them options. Pillow options are appreciated also. While you’re at it, toss the pillow inserts in the dryer for a few minutes with a dryer sheet to add fluff and a fresh scent.
Robe and/or Slippers – This is especially nice when your guest bath isn’t adjoining the guest bedroom. Even a few steps out in the hall can be an awkward jump if you forgot something in your suitcase. This touch will remind your guests of a resort. Make it even cushier with fluffy slippers!
Desk/Writing Space – Although it seems so many of us primarily use our smart phones and other devises to communicate, a hand written note or card from a vacation is a classic touch. Include a small space complete with stationary, pens/pencils, and postage. If you don’t have room for a desk, reserve a space on a night stand/dresser/tray for your “Welcome Center” (see picture).
Water Glasses and Pitcher – This is another nice touch for the “Welcome Center”. Give your guests this convenience so they don’t have to stumble around your kitchen in the middle of the night for a glass of water. Especially nice if they take medications. Depending on your space, a Coffee Bar is also very appreciate.
Personal Touches – Send the perfect message with fresh-cut flowers. They say “Welcome”, “Good Morning”, and “Thank You!” all at once. This soft touch really makes a stay memorable. Books can be a nice addition. Think about the guests and what might interest them. I like including classic children’s books – works for kids and the young at heart. And don’t forget the very personal items, back-up toiletry items. It’s nice to have a toothbrush, hand lotion, etc. just in case.
Space for Luggage – Finally, baggage (whether physical or emotional) always come with guests. Guest rooms are often the catch-all space for things you don’t use that often or just don’t have a better home. Be careful not to consume too much storage space. Leave a few drawers empty for your guests (complete with a scented sachet) and space in the closet for hanging. And don’t forget the bags – a folding luggage rack takes little space and is a valuable luxury instead of having to hunch over your suitcase on the floor.
~Think about your favorite vacations and what made them special. You can recreate those memories in your guest room with these tips. You may love it so much, you can be a guest in your own home!
Mary Sherwood Lake Living – working with you to create your lifestyle!
Last night my husband said to me, “you have logged a lot of miles in the last few weeks”. It made me stop and think about how much had happened in three short weeks. Here is the timeline:
Dec 20 -28 Roundtrip-Lake Gaston to Santa Monica, CA 5580 miles
Jan 4-6 Roundtrip-Lake Gaston to Baltimore, MD 698 miles
Jan 9-13 Roundtrip-Lake Gaston to Atlanta, GA 902 miles
The first trip was our holiday trip to visit our son’s home in Santa Monica. What a wonderful place to spend Christmas. There is no worry of snow to interfere with travel (except occasionally at a connecting airport). My daughter-in-law, Elif and I traveled with the top down in her Mini Cooper, named Coco, every outing for groceries and shopping! I love the casual yet sophisticated lifestyle of Southern California. Here is a picture of some of the highlights of our holiday. Love, love, love California succulent gardens!
OUR SANTA MONICA HOLIDAYS!
The next trip came oh so quickly after we returned from Cali. Our good friends, Brenda and Quinn moved into a brand new house just north of Baltimore right before Christmas. They are still trying to get settled. The workers are still in and out. We traveled with our trailer full of furniture, accessories and window treatments to help give it the “moved-in” look. Here are just a few pictures of the fun color pallet Brenda selected. The colorful Company C furniture fits right in!
COLORFUL MARYLAND HOME
We are still recovering from our annual January Atlanta market trip. The above mileage does not include the miles and miles of market space we walked. There are about 7 million square feet of showroom space! It’s no wonder our feet hurt and everything aches after four-12 hour market days! There are so many things we fell in love with that will be arriving in our store over the next four months. Here is a picture of just a few of my favorites.
FABULOUS MARKET FINDS AT THE ATLANTA SHOW
We are off to a flying start in 2013. Jump on board and join us on Facebook, follow our blog and stay tuned for the latest at MSLL!
What would be your favorite adventure of the above three?
Mary Sherwood Lake Living…working with you to create your lifestyle!
I have been a lot of places since April. There were so many trips I had to stop to figure out just where I had been. Most of the travel was business related with several market trips (High Point and Atlanta), the Kitchen and Bath Industry show (Chicago) and the Fancy Food show (Washington DC) and a new construction consultation in Baltimore. My NYC trip was the one “for pleasure only” trip. It was a much needed nice, long weekend.
The reason for the NY trip was to connect with our sons in the city. Our oldest son, Aaron and his wife, Kiori, for the past nine months, have been working on a stage production of light, sound and movement as artists in residence at Tribeca Center for the Performing Arts. We were pleased to be able to experience the fruits of their labor on opening night. WOW… what a collaboration of a very talented contemporary dancer (Kiori) and a truly gifted musician/engineer (Aaron). The choreography, sounds and lighting were amazing. Our West coast son, Jake and wife, Elif certainly didn’t want to miss this. We were grateful to all be together for this special night.
There is another side to this wonderful family get together. I had selected our hotel months in advance for its proximity to the theater. I knew the hotel was close to the Wall Street district but I did not realize it was right across the street from the World Trade Center project. I opened the draperies in our room on the 12th floor and was so moved by what I saw. I had very mixed emotions. As first it brought back all the horror and sorrow of 9/11. In another way it made me realize how strong the American people are to re-build in spite of the immense tragedy. There was not much time spent in our hotel room but each time I was drawn to the window and pondered all of these thoughts. I will always remember that day in September and the day I saw the re-birth in progress.
Construction of WTCP
Looking pass the WTC Project to the Hudson River
Here is a link if you would like to learn more about the World Trade Center Project: http://www.panynj.gov/wtcprogress/index.html
Thank you for my family. Thank you for all those who have sacrificed their loved ones so we can be free.
My Family: (left to right) Elif, Jake, Paul, Mary, Aaron, and Kiori
Please share your thoughts and feelings.