A trip to Chicago ….in a carry-on

We are off to Chicago to spend 8 days, and we are not staying in one place. So since we are going to stay here and there and where ever , then we are going to end up at a hotel in the heart of Chicago,  I thought I would pack my entire  wardrobe in a carry-on. My girlfriends and daughter said impossible. Or at least impossible to look stylish for eight days with a just a few items and three pair of shoes. Well I beg to differ….I think I can and the challenge is on. My other quest for my trip is to find the best chicago dog, and deep dish pizza which will not be hard because Chicago is the place for  great food ! Another quest for my trip is  to have  a small town 4th of July  , parade and all..( #3 on”Ten things I want to do for the SUMMER). Chicago is a great city and I can say I know the city very well, I spent  6 years there , all the time wishing I was back in sunny California where I was born .   But I have learned to love Chicago for its food, its incredible buildings, its blues night clubs and for its jaded history . …and I must admit the best thrift stores . After all Chicagoans invented the word grunge, and they do it very well !

See you next week in Chicago…

Ten things we want to do for SUMMER….

Yes I love SUMMER, and every year on the 1st day of summer we would write down the ten things we wanted to do for summer….and we would mark them off as we would do each thing. This year we wrote down what we wanted to do on our chalkboard so everyone could see. I thought I would post them also. Now our rule has always been these things has to be something that didn’t cost a lot of money but was fun for everyone !

1. Learn French (I bought a Car CD so everyone could learn as we drive)

2. Have a Beach Party, and camp fire..make smores. (so far we have one planned for Brandon)

3.Have a small town 4th of  July. (a small town in Chicago would be perfect ! And that’s exactly where we will be !)

4.Have a tennis tournament at night. (everyone plays)

5.Backpack bike ride at the beach. (at least 6 miles)

6. Photo shoot with all the kids at the beach…find the best ice cream place. (of course !)

7. Find the best fish taco place on the coast and dine Alfresco…in my convertible with the top down !

8. Stay fit and excercise even when we are on vacation.(wear exercise clothes,bring  water bottle and  Ipod) .

9.Go to an outdoor concert and dine alfresco.(lots to choose from !)

10.End the summer with a  “Family dinner “. (Maybe labor day!)

Hope everyone has a simply perfect SUMMER !

At Stonehenge For Summer Solstice…

(Photo by  Matt Dunham)

Thousands of people swarmed over at the ancient megalith of Stonehenge on
Tuesday to celebrate the dawn of the summer solstice — the longest day of the

More than 18,000 neo-pagans, new agers and curious visitors shouted and
banged drums and tambourines at the Stonehenge circle, a group of giant stones
in the middle of an English field, even though clouds blocked out the sunrise at
4:52 a.m. local time.

They braved heavy rain that fell across the Salisbury Plain, about 80 miles
southwest of London, to mark the day. The solstice predates the Christian
calendar and is a significant occasion for those who are Druids and Pagans,
which are now recognized religions in Britain.

Police say the event was good natured. They made just 20 arrests, most for
minor drug offenses.

Stonehenge was built in three phases between 3000 B.C. and 1600 B.C. It is
one of Britain’s most popular tourist attractions, with more than 850,000
visitors a year.

(Informatiom from Larry Miller reported from London )

Today is the summer solstice , the longest day of the year. There are many celebrations all over the world, my favorite is the gathering at Stonehenge, I was there in 2006, I thought I would share a picture of the sunset at Stonehenge

June 21 is the Summer Solstice….and the 1st day of Summer, hope everyone has a wonderful day !!

Cappuccinos with Tanya…

How many cappuccino’s in ltaly did Tanya have ??

Oh my goodness this looks great ! I love Cappuccino’s in Itlay !


I will give you a hint this is number 2 !  Okay Tanya we give up how many Cappuccinos did you have ???

from Tanya….

“All together I think I had 30 cappuccinos on that trip! I LOVE my espresso! Thanks for sharing! I love you!”

The Urbanic…a paper shop

Yes, I love the art of paper as you can see on my other blog ‘ The Paper Mystique’ , so when I found this cute little paper shop on Abbott Kinney Blvd, I knew it would be alot of  fun.

What I found even more interesting was the excellent selection of paper goods this shop had …and the mix and match wrapping papers, note cards, and ribbons.

It seems that  there is a lot going on at the Urbanic , a summer social  which was June 12th  for L.A. bloggers, (which I am sorry I  missed ) and on  June 23rd a” Pinerest LA meet up ”  for bloggers and people who pin.  Even though I have  joined Pinerest  I haven’t seemed to find the time to pin, I hear it is a lot of fun ! Cool events, great paper goods , a  must see paper shop ! Here is the address…

     Urbanic , 1644 Abbot Kinney Blvd. Venice, CA 90291

Inn at Venice Beach…

Charming and so very whimsical , the Inn at Venice Beach right by the canals and a short walk to the pier and the boardwalk. Darrill did some research and found this Inn. I loved this place as it has a two room loft which we stayed at,  and hot cookies at the front desk !

what I liked about this place, in-room coffee and refrigerator, private balconies, high-speed wireless internet and an on site fitness center….


what I loved about this place was  dinning Alfresco on the cobblestone courtyard.  And their fresh pastries, fruits, juices and specially blended coffee and teas that are served every morning. We had breakfast twice, and Leo enjoyed serving himself.


 The address is 327 Washington Blvd, Venice Ca. 90291. www.innatvenicebeach.com.  We were able to leave our car in the parking garage so we didn’t have to pay a day of parking at the beach,  as we left very late around 7pm.  I would defiantly come back again   ! 

Next post the fun paper shop, I promise !! 

Tanya in Barcelona…

Tanya and her Husband Fernando just got home from Barcelona, and Italy. I love Tanya’s jean jacket and her bright yellow skirt. I told her to make sure and pack what she needed for a week in one carry on. A trench , a pair of jeans, a t-shirt dress and a t-shirt and always a jean jacket. Thank goodness she listen to mom, as they lost her luggage  and she had just what she needed !   

Venice Beach shopping…”The Bountiful”

Venice Beach shopping  down  Abbot Kinney . ,  Kim met me at our favorite store” The  Bountiful”, 1335 Abbot Kinney Blvd. bountiful.com. I love the name, it’s a name I would use in a mantra. And when I walked  into this shop, I felt like I was in a dream,   everything floated in a surreal fantasy of bountiful things, shells, soaps, antiques salvage furniture and lots of candles and imported fabrics. Kim’s holding a  white canvas messenger bag, a must have for the beach   !   I have to say  Kim’s white pants  and her top looked so very fresh and so 70’s  retro chic.

  Guess who took our picture and couldn’t  seem to get us both in the frame…Leo ! We went inside and bought some soaps and some shells. This is a place to ponder  and  to discover your inter girly side.

These shells here are real antiques and cost about $150.00 .  If you are stopping by Venice Beach make sure you stop by this  very beautiful and eclectic beach store, you won’t be disappointed !

 Next post a very fun paper shop I found on Abbot Kinney Blvd .