The Californians

So, I spent an “awesome” week in “Marina Del Rey” with my daughter, Jordan. (Say it like the SNL skit, “The Californians” for full effect.)

We, of course, had our lists of songs, videos, movies, trailers, tweets and memes to share with one another. Pour us a couple of cocktails and the two of us are off babbling like third graders on some sort of wild, extreme show and tell.

That is what I love best about our mother daughter relationship. We get each other. We are movies and music and NFL and superheroes and pirates and comic con wanna-goes. We do not shop, but if forced to, it has to be fast. In a mall or department store, we will lose the ability to verbally communicate in about 30 minutes. We don’t pour over fashion mags or celeb rags. But, we can go into full-blown geek mode with showing each other the latest mind-blowing “Star Wars” or “Avengers” meme. We swoon over food and cocktail recipe porn on Pinterest.

Mostly, we are simply entertained by making each other laugh. That is our relationship. We don’t bicker. We laugh. We do not argue. We laugh. We do not judge each other. We simply laugh. We are in a constant celebration of the 23 years of sheer entertainment we have continued to provide each other. We are pretty damn proud of ourselves. Even when we are the only ones laughing.

There is always the perfect movie or TV line for every situation, that serves as a salve to every hardship we have ever had to encounter. Laughter is our comfort food and our favorite cocktail. Well, more like the perfect garnish to our favorite cocktail.

 

photo-9

There are those that know us and understand. There are those that know us and think we are freaks.  Jordan and I have never fought, yelled or bickered. Ever. And it is all her. She was born with the temperament of a wise, seasoned traveler. The patience she showed me, Helen Keller-ing my way into new mother hood at 23 was mind-boggling. (It would prove to serve me well with my son.)

Jordan brought out my bravery, honed my confidence and taught me that competitiveness was overrated and would bring nothing but stress and possibly Yellow Jack Fever! (I dramatize. We’re from the south and big fans of Bette Davis’ Jezebel. And Mint Juleps.)

Thank you, Jordan. We really dodged a bullet. If I hadn’t let you lead me, let you show me who YOU were, we could still be posing for pics in matching Laura Ashley dresses. (Oh, c’mon. I only it did it once. Okay, twice! But, that was it!)

This I know for sure, my girl: You KNOW who you are. And, what you are not.

Jordan has not developed an affinity for home and hearth, just yet. She’s a busy young woman making her way in the film biz in Hollywood. So I flew to “SoCal” to bring my special decorating mama magic to her newly rented apartment. Admittedly, she felt that “crack den” was not the look she was going for. She had a mattress on the floor and a large flat screen TV. Priorities.

Here are a few before and after pics. It’s not Architectural Digest, but damn. My girl feels cozy again. She said it feels like home…almost. It’s cozy for “The Ca-li-for-nians”.

I hit every vintage store and antique shop in the Santa Monica area. And, by the way, if you watched the skit above, I DID “have to take Lincoln ALL the way to Washington!” OHMYGAWD!

 

Before
Before

 

photo-8
After

 

Next week, I’ll be off to the East Coast to get Joshua set up in his first apartment in Boston. The Boy should be much easier…in theory. But, the talented, creative soul that he is bleeds into all sorts of decorating and style “opinions.” Joshua has taught me a different kind of patience. The kind you use to not be on the local news, behind the yellow tape. Still, I wouldn’t change our relationship for anything, either. We have been through some rough seas but, came out stronger and better humans because of the struggles he has had to face. Again, HIM teaching ME.

We have all read the articles, seen the TV segments that “special” is overused and has paralyzed an entire generation of kids with entitlement issues. But, I feel comfortable with my children being unique to me; they are mine. I wouldn’t trade my road for anything or change one turn, for fear it wouldn’t lead me right to this moment: Jordan starting her adult life in L.A.and Joshua getting back on the college road at Berklee. Nicole, happy and successful with her booming photography business in Austin. Monica, thriving as a new lawyer, at a major firm here in Houston.

It is a parenting, “I can breathe” moment.

We are right where we are supposed to be. They lead me right here. (Exhale.)

Happy “Back to School” to all, from kindergarten to college. This time of year always brings on the same feelings of starting anew, along with letting go. But, as you pack up your kids school supplies or set up their dorm rooms, let them lead you. Let them show your their strengths, their likes, their interests. Let them lead you down the path that feels natural to them. Yes, you are in charge and you are their ultimate guide. But, you will be amazed at what those precious little ones can teach you.

You may just be amazed of who YOU become.

 

a kick start to easy spring decor

This post is for all of those people who say that they don’t have the time or don’t know how to decorate their homes. It doesn’t matter if you are single, married, kids, no kids…we all want to live and be supported in a beautiful space. The true beauty of your space is in the eye of the beholder. Your home, room, apartment, dorm, cell, whatever, should not only be a reflection of you, it should be an inviting, comfortable place to relax and recharge.

 

At the market, which sounds so much better than grocery store, I noticed this big bag of Granny Smith apples. Something about the color just seemed to say, “Lola, it’s time to get ready for Spring.” Just a little color. Just a little change.

 

The more I have fallen in love with decorating over the years, the more I have come to appreciate terms like “simple elegance”, “less is more” and “understated”. Make simplicity a habit.

 

I believe in filling your home with things you love. I love modern, antique, contemporary, vintage and industrial. I do not believe in having just one style. I also do not believe in “bed in a bag” or “one size fits all”.

When you put everything you love all together, you create your own personal style.

 

Honestly, I find all of my favorite home decor treasures at antique shops, vintage boutiques, thrift stores and tag sales.

Putting your own unique personal touches throughout your home is the key to creating an inviting, memorable, beautiful place for you and your family. They will appreciate every holiday or seasonal decoration that you adorn. Maybe not now, when you actually have your kids living with you. But, someday, when they are off at college or live in a different city, you will get a text that says: “send pics of your Halloween decor”. Trust me.

 

 

You do not have to spend a lot of money or time to make changes around your home. Using real fruit, flowers, greenery from your garden reinforces a flow of natural positive energy into your home.  In fact, you will feel a quick dramatic shift in the energy of your home if you bring nature inside. Feng Shui is some pretty powerful stuff.

 

 

 

After I picked up the bag of apples, I noticed that they were throwing away the “day old” flowers.  Floral design is another one of my passions. I made a run for it and sifted through the sad, wilted petals. “Not on my watch”,  I thought to myself. “No petal left behind!” I wrapped them up, cut their stems, soaked them in an aspirin ice bath and Voila!

 

So, this week, when you hit the market, grab a bag of apples, oranges, lemons, flowers whatever. Go through your home and pull out your favorite platters, crystal dishes, baskets, vases, anything you love. If you don’t love it, why is it in your house? Start a thrift store donation pile, you know, for people like me.

Arrange your fruit on platters, small groups of flowers in your favorite vases, maybe even use an heirloom dish that is tucked away for a special occasion. Take it out and use it. Make today a special occasion.  Place the items on a coffee table, the centerpiece of your dining room or just all around your home.

Now, step back and admire your work; the first breath of Spring you just added to your home.

Yeah, yeah, I know. When you’re kids get off the bus, they’ll think you creatively displayed their afternoon snacks. But, it was pretty for a moment.

See? You can decorate.