A Once in a Lifetime Weekend Workout . . .

Hello beautifuls . . .

Deep breath . . .

. . . you know I have been practicing my penmanship. (Sister Agnatus, grade two . . . my best teacher, would be so proud of me. I believe she will feed my courage from above.)

. . . a little nervous because I want the envelopes to be “parfait”!

Inspired by Lauren’s amazing hand at “a fabulous F E T E “ , I sought class time with Alycia at Paper Delights.

inspired by
:: a fabulous F E T E ::

This very moment, on the farm table . . . a once in a lifetime weekend workout exercise awaits me.

I’m going with . . . modern brush calligraphy.

Wish me love, luck and magic . . .

You know I always wish it back to you times 34!


It’s Love Story Kind Of Day!

Hello beautifuls!

Happy April!

Happy New Month!


Happy New Week!

Shower 1

For the past several days, I have been in a state of reflection, grabbing moments of rest between a back to normal routine and finishing the taxes.  (Whew hooooo!)

Exhaling and elated here.

Be prepared for a long post. This mama bird’s heart is full. Last weekend, 34 felt like San Juan Capistrano!  ( You know . . . the cliff swallows . . . the return! )

My birdies were all together under one eave!

We celebrated Jay and Camille’s wedding season “opener”!

The “Shower With Love” weekend!

Up to bat were family and friends, who planned .  .  .  styled . . . baked . . . cooked . . . and wrapped.  I am blessed to love and be loved by a community of people who know how to hit it out of the park.chandy collage

To set the mood for the weekend, I restyled my funky Chandelier. I also restyled Chrislyn’s old room to include a full size bed, so we could host Camille’s mom and dad.  ( I apologize for the poor photography here. The days have been overcast and rainy. To be honest, beautifuls, most of the images here were captured on the fly! )

Jay flew the nest on 34 about eight and a half years ago to pursue his dream of becoming a sports journalist / broadcaster.  After college, and an internship at Fox Sports Northwest, (now Root Sports), he accepted a position as sports director at KLEW, in a sweet little town in the state of Idaho called Lewiston, not far from Pullman, Washington, where he attended Washington State University.  He was in Lewiston three years, when he was approached by Boise’s prominent news station KTVB.

When he moved to Boise, I said a little prayer, and shared the prayer with my soul sister, C.J.  (Love you and miss you every day, C.J. I am over the moon watching you and the Mister Murster soaking in your warm and fun-filled retirement via Facebook.)  I prayed for him to meet a girl. I even added a few characteristics, traits and ideals.

About two-ish years later, my prayers were answered . . . at a country club golf tournament when a pretty co-ed working her way through Boise State University drove a golf cart to offer beverages to a foursome that included my son.  (She told me she fell in love with his smile.)

After what is now “the match”, Jay called me . . .

Hey Mama Bear!”  “How are you?”  I always say . . . “Hey Jay!”  “I’m GOOD!”  “What’s up?”  “Well . . . today I met a girl at a golf tournament . . . she gave me her phone number“.

I said . . . “Jay, there is no harm in asking her out . . . a date would be good for you.” ( I was beginning to become concerned as his work ethic and schedule had kept him out of the dating scene for a few years.  Jay has a good and guarded heart. He had only two steady girlfriends before meeting Camille. Due to his dedication to school and baseball, other than school dances, he did not begin dating until college. )

He called her.

A little over four years have passed since the match and the phone call.

Jay’s words . . .  on Facebook . . . this past February on the four-year anniversary of  “The First Date”.

“Looking to keep the date fun and light-hearted with a girl I hardly knew, I took her to Dave and Busters to play games, then we went to the grocery store, made homemade pizza and watched a super manly movie called “How To Lose A Guy In 10 Days.”

“Four years ago today: The Response”

“Wondering if the movie was a hint, I was finally convinced it wasn’t when she actually answered my phone call the next day.”

“As the saying goes, the rest is history, and now I get to marry this woman in 131 days.”

“We’re four years into this journey with a lifetime to go! You always make me look forward to the next day, the next memory.”

C & J 4.jpg

. . . and Camille’s words.

“Today Jay asked me what my favorite memory of us was. A million memories flashed before me, but of course the most memorable one was most recent, when he asked me to marry him, so that’s what I said. I asked him the same question and he said, “Probably the first time I brought you home to meet my parents.” After that we kept thinking of other great memories we’ve shared together. We sat there laughing, smiling, and reminiscing over old memories that seem so long ago, that mean so much to us.”

“Today not only made me realize just how lucky I am to have this man in my life, but also made me realize how he would do anything just to make me happy. So thank you for making me the happiest girl alive. My mom (and dad) always told me that guys like you were a rare breed, and to hold onto you forever. And now I get to! Happy 4th and last anniversary! I can’t wait to start this new chapter called “marriage” with you.
I love you! It’s us against the world now.”

Camille was very patient while waiting for Jay to “pop the question”.  She would always say . . .  “Some day.”   She even had a Pinterest board where she pinned her wedding dreams called “Some Day”.

In October of 2015, Jay asked me to style the proposal dinner.  It’s theme would be “Some Day”.  He was planning to propose while they were home for Christmas! Camille’s mom and dad would fly in for the surprise!


I kept it very simple.  I used vintage brooches to repin Camille’s dreams of “Some day” . . . the real way . . . to centerpiece champagne buckets!


I hung a banner with Pottery Barn German glass letters and vintage pins above the French doors that opened into the private dining room.

On December 28, 2015, the Fireside Room at Mama Stortini’s was filled with family and friends when Jay proposed to Camille while Sinatra sang, ‘The Way You Look Tonight”.  ( You all know the first two words of the iconic song. )

banner someday

The banner now hangs in Jay’s old room, now a guest room, beneath a piece fashioned by Doré Callaway to commemorate what I now know to be Camille’s favorite memory of their life together thus far.  ( The vintage pins, from my mother and my grandmothers were gathered to be placed into Camille’s wedding bouquet. Her mom is amazingly talented . . . I cannot wait until I get the privilege to post it for all of you to see.)

The “Shower With Love” weekend began at dinner time on Friday night, when Camille’s mom and dad arrived . . . we revisited Mama Stortini’s.

Saturday morning, I made Jay’s favorite breakfast of biscuits and gravy.

The official wedding season “opener” was to follow at 2 o’clock. The traditional “Couples Shower” was hosted at the home of two of our closest friends, who are the mother and father of Jay’s best friend and best man Ty.

Our two families met on a T-ball field.  Jay and Ty played on the same team from that very first season through high school.  After high school, Jay played two years of college baseball, and Ty went to Washington State. Following his sophomore year, Jay hung up his cleats to seek a degree in broadcast journalism at The Edward R. Murrow School of Broadcast Journalism at Washington State.  At that time his sister, Chrislyn was a senior finishing up her political science and criminal justice degrees and Ty was a in pursuit of his degree in sports management.  Jay and Ty would be roommates in a Delta Tau Delta live out for two years.  After graduation, they hung their tassels on the rear view mirror and drove home together.

shower 2.jpg

It was both fitting and fun that Alice styled the “couples shower” into a baseball theme. The menu was vast including the best of “ballpark” kicked up a notch natcho bar with sangria, dogs with brews, Steve’s beans, DeAnna’s baseball cake pops, and Doreen’s sugar cookies shaped into mitts and bats.  We stayed late . . . all diving face first into bed when we all returned to 34.

Jay and Camille were visibly moved by the love and generosity of the day.

Sunday, I was up at five to finish preparing the food I was to bring to Chrislyn and Jason’s home for the Sunday Bridal Brunch / Shower.


The mini succulents were re-potted and ready to be gifted as party favors. I was to bring the cheeses, the fruits, the nuts, the chocolates and the croissants.


Chrislyn hosted the Bridal Brunch / Shower. She had three tables set for 20 guests. She made pretty paper lace banners, printed images from Camille and Jay’s engagement photos and collected images of their childhood to display within the food and festivities. We styled the event, with Ikea finds, flowers, potted succulents, and a collection of a lifetime of bone china and glass plates that once belonged to my grandmothers.  I managed to capture a few images as we pulled it all together.


The menu included three quiches, cinnamon pull apart rolls, croissants, cheeses, fruits fresh and dried, nuts and chocolates.  Camille’s best friend, and bridesmaid, Ashley participated by styling the mimosa bar. Ashley moved from Boise to Seattle about a year ago.

shower girls

A quick photo with Camille, Ashley and Chrislyn before clean up.  I have to laugh and throw in . . . five days before this picture I had an emergency root canal and missed my hair day! Jennifer Connolly from A Well Styled Life and I were in the dentist chairs on the same day!  I looked so bad that the pharmacist told me there would be “no wait time” as I looked like I was having a bad day!

tust fam

Jay and Camille feeling very blessed and lifted by love.  I must tell you about her dress in a future post!

This week I will be addressing their wedding invitations . . .

Their best day ever will be here before we know it!


Just One Pic!

When I began blogging . . . seven years ago . . . I posted a little feature now and then called ” Just One Pic”.

I still love to “play it“.

About the same time Kevin Systrom, with Mike Krieger . . . a couple of Stanford guys, must have had a similar idea.

( You know I am writing this tongue in cheek.)




Stay with me . . .

This morning, I was cruising “the gram feed” and saw . . .

march madness.jpg

this image from that amazing Savvy City Farmer,  Joy Frey Waltmire.

( I once purchased a very cool, vintage “50” yard line marker from her for Jay.)

This morning . . . that image . . . brought on a little bit of  March madness in me!

When I retire . . . I could open a sports bar.

( Those of you who have read me well, know my son is a sports broadcaster, and I have always dreamed of owning a flower and gift shop.)

But . . .

. . . a chic sports bar?

Call it . . .

“The Sports Guy’s Mom”

(“La Maman du Sportif”)

( “Press for” . . .  champagne, cool brews  . . . and bite on French bread under prisms of Friday night lights.)

Speaking of prisms . . .

Digressing . . .

I know . . . in the big scheme of things . . . perhaps trivial . . .

“What ever happened to the Waterford Crystal Football?”  ( the NCAA football championship trophy awarded 1998-2013.) It was this mom, of partial Irish decent‘s opinion, the best thing about the BCS era. (Not loving the new trophy near as much.)  I remember holding my breath when the crystal ball was passed around after the award ceremony.

Bring it back!  I need one for my sports bar!

Joy . . .

(Excuse my English . . .)

Where the H-E . . . double hockey sticks . . . did you spy the image?

Obviously . . .  Midwest “March Madness”?



It is sooooo . . . “above the rim” !


Forgive me if I seem giddy and silly . . .

This weekend, Jay, Camille and her parents will be here for the home “opener” of the wedding shower season.

To season openers!

Happy Spring 2017!

Thank YOU . . . and Joy for always feeding my dreams!


“Remove the weight from your wings!”

34 and I are slowly but surely transitioning into a lighter, more sensible arrangement. To keep myself motivated, I found this simple quote from Erin’s book, Chasing Slow, helpful. It’s presently in my daily mantra and prayer mix.

“Remove the weight from your wings.”

Holland and I at play on the “art table” last Saturday evening.

The one thing I have learned for certain . . . Simplifying buys time. Time to be used for family and the art of living . . . time to get complicated now and then. . . yet an easy transition in back to simple.

Presently we are 8 days away from “The Let’s Shower Them With Love Weekend”. Jay, Camille and her parents are coming for a short stay.  34 will be filled to its brim once again.

Gradually the kids rooms have evolved into guest rooms, with Chrislyn’s headed into the direction of my post retirement studio, and Jay’s into a sitting room, (the hide a bed is a love seat), escape from the main openness of our home. The house is a quintessential Pacific Northwest contemporary. A style very popular in the early ’80’s.  ( Do any of you remember the magazine “Metropolitan Home”?)  MH was my go to magazine back then.

met home.png I confess . . . I am very comfortable with it’s return.  Mr D and I have never let go of our original modern art pieces.  We very much embraced the culture of PNW artists when we were young.  My uncle was the founder of the Museum of Northwest Art / MoNA, in 1981.  I believe his passion for contemporary art influenced our style and decision making when we chose 34. Uncle Art and Aunt Rita had a Mark Tobey in their living room.  My heart would skip a beat every time I entered their simple bohemian in the realist sense, ( not an interpretation), home.


Yesterday, I paused a little longer at my closet. I was reminded that the a new season is only days away. After the wedding showers . . . I have marked April first for the Spring -Summer 2017 take stock, edit, renew and rearrangement of my closet and dresser.


This four season guide from The Refinery will be helpful, but I am not quite ready to embrace an entire minimalist capsule wardrobe concept. My love for fashion accessories cannot be limited to 15 pieces.


Thinking new hangers . . . and just maybe a clothes rack . . . to put “looks” together!  The thought of retiring from medical soon is catapulting me back to my fashion merchandising mindset.

Please . . . please forgive me if I am limited with posting and following for the next 108 days . . . we are in full wedding mode!  I saw a dress yesterday . . . it yelled . . . ” If you want to wear me, get your buns to the gym!”  

Oh and . . . speaking of workouts . . .

. . . the pursuit of muscle-mind memory building . . . as I “brush up” on my brush calligraphy skills!  I will be addressing the invitations very soon .  C & J  have requested my perfectly imperfect letters.


My journey to “a local brilliance”, with a little nostalgia along the way. . .

Hellooooo   Bea. . . u . . . ti . . . fuls!

One of the things I LOVE about blogging is when you share shops, fairs, restaurants and the special places you go near where you live.  It allows me to travel and be inspired in my pj’s!

I hope to bring you to some of the places I love to visit for inspiration near 34th street in the Pacific Northwest of America with my “Local Brilliance” posts.

Last Saturday,  I took the “brush lettering” class I have been telling you about.

Paper Delights has two locations.  Wallingford in Seattle, and Seahurst, which is about 18 miles north of 34.

Mr D and I lived in this neighborhood for about two years after we returned from his time serving in the Army. (Back in the days of the draft.)  The community is small, quaint and provokes a sweet notion of nostalgia every time I return.

I drove by Lake Burien . . . where the retired art teacher, Mr. Simpson, who printed our wedding invitations once lived. ( I am quite sure he has passed.)  Where my favorite  and cherished (family practice) physician, Dr. G. lives, now into his late 80’s ( Gosh, counting . . . he may even be 90 by now.). He saved my little brother’s life, made house calls when we were sick as children, and brought Chrislyn and Jay into this world. One of my favorite memories is when he read a Vogue Magazine with me while I was in labor with Chrislyn. My hospital bed was filled with fashion magazines. ( I was buyer of fashion jewelry for Frederick & Nelson a division of Marshall Field & Co, carriage trade stores based in Seattle at that time.) His attentiveness was driven by his concern about the progress of my labor. I would eventually deliver her C-Section a day later.

I passed the shop, once an art gallery, where I painted graphics on the windows to earn original art for our home.

unique bridal boutique.jpg

I passed the jewelry designer who made earrings, interpreting the style of each one of Chrislyn’s bridesmaids. She also made Chrislyn’s headband out of antique lace and tiny semi precious stones and crystals.


I passed Pearls And Lace where she chose her wedding gown.

Good memories . . . the kind that rekindle my heart and soul.  Somehow, this community always calls me back.

Across from Pearls And Lace is a tiny little shopping center . . .

. . . which holds “Paper Delights”.

the Holiday.jpg

. . . you know that phrase from “the Holiday”?

. . . a meet cute? 


. . . uh huh . . . ya baby!

Behind the doorway framed with rolls of wrapping paper is a class room.


Yep!  Cute as a button!

Very Kate Spade-esque!

The class began at 10am.  I was first to arrive. Alicia greeted me and offered me a Mimosa, saying . . . ” Coffee isn’t the beverage for brush calligraphy, the secret is a choosing a beverage that will allow you to relax.”   Since I was driving . . . I had only one.  It’s no secret that I love Champagne!

The class gifted two hours of instruction relaxation.


I highly encourage trying this little practice of art for “self-care”.  It’s truly a form of meditation. The secret is “practice”.  I plan to share more about this lettering journey of mine in future posts, including the “tools of the trade”, the befores’ and after practice, and some sites to guide and encourage as I go.

I won’t likely be back on the blog before Thanksgiving . . .

I wish you all a day gifted in blessings. From what I have been seeing in Blogland of late, new babies, weddings, walks on the beach, beautifully styled tables and travels with cherished family and friends . . . we are all truly blessed!


A Song For You . . .

I love you in a place where there’s no space or time

I love you for in my life you are a friend child of mine

And when my life is over remember when we were together

We were alone and I was singing this song for you . . .

~ Leon Russell, 1971


I blogged about last week this morning.


Have I cried after an election?



I highlighted and erased.


I had the sweetest weekend.  I got to play mom again. This time to three!  I laugh because I sometimes I view my role as  grandmother somewhere between Mom, Mary Poppins and Mrs. Doubtfire.

For this journey, I was as prepared as I could be. I made a secret “goodies inside” box for the kiddos and me. Inside was my own rendition of “Command Central”!  I assure you, all the precious blues were on the box, all weekend long.


We were without television for some of the time, so we had extra time for art. We made alphabet soup out of construction paper, we made masks without patterns that ended up looking like a buffalo and an owl.  We made kites. We made snowflakes. We turned my phone into a mini “drive in” movie  with the help of Lego and Matchbox. We built a city forts in the bonus room.

Our imaginations ran wild!


While they were sleeping, I caught up with a little reading.  ( I may have left Chip at least two times . . . LOL . . . God bless Jo Jo.)

. . . and the game!


That’s right!

We’re number one!

Go Cougs!

Will miss you Leon.  But will never forget your beautiful lyrics. ( Please forgive me for taking them a slightly “Guns N’ Roses” for this post.)

Roses???!!!  Keep the fight Cougars!


What Election?

Keeping it my best “real” . . . and it will be just fine!

Blessed to be me!

We’re / Lone now and
I’m singing this song to you.

Sunday song of thought . . .

“Wear” I am in my mind . . .

[No this isn’t me.]


It’s “wear” I wish to be next year . . . at this time.  Slimmer . . . they fit much nicer now blue jeans . . . black silky tee . . . top coat and black slings.

Healthier, with home and self, styled simpler . . . ready to ease into retirement in the year to come.

34th street.png

34th street.  (Yes, I really do live on 34th street. Not THE 34th Street.) I am ashamed to say . . . I am sometimes negative about how it’s changed.   I will politely say it’s shabby, and concerning at times.

Then . . . there is always a beam of light within the fray . . .


The Saturday before last, while Mr D was with the guys on his annual Autumn get-a-way, I booked a pedicure for 9am.

I go to our little neighborhood spa.  It’s called “The 8th Day Spa”. Its anything everything but “the classic” spa  . . . not Nouveau chic . . . not Zen.

Part of its charm is a full service espresso bar and an over the top presentation of Seattle Seahawks regalia, (GO BLUE!) which always makes me smile. Much of the “regalia” is handmade . . . in support of women with small home-based businesses.

A friendly greeting and an offering of a “gratus” drink from the bar awaits upon arrival. In leu of a latte, this time I chose water.

“Lynne, would you like a drop of lemon essential oil?”

[A neighborly nice touch at its best!]


I arrived as the spa opened and watched as each attendant put on a freshly laundered, handmade, ruffled apron.

While they “donned” their aprons, it “donned on me” . . .

This place is centered for local entrepreneurs.

[The aprons are also for sale . . . in Seahawk colors . . . (no doubt)!]

I feel right – smack – in – the – middle  of a montage of American dreams when I am inside The 8th Day Spa.

The spa has a nice playlist.  While receiving my much appreciated spa service, I put away my phone,  listened to the music, and watched the friendly activity around me. Songs from past to present reached inside me, some made me emotional, most comforted me, and made me smile. Within the songs and the surroundings I was reminded me how blessed I am to have raised our family on 34th street.  It’s not a perfect place, but it’s home, and goodness always rises above the fray.

On Friday afternoon . . . in the final fifteen minutes of the workday . . . I grabbed my phone . . . navigated to Pandora and selected “Easy Listening”.  (The patients and the doc’s were gone.)    [ Enter Bublé . . . Sinatra . . . and Sheeran.]  We put the week behind us as we laughed and sang while we finished up. We laughed more and danced our way out the door into the weekend.


Yesterday. . .  (can you believe it?) . . . was Cameron’s first birthday party!

. . . another moment in time to close eyes and make a wish.


“There is never a wish better than this . . .”

” I’m 64 for a minute . . .”

[ 100 years]

I also realized I will never be retired . . . unemployed.

Occupation: Aspiring beam of light.


“Crazy . . .”

” I’m crazy, crazy for feeling so BLUE!”

Put on a pot roast, kick off my Sunday shoes and #GoHawks!


w / L

:: Most images found here.