Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Tuesday, August 31, 2010, Day 243

Ah, the last of summer vacation. You can see how excited the kids are to be going back to school. What I can’t believe is how huge they are getting. I mean, look at the size of them! Elodie’s legs look eight feet long and Graydon’s calves are the same size as mine. Did these kids really come out of me? Wow. I wouldn’t believe it except I was there.

I am wearing a James Perse dress identical to the one pictured on July 19, but in white. I wasn’t planning on leaving the house today and was going to wear it all day, but Elodie just asked me if she could get her ears re-pierced (see January 16) so I will soon change into something more appropriate for the mall.

Monday, August 30, 2010, Day 242

Well I wondered, if I could still fit into my wedding gown from eleven years ago, can I still fit into my prom dress from twenty-four years ago? It was kind of a facetious question since I have pulled it out from time to time to wear as the basis of a witch’s costume for Halloweens past. Still, I thought it would be a good time to try it on again and have a look.

It is by Norma Kamali and I bought it super-marked down* at the Robinson’s (way before it was Robinson’s-May) Department Store at the Promanade Mall in Woodland Hills. My mother was horrified I chose black since, in her prom days (the 1950’s), all the girls dressed in frothy pastel dresses and she was sure my dress would cause a scandal. But, because I was paying for it with my hard-earned babysitting cash,** my resolve won out and the dress was mine.

It’s a very cool dress even today with a jersey bodice and a skirt made up from layers of chiffon. The layers are see-through, but there are so many of them that my legs are modestly covered. It’s a little Stevie Nicks in its fullness and I have been known to lip-sync “Stand Back” while wearing it.

I am in our theater, lounging on a huge super cush sofa designed for this space by Mark Cutler. It’s covered in delicious chocolate mohair which is both chic and indestructible. We love to come down here with the kids and watch movies and play Rockband.***

*At seventy-five percent off, it still cost about $80.

**I babysat for a dollar an hour. As testament to hour many hours I babysat, I not only could afford this dress, but also bought my first car.

***The kids and I sing and Gary plays either bass or guitar.

Sunday, August 29, 2010, Day 241

Today is our eleventh wedding anniversary. I am happy to report I can still fit into my wedding dressed pictured here by Rista Rose. I bought it off the rack at a little bridal place on North Robertson Blvd. in Beverly Hills. I don’t even think they had to hem it for me, it fit so perfectly. The back of the dress has a crisscross detail and the train can be bustled up a bit for easier dancing. My shoes are matching satin low-heeled mary janes by Peter Fox. My headband (I didn’t wear a veil) is a beautiful piece of lace that was hand-dipped in silver. I know my earring looks green, but it’s actually just a sparkle from the sun.

We were married at the Hotel Bel Air which is currently closed for renovations. We spent the night there and then my groom whisked us off on a six and a half-week honeymoon through London, Spain. South of France, Amsterdam and Paris. Some beginning to our marriage, right? I knew I was in for some excitement.

I am standing by an arch in a wall of the guest house that leads to a pretty little garden. This arch was inspired by both the Hotel Bel Air and parts of Spain and France we saw on our honeymoon. The gate was salvaged from the house I wrote about on July 15. In the springtime, the climbing rose bushes burst into pink and white blooms and it really looks like something out of a fairytale,

Monday, August 30, 2010

Saturday, August 28, 2010, Day 240

I seem to be wearing a lot of grey this week. Today it is a sweat suit by 291 I bought at Madison in Malibu on my birthday.

I am standing in the second bedroom in our apartment next to an old card file I bought on Ebay to house Graydon’s Legos. Behind me is a wonderful graphite on paper piece by Ethan Murrow, grandson of the legendary Edwin R. Murrow.* It’s from a series he did featuring “characters…[who] have been consistently averse to criticism and assistance. These figures, mostly male, are doomed to failure and prone to dysfunction.” It is strange they way the viewer has no idea what exactly is going on in any particular piece, but the figure in the piece seems intent on his goal, whatever it may be.

To my other side is a cabinet we bought in Los Angeles, intending to put it in just this spot to house Graydon's and Elodie’s toys and books. Once it was delivered up to the sixth floor however, it was determined to be too big to fit through the doorway to this room. In frustration, Gary said, “There’s no way it will fit unless we chop it in two.” Then the proverbial light bulb went on and he got out his power saw. I closed my eyes while Gary proceeded to cut the cabinet horizontally into two pieces, just above the drawers along the bottom (if you look closely, you can see the seam on the side of the piece, just behind my left calf) and voila! It fit.

We went on a nice long walk through the neighborhood and ate brunch at Elite CafĂ© on Fillmore. We flew home in time for the annual “Holey Guacamole” party our neighbors, the Stanfords, hosted. Guests are invited to bring their favorite avocado recipes for an official contest. I was one of three judges** this year since everyone knows how I feel about avocados (see March 18). The winner was this totally delicious sweet avocado quick bread.

*Edwin R. Murrow (1908 – 1965) Pioneer of television news broadcasting.

** Gary made an outstanding guacamole he just whipped together when we got home, but I thought it was unfair for me to judge my husband’s delicious dish. Still, the other two judges both gave it 10 out of 10 so it came in third even without my vote.

Friday, August 27, 2010, Day 239

Another exhibit we came up was to see “Hauntology” at the Berkeley Art Museum. According to BAM’s website, “Hauntology is a philosophy of history that upsets the easy progression of time by proposing that the present is simultaneously haunted by the past and the future.” It was a very interesting concept around which to base an exhibit and included pieces by such celebrated artists as Luc Tuymans and Diane Arbus. We went with the express purpose of seeing a work included by our friend the artist Travis Collinson (see April 20). You can see his haunting blue piece just to my right. It is another self-portrait and was originally conceived as one of two companion pieces to one we have (see July 7).

I am wearing a dress by Balenciaga I bought at Brown’s in London. After the exhibit, we had lunch at an excellent Indian restaurant in Berkley with Russell and Hilary. We were still so full that night we ended up staying in and having cheese and olives for dinner and watched “The United States of Tara” on DVD.

Thursday, August 26, 2010, Day 238

We decided to take a quick trip to San Francisco sans children in celebration of our upcoming anniversary. There are a couple of art exhibits we have wanted to see and Graydon and Elodie wanted to stay home after our trips to Hawaii and Del Mar in what Graydon called “quick succession.”.

I am sitting on the sofa in our living room under a series of etchings by William Kentridge. Mr. Kentridge is a brilliant artist who recently had a show at SFMOMA. He was a former fellow student of the late Michael Sandler in South Africa and they used to reminisce about wearing short pants together.

We saw two amazing exhibits at the San Francisco Museum of Contemporary Art this afternoon. The first was a celebration of the museum’s seventy-fifth anniversary and contained major works from their permanent collection. The second was a partial exhibit of the Fisher Collection called “From Calder to Warhol.” Doris and Donald Fisher were avid art collectors and founders of the Gap.* Many of the pieces were monumental in scale and were first displayed on the walls of Gap’s corporate headquarters. The overall collection is remarkable both for its breadth and depth. The Fishers really took time to meet and get to know the artists they collected and it showed. They collected everyone from Richard Serra to Sol LeWitt to Louise Bourgeois to Jeff Wall. It was really incredible to see, but it was only a fraction of the some 1100 pieces they have donated to SFMOMA**.

I am wearing a top by Airess and a pair of Feather jeggings I bought at Madison Gallery on my birthday. It was still in the triple digits at home, but cold enough for a winter coat this evening in the city.

*The Gap was founded in San Francisco so it is fitting the Fisher’s donated their outstanding collection to the city’s museum of contemporary art.

**SFMOMA called this exhibit "an introduction to the collection" and indeed plans on sharing more of it with the public.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Wednesday, August 25, 2010, Day 237

Summer is finally here! It’s been in the triple digits for most of the week which means it is way too hot to exercise outside almost as soon as we wake up. The smart thing to do is go for a swim. I am wearing a BDG one-piece bathing suit I bought at Urban Outfitters.

I was on the swim team at Taft High School, and placed third in a race one time, but only because there were just the three swimmers competing. I life-guarded in college and taught swim lessons to pre-schoolers during summer breaks. I swam throughout both my pregnancies, which may or may not have anything to do with Graydon and Elodie being super easy babies and learning to swim when they were very young.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010, Day 236

Elodie took this picture of me and you can see her cute little shadow in the foreground. I am standing on a deck above the pool area at the L’Aberge Del Mar Hotel where many a wedding is held.

I am wearing a Marc By Marc Jacobs top and a pair of JCrew shorts. We are going back home today after breakfast.

Monday, August 23, 2010, Day 235

I took this picture this morning at the L’Auberge Del Mar Hotel where we are staying. Gary is hard at work behind me (it is a Monday, after all), but we will soon go down to the beach and then lay around by the pool.

I am wearing a terry-cloth Splendid romper Rachel gave me for a birthday present years ago over a really cute ruffle-trimmed, pink leopard-print Marc By Marc Jacobs bikini.

Sunday, August 22, 2010, Day 234

Here is my little surfer girl Elodie! We drove down to Del Mar this morning for her friend Mila’s birthday party which was held at the beach and included surfing lessons. Elodie was already a pro since our time in Hawaii a couple of weeks ago. All the kids had a blast and it was fun to sit on the beautiful beach and watch.

I am wearing a KA7 dress I bought at Planet Blue in Malibu over a Vitamin A bikini I bought at Lolita’s on Ventura Blvd.

Saturday, August 21, 2010, Day 233

God I love these shoes! As you recall, I was walking around Waikiki when I stumbled upon an actual SALE at Chanel. And not just any sale, but a sixty (60) percent off sale! Not only that, but there was just one style of shoe on sale and only two pairs left, one in MY SIZE! I mean, what are the odds?!?! And just look at these shoes…so pretty! And more than just a little Hawaiian with the flowers on the toes and all, don’t you think?

I brought them home (in a very special Chanel box) and was pleased to note I had not yet worn this lovely little Milly dress I bought a couple of years ago at Dash. The dress and the shoes seem just made for each other and I had a really good time wearing them together tonight.

We went to another neighborhood event, this one for Britt’s birthday. Many of the same people from last night, another fabulous time!

(By the way, that is NOT a cigarette in Gary's hand, but the key to our car!).

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Friday, August 20, 2010, Day 232

I bought this dress at L’Habitue on Robertson for our house warming party in 2003. It was in September and I knew it would be hot, even at night. It was the first time I told myself I could buy anything I wanted, regardless of price.* After looking and looking and not really being inspired by anything anywhere, I found this gorgeous dress on sale. I haven’t worn it since. I suppose there was a part of me that thought it might be a bit dated. I actually pulled it out a couple of weeks ago intending to wear it casually with some boots, but the sexy slit and light-weight silk made it seem to delicate for boots. Tonight I am wearing it with some killer heels I bought at YSL in Waikiki and they instantly updated the look and brought it right into 2010.

I got my hair done by Jamie (see June 17) and had lunch with Mark. Then I stopped by the Garboushian Gallery on Camden to see Simon Ouwerkerk’s show. He works with plastic toys, sculpting action figures and toy spaceships into fantasmorphic designs. His work really speaks to me because I love toys and see his art as a way of keeping them around and transforming them into something you can enjoy forever.

We were invited to a lovely dinner party at Gisela and Steve’s house. It’s so nice to socialize with great friends right here in the neighborhood.

*Within reason, of course. We had just finished building the house, but had not yet begun to really furnish it!

Thursday, August 19, 2010, Day 231

I am standing next to our “kiddie pool” which really came in handy when the kids where young. It’s only fifteen inches deep so they could splash around as toddlers and be contained in a sort of “water playpen.” By my rightt foot is a hole built to hold an umbrella pole. These days we sometimes stick two beach chairs in the little pool and hang out in the shade while the kids swim around.

I am wearing a JCrew blue-striped sear-sucker one-piece bathing suit that has seen better days* under a JCrew cover up that goes with everything. Omid came over for dinner tonight. We made Burrata cheese, basil and tomato** salad and grilled veggie, turkey sausage and pesto pasta. It was delicious!

* I have a lot of bathing suits and will definitely let this one go thanks to having to have tried it on for this project.

**The basil and tomatoes were grown in our garden.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010, Day 230

Behind me is a model of our house we used as a visual aid when getting approval by the homeowner’s association to build our house. It’s amazing how much easier it is to visualize with a 3-D model vs. 2-D with plans.

I am wearing an Yves Saint Lauren top I bought at Brown’s in London and some “elevenes” pants I bought years ago at Anthropologie. The shoes are Rick Owens. We met Brenda for dinner at Boa this evening and caught up on each others’ recent travels. It was a perfect night to sit outdoors and enjoy the evening air.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Tuesday, August 17, 2010, Day 229

I am standing in front of the restaurant Ibaldi where I had a wonderful lunch with my friend Grazka. I am wearing a top by Gucci I bought at Neiman Marcus on that birthday trip with Gary and a Prada skirt from Rachel. She bought it on sale at Prada when she was still losing her “baby weight” after either Emma or Jackson was born. Once she snapped back to her lean, lithe self, the skirt was too big and voila! It was mine.

It is hard to see in the photo, but this skirt has the most beautiful knotted details all around it and is really a little piece of art. It has been hanging in my closet for years because it is so very special and I was “saving” it for something. I wore it today because of this project and Grazka immediately commented on how lovely it is. I am learning that once the money is spent there is no need to “save” pieces, they should be worn and enjoyed and shared with others.

Monday, August 16, 2010, Day 228

I am wearing a pair of cropped Champion sweatpants that Rachel gave me* and a Nike top. Gary and I hiked through Ahamanson in the morning after taking the kids to school, and it was already pretty hot.

A few years ago I gave Gary a basketball for Father’s Day knowing he would want input in the selection and installation of the actual basketball hoop. This one is very cool because the hoop is adjustable.

Elodie had her “appliance” installed today which was about as fun as it sounds. As was the case with Graydon, her upper palette is not large enough to accommodate all of her teeth and so it needs to be spread over the course of a few weeks with a metal contraption cemented into place. There is a tool one inserts into the appliance and turns, spreading it (and her palette) wider. I let my sweet husband Gary do the honors with Graydon and he will do the same with Elodie. The upside is she gets to drink her meals for the next few days in the form of smoothies and shakes until she gets used to it.

*It is fortunate that Rachel and I are one size apart. She gives me things that she loves, but are too big (like these pants) and I give her things that I love, but are too small…plus all those high heels I think I’m going to wear but never do!

Sunday, August 15, 2010, Day 227

This is a dress by Marnie Skillings I bought at the Planet Blue on Montana, but I have used it exclusively as a cover up over a swimsuit. One time while I was wearing it, I dashed across the lawn and someone called me a “silver streak.” It is stretchy and comfortable and I like that it has pockets.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Saturday, August 14, 2010, Day 226

This is the Balmain tuxedo I wore as my second outfit* at our Holiday Party last year. I walked into Madison Gallery literally two days before the event and there it was, the last one, half off, in my size! I love its crazy shoulder pads – very 2009. Michael Jackson can be seen wearing two different versions of the same jacket, one in bad ass black leather, in his final DVD, “This is It.” I wore the suit to our party with these fabulous suede Marni platforms and a black lace bra.

Above my head is a beautiful charcoal drawing by Brandon Harris (see February 22) I bought from him when he showed it at the Hidden Hills art show a few years ago. To the right of it is a small photograph of our nephew Hunter and niece Torie when they were about two and five years old.*

Today we did absolutely nothing except sleep in and hang out. We love returning from vacations on Fridays so we have the whole weekend to ease back into our routines.

*They are now fifteen and eighteen!

Friday, August 13, 2010, Day 225

Ah, our last day in paradise. Here I am in the backyard wearing an Odabash bikini I bought at Madison in Malibu. This has been a most memorable trip from start to finish and the perfect way to celebrate our dear friend's birthday.

Thursday, August 12, 2010, Day 224

Isn’t this tree just gorgeous?! I couldn’t resist taking today’s photograph next to it and of course my darling husband obliged me with a photo shoot worthy of a Sports Illustrated swimsuit edition. This is my best shot.

I am wearing a Vitamin A bikini I bought at Lolita’s on Ventura Blvd. a while ago.

We all hiked up to the top of Diamond Head in the morning and enjoyed the breath-taking views. In the afternoon I went shopping in downtown Wakiki* and bought some beautiful things on sale at Chanel.** In the evening we took the kids to Dave and Busters for arcade games and dinner.

*Again, I had no idea this project would last this long and definitely took advantage of the fact I was not in California and thus could shop for clothes.

**I bought a beautiful long black sheath and an exquisite “day coat,” plus, a pair of absolutely gorgeous platform shoes I know you will see here soon.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010, Day 223

Another beautiful day in paradise! After swimming and snorkeling most of the day, we went out to eat at the Orchids Restaurant which is in a hotel in downtown Wakiki*. You can see Diamond Head in the background of this shot. Rachel is wearing a beautiful Herve Leger dress and some Brian Atwood pumps. I am wearing a Marc Bouwer Glamit! Dress I bought at Neiman Marcus** and a pair of Prada sandals.

*This was our first time on Oahu and it was amazing to see a real city with tall buildings. The other islands are a lot more rural.

**I wore this dress as my first outfit at our third annual holiday party and have been waiting to wear it again. I guess thought it was a little “out there,” but it looked right at home among the other women diner’s dresses.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010, Day 222

I am wearing a Despi bikini from Urban Outfitters and a pair of Everyone’s a Kritk terry cloth shorts I bought half off from Barry’s Bootcamp. We took the kids to the Kahala Hotel to play on the giant inflatable island they have moored in the ocean and then out to Turtle Bay in the afternoon to snorkel. We ate leftovers for dinner and all fell right to sleep.

Monday, August 9, 2010, Day 221

After two busy, scheduled days, we all agreed today would be a day for doing nothing. We read, napped and generally hung around our beautiful environs. For dinner we ordered in some yummy Chinese food and watched Footloose on DVD.

I am wearing a Juicy Couture bikini and an Abercrombie and Fitch eyelet skirt. It was mostly overcast and windy, but the sun came out in the afternoon to say hello.

Sunday, August 8, 2010, Day 220

Today is Rachel’s fortieth birthday and the inspiration for this whole vacation, so we made it a very special day. First, we all went swimming with the dolphins* this morning and then the adults enjoyed four-hand** massages in the afternoon. Peter, the chef, came back in the evening and cooked the most delicious birthday dinner ever.

I am wearing a Halston Vintage Dress***. Gary is wearing a John Varvatos shirt and some James Perse shorts.

*What an amazing experience! We loved our dolphin “Lono” and took many pictures with him.

**Two masseuses each = four hands.

***As worn by Sarah Jessica Parker in Sex and the City 2. I ordered it when I got home from seeing it in June never knowing I would still be at this project in August – really. It was the perfect dress for the occasion and I am happy I bought it even if it counts as “falling off the wagon” a bit.