Infusing grandeur into otherwise drab Mondays with five things/ideas/events for the week:

I.  There’s something notably spectacular about waking up to the sound raindrops splashing against your window panes. (Especially if you live in the desert that has become California). Though it was tempting to call in sick today, put on a pot of tea, and spend hours tucked in bed with a book (or SVU marathon), I motivated myself to be productive by making my Morning Muffins (and a triple shot from my Nespresso). A comforting mixture of cinnamon, brown sugar, molasses, Raisin Bran, and buttermilk, these muffins smell almost as good as they taste while baking. The batter lasts an entire month in your refrigerator, so make a big batch for the coming stormy weather. 

II.  I can’t stop looking at this photo. I’m seriously obsessed with it… The simplicity of the design is mesmerizing - matte white walls, cornflower blue trim (add lacquer to your paint for a more contemporary Ken Fulk feel), classic hotel bedding in white/navy, and the most striking oversized roman shades I’ve ever seen. A good textile makes me weak in the knees, and it doesn’t get much better than this fabric titled “Ferns” by legendary designer Alan Campbell. Recreate by ordering your favorite fabric and having custom drapery made chez toi.

III.  How did we get to mid-November?! Wasn’t it summer five seconds ago? Well, according to my dining room it was, because I completely missed the warm weather transition. Tempted for a moment to pack away my beloved banana leaf runner, I opted to challenge myself instead by moving the tropical aesthetic into the autumnal. Discarding pale pink glassware and white dishes, in favor of a gold and green palette helped. But the icing on the tabletop cake was the addition of dark red garden roses. Suddenly, without a lot of forethought, my table went from mezcal cocktails at The Beverly Hills Hotel to holiday ready in fifteen minutes. Point being, don’t discard your favorite things to accommodate the season - work with what you love and add in key pieces to make a festive impact.

IV.  Speaking of the holidays, one of my least favorite things is the ubiquitous White Elephant gift exchange. Either I go entirely overboard, and bring something so awesome that I resent the present I end up with, or I forget completely and have no choice but to bring a Starbucks gift card as my last minute contribution. So, when I learned that Gray Malin, of aerial beach photo fame, recently released DIY kits for this signature sprinkle-laden plane cocktails, I instantly ordered six to keep on hand for last minute gifts this season. Place your order before Gray realizes that he’s divulging one of his most coveted secrets.

V.  Over the weekend, I had the chance to catch up with an old friend who grew up in San Francisco during the 1940′s and 50′s. He’s since moved to Los Angeles, but his heart will always be here (for obvious reasons). Inspired both by the chat, and my relentless love affair with Hitchcock’s Vertigo, I’m especially smitten with a curated collection of Fred Lyon’s photos of old school SF today. The pictures are dreamy, and I can’t help but wonder how our city will be captured sixty years from now…

Have a wonderful week!  xx tt