Posts in the ‘General’ Category

High Heel High Tops

Wednesday, June 26th, 2013

high-heel-high-top

 

I am not sure if I would actually wear these high tops but I found them to be rather fun and quite perfect for the stiletto loving woman who is not in the mood to actually wear a pair of heels. These Maison Dumain by Be&D Trompe L’Oeil High Top Sneakers are a great gift for the girl who has everything – including a sense of humor. Timing couldn’t be better – right now they are on clearance so you can save a bundle too.

Varca Sandals

Tuesday, June 18th, 2013

varca-sandals

I certainly wasn’t expecting to find my next pair of must have shoes in the Wall Street Journal….but alas…I must thank the WSJ for spotlighting these wonderful Varca Sandals in their recent guide to summer. They are available in lots of vibrant colors and I think I will definitely need a pair of the silver ones too. I don’t know about you, but I don’t always want to put my toes on full display and I just love that a hint of your toes can get a little fresh air and you can still get away wearing them with your less than perfect pedicure. They even make them for kids too.

 

Kids’ Kiko+™ ashiato animal footprint toy sandals

Monday, May 27th, 2013

Kids' Kiko+™ ashiato animal footprint toy sandals

 

Looking for a little summer fun for the kids? How cool are these Kiko+™ ashiato animal footprint toy sandals? I just stumbled across them in the lastest J. Crew catalog and was immediately smitten. Your kids can make super fun foot prints while they walk up and down the beach. You can pick them up in monkey, cat and dinosaur versions online at J. Crew and your children will be able to create a whole zoo on the sand. They would also make great summer birthday gifts for boys and girls alike.

Tech & Grandparents

Tuesday, May 14th, 2013

Petunia Pickle Bottom Stowaway iPad sleeve

iSeniors — Connecting Technology & Grandparents

My parents are amazed to see how my 6 year old son adeptly navigates his iPad and how he doesn’t shy away from letting us know when he thinks the wireless network is too slow. Living in Silicon Valley, there is so much focus on small children and technology. But what about the other end of the spectrum – grandparents? Technology has transformed the lives of my 75+ year old parents and in-laws. They are having just as much fun with technology as my son’s kindergarten class. Here are 5 great tech innovations for seniors:

1)     iPad: iPads are wonderful for older parents and grandparents who aren’t comfortable using a mouse and don’t like squinting at a computer monitor. The ease of swiping their fingers across the screen to see photographs of their grandchildren, to search for news, and to play games is amazing. Their ability to easily make the text larger with a simple finger gesture on the screen has really transformed their connection with the Internet. They also love the portability of the iPad. My parents are no longer tethered to their home office, like they were with their desktop computer, and the iPad is much easier for my mom to carry around the house and hold than a laptop. My 80 year old father-in-law rarely leaves the house without his iPad. He was able to easily set up his stock portfolio on Yahoo! Finance by himself so he can keep a close eye on his investments. He may not be ready to trade stocks online, but he loves having up-to-date information at his fingertips so he knows when to call his broker.

2)     FitBit: The only thing my mother loves more than her iPad is her FitBit One™. To say it has changed her life completely would be an understatement. Her FitBit has become her new best friend and she genuinely loves the words of encouragement and humorous messages that appear on the screen. She is so motivated to reach 10,000 steps every day, and she now has the personal trainer she never knew she wanted. She shows it off to all of her friends, and strangers too for that matter.  I helped her with the initial setup and now she can easily charge her device and view her summary metrics with ease.

3)     Wireless Access: Even if your parents or grandparents don’t have a laptop or tablet, I still recommend getting wireless Internet access in their home. I recently upgraded the wireless in my parent’s home so that my husband and I knew we would always be well connected when we were visiting. My extended family benefits from it too when they visit. Having a wireless network actually encourages the younger generations to visit their elderly relatives more often and not be in such a rush to leave. It is also nice for long term caregivers as well, as they appreciate having easy Internet access while they are caring for your loved ones.

4)     Video Cameras: The mother of a friend of mine lives over 600 miles away from his home. His feisty mother is over 80 years old and is still living on her own. He has tried to convince to move closer to him and his family, but she doesn’t like the idea one bit. Since she has had trouble walking, he wanted to be able to keep a close eye on her, even when he is far away. His solution – video. The last time he visited her, he installed cameras throughout her condominium, and he is able to watch the video footage from his computer, anytime from anywhere. There is a little peace of mind knowing that if she were to fall, he would be able to call for help. Some people may question this act as an invasion of her privacy, but she was onboard with the idea. They have also been very upfront with people who work in her home and notified them that the condo is monitored. He likes to be able to keep a close eye on the caregivers, handymen and cleaning crews that come in and out of her home. Thanks so the wonders of technology, he can.

5)     Facebook: At first my mother and mother-in-law were downright fearful of Facebook. I tried so many times to get them to sign up but they wanted nothing to do with it. I finally sat down with my mom and realized that her main concern was that she didn’t want to share anything personal with strangers. She didn’t want her ‘friends’ to know what she was making for dinner. After a few long months, I finally convinced her she could sign up for Facebook and that she didn’t need to tell anyone a thing. Just because she registered didn’t mean that people were suddenly going to know what she has picked up at the supermarket.

Facebook is actually a great way for grandparents to keep connected with their families. We set up my mom with a basic account (no photo or personal information other than her name) and had her become ‘friends’ with her children and grandchildren and a few very close family friends. Now she can easily sit on the couch, open her iPad and simply click on Facebook to see what her family is up to. My husband uploads videos of my son’s little league game and my parents, who are hundreds of miles away get to watch him hit the ball out the park too. She also can keep tabs on her other grandson’s surfing adventures and her sister’s magnificent farm and garden. She still gets a little spooked when a classmate from college that she has spoken to in 50 years asks to be her ‘friend’, but she relishes in the stories, photos and ability to stay connected.


Jellies Experience in Monterey

Tuesday, May 7th, 2013

jelly-fish-monterey

One of our favorite family activities is to visit the Monterey Bay Aquarium. It is only an hour from our home so it is a great place for a weekend afternoon trip.  Many times we get a hotel room in Carmel and make a weekend out of it.

Of course there are adorable otters, scary sharks, hilarious penguins, magical seahorses and all sorts of fabulous fish for the kids to look at and even tanks where they can actually touch creatures of the sea. And what kid doesn’t love getting their hands wet! But I have been so impressed with the current jellyfish exhibit titled, The Jellies Experience, and how the team at the Monterey Bay Aquarium has incorporate technology into a wonderful interactive experience for kids of all ages.

Here is how it works. There are about six small touch screen stations arranged for the kids. Children are able to draw images on the screens with their fingers, very similar to an iPad drawing application. They can pick from a rainbow of colors and two different widths of brushes. The idea is that they are to draw a jellyfish (my son usually likes to draw a submarine or two as well). When they have completed their picture they can release it out to sea. With a click of a button their image floats up to a large screen on the wall where their jellyfish floats around in the sea with the fish designed by all of the other children. It is just wonderful and the children squeal in delight watching their creature float in the big blue sea. As an added bonus, you can enter your email address and your child’s image gets sent right to your inbox. It is brilliant. You can go home and print you the image or make it your screen saver. You can also send it directly to grandparents or friends so they can get a colorful surprise in their email too.

Needless to say, my son is hooked on this awesome exhibit. And  I am too.

jelly-fish monterey bay aquarium

Four Seasons Resort Hualalai

Monday, April 29th, 2013

four-seasons-hawaii-pool

I recently returned from the best spring break ever. It seems like half of California heads to Hawaii for
spring break – or at least half of families from my son’s school. I hadn’t been to Hawaii in over 20 years
and this year we finally decided to go. The difficult part was deciding which island to visit and figuring
out where to stay. The more I talked to friends and friend-of-friends and neighbors and parents of
my son’s classmates, the more confused I got. Everyone seems to have their favorite island and their
favorite spot to stay. Unable to make a decision, I finally sent a short text to my very well-traveled friend
Melanie and simply asked – what is the best spot in Hawaii? Her immediate response: Hualalai.

Four Seasons Resort Hualalai at Historic Ka‘upulehu is a spectacular resort for an easy, relaxing, active
and utterly perfect family getaway. I am a huge fan of doing close to nothing and this is a fabulous place
to completely unwind and get away from everything. My husband was impressed with the wireless
connection that stretched to every inch of the property while I opted to keep my iPad, laptop and phone
turned off the entire time (ok – I called my parents once and I think I responded to 2 text messages – but
that’s it!).

Let’s start with our spectacular ‘Ohana suite. With almost 1500 square feet of space we had more than
enough room to move in and feel incredibly comfortable. My son loved the outdoor lava rock shower,
the telescope and xbox, and I enjoyed having my very own steam room. And right outside our suite was
an enormous lawn that my son could run around on as well as comfortable outdoor furniture where we
could eat breakfast or just hang out and lounge.

four-seasons-hawaii-kings-pond

The resort has a complimentary kids club and my son had a great time at the club for a few hours every
day. One of the highlights was certainly King’s Pond (pictured above), a 1.8 million gallon “aquarium” carved out of the
natural lava rock. It is stocked with over 3000 tropical fish from more than 75 species all swimming
freely about. We could snorkel for hours (which my son did every day) and I never had to worry about
my son’s safety. He even got to feed an eagle ray. And don’t worry about packing snorkel gear – the
resort has equipment for you to use at no charge.

I made a little deal with myself. As long as I woke up and exercised for 1 hour then I could spend the
rest of the day lounging, reading magazines and doing close to nothing. I took wonderful long walks on
the ocean-front path and worked up a sweat at the gym too. The gym is strategically located next to a
fabulous boutique so I could go shopping every day right after jumping off the treadmill. Love that!

So if you are in the midst of making vacation plans for your family, you only need to remember one word: Hualalai.
We’ve only been home 2 weeks and we are already trying to figure out when we are going to go back
next…

Photo credit: www.fourseasons.com (because I haven’t had time to download my own pictures from my camera!)


Calypso St Barth & Dot Complicated

Tuesday, April 23rd, 2013

calypso st barth

Last week I was thrilled to attend a pre-opening party for the new Calypso St. Barth store at Stanford
Shopping Center in Palo Alto. It was a festive evening of pretty clothes, pink bubbly, delicious cookies
and an entertaining panel conversation featuring media mogul in the making Randi Zuckerberg, pinner
extraordinaire Christine Martinez, and super blogger Erica Chan Coffman of Honestly ….WTF.

calypso-st-barths-2

Let’s start with the clothes. The new collection at Calypso St. Barth was absolutely wonderful. Lots
of very wearable clothes perfect for sunny vacations and lazy weekends. There were also a number
of pieces that I thought would be great for going out to dinner with friends. I loved the neutral colors
and attention to detail. The designs are all inspired by travel and the arts so each piece has a unique,
international feel to it. Step foot in the store and you will immediately want to start planning your
summer vacation…

dot complicated

If you haven’t heard of Randi Zuckerberg yet, I am certain you will very very soon. Randi is a busy working
mom who happens to be bright, enthusiastic and incredibly likable. She and her team have recently
launched a new venture, Dot Complicated. Their weekly newsletters are full of insightful ideas for
managing your wired world. Technology is changing our lives, our families and our relationships in so
many ways and Dot Complicated is here to help us all navigate our way through it all. Sign up for their
newsletter today and keep your eyes open for Randi’s book which is due out later this year.

Power Pinner and Author, Christine Martinez, was a sheer delight. She happens to be one of the most
popular pinners on Pinterest with millions of followers. She is also the author of The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Pinterest Marketing and writes her trendsetting blog Miles to Styles, named after her pup Miles. Christine was really inspiring because she seemed to be so genuine and true to herself. She has always followed her heart and her passions and has created a successful and fulfilling life for herself along the way.

randi-zuckerberg-Christine Martinez-calypso-event

Salvatore Ferragamo Shoe Jewelry

Sunday, April 14th, 2013

salvatore-ferragamo-shoe-necklace

How fabulous is this Salvatore Farragamo shoe charm? I must have one. It is from their Miniature Precious Collection and is made of 18k gold and gemstones. Believe it or not, but this iconic rainbow shoe was created way back in 1938 for Judy Garland. I have had a postcard of this famous shoe in my office for years and I just love the idea of being able to wear it around my neck.  There are a number of other great shoes in the jewelry collection including these three below. Perfect gifts for shoe loving girls who have everything…

salvatore-ferragamo-shoe-necklaces

Happy Birthday Minted!

Monday, April 1st, 2013

15% off minted.com

Celebrate Minted’s anniversary with 15% off everything. Anyone who has visited Sweet Peas & Stilettos knows how much I LOVE all of the products at Minted. I am so thrilled for their success and I bet the next 5 years will be full of even more creative and colorful treats for all of us. Happy Anniversary Minted! Now we can all celebrate.

 

Weekend Getaway Travel Bags

Sunday, March 31st, 2013

weekend-bag

 

I am a huge fan of the weekend getaway. In fact, the last 3 or 4 weekends we have found ourselves traveling for quick little getaways. Our favorite spot is Carmel since it is so close to our home, yet we feel like we are a million miles away. The trick is figuring out what to pack and not taking too much. I try to pack as light as possible so unpacking will be a snap. The trick is finding the perfect bag. I found these wonderful travel bags at Layla Grace.

white-gold-weekend-tote

 

These two very different tote bags are great options. This white and gold stripe leather market tote is perfect for a spring getaway. The large opening makes it easy to pile in the clothes. It has a great modern look. I also love the Petunia Pickle Bottom Organic  Wistful Weekender Dancing Daisies bag too.   It comes in so many of their wonderful, cheerful patterns.

And all weekend long (3/30-3/31) Layla Grayce is offering free shipping with promo code FREESHIP on your entire purchase. Maybe you will find a few things to put into your new note too.