Monday, May 11, 2015

Gratitude List

Mother's Day flowers  

 This week I want to borrow an idea from one of my favorite bloggers -- Miranda Mills of Miranda's Notebook. If you are looking for inspiration in styling your wardrobe, cooking great meals, making a cozy home, finding beauty in your surroundings or going to fabulous places and events in London, her beautiful blog is a wonderful resource. Every Friday she writes a gratitude list and this week I wanted to do one as well. I have so many things to be grateful for.

First, my family--

 I have the most thoughtful family. On Friday of Mother's Day weekend, the door bell rang and there were four flower arrangements for me. It turns out that my husband and my daughters had separately ordered flowers from my favorite florist Hollyflora to be delivered on Friday and they all arrived at the same time! It was so much fun to decorate the house with Mother's Day flowers.  

The scent of flowers perfumed each room

And the beauty of the arrangements reminded me of my wonderful family

Second, the Garden Conservancy--

A garden in Santa Monica

 I am very grateful for the Garden Conservancy. Do you know about this organization? They do the most wonderful work sharing and saving outstanding gardens throughout the country. Last weekend they held their Open Doors Garden Tour here in Los Angeles and I was able to visit several incredible gardens in West Los Angeles. The photo above shows a lily pad pond at a house in Santa Monica. We could have been at Giverny. Only on this day in May does the Garden Conservancy open the "doors" for us to see the secret gardens in our city. It is always amazing to discover these garden sanctuaries. Have you been to the Open Doors in your city? Go here to learn more.

The roses in Julie Newmar's garden.

Julie Newmar has one of the most beautiful and prolific rose gardens; she even has a rose named after her.

This charming vegetable garden is part of a large property that includes a rose garden, a great lawn, a swimming pool and a fabulous pool house and outdoor kitchen. They all exist behind a house in a neighborhood that I drive by all the time. I marvel that these beautiful gardens exist in Los Angeles and that their owners have put so much time, love and energy into them. Without the Garden Conservancy, we would never see them or learn so much about gardening.

Third, the Morgan Library in New York--

"A Certain Slant of Light: Spencer Finch at the Morgan"

I love the Morgan Library and Museum. Every time I am in New York I visit and feel grateful that this wonderful place exists. This time I noticed the beautiful courtyard with its colorful panes of glass and their reflections. I discovered that it is a special installation by American artist Spencer Finch. Inspired by the Morgan's great collection of medieval Books of Hours, he applied films of color to the windows in the four-story, glass-enclosed Gilbert Court to to make a kind of calendar based on the movement of the sun. This amazing installation is up until August 23. If you are in New York, be sure to stop by to see this; it is so inspiring. As I looked up, I was reminded of the soaring imaginations that went into the writing of each and every book contained in this fabulous institution. In addition to its impressive collection of books and manuscripts, The Morgan also has fascinating exhibitions. One of my favorites was The Little Prince a couple of years ago.

Fourth, tea and scones with my book club--

Image via here

I am in a couple of book clubs and each one has the most wonderful women. I have always thought that the members in a book club are more important than the books. If you have the right combination of enthusiastic, curious and open-minded people, good books and exciting discussions will naturally follow. This month we read Vanessa and Her Sister by Priya Parmar. It's about Vanessa Bell, Virginia Woolf and the early days of the Bloomsbury Group. (review to follow) The lovely woman who was hosting our meeting decided to have an English tea for the occasion. She made delicious scones, delicate tea sandwiches and served tea that she brought home from Fortnum and Mason in London. Amazingly, she had just returned from a trip to England where she visited Charleston, the home of Vanessa Bell, and showed us her photos. It was such a special meeting and everyone was touched by all the trouble she had gone to.

Fifth, the world of blogging--

I am so grateful for the world of blogging and the amazing people I have met because of it. When I was in New York last month, I met fellow blogger Gail Gallagher, a talented artist who paints in the Hamptons. She writes a lovely blog about the vibrant art scene in the Hamptons. We had made a date to meet for a glass of wine at my hotel. Something came up and she needed to reschedule; we weren't sure we would be able to get together. In the meantime, she dropped off a package for me at the hotel. When I opened it the next day, I found this beautiful little seascape that she had painted. I was so touched. Fortunately we managed to get together the following morning for a cup of tea and I was able to thank her in person. I now have a new friend in New York and a beautiful painting to remind me of her. Go here to see Gail's blog Painting in the Hamptons  and her art.

I hope you had a good weekend and a wonderful Mother's Day!


  1. I was sent THAT book from an Instagram friend in AUSTRALIA and am reading it now!Vanessa and Her Sister!!SO much fun how we all connect!Tis true we have loads to be grateful for.........sometimes I forget that!!Will pop over to see your other blogging buddies!

    1. Dear Contessa,I think you will enjoy it. It is so much fun connecting with blog friends over books!

  2. I am exceedingly grateful for you! Each one of your posts is thoughtfully written and beautifully photographed. Love that you received FOUR bouquets from your favorite florist! An embarrassment of riches well deserved. I am so happy that we were able to meet.

    1. Gail, I am very happy we met as well! Thank you so much for your kind words. Your lovely blog takes me away to the beautiful Hamptons where I have been a couple of times. Your posts always make me want to return. I hope you enjoy "painting in the hamptons" this summer!

  3. This is a great reminder that most times it's small, everyday things that we can be grateful for. I am also grateful for your posts as they bring beauty and pleasure into my life and help to uplift my stressful days. I finished Vanessa & Her Sister a few weeks ago and enjoyed it very much. Thanks for the recommendation!

    1. Thank you, that is so sweet of you to say. I think we are kindred spirits in our tastes in books! I always like your recommendations and I am so happy you liked this one. I love going to your blog and reading your well-written and insightful reviews.

  4. Sunday,you have a charming home has a feel of our English country houses:).Love the chintz.Your photos always catch the feel, moment of its subjects.

  5. Thank you, Judith. I love the style of English country houses!

  6. Thank you so much for the lovely mention Sunday! I'm so excited to have inspired your own 'Gratitude List.' Those flowers are so gorgeous - what a thoughtful family you have :) I am so grateful for the world of blogging too, and it will be wonderful to meet you in London! I can't wait! I shall definitely check out Gail's blog - that little painting is adorable.

    Miranda xxx

  7. Beautiful post and flowers. I do think it's good to either write or mentally do a gratitude list often as we can all get caught up in the stresses of everyday life. I know it helps me switch gears emotionally. Glad you had a wonderful Mother's Day.

    1. That is so true, Kathy. Hope you had a good Mother's Day also!
      xx Sunday