Get Ready For Summer: Beach Bag Refresh


Expired sunscreen and ratty beach towels? Take a look in your beach bag & update before the season gets into full swing! Here are some ideas to keep your summer feeling relaxed and worry-free.

Navy striped rash guard for UV protection, and matching bikini bottomRay Ban Meteor‘s are classic and super flattering. I’m partial to baseball caps, but go wide brimmed to keep your neck from getting burned. Spooky books are easier to read in bright sunlight. Sunscreen: I’ve been using MD Solar Sciences tinted mineral creme for years and still love it. Don’t forget lip protection. I use the kids’ fragrance-free Babo Botanicals sunscreen for body. Sea salt spray can make coarse or thick hair really crispy – Surf Infusion has oil to keep your beach waves perfect. A case to keep your phone dry and sand free. A turkish towel takes up less space & dries quickly. Wet suit bag – the thing I usually forget. Simple flip flops that get better with sand + salt. Last but not least – the beach bag. I use this one when it’s just me and Sean, and this one in extra large when it’s the whole family. It’s huge. We can fit Ira in it.

What are your beach essentials – and favorite beaches?

Road Trip: Newburyport, Massachusetts

park marketsquare shopwindow lilacs maritime cocacola flowerbox bricks_blooms seaWe took off toward the sea last weekend, no plans in mind except stepping out of reality for the day. We ended up in Newburyport for lunch, and we’ll definitely be back to explore further. The town was settled in 1635 and there are still gorgeous 1700’s buildings standing, giving it an English feel. Old New England seaside port towns – like Wiscasset or Portsmouth – feel like time traveling to me. I love exploring them and it was amazing to stumble on this one. Next time we’ll do this historic house tour, and do more research on thrift and antique shops in the area.

Brick House Trim Color Ideas

housetrimOur house trim is getting super shabby, so it’s time for a major update! I spent some time in the paint store today, matching swatches until I came up with the perfect color set for our brick house. Now I just need to figure out WHERE each color goes.

Color #1: Benjamin Moore Carter Gray. This color is perfect for the clapboard siding on the house extensions and the garage /  carriage house. We’d also use it for all of the porch, window, and door trim, including the porch and entry floors.

Color #2: Benjamin Moore Palladian Blue. This color is for the porch and entry ceilings, obviously.

Color #3: Benjamin Moore Onyx. This color is for the front door, the wrought iron balcony railings, and the window mullions (and we’ll be replacing the front windows with mullioned windows as well).

My big question right now is doing the porch trim and floor all the same color, but Onyx on the porch floor will get REALLY dusty quickly. What do you think?

Beverly Hills (When You’re Not a Billionaire)

Can Beverly Hills be done on a quasi-budget? We keep ending up there for a day or two when we stop in LA to visit family and friends, and I feel too old for Venice, Santa Monica, or Los Feliz. So, here’s the mini-guide to 90210 without breaking the bank. Too much.


We use HotelTonight (use code TFERRO for $25 off your first booking) and have ended up at The Crescent, Maison 140, & the Mosaic Hotel. Maison 140 smelled so badly that I couldn’t stay there for fear of losing my lunch (to be fair, I was pregnant at the time) but Hotel Tonight refunded our money and we booked into the Mosaic, which was recommended by my aunt. The bed was insanely comfy, but the decor is basically half Charleston and half Venice, Italy. If they’d only lean in to the Charleston side, they’d be great. They’re redoing the pool and if the prices stay low once they’re done, this will be a great value hotel in walking distance to everything.  The Crescent is cute too, but no pool. Sure, I’d rather stay in the Beverly Hills Hotel bungalows, but I forgot to marry rich.


There are actually quite a few free parks in Beverly Hills, but the absolute best is the stunning Greystone Park & Mansions. After spending the morning there (bring a picnic breakfast?) do some winding throughout the hills for the most insane housepeeping ever, including the Spadena House.

greystone_park greystone_park2 spadena


Le Mervetty, taken to go and eaten at Beverly Canon Gardens with a cappuccino from Bouchon.

Urth Caffe, for pastry, huge breakfasts, and roiboos lattes.

The Polo Lounge at the Beverly Hills Hotel, and walk the grounds afterward. Forever.

Take out In-n-Out, eaten in bed at your hotel.

lemervettybeverlyhillshotel pololounge inout


Thrifts weren’t super great – we checked out a few but the prices were high and they felt very, very dirty.

I always find it worthwhile (even if I’m not doing major shopping) to browse better shops to check out construction, fabrics, fit, and style. Learning what makes clothes fit well, what’s in style now, which fabrics feel absolutely impeccable, and how to spot fakes will only help in your search when thrifting, buying on eBay, shopping sales, or taking a side trip to the Cabazon Outlets.

Don’t miss the trifecta of Neiman Marcus, Saks, and Barney’s in a row on Wilshire. I find the sales assistants to be nicer here than in San Francisco, as well. But NYC sales assistants are usually the nicest. Go figure.

Please let me know if you have more suggestions!