Tori Spelling

One lady that defines the “mompreneur” title is Tori Spelling. In yesteryear she was Donna Martin from 90210, but now she is a bestselling author with four books under her belt and a new one launching next week, a jewelry designer, a craft designer, the owner of a home and lifestyle store in LA called "Inventori"  and the star of the Oxygen reality show Tori & Dean: Home Sweet Hollywood

Tori's family with baby Hattie in US Weekly

She is a creative woman with great taste and attention to detail which can be seen in her beautiful website called "ediTORIal" It features style tips for the home (Dwell) and your closet (Style), party ideas (Entertain), recipes (Eat), creative projects (Craft), lifestyle articles (Live), parenting tips (Raise), relationship advice (Love), and updates on all her businesses ventures (Launch).

"Dwell" Interior decor on 'ediTORIal" website

Most of the stories featured on the ediTORIal website have a personal angle, for example she will show how she cooked a particular meal with family snapshots alongside the recipes, or a picTORIal from a recent family holiday or vacation.

Tori's family on 'ediTORIal' website

One of my favorite aspects of the show Tori & Dean: Home Sweet Hollywood is the various parties she organizes for her children, friends and charities. The parties usually have a theme such as a children’s “Hello Kitty” or “Ghostbuster” party or a “Vintage Bunny” baby shower. Now Tori is sharing her expertise in a new book about party planning called “CelebraTORI” out April 3rd (pre-order on 

Tori's new party planning book 'CelebraTORI"

She will be doing a book tour in LA and New York, unfortunately no San Francisco date, but my friends and I loved meeting her and her gay husband Mehran when she was promoting her “Uncharted TerriTORI” book. She was very charming and personal by taking the time to engage with everyone who stood outside in line on a foggy day. I also got a kick out of her taking particular interest in the bright yellow necklace I was wearing that day!

Meeting Tori Spelling in San Francisco

When you see Tori organizing a party or wedding on TV, she is running around multi-tasking the goodie bags, overseeing the dessert table and making flower arrangements, it is clear that Tori Spelling is the one in control and fanatic about detail. She is also an avid crafter who wants to make arts and crafts cool. To help get in touch with your inner-crafter, Tori will be the host and executive producer of a new TLC show called "Craft Wars" airing on June 26th. The show will feature craft enthusiasts competing against each other in two rounds of challenges with Tori as their mentor.

Tori will host "Craft Wars" TV show

Tori Spelling also launched a new craft and stationary line on HSN last month which featured tasteful graphics in beautiful color palettes. The line included a stationary thoughts card kit, a stamp, block and card kit, a memory book kit and a craft clutch bag for your tools and materials.

Tori's new stationary & craft line on HSN

On top of all that, last week Tori announced that she is pregnant with her fourth child after only giving birth to her daughter last year. How does she find the time and energy to pursue all these creative ventures and run a family? Who knows, but we enjoy watching and following her inspirational triumphs along the way!

Start The Week Off On a Happy Note!

It’s hard getting motivated at the beginning of the week, so surprise your other half or colleague by serving their morning cup of Joe in these adorable coffee cup wrappers. They are available as free printables on the "Eat,drink,Chic" blog  by Amy Moss. 

Cup wrapper printables on 'Eat, drink, Chic' blog

Another way to cheer you and your loved one up is by hanging up this compliment bunting to give the words of encouragement you both need. The creative blog "How about Orange" offers a downloadable file to make them yourself!

Bunting on 'How about Orange" blog

Friends with Kids & Wet Weather Activities with the Kids

Rain, rain, go away, come again another day. Well it won’t be going away until Wednesday so here is some suggestions on what to do and see this wet weekend.

Go to the Movies

Friends with Kids

Friends with Kids is a very funny movie written, directed and starring Jennifer Westfeldt with an impressive cast that includes Maya Rudolph (Up All Night & SNL), Kristen Wiig (Bridesmaids & SNL), Jon Hamm (Mad Men & Jennifer’s husband in real life) .It is about two friends who watch how their group of friends change dramatically when they have kids (as we all know). They also want kids but can’t find the right person so decide to get pregnant together and continue to find their Mr. & Miss Right.

'Friends with Kids' movie

Suggestions on where to take the kids this weekend

If running around the Northgate Mall doesn’t feel you with excitement than try taking the kids to these indoor activities:

Play Café 

Take shelter from the rain with a hot coffee and a Panini at Play Cafe while the kids can dress up in costumes and perform in the theater room, discover their culinary skills in the toy kitchen, play with the train tables, toy castles and dollhouses or jump in the “swimming hole’ ball pool. There is free wi-fi and magazines for the grown-ups and a selection of kid-friendly snack and lunch options.

Play cafe, Oakland

Chuck E. Cheese 

Take a trip back to your own childhood with a drive further north to Chuck E.Cheese in Rohnert Park. Grab some tokens and let the kids run around the slot machine rides, climb up the tower and scoot around the play tubes above you. Pizza, oven roasted sandwiches and fill up at the salad bar for lunch.

Chuck E.Cheese


Celebrate St. Patrick’s Day with ‘Shamrock Day’ at HABITOT, the children’s museum in Berkeley with Irish themed arts and crafts. Read my review of Habitot here.

Habitot in Berkeley

Story time with Christopher Smith at Book Passage

My baby daughter had the pleasure of being introduced to the popular Christopher Smith's  story and sing-along time last Sunday, and was rocking out to it for the full half hour.. It happens every Sunday at 11.00 am at the Book Passage in Corte Madera. The Book Passage also has great children’s book section and café! 

Christopher Smith at Book Passage

DVF ♥ GapKids on Sale Today!

Diane Von Furstenberg created her signature wrap dress in the 70’s and has inspired American fashion ever since, now she has designed a collection for our little ones with GapKids & BabyGap

DVF for GapKids

Baby romper suits, T-shirt dresses, T-shirts, leggings, jackets and accessories in neon colored graphic prints that include vintage DVF prints like the hibiscus and leaf print. Of course the wrap dress has been re-worked for children to wear. 

DVF for GapKids

The collection goes on sale today in GAP sales and online.

Kid's Storage Solutions

My friend Sam Howe is a mother of two young boys and in the middle of house and garden renovation in Southern Marin. You can follow her progress and home decor inspiration in her blog The Renovation Diaries.

Sam is sharing some of her storage tips with us for children’s rooms this week:

Kid’s Storage Solutions

“If your kids are anything like mine then they already own mountains of toys, books and clothes and it’s up to us moms to stay on top of it so the home doesn’t become one giant playroom.  So good storage is critical but there’s no reason why it can’t be a design feature or a stylish accent piece in your home - functional doesn’t always have to mean boring!

Here are a few of my favorite storage ideas that can be a focal point in your kid’s room, rather than being hidden away!

I love these zigzagging baskets by Land of Nod as a way to bring a bold pattern into your child’s room. Don’t be afraid to experiment with accessories and mix patterns & color – it’s an easier way to update a room than painting a wall and is less commitment!

Land of Nod zigzag storage boxes

These amazing LEGO boxes available at The Container Store will have your kids excited to clean up after they’ve played with their toys, plus they look pretty fantastic when out too!

LEGO storage boxes by The Container Store

This adorable bench by The Company Store is not only a stylish piece of furniture but it can hold a mountain of larger toys too – just perfect for your little princess’ room!

Hand-made by artisans in Africa these bright baskets by Serena and Lily add a nice twist to the usual plastic buckets for all your little ones belongings, they will grow with your child and they make great laundry bins too!

Serena and Lily storage baskets

Create a photo ledge/bookshelf as a way to showcase your little ones favorite books – this makes a great wall feature and is easy for them to engage with. IKEA has great cheap options.

Honey & Fitz Blog image

Finally if you have a simple storage unit and want the boxes to go in it then think about adding some color into the mix to make a statement – this rainbow storage idea from the Land of Nod is simply stunning and so easy to do!

Land of Nod storage units

Relaxed & Rejuvenated at Bay Club San Francisco

Bay Club San Francisco

150 Greenwich Street, San Francisco; view website

I have been feeling a bit burnt out recently so I jumped at the chance to experience a visit to the Bay Club in San Francisco. It was the city’s first coed club when it opened in 1977 in one of the first warehouses to be built along The Embarcadero. It is renowned for having the best squash, yoga and Pilates programs on the West Coastand is part of the Western Athletic Clubs. Western Athletic Clubs, in turn, is part of the larger KSL Resorts, owners of various hotels and resorts around the country, including Ranchos Las Palmas and Squaw Valley.

Bay Club San Francisco

On Tuesday morning I joined a group of lifestyle bloggers in the Bay Club’s Café for lunch after their yoga class (which I unfortunately couldn’t attend due to having a baby daughter who refuses the bottle, making my time out of the house limited). We met Christine Blake who has been part of the Bay Club for over 13 years and looked after us for the afternoon, and was also joined by Jae Berman who is a nutritionist and personal trainer.

Yoga at Bay Club San Francisco


Jae Berman explained that all of Western Athletic Club’s properties have a registered dietitian on staff to help create a plan that fits with their lifestyle and provides results. A healthy diet works hand in hand with a regular work out schedule. Jane explained more about her role at the club and her philosophy on food over a healthy lunch of grilled lemon pepper salmon with roasted parmesan potatoes and quinoa salad.

Bay Club SF gym

If we feel stressed and low on energy, what should moms do for ourselves and our families?

Jan went on to say “Putting your work, relationships and family members before food can cause problems. Eating every 2 – 3 hours can lower stress hormones and prevent your body from going into ‘survival mode’. In my opinion an apple alone doesn’t count as a substantial snack; protein with carbohydrate works better. Also remembering to eat is important, so put a meal timer on using your phone etc.”

During her studies Jane had to look back at her own upbringing to see what and how her parents fed her to fully understand her own eating habits as an adult. Unfortunately it wasn’t good, so she feels passionately about making sure the parents do the work to develop a child’s palette. She worked with PTA groups and went into family homes to teach the importance of healthy eating. “Sitting down for family mealtimes should be a peaceful experience not stressful.”

The pool at Bay Club San Francisco

Client Services

Next we met Kelsey Hicks, the Bay Club’s concierge who told us more about the club’s services offered to their clients.

During research into their client’s needs, they found that gym members can lose motivation with working out, so the club needs to keep it interesting by rewarding them. Their clientele likes to travel so they offer a Lifestyle Rewards points system for members to getaway to luxury resorts under the Western Athletic Club’s umbrella.

During the same research they found that most families find it a strain to transport their kids to the various sporting activities they are involved in. The Bay Club offers a one-stop club for various kid’s sports such as tennis and swimming, in fact they offer a swimming pre-team to get them ready for their own school team. 

Swimming at bay Club San Francisco

The childcare is also a popular amenity, and beginning of May complimentary childcare will be incorporated as part of the family membership. There are parent and tot swimming classes, some of which move outside during the summer time. Pregnant members can enjoy Pre-natal yoga and then move onto new mom boot camps with their little ones. 

Sanctuary Spa

After lunch we moved downstairs to the Sanctuary Spa which is also open to the public. We were greeted by the director Shana Ominsky who introduced us to the spa’s boutique which carries skincare lines Skin Ceuticals, Sonya Dakar, alongside a variety of beautiful gift ideas. 

The spa offers a menu of treatments to help you unwind and pamper yourself including massage, facials, hair removal, tanning and nail care. We were led to the locker room to change into our robes, it was the biggest locker room I have ever seen! We changed and went to the relaxation lounge where water and tea was provided and waited for our treatments.

Locker room at Bay Club San Francisco

I had a Sanctuary Signature Facial with one of their friendly estheticians called Candy. Her serene demeanor made me instantly relaxed while she took a look at my skin and talking me through the facial treatment. First she cleansed, toned and exfoliated my face while steam opened my pores. She gave me probably the gentlest extraction I have ever experienced, which left my face polished rather than looking red and sore. She then used a high frequency machine using ozone to kick off any bacteria and heal my blemishes. A cooling lavender clay mask was applied and she gave me a relaxing shoulder and neck massage as the mask took effect. Each step of the facial brought new smells which heightened my senses, each serum and moisturizing product smelt gorgeous and natural. I felt totally relaxed and rejuvenated by the end of the treatment and my skin is still glowing with little make up!

Sanctuary Spa Signature Facial 

I highly recommend taking time out from your busy schedule to experience the Bay Club, their exercise facilities and spa treatments give your body and mind what it needs, especially if you are a mom, and if your skin needs a make-over be sure to ask for Candy!

Bay Club San Francisco, 150 Greenwich Street, San Francisco

Bay Club Marin, 220 Corte Madera, Marin  

Bay Club Ross Valley, 235 Bon Air Road, Kentfield

The True Value of Parental Time Out

I have written about Dr Mark Schillinger DC previously on my blog and credit him for helping to restore my body back to health at Schillinger Chiropractic & Wellness Center in San Rafael. He is also an expert in male adolescence and family unity. He is the creator of The RIGHT Way® 
which is an integral method of personal growth, also the founder of The Young Men's Ultimate Weekend, a modern rites of passage initiation for young men.

His partner Zoe Fry CMT is a mother of two teenagers and a teacher of Presence and Inquiry, also the founder of Be A Gifta corporation dedicated to the evolution of Gift consciousness. She was inspired to co-create the Ultimate Parenting Weekend, which gives parents the tools to create thriving families.

Zoe and Mark were kind enough to share their expertise by writing today’s guest post about the true value of parents taking time out for themselves:

The True Value of Parental Time Outs

“As mentors and educators of parents with challenging teenagers, we see the end results of years of bad habits. The one that tops our list is the lack of parental Self-care. Most parents, especially new ones, often feel overwhelmed by all of the demands on their time. Scheduling time in the gym or on the massage table loses priority. As the years roll along the kid's school wants you to volunteer, the laundry and the cooking need to get done, the kids need help with their homework and their sports practices and social activities require you to drive them everywhere.

On top of that, the parents that work have even less time for themselves. Before you know it you have given many years to the care of your family and are left feeling disheartened that you've forgotten who you are and how to nurture yourself.

Just as a financial advisor helping you plan your retirement will remind you that you must pay yourself first, by taking a little from now to invest in the future, self care now will work in the exact same way. Believe it or not, your family will silently thank you for it. 

Mark always lovingly reminds me when I forget self-care, “No one is happy if Mommy is unhappy”.  And it’s true that the ripple effect of a burned out parent can be devastating to a family and a marriage. We see it far too frequently in our practice. Because our cultural values of productivity and independence drive us to over give and over perform, we don't always focus our attention on ourselves. This can be remedied by what we call the Parental Time Out. Just like we put our child in a quiet place when their behavior is not in alignment with the behavioral values of the family, we need to give ourselves a time out. 

The effect of a time out for child or parent is to return to a ‘resting state’ or a return to ‘self’. Time outs are a reset button for humans. In essence, it’s a mini meditation vacation practice. Being alone allows us a few moments to release whatever was agitating us. For a child that might be jealousy of the new baby, or a possessive impulse to hoard all the blocks, or frustration at a sibling for crossing the line in the back seat of the car. 

For an adult it could be the thought that I must get out of the house at a certain time or that I need to stop this baby from crying, even though I have already tried everything, or even that my partner isn’t helping enough. When parents take time out in the moment they catch themselves agitated, they model the values of good physical health and mental well being to their children.

If you worry that your children will become upset that you need a quick break, simply breathe slowly and tell them, even the babies, that you are taking a time out and that you will return, feeling better. Ideally, you will return to your responsibilities with more patience and love. You can even use a kitchen timer so they can keep track of your time out, as you do theirs. Tell them you need whatever amount of time feels right for you. With my teenagers I take 20 minutes, but when they were younger and needier, it was shorter. Go to your designated time out place. Mine is in my home office, where I sit or lie down and rest.

Ignore the protests and interruptions with a loving indifference and, eventually their hostility will die down. Begin by allowing your mind to get quieter by focusing on relaxing your body. Notice where your body tensions are and gently contract and release them. Make sure to allow at least one minute of stillness and internal silence before you complete your time out.

Even if you're not good at this kind of thing, with consistent practice you'll be rewarded with the gift of serenity. You'll come out of your time out reset and ready to respond to the needs and chaos instead of reacting and feeling overwhelmed.

When non-punitive Time Outs become routine within your family culture it gives parents and children a sense of personal responsibility to care for themselves.  This makes everyone accountable to regulate their own feelings and reactive behaviors. Living this way will reduce everyone's stress and make room for the love everyone in the house wants.

Be sure to find out more about Mark Schillinger's services, Zoe Fry’s Be A Gift project and the Young Men Ultimate Weekend taking place in June.

Style Inspiration this Week

It has been a while since I have featured my “Mommy Treats” on this blog so I thought I would share some things I am enjoying at the moment!

Read: Ali in Wonderland

Ali in Wonderland book
Funny lady Ali Wentworth first caught my eye when she used to appear on Oprah’s Friday Live shows, I used to enjoy her funny stories and sharp delivery so I was intrigued when Gwyneth Paltrow recommended her new memoir “Ali in Wonderland” (Amazon) on her GOOP website.

Ali comes from a family who socialized in Washington’s political social circle, with an aspirational mother who was First Lady to Nancy Reagan’s social secretary and appeared to be a mother who could juggle with grace (I’d like to know her secret!). 

She is also married to Good Morning America presenter George Stephanopoulos, who seems a bit square to me but never the less; she is very witty and has written an entertaining book, I look forward to the audio version!

Home: Urban Outfitters

Urban Outfitters tea cup
From Ali in Wonderland to Alice in Wonderland, and what better way to enjoy a good book but curled up on the couch with a hot cuppa! 

Fashion store Urban Outfitters has a fantastic home décor section on their website called "Apartment" that features great chevron duvet sets, funky chairs, rugs, brightly colored book shelves and cute accessories like this Alice in Wonderland tea cup.

I love my tea and collect teapots and tea cups (I’m such a British stereotype) so will be adding this one to my collection!

Style: Colored Jeans

I don’t get to have many fashion moments any more, I used to work in the fashion industry (but made to mostly wear black) and used to get to dress up regularly, but now I am a mom I only get to do so on rare date nights or much needed girl’s night outs. But I love the colored jeans trend at the moment especially red jeans which compliment my love of navy nautical stripes and grey sweaters. I was inspired by this picture from Style Me Pretty blog through Pinterest:

I found some red jeans from Almost Famous brand found at Tillys  (Northgate Mall or Vintage Oaks) which also come in a fabulous cobalt blue. I also love anything sunshine yellow this season, and most of my friends know I have been on the hunt for yellow cardigans or sweaters for some time, so love these yellow jeans seen on blog!

Yellow jeans on blog

Celebrity: Gwyneth Paltrow at the Oscars

Lastly, talking of fashion moments, I loved some of the dresses on the red carpet at the Oscars last Sunday, especially Gwyneth who looked stunning in this Tom Ford white dress with matching cape that was a fashion risk which she pulled off with class.

Gwyneth in Tom Ford at the Oscars

I also loved Cameron Diaz’s cream Gucci gown (well done Rachel Zoe) with her sexy new hair cut! 

Cameron Diaz in Gucci at the Oscars

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