Top Picks This Week

The Unofficial Start of Summer (& Friday Links)

With Memorial Day weekend seems to come the start of summer. I remember Aron and I being astonished every year we lived in New York: it was as if the weather just knew that summer begins with one long weekend and ends with another (Labor Day). In California, the change is more subtle, and yet still something seems to shift. Perhaps we all get our first taste of vacation while the days are long.

Do you look forward to summer? It’s probably my favorite season of the year. Last year I made a summer to-do list, in an effort to really savor it. I think I’d like to do that again! What would be on yours?

Enjoy the long weekend! Here are some links of note to enjoy in the meanwhile (a little later than usual as I spent the day field tripping with first graders!)…

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Beautiful Garden Inspiration: Five of My Favorite Design Books

When I started looking for inspiration for our front yard, it was remarkable how many of my favorite gardens turned out to be designed by Judy Kameon and her firm, Elysian Landscapes. As soon as I realized this, I ordered her book, Gardens Are For Living, and I’ve been poring over it ever since—using it for plant lists to be cross-referenced with Sunset’s Western Garden Book, to be sure our picks will survive in our climate.

Looking at beautiful garden books can be a little tricky like that: it helps if you find titles written by people who work in your zone.

These are the five books I keep coming back to. I wonder what resources have been most useful (or aspirational) for you?

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Bare those toes?

I’ve been doing a fair amount of online browsing lately, and I’ve noticed something missing: nailpolish on toes.

I’m not sure it would have caught my eye, except that I’ve been abstaining myself: It’s been about three months since I’ve had brightly colored toes—ever since I nearly lost a nail to the removal of one gel pedicure too many.

I was encouraged when I noticed all the nail nudity on models. The buff nails feel fresh. I did some sleuthing and found that, indeed, the no-polish nail trend is on the rise. What do you think? It’s trivial, but I’ve been thinking about whether or not—if I go for one more pedicure before our summer trip to Italy—I should get color.

Of course, as with so many “natural looks,” this one may actually require more work. Editorial manicurist Deborah Lippmann notes that a bit of healthy sheen is essential. “Taking a break from polish doesn’t necessarily mean it’s less maintenance,” she says. … “The [nails] have to be groomed.”

Here are the key steps for going bare… 

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