day in the life of Reviiving Charm january 2017


A few weeks ago I starting thinking about surprising Mr. B with a weekend getaway. I wanted a destination that was within easy driving distance to take advantage of and make the most of this past three-day holiday weekend. I ended up booking a suite at the Bacara Resort and Spa located approximately 20 minutes north of Santa Barbara, California. If you follow me on Instagram you may have seen a few images from our trip taken in real time.

Today I am sharing a “day in the life” of Reviving Charm while on vacation this past Sunday, January 15.  Other than a morning massage, nothing else was scheduled. Sometimes the best days are those you don’t plan! We took advantage of the mild California weather by driving through the beautiful neighborhoods of Montecito and Santa Barbara to admire the lush landscaping, Spanish architecture, and gorgeous estates. Stay tuned for a future post featuring more of the resort and our spacious hotel suite.


7:00 am. Rise and shine. This is the bedroom of our hotel suite.


7:20 am. I headed out the door and down the path that leads directly from the resort to the beach. Being up early allowed me to take advantage of seeing the sunrise over the water and enjoy a nice peaceful walk along the rocks and sand. I felt like I had the entire beach to myself.


8:45 am. I checked into the spa for a 9:00 am massage appointment. I indulged myself with an 80-minute aromatherapy massage and enjoyed the other spa amenities offered, such as the eucalyptus steam shower and sauna.


12:45 pm. After driving around Montecito we stopped for an impromptu lunch at Tydes Restaurant located directly across the street from The Biltmore Four Seasons Hotel in Santa Barbara. The restaurant is waterfront overlooking the beautiful Butterfly Beach, inside the Coral Casino Beach and Cabana Club.

1:45 pm. We explored the grounds of The Biltmore Four Seasons Hotel. We stayed here many years ago and is hotel I highly recommend.

1:45 pm. We explored the grounds of The Biltmore Four Seasons Hotel. We stayed here many years ago over New Year’s weekend and were asking ourselves why we haven’t been back. I highly recommend this hotel for a romantic getaway. If you are looking for a Valentine’s Day getaway, I definitely recommend a stay here.


2:30 pm. After lunch Mr. B and I strolled the neighborhood surrounding The Biltmore Four Seasons Hotel. The neighborhood is filled with beautiful multi-million dollar estates.

Another beautiful Santa Barbara estate.

Another beautiful Santa Barbara estate.

3:30 pm. Mr. B and I sat on a bench overlooking Butterfly Beach to enjoy the outdoors before heading back to our hotel.


4:00 pm. Shortly after arriving back at our hotel, we enjoyed a scoop of ice cream while having a fireside conversation in the lobby.


4:50 pm. After an ice cream break I headed to the spa gift shop to pick up a few skin care items.


7:00 pm. Staying in for the evening allowed me to relax and catch up on reading material.


10:00 pm. Sweet dreams…buona notte…good night!


I have had a very busy, stressful last couple of weeks. Plus I have an overwhelming urge to head out-of-town but really can’t fit in a true vacation at the moment. This past Thursday night I told Mr. B “We should go somewhere this weekend.” And the next morning as I left to work Mr. B and I agreed that we would head out-of-town later that evening. It was up to Mr. B to make plans and with a couple of quick texts back and forth between us our vacation was set. We decided to drive north to San Luis Obispo, a charming college town commonly referred to as “SLO”, located in California’s central valley.

When I got home Friday evening my suitcase was all laid out (Thanks, Mr. B) and I literally threw clothes into it. Seriously, I ripped things off hangers, grabbed my toiletry bag (it’s always packed and ready to go) and threw things into my suitcase. Nothing was folded. Nothing was organized. It took me about all of 5 minutes to pack. I then wolfed down a slice of pizza as we were walking out the door that evening. Off we went. Our spontaneous adventure awaited us.

inspirational quotes by RevivingCharm_com

Our trip was short. We pulled into our hotel at approximately 11 pm on Friday night and left Sunday morning. One full day in SLO was great. Sometimes a change of scenery is all that’s needed to recharge the batteries. And speaking of scenery, here are a few things we spotted during our time away.

san luis obispo by RevivingCharm_com

  1. We stayed at the San Luis Creek Lodge. The hotel is situated in close proximity to the city’s historic downtown shopping area so it is a very convenient location. Our room was a decent size, clean, comfortable and reasonably priced. We had a late check in while all office staff were already gone for the evening (they leave at 10 pm) but they made it very easy and convenient for us to gather the keys to our room. A complimentary continental breakfast is served each morning but my advice is to skip their breakfast. The breakfast room is quite cramped and food not all that good. As an alternative, visit one of the town’s many restaurants as there is no lack of dining options.
  2. Beautiful piles of bread at our favorite Italian restaurant in SLO, Palazzo Giuseppe.
  3. Shopping in one of the home decor shops in SLO’s Downtown Historic District.
  4. Signage clearly identifies the historic center of the city.

san luis obispo by RevivingCharm_com 2

  1. Vignette in one of the clothing consignment shops.
  2. A decorative way to mark the entrance to a dressing room in the clothing consignment shop.
  3. This is one of my favorite buildings in the downtown. It has such a welcoming courtyard that leads to the entrance of a fine jewelry shop.
  4. I took this picture because this is such an easy hack. Invert a decorative wall bracket to use as a creative way to store and display bracelets. I actually saw an identical bracket at Homegoods (minus the “chipping” which gives it a vintage quality).

san luis obispo by RevivingCharm_com 3

  1. Along the wall in a courtyard of shops is this mural that is conveniently located across the way from an art gallery. You can’t tell from the picture but the mural measures about ten feet tall.
  2. A rare sighting of a vintage Ferrari parked in the lot of our hotel.
  3. Vintage books line a shelf at Phoenix Books.
  4. Beautiful fuchsia in the Downtown.
  5. I love the look of this red and white striped umbrella in a public seating area.

phoenix books san luis obispo SLO via RevivingCharm_com

A trip to SLO is not complete without a visit to Phoenix Books. I can’t go on vacation without bringing back a souvenir and luckily I found a few books to add to the collection. Check ’em out…decorating books via RevivingCharm_comnew england decorating book via RevivingCharm_comcooking books via RevivinCharm_com

So there you have it. A quick recap of our spontaneous weekend in pictures.

If you haven’t done anything spontaneous lately, I highly recommend it!

xoxo, V.


The 1991 movie “Father of the Bride” still remains to be one of America’s most beloved movies. And the movie made a particular southern California colonial home famous by painting it as the picture perfect family abode located on Maple Drive in the affluent community of San Marino, California. Wouldn’t you agree? But did you know that the movie didn’t take place in San Marino at all? It was actually shot using a home in nearby Pasadena and the backyard exterior shots of another home in nearby Alhambra, where the basketball and wedding scenes took place. I happened to drive by the Alhambra home yesterday (it’s a shortcut from North to South) and realized that the home is currently up for sale. I couldn’t help but stop the car and take a few pictures of the house with my iPhone. Isn’t it pretty?

father of the bride house via reviving charm father of the bride house via reviving charm

For a cool $2 million, the home will become someone’s dream along with the Hollywood cache associated with it. But if you are interested, you will have to submit a backup offer. After a week on the market it is already in escrow. I wanted to check out the real estate listing because more than anything, I was curious about the current shape of the inside of the house. The outside of the home has been lovingly maintained and I was hoping that the interiors would match. You can check out the listing and see for yourself HERE. Let me know what you think.

father of the bride house via reviving charm

If you look closely you can see the basketball backboard peeking out over the hedges.

Interestingly enough, after 25 years since the movie’s making, the basketball hoop, where some of the most poignant scenes of the movie were filmed, is still in place. Let’s hope the new owners don’t remove it.


little beach house malibu soho house malibu reviving charmFounded in London in 1995 as a private members’ club for people in the creative industries, SoHo House has opened clubs across Europe and North America, as well as cinemas and restaurants. Many of the clubs serve as a home away from home offering luxurious amenities of an exclusive hotel. Prospective members must be nominated by two existing members of any House….except The Little Beach House Malibu, which is part of the SoHo House brand. The new Southern California location is so exclusive that even existing SoHo House members have to go through a separate application process to accepted as a member of the Malibu location. Membership to the Malibu location is reported to be only be available to residents, and people who work or have a connection to Malibu or its immediate coastal areas. The Little Beach House officially opened a couple of days ago with a star studded event. Much hasn’t been released about the interiors and pictures weren’t allowed inside the opening day event, but I definitely like the little that I have seen, mostly from Instagram and Twitter. The location captures the quintessential Malibu of what I would call “laid back luxury”. I can’t wait to see more of this location…maybe someday in person.

soho house malibu The hollywood reporter reviving charm

soho house malibu reviving charm

The gallery wall of art and sculpture is spectacular. {image source}


There is no denying that I love San Francisco. Over the years Mr B and I have traveled there so often, people think we live there. We had a hiatus in travel for a bit but are getting back into the groove of things. When first made it back into town last year one of the restaurant staff commented, “Where have you been. I thought you moved”. I tell you this not to brag but to offer some sound travel advice: make friends with the hotel staff and servers wherever you go. They will treat you well. Even if it’s in your own home town. Your parents may have taught you to “treat everyone the way you wish to be treated”. The were right. People will appreciate you for it and along the way you can meet some really nice people!

I have fond memories of San Francisco and am looking forward to flying up there tomorrow. If you want to join us on our travels, be sure to follow along on Instagram and Twitter. I also have some fun posts planned for while I am away.

We plan on visiting the Oscar de la Renta Retrospective at the de Young Museum, visit the annual flower show at Macy’s as well as shop, dine and wander throughout the city. We will go wherever the wind takes us. I’m also hoping to visit the exhibit of French artist Pierre Bonnard at the Legion of Honor. It is the first and only U.S. stop. And it is at one of my favorite museums. The Style Saloniste did a lovely post about Bonnard if you want to learn more.

Someone recently asked me “are you a details person or a big picture person”. With no hesitation, I responded: “details”. Since I am feeling a little nostalgic about the city I love, I have decided to share a few pictures of San Francisco I have taken over the years. Naturally, they are just a few of the little “details” that make the city so great.      Enjoy…  -XOXO, V.

coit tower san francisco reviving charm

The climb is worth the views and the exercise is rewarding.

san francisco bay reviving charm

The beautiful bay.

san francisco cafe chairs reviving charm

French cafe in the heart of Downtown.

The Schuggi chocolate shop is now closed but this remains one of my favorite pictures.

san francisco palace hotel architecture reviving charm

The Palace Hotel.

san francisco bakeries reviving charm

Peeking through the window at a cookie display.

san francisco mural gitane restaurant reviving charm

Exterior of Gitane Restaurant on Claude Lane (it’s really more of an alley than a street).

san francisco public art statue reviving charm

Public Art.

san francisco antique shopping reviving charm french antiques

Window displays at Aria on Grant Avenue.

A beautiful gold cherub guards the entrance to a building along Market Street.

A beautiful gold cherub guards the entrance to a building along Market Street.

doors of san francisco reviving charm

Ornate metal work on cathedral doors

Fresh bread piled in wicker and wire baskets.