Night Out for a Good Cause, Tomato Bruschetta & Getting Ready for the Fall Cozy Season

Today on Weekend Meanderings a night out for a good cause, tomato bruschetta, a dream home in my neighborhood and its time to get ready for cozy season.

Happy weekend, friends!

It’s Saturday and I’m joining Kim and Elizabeth for Weekend Meanderings.

Our weekly roundup of inspiration and goings on.

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Display of pumpkins on a haystack at Orchard Nursery.

It’s fall, y’all!

And it feels like it.

Last Sunday we took the dogs for a stroll along the Alameda shoreline.

The City vista is always spectacular.

San Francisco skyline from Alameda Island.



Last weekend Jim and I had the good fortune to attend Hands Across the Valley’s 31st annual gala and auction at the historic Charles Krug Winery in St. Helena. The annual event is a fundraiser benefiting Napa Valley’s safety net food programs.

Charles Krug Winery hosting Hands Across the Valley.

The evening kicks off with a cocktail hour where Napa Valley’s finest vino flows alongside small bites from the best local restaurants. Guests sip and nibble while perusing the evening’s auction lots. This year’s dinner, catered by Elaine Bell, was served family style … which I love.

Jim admired the fancy cars that were part of an auction lot. The cars weren’t auctioned, they’re part of a day trip driving extravaganza.

After dinner, the auction featured Liam Mayclem, a popular Bay Area radio and TV personality, also known as The Foodie Chap. It was Liam’s 5th year as auctioneer and he was his usual dapper, charming and witty self. When the auction ended Time Bandits hit the stage for fun music and dancing under the stars.

Want to know what I wore? Ok, I’ll tell you … my absolute favorite one-shoulder Selani dress by Rails. I’ve worn this dress many times over the summer starting off with our Italy vacation and it’s perfect for early fall.

Woman in black one shoulder Rails dress holding glass of wine at Charles Krug Winery.

Dress | Gold Hoops | Basket Tote | Sandals | Sunnies


It feels like we went from zero to too-many-tomatoes overnight. Last week I shared my go-to, super easy tomato basil pasta and this week I’ve been making bruschetta on repeat. I use Valerie Bertinelli’s recipe but I leave out the olives. I use red, orange and yellow cherry and tear drop tomatoes … the tri-color combo is vibrant and delicious.


I get very excited with the arrival of a new book, and never more so than the latest by The Home Edit gals, Clea Shearer and Joanna Teplin. Stay Organized: The Ultimate Guide to Making Systems Stick is the perfect title, and content, for my life at the moment. Having just finished a serious closet clean out I went straight to the Closet chapter for tips on how to better organize and maintain my current degree of semi-order.

Stay Organized book on closet vanity countertop.

The Home Edit: Staying Organized

I’d like to do a better job of maintaining my cleaned out and paired down closet and I know Stay Organized is going to help and inspire me to do it. More on my closest clean out process here, here and here.


Shall we swoon over a beautiful home? Let’s!

3947 Happy Valley Road overhead property shot.

This house is sort of down the street, I drive by it everyday on my way to town. It’s been for sale twice in the last two years and I just received a flyer from the sellers agents Stella and Stephanie bragging over highlighting their record breaking sale and ungodly price tag. The home gives me Hamptons vibes … and I’d love to get a peak inside. Sadly the closest I’m going to get is real estate photos … good enough.

3947 Happy Valley Road, Lafayette house exterior.

Welcome to a Lafayette family oasis: a traditional estate ideally suited for modern times. This gorgeous gated property embodies New England-inspired elegance across 1.5 park-like acres. Staying home never felt so good. Custom craftsmanship is found throughout the compound’s three buildings of expansive spaces totaling 8, 960 sq. ft., 7 BR/8.5 BA. French doors open to sunlit patios for the best in indoor-outdoor living. The light-filled main residence, with its five-star chef’s kitchen and oversized stone fireplaces, is comfortable and capacious. The La Cornue handcrafted French range and rotisserie are a chef’s dream. Movie nights in the home theatre will become a family favorite. The gracious carriage house, charming studio guest house and custom children’s playhouse accommodate a wide range of needs. Outside, beautiful grounds, oversized porches, swimming pool, cabana and spa make this a special property that offers a unique blend of privacy, pleasure, tranquility and security.

White traditional style home in Lafayette, California.

My favorite spaces are the kitchen and outdoor living areas. Let’s start in the kitchen with that gorgeous hood. It looks like hammered copper. The flooring choice is beautiful. I like a darker finish and it gives the house a vintage feel. You know what bugs me? All those can lights cluttering up the ceiling. Building code requires a ridiculous number cans and I hate it. Real estate photos are often taken with lights on, where design photos mostly use natural light and these eyesore cans aren’t so in your face.

Big white kitchen with hammered brass hood.

What a generously sized breakfast area. I’m fond of round tables. And those rattan chairs with loop de loop backs are so good. Not wild about the chandelier, but I’ll allow it.

Breakfast area with round table just off kitchen.

Wine anyone? There are those darn cans again. This room could use a good chandelier over the tasting table.

Curved wine room.

Talk about resort style living. Note to self: start buying Lotto tickets and catch this house next time it’s on the market.

Beautiful outdoor rectangular pool and patio.



Now that’s it’s officially fall I’m ready to prep for the cozy season. Starting with with what I’m wearing like these super soft and warm sweatpants that I shared last weekend. And, because I’m a late-to-the-party Birkenstock fan, I ordered these clogs as my cozy fall winter house (and out of the house) shoe.

Alo Accollate Storage Leg Sweatpant | Birkenstock Boston Clog

It’s time to up the coziness factor around the house too. And that means getting out the oversized faux fur throws I bought last year to tuck around the bottom cushions of our sectional.

Oversize Faux Fur Throw

And my light colored throws be replaced with autumn colors like these chunky knits from Target.


Heavier knits, wools, cashmere and mohair are also cozy additions to sofas and chairs.

Pottery Barn throws in various colors.


My fall scented candles have been out for a couple of weeks. I light this autumn scented candle in the kitchen every morning while making breakfast. And this pumpkin, caramel, butter candle is on my coffee table. The delicious, subtle aroma wafts around even when the candle isn’t lit.


Also in the kitchen, apples and pears have replaced bowls of citrus that sit on the counter. And next week I’ll pull down my fall bins to retrieve my collection of woven pumpkins to scatter around the house.


As for the front porch, where the bulk of my seasonal decorating happens, I’m waiting (patiently?) for a local floral designer to open up her fall wreath orders. I check first thing every morning. My preference is for a eucalyptus wreath (similar here and here) with a long streamer of velvet ribbons in various widths.

Eucalyptus wreath on blue dutch door


The rest of my porch stays true to past years, layered natural fiber doormats, a couple of lanterns with small pinecones scattered around flameless candles. Mums will be added to my porch planters … hopefully this week.


My favorite thing about the fall season is the food. Comfort food. In between tomato recipes I’ve whipped up a few fall comfort favorites to share next week.

How’s your fall tradition going?

Current Favorites ~

And that’s what I have for you this week.

Let’s see what’s inspiring Kim and Elizabeth …



If you missed my last post, you can catch up here.

You’ll find all my weekend roundup posts collected here.

You can also follow along on Instagram and Pinterest.

Any thoughts you’d like to share?

I’d love to hear them and you can drop them in the comments below.

Woman standing on beach under pier.

Cheers from Snowberry!

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  • Juliet, I have a boat load of tomatoes here too from my dad and the bruschetta looks so good. I’ll have to make it this week. Your event looks like a lot of fun . You sure have gotten a lot more wear out of our Rails dress and it is so good on you. That house is beautiful. Yes so Cape Cod like. Love the yard especially! I am always amazed at those wine cellars. Max and I can’t even fill our small wine frig. LOl!
    I bought those yoga pants last year and really like them! I would love a pair of those clogs!
    I should out out my fur throws soon. I have Marlo’s heat pad back on.I love this cooler weather.
    Hope you have a beautiful weekend! xo

  • I pulled out my fall pillows and velvet pumpkins and the fall bin is down from the attic. I’m dying for fall weather in oklahoma but alas today we will have a heat index of 99. But t won’t stop me from dreaming of comfort food and baking. I did buy a yellow mum which are my favorite color. And pulled down my fall wreath that believe it or not I’ve had for 21 years and it still looks great. That’s my tradition. Loved this post

    • Oh, Nanci … that’s way too hot. I feel for you and hope for cooler, fall temps very soon. VERY soon. Love that you have a wreath that can be reused year after year. I’d love to find one like that. Thanks for sharing your traditions and I hope the weather cooperates with your fall dreams very soon. xo

  • Looks like a beautiful event. Our fall evenings are so lovely here in Sonoma. I am pulling out the pumpkins and fall pillows too. Target and Costco had some very cute fall themed pillows that added a festive flare to my bay window bench and sofas.
    Thank you for the tomato recipes. Ours are almost done but I think the grape tomatoes are still producing so bruschetta tonight!

    • Good morning Cristi! Fall mornings in Sonoma … nothing like them. I do miss living there. At your suggestion I’m going to run to Target. Love a Bay window and your fun fall pillows will look amazing. Bruschetta makes the best dinner. Enjoy! xo

  • The fundraiser gala looked lovely and you looked great in your black one-shoulder dress! That Lafayette dream home is a classic — very old Hamptons or at least New England coastal — and the beautiful gardens with their Fall colors are wonderful. Would NOT want to look after it, inside or out: perhaps 20 years ago and 2,500+ sf less! Got to get my Fall mojo!

  • Happy Fall!

    First, you look amazing, as always in your Rails dress. Don’t you just love a dress or piece of clothing that you love, looks fabulous and that you wear on repeat?
    Ok Juliet, we both need to buy lottery tickets to win that house! It is amazing! If I win you can live there and I will have it as a place to visit!
    I might need to get the closet edit book. Even though I purged I need help. Honestly, maybe I am sick of my clothes?
    Roast some of your tomatoes with garlic and herbs and freeze them, you can make soup, or pasta sauce with it in the winter.
    I LOVE FALL! I love it more than Christmas and I really love Christmas. Cozy season is the best, the comfort food, slipped, jammies, lazy days of chili, football and all the rest.
    Have a wonderful weekend Juliet.
    I am off to check out all of your Fall links!
    xo Elizabeth

  • Hi Juliet,
    Gorgeous dress on you ! Don’t you love it when you a dress works so well for many events. I am going to decorate the house this weekend and snag some love pumpkins from TJ’s l love the nubbly ones!!
    Happy weekend:)

  • Hi Juliet:

    I don’t live too far from you, just wondering who the local florist is who does the wreaths?
    Thank you,

  • What a fabulous post! You got my attention at “closet clean-out”. I purge every week and do a drop off at Uncommon Threads, but I can’t seem to keep up! Systems are so important. Definitely buying the book!
    Thank you!
    xx Susan aka The Midlife Fashionista

    • Susan, I can’t even imagine your closet management process. So many wonderful things in and out. Thank goodness for Uncommon Threads … not only a wonderful benefit for your clients, but works for you too! Wish I lived closer so it was easier to get my donation pieces to you. xo

  • Tomatoes are the gift of summer and one of my favorite foods. Bruschetta is such a great way to enjoy them every summer with a nice glass of wine.

    That house…. good grief it’s gorgeous. Too bad you couldn’t get an in person peek.

  • Hi, I’m Juliet … welcome to Make Mine a Spritzer where we talk about all things home décor, classic style and more! I’m so happy you’re here!

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