A Holiday Dress + Decor and a Few Other Things … Today on Weekend Meanderings

Today on Weekend Meanderings, a fun holiday dress, Christmas decorations in a formal room, and a holiday gift idea for the gals in your life.

Happy weekend, friends!

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

Our weekly roundup of inspiration and goings on.

Birthday gift collage.

Look at that collage of gifts from my 60th birthday tea.

Hosted by our favorite Contessa who shared more about it here.

My teacup certainly does runneth over.

It’s been a whirlwind of a week.

Operation Christmas in the Library came off without a hitch.

Home library room decorated for Christmas.

That’s not entirely true.

There were a few hitches.

More on that later.

Then came Thanksgiving.

Jim and I had a lovely dinner out.

At our favorite, Main Street Kitchen.

We started with a martini for him and sparkling rose for me.

And the most amazing burrata.

I had traditional Thanksgiving turkey and Jim went for the prime rib.

We shared pumpkin cheesecake for dessert.

How was your Thanksgiving?

You’re probably entertaining friends and family.

Or out shopping for bargains.

So let’s get to it!



I saw this animal print shirt dress from Chico’s on Cindy Hattersley’s blog a couple of months ago. I bought it on clearance and it’s no longer available. But it got me thinking that an animal print shirt dress is a perfect dress for holiday occasions … teas, lunches, dinners … the theater and holiday parties. Even Christmas Eve, Christmas Day and New Year’s Eve. It’s appropriate for for almost any occasion and … added bonus … it’s super comfortable.

Woman taking mirror selfie in animal print shirtdress.

I wore mine to tea at the Palace Hotel with ivory boots I bought earlier this year for Kyle and Melody’s wedding rehearsal and luncheon. They came in black too, but sadly, they’re no longer available. This Naturalizer boot in porcelain and Franco Sarto boot in cashmere are similar. The block heel in a 3 1/4″ height makes this boot easy to wear. I also pulled out my favorite ladies-who-lunch tote by Nina Ricci. It’s many years old and I don’t believe this brand is around anymore. I wore the matching belt tie that came with the dress but you could just as easily substitute a black or brown belt. I tried but my belts were too thick and heavy … the dress needs something slightly more delicate like this.

Woman entering Palace Hotel wearing animal print shirtdress.

I’m going to wear this dress again to the theater next month. I’ll pair it with black boots and a more evening appropriate bag.

Chico's animal print shirt dress collage.

Dress no longer available, similar below | Hoop Earrings | Bag | Belt | Boots


Animal print shirt dresses are having a moment and I found several great options.


The dress I’m wearing is also made in this red and black pattern … also fun and festive for the holidays. And it’s on sale! Chico’s sizing in generous, and I think it’s best to go down a size.



As previously mentioned, my Christmas in the Library plans ran into a few snags. Mostly around getting things I needed delivered in time. I called my friend, Alli of TCB Style in a panic. She suggested alternatives to the pieces couldn’t get in time for the blogger Holiday Home Tour I joined … it kicks off next week. Most of the options she suggested came from Target and so not only were they available immediately but they were affordable. Yay. She also suggested magnolia leaves for my big punch bowl, the one the Contessa gifted me from her collection, instead of the gold ornaments I planned. It was a brilliant idea. Did you know Trader Joe’s sells magnolia branches?! I didn’t have to get on a ladder and cut them from of our tree.

I was able to get garland from Frontgate. It was more expensive than the options I was eyeing elsewhere, but it’s beautiful and perfect in every way. Unfortunately the matching window wreaths were sold out, but Trader Joe’s came through again with 22″ live wreaths that look exactly like the garland. The only difference, no lights and the pine needles shed. On the plus side, they smell heavenly. Jim hung them with this gorgeous velvet ribbon in beige … tacked above the window molding. You’ll see when the tour kicks off. Anyway, the ribbon is amazing and I already reordered more so I’ll have plenty on hand next year.

I begged Alli to come by and give my decorating the once over and zhush things with her stylist eye. She’s an expert bow tier and added bows to my window wreaths. She also helped me decide which throw blanks to use to cozy things up. I know it doesn’t sound hard, but after watching her arrange and rearrange them multiple times, I realized that effortlessly tossed throws involve a high-level-of-difficulty maneuver.

Christmas in the library moldboard collage.

Garland | Decorative Trees | Gold Stems | Velvet Ribbon | Dried Orange Vase Filler |

Nest CandleCocktail Shaker & Tools |Distressed Compote Bowl |

Mini Pine & Berry Wreaths | Brass Bell | Candlesticks

Anyway, between me, Jim, Alli and UPS the library is decked out for Christmas and I’m excited to throw open the doors for the Holiday Home Tour next week.



Recently I researched vegan bags and stumbled on this article in Vogue.  One bag in particular, the Gabbi Ruched Hobo, caught my eye not only for its fun design and colorful options, but it’s affordable price. I ordered it in ivory and it just arrived.

JW Pei Hobo bag in ivory.

JW PEI is a Los Angeles based husband and wife design team … focused on minimalist design in sustainable vegan materials. That said, it appears they manufacture in China … I’m not 100% on that but my order was shipped form there. That aside, several celebrities have been seen carrying the bag and Vogue describes it as having a cult following. I can see why.

It arrived beautifully packaged in a sturdy logo’d box and protective logo’d bag … and the bag itself, a darling hobo style, is adorable and seems to be very well made. I love it, although I wish I ordered it in a darker color. It feels fun and fresh and comes in so many colors. It’s this year’s go-to gift for the gals in my life.

Celebrities carrying JW Pei Hobo bag.

Emily Ratajkowski, Hailey Bieber, Gigi Hadid carrying the JW Pei Hobo

Look at some of the fun colors!


JW Pei offers many vegan bag styles, as well as shoes, mostly sandals, and even jewelry. As far as bags go, I see a couple (the Maze and the FAE Top Handle) I might mention to Santa.



Black Friday and Cyber Monday … I don’t really care. But I’m all in for Small Business Saturday. And while small business means many things, from restaurants to day-spas, today I’m sharing my favorite local (East Bay) clothing and home stores. It’s that time of year we all need something … something to wear or something to give … and there’s no better time to get that shopping done.

Concord – Elsie Green

Danville – Flaunt Boutique and Eye for Pretty at Home

Lafayette – White Barn Home, Orchard Nursery & Lazy K Shop, Misto Lino Home (also in Danville)

Orinda – Orinda Books and ReChic

Walnut Creek – Labels Luxury Consignment and Wish


What the heck, I’m going to mention a handful of favorite coffee shops and restaurants too.

Lafayette Public House (coffee shop by day, beer garden by night … best nachos and cocktails)

Main Street Kitchen, Walnut Creek

Pizza Antica, Lafayette (also in Mill Valley and San Jose)

Tellus Coffee, Walnut Creek

Vanessa Bistro 2, Walnut Creek

And remember, supporting small business doesn’t require spending money, although it’s helpful. Yelp reviews, NextDoor recommendations, Instagram stories, and word of mouth are all ways to show our support.



I also partake in Giving Tuesday. Jim and I always give a little something extra to the organizations we support year round.

Tony La Russa’s Animal Rescue Foundation – Gifts through November 29th will be matched up to $50k, doubling the life saving impact for these sweet, deserving future family members!

Cat and dog laying together.


Oscar’s Place Sanctuary – They too have a generous donor who will match gifts from now until November 30th!

Two donkeys.

Oscar’s Place

I love following these sweet donkey’s on Instagram. If you’re having a bad day, they’ll make it better. It’s my secret, or not so secret, dream to renovate a house on a couple of acres so we can adopt a pair of rescue donkey’s.

So there you have it, this weekend’s meanderings.

Let’s visit Kim and Elizabeth to see what’s they’re sharing.



Odds & Socks ~

This was my one and only purchase on Black Friday

Ina’s easy Ramen noodle soup could work just as well with leftover turkey.

Wishing a very Happy Birthday to grand-nephew, Wyatt, who turns 9 on Monday.


Little boy on first day of 3rd grade.

Happy Birthday, Wyatt!

If you missed last weekend’s meanderings, you can catch up here.

And follow along for more fun on Instagram and Pinterest.

As always, I appreciate your visit and welcome your thoughts in the comments below.

woman sitting on chair in hotel lobby.

Cheers from Snowberry!


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  • Juliet, your looks amazing in that dress(as always)! I will have to check out your alternative suggestion at the local Chicos.
    I cannot wait to see your library! I know it is going to be spectacular! I am still laughing at the photo of all of the boxes you shared last week. I am not sure that you needed help but how nice to have a friend to come and zush things.

    We do not have trader joes sadly, I will have to forage for a few live things to add to the house.

    Your Thanksgiving dinner looks delicious! And a lot less stressful than cooking all day.

    Sadly I am not local or I would be checking out ll of these fun suggestions. Small Business Saturday is a great day for everyone, the shops and for us.

    Happy Birthday to your sweet grandnephew. So cute.

    Have a wonderful day Juliet. xox

  • Juliet loved that dress on you with the white boots and your Nana Ricci bag is a treasure.. never get rid of it. I had forgotten about that beautiful brand and someone should revive it
    Cute bag and what a nice idea for all the women you have to buy for. It’s adorable and chic. Love shopping small and am going downtown today to do a little damage and help my local shops. Gosh I had forgotten about Cyber Monday, but I think Black Friday has largely become that now after the pandemic.
    The library is beautiful.. Can’t wait to see more on the tour. I have to start today to decorate for it.

    • Hi Christine … if you’re a subscriber to the blog you’ll receive an email update! Hope you’re having wonderful weekend. xo

  • REALLY…………..HOUSE WITH ACREAGE so you can have DONKEY’s!!
    I have already designed the house in my head have you?
    Time for coffee and SHARE ALL MEETING!!
    I LOVE that photo of you walking into the PALACE HOTEL!
    YOU should frame that!
    HAPPY 60th!!

  • You always look so casually chic! Happy big 6-oh! I passed that milestone last year. Feels weird, doesn’t it?? Sounds like you had a nice quiet holiday. Looking forward to seeing your library!

    • Happy Birthday to you too, Molly … and yes, it does feel weird!!! Hope you and your family had an amazing Thanksgiving and are continuing the festivities! xo

  • Hi Juliet,
    Looking forward to seeing your Christmas In The Library. Congratulations to you Jim, and Alli and UPS for pulling it all off in such a short period of time. You put new meaning to the word hustle.
    Loved seeing your montage of cards and gifts. I’m a big time card person. La Contessa’s 6 OH card is a stand out. I’m very curious if the “Wine Spritzers” card was custom made, kind of think so. If by chance it’s not who is the manufacturer?
    Your gifts are displayed with such care and gratitude. You are certainly loved. The gift is just having your dear friends present to honor you.
    I already responded to your fabulous 6 OH birthday celebration.
    I so enjoyed reading about your not so secret donkey story. Just maybe your dream will come true. My hubby “Honey Bear” gave me Eeyore as you probably know is the fictional character in the Winnie the Pooh. That was over 44 years ago when I lived in Sausalito and my main squeeze lived in Larkspur. I also lived in San Francisco. Eeyore is still hanging out close to my side till this day. Donkeys are sweet,
    passive, kind, and gentle. Go for it! I wonder if Jim has a say in your dream.

    • Hi Katherine … I love your Eyesore story. He was one of my favorites in Winnie the Pooh. The card is hilarious … it looks like just the ‘spritzer’ part was embellished. And the back of the card says Wicked Funny … hope that helps. San Francisco, Sausalito and Larkspur are all wonderful places to live. Where are you now? xo

  • Happy belated birthday, Juliet! You look beautiful and chic as usual. Love a good animal print dress. You wear it so well too. Love the boots that you paired with it. I hit that milestone birthday next year. I keep telling myself, it’s just a number.

  • Juliet! Love your collage of birthday gifts! And you look amazing in that animal print dress!! I love that you went out for thanksgiving! Every year we suggest it, and my kids are like …. Nooooooooo…. Maybe next year!

  • Happy belated birthday, Juliet — looks like you celebrated in style! Living away from my home state, I always look forward to visiting iconic CA spots, so hopefully my girlfriend in Lafayette and I will make it to the Palace Hotel to celebrate our b-days in 2023, too (as mentioned when we met up at the Ferry Building last spring!). Your Thanksgiving meal looks delish! And I’m sure your Library’s decor will be a highlight of the tour. Re. vegan leather: I unwittingly purchased a faux leather tote bag 5 years ago and it was fantastic, but only lasted 1-2 seasons before the outside delaminated from the body fabric. I don’t know if one can tell the quality of a material, except perhaps that price point should indicate something. But I do think leather has a lot longer life than a manufactured poly-based material, at least for now, so just a comment about spend with that in mind.
    Always enjoy your style and self-deprecating humor!

    • Thank you so much, Joan. I hope you and your friend … did you now I grew up in Lafayette … make it to the Palace and enjoy a grand tea of your own. There’s nothing like it! Thanks for the input on the vegan bag … I’ll hope for the best! xo

  • 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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