MONDAY MADNESS: What time is it?


Good Morning.

“Wait.  What time is it?  It’s so dark outside.  I thought it was supposed to be lighter earlier?  Or is it supposed to be lighter later?”

It’s 6:30am.  Does that mean it’s really 7:30am outside or 5:30am outside?  I can’t keep it straight.  All I know is I’m tired, it’s dark and I need coffee.

What’s the point of changing the clocks?  Or better yet, what’s the point of disrupting our (ok, my) sleep pattern?  Daylight Savings Time (DST) occurs the first Sunday in March and runs through the first Sunday in November.  We set our clocks ahead one hour during the warmer part of the year so the evenings have more daylight.  Ok, this makes sense.  Arizona and Hawaii have opted out of this ‘longer, hotter days’ for obvious reasons.

DST is great for baseball season (go Oakland), outdoor BBQ’s, and simply not feeling tired at 7:30pm when it seems like 10:30pm.  I love the idea of longer days.   Now, I won’t feel like putting on my pajamas before dinner.  Hopefully, this additional hour of daylight will allow me to be more productive with my to-do list.  It’s just a struggle with the initial loss of one hour of precious sleep…a commodity hard to come by, the older I get.

How about you?  Any residual effects of losing an hour of sleep this morning?  Were you sleepwalking through the morning routine?  Or, are you the ‘up-and-at-em’, no problem kind?  Let us know how you’re doing this fine Monday morning…second day of DST, first day back to work.

While you type, I’ll be in the kitchen brewing another cup of coffee?

Sleepily yours,


Friday Finds: Black and White

 This one is mine…can't tell you where to get it because then you'll buy it and we'll be twins.

This one is mine…can't tell you where to get it because then you'll buy it and we'll be twins.

We make choices on a daily basis.  We pick out our clothes, makeup, and if you're like me you ponder what pens to write with.  The choices we make for gifts and decorations for our home are endless.  There are trends to follow, Pinterest boards to covet, and dog-eared magazine pages in everyone’s home signifying personal favorites.

But, what is it with constantly defaulting to black and white?  I find myself drawn to these two options more often than not.  Is it because I’m tired of making difficult decisions or committing to a color?  Is it because I know these two will stand the test of time? Four out of five days a week, I’m wearing a different black or gray sweater. (I consider gray a just a variation to black.)  I just bought a new eye shadow from Dior and did a happy dance when I realized the container had a black lid, thinking to myself, “it’ll look good on and in my drawer.”  Am I totally crazy?  Don’t answer that.

  Available   here   at Carde Blanche

Available here at Carde Blanche

I find peace in a minimal decision making process.  I’ve committed to basic black as a default and have not been disappointed.  So why change? When deciding which Lafko Candles to add to the Carde Blanche desk collection, I secretly prayed the black and white options would not be offensive fragrances, as I have a very sensitive sniffer.  Crisis averted.  These two are by far the most popular among retailers…at least that’s what the sales rep said.  Just think of the variety of uses for those glass containers when the candle burns down (after 90+ hours).  Options = endless. Details in a future blog post.

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Whether it's gifts, notepads, pens or purses, if it’s any shade of black, consider it sold.  How about you?  What color(s) do you gravitate towards regardless of the trends?  Do tell.  It may help move me out of my monochromatic life (that I love).

Candidly yours,


Initial Stationery

The Lango Messenger

Dior Eye Shadow (Mirage Taupe)

Black Le Pen

Christian Lacroix Notebook

FRIDAY FINDS: The Hello Kitty Encounter

This post is literally about a true find, my Hello Kitty Collection.  I won’t skirt around the issue, it all started in 1976 with the original Stapler.  Believe it or not, it still has staples inside.  My love for collecting Hello Kitty items was known to all who knew me.  I had an ongoing wish list that consisted of both Hello Kitty and Little Twin Stars kits, papers, stamps, pens and pencils.  Come on…you know you’re getting tingly inside just thinking about your own collections and wondering what ever happened to them.

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While I’m thrilled at the thought of using those relatively sharp pencils today, I’m disappointed that I didn’t truly enjoy them to the fullest extent in my childhood years.  That notebook is 80% full of blank pages.  The sewing kit is still complete with needles, thread and extra buttons and snaps.  This begs the question of why?

Since making the discovery, I’ve pondered the reasons behind the careful protection of this collection and gracefully acknowledged that, “hindsight is 20-20.”

ANGER - At my siblings for wanting to use my Hello Kitty stuff because it was more neat and organized than their own

  20-20: I may have missed out on lots of make-believe time with my sisters in the world of Sanrio

FEAR - Of not being able to properly sharpen the pencils again if we used them

  20-20: who cares, at least I would have enjoyed coloring in those notebooks

PARANOIA - Of running out of those printed papers in the structured boxes

  20-20: imagine the letters I could have written to my family and friends

CURRENT GUILT - Of not wanting to give this collection to my own daughters when they were younger to fully enjoy

  20-20: now two generations have missed out on the happiness of Hello Kitty

Although looking at my Hello Kitty Collection makes me smile (and want to make a quick trip to the Sanrio store), I’m also embarrassed about my selfish tendencies and the lost opportunities to enjoy each and every coveted and collected item.  Hmmm?  There’s definitely a life lesson here.

Moving forward, I pledge to live in the moment.  I will use my favorite collectibles until the ink runs dry or the last page of the notebook is written in.  I will share my toys, makeup, purses and hot tamales, as long as it brings pleasure to those who ask.

And to answer my daughter’s question when this collection was discovered, “Hey Mom, do you think I can give these to my kids?” ABSOLUTELY! 

Candidly yours


MONDAY MADNESS: Goodbye 2013 Hello 2014

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I’d like to take this opportunity to thank you for your support, comments, and likes.  I am grateful for each and every one of you.  It has been a pleasure sharing with you some insights into my life, my family and my business, Carde Blanche

These last few months have been a journey that includes lots of trial and error relative to Candid, the blog.  Some posts have come to me with an ‘ah-ha’ moment and others are methodically planned out.  I have enjoyed the design aspect of each post and hope to continue to provide you with interesting reads, humorous stories, and links to some must-have products and finds each Friday.

I am honored to have my sister, Michelle, tomorrow for the Be My Guest series.  She will conclude 2013 with a holiday post you don't want to miss.  During my time off, I will be revisiting our scheduled series, fine-tuning the topics and planning more guest posts on Tuesdays.

I would love to know what inspires you.  What do you want to see more of in 2014?

Until then, I wish you a Merry Christmas and a happy and healthy New Year.


Candidly Yours,


MONDAY MADNESS: Literally Maddening

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Time to come clean.  I, too, ‘put off until tomorrow what I should do today.’  This really refers to yesterday, Sunday.  Today is definitely going to be Monday Madness around here.  I had it all mapped out.  I knew I had the time.  Sunday was going to be about tackling my to-do list, which was quite long.

Believe it or not, however, going to the mall was nowhere on the list.  Why then did I find myself in lines consuming two precious hours of my day?  I was supposed to be home at the table in production mode.  There were large invitation orders that needed completing, there were customers anxious to get thank you notes designed, and there were new customers waiting to see samples for their upcoming events.  This is exactly the kind of ‘busy’ I love.


There’s no question that the paper pushing production would commence after my Sunday routine of bundling up for walk a to Peet’s for coffee.  I felt like the Mayor when I got there…as they all said hello to me by name despite my random outfit of mismatched sweats, a hand-knitted scarf, gloves, and a beanie that supports the local high school.  I was fairly certain that I was incognito when I left the house.  It didn’t matter, the staff couldn’t have been nicer and the coffee was strong, satisfying, and dependable.

When I returned home, coming in through the garage, I noticed the patio cushions propped against every wall, box and cabinet we own.  They were drying out from a recent flash flood.  Ok…it was just a storm and it was over two weeks ago.  It was time they were properly bagged and put away.  This shouldn’t have taken long.  But, one hour later and I was still sweeping the garage after moving all the cushions.

When that task was finally done, I knew it was time to launch the smooth jazz and get started on the paper projects.

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Unfortunately, the cats were out of food.  I had to run to PetSmart to replace the organic, non-filling, grain and gluten-free variety they had become accustom to.  While out I decided to grab a few updated (and hopefully already on sale) uniform colored ornament balls for the Christmas tree my husband was picking up.   We’re a little tardy on tree trimming this year so I planned for plain in color, design and lights.  Surprising?  After going to World Market and Target (two hours lost), I had come home with my idea of simplicity and a bag of gold balls.  Some were shiny.  Some were matte.  Some had glitter.  But someone thought I had completely lost my marbles.

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Absolutely not!  That is not how we do Christmas.  That is not our tradition.  We don’t change the tree.”  This all came from the child who doesn’t notice if there are eight empty water bottles in her room that create an obstacle course from the door to the bed (and doesn’t see a problem with that when brought to her attention).  But she noticed a difference in the plan for a tree that would only be with us for a few weeks!  Huh?

We went back and forth about the tree for at least 30 minutes (again, not on the to-do list) before compromising with most of the gold balls and some sentimental ornaments that she got to choose.  The tree turned out beautiful and bright.  But the invitations still weren’t stuffed.

While the soothing Christmas music was playing in the background, I noticed the time.  It was already 4:00pm.  The chances of those big tasks getting done were waning.  The house now had pine needless and glitter everywhere, the castaway ornaments needed to be put away and I needed to nudge the ‘tenants’ to stop fluffing their laundry and finish it instead.

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I took refuge in my office and made a new list.  I pulled out a gold-foiled postcard with a spot for today’s date and who it was to.  I wrote ‘do’ after To: and noted 12/15/13 as the date.  Then I proceeded to make a list of smaller jobs that still could be done by the end of the day:

  • Complete UCLA themed holiday gift
  • Print thank-you note sample in silver and navy blue to match invitations
  • Finish addressing family holiday cards
  • Clean up office desk

This was definitely more manageable.  Writing down to clean off my desk allowed me to take pleasure in checking off at least one task for the day.  I let the background Christmas music remind me to enjoy this time of year regardless of how much I accomplish each day.  Today may be maddening and I may not leave the house.  But I’m determined to change that commonly used phrase by including a small addendum.

“Don’t put off until tomorrow what you can do today.  If you have to, simply adjust the list and shout Yippee Kai Yay!”

Candidly Yours,


Sunday Sources: Target, PetSmart, Anthropologie (from another distracting chore day)