family


Spring dresses and a formal tea

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wearing: On me: blue handkerchief wrap dress / black high heels / ivory and gold door knocker earrings / bracelets (old, similar here) / spring nail polish / gold ankle bracelet / blue handbag / On my daughters: pink dress (on sale!) / sneakers were worn for the walk to the car, pink dress paired with these flats / blue vintage inspired dress /

How cute are my daughters!! We snapped these photos on our walk back to the car after our annual NCL tea. Isn’t it funny how I always look for a wall? haha, Anyhoo. . .There had been a farmer’s market going on when we arrived, so I ended up parking several blocks away from the tea venue. My daughter was smart, and brought a pair of sneakers for the walk to the car! I think she’s ready to be a commuter!

In case you are wondering what NCL is, it is the National Charity League. It is a Mother/Daughter volunteer organization which also provides leadership skills, leadership opportunities, and it solidifies character building, and etiquette taught at home. It’s a great organization for helping craft your daughter into a powerful lady, as well as give us Mom’s a chance to spend valuable time with our tween/teen daughters. The annual tea is part of the etiquette lessons we teach our daughters. It is also a fun event to share with our daughters!

The theme this year was “An Afternoon in Wonderland” and it was a beautiful, whimsical theme! The centerpieces were adorable and played off the theme perfectly. The tea committee did such a fabulous job! My daughter’s love the annual tea, as it is one of the rare times each year they get to dress up! My teen picked out this pretty pink dress and my tween chose a vintage inspired blue number. I think they both looked like princesses! I love how they put their outfits together all by themselves. It’s so cute!

While my dress isn’t as fabulous against this pastel wall as my daughters dresses, it was very comfortable and worked well for the tea. I wore it in the morning with flats for my teen’s orchestra concert, then I switched to heels in the afternoon for the tea. It’s a very versatile dress! I am looking forward to pairing it with sandals and a bamboo bag this summer on more casual occasions. It’s a great spring/summer dress!

Shop our tea dresses online:

So, I want to circle back and talk about this all for a minute. Isn’t is beautiful? We found it in downtown Campbell. It’s really pretty and eye-catching in person. I’m so glad someone painted it for everyone to admire!

What is your favorite way to wear a dress on warm days? Do you prefer flats, sandals, or pumps?

Thanks for stopping by!

XOXO

Cathy

tea centerpieces ideasspring dresses


Henry Cowell Redwoods State Park hiking trails

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Henry Cowell Redwoods State Park is a fabulous grove of redwood trees complete with several hiking trails to enjoy. Many of the trails are dog friendly or horse friendly too! The many trails are connected, which allows you to hike all day for miles, or to enjoy a short, half-mile hike with small children. Whichever type of hike you are looking for, you will find it Henry Cowell Redwoods State Park!

We recently went to Henry Cowell Redwoods State Park in Felton with my daughter’s Girl Scout troop. The weather was perfect, and it was partially overcast, which gave us ideal hiking conditions. What I thought would be a two hour hike, turned into a 5 mile, all morning adventure! The girls are in middle school, so now that they are older, they can last longer on hikes. They enjoyed going on the moderate trails, and making it up to the Cathedral Redwoods circle of coast redwood trees. There were a few benches there, which made it ideal for snacking and drinking water.

The hiking trails at Henry Cowell Redwoods State Park are well maintained and quite clean. It was easy to avoid poison oak, and there was plenty of room for people to pass each other. There are many old growth redwoods, some which might have been two hundred years old! When Lt. John  C. Fremont was surveying the area in 1846, he camped in the area, and as a result, had an old growth tree, which is presumed to have been there when he was, named after him!

fremont tree henry cowell state park

There is a grove of old growth redwoods, named the Redwood Grove Loop Trail,  right by the visitor center, which offers an educational walk through elder trees. Oh the stories they could tell! This is a flat area, so if you have a stroller, or really small children, this grove is perfect! You can also catch a glimpse of the trains from Roaring Camp when they pass by. Your train-loving children will love that!

Visit like a local

I may sound like a broken record, but the early bird catches the worm! Try to arrive to Henry Cowell Redwoods State Park before 9am; especially during the peak summer season, and on weekends. If you arrive later in the day, you might have to park outside the park and end up hiking a mile just to get to the trails! Well, that’s no fun! Visit like a local, and arrive early.

The parking lot is $10, and very safe and well-maintained. In addition to hiking, you can walk over to Roaring Camp and ride a train, go camping, swim in the Garden of Eden, and/or attend a special event. This is a great park to visit again, and again! Without traffic, it is roughly 40 minutes from San Jose. It is located at 101 Big Trees Park Road in Felton, California.

You can learn more about the park online here. For a list of hiking trails, you can find one here.

If you’re local, where are your favorite hikes in the Santa Cruz area? If you’re not local, be sure to add Henry Cowell Redwoods State Park to your itinerary when you visit the San Francisco Bay Area! It’s close to the Santa Cruz beach!

Thanks for stopping by!

XOXO
Cathy

old growth redwood trees


Castle Rock State Park hiking trails: Castle Rock Falls

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my daughter’s outfit: blue sweatshirt / black track pants / black/white sneakers /

Castle Rock State Park is a really popular outdoor destination here in the South Bay. The park features several hiking trails, rare rock formations, camping, beach access (if you are willing to hike for it), and beautiful yet petite waterfalls. It is a favorite day trip for locals here in the San Francisco Bay Area!

There are several hiking trails in Castle Rock State Rock. The one I believe is the most beautiful, is the Castle Rock Falls trail. This roughly one mile trail, offers fun for the whole family. It’s an easy-to-medium hike, which features fun rock formations; kids enjoy climbing the rocks along the trail. Near the end of the trail, there is an overlook where you can see a beautiful waterfall. It isn’t a huge waterfall like Niagara Falls, but it is petite, fast-moving, and really pretty. The kids love it!

The end of the trail also offers beautiful views of the Santa Cruz Mountains and valley. We took my daughter’s girl scout troop on a family hike to Castle Rock Falls a week ago, and it was so much fun! The girls enjoyed the hike and loved climbing on all the rocks. Since they are middle-school age, the top of the rocks turned into fun photo opportunities. (Of course we always keep photos opps safe! You won’t find these girls on the news for trying to get an Insta photo at the expense of safety. These are trained girl scouts who know safety comes first!) But, I digress. . .

If you are looking for a beautiful trail the entire family can enjoy, Castle Rock State Park is a great place to go! There are several trails to choose from, but I highly recommend hiking the Castle Rock Falls trails to see the beautiful waterfall, and enjoy the fun rock formations along the way. Your kids will love it! I mean, kids love climbing on rocks, so of course they will have fun!

When you visit, there is a parking lot which is $10. At the end of the parking lot, there are bathrooms. There are also pamphlets available with maps and information about Castle Rock State Park. The pamphlets will give you information about all the trails in the park.

saratoga gap trail

If you are looking for free parking, you can park nose first along highway 35 right after the parking lot entry-way. If you arrive after 9am, and the close parking is already taken, you can  drive a mile down highway 35 and there is a free overflow parking lot. I highly recommend, no matter the time of year, to arrive around 8am in order to park where you want to park, and enjoy the trails without the crazy crowds.

Visit Castle Rock State Park like a local!

In addition to arriving at 8am, go in the off-season. The weekends during the summer are way over-crowded. I recommend going during the week if you want to visit during the summer months. Otherwise, the best time to go is during the fall, winter, or spring seasons.

Castle Rock State Park is located at 15000 Skyline Blvd, Los Gatos, CA 95033; which is highway CA 35.

Have you been to Castle Rock State Park? Which trail is your favorite?

Thanks for stopping by!

XOXO

Cathy

hiking trails santa clara countycastle rocks falls trail