Opera San Jose’s “Madama Butterfly”

Drama, beauty and intrigue make up Opera San Jose’s latest show–the infamous Madama Butterfly. Puccini’s masterpiece tells the captivating story of innocent love destroyed by selfishness and deceit. One of the most performed operas worldwide, the three-act performance is a must-see for opera novices and longtime aficionados.
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The story takes place in Nagasaki, Japan in 1904. A U.S. Naval Officer, Pinkerton, arrives, in search of a place to stay during his time away from home. Along with his temporary residence comes a young bride–”Butterfly.” While Butterfly carries a true and pure love for Officer Pinkerton, he does not know if what he feels is love, or simply lust. Leaving her family and disowning her faith for his, Butterfly sacrifices all for a love she believes is sure to last. Time will only tell if Pinkerton will fulfill the vows he made to the 15 year -old Madame Butterfly, or whether he will break her wings.

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Sung in Italian, Madama Butterfly is divided into 3 acts. One of my favorite musical numbers was Vogliatemi bene, which translates to “Love me, please.” At the end of the duet, Butterfly asks Pinkerton if it is true that, in foreign places, a man catches a butterfly and pin its wings to a table. He replies that they do, but so that she will not fly away; he has caught Butterfly and now she is his.

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Beyond the spectacular musical numbers, the performers gave every ounce of themselves to the audience in their emotional presence on the stage. The story was truly brought to life by the Opera San Jose cast. Not one detail went unnoticed, from the starry sky, to the gorgeous kimonos, to the petals all across the ground. Opera San Jose’s Madama Butterfly was flawlessly executed– the spectacular cast, stunning set design, theatrical components, and exceptional orchestra fused together to create the perfect opera experience.

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Madama Butterfly runs from now until March 2nd at the California Theatre, 345 South First Street in downtown San Jose. Tickets are on sale at the Opera San Jose box office, by phone at (408) 437-4450, or online at www.operasj.org.

Misora at Santana Row

Luxury living at it’s best has come to Santana Row, and last week we had the chance to see what all the hype was all about with a fantastic party put on by Santana Row, and hosted by Jeff Lewis from Bravo’s Interior Therapy with Jeff Lewis and Property Envy!

Besides being absolutely breathtaking and only a few steps away  from fine dining, spa treatments, and shopping! Misora comes equipped with an impressive list of high-end perks and amenities you won’t easily find in the South Bay. The resort setting is picture-perfect with a breathtaking pools and sun-kissed private decks. The poolside cabanas, luxurious spa and walled green gardens are in perfect contrast to the liveliness offered just outside your front door.

And this rare gem located in the heart of Silicon Valley is already stealing the hearts of those looking to call Santana Row home. Many of the smaller studios, and one bedroom apartments are already leased, and the remainder won’t last long!

And check out this list of AMAZING Community Amenities:

Santana Row’s World Class Shopping, Dining and Entertainment

Lap Pool, Lounging Pool and Spa

Landscaped Gardens and Fountains

Outdoor BBQ and Dining Facilities

Fireplace Lounge

Roof Top Commons

Roof Level Pet Park

Private Subterranean Parking

Concierge Services

Serenity Lounge

Private Cinema

Billiard and Gaming Tables

iLounge and Conference Center

Fitness Studio

Demonstration Cooking Facilities

Wine Tasting Room

Wine Lockers

And if you’re wondering about the noise level. Please don’t. As soon as we walked into the hall leading up to the stairs we couldn’t hear a thing.

We simply can’t say enough about Misora.

Except that if you haven’t seen it yet you’re missing out! Stop by soon and take a tour, we promise love at first sight.

Contact the leasing office today for a tour at

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Temperature controlled wine lockers!

Temperature controlled wine lockers!

Gourmet kitchen for demo's and special cooking classes!

Gourmet kitchen for demo’s and special cooking classes!

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Loft living.

Loft living.

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One of the 2 bedroom floor plans had the most amazing bathroom! SO much space.

One of the 2 bedroom floor plans had the most amazing bathroom! SO much space.

Stunning views, and lots of natural lights!

Stunning views, and lots of natural lights!

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Guest lounge with pool table

Guest lounge with pool table

Absolutely serene!

Absolutely serene!

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Amazing food from Sino!

Amazing food from Sino!

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Jeff Lewis

Jeff Lewis

The Loft.

The Loft.

Beautiful bathrooms, with lots of space!

Beautiful bathrooms, with lots of space!

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Serenity Now ;)

Serenity Now ;)

This was the party--and we couldn't hear anything during the tour!

This was the party–and we couldn’t hear anything during the tour!

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Our lovely hosts from the leasing group.

Our lovely hosts from the leasing group.

Everyone was having a great time at the Misora Unveiling party!

Everyone was having a great time at the Misora Unveiling party!

Back to School Shopping!

If you’re like me you’ve waited till the last minute to do your back to school shopping. For a bit I thought Summer wouldn’t end, and then all of a sudden school is here before I have anything together. I felt guilty for about a minute and then came to peace with the face that this my life and I was going to make the most of it and have fun with my boys.

So we headed to Westfield Oakridge when the boys were treated to a little shopping spree. People always look at me like I’m crazy when I go shopping with my two boys but what can I say? They love it!  It must be a genetic thing ;)

Westfield Oakridge is one of their favorite places to shop. We get to hit up H&M, The Disney Store, Old Navy, Macy’s, Journey’s and so much more in one trip! And sometimes we end the trip with some ice cream and a movie.

Here are some their favorite looks and items from our shopping spree!

Please note: Shopping, styling, and modeling was coordinated by a 4 and a 6 year old…

Tops: Crazy 8 (SO fun!)

Tops: Crazy 8 (SO fun!)

Shirt: H&M. Shorts: Old Navy

Shirt: H&M. Shorts: Old Navy

Shirt: Old Navy. Backpack: Disney Store. Jeans: H&M

Shirt: Old Navy. Backpack: Disney Store. Jeans: H&M

Shirt: Old Navy. Backpack: Disney Store. Jeans: H&M

Shirt: Old Navy. Backpack: Disney Store. Jeans: H&M

Sweater & Jeans: H&M (Stretch Skinny jeans! SCORE!)

Sweater & Jeans: H&M (Stretch Skinny jeans! SCORE!)

Tops:  Disney Store (They loved these shirts! And they were Organic #Happy Mom) Black Slim fit jeans: Old Navy ($10)

Tops: Disney Store (They loved these shirts! And they were Organic #Happy Mom) Black Slim fit jeans: Old Navy ($10)

Sweater & Jeans: H&M (Stretch Skinny jeans! SCORE!) Back to school art kit: Disney Store

Sweater & Jeans: H&M (Stretch Skinny jeans! SCORE!) Back to school art kit: Disney Store

Shirt: H&M (Did you see $4.95? KABOOOOM!)

Shirt: H&M (Did you see $4.95? KABOOOOM!)

Sweater: H&M ($9.95...I know!)

Sweater: H&M ($9.95…I know!)

Hoodie: H&M (SO soft and easy to wear)

Hoodie: H&M (SO soft and easy to wear)

Shirt: Crazy 8. Jacket: H&M. Jeans: H&M

Shirt: Crazy 8. Jacket: H&M. Jeans: H&M


Native Collection by Michael Stricklin

We have all experienced it. You purchase a clothing item or accessory you love, and while everything appeared perfect at that initial moment, after a few times of use, it’s falling apart. Items are not made these days like they used to be. Even high priced items are lacking in the quality you would expect for the price you pay. That is why when you do find something that not only lives up to your expectation, but surpasses it, it would be wrong not to share.

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Let me introduce you to Native Collection Leather Goods, the brainchild of owner Michael Stricklin. Stricklin’s company manufactures handmade leather goods made from Hermann Oak vegetable-tanned leather. All products are produced in the United States (Alabama, to be exact), where each and every item is individually dyed, oiled, finished, cut, sewn, and assembled like the way they used to be. With a wide array of items, Native Collection offers iPhone cases, cross-body bags, and much more.
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I had the pleasure of reviewing the credit card wallet/business card holder, the leather camera strap, and my personal favorite–the toiletry bag (which can also make an ideal makeup bag). My initial reaction when opening up the package was –”Wow, this is incredibly good quality.” (My friends have been pretty impressed as well). Not only are Stricklin’s designs durable, the designs are modern and contemporary, while still having a classic appeal. This is something that I know will last and last for years, like good leather should.
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While it may seem that the days of quality goods are a thing of the past, designer Michael Stricklin reminds us that this is not completely the case. To see the full range of the products from Native Collection Leather Goods, and to purchase your own unique leather goods, visit the store at www.nativecollectionco.etsy.com.