Sarah Lim: Museum Notes

Grazie America! From Italy to Merced County

Columnist’s Note: After more than a year of preparation, the Merced County Courthouse Museum opened the “Grazie America! From Italy to Merced County” exhibit on March 16, 2017. The exhibit collected personal stories from more than 130 contributors. As this successful exhibit came to an end on August 6, the process of documenting and preserving their stories continued. This resulted in the publication of a 2-volume book with the same title which will be released this Saturday, July 14, at the Courthouse Museum at 1:00 p.m. The following is Ezio Sansoni’s story, one of the many sweet memories and enduring struggles of the Italian Americans in Merced County.

Old Trainer

How to train your dog to go for a walk

DEAR OLD TRAINER: Flash, my 3-year Bouvier, really improved when I took your advice and got serious about training. He is good at “sit” and “stay” and only barks now when someone approaches our house. His one problem is on our walks. He gets so excited he pulls like a sled dog and ignores me. Can I train him to calm down?


Design Smarts: Remodelista’s Julie Carlson on changing it up

You can Pinterest, you can Instagram, you can even Houzz. But if you're looking for rock-solid renovation inspo online, you're going to want to check out the site that has the most tightly edited look on the internet – Remodelista. The pared down, sometimes minimal aesthetic manages to stay true to its look, yet always timeless and even on trend. Blame it on founder Julie Carlson, who now has the original site and sister sites Gardenista and The Organized Home to her credit, in addition to design and garden books. Carlson's staying power secret? Her instinct for curated classic designs, unimpeachable quality and a healthy dose of practical advice. Here's what she had to say about renovation, limited space, and that pile of papers on your desk.


Alessandra Branca on the classics, the curiosity and the choices that hone her style edge

Ask Chicago's chicest designer what keeps the rooms she creates looking of-the-moment, and she'll tell you: "What I care about," says Alessandra Branca, "is comfort in a home. I am not worried about what is trendy. I design for my clients and nothing else." Sounds strictly sensible. Yet she's been known to pair racy steel stools with flamboyant red walls. And there's the Branca puzzle: Is she the glossy Ferragamo driving moc of interior design, or the stone-cold statement Prada heel? Answer: Both. Branca continues to build on – and blow up – her aesthetic. Which explains her new collection for Schumacher, including a classic floral so saturated it skews surreal. Keeping her style fresh, she says, is simply a matter of playing gorgeous favorites against a constant flow of new inspiration – and making absolutely everything personal. Here's how:


Interview: ‘A Quiet Place’ star prefers ‘Battlefront 2’ over ‘Fortnite’

Director John Krasinski's $328 million horror hit, "A Quiet Place," is the second blockbuster in a row for 13–year-old actor Noah Jupe, who was previously best known for the film, Wonder. The 13-year-old English actor, who just completed Ford v. Ferrari with Matt Damon and Christian bale, took some time to talk about his early body of work (he's already been in seven films and four TV series in the past three years) and his role as Marcus Abbott in A Quiet Place to coincide with the 4K, Blu-ray, DVD and Digital HD release of the Paramount Pictures Home Entertainment horror release. And of course, we talked about video games, a favorite pastime of kids of all ages, in this exclusive interview.


On Gardening: Sun Parasol mandevillas celebrate fifteen years of stunning tropical flower color

Fifteen years ago, the Sun Parasol mandevilla made its debut in the country and those of us who were present knew this tropical climber was here to stay. What we didn't know was that this series giving a tropical magic to the garden would one day feature 21 varieties. We could not have imagined a red and white striped selection, like Stars and Stripes, a soft orange like the Sun Parasol Apricot or a Giant Red Emperor with the ability to climb 10 to 15 feet and produce flowers 3 to 5-inches wide.


Parents @ Play: Fun in the sun

The weather outside is lovely, these days, and we're trying to spend as much time out there as humanly possible. If you're looking to join us, here are some fun options.


Buy a bag of Dog Chow, help a veteran

The Pets and Vets service dog program at Tony La Russa's Animal Rescue Foundation could get up to $500,000 from Purina Dog Chow, which has launched a two-prong campaign in support of ARF's efforts to help veterans and rescue dogs.

Watch internet sensation Chubbs the cat get spoiled at the shelter

Chubbs, a 29-pound Himalayan mix cat, was found wandering the streets of Altadena, California. He captured hearts online with his "sweet disposition" — "but his heavy load makes it uncomfortable to move around freely."