Friday, August 28, 2015

my kitchen update



It’s been awhile since I’ve shared my kitchen with you so I decided to snap a few photos and show you some recent changes.

I finally found a round dining table for the kitchen nook along with a cool, industrial letter from the same antique store and well, you know how that goes…suddenly I got inspired to spruce things up a bit.


My kitchen gallery wall

Yesterday I decided to shop my house and garage and I pulled together a few items for a new gallery wall. 

What do you think about art in the kitchen? Even before I saw it HERE, I’ve always thought that art –especially vintage--in the kitchen can add warmth and soul to a space we spend so much time in.

Plus—now that we’re in a smaller house I have to be creative about using my paintings and prints.

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And the minute I saw this 32 inch tall “E” with it’s black metal front and the forest green sides I envisioned it next to this vintage oil painting I got years ago for my anniversary.

So in-the-kitchen the gallery wall goes.


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I’ve really been trying to decorate with what I have and luckily it worked out fine.

I even found some miscellaneous wood pieces outside-- leftover from our recent brick project with my Dad--- and it’s given me the idea for a little coffee station in the corner.


But back to my new table. Here’s a closer look at it.

I literally walked up to a new dealer who was still moving into her booth when I saw this table. It was exactly what I’d been wanting for this small space.

Have you had that happen too? You see something and you instantly know, “Yep, that’s the one.”

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Oh and I gotta you show you my door too.

Ever since we’ve moved into this home one of my “hobbies” has been to paint all these cheapo doors with BM’s Mopboard Black. I originally saw this shade of black—HERE. And not only do I love her taste but this particular black seems to have a lot of blue in it. Which feels right for our ‘beach’ cottage vibe.

I’m almost done…(only 3 more doors to go) but boy, what a time-consuming job.




If you’re new to this blog…. here’s what this kitchen nook looked like during our first Christmas here when we were using our outdoor table. 

I’ve  recently moved the big clock into our living room.

And though you might be thinking the rustic table looked just fine in here, the truth was, no one was eating on it because it felt too big for daily use.

We’ve already used our new round table more than the this one.




Hmm.. when I see this photo it reminds me of the chandelier I need to get fixed. 

Because this space is definitely missing a lighting fixture.

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My former kitchen

Remember this chandelier from my old home? Well two of the arms broke during our move, and I still haven’t fixed them, otherwise I’d put it up over the table right now.

Our old home had tall ceilings and the chandelier seemed a bit small in scale for it, but with the low ceilings in this house it might be perfect here.



Ok. So you want to hear my latest little project as of today?


When I found the leftover pieces of wood on the side of the house I decided to make shelves with them and turn this empty corner into a functional coffee central.



Simple, nothing designer-ish.  But it will be nice to have one place for everything coffee.


What are you working on these days?





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Monday, August 24, 2015

how I made these pretty centerpieces using pineapple vases




On Saturday I made these two tropical centerpieces for my next door neighbors.

Jeff and Maria were celebrating the life of their Dad –and father-in-law--who had recently passed away at the age of ninety two. Because he was such a fun-loving guy who lived in Hawaiian shirts, shorts and flip-flops they asked their guests to come dressed in tropical attire and they had a live band, lots of food and a microphone set up for guests to share their memories of Leonard.



It was so lovely.

Because it was being hosted at their home I decided to bring flowers they could use on their yellow tablecloths. I’d seen pineapples used as vases before and I thought it would go perfectly with their theme.

And I took some pictures to show you how I did it.













For these centerpieces I headed over to our local grocery store and bought :

  • one big bouquet filled with orange and yellow gerbera daisies
  • white chrysanthemums
  • yellow snapdragons
  • and  Queen Annie’s Lace,
  • one bouquet of white roses
  • 4 fresh limes (stuck on wood skewers)
  • misc filler flowers

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Whenever I’m doing more than one arrangement for an event I like to do them concurrently so even though they’re different, the composition is similar.

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After your flowers are arranged in your pineapple “vase” you can hide the rim of the cup by tucking moss along the edges. I think the moss looks so vibrant next to the colors of the fresh pineapple don’t you think?


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I sure hope you enjoyed this post today.


Happy Monday my friends!





Wednesday, August 19, 2015

cottage charm: decorating with hats



I have a thing for hats.

I just love the warmth and texture they add to a room and when I’m shopping second hand stores I’m always on the look-out for ones that are comfortably worn and slightly quirky…




Today, in honor of these dog days of summer I thought I’d share some of my favorite hat vignettes with you. Sorry I don’t have a lot of the original sources.






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Here’s a photo of some of my hats in the entry of our former home.

Since then I’ve continued adding to my collection and now that we’re living in an actual beach community they really complement our cottage vibe.



I recently hung a single hat on my office gallery wall where it resembles a bonnet over my vintage gal.


And here’s a shot from our all-white guest bedroom…Van Gogh surrounded by straw hats.

Did you know there are stories of Van Gogh painting late into the night with candles on his easel and in the brim of his hat?

Just a little straw hat trivia.


So after seeing these photos,

can you think of a good spot around your home to display a hat?


On a side note, my parents are visiting all this week and we’ve been busy hanging out and having fun together.  Life is good. Tomorrow we head to Disneyland—haven’t been there in years  (I want to see if the Tiki Room is still there)

Also-I’ve been doing a few home projects with my Dad (of course) and I’ll be back shortly to show you what I did with those 150 year old corbels!


Happy August Days,







Wednesday, August 12, 2015

a damn good perspective on aging




I was listening to Jane Fonda’s views on aging and I had the most unexpected reaction.

I actually thought, “Wow, why didn’t I think of that?”

She was discussing the two metaphors for aging that she’s written about in her new book, Prime Time.  In it she draws on research, personal stories and her own life lessons to present a powerful case for living the best years of our lives after midlife.

And she challenged the typical metaphor that most of us use to describe the aging process.

She calls it the Arch. It goes like this.

We’re born, we’re fantastically young, we ride the age wave up-up-up until we peak.  And then it’s basically downhill from there. Until we die of course.  But that’s way after we peak so we’ve got lots of esoteric sinking to do before that happens.

That’s the Arch, a fairly glum, overly simplistic way to view our lives.



But according to Jane, there’s a far more accurate way to describe our journey through life by using the metaphor of a staircase.

Yes, it’s true our physical bodies are declining but in all the ways that matter ---our hearts, our soul, our wisdom, our spirits--we are continuing to ascend, to grow and to expand ourselves.

It is through this process of growing older that we have a chance to become the person we were meant to be.

…to move closer toward wholeness and peace.




I like to think of it this way:

Everything you’ve experienced in your life so far has prepared you for what’s next.




Now it’s up to you to ask yourself the important questions that matter today; the ones that will keep you ascending upwards toward your potential.


“Am I growing as a person?

“What do I still dream of becoming?”

And what’s stopping me?” 


Whether you’re in your thirties or your sixties as you read this post

I think our perspective on growing older is the big game changer.





To hear Jane in her own words click here:


Any thoughts?




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