Monday, January 25, 2016

the chandelier is up and other house updates

It's hard to believe that it's been a week since my parents left.
During their visit my Mom came down with a cold and the day after she left I got it too. Which is why I've been MIA in the blog world lately--although I've still managed to get some exciting things done around here since my parents left. Somehow working with my Dad always seems to motivate me.
(I can't wait to show you what we did last week. I just need to upload some pictures for you).

Our vintage chandelier finally got hung in the kitchen--yippee--and I did manage to get a few pictures to show you.

Here's a shot showing the plugged recessed holes in our ceiling.
This house had some scary sub-standard wiring issues we needed to address.

I love the details of this old piece.

And just for fun here's a few Before shots.:

Previous Owners:



Our goal is to eventually re-model this kitchen--it's poorly designed with peeling cabinets- but until then we keep plugging away trying to make it fit our needs.
Adding lots of white paint and new wood flooring throughout our house has helped.
And we've made it more functional for our family by adding a table that's used as a kitchen island and this new fixture and seating to create a nook area.

This side of the kitchen stayed dark until I found this fixture.

It's amazing how much lighting affects a room. All of a sudden we're eating on this table now.

The previous owners had a sectional in this corner and a TV on the opposite wall.
A round table was squeezed into the space where you cook.


The ceiling on this side of the room originally had six holes of recessed lighting that had serious wiring problems. We opted to fill the holes (too many anyway) and wire the area for one central chandelier instead.
We still need to paint the ceiling but I'm sorta waiting until we redo the kitchen because I really want a wood ceiling.

Before I go I want to share a preview of some of the painting I've been doing while I've been nursing my head cold.

My awesome, mega-talented Dad really worked his magic on my living room when he was here.  

First, we added some wood casing to my entry and totally changed the entire look and feel of this boring wall.

Project: Adding trim

But the biggest change was in my living room. I've been dreaming of adding a wall of bookshelves to this room but there's limited space.  When it came to this wall, my Mom kept asking us why we were taking so long but we stared at this one wall for quite awhile, took our measurements, looked at my Pinterest photos again and headed to Home Depot. And.... voila!

   Project: Bookshelves around doorway

Can you see where this wall is headed?

It took me a week to finish painting this---what a job--but these shelves totally transformed our living room. These are my phone pictures, stay tuned for some better ones.

In the meantime--I'm off to let the refrigerator repair man in. Oh. Did I mention that our year old refrigerator suddenly stopped working--right after a huge grocery trip? Thank goodness it didn't happen until my parents left.

I hope you're staying healthy and warm these days.


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The Scoop

Monday, January 11, 2016

Monday Inspiration (scroll down)

Well we're more than a week into the new year and I've been trying to organize things around here. It's not something I really enjoy doing so I need lots of visual inspiration to keep me focused.

Today I thought I'd share some projects that are inspiring me right now.

First on my list is this
(paint color: BM Summer Blue)

This picture has very eerie powers. It has somehow motivated me to tackle our hall closet today.
I would show you a picture but I'd risk killing myself trying to step over all the sheets and towels (and no mine are not all white--) piled on the floor right now.
And even though I don't have time to wallpaper the inside of our closet  --  I'd definitely consider stenciling.

If you're not sure about stenciling, you really should see the beautiful bathroom makeover my friend Kris completed. It will make you immediately look for something to stencil in your own house.

love the paint color: Farrell and Ball Old White

I stumbled on this kitchen and what I love most about it is that it seems like a real kitchen. It's refreshingly small-ish. Certainly not one of those grand, designer kitchens seen all over Pinterest,
 and yet it's so charming and tastefully done.
I especially like these details

white porcelain cabinet knobs with brass rosette

this Shelf bracket

Pendent light fixture from Circa

And there's some great ideas from this bathroom makeover too.
I've filed them away for our upstairs bathroom.

This weekend I finally had my hair appointment for a color and cut.
 I'm so bad about making time to get my hair done although when I go the whole experience feels so luxurious. Not only do I enjoy chatting with my stylist Kim, but I always stop into the shops next door.

Heirloom is nestled next to Barclay Butera (in Newport Beach) and I always enjoy peeking in to see what's new.

The owner has wonderful taste and is so talented.

She told me she mostly shops estate sales and flea markets -and does an amazing job of transforming her vintage pieces with upscale fabrics and paint.

I always forget to take photos--but this time I couldn't help but notice all the interesting trays she had in her shop.

Here's a few pictures I managed to snap. I wanted to remind you all to start looking for unique trays when you're hitting the garage sales or even thrift stores. 

I might have to go back for this one--its made of shells. And it would look perfect on my coffee table.

After my appointment I ended up buying a white tray from HomeGoods to organize the miscellaneous wine bottles on our open shelves.
It's a little hard to see in this photo.

And nothing too special but hey, now I'm inspired to keep my eye open for some unique ones..

This week my parents are coming for a visit---and I'm so excited. Having my parents with us is such a lesson in slowing down. Just enjoying those little moments because that's what really matters to them now.
I can see that so clearly.
We always have so much fun --whatever we do--- and my Dad is bringing his saw.

Whoo-hoo...I can't wait to see what we do.

peace and love,


(sorry about all these weird spaces and small font sizes--I'm having trouble with Blogger)

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

using vintage chandeliers in the kitchen

First off, I should clarify something.

I'm definitely not a purist when it comes to using authentic vintage lighting in a kitchen. 

There are just so many wonderful reproductions out there but I do notice how my eye is always drawn to the real thing.

That certain worn patina that can't be faked. The weightiness and look of real crystals.

I guess I admire the effort it takes to locate that special "find,'  and the patience of having it re-wired so that it can have a whole new life again. And even though using authentic lighting fixtures do involve more work I like the instant warmth and sense of history they inject into a kitchen,
especially a white kitchen which depends on a mix of materials to keep it from being too 'cold' or modern for my taste.

In my last house I had an old crystal chandelier that broke during our relocation. Even though it wasn't large enough for our high ceilings it sealed my love for sparkling chandeliers in the kitchen.

I especially love them paired with rustic wood.

The only problem was I hadn't been able to find a replacement for my broken one. 

I  even thought about giving up and buying this classic version,
but in the end, it seemed a bit too restrained for me.
I needed more bling.

Or did I?

I started considering old, oversized lanterns like this one which I think looks gorgeous surrounded by marble countertops.
 This kitchen was designed with the classic French bakery as inspiration and you can see more of this swoon-worthy house HERE.

Where ever I'd go I'd keep my eye open for the right chandelier...

 but I soon realized something.

( love this home in Sonoma, CA)

I realized that even though I have an affinity for quirky, eclectic pieces when it comes to my kitchen chandelier I kept coming back to classic choices.

And teardrop crystals.

And what is it about authentic looking brass right now?

I have no idea if it's "In" or "Out" of style these days---(and I don't really care)

 but it's been calling my name lately. So I decided to keep an open mind when Mr. Moss and I went shopping for my Christmas gift last weekend.

I'm not sure if this is a sign of a 27 year-old-marriage, but my favorite Christmas present was a handmade gift certificate for a afternoon of antique store shopping and lunch  from none other than my Honey.  

I know!  How did he know (I believe in hints) that  making goo-goo eyes at lots of old chandeliers followed by a glass of wine and lunch next to the pier was my version of a dream date?!

Also we found this chandelier at the first place we went.

Should I  be suspicious that he liked it so much?
(He hates shopping)

As you can see we bought an old, oversized brass fixture with crystals and lots of engraved detailing which you can't see in the photo. It was pretty close to an impulse buy and afterwards I had to check my IPhone picture to learn that it has ten lights... yes ten!!
Which kinda made me worry about it's size.

But now that it's home sitting on the table I'm feeling excited.
We both agreed we selected it for our future kitchen which I'm slowly designing in my head.

It goes up on Monday and of course it means re-working my gallery wall--probably removing it
(paired with this chandy, it might be too much of a good thing if-you-know-what-I-mean) 

but I'll have some pictures I'll share with you soon

How about you?

What do you think about using vintage lighting fixtures in your house?


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Saturday, January 2, 2016

the lesson I learned in 2015

If I asked you to name one eye-opening experience you had in 2015 what would you say?

I'm not talking about anything big and mind-blowing or profoundly wise.

I'm just asking for one of those tiny, slivers of light. One of those moments when you're in the middle of putting your groceries away or driving alone in the car, and you tilt you head, blink and think,

"Oh yeah. That's it,"

Oprah calls this the "aha moment."

A light-bulb moment when suddenly those messy pieces of your life coalesce into something solid and meaningful. So that later after the dust settles you think of it as a little burst of truth falling into your path.

I don't know what your aha moment ended up being about this past year---but I bet it involved some kind of struggle or discomfort because I’ve discovered that we tend to earn these aha moments.

I sure feel like I earned mine.

This past September I embarked on a 10 week personal challenge which I shared on my blog. Believe me; I never planned on learning any life lesson, at the time I had simply said yes to an idea that seemed utterly fascinating to me.

I never realized how much I would struggle my way through the next several weeks. And I mean really struggle as I reacquainted myself with some old insecurities that suddenly popped up again. Yes, right when you think you’re so together—Life serves you a chunky slice of humble pie.

Sigh. This is what’s so interesting about life’s little lessons; it's all so damn personal. What might be a source of incredible struggle for me might be a piece of cake for you and vice versa, because we all operate from our own unique comfort zone.


After it was all over we each stood in front of  a room of family and friends that had gathered for our graduation and we got to share a few words. Only I didn't plan my words beforehand, otherwise I might have shared what it felt like to be the oldest person in my class ---with the least amount of knowledge and experience in the subject. As you can imagine, feeling old and ignorant is not a combo that fuels one's confidence.

But that's not my point.

The reason I wish I had shared how absolutely overwhelmed I felt at various points in my training was because of the crowd. When I looked around the room I saw so many middle aged faces. Faces of mothers and grandmothers with crinkly smile lines and men with gray speckled hairlines who were cheering on their daughters or grandson without considering that it could be them standing next to all of us.

I wanted them to know the same euphoric relief and happiness I had at having accomplished something I didn’t know I could do.

And that's really the purpose of sharing my vulnerable parts with you; after something good gets accomplished it feels important to remind you that,

"Hey, if I can do it, believe me, you can do it too."

And I'm so serious about that.

I'm not talking about yoga right now. The teacher training was my thing. I'm talking about that something in your life that you've been thinking about doing.  Maybe a new endeavor, only you don't know how it might turn out. It feels like a risk and maybe you'll fail. So instead you stay right there, inside your comfort zone waiting.

I actually remember having my little aha moment while I was sitting next to all my fellow classmates in front of the long, mirrored wall of our yoga studio waiting to receive my certificate.

See what I mean? This is so simple I’m almost embarrassed that it seemed like such an epiphany.

But in the end, this is what my experience had felt like. There had been so many moments when I honestly didn’t” know” if I was going to be able to complete my requirements ---and for a classic Type A personality in my old college classroom --THIS acknowledgement alone was stunning to admit. But truly, it always felt like I was barely hanging in there until… well, (drum roll please)  until The Very Last Day.

I’m not sure why it feels so comforting to view a difficult challenge this way. But it does. I seriously want to walk around and grab strangers by their shoulders and while they stammer and try to pull away I want to blurt out:

Look. You don’t have to be perfectly sure. About anything. You don’t need to ‘know’ 100 percent of the time that it will work out. You just have to believe it more times than you doubt it. Work hard no matter how discouraged you might get.  And really. Just keep moving forward one teetering baby step at a time.

 And you’ll get there. I swear. Because this actually worked for me.

So my dear, smart, talented friend, (if you’re a reader of this blog these are your unquestionable qualities) this year I hope you find something that truly challenges you. I encourage you really think about. Try something new and maybe even a little scary.

 Yes, something you’re not even sure you can do.

Because you deserve to feel proud of yourself.



the light in me sees the light in you,



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