fall garden goals

The last 2 summers have just been brutal on the garden.  Last summer we were in Utah so it didn't get the attention it demands. It's a hard garden to handle without any sprinklers in the intense summer heat, so I'm grateful it survived at all.  Then this summer we've had record breaking heat for big blocks of time which really took a toll on everything - including me.  The forecast for the next 3 weeks is more manageable with temps only in the 90s, so I plan to give it some much needed attention.  Weather permitting we can have Thanksgiving outside as opposed to last year because it actually rained here.  So now is the time to start preparing for that.

Garden Goals

1.  Remove things that are not performing (lots of plants in the garden have just seen their day)

2.  Add more white drought tolerant plants

3.  Grow more herbs!

4.  Improve the soil - this actually will be first on my list

5.  Re-seed and fertilize the lawn

6.  Figure out what to do with that little section of dirt next to the front entry.  It has always been a hard spot to figure out because it gets intense afternoon sun/heat and everything fries there

7.  Try to control the ferns

8.  Refresh the painted stripes on the porch

9.  Do all of the above without spending much. :)

Do you have any garden plans for fall?


summer fashion vibes

Before I start talking about the fashion vibes around here I want to let you know that I'm not giving up on this blog.  It's been a long, hot summer and I've been incredibly busy but I really really want to keep this thing going.  I actually feel guilty when I post on INSTAGRAM instead of here because the blog was first and now it seems secondary.  I don't like that.  IG is fun, fast and easy and this is more work so I'm thinking it has just been the summer heat that made cheat on you. I promise to be better.

See that beautiful woman in the above photo?  I spotted her while shopping the other day and she mesmerized me.  We almost ran into each other while I was exiting a store and she was entering.  She looked to be in her 70's.  I loved her hair right off the bat and then I noticed how lithe and stylish she was.  To get this photo I was literally running to keep up with her, she was so fast.  She darted in and out of all the right stores, Neimans, Ferragamo, etc.  She didn't buy anything (either did I) and let me tell you it was hot that day, like 105. She was bare legged in loafers (love that!) but had a long sleeve tee on and yet was so chill.  Anyway, wanted to share that because you don't see women like that every day.  

My hair is getting long again and I'm going to try and not cut it.  I love being able to put it back and up and it's easier than styling it in a bob every single day.  My hair is really thick and a pain to style. I've joined Larry's gym this summer to swim and this is just easier.  So wish me luck.

Here I am looking rather stiff and unhappy but I wanted to show you this outfit I've been wearing. The tee is from Alex and B's store that they opened here in Redlands.  They make the Tee's and sweaters themselves and lots of other things too.  I got the vintage linen cropped trousers there also. I've been wearing this everywhere because it's so comfortable and surprisingly stylish.

I was minding the store for them in a vintage dress and loafers.  There is also a coffee shop in the store and will soon have a barber too.  It's a cool little store that was once a dairy in the middle of an orange grove.  It's chock full of amazing vintage finds and is quite reasonable. Come visit me there!

Hope you summer has been far more exciting than mine.  xoxo


everlane luxe drape muscle tank dress review - summer classic

Thanks to you readers I was able to purchase this Everlane Muscle Tank Dress.  It couldn't have come at a more perfect time because the temperatures this summer have been off the charts.  Pair those temps with menopause and honestly, I've been miserable.  I can't remember ever being this hot.

When I saw this dress on their site I knew I had to give it a chance and I'm so glad I did.  Let's go over the pluses first.  Super lightweight yet not cheapy lightweight.  The fabric is 100% lycocell which really does have a luxury drape to it.  Just roll it up and it would pack like a dream - the perfect weekend getaway dress.  I love the cut, as it skims rather than clings, so important in this heat.  Love the neckline and the fact that you can really dress this up or down with jewelry or scarves.  It really is a summer classic.

My only negative about the dress is that it's a tad short.  I'm much more comfortable with my knees covered but in this heat I'm not complaining too much about it.  So if you are looking for a super lightweight easy to wear, classic style I'd say this is a winner.  The price is not bad at $45.  Sizes range from xxs to large.  If you use THIS code I will get credit and it will sign you up so if your friends or family purchase something from Everlane, you will get credit too.  It's a good program from a good company that is very transparent in their manufacturing practices.  They have an oxford shirt coming out soon that I can't wait to get my hands on and will do a review on that too.

Wherever you are I truly hope that you are much cooler than I am.  No, seriously, I hope you are having a wonderful summer and for those who wish summer would never end, I'm thinking it's never going to...x


bathing suits for the over 50 set

We are in the midst of a drought here that will just not give and people, it is hot.  
Bathing suit hot.  And trust me, over the last few years buying a bathing suit has not been easy.  There are issues you know.  Support is key, coverage is key, comfort is key.  The suit I had was several years old and not doing its job.  So I started googling and the price of a really good suit can run into the several hundreds of dollars.  Yeah, no.

I wound up at the J. Crew website to see what they might have.  I chose this suit pictured above.  It supports, it covers and it is very comfortable.  I wore it in Vegas and felt great because there is ruching around the middle and the fabric is incredibly soft.  The halter strap attachment gave me lift and really I couldn't ask for much more.  It is priced at $98 which is a lot but worth it.  There are extras you can get too like long torso and larger bust sizes.  Little did I know that I would stumble upon this exact suit at Marshall's a few days later with a $24.99 price tag.  So you may try there.  In all my years of shopping Marshall's I've never ever seen J. Crew there, so good luck.   

Ok, know that this is super embarrassing to post a pic of myself in a 2 piece suit.  I almost didn't do it but I figured I can't be the only one with swimsuit issues.  This 2 piece is from Target.  I'm long-waisted and one piece suits have always been uncomfortable on me, until I found the above one piece.  These high-waisted bottoms provide the coverage I was looking for and the halter top is supportive and quite comfortable.  The price is great also.  Just $17.99 for the top right here and the bottoms are $19.99 here.

So I feel pretty lucky to have found not one but 2 suits that fit and I like.  Just because I'm almost 60 (yikes!) doesn't mean I can't go swimming too!  In public...with confidence (or some semblance of. :)
I wish you all a very happy 4th of July weekend.


getaway fashion

This past weekend we had the opportunity to zip off to Las Vegas for an extended weekend.  Mostly I was there for the Las Vegas Spa and Esthetician show, which was so good btw, but once that was a wrap we were free to do as we pleased. We decided to hop over to the Grand Canyon, as neither of us had seen it since we were children. What a spectacular place. We went to Grand Canyon West, just 2 hours from Vegas, to experience Eagle Point and the Skywalk. With a background of ancient Indian music playing, you take off your shoes and step out onto a glass overhang that I'm not ashamed to admit, scared me to death!  I'm not a fan of heights at all so you can imagine what it's like to look straight down 4000 ft while walking on glass. No cameras are allowed on the skywalk but they have photographers out there that will take a pic if you want.  Take a minute to look at the website and view the short clip for yourself right here.  It is breathtaking.

I chose to wear my Emerson Fry butterfly caftan and it was a good choice.  We were there early but it was still quite hot.  The lightweight cotton caftan kept me cool as a cucumber.

Our first night out I chose to wear this vintage Tori Richard for I. Magnin maxi dress.  Some of you may remember that I bought it back in 2013  at Miss Doris' estate sale.  All night I imagined her wearing it out to dinner with her husband sometime in the 1960's.

The next night I chose this 100% silk maxi dress from the 1960's.  It was made by Gino Charles for Bloomingdale's.  Again, some may remember it from the Palm Springs estate sale in 2014.  It was perfect for dinner with friends - I felt like princess wearing it. :)

Larry snapped this on our way back upstairs to our room.  For anyone interested The Delano used to be TheHotel at Mandalay Bay.  They've updated the interiors with lots of white.  It's drop dead gorgeous and if you plan far enough ahead you can get super reasonable rates.

All good things must come to an end and I wore the caftan home.  Even though Las Vegas is over-crowded, hotter than hell with traffic to match we still had such a great time.  Just the little mini break we needed.  xo


thrifty finds and safe cell phone use

Hello and happy Friday to you all.  I thought I'd share a quick post about my incredible luck in finding some really cool thrifty things lately.  Since I've been working on that side project I've found myself at the Goodwill and yard sales quite a bit over the last couple of months.  I've shared them on Instagram but I don't want you to be left out.:)  Top picture is of a little $1 gem I found at a yardsale. The work that went into this little pillow is amazing and I feel so lucky to now own it.

Early last year Eshakti sent me this maxi skirt and I just never got around to wearing it until now. They are still doing such a great job with their semi-custom clothing.  I also still adore those Who What Wear linen tees available here at Target.  The little yellow necklace was also a $1 find.

This trunk on the porch was free as it was sitting in my neighbors trash can.  It's old and sturdy and had nothing wrong with it.  I wonder why they didn't donate it to the Goodwill instead of sending to the landfill.  No worries, I saved it.

I found this darling chow table at the Habitat for Humanity Restore for just $5.  It's so well made and just needed a fresh coat of black paint.  Perfect for my side project.

M found 8 of these Haviland dessert plates at a yard sale and gave them to me.  The Greek key border is so perfection.

The moral of this post is that you can find ANYTHING second hand if you are patient.  It astounds me every single time.

In other news, the detoxing is still going on here.  I mean I have it all sorted out as far as household and personal products but I'm signed up with the EWG consumer guides for emails and just got this one talking about the research study on cell phone use.  Here are 5 tips for safer cell phone use.  I think we've all kinda joked about cell phones and cancer but it's a real concern and what is more disconcerting is that little kids now use cell phones too.  Changes need to be made people.

Talk soon and have a most lovely weekend. xo


lovely june days

Can you believe it is June already?  This time last year I was living in Utah - time sure flies.  I'm still so happy to be back in my home. I don't even care if we take a summer vacation, I'm fine with staying put.

I thought I'd share a few photos of how the living and dining areas are looking these days.  I know you must all be sick to death of these same old shots but I also know how much I love seeing the interiors of my favorite bloggers homes too.  I got my good camera up and running and even used the tripod. It took me over an hour just to get these few photos.  I'm so rusty at this and spoiled by the ease of my iphone.  The weather has been stunningly beautiful.  Gorgeous sunshine with cool ocean breezes making their way inland to Redlands, provides the light for these photos.  

The horse print on the left was my anniversary present.  It's a very old print but the antique dealer could not make a definitive connection to Sweet William so it was very reasonable - lucky me.  I still call him Sweet William even if he isn't.

I love that my $5 thrift store stall mucking boots are at the ready and my allergies are over!  They make wading through hip-high ferns and rose thorns so easy.

Fresh cut chamomile looks lovely with the cut crystal decanters.

More cut branches from the garden here too.  I'm telling you it was the biggest take-away from the Country Living shoot.  So as you can see, nothing drastic in the way of change.  Same old thing.  A few of you have asked if I would do a detox post on each room of the house.  I am working on that. But as far as these 2 rooms goes, it's quite easy.  I always just wipe down the furniture with a slightly damp cloth and clean the mirrors with a 50-50 mix of vinegar and water.  I open the windows and doors every chance I get and always have something from the garden inside to help purify the air.
So nice chatting with you.  Have a wonderful day. xo


detoxing the laundry room

With all the detoxing I've been doing around the house, I thought I'd share some photos of our laundry room.  It's a pretty tiny room that has a stackable washer and dryer, a sink and toilet. It is where we keep extra towels, sheets, light bulbs and house tools.  But things have a way of getting clutterd so I cleared everything off the shelves, washed them and did some touch up painting.  I washed the old ticking stripe curtains that used to cover the bottom shelves.  They shrunk 5 inches so I just cut a white sheet in half and stitched up the hem and created new curtains.  I  put my
Sal Suds and vinegar on an old ironstone platter.  I also brought a little glamour to the room and filled a  silver bowl with my clothespins and added a print from the office, spray painted an old beat up basket navy blue and added a blue and white ginger jar.   So far I really love the Sal Suds for laundry (I use about a tablespoon per load)  and the vinegar helps with softness.  Actually I'm loving all Dr. Bronner's products.  How's your detoxing going?


detoxing my home

Is it just me or have you noticed that everyone seems to be sick or has cancer?  I work with a 32 year old mother that just underwent a double mastectomy, this is not normal.  We hear about kids with cancer all the time too.  And how horrifying is this...

Common wheat harvest protocol in the United States is to drench the wheat fields with Roundup several days before the combine harvesters work through the fields as the practice allows for an earlier, easier and bigger harvest 

So maybe we aren't all gluten intolerant, maybe we are poison intolerant (read the whole article here.)  I just don't even know where to start anymore.  About a month ago I did get started on cleaning out all the toxic products from my home, and let me tell you it is an overwhelming task.  I've somewhat done this before but recently with all the cancer around me and a new grandaughter I became obsessed to get it right this time.  So this is what I've done...

I decided that nothing was off limits.  I'm sick and tired of reading labels that say "all natural" and find out they are not.  If it wasn't for the Environmental Working Group - Skin deep and Environmental Working Group - Cleaning Products, we'd all be lost.  The cross referencing of ingredients would take a lifetime.  I had to keep 4 windows open on my computer to cross check everything and that's with the EWG's website.  And then locating the safe products to purchase was proving difficult so I just narrowed it down to a few.  If you want to dig deeper be my guest but good luck.

We've been led to believe that unless our laundry smells like fake roses then it's not clean.  What they don't tell us is that those chemicals have fixatives and extenders in them and so when we lay down in our beds at night and take a deep breath of that "clean" smell what we are really breathing are chemicals that are not healthy for us.  When we put on that freshly laundered shirt those chemicals rub off on our skin.  And don't get me started on hair dye, because that shit is crazy.  We put it on our scalp (so close to our brain!) and let it sit there. How insane is that?

So here is my new list.  Thankfully it is quite simple and very effective.  But you have to be ready to change your thinking from what we've been taught, namely that heavy scent means clean.  I can assure you it almost always means it is unsafe.   Almost everything I use now is from Dr. Bronner's. I will list the things I'm using but I highly recommend you pop over and see for yourself how amazing the company and products are.  I can only attest to the products I've been using, they are working wonderfully and the scents are truly light and natural and 100% safe.  

In the Kitchen...

This is my dish soap and everyday cleaner.  I fill a 24 oz bottle with water and then pour a 1/4 cup of Sal Suds in and shake.  It's an amazing cleaner. I mix it with a little baking soda and it scrubs the sinks and tubs beautifully.  I use this on dishes and all the kitchen surfaces.  One tablespoon of this in the washing machine does a full load in our HE washer.

You can also make a paste of baking soda and vinegar and apply it to your oven walls, wait overnight and rinse.  Sparkling clean without harmful chemicals and you never have to smell Easy Off again.

In the Bath...

This is their most versatile soap they make.  You can scrub your shower with it and then yourself.  It is made with real lavender and lavender oil.  You can use this in place of the Sal Suds but the Sal Suds is more suited to cleaning.  

I've only purchased the Lemongrass Lime scent and it is amazing.  I use this for shampoo and then add the Dr. Bronner's Citrus Organic Hair Rinse.  Both are very concentrated.  You can go HERE and read Lisa Bronner's advice like I did.  My experience is that it doesn't lather up quite like the shampoo's I'm used to but it does a great job.  The hair rinse is pretty vital for someone like me with very thick hair.  It will be a trial and error session to see what works best for you.  But I'm committed and I'm happy with it.

I now have these at all the sinks in the house.  We love the peppermint.  

Dr. Bronner's Peppermint Toothpaste

Tom's of Maine Lavender Deodorant

Pure olive oil or coconut oil for moisturizing


This is a really tough area for me because I hate finding out that my favorite products are laden with chemicals that are harmful to me, and because I'm an esthetician it makes it even harder.  Luckily one of the brands that I get to work with now is called Osmosis and it is very safe and very effective. They are not listed with the EWG website but you can read about them HERE  and decide for yourself.  

So that leaves cosmetics and again, luckily, I get to work with Jane Iredale.  She is listed with the EWG and 98% of everything she makes gets the highest of rankings with the EWG.  Her loose powders are the only one with ingredients to avoid.  See her products here and here.

So that's what I've been up to. All the information is overwhelming and confusing but finally getting to the end is so sweet.  I swear my house smells fresher without all the other products.

So please do add your secrets and favorites in the comments.  I'm dying to hear!


PS - This video with Lisa Bronner is fantastic and explains it all.  Watch it HERE



What happened to April?  If you've been reading my blog for any amount of time, you know I've had trouble from time to time wondering what to write about.  Well I'm there again and I wonder how I got here.  The start of the year got off ok but then losing Melinda in February really derailed me, like big time.  I post things on INSTAGRAM because it is so easy.  Just take a pretty picture and write a few words, it really doesn't take much thought at all.  Blogging is different, it actually requires thought. So while I continue to ponder this subject, here are some images of the last month.  Please forgive me but it's all I got.

My rose garden has exploded like it always does.  And so has my allergies.  This year has been one of the worst on record for my allergies.  It's such a shame that the roses can only come inside for a quick picture then out on the porch they go.

I picked up these 2 chairs for free from work.  They were doing some redecorating and wanted them gone.  At first I thought I'd use them for a little side project I have going on but they didn't really fit that. We placed them on the porch and are really enjoying them.

This is the little side project I'm talking about.  It's for a young couple who used to date in high school, then went their separate ways.  After they both survived divorce they have blended their family and between them have 5 kids. So I'm helping them set up a home on a minuscule budget. Every single thing you see in the above photo was free or close to it.

I adore the fabric on the sofa.  It's making putting together the rest of the house a breeze.  Everything goes with it.

Since I've been scouring thrift stores and yard sales, I came upon these lovely bargains at the Goodwill.  A few weekends back the Goodwill was celebrating their 100th year anniversary and had a huge sale. On top of the sale everyone got a $10 giftcard. So my total spent was $1.50 for a pair of brand new Cynthia Rowley trellis capris, a Ralph Lauren striped shirt, a vintage I. Magnin spring tweed coat and a brand new J. Crew dress.

I mentioned on Instagram that I now know whether or not I made a good purchase by how quickly and often I actually wear the item. Sometimes things languish in my closet for unknown reasons. Well these capri pants have been worn so often I think everyone around me is sick of them - except me.

I also came across quite a bit of this Calico Corners fabric.  It was such a great buy that I couldn't resist. I have lots of plans for it.  If you'd be interested in any of it let me know in the comments.

So that's about it.  I hope you are all doing well and I hope to find my groove soon. You are the BEST.  xo