~ small change

Got rid of the pottery barn shelf & grouped the art close together. I think I like it better. What do you think?


~ the office

It's hard to describe how awful this little room was when we got here. It's very small and a heavy smoker lived in this room. The walls were coated with a brown goop that was nicotine. We painted it 3 times with BM Aura paint and then thought we would be better off with the paint fumes from regular paint. Anything to cover the smell. It eventually went away. There was a closet and a room with a toilet in there also. You could barely sit down and close the door. So we closed off one door and enlarged the closet to accommodate a stackable washer and dryer and a sink and toilet. I will try to take pictures but it is so small it is very difficult. Click on the pictures for the details.


~ laundry garden

This is the little area behind my house that I call the laundry garden. The family that used to live here, lived here for 65 years without laundry facilities! That seemed so unusual to me until I started telling other people, older people in particular. They didn't find it unusual at all. What I thought of as a modern convenience didn't seem to concern them in the least. I have come to look at this clothesline as a real luxury. During the hot summer months I can dry a load of clothes in about 15-20 minutes and I don't have to turn on an electric appliance to accomplish this. So overall our electric bill runs less and our clothes and linens smell so good. Yesterday I washed all my slipcovers and it was easy. There is an old soapstone sink in the basement that was used to wash the laundry, I hope one day it will grace a small garden room/shed we build for all our garden tools. This clothesline has seen a lot of use for many years and I hope it will for many more. I'm a sucker for nostalgia.


~ garden gloves & morning light

a gift from my good friend Melissa


~ descanso gardens

this hibiscus was the size of a large dinner plate

beautiful statuary and decomposed granite patio

simple fencing idea - small branches nailed together & tied w/rope

me, in heaven

just a beautiful day


~ tip of the day

Never Give Up.

When we got here we knew there were roses, but the rose garden was a tangled, half dead mess. After a year and a half, we were able to save almost every single one. In this area there are 66. I'm glad we didn't give up.


~ hat rack

my garden hat rack


~ the porch

As you can see in the before photo, the porch was closed in by a wall and door. Why? We don't know. It was a small room, much like a mudroom. But this is So. Cal., we don't need a mudroom. But we did need a porch. It's 32 sq. ft. and we can use all the room we can get. One day the house will be white and a new banister will replace the broken wrought iron. But for now we have a small place to sit and watch the world go by.


~ cost of my kitchen renovation

yesterday I posted the before and after pictures of my kitchen renovation. Here is the cost breakdown:

kitchen cabinets (includes all baseboards, crown moulding and rebuilding pantry 4k

countertops (honed black granite) 2k

viking range 4k

kohler farmhouse sink 1k

vintage faucet 300.

backsplash (white subway) 300.

flooring (2x2 hex tile) 1400.

total 13k


~ the kitchen renovation


~ house colors



When I have a problem and don't have a solution I usually turn to experts. My dilemma, the color of the exterior of my house. I turned to expert gardener, Tara Dillard. She has the amazing blog, LANDSCAPE DESIGN DECORATING STYLING, get to it here ...http://taradillard.blogspot.com/. Her knowledge is vast, her designs incredible but her advice is soulful. What a killer combination! I'm sure you will agree when you read her response to my question below.

Dear Tara,

We just finised renovating the interior of a small cottage built in 1890. The interior is done mostly in white with black accents. Here is the dilemma. The exterior is painted red. It is very charming and I don't even have to tell people my address, everyone knows the little red cottage in the park. BUT, I've always wanted to live in a white house with black accents and red roses growing up the sides. People will be heartbroken if I paint this house, but I'm 51 and I'm planning to stay here forever. Do I respect history or do I live for myself? Your input would be greatly appreciated. Thank you Tara.


Tara's Response...

Architecturally/historically your colors, white-black, are correct. Check plus. Next, you're making the choice from a deep well of passion. Colors that make you happy. Someone did that at your home, hence the red. Respect history by making a passionate color choice too. Paint the house white with black accents. It's obvious you love this house. When you paint it your colors and plant your garden/landscape your home won't be, The house that used to be red. It will become, The white garden cottage in the park. People sense passion. It's already in your words. Soon it will be in your garden.

XO Tara

I LOVE this woman! I am so comfortable with her answer. Thank you from the bottom of my heart Tara. Now I have work to do...


~ sunday morning



~ everything room

dining, office, entry


~ my bedroom

too bland?


~ dinner

orzo w/roasted vegetables
(recipe adapted from the barefoot contessa)
1 peeled/diced eggplant
1 zucchini
2 or 3 small bell peppers
1 small onion
1/4 cup olive oil
Combine these ingredients on sheetpan and roast at 425 for 30-40 min.
prepare orzo
combine 1/3 cup lemon juice
1/3 cup olive oil
1t salt
1/2 t pepper
pour over roasted veggies and orzo while hot
check seasonings
finish with 1/4 cup toasted pine nuts or walnuts

~ vintage pillows

little vintage pillows found in Ojai



~ big red rose

~ easy vegan breakfast

chai coffee cake
shredded wheat w/strawberries