kitchen drawers

By popular request, this is my kitchen organization/tool post.  I have gotten more emails requesting this than anything else.  A close second would be the truth about spas, but that is definitely another post.  So by the above picture you can tell that all my dinnerware is stored in these open shelves.  The drawers to the left contain what i use on an everyday basis.

top drawer
my silverware, tools and gadgets.  as you can see, it's not a lot.  measuring cups and spoons, grater, zester, peeler, rolling pin, knives, scissors, etc.

second drawer
dishtowels and plastic wrap that is rarely used

large bottom drawer
nesting stainless steel bowls, a hand mixer, a few glass containers with lids for storage

moving on to the other side of the kitchen
may i mention here that the thing i love the most about my cabinets is the kickplate or lack of one.  i love that there is no indention and that makes them look like a piece of furniture, well to me at least.

top right drawer
spices and cooking spray

second drawer
2 caphalon saute pans

 bottom right
 2 caphalon saucepans

top left
misc odd sized tools.  large knives, knife sharpener, tongs, pastry bag, little plates for resting spoons, chalk

middle drawer
really old and disgusting baking sheets and parchment paper
i believe i may have just sunk to new lows...where is my pride?

bottom left
large saucepan and colander

In case you are wondering...i keep my blender, food processor and pizza stone in my pantry.  These are essentials to me.
So that's pretty much it, another mundane slice of life of my life.


sunshine in a glass*

Feeling a little run down?  catching something, or getting over something? 
 try this to brighten your day...

3 cups fresh squeezed orange juice
1 ripe banana
2 cups ice
1 t agave
1/2 t cinnamon

blend and feel better

*no animals were harmed making this smoothie.

on gardening

good morning ladies and gents

a lot of you think i am a real gardener because of the name of my blog.  i'm here to set the record straight.  the name of my blog comes from that fact that real gardeners used to live here.
now this place is stuck with me. 

i really don't know what i'm doing when it comes to gardening.  i just keep at it and nature, forgiving as it is, just happens.  it's really quite lovely. 

i stick things in the dirt and water them and pray and most of the time something will bloom.  sometimes not, but i never let that stop me.  mostly i like working in the garden because i love being outside.
 like the lyrics from a favorite song of mine..."we don't notice any time pass, we don't notice anything."  honestly, i get lost in garden chores.  it's usually my aching body that tells me when it's time to quit.  it's a wonderful feeling.  there is so much to do and never enough time or money to do it. 
so i keep at it and overall things stay green and alive in a sloppy sort of way.

recently, something wonderful has happened under my care,
my orchid rebloomed.  
i can't tell you how exciting this is for me.  i've always thought that people who grew orchids were real gardeners because getting them to rebloom has been a mystery to me.  i can't count the number of orchids that i've killed or given up on.  but not this one. 
this one is holding on for dear life and its blooms are beautiful.

my neighbor, terry hemstrom at kimberly crest mansion, who is a real gardener, gave me some advice on getting this thing to bloom again.  first he told me that they love morning light, so i stuck it outside where it gets great eastern light and then shade for the rest of the day.  he also told me to water it every now and again with diluted coffee.  i guess orchids grow on trees and trees produce tannins and tannins are in coffee.  so about every couple of weeks i give it a weak cup of coffee. 

i promise to not let this go to my head. i'm sure something is dying outside as i type...
be right back.



you are so chic...

Thank you to everyone who participated in this accessory post.  I apologize up front for the lousy pictures.  They just didn't transfer from email to blogger very well.    I know it was hard for some of you to narrow it down, but it did get you thinking, didn't it? 
I loved reading all your choices and it also got me looking at blogs i've never read before and let me tell you there are some very stylish women out there.  I realize now that i dress like a man.  I'm gonna have to work on that.  Anyway, I would have to say that watches, or timepieces as fiona calls them were the big winners.  Gorgeous, gorgeous jewelry too.  And then everything from suzanne's crisp white shirt to scarves, birkin bags and lots of loafers, deb's cowboy boots and patricia's bob.  Oh and let's not forget Louise's wheelie walker! 
 I truly loved reading about and seeing all of your choices. 

So here are some of the great accessories that you all wear...

With a little pleading from me, steve from an urban cottage, sent me a picture of his favorite accessory.  It's his grandfathers vintage engraved hamilton watch.  love it and your denim on denim.

And while the stylish slim paley had trouble making up her mind on which accessory is her favorite, she eventually chose this wood and hammered silver necklace that she bought in India.  gasp.

Paige from the wandering cottage initially chose her diamond studs.  she waivered between her eyeglasses, which are very chic and her wonderful husband.  cute.

anne-marie, a charming reader from brisbane australia, chose 3 of her favorites...her Faith handbag, her favourite leopard print scarf and her little bit of bling silver watch.  love them all.

And the world-famous faux fuchsia
a stainless steel and gold rolex
i expected nothing less.

a  diamond rolex is the stylish shoegirl's favorite too

 annie, are you next?

  Another reader is the darling Christina.  Her favorite accessory is her pink j crew vest that takes her from casual daytime to evening chic.  so pretty.

The beautiful karin from life in small chunks loves her large collection of scarves.
i do too.

and last but not least, the beautiful sarah of my yellow house  chose her beautiful antique engagement ring. 
 i so love this shot.

Here are some more incredibly stylish and lovely women and their lovely accessories...

Thank you lovelies for always inspiring me.  



in order

This little china cabinet is finally  the way i like it. 
It's filled with my buffalo dinnerware that i used/collected during my catering days. 
until now most of it has been in the basement.
back in december our basement flooded during the rainstorms that hit us.
I lost my entire magazine collection.  i know.

but anyway, over the last 3 weeks i've been slowly going through everything in the basement and being ruthless in my purging.

below is what the basement looks like almost empty.

you can see that it's a not very big.  it measures about 8' x 8'
all our sporting/camping equipment and any household run over has to fit in there because we don't have a garage.  i know.

i guess there is a reason they call it junk


so after going through every rubbermaid bin, sorting and tossing like a madwoman, i was able to get it all organized and now all the dishes are inside the house. 

Then i had to go through all our books and try to get them to fit into this cabinet since the other cabinet is now holding my dishes.  are you keeping up?  donating books is probably the hardest thing for me to do.  i love books but since i'm now a big fan of the library, i realize i don't need to own them all.

 i realize all this is boring, but this is what i do when my husband is away.

so now the dinnerware is happy, the books are happy, i'm happy and the salvation army is happy.

oh and i found this red and white striped pillow cover that has been missing for like a year. 
so that made me really happy too.

and i forgot to take a picture of the basement all neat and clean.



the perfect black flat

One of my very favorite outfits.  

black slim pant and black turtleneck
with loafers


bass weejun penny loafers

the ultimate black flat

who am i to argue with audrey, grace or jfk?

simple, classic, comfortable.


what is your perfect accessory?

post it to your blog

if you don't have a blog, email me a picture and i'll post it next week.

this could be fun.

happy weekend ladies and gents



this morning

a few pictures of my garden this february morning.  we have been having beautiful spring-like weather for the last couple of weeks making garden chores quite wonderful.  i've moved lots of irises and pruned dozens upon dozens of rosebushes.  something is eating my lambs ear and my orchid is actually blooming and i found out another one of my orchids has buds on it.  quite satisfying.



flowers and chalkboards

Last monday i missed jane's flower party and that made me sad so here i am, better late than never and londen is having a chalkboard party today so i thought wow, how convenient. 
here are some flowering quince from my garden and johnny cash lyrics that i love for valentines day.


and and check this out...a new reader to my blog, emilee, who has her own graphic design business called
 designs by freebird, who happens to live right here in redlands, loves jack white and is a vegan was inspired by one of my older chalkboard messages and made this.  
thank you emilee! 


6 easy pieces

Is it possible to go away for a weekend with 6 pieces of clothing?  I just did.  Why would someone want to do this?  I honestly have no idea.  But doing things like this intrigues me no end.  I suppose it has something to do with my love of simplicity.  So here are my 6 easy pieces, excluding shoes and accessories.

white thermal
grey sweater
black belted peacoat
black dress

Where these pieces took me...

way too many casinos
breakfast, lunch, dinner
hiking (if it wasn't freezing)

Let me first say that while vegas is usually noted for its glamour there is also a strong western fashion influence, probably because it's situated in the middle of the desert.  So naturally I went with the western look.  When in vegas we usually stay at THEhotel.  I highly recommend staying there if you don't like cigarette smoke.  It's attached to Mandalay Bay just in case you do like cigarette smoke.  When we checked in, our room was not ready so they upgraded us to a corner suite with strip views which i thought was very nice of them.   Did i mention our hotel room was only $72 a night.  

note the no smoking sign

While in vegas, we walked and walked and walked some more.  Vegas is so spread out and the casino next door is in actuality about a mile away.  I knew my cowboy boots would work because they are like walking in slippers.  We only had one nice dinner planned and so i only needed one dress.  

The biggest challenge was not what to wear but as always, what to eat.  Why is eating vegan so hard?  Steve Wynn the owner of the Wynn hotel and casino recently became a vegan so all his restaurants within the property supposedly offer vegan meals.  Umm, not so.  We went to his highly touted buffet and only after finding a couple of things that i could eat, i asked to speak to the chef.  He took me around the whole buffet pointing out things that were vegan like green beans, etc.  Hello, green beans?  He mentioned several things that they can make but they were out of the ingredients.  And lastly he asked me what exactly is vegan?
 so i was hungry a lot of the time.  But oh well, with all the walking and no eating i think i lost 3 lbs.

i tried, really tried to think of something 'bad' to do.  i even considered getting a jack white tattoo and in light of this tragic announcement, i wish i would have.  at one point i stood next to a police officer.  that's as close as i came to handcuffs.  so maybe next time.

levis with rrl thermal, gray salvation army sweater belted and cowboy boots

vintage turquoise cuffs

a bad picture of the living room just before my camera died 

Red Rock Canyon, so beautiful but not much hiking took place because it was so windy and cold.

james perse dress and kitten heels

Because my battery died i came home and photographed the rest of the outfits i wore.  um hum, i'm nice that way.  

and may i sing the praises of this james perse dress?  it's a nice cotton, not too heavy, not too light.  it has long sleeves that can be pushed up and the neckline covers my decollete but still shows a little shoulder and has a draping thing going on that covers the tummy perfectly.  and it packs w/o wrinkling.

i wore the same jewelry day and night

rrl workshirt and bandana

brooks brothers peacoat and warm scarf for night walking

So there it is...6 pieces.  Not real glamorous but real comfortable.   All my choices came from my list of 33 with the addition of the grey sweater. 

Also, may i just say a HUGE thank you to everyone who wished us a happy anniversary.  It was so sweet of you all.   Larry says thanks to everyone who noted his very obvious talents.  

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