when is a dress too short?

linen dress for summer

let's discuss...
how short is too short?
at what age do we quit showing our knees?
i think this dress is too short.  larry does not.
it is hot here in the summer.
i wear shorts that show my knees.  is that wrong too?
what are the rules?  and do we need to follow them?



a compassionate medicine cabinet*

i get quite a few questions regarding storage in my bathroom, or lack thereof i should say.  i have a small medicine cabinet and that has to do the trick.

if you are so inclined, you can read my post here on 6 steps to beautiful skin.
the only thing that has changed since i wrote it is that now i'm 53 instead of 52.

this is what it looks like inside.
i learned somewhere along the way while downsizing, that immediate available storage should be used for things you use everyday.  this cabinet is small and i don't want it cluttered up with things i rarely use,  
so i don't.

here's a close-up of my daily products.  a lot of you ask about my skincare products.

my sunscreen is missing b/c it was sitting on the porch when i took these pictures.
most of you know that i'm an esthetician so here's a little confession...
 i hardly ever use the serum that goes with the green science moisturizer.
this is really dumb of me because i'm getting old and i need all the help i can get.
and the worse part is, i chastise my clients for not using it.

that's chakra #4 - one of my favorite scents
the heart chakra
symbol of sympathy, empathy and love

and my make-up.  

i have a very complicated makeup strategy,
mascara and red lipstick.
occasionally i wear eye shadow.
i don't wear foundation, but if you do i'm cool with that - just don't wear too much of it and take it off at night please.

those are little vials of aveda personal blend perfume, each one is custom made for you.  they run about $20 each.  the great thing about them is they contain no fixatives or extenders which basically mean that people cannot smell you coming and going.  you have to get close to smell it.
i love that.

*no animals were harmed making any of these products.
even the nail varnish made by sparitual is vegan

fading beauty

late yesterday afternoon while i was starting to drift off into an afternoon nap, i heard the soft noise of petals falling.  i opened my eyes, grabbed my camera and took these photos. 

i thought they would be perfect for jane's small but charming flower party.

and while you are here, a little friendly reminder...

remember during the entire month of april, julie lorusso from monkey grass hill is donating 100% of the proceeds of each sale of all her jewelry to the japan relief effort and her husband matt is matching that donation.  so that's 200% of every single sale going to japan.  there are 5 days left to take advantage of this  incredible gesture of kindness.  all my friends are getting her signature bracelet for their birthday this year.  shipping is free and she even gift wraps them.  how can we pass up this offer?

according to this article in the huffington post, more than 18,000 people lost their lives and it will take 235 billion dollars to rebuild.  i cannot fathom the pain these people are in.  
so while news of japan is fading from our consciousness, their pain is still very real.
maybe we can all do something to help out.
please do something beautiful today and go here to make a purchase/donation.




how tidy are you?
how much styling do you do before you invite people into your home?  i usually plump up the cushions and clear off the ottoman if i have time.  this is definitely one of the perks of not having kids at home anymore, this is about as messy as it gets around here.   


books pile up and reading glasses are now strewn around instead of toys

biofreeze is an important accessory and is usually within reach for sore muscles.

there really isn't a real point to this post other than a sneaky way to slip in more photos of roses.


you see, i've never experienced anything like this before.
the house smells like a florist shop and we have to put vases on the porch in order to breathe.  i'm not exaggerating.

i cannot keep up with the production.  neighbors are getting these.
i think gertrude and henry would be so pleased with this picture because these are two of the vases that were in the basement.  there are dozens of these down there.  so the rumor of gertrude giving roses away is definitely true.

dear ladies and gents, thank you so much for all the comments yesterday.  every one of them went straight to my head and i have become quite obnoxious.  and while i'm no expert on fashion or anything else really, i can honestly say you guys are the freaking best bunch of commenter's ever.

have a swell easter everyone.


mind your manners

rrl workshirt, talbots skirt, coach sandals, copy kate bag, julie lorusso pearl bracelet

while i was out on my morning walk, someone left me this comment on my last gardening post...

"This is where you belong. Leave the fashion to the experts."

to which i say...ha.

unless you as a majority would prefer i stick to gardening.



restoring a vintage rose garden

i thought it would be interesting to see just how this old rose garden has evolved from a tangled bramble into what it is today.  have you heard the old adage...the first year the garden sleeps, the second year it creeps and the third year it leaps?  even though the garden is well over 100 years old we've been here 3 years reviving it.

it's hard to tell by the pictures but the roses were growing into each other.  they had to be pruned very hard to untangle them.  this made me nervous because they all seemed so weak and i didn't want to add more stress to them but it was the only option.

we knew for a fact that this garden had been very loved at one time.  gertrude just couldn't keep up with it and so it fell into a state of neglect.

finally cleared and detangled we started placing big limestone slabs that we found buried under leaves in another part of the garden.

we ran out of limestone slabs so larry hauled in these broken pieces of concrete.

we also thought we would be able to grow our vegetables here too but we didn't realize just how shady this area would get in the summer.  the concrete edging was recycled from the front garden and painted black.
we eventually took it out and it wound up back in the front garden.  larry loves little projects like this.

we fed the roses and mulched them heavily with homemade compost.

this is the garden at its peak during the second year, a big improvement.  it didn't produce many blooms at all, in fact there was only one bloom cycle.  but we were ecstatic that they were living.

these photos were taken yesterday.  you can see just how tall the roses have gotten.  i'm 5'6 and some of them are as tall as me.  you really can't tell by the pictures but there are hundreds of blooms and hundreds of buds waiting to bloom.  i think they have fully recovered.   we removed the limestone slabs and moved them to the front garden.  we found all these round stepping stones throughout the property to replace them. 

when we took out the veggie patch and we started placing all my boxwoods here instead.  it's also where my orchids spend their time.  the low growing ground cover is really pretty and delicate and will die off when it gets hot and then we will mulch again.  i like it, i think it gives it an old englishy garden feel, exactly the look i was going for.

and it seems like the more i cut the more they bloom.


morning dew

out the door for my morning walk and everything is covered in dew.  so back inside to grab the camera.  and then post this so now i'm off for my morning walk. 
have a good one.


a walk in the park

about 20 feet from my front door is a 40 acre orange grove and within that orange grove is an 11 acre botanical park known as prospect park.  i've been taking pictures of the park over the last couple of months and boy was it hard to narrow them down, the park is gorgeous.  with its wide walkways that are lined with curvy cut granite walls and plantings from the late 1800's, you can just imagine what it must have been like to be here at the turn of the century.  the park also has an outdoor theatre that hosts the redlands theatre festival, which runs during the summer.  the park is strung with charming white lights for picnickers to enjoy before the plays begin and because our night temps during august run in the 80's it makes for very charming and romantic evenings.  our grandaughter loves playing on the stage and running through the bamboo mazes.   there are also lots of weddings here, so often music is wafting through the air.  the park was built at the turn of the century and brought 3 presidents (mckinley, roosevelt and taft) here for visits.  it's fun to imagine that at one time horse and buggies drove through the park.  i include the park every morning on my walk and most evenings we take a stroll through it.   right now the orange trees are full of blooms and the scent is intoxicating.
so enough of me rambling, if you are ever in the area, stop by for a visit and in case you can't... 

let's take a walk.

wishing you a peaceful weekend

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