well hello.  looks like saturday showed up Again.  how very nice of it.  okay, i don't have much to report around here.  the weather has been crazy beautiful which induces a lot of laziness in me when it comes to blogging.  i've been taking the opportunity to declutter the basement and my closet and i'm thinking about becoming a minimalist.  but if i became one then what would i do?  just a thought.

number one question asked of me this week?  yes, my hair is still going gray.  is gray spelled with an a or an e?  either way, i have not touched a bottle of haircolor.  my next haircut is approaching and i know you guys have questions about my hair so ask me the particulars and i will pass them on to shane.  he's the hunk that cuts my hair now.  erin is off being a real life rock star.

next question is where do i keep my vacuum?  in the basement we have a shopvac that gets drug upstairs every few weeks.  riveting, i know.

i loved all your low cal snack ideas.  olives are one of my fave snacks too.  2 olives only have 15 calories.  isn't that weird b/c olive oil is pretty fattening.  2 olives and a bud select - 70 calories.

that picture of the house up top there?  i thought i'd show you the biggest downside of this little cottage.  back in 1890 when it was built as the gardener's house, they wanted it as far away from the big house as possible (why, do gardeners smell or something?) so they put it right on the property line.  i guess they never thought that big houses would one day be built on small lots and so now i have this huge house that looks down on mine.  things could be worse, i could live in that huge house.

it is obvious i have nothing great to say but this lady does.  i'm in awe of her.  slim told me about her friend hollye who writes the amazing blog brookside buzz.    she talks about fbc (fucking breast cancer) and sl's (silver linings) and gives boob reports.   i read her everyday b/c she brightens mine.
go say hello and be amazed too.

blogger is messing with me big time this morning but i'm not going to let it bother me b/c it is SATURDAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 



  1. Hi Janet!!!
    You crack me up! 2 Olives and a Bud Select! My kinda lady! :)
    That slipcover actually kept me occupied for quite a while, and thanks to a pretty decent sewing machine, didn't result in too many curse words! LOL - but I've been there!
    Thanks for stopping by! Loved seeing you!

  2. My sister in law lives in a sweet neighborhood in Sherman Oaks that was once populated with ranch style houses on big lots. The current trend is to build giant stucco monsters and after wattching years of encroachment, the lady next door died, the house was razed and up went a whale of a house overlooking my sister in law's back yard. She put up a tall fence, slapped a fountain on it, and planted what will become a big tree. Small compensation for the lovely wild
    yard that used to be on the other side.

  3. Wow, thinking of going minimalist! I thought you were just about there; so what would that entail?


  4. Hi Janet,

    Oh your garden looks so happy and cheerful with all those flowers in bloom. Ours is fading away and turning to autumnal shades.

    Like Beach Bungalow I thought you were a minimalist already having done your lion's share of de-cluttering.

    Sounds like Saturdays are your favourite day of the week...

    Cheers to a bud and 2 olives!


  5. Your flowers are so lovely. I would enjoy the olives and a cold, very cold, beer, too. I would not count the olives, though. I have found when I do that sort of thing, I eat more and am in a terrible mood. I just go with it. Seems to work out. Best line in this post? It could be worse, I could be living in that big house. I love it! Enjoy this beautiful weekend.

  6. Oh I was going to post this on the vegan snacks comment area but now there is a new blogpost.
    I want to say that there are so many wonderful & delicious vegan meals - there really are!
    My husband --who never really ate much meat-- developed coronary artery disease - probably
    from eating cheese, french fries, eggs, butter & other fatty things. We went on the vegan diet
    last Dec 1st and in 3 months time he got off his statin drugs, blood pressure meds & lost 20 pounds.
    Vegan eating is really simple and easy. It does not have to be complicated.

    soups are great - they are easy to prepare in a slow cooker - no
    pot watching during the day - you can freeze some soup if you make a large amount.

    plan ahead. take a few minutes early in the day to think about your evening meal
    and what needs to be prepared. for example, beans need to be started early.

    a meal should be centered around starch - brown rice,
    sweet potatoes, white potatoes, beans, corn, other grains. then add vegetables and fruits.

    keep your meal plans simple. do not try to prepare several hearty dishes for each meal. one basic dish
    per meal is enough. then add salad, steamed vegetables or hot soup.

    soups can be converted into vegetable serve over potatoes,
    rice or other grains or spinach pasta.

    keep cooked potatoes, cooked brown rice, cooked
    cut up vegetables in the refrigerator - re-heat for a quick snack.

    Here's a one day menu for us -- pretty typical of what we eat :

    B: steel cut oats type of oatmeal w almond milk & stevia
    1/2 a banana or a small tangerine
    half a whole grain muffin
    steamed broccoli
    herbal tea

    L: beans and brown rice with salsa or lentil soup
    steamed green beans
    big salad with no-oil dressing

    D: spinach pasta with no oil tomato sauce or lentil soup
    steamed cabbage or steamed carrots and onion or steamed kabocha squash
    1 small sweet potato - or a half of one
    small salad
    half a slice of whole wheat bread with pumpkin butter or almond butter

    for snacks:
    air popped pop corn
    banana/chocolate-cocoa powder-- smoothie
    5 -6 walnuts
    no oil hummos with pita bread

  7. Your house is so pretty and Brookside Buzz's blog is amazing!

    I was vegan for 9 months this year in solidarity with my sweetie Martin -- he became vegan for health reasons. Recently I added back eggs and some dairy, and may add fish back once in awhile. I found I was hungry all of the time. Adding back eggs made a huge difference. Martin is very happy with the diet and it fixed his health issue.

  8. We found having soups at lunch and dinner are very filling and a great way to help to not feel hungry. You also need starches for sustaining satisfaction. No population of people has ever lived on a diet based on low-calorie green and yellow vegetables. All successful societies have centered their diets on starches (rice, potatoes, beans, corn, etc.) – and you must do the same to avoid feeling hungry.

  9. Hi Janet,

    We have a similar problem with our "newest neighbors"...since they bought the house next door they poured a huge concrete patio/deck right next to our property line. And they can look right up at our living room, and with their frequent parties all their guests can too. I hate it because we keep the window coverings down at night most of the time now and we can't enjoy our view except through the dining room. (Tijuana city lights) At least our neighbor on the other side is a lot further away... But on the rare occasion our neighbors are out of town, those windows & blinds are wide open! :)

    Have a great weekend!


  10. Dear Janet,

    Your garden still looks beautiful with all those colourful flowers along your path! Looking forward to hear what you will decide on your hair.

    Happy weekend,


  11. Love the pic of your darling cottage.. And grey is gray is grey .... depending on which part of the world you come from - it doesn't matter!! Have a great weekend Janet. And to hell with fbc - have a friend of mine just recently diagnosed in the past 2 weeks. Thinking of her daily back in Melbourne. XXX

  12. Such a pretty house, I always love your house pics.

    We aren't too worried about being overlooked. The mill next door was built in 1629 and we were the wash-house, not built till 1770, so have been overlooked as long as anyone can remember LOL

    I, too, wonder how you can become any more minimalist without losing comfort and aesthetics?! Your home is already very inspiring in this area!!

  13. Hi Janet!

    Here is the trick to remember:

    GrAy in America

    GrEy in England

    Love your blog!

  14. Is that what your garden looked like this Saturday?

  15. Hello beautiful Janet! I have a question and it's about HAIR! So now that I am 40 (it happened last month), I am noticing quite the crop of gray hair. These are my first and they're not welcome so I'd like to start doing a rinse. I've never colored my hair but I'm excited to go lighter (no more helmut head!). Question is, do you know of a safe (I'm nursing) rinse someone like me could use? Does Aveda make good rinses?
    LOVE seeing your roses...I can only imagine how wonderfully fragrant they are.

  16. Has anyone ever told you that you're just way too cool? :-) Well, you are. And don't ever change. :-)
    -Suzanne in Illinois

  17. P.S. I loved Shell's comment on this post. Thanks goes out to Shell! I like her approach to explaining vegan. Excellent. The Gardener's Cottage is surrounded by lots of good people. xxoo
    -Suzanne in Illinois

  18. I thought you already are a minimalist? No?
    good for you. I'm trying to declutter too.(I'm sure not to the level you have) Can you believe, I've stopped going to thrift stores. I am going to check out your wares for sale though!


  19. Dear Janet you may not realise it but your gorgeous hair is a big part of your very chic persona. The cut and colour is perfect for you and when you show photographs of your various outfits, it's your hair that sets the tone every time. You're so lucky to have such a luxurious mane, please don't blow it!! I don't get this "go grey" crusade among some women. Sure, it suits a (very)few of them,but really, I think it's just giving up! Are you giving up lipstick too and just going with your natural colour? No!!! Please reconsider Janet, because once you go grey people do associate it with old & decrepit no matter how "youthful" you may actually feel.You obviously love your garden but just picture it if all the colour was sucked out of it leaving just a blurry grey landscape. Don't let it happen to you!

  20. hello everyone! i'm so far from being a minimalist it isn't funny! i am v drawn to it though. lots of purging going on around here!

    steve - that picture is from summer. i still have lots of roses blooming and the geraniums don't quit. the only thing different right now is that the mexican poppies have died back.

    trina - i don't know of any safe haircolors. if i did, i'd use them.

    anon - i really don't have a choice in the matter as the dyes are messing with my scalp and eyes. i just can't tolerate it any more. i really am not giving up!

  21. Thanks Suzanne in Illinois-! Since we began eating vegan, our health & energy vastly improved. I just want everyone to know how wonderful you will
    FEEL if you go vegan. It's such a great gift to give yourself BETTER HEALTH. Plus you will
    not be supporting cruelty to animals. The recent death of Steve Jobs due to pancreatic cancer has created
    opportunities for discussion about diet & lifestyle & health. The largest prospective nutrition study ever published suggests animal fat
    may play a role in the development of pancreatic cancer.
    Red meat - white meat - dairy - even eggs & fish- all are significantly correlated with pancreatic cancer !
    E-gads--now they say even fish is too high in fat !

  22. I really love your house.
    You have just reminded me about a bowl of black olives in the back of the fridge - off to scoff.

  23. that's funny- people are always asking me where I keep my vacuums too;)
    For me, the word "minimalist" conjures up the image of a chair in an otherwise empty room. Your rooms are beautiful and full of love and life. It seems to me, I could be wrong here;), that you are instead just trying to weed out things you don't use or need, and have only things in your house which you "LOVE"! That has been my design mantra for 25 years- even when I was buying for my business the rule was "I had to LOVE it" because if it never sold it might have to come home with me! There should be a word for this type of decorating, though I don't know what it would be;) It's about being true to yourself and your vision of what a "home" is. I think you are just minimalizing to make your true home!!

    You 'always' look fabulous, so if you chose to go grey you will rock it, no doubt!!

    happy Sunday my friend!

  24. shell - thank you for your insights and your actual diet for your vegan life. you are so right about all the health benefits. it's the emotional well-being that goes along witha compassionate diet that continually blow me away.

    suzanne and joan - thank you for always leaving such thoughtful comments.

  25. Janet,
    Love the fact that you are letting your natural gray show. As we (age) mature our skin tones change and what is required is lighter hair colour. One can always tell someone who dyes their hair, their skin looks sallow.

    Thanks for changing so much of my life. Vegetarian now (still incorperate some local eggs & dairy so not yet vegan)and my husbands health issues have improved drastically.

    Now, you have me looking around at my clutter.(Believe me you ARE minimalist) Just don't know where to start. Any tips?

    And BTW since my hair went silver, my clients really listen to everything I say. Must be the look of experience. Anyone else notice this phenomena?

    Thanks for all the inspiration.

  26. I think you are fairly minimalist already! As to the grey hair, it certainly is not giving up as that anonymous person said! I think you will look lovely and I resent people who say it looks "old and decrepit". Really! How come on men it is "distinquished"! Not so in other countries, where age is respected. I smell fear.

  27. I think you will look fantastic in silver hair! You are already chic, and will remain chic!

  28. I agree with kathy - you nailed it with this sentence:

    things could be worse, i could live in that huge house.

    So true.


  29. Hello Janet, I did not mean to offend you with my comments on going grey. I think you're fab whatever colour your hair is. Honestly, I'm not THAT shallow! I think the fear Lana smells must be her own, as she was so satisfied with her own "slate"grey hair that she had it dyed strawberry blonde! Go Lana! Sorry to hear that you've been having adverse reactions to the hairdye,no hair colour is worth that kind of discomfort. Best regards Grace.

  30. grace - no need to worry, no offense taken. lana dyed her hair? what am i missing here?

  31. Hi Lady!
    Posts like this one are exactly why I love and respect you. Although you exude style, you do so simply and honestly...nothing ever seems contrived. It's refreshing and I learn so much about myself when I read your posts or talk to you.
    It always makes me think what's really important.
    I'm proud that you're going gray. I haven't colored yet but I am thankful that my grays blend alright, at least for now, with the blond that's quickly fading.
    Keep giving us the straight talk!
    sarah xo

  32. I have colored my hair for almost 9 years now and I am getting tired of it. All the time and $$ spent at the salon! Also isn't there some truth to the reports that hair dye is not healthy? That it gets absorbed and adds to our toxic load? There comes a point where it just gets tiresome to be doing hair coloring - for me I'm almost at that point! And yes - men who are greying are considered "distinguished" but women get called "old & decrepit"? Please! Enough of this thinking - it's 2011! They have a website called going grey-looking great or something like that and it shows many many women who look FINE to me!

  33. Janet, your house is adorable, inside and out.

    I would like to go gray but can't quite make myself do it yet. I'll see how it works for you first.

    Thanks for such a interesting blog. I so enjoy your clothes, hair and home!


  34. Hi Janet,

    I've read this post so many times...first, I'm not even sure what it means to be a minimalist, did not really clear that up either, but I do know that I love to surround myself with things I an organized and uncluttered way, but I do love "stuff". I love your little our old town, there were so many adorable little cottages on South Avenue and then one day all of sudden you would drive by and see an empty lot. One day there were window boxes filled with gorgeous plantings and a for sale sign and the next day a demo sign and a few months later a monstrosity of a house. That was pre-2007...I'm wondering if some of those people wished they had just added a small addition. And one more thing...I do love reading Brookside Buzz...a friend of mine told me about's great! Hope you are having a wonderful week.


  35. What an attractive photo of your home, Janet, so full of colour and warmth. Ignore what's happening over the fence, say I, your own world is lovely. (And in my book you are a minimalist already!)

  36. Dear Janet, I really hope you don't go grey. I did and it was a huge turn off to everyone,including my husband. He just couldn't see it as anything but "old lady". It is actually one of the reasons we are divorcing. This may not be true of your situation, but some men just don't like it.


kindness is never out of style.

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