hillside memorial cemetary tour

last week we took a historic tour of our town's cemetary.
it was absolutely fascinating!

hillside memorial park was established here in 1886.
great care was taken in developing the space into what it is today.

full of italian cypress trees. redwoods and streets lined with cut granite walls, it really is quite beautiful. 

edward judson and frank brown, co-founders of redlands are both buried here.
also, buried here is frank pierce morrison, the founder of southern california edison, charles nordoff, author of mutiny on the bounty and many, many others that had the foresight to make redlands the beautiful city that it is today.

i had mixed feelings about the tour.  i get a little freaked out being in cemetaries but i'm really glad i went b/c i kinda fell in love with the place.  it's so beautiful, it must bring such a sense of peace to the families that have loved ones buried here.

i hope you find it as peaceful as i did.

these matching graves belong to two sisters, olivia stokes and caroline stokes.
both were active in city beautification projects.
olivia donated the gorgeous gates to the cemetary and also caroline park, the city's 17 acre nature park, in memory of her sister.  

lots of folks from the east coast came to redlands around the turn of the century for the dry, mediterranean-like weather for health reasons.
sadly, the weather was not enough for this young boy.

i love this story...
in 1892 miss mary fackler, a school teacher at kingsbury elementary school in redlands, decided to have her 1st grade class begin each day by reciting the pledge of allegiance.  general joseph breckenridge heard about this and was so impressed he shared her story in washington dc.  congress adopted the pledge in 1924.
it is b/c of miss mary that school kids across america begin their day with the pledge of allegiance.
so cool.

this is the family that we purchased our home, the gardener's cottage, from.
they were the second owners of our house.

the most gorgeous stonework.
it's almost modern in style.

a close-up of the detailed carving.

the actress carol lombard's family is buried here, although she is not.

the morey's were prominent citizens of redlands.  they built the famous morey mansion with profits from citrus groves they owned.  
when his wife sarah died he was so distraught that he checked into the hotel del coronado in san diego and committed suicide.

what redwoods do to grave markers

the paupers burial area.
redlands provided free space for people who could not afford the $10 burial plot.

stunning curved granite walls line all the roads.

happy halloween you all.


how to wear jeans

in case you were wondering...

i love this chart and actually refer to it.
i think i swiped this from crush cul de sac.
my favorite tumblr blog.

hope whatever you do today you get to do it in jeans.



saturday sweats

yay it's saturday!

this morning we're off to grab a soy latte and then the farmers market.
when did i turn into a hipster?

this is a $1 vintage sweatshirt that alex gave me.
like his mother, he is a big spender.

hope your saturday is as comfortable as my outfit.



easy halloween decorating idea!


hello lovely friends.

the other day i was over at marina's beautiful blog, yummy mummy kitchen and saw these halloween pumpkins she had decorated for her kids.

i thought they were so cute and they had all the makings of a quick decorating project.
unlike some people i know i like my holiday decorating to be fast and easy.
remember i decorated my house for christmas in 10 minutes last year.

so i bought a pumpkin, went down into the basement to get my can of chalkboard paint, grabbed a can of black spray paint instead and spray painted the orange pumpkin black and while it was wet, sprinkled some silver glitter on it.

that's it.

i think a bunch of these grouped together or spread throughout the house would be gorgeous.
you could line em up and spray them in no time and have a kid come along behind you and sprinkle them with glitter.

be kind this weekend.
you don't even need a costume for that.


small wardrobes and seasonal changes

one of my favorite things to do wardrobe-wise is sort through my clothing when each season is ending.
i love going through piece by piece and making notes about what worked, what didn't and why.
before i participated in project 333 i would normally look at the end of a season as just another opportunity to purchase more stuff.
more stuff i didn't really need.

now i look forward to working within the framework of a small wardrobe and how it forces me to be more creative with what i've got.
i love that kind of challenge!
i'm not sure i would have worn the above outfit before 333.
i would have thought the pants were too summery and would never in a million years have worn leopard flats with them.  

inside the armoire

i also like this time of year b/c i really enjoy the process of sorting, mending, washing and folding things away.  i look forward to what's up there in that sweater basket for instance.
it seems that i value each piece much more now that there are fewer of them.

i have 11 handbags up there collected over my entire life.
seems like a lot but almost every one was a gift and for now they are staying with me.

as far as new purchases are concerned, i don't see any on the horizon.

of course if a certain someone is reading this, these boots would make a great christmas gift.
just saying...



going, going...gray


if you all remember, i decided to let my hair go gray sometime early last year (2011) because i realized i wasn't fooling anyone by dyeing it.  and also b/c i was sick of the caustic chemicals wreaking havoc on my scalp.

well apparently a lot of you think i've been coloring my hair.
i wouldn't do that to you, if i colored my hair, i'd tell you!

here is the post i did last august about going gray.  below are a couple of good shots of how gray my hair was after about 6 months of no color...

august 2011

august 2011

now compare that to yesterday...

honestly, i don't mind it at all, in fact i kinda like it.

what's your take on going gray?


summer fashion lessons

hopefully this will be our last really hot weather week in southern california.
as my thoughts turn to fall and i begin to say adios to my summer clothing i thought it would be a good thing to record what really worked for me.    

the above outfit is one of my absolute favorites.  to think that i have had this dana buchman silk top for so many years and really never, ever wore it, just kinda blows my mind.
i love it with these black skinny jeans and now that summer is over i'll be scouring the gw for a pair of white jeans for next summer.
i'll be all palm beach then.

i  also got a lot of wear from these navy palazzo pants that i swapped with a friend.
they are now mine for good.  i'm looking forward to wearing them into the fall with warmer tops.

ok, you know i can't say enough about chambray, but this shirt and skirt together and separately were great all spring and summer long.
both pieces can be dressed up and down and i did both.
although you know my *up* isn't that high.:)

what did i ever do w/o this little black dress?
every time i wear it someone has something nice to say to me about it.
its got its own personality.

i am including this navy and white striped t shirt type skirt.
i wore it with just about every color of tank top there is, with chambray and white shirts and i always felt like i was in my pj's.

this j. peterman skirt and double rl white shirt got worn to death too.
together and separately.  much like the chambray pieces above, they seem to go with everything.
i'm a big fan of the white shirt with everything.

so there you go.  i think my summer essential list goes something like this...
a few skirts, tank tops, a white shirt, a chambray shirt, skinny jeans and a colorful top.

what about you?  what were your summer favorites?


financial mistakes and our last cottage

lately i've been getting a lot of emails asking me about downsizing.  apparently quite a few of you are considering it these days. while i don't consider myself and expert on the subject i can share my own personal story and hopefully you can avoid making the same mistakes i did.

before we moved out of our large tract home and moved here to redlands we renovated another small cottage in a nearby city first.

that's it up above.  isn't it cute?

i fell in love with this little cottage at a particularly vulnerable time in my life.  the perfect storm for making big financial mistakes was brewing deep inside me.  i was peri-menopausal, i was experiencing really difficult problems with my youngest son and i felt i would jump out of my skin if i didn't make a big change.

i had been reading about simplifying/downsizing my life for many years and the time just seemed right to me.

so we began looking for a small house and we came upon this one and that was that.

 there were many reasons why this particular cottage was not right for us.  i overlooked all of them, even while knowing deep down inside me that i was making a mistake.  there were obvious drawbacks that i didn't fully think through before we went ahead with the purchase.  i made tremendous mistakes in judgement, mostly b/c i just wanted a change.  downsizing was a dream for both of us but i rushed through the decision making process and made a complete mess of things.

things i didn't fully consider...

there was only one bathroom.  after cleaning 3 bathrooms for so many years, one sounded like heaven!    but the truth is, we really needed two.  i know that's not a big deal for a lot of people but for us it didn't work.

  also there was the issue of how close this house was to the neighbors.
we could hear their tv and radio on all the time.  we could hear their normal conversations and it really bothered me.  again, maybe this wouldn't bother someone else but it really did bother me.

looking back the house was never the problem, i was...

i was an emotional mess and we suffered a lot financially b/c along with me being a mess, the biggest housing crises since the great depression was looming overhead.

in the end, we survived.
the little cottage eventually sold but we lost a lot of money.

and i really do believe that everything happens for a reason in our lives.
we wound up here and this is a better fit for us.

like i said, i learned a lot about myself and i think the whole thing made me a great deal more frugal.  now our only debt we promise ourselves we will ever have will be this one mortgage and we're doing our best to pay this one off as quickly as possible.

so that is that and i'm happy to share these pictures and my story with you.
if you have any questions i'd be happy to answer them in the comments.



eggless egg salad sandwiches

summer is finally starting to wind down here and i wanted to share the sandwich we've been eating quite a bit lately.  i've shared it before, but in case you missed it, i'm sharing it again.  my friend steve gave me the recipe and i'm so grateful b/c this sandwich is flat out delicious.  even larry likes it and i'd say he's probably the biggest non-tofu loving guy there is.

steve's recipe is very thorough and very easy so pop over and check his out.
say hello while you are there b/c he's a super nice guy.


packing for new york city

i didn't do a post on what i packed to new york before we left b/c honestly, i was a little afraid to.
i don't consider myself a style expert and i'm not a big city type.  i'm much more comfortable in the outdoors.  i was also sure that whatever i'd pack would be all wrong and i didn't want you guys to know just what a dork i really am.
i mean, i read the sartorialist too and i was totally intimidated thinking i'd look lame surrounded by all those stylish women that look like this...

well i'm here to report that i didn't see a single woman dressed in feathers or stilettos.
i did see quite a few women in fitted fatigue type jackets though, they really looked great with everything.  i'll be on the lookout for one now.

 i also saw lots of lightweight scarves and flip flops.  yep, flip flops.  everyone had them on.
  what i learned was that there was no reason at all to have been intimidated, apparently new yorkers are regular people.

so on to what i packed and why...

we were not going anywhere fancy and we would be on our feet the whole time and the main thing i wanted to avoid was blisters.  i once got a blister in san francisco after walking for 20 minutes and it about ruined my whole trip.  so the bar was set real high, a wardrobe that wouldn't cause blisters.  

you can see just about everything i packed in just these 2 photos alone...

on the flight over i wore black skinny jeans
a white t and camel sweater with
my leopard loafers

i packed...

dark blue skinny jeans (purchased at a yardsale this summer for $1)
one black and one white vintage t shirt (old navy)
chambray shirt
american apparel thermal
my little black dress that you can see here and here
black flat boots - (purchased at the beginning of summer from the gw for $12)
moccasins - a lifesaver!
black kitten heels 
j. crew icon trench
black tights

that's it.
i swapped the blue, black, white and camel around all weekend.

i could wear the kitten heels with the skinny jeans for the jack white shows and with the lbd for sunday service or if we were to go somewhere fancy for dinner (which we did not.)
we mostly ate at deli's and pubs.

the chambray shirt looks great with black jeans and regular blue jeans.
the t shirts could be layered under the chambray if needed.
because our hotel was so centrally located i could pop in and swap my loafers for the moccasins and i think this is what saved my feet from blisters.  larry carried a backpack wherever we went so i didn't have to worry about a handbag, which was nice.

i'm sorry i didn't take more photos of what i was wearing but you've seen me in these clothes a million times.

one million + 1

i never once felt out of place or under dressed.
i packed about 11 items and it did the trick.
i know i won't win any fashion awards but i am still waiting for someone to pin a gold star on me for packing lightly.



new york city - the warwick hotel

what a gem of a hotel.  
i got so lucky when i booked this, not realizing just how perfectly located it was.
just a short, easy walk to beautiful central park, 5th avenue, st. patricks cathedral, rockefeller center, radio city music hall, madison avenue, park avenue - to name just a few.
incredibly helpful staff and doormen.

beautiful in an old grand manor style, spotless, great prices (our room was $250/night)
a bargain in new york city.

the warwick hotel
 i highly, highly recommend.
and no one is paying me to say this!

he insisted i wear his hat - and he did have a gun...

honestly, one of the best things of the trip, mass on sunday.
so beautiful.

st. thomas, just down the street from st. patricks

5th avenue, pucci

my handsome tour guide.

this is what i pretty much wore the entire time.
we had lots of weather changes.
rain to sunshine.
the j. crew trench was perfect!

from inside central park looking back toward our hotel.

the new ralph lauren women and home store.
absolute sensory overload.
i'm wearing these moccasins which pretty much saved my feet.
most comfy walking shoes ever.
this was a beautiful, flat walk from our hotel.
so much to see all the way there.
walked back to the hotel through central park.

the rl rhinelander mansion men's store.
breathtaking inside.  they wouldn't allow me to take pictures.
it is beautiful beyond words.

hello jack

outside our hotel after one of the shows.
a couple from australia took this and i asked if they knew faux fucshia, they said what is that?

the royal tenenbaum house in harlem
we took a taxi and it was a ride straight out of an action movie.  no lie.
classic new york.

louis vuitton 5th avenue

what a perfect trip and weekend.
so much fun.
we also walked the brooklyn bridge where a random rainstorm soaked us to the bone.
so pictures were impossible.

loved every minute we were there and can't wait to go back.

i've missed so much in blogland.
looking forward to catching up with you all.


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