hey there

I finally had to replace my old computer with a new one and I've yet to figure out how to transfer photos to it.  I pretty much lucked out getting the above photo to cooperate.  I actually purchased this Chromebook instead of a computer.  Please don't ask me the difference because I really don't know, I just have to trust L on this. I do love that it is so quiet and lightweight, but you'll have to bear with me til I get the hang of it.

The fact that the weather here in southern California still says summer, it is indeed fall. I brought in these dead branches because I adore their color.  The season change is so subtle here but I love it nonetheless. And like the rest of the world, I confess to have been making pumpkin pancakes for breakfast.  It's easy to turn just about any recipe into a pumpkin recipe with teaspoon of pumpkin pie spice.

I only have one last slipcover to get washed before the heat ends and summer is officially over.  The fall garden clean up has begun and the days are getting shorter.  What is fall like in your area?  x


how i create a sense of peace in my home

The very best compliment anyone can give me regarding my home is by saying it feels calm to them. For me that's a compliment because oftentimes my life is anything but peaceful.  So despite the worries I have, and the pressures of home, work and family, creating a peaceful environment is something I crave.  The world is a crazzzzzy place and when I walk through my front door I want to leave that craziness behind.  Living in a small house with only one closet and no garage can be a challenge so I thought I'd share what works for me.

1.  Order

I thrive on it.  One of the things that can make me a bit crazy is having drawers and shelves shoved full of stuff and especially if there is no rhyme or reason to it.  That's why I'll do a weekly quick declutter because stuff accumulates fast.  I challenge myself to see how much I can get rid of in just a few minutes and it always shocks me.

2.  White

I love living in a small space and I find white compliments that beautifully.  love white walls, sheets, towels and slipcovers.  They are all easy to clean and provide a great backdrop to small or large doses of color. Again, walking through the front door and seeing order mixed with white is like tonic to my soul.  I don't have a linen closet to store these things away so a cohesive color pallet looks prettier on my open shelves.

3.  Nature

The number one thing I learned from the Country Living photo shoot was to bring nature inside.  It's so darn easy to clip some branches and place them in a vase and so economical.  Any green branches will do and it feeds my gardeners heart when no flowers are in bloom.

4.  Display

You would think that all that white and order would be boring but it isn't!  It allows my favorite/cherished items to stand out.  Limited space forces me to use and put my best stuff on display.  If wall space and storage space were not an issue I would never have created a top to bottom gallery wall in my bedroom.

How to you create a sense of calm in your home?  Do tell.  xo


4 free habits that will improve your well being today

1.  Go for a jog or long walk.

On May 1st I started adding a simple HIT workout to my daily routine.  HIT stands for High Intensity Training but don't let that scare you.  From the first day I tried it, I've been hooked.  You start by walking 2 or 3 minutes and then run as fast as you can for 20 seconds.  Then repeat that 2 additional times.  The total workout is only 8-10 minutes long but the results are pretty amazing.  The reason I keep at it is because no matter how much I'm dragging, after this simple and free workout I have so much energy.  It wakes me up and revitalizes me.  It really does.  HERE are some other examples of free HIT workouts to investigate.

2.  Breathe deeply.

Omgosh how often do I forget to breathe deeply?!  A lot.  It will mostly be during social situations that make me nervous or on edge.  I'll find I am making the problem worse by not slowing down and taking deep breaths. Deep, calming breathes are as effective as tranquilizers and so much healthier for us.  HERE is a list of additional benefits of deep breathing.

3.  Get some sun.

What?  As an esthetician it may seem odd that I'm recommending spending any time in the direct sun but research shows that getting enough Vitamin D every day is vital to good health.  I'm so fair that I have to be very careful not to burn and I keep my face out of the direct sun with a hat because of previous skin cancers. But I will say that our afternoon swim in full sunshine has done wonders for my mood and overall feeling of wellness.

4.  Get good sleep.

The effects of poor sleep and/or not enough deep sleep have been well documented but did you know that the symptoms of poor sleep can mimic depression and anxiety and actually increase your appetite? You can read more about that HERE.   Sleep is so sacred to me.  I have a definite nightly routine that I follow to get the deepest sleep.  Bath, read in bed (from a book) and lights out early, by 9pm.  Early to bed, early to rise turns out to be really really good advice.

There are lots more little things like this, such as eating more fresh vegetables, fruit, beans and lentils that all do wonders for our health.  When I was young I could cut corners and get away with it but now that I'm staring down 60 these little things add up and are helping me feel good each day.

What little tricks would you like to share?

PS - Thank you all so much for all the amazing gardening advice you left.  I have a lot of decisions to make and am so grateful for all you've shared.  I love our little community here.  Don't you?!  xo

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