August notes

Well now hello my loves.  Here I am so far behind with this blog and all the generous comments.  I've tried a zillion times to write and or answer emails and comments and even letters.  When I try I feel overwhelmed and exhausted.  Exhausted from my situation and from Covid.  Maybe you can relate?  There were several v touching comments that blogger won't let me respond too.  I think when your blog falls into a state of inactivity things happen to it.  I get the worst spam comments you can imagine.  Horrible x-rated ones that I have to delete and then wonderful ones that I can't comment on.  My fonts get changed and overall it's a pain and so I tend to give up and walk away.  So today I'll just talk about what I've been up to.

I am well.  I was exposed to the virus and had symptoms myself for about 10 days but my test came back negative.  I isolated for 2 weeks and am fine now.  So there is that.  Also, do you remember awhile back I told you a friend of mine had purchased a big beautiful historical home just down the road from me?  Well I'm decorating it!  It has not been easy with shutdowns and slow shipping but it's coming along and I hope one day to be able to share it here.  In the meantime you can see a few changes I've made around here.  I painted the armoire because of these chinoserie panels I found.  I still cannot believe I found them and they are mine!  I adore them.

Because of that decorating job I've wound up making changes here.  For instance she has a small office and my antique wicker desk was perfect for her.  I sold it to her and that started the ball rolling.  I came across this lovely french table that is perfect for the space.  The truth is I've been looking for a table like this since the day we moved in.  The chairs are reproductions but I love them too.

The garden is getting scorched as usual this time of year but it still is my refuge and don't know what I'd do without it.  It has kept me on a routine that I need right now.  As you know I don't have sprinklers so it's a big job just keeping it alive in the heat.

Is anyone doing Zoom?  I am and it has been a lifesaver for me.  I resisted at first but glad I gave in.  I feel like I'm rambling and not making much sense so I'll end and I will really really try to get back into the routing of writing. Thank you so so much for your continuing support and love you send me.  I don't deserve it. x

hello july

Hello dear friends.  It's been so long since I've written I've forgotten how blogger works.  I just wanted to pop in to let you know I'm ok.  Thank you so much for all your emails and private messages.  I'm overwhelmed by your love, concern and support.  I'm sorry if I have not responded but I haven't been online much at all.  I hope you are all ok too.  Times are so unsettling right?  Not much is happening here except my inability to write here.  I guess I just need time.  In fact I don't quite know what to do with the blog but for now I'll let it be.  As you see in the photo I've hung the old Pottery Barn Nob Hill drapes and actually purchased a few new things for the house.  Again stay safe and thank you so much for all your kindnesses.  x



I haven't ventured out past my doorway very much.  Of course the grocery store about every 2 weeks for myself and Father-in-Law.  Everlane had given me these beautiful mules last month and I've barely worn them.  But they are quite chic.

The garden never fails to delight me.  All the usual suspects are here for the Spring.  It's a continuing source of peace in my life. 

I apologize if I have not answered your emails.  I cannot say I'm too busy can I?  I honestly don't have a good answer.  Maybe I can answer most questions here.  Like what am I watching on TV?

On HBO...

My Brilliant Friend  Hands down the best thing I've watched

Curb I Adore Leon

Veep Never gets old and so timely

on Netflix...

Afterlife - Which is both sad and good to me

Ozark - The whole thing baffles but I keep watching

#BlackAF - Very funny and smart

What have I been eating?  Too much of everything.  Why.  Usually 1 or 2 cookies will do it but lately I want the whole bag. Mostly just the same old thing...oatmeal, salad and veggie burgers.  Sorry I'm not a font of inspiration right now!

Lots of neighborhood walks.  Yoga at home. 

What are you watching?


little things

It's always the little things that make the biggest difference in our lives.  At least that's how it works for me.  Especially in these days of worry.  I remind myself daily that I'm ok, I'm ok.  Because the truth is I am. 

Beauty is good for the soul.  I read that somewhere this week and I believe it with all my heart.  I've started re-growing romaine lettuce in a sunny window.  How sweet is this?  I read you can re-grow up to 3 times but after that the leaves will become bitter.  I'll report back.

I also read that if you separate your bananas they will last longer.  They seem to, maybe by 3 or 4 days which is nice.

I've been taking stock of all my food and other essential items as I'm sure most of you have.  I have enough.

This old house has kept me on my toes.  This is my basement that has flooded so many times this year I've lost track.  A neighbor let me borrow his industrial water vac which has been a lifesaver.  This was a task that Larry took care of and I'm finding I'm capable too.  It's a pain in the royal ass though.  I also fixed a broken toilet last month.  It was quite a job but I did it.

And last week I was on top of the roof cleaning rain gutters when I spied this spot on the house.  It's the original shingles with their very first coat of paint which is a soft white.  I was so thrilled to find this that I forgot for a minute that I really probably most likely should not be on the roof.  I've always wanted to paint this house white.  Maybe one day it will be...

So what little things have you guys been up to.  Anyone out there living alone?  It is a new experience for me to be this alone.  I'm not hating it.  x

Bloomist Antique Roses

Roses generously gifted from Bloomist

Hello Loves.  Today I interrupt the Covid-19 crises with a sigh of Spring.  How are you all holding up?  It's all so surreal.  The world has been forced to slow down and and just BE.  That of course is the good part of all this.  The rest is heartbreaking.

If you're looking for a tiny distraction this post may be just that.  Bloomist (don't you love that name?) contacted me and sent me a big bunch of their Eco-faux Roses to style.  How lucky am I?!

As most of you know I suffer from horrible seasonal allergies.  They get worse every year.  It kills me that I have a genuine antique rose garden right here just steps from my front door and yet I cannot bring them in the house because of my allergies.  I'm ok tending to them but as soon as they begin to bloom, which will be in a week or so, I am a mess.  

So these beautiful Eco-faux branches are just what a girl like me needs this time of year.  They would be stunning on a round entry table if you have that sort of thing.  They are what I would call a show-stopper.  Just beautiful and no allergy symptoms.

So even though I wish I could bring the real ones in, these are a wonderful substitute and I highly recommend if allergies are an issue.  Even one branch in a vase is gorgeous.  I remember years ago when Oprah said NO fake flowers in the house!  Do you remember that? Lol, well guess what?  I have fake flowers and I'm 100 with that.  xo


How are you all doing?  I'm comfortable in my bolt hole learning new recipes (to me) and enjoying the quiet.  This is a good one as are all her recipes and anecdotes, so timely.  Pasta and Peas

This is also an interesting video on World War 2 Rations which she eats for a week.  Stay til the end because the info is quite surprising.

I love every single word here...The importance of home

and...Comfort in Recluse

Stay sane and healthy. xo



Let's all take a breath shall we.  Like just about everyone else I know I'll be spending a lot of time in my home and garden.  I made a list of productive things to do over the course of the next month or so and it looks something like this...

clean and organize linens
clean and organize wardrobe
clean, organize and take stock of pantry
clean and organize refrigerator and freezer
polish silver
dust things that rarely get dusted
clean out junk drawer
polish shoes
put together a spring wardrobe with existing clothes
wash down pillows and comforters
organize and clean out skincare and makeup collection
weather permitting get outside in the fresh air, garden or walk

We really can live without toilet paper you know.
It's time to make do and mend - pretty much how most of us reading this blog live anyway.  Now is not the time for gluttony and hoarding.  If I take too much off the supermarket shelves then someone else goes without.  Let's be calm about this.  xo

good morning

Hello dear friends.  I was walking out to get my mail the other day and saw this darling little alyssum bud peeping out of a crack in the driveway.  I immediately identified with it.  Although to be honest, I have quite peeped out yet.  I haven't written much lately bc I've not been able to, I'm still in that crack.  I've tried many times but I come up empty.  A few days ago was my wedding anniversary and it threw me for a loop.  I knew it was coming and the anticipation is what did me in.  I began to believe all the thoughts my mind was telling me and well they took me down.  I'm still not sure what I will do with this blog.  As many of you noted the blog was hacked by someone and was asking for your password and again that threw me bc Larry always took care of things like that.  Rachel, a reader here and her sweet husband Carl reached out to me and offered to help me fix it.  It took about an hour but we did it.  That was a huge accomplishment.  So I ask for your patience and hopefully things will sort themselves out soon.

I overheard someone talking the other day and she said "I didn't get any of the big things in life I wanted but I got enough small things to sustain me."  I get that.




The other day I was minding my own business wasting time on the internet when an ad caught my eye.  Ads catch my eyes all the time but rarely do I click on.  This time I did.

It is a company called Bloomist and they make ecofaux botanicals. 

You may be thinking why would I want faux botanicals in my house when I have a real antique rose garden outside my door?

The answer is allergies.  For the last several years I can cut my roses, arrange them, photograph them and then promptly put them on the porch or give them away.

The photos look so beautiful that I decided to spend $34 and try a tall branch.  So glad I did because it is lovely.  I put a couple of dead branches in with the faux one and it looks even more real.

I reached out to Bloomist and they sent me a code you can use if you want to shower yourself this Valentines Day.  I probably will do that too.

JANET15 will get you 15% off your first order
JANET25 will get you 25% off $100 or more purchase

One time use only - expires 2/29


my decorating budget

Let's face it, at my age I never have to buy another piece of clothing or home decor for the rest of my life and I'd be ok.  But I'm a sucker for beautiful things!

These days things seem to come to me.  I don't even go looking!  My daughter in law recently went to an estate sale and bought me this statue thinking it was a Virgin Mary.  It's quite old, the estate dealer thought from the 1940's but I think it may be older.  It isn't a Virgin Mary but a St. Theresa (which is my oldest sisters name) who is the Patron Saint of Gardeners and she is a Carmelite Nun (which is the order of Nun's that helped raise me).  So to say this is a special piece is an understatment. 

I would have to say my decor budget is like zero unless I come upon something rare and so special.  This was $10.  There are several on Etsy that run over $300.  That's just how things go when it comes to 2nd hand estate sale shopping.

What is your decor budget like?  I'm so curious to know! x

my food budget

Since beauty and eating are so closely tied in my life I thought I'd go over what my food budget is now that I'm alone.

I spend on average, $30 a week for groceries.  I usually go to the markets about every 2 weeks.  I rely on beans, rice, oats and fill in with lots and lots of fresh fruits and vegetables.  It's an easy way to eat and very easy on my budget.  For some reason I do not get bored with it.

My typical breakfast of overnight oats, berries and almonds.

I love sandwiches like this.  Ezekiel bread with hummus, arugula and radishes from the garden.

At the end of summer I cut back all the basil and pureed it with a little water and freeze.  Now all winter long I can drop one of these in a pot of tomatoes for a taste of summer.

It's pretty simple and an uncomplicated way to eat.  I hope you find some inspiration here. x


the collected look

Hello dear friends.  Today I'm joining the ladies linked below for my take on The Collected Look.  The idea is mixing old and new and creating a look that is just right for you.

My new piece is this Everlane Cashmere Cardigan in a beautiful Acorn color.  Generously gifted to me from Everlane, I chose a size Large because I wanted a loose, luxurious look to it.  I actually had it in mind to replace my worn out house sweater but I keep wearing it out and about. I love Everlane for their cashmere, tees and shoes and their overall transparency and ethical practices.

So I put on this vintage pink silk rose pin and paired it with a pair of vintage levi's, an old t-shirt and my Remi Mules from Madewell, which are on sale right now.  I added the vintage coach bag and I like the whole look.

Please pop over and see what all these fabulous ladies have put together...

apart from my art-sandra

classic casual home-mary ann
most lovely things-annie
northern california style-kim
rough luxe lifestyle-cindy
the age of grace-eugenia
the real golden girl-kimberly
the vintage contessa-elizabeth


my beauty budget

Whenever I start talking or even thinking about my beauty budget I realize how tightly woven it is with my food budget.  That is because I know what I put into my body has an effect on my skin and hair.  But since this is a Beauty Budget post I will keep it to what I plan to spend this year on beauty products.

Over the past week or so I've done a thorough inventory of all my beauty products.  Because I've worked in spas and have friends that still do I have a decent stockpile.  I sorted through it all, tossing expired products and passing on ones I won't use. I was sort of shocked to see how much I had.  Since I don't have a bathroom vanity any extra has been stored in an under the bed storage box.

So my plan for 2020 is to use what I've got til it's gone, and only then will I repurchase.  I have several bottles of shampoos, conditioners and treatments for my hair.  I have 2 bottles of my favorite cleansers and moisturizers.  I have plenty of lotions and oil for my bod and plenty of nail varnish.  When it comes to makeup, I have 2 full bottles of foundation and plenty of backups for eye pencils, lipsticks etc.

So I suggest you take a hard look at all your beauty products and see just what you'll need and plan accordingly.  They say without a plan we are lost so I don't want to be any more lost than I already am!  x


hello 2020

Hello friends.  It's been quite a few weeks with all the major holidays plus my birthday and Larry's.  And when I say quite a few weeks what I really mean they've been gut-wrenching.  I will leave it at that because well, I just have to.

Today I wanna talk about this year and hopefully what you can expect out of me.  I read every single comment on my last post at least twice.  It seems you want what I've always tried to write about here, incorporating beauty and simplicity into our lives.  I also hear you loud and clear about the Everlane posts.  I will try to keep it to one or two posts per month and that is if Everlane continues to partner with me.  It is truly a gift they are providing me and I appreciate it so much because I admire and respect them as a company.  

Speaking of one has noticed that I removed all other ads from my blog.  There is no longer a small ad between each post.  I wondered if anyone would say anything about that but no one has!  Some of my favorite blogs are almost unreadable due to the pop ups and ads within paragraphs of posts.  I will always keep my sidebar of favorites because I get so many emails asking for specifics and that sidebar helps so much with that.  So now you will see a clear warning before you even read the post that it will contain affiliate links. I hope that helps!

So as I continue to recover I will do my best to help us all organize with beauty and simplicity.  Happy New Year to us all...x

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