Friday, April 22, 2011

Earth Day

It has been a tough week for our family (!) but I wanted to just share a couple of small things since it is Earth Day and I am becoming more and more passionate about how we treat this dear planet on which we live and truly call home.  Look around!  Nature is the most beautiful designer in town and we need to be respectful.

Here are two things I have come across fairly recently:

This blog:  All I can say is take a look and decide for yourself.  There have been some criticisms of the way in which this family lives, but personally I love it.  In helping myself become a step closer to this lifestyle, I recently got a wonderful deal on some glass canning containers at  I use them to store food that I am now buying in bulk to eliminate all the horrendous packaging on everything.  A little at a time, right?  Here they are (also note my new biodegradeable kitchen sponge!):

Also, I have been advised of a wonderful book that I have since purchased at  To be honest, I have found it a bit out my league (actually it is full of profoundly simple ideas but I have become so accustomed to doing things the "easy" way), but it is full of great green ideas.  Here it is:  A Guide to Green Housekeeping by Christina Strutt:

Just my few contributions to Earth Day!

Happy Easter to everyone,


Linking to and to

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

New things for the house

Hello!  A while back, I did a short post on these amazing maps that I found online.  Well, I ordered a HUGE map of southern California and then had it adhered to foamboard and framed.  Have I mentioned it is huge?  Here it is:

 I decided to place it in a large section of wall in our entryway.  We have vaulted ceilings in our entry/living/dining (it's really all one space-cira 1979).  It makes a nice impact and is still fairly visible since the map is so large (kind of hard to get a shot looking UP!):

I am happy with the map and it brings in some interesting color to the space as well.

I also ordered this lavender pillow from Maria at Dreamy Whites.  It is made from vintage French linen and smells heavenly.  It looks great on our bed:

Fun, huh?  The pillow gave me my dishtowel turned napkin idea (see blog from yesterday!). 

By the way, if you have not seen Maria's blog, it is very beautiful!  Check it out here!

Monday, April 18, 2011

IKEA trip

What is not to love about IKEA?  OK, the quality of some items may leave a bit to be desired, but overall it's great.  :)

I attended a Psychologist's conference in Costa Mesa the last three days of last week.  On Saturday, I made a run over to IKEA following the conference since it was so close by.  As usual, a few little gems were to be found.  What I love about IKEA is that the affordability factor makes it easy to switch out accessories and the design inspiration is wonderful.  Just a few things for this trip to brighten up my winterish accessories:

 Pretty colored glass vases for 3.99 each!  These are atop the piano now.

A sweet little white enameled pitcher to help remind me of the simple life (aka the life I want).

These pretty dish towels were only 49 cents a piece and look like antique French linens!  I plan to actually use them as napkins for the family so as to reduce our waste with paper napkins.

I actually went into IKEA with storage in mind.  These jars house my younger son's constant need for carbs right now.  Also, this way I can buy in bulk and fill up the jars rather than buying endless boxes that need to be recycled.

I like how they look on the counter.  The plastic jar with the white top is simply a cleaned, resued bottle from something from COSTCO.

And what about this charming beach-y plant holder?  It is made of real wood, whitewashed and includes a plastic liner.  Not sure yet what is going in here, but I must have had 3 IKEA employees ask me where I had found it because it is so cute (it was in the plant section!).

Finally, I snagged this black and white table runner.  It is rather rustic, made of dishtowel fabric.  I thought it was fun.  Right now it is on the dining room table with a potted hydrangea and some candles.  Here is a closer shot of it:

Other than some extra silverware, that's it for this shopping adventure.  :)  In keeping with my environmental reduce-resuse nature, I happily loaded three boxes of donations into the car following this trip and had my older son drive them off to the Goodwill for me.  I have told everyone in the house that whenever something new comes in, at least one old thing must be donated.  I am an fact, I would like to have FAR LESS than I do.  One step at a time, though.    :)

Hope you enjoyed my mini shopping trip to IKEA.  I have more (non IKEA) things to share tomorrow.  Blessings, Steph.

Monday, April 11, 2011

A few Easter preparations

I am not much into Easter decorations this year...just a pretty potted white hydrangea...

plus a stone carved rabbit next to my succulent-filled antique iron urn...

and you have a simple vignette near the front door.  :)

We also dye Easter eggs each year (these are from last year's collection but we will dye eggs once again next week)...

Even though my kids are teenagers, they love this tradition and no longer need my help but let me watch instead.  :)

Funny, as I was taking the photos outside my son Jonathan said "you know, Mom, Easter really has absolutely nothing to do with a bunny, candy, and eggs..."

Thank you, Lord.

(linking to Centsational Girl here  and to Faded Charm here and to Savvy Southern Style here for fun)

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

My Humble Laundry Room

I have seen so many incredible laundry rooms in blogland.  Some are simply amazing!  Well, I don't have a wayyyyy cool LG front loading washer and dryer complete with drawers underneath, nor a laundry sink.  In fact, my laundry "room" is really a pass-through space from our garage to the family room.  But I love having this space where I can serve my family.  So welcome to my humble little laundry room!  :)

Here are some ways I have tried to make the room pretty as I work....

a vintage laundry sign from ebay...

hooks with which to hold things (the cupboards above hold cleaning supplies and swim workout equipment)...

A sign to remind me that having my own washer and dryer as well as a well-clothed family are, indeed, very good...

a hummingbird photo taken by my brother-in-law, soap, and a toile basket to hold towels...

a pretty basket with my wonderful Mrs. Meyer's laundry supplies which keep everything (and this little room) smelling heavenly...
more hooks and a mirror on the opposite wall, currently holding my husband's gardening hat (and often full of backpacks)...

a plush white rug for my feet...

more hooks and art (although I would like to install a flat wall-mounted drying rack in this spot soon)...

and that's it!  I cannot tell you how much nicer it is to do laundry with a simple environment, the right tools and, especially, the right attitude.  :)  My attitude is not always the best and it is easy to get overwhelmed when laundry piles up for me, but my little reminders and clean little space help tremendously.

UPDATE!!!!  Here is our new bathroom flooring:

:)  Steph.

Linking to Savvy Southern Style  and to fadedcharmcottage just for fun.  Also to Show and Tell Friday!

Monday, April 4, 2011


Back home.  This past weekend I flew to northern California to see how my mom was doing after a major surgery.  The good news is...she is doing great!  Thank you, Lord. 
I enjoyed helping my dad out by doing lots of errands while I was there as he has really had to step it up to help.  The rain seems to have finally subsided there and it was just beautiful.  My parents have a wonderful covered patio on the back of their house but it looked a bit blah.  So I went to work planting flowers and some vegetables and herbs that my mom wanted.
She's funny, as she wanted the pots scrubbed and more dirt replaced in her existing pots than I would have done for my own garden, but in the end it all looked so much better and was well worth the effort.  :)  Now she can sit out there and look at the flowers and get more fresh air than she has been.
I sat on the left side of the plane for the return flight and saw a great deal of the coastline on my way home and just marveled at the beauty of this state I live in.  I feel so lucky.
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...