Monday, January 31, 2011

Reuse, recycle.....

My boys like to use this "Study Buddy" to lean against for reading and homework on occasion, but it had begun sporting a really sad look, thanks to it's heavy use and "stellar" construction. 

I was going to get another one, when my eldest, a die-hard environmentalist and minimalist, suggested I actually try to fix it instead.  Now, I might have a pretty good eye for design, but I am really NOT that crafty.  My mother, an amazing seamstress, tried her best....but I honestly lacked the patience to sew.  But my son insisted that it would be better for the world if I saved this item from yet another pile of garbage somewhere.

So....I sewed up the very bad rip as best I could and then, using no-sew fusion tape, ironed this random lone piece of cheetah fabric I had thrown in my basket amidst the lovely Braunshwig and Fils and Schumacher swatches I had collected in design school. 

Here it is in it's improved state, sporting a Kindle, a very generous gift received for Christmas.

I am laughing that I am blogging about something so elementary in the craft department!  Thanks for indulging me.  :)

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Stormy Sunday

This was a rare weekend with nothing pressing and I really needed it! 

Today was a stormy Sunday.  I slept in a bit, drank fabulous coffee brewed by my eldest son, and then set out for a long walk with him under cool, cloudy skies.  Just as we made it back to the house, the raindrops began to fall.  I took the opportunity to clean out my (disaster of a ) closet while listening to our church service online.  The message was all about fear and it was perfect timing since I had had a week of worry and migraine headaches.  Today I felt fabulous, though!

My closet is spotless and has made me realize how much clothing I truly own.  Excess and waste bother me, and I bagged up several large bags and took them immediately to the Goodwill Donation center nearby.

In the afternoon, with the rain falling more intensely, my husband and I drove to our favorite harbor.  It was raining and the skies looked a lot like this:

We walked a little but it was cold.  Ultimately, we ended up stopping for this: 

It was fun watching all kinds of pelicans dive-bomb for their own snack in the harbor from our window.

Came home and took a glorious nap before embarking on some cleaning and cooking.
Sometimes a cold, rainy afternoon is just what the doctor ordered!  


Friday, January 28, 2011


Just so that I don't forget, I am going to write down what I added to my salad tonight, because it was fantastic!  Here is what I threw together:

*  arugula
*  nonfat feta
*  finely chopped raw broccoli and cauliflower
*  about 2 ounces of low sodium deli turkey
*  maybe a tablespoon of raisins
*  champagne pear salad dressing ready made from Trader Joe's
*  freshly ground black pepper

Perfect combo of savory and sweet and very healthy.  Arugula has amazing cancer-fighting properties and is one of those greens that keeps you feeling fuller longer.  Super healthy and super tasty!

Enjoy.  :)

photo courtesy:  Sunset Magazine

Thursday, January 27, 2011


Sometimes things can get overwhelming and right now there is quite a "list" going on for me.  I have also been suffering with migraines which I believe are also stress-related.  Today I poured my list out to a trusted colleague friend and her kindness nearly had me in tears.  Sometimes I think women, especially working moms, and particularly those such as myself in a helping profession, can tire of ceaselessly caring for everything and others all the time without another person to really care for us in a similar way.  It really means a lot (and I mean A LOT!) when a fellow friend goes out of their way to check on me, to extend some small kindness or their listening ear.

Is there anyone you know who needs your sweet kindness right now? 

"Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their work.  If one falls down, his friend can help him up..."  (Eccl.4:9)

Monday, January 24, 2011

Beautiful Dana Point...

My hubby had the day off today and I am trying hard not to work on Mondays since I technically work a 70% contract (however, it seems I do end up working every day).  With both kids at their respective high schools, we took a break and went walking on the beach in Dana.  I snapped a few shots.  The water was glassy calm, and the sky was much more blue than my pictures give justice!  Just a beautiful day!

Below are two shots of Dana Harbor:

A quaint B and the architecture against that sky:

The top of our walk.  In the far, far distance there is snow on Mt. Baldy:

Happy (time to take a million stairs down to the sand):

Post-walk fish tacos....yum.

Thanks for reading!  We are hopeful to move to Dana Point in another season of life.  :)

Friday, January 21, 2011

New Area Rug!

I have always loved this Ballard Designs rug!  So.....when it went on sale recently, I decided to purchase it.  I thought I would try it out and see if I liked it because I was worried it might be too wild and crazy.  However, so far I am loving it!  This photo shows my living room fairly unaccessorized, but I was rearranging furniture and snapped this shot to get some feedback.  Any thoughts?

I am linking to Cindy for Friday Show and Tell today.  :)

Happy Weekend!

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Beautiful Bedrooms and Lamp Improvement Step 2

Yesterday, I purchased new shades for my newly-repainted lamps. The old shades were starting to look a bit tired, and I wanted something a touch more interesting. SCALE is very important to consider when choosing bedside lamps for a 4-poster bed. Most lamps look tiny and wimpy next to our expansive-looking bed.

I would love to completely redecorate our bedroom, but this is it's current state...with it's "new" lamps. :) My husband also removed the finials on top of our bed so that it looks more modern and less "country" now.

Here is the BEFORE:

Here is the AFTER of the lampification:

Just for fun, here are some beautiful photos of bedrooms that I LOVE:

Sigh! I love the board and batten as well as the wonderful symmetry.

Also, this:

Lovely! And this:

I am not sure who designed the first bedroom pictured above. The second belongs to Heather Chadduck, and the third is that of Amy Meier.

Amy also has this TO DIE FOR amazing green lamp in her bedroom:

Amy was recently featured in Better Homes and Gardens and is VERY talented for such a youngster! :)

Hope everyone has a beautiful day!

Monday, January 17, 2011

When what you've got is good enough. :)

I am married to a man who does not like a lot of change. This includes changing furniture, particularly when the furniture is serving a purpose, no matter how dated. I, on the other hand, LOVE change. I love to re-arrange the house, change accessories, etc. I would love to move to a "new" old house and completely transform it, but now is not the season of life for that. :)

So recently, I spotted a gorgeous tufted leather sofa in a consignment shop in Newport Beach. It was used, but in really good shape. I took a photo of it with my blackberry, but I have since deleted it...although it looked a bit like this:


Well, the husband *did* like it, but even second-hand, the price tag was a big high and he questioned waiting until the kids were, I might add that they are now 15 and 17 and no longer try to climb on things around the house....

But, because he is so thoughtful, he decided to take it upon himself to saddle-soap our existing sofa. This is the result:

Not bad! :)

Saturday, January 1, 2011

2011 is here!

YAY. Like a line drawn in the sand, I can step over to 2011 and leave 2010 behind me. 2010 was not horrific by any means, but let's just say it was not the best of years for me. I have worked to count my blessings and to be grateful...and on some days, truthfully, it was not easy.

That said, there were some highlights to 2010! A few that come to mind include: sharing the precious excitement of my older son's success in getting his license, watching my younger son become extremely proficient with anything computer-related (particularly where art is concerned), eating amazing garlic bread in Napa Valley, celebrating my 24-year anniversary to Rich in Big Sur with a breathtaking view of the Pacific, taking some long-awaited design classes and loving every minute of being a student, going for a beautiful Christmas tea in Beverly Hills, and moving forward on improving the exterior of our house. Not a bad list.

Over the past few days I have been reflecting on my priorities and drafting goals for this new year. I have also been writing objectives to support those goals in a fairly detailed manner. I plan to review the goals and objectives constantly, to make changes where they are needed, and to continue to practice gratitude.

With that in mind, it is time for some exercise and family time. HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!
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