Monday, April 30, 2012

Design Ideas for Jay's Lounge

Jay's Lounge

Bodhi Desk
$798 -

Square Striped Pillow
$128 -

Coffee table GARE DU NORD
€399 -

Parallel Stools
$119 -

Just so you know, I don't buy cola for him (he wishes!).  :)

My younger son, the artist, is very much wanting me to transform his bedroom, the sooner the better.  So, while we have major construction going on in the master bath, I have postponed this project until the summer when I am free from work and all the responsibilities that go on during the school year (far too many).  I will NOT be spending quite this sum, nor will I be shopping at many of these places (Anthropologie has been accused of exploitation of child labor for one thing), but I wanted to pull together some ideas. 
He needs a new, bigger desk that can work as a spot to draw as well as do homework.  I have already purchased the first piece of furniture, found at a flea market recently:

So, as soon as son number 1 gets through graduation and we have completed the master bath... (one thing leads to another in renovation, let me tell you!  We realized we had a leak this weekend from a pipe re-routing issue, and now our kitchen/living room wall is 1/3 missing and has to be replaced once it dries out!).  Anyway, like I was saying....I have my ideas for the project and am anxious to get started once I have more time and have saved a bit more money!

What do you think?


Thursday, April 26, 2012

She's Here!

All shiny and new with her 50 MPG!  I am one lucky girl!
It's been a long wait....but here are her debut photos...


Saturday, April 21, 2012

Earth Day 2012: How am I doing?

Happy Earth Day!

Embarrassingly far from perfect, I have worked to be greener this past year.  Here are a few highlights:

1.  Worked on beach cleanups...

2.  Installed a low water landscape, removing all grass in both the front and back yards...

2.  Switched to cloth napkins for meals, and microfiber cloths for cleaning as much as possible:

 3.  Switched our produce to Community Supported Agriculture (June of last year)...

4.  Ordered a Prius to replace my SUV...

5.  Worked to reduce and reuse as much as possible, to buy less and aim for zero waste...

6.  Okay, this one might seem strange, but we have just begun worm composting.  I will likely do an entire blog post on this one at some point, but we have only been doing this for about 2 months.  Since our worms cannot handle all of our green kitchen scraps, the remainder go into our green waste management bin.  The worms are producing fabulous soil for us to use in the garden-this really feels like it comes full circle compared to other green efforts.

7.  We are enjoying nature more and using it for fitness, avoiding driving to the gym and a pricey gym membership...

8.  Decorating with what I have got (there is plenty!) and remaking things or sprucing up old decor so that I can reuse them...

9.  Shopping for more bulk items-not only employing reusable shopping bags, but reusable grain, nut, and produce bags...

10.  And last but most importantly, getting my family on board with all of this.  This has actually been an easy task as the husband has always been of a green mindset (even on simple beach walks he is picking up endless water bottle tops as well as other trash in the sand), and both boys are teenagers who completely "get it."  Both kids are amazing in their understanding and desire to be greener, and have supported all of my ideas, some of which seemed crazy at first (see number 6 above!).


Happy Earth Day!  Open your eyes!!!!!


A Wonderful Gift

I have been wanting one of these for about six years....

Here is a little photo essay...

it arrived beautifully wrapped....

yes, pretty details matter!  open it up....

YAY!!!!  :D

my first attempt was a huge hit and my younger son had the BIGGEST smile I have seen all week on him.  :D

This VitaMix will be put to heavy use.  I can make my own exotic smoothies with kale, soup for the family, homemade hummus, homemade almond milk and even ice cream.


Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Free (or nearly free) Exercise

(phone photo from a recent weekend walk)

Hi Friends!

Time for a heart to heart.....

For over 10 years I have had a gym membership at a very beautiful and expensive gym.  To my credit, I used the gym constantly, especially for spin classes and other cardio and definitely got my money's worth.  I was especially obsessive during this period of my life and counted on the gym in the colder months to get it all done.

Two things have changed in the past year for me:
1)  I have had a bad and chronic injury (plantar faciitis on the right heel area) which has kept me fairly slug-like for nearly a year (though there is slow improvement), and
2)  The gym was bought by another company.  This meant my dues went UP while lesser quality spin bikes were purchased for the classes I have loved there.  The gym now has a very different vibe overall as well and really no longer has the same "pull" for me.

After all those years....
I have
shockingly, stopped. going. altogether.

I have been walking again, not as intensely as before, but I am getting there as my foot slowly re-adapts to stress and strain.  And as I have been walking I have been reflecting on my goals to live more simply and  sustainably and I have realized that an expensive gym membership no longer fits my needs nor my wants.  In fact, as important as my physical health is, this particular membership is excessive.

The truth is...
I live in a beautiful part of the country with amazingly mild weather.  I am surrounded by nature's playground.

Here is another phone picture from the top of our beach walk:

Gorgeous, right?  And there are numerous hikes right near our home.  Here is the top of the hike at breathtaking Crystal Cove:

And pretty Peter's Canyon, which offers both flat and hilly hiking....

When I am really pressed for time (read:often) , there are nice walking paths right outside my door!  I can easily get in a 3-4 mile walk with these paths in well-maintained suburbia:

(looking to the right steps from my driveway)

(looking to the left!)

(out the door and a few feet away!)

(about 5 miles away...and also close to an amazing french coffee shop!)

Oh, and I cannot forget that I am a swimmer!  The IronMan is a 2.4 mile swim, so I can't be too shabby, right?  Here is a regulation 25-yard pool about a 30 second walk from my front door!  It is heated 6-7 months of the year, and when I get there early enough I usually have to pool all to myself.  :)

(behind what looks like blue fencing are tennis courts as well, but let's not talk about tennis!)

There are also several pricey items in my garage gathering dust....
let's especially nice bike...(the dark blue one hanging upside down here)...from when I was a cyclist not so long ago...

and a pre-owned stationary spin bike that I purchased on Craigslist about 18 months ago that would rival any spin bike in any gym in the country and I that I can use during the "cold" months when I am not swimming, walking or hiking...

and, uh, these (what are they again?) that my husband and older son will share:

So there you  have it.  For yoga or pilates or any other group instruction I may join a small, simple facility or gym, but for now I will be using my FREE stuff.  I will save TIME getting to the plush gym.  I will save GAS.  And I will save MONEY by forgoing the pricey dues as well as the gas.

I will miss some of the friends I have made there, but the closest of those I am in touch with anyway.


Any thoughts?  What do you do for exercise?


Sunday, April 15, 2012

Trip to the Long Beach Antique Flea Market

amethyst jar purchased at the flea market filled with a few roses from the backyard...

Hello and I hope everyone has had a wonderful weekend!  Our weather was gloomy Saturday, but Sunday has been fabulous.

My older son and I took off early for the Long Beach Flea Market.  I had never been.  It's held on the third  Sunday of each month.

I did not take too many shots because it was crowded and we were so busy looking at everything!  However, you can get an idea of the flea market from the few shots I did take below...

vintage books and typewriter...

shabby chic style painted antiques...

very cool old cameras!

sculptures of birds made from frying pans, rakes, hammers, garden tools, etc... 

funny stuff!  I loved this artist and bought one of the small birds...

groovy metalworks...

I loved these industrial tables on rollers made from scrap metal and actually purchased this one for my younger son's room.  I have promised him a "lounge" and this will be his "coffee" table.  I love it so much I am planning to design the room around this piece.....
after we finish the master bath remodel, that is.  :)

It will likely not happen until my summer break from work, but that also gives me time to dream up the plan for the space!

Hope you enjoyed this mini-tour!


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