Tuesday, August 27, 2013

The end of summer.....

Summer is coming to a close and with it, the return to my professional job.  I had a very difficult work year last year and I am determined that this upcoming school year be filled with less stress, more hope, more friendship, and better memories than the last.
Highlights of this summer have included coffee and picnics with friends, visits with family, several baseball games, a beautiful art exhibit, laughing at the movies with my two boys, many long walks, lots of BBQs, and the completion of two graduate classes at UCLA.  There were travels to Las Vegas and to the breathtaking far northern coast of California and to Carmel.  Although difficult, I was able to leave my eldest son for his second year of college and I was able to help the youngest son begin his college search.  All part of the transitions of life.  One of the best habits I began this summer was establishing a morning quiet time.  I also created a new Life Management Notebook much in the style of the godly Anne Ortlund.  It has already served me amazingly well.
Quiet time space

Life Management Notebook.  Mine includes sections for personal goals, home, food, my children, and bible study/prayer.

   I thought I would share just a few photos from my travels.  The following are some quick shots I snapped from Carmel, CA:
The breathtaking rugged coast...

I loved the lone green bike against the beautiful blue ocean...

I took several shots of this beautiful house and would love to incorporate some of it's design elements into a cottage one day...

always looking for otters and seals when I walk this area...

And a few shots from Arcata, CA below:

I am sad to see summer go, but I am hopeful for a continuation of all the good things it brought.

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Sweet Simplicity

A little silver polish and a few simple flowers from the yard make me happy:

Cost= FREE!  :)

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

A few Vintage Finds.....

Hello Friends! 
Summer is just flying by for me.  I have taken my eldest son back up to college and he is now settled into an apartment with two of his buddies.  I will share some pictures from that trip soon.  The north coast is so breathtaking that I can't help but to take a million photos!
With one son in college and another to launch in a year (and the lack of a paycheck during the summer months since I work in education!), I have been in frugal mode.  However, I did manage a few little purchases for the house and thought I would share them:

For me, flowers and plants are a necessity of life.  I was able to save a lot of money on flowers for the house this summer simply by cutting my own from our garden.  You can see some of our beautiful hydrangeas HERE if you'd like.  I just love them. 
I also created some homemade topiaries from ivy that I propagated. 
Seen below is a small bushy ivy plant in a new galvanized bucket that was purchased at a consignment store and stenciled: 

Below is a little mirrored vanity tray that I found at an antique store.  I thought it was sweet and reminded me of something my grandmother might have on her dressing table.  For now, I've placed it on the sideboard in our dining room with some crystal pieces received long ago for wedding gifts: 
One of the things I have managed to do this summer is to create a beautiful spot for my morning quiet time.  The silver tray below was the best deal of all!  I found it in a thrift store in Northern CA where I paid 75 cents for it!  :D

The flowers above are from our garden. 
I love my little vintage finds and since I cannot do any expensive design projects right now I find that simple de-cluttering, cleaning, rearranging and homegrown floral arrangements continue to feed my creativity.
What do you do to feed creativity on a budget?  I would love to hear.  :)
Blessings, Steph.

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