how i create a sense of peace in my home

The very best compliment anyone can give me regarding my home is by saying it feels calm to them. For me that's a compliment because oftentimes my life is anything but peaceful.  So despite the worries I have, and the pressures of home, work and family, creating a peaceful environment is something I crave.  The world is a crazzzzzy place and when I walk through my front door I want to leave that craziness behind.  Living in a small house with only one closet and no garage can be a challenge so I thought I'd share what works for me.

1.  Order

I thrive on it.  One of the things that can make me a bit crazy is having drawers and shelves shoved full of stuff and especially if there is no rhyme or reason to it.  That's why I'll do a weekly quick declutter because stuff accumulates fast.  I challenge myself to see how much I can get rid of in just a few minutes and it always shocks me.

2.  White

I love living in a small space and I find white compliments that beautifully.  love white walls, sheets, towels and slipcovers.  They are all easy to clean and provide a great backdrop to small or large doses of color. Again, walking through the front door and seeing order mixed with white is like tonic to my soul.  I don't have a linen closet to store these things away so a cohesive color pallet looks prettier on my open shelves.

3.  Nature

The number one thing I learned from the Country Living photo shoot was to bring nature inside.  It's so darn easy to clip some branches and place them in a vase and so economical.  Any green branches will do and it feeds my gardeners heart when no flowers are in bloom.

4.  Display

You would think that all that white and order would be boring but it isn't!  It allows my favorite/cherished items to stand out.  Limited space forces me to use and put my best stuff on display.  If wall space and storage space were not an issue I would never have created a top to bottom gallery wall in my bedroom.

How to you create a sense of calm in your home?  Do tell.  xo


4 free habits that will improve your well being today

1.  Go for a jog or long walk.
On May 1st I started adding a simple HIT workout to my daily routine.  HIT stands for High Intensity Training but don't let that scare you.  From the first day I tried it, I've been hooked.  You start by walking 2 or 3 minutes and then run as fast as you can for 20 seconds.  Then repeat that 2 additional times.  The total workout is only 8-10 minutes long but the results are pretty amazing.  The reason I keep at it is because no matter how much I'm dragging, after this simple and free workout I have so much energy.  It wakes me up and revitalizes me.  It really does.  HERE are some other examples of free HIT workouts to investigate.

2.  Breathe deeply.
Omgosh how often do I forget to breathe deeply?!  A lot.  It will mostly be during social situations that make me nervous or on edge.  I'll find I am making the problem worse by not slowing down and taking deep breaths. Deep, calming breathes are as effective as tranquilizers and so much healthier for us.  HERE is a list of additional benefits of deep breathing.

3.  Get some sun.
What?  As an esthetician it may seem odd that I'm recommending spending any time in the direct sun but research shows that getting enough Vitamin D every day is vital to good health.  I'm so fair that I have to be very careful not to burn and I keep my face out of the direct sun with a hat because of previous skin cancers. But I will say that our afternoon swim in full sunshine has done wonders for my mood and overall feeling of wellness.

4.  Get good sleep.
The effects of poor sleep and/or not enough deep sleep have been well documented but did you know that the symptoms of poor sleep can mimic depression and anxiety and actually increase your appetite? You can read more about that HERE.   Sleep is so sacred to me.  I have a definite nightly routine that I follow to get the deepest sleep.  Bath, read in bed (from a book) and lights out early, by 9pm.  Early to bed, early to rise turns out to be really really good advice.

There are lots more little things like this, such as eating more fresh vegetables, fruit, beans and lentils that all do wonders for our health.  When I was young I could cut corners and get away with it but now that I'm staring down 60 these little things add up and are helping me feel good each day.

What little tricks would you like to share?

PS - Thank you all so much for all the amazing gardening advice you left.  I have a lot of decisions to make and am so grateful for all you've shared.  I love our little community here.  Don't you?!  xo



Thank you all for taking the time and sharing your excellent ideas for my garden.  A little progress was made in the last few days.  I planted these little white vinca flowers in hopes that they will fill in this planter so that eventually no dirt will show.  Underneath them are the mums that were planted for the wedding 2 years ago so that will be cool if they can come up in between the vinca.

This is the the area that is under scrutiny.  It get hotter than blazes here in the late afternoon.  I want to remove the rock border and put a small hedge and then fill with iceberg roses and maybe herbs too?  Not sure.  But as you can see it looks awful as is.  It kills me each time I pull into the driveway.

Also, some of you are interested in A and B's store here in Redlands.  It's called Redlands Country Mart and the address is 1915 E. Citrus Avenue Redlands CA 92373.  I help out there when I can and I can't tell you how much fun it is.  Their prices are reasonable and they both have a great eye for amazing pieces.  This is one of the tee shirts they make, $28.  They make all the sweaters and tee's themselves right here in Redlands.  They ship worldwide too!  Also, these sunglasses are from the 1950's.  They have a few brand new (deadstock) pairs for $38 ea.  Please stop by if you are in the area for a great cup of coffee and a lookaround.  See their Instagram HERE xo


fall garden goals

The last 2 summers have just been brutal on the garden.  Last summer we were in Utah so it didn't get the attention it demands. It's a hard garden to handle without any sprinklers in the intense summer heat, so I'm grateful it survived at all.  Then this summer we've had record breaking heat for big blocks of time which really took a toll on everything - including me.  The forecast for the next 3 weeks is more manageable with temps only in the 90s, so I plan to give it some much needed attention.  Weather permitting we can have Thanksgiving outside as opposed to last year because it actually rained here.  So now is the time to start preparing for that.

Garden Goals

1.  Remove things that are not performing (lots of plants in the garden have just seen their day)

2.  Add more white drought tolerant plants

3.  Grow more herbs!

4.  Improve the soil - this actually will be first on my list

5.  Re-seed and fertilize the lawn

6.  Figure out what to do with that little section of dirt next to the front entry.  It has always been a hard spot to figure out because it gets intense afternoon sun/heat and everything fries there

7.  Try to control the ferns

8.  Refresh the painted stripes on the porch

9.  Do all of the above without spending much. :)

Do you have any garden plans for fall?


summer fashion vibes

Before I start talking about the fashion vibes around here I want to let you know that I'm not giving up on this blog.  It's been a long, hot summer and I've been incredibly busy but I really really want to keep this thing going.  I actually feel guilty when I post on INSTAGRAM instead of here because the blog was first and now it seems secondary.  I don't like that.  IG is fun, fast and easy and this is more work so I'm thinking it has just been the summer heat that made cheat on you. I promise to be better.

See that beautiful woman in the above photo?  I spotted her while shopping the other day and she mesmerized me.  We almost ran into each other while I was exiting a store and she was entering.  She looked to be in her 70's.  I loved her hair right off the bat and then I noticed how lithe and stylish she was.  To get this photo I was literally running to keep up with her, she was so fast.  She darted in and out of all the right stores, Neimans, Ferragamo, etc.  She didn't buy anything (either did I) and let me tell you it was hot that day, like 105. She was bare legged in loafers (love that!) but had a long sleeve tee on and yet was so chill.  Anyway, wanted to share that because you don't see women like that every day.  

My hair is getting long again and I'm going to try and not cut it.  I love being able to put it back and up and it's easier than styling it in a bob every single day.  My hair is really thick and a pain to style. I've joined Larry's gym this summer to swim and this is just easier.  So wish me luck.

Here I am looking rather stiff and unhappy but I wanted to show you this outfit I've been wearing. The tee is from Alex and B's store that they opened here in Redlands.  They make the Tee's and sweaters themselves and lots of other things too.  I got the vintage linen cropped trousers there also. I've been wearing this everywhere because it's so comfortable and surprisingly stylish.

I was minding the store for them in a vintage dress and loafers.  There is also a coffee shop in the store and will soon have a barber too.  It's a cool little store that was once a dairy in the middle of an orange grove.  It's chock full of amazing vintage finds and is quite reasonable. Come visit me there!

Hope you summer has been far more exciting than mine.  xoxo


everlane luxe drape muscle tank dress review - summer classic

Thanks to you readers I was able to purchase this Everlane Muscle Tank Dress.  It couldn't have come at a more perfect time because the temperatures this summer have been off the charts.  Pair those temps with menopause and honestly, I've been miserable.  I can't remember ever being this hot.

When I saw this dress on their site I knew I had to give it a chance and I'm so glad I did.  Let's go over the pluses first.  Super lightweight yet not cheapy lightweight.  The fabric is 100% lycocell which really does have a luxury drape to it.  Just roll it up and it would pack like a dream - the perfect weekend getaway dress.  I love the cut, as it skims rather than clings, so important in this heat.  Love the neckline and the fact that you can really dress this up or down with jewelry or scarves.  It really is a summer classic.

My only negative about the dress is that it's a tad short.  I'm much more comfortable with my knees covered but in this heat I'm not complaining too much about it.  So if you are looking for a super lightweight easy to wear, classic style I'd say this is a winner.  The price is not bad at $45.  Sizes range from xxs to large.  If you use THIS code I will get credit and it will sign you up so if your friends or family purchase something from Everlane, you will get credit too.  It's a good program from a good company that is very transparent in their manufacturing practices.  They have an oxford shirt coming out soon that I can't wait to get my hands on and will do a review on that too.

Wherever you are I truly hope that you are much cooler than I am.  No, seriously, I hope you are having a wonderful summer and for those who wish summer would never end, I'm thinking it's never going to...x


bathing suits for the over 50 set

We are in the midst of a drought here that will just not give and people, it is hot.  
Bathing suit hot.  And trust me, over the last few years buying a bathing suit has not been easy.  There are issues you know.  Support is key, coverage is key, comfort is key.  The suit I had was several years old and not doing its job.  So I started googling and the price of a really good suit can run into the several hundreds of dollars.  Yeah, no.

I wound up at the J. Crew website to see what they might have.  I chose this suit pictured above.  It supports, it covers and it is very comfortable.  I wore it in Vegas and felt great because there is ruching around the middle and the fabric is incredibly soft.  The halter strap attachment gave me lift and really I couldn't ask for much more.  It is priced at $98 which is a lot but worth it.  There are extras you can get too like long torso and larger bust sizes.  Little did I know that I would stumble upon this exact suit at Marshall's a few days later with a $24.99 price tag.  So you may try there.  In all my years of shopping Marshall's I've never ever seen J. Crew there, so good luck.   

Ok, know that this is super embarrassing to post a pic of myself in a 2 piece suit.  I almost didn't do it but I figured I can't be the only one with swimsuit issues.  This 2 piece is from Target.  I'm long-waisted and one piece suits have always been uncomfortable on me, until I found the above one piece.  These high-waisted bottoms provide the coverage I was looking for and the halter top is supportive and quite comfortable.  The price is great also.  Just $17.99 for the top right here and the bottoms are $19.99 here.

So I feel pretty lucky to have found not one but 2 suits that fit and I like.  Just because I'm almost 60 (yikes!) doesn't mean I can't go swimming too!  In public...with confidence (or some semblance of. :)
I wish you all a very happy 4th of July weekend.


getaway fashion

This past weekend we had the opportunity to zip off to Las Vegas for an extended weekend.  Mostly I was there for the Las Vegas Spa and Esthetician show, which was so good btw, but once that was a wrap we were free to do as we pleased. We decided to hop over to the Grand Canyon, as neither of us had seen it since we were children. What a spectacular place. We went to Grand Canyon West, just 2 hours from Vegas, to experience Eagle Point and the Skywalk. With a background of ancient Indian music playing, you take off your shoes and step out onto a glass overhang that I'm not ashamed to admit, scared me to death!  I'm not a fan of heights at all so you can imagine what it's like to look straight down 4000 ft while walking on glass. No cameras are allowed on the skywalk but they have photographers out there that will take a pic if you want.  Take a minute to look at the website and view the short clip for yourself right here.  It is breathtaking.

I chose to wear my Emerson Fry butterfly caftan and it was a good choice.  We were there early but it was still quite hot.  The lightweight cotton caftan kept me cool as a cucumber.

Our first night out I chose to wear this vintage Tori Richard for I. Magnin maxi dress.  Some of you may remember that I bought it back in 2013  at Miss Doris' estate sale.  All night I imagined her wearing it out to dinner with her husband sometime in the 1960's.

The next night I chose this 100% silk maxi dress from the 1960's.  It was made by Gino Charles for Bloomingdale's.  Again, some may remember it from the Palm Springs estate sale in 2014.  It was perfect for dinner with friends - I felt like princess wearing it. :)

Larry snapped this on our way back upstairs to our room.  For anyone interested The Delano used to be TheHotel at Mandalay Bay.  They've updated the interiors with lots of white.  It's drop dead gorgeous and if you plan far enough ahead you can get super reasonable rates.

All good things must come to an end and I wore the caftan home.  Even though Las Vegas is over-crowded, hotter than hell with traffic to match we still had such a great time.  Just the little mini break we needed.  xo


thrifty finds and safe cell phone use

Hello and happy Friday to you all.  I thought I'd share a quick post about my incredible luck in finding some really cool thrifty things lately.  Since I've been working on that side project I've found myself at the Goodwill and yard sales quite a bit over the last couple of months.  I've shared them on Instagram but I don't want you to be left out.:)  Top picture is of a little $1 gem I found at a yardsale. The work that went into this little pillow is amazing and I feel so lucky to now own it.

Early last year Eshakti sent me this maxi skirt and I just never got around to wearing it until now. They are still doing such a great job with their semi-custom clothing.  I also still adore those Who What Wear linen tees available here at Target.  The little yellow necklace was also a $1 find.

This trunk on the porch was free as it was sitting in my neighbors trash can.  It's old and sturdy and had nothing wrong with it.  I wonder why they didn't donate it to the Goodwill instead of sending to the landfill.  No worries, I saved it.

I found this darling chow table at the Habitat for Humanity Restore for just $5.  It's so well made and just needed a fresh coat of black paint.  Perfect for my side project.

M found 8 of these Haviland dessert plates at a yard sale and gave them to me.  The Greek key border is so perfection.

The moral of this post is that you can find ANYTHING second hand if you are patient.  It astounds me every single time.

In other news, the detoxing is still going on here.  I mean I have it all sorted out as far as household and personal products but I'm signed up with the EWG consumer guides for emails and just got this one talking about the research study on cell phone use.  Here are 5 tips for safer cell phone use.  I think we've all kinda joked about cell phones and cancer but it's a real concern and what is more disconcerting is that little kids now use cell phones too.  Changes need to be made people.

Talk soon and have a most lovely weekend. xo


lovely june days

Can you believe it is June already?  This time last year I was living in Utah - time sure flies.  I'm still so happy to be back in my home. I don't even care if we take a summer vacation, I'm fine with staying put.

I thought I'd share a few photos of how the living and dining areas are looking these days.  I know you must all be sick to death of these same old shots but I also know how much I love seeing the interiors of my favorite bloggers homes too.  I got my good camera up and running and even used the tripod. It took me over an hour just to get these few photos.  I'm so rusty at this and spoiled by the ease of my iphone.  The weather has been stunningly beautiful.  Gorgeous sunshine with cool ocean breezes making their way inland to Redlands, provides the light for these photos.  

The horse print on the left was my anniversary present.  It's a very old print but the antique dealer could not make a definitive connection to Sweet William so it was very reasonable - lucky me.  I still call him Sweet William even if he isn't.

I love that my $5 thrift store stall mucking boots are at the ready and my allergies are over!  They make wading through hip-high ferns and rose thorns so easy.

Fresh cut chamomile looks lovely with the cut crystal decanters.

More cut branches from the garden here too.  I'm telling you it was the biggest take-away from the Country Living shoot.  So as you can see, nothing drastic in the way of change.  Same old thing.  A few of you have asked if I would do a detox post on each room of the house.  I am working on that. But as far as these 2 rooms goes, it's quite easy.  I always just wipe down the furniture with a slightly damp cloth and clean the mirrors with a 50-50 mix of vinegar and water.  I open the windows and doors every chance I get and always have something from the garden inside to help purify the air.
So nice chatting with you.  Have a wonderful day. xo