new and hopefully improved

Hello dear friends.  I've finally, after 9 years of blogging, updated the layout of this blog.  I hired Shari at Little Blue Deer to help me overhaul it.  She has exquisite taste and I think it looks so chic I could cry.  But the main reason I did it was because I got so many requests for the simple things I use each day, I wanted a permanent place for you to see them.  By clicking the pictures on the sidebar it will take you directly to the site for you to read about and make an informed decision for yourself whether or not you want it.  There are usually tons of reviews of the product so you don't have to rely on my opinion alone.  If you were to purchase directly thru my link I will be paid a very small commission.  You don't pay that commission though, the company selling the product pays it.  So I make a little, you save and it seems a win win.  If that offends you in any way, just ignore the whole thing!

I made a few mistakes when transferring the blog and lost my blog list which I will begin to rebuild.  Also, I deleted my followers list. I don't even know if that is relevant any longer but if you are no longer getting some sort of notification you can resubscribe easily. I'm sure for the next few days/weeks I'll be tweaking things left and right so I ask for your patience:)

Now you can easily click on my Instagram button and see what is happening there without even having an Instagram account. Another neat little trick is that if you want to Pin a photo to Pinterest all you have to do is hover over the top left of a photo and a little Pin will appear and just click it and it's done!  That's kinda cool.

So hopefully this will all make it easier for you readers who have been with me a long time and also for new readers.

Thank you from the bottom of my heart for sticking with me all these years. You readers are the most important part of this blog, thank you so much.  Here's to many more years of blogging!  xo


my bedroom makeover

It's not all beans and rice around here. There's wallpaper too.

Thank you Pinterest and Instagram for leading me to this Raphael wallpaper by Sandberg.  It's made in Sweden and for me a bit too pricey, so I kept scouring the internet for deals.  I found it on eBay for a fraction of its normal cost.  The seller, Bea, who is a sweetheart has a shop that is loaded with beautiful papers and fabrics at amazing prices.  Go see for yourself HERE.

We've hung wallpaper before but it has been awhile and I was unsure of how much to get.  She had 6 double rolls for sale and I bought 3.  I should have gotten all 6 because I could only do 2 walls.  Which in the end is okay but I'd rather have done them all.

I love that when you walk in the front door of the house you can now see a glimpse of the pretty paper at the end of the house.  I absolutely love it and it feels as if it has always belonged here. And how darling is the vintage bamboo shelf?  M gave it to me because she had no room for it.  It looks perfect against the paper don't you think?

In addition to the wallpaper I also got rid of my dresser completely.  I was ruthless and was able to condense a 4 drawer dresser into 1 drawer in the armoire.  The room feels so lovely and feminine right now.  I still haven't gotten the nerve to drive a nail into it to hang any pictures.  That's going to take some time. xo


my daily refresh

I think it has been well established on this blog that I love cleaning and organizing.  I used to think it brought me peace but what I'm discovering about myself is what it really does is bring me joy. How lucky is that?

I love starting my day with what I call my daily refresh.  After my coffee and meditation, I light a candle, I make the bed and straighten pillows, wash any stray dishes laying about then sort and start the laundry.  Why this brings me so much joy, I have no idea but I think it stems from gratitude. Grateful that I have a home of our own, a garden to walk out into and snip a few flowers from.  I don't take any of this for granted and realize how blessed I am.

Last year I was walking thru a Home Goods store and came upon an end aisle of Murchison-Hume products.  I'd never heard of them but the packaging was beautiful and the scent was just amazing (I'm in love with the Fig scent and have not tried the white grapefruit, but I will one day.)  I hand wash all our dishes so I'm at the sink several times a day.  Washing up with a beautifully scented, safe soap has turned a chore into a pleasure.  I bought all the bottles they had on sale that day and just recently ran out.  That took me to their website and I learned more about the product and its founder.  I restocked and while it seems quite a splurge, is it really?  If something so simple as a washing up liquid can bring so much joy why would I deny myself?  Well I'm not.  I'm at the age now that I'm seeing the importance of taking the best care of myself that I possibly can. Putting myself first is something that does not come easily to me so I'm starting with the little things and it feels quite nice.

What are some of the little ways you show yourself love each day? Do share because I can use all the help I can get!  xo

PS - The Fig counter spray cleaner not only cleans and scents the air beautifully, it helps combat ants.  Ants are an ongoing issue here when it gets hot.  I just spray around their entry points and voila, they retreat.  So much better than Raid.

HERE is the Amazon link in case you are an Amazon Prime member

so what do i eat?

Prepare to be bored to death because what I eat most days is dead set ordinary.  Not to be confused with bland because my food tastes fantastic.  It's just simple and basic and that's fine with me. I'm pretty much over complicated recipes and hard to find ingredients.  Gimme easy please.

I took this photo a couple of months ago because I was being a smart-ass.  While no one likes a smart-ass I never dreamed that one day Larry would ever give up his favorite takeout. This would be a typical Friday or Saturday night dinner around here. Larry would go get his beloved In-N-Out burger and fries and I'd live it up with a veggie patty and steamed broccoli.  To be honest that is one of my favorite meals.:)

But now that he's full-on hardcore vegan there is no more In-N-Out around here. I can hardly believe he has given it up.  He has replaced it with a good black bean burger which isn't the same but I know that in time he'll come to love his veggie burgers.:)

What I eat daily is so mundane, so utterly boring but I know some of you are interested so here is what an average day looks like around here.


Overnight oats.  I mix 1/2 cup of uncooked oatmeal with 1/2 cup unsweetened soymilk in a cereal bowl and stick it in the refrigerator overnight.  In the morning I'll add fresh or frozen fruit like blueberries or apples and a handful of nuts.  It's so delicious and so easy.

Potatoes with onions, bell pepper and soyrizo.  I chop up some onions, peppers and 2 small/med potatoes and mix in about 1/2 cup of soyrizo.  I cover it so the steam cooks the potatoes.  This is fabulous with sliced avocado.


Mostly big salads or veggie wraps or a tofurky sandwich.  These salads contain anything and everything in the refrigerator.  This has been the biggest surprise for Larry.  He never thought a salad at lunch would fill him up but it does.

When it gets cooler I'll always make soup or veggie stews for lunch.

The old standby which is leftovers are also often on the lunch menu.


Dinner almost always involves beans or pasta or another grain.  We make our own beans from scratch so I always have baggies filled in the freezer with white, black and pinto beans.  They defrost quickly for tacos or burritos.  There are literally dozens of ways to make burritos.  Some of our favorites are...

Bbq black bean burritos
Green burritos
Red burritos
Bean & rice burritos
Bean and Potato burritos

The key is to know what to do with the beans once they are cooked.

In a saute pan...

1/2 cup diced onion
1/4-1/2 cup diced jarred jalepeno (I like mine hot)
1 cup vegetable broth
2 cups beans (any kind)
Salt, Pepper and any other seasoning you like

The beans will absorb the broth in about 5 minutes.  Mash them as much or as little as you want. Now you have a good base to start with.

For bbq black bean tacos or burritos just add beans to your tortilla and add your favorite bbq sauce and fresh diced onion.  Fresh off the cob corn is delightful on these.

For green burritos I always use white beans and add green enchilada sauce as the topping.

The rest of the burritos are pretty self explanatory.  Once you have your basic bean recipe down, the sky is the limit.

Other nights we will have veggie stir fry over rice.

And then there is pasta which can be made one zillion ways.


tortilla chips and salsa
PBJ sandwich

So there you have it.  This is what I eat.  How are you doing with your new commitment to being vegan?  Thank you for all your fabulous comments.  That documentary really opened a lot of eyes. See you soon...xo


absolutely must see tv

Have you seen this film?  You absolutely must, that's an order.  No seriously you just have to watch this film.  It was produced by Joaquin Phoenix.  Unlike his film, Earthlings (aka the vegan-maker) he does not focus on animal cruelty.  Rather, this is a expose on our own government and how they are keeping us in the dark re our very own health.  I consider myself pretty up-to-date on most health trends but this totally blew my mind as I'm sure it will yours too.  When the film starts I was pretty much yeah, yeah I know about heart disease, diabetes, cancer.  Turns out nope, I knew nothing.  I had no idea our very own government is in collusion with big business to keep us sick!

Prepare to be pissed off and prepare to to take your health into your own hands.  The good news is with a vegan diet you can reverse just about all disease.  I don't beg often but I really am begging you to watch this film.  It's currently on Netflix.  Here is the trailer...


summer house tour

It's Sunday afternoon and I have the house to myself!  For the last month that I've been MIA, I've been on sort of a rearranging rampage around here.  So this post has all the makings of a rambler.  

As you can see in the above photo there are some new to me things.  Nothing was purchased at a store that sells new things but of course you knew that already.  I've pulled lots of junk into the house from the basement and that always makes me feel good which is so strange b/c I love putting things in the basement.

Can I talk about this wall?  Or any long wall for that matter, they are hard.  It has been so difficult getting it right.  And trust me it isn't perfect.  I've had tons of ideas for it ranging from wallpaper to moulding to large art to gallery-style to absolutely nothing.  It has driven me mad once, twice or a zillion times. Those prints are from an old botanical book that I've had for ages and the vintage bamboo frames too.  The iron wall sconces were found at a yard sale about 8 years ago for $1 each.  The ironstone plates are old too.

Here's our Lady looking as regal as ever.

I found this book for $1 and thought of her.

This corner which is connected to that wall has also driven me bs crazy.  But this is what I've come up with.  An old wicker table with the most amazing vintage glass lamp (I found a pair.)  That old deep green pot, .25 from an estate sale filled with hydrangeas from the garden.  The mirror was $1 at an estate sale b/c the top was broken off.  I glued some twigs and 3 tiny pine cones that I picked up at Highgrove Gardens on my garden tour.  I've already been scolded and lectured for stealing them btw.

Here is the other side of the room.  Sorry these pictures are so bad but I'm using my phone these days b/c I'm lazy.  The black and white photographs that used to hang here are in Larry's office atm.

This desk.  It still makes my heart skip a beat.  The little ocean oil painting came from Redlands Country Mart as did the bottle holding the branch.  I know I'm biased but I love that place.
Those are new roman shades from JC Penny which proves I'm a liar b/c I said just 2 minutes ago that nothing was new. Here's the link...Roman Shades.  Quick review of them...they are really great for the price.  Love the bright white color and easy to install.

Lord this is an awful photo but I wanted to show you that I painted the inside of the cabinet with some Annie Sloan Chalk paint that everyone raves about.  It's pretty inside.

I used her Ochre color which is a soft beige.  Now the plates stand out a bit.

Same as 10 years ago.  Not a whole lot changes here & still love it all.

My fern is doing well in this spot which makes me so happy and you may or may not have noticed that the painting above the stove is different.

Alex had given me that gorgeous print of Yosemite a few years ago and needed it for a photo shoot (so he says) and he replaced it with this one which I kinda love even more.

Again, another annoying picture.  But you get the drift.  I made this pillow cover out of a Robert Allen remnant that I've had for years.  I love the charcoal colorway b/c of its soothing qualities. Oh and the light fixture is new (old).  The chandelier is gone which Larry is so happy about because he hit his head on it pretty much every single day.

This room needs flowers stat.

So that's what I've been up to.  What about you?  Someone in the previous post wanted to know how our mortgage is coming along. We are still ahead of schedule.  We've had a few setbacks here and there but are back on track baby.  Also, there's been a few questions about my hair.  I've not touched any dye since I made the decision to go grey.  I like all kinds of grey, from solid to streaky which is what I have.  I imagine one day it'll take over and that'll be ok.

Talk soon like hopefully not a month.   xo

may days

Well hello there.  This above photo is the result of a deep clean and organizing blitz I had yesterday afternoon.  I thought I'd take a photo and share it with you.  I love the ritual of changing things seasonally and the deep clean that comes with it.

I've been deeply decluttering my wardrobe also.  That's a whole post in itself because I've been ruthless. I'm fairly certain I'm crazy because while I want to live as simply and beautifully as possible I find myself bringing things into my life that really don't fit or feel right. I must learn from my mistakes because I'd save a ton of gas and energy if I just didn't buy in the first place.  I'm a slow learner, but I am getting there. Saying out loud that you are not going to shop is the absolute perfect way to find "just the right thing you've been looking for your whole life."

The garden was absolutely beautiful this month.  All that rain was so good for it.  Not so great for my allergies tho.

So tell me, what have you been up to?  Have you stuck to your shopping plans?  Have you been spring cleaning?  What are you watching on TV?  Please I must know.  x

who what wear bardot dress

Hello and I hope your Easter was as lovely as mine.

I lifted my shopping ban (3 months!) and purchased this dress. I wanted to share it with you because, 100% cotton, pockets and $35 is worth sharing.  It's from the Who What Wear Target Collection and it's pretty fabulous. These days it's hard to find cotton dresses with pockets at this price point.  I like it because you can wear it on or off the shoulders and belted or not.  Our summers are brutal here and this is the perfect answer to those days you need to look somewhat pulled together under blistering heat conditions.

It reminds me of this Mark D. Sikes dress.  His is $745 and does not include the belt. That will run you another $150.

That's all I have for now. x

laundry notes

Whenever we have a change of seasons I go through my wardrobe and reorganize.  What is occurring to me this season is just how much I love my clothing.  I'm starting to realize that I better treat all my clothes as if they were heirlooms because finding things I love is getting harder and harder.

There are so many things to consider when purchasing new clothes. On the top of my list is natural fabrics and they are getting harder to find.  Even high end clothing is now synthetic although I have found a pretty cotton dress that I will share with you later this week!

So even my simplest tee shirts are now going to get the royal treatment.  And what exactly is the royal treatment?

1.  Hand wash everything I can, especially if it's something I know is hard to replace and quite frankly that is just about everything.

2.  Line dry everything.

3.  Use quality detergent.

4.  Air out clothes/sweaters between use instead of mindlessly throwing them into the wash.

5.  Mending things quickly instead of letting them fall into greater disrepair.

6.  Treat everything as if it's irreplaceable.

More of my laundry room...


Note - I'm still using Dr. Bronners in the laundry but I still have my Laundress products that I use too.  The Stain Bar is amazing and I use the Wool and Cashmere Shampoo for all my vintage sweaters. All products are in the links.


lesson learned

Ok so about this lesson.  Over the course of the last few months I've been decluttering and selling and whatnot.  I decided to splurge on the above coffee table.  I adore this little table.  It's from World Market right here.

It's called the Thad and it retails for $299.  The person that helped me with the purchase signed me up for all kinds of discounts upon checkout and it knocked $100 off the price.  Like I just said, I adore this little table. My inspiration came from Sid and Ann Mashburn's home.

Pinterest is a dangerous thing ya know?  But how chic.

So anyway back to my lesson.  I couldn't wait to get it home and unwrap it.  I fell in love the minute I saw it in its place.  I instantly felt younger and hipper!  I found the antique Persian rug at an estate sale and to me it was pretty darn perfect.  There is only one problem and that is comfort.  If this room were a sitting room only it would have been fine but this is where we watch tv and lounge at night and you can't really comfortably put your feet up on an lucite coffee table.  Well you can but it's not comfortable.  L was on board all the way but in the end it was me who wanted to be comfortable over stylish. So on Friday I boxed it back up and returned it.  All mistakes are just chances to learn and what I learned was that it's probably better to leave well enough alone, that comfort is key and Pinterest creates all kinds of discontent in me.

So everything is back to normal - whatever that is.  xo

PS - For a moment I thought about making the blog private and I still might but I will give you warning if I do in case there is a recipe you may want.  I love you guys but the internet is getting to be too much for me some days.  Thank you for putting up with me. xo



Welcome to my entryway!  When you step through the front door of my house this is where you stand and this is what you see straight ahead.  I would love a real entryway but I don't hate mine either.  I'm pretty content with this little place.

Anyway, this past weekend we had a baby shower here (still no baby btw) and several people who had only seen pictures of my house remarked at how much larger it appears in photos.  It is 970 sq ft so that is by today's standards pretty small.

If you take a step left this is your view.

The point I'm trying to make is that the kitchen is a major part of what you see upon entering.  Your eye is drawn there bc of the floor I think?  I've taken a bit of flack whenever anyone publishes pictures of the kitchen on social media, their chief complaint is that the kitchen isn't really usable with a chandelier, oil painting and drapes.  But the truth is I cook 3 meals a day in it every single day. This morning I just felt like I needed to get that off my chest for some reason.

So as long as I'm talking about the kitchen I may as well include a shot of the sink area.  Because I've pretty much turned the house upside down and rid it of so much clutter, things have moved around.  Right now I love the ginger jars here.

It's citrus time in Redlands and oranges and grapefruit are falling off the trees. Those are my Vitamin B12 drops up there too bc I know someone will ask. I love you guys and happy weekend.  xo



Hello Hello.  What's new?  We've been waiting on pins and needles for the arrival of our first grandson. Everytime my phone rings I think it may be the call.  So that's exciting.  Other than that I've been cleaning and still decluttering.  I can't tell you how amazing it feels to finally get our basement cleaned out.

I sold a bunch of stuff at the Redlands Country Mart Flea Market last weekend.  I didn't think anyone would want my stuff bc it's mostly a v young crowd but I guess it's true about one mans junk...

What I didn't sell, we donated.  I still have a few things left to get rid of but it isn't the overwhelming job that we started with.  Again, the feeling of lightness is so wonderful.

These are just a few shots of the house I took over the last few days.  For some reason everything looks lighter to me.  Maybe I'm just nuts and the feeling I have inside has affected my eyesight, or possibly spring is in the air?

I've been tweaking a little bit in the living room too and when I'm done I'll share that space.  I thought for a minute I might wallpaper but I think I've decided against that.  But who knows what I'll end up doing.  Have a wonderful weekend and see you soon.  x



Well hello out there.  Sorry for the lack of posts but I've been busy. Not only have I decluttered the whole house, I went into the depths of the basement and had a massive declutter there.  Our basement is tiny, only about 12x6 or so, but man can it hold a bunch of junk. We've taken a couple of car loads to Family Services, paints and stains to the proper recycle station and I'll be selling a lot too.  It was so hard to get started but once I did, I couldn't stop.  Actually I'm going to go through it again and see what else I can get rid of.

One of the things I've recognized by going through it all is that I have a a lot of weaknesses.  1. I'm a sucker for a bargain.  Most everything I've been saving was such a steal - like $1 or so.  2. I'm a sucker for a good estate sale.  I have no business going to them but I still do.  I blame M.

We recently went to a cool estate sale of a retired actor that was residing here in Redlands.  I could not pass up a really pretty antique hand carved wooden starburst mirror (weakness #3) for $10.

I was able to make it 6 weeks without shopping but the mirror broke me. I figure I've removed about 400 items from my house and basement so one mirror hardly even registers.  Plus I'll be selling the reproduction mirror that used to hang there b/c that one is super pretty too.  See...

Also, you may notice that I swapped out the black dresser for a cream one I've had for decades.  I think it's a better fit.

So what the heck have you guys been up to?  x


5 a day continued

The 5 a day continues around here and the only problem I've been having is sticking to just 5 a day. I go somewhat nuts when decluttering.  This was one such nutty day.  I deeply decluttered the office which was sorely needed. The bookcase, desk and I can breathe again.  Lots was given to friends and most was donated to Family Services.  I think when I get a massive declutter done I will be able to shift to just 5 a day.

In other news, Alex swapped out the drop leaf desk for this primitive one and I have to say I really really love it.  It's funny because for years whatever piece of furniture I've had in this spot didn't contain any storage.  Then we pulled the dropleaf desk up from under the house and suddenly it was full of stuff.  Now I'm down to one big drawer and a little one and it feels better.  So much of what I crammed in the desk was "just in case" stuff.

This antique pheasant was a christmas gift.  For the record, I have no problem with antique taxidermy. This guy is almost 100 years old and is beautiful and ethically I just have no issues with him in my home.  If you do, I'm sorry about that.

I still have more to declutter.  How about you?  x


5 a day

For those of us struggling to get started on a decluttering journey, why not try 5 a day?  The idea is that every single day you get rid of 5 items of junk in your house.  Often I'm overwhelmed if a task seems too great to get started on so breaking it down to just 5 a day is so doable.  Research shows that clutter stresses us out and our cortisol levels actually raise when we look around and see disarray.

Technically if you did this every day for a year, you'd rid yourself of 1825 items.  My advice would be to start small.  Open a drawer and quickly scan it and remove 5 useless things.  Either put them in the trash or in a box by the front door.  At the end of the week you could have 35 items to take to Goodwill or give to friends. Whatever you do, empty the box so it is ready for the next week.

If you are stuck because like me you fear that you may need the item one day, ask yourself when you last used it.  Is it something you only use at Thanksgiving or Christmas?  Then keep it because you don't want to have to replace it, just put it in a less used drawer. I bet you will find that 5 items a day isn't enough.  I only have 1 closet and a few drawers in my house and there is plenty of crap hiding in them that needs to go so let's get tidy! x

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