Ten things that made me happy in November

happy face american flag from floozeesdoozeesdotcom

from floozeesdoozees.com

  • Nothing makes me happier than the fact that this election is OVAH!  Enough said!
  • Creativity always makes me happy, especially when it comes from my own daughter.  Look at this pretty vignette she created in her own kitchen with found items she already had.jenna-pic-of-striped-vase-and-polka-dot-mug
  • Weekends away with discoveries of new places.  Visited Jerome, AZ and what a fun old mining town it is!
  • Thanksgiving with new friends and family.  Traveled to Austin, TX to spend the holiday with my daughter’s new in-laws and was able to see my favorite Aunt as well.
  • Polishing off a bottle of wine and solving the world’s problems with one of my besties (can you have more than one bestie?  I hope so)  I so enjoy these evenings in her pretty home filled with candlelight,  girl talk and wine!
  • Stores filled with holiday decorations and familiar music.
  • Sirius radio because I can get Christmas music all day long beginning on November 1st and lasting through December.  This girl is very happy about that!!
  • Wearing long sleeved shirts!  San Diego finally had some cool weather that made it possible for all of us to put on those new long-sleeved shirts and sweaters we have purchased this year.  Hope it sticks around for awhile.  And for those of you who wonder what cool weather means here in southern California…the high today was 69 degrees and the skies were cloudy all day.  (I think that is the lyric to a song ie Home on the Range)
  • The smell of pine and fir in all the parking lots filled to the brim with Christmas trees.  Oh my how I love that smell!  I could stand there all day long and soak it all in.  Fortunately for me, there are many candles that provide a very believable aroma that makes it possible for me to avoid standing in parking lots into the night.
  • This stunning, magical, peaceful, dream-like photo on Instagram.  I can’t copy it but here is the link...enjoy.
  • It was a good month as I found 11 things that made me happy.  Sometimes life in these United States can seem overwhelming and we all just need an escape.  That has certainly been the case for me this past month with the never-ending posts on the election, both pro and con.  When this happens to you I suggest a visit to this Instagram site and you will be reminded of not only this incredible earth we live on but also that there are a lot of things more important than whether your side won or lost this election.  My gift to you is here.

What made you happy in November?


Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

5 holiday curb appeal ideas to use on your own home

Now that the dishes have been done and the guests have left and you have begun your after a holiday meal exercise program, it is time to get serious about your Christmas decorating.  One of my favorite Christmas memories are the Christmas Eve drives we would take to look at all the neighborhood decorations.  To this day I look forward to walking or driving through neighborhoods and oohing and aahing over the lights and trees and even the Santas perched on the rooftop.  Not really a fan of the blow-ups but the kids seem to enjoy them.

You can turn your home into one of those holiday drive homes with just a few simple ideas:

  • My own personal decorating motto is definitely less is more.  The simplicity of an arrangement like this makes it possible to enjoy the beauty of each item in a display.Natural items like pinecones, greenery and berries make this an arrangement that can be enjoyed long past the holidays.


    via BHG

  • While I love a red, green and white color scheme I can also appreciate something different.  Combinations of silver and gold or multiple shades of blue or green, for example, can look just as pretty as the more traditional color combinations.  A bare window box is filled to the brim with colorful plastic ornaments in unusual colors like turquoise and lilac, along with traditional reds and greens.  So fun and SO easy!
  • Celebrate your inner child when decorating the exterior of your home.  Look closely and you will see that even Santa can be elegant!
    Christmas Holiday Decor
  • Nothing could be easier than wrapping an item with strings of lights.  If it is not breathing you can light it up!  This bicycle looks like a pretty package in the snow wrapped with battery operated lights.  And don’t you just love the old-fashioned”fat” lights?
  • christmas-lights-on-bicycle-from-bhg

    via BHG

  • The best outdoor decorations are those that look as pretty during the day as they do at night.  I love a festive and welcoming front porch or path decorated with seasonal flowers and candlelight.  With flameless candles you can safely use any container to create your own luminaries that will look inviting during the day and cast a warm glow when dark.christmas-luminary-from-better-homes-and-gardenvia BHG
Posted in holiday decorating | Tagged , , , | 2 Comments

I want to live here


Welcome to the second installment of my “I want to live here” series where I feature rooms that appeal to me so much tha I actually want to live in them.

As the song says, this room features a few of my favorite things–A fire and a Christmas tree, wood paneled shelves, leather furniture, large windows, red plaid and row upon row of books.  Combine all these elements and you come up with a beautiful and inviting environment.  Other elements that make this room so livable include:

  • A mix of design styles with contemporary furnishings anchored by a traditionally styled mirror, for example.
  • That acrylic coffee table that literally disappears, allowing a full view of the roaring fire from any angle
  • Simple wood bookcases filled to the gills with your favorite reads
  • A mix of textures i.e. smooth metal table and furniture legs, wood bookshelves, grainy leather, woven rug atop shiny wood floors
  • Colorful pillows and throws that celebrate the season and could easily be switched out for other seasons.
  • Thoughtfully chosen decorative items that eliminate clutter including the tree that has not been over-done.  Very tasteful!
  • Simple fireplace. I am not usually a fan of large, carved wood mantels and fireplace surrounds.  The beauty of the black stone set against the high polished metal on this fireplace is stunning!
  • A view of snow-laden trees will always capture my attention.

Most everything in this room is available at Williams-Sonoma Home, online and in their retail stores.

Is this a room you could live in?


Posted in Decorating and remodeling tips | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

I want to live here

I know it is a little early in the season but “Dear Santa” please let me live here!!


via Mountain Living Magazine

I do not even need to see the interiors to know I would be very happy here.  First of all, it is located in one of my favorite spots in this country, Aspen, Colorado.  Afternoons spent on the dock, evenings in front of the firepit and mornings gazing out at the beautiful lake– I would not have a care in the world–oh yea–just one–how do I pay for this?!

Could you live here?

Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment

Baby got (furniture) back

Few things are as unwelcoming as being greeted with the plain back of a chair or sofa as soon as you enter a room.  If you have one of those rooms where the back of your furniture is visible then you know what I am talking about.  But furniture manufacturers have gotten wise to this problem and come up with some pretty impressive ways to beautify your sofa or chair’s backside.  Take a look:

If the room is large enough the easiest solution is to place two sofas back-to-back like this, creating dual conversation areas.

Traditional Family Room
However, if this furniture arrangement does not work in your space, never fear, there are other options.
A beautifully framed sofa requires no help.  While this arrangement has the sofas back to back, the wood frame of this couch creates a stunning look on its own.  Nail head trim would work just as well in framing the couch and creating interest.
contemporary living room / family room

Ethan Allen certainly knows how to solve a problem!  The beautiful woodwork  applied to these accent chairs is pretty from all angles.

Bold Living Room
Placing a console table or bench behind a sofa will fill up the back area of a long couch and allow you to place a lamp and decorative objects on top, thereby masking the back of the furniture.  You can imagine how bare and uninviting this room would be if nothing was placed behind that very long white couch.
Montecito Mid-Century Living Room
Sometimes all you need is some interesting back detailing in the form of stitching,for example, to break up the monotonous look of a long sofa.
jamesthomas, LLC
There you have it.   No need to get expensive implants to improve your backside…a little ingenous stitching or furniture placement will solve your problem.
Posted in Decorating and remodeling tips | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Happy Veteran’s Day

design flag folk art from k william kautz and painted furntiure barn

Flag folk art available at www.paintedfurniturebarn.com


I was raised in a military home.  I spent my entire childhood with a father who was an officer in the Navy.  We did not move as often as most military families and my father did not go on long deployments as he spent much of his time in school or in port so we were lucky.  The military is in my blood.  My husband is a Vietnam War era vet and we have many friends who have served…in fact, most of our friends either made the military a career or served a 4 year term.  I am so very proud of all of them and thankful to those who are serving now, preserving our freedoms and the American way of life we are all so fortunate to enjoy; never more evident than in the election that took place this past week.  So to everyone I know and don’t know, who served and are serving—Thank you for your service!


Captain Joseph P Harrison USN (ret)



From the nineties (check out those outfits) with Sr. Master Chief (ret) Ron Bowlin and his wife PN2 Sheryl Bowlin–two veterans we are proud to call our best friends

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Ten things that made me happy in October

happy face candy corn from clipartbestdotcom

via clipartbest.com

October…what a great month!  Football games, sweaters, crisp evenings and a fire in the fireplace-not to mention the anticipation of upcoming holidays…it truly is one of my favorite months full of happy moments.  Not the least of which were:

  • Taking our 4 year old granddaughter to see “Disney on Ice”.  One of the best parts of being a grandparent is being able to relive all the fun moments you had as a parent and then taking them back home after you have filled them up with lemonade and cotton candy!  Ah, sweet revenge…
  • Plenty of musical opportunities this month.  The San Diego Symphony offers a variety of concerts throughout the season including “The Beatles” and Michael Feinstein.  Along with seeing a production of “The Producers”, we enjoyed many October musical evenings.
  • Fall leaves.  Yes, even San Diego gets some fall color although you do have to hunt for it!  This site will help you find those leaves.
  • Traveling back in time via music.  We attended a concert by The Mersey Beatles and not only was their history interesting (their promoter is John Lennon’s sister) but if you closed your eyes you were 12 years old again and in love with 4 young English men.
  • Chargers win!!!!!  Hopefully this winning trend will make my happy list next month as well!
  • This photo of deer roaming down the road during the middle of the day in Pacific Grove.  This is my hometown and this was a daily site I grew up with and it makes me so happy and so homesick at the same time. 

  •  Ebates.  Ever heard of it?  For those of you who shop online it will make you very happy.  Free to sign up and once you do each time you shop online you get whatever rebate that company offers and they mail you a check at the end of the quarter.  I am due to receive a check for over $35, even more if I continue to shop.  (and those chances are good!)  Check it out…always nice to have a company pay me for a change.
  • Simple pleasures that have become the norm in our semi-retirement like trips to the gym together and then lunch and errands afterwards.  Why are errands so much easier when someone else is along?
  • The fact that I cannot figure out something as simple as proper numbering on this d..n wordpress site (hence all the misalignment, duplicate numbering etc) is something that drives me nuts so it does not belong on this blog post!!  But switching to bullet points makes me happy!
  •  Another hometown shot.  The monarch butterflies return to the same trees every year in Pacific Grove and it prompts the city to hold a parade, nominate a butterfly queen etc.  It is stunning to see, as this picture indicates.  The memories certainly make me happy.  Maybe this is why orange is one of my favorite colors!


    courtesy of Robert Pacelli 

Posted in miscellaneous thoughts | Leave a comment