I wish this was still in style

Oh how I long for the good old days.  You know, when people were kind and you felt safe going to a movie or trusted your neighbor.  I recognize that the world has changed but there are many things I wish were still in style.  For example:

  • A hand-written thank you note.  I know it is quick and easy to send an email or an electronic card but you can’t wrap those with ribbon and store them in your top drawer to read again and again and remember good times.  I have a girlfriend who still sends postcards when she travels and they are such a treat to receive.
  • Money clips.  My husband always carried a money clip when I met him and it is not only a great organizational tool (keeps all your bills in one spot) but just seems so sophisticated.  But putting a bunch of debit and credit cards in a clip does not seem to have the same panache.
  • A good old fashioned phone chat that lasts an hour and does not involve texting.  My girlfriend and I still chat on the phone but we have to schedule it as in “I will call you around 2:00 on Sunday” and then you have to wait by the landline or be someplace conducive to a phone chat–not in the middle of the mall or driving the car.  We do solve a lot of the world’s problems during those phone calls so even though they lack the spontaneity of the good old days, they are still enjoyable.
  • Sunday drives.  When I was growing up we would hop in the car on Sunday afternoon and take a drive to wherever my parents felt like going that day and it always ended with a drive-thru at the local A&W for a frosty root beer.  It was easy to do in those days as everything was closed on Sundays and gas only cost a few cents a gallon and the traffic was light and my parents came home relaxed and refreshed and ready to start the next week.  We could all use a little of that, these days.
  • Manners.  When I was growing up my two brothers had to pull out the chair for myself and my sister whenever we were at a restaurant and this was when we were under ten years old.  We stood when an adult walked into the room and we answered all questions with Yes, ma’am or Yes sir.  We knew how to behave at a restaurant and I can assure you that did not include eating with our hands or throwing a tantrum or getting up and walking around the room. I never heard my parents or any other adult swear.  I am lucky these days to avoid having a door slammed in my face when a man enters before me and the language I hear from people standing in line or at the movies or anywhere else in public is sometimes shocking.
  • Card games.  We play cards with some friends every 5 weeks or so and I always look forward to it.  Whoever is hosting provides dinner, drinks and dessert and the  game and we take turns.  It is a casual and fun and good-natured evening that stretches into the late hours.  More people should have casual nights with friends like this, IMHO.
  • Cocktail parties.  Remember the old-fashioned cocktail parties your parents hosted where the ladies showed up in cute dresses and fancy drinks were flowing and bowls of nuts and little snacks were set out on every single surface.  So much easier than a dinner party and a good excuse to try a new drink or two.  My step-son and daughter-in-law live in a neighborhood that has taken a step back in time where the neighbors all get together once a year for a progressive dinner where each house volunteers to host a portion of the meal and then you walk to the next house for the next course etc.  No worries about drinking and driving and what a great way to get to know your neighbors (and take a nosy peek inside their homes to see how they decorate).  Who knows, you just might pick up an idea or two you can steal.
  • Dressing up for the theater.  I am not proposing we go back to the days of gloves and hats but a little bit of a dress code would be nice.  We go to the theater or the symphony and see people in shorts and flip flops and Budweiser t-shirts. Admittedly, we no longer dress up as much as we used to–I mean, we do live in southern California—but we do clean up just a bit and why not?

I know all of this makes me sound like an old lady who refuses to change with the times and nothing could be further from the truth.  But there are many things that may seem a bit outdated that are still good ideas.  After all, what is wrong with wanting to live in a kinder and gentler and safer community filled with lots of friends and easy to enjoy activities?  What do you wish was still in style?

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I want to live here

Please, Santa, let me wake up in the morning in this bedroom from the 2017 Mountain Living Home of the Year.  (photo David O Marlow)

I could live here bedroom photo david o marlow in ountain living mag

There is really no need to list the things I love about this room since it is absolutely everything but I will give it a try:

  • Let’s begin with those incredible windows and the lack of window treatments.  After all, the only “people” looking in are the moose and bears and I am okay with that.
  • A neutral color scheme is my favorite and you will notice there is not one ounce of color in this room which is what makes it so relaxing and inviting.  That view provides enough color and, I am sure, is ever-changing with the seasons.  I can only imagine the breathtaking beauty when covered in snow or fallen leaves.
  • A fireplace in the bedroom is certainly a luxury and one I would definitely enjoy.  And I like the modern and somewhat industrial appeal of this fireplace.
  • If you have a fireplace you have to have a couple of cozy chairs that provide a spot to sit and enjoy that fire.  The style of these chairs is perfect and a shared ottoman is one of my favorite design tricks.  In fact, I use that idea in my own little family room where two leather chairs share one ottoman.  Makes it easy to play footsie with the ones you love.
  • Symmetry in design is very important to me so the matching lamps flanking the fireplace, matching chairs, even the placement of the metal studs in the fireplace surround satisfy my need for order.
  • Notice that the only pattern in the room is in the rug and that is subtle because of the colors chosen.  A beautiful persian rug would have worked just as well but would break up all that calmness and serenity by adding too much color.  The real pattern in the room comes from all the textures i.e. the quilted coverlet, chenille upholstery, leather ottoman, interesting table lamp and those faux fur pillow covers.

How about you…could you live here?

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What is it with the Llama trend in home decor?

While I recently wrote about my confusion regarding the octupus home decor trend, I am equally as confused by the current Llama trend.  Do the designers just randomly choose an animal and then flood the market with items, hoping it will catch on?  If you have a pet llama it might make sense to have a cute pillow honoring your favorite furry friend but other than that???  Here are just a few of the items currently on the market that celebrate the Camelidae family.  ( I hope you are impressed by that word!)

This little llama would certainly be cute set on top of a stack of books on your bookshelf but the real benefit is that you could create some exotic story of visits to Marrakech where you picked this up in a street market or you could just say you purchased it at your local World Market.  In fact, they have an entire section dedicated to these creatures appearing on items that range from small paper clips to tea towels to ring holders, pillows, mugs, lamps and plenty of holiday ornaments.  Is there a shortage of reindeer or is global warming making it necessary for Santa to switch over to a desert dwelling animal?

llama decor for bookshelf fro world market

If you are, in fact, planning a vacation to Marrakech, these sandals from Kate Spade just might come in handy.  They are kind of cute!llama sandals from kate spade

Waddup with this pillow?  I don’t know about you but nothing says holidays to me more than a turquoise pillow that features llamas singing a Christmas carol!  llama pillow from anthropologie

And no need to leave the kids out of this current interior design trend.  Let these cute llamas sing your kids to sleep as they lay their head on their new sheets from Target.

llama sheets from target via young house love

via one of my favorite blogs

Do you have a favorite way to use llamas in your home’s decor?

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Not all pumpkins are jack-o-lanterns


As you can see from the photo above, not all pumpkins are jack-o-lanterns.  Your fall decorating will benefit from the use of many different styles of these giant gourds.  BTW, did you know that a pumpkin is a member of the same family as gourds, squash and other types of melons?  Yes, folks, I do try and make this blog educational as well as pretty!  One easy tip, you can use the same pumpkins for both Halloween and fall decorating by simply turning them around!  I do this every year with a group of clay pumpkins I place on my front porch…funny face out until Oct 31st and then I simply swivel them around to show their backside–easy, peasy. Let’s take a look at some other ways you can display pumpkins until it is time to bring out the santas and snowmen.

Love all the autumnal colors and textures in this room setting by Target  (via centsationalstyleblog) and what a great way to eliminate the black hole an unused fireplace creates. Not a jack-o-lantern in sight!pumpkins not for halloween from target great fall photo

Many homes are decorated in a color scheme that is not suited for the colors we most often associate with the season–orange, gold, russet red, brown.  For those who still like the idea of showcasing pumpkins throughout the fall season, velvet pumpkins in alternative colors is a great idea.  The taupe, ivory and black shades of these pumpkins feature  actual stems that create an authentic look to your fall display but the shop offers collections in jewel tones, coastal colors, even purple–something for everyone.pumpkins with real stems from love feast table

Turn your pumpkins into beautiful vases for blooming plants like mums.  To protect the surface underneath and prevent the pumpkin from getting soft, place the flowers in a vase or even a water glass or line the pumpkin with foil and use florist’s foam to keep your flowers hydrated.  Better yet, hot glue some real or faux flowers to pumpkins for a beautiful centerpiece.

pumpkin covered mums from bhg

source BHG

This beautiful collection of blown glass pumpkins and gourds decorate the dining table in this southern California home year round, never seeming out of season.

There you have it, plenty of ideas that make it possible to enjoy pumpkins even after all the ghosts and goblins have been put away for another year.

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Ten things that made me happy in September

  1. Our daughter and son-in-law have moved back to San Diego and will be staying with us while they search for a new home.  It is a crowded and busy household now but, as every parent knows, there is nothing nicer than going to bed at night knowing your kids are safe and sound asleep downstairs, regardless of how old they are!
  2. The SD Chargers continue to lose their games in very typical Charger fashion, last minute and due to their own bad play.  It is so hard to cheer for a different team and especially to root against my beloved Chargers and Philip Rivers, Antonio Gates etc. But what I do not want is for one more $ to go into Mr. Spanos’ pocket as repayment for his heinous treatment of the San Diego fans.  Be careful what you ask for Mr. Spanos!  And I am not alone in this feeling…check out this restaurant that is giving away free tacos for every Charger loss-https://www.cbssports.com/nfl/news/san-diego-restaurant-celebrates-chargers-losses-with-free-tacos/?linkId=42400184
  3. Visiting with old friends who are in town and enjoying dinner every night in a different spot.  Lots of laughter and reminiscing.  When I was a girl scount/brownie I learned a song that has stuck with me throughout the decades-“Make new friends but keep the old, some are silver while the other’s gold” and I remember that song whenever we are with friends…one of life’s greatest gifts.
  4. A little afternoon delight–in the form of a weekday movie.  One of the best parts of being semi-retired is being able to go to a movie in the middle of the week and in the middle of the afternoon.  And we feel even luckier because we attend movies in an old-fashioned little theater in the middle of Coronado–no lines, no noisy people, no teenagers!!  There are some pluses to aging!
  5. I can’t go a month without mentioning how happy I am when I am spending time with these goofballs.  They make me laugh and giggle and they make me very tired!  But they fill my heart up with so much love.ella and brendan at brandis wedding 2017
  6. https://yourcountdown.to/christmas-eve
  7. The smell of autumn in the air.  Yes, even in San Diego we have changing seasons, subtle, but changing.  Crisp mornings and warm (ok-hot) days are the norm for this time of year but occasionally we have an opportunity to put on a sweater and I even wore some ankle boots the other night!
  8. New home decor trends start popping up this time of year, right after the Fall market takes place in Highpoint, North Carolina and I am always anxious to see what is new.  Designers also eagerly await the announcement of the colors of the year and Sherwin Williams  and Benjamin Moore have both announced their color of the year which, interestingly enough, are complete opposites! Pantone will announce theirs in early December and their choice is really the deciding factor in what you will be seeing in the upcoming year as far as color goes.  Gold metal has also been popular for a couple of years and I know I have added some of this warm metal to my own decor in the form of accent tables and picture frames.  I love a funky chair in the room and I think this gorgeous chair from Currey and Company! fits the funky bill!gold chair from currey and company
  9. Does this put you in the mood for a fun Halloween?  Now that my daughter is all grown up, Halloween does not hold the same appeal.  However, I am beginning to enjoy it once again with my grand munchkins and this colorful pumpkin mantel would certainly set a party loving mood.


  10. The fact that I forgot to post this and now I can’t remember a tenth thing that made me happy makes me unhappy but, oh well.  Here is my list.  What made you happy in September?
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Is it too early to think about Christmas?


courtesy of Renee Collier facebook

I know—the weather is telling us it is still summer!  But I am a lover of all things Christmas and IMHO, one can never have too much red and white with a sprinkling of green during the month of December.  I love holiday plaid, sappy Christmas movies that always feature a snow-filled setting and a Santa that makes us all wonder if Santa really does exist, and holiday music.  In my house this music starts playing as soon as I can find it on the radio, and the movies, which begin the day after Halloween, are watched over and over and over again.  Holiday decorating is one of the joys of the season so here are just a few items that are on my decorating list this year:

  • A set of these electric snowflakes will be hanging from my front deck all through the winter.snowflake from qvc
  • Since my daughter and son-in-law will be spending the holidays in London and Paris (oolala) we will not be doing the complete decorating thing this year.  But, along with the snowflakes (my favorite) will be a small staked outdoor tree that will add a hint of twinkle to the exterior.outdoor trees from grandinroad
  • Setting the table is one of the delights of holidays.  I especially enjoy doing it when the meal is catered!  The old-fashioned design of this pitcher would be so cute filled with orange juice or milk for that Christmas morning breakfast and add a festive touch when paired with plain white dinnerware you probably already own.  Fill with cold water and place on the bedside table in the guest room or, if you are like me and cooking is not your thing, fill this pitcher with some beautiful flowers or greenery for an instant centerpiece.

    christmas pitcher from williams sonoma

    available at Williams Sonoma

  • Pompoms are everywhere this year.  What is it about these fluffy balls of yarn that seem to capture all of us?  These faux fur pompom throws will up the cozy factor in your holiday decorating.

    pom pom throws from pottery barn

    available at Pottery Barn

  • Pillows, pillows and more pillows.  A grouping of solid velvet pillows is simple and elegant or you can opt for a particular motif you enjoy.  In my case, I love displaying snowflakes because they can be used throughout the winter.  This design from Crate and Barrel caught my eye and the sparkle will help brighten up those dreary January days.  I am going to pair it with an ivory faux fur throw and gray velvet pillow on my off-white sofa that features black contrast welting—-gorg!!snowflake pillow from crate and barrel
  • I love all things plaid in both fashion and home decor.  We will all be seeing a lot of plaid for several months in all color combinations but I especially like the traditional shades of red and green sprinkled with, of course, some glitter!
    plaid ornaments from crate and barrel

    via Crate and Barrel

    So what do you think?  Is it too early to think about Christmas decorating?

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I want to live here

I usually spotlight interiors of homes that I would like to live in.  I get inspired by the furniture styles, paint colors and fabric patterns, architecture and artwork that is featured in the room.  This time, however, I am going to focus on the exterior of a home and all I can say is “Please let me live here!”

i could live here farmhouse in utah from millhaven homes

This gorgeous farmhouse style home, designed by Millhaven Homes, is located in one of my favorite places-Utah.  It is so serene I can almost hear the silence!  Here are a few reasons why this home appeals to me:

  • The mountain backdrop is heavenly!  To quote John Muir “The mountains are calling and I must go.”  A little bit of snow is nice but imagine how beautiful these mountains must be covered in snow.  I could build my own ski lift and shoosh down those runs and bowls any time I wanted.
  • All of that green grass is so appealing to this girl from southern California who almost never sees a large expanse of beautiful green lawn.  However, after a record breaking winter of rain, the experts tell us that the drought is over so maybe people will start planting grass again.  After all, does anything smell better in the spring and summer than freshly cut grass?
  • The simple black and white color scheme is classic and timeless.  And the beauty of our American Flag set against that simple backdrop is wonderful.  The only change I might make is an unexpected pop of color on the front door and perhaps a more comfortable pair of rocking chairs on that front porch.
  • The metal porch roof is a nice and somewhat modern touch to the otherwise classic farmhouse style.

How about you?  Could you live here?

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