My hope is that this blog is like a visit between friends. I enjoy hearing from you and will try to reply to you in the comment section right after your comment, so stop back by and continue the conversation. - Patty

September 17, 2014

gathering inspiration

It has been such a lazy week for me so far, what about you?  I know I should be moving full steam ahead with the last couple of projects on my revamp list but my energy level has really been zapped.

I did manage to gather together the last of the misplaced odds and ends that didn't find a place in the kitchen or dining room revamps.  Those things that I wasn't ready to part with knowing I would find a place for them sooner or later.

It's amazing what a pretty mix of color and pattern they make just grouped together like this.  They have become my inspiration palette for the living room spruce up.

I bought a few cans of spray paint to freshen up some frames and will be purchasing three new shades for the windows this weekend so I am making a little progress.  I also painted a desk I found for $4.00 at Goodwill.

Today I'm off to Hobby Lobby again with my sister in law in search of a knob for the thrift store desk and a yard of fabric for a new bathroom curtain, then it's off to lunch at Islands.  Wish me luck that I only walk out of there with what I went in for.

Happy Wednesday!

xo, Patty

September 15, 2014

what fall feels like

Can you remind me again what fall feels like?  How it smells...the nip in the air...actually looking forward to being in the kitchen making soup and baking pies?

You see we have forgotten here in the Southern California all about the wonders of autumn.

I drove across the San Gabriel Valley into the San Fernando Valley to pick up my grandson yesterday at 3:00 in the afternoon and the thermostat registered as high as 111 degrees.  That my friends is beyond hot...that is just plain make me cry real tears, mean.

So can you lucky people with real seasons tell me what your weekend was like?  And then in February when I am cutting flowers in my garden, I'll tell you all about spring.

I did manage to find these beauties in my otherwise parched back garden.  Just goes to show there is beauty to be found even in the midst of a heatwave, if we look beyond the weeds to find it.

Happy Monday!

xo, Patty

September 11, 2014

the dining room reveal - room by room

Grab a cup of something to drink and make yourself comfortable.  It's going to be a long one...

Welcome to my colorful cottage dining room.  This is the view to the right as you enter from the front door.

Our cottage is very modest in size but this is actually a nice sized space.  Our table seats eight comfortably and accommodates two additional large pieces of furniture without feeling crowded.

The large double hung windows are original to the house which was built in 1954.  I have resisted replacing them because I love the charm they add to our home.  The mahogany side board was a gift from my husband and is the one piece I refuse to paint.

This large hutch sits directly across from the windows and until last month was oak.  I am still amazed at how much brighter the whole room looks now that it is painted this crisp white.

The shelves have been styled and restyled several time but I think I'm finally happy with them now.  The vintage Pepsi crate holds a few wine glasses and my open bottle of wine.  I had no intention of leaving the black and white frames empty but once I propped them up in the hutch I knew they would stay that way.

The crate on the bottom shelf of the hutch holds mixed drink supplies and alcohol.  The blue painted wine cabinet provides storage for wine, sparkling cider and champagne.

The wall to the left of the hutch leading up the stairs is filled with family photos.  One of my favorite projects is the plate gallery to the right of the hutch.

I spray painted some thrift store tin trays and then hand painted the numbers to add an uncluttered cohesive look to the back wall.

I took a risk with the multicolored curtains but I think pairing them with mostly solids throughout the rest of the dining room gives a nice cottage feel to the space without it seeming overly busy.

One of the final projects in the room was painting the dining room table and chairs.  I am so happy I chose to go with the blue for the table base.  I painted the chairs the same white as the hutch and covered them in an orange geometric pattern.  My husbands approval rating is based on the Pee Wee Herman playhouse test.  If I go too bright or bold he will say it's looking a little Pee Wee Herman in there.  I'm happy to say he actually loves the room, too. Which makes it all the sweeter.

Getting the dining room finished feels like such an accomplishment.  In some ways even more so than the kitchen.  When I began the kitchen revamp I knew painting the cabinets was going to be a huge undertaking so I was prepared.  With the dining room, I thought it would be a little tweak here and there but the little projects just kept snowballing and it actually ended up taking me longer than the kitchen to finish.

But now that it's done, it was more than worth it.  I'll break down a few of the individual projects in the days to come.  If there's something you'd like to know specifically just leave me a comment and I'd love to share.

I thought I'd leave you with a view of the living room, the last room I'll be tackling before my daughters baby shower in November and the rush of the holidays.

I really tried to use restrain in color and pattern but my heart kept getting in the way.  I am a color loving girl...always have been and probably always will be.  The biggest decorating mistakes I've made have been when I ignored that love and tried to be something I'm not.

Thanks so much for stopping by, I hope you enjoyed your visit.  Come back soon.

xo, Patty

September 10, 2014

belated birthdays

Where has the week gone?  It took the whir of the gardeners outside to make me realize it is Wednesday afternoon already.  Isn't it funny how we mark time?  The gardeners, trash day, practice, soccer game, church...

Last week I went to dinner with a few girlfriends to celebrate spring birthdays.  Here it is nearly fall and we finally got together to celebrate an event from spring.  We've set a date to get together a number of times but something always came up for one or the other of us and we've had to postpone.

It was so good to sit and visit. (And exchange belated gifts like this strawberry jam from Kris.) Sometimes I forget how much I need my time with friends.  As we sat around the table catching up I was reminded again how lucky and thankful I am to have women to encourage me and make me laugh.  I only hope I am able to give that blessing right back to them.

In decorating news, I finally took pictures of my dining room this morning so I will be back tomorrow to share the finished room.

Enjoy what's left of your day!

xo, Patty

September 8, 2014

a muggy monday

At the risk of this blog beginning to sound like the weather channel, I won't tell you that it is still hot and muggy around these parts or that every city around us has had a good soaking of rain but us.  And I won't tell you that I obsessively peeked ahead at the seven day forecast and noticed that we will hit the 100 degree mark again next Saturday.  No, I won't tell you all that...

Instead, I'll tell you that I went to Hobby Lobby with my girl friends last week and bought a couple of new things for fall decorating,  I'm excited to start decorating for autumn but first I want to show you my finished dining room in it's every day state.

Which I can tell you is officially, one hundred percent done!  Woot, woot.  I am going to run to Trader Joe's for some fresh flowers and I'll take a few pictures to share with you this week.

I watched my grandson's this weekend so not much got done, other than an early morning soccer game, but that's okay as the weather had us ducking for cover inside anyway.  My husband (the most un-tekky person on the planet) discovered that his phone has a recording device on it so he sneakily recorded us just being normal in the living room.  Boy oh boy is our house ever noisy and chaotic.  It's no wonder I'm losing my mind most days! Ha...Ha.

That's all that's going on around here.  How about in your neck of the woods?

xo, Patty

September 4, 2014


My mom and I went to see The Hundred Foot Journey last week and I was taken by how beautiful they made simple fresh food look on the screen.  I was truly inspired to go home and cook when we left the theater.  The thought of dicing and slicing and prepping food made me want to pull out my cookbooks and actually plan a menu.

We are trying to eat more chicken and less red meat but chicken night after night can get a little boring.  (I can picture the rolled eyes of my family when I say we're having chicken...again.)  So I am always on the look out for good, basic chicken recipes to add to my week night arsenal.

I do a lot of my recipe searches online through Pinterest, Google and The Food Network but sometimes I just need to open the pages of a real book and let the pretty pictures get my creative juices flowing.  Don't you agree?

Then it dawned on me that you guys are another great source of inspiration and menu ideas so I am putting it out there.  What is your favorite chicken recipe?  And if you can, share the link whether it's to your blog or the online source.  I'm sure we could all use a little dinner inspiration.

xo, Patty

September 3, 2014

on deadlines and distractions

I am a girl who works best under pressure.  Give me a deadline and I am all over it.  So when I set up my plan to finish a room or two a month through October it sounded very doable.

The kitchen in July...check.
The dining room and main bathroom in August...
The living room and master bedroom in September...
The gardens and outdoor spaces in October...

Ambitious for sure, but not impossible.  Getting the public areas of the house in order and fluffed up by my oldest daughters baby shower in early November seemed like a very real possibility on paper.  And if everything went according to plan the house would be in tip top shape for the holidays.

And then life happened.

So here we are in September and I am still wrapping up the rooms from August.  The dining room would have been done but just as I was ready to snap a few reveal photos I noticed how dingy the dining room table and chairs looked next to everything I had just finished.

I guess you figured out what I'm doing this first week of September...yup, six chairs and one table are all on the painting block.  Time to readjust and tweak that paper schedule once again.

It's all okay though for as much as I like a good deadline, it can never replace the importance of life's distractions.  What good is a pretty house if nobody is happy living in it, right?

Happy Wednesday friends.

xo, Patty