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December 7, 2017

CHRISTMAS TOUR OF THE DINING ROOM

I can't believe the first week of December is already behind us.  Please tell me it's not just because I'm getting older but isn't time just flying by?   I finally finished decorating our cottage and am so excited to start sharing it with you. 


I really went with a happy cottage vibe this year and color is definitely front and center.  I have tried a more elegant look in my decor and while I love it, I am always drawn back to traditional reds and greens.


I love using seasonal books in my decorating because the graphics and colors are always so beautiful and they are kind of wasted if they are displayed in a traditional side by side manner.


Our white hutch is always my favorite to decorate and this year is no exception.  I try to use existing pieces and just add a touch of Christmas to each vignette.



I love decorating mini trees and this one that sits on the island between our dining room and kitchen turned out adorable.  I have been collecting these mini kitchen item ornaments for years and this tree made me smile as I added each little bobble to it.


The little tree on the buffet is probably the most elegant tree I have in the house in it's simple styling of shimmering greenery and pretty white ribbon.


I love how this display above our wine cabinet turned out.  It gave me a bit of a fit trying to figure it out but once I added that Jesus is the Reason (because he is you know)  ornament, it all came together.


I am not quite ready to share the living room with you because we haven't purchased our real tree yet, but I've added a touch of navy in there that I am anxious to show you.

We will be tree shopping this weekend with our grandsons.  We have a tradition of heading to our local tree lot and tromping around until we find just the right one.  I am not a picky tree buyer so I pretty much let them decide...pretty much, ahem...and then we come home and decorate it together with Christmas music blaring.

So how is your Christmas decor coming along?  Are you all done or just getting started?

I will be sharing our cozy kitchen and main bathroom in a couple of days, so be sure and stop back over.

xo, Patty

If you'd like to see a video tour of our dining room, I have linked it below.  If you are not a subscriber to my YouTube channel, I'd love to have you join my YouTube family.

November 21, 2017

A BUSY NOVEMBER AND A THANKSGIVING CENTERPIECE

I know December is supposed to be the busier month and November the more laid back, pre-holiday, dream and plan month but that hasn't been true around here.  It seems October ended with a relaxed little gathering of girlfriends and November rushed in with wave after wave of busy days.


Not that I'm complaining...at all.  It has all been good stuff including time with friends and family,

October 27, 2017

A LITTLE HALLOWEEN GATHERING

I invited a few girlfriends over for little Halloween gathering last night and I wanted to share all the festive decor I came up using mostly Dollar Tree or hand crafted goodies.  This shin dig has been in my head and the preparation stages for over a month so I've had plenty of time to gather a little of this and a little of that plus come up with a crafty gift or two for my guests.


The list maker in me loves a little party planning and this get together was no exception.  After

October 11, 2017

THE FUN OF HALLOWEEN DECOR

I haven't always embraced Halloween.   There was a time when I was careful to go the "cute" route with happy pumpkins and bales of hay (not that there is anything wrong with that) sticking to what would naturally occur in my decor.

Halloween decor

Maybe it's having grand boys around or maybe it's just not really caring as much what my house

September 27, 2017

FALL HOME TOUR

I finally finished the last of the Fall decorating around the cottage over the weekend and now I can't wait to share it with you.  I love the colors of fall because they blend so beautifully with the existing color scheme of our home.


The biggest change this year is the hint of robin's egg blue I tried to incorporate into my mostly

September 21, 2017

A LITTLE FALL GIFT IDEA

One of my favorite things about fall is getting back to bible study at church.  We have just started Beth Moore's Entrusted study and I can already tell it's going to be a good one...convicting in all the right ways.


I wanted to give the ladies at my table a little something to encourage them to hunker down with the

September 15, 2017

THE FLAVORS OF FALL

It's finally beginning to feel a little bit like fall and I've started to put out a few things to celebrate the change of seasons.  I saw so many things I loved at Hobby Lobby, Target and the Dollar Tree that I had a hard time waiting for the weather to cool down before decorating for Autumn.


I bought a bag of pumpkin flavored coffee at Cost Plus World Market and lit my pumpkin spice

September 6, 2017

A BIT OF FALL IN THE AIR

Am I the only wishing fall weather would make an appearance or are there some of you feeling the cool crisp air outside and sad to see summer end?


I have been sneaking the fall decor ever so discretely in around the house hoping no one walking in

August 23, 2017

LEARNING TO LOVE TO CLEAN - nesting

I know what you're thinking, love to clean?  Maybe I should re-title that to - Learning to appreciate the feeling that having a clean and organized home provides and how that lets me do the fun stuff like bake and decorate and take off on a fun shopping day with friends and even leisurely enjoy tea and a magazine without guilt.  But that's a little long for title, don't you think?

organization, cleaning

I hear from women all the time that they don't like cleaning and they don't want to squander what

August 21, 2017

FINDING YOUR PURPOSE - STEPPING OUT IN FAITH

Reclaiming, striving, working, living, learning, loving, becoming...these are the words that resonate through my head in the middle of the night as I pray and wonder what my message is.  What call to action do I feel led to proclaim?

You see, it is my belief that we all have a purpose.  We all have a message to share.  We are all here as ambassadors of God.  But knowing that in my head and walking it out in my heart are two totally different things.


Given the state of our world I believe the call we have as women to love, nurture, teach and lead by

August 17, 2017

HOW TO ESTABLISH A CLEANING ROUTINE - nesting

I know every spring everyone talks about the urge to clean and purge but I think I'm so busy in the garden that the thought of giving up that precious outdoor time to come inside and get organized just passes right by me.


For me that feeling hits somewhere around August when the back to school supplies hit the stores and

August 14, 2017

NOURISHING FRIENDSHIPS - FINDING YOU TRIBE

Hello Monday!  It was a busy weekend around here.  I had both grand boys on Saturday and at three and nine they sure do give me a run for my money.  I adore having them around, the constant buzz and easy laughter, but when bedtime rolls around I'm not sure just who's going to crawl in first, me or them.


I uploaded a video to my YouTube channel on Saturday chatting about sustaining friendships with

August 11, 2017

HOW TO PUT TOGETHER A GIFT BASKET - creatively inspired

I love putting together gift baskets for friends birthdays or other special occasions.  They are so easy to tailor make just for the individual and it's easy to tuck in a couple of handmade items which is something I love to include.

coffee basket

I will usually start with a theme for the basket and then start shopping from there.  Once I have the

August 9, 2017

GARDEN CLEAN UP AND AGING - gardening

Every year when August rolls around I know that my garden is going to need a major clean up.  I had every intention of getting my entire backyard perennial bed trimmed and weeded last weekend but was clearly (and not so subtlety) reminded that I am not as young as I used to be.  Most of the time I'm not a big age kind of person.  Don't get me wrong I am not at all thrilled when I look in the mirror or in the replay of a video and see the tell tale signs of my mid century modern self but I'm not that thrown off by it.

What does drive me crazy is how long it takes me to do what I used to in no time at all.

cleaning out the garden

It seems like just yesterday when I was able to work a full time job away from home, clean the entire

August 7, 2017

LOVING OUR HOMES - Cottage Style

I've been on a renewed mission to learn to love my home again.  I seem to go through spurts where I dream of selling our house and everything in it and searching for our  perfect "dream home".  But then reality (with all it's budgets, work locations and the physical labor of packing up our current place) sets in and I start to think of ways I can make changes to have this home a place I truly love being.


I will usually start out making a list of what I'd like to have and then I'll walk through each room in

August 4, 2017

IT'S OKAY TO LET GO OF PERFECTION - let's chat

Returning to blogging has been like reuniting with an old friend, after that awkward hello it kind of seems like you never left. Even though so many of those first blogs I fell in love with have ceased to exist there are still quite a few that have hung in there and resisted the lure (or at least returned after a brief tryst) of instagram and remember the way that blogging encourages relationships.  And isn't that something that is sorely missing in our hustle and bustle world.


I am talking about just that on my midweek podcast and I'd love to hear what you think.  Is it okay to

August 2, 2017

HELLO AUGUST - Front Porch Tour

August, you guys!  One month closer to fall and boy, after these last few days of hot, humid weather I am definitely counting the days.  Why is it that summer used to go by in a flash and now it seems to go on forever?  Don't tell me...I'm getting old.  Ha! Ha!


I just changed out the decor on the front porch, transitioning from 4th of July to late summer and I

July 29, 2017

SATURDAY MORNING CHAT - Life

Hello there, feel like chatting a bit?  I've got a list of this and that to talk about so I thought I'd just lump it all together and have a good old fashion coffee and... morning conversation.


I realize more now than ever how important relationships with other women are and how important it

July 28, 2017

A BIBLE JOURNALING KIT - Lifestyle

When the weather is nice outside I tend to spend most of my free time outdoors but as the temps rise I find myself drawn to the air conditioned comfort of my craft studio.  I ducked in there earlier in the week intent on making a few drawstring bags to carry journaling supplies for the ladies who sit around my Tuesday morning bible study table.

I emerged a couple of hours later with six bags and a head full of ideas with what to put in them.


Since I was looking for a creative way to show them my love of bible journaling I put together a kit

July 26, 2017

A TROPICAL INPSPIRED CONTAINER - gardening


Whenever I talk about gardening in January and February I always get comments either about how lucky we are or how we miss out on the normal rest from gardening that winter provides.  And then we hit July and August and my desire to be out in the garden hits a wall.  That is my "winter break" from gardening, when I rest from the outdoor planting and move into the indoor dreaming of my fall and winter garden.

This year has been a little different in that the weather has stayed relatively pleasant and the garden is still lush enough to draw me out through this last week of July...but I'm waning fast.


Before I go into minimal survival mode (where I do just enough to keep my perennials and heat

July 20, 2017

A QUICK GETAWAY - Lifestyle

I just returned from a little vacation with my mom, sister, brother and two nephews to the resort island of Catalina off the coast of California.  My mom has wanted to visit the island for the longest time and as a native Californian it had kind of become a bucket list item.


The city of Avalon is around an hour and a half boat ride from Newport Beach (which is where we

July 15, 2017

A TOUR OF THE DINING ROOM - Cottage Fiesta Style

On Thursday my mom and sister came out for an early dinner and I had a chance to treat them to a fiesta afternoon complete with Mexican food and festive decor.  Despite the fact that we all ate way too much, we had such a nice time.


I can't stress enough how much the little touches you add to a gathering lets people know you care.

July 11, 2017

FIESTA GATHERING INSPIRATION - Cottage Style

My sister is visiting from Texas for a couple of weeks and I wanted to have her, my mom and sister in law come for dinner while she was out.  She hasn't been to our little cottage in a couple of years so I wanted to make it a fun and festive occasion   Since the focus with any gathering is connecting, I knew I wanted to keep it simple and for me that usually means Mexican food so I thought immediately of throwing a fiesta inspired gathering.


Once I had the theme set I started shopping my home for anything that might provide a fiesta

July 8, 2017

SATURDAY MORNING - This and that and flowers from the garden...

I think I've found my blogging groove again and it feels pretty good.  With all the shiny new ways to share on social media (and I do love sharing on instagram, facebook and now YouTube) the art of blogging will always be home for me.  I have been typing my heart out in blog posts for nearly nine years and have recorded some major highs and lows in my life along the way.


And our Saturday Morning chats about everything and nothing at all are my absolute favorite.

July 3, 2017

OTHER CREATIVE HAPPENINGS...

Before the gardening bug took over I was having a fling with my crochet hook and now that the temperatures are on the rise I know I'll find myself heading inside and up to my craft room searching for inspiration and a creative outlet once again.


July 1, 2017

WHAT'S BLOOMING IN THE GARDEN - JULY

I'm not even going to pretend to be surprised by the fact that it's already July and the year is halfway over.  The swift passing of time just seems to be ever more evident as we age.  Don't you agree? Spending time in the garden, even in our mild Southern California climate, only seems to accentuate the passing of seasons for me.


I wish that I had been a more faithful blogger through May and June as that is when my garden is at

June 29, 2017

SUMMER TIME PORCH DECOR

I thought about titling this post "Here Comes the Sun" but the sun and high temps have been here in Southern California for a few weeks already and show no sign of easing up so saying that it's just arriving didn't quite ring true.  We've had a warm June and I'm sure July will be no different but that's nothing new, just wishful thinking on my part I guess.


Along with the heat of July comes a freshening up of the front porch decor so I thought instead of

April 5, 2017

April in the flower garden...

I think April is my absolutely favorite time in the garden.  It is really our peak flowering time here in Southern California.  And after all the rain we've been blessed with this year is proving to be one of the prettiest ever.  So, I apologize in advance for the overload of pictures.


This gorgeous purple iris was a gift a few years ago from the garden of my good friend Elaine from

April 3, 2017

An awkward hello...

Hello there.  It seems this year is flying by at break neck speed and despite my best intentions I have just not been able to establish a regular blogging flow.  It's not like there hasn't been plenty to share, it's just one of those out of the habit things I guess, and now that it's been so long I'm struggling with where to start.


My hope is that like with any long time friend, once the awkward hello's are over, you just start talking and the ease and flow returns.  So here goes...

January 14, 2017

That darn squirrel - let's chat

The sun is shining on what promises to be a spectacular day and weekend for that matter.  I woke up fully intent on going out to do a little garden clean up this morning but unfortunately I walked passed my craft studio and the pretty projects I have been working on were hanging on my design wall and just drew me in...so here I sit.  That darn squirrel, always taking our focus off what we should be doing.


Is it my imagine or has distraction been a bit of a theme for me lately?

January 7, 2017

light at the end of the tunnel - let's chat

It's early Saturday morning and the sound of a good, soaking rain can be heard out my studio window.  I'm already on to my second cup of coffee and my head is swimming with the things I want to do versus the things I should do...already the struggle with which tug will be stronger has begun.


There was a time not so long ago when there was no struggle.  There was only taking care of what

January 3, 2017

a new year...a new post

Well hello there.  To say I had no intention of going so long without posting would be an understatement.  If you are still checking in on blogs in general and my blog in particular than a very Happy New Year to you!


You'd think I'd be full of tales of my exploits while I was MIA but no such luck.  Let's just say that