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July 20, 2017


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 departed from) and although it is a major tourist destination it has still retained a lot of it's casual island charm.

We stayed at the Hotel St. Lauren which sits on a hill about a ten minute walk from the sandy beach and downtown area with all its restaurants and shops.

We ate overlooking the harbor and enjoyed watching the boats bopping up and down with the tide.

We toured the island on a golf cart and enjoyed the plant life and hilly terrain.  We went out on a glass enclosed vessel that allowed us to view the ocean life up close and personal.

All in all, it was such a fun and relaxing trip and I feel so blessed that I was able to do it with my mom and siblings.

None of us is guaranteed any amount of time and I know I will carry the memories that were made on this trip for the rest of my life.

Next up on her bucket list is Santa Fe, New Mexico.  Hey, mom...I'm in!

xo, Patty

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


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


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


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


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