I keep reminding myself that despite the balmy temperatures here in California, it is still winter. Regardless of what the thermometer says, these are some of my favorite winter finds. Little bit of this and a little bit of that… enjoy!
1. Pendleton Blankets. When I was 16 I asked for a Pendleton blanket for my birthday. I'm sure my parents thought I was crazy, but they got one for me anyway. I still have it, love it just as much if not more, and it still looks brand new despite being on my bed from high school, through college and beyond.
2. Sunset Magazine. I could put this fantastic magazine on a list for any season. For those of you who have spent even a portion of your childhood on the west coast, Sunset will most likely conjure some nostalgic memories. I don't know if it's always been this good, or if recent improvements were made to keep it in print. Anyway, it's content is about the west coast lifestyle and while the logo, look and feel hasn't changed much, they absolutely have their fingers on the pulse of everything current, interesting and cool.
3.Cast Iron Frying Pans. One of my most indispensable cooking tools is my reversible cast iron grill/griddle pan. I use the grill side all the time for chicken, shrimp skewers, portabello mushrooms, bread with olive oil and occasionally thinner cuts of meat. The griddle is ideal for making pancakes for a crowd. A post-slumber party breakfast necessity!
My foodie friends have been extolling the virtues of cooking with a cast iron skillet for years. I was at my local hardware store recently and saw the selection of pans made by Lodge – a 100+ year old American company and decided to give it a try. I tried mine out with cornbread and it was amazing!
4.Fresh Sugar Bath Cubes. I adore everything by the company Fresh and am never without their body lotion in my arsenal of potions and lotions as well as their milk soap. I decided to try the Sugar Cubes for the bath in part because the packaging was so dang awesome and I needed something to ward off winter dry skin. Heavenly. The fragrance is light and not at all overpowering.
5. Kiehl's Midnight Eye Recovery. I have been a sceptic of cosmetics that claim dramatic results. I bought a few Christmas presents at Kiehl's and was given a sample of this eye cream. The sales girl could not rave more about this product for reducing eye puffiness. Well I tried it and now I'm a believer!
Happy New Year to you, lovely readers! I hope you’ve had a joyous holiday season! I spent the week between Christmas and New Year's in Tahoe, re-learning to ski. It had been about 30 years, but lo and behold it all seemed to come back! All but the fearlessness. I like to go s-l-o-w now. There wasn’t much snow, but they made enough artificial snow for the beginning and intermediate runs to be open. The light blanket of white was perfect for me to carry out most of my lifelong cabin-in-the-snowy-woods fantasies. Crackling fire every evening, Scrabble games and hot chocolate, fuzzy socks, etc.
So, what do you think about resolutions? I’m more introspective around my birthday and find the idea of everyone in the whole wide world making goals on an arbitrary calendar day to be a bit cliche. That said, I do them anyway! I love lists, so why not?
This past year was a toughie for me… Along the way, I’ve considered sharing it with you, but in the end decided against it, as this is a blog about lifestyle not my life. I’ve even thought about creating another blog devoted to navigating the rough waters. A place for those in similar situations to come and feel better and know they’re not alone. Who knows, perhaps I still will or perhaps I’ll write a book… Think “Gone Girl” + “50 Shades of Gray”! So, for those here solely for the normal content, please bear with my New Year, New You post. I will be done after this ☺. At least on here…
While I won’t go into the details of my story, I do want to pass on a few things I learned in the process so that if you – sweet reader – are going through something really difficult – you might be able to get a jump start on feeling better and changing the trajectory of 2014 from bad to great.
1. It will pass. Repeat to yourself, “I will get through this and be better for it.”
2. If you can only manage one thing in your day, make sure it is exercise and good nutrition. So, put that donut down. Nope, you must.
3. Get out of your house. It is a natural tendency to want to hermit yourself and be alone. But the hustle bustle of a busy street or a scenic drive or sitting at a café will be a distraction even if you don’t feel it at the time.
Yes, it’s a short list, because when you are in crisis mode, this is all you can handle.
On the topic of New Year’s resolutions, weight loss and good health practices are on everyone’s list. The main thing that got me through this year was exercise and eating well. There were days where I could only run a few feet and would stop. Despite being a long time runner, I had to force myself to run just a little farther every day. If for no other reason, your immune system is compromised during stressful times so you are more prone to getting colds and the like. The gravy is that you will look good when you come out it 😉
So (I hope I don’t sound preachy…) here is my formula for getting to the weight you want…. Ready?
1. Eat the same thing for breakfast and the same thing for lunch every day (or at least 5 x per week). Do you remember when Oprah gained her weight back and she showed how she was going to lose it again by posting notes in her kitchen with her schedule of what she could eat and when? It made me hungry. The logic with eating the same thing every day is that you completely stop thinking about food, because if you know that at 10:00am you get 6 almonds, you will be hungrier in anticipation.
2. Eat breakfast and lunch as late as you can – after 1:00pm for lunch is best.
3. Exercise. The reality that an average height woman can only eat 1500 calories per day is harsh. Sorry to deliver the news. That is not much, and most of us exceed that and are still hungry. Go burn some calories!
So here is to a brand new year and enjoying it day by day!
Hi to you. It's the last weekend before school starts and I'm holding onto every last drop of summer. At the same time, I've been looking ahead and thinking about Fall with anticipation. I read the quote below on the blog Habitually Chic this week. A good reminder of what matters. The timing was perfect for me, I hope it is for you as well.
The lucky recipient of the Uncle Goose wooden block set and wire basket is Joey! Congratulations! I will email you to get your mailing info!
Good Morning or good whatever time of day it is when you read this! We are mostly moved in and last night was the first night back in the house! I have much to share, but for today I only have a minute before my crazy work week starts. Right now I'm savoring a quiet moment all alone in my house having my favorite tea and thinking about this past year and now, what lies ahead. So much time and thought is consumed with remodeling. It's nice to be able to slow it down and just enjoy the sameness of a routine. Looking forward to it!
This green tea has become a part of my routine and my mornings are just not nearly as good without it. It's got toasted brown rice that gives it such a great flavor. I had just enough left for this morning's cup thank goodness!
Hi…Sorry it's been a little while since my last post, but I haven't been in a blogging mood. It's been a challenging week. This photo helped me. Thought I would share it with you in case you are going through a process too and need something to help you get over the hump.
Hi, and welcome! I’m so glad you landed here and I hope you find this to be a place you visit often.
I started this blog in 2008 as a way to chronicle the remodeling of our nondescript Northern California house into our dream home. While that did happen, so did a lot of other things - life and all the messy, glorious, complicated, wonderful things that go with it. As such, in early 2017 I decided to change the focus from the house itself to the life that happens inside.
My wish is that this blog provides beautiful inspiration, creative ideas, connections to other like-minded folks, as well as stylish products for your home, to wear and to give.