I am driving over 300 miles tomorrow, well 600 if you count the way back to go to the mecca known as Ikea (that’s over 4 hours). I have been to 15 furniture stores in my immediate area and the choices have been less than pretty and expensive for f-ugly.  I considered ordering on line, really I did, the trek there just thinking about it makes my stomach do flip flops, but living without a sofa, desk or book cases is just as anxiety producing.  If I knew I wouldn’t be able to get a sofa for under $800 in my ‘hood, I wouldn’t have sold the much regretted sectional we had.  I actually needed to sell that thing, my husband wouldn’t share the chaise part–ever.  I told him just because he was so selfish I would never get another sectional again. If you have a chaise lounge addition no one wants to ever sit on the ‘regular’ sofa part, why would you when you can sprawl out on the chaise?  My budget is practically nil since the movers charged nearly double of their estimate. With this non-existent budget I need to get a sofa, desk and some shelving.  I looked on line and wanted so many other sofas, but alas with shipping it was not a possibility. I showed my husband this sofa (drool) and he responded, ‘looks uncomfortable’. It’s true it doesn’t look comfortable but I still love it. I couldn’t afford it anyway, not with everything else I need. I know I need a dining table as well, but I signed up for a wood working class for that (desperate measures y’all). I have talked myself into the Kivik sofa, armless. I need to go to Ikea to see if the armless version is a pipe dream. I love the Bemz urban slipcovers in linen–LOVE, but so not in the budget, but if it’s in yours and you own an Ikea sofa I think you should take a look. This image is from the now defunct Blueprint magazine featuring photographer Amy Neunsinger’s former home, I’ve always loved this rooms beautiful tones and that I could pretty much reproduce it via my local (or not so local) Ikea. My floors are a dark chestnut so obviously I am not going to get this Swedish meets California blissfulness. I figured that for the summer I was going to go for a vintage camp/lakeside retreat. What?  I am thinking natural elements, wood (perhaps some arrows or an oar?), layered rugs for texture and some industrial elements thrown in. My husband saw a vintage Red Cross flag and loved it, but it sold so I am going to try to find another worn flag for him, maybe. I know this sounds like the polar opposite of this inspiration room but I need to work with what I have here and besides I doubt he would ever allow me to bring in blush elements (sigh). If you have another on line sofa purveyor before I leave for my trek please let me know, if not wish me luck!


I have been watching the weather like it’s a bad reality TV show. I have it set on my Iphone for updates every hour, it gives me a sense of control to know what to expect. Today the little cartoon next to the weather reading was of a partially cloudy sky, I scrolled through the 24 hours and not a cartoon rain cloud in sight. I thought I was getting better at predicting a storm, the sky darkens, gray clouds roll in and voila the sky opens up and it rains. Today it was blue skies, fluffy white clouds and birds chirping away happily.  So how did it get from that to the scene above?  Beats the heck out of me.  This was taken from my front door, the white fog looking stuff is the sheer volume of downpour and the velocity in which it is smacking the asphalt. Are you serious?  I’ve been in the eye of a hurricane before and it didn’t rain like this. No one mentioned this crazy weather prior to us moving here, not that I mind it (for now), but I do like to be a little more prepared. The upside of all this rain is that I don’t have to water my garden. Speaking of garden I am the proud new owner of a butterfly bush. It’s amazing, it smells like lilac and truly does attract butterflies (and bee’s, oh and moths too), but let’s concentrate on the butterflies. It’s been blooming like mad and the butterflies think it’s manna from heaven. I never saw these on the West Coast so maybe it’s just an East coast bloom? If you have room in your garden and love butterflies you need to run out and get one of these, it won’t disappoint, pinky promise.


We have had a bunch of rogue thunderstorms here (even though it’s been hotter than Hedes) the result is the pond outside my back door starts to smoke. In a word? Rad. I am trying to anticipate these storms better since I have been building shelves for my studio on the deck (not having a garage and all), word of advice? If you have a garage use it, a deck makes for havoc with things like varnish and wind (remember I live next to a forest? Forest equals pine needles and things). I also have to be aware of these random showers and pull everything indoors. When I mentioned to mu husband that I was going to build a TV stand next, I think the horror in my husbands eyes was telling, but he just blurted out, “When are you going to have time you have been working on those shelves forever.”  Seriously, I am up against the elements fella, Rome wasn’t built in a day and so what if my shelves are taking 3 weeks, 2 days and 12 hours longer than anticipated? The shelves, oh how I wish I could begin to let you know about this project. It would have cost about 30 times less if I bought this similar one and had it overnighted, but alas I tried. I am trying to rationalize that mine are built for my space, it’s horizontal versus vertical, etc. I am not making myself feel better, I am feeling a tad defeated by this diy. At this juncture the only choice is for the show to go on, so I am going to make these million dollar shelves work if it kills me and if I get caught in a storm on the deck with the metal poles it just may!
P.S. I used these amazing (and affordable) Photoshop actions from K.Miller for these shots.  I love her actions I think they are the best ones out there for truly emulating a film effect, she’s a film photographer so she really has it locked down. You can check them out here.


Last night before I went to bed I caught an awful sight–my un-manicured ‘paws’.  I cringed, I didn’t dare look at my toes, if my hands looked like this bad the toes might have melted my eyeballs.  Don’t get me wrong even though I haven’t been to a nail salon in a month, I was still breaking out the nail file, it’s just that they looked so haggard and neglected.  I live out in the country now so a nail salon is a thing of the past unless I want to drive the 30 minutes to the big city, which I don’t, heck I don’t even know how much a manicure or pedicure would cost here.  In Los Angeles you couldn’t walk out your front door without running into 30 mani/pedi salons for less than a cup of coffee (supply + demand folks). I did go to Target and get a French manicure kit, uhm, for someone that has never painted their own nails before it’s the equivalent of getting your toddler to do an Iron man race, not going to be a success. I read that Sherry from YHL has given up on nail polish and is going au naturalle.  I think I need it, but that could be my former self talking, I’m trying to get her to keep it down but she’s been persistent; yes, she even got me to cut my own bags this morning (prior to coffee) by watching 14,000 You Tube videos, the result?  Do you see a photo of my new bangs on this blog?  Okay, we can agree that it may not have been my smartest DIY. For the record I didn’t go as short as some hair stylists have in the past.  I erred on the long side, it just seems I also erred on the crooked side.  I have crooked hair and scraggly paws, oh dear…

P.S. This new Essie color looks like it would be perf for summer, not?


This is one of my new neighbors.  We haven’t formally met yet, but I am hoping we do soon. I am so smitten with him that I pop out of bed extra early just to walk over and see if he’s hanging out with his friends. I am always secretly hoping I can catch him by himself so we can have some alone time.  Last night right before the sun was setting my husband announced that handsome was out, I grabbed my camera and walked  ran over. I was all twenty-one kinds of school girl giddy, the light was perfect and the corral was enveloped in a beautiful peachy glow. My new neighbor was being bashful and wouldn’t come over for some shots, I had to do my best with these candids. I think I may implode from my good fortune, I know that we make our own luck, but I am feeling so lucky right now. What are the chances that we would move next door to a horse farm? And a pond and have I mentioned yet that to the East of our house is a forest–a forest?!  I’m trying to take this all in and I keep wondering why I didn’t do this years ago, I really should have, but since I didn’t I am going to take this all in every day and just revel in it. 
P.S. The moving truck finally arrived!
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