New Plates

I am a hardcore, white plate purist. But I fell hard for these Merimekko side plates. I chose the smaller size because I can’t really picture a full enteè served on them but a green salad, bold dessert or eggs are  beyond graphically speaking! They are melamine so you may see them move to the trailer.  They were part of a collection at target and were in the clearance area. Scooooore! Here are some quick snaps of the thier maiden meal. Breakfast a la Merimekko.




Pink

The love has been flowing for our little pink palace. I was originally going to paint her white but the pink has been growing on me. I am leaning away from the flamingo pink she currently is and  to a more desert rose pink. I just hit pink overload though. 


Any favorites? Maybe darker? Oh pink, you are such a delicate balance between beauty and Barbie doll. 



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Category: l&l


Are you a DIYer?

Do you have what it takes to be a home renovator? Here is what my hubby has found it takes.

DIY infographic

Some [most] folks are amazed when they find out how much of our renovation projects we take on ourselves. We truly almost never call in the pros without at least giving the project a try. We have had a few notable exceptions. We don’t replace large panes of glass, we have pest control person and we defer to contractors where structural integrity is involved. Most of the time, however, we sort it out ourselves. Between the internet, common sense and the kind folks at Home Depot the always seems to be just enough info to get the job done.

It is important to note that while we do manage to get stuff fixed up, it is not fast or better most of the time and sometimes it isn’t even cheaper.

Why do it then? Great question. I am not sure I have a great answer. It is usually, cost but also pride of accomplishment. After years of doing it ourselves, it is hard to let it go, even when we should.

My advice, give it a try. you can always call someone in if its beyond your ability. Chances are it isn’t.

Side note, Thank you to all the folks who put up tutorials online. I can’t believe you take the time to explain to me, in depth, how a P trap works. You rock!

What projects do you hand off to the pros? What have you done that surprised you? I can’t wait to read about it.




Little Victories 

We have Wifi! It’s been a long few weeks. My lack of posts and pictures has been mostly the result of no internet out at the new desert oasis. It hasn’t kept us from working tho. In fact it probably kept us working longer.  

In other news, the living room paint is done!! I cleaned, swept and made a place to sit and have coffee. Nothing fancy but considering how this looked a few weeks ago it HUGE!   

Gus would also like to tell you how hard the life of a constudyion dog is.  Very, very ruff. 




Desert Rose or Casita Blanca

We have taken the plunge and bought another vacation house in the high desert. A beautiful 1957 jackrabbit homestead. Or a soon to be beautiful is more accurate. I am excited to share the adventure.  We are unsure of the name. It is currently pink but may get painted white. I love both names, Mike doesn’t like either of them but he has no better ideas so he doesn’t get to vote which name do you like?  Here is a quick pic.  I will upload a video soon. Did I mention the views?  Stunning. It also has a barn that will be a guest house.  So much fun (work) ahead! 





Carrot Top Pesto

  
We went out to Suzies Farm today for the Strawberry Jam, the annual you-pick strawberry festival. But Mother Nature did not cooperate and there were no berries. (Mother Nature can be a bitch). My excitement would not be deterred and I turned my excitement toward the carrots, beets and kale that was available. It was a beautiful day, the trip there and back in the Dee Dee (1964 Dodge Dart convertible) was alsmot as good as the festival itself.  

 
After unloading our bounty I set to cleaning (big job with the root veggies) and taking off the tops. The carrot tops were so fresh and lovely and organic that I decided to take the opportunity to try a recipe I have had for a while. Carrot top pesto. Now I know what you are thinking. Pesto=Basil. Yes I thought the same. But give it a try and you will be a believer. This recipe is simple delicious, vegan and super green healthy.  So give it a whirl (literally, I ised a blender) As usual, I suck at writing recipes but with this it doesn’t really matter. 

  

Use a blender (smoother) or food processor (more textured) to blend the following ingredients. 

  • Carrot top leaves (not the stems)
  • Olive oil
  • Nuts (I used cashews)
  • Garlic (I used jarlic)
  • Salt & pepper

What are the preportions? No idea. I stuffed all the leaves I had (3 cups?) and the cashews (1/2 cup?) and started pouring in oil until it blended. Then a few spoons of garlic, then salt & pepper to taste.  That’s it. Spread it on bread, put on pasta, use in dressing, or do what I did and pour it over tomatoes. This easy, healthy treat will change your life. ( I may be exaggerating) 

  
It will become a regular part of you farmers market day routine. Let me know how it works for you! 




      Lemons 2 ways

         

         It’s the time of year when friends trees are bursting with lemons and I am the lucky recipient of bags full. I am not a big lemonade drinker and even if I was it’s a bit chilly here by the beach this time of year. So my stand by recipes are lemoncello and lemon curd. So it was perfectly natural this week while visiting friends in Nor Cal to harvest the tree at their new house and head to the kitchen. We made lemoncello that we mixed with sparking water just in time for the mini heat wave that happened on our last days in town. I also whipped up some lemon curd so, of course, had to make a cheese cake and crepes because you can’t just eat it off a spoon (LIES!!) I am putting together proper recipes with fancy photos for a post soon. Here are a few snaps from my phone to get you in the mood.  

         

         

         




      Fear of Commitment

      If you know me, you know that I don’t wear a “wedding ring”. I have a bowl of rings that I wear one of daily. Some are diamonds and some are dime store. When I married my husband I let him know that I could happily be faithful to him for life but I could not make that kind of commitment to a piece of jewelry. 

      I feel the same way about furniture in general and chairs in particular. There are simply too many good ones to make a long term commitment. 

        
      This photo has inspired me! I CAN have it ALL!!!! Next time I see a lot lovey chair, I will bring it home to proudly join it fabulous furniture family. 




      Small is Beautiful

      I have been on the hunt for another vacation home in Joshua Tree for the last few weeks and it seems that I am going to have to go small to get the location and views I want.  It turns out even realtors have to make the same tough compromises as the rest of you.

      I really love the little Jackrabbit one room cabins with their mid-century style and wonderful history. I know that we will find the one we love but it is sometimes hard to imagine the end result on some of these poor neglected homes.

      To help me feel inspired rather than sad I have been stalking studio dwelling from all over the globe. Today I found this little gem from Blocket.se I know you will love it too!

      Studio Apartment

      I know that whatever I find, I will HAVE to redo the kitchen. I am going to use this exact layout. I love it!

      studio space2

      There is no single thing that stands out and, in fact, many of the items are quite ordinary [ikea hanging shade] but as a whole, it feels fresh and personal and lovely.




      How to Rock a Caftan

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      Today’s brunch date with the ladies was wonderful and just what I needed. My favorite thing to come out of it a plan to have a poolside cabana party at the end of the month. Plans were made to serve Mediterranean food (which, BTW, it the single best make-ahead food on the planet) but more on that later since we have a cooking day planned! Let’s talk poolside attire.

      Lunch was, of course, followed by a wee bit of shopping and before you know it we are trying on caftans because what else is one going to wear to a Mediterranean cabana party. and so the hunt for the perfect caftan begins.

      Now I have spent years perfecting my caftan ready body. For once I am not stressing over bikini season. It’s CAFTAN season and I am ready to roll. If you have been going to music festivals [coachella] over the last couple of years you will already know about the return of the caftan and also notice that it has changed. It is shorter, MUCH shorter. I think that, in general, a dress should be longer than your vagina. I know, call me a prude, but that is just how I feel.

      Since this party is going to be a classy affair [HA!] we need to look for inspiration.

      If you want to know how to rock a caftan we shall look at those who have rocked before us and no one rocked harder that the Caftan Queen herself, Elizabeth Taylor

      For the history geeks [of which I am one]

      >>>A kaftan or caftan (Arabic: قفطان qaftân) is a variant of the robe or tunic, versions of which have been worn by several cultures around the world for thousands of years. The kaftan is often worn as a coat or overdress, usually reaching to the ankles, with long sleeves. It can be made of wool, cashmere, silk, or cotton, and may be worn with a sash. The caftan is of ancient Mesopotamian origin, and was worn by many middle-eastern ethnic groups.

      Through its dissemination and evolution, the kaftan has acquired different styles, purposes, and names depending on the culture. In many regions with a warm climate, the kaftan is worn as a light-weight, loose-fitting garment. The kaftan has served as a symbol of royalty in some cultures and as a symbol of marriage in others during some parts of history.

      Thanks Wikipedia!

      So that means pretty much and big flowing dress. Here are a few of my faves.

      And finally the all important accessories. I think there are 3 mandatory items one needs to pull off this look.

      1. A chunky cuff
      2. Strappy sandals
      3. Big ol’ earrings

        And if that is not enough, let’s think about this quote for the goddess fo fashion herself. “Fashion must be the most intoxicating release from the banality of the world.” – Diane Vreeland

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