Monday, January 26, 2015


We had friends over for dinner on Saturday for the first time and I wanted to make a good impression.

I started cleaning and organizing the house on Wednesday - a good thing because I ran out of time on Saturday.

But, as I worked, I seemed to focus only on what is wrong with our house.

The bathroom needs major renovation - tricky when you live in a one bathroom house.

The entry and dining room look so fresh and crisp in new white paint, but the rest of the house needs an update too.

Our floors need refinishing, but JP is getting married in July so wedding costs take precedence over any work on the house.

I decided to take a break from my negative thoughts by responding to emails - reading this sweet comment from Anne of Design Dreams by Anne made me switch gears.

I grabbed the camera and walked around looking for beauty instead of problems in our 87 year old house.

It was a bright winter day and the sun lit up the garden.

The painting of the little garden house is finished

and now the fun part begins!

A neighbor gifted us this old bench - we need to decide where to put it, but for now it sits in the front yard.

I found this old typewriter JP left in the attic - it now sits on a dresser in the living room and I am having fun typing quotes (I use American typewriter font) to display each day.

So far, this is Steve's favorite.

Our evening was fun on Saturday night and our guests did not seem to notice that the bathroom is run down, the walls need painting or the floor needs refinishing - they did enjoy the dinner enough that they asked for a doggie bag to take home the leftovers of Steve's paella!

The difference between seeing problems or beauty in my home is attitude and thanks to Anne, I am focused on the beauty!

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Time To Think

As we walk along the beach on our 2-3 hour walks,

I have lots of time to think.

We play with Lulu,

look for heart shaped rocks,

enjoy our surroundings

and marvel at the gorgeous houses sitting right on the beach.

Neither Steve or I talk much

unless I am pointing out a house on the beach

or he is pointing out the waves.

The other day, seeing perfectly manicured yards made me think about the disarray our garden is in and I began making plans.

I have been wanting to make new covers for our chaise lounges - I made these covers last summer, but they faded within a week of making them.

I remembered seeing some simple covers on Junk Chic Cottage and decided that I wanted copy Kris's look.

I also recalled a table runner made by Vickie of Ranger 911 and thought it would be fun to make covers like Kris's, but paint on stripes.

Yesterday, my impatient nature got in the way of my original plans.

I haven't had time to get to the hardware store to buy a drop cloth for the covers, but I had enough on hand to make a table runner.

After our walk, I got busy copying Vickie's table runner.

It took about two hours to paint the fabric and sew the runner.

Today, I need to get to the hardware store to buy a drop cloth,

but at least I had a bit of creativity yesterday - and that felt good.

Friday, January 16, 2015

a little garden house

For a long time, this little corner of my garden has gone unchanged.

But, because I finally spoke a dream out loud, this spot has been transformed.

I have been pinning cottages to my Pinterest board, "garden houses", for ages.

Last summer when I saw my friend Lisa's garden cottage (I wrote about it here) I began dreaming.

So, when Steve asked me what I wanted for Christmas, I sent him this photo - I can't locate the source because Pinterest has blocked the link since I originally pinned it.

That same day, Steve sent me an email (with a photo of this door) telling me that the wheels were in motion for my little garden house.

Even though I watched our dear friend Manny and his helper building the little house,

as did Lulu,

I still can't believe it is a reality.

The door was a donation from our good friend Mark.

The sides of the house are 8 foot tall windows that someone was throwing out (still in the box), but Manny grabbed them - they sell for $1000 each and we paid nothing!

There is still a lot of work to be done and I am being patient.

The house was primed yesterday, but our painter was called away for an emergency and won't be back until next week.

The original plan for this little 4" x 6" structure was for storing all my decorating tchotchkes, but there is actually room for a table and chair.

There is so much work to do - the entire garden area is a jumbled mess,

but I finally have my own little "garden house"

and my Pinterest boards for inspiration.