This solo eucalyptus was not all that special, but during the earlier months of the year it surprisingly gave us a large amount of welcomed shade on our driveway and house as the sun set.  The tree’s demise is because the land across from us has big development plans, and we knew that the plans would not include the existing trees, but it was a bit of a surprise to see it go so early in the process. Oh well.



Carrie Bradshaw would be proud.

Our new master closet still has a few finishing touches remaining, plus it still needs doors, but I am completely smitten and grateful to Mike for working so hard!  We’ve lived with cramped closets for a very long time, and most recently cardboard boxes, so this upgrade makes my heart sing.


CLOSET before


closet after

*Carrie Bradshaw is a character in the tv series Sex and the City, and she loved a pretty closet.

Some gardening…

I’m chipping away at some of the gardening – finally! Yesterday I (semi) completed the front walkway area, the patio planters and some other little things here and there.

Here’s the front; before, during and after.

front plants


We inherited a messy mish-mash of acacia volunteers that were tossed and calla lilies that had no business being in full sun, so I transplanted them in the back.

I was initially very excited to begin planting this section, but quickly found even this small area daunting. So, I slowly chipped away at it by first purchasing the big evergreen bushes as the anchor. Once those were planted, I could envision the rest and finished off the bulk of it yesterday.  It’s a very pretty mix of green and white flowering plants with one big special pink plant at the end. Just out of the photo is still an empty area on the end where I plan to plant a tree. I struggled with what kind but we finally decided on some sort of fruit! A little unconventional for this location but I think it will be fun. I’ll keep adding plants as I see fit, especially bulbs for some spring surprises next year.

Chairs, soil, plants and paint

Another busy day today! Mike’s been working hard on the closets and I’ll have some update photos soon. And while he was occupied with that big task, I zipped around and made some purchases.

Soil and flowering plants for the patio pots.

Big evergreen shrubs for the front and side of the house.

White exterior paint! Please don’t laugh, but we don’t have the time or energy right now to paint the whole house so we’re just painting the back so when we’re enjoying a nice shady rest and a cold beer, we can smile and pretend. I’ll share photos just as soon as I have it done.

And lastly, I was just heading back home from my travels and passed these two cute little chairs in front of an antique/thrifty kind of shop. I said to myself, “ah they’re probably expensive”, but convinced myself to turn around and take a look. To my great surprise they were $22 each and in fairly sturdy shape. Sold! Our current antique dining table now seats six!

photo20 photo21

Closet [part two]

As of 3pm today, the boxes are up!

Yea, Mike is a rockstar.  The next couple of days will be shelves, drawers and hanging rods. Then he’ll trim it all out so there won’t be a gap on the top and sides and then last step will be the painted paneled doors which will come later; hopefully within a couple weeks. I’m so excited!

closet 4

Closet [part one]

To live out of boxes the first month is kind of cute. Projects are happening, energy is high and it’s all progress. After two months of boxes… not so cute anymore.

So today, this very minute actually, our big master closet is beginning to take shape! These boards will turn into…

closet 3

…. This beautiful closet/cabinets. (see the inspiration pic on the left)

closet before 2

We both have closet design backgrounds. Mike began his first closet company near the age of 19 and has been highly skilled in design and construction ever since. I spent a couple years of my life as a designer for California Closets and absolutely loved the design part!! The driving and the occasional difficult client… not so much. So my point is that we both love organization and give extra attention to our clothes and shoes, so this current situation has tested our nerves just a wee-bit.

closet before 1

* Did you spy our sweet linoleum on the garage floor? Yea, we’re fancy like that here on the west side of town.