Home Tour: My Backyard Garden

Welcome to my backyard garden.  I am excited to share the journey of building this backyard garden.  It is definitely still a work in progress.  But isn’t that the definition of a garden?

I adore mature landscaping.  With that in mind, my goal in the first year was to get the “infrastructure plants” in, so the garden could begin maturing.

August is near the end of our dry season in the west.  When the rain starts, so does the growing season, and I didn’t want to miss a day of that!

With that goal in mind, let’s have a look around, shall we?

Until last year when the home was built, this land was a cow pasture and literally millions of years of weeds grass.

And on this day 1-year ago, The Hubs and I got the keys to our new home.

SEVEN MONTHS of decisions, planning, waiting, watching…

and waiting…

and waiting…


[Read more...]

Home Tour – Curbside, Kitchen, And Study

Welcome to my home.

Actually, we don’t live at this home anymore, but I still get butterflies in my belly when I see these pictures and my heart goes pitter-patter whenever something at my new home reminds me of this place.

I have a certain affection for some places I’ve lived.  The apartment that Yoda and I lived in for 5 years after moving to California is up there, but at the top of the list, no doubt, is this place.

Together with The Hub, we put 10 years of blood, sweat, and tears into this home.  We made lots of great memories here.

This is where we lived when we were married.  We lived here with Yoda (and Lily).  We started our family in this home.  Heck, I even gave birth in this house with my Little Young’un!  Not to mention first steps, first words, first…well, basically all the firsts happened here.

We love our new home, and I’ll be posting a tour of it sometime soon, but I don’t think any home will ever have the special place in my heart that this home has.

Can one be in love with a house?  A pile of sheetrock, 2×4′s, thousands of wood planks, and composite roof shingles?  With enough Macaroni paint and used brick…the answer is YES.

This first picture is the day we found this home.

Aren’t those clouds cool!?

Our Home At First Sight

We changed out the windows, added window molding inside and out, and painted the home inside and out before we moved in.

Yes, this was BEFORE kids!

New Windows

This Callery Pear Tree puts on a show every Fall.


Callery Pear Tree In Fall Color

And again in the Spring.

Callery Pear Tree In Spring Bloom

And I still drive down to the South Bay to see the show. [Read more...]

Home Tour – A Guest Suite Spa Retreat – On The Cheap

Hello Again!

I’m so happy to be back in my purple bloggin’ chair with my gray strip pillow on my lap and my fingers on a backlit keyboard.

Last week my family and I hosted a vacation for my brother and his family.

We spent the week being tourist in our own backyard exploring the San Francisco Bay Area. I looked exactly like a tourist with my camera and traveling sneakers. The dead giveaway that I was a local is I had on a turtle neck in July.

More on that later!

Today I want to show you how I setup a guest suite spa retreat.  On the cheap.

We don’t have a lot of overnight guest in these parts, so this was a big deal for us.  Since we don’t have a lot of overnight guests, I didn’t want to break the bank on setting up the suite.

My brother and his wife are parents to two busy little girls the same age as my own girls so I knew that giving them a place to escape after the little young’uns hit the sack would be much appreciated.

At the end of my day all I want to do is put my brain on cruise control and take a breath without serving a snack or rescuing a screamin’ young’un from a climbing accident!

Little girls can wear you out quick, you know!

A Guest Suite Spa Retreat On The Cheap

A Guest Suite Spa Retreat On The Cheap

Color Palette

During the building phase of our new home, I knew I wanted the guest suite to have a spa feel.  I chose this tile for the bathroom.

A Guest Suite Spa Retreat On The Cheap

Here’s how it looks installed.

A Guest Suite Spa Retreat On The Cheap

It was important to me that the bathroom colors coordinated with the guest bedroom.

[Read more...]

Home Tour – A Ladybug Bedroom

Hello friends.

I am so excited to finally show you my little young’un’s Ladybug bedroom makeover.

A Ladybug Bedroom

A Ladybug Bedroom

It’s been a long time coming, mostly because I’m a little concerned about chemicals.

Respirator For Painting

OK, maybe a lot concerned about chemicals.

Reasonably so, of course!

It’s been several months since most of these furniture pieces were painted so the VOC’s have evaporated.

[Read more...]

A Mantel Makeover


I’m feeling a little nostalgic. Even though we are mostly settled in our new home, I am still missing our former home of 10 years.

Let’s take a walk down memory lane, shall we?

On a cold rainy day in February 2001 the hub and I walked into an Open House, and this is what we saw.

Our First Visit To Our Future Home - At The Open House

I loved the brick and I loved the fireplace, but I wasn’t feelin’ the fancy schmancy decorative plaques on the fireplace mantel.  It just didn’t seem to fit with the casual feel of the home.

Not that these plaques would have been a deal-breaker, but still!…

We made an offer on the home, and after 24-nail-biting-hours, our offer was accepted. The seller got 3 offers.

Almost exactly 10 years later, we had made a lot of changes.

Ahhhh...Much Better

Casual Fireplace Mantel

[Read more...]