Archive for December, 2012

Wednesday, December 26, 2012


Adornment this holiday season and of course I’m kind of schitzo. Some days call for some flashy bling…my YSL ring does just that, gold, gilded, holiday perfect.

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Do the feature finger bit too like my friends in Vancouver to hit it out of the park.


And when things get a bit much calm down with a favorite vintage opal gold ring,

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some lunch and hot tea at home..peace.


Wednesday, December 26, 2012

happy holidays from California!

We split and stacked wood for days,

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at the beach


and despite a grey day the sky came through at sunset..showoff

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We passed on the traditional holiday fare this year and celebrated with good ol’ Chinese food; Peking duck (2 ways), imperial shrimp, salt and pepper squid, chow fun noodles with broccoli and an amazing Chinese coleslaw to offset our greasy spoons.




This salad dressing is perfect for a light coleslaw. It’s one of my favorite winter salads, so simple.

Maple Sesame Vinaigrette (from Gourmande in the Kitchen)

  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 Tablespoon sesame oil
  • 2 Tablespoons apple cider vinegar (or unsweetened rice wine vinegar)
  • 1 Tablespoon maple syrup
  • 1 Tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1 clove of garlic, finely minced

To make the salad chop up (chiffonade) a head of savoy cabbage, a bunch of lacinato green kale and shred 2 carrots (I used a mandolin to thinly slice the carrots instead). Mix everything together and when you’re ready to serve toss in the vinaigrette and a large pinch of toasted sesame seeds.

Monday, December 24, 2012


We decided a messy tree hovering close to the house had to leave so we called in the pros, of course the morning of, it rains.


Our earth mover dude was back to dig some drains,



relocate the bamboo


and sculpt the yard too.


Some concrete waterproofing gets done as well.


Then our friendly landscaper neighbor dotted the yard with rescued plants, hint, hint, get planting folks! She’s just as sick as we are of staring at a dirt yard. Three olive trees, blueberries, grasses, yuccas, thanks Paige!


Of course digging holes to plant is not so easy when the dirt thinks its concrete.


Sometime during all this we found ourselves in L.A. having dinner at Mozza which always inspires me to whip up my own pies, so much so I know I went through one too many burrata pints that week.


We also tackled the mandatory ground cover the city insists we must have for drainage issues, grass seed was a temporary no-brainer to pass inspection.



Concrete dudes are back, pouring the concrete patio off of the guest house




and pathways to the front door


and the side door too.


and remarkably this neglected orchid I leave outside all year round comes back every year..who knew?


Saturday, December 22, 2012


Still here, still much for the Mayan calendar doom and gloom to kickstart our holiday this year, that and all the other heartbreaking headlines and noise this month. Getting through it and you know it only gets better, some things upsetting, some things wonderful, all said and done things moving forward. Peace! Love! Happy Holidays everyone!

A tree this year just didn’t feel right for me, I opted instead to find some tree branches and foliage from our neighbor’s yard, stick them in a large pitcher and voila! xmas!


A neighbor had too many xmas decorations and gifted us with a fresh wreath too, sweet!


A new neighbor also decided to cut down five 20+year-old eucalyptus trees. Kind of off to a scary start when the neighbor’s gardener decides to act as a one man tree service. 3 trees down, a section of our fence focused and he finally enlists some help. At the end of it all he was lucky to have broken only a few shoulder bones, a trip to the ER, his arm in a sling and he was back at it the next day, laughing at his near miss, could of been knocked dead scenario..maniac.


Free gifts of eucalyptus mulch and firewood for years now so we’ve been busy splitting and stacking wood. Not the most ideal task right now as the stronger of us has an injured shoulder but it’s gotta get done and help from our neighbor was really nice. We just started and there’s still so much more to go.


Let’s just all wish for a safe and happy holiday, safe with an exclamation mark this year! Take the neighbor’s fat cat, Bubbles as a prime example, one day he’s lounging belly up and the next night his nose gets sliced off in a late night brawl with what must of been a bobcat or something…oh the fat cat that thinks he’s a dog always learning the hard way.


Friday, December 21, 2012

odds and ends

So many finishings, catching up and the doorbells finally get people-friendly.


Stucco dudes squeezed us in between jobs and finally got the last part of the stucco done as well, the house is one color now.


The neglected cacti that were given to me over a year ago reminded me with pretty white fragrant blooms which the bees went nuts over that they’re still alive and well.



We moved appliances into the guest house and I got stuck peeling off the sticky protective film off of a fridge we bought over a year ago, of course not coming off easy. Bored of plain walls too and I told dude to rig up some large picture frames from scratch; once again cutting, sanding, staining to size.


Obviously we learned it wasn’t the best idea to put the first frame together on a wool carpet, took the sticky film off of acrylic and what a static mess.


Guest bathrooms get done too. Shower doors TAKE 2, this time without shattering the glass and then we cut, sanded and stained wood bases for towel hooks.


Wall sconces in the guest bathroom finally up..I thought they’d be a bit too high but the scale of the aged steel glass cloche filament sconce works.


and with a counter full of pineapples that meant the dehydrator was being put to work too, work never ends here.


Sunday, December 2, 2012

PBS love

Turn off the Kardashians, watch something inspiring. Click to watch Inventing David Geffen.

Here’s a preview

and Johnny Carson: King of Late Night

and don’t miss The Mind of a Chef series too.