California, at least we will towards the end of the summer.

We have a trip planned later this summer to spend some time in San Francisco and Sonoma County and after much stalking of plane tickets and emailing of lodging rentals, I am happy to report that we have booked a late afternoon flight west followed by a night in the city, 4 nights is a cute cottage near Sonoma and a one night stay in a B&B a little farther north all before heading back to reality a week later.

As the designated trip planner I am feverishly gathering all I can about the must see places (read wineries) to visit (read drink) and a few things to keep us busy in San Francisco as well. Suggestions welcome.
We are again planning to travel with companions, my sister is one of them, though I am sad to say not the ones we started thinking about this trip with:(You know who you are and we will totally miss you).



Homemade peach ice cream.
JC swipped my parents old icecream maker when we were home for Father's Day and promptly put it to use.
It took a little trial and error to get it churing, but I no time at all we were enjoying the fruits of his labor. And I each time he fiddled around with the machine to keep it moving couldn't help being transported back to about age 8, sitting on our back deck with my dad doing the same thing.

We spent the rest of last night trying to figure out more flavor combos for next time.



Something I really need to be doing is getting back focused on the inside of our house. As Spring (and now summer) came we have spend most of our time and work (with the exception of one major cleaning spree) out of the house leaving several unfinished parts of certain rooms.

The first thing that I have to find the time to work on is our family room. After this inspiration picture a few months ago I rearranged our furniture which involved moving our kitchen table into the family room as a side table. And yes this means I am on the hunt for a kitchen table.

Which left a blank wall at our stairs, so I decided to shoot for this look (top left pic).

My DIY version of this table couldn't get close to the lines I wanted with the skit and its right in front of our air conditioning vent so the whole think sucks in when the air comes back on. Our HVAC friend also did not give my table very good reviews for HVAC efficientcy.

So back to square one. I think I need to find a sofa or occasional table that I like and go from there. Something like this. I still love the gallery wall, but maybe now with black and white family pics in stead of just prints.



Apparently Talbots is cool again...

Or I am getting old.
Images from Talbots June Style Book.



The summer issue of the online mag Southern Flourish is out today (which I have posted about before). I only clicked through a few pages before I was being inspired by quotes and scribbling notes from ads and articles. A few pieces of advice that resonated as I read through the articles (which are all great).

Be really aware of when you feel great. Your compass for your life is your feelings. If you are doing something that really brings joy into your life take note of that." -Carrie McCarthy, interviewed for "What's your statement?" The article highlights her endeavor to help people find their "Style Statement," a two word statement that defines your authentic self. Now I am wondering what my style statement is?

"It was so liberating to answer the questions based on dreams rather than budgets. I think we all live trapped by what we perceive is within reach." -Lesley Graham, Typically Southern Section Editor for Southern Flourish after discovering "Timeless Bohemian," her Style Statement. Umm yeah...

"Just like people, it seems that rooms naturally evolve over time." -Paloma Contreras, La Dolce Vita on sharing her favorite room. I like this, it makes your home seem more organic and reminds me is OK to constantly want to rearrange our furniture.



This blog I stumbled upon is truely beautiful whether you are a mom, have a mom or just think you might want to be a mom someday.



I was on the hunt for comfortable and cute pants for a plane ride to and from the West Coast this summer and found the J. Crew Minnie Pant. I am still not sure they meet my comfort factor for a 6 hour overnight flight home, but very cute for work or weekend Spring to Fall.



I did not like Harry Potter (gasp) and barely made it through the first Twilight book (only because it was book club selection), but this vampire novel has me a wee bit interested.

Read a full summary from this NPR story, but basically it sounds like 400 pages of True Blood, meets historical fiction, meets Tom Clancy.



I interrupt regularly scheduled posting to share another Carly escapade.

J left her as usual on her ottoman with her morning treat. When I got home she was no where to be found. Scary since she normally at least looks up from the couch when you walk in the door. Until I noticed our master bathroom door was shut. There she was locked in the bathroom. I have no idea for how long--though it was long enough to dig all of our dirty clothes out of the closet and make a dog bed.

As for the picture--yes our dog is wearing slippers, got to keep things fun.



Well not eat, but last weekend we did drink lots of wine at a local wine festival, featureing mostly local vineyards. Since felt like it was about 100 degrees outside it was a little hard to enjoy the reds, and some of my favorites (oddly enough) were the fruity wines. My own awards from the show:

Most Creative Flavor:

Hummingbird Wine from Southern Charm Winery

"A sweet wine (very) made with honeydew, kiwi and juicy melon flavors. It's the perfect way to enjoy those summer sunsets."

Notes: It's crazy to think you actually drinking wine and all of the fruit flavors are very present. Unique and memorable. Definitely a summer patio wine for sharing, a whole bottle may make you feel like you have eaten and entire bag of jolly ranchers.

Up-and-coming wine/grape to watch:

Euphoria from Skull Camp Wine/Round Peak Vineyards

"It's what comes after anitticipation. Slightly sweeter white wine with grapefruit and pear aromas."

Notes: This is a light blend apparently using the Traminette grape, which is new to me but something I will be on the lookout for (we had another Traminette wine at the festival).

Now planning tasting trip to:

We had a great taste of what was to come.



I think you should treat yourself by bringing fresh flowers into your office at work.

Today I have one single hydrangea snipped from our bush at home as I left this morning.

Seriously it will make your work day much happier:)



Our city is beginning an expanded recycling program this July. We do a lot in our house to be more green, but it got me thinking how much more we can (easily) do.
I hope that by the time the program (with our much bigger bin) starts in July we will be taking out more recycling than trash. Here is how:
1)With mailer about the new program I realized that we can recycle more things so with the program expansion (juice cartons-yay!) and some because I never really looked at the original list (junk mail).
PS The fact that the program was announced via mailer, that then became junk mail was not lost on me, but at least I now knew it could be recycled.
2)Compost. I made a bin using YHL's instructions. But here is another hint: I keep a plastic dog treat container in the freezer to collect scraps so I am not making daily trips out to the bin. By keeping it in the freezer the smell is contained.
3)Paper products. I try not to use them. When we sit down for dinner we use casual cloth napkins and I go to rags before paper towels for clean up. I will admit to falling in love with the disposable wipes for counter clean up, but Clorox Greenworks are compostable.
Other clever reuse ideas saving even recyclable items from the curb.: If you find yourself with a plastic, disposable water bottle fill it back up and freeze it at as cooler ice pack. It won't leak like ice, its reusable and if it gets lost no worries. Use old newspapers as a weed barrier.