All posts in holidays

brunch for twelve and a costco christmas tree

It might be almost Christmas, but I’m still catching up from Thanksgiving-time. The highlight of which was discovering that my house can accommodate exactly twelve people, maximum, for a sit-down meal.

If momma hadn’t invited half the family for Thanksgiving brunch, I never would have tried it. Seemed like a crazy idea to me. But it worked! We moved the big dining room table toward the stairs, and set up the folding table near the window. I had to move the side table out of the window nook to make room, but it came in handy as a beverage station behind the couch.

Just two days later, the main floor went through another transformation. I wasn’t sure I was going to go all-out decorating for Christmas this year, since I’m sort of in and out a lot these days. But, we found a great deal on Christmas trees at Costco (8 foot pine for $30!!) so I relented and pulled out the ornaments and lights (and just a few nutcrackers).

When I left Minnesota the other day, there wasn’t any snow on the ground. So it didn’t make it so hard to come to California for the holiday. I sure hope there’s a few inches when I get back, even if it means I have to shovel!

Merry Christmas to you all, wherever you may be.


independence day

Happy 4th of July!

I hope you all had beautiful weather like we did here in Minnesota (for the first time all year, it seems). I spent the majority of the three-day weekend either working on house and garden projects or lounging by the lake like a good Minnesotan. So I have all sorts of sunburns and bug bites, but a very happy and clean house. Look for more updates soon!

xoxo LG

what shade of blue?

It’s a great question. I started painting the second guest bedroom (aka blue bedroom) this past weekend. What shades did I pick? Well, since it took me six months to buy the paint after deciding on colors, I figure I can keep the secret a few days longer.

In the meanwhile, enjoy these gratuitous pictures of my blooming bulbs. Aren’t they purty? And how about some Easter brunch action? Yeah, I know that’s what you’re all here for…

Thanks to my friend Lindsay for bringing the strawberry and cream scones, clotted cream and carrot muffins! Between those and my brother’s french toast (and, it’s true, my usual obsession with hash browns and sausage, which of course made an appearance) we had a lovely Easter brunch.
And then I painted some more. If all goes well, I’ll have a new before/after post for you in a few days!
Happy spring, dear friends. Isn’t this just a wonderful time of year?

Christmassy kitchen

A few fall-to-winter changes to the kitchen recently:

My mom used to display these blocks at our house in Texas… we had a desk in the kitchen with cubbyholes above it, just below the landing of the stairs. I always loved helping her change them for each new holiday. She sent them to me in September, and they fit perfectly on the ledge above my stove.

Whoops, guess I forgot to take a before picture 🙂 But this holder was filled with an autumn foliage assortment, courtesy of my mother, and sat on the top-most white corner shelf in October and November. For Christmas, I filled it with red glass beads and four ornaments that I picked up for free at a swap meet a few months back.


I also switched out the kitchen towels, and replaced my beloved Snow White and Dopey salt and pepper shaker set with an adorable snowman S&P set from my aunt. Overall…

merry and bright

We spent the Saturday after Thanksgiving decorating the house for Christmas… just like we used to do growing up. With everyone here to help me, it didn’t take long at all. The tree came from a lot in a nearby park, and we decorated it with the ornaments that I brought out from California this summer – angels, nutcrackers, and my favorite silver beauties from James Avery. The finishing touch is two sheepskin rugs from IKEA (credit for the idea goes to the ever-inspiring John and Sherry at Young House Love). Needless to say, there’s all sorts of holiday cheer over here 🙂

all hallow’s eve

freedom from weeds

It was a thoroughly American Fourth of July around here, let me tell you.
Aside from the fact that I forgot to buy a flag (picture me devastated when I realized this at 3 pm).

I mean, I’m sure you’re dying to hear about the sunnies I caught at the lake…
Or the firecracker shaped like a tank that we set off by the pool at my aunt and uncle’s…
Or the impressive fireworks show at the park down the street.
But I know the truth. What you’re really all here to read about is how I rescued my patio from the tyranny of the weeds on the day after Independence Day.

Good. Because I have pictures.
~ before ~

~ middle ~

~ after! ~

All clean and purty and ready for the family BBQ on Monday night… except that we ended up eating indoors anyway because of the rain. Oh well. Now, at least, I can say I’m winning the battle somewhere in the yard.

PS: I don’t actually believe any of you care as much as I do about my patio’s current lack of weeds.
You might, however, care if you come over for dinner and I make you eat out on the patio with me because I think it’s a) fun, b) going to make for a good picture or c) because I haven’t turned on the a/c inside. All of which are possible.
Because then you might care to not be standing up to your knees in weeds. Don’t worry. I’ve got you covered.

the first holiday

It seemed appropriate to plant tomato seedlings at the house on Easter. New beginnings, right?

They’ll hang out on the side porch for a few weeks until I find the right place for them in the garden.

I didn’t get much painting done, thanks to some last-minute Twins game tickets, and I learned exactly how close I am to the light rail station. It won’t take me more than 20 minutes to get from front door to stadium gate this summer. Pretty excited 🙂

But I did work on getting the kitchen ready for painting this weekend, and sampled a slightly larger section of wall (inside the built-in bookcase):

(After two coats)

And I even tackled the kitchen cabinets and drawers:

(Finished cork insert on right, original cabinet on left)

This time next year, I’m picturing a nice big ham on that kitchen island – and my family hanging out in my living room instead of way over there in California. Can’t wait.