September 12, 2014

Random Friday Thoughts

by Shelly

Whew! So Ellie started school the second week of August and it’s been freaking, stinkin’, crazy ever since. This weekend…THANK GOD…we have not a thing going on. I see beach time in my future.

So today, I ran across an interesting article a friend posted on Facebook, titled “Why It Doesn’t Matter How You Feel About Your Friends” by . Highly recommend reading it.  I’ve struggled throughout my life with friendships for some reason.  I’m very outgoing most of the time, but once I’m home I tend to withdraw and become all introverted. Since I also work from home and spend a lot of time in front of a computer, this introverted-ness can become an issue maintaining friendships.  Recently I’ve started to recognize this issue within myself and am now looking to make some changes.

Last weekend, I walked 38.3 miles in the Avon Breast Cancer Walk in Santa Barbara. I was part of a team of eleven girls which mainly consisted of members of my workout group Happy Hour Fit Club and we raised close to $25,000 for the charity.  It was one of the coolest, most rewarding experiences I’ve ever been through. The thing about the walk is that if you’re pretty fit you can do it. The part that’s hard (at least it was for me) is the monotony of walking so far…for sooo long! However, with all the hours we spent walking, it gave everyone in our group plenty of time to talk and get to know one another better. Saturday evening after we walked 26.2 miles, we congregated in one of our hotel rooms for pizza, cocktails, and card games. It was during that evening that I realized how important friendships really are in my life, especially female ones.  My husband and I spend a lot of time together and we really are best friends. But this has been to the detriment of my friendships with other people.

So after reading the article today, I really have a change of heart going on. I need to reach out more. Have people over for dinner more often. Meet up with a friend for a walk or coffee. Granted it’s not easy scheduling things with kids activities, work, and whatnot. But there are many days where there are blank spots…time that I could be seeing a friend or chatting on the phone. It’s been one year since I started working out with HHFC  and I will say that I have been blessed to meet some incredible women who have now become friends. So cultivating these friendships have become a priority for me.

Go read the article and tell me what you think. Do you struggle with friendships too?

Sidenote…I don’t usually get very personal on the blog. But I guess I felt the need to share today. Ok and now for some fun pics of our Avon Walk weekend!

{our team! 6am the first day.}

{the trail of walkers coming up the hill}

{couldn’t beat the views along the way}

The second day we were scheduled to walk 13.1 miles. Poor Mindy (seen to the right in the pic) got the WORST blisters on Day 1 so she and another gal from our group sat out the second day. At mile 10 Sunday, Mindy and Corrie surprised our group! They showed up with a tray of champage, fresh fruit and snacks. Such awesome girls! That champagne tasted like pure heaven too. It was HOT!

{so sweet}

We were all SOOO excited to be crossing the finish line that last day. We were sore in weird places, some of us had feet full of blisters, and we were all getting scorched in the hot sun. Two of the girls were uber-excited to be finishing, so they crossed over the finish line doing a wheel barrow. Hilarious!

Wishing you all a great weekend and hey…reach out to a friend!  Have some people over for appetizers and drinks in the backyard. Go hang out at the beach with some other families and spend time together. Something.

Friends are after all, are a blessing.

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June 19, 2013

Camping with the family

by Shelly

Last weekend we whisked away the Mr. for a little Father’s Day R & R in the mountains.  No cell phone service, no electronic equipment…just us and nature.  It had been about five years since our last camping experience and we were all anxious to try it out again.  We had gone three times before Ellie was about two years old, but every time it was a bit of a disaster…..wind storms twice and sweltering heat with no shade one other time.  So we had sort of curbed the whole camping thing for a while.

Ellie is now at a great age where she isn’t so dependent on us, she’s very into being an explorer and is quite the little helper when we need her to be. That combined with the fact that we are still in super budget mode (which means cheap vacas for a while)…camping just seemed like the perfect family trip!  We decided to check out Sequoia National Park which is known for it’s beautiful scenery and giant…I mean GIANT sequoia trees. They really are pretty spectacular!


Since we were headed there without a camping spot reservation, we knew that finding one might be difficult. Once we drove the 4 1/2 hours from North Orange County to the entrance to the park, we knew driving another two hours up into the big tree forest to camp wasn’t an option.  It was getting late and we still had not eaten dinner.  So we opted to stay in the foothill region of the park at Buckeye Flat Campground.  It actually turned out to be a beautiful little spot that is situated right next to the middle fork of the Kaweah River.

{kaweah river with mt.whitney peaking over the ridge}

Ellie thoroughly enjoyed herself!  She loved the whole sleeping in a tent experience and she thought it was a total blast cooking our meals outdoors on the propane stove and over the fire.  If anything the enthusiasm we saw from her made the whole trip worth while!  She is definitely a nature girl and we never would have realized it if it were not for this trip.

{ellie the first morning looking happy as a clam}

{cooking outdoors was one of her favs}

This particular campground did not have showers, but we drove up to another campground one day and took a shower for $3. Money well spent!  The other days, we all opted to bathe in the river.  Honestly, it was a wonderful, refreshing experience. You can’t beat soaping up your hair while gazing at Mt. Whitney! It was beyond beautiful.

{hiking to our bathing hole. my nephew and his fiance also camped with us.}

We are already planning our next camping trip since this one was such a success!  And let me just say friends….I am NOT a total outdoorsy girl. I’m pretty girly to say the least.  I still managed to wear a bit of makeup each day…lipbalm and a bit of my CC cream, last seen here.  And a cute trucker hat or a head scarf hides bad hair for sure!  Below are a few items that make the whole camping experience much more enjoyable for me.


1. I may be camping, but a cute table is still important to me.  Retro and bright are a fun way to dine alfresco!

bamboo flatware

melamine plates

enamel cups

oilcloth tablecloth

2. In the evening there is lots of sitting around the fire time. A comfy chair is imperative and this one is cool because you can set a drink or a plate down as well.

camp chair

3. Bugs really, really like me. It may just be all the red wine I like to consume. Haha!  But seriously, this lantern is fabulous for keeping away the bugs and shedding some light on your campsite.

citronella lantern

4.  Cooking in the dark or even at dusk can be challenging to do.  I have found that a headlamp is perfect for this situation.

head lamp

5.  Bottles are not exactly ideal when camping.  So I usually seek out good ol’ box wine, so that nothing breaks.  This wine is definitely a step up (a few steps actually) from the low grade stuff we usually drink while camping.


6. Truth be told, I don’t own this. BUT I will soon!  I think this little piece of equipment is just perfect for keeping the cooking off the main picnic table.  It just keeps all your cooking stuff in one convenient place. No more slouching over to sift through our big plastic storage box of cooking stuff.

camp kitchen


So, do you and your family like to camp? What are your must haves? And where do you like to go? I would love to get suggestions on both of these since this is quickly becoming our fav new hobby!

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I’m finally feeling rested and have caught back up with work.  Starting Sunday night I had the pleasure of attending the Design Bloggers Conference in downtown Los Angeles.  This was the second year of the event which brings together around 200 or so design bloggers who may or may not be actually in the design business.  To say that I left inspired would be an understatement!

{martyn lawrence-bullard}

Sunday night there was a cocktail party at the hotel where the event would take place.  It was a great chance to catch up with fellow design bloggers that I had met the previous year and when I attended Blogfest in NYC last May. Then Monday morning the event kick started into full gear with the keynote address by designer Martyn Lawrence-Bullard, which you may know from Bravo’s show Million Dollar Decorators.  I sort of fell in love with Martyn after watching the show and was thrilled to hear him tell his crazy tales about working with celebrity clients.  That mans’ life doesn’t even seem real it’s so outrageous and extraordinary!

{ronda carman, tobi fairley, and cassandra lavalle}

The morning continued with talks which included the writer of All The Best blog, Ronda Carman, and Cassandra LaValle of Coco + Kelley, as well as designer Tobi Fairley ……who is definitely in my list of favorite designers!

{some designer friends…Julia from Material Girls, Mally Skok, and  designer Katie Rosenfeld who writes the blog, Bogle Street}

That evening the bloggers were treated to a fun cocktail party put on by Wayfair and Joss and Main.  Both amazing resources to find great things for your home!

{bunny williams}

But my personal favorite moment of the whole conference was hearing one of my design idols, Bunny Williams speak on the second day.  I never realized how SIMILAR her design philosophies are to my own!  She believes that:

1.  Add comfort and character

2. Make spaces that are relaxed and timeless

3. Reflect the client and suit the location

4. Make it comfortable for families and pets

5. Try not to be too repetitive when decorating

And bottom line, which I truly believe when working with clients is, ” It’s their house, NOT your house!”.  True Bunny Williams, very true!  I had wanted to get a picture with her after her talk, but she was surrounded by people for quite a while.  BUT THEN….later in the morning I happened to run into her in an empty hall and had a really nice chat with her.  What a nice lady!  If only I could go work for her in New York for a while.  I’m sure I would learn a thing or two!

The whole event was wrapped up with a fabulous party hosted by Traditional Home at Harbinger in West Hollywood for designer Bunny Williams.  And if by chance you don’t know what Harbinger is… it is the chic retail showroom of designers Joe Lucas and Parrish Chilcoat.

{with one of my favs Annie Selke, designer and owner of Dash and Albert rugs and Pinecone Hill}

It’s not like I go to many of these shindigs….AT ALL!  So, it was pretty unbelievable to be in the same room with SOOO many talented interior designers!  Let’s face it, most of the time if I’m not working, I’m usually pleading with our four year old to eat her dinner or vacuuming up dog/cat hair for the fourth time that week.  SO glamorous!

{whitney from between the boxwoods, emily ruddo of armonia decors and me!}

It was a super, fun night with great eats by Lulu Powers.  She totally had me with the silver platters filled with bacon. Ummmm bacon!!! And I am counting down the days until I fly to New York City for the next design blog event, Blogfest.

A big shout out to those girls I haven’t mentioned and for some stupid reason I did not get a picture of….  Designer and blogger Amy MeierHouse of Turquoise writer (and one of the sweetest girls ever) Erin Olson, Jennifer Powell from Kravet, the fabulous and talented, Meredith Heron who won Best New Design Blog for Sashay, Boston designer Leslie Fine, Studio Ten 25 designer Abbe Fenimore, and Kyle of the popular blog Knight Moves.

Until next year…..


September 22, 2011


by Shelly

As the hubs and I continue to creep out of our 30s and well into middle age, we are constantly shaking our heads at how Hollywood CANNOT for the life of themselves do something new!  I guess the magazines are no exception.  Now I get that the magazine I’m thinking of was probably trying to be artistic and edgy, but I’m just sick of people, movies, music…etc, etc…trying to be something or someone that has already happened.

Case in point….

Is it because Halloween is around the corner and this is her costume?  I know, I know…she has a movie coming out where she plays Marilyn.  I get it.  But I guess this is a deeper discussion. Michelle Williams….as….as MARILYN MONROE!? Fo reals?

Super cute but Marilyn?

Are you feeling me?

While we’re on the subject….

COME ON!  Do we really need another trio of wanna be Angels?

The real deal is so much better!

Ok, that’s all for my daily rant.

I’m blaming it on the Nyquil I took at 11:30pm last night that I think is still in my system.

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January 7, 2011

Randomness for Friday

by Shelly

Apparently I’m totally new.  Since becoming quite addicted to this little thing called Twitter I have become COMPLETELY engrossed into the world of design.  I know, as if I were not already.  But then I stumbled onto the Twitter profile of Jenny Andrews from My Favorite and My Best and I was SUCKED IN!  I spent a good part of last night and then again this morning pouring over her blog and reading post after post.  This girl cracks. me. up.

Oh….  but just a little FYI… if you don’t like cussing (a lot actually) or a potty mouth, then her blog is definitely not for you.  Both are a requirement to read it.  You’ve been warned.

On another note..

I’ve been checking out the idea house over at Cottage Living and saw this bathroom…

The walls of the room feature the lyrics to Johnny Cash’s song “Flushed from the Bathroom of Your Heart.” Clever.  But then I thought after reading loads of MFAMB..

Wouldn’t it be funnier to have these Johnny Cash lyrics on the walls instead:

“I fell into a burning ring of fire

I went down, down, down and the flames went higher

and it burns, burns, burns the ring of fire

the ring of fire.”

My husband would think so and a bunch of other males in my life too.  Potty jokes.  Oh the joys. The hubs and I are HUGE Johnny Cash fans btw.  I think it’s a prerequisite for guys from Central California (where my hubby is from).

Anywho, I’m going to go back to this…

I know.

Awesome huh?

This can all be blamed from reading this post, which sent me into a tizzy of file organization. Oh and this was about an hour after I had spent all day organizing 2010 receipts and paperwork for taxes.  I had just literally cleaned the room up and then… well you get the picture.

By the way, did you take a look at my office in ruins progress?  We’re going on one year now. Still not done. Blame it on the economy or my husbands’ spending freeze.  One of the two, but it’s still not done. Ugh. It is still just a mish mash of junk, chairs that are NOT office chairs, frames, and other various assorted things that should not be on an office floor.  It is priority #1 this weekend, as is painting the front door finally.

Do you have any 2011 projects you will be working on this weekend?  I feel like everyone is sprucing things up, organizing, trying to be a better person, cutting back, trimming down, etc. etc.  Cue The Scorpions, Winds of Change…..