Work...Life...Balance: Note To Self

work, life, balance
I can honestly say I'm not sure what that is

my work_ life_ balance is like a teeter totter

fast some weeks, slow and methodical others

some days soaring like a kite and other days like watching paint dry

mostly my life is just crazy
not in a bad way
just a...
 chase your tail like a crazy beagle sort of way

and  sometimes....when I wake up in the morning I'm not sure which city I'm in

I have now moved again...yes seriously...again
which is probably why I haven't blogged that much and should probably work for Bekins Movers.

Unfortunately I know exactly how many medium sized boxes I will need to pack up my kitchen,
which is an odd talent, unless as I said,  your are a professional mover
 but anyway...

lets do the moving math shall we:

(1) I sold and moved from my "dream home" in 2011 into a nice condo (2) while we were renovating another  property (3) we owned in Ojai

After about a year later, our lease is up in the condo so we (4) decide to move to Ojai
and give it a go there full time
We actually owned the Ojai ranchette for about 5 years but lived there full time for only 2 years
My husband was commuting all over the US but had an office in Pasadena so guess what? 
we sold the Ojai house in 2013 and rented an uber modern condo (5) in Old Town Pasadena
right on Colorado Blvd
(talk about country/city vertigo...whew what a change)

After just one...yes one month in the condo,  we purchase a little Spanish house in Santa Barbara(6)
and now drive back forth to Santa Barbara every weekend from Pasadena

 Our lease is now up in our spacious Pasadena condo so we move to another apartment (7)
much too small...like, what was I thinking small
(a terrible idea, but I gave it a shot)
because we seriously wanted to spend more time in Santa Barbara and start renovating

are you still with me? were at 7 houses since 2011
and just in case you forgot...I keep selling everything I own every time we move ; /
which can be good or bad depending on how you look at it

OK so here we are with a cute house in Santa Barbara, that needs major work and a way to small apartment in Pasadena...so what do we do?

what else
we accept a new business opportunity
and move to Palo Alto (8) in the San Francisco bay area
I kid you not
here we are

Living in face book land, with hipsters,
tech junkies and Stanford grads
and a lot of other really nice people
who don't have anything to do with any of that stuff

sound like fun?

well yes...sort of...but it's also scary.
So here is what I have learned in the last few years and
why change can be a very good thing

Change forces you to do things and face challenges whether or not you really want to

Change demands that you stay interested:
in life, new ideas
and respect and listen to the perspective and opinions of new people, in new places

 Change allows you to explore:
new cities, new restaurants, new running trails, new neighbors, new farmers markets
and new antique stores (just ❤︎saying)

 Change makes you take risks:
Can you survive?....yes you can and remind yourself it really is all about the journey
and this is your story to embrace
and to write
as you live it,
melt downs included

 Change enables you to let go;
letting go of stuff, of repetition, letting go of narrow minded thinking
and saying goodbye to negativity

 Change is about finding perspective:
open mind, open heart, open road
relishing the beauty of every new day, rain or shine

 Change is about living with just enough:
what ever your "enough" is,
challenge yourself to find that balance and really enjoy your half full glass of sweet tea
because your life is yours alone and it is far more perfect than you probably know

 Change is what is supposed to happen: whether or not at the time
it seems right and wonderful
 just downright unfair and wrong

Its the catalyst for opportunity and growth at any age

 I have a huge amount of respect for the challenges of change and have had more than my share of doubt and drama
but change can be healthy....and oddly enough although this is not what I had planned
my glass is almost always half full and my story is still being written
melt downs and all
ps....we still own the little Spanish house in Santa Barbara ; )
and I promise not to sell it (and all of the furniture) until its finished

to be continued


Modern Country: A Style Evolution

There's nothing like looking at old photos of yourself to remind you, that you never want your hair to look like it did in 1980, at least mine ; ))

And walking down a photographic memory lane on a blog can be torture or telling.
Recently some of my favorite bloggers have shown some really great "before and after"
houses showing how quickly trends can end.  
Check out Joni's @CDT

It is pretty clear that most design trends have a shelf life of about 5 to 6 years.  Some last a bit longer.
Take subway tile and Carrera marble for instance....still looks pretty great  right? 

But when we see brown granite or beige marble
 it just looks really tired.

I recently posted this room on my Instagram and many commented how much they liked this room.
I do too and the only thing I would probably do different here is the head board. 
More on that later!

So let's take a peek at some photos and see if the"look I loved" just 7 years ago can still hold up today. 
Is it all out of style already? 
Do I still love it?  
And more importantly would I do any of this again today 
or would I do something completely different?

I have embraced a relaxed, collected, somewhat modern country look in almost all of my homes.  
The truth is, I really love elements of this look, just not the whole package anymore.
In the photo above I was collecting Roseville pottery.  I sold the hutch (bummer) and most of the pottery.  I don't collect the pottery anymore but I would probably buy that hutch again for sure!
The appeal of well loved painted pieces never seems to fade.

photo: John Ellis   styling: Sunday Hendrickson

This kitchen was re-worked in 2008 and photographed a few times for some magazines. 
 I showed it a lot on this blog because it was very bright and fun to style with the open shelves.

 Open shelving is still going strong and here to stay for a while, don't you think?

I added the big oversized pendants but today I'm not sure.  Still current? 
Today I would probably use a large clear pendant and use accents of brass.

Ok.... so I think I count 4 vintage signs all relating to eggs...which I wouldn't do again 
and way to many green collectibles. 
 By the way, all of the stuff in this photo I owned!

This is another view.  This looks more current to me. 
I love the black honed granite and the cool parsons table from Room and Board
All of the modern black details work together: 
the stone, the table base, the frame around the art, the small floor lamp and the iron drapery rods.

Sunday Hendrickson styled this cupboard with the Roseville and some wicker pieces 
but I used it for dish storage.  
I really do love this photo but...
it's very country and not so modern
This huge armoire housed a microwave and bar fridge 
but the stacks of firkins are the icing.
I don't collect them and most have sold. 
Would they have an appeal in a modern room today?
Firkins ....?
I feel like the original green paint is just too much for me 
so I doubt I would buy this again. 

 The room above is circa 1998.  A little beach house.
 I like this room.  White slipcovers, a little Ralph Lauren fabric and some warm leather.  
Mostly I like the simplicity of it and that it's not over done.
Not trendy but not really all that dated
 How about framed botanicals?  
21 here in this collection.  
Perfect for this room but I don't collect them anymore, however 
they probably won't really ever look dated because they are so unique.
What I find interesting is that today often art is chosen because of color and not for the love of the medium or artist. 

same room professionally styled and photographed

I do like the slips on the chairs and the Asian side board
 This is an interesting mix.  The lamps are crated jugs which I repurposed into lights.  
And the art is a reproduction by modernist Franz Klein 
I could do this again.  
 Ok....now we've hit the mother load.  My dreaded grain sack hoarding.
Seriously I put sacks and ticking on anything that didn't wear shoes.
Which means I never sewed a dress for myself out of a grain sack but I probably thought about it!

This chair is fun.  I think the fabric is used in a way that still feels current.
Here they are again
Photo: Victoria Pearson Styling: Heather Bullard
This room feels modern to me.  
Today I would add a very minimal floor lamp to the mix and use a different rug.

This combo of fabric just screams old school country. 
 It's pretty but feels almost heavy.

Need I say more?  Totally out of control with the grain sacks !
Are we sick of it yet?
Apparently I'm not because 
I did my last grain sack project on these chairs about 6 months ago!

  I think this is the end...these sacks were all patched and faded and are more subtle
 so they seem more current

OK....Moving right along
 This was a fun room with a mix of styles but my question here is the rug!?
I know you're gonna scream and throw tomatoes but I just don't like the animal patterned rugs anymore.

 I'm also not crazy about the tiger/cheetah/gazelle fabric either....which is why I'm only showing photos of my rooms so I can criticize myself all day long.
It's not that this is bad, the rug just looks dated to me and out of place.
 The "animal" fabric on the pillows is Barclay Buttera
A bit more subtle but I would not choose this again for this room.
I decorated this room in 2008 and I still like the lime green velvet.

Here is another version styled by Sunday
I like this a lot but today I would add a patterned Indigo rug 
or something bright and overdyed.
The coffee table is still a favorite but something with glass and brass would look great in here today

 How about signs?
This one was a favorite of mine but I don't use them at all now.
 When I go to Homegoods or similar stores there are reproductions everywhere.
For me, it takes all the uniqueness out of the "folk art as art" concept.
I feel the same way about chalkboards...fun idea but the over saturation is downright painful
In this room I would change out all of the art, pillows, lighting and the rug.  The coffee table is antique wicker but again clear glass or something more minimal would be wonderful.

I was obviously really into buckets too.  
buckets as lamps 
buckets as planters
buckets as props
I love buckets....just not as much ;) and haven't purchased one in years.

 And lets not forget industrial.
  This is a great laundry space and the little hits of industrial metal are still current.
The shelves are really modern and the work sink is really fun.
 I would use all these elements again today.
On to lighting....
 for what ever reason I felt compelled to re-envision
just about every light fixture I purchased, apparently to make it more unique
New shades, new paint, you name it!  
But recently, I have rediscovered the beauty of  simple and modern country
and do not feel the need to tweet what is already a pretty great thing.
It's the over saturation that seems dated.  
As I said..I love all of the elements, just not all at the same time!

My style has evolved from this
to this

So...lets just say my modern country style has leaned out or perhaps matured.
I am a devotee of modern country in a
maybe, not exactly, definitely, should I?, 90%, 10 %, just the right way
sort of a way


Own Your Style: A Cheerful Winter Wardrobe

The first couple months of every New Year is my favorite time to 
clean and organize my closets.
Is is yours too?

No room is off limits.  
Kitchens, bathrooms and pantry's are usually full of weird odds and ends
 that end up in the garbage pail.  
Why do I always have an extra can of pumpkin?
and what's up with all the red pepper flakes?

Clothes closets are always challenging because it's sometimes hard to giveaway a beloved skirt or handbag that might be the item you wish you had saved down the road. 

 Remember that denim skirt you made from a pair of jeans Sophomore year?  
Yea that one....don't ya wish you still had it?

BTW....just for laughs google: home made jeans skirt...no words can describe these skirts

 how about the tooled leather thingy from Cabo circa 1993
(clearly a case of too much Cerveza)

  I actually have seen furniture that I have sold/consigned or donated show up in antique malls.  
Always a weird feeling....especially when I see the prices!!
I recently consigned two side tables....which I received $250 dollars for....not too shabby 

about a week later I ran into them (hello tables) in a rather upscale antique mall
priced at $1250


weirder yet, I looked inside to see if I had left anything!

even weirder, the shop owner said 
"can I help you with anything?"

to which I answered:
"yes, I would like to buy these amazing tables for
one thousand two hundred and fifty dollars"

just kidding about the last part 
but I did peek to see if my book was still in the drawer

 Last year I did a major purge and it felt really great.
So this year is more about organizing the things I wear over and over again 
and updating accessories and basics 

I tossed a few pairs of old boots, which was actually kinda hard ; )
truth:  I rescued a pair of Frye riding boots at the very last minute....I felt like I was saving a dear friend from certain disaster.  
They will eventually find their way back into the donation box.  
That's what boots do....they go walking

I did purchase these
this is a beautiful basic black boot that hits just below the knee,
they look great with everything and were soft and comfortable right out of the box...always a plus because I'm just not into blisters any more, I don't care how awesome the shoe is!

not sure if you can still find this boot 
it's the Suzie boot from Sigerson Morrison

always a staple for me are light weight running/walking shoes 
which look great with jeans and khaki's
These are New Balance 711's 
love these in black and the other fun colors

hoarder alert...I own 3 pair! 

I wear my fave vintage Donna Karen Collection (circa 2004) cashmere coat with everything...
it even looks good with pajamas ; ))

 love this coat from Theory
It has a wonderful menswear appeal

 Invested (luggage is an investment) in some new duffels 
and totes from Filson
In addition to being beautifully made these should last forever...
probably much longer than I will want to keep using them, cause forever is a really long time

 I love/need a big cross body that I can open up and see everything I've thrown in there 
and this one can double as a weekender in a pinch 

Will someone please write a post about purses and analyze why we put so much stuff in them...
it's truly amazing.

It's as if we women were taught at an early age that the ability to cram your entire life 
into a smallish bag 
(which you will then carry around you neck until you need surgery)
 is part of growing up...but I digress

I love white and cream in the winter too and found some great Levi 501's in white
these are a boyfriend fit and a bit distressed 
super cute and comfy
found these at Macys.com ...I think they were around $50 dollars 

add a few more lovelies like a great big chunky black sweater
and a floral scarf and your sure to feel cheerful
even in the rain
Eddie Bauer

Cath Kidson

other items:
Sunnies: Krewe
Watch: Longines
Jeans:  Polo
Blue boyfriend shirt:  Polo  

I didn't use links but you know how to get there ; ))


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