Stairway Upgrade

Lately I have been so busy with family things I haven’t had a second to get my thoughts together to blog. Seems it was farther down the list of priorities this past week . I have a few projects that I plan to share but they are still a work in progress so I thought I would share a home improvement project we did before I started blogging.

Our stairs are the first thing you see when you open our front door and I had never liked the way the looked. The newel post looked cheap and the spindles were so-so. Since we have  warm wood trim in our home painting wasn’t an option for me and wouldn’t have changed the construction aspects and that is what I didn’t like. We hired the gentleman that did our trim work when the house was built, yes we tracked him down as we knew he could match stain and was a great craftsman. It didn’t cost all that much but the impact was well worth it.

Stairway before:

After the spindles were replace with iron and new newel posts:

I think the changes added character and richness to our home and I like the look of the stairway so much more now.

While we had our craftsman around we had him trim out our bathroom mirrors. Here is a picture of the Master bathroom before and after:

After adding the trim work

They seemed like simple changes with huge impact. It always amazes me what adding detail and milwork will do for a room. I eventually would love to add some wainscotting and other trim around our home. Here are some other ideas I hope to impelment someday.

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Maybe this is the weekend  you take time to attack that project you’ve been putting off. Wouldn’t it feel great to check it off your “to do” list?

Have a great weekend.



Woven Chairs

Since I had been gone for a week I had some errands to run and while I was out and about stopped by our local Marshall’s. You never know what you will find there. Somedays I find plenty of treasures for myself or clients and other days I leave empty handed. I had been watching their furniture section which mostly contained a few chairs and some garden pieces. I had my eye on these two chairs that were very similar to ones I had admired at Restoration Hardware for about $480 a piece with cushions. Still they were priced at $159 each,a deal compared to Restoration Hardware. However  they were still a stretch for any impulsive splurge since I wasn’t sure exactly where I would put them.  I kept them in mind knowing that one day they are there and often gone the next.

Here is the Restoration Hardware version:

Well it must have been meant to be, because they were still there today and marked down to $60 each. I scooped those babies up and brought them home to my little abode.

While we were in Newport Beach I saw the style in many a courtyard or around a dining table indoors. I think that inspired me to purchase them and incorporate them in my house for Spring and Summer.


There are a few places they would work in my house , but I put them in the breakfast nook for now. What do you think?

Have a great weekend!


Spring Break Escape

We got home last night from a much needed sunny get away in Southern California. The weather was perfect for the week we were there and we took advantage of it and spent most of the time hiking , bike riding and enjoying the beautiful beaches of Newport, Corona del Mar and Crystal Cove.

I didn’t want to haul my camera( Nikon D60) around on this vacation since I knew we would be pretty active and so all my pictures are via my iPhone. Not the greatest but it captured our adventure fine.

I love the beach and would have been happy with my toes in the sand all day and we made it a point to do plenty of that.

We didn’t bother to get a rental car and chose to walk everywhere. I think we logged in about forty walking /biking miles in 5 days. We walked from our hotel to Balboa Island and Newport Beach one day. I enjoyed all the beautiful homes and my husband drooled over all the luxury cars.


We saw dolphins from the shore and that was a highlight for me.

We got a glimpse of how the rich and famous live. Pelican Hills an exclusive gated community doesn’t contain a house with less than 10,000 sq ft. and is home to many a celebrity. I admired the architecture and fine landscaping but honestly couldn’t relate to their lifestyle.

Homes along the beachfront were just as amazing. Many private homes were the size of some luxury resorts.

There were a few quaint homes to be found :

All in all it was a great Spring Break Escape and we came back tan and refreshed.

The sunsets were beautiful from our friends home in Corona del Mar.

Ahhhhhh… back to reality today , and the rain. The much needed break did boost my mood and I’m looking forward to getting my garden planted and incoporating some of the ideas of the beautiful homes I saw around here.

Check back as I share some of my ideas modified for those of us less rich or famous than the residents of Newport Beach.

Keeping it real,


Mini Easter Eggs Craft

This last week I was adding a few Easter touches to the house. I wanted some small blue eggs and couldn’t find any at the craft store or Target. They were all pastel or sparkly and there isn’t a Pottery Barn near by, closest one is 60 miles away. Besides I wanted it to be very inexpensive and quick.

I ended up picking up some polymer clay at Michael’s ,

blue and ivory, as well as some burnt umber acrylic paint.

I then formed small eggs shapes out of each color and blended some of the blue and white together to get even a lighter shade. I have seen some amazing polymer clay art and jewelry and my creation looked like child’s play but I wasn’t going for any grand , just eggs.

After forming them I baked them according to the directions on the package of clay. 275 degrees and since they were thicker than 1/4 ” I kept checking them every 10 minutes until they seemed to be set, took about an hour.

After they cooled I mixed the burnt umber paint with a small amount of water to thin it down. Then using a tooth brush splatter painted the eggs. Let them dry and Ta-Da , mini speckled eggs.

So easy you could do it with children . I imagine their little fingers may even make cuter ones.

Speaking of children… I snapped a few photos of my youngest grand-daughter this weekend. She melts my heart!

Make the most of your Monday!


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