Thursday, April 17, 2014

field trip :: underwood family farms

strawberry fields

strawberry fields

strawberry fields

strawberry fields

strawberry fields

strawberry fields

we are on spring break. and being quite lazy! it feels good. yesterday, we went strawberry picking. (and sugar snap peas, onions and a couple of ruby red grapefruit.) it was the perfect day. i'm constantly reminded how lucky we are to live where we do. with open space so close to us. the richness of the soil that surrounds us. the access we have to fresh, sustainably grown, seasonal food.

underwood has a lot of other stuff going on. (petting zoo and all.) but i was grateful the kids are older and seemed happiest spending their time in the fields (3 hours!). even the (almost) teenager and her best friend spent the day without complaint!

we came home with 6 lbs of strawberries. so of course, this was absolutely necessary.

underwood family farms
3370 Sunset Valley Road
Moorpark 93021

Friday, April 11, 2014

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Tuesday, April 08, 2014

wallpaper 101

there's stuff still to do, but i couldnt resist sharing where we are at!

we were a little nervous about this DIY project. in preparation we watched a lot of videos including:

this one


read up about it on good old msl

wallpaper 101

wallpaper 101

wallpaper 101

in the end (and d may beg to differ) i thought it went up rather smoothly (no pun intended!) i had experience, a long long time ago, putting up pre-pasted wallpaper with my mom. the kind you soak in a tray then apply to the wall. i must say, though my memory may be failing me, i think this was a much easier, and cleaner process. we had to search a bit for a paste (we found it at Lowe's) but it was easy to work with and set-up and clean-up were quite basic.

items of note:

* have a long clean smooth table top surface to work on. this made applying the paste a great deal easier
* wipe down said smooth surface between paste applications. we did have a minor mishap with the paper sticking to the table and tearing. luckily we had ordered extra.
* order extra (see above). we used the calculator on the wallpaper direct site. glad we did.
* it is a two-person job. sure one person could have done it. but it was great having an extra pair of hands (especially as first-timers). d did the cutting, paste-up, application to the wall and trimming; while i was his spotter, and followed him with the tools to push out any bubbles, roll the seams and sponge down. (it was a great team-building exercise!)
* invest in a good roller. we had a cheap one that came with the kit d picked-up. we ended up using a clean brayer which worked much better.
* prep prep prep! d's careful preparation of the wall (sanding, patching, sanding, priming, and sealing) made a huge difference to the outcome.

wallpaper 101

i really love how it looks. (d is getting tired of hearing me go on about it!) it ties into the theme of the house in color and its retro vibe. the natural wood furnishings keep it warm and inviting. our chaotic neglected bedroom has turned into a "crisp clean space" and a "cozy refuge".

wallpaper: dandelion mobile in porcelain with powder blue by miss print purchased at (but sadly no longer available).

still to do: walnut shelving, bedside built-ins, baseboards and having ceiling painted. we are close!

Sunday, April 06, 2014

our new mattress

we wanted to be ready to go as soon as our bed arrived and the wallpaper was up. so d headed out last weekend to investigate mattress options more closely. my criteria were of the environmental bent, while he was concerned with comfort and perhaps a remedy for his back pain.

he visited two stores, and the second was impressive enough to end his search.

Keetsa is not the most environmentally friendly mattress on the market - and they openly admit it - but it is much better than standard mattresses, and is at a good price-point in comparison to the other eco options. (Keetsa's unique package cuts down on freight costs - and that saving is passed on to the consumer. good stuff!)

he chose the Tea Leaf Supreme. a few nights in, and we are extremely happy with our new mattress. it was shipped to the house (free!) in a box not much bigger than K. its vacuum packing provided much entertainment on opening. and there was no weird smell! (so happy!) most importantly, we are both getting a great night's sleep.

added bonus: upload a video showcasing your mattress to their youtube channel and get a free pillow :)

thank you Keetsa!

(a peek here too at our new wallpaper and bed before the closet doors went back up!)

Saturday, April 05, 2014


william krisel's own home in brentwood went on the market not too long ago.

Krisel Residence watercolor rendering by William Krisel, from 1955. From the Krisel Archive at the Getty Research Institute via

and it appears the worst fears were realized.


Friday, April 04, 2014

weekend to do


birthday party violin recital birthday party sandwich
try and kick this cold
enjoy our new bed! (more soon!)

around the house
wash bedroom clerestory windows
clean out / organize pantry