Friday, February 28, 2014

weekend to do


stay dry and cozy!

around the house
clean out shoe cubbies and front closet
clean clothes washer
catch up on mending and ironing

Thursday, February 27, 2014

rain rain

california is experiencing the worst drought in recent history. with rain in the forecast we are celebrating - but also cautiously aware of the dangers that can come with it. we are lucky to live in a very safe spot - with no fear of flooding or mudslides. our ground is thirsty - and the rain is quickly absorbed. we need it so very badly - and know that even a full few days of rain will not be enough. water conservation is at the forefront. we have worked with our local school to reduce the asphalt substantially to have the little rain we get enhance groundwater levels. at home, we have removed our lawn and replaced it with drought tolerant native plants.

and in anticipation of the rain, we have installed a rain barrel on one corner of the house. (the first of a series we hope to install.) it is convenient to our bedroom patio, where i have my collection of potted succulents. the goal is to use this convenient captured rain to water them. it will also help offset pooling in the chicken run, adjacent to this area. (we wouldn't use this water on edibles. i'm not confident about what other particulates might be captured, along with the water, off our tar and rock roof.)


we purchased this kit, and were gifted a food grade barrel from our friend john, an expert in water-wise systems.

installation was easy. d completed the project in about 20 minutes. (installation instructions can be found on the la stormwater site.)

in theory, we could capture 3,738 gallons of water with this storm! (roof footprint sqft x rainfall inches x 0.623) in our dreams, we install these.

now bring on the rain...


how to capture rainwater

rainwater harvesting

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

bedding for a horse-crazy girl

Screen Shot 2014-02-26 at 5.00.37 PM

did you know that h&m has bedding available on their website? cute too. we added this to k's list of bedroom "upgrades". (and we're considering this for e - maybe to try and do some hand-printing on?)

Friday, February 21, 2014

weekend to do


take in cushions to be reupholstered
violin examination recordings!
play in the sun
sew new oven mitt

around the house
trim back shrubs in front yard
think about cut-flower bed
finishing sanding and prime master bedroom

btw i'm loving this maple blueberry scone recipe from joy the baker!

Thursday, February 20, 2014

mattress shopping

we are pretty set on purchasing a "natural" mattress - or at least a "hybrid". i thought we'd go with the dwr sonno versa mattress, but then i started reading about polyurethane and other mattress "ingredients" and decided we weren't in a big rush (our bed frame is back-ordered to april), and this deserves more investigation. after all, we do spend a lot of time in bed.

did you know that a polyurethane, aka memory foam mattress, loses half of its weight in ten years! that's half its weight going up as dust in your bedroom as the chemical components in the bed begin to decompose. yikes! there are "eco-friendly" PU mattresses out there, including the aloe versa from dwr, which we are considering.

of course we are taking price-point into consideration. and i am bemoaning we didn't do this prior to purchasing the girls' mattresses. (really it came out of our consideration of a memory foam mattress, which we hadn't considered for the girls.) we bought them "conventional" mattresses - coils and foam. And in hindsight, I don't feel too guilty about our choice. Simmons touts itself as "the first mattress manufacturer to have all polyurethane foams meet strict environmental, health and safety standards and states the mattress is free of phthalates, formaldehyde, methylene chloride, CFCs, PBDEs, mercury, lead and heavy metals with low VOCs for superior air quality."

some frightening reads:


the huffington post

Safer Chemicals Healthy Families

even goop...

some "green" mattress options:






a couple of you have recommended these to me. (thank you!) any other experiences out there? i admit to finding it a bit overwhelming!

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

wash day

with e in her own room, she is exercising much more responsibility, including an active interest in doing her own laundry. d set up a hamper that fits right into her closet and i posted a list of laundry steps in the laundry room. so far so good!

found this cute print that would be a perfect visual aid from the caravan shoppe

Monday, February 17, 2014

12 hikes :: february :: stoney point park

december we hiked on the island.

january, we revisited a favorite spot.

now back to the task at hand...





Stoney Point Park
Topanga Canyon Boulevard & the 118 Freeway
Los Angeles, CA 91311
Neighborhood: Chatsworth

Proximity: 8.5 miles from our home
Hike length: about 1.5 miles
Bonus features: Really a spot for climbing more than hiking. Amazing natural rock formations and giant boulders. Fun look at Stoney Point as captured in old films.
Tips: We parked on Topanga - but it was very busy so beware. An alternate would be to park on Chatsworth and follow the bridal trail to the park. We brought a picnic lunch - but there really wasn't a spot to eat - and it was a pain carrying the backpack and trying to climb. Next time we will start earlier and have lunch after. This is a busy spot for climbers. so lots to watch as well as some fun scrambling up the mountain.

* * * * *

K: I'll give it a 9/10. The climbing was amazing. We found bones and could see the whole area. It was so so so so... so FUN!!!!!!!!! The only reason I gave the hike at Stoney Point a 9/10 instead of a 10/10 was that there was not a creek or stream or river. That would have been a lot more fun.

E: 7/10. I liked climbing where I could. I wish we could have climbed more.

thinking of my dad today. what better way to celebrate his memory, than being outdoors. he would have loved this. loved his granddaughters and their sense of adventure. loved the feel of being in "the old west". loved that it was 78 degrees F in February.

Sunday, February 16, 2014

room to grow con't

we are still working away on e's room. converting from home office to bedroom has had a couple of challenges. first off - what to do with all the books that were stored in this room, and two - how to maximize the small space to allow her to have room to hang-out and study. when d first started with this room, he tore out the closet to add built in book cases, and an area for a flat file. you can read about it, and see it here. (2006!!!) he now has converted the flat file space with drawers so e won't need a dresser. it is perfect.

here are some in progress shots before we get to the big reveal. soon!

room to grow

room to grow

Saturday, February 15, 2014

weekend to do


help with garden at the ranch
long weekend play date
say goodbye to gramma
play catch-up after a very busy week

around the house
hang art in girls' rooms
help transfer items to e's new "dresser"
patch, putty and sand bedroom walls
wash windows
install e's window treatment

Friday, February 14, 2014

...for like ever

k made these for her class - while e did some hand lettering for her "bffles".

for the girls, d and i ordered these...

banquet workshop fluoro heart print via mlle


for like ever pink & red poster by super rural

d framed them in lovely, simple white frames. can't wait to see them in their new rooms!

happy valentine's day!

Saturday, February 08, 2014

local fare

we took gramma to dinner at one of our favorite spots. the local peasant has been open for about a year now and still feels like the place where the cool kids are hanging out. it has a fun, hip vibe, without being pretentious, the cocktail & beer selection is great, and the food, seriously good.

my favorite thus far, the pan roasted salmon. the girls go for the burger with onion rings. and flourless chocolate cake for dessert - while i hold out for the jelly donuts with a coffee in an anthora cup .

(k gives it a 20 out of 10!)

the patio is fun. the interior is a little dark and loud - especially the later you're there (they are open until 2 am) but we didn't mind. (not great for picture taking though.)

local peasant

local peasant

local peasant

it is great to see places like this popping up in the 818. we can only hope to get something within walking distance of us soon! (i feel a valley renaissance coming on.)

Friday, February 07, 2014

weekend to do


around the house
strip old wallpaper
clean turtle ponds
build drawers for e's "dresser"
finish frames for girls' valentines

research chairs for girls' rooms
go for a hike (and enjoy the clean air! thank you rain!)
visit the saddlery sale
class valentines for k

Monday, February 03, 2014

field trip :: L.A. Louver



work took me down to venice and i spent some quality time in the gallery with these lovely pictures and more. (leon kossoff at L.A. Louver through 01 march 14) a lovely sense of london light and energy by a favorite of mine from the "school of london".