Wednesday, April 30, 2014

wear local.

this is by no means a fashion blog.

but as I was getting dressed in my go-to uniform I was pleasantly surprised to realize it all originates in southern california:

AG (southgate)
the furies (venice)
claire vivier (silverlake)
vans (a socal institution headquartered in cypress)

wearing (social edition)


Monday, April 28, 2014

tres cool

over the last year we have had our beloved fridge go belly-up three times. first off the fan. then a relay. and finally the condenser.

after some heart-felt consideration (we really loved our amana and its clean lines!) we decided it was time to move on.

new fridge!

we didn't have a lot of choices with our restricted cabinet depth location. (also hard to photograph in!) we are so very pleased with what we did find.

brand new to samsung - this model fits perfectly in our space. the samsung food showcase fs9000 has the stainless finish we required (to match our other appliances) and its recessed handles preserve the clean line we were looking for. and its pretty. and cool. (in many ways!)

we did get almost 13 years from our old fridge. not bad. (would likely have been longer if it had been located on a cooler wall, with more ventilation.) and it is so nice to not be worrying about when our fridge will conk out again! (living out of coolers is only fun for a while!)

details of fs9000

youtube review of fs900 with "tour" of its special showcase feature.

our kitchen through time.

life expectancy of major appliances.

tips for extending the life of your fridge.

Friday, April 25, 2014

weekend to do


cousin time
planning for a wedding shower!
violin recital
thinking about the future of our river

around the house
paint moldings

Monday, April 21, 2014

this is the house that bj built.

we had a lovely break. lots of time with good friends. and (despite the fridge fiasco) just the right amount of relaxing!

we visited k's godparents (who happen to live down the road in another great sfv mcm neighborhood - encino village.)

we were all blown-away (especially k!) by their newest addition - this fantastic mid-century inspired playhouse that bj built himself, with all materials purchased from the home depot!


i plan on working with him to get the plans for this available as a pdf. it is just too good not to share, right?


watch for it :)

Saturday, April 19, 2014


last year we went with all natural dyes. i loved the mottling. the saturation. the quietness of the results.

this year e requested neon eggs. (oh the influence of instagram!)i have to admit i love the vibrant rainbow results.

happy easter!

happy easter!

happy easter!

happy easter!

Friday, April 18, 2014

weekend to do


bake a frittata for easter brunch
neighborhood easter egg hunt

around the house
prepare for the arrival of a new fridge (the old one finally died. so sad. this was one lovely fridge and not easy to replace. i owe a post to this subject!)
clear side yards

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

Thursday, April 03, 2014

girl power!


we've worked hard in this house to cultivate a sense of "you can do anything...", and "strong and smart". in math and science, that's been a bit trickier as both d and i work in the arts. we often engage the girls in household projects and discussions where they see real-world math and science applications and we are lucky that they both excel in these areas. (full disclosure - d is something of whiz with numbers!)

we were thrilled when k received top-prize at her school science fair this week! her project on Chemical Weathering of Different Types of Rocks was all her own doing (save breaking up the rocks into sample size in the backyard with her dad!). the fair was judged by local scientists and engineers who came over from Northrup Gruman and CSUN. (in the overall results at the school, girl finalists outnumbered the boys! encouraging results - and I don't doubt linked to a fabulous teacher there with a love for science.)

go K go!

an interesting article on girls and science here