Yesterday I had the great privilege to see The Australian Ballet perform Swan Lake at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion in Los Angeles. I have a soft spot in my heart for Australia after spending 10 days traveling with about 20 Australian women on a motorcoach throughout the English countryside last spring. A dear client of mine invited me and I'm so incredibly glad I went. It was my first time at the ballet and I couldn't have asked for a more beautiful performance. I've always loved ballet and watch it on PBS but never went because (and this is a total cop out) raising 3 boys, the idea of going to the ballet never really seemed an option. So I'd say this is one of the perks of getting older and getting to do more of what you want! It was a perfect day. We left my house a full 4 hours before the performance to allow for traffic, lunch and an informative talk with the Australian Ballet's artistic director, David Mcallister. I'm so glad we decided to attend this talk just prior to the show because it really filled us in on the their interpretation of the original love triangle of Odette, her husband and the Baroness to a contemporary version of Princess Diana, Charles and Camilla. We found it utterly beautiful - from the dancing to the costumes and lighting.
Speaking of lighting, the chandeliers at the Dorothy Chandler are breathtaking in size and beauty!
This is what I wore. Our dear Dani gave me this dress last year out of the kindness of her heart! Who does that? It's a J. Crew collection dress made of white linen and lined in white silk. It is probably the nicest thing hanging in my closet. I thought it would be perfect for the ballet and paired it with my leopard cardigan (Dani suggested that pairing - and she was right). I felt comfortable and dressed perfectly for the occasion. I have to say it was nice seeing everyone in attendance, no matter their age was really dressed so nicely. It was all quite civilized. :)
at 7:16 AM
Posted by the gardener's cottage
My work uniform is all black. I wear black pants. an Aveda tshirt and a black apron. Topped off with a pair of black shoes and I am set. It does get a bit boring but it is so functional that I don't mind. So I am always on the lookout for comfortable and quiet black pants. By quiet I mean the fabric has to be super soft so as not to make noise when I move around. Giving facials is supposed to be a tranquil experience not one riddled with the jangle of jewelry or clothing. Believe it or not that is an important part of dressing for my job. Also, black tends to get crummy looking pretty quickly so it's important that the pants I purchase are not very expensive as I want to look as put together as possible. So I found these ponte pants at Target the other day and I'm pretty much in love with them. They closely mimic the J Crew pixie pant, but I actually think these are more comfortable and are a fraction of the price, $27 vs $98. Anyway I thought I'd share just in case you are in the market. They are nice enough that I'm wearing them here with that pale pink vintage top that I showed the other day.
Also...while we are all here, I would love to thank you for the amazing kindness you have shown me in my last post. To say I'm blown away is the understatement of the year. I've read each one at least twice and a lot of them more than that. As hard as it was to share, I'm glad I did because I think we can all help each other through this blog. At least that is my hope. If you have any questions don't hesitate to ask in the comments. I will be as honest as I can in my replies. So thank you from the bottom of my heart - you truly are THE best. x
Hello there. On Saturday I went to the annual Precious Times Antique store outdoor flea market. Even though I'm not in the market for anything for the house this is a pretty amazing sale so I didn't want to miss it. This is where I got the two antique light pendants in my living room for $2.50 each, the wicker handbag I've been carrying all summer cost $5 and my antique English teapot was $1. The offerings on Saturday were so-so. I wound up walking away with a beautiful long silk skirt for $3. I'll show you that in an upcoming post. We also popped in to see Gone Girl. I was on the edge of my seat for most of the movie. I thought it was very clever but the ending for me was a disappointment. Have you seen it?
Now here it is Sunday afternoon. Football is on the television, Larry is on the sofa napping and I've been in the kitchen making ice cold gazpacho for dinner. The days have been hot but at least the nights have been crisp. It's our typical Fall weather here. If I were to ever recommend the perfect time to visit southern California it would be in October or November.
I've done a lot of thinking this past week as to what to do with this blog. It seemed like it was doomed or rather maybe I was? Anyway, I received some very heartfelt emails and lots of comments about sharing your own stories and I came to realize that one of the reasons I've been able to keep my sanity these last 5 years or so, is because of this blog. It has kept me anchored and really has been a reason for me to push past the negative and see all the good in my life. And to be honest it feels good knowing I'm not alone or some kind of failure. So it looks like I'll keep hanging around putting out the same mediocre posts that you have come to expect. Don't these blue and white ginger jars and hydrangeas look good together? These are the little things that keep me going. That and of course, you dear readers who inspire me and keep me on my toes.
With all this talk about fall and pumpkins swirling around the internet, I figured I'd join in and show you what I'll be wearing this fall, if and when it ever arrives. Above is last year's cable knit sweater, skinny jeans, leopard loafers and an infinity scarf I crocheted myself. I'm thinking this would be perfect on a cool fall day at a football game but in reality...a trip to Trader Joes.
The next outfit is a pair of skinny black trousers that I've had for about 7 years paired with a vintage sleeveless shell that I picked up at a thrift store for $3. Larry gave me that leopard cardigan 2 years ago and those awesome Ralph Lauren flats came from the Pasadena City College Swap Meet, $10.
I'm thinking lunch with a girlfriend, yeah, that's doable.
I'm looking forward to wearing this outfit to the Redlands Symphony perhaps. We joined this year and cannot wait. Tickets are so reasonable, if you live in the area you may want to consider it. Same black trousers, black kitten heel pumps and this Everlane Silk blouse from last year. I still love this clutch made from old fabric that I got on Etsy for my trip to London last year. Too bad she went out of business, she is so talented.
This will be a favorite everyday outfit. These skinny jeans from American Apparel that I bought last year and my old penny loafers paired with a vintage cardigan from the swap meet, $5.
Yeah, so that's what I'll be wearing. :)
Thank you all so much for the kind comments and emails from my last post. I was/am overwhelmed by your caring thoughts. This walk I'm walking is not easy. In fact some days it is torture but trying to keep the focus on me is important to my sanity. So if laying out a few outfits and thinking of the upcoming fall season makes me happy then I'm in. Lots of things in our daily lives can be considered trivial but at the same time they can be touchstones that we need during hard times. I know I have come to rely on them. So thank you for reading and bearing with me. :)
Continuing on with the subject of gratitude, here are 3 links from around the internet that I hope you enjoy. They are all very different from each other but at the heart of each is gratitude.
This first link is a beautiful video from Thailand that speaks to giving and will capture your heart in a big way. Watch here and see if your heart is not softened in ways you never imagined. Mine was.
The next piece is from the Huffington Post. It's an essay on having enough, keeping up and gratitude. I know over the years you all have gotten to know me but I've gotten to know you too. She puts into perfect words what we have all been thinking. Read the piece here and get some relief and inspiration. All I can say is Bravo!
The third link is one very close to my heart. It is the blog written by Charles Peabody. He also wrote the book by the same name, The Privileged Addict, which you can buy here on Amazon. As someone who has struggled greatly with being a parent of an addict. I really cannot put into words the help and relief and education I've received from his writings. Charlie, if you ever read this then know that your tireless writing and dedication to the subject of addiction has helped me immensely. This post in particular is a lifesaver. He is brutally honest and shines a bright beaming light of truth and knowledge on a very confusing subject. If you know anyone who struggles with addiction or is in any way affected by it, please click over and or buy his book, his story is incredible.
Have a beautiful relaxing weekend my friends, we are all in this together. x
at 6:23 AM
Posted by the gardener's cottage
They say that the quickest way out of any problem is through gratitude. I am a big believer in this. But lately the theory has failed me and so I began to take a deeper look at my problem and this is what I've come up with.
Normally before my feet hit the ground each morning I say a prayer of gratitude. I go through the list of things I am so grateful for and then go about my day. But like I said, lately I've been plagued with a general feeling of uneasiness and sadness. I realize that I need to dig deeper into my gratitude list and see what's up with it.
At the top of every gratitude list I make is my faith. I know I take it for granted because I don't rely on it as much as I need to. I often skip it and go directly to worry, anger, stress. If I were truly grateful for my Higher Power I would make contact with it throughout each day. When I do it, it works beautifully. So why don't I? Well I get lazy and think I have all the answers, which I don't. Which is why life isn't making sense at the moment.
I say I'm grateful for my home, for having a roof over my head. But am I? I really need to go further. My home is comfy and solid. It's small and manageable. It's affordable. It has pretty gardens. Yes I am grateful to live here.
I am grateful for my health. Am I or do I take it for granted? I try and take good care of myself with lots of yoga and fresh air and exercise. I spoil myself with fresh and healthy foods each day. But mental health-wise or emotionally I beat myself up and so my words don't align with my actions.
I say I am grateful for my family but am I? This is much trickier because my actions do not always align with my words. I tie a lot of my personal happiness and contentment upon others. So if others are not acting as I think they should then I get resentful. How can I be grateful and resentful at the same time? I can't. I am slowly, very slowly learning the art of acceptance. Learning to accept the unacceptable is hard but absolutely necessary if I am to be truly grateful for my family. There are no short cuts here, trust me I've tried. :)
Always on my gratitude list is my friends. But am I a good friend? If I'm being completely honest then the answer would be no. Lately I have been taking them for granted and I am ashamed of that. I have been very self-centered and immersed in my own problems when it comes to them. I want to fix this pronto.
My hope is that by writing this out and being able to go back and read it I will be reminded of what I want to change. I truly do not want to take anything in my life for granted any longer. I want to be a better person and accept everyone that I love just as they are. I want to be a better friend, spouse, mother and sister. I want to be happier and lead a more joyous life. I really do believe the answer is through gratitude but for me talking about being grateful isn't enough, I need to live it. Thank you for listening. x
at 6:49 AM
Posted by the gardener's cottage
Hey you. How's it going?
I took these photos about 10 minutes ago. What's pretty amazing is that here it is September 1st and the garden looks this good. That's pretty unusual for this garden. Normally, everything has pretty much peaked and would be looking really bad. I give credit to my friend, Mr. El Casco Gardener for this. Terry has given me some ideas on tweaking what I do around here and it really has paid off.
He suggested that I use a weak application of food for the flowers every week instead of just monthly. It has kept the blooms coming and coming.
All my geraniums were looking really bad. Everywhere I go around Southern California, geraniums grow prolifically, except mine. Turns out they had some sort of worm eating the blooms. I bought a spray for that at Home Depot and within a week the leaves are dark and green and the blooms are big and gorgeous.
Even the rose garden is still going. Lots of blooms still to come.
Someone wanted a full picture of this 150 year old pepper tree. Here it is. :)
My friend K of Faux Fuchsia fame wrote today about what gardening has taught her. I think the greatest thing I get from gardening is that I can lose myself while out there working. Everything that I'm worried about drifts away and I'm able to focus on exactly what is in front of me, there is a season for everything. Before I know it life is manageable and good again. I'm so grateful to be able to garden here. What has your garden taught you?
Hi friends. Today, It's my pleasure to introduce you to my dear friend Terry and his new blog, Mr. El Casco Gardener. He has a degree in horticulture and is also a master gardener. He is a veritable wealth of information regarding gardening and simple living. A long time ago, way before reality television, he lived off the grid for 4 years in Minnesota. He has great stories to tell about his life in the canyon and also lots of stories about what it was like living off the grid. He raises the most adorable chickens too! He has given me invaluable advice and lessons about my own garden. So I really, really hope you go over and just say hi and welcome him to the world of blogging, it would mean so much to me. Thank you, thank you, thank you.
No matter where you were on this beautiful earth last night you got to see a super moon. We drove out to Joshua Tree for a little R&R. Camping these days just isn't what it used to be. We figured out on the drive in that we have been camping in Joshua Tree for 40 years now. Over those years the campers themselves have changed. Joshua used to attract a sort of hippie, laid-back kind of person but now its just regular people who's idea of camping is dragging the city in with them. Big box type recreational vehicles, radios playing, loud talking is the norm now, which is totally sad but in a way will force us into changing. We will go back in the next couple of days, only this time we'll backpack out into the forest of yuccas so we can experience the quiet of the desert, the whole point of going there. We will be by ourselves, well if you don't count the mountain lions, bobcats, coyotes and snakes...oh, and the moon.